Monthly Archives: December 2008

Sprain & Strain

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Definition:
A sprain (from the French espraindre – to wring) is an injury which occurs to ligaments caused by being stretched beyond their normal capacity and possibly torn. Muscular tears caused in the same manner are referred to as a strain. In cases where either ligament or muscle tissue is torn, immobilization and surgical repair may be necessary.

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Sprain. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments. Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect one bone to another. Common locations for sprains are your ankles and knees.

Strain. A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. People commonly call strains “pulled” muscles. Hamstring and back injuries are among the most common strains.


Degrees:

Although some signs and symptoms can be used to assess the severity of a sprain, the most definitive method is with the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Sprains are graded in four degrees.

*The first degree is only a minor tear or stretch of a ligament.

*The second degree is a tear of a ligament, which is usually followed by pain or swelling.

*The third degree is a complete rupture.

*The fourth degree is the most severe and actually breaks the ligament, along with some small bones if severe enough, and requires surgery to repair.

Causes:
Sprains and strains occur commonly, and most result in minor injuries.

Sprains. A sprain occurs when you overextend or tear a ligament while severely stressing a joint. Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect one bone to another. They help to stabilize joints, preventing excessive movement. You may sprain your knee or ankle when walking or exercising on an uneven surface. A sprain also may occur when you land awkwardly, either at the end of a jump or while pivoting during an athletic activity.

Strains. A muscle becomes strained or pulled — or may even tear — when it stretches unusually far or abruptly. This type of injury — an acute strain — often occurs when muscles suddenly and powerfully contract. A muscle strain may occur when you slip on ice, run, jump, throw, lift a heavy object or lift in an awkward position. A chronic strain results from prolonged, repetitive movement of a muscle.

Signs & Symptoms:
The typical signs and symptoms associated with a sprain are the cardinal signs of a sprain.

*Inflammation

*Localized pain

*Swelling

*Loss of function

*Loss of normal limb function

*Elasticity of ligament decrease

Joints involved:
Although any joint can experience a sprain, some of the more common include:

*The ankle. It is the most common, and has been said that sprains such as serious ankle sprains are more painful and take longer to heal than actually breaking the bones in that area. See ->sprained ankle for more details.

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*The knee. Perhaps one of the more talked about sprains is that to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee. This is a disabling sprain common to athletes, especially in basketball, football, and judo. See Anterior cruciate ligament injury.

*The fingers.

*The wrist.

*The toes.

Risk factors:
Factors contributing to sprains and strains include:

*Poor conditioning. Lack of conditioning can leave your muscles weak and more likely to sustain injury.

*Poor technique. The way you land from a jump — for example, when skiing or practicing martial arts — may affect your risk of injury to a ligament in your knee called the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Past research has shown that landing with an inward rotation at the knee (“knock-kneed” position) can predispose you to an ACL sprain.

*Fatigue. Tired muscles are less likely to provide good support for your joints. When you’re tired, you’re also more likely to succumb to forces that could stress a joint or overextend a muscle.

*Improper warm-up. Properly warming up before vigorous physical activity loosens your muscles and increases joint range of motion, making the muscles less tight and less prone to trauma and tears.

Treatment:
The first modality for a sprain can be remembered using the acronym R.I.C.E.

*Rest: The sprain should be rested. No additional force should be applied on site of the sprain. If, for example, the sprain were an ankle sprain, then walking should be kept to a minimum.

*Ice: Ice should be applied immediately to the sprain to minimize swelling and ease pain. It can be applied for 20-30 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day. Ice can be combined with a wrapping to minimize swelling and provide support.

*Compression: Dressings, bandages, or ace-wraps should be used to immobilize the sprain and provide support.

*Elevation: Keeping the sprained joint elevated above heart level will also help to minimize swelling.

*Ice and compression (cold compression therapy) will not completely stop swelling and pain, but will help to minimize them as the sprain begins to heal itself. Careful management of swelling is critical to the healing process as additional fluid may pool in the sprained area.

Click to see :
->Sprain: First aid

Prevention:
Sprains can best be prevented by proper use of safety equipment (wrist, ankle guards), warm-ups and cool-downs (including stretching), being aware of your surroundings and maintaining strength and flexibility. Physical conditioning is the best way to avoid or lessen the degree of sprains.

Lifestyle and home remedies:
For immediate self-care of a sprain or strain, try the P.R.I.C.E. approach — protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation. In most cases beyond a minor strain or sprain, you’ll want your doctor and physical therapist to help you with this process:

*Protection. Immobilize the area to protect it from further injury. Use an elastic wrap, splint or sling to immobilize the area. If your injury is severe, your doctor or therapist may place a cast or brace around the affected area to protect it and instruct you on how to use a cane or crutches to help you get around, if necessary.

*Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort. But don’t avoid all physical activity. Instead, give yourself relative rest. For example, with an ankle sprain you can usually still exercise other muscles to prevent deconditioning. For example, you could use an exercise bicycle, working both your arms and the uninjured leg while resting the injured ankle on a footrest peg. That way you still exercise three limbs and keep up your cardiovascular conditioning.

*Ice. Even if you’re seeking medical help, ice the area immediately. Use an ice pack or slush bath of ice and water for 15 to 20 minutes each time and repeat every two to three hours while you’re awake for the first few days following the injury. Cold reduces pain, swelling and inflammation in injured muscles, joints and connective tissues. It also may slow bleeding if a tear has occurred. If the area turns white, stop treatment immediately. This could indicate frostbite. If you have vascular disease, diabetes or decreased sensation, talk with your doctor before applying ice.

*Compression. To help stop swelling, compress the area with an elastic bandage until the swelling stops. Don’t wrap it too tightly or you may hinder circulation. Begin wrapping at the end farthest from your heart. Loosen the wrap if the pain increases, the area becomes numb or swelling is occurring below the wrapped area.

*Elevation. To reduce swelling, elevate the injured area above the level of your heart, especially at night. Gravity helps reduce swelling by draining excess fluid.

*Continue with P.R.I.C.E. treatment for as long as it helps you recover. Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) also can be helpful. If you want to apply heat to the injured area, wait until most of the swelling has subsided.

After the first two days, gently begin to use the injured area. You should see a gradual, progressive improvement in the joint’s ability to support your weight or your ability to move without pain.

Mild and moderate sprains usually heal in three to six weeks. If pain, swelling or instability persists, see your doctor. A physical therapist can help you to maximize stability and strength of the injured joint or limb.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprain
MayoClinic.com

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Pokeweed

Botanical Name: Phytolacca americana
Family: Phytolaccaceae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Genus: Phytolacca
Other Names: Poke Salet, American Pokeweed, Cancer-root, Cancer jalap, Inkberry, Pigeon Berry, Pocan, Poke, Poke Root, Pokeberry, Reujin D Ours, Sekerciboyaci, Skoke, Virginian Poke, Yoshu-Yama-Gobo, Yyamilin

Common Names: poke, pokebush, pokeberry, pokeroot, polk salad, polk sallet, inkberry or ombú.
Kingdom: Plantae

Caution : Toxic when misused. For experienced herbalists only. Can cause intense vomiting and diarrhea.In East Asia and New Zealand Pokeweed contains phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin, which are poisonous to mammals.

Habitat
Pokeweed is a common perennial native plant, found in Northern and Central N. America from the New England States to Minnesota and south to Florida and Texas, naturalized in Britain and other countries. Growing in damp rich soils in clearings, woodland margins and roadsides.

Description:Pokeweed is a common perennial plant. The stout erect stalk is tall, growing to 10 feet or more, smooth and branching, turning deep red or purple as the berries ripen and the plant matures. The root is conical, large and fleshy, covered with a thin brown bark. Leaves are about 5 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide, simple, alternate, ovate-lanceolate, and smooth. The flowers which appear from July to September are long-stalked clusters and each has 5 whitish petals with green centers. The fruit is a rich deep purple round berry, containing a rich crimson juice. Gather young edible shoots in spring, the roots in fall, slice and dry for later use, and berries as they ripen.

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Uses:
Young pokeweed leaves can be boiled three times to reduce the toxin, discarding the water after each boiling. The result is known as poke salit, or poke salad, and is occasionally available commercially.[1] Many authorities advise against eating pokeweed even after thrice boiling, as traces of the toxin may still remain. For many decades, poke salad has been a staple of southern U.S. cuisine, despite campaigns by doctors who believed pokeweed remained toxic even after being boiled. The lingering cultural significance of Poke salad can be found in the 1969 hit song “Polk Salad Annie,” written and performed by Tony Joe White, and famously covered by Elvis Presley and the El Orbits. Pokeberry juice is added to other juices for jelly by those who believe it can relieve the pain of arthritis. There is a poke salad festival held annually in Gainesboro, TN.

Pokeweed berries yield a red ink or dye, which was once used by Native Americans to decorate their horses. The United States Declaration of Independence was written in fermented pokeberry juice (hence the common name ‘inkberry’). Many letters written home during the American Civil War were written in pokeberry ink; the writing in these surviving letters appears brown. The red juice has also been used to symbolize blood, as in the anti-slavery protest of Benjamin Lay. A rich brown dye can be made by soaking fabrics in fermenting berries in a hollowed-out pumpkin.

Some pokeweeds are also grown as ornamental plants, mainly for their attractive berries; a number of cultivars have been selected for larger fruit panicles.

Pokeweeds are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Giant Leopard Moth.

Toxic Principle toxic constituents have been identified including the alkaloid phytolaccine ( and the alkaloid phytolaccotoxin, as well as a glycoprotein. When pokeweed is used as food, the water in which it is boiled must be discarded. The roots are particularly toxic.

A beautiful red ink and a dye are obtained from the fruit. The rootstock is rich in saponins and can be used as a soap substitute.

Medicinal Properties and Uses:Various parts of the plant have been used since pre-Colombian times to treat many conditions. It seems the berry juice has been used for pimples and boils, in some cases taken internally in other cases applied to the skin. It has also been taken for joint pain and applied to sore breasts. Leaf concoctions have been used as an expectorant, emetic and cathartic.

Pokeweed is edible (cooked) and medicinal. It has a long history of use by Native Americans and in alternative medicine. The young shoots are boiled in two changes of water and taste similar to asparagus, berries are cooked and the resulting liquid used to color canned fruits and vegetables. The root is alterative, anodyne, antiinflammatory, cathartic, expectorant, hypnotic, narcotic and purgative. It is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, tonsillitis, mumps, glandular fever and other complaints involving swollen glands, chronic catarrh, bronchitis and diseases related to a compromised immune system it has potential as an anti-AIDS drug. Some of the chemical constituents in the plant are triterpenoid saponins, lectins, antiviral proteins and many phytolaccagenic acids, which are not completely understood.

New research has revealed that a possible CURE for Childhood Leukemia called (B43-PAP) is found in the common Pokeweed.

Anti-B43-pokeweed antiviral protein, B43-PAP, PAP is a pokeweed toxin. The B43 carries the weapon–the PAP–to the leukemia cells. It has been touted as a smart weapon. In one study 15 out of 18 children who had participated had attained remission.

The following is part of a repot from Parker Hughes Institute: The two parts of this drug are the B43 antibody (or anti-CD19) and the pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP) immunotoxin, a natural product in the pokeweed plant. B43 is designed to recognize specific B-cell leukemia cells just as natural antibodies attack and recognize germs. When the antibody finds a leukemia cell, it attaches and B43 delivers the other part of the drug, PAP. Inside the cell, PAP is released by the antibody and inactivates the ribosomes that make the proteins the cell needs to survive. With the cell unable to produce proteins, the specific leukemia cell is killed. More than 100 patients have been treated with B43-PAP and shown only minimal side effects.

Pokeweed is used as a folk remedy to treat many ailments. It can be applied topically or taken internally. Topical treatments have been used for acne and other ailments. Internal treatments include tonsilitis, swollen glands and weight loss. Grated pokeroot was used by Native Americans as a poultice to treat inflammations and rashes of the breast. These uses of pokeweed are scientifically unproven, dangerous, and may cause death.

Caution is advised as the whole plant, but especially the berries, is poisonous raw, causing vomiting and diarrhea.

Clinical signs:-

In humans:
The eating of limited quantities of poke, perhaps of the shoots, may cause retching or vomiting after two hours or more. These signs may be followed by dyspnea, perspiration, spasms, severe purging, prostration, tremors, watery diarrhea and vomitng (sometimes bloody) and, sometimes, convulsions. In severe poisonings, symptoms are weakness, excessive yawning, slowed breathing, fast heartbeat, dizziness, and possibly seizures, coma and death.

In horses:
Colic, diarrhea, respiratory failure.

In swine:
Unsteadiness, inability to rise, retching. Jerking movements of the legs. Below-normal temperature.

In cattle:
Same general signs plus a decrease in milk production.

Folklore
Some Native American tribes used Pokeweed as a Witchcraft Medicine, believing that it’s ability to totally purge the body by causing drastic diarrhea and vomiting would also expel bad spirits. Fruit was made into a red dye used in painting horses and various articles of adornment.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytolacca
http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H171.htm

Bend and Stretch — Your Hips Will Thank You

This stretch, a crossed-leg sit with a block, targets the muscles around your hip joints, which get tight from everyday activities such as walking, stair-climbing or prolonged sitting. Remember to relax and breathe deeply while performing this move.

Step 1-> Sit on the floor with a yoga block in front of you and your right leg crossed in front of your left leg. Wiggle your knees in a little closer until your ankles are directly below your knees. Inhale and sit tall. On an exhale, hinge at your hips, leaning your torso forward with a straight back.
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Step 2-> Continue to lean forward until you can rest your forehead on top of the yoga block. Stay in this position as you breathe fully and deeply for 30 seconds. Concentrate on relaxing your buttocks and back muscles. Come out of the stretch by rolling your spine up, then change the cross of your legs and repeat with your left leg in front.

Sources: Los Angles Times

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Vitamin B1 Can Reverse Kidney Damage

Vitamin B1 can reverse early kidney disease in people with type-2 diabetes, a study by British researchers has shown.
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The team from Warwick University tested the effect of vitamin B1 (thiamine), which is found in meat, yeast and grain, on 40 patients from Pakistan, BBC News website reported on Monday.

The treatment stopped the loss of a key protein in the urine, the journal Diabetologia reports. Charity Diabetes UK called the results “very promising” — but said it was too early for any firm conclusions.

The latest findings build on earlier work by the same team, showing that many diabetes patients have a deficiency of thiamine.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Leg Lifts that Boost Overall Strength

To increase your overall body strength, with special attention on your core, incorporate this straight-legged elbow plank into your daily workouts. You don’t need any tools or equipment, so you can do it anytime, anywhere. Just remember to place your elbows directly below your shoulders when you start. This will help avoid undue tension in your neck.

 

Step 1 ->Begin by kneeling on a flat surface. Place your elbows directly underneath your shoulders, shoulder-width apart. Turn your palms down to the ground and be sure that your forearms are parallel to each other. Curl your toes under and straighten your knees. Lower your hips just below shoulder height. Your body should form a straight line from the back of your neck to your heels.


Step 2:->
Keeping your hips and shoulders facing the floor, shift your weight to your right leg and lift your left foot off the floor. While pushing your right heel backward, keep your right knee straight. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine to support the weight of your pelvis. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, away from your ears. Do not allow your waist to sag. Hold this position for three to six breaths. Lower your left leg, shift your weight to the left and lift your right leg to repeat on the other side. Lower your knees to the floor to release.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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