Tag Archives: Ankle

Exercise: An effective prescription for every joint pain


The right and proper exercises performed regularly can be a long-lasting way to subdue ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder pain. Although it might seem that exercise would aggravate aching joints, this is simply not the case. Exercise can actually help to relieve joint pain in multiple ways:

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1. It increases the strength and flexibility of the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the joints. When thigh muscles are stronger, for example, they can help support the knee, thus relieving some of the pressure on that joint.

2. Exercise relieves stiffness, which itself can be painful. The body is made to move. When not exercised, the tendons, muscles, and ligaments quickly shorten and tense up. But exercise — and stretching afterward — can help reduce stiffness and preserve or extend your range of motion.

3. It boosts production of synovial fluid, the lubricant inside the joints. Synovial fluid helps to bring oxygen and nutrients into joints. Thus, exercise helps keep your joints “well-oiled.”

4.It increases production of natural compounds in the body that help tamp down pain. In other words, without exercise, you are more sensitive to every twinge. With it, you have a measure of natural pain protection.

5. It helps you keep your weight under control, which can help relieve pressure in weight-bearing joints, such as your hips, knees, and ankles.

If all this isn’t enough, consider the following: exercise also enhances the production of natural chemicals in the brain that help boost your mood. You’ll feel happier — in addition to feeling better.

In general the following may be recomended for all normal cases.

1. Regular morning walk for 30 minutes.

2.Yoga & meditation under the guide of an expart.

Sources: Report from Harvard Medical School

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Ankle Sprain

Defination:
A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that help hold your ankle bones together.

Ligaments help stabilize joints, preventing excessive movement. A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments are forced beyond their normal range of motion. Most sprained ankles involve injuries to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle.

Most people have twisted an ankle at some point in their life. But if your ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, you have most likely sprained it. This means you have stretched and possibly torn the ligaments in your ankle.

Ankle sprains are classified as grade 1, 2, and 3. Depending on the amount of damage or the number of ligaments that are damaged, each sprain is classified from mild to severe. A grade 1 sprain is defined as mild damage to a ligament or ligaments without instability of the affected joint. A grade 2 sprain is considered a partial tear to the ligament, in which it is stretched to the point that it becomes loose. (click to see)A grade 3 (click to see)sprain is a complete tear of a ligament, causing instability in the affected joint. Bruising may occur around the ankle.

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Inversion(lateral) ankle sprain:  click to see
The most common type of ankle sprain occurs when the foot is inverted too much, affecting the lateral side of the foot. When this type of ankle sprain happens, the outer, or lateral, ligaments are stretched too much. The anterior talofibular ligament is one of the most commonly involved ligaments in this type of sprain. Approximately 70-85% of ankle sprains are inversion injuries.

When the ankle becomes inverted, the anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ligaments are damaged. This is the most common ankle sprain.

Eversion (medial) ankle sprain:
A less common type of ankle sprain is called an eversion injury, affecting the medial side of the foot. When this occurs, the medial, or deltoid, ligament is stretched too much.

High ankle sprain:
A high ankle sprain is an injury to the large ligaments above the ankle that join together the two long bones of the lower leg, called the tibia and fibula. High ankle sprains commonly occur from a sudden and forceful outward twisting of the foot, which commonly occurs in contact and cutting sports such as football, rugby, ice hockey, roller derby, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, softball, baseball, track, ultimate frisbee, gridiron, tennis and badminton and horse riding.

Symptoms:
The most common symptoms are :-

!.Pain, especially when you bear weight on the affected foot

2.Swelling and, sometimes, bruising

3.Restricted range of motion

Some people hear or feel a “pop” at the time of injury.

Causes:
Movements – especially twisting, turning, and rolling of the foot – are the primary cause of an ankle sprain.

The risk of a sprain is greatest during activities that involve explosive side-to-side motion, such as badminton, tennis or basketball. Sprained ankles can also occur during normal daily activities such as stepping off a curb or slipping on ice. Returning to activity before the ligaments have fully healed may cause them to heal in a stretched position, resulting in less stability at the ankle joint. This can lead to a condition known as Chronic Ankle Instability (CAI), and an increased risk of ankle sprains.

The following factors can contribute to an increased risk of ankle sprains:
Weak muscles/tendons that cross the ankle joint, especially the muscles of the lower leg that cross the outside, or lateral aspect of the ankle joint (i.e. peroneal or fibular muscles);

1.Weak or lax ligaments that join together the bones of the ankle joint – this can be hereditary or due to overstretching of ligaments as a result of repetitive ankle sprains;

2.Poor ankle flexibility;

3.Lack of warm-up and/or stretching before activity;

4.Inadequate joint proprioception (i.e. sense of joint position);

5.Slow neuron muscular response to an off-balance position;

6.Running on uneven surfaces;

6.Shoes with inadequate heel support; and

7.Wearing high-heeled shoes – due to the weak position of the ankle joint with an elevated heel, and a small base of support.

Ankle sprains occur usually through excessive stress on the ligaments of the ankle. This is can be caused by excessive external rotation, inversion or eversion of the foot caused by an external force. When the foot is moved past its range of motion, the excess stress puts a strain on the ligaments. If the strain is great enough to the ligaments past the yield point, then the ligament becomes damaged, or sprained

Diagnosis:
Your doctor will ask you how the injury occurred and if you have hurt your ankle before. He or she will check your foot and ankle, your lower leg, and even your knee to see if you are hurt anywhere else.

If the sprain is mild, your doctor may not order X-rays. But with more severe sprains, you may need X-rays to rule out a broken bone in the ankle or the foot. It is possible to break a bone in your foot or ankle at the same time as a sprain.

In most cases, doctors order X-rays in children with symptoms of an ankle sprain. This is because it is important to find and treat any damage to the growth plates in bones that support the ankle.

Treatment:
In many cases you can first use the PRINCE approach to treat your ankle:

1.Protection. Use a protective brace, such a brace with a built-in air cushion or another form of ankle support.

2.Rest. You may need to use crutches until you can walk without pain.

3.Ice. For at least the first 24 to 72 hours or until the swelling goes down, apply an ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes every hour or two during the day. Always keep a thin cloth between the ice and your skin, and press the ice pack firmly against all the curves of the affected area.

4.NSAIDs or acetaminophen. NSAIDs (such as Advil and Motrin) are medicines that reduce swelling and pain. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) reduces pain.

5.Compression. An elastic compression wrap, such as an ACE bandage, will help reduce swelling. You wear it for the first 24 to 36 hours. Compression wraps do not offer protection. So you also need a brace to protect your ankle if you try to put weight on it.

6.Elevation. Raise your ankle above the level of your heart for 2 to 3 hours a day if possible. This helps to reduce swelling and bruising.

Proper treatment and rehabilitation (rehab) exercises are very important for ankle sprains. If an ankle sprain does not heal right, the joint may become unstable and may develop chronic pain. This can make your ankle weak and more likely to be reinjured. Before you return to sports and other activities that put stress on your ankle, it’s a good idea to wait until you can hop on your ankle with no pain. Taping your ankle or wearing a brace during exercise can help protect your ankle. Wearing hiking boots or other high-top, lace-up shoes for support may also help. But use caution. Don’t force your foot into a boot if you feel a lot of pain or discomfort.

If your ankle is still unstable after rehab, or if the ligament damage is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the torn ligaments.

Rehabilitation:
Rehab exercises can begin soon after the injury. You can try to walk or put weight on your foot while using crutches if it doesn’t hurt too much. Depending on your pain, you can also begin range-of-motion exercises pop out while you have ice on your ankle. These exercises are easy to do-you just trace the alphabet with your toe. This helps the ankle move in all directions.

Ask your doctor about other rehab. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal totally and may prevent further injury.

Prevention:
Take the following steps to help prevent a sprained ankle:

1.Warm up before you exercise or play sports.

2.Be careful when walking, running or working on an uneven surface.

3.Wear shoes that fit well and are made for your activity.

4.Don’t wear high-heeled shoes.

5.Don’t play sports or participate in activities for which you are not conditioned.

6.Maintain good muscle strength and flexibility.

7.Practice stability training, including balance exercises.

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/Sprained_ankle
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sprained-ankle/DS01014/DSECTION=symptoms
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ankle-sprain-overview

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Some Health Quaries & Answers

Fight that fever :
Q: I read in the newspaper that there is a lot of flu around. I am worried as I get sick every winter.

A: There is an epidemic of influenza. It is especially dangerous in the paediatric and geriatric age groups. Medication called Tamiflu is available to treat flu once it has developed. If you have been prescribed this medication, please remember to take the entire course. Ideally, it should be given twice a day for five days.

Flu can be prevented with a readily available vaccine, which needs to be taken as a single injection and provides protection for six months. Hopefully by that time the flu season will be over.

Ankle ache


Q: I twisted my ankle a year ago. After that I found that if I skid while walking, I tend to sprain it repeatedly. This is very painful.

A: There are ligaments around the ankle joint that should hold it firmly in place. Once you sprain your ankle, the ligaments become stretched and weakened. A slight slip will cause injury and pain. You need to go to a physiotherapist and learn ankle-strengthening exercises. It may make sense to wear an ankle support for a couple of months to prevent slips and strains.

Best exercise :

Q: What is the best exercise to do? There is so much conflicting advice that I am confused.

A: Ideal exercise really depends on how much time you have on your hands. Theoretically you need to do an hour of running or jogging and 20 minutes of stretching. Most people cannot spare that much time. If you are confined to a limited space and cannot go outdoors you could do the same amount of exercise using a stationary exercise cycle, rowing machine or treadmill. But, to make whatever exercise you do more efficient, increase the intensity for 6 minutes and then decrease it for 6. A slow one-hour stroll will improve your health significantly but these variations and additions will add benefit.

Sports physicians have come to the conclusion that the “Burpee” is the best exercise. It involves a squat, followed by a push-up and a leap into the air. Doing about 20 of them is ideal.

Clotty truth

Q: I am going to have cataract surgery and I am on 75mg aspirin once a day. The doctor asked me to “stop it before surgery” but did not specify for how long I should do so. Also should I take clopidogrel instead?

A: Aspirin and clopidogrel have similar actions. Both prevent platelets from sticking together and increase the time taken by blood to clot. You need to stop both for a week before surgery.

Kids and TV

Q: How much television should I allow my children to watch?

A: Television is a free baby sitter. You can place your child in front of it and have some quiet time for yourself. However, more and more studies have shown that television is detrimental for the social and cognitive brain development of the child. The rapidly flashing images deplete brain chemicals. Memory becomes poor and school performance suffers. The educative programmes and channels too have the same effect. Children learn far more from playing with their peers and having books read to them.

Hookah harm:

Q: I found a hookah bar near my college. My friends said it is smokeless tobacco and hence not harmful. Is it true?

A: Hookahs use specially treated flavoured tobacco and then pass the smoke through water. This does not do much to reduce the health risks. The cancer causing chemicals and nicotine are still present in high concentrations. Also since the smoking sessions last longer (an hour or so) the total amount of these poisonous substances inhaled may actually be proportionately greater. The risks for throat and lung cancer remain the same.

Jogging in pregnancy :

Q: Is running during pregnancy safe? Recently I read an article about a woman who completed a marathon and then delivered. But my parents worry even if I walk.

A: The marathon woman obviously was a regular runner with a well-conditioned physique. The dangers in exercising vigorously are dehydration (which will adversely affect the baby) and falls, which may result in injury. If you have not been advised to take bed-rest then try walking for a half hour in the morning and evening. It will build stamina, strengthen your leg muscles and help you have an easy delivery.

Groin pain :

Q: I have pain on the right side of my groin if I cough or sneeze. Do I need to worry?

A: You might be developing a hernia. You need to consult a surgeon.

Sources: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Two Phases of the Half Moon

 

This classic yoga pose, called half moon, is excellent for stretching your back and hip muscles. It also strengthens your legs and ankles while helping you develop balance. At first you might need to use a yoga block under your hand, but as soon as you get more limber and feel stable enough, you can rest your fingers on the floor and straighten your bottom leg.
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With a yoga block, stand upright with the block in front of you, hands on your hips. Bend your right knee and place your right hand on the yoga block approximately 1 foot in front and slightly to the right of your right foot. Shift your weight onto your right foot as you slowly raise your left leg up to hip level. Your left knee and toes should be turned out, and your shin should be parallel to the floor. Pause for three to six breaths. Lower your left leg, stand and repeat on the other side.

Without the block, stand upright to begin. Bend your right knee and place your right hand on the floor approximately 1 foot in front of you and slightly to the right of your right foot. Shift your weight onto your right foot as you slowly raise your left leg up to hip level. Straighten your right leg. Turn your left thigh, knee and toes outward, shin parallel to the floor. Reach your left arm above your left shoulder. Pause for three to six breaths. Bend your right knee and lower your left leg. Stand and repeat on the other side.

Source :
Los Angeles Times

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Roller Enhances a Leg Stretch

For a more intense stretch in the backs of your thighs and calves, try elevating your foot on a roller. But it’s important to put only your lower ankle and heel on top of the roller; this avoids any pressure on your Achilles tendon.
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STEP-1. Sit upright on the floor with your left leg straight in front of you and your left heel on top of the roller. Bend your right knee and position your right foot against the inside of your left knee (if your left knee tends to hyperextend, place your right foot directly under your left knee for support). Inhale, sit up tall and reach your arms overhead.

STEP-2. On an exhale, maintain a long spine as you tilt forward, hinging at the hips. Keep your left leg straight and rest your fingertips on the roller. Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds while breathing fully. Focus on feeling the stretch in the back of your left thigh and calf. You might feel a stretch in your back and hips too. Switch legs and repeat.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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