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Coccydynia

Definition:
Coccydynia is a medical term meaning pain in the coccyx or tailbone area, usually brought on by sitting too abruptly.
We humans have evolved biologically so much that we tend to forget that we were once animals and had a tail. That is, till we suddenly develop a pain deep down in the cleft between the buttocks, making it difficult to abruptly shift positions, from sitting to standing or getting up after lying down. This pain is called coccydynia.

That last bone in the vertebral column is called a coccyx. It actually is a vestigial tail, which has shrunk over generations. About 2.7 per cent of patients who see a doctor for “backache” actually had pain in the tailbone. It is more likely to occur in physically active youngsters and adults over the age of 40. Women, with their wide pelvis, are more prone to coccodynia.

Coccydynia occurs in the lowest part of the spine, the coccyx, which represents a vestigial tail, or in other words the “tail bone”. The name coccyx is derived from the Greek word for cuckoo due to its beak like appearance. The coccyx itself is made up of 3 to 5 vertebrae, some of which may be fused together. The ventral side of the coccyx is slightly concave whereas the dorsal aspect is slightly convex. Both of these sides have transverse grooves that show where the vestigial coccygeal units had previously fused. The coccyx attaches the sacrum, from the dorsal grooves with the attachment being either a symphysis or as a true synovial joint, and also to the gluteus maximus muscle, the coccygeal muscle, and the anococcygeal ligament.

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Symptoms:
Pain and local tenderness at the tailbone are the major symptoms of coccydynia. This can lead to difficulty sitting or leaning against the buttocks. Along with the pain with sitting, there is typically exquisite tenderness at the tailbone area. Coccydynia is also known as coccygodynia, coccygeal pain, coccyx pain, or coccalgia.

Causes:
One way of classifying coccydynia is whether the onset was traumatic versus non-traumatic. In many cases the exact cause is unknown and is referred to as idiopathic coccydynia.

The coccyx is prone to injury. Acute dislocations, sprains and fractures can occur. Usually there is a history of having fallen abruptly, on a staircase, the side of the swimming pool or some other hard surface. It can also occur while cycling or rowing. Chronic injury can occur if work or academics involves sitting for prolonged periods on hard surfaces like a wooden bench or a chair without cushions. In women, the coccyx can be injured during childbirth, especially if labour is prolonged. Overweight and obese men and women are more likely to develop problems with the coccyx.

There are common pathophysiological ways that a person may develop coccydynia. The two main causes for this condition are sudden impact due to fall, and coccydynia caused by childbirth pressure in women. Other ways that coccydynia develops are partial dislocation of the sacrococcygeal synchondrosis that can possibly result in abnormal movement of the coccyx from excessive sitting, and repetitive trauma of the surrounding ligaments and muscles, resulting in inflammation of tissues and pain.

Coccydynia is a fairly common injury which can often result from falls, particularly in leisure activities such as cycling and skateboarding. Coccydynia is often reported following a fall or after childbirth. In some cases, persistent pressure from activities like bicycling may cause the onset of coccyx pain. Coccydynia due to these causes usually is not permanent, but it may become very persistent and chronic if not controlled. Coccydynia may also be caused by sitting improperly thereby straining the coccyx.

Rarely, coccydynia is due to the undiagnosed presence of a sacrococcygeal teratoma or other tumor in the vicinity of the coccyx. In these cases, appropriate treatment usually involves surgery and/or chemotherapy.
Diagnosis:
A number of different conditions can cause pain in the general area of the coccyx, but not all involve the coccyx and the muscles attached to it. The first task of diagnosis is to determine whether the pain is related to the coccyx. Physical rectal examination, high resolution x-rays and MRI scans can rule out various causes unrelated to the coccyx, such as Tarlov cysts and pain referred from higher up the spine. Note that, contrary to most anatomical textbooks, most coccyxes consist of several segments: ‘fractured coccyx’ is often diagnosed when the coccyx is in fact normal or just dislocated at an intercoccygeal joint.

A simple test to determine whether the coccyx is involved is injection of local anesthetic into the area. If the pain relates to the coccyx, this should produce immediate relief.

If the anesthetic test proves positive, then a dynamic (sit/stand) x-ray or MRI scan may show whether the coccyx dislocates when the patient sits.

Use of dynamic x-rays on 208 patients who gave positive results with the anesthetic test showed:

* 31% Not possible to identify the cause of pain
* 27% Hypermobility (excessive flexing of the coccyx forwards and upwards when sitting)
* 22% Posterior luxation (partial dislocation of the coccyx backwards when sitting)
* 14% Spicule (bony spur) on the coccyx
* 5% Anterior luxation (partial dislocation of the coccyx forwards when sitting)

This study found that the pattern of lesions was different depending on the obesity of the patients: obese patients were most likely to have posterior luxation of the coccyx, while thin patients were most likely to have coccygeal spicules.

Angle of incidence:
Sagittal coccygeal movement is measured using the angle of incidence—or the angle at which the coccyx strikes the seat when an individual sits down. A smaller angle indicates the coccyx being more parallel to the seat, resulting in flexion (or “normal” movement) of the coccyx. A larger angle indicates the coccyx being more perpendicular to the seat, causing posterior subluxation (or “backward” movement) of the coccyx. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURE : Stand to Sit Coccyx

Treatment:
Once coccydynia has been diagnosed, conservative treatment can make the pain disappear in 8-12 weeks. This involves sitting in a basin of hot water (sitz bath) for 10-15 minutes at least twice a day. A donut shaped cushion makes sitting during work easier. Inflatable rubber cushions are available which can be carried around. When seated on chairs or in the toilet, try to lean slightly forwards.

Stretches can be done for that area. The two common ones are the kneeling stretch, when you kneel on one leg keeping the other bent at a right angle. After 30 seconds switch sides. The other stretch involves lying down, bending the knees, crossing the legs at the ankle and then pulling the legs towards you with your arms.
You may click & see : BACK PAIN REMEDY.. 

Since sitting on the affected area may aggravate the condition, a cushion with a cutout at the back under the coccyx is recommended. If there is tailbone pain with bowel movements, then stool softeners and increased fiber in the diet may help. For prolonged cases, anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDS(non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) or pain-relieving drugs may be prescribed. The use of anti-depressants such as Elavil (amitriptyline) may help alleviate constant pain. Tailbone pain physicians specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New Jersey Medical School have published that sometimes even just a single local nerve block injection at the ganglion impar can give 100% relief of coccydynia when performed under fluoroscopic guidance.

Additionally if the pain is caused by a malignment of the coccyx, manipulation by a chiropractor, osteopathic physician (D.O.) or physical therapist can offer relief.

In rare cases, surgery to remove the coccyx (coccygectomy) may be required. Typically, surgery is reserved for patients with cancer (malignancy) or those whose tailbone pain has failed to respond to non-surgical treatment (such as medications by mouth, use of seat cushions, and medications given by local injections done under fluoroscopic guidance, as noted above.

Prevention:
Body positioning and alignment is significant for producing less stress in the coccyx region. Bad posture can influence coccyx pain. People may not realize that they are over stressing their coccyx while doing daily activities. Pain in the coccyx can be caused from many incidents like falling, horseback riding, or even sitting on hard surfaces for a long period of time. The main focus is to prevent coccyx pain from occurring, by correcting everyday activities that contribute to tailbone pain.

Proper equipment used to preventing coccyx pain:
There is no definite way to fully prevent coccyx pain because an accident can occur at any given time. However, people who are obese are at a higher risk for developing coccyx pain. Carrying excessive weight contributes to more stress on the coccyx while sitting down causing increased chances of pain.  Prevention of carrying excessive weight gain can help reduce the tension and pressure on the coccyx. In other words the coccyx for obese people may be more posteriorly outward when they are sitting down.  Avoidance of contact sports like basketball, football, and or hockey can decrease the risks of coccyx pain, because it can help reduce the chances of falling. Another method is proper safety equipment for sports is to prevent coccyx pain. For example, there are hockey pants that provide extra cushion that protect the thigh, coccyx, and buttocks. These results will lead to less falls that can cause trauma to the coccyx.

Stretches & strengthening exercises for prevention:
A kneeling groin stretch can help prevent coccyx pain from occurring after long periods of sitting. The adductor magnus is involved in the kneeling groin stretch, and when it is tight it can contribute to tailbone pain, so stretching can help prevent tailbone pain. Other stretches like piriformis stretch, and hands to feet stretch, can relieve stress off the muscles around the coccyx, after sitting for a long time. These release tension built up around the muscles in the coccyx.
Every part of our body (even the coccyx) needs looking after.

*While cycling on a stationery bike or on the road, make sure the cycle seat is soft and comfortable. Special “cycling innerwear” is available with padding and should be used.

*Do not run on slippery surfaces like the edges of the swimming pool.

*Wear footwear that is rubber soled or has a “grip”, not smooth leather.

*Maintain ideal body weight. This can be calculated as height in metre squared X 23.

*Walk and sit with the correct posture. If you feel you are slouching, stand with both shoulders touching the wall and balance a book on your head.

*Do not sit on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coccydynia
http://www.medicinenet.com/coccydynia/article.htm
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160201/jsp/knowhow/story_66774.jsp

If Tea is Hot, Wait Four Minutes

Drinking very hot tea appears to increase the risk of oesophageal cancer, a new study has shown, prompting suggestions for a four-minute wait before swallows of freshly boiled tea.

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The study from northern Iran, the largest so far to explore tea-drinking habits and oesophageal cancer, has corroborated earlier research from India, Singapore and South America that linked this cancer to hot beverages.

Researchers from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences studied tea-drinking habits and patterns of oesophageal cancer in Golestan province where black tea is popular. They found that people who consumed very hot tea (defined as 70°C or higher) had an eight-fold higher risk of oesophageal cancer than people who drank tepid tea (65°C or lower).

They found that drinking tea at temperatures between 65°C and 69°C — defined as simply hot — was associated with twice the risk of cancer of the oesophagus. Their research will appear in the British Medical Journal on Friday.

“It’s clear hot beverages are contributing to high levels of oesophageal cancer in this population, Paul Brennan, a research team member from the International Agency for Research in Cancer in Lyons, France, told The Telegraph.

“But other factors may be associated with oesophageal cancer in other populations,” said Brennan, head of genetic epidemiology unit at the IARC. “We need to investigate different factors in different regions or populations.”

The Iranian study also showed that waiting for tea to cool lowered the risk of the cancer. People who typically drank their tea within two minutes after it was poured had a five-fold higher risk than those who waited for four minutes or longer.

Although previous studies have pointed to the potential danger of hot beverages, Iranian digestive disorder specialist Reza Malekzadeh and his colleagues are among the first to investigate the link through rigorous temperature measurements.

Malekzadeh said the significance of the new research was in the use of statistical techniques to eliminate the effects of other risk factors that could also contribute to oesophageal cancer.

But doctors assert that there is no cause for alarm. “The public health message here is that people should wait four minutes before they begin sipping from a cup of hot tea,” Malekzadeh told The Telegraph.

Eight years ago, Rup Kumar Phukan and his colleagues at the Regional Medical Research Centre, Dibrugarh, Assam, had examined dietary habits in parts of northeastern India and shown that hot beverages and spicy food were linked to oesophageal cancer.

They had suggested that the long-term consumption of exceptionally hot food or beverages could cause chronic irritation and harm the lining of the oesophagus. “But chewing tobacco and smoking are also likely to be among the contributing factors in this region,” said a scientist at the Dibrugarh centre.

The Iranian study measured tea temperatures consumed by more than 48,500 people and studied tea-drinking habits of 300 patients with oesophageal cancer and 571 healthy people, emerging as the largest study on the topic.

Speculating on mechanisms to explain the link, the researchers have pointed out that chronic inflammation by high temperatures may stimulate the release of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species — potentially harmful biomolecules.

Doctors caution that cancer is almost always a multi-factorial disease. The risk may be lowered or increased by several factors. Low consumption of fruits and vegetables, for instance, may increase the risk of cancer.

You may click to see:->Steaming hot tea linked to cancer

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Your Most Vital Commitment

Finding Time For You:
Within each of there is a well of energy that must be regularly replenished. When we act as if this well is bottomless, scheduling a long list of activities that fit like puzzle pieces into every minute of every day, it becomes depleted and we feel exhausted, disconnected, and weak. Refilling this well is a matter of finding time to focus on, nurture, and care for ourselves, or “you time.” Most of us are, at different times throughout the day, a spouse, a friend, a relative, an employee, a parent, or a volunteer, which means that down time, however relaxing in nature, is not necessarily “you time.” Though some people will inevitably look upon “you time” as being selfish, it is actually the polar opposite of selfishness. We can only excel where our outer world affairs are concerned when our own spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs are fulfilled.

Recognizing the importance of “you time” is far easier than finding a place for it in an active, multifaceted lifestyle, however. Even if you find a spot for it in your agenda, you may be dismayed to discover that your thoughts continuously stray into worldly territory. To make the most of “you time,” give yourself enough time on either side of the block of time you plan to spend on yourself to ensure that you do not feel rushed. Consider how you would like to pass the time, forgetting for the moment your obligations and embracing the notion of renewal. You may discover that you are energized by creative pursuits, guided meditation, relaxing activities during which your mind can wander, or modes of expression such as writing.

Even if you have achieved a functioning work-life balance, you may still be neglecting the most important part of that equation: you. “You time” prepares you for the next round of daily life, whether you are poised to immerse yourself in a professional project or chores around the home. It also affords you a unique opportunity to learn about yourself, your needs, and your tolerances in a concrete way. As unimportant as “you time” can sometimes seem, it truly is crucial to your wellbeing because it ensures that you are never left without the energy to give of yourself.

Source:Daily Om

The Art Of Focus

Energy Protection :
Many of us are sensitive to energy, so we make our homes a sanctuary and only leave when we have fully prepared ourselves. We may use gemstones, essential oil, or talismans, or perhaps we call on our angels or surround ourselves in a bubble of light. But we should be conscious of what we are seeking to accomplish. It is important to remember that if we want to shield ourselves, we might inadvertently keep out the good that is coming our way. All of our tools can be helpful if we use them wisely and keep ourselves engaged in all the world has to offer.

If we instead seek to filter distractions, than we can be like prospectors panning for gold. We learn to filter when we are children as we learn about the world around us. At first every leaf on the ground is a reason to stop and investigate. But as we learn where to focus our attention, the rest becomes background. We don’t cut ourselves off from the world, we merely shift our focus.

As humans, we don’t always know what is good for us. Sometimes what appears to be a negative situation contains a gem of wisdom that leads to our highest growth. Rather than focusing our thoughts on what we want to keep out of our experience, we may want to turn the light of our attention to the good we’d like to create while leaving room for something better. By doing this, we allow space for the wisdom of the universe to work its magic on our behalf. If we trust the universe, we know that good is present even if it doesn’t look good on the surface. When we shift our focus this way, we actually attract those things into our lives, and the rest falls away without the effort of filtering. By practicing the art of focus, we invest our attention and energy into making our lives a positive experience.

Source:Daily Om

How to Get Rid of Hiccups

The cause and function of hiccups has baffled medical practitioners since the time of Hippocrates. Although no one has figured out the exact science behind these “abrupt diaphragmatic contractions,”

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The diaphragm almost always works perfectly. When you inhale, it pulls down to help pull air into the lungs. When you exhale, it pushes up to help push air out of the lungs. But sometimes the diaphragm becomes irritated. When this happens, it pulls down in a jerky way, which makes you suck air into your throat suddenly. When the air rushing in hits your voice box, you’re left with a big hiccup.

Some things that irritate the diaphragm are eating too quickly or too much, an irritation in the stomach or the throat, or feeling nervous or excited. Almost all cases of the hiccups last only a few minutes. Some cases of the hiccups can last for days or weeks, but this is very unusual, and it’s usually a sign of another medical problem.

Ayurvedic Treatment: The ash of peacock feather is considered to be the best therapy for the condition .it is given in a dose of 0.125gm. four to six times a day ,mixed with honey, eladi bati, which contains cardaman as an important ingredient, is popularly given for the treatment of this condition .it is given with honey to be sucked in a dose of one tablet four to six times a day.

Ayurvedic Suppliments:1. Mayur Chandrika Bhasma 2.Eladi Bati

Diet: Kulatta is considered very important herb for the treatment of this ailment. The Juice ,the soup or the dal preparation of this can be given to the patients. Old rice, patola ,tender radish, lemon, goat’s milk and garlic can also be given .fatty food, heavy and cold food and masha are contra-indicated in this condition.

Lifestyle: The patient should be given psycho-therapy if the hiccup is produced as a result of psychoneurotic conditions. The patient should be given rest and he should not express the natural urges in any form.

Yoga : 1.The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) 2. Basic Breathing (Pranayama)
Let me jot down some very common home remedies which might help some one :-

1.If you get hiccup during eating…. drink little fresh coldwater and stop eating for a minute till it stops.

2.If drinking cold water doesnot help to stop…..swallow one tsp. white table sugar,dry and repeat this, if necessary, up to 3 times at 2-minutes intervals.

3.If this doesnot help ……swallow a gulf of plain boiled rice or eat a piece of dry plain brade slowly.

4.Keep your spine straight, take a deep breath through nose,hold it for few second and exhale through mouth… do this 2 to three times.

5.Keep your spine straight,close eyes and count slowly from 10 to one.

6.Gargle with water.

7.Put sugar under your tongue and suck slowly.

8.Hold your breath for sometime or pinch your nose closely.

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Keep in mind that hiccups can be caused by eating too fast or talking too much during eating and subsequently swallowing a lot of air or drinking too much alcohol or sometimes eating something like hot chili or papper etc.

If your hiccup is not gone withen 24 hours, you must consult a medical practitioner.