Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Muscle Aches and Pains

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Alternative Names:
Muscle pain; Myalgia; Pain – muscles
Though not serious, muscle cramps or the muscle soreness that comes from overextending yourself can be very uncomfortable. And the weekend gardener is just as likely to be affected as the world-class athlete.

Definition:
Muscle aches and pains are common and can involve more than one muscle. Muscle pain also can involve the soft tissues that surround muscles. These connective tissues include ligaments, tendons, and fascia (thick bands of tendons).

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Symptoms :

Sudden tightening of the muscles during physical activity.

What It Is :
There are two common types of muscle pain. The first is soreness and stiffness that develop as the result of overdoing some physical activity — whether running a marathon, digging in the yard, or simply carrying a heavy bag of groceries. This kind of pain, which doctors call delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), typically begins a day or two after the activity and can last up to a week. When a muscle suddenly contracts and can’t relax, the result is the second type of muscle pain, known as a cramp. Most common in the thigh, calf, or foot, cramps can strike at any time, even during sleep.


Causes:

Muscle pain is most frequently related to tension, overuse, or muscle injury from exercise or physically demanding work. In these situations, the pain tends to involve specific muscles and starts during or just after the activity. It is usually obvious which activity is causing the pain.

Muscle pain also can be a sign of conditions affecting your whole body, like some infections (including the flu) and disorders that affect connective tissues throughout the body (such as lupus).

One common cause of muscle aches and pains is fibromyalgia, a condition that includes tenderness in your muscles and surrounding soft tissue, sleep difficulties, fatigue, and headaches.
Common Causes:
The most common causes are:
Tension or stress
Overuse: using a muscle too much, too soon, too often
Injury or trauma including sprains and strains
Muscle pain may also be due to:
Polymyositis
Dermatomyositis
Lupus
Fibromyalgia
Polymyalgia rheumatica
Infections including an abscess in the muscle, Trichinosis (roundworm), Influenza (the flu), Lyme disease, Malaria, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Polio, and many others
Electrolyte imbalances like too little potassium or calcium
Rhabdomyolysis
Drugs including cocaine; statins for lowering cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, simvastatin, and lovastatin); ACE inhibitors for lowering blood pressure (such as enalapril and captopril); and many others

In contrast, muscle cramps are not always the result of an injury — though no one knows exactly why they occur. The cause may be an imbalance in the minerals that govern muscle contraction and relaxation-calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium — or a lack of fluid. Exercising too strenuously during the day may lead to calf cramps painful enough to wake you from a sound sleep, as can wearing high heels, or sleeping with your toes pointed or with bedding wrapped too tightly around your legs.

When to Call Your Doctor
If tightness or cramping occurs in the chest muscle-this may be a sign of a heart attack.

How Supplements Can Help:
To balance the minerals needed for proper muscle contraction, take supplemental calcium and magnesium on a routine basis. (Most people get enough potassium and sodium from their diet.) Add vitamin E daily if you are prone to exercise-related cramps or nighttime calf cramps.

What Else You Can Do:
Drink a lot of fluids before, during, and after exercise.

Supplement Recommendations:
Calcium/Magnesium
Vitamin E
Bromelain
White Willow Bark
Creatine
Valerian

Natural pain management

Ayurvedic treatment for muscle ache and pain

Self-Acupressure to eliminate aches and pains

Source:    Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs and healthline.com

Categories
News on Health & Science

Vaccinated Kids Protect Whole Family

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Kids are known for spreading germs.
When it comes to the flu, kids are 10 to 100 times more infectious than adults, experts say.

What if your child could be vaccinated at school with a simple nasal spray that would protect not only your child but your whole family?

According to a new study published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, flu vaccines for elementary school children can help reduce flu for the whole family.

In this study, children from 24 public elementary schools in the United States were assigned to get either a nasal-spray flu vaccine or no vaccine.

Families of those children who got the the flu vaccine had fewer flulike symptoms, visited doctors less frequently, and used less medication than families whose kid did not receive the flu vaccine, researchers say.

“Our study showed that not only did we protect the child by the flu vaccine — by doing a school-based vaccination program    we protected their families and probably the community as well,” said Dr. James King, lead author of the study and chief of general pediatrics at University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Another study published in the same issue of the journal indicated that flu vaccines offered good protection even when the vaccine was not a direct match to whatever virus was circulating in the environment.

This offers more support to the idea of vaccinating children to better protect families and communities against the flu.

Flu Vaccine Safe for Kids
The risks of giving kids flu vaccines are small, experts say.

“There are essentially no downsides to immunizing school kids,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minn. “These data are important because they provide confirmatory data useful in constructing public health policy.”

“The risks of vaccination with available influenza virus vaccines are so minimal, while the likelihood of illness, even hospitalization and rarely death from influenza, are major and real,” said Dr. Samuel Katz, professor and chairman emeritus of pediatrics at Duke University Medical School in Durham, N.C.

Flu  Mist   a live, weakened type of flu vaccine used in this study   is not a shot but a spray delivered into the nostrils. This may make both parents and kids happy.

“No child got a needle. We were able to do this without disrupting activities,” King said.

Kids are biologically more infectious than adults and are infectious for longer periods of time, according to experts.

Some believe that by vaccinating kids, we are able to better protect our most vulnerable population    the elderly.
If kids are never infected, they can’t spread the flu to other people.

“Children are tremendous amplifiers of the flu,” King said. “A child is able to infect the family and the whole community much more effectively than an adult. By vaccinating kids, we can protect the elderly.”

“The benefits [of vaccinating children] are enormous,” said Dr. Robert Jacobson, chairman of the department of pediatric and adolescent medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “The elderly do not respond as well to the vaccine as young people. We can break the cycle and spread by vaccinating the younger people.”

Breaking the cycle, so to speak, would be a great step for public health.

Roughly 36,000 people die annually from the flu, experts estimate, even though it is a preventable disease. This study could even help shape vaccination priority policies in case of a pandemic influenza.

“Kids might be vaccinated first,” Poland said.
Because vaccinating kids appears to help protect the whole family, a flu vaccine sounds like the thing to do. But how hard is it to have your child vaccinated by the pediatrician?

“It will be very hard for private practitioners to vaccinate all the children in the fall,” King said.
“School-based flu shots will become a public health tool that we can use to vaccinate large numbers of children. In reality, this will help parents not miss any workdays to get their kids vaccinated,” King said.

Given the many advantages of vaccinating kids, experts say that school-based flu vaccination deserves nationwide consideration.

In fact, a number of school districts in California, Florida, Philadelphia and Tennessee have already adopted school-based vaccination program for kids.

The momentum is “increasing annually for a universal influenza virus vaccine recommendation for everyone,” Katz said.

“Public health officials and physicians should consider continuing to broaden flu vaccine recommendations. We should consider whether we as a country should move to universal flu vaccination of all schoolchildren,” Jacobson said.

School-based vaccination “represents sound, cost-effective public health practice designed to reduce illness, reduce hospitalization, and save lives in the community,” said Dr. John Modlin, chair of the department of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, N.H

For additional information on the Influenza Vaccine check out: www.uptodate.com

Source:ABC News.