Thursday, May 31, 2018

10 Lesser-Known Reasons Why Headaches Occur

The chances are, everyone you’ve ever met has suffered from a headache at some point in their lives. What causes these headaches, however, is an extensive list with no definite answer and can include factors like a lack of sleep, blocked sinuses, or too much alcohol the night before.

But what about those times that there seems to be no obvious explanation? That’s when you need to look a little deeper. Experiment by eliminating the following uncommon sources, and hopefully one of them will hit the nail on the headache.

1. Exercise

The biggest concern about exercise headaches is that they can mean vastly different things. If you’ve been pushing yourself particularly hard during heated weather or at a high altitude, then it’s probably nothing to worry about and that pain should subside rather rapidly. However, if the throbbing lingers for longer than a day, then it could mean something much more serious, such as internal bleeding or a tumor. Be safe and speak to your doctor.

2. Sex
While the exact cause has never been accurately established, there does seem to be two distinct variations of sexual headaches. The first is reported as a slow buildup of pre-orgasm pain, while the second occurs suddenly at the same time as your climax. Many healthy people suffer from sex headaches, but if you have only recently been experiencing them, speak to a doctor to ensure nothing unusual has flared up.

3. Your Hairstyle
Pulling your hair back into a tight ponytail may be the fastest way to look presentable, but this tension can aggravate the nerves in your scalp, and ultimately lead to a headache. For most people, the obvious solution of loosening the hair tie should eradicate the pain within 30 minutes. However, there are those who experience a condition called allodynia, which is when your neurotransmitters become highly overactive and you experience pain in situations that would not normally cause pain. In these cases, a shorter haircut may be the only solution.

4. Your Metabolism
As one gets older, your headaches may possibly be slow metabolism related, and you would need to ensure that you address this in the same manner as any other health attribute. If you are skipping meals, drastically reducing your calorie intake, not hydrating properly, or lacking in sleep, then these bad habits are a good place to start.

5. Headache Medication
Strange but true, the medication you are taking for your headaches may very well be the cause of them. By perpetually fighting the pain with drugs, you can develop a rapid tolerance or even a dependency on these chemicals. Unfortunately, the only way out is to go through, which does mean a period of withdrawal and perhaps even worse headaches for a while.

6. Cheese
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but those aged cheeses you’ve been eating? They contain a substance called tyramine which has been linked to dilated blood vessels and migraines. A similar effect has been noted on any dried, smoked, or pickled foods. Keep a diet journal, and eliminate these parties one by one until you locate the culprit. Of course, if you insist on drinking red wine with your cheese, then you may already know what the problem is here.

7. Anxiety
Your body reacts to stress various negative ways, including tension in your neck and the depletion of your adrenal glands. These responses often conspire against you and develop into a stabbing anxiety migraine. If this is a frequent concern of yours, then you need to search for ways to destress your life. Try meditation, long warm baths, or go on a vacation.

8. Screens
It’s no secret that your computer and phone are bombarding your vision with bright lights, which can strain your eyes into a headache. A misaligned posture is also reported to play a role. Try to alleviate some of the spinal pressure by always positioning your technology at eye level, and take a 10-minute break every hour or so.

9. The Sun
Those headaches inflicted by the sun’s glare are usually a result of a deeper issue, and it’s worth analyzing your quality of sleep, blood sugar levels, or alcohol consumption before you blame a star. However, light sensitivity can also be eased with the use of sunglasses or a hat.

10. Caffeine Withdrawal
When one relies on the power of coffee to keep their engines running, a dependency may be soon to follow. Without this regular fix, you could find yourself drowsy, depressed, or carrying around a persistent headache. To quiet these symptoms, gradually reduce your coffee consumption rather than abruptly quitting it altogether. But whichever way you choose, all negative side effects should be completely gone within two to nine days.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Injured? Speed-Up Your Recovery Time with These Helpful Tips

Nothing seems worse than being injured in an accident. The feelings are even worse when the accident wasn’t your fault, but it costs you everything. Depending on how serious your injuries are you could have lost your job, received a ton of medical bills, and have a long way to go towards recovery. All you want to do is recover from the accident and reclaim your life. Though the journey towards recovery will be different for everyone, taking these steps can help to speed up the process.

See Your Doctor

Immediately following the accident, it is important for you to visit your primary care physician. Even if you don’t see any cause for concern, some injuries can be internal, causing damage you’re unaware of. Other injuries can pop up later. Therefore, you just want to have a record of what’s going on and when it started. Be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. If they give advice you don’t agree with, discuss alternate options.

Reduce Stress

High levels of stress will dramatically decrease your efforts to recover. Yes, you’re dealing with a lot right now, however, if you allow the stress to consume you, it can lead to an array of medical issues which will only result in more health problems to recover from. Here are some suggestions for reducing the stress after an accident:

  • Hire an Attorney - When you’re dealing with raw emotion and physical pain, it can be difficult to keep a level head. However, that is exactly what is required to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. To keep your best interests first, it is recommended that you consult with a legal professional like Steven Schwartzapfel, a personal injury lawyer to help. They can assist you with completing the personal injury claim, compiling evidence and reports, talking with the insurance agency, and if necessary, filing a case in court. If you win, you could get compensated for lost wages, medical bills, and more which would be a great way to relieve financial stress.
  • Get Finances in Order - The bills won’t stop coming in simply because you’re out of work for the time being. Therefore, you should get your finances in order. Start by creating a budget and eliminating any excess spending. Then, apply for disability insurance to try and recoup some of that lost income. Lastly, contact your creditors or service providers to update them on your status. Try to work out arrangements that fit in your budget as opposed to letting the late fees pile up.
  • Ask for Help - You may need a lot of help in reducing the stress of an accident. Friends and family can help with things like watching the children, transportation, cooking, and cleaning. Not to mention, being in an accident is traumatic and may require some therapy to get through. If you’re feeling depressed or anxious as well, you could benefit from the assistance of a therapist.
Eat Right

Your body will need all the right vitamins, nutrients, and minerals possible to recover from your injuries. You should start by eliminating processed foods, sweets, and salty treats. Make sure that you also cut back on the carbs. Instead, fuel up on lots of protein, fruits, and vegetables. Eating at least 3-5 times a day is recommended to give your body the ammunition it needs to heal itself.

Exercise When You Can

There is a common misconception that after you’ve been injured you should sleep or remain still 24/7. Though getting plenty of rest is a great way to help your body repair the damage from the accident, it isn’t enough. Sitting too long after being injured can lead to muscle loss, blood clots, and more. Once you’ve been cleared by the doctor, you should start exercising a few minutes each day gradually increasing the amount of time and intensity of exercises you do.

Recovering from the emotional, physical, and financial damage caused by an accident won’t happen overnight. However, if you follow the doctor’s orders, start relieving some stress, and take care of yourself by eating right and exercising as allowed, you’ll get through it a lot easier. People like your doctor, personal injury lawyer, friends, family, and therapist are all there to help you get through the process and back to yourself.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

10 Lesser-Known Ways That Smoking Affects Your Health

At this stage of tobacco research, everyone is aware that smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease. It’s also common knowledge that over 480,000 American people die each year from tobacco use, making it the leading cause of preventable death in the country. And yet, people are still smoking.

If this includes you, it may be worth noting that the ill effects of cigarettes are not limited to those you’ve heard about before. The smoke you inhale enters your bloodstream, which grants it direct access to every single part of your body, placing many other lesser-known parts of you under threat. Read over the following 10 warnings, and use them to help you make that quitting decision once and for all.

1. Vision Loss 

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive condition in which the patient gradually loses their central vision, and is eventually unable to see anything straight ahead of them. The link between smoking and AMD is widely reported, while an increased risk of cataracts in smokers has also been established.

2. Hearing Loss 

There are various common causes attributed to the loss of hearing, and these include aging, extreme noise exposure, infections, and heredity influences. Smoking itself has been shown to substantially increase these risks. Studies have not finalized the exact connection between these two concerns just yet, but much like anything, the toxins and lack of oxygen within your blood vessels are most likely not helping.

3. Stress and Depression 

Do not be fooled by those who claim that smoking relaxes them, as it is the interruption of withdrawal symptoms that gives them this illusion of comfort. Certainly, an extended period away from your cigarette dependency will result in increased irritability, but the stress hormone itself (called cortisol) is proven to eventually reduce after quitting. Underlying depression is known to worsen withdrawal anxiety, so explore any alternative methods to lower cortisol levels during the initial stages of abstinence.

4. Impotence 

There is no longer any debate as to whether erectile dysfunction is related to cigarette smoke or not, as it has been scientifically proven beyond any doubt. Many pieces of research point towards the reduced blood flow of a smoker as the primary cause for this problem, but there are also studies which indicate that the lowering of testosterone levels may play a role too.

5. An Ectopic Pregnancy

Sometimes a fertilized egg will accidentally attach itself to an organ other than the uterus—more often than not, one of the fallopian tubes. This is an extremely dangerous complication, which can lead to abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, and even death. Tobacco use has been undeniably proven to contribute to this pregnancy issue, most likely due to the structural changes of a smoker’s fallopian tubes.

6. Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease characterized by the chronic inflammation of the joints. This condition often attacks the hands and feet most severely, resulting in pain, swelling, and deformities. The reasons why smoking increases the risk of RA are not fully understood, but tobacco’s negative influence on the immune system as well as its interference with medication are probable factors.

7. Sleepless Nights

An unhealthy lifestyle of any kind can disturb a regular sleeping pattern, which includes obesity, alcohol intake, and, of course, tobacco usage. The reasons are obvious, as smoking irritates and inflames the nasal passages, which in turn causes congestion and respiratory disturbances. These consequences have also been connected to snoring.

8. Acid Reflux 

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is yet to be securely connected to smoking, but there is ample evidence associating the two. Tobacco reduces the pressure of your lower esophageal sphincter while also damaging the lining. This makes it much easier for your stomach acid to come back up, which results in heartburn and bad breath. Smoking has also been hypothesized to cause stomach ulcers.

9. Temperature Control 

Among its myriad toxic detriments, smoking is also infamous for its position in cardiovascular disease. This means that your weakened heart is unable to circulate the blood correctly, leaving your entire body without the adequate levels of oxygen that it needs to function. Furthermore, this circulation will struggle to properly reach your feet and hands, hence why smokers tend to feel the winter cold much worse than those in good health.

10. Premature Wrinkles 

Finally, if the threat of a premature death isn’t terrifying enough, then perhaps the deterioration of cosmetic beauty may be the final selling point. Simply put, smoking hinders the delivery of sufficient oxygen to the skin, which develops into wrinkles around the mouth, the cheeks, and the eyes. Couple this with the leathery complexion of a smoker’s face, and you will quickly notice that your overall appearance has aged dramatically.

This is a guest blog post.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

3 Important Reasons For Becoming Body Aware

Most people will say they have a pretty good idea of what their body is telling them on a daily basis. If you overconsume, you’ll feel bloated, if you have too much alcohol, you’ll have a pounding hangover and so on, but it’s not just the after effects of how your body reacts to something that is important to look out for.

Our body tells us things on a regular basis, and its intelligent systems have a unique way of helping us to make better decisions about our lifestyle.

In everyday life, if something were resoundingly telling you not to do something, would you still do it? In most cases probably not, so why is it that we push our body to the limits with the food we eat or vices we cave into and don’t listen to this inner voice? By being in better sync with your body and using willpower to overcome the temptation surrounding you, you can start to make better choices for both your body and mind. Take a look at some of the reasons that staying in tune with your body is excellent for your health.

Recognizing the signs

When you are in tune with your body, you can spot the signs of ailments or niggles straight away. You will also recognize what works best for your lifestyle. Having these gut feelings or instincts can help in a wide selection of situations and is often great for spotting changes in your body for significant life events such as pregnancy. Many women have instinctively known they are pregnant before taking a test due to the subtle differences in their body. You can use facilities such as a Pampers due date calculator to confirm this; you can adequately prepare for alterations in diet and lifestyle you will need to sustain a healthy pregnancy.

You can learn how to work in sync with your body

When you tap into your body’s vibe, you can work with it effectively to help you be more productive and work harder to get the best out of life. This could be using the way your body works to help push further in fitness training or increase productivity at work or in education. Learning how to become body aware and using your strengths and weaknesses to your advantage can help build upon a strong and healthy mindset. 

It’s good for the mind

When you are more body aware, it can help you give you more peace of mind that you know the signs and potential symptoms you might be experiencing. By recognizing these, you are also more likely to get things checked out, as you know something is not right for your body.

Most people instinctively understand their body and honing into this unique sync between body and mind can help you to perform better and live a healthier lifestyle. By trusting your gut and working with it to make more informed choices alongside help from health professionals, you can ensure you get the best support throughout your life.

This is a guest blog entry.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

How Fresh Smoothies Can Improve Your Health

If you follow the latest healthy food trends, you probably know that smoothies are one of the most enduring health food crazes of the past decade. From their humble origins as a quick way to gulp down a breakfast before heading to work, smoothies have become a massive industry. Kitchen appliance companies are releasing new, more elaborate blenders ever year, and the supplement industry has capitalized on the trend by marketing protein powders and other nutritional boosters specifically designed for smoothie drinkers who want their breakfast to pack even more of a punch.

In recent years, the smoothie craze has led to an explosion of brands specializing in pre-made off-the-shelf smoothies. Many high-end grocery stores now have entire sections dedicated to showcasing carefully packaged super food smoothies in exotic and compelling flavours. While many of these brands advertise themselves as being a healthy option for people who want to make sure they get their vegetables, fruits, and nutrients on the run, many of these corporate options are loaded with sugar and unnatural additives. Instead of relying on pre-bottled options, the only way to ensure that your smoothie is packed with all-natural ingredients is to make it yourself. 

Smoothies first became popular as a way of easily blending together a variety of fruits and vegetables, making it easier for the busy-but-health-conscious to maximize their plant intake. But while this has always been part of the appeal of smoothies, they have also been lauded as a way to boost anti-oxidant intake (anti-oxidants are vital in preventing and repairing cell damage, and are found in particular concentrations in berries). Smoothies can also be designed around deliver healthy doses of fibre, and if you add nuts and seeds, you can increase your natural intake of protein vitamin E. Finally, using milk and yogurt is a great way to increase your calcium consumption and coat your stomach with healthy probiotics that will aid digestion. With a few basic ingredients, you can build a breakfast smoothie that will increase energy levels, deliver important nutrients, and help you achieve a more balanced calorie intake.

The good news is, making your owns smoothies can be both cheaper and easier than store-bought alternatives. While many pre-made smoothies sell for drastically inflated prices, you can find low prices on a Vitamix blender by looking at online classifieds in your area, and shopping for fresh ingredients like kale, honey, fresh berries, and bananas in bulk allows you to buy more for less.

While the health benefits of smoothies are by now well known, if you want to improve your diet by starting the day off with a smoothie, it is important to understand that not all smoothies are equally good for you — ensure your breakfast smoothie contains all the fiber, protein, and nutrients you need to kick-start your metabolism by making it yourself. With hundreds of great recipes online, and plenty of affordable blenders for sale through online classifieds, it has never been easier!

This is a guest blog entry.

Make The Most Of Your Workouts - Get a Trainer

If you’ve been toiling away tirelessly at your local gym, but you’re not getting the results you’ve been craving, there’s a good chance that you need to shake up your workout routine by working with a professional trainer. These people are professionals that know how to get results. Many people will have the drive to show up at the gym four or five times a week, but they might have trouble when it comes to building muscle and taking their fitness goals to the next level. That’s why so many people turn to a person trainer because it helps them:
  • Change their routine
  • Use their time more efficiently
  • Keep track of their goals
If you’re short on time and want to make the most of your workouts, learn more about the benefit of using a personal trainer.

Using Your Time Efficiently

The main reason why people don’t workout or fail to stay on top of their fitness goals is because they don’t have enough time in the day. Maybe they’ll swing by the gym on the weekend or they will pop in for a few minutes after work, but that’s not going to help them get the results they’re looking for. Even if a person spends just 20 to 30 minutes at the gym, they can get a lot done during that time if they’re willing to work with a professional.

The trainer will be able to tell the person how they should be spending their time when they’re at a HouseFit private fitness studio. They can direct them to certain machines or routines that tend to yield the best results. This is a much more efficient approach to getting in shape compared to a person just showing up at the gym and trying a bunch of random exercises. If you’re short on time, it might be time to bring in a professional.

Changing Up Your Routine

If you’re going to a HouseFit private fitness studio and doing relatively the same thing every time, your body will reach its peak and you will stop gaining muscle after a certain point. That’s why it’s so important to change up your workout routine on a regular basis. Introducing your body to new exercises will help you get more of the results you’re looking for. It shocks the body in a way, forcing it to grow and develop more muscle. When you keep doing the same thing over and over again, your body starts to get used to the same movement and the muscles in your body won’t change or grow.

When you work with a professional trainer, they will introduce you to a series of different workout regimes, so that your body is always trying new things and building new muscle. Coming up with different routines can be difficult when you’re doing everything all by yourself. But the personal trainer can take the guesswork out of your fitness time, helping you make the most of every minute. You can quickly go from one activity to another without having to stop and think about what you’re going to do next.

Keeping Track of Your Goals

The professional trainer will also be able to help you better keep track of all the exercises you’ve done and how many you still need to do. When you’re trying to count the number of push-ups or pull-ups you’ve done, there’s always a chance that you’ll lose count or that you won’t remember how many you did the week before. But you don’t have to worry about that with a professional trainer.

If you’re looking to make the most of your workout time, you should visit HouseFit for more information.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Gigantomastia - Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Gigantomastia, also known as macromastia or breast hypertrophy is a rare medical condition which leads to the excessive, uncontrollable growth of a woman’s breasts. The condition does not occur in men. It, however, affects more than 100,000 women in America.


The exact cause of gigantomastia is unknown but the disease has been linked to several medications such as D-penicillamine, cyclosporine, and bucillamine. Hormonal imbalance has also been tied to the onset of the malady. This is particularly seen in pregnancy-induced gigantomastia.

Gigantomastia has also been observed in young girls entering puberty. Women suffering from autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriasis, and systemic lupus erythematosus are at a higher risk of developing gigantomastia as well. For many women, however, there is no defining cause as to why they suddenly develop the disease.


Excessive breast growth whether over a few days, weeks or months is the major symptom of gigantomastia. This growth may happen in one breast (unilateral growth) or may occur simultaneously in both breaths (bilateral growth). There is no predefined timeframe in which the growth occurs. It can happen in a matter of days or over several years.

Other symptoms that typically appear include:

• Red, itchy, painful breasts
• Poor posture
• Shoulder, neck and back pain
• Inability to feel nipple sensation
• Chest pain (breast pain/mastalgia)

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms and might be worried about it possibly being gigantomastia and would like to talk to an expert about it, XpertDox is a great platform to find a specialist doctor. Because of its rarity, finding a doctor who has dealt with a similar case can be an uphill task, however, thanks to this platform, the search has become easier.


If left untreated gigantomastia can render its patients invalid. Because of this, many women opt to have a breast reduction. The reduction is often of 1,000 to 2,000 grams per breast. However, surgery is often the last option. Breast reductions are major surgery and as such your doctor will explain to you all the associated risk factors. Another major breast surgery that other women opt for is a mastectomy, which involves the complete removal of all the breast tissue. Some women will then often opt to get breast implants to replace the breast tissue.

In cases which do not involve surgery, treatment often involves trying to address the discomfort and pain caused by the large breasts. This entails the use of warm dressings, over-the-counter medication as well as prescribed antibiotics for those with infections.

In the event of pregnancy-induced gigantomastia, the breasts often reduce in size on their own once the baby is born. If not, pain medication may be prescribed to help deal with any discomfort if surgery is not an option for the patient.

Gigantomastia Complications

Gigantomastia does have associated complications which include headaches, neck, back and shoulder pain. Breasts may be asymmetrical and unequal. The skin around the breasts may appear over-stretched and rashes may also appear under the breasts. This is not to mention the psychological and social problems that large breasts come with. This can be especially difficult for young girls just entering puberty.

Talk to a doctor today if you are worried about any irregular breast growth.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

10 Tips on How to Best Train for a Marathon

Whether a serious competitor or a casual fitness dabbler feeling the pressure from friends, a marathon was never going to be easy for you because it’s not supposed to be. They call it a challenge for a reason! While the pain may be unavoidable, it does not have to be an utter nightmare. Don’t miss these 10 essential training tips:

1. Running is Not Everything
It goes without saying that the leading way to train for a marathon is to practice running. However, low-impact exercises come with the advantage of promoting your performance without risking your muscles or joints. Take some days off and dedicate them to such activities as swimming, cycling, yoga, or weight training.

2. Be Careful of Overdoing It
If you increase your training too quickly, you may burn yourself out or even cause an injury. It’s recommended to restrict your additional increments to a maximum of two miles per week, with the rough goal of hitting the 25-mile point at least a month before the big day. Download one of the many apps available to keep track of your pace.

3. Purchase the Correct Footwear
The greatest shoe doesn’t necessarily mean the flashiest or most expensive brand, but rather the one which fits your foot comfortably. Ensure you choose something flexible, light, and with plenty of arch support if you require it. Test out a few options before you buy, and ask the salesperson for advice. Finally, always wear thick socks to protect against blisters, and be very wary of your old running shoes.

4. Dealing with the Pain

The best advice for dealing with any foot or knee discomfort is to never ignore it and to never run through it. You may think you are being brave, but you risk further (perhaps even permanent) damage which could mean no marathon at all. Consider any tenderness to be a warning sign, take some time off, and get a medical professional to identify the cause of your knee pain if it persists.

5. Make the Most Out of Your Recovery Time
If you find your performance is beginning to wane, it’s probably best to take a break. Otherwise, you may lose motivation or injure yourself. If you can afford it, spend a week away from your program and use it to sleep often and eat healthily. Stretch as much as possible, take long baths, and visit a masseuse (or use a foam roller) to reduce any inflammation and speed up your recovery period.

6. Visualize Your Success
This may sound silly to some, but many athletes attest to its benefits. In your mind’s eye, imagine your physique at peak performance while developing some encouraging mantras to repeat to yourself as you run. These positive affirmations will train your brain with your body and will help tame your frustrations during those inevitable rough patches.

7. Take Advantage of Social Media
Chances are, your chosen marathon will have its own social media accounts on most platforms, so seek them out and join the conversation. There may be meetups where you can train with other participants, or perhaps there will be an official hashtag you can use to share your progress. Just ensure you don’t take it too seriously and never compare yourself to other people who seem ahead of you!

8. Watch Your Diet Before the Marathon

While carb-loading the night before is a common suggestion, this practice may actually clog up your system and make it difficult to sleep. Instead, consume your carbohydrates for lunch the day previous, and stick to a lighter dinner before bed. In the morning, eat breakfast at least three hours ahead of the race to encourage proper digestion (good choices include fruits, porridge, or a peanut butter bagel).

9. Refuel While Running
It is important to maintain your carbohydrate levels during the marathon itself. Every hour or so, snack on some energy gels, a large banana, or a honey sandwich to keep your body functioning at its maximum. Another smart tip is to decide on this food before your event (including any sponsored sports drinks they may be handing out) and consume those specific items while you train. This will avoid any unwanted stomach surprises on the day.

10. After the Marathon
Once you’ve crossed the finish line, take a shower, eat a meal loaded with protein, and then go have a nap. You deserve it! Give your body some time to rejuvenate after what you’ve been through, but there is no harm in a quick jog to keep the blood flowing either. You might as well start preparing for the next marathon now, right?

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

5 Things You Should Know About X-ray Protection Technologies and Health

In the 1890s, Wilhelm Roentgen experimented with inventions that would become today's X-ray machines. For his contribution, he received the first Nobel Peace Prize for Physics. While this was one of the first purposeful uses of radiation, some form of radiation has always been in existence. Our uses of radiation have evolved over the last few decades. And with it, so has our understanding of the need for radiation protection against the harmful elements of radiation exposure.

Here are 5 things you should know about radiation, X-ray protection, and your health.

1. Radiation protection grew out of X-ray use.

In the late 1980s, the world was reeling with the discovery of X-ray technology. Scientists and researchers delved liberally into using X-ray imaging apparatuses with no awareness of the possible side effects. This disregard for the damaging effects of X-rays continued for several years. Widespread and unprotected use continued. But soon individuals began to report various symptoms.

The dangers of X-ray use were documented by a doctor and a professor with the Vanderbilt University. These two individuals experimented with taking X-rays of one of their heads, which resulted in a loss of hair. William J Morton, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla are among others who reported various irritations as they used X-ray technology.

In the early 1900s, William Rollins, a pioneer in radiation protection, discovered that X-rays could kill lab animals. And that a pregnant guinea pig was unable to carry to term due to exposure to X-ray radiation. Thus the connection that radiation could kill a fetus.

2. Lead as radiation protection was the gold standard for many years.

Most any material provides some protection against radiation waves if used in large amounts. The challenge scientists faced was to find materials that allowed movement while also shielding from gamma rays.

Studies on materials and various radiation waves evolved. Researchers soon discovered that different shielding techniques were needed depending on variables. For example, the type of energy waves, as well as the application of those energy waves into daily use.

For many years, lead was used as the standard of protection when it came to X-rays and radioactive material protection.

With its high molecular density, lead is effective at preventing penetration of gamma rays. To this day, it continues to be used as a protective shielding material against radiation. Certain applications are best suited for the use of lead plates, lead glass, lead bricks, and other barriers.

Today there are many alternatives to lead that offer the same protections, but without the weight, density, and bulkiness of lead.

3. Industry revolutionizing alternatives to protective wearables.

Professionals who are exposed to radioactive material must wear X-ray protection in the form of gloves, glasses, and aprons. Because lead is blended with additives to make it wearable, the result of this blend is often unwieldy.

Non-lead protection uses composites of tin, tungsten, antimony, and bismuth, among others. The exact blend differs based on the manufacturer. But all of these materials are lighter in weight, yet have the same capacity as lead to block radiation.

4. Heavy shielding gear can cause back issues.

Radiologists wear X-ray shielding gear on a daily basis. A 2014 study surveyed 148 radiologists spanning 10 hospitals. Thirty-eight percent of the radiologists reported work-associated pains and injury. And forty-one percent of those surveyed complained of lower back pain.

Back pains are one of the leading causes of disability around the world. Many medical experts agree that wearing heavy materials is likely the cause of back pain in the aforementioned study.

Additionally, lead based protective gear is costly to dispose of in an environmentally friendly manner. By contrast, non-lead-based protective options are easier to recycle. Therefore, the use of non-lead protective gear has become a popular option to those in this field.

5. Outside of X-rays, these are your common sources of daily radiation.

Mankind has been exposed to natural sources of radiation since our beginnings on the planet earth. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission lists these naturally occurring sources of radiation:

• Radon and thoron - 37 percent
• Cosmic - 5 percent
• Internal - 5 percent
• Terrestrial, soil - 3 percent

Naturally occurring sources of radiation amount to 50 percent of the radiation we are exposed on a day to day basis. Manmade sources of radiation account for the other 50 percent. The sources are medical procedures at 36 percent, nuclear medicine at 12 percent, consumer products at 2 percent, and Industrial and occupational exposure at 0.1 percent.

This is a guest blog entry.

4 Common Misconceptions About Injuries and Recovery

Think you know everything you need to recover from your injury? Were you recently injured but perhaps are not healing as fast as you would like? Did you know that some well-established ideas about injuries and recovery could be misleading? Here are some common misconceptions that could be delaying your healing process.

Misconception No. 1: If there's no pain, there's no injury.

Whether you were sidelined by a sports injury or hit by a drunk motorcycle driver, any case of injury requires medical attention. But often, if the pain from an injury is not enough to knock us off our feet for good, we brush it off for fear of hospital bills. Or perhaps you experienced some initial pain, but it subsided after a while? Any event where your body is subjected to trauma requires a visit to the doctor.

In most cases, pain is the body's response to injury. It is the body's alarm system telling you that damage has been inflicted and that you must take time to heal. But in certain cases, this response system might not be activated. Nerves in an area that received the damage might not be sending pain signals to the brain as they should. Or if the body is in too much pain, the nervous system may shut down.

Injuries that are not seen to right away can become more complex to treat. And by the time your pain response kicks in, your body might be in worse condition than if you had caught it right away.

After an accident or an injury, regardless of your pain level, always seek medical attention. Doing so will make sure injuries are diagnosed and treatment starts as soon as possible.

Misconception No 2.: Rest 24/7 after an injury.

This misconception is partly based on fact. Your body heals best during sleep hours. Damage done to your body is repaired during sleep, says Michael Twery, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. Prioritizing a good night of sleep is essential. But sleep alone is not enough for total tissue recovery. Part of recovery involves movement.

Naturally, the advice your doctor gives for your case would take preference. But as soon as the doctor gives you the green light, start moving once again. If you are not sure what exercises are safe for someone with your injury type, be sure to ask.

Medical experts frequently state that moving about after surgery is vital for a speedy recovery. Being immobile comes with its own set of problems, such as blood clots, weakening of muscles, sluggish gut, etc.

Misconception No 3.: Working through the pain is OK.

"Pain is all in the mind." "Work through the pain." "No pain, no gain." These and other workout mottos become so widespread that often they are taken for truths that should be applied to all sources of pain.

Sometimes pain can be misleading. Phantom pain experiences, where nothing is actually wrong with one's body, can lead people to ignore pain or just "fight through it."

But for the most part, pain is your body's way of telling you to "get help." After an injury, it is particularly important to know the balance between enduring a little discomfort for the sake of staying mobile. And discerning that from when pushing through your pain could lead to secondary effects and harmful pain.

Misconception No 4.: It's better to forgo pain meds so you don't develop an addiction.

Not taking pain medication, while sounding noble, could actually hinder your recovery. When the body is in constant pain, it can be difficult for you to perform other activities that are needful for recovery. For example, pain could keep you up at night and prevent you from sleeping. As discussed earlier, sleep is when your body does a large part of its repairs. Not being able to get in quality sleep due to pain can set your healing back considerably.

Unmanaged pain could also prevent you from undergoing rehabilitating movements and exercises. Pain can limit your range of motion so that it causes you to rely on muscles that are not developed for that strain. This, in turn, can result in other damaging secondary effects.

If you are concerned about developing a reliance on pain meds, tell your doctor about your worry. And then only take as much as prescribed. If there is any of your prescription left after the pain has abated, be sure to throw it away.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Five Tips for Correcting Supination

Have you ever thought about what your feet do when you walk or run? If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t, at least not until something starts hurting.

A lot of people are walking and running in a way that sets them up for a slew of lower body injuries. One common walking/running mistake people make on a regular basis is called supination.

Read on to learn more about supination and what you can do to correct it.

What is Supination?

When you walk, the ankle and back of your foot is supposed to roll in (pronate) slightly to cushion impact and help you adapt when walking on uneven surfaces. If your heel doesn’t roll in as far as it should or rolls out altogether, this is known as supination.

Supination is common among people who have tight Achilles tendons and/or high arches.

Why is Supination a Problem?

When you supinate, you put extra stress on your feet and legs since the shock isn’t being properly absorbed.

Some common injuries caused by supination while walking or running include:
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Ankle sprains
  • Hammertoes
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
Correcting Supination

As you can see, when left untreated, supination can cause a lot of problems, especially for runners and other active individuals. Luckily there are lots of things you can do to correct the problem. Some of the best methods of correcting supination include:

1. Change Your Shoes
For people who supinate as they walk or run, the best shoes are lightweight and flexible sneakers that support the ankle without wearing down in response to frequent motion in the ankle joint. High-top sneakers are also beneficial for people who have weak, wobbly ankles.

2. Wear Orthotic Inserts
In addition to replacing your running or walking shoes, you can also invest in orthotic inserts that support the arch. Some inserts also lift the heel to help minimize the rolling motion of the feet.

Inserts also minimize pressure placed on the pinky toes and keep the ankle stable. This, in turn, protects the knees and lower back when you run or walk.

3. Correct Your Running/Walking Form
New shoes and inserts help minimize discomfort and provide extra support for the ankles and feet. But they don’t actually address the root problem. If you really want to kick supination to the curb, your running and walking form needs to change.

Keep these tips in mind when walking or running to start altering your gait for good:
  • Land softly when you run or walk quickly
  • Land with the midfoot instead of the back of the heel
  • Shorten your stride and increase the cadence of your runs to make a softer landing easier
  • Maintain good posture -- keep your chest lifted and spine aligned
4. Stretch Regularly
It’s also important to stretch the lower body regularly, especially when you’re working on correcting your running or walking form.

Switching up the way you move will likely cause some increased muscle soreness, and it’s harder to change your way of walking or running when you have tight muscles that prevent you from moving through a full range of motion.

Some good stretches to incorporate into your routine include:
  • Calf stretches
  • Hamstring stretches
  • Quad stretches
  • Iliotibial band (outside of the thigh) stretches
You should also foam roll the lower body to further loosen up the muscles and promote faster healing.

5. Incorporate Resistance Training

Finally, make sure you’re also working on strengthening the muscles in the lower body. This will help you establish new and better muscle recruitment patterns and will further protect you from injury as you work on correcting your supination.

Good exercises to include in a resistance training routine include:
  • Squats (using your bodyweight or holding a weight overhead to improve your posture)
  • Lunges (walking lunges, reverse lunges, and side lunges are all good)
  • Banded side steps (these strengthen glutes and outer thighs)
  • Calf raises

Supination can cause a lot of problems, whether you’re an athlete or an average Joe. If you have a tendency to supinate while walking or running, keep these tips in mind as you start correcting the issue, and you’ll see improvements in no time!

This is a guest blog entry.

Top Tips for Dental Implants Care

Millions of people in Canada go through tooth replacements every year. In tooth replacements, dental implants have gained the most popularity. Whether you have suffered tooth loss due to an accident or infection, or if you want to make your appearance better with tooth replacements, dental implants are your best bet. Unlike getting dentures or bridges, dental implants are extremely convenient and durable. If you look after them and maintain good oral hygiene, your dental implants can last a lifetime which is one of the many reasons why they are so popular. You can get free consultation for dental implants at many dental clinics in Canada. However, we have summarized the Top Tips for Dental Implants Care for you.

Care Tips Post Surgery

  • You should only take in a soft diet post-surgery. Avoid eating hard or chewy substances for a few days or for as long as directed by your dentist.
  • You should only drink clear liquids for a few days.
  • Don’t try to act heroic and be sure to take your pain medication as directed by your dentist.
  • Some tenderness is fine but consult your dentist immediately if you notice increased pain. In case you can’t reach your dentist immediately, search for Markham dentists near me and get the nearest help before it gets serious.
  • Take any antibiotics prescribed regularly to aid the healing process and to avoid any infections.
  • For brushing your teeth, use a soft tooth brush to clean your teeth and the implant twice a day.
  • Avoid using an electronic or ultrasonic tooth brush for a few weeks.
  • Avoid wearing dentures or any prosthesis provided immediately after the surgery to let the tissue around the surgical site heal.
  • Floss and clean between teeth in the entire mouth once a day except for around the implant tooth.
  • Use a non-alcoholic antimicrobial mouth wash or saltwater rinses twice a day post-surgery if recommended by your dentist.
You will also get a free consultation for dental implant care post-surgery from your dentist. It is highly advisable to follow the instructions and commit yourself to regular dental checkups post-surgery to ensure success of the implant.

Make Your Implants Last a Lifetime 
As with natural teeth, with some regular care your dental implants can last a lifetime. Unlike dentures, you don’t need to replace them.
  • Maintain a thorough oral hygiene at home to make sure that you don’t catch any dental disease and the area around the implant does not catch any infections.
  • Get proper and regular professional maintenance done to make sure that your implants are fine and the rest of your teeth are healthy. If your dentist is far away and you can’t regularly visit them conveniently, simply search for Markham dentists near me and find your nearest clinic.
  • There are different types of implants that require specific care. You can get a free consultation for dental implant cleaning from a number of dentists in Canada that can guide you in this regard.
We hope that these Tips prove to be useful for you and help you maintain your dental implants well.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Tips For Choosing The Best Dentist

Having a difficulty choosing the best dentist in Canada? With so many dentists in Vaughan, it gets challenging to choose one. How do you know which dentist is the right choice? Is your dentist using the latest technology?

When it comes to dental health, we all avoid regular visits to the dentist because of various factors. For many people, choosing a dentist in Canada is a daunting task, this is why people avoid visiting a dentist. Though it is a not a smart move, most of the people don’t visit the dentists until a problem escalates. According to experts, one of the reasons for many health conditions is poor oral hygiene.
Since it is hard to choose a dentist, we have listed few the tips that will help you select the right dentist for your needs.

The Facility is Clean or Not

One of the top things you need to focus on is whether the dental clinic is clean or not. A good dentist will operate in a clean and neat facility. All the things in the clinic must be clean and organized. The equipment in the facility must be squeaky-clean as you don’t want to catch any disease or infection. Most of the dentists in Vaughan have a neat, clean, and organized office.

Check Reviews

Another thing you need to check before choosing a dentist is the dentists reviews. If a dentist offers excellent services, they are likely to have a list of satisfied patients. So, you can check the testimonials available on the website of the dentist. By checking the reviews online, you will know more about the patient’s experience with the dentist. You can even ask your friends, family members, or even neighbors about the dentist they visit.


This is the most important thing that you should not ignore. With the technological advancement, dental procedures and equipment have evolved. Now, you don’t have to worry about dental procedures being painful. The tools have become noiseless and procedures are often painless. The improvement in the technology has enhanced the quality of care. For instance, with the introduction of Digital x-rays, radiation exposure is decreased compared to traditional x-rays.

Experience of the Dentist

It is crucial to check the experience and education of the dentist. Is the dentist certified or not? Is the dentist a member of any association? For how long they have been practicing dentistry? Do they participate in any ongoing trainings? All these questions will help you decide whether or not the dentist is the right choice.

An experienced dentist will make sure you are comfortable and will tend to your needs carefully. There are many experienced dentists in Vaughan. You must make sure the dentist you chose is perfect for you.

Overall, choosing a dentist is a serious matter and you should research extensively before choosing one. The dentist reviews will tell you a lot about the dentist. What type of services they offer, how they deal with their patients, and the experience of the patient are all important factors to know about.

This is a guest blog entry.

Why Should You Join A Fitness Class?

Do you want to be mentally and physically more fit? Fitness classes are gaining popularity rapidly. According to a study, both women and men are participating in fitness classes. There are various reasons for joining a fitness class.

The instructor will use various techniques and workouts for challenging people of all ages. It is a great way to have a healthy lifestyle and an easy way to become more social.

Unfortunately, managing and organizing a fitness class is a daunting and challenging task. There are several aspects that you have to pay attention to, from registering to scheduling to marketing to accounting. To make it easy to organize fitness classes, a fitness class software is an ideal choice. In this article, we have listed the reason why you should join a fitness class.

Have a look at the reasons why it is better to join a fitness class.

Professional Guidance

In order to stay in shape and have a fit body, you need to join a fitness class. An expert will be there to guide you at every step of the fitness program. The instructors will be certified and they are capable of making the fitness sessions enjoyable and fun. The instructors are experienced and have comprehensive knowledge. They can use this knowledge to keep the individuals motivated and committed to achieve their fitness goals. Furthermore, the instructor will set the tone and other individuals in the class will offer motivation.

Social Support

One of the reasons for joining a fitness class is that it makes you feel a part of something bigger. A fitness class spreads positivity as it welcomes people from all walks of life. It brings together people from different backgrounds, ages,and levels. This is a great way to make new friends and improve bonds with others. Joining a fitness class is one of the best ways to stay fit.

No Looking at The Time

When you join a fitness class, you will have a fun time. The exercises or activities will make you forget you are working hard and this will help in increasing your energy levels. When you will join a fitness class, you will not only be working hard, but you will be having fun. Having a fun workout plan will ensure you stick to the routine of physical activity.

Using The Best Fitness Class Software

The use of fitness class software is a great way to manage the fitness classes. It enables the customers to book the classes online. In case the class is full, they will be notified when there is a space in the class. Another reason to use the fitness software is that it makes payments easy. You can easily create schedules and update them any time.

In the end, the WellnessLiving crossfit box software is a perfect way to keep your customers updated. When you join a fitness class, you can have a pleasant time while staying in shape. The group fitness will help you experience movement in a memorable and positive way.

This is a guest blog entry.

Overcoming Serious Illness: The Recovery Process

If you’re battling, or have battled, serious illness in the past then you’ll know just how rocky the road to recovery can be. It’s understandably challenging for you, but also for those around you who love you and care about your welfare.

Overcoming serious illness is a huge achievement, and can make you view life in an entirely different way. You become more aware of other people’s struggles and you’re less quick to judge their circumstance. It can be an uphill battle, but once you get there, it’ll be a huge relief off your shoulders, and you will feel re-energized with a new zest for life.

Get The Compensation You Deserve 

If you feel that your medical care could have been handled better than it was, then you could be eligible to receive compensation. Medical costs and bills are notoriously high, and you can put yourself in serious debt by receiving ongoing treatment. If you suspect there was a medical mistake or malpractice when you were in the hospital, then contact The Medical Negligence Experts to review your case and assess whether there’s been bad practice somewhere down the line.

Make Friends 

Having a support network is crucial to your recovery process. You need to understand that you’re not in this alone, and there are others just like you who are experiencing the same issues as you, having the same challenges, as well as feeling similar achievements too. Reach out to close friends and family and ask for help wherever you need it. You may need a shoulder to cry on, and an extra pair of hands on standby to help you when you need it, so make friends with people you meet along the way in your recovery process. Bear in mind that you have a responsibility to those in need too. If you meet new people suffering just like you, then reach out to them and help them through hard times and good times, just as they have for you.

Be Prepared For Ups And Downs 

Overcoming serious illness is certainly no walk in the walk, and the recovery process can take months, even years. It’s crucial that you do ask too much from your body as you’re recovering and learning to readjust to life and everyday tasks and activities. Be prepared to face setbacks on the road to recovery and try not to become disheartened when your recovery looks set to take a little longer than first anticipated. Make sure that you interact with others in a similar position to yourself, and learn about their journeys alongside having a companion to share your recovery process.


If you lost mobility skills during your serious illness, then physiotherapy might be able to help you get back on track and restore some movement into your limbs. Physiotherapy can be hugely beneficial to those who have suffered muscle wastage as a result of spending long periods of time in bed or a wheelchair. Physiotherapy is part of the recovery process for many people on the road to recovery, so give it a go, and with any luck, you’ll be edging closer to your recovery goals in next to no time.

This is a guest blog entry.

Top 4 Suggestions for Finding the Right Ostomy Products

Some conditions are not healed; instead, managing them so the patient enjoys the highest possible quality of life is the focus. This is true with many conditions that require an ostomy. An ostomy is a surgically created opening in a bodily organ and may remain open for a long time. That means investing in products that help to keep the opening free from infection and allows it to provide the intended function. If you have an ostomy, it pays to know how to select the right support products. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind.

Knowing What You Need

Knowing what sort of products you will use on a daily basis is a must. Your surgeon will provide a list of supplies and provide some instructions for using them properly. You will likely need to keep a supply of pouches on hand. Barriers are something else that will come in handy. Flanges with the right kind of tape will also be on the list.

Your list of supplies will include products designed specifically for CanMed wound care. Those help to protect the ostomy from the introduction of foreign matter and minimize the potential for inflammation and infection.

Getting to Know Different Brands

You'll find there are a number of reputable brands to consider. Some of them offer all or at least most of the ostomy products your medical team recommends. While the brands may offer products that look quite a bit alike, that does not mean the quality is similar. It's up to you to choose brands that are best for your particular needs.

One way to learn more about those brands is to go online and compare the features of each. You may find that giving hollister products is a great idea, based on how they compare to other brands.

Reading Reviews

You spend time reading online reviews for everything from new can openers to credit cards. Why not seek out reviews for different types of ostomy products and supplies? The goal is to locate reviews created by those who have actually used those products. Learning more about the personal experiences of people who live with conditions similar to yours makes it easier to determine which brands to try and which ones to avoid.

Finding a Reliable Supplier

Once you know what is needed and which brand you want to try, look for a retailer or supplier who can fill your order and have it on the way quickly. Many people prefer the anonymity offered by online medical supply sites. The products come in packaging that don’t tell the world what’s inside. Look for sites offering competitive pricing and reasonable shipping rates and terms. Knowing you can place an order today and the things you need will be here before your current supply is exhausted provides plenty of peace of mind.

Today is the right time to begin your search. See what you can find, learn the facts, and place your order. If everything goes as planned, you will never have to rethink where to shop or what brand to buy.

This is a guest blog entry.

4 Important Things to Do Before Undergoing Facial Cosmetic Surgery

Whether you are having your eyebrows lifted or changing the shape of your nose, it’s important to remember that undergoing any type of cosmetic surgery is serious. That means you must prepare for the surgery properly.

Among the things your surgeon urges you to do in advance, these four stand out the most. Make sure they are addressed before the day of the surgery and things will be much better during and after the procedure.

Go Over Your Medications Carefully

What medications do you take daily? Are there any over the counter products such as herbal combinations that you also take? Your surgeon needs to know about each of them.

The goal is to determine what impact, if any, those prescriptions and over the counter products will have on you while the surgery is in progress and during the recuperative period. While many of them will be fine to continue taking, others may have to wait for a time.

For example, you may take a medication or use a supplement that thins the blood. That’s not a good thing for people who are about to undergo Calgary facelifts. Your surgeon will provide suggestions for how much in advance you should stop using the product. There will also be a recommendation to not resume usage for a specified time after the procedure.

Meal Planning in Advance

How will you get nutrition in the days after the procedure? Some cosmetic procedures will not involve having to make any special preparations. With others, it may be necessary to focus on food and drink that provides plenty of nutrition but does not require much chewing. The surgeon will provide some ideas for meal planning. Make a trip to the supermarket and stock up on things you can enjoy and still follow the surgeon’s guidelines.

Arranging Your Finances

If you have them, use sick days to cover whatever period the surgeon believes is necessary before you return to work. Perhaps your bank of days is not enough. Check with your employer and see if you can use some of your vacation time to cover any remaining days. The goal is to make sure you don’t have to worry about falling behind with the bills while you are away from work.

Getting To and From the Procedure
Depending on the type of procedure you are having, the cosmetic surgeon may allow you to return home after a few hours of observation. In this scenario, it’s wise to have a loved one drive you to the procedure and be there to take you home afterward.

Even if you are having a more complex procedure like a rhinoplasty and will remain at the clinic for several days, it never hurts to plan your trip home in advance. If no one can be there on the day of your release, the team at the clinic will help you make arrangements with a professional transport service.

The goal is to ensure you have a procedure that is free of complications and can enjoy a speedy recovery. Work with the medical team to plan everything in advance and the only thing you will need to concentrate on is enjoying the results of the surgery.

This is a guest blog entry.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Assistive Devices To Help With Home Comfort

Advances in technology and assistive devices for seniors and those with limited mobility are allowing individuals to thrive. There are a range of products available to augment the senses, range of motion, and one’s comfort, especially for those that spend most of their time at home. These products include mobility, communication, hearing, and visual aids; diabetic equipment and supplies; respiratory equipment and supplies; oxygen therapy; prosthetics; braces, pumps, and compression garments. The Ontario Government has an Assistive Devices Program (ADP), making it easier for a wide range of people to access these aids. (Please note: there are several devices that are not covered by the program. ADP does not cover repairs and maintenance costs.)

Part of heightening home comfort is the choice to receive private, comprehensive, in-home health care services in the community. Those in the Toronto-area trust Integracare to attend to their loved ones and to offer advice and assistance in obtaining the right assistive devices. They sell and rent walkers, bath seats, commodes, wheelchairs, electric hospital beds, sell non-prescription pharmacy supplies, and more. Their Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses, Registered Physiotherapists, and Personal Support Workers work collaboratively with clients, families, and community services, fostering independence, joyful living experiences and comfort for seniors. With the aid of trusted Caregivers plus government assistance, you can find the right assistive devices to suit your loved one’s needs and improve their quality of life
Positioning devices like specially-designed back and head supports, cushions, powering tilting beds, and recliners make the bed more comfortable and improve the quality of sleep, which is a common problem for seniors. These devices also include pads that properly position limbs and keep them cushioned. They can make it easier to spend waking hours in bed or on the couch, so reading, watching TV, or conversing is more comfortable.  

An FM system for the hearing impaired is a transmitting microphone you can speak into and your family member receives the sound to either his or her ears or directly into a hearing aid. Cochlear implant replacement speech processors have internal and external components to allow the wearer to hear using a microphone, a speech processor, and a transmitter. Bone conduction implants or bone-anchored hearing aids work through sound vibrations transmitted through one’s own natural bone conduction. Speaking can be aided by voice prostheses, amplifiers, electrolarynxes, and speech-generating devices. Being better able to communicate with family members and friends in the home is important for feeling safe and for supporting good communication and relationships.

In addition to comfortable wheelchairs and walkers, specialized glasses, magnifiers, and other optical aids help with the ability to navigate one’s home more easily and engage with books and other visual entertainment. Audio players, CCTV- and computer-based reading and writing systems assist with electronic enhancement for reading books, the news, and family communiques. Braille typewriters and other manual braillers assist the visually-impaired with composing their own messages and letters.

Ask your loved one’s personal Nurse or Personal Support Worker about which assistive devices can ease their comfort and lifestyle at home. They can make recommendations tailored to his or her specific conditions and symptoms. Be sure to check if Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program can help with three-quarters of the cost.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Understanding Age-Related Changes in Cartilage

Bone density and muscle mass are often the primarily discussed victims of aging as older age contributes to muscle atrophy and osteoporosis. But what about the all-important cartilage?

What is Cartilage?
Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that is critical to the musculoskeletal system. Firm, flexible, and whitish in color, cartilage can be found all over the body from the ear to the larynx and most notably in joints, acting as a cushion between two or more articulating bones.

There are two different types of cartilage found in the body. The first and most abundant is hyaline cartilage which is found in the respiratory tract and at the ends of bones. Articular cartilage in the knee, for example, is a type of hyaline cartilage; it absorbs shock when you walk and run, tolerates shearing forces between the bones that meet at the knee, and bears up to 20 times a person’s body weight. Hyaline cartilage has few fibers and is kept healthy and lubricated by synovial fluid.

The second, fibrous cartilage, is composed of a thicker, collagen-like matrix and can be found in insertion zones of tendons and ligaments, in the articular and vertebral discs (in the spine), and in the meniscus.

What Happens to Cartilage Over Time?
At infancy, a baby’s skeleton is composed largely of cartilage. Pliable and flexible, cartilage makes the baby less vulnerable to breaks as they learn to crawl, stand, and walk. Over time, the cartilage hardens into bone, though you may be surprised to learn that the bone development process isn’t fully complete until age 25.

Hyaline cartilage remains, however, in key places like articulating joints - the knees, elbows, shoulders, and so on. When cartilage becomes damaged because of a traumatic injury or general wear and tear, it, unfortunately, cannot regenerate on its own. It is one of the few tissues in the body that does not have its own blood supply, so when damage occurs, it is not miraculously bathed in nutrient-rich fluids that facilitate healing.

In addition, articular cartilage relies on just one single type of cell for renewal (or cell turnover) called a chondrocyte; repeated injury and older age results in less and less activity from chondrocytes. On top of all that, key proteins known as proteoglycans found in connective tissue that reinforce cartilage and make it more resilient become altered over time resulting in a higher risk of injury and damage to the cartilage itself.

Common Conditions that Affect Cartilage
There are a handful of common cartilage-specific conditions that affect older adults, especially those who were very active earlier in life as well as those who are obese.

Chondromalacia patella - abnormal softening or degeneration of cartilage in the knee can contribute to a condition known as chondromalacia patella, or runner’s knee. Worn down, thin cartilage cannot fully protect the knee cap and people who suffer from this condition end up with severe pain caused by the friction of the thigh bone rubbing directly against the kneecap. Chondromalacia can also occur in the hip and shoulder joints.

Osteoarthritis - the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease) develops slowly over time due to deterioration of cartilage. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, and tenderness around a joint as well as limited range of motion and loss of flexibility. Bone spurs can also develop as a result of cartilage wearing away, and some people even feel a grating sensation when they use an affected joint.

Herniated disk (slipped disk) - degenerative disk disease, or the wearing down of the cartilaginous joints of the spine, can result in spinal disks “slipping” and bulging out of their protective casing. This condition is marked by severe back pain, limited range of motion, even numbness and paralysis associated with nerve damage from the herniated disk placing pressure on spinal nerves.

Preventing Cartilage Damage
If you are looking to prevent cartilage damage and strengthen your musculoskeletal system to stave off these painful conditions, experts recommend following these tips:
  • Exercise regularly to help strengthen bones and muscles and take some of the burden off your joints. Choose fitness activities wisely, however, based on your age and ability levels. You don’t want to overdo exercise as it can exacerbate cartilage deterioration.
  • Manage a healthy weight. Carrying about extra weight places excessive pressure on vulnerable joints like the hips, knees, and ankles. Lose weight to offload some of the stress on these joints and preserve the health of your cartilage.
  • Wear protective gear (like orthotic braces and splints) and use appropriate equipment when playing sports and exercising to avoid overloading your joints.
  • Rest painful and swollen joints, and use cold and hot therapy to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and relieve pain.
This is a guest blog entry.

What to Expect After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are the molars that appear at the rear of the upper and lower rows of teeth. Most people have these teeth appear during the latter part of their teenage years or at least by the time they reach their 20th birthday.

Since one or more of the teeth can create crowding, it’s important to undergo a wisdom teeth extraction and prevent future problems. Here are some ideas of what to expect once the wisdom tooth is removed.


Many of the more unpleasant effects of undergoing wisdom teeth removal occur during the first 48 hours after the procedure. That’s when you can expect things to be at their worst. Even so, many people find that following the instructions provided by the dental team make those issues manageable.

Bleeding is one of the first things you will notice. Typically, the empty socket is packed and the dental team may place some dressing over the area. You can expect the bleeding to continue for several hours after the procedure. Assuming that you do not irritate the socket and the surrounding tissue, you should notice the blood flow lessens. By the second day, you should see little to no new blood.


Swelling is definitely one of the things you can expect after undergoing wisdom teeth removal in North York. The gum tissue around the socket will swell and there is a chance that the tissue on the inside of the cheek will also expand slightly. The swelling may be significant enough for you to notice the outside of the cheek bulging slightly.

The swelling looks worse that it really happens to be. Applying a cold pack for 20 minutes at a time, then removing it for 20 minutes will help a lot. If you don’t have a cold pack, a bag of frozen peas will work fine. Continue applying the cold for the remainder of the first day. If there is still some swelling on the second day, consider applying heat. You should also remember to take any anti-inflammatory medication the dental team prescribes.

As the feeling returns in the hours after the wisdom teeth removal surgery, you can expect some discomfort. Your dental team will provide a prescription for pain medication and recommend you take the first dose as soon as you notice the anesthesia from the surgery is wearing off. Keep in mind that it can take up to 8 hours before the feeling fully returns to the area.

If you tend to experience nausea when taking medication on an empty stomach, feel free to consume a small amount of some soft food. Something that requires no chewing and that you can keep away from the affected area is the best choice. You should notice a difference in the pain level by the next day, but continue to take the medication as directed.

Noticeable Difference After Two Days

Once you get through the first 48 hours after the wisdom teeth removal, most of the swelling should subside. The bleeding will stop and the tissue will begin to firm up a bit. While you still need to be careful, resuming part of your normal daily activities is fine. Remember to avoid strenuous exercise or actions for a little longer. If in doubt, call the dentist and ask if a certain activity is acceptable. If not, wait a few more days before resuming that particular activity.

Remember that the wisdom teeth dentist is never further away than a phone call. If you notice anything unusual or if the bleeding and swelling aren’t subsiding by the end of the second day, call immediately. Doing so allows for quick action that makes the remainder of your recovery more comfortable.

This is a guest blog entry.