SUPERnegro.com Medical Blog

December 16, 2009

TREATMENT FOR THE ACHING MISERIES: PROGESTERONE

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:12 pm

Both Dr Dalton’s researches, which have been going on since 1953, and the more recent studies carried out at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, show that some women who suffer from premenstrual tension have low levels of progesterone in their bodies during the last half of their menstrual cycles. In other words, at the very time of the month when you would expect the level to be high. Dr Dalton treats her patients by giving them extra progesterone during the last half of the month. This treatment often has a marked effect on the whole range of symptoms. It may reduce the bloat, lift depression, remove those alarming mood swings and also have an effect on the sort of epilepsy, hay fever, cystitis, asthma and migraines that are linked to an approaching period. If you want to know more about this treatment, I suggest you read Dr Dalton’s book, Once a Month, and you’ll see if it could be for you.

Unfortunately there are only two established clinics that have followed Dr Dalton’s lead and will prescribe pure progesterone. So if you want treatment at either of them, you will have to go on a waiting list, I’m afraid. One is at University College Hospital, London, and the other is in the Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield. It will not be easy to find a GP who is willing and able to prescribe progesterone suppositories (trade name ‘Cyclogest’) either. There are some, but at the moment they are rather rare. The trouble is that unlike the contraceptive pills, which have been on the market for over twenty-five years, progesterone treatment is relatively new. An added difficulty is that pure progesterone can only be given as an injection or in the form of suppositories. Some women are so glad to receive some treatment that will stop their symptoms they don’t mind where the treatment has to be put. But others are put off by the idea of suppositories, and would much prefer a pill. Unfortunately there’s no way, at the moment, that progesterone can be made effective in pill form.

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MENSTRUAL PROBLEMS: HOW TO COPE-IN VARIOUS SITUATIONSC-AT SCHOOL:

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:11 pm

INTERACTING WITH OTHERS

One of the difficulties about being depressed, irritable or angry at school is that, so often, you’re not the only one. We know from Dr Dalton’s researches that groups of females who spend a lot of time together seem to trigger one another’s periods off, so that some of them have periods within one or two days of each other. If you and your particular group of friends have that effect on one another, many of you could be suffering from the miseries at the same time. And if that’s so, it’s very likely that far from helping one another you’ll actually be making one another worse. The rows or the blues can be really prodigious when you’re all out of balance at the same time.

What’s to be done about it? One way of coping is to work out when your aching miseries are due and then spend more time with other people who aren’t off-balance and a lot less with your particular friends on those days when you’re all at risk. Failing that, you and your friends could make a pact (when you were all safely through the miseries and happy again) that whatever any of you said before your periods the rest would ignore, and that no decision made at the time would be taken seriously and could be reversed a fortnight later anyway. If you are all learning how to relax together and noticing from your charts that the time when you’re off-balance is getting shorter and shorter month by month, the whole thing will get easier as you go along anyway.

Another rotten thing about periods is that as well as being able to trigger one another, you can also trigger yourself off, even though it’s certainly not intentional and you often don’t want to at all. If you are in an emotional state, because you have just split up with your boyfriend, for example, or you have had a row with your mother, your body may react to your emotions by starting a period whether it’s due or not. This is really adding insult to injury, because you probably feel bad enough already without that.

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ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS THAT CAN HELP TO TREAT SCIATICA: HERBALISM

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:11 pm

Probably the oldest form of medicine, herbalism – also known as ‘herbal medicine’ – has a history going back at least 3,000 years. First developed in ancient China, herbalism is based on the therapeutic uses of various plant parts – root, bark, stem, flowers, leaf, and even seeds – in different preparations, either for internal or external use as teas, potions, juice extracts, bath additives, salve, lotions, and ointments.

Throughout the ages there has always been a strong association between herbal remedies and back problems of all kinds. Modern herbalists believe that medicines are not just only a means of treating illness, but are also a way of restoring the body’s balance to its normal state, disease or pain being viewed by them as ‘abnormal states’. Of course, this approach means that a given disorder may not always be treated by the same herbal preparation, as deciding what the right treatment is in a given case will also take into account several other factors, including the patient’s general health, disposition, and even personality. However, in making their choices, practitioners are guided by pharmacopoeias – these being comprehensive listings of remedies that have proven themselves useful in specific conditions – and some of these have origins going back more than 6,000 years, having been first formulated when the Chinese started classifying and cataloguing herbal cures.

Although herbalism has helped many people suffering from chronic conditions such as sciatica or back pain, a note of caution is in order: herbal preparations can be just as powerful – and therefore potentially also as toxic – as modern day drugs. This means that these remedies have to be prescribed and used with the greatest of care as they can lead to serious side-effects. It is essential therefore that herbal remedies should be prescribed by and used under the supervision of a suitably qualified medical herbalist.

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STRESS AND BACK PAIN SYMPTOMS

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:10 pm

There are essentially two main ways of reducing stress:

To identify the sources of your stress and where possible seek either to reduce or eliminate these; and/or

To find ways to enable you to cope better with those sources of stress you can neither reduce nor avoid.

The most effective way to get your stress level down is usually by working towards both of these aims simultaneously. These tips from the experts will help you do just that:

Much stress is linked to always being in a rush, to constantly fighting the clock to get everything you need to do completed in time. Plan your day more carefully, allow yourself enough time for what you must do and so meet deadlines more gracefully, and you’ll find this cuts out a great deal of stress.

Directly linked to the above is the recommendation that you should be careful not to set yourself unrealistic targets, especially those that you know beforehand you will probably be incapable of meeting or where you will only manage to do so by rushing like mad or cutting corners, this being a sure-fire recipe to push up your stress level.

Always think things through carefully before you act or commit yourself to a course of action. Impulsive and less than well-thought-out actions are frequently the source of subsequent regrets, and the latter can be extremely stressful.

Set aside time to relax both physically and mentally for at least a part of every day, no matter how busy your schedule may be.

Retain control of your own life by learning to say ‘no’ if saying ‘yes’ would commit you to what is likely to become a stressful situation.

Whenever possible, take a break now and then, as a change of routine can recharge your mental and emotional batteries and improve your resistance to stress, thereby effectively reducing your level of it.

Learn to accept sensible limitations. If something is beyond your control, accept it as gracefully as possible until the time comes when you can do something to change it for the better. Agonising and worrying about things that can’t be helped is a major cause of stress and can also be a precursor to chronic anxiety.

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BETTER QUALITY SLEEP TO EASE AND PREVENT BACK TROUBLE: SOME OTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:09 pm

While there is a direct correlation between your sleeping pattern and back pain and sciatica, how well you sleep is also likely to have a major effect on your overall health and stress levels, which in turn may also affect your back problems. Here are some extra facts about sleep that underline the importance of this often-neglected aspect of our lives:

Most of us spend up to a third of each day in bed – that’s about 29,200 hours in bed every ten years.

New research has shown that people who try to cut down on sleep are more prone to infection and irritability. In a recent study of 9,000 British adults, it was found that those who slept between six-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half hours enjoyed much better overall health than those who slept for less.

Lack of sleep can sabotage diets and knock our immune system for six: exhausted people are far more likely to pick up bugs and infections because of the way lack of sleep upsets the normal cycle of chemical and hormone release. When a representative sample of more than 300 adults aged 30 to 60 years were asked about the effect a bad night’s sleep had on them, 79 per cent of people saw a direct link between the way they had slept and how they felt the next day. A staggering 52 per cent said that they regularly experienced tiredness/lethargy, irritability, poor concentration, depression or headaches which they attributed to poor quality sleep.

Only 10 per Cent of people stated that they always had a good night’s sleep – these were the people who regularly got more than the average amount of sleep.

How much sleep do we really need? While this will vary greatly from person to person, the average amount of sleep needed each day, according to the Ushborne Book of Body Facts, is 16 to 20 hours for a new-born baby; 13 hours for a two-year-old; 10 to 11 hours for a five-year-old; 9 to 10 hours for a ten-year-old; 7 to 8 hours for an adult; and a mere 5 hours for an eighty-year-old. On the average, people sleep for just 6.7 hours before a working day and 7.1 hours before a day off.

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BETTER QUALITY SLEEP TO EASE AND PREVENT BACK TROUBLE: WHAT KIND OF BED IS BEST?

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:09 pm

Although the above seems like a simple enough question that should evoke an equally simple answer, the truth is that, as is so often the case, experts do have widely differing views. What’s more, what is a good and comfortable bed for one person is not necessarily so for the next, as what suits best does vary greatly from individual to individual. To take two extreme examples, even today many Japanese still sleep on traditional futons, thin strips of flock-filled bedding which are unrolled on the floor at bedtime, while there is a great vogue for waterbeds in many other parts of the world. The contrast between the two sleeping arrangements could hardly be greater – ranging from the sleeper being almost directly in contact with the hard floor to lolling about in the deep moving trough of a waterbed. Yet both methods have their keen proponents who would argue strongly the merits of their choice. The truth is that neither sleeping arrangement is per se the right one – the fact that both are acceptable for many people just shows that the human body can adapt to and accept a wide range of sleeping conditions.

Even in Britain, where the overwhelming majority of people favour what might be called ‘ordinary’ beds consisting of a base and mattress, there is wide variation in what people find comfortable. Experts, however, agree that to play its part in easing or preventing back pain or sciatica, your bed should meet the following criteria:

It must provide ‘good’ support for the whole body and so prevent the spine from sagging.

It must be of a height that makes it easy to get into and out of bed. The height is also of importance when it comes to making the bed or changing bedding – a low bed means there will be more bending over than with a comparatively high one.

It must be large enough to allow plenty of room for movement during the night. Naturally, if you share your bed it should then be big enough to provide adequate space for two.

Let us now look at these key points in greater detail.

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BETTER QUALITY SLEEP TO EASE AND PREVENT BACK TROUBLE

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:09 pm

How well you sleep and what kind of bed you sleep on can affect your sciatica or back pain in several important ways:

As we’ve already seen, posture affects the spine – and that also applies to the posture you adopt when you’re in bed. It stands to reason that lying for hours on end in a bed with a sagging mattress that provides poor support and forces your spine, legs and neck to adopt uncomfortable positions is simply not going to make back pain or sciatica any the better.

A good restful night’s sleep is one of Nature’s greatest healers. Equally, tossing and turning all night is a sure-fire recipe for waking up the next morning feeling worse than when you went to bed, with a stiff, aching spine and your back muscles all knotted up.

The average adult grows in the night by as much as two centimetres. During the day the spine gradually becomes more and more compressed as the cumulative effect of gravity takes its toll. At night, as we lay down and the weight of our upper body no longer presses downward, the spine is given a chance to straighten and recover. Just how much straightening out and recovery takes place during sleep will be greatly affected by how suitable your bed is.

Confirmation of the importance that their sleeping arrangements hold for back pain sufferers was evidenced by a recent survey that discovered that 93 per cent of general practitioners interviewed agreed that a good new bed can help alleviate back problems. While this survey was admittedly carried out on behalf of a group of bed manufacturers with a vested interest in promoting the sale of their products, the essential message that emerges still remains true: the right kind of bed (although not necessarily a new one) can work wonders for anyone suffering from sciatica or other back problems.

Naturally, just as important as your choice of bed is how you sleep in it. Let us look at these two separate but interlinked questions one at a time, beginning with . . .

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TIPS TO PREVENT BACK PAIN AND SCIATICA: GARDENING PITFALLS

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:08 pm

Doctors always know when spring has sprung. They start getting visits from gardeners – both young and old – who, getting back to work in the garden after the winter, have damaged their muscles.

The difficulties arise not just because of the sudden onset of activity in the cold and damp – but also because of the many opportunities that gardening offers for overstretching, bending too far for too long and lifting heavy loads.

Following these suggestions will help reduce the risk:

Before you start, stretch your muscles with a gentle warm-up.

Wear loose clothes and sturdy shoes or boots.

Choose your equipment carefully: lightweight, long-handled tools mean you don’t have to stretch arms and legs to the limit. Hover-mowers need particular care – don’t swing them around from your waist and keep as upright as possible, with the handle close to your body.

Overenthusiastic digging and weeding often cause damage .Don’t take huge spadefuls when you’re digging and keep your back as straight as you can. When weeding, kneel down as close as you

can to the bed. If you’re pulling out a deep-rooted plant, take the

strain on your arms and legs, not your back.

Some additional tips for gardeners from Dr Arthur Grayzel, senior vice-president for medical affairs of the Arthritis Foundation in America. He suggests:

Some people will feel more comfortable by not kneeling on the ground, but instead sitting on a small stool, so further reducing stress on the joints.

Use plant containers that are high off the ground – or small raised garden beds – to reduce stretching and bending.

Don’t work for long periods with a tool that you have to grasp firmly.

Divide your garden in several smaller areas and concentrate on one of these at a time to avoid overdoing things.

Don’t grip heavy loads with your fingers or arms, but carry them in your arms.

Look in your garden centre for tools specially made for people with arthritis – even if you’re not affected by this disease – as equipment designed for the arthritic will also often help prevent back strain.

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TIPS TO PREVENT BACK PAIN AND SCIATICA: GOOD POSTURE – THE KEY TO A LESS TROUBLESOME BACK

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:08 pm

Posture – that is how the various parts of your body are positioned at a given time – will greatly affect how much pressure is exerted upon your spine as well as, perhaps more importantly, how that pressure is exerted. As we’ve seen, the spine is at best a somewhat unstable structure whose design is such that it takes relatively little of the wrong kind of pressure to set off back pain. The ‘building-blocks’ that make up the spine will be at their most effective and stable in carrying the weight of the upper body when your back is relatively straight, as well as supported correctly whenever support is possible or available. Translating these general principles into specific recommendations, you’ll reduce the demands placed upon your spine by following these guidelines:

When walking, try to maintain as upright a posture as possible, keeping your shoulders reasonably far back rather than allowing them to drop forwards. Keep your head up straight – as though it were suspended from an imaginary ’sky hook’.

Also, seek to maintain an upright posture when standing still. However, if you have to stand still for any length of time, do try to move somewhat, even if it’s only a few steps, at frequent intervals. Not only will this make it easier for you to stand upright and avoid slouching, it will also help the blood circulate better to your legs and lower body.

When seated, make sure that the chair you’re using gives good support for the small of your back and also is of the correct height for you. Heavily-padded ’soft’ chairs you sink into are usually bad news for your back as is half-lying, half-sitting on a sofa or large easy chair. Once again, try to keep your spine and head as upright as possible.

Other excellent recommendations to reduce the risk of back and muscle trouble are to be found in Muscles Matter, a booklet published by DDD/Dendron Ltd, the makers of Ibuleve, from which many of these tips for members of groups especially at risk have been extracted.

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TIPS TO PREVENT BACK PAIN AND SCIATICA: GOOD POSTURE – THE KEY TO A LESS TROUBLESOME BACK

Filed under: Pain Relief-Muscle Relaxers — admin @ 12:08 pm

Posture – that is how the various parts of your body are positioned at a given time – will greatly affect how much pressure is exerted upon your spine as well as, perhaps more importantly, how that pressure is exerted. As we’ve seen, the spine is at best a somewhat unstable structure whose design is such that it takes relatively little of the wrong kind of pressure to set off back pain. The ‘building-blocks’ that make up the spine will be at their most effective and stable in carrying the weight of the upper body when your back is relatively straight, as well as supported correctly whenever support is possible or available. Translating these general principles into specific recommendations, you’ll reduce the demands placed upon your spine by following these guidelines:

When walking, try to maintain as upright a posture as possible, keeping your shoulders reasonably far back rather than allowing them to drop forwards. Keep your head up straight – as though it were suspended from an imaginary ’sky hook’.

Also, seek to maintain an upright posture when standing still. However, if you have to stand still for any length of time, do try to move somewhat, even if it’s only a few steps, at frequent intervals. Not only will this make it easier for you to stand upright and avoid slouching, it will also help the blood circulate better to your legs and lower body.

When seated, make sure that the chair you’re using gives good support for the small of your back and also is of the correct height for you. Heavily-padded ’soft’ chairs you sink into are usually bad news for your back as is half-lying, half-sitting on a sofa or large easy chair. Once again, try to keep your spine and head as upright as possible.

Other excellent recommendations to reduce the risk of back and muscle trouble are to be found in Muscles Matter, a booklet published by DDD/Dendron Ltd, the makers of Ibuleve, from which many of these tips for members of groups especially at risk have been extracted.

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