Battling Infertility with Hope

Eccentric Strengthening and Treatment of Achilles Tendonitis

The achilles tendon plays a foundational role in the structure of the leg. As such, this tendon is subjected to a lot of strain. Over time, especially for athletes, repeated strain to the tendon can cause it to break down. This breakdown is known as tendonitis. In order to stay active and avoid pain, it is necessary to treat pain in your tendon, and this is where eccentric strengthening can play a key role. 

RICE

When your tendon first starts to act up, you will need to act quickly and appropriately in order to avoid further injury, which can lead to long-term problems with your tendon. The acronym to remember here is RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Resting for a couple of days, weeks, or any length of time specified by a medical professional may put your participation in sports on hold, but it is better to rest immediately than to cause further injury, which could interfere with your ability to participate in sports for years to come. Thus, rest is the first key to dealing with tendon pain. The rest of the acronym—ice, compression, and elevation—help to deal with pain management and to reduce swelling. However, while taking these steps will limit damage to the tendon and speed recovery, they do nothing to strengthen the tendon; in other words, they do nothing to prevent future injury. 

Eccentric Strengthening

To prevent future injuries, you need to make your tendon strong enough to withstand the stresses placed on it. This is where a physical therapy program is key. While there are many exercises that can help to strengthen a tendon, studies have shown that eccentric strengthening shows some promise in reducing the likelihood of future injuries. What is eccentric strengthening? When you raise your heel, your calf muscles and achilles tendon contract. When you lower your heel, especially when you lower your heel below the plane on which your toes rest, you lengthen the tendon. Eccentric strengthening has to do with lengthening the tendon while it is under weight. For example, you might use your good leg to rise up on to your toes, then use your injured leg to lower your heel back to the ground. If you are on stairs, you can put your toes on a stair and lower your heel beyond the lip of the stairs. 

While the exercise described above sounds easy enough, it is easy to overload the tendon and cause damage, so especially in the early stages of recovery, you should work with a physical therapist, such as one from Advanced Physical Therapy, to make sure you don’t further injure your tendon. However, when done correctly, eccentric strengthening can not only help you return to your regular activities but also help you avoid future injuries. 

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How To Maintain Your Ultrasound Machines

If you run a medical business and need to be sure that your imaging equipment and ultrasounds are taken care of, there are a few ways to maintain them that you should keep in mind. By maintaining your ultrasound equipment, you will avoid repairs that will be expensive and will be in a position to give better medical service to your patients. These three tips below will teach you all about caring for your ultrasound CPU, maintaining your transducers and more.

#1: Take care of your CPU by upgrading your systems and keeping up with the hardware

Any time you want your ultrasound machine to always operate at its best, you will need to be sure that the CPU is consistently updated. Always check for software updates, since the CPU is essentially the brain of your machine. Software updates will let you get the bugs out and keep the ultrasound machine working the way that it should. Don’t hesitate to hire engineers that can also maintain the hardware parts of the CPU itself preemptively, instead of allowing these parts to wear down and give the entire system big problems.

#2: Maintain the ultrasound transducer

Your ultrasound transducer is one of the most important parts of the ultrasound machine. The transducer is a handheld part that will allow you to inspect the patient’s body part that you are focusing on. For instance, the transducer allows a doctor to examine a pregnant woman’s belly in order to find details about the baby. You need to first make sure that you are always careful when handling the transducer, so that you avoid problems with mishandling. Always inspect the transducer to be sure that there are no dents or cracks. Examine the lens to be sure that it is not swelling or falling apart.

#3: Handle some frequent cleaning and inspection

You can get high performance out of your ultrasound by making sure that it is always well-cleaned and inspected. Make sure that you are inspecting your ultrasound each and every day and wiping down the cables and transducers. You should also seek preventative maintenance by an ultrasound inspection company that can assist you.

These three tips will help you get the best service out of your ultrasound machines, which is critically important for your medical practice. If you want further help from a professional, get in touch a company that will be able to keep your machines–like the Sonoscape A6V–running properly.

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A Bloody Mess: 3 Signs You May Be Anemic

Being anemic – defined as having lower than 13.5 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter for men, or lower than 12 grams per deciliter for women – happens to most people at least once during their lifetime (women more often than men), and most don’t really notice it. However, anemia can become chronic and worsen, which can cause you major health problems such as lethargy, headaches, and fainting if left untreated for too long – but without going and getting your blood checked, how do you know if you may be anemic? If you think you may be anemic and want to know how your body can signal to you that you are, then here are a couple signs you may be anemic.

You Nails Are Pale and Spooned

The appearance and health of your nails are really great signifiers of your overall health, so when they don’t look quite right, you should probably start wondering. In the case of anemia, your nails will often develop little spoon-shaped divots, which look like they could hold liquid inside of them. Along with these divots, your nails (especially the half moons at the base of your nails) might also be much paler than usual, or might stay pale for a minute or two after pressing on them (as opposed to going back to their normal color after a few seconds).

Your Hair Is Falling Out

Anemia puts a lot of stress on your body and encourages it to go into survival mode, which means it’s going to put all of its energy into keeping you alive and functioning, and very little energy towards relatively unimportant functions – such as keeping your hair on your head. Iron deficiencies are known to cause hair loss, and run-of-the-mill anemia is caused by a severe iron deficiency. Losing a bit of hair every day (especially in the shower) is completely normal, but if you’re losing handful over handful, it’s a good sign you may be anemic.

You Can’t Sleep

A bad night here and there generally isn’t anything to worry about, but when the bad nights start stacking on top of each other without an end in sight, it’s a pretty good sign that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Even though anemia causes your body be massively fatigued, the anxiety and heart palpitations that also accompany the anemia can make it impossible to have a night of restful sleep.

Remember

You don’t have to have all these symptoms in order to have anemia, and only a blood test can tell you for certain – but if you’re having these symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about testing your blood.

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Narrow Urethra: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatments

A urethral stricture is a condition in which a man has a narrowing in his urethra. The narrowing can cause some uncomfortable symptoms, but it is something that can be fixed. If you’re worried that you have a urethral stricture, here are some signs, symptoms, and treatment options that you should be aware of.

Risk Factors

Having a urethral stricture at birth is extremely uncommon. A majority of them are developed over time due to scar tissue and inflammation from a disease or injury. Here are some conditions that can increase your risk of developing one:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  • Pelvic injury
  • Urethritis
  • Using catheters

Symptoms

Some men might spend years with a urethral stricture and never notice, while others have mild to severe symptoms. Symptoms of a urethral stricture include:

  • Discharge from the penis
  • Bloody semen
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic pain
  • Swelling of the penis

Diagnostics

A urologist can perform tests to find out if you have a urethral stricture. There are different types of tests that can be done, so you might get one of them or a combination of several. Tests include:

  • Urinalysis
  • Gonorrhea and Chlamydia testing
  • Cystoscopy
  • Urinary flow rate test
  • Urine culture
  • Retrograde urethrogram
  • Post-void residual (PVR) volume

A post-void residual volume test is a test that shows how much urine is leftover in the bladder after urinating. This test is great for finding out if you have a urethral stricture because it can diagnose both the stricture and benign prostatic hyperplasia, which can cause the stricture. The retrograde urethrogram test is done via x-ray. The technician injects a contrast dye into the urethra and takes x-rays of the urethra and bladder to see if there is a narrowing. This test is slightly uncomfortable, but it is quick and effective.

Treatment

A urethral stricture doesn’t need to be treated unless it is causing problems; however, treating it before problems occur may be in your best interest. There are many treatment options available. Your urologist will decide which ones you’re eligible for. These include:

  • Catheterization
  • Dilation
  • Urethroplasty
  • Endoscopic urethrotomy
  • Implanted stent/ permanent catheter

These treatments can include using a catheter at home, receiving a permanent catheter, having the urethra dilated, or even vaporizing extra tissue with a laser. These treatments should only cause a mild discomfort and will allow you to feel better in no time.

A urethral stricture can be extremely uncomfortable when left untreated. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, see urologists as soon as possible so you can receive the tests and treatments needed.

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Sore Back? The Answer Might Lie In Your Hamstrings

Pain in your back can make sleeping, sitting and standing a challenge, which can result in you feeling tired, uncomfortable and irritable throughout the day. It’s smart to seek the care of a back pain expert if you’ve noticed either occasional or chronic back pain. There’s a chance, however, that the problem with your back actually results from tight hamstrings – the large muscles found at the back of your upper legs. Anyone can get tight hamstrings, but this issue is often common among those who are athletic. Before you schedule a visit with your local chiropractor, it can be worthwhile to work on loosening up your hamstrings. Here’s how you can do it.

Standing Stretch

Stretching your hamstrings while in the standing position is arguably the simplest way to loosen up these tight muscles. While there are multiple variations of the standing hamstring stretch, the simplest way to execute this stretch is to stand in an upright position with your legs together and allow your upper body to bend forward with your arms hanging toward the ground. You don’t have to be able to touch your toes, but you should gently reach as close to your toes as you’re able. When you feel gentle pressure in your hamstrings, hold this position for about 30 seconds.  

Tennis Ball Exercise

Although it’s not technically a stretch, you can use a tennis ball to help loosen your tight hamstring muscles. Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you and place a tennis ball on the floor under either of your hamstrings. Apply a little downward pressure to your leg and move the leg around until the tennis ball is positioned under a sore spot. You can then roll your leg gently to allow the tennis ball to massage the muscle tightness. Repeat the exercise on the other leg to keep your hamstrings in balance.

Towel Stretch

A bathroom towel can play a pivotal role in helping you stretch your hamstrings. Lie on your back, lift one leg in the air and wrap a towel behind the hamstring. Hold the ends of the towel in your hand and pull them gently toward you until you feel a stretch. A more advanced version of this stretch is to place the towel around your foot, but if you’re a beginner, having the towel wrapped around your hamstring is an ideal approach. Repeat the stretch on the other side after you’ve held the first leg for 30 seconds.

For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from http://www.wrightpt.com.

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4 Ways To Improve The Safety Of An Elderly Parent Who Lives Alone

If you’re parent lives alone, is elderly, and does not yet want to move into a retirement home, then you should make sure that their home and person is as safe as possible. There are several things you can do that will accomplish this. Below are a few suggestions to help get you started.

Switch Out Old Smoke Alarms For New Ones That Flash Light

Many elderly people have trouble hearing. If they happen to leave their hearing aid out, or if it malfunctions, then they won’t hear the smoke alarm. The solution to this potential problem is to install a secondary smoke alarm that is designed for the deaf. These alarms flash a blinding light to indicate that they are going off. The light is much stronger than the small flash that a noise operated alarm might have.

Handles For Tub and Shower

A slip and fall in the bathroom can be deadly, so you want to make sure that your parent has something to hold on to. It’s best to have a contractor come in and install thick stainless steel handles in the wall of the bathroom, right next to the tub or shower. You should not rely on a towel rack, as these are not designed to hold enough weight.

The stainless steel handles will be drilled right into the studs and secured with heavy-duty bolts. You can bring your parent to a local home improvement store so that they can pick out the design (some are chrome, some are brushed steel and have a duller appearance, and some are powder coated a particular color).

Pill Dispenser With Alarm

If they are taking medication, then this one is essential. The container can be programmed to beep each day at a particular time and remind your parent that they are to take their meds. The best type of container will have individual segments for am and pm, so that they don’t have to try and differentiate morning and evening pills on their own. If you are unable to visit once a week and help set up the pills, you can have a home health care worker assist with this.

PERS (Personal Emergency Response System)

These have come a long way from the “I’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up” commercials that used to saturate the TV. In fact, they are now even being designed to monitor vitals such as heart rate, blood pressure, and other essentials. Your parent won’t even have to press a button should a serious situation arise which would cause them to become incapacitated, the machine monitors all of that on its own. Also, now that young people are walking around with Fitbits and other electronic monitoring devices, there is less of a stigma associated with these items, which should make it easy to convince them to wear one. Talk to a home health care provider, like Argus Home Health Care, for more help.

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Dealing With Acne: 4 Common Blunders You’re Probably Committing

Acne is a problem that many teenagers and adults suffer with. While there are many home remedies for treating acne, many people go about it the wrong way. Unfortunately, attempting to treat acne with many over-the-counter treatments or homemade remedies doesn’t work—and even if it does, you might be left with unsightly scarring. Luckily, if you take the right precautions you can avoid many of the mistakes that people commonly make when dealing with their acne.

So what should you avoid? Here are four tips:

1. Washing Your Face Too Frequently

Often times, people think that acne is caused by dirty skin. While oily or dirty skin can certainly contribute to acne, it can’t (and shouldn’t) be solved by constantly washing your face. When you over-wash your face, you cause your skin to increase oil production. The added oil on your skin can actually make your acne worse. So stick to washing your face only once or twice per day—nothing more.

2. Using Harsh Products To Exfoliate

If you plan to exfoliate your face, you should be very careful when choosing the product. Any product that contains crushed shells or another crushed product can be very bad for your skin. This is because these products often have tiny sharp edges. These edges can actually cut your skin, which allows bacteria and dirt to enter. As you might have guessed, that can cause your acne to become worse.

3. Popping Zits Wrong

It can be incredibly satisfying to pop a particularly annoying pimple. Unfortunately, without the proper precautions it can cause scarring. Even worse, it can spread bacteria and cause even more acne. In general, you shouldn’t pop zits. However, if you must do it, make sure you do it right.

When popping a pimple, it is important that you clean your face and any tools you plan to use first. If you are going to use a tool, sanitize it first with alcohol. If you are going to use your hands, make sure you wash them first. When using a tool, place it over the pimple firmly and slowly move it over the pimple to extrude the contents inside of it. If you are going to use your hands, make sure you place gauze over the pimple and use two fingers to slowly press the pimple from the sides. Only do this once, as attempting to pop the pimple multiple times will only cause inflammation, which can also lead to scarring.

4. Skipping Medical Attention

An occasional pimple is something most people with deal with. However, if you constantly have acne that is painful or irritating, you should seek medical attention. A quick visit with a dermatologist can dramatically improve your acne as these professionals can offer prescription strength medications or creams.

Dealing with acne can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips, and a dermatologist, on your side you will have smooth, clear skin in no time. For more information, talk to a local company like Advanced Dermatology Care​.

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