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All Posts in Category: Blog

What Do You Know About Nerve Pain ?

People experience nerve pain in different ways. Sometimes it’s a stabbing pain in the middle of the night, or a chronic prickling, tingling, or burning they feel all day. Uncontrolled nerve pain can be debilitating and hard to bear, but with treatment, it can often be adequately controlled.

When you take your hand close to a flame from a campfire, the nerves send out a pain signal to the brain and you immediately withdraw your hand before you burn yourself. Pain is actually supposed to be a warning. If you have nerve damage, the system isn’t working, so damaged nerves send false signals to the brain and you feel real pain, even without any cause. Damaged nerves may also send no signals and you feel no pain even when you are injured.

Nerve Pain Triggers

Certain body positions or certain activities like standing in a queue or walking suddenly becomes painful. Nerve damage also makes the body over sensitive, this means you may experience pain even when a bed sheet is draped lightly around your body.

Loss of feeling

Nerve damage at times may cause loss of sensations and a feeling of numbness in the fingertips,  affecting the use of your hands. Knitting, typing and tying shoes may become difficult. People with nerve damage usually say that their sense of touch is dulled and they feel as if they are wearing gloves all the time.

Effects of pain and sleep

Nerve pain usually is seen to get worse at night. With the touch of sheets or with the pressure of lying down, the pain gets aggravated and the person gets terribly uncomfortable. The patient loses sleep because of the nerve pain, this should be mentioned to a doctor. With modified lifestyle and medicines this state can change.

Loss of balance

Nerve damage not only causes numbness in the hands and feet but also causes muscle weakness. This results in the loss of balance when walking. Such a condition also may lead to falls. The person has to use devices like braces, canes or walking stick for assistance. Some physical and occupational therapy can help.

Unseen Injuries

The numbness caused by nerve damage will prevent the person from feeling any pain. The person may get injured without realizing it. It is best to check yourself for injuries from time to time, especially in the feet.

Nerve pain getting severe

Nerve pain when left untreated will worsen over time. It first starts in the nerves farthest from the brain and spinal cord, like in the feet and hands. Then it moves up along the legs and arms. Usually when treatment is given for the condition that is causing the nerve damage, then the nerve pain stops and the damage gets even reversed.

What causes nerve pain?

Conditions like diabetes, shingles and cancer can cause injury to the nerves leading to pain. Sometimes nerve pain occurs without any reason. It is best to detect and treat underlying cause of nerve pain like uncontrolled diabetes and treat it appropriately.

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A Guide to Lung Cancer

A major cause of cancer deaths in the recent times is attributed to lung cancer. This is so in both men and women. It was with the introduction of mechanical cigarette rollers, that an increase in lung cancer was observed. So it is clear that smoking is the leading cause for lung cancer.  Dangerous gases, pollution and other causes have a smaller role when compared to smoking.

What does smoking do?

Each cigarette is packed with deadly cancer causing chemicals. The human airways are lined with tiny hairs called cilia. The toxins, bacteria and viruses that try to enter the air passage is swept away by the cilia and expelled. Smoking actually inhibits the cilia from carrying out its function, this lets the cancer causing harmful substance into the air passage and finally the lungs thus causing cancer.

Symptoms of lung cancer

When lung cancer begins it does not usually cause any symptoms or warning signs. But as the cancer gets worse more and more symptoms appear. The symptoms can be anything from a persistent cough to chest pain during breathing, wheezing or shortness of breath, blood in the phlegm and constant fatigue.

How is it diagnosed?

Complaint of a long lasting cough or wheezing will make your doctor examine further by asking for a chest X-ray or advanced imaging test depending on the seriousness of the case. A sputum test also is advised along with few specialised blood tests. Based on the result of these tests the doctor will be able to find out if you are suffering from cancer. To confirm the same there may be a need to do a detailed biopsy.

What are the types of lung cancer?

There are mainly two type of lung cancer, the small-cell lung cancer and the non-small cell lung cancer. The non-cell lung cancer is the one that progresses slowly and which is more common. The small-cell lung cancer is more aggressive and spreads quickly to other parts of the body at a very early stage itself. The small-cell lung cancer is mainly caused due to cigarette smoking and mostly does not affect non-smokers.

What is the early treatment?

For any type of cancer, early detection gives some hope for cure. Similarly when doctors find non-small-cell lung cancer at an early stage that is before it spreads from one lung to the other they suggest an operation to contain the cancer.  A part of the lung or depending on the severity the entire lung itself is removed. A course of radiation or chemotherapy is given to destroy any remaining cancer cells. In the case of small-cell lung cancer, surgery does not help because it would have already spread to the other lung and body organs.

What are the other risks?

Apart from smoking, pollution and dangerous gases like radon some other causes can also lead to lung cancer. They include a family history of lung cancer or drinking water with high arsenic content in it. Lung cancer is seen to affect women more than men and also many times non-smokers.

How to prevent lung cancer?

We can conclude that avoiding smoking or inhaling smoke from other people can to a great extent help prevent lung cancer. It is always better to quit smoking before any signs of cancer appears. Try avoiding pollution and exposure to dangerous gases during daily travel and at workplace which can also protect you from cancer.

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Arachnoiditis and Pain Management

A pain disorder caused by the inflammation of the arachnoid, a membrane that surrounds and protects the nerves of the spinal cord is known as arachnoiditis. It is characterised by severe pain with a stinging and burning sensation along with neurological problems.

Symptoms of arachnoiditis

There seems to be no consistent symptoms, but many people suffer from pain in the lower back and legs. The main symptom is pain but the disease many lead to other symptoms also like tingling, numbness or weakness in the legs.

There may be sensations like insects crawling on the skin or water tickling down the body. It many also cause shooting pain like an electric shock, muscle cramps, spasms, bladder, bowel and sexual problems.

As the disease progresses the symptoms become severe and even remain permanent. The disease may even make people unable to work due to significant disability and constant pain.

Causes of arachnoiditis

When the spinal nerves stick to one another and malfunction due to scar tissue formation as a result of inflammation then it causes arachnoiditis.

The arachnoid can get inflamed due to some sort of irritation due to direct injury to the spine, some chemicals used in radiography, some steroid medications, infections like fungal meningitis, tuberculosis which affect the spine and chronic compression of spinal nerves due to degenerative disease or narrowing of spinal column.

It can also be a result of an invasive surgery of the spinal column.

Diagnosis for arachnoiditis

Tests such as CAT scan or MRI is used for diagnosis. Another test called electromyogram (EMG) can assess the severity of the damage to the nerve roots. Myelograms with radiographic contrast are currently used for pinpointing the disease.

What are the available treatments?

Arachnoiditis is not exactly curable. The treatment options include management of pain like in other chronic pain conditions. This helps in relieving the pain and improving symptoms that impair the daily activities. Doctors recommend a mix of pain management techniques, physiotherapy, exercise and psychotherapy. Surgery outcomes are poor for arachnoiditis and at best provide only temporary relief. Other options are sterioid injections and electrical stimulation.

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Taking care of our teeth is a lifelong process.  Certain habits we develop or specific food preferences can cause havoc on our teeth and its wellbeing. Even though it looks like our teeth can take everything there is still a threshold beyond which there can be trouble causing chipping, discolouration, sensitiveness and pain in our teeth. It is awareness about things that can harm our teeth that will guide us towards healthy teeth and a gleaming smile.

Here are a few things we should stop doing to keep our teeth in good shape:

Chewing on ice

Unlike ice-creams, ice is natural and sugar-free or you may think so. You may feel that it is just harmless. On the contrary munching on frozen ice cubes can very often result in a chip or crack in your teeth.

If it goes further and irritates the soft tissue inside the tooth, this will give rise to toothaches. The result is hot foods and cold drinks may trigger sharp pain and nagging toothache. So, whenever you feel like chomping on some ice-cubes, just chew on some sugarless gum instead.

Without guard

Lot of times a young person engaging in a game or sports meet with unexpected injuries on the field and it can be something to do with their dental health. The norm is to use a tooth guard whenever you play games like football, hockey or any other contact sport.

Without a mouth guard, you can be the victim of a painful dental injury including teeth getting chipped or even knocked off completely.

Grinding teeth (Cruxism)

Many people have the habit of grinding their teeth even when they are not angry. Grinding teeth can result in wearing down of the teeth. The habit can happen when one is asleep and due to some stress and sleeping habits. It is then quite hard to control. Avoiding hard foods during the daytime to reduce the damage and wearing a mouth guard (splint )at night is advisable.


Taking cough drops

Cough drops are sold through medical stores, but simply because of that, they are not meant to be safe for your teeth. Most of these are loaded with sugar. Make sure to brush your teeth after having one. Sugar from the candy will react with a plaque in your teeth and coats your teeth. The bacteria in the plaque then convert sugar to acid that eats away your tooth enamel causing cavities.

Gummy candies

Any sugary treat promotes teeth decay and especially a hard-boiled candy. Especially the gummy variety sticks to the teeth, keeping the sugar and resulting in acid formation with plaque.

Drinking Soda

Sodas have up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Sodas also contain phosphoric acid and citric acids, which destroy your teeth. Diet sodas skip the sugar but produce more acid from the artificial sweeteners added in them.

Opening things with teeth

The habit of opening things with your teeth is really harmful to your teeth. It causes your teeth to chip and crack. Instead, use a bottle opener or a scissor to open things.

Fruit juices

Though fruit juices are supposed to be loaded with vitamins and antioxidants they come loaded with sugar too. They may be equally harmful as the soda, so look for fresh juice without sugar.

Constant snacking

Snacking is a habit that produces less saliva than your normal meal. So, while snacking the bits and pieces in your teeth are just left behind if there is less saliva to wash it off. Avoid habitual snacking and stick to low sugar and starch free snacks.

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Today people all over the world have become aware and are in the know about the harms of smoking. The drive is on to make people quit smoking. Though it may look simple like giving up a habit with some grit, it is rather a difficult habit to get over.

Here are a few tips to help quit smoking.

Sip water and eat small

When you develop a liking for sipping water through a straw it imitates the action of sucking on a cigarette and helps slowly give up on smoking. The action also releases dopamine, a brain chemical that helps perk up your mood.

You can also try eating small meals during the day, that will help a person overcome the urge to smoke. You can choose healthy, lean food that prevents weight gain.

Make a note

Develop a habit of noting down the changes you feel when you start avoiding the urge to smoke. The changes may include – a feeling of control, better savings, improvement in body odour, food tasting better and a feeling of energy. When there is an urge to smoke, take a look at your note and it will change your mindset.

Brush your teeth

One of the negatives of smoking is bad breath. You can start cleaning your teeth after every meal or as often as you can and enjoy your fresh and clean teeth and breath. This will prevent you from going for a cigarette.

Avoid alcohol

You must have developed a habit of sipping on your drink and smoking together. Alcohol also breaks down self-control.  So avoiding alcohol can help you quit smoking too.

Find a no-smoking zone

When you do have an urge to smoke, prefer going to a place like a movie theatre, a library or a store where smoking is strictly prohibited. This will weane you away from smoking.

Remember you the reason to quit

It helps to always remind you of the idea that made you quit smoking. Better keep the reminder in places where you frequent like your office desk, your bathroom mirror, your kitchen backsplash etc. Some people keep photos of their loved ones pinned alongside the reason, and this prevents them from going for a smoke.

Be active

An everyday exercise is a powerful option for distracting your cravings. When you are active then your body sends out certain chemicals that help swing the mood and ease your stress. Walking is a simple and effective exercise for this.

Option for your mouth

Put something in your mouth like sugar-free chewing gum, hard candy or a helathy snack to prevent your urge to smoke. Smoking habit is the urge to put something in your mouth, and you can satisfy this with the above things.

Avoid bad moods

All sorts of negative emotions like stress, anger and frustration are reasons for people to get back to smoking. Bad moods do happen to everyone and smoking is not the only option to distract yourself. Get together with your friends or do something you enjoy, like reading a book rather than going for aaa cigarette.

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