Cosmetic Surgery Recovery: The Importance of Following All Directions

Did you just recently schedule an appointment to undergo cosmetic surgery?  Regardless of what type of procedure you are having, recovery time is important.  In fact, your cosmetic surgeon should provide you with a set of post-surgery directions for you to follow.  Do you know just how important it is that you follow those directions?

Simply just knowing that it is important to follow all post-surgery directions isn’t enough for many individuals.  Many are often left wondering what the worst is that could happen.  In all honesty, if you really did know there is a good chance that you won’t miss a step, no matter how large or small, in your recovery process.

As for the dangers or risks that are associated with not following all post-surgery directions that are given to you, the greatest is the risk of complications.  If you undergo liposuction or have excess skin removed from your body, cutting will be involved.  Of course, you will be closed back up, but did you know that wounds are subject to infection?  Many are.  That is why you should proceed with caution.  Skin infections that result from improper care aren’t only painful, but they can cause serious health complications, including the early onset of death.

Another reason why it is important for you to follow the directions given to you by your cosmetic surgeon for the recovery process is because of results.  There are some cosmetic procedures, like liposuction and gastric bypass surgery, where certain steps must be taken by you.  For liposuction, excess fat, around five to ten pounds, will be removed from your problem spots.  To keep your lean look, you must be able to eat healthy and start a regular exercise plan.  If you do not abide by your doctor’s instructions to do so, you may gain the weight and excess fat back in as little as a few months.  This, essentially, means that you wasted your money on surgery in the first place.

As previously stated, your cosmetic surgeon should provide you with a detailed list of directions to follow after your surgery.  In fact, this information should be discussed ahead of time, during your consultation appointment.  If you have yet to have your consultation appointment, you may be curious as to what the recovery process will be like for you.  Typically, it will depend on what specific procedure you will undergo; however, there are some common steps that can and should be taken.

Over-the-counter pain medicines can be used for the slight pain and discomfort you are likely to experience from cosmetic surgery.  Be sure to inquire as to which medications are the best.  An ice pack will likely need to be applied to help reduce the swelling.  You may also be required to change your bandages on a daily basis or keep them clean and dry until your next visit.  You will also likely face restrictions.  For body work, like liposuction, breast enlargements and reductions, you may be required to avoid heavy lifting and exercising for at least two to three weeks.

As you can see, it is important that you follow any after surgery instructions provided to you by your cosmetic surgeon.  If you have any questions or concerns about the recovery process, please ask and before your procedure begins.  In fact, make sure that you have any lingering questions answered at your consultation appointment.

Methods for Treating Common Back Pain

If your back pain does not require medical attention, i.e. if you feel you over exerted the muscles you can perform a few actions at home to, perhaps relieve your pain. The common treatments include bed rest, pain remedies, cold or hot pads, massage, relax, and so on.

Sometimes when we pull the muscles pain relievers can help reduce the pain. Common over-the-counter meds include ibuprofen, aspirin, or meds with acetaminophen included. You should avoid taking ibuprofen and aspirin combined to treat common back pain. In addition, if you have asthma, allergies, or polyps, leave ibuprofen and aspirin alone.

Cold packs work well, yet if you have conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or related symptoms you should avoid using cold packs. Cold packs can reduce back pain otherwise if you allow the packs to remain on your back long enough to reduce muscle spasms, pain, or inflammation. Leave the cold pack on the area where your pain is for at least twenty minutes.

Later you can apply heating pads to the area. Avoid placing hot packs over areas where scar tissue is present. In addition, if you have poor circulation, avoid placing hot packs in this area as well. Leave the hot packs on your back for at least twenty minutes as well. Do not use heating pads, since experts believe that the pads are unsafe. You can take a hot, steamy bath or shower, or purchase hydrocollators and place it on the area. You can find hydrocollators at pharmacy, or areas where medical equipment, meds, etc, are sold.

If you muscles are tight, you may benefit from a massage. If someone you know is willing to give you a massage, ask him or her to rub the area gently. Otherwise, you may find local massage therapists in your area, which offer affordable treatment. If the massage increases your pain, ask the person to stop. You may need medical treatment. You should avoid massages if you have fallen and injured your back, or if you were recently in an accident. Seek medical help first.

You can also relax the back if your muscles are tense. Relaxation promotes wellness, since the muscles can rest from over-exertion.

To avoid complicating common back pains you should move around at least 20 minutes each day. Throughout the day we sit, lie on the back, stand, walk, etc, which all applies gravity pressure to the spine. We can learn proper sitting strategies to avoid complicating common back pain.

When sitting you can roll a towel up and situate it at the lower back and on your chair. This will provide the lumbar support. If you have, certain conditions however avoid using such support. Conditions such as spine stenosis or spondylolisthesis can become irritated if you use back supports in such a way.

At what time you sit, try to use a chair that has armrests so that you can use the rests to lower your self in position. Avoid placing the legs directly “in front of you,” and do not bend when you lift your self from the chair. Avoid twisting when rising from a seated position as well.

To minimize back pain you should avoid sitting for long hours. Walk around in intervals if you have a job that requires you to sit for long hours. At what time you sit, try to position your knees so that they are somewhat above the hips.

Common back stress can be reduced, yet if you try remedies at home or at work and the remedies fail, you may need to seek medical advice. 

 

Effective Ways to Handle Shin Splints during Soccer Training

There are many different types of injuries and conditions that can result from the strenuous physical activity experienced during soccer training. One of the most common issues is that of shin splints. People who experience shin splints experience pain in the area of the leg that starts at the knee and extends down to the top of the foot area. The pain is often immense and is described as a "burning" pain. The muscles that are in this area of the leg, as well as the tendons, become damaged or overworked and cause the pain that is experienced. In this article, I will describe effective ways to handle shin splints during soccer training.

If you are participating in drills and other activities that are offered during soccer training and start to experience pain in the area of your shins, you should cease all activity and rest immediately. While many coaches and players on the team may encourage you to continue participating in the soccer training, do not do this. This can result in more severe damage than has already occurred. If you stop at the onset of pain, you are likely to recover more quickly and continue engaging in soccer training. If you continue practice after the pain begins, you may not be able to continue in the soccer training activities.

If you have access to an ice pack and an ace bandage, it is important to implement the use of these items on the shins as soon as you are able to. Simply take off the shin guard that you were using during soccer training exercises and place the ice pack on the area that is the most painful. You should then take the ace bandage and wrap it around the part of the leg where the ice pack is located. You should allow the bandage to remain on the leg for up to thirty minutes to see if it helps to soothe the pain that you are experiencing.

While the ice pack is on your leg, you should find a nearby bench to rest on. You may choose to lie down on your back and elevate your leg that is experiencing pain. You could take a soccer ball or a cone to place underneath your leg. This will ensure that it is properly elevated. This is a great way to relieve any tension that the leg that is hurting may otherwise be subjected to.

Once you are sure that you have shin splints, you should allow your leg to rest for a few days before trying to participate in soccer training exercises. This will allow the body time to properly repair itself. Once you are ready to start soccer training again, it is extremely important that you practice warm up stretches and exercises in order to prepare your muscles for the physical activity. If you feel your leg hurting during the warm up exercises, this indicates that it may require additional rest. It is imperative that you pay special attention to the clues that your body gives you, or you could experience a more serious issue such as muscle strain or even a sprain in the area.

 

Proper Treatment for Sports Injuries

While most people will go see a doctor after any type of sports injury is incurred, there are some that do not require a doctor to treat, and still others need to be treated in the meantime until you can get to a doctor to help the recovery process get started.  Quick treatment often means the difference between a 3-month recovery and a 12-month recovery so it is very important to start treating the injury right away.

The most common injuries that are suffered are acute injuries.  The best way to treat these is to use R.I.C.E. initially then determine if seeing a doctor is necessary.  R.I.C.E. is an acronym that is short for Rest, Ice Therapy, Compression, and Elevation.  The purpose of each step is different with rest being essential to allow the healing to begin while helping to prevent further injury to the area from occurring.  Ice Terapy is vital because it can help stop swelling in the injured area, which can help when it comes to diagnosing the injury.  Compression is important because it helps to reduce swelling even further as well as provides support for the injury.  Elevation is necessary because it reduces the flow of blood to the injured area and allows the force of gravity to pull blood away, thus reducing bruising, swelling and pain.

Proper treatment using R.I.C.E. is to first take a piece of cloth such as a town and wrap it around the injury this helps to protect the skin from irritation.  Next, you want to apply an ice pack or cold compress directly over the injured area.  Using an elastic bandage or even a support bandage to hold the ice in place carefully wrap the injured area snuggly, be careful not to wrap too tightly you are not trying to cut off the blood supply, just hold the ice in place.  You should apply ice for approximately 15 minutes every three hours during the day to continue treating. 

In the event that you cannot decide if seeing a doctor is necessary, use these rules of thumb to assist you.

If you see any bone, muscle, cartilage or ligaments then an emergency trip to the doctor is absolutely necessary. 
If the pain from the injured area seems to be spreading to other areas of the body.
If you have a very large amount of swelling in the injured area that following R.I.C.E. is not helping.
If you cannot move the injured area at all.
If you cannot feel the injured area, or if it tingles or feels very weak and fragile.
If your injury has not improved after three weeks of rest.
If your injured area has developed a rash, fever, pus, or if it feels hot to the touch.
Finally, if you have any doubts about being able to treat the injury yourself then seeing a doctor is as essential as if one of the previous conditions mentioned was visible.  You should always seek help from a doctor in the even that you are unsure how to treat the injury.  You are not bugging your doctor; rather you are ensuring that you are treated safely and quickly.

If ever in doubt, seeing your doctor is advisable to receive the best possible care.  If your doctor is unavailable, and the injury is serious, go to the emergency room and see medical help there.  Never leave a serious injury without seeking medical help as the condition can worsen causing the need for serious treatment even potentially surgery to become necessary.

IceWraps.net has a wide variety of Ice Therapy Products to treat all kinds of Sports Injuries. Visit IceWraps.net for more details!

Top 5 Reasons To Use Cold Therapy

How do you know if you should be using cold therapy?

For the purpose of this article, I will be focusing on Cold Therapy…we’ll get to hot therapy in a future article.
The first thing I would always recommend is that you check with your physician to be sure you’re using the proper therapy for your condition. Using the inappropriate hot versus cold therapy can actually cause even further tissue damage.

Let me start with some basic reasons why you may want to use cold therapy and then I’ll briefly go into some of the reasons why ice therapy can be helpful.

Top 5 Reasons for Cold Therapy

  1. Pain Relief
  2. Reduction of Swelling
  3. Reduction of Blood Loss
  4. Reduction of Muscle Spasms
  5. Reduction of Cell Death

Pain relief is probably the most common use of Ice Therapy. There are several different theories as to why cold therapy is so effective for relieving pain. Like blood flow, cold seems to also slow down the electrical impulses going to your brain telling you you’re in pain. It also seems to raise the body’s threshold to tolerate pain possibly by the release of extra endorphins (the body’s natural pain reliever).

The reduction in swelling and blood loss is pretty much controlled by the same process. Cold causes the blood vessels to contract (narrow). Since excessive blood flow to the injured area causes swelling, just like a cut or a bloody nose, narrowing of the blood vessels themselves will reduce the amount of blood getting to the area of concern, thus a reduction in swelling and or bleeding.

When talking about muscle spasms, generally you think of heat, however cold can also be very effective in reducing spasms! In a number of cases, pain is actually the cause of a muscle spasm so by reducing the pain, you also reduce the muscle spasm.

As for the cell death, when you have an acute injury, cold therapy can reduce the rate of cell death by reducing the need for oxygen to the affected area by slowing down the metabolic rate.

Obviously, this is a very brief explanation and does not encompass all of the factors involved, hopefully it’s given you a little better understanding of what cold therapy can be used for and why it can be helpful.

Top 5 Reasons To Use Heat Therapy

How do you know if you should use heat therapy?

The first thing I would always recommend is that you check with your physician to be sure you’re using the proper therapy for your condition. Using the inappropriate hot versus cold therapy can actually cause even further tissue damage.

As promised in the Top 5 Reasons to Use Cold Therapy…I wanted to be sure to give you the counterpart to cold therapy…heat therapy!
Let me start with some basic reason why you may want to use heat therapy and then I’ll go briefly into some of the reasons why heat therapy can be helpful.

Top 5 Reasons for Heat Therapy

1. Pain Relief (not a new injury with swelling!)

2. Increase in muscle flexibility

3. Increase in blood flow

4. Reduction of Muscle Spasms

5. Faster healing

Pain relief is probably the most common use of Heat Therapy. You do need to use caution here…an acute injury (an injury occurring less the 14 days ago with possible swelling) should not be treated with heat generally. Of course there are acceptations like when alternating cold followed by heat after a surgery, etc). However, when an injury is considered chronic (long term) such as rheumatoid arthritis or stiff muscles, heat can be very beneficial. It is suggested that heat can block the pain transmitters in the body as well.

Heat can also increase the flexibility in your muscles by causing them to relax and decrease stiffness. The same principal also applies to muscle spasms in that the muscle relaxation heat provides can relax those tightening muscles.

Increasing blood flow and faster healing are inter-related. Heat causes the blood vessels to relax, therefore blood flow increases. This intern allows more nutrients, proteins and oxygen to reach the injured area giving the chronically injured area more of what it needs to promote healing.

Just as in the Top 5 Reasons to Use Cold Therapy, this is a very brief explanation and does not encompass all of the factors involved. Again, when in doubt, please seek medical advice from a licensed physician.

Patella Tendinopathy and Injuries

The basic function of the patella tendon is to transfer force of the quadriceps muscles; which causes the extension of the knee. The quadricepses are the muscles that are most active during the running and kicking of the ball in football.

Patella Tendinopathy is degeneration of the tendon (tendonsis). A breakdown of the tendon is characterized by focal lesions which are small and do not have an inflammatory response. Degeneration is when the tendon isn’t processing its normal tensile strength and could rupture if you continue with sporting activities. Patella Tendinopathy is also associated with aging. Some contributing factors are; joint stiffness, muscle tightness, muscle weakness, poor pelvic stability, inappropriate or excessive training, inadequate warm up and inappropriate footwear.

Some of the signs and symptoms of patella Tendinopathy are coming on gradually: pain in the tendon, worsened by activity, focal areas are tender, tendon is very stiff first thing in the morning, and the tendon may appear thickened in comparison to an unaffected area, the pain will be in the front of the knee, just below the kneecap. It commonly occurs from too much activity, repetitive or prolonged strain on the tendon. For less severe cases, you may only notice an ache or stiffness in your knee that worsens with rest following any activity that requires strong or repetitive contractions of the quadriceps muscles. Some of these activities include hopping, squatting, jumping, kicking, or climbing stairs.

The treatment for Patella Tendinopathy varies from case to case but includes ice for analgesia (do not put directly on the skin), rest from any sporting activities for at least three months, eccentric muscle work; referring to a muscle which is lengthening while contracting. In persistent cases, they will recommend an injection of Aprotinin. If the condition has not gotten better within a six-month period, your doctor may discuss surgery with you. Use surgery only as a last resort because even that is not going to be 100% effective. Treatment may comprise of soft tissue massage, ultrasound, stretches, use of crutches, joint mobilization, exercises, and education. Rehabilitation will be necessary after surgery and may take many months to accomplish.

There are rules to prevent Patella Tendinopathy so follow these: the intensity, frequency, and duration of training have to be carefully monitored with only gradual progression. Any sudden increases should be avoided. Flexibility and muscle strength has to be maintained with regular strengthening sessions. You have to wear the correct footwear and make sure that the surface is appropriate with the sport you are practicing.

If you begin having aches and pains in the knee area as described above, please make sure you visit your doctor and have some testing done. The sooner you are diagnosed and start treatment or rehabilitation the quicker you will be able to heal and resume normal activity.

Achilles tendon and Footwear

Achilles tendon is a tendon in the back of the leg, also known as calcaneal tendon or tendo calcaneus. The tendon is located in the area of the ankle, behind it. This tendon is the thickest and certainly the strongest tendon in your body. It measures approximately five point nine (5.9) inches long, beginning near the middle of your calf. The most common Achilles tendon injuries are an Achilles tendon rupture or Achilles tendonitis; inflammation of the tendon.
Believe it or not, the best way to avoid an Achilles tendon injury is to have the correct footwear. Footwear and the Achilles tendon are actually related in the following three ways: you have to correctly fit footwear that can prevent injuries, can help you recover from injuries and can help prevent injuries from coming back. If you have the wrong footwear, unfortunately, it can be a factor in having Achilles tendon issues and injury. They can also delay your recovery and it will increase the chance of reoccurrence.
When buying footwear you must match it to the person’s individual requirements. This includes the firmness, cushioning, height, heel height, and correct arch. If you end up with an injury to Achilles tendon, it likely means that you need to change your footwear.
Some people can get away with inexpensive and tiny fixes to their footwear; using arch support inserts or placing a piece of material under his heel to add cushioning. Other people can receive help by just wearing better shoes and/or sports shoes. There are people who have unique feet structure and they require custom-built shoe inserts also known as orthotics. Orthotics and specialized shoes could be very costly so if you have to, triple check that that is what you need so you are not overspending.
For a handful of unfortunate people, a brace might be required. The brace will be able to immobilize your foot after an Achilles tendon injury; one example can be the rupture of Achilles tendon. Braces that are to be used can be wrap devices that can provide a small amount of support helping in the immobilizing devices that are used to block flexing or prevent pointing of and then to further damage of the Achilles tendon.
Here are a couple of the guidelines to follow when finding sports shoes or regular everyday shoes to help prevent an Achilles tendon injury:
1. Heel cushioning and height: please make sure it is not too little but also not too much as either situation is doing any good for any tendon. You should have a slight cushion or elevation in the heel.
2. Not too little: you don’t want cushioning which is so soft that your heel will sink lower at the heel than the front part of the foot; it overly strains the tendon.
3. Flexible sole at the forefoot: the midsoles should be firm, but also be able to bend comfortably at each stride.
If you have Achilles tendon injuries, please consult your doctor and get it taken care of! If you don’t have one and wish to prevent one from happening, follow the guidelines above and get the proper shoes and don’t overdue the exercise and sports.

How Cell Phones Can Affect Your Fingers

Cell phones are an indispensible tool in today’s society. A lot of us feel naked without our phones in plain sight. However, there are some health concerns associated with these tiny pieces of technology that you might not think of.

We have all heard things about the way our phones affect our bodies. However, there is a casualty of everyday cell phone use that we tend to overlook – our fingers. We can spend hours with a phone in our grasp, whether we are talking or texting, and not think twice about what it is doing to our hands. Some of the most common conditions caused by too much cell phone use are trigger finger and “text thumbs.”

The Mayo Clinic defines trigger finger as “a condition in which one of your fingers or thumb catches in a bent position. Your finger or thumb may straighten with a snap – like a trigger being pulled and released.” This sometimes-painful condition is caused by overuse and overdevelopment of the flexor tendons, or the tendons used to curl our fingers. Holding your cell phone all day can cause this. The tendons then develop scar tissue that builds up and catches on the tendon sheath, making it difficult to straighten out the affected fingers. Symptoms often begin with a swelling sensation and a popping or snapping when you bend and relax your fingers. More acute cases can cause the fingers to lock so firmly that you have to use your opposite hand to straighten them. These cases are usually accompanied by pain that makes it difficult to perform everyday tasks. When left untreated, this condition can cause permanent damage to the tendons and tendon sheaths. It is important to see a doctor if you begin having these symptoms. Typically, treatment begins with rest and discontinuation of the activity that caused the symptoms in the first place. Stretches are usually enough to cure most cases, but sometimes surgery can be necessary for extreme situations.

Another common injury associated with cell phones is called texting tenosynovitis, or “text thumb”. As the name implies, this is associated with texting for extended periods of time. Texting causes to use our thumbs in an unnatural way; they were meant to help us grip and grasp things, not type. Considering that some people can type up to 40 words per minute on their Blackberry, this puts our thumbs at risk for injury. Text thumb is really a technologically enhanced case of repetitive strain injury. The nerves get irritated and inflamed, and the thumbs begin to hurt. Some dedicated texters can even develop de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which causes pain along the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb. Treatment for this condition is similar to that of any overuse condition – rest, ice packs, anti-inflammatories, and in some severe cases, cortisone injections.

The best treatment for both of these conditions, however, is to prevent them in the first place. Try to make sure and stretch your hands throughout the day. Don’t always use the same hand to hold your phone – switch between the two throughout the day. If you are texting and your thumbs begin to get sore, stop texting and call instead. And don’t fall for the various thumb splints on the market that claim to alleviate texting thumb, because they often make the problem worse. While we may not be able to use our phones less, we can lessen the impact our phones have on our fingers.

Need Instant Relief Anywhere? Try Mueller Kold Instant Cold Packs!

How many times have you needed an ice pack, gone to the freezer, and found that there weren’t any there? You can’t always wait for a traditional ice pack to chill…so what do you do? In the past, the answer was to grab some ice if you were at home. But ice melts, and, even if you could deal with that, what if you’re not at home? Well now there is a solution — Mueller Kold Instant Cold Packs. These handy little instant ice packs cool within seconds instead of hours to provide you with relief anywhere.

Mueller Kold Instant Cold Packs are simple and easy to use. You just squeeze them firmly and give them a good shake. After shaking for only 30 seconds, these chemical cold packs are ready to provide soothing relief. This is possible because they contain water, urea and ammonium chloride. The chemical reaction between these substances produces the quick cooling results. One warning…these instant ice packs get cold, and I MEAN COLD! They are the coldest packs that we sell. For this reason, it is important to always place a towel or some other barrier between the cold pack and the skin. After you are done applying the pack, just dispose of it.

Of course, the biggest benefit of these packs is that they don’t need to be pre-chilled. You can keep them in your medicine cabinet, your car, or anywhere you may need them. Imagine the next time you go to the park with your little ones…They get to playing too roughly, and the inevitable injury occurs…The difference is that this time, you don’t need to go scavenging for ice or rush home immediately. You just pull out one of these little instant ice packs, squeeze, shake, covers, and apply to the boo-boo. Crisis averted.

Another great application for these instant cold packs is sporting events. Since these little packs get so cold so quickly, they are the ideal instant ice packs for injuries. Twisted ankles, pulled shoulders, and banged up knees are no match for the cooling power of these fantastic little packs. And at only $19.99 for 16 of them, it’s easy on your wallet to keep stocked up. Whether it be little league, company softball, or professional teams, you can’t go wrong when you have these available. And these are just some of the possible uses for these great instant ice packs.

These wonderful packs measure 9” by 6” and stay cold for up to two hours. This is plenty of time, since you really should not apply ice for more than half an hour at most anyway. No matter if it’s for your kids, for your sports team, for the office, or just for your home personal use, they are great to have on hand. Why not stock up today?