Help For Your Achilles Problem

Achilles was the legendary warrior of Homer’s, “Iliad” and mentioned in numerous works throughout the period. The myth goes that a Goddess named Thetis was being pursued by both Zeus, King of all Gods on Mount Olympus as well as Poseidon, God of the Seas. When a prophecy was revealed that Thetis would give birth to a son greater than his father, both Gods abandoned their pursuit and basically fixed her up with a nice mortal guy. She did give birth to a son and to protect her child, she held him upside down and dipped him in the River Styx and forgot to wet his heel where she was holding him. Her son, Achilles went on to become a great warrior who was impervious to arrows and other weapons, however in one battle he finally got shot in the heel with an arrow and it caused his death.

Now, you’re not likely to die from an Achilles tendon pull, however they can be painful and if you don’t slow down once you’ve pulled that tendon and give it a chance to heal, it can be an on-going pain management situation instead of being a healed injury.
One of the most common Achilles tendon injuries, Achilles Tendonitis, occurs in runners, just over 10% of injuries incurred by runners are this type of injury.

The Achilles tendon is the large tendon at the back of the ankle where the larger muscles of the calf are connected to the heel bone. Overuse is the primary cause of this type in injury and the R.I.C.E. method is one of the best treatments you can give it initially. Achilles tendon injuries typically take longer to heal then other foot, leg injuries and the reason is that the Achilles tendon has a poor blood supply and as you know that is a major component for healing.

Did you know a good portion of Achilles Tendon injuries can be avoided through proper warm up and stretching before physical activity and also, gently stretch the area as you cool down after heavy activity. If you feel pain, stop – remember that’s how your body says, “That’s enough right now!”. During your healing process, avoid using that tendon for any type of walking or movement as much as possible. And if you don’t see any lessening of pain or tenderness in a couple of days, have your primary physical look at the injury to ensure that you don’t have a partial or full rupture of the tendon which will require a little more intense treatment and therapy for working the tendon once the healing process starts.

The Internet Brought Many Advances – Including More Carpal Tunnel Cases

Along with the Internet, came bad posture, poor keyboarding techniques and the inevitable Carpal Tunnel cases. Many people are under the mistaken impression that they have to live with the pain and when you work in a job that requires constant movement of the hands over a keyboard or other repetitious movement of the hands and arms such as assembly line work (which once upon a time accounted for a huge number of carpal tunnel cases).

How Do You Know It’s Carpal Tunnel?

The condition doesn’t exactly have a calling card but it makes itself known just the same.

The earliest symptoms are numbness, tingling, dropping objects due to a problem with grasping and weakness; all of which become pain with movement of this area of the body. The disease typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often much worse at night to the point of affecting sleep. A major nerve, specifically the median nerve, travels down the arm and enters the hand through the carpal tunnel, which is located in the central part of the wrist. In people with carpal tunnel syndrome, pressure in the carpal tunnel is higher than in unaffected people, and median nerve irritation occurs. Additionally, individuals that have suffered a broken wrist in the past can be at risk for developing this syndrome.

Individuals that use computer keyboards are especially at risk, whether it’s for playing World of Warcraft, writing that long-worked-on novel or it’s part of your job to work on a computer all day; how you sit and hold your hands while doing these activities will contribute greatly to whether or not Carpal Tunnel will be part of your future.

Home Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

*Supporting the affected area with a wrist brace is a great helper for many sufferers.
*Cold therapy on the affected area several times a day will relieve the pain, a wrist/arm wrap that can be held in place is ideal.
*Explore ergonomic keyboards that give your wrist and forearms a place to rest while typing.
*If your job requires repetitious movements, ask for help in finding a way to do your position without causing additional injury.
*Stretch your hands before repetitious activities and take frequent breaks to stretch your hands and arms to help the muscles work in other directions.

Carpal Tunnel isn’t life threatening and it’s rarely an emergency, however it can be very painful and it will affect your ability to work, drive, and do any task that requires using your hands if you don’t start managing your symptoms as early as you suspect you may have developed this condition. If you don’t address Carpal Tunnel early on, the arm and hand may be damaged to the point surgery may be your only option.

If you do feel you have this disease, get it diagnosed by a medical professional and start early pain management with ice and you’ll soon have your Carpal Tunnel under control.

When Your Knee Clicks After an Injury…

Knees take a lot of abuse, even then they are padded, wrapped and care is taken not to fall on them. A good number of knee pain cases are related to simply overuse of the joint. This happens when small stresses are placed on the knee over and over and the knee isn’t allowed to or given time to recuperate. A single impact or twisting injury can cause both pain and inflammation. The good news is that nearly all knee injuries can be successfully treated and only a small percentage require surgery.

A very common knee injury is Lateral Cartilage Tear and it directly affects the lateral meniscus of the knee. If you’re curious as to exactly what the lateral meniscus is, here’s a little 101. Each of your knee joints has two crescent-shaped cartilage menisci. They lay on the inner and outer edges of the upper surface of the tibia bone otherwise known as your shin bone. This area is called your tibial plateau. These components of the leg work together as the best natural shock absorbers and keep the knee free from stress related impacts along with keeping weight distribution happening to the joints are not overloaded during heavy activity.

As a result of an injury, you can see why the ability to walk can be greatly impacted until the ligaments fully heal. Nature has seen to it that this area of the body is rather difficult to injure. There are fewer adhesive attachments to other structures in the area of the body and most of these injuries are due to unnatural twisting movements incurred during sports play or degeneration of the cartilage which usually comes with age.

Signs and Symptoms You May Have a Lateral Cartilage Injury

* Tenderness or pain around the lateral surface of the knee joint
* Swelling- usually within 24-48 hours of injury
* Pain, particularly when bending the knee
* Audible popping, cracking or clicking sounds

What Should You Do If You Suspect a Lateral Cartilage Injury?
* Contact your primary care physician
* Keep pain, swelling and inflammation at bay through the use of R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to the injured
knee. The use of cold therapy for roughly 10-15 minutes on and about 15-30 minutes off will help keep pain and swelling at

Lateral cartilage injuries aren’t the only reason your knee will click after an injury, but it is one of the most common reasons. If you suspect you’ve injured a ligament and you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, get it checked with a qualified medical professional and you’ll be back to doing your favorite things quicker than quick!

Why Do People Ignore Pain?

When you think of it, your body is an amazing machine. When you give it the right fuel (good food, plenty of good water and supplements as needed) and exercise – it will run efficiently continually repairing itself around the clock and keeping a myriad of diseases and aches and pains at bay. However, there is pain and it’s a signal. Think of pain as your body’s way of having a small person with a megaphone inside your body shouting, “Stop XYZ ACTIVITY Now!” This means over-eating, over-exertion and other forms of abuse we put our bodies through.

A common pain people commonly ignore is foot pain. You don’t have to be an athlete to get foot pain. Individuals from runners to the average working person that is on their feet all day get a very common complaint called “Bruised Heel” and also affectionately referred to as “Policeman’s Heel”.

This comes up gradually as the heel bone (calcaneus) is repeatedly pounded on. Under normal conditions the heel is protected by a pad of fat. The repeated shock of walking or running on a hard surface (like concrete) can cause the fat pad to be pushed up the side of the heel leaving less of a protective layer for the heel. The result is heel pain. And this is where you should listen to your body. The first symptom of this injury is simply: pain in your heel.

The optimum thing to do is to rest until your heel doesn’t hurt when walking. Another plus is that you can pad your shoes with a cushy, shock absorbing insole to take the place of the fat bad on your heel if you must continue in a job that requires a lot of walking or you enjoy running a form of recreation or sport. Additionally, replace your shoes if they are old, worn or otherwise lack full foot support.

Use these tips and get rid of your aching feet and always remember, listen to what your body is telling you and many times you can stave off larger health issues by catching them at their earliest beginnings.

Interesting Development in a Friend’s Shoulder Injury

Normally these articles are a little more clinical, but today I want to share something with you that recently happened to a friend of mine.

My friend is an attorney, sharp as a tack and is currently battling Parkinson’s Disease and takes a few medications to slow the progression of the disease for which there is still no cure. Unfortunately some of the medications come with unwanted side effects, one of these side effects happened to be seizures.

Several weeks ago, she was walking up the hall, looking forward to going to bed after a long day of work, kids, life and suddenly out of the blue she was hit with a small seizure that sent her to the ground and in the position she hit the hard wood floor, her left shoulder tore a ligament resulting in severe pain. I kept our communications brief during this time except for a regular, “Hello and how are you doing” type of e-mails and phone calls as I feel rest is paramount to a faster recovery for any injury of this type.

She left me a very frustrated message that she was tired of being given pain killers and more pain killers which made her feel horrible along with not killing the pain and she felt she was being goaded into having shoulder surgery rather than exploring other options but she couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone as to what her other options might be. She had a long time relationship with her physician and didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but she felt it was time she should shop around for another road to travel to end the nearly constant and agonizing level of pain she was feeling. And this is a woman that has been through natural childbirth and gone through the rigors of chemotherapy and beaten ovarian cancer and she shuns painkillers of any type – she has a very high threshold for pain. She told me to just leave a message on her voice mail as it hurt too much to sit at her computer and type an email or talk on the phone.

I called her back and I told her it wasn’t my usual way to toss my two cents in on anyone’s health issues because it is impossible to know the full scope of someone’s condition, no matter how good of a friend they are, but I told her I had to ask – had she tried cold therapy on her shoulder and I directed her to look at the shoulder wraps and make her own decision on whether or not it would work.

I didn’t hear a thing for a week and out of the blue I got an email, not just a short one either and it was very funny to boot.
Here it is in part:

“…Ok, so why is it that these brilliant surgeons did not mention anything about cold therapy? I figured what the heck I’ll give it a try and it actually did very well!

When one of the nurses called me to see how I was doing and such, I said, “Please just relay the message I won’t be paying the bill”.
She asked if I wanted to come in or have one of the doctors call me. and I said, “No, just relay the message that I will not be paying the bill”.
Complete and absolute dead silence.

I said “hello”? and she kind of sputtered and said, “Well okay, but is there any particular reason?”
I said,”Yes of course there is a particular reason…all they have done is cause pain, then give me drugs that I don’t really want but was forced to try because of the level of pain!”

Still nothing really comprehensible was coming from her end, but I could tell she put me on speaker phone so I told her that I had consulted a faith healer and they told me to try cold therapy and it worked! Oh how I wish I was able to do that in person, I can’t begin to imagine what the expressions were around the office! So, I continued, since the doctors had caused pain I was going to send my money to the faith healer that actually did something for me.

My daughter walked in during some of this conversation and after a little while I noticed recognition on her face and she started to grin…I gave her that look that says “if you cannot keep from laughing out loud get out now”…she actually had to leave. The nurse said she would relay the message but that the doctor would probably want to speak with me anyway.

I said,”Just tell them there is no need to call, that my mind was made up”.

She stuttered a little more and then said,”Okay, well bye”.

You know I couldn’t let it go, I said,”Wait, wait…how about if I just split the payment between those worthless doctors and my personal faith healer?”
Dead silence. Phone hangs up.

I called them back but one nurse said she was sorry there was no one else there I could talk to about it. I swear I finally had to tell them the truth that yes I really was still coming in for my visit, I really am nearly pain free and yes I am paying that confarned doctor bill for my previous treatments of this shoulder up until now; and you could pretty much hear a collective audible sigh!

So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for pointing me in a direction for making it feel better and for the chance to harass the medical profession.

I just had to share that one, once again it proves, explore your options – your doctor is very knowledgeable but still only human just like you. If you’re not making progress after several weeks – start exploring other roads of recovery – everyone’s body responds differently and what works fabulous for one person may not work as well for you – but you never know until you try.