Spine function test for back pain treatment

Spine function test for back pain treatment

With most people suffering from back pain at some point of time in their lives, researchers have now developed a digital test to measure the functioning of the spine.

With a digital spine analysis (DSA), a muscular evaluation of the spine, India’s Qi Spine Clinic generated a spine function graph that led to customised treatment and non-surgical therapy for many spine specialists, Qi claimed.

“It is really simple. The diabetes doctor wants to know your blood sugar levels. The cardiologist wants to know your blood pressure (BP) and your angiogram,” said Nithij Arenja, promoter, Qi Spine Clinic.

“What can be measured, can be managed. We generate a Spine Function Graph which provides a vital link to the treatment of your spine function,” Nithij added.

The spine is the least measured and most miraculous engineering marvel in our body, Nithij noted.

“From bankers to housewives, young college students to sportsmen, Qi has seen every conceivable patient category,” said Garima Anandani, head of spine consultants at Qi.

“The problems are all different, and hence the therapy is different for each person too,” Anandani added.

Traditional scanning methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-rays fail to identify a clear cause for back pain in 85 percent of the cases, a statement from the clinic added.

Source: Business standard

Dialysis patients’ anxiety and depression linked to physical impairments

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With the rate of chronic kidney disease on the rise among older Americans, researchers seeking to improve patients’ quality of life studied a group of adults undergoing hemodialysis and found their higher rates of depression and anxiety could be associated with their impaired physical exercise capability and reduced daily physical activity, according a new study published online by the Journal of Renal Nutrition.

The researchers studied 72 relatively healthy maintenance hemodialysis patients and compared them to 39 healthy adults who were not on dialysis. They found significantly higher rates of anxiety and depression among the dialysis patients, than among the adults who were not on dialysis. They also found the dialysis patients suffering from depression and anxiety had the greatest impairments in physical exercise performance and daily physical activity.

“Adults undergoing dialysis often have less daily physical activities than other adults, but little was known about what, if any, effect this reduced activity had on their mental state,” said Joel D. Kopple, MD, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) lead researcher. “Our study found an association between reduced daily physical activities and depression and anxiety. Also, the capacity to perform physical exercise was diminished in these patients. These findings provide a strong rationale for studying whether increased daily physical activity can reduce depression and anxiety among adults undergoing dialysis.”

Each person enrolled in the study took walks, climbed stairs and engaged in other physical activities so that researchers could determine their physical abilities. The researchers gauged their depression and anxiety using standardized tests and found 43% of the dialysis patients had anxiety and 33% suffered from depression. In comparison, only 2.5% of the adults who were not on dialysis had anxiety and only 5% of them suffered from depression.

Approximately one in 10 Americans has some form of chronic kidney disease, and the incidence of chronic kidney disease among people ages 65 and older more than doubled between 2000 and 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hemodialysis is a life-preserving treatment for hundreds of thousands of Americans with kidney failure. It is a medical procedure to remove fluid and waste products from the blood and to correct electrolyte imbalances. This is accomplished using a machine and a dialyzer, which is sometimes described as an “artificial kidney.”

“Research is important to improve the quality of life of patients undergoing dialysis,” said Dr. Kopple. “With the growing population of people undergoing dialysis, this research is growing in importance.”

Source: medical xpress

Throbbing headache?? Try these natural cures for relief!



You will be surprised at the number of things that can give you a headache in life. Annoying bosses, marital fights, cranky children, traffic or even the cell-phone yapping of a co-passenger is enough to make your head burst.

Physiologically speaking, headaches are caused by constricting of blood vessels or tension created in the muscles of the back and neck. They are generally a body response to stress but can happen due to congestion or infection in the sinuses.

When it comes to headaches, you don’t always need to rush for an aspirin. Simple, natural remedies can be surprisingly effective to alleviate you from the pain. We list a few for you to try.

Massage with essential oils
A good head massage is an age old Indian remedy that never fails to cure a headache. Rub your temples in a firm, circular motion. Dab a drop of thyme or rosemary essential oil and apply it into your temples.

You can also try putting pressure on the web of skin between the base of your thumb and your forefinger. Acupressure experts believe that this fleshy area is linked to the part of the brain where headaches originate. Do this for a couple of minutes till the pain resolves.

Hot water soak
Try soaking your feet in warm water! Sounds like a cure for tired soles? Yes, but it works on headaches too. A hot water soak draws blood to the feet and eases the pressure built up by blood vessels in your head. Add some mustard to the soak for added benefits.

Cold compress
A lot of people swear by the benefits of cold compress. Put a couple of ice cubes in a washcloth and press it against your forehead. Cold constricts blood vessels, and on shrinkage they stop pressing on sensitive nerves. Since headache pain sometimes stems from nerves in back of your neck, moving the compress to the muscles at the base of your skull is also effective.

Drink up
If you are having headaches try drinking a tall glass of water. A headache is often an indication that your body is dehydrated. If you aren’t a water baby, try having some ginger juice. The herb works as an anti-inflammatory, thereby relieving headache. Rosemary and Chamomile also help relieve stress and reduce headaches. Another effective remedy is trying strong black tea with a few bruised whole cloves added. Given that tea contains caffeine and cloves have anti-inflammatory properties, this brew might indeed be a great remedy to ease a throbbing headache.

Don’t starve yourself. Long hours without food can cause a drop in blood sugar causing headaches. Also, eating foods with high Vitamin E can help with headaches by thinning blood and easing out circulation. Almonds, avocado and wheatgerm are great bets for unblocking tension.

Magnesium supplements
Doctors believe people suffering from chronic headaches should keep magnesium in their medicine chest. 400 milligrams of it is enough to prevent migraines and these supplements are easily available at drug stores. If you want to route the natural way, try foods like pumpkin seeds, mackerel, dried figs, and dark chocolate which are high in magnesium instead of supplements.

Source: the med guru


Low back pain single largest factor behind work disability

A new study has revealed that low back pain causes more work disability around the globe than any other condition.

The researchers have found that the problem will get worse as the world population growth gathers pace and the proportion of elderly rises and the governments and health services need to take the issue far more seriously.

The scientists, who studied data from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study, found that out of all 291 conditions, low back pain came top of the league table in terms of years lost to disability and ranked as the greatest contributor to disability in 12 of the 21 world regions, and the greatest contributor to overall burden in Western Europe and Australasia.

It was also revealed that the relevant factors deemed to be linked to low back pain were jobs involving lifting, forceful movement, awkward positions and vibration.

The researchers said that in 2010 there were just short of 22 million disability adjusted life years (DALY) worldwide caused by workplace related low back pain, which amounted to more than a third of all DALYs linked to occupational risk factors.

The findings show that agricultural sector workers were almost four times as likely to develop low back pain disability as any other group of workers.

The study was published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

source: business standard


Neck pain after sleep? Here is a home remedy that actually works!

If it is one of those mornings when you have woken up with a sprain in your neck, then this article is just right for you. Usually caused due to sleeping in an awkward position or on a pillow that is just not right for you, a sudden stiff neck can be quite painful and uncomfortable. But now there is no need to simply grin and bear the pain, here is an easy home remedy that can make the pain vanish in a jiffy.

Take care of the pain as soon as possible!

When you wake up with a stiff neck, avoid moving your neck immediately – make sure you hold it in a position that you feel the least pain. Moving it as soon as you wake up can make matters worse.

A better solution is to take a hot shower. While showering, make sure you direct the hot or warm water onto the part of your neck that hurts. As the heat permeates your skin, slowly try to move your neck in a circular motion. Start with bending your neck downwards and then slowly rotating it to the left and right – make sure you don’t jerk your neck around. The warm water soothes your aching muscles giving you some relief and moving your head around helps stretch out the muscles beating some of the pain.

Get rid of the pain:

This part of the tip is best done when you can get some shut eye. Roll up a thick towel into a tubular structure. It should ideally be high enough to support your neck and long enough so that the entire width of your neck is supported. Now, lay down on your bed and use the towel roll as your pillow. Place it under your neck, such that neither your head nor body is touching the towel. Using this as your pillow, drift off into slumber. The rolled up towel acts as a very effective and gentle massaging tool that helps relieve the pain in your neck. The best part about this remedy is that you can sleep in any position you like, except on your tummy. Do this for one night and watch the pain vanish.

Source: Health India


Glucosamine supplement does not help knee pain or deterioration

The use of a glucosamine supplement orally does not help in decreasing knee pain or lessen cartilage deterioration among people with chronic knee pain, says a new study.

Glucosamine is the second most commonly-used natural product to treat joint pain and arthritis. Previous reports have tallied global sales of the supplement at more than $2 billion. Chondroitin is another popular product.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial by researchers at the University of Arizona is published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

The researchers say its the first study to investigate whether a glucosamine supplement helps with knee pain, prevents the worsening of cartilage damage or improves bone marrow lesions – which are thought to be the source of pain in those with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis affects an estimated three million people, which amounts to roughly one in 10 Canadians, according to the Arthritis Society.

Dr. C. Kent Kwoh enrolled 201 people with mild to moderate pain in one or both knees in his study. The participants, aged 35 to 65, were recruited from physician offices and the University of Pittsburgh Arthritis Registry.

They were split into two groups:

Those treated daily with 1500 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride in a 16-oz bottle of diet lemonade.

Those treated with a placebo.

During a 24-week period, the participants were followed up with phone calls every four weeks. At the end of that period, they all underwent an MRI to assess the cartilage damage in their knees.

Researchers assessed both groups on four things:

  • knee pain.
  • degradation of cartilage.
  • bone marrow lesions.
  • the excretion of CTX-11 in urine.

Researchers discovered that there was no difference in any of those characteristics between the group that took the glucosamine and the group that had the placebo.

The urinary excretion of C-telopeptdes of type II collagen (CTX-11) is a predictor of cartilage destruction. Researchers found that there was no decrease in that either.

“Our study found no evidence that drinking a glucosamine supplement reduced knee cartilage damage, relieved pain, or improved function in individuals with chronic knee pain,” concluded Dr. Kwoh in his study.

The study was funded by The National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness and The Coca-Cola Company, which provided the lemonade.

Source: CBC news

5 Natural Back Pain Remedies That Work

Lower-back problems are the number two reason people visit a doctor, second only to the common cold and flu. If you’re prone to pain, you may already be treating it with OTC medications or trying to prevent it by strengthening your core and back. Consider these pill-free treatments another weapon in your arsenal.

People who took a weekly 75-minute class for 12 weeks found that they had diminished lower-back pain symptoms and less need for pain meds than those who didn’t, according to a 2011 study in Archives of Internal Medicine. Can’t stomach downward dog? Researchers found similar results among those who took a 50-minute weekly intensive stretching class instead.

Osteopathic Manual Therapy (OMT)
Six sessions of OMT—during which a doctor of osteopathy stretches and uses gentle pressure on muscles and joints—led to substantial improvement in about half of people with lower-back pain after 12 weeks, according to a University of North Texas Health Sciences Center study published last March. Nearly two-thirds reported moderate improvement.

Comfrey Root
Using an ointment that contains this plant-based extract reduced lower-back pain by 95%, according to a 2009 study conducted by Merck and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Look for comfrey-root ointment in health food stores or online. Just don’t use it for more than 10 days at a time—it can be toxic.

It may relieve lower-back pain more effectively than meds or physical therapy, according to a 2009 study done at Group Health Cooperative for Health Studies in Seattle and Northern California Kaiser Permanente in Oakland.

A third of people who got one weekly for 10 weeks reported significant relief from their lower-back pain, compared with 4% who didn’t go for rubdowns, according to a 2011 study in The Annals of Internal Medicine.

Source: health news


How to give yourself a neck and shoulder massage

Most people suffer from tension in their necks and shoulders at some time in their lives, which is hardly surprising if you consider the job the neck has to do! Poor posture, bad working positions, and carrying heavy bags all conspire to make the problem worse. However, you can ease the pain with a remedy literally at your fingertips.

This simple self-massage exercise gets right to the core of the tension and eases it gently and effortlessly; you can try it almost anywhere and at any time. Try to focus on the areas that feel most tense, and work slowly, deeply, and methodically.

Use the photos provided to help you learn how to perform self massage. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

1: Tilt your head back, and with the palms and fingers of each hand, squeeze the flesh at the base of your neck on either side of {1}your spine. Then, slowly roll your head forwards, still squeezing your skin. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then return your head to an upright position. The amount of flesh you can squeeze depends on your state of relaxation.

2: Stroke your hands up and down the back of your neck to warm the area. Then use the fingers of both your hands to make deep, circular pressures all around the neck area, making sure that you do not apply pressure to the spine itself.

3: Place your left hand on your right shoulder and squeeze the muscle. Hold the squeeze and slowly rotate your shoulder backwards. A grinding noise indicates that muscles are tense and should be freed up. Repeat with the right hand on the left shoulder.

4: Pummel {2} your right shoulder with your left hand to bring fresh blood to the area. Support your left elbow with your right hand for comfort, and keep your wrist loose and floppy as you swiftly strike the flesh. Repeat on your left shoulder.

5: With your fingers, stroke firmly from the centre of your chest outwards, applying deep pressure between your ribs. {3}When your fingers reach the outer edges of your ribcage, return to the centre and repeat the movement. Feel for tense spot and concentrate on these as you work over the chest.

Source: mail Online


New ‘painless’ treatment to repair teeth

A novel “regenerative” technique to repair infected teeth – claimed to be painless and cheaper than the traditional root canal treatment – has been developed by doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, says IANS.

Termed as “SealBio”, the technique uses body’s own stem cells and eliminates the need for cumbersome root canal fillings.

Developed by doctors Naseem Shah and Ajay Logani at the Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, it has obtained an Australian patent, while an application with the US Patents office is under process.

Root canal treatment demands rigorous training, clinical skills and several cumbersome sittings with dentist. It involves thorough cleaning and shaping followed by filling of the entire root canal with one of several sealer cements.

The AIIMS technique is claimed to be the first that dispenses with the need for root canal filling. Instead of filling the root canal with artificial materials that may pose bio-compatibility problems, it makes use of regenerative potential of stem cells and growth factors available at the root of the teeth. Stem cells act as a repair system for the body capable of replenishing adult tissues.

In case of this technique, the stem cells at the root of the decayed teeth are stimulated to induce regeneration and deposition of a natural tissue barrier (seal) to fill up the root canal in just one sitting.

In other words, a “biological seal” is achieved at the root canal rather than attempting to seal it with artificial filling materials with all its drawbacks, the doctors say. The root canal is restored to health by gradual build up of tissue by stem cells over a period, extending from a few weeks to some months.

The AIIMS doctors say that this treatment simplifies the whole procedure with minimal use of equipment, less time and cost of treatment.

“Shah has been able to successfully carry out this new procedure in dozens of patients and the 4-5 years follow up results have been very encouraging,” Seyed Hasnain, a professor at the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, told IANS on phone. “In my opinion this is a path breaking innovation, a game changer,” Hasnain said.

He said that the success achieved by AIIMS doctors could trigger research in regenerative techniques in other clinical situations in dental science.

Source: The Free Press

Big belly raises death risk in heart attack survivors

http://topnews.in/files/big-belly101.jpgHigh waist circumference, severe obesity has been linked with the greatest risk of death in heart attack survivors, according to a research.

Professor Tabassome Simon said that the impact of obesity on long term mortality and cardiovascular complications in the general population has been the object of recent debate and much emphasis has also been given to the deleterious role of abdominal obesity.

Simon said that at the time of a heart attack, early mortality tends to be lower in obese patients, a phenomenon well known in critical care situations and described as the `obesity paradox`.

At 5 years, absolute mortality was highest in the leanest patients (BMI less than 22 kg /m2) and lowest in patients with BMI between 25 and 35 kg /m2 (i.e. overweight and mild obesity). Patients with severe obesity (BMI = 35 kg/m2) had a markedly increased mortality after 3 years. Severe abdominal obesity (waist circumference more than 100 cm in women and more than 115 cm in men) was also associated with increased long-term mortality.

Simon said that as waist circumference is strongly linked to BMI, the researchers determined the upper quartile of waist circumference within each BMI category and used both variables together to determine their respective role in association with long-term mortality.

She added that they found that both lean patients (BMI less than 22 kg/m2) and very obese patients (BMI =35 kg/m2) had an increased risk of death at 5 years: + 41 percent and + 65 percent, respectively. Being in the upper quartile of waist circumference was also an indicator of increased mortality at 5 years (+ 44 percent).