Other Medical Issues

4 Mindful Habits To Reduce Anxiety And Depression

“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” — Jon Kabat Zinn.

Source:anxiety.org

We all have worries about the small and big things of life that we cannot escape. For some of the unfortunate, it is growing up homeless, and good thing there are agencies such as this that help make it easier for the homeless child. Unable to control these worries leads to anxiety and stress that affects our mental health.

With the high availability of counseling and therapy, every second person who suffers from anxiety prefer going for a Talk Therapy, Counselling or pharmacotherapy. We pay less heed to how we can contribute to reducing the worries.

How can we help ourselves?

Psychologists believe that most of our worries and griefs lie either in the past or is related to the future. Being mindful is being fully present in the ‘here and now’ and experience without any judgment.Have you ever tried doing this?

Exploring the mindful ways of reducing depression and anxiety

Source:healthline.com

There are different mindful exercises that can be done to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. While some are regulated by breathing, others are just by using all the sensory channels to be aware. Let us discuss the ways mindfulness can help us have a healthy mind.

 

  • Mindful Breathing – Mindful exercise should be initiated with breathing. You can count your breaths. Slow breathing by counting 5 and exhale by counting 7. This can be done at any time of the day for as long you want. Notice how your chest rises and falls with each inhale and exhale and feel the changes in yourself as you breathe. Focus on your breathing and nothing else around.
  • The STOP method – This is an acronym for a step-by-step mindfulness practice.
  1. S (Stop) – Stop yourself whenever you feel you are worrying too much. Be aware of your thoughts and know when to draw the line.
  2. T (Take a break) – Take out some time for yourself where you can do or think about things that make you happy. It is a time-out from sadness and worries.
  3. O (Observe) – Observe the small things that we often overlook when our mind is preoccupied with negative thoughts. Observe yourself as you do the everyday works and notice how you feel as you do them.
  4. P (Proceed) – Do not hold yourself back with the worries. Focus on what you have and bring your attention on what you are doing ‘now’.
  • Musical Mindfulness – Choose your favorite music (preferably slow ones) and play them at a moderate volume while you just sit back and relax. Listen to the music with all your attention and let your mind wander for a while. It has a soothing effect and lets us forget our worries. Practice it as often you want for 15-20 minutes and notice how your mood changes after that.
  • Mindful Appreciation – We are often so busy worrying about the bigger things that we often fail to be thankful for the small things we have. For example, have you ever thanked your postman who brings you important mails everyday? Or have you ever thanked the man at the coffee bar who is always ready for serving you? Noticing these small things around and appreciating them help in seeing the goodness around.

The 7 steps to happiness

  1. Think positive.
  2. Smile as often as you can.
  3. Listen to others patiently.
  4. Judge less and accept more.
  5. Never complain.
  6. Be thankful.
  7. Give love and respect to others.
Source:parents.com

Mindfulness is not a remedy – it is an assurance that we can give ourselves and prevent any external force from de-motivating us. It is the re-invention of our hidden strengths and is the way to let the light into our lives.

So start training your mind to be able to see the good in everything and establish a connection with the present.…

Continue Reading

Other Medical Issues

Role of Parents In Helping Their Teenage Children Cope With Scoliosis

 

Source: spineuniverse.com

Being diagnosed with scoliosis, a disease which affects the spinal-cord and can have lasting effects, is a scary ordeal for anyone. If your child, or adolescent, suffers from scoliosis, it’s important for you to handle the situation with care, and be completely supportive. As a parent, you should read-up on the disease and familiarize yourself with its symptoms, treatments, side-effects and severity. There are many important decisions you’ll have to make regarding your child’s health, so don’t be afraid to ask around for advice before deciding what to do.…

Continue Reading

Other Medical Issues

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Scoliosis

A large number of cases of scoliosis, a spinal-disease which affects around 3 percent of the population, are mild and cause no significant harm. However, in cases where the spinal-curve is bent dangerously, the situation can worsen significantly over time. This can lead to numerous health problems.

The most troublesome part of scoliosis is the alarming rate at which it damages the spine. More often than not, treatments carried out by doctors struggle to prevent the disease from escalating.  As the spinal curve becomes more prominent, the patient’s symptoms become worse. In extreme cases, the patient can even be subject to an early death. Here are some of the long-term effects which scoliosis patients have to face.…

Continue Reading

Other Medical Issues

What Are The Different Treatment Options For Scoliosis

The spinal curvature caused by scoliosis causes a number of problems for the patient suffering from the disease. While a large majority of scoliosis cases are minor, patients which suffer from a more advanced form of the disease may need to take extreme measures. Over the years, people have adopted different approaches towards treating the illness and its symptoms. Such methods involve medication, surgery, and even natural methods. If you or someone you know is suffering from scoliosis, then it’s best to be familiar with the different treatment options available and their possible side-effects, before making an informed decision. Here are some of the most commonly used treatments.

https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/scoliosis/bracing-treatment-idiopathic-scoliosis

 

Bracing

Source: gooa.las.ac.cn

Scoliosis is a disease which expands rapidly. The illness is quick to damage the spine, and the spinal curvature can continue to increase at an alarming rate. Scoliosis curves can rarely be corrected except by surgery, which is a daunting option for some. However, bracing has proven to stop the progression of the curvature.   Bracing is the invasive coating of the spinal cord, which holds the spine in a fixed position. In this treatment, corrective forces are used to apply pressure on the outer part of the curve, as well as to lessen load on the inner curve. This can prevent the patient’s condition from worsening, albeit the brace may make life uncomfortable for the person. Some victims find it difficult to sleep with the brace, and further experience some restrictions in their mobility.

 

Corrective Exercises

Research has shown that some advanced exercise techniques, such as certain forms of yoga, can improve the condition of scoliosis patients. Basic exercises, such as stretching techniques, act as temporarily pain-relievers for people suffering from the disease. However, these exercises don’t provide long-term relief. Fortunately, there are advanced exercises which aim to correct the interaction between the brain and spinal curve, prompting the curve to assume its proper shape. This can be accomplished through a series of poses and exercises which govern the patient’s body’s response to certain stimuli, which ‘trains’ the spine to grow properly. It’s best to consult an expert, and take advice from your physician, before attempting such exercises. This is because certain exercises could further degenerate the spine, and thus a professional opinion is necessary.

 

Spinal Injections

Source: spineuniverse.com

Spinal injections are a temporary treatment for scoliosis patients. The disease tends to pressurize the victim’s nerves, which causes the patient pain and sometimes even numbness. To counter this, people suffering from the disease can opt for steroid injections to provide temporarily relief. Local anaesthesia can also be administered to reduce the pain. However, the comfort offered by these injections is not long-term, and the effects will wear off after a couple of months.

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00638

 

Surgery

Source: ort.cuhk.edu.hk

The last resort and most extreme method for treating scoliosis is surgery. The reason surgery is put off until no other options remain is simply because it is a high-risk treatment. If the surgery isn’t successful, patients can suffer nerve-damage, chronic pain and infection. Sometimes, the victim may even face permanent disability if the surgery goes terribly wrong. Thus, patients are advised only to proceed with surgery if their scoliosis becomes life-threatening.

There are 3 main types of surgery to treat the disease; fusion, fusionless, and growing systems. Fusion surgery is the most effective method of surgery. It involves the spinal fusion of two or more adjacent vertebrae, which forms a single-bone that can no longer move. Modern advances have led to the use of tools such as rods, hooks and sometimes even wires, which have increased the efficiency of the surgery and the patient’s recovery time. A drawback to fusion surgery is that it limits the patient’s spine mobility. However, it has a history of successfully treating scoliosis.…

Continue Reading

Scoliosis

Best Foods To Eat To Avoid Progression Of Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine is curved sideways, either to the right or the left side. Any curvature in the spine that measure more than 10 degrees can be considered as scoliosis. The curved are also described often as S-shaped or C-shaped. It can be in any part of the spine but the chest area of the lower back region is the most common. Scoliosis in these regions are known as thoracic scoliosis and lumbar scoliosis, respectively.

Source:health.usnews.com

For most people, the cause for scoliosis cannot be identified. For many the curve might also correct itself as they grow older. However, proper treatment involving physical therapy and a nutritional diet is important.

The Relationship Between Nutrition And Scoliosis

Scoliosis can be considered a condition which is genetic neuromuscular, where the brain may be failing to send messages to the muscles regarding the non-alignment of body posture. This can be due to several environmental factors including poor nutrition, which can trigger the progression of scoliosis.

 What To Eat?

Source:spineuniverse.com

It is important to eliminate inflammatory-causing or oily junk food from your diet and take the necessary supplements for regaining lost nutrients. Below are a few intakes you require for correcting these mineral deficiencies.

  • Calcium

A good intake of calcium between 1200 to 1500mg every day is imperative. In addition to taking calcium supplements, one must also consume food items that contain calcium. It is important for giving strength to the bones, which may be lacking in people suffering from scoliosis. However, make sure that any source of calcium that you are consuming does not have high levels of saturated fat in it as well.

  • Vitamin D

You can eat eggs, fish and cereal for vitamin D. It helps the body in absorbing calcium and increasing bone density. Vitamin D is also great for supporting important neurological functions and improving metabolism.

  • Collagenics

Collagenics is a combination of free-form amino acids and other vital minerals. By taking a dose of it, one can improve the growth of healthy connective tissues, which are important for postural strength.

  • Vitamin E

People with scoliosis must also take Vitamin E, in addition to calcium and Vitamin D. One can find loads of vitamin E sources in every supermarket in the form of walnuts, hazelnuts, olive oil, mayonnaise, sunflower seeds and many more. It helps in developing muscle strength and is great for people who have scoliosis.

What Not To Eat?

  • It is best to avoid oily fried food items. This includes fast food meals that we eat on a daily basis. Something that is home cooked and less greasy must be eaten instead.
  • Food items that contain excessive amounts of salt not be part of the diet of those having scoliosis.
  • Packaged luncheon meats are also not good for scoliosis. They contain preservatives which are not good for the human body.
  • Alcohol and other fizzy drinks must also be avoided.

A Few Nutrition Tips To Follow

Source:businessinsider.com

Those suffering for scoliosis can still enjoy their food by making a few simple changes in their meals and substituting unhealthy items with healthy ones.

  • If you are craving chocolate, it is better that you consume dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, in small amounts. Dark chocolate is healthier for you.
  • Also herbal tea must be preferred to coffee or other kinds of caffeinated tea.
  • Instead of eating unhealthy junk food, use fresh fruits and green vegetables for snacks or meal siders.
  • Drinking loads of water instead of soda and alcoholic beverages is also a great idea.

Continue Reading

Scoliosis

How Can Yoga Help With Scoliosis Treatment?

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine forms S or C shaped curve from the sides of the back, with the spine turning towards the concave side of the curve. The rib cage is also rotated, protruding from the convex side.  The term scoliosis comes from the Greek word of Skol, which literally means twists, describing this condition.

Treatment Options

Source:yoga.com

The treatment options depend on the type of scoliosis a person has. There two general types of scoliosis: structural and function. Structural scoliosis is more severe as it changes the structure of the body. Although the degree of severity varies from person to person, there are severe cases where scoliosis can lead to failure of lungs due to a collapsed rib cage. In such severe scoliosis, which involves more than 45 degree spine curvature, people usually have to undergo surgery.

However, many of us might suffer from what is called functional scoliosis. It can form through repetitive one-sided activity and is more related to your muscle development.  For many, this condition can be cured over time through proper physical therapy and a nutritional diet.

Yoga And Scoliosis

Source:scoliosistreatmentalternative.com

Yoga is an ancient and effective way of improving your body posture and strengthening your muscles. Simple yoga poses can be great for both your physical and mental health. Incorporating this healthy activity in your daily routine can be extremely beneficial, especially for those suffering from scoliosis. It is mostly our spine that carries the stress of our entire body. Through yoga, you can learn various poses and breathing exercises which will take off this stress from the spine and help you in correcting its shape. Remember it might be a bit hard and painful for scoliosis patients to do yoga, however with proper instruction it will help them learn more about their body. Below are a few yoga poses people with scoliosis must definitely try.

  • Virabhadrasana

Virabhadrasana is also known as the Warrior Pose. It helps in improving lower back strength and body balance. Having a strong back is very important for treating scoliosis or any other form of spine curvature.

To get in the warrior pose, you must start from a high lunge pose and bend your right knee directly over your right ankle. Then you must square your hips and shoulder with your hand. If you are a beginner you can stand against a wall to get the right pose. Then inhale and bring your arms over your head in H position and have the palms facing each other. Inhale in to your stomach and chest and exhale while pressing your feet on the yoga mat. Hold for as long as you can and then release.

  • Balasana
Source:ekhartyoga.com

It is more commonly known as the Child Pose. This therapeutic pose stretches your hips, thighs, and ankles and relaxes your back. It is ideal for treating scoliosis and relaxing. To get in this pose sit on your knees, resting you buttocks on your heels. Sit straight, lengthening your spin and then bow forward placing your torso in front of you on your thighs. Also extend your arms in front of you with palms facing down.

  • Triangle pose

As for someone with scoliosis, both sides of the body might have different needs. Therefore, the triangle pose is an asymmetrical pose that works on different body parts in isolation. It is also great for bring space and length to the spine.

It may seem easier to get scoliosis fixed through surgery in one go rather than embarking on a long recovery through yoga. Although, the decision to incorporate yoga in your daily routines may seem a big commitment, but it is something you must try at least. It not only helps in strengthening the back but makes you understand your body and transforms your outlook towards life.…

Continue Reading

Scoliosis

Best Pain Management Tips For Scoliosis Patients

The spine-damaging disease, scoliosis, can prove to be a life-time problem for some patients. Although most cases of the disease are minor, some patients suffer from chronic pain, primarily in the back and hips. The frequency of the pain can be either regular or occasional, depending on the patient’s condition.. The degree of the pain also varies from patient to patient. While some patients experience short, harsh bursts of pain, others suffer from lesser amounts, for longer periods of time. Fortunately, there are many modern treatments available which can be used to ease the suffering of scoliosis victims. Here are some of the most effective methods for treating the pain.

Exercise

Source:nytimes.com

Exercise can be an effective means of suppressing pain caused by scoliosis. However, there are specific exercise techniques for this purpose; other forms may cause further pain. Be sure to consult your physician before taking up any exercise regime. Basic stretches which involve the hips and back are quick and easy methods to deal with pain induced by the disease.

Simple exercises, such as stretches, can provide temporary relief from the pain. For long-term pain suppression treatments, patients should look into more advanced exercises, which focus on correcting the interaction between the brain and the spinal chord’s development. Yoga tactics have proven to be an effective way of achieving this. This is because yoga exercises aim to strengthen the muscle around the spine, lessening the stress on the spine itself. Moreover, various yoga positions also help correct the shape of the spine itself. Pilates is another popular form of exercise which scoliosis patients use to cope with pain, as it too strengthens core-muscles and relieves the spine from stress.

Using Physical Means

More often than not, pain that patients are suffering from in the back or hips can be reduced by physically warming the patient’s body. Applying a hot-water bottle on the affected area or sitting by a heater, can help soothe the pain temporarily. This is because pain caused by the disease is often due to muscle spasms and tightening. Ligaments become relaxed when warmed, which can help alleviate the pain.

Nutrition

Source:paulskitchenupperkirby.com

Through controlling diet and food-intake, nutrition is believed to be another means for managing pain caused by scoliosis. To achieve this, there are two main approaches a patient should take towards their food.  First, they should know which foods to avoid; and second, they should know which foods have positive effects.

Foods which aim to help patients deal with chronic pain do so by reducing inflammation inside the body. One of the best dietary approaches towards reducing inflammation involves restricting food-intake to fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Even in the modern era, fruits and vegetables are used around the world to reduce back pain. Some of these include carrots, cherries, beets, grapes, watermelon and pomegranate. Cherries in particular contain powerful anti-oxidants, known as anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammation properties and also release pain-suppressing enzymes, similar to aspirin. Research over the years has found that cherries reduce muscle pain and lower inflammation by up to 25%.

Some foods are believed to increase inflammation of the body, and these should be avoided at all costs when dealing with pain induced by scoliosis. The main offenders here are processed foods, fast foods, hydrogenated fats and saturated fats.

Medication

Source:thecasualobserver.co.za

Scoliosis patients may resort to using pain-killers to suppress their suffering. Over the counter pain medication, like aspirin, are popular choices for victims wishing to calm their back-pain. However, patients suffering from high levels of chronic pain should consult their doctors or physicians for a professional subscription. While medication is not a permanent solution to the pain, it can be necessary to temporarily provide a patient with relief.…

Continue Reading

Scoliosis

How Do Cold Weather Conditions Affect Scoliosis?

As the summers are coming to an end and autumn is approaching, the weather is getting cooler. Most people suffering from joint pains, arthritis and scoliosis usually complain that their pain amplifies during cold weather. Although no precise scientific study or research provides satisfying evidence regarding the correlation between scoliosis pain and weather changes, the chronic pain experiences narrated by scoliosis patients during cold weather can be a result of tissue contractions. With the departure of warm weather, the muscles and ligaments do not remain loose and warm, instead the tissues contract making movement more painful.

Understanding Scoliosis

Source:spine-health.com

To understand why scoliosis go through this and to suggest possible measures to avoid chronic pain, one must have a clear understanding of scoliosis. Although, it appears to be related to the bones, Scoliosis is a condition which is both neurological and muscular.

A person suffering from scoliosis will have an abnormal curve in the spine usually in a S or C shape. It is more common in people in the 9-15 age brackets, females and those who have a family history for scoliosis. Most of the times there is no known cause of it and treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

Scoliosis And Chronic Pain

Source:ahprnc.com

As the spine is abnormally curved in this condition, the body weight is unevenly distributed. This means that one side of the spine bears more stress than the other, resulting in pain. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence indicating that this pain become intensified during cold weather.

How To Cope With Scoliosis Pain In Cold Weather

Source:youtube.com

As the pain may become unbearable for many, they must take measures to cope with it beforehand. The key is staying warm during this time. There are several heat therapies one can take or electric blankets one can get as a precaution. This will help in improving the blood circulation in the body and will also relax the tissues that cause the pain. Below is a list of things one can do.

  • Hot water baths

This is a relaxing way to ease pain. Swimming in a hot tub or even soaking yourself in a hot bath tub at least three times during a week is an effective way to avoid scoliosis pain during winter. It helps in relaxing muscle tissue and brings relief to inflamed areas of your back

  • Hot Packs

A great idea to immediately deal with chronic scoliosis pain is to use a hot pack. If you do not have a hot pack available, you can also use a warm towel or some other kind of heating pad as a substitute. You must apply it to the painful region for about twenty minutes to relieve any pain due to cold weather. Nowadays, you can even get heat wraps. They are a more effective option as their effect lasts usually for eight hours.

  • Epsom salt baths

This is an excellent way to find relief. You can add two cups of Epsom salt to your bath and stay in there for at least fifteen minutes; remember that the water must not be too hot. Epsom salt is actually a natural mineral containing both sulfate and magnesium. These ingredients have a lot of benefits for your health including reduction in inflammation and removal of toxins from your body. They also help in maintaining proper muscle and never functions.

It might get hard to try the aforementioned things when you are suffering from scoliosis pain and you may prefer to stay inside. However, it is for your own betterment that you exercise and continue staying active to avoid any chronic pain during cold weather.…

Continue Reading

Scoliosis

How To Identify Early Signs of Scoliosis in Children

Scoliosis is a spinal-disorder in which the patient’s spine, or backbone, suffers from a sideways curvature. The disease affects approximately 3% of the population. In young children, scoliosis can be difficult to identify early on, as their spinal cord isn’t fully developed. The types of this disease include congenital, neuromuscular, syndromic and idiopathic.  In the case of idiopathic scoliosis, the cause of the disease is unknown.  If caught in the early stages, scoliosis can be treated effectively. However, a large number of cases aren’t spotted until the spine is curved significantly, at which point the disease becomes much harder to treat. In many cases, however, the spinal curve is not advanced enough for the disease to be a cause of alarm at all. Thus, it’s important to know how to identify scoliosis in your child in its earlier stages, and here are some tips on how to accomplish that.                                                            

Source:health.usnews.com

Spotting The Disease

It’s important not to mistake your child’s poor-posture for scoliosis. The disease, which involves sideways curving of the spine, may cause your child’s bone-structure to seem uneven. For example, one shoulder might seem taller than the other, or one hip could be arched higher than the other. Scoliosis can even be spotted by noting an uneven arrangement of the ribs, where one side of the cage may be curved upwards. In some severe cases, the patient’s entire body may appear to be leaning sideways. If you notice any such disorder in your child’s structure, it’s worth taking a few tests and eventually visiting a doctor.

The Adam’s Forward Bend Test

Source:spineuniverse.com

One of the most popular exams used by doctors and nurses to identify scoliosis, the Adam’s Forward Bend Test can also be performed by a parent to check for the disease in their child. In this test, the patient is asked to bend forward in a diving position, as if they were touching their toes. From this position, the examiner can determine whether the patient has any unevenness in their spine or bone-structure. If a problem is identified, or suspected, further tests may be taken. It’s best to consult a doctor and take professional help if you believe your child could be suffering from the disease, as they can recommend you proper treatments.

Scoliometer And How To Use It

If you suspect your child has scoliosis, a scoliometer can be used to check for the severity of the disease. Although it’s best used by a professional, concerned parents can also check their child’s spine with a scoliometer. The patient should assume the position which exposes the deformity best, by bending forward until their shoulders are level with their hips. The scoliometer should then be placed on the deformity at a right-angle to the body, and then read with the marking residing at the curve’s center. If the reading is of seven degrees or more, parents should consult a professional immediately.

X-Rays and Professional Help

Source:audev.scolicare.com

If you’re convinced that your child is suffering from scoliosis, visit a doctor immediately. Your doctor may then perform a series of physical tests, to gain an understanding of the extent of the spinal curve. Your physician may determine the condition of the spine by feeling it and comparing the prominence of the muscles from different angles. Furthermore, the professional may have your child perform basic movements, such as flexion and spinal rotation, to see how well the patient performs. Finally, the doctor will order image-testing in the form of X-rays and MRI to observe exactly how far the spine is affected by the scoliosis. This is necessary for your physician to gain a complete understanding of the patient’s situation, before devising a treatment plan.…

Continue Reading

Scoliosis

Scoliosis in Teens

 

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is the most common type of scoliosis seen in children between ages 10 to 15 years old. In fact, 3 out 100 adolescents suffer from AIS. People with scoliosis may have a back that curves to the side like an “S” or “C”. Mild curves generally do not cause problems to the patient. However, for severe curves, it can be very visible and can cause discomfort for the patient. Some can even affect the breathing, heart, joints, and spine.

Aside from the physical discomfort, severe scoliosis can have psychological effects, affecting confidence and esteem.  Emotional pain leads to substance abuse, and studies show that girls with scoliosis are 3x more likely to drink than those without, and boys with scoliosis consume 94% more alcohol than their normal peers. Hence, they would need help for an addiction aside from their physical health concerns.…

Continue Reading