Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Going for stilettos? Think again..

 Going for stilettos? Think again..
The perfect, pointy pair of 4-inch heels can make any outfit, but with this style comes much suffering. High heels have the stigma of being bad for health, but this barely stops you from wearing them occasionally and often daily. We often make sacrifices for foot fashion, but at what price? Studies have shown that these towering shoes can be costly in more ways than one, taking their toll on your spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet, while altering your posture and gait.
Here's how they affect different parts of your body—and why that's something you might not want to stand for anymore.
Feet
• Normally your feet act like weight-distributing shock absorbers, cushioning your skeleton from forces of body weight. These engineering marvels fail once you wear high heels and. ..ouch! You've shifted much of your mass onto the balls of your feet and your tiny, delicate toe bones.
      • The higher the heel, the bigger the impact: One study found that four-inch stilettos can up the amount of pressure on the front of the foot by 30 percent or more.
• Your heel-to-toe transition becomes abrupt, forcing you to adapt to more awkward posture (which actually thought is elegant!!??). Walking like this all the time could usher in bone and nerve damage (not to mention blisters and ingrown toenails).

Ankles and Calves


Wearing heels forces your ankles to bend forward, a movement that could restrict circulation in your lower limbs. This could eventually lead to spider veins or varicose veins.
• Walking in heels also stiffens your calf muscles. You can work to offset this stiffness by flexing your feet—shoeless—several times throughout the day.
• Over time, stiletto devotees can develop chronically shortened ankle and calf tendons, making walking—even in flats—painful.

Knees
• The knee is the largest joint in your body. It's built to take certain amount of excessive stresses, but frequent high-heel use can put extra stress on the inner sides of the knees, fast-tracking the wear and tear that leads to osteoarthritis.
Hips
• To keep from keeling over in stacked shoes, you have to thrust your hips forward, arch your back, and push out your chest. That familiar sexy stance works the outer hip muscles and tendons hard (and not in a good way).
Back
• In order to be in line with heels, your spine needs to sway unnaturally, a process that stresses your lower back muscles. Result: sore lower back.
• As with your other body parts, your back needs a break. If you wear high heels one day, wear cushioned flats the next. Or save your spikes for special nights out—and never walk around in them for longer than a few hours at a time.


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Avoid "Backaches" in road trips..

Avoid “Backache” in Road trips

So, you are planning for a great road trip coming weekend, don’t let your back pain come in your way..

Follow these simple steps to get you going.. Knowing how to sit in the car in a way that will avoid back pain is important to happy car travels. This will help to ensure that you don't miss out on a trip.

*         Take the time to make sure you are comfortable from the moment you set off on your trip. The smallest irritant in the beginning can turn into raging pain hours later.


*         Don't sit on your wallet or cell phone that may throw your spine out of whack.
*         Reduce reaching for the steering wheel, which places more stress on the lumbar spine, neck, shoulder and wrists. Instead, sit as close to the steering wheel as possible.
*         If your car seat provides little back support, roll up a towel or pillow and place it between your lower back and the seat for some more support. There are many specialized cushions and pillows available for purchase that can help.
*         Bring your seat forward some more if needed or you may have to push the seat back, depending on your leg length.  The base of your spine should be in contact with the seat. If driving, position yourself until your knees are slightly bent when you depress the pedals.
*         Press your shoulders firmly against the seat.
*         Arrange the headrests in the right place as a passenger. Headrests are not normally comfortable for many people. You just have to learn to let your head rest on it and pretty soon your neck will begin to relax.
*         Since staying still is bad for your back, don't just pick a position and stay in it. Adjust your seat and change your position slightly every 20-30 minutes.
*         Exercise is often a good treatment for lower back pain. While at each rest stop, try to do the following:
o               Get out of your car to stretch and work the hamstrings.
o               Walk around a bit to increase circulation and stretch out the back muscles.

Have a great time..

Monday, 29 June 2015

Dealing with varicose veins..

What are varicose veins?


Our body has two major blood vessels — Artery and Vein. Artery is the blood vessel carrying oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body. Vein is a blood vessel that carries de-oxygenated blood from the other parts to the heart. That is why it appears bluish. The longest veins in the body are those in the legs. They have to pump blood from legs to the heart. They also have to overcome the effect of gravity in sitting or standing position when pressure in them increases.
Under normal circumstances, in order to avoid any backward flowing of blood, veins have valves at regular intervals. These valves open only for blood flowing towards the heart (i.e. in upward direction). When these valves do not work properly some amount of blood flows in backward direction leading to “varicose veins”. 

Who can get varicosities?


Varicose veins are predominantly found in legs. It commonly affects females over 40 years of age. It is especially seen in individuals who need to sit or stand for long or who have the habit of sitting in cross-legged position for long durations. This is because static positions put excessive pressure on the veins. The chance of getting varicosities is more in obese persons due to weight. Injury to leg in form of fracture or an open wound may also initiate valve dysfunction. Varicose veins can affect pregnant females too due to increased weight of the uterus.



What are the symptoms?


Usually the first sign is the visible blue veins on the legs. You may also get itching in the area around the veins due to accumulation of toxic waste products. But never scratch as it may lead to ulcers. There could be swelling around the ankles on sitting or standing for long, or you may develop cramps on walking. There may be also brownish shiny discolouration around veins. You may as well experience delayed wound healing.
Varicose veins, if left untreated, reduce stamina, and give pain in the legs on slightest movement even while resting. In complicated cases, there may be ulcer development due to lack of proper blood circulation and in severe cases it may also cause thrombosis in veins (blood clot in veins).

How to treat varicose veins?


It is important that you never neglect them. Most of the times, varicose veins can be treated with exercises if you see a doctor soon. Severe cases though may require medication or surgery. Exercises for varicose veins need to be tailor made — they should be specific to your condition.

Along with exercises, taking the following precautions is necessary:
  • Wear compressive stockings when sitting or standing for long durations.
  • Elevate your legs on pillows after prolonged static postures.
  • Do not sit in cross-legged position.
  • When traveling long distances, stop periodically and walk around.
  • Avoid wearing ill fitting shoes.
  • Avoid wearing clothing that restricts circulation such as socks with tight bands.
  • Do not wear jewellery like anklets, toe rings etc.
  • Do not use hot packs for varicosity pains.
  • Keep the skin clean and supple. Use moisturizers but avoid perfumed lotions.
  • Pay immediate attention to skin cuts, rashes, bites, etc.
  • Avoid hot baths and saunas.
  • Properly done massage therapies help as well. 


By:-
Dr.Supriya Antarkar Joshi
Sakaal Times | Friday, 11 March 2011 AT 09:05 PM IST


Friday, 26 June 2015

How to choose a right mattress in backache?

Mr. Raju, 35 year old, software professional, came to Cura physiotherapy clinic with lot of back stiffness and pain. The pain, he said was more in the morning times and reduces once he starts moving. We checked him clinically for muscle flexibility and strength but both seemed quite good. He told us, though he had sit for hours in his office, he was quite active person. He used to go for gym daily and did muscle training and cardio very regularly. We also asked him to get photograph of his workstation and car postures to rule out any fault in there. All were up to the mark! He was really taking all possible steps at home and in office to take care of his backache. Meanwhile, his physician asked him to go for blood factors. That also came normal..

Now the only problem could have been.. the mattress! The type of mattress he was using was the spring variety. Okay now.. this can be an issue. As with spring or any soft mattress, the body is not supported well. What happens is, with our body weight it tends to sink down and actually leaves spine support less. 

To understand this, let’s clear basics first. Human beings have acquired erect posture from quadruped in the process of evolution as we needed to be more mobile. But this as compromised our spinal stability. When we sit/ stand/ walk, we are doing it against gravity. Lying down is the only position when gravity is not acting on spine in vertical position. But it is acting in horizontal position. So in order to keep spine flat and straight one must go for mattress that is “firm”, not too soft or too tight.

The problem with soft mattress is, it can not support the body and we tend sink in it with curved spine, which is very uncomfortable position for the spine. With tight mattresses the problem is exactly opposite, they are too stiff to support spine so practically your spine can not relax on it. The mid way is using firm mattress, it does support your spine but doesn’t let your body sink in it.

Coming back to Raju’s case:“Good news! I woke up with no pain!!” Raju said that day. He had changed his mattress 10 days back and he feeling absolutely okay now..  

To make it easy:
Examples:

MATTRESS TYPE
EXAMPLE
BACK SUPPORT
Too soft
Spring
Very poor
Too firm/tight
Coir > Foam
Very less
Firm
High density foam
Good!


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Success story 1: Frozen shoulder



Frozen Shoulder pain
June 24, 2015
Mrs. K 65 year old, housewife, came to Cura physiotherapy with complaints of right shoulder pain, it was acute onset and she had lot of difficulty in performing daily chores especially overhead. Lifting objects from top shelf in kitchen was giving her tears. Taking right shoulder behind her back was almost impossible for her, this was so painful that wearing cloths was a big task for her. The symptoms had actually started 3 weeks back but she delayed the physiotherapy visit thinking, pain will reduce on its own.

On her first consultation, we recorded capsular tightness- the shoulder ranges were very restricted and painful. There was no history of trauma or fall. But just lot of stiffness and pain in shoulder. We also asked her to go for blood sugar level (BSL) check up, as many times capsulitis (shoulder pain and restriction) is related to high blood sugar level or diabetes. This unfortunately in her case came positive. Now she needed treatment from both diabetologist and physiotherapist.

In physiotherapy treatment, we planned for electrotherapy for pain relief as pain was really bad to start off with and we couldn’t have started with any exercises. After 3 sessions of electrotherapy, when pain was manageable we introduced capsular stretches and pendulum exercises. In next 4-5 days, her pain & stiffness was much better when we discontinued with electrotherapy and moved on to next phase of rehabilitation i.e. muscle strengthening with resistance bands and postural stabilization exercises. She was given a set of home exercise program for continuation.

Now after 3 weeks of physical therapy, she is much better. We are so happy that she can do overhead activities, can reach top shelf easily. She can wear cloths comfortably without much of difficulty. But we still strongly recommend her to continue with her home exercise program for next one month for full-fledged recovery. Also, she needs to keep her blood sugar levels in control for her well-being. We wish her all the best!  


Monday, 9 March 2015

Exercising through pregnancy

Pregnancy is a new phase in life. You must be already finding many differences in yourself both physically and emotionally. But trust me you are not the only one. It is state of mixed emotions when sometimes you love being yourself and some other time you wonder if this is real you. Your physical levels also vary to great extent either supercharged or very low. Now here exercises have a great role to play, which improves your physical and mental state as well.    
For years women were urged to cut down on or even avoid exercise during pregnancy. Doctors feared of unknown risk which may arise from exercises. Fortunately, the tide has turned.
 Dr. Clapp and Dr. Nobel in 1980’s did a study on effects of exercises in pregnancy, giving very positive results. American college of obstetrics and gynecology also after several studies now recommends exercises in pregnancy.So under doctor’s supervision all moms to be can start working out.
There are many benefits of exercises to you and to your baby. At times when you wonder if this strange body can possibly be yours, exercise can increase your sense of control and boost your energy level. It makes you feel better by releasing endorphins (natural chemicals in brain). This makes you more confident about yourself to take up a new responsibility and change in life.
Regular exercise relieves backaches and improves your posture by toning muscles in your back, buttocks, and thighs. Exercises also eases the common ailments like cramps, swollen feet, heel pain, etc. It helps to prevent wear and tear on your joints (which become loosened during pregnancy) by activating the lubricating fluid in your joints.
Exercises help you sleep better by relieving the stress and anxiety.
Regular exercises for minimum 10-15 minutes helps to reduce constipation by accelerating movement in your intestine. This will take of your nausea and reduced hunger.
The very important role of exercises in delivery is, it prepares you and your body for birth - Strong muscles and a fit heart can greatly ease labor. The labor time may be shortened to 4 hours or less. Gaining control over your breathing can help you manage pain. And in the event of a lengthy labor, increased endurance can be a real help. This may avoid need to go for Caesarian section due to mothers exhaustion.
You can avoid unnecessary excessive fat deposition with exercises. So, you can also get back to your pre-pregnant weight, lose fat and improve fitness early after delivery.
 Exercise improves baby’s ability to fight with stress from outside atmosphere after delivery.  It also improves oxygen and glucose supply to the baby making it healthier.
The kind of exercises which need to be done depends on what interests you and what your doctor advises. Brisk walking, indoor cycling, swimming, light aerobic dancing are few of the cardio exercise options to you. Many experts recommend walking. As it's easy to vary the pace and  distance and the only requirement is good pair of shoes. If you're just starting, begin with a moderate pace for 15-20 minutes, 3 days a week. Add a couple of minutes every week. This improves stamina to do more work by increasing blood circulation and heart function.
Combine these cardio exercises with body toning work outs. Toning will include exercises to strengthen abs, back, thighs and also chest and arms. This will help you avoid the agony of joint pains and to maintain good posture.
Stretching is highly recommended in pregnancy. It is relaxing and will take care of muscles tightness. But when doing stretches, be careful not to overstretch.
The famous exercises Kegel’s exercises (ref: internet) are meant to develop strength in pelvic floor muscles, the muscles which support womb, bladder and bowel. Developing good strength in these muscles improves ability to control and relax these muscles better this prepares you for labor and delivery. Strengthening   also increases urinary control.
Toning, stretching and Kegel’s are preferably done daily. 
Yoga in pregnancy is great for relaxation and improving breathing control.  
Whatever type of exercise you decide on, listen to your body's warnings. Your energy level may also vary greatly from day to day. If your body says, "Stop!" – stop. Don’t overexert yourself too much if you feel breathless, dizzy, any kind of pain or have difficulty in continuing the exercise.
Many of the exercises are safe in pregnancy though it is best to avoid exercises which require holding your breath. Jarring movements, jumping, hopping, skipping or running is absolute ‘Don’t’. It is best to avoid deep knee bends, full sit ups and double leg raises.   Exercises that require lying on your back or right side for more than three minutes should be done with care.
Here you are ladies; pregnancy is time to be cherished. So eat healthy, keep moving and stay healthy! 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Say "no" to neck pain!
In this age of rush, it is not always possible to keep neck erect, while working. May it be computer work or writing. May it be school studies or making chapatis at home, our neck is always bent! We are not conscious about this posture till it hurts. But when the pain starts we start cursing it. Actually if we take proper measures such incidence wouldn't happen.

See it this way, the movement of other joints is seen but neck movements is not observed in each type of work, still muscles of neck are always at work to keep it erect. In sitting/standing work of neck muscles continuously goes on. And for this reason neck muscles need to be stronger. Similarly, it is important to rest neck muscles while sleeping.  

When sleeping, the mattress and pillow should give firm support to neck muscles maintaining normal neck curvature. The reason why we have to use pillow, is to fill up gap between shoulders and head. Now if you use a very thick pillow your neck will remain in bent position, if you use very thin pillow neck will be unsupported and will fall backwards. In both these cases there will be stress on neck leading to stiff neck. So choose pillow with optimal height and proper firmness. The cervical pillows or neck pillows available in market are not for everyone consult your therapist before using them.
  
Watching T.V. or reading in sleeping position is so very common. We see it as a relaxation, in reality it gives lot of stress to neck muscles as the muscles are stretched in one direction and they do not get rest in between. So needs to be totally avoided.

If you are doing most of your work in sitting, as writing/ typing/ reading or computer use, it is necessary to move your neck and shoulder joints in the middle of task. Everyday stretching and strengthening exercises are also helpful as they improve muscle working capacity and posture.

Some of us travel a lot. Continuous vehicle driving gives shocks to discs between the neck vertebra. Disc being important shock absorbing structure of the body is likely to get damaged because of it. To avoid this, keeping neck musculature to its healthiest state is the best solution, yes that needs exercises! Having healthy muscles will ease off load from the discs and slow down their process of wearing out (degeneration). Maintaining good neck posture and taking proper breaks in between are very useful.

The exercises chalked out by your therapist should be done regularly. There are two types of exercises. One, that will improve the strength of neck and shoulder muscles, which will increase work capacity. Another type will give flexibility of muscles which will improve posture.

Think about prevention in time and improve health of your neck now.

For more information contact us on curaphysiotherapy@gmail.com