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!