|HEALTH & FITNESS|
a preventable problem
indicates an unhealthy heart
Protein’s role in
Stress keeps many
awake at night!
elbow: a preventable problem
Tennis elbow is known by various names — carpenter’s elbow, politician’s paw, dentist’s elbow, potato picker’s plight and so on — and yet the basic cause remains repetitive load being placed on the outer side of the elbow.
This term can now be addressed as Sachin’s elbow. During my stint with the Indian cricket team, Sachin first suffered from tennis elbow while playing "The Memorable Innings" against Australia at Sharjah. He responded well to the treatment and went on to score another century in the finals, enabling India to win the trophy. This time the problem seems serious, as he was unable to lift the bat.
Tennis players suffer this agony due to a flawed technique used while executing a back-hand stroke, owing to poor grip size and high string tension which places load on the forearm. Tennis elbow sufferers are not only tennis players, golfers, swimmers, etc. In fact, 90 per cent of tennis elbow occurs in non-players. Any activity which puts repetitive stress and strain on the lateral part of the elbow joint like lifting heavy weights, squeezing clothes, using a screw driver, turning keys, etc.
The presenting symptoms are pain and stiffness at the elbow joint. There is difficulty in holding, pinching and gripping objects. There is tightness of muscles of the forearms associated with insufficient functional strength.
This is a preventable problem if proper treatment is started early.
Rest: Avoid activities that aggravate the injury. Absolute rest should be avoided as it encourages muscle atrophy and decreases blood supply to the area which is detrimental to the healing process.
Activity modification: Elimination of the activities that are painful is key to improvement. Avoid any strenuous movement like carrying shopping bags, opening tight taps, repetitive valve opening, etc.
Ice: Apply ice-packs to the elbow three to four times a day for 15-20 minutes, especially in the early acute stage to decrease pain or stiffness.
Physiotherapy: Ultrasound with deep friction massage helps in reducing the inflammation.
Shockwave Therapy: It is a revolutionary technique that effectively treats tennis elbow. With shock wave therapy the body responds with increased metabolic activity around the site of pain. This stimulates and accelerates the healing process.
Stretching: Stretching the affected muscles helps to break down any scar tissue or adhesions that occur with inflammation. Stretch by pulling your hand downward towards the underside of your forearm for 10-15 seconds several times a day.
Elbow bands are designed to minimise the muscle pull on the tendon attachment at the elbow and should be worn during play.
Cortisone injection: Injection of cortisone is preferred by most of the doctors, which reduces the inflammation at the site of the tendon. The tendon becomes fragile after the injection and, therefore, a week’s rest is required.
Manipulation, if done properly, can prove to be very effective and give immediate relief.
Trigger point release: Muscle energy techniques are very effective in treating the cases of tennis elbow.
Progressive resistance elbow exercises: Exercises with Theraband for the forearm muscle is very effective in increasing strength.
The following exercises may be started when the pain subsides:
Finger extension: Place a rubber band around all five fingertips. Spread fingers 25 times. Repeat three times. If resistance is not enough, add a second rubber band of greater thickness, which will provide more resistance.
Ball squeeze: Place a rubber ball in the palm of your hand, squeeze it 25 times, and repeat this three times a day.
Reverse wrist curls: Grasp a dumbbell or a Theraband in hand with palms facing downwards. Begin by curling the weight/Theraband upwards at the wrist and then slowly return back. Initially, three sets of 10 repetitions should be performed daily. Once you achieve 25 repetitions, increase the resistance.
Forearm pronation / supination: Grasp a hammer in hand, perpendicular to floor with forearm supported. Rotate the hand to the palm down position, return to the starting position, rotate to the palm (up position), and repeat 8-10 times.
In a nutshell, one must stretch and
strengthen forearm muscles so as to avoid tennis elbow.
indicates an unhealthy heart
Chandigarh: An uneasy sleep during the night may not only be a hindrance for working actively during the day, but it may very well be an indication of an unhealthy heart. Linking obstructive sleep apneas (OSA) with the risk of cardiovascular diseases, a consultant cardiologist from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, Dr J.P.S. Sawhney, said that OSA, if not treated completely, increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and hypertension.
OSA is a state when the patient is not getting adequate sleep, snores heavily and chokes several times while asleep. There is distress due to sleep deprivation. And as one-third of human life is spent in sleeping, the doctor advocates that experts should rather not sleep over this major health issue, which is very common but poorly acknowledged.
"Snoring, contrary to the general belief, is not as benign as people would like to believe. It is not merely cacophonic, but snoring entails serious health hazards as well,’’ said Dr Sawhney, who delivered a talk on this topic in the city recently.
According to him, though no major clinical studies have so far been done in India to link OSA with cardiovascular diseases, smaller studies have definitely indicated a linkage between the two. "The studies in the USA and the ongoing trials in Canada point out that the persons who have OSA are more likely to develop heart attacks,’’ added Dr Sawhney.
Hypertension and OSA go hand in hand for a majority of the patients. According to the studies, Dr Sawhney points out, while 50 per cent of the patients suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension) also suffer from OSA, the reverse is also true. That means that 50 per cent of the OSA patients have also been found to be suffering from hypertension.
"In fact, the world over the main cause for hypertension is now found to be OSA,’’ the doctor said.
Even for cardiovascular ailments, of which hypertension is an independent cause, OSA has come to be recognised as "an independent and new risk factor.’’
"It should be realised that OSA is very common and very easily treatable disorder. The only problem is that it is not highly acknowledged in our country,’’ added the consultant cardiologist. The gold standard for diagnosing OSA is ploysomnography, which involves observing the patients over a span of the night while he is asleep.
You may be suffering from OSA if you
Hard facts about OSA:
Protein’s role in heart attacks
BOSTON: It’s not enough to reduce "bad’’ cholesterol to prevent heart attacks because a substance called CRP also must be kept low, doctors said in a finding that could save tens of thousands of lives.
Fortunately, it appears that statins — the same types of drugs that have been shown to reduce low-density lipoprotein or "bad’’ cholesterol — also bring down CRP, or C-reactive protein.
Evidence has been growing that a special type of inflammation, different from the form treated with aspirin and other related drugs, contributes to heart disease. CRP measures that inflammation.
A study led by Paul Ridker of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston showed that the people with the lowest risk of suffering a second heart attack also had the lowest levels of CRP.
A second study, led by Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, found that among 502 patients who lowered their CRP levels the most, there was ultrasound evidence that their clogged arteries had opened up a bit.
Both studies appeared in last week’s issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
Ridker said the findings have
"the potential to save thousands of lives’’ and should
radically change the way the public thinks about heart disease
Stress keeps many awake at night!
London: Increased pressure at workplace and home is giving a large number of people sleepless nights, a new report has revealed. The report by PruHealth Index, one in every four persons suffers from high stress and anxiety due to the severe pressure they face in office and at home.
The survey of more than 2,000 people also found that frequent worrying was twice as common in women as men, 16 per cent compared to 8 per cent. Younger people were also more commonly afflicted, with 13 per cent of 16-24-year-olds worrying frequently compared to 7 per cent of those aged over 65.
"These data are consistent with
previous surveys showing surprisingly high levels of anxiety and
depression in the general population," Prof Simon Capewell from
the University of Liverpool, who analysed the findings, was quoted by
The Daily Mail as saying. — ANI