|HEALTH & FITNESS|
back pain is common problem
Menopausal zone: back pain is common problem
It is a well-known fact that most menopausal women are deficient in the intake of calcium in their diets and there is erosion of their bones, especially the spinal bones, due to a hormonal imbalance. The target calcium intake for most post-menopausal women is 1200 mg/day. Besides osteoporosis, back pain most often occurs from strained muscles and ligaments, from improper or heavy lifting or after a sudden awkward movement. Sometimes a muscle spasm due to stress can cause back pain.
In some cases, back pain may be caused by bulging or ruptured disks. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis. Scoliosis, a condition in which your spine curves to the side, also may lead to back pain. Compression fractures of your spine’s vertebrae can occur if your bones become porous and brittle, a common occurrence during menopause.
The following factors that increase proneness to back pain need attention: Female gender, smoking, obesity, older age, physically strenuous work, sedentary work, stressful job, anxiety, depression, etc. You may be able to avoid back pain by doing the following:
1. Regular low-impact aerobic activities. Walking and swimming are good choices.
2. Build muscle strength in the abdominal area and do back muscle exercises.
3. Quit smoking.
4. Reduce weight
5. Stand smart and sit smart. Choose a seat with good lower back support, arm rests and a swivel base. Consider placing a pillow or a rolled towel to support your back to maintain its normal curve.
6. Avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.
7. Give attention to your mid-life health and consult a gynaecologist.
What specific exercises can you do to stretch and enhance comfort?
l Sit in a chair and press your buttocks together. This will strengthen the muscles that help support your back and legs. Hold for five seconds, relax and repeat. Work up gradually to 20 repetitions a day.
l Lie in the bed and bend each knee to your chest. Gradually increase to l0 repetitions each, then pull both knees to your chest and hold them for six seconds. Repeat, increasing to l0 repetitions.
l Lie on your back and move your feet and legs in the air as if you’re riding a bicycle while counting to five. Relax and repeat, gradually increasing to l0 repetitions a day.
l To stretch your hips, lie on your stomach in the bed or on a padded floor. Raise your leg and leg and foot off the bed or floor, keeping your knee straight. Hold for five seconds. Repeat, work up to 10 repetitions. Repeat with the other leg.
When to seek medical advice?
See a doctor immediately if your back pain:
l Is constant or intense, especially at night or when you lie down
l Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
l Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
l Causes bowel or bladder problems
l Is associated with pain or pulsation (throbbing) in the abdomen, or fever
l Follows a fall, blow to your back or other injury
l Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss
A regular schedule of over-the-counter pain relievers may be all that you need to improve your pain. Low doses of certain types of anti-depressants have also been shown to relieve chronic back pain.
A physical therapist can apply to your back muscles a variety of treatments such as heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and muscle-release techniques. If other measures don’t relieve your pain your doctor may inject cortisone — an anti-inflammatory medication — into the space around your spinal cord. Surgery is usually reserved for pain caused by a herniated disk and nerve compression.
The writer is a senior gynaecologist based in Chandigarh.
Once popular for cosmetic reasons among young boys and girls looking to get rid of thick glasses before meeting their prospective brides and grooms, the Lasik procedure is becoming a preferred option for people of all ages and professions. Blade-free Lasik is also used to get rid of residual powers left after cataract surgery in people well into their 60s and 70s.
Today, youngsters hoping to become pilots don’t have to give up their dream because of poor eyesight. A 20-20 vision is possible with a hitech Lasik surgery that takes just 15 minutes.
Though the 100 per cent blade-free Lasik technique has been around for some time, its full acceptance in the professional sector has only recently been felt with NASA approving this procedure. The NASA test proved that a combination of these two technologies provides better safety and superior vision. Lasik was able to withstand even the extreme rigors of warfare and flight.
The US Navy ophthalmologist, Dr Steve Schallhorn, has been promoting the use of laser vision correction surgery for all US soldiers for the past decade. With consistently superior results noted by the US Army and Navy, the air force approved its first Lasik procedure in December 2007. In this short time thousands of pilots have had laser vision correction. More than 95 per cent of them said that after blade-free Lasik with customised ablation, their flying capabilities have improved due to better visual acuity.
In India, too, Lasik has become one of the important aids for people looking for perfect eyesight solutions required for their careers. Lasik, which was once regarded as a mere cosmetic technique, is much in demand for professional reasons. Laser vision correction is becoming popular with professionals who need a 20-20 vision — pilots, astronauts, models, firefighters, air-hostesses, people in the entertainment industry and sports persons, including athletes, cricketers, shooters, scuba divers, swimmers, etc.
An interestingly large number of railway and police job aspirants have opted for Lasik. The crew of the Merchant Navy and jawans of the Indian Army are allowed to undergo laser vision correction. Beginning this year, the IAF has relaxed its selection rules after which candidates with poor visual acuity can fly helicopters and transport planes after undergoing corrective laser surgery. Commercial airlines, too, have now approved laser vision correction as acceptable treatment to get rid of glasses.
Millions of people worldwide are experiencing a transformation in their lives with Lasik. Yesterday’s dream of vision beyond glasses is today’s reality with Lasik. Next time you dream of a career with a 20-20 vision — whether on land, sea or in the air — don’t let weak vision stand in the way. Opt for Lasik!
What is 100 per cent blade-free Lasik?
l It is a walk-in walk-out procedure for the removal of glasses.
l The surgeon makes and folds back a hinged flap in the cornea.
l A "cold" laser is then used to reshape the cornea.
l The flap is reposited, resulting in a reshaped cornea for clear vision.
l Total time taken is 7-8 minutes per eye.
Are you a suitable candidate?
l You should be at least 18-year old.
l You should be in good general health.
l You have had stable vision.
l You should have corneas of adequate thickness.
l You should not be pregnant or nursing.
l Much advancement in Indian ophthalmology seen recently
l Technology used here is on a par or even better than many other nations
l Procedures here are less expensive than developed nations like the US and the UK
Did you know?
Many famous people, including golfers Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh, model and actor Jas Arora and members of the pop band Bombay Rockers, have undergone the Lasik procedure to enhance their performance and achievements.
The writer is Chairman and Medical Director, Centre for Sight, New Delhi. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
LONDON: Beer can help strengthen the bones and prevent fractures in old age, a new study has confirmed. Beer is a significant source of silicon, which is a key ingredient of the diet that helps to improve bone mineral density.
The best beers for silicon are the pale malted ales and lagers. Dark bitters and stouts contain lower levels because they are made with roasted barley, which has lower silicon content. Wheat contains less silicon than barley, so wheat beers are poorer sources of silicon.
Previous studies have suggested that a regular pint or two may help to prevent the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. — ANI
Women with gout more likely to have heart attack than men
WASHINGTON: Women with gout are more likely to have a heart attack than their male counterparts suffering from the disease, say experts.
Researchers based their study on more than 9500 gout patients and 48, 000 people without the disease, aged 65 and older. Boffins followed the cardiovascular health of all the participants for an average of seven years during which as many as 3268 fatal and non-fatal heart attacks took place. — ANI
Soft drinks "can increase pancreatic cancer risk"
WASHINGTON: Consuming sugary soft drinks can dramatically increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, a new research has suggested.
According to the study, drinking as little as two soft drinks a week can almost double the chances of developing the disease, one of the most deadly forms of cancer.
Mark Pereira, senior author on the study and associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, said people who consume soft drinks on a regular basis, defined as primarily carbonated sugar-sweetened beverages, tend to have a poor behavioral profile overall. — ANI
Going on a diet can trigger lifetime of overeating
LONDON: A study has found that going on a diet could trigger a lifetime of overeating and even cause changes to the brain. According to scientists, people who go on a diet and deprive themselves cause brain changes that make it impossible for them to stay off the chocolate, reports the Daily Express.
Rossella Ventura from the Santa Lucia
Foundation in Rome, which conducted the research, believes that a key
part of the brain that controls our feelings of reward is altered in
long-term dieters. — ANI