We rely on our hands for hundreds of different activities; from typing on a computer, making tea, turning the pages on a book or magazine and so forth. We take our hands for granted until we experience pain and our daily activities are hindered.
Hands are complicated structures, and very versatile, capable of doing everything from opening a jar to performing delicate microsurgery. A hand has many moving parts comprising of 27 bones, several muscles, ligaments, tendons and thousands of nerves with all of these packed into a very small space. With such an array of different structures and tissues, a lot can go wrong especially because many of our daily activities such as texting, typing and lifting are motions that can cause long term damage to all or some of the structures of our hands. Read More…
Carpal tunnel syndrome devastates millions of lives each year. It is one of the many disorders listed under the general term ‘Repetitive Strain Injury’. Of all the known repetitive strain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most recognised and prevalent concern.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome often develops over a number of years with no noticeable symptoms but when these do appear, they include a burning or tingling sensation in the fingers, pain and numbness in the hand, an inability to grasp objects properly and a general weakness of the hands. There has been a noticeable rise over the last decade in the numbers of sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is theorised that for many this may be related to work or recreational activities, which require extensive use of the hands especially in static motions such as gripping and/or repetitive motions such as typing, clicking a computer mouse and gaming controllers.
The carpal tunnel is a passageway comprising nine flexible ligaments, the median nerve, arteries, blood and the lymphatic system, which all pass through in order to help function and movement of the fingers and the wrist. The carpal bones line the carpal tunnel on the backside of the wrist and all the ligaments, nerves and arteries all glide past one another with ease in the carpal tunnel of regular size. Read More…
A colleague says magnesium spray soothes her sore neck at night. ‘It helps me sleep and stops my neck being so painful.’ Pure Magnesium Oil Spray by LifeFlo, £16.
Cold sore comforter
A male reader who gets cold sores uses Granary Herbs Lemon Balm Cream (£8.50) ‘whenever I get the dreaded itch: it really works and is nicer than the chemist’s remedy’.
Stop Bad Hair Habits
Compulsively pulling out your hair – sometimes even eating it – may sound weird, but it affects a surprising number of people. Worldwide, three people in 100 suffer from trichotillomania, the majority of them women. ‘Girls on the pull’ (as a recent documentary dubbed them) most often attack their scalps, followed by eyelashes, brows, arms and hands, and in men the beard and chest.
According to the Trichotillomania Learning Center (trich.org), hair-pulling varies greatly in severity. ‘For some people, it is mild and can be quelled with extra awareness. For others, the
urge may be so strong it makes thinking of anything else nearly impossible.’ Read More…
Back pain can have a massive impact on lives and most people will suffer from back pain at least once in their lives, with lower back pain being the most common type of pain. The small of the back, known as the lumbar region, undergoes considerable stress when a person lifts or twists and can become sprained easily. Lower back pain, known as lumbago, makes movement painful and often sufferers are unable to work during these episodes.
What causes lower back pain?
Muscle strain – Straining a muscle in the back is a very common cause of lower back pain. This type of injury can occur as a result of the overuse of muscles and ligaments, whether this happens through work or sport. This type of injury also results from lifting or twisting awkwardly whilst lifting heavy objects. People often resort to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams to relieve pain. A more natural approach, which works rapidly, is the use of topical magnesium oil products such as Pure Magnesium Oil Spray. Magnesium Oil when applied directly to the skin quickly floods and bathes cells of the muscles and nerves helping to relax them, thus alleviating pain rapidly, often within a few minutes of application.
Osteoarthritis – Recurrent lower back pain may be associated with the degeneration of the discs between joint tissues due to wear and tear. The result is more pressure on the spine leading to inflammation and lower back pain. Often non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed which are not without side effects that commonly cause gastrointestinal distress. A natural option would be to use Superior Joints which contains Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM), a compound that has been shown to help alleviate pain rapidly without any side effects.
Slipped Disc – Pressure on the lower vertebrae can rupture or push one of the cushioning discs in the region. The result is that the cartilage is pushed towards the spinal cord nerves pressing against them causing intense pain.
Other reasons for lower back pain include fractures, fragility of the bones such as those associated with osteoporosis and spinal deformities. Read More…
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder which causes an awkward sensation in the legs along with an uncontrollable desire to move the limbs for relief. This uncomfortable sensation usually occurs in the legs and feet, but can also be present on the arms and elsewhere on the body. Most sufferers of Restless Legs Syndrome describe the sensation as a ‘creepy crawly sensation’, a tingling type, or as if pins and needles are being pricked into the affected part of the body. There may also be numbness which gives the sufferer a strong urge to move the limb or the affected part of the body.
The exact cause of Restless Legs Syndrome is still not fully understood however genetics play a link, magnesium and iron deficiencies have been implicated, certain drugs may be responsible for RLS, and some concerns such as diabetes increase the incidences of Restless Legs Syndrome.
I normally tend to recommend a good circulatory supplement such as Diosmin Plus. This supplement contains powerful circulatory herbs and extracts such as Gotu Kola, Ginger and Horse Chestnut to enhance the flow of blood in the entire body including the lower limbs. This helps to oxygenate all the tissues providing them with vital nutrients such as magnesium to ensure healthy muscle and nerve function. Do not take Diosmin Plus with blood thinning medications such as warfarin and heparin. Read More…
Staying younger without stopping time is something most of us would love to master. Yet, ageing is a multi-faceted process with numerous factors that can have an effect on it. The cells of our bodies are programmed to have a finite lifespan. Each time a cell divides, some genetic material is lost so that on average, forty to fifty cell divisions later, the cell is considered to be aged. Nutrition plays a vital role in the science of ageing. Some nutrients accelerate ageing whilst others help to protect against it. The theory of free radical damage and the role of antioxidant nutrients is well understood by most people. It states that the body produces reactive, unstable agents known as free radicals during normal metabolism, exposure to ultraviolet light or environmental toxins. Antioxidants neutralise these free radicals helping to protect the body against damage.
The science of ageing and telomeres is now rapidly growing. Among the leading experts in this field is Dr Elizabeth Blackburn from the University of California who, along with her colleagues, was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of “how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”.