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Understanding Those Aches and Pains in Your Body

lindamichelle No Comments

Pain is a part of life. You’ll find that pain comes and goes throughout your life, but it’s always there to some extent. Whether it’s the sharp pain from a recent injury, an ache in your head after a long and stressful day, that pain you get when your muscles are sore, or the cramping pain women experience each month, discomfort is inevitable and learning how to deal with it is necessary.

Understanding the various pains will help you to know how to cope with them, deal with the pain, and even prevent it.

Types of Pain

There are three basic types of pain:

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Acute Pain — This is the sort of pain that you experience when you get injured, and it is usually a short, sharp pain. Think about those times that you sprained your ankle, got punched, or received a cut – these are all forms of acute pain. Anything that involves a trauma or injury to your body can cause this type of pain, as can disease and inflammation. This type of pain usually disappears within a short amount of time as the body repairs the damage done.

Recurrent Pain — There are certain pains that come and go frequently, such as headaches, muscle pains, or joint pains. These types of pains are known as recurrent pains, and they are fairly sporadic. The pain is usually short-lived, but it will recur regularly until you address the problem causing the pain.

Chronic Pain — Chronic pain is any form of pain that lasts for a long time. Pain is considered “chronic” usually after 3 to 6 months of persisting, such as in the case of joint pain, back pain, or muscle pains. This type of pain often resistant to medication and treatments, and it can be debilitating. Chronic pain often manifests as a symptom of a disease or disorder, and both stress and environmental factors can make it worse.

How Pain Works

PMIR Medical Center explains pain in a very simple way:

Step 1: Pain is caused by a trauma, injury, surgery, disease, or inflammation.

Step 2: The nerve endings at the source of the pain pick up the signals, and transmits the signals through the nerves.

Step 3: The pain signals travel up the nerves to the spinal cord, where the nerves are all bundled up into the nervous system superhighway connected straight to the brain.

Step 4: The pain signals reach the brain, registering the sensation of “ouchie”.

In the case of chronic or consistently recurring pain, the nerves in the spinal cord and nerve endings at the injured spot can become very sensitive – picking up non-existent or mild pain signals and blowing them out of proportion in the sense receptor portion of the brain.

Dealing with Pain

shutterstock_136923536For acute pain, apply PRICE treatment (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) as needed, and visit your doctor to find out what is causing the pain. Burns, cuts, broken bones, and other forms of acute pain may need medical attention if they are very severe, or you can treat them at home yourself.

For chronic and recurring pain, visit your doctor to see what medications or treatments he will recommend. Some pains will require the use of strong narcotics, while nerve blockers will be used in other cases. Surgery may be needed to deal with whatever is causing the pain, or physical therapy will be recommended. Cognitive behavioral therapy and psychological counseling can often deal with chronic pains that are psychosomatic in nature, while alternative treatments like acupuncture, biofeedback, meditation, and special relaxation techniques may be recommended to help you deal with chronic pain.

Gadgets to Make Our Elderly Years Much More Pleasurable

lindamichelle 3,762 comments

The purpose of technology has always been to make the lives of humans easier. This means that if anything makes life harder, such as getting older, technology is what we can rely on to even the score. There are an increasingly large number of gadgets that seek to make the lives of the elderly easier in just about every category. This can stretch from moving up stairs, to reading the news. Here are a few examples.

Health Monitoring Devices

More and more of smartphone apps and individual portable or home devices are available that help you and your doctor to monitor your health and physical functions. These gadgets not only make life safer with chronic diseases but may also assist you in disease prevention. Blood pressure, blood sugar or simple heart-rate monitors are already available for home or portable use with smartphones and as these are always connected, they make it easier to log data, monitor and keep track of your health condition.

StairLifts

It’s a sad truth that something as simple as getting up the stairs can become a herculean task as you get older and your knees give out. Fortunately, modern innovations such as the stairlift has you covered. These devices can be a little confusing to figure out, but you can use a stairlift guide by Thyssen to make sure that you don’t injure yourself while maneuvering up and down the stairs. This way, you can simply sit in the chair, strap yourself in, and give your knees a rest. The lift will do the well, heavy lifting, while it powers you to the top of the stairs.

Even in situations where you could probably get up the stairs yourself, a lift is often a good choice anyway for the following reasons.

  • Takes pressure off your body. Putting less pressure on your knees will mean that they will work for potentially much longer, so you can keep walking around normally without pain.
  • Taking a lift will remove all the risk. Many people fall down the stairs every year and cause themselves serious injuries even when they aren’t elderly.
  • Keep your autonomy. While relying on a gadget to get you up the stairs can be off-putting, it’s often much less so than having to rely on other people. This usually means either having someone come over, which can be expensive, or having to go to a nursing home, which can be expensive and depressing.

Tablets

Another unfortunate effect of aging is that it can make it more difficult to see. Additionally, typing on a traditional keyboard can be hard on elderly fingers. This is where gadgets like iPads come in. Tablet computers like the iPad often have vibrant colors and big, easy to see touch screens with more intuitive interfaces than traditional computers. Additionally, many of them come with games that you can download for free that can help with keeping memory and critical thinking skills sharp. Some studies have shown that conditions like Alzheimer’s can be delayed through such exercises.

Exoskeletons

It’s probably the case that when you think gadgets for the elderly, the phrase robot exoskeleton isn’t the first thing that you think about. But no matter how farfetched this might seem, exokseleons for the elderly are quickly becoming a reality. These are metal braces that go on over the outside of the clothing that help reduce stress on joints. As a result, persons who have trouble walking for whatever reason will be able to continue their workout as normal due to the aid. After all, exercise can keep you healthy in other ways,and it’s rather unfortunate that joint problems force many elderly persons to miss out on the many cardio and other types of benefits of exercise due to unrelated aging problems. But this gadget will give the elderly the option of continuing their jogging and walking routines well into the future.

Technological innovations such as these will hopefully continue to steal back years for the elderly, allowing them to enjoy their lives for longer and longer as scientific understanding improves.

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