Monthly Archives: February 2013

Yoga for Older Adults


What is yoga?
Yoga is a series of stretching and breathing exercises. Yoga postures involve bending, twisting, and holding body positions in a specific way. Most yoga postures and exercises do not involve a lot of movement.

What are the benefits of yoga?
Yoga offers many health benefits. It may improve coordination, posture, flexibility, range of motion, concentration, sleep, and digestion. It can also:
increase the efficiency of the heart
slow the respiratory rate
improve fitness
lower blood pressure
help you relax and reduce stress.
After learning how to do the basic postures correctly, you can do yoga at home when it is convenient for you. Yoga requires very little equipment.

Are there special concerns for older adults?

Check with your healthcare provider first if you have arthritis, a slipped disk, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Although yoga may lower high blood pressure, certain postures must be avoided. You may need to avoid yoga completely if you have had a recent back injury or surgery.

Our bodies change as we get older. You may have aches and pains in the joints. You may not pay much attention to how you breathe. Medicines may have unpleasant side effects, such as loss of balance, tiredness, or confusion. The body becomes less supple. It takes longer for injuries to heal. Your muscles become weaker and you may gain weight, making getting around more difficult and tiring.

To avoid injury to the back or knee joints you may need to:
Pay careful attention to your back when you do abdominal exercises. For example, it may be better to raise just one leg rather than both legs at once.
Change poses so that you are doing them as you sit on the floor rather than in a deep squat.
Certain yoga postures can be especially helpful for older adults:

The antirheumatic movements are very powerful for older adults. These movements can be done either sitting on the floor or sitting on a chair. You can hold on to the back of a chair for the standing postures.
Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor are also very important to help with bladder control and anal sphincter control.
Yoga routines can be modified based on your age, athletic ability, or physical challenges. Yoga can help reduce stress. Yoga helps to increase muscle strength and balance and makes it easier to move. This helps to prevent falls. People who exercise regularly feel better.

Home Remedies for Sinus Infection

Natural Sinus Infection Treatment

Natural Society

Sinus infections seem to be extremely prevalent, with an estimated 29.8 million adults suffering from sinusitis in 2010 (and that figure does not include children). What’s more, many individuals who experience sinus infections seem to suffer from the health issue repeatedly as years go by. Not surprisingly, antibiotics are prescribed all too often for this condition – with around 20% of all antibiotic prescriptions going toward sinus infection treatment.

Home Remedies for Sinus Infection Treatment

Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar is a hailed sinus infection treatment. Being just one of many apple cider vinegar uses, countless individuals attest to the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar against a multitude of health conditions, including sinus infection. One of the most powerful ways to use ACV is to mix 8oz of warm water with 2 tbsp of ACV and 1 tbsp of honey. The sinus infection could vanish within just a few days. Another option when taking apple cider vinegar is to simply take 1 tablespoon 3 times daily, whether diluted to ingest throughout the day or made to ingest quickly. Lastly, you can also try steaming with apple cider vinegar; mix ~1/2 cup of ACV with 1/2 of water, heat it on the stove, and inhale the steam with mouth and eyes closed. I recommend using organic ACV over non-organic.

Turmeric – Thanks to a powerful compound found in turmeric known as curcumin, turmeric possesses powerful health benefits. Among the health benefits of turmeric is the spice’s ability to treat sinus infection. Curcumin helps to heal the sinus cavity and clear the airways. Since sinus infections are caused by nasal inflammation, and turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory properties, the spice can be seen as one of the existing natural cures for sinus infection.

Nasal Saline Rinse – While the above remedies may suffice, a nasal saline rinse is also a very popular sinus infection treatment to store in your home remedies memory bank. For the mixture, you could try mixing ~1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or pickling salt with a pinch of baking soda and a cap-full of food-grade hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of warm water or simply use sea salt/pickling salt and warm water. If you have never done a nasal irrigation, or saline rinse before, ask someone who has for assistance or try following detailed directions. It may not be the most comfortable of solutions, but a nasal saline rinse seems to continuously be passed down as one of the more effective home remedies for sinus infection.

Oregano Oil – While it may not be the most accessible of the home remedies for sinus infection, oregano oil can be an effective sinus infection treatment. Not only could you simply ingest the oregano oil, but the oil can also be steamed and inhaled over a stove (with eyes closed). In addition to being a potential treatment for sinus infection, oregano oil benefits may also help to improve digestion, aid in fighting infections, and improve biological function – especially in the liver and colon.

In addition to the above home remedies for sinus infection treatment, you could try utilizing some of these options.

Elevate your head while sleeping.

Apply warm compresses to your face multiple times daily for 5 minutes each.

Vitamin C is an excellent immune booster, and can help to fend off sinus infections. Try taking up to 1000 mg of vitamin C 1-3 times daily.


Haglund’s Syndrome & Deformity

Haglund’s Syndrome is a condition that occurs at the back of the heel when you are suffering from Achilles tendonitis and bursitis in the retrocalcaneal bursa. The retrocalcaneal bursa is a small fluid-filled sac at the back of the calcaneus (heel bone) that allows the Achilles tendon to slide smoothly over the heel bone.

Achilles tendinitis (also spelled tendonitis) is inflammation in the Achilles tendon, often due to irritation and/or micro-tearing of the collagen fibers. Achilles bursitis occurs when the retrocalcaneal bursa is irritated from frequent pressure and it becomes inflamed. In some cases, the inflamed bursa also becomes infected with bacteria (referred to as septic bursitis) and it is necessary to see a doctor to get rid of the infection.

Haglund’s Deformity is a painful, enlarged boney protrusion of the upper posterolateral calcaneus that is caused by calcification of the heel bone due to the inflammation of Haglund’s Syndrome. Unfortunately, the boney protrusion causes further irritation to the retrocalcaneal bursa and Achille tendon due to excess compression of the Achilles tendon and bursa between the protrusion and the back of shoes or other footwear. This increased irritation than causes Haglund’s Syndrome to become worse.

Due to similar symptoms and the location in the Achilles tendon area, Haglund’s Syndrome is frequently misdiagnosed as Achilles tendonitis.

Sufferers of Haglund’s Syndrome may experience:

Pain at the back of the calcaneus and up the Achilles tendon, especially with jumping, hopping, tip-toeing, walking or running uphill or on soft surfaces.
Stiffness in your Achilles tendon when you wake in the morning.
Tenderness, warmth and swelling which might make it difficult to wear certain shoes.
As the retrocalcaneal bursa becomes more inflamed you will experience swelling. Swelling can cause difficulties moving the affected area and the range of motion in the ankle is usually affected.
Limping due to the pain may occur.
Possibly a fever if you are suffering from septic bursitis (You will need to see a doctor for medication to get rid of the infection).
The Achilles tendon and retrocalcaneal bursa are irritated by heat but feels good when treated with cold compression and rest.
Weakness in the Achilles tendon and gastrocnemius or soleus muscles can develop as the pain worsens and the inflammation in the area spreads.
For individuals who wear high-heeled shoes frequently, they may also feel an increase in pain when they are wearing flat shoes. When wearing high-heels, the calf muscles and Achilles tendon remain in a shortened position. When flat shoes are worn it causes the calf muscles and Achilles tendon to stretch more than usual causing the tendon to tighten around the heel bone and the tendon and bursa become irritated.
Who is at Risk?
Haglund’s Syndrome is a very common runner’s injury as well as with other athletes. It often results from sport footwear (i.e. runners, golf shoes or hockey skates) frequently compressing the retrocalcaneal bursa and Achilles tendon while participating in sports.

Women aged 15-35 who wear high heeled shoes also have a high incidence of Haglund’s Syndrome and Deformity. It is thought that the pressure on the Achilles tendon and retrocalcaneal bursa is made worse by the height of the heel. Due to the relationship between women’s shoes and Haglund’s Syndrome, the swollen bump that forms at the back of the heel because of this condition is often referred to as “pump bump”.

It is important to treat Haglund’s Syndrome in the early stages to reduce the symptoms, minimize damage and maintain motion and strength in your foot. Resting your ankle, using proper cushioning, wearing comfortable footwear and reducing any activities that add pressure on your retrocalcaneal bursa and Achilles tendon will help to reduce your pain and inflammation. By treating Haglund’s Syndrome in the early stages you are more likely to prevent long-term damage and chronic conditions from setting in.

Treatments – What You Can Do!
Relieving the symptoms of Haglund’s Syndrome initially focuses on taking the pressure off the retrocalcaneal bursa and reducing inflammation in the Achilles tendon. This can be done with proper cushioning, inserts, or footwear but may require surgery to reduce the enlarged heel bone if the syndrome is caused by Haglund’s Deformity. Preliminary treatment starts with cold therapy and ultrasound treatments.

The most important factor in healing Haglund’s Syndrome (Achilles bursitis and tendonitis) is resting your ankle. This can be difficult when you have to carry on with daily activities, but resting and elevating your foot whenever you can is recommended. During your recovery you will probably have to modify or avoid the activities that put stress on your retrocalcaneal bursa and Achilles tendon until your pain and inflammation settle.

To decrease inflammation and relieve pain caused by Haglund’s Syndrome use cold therapy and therapeutic ultrasound. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy (BFST®) is very effective at improving the elasticity of the retrocalaneal bursa sac, Achilles tendon and muscle tissue in the ankle which decreases the risk of your ankle condition becoming chronic and/or Haglund’s Syndrome returning.

Cold Compression Therapy
The R.C.C.E. treatment philosophy is used to decrease inflammation and relieve the pain of Haglund’s Syndrome quickly when your retrocalcaneal bursa and Achilles tendon are inflamed and painful.

Rest and limit your activity, to decrease swelling and minimize further inflammation in the Achilles bursa and tendon.
Cool the back of your heel to help reduce blood flow and fluid build up.
Compress the area if possible by adding light pressure to minimize swelling (make sure the wrap is snug, but not too tight as it could cause more pain on the bursa).
Elevate your foot to relieve the pressure from swelling.
Applying cold to your Achilles bursa and tendon will decrease the swelling and redness at the back of your heel. In addition, it will numb the pain in your heel and help to control the inflammation. Simply, apply cold to your ankle as needed throughout the day, for approximately 10-15 minutes at a time.

The cold compression Ankle/Achilles Freezie Wrap® can be used to apply cold in a safe, convenient and effective way – and the gel pack is reusable. Only the Freezie Wrap® gel pack is charged in the fridge. This means the cooling temperature of the gel pack will not cause cold burns, or cryoburn, on your skin like ice or freezie charged gel packs can. You can also treat yourself for longer periods of time so you get lasting pain relief.

The gel pack sits over the inflamed bursa and tendon to reduce swelling and redness. The wrap is soft and adjustable so it fits your foot properly, without irritating the retrocalcaneal bursa, and allows you to adjust the compression. This is important when treating an inflamed bursa because too much pressure can cause you further pain. You control how much pressure the bursa receives so you can benefit from the compression to hold the cold where you need it, without increasing your pain.

In addition to cold therapy, doctor’s recommend using ultrasound therapy to further reduce inflammation and treat scar tissue to prevent Haglund’s Syndrome from returning.

Ultrasound Therapy
Ultrasound has been used by physical therapists and chiropractors for years to treat Haglund’s Syndrome. By applying ultrasound therapy to your sore bursa and tendon you can reduce the inflamed fluid that has built up in the bursa, reduce inflammation caused by the bony protrusion of Haglund’s Deformity, and reduce inflammation on your Achilles tendon. In addition, ultrasound therapy will treat any other soft tissue conditions that you may be experiencing in your foot such as gout, arch pain, hammer or claw toe, inflammation due to a heel spur and more. By treating yourself with ultrasound everyday, you are able to rid yourself of pain and start using your ankle joint (talocrural joint) normally again.

But that’s not all. With Haglund’s Syndrome you will develop scar tissue on the bursa sac and Achilles tendon. As your damaged tissue begins to heal, this fibrotic, dense tissue is naturally produced instead of forming brand new healthy tissue. Calcification of the bursa and tendon may also occur, adding to the bursa and Achilles tendon pain you are already experiencing. Scar tissue adheres to your bursae, muscle fibers, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves in the ankle causing pain and preventing proper movement (this limits your range of motion, flexibility and strength) of your foot. Fortunately, therapeutic ultrasound treatments can also get rid of unwanted scar tissue and soften calcified areas of the Achilles tendon and bursa.

Ultrasound therapy is a great option to decrease inflammation, pain and scar tissue experienced with Achilles bursitis, tendonitis and other soft tissue injuries. The treatment is easy, painless, and generally requires between 5 – 10 minutes of your time. It is based on a form of deep thermal therapy which is generated through high frequency sound waves that reach into the cells of your Achilles bursa, tendon and other soft tissue in your ankle. These sound waves help to reduce the fluid build up in the bursa, heal any tissue damaged through trauma, reduce scar tissue build up on the Achilles tendon, as well as reduce any inflammation caused by calcific deposits that gather in the retrocalcaneal bursa and Achilles area.

Ultrasound can also be used to administer therapeutic medicines into the body. This is a process known as phonophoresis. Ultrasound with phonophoresis is rapidly becoming more popular than ultrasound therapy alone.

Using the MendMeShop® Lavender Infusion Gel during your ultrasound therapy gives you 2 therapies in 1. You get the benefit of the regenerating sound waves from the ultrasound device itself AND the added bonus of the therapeutic ingredients inside the gel being delivered into the tissue where it is most effective.

Lavender Infusion Ultrasound Gel contains the natural essential oils of Bulgarian lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and menthol and is exclusively available from MendMeShop®. These ingredients reduce inflammation, relieve pain and improve blood circulation to your retrocalcaneal bursa and Achilles tendon. 1 bottle of MendMeShop® Lavender Infusion Ultrasound Gel comes FREE with every MendMeShop® Ultrasound System so you get unbeatable ultrasound therapy for your ankle.

Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy

Once the inflammation of Haglund’s Syndrome has been reduced with cold therapy and ultrasound treatments it is time to improve blood flow and improve the elasticity of your surrounding soft tissue. Your body needs a fresh supply of blood to improve the health of your tissue and get your bursa and Achilles tendon back to normal.

Unfortunately, when you are suffering from Haglund’s Syndrome it is painful to walk and move your foot normally. When you limit movement in your foot the blood flow is reduced, starving your tissue of the necessary oxygen and nutrients. The trick is to find a way to increase blood flow without causing pain and/or further inflaming the bursa and tendon. This is where Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy (BFST®) becomes a powerful tool.

BFST® compliments your body’s natural healing process by promoting the flow of blood to your foot while you give it the rest it needs.

The Ankle/Achilles Inferno Wrap® uses a patented process to generate the same energy that is part of the sun’s spectrum of light, the same energy that is necessary to all living things for optimum health. The energy emitted from the Energy Web® stimulates blood flow to your ankle, more than you body would ever be able to generate on it’s own, giving your body the boost it needs to continue the reconditioning process. The healing energy reaches deep into your retrocalcaneal bursa and Achilles tendon to speed tissue repair, whisk away the toxins and dead cells, and rejuvenate your ankle tissues for improved elasticity.

This 3 step process is the most effective method to treat your swollen and painful bursa, reduce the inflammation in your tendon and improve the health of the soft tissue in your ankle.

Pain and Anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be used if required to help manage your pain. However, these aren’t recommended for long term use, as they can cause gastrointestinal difficulties and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The use of cold therapy, ultrasound and BFST® in conjunction with NSAIDs can greatly improve the effect of this medication and can help to heal quicker.


Hallus Valgus

In addition to a complete physical examination and history, X-rays are often taken. X-rays enable the physician to measure joint angles in order to determine the severity of the condition. It also allows the physician to rule out fractures or other pathological processes.

Treatment can be divided into non-surgical (conservative) and surgical treatments.

Surgical Treatment: Surgery is sometimes necessary when the pain from a bunion is extremely severe, or when a bunion has grown past certain limits. The success rate for bunion surgery is very high, especially when measured in terms of performing your ADL’s (activities of daily living) and pain reduction. Complications from surgery include: infections, nerve damage, scar tissue formation, over or under-correction, and blood clots. It is also import to note that the bunion can reoccur if the underlying factors that caused the initial bunion formation are not properly dealt with. The surgery it self may alter the pressure pattern on the bottom of the foot (alignment), causing certain biomechanical imbalances.
Please Note: Something to keep in mind for professional dancers; a bunion surgery will often be the end of that dancer’s career. This is because most dancer cannot return to their pre-operative state.

Conservative Treatment: The objective of conservative treatment is to prevent the progression of the bunion by correcting the biomechanical stress on the foot, realigning the joint as much as possible, and increasing the intrinsic strength of the foot.

Fortunately, in most cases surgery is not necessary, and conservative treatment can be very successful, especially when the following factors are addressed:
· Shoes: Sorry – but those high heels will have to go (except on the rarest of occasion) – especially when the bunion is extremely painful. The best shoes for bunions are flat shoes with a wide toe box. If you wear shoes that rub against your bunion it will only get larger. Some of the best choices are: wide athletic shoes, crocs, and sandals. The only problem with sandals is that you will not be able to wear orthotics within them to correct excessive pronation (if over-pronation is part of the problem). You can also try a shoe stretcher to increase the space in your current shoes.
· Soft Tissue Restrictions: It is essential to remove soft tissue restrictions in order to bring the big toe back into its neutral position. Without addressing these restrictions, the bunion will continue to expand. There are various techniques that can be used to break up these restrictions such as Active Release Techniques, Graston Techniques, Massage Therapy, or various types of fascial manipulation. The exact area of restriction will vary for each individual case. Using a golf ball on the bottom of your foot and performing self-massage can also be of great benefit.
· Foot Stability: Besides the obvious restrictions that may be found in the Adductor Hallucis, we also have to consider the other muscles that are involved in stabilizing the entire foot. Think of your foot the same way you would think of your car. Your car has four tires, each of which must be kept in alignment. If one of your tires is out-of-alignment, it affects the motion of the entire vehicle. The same thing occurs with the muscles of your feet. It only takes a restriction in one muscle to affect the stability of the entire foot.


Chronic Ankle Laxity

Chronic Ankle Laxity











What is chronic ankle laxity?
Chronic ankle laxity is looseness and instability of the ankle joint.

How does it occur?
Chronic ankle laxity occurs because of previous ankle injuries. Ankles that have become loose or unstable usually have had several severe sprains where ligaments have been torn. The more sprains that you have, the looser your ankle will become. Because of the stretched or torn ligaments, the ankle joint doesn’t have its natural support and may twist or sprain more easily.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include:

looseness of the ankle

feeling your ankle is giving way

recurrent swelling


How is it diagnosed?

Your provider will ask you about injuries you have had and examine your ankle. The injured ankle may be looser, more swollen, or more painful then your other ankle.

Your provider may take an X-ray of your ankle. You may have a stress X-ray, which means that your ankle joint is stressed while the X-ray is taken. Your provider will look to see if the stress causes the bones to move apart. You may have an MRI or CT scan of your ankle to see it in closer detail.

How is it treated?

At first, chronic ankle laxity is treated with proper rehabilitation exercises. It is very important after an injury to do exercises that work on range of motion, strength, balance, and coordination.

To treat this condition:

Put an ice pack, gel pack, or package of frozen vegetables, wrapped in a cloth on the area every 3 to 4 hours, for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Raise the ankle on a pillow when you sit or lie down.
Use an ankle brace as directed by your provider
Take an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, or other medicine as directed by your provider. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) may cause stomach bleeding and other problems. These risks increase with age. Read the label and take as directed. Unless recommended by your healthcare provider, do not take for more than 10 days.
If your ankle remains loose or unstable, surgery can be done to reconstruct the damaged ligaments. This will make the ankle more stable and stop the feeling that your ankle is giving way.

Without treatment, you may keep injuring and twisting your loose ankle. These repeated twists may eventually cause wear and tear to your ankle joint.

How long will the effects last?

You have ankle laxity because you have previously injured ligaments in your ankle. The laxity will only improve with on-going ankle rehabilitation or surgery.

When can I return to my normal activities?

Everyone recovers from an injury at a different rate. Return to your normal activities depends on how soon your ankle recovers, not by how many days or weeks it has been since your injury has occurred. In general, the longer you have symptoms before you start treatment, the longer it will take to get better. The goal of rehabilitation is to return to your normal activities as soon as is safely possible. If you return too soon you may worsen your injury.

You may safely return to your normal activities when, starting from the top of the list and progressing to the end, each of the following is true:

You have full range of motion in the injured ankle compared to the uninjured ankle.
You have full strength of the injured ankle compared to the uninjured ankle.
You can walk straight ahead without pain or limping.
How is chronic ankle laxity prevented?

The most important way to prevent chronic ankle problems is by doing proper ankle exercises after an injury. For some people it is important to continue the rehabilitation exercises for a long time after their injury.

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