Five things you can do at home to help your OA

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Patients with OA can make use of every minute spent at home to help their condition. Here is a list of things you can modify in your home and life style to have a better control of your condition.

  1. Fill up your fridge with fruits and vegetables, and make them your favorite snacks. This will help you keep the ideal weight for your bone structure. Over weight is one of the biggest causes of OA.
  2. Use assistive devices that will make your life at home easier. Some examples of these devices are: canes, door knobs extenders, electric can openers, jar openers, grab bars in the bathroom, rubber grips for handles and a kneeler for the garden. You will find many more available.
  3. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary by getting the right mattress for your body, having the right temperature and being able to darken the room with blackout curtains. Sleeping right is crucial in fighting pain.
  4. Create diverse spaces in your house where you can rest often. Create reading corners, music rooms, place a confortable chair near your cooking area and have a chair near / in your closet. This will help fight swollen and painful joints.
  5. Try to crate an exercise space at home, by no means needs to be a large one. You could stretch and exercise there for couple of minutes every day.

Seven facts about Acetaminophen

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If you have are prescribed acetaminophen on a regular basis to mitigate OA pain (or any kind of pain) you should investigate and inform yourself about composition, side effects and conditions this type of  medicine. Here are seven facts you should be aware of about Acetaminophen:

  1. Acetaminophen (APAP) is an analgesic often taken by OA patients as a pain reliever. It shouldn’t be taken without a doctor’s advice, and most important, the prescribed dosage should be respected, because an over dose can cause liver damage or death.
  2. If you have severe liver problems, you shouldn’t take acetaminophen. Also, if you are taking this analgesic you should stay away from alcohol, this combination it is hazardous for your liver.
  3. It will be necessary to stop taking the medicine and call a doctor if you experience: loss of appetite, dark urine, nausea, red skin, blisters, pain in your upper stomach and yellow eyes and skin. You may have over-dosed.
  4. Since medicine for cold, pain, sleep and allergies normally contain acetaminophen, you should discuss with your professional about the right dosage for you before taking any APAP. Loosing control of your acetaminophen dosage can be lethal.
  5. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you shouldn’t take acetaminophen without discussing it with your doctor.
  6. Acetaminophen can affect certain lab tests results, so let your doctor know if you are taking this type of medicine before making any test.
  7. If you missed one dose and it’s time for the next one, skip that dose and take only the following one. Don’t take extra acetaminophen to make up for the last one.

Even though acetaminophen can be very accessible you want to make sure you don’t abuse it because its strong effects on your body.

Three myths about Yoga

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Some people with arthritis related conditions claim that yoga is the best movement based therapy. In general, yoga is more gentle to sore joints than other types of exercise and also a great way to relax, gain flexibility, manage weight and breath. There are several types of yoga, but also several myths around this ancient practice. Here are the three most common of them:

1. Yoga will make your arthritis worse because it requires strenuous movements. There are some types of yoga, like Iyengar, that consist of a tender sequence of movements safe for somebody with an arthritis related condition.

2. Yoga is not an exercise that will help you build physical strength, it is more a relaxation technique. Even though yoga is gentle with joints and a very good way to relax, it is actually a great way to build up muscle strength and gain flexibility if you practice it regularly. Some yoga fast pace routines count even as cardiovascular exercises. In general, yoga will improve your energy levels and help you manage stress.

3. You need to be fit to practice yoga. Yoga is certainly an exercise or therapy that is for everybody, with any body type, age or fitness level. Of course, like with any physical practice, if you are doing it for the first time you should start slow and gentle. Ans you may need to change some exercises to adapt to your joint needs.

If you are curious about yoga give it a try, find a good instructor and discuss your best options.

What do you know about Carpal tunnel syndrome?

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1. This condition is also known as CTS. Normally its symptoms are numbness in fingers and thumb, but burning pain and tingling in the hand can also occur.

2. The median nerve is the nerve that runs along tendons, through the tunnel formed by a ligament and carpal bones (on the wrist). When this nerve suffers pressure from any of the bones, the thumb and fingers will start feeling numb.

3. If you have suffered arthritis for a long time and also developed spurs at the wrist area, it is probable your median nerve will be under pressure. That is one of the most common causes for CTS. Also, swelling (symptom of some related arthritis conditions) can put pressure on the nerve and trigger CTS symptoms.

4. Although some times CTS can be caused by wrist over-use and without the presence of any arthritis related disease; RA, gout or pseudogout are the three most common causes for compressed median nerve (CTS).

5. The most used treatments are steroid injections to mitigate swelling, wrist braces (used at night normally) and, of course, avoid movements and activities that can exacerbate the symptoms.

6. When the condition is severe the patient may need surgery. In this procedure the median nerve will be released (by a precise cut) from the pressure of ligaments and bones.

All the therapies mentioned above should be discussed with your doctor if you are feeling numbness in fingers and thumb.