All posts by T. Baldwin

T. Baldwin

About T. Baldwin

Terry Baldwin is an emergency nurse with years of experience in the field. Aside from his medical endeavor, he is also a writer way back in his college years. To make the most out of his passion for writing, he also works as a writer for different health-related websites. He regularly submits articles specifically on first aid care and other health-related topics.

lower back pain

Remedies for lower back pain

Lower back pain is a condition that causes pain in the muscles, bones and nerves of the back. The pain can be dull to severe and can last less than 6 weeks. Pain can be felt below the ribs and above the legs. Lifting, reaching and twisting can cause pain in the back.

Symptoms of lower back pain

  • Pain when lifting, forward bending and twisting of the body
  • Tenderness when touched
  • Pain when raising the leg, sitting and standing
  • Pain spreads down the leg or sciatica

Causes

Remedies for lower back pain
The pain can be dull to severe and can last less than 6 weeks.
  • Herniated disc
  • Sprain or strains on the lower back
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Increased weight during pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Incorrect sleeping position
  • Poor posture
  • Poor physical condition
  • Medical conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected area. Avoid activities that cause further irritations on the area. Perform gentle exercises such as walking or climbing stairs to stimulate proper flow of blood and loosen irritated nerves or spinal joints.
  • Apply cold compress on the lower back for at least 10-15 minutes every hour to lessen the inflammation and the pain.
  • Compress the lower back using cold therapy and use an elastic bandage to support it and to stop build up of inflammation.
  • Apply moist heat on the area for at least 20 minutes to increase flow of blood and loosen tight muscles and other soft tissues. Put herbal bags inside the microwave for a couple of minute and then apply it directly on the lower back while lying or sitting down. Cover the bags in a towel to insulate it and retain heat before placing to the area.
  • Prescribed over-the-counter pain medications to lessen the inflammations and the pain.
  • Sleep in a fetal position with hips and knees bent and the supine position and legs placed in couple of pillows. These two positions of sleeping lessen pressure placed on the joint of the lower back and lessen the irritations and the pain.
  • Perform rehabilitation exercises with the help of the physical therapist for strengthening and stretching exercise for the lower back to lessen the pain and restore range of movement of the affected area.

FACT CHECK

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/ss/slideshow-low-back-pain-overview

https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/lower-back-pain-symptoms-diagnosis-and-treatment

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptom-checker/low-back-pain-adult/related-factors/itt-20009075

Whiplash

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs once the neck of an individual is whipped back and forward abruptly. The injury is the most common in rear-end vehicular collisions but it can also occur from sports injuries, physical abuse or riding amusement park rides.

Once the soft tissues, particularly the ligaments and muscles of the neck overly extend beyond their normal range of motion, whiplash occurs. The symptoms are not evident initially, which is why it is important to pay close attention to any physical changes after the accident. Even though whiplash is a mild condition, it can cause long-term discomfort and pain.

Symptoms

The symptoms typically manifest within 24 hours after the accident

whiplash injury
Whiplash causes neck pain and stiffness.

that causes the injury. Nevertheless, in some cases the symptoms can develop a few days after and can last for several weeks.

  • Pain in the neck and stiffness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache at the base of the skull
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue

Less common symptoms linked with chronic whiplash include ringing in the ears, difficulty with concentration and memory, inability to sleep and irritability. It is important to consult with your doctor if the symptoms have spread to the arms or shoulders or if moving the head causes pain or there is weakness in the arms.

When to see a doctor

You can treat majority of mild to moderate whiplash injuries at home using ice and over-the-counter medications. Nevertheless, it is important to seek medical care if symptoms such as pain or stiffness in the neck that persists, severe neck pain, bladder or bowel issues and numbness in the arms, legs are present.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask questions regarding the incident, where the pain is, how it occurred and if the pain is sharp or dull. The doctor performs a physical examination to check the range of motion and determine areas of tenderness.

An X-ray is requested in order to ensure that the pain is not linked to other types of injuries or diseases such as arthritis. The doctor requests an MRI or CT scan to assess damage on the soft tissues, nerves or the spinal cord.

Treatment of whiplash

The treatment for a whiplash injury is simple. Provide over-the-counter pain medications. As for severe cases, it would require prescribed painkillers and muscle relaxants to minimize the muscle spasms.

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z83kgv3GXzE”]

Aside from medication, physical therapy is necessary for better recovery. Apply ice or heat to the area and perform simple exercises to establish strength and flexibility in your neck.

Use a foam collar to provide stability to the neck. Use the collars for more than 3 hours at a time and used the initial days after the injury. Overusing the collars can shrink the neck muscles, thus extending the recovery period.

FACT CHECK

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/symptoms-causes/syc-20378921

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/pain-management-whiplash

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/whiplash/treatment/

Clavicle fracture

Clavicle fracture

A clavicle fracture is also called as a broken collarbone. This typically occurs in individuals of all ages. The clavicle is directly located over vital blood vessels and nerves. On the other hand, these essential structures rarely incur damage once there is impairment to the clavicle.

[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHgtkuGQRJU”]

Causes

Fractures on the clavicle or collarbone are usually caused by a direct blow to the shoulder. Understandably, this can occur if an individual falls and lands on the shoulder or during a vehicular collision. During a fall, if the individual outstretched his/her hands, it can also lead to a fracture. As for babies, this fracture can occur when passing through the birth canal.

Symptoms 

Always bear in mind that fractures on the clavicle can cause a lot of pain and it is difficult to move the affected arm. Other symptoms can also occur such as:

  • Inability to raise the affected arm due to pain
  • Shoulder that sags downwards and in a forward manner
  • Sensation of grinding if the individual tries to lift the arm
  • Deformity over the affected area
  • Swelling, tenderness or bruising on the collarbone area

Diagnosis

During an appointment, the doctor asks questions regarding the injury. The shoulder will also be examined and there is a distinct deformity at the affected area. The application of minimal pressure over the area can cause pain. The doctor performs careful assessment to determine if there is damage to the blood vessels or nerves.

An X-ray is performed to figure out the location and the severity of the injury. In case other bones are involved, a CT scan is carried out to provide a clearer view of the damage.

Treatment for a clavicle fracture

Once the ends of the broken bones have not moved out of place and lined up appropriately, surgery is not required. Always remember that broken collarbones can heal without surgery.

clavicle fracture
A sling provides support to a fractured clavicle.
  • Administer medications for pain such as acetaminophen to help minimize pain as the fracture undergoes the healing process.
  • Support using an arm sling or figure-of-eight wrap for comfort right after the break. These provide support to the arm as well as keeping it in position during the healing process
  • Physical therapy is necessary since there is loss of muscle strength when using the sling. The moment the bone starts to heal, the pain will subside and the gentle shoulder and elbow exercise are started by your doctor. These exercises will help prevent weakness and stiffness.
  • Follow-up with your doctor on a regular basis until the fracture fully heals.

Complications

There is a possibility that the fracture can move out of its position before it heals. With this in mind, it is important to follow up with your doctor regularly to ensure that the bone remains in its proper position. In case the fragments of the fracture move out of place and heal in that position, it is a malunion. The treatment depends on the extent of the movement of the bones as well as how it affects the movement.

FACT CHECK

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clavicle_fracture

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/clavicle-fracture-broken-collarbone/

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/92429-overview