Don’t Depend on Medication, Know Your Choices for Pain Management

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you suffer from unbearable pain or inflammation? Probably reaching for the over-the-counter painkillers that you bought the other day. Unfortunately, that’s neither a solution nor a healthy choice because analgesics only offer temporary pain relief, and not a lifelong remedy. Painkillers will only alleviate your pain or discomfort for a while, but cannot get to the root of the problem. Fortunately, there are some alternative remedies to manage pain without pills. Here are three of the most effective ones:

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient technique of pain management. This Chinese practice uses small needles at specific points on a patient’s body to treat chronic pain. It’s useful in the treatment of a number of pain-related conditions such as lower back pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, headaches, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain and tennis elbow. Acupuncture may also be integrated with a complete pain management plan.

2. Mind and Body Therapies

Stress, anxiety and depression can add to your pain. This is where the importance of mind-body therapies comes into play. Mind and body therapies use a number of techniques such as medication, relaxation, biofeedback, hypnosis and guided imagery. These practices can boost the mind’s ability to influence the symptoms and functions of the human body. Biofeedback tells you how you can control your body’s response to pain while hypnosis helps you with deep relaxation to fight chronic pain.

3. Hot and Cold Therapies

Hot therapy improves blood circulation to areas of your body plagued with pain. Apply a heat wrap or heating pad to allow your sore muscles to relax. Hot baths are also recommended for effective pain management. Cold therapy will minimize blood flow to painful joints. Expect reduced pain and swelling, as nerves are unable to respond to the pain quickly. Apply a cold wrap or an icepack to get relief from joint pain.

Walk into one of our wellness centers and let us guide to through some of the effective ways to manage pain. We are always there to help you to stay fit and healthy.

3 Unusual Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

You have often heard that exercise is good for your health. Sweating out at the gym gives you the perfect abs, toned muscles and bulging biceps. But did you know that the advantages of exercising go beyond just delighting you with a toned tummy? Studies prove that regular workouts have some surprising mental health benefits. Here are the three most important ones.

1. Boosts Self-confidence

Workouts will make you feel better about yourself. You’ll experience a substantial boost in your self-confidence when your body gains a better shape and starts looking attractive. Irrespective of one’s age, size, weight or gender, exercise will improve an individual’s perception of his or her self-worth.

2. Reduces Stress

Stressed out after a long and hectic day at work? Fret not. Go for a walk or hit the gym to de-stress yourself. When you workout, it increases the norepinephrine levels in your body. Norepinephrine is an organic chemical that functions in the brain and controls the way your mind responds to stress. So, what are you waiting for? Head straight to the gym or simply do some freehand exercises.

3. Improves Brain Power

Several studies show that cardiovascular workouts help in neurogenesis, that is the development of new brain cells. This boosts your overall brain performance. Studies also show that a proper workout increases the BDNF (a brain-derived protein) levels in your body to help you think, decide and learn better. Exercising offers some amazing mental health benefits to you and your family. Our experts recommend that you take up the right exercise to stay healthy. Visit one of our wellness centers and let one of our Nutrition and Wellness consultants help you to improve your overall health.

How Allergy “Skin Scratch” Testing Can Help You Live a Healthier Life

With degrading natural environment quality, our immunity against diseases and ailments is shrinking considerably. Therefore, besides pollen and dust mites, even unfamiliar food types can introduce mild to severe allergic reaction ranging from something as common as a rash to as dangerous as a seizure. So, medical experts suggest that it is better not to wait around for an allergic reaction to treat it. Preventing such problems from happening can usher a healthier lifestyle. How? Scratch or prick testing can sort things out for you. Let us discuss about this testing process and learn if it can really help us fight off allergy problems.

What is Scratch or Prick Testing?

As the name suggests, this process involves pricking your skin to test its reaction to different allergens. Yes, there are obviously other solutions like Atopy Patch Tests, blood tests to identify which chemicals or elements that can cause you discomfort and how severe could the impact be. However, scratch/prick testing is the oldest form of allergy test available. It is highly sensitive too, according to medical experts. Plus, it takes less than 20 minutes to confirm which food items you should avoid in a buffet or what kind of environment could be dangerous for you.

What is the Process?

The inner portion of a forearm is the most commonly selected for this test. First, medical experts clean the area with alcohol. Then they assign different spaces on the arm to test different allergens. Now they prick or scratch the surface of the skin with a lancet, breaking the skin without drawing blood. After that, different allergens are introduced through the broken skin. Generally, glycerinated extracts are used as different allergens. The process is controlled, therefore, even if you have a reaction to dogs, cats, pollen, or food extracts, it affects only a small portion of your skin and not the whole body. After the 20-minute margin the results are identified and your forearm is again cleaned with alcohol, wiping off any trace of the allergen.

As they say, prevention is better than cure. Visit one of our wellness centers to get the allergy ‘skin scratch’ testing done.

All That You Always Wanted to Know About Warts

You don’t have to live with warts forever. Not when wellness centers have a lot of treatment options available to treat these ‘ugly’ skin growths within a short period of time.

But, do you know what warts actually are?

Warts are abnormal skin growths caused by the human papilloma virus. These growths are divided into different classes such as common warts, flat warts, plantar warts and filiform warts. Although these fleshy growths are not malicious and can disappear within a few years, their unsightly appearance and painful condition make waiting that long too inconvenient.

Types of Warts

Warts can happen to people of any age and at any time, but children and people with weak immune system are the most vulnerable. The different wart types include:

Common Warts: These are generally small and grainy skin growths that mostly appear on fingers or feet. They are often covered in small black dots, recognized as blood clots. Generally, common warts disappear on their own, but their looks often encourage people to remove them medically.

Plantar Warts: You get these on your feet, which make walking painful. These warts are generally surrounded by hardened skin and look like light brown or skin-colored lumps. Clotted blood vessels that appear as small black dots are also seen in planter warts.

Flat Warts: Flat warts generally appear on the face and the leg areas. These growths mostly affect children and have a smooth, flat appearance. They also look smaller than other warts.

Filiform Wart: These types of warts are long and narrow, and generally appear around the eyelids, lips, face, and neck area.

Treatment Options for Warts

As warts are contagious, it is better not to use home-based remedies to cure the issue. Your doctor may use one of the following treatment methods:

  • Medical experts can freeze the wart with liquid nitrogen. It will kill the wart virus and the tissue surrounding the area, which will fall off in a couple of weeks.
  • Experts can also prescribe medications like bleomycin to destroy the virus while boosting your immunity with immuno-therapy based drugs.
  • Doctors may surgically remove the warts if other therapies fail to offer a desired result. Doctors generally use an electric needle to destroy the base of the wart before cutting it away. Surgical procedures also offer the option of laser surgery, which uses laser pulse to burn and destroy the warts.

If you do not have a wart issue, try not to touch one or share your towel or creams with an infected individual. If you have warts, now you know what your options are. Contact us and our team of doctors can guide you to the right treatment.

3 Tips for Keeping Young Athletes Safe

Participation in sports is the best way to help youngsters achieve physical fitness, develop healthy habits, grow self-esteem, and improve critical thinking skills and teamwork. But children do sustain sports injuries such as bruises, strains or sprains for not adhering to the recommended safety measures. Although it’s not possible to prevent sports-related injuries, these three tips will keep you safe on the field.

1. Remember to Warm-up

Start your physical activity with 5-10 minutes of moderate to low-intensity aerobics such as rope jumping, jumping jacks, walking or jogging. These exercises develop your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems for more strenuous activities, increase body temperature and improve both blood circulation and a range of motions. You can try static stretching or dynamic stretching following your aerobic activities based on your fitness requirements, but do remember to prepare your body for the actual sporting event.

2. Avoid Over Training

All young athletes must stay safe and refrain from over-training or overuse injuries. Never play when you’re in pain. As far as overuse injuries are concerned, they occur steadily over time. Though these injuries are subtle in nature, identification and prevention is a must. Young athletes should also rest and recover from their injuries. Sudden or unexpected increase in exercise level, load, duration, force and intensity should be avoided at all cost.

3. Drink Lots of Water

Staying hydrated is important before participating in any sporting activity. Drink 16 ounces of water or any healthy sports drink two hours before an event. When you are exercising, drink 5-10 ounces of liquid every 15-20 minutes. For activities that last more than one hour, try commercial sports drinks with sodium, carbohydrates and potassium.

The goal of every young athlete is to stay strong, fit and healthy for optimum field performance without getting injured. We at Florida Wellness offer sports medicine, sport injury care and sports physical exams, in case you are injured. Contact one of our wellness centers in Florida to know how we can help you achieve your fitness goals.