Medical Hotline: April 2005

 
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Oh, My Aching Back!

Spasming muscles often cause back pain. It can be excruciating, as it may also press on nerves and blood vessels. Alternating hot and cold showers (10 minutes three times a day) achieve natural relief, which improves blood circulation and thus helps remove toxins. Remedial massage is also excellent. It may be necessary to consult with a musculoskeletal physiotherapist or have imaging of the area—although this is unlikely.

Ready For Sea

People about to take a voyage who worry about becoming seasick increase their prospects of becoming so. A calm, positive “I-will-not-get-sick” attitude is better. Then take Stemetil before you board. For a natural inhibitor, ginger works well. You can take it in capsules or eat it. (Also good for morning sickness!) The scop patch (worn behind the ear) is popular, but causes a dry mouth. Once on board, stay away from fatty foods, get fresh air and drink plenty of water.

Be Socially Responsible

If you suspect you might be experiencing herpes, you need to visit a doctor. Tests may be required. Anti-viral medications can kill this infectious germ, reducing the risk of transmission to almost zero. Famvir, aciclovir and penciclovir are all good antibiotic treatments.

Bone Cement

Many women suffer from a crumbling spine, especially the big vertebral bones. They can be repaired. Specialist radiologists inject glue, which holds them together. A radiologist using imaging will indicate if a person is a suitable candidate. The procedure literally holds the bones together, preventing further damage.

Hearing Things!

Tinnitus, common in older people, may lead some to hear a ringing when there is none. But if you hear voices or music, investigation is needed to ensure the hearing nerves are fine and that there’s nothing wrong in the brain. For general tinnitus, masking devices are sometimes used, but they can be more of a nuisance. Most people gradually grow accustomed to the problem.

Step-By-Step Fitness

Skipping is a great way to exercise your legs and lower joints and it also improves breathing, but as the constant pounding loads the joints, much like jogging, a brisk walk may be better than either. Done without a proper warm-up, it can leave the legs feeling stiff and sore.

The Chill Factor

Many suffer from recurring colds despite a good diet, plenty of sleep and sensible exercise. If this occurs, it may be time for a chest exam. X-rays or other imaging may reveal some underlying but treatable condition. A check with an immunologist could help reveal another underlying cause. Some people still subscribe to the idea that 2500 mg of calcium ascorbate (a form of vitamin C) a day helps prevent colds. Or there may be an allergic factor, often relieved by antihistamines and drinking a lot of water.

Scent Of A Woman

A strong perfume can leave people around you gagging, and may also induce a migraine in sensitive people. Many people are allergic to certain chemicals in perfumes. If affected, drink a lot of water to remove histamine, the usual culprit.