Back Pain, as common as uncomfortable

While 80% of all Americans will experience low back pain at least once in their lives, back pain in general it’s also considered one of the main reasons for work absences and doctor visits.

But, why is it so common? Well, we are made of muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, and discs. If we have problems with any of these components, the back pain may appear.  It is important to know that sometimes it’s just impossible to determine the cause of that pain, but what matters in this cases is to find treatment and professional advice.

According to experts, back pain could affect adults between 35 and 55 years old, and as we said before, it could be reflective of any issues with our structures. However, there are different conditions that might be connected with that discomfort. Osteoarthritis of the spine, osteoporosis, herniated or ruptured discs, and pinched nerves are some of those conditions that should be diagnosed and treated by specialists.

Other possible causes of the terrible back pain that not only affects millions of Americans, but also constitutes the leading cause of disability in people younger than 45, are strains, muscle spasms, sciatica, poor posture, and stress…yes, stress can lead to muscle tension in your back, and although it seems incredible, anxiety and depression can make worse the pain, so if you already have that horrible pain, take it easy, rest, and breathe.

Then, what’s the first thing we should do when we first experience that back pain? Think about possible causes to determine if it could be an injury, a posture issue, or something else. Having an idea could help you to make a decision about the next step.

If besides that discomfort you also present other symptoms like numbness, swelling, pain down the legs, fever, weight loss or urinary incontinence, it’s time to visit your doctor.  Also, have in mind that if you have or had cancer, if you have immune systems problems, or are less than 20 and more than 55 years, you too should go to your doctor as soon as the first back pain symptoms appear.

If the pain is persistent for more than 4 weeks, or it doesn’t improve after a couple of days of rest, ice and common pain relievers, it’s better to get a doctor’s opinion. Don’t underestimate the pain and its relative normality. Nobody has to get used to living in pain.

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Is it a cold, or are they allergies?

Who knows, right? Symptoms are so similar and both of them are very common at this time of the year. A runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, sensitive and watery eyes…how can we know if we need an antihistamine or a medicine against the cold symptoms?

Well, it could be tricky, but is not impossible, and it’s important to know the difference in order to get the appropriate treatment.

Now, allergies, cold, and flu, all affect the respiratory system, but each one of them has specific symptoms that differentiate from the others.

Let’s start by saying that when you are suffering from allergies your body’s immune system is fighting against an allergen, which means that you will experience the symptoms for as long as you are in contact with the trigger, or the element that you are allergic to. If you are allergic to a specific flower, or to pollen, for example, your allergies are going to be present while those allergens are around you. We can be talking about an entire season of many weeks or even months.

When we talk about a cold or even the flu, two weeks should be the regular time that takes to fight against the virus, because instead of trees, dust or animals, the cold is generated by a virus.

Besides a runny nose, the watery eyes and the other symptoms that are easily confused with those of the allergies, when you have the flu or a cold, you will probably present fever, fatigue, and body ache.

Even though there are some over the counter medicines that offer relief for the cold symptoms, there is no a real “cure” for a cold, and most people could recover on their own without the need to visit a doctor.

There are also non-prescription medicines to help with the allergies, but in most cases, it’s important to consult a specialist in order to know what are you allergic to and maybe to explore a long-term treatment.

The main message here is to be careful and to listen to your body. Don’t use medicines if you are not sure about the origin of your symptoms and always, always, consult a doctor if those symptoms persist more than normal.

 

 

 

Don’t lose your head over hair loss

 

Yes, is not an easy thing to handle, and its effects go beyond the appearance. Hair loss is a problem that doesn’t discriminate between men and women, and it emotionally affects both equally.

We all have seen thousands of products and procedures that ensure the return of the lost hair, but the reality is that the problem goes deeper and there is no a magic formula or lotion that could prevent or restore the hair loss overnight. That’s why is very important for you to be informed and to analyze your own situation so you can collect the information you need to fight the problem.

The first step once you detect hair loss is to evaluate and know how big or serious is the problem. It’s important to understand that we all lose hair every day. Losing up to 100 hairs is normal. Now, what you need to determine is if you are experiencing a significant hair loss, or if it’s something that is just starting, or maybe we are talking about thinning hair. Everything is important when you are evaluating the situation.

Now, when we talk about causes, there are several of them, and they can go from stress to age, through chemical processes, hormonal deficiencies or family history.

Your doctor can diagnose your hair loss with some of the information you collect. The physician will need to know when it started, how much hair are you losing, and what’s your parent’s history with hair loss. Some of your hairs might be collected at your doctor office for tests, and even a blood sample could be necessary.

Once you have a clear diagnosis and the cause of your problem, the options to treat your hair loss will be presented to you. At the end of the day, it will be your call on what to do or not to treat the issue, but the most important thing is to know and understand that hair loss doesn’t have to be a taboo in your life. To the extent that you recognize and decide to put the problem in professional’s hands, you will have better options to see improvements. Don’t lose your head over hair loss, you are not alone!