Recently, the Chikungunya (pronounced chi-kən-guun-yə) virus – a mosquito-transmitted infection largely indigenous to Africa and Asia.
Why did a transmission locally make the news? Over the past 10 years, the virus has begun to “travel” from its eastern hemisphere home to parts of the Caribbean and northern South America. Between 2006 and 2013, the CDC reported a handful of cases in the United States annually; these cases occurred in individuals with recent travel to areas endemic for the virus.
For the year through August 5, 2014, the CDC also reported two locally acquired cases in the U.S. Virgin Islands and 201 local cases in Puerto Rico. During this same period, Pennsylvania reported 12 cases of CKFV, all of which were acquired by travelers to endemic regions.
In Africa, the natural host for this virus is non-human primates; in other areas, mammals, such as bats, appear to serve as reservoirs for the virus. The virus gains access to humans via mosquitoes. The species implicated in
transmission are indigenous to parts of Africa and Asia, but also the Caribbean, South America, and the southeastern U.S. In highly endemic regions, infected mothers can pass the infection to their unborn children.
The incubation period for the disease is up to two weeks (an average of two to four days) following inoculation by an infected mosquito. Infections classically begin with the explosive onset of fever, muscle pain (myalgia),
headache, rash and increased visual sensitivity to light (photophobia). The clinical characteristic that separates CKFV from other mosquito-borne viral illnesses is intense joint pain (arthralgia). The pain affects many joints on
both sides of the body. The joints of the hands as well as elbows and knees are typically swollen but not red or hot to touch. In children, swelling of the ankles and/or wrists is common.
The majority of cases resolve spontaneously within two weeks. Persistent joint pain is the major complication of this infection and occurs most often in those over 45 years of age or those with coexisting chronic diseases. Pain can continue for as long as three years after the infection. Neurological problems are not typical of CKFV, but are the leading reason infected patients are hospitalized. Changes in awareness (encephalopathy), seizures, and paralysis have been described in both adults and children with CKFV. Infants who acquire the infection from their mothers before they are born are at risk for intellectual impairment. The reported mortality rate is 1:1000; most victims are at the extremes of age.
While a variety of diagnostic tests are available to confirm the diagnosis of CKFV, the initial symptoms are relatively non-specific. It is critical that individuals seeking medical care for an acute illness with fever alert the treating physicians as to any recent travel to endemic areas, particularly Florida and the Caribbean. There is no vaccine or treatment for CKFV. The use of insect repellents containing DEET and mosquito netting at bedtime is recommend for travel to endemic areas. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen are recommended for relief of joint pain and fever control.
The risk of acquiring CKFV in the Philadelphia region is unlikely given that the mosquito that transmits this disease is not endemic to this region. That being said, migration of the Aedes species has been northerly and is now found in Florida. Individuals who travel to endemic regions, notably the Caribbean and South America who develop fever and joint pains should be evaluated by their health care provider.
Tummy tuck recovery
During your tummy tuck recovery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals following surgery.
Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
How to care for the surgical site and drains
Be sure to ask your tummy tuck surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
What is a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals.
Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:
What a tummy tuck won't do
A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program.
Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.
Dermatitis is a general term that describes an inflammation of the skin. Although dermatitis can have many causes and occurs in many forms, this disorder usually involves an itchy rash on swollen, reddened skin.
Skin affected by dermatitis may blister, ooze, develop a crust or flake off. Examples of dermatitis include atopic dermatitis (eczema), dandruff, and rashes caused by contact with poison ivy or certain metals.
Dermatitis is a common condition that usually isn't life-threatening or contagious. Even so, it can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. A combination of self-care steps and medications can help you treat dermatitis.
Facts You Should Know
ALS is not contagious.
Who Gets ALS?
ALS is a disorder that affects the function of nerves and muscles. Based on U.S. population studies, a little over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. (That's 15 new cases a day.) It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. According to the ALS CARE Database, 60% of the people with ALS in the Database are men and 93% of patients in the Database are Caucasian.
Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis. However, cases of the disease do occur in persons in their twenties and thirties. Generally though, ALS occurs in greater percentages as men and women grow older. ALS is 20% more common in men than in women. However with increasing age, the incidence of ALS is more equal between men and women. There are several research studies – past and present – investigating possible risk factors that may be associated with ALS. More work is needed to conclusively determine what genetics and/or environment factors contribute to developing ALS. It is known, however, that military veterans, particularly those deployed during the Gulf War, are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS.
Half of all people affected with ALS live at least three or more years after diagnosis. Twenty percent live five years or more; up to ten percent will live more than ten years.
There is some evidence that people with ALS are living longer, at least partially due to clinical management interventions, riluzole and possibly other compounds and drugs under investigation.
Just what is ALS?
ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
Have You Heard about the "Ice Bucket Challenge?"
Viral Movement Dares People to Spread ALS Awareness
11-year old Jack Soucy, with his father, Art, participates in the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to raise ALS Awareness.
It may be warm in parts of the country, but some people aren’t drenching themselves in ice or cold water to cool down from elevated temperatures. A new phenomenon has hit the social media circuit – the “Ice Bucket Challenge.”
The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness. Those who refuse to take the
challenge are asked to make a donation to the ALS charity of their choice.
Beverly, Mass., resident Pete Frates, along with his family, helped to make the “Ice Bucket Challenge” go viral on the social sites Facebook and Twitter. Frates, 29, has lived with ALS since 2012, and he has worked with The ALS
Association’s Massachusetts Chapter. A former Division 1 college athlete with Boston College Baseball, Frates tirelessly spreads awareness of Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
This viral sensation, which has used the hash tag #IceBucketChallenge, has attracted thousands of followers, including Boston Bruins stars Brad Marchand and Torey Krug, who willingly dropped frozen ice on themselves and issued the challenge to others.
“This is a creative way to spread ALS awareness via social media and in communities nationwide,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We thank Pete Frates and his family for getting so many people involved in spreading the word about ALS.”
Benefits of Inversion
Don’t just cover up symptoms; target the source of your ache! Teeter Hang Ups has helped millions like you
find natural relief in the convenience of their own homes, and takes only a few minutes a day!
RELIEVE BACK PAIN
Unlike surgery, mechanical traction, and other invasive forms of treatment, using a Teeter is a gentle, passive way to target pain at the source and care for all weight-bearing joints. This progressive form of traction allows each joint to be decompressed by the same weight that compresses it while upright. To put it simply, inverted decompression creates an ideal stretch that improves spinal health and targets back pain by helping to 1) rehydrate discs, 2) reduce nerve pressure, 3) realign the spine and 4) relax tense muscles. Best of all, decompressing on a Teeter takes only a few minutes and feels great!
Rehydrate discsClinical studies show that when inverted the separation between the vertebrae increases, this allows for absorption of moisture into the soft tissue of the discs, increasing the nutrient content as well as plumping the discs for better shock absorption and flexibility.
When you are sitting, standing, exercising, or doing other weight-bearing activities, fluid is squeezed out of your discs and into adjacent soft tissue, just as moisture can be squeezed out of a sponge. As a result, your discs lose some of their height. To prove this fact, measure yourself in the morning and then again at night. You will lose half-an-inch to three-fourths-of-an-inch in height by the end of the day. (To see this change you can measure your true height or measure your waist. Height loss can be seen in the size of the waist because although you are shorter your body mass is the same and therefore the 'column' of your body increases in diameter).
When you are lying down the compression in the spine is reduced enough to allow the discs to slowly reabsorb moisture and nutrition over the many hours you sleep. However, the discs may not always maintain their full height capacity, creating a total accumulation of height loss of up to two-inches in a life-time.
In fact, the only time in your life when you are giving your discs a break is when you are inverting. The Nachemson study provides some insight: A number of volunteers permitted a pressure sensor to be surgically implanted inside the third lumbar disc. The pressure inside the disc in the standing position was set at a base line of 100% and all other body positions compared to it. Interestingly one of the most compressive activities for the discs is sitting. The muscles in the stomach and back relax, but the pressure in the spine increases. If you are sitting in poor posture the pressure in the lumbar can climb as high as 250%. The real surprise occurred while lying down. The pressure inside the disc only lost 75% of standing body weight - it never went below 25%! This residual compression seems to be due to the hundreds of ligaments and muscles that encase the spine, holding it in compression like a mass of rubber bands. This study further indicated that the amount of traction force required to overcome the compression was a large number, approximately 60% of your body weight.Inversion to an angle of about 60o is the only practical way to offset that much gravity force while remaining relaxed. (Hanging by your arms will not create the same effect since it requires muscles to be engaged, plus the weight of the legs are much less than that of the torso and therefore the traction gained is not enough to bring the pressure to zero). Reduce nerve pressureThe height of the discs relates to the size of the passageway for the nerve roots to exit from the spinal column, so a plump hydrated disc creates maximum clearance, helping to alleviate any pressure or pinching of the nerve root.
A bundle of nerves called the spinal cord run through the spine column; these nerves control communication from the brain to the rest of the body. Nerve roots exit between the vertebrae along the length of the spine in the passageway created by the discs. Damage to the discs or de-hydration/degeneration of the discs can result in nerve root entrapment, or what is commonly called a pinched nerve. Since the nerves extend into the body
there can be pain that radiates into extremities. Through the increased hydration to the discs during inversion the discs plump in height, effectively increasing separation between the vertebras and reducing the pressure and
pinching on nerve roots. Realign the spineSo many of our daily activities lend themselves to misalignments and possible permanent postural changes; sitting at the computer with rounded shoulders, carrying a heavy bag always on one shoulder, even wearing high heels. Also, many of our most popular sports are one-sided and rotational, like golf, squash, tennis, which puts significant stress on the spine as well as develops muscles on a single side of the
Misalignments mean that the body weight is no longer supported by an alignment of bones, and therefore the soft tissue of the body must resist gravity. Misalignments are not always felt on the inside but left alone they can
cause visual changes to your posture, and those changes can be degenerative. If you want to test this as home, take an empty aluminum can and place pressure on the top. The can will be able to maintain its shape even with great force applied because the sides are in alignment, but add a small dent to the can and it will crumble under half the amount of pressure.
When a vertebra is bumped out of alignment the ligaments and muscles that support the spine can hold it in misalignment through the compression that they generate. Since these ligaments and muscles are engaged even when lying down, creating pressure as much as 25% compared to 100% standing, it can be difficult for the spine to
naturally come back into alignment. When inverted to 60o the pressure in the spine drops to zero, as shown in the Nachemson medical study, with the pressure off of the vertebrae and with some gentle stretching the vertebra has the opportunity to move back into alignment. Relax tense musclesMuscles are gently stretched as circulation is
increased, helping to reduce tension.
Stress and tension can cause pain and muscle spasms in the back, neck and shoulders, as well as headaches and other problems. Tense muscles can be attributed to misalignments of the spine, over stimulation of nerves, or poor removal of toxins by the lymphatic system and a lack of oxygen rich circulation.
A study conducted by physiotherapist L.J. Nosse found that EMG activity (a measure of muscle tension), declined over 35% within 10-seconds of inversion, the effect was found to start at the very shallow angle of 25 degrees. It is suggested that the stretch to the muscles while inverted allowed the circulation to enter the sore muscle, bringing oxygen rich blood inversion therapy also stimulated the lymph system to clear the muscle of the toxin build-up. The user therefore would feel a decrease in pain and the stiffness in the muscle would subside. As noted in previous sections, using a Teeter also encourages re-alignment of the spine and decreases pressure on nerve-roots.
Dr. John E. Sarno, of the New York Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine claims that in more than 90% of the patients that he sees for back pain either there is no structural abnormality or the 'abnormal' x-ray does not really explain the nature or location of the pain. He calls the disorder the 'tension myositis syndrome' and describes how the tension causes muscle pain in this way: The muscle tenses and this reduces blood flow in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, back, or the buttocks. This produces pain by allowing the accumulation of waste chemicals, much the same process that causes leg muscle fatigue after a long run because of lactic acid build up. When the muscles goes into spasm in the lower back, it often leads you to believe (mistakenly) you have a disc problem.
According to the book Better Back, Better Body by Joanne Broatch: Much back pain is caused by muscles that are cramped, tense and in spasm. Using a Teeter can help relieve this kind of pain [by relaxing muscles and clearing muscle congestion]...Using a Teeter inversion table [stimulates] the flow of lymphatic fluid which flushes out the wastes and carries them to the blood stream. And the lymphatic system needs all the help it can get. Unlike the cardio-vascular system, the lymphatic system has no pump. Only the alternate relaxing and contracting of the muscles moves the lymphatic fluid through the capillaries and the one-way valves pointing towards the major
lymphatic ducts in the upper chest. Even in healthy relaxed muscles, the lymphatic fluid moves very slowly... Where muscles are in spasm, the fluid does not move, the carbon dioxide and lactic acid remain in the muscles and you
experience pain. Inverting, or tipping the body so that gravity works with, not against one way valves, helps the relaxed, expanding and contracting muscles to push the fluid up to the chest where it is then dumped into veins of the cardio-vascular system to be cleansed.
Also, for centuries yoga practitioners have recognized the concept of turning the body upside down to find
elaxation. The head stand position is a form of "postural exchange" (reversing the direction of gravity).
Not everyone wants to do headstands, so inversion on Teeter Hang Ups equipment creates an easier alternative with the added benefit of joint decompression.
IMPROVE JOINT HEALTH
Decompression aids in joint lubrication by altering the pressure and suction forces within the joint, helping to stimulate the synovial fluid that nourishes the cartilage and enhances shock absorption.
Mobilization and gentle loading of ligaments can help to increase the collagen content of the tissue, which results in increased ligament strength. Strong ligaments and muscles are vital for proper joint support, and help to protect against injury. Even the Army has utilized Teeter EZ-Up Gravity Boots to mitigate joint fatigue injuries. Just as you brush your teeth every day to maintain your dental health, you should attend to the health of your spine with a healthy routine. There is no miracle for back pain; pills to cover up pain do not address the issue, and surgery is a last resort option. Teeter is an affordable, natural, and easy to use piece of equipment that is backed by
medical studies and endorsed by millions of people just like you.
Tight muscles or stiff joints can also cause imbalances, which can result in improper body mechanics and an increased likelihood of injury. Using a Teeter provides a natural stretch that gently elongates muscles and decompresses joints, enhancing muscle efficiency, and improving mobility and flexibility.
During a normal day, your joints and especially discs will lose fluid, resulting in a temporary height loss of up to
0.5" - 0.75"! With the bones now closer together the range of movement is reduced. Inversion has been proven to increase intervertebral separation as it reduces the pressure on the discs and helps them to re-hydrate to restore shock absorption and flexibility.
Muscles adapt to bad posture. For example, with slouching shoulders the muscles in the chest shorten and those in the back lengthen. At some point is becomes to feels strange to stand properly. Inversion helps realign the spine and stretch the shortened muscles, many users report that they stand ‘taller’ and straighter after just a short inversion session. With continued use of the Teeter you may experience permanent improved posture.
IMPROVE FITNESS AND BUILD CORE STRENGTH
Strong abdominals, internal and external obliques, and lower back muscles are vital for proper support of
the torso. Crunches or sit-ups on Teeter inversion tables is a challenging way to develop and define the core muscles.
Most training activities designed to build core strength must be performed with great technical accuracy or they
can injure the back. Inverted exercises can target every core muscle without adding risky, compressive loads to the spine.
Inverted squats on the Teeter inversion tables provide a unique leg workout, strengthening the hamstrings and quads while sculpting the glutes.
And the Teeter is so easy to use…
This tell it like it is Trainer is no stranger to educating others. If you want real results without spending thousands of dollars, Operation Shape Up has the answers for you. The daily blog is intended to assist you getting over the hurdles.