An Intro to Home Ultrasound Units

May 8th, 2012

Ultrasounds are performed on various parts of the body and the most common one is the abdominal area. Abdominal ultrasound is generally performed to determine the abnormalities that have been leading to several health issues. Keeping all these important facts in mind abdominal ultrasound units are being designed to assure that apt scanning of this area is performed.When these ultrasound systems are bought one primary consideration that is kept in mind is that the end results have to come out in the maxim clearest format. Producing images after ultrasound is an invasive chore and for this one has to settle for the ultrasound units that are most appropriate.

Medical Ailments Determined Using Ultrasound Systems

There are quite a lot of medical ailments that can be easily determined using these ultrasound units. Some of the most common ones include pancreas, abdominal aorta, abdominal pains, kidney stones, gallbladder enlargement and many more. There are many ultrasound units that come with needle biopsies and while choosing these you have to assure that the needles reach the exact place without a fumble.

Features Of Abdominal Ultrasound Units

With so many technological advancements taking place in the area of medical products, there have arrived the ultrasound units that promise a painless and a hassle free body scan. There are certain set standards that are at par with the safety concerns and keeping these in mind the ultrasound units are being designed.

The very first feature of the ultrasound systems available in the market is ease of use as these are available in both the stationary and portable formats.

The choice depends on how you work and the facilities that you have in the area where a unit is to be placed.

Minimal training is another big factor to watch out for. You have to settle for the ultrasound unit that requires minimal training and is easy to be handled by anyone who is acquainted with the usage of these units.

How To Find The Right Ultrasound Unit?

It is you who has to decide which the perfect ultrasound machine is, keeping in mind some important factors.
Price: - This is indeed one of the most important factors to be kept in mind while picking the ultrasound units. It can be said that striking a nice deal is directly related to an ultrasound dealer who offers discounts.
Customer Service: - The better the service offered by an ultrasound dealer, the most confident you can be that all those issues will be dealt in the most appropriate fashion.
Warranty: - Most of the ultrasound units come backed with a warranty. Most of the dealers offer you free and minimal cost repair till a certain time assuring that you perform all those necessary ultrasounds on time.

If you keep these important pointers in mind, it will become easy for you settle for a reliable ultrasound dealer and ultrasound units. If you have a realistic budget and if the requisites are clear in the mind, then you can settle for the good ultrasound systems, for sure.

Why Choose TENS Machines for Pain?

April 18th, 2012

No normal person can tolerate body pains, even those with high pain tolerance. As much as possible we use something to relieve the pain, if not pain pills such as ibuprofen and the likes, we apply mentholated oils and ointments. Body massage, reflexology, acupuncture are also few of the physical treatments we use to alleviate the discomfort we experience.
We know for a fact that taking pain pills often may cause us to depend on it and might even get ourselves immune to the medicine. On the other hand, oil and ointment application is not always effective and can irritate our skin in the long run. Body massage, acupuncture and other similar type of treatments can help ease the pain and at the same time relaxing, but not too budget-friendly especially if you need it often.
How about devices for pain relief? Have you heard about TENS machines?

TENS unit or TENS machine is a device with paddings that helps treat body pains through electric impulses that are delivered to specific parts of the body which blocks pain signals preventing them to reach the brain. Normally this device comes in handy and for different purposes.

The types of body pains that are recommended for TENS machines are arthritis, joint pain, and muscle pains. There are TENS units that could be used for headaches such as the electro-acupuncture type. TENS machines can also be used and recommended for labor pains, as well as dental pains. However, Tens machine use is not recommended for pains associated with cuts and burns.
TENS units, aside from the pain relief action, also gives a pampering and relaxing feeling to the user. It stimulates the muscle and nerves particularly the pressure points when the electrode pads are placed on the surface of the skin on the affected area. You can consider it as a nice buy and worth the money because the stimulation action also helps relieve stress. There are also evidences that shows how TENS units can help release endorphins in the body.
Having TENS machine in your home is a necessity nowadays because the whole family can make use of it. As technology advances, different TENS machine types are becoming available such as the sports TENS machines and mini TENS machines that you can bring with you anywhere you go. You can purchase the type you need for your lifestyle, and surely there is one that will suit you.
If body pains are not treated properly, there is a possibility for it to lead to something more serious. TENS machines could be a healthier choice compared to those other pain treatments mentioned on the first paragraph. At least, through TENS machine, no need for you to intake different kinds of pain medicines, or if you need so, lower dosage may be taken. You also don’t need to book for a massage or acupuncture schedule because TENS machine could give you the same benefits.

Pain Management Tips for Lower Back Pain / Degenerative Disks

April 10th, 2012

Ninety percent of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point, and all but ten percent will resolve their back pain uneventfully. Out of the remaining five to ten percent whose pain becomes chronic, a significant amount have degeneration of one or multiple intervertebral discs.

First it must be understood that degenerative disk disease represents a quality of life issue. It is not a true disease in the sense of something like liver disease or cancer that may need life-saving surgery. Degenerative Disc Disease is a condition that is confined to a focal area and a person can live with it and skip surgery, although it may be debilitating.

Treatment options include:

1)Activity Modification and Weight Loss

2)Aerobic Exercise

3)Bracing

4)TENS

5)Medications

6)Physical Therapy

7)Chiropractic Treatment

8)Spinal Decompression Treatment

9)IDET

10)Interventional Pain Injections

11)Surgery - Fusion or Artificial Disc Replacement

Activity Modification is not a very exciting option. It simply means not performing painful activities. If jogging hurts the back, switch to swimming or a cross training activity that does not hurt. Weight loss may decrease the amount of pressure on the ruptured or degenerated disk, and could alleviate pain.

Aerobic exercise has been shown in studies to be very beneficial for the health of the lumbar disc.Whether it’s cycling or swimming the disc receives benefits from the activity.

Back bracing can be very helpful for pain relief. Studies have been equivocal on the benefits of bracing, however, it represents an inexpensive method of pain relief which anecdotally has been shown to provide excellent pain management relief for patients.

TENS units are a safe non-invasive drug free method of pain management that can help decrease the need for pain medication and also supplement treatment being received for pain control. A TENS unit is a device that transmits small square electrical pulses to the electrodes, which transmit this electrical pulse to the underlying soft tissues of the lumbar region.

Pain Medications include Tylenol (acetaminophen), NSAIDS, and narcotic pain medication in addition to muscle relaxers. There is a significant potential for narcotic abuse in the age group associated typically with DDD so caution should be exercised.

Physical Therapy including core stabilization and lumbar strengthening can help with pain relief for degenerative disc disease. Strengthening the paraspinal muscles around the problem disc(s) can help unload the disk and decrease pain.

Chiropractic Treatment has been shown in numerous studies to assist with back pain that is acute in nature. In conjunction with spinal decompression, the results can be quite impressive. Spinal Decompression Treatment is a revolutionary therapy which unloads the disc space and allows increased oxygen and nutrients to flow into the intervertebral disk. This can help repair an injured disc, thereby stopping back pain.

IDET stands for intervertebral discal electrothermal treatment. It was very popular for a few years then the results were shown to be less favorable than originally thought. A significant amount of insurance companies decided to stop reimbursing for it based on the questionable results so it has since fallen out of favor.

Interventional pain management injections by pain doctors can be extremely beneficial. If there is a radicular component to the DDD, epidural injections may help. If there is associated facet arthritis, facet injections can help. There is no intra-discal injection yet that has shown to assist with pain relief for DDD.

If all non-operative methods fail, as a quality of life decision surgery can electively be done. Options for surgery include spinal fusion or an artificial disc replacement. The results are between 50-70% good to excellent.Success does not necessarily mean the pain goes to zero. Usually it’s relieved by one half or so with the definition of success.

What Some Studies Say About Lower Back Pain

March 15th, 2012

I thought I would share some interesting news from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This organization is a division of the National Institute of Health and they said some really interesting things that I have been saying for years. If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. It has been said that nearly everyone in the US at some point in their life will have back pain that will interfere with work, our normal daily activities or recreation. Studies have shown that Americans spend at least $50 Billion (yes that is Billion with a B) each year to try and help with low back pain problems. Did you know that low back pain is the most common cause of job related disability and is the leading contributor to missed days at work? When looking at neurological ailments in the United States, back pain is the second most common finding. The only one to be more debilitating is headaches.

For years we have known that low back pain can be caused by different factors. As people age, their bone strength and muscle elasticity and tone will decrease. Then this leads to loss of fluid and flexibility in our discs and the vertebra become vulnerable because the cushioning is gone.

Most people first hurt their backs when they do something dumb like lifting things that are too heavy for them. Bending out and overstretching and lifting causing a sprain or strain type injury. If a spine becomes overly strained, a disc may rupture or bulge outward. This rupture may put pressure on one of the more than 50 nerves rooted to the spinal cord. When these nerve roots become compressed or irritated, back pain is the result.

Wilkey ET AL. reported in 2008 that the portion of the population that suffers from chronic low back pain (meaning for 3 or more months) is somewhere between 8% and 33%. They continued to report about 13% have pain that never goes away. Their studies continued and via a randomized trial comparing chiropractic care to medical care in a pain clinic. The treatments used by the pain clinic on the medical side of things consisted of standard drug therapies, facet joint injections, soft tissue injections as well as utilizing TENS units to aid with the pain. The chiropractic group used various chiropractic manipulation techniques, many similar to other manual therapy professions. The results were nothing but astounding. After 8 weeks of treatment, the raw score of improvement was 1.99 for medicine and 9.03 for chiropractic. This research indicates that chiropractic care is 457% more effective than medicine for Chronic Low Back Pain. To say that medicine doesn’t have a place in healthcare would be inaccurate and irresponsible, but based upon the evidence based outcome studies, research would conclude that the path is chiropractic first and then drugs as a second resort.

The Benefits Of Using TENS Units For Athletes

March 9th, 2012

Athletes put their bodies through incredible amounts of stress and strain, but they are usually able to recover quickly thanks to their high levels of conditioning. Sometimes, though, muscle pain and soreness will not subside. Although rest is the best solution for pain and soreness, many athletes do not have time to give their bodies a break. This is especially true in the midst of a competitive season, during which one missed day can mean the difference between winning and losing. Thankfully, TENS units for athletes are becoming more popular. These units can be used to ease the recovery from pain and soreness, plus they can help rebuild muscle tissue in the event of an injury like a pull or a tear. This keeps athletes from having to take valuable time away from their sports.

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. The units work by sending electrical pulses into the body which prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. Additionally, TENS units can help with the body’s creation of endorphins, which can make the recovery process go more quickly. By using these units regularly when injuries or pains occur, athletes can also experience a decrease in the amount of time it takes to heal from common injuries and pains.

Because TENS units stimulate the body with small electrical shocks, they should not be used without the proper training and guidance from a physician. The machines are simply too dangerous to be used without supervision from a medical professional. Once a patient has been shown how to operate a TENS unit properly, he or she can use it as directed to help the recovery process.

One of the most appealing aspects of using TENS units for athletes is that the machines are highly portable. For this reason, the units can be used almost anywhere at any time. Athletes love this aspect since they often have very little time to devote to recovery in between workouts and jobs. In fact, an athlete could go to the gym in the morning and use his or her workday to recover by using the TENS unit. The machines are compact, quiet and effective when used properly.

Being an athlete today requires a significant commitment in terms of time and effort. When injuries happen, it can throw a training program or competitive schedule completely off track. Recovering from pain, soreness and injuries takes time, but by using TENS units for athletes, people can get back to training and playing in very little time. The machines are effective and very easy to use, plus they can be used virtually anywhere at any time. TENS units are truly revolutionary when it comes to athletic recovery.