Rehabilitation Options For Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow occurs when the tendons that attach the muscles in your forearm to the elbow joint become inflamed or damaged. Tennis elbow symptoms include pain and swelling in the area, as well as an inability to do specific tasks because of pain or reduced movement. Unfortunately, tennis elbow will not get better on its own. You will need to rehabilitate the area in order to get your elbow back to normal. Rehabilitation and treatment options include the following:

1. Discontinuance of the sport/job/hobby that caused the injury.

This is probably the most important aspect of rehabilitating tennis elbow. The injury to your elbow is almost always caused by repeated, strong motions that eventually over-work the muscles and tendons that are close to your elbow. If you continue to use your arm, you will only make the problem worse. Common repeated-motion activities that lead to tennis elbow include

  • painting walls with a roller
  • tennis (hence the name of the condition)
  • weight lifting
  • chopping meat and other food
  • opening heavy doors
  • rowing

2. Reducing pain and inflammation.

Initial rehabilitation will mostly focus on helping the tendons that are injured to “calm down”. Usually, this means

  • treating the area with a cold compress. Especially if elbow over-use is caused by your employment, you will probably need to apply cold compresses daily until you can find alternative ways to get your work done– ways that don’t affect your injury. 
  • using electrical stimulation or ultrasound to help relax the area. Sometimes, the tendons can become stiff, or the muscles attached to them can tighten to an extreme. Stimulating these areas with ultrasound waves and electrical impulses will help them to relax, taking some of the pressure off the joint.
  • bracing the area. Your orthopedist may even design a special brace for the elbow to help provide support to strained muscles and ligaments. Preventing further strain is a big part of reducing overall pain. 
  • steroid shots. If the pain is very bad, your orthopedic specialist will probably recommend a steroid shot to the affected muscles and tendons. Steroids help to reduce inflammation, which will decrease your overall level of pain. They work by suppressing your natural genetic inflammatory response to injuries, and are widely used in many aspects of the medical field. 

3. Stretching and exercising the area to make it stronger at it heals.

After the inflammation is under control, you can start doing some mild exercises to restore range of motion in your elbow. The exercises will include

  • stretching. Stretching your forearm will help to take pressure off the tendons, while also improving muscular flexibility. At first, you may not be able to hold the stretches very long, depending on your pain level. But try to increase stretch durations by a few seconds each day in order to get the full benefits of stretch treatment. 
  • strengthening. These exercises are not nearly as strenuous as lifting weights, but they do target the muscles in your arm and help to slowly allow more movement through the elbow. Some common exercises include stretching an elastic band open with all five fingers, or resisting pressure as someone pushes down on your forearm. 

4. Gradual returning to previous levels of activity.

After you have completed a course of physical therapy, your doctor will be ready to help you get back into your occupation or sport. You shouldn’t just jump back in all at once– returning full use to your elbow should be a gradual process. At first, do only a light form of the exercise with modified speed/resistance. You can slowly increase both speed and resistance as your strength returns.

If you try to rehabilitate tennis elbow and see very little progress, it’s time to talk to an orthopedic surgeon about surgically repairing the damage. Sometimes, if a tendon is badly torn or has separated from the elbow entirely, surgery is the best course of action for treatment. You can get in touch with an orthopedic surgeon at http://www.towncenterorthopaedics.com. Don’t just live with elbow pain– talk to a medical professional so that you can get your arm back on track.

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Itchy Blisters And Cracking Skin May Signal Dyshidrosis

If you have been diagnosed with dyshidrosis, you already know how itchy and painful the condition can be when the tiny blisters erupt on your hands and feet. This condition is a type of eczema that can recur throughout your lifetime. The key to living comfortable with this condition is to learn to manage the symptoms when they erupt and seek medical advice when your attempts fail. 

What is Dyshidrosis?

Dyshidrosis is sometimes called dyshidrotic dermatitis or dyshidrotic eczema. This skin condition presents with tiny, itchy blisters on the hands and feet. It is most common on the outside of the fingers and on the palm of the hand or sole of the feet, but can occur in other locations. Itching may begin before the blisters erupt, but often intensifies as the blisters form. You may be able to see tiny blisters beneath the skin before they erupt. Scratching often brings the blisters to the surface and causes them to break and ooze.The skin then thickens, forming scales that later flake away, revealing red, inflamed skin beneath. Your skin may develop painful cracks.The cycle may repeat for weeks or months and then suddenly disappear and return months or even years later.

What Causes Dyshidrosis?

The cause of dyshidrosis is unknown but may be related to atopic dermatitis, explains the Mayo Clinic. Like other forms of dermatitis, the symptoms may worsen when you are under stress, contact skin irritants (like soaps and cleaners) or ingest foods you are allergic to. People with asthma or allergies may be more prone to dyshidrosis, as the symptoms are often seasonal for those who suffer from nasal allergies. 

Medical Treatments for Dyshidrosis

While there is no cure for dyshidrosis, there are several common medical treatments.

  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroid creams or lotions may be applied to the skin to treat the blisters. While you can buy this over-the-counter, your dermatologist can prescribe a stronger version if necessary. In some cases, oral corticosteroids, such as Prednisone, may be used.
  • Immune-suppressing ointments: In people who cannot use corticosteroids, immune-suppressing ointments liketacrolimus or pimecrolimus may be used, says the Mayo Clinic.
  • Phototherapy: Special light therapy with ultraviolet light combined with medications is currently being used to treat dyshidrosis that is resistant to other forms of treatment.

What Else Can I Do?

While medical treatments can help clear up your symptoms, you need to do your part too. Follow these recommendations to ease the discomfort and prevent symptoms from returning.

  • Wear protective gloves when washing dishes or cleaning. Keeping the hands dry and avoiding exposure to chemicals is one of the most important steps you can take.
  • Use hand cream or lotion that is free of fragrance and additives. Many choose pure petroleum jelly or other natural products to soothe the skin.
  • Avoid hot baths or showers and opt for lukewarm instead. 
  • Wear gloves when you go outside in the winter. Cold air and wind damages skin quickly and may compound your existing condition.
  • Apply over-the-counter creams with coal tar in them. These are typically labeled for eczema or dermatitis and may speed the healing of your inflamed skin.
  • Take an antihistamine before going to bed, especially if you tend to scratch your hands or feet in your sleep. It will quell the itch and give your hands or feet time to heal.
  • Wear socks or slippers and avoid going barefoot if you develop blisters on your feet. 
  • Keep a notebook detailing when your symptoms are active. Note your activities, new foods or changes in shampoos, soaps and cleaning supplies. This may help you pinpoint the triggers for your symptoms.

While dyshidrosis cannot be cured, it can be managed. Talk to the dermatologist at a clinic like Desert Dermatology about your concerns to determine the right treatment options for you.

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Five Golden Rules Of Co-Parenting Every Divorced Parent Should Follow

If you’re recently divorced and will share parental duties with your ex-spouse, you may find yourself faced with new challenges in child-rearing. For the child’s best interest, set aside negative feelings towards your ex. In addition, it’s important to establish a mutually agreeable schedule with your former spouse and communicate openly.

Here are five golden rules to follow for successful co-parenting:

1. Don’t Shift Negative Feelings or Resentment for Your Ex Onto Your Child

Belittling your ex-partner in front of your child or speaking negatively about your ex is counterproductive. In many cases, this behavior is self-destructive. How so? By propelling your child into the conflict, you may be forcing him or her to choose sides. Your child could end up resenting you later.

This is why it’s vitally important for both parents to air personal grievances in private. Arguments and ill feelings will only add to the stress your child may already be experiencing after the transition of adjusting to a divorce.

2. Establish a Mutually Agreeable Co-Parenting Timetable

It’s possible that both you and your ex will have conflicting schedules. Between work and other obligations, what works for one parent might not always be optimal for the other. Your child’s best interests should be a top priority, therefore you and your ex need to work out a compromise, if necessary. If this means rearranging schedules, so be it.

Parenting dates should be arranged in advance, not on the spur of the moment. A verbal agreement of when each parent spends time with the child may not be adequate. Create a co-parenting schedule with your ex and put it in writing. To help you keep track of the timetable, write down the schedule on a dry erase board or desk calender. This will eliminate the risk of conflicts or misunderstandings over visitations.

3. Be an Informant

Sharing co-parenting duties with your ex means time spent apart from your child on visitation days. Wouldn’t you want to know if your child suddenly took ill or had a minor mishap during a visit with your ex? Offer that same consideration to your former spouse. It’s important for each parent to keep the other informed on a child’s progress and goings-on, from the important milestones to seemingly trivial matters.

4. Establish One Set of Consistent Rules for Both Households

Each household should establish the same set of rules for the child to abide by. Whether it’s an established time for chores, homework, or TV and recreation, a structured timetable will keep your child well-adjusted. If a child is not permitted to drink caffeinated soft drinks at Mom’s house, the same rule should be reinforced when visiting Dad. Both parents should be on the same page when it comes to house rules and boundaries.

5. Make Time for Yourself

Divorced parents are constantly making sacrifices and setting aside time for their children. During this transition, it’s equally important to set aside quality time for yourself. If you don’t allow yourself the time to relax and indulge in the simple pleasures you enjoy, your parenting may suffer. You can’t expect to be a good parent if you’re exhausted or devoid of leisure time.

What is the best way to enjoy your “me” time? Take advantage of your child’s visitation days with your ex. Use this time alone to pamper yourself. Relax in the tub or pool, crank up your favorite music or read a good book. Go out to dinner or to the movies with friends.

By devoting a day (or a few leisurely hours) to unwind and pamper yourself, you will feel refreshed and focused. You may also gain a new perspective on positive co-parenting. 

Co-parenting after a divorce can be difficult, but it is possible. If you need more tips, you may want to contact a parenting therapist or experienced family lawyer. 

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Saving On Merchant Services Costs Can Improve Your Bottom Line

In recent years, ambulatory surgery centers have played a transformative role in the outpatient care experience. With over 6,000 centers currently in operation throughout the United States, ambulatory surgery centers are quickly becoming the preferred alternative to inpatient surgical procedures.

The continued success of the average ASC depends not only on the level of care it provides to its patients, but also its ability to remain profitable by controlling costs, especially in areas that seem insignificant. Payment processing is one area that’s constantly overlooked by administrators seeking reductions in operating costs.

How Much are Credit Cards Costing Your Business?

Merchant services providers are the indispensable middle man between ASC management that accept credit card payments and patients who use them. Each time an ASC accepts a credit card, debit card or electronic check payment, the merchant service providers charge various fees for processing those payments. Unfortunately, there can be numerous fees tied to credit card transactions and the fee structures themselves are often unnecessarily complex.

These fees are often broken down into fixed fees (such as interchange rates and fees) and variable fees (such as merchant service fees and service charges). Whereas the former may prove difficult to negotiate with payment processors, the latter often proves surprisingly flexible. This is where you can possibly improve your ASC’s bottom line by negotiating a revamped structure with more favorable fees.

What About Charge Cards?

It’s a common belief that charge card payments are often more expensive for businesses to have processed than ordinary credit and debit cards, which is why many businesses often refuse to accept them. At one point, charge card transaction fees were double the average cost for a typical credit card.

While acceptance fees for charge cards are still slightly higher than average when compared to common credit and debit cards, today’s charge card companies are more flexible when it comes to setting their rates. Merchant services providers also have more leeway in setting charge card rates, making it possible for smaller ASCs to negotiate more favorable rates. Depending on the size of your ASC, charge card transaction fees can be competitive when compared to other major credit cards.

Changing Processes to Avoid Extra Fees

It may not be just the fees themselves that are robbing your ASC of additional revenue. Additional fees are often incurred for organizational habits and mistakes that could easily be avoided:

  • Some payment methods require an address and zip code in order to receive the lowest possible fees. If your point of sale system (whether online or on-site) isn’t set up to collect this information, you may find your company needlessly paying additional fees.
  • Multiple card swipes can trigger additional fees, in many cases. Using reliable card swiping equipment can help reduce multiple card swipe instances and, in turn, reduce costs related to fees in this area.
  • Inputting credit card information instead of swiping the card could also trigger additional fees. In addition to negotiating a more favorable fee structure with merchant services providers, those tasked with initiating payment transactions should also be aware of potential cost-saving actions they could perform to prevent unnecessary expenses.

Keeping Things Current

Another area of unintentional waste involves the validity of merchant services contracts. Contracts do expire and when they do, merchant services providers can easily modify them to include disadvantageous changes in the current fee structure.

It’s crucial to stay on top on your current merchant services contract, as well as any ongoing changes in the fee structure. If you’re nearing the end of your contract, be prepared to negotiate for better terms or consider a more affordable payment processor.

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Oozing With Osteo Pain? Natural Pain Relievers For Your Osteoarthritis

Slight aches and pain are common while you age, but a constant discomfort in your joints may be a form of arthritis. While traditional arthritis affects your joints and cartilage, osteoarthritis causes severe damage to your joints and surrounding cartilage over time. Affecting an estimated 25 million Americans, osteoarthritis creates discomfort and intense pain that may require prescription medications for relief. Thankfully, using this guide, you will better understand osteoarthritis and learn how to naturally treat your pain.

The Lowdown on Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects your joints, but this wear and tear can quickly weaken the surrounding cartilage. This is not only painful to your joints, but also to nearby bones and muscles. Although pain is the most common sign of any type of arthritis, osteoarthritis can create other signs including the following:

  • Weakness/Fatigue – The condition causes muscles to weaken drastically. In addition, patients with osteoarthritis pain have trouble sleeping at night, leading to sleepiness and fatigue during the day.
  • Stiffness – Joints become stiff and hard to move. You may have trouble getting up from a chair or out of bed each morning. Unfortunately, this stiffness may decrease your mobility.
  • Swelling – You may notice swelling around your knees, fingers, wrists, elbows, or ankles. In severe cases, joints may appear deformed due to the enormous amount of swelling.
  • Clicking/Popping – Joint stiffness may cause a noticeable clicking or popping when moving positions.

Natural Pain Relief Options for Osteoarthritis

After a diagnosis, your doctor will most likely recommend ibuprofen for pain relief. Unfortunately, ibuprofen does not offer long term relief for your discomfort.  You may experience ongoing pain, so finding safe, long term pain relief is wise. Fortunately, many natural pain relief options are available for your osteoarthritis.

Acupuncture

Placing needles in your skin may not seem like the best option for treating pain, but the therapy stimulates the body, sending pleasant signals to the brain. This releases positive energy, which can improve your overall health and decrease pain. Used in ancient China as a form of treatment for many illnesses and disorders, acupuncture is also an effective way to relieve joint pain.

In a typical treatment, acupuncturists will place 5 to 15 needles into various points of your body. Known as acupoints, these points on the skin represent the areas of your health that need improvement.

Consult your physician before undergoing acupuncture, but the natural treatment is safe and successful for most patients. Go to websites to get more information from professionals.

Physical Therapy/Exercise

Developing an exercise plan with a physical therapist can also decrease your osteoarthritis pain. Stretches, weight training, walking and jogging, and swimming can strengthen your weakened joints and muscles while decreasing your overall pain.

Physical therapy is great for building strength and losing weight, but it can also reduce the risk of further damage to your joints and cartilage.

Diet and Supplements

Following a healthy diet is smart if you are suffering with any type of medical condition. However, a healthy diet improves and protects your weakened joints, cartilage, and muscle. If you are currently exercising and treating your osteoarthritis, consider adding the following supplements to your daily diet:

  • Glucosamine – 1,500 mg of glucosamine each day can reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
  • Fish Oil – The Omega-3 fatty acids in a fish oil supplement will decrease the inflammation in and around your joints.
  • SAM-e – Also known as S-adenosylmethionine, Sam-e is a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which reduces pain. In addition, Same-e can heal damaged cartilage.

Osteoarthritis does not have to be a terribly painful, frightening, or overwhelming condition. While medications are available to lessen your pain, natural options are healthier alternatives. Using this guide, you can understand and naturally treat your osteoarthritis.

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When Your Child Is A Worrywart: Types Of Anxiety That Affect Children

Some children, just like adults, can suffer from intense anxiety– to the point that it hinders them from fully living their lives. While some stress and anxiety is normal for all people, anxiety disorders occur when kids can’t seem to function or control their stress levels. Are you wondering if you child might be suffering from anxiety problems? Learning about the symptoms and types will let you know if you should be seeking therapy for your child.

Anxiety and stress show themselves differently in different people. Your child can be susceptible any of the following manifestations:

1. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is commonly associated with veterans returning from the war, but it can actually affect anyone after a traumatic experience. For example, children may struggle with post traumatic stress disorder after the death of a parent, suffering from abuse, a bad bullying episode, or even a bad car accident. Symptoms of this disorder include:

  • fear that is localized to a specific event. Your child may not tell you the root of their anxiety (they may not know themselves), but their anxiety will generally be focused to a specific thing. For example, if they were in a car accident, they may show anxiety when you are driving,\ or when getting into a vehicle. 
  • nightmares. Kids often relive traumatic events as flashbacks and will suffer sleep disturbances because of it.
  • paranoia. Children may show aversions to being with specific people or worry that the same bad thing will happen to them again, making them extra careful in developing protective habits.

2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

When stress is not triggered by a certain event or problem, and your child seems to worry about everything, general anxiety is most likely the culprit. Symptoms of this condition include:

  • excessive worry about regular life events, like going to school, riding the bus, taking a test, or going to the doctor. 
  • anxiety over the health and safety of family members and friends when everyone is healthy
  • imagining hypothetical scenarios where people get hurt or bad things happen, and allowing those to influence decisions about the future
  • stomach aches, headaches, and other physical manifestations that are associated with dread.

3. Social Anxiety Or Phobia

Children can struggle with social anxiety, where the stress is localized to being in large groups of people or speaking out loud in a group. This disorder goes beyond shyness or introversion. You should not worry if your child is quiet. You, however, should be concerned if your child refuses to speak in public (mutism) and if they suffer from symptoms of stress when meeting new people, like worrying that they always say the wrong thing and that everyone is thinking that he or she is stupid. 

4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Children with OCD struggle with anxiety when they are not able to follow through on certain compulsions. These are different with each individual, but if your child must do something over and over again to try make themselves worry less, this is a sign that they are struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder. Common compulsions include washing hands, rechecking things over and over, or hiding certain colors from view.

As you can see, anxiety is found in many different forms, and all of the them can be harmful to your child’s development. If you notice some of the above behaviors, it’s important to seek therapy for from a licensed counselor at a place like Living Hope Clinic so that your child can begin to tackle some of the root causes of anxiety. For some children, this will mean facing the reality of a traumatic event; for others, it will mean practicing the things that cause anxiety, like speaking in front of others. Either way, your child will have the chance to really be a child again. 

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3 Options For Mole Removal

Moles on your skin can be a great annoyance. They may be unsightly, or they may be uncomfortable if they’re located in a site where they rub against your clothes or your jewelry. It’s no surprise many people opt to have them removed. The question is which mole removal method you want to go with. You have several different options for removal either in a doctor’s office or in your home by yourself. Take a look at some of the facts about different methods of mole removal, so you can decide which method is right for you.

In a Doctor’s Office

Before you have any mole bothering you removed, it’s not a bad idea to let a doctor take a look at it. In some cases, moles can be a warning sign of skin cancer. The guidelines for determining whether or not a mole deserves a closer look are the ABCDEs. A is for asymmetrical, B is for uneven borders, C is for moles that contain different colors, D is for a diameter larger than a pencil eraser, and E for an evolving or changing mole, or changing. Moles meeting any of these guidelines should be screened for cancer.

If your doctor determines your mole is not dangerous, they can remove it for you right there in the office. A doctor can shave your mole off with a scalpel after applying a local anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain. Or, if you would rather not go under the knife, your doctor may suggest laser treatments or cryosurgery. Laser treatment burns the mole away, and it can take several sessions to completely destroy it. Cryosurgery involves applying liquid nitrogen to the mole and freezing it off – this is one of the fastest methods of mole removal.

At Home With A Kit

If having a doctor remove your mole is not an option, then an over-the-counter mole removal kit might be right for you. A kit is often a good idea for someone who’s afraid of needles, scalpels, and any kind of surgery. They’re also less expensive than surgery. So, if you know your mole is not cancerous, proceeding with a kit might be the next best thing.

Usually, the kits come with a tube of cream and a set of instructions. You may be instructed to lightly scratch the surface of the mole before applying the cream. This allows the medicated cream to enter the mole through the scratch. The result is the chemicals in the cream cause a scab to form underneath the mole. Eventually, the scab will dry up and fall off, taking your mole with it.

At Home With Home Remedies

There are a number of different natural home remedies you can try. Many involve ingredients you probably already have in your house. One commonly recommended method is the apple cider vinegar method. For this, you need cotton balls, petroleum jelly, bandages, and of course, vinegar. Apply petroleum jelly to the skin around the mole – this will help protect it from the acid in the vinegar. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, apply it to the mole, and hold the cotton in place with a bandage. Do this three times a day until the mole starts to flake, dry up, and eventually falls off.

Another method involves crushing fresh garlic into a paste and applying it to the mole, the same way you would apply the vinegar. Banana peels, tea tree oil, and mixtures of pineapple juice and sea salt have all been touted to have similar mole-removing effects.

Keep in mind there’s no rule saying you have to remove a mole if you don’t want to, though you should have any suspicious mole checked for cancer. If you do want your mole removed, you have several professional and DIY mole removal methods available.

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