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If I have right knee osteoarthritis, do I have to work out my left side as well?
I was recently asked by a patient why he had to work out both sides of his body in physical therapy if only his right knee hurt. I can understand some of the confusion. After all, if your right shoulder were painful and inflamed and required an injection, the medication would only be put at the site of inflammation -- in your right shoulder. You would not be a candidate for a right and a left shoulder injection! However, physical therapy, for the most part, is much different. I'll explain.
There are two basic components to physical therapy -- passive and active. In the passive component, the therapist may apply ice, heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and other modalities to the painful area. For the most part, these modalities are only placed at the site of injury (there are a few exceptions that are beyond the scope of this blog). So, in this sense, physical therapy is functioning si...
As I sit here writing, I'm in a lot of pain. The left side of my low back is throbbing. Often I can ease this pain by popping the back, but this time that hasn't worked, and neither has Advil. The next step will be to put a prescription pain patch on it.
"Depression hurts," say the Cymbalta commercials. Yes, it does, and antidepressants that, like Cymbalta, work to make more of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine available have also been shown to relieve pain.
My questions arise from my own experience. Although I was formally diagnosed with bipolar relatively late, I see symptoms going clear back to childhood. I began to have chronic pain in my early 20s, first in my neck and head, then crippling pain in my arms that finally moved to my mid and upper back. This was diagnosed, after 9 difficult years, as fibromyalgia. Then later I injured my low back and have had trouble with it ever since, while other areas of my back flare up periodically.
One of t...
Congestive heart failure - left
The goals of treatments are:
Treat the disease that is causing the heart failure
Relieve stress on the heart
Reduce risks of worsening heart failure
You should see a heart specialist. You may need to stay in the hospital when symptoms are severe.
Treatment may involve surgery or cardiac catheterization to open blocked heart arteries, medicines for high blood pressure, and lifestyle changes such as stopping drinking alcohol.
Persons with heart failure should eat less salt, avoid alcohol, and exercise moderately.
Medicines that may be used include:
Diuretics such as furosemide (Lasix) or spironolactone (Aldactone) to help the body get rid of extra fluid
Beta blockers and ACE inhibitors to reduce the stress on the heart and to prevent further muscle damage and scarring
Digoxin to increase muscle strength and slow down abnormally fast ...
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