Thursday, April 28, 2011

The WalkAide - Product Review

The WalkAide is a new FDA approved medical product that can simply help people walk better. How? - This medical device provides FES (functional electrical stimulation) to help people with foot drop clear their foot as they walk.

Who Can Use The WalkAide?

Patients who have foot drop can benefit from the use of this device. More specifically, people who will benefit the most from this medical device are those that have suffered drop foot due to certain conditions. These conditions include, brain or spinal diseases, a CVA (stroke), MS (multiple sclerosis), a spinal cord injury, TBI (traumatic brain injury), brain tumor or CP (cerebral palsy).

Why It Is Different Than "Traditional" AFOs (Ankle Foot Orthoses)

First, an AFO is a brace that helps people walk better. It is typically, made from plastic and is designed to help people walk better. Typically, this is a custom made brace, but it can come in a prefabricated designs as well. - The WalkAide reportedly analyzes the movement of a patient's leg and foot, with "advanced sensor technology". The WalkAide will then send an electrical signal to a patient's peroneal nerve, which is located in the lower leg. In specific, this nerve is located in the outside aspect of the lower leg and helps to control movement in the foot and ankle.

How Does A Person Get A WalkAide?

This is a medically prescribed device, from your physician. After the device is medically prescribed, the patient needs to be evaluated by a credentialed and medical trained individual, such as an orthotist. - This device is not bought at stores, like other devices can be, such as a walking cane.

How Long Does A Patient Use The WalkAide?

According to the WalkAide site, this device can be worn all day. However, patients must remove it and turn off the WalkAide prior to going to bed at night. This only makes sense if the device is going to be used for walking anyways. Depending on usage levels, the WalkAide will need to have batter relpacements every one, two or three weeks. Reuseable batteries would be nice in a case like this.

The WalkAide is also not water proof.

Note: This is health information. Although it is good information, it is best to get medical advice about this device from your local, licensed orthotist or medical professional. Many people are candidates for this device, but not all people with foot drop will be able to use the device effectively.

TMJ Disorder - 10 Ways Recognize If You Have TMJ

Within the TMJ, there are moving parts that allow the upper jaw to close on the lower jaw. This joint is a typical sliding ball and socket that has a disc sandwiched between it. The TMJ is used throughout the day to move the jaw when biting and chewing, talking, and yawning. The TMJ is one of the most frequently used joints of the body.

The signs of TMJ disorder vary greatly from chronic to acute symptoms. Doctors agree that problems around the jaw can present with varying degrees of pain and impairment The TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint is the hinge between the lower jaw (mandible) and base of the skull (temporal bone). You can locate the TMJ by firmly placing a finger slightly in front of the ear canal and opening the jaw; what you feel is the TMJ joint.

The causes of TMJ disorder have not been widely studied however, common problems relating to TMJ are:

Trauma from grinding teeth or clenching teeth or trauma from accident


Developmental anomalies

Many symptoms may not appear related to the TMJ itself so it may not have occurred to some people that they actually have TMJ disorder.

Consider the following common symptoms to see if you may have TMJ:

1. Headache and dizziness
2. Facial pain which can extend to head, neck, back and shoulders
3. Ear pain, tinnitus(ringing in ears), hearing loss
4. When joints move, sounds such as clicking, popping or grating occur
5. Jaw may lock wide open or may not fully open at all.
6. Trouble swallowing
7. Swelling of face on affected side
8. Misaligned bite disorder
9. Chewing on one side al the time
10.Waking with pain on side of head, usually in the temporalis muscle

Many TMJ sufferers do not know that their TMJ is the source of the ear pain they are experiencing, and assume instead that it must be caused by an ear infection or another inner ear problem. Because the TMJs are located right next to the ears, radiating pain from the affected joint, nerves, or other surrounding structures may seem like it is originating from the ears. A visit to a ENT(Ear, Nose, Throat) surgeon will provide an assessment of your TMJ dysfunction and provide an accurate diagnosis.

Walking Canes - If You Want To Walk Better Without A Cane, Then Read This Article

Why do people use canes?

What if there was something you could do to get rid of this walking aid?

What if you could improve your balance and not have to turn to a long stick that you have to carry with you everywhere you go?

1.) Introduction

This article is not a joke. We are not writing this article for our benefit, but for yours if you have a walking problem that requires a cane. I suppose we just don't want you thinking this is an infomercial... We are here to tell you that there are other things you can do to help your walking speed and balance, so you may be able to get rid of that cane once and for all!

The truth is that maybe you like your cane. Some are custom made and it is a fashion statement for certain individuals to use a cane. However, there are plenty of people out there that just want to get rid of their walking stick as soon as possible!

2.) Your Walking Issues

Do you suffer from a balance, walking speed, or other issue that is compromising your gait? Instead of using a cane to help them walk better, many individuals use a brace for their ankle and foot to help them with certain gait deficiencies.

What are the bonuses involved with using a brace instead of a cane?

A.) You do not necessarily have to carry anything anytime you want to walk.
B.) You can hide the brace easily under a pair of pants.

These are the main benefits for individuals that have certain conditions that hold them back. And, these advantages are heaven sent for many individuals with walking problems. - These braces are known as AFOs (which stands for ankle foot orthoses). - A brace specialist can provide you with one of these braces and they can even be custom made for you and billed to your insurance.

If you have a problem with your toes dragging when you walk, or you need a heightened sense of stability and balance, you should seriously consider getting one of these braces. Talk with your local, licensed orthotist (brace specialist) for more information.

*Note: The information written here is health oriented. It is not medical advice. Not everyone is a perfect candidate for a brace over the use of a cane. To get medical advice on bracing it is best to talk with your local, licensed orthotist.

Therapeutic Ultrasound And Pain Management

In recent years, a new form of pain relief management and treatment has emerged called "therapeutic ultrasound" or at times "ultrasound therapy." Although first tried in the 1940's, only in the past decade or so has it grown in popularity as a form of pain management.

One of the most common ways ultrasound therapy is used today is to manage lower back pain. There are two primary ways to acquire this treatment: either by seeing a physiotherapists who specializes in this treatment at a clinic, or by using a portable home device developed for this treatment.

There are two main types of ultrasound therapy: thermal and mechanical. Thermal relies on providing a continual stream of sound waves, while mechanical relies on sound pulses.

Most therapeutic ultrasound treatments only last between five to ten minutes in length, and completely painless. The therapy relies on the use of sound waves and is really a form of deep tissue therapy. Not only can it be used to treat chronic pain conditions such as lower back pain, but many sufferers of conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia and found the treatment to be of use as well.

Therapeutic ultrasound is generally much preferred to surgical options for pain management. Given the advent of home ultrasound machines, it is also quite convenient for many to use as well. Home machines usually consist of a hand held "transducer" that in conjunction with a gel will allow an individual to treat many different body pains easily at home. Many of these devices cost under $200, although you should shop carefully and make sure the model you select has good customer reviews and is FDA approved.

If you prefer to see a physiotherapists for the procedure, you may want to ask your regular physician for a recommendation and for his or her opinion on the treatment. A physiotherapist may be able to more accurately treat your pain condition. They should be able to tell whether your specific condition is more appropriately treated via thermal or mechanical ultrasound therapy, and make sure that it is administered effectively.

There have been several scientific studies that have supported the use of ultrasound therapy, but others have not, so at best the scientific community is mixed on the benefits of this treatment. Still, given that there is little chance of harm using this method to treat pain compared to surgical options, it may be worth at least trying out for many.

Treatments for Neuralgia

Neuralgia, also known as neuropathy, refers to the pain that typically follows the path of a nerve, normally in the arms, hands, legs and feet. The nerve pain can be a result of a variety of factors including medications, chemical irritations, diabetes, shingles, swelling and irritation, trauma, including trauma from surgery. Neuralgia treatment is often dependent on the type and source of the irritation.

Most forms of neuralgia develop over time and because of this are most common among the elderly or those who have had a long history of battling a disease, for example those who have battled high blood glucose levels for extended periods of time, also known as diabetes. While it is easy to pinpoint the most common cases it is also important to note that neuralgia doesn't discriminate and affects people of all ages.

Common symptoms of neuralgia include weakened muscles of the affected body part due to motor nerve damage; heightened sensitivity or numbness of the affected skin; pain and irritation that follows a specific nerve; pain located on or near the surface of the body but typically in the same location for each episode; sharp, stabbing pain that is either intermittent is a or constant, burning pain. Generally any touch against your skin is felt as pain, including movement.

If you have been diagnosed as having neuralgia from a known source your physician will have a variety of treatment options to choose from. Regardless of the method of treatment the overall goal of neuralgia treatment is to try and reverse the condition so the pain will no longer be an issue. Since this is an ongoing process they will try to control or manage the pain in the meantime. The type of treatment options available will often depends on the cause, location, and severity of the pain that is being experienced. If, for some reason, your physician is unable to diagnose the cause of the neuralgia it is important to not lose hope since it is possible for the pain to improve and even heal itself.

As I mentioned above, neuralgia treatment will typically vary depending on the type of neuralgia being experienced. For instance, if you have diabetes the first thing your physician will attempt to do is address the underlying reason behind the neuralgia which would be high blood sugar levels. Your doctor will work with you to get your blood pressure under control through a strict diet and exercise regime and may even include insulin and diabetes medications. The pain experienced with neuralgia may be treated through a variety of options including antidepressant medications, anti-seizure medications, aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, topical creams, or surgery.

It is vitally important to not lose hope. While neuralgia can be very painful, by working closely with your physician you can find out the source of the problem and work to eliminate the pain and discomfort.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Staying Away From TMJ Pain

Joints in the body allow easy and smooth movement for daily undertakings. Among the most widely known to be commonly used areas are the knees, wrists, and shoulders. However, there are also parts that some people whose expertise are far from the health field may not even notice to exist. An example is the TMJ. It is the joint that allows movement of the jaw and mouth. Its function is to aid in vital activities such as chewing, eating, and even talking. When this part is bombarded with stress, it reaches the point where severe pain might actually result. Knowing helpful ways to avoid such possibility is therefore significant in order to stay away from experiencing excruciating and nagging pain.

In order to put a stop to the occurrence of severe soreness, the primary action must revolve around preventive measures. It has been found out that most individuals who go through this misfortune are those who also unconsciously grind their teeth in their sleep. It has to be understood that teeth grinding leads to a number of secondary conditions like unexplained headaches among many others. Hence, it would only be right to address the initial concern first and foremost otherwise the TMJ treatments would still be to no avail.

Relaxation is another method that proves helpful in alleviating the negative experience of painful joints. In fact, this technique has been known to provide substantial relief from almost any type of pain. In relation to TMJ, it would be wise to be well informed regarding effective stress busting methods because these will eventually lessen the painful episodes. Deep breathing exercises are a good example that will definitely ease the muscles and decrease tension within nearby tissues. It has to be remembered that a calm and composed system is necessary in coping with situations where extreme pressures happen.

By far, the most essential move when speaking of valuable TMJ treatments is to pay a visit to a doctor who is a known expert in that specific field. Further laboratory examinations may be needed to confirm the medical condition. Full cooperation in the whole process from the part of the client is a must in order to arrive at a validated diagnosis. It is only then that the most appropriate strategies can be applied for the good of the patient. Future evaluations might even be called for to complete the treatment program being applied.

The C-Leg by Otto Bock - Product Review

1.) Introduction to the C-Leg

Unlike many prosthetic legs before it, the microprocessor located in the knee joint for the C-Leg monitors and adapts to the individual patient's gait. It also adapts to various terrains the patient is walking on at a rate of fifty times per second. With prosthetic legs that have come before the C-Leg, many patient's who use a prosthesis would have to think or even worry about each step they take. The benefit of the C-Leg is that a patient would now be able to move more freely in activities of daily living.

When a patient is able to move more freely, they can speed up or slow down with less stress. This includes walking faster or slower when crossing a slope, climbing up stairs in a building, or even walking on ground that is not even. This means that the leg would be more adept to certain situations in everyday life like stepping down from a car or truck (motor vehicle), walking down a ramp, stepping off a ledge that is present at curbside, or even going down a set of stairs.

2.) Stumble Recovery

This is a unique feature that serves to protect the patient if they catch their foot or if a sudden stop happens. The microprocessor in the knee joint will activate a stance control mechanism, if the patient is walking and suddenly has to stop for a car, or if an object is placed in their path. The focus here is that the patient will be caught with a partially bent knee in these situations, but with the C-Leg they would not buckle, reducing their risk of falling! The benefits in these kinds of situations would be improved safety and a better sense of security for the patient.

3.) Walking More Naturally

This leg also allows people to ambulate (walk) with a more flexed knee, as compared to the natural human limb. What this does is it creates a shock reduction and in turn this reduction of shock will benefit the patient. This will allow less stress to travel back up the leg to the lower back as a result. The C-Leg has been very successful on all levels of above knee, hip disartic, and hemipelvectomy amputations.

Note: This is health information. Medical advice on the C-Leg should be provided to you by your local, licensed prosthetist.