Ankle sprain's not serious? Maybe it is
If you've sprained your ankle and are writhing in
pain, it's time to go to the emergency room. You could have a broken
bone or torn ligaments, making the sprain far more than common. A
complete tear of one or more ligaments can cause damage to the ankle
With luck, the doctor, after x-rays, will classify
your sprain as Grade 1. That means the RICE will work.
Rest the ankle, no walking,
Ice it for 20 minutes at a time,
Compression, use an ace bandage to immobilize it, but not too tightly,
Elevate the ankle for 48 hours.
For a Grade 2 sprain, which is worse than a Grade 1,
RICE will work, but the sprain will require more time for healing. The
doctor may use a device to immobilize and splint the ankle.
A Grade 3 sprain can cause permanent instability if
not properly treated. Surgery is rarely needed, but a short leg cast or
cast-brace may be used for two to three weeks.
The Grade 3 sprain calls for rehabilitation to
decrease pain and swelling and to prevent chronic problems. Ultrasound
and electrical stimulation may be used.
At first, rehabilitation exercise may involve range
of motion or controlled movement of the ankle joint without resistance.
Lower extremity exercise and endurance activities are
added as tolerated. Proprioception training is very important.
Proprioception is defined as the ability to establish a sense of
position in space, especially at a joint.
Without proper treatment, the ankle may become
permanently unstable, resulting in many ankle sprains in the future.
COPD can be partly caused by an autoimmune disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is
largely caused by smoking, breathing secondhand smoke, chemical fumes or
other lung offenders.
Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma and
bronchiectasis are the most common conditions associated with COPD.
Now, researchers are targeting another cause of the
condition: studies have found two markers of autoimmunity circulating in
antinuclear (ANA) and anti-tissue (AT) antibodies. Between a quarter and
a third of patients with stable COPD had abnormal levels of circulating
antibodies in the blood.
Study results show that 34 percent of COPD patients
had abnormally high levels of ANA, 11 times higher than in the control
group and seven times higher than in healthy subjects in previous
Other than in COPD patients, the researchers found no
association with other patient characteristics.
About 26 percent of patients tested positive for AT
at levels 4.5 times higher than the control group and four times higher
than in healthy subjects.
Pulmonary experts at Duke University say doctors do
not yet understand why some smokers develop lung disease and others do
not. They wonder if smoke inhalation results in activation of the immune
system, or triggers a form of autoimmunity that causes long-term damage
to the lungs.
The study, done at University Hospital Son Dureta in
Palma, Mallorca, Spain, was published in the American Journal of
Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The findings could result in new immune response
therapies for patients with COPD.
At this time, most doctors aren't sure whether
autoimmunity is involved in COPD. They do know that smoking cessation is
the key move in preventing or worsening of the disease in smokers.
Nutrients for osteoporosis prevention and treatment
Calcium and vitamin D are the most important
nutrients in preventing and treating bone loss. Good sources are dairy
products, spinach, kale, black-eyed peas, soybeans, fortified cereals
and fortified orange juice.
Supplements can help increase calcium and D levels,
but they are not always the answer, particularly for calcium.
New studies reported by Endocrine Practice and others
show that calcium supplements can raise a woman's odds of having a heart
attack, that is, if the supplements, in addition to calcium from food,
exceed the recommended daily intake.
As always, nutrients from food are the best choice.
Tai chi reduces arthritis pain
People who have arthritis know they should exercise,
but may not know what type would benefit them the most.
The Arthritis Foundation's Tai Chi program was highly
recommended after a large study done by the University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill. It shows benefits for all types of arthritis,
including rheumatoid arthritis, and also benefits fybromyalgia and
Participants took an eight-week, twice weekly tai chi
course. At the end, participants showed moderate improvements in all of
these areas in addition to improved reach, balance and sense of
well-being. To purchase a DVD showing 12 movements ($29.95) search the
Web for Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program.