PRP and Orthopedic Injuries

Active individuals and athletes with acute or chronic orthopedic injuries like tendon damage or osteoarthritis may benefit from a safe, non-surgical treatment called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. PRP stimulates the healing process and has been shown to be effective in relieving the pain associated with an injury.

PRP therapy is a rapidly emerging medical technique that involves extracting platelets from an athlete’s own blood and re-injecting them back into the patient at the site of injury. This can take place in the outpatient setting and takes between 30 minutes to an hour to perform.

About 30 milliliters of blood is drawn and then spun for 15 minutes in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other blood components. A qualified practitioner will then inject the concentrated platelet-rich plasma back into the site of injury, often using an ultrasound machine for guidance, thereby aiding accuracy and improving the efficacy of the treatment.

Platelets are rich in growth factors says Dr. William Bennett of Bennett Orthopedics and Sportsmedicine. These are proteins or hormones which are essential for repairing injured tissues. They stimulate tendon stem cells and activate mature tendon cells (tenocytes) to quickly multiply. They increase collagen production and enhance tissue blood flow leading to the repair of the injured tendon, muscle, cartilage or ligament. Chronically damaged tendons heal slowly due to their poor blood supply. PRP therapy works by mimicking a new injury and inducing a new healing response in the body.

Any tendon or ligament injury that is not a complete tear may be amenable to PRP therapy. These injuries may include tendon injuries in the arm and shoulder, like rotator cuff tears and tennis elbow, and in the ankle and leg, like the Achilles tendon or damage to the quadriceps or hamstrings. It may also be advocated for osteoarthritis in the hip, knee or shoulder.

Unfortunately, no rigorous scientific trials have been published which demonstrate the effectiveness of PRP therapy. Moreover, there is no agreed standard treatment regimen (in terms of the number of injections or period of time between injections).

This being so, most insurance companies do not fund it. However, there are numerous case reports from around the world and it is being used with increasing regularity in the world of professional sports, including in very high-profile athletes like the golfer Tiger Woods, the basketball star Kobe Bryant, and the baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

The benefits of PRP therapy include speeding recovery and healing from an injury, reducing the risk of injury recurrence and decreasing the chance of the development of a more serious injury. Ultimately PRP therapy negates the need for, and serves as a viable alternative and adjunct to, surgical intervention.

Many problematic chronic injuries, previously deemed untreatable, also respond to PRP therapy.
Immediately following PRP therapy, pain may increase at the affected site for several days. However, this is followed by a gradual improvement in symptoms such as pain and mobility over a period of 2-6 weeks. A period of physical therapy lasting several months is also necessary to help regain previous mobility, strength and function.

The Safety of Botox Explored

Is Botox safe? Yes, if you visit a professional medical spa

Botox is a drug that is a purified form of botulinum toxin and is best known for smoothing wrinkles in aging faces. This toxin binds to receptors found in nerve endings, skeletal muscle, the brain and smooth muscle. After binding, the toxin prevents the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter chemical. This prevents the nerves from sending signals to the muscle to contract, paralyzing them for several months.

The drug can also be used in the treatment of headaches and migraines that are resistant to other forms of treatment, as well as uncontrollable neck spasms, blinking and overactive sweat glands.

Facial expressions make the pairs of muscles that hook into the skin of the face contract, this causes folding at the weakest spots. Over time, skin loses the collagen that makes it elastic, and causes frown, smile lines and wrinkles. Botox prevents facial muscle contraction and makes the wrinkles smooth. When started early enough, it can prevent permanent wrinkling from taking place.

Botox takes four hours to bind to the acetylcholine receptors. But, its effects wear off within three to four months because the body is able to re-establish nerve transmission and break down the toxin. Therefore, treatments need to be done every three to six months. The side effects of Botox include pain, bruising and swelling at the injection site.

Is Botox safe? Yes, if you visit a professional medical spa like Skin NV in Tampa Bay because if done by a non-professional the following complications can occur:

– If the injection is placed improperly, Botox can migrate to other locations through the blood vessels and cause a lopsided smile, crooked facial expressions and droopy eyelids.

– The wrong dosage of Botox can also affect the facial expressions and make you look tired.

– A professional medical spa is able to advise you against doing activities that raise blood pressure and circulation and increase swelling, since it takes a few hours for Botox to bind to the receptors.

– The professionals know what type of Botox to use, where to use it and how much to use because using too much Botox can give a “frozen face” where nothing on your face moves and your face ends up looking expressionless, blank and unnatural. Under treatment of Botox occurs when the results wear off too fast or when it does not work.

– Serious side effects can occur like permanent scars, development of lumps at the point of the injection and severe skin infections. Botox poisoning can also lead to death.

Benefits of Botox:

– Reduces wrinkles

– It is cheaper than plastic surgery

– Botox helps to raise the eyebrows and give the appearance of a more youthful face.

– Helps with the treatment of migraines and headaches

– Reduces excessive sweating

Is Botox safe? Yes. It is an ideal treatment because of its effectiveness as a non-surgical and non-invasive procedure. It also takes a skilled and professional person to minimize negative expressions, while maintaining the normal positive expressions.

A professional medi spa will also give you Botox consultations so you can compare treatment suggestions. Botox is safe, if you do not have a Botox allergy, a muscle or nerve disorder and if you are not pregnant or breast-feeding.

When You Should Visit a Dermatologist

A dermatologist can provide treatment for health issues related to skin, hair, and nails. They can also help you to maintain a healthier and more youthful appearance. When should you visit a dermatologist and how can you find the one that will best meet your needs? Below are five reasons to schedule a visit to a dermatologist and three tips for choosing one from popular dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Fields in Naples, Florida.

dermatologist

Visit your dermatologist if you have a suspicious looking mole or skin growth. Moles are very common and the majority poses no health risk. However, suspicious looking moles can be a warning sign of skin cancer. If a mole changes shape or color or becomes itchy, painful, or bleeds you should immediately schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.

Also see a dermatologist for new moles that develop in adulthood. Suspicious moles could be a symptom of melanoma, a serious and sometimes fatal form of skin cancer. You should also visit your dermatologist if you notice scaly patches or red nodules on the skin that become painful and do not heal on their own. This could signal another type of skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma.

Visit your dermatologist if you have certain risk factors for skin cancer. Early detection is critical in treatment of skin cancer. Those with high risk factors should at a minimum perform a monthly examination at home and a schedule a yearly visit for a screening with a dermatologist.

Genetic risk factors for skin cancer include having fair skin, blond or red hair, blue or green eyes, numerous moles, or freckles, and a family history of skin cancer. Other factors that could increase your risk of skin cancer include a history of sunburns, working outdoors often, and a history of using indoor tanning.

If you have acne that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medication. Acne is common, especially in teens and many parents aren’t sure when to consult a dermatologist for treatment. In general, severe acne that has not responded to over-the-counter treatments in a month or two should be treated by a dermatologist.

Don’t prolong making the appointment if your teen has begun to scar from acne or their self-esteem is a noted issue. Also visit your dermatologist if the onset of the breakout occurred with a new medication.

For a rash that won’t go away. Some rashes, such as those that occur from poison ivy, are best treated by your primary physicians. Other chronic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea are best treated by a dermatologist. Your primary care physician may be able to diagnose a chronic skin condition and refer you to a dermatologist. Or, you can schedule a visit yourself if you have a rash that persists and does not respond to over-the-counter medication.

Visit your dermatologist to learn about skin care and treatment options. A dermatologist is an excellent resource for information regarding skin care and anti-aging options. Many dermatologists are now offering cosmetic services that provide a more youthful appearance such as botox, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and dermal fillers. Dermatologist also may provide services such as laser hair removal, leg vein treatments, and stretch mark treatment.

And three tips for finding a dermatologist…

Tip #1 Do a check of credentials. When choosing a dermatologist; the first step in to find one who is board certified by the American Academy of Dermatology. You can find a board certified dermatologist by visiting aad.org and entering your zip code.

Tip #2 Consider the sub-field. Some dermatologist specializes in cosmetic services while others may focus on problems with pigmented lesions or melanoma. The type of service you are seeking should impact your choice of dermatologist. The American Academy of Dermatology lists dermatologists by subspecialty on their website.

Tip #3- Visit the website. After making sure the dermatologist has the proper credentials a visit to the website can often provide additional information. At the minimum, it will reveal what type of treatments the practice puts an emphasis on and may help you determine if the dermatologist is the right fit for you.

Compounding Medication Can Help with Chronic Pain

compounded medsChronic pain is one of life’s worst experiences. Imagine having to suffer through weeks, months or even years of severe pain, eating away your joy and zest for life on a daily basis. Uncontrolled pain, whether from arthritis or fibromyalgia, can severely affect your productivity as well as take the pleasure away from your life.

Chronic pain as detailed here may have many causes and therefore is far more complicated to treat than acute pain, which is sporadic and only lasts for a while. However, suffering through pain does not necessarily need to be a daily ordeal. Managing chronic pain can be done with the help of customized treatments that would suit your needs. This is where compounding pharmacies come in.

Compounding and Pain Management

Compounding is the creation of a specific pharmaceutical product that would fit the needs and requirements of a specific patient. To be able to do this, compounding pharmacists like those at Trinity Pharmacy process and combine medications and key ingredients using various tools and methods. Compounding is especially friendly for patients who suffer from chronic pain because they customize medications that can be directly applied to the affected areas. These are topical gels and solutions laced with the active ingredients, transdermally administered in order for the medication to be transmitted into the bloodstream as quickly as possible. The result is that immediate effects happen in a matter of seconds, compared to oral administration which takes the body to process a whole lot longer.

Key Ingredients That Alleviate Pain

A reputable compounding pharmacy has all the necessary key ingredients for pain alleviation. The great thing is that they can combine these key ingredients in smaller dosages, but when combined become more effective than when taken alone. The following are the ingredients that make more excellent pain management:

Clonidine though prescribed historically to treat high blood pressure it is now used in the treatment of some types of neuropathic pain. It works by stimulating receptors in the brain stem, reducing outflow from the central nervous system.

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant. It affects chemicals and nerves in the body that are involved in the cause of seizures and some types of pain. It is used alone or in combination with other medications. It is commonly used orally to treat neuropathic pain.

Ketamine is an anesthetic medication. It acts at the NMDA receptor site for use in treating chronic pain.

Amitriptyline is in a group of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced. While most noted for its use to treat depression, it is prescribed for many pain and pain-related conditions such as migraines, chronic pain, persistent pain following a shingles attack, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, diabetic peripheral neuropathy and neurological pain.

Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant. It works by blocking nerve impulses (or pain sensations) that are sent to your brain. It is the well-studied drug for this application and it also has been used for treating fibromyalgia.

Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and an antispastic agent. It is used to treat spasms, pain, and stiffness.

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic (numbing) medication. It works by blocking nerve signals in your body. It is applied topically to numb the skin.

Through compounding, customized pain medications can be made that are surprisingly efficacious and quick to the draw. By using topical solutions, transdermal transmission makes pain relief immediate because now we can work directly on the affected areas. And by customizing the doses down to the last milligram it means that the patient gets exactly what he or she needs. That is the virtue of a compounding pharmacy, and it affords great pain management for sufferers who want to get back to their normal lives as soon as they can.

Making life comfortable for the patients.

I met a Chinese friend last summer during one of my culinary classes. It turned out that she came all the way from Beijing as part of her practical course in culinary but has been in and out of the country. It was a six- month practicum where she was assigned in a restaurant in one of the leading hotels in Florida. We did have a great time and when it was time for her to leave, she got the biggest surprise of her life when she was absorbed by the restaurant where she was assigned. She was very lucky to land a job in one of the most popular hotels in Florida. She was even assured that the company will help her in facilitating her permanent residency in the United States.

After going through the requirements for permanent residency, she asked me where she could have her immigration physical examination. It was a requirement that she be medically cleared from an accredited hospital in order for her application to be considered. I originally thought that the clearance can be given by any licensed physician and any hospital. It turned out however that not all clinics and hospitals were given such authority and that the doctor must be someone affiliated with immigration.

It did not take long for me to find a medical facility that provided such immigration physical examination. I have already heard of Doctors Express in Tampa because my nieces and nephews take their vaccinations in that walk in clinic. My older brother also takes his children there in case they need urgent care. Since I was very much familiar with the clinic, I suggested it to my friend and even accompanied her to take the medical examination. The doctors and other personnel were very accommodating and really exerted efforts to make us feel comfortable inside the clinic. Actually, reception area was designed to make it comfortable for waiting patients.

I thought that it would take as long but to my surprise, my friend was immediately attended to. She underwent a couple of laboratory procedures and did not wait that long for the results to come out. The clearance was issued by the doctor within the day and it saved us the trouble of having to return just to get the results.

My Chinese friend’s application is now pending before the immigration department and hopefully she gets approved to become a permanent resident in the United States.

Benefits Of Eating Fruits And Vegetables

Let me start off this blog by saying that if you hate fruits and vegetables, there is an easy way to consume them (and to consume your required daily serving of seven different fruits and vegetables). A commercial blender is the best investment you can make in your health. All you need to do is plop five different vegetables and a couple of fruits into your blender, pour in some orange juice, and let her rip. You’ll have a soup fit for a health king. Adding apples, pears, kiwi fruit, and berries to your smoothie will make the vegetables and greens palatable, and you won’t have to do a whole lot of chewing.

eat more fruit for health

So, what are the benefits of fruits and vegetables? Besides fighting heart disease, cancer, and degenerative disease in general, fruits and vegetables give us long-term energy throughout the day, without the jolts and spikes that coffee does, and the fiber in fruits and vegetables helps us make regular bowel movements. When our bowel movements are regular, we feel better and have a better gut ecosystem. The health of our gut is important to the rest of our body.

Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, but they’re also full of special plant-based substances that protect our cells and help our bodies function better. Phytonutrients and other biochemical substances in fruits and vegetables protect us from the damaging effects of radiation, pollutants, and irritants, and they can help protect us against cancer. The powerful antioxidants that protect the plants from the sun’s UV rays can protect us when we consume them.

Fruits and vegetable consumption was a primary staple of Jack LaLane’s regimen, and he lived into his mid-90s. When was the last time you heard about someone living into their mid-90s without a serious health problem along the way?

Exercise Extends Your Lifespan

Research is building that exercise extends your lifespan, and the opposite is true as well (not exercising and sitting for long periods of time can shorten your lifespan). In fact, some medical researchers are saying that sitting is the new smoking.

A new study found that exercise extended the life expectancy of all people, including those who were morbidly obese.

People who take part in some kind of moderate to strenuous physical activity live longer – no matter how fat they are, a study published in the PLoS medicine journal found.

Scientists from the National Cancer Institute led the study. The study found that people who engaged in at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise or 1.5 hours of vigorous exercise weekly lived, for the most part, three to four years longer than people who didn’t exercise at all.

Moderate exercise includes activities in which you are able to talk, like walking very briskly, and vigorous physical activity is defined by the inability to carry on a conversation easily, such as jogging for a long period of time or running very fast.

When the exercise amount was doubled, the life expectancy increased, but the benefits started to plateau after that.

There have been several studies done that have shown that regular exercise over a long period of time can lessen the risk of heart attack, lower blood sugar, and improve lung function. Furthermore, exercise can increase bone and muscle strength in old age.

Regular, lifelong exercise will reduce your chance of an early death and increase your life expectancy, but it probably won’t extend your lifespan to the max. There are even some studies that show that making sedentary people exercise will increase their life expectancy, no matter how old or out of shape they are.