So you think you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (abbreviated CTS) is used as an umbrella diagnosis with most people attributing any wrist pain to carpal tunnel syndrome. Actual CTS can be difficult to diagnose as there are similarities with neck injuries, nerve impairment, thoracic outlet syndrome, pronator teres syndrome, sprained wrist ligaments, and trigger point referral pain produce similar symptoms. Massage can be immensely helpful for CTS patients. A therapeutic massage, within pain tolerance, for carpal tunnel syndrome with specific work on the hand, wrist, forearm and shoulder may help decompress the median nerve. Massage that doesn’t exacerbate symptoms has been shown to contribute to improvement in strength, function, and symptoms of patients with CTS. Read on to find out more!

Should I Ice or Should I Heat?

After posting about inflammation and swelling last week, I had a few questions about icing or heating muscle pains and injuries and how that interacts with the inflammatory process. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a good answer. Medical professionals seem quite divided on when to ice an injury and when to heat an injury. PubMed, a repository of peer reviewed science journal articles, shows a significant number of published papers with the conclusion that icing helps, icing is detrimental, or that icing has no effect, along with heating an injury helps, heating an injury does not help, and that heating an injury has no effect. So, at this point in time, it seems as though the jury is still deliberating on this case. Personally, I am in the pro-icing camp for specific injuries and in the pro-heating camp for general aches and pains. Basically my recommendation is to try something and see how your body reacts--icing, heating, or both.

What is Motion Sickness?

My husband and I are headed on our very first cruise this week. In preparation, I have researched motion sickness. Motion sickness is brought about by motion, whether it is from riding in a car, train or rollercoaster, on a boat, or in a plane. It is sometimes referred to as seasickness, airsickness, or car sickness. But it all describes the same thing. Symptoms generally include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and headache. “Nausea” is actually Greek for seasickness, as “naus” means ship. If the unlucky person is nauseous, the person may vomit. And unfortunately, vomiting doesn’t relieve the nausea and the person will continue to vomit until the nausea is treated. Fun times--who is ready for a cruise?

All About Running Shoes

Running is a cheap and easy exercise to undertake--easy in the sense that you don’t need much equipment and you can run pretty much anywhere. The major equipment you need for running is running shoes. Many people may start their new running regimen with their old athletic shoes dug out from the back of the closet. However, I caution you against this. It will be better for you and your lower limbs if you run in purposefully built shoes. For the new runner, the choices and vocabulary surrounding running shoes can be a bit intimidating. Here are the basics of running shoes.

Floss in the New Year

At least 60% of Americans do not floss daily. If you are in that group, I encourage you to join the daily flossing club. Flossing should not be considered an “extra” thing to do--it is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) notes “Flossing is an important oral hygiene practice. Tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and along the gum line. Professional cleaning, tooth brushing, and cleaning between teeth (flossing and the use of other tools such as interdental brushes) have been shown to disrupt and remove plaque." Read the post to find out more!

15 Super Useful Gift Ideas for the Bodies in Your Life

Ah, the holidays. That glorious time of year where everyone is in the holiday spirit. To some, it may feel a lot like panic–“What do I buy my third least favorite relative?” and to others maybe something more of a thoughtful reflection–“I want to get my spouse something super useful.” Well you are in luck. I have sifted through my previous product recommendations and made an abbreviated list that will hopefully satisfy both your spouse and your relatives. For some, I have included a link to buy it and others I gave you directions on how to buy it. I have also included a link back to a longer explanation about that particular product. I have ordered them approximately by size–stocking stuffers to a giant one you will have to hide at the neighbor’s house until Santa can help you move it back to your house.

What is Elastic Therapeutic Tape? (Part 1 of 2)

While practicing as a chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase saw the need for stretchy non rigid tape that would support the muscle and facilitate the body’s healing process. He developed the idea for elastic therapeutic tape and approached a myriad of tape companies to make the product for him. He presented the companies with detailed information and specs, but no company ever produced his product. Eventually he formed his own company and started manufacturing his own tape. Unfortunately, now all of his competitors had the information on the product and were easily able to replicate Dr. Kase’s idea. Like all good ideas, Kinesio Tape was copied and there are dozens of variations of elastic therapeutic tape now available on the market. Elastic therapeutic tape, also known colloquially as “KT Tape” or “kinesio tape,” is an adhesive, stretchy, porous, and breathable cotton tape that stays on your body for 3-5 days or longer. It is an alternative to the rigid white tape commonly applied to athletes--I have especially noticed it around football player’s ankles, but there are a variety of applications for it. Elastic therapeutic tape comes in a variety of brands and colors and stretches 120-140% of its original length.

The Magic Behind Tiger Balm

I love Tiger Balm. It is amazing. Like Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I use Tiger Balm as a cure-all for muscle aches, sprains, strains, headaches, migraines, cough, and congestion in my head and lungs. I compared 7 similar topical pain relief products and summarized the results. It didn't change my opinion - I love Tiger Balm the best!

How to Poop

Western toilets are not designed to adequately relieve the kink in your colon that provides natural continence, leading to constipation, heart attacks, and diverticulosis (diverticulosis happens when the colon out pockets at weaknesses in the colon wall). However, you are in luck because I have stumbled across the greatest pooping invention since the indoor toilet - the Squatty Potty!