Keep moving with physiotherapy!

Physiotherapy and physical health

We all have occasionally experienced our body crying out in pain and refusing to do what we tell it to. Like machines, our body is also made up of moving parts and with so many different muscles and joints it is not uncommon if they go wrong once in a while.

Physiotherapy helps muscles and joints work to their full potential and promotes, restores and maintains physical health. Using a variety of techniques, it assists repair damage by speeding up the healing process and reducing pain and stiffness.

Fast Facts:

  • Physical therapy exercise has been proven to help women who experience incontinence, osteoporosis or breast cancer surgery.
  • Physical activity conducted under the guidance and supervision of a physi0-therapist reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer.

 

Why is physiotherapy important?

1.   To improve range of motion: You might feel less capable of participating in your day to day activities if you are suffering from an injury or have a condition. A physiotherapy plan would help you solve issues with your range of motion and you will regain your mobility to return to your usual level of activity.

2.   To improve damage due to neurological disorders: Stroke and Parkinson’s disease can bring physical damage which can be corrected or improved by physiotherapy. Physiotherapy provides assistance in mobility, bringing back full or partial function, and prevents further deterioration.

3.   To check progress on exercises: Physio-therapies revolve around therapeutic exercises which will be assigned by your physiotherapists depending on the type of injury. Regular sessions with your physiotherapists are important to assess your progress, who will then increase or change your exercises as per your state of recovery.

4.   To improve cardiopulmonary conditions: If a patient is suffering from breathing issues, physiotherapy provides assistance by introducing guided exercises.

5.   Management of pain: Chronic pain or pain resulting from an accident or injury can be managed by physiotherapy. Arthritis, osteoporosis, repetitive strain injury, knee, neck, wrist and back pain are some common ailments which require attention. Physiotherapy also helps in improving your quality of life so you can get back to your daily activities, sports, and hobbies.

6.   Post-operative recovery: After orthopedic surgery especially after the fracture or joint replacement, physiotherapy is valuable to help with walking or mobilizing a damaged body part. Regular physiotherapy sessions can also help people to lead active lives with their prosthetic limbs.

 

What to expect during a physiotherapy session?

A physiotherapist may recommend exercises, use some techniques which involve machines or practise manual therapy to ease pain and promote healing.

1.   Manual therapy: A physiotherapist will use their hands for manipulating, mobilizing and massaging the body tissues. Effective treatment of back pain and other conditions which do not affect the bones, joints or muscles is done using this therapy.

2.   Machine therapy: A physiotherapist will use machines such as ultrasound, interferential and TENS (Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) depending on the type of condition with an aim to relieve pain and spasms.

3.   Exercises: A physiotherapist will recommend and teach exercises designed to improve movement and strength in a specific part of the body.

4.   Physical activities: A physiotherapist will recommend activities that involve moving the whole body, such as walking or swimming or treatments such as hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy.

Did You Know?

Every year on 8th September, physical therapists around the world use World Physical Therapy Day to draw attention to raising awareness about the contribution that physiotherapy makes to keeping people well, mobile and independent.

And, if you happen to need medical care at home, ease your troubles by
scheduling a Physiotherapist Home Visit, with MediBuddy!

 

Sources:

  1. National Health Service. Accessed on June 13, 2016.
  2. World Confederation for Physical Therapy. Accessed on June 14, 2016.

Stay Active, Stay Fit!

Importance of fitness

We now recognize the importance of physical fitness more than ever before. Being fit is important because it serves as an indication of the physical functioning of a person. Irrespective of our lifestyle, age or physical ability, we all need the right type of exercise which we can practice regularly and stay healthy.

Fast facts:

  • Physical inactivity is the fourth-leading risk factor for global mortality and 6% of deaths are attributed to physical inactivity.
  • Globally, 1 in 3 adults is not active enough.

 

Why is it important to keep fit?

  • Keep and improve your strength so you can stay independent.
  • Give you a feeling of better health through increased energy and vitality.
  • Improve your balance.
  • Prevent or delay some diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, and osteoporosis.
  • Improve your mood and reduce depression.
  • Improve your muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness, bone and functional health.

 

How to stay fit and active?

There are 4 major categories of activities that can help you improve health and physical ability.

  1. Endurance: These are aerobic exercises that build your energy, increase your breathing, heart rate and improve the health of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. A regular 30-minute activity is a proper regime. You can build endurance by brisk walking, doing yard work (mowing, raking), dancing, jogging, swimming, biking, climbing stairs or hills, playing tennis or basketball.
  2. Strength: These are strength training or resistance training exercises that build muscles and improve muscle strength. They help prevent falls, maintain your ability to stay independent and carry out everyday activities such as climbing stairs and carrying groceries. Lifting weights, using a resistance band, doing push-ups and sit-ups can help you to use your muscles and strengthen them.
  3. Balance: Practice exercises that help you maintain physical balance as they help prevent falls. Standing on one foot, Heel-to-toe walk and Tai Chi are exercises to improve your balance.
  4. Flexibility: Stretching exercises can help your body stay flexible thus giving you more freedom of movement for your regular physical activity as well as for your everyday activities. Shoulder and upper arm stretch, calf stretch, yoga are some exercises to improve your flexibility.

 

Tips to exercise safely

  1. Start slowly, especially if you haven’t been active for a long time. Start with a low intensity few, short 5 to 10-minute gentle exercise sessions per day.
  2. Proceed to moderate intensity exercises which would bring a slight change in your heart and breathing rate.
  3. Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. That could cause changes in your blood pressure.
  4. Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
  5. Unless your doctor has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to drink plenty of fluids when you are doing activities.
  6. Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your back straight, you’re probably bending the right way.
  7. Warm up your muscles before you stretch. Try walking and light arm pumping first.
  8. Make sure you do not continue with the exercises that hurt or make you feel really tired.

 

Did You Know?

Adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination both.

Make exercise a part of your daily routine and reap its many benefits. For a deeper understanding of your health right from the DNA level, book a Genome Study on MediBuddy!

 

Sources:

1. World Health Organization. Accessed Sep 12, 2016.

2. National Institutes of Health. Accessed Sep 13, 2016.

3. National Health Service. Accessed Sep 13, 2016.

Eat Your Way to Good Health!

Eat a balanced diet to ward of illnesses!

Our body needs nutrients to survive and stay healthy. A proper diet is essential from the very early stages of life for proper growth, development and to remain active. Therefore, a balanced diet can help us to achieve optimal health throughout life. A little learning and planning can help you find a diet to fit your lifestyle, achieve your desired goals and also let you have some fun in the process!

Fast facts:

  • 54 percent of all deaths before the age of five years in India are related to malnutrition.
  • About 33 per cent of Indian men and 36 per cent of Indian women have a BMI below 18.5, indicating a high prevalence of nutritional deficiency.
  • The prevalence of overweight/ obesity is higher among women (10.9%) compared to men (7.8%) in rural areas.

 

Dietary guidelines for a balanced diet

Right nutritional behaviour and dietary choices are needed to ensure a balanced diet:

  1. Eat a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet.
  2. Ensure that your infant is exclusively breastfed for the first six months.
  3. Feed home based semi-solid foods to the infant after six months.
  4. Ensure adequate and appropriate diets for children and adolescents, both in health and sickness.
  5. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  6. Ensure moderate use of edible oils and animal foods and decreased use of ghee/ butter/ vanaspati.
  7. Avoid overeating to prevent obesity.
  8. Exercise regularly and be physically active to maintain ideal body weight.
  9. Restrict salt intake to a minimum.
  10. Ensure the use of safe and clean foods.
  11. Adopt right pre-cooking processes and appropriate cooking methods.
  12. Drink plenty of water and take beverages in moderation.
  13. Minimize the use of processed foods rich in salt, sugar and fats.
  14. Include micronutrient-rich foods in the diets of elderly people to enable them to be fit and active.

 

Why do we need nutritionally adequate food?

An adequate diet, providing all nutrients, is needed throughout our lives. Food provides our bodies with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals to live, grow and function properly. Nutrients that we obtain through food have vital effects on physical growth and development, maintenance of normal body function, physical activity and health. A healthy diet helps protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as non-communicable diseases.

A healthy diet also plays an important role in preventing/ improving conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity, some forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, dental caries, gall bladder disease, dementia and nutritional anaemia.

 

Types of nutrients important for our body

Nutrients are necessary for physiological and biochemical processes by which the human body acquires, assimilates and utilizes food to maintain health and activity. These nutrients must be obtained through a judicious choice and combination of a variety of foods from different food groups. There are 7 major types of nutrients needed by our body which are known as macronutrients as they are needed in relatively large quantities. These are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber and water. Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are required in relatively small quantities. Food rich in these major nutrients help achieve a balanced diet:

  1. Carbohydrates: These are major sources of energy in all human diets and provide 4 kcal of energy per gram. Glucose and fructose found in fruits, vegetables and honey, sucrose in sugar and lactose in milk are types of simple carbohydrates. Starches in cereals, millets, pulses and root vegetables and glycogen in animal foods belong to complex carbohydrates group.
  2. Proteins: These are structural and functional components of every living cell and are needed for building and repairing tissues. These also provide 4 kcal of energy per gram. More proteins are required by growing infants and children, pregnant women and individuals with infections and illness or stress. Animal foods like milk, meat, fish and eggs and plant foods such as pulses and legumes are rich sources of proteins.
  3. Fats: A concentrated source of energy providing 9 Kcal per gram act as a vehicle for fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K and carotenes and promotes their absorption. Dietary fats are derived from two sources; the invisible fat present in plant and animal foods; and the visible or added fats and oils (cooking oil). Adults should restrict intake of saturated fat (butter, ghee and hydrogenated fats) and cholesterol (red meat, eggs). Excess of these substances could lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  4. Fibre: It consists mostly of carbohydrates but doesn’t provide energy. However, dietary fibre is an important part of essential human nutrition and is the indigestible part of plant foods that pushes through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements.
  5. Water: It plays a key role in the elimination of body wastes and regulation of body temperature. A normal healthy person needs to drink about 8 glasses (2 litres) of water per day. Water requirements vary between individuals and are closely linked to body size, age, environmental temperatures, physical activity, different states of health, and dietary habits.
  6. Vitamins: These are chemical compounds that cannot be synthesized in the body and are essential for adequate functioning and processes of the body and for maintenance of the structure of skin, bone, nerves, eye, brain, blood and mucous membrane. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, while vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins are water soluble.
  7. Minerals: These are inorganic elements required for maintenance of skin, hair, nails, blood and soft tissues and have an important role in nerve cell transmission, acid/base and fluid balance, enzyme and hormone activity and blood- clotting processes. Sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulphur, while zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluorine, cobalt, chromium and iodine are some minerals which can be obtained with the intake of foods is varied and balanced.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Iodine deficiency is very common in India and around 54 million people are estimated to be suffering from goitre and 2.2 million are affected from cretinism.

Combine the goodness of a wholesome diet with a preventive health check
on MediBuddy to keep disease and sickness away!

 

Sources:

  1. World Health Organization. Accessed Oct 26, 2016.
  2. Medical News Today. Accessed Oct 27, 2016.
  3. National Health Portal. Accessed Oct 30, 2016.
  4. National Institute of Nutrition. Accessed July 28, 2016.

Stay Aware, Combat Fatigue!

How to fight fatigue

World Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Awareness Day is celebrated on 12 May since 1992 to honor the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. This day is organized all over the world to spread awareness of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), CFS is a complex disorder defined by immense fatigue which is not improved by bed rest and can worsen with regular physical or mental activities.

Fast Facts:

  • CFS can be very severe and affected patients might not be able to carry out the daily tasks of eating, showering or sitting up in the bed.
  • CFS is not laziness or a mental disorder which can be cured with psychiatric or psychological treatment.

Spot the signs of weakness and fatigue

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Impaired memory or mental concentration
  • Insomnia or non-refreshing sleep
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit
  • Frequent or recurring sore throat
  • Post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours

What causes chronic fatigue?

Although a single cause of CFS has not been identified, many possible triggers are listed below:

  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Abnormally low blood pressure that can cause fainting
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Physical or emotional stress which alters the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA axis.

How can I manage extreme tiredness?

There is no cure and no specific prescription drugs for CFS but patients can monitor their health and manage their condition using these tips:

  1. Get support from a counselor and help from close ones.
  2. Find a job and lifestyle that works for you.
  3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar and sweeteners.
  4. Include more breaks with your current levels of activities.
  5. Use tips to help with the cognitive problems.
  6. Use massage, exercises, acupuncture, relaxation techniques under the supervision of a qualified practitioner to control joint pains and muscle pains.
  7. Get the most out of sleep by sleeping and waking up at the same time.
  8. Avoid stressful situations and spend time relaxing.

Although living with CFS is challenging and unpredictable, we can easily find ways to understand and deal with it.

If you happen to see any symptoms, book a consultation on MediBuddy today!

 

Sources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 9, 2016.
  2. National Health Portal. Accessed May 10, 2016.
  3. National Health Service. Accessed May 11, 2016.