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Friday, 01 August 2014
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The damages to the tendons have been the prevalent cause of pain in the shoulder. Even though these injuries often occur among sports enthusiasts, they are essentially due to the slow deterioration as an individual starts to age. It is important to note that not all tears cause significant pain. There are still a certain percentage of individuals that do not have shoulder pain that has a torn rotator cuff. Take note that there are two chief forms of rotator cuff tears – full thickness and partial thickness.

Full thickness rotator cuff tears

If an individual sustains a full thickness rotator cuff tear, the lesion can extend up the entire thickness of the affected tendon. The doctor will classify the injury based on the size and will utilize these classifications in order to determine how to treat the individual. Even though there is no uniform classification for full thickness injuries, a widely used system that is used today was developed back in 1984.

Torn rotator cuff

The damages to the tendons have been the prevalent cause of pain in the shoulder.

  • Small – less than 1 cm in width
  • Medium – 1-3 cm in width
  • Large – 3.5 cm in width
  • Massive – more than 5 cm in width

Partial thickness rotator cuff tears

When it comes to a partial thickness tear, the affected tendon is only partly torn. In most cases, these injuries do not include pain and commonly occur among older individuals. Just like with complete thickness tears, there is no standard organization scheme. As a result, this can lead to confusion among individuals since both systems utilize grades in order to describe the lesion, but the severity of the tissue damage for each grade differs between the two systems. An ideal way to avoid confusion is to ask the doctor and fully understand the extent of their injury and the plan of care.

Synder classification

The Synder classification was created in order to describe the severity of the injury. It centers on the condition of the tendon and irritation of the synovial lining via the big flap cuts. The system specifies if the tear is on the articular surface of the tendon or the surface of the bursa.

  • Grade 0 – normal
  • Grade 1 – swollen synovium and shallow fraying that is less than 1 cm in width
  • Grade 2 – moderate rip with fiber disturbance that is 1-2 cm in width
  • Grade 3 – disturbance and shattering of the tissues that is 2-3 cm width
  • Grade 4 – large-sized tear that produces a flap in the tendon that is more than 3 cm in width

Ellman classification

The Ellman classification is used to categorize partial rotator cuff tears depending on their position and the penetration of the tear. The classification also indicates if the tear is situated on the bursal or articular layer.

  • Grade 1 – not more than 3 mm deep
  • Grade 2 – 3- mm deep or about 50% of the thickness of the tendon
  • Grade 3 – more than 6 mm deep or more than 50% of the thickness of the tendon

By being familiar with the systems used in classifying rotator cuff injuries, you can provide the appropriate first aid and if emergency care would be needed.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014
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The intermittent knee pain that occurs when an individual climbs stairs can be linked to various disorders that upset the knee joint. Some of these include  tendonitis affecting one or more of the tendons that support the knee joint as well as prepatellar bursitis, patellofemoral syndrome and chrondomalacia patella. In case the pain becomes chronic or prolonged, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible. http://youtu.be/r6nl4DIDLd4 It is important that you are familiar with the conditions that can cause intermittent knee pain during activity particularly climbing stairs. In doing so, you will know what to do if a family member or colleague at work experiences one of these conditions.

Tendonitis

Intermittent knee pain

Tendonitis is considered as a common injury that responds well to rest and application of ice.

If an individual experiences intermittent knee pain while climbing stairs, it can indicate that he/she is developing tendonitis in the knee. Once the condition degrades, other indicators will occur such as swelling and the pain will become continuous.  Tendonitis is considered as a common injury that responds well to rest and application of ice. If you will register for first aid training, you can learn how to effectively use ice on injuries. In most cases, a combination of strength training and regular stretching can support the tendons and muscles of the knee in order to prevent injury.

Prepatellar bursitis

The intermittent knee pain that manifests infrequently when climbing stairs can indicate the beginning of prepatellar bursitis which is the inflammation affecting the bursa that are located in front of the knee cap. The condition can lead to pain during activity such as climbing stairs. As the condition progresses, the knee cap will start to swell quickly and become infected. It is important to rest the affected knee until the pain completely subsides and apply an ice pack to minimize the inflammation. If the symptoms persist, it is best to consult a doctor.

Chondromalacia patella

Chondromalacia patella is commonly called as runner’s knee. If the individual feels intermittent knee pain when ascending stairs, there is a possibility that chondromalacia patella is developing which can be caused by the misalignment of the knee cap. As this condition worsens, the individual will experience swelling in the front of the knee around the knee cap. The tight quadriceps muscles are usually the precursor of the condition. With this in mind, the individual must avoid climbing stairs and perform stretching exercises to help loosen up the quadriceps.

Patellofemoral syndrome

Always remember that climbing up and down the stairs will aggravate patellofemoral syndrome. This condition is characterized by pain on either side of the knee cap. If the condition worsens, the individual will experience a grinding sensation and hear a popping sound in the knee cap while climbing stairs. The affected knee must be allowed to rest and consult a doctor if the pain persists.

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Monday, 28 July 2014
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The hamstrings are comprised of three muscles that are situated in the rear part of the thigh. It is a large muscle group that starts from the pelvic region up to low part of the knee in the inferior leg. Injuries to the hamstrings commonly occur among athletes in which the pulls and strains due to overwork can lead to painful and tight hamstrings. Always remember that tight hamstrings that trigger sharp pain or generalized tenderness in the upper leg can be managed at home with first aid measures. In case the tight hamstrings that are painful do not improve with self-care, it is best to consult a doctor.

RICE method

The RICE method is a common technique used to manage tight hamstrings. This method stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation and has been the first line of treatment used when an individual is suffering from painful and tight hamstrings that are strained. The application of an ice pack on the hamstrings should last for about 20 minutes at several times in a day to help alleviate the pain and minimize the swelling. The compression is done by applying an elastic bandage and elevating the affected leg to help reduce the swelling. The individual must also find time to rest from his/her activities. In doing so, the tight hamstrings are given enough time to heal without worsening the issue. Depending on the response of the body, the RICE method can be used for a few days but severe strains would require more time for the body to fully heal. You can learn more about the RICE method by taking a course in Vancouver today.

Tight hamstrings

The application of an ice pack on the hamstrings should last for about 20 minutes at several times in a day to help alleviate the pain and minimize the swelling.

Using heat

Based on studies conducted, the regimen of using moist heat can help relax up tight hamstrings without increasing the pain. All you have to do is to apply a heat pack that has a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit once tightness of the hamstring is experienced. If moist heat is used, it must be applied in 20-minute sessions to avoid burns and can be used together with dynamic stretching to prevent strains as well as relieve pain.

Stretching exercises

By stretching the tight hamstrings, it can effectively loosen up the muscles in order to relieve some of the pain. The individual must only stretch within his/her limits. In case stretching causes pain, the individual must not push further but only move as far as possible without triggering any pain.

Important considerations to bear in mind

The tight hamstrings might not be caused by lack of stretching yet some consider this as the main cause. In some cases, individuals are predisposed genetically to have tight muscles that can cause pain if they are not stretched properly before a workout. Another cause of tight hamstrings is the effect of an injury to the back. Those who suffer from low back pain such as herniated disc frequently experience muscle rigidity in the back as well as nerve pain which radiates down to the leg. Take note that both the stiffness and nerve pain can lead to the involuntary tightening of the hamstrings.

Posted in Broken Bones
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Friday, 25 July 2014
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Osteoarthritis of the knee is considered as a widespread condition that occurs once the cartilage in the knee joint starts to deteriorate. Once this occurs, the bone rubs on another bone, resulting to pain, stiffness and even deformity of the joint. In severe cases, the individual would have to undergo knee replacement surgery. Nevertheless, surgery is the only solution if the conventional modes of treatment failed to work in relieving the symptoms. Before surgery is considered, there are treatment options and basic first aid that can help provide relief to the symptoms.

Exercise

Always remember that exercise will not only facilitate weight loss but also strengthen the muscles surrounding and supporting the knee. Regular exercise is one of the ideal treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee. Once the muscles are stronger, they are capable of supporting the knee joint which can help minimize the pain. Stretching exercises that focuses on the thighs and hips can even help enhance flexibility and minimize stiffness.

Osteoarthritis of the knee

The individual must learn how to distinguish the signals of the body when he/she can push to the limits and when it is time to stop.

Weight loss

Those who are overweight are at risk of aggravating the symptoms of the condition as well as adding pressure on the knee joint. Based on studies, individuals who have osteoarthritis in the knee that are obese or overweight are susceptible to develop an advanced stage of the condition than those who are healthy. With this in mind, the individual must look for an activity to engage in such as biking, swimming or walking that is enjoyable and must engage on it for 30 minutes in a day.

Using medications

Non-steroidal anti-inflammation drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants are given to help improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knee. In some cases, the intake of these medications can ease the symptoms in which the individual can engage in exercise. If a doctor is consulted, most would recommend a steroid injection if the oral medications could not provide adequate relief.

Rest

The individual must find a way to balance rest and his/her activities. The individual must learn how to distinguish the signals of the body when he/she can push to the limits and when it is time to stop. Additionally, the application of heat or ice as well as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, massage and acupuncture can be included as part of the treatment plan. If you want to learn more on how to effectively use heat and ice on injuries, click here.

Using braces and supports

Once a physical therapist is consulted, a knee brace might be recommended. When it comes to osteoarthritis of the knee, using a knee brace can help reduce the pressure off the affected joint, provide stabilization, allow the knee to rest and prevent further damage. Additionally, using an orthotic or a cane can greatly help the individual walk properly as well as taking some of the weight off the affected knee.

Posted in First Aid
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Friday, 25 July 2014
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It is important to note that there are 27 bones and twice as many muscles present in the human hand but they could not properly function without the extensor tendons. Minimal extensor tendon damage can easily cripple the dexterity of the affected hand as well as the movement of the fingers. If this issue is simply ignored, it will only worsen as time passes by. It is important to provide timely first aid care and seek medical care as soon as possible.

What you need to know about the extensor tendons?

The extensor tendons are situated along the rear part of the hands and fingers. They are attached to the muscles in the forearms and responsible for straightening the fingers and the thumb. These extensor tendons are also connected to the surrounding muscles in order to allow the complex and delicate movements of the fingers.

Extensor tendons

The extensor tendons are situated along the rear part of the hands and fingers.

Symptoms

Always remember that any injury to the extensor tendons will make it difficult for the individual to straighten his/her fingers or the thumb. In most cases, the fingers or thumb will often sag. If the individual tries to straighten the fingers or thumb, it can only trigger pain.

What are the causes of extensor tendon injuries?

The extensor tendon injuries that are likely to occur in some individuals can be caused by some form of trauma. Take note that the exposed location of these tendons along the rear part of the hands and fingers leaves them prone to injuries or trauma. Even a minor cut can cause substantial damage on these tendons. If the fingers are jammed, it can cause the tendons to rip apart or even detach from the bone.

Types of extensor tendon injuries

If an extensor tendon injury triggers the last joint of a particular finger to sag, it is a condition called as mallet finger. In case the injury causes the finger to curve in a downward manner at the central knuckle, it is known as a Boutonniere deformity.

Treatment for extensor tendon injuries

Always bear in mind that any extensor tendon injury would require appropriate treatment as soon as possible. If the condition is not treated right away, the affected tendon will develop scar tissue that has the tendency to adhere to the bone and any effort to straighten the finger will be difficult.

In case the injury to the extensor tendon is caused by a cut, stitches are needed to repair the damage. Nevertheless, if a tear occurs due to jammed fingers, the injury is treated by the application of a splint. Once a splint is applied, it immobilizes the tendon and holds it in place so that it can heal properly. In severe cases, a pin might be inserted into the bones to secure the tendon in place and a splint is used to further help with the healing. If you want to learn how to create a splint, click here.

Posted in Spinal Injuries
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Friday, 25 July 2014
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Cervical arthritis which is basically a type of osteoarthritis can affect the facet joints in the spine. This condition can trigger severe pain and discomfort as well as reducing the movement and overall task of the cervical vertebrae. Just like with other types of osteoarthritis, cervical arthritis could be treated and managed effectively with appropriate first aid measures and treatment.

http://youtu.be/qWBXdBs-YWQ

Spinal manipulation

The pain caused by cervical arthritis is managed by using spinal manipulation. This involves minor chiropractic physical adjustments on the cervical spine. Take note that these adjustments oftentimes includes the application of deep tissue massage and acupressure to reduce the strain in the muscles covering the spine as well as properly line up the cervical vertebrae in case of incorrect alignment.

Spinal manipulation can also relieve pressure against the soft tissues and nerves in the cervical spine in case of cervical disc protrusion which is a condition that can occur along with cervical arthritis.

Injection therapy

Injection therapy is considered as a useful treatment in the management and treatment of cervical arthritis. The mode of treatment involves the injection of small amounts of corticosteroid into the impaired facet joints.

Cervical arthritis

The mild forms of pain can be managed with over-the-counter medications.

The facet joints are composed of the boundary between the vertebrae and the discs. Since the condition causes swelling and deterioration of the spinal discs and the vertebrae, it results to pain and limited movement. With the injection of cortisone, it helps drastically reduce the pain and promote better functioning of the cervical spine.

Medications for pain

There are various medications for pain that are commonly used to treat the pain caused by cervical arthritis. These can range from over-the-counter pain medications as well as prescription medications such as opiate/narcotic-based drugs.

Take note that these medications are well-tolerated and can help diminish both the pain and inflammation due to the degenerative process in the cervical spine. The mild forms of pain can be managed with over-the-counter medications. As for severe cases, the stronger prescription medications are needed to provide adequate pain relief.

Application of braces

A brace can be used to stabilize the cervical spine in order to provide relief from pain in some cases. By bracing the affected area, it helps maintain the proper alignment of the spinal discs and vertebrae. Using a cervical brace can also help relieve the pressure on the affected area which helps keep the discs decompressed and flexible to reduce the pain.

Always remember that cervical bracing can be used along with other forms of treatment such as spinal manipulation or injection therapy.

Surgical intervention

In severe cases of cervical arthritis particularly those that trigger severe deterioration of the cervical spinal vertebrae, spinal surgery is the solution to help reduce the pain and improve overall functioning. In cases where severe deformity exists, surgery can help eliminate these bony areas to minimize the irritation to the surrounding soft tissues and vertebrae.

Posted in Broken Bones
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Tuesday, 22 July 2014
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It is important to note that the leg is comprised of several bones including the fibula, tibia, patella and femur. Based on studies conducted, the main role of the tibia is to bear weight while the fibula is responsible for muscle attachment. Any of these bones can sustain stress fractures. The common location where stress fractures can occur is 2-3 inches above the bony bit on the interior of the ankle on the tibia bone. Additionally, injury or trauma to the leg can also cause pain in the muscles or even on the bones.

Always bear in mind that tibia bone pain is defined as the pain that occurs in the tibia. This is the larger bone in the leg while the fibula is the smaller one.

Symptoms of tibia bone pain

If you suspect that an individual is suffering from this condition, the symptoms of tibia bone pain not only include the pain but also swelling and tenderness. The pain is characterized as dull, sharp, aching, acute or chronic.

Causes of tibia bone pain

There are various causes of tibia bone pain that includes a broken leg, certain types of cancers such as prostate or breast, muscle cramp, osteomyelitis, dehydration, osteoporosis, muscle strain due to overuse, certain medications, injuries involving a torn muscle, inflamed tendon, hairline fracture, deep vein thrombosis, shin splints, arthritis, varicose veins and nerve damage.

Tibia bone pain

If you suspect that an individual is suffering from this condition, the symptoms of tibia bone pain not only include the pain but also swelling and tenderness.

Take note that the tibia bone pain caused by an injury such as a broken or fracture bone can be due to various factors such as overloading the bone while engaging in continuous activity, several impacts on the bone, abrupt changes in the running surface and continuous activity even when though the muscles are tired. The symptoms of a stress fracture typically include pain, swelling, tenderness and pain when the shin is pressed.

Tests and exams performed

If a doctor is consulted, certain exams will be carried out which includes a complete physical examination and a medical history. The tests that will be performed include bone X-ray, complete blood count (CBC), CT scan, bone scan, MRI, pituitary and adrenal gland function, hormonal levels and even urinalysis.

Treatment for tibia bone pain

The home treatment for tibia bone pain usually includes rest, application of ice, gentle stretching, and elevation of the affected leg, massage and medications. When applying ice as part of basic first aid, always wrap it in a clean cloth or towel before applied on the skin to prevent injury.

In case the cause is a broken or fractured tibia, a cast would be applied and the individual is encouraged to rest. The doctor can also prescribe antibiotics, pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs and hormones.

As for the medical treatment, it would involve surgical intervention in order to correct the fractured bone, application of a splint, plaster casting, traction, physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

Posted in Broken Bones
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Monday, 21 July 2014
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An orthopedic boot is a specifically designed for individuals after sustaining an injury to the ankle or foot. By using an orthopedic boot, it helps prevent the movement of the affected body parts. It is sad to note that swelling typically occurs right after surgery. There are various ways to minimize the swelling as well as the pain when an orthopedic boot is worn. Just remember that the medications prescribed by the doctor must be taken by the individual.

Using an orthopedic boot that fits right

Once the individual is advised to use an orthopedic boot, he/she must try on the boot to ensure that it correctly fits. Always remember that the boot must fit perfectly around the leg and foot.

Most of the orthopedic boots available in the market can be easily adjusted at the leg area, but the foot part is precisely sized to the individual. Additionally, the heel must comfortably fit in the boot while the toes should not be congested in.

Application of ice

Orthopedic boot

By using an orthopedic boot, it helps prevent the movement of the affected body parts.

For pain relief and to minimize the swelling, you can use ice packs. You can easily create ice packs at home by simply using a plastic bag that is filled with ice. Just fill the bag halfway since if it is full, it could not be placed flat on the affected part. The best option is crushed ice since it provides better flexibility. You can double the plastic bag to prevent any leakages.

Position the ice packs within the boot down on the ankles and feet. You only need a maximum of two ice packs for each foot. Always remember that ice will reduce the amount of blood that goes into the foot while at the same time numbs the area to minimize the pain. Leave the ice pack for at least 10 minutes or until the individual finds it uncomfortable.  Do not forget to wrap the ice pack in a clean towel or cloth since directly applying on the skin might cause damage.

Elevation

The foot that is swelling must be elevated at the level of the heart as much as possible. Using the orthopedic boot might be required but the pain and swelling will gradually reduce more if the individual will stop using the affected foot.

In basic first aid, elevation is part of the RICE method that is commonly applied on soft tissue injuries. You can learn more about this first aid treatment if you will register in a first aid course.

Important tips when using an orthopedic boot

If the individual is advised to use an orthopedic boot, there are certain considerations to bear in mind. Initially, the individual must loosen the orthopedic boot whenever possible. If he/she sits down, the straps must be loosened so that the fluids that started to accumulate are allowed to escape. Take note that this works effectively if the affected foot is elevated after the straps have been loosened.

Posted in Internal Issues
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Thursday, 17 July 2014
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Cervical dysplasia is the development of unusual cells on the exterior covering of the cervix that may or may not be considered as oncogenic. It is important to note that this condition does not typically display any symptoms. Due to this, doctors recommend regular testing to monitor for cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer in severe cases. In some cases, the doctor can decide to monitor the condition to check if it diminishes on its own without requiring further treatment. In some cases, the doctor might decide to perform a surgical procedure in order to remove the infected area.

Bleeding

The individual will start to notice a certain pattern of irregular bleeding that might be symptoms linked with cervical dysplasia. There is also minimal bleeding or minor vaginal bleeding on cases when the individual is not expecting the menstrual cycle. It is also possible that the individual will experience minimal bleeding or spotting during and immediately after intercourse.

Cervical dysplasia

There are also other symptoms that are not distinct to cervical dysplasia but can indicate the starting phase of the condition. It includes vaginal discharge and back pain.

Genital warts

The symptoms linked with cervical dysplasia are unusual but one of the symptoms that are strikingly noticeable is the development of genital warts. Even though genital warts can be considered as an indication of other health disorders, it can also be used as an indicative sign that cervical dysplasia is starting to develop.

Other symptoms

There are also other symptoms that are not distinct to cervical dysplasia but can indicate the starting phase of the condition. It includes vaginal discharge and back pain. The individual can notice a vaginal discharge that is similar to a whitish discharge often linked with a yeast infection. It is also possible that the individual can start to experience achy or throbbing pain in the lower back. This pain can last for several hours or last for days or weeks. If you want to learn more on how to provide proper pain management, click here.

What are the risk factors?

The causes of cervical dysplasia are not yet fully understood until today. Nevertheless, there are certain risk factors that seem to increase the likelihood that the individual will acquire the disease. The risk factors include sexual activity at age 15 or younger, smoking at an early age, sexual activity with multiple partners and having a child before reaching 18 years old. Additionally, the use of birth control pills for more than five years and lack of vitamin C in the diet can increase the risk for cervical dysplasia.

Prognosis

It is still possible to cure cervical dysplasia with timely diagnosis and proper treatment. If the condition is left untreated, it can develop into cervical cancer that can be very dangerous and potentially fatal if not treated right away. Based on studies, cervical cancer due to cervical dysplasia is one of the fatal forms of cancer in the world and the leading cause of death among women between 15-34 years old.

Posted in Internal Issues
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Thursday, 17 July 2014
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Stroke is considered as a serious condition that can lead to disability along with lasting effects such as damage to the brain. Once a stroke occurs, the blood supply to the brain is disrupted due to the formation of a blood clot. As a result, the brain cells will start to die due to the lack of oxygen. Based on studies conducted, strokes have been the leading cause of death in the world. It is important to note that the symptoms and the duration of a stroke tends to vary and depends on the type experienced by the individual.

What is a transient ischemic attack?

A transient ischemic attack is considered as a precursor to an actual stroke. Most cases of individuals who suffered a transient ischemic attack usually end up with an actual stroke. This is basically a warning attack that would prompt immediate emergency care in order to prevent the development of a full-blown stroke. The symptoms of a transient ischemic attack are similar to an actual stroke but tend to last for only a few minutes up to 24 hours.

What are the symptoms?

In some cases of strokes, specifically a hemorrhagic stroke, it can be due to a ruptured blood vessel that starts to bleed within the brain. The symptoms of a stroke can occur without any warning and abruptly. If proper medical attention is not provided right away, the effects of a stroke such as memory loss and paralysis can be permanent. With this in mind, it is vital that you are familiar with the warning signs in order to help the individual as well as prevent the lasting effects.

Stroke

If proper medical attention is not provided right away, the effects of a stroke such as memory loss and paralysis can be permanent.

What are the warning signs?

You have to take note of the following warning signs of a stroke.

  • The individual suddenly becomes disoriented or confused
  • Difficulty walking or speaking
  • Slurred speech
  • Feeling of numbness on one side of the body
  • Visual disturbances
  • Severe, persistent headaches

Always bear in mind that a good indication that an individual is having a stroke is when both arms are raised above the head, one falls without control.

When to seek medical care?

Even though a transient ischemic attack can pass, it is best to seek help to prevent further damage. If the individual has difficulty breathing or starts to vomit without end, seek medical care right away. If the individual is not taken care of, it will increase the risk for long-term disability.

Treatment

Individuals who were medicated using tissue plasminogen activator within 3 hours of experiencing a stroke were able to recover at a better rate than those who were not given the medication. Those who were given had only minimal or no disability after 3 months.

Preventive measure

Individuals who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases are at higher risk for suffering a stroke. Based on studies, aspirin therapy can also help minimize the risk for a stroke but only if the individual does not have high blood pressure and if it is recommended by the doctor.

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