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Thursday, 22 January 2015
Last updated: January 22, 2015 at 7:19 am

Can I use garlic for chest congestion?

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Garlic has been used for its medicinal properties throughout the years. The uses of this herb range from protection from the plague back in the 18th century and even protection for gangrene. Even though garlic has its role in traditional medicine, few of these used are considered effective. Due to the presence of active compounds in garlic, it is typically used in treating chest congestion. Even though initial studies found this herb to be effective in managing the symptoms of common cold, it might not be the best natural treatment for chest congestion.

If you want to be prepared to manage the symptoms of common cold, including chest congestion, it is best to enroll in a class on first aid today.

What are the active constituents?

It is important to note that garlic is composed of several active constituents with the primary compound called as alliin. This compound is derived from cysteine which is an amino acid that contains sulfur that is responsible for adding most of the medicinal qualities present within garlic.

Chest congestion-garlic

Due to the presence of active compounds in garlic, it is typically used in treating chest congestion.

Once the garlic bulbs are broken down, alliin is changed into allicin. The garlic is required to undergo fermentation in order to break up the components of allicin so that that it can be properly absorbed by the body. It is believed that this chemical decomposition produces several water-soluble sulfur compounds which are known to improve the healing qualities of garlic in the body.

Chest congestion and garlic

The active constituents present within garlic can improve the functioning of the immune system as well as relieve the symptoms of common cold which includes chest congestion. In a study conducted, it was discovered that garlic boosts the immune system, thus helping out the body fight off the symptoms of common cold.

Recommended dosage

If you are going to use garlic as part of the treatment for common cold, it is recommended to consume 600-1200 mg of aged garlic on a daily basis. The individual can be given 2-4 g of minced garlic on a daily basis. The best way to gain the most out of garlic is to consume 2-5 mg of allicin on a daily basis. When preventing a stomach upset from developing while consuming garlic, it is best to consume the garlic supplements together with food.

Considerations to bear in mind

Even though garlic is considered as generally safe for consumption, it is still important to consult the use of garlic with a doctor first, especially if the individual is currently using medications such as HIV medications or blood thinners. The usual side effects of consuming garlic include unpleasant body odor, bad breath, gastrointestinal discomfort and heartburn.

If an individual is planning to include garlic as a supplement, it is best to consult a doctor first if it is allowed and to be familiar with safety precautions.

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Last updated: January 21, 2015 at 18:33 pm

Useful remedies for child with cough

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It is a known fact that coughing is a mechanism of the body to eliminate excess mucus in the airways. Even though most cases of coughs do not need to be suppressed, coughing can be irritating and can lead to a sore throat, lack of sleep and sore chest muscles. If a child is suffering from a persistent cough or high fever, a doctor must be consulted for proper assessment. As for mild cases of cough, they can be managed at home with several remedies. You can readily manage mild cases of cough by enrolling in a course on first aid today in your area. In doing so, you can learn the appropriate steps to take to manage the cough.

Increase the moisture

A child who has a cough that sounds similar to a bark might indicate croup. A mild croup can be managed at home. All you have to do is to bring the child to the bathroom and run the shower with the water in the hot setting. Instruct the child to inhale the warm air for about ten minutes.

Cough

In case the cough of the child originates from a ticklish throat, you can provide him/her with cool drinks or cough drops to ease the irritation.

Another option is to use a humidifier in the bedroom of the child. Once the child shows signs of respiratory distress such as difficulty breathing, wheezing or bluish fingernails, it is best to seek immediate medical care.

Soothing remedies

In case the cough of the child originates from a ticklish throat, you can provide him/her with cool drinks or cough drops to ease the irritation. It is best to avoid any carbonated beverages and orange juice since they can sting an already irritated throat. Just remember not to provide children below 4 years old with cough drops or hard candy since they are considered as choking hazards.

Honey

If the child is having difficulty in falling asleep due to a cough, you can provide him/her with 2 teaspoons of honey before going to bed. Take note that honey is considered as an effective cough suppressant just like with over-the-counter remedies that contain dextromethorphan. In case the child likes to drink tea, you can provide him/her with a warm cup of sweetened honey to help soothe the throat. Honey should not be given to babies below one year old since it can cause infant botulism.

Herbal remedies

There are also some herbal remedies that can help ease a cough. Just remember that it is best to consult a doctor first before any herbal remedies will be used. Take note that some remedies are not suitable for the age of the child or might react with other medications currently taken.

Peppermint contains menthol which is considered as a natural decongestant and also works as an expectorant. Another popular remedy is eucalyptus that is used for coughs and colds. There are cough ointments in the market that are made from eucalyptus and menthol. Other herbal remedies commonly used for cough include licorice, slippery elm, thyme and sundew.

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Thursday, 15 January 2015
Last updated: January 15, 2015 at 21:17 pm

Why do I have green mucus in the eye?

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Any discharge or mucus in the eye can be triggered by various conditions. Many individuals will wake up and end up with a minor buildup of debris in the edges of the eyelids. In most circumstances, it is simply due to the accumulation of tear components while sleeping throughout the night. One should be concerned when new or a large amount of mucus in the eye is present. It is important to note that mucus discharge that is accompanied by changes in the vision or eye pain entails proper assessment by a doctor in order to determine the underlying cause.

Eye infection

Large amounts of green mucus in the eye can indicate an ocular contamination. Remember that bacterial eye infections frequently occur with dense, greenish discharge together with redness and pain. The bacterial eye infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to prevent lasting vision problems. Take note that antibiotics are not required for all eye infections and bacterial resistance can occur if overused.

Mucus in the eye

Large amounts of green mucus in the eye can indicate an ocular contamination.

The cases that are triggered by viruses do not respond to antibiotics and the doctor will recommend a different approach. When an individual is diagnosed with pink eye, it simply indicates that the infection is contagious and typically resolves without treatment just like common cold. Nevertheless, all cases of eye infections must be assessed by a doctor to determine the right treatment.

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye is a condition in which there is inadequate tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Problems with the tear film linked with dry eye can lead to symptoms of discharge, debris along the eyelids and watering. The usual complaints with dry eye include the feeling of scratchiness or sandy. There are various over-the-counter eye lubricants that can help enhance the natural tears and reduce the symptoms.

Certain environmental factors such as dust and wind can worsen the condition along with extended use of electronic devices and computers. In addition, using humidifiers, avoiding fans and vents as well as wearing wrap-around sunglasses can help minimize these environmental effects.

Ocular allergies

Take note that allergies might be a culprit for the green mucus in the eye. An allergic reaction can occur due to exposure to seasonal allergens or animals. There are also medications that can cause these reactions. Those who are highly sensitive to certain materials and chemicals can instigate a reaction. You can take a course on first aid today so that you are prepared to handle allergies.

Those who suffer from ocular allergy suffer from a stringy-type of discharge that is usually while in color or clear. As for the itchiness, it is the most common symptom linked with allergies. The individual should not rub the eyes since they will only aggravate the condition. In most circumstances, swelling of the conjunctiva and eyelids can also occur during an allergic response. Allergy eye drops prescribed by the doctor are highly effective in reducing the symptoms. There are also over-the-counter allergy eye drops that can be used. Additionally, you can apply a cold compress over the eyelids.

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Wednesday, 24 December 2014
Last updated: December 24, 2014 at 0:23 am

What are the possible complications of vasomotor rhinitis?

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It is important to note that vasomotor rhinitis involves the inflammation of the padding in the nose that was caused by the engorged blood vessels. The resulting engorgement stimulates the mucus glands which cause the distinctive nasal dripping and congestion in most individuals.

Vasomotor rhinitis is not instigated by an allergic response in the body. It is actually initiated by infections, changes in the weather, spicy foods, environmental irritants as well as using medications.

Chronic sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is described by the inflammation of the sinuses which are cavities around the nasal passages. Take note that the inflammation clogs the drainage from the sinuses and results to the accumulation of mucus. The symptoms of chronic sinusitis include drainage of mucus down the throat, pain and tenderness around the eyes and nose, breathing difficulty, reduced sense of smell, aching in the jaw and cough. In most cases, antibiotics and medications are usually effective in relieving the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. In severe cases in which the condition persists, surgery might be required. If you want to properly manage this condition, you can enroll in a first aid course today.

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths that develop on the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses as an outcome of the chronic inflammation. The small-sized nasal polyps do not cause any problems and often go unnoticed. The large nasal polyps can clog up the nasal passages resulting to breathing difficulty, sinus infections and reduced sense of smell.

Vasomotor rhinitis

The symptoms of chronic sinusitis include drainage of mucus down the throat, pain and tenderness around the eyes and nose, breathing difficulty, reduced sense of smell, aching in the jaw and cough.

There are a number of medications that can be prescribed to help shrink the size of the nasal polyps. In case the medications are not effective, surgery might be required to eliminate them. Nevertheless, nasal polyps can return and some even lose their sense of smell permanently.

Middle ear infections

The accumulation of fluid combined with nasal congestion can eventually lead to a middle ear infection. The Eustachian tube which is a small tube that links the middle ear to the back of the throat ends up blocked by congestion and mucus that result to an infection.

The symptoms include fluid in the ear, pain as well as pus, redness of the ear, difficulty hearing and fever. In case the pressure is very high, the eardrum can rupture. Always remember that middle ear infections triggered by vasomotor rhinitis typically go away on their own in 2-3 days.

Reduced quality of life

The mild symptoms can lead to reduced productivity while school or work. The severe symptoms and frequent visit to the doctor results to missed school or work. The breathing difficulty linked with vasomotor rhinitis can also reduce the ability of the individual to take part in sports or physical activities.

If the individual suffer from persistent vasomotor rhinitis, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible for proper assessment of the condition.

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Thursday, 18 December 2014
Last updated: December 18, 2014 at 21:27 pm

What to do for foot fungus among children?

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It is important to note that foot fungus is quite common among children and often called as athlete’s foot or tinea pedis. Even though foot fungus is quite common among adolescents and adults, children can also become infection and end up with an annoying rash on the feet. Nevertheless, since skin issues on the feet of children can stem from various causes, a doctor should be consulted before attempting to treat the issue at home.

In case a child develops foot fungus, you can readily manage the condition if you will register for first aid training today.

What are the symptoms?

An indicative symptom of foot fungus among children is an itchy rash that develops in between the toes. Take note that the skin between the toes will turn red in color and become cracked and scaly or even develop a cheese-like appearance. If the condition is not treated right away, it has the tendency to radiate to the instep and even reach the toenails as well. Always bear in mind that foot fungus will also produce a foul stench. If the child scratches the rash, it can become raw and wet.

Foot fungus

Even though foot fungus is quite common among adolescents and adults, children can also become infection and end up with an annoying rash on the feet.

Possible causes

Foot fungus has the tendency to spread via direct exposure to the fungus. Take note that this often occurs once the child walks barefoot in areas where the fungus is present. The fungus is capable of surviving in moist areas especially in public showers, swimming pools and locker rooms.

The fungus can also be acquired by sharing a towel with an individual who has the infection. Nevertheless, even if exposed to the fungus, the child can only develop the condition if the feet are also moist since the fungus thrives well in moist environments.

Treatment for foot fungus

The appropriate treatment for foot fungus among children is to apply a cream or powder over the affected foot to help eliminate the fungus. The doctor can recommend the suitable medication for the infection that is appropriate to the age of the child.

In case the topical solutions will not work, the doctor will recommend an oral medication to eliminate the fungus. Regardless of the mode of treatment used, you should keep the feet of the child dry and instruct to avoid walking barefoot during the course of the treatment. Remember that the fungus could not grow in dry, airy environments.

Preventive measures

Since the fungus that causes the condition requires moisture to survive, it is vital to keep the feet dry and clean at all times to prevent it. Children must be taught to dry their feet thoroughly after showering, bathing or swimming.

It is also recommended to wear loose shoes and change socks regularly to prevent the feet from becoming soaked by sweat. You can also prevent exposure to the fungus by providing the child with flip-flops or other footwear to use when using public showers, swimming pools or locker rooms.

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Thursday, 18 December 2014
Last updated: December 18, 2014 at 7:16 am

Why do I have a rash after receiving the shingles vaccine?

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The shingles vaccine works by reducing the risk of developing shingles as well as the development of the common complications particularly post-herpetic neuralgia. It is important to note that the usual side effect after the shingles vaccine is administered is a rash. If you want to be prepared to handle the rash that occurs after the shingles vaccines is given, all you have to do is to look for a course. You can learn ways to ease this side effect by enrolling in a course on first aid today.

Characteristics

Always bear in mind the initial type of rash is comprised of a small number of blisters that are similar to shingles that develops at the injection site and they do not spread to other parts of the body. In some cases, a second type of rash comprised of blisters similar to shingles can develop in another part of the body other than the injection site. Take note that these blisters tend to be numerous and can also affect a wider area which is similar to the naturally occurring shingles.

Onset of the rash

Shingles vaccine

In rare cases, a rash that develops after the shingles vaccine is given can indicate a complication such as an allergic reaction or an infection. The indications of an allergic reaction usually include nausea, chest tightness or pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, facial swelling, anxiety or dizziness.

Those who were given the shingles vaccine should report all forms of rashes that developed within 42 hours after the vaccine was administered. Individuals who experienced rashes on the injection site developed 2-3 days after the vaccine was given. Others who experience rashes in other parts of the body usually appeared more than 2 weeks after the vaccine was administered.

How long the rashes last?

The rashes that developed on the injection site typically resolve within 5 days unlike from the rashes that developed on other parts of the body which resolves within 18 days. The rashes that develop on other parts of the body are likely to reflect vaccine failure rather than a side effect of the vaccination. Take note that in all but a few cases, the laboratory tests show that the cause of the rash was in reality shingles but not the strain of the virus that was utilized in the vaccine.

Frequency

It is important to note that less than 1% of cases who received the shingles vaccine developed a rash. The rashes are more likely to occur among individuals 60-69 years old than those over 70 years old.

Complications

In rare cases, a rash that develops after the shingles vaccine is given can indicate a complication such as an allergic reaction or an infection. The indications of an allergic reaction usually include nausea, chest tightness or pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, facial swelling, anxiety or dizziness. The symptoms of infection include fever or discharge of the injection site. Those who suffer from these symptoms must consult a doctor for instructions or simply bring the individual to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.

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Thursday, 11 December 2014
Last updated: December 11, 2014 at 9:52 am

Does a pneumonia shot have any side effects?

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A pneumonia shot can be administered for the prevention of diseases instigated by the Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria. It is important to note that pneumococcal infections can trigger serious health issues such as pneumonia which involves the lungs, bacteremia which is a severe blood infection, meningitis which involves the brain and even death.

It is best to consider vaccination with a pneumonia shot for high risk groups such as the elderly, those who have a weakened immune system or those who smoke. Parents should consider a pneumonia shot for young children. A doctor should be consulted in order to determine if this vaccination is required since there are potential side effects of the pneumonia shot that you should be well aware of. In case the individual develops any of the side effects, you should be prepared to handle them. By enrolling in a first aid class, you can learn measures to help ease these side effects.

Complications at the injection site

Pneumonia shot

The individual might develop muscle pain and fatigue right after receiving a pneumonia shot. In most cases, the individual can also experience joint pain.

Almost half of those who have received this vaccination will suffer from mild side effects such as redness or pain where the pneumonia shot was administered. In most cases, there is also minimal swelling on the affected area. It is important that these side effects should subside within a few days after the vaccination was administered. A doctor should be consulted if ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used in order to reduce the soreness and pain. A cold compress can also be applied on the injection site since it can effectively reduce the swelling.

Fever and swollen glands

The fever and swollen glands can develop right after the individual received a pneumonia shot. In most cases, you can relieve the fever by providing the individual with acetaminophen. As for the swollen glands, they usually manifest in the neck area and feel tender to the touch. Take note that fever as well as inflamed glands occur as the body generates the required immune response to the shot. In case these reactions do not seem to subside within a couple of days, a doctor should be consulted. There is a possibility that the individual has an illness that is not connected to the recent vaccination.

Muscle pain and fatigue

The individual might develop muscle pain and fatigue right after receiving a pneumonia shot. In most cases, the individual can also experience joint pain. Take note that this side effect can persist for a few days after the vaccination. A warm shower or bath or even a massage can help reduce the muscle pain and soreness. In case the soreness or pain becomes severe, a doctor must be consulted regarding the type of pain medications to be taken.

When getting a pneumonia shot, it is best to consult a doctor first regarding the possible side effects that can manifest.

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Thursday, 11 December 2014
Last updated: December 11, 2014 at 8:17 am

Treatment options for chickenpox on the scalp

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After the introduction of an effective chickenpox vaccine back in 1995, the condition has become increasingly uncommon in the developed countries all over the world. In most cases, chickenpox initially strikes the face or trunk and then spreads outward which affects the extremities and the scalp. With the availability of the chickenpox vaccine, it has helped prevent the condition and can minimize the severity of the symptoms in some cases.

The treatment for chickenpox on the scalp is focused on symptomatic relief as well as observing proper skin hygiene to minimize the risk for the development of secondary bacterial infections. In some cases, the individual might require the administration of antiviral drugs. If you suspect that an individual ends up with chickenpox on the scalp, it is recommended to enroll in a class in first aid today so that you will know how to ease the symptoms.

Antiviral drugs

In some individuals who have chickenpox, they can develop thousands of blisters while others especially young children might have less than 50 blisters. Individuals who have an extensive case and those who are categorized as high-risk for complications for chickenpox can greatly benefit from prescription antiviral drugs that work by reducing the severity and duration of the symptoms. The commonly used medications include acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir.

Chickenpox on the scalp

Proper hygiene will help prevent the development of secondary bacterial infections caused by the chickenpox lesions, especially on the scalp where the hair oil traps the dirt and bacteria.

Topical astringents

The topical astringents work by reducing the swelling, controlling the secretions as well as inhibiting bleeding among those who have chickenpox and other inflammatory skin conditions. The astringents that are used in treating acne can be harsh for chickenpox of the scalp. It is recommended to use over-the-counter aluminum acetate. In most cases, a mixture of oatmeal and water are recommended. The application of a topical astringent 1-3 times per day during the initial stage of the disease can help control the irritation as well as hasten the healing process.

Observing proper hygiene

Proper hygiene will help prevent the development of secondary bacterial infections caused by the chickenpox lesions, especially on the scalp where the hair oil traps the dirt and bacteria. The individual should wash the hair on a daily basis using mild shampoo and apply conditioner on the ends of the hair only.

Those who usually use other hair products such as sprays and gels must refrain from using them until the chickenpox lesions are fully healed. Combs and brushes must be directed away from the scalp. Additionally, the scalp can be soaked in tepid water during a bath to provide relief from the itchiness.

Diagnosing chickenpox

The doctor will diagnose the chickenpox based on the indicative rashes. In case there are any doubts regarding the diagnosis, the doctor will usually confirm the condition by requesting laboratory tests such as a culture of the lesion or a blood test.

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Thursday, 04 December 2014
Last updated: December 4, 2014 at 10:05 am

Ways to minimize swelling in the hands after an animal bite infection

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It is a known fact that animal bites typically occur especially among children. Dogs are known to cause most cases of animal bites in different parts of the globe. Other animals that bite humans include rodents, cats and even farm animals. The health risk after an animal bite is the possibility for an infection.

Bites from cats have the highest potential for infection since their sharp teeth can burrow deep into the tissues. An early indication of an infected bite is engorgement at the bite site especially the hand or finger. Various measures can help minimize the inflammation of an infected animal bite as well as reduce the possibility for complications.

How to recognize the symptoms of an animal bite infection

Identifying an animal bite infection

Always remember that the mouths of animals are laden with various microorganisms. Once introduced to the body via a bite, these bacteria can multiply, resulting to an infection. The hand and fingers face the highest risk for infection right after the animal bite.

This is due to the complex anatomy and poor blood supply to some of the deep tissues. The depth of the wound will determine the type of infection. As for superficial bites or scratches, they can cause cellulitis which is an infection of the upper skin layers.

Animal bite

You can prevent reinfection by covering the wound with sterile bandage or dressing.

For deeper bites, they can infect the bones or tendons of the finger. The indications of infection include redness, swelling as well as drainage of pus at the bite site, pain, reduced mobility and loss of circulation which makes the hand or finger bluish in color. Loss of sensation to the fingers, fevers, chills and night sweats can indicate a serious infection.

Treating the swelling

Treatment for swelling must be started to reduce the swelling. The initial step in controlling the swelling and infection after an animal bite is through proper cleansing of the wound.

You have to clean the wound using warm water and soap for about 5 minutes right after the bite to remove dirt and saliva that contains bacteria. In case the bite site is bleeding, apply direct pressure using a clean cloth or gauze and elevate to control the swelling.

You can scrub the wound in a gentle manner to help reduce the risk for swelling due to infection. Take note that the risk for swelling can be reduced by applying an antiseptic solution or antibiotic ointment after cleansing. Even anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can help manage the swelling of minor infections as well as treat fever and pain. You can prevent reinfection by covering the wound with sterile bandage or dressing. You can learn more about proper wound care by enrolling in a class on first aid today.

Prevent the complications of swelling

The swelling as well as the possible complications of an animal bite can be reduced by assessing the tissue damage. The doctor will request an X-ray to check if there is trauma to the bone. Other tests include an MRI to check the tendons for damage.

Severe swelling would require surgical intervention to reduce the pressure inside the hand or finger and properly cleanse the infection from the deeper tissues. In some cases, surgical exploration helps eliminate dead tissue, clots and damaged skin that can disrupt with the healing process. Antibiotics might be required to reduce the swelling and control the infection. A course of intravenous antibiotics is oftentimes prescribed to manage deep tissue infections.

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Thursday, 27 November 2014
Last updated: November 27, 2014 at 7:02 am

Possible causes of leg pain

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Leg pain can be triggered by several factors that you should be well aware of. The leg pain can occur in any part starting from the hips or heels and can be intermittent or constant. Take note that the leg pain can be instigated by traumatic injury or caused by health issues that affect the nerves and blood vessels in the lower extremity. The leg pain can be stabbing, sharp, aching, dull, tingling or burning depending on the precise cause. You can learn more about pain management measures if you will enroll in a first aid class today.

Rickets

Rickets is a condition that can cause leg pain and quite common among children. The condition can cause the bones to soften and easily fracture. The main cause of rickets is the deficiency of vitamin B but the condition can also run in some families.

Leg pain

The usual indications linked with thrombophlebitis include pain, inflammation and swelling in the affected region, warmth and tenderness over the involved vein and skin redness.

Vitamin D helps the bone take in calcium and phosphorus present in food. Children who are malnourished or do not have adequate amount of vitamin D could not establish healthy and strong bones. The indications of rickets include pelvis, spine and leg pain as well as delayed growth, cavities, muscle weakness and other teeth issues. In some individuals, they face a higher risk for developing rickets including children between 6 months and 2 years old, children who do not eat enough foods that contain vitamin D, children with dark skin and children who breastfeed without vitamin D supplement.

Thrombophlebitis

Thrombophlebitis can cause leg pain and characterized by the inflammation and swelling in a vein due to a blood clot. Thrombophlebitis can develop in any part of the body including the legs. There are some risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing thrombophlebitis such as being hospitalized for surgery, certain illnesses that predisposes to blood clots and extended periods of sitting.

The usual indications linked with thrombophlebitis include pain, inflammation and swelling in the affected region, warmth and tenderness over the involved vein and skin redness. There are two major forms of thrombophlebitis – superficial which involves the veins close the surface of the skin and the deep venous type.

Trochanteric bursitis

Trochanteric bursitis can also cause leg pain. The condition is basically the inflammation of the bursa which is a fluid-filled sac that reduces the friction between bone and tendons close to the upper thigh or greater trochanter. The greater trochanter is a part of the femur.

Take note that trochanteric bursitis is a usual cause of hip and thigh pain. The usual indications include thigh and buttock pain, lateral or exterior hip pain, pain when lying on the affected side, pain that worsens during hip or thigh movement, tenderness once the affected area is pressed and pain when climbing stairs. Trochanteric bursitis can be triggered by overuse injuries, traumatic hip injuries, surgery, poor posture and certain medical issues.

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