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Wed, 4th February 2015
 

You can opt for an "achey breakey heart", or achey breakey painful limbs, backs and muscles. The latter are much more common. Heaps wake up with discomfort in legs, arms, rump or other parts. Others suffer sore feet, sore wrists and uncomfortable necks. There are heaps of causes and heaps of interventions. As a starter, try leaping out of bed or quietly getting up, whichever is easiest.

Unwind slowly

Some have to gradually unwind, unbend, unravel. Lifting out one limb, then the other, gradually endeavouring to straighten the back. If this is not you, do not laugh in scorn, for eventually it may be. Then shower, dress, and try and mobilise yourself as best you can. Often turning the shower from hot to cool, hot cool, hot cool, gives prompt benefits. As the day wears on, often with increased muscle activity, pains vanish.

Connect

The more you connect with others the better. This turns the mind from "self" and onto other issues. The more mentally taxing these issues the better. Frequently at days end the muscles have long ceased being a burden. Joints seem OK. The simple pain killers are OK if pains do not rapidly vanish. Today, paracetamol is the best and safest. Minimum doses are preferred.

NSAIDS

The NSAIDS come next, but ideally small doses and only after food. However, "stretching exercises" long-term are an excellent natural remedy. Wherever the pain, try "stretching" that part. Not just a quick one, two, three. Bend the body, and hold in that position for at least 30 seconds. In other words, count one to thirty slowly. Then immediately similarly stretch the opposing muscle groups, again for 30 seconds. It is stressed, a couple of seconds is useless. Regular 30 seconds muscles stretches gradually lengthen the microscopic muscle fibres, and also allows them to spring back, It also improves circulation, and removes toxins (lactic acid). In a little while the pains will gradually disappear. Some medications are notorious for causing muscle pain.

STATINS

The "statins", often prescribed to lower cholesterol are notorious. Many react with a mild bout of rhabdomyolysis, and only remedy is to cease therapy. There are other ways to reduce cholesterol, soluble fibre probably heading the list. Powdered psyllium each day assists many and is a non drug "natural" alternative. It may be added to 250 mL of water (plus another 250 mLs immediately after), or added to breakfast cereal. Any persisting pain must be checked by your doctor.

 
ANTI INFLAMMATORY MEDICATION

Q: 

I cannot understand current prescribing. We read horrific stories of the anti-arthritis (pain killer) drugs causing gastric bleeding, and in the case of the "wondrous" (a few years ago) drugs called the COX2 inhibitors (which I was given) causing "heart events" (read heart attack) that these are still being prescribed by the tonne by doctors. Also, some are also available over the counter from chemists'. What are we supposed to believe?

A: 

Paracetamol is now the first line drug of choice for musculo-skeletal and arthritis pain. As with any line of intervention, risks must be weighed against benefits. The NSAIDS have been around for nearly fifty years. In moderate doses they have been fairly safe. It was only with the sudden splurge with the new COX-2 family the adverse events suddenly surfaced. Then they started to study the entire family. Ibuprofen is probably the safest, it is also the oldest. A majority find taking modest doses, preferably after food (protects stomach lining) relieves pain. Minimum dose for minimum period of time is best. I stick to paracetamol, but strictly the prescribed dose or less. (Maximum 2 x 500 mg 3-4 times a day).

 
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WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE

Q: 

Why is it that I find it difficult to work under women in the workplace. Ones with whom I clash are invariably short, thin, with beady eyes and sometimes facial hair.

A: 

This means they have above normal levels of the male hormone testosterone. So they display male-type characteristics. This is probably how they clawed their way to the top, for business is still a male dominated area. In the total picture, as we all know, not many women make it to the top. Majority find their oestrogen levels leave them contented to reproduce and raise a family - an increasingly difficult role in todays socio economic society.

 
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CHOCCIES

Q: 

My partner and I have always been on a fairly strict food intake, watch our weight and waistline. However, about once a month we gastronomically relent and buy a 70 Per Cent dark 100g chocolate bar and usually eat it slowly. I suggest to my partner she would appreciate it more just sitting and enjoying the treat but being an avid reader, she prefers to eat and read. I believe ones brain cannot appreciate a nice taste and understand words at the same time.

A: 

Dark chocolate is now considered "Cardio-protective". But not too much.

 
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ANTIBIOTICS

Q: 

Are we coming to the end of the antibiotic era. What if new superbugs appear?

A: 

Antibiotics have now been available for nearly sixty years. Penicillin, the first, is still effective in many serious diseases and may be life saving. Prescription of these valuable anti-bacterials has been super abused. Therefore, more and more bacteria are resistant. In reality, there has not been a significant new one for fifty years, apart from a few anti-virals. None is currently in the pipe line. Costs to discover, develop, and market a new drug is now through the stratosphere - probably $350 million. Drug companies are not interested. They only care about profit. Bird flu (or some variation) will inevitably occur and probably eliminate fifty per cent of the world population within twelve months. Wait for it. The plague and Spanish flu in 1918 proved the point. A vaccine is badly needed.

 
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FAILING VISION

Q: 

My mum is developing macular degeneration and failing vision and there is talk about a new drug.

A: 

A relatively new drug is now injected into the eye. It has been on trial for several years and is now available but very expensive. It is now on the NHS. It appears to reduce progression of this otherwise blinding disease. Lutein has also been used, for years. Not smoking is essential. Often the first symptom is seeing an upward kink in a straight line. Older persons should be checked regularly by an ophthalmologist. Many visual disturbances may occur. Diabetes is also a giant enemy of vision, and control is essential. That means blood sugar 5.6 or less.

 
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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

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