back pain

Back Pain – Causes, Self Care, FAQ and Home Exercise

Eighty percent of us will experience back problems at some point in our lives. Back pain is ranked second only to headaches as the most frequent cause of pain, and tops the list of workplace injuries, causing more loss of time, disability and money than any other workplace injury. Our backs are a carefully engineered network of bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves that help balance and bear the weight of our bodies and the loads we carry. Any minor damage or imbalance to this delicate system can stress muscles and joints, causing pain and injury. A lifetime of poor posture, poor lifting, bending and reaching, and twisting activities can gradually weaken your back’s supportive structures as well as cause pain and injury.

Risk Factors for Back Pain
Being overweight. Your back has to support too much weight when you’re carrying extra pounds.
Poor muscle tone. If your muscles are not well toned, they can’t meet the challenge when you ask something extra of them.
Poor posture. Poor posture creates bodily stress, which can result in pain.
Improper lifting. Heavy lifting, carrying children, as well as occupational lifting can cause injury.
Desk /computer jobs. Our bodies don’t thrive sitting for long periods of time hunched over keyboards or other workspaces.
Unhappiness. Researchers have found that general dissatisfaction with our social and economic situations can double or triple the risk of low back pain.

With all these risk factors, it’s no wonder so many of us suffer from back pain. But it’s not a part of life you have to passively accept.

Frequently Asked Questions
Take a look at the following frequently asked questions—they’ll help you further understand this condition, and better care for yourself and your family.

Do I need surgery for my bad back?
No, not usually. More times than not, your back pain can be treated without going under the knife. However, some conditions, like a herniated disk, may benefit
from surgery. Even still, herniated disks may heal on their own. Bottom line—you should carefully consider your options, and then consider them again, before thinking about surgery.

What about alternative therapy?
Non-traditional therapy is becoming more widely accepted these days. It wasn’t long ago that chiropractic treatment was viewed as an “alternative” therapy. Now these specialists are a common part of the back care landscape. Other alternative therapies have received praise from sufferers, too. The choice is up to you.

Sit at a desk all day. Am I at risk for back pain and injury?
Yes. It’s a common misconception that physical laborers and construction workers are at a higher risk for back injuries. The fact is, those individuals in sedentary jobs are at risk for back injury, too. Exercise and regular movement are important factors in maintaining a healthy back.

How can I arrange my office environment to protect my back?
A chair with good back support and height adjusters that allow you to keep both feet flat on the floor can do wonders to keep your back in a healthy state. If you don’t have an adjustable chair, try to use a chair with a simple straight back whenever possible. Also, when it comes to your desk, arrange items (phone, keyboard, monitor, etc.) where you won’t have to twist and turn excessively to access them.

Will my back pain ever go away?
There’s good news and bad news. First the good news. With proper self-care and good prevention techniques you can be well on your way to fighting off back pain. Now the bad news. Considering that 80 percent of Indians experience back pain at some point in their lives—much of it recurring—you may never get rid of back pain altogether. That’s why it’s important to practice the prevention tips included in this section—and keep doing them even when you’re feeling better.

You may see an expert at ReLivaTM Physiotherapy & Rehab to ease your back pain and get a customised plan to keep your back happy.

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy.

pain relief exercises in office

Stretching Exercises in Office: Neck, Back pain

Quick tips for pain relief!

Be Active at workplace. Do these simple stretching exercises while standing anywhere in office to avoid that pain – either in the back or neck! This poster from ReLiva is intended to support individuals and organisations in the promotion of physical activity in the workplace and to reduce sedentary behaviour.

Taking the time to stretch throughout the day anywhere – in office or at home, can have numerous health benefits. Stretching can improve flexibility and is an important activity to warm up or cool down after exercise. Stretching can also be a fun and healthy break from your computer screen during the work day. This along with correct posture while sitting at your desk, also helps you to keep all those pain in the back and neck away.

This newly developed Standing Stretch Sheet is perfect to do before a lunchtime walk, and for those who have standing roles. The 5 Minute Office Stretch Sheet while sitting at your work desk also provides you with 6 simple and effective stretches that you can complete whilst sitting at your work station.

We recommend you repeat each stretch twice, and hold each time for 20 seconds.

Print a copy and pin it up next to your workstation to remind you and your colleagues – Have you stretched today?

ReLiva stretching Exercises for back, neck pain in office, standing

Knee Replacement Surgery – Care & Exercise

You are about to have Knee Replacement Surgery (TKR). A lot of the long term results of knee replacements depend on how much work you put into it following your operation. Patients who prepare for surgery and actively take part in their care can recover in less time and with less pain. This guide has general information along with tips for things to do before and after surgery to help you make it a success.
You may get different instructions from your surgeon, doctor or physiotherapist. Always follow the directions of your care team. This guide is meant to be used under the direction of your physiotherapist.
Caution: If you have too much pain in your knee to exercise, or if any of the exercises cause more pain or swelling in your knee, stop. Tell your physiotherapist or doctor. If your whole leg becomes swollen or hot, tell your doctor right away!

General Guidelines: Before Surgery                  TKR- Total Knee replacement recovery

If you exercise before surgery you can have a faster and easier recovery. Exercise helps to:

  • Maintain the range of movement of your knee
  • Make your muscles strong
  • Control your pain
  • Build your knowledge of how to exercise after surgery
  • Improve your sleep

Do activities that put less stress on your knee. Try cycling on a stationary bike (upright or seated) for 5-10 minutes, walking in water (water level should be atleast thigh deep). It is best to do specific knee movements and strengthening exercises (in guidance of physiotherapist).

  • Always warm up before exercising. Your physiotherapist may tell you to:
  • Apply moist heat to the front and back of your knee for 5-10 minutes OR Have a warm shower or bath

General Guidelines: After Surgery

Exercise after surgery will help you recover and regain the movement and strength of your knee. Exercise also helps to:

  • Reduce swelling
  • Prevent blood clots (Thrombosis)
  • Control your pain
  • Prevent constipation
  • Improve your sleep

Tips to help you make the most of your Knee (TKR) surgery

DO’s

  • Take your recovery and rehab seriously. Exercise regularly as per the programme charted by your physiotherapist.
  • Continue with your knee replacement rehab programme for at least 3 weeks after surgery, probably 3 months of physiotherapy guided knee exercises to get the best result from your knee replacement.
  • Follow-up regularly with your surgeon, to monitor internal recovery.
  • Walker or crutches should be used until discontinued by Doctor or Physiotherapist.
  • Change knee position at least once an hour, while awake, to avoid stiffness.
  • Home exercises should be performed 3 times everyday unless advised differently by your Physiotherapist.
  • Walking is an excellent activity and you are strongly encouraged to gradually increase your walking distance after you leave hospital.
  • Walk outdoors as long as sidewalks are dry. Consider going to a mall to walk when the sidewalks are wet and slippery.
  • Swimming or walking inside swimming pool (where water level is at least till your thigh) is a very good strengthening exercise that prevents jerks and unnecessary strain on the knee.
  • Stay positive and committed. Don’t give up, and do what you can to keep a good attitude.

Don’ts : For 6-8 weeks after surgery, avoid:

  • Any pivoting (twisting) on your knee 2.Kneeling down 3.Squatting
  • Avoid high impact activities that cause jerk and stress on the knee joint, example running, jogging, rock climbing etc.
  • Avoid unnecessary stress on your knee by lifting very heavy objects. This can cause damage to your new knee.
  • Avoid using Indian traditional toilet, instead use a Western Commode (WC) or toilet chair.

Immediately after surgery, you can continue to do the following in bed :

1. Deep Breathing and Coughing Exercises : Knee replacement rehab - Pump your ankles
Until you are up and moving well, take at least 10 deep breaths, followed by a cough, every hour that you are awake.
2. Pump Your Ankles :
When lying down, move feet up and down and in circles. Repeat 10 -15 times every hour you are awake.
3. Buttock Contractions
Tighten your buttock muscle and hold for a count of 5 seconds. Repeat five to ten times, three to four times each day

Moving your new knee :

It is important to move your knee soon after the operation unless your surgeon or physiotherapist tells you not to. This will minimize stiffness, pain and swelling, and reduce the formation of scar tissue. Check with your physiotherapist for guidance about the best way to warm up your new joint.

To Keep Pain and Swelling under control, once you are home:

1. Rest Your Joint          TKR - Rest your joint

  • Change positions often (every 20 minutes) when you are awake. Try sitting, standing, and walking.
  • Pace yourself. Take things easy and slow.
  • Lie down 3 times a day for 30 minutes on your bed.
  • Put your leg up and support it with a rolled towel or with pillows (as shown).

2. Use Ice
Ice your knee when it is hot and red, painful and after exercises. (If your knee is very stiff and painful, check with your physiotherapist before icing
Follow these steps:

  • If your scar is not healed, cover it with a clean bandage and clean plastic wrap
  • Put a damp hand towel over your knee
  • Put a flexible gel pack, or plastic bag with crushed ice on your knee
  • Leave the ice ON for 10 minutes. Take it OFF for 10 minutes. Put it back ON for 10 minutes. Repeat 4-6 times a day
  • DO NOT use ice if your doctor has told you that the circulation to your legs is poor and that you should avoid using ice or heat

3. Use Pain Medicine
Use your pain medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Tell your doctor if the pain is too much or not improving.
4. Use Walking Aids
Use the walking aid that your physiotherapist has measured and recommended. Do not change or stop using the walking aid until your physiotherapist or surgeon tells you to. Walkers, crutches and canes help to:

  • Reduce the stress on your knee Reduce pain Improve your balance and reduce falls
  • Remember it is better to have a good walking pattern using two crutches than to limp and risk losing balance.

5. Sleep : It helps with rest and recovery. It is normal to have some sleepless nights up to 12 weeks after your knee surgery.

Consult an expert at ReLivaTM Physiotherapy & Rehab to learn more about rehab, Mobility Techniques and tips to make your Total Knee Replacement (TKR) Surgery a success.

physical activity for good health

The Activity Pyramid: Stay Active in a Fun way

Much easier said than done – Stay Active and Fit for Life! Not all the time. Here are few simple and fun things that you can incorporate in your everyday life and continue to stay Physically Fit and Active.

We call it the Activity Pyramid. Since it is meant to be FUN, it begins right at the bottom with everyday things that you may have known but have ignored implementing them so far!.Start from the bottom and work your way upwards!

 1. If you are Inactive: That is you rarely do any activity, increase your daily activities by:

– Use the staircase in place of the elevator. Start by climbing up the first fllor and then take the elevator to your destination. Add another one floor every second day of your climbing routine to gradually make it all the way up.

– Hide the TV remote. Get up and walk to the TV to adjust the volume or change the channel everytime.

– While standing in a queue, use your time to stretch your body.

– Walk whenever you can even within the house

2. If you are Sporadic:  You are active sometimes but not regularly, try to become consistent by identifying and adding activities that interest you from the middle of the Pyramid, set realistic goals to attain and plan your day so you can achieve your goals.

3. If you are Consistent : If you stay active most of the time, or upto four days in a week, then all you need to do is to keep shuffling your activities from the entire Pyramid so you not get bored and start to lose out.

Whichever stage you are or whatever activities you chose to do, remember to have FUN !!

Because when you indulge in activities that are fun, you are more regular and reduce the chances of injury.

pregnancy exercises

Why Exercise during Pregnancy

Pregnancy exercises are needed for fit pregnancy.

The benefits of Exercise during Pregnancy are immense. Antenatal fitness propagated by ReLiva Antenatal Experts emphasises on safe Exercises during Pregnancy owing to the several benefits. You can even join supervised Pregnancy exercises with FAB Moms. Click here to know more.

why exercise while pregnant

Related Articles:

FAB Moms, Pregnancy Exercise Program

Benefits of exercise during Pregnancy

Posture in Pregnancy: Do’s & Don’ts

Happy& Fit Pregnancy ; Back to Shape afterwards

SI Pain & Pregnancy Tips

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

sacroiliitis

Sacroiliitis, Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint, or SI joint, is thought to cause low back and/or leg pain. The leg pain can be particularly difficult, and may feel similar to sciatica or pain caused by a lumbar disc herniation.

 Where is SI Joint and Why Does it Hurt?      Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

There are two Sacroiliac (SI) joints in your body, located on either side of the triangle-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine where it connects to your pelvis. The SI joints are a shock absorber for your spine and provide stability for your body as you run, walk, or jump. Interestingly enough, the SI joints usually don’t move more than 2 – 4 millimeters themselves. But each one contains many nerve endings that can cause significant pain if the joint is damaged or loses its ability to move properly. Everyday wear and tear, arthritis, or a single injury can damage these joints, changing their normal movement and creating chronic and sometimes debilitating SI joint pain that often, generally feels like low back pain.

Causes:

While it is not clear how the pain is caused, it is thought that an alteration in the normal joint motion may be the culprit that causes sacroiliac pain. This source of pain can be caused by either:

  • Too much movement (hypermobility or instability): The pain is typically felt in the lower back and/or hip and may radiate into groin area.
  • Too little movement (hypomobility or fixation): The pain is typically felt on one side of the low back or buttocks, and can radiate down the leg. The pain usually remains above the knee, but at times pain can extend to the ankle or foot.

Sacroiliitis (inflammation at SI Joint), Osteoarthritis, SI Joint Injury, Altered Walking Pattern, Infection, Prior Lumbar Fusion and Pregnancy are known to trigger SI Joint Dysfunction.

Symptoms of SI Joint Pain & Diagnosis

Some common symptoms for SI Joint Dysfunction are:

  • Low back pain: Usually a dull ache on one side of your lower back that may extend into the thigh.
  • Buttock Pain: Pain can range from an ache to a sharp stabbing pain that extends down one or both legs.
  • Low Back Pain While Climbing Stairs: Activities that require the pelvis to twist may produce SI joint pain.
  • Difficulty Sitting or Lying on One Side: Often experienced as an ache on one side that causes you to shift weight to one side to relieve the pain in the other.

It is important that a medical expert diagnose the cause of your lower back pain.  Though the symptoms may be similar, however the treatment will greatly depend upon the underlying cause.

Treatment for SI Joint Dysfunction:

Treatments for sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SI joint pain) are usually conservative (meaning non-surgical) and focus on trying to restore normal motion in the joint.

Typical treatments for sacroiliac joint dysfunction include:

  • RICE :  R.I.C.E. treatment that typically includes use of ice or cold packs, applied in 15 to 20 minute intervals as needed to reduce inflammation in the area, along with rest is recommended to ease symptoms. Depending on the duration of sharp, intense pain, ice can be continued anywhere between 2 days to 2 weeks. Once the inflammation is less, gradual return to normal activities may be advisable. Read more: RICE
    SI Joint belt
  • Medicines: Your doctor may prescribe pain medications as well as anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling that is usually contributing to the pain.
  • Supports, braces and Belts: When the SI joint is “hypermobile” or too loose, an “orthotic” or SI brace about the size of a rather wide waist-belt can be wrapped around the waist and pulled snugly to stabilize the area. This can sometimes be very helpful at times when the joint is inflamed or painful. When it calms down, the support can be weaned away.
  • Physiotherapy and Exercise :

Controlled, gradual physical therapy is an evidence based technique found helpful to strengthen the muscles around the sacroiliac joint and appropriately increase range of motion. Supervised gentle exercise will help increase the flow of blood to the area, which in turn stimulates a healing response.

Contact a ReLivaTM Expert to get a customized SI joint pain treatment programs designed for your specific concerns. It may include stabilization training, stretching exercises and heat/ice therapy to compliment other treatment aspects prescribed by your doctor.

 

Coping with Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Adding exercise and physical therapy to your sacroiliac joint dysfunction treatment plan can significantly help you manage SI joint pain symptoms. There are numerous gentle exercises and stretches you can do to help decrease pain caused by SI joint dysfunction.

Contact a ReLiva Expert to design overall exercise plan for SI joint dysfunction, incorporating the 3 main types of exercise—aerobic, strengthening, and flexibility exercises—into your workout routine.

Related articles :

Do’s and Don’ts for SI Joint Pain / Pelvis Pain

SI Pain and Pregnancy

“This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy at http://reliva.in/disclaimer.php”

fall prevention balance training

Falls of Seniors: What to do

More than one third of person 65 years of age or older fall each year and in half of such cases the falls are recurrent.

If you are a senior, ie 60 year or older that means you need to take more care and precautions for yourself. Other than medical conditions or diseases which you take care by doing routine blood tests and investigations, you should not forget to keep yourself free from falls.

What are falls?

Falls include dropping from a standing or sitting position or from ladder or stepladder.

Falls are common in elderly. It has been proven scientifically that with aging, a lot of brain structures, muscles strength, vision, hearing and sensations show a gradual decline.

Causes of fall

Many things can put you at higher (double or triple) risk for a fall.

Medical Risk Factors

·         Impaired musculoskeletal function, gait (read walking style) abnormality and osteoporosis                 falls

·         Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), blood pressure fluctuation

·         Depression, Alzheimer’s disease and senility

·         Arthritis, hip weakness and imbalance

·         Neurologic conditions including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis etc.

·         Urinary and bladder dysfunction

·         Vision or hearing loss

·         Cancer that affects the bones

·         Side effects of medications

Personal Risk Factors

·         Age. The risk for a fall increases with age. Normal aging affects our eyesight, balance, strength, and ability to quickly react to our environments.

·         Activity. Lack of exercise leads to decreased balance, coordination, and bone and muscle strength.

·         Habits. Excessive alcohol intake and smoking decrease bone strength. Alcohol use can also cause unsteadiness and slow reaction times.

·         Diet. A poor diet and not getting enough water will deplete strength and energy, and can make it hard to move and do everyday activities.

 

Falls and accidents seldom “just happen”      People should not fall

Why should you NOT fall?

As a result of fall, you may get a small injury like a bruise or mild bleeding or a muscle pull to some serious injuries like fracture (break in bone) or brain injury and deaths too.

If you are osteoporotic (a condition in which bones are already weak) chances of fracture increases.

Fall risk increases with age. Henceforth, falls are common and serious health problem with devastating consequences in elderly

Prevention of fall is possible by early diagnosis and awareness about intervention. Fall should not be perceived as inevitable part of aging. All elderly, be sure to discuss the fall with doctor, even if you are not hurt. It can also be a sign of new medical condition like diabetes or change in blood pressure.

Physiotherapists play a vital role in prevention of falls.

 

Physiotherapy and rehabilitation at ReLivaTM for fall prevention

Reliva therapists conduct a detail check of elderly muscles strength and sensations of body more specifically for legs. Reliva therapists also conduct scientifically proven validated scales (Fall risk assessment scale and Berg Balance scale) to know if there is any risk of fall and to know balance problems in elderly.

Based on which, Reliva therapists design an exercise protocol to improve strength and balance in sitting, standing as well as walking. Physiotherapists are specially trained for balance specific exercises.  If required, they will prescribe an assistive device (walker or stick which can later be gradually discontinued ) with regular supervised exercise sessions.

Call Reliva if:

You are an elderly

You want to get fall risk check

You want to get balance check

You want strengthening and balance exercises

You want home modification tips.

For simple Tips to Prevent Falls, click here and see the infographic.

What to do if you had a Fall

  • Do not panic. Assess the situation and determine if you are hurt.
  • Slide or crawl along the floor to the nearest couch or chair and try to get up.
  • If you cannot get up, call for help.
  • If you are alone, slowly crawl to the telephone and call nearest hospital or relatives.
  • Once you are ok, do see a doctor or a Physiotherapist even if you haven’t hurt yourself, to ascertain the reason for the fall.

Related articles: Falls Prevention Tips

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy.

physically fit

Physically Fit : What does it mean?

When you say the words – “Physically Fit” ; the mind begins to immediately picture a smart looking person who has a well-shaped body and is pleasant to look at. But is that all, that is there to being Physically fit?!

Of course, a pleasant looking body is one of the most tangible positive outcome of being Physically fit, but there are a lot of other measures that go into gauging one’s Physical Fitness ! One needs to consider all of these categories to qualify as being Physically Fit!

5 Components of Physical Fitness
5 Components of Physical Fitness
  1. Flexibility : Flexibility is the range of motion of a person, or one’s ability to move joints without feeling any discomfort or pain. There is a certain range of motion for each joint in the human body. Flexibility can be improved by stretching the joints and muscles of the body. Yoga is one of the most popular activity to improve Flexibility.

2. Muscular Endurance: Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to perform continuous without fatigue. Example of activities that help build up muscular endurance are cycling, step machines and elliptical machines.

3. Muscular Strength : Muscular strength refers to how much power your muscles have. Simply put, this is how much you can lift or carry. Muscular strength is often improved through strength training like push-ups, bench press etc.

4. Cardiovascular Endurance : The thudding sound you hear in your chest when you run or cycle hard is what points towards your Cardiovascular endurance. Simply put, it is the ability of the heart and lungs to work together to provide the needed oxygen and fuel to the body during sustained workloads. Activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling and swimming usually help improving Endurance. People who have just suffered a cardiac episode are usually advised to go for Cardiac Rehab to build up their endurance in a safe way.

5. Body Composition : Body composition is the amount of fat mass compared to lean muscle mass, bone and organs. One has a physically fit body if he/she has a low body fat and a lot of muscle mass (in addition to meeting the above mentioned categories). Body composition is improved by exercising or working out.

The word of caution here is that all the above categories of Physical fitness can be achieved not just by Exercising and workout alone, it is equally important to achieve it along with proper Nutrition for the body. Irrespective of your current activity levels, you can follow the Activity Pyramid and get started today to be Physically fit soon enough!

managing asthma treatment

Managing Asthma effectively: Do’s & Don’ts

Asthma can’t be cured, but its symptoms can definitely be controlled. Symptoms of Asthma

Here are some Tips to manage your Asthma better. These Dos and Don’ts will help you prevent Asthma attacks and manage them better if they do happen. Work with your Physiotherapist to learn techniques to breathe better using Pulmonary Physiotherapy.

Because asthma often changes over time, it’s important that you work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust the treatment as required.

Tips for Managing Asthma Better

Dos  –

  • Stick to Your Medicine. Taking your asthma medicine the way your doctor tells you to allows you to feel in control of your health.
  • Be Aware of Your Symptoms. Paying attention to your early warning signs like shortness of breath or tightness in your chest, will help you take quick action helping you to stay on top of your asthma.
  • Follow Your Asthma Action Plan. Be sure to discuss your action plan with your doctor. Your action plan will guide you to good asthma control. Know your zones and follow your plan.
  • Stay Calm. Keep calm if you have an asthma attack.
  • Follow your action plan. Know Your Peak Flow Zones. Peak flow meters are used to check your breathing and these readings allow you to know how you are breathing. It can signal problems early and help to avoid breathing trouble.
  • Avoid Your Asthma Triggers. Know and stay away from the asthma triggers that make your asthma flare-up or worsen.
  • Talk to The Right People. Talk with your doctor. Talk to your family, school, or friends about asthma and control. Let them help.

Don’ts –

  • Don’t Delay. Know the signs when your asthma is getting worse. Act fast. The faster you act, the faster you will be in control.
  • Don’t Be Around Smoke. Smoking increases and worsens asthma attacks.
  • Don’t Stop Exercising. Be sure to check with your doctor about exercising, sports, and other activities. Staying fit will help to keep you healthy.
  • Don’t Open Windows during Summer and Autumn. During allergy seasons, prevent pollen from entering your home or car. Try to stay indoors when the pollen count is high (from about 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM). Avoid freshly cut grass.
  • Don’t Have Pets in your Bedroom. Be pet smart. Carpets and cloth-covered furniture trap dander (animal fur).

Call a Reliva Physio for Asthma

Related Article :

Manage and Prevent asthma Attacks

COPD- Recovery with Pulmonary Rehab

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy.

COPD – Recovery with Pulmonary Rehab

What is COPD ?COPD- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary DIsease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.

People with COPD have difficulties breathing, primarily due to the narrowing of their airways, this is called airflow obstruction.

CHRONIC –This means that the disease lasts a long time and is always present. While the symptoms may take years to develop and the severity may differ at times, there is still much you can do to slow the progress of the disease.

OBSTRUCTIVE – The ability to move air flow in and out of your lungs is blocked or obstructed. This is caused by swelling and extra mucus in the tubes of the lungs (airways) which carry air in and out.

PULMONARY – This means that the disease is located in your lungs.

DISEASE – Your lungs have some damage. But even though a cure hasn’t been found yet, your symptoms can be treated.

 

Symptoms: COPD vs Asthma

Symptoms of COPD can be different for each person, but typical symptoms include:

  • Breathlessness when active
  • A cough that won’t go away and may produce mucus
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Frequent chest infections

Why does COPD Happen ?

Smoking is the most common cause of COPD. (About 80-90 percent of people with COPD smoked.) The likelihood of developing COPD increases with – the more you smoke and the longer you’ve been smoking. This is because smoking irritates and inflames the lungs, which results in scarring.

COPD can also be caused by breathing-in lung irritants like smoke at workplace, chemical fumes, air pollution and dust for many years.

In some cases, COPD can be genetic (passed from your parents to you).

Diagnosis

COPD is usually diagnosed after a consultation with your doctor, which may be followed by breathing tests (including Spirometry or lung function test or pulmonary function test).

Spirometry measures how much air your lungs can hold and how fast you can blow the air out of your lungs. Spirometry is also used to track how your COPD is progressing.

Treatments for COPD

Although the damage that has already occurred to your lungs cannot be reversed, correct treatment can slow down the progression of the disease and improve the COPD symptoms. This makes it easier for you to breathe and feel better.

Stopping smoking is particularly effective at doing this.

Treatments for COPD usually involve :

1. Medication : Majority of the COPD symptoms can be relieved with medication. Medicines must be taken as directed by your doctor. COPD medicines usually help in a lot ways that makes breathing easier. Vicious cycle of COPD

  • Relax the muscles around the lungs’ breathing tubes
  • Reduce swelling in the breathing tubes
  • Reduce mucus production

2. Pulmonary rehabilitation : If you are having difficulty with your breathing or become short of breath when performing your normal daily routines, Pulmonary rehab can particularly be of great help. It may also help increase the amount of exercise you are capable of doing.

Studies have shown that pulmonary rehabilitation programmes are extremely effective in treating COPD. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), UK has produced various documents supporting the use of pulmonary rehabilitation programmes.

Pulmonary rehab programmes significantly improve the patient’s health by reducing breathlessness, providing ways to control the disease and by improving the patient’s ability to carry out daily activities, such as bathing and dressing.

Physiotherapy and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a treatment program. It provides exercise training, education about COPD, tips on how to complete everyday activities without becoming so short of breath and advice on how to live better with your disease. Physiotherapists trained in pulmonary function are specially trained to run the pulmonary rehab for COPD patients. They use specialized physiotherapy techniques to help people cope with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and its symptoms.

Pulmonary experts at ReLiva Physiotherapy & Rehab can  design a program specific to your COPD condition and lifestyle and help you lead a better life with fewer incidents  of flare-ups.

People living with COPD can benefit enormously if they receive proper treatment including Pulmonary rehabilitation. They can live longer, have less pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue, a better quality of life and are more active and independent by simply learning to manage th eir condition properly.

Related articles :

Dos and Don’ts for Managing Asthma

Managing & Preventing Asthma Attacks

This article is purely for general information. Please contact your healthcare expert for specialised medical care. Please go through our Disclaimer and Privacy policy.

cardiac rehab for healthy heart

Cardiac Rehab – Staying Heart Healthy

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation? cardiac rehab

Cardiac Rehabilitation is an individualized and personalized treatment plan, including evaluation and instruction on physical activity, stress management, and other health related areas.

An important part of the treatment of your specific heart problem. If you have one of the following diagnoses, you may be eligible to participate :
•    Heart Attack
•    Angina
•    Coronary artery angioplasty or stents
•    Open heart surgery such as coronary bypass or valve surgery
•    Heart failure

Even if you are prone to CVD,  a rehabilitation program  would mitigate the risk of a cardiac event.

Recent scientific studies have shown that people who complete a cardiac rehabilitation program can increase their life expectancy by up to five years.

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation:

  • Live longer and lessen your chances for another heart attack
  • Control heart disease symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Stop or reverse damage to your blood vessels in your heart
  • Lessen the physical and emotional effects of heart disease
  • Improve your stamina and strength, getting you back to your usual activities, including work, hobbies, and regular exercise
  • Improve your confidence and well-being

Cardiac Rehabilitation Offers: 

1. A personalised, monitored and supervised exercise program incuding one or all of the following:

•  ECG

•  Heart rate

•  Blood pressure

•  SPO2

2. Assessment of your personal risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease

3. Education and support to make healthy lifestyle changes such as :

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Beginning and maintaining a personalized exercise plan that works for you

ReLivaTM Cardiac Rehab program aims to deliver appropriate dosage of exercise under regular patient monitoring to achieve optimal cardiovascular capabilities.

Exercise = Medicine to keep your heart healthyCardiac rehab - Exercise is medicine to keep heart healthy

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