Health Female Adda
1 year ago
DIY Injuries: Learn How to Treat Injuries


We want pain relief and we want it now. But who sees a doctor for everyday irritations like sore necks and pinched toes or throbbing hangnails and burning eyes? We did. In fact, we stiffened our upper lip to find the best ways to treat those little pains that pack the big hurt.

Hangnail

A hangnail starts when dry skin around your nail bed cracks and breaks. It ends when you gnaw it off. But the raw, red patch and throbbing that ensues is more than a way to nauseate the people around you; it's a sign of a minor infection. After washing it, use an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment like Polysporin or Bacitracin, which don't contain neomycin (an ingredient that often causes allergic reactions), says D'anne Kleinsmith, M.D., a Michigan dermatologist. In one study, Polysporin also proved to be the best wound healer. Reduce the %&#! factor by bandaging it. "You have all those raw nerve endings just kind of jangling out there in the open air," Dr. Kleinsmith says. "Putting on ointment and covering the sore soothes the nerve endings and gives the skin a better environment to mend."

Prevent It: Moisturize your skin to keep it from drying and cracking. Do it after you wash your hands to seal in moisture. Dr. Kleinsmith recommends Williams-Sonoma's hand cleanser and lotion sets ($40, Williams-Sonoma).

Sore Back and Neck

Because we're constantly slumping over keyboards, peering down at papers, and craning on the phone, our necks and backs are the first to tighten. To counteract the strain, you need to take the time to stretch your back and neck in the opposite direction of your typical position, says Annie O'Connor, a physical therapist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. For your back pain, arch it so your tailbone lifts off the seat, slouch, and then sit up straight. Repeat 6 to 10 times in a row every hour or so. For neck pain, sit or stand up straight and tilt your head back so that your head moves directly over your neck?meaning your neck muscles won't have to strain forward to support your noggin.

Prevent It: To ensure support at your desk, sit so your butt makes contact with the back of the chair. Then place a rolled-up sweater or towel behind the small of your back, O'Connor says.

Cramped Feet

Pointy-toed shoes are the new corsets: Your toes may feel cramped and crushed, but damn, you look good. Once you've shed the shoes, add a few tablespoons of Epsom salts to a shallow tub of warm water. Soaking your feet for 20 minutes may increase circulation throughout cramped vessels and nerves and draw fluid out of swollen tissues, says Karen E. Schneider, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in New York City. After elevating your feet to reduce swelling, lightly roll a tennis ball under the balls of your feet for a few minutes. The massage can help relieve soreness.

Prevent It: Buy pointy-toed shoes a half size bigger and insert self-adhesive pads into the shoe under where your toes would sit. Try Foot Petals' brand Tip Toes ($12.99, Target). "A toe pad takes up space, forcing your foot out of the pinching toe box and back toward the heel," says Vanessa Noel, a shoe designer in New York City.

Soap in Your Eyes

Tiny bubbles. Nice in a song, horrendous in your eyes. "You can get little micro scratches in the cornea from the chemical burn in shampoo," says Agnes Huang, M.D., a Seattle ophthalmologist. Whenever you get shampoo, dirt, or anything foreign in your eye, tilt your head back and flush your eye with saline solution for a few minutes. The salinity level in the solution matches that of your tears. Don't have it? Pour room-temperature water directly over the eye for a minute. Your eye should heal within 48 hours, but to speed the process, use artificial tears like Bausch & Lomb Moisture Eyes ($11.99, Drugstore.com) to keep the eye moist when it feels scratchy.

Prevent It: Unless you've got a thing for those seventh-grade chemistry goggles, it's near impossible to prevent foreign objects from getting into your peepers. When you're outside, you can opt for sports sunglasses with fuller frames and wider lenses. "I think wraparound lenses are great," Dr. Huang says. "Actually, like safety glasses, they often have side sections to them."

Sore Muscles


Although you'd much rather recline, moving sore muscles through their ranges of motion will reduce soreness. "Moving the muscles will increase blood and oxygen circulation, helping to rid them of inflammatory chemicals and promote healing," says Lynn Millar, Ph.D., professor of physical therapy at Andrews University in Michigan. Mild to moderate exercise can increase the production of hormones in the brain?beta-endorphins and norepinephrine?that act as natural painkillers. A study by Springfield College in Massachusetts found that a single yoga session lessened muscle soreness.

Prevent It: Right after an intense workout, ice your most vulnerable muscles (quads for spinning, hamstrings for running, or any muscles you isolate during a strength workout) for 20 minutes. Repeat two to three times a day for the next 3 days to prevent muscle soreness. To avoid freezer burns, wrap ice in a thin, wet towel (bags of frozen vegetables also work, because they conform to your limbs). Don't wait until the next day because it won't help, Dr. Millar says.

Hangover

So what if it only takes two margaritas now instead of 12? That pounding headache, queasy stomach, and all-day dry mouth are as paralyzing today as they were 10 years ago. Still, the best remedies are extra sleep, anti-inflammatory meds, and electrolyte-containing sports drinks like Gatorade (they enable the body to rehydrate). Just avoid caffeine: "Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it will further impair the body's ability to hold onto fluids," says Jeffrey G. Wiese, M.D., a hangover researcher at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Prevent It: Eat veggie pizza with your drinks. Alcohol contains chemical impurities called congeners, which are linked to hangovers. "Starches, carbohydrates, and vegetables will bind some of those congeners or impurities and prevent them from getting into the body and that may lessen hangover symptoms," Dr. Wiese says. Also choose light-colored, highly filtered drinks like vodka, gin, light rum, and white wine because they contain fewer congeners.

Upset Stomach

When the Kung Pao Chicken has your stomach doing kung fu, eating spicy or acidic foods like those with tomato and citrus bases?or just having a large meal?may be the cause. Antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Pepcid Complete will give fast relief by neutralizing acids in your stomach, says David A. Peura, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Virginia. You can also pop peppermint-flavored candy or drink ginger-flavored tea to provide relief after a big meal, because these flavors relax the sphincter muscle between the stomach and the esophagus. The stomach then decompresses, which helps you belch to feel relief.

Prevent It: Skim a little fat from your diet. In a study published in the journal Gut, researchers found that those who were heartburn-free ate less fat per day?10 g fewer?than the heartburn victims. The reason? Fat causes the esophagus to relax, which makes it easier for fluid to travel up. Cut at least 10 g of fat by switching to skim instead of whole milk or taking two yolks out of a three-egg omelet.

Ear Popping

If lack of leg room wasn't enough of a plane pain, exploding ears make inner space even tighter. The painful pop happens when pressure in the eustachian tube (that's a tube that runs from your ear to the throat) doesn't match the air pressure in the cabin, causing the eardrum to stretch. To equalize pressure, hold your nose, purse your lips together, and blow hard, says Madan N. Kandula, M.D., an otolaryngologist in Milwaukee. Besides doing it while ascending and descending (when pressure changes are most dramatic), you can also do it a couple times before boarding to open and warm up the eustachian.

Prevent It: Taking a decongestant like Afrin or Sudafed half an hour before takeoff also opens the eustachian tube. And those frequent fliers with frequent pain can quickly eliminate it; ear, nose, and throat doctors can perform a myringotomy, the most common minor surgical procedure in the United States (it's typically covered by insurance). After the eardrum is numbed, a plastic, hourglass-shaped tube about half the size of a ballpoint pen's tip is temporarily implanted, only causing discomfort mild enough to be cured with Tylenol. The tube will fall out on its own after a few months. "Air pressure can be equalized through the small hole in the tube without having to rely on the eustachian tube," Dr. Kandula says.
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