General Health

Rehab for Alcohol – Does It Work?

Charles Brown No Comments
alcohol addiction

Alcohol Rehab: What Should You Expect as Someone Who is Going In

Alcohol rehab is an excellent way to kick alcoholism. That said, rehab doesn’t always work; in fact many people fail the first or even second time. The key to success when it comes to rehab is commitment to quitting the habit. Many people go into alcohol rehab not because they want to or are looking to kick the habit but because someone who is close to them is making them do it. If this is the reason that you are going in you should know that your chances of failure are very high. If you want this treatment to work you have to want it yourself.

You have to be ready to stop drinking

In fact, you have to be desperate to stop drinking. To be successful you have to be so desperate that you are at rock bottom. It is only when you get there – when you realize that alcohol is ruining your life you will be desperate enough to do whatever it takes to quit. Remember, alcohol is a drug and it changes the way your brain functions; it stimulates the pathways in the brain that lead to addiction. That is why quitting is so hard. You have to be prepared for a fight.


The first step to getting rid of alcoholism when you are in rehab is detox. This is when your body will be ridding itself of the toxins that it has accumulated from over-consumption of alcohol. This stage lasts anything from a few days to a few weeks and it is painful. Although the symptoms vary they commonly include muscular aches, nausea, vomiting, headaches and other symptoms. The doctors in your rehab facility will give you drugs to help with the pain and vomiting but you can expect to experience it to a reasonable degree.

How Long Does Rehab Take?

It is quite likely that you will be in rehab for 30 days. During this time you will regularly visit with an addiction counselor with whom you can discuss the reasons behind your alcoholism. They will give you advice and tips on how to stay sober. You will also have group sessions with other alcoholics where through sharing experiences you can understand that you are not alone and that there are other with similar problems. Group sessions can be very therapeutic.  The clinic may even bring in alcoholics who are in recovery so that they can share with you ideas that helped them stay sober. Take these opportunities seriously.

Getting Out of Rehab

Once your rehab is over you will go back home. The urge to drink will likely be quite strong especially when you feel stressed. That is why you must look for Alcoholics Anonymous near you.   There are AA meetings taking place all the time, all over Louisiana.  In the initial days after rehab you should attend every day – in a few months you can reduce it down to once or twice a week. Keep away from gatherings or situations that involve alcohol – just one drink can send you down the addiction rabbit hole.

Remember, it is very hard to quit drinking if you don’t have a support system. Seek out friends and family and even colleagues who are willing to do what it takes to help you stay sober.

Physiotherapy for Shoulder Pain

Charles Brown No Comments
shoulder pain

Physiotherapy for Shoulder Pain

Our shoulders are essential to our mobility. Rather we are scratching our back or reaching for something behind us in the car or bowling a perfect over your shoulder we need our shoulders to allow for wide range of motions.

Your shoulder is made up of three bones: humerus (upper arm), scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle (collarbone). The shoulder has a small joint contact zone and therefore the muscles around the shoulder are vital to the health and functioning of your shoulder. These muscles include:

  • Deltoids
  • Rhomboid
  • Trapezius
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Infraspinatus
  • Supraspinatus
  • Teres

The most common reasons these muscles become weakened or shoulder pain persist are:

Research has shown that physiotherapy is generally an effective shoulder pain management. There are two types of treatment options: non-operative or surgical approaches. A physiotherapist will determine which treatment is best for you based on your diagnosis. Here are some of the most common shoulder injury treatments:

  • Early Injury: Do not take shoulder pain lightly. Injuries that are left untreated frequently result in muscle weakness and joint stiffness. If you have injured your shoulder or there is discomfort then immediately practice RICE: Rest, Ice (or heat), Compression and Elevation. If the symptoms do not improve within a few days then seek medical attention from your GP, physio or osteopath.
  • Shoulder strength and stretching exercises: Your shoulder is naturally unstable so that it can have a wider range of motion, therefore strength and coordination are essential to a healthy recovery. Your physiotherapist will design you a program based on your specific injury or discomfort to strengthen weaker areas.
  • Biomechanical analysis: Physiotherapist will analyse your shoulders bio mechanics to find flaws that result in jury or a slow recovery. This includes analyzing your gait, running, sprinting, etc., and analyzing your workplace environment.
  • Soft tissue massage: Your chiropractor will target your muscles, ligaments, tendons and connective tissue and use a variety of massaging depths, pressures and time to alleviate pain and discomfort.
  • Brace or support: Your physio might recommend that you wear a brace or a sling to relieve pain, rest injured tissues, protect the shoulder from injury and allow for tissue healing around the shoulder.
  • Kinesiology taping: Similar to a brace or sling support, your physiotherapist might recommend kinseio taping. The tape is thin, stretchy and therapeutic and is commonly used for injuries and inflammation. The tape does not restrict movement but still provides support, protection.
  • Physiotherapy instrument mobilization: Physiotherapist could use this instrument for joint manipulation around the shoulder. The instrument more effectively replicates manipulative techniques that manual methods.

Whether you are suffering from a sports-related injury, arthritis, decreasing mobility and stability, a fracture or tendon tears, a physiotherapist can aid your shoulders recovery with either a surgical option or a through strategic treatment techniques that encourage a steady recovery. Do not brush shoulder pain off. Treating it as soon as possible will mean faster healing.

The Flu Season is Knocking

Charles Brown No Comments
flu season

Flu Season Is Right Around the Corner

Because a cold and the flu share many of the same symptoms, including runny, stuffy nose, sore throat and coughing it is sometimes hard to know if you really have the flu. However, health experts across the country agree that having a fever and the severity of symptoms you are experiencing are key to differentiating between influenza (flu) and the common cold.

Difference Between The Cold and the Flu

Things that differentiate between a cold and the flu include a fever, body aches and chills, fatigue and sudden onset of symptoms are the key signs that you have the flu. Both colds and the flu are caused by viruses which are common this time of the year when close contact with others and the stress of busy work and holiday schedules make us even more susceptible. But differentiating between a cold and influenza, at least initially, is not always easy because the two can share a number of the same symptoms such as a stuffy nose, a sore throat and a cough.

Colds are typically mild and will usually last only a few days and, in most cases, your body can still function with a cold. When you have the flu within a short time of contracting the virus you will start experiencing a high fever (102 degrees or more), and your whole body aches, and you can’t even get off the couch. At that point you can probably guess correctly that you probably have the flu.

Unlike colds, which tend to have a more gradual onset, the flu usually comes on more suddenly and that one characteristic is the feature in the mnemonic device for identifying the flu — FACTS

  • Fever
  • Aches
  • Chills
  • Sudden onset of tiredness


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and last as late as May, but it usually peaks in January or February.  The best defense against the flu is to get your flu shot early.

The common colds, caused by many different viruses are most often rhinoviruses. The CDC estimates that there are approximately 1 billion cases of the common cold annually in the United States alone. The flu accounts for fewer cases the agency reported that during last year’s flu season there were about 31.8 million influenza-associated illnesses and 14.4 million-related doctor visits during last year’s flu season. Even though there are fewer cases of the flu, it’s still considered a far more severe viral infection.

Complications that can arise from the influenza virus include bacterial pneumonia, a weakened heart muscle, and even the death of people who could be otherwise healthy. The virus is responsible for the hospitalization of over 200,000 people each year.

Last year there were 169 flu-related deaths among children that were reported by the CDC last month. The agency does not keep the same type of statistics on adults, but estimates that there are somewhere around 24,000 deaths are related to the influenza each year.

The common misconception for the treatment of both the common cold and the flu is that antibiotics can fight these viruses, however viruses do not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections but, many people still think otherwise. In a national survey of consumers that the foundation released this month, 44% of respondents incorrectly said antibiotics fight the flu and 48% mistakenly believed that flu vaccines “treat” influenza.

There are antiviral medications that can be prescribed by a physician to treat the flu but, they work best if given within 48 hours of when people began to feel ill. The CDC recommends taking “everyday preventative actions” to stop the spread of germs, such as covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; staying home when you are sick and washing your hands with soap and water several times a day and especially after being out in public places like the mall or grocery store where you are exposed to a large number of people.

Even after taking all the everyday precautions many people still get the flu. The CDC reports that the most effective way of preventing the flu in your family is by getting a flu vaccine (either injection or nasal spray) and says the vaccine is key to reducing the risk of flu for everyone.  It has also been said that Vitamin D can assist with not getting the flu.

There are people who are at higher risk of contracting the flu no matter how many precautions that take including:

People who are at high risk of developing more serious complications such as pneumonia if they get the flu

People who have other medical conditions including asthma, diabetes and chronic lung disease

Pregnant women

Children 5 and younger and especially those younger than 2

Elderly people 65 years and older

Caregivers and others who live with or care for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications

Receiving the vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of contracting the flu virus by as much as 60%, and although it does not affect every known flu virus out there, it does prevent many of the flu viruses that might be circulating in a given season. In cases where vaccinated people still get the flu, the symptoms may be lesser than they would have been otherwise because the vaccine generates an immune response.

Is it the cold or the flu?

Here are the differences according to health experts:

• Fever. One of the first signs and rare for a cold but, common with the flu virus. Fevers can go up to 102 degrees, especially in children, and can persist three or four days.

• Headache. Colds will rarely cause you to have a headache where they are quite common with the flu.

• Aches and pains. Although you can experience aches and pains with a cold they are usually mild. Aches and pains with the flu are most usually much more severe.

• Fatigue. Again, fatigue and tiredness can occurs with a cold, but the flu will usually start with a period of exhaustion and can last two or three weeks.

• Sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat. These are the most frequent symptoms of a cold but can and most usually will occur with the flu.

• Chest discomfort, cough. Again these symptoms can be present with a cold and the flu but are most often mild to moderate with colds and more severe with flu.

• Get plenty of rest.

• Drink lots of fluids, which can thin mucus and prevent dehydration.

• Over-the-counter medication, such as antihistamines, decongestants and pain and fever reducers, can provide temporary relief from symptoms.

• If you’re feeling very weak, running a high fever (102 degrees or higher), have trouble breathing or symptoms worsen, contact a medical care provider.

The same is true if you suffer from a chronic illness, such as asthma, diabetes or congestive heart failure, which makes you more vulnerable to complications.

flu season is here

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Peanut Allergies

Charles Brown No Comments
peanut allergy

Peanut Allergies

There have been many stories in the media the past several years of children becoming ill or even dying at schools and summer camps from peanut related allergies. I understand the cost-effectiveness of peanut butter: it is inexpensive and goes a long way. I have heard parents who do not have children with food allergies complain that the food-sensitive children should bring their own food, and carry on that their child shouldn’t suffer the loss of peanut butter just because another child might get sick and die. I blame ignorance for those comments. If something as casual as peanut butter can remotely cause a fatal injury, it should be eliminated from the menu.

Everyone Has Some Allergies

Almost every one I know suffers from allergies to something. People suffer symptoms ranging from hives to sinus problems.

Having moved to Louisiana in my mid-30’s, I enjoyed all the wonderful food this State has to offer: shrimp, crawfish, oysters, all cooked in every way imaginable. As I grew older, I became less tolerant to certain foods, some of which were causing food allergy-related symptoms, which can be life-threatening.

peanut allergiesOne night my face swelled to twice its size, accompanied by what felt like the burning of my skin, and my eyes swelled to the point of almost being closed. Of course, I initially sought answers online as to what would cause such a horrible onset… was it the bubonic plague come back to modern times? Perhaps ricin poisoning? WebMD can, and does, offer a detailed explanation for every symptom you can imagine. Having a powerful imagination, I was convinced I was to die a slow, lingering, painful and a quite unattractive death. Ultimately, I decided to go to an actual doctor. His diagnosis: no more shellfish for me.

Allergies Can Arise At Any Time

Apparently, allergies can be assumed at any age. In Louisiana, you may as well stop eating if you have a shellfish allergy To add insult to injury, I also soon developed an allergy to nuts. The same symptoms, the same diagnosis, the same changing of the menu of foods I could safely eat.

There is, of course, no cure , but there are preventable measures I take. For one thing, I keep Benadryl on hand at all times. I am also extremely careful when I go out to eat. Cross contamination can be deadly for people suffering food allergies. Fried chicken is great, but was it cooked in the same oil as the shrimp? Is the oil used for frying vegetable oil or peanut oil? On the rare occasions that eat out, I go to restaurants that I trust. I order items not only without shellfish, or that may have touched shellfish, but I avoid any foods that may contain nuts, such as salads, vegetables, desserts.

I do not want anyone to get the impression that it is just a matter of convenience for me to go through the rest of my life being a picky eater. It is a matter of my own safety. WedMD told me so.