Author Archives: Peter Sweeney

Everything You Should Know About Athlete’s Foot Treatment

Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection that usually occurs between the toes. In most cases, an athlete’s foot is observed in people who tend to wear tight-fitting shoes and their feet tend to become rather sweaty as a result. Common signs associated with an athlete’s foot include scales and rashes that can lead to reddening, stinging, itching, and burning. Athlete’s foot is a contagious condition and can spread through contaminated towels, clothing items, and flooring. It is important to consult a doctor for the treatment of this condition if things do not improve after about a few weeks of using over-the-counter medications and ointments.    

Treatment of athlete’s foot

The method used for treating athlete’s foot will depend on the severity and nature of the condition. If the intensity of the condition is mild, you may be advised to use an antifungal ointment that can be found over the counter. The athlete’s foot is considered to be mild when there are fissures, scaly white skin patches on the surface without any itching or redness. Additionally, the athlete’s foot can also be treated with an antifungal powder, cream, or spray. In case these methods of treatment do not respond as expected, you are going to need a specific type of prescription-strength medication that can be topically applied. In the case of severe types of infections, you may be advised to use antifungal pills which should be taken orally.

It is very important for you to adhere to the best foot hygiene if you have been affected by athlete’s foot. You should wash your feet on a regular basis and keep them dry. You should also use an antifungal cream and apply it over the affected area. Use an antifungal powder to dust the shoes and socks that you are wearing. While trying to find over-the-counter ointments for your athlete’s foot, try to look for medical products consisting of ketoconazole, clotrimazole, naftifine or econazole.

It is also essential that you consult a professional foot care medical specialist should there be no sign of improvement even after using these remedies for about two weeks. You should also consult the doctor if you have an athlete’s foot along with other conditions such as diabetes and other types of circulatory problems. Severe athlete foot infections marked by itchy and reddish skin accompanied by peeling and blisters should be treated by a professional foot specialist

There are a number of home remedies that you can try out if you have an athlete’s foot. For instance, you can use tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide along with iodine, garlic, baking soda, talcum powder, and a hairdryer. You should also try to get adequate protection for your feet when you are in a public space like in a hotel or a swimming pool. Unless you do so, your symptoms may be aggravated. It is also important that you avoid scratching the affected area and instead use cool water to ease the discomfort.


Conservative Treatments for ACL Injuries

ACL or Anterior cruciate ligament rupture is a common sports injury involving a sprain or tear. The ACL is a major ligament in the knee and injury occurs when you suddenly come to a stop or pivot to change the direction of your movement. An ACL injury can also occur from high jumping and hard landing. These movements are integral in sports like soccer, football, basketball and skiing.

Symptoms of ACL

There are many symptoms of an ACL injury, some more common than others. Here are the typical signs that indicate an ACL injury:

  • A popping sensation in the knee
  • Intense pain and immobility
  • Fast swelling at the site of injury
  • Loss of motion of more than one kind
  • Instability during movements

Treatment Options

Typically orthopedic surgeons treat ACL injuries via surgery with the purpose of restoring joint stability. This helps patients return back to sports faster. Surgeries also prevent long-term degradation of joints and instability when moving. However, despite the wide practice of surgical reconstruction, records of recurrence of the key symptoms are pretty high in the first 2 years following surgery. This calls for alternative treatments that ensure sufficient improvements and a quick return to competency. Those treatments are referred to as conservative treatments.

Non-Surgical Options in Treatment

A surgery can be costly, not to mention painful and time consuming. If you are looking for non-invasive or conservative treatments, then here are alternative options:

Coper Identification Screening

Not all ACL injuries are the same. There are some that are mild and do not require extensive treatments. For these limited conservative treatments prove sufficient to return back to activity. Those patients are referred to as copers. There are some screening tests to identify a potential coper. These tests involve one-legged hopping, occurrence of the knee giving way under the weight of the body, functional test and global functioning of the knee joints. Should a patient pass said tests, then he or she is identified as a coper and is considered a candidate who can return back to activity with minimal treatment.

Physical Therapy                          

The most effective form of conservative treatment for ACL, this involves a set of daily exercises to improve the functions of the ligament and facilitate natural healing. A range of physical therapies are used to treat and restore the ligament, manage the pain and shorten the recovery period. These procedures are managed by specialists with extensive knowhow of MSK joints and physio therapies.

Modified Activity

The third option is obviously to modify one’s activities in order to preserve the motions of the knee and minimize the future chances of injuries. So if you are a sportsperson who is seeking a conservative form of treatment for ACL, your doctor may ask you to go easy on athletic activities, for at least some years. This will require you to cut down on activities that demand high stability. You may have to pick up a sedentary occupation for some time.


Inner Knee Pains & Their Causes

Pain on the inner side of the knee is actually much more common than you might think. The underlying reason for such painful sensations can vary a lot and different kinds of knee injuries and/or conditions can be responsible for that. The inner part of your knee is called the medial compartment or medial knee and it is a part of your leg that remains closest to the other knee. Usually pains of the medial knee are caused by the deterioration of the cartilage. Sometimes blunt trauma or impacts and sports injuries can also cause painful sensations felt in this area. The knee joint has a complex structure and consists of several tendons, four ligaments, cartilage, and two menisci placed on the intersection of the four bones.

Usually, elderly people are more prone to develop pains of the inner knee area. However, even children, teens and adolescents can also develop inner knee pains. People normally develop inner knee pains after some kind of injury, a fall or increased physical activity. With children, the main factors leading to inner knee pains are patellar subluxation, Osgood-Schlatter disease and patellar tendonitis, also known as “jumper’s knee”.

Here is a list of the conditions that can lead to inner knee pains.  

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of degenerative diseases that can break down the cartilage, thus causing the bones within the joints to effectively grind together. When you feel inner knee pain as you put pressure on the joint while walking, it can be an indication that you have osteoarthritis. The pain and other symptoms associated with osteoarthritis can become severe with every passing day.

Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) plays a crucial role in stabilizing the knee joint by running along the outer part of the inner knee. An MCL sprain can develop when the ligament overstretches. The medial collateral ligament may also experience full or partial tearing. In many cases, injuries resulting from contact sports may lead to MCL injuries. Such injuries are associated with impacts to the outer knee. MCL injuries are characterized by symptoms such as swelling, locking knees, instability while walking or standing and a popping sound during impact.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of autoimmune disease. Such a condition can even cause inner knee pains. Patients who have rheumatoid arthritis tend to suffer from joint inflammations that can lead to extreme inner knee pain during the morning hours as they wake up from sleep, with the pains decreasing gradually throughout the day.

Pes anserine bursitis

Pes anserine bursitis can be described as an inflammation affecting the bursa that is located between the shinbone or tibia and the three hamstring muscle tendons located at the inner part of the knee. The condition develops when the bursa gets irritated and generates an excess fluid that leads to swelling and excess pressure on adjacent areas of the knee. Treatment of the inner knee pains can be carried out by home remedies, medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, assistive devices and surgeries.


How to Ease Lower Back Pain

Back pain is a very common cause of complaint. The nature and origin of back pain can vary a lot. Your body has a well developed musculoskeletal system that is made up of bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments that play a crucial role in providing support to your body and enable you to move it freely. The hamstring muscles and the hip flexor are some of the muscles that are responsible for lower back pains in your body. Doctors and musculoskeletal specialists always urge people to have an active life so that they can avoid back pains.

Here are some of the things that you can do at home in order to ease your lower back pain.

Stretch your muscles

Strong muscles in the abdominal core area can assist in supporting your back. Hence, you should try to enhance the strength and flexibility of the muscles in this area as this can help in relieving your pain as well as prevent it from developing in the first place. Ideally, you should get some stretching exercises once you are out of bed in the morning. However, you can also exercise later at any time of the day when your body is all warmed up. You can try out yoga; Pilates or tai chi in order to strengthen your core muscles as well as the hip muscles. A good way to develop your entire lower and upper back area is to simply lie down on your tummy and gently lift your arms and legs in flying motion.

Release the inner endorphins

One of the factors that lead to back pains is stress and anxiety. When you experience a lot of stress on a regular basis, it can lead you to develop physical pains, including pains in the lower back area. Hence, you should focus on releasing endorphins in your body. Endorphins are a type of hormone that is produced naturally in the body. The endorphins can effectively block the pain signals from getting into your brain. The endorphins also protect you from stress, depression, and anxiety, all of which are closely related to chronic back pain. If left unchecked, stress and depression can make your pain worse. You can practice meditation, aerobic exercise, and massage therapy to ease the signs of back pains.

Have sufficient sleep

Pain and physical discomfort are some of the major problems that can disturb your sleep patterns. Similarly, inadequate sleep has also been linked with back pains. Hence, it is very important that you have sufficient sleep on a daily basis to help you with your back pains. It has been found that people who get good sleep regularly are able to deal with their physical pains in a better way. Therefore, you need to figure out what is keeping you from having a good night’s sleep and then resolve such problems quickly.


Essential Items that You Must Have in Your Foot Care Kit

Our feet are one of the most important parts of our bodies and yet they are also often ignored in our day to day lives. It is necessary that you take good care of your feet so that you do not develop any skin issues or experience pain and discomfort. The best thing to do would be to stick to a proper foot care routine so that you score high points when you go for your regular podiatry checkups. By having a foot care kit in your home, you can definitely take proper care of your feet and make them look good. This can also help you to avoid several foot problems.

Here is a look at the essential items in a foot care kit that you must have.

Toenail Clippers: By cutting your toenails once in every four to six weeks can make it easier for you to avoid injuries and pain that can happen due to long nails constantly pressing against the shoes. Use strong clippers to trim each of your toenails straight across so that there is tail growth of only 1mm or 2mm beyond your toe. You should consider having two separate nail clippers for your toenails and fingernails.

Pumice Stone: The pumice stone is a type of volcanic rock and its abrasive surface can be used to remove the dead hard skin present in the heels and toes. Dip your feet in hot water for some time and then use the pumice stone to rub in gentle motions over the feet calluses so that they get removed. Then rinse your feet and finally scrub the stone before letting it dry.

Gel Plasters: Use gel plasters to cover the blisters in your feet so that you do not experience any pains. They can help the areas to get healed. The gel plasters can provide cushioning to the affected areas and protect from further injuries. These plasters can become particularly useful when the upper parts of the blisters have come off and the tender skins underneath have been revealed.

Foot Cream: An excellent foot cream is the best way to keep the skin of your feet perfectly moisturized and healthy. The foot cream can keep your skin supple and make it look good. You should go for a cream that has synthetic urea in it as this is has many moisturizing and hydrating properties. Apply the cream to all parts of your feet, but not the area between the toes as getting that part of your feet moist can lead to growth of athlete’s foot fungus.

Antiperspirant Spray: As your feet have a lot of sweat glands, your feet can frequently become sweaty. Hence, you should make use of an antiperspirant spray so that your feet stay fresh and sweat-free at all times.     

Anti-Chafing Gel: Excessive friction can lead to the formation of blisters and so you should use a good quality anti-chafing gel as this can help you to avoid the formation of blisters.


Pain between The Shoulder Blades

Upper back pain felt between the shoulder blades is something that many people have to deal with in their day to day lives. There are many factors that can lead to upper back pains, such as spinal problems, poor posture and injuries which can contribute to pains felt in the upper back area. Some of the key causes are described below:

Muscle injuries: Injury to muscles present in the upper back region often leads to pain between the shoulder blades. Such injuries can be caused by falling, exercising or lifting some kind of heavy object. Tearing of the muscles can lead to intense pain. Rotator cuff muscles play a key role in attaching the arm and the shoulder blade. Therefore, any injury of these muscles invariably leads to pains felt in the shoulder and upper back region. These injuries can even make it difficult for a person to move his or her arm and/or shoulder. Moderate and mild muscle tears can be treated by applying an ice pack, resting and performing strengthening exercises. Doctors may also apply steroid injections for managing the swelling. For around 20% of cases involving rotator cuff injuries, it is necessary to perform surgery to reattach the tendon.

Certain exercises: Some types of exercise can enhance the chances of an upper back injury. For instance, some types of swimming strokes, throwing the ball or disc overhead and lifting weights can lead to swelling and injuring the muscles between shoulder blades. Repetition of such movements may lead to muscle strains. Symptoms of a muscle sprain or strain include swelling, weakness in the affected area, and muscle cramps. Under such circumstances, it is necessary to take rest, use pain relievers and apply ice and the muscle strain can heal within only a few weeks. The NSAIDs are often used for reducing swelling and pain. It is also essential to avoid any tasks that can put stress on the back muscles.

Myofascial pain syndrome: Myofascial pain syndrome leads to pain in certain specific muscle groups. This long-term health problem can impact specific muscles instead of affecting all parts of the body. Typically, the pain is triggered by a definite point within the muscles. In the upper back area, the pain may be felt across the muscles present around the neck, spine, and shoulders. The condition can be treated with steroid injections, massage therapy, laser therapy, and some lifestyle changes.

Scoliosis: Scoliosis is a critical health condition wherein the spine develops a sideways curve. The shoulders or hips of a person may appear slightly uneven or the shoulder might appear to stick out. While scoliosis does not always lead to symptoms it can lead to back pains. Exercises can help in strengthening muscles in present in the shoulder and upper back that can reduce muscle pain and strain. The doctor can recommend medications to deal with the pain.


Things you Need to Remember about The Treatment of Shin Splints

Do you feel an acute throbbing and pain in your shins once you have completed your daily run? Then you are probably experiencing the issues that are caused by shin splints. Shin splints are often described by the doctor as medial tibial stress syndrome. This is actually caused by stress and discomfort in the shinbone as well as the pressure exerted on to connective tissues that effectively attach the bones to the muscles. This leads to the inflammation and discomfort of the shins.

Causes for shin splints

There are a number of factors that may lead to shin splints. These include the following:

  • Working out or exercising without any warm up stretches or cool down physical activities
  • Flat feet; a condition in which the impact of your footstep is going to make the arch your foot collapse, i.e. overpronation
  • Weak ankles, problematic core muscles and difficult hips
  • Shoes that do not provide good support to the feet or do not fit well

Treatment of shin splints

The interesting thing about the shin splits is that they can frequently heal completely on their own. However, in case they do not heal after some point of time, it is essential that you get in touch with a doctor who can have a look into it. The doctor is going to perform a complete physical exam and decide on the best course of treatment for the problem. In many cases, the doctor can ask you to run or sprint for a certain distance so that he can look for any signs of trouble or problem. The doctor can also recommend a number of tests like bone scans and X-rays to detect any signs of fractures.

Depending on the severity of the case, the doctor is going to recommend a single or a number of treatment methods.

  • Firstly, it is important that you get adequate time to rest your body and your shins. More often than not, this can help in the healing of the area.
  • A good way to ease the pain and discomfort would be to apply ice to the affected area so that the swelling and pain can be eased. Make sure that you apply ice for about a couple of hours every day for about 2-3 days or as long as the pain subsides completely.
  • Another way of treating the area is to make use of orthotics or insoles for your shoes. These shoe inserts can be customized to suit your precise needs or purchased directly from the shelf. They can help you to flatten or collapse your arches as you move your feet.
  • The best way to manage the pain is by using anti-inflammatory painkillers. Your doctor is going to recommend you to them if the pain does not go away after trying some of the measures described above. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen can reduce both swelling and pain.

Common Injuries that can Affect Your Body’s Musculoskeletal System

Musculoskeletal injuries are actually more commonplace than you might think and a number of different factors may lead to them. When you are faced with any of these injuries, it is absolutely necessary that you get in touch with a reputed hospital or clinic that can provide you with appropriate diagnostic, medicinal and operative solutions so that you can get back to your normal life. It is important to note that musculoskeletal injuries are the second highest factor leading to disabilities across the world and therefore they should not be taken lightly.

Here is a look at some of the most common injuries that may affect the musculoskeletal system of your body for which you should seek immediate medical treatment.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: When you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it can lead to pain and numbness in your hand that may sometimes be accompanied by a strange tingling sensation. It develops when increased pressure on the median nerve makes it difficult for it to function smoothly. The median nerve is responsible for feelings and sensations in the ring finger, the index finger, the middle finger and the thumb. The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that can happen due to repetitive hand movements such as when typing for significantly long stretches of time.

A good way to reduce the chances of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is by minimizing activities that involve repetitive hand motions and taking breaks frequently from them. In case you already have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it is important that you achieve relief through methods like taking anti-inflammatory drugs, using a wrist brace as well as performing exercises that can enhance flexibility of the muscles of the wrist and arm.

Lateral Epicondylitis: Lateral Epicondylitis or “Tennis Elbow” can be described as a type of inflammation affecting the tendons which help to join the muscles on the forearm present on the outer part of the elbow. Signs and symptoms of Lateral Epicondylitis include a sensation pain or even burning on outer regions of the elbow along with weak grip strength. The condition can affect professional and amateur tennis players. Apart from impacting racquet sports players, the musculoskeletal condition can also affect anyone experiencing stress in their elbow such as painters, plumbers, butchers and carpenters just to name a few. In order to overcome Lateral Epicondylitis, it is important to make use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice along with adequate rest. Stretching exercises can also help in normalizing the pain.

Rotator Cuff Injuries: Rotator Cuff Injuries usually affect the shoulder muscles. The shoulder is comprised of the humerus, scapula, and clavicle. Your shoulder works like a standard ball-and-socket joint. The head of the upper arm bone or the ball fits on a socket in the shoulder blade. The arm can maintain its position through the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff effectively attaches the shoulder blade to the humerus so that you can move your arm. Injury in the rotator cuff leads to discomfort and loss of mobility. A doctor specializing in musculoskeletal conditions can perform the treatment of such problems.


All You Need to Know about Hamstring Sprains

Hamstring sprains, also referred to as hamstring muscle injuries can be extremely critical and leave you physically debilitated. It is one of the most common forms of musculoskeletal injuries that can happen to athletes or those who are actively involved in sports and fitness activities. If you are into playing soccer, track sports, basketball or other field games that involve sprinting, you run the risk of accidentally injuring your hamstring and this can cause you a lot of pain and discomfort. Hamstring injuries such as a pulled hamstring affect the muscles located at the posterior of the thigh. In case you impact your hamstring in a negative way, it is essential that you get in touch with a medical expert as soon as possible.    

There are mainly three different types of hamstring muscles that can get affected due to a major injury. These are Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus and Biceps femoris. The hamstring muscles originate at the lower part of the pelvis from a point known as ischial tuberosity. These muscles cross your knee joint and finally end at your lower leg. The fibers of the hamstring muscles are joined with the connective tissues present in the hamstring tendons. These tough tissues are connected to points where bones are connected to the tendons. The role of the hamstring muscles is to enable you efficiently extend your leg in a way that you can bend your knee and move it.

The factors that can lead to hamstring sprains are many. In most cases, people who experience this have some form of muscle tightness. These tight muscles are typically vulnerable or susceptible to strain. In order to avoid this, athletes are always recommended to perform exercises all round the year. Another issue that can lead to hamstring problems is definitely muscle fatigue. When muscles experience fatigue, they are not able to absorb sufficient energy. This failure to get more energy makes them weak and thereby prone to experience hamstring sprains. Weak muscles do not have the strength needed to deal with the stress that is commonly associated with exercising. This is why overuse of muscles can make people vulnerable to hamstring sprains. Injuries like these typically affect dancers, athletes of all ages, sprinters, and runners quite frequently.

In case you accidentally injure your hamstring as you sprint or run around, you are going to experience a sharp pain suddenly affecting the back portion of your thigh. You may even stop and fall over once you have this pain. Additionally, there can be swelling for the first couple of hours after the injury. Other signs of a hamstring problem may involve weakness, bruising, and discoloration. The doctor is going to recommend you complete rest along with the application of ice and compression in the area. There can also be physical therapy involved along with immobilization through the use of a knee splint. In case such measures fail to produce proper results, the doctor is going to perform surgery to remedy the issue of tendon avulsion.


The Health Benefits of Rock Climbing

Are you looking to cultivate a hobby that can be beneficial for your health and well being in more ways than one? Then you should definitely contemplate going for rock climbing as it can definitely combine the best of adventure with physical activity. While some people prefer to stick to a definite gym routine that works out well for them, there are others that prefer to get in touch with wild nature. If you belong to the latter group, then you should definitely consider cultivating a hobby of rock climbing as it can be good for you in numerous ways.

Let’s have a look at some of the ways in which this can be good for you.

Rock climbing ensures a complete body workout

Plenty of people enthusiastically start their gym sessions only to find that they have soreness in numerous parts of their bodies. This means that at the end of the day you hardly get any fun. On the other hand, if you go for rock combing at least couple of times every week, you will find that you have a whole body workout every single time. Not only can you enhance the strength of your core but you can also avoid neck and back pains that you might develop when you are doing your sit ups and crunches. Eventually, rock climbing will help you to get your shoulders and arms completely toned but you can also have stronger legs and enhance their flexibility much more than what you can achieve with conventional gym exercises.

Build your endurance and stamina in a better way

Developing your endurance and stamina is definitely a good idea, especially when you are thinking of getting fit even if a large part of your work involves staying behind the desk all day. Rock climbing allows you to grip certain parts of the rock tighter and longer and this can further enhance your physical strength to a great extent. The more frequently your climb, the greater are your chances of developing a healthier body for yourself.      

Better flexibility

A lot of people tend to have difficulties when it comes to their flexibility. They may have difficulty in moving their bodies and limbs easily and smoothly. However, when you choose to go for rock climbing on a frequent basis, you get to have the opportunity to reach out to numerous unreachable holds in the rock and this is naturally going to help you to boost your flexibility to a great extent. Another great thing about rock climbing is that you get to have a lot of freedom when you want to perform rock climbing at your own pace and leisure. You can also combine with yoga with rock climbing to achieve better flexibility along with better musculature.

It can help you to burn your calories

When you are thinking of boosting your health by burning calories, you can consider rock climbing as it can help you to stay in shape.


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Testimonials

Back on the dance floor

Mr Kaser Nazir was my second opinion foot specialist after not being happy with the "verdict on my future before". I had a plantar plate injury. For a full time professional dancer teacher this was devastating. After meeting Mr Nazir I felt instantly reassured and I knew this is all going to be good. He Continue Reading

Monika Molnar

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Recent Posts: London Musculoskeletal Centre | Orthopedic & Sports Medicine

Everything You Should Know About Athlete’s Foot Treatment

Everything You Should Know About Athlete’s Foot Treatment

Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection that usually occurs between the toes. In most cases, athlete’s foot is observed in people who tend to wear tight fitting shoes and their feet tend to become rather sweaty as a result.

Conservative Treatments for ACL Injuries

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