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Bruised Finger – Why It Happens And How To Treat It!



We use fingers in virtually every activity through the day, sometimes without even noticing it. So, naturally, it’s easy to injure them in one way or the other.

Whether you’ve bruised your finger while playing a sport, falling down, or while doing some other physical activity, we are going to help you take good care of it and help it heal as quickly as possible.


We’ve divided the article into several sections since we intend to talk about the anatomy of the finger, tissue bruising, causes of bruising, and ways you can help yourself.

The Anatomy Of The Finger

The finger is, of course, a part of the hand. It is very flexible due to its numerous joints that act together as we move them. We have five of them on each hand (and feet) and, what separates us from other animals is our opposing thumb. Our opposing thumb has been our most valuable asset through the ages as we progressed.

In addition to finger joints, it is worth mentioning that our hand is divided into two surfaces:

  • Palmar surface – as the name suggests, this is the surface where the palm is. We can also say that it is the inner side of the hand
  • Dorsal surface – the opposite one; the outer side of the hand and fingers

The bones of the fingers are called the phalanges; we have 14 on each hand. Every finger is comprised of 3, and only our thumb has two bones in it. The bones are named by the location:

  • Proximal – those bones are the closest ones to the palm
  • Intermediate phalange – the names says it all, these bones are in the middle of the finger
  • Distal – the bones at the end of the finger

That’s is as far as the anatomy goes, we won’t bother you anymore. It is not the time to talk about the bruises.

Bruises

Everyone has had a bruise at least once, it’s a fairly common injury, and it is not strictly related to fingers; a bruise can appear on any part of your body.

So what exactly is a bruise? Well, bruises occur when we injure those small, tiny blood vessels underneath the skin. Skin is durable and sturdy and will protect us as much as it can, but it the blow or an injury is severe enough, it will cause tissue damage.

The injured blood vessels will most likely rupture so that the blood will seep into the surrounding tissue. The color of the bruise will vary depending on the time of the injury and how long you’ve treated it.

In the beginning, the bruise will become dark blue and even black. As the bruise starts to heal, the color will become less intense and change to a purplish or a reddish hue; it will then become yellowish or even green as the bruise starts to go away completely.

As you might have noticed before, most bruises will go away on their own, but if they persist, you should seek medical help. Later in the article, we will talk more about when to visit a doctor, but first, we’ll talk more about the causes of a bruised finger.

Common Causes of A Bruised Finger

The most common (sometimes the only) reason you see bruised appearing on your fingers, is due to a mechanical injury. There are a lot of different scenarios that can lead to this injury, and we will try to list as many as we can.

We will also divide bruises into two distinct categories – Explained and Unexplained.

The Bruises We Can Easily Explain

As you might have guessed, these are the bruises we’ve mentioned earlier – those that are a result of a mechanical injury.

These injuries usually happen:

  • During a sports activity – playing sports, professionally or as an amateur may bring with it some risks. One of these risks is certainly an injury and bruising. You can bruise your fingers when dealing with an opposing player or when you fall down
  • During your exercise routine – if you are lifting weight your body is not prepared to, you might notice some bruising; this happens because lifting heavy objects (weights) can cause microscopic tears in your blood vessels which may lead to the discoloration and bruising in your fingers, hands and other related anatomical structures
  • If you don’t warm up properly – this goes hand in hand with the previous paragraph on exercising. You should ALWAYS warm up before engaging in any challenging physical activity. Ideally, you should “warm down” after you’ve completed your routine

There are also those individuals that are just prone to bruising. This usually happens in older people and women. This is due to the fact our skin becomes thinner over time, and it just bruises more easily.

Unexplained Finger Bruising


There are some cases where you simply can’t tell why a bruise appeared on your finger; you don’t recall injuring it. These are the cases we would advise you consult with your doctor, especially if you notice several bruises appearing at the same time, on different fingers (or even different parts of the body).

Some of the causes of these unexplained injuries are:

  • Age – bruising is more common in older people, as we’ve already said before, due to the thinner skin and weaker blood vessels. Of course, unexplained bruising is rare, but it can sometimes happen, more so than in healthy, younger individuals
  • Nutrition – lack of proper nutrient out body needs can sometimes cause a bruised finger. Most common causes of these unexpected bruises are lack of vitamin K or C which affects the synthesis of collagen; lack of zinc in your body can also be the cause
  • Von Willebrand disease – this is a genetic disorder where your blood doesn’t clot well. Patients can suspect they have this disease after a certain dental procedure (where the blood just doesn’t clot); women can also suspect it during their menstrual period. Though this disease is rare, it worth mentioning it
  • Chemotherapy – though chemotherapy is acknowledged as a valid cancer treatment, it is not a secret it damages various structures through our body. Some of these structures are, of course, blood vessels, especially those smaller, weaker ones
  • Hemophilia – another inherited genetic disorder where the patient is low on certain proteins called “clotting factors.” Even the less intense injuries can lead to excessive bleeding, and may also cause bruising on the skin of the fingers, as well as the entire body
  • Ehler-Danlos syndrome – this is a group of disorders that affect the connective tissue that supports the bones, skin, and the blood vessels. Patients with this disorder may have weakened capillaries that are prone to rupturing which leads to bruising
  • Medication – some drugs, especially the anticoagulant can reduce your blood’s ability to clot and, as a result of this capillary bleeding, you might notice bruises on your fingers, hands, arms and other parts of the body

Most Common Symptoms

The most prominent symptom of a bruised finger is, of course, localized discoloration of the skin.

We’ve already said that, in the beginning, the bruise will become red, dark blue or even black. As the time goes by it may change its color to a lighter hue of purple, yellow or even green.

In addition to the color, the affected area is tender to touch, swollen, and may even limit your ability to move the affected finger.

The bruise will go away on its own after two weeks. If it does not, however, you should seek medical help.

The only silver lining when it comes to bruises is that there is no chance for an infection. Since the skin integrity is not violated (the skin did not break), the possibility of an infection is minimal.

Is your Finger Bruised Or Broken

This is a question many people ask, and for a good reason since a bruised finger can hurt just as much as a broken one. So, how do you tell the difference?

Well, it depends on the severity of the injury. A fracture means that the bone has lost its integrity, it will swell up, cause severe pain, redness, cause lack of motion, and it may cause a deformity in your finger.

A bruise, though painful, will not present itself with such severe symptoms as a fracture. Sure, there will be swelling, pain, and limited range of motion, but you will still be able to move your finger. If you are strong enough, you can even try to move your finger slightly, using your other hand, just to make sure the bone integrity is intact.

As you can see, differentiating between those two can sometimes be tough, but a telltale sign we can pinpoint here is that, with a bruised finger, the pain will slowly start to go away in the first 4, five days since the injury. In a fracture, the pain will be much more intense and won’t go away on its own.

When To Seek Medical Help


We suggest people visit their doctor as soon as they suspect something is wrong. Of course, many avoid going to the doctor altogether. The choice is yours, but here are some of the situations you should and must go and see a doctor:

  • When you notice the pain and bruising increases in its intensity as the time goes by
  • When you see bruise appearing without any apparent reason (you do not recall injuring yourself)
  • If you notice bruising under your finger nails
  • If the bruise does not go away completely after three weeks
  • If you suspect a broken bone/finger
  • If your bruise feels cold to touch, instead of feeling warm
  • If the pain stops but then reappears after several days
  • If you develop a fever, start feeling nauseated or start vomiting

How To Help Yourself – At Home Tips

We are sure you already know most of these tips we are going to list, but this is just a standard procedure people with a bruised finger resort to.

Applying an ice pack directly onto the bruised area will help relieve pain and reduce the swelling. Note that it is never good to apply ice directly to the skin, as it may damage it. You should wrap the ice in a cotton cloth and then press it up against the skin. As a rule of thumb, you should not apply the ice for more than 15 minutes.

Another thing that goes well with icing is elevation. If possible, you should elevate your hand above heart level, this will help reduce swelling faster.

Though not often, your doctor might want to immobilize your finger to reduce further damage. He may tape your finger to the other ones or even use a splint to hold everything in place. If this does happen, you should pay close attention to the instructions he gave you, take good care of your fingers and hands and avoid manual labor as much as possible.


Last updated: August 3, 2018 at 23:23 pm

3 Most Common Causes Of Foot Pain In The Morning


You probably didn`t even think about it, but your foot is an incredible piece of evolutionary engineering! It is designed to be both flexible, to accommodate walking, and strong enough to withstand the entire weight of our body.

Since foot is such a complex structure, pinpointing an exact cause of pain can be a bit tricky. For this reason, in today`s article we will focus all of our attention to one specific problem – foot pain in the morning.

Anatomy Of The Foot

As I`ve already said, food is an incredible structure – it is built up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles and 107 ligaments! I can almost hear you thinking “Why do we even need so many bones and ligaments?” but your foot needs to be strong enough to support more than 100.000 pounds of pressure for every mile we walk1! That`s an enormous amount of weight, and when we run the weight increases even more.

Feet are really made for walking, and very few people are actually born with foot anomalies which lead to pain and discomfort. In most cases we are to blame, our poor walking habits, inappropriate foot care and ill-fitting shoes are the number one cause of foot pain today.

Most Common Causes Of Foot Pain In The Morning

Night is the time when our body recuperates and rejuvenates, so waking up in the morning should be a joyous occasion. But it`s hard to be joyful when you feel pain the minute you get out of your bed! In the following paragraphs, we will be talking about some of the most common causes of that morning pain:

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar FasciitisThe most common cause of foot pain in the morning lies in the heel. But the heel itself is not the problem, the main problem is plantar fascia (a tough band connecting the heel bone to the toes). Plantar fasciitis is most common in runners, military men and generally, all men between the ages of 40 and 60, but it can also affect people from all walks of life. If you are interested in finding out more about this condition, you can read one of our previous articles – Symptoms, Diagnosis and Causes of PF.

One of the main telltale signs of PF is an intense pain at the base of the heel, which intensifies after longer periods of inactivity – sleeping or resting. PF can also cause pain towards the end of the day, especially if you are a runner or spend most of your day standing up.

If you experience this type of pain, you should contact your doctor immediately because this condition can lead to all sorts of other problems including back pain and hip and knee pain. The best way to treat is to implement a regular calf and foot exercises and stretches regime. You might also want to consider buying appropriate footwear with good support and cushioned sole.

Gout

Gout is not a very common condition, but it can be nasty, cause intense, burning pain that will make you jump out of your bed! It is a complex type of arthritis where crystals of uric acid (a waste product our body produces daily, usually flushed out through kidneys) form inside and around joints2.

Symptoms associated with gout are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and
  • Redness

and can develop in under 24 hours (commonly called gout attack). The symptoms will usually last anywhere from 3-10 days and often affect the big toe joint.

Some studies have shown that these so-called “gout attacks” most often occur late at night or early in the morning.

Ice pack and painkillers are the first line of defense against gout pain, but you should definitely consult your doctor and see what are some of the other things you can do to manage the pain and prevent it from happening again.

Bunions

Bunion is a bony bump that usually forms at the base of your big toe. It can be red, sore and painful and wearing tight shoes can make it worse. One of the most obvious indication of this condition is the big toe deformity where it starts to point to the second toe.

Just like in Plantar Fasciitis, the pain might intensify after periods of inactivity, which is why it is not uncommon to feel intense pain in the morning, just after waking up.

Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition, and patients with more severe cases will require a surgery.

References:

Good Posture Can Change Your Life

And finally, we will be discussing one of my favorite topics today – the importance of proper posture! You can`t even begin to imagine how beneficial is proper posture, not just for our physical health but for our mental hygiene as well.

By practicing good posture you will get back pain relief, safeguard your back for future problems, be sure your back muscles are developing properly, but you can also boost your self-confidence raise your self-esteem.

Poor Posture

different postures depictions
Photo (c) chiropractorcastlehill.com

Many people label poor posture as a “condition” or a state our body is in right now, but I like to think of poor posture as a way of life. You can`t just wake up one morning, look yourself in the mirror and say “What is this, poor posture? Well, this wasn’t here yesterday!”

Of course, you can say that but people have to realize that back posture is the result of our accumulated choices and decisions (good or bad) literally from the day we became aware of the fact that we had a back, up until this very day.

So what is poor posture? Well, it basically represents an imbalance within the muscles of our back. Due to certain sitting, standing and work habits in combination with repetitive movement, some muscles of our back can become tight and shortened while others might stretch and become weaker; resulting in overall poor back posture.

Good/Proper Posture

Proper posture is not something easily achievable, but it is definitely possible. Any good posture practitioner will surely tell you that it took them months or even years just to grow more awareness of their posture, and to develop the discipline to correct themselves.

Physical benefits of good posture:

  • Back pain prevention
  • Back pain relief
  • Proper development of the spine and back muscles
  • Proper development of bones, joints, and ligaments
  • And overall good appearance

Psychological benefits – I don’t see many articles online dealing with the psychological/emotional benefits of proper posture. I don’t know if you heard of Tony Robbins, but he is one of the most incredible people I had the pleasure of listening to.

In one of his seminars, he associates emotional distress, fear, anxiety and stress with the way our body acts. In those moments our breath is shallow, we lower our voice and also hunch over, bringing our shoulders forward.

Now, when we are happy, free of stress and generally feeling good about ourselves, our body looks quite the opposite of the picture we`ve painted above. You start breathing deeply, gain a sense of certainty and fill yourself with self-esteem. Not only that, your body changes as well – you are no longer hunched over, your back is straight, your shoulders are back, basically you are opening yourself (and your body) to the world.

So, if you understand these basic principles (I`ve made an effort to simplify them as much as I could), you can “manipulate” the way you feel simply by manipulating your posture.

If you don’t believe me, try it. Next time you feel down, just shake up your body, start breathing deeply, put your shoulders back and assume the proper posture. You will feel an unbelievable difference, trust me!

Sleeping

Yes, it`s hard to imagine but we can actually influence our posture while we sleep, and we influence it by making the right choices before going to bed. Those choices are:

  • Getting a proper mattress
  • Try sleeping on your back (I can`t seem to master it but you are free to try)
  • You can also try sleeping on your side
  • Get some cushions for better back support
  • Go to bed and get up on time – meaning go to bed by 10:30 and get up no later than 6 AM.

These are all smaller changes, but if you combine them together, you will feel a great deal of difference.

Best Exercises

If you are really serious about your back and want to improve your posture, there is no way you can do it without implementing some sort of exercise system you could follow on a daily basis.

  1. First you must get in touch with your proper posture. Get a mirror, and try to align your ear, shoulder and hip in a straight line. You cannot correct yourself if you don’t know where is your starting point. I recommend doing this at least couple times a day, for a week; or until you get the hang of it.
  2. Prone Cobra – I have to admit I have been doing this exercise for quite some time and have just recently found out it is called “Prone Cobra” :)  Anyways, it is really easy, just lie down flat on your stomach and bring your face, arms and legs up. This exercise will strengthen your back muscles.
  3. The second one is also performed while lying down flat on your stomach but this time you will just be lifting your arms along with the shoulders. Bring your arms in front of you and try lifting them and, at the same time, try to squeeze the shoulder blades to each other.
  4. Don’t forget stretching. As we`ve said earlier, the result of poor posture is tightening of some of the back muscles so we need to get the blood flowing through them and stretch them properly. The best way to stretch them is to flex your head, bringing your chin closer to your chest. Hold the stretch for couple seconds and then release; repeat 10-15 times. You can also use your arms to force a bit more stretching, but only if you are comfortable with it.
  5. Wave with your elbows. This is a great little exercise and I use it quite often. You can stand up straight or sit, lift your arms to 90 degrees and flex them in the elbow (so your hands are touching your shoulders). Now move your elbows up and down as though they are wings and you are about to take off :)

You can also practice yoga. There is a great course I found online, you can take a look here: Shapeshifter Yoga

You can also try posture shirt. Find out more about it here: Amazon Posture Shirts


References:

http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=3124

http://health.india.com/diseases-conditions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

NOTE: HelpYourBack.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Flat Poop – IBS and Polyp As The Most Common Causes



It`s important to note that a flat poop is just a symptom of something else going on in your body, it is not a disease in itself! That being said, this is a sign a lot of people tend to ignore (not ignore per say, but not a lot of people stare at their poop).

The good news is that there are not a lot of conditions related to the way your stool looks like, so we will be covering most, if not all, in today’s article.

We’start off with Irritable bowel syndrome since this is the most common cause of a flat stool.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome


As the name suggests, IBS „attacks“ your large intestine and causes some changes its movement. Luckily, this disease does not leave any permanent damage behind – it does not alter the tissue of the intestine and does not lead to cancer!

The bad thing about IBS is that it is usually chronic, and treating it will require alterations in your diet, cutting back on certain drinks, foods, and general lifestyle. Treating IBS is certainly a marathon, rather than a sprint, so be prepared for a long fight.

IBS currently affects more than 30 million adults in the USA and is more prevalent in women, though is certainly not uncommon in men. One of the biggest problems with this disease is that we don’t have a test we can use to diagnose it. All the doctor can do is rule out all other possible causes until they are left with IBS.

Causes

As with the test, there is no one specific cause of this condition. What happens is the communication between your brain and your digestive system gets impaired due to your poor daily habits. There are, of course, some other factor which can contribute to the development of this disease, those are:

  • Bacteria overgrowth
  • Genetic factors
  • Eating unhealthy food
  • Stress

Symptoms

The symptoms may vary from person to person, but you should note that they will not go away on their own, you need to do something about it.

The most noticeable symptom is the abdominal pain that gets worse after eating, especially if you eat unhealthy food. The pain might be mild and bearable in the early stages of the disease (which is why most people ignore it), but it will get worse as the illness progresses. And this is why you must visit a doctor.

Other common symptoms of IBS are:

  • Bloating and stomach swelling
  • Gases
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Cramping
  • White mucus
  • Lethargy


These are some of the most common symptoms, but they are related to some different conditions and can be benign in nature. This is why they often get ignored, but should you notice the following symptoms you should see your doctor as soon as possible:

  • Pain during sex
  • Rectal Bleeding
  • Loss of weight

Treatment

The treatment will depend on your symptoms, but it will require some significant changes in your lifestyle, avoid foods that trigger your symptoms, exercise more, sleep more, and drink more water.

IBS treatment will require ():

Changes in your diet:

  1. Eliminate gluten – though the research is not conclusive in this regard, some patients reported alleviation of symptoms related to diarrhea. You can try avoiding wheat, rye, and barley and report back to us to share your results
  2. Eliminating gas producing foods – eating high-gas foods is contraindicated if you are experiencing bloating, gas and stomach swelling
  3. Restricting certain carbs – some patients might be sensitive to certain types of carbohydrates. This is something your doctor will help you with, but if you want to do it yourself, you can try eliminating all the carbs, then introduce them one by one to see which triggers your symptoms

Colon Polyp


A colon polyp is a growth in the inner lining of your colon. The polyp itself is benign but, unlike IBS, it can become cancerous, life-threatening, and even fatal if not dealt with in time!

The good thing about this condition is that it can be quickly diagnosed and eliminated, but if it goes unnoticed for several years, it can become a serious health threat.

Here are some of the risk for a malignant colon polyp:

  • Age – this disease almost never „hits“ kids, it is prevalent in adults over 45 years old
  • Smoking
  • Genetic factors – colon polyp can „run in the family,“ so if it appeared in your family history you are at risk of developing it as well
  • Eating unhealthy foods
  • Drinking alcohol

We already said that diagnosing this condition is relatively easy, but there are a few different types of polyps, based on their appearance, location and its probability of becoming malignant. Here are the most common types:

Adenomatous– adenomatous polyp is one of the more common types of polyp found in the large intestine. They can become cancerous, in fact, the most common type of colon cancer develops from this particular polyp class.

Serrated – serrated polyps are commonly small (though they may vary in size) and are found in the lower section of the colon. Most common types of serrated polyps are hyperplastic, traditional serrated adenoma, and sessile serrated polyp. Though they are rarely malignant, they can lead to colon cancer.

Inflammatory – this is the third type of polyps, and they are not an immediate threat to your health. Though they do not lead to cancer, they can be an indication of another disease present, such as Chron’s disease or ulcerative colitis, in some cases.

One more thing, though these polyps can lead to colon cancer, it is very rarely that they do. We did not list them here to freak you out; we just wanted to let you know that you should not ignore the signals your body is sending you… even though this signal is something as insignificant as a flat poop.

Symptoms

Here is the problem with polyps – it is not easy to spot that there is something wrong. This is why you should be extra careful and try to detect them before it’s too late. These subtle symptoms you know already, we’ve listed them above, as for the more severe symptoms, these are:

  • Blood in your stool (it can be on surface)
  • Some patients have dark stool (dark brown or black)
  • Lethargy and body weakness
  • Sometimes polyp can cause headaches
    • Treatment

      The colonoscopy is the easiest way to diagnose and remove malignant tissue. The only problem is the masses needs to be small in diameter; larger affected tissue will require surgery.

      You should note that, even after you’ve removed the cancerous polyp, there is a chance it will grow back. This is a concern your doctor will share with you and advise you to act accordingly, test regularly and change your diet.

      Anxiety And Constipation

      Constipation is relatively common even in healthy individuals. The problem is when constipation appears along with other symptoms – bloating, abdominal pain and swelling.

      Of course, a lot of people get scared when faced with such symptoms and immediately jump to cancer. Having thought like these is not at all healthy since anxiety and stress, not only affect our mental and physical health but can affect your bowel movement as well. In addition to affecting your bowel movement, it can make your muscles tight and tense and lead to constipation.

      The important thing here is not to panic; chances are you don’t have cancer. What you should do is get yourself checked out by a medical professional, do a colonoscopy (if necessary), check your family history for digestive problems (diseases) and let your doctor know about anything in your life that might be adding to your stress levels (problems ar work, home, etc.).


      Last updated: August 3, 2018 at 23:16 pm

Swollen Vaginal Lips: A Full List Of Causes And Treatment Options



Swollen vaginal lips are certainly not the most pleasant condition, but in this article, we will try to help you understand why it happened to you and how you can get through it.

Where there is swelling, there is a pain, and due to the location and origin of this pain, you might not be able to do all the regular daily things you are used to. In some cases, this pain can be quite severe and debilitating, but this rarely happens.

Symptom Aggravation


As you already know, the most predominant symptom of swollen vaginal lips is a pain. The pain is, of course, made worse when moving… Most patients also note that sleeping on their stomach is virtually impossible, so changing your sleeping patterns should be a good idea, until the pain goes away.

Another thing to keep in mind is selecting appropriate underwear. Goes without saying that you should wear something comfortable… Maybe even go commando, if you can.

As for the cream, we know that many of you will probably reach for some generic, over-the-counter cream, and avoid going to the doctor altogether. We urge you not to do this since putting the wrong cream onto such a delicate area may cause harm and irritation.

All in all, getting yourself checked out by a professional is the best thing you can do.

Anatomy of The Vagina

This is going to be a short overview of the anatomy of the vagina, just to give you some idea as to why your vaginal lips can be sore and painful.

The vagina is a part of a woman’s genital tract, and it “stretches out” from the vulva and the labia(vaginal lips) to cervix of the uterus. It is an opening between the urethra and anus, and during sexual intercourse, it receives the penis.

Another structure we can mention here is hymen. This is a thin membrane that surrounds the opening to the vagina. This layer will tear or rupture during sexual intercourse.

As for the color, it can change over the years. In your 20’s the color of the vagina is usually pink and everything is as it should be. When you enter 30’s (and beyond), you might notice a slight change in color due to hormones, pregnancy (f you’ve been pregnant) so your inner lips and vaginal opening may become darker.

Some other causes of changes in color are due to weight gain, vitamin deficiency, regular shaving, cosmetic products you use, etc.

The Anatomy Of The Vaginal Lips(Labia)


Vaginal lips are the structure that primarily protects the opening to your vagina, so their role is a crucial one.

In humans, there are two parts of labia: Labia Majora and Labia Minora. Labia majora is the outer, larger and fatter labia, the main reason for this is the fat tissue. Labia minora, on the other hand, is soft and thin as it is fat-free.

The reason we are “interested” in inner lips today is that at their base (on either side of the vaginal opening), we can find Bartholin’s glands. These pea sized glands are responsible for lubricating the vaginal opening, and if these get inflamed or develop a cyst, your vaginal lips will become swollen.

Causes Of Swollen Vaginal Lips Without Discharge

Now, after we’ve covered the anatomy of the vagina and the inner and outer vaginal lips, we can discuss the reasons for the swelling and pain in this region. Keep in mind that these causes are interlinked (one can lead to the other), but we decided to present them in the form of a list, just to help you navigate more quickly:

  • Yeast infection
  • Cyst
  • Irritation
  • Shaving injury
  • Blocked glands
  • This is very rare, but jockeys can have swollen lips, because of riding a horse
  • Ingrown hair

As you can see, most of these symptoms are benign and can go away on their own, but there are those that won’t, such as yeast infection or a cyst in one of the glands. And this is why we are going to talk a bit more about these two in the following paragraphs.

Yeast infection

Yeast infection is surprisingly common, as much as 70-80% of all women have had this infection at some point in their life. It is important to note that there is even bacteria and fungus in a healthy vagina. The problems start when these numbers go over a certain limit, and the good bacteria starts overpopulating and hurting your organism.

Vaginal yeast infection (or vaginitis) is caused by a species of fungus called candida.

Some of the main symptoms of a yeast infection are:

  • Vaginal discharge
  • Intense itching, burning, and irritation
  • Localized swelling and pain

How can I avoid Candida?

One of the main reasons candid over-populates is eating sugar. When we eat sugar, we provide a fantastic energy source for this fungus, and they start growing like crazy. And before you know it, you will notice itching, burning, and discomfort in the vaginal area.

Yeast infection may appear as a result of a compromised immune system. Various factors can lead to a weakened immune system, some of those are:

  • Being overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy and
  • Chemotherapy


Another major problem we encounter in our daily life is stress. As a society, we don’t talk much about stress and its devastating effects on our body and minds. We used to think that stress only affected our mind, but now we know that it can present itself with a genuine, palpable problems with our entire body.

Daily stress (at your job or home) will weaken your immune system over time and allow these bacteria and fungus to grow and bring harm to the body.

One last thing – buying medication without a prescription and without consulting your doctor. This is one of the more dangerous practices, but everyone does it. There are some conditions and drugs that you can use without having to worry, but if you are taking antibiotics, for example, you need professional advice.

Cysts – Bartholin Gland Cyst

We already mentioned these cysts previously, but now we are going to go more in-depth.

Bartholin glands are a set of small glands located underneath the skin, to the left and the right of the vaginal opening. The primary role of these glands is to produce fluid and lubricate the outer genital area. This fluid is “transported” from the glands to the surface of the skin by tiny tubes called Bartholin ducts.

Now, when these ducts get blocked, the fluid builds up in a gland, forming a cyst. The ducts can become blocked due to various reasons, usually due to some infection of thick mucus, but the good news is, this condition usually goes away on its own.

Obviously, if you feel discomfort spanning across several days, you will want to pay a visit to your doctor and, in case of an infection, get appropriate treatment.

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is an STD caused by two types of viruses called herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2.

The disease is common in the adult population and quickly spread by vaginal, anal or oral sex.

How Do You Know If You Have Herpes

The problem with herpes is that it often has mild or no symptoms at all; so once you realize you have it, it might be too late, and you’ve already infected someone else.

Oral herpes resembles an ingrown hair or blisters around your mouth while genital is much more distinguishable. Genital herpes will cause blisters to form around your genitals and/or rectum.

Treating Herpes:
We can not still cure herpes; we can only use medication to shorten and suppress the blisters outbreak.

The good news is that most of the symptoms of herpes will go away after just 2-3 weeks, but the bad news is the herpes virus remains in our body.

This virus may lie dormant, but it may flare up suddenly weeks, months or even years from the initial outbreak.

Cervicitis Somtimes Causes Swollen Vag Lips

Cervicitis is a condition characterized by swelling and inflammation within the tissue of the end of the uterus (cervix).

The condition is usually caused by one of the following sexually transmitted diseases:

  • Genital herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Human papilloma virus
  • Trichomoniasis


Cervicitis can also happen as a result of an allergy to latex condoms or spermicides used in birth control.

Most common symptoms associated with this condition are:

  • Vaginal lips swelling
  • Anbormal vaginal bleeding
  • Unusually colored discharge
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • The feeling of pressure in the pelvis

How Is It Treated?

The treatment depends on the primary cause – we will treat chlamydia and gonorrhea with antibiotics, and herpes with antivirals.

If the treatment proves unsuccessful, the doctor might resort to a procedure designed to destroy the affected tissue.

Burning Vulva Syndrome

the anatomy of the vulva
Burning vulva syndrome, also called Vulvodynia, might sound like something out of a science fiction movie but the condition is very real, causes quite a bit of discomfort and may indicate a serious health problem.

*The vulva refers to the external reproductive female organs – labia, clitoris and vaginal opening.

Though the exact cause of the Burning vulva syndrome is yet unknown, the symptoms of this condition are apparent and distinct – burning, itching, tingling, and stinging sensations. Your vaginal lips might also be swollen, but there will be no noticeable discharge.

There are several distinct types of vulvodynia:

  • Generalized vulvodynia – the case where the pain is felt through the entire area of the vulva.
  • Localized vulvodynia – pain in one specific area.
  • Provoked vulvodynia – the most common type of vulvodynia, provoked by physical contact – sexual intercourse, tampon application, even wearing tight underwear.
  • Spontaneous vulvodynia – this is the term we use when there is no distinct cause of this condition.

How To Treat It?

There is no clear cure for this condition as it depends on many factors, which is why you need proper medical attention.

Contacting your doctor would be the best course of action.

Allergies And Other Irritations

Allergies and daily irritations are one of the leading causes of swollen vaginal lips.

Substances in your immediate surrounding that can trigger an allergic reaction are:

  • Chemical and artifical fragrances found in the toilet paper, soaps, and personal hygiene products you use on a daily basis
  • Latex in condoms
  • Spermicides in contraceptives (spermicides are chemicals that stop sperm celss from reaching the egg)
  • Certain types of fabric
  • Certain tampon brands can also cause irritation and allergies


The good news with irritations and allergies is that you can easily get to the bottom of it and determine what’s causing it yourself.

If you notice irritation, you can slowly start to eliminate the causes, one by one until you’ve figured it out. The downside of this process is that it takes time…

So, getting yourself tested for allergies in a specialized facility is what we would recommend.

Lichen Sclerosis

Lichen sclerosis is not often talked about (since it does not affect that many people) but it is a serious, long-term condition that affects the skin of the genitals, and can sometimes spread to the upper body (breasts and arms).

Patients often fear this disease as it is “linked” to cancer, but the critical thing to note is that it will only increase your chances of getting cancer if the skin is scarred. For this reason, regular checkups are required every 6 to 12 months.

What Causes It And What Are Its Symptoms

As with some other diseases we’ve mentioned today, the exact cause of the disease is still unknown; what we do know is that you can’t give it to someone else (it is not an STD).

Some contributing factors to the development of the disease are:

  • An overactive immune system
  • Disease running in the family
  • Hormonal problems
  • Injuries and skin damages that may induce it

As for the symptoms, here are some of the most common ones:

  • White spots in the skin of the genitals (early signs of the disease)
  • Ithcing, pain and swelling
  • Skin slowly getting thicker and the patches getting bigger
  • Skin that is becomming scarred, bleeds, and tears easilly
  • Painful blisters on the skin

How To Treat Lichen Sclerosis

The patches on the skin of the arms will usually go away on their own without treatment, but genital skin requires some attention.

There are various ointments your doctor may recommend, and if they don’t help, surgery is used.

Bacterial Vaginosis

Not all bacteria are bad. There are trillions (just under 40 trillion according to the scientists from the Weizmann Institute) of bacteria within our body. A vast majority of those assist daily functions of our body and help us live a healthy life.

Sometimes, however, good bacteria in certain parts of our body gets overwhelmed by the bad ones. This is precisely what happens during Bacterial vaginosis.

Common symptoms of BV are:

  • Swelling of the vaginal lips
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Unpleasant odor (fishy scent)

In most cases, the good bacteria will eventually “regain power” so you won’t have to treat it.

If for some reason, the body cannot restore this balance on its own, certain antibiotics are introduced to help us win this fight.

Swollen Vaginal Lips As A Result Of Medication

This condition is closely linked to the previous section of the article because the medication can sometimes attack good bacteria as well.

It will do a good job ridding you of the bad ones, but some good may “die” in the process.

The good bacteria, healthy vaginal flora, helps keep the germs in check, so when their number is weakened, infections and other pathogens strike, causing swelling of the vaginal lips, itching, burning and other related problems.

Swollen Vag Lips On One Side?

Though not common, there are cases where only vag lip on one side is swollen or itchy.

There are few common reasons this happens, and those are:

Physical Trauma To The Vaginal Lip

Physical trauma to the vaginal area usually happens during sexual intercourse.

Genital skin is sensitive and susceptible to damage, especially when there is not enough lubrication.

Vaginal lubrication is an essential part of the intercourse as it readies the vagina for penetration while reducing friction and irritation.

This is a process that occurs naturally, but sometimes women may experience “vaginal dryness.” It is crucial for the partner to be aware of this as well since sex without proper lubrication can be painful for women can cause physical trauma, irritation or swelling in one of both vaginal lips.

Bartholin Gland Cyst On One Side

We mentioned earlier that Bartholin glands are located to the left and the right of the vaginal opening.

Now, swelling in this area can co-occur on both vaginal lips, but it is much more common for one side to be swollen.

In most cases, this swelling will be quite noticeable, and you will be able to feel it under your fingers. In which case you should contact your doctor.


Image 1 credit: http://www.webmd.com/women/picture-of-the-vagina#1
Image 2 credit:


13 Ways To Get Natural Pain Relief From Sciatica!


Sciatica is a sciatic nerve problem characterized by pain in the lower back and hip which is radiating down the back of the thigh, and further down the leg.

It is estimated that every adult experiences this type of pain, but the intensity may vary. In the beginning, pain will be mild and annoying, but if left untreated it can get progressively worse. The good news is you can treat it at home by following advises outlined in this article.

What Are The Main Causes Of Sciatica?


Sciatica is not a physical condition, it is just a common name for a group of symptoms associated with sciatic nerve irritation and compression. The following conditions may lead to this irritation:

Herniated Disc

Our spine is made up of individual bones called vertebrae, between each vertebra lies intervertebral disc – a cartilaginous structure which allows flexibility in the spine but also acts as a shock absorber, protecting the bones when we walk, run or jump.

Disc herniation, or slipped disc, is a condition where intervertebral disc slips out of its original place and puts pressure to the surrounding structures.

Herniation of the disc between lumbar vertebrae IV and V will put pressure and compress the L5 component of the sciatic nerve and cause pain we know as sciatica. It will also compress nerves passing to lower levels, as you can see on the image below:

Sciatic-Nerve-Compression
Image 1: Sciatic nerve compression

 Intervertebral Foramen Narrowing

Each pair of vertebrae forms intervertebral foramen (openinig in Latin) through which nerves exit the spinal column. It is not uncommon for these opening to become narrower over time and put pressure to the nerves passing through it. This is also one of the more common causes of sciatic nerve irritation.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition where a vertebra slides forward, out of its original position. In kids, this condition is most commonly caused by some congenital defect; while in adults it can develop as a result of wear and tear (arthritis).

A person may have spondylolisthesis without even knowing it, but some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Lower back pain
  • Tingling, pain and numbness in the buttocks
  • Tenderness of the area and
  • Muscle tightness

Sciatica In Pregnancy

Contrary to popular belief, sciatica is not more common in pregnancy. Though increased weight will put additional pressure to the spine and the entire back, structures around the sciatic nerve are generally not affected.

Chances are you would have developed sciatica whether you were pregnant or not.

Other common causes of this condition are:

  • Bone spurs – also called osteophytes, are classified as natural bony projections which can grow along the edges of the bones. They are most common in individuals over 60 years old. Even though bone spurs are considered natural, if they start developing around the edges of the vertebrae (or along the intervertebral foramen), they can irritate the nerves and lead to sciatica
  • Violent twisting motions and sudden spine flexing – violent twisting motions (during a golf swing) or sudden spine flexions (when a player gets tackled in football) in healthy individuals may damage intervertebral discs, causing them to protrude and compress the nerves
  • Pelvic injuries or fractures

How Do You Know You Have Sciatica – Most Common Symptoms

sciatic-nerve-illustration
Image 2: Sciatic nerve illustration

The most common symptom of sciatica is pain. Patients generally describe it as intense, sharp pain which starts in the lumbar spine and shoots down the buttocks and down the back of your leg.

There are cases where the pain is mild, felt only as slight tingling along the path of the nerve, but sometimes it feels like a sharp knife stabbing your but.

Pain may be worsened when coughing, standing or sitting for longer periods of time.

Sciatica Diagnosis – When Should You Go See A Doctor?

Medical history plays a key role in diagnosing sciatica. The doctor will sometimes be able to make the diagnosis solely based on it, but a physical examination is also required along with a chat with the patient regarding the symptoms and the exact location of the pain.

Doing an MRI or an X-ray initially may not be necessary, because herniated discs and bone spurs are commonly present in healthy individuals (without any symptoms). If the pain persists, however, imaging and lab studies may be required to better access the condition of the patient.

  • X-ray – X-ray is used for detecting changes on the bones of the spine (bone spurs) and see if they are putting pressure to the nerves
  • MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging is a technique used to produce cross-section images of your back using radio and magnetic wave technology. MRI`s advantage over X-ray is the ability to produce images of both bones and soft tissues, such as herniated discs, to see if they are compressing or irritating the nerves
  • Lab studies – the doctor might order a blood test to detect infection or inflammation
  • CT scan – CT is an imaging method that uses X-rays and requires special dye, called contrast, patient needs to take before the test starts. This dye will help certain areas to show better on the X-ray

Treating Sciatica – Exercises, Medication and Natural Treatment


The usual course of action for sciatica pain relief is self-care measures. These measures include activities patients can do on their own, usually in the comfort of their own home. And if the pain does not subside, doctor may suggest medication, steroid injections and surgery.

Home Treatment For Natural Pain Relief

The Importance Of Rest

Rest is a crucial component in sciatica relief and patient rehabilitation… but only during the initial flare up – first day or two. This will allow the body to start healing itself, the symptoms will subside and the pain will become less intense.

Many patients fall into the same trap of resting for too long. Avoiding exercises, stretches and activity, in general, will weaken the muscles. Weak muscles are unable to support your back properly which can lead to more pain!

Rest is only good if it is followed by a good exercise routine, which we will cover in the following chapters.

 Ice and Heat

Ice an head can and should be combined with rest. They are easily accessible, inexpensive, easy to apply and, most importantly, very effective in providing relief from sciatica.

  • Ice – applying ice will reduce inflammation and numb the tissue, resulting in pain alleviation around the path of the sciatic nerve. Ice should not come in direct contact with the skin, it would be best to wrap it in a piece of cloth and then apply for 15 minutes at a time, couple times a day, 2-7 days. You can also massage the area gently using an ice pack, rather than just holding it in one place
  • Heat – heat will dilate blood vessels and supply more nutrients and oxygen to the area, this will help speed up the healing process. Heat is best used after that initial, “sharp” pain phase. For best results though, it is best to combine ice and heat

Stretches For Sciatica Pain Relief

Stretching and exercising routine usually comes after those few initial days of rest and it is designed to relax tense muscles, improve lower back flexibility and release sciatic nerve compression. NOTE: before starting with this exercise routine, it is advised to consult your doctor.

Knee To Chest

The main goal of this stretch is to improve the flexibility of your lower back.

Lie down on your back, flex your legs in the hip and in the knees (you can place a small pillow under your head). Bend your knee towards your chest, grab it with your hands and slowly increase the stretch. Stretch your leg as far as you are comfortable with and hold it for about 20 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times with each leg.

Hip flex stretch
Image 3: Hip flex stretch
 Lying Hamstring Stretch

Assume the same position as the previous exercise. Flex your knee towards your chest, grab your hamstring with your hands and slowly extend your leg in the knee. Hold the stretch for up to 20 seconds (shorter if you start to feel pain, tingling or discomfort) and repeat up to 5 times with each leg.

Keep in mind this stretch can be challenging if you are out of shape, so start out slow.

Lying hamstring stretch
Image 4: Lying hamstring stretch

 

Deep Gluteal Stretch

This is one of the best deep stretches for glutes and piriformis muscle. Starting position is the same – lie down on your back, flex legs in knees and hips, but this time you need to rest your left foot (ankle) on your right knee.

Then grab your right knee and pull towards your chest, you will feel this stretch deep in the buttocks. Hold the stretch for up to 20 seconds and repeat couple times with each leg. (if you can`t grab your hamstring wrap a towel around it and grab on to it)

Deep gluteal stretch
Image 5: Deep gluteal stretch

 

Push Up Position Stretch

This stretch is a bit more advanced and harder to do, but if you feel comfortable you should definitely incorporate it into your sciatic relief stretching routine.

Get in a push-up position, slide your right knee in line with your left shoulder and rotate your right ankle so that it is flat on the floor. After you assume this position, start pushing your hip toward the ground gently, stretching your hip. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds and repeat couple times with each leg.

Advanced Piriformis Syndrome Stretch
Image 6: Deep piriformis muscle stretch
Supine Crossed Leg Stretch

Lie down flat on your back with your legs extended. Cross your left leg so that the ankle is lateral to your right knee. Place your hands on your left thigh and push the leg inward. Hold the stretch for up to 10 seconds and repeat up to 10 times with each leg.

Supine Crossed Leg Stretch
Image 7: Supine Crossed Leg Stretch
 Forward Flextion

This is a simple standing lower back stretch. Stand up with your spine erect, straighten your legs and bend over slowly, as far as your flexibility allows it. Hold the stretch for up to 10 seconds and repeat 5-10 times.

Forward stretch
Image 8: Forward stretch

 

 Strengthening Exercises For Sciatica Relief

Without exercises, muscles become weak and unable to fully support the back, which may lead to the deterioration of the patient`s condition and increased pain.

Typically, strengthening exercises may be divided into two subgroups:

  • Core strengthening exercises and
  • Specific exercises depending on the diagnosis and the underlying cause of sciatica.

Most exercise programs will be tailored to the specific needs of the patient and depend on the cause of pain, so it is not advised to start them on your own. But if you want to strengthen your core, you can check out this short video with some basic core exercises (exercises are performed with a Swiss ball, you can get one cheap on Amazon.com; we`ve created a list of the best ones you can choose from, Click Here to see it):

Tens Machine For Sciatica

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is often used as an alternative to painkilling medication. It sends small electrical pulses through the skin which are then transmitted through the body.

So far, there has been no concrete scientific evidence to confirm the effectiveness of the TENS unit treatment, but the majority of patients who tried experienced short-term acute and chronic pain relief.

Most scientists are still unsure as to what causes this pain relief, but there are two predominant theories:

  • Scrambling normal pain signals – the electrodes stimulate nerves in the surrounding area and interfere with normal pain signals that are being sent to the brain. This disruption leads to the feeling of pain relief
  • Endorphin production – endorphins are painkillers body produces naturally. It is believed that this steady flow of electricity helps the body produce more endorphins

TENSE units for home use are generally not expensive, and if you are interested in trying one out, we recommend Zewa Spabuddy.

 Spinal Decompression and Inversion Tables

Spinal decompression involves stretching the spine using a motorized decompression machine or a decompression table. It is based on the principles of spinal traction performed by chiropractors and other health professionals.

The main goal of spinal decompression procedure is to take the pressure off damaged spinal discs and allow herniations and bulges to retract.

Inversion (table) therapy involves being upside down at an inverted angle. When the body`s weight is suspended from the lower body (when you are hanging by the feet on the inversion table) the gravity may decompress the joints and align them. This method has been used for centuries but if you are looking to invest in it, you should consult your doctor first.

Best Creams For Pain Relief

We already stated that sciatica is not a physical condition and, as such, it can`t be “cured;” all the creams which promise this are usually using this claim for advertising purposes. A good cream should address the symptoms, deal with the problem of inflammation and reduce pain.

If you stop by your local drug store, you will probably be able to find some good topical pain relief creams; if you can choose, however, our advice is to go with Penetrex or Sombra.

Using A Cushion To Fight Sciatica

A cushion will not slide your disc back into its place, it won`t strengthen your muscles and reduce the inflammation… but, a medically proven orthopedic cushion should:

  • Encourage correct sitting posture
  • Reduce pressure on your lower back and coccyx
  • Adjust to the weight of your body and
  • Does not flatten after prolonged use

Adjusting your seated posture alone can relieve pain and it is beneficial with people suffering from sciatica, hernia or have poor posture. Which is why a good memory foam cushion is never a bad investment:

Orthopedic-Pillow
Click the image to find out more about this cushion

Prevention

How can you prevent the most common symptoms and causes of sciatica? You need to:

  • Practice good Alignment and Posture – most jobs today result in an unnatural alignment of the spine (slouching the shoulders, bending forward), so it is crucial that you maintain proper posture and keep the back straight to prevent the discs from popping out
  • Strengthen your core muscle – these muscles protect the spine and help the back support our upper body. Keeping the abdominals and the back muscles strong and in good shape should be one of your top priorities
  • Be aware of your body and daily activities – you need to keep a close eye on the activities you perform on a daily basis; whether it is picking up your briefcase off the floor or taking your child into your arms, you need to keep your alignment and bend with your knees, rather than your back
  • Buy a firm mattress – your mattress should be firm enough to support your entire body and keep your spine straight. Also, the pillow needs offer proper neck support

Doctor Endorsed Sciatica Exercise Routine For Quick Pain Relief

300x250pxWhen faced with sciatica pain, many people think it`s too late, that they were too late to address the condition and the only way to get pain relief is surgery. But things are far from over!

Your most important takeaway from this article should be that sciatica is not a condition in itself, this is just a label we use for a group of symptoms corresponding with problems with the sciatic nerve. So, by addressing the symptoms you might get a temporary pain relief, but the underlying cause of your sciatic pain will still be there.

This is the reason I am bringing up a certain e-book I came across some time ago. The book is called Sciatica SOS and was written by Glen Johnson. What I like about this book is that, rather than just offering you a number of different exercises to choose from, it is divided into 6 different sections:

  • EfS (exercises for sciatica) caused by a herniated disc
  • EfS caused by spinal stenosis
  • EfS caused by degenerative disc disease
  • EfS caused by isthmic spondylolisthesis
  • Efs caused by problems with piriformis muscle
  • Efs caused by sacroiliac joint problems

As you can see, you will get a different set of exercises based on the underlying cause of your sciatica pain. The book also covers traditional pain relief options along with some quite interesting home remedies you should definitely try!

All in all, this is a great little e-book that will definitely help you experience pain relief in days!

But that`s not all, I`ve got two great news for all you who are interested in getting this e-book today:

  • A huge discount – the book is currently on a 52% discount! I don`t know how long this discount will last so my advice is to get it sooner rather than later.
  • Full 60-day money back guarantee – the book is not only on a huge discount, but it also comes with a full 60-day money back guarantee meaning you can buy the book, give those exercises a try over the course of 60 days and if you find the book was not helpful you can just contact the seller and get your money back.

To find out more about the book (and buy it), click here – Sciatica SOS


 

References:

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Last updated: August 3, 2018 at 23:05 pm

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