Words of Advice To Keep Your Joints Healthy

As a woman, it is only natural that your health is one of the most important parts of your life. Once you pass a certain age, you might have to deal with specific problems, such as arthritis. Left untreated, this condition can cause serious damage to your health and lifestyle. The inflammatory process will lead to symptoms such as reduced range of motion, joint pain, and stiffness.

For this, it is for the best to educate yourself about the condition. So, keep on reading and find out how you can keep your joints healthy.

What is a joint pain?

Joint pain is the type of pain that appears at the level of a joint. This is commonly a symptom of an underlying condition, such as arthritis. However, it can also appear as a result of an injury.

The important thing here is to differentiate acute joint pain from chronic pain. This is important since it will guide you in choosing which treatment to take.

Here are some of the most common symptoms you can experience with joint pain:

  • Reduced range of motion
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling and redness
  • Sensation of warmth
  • Tenderness or pain

Types of joint pain

types of joint pain

These are different types of joint pain:

  • Arthritis joint pain – It can impair the quality of life as it restricts movement. In advanced cases, the patient presents severe inflammation and pain at the level of the affected joints.
  • Osteoarthritis joint pain – The pain commonly happens at the level of the hip or knee joint(s). It’s often accompanied by loss of function in the respective joint.
  • Gout joint pain – The accumulation of uric acid leads to pain, inflammation, and redness in the affected joint. It commonly affects the joints of the big toe.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis pain – This pain frequently affects the joints of the hands and feet. It usually leads to pain, swelling, and loss of function.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis pain – This appears as a result of an injury or fracture. It’s typically accompanied by inflammation, redness, and movement restriction in the respective joint.
  • Other types of joint pain – This includes migratory arthritis pain, bursitis pain, neuropathic arthropathy pain (Charcot disease), temporomandibular joint disorder pain, etc.

Causes of joint pain

These are some of the most common causes of joint pain:

  • Wear and tear associated with the physiological aging process
  • Infection at the level of the respective joint(s)
  • Injuries or fractures
  • Inadequate functioning of the immune system (autoimmune disorder – rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Lack of adequate lubrication at the level of the joint cartilage, bone & cartilage destruction
  • Loss of cartilage
  • Accumulation of uric acid at the level of the joint (gout)
  • Nerve ending(s) irritation
  • Intense physical effort & repeated trauma (contact sports)

How can you manage joint pain?

manage joint pain

The first and most important thing is that you obtain a correct diagnosis for your joint pain. Get your symptoms checked by a doctor, so you can get the right treatment.

These are some of the typical ways to manage pain in the joints:

Oral medications

NSAIDs

Recommended choices include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These oral medications can cause liver damage, so you should only take them as prescribed.

Acetaminophen is a good alternative to those medications mentioned above. It’s good for less severe cases and has a lower risk of damaging the liver.

Opioids

This works best for severe cases, such as those with loss of function and intense pain. Take note that opioids can cause drowsiness.

Muscle relaxants

Muscle relaxants are the best choice for those who present muscle spasms and reduced range of motion.

Antidepressants

These are often prescribed for pain management and also to reduce the risk of depression.

Topical treatments

Capsaicin ointment

It can block the pain signals, giving it powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It may cause a burning or stinging sensation on the area of application.

Injections

Corticosteroid injections

These are best recommended for patients who suffer from more severe forms of arthritis. These are performed every couple of months and they provide temporary relief.

Hyaluronan injections

These are meant to replace the natural fluid of the affected joints.

Arthroscopic fluid removal

This procedure involves the removal of the excess fluid that accumulated in the affected joints. It can be performed at the same time with the corticosteroid injection.

Physical therapy

A physical therapy program can improve the range of motion of the affected joints, reducing both the intensity and frequency of the symptoms experienced. It can be used to strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joints and also to relieve the pressure on the affected parts. It may be used in combination with heat/cold therapy, ultrasound therapy, manual therapy or swimming.

Home care measures

  • Brace/wraps for the affected joints, joint compression, and elevation are some of the ways you can manage joint pain at home. Resting the affected part can greatly help, too.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting and standing as these can cause quite a lot of damage to the joints.
  • Say goodbye to your sedentary lifestyle and engage in physical exercise on a regular basis. If you are not certain about the kind of physical exercise that is good for the joints, pay a visit to a physical therapist.
  • Avoid inflammatory foods, like refined/excessively processed foods, sugary drinks, sweets, fast food, and junk food. Opt for a diet that is mostly based on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and other healthy choices.
  • If you play contact sports, reduce the risk of joint injuries by wearing the proper equipment. You should also get adequate training, like practicing safe playing and avoiding being too aggressive.
  • Avoid eating too much red meat. This will cause uric acid to accumulate at the level of the joints, increasing the risk for gout and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Give up smoking and alcohol. These are two of the main factors which can accelerate the aging process of the joints, leaving them vulnerable to damage and inflammation.
  • Treat all infections. Untreated infections can cause harmful microorganism to travel to various joints, causing a wide range of symptoms.

Final word

Just because you are aging, this does not mean you cannot keep your joints healthy and functioning. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of inflammatory condition early on and do not hesitate to seek out the best forms of treatment. Pay attention to the prevention methods as well since these can help you enjoy healthy joints for as long as it is possible.

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The B&N Podcast: Ron Chernow

Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.

Ron Chernow had already written multiple award-winning biographies of figures like George Washington and J.P. Morgan when he decided to take up the life of the Founding Father least understood today. One bestselling book and one world-famous musical adaptation by Lin-Manuel Miranda later, the subject of his biography Alexander Hamilton has been reborn as the fascinating, dynamic figure whose career inspires schoolchildren and captivates millions. What historian could be prouder? But rather than sit on his Broadway laurels, the author has returned with an epic-scale life of another American whose misunderstood genius transformed his country. This week on the podcast, Ron Chernow talks with Bill Tipper about his sweeping new book, Grant (and — yes — about Hamilton, too).

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Ulysses S. Grant’s life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don’t come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.

Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had ended dismally, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in war, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign, and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Along the way, Grant endeared himself to President Lincoln and became his most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort. Grant’s military fame translated into a two-term presidency, but one plagued by corruption scandals involving his closest staff members.

More important, he sought freedom and justice for black Americans, working to crush the Ku Klux Klan and earning the admiration of Frederick Douglass, who called him “the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race.” After his presidency, he was again brought low by a dashing young swindler on Wall Street, only to resuscitate his image by working with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs, which are recognized as a masterpiece of the genre.

With lucidity, breadth, and meticulousness, Chernow finds the threads that bind these disparate stories together, shedding new light on the man whom Walt Whitman described as “nothing heroic… and yet the greatest hero.” Chernow’s probing portrait of Grant’s lifelong struggle with alcoholism transforms our understanding of the man at the deepest level. This is America’s greatest biographer, bringing movingly to life one of our finest but most underappreciated presidents. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant’s life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.

Click here to see all books by Ron Chernow.

Like this podcast? Subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher to discover intriguing new conversations every week.

Photo of Ron Chernow (c) Sigrid Estrada.

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5 Practical Tips to Help You Save For Your Dream Car

Don’t you sometimes wish you can go around the city driving your car?

We all do at some point. But, you wake up from that wishful thinking into the sad reality that you just can’t afford it. For now, at least.

Buying a car, especially your dream car always comes with a price. Unless you won the lottery and had millions of cash, to buy a dream car would mean a long-term commitment to saving, saving and saving. But with all the bills you need to pay, it might take you years to save up for that dream car.

Fret not! Here are a few tips to help you quickly achieve that goal.

Create a budget

budgeting money

At this point, you’ve probably checked the price of your dream car already. So, it’s time to create a budget plan.

First, consider how much you earn in a month and how much you’re willing to set aside for your car. Keep in mind that you also need to save for your car’s insurance, gas, and maintenance. It would be great to set aside a few savings for these even before you have your car.

Then, project and designate a budget for all your expenses. Aside from your car, you also have bills and other necessities to pay for.

See Also: How To Get The Best Deal From Your Local Used Cars Dealership

Spend less

Think of other ways you can cut off some of your expenses so you can set aside more money for your car. If you are thinking of buying something, ask yourself first if you’re spending for a want or a need. If you don’t need it, maybe you can take a pass at purchasing something.

It would also help to compare prices, like when you’re in the grocery. You can save a few more bucks if you pay attention to prices.

Open a savings account

The bank is still the safest place to keep your money, whether you believe that or not. So, open an account and keep all your savings there.

But, before you do, make sure to look for accounts where you can earn high interests. Also, consider getting a passbook savings account so it wouldn’t be easy to withdraw anytime.

If you already have an existing bank account, it’s still highly recommendable to open a separate one for your car budget.

Apply for Alternative Financing

So, you already saved but you’re still a long way from purchasing your dream car. Why not speed it up a little?

You can apply for alternative financing, like salary or pay-day loans, bank loans, auto loans and car title loans. These can help you acquire fast cash with less paperwork.
You still have to continue saving, though.

These alternative modes of financing could only give you a fraction of the cost you need. You can opt for a car title loan to borrow a higher amount, but this would require a car title in the first place. Also, you should remember that it is still a loan. You will still have a monthly payable even after you already bought your car.

Always try to inquire first on the payment terms, collateral needed and the interest rates before you resort to alternative financing.

Invest Your Money

saving money

Consider this:

You have loaned an amount of money, but maybe it’s still not enough to buy your dream car. Well, how about investing part of it for the meantime?

Look for ways where you can invest around 10% to 20% of your loaned money and expect a good ROI from it at the end of a quarter or even a year. Make sure that your ROI will be higher than the interest you pay each month for your loan.

This way, your horizons expand and your money grows. By the time you’re ready to buy that car, you have more than what you hoped for. You now have your dream car and a great business investment to boot.

Conclusion

With all these considered, are you ready to commit yourself to saving money so you can buy your dream car?

Start saving now and learn to cut off some of your expenses. You’ll see yourself in the driver’s seat, maneuvering that steering wheel in the future.

For now, save and invest. Be frugal, if you must.

See Also: What Science Says About The Car You Drive

 

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(3) Habits For Living A Bold and Authentic Life

You’re reading (3) Habits For Living A Bold and Authentic Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

For thousands of years, storytelling has been a way to pass down wisdom from one generation to the next. There is a reason for this.

Stories make accessible the wisdom of our elders and our peers. Through a tale well told, we find answers. Insight. Even hope.

And so our search for boldness, for authenticity in this life, begins with three stories. Each daring us to form a new habit. Each daring to go to another level.

The Architect & Habit #1 – Take Ownership

He briefly looks over his client list. Frank Sinatra. Lucille Ball. Lon Chaney. His mind wanders. What a journey it has been. Beyond words.

That spaceship looking building at LAX. Other notable buildings. Will anyone know that he had a hand in those designs? He doubts it but that’s ok.

It has been one hell of a ride. A ride that started in the 1920’s and continued for forty years. It was a good run. A really good run.

And his talent for rendering architectural drawings upside down, that always caught their eye. But it was more than a trick.

It put his clients at ease because back then, many of his clients were uncomfortable sitting next to a black man. And that’s what he was. A black man.

The true story of Los Angeles architect Paul Williams.

Don’t make excuses and don’t blame others. Take personal responsibility for your life.

The Politician & Habit #2 – Be Mindful

His mastery with the pen would make even the most savage of warriors think twice. And so it was in the late 1800s. An adversary had appeared.

And he would strike that adversary down from the shadows, through an alias, no less. Anonymous articles submitted to a local newspaper.

All the key ingredients for sabotage were there. An anti-immigrant subplot. Charges of incompetence. Other nuances. But he overplayed his hand and got caught.

He would have to face his adversary in a duel to the death.

The 6’4” Abraham Lincoln wisely choose a broadsword as his weapon of choice. A wise decision because back then, men with Lincoln’s reach were very rare.

Upon seeing this, James Shields, Lincoln’s adversary, decided to work things out. The duel was over before it ever began. But for Lincoln, it was a wake-up call.

His emotions had gotten the best of him. It was a mistake he would not make again. Letters penned in anger, he decided, deserved a good night’s rest.

Learn to calmly sit with your emotions, no matter what. Let go of the need to control people, places, and things. Learn to mindfully react to all things.

The Imagineer & Habit #3 – Speak Your Truth

Would people ever truly get him? His inner world. The fantastical things going on inside his head. Did people get the importance of such things?

It didn’t matter. He would do them anyway.

Animation as high art. People had their doubts until he started winning Oscars. But what about the blending of technology and art? Not enough was being done there.

He would fix that.

And then he had the crazy idea of bringing his animated worlds to life. It would cost a fortune to build but it had to be done. He would build an amusement park without equal.

On July 17th, 1955– The Magic Kingdom opened its doors.

Walt Disney continually faced impossible odds and criticism. And yet his visionary convictions remained. His truth was non-negotiable.

You have but one life, make the most of it! Honor the voice within.

Everyday Humans Welcome

All that is well and good, but most of us will never become the next Walt Disney. What then? These habits offer as much value to you and me, as they do anyone else.

Taking ownership is getting fed up with your own excuses. It’s saying, enough is enough and grabbing the bull by the horns. It’s choosing to rise rather than fall.

Being mindful is simply not reacting. That’s it. Just don’t react. It’s grabbing your breath to get some perspective. It’s calmly working through a problem versus intensely reacting to a problem.

And honestly, for most people, speaking your truth can be as simple as saying “no” more often. Or it’s chasing a dream. Leaving a job. Or changing a circumstance.

Perhaps it’s time to tell all of your story, not just good stuff.

Absent these three fundamentals, little will change. Absent these three fundamentals, chaos and reaction will reign supreme.

But master these three fundamentals and everything changes. Your focus. Your sense of self. The results you get in all areas of life.

The pinball is no longer stuck between the bumpers.

 

You’ve read (3) Habits For Living A Bold and Authentic Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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Lincoln in the Bardo

Editor’s note:  On the occasion of this year’s Man Booker Prize for fiction going to George Saunders for Lincoln in the Bardo, we’re highlighting Liesl Schillinger’s review, first published here on February 13, 2017.

In his new book Lincoln in the Bardo—his first novel—the tricksy, unsettling, masterly short story writer George Saunders has taken a family tragedy—the death of an American President’s child—and set it at the center of a national tragedy: the Civil War. Around this dark double-hub he affixes a flutter of other characters from the period, more than a hundred of them, who (in a typically ingenious Saunders invention) are no longer living, but do not know it. Stubbornly clinging to “memories, complaints, desires,” and “raw life-force” they refuse to advance to whatever post-mortal realm may exist to receive more biddable natures. Homer or Dante might have called such unquiet souls “shades;” and in Tibetan Buddhism, the notional realm they inhabit, between this world and the next, is known as the “bardo,” hence the title.

For the purposes of Saunders’s novel, though, the “bardo” is the Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, where the arrival of the President’s embalmed son stirs the resident shades to commotion. His presence in their midst animates them, motivates them, and sets them awhirl. Vibrant and multi-voiced, they fling shards of color like the leaves of a pinwheel in a gale. Rarely has a novel about the dead felt so thrillingly, achingly, alive.

The President in question, of course, is Abraham Lincoln; and the boy entombed at Oak Hill was his favorite child, Willie, the third of his four sons. Today, father and son occupy such a hallowed and familiar position in American history that it can be difficult to think of them as ever having been flesh and blood. If you visit the comfortable but unshowy house in Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln and his wife and sons lived until 1861 (when they moved to the White House), you feel yourself in a gallery of sepia-tone portraits, not a place where a human family jostled, worked and played—even as you climb the creaking staircase they climbed, and peer into the playroom on the second floor, where the boys’ antique toys spill across the carpet. Saunders takes the portraits off the walls and sets them walking.

His novel begins in the brutal month of February of 1862; eleven months after the Lincolns moved to Washington D.C., ten months after the outbreak of the Civil War. As thousands of soldiers lay slain or maimed in the battle of Fort Donelsen, their bodies “heaped and piled like threshed wheat, one on top of two on top of three,” little Willie Lincoln was dying, probably from typhus, in his White House bedroom. On February 20, he succumbed to his disease, aged eleven. Lincoln needed all his strength and focus to hold the country together, but the shock of his son’s death unmoored him. “I never saw a man so bowed down with grief,” wrote one observer. Newspapers of the day reported that the President’s agony was so overwhelming that he returned to the crypt where the child was entombed, brought out his son’s body, and held it in his arms, unable to bear his loss. Meanwhile, the author writes, summoning the voice of an old-time chronicler, “The nation held its breath, hopeful the President could competently reassume the wheel of the ship of state.”

Saunders (who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago) first heard of Lincoln’s cemetery visitation during the Clinton administration, on a visit to Washington. In an interview printed in the novel’s end pages, he recalls, “As soon as I heard that, this image sprung to mind: a melding of the Lincoln Memorial and the Pietà.” This vision, in which a grieving Lincoln took the role of the Virgin Mary in Michelangelo’s statue, gestated in Saunders for nearly a quarter century, he explains: “I just wanted to get on paper something that would evoke the feeling of pathos and beauty I’d get every time I imagined that night in 1862.”

To do so, he has devised a richly hybrid work that defies easy categorization. Chapters of whirligigging dialogue between the cemetery denizens are interleaved with chapters holding excerpts from news accounts, biographies, memoirs, and diaries of the era (many actual, many invented), which ballast the fantasy with the gravitas of real occurrence. One example: while Willie was burning with fever from the sickness that would kill him, the President and Mrs. Lincoln threw a sumptuous (late) New Year’s fête in the White House, attended by hundreds of foreign and national dignitaries. As guests danced and made merry under chandeliers garlanded with flowers, stuffing themselves on pheasant, venison, and oysters, and plucking sweetmeats from elaborate dioramas made of sugar , the boy suffered in his bedroom. His parents slipped away continually to stand vigil at his bedside. Partisan scandalmongers denounced the party, before and after, as decadent and frivolous– “a piggish and excessive display, in a time of war, ” as one fictional commenter puts it; and after the child’s death, mean-spirited detractors accused the Lincolns of “heartlessness” for entertaining while their child was ill, tacitly blaming them for his demise. But those close to the family were “awe-struck” by the violence of Lincoln’s heartbreak. “Great sobs choked his utterance,” a seamstress remembered. “He buried his head in his hands, and his tall frame was convulsed with emotion.”

In Saunders’ fervid, electric imagination, Lincoln’s grief-stricken visit to Willie in the crypt causes profound agitation —and jealousy—among the unruly bardo dwellers, who have received no such calls themselves. Hamming and pouting, bickering and boasting like actors on the stage (their words appear in the book like the script of a play, each speaker listed after his line) they attempt to assess the import of this invasion of their liminal precincts. One of the main players, an ungainly middle-aged printer named Hans Vollman (whose head was squashed by a falling beam when he was on the brink of consummating his marriage), muses, “No one had ever come here to hold one of us, while speaking so tenderly.” Another, Vollman’s friend Roger Bevins III— a closeted teenager who longs to be “revived” so he can “wander the earth, imbibing, smelling, sampling, loving whomever I please” wonders: “How had it felt, being held like that?” More pressingly, Bevins wants to know, had the visitor “offered any hope for the alteration of the boy’s fundamental circumstance?” —that circumstance being death, a state the self-deluding shades shy away from mentioning by name. If so, Bevins asks, “might said hope extend to us as well?” Willie is bewildered by the excitement he provokes in the spectral entourage. “So many were still waiting,” he marvels, “A shifting mass of gray and black….People in the moonlight outside pushing and shouting, standing on tip-toe to see….Me.” And above all, looming over the turbulent shadows, is the living form of the boy’s father, who cannot keep away, either.

A philosophical principle runs throughout Saunders’ novel that keeps the engine of his story spinning. That principle is that even the most private tragedy plays an integral part in the natural order. The shades in the bardo have stalled that natural order by dwelling with fixed intensity on their “primary reason for staying” in the world they had physically departed. But when Willie’s “primary reason for staying” — i.e., his father — walks into Oak Hill, Vollman and Bevins and some of their disembodied cohort are stricken by something like conscience. They don’t want the child to get stuck in their macabre stasis. Lincoln’s grief, like a turning gear, catches in its cogs the individual passions and grievances of the querulous shades, carrying them forward along with him. They are moved to empathy by his magnanimity. Peace cannot be restored in the bardo — or in the White House, or the nation, it would appear — until the finality of the boy’s death can be admitted by the President, by the boy himself, and by the shades as well. Saunders enlists his imaginary dead to rescue the living, and thereby, themselves. Attempting to speed this catharsis, Vollman and Bevins share space in Lincoln’s head. “One must try to remember that all were suffering,” Vollman thinks, channeling Lincoln’s thoughts. “His current state of sorrow was not uniquely his.” Lincoln (as Vollman) also believes Willie would want him to keep prosecuting the Civil War. “Our Willie would not wish us hobbled in that attempt by a vain and useless grief,he thinks.

A little more than three years after these nighttime adventures, in May of 1865, the Union won the Civil War, and Willie’s presumed wish was achieved. In March of that year, in his Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln had adjured the nation to “strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.” Having bound up his own wounds first, he knew the sacrifice this entailed. But the following month, before he could finish the work he envisioned, on the eve of peace, Lincoln was assassinated. And yet, as Lincoln in the Bardo hauntingly, movingly suggests, his death did not mean his influence had vanished; to know the full record of any life is to know that it never ends.

If you visit Springfield, Illinois today, not the Lincoln house, but the Oak Ridge Cemetery there, you will find the President’s family reunited in Lincoln’s Tomb, except for the oldest son, Robert, who survived his parents and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. A larger-than-life bronze head of Lincoln stands at the entrance; children are told to rub the nose for luck. The nose gleams from the pressure of so many hands, stretching to touch history’s patina in the living day. As superstitiously as the gaggle in the bardo, the visitors hope, through this symbolic contact, to carry away a micron-dusting of the man who could not save his son, or himself, but saved the nation; and who remains as awe-inspiring in death as in life.

 

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