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How to Treat Sprains Correctly

Sprains are common even among individuals who don’t play sports, however, a lot of people do not know how to treat it properly to prevent further injuries. Here are some things you should remember.

Sprains and Strains

Put simply, a sprain is an injury to the tissues that connect the bones in a joint, while a strain is an injury either to the muscle or the tissue that connects the bone to the muscle. This is why the most common sprains occur in the ankles and wrists, because of falls or trauma on the area that cause the joint to twist. As a result, the ligaments get torn or stretched, causing pain, bruising, and swelling.

Others might even hear of feel the ligaments pop and tear when the injury is severe. Consequently, the individual will not be able to use the affected area because of the intense pain. Strains on the other hand, can develop in a few days or occur suddenly if the muscles are overstretched. Although slightly less uncomfortable than the sprain, it can cause pain, weakness, spasms or cramping, swelling, and reduced mobility of the affected area.

Treating an Ankle Sprain

Mild sprains go away after a while, but for slightly severe injuries, proper treatment is needed to avoid long-term health problems. The severity of the ankle injury depends on which part is injured and how, such as, an inversion sprain, which happens when the ankle is rolled inward; and the eversion sprain in which the ankle is rolled outward. If you experience pain on the inner side of your injured ankle, it could indicate a more serious problem that needs attention from a doctor.

Severe pain and deformity could indicate a complete tearing of the ligament or bone fracture for example. For mild ankle sprains, resting the injured area will help it heal faster. You will be advised to use an ankle brace and put ice on the affected area at least 20 minutes a day. While resting, you should elevate your foot above the waist and use compression to lessen the swelling.

Treating a Wrist Sprain

Wrist sprain is common in athletes, that is why it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a doctor to determine if any other part has also sustained an injury. Wrist sprain can cause weakness in the hand muscle, loss of wrist mobility, swelling, bruising, and pain.

Treatments for wrist sprain uses the similar methods for ankle sprains, but it should be assessed for its severity first. A torn ligament and bone fracture will require different treatment methods than a mild wrist sprain, which can be treated with a cast, adequate rest, application of an ice pack, and compression. Avoid moving the injured wrist too much until it has fully healed.

As a takeaway, treatment for mild to moderate sprain follows the RICE method, which means: rest, ice, compress, and elevate.

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What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is the condition that affects the eye’s ability to refract or bend the light that enters it equally in all directions. It is the result of the curving of the light on the single point on the retina, which might be caused by injury, surgery, or an individual’s genes. Consequently, the person has blurred vision and will see irregularly-shaped objects in the surroundings regardless of the distance.

What a Healthy Eye Should Be

A healthy eye is supposed to have one focal point behind the cornea and the lens. However, a person with astigmatism has multiple focal points because of an astigmatic cornea. The lens is curved or shaped like a football, whereas a healthy cornea should have a round shape. This results in an out-of-focus vision. The condition usually occurs with other visual problems such as hyperopia or farsightedness and myopia or nearsightedness.

Who Can Get Astigmatism

According to ophthalmologists, most people have a slight degree of astigmatism, but these do not require treatment because they do not affect the vision. There is no known specific cause of the condition, but individuals with a family history of astigmatism are more likely to get it than others who don’t.

Some people are also susceptible to it when the curvature of the lens changes during adulthood or because of injury or surgery. In rare cases, astigmatism may be a result of keratoconus, or a condition that is characterized by the thinning of the cornea resulting in a cone-shaped curvature.

How Astigmatism is Diagnosed

Symptoms of astigmatism include blurred vision, headaches, eye strain, and squinting. An eye specialist called an ophthalmologist can perform several tests to diagnose visual problems correctly. If you suspect that you have astigmatism, the doctor will need tests that measure how the light focuses on your eyes, such as; refraction, visual acuity, and topography or keratometry.

A phoropter is used to measure the refraction of light in your eyes, while visual acuity is measured by asking you to read a distance chart. Topography on the other hand, will measure the curvature of your cornea using the keratometer.

There are three types of astigmatism that you should be aware of:

  1. Hyperopic astigmatism or farsightedness. Both eyes are hyperopic in different degrees.
  2. Myopic astigmatistm or nearsightedness. Both eyes are myopic in different degrees.
  3. Mixed astigmatism. One is nearsighted and the other is farsighted.

How Astigmatism is Treated

Based on the results of the tests listed above, the doctor will prescribe treatments such as eyeglasses to improve the quality of your vision or contact lenses for people with irregularly-shaped cornea.

Laser and refractive surgery is recommended for reshaping cornea by photorefractive keratectomy or laser in situ keratomileusis. Orthokeratology is recommended if you have moderate astigmatism. In this process, you will be fitted with rigid contact lenses to reshape your cornea.

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How to Care for Rose Painted Calathea

One of the most popular tropical house plants, the rose painted calathea is prized for its strikingly beautiful leaves that are tinged with pink or white. This is the perfect indoor plant for those who love colorful leaves and small flowers.

Here are important things to keep in mind when growing a rose painted calathea in your apartment.

Give it a good place indoors. The best way to show off the rose painted calathea is by placing it on a table away from direct sunlight and from drafts. The plant needs a brightly-lit room, so you can also place it in an east-facing window.

Re-pot properly. After you purchase the plant, it is a good idea to re-pot it in a peat-based potting mix with one part perlite and two parts peat. It is also advisable to re-pot the rose painted calathea once every two years into a bigger pot. This can be done at the same time as when propagating the plant by dividing.

Maintain proper temperature. Because the rose painted calathea is a tropical plant, you need to keep the temperature between 18°C to 24°C. This range also makes it ideal to grow the plant indoors than outdoors where it is easier for you to control temperature and humidity. However, in an air-conditioned room, the plant must never be exposed to temperatures below 15°C or it will die.

Keep humidity consistent. You can mist the rose painted calathea to keep the humidity constant or install a humidifier in your home (it is good for you overall).

Keep the soil moist. The soil in the pot must be kept moist all the time, but do not drown the rose painted calathea in water. Check if the top inch of the soil is dry before watering with distilled or tepid rainwater. If you have just propagated the rose painted calathea, take note not to over-water until the newly potted plants have a new growth.

Use a diluted fertilizer. A balanced but diluted fertilizer should be enough for the rose painted calathea. You can feed it once every two weeks especially between April to October to keep the leaves vibrant.

Watch out for common issues. The rose painted calathea may have browned leaves if the air is dry or humidity is lacking. Dropping leaves may be caused by the same issues, while spotted or curling leaves may be due to under-watering. Curling leaves may also indicate very high temperatures.

Soil must be kept moist to keep the plant from drying. You can place the pot on a tray with wet pebbles near a humidifier to adjust humidity around the plant. However, if you notice the stems are limp, avoid watering the calathea too much.

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Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit: What You Need to Know Before Starting

There are actually so many CrossFit gyms around Singapore now! You might even have a co-worker or a friend who’s already going to one. Being one of the most popular fitness regimes today, CrossFit has earned a reputation for being tough yet very rewarding. So, let’s get to know it better!

What exactly is CrossFit?

CrossFit is basically a fitness program that mainly focuses on strength and conditioning. It takes functional movements from many different sports like weightlifting, gymnastics, rowing, and etc. Most of the exercises utilized are in different varieties and are meant to be challenging. Generally, workout routines will change each day testing different parts of strength and conditioning. This is in line with the focus of CrossFit to help an individual create the “fittest” form of himself with a body capable of almost anything.

A CrossFit gym can also look very different from a bodybuilding gym. You’ll see more bars, boxes, and ropes than the usual weight machines and dumbbells!

Is it the right form of exercise for me?

If you’re a complete beginner at weight training or maybe you just lift casually in an ActiveSG gym, you won’t have any problems with CrossFit at all. One of the main advantages you’ll have when starting a fitness journey through CrossFit is that you’ll be trained with the basic and most important lifts to learn. In addition to that, the whole community is very welcoming and everyone helps each other progress one way or another. Many CrossFit athletes are even martial artists, former athletes from different sports, and just fitness fanatics in general.

Is it dangerous?

Looking at it from an audience perspective, CrossFit can look very intimidating. Watching CrossFit athlete squat 465lbs, then move immediately to a 200-pound shoulder press, AND THEN do a 400-pound deadlift can definitely make you doubt if you can even do it. The intensity of the workouts makes people think that CrossFit can cause a lot of injuries. But that’s not really the case at all. Even if CrossFit is all about pushing your body to the limits, it’s doesn’t get to the point of actually destroying your body. The individuals you see that are already doing those extremely high-intensity exercises are already seasoned CrossFit athletes. But they started also started from the bottom like you.

What do I need to start?

CrossFit gyms or ‘boxes’ usually have all the equipment needed for the workouts. Plyometric boxes, barbells, pull-up bars will always be present in CrossFit gyms. If there’s one thing, it would be good to buy a jump rope. Because much of CrossFit is also about endurance, you’ll want to start getting used to conditioning and stamina training before you even start. Having a jump rope can be a good way to start. So aside from the actual things you need like your training attire and extra clothes, all you really need to bring is yourself.

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7 Best Benefits of Getting a Massage Regularly

There’s every kind of massage spa around Singapore. Whether it’s for the stressed office worker or just couples wanting to have a massage together, you’ll always be able to find a good massage place. Aside from it being very relaxing, there are also many benefits to get a massage. Here are only some of them!

1. It helps reduce anxiety

Obviously, a massage therapist employs the sense of touch when doing his/her job. In that situation, human touch is used in a safe, professional, and almost intimate environment. That’s why massages can be therapeutic to many people. This means that when you get a massage from time to time, you can reduce your anxiety and stress significantly.

2. Lower blood pressure

Aside from the therapeutic effect mentioned above, massages help lower our blood pressure because they improve our circulation. No matter what part of your body is getting massaged, your blood will circulate a lot better not only on that specific part but also throughout the body.

3. It can help improve sleep

Again, this owes to the fact that massages promote relaxation. But getting a massage also boosts the production of serotonin in the brain. Not only will this help you sleep better, but you’ll also get a deeper, better quality sleep. And the best thing is, it’s natural and you don’t have to take medications to force yourself to sleep!

4. Massages can help reduce muscle pain

When we get sore muscles, most of the time the first thing we think about is getting a massage, and for good reason! As said earlier, massages help improve blood flow and overall circulation. Usually, muscle pain comes as a result of restricted blood flow. So having a massage will definitely help.

5. It also helps soothe headaches

Firstly, when you get time to relax and ease tension in the body, your mind will also stay loose and feel at ease. Massages also help a lot when you get a migraine or maybe other chronic headaches. Aside from the head, it will also help to massage the neck and shoulders when experiencing headaches.

6. It might help you fix your posture

Because of all the prolonged sitting we do each and every day, our posture will definitely be affected negatively. All this stress on our posture will lead to a lot of problems such as the neck, shoulder, and lower back pain. Getting regular massages, though, can at least help you lower the risk of getting such issues.

7. It helps improve physical performance

The reason why massage therapy is always used in sports is already pretty obvious. Athletes or even just those who like to exercise constantly put tension on their bones and muscles. Having massages can help them get rid of stiffness and other kinds of tension in the muscle. This, in turn, will help them maximize the use of these muscles for a better performance.