Cancer Treatments Options

cancerThis section provides a general overview of cancer treatment types, both traditional and alternative, as well as some possible side effects for these treatments, those these side effects listed will be more generalized, as opposed to focusing specifically on any particular treatment type.

Time is of the essence with cancer diagnosis and treatment: the earlier the better is the general rule. Certain kinds if cancer are more amenable to detection via routine screens, increasing their prognosis. Continue reading

What Causes Cancer?

cancercauseOrigins of Cancer

Cells are the individual unit level for life and it is here that cancers begin. In order to understand cancer, we need to understand it at the cellular level. Cancer essential makes these cells “abnormal”.

Our body development follows a general pattern at the cellular level. Cells grow and divide (assuming they are healthy), they ingest nutrients and expel waste as part of that, they eventually grow old/damaged, and are replaced with new cells. Continue reading

Smoothies to Super Charge your Nutrition after Therapy

Many people included smoothies as part of their morning routine, because they are fast too make and can be loaded with protein. One of the advantages of a smoothie is that you can put whatever ingredients you want it in and you can load it with needed vitamins and nutrients to include green smoothies. Plus blenders are super easy to clean after you make your smoothie. This is one of the reasons that many doctors recommend that cancer patients incorporate a daily smoothie into their morning routine.

One of the reasons that smoothies are recommended for cancer patients is because they are a good way to increase your daily calorie intake. Smoothies can also be a good source of iron and protein and can be a good way to get balance in your diet, which can sometimes be difficult if you are recovering from cancer treatments.

Many patients find that they do not have much of an appetite, due to their treatments, and this is one way where smoothies can be really helpful. It is often easier to drink a smoothie than to try and eat a full meal and you can make sure that your smoothies includes the vitamins and nutrients that you need to stay healthy. You can add different ingredients to your smoothie recipe, depending on your needs and your taste.

For example adding spinach to your smoothie is good if you need an added source of iron. A lot of people like to add kale, because it is rich in calcium and beta carotene. You can also benefit from a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as pineapple, strawberries and oranges. Many people also had protein powder to their smoothies to give them an extra kick and to help make them a viable meal supplement. This method allows you to get a balanced meal and many needed nutrients, but in a form that is easy to digest.

If you are looking to add a smoothie to your daily regiment, there are a few things you should consider. First you want to invest in a good blender as a lot of smoothie recipes require ice and you want to make sure that you have a blender that is up to the task. The last thing you want to do it is burn out the motor of your blender, so you want to make sure that you choose a good one. This could mean spending a little bit more, but the superior quality is worth it.

For a lot of people, the Vitamix blender is the way to go. It has a reputation for being durable and of top quality. The Vitamix is often pitted in a versus match between other highend blender due to its high quality. The Vitamix isn’t the only top blender on the market, but it is a good option if you are looking for a high end blender.

Once you have equipped yourself with a good blender, you will be ready to start experimenting with different smoothie recipes. You can create your own recipes, using your favourite ingredients. Or you can start with a few tried and true recipes, until you have a good idea of what makes for a good, balanced smoothie. Below are a few recipes to get you started:

  • Orange-Pineapple Smoothie
    1 orange
    1 cup chopped pineapple
    1 cup spinach
    1-2 cups green teaFill the blender with ice and then add your ingredients. Add desired amount of the liquid to get the consistency that you want. For an added boost, you can add a tbsp. of protein powder of your choice.
  • Banana-Berry Smoothie
    1 ripe banana (for smoothies, bananas should be as ripe as possible)
    2 cups frozen strawberries or raspberries or mixed berries (your choice)
    1 cup almond milk
    1 cup chopped spinachPut the frozen fruit into the blender and then add the rest of the ingredients and blend. You can add more liquid if desired. You can also add a tbsp. of protein powder if you choose.
  • Peach-Kale Smoothie
    1 cup milk or milk substitute (such as almond or soy)
    1 cup peaches (fresh or canned)
    1 cup chopped kale
    1 ripe bananaFill the blender with ice and then add the rest of your ingredients, adjusting the amount of liquid as you desire. If you want you can also choose to add a tbsp. of your favourite protein powder. If you want, you can adjust the recipe to use frozen peaches, in which case omit the ice and add two cups of fruit instead of what and adjust the liquid accordingly.

 

Switching Careers after Cancer

Cancer is a life threatening disease and engulfs millions of lives around the world every year. Being a cancer patient is not an easy task and the patient is scared of death all the time. But beating cancer and coming back to life is also not easy as many cancer survivors have experienced it the hard way. No one likes to think of his life in terms of before cancer and after cancer, but it is a fact that life does not remain the same for a cancer survivor. There are major upheavals in the life of the individual that range from personal relationships, family, and careers. Most cancer survivors change their jobs and many even switch their careers.

Life is not the same for cancer survivors
For most of the cancer survivors, overcoming the deadly disease and recuperating are just the initial steps as they face a major dilemma of getting back to work. There have been significant advances in the treatment of various types of cancers and people are living much longer after having been afflicted with cancer. However, treatment of cancer is not like a magic wand to chase the cancer away. Surviving cancer only means that patients are now living much longer with the disease. Most of cancer patients continue to suffer from physical and emotional distress even after they are told that they have been cured of the disease. If you get thumbs up or an all clear report from the hospital, it does not mean that you have been completely cured and that cancer will not come back again. Most of the cancer patients remain haunted by the recurrence of cancer and they are not the same as they were before.

The thought of cancer coming back is terrifying
What does all this mean for a cancer survivor? This means that they are not only constantly facing all the physical and emotional problems but also continue to suffer financially because of all the expenses involved with drugs and therapies that they have to take for the rest of their lives. Their loved ones are baffled and confused as to why the individual is not bouncing back to life. They cannot even imagine what the cancer survivor is going through at a physical and emotional level as they continue to suffer silently. This is the reason why life after cancer is very difficult and lonely. However, there are many options in front of you to infuse energy and hope in your life.

  • Indulge in social networking
  • Restart on your hobbies
  • Keep in touch with your colleagues and employers
  • Look for avenues depending upon your health condition
  • Ask for help from employer when returning to the same workplace
  • Find a new part time job that is less demanding but pays well

A few hours of work can be a healthy change of atmosphere
But you have to move forward and also think of the financial loss by not working.
Thankfully, cancer patients are as productive after cancer as they are before they are diagnosed with this disease. Thus they can get back to work on their jobs after they have been cured of cancer. However, many cancer patients face discrimination at work as employers are not sure of their ability to work at the same efficiency levels as before. This can be very hurting for the cancer survivor and in fact, unfair treatment at work forces many cancer survivors to look for a new job. There have been many cases where cancer survivors abandon their entire professions and switch to a new career.

Keep in touch with colleagues and employer
It is better to talk to a consultant much before you are finally cured of your cancer. It is of no use looking for a parachute after you have jumped out of the aircraft. Talk to a career coach and find out the best course of action for you once you have been treated and declared fit to return to work. Keep in touch with your past colleagues and employer to be helped in a positive manner once you are ready to get back at work. In many cases, survivors are not fit enough for a typical 9 to 5 job. This is when they must consider part time jobs to be able to cope. Many figure there is no need to exhaust themselves in the same job that they have already put in long hours. Take the advice of your doctor and look at different career information to find one that is less demanding but pays enough to be comfortable.

Surviving Cancer and Living Life to the Fullest

Sometimes, life can throw unexpected twists that will either make you or break you. Cancer is one of those twists. Surviving it is just one part of the victory. Even after treatment, the fight continues for cancer survivors. Knowing that the disease can recur is a worry that never goes away. Life after treatment is just as scary as when you were diagnosed and during treatment.

With treatment completed, life slows down somehow. There are no chemotherapy sessions to go to and you’ll see less of your cancer care team. Family and friends, at this point, will be more than eager to help bring normalcy back in your life. Even with all the help, feelings of fear especially with respect to recurrence and uncertainty of the future are normal for cancer survivors. Some patients experience bouts of depression, anxiety, grief and stress. Recovering from the ordeal, after all, is not just about your body and physical health but it’s also about your emotional and mental well-being.

To completely conquer the disease and live your best life now, there are steps you need to take. First, you must acknowledge the fear then take time to understand your emotions. Let your family and friends help. Ease your worries by knowing what you can do to reduce chances of recurrence. Emotionally, researchers suggest that getting a dog might help.

For the last 25 years, studies upon studies have discovered that having a dog as pet has a plethora of health benefits. The most compelling evidences so far zero in on increasing longevity for heart attack patients. Research has also revealed that dogs or animals in general actually make kids with cancer feel better thus it makes sense to presume that caring for a dog will also make you feel better after treatment.

As proven time and again, dogs are a great source of emotional support and comfort. From the act of getting a dog to buying puppy food for growing dogs, training and tending your new pet, the routine creates a sense of normalcy and purpose that allows you to live life the way it used to be or even better. Instead of simply watching life pass you by, you get in the game by doing everything you can to make the most of what’s been given to you.

In Canada, the survival rate for cancer patients is 63% based on the 2006 to 2008 estimates. That’s a fairly significant improvement from 56% based on the 1992 to 1994 data. Either way, there are thousands of Canadians diagnosed with cancer who lose the battle every year. Because you are one of the survivors, consider yourself blessed with a chance to live your life to the fullest.

From taking caring of your body to going to follow-up appointments and keeping yourself busy with mundane routines such as buying healthy puppy food or walking your dog, the power to enjoy a full and rich life is in your hands. It’s a matter of focusing your energies to the right avenues and always keeping a positive attitude towards life. No matter what life throws at you again, you can choose to enjoy life nonetheless.

Post Treatment Habits That Can Help Your Health

If you’re finishing up Cancer treatment, you’ll know that it takes a huge toll on your health. For this reason it’s recommended that patients start to build healthier habits that can help them not only feel better after extensive chemotherapy, but can also help speed up recovery times and aid in healing. It’s also been shown that creating healthier habits can help put people in a positive state of mind: doing good things for your body is something that will put anyone in a great mood. Not only will you physically feel much better, but you’ll also feel mentally less stressed and more positive.

One of the best things that you can start to do is to track your eating habits, and incorporate more raw and natural foods. Sometimes it can be expensive to do this, so we recommend only starting out with what you can afford. However, even a little bit helps! Adding servings of Kale and other fresh, leafy greens can be shown to not only boost energy levels, but it does great things for your digestive system because of the added fiber. Add in some almonds for protein and reap the benefits of the healthy fats. If you can make these foods organic, then definitely do so! However, if you can’t afford the organic variety, the regular variety will do just as well.

Starting a small exercise routine can also help cancer survivors feel better. Check with your doctor first, of course, but start to investigate small ways that you can start to incorporate easy exercise into your daily routine. Even just walking is a great way to get yourself moving, and it’s very low stress on your body. Start with small distances, but do them regularly. Pretty soon you will notice your stamina improving, as well as your overall mood. Exercise—even easy exercise—has been shown to have a dramatic effect on mood. And if you improve your mood (which is often an issue sometimes for people who have had difficult health problems) you can often improve your health. The mind and body connection is very strong, and can dramatically affect your health depending on what your mindset is.

If you’re looking for a great and fun way to track these changes in your life, then you might want to invest in a software program or an app on your phone. These programs can show your overall progress as well as how far you’ve come. It’s been shown that just tracking results can help someone stay on track with life changes and new habits and goals such as these. If you’re hesitant because you think your computer won’t be able to run the software, don’t worry. You can easily tune up your PC so you can run software programs such as these. Check out this tech blog for some ideas. It’s a very easy process and you won’t need to take your PC in to a tech support man. I’ve known a lot of people, especially older folks, who aren’t tech savvy avoiding using the computer because it’s become slow or unresponsive, and difficult to use. Don’t fall into that trap – it’s easy to get started.

Getting Back Into Cardio

One of the hardest things to do after going through a battle with cancer is getting your body back to it’s former physical glory. Going through chemo, radiation, or surgery all take extreme tolls on your body’s ability to maintain energy levels and it’s immune system. However, making it through should be the only reason you need to make yourself into the best version of you possible, which starts with your body.

Countless studies have shown the positive effect cardiovascular exercise can have on all aspects of your life. When you exercise, your body is doing what it was built to do, and it rewards you for it by releasing endorphins which boost your mood, make you feel good and make you feel confident, as well as a host of other physical benefits. So how can you reintroduce cardio exercise into your routine without pushing yourself beyond your limitations after battling cancer?

Start with the basics! Walking, swimming and rebounding.

Walking:

Walking is the most basic, yet also the most essential form of cardiovascular exercise there is. Walking is what the body was designed to do day in and day out for your entire life. It is meant to be our primary mode of transportation to help us accomplish the tasks that life asks of us.

Walking is also low impact (especially when great walking shoes have been purchased), doesn’t require vast amounts of energy, can be performed practically anywhere, and is easy on the body. Introducing a regular walking routine, especially with a friend or family member, is a great way to get your heart beating again. It doesn’t take much to start strengthening your heart again and building endurance so you can start moving on to more vigorous forms of exercise.

Swimming:

Swimming is another great, low impact form of cardio that also helps engage almost all the muscles in your body. Now, I am not recommending that you “jump into the deep end” and start with 40 laps, however, even just being in water requires the engagement of many muscles and will slowly get your heart pumping.

When getting started with swimming, stay in an area where you can still touch the bottom with relative ease, so you don’t overdo it. When you feel comfortable with the level of effort being expended, try floating on your back, and work your way up to laps with a basic stroke.

Rebounding:

Remember the 80s when miniature exercise trampolines were all the rage? Well, they kind of still are! Rebounding is the act of jumping on a trampoline for exercise. It is another great form of low impact, variable intensity, cardiovascular exercise, and the best part about it is you can rebound from the comfort of your own living room.

Rebounding is great because most rebounding trampolines can fold up and be stored in a closet, so it doesn’t take up much space. This exercise can be performed while you are watching TV, or by yourself, with a friend, with an instructional DVD, or even in a rebounding class at your local fitness centre.

As you gain strength and cardio endurance, try pushing yourself harder with your rebounder. Get creative and add in some assisted pushups, or core balancing exercises as well and you will start to strengthen and tone your entire body.

Overcoming cancer is no small feat, and it’s important to acknowledge the success in being a survivor. It’s also important to take every day you have as a blessing and that starts by treating your body right. Forming and maintaining a regular cardio routine is the best way to start to take your life back and become the strongest you possible.

Adding any of these forms of exercise to your day will soon have your cardio and lymphatic systems working optimally, keeping your body protected from future harm.

Everything starts with the first step. So get moving!

Dietary Freedom After Cancer – How Adventurous Are You?

What happens to your relationship with food after you beat cancer? If you are like many people who have battled with this disease, you made at least minor dietary changes to improve your chances of beating cancer. Perhaps you couldn’t eat certain foods because they made you sick, or maybe you had a medical professional or two advising you to use your diet as one more weapon to win the war with cancer.

Once your body is cancer-free, you may treat yourself to an extravagant meal at the fanciest restaurant in town or a few of your grandmother’s cupcakes. While you deserve those treats, how adventurous should you be with food once you have won the battle with cancer? This is something to think about because scientists have proven clear connections between certain foods and cancer.

According to a compilation of research completed by Cancer Research UK, scientific studies have proven that following foods are linked to some specific forms of cancer:

  • Salt
  • Red meat
  • Processed meats
  • Saturated fat

Research has also shown that fiber, fish and fresh produce offer protection against cancer. This is valuable information for anyone interested in living a long, cancer-free life, but it is even more valuable for those who have already won a battle with cancer. You may never know exactly what caused your cancer in the past, but you can pay attention to this research in order to help your body fight off future attacks of cancer.

Dietary Restrictions are Essential to Life

You feel free once your body is cleared of cancer. It is natural to feel enlivened and invigorated because you have faced the potential of death and came out victorious. You spend nights worrying about losing your life, and now that life is the most precious thing to you. While you are celebrating and making plans for the future, you have to think about what you put in your mouth and how it will affect your body in the years to come.

You can still enjoy your dietary freedom by trying new foods and giving yourself the occasional treat, but you should never go back to a daily diet that is rich in salty processed foods, meats and artificial ingredients. Keeping your diet clean and simple and loading up on fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is the best way to protect your body not only from cancer but heart disease, diabetes and many other medical conditions that could once again threaten your precious life.

Clean Eating Made Simple

If you are now enjoying an action-packed lifestyle and you don’t want to hang around the kitchen cooking healthy meals, there are some corners you can cut to eat clean. One option is to pick up a protein powder and combine it with fresh fruits and other healthy ingredients to create a nutritious meal replacement shake. According to health industry professionals, there are different types of protein powder, and they all have their benefits for your body. While whey protein powder delivers a fast rush of protein to your muscles after an intense workout, casein delivers a slow trickle of protein over time.

You should select protein powders made from natural ingredients and pay attention to the type of protein inside the formula. There is some scientific research that casein protein powder can help fight against cancer tumors. Combine your protein supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables and you have an even more powerful weapon against life-threatening disease.

Another way to reduce the amount of time you spend cooking healthy meals is to consume simple vegetarian or vegan meals when you are in a rush. You can throw together a salad or combine a variety of fruits for a sweet treat without spending much time in the kitchen. You can even make salads in glass canning jars and store them up to a week. Remember, fruits and vegetables are proven to help your body fight off cancer.

Adventure is a natural part of life for many cancer survivors, but you can’t get too adventurous with your dietary choices. Live it up and never waste a moment of your life, but fuel your body to limit your chances of suffering disease in the future.

The Effects of Running on Cancer Survivors

The most important objective of a cancer survivor is to keep the cancer from coming back, and prolong the life of the person. We know about the positive effects that exercising has on the health of people, but there are many who were living a very healthy and active life, but passed away much too early due to cancer. As a result many have questioned weather running has a positive effect on keeping cancer away.

The evidence is there that running in fact reduces the chances of developing cancer, or reforming in surviving patients. The most obvious explanation is that being overweight is one of the most common reasons behind the resurfacing of cancer. Exercising keeps you lean, thus reducing the risks.

In fact in 2002 researchers quantified the positive effects that running has in keeping cancer away. Exercising on a consistent basis led to a 40-70% reduction in the chances of developing colonal cancer. Chances of developing breast cancer went down by up to 70% in some of the conducted studies. The effects were less severe as far as prostate cancer is concerned, but the chances were still reduced by up to 30%. The risk of developing endometrial cancer was reduced by 30% in some studies, 40% in others, while running had the exact same effect as far as lung cancer is concerned. We can conclude that exercising in fact reduces the risk of developing cancer substantially, so it is advisable to put on your footwear for working out at least three times a week, and spend an hour on the track. Websites like Jog of Your Life offer advice and gear reviews for runners.

Kerry Courneya conducted a study that explained in scientific terms why exercising helps prevent the returning of cancer. Patients that had a regular exercise routine didn’t produce more killer cells, but they produced killer cells that were more potent. The immune system of these patients were better equipped to keeping cancer at bay.

Another important effect of exercising for cancer patients is the increased vitality they feel. Some studies have concluded that patients who exercise regularly spend up to nineteen more happy hours per week than those who do not exercise. The more vitality you have, the more energy you have, the more optimistic you will be about the future.

Further studies were conducted in 2005 by Steve Blair, the leader of the Cooper Institute, that showed that excessive exercising does not result in an increased chance of developing cancer. People who ran more than thirty miles a week had a significantly lower rates of cancer than those who exercised only modest amounts.

All in all the more you can exercise, the better. It helps keep cancer away, and it adds to your vitality, which helps you develop a positive outlook on life.

How to Live a Richer Fuller Life as a Cancer Survivor


Congratulations for making it through cancer! Surviving cancer and lasting out treatment are great deeds. Nearly everyone, if not everyone, who survived cancer discover a new priority in life – keeping cancer from coming back.

You really cannot change the fact that you’ve had cancer, but you can actually change how you live the rest of your life.

Now that you have made it through the stormy road of cancer diagnosis and   chemotherapy, you are most likely pondering on what to do to live a richer, fuller life. Below are tips to help you stay healthy as well as live a richer, fuller life even as a cancer survivor.

1. Control your emotional health

As soon as your treatment is over, you might find yourself bursting with emotions. You’ve probably gone through a lot since your diagnosis that you could not focus on more than riding out your treatment. But now you discover that you think mostly about your own death or the impact of the cancer on you and your loved ones.

Now is the time you need people for support and strength. You can get support from friends, family, cancer support groups offline or online or grief counselors. Don’t coil up in your shell and suffer it alone. You are not the only one it happens to.

2. Fatigue and Exercise

Fatigue is extreme tiredness, which is very common with cancer patients. Being active when you feel tired always is really hard but being active helps fight the fatigue. You need to exercise to keep yourself active.

After your treatment you probably have lost some form of fitness, muscle strength and endurance, especially if you were sick or bedridden during your treatment. Exercising will help you regain all that you’ve lost in terms of fitness as well as fight fatigue. Although you have to start small and make it fit your needs, particularly if you were not the active type prior to the cancer.

3. Make healthy choices

How was your life prior to cancer? What thing did you do that weren’t so healthy? Perhaps you smoked, drank excessively, ate too much or shunned exercise.

It’s time you stopped feeling guilty or blaming yourself. It is not too late to begin making changes today that will make valuable impact on your life. Doing this will even make you feel healthier and better as well.

4. Avoid getting overweight

Recent studies in various cancers suggests that being overweight after treatment can bring about shorter survival time and lead to higher risk of cancer reappearance. Although some people gain weight after treatment even without eating more. Exercises and appropriate eating habits as well as eating more of vegetables, fiber, fruits, low-fat and sugar foods help keep you in good shape.

5. Building a garden shed

You may need some outdoor activities or a fun little building like a garden shed to help with your life. You could build this garden shed if you can or have it built for you. It can be used as an art studio for your visual arts, pottery barn for some cute furniture, or ‘man cave’ type of dwelling. Whatever makes you more active and happy!

Pizza Decreases Cancer Risk

Pizza is often thought of as being the ultimate junk food choice, but you may be surprised at the potential health benefits in pizza. A recent study asked thousands of participants about their dietary habits, with several questions pertaining to pizza intake. In this Italian study, people who ate a slice or more of pizza per week had a decreased risk of GI cancer.

What exactly makes pizza an anti-cancer food? Well, keep in mind that pizza isn’t a cure, but when it’s made well, pizza can be a great source of nutrients. If you avoid meat-laden pizzas or deep-dish choices and stick to the more authentic Italian version of the dish baked on a pizza stone, you’ll be getting a wide variety of nutrients. Authentic Italian pizzas feature a thin whole grain crust which delivers essential B-vitamins and heart-healthy fiber. Mozzarella cheese provides protein and dairy and the unprocessed tomato sauce is a great source of lycopene, a natural chemical in tomatoes that helps protect against cancer. You’ll also be getting a drizzle of olive oil, a source of monounsaturated fat which can be protective against certain diseases in moderation.

You may be surprised at the findings of this study, but the traditional Mediterranean diet has been shown to be protective against certain types of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. This diet emphasizes whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and monounsaturated fats. Foods are processed minimally with an emphasis on eating whole, real foods on a regular basis. When you follow the traditional Mediterranean diet, you can benefit in numerous ways.

However, keep in mind that pizza isn’t a cure-all. If you’re used to getting pizza from your local chain restaurant, then you’re probably doing your diet more harm than good and not gaining any of the cancer-protection benefits of pizza. Most chain restaurants use additives, sugar, white, thick dough, and tend to be extremely high in fat and saturated fat as well as low in nutrients. If available, look for authentic Italian eateries that make their own thin-crust pizza and insist on using whole ingredients to craft their pizza. You may be surprised at how much different this pizza tastes.

You can even branch out and make your own pizza. Use authentic tools like pizza peels and stones to produce the best results. Make your own sauce and dough or buy them with as minimal processing as possible. If you want to get really creative, add your own toppings including fresh or sauteed vegetables. You can increase the cancer-fighting ability of your pizza by adding more vegetables and getting a higher dosage of nutrients in your meals. Remember to finish off your pizza with a small drizzle of olive oil!

While this study doesn’t turn pizza into a superfood, it has shown that authentic pizza contains ingredients which may fight cancer. If you love pizza and are concerned about your health, you may want to become a regular pizza eater and add this authentic dish into your list of favorite foods.

Simple Ways To Reduce Joint Discomfort

jointThe connections between your bones are called joints. Damage to joints due to injury or disease can obstruct movement and cause much pain. Anyone can experience joint pain but as you get older it becomes more common.

Some of the conditions that cause joint pain are sprains, bursitis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other strains or injuries. Injuries to ligaments, tendons or bursae around the joint can also bring on discomfort.

How You Contribute To Joint Pain

Even though you are not aware of it, you sometimes contribute to your joint pain.

For example the shoes you select can affect your feet, ankles and knees. Many people choose to wear flip flops or sandals in the summer. Flip flops and some sandals do not have arch support and they are not meant for walking in for long periods of time.

Women want to be fashionable but can do major damage to their joints if they continually wear shoes without proper support. If you plan to do a lot of walking it is best to wear sneakers or a good walking shoe.

These days video games and cell phones are popular. These two items put much wear and tear on the hands, especially the thumbs. Texting and maneuvering game controls often leads to sore thumbs. Many of the new game systems on the market are interactive and just like playing a sport outdoors, you can sustain an injury playing an interactive sports game.

How do you sit or lie down? When you are driving, is your seat reclined or upright? Carrying items like cases or bookbags on your shoulder or back can lead to shoulder and back pain. Most people don’t stop to think when they lift something heavy. Do not just bend down and pick it up.

Reducing Joint Discomfort

Here are some of the things you should be mindful of to reduce joint discomfort:

1. When playing video games, take frequent breaks. It’s not a good habit to play all day. You should warm up and stretch the same as you would before a game when playing an interactive video game.

2. When you are sitting at work, make sure that your chair is adjusted so that your feet are flat on the floor. Do not bend your wrists sharply up or down to type. Try to use a split or raised keyboard which will elevate your wrists.

3. Find alternate ways to tote school book or work items. Use rolling suitcases or bookbags.

4. When picking up heavy objects, bend your knees and hips into a squatting position first, keeping your back upright. Then lift the item using your leg muscles by straightening up your hips and knees.

5. While driving, your seat should be in an upright position supporting your head and lower back. The steering wheel should be easy to reach and your arms should be relaxed.

6. Before doing any type of exercise you should warm up and stretch.

7. If you are relaxing and watching television, be careful how your neck is turned. It is a good idea to sit up while watching television. The way you sleep can cause soreness in the morning. Sleeping on your back or side can prevent strain on the neck.

8. If you spend most days at a desk or on a computer, be sure the workstation is ergonomically correct. Your computer monitor should be at least 20 to 40 inches from your face, not up too high or low, but right in front of you.

Managing Pain

1. Try using ice on the affected area for about 15-20 minutes. Be sure to put a towel or cloth between the ice pack and your skin. Do not use ice on an area where there are open sores or cuts. If you have problems with circulation do not use ice. You can also try using heat a few days after you have experienced an injury.

2. Use a topical rub that contains capsaicin which comes from red hot peppers. Put this on after the ice pack but wait until your skin has returned to its normal temperature.

3. A physical therapist can give you suggestions on exercises to strengthen muscles and how to warm up and cool down.

4. Try wearing a brace in areas like knees, or hands while doing certain activities.

5. The first inclination when you are in pain is to restrict movement, but move as much as possible to help the joints from becoming stiff.

6. Massage therapy is a good option for joint pain. Trigger point massages help with things like bursitis, carpel tunnel, tennis elbow and back pain. A skilled massage therapist can locate and treat these problem areas or alternatively low cost electronic massagers like this one can be used in the comfort of your own home.

7. Ibupofren or aspirin can provide relief for moderate to severe joint pain, especially when the joints are inflamed. Your doctor may also prescribe muscle relaxants.

It is always good to try and prevent these conditions, but joint pain is very common whether as a result of an injury, or as part of the aging process. Try incorporating some of these tips and talk to your doctor about other options for managing joint pain.