Keeping Fit When You Have Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can have a devastating effect on every aspect of your life. It’s not just the pain itself, which in some cases can be almost unendurable, but there’s the fatigue, headaches, a general feeling of being unwell, and very often depression and feelings of despair. It feels as if all the joy has been sucked out of you, and you exist from day to day rather than living your life as you would wish. Added to the physical and mental symptoms of chronic pain, you may also suffer from side effects due to medication such as strong painkillers, anti-depressants, and muscle relaxants. Very often, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising, but it can be one of the best ways to help with the self-care of chronic pain.

What is chronic pain?

The causes may be varied, but the common characteristic that defines chronic pain is that it is no longer (and in some cases never has been) serving a useful function, or that the feeling of being in pain outlasts the damage that caused it in the first place. Pain serves an essential role in the body because it alerts you to illness and injury, making you take action to prevent further harm to yourself. If you break a bone, it will be agonizing to start with; then as healing begins, the pain will reduce to a more manageable level. Once the bone is healed, the pain should disappear. In some people, for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear, the pain signals continue to transmit to the brain despite the fact they are not performing a useful function anymore.

What causes chronic pain?

It can arise from a variety of conditions, sometimes following injuries, especially those involving nerve damage, or illnesses that are acutely painful. Neuropathic pain develops when nerve endings grow pain receptors instead of ordinary sensors, resulting in hypersensitivity and the perception that stimulus that would normally not cause pain, such as a light touch, is intensely uncomfortable. In conditions such as fibromyalgia, the entire body can be hypersensitive, and the feeling of pain is constantly present to varying degrees. The root cause can’t be isolated to any one factor, or at least research has yet to find any common denominator for chronic pain. Theories that show promise include the role of inflammation, a natural response that helps heal damaged tissue, but that can persist after the repair has been affected. Research is ongoing, but for now, there is no simple cure for chronic pain.

Painkilling drugs

When you first visit your doctor with chronic pain, they may well send you for tests and scans to see if there is any identifiable cause for the pain. If nothing can be found, but the pain persists, then one of the first steps is often the prescription of painkillers. Strong opioids that have similar effects to morphine used to be prescribed quite regularly, but in recent years, it’s been shown that the risk of addiction and abuse of these drugs is very high. It’s now becoming much harder to get a prescription for opioids, but in some respects, this has advanced the efforts to find alternative treatments rather than just disguising the pain without addressing the underlying cause.

The importance of moving and exercising

When you are struggling with chronic pain and its related symptoms, it can be very hard to motivate yourself to take actions that could help. If your back pain is making you miserable, then the idea of attempting yoga poses seems ludicrous and probably impossible without making the pain much worse. It seems counter-intuitive to make your body work when the pain is usually a signal that you should rest, but with chronic pain, the opposite is true. The pain is real, and just as unpleasant as if you were in an acute state of illness or injury, but those signals being sent to your brain are meaningless. You won’t suffer any harm or damage yourself further in any way by moving as freely and normally as possible. In fact, if you remain in a protective posture, or avoid movement and activity, your pain will worsen as other muscles start to feel the strain. Learning to relax your muscles and maintain as normal and correct a posture and gait as you can are the first steps in learning how to live with chronic pain.

Potential treatments for chronic pain

As research gathers data and evidence is found, a better understanding of how chronic pain manifests itself is developing. This has, in turn, led to far more options for treating pain, rather than depending on painkillers, physiotherapy, and rest. Some of the treatments that have shown good results include:

  • Prolotherapy: this involves injecting painful ligaments and tendons with natural compounds such as Xylocaine and Sodium Morrhuate, which increase the production of prostaglandin in the affected tissue. As prostaglandin is a healing substance produced in the body, it works to rebuild tissues much as a scab would cover a skin wound.
  • PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma): platelets and white blood cells are used by the body to start the healing process following tissue damage. A PRP device extracts these healing substances from the patient’s blood and concentrates them into an injectable form. This is then directed into the painful areas, stimulating the release of tissue growth factors that accelerate and enhance healing.
  • Spinal cord stimulator: a device that is implanted into the patient, where it interacts directly with the nervous system. The stimulator sends electrical pulses along the spinal column and works by interfering with the transmission of pain signals and how your brain receives them. Practitioners have had good results, particularly with chronic back pain.
  • Stem cell transplant therapy: Stem cells have been hailed as something of a miracle, as they have the ability to transform into any specific cells the body requires. It means they have the potential to regrow body parts that have been damaged or are diseased, although this application is still being studied. For chronic pain treatment, stem cells can be extracted from the patient’s own bone marrow or fatty tissues and concentrated in a centrifuge before being injected into the painful area. This stimulates repair and new tissue growth, and thus reduces pain.

Risks and side effects

Like any other medical procedure or treatment, there is a degree of risk involved with undertaking these therapies. However, they have been shown to be very safe when carried out by experienced therapists who are qualified in carrying out the procedure. Occasionally there may be side effects to treatments, so you should always make sure you’re fully informed and discuss any possible problems such as spinal cord stimulator side effects with your doctor.

Dealing with depression and low mood

Coping with the pain is only half the battle; suffering from depression can be just as hard, if not harder, than dealing with the physical pain. Trying to find the motivation and energy to exercise or undertake any physical activity can often seem impossible when you are low, but again, the act of taking exercise will help with your mental wellbeing in the long run. If you are finding it difficult to cope because of your mood, see if you can get some help from a therapist, and talk to your doctor to find out if anti-depressant medication would be helpful for you.

What kinds of exercise can you do?

You may not feel like a vigorous bout of cross training when you are in the grip of chronic pain, but there are plenty of other ways to keep yourself supple and fit. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are all excellent ways to stretch your muscles and loosen joints, while at the same time relaxing and de-stressing. Don’t be put off by thinking you have to contort yourself into bizarre positions like an expert; there are plenty of easy poses, and they can all be adapted to take account of any particular difficulties you may have. Running and other high impact activities may well be too uncomfortable, the concussion alone would make a person living with fibromyalgia weep, but you may find an exercise bike or treadmill that you can set to a gentle pace will keep you toned without overdoing it. Toning tables are another great way to stretch and exercise your body without putting undue strain on it. Perhaps the favorite activity for many chronic pain sufferers is swimming. Just being in the water can relieve the worst of your pain, and swimming is one of the best all-round forms of exercise for anyone.

Chronic pain is not something that can be shrugged off, and there’s no easy way to treat it as yet. If you are unfortunate enough to be living with some form of chronic pain, remember that exercising is one of the primary ways of helping your body to stay strong and cope with your condition, so be good to yourself and find the activity that gets you moving and helps you beat the pain.

From Laboratory to Medicine Cabinet: The Process of Developing Drugs

On any given day, almost everyone deals with medication. It may be a few aspirin for a headache or an antibiotic for a sick child, or countless other products. Whatever the product and whatever the purpose, it has its roots in laboratory and a resulting FDA approval process.

We all know that's how new drugs come about, but what is that process really like? Generally speaking, drugs go through a process of five steps to reach your local pharmacy.

  1. Development

This is the obvious step, where a particular compound is created in order to address a particular health issue. It seems fairly straightforward, but there can be a lot of logistical issues involved due to the long time it takes to get the chemistry of the product to exactly the right composition. The process must be carefully managed during transitions in personnel, situations that have the laboratory moving to a new location, and changes in funding.

  1. Preclinical Testing

Next is the process of verifying that the product does indeed achieve what the researchers are hoping it will achieve. This also involves testing for potential side effects and adverse reactions. It can also encompass testing the products chemically in test tubes as well as in test animals, such as laboratory mice. There must be satisfactory results in terms of both efficacy and safety before the process can proceed to the next step.

  1. Clinical Testing

That next step is actual use in humans. This process takes place over a period of years, and it works its way up from very small groups to much larger populations of test subjects. This allows the researchers to minimize the number of people exposed to the risks associated with a drug that is still largely unproven. As it is proven safer through each step, the number of subjects is increased to see if the health results can be replicated.

  1. FDA Review

At this point, the researcher submits all pertinent applications and data results to the FDA for review. The agency examines these documents and verifies that appropriate standards have been met. There may be a request made for additional data or for clarification of the information provided, but over a period of months, the drug completes the process and is ready to be placed on the market and prescribed by health care providers.

  1. Ongoing FDA Monitoring

Occasionally a drug successfully navigates the first four steps, only to be determined later to have dangerous side effects, undetected allergic properties, or just inadequate performance. The FDA continuously monitors medications, particularly immediately after their release, to ensure that any such unintended outcomes are quickly addressed by the manufacturer, either with recalls, the provision of additional information to patients, or perhaps even through a complete removal from the market.

When we have a medical condition and can quickly address it by simply taking a few pills each day, we can underestimate just how hard it was to get that product to us. This is the reason for the frequent public discontent when a new condition such as HIV emerges and is not immediately addressed with a new pharmaceutical.

While it can be a frustrating process, particularly for those who desperately need treatment, the fact is that the process is extremely important and must be slow and deliberate. Each step contains many layers of review and verification so that when a product finally hits the shelves, patients can have a high level of confidence that it will perform as advertised with minimal risk of detrimental side effects or reactions.

Types of Assistive Devices to Consider for Walking

Assistive devices help you get the support that your body fails to provide for some reason. It gives you back your lost independence and makes you feel free again. People who have a walking disability due to an injury or other medical reasons can have a fall. The device provides plenty of benefits to users like reducing pain and building self-esteem. Check out the different types of assistive devices to pick your choice

Best of assistive devices

To aid your mobility you can choose any of the following devices:

  1. Canes

Canes help people who can face risks of falling. These are similar to traditional crutches which are the most common sells among assistive devices. Canes support your body weight and transmit the load from your leg to the upper body. It takes less weight off lower body than the crutches and put pressure on the hands. The assistive device for walking helps people who cannot balance their body. 1 out of 10 elderly people in the US uses canes. Types of canes:

  • White canes: these are specifically for people who cannot see properly. These are long, thin and help them detect objects on their way. It also helps other people on the road understand that the user is visually impaired or blind.
  • Quad canes: these come with four feet and provide a wide base and great stability
  • Forearm canes: offer more support and allows your body weight to distribute from the arm to the wrist.

The advanced canes are adjustable and foldable. People also buy these for non-medical purposes like hiking. These are one of the ideal forms of assistive device that give you optimum support.

  1. Crutches

Crutches help you transfer body weight from your legs to your upper body. These come in singles and pairs. It helps you stay upright and works best for short-term injuries. There are different types of crutches. If someone has to use crutches forever, they must make the best buy from the options below:

  • Axillary crutches: these are underarm crutches that stay against the ribcage and under armpits. The user has to hold the hand grip. You can buy this type of a crutch if your injury is for short-term.
  • Lofstrand crutches: these are forearm crutches. You need to place the arm on the metal or plastic cuff while holding the hand grip. People who have long-term or permanent disabilities need these crutches.
  • Platform crutches: these help your hand hold onto a grip and make the forearm rest on the horizontal space. People don’t buy these crutches much but it does work well for patients suffering from cerebral palsy or arthritis.
  1. Walkers

Walkers or Zimmer frames are made of metal framework. These have four legs and provide stability and support to users. These stable aids are common to about 4.6% of the elderly in the US. The basic walkers have 3-sided frames that surround the user. The person has to lift the frame, place it in front of them, step forward to meet it and repeat the process.

There are walkers that come with glides and wheels at the base of their legs. It means the user can slide it without any lifts. It helps people who have little arm strength. Know the basic walkers below:

  • Rollators: it is a common style of walking and consists of a frame with four wheels, a seat, and handlebars. These come with handbrakes to help you move safely.
  • Knee walkers: these are similar to rollators and help you rest your knee on it. It comes with a padded cushion and helps you propel forward with the leg that’s alright. These are usually bought after a knee injury.
  • Walker-cane: these are a hybrid between a walker and a cane. It helps you move both your legs in full frame. You can use it with one or both hands for great support.
  1. Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs help people who cannot put weight on the lower limbs or who cannot walk at all. These help the user travel on their own with the help of a remote or by pushing the wheels with their hands. A wheelchair propelled by neural impulses was introduced in 2016 but will take time to show its credibility. There are also standing wheelchairs that help the user stay in upright position. Some wheelchairs are designed to help the users play sports.

  1. Mobility scooters

These are similar to wheelchairs but have a seat on top and more than two wheels. These can have 3, 4 or 5 wheels and come with steering wheels or handlebars to control direction. Usually, these aids are battery operated. It helps users move without pressuring the upper body.  People who use these must move on the sidewalks. Their accessibility to road varies according to the location.

These were the common types of assistive devices that can bring back to mobility in one’s life. Choose the ultimate pick and help someone gain back their lost freedom.

Protecting Your Health with Visible Displays

When you suffer from certain health conditions, you may always need to be on guard against the unexpected. If you are a diabetic, for example, you must keep your blood sugar stabilized so you do not go into a diabetic coma. Likewise, if you have high blood pressure or heart disease, you must keep your medications on you in case you suffer from chest pains or dizziness.

However, when you are unable to speak for yourself, you need to somehow inform EMTs and others around you about your health conditions. You can notify people of your illnesses by wearing a medical alert button, carrying a medication list, or ordering a personalized medical id bracelets online today.

Customizing Your Bracelet

When you order from the website, you have the convenience of customizing a bracelet that will be just for you. In the past, you had to pick out and wear mass produced bracelets that were sold at your local pharmacy or drug store. The bracelets were unassuming and bore similar information to what other people had on their bracelets as well.

Because your health conditions are unique to you, you also need a bracelet that will reflect your health and no one else's. The website allows you to customize your bracelet to indicate from what illnesses you suffer, to what you are allergic, and what medications you take on a daily basis.

Long-lasting Wear

Unlike the bracelets once sold at drug stores and pharmacies, the bracelets that are sold online are built to last for longer periods of time. They will not tarnish or rust because they are made out of cheap metal. Rather, they are made from durable materials that are designed to last for years without wearing out and needing to be replaced.

Wearing a medical alert bracelet can be a matter of life or death. When you suffer from illnesses like diabetes or heart disease, you need to let others know in case you cannot speak for yourself. You can order a customized medical alert bracelet for yourself on the website today.

An Open System

If you've been given an order to have an MRI performed, there are a few tips that you can keep in mind before you go to the hospital or the imaging center to ease your nerves. An open MRI machine isn't like an enclosed one. There isn't a long tube that you're in, which is beneficial if you are overweight or if you are claustrophobic. If you're already in a hospital as a patient, an open MRI is beneficial if you are connected to any kind of tubing or if you have an IV because you don't have to be disconnected while keeping the equipment right beside you while you're on the table.

There usually isn't anything that you need to do unless your doctor wants to scan certain areas of your body and prescribes a medication that you have to take beforehand or that will be injected before the scan begins. You should let the technician know if you have any metal in your body or if you have a pacemaker. It's also important to let the technician know if you might be pregnant. Leave all valuables at home or with someone else if there is another person with you.

A benefit of an open machine is that almost all patients can easily use the service provided including those who are elderly and those who are handicapped. The table can usually be lowered or raised depending on what is comfortable for you. It's often easier for children with an open machine because there is enough room for a parent or another adult to lie on the table with the child for added comfort. When the scan is completed, the results are usually available within a short time so that your doctor can begin putting together a treatment plan for any injuries or health issues that are detected.

Causes and Prevention of Neck pain

The continuous hustle-bustle in life lets an uncalled for guest (called ‘stress’) to permeate through the recesses in one’s mind. Mind and body work in tandem with each other. Hence, the disturbance that begins to occur in the mind also causes a certain amount of annihilation in the body. This uneasiness can appear as disparate natures of pain, suffering and similar incongruities in the human body.

Neck pain can usually occur due to such a disagreement between mind and body. The primary reasons for the occurrence of the neck pain may be a lack of sleep (or vice-versa) or stress due to work. Several studies have also pointed that prolonged Neck pain can result into an irreversible disability. Scary, huh!

Neck Pain as a Health Issue

Continuous episodes of Neck pain slows down the pace of life. If not addressed at the right time can result in spondylitis, sleep disorders, headaches, depression, indigestion, etc. It has been observed that women are more likely to get Neck pain (almost 50%-75%) than men. There may be a variety of causes catapulting the occurrence of neck pain, such as ergonomics (or incorrect body posture), long hours of working with laptops, mobiles and other electronic devices, so on and so forth.

The Cure for Acute and/or Chronic Neck Pain

As per the recommendations of doctors, therapists, even surgeons the use of the correct pillow (especially cervical pillows) can help cure Neck pain to a great degree. The role of pillows in inducing a state of relaxation through sleep is kosher. The function of a pillow is to support one’s neck in alignment with the cervical spine in a neutral or unprejudiced position.

How to Prevent Neck Pain?

  • Cervical Contour Pillows. Pillows function as a proper support to prevent neck pain. As the name suggests, these pillows are designed to keep the head in alignment with the body in a neutral position. This alignment reduces the release of biochemical sleeping disorders or stresses and thus induces a good sleep for the person in pain.
  • Pillow Height. It has been scientifically proven that when the body is in the sleeping position, the cervical vertebrae (neck bones) should be in line with the thoracic vertebrae (spinal bones). A high pillow may disturb this calibration and thus, result in acute and/or chronic neck pain.
  • Memory Foam Pillow molded and cooling gel-based. These pillows are therapeutic in nature as they help regulate the body temperature of the person suffering from neck pain and incite a relaxed sleeping pattern. These Pillows enables a person to meet his or her daily sleep requirement of an average 7-8 hours.
  • Hypoallergic Memory Foam Pillow. The Memory foam pillow is designed to induce the human to a sound sleep state. It is responsible to keep the air clean and temperature moderate. The Memory Foam Pillow enables the person to attain a comfortable and safe sleeping position and thus helps reduce neck pain to a larger extent. These pillows are made up of Hypoallergic bamboo.
  • Pillows with Latex Foam. The conventional pillows stuffed with latex foam keeps the temperature of the pillow moderate, eliminating any heating issues of the pillow while you are asleep.
  • Water-based Pillows. These pillows also serve the function of creating a favorable environment for the person suffering from severe neck pain. These pillows are quite soft and bendable and provide a proper support to prevent neck pain.
  • Use of Body or Side Pillows to improve sleep posture. As discussed earlier, a wrong adaptation of the sleep posture causes neck pain to a larger extent. During the state of unconsciousness (when you are deep asleep), you may find a comfortable position for yourself, e.g., sleeping on the stomach, or even acquiring a side-lying position. In such cases, using a body or side pillow can completely prevent you from attaining an incorrect posture and thus, helps battle neck pain.
  • Visiting a Chiropractor. Chronic neck pain calls for medical aid. A chiropractor is a qualified professional who helps treat the neck pain (also, back pain, and other muscular pains, respectively) via spinal manipulation. Chiropractors help relieve pain by using treatment techniques to correct the positioning of the musculoskeletal structure (spinal coherence) without the use of any oral medication.

The pillow types which may or may not provide resistance to the cause of neck pain and keeps the neck in line with the spine/body are Feather Pillows (Not recommended), Memory Foam Pillows (Recommended), and the Functional pillow (Recommended) respectively.

It is evident that the body posture, stress determinants, sleeping pattern, and by and large the total sleep duration give enough reasons to identify the cause of uncomfortable neck pain. By following a healthy and stress-free lifestyle can take care of such bodily aches and pains quite efficiently. One should strive towards maintaining a balance between, work, health, and diet to eliminate any causes or symptoms of neck pains.

When Does it Make Sense to Go Private for Health-care

When it comes to private medical insurance, there are several benefits which you can take advantage of. Private cover gives you access to more medical resources which are of a better quality, you spend less time waiting in hospitals and clinics, and you have access to specialist treatments.

With a large number of private medical cover and medical insurance indemnity providers out there such as incisionindemnity.com, figuring out whether you need premium cover and choosing a provider can be difficult. Although there are many positives, there are also many downsides which you need to think about.

#1: Is the NHS Enough for You?

UK residents have access to the NHS, which is completely free at the point of use, so do you really need to shell out for private medical insurance? Although there are benefits of going private, these come at a high cost, and prices are always on the rise. With premiums increasing by around three to five percent each year, you need to seriously consider whether the NHS alone is enough for your needs.

This is easier said than done, that’s for sure. To make the decision that little bit easier, it is wise to weigh up the various pros and cons of going private and then come to a balanced conclusion.

#2: The Pros of Going Private

There are several pros of going private and this is exactly why it is seen as a premium healthcare solution. Going down the private cover route gives you on-demand access to your own private healthcare solutions as opposed to relying on the NHS which, unfortunately, can sometimes mean waiting for extended periods of time before you are seen or treated. Some of the pros include:

  • Access to a vast range of new resources;
  • Private hospitals tend to offer more treatments than the NHS;
  • More choice and privacy, such as private rooms in hospitals;
  • Access to your very own doctor; and
  • An overall better service and experience.

There is no denying that going private is a good thing to do if you can both afford it and need it. The biggest upside is access to more treatments which are administered quicker, and there is little-to-no waiting around, which means you can get on the mend faster.

#3: The Cons of Going Private

The first and most obvious downside of going private is that it comes at a price and, depending on your provider, this can be very high. The price which you do pay ultimately depends on not only the provider, however, but the specific policy you go with and how many people are included under it.

This cost tends to increase year-on-year by as much as five percent, and the average cost of a family policy which covers two adults and two children can be as high as £2,000 per year. If you use the NHS often, however, or find that it is unsuitable for your needs, this isn’t such a high price to pay.

One major con is that, generally, private insurance will not cover chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease and you will instead have to rely on the NHS. This does depend on an individual policy; some do cover it.

Whether or not it makes sense for you to go private depends entirely on your unique position. The NHS is completely free at the point of use (excluding certain prescriptions and dental services) and is usually enough for most people. But if you are tired of long wait times and want more privacy when you do need to go to the hospital, private health insurance may be right for you.

The 4 phases of addiction treatment

The path of a dependency is usually a complicated path that goes through several stages. Inpatient or outpatient setting supports you in this way so that your relatives or acquaintances who are in this situation return to lead a happy and abstemious life. For this, you will find important information about the 4 basic phases of the treatment of addiction.The 4 phases of addiction treatment:

Motivation Phase

Understanding dependency and deciding to seek support is important for treatment.When you already notice the symptoms or when you take seriously the indications of your environment, you can seek a first help, for example, by visiting a GP or another type of doctor you trust. There it is usually possible to establish a diagnosis through questions about addictive behavior, the use of brief questionnaires, a physical examination, a laboratory diagnosis and, if necessary, abdominal ultrasounds. Likewise, the subsequent treatment of the disease, for example, the choice of a therapy or even internment in an addiction treatment clinic, can be discussed at this point. If necessary, the doctor gives advice to reduce or stop the use of the addictive substance or perform a first brief intervention related to the addictive substance. Visiting an addiction treatment center is also a possibility to find more help.

Advice for relatives

In principle, it must be borne in mind that the motivation for the treatment should leave the affected person as far as possible. It is usually not convenient, as discussed above, to abandon the addicted partner or to separate from her. On the contrary, it has been recognized that the support of the couple and the hope of maintaining the relationship are essential motivational factors for the addicted person. Family members only achieve this by convincing the affected person without pressing it if possible. For this they have to be empathetic, listen, appreciate the first steps, encourage and reinforce motivation. In individual cases where the disease is at an advanced stage, surely the pressure can also be helpful, but in most cases it causes a defensive attitude in the affected person.

Experience Matters

Experience has shown that many affected people opt for treatment unfortunately after a long process, after having overcome their ambivalence. This often happens when the body and psyche are already severely affected.

All their social life no longer exists practically or they have enormous consequences. In addition to physical and mental illnesses, the trigger for abstinence from alcohol may be, for example, loss of driving license, loss of work, support of therapy, separation of the partner or threat of separation from alcohol.

Support from Family members

Family and friends can support the affected person, not behaving as codependents, but being by Inpatient or outpatient settingtheir side ("I am me and you are you!. On the other hand, co-dependency means hiding addiction, excusing and diminishing the importance of faults and accidents, or controlling the partner, accusing her, attacking her or humiliating her. Codependents enable or avoid treatment. But the affected person must be motivated to leave it.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

As all bikers understand, riding your motorcycle can be one of the best experiences you can have. Unfortunately, when bikers get into accidents, they are way more likely to be injured than people in cars. In addition, many drivers fail to watch out for bikers and end up causing crashes that can cause monetary losses, severe injuries, and even death in many cases.

If you love riding your motorcycle, you should make sure you know what to do in the case of an accident. While you may be a careful rider, you never know when someone else’s negligence could lead to an accident, so make sure you are prepared for any eventuality.

So, what should you do if you find yourself in an accident on your bike?

Check for injuries.

The first thing you need to do is check yourself and anyone else involved in the accident for injuries. Make sure you are okay, then check on anyone in the vehicle if you can as well.

Get out of the road.

If your bike ended up in the road after the crash, try to get it off the road once you’ve checked everyone for injuries. Leaving your bike in the road can cause a hazard for incoming motorists and possibly cause another accident.

Call 9-1-1.

As soon as you’ve checked for injuries and removed your bike from the road if you can, you need to call 9-1-1. If you don’t have a phone, make sure the other driver calls. Explain you’ve had an accident. If there are injuries or you cannot get your bike from the road, let the operator know this. If there are no injuries or hazards in the road, then let the operator know that there is not an emergency, but you need police assistance at the scene of the crash.

Document the scene.

You’ll want to document everything you can from the crash site. As Ronald Rosen, a motorcycle accident lawyer in Hollywood, FL, explains, this can be very helpful later when you’re filing an insurance claim, and it can be even more important if you end up filing an appeal to your insurance company’s decision. Get pictures of every detail of the crash scene and try to record the statements of any eyewitnesses in the area.

Contact your insurance company.

You need to contact your insurance company to report the accident right away. Explain what happened and offer any evidence you have that the crash was not caused by your negligence.

Get legal help.

As attorney John Demas explains on his motorcycle accident lawyer FAQs page, fighting an unfair insurance decision after a motorcycle crash can be tricky, so you may want to get some expert legal help. St. Louis MO motorcycle accident attorney Benjamin Sansone agrees, explaining that you should make sure you get the compensation you need to recover from any injuries or financial losses you suffered due to the crash.

These are just a few things you should keep in mind if you ever find yourself in a motorcycle crash. Remember to wear a helmet, pay attention to traffic laws, and do your best to avoid a crash, but if you get into one, make sure you follow these steps to make the situation less stressful.

The Pros and Cons of Switching to Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Fluoride-free toothpastes have recently been showing up more and more on store shelves. Maybe you have been considering making the switch yourself. After all, they look pretty, taste great, and are more natural than toothpastes with fluoride.

As people become more aware about the chemicals we expose ourselves to on a day-to-day basis, it’s no surprise that fluoride-free toothpastes are gaining popularity. But do they actually work? And how bad is fluoride for you anyway?

Here are some of the pros and cons of making the switch to a fluoride-free toothpaste.

The Pros

You can still get your teeth clean. Most of the cleaning from brushing your teeth comes from the action of brushing, not from the fluoride specifically. Because of this, you can still remove a great deal of the plaque that causes disease and cavities by brushing with a fluoride-free toothpaste. The brushing will get your teeth clean, and the toothpaste will give you fresh breath.

Switching can help avoid health problems later. Although fluoride does help prevent tooth decay, taking in too much can be harmful. Fluoride in excess can cause dental fluorosis, a discoloration of the teeth that, while harmless, doesn’t look great. It’s also been linked to everything from Alzheimer’s to cancer, although these findings are not conclusive.

Fluoride can be dangerous in large amounts. The FDA requires a warning on toothpaste tubes about the dangers of swallowing “more than used for brushing”, along with the admonition to call Poison Control if someone swallows too much. While this usually isn’t a problem, switching to fluoride-free toothpaste will alleviate the danger.  There are so many alternatives now it’s never been easier to switch! Just look at the huge range of fluoride free toothpaste the Atlist community recommends.

The Cons

You won’t get the help from fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Although findings about the exact risks of fluoride have been somewhat scattered, there has been a definite decrease in tooth decay since fluoride has been introduced. All things being equal, brushing with fluoride is more likely to prevent cavities than brushing with a fluoride-free toothpaste.

Fluoride strengthens teeth. In addition to cleaning out plaque-causing bacteria, brushing with fluoride can attract calcium to the mouth. This keeps teeth healthy and can even undo some damage caused by bacteria that started to break down tooth enamel before it gets to the cavity state.

Many problems caused by fluoride are caused by using too much. You’ve probably heard somewhere that you should be using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, but not that many people actually do that. As it turns out, many of the health risks associated with fluoride can be decreased by just using less. So it’s possible to get the health benefits of fluoride as far as decreasing tooth decay without exposing yourself to the risks of overexposure to fluoride.

So, should you switch?

Ultimately, it’s up to you. Some dentists disagree about the best course of action, but you will still find that most dentists recommend using a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride has definitely been linked to a clear decrease in tooth decay and does have clear cavity-fighting properties.

At the same time, fluoride has also been linked to increased risks for other health problems, including increased chances of getting Alzheimer’s. Though these studies have not reached the wide conclusiveness of those that tell us fluoride decreases tooth decay, they are certainly worth keeping in mind.

While using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste can decrease this risk, using a fluoride-free toothpaste removes the risk entirely.

Whether or not you make the switch, it’s key to brush thoroughly twice a day and stay educated about your dental health to keep your teeth looking their best.