How to Fix Broken Ankle Cartilage

Damage to the cartilage in whatever joint of the body can have harmful effects on the function of that joint. But first of all what is cartilage?

Cartilage is known as connective tissue in several parts of the body. Though it is a hard and supple material, it is relatively easy to damage. Cartilage is a rubbery and beautiful tissue which acts as a pad between the bones of joints. Persons with cartilage damage usually experience joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Now, did you know that Cartilage has numerous functions in the human body? Persons with cartilage damage usually experience joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Below are some features of cartilage:

  • Lessens friction and performs as a cushion among joints and helps upkeep our weight when we are stretching, bending, and running.
  • Hold bones together, for example, the bones found in the ribcage.
  • Certain body parts are made almost entirely of cartilage, for instance, the exterior portions of our ears.
  • In kids, the ends of the long bones are a form of cartilage, which ultimately turns into bone.

When damage to the cartilage happens, the patient will eventually experience severe pain, inflammation, and some grade of disability – this is recognized as articular cartilage. NIH or (National Institutes of Health) denotes that, one-third of American adults aged over 45 experiences this kind of knee pain.

What are the symptoms?

Damage to the cartilage in a joint (articular cartilage damage) will cause:

  • Inflammation or swelling – the area swells, becomes warmer compared to other parts of the body and is tender, aching, and soring.
  • Stiffness.
  • Range limitation – as the damage improves, the affected limb will not move as smoothly and effortlessly as before.

Articular cartilage damage most usually happens in the knee; however, the elbow, ankle, wrist, ankle, hip joint, and shoulder can also be affected. In significant cases of damage to the cartilage, a piece of cartilage can disrupt, and the area may become spotty and have a discolored appearance.

Always be careful when practicing sports. If you have a weak ankle, wear a tennis ankle brace in order to avoid getting damage to your cartilage in the future.

How to diagnose it?

Spotting the difference between cartilage damage in the knee and a sprain, or else ligament damage, is a bit hard because the symptoms can be alike. But modern non-invasive tests do the work more stress-free than it used to be. Right after the physical examination, the doctor will order the following diagnostic tests:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – In this examination, there is a magnetic field and radio waves used to take a detailed image of the body. Though useful, an MRI cannot always distinguish cartilage damage.
  • Arthroscopy – Here there is a tube-like instrument or arthroscope inserted into a joint to inspect and repair it. This process can help to define the degree of cartilage damage.

What are the complications?

You should not leave broken cartilage in the joint untreated, mainly if it is a weight-bearing one, for instance the knee because it can ultimately become so damaged that the individual may not be able to walk. Apart from rigidity, the pain may gradually get worse.
Tiny articular cartilage defects can in time lead to osteoarthritis if given sufficient time.

Suggested Exercises for the patient

Patients with this type of injury are recommended to do exercises that are appropriate for an individual to reinforce the muscles around the joint. These exercises will decrease pressure on the area with the injured cartilage.
The Arthritis Foundation suggests:

  • tender stretching to uphold a range of motion and flexibility
  • aerobic exercises and endurance training are advised to attain or maintain a healthy weight and progress mood and stamina.
  • firming exercises to accumulate the muscles around the joints

Although practice gives several benefits, it seems improbable to result in a regeneration of cartilage.

Secret Lifestyle Choices To Prevent Anxiety

Treating anxiety or depression is not only limited to the four walls of your therapist’s office. In addition there are essential components that can be integrated to your treatment apart from taking prescription meds. In most cases, a change in your lifestyle can already help lift the problem and bring relief to anxiety. Below are the simple but powerful tools to address this issue.

Exercise

You would think “How does exercise affect mental health?”. Well, there were numerous and well designed studies conducted to prove that exercise can elevate your mood to prevent anxiety and depression. Mindful movements like yoga, qigong and tai chi are among the best physical activities that can help improve anxiety symptoms.

Exercise also helps stimulate the body’s “happy hormones“. As you move about, your body starts to stimulate the production of endorphins and serotonin in your brain – these are neurotransmitters that help alleviate depression. This explains the happiness you feel every time you finish a good workout.

Eat A Healthy Diet

Your brain is the most active part in your body. Even at bedtime, your brain will continue to work non-stop during the night. It means it needs a steady stream of essential nutrients for it to function properly. Poor diet choices limit the necessary nutrients your body needs to secrete the right hormones to stabilize a proper mental health. Here are some diet tips you may consider:

Buy healthy food – make sure to fill your plate with nutritious meals. Choose whole foods, fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water and get enough calcium. Avoid trans fats and research dietary guidelines to learn more about which foods are the healthiest.

Take care of your stomach – supplementing with probiotics with lactobacillus and bifidobacterium will improve your gut health. Providing these live cultures to your stomach will help boost your immune system. You can also eat fermented foods like miso, natto, and yogurt to support your digestive system.

Cut back on anything sweetened – soda, sweet tea, fruit punch and juice concentrates contribute to anxiety. A recent study of individuals who drank at least four cups of soda found they were 30% more prone to anxiety and depression. This same study also reported that individuals who drank unsweetened decaf coffee each day had less likelihood of experiencing anxiety compared to non-coffee drinkers.

Choose decaf – Coffee is rich in antioxidants, but too much caffeine is not good for you peace of mind, indeed long-term intake of caffeine is also linked to anxiety. Try to gradually switch to decaf. This way, you get the same amount of health benefits from coffee without the caffeine content.

Take More Antioxidants

Anxiety is thought to be connected to high oxidative damage and a low antioxidant state in your cells and body. Antioxidants are needed to help fight the oxidative damage brought about by free-radicals in your body, which occur naturally. Therefore, it is a must for you to prioritize antioxidant-rich sources to ease the symptoms of anxiety.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there are 3,100 herbs, spices, supplements and foods that are designated to help increase your body’s antioxidant levels. Some of them include beans, berries, nuts and vegetables.

You may think that fruits and vegetables have the highest content of antioxidants, but herbs and spices hold even more to that reputation. One potent spice that has anti-anxiety properties is turmeric. Its active ingredient curcumin is responsible for fighting the free-radicals in the body and is known to efficiently prevent further chronic microinflammation.

Eating more of these antioxidant sources will help prevent anxiety and depression. You can also get it in pill form or in its liquid extract state. Curcumin supplements are already in popular demand and you can find that easily in your local shops or online stores. Turmeric supplement side effects are rare but should still be watched out for.

Sleep More

A bad mood is often led by stress and lack of sleep. When you deprive your body of at least 7 hours of sleep every day, it finds it difficult to improve your mood as the hormones that control your state of mind are not fully replenished by your night’s rest. To restore and maintain a balanced mental health, you need to rest especially if you are feeling stressed out.

Scientific medical research shows that sleep-deprived individuals classify neutral images as “negative”. This means that people who do not get adequate sleep at night see everyday objects as “menacing”. If this continues, anxiety can develop into depression.

Drink Less

Alcohol is usually abused as a “self medication” to alleviate stress and numb the pain from depression. But it is itself a depressant and it does not make sense that people suffering from major anxiety and depression tend to resort to drinking too much alcohol.

Alcohol is not a quick fix and should be avoided no matter what. It only prevents you from taking the proper action to cure your anxiety. If you feel the urge to constantly drink alcohol, seek the advice of a professional. You might be battling with something more than anxiety.

Control Your Emotions and Thoughts

Believe it or not, your brain has the power of suggestion. If you allow negative feelings like helplessness and hopelessness to take over, the physiological function of your body becomes upset. This leads to hormone imbalance and depletion of brain chemicals essential for achieving the feeling of “zen”. If this continues, your entire body and immune system will follow and can possibly make you feel sicker by the day.

Mediation and positive thinking can affect your perception of the world in a positive way. It will make you more resilient, calmer and happier. There are mental trainings that can help you gain a more favourable outlook in life.

Some people choose to meditate, practice yoga, or use prayer. Researchers have also identified that kindness, forgiveness and a sense of gratitude can be practiced and developed over time and can alleviate anxiety and depression.

Health Coverage in the USA

weightsThe term health coverage or health insurance is used commonly in the USA to describe a program that assists one in bearing his medical expenses.

Individuals can purchase such programs privately from specialized agents or acquire these insurances through the social welfare systems being funded by the local government. These programs are also referred as health benefits, health coverage and health care coverage.

These facilities are being provided by both government and the privately owned organizations to offer protection against the growing cost of different medical services. Medicare, Medicaid, and Children Healthcare Coverage are some of the health care programs that provide help to people who are unable to afford these expenses.

Recent Development in Public Sector Health Programs

In the year 2009, the U.S government spent 2.5 trillion dollars and 18% of the total investment was on two most popular healthcare programs of the country which are – Medicaid and Medicare. Both the health programs were introduced in the year 1965. Lyndon Johnson was the president then when these two health coverage programs were introduced. The Federal Department of Human and Health in US takes responsibility to run these programs.

Medicare is the health care coverage program being provided to Americans who are over 65 and Medicaid is a joint program (state and federal government together run the program) that has been designed principally to back health care for the poor people. Both the programs provide financial aid to disabled Americans and together these programs cover nearly 87 million U.S people.

Medicaid Program in Brief

Medicaid is one of the two mentioned private health coverage programs that have been organized to provide aid to the people with low income and fewer assets. According to an ACA report, the health coverage program includes almost all the Americans who are under 65 and with the least earning (less than 30% of states federal property).

According to a 2009 record, the total Medicaid cost for the year was $359 billion that split within federal payments and state payment that were $234 billion and $125 billion respectively. Throughout the country, several variations are noticed on this program that include certain services like choosing eligible people, claims that would be covered or not, and the payment facilities for hospitals and doctors treating their Medicaid patients.

Medicare Program in Brief

In the year 2004, 42 million beneficiaries were availing this health cover facility and the total expense for this program rose to $297 in the same year. Unlike the private health insurance owners, beneficiaries of Medicare have the facility to demand medical care wherever they choose.

Thus, this program is often referred as a Free-For-The service model. A majority of the Medicare beneficiaries pay taxes in the programming until they retire from work and this facilitate them to participate in the Medicare hospitalization programs when they are 65 years old.

At this time, beneficiaries can also decide to opt for Part B Medicare programs providing only $96.40. The health programs benefits through multiple personal health plans that include HMOs or health maintenance organizations as well.

Health Coverage- An Important Part OF U.S Healthcare System

Health coverage programs provided by both the federal government and the private organizations are regarded as an important part of the country’s health care system. Some of the most-required health care services are being covered by the insurance policies planned by the companies.

People, who don’t have either a private or federal government insurance plans, often fail to avail the best treatment methods. Actually, the plan is that the revenue being earned from the insurance policies will be invested to modify the health care system and thus it is a must for the people of the country to purchase at least a small-amount of policy, if he or she wants to enjoy the facilities.

Reformation of Health Coverage Programs

In the year 1990, the U.S government has reformed one of the country’s best-known health coverage programs, which is the Veteran Health Administration. The mentionable reforms done to this program are:

  • Focus on primary care and more-increased fund for it
  • Implementation of extended pharmaceutical treatment
  • Establishment of a national center keeping patients safety in mind
  • Eligibility criteria was extended for majority of the US veterans

Employer Offered Health Cover Program

This is another popular health coverage program in the USA where the employers offer health care assistance to their employees. This program was introduced shortly after the Second World War. In this program, employers often pay a major portion of the insurance amount and ask the employees to provide a share only.

This amount is deducted from the salary amount being paid to the employee. Some employers don’t even ask the employees to bear a portion of the insurance whereas others do.