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Health Tips for January 3

Posted Jan 07 2009 4:40pm

Health Tip: Bones, Muscles and Aging

Getting older means changes throughout your body, and the bones and muscles are no exception. So get them into shape, and help ward off certain effects of aging.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers this advice:

  • Do lots of stretches. Stretching will help your muscles stay flexible.
  • Try some lightweight training to build up and strengthen your muscles.
  • Over time, getting regular exercise can help you retain muscle mass and help prevent weight gain.
  • Even occasional exercise can benefit blood pressure, heart health, and some studies indicate it might reduce your risk of cancer.
  • Getting just 30 minutes of exercise can boost your overall health. Try fun activities such as dancing and swimming.

If you haven't exercised before, talk to your doctor before you start.

Health Tip: Relief From Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The result may be pain, weakness or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm.

Some patients are born with an unusually narrow carpal tunnel, which means they're at higher risk. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist, an overactive pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, work stress or repeated use of vibrating hand tools.

Anti-inflammatory drugs can ease the pain and swelling, while stretching and strengthening exercises can be helpful in people whose symptoms have abated. Surgery may be necessary if symptoms last for six months.

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