Feet Matters – Ankle, Heel and Arch pain

Dear Readers, some of you have benefited from my previous posts about OA. During last 2 years, I have suffered from Foot pain in both legs. I am 76 years old now and able to walk without medication 3 mile morning walk every day. I am also overwieght by abour 10 Kg being 93 Kg at 5’10”. This post is about 3 forms of Foot Pain.

ANKLE PAIN: This affected me in the left ankle about 2 years ago. I went to an Orthopedist, who offered 2 options – take steroids or take rest or do both. See the drawing of ankle joint at following link:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bf/Ankle_en.svg/2000px-Ankle_en.svg.png

The pain was in the protrusion of the Tibia, which you see on right side of the left ankle, (and on the left side of the right ankle) – ie the interior sides of both legs. There will be pain in the Tibia in general and in the protruded area, where the ligaments are joining. The area also may be swollen and tender to the touch. The simplest way of permanently removing this pain is to wash the joint in cold water every time you visit a Bathroom! The reason for the pain is simple. The Tibia transfers half your weight to the sole of the foot. Like any metal rod under stress, the Tibia gets literally ‘hot’ inside after walking around for any length of time. Normally with good blood circulation, this heat is removed by Venal blood. One of the problems of old age, specially with higher levels of Cholesterol is that, the flow of Venal blood is impaired and you see  swollen blood vessels in the calf region. When this blood circulation is slowed down, the heat removal is not efficient and inflammation and pain result.  When this is seen, you simply cool down the entire Calf and Ankle region by dousing with cold water! While washing your feet pay special attention to the ‘hot’ ankle by holding it under the tap for 3 to 5 minutes! This simple act will keep you free of Ankle Pain!

In all Indian households, specially in rural areas, it is common for any visitor to be offered a greeting and saying   “Please wash your feet” as a preliminary to having a meal with the family. In fact in many rural households, there is a place close to the main entrance where “Feet washing Water” is kept with a vessel and a mug always ready. While the ostensible reason is to wash off the road dust, the health reason is that you have walked to their home from the nearest Railway Station or the Bus Stand, and you need to cool your tired bones!

ARCH PAIN: This is also known as Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (say “PLAN-ter fash-ee-EYE-tus”) is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.

Plantar fasciitis is common in middle-aged people. It also occurs in younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes or soldiers. It can happen in one foot or both feet.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:

  • Your feet roll inward too much when you walk
  • You have high arches or flat feet.
  • You walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.
  • and also felt in the Heel region due to Plantar Fasciitis, there is another cause for Heel Pain. Excessive consumption of Milk Products, or Calcium Tablets, specially by men, results in calcium deposits in the Heel Bone and growth of “Heel Spurs” – These are protrusions in the rear of heel bone on one or both legs. It is generally known that the ‘leaching’ of calcium from bones is more in women than in men. While your wife is recommended to increase Calcium intake after say 50 years of age, the same is not true for Men. When the Heel bone starts to grow outwards, the “Achilles”  tendon gets stretched like pulling a rubber band, and this additional stress causes pain which is felt at the source, ie where the tendon is attached to back of the heel.

The remedy for both types of pain is 2 simple actions!

  1. Wear High Heels! You can find many shoe or sandal styles with a minimum 1 inch heel. This type of footwear lifts the heel from your regular position and relieves the tension on the Tendon! This simple mechanical aid simply removes the Heel pain instantly! (You can get standard shoes with High Heels for men or just add a Heel only sole patch to the shoe from a local cobbler or shoe smith)
  2. Support the Arch of the sole, by wearing shaped inserts. These are made of silicone rubber and cost about rs 200 to 800 a pair. It is important to get the right size. If the instep support goes to the wrong place you get excruciating pain! You can also get special shoes with arch support.

I found a special shoe for Heel Pain made by Kuru (www.kurufootwear.com ) This comes with a special rubber insole which gets cured and set to the exact shape of your arch by pressure and heat of your feet after the shoe is used for about 2 or 3 hours of walking. The pain relief is amazing and your heel pain and arch pain due to Plantar Fasciitis is 100% gone! You will never wear another shoe again. Kuru ships to India and there is a 20% Customs duty payable. Cost is entirely Ok when compared to orthopaedic shoes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alzheimers – What can one do postpone or prevent?

My reading, specially the book “Connectomics” by Dr Sebastian Seung of MIT, tells me that loss of memory is just not an erasure, but is the gradual loss of our brain’s ability to ‘associate’ and to ‘access’ old memory stores. This can happen due to several reasons, the most salient being a) Loss of charge to below a threshold level for the “Long term memory Neurons” and b) Chemical reasons reducing or weakening the ‘access channels’ to the brain areas associated with long term memory.

I think that, as age advances one should read and reread old classics, novels, poetry and text books, as this helps to reinfornce old memories. Similarly engage in regular review all photo albums of your near and dear, as well as work-related, both paper prints and in digital media.

Religiously solve all puzzles, Sudoku, Crosswords and Mensa Challenges that every Mid-day or Mirror, or Evening or Afternoon papers carry. When on travel, carry puzzle books, riddles, and Sudoku just to exercise your mind/brain.

Learn a new Art or Painting or start writing Fiction or Poetry – just try your hand at it! Or start a new Hobby – Stamp collecting or Gardening – All this starts to strengthen the ‘learning’ associated areas in the brain, and new learning also has to be stored in some fashion, the memory storage areas get refreshed.

Have your own Facebook, Twitter , Whatsapp Group, and other Social media ID and engage in regular social interaction to develop a set of people who will regularly interact with you. This helps to restore Auditory, Visual and experiential memory and most importantly postponse sonset of Senility if not Alzheimers itself!

Conquer Ageing!

Dr. P.V.Ramana

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Morning Nectar

I am putting up this post again as many have found good benefit from it both for Diabetes Control as well as Osteo Arthritis control.

Recipe:

1) Roast Flax seeds (alsi seeds) lightly on dry tawa without oil. Allow to cool. Make powder in a mixi, and keep in Fridge

2) Soak 2 tsp of Methi seeds in Curd overnight in a small cup or bowl. Use 2 Tsp of Curds and add some water

3) In the morning add 2 Tsp of Flax seed powder and 1 tsp of pure organic honey (Waitrose or other imported honey from Canada, UK, Australia ot Newzealand. Unfortunately every single brand of Honey sold in India, including Dabur,is adulterated minimum 50 to 70% with sugar syrup and color). Mix and consume.

4) the taste is wonderful. Flax seeds give 2 ingredients, one for enhancing GDL, the ‘Good’ cholestorol, and another oil which helps knee joint. Methi also has 2 components. One for reducing and stabilising blood sugar, and another component which enhances collagen production in the body.

5) You have to persist with this for 2 or 3 years before seeing the permanent beneift

6) Hobey improves immunity and reduces cell death, thus delaying effect of aging, specially in joints.

That is why I call this as Morning Nectar!

I am using it every day morning since about 10 years, and have effetcively defeated OA

in both my knees

Ramana

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Telangana

There is no quick fix for insensitive, and completely selfish political meddling just for a few imaginary electoral gains. There should be a referendum of all Telugu people – There is only one language – Telugu. Delhi does not know that Andhra is not a language? Andhra just means place where Telugu is spoken!

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More supplement information

Recently I have come across 2 new supplements. I am trying them now and they seem to have some effect

1. Collagen Advanced formula Tablets with Type 1,2 & 3 Collagen and with 18 amino acids added

Made by Nutrawise and available on http://www.youtheory.net

Claims to restore muscle and ligament tissue as well as improving bone health with Collagen.

2. Collagen Enhance – claims ‘all natural’ ingredients and the capsule is made from vegetable gelatin

Made by ResVitalle – see their site http://www.resvitale.com

I will get back with a review by trying for 3 months more. If any one has tried these products please post on this iste

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Morning Nector for Senior Citizens

Most people like me ( I am 73, and if you are 55+ you should read this!) have several problems:
– Diabetes
– Knee Pain
– High Cholesterol, specially low level of HDL, and high level LDL
There is a way to beat all 3, which I am using for last 10 years. My blood sugar level has remained constant at around 120 (PP), Knee pains are forgotten, and my HDL is improving steadily. Here is what I do – Take 1/4 cup of Morning Nectar first thing in the morning on empty stomach.

How to make this?

You need 4 ingredients, all available at home
1. Powdered Flax Seeds (Also known as Alsi in Mumbai area)
Buy 250 Gm at a time, roast lightly on dosa pan till they brown – DO NOT BURN
Make Powder in a Mixi, store in Fridge
2. Freshly Set Curd, every day item, or you could buy Nestle or Amul Dahi
3. Methi Seeds (Fenugreek)
4. Honey

Preparation
– Previous night, take 2 tea spoons of Methi Seeds, and soak overnight in 2 Table spoons of Curd (Yoghurt). You will need a small bowl or a cup for this.
– Next morning, add 2 tea spoons of powdered Flax seeds, and 2 tea spoons of Honey
– Mix well and eat slowly
I assure you this is very tasty and once you start this you will not leave it. That is why I call it Morning Nectar.

How the Ingredients work:
a. Dahi is for soaking the Methi seeds and retaining the active component. If you soak Methis in water, some of the good things Methi has, will wash out in the water
b. Methi supplies 2 good things:
– Methi reduces Blood Sugar levels
– The sticky proteins in Methi help regenerate the soft tissue in the Knee Joint
c. Flax Seed oil is just about the only regular food item which increases HDL levels, and reduces LDL and VLDL levels, specially for vegetarians
d. Honey is the Panacea for many respiratory tract problems, and supplies vital amino acids for cell regeneration. I have read some where that it helps slow down aging.

Only one precaution – Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after you have enjoyed this scrumptious beginning to a new day!

Dr P V Ramana

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Origin of the Universe – from a 5th Grader

Varun Putcha (varun.putcha@gmail.com) sent the following paper

Universal Reionization: And the Case of the Missing Dwarf Galaxies

Why do so many dwarf galaxies near the, Milky Way not appear?

 3 extremely tiny *ghost* galaxies have been discovered by the Hubble Space telescope (HST). These dwarf galaxies all share the same birth date, 13 billion years ago (when they first started making stars). They also all abruptly stopped making stars, all in the first 1 billion years of the universe! To understand this we must first understand what a “galaxy” is.

Galaxies are massive clusters of stars. They may have up to trillions of stars.

There are 4 main types of galaxies, elliptical galaxies, spiral galaxies, starburst galaxies, and irregular galaxies. It is believed that most galaxies have a supermassive black hole in the center of them. Most galaxies are organized into groups and clusters. These in turn form Super clusters. There are over 170,000,000,000 (170 billion) galaxies in our observable universe, and possibly more in the theoretical wider universe.

            Then there is a whole other subcategory of galaxies called dwarf galaxies. It is believed that most galaxies are really dwarf galaxies. Dwarf galaxies do NOT have a black hole, and compared to larger galaxies, are very tiny. Many dwarf galaxies are absorbed and ripped apart into bigger galaxies. And almost all normal galaxies have hundreds of dwarf galaxies orbiting them. Imagine how many of them dwarf galaxies are! Now that you know what galaxies and dwarf galaxies are, let’s get back to the question, why do many extremely ancient, pristine “ghost” galaxies have so few stars?        

            2 main theories have emerged as the most likely explanation to this intriguing phenomenon. One suggests that it happened during the second age of reionization, while the other suggests some other causes, mainly a supernova. These ideas both intrigued me, and are very interesting.

            THEORY 1

“These galaxies are all ancient and they’re all the same age, so you know something came down like a guillotine and turned off the star formation at the same time in these galaxies,” said Tom Brown of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., the study’s leader. “The most likely explanation is reionization.” 

            This all happened in the second stage of reionization. Reionization began in the first 1 billion years after the big bang. During this stage of the universe, radiation from the first stars knocked electron off primeval hydrogen atoms. This caused them to become transparent to UV radiation. Many big galaxies were massive enough to shield themselves from the deadly radiation, causing star production to continue. The same radiation that sparked reionization seems to have squelched the star making capabilities in numerous dwarf galaxies, including Leo IV, one of the 3 galaxies found by the HST. (Next Page A Leo IV comparison)

(See Leo IV Image as a separate post)

As you can see in the image, f you look at the section where Leo IV is, it barely has any stars once you remove the background galaxies!  (100- 1000) A typical dwarf galaxy would have300-1000x that amount! These are the effects of reionization.

            Dwarf galaxies like Leo IV did not have enough mass to stop the dreaded UV radiation. Their remaining gas was stripped away, and star making stopped. In this particular situation, the dark matter outnumbers the matter by a factor of 100! In normal dwarf galaxies, this ratio is 10 to 1. This all suggests that the dark matter was a byproduct of whatever happened.

            If this is all true than it must a have been a deadly time. Now onto theory 2!

 

THEORY 2

Some people believe that a massive internal supernova blew out any gas these dwarf galaxies once had. This theory is obviously supported by the fact that all the stars are ancient. Although this theory does not have backing from the HST like theory 1, it has some proof. Some stellar gas remains have been fund hovering around the location of the galaxies. Although most people believe these are recent, some believe they are ancient. If so, why did they not create stars? That is a flaw in the theory. Most astronomers support Theory 1 though.

 

Agreements between theories

Both theories agree though, that this may explain why we only see 12-20 dwarf galaxies around the Milky Way, even though computer simulations say there should be thousands. Reionization and supernovae are/were deadly forces that ripped through the universe; they didn’t have the mass to stop it. This was a dramatic era of our universe with many things happening, this may be some of the first casualties we may discover, and is probably not the only type too.

 

This is a key component of understanding the early universe, and astronomers are frantically looking for a reason that they didn’t survive. Maybe it is because they didn’t form black holes like other major galaxies, or maybe they were hit with a giant explosion… We may not know, until telescope many times stronger than the HST peer back into time and reveal the secrets of our past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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