Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Health Tips for January 21

Health Tip: Oh, Those Aching Muscles

If you've been working out a bit too hard, or if you're just getting into exercise, you might have minor muscle soreness.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these suggestions to help manage minor muscle pain:

  • Allow your muscles to rest. Don't engage in any heavy exercise while they recover.
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease pain.
  • For the first few days, ice the area. After the first two to three days, apply heat to the sore muscles.
  • As you recover, try low-impact exercises such as swimming, biking and walking. Gradually work your way up to longer and tougher exercises.
  • Sleep, stretch and avoid stress.

Health Tip: Clogged Ears On a Plane?

Changes in altitude, such as those you experience when flying, can cause an uncomfortable "clogged" feeling in your ears.

If you try to relieve the pressure by blowing your nose too hard, you could perforate the eardrum or force bacteria into the deeper parts of the ear.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these suggestions to help you safely relieve pressure in the ears when flying:

  • About an hour before your flight is scheduled to leave, take a decongestant.
  • Try yawning to gently relieve pressure as altitude changes.
  • Keep swallowing to help unclog ears.
  • Chew a piece of gum while the plane ascends and descends.
  • If your ears still feel clogged, inhale, hold your nose, and very gently exhale with your mouth closed until you feel relief. Be very careful not to do this with too much force.

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