Thinking About a Health Screening? Here’s What You Need To Know
Full body health checks enable you to take more control over your health
Health screenings are incredibly beneficial and come with an array of advantages. Screenings can detect a problem early before you have any symptoms — which can help you make better-informed decisions about your health. They reduce the risk of a minor condition developing into something more serious. In some circumstances, such as with cervical screening, an early check-up can prevent dangerous complications and even deaths.
Before booking your health screening, it’s worth keeping in mind that no screening is 100% accurate. Occasionally, you could be told that you have a problem even though you don’t (known as a false positive) or that you don’t have a problem when you actually do (known as a false negative). For some people, health screenings can cause considerable worry and anxiety. Even if a screening gives you the all-clear, there is always a chance that you may develop the condition in the future.
Health Screening via the NHS
In the UK, the NHS provides a limited number of screenings to its patients after considering if the potential benefits outweigh the harm. An independent expert group called the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) advises the NHS, in all four UK countries, on which screening programmes to offer. For instance, all women aged between 25 to 64 are offered cervical screening to check for any unusual cells in the cervix. Breast cancer screening is offered to all women aged 50 to 70 to detect breast cancer earlier. A third example is diabetic eye screening, in which all diabetics above the age of 12 are checked for early signs of diabetic retinopathy.
Full Body Private Health Screenings
Many international patients visit the UK for comprehensive health screens every year. A diverse range of health screening options are available through private healthcare providers in the UK. Providers offer a wide range of health checks, from simple blood tests and physical examinations to full-body CT scans and screening for serious conditions like aneurysms or heart failure. Different providers offer different screenings, so it is important to do your research before making a booking. Most, if not all, private healthcare providers offer a full ‘health assessment’, also sometimes referred to as a ‘full body MOT’— such as the 360 degrees health assessment at Nuffield Health. Health assessments are the most comprehensive private health screenings available as a full check of the body is done. In it, the patient is given a vast range of tests — from basic blood glucose tests to a full biochemistry profile and chest x-rays. The starting price of such health checks can be from £259 to £727.
A wide range of cancer screenings is also available through private healthcare. Patients may want to take the private route because they can choose specific screenings and are likely to be seen more rapidly. You might be concerned about a particular symptom or just want to set your mind at rest. Some of the types of screenings available include colorectal screening, breast cancer screening, and prostate screening, together with MRI scans and X-rays.
Other Types of Health Screenings
There are more niche health screenings available for those who want them. Many healthcare providers commonly offer fertility checks. These involve a series of simple tests together with a consultation. They are offered to both couples and singles of all genders. You don’t have to have reason to doubt your fertility in order to have a check-up. Fertility screening tests are available to those who want to be assured of their fertility to help plan for the future.
Bone density scanning (DXA) is another example. This health screening test can help determine if you suffer from or are at risk of osteoporosis. In general, if the bone density is low, then there is a greater chance of fracture. The scan is also useful to detect other bone disorders and conditions, such as osteopenia, brittle bone disease and osteomalacia. The procedure is simple, fast and completely painless. You lie flat on your back on a padded table while a machine takes images of the spine, forearm or hip. The whole procedure should take about 20 minutes.
Health screenings are a quick and easy way to find out how well your body is doing. Of course, you should do your research properly and always consult your doctor before making a decision. There are many health checks out there, some of which are available on the NHS and others which are not. Whether you want to get a blood test or to find out if you’re able to have children, there will always be support and help available for you throughout the procedure, no matter what decision you make.
Do you sleep on your back, side, or belly? You may have a favorite sleeping position, or you may change it up now and then. And if you become pregnant, or have certain health problems, the way you sleep can sometimes change. In those cases, getting your sleeping posture right can make a big difference in the way you feel when you wake up. Are you choosing the best sleeping position for your situation?
Sleeping in the wrong way can cause or aggravate neck or back pain. It may also obstruct the airways to your lungs, leading to problems like obstructive sleep apnea. Some research even suggests that the wrong sleeping position may cause toxins to filter out of your brain more slowly. Keep reading to learn how the way you sleep could be impacting your health in several ways.
Do You Sleep on Your Stomach?
Approximately 7% of people sleep on their stomach. This is sometimes called the prone position. It may help ease snoring by shifting fleshy obstructions from your airway. But sleeping in this position may aggravate other medical conditions.
Your neck and spine are not in a neutral position when you sleep on your stomach. This may cause neck and back pain. Stomach sleeping can put pressure on nerves and cause numbness, tingling, and nerve pain.
It’s best to choose another sleep position if you are a stomach sleeper. If you can’t break the habit, prop your forehead up on a pillow so your head and spine remain in a neutral position and you have room to breathe.
The Freefall Position
About 7% of people sleep on their stomachs with their heads turned to the side. People who sleep this way have their arms wrapped around a pillow or tucked under a pillow.
Do You Sleep on Your Back?
Back-sleeping has its advantages and disadvantages, too. Sleep experts refer to this as the supine position.
Let’s start with the bad news. Some people who sleep on their backs may experience low back pain. It can also make existing back pain worse, so this is not the best sleep position for lower back pain. If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, sleeping on your back may aggravate these conditions as well. Women should avoid this position during late pregnancy.
There are health benefits to sleeping on your back, too. Your head, neck, and spine are in a neutral position so you’re less likely to experience neck pain. Sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated with a small pillow is considered the best sleeping position for heartburn.
The Soldier Position
In this position, the sleepers lie on their backs and their arms are down and close to the body. Approximately 8% of people sleep like this.
This one is a poor choice for snoring and may prevent you from getting a restful night’s sleep. Talk to your doctor if snoring keeps you from getting enough rest.
The Starfish Position
People who sleep in a starfish position sleep on their backs with their arms up over their heads. Approximately 5% of people sleep this way.
As all those who sleep on their backs, people who sleep in the starfish position may be prone to snoring and sleep problems.
Do you sleep on your side?
The side sleeping position is the most popular by far. It’s also known as lateral sleeping position by sleep scientists.
This position may be good for those who snore. If you have some forms of arthritis, sleeping in the side position may make you sore, though. Curling up may also prevent you from breathing deeply because doing so may restrict your diaphragm.
Side-Sleeping and Brain Waste
It’s possible that sleeping on your side could be good for your brain. Scientists recently learned that our brains clear out waste more quickly while we sleep.
Whether or not the position you sleep in influences this waste removal is unclear. But one study performed on rats suggests side-sleeping might clear brain waste more efficiently than other postures.
Although side-sleepers enjoy many advantages, one disadvantage may appear as you age. Because you press down on your face in the lateral position, this posture may both cause facial wrinkles and cause the skin on your face to expand over time.
Side-sleeping women may find that their breast ligament (the Coopers Ligament) slowly stretches over time, causing breast sag. This hasn’t been proven scientifically, yet continues to be a concern for many. If this concerns you, a simple solution is to support your breasts with a pillow. Women with larger breasts may find it more comfortable to sleep with a bra for additional support.
The Fetal Position
Approximately 41% of people sleep using a specific side position by curling up on their sides with their knees bent. Side sleepers who sleep with their legs bent and curled toward their torsos are sleeping in the fetal position.
Some studies suggest that more women than men sleep in this position, although other research disputes this. It may be a good choice for pregnant women because this posture improves circulation for both the mother and fetus.
If sleeping this way hurts your hips, placing a pillow between your knees may help relieve pressure.
The Log Position
People who sleep in the log position sleep on their sides with their arms down next to their bodies. Approximately 15% of people sleep like a log. This sleep position may be good for you if you snore, but if you have arthritis, you may wake up in pain.
The Yearner Position
People who sleep in the yearner position sleep on their sides with their arms outstretched in front of the body. The position may be good if you have breathing problems when you snooze, but bad if you suffer from arthritis. Approximately 13% of people sleep in this position.
The Spooning Position
Spooning is a side sleeping position for couples; the person in the back holds the one in the front close to their body. As with other postures, this one comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. As for disadvantages, couples may wake up more frequently sleeping this way, as you are more likely to be jostled by your partner.
But spooning allows for cuddling, too, which stimulates the release of oxytocin. This is a hormone that promotes bonding, decreases stress, and may help you get to sleep more quickly. Cuddling for as little as 10 minutes is enough to trigger the release of oxytocin.
What Side is Best for GERD?
Believe it or not, knowing the best side to sleep on may reduce your acid reflux symptoms. Sleeping on your right side can cause more acid to leak through your esophagus. Sleeping on your stomach or back makes GERD symptoms worse, too. To lower the risk of GERD problems, patients usually sleep best on their left sides.
Side-Sleeping and Heart Failure
People with congestive heart failure avoid sleeping on their backs and their left sides. Their heartbeats may disturb their sleep in these postures. These patients tend to prefer sleeping on their right side. In fact, sleeping on the right side may protect people with heart failure from further health damage.
What’s the Best Position for Preventing Wrinkles?
If you sleep on your stomach or side, your face is smooshed into the pillow all night. That stretches your skin over time, leading to wrinkles. If you want to prevent this, back sleeping works best.
Best Sleeping Position for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
To minimize the risk of snoring, it’s usually best to sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back may aggravate snoring, but for a smaller number of snorers, back sleeping helps them feel more restful the next day.
Tips to Stop Snoring
If you snore, but still want to sleep on your back, try stacking a few pillows underneath your head to reduce the risk of snoring. If snoring wakes you up or if you wake up gasping or feel tired during the day, it’s time to see your doctor.
Severe or loud snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that causes you to stop and start breathing while you sleep due to airway obstructions. Sleep apnea is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
If you have sleep apnea, the way you sleep is well-known to influence how sleepy you feel throughout the next day.
One large study found that most patients with obstructive sleep apnea slept better on their sides, experienced less interrupted sleep, and were more wakeful the next day. However, this same study found that people with severe OSA actually felt sleepier the next day if they slept on their sides, as compared to their backs. Ask your doctor for sleep recommendations if you think you might have OSA.
Best Sleeping Positions for Back, Shoulder, and Neck Pain
If you have back pain, sleeping on your stomach or back may aggravate your pain. Switch to side sleeping to minimize your risk of back pain.
For further relief, put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips in alignment. If you must sleep on your back, placing a pillow under your knees will take some strain off of your back.
Shoulder, Neck, and Upper Back Pain
Arthritis and other painful conditions along your upper spine can worsen or improve while you sleep. Studies seem to disagree, though, on what positions are ideal.
One large study found that people had less shoulder pain who slept in the starfish position—on their backs, with hands up near their chest or head. But it couldn’t explain if those people had less shoulder pain because of the way they slept, or if they slept that way because they had less pain.
A later study found that people who slept on their backs with their arms at their sides—the soldier position—activated their shoulder muscles less, and thus may experience less shoulder pain.
Best Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, sleeping on your stomach or back will be uncomfortable or impossible. You will be most comfortable sleeping on your side. Favor your left side to maximize circulation for both you and your baby. Placing a body pillow or pillow under your belly can help relieve back pain. Place another pillow between your legs and bend your knees to be even more comfortable.
Avoid This Position During Pregnancy
You’ve probably already heard this from your doctor, but just in case—pregnant women should not sleep on their backs during the third trimester of pregnancy. For more than half a century, we’ve known that pregnant back sleepers are reducing blood flow to their fetus.
But only recently researchers discovered that this sleep style also raises the risk of a stillbirth, even in otherwise healthy pregnancies. You should also avoid lying on your back during the day—just 30 minutes of this posture has been shown to force your fetus to shift to a state that requires less oxygen to survive. These results suggest that lying on your back—even for a short rest—reduces the oxygen available to your fetus.
Is Your Mattress Comfortable?
Mattresses are made of a variety of materials. Some are softer or firmer. The type of material that a mattress is made out of affect your body temperature.
When it comes to the firmness of a mattress, you want one that is firm enough to support your spine, but also soft enough to conform to the shape of your body. People who suffer from back pain may be most comfortable on a mattress that is softer and more cushioning.
You can’t know for sure how your mattress will work out until you’ve been resting on it for a while. When shopping for a mattress, buy one from a store that will let you test it for several weeks and exchange it if it doesn’t work for you.
Can Sleeping Posture Predict Your Personality?
That depends on what you consider “personality.” In the 70s and 80s, some researchers claimed they could use sleeping postures to predict if someone were impulsive, feminine, anxious, self-confident–even whether they could be hypnotized.
More recent studies have cast doubt on these theories. The research has been criticized for using “woefully small” numbers of sleepers. Many contradictions have been found between these studies as well.
A more recent attempt to associate personality traits to body positions during sleep came up empty-handed. It showed only a “very weak relationship between sleep positions and personality,” and, using predictions from earlier models, failed to reliably predict the participants’ personality traits.
But on the Other Hand…
Even if earlier studies are unreliable, there may be another way that our sleep postures say something about our personalities. Some sleeping positions are associated with well-rested sleepers. Maybe people who prefer them wake up less crabby and irritable, and are more alert during the day.
Here are some examples, using the Big Five personality traits. A group of 22,000 American and Japanese adults were measured over 10 years. The ones who slept poorly tended to become less conscientious over time. The ones who slept best were the most extroverted and the least neurotic.
So, at the end of the day, the best sleeping position for you may simply be the one that leaves you feeling your best the next day.
PREVENT NECK, BACK, AND SHOULDER PAIN WITH THESE 3 TOP HOME OFFICE HACKS
The last couple of months brought an increase in people working from home. Due to COVID-19, governments all over the world issued recommendations for a general lockdown. This included sending millions to start working from home as a way to prevent the virus to spread even further.
There’s no question that working from home was new for most people. Most didn’t even realize up until that point that their offices do provide them with a good ergonomic environment that allows them not only to be productive but to prevent neck, back, and shoulder pain as well.
According to this study from the University of Cincinnati, researchers discovered that working for home setups aren’t as good as they could be. Since these can lead to back, neck, and shoulder pain, we are about to show you 3 top hacks that will help you turn your work from home setup better.
3 TOP HOME OFFICE HACKS TO PREVENT NECK, BACK, AND SHOULDER PAIN
#1: Look At Your Chair:
When you take a look at the chair you are using to work, you may have a traditional office chair or you may be using just the kitchen chair or the dining chair. No matter the case, you need to ensure that you set it at a good height as well as you need to pay attention to the position of the armrests.
In case your arms aren’t at a good height considering the desk or table, you need to add a cushion or pillow to the seat. Besides, take also a look at your back since you want to ensure that you have a good lumbar support. In case you don’t, you can simply roll a towel and place it on the bottom of your back.
#2: Elevate Your Computer:
Another great hack that can prevent back, neck, and shoulder pain is to position your computer better.
In most cases, you will find that the desks or tables you have around your home are usually lower than they should when you need to work. So, you should raise your laptop or monitor.
Keep in mind that the top of the screen should be right at eye level. This doesn’t only prevent neck strain but also eye strain.
In case you notice that it’s too low, you can simply add some books, boxes, or even magazines under it to ensure that it is set at the right height.
#3: DYI A Standing Desk:
You probably already hard the benefits of a standing desk. So, now that you are working from home, you can give it a try.
The truth is that it’s not hard to come up with a standing desk. However, you should notice that you shouldn’t use a standing desk all the time; you should alternate between a standing and a sitting desk throughout the day.
For a DIY standing desk, you just need to set your computer on a tall surface like an ironing board or a kitchen countertop, and then use your stackers to get the right height.
UNDERSTANDING NECK PAIN AND EFFECTIVE HOME REMEDIES
There’s no question that neck pain affects a lot of people around the world. The truth is that it isn’t just a pain you can deal with; sometimes, it can truly affect your day to day activities.
Understanding Neck Pain
We have been noticing an increase in people complaining about neck pain. This is due to many different factors.
One of the main reasons that have been leading to this increase is related to the use of smartphones and gadgets. Since we are more and more dependent on these mobile devices, we don’t even notice our poor posture when we are using them.
As we already mentioned above, not all neck pain is the same. While minor neck pain due to an unhealthy lifestyle can be controlled with exercise, some neck pain can make it hard to keep doing all your daily activities as you should.
Notice that in case the pain is in excess, prolonged, or with other symptoms, you should consider getting medical help.
As you can easily understand, to discover the best way to fight neck pain, you need to know what is actually causing it in the first place.
NECK PAIN MAIN CAUSES
#1: Muscle Tension Or Strain:
This can be due to poor posture, long working hours, a specific exercise you have been doing, or even due to your pillow.
#2: Injuries On The Neck Or Around The Neck:
In case you just injured your neck or the area around it, you may be also experiencing pain. In this case, you should get an appointment with your doctor to understand the severity of the condition.
#3: Other Conditions:
While we already stated the most obvious neck pain causes, the truth is that there are other conditions that can lead to neck pain. These include osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve compression, meningitis, and worn out joints.
HOME REMEDIES FOR NECK PAIN
If you are experiencing neck pain and you want to make it go away, then you should try exercise. The truth is that exercise is one of the best home remedies for neck pain. Besides, they don’t cost you any money and they are easy and quick.
All you need to do is to do some neck movements like turning left to right or rotations can help reduce neck stiffness and reduce pain.
#2: Hot And Cold Therapy:
You may also want to try hot and cold therapy to reduce neck pain. However, you shouldn’t consider this option lightly. It is always a good option to check with your doctor and see which therapy is the best one for you.
Sometimes, the muscles around your neck simply need to relax. So, there’s nothing better than a massage to help relieve tension and cure neck pain.
#4: Use A Good Pillow:
You should make sure that you are using a good pillow. Ultimately, it needs to provide you with good support and maintain your spine perfectly aligned.
If you usually wake up in the morning with a stiff neck, you need to find out the reason. After all, we all need a good night’s sleep not only to work well and be productive but also for our well-being and overall health.
According to Steven Knauf, DC, the executive director of chiropractic and compliance at The Joint Chiropractic, “Sleeping in poor positions may cause prolonged stress to your neck. For example, stomach sleepers often sleep with their head to one side so that they’re able to breath. Over time, this can stress muscles in the neck, which may cause stiffness or pain.”
However, and while these negative effects are already bad, you can even get worse if you don’t address the problem quickly. According to Dr. Knauf, you may also experience other symptoms such as headaches and even tingling in your arms or hands.
So it’s time to take action and learn how to avoid cricking your neck while you sleep.
How To Avoid Cricking Your Neck While You Sleep
When you are looking to avoid this, then you need to pay attention to the way you sleep. Overall speaking, you should always aim to keep your head in a neutral position.
So, before you close your eyes, you should ensure that you are either on your side or back. If you are still sleeping on your stomach, then you need to change it.
If You Sleep On Your Back
According to Dr. Knauf, if you sleep on your back, you may need to find a new pillow. The truth is that in most cases, the pillow you’re using isn’t the best one for you. “Having a pillow that supports the natural curve of the neck, but doesn’t push the head forward, is a must,” he says. “Your ears should be in line with your shoulders with some support between the top of your shoulders to the base of your head.”
When you’re looking for a good pillow for back sleepers, you should look for one that features a U-shape to ensure that your spine remains properly aligned and holds your head up properly while you’re sleeping. In addition, you should also look for a pillow that allows you to easily adjust it. This way, you should be able to easily add or remove some of the filling to ensure the pillow is at your desired height and support level.
If You Sleep On Your Side
Still according to Dr. Knauf, “For side sleepers, it’s important to have a pillow that isn’t so big that it pushes your head toward your shoulder or one too thin where your head now leans to the side that you sleep on.”
Ultimately, you should look for a pillow that isn’t either too thin or too big. In addition, getting a customizable pillow is also an option to keep in mind. After all, you’re looking to get the right height and support. When your spine is in the correct alignment on your pillow, you won’t wake up with neck pain.