Health articles

Joint Disorders
21 May 2022

Joint Disorders

Joint disorders may be due to injuries or diseases that damage the space between a muscle and a bone. Treatment of joint problems depends on the cause. If you have a sports injury, the recommended treatment often includes; enough rest and placing ice on the injured part to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Other possible treatments include pain relievers, rehabilitation or surgery.

Overview – What are they?

Heart conditions can also be referred to as cardiovascular diseases. The heart is made up of arteries, veins, four valves and four chambers. Most heart conditions can be prevented by living a healthy life Examples of such conditions include;

Heart failure- this gradual and chronic condition occurs when the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood as it should for it to supply oxygen and blood to the body.

Arrhythmia- this occurs when there is a change in the normal sequence of the heartbeats. This condition can be mild or life-threatening with symptoms like; fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, and rapid heartbeat. In extreme cases, it can lead to collapsing and sudden cardiac arrest.

Congenital Heart Disease- occurs when there is a problem with the anatomy or structure of the heart. It can be a defect of the valves, arteries or veins of the heart. These defects can disrupt the normal flow of blood in and out of the heart.

Coronary Heart Disease- this condition occurs due to the narrowing of the coronary artery. The narrowing may be caused by an accumulation of cholesterol or a blood clot in the artery, causing a poor blood supply to the muscle. Its symptoms are; shortness of breath and chest pain in the heart muscle with a shortage of blood rich in oxygen.

Heart Valve Disease- this occurs when one or more valves in the heart malfunction. The valves are responsible for preventing the backflow of blood in the heart, meaning- they keep blood flowing in the correct direction. 

Stroke- this condition can occur due to many factors. It can happen when the heart fails to supply blood to brains cell, causing them to stop functioning. This condition can lead to numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of your body, loss of speech, loss of balance or loss of vision in one or both eyes.

Causes – What causes them?
  • Heart defects you're born with 
  • Other Conditions such as Coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Some over-the-counter medications.
  • Excessive use of alcohol or caffeine.
  • A family history of heart problems, especially heart attacks and strokes, increases your risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Smoking- nicotine in tobacco shrinks your blood vessels and affects their inner lining, making you more vulnerable to heart attacks. 
  • A poor diet like that which is high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.  
  • Obesity- people with average healthy weight are less likely to have heart diseases compared to people with excess weight. 
  • Physical inactivity. Lack of exercise is also associated with many forms of heart disease and some of its other risk factors. 
  • Stress. Unrelieved stress may damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease. 
  • Poor hygiene. Not regularly washing your hands and not establishing other habits that can help prevent viral or bacterial infections can put you at risk of heart infections, especially if you already have an underlying heart condition. Poor dental health also may contribute to heart disease.
Symptoms- what do you feel?
Symptoms of heart diseases depend on the type of condition you have. Here is a list of some of the symptoms:
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry cough
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Stress tests
  • Echocardiography- ultrasound examination of the heart to evaluate the anatomy of the heart valves, the muscle, and its function may be performed by a cardiologist.

Prevention- How do you prevent Heart Conditions?

  1. Quit smoking
  2. Control other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
  3. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
  4. Eat a diet that's low in salt and saturated fat
  5. Maintain a healthy weight
  6. Reduce and manage stress
  7. Practice good hygiene