Beet Red Juice with Apples, Carrots, Cilantro, Lemon and Ginger

pics of vegetables carrots, beet, apples ginger and lemon in Blood Red Juice by Arun Shanbhag

Now that M & Meera are in Boston, I worry less (about the house, yard or anything else) and explore culinary creations. Here is an all-natural Red Juice loaded with important nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. Continue reading “Beet Red Juice with Apples, Carrots, Cilantro, Lemon and Ginger”

What to do with Bunions?

cross-posted from Aches & Joints


What to do with Bunions? Better to leave them alone.

A bunion is a characteristically large bony bump at the base of the big toe. This alters the alignment of the bones, causing the base of the big toe to angle out and crowding the tops towards the smaller toes. Bunions can often be painful and cause swelling, making it difficult to find comfortably fitting shoes. The big toe pushing against the smaller toes can result in irritation of the skin, forming painful calluses.

Bunions occur more frequently in women and can occur in children as well. Although some footwear can contribute to the deformity, it is not the sole cause. “People who develop bunions often have an underlying predisposition to acquire them, such as a family member who may have them, overly mobile joints, or a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis,” explains Dr A Holly Johnson, Foot & Ankle Surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Traumatic injuries to feet or toes can also result in bunions. Bunions can occur in people with flatfeet (or over pronation) and may involve deformities of the smaller toes, such as hammer toes.

xray of normal foot (left) and a foot with a bunion (right) hallux valgus
Left: X-ray of normal foot while standing. Right: Foot with a bunion, also called hallux valgus. Notice the bony protuberance and the large angle at the base of the big toe. The top of the big toe is seen crowding towards the smaller toes. Continue reading “What to do with Bunions?”

Turmeric Milk: Soothing Elixir

haldi turmeric ginger milk by Arun ShanbhagTurmeric is an ubiquitous indian spice and a common ingredient of pre-mixed curry or masala powders. Turmeric (haldi, Konkani; haridra, Sanskrit) is also an essential component of fish marinade.

While I take for granted the turmeric used in cooking, I distinctly remember my grandma preparing scalding hot, turmeric milk whenever we had a sore throat or cold. And grandma admonished us to sip it hot, letting it course its way down the back of our throats. Haaiiii! She had alchemized this common root, to a piping hot, golden elixir, which not only got us back to school the next day (unfortunately), but also back on the playground (v good). Something magical about that turmeric milk! If she only knew!
Continue reading “Turmeric Milk: Soothing Elixir”

Vitamin D Prevents Fractures

A recent clinical review reported in the NY Times provides great news for older adults. A meta-analysis of 12 randomized clinical trials, together representing over 65,000 subjects suggests that Vitamin D reduces the risk for non-vertebral fractures by 20 % and hip fractures by 18%.
Continue reading “Vitamin D Prevents Fractures”

Yoga for Arthritis

Yoga can provide immense physical benefits for women with arthritis.

For arthritis patients, aerobic exercises, muscle conditioning and increased physical activity can keep you strong and agile, improve heart fitness and reduce your weight. Yoga provides an effective alternative to the traditional strengthening and aerobic exercises, and offers other benefits as well.

While yoga may bring visions of complex body contortions, most yoga classes provide simple, gentle movements that gradually build muscular strength, promote balance and improve flexibility. Its meditative nature soothes and relaxes the mind, and is associated with increased mental alertness and enthusiasm. Scientific studies have shown that practicing yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, which is strongly recommended for arthritis patients. Yoga does not increase pain or worsen arthritis.

Picture of Padmasana Yoga Pose
Continue reading “Yoga for Arthritis”

Men are from Mars and Women get Arthritis

Why more women suffer from Arthritis by Arun Shanbhag
Biochemistry, Anatomy & Lifestyle Explain Why more Women Suffer from Arthritis.
Titles in bookstores remind us that women think, behave and feel differently than men. Even in health, diseases in women manifest and progress uniquely, and the effectiveness of medications varies. Scientific research informs us that women are also more vulnerable to arthritis. Such differences may be due to hormonal, genetic, biomechanical, and lifestyle differences between genders, contributing to disparities in men and women’s treatments. Understanding these gender-specific differences will help us treat women’s arthritis more effectively.
Continue reading “Men are from Mars and Women get Arthritis”

Heel Drop – Stretching Calf Muscles

The Heel Drop is another great exercise to stretch the calf muscles, the Achilles tendon, as well as the fascia under the heel. You can do this where ever you see a set of stairs. And it only takes a couple of minutes. One of my favorites before I head out for a run!

Stretching Calf Muscles, Meg Vitter

  • Look for a set of stairs with railings.
  • Hold on to railings for support.
  • Place the ball of your left foot on the edge of a step.
  • Place entire right foot on the step above for stability.
  • Gradually let the heel of your left foot drop, while keeping your leg straight.
  • Feel the stretch in the sole of your left foot, Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the stretch three to five times for each leg.
  • You can even repeat this after a run or a workout.

Demonstrated by Meg Vitter of Boston, MA.


Also read:
Treating Heel Pain or Plantar Fasciitis;
Heel and Achilles Tendon Stretch;
Toe Extension;
Precautions to take before starting new exercises

See other exercises at Aches & Joints

© Arun Shanbhag 2008

Foot and Toe Extension

Continues the Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis Series.


For most of the day, our feet are bound within stiff shoes and many of the soft tissues within the feet are infrequently used. This is a simple yet very effective exercise to stretch the heel and underlying plantar fascia … and bring life to those toes!

If you have heel pain, perform this stretch as you wake up and place your feet on the floor. This can also be performed while sitting in the office chair or on the couch.

  • Sit on a chair and place your ankle over the opposite knee.
  • Grip toes and gently pull them back towards the knee, while holding the ankle to prevent it from moving.
  • Feel the stretch in the sole of the foot all the way to the heel.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat three times for each foot.

See related articles:
Treating Heel Pain or Plantar Fasciitis
Heel and Achilles Tendon Stretch
This article and archives are available at achesandjoints.org

Heel & Achilles Tendon Stretch

Continuing my Health & Fitness Series, as published in our patient newsletter, Aches & Joints.

Following up on the Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis) article from a few weeks earlier, here is the first of a series of exercises that can help recovery from heel pain.

This is a wonderfully effective warm-up before running, going for a walk, or participating in any sports. Or just do this stretch because you want to. This stretches the Achilles tendon as well as the calf muscles. Runners especially need to do stretch these before heading out and after returning from a run too.

You don’t need to go to a health club or gym to do this. Stretch in your office or waiting in the coffee line, or even during a walk in the park.

Enjoy and Share with others. Live well!
heel achilles tendon stretch, Meg Vitter

  • When out for a walk, find a wall to lean against. Even a tree will do.
  • Stand an arms length from the wall.
  • Place the leg to be stretched about 12-18 inches behind you.
  • Keep your toes pointed forward and slightly inward.
  • Bend your arms and gradually lean towards the wall.
  • Make sure your leg is straight and the heel of your back leg is pressed to the floor.
  • Feel the stretch in the calf and heel of the back leg.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and return to starting position.
  • Repeat three times for each leg.

Stretches demonstrated by Meg Vitter of Boston, MA.


Also read:
Treating Heel Pain or Plantar Fasciitis
Precautions to Take Before Starting New Exercises
Article archives are available at www.AchesAndJoints.org

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