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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Ease Muscle Pain from Chikungunya 10-16

Chikungunya is a viral infection spread by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. It is commonly found in Africa, the Indian Ocean islands, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia. There are different signs and symptoms that accompany the illness. These include high fever, headache, joint and back pain, and rash. Muscle pain is among the most commonly occurring signs of chikungunya, so it is very important that you know how to deal with it.

Part 1 of 3: Easing Pain Through Diet and Res

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    Take time to sleep. Patients with chikungunya infection are advised to take complete bed rest. This means that the patient should avoid getting in and out of bed except for going to the bathroom, if the patient is able. It is advisable to sleep for 8-12 hours a day. This will shorten your recovery phase.
    • When you sleep, your blood pressure drops and breathing becomes slower and deeper. Since your brain’s activity is dramatically decreased during sleep, it saves energy and oxygen. This saved energy and oxygen will be distributed to other parts of the body, including the muscles. The extra blood supply carrying nutrients and oxygen aids in repairing muscle tissues damaged by the chikungunya virus.
    • It is during sleep that the pituitary gland releases an extra shot of growth hormone. The growth hormone, in turn, will stimulate tissue ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,growth and development of new muscle cells.[1]
    • Sleep also induces unconsciousness. When you go to sleep, you will become less aware of your surroundings. Sleep can therefore decrease your muscle pain by lessening your awareness of it.
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    Eat foods that support the immune system. Eat the right food to ease muscle pain. The best way to eliminate pain is to eliminate the chikungunya infection. Like other types of viral infection, chikungunya eventually goes away on its own, therefore treatment is primarily targeted at easing symptoms such as muscle pain. Improving your immune system will shorten the duration of the infection and this will help to alleviate muscle pain.
    • Consume onion and garlic. These two flavorful healers possess antiseptic properties and immunity boosting compounds. During chikungunya infection, it's recommended that you consume 3-5 servings of onion and garlic per day.[2]
    • Eat mushrooms. Mushrooms are known to stimulate cytokines – cells that suppress viral or bacterial infection. Have one portion of mushrooms or mushroom soup at least once a day.[3]
    • Citrus fruits offer vitally needed vitamin C. This vitamin is an antioxidant which supports cellular repair and keeps the cells healthy. You can acquire vitamin C from cantaloupe, orange, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries, just to name a few. Eat at least 5 sources of vitamin C each day.[4]
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    Apply cold compresses. A cold compress can help numb the aching muscle. Moreover, it can also decrease inflammation that might be causing muscle pain.
    • As the cold compress comes in contact with the skin, it constricts blood vessels and decreases blood supply. The cold compress can also decrease the temperature of the muscle.[5]
    • Ice therapy or cold compress should only be done for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. This time duration is enough to deliver therapeutic effect. Don’t apply ice directly on the skin or apply it for longer than 20 minutes. Doing so will result in tissue damage.

Part 2 of 3: Using Pain Relief Medications

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    Take naproxen. This drug falls under the NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) category. It works by suppressing the production of prostaglandin. This chemical is released when there is tissue damage.
    • As prostaglandin travels through the body, it becomes attached to pain receptors and initiates pain perception. Prostaglandin also plays a role in initiating inflammation processes that can further cause muscle pain.[6]
    • The recommended dose of naproxen is 550 mg by mouth as an initial dose. This is followed with a 550 mg dose every 12 hours or 275 mg every 6 hours.[7]
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    Take ibuprofen. This drug is another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Its action is similar to naproxen.
    • However, its main mechanism is to block the production of cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzyme. This enzyme is a precursor for prostaglandin to develop.[
    • The recommended dose is 200 to 400 mg by mouth. It should be taken every 4 to 6 hours. [9]
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    Take acetaminophen. Though this drug is categorized as an NSAID, it has little anti-inflammatory action. Its main function is to reduce body temperature and relieve pain.
    • Acetaminophen works like ibuprofen as it blocks the production of COX enzyme as well.[10]
    • The recommended dose is 325 to 650 mg every 4 to 6 hours. You can also take 1000 mg every 6 to 8 hours.[11]
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    Don't mix pain relief medications. When taking pain relief, only take one type of medication at a time, unless your doctor will tell you otherwise. Taking multiple type of pain reliever at the same time will lead to overdose. Follow specific instructions on how to take each drug.

Part 3 of 3: Understanding Chikunguny


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    Know why chickungunya causes muscle pain. The chikungunya virus is transmitted through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes. As the virus enters the body, it runs through the blood vessels.
    • The virus mainly affects the human endothelial and epithelial cells known as fibroblasts. These fibroblasts usually make up the muscle tissue.
    • As the infection progresses, these fibroblasts are damaged and epithelial and endothelial cells die. The injury to the muscle’s fibroblasts result in muscle pain.
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    Recognize the other symptoms of chikungunya. Aside from muscle pain, the other symptoms of chikingunya include:
    • Fever: When the body’s immune system detects foreign bodies such as the Chikungunya virus, substances that cause fever or also known as pyrogens are secreted and travel to the temperature-regulating center of the brain called the hypothalamus.
    • Itchy, maculopapular rashes: It typically begins on the face and spreads rapidly to trunk and extremities. A macular rash refers to flat, small red patches on the skin, while a papular rash refers to small raised red bumps. If both are present, a rash is called maculopapular.
    • Headache: Infection triggers the occurrence of headaches.
    • Loss of appetite: Infection alters the normal eating habits of a person. When higher body temperatures occur, a person’s taste buds stop working. Without a sense of taste, the person’s appetite is lost.
    • Body malaise: The muscles become inflamed whenever infection is present. As a result, the person can feel body weakness and may want to lie down most of the time.
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    Understand how chikungunya is diagnosed. Diagnosis is based on the signs and symptoms. Usually, to confirm a diagnosis of Chikungunya, the doctor will order a blood test.
    • Blood will be drawn out of the patient’s vein and will be put in a sterile container for examination in the laboratory.
    • The test will detect the presence of Chikungunya antibodies in the blood that will indicate exposure of the patient to the virus.


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