Windsurfing Basics

Windsurfing is quite a popular sport especially in the summer. It can give you a different kind of thrill which you may not experience in other sports. And contrary to what many people may think, it is not very difficult to learn it as long as you know the basics:

Getting started

As soon as you are ready with your gears, check the wind direction first before starting to sail. If you are a beginner, don’t ever sail with an off-shore wind because what you may think of as a gentle wind while on the shore will be twice when you are in the open sea or lake. If the wind is cross-shore, on-shore or somewhere in between, it is safer to attach the board and sail together. For beginners, the ideal wind strength is between forces 2 and 3 on the Beaufort scale. Additionally, check out the tides before setting off.


Your position while on the board is vital for speed and stability. Hold your head up while looking to the direction you are going. Your arms should be slightly bent shoulder width apart and parallel to the boom. Keep a straight back with bottom tucked in. Your legs should be shoulder width apart as you keep your front leg straight while the back leg slightly bent for control.


In windsurfing, being able to balance the forces is important and this is done by steering. When steering, it is important to take into consideration the center of lateral resistance (CLR) which is the imaginary vertical line from the daggerboard going straight up. When the force of the rig is balanced over CLR, you can expect to travel in a straight line. When you move the rig backwards, it means turning the front upwind. However, when you lean the rig forward, you will be turning the board into a different direction away from the wind.


Running is when you sail with the wind coming from behind you while the sail is positioned at a right angle to the board. This technique is very unstable and requires you to have a good sense of balance. The daggerboard can help you achieve stability but be cautious of the increasing wind as it can tip up your board. When that happens, you should retract your daggerboard.


Tacking means that you have to sail as close to the wind a possible and then make a sudden turn and go to the opposite direction while still staying close to the wind. To turn the front of your board through the wind and into the no-go zone, return first to the secure position while leaning the rig to the back of the board. Doing so will let you turn your board directly to the wind. Once you are through the wind, shuffle the mastfoot as you keep your feet closer to the center line. After doing that maneuver, you will now be positioned on the other side of the board. You could then transfer your hands to the boom and start sailing off. As you master this technique, you will be able to do tacking while keeping the board moving instead of going back to secure position.


Gybing is a technique involving changing course while sailing downwind. This can be done by leaning the rig forward into the front of the board while keeping the sail filled and steering your board in the opposite direction of the wind.

Practice is very important in order to master some of the most basic techniques in windsurfing. With regular practice, these techniques will become second nature. As a beginner, you can greatly learn by observing and talking with other windsurfers.

The Sport of Kitesurfing

Come summer time and many people get to enjoy a wide range of water sports and activities. One particular sport that you may want to try is kitesurfing. This kind of watersport harnesses wind power through a large kite to propel you across the water while riding a small kiteboard or surfboard. It is a unique kind of sport that can give you a different kind of adventure.


Kitesurfing is a considerably new sport that is influenced by a wide range of other sports, particularly powerkiting, wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing, snowboarding and paragliding. If you have tried any of these sports, kitesurfing may be a lot easier for you to try. However, even if you are just a beginner in any of these sports, you may still find kitesurfing an easy sport to learn.

Although the name of this sport includes surfing, in reality, it does not need waves as long as there is wind. In fact, most kite surfers especially beginners prefer flat water locations for freestyle riding because the ride is smooth and they allow for easy take-off and landing. But you may also try a wide range of other conditions such as surfing in big waves if you like more adventure.

Kites Used

To produce the right amount of pull from the wind, a kite with inflatable tubes is needed for this sport. The inflatable parts keep the kite in shape while allowing it to float and re-launch from the water. Kites come in various sizes depending on the size of the rider and the strength of the wind. It is anything between 2 and 14 square meters.

Since 2006, there have been numerous changes in the kites used for kitesurfing. Prior to 2006, there was only the C-kite which got its name from its curved “C” shape. After that, bow style and SLE (supported leading edge) kites started to be introduced in the market. Bow kites are noted for their flatter shape that is similar to an archer’s bow. The SLE kite, on the other hand, is unique for its bridle lines which are attached to its inflatable leading edge to support its shape. Both types of kites have swept back wingtips which give the kite a strong depower, allowing for easier re-launching from the water. This kind of feature also provides a great improvement in the ease of use and safety of the kite.

Since the introduction of the bow and SLE kites, there have been many improvements added to the original C-kite design. There are now hybrid kites in the market that incorporate some of the best features of these two types of kites.

Boards Used

There is also a wide range of boards used for kitesurfing but they are all predominantly symmetrical or have twin tips. However, some riders also use directional boards when riding with waves. Boards with larger surface areas require less power to get them up to the water and to keep them afloat even with light wind to power the kite. These kinds of boards are commonly used by beginners because of their ease of use and safety factor. More advanced riders, on the other hand, usually choose smaller boards. Although tiny boards used to be popular, they are no longer used because of the styles and tricks that are possible with the newer kites as well as their large depower capability. Generally, boards used are between 125 and 150 centimeters in length and between 38 and 45 centimeters in width.


Kitesurfing is generally a safe sport as long as you observe certain safety precautions. Most basic of which is to avoid kite surfing in crowded areas or near any obstructions such as rocks or boats. To be safe, keep a minimum distance of at least 100 meters from any type of obstruction.

Kitesurfing is an exciting sport that is worth trying. However, before you do, be sure to learn more about this sport for a better and safer experience.

Nodular Acne Vs Scalp Acne

Unlike years ago when acne was usually a teenager’s rite of passage in life, it’s becoming a reality for more adults today. A major contributor is lifestyle changes where people are more exposed to stress and junk food than before. Two types of acne, nodular and scalp are common in adults. That’s why you won’t fail to catch an advert selling acne removal product on TV today. Away from the booming business of acne busting products, let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between these acne types.

How the develop

Both types of acne develop more or less the same way. For scalp acne, dead skin cells, bacteria and skin oils bind and clog the hair follicle. The result is a painful itch that results from inflammation. Nodular acne on the other hand is a more advanced form of acne. It develops after a non inflammatory form of acne goes untreated. As the clogged pore grows in size, the walls might collapse spilling the sebum and bacteria mix into surrounding tissue. The result is inflammation and itching.


Since both types of acne are accompanied with inflammation, redness and itching, they are both inflammatory types of acne.

Point of development

Acne of the scalp as the name suggests develops within the scalp. The pimples usually occur within the hair follicle blocking it. Acne nodules on the other hand usually occur in areas of the body where there is a high concentration of sebaceous glands. These include the face, chest and back. These pimples also occur within skin pores as opposed to hair follicles. They also form deep within the skin.


People suffering from either form of pimples will experience painful rashes. For nodular pimples, there will be a large bump on the skin that’s inflamed and red. Severe cases of pimples on the scalp can also lead to hair loss.

Ease of treatment

In most instances, both acne types will disappear with proper cleaning and care. However, they can also be difficult to treat. Acne of the scalp is especially difficult to treat if the patient has long hair. This prevents effective penetration of topical creams. Acne nodules on the other hand can be difficult to treat due to their depth within the skin.

Common treatment methods

Salicylic acid is one of the commonly used topical treatment methods for acne. This compound had exfoliating properties which help to rid the skin off dead skin cells. It also helps unclog blocked pores releasing trapped sebum and bacteria. Another commonly used product is benzoyl peroxide. It’s however not recommended for scalp zits as it has a bleaching effect.

Washing the affected area with mild antibacterial soap also helps treat acne. Soap with antibacterial properties helps to kill off acne causing bacteria.

Topical application of tea tree oil also helps to treat both types of acne. A natural antibacterial, tea tree oil seeps deep into the skin pores killing off bacteria that are causing the breakouts.

Vitamin and zinc supplements are another common treatment method. Vitamins A, B-complex and E are essential for overall skin health. Zinc on the other hand has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties which help keep acne under control.

Are Tattoos A Great Option For Removing Stretch Marks?

I usually notice many folks spotting tattoos while at the beach. Besides being great body art, I’ve come to realize that tattoos are now being used to cover stretch marks. Many people especially women are looking for ways how to remove stretch marks. Although the different creams and lotions available do “clear” these scars to some extent, they usually don’t completely eliminate the marks. Other available options include waiting for the marks to clear, home based remedies and even laser stretch mark removal. But for now, let’s focus on tattoos.

Tattooing over a stretch mark

A stretch mark is basically a scar left when your skin breaks due to rapid weight gain. That said the skin covering a scar will have a different texture and cell structure compared to other parts of the skin. Therefore, the tattoo ink won’t be absorbed and even out on a stretch mark as it would on normal skin.

Why do people tattoo over stretch marks?

A tattoo isn’t a means of removing stretch marks. People will opt to tattoo areas with stretch marks as a means of covering up the affected area. They are simply making the scars less conspicuous.

Does this work?

It all depends on your overall goal. Most people with stretch marks consider them embarrassing. The main goal when tattooing an area with stretch marks is making the skin more appealing to the eye. We can therefore safely say that a tattoo over stretch marks does the trick. You won’t find many people admiring stretch marks as they would admire a well inked tattoo.

A word of caution however, stretch marks will vary in color and size. You aren’t therefore guaranteed that your tattoo will look great when applied on stretch marks. What looks great on someone might backfire for you.

Useful tips if you want a tattoo to cover stretch marks

The first thing to consider when you want a tattoo over stretch marks is the location, size and color of the scars. This will give you a rough idea about the preferable ink color, tattoo design and size of the tattoo to be applied. Smaller and light colored scars are easier to cover up but this doesn’t necessarily mean that larger darker colored stretch marks are impossible to work on. With regard to location, there are areas which are more prone to stretch marks such as the belly, thighs, buttocks and under the upper arms. Tattoos printed on these areas might get damaged if weight gain occurs and new stretch marks appear.

The second consideration to make is the cost of the tattoo. Tattoo costs vary depending on detail and size. You should also consider this is somewhat a custom job and tattoo artists might charge slightly higher for fine work.

Third in your consideration is the tattoo artist. It’s considered best to go for artists who have experience in similar work. Be sure to ask for pictures of healed tattoos over stretch marks to get an idea of the final result.

Are tattoos the best for stretch marks?

I cannot say that they are the best for stretch mark removal. However, they can do a great deal if all you want is to cover up scars which have failed to clear up even with other removal methods.

Home Exercises to Relieve Pain in Shoulders

A few months back, I regularly experienced sore shoulders. This was especially during evenings after a long day. Massaging usually relieved the pain but since the soreness and pain usually recurred, I knew I had to do something. “What was the source of the pain?” I asked myself. I knew daily stressors can cause pain between shoulder blades, more information can be found at With stress management techniques, I could reduce the soreness. But, avoiding daily stressors was next to impossible. So I knew that I had to do something different.

Pain in the shoulders can signal different things. For my case, I was perfectly healthy and didn’t have any shoulder injury. This was confirmed by my doctor. But by strengthening and adding flexibility to my shoulder muscles, I had better chance of eliminating future pain. I did some research and found the following exercises which have helped me relieve shoulder pain for the long term. The best thing is that I don’t need a gym subscription to perform them.

Towel stretch

This exercise is especially effective if you have pain in a particular shoulder causing rigidness. It mimics drying your back with a towel hence its name. To perform, grab one end of a towel with your right hand and raise it over your shoulder such that it drops over your back. Grab the other end using your left hand. Allow your left shoulder to relax. Now pull the towel upwards stretching your left shoulder. Hold the position for 10 seconds before releasing slowly. This will help relieve the pain in left shoulder. Repeat the motion with the opposite hand.

The Y formation exercise

This exercise aims at stretching a number of shoulder muscles giving the upper body strength and stability. Performed daily, it can help relieve shoulder pain and prevent future recurrence. To start, lie down on your back with knees bent at 45⁰ and feet flat on the floor. Flex your core muscles and keep your back flat. With elbows straight, move your arms along the floor until your body forms a “Y” shape. With your hands clasped and thumbs pointing out, extend your thumbs until they touch the floor. Hold the position for 10 seconds before returning to start position.


This is one of my favorite exercises as it not only works the shoulders; it also works the back, arms and torso. To perform, place your hands flat on the floor with arms at shoulder width. Keeping your back flat and feet together, place your toes at body length. Face directly forward and slowly relax and bend your elbows allowing your body to move towards the floor. Return to the start position and do 10 repetitions.

Door lean

This exercise aims at stretching both the back and front shoulder muscles. Stand in front of a doorway with legs at shoulder width. Place arms on the walls and slightly above your head. Lean forward until you feel your shoulders stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds before returning to the start position. Repeat the stretch 5 times.

Taking Care of Pictus Catfish in the Aquarium

I’m always excited when I walk into a building and find an aquarium. The different colors and different size fish in one place just remind me of the ocean. It’s not uncommon for me to remain staring at the fish as they swim around the aquarium. I have seen different fish kept in aquariums including the common goldfish and koi. Over the recent years however, I have noticed an increased interest in catfish. The Pictus in particular is one species that’s quite popular among aquarium owners.

I had the opportunity of interacting with one aquarium owner that stocked the Pictus cat. My question was how easy it is to keep them. “Well, I’d say they are easy to take care of if you have the right information.” He answered. “The right information.” I wondered. If I were to decide to keep these catfish species in the future, then I had to learn more about their preferences. Form my research, this is what I found.

How to take care of Pictus catfish

Some of the things necessary to keep your catfish healthy and happy in the aquarium include the following.

Recommended aquarium

The Pictus is a very active swimmer. Therefore an aquarium of not less than 70 gallons is recommended. For a shoal included in an aquarium with other fish, an even larger aquarium is necessary. This fish loves eating and therefore produces a lot of waste. A large water filter will ensure that the water remains clean. Being a nocturnal fish, the Pictus tends to hide a lot during the day. Adding wood and rocks to aquarium to act as hiding places will do the fish much good.

The bottom of the aquarium should be covered with soft sand. This protects the Pictus’ delicate barbells from injury during feeding.

The water conditions in the aquarium should be as follows. Water hardness should be between 1 and 15, pH of between 5.8 to 7.2 and, temperatures between 72⁰ and 78⁰F.


As mentioned, the Pictus cat loves feeding. It’s omnivorous and will feed on anything ranging from plants to smaller fish in the wild. In the aquarium, you can feed it on processed fish food and even catfish bait you’d normally use in the wild. Ensure that the food sinks since this fish species is a bottom feeder.

Stocking with other fish

The Pictus is considered a peaceful species which will do well with most peaceful fish of the same size or a bit larger. However, avoid stocking this fish alongside smaller fish. The Pictus won’t normally hesitate eating smaller fish. In addition, this fish loves living in shoals and a group of 6 and above will do great in the aquarium.

Aquarium threats

This fish is fairly easy to maintain. However, it does have specific conditions that can threaten its health. Salt and chemical compounds such as copper can harm the fish. Being a non scaled fish, such compounds can easily penetrate the body harming the internal organs. Trying to capture the fish using a net can also damage its spiny fins also. If you wish to capture the fish, use a clear glass or plastic container.

Back Pain Complaints and Their Causes

It’s not uncommon for one of my surfing buddies to forgo a massive wave due to pain in one part of his body. I’ve also had to do this a couple of times. Common pain areas for us include the legs, arms and back. The back is especially sensitive and prone to a number of injuries. But back pain isn’t only caused by injury, there are other contributing factors. Before going into what causes back pain, its best to break this body parts into four portions, right, left, upper and, lower. For my discussion, I’ll look at the lower left back area and, the right side of the back.

Lower left back

The lower left back area is found right above the pelvis and below the ribs. It includes the spinal discs and core muscles which support the lower back and upper body. It’s one of the areas of the body with most patients complaining of pain.

Some of the causes of lower left back pain include the following. Health conditions affecting the nerves found in the lower back can cause chronic lower back pain. Such conditions include herniated disc and spinal stenosis where excess pressure is applied on the nerve roots. Health conditions that affect the bone structure will also cause lower back pain on the left side. Osteoarthritis is one such condition where the bone tissue slowly degrades. Pain in the lower left back can also be a sign of an underlying health condition that doesn’t directly affect the back. Health conditions affecting the kidneys and reproductive organs especially in women can also cause lower back pain. Such conditions include kidney stones, fibroids and kidney disease. Women can also experience pain in this area during pregnancy.

Right side back pain

Pain in the right side of the back is caused by some of the conditions that cause left back pain. There are however other instances where the right side pain is caused by more specific conditions. These include the following. Gall bladder inflammation and gall stones can cause pain in the right side of the back. The gall bladder is one of the organs found in the right side of the thoracic area. It main function is the production of bile which is responsible for fats synthesis. Sometimes this pain can travel up the patients shoulder.

Straining the lumbar muscles can also cause pain in the right side of the back. Some of the causes of lumbar muscle strain include repeated lifting of heavy weights and sudden muscle spasms. It can affect only one side or both parts of the back.

Bad posture can also result in pain in the right side of the back. It’s always advisable to maintain proper posture such that the back remains in neutral position. Hunching forward or backward for extended periods, poor sleeping or standing position can also cause back pain.

Sciatica is a condition where excess pressure is applied on the sciatic nerve that runs through the spinal cord into the legs. This condition can cause extreme pain in the side of the back where the nerve is affected.

What Is There To Know About Relationship Anxiety?

Picture this. A woman in her late 20s has been dating this guy for three years. The relationship has been going well and she expects that he’ll pop the question soon. He showers her with gifts and swears that she’s the one. The guy always ensures to call her in the evenings before going to bed. Then one night, he doesn’t call. After waiting for a couple of hours, she decides to take the initiative and call the guy. He picks up the phone and talks casually as if nothing is wrong.

The lady is hurt but doesn’t want to show this on the phone. She simply says goodnight and hangs up. Heartbroken, this is the first time she analyzes the relationship realistically. “Am I dating the right guy?” is the thought that crosses her mind. This question keeps her up all night. She’s suffering from a bout of relationship anxiety.

What’s anxiety in relationships?

This form of anxiety is found between two people who are in a relationship. In most cases, this will be a romantic relationship. There are a number of causes for anxiety in relationships and they include the following.

First, there can be lack of trust between the couple. Trust is one of the foundations of a strong and healthy relationship. A single incident can cause lack of trust. Remember that trust lost is hard to recover. Instances such as infidelity and discovered lies can make a spouse lose trust and become anxious any time a situation where trust is required arises.

Another cause for anxiety in relationships is doubt over the future of the relationship. As in the case of our woman, she suddenly becomes anxious about the future of the relationship. She’s in her late 20s and is probably ready to settle down with her partner. However, a single night when her partner misses to call her casts doubt about where the relationship is headed.

The third cause for anxiety in relationships is stress. Relationships can be hard to manage especially with the kids and work. Demands from your partner despite your other responsibilities can be a source of stress especially if these demands aren’t met.

The fourth cause of this form of anxiety is negativity towards the partner. Some once healthy relationships can turn ugly if one partner starts being negative. Once sweet compliments can turn to harsh statements usually aimed at hurting the partners feelings. In such instances, the receiving partner will usually be anxious about when the negativity will end. In some instances, they might become defensive and also become negative towards their spouse.


Some of the common symptoms associated with anxiety in relationships include insomnia, shaking, depression and fatigue and, muscle tension.


Although supplements for anxiety can be used to control some of the symptoms, the best treatment method focuses on you and the relationship. As a part of the relationship, you need to focus one of two things. First, is the relationship that meaningful that you’d want to save it? Second, consider whether changing your attitude can be the best way to control the anxiety. In many instances being positive and changing your attitude can prompt a similar response in your partner and save the relationship.

A Look into Bronchitis and Pneumonia

We have all suffered a cold or flu at one time in our life. These conditions are quite normal and they will usually go away after some time or, require medications. While these conditions of the respiratory tract aren’t life threatening, they might leave the body vulnerable to other infections which if severe enough, can be life threatening. These conditions are bronchitis and pneumonia.

I have had a bout with acute bronchitis during my early twenties. Although not considered a “serious” condition, the constant coughing wasn’t fun at all. Anything including cold and smoke seemed to trigger my cough and, these seemed to be everywhere I went. Back to my topic. I’m going to differentiate between these two conditions of the respiratory system due to the fact that most people can’t easily do so.

Bronchitis vs pneumonia

Areas affected

Bronchitis as the name suggests affects the bronchi. These are the tubes that pass air between the trachea and the lungs. A viral or bacterial attach on the bronchi can cause inflammation which is further aggravated by irritants such as smoke and cold.

Pneumonia on the other hand affects lung tissue. As such, bacterial, viral, fungal attacks on the lung tissue can cause infection and accumulation of fluid in the alveoli.


There are two main types of bronchitis; acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis lasts for about a week and it will usually disappear by itself. Chronic bronchitis on the other hand is characterized by a persistent cough that lasts over 3 months.

There are several types of pneumonia and, the type is usually described according to its cause. Some of the examples include chemical pneumonia, viral pneumonia, community acquired pneumonia and bacteria pneumonia.


A common symptom for both conditions is a cough which is initially dry but is then accompanied by clear or colored sputum as the condition advances.

Other symptoms of bronchitis include blood stained sputum after small blood vessels in bronchi rupture during coughing, wheezing, fever and fatigue.

Other symptoms of pneumonia include fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain when taking deep breaths, vomiting and, muscle pain. In severe cases, change in skin color can result due to low oxygen supply in the body.


A doctor will usually carry out diagnostic tests to ascertain whether the condition affecting the respiratory tract is bronchitis or pneumonia. Investigation of the sputum produced will confirm whether the condition is caused by bacteria or virus. An x-ray of the lungs is taken to check the level of damage to the lungs or bronchi. The x-ray will usually confirm whether you have bronchitis or pneumonia.


The treatment method will usually be determined on the causative agent. For bacterial caused bronchitis, antibacterials can be administered. Acute bronchitis caused by a viral infection will usually go away on its own. Severe bronchitis is however harder to treat and, your doctor will advise on the treatment regime they find best suited for your condition. Home based bronchitis remedies have also been found to be effective in keeping the condition under control. These include garlic, ginger, turmeric and basil.

Pneumonia is also treated depending on severity and the causative agent. Antibiotics and antivirals are usually administered to control the infection.

What Should You Feed Your Dog?

I love frequenting forums dedicated to pet owners especially dogs. My main goal is to find out what pet owners recommend for food, grooming and general maintenance for their dogs. I also give advice where I have the right information. Of late, many pet owners frequenting these forums have been concerned about what they should feed their dogs. A common question they have is whether dogs can eat some human food and the specific hypoallergenic food they can feed their pets.

Well, I did have the same questions but seeing that the forums didn’t have any comprehensive answers, I did some research. I’ll discuss two points in particular. The first is on dogs eating bananas and the second covers hypoallergenic foods.

Can dogs eat bananas?

This is one question many dog owners ask. The answer is yes. But sparingly. Bananas are one of the fruits that are loaded with tons of nutrients. Not only are they good for humans, they are also great for dogs. If you have a highly energetic pet, bananas will provide loads of carbs for his energy needs. Other beneficial nutrients bananas will provide include potassium, vitamins and minerals.

If you wish to feed your dog with bananas, don’t give it whole. Cut the banana into small pieces and mix it with another meal such as dog food. One thing to remember though is that a dog’s digestive system is not as complex as that of humans. They aren’t designed for digesting chunks of fruit and, feeding your dog too many bananas might result in diarrhea or even potassium overload. So feed your pet bananas in small servings.

Hypoallergenic dog food

Like humans, dogs are prone to allergies. Allergic attacks are triggered by different factors including food. An allergy is simply described as the body’s way of trying to get rid of anything it feels might harm it. Whatever the body is trying to get rid of doesn’t necessarily have to be harmful.

Studies show that there are a number of foods that are likely to trigger allergies in dogs. These include beef, corn, wheat, lamb and other foods commonly fed to canines. However, this doesn’t mean that every dog will be allergic to these foods. Each dog is unique and if a specific type of food triggers an allergy in one dog, it doesn’t mean that it will trigger the same allergy in another. Some of the common symptoms associated with dog allergies include itching, gastrointestinal distress, depression or hyperactivity and, excessively oily skin.

Today, there is a wide variety of hypoallergenic food for dogs. Many pet owners favor this food but blindly. Before buying any form of hypoallergenic food, its best to know which types of food trigger allergies in the pet in the first place. For instance, your dog might be allergic to beef or corn. Before buying any hypoallergenic food, it’s advisable to first study your pet. If you can identify a specific food that triggers an allergic attack, you can eliminate it from your pet’s diet. This way, you might not need to buy hypoallergenic pet food.

Insight into the Two Types of Bunions

I first came across bunions about a year ago when I had to visit to my podiatrist after spraining my head. As with most medical practitioner’s offices, he had charts detailing different foot conditions. One chart was detailing bunions which were a new condition to me then. I had come across people with bunions before but, thought they were common foot conditions. The charts were eye openers and, I decided to learn more about the condition. Here’s what I found.

Types of bunions

There are two main types of bunions. The bunion affects the big toe such that it points towards the other toes. The second type is the bunionette also known as the tailors bunion. This affects the little toe. Similarly, its main symptom is the small toe pointing towards the others.

What causes bunions?

Medical practitioners have proposed different causes of bunions. The most agreed upon proposition is that they are formed as a result of wearing ill fitting shoes. Such shoes have a tight toe box and have high heels. This is especially agreed upon in the case of big toe bunions.

Another proposition is that bunions are caused by hereditary foot conditions. This theory proposes that people coming from families with a history of bunions are more likely to develop them. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone with such a family history will develop them. Some of the hereditary foot conditions include flat foot.

Another cause for bunions is arthritis. Arthritis affects bone joints causing inflammation and tenderness in the ligaments. This increases chances of developing bunions if the patient wears tight fitting shoes. The different types of arthritis include gout, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Interestingly, bunions can also lead to arthritis in the affected toes.

Bunions can also be caused by conditions affecting the neuromuscular system such as cerebral palsy and conditions affecting bone ligaments such as Marfans Syndrome.

Although the above named conditions can cause bunions, likelihood that these conditions will lead to bunions is increased by wearing ill fitting shoes.

How are bunions prevented?

The main preventive measure for bunions is wearing proper fitting shoes. Studies on this condition show that people that wear tight fitting shoes are the most vulnerable.

How are bunions treated?

Bunions can be painful due to the inflammation of the toe-metatarsal joint. Pain relief remedies are usually administered to reduce inflammation. Such remedies include pain killers and application of ice packs.

Bunion pads are placed on the bunion before wearing shoes. These protect the bunion from being further aggravated by rubbing against the shoe walls. The pads are made from either fleece or gel.

Other bunion treatment devices are orthotics. These are placed within the shoe. Their main purpose is to balance out the body’s weight on the foot. This way, pressure isn’t directed towards the front of the shoe and toes.

Wearing shoes with low heels and wide toe box is also considered a good treatment method. This prevents worsening of the bunion allowing the affected joint and ligaments to heal.

If all treatment methods fail, surgery is considered the last resort. Some of the factors determining whether surgery is necessary to correct a bunion include age, severity of the bunion and, general health.

Kidney Stone Symptoms and Easy Home Remedies

Kidney stones are a condition that affects millions of Americans annually. Majority of the patients usually don’t even know they have kidney stones. It’s only those who have large stones within their kidney and urinary tract that actually experience symptoms which at times can be extremely painful.

I came across kidney stones while researching on some of the conditions that can cause lower left back pain. Being one of the causes, I decided to delve in deeper and find the causes of kidney stones, what do kidney stones feel like and any home remedies available. Here is a short guide into the symptoms and home remedies available.


As I mentioned earlier, kidney stone symptoms are usually felt when the stone grows large enough. A common symptom is a sharp pain in your lower back area. The pain then spreads to the abdominal and groin area. This pain comes as a result of a kidney stone trapped within the kidney, urerta, or bladder and is pushing against the organs walls. This pain usually comes in waves and is usually experienced when the kidneys are trying to pass urine to the bladder via the urerta.

Another common symptom of kidney stones passing of colored urine. The urine is usually brown, reddish or pinkish. Passing of colored urine is an indication that there might be bleeding within the urinary tract. This occurs as the kidney stone tries to pass through the urerta or bladder scratching it.

The urine might also turn cloudy and have a foul smell. This is an indication that there is an infection within the urinary tract. If the stone does scratch the walls of the urerta and bladder the open wounds will probably secrete pus which results in the foul smelling and cloudy urine.

If the infection goes unchecked, the patient might experience fever and chills. This can also be accompanied by fever and vomiting. Medical consultation and treatment will be needed in such instances.

Another symptom linked to kidney stones is a persistent urge to urinate and frequent urination. This occurs if the kidney stone has blocked the urinary tract and the body is trying to remove it.

Home remedies for kidney stones

Treating kidney stones at home usually revolves around your diet. The first step in kidney stone treatment is making sure that your body is adequately hydrated. Kidney stones develop where there is high concentration of minerals and waste in the urine. Hydration ensures that urine contains enough water to dissolve the stone.

A change in diet is also recommended if you are treating kidney stones. Foods rich in minerals, fats and protein are to be avoided. Common minerals to avoid include sodium, calcium and oxalate.

There are also foods believed to help prevent the development of kidney stones as well as eliminate the stones from urine. These mostly work by neutralizing the minerals suspected to form stones, induce urine removal and also work as tonics for the kidneys. Examples of such foods include kidney beans, celery, water melon, lemon juice and basil.