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What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

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The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist made up of bones and ligaments. If inflammation occurs in this area, it can lead to a potentially debilitating condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Causes
The median nerve, which controls sensation and movement in most of your fingers, runs through the carpal tunnel into your hand. Inflammation in the wrist can compress this nerve and lead to pain, numbness, and a weakened grip. Common causes of inflammation in the wrist include diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders.

In addition, repeatedly straining your wrist can lead to inflammation. This includes any ongoing movement that overextends the wrist, prolonged exposure to vibrating tools, and a lack of wrist support when using a keyboard or mouse.

Prevention
To prevent or minimize the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, avoid activities that overextend your wrist as much as possible. If you frequently use a computer, consider an ergonomic wrist rest. When engaging in an activity that requires repetitive wrist motion, such as playing the piano, be sure to take frequent breaks.

Treatment
Effective options for treating carpal tunnel syndrome include taking anti-inflammatory drugs, icing your wrist, and wearing wrist splints. A chiropractor, physiotherapist, or occupational therapist can also suggest exercises and provide manual therapy to relieve pressure in the carpal tunnel. In severe cases, carpal tunnel release surgery may be necessary.

If you experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, be sure to speak with a health-care professional as soon as possible.

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Breast cancer: How to recognize and treat lymphedema

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Lymph is a clear fluid that contains antibodies and flows through the lymphatic system of the body. If this fluid is unable to properly circulate, it can build up in the soft tissue of a limb and cause swelling. This condition, called lymphedema, is common in breast cancer patients whose lymph nodes have been damaged or removed during their treatment.

Symptoms
There are numerous signs that might indicate the presence of lymphedema, including:

• Trouble moving and bending a joint

• Swelling of the arm or leg (and sometimes fingers or toes)
• Hardening or thickening of the skin
• Persistent ache, pain, or burning sensation in the limb
• Tight feeling in the skin of the affected area

These symptoms can vary and depend on the severity of the condition.

Treatment
Daily skin care is crucial to prevent and manage lymphedema. Clean, hydrated skin helps reduce the risk of infection which can cause or exacerbate this condition. Take precautions and avoid activities that can lead to you getting cut, scratched, or burnt. You should also wear sunscreen and refrain from using ice packs since exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures can aggravate symptoms.

Other types of prevention and treatment include manual lymph drainage, complex decongestive therapy, and wearing compression garments.

If left untreated, lymphedema can lead to severe complications such as a bacterial skin infection or an infection of the lymph vessels. Speak with your health-care team if you notice signs of lymphedema.

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What’s the difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen?

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If you have aches, pain, or a fever, you may wonder whether to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. While these two medications offer similar relief, there are several key differences.

Acetaminophen
Commonly known by the brand name Tylenol, acetaminophen is an analgesic and antipyretic drug. This means it relieves pain and fever. Potential side effects of this over-the-counter medication include nausea and headache. Since acetaminophen is broken down by the liver, you should avoid taking it if you have liver problems.

Ibuprofen

Commonly known by the brand names Advil and Motrin, ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug with analgesic and antipyretic properties. This means it reduces swelling and inflammation in addition to relieving pain and fever. You should avoid taking ibuprofen if you have high blood pressure or problems with your heart, stomach, or kidneys.

Which to choose?
If you have a headache or fever, both acetaminophen and ibuprofen will offer relief. If you have menstrual cramps, you’ll likely find ibuprofen to be more effective. It’s also a better choice if you have a toothache or sprain.

Remember to carefully read the label before taking any medication to avoid dangerous interactions with other drugs, supplements, and herbs. It’s also essential to not exceed the maximum daily dosage and not take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for longer than recommended. An overdose can lead to serious health problems such as liver and kidney damage.

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Breast cancer: how is a treatment plan developed?

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One in eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. In such cases, a personalized treatment plan is created by a team of health-care specialists that typically includes oncologists, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and nutritionists. Here’s a look at how each individualized plan is developed.

Reviewing the options
A treatment plan is typically based on the type and stage of breast cancer. It might consist of systemic treatment, such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy, or a local treatment that directly targets a tumor, such as surgery or radiation therapy. A treatment plan might also use a combination of these approaches and be complemented by alternative therapies like acupuncture and massage.

Assessing all factors

Another key to determining a breast cancer treatment plan is the patient’s preferences. Following their diagnosis, a patient will be presented with several options to carefully consider or get a second opinion about if time permits. These options take into consideration various factors about the patient, including:

• Their overall health
• Whether they’ve reached menopause
• The status of their hormone receptors
• Cancer’s likelihood of recurrence

For more information about breast cancer treatments, visit the American Cancer Society website at cancer.org.

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5 benefits of orthodontics that’ll make you smile

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While most people would prefer not to wear braces, orthodontic treatments can greatly improve your smile. In fact, they can have a dramatic effect on your overall health and well-being. To mark National Orthodontic Health Month, here’s a closer look at the benefits of orthodontics.

1. Healthier teeth
Food particles are more likely to get trapped between misaligned teeth, which also tend to be harder to effectively brush and floss. This increases your risk of developing cavities and gum disease.

2. Less discomfort

A severe malocclusion, which is a condition characterized by crooked teeth or an uneven bite, can cause pain in your jaw and face muscles if left untreated. You may also experience discomfort when you eat.

3. Improved eating
If your teeth don’t line up when you close your mouth, it can be difficult to bite down evenly and properly chew your food. You may need to avoid eating certain things as a result.

4. Clearer speech
Gaps in your smile and overlapping teeth can affect the placement of your tongue and lips when you speak. This might cause a whistling sound or make it harder to pronounce certain words.

5. Higher confidence
If you have crooked teeth, you may try to hide your smile when you talk and laugh. This can impact your self-confidence and may even cause you to hold back in your personal or professional life.

Both adults and children can benefit from orthodontic treatments. Speak with your orthodontist to find the right solution for you or your kids.

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Raking leaves: Not a chore, it’s exercise!

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Variety is not only the spice of life, it’s close to inspirational when it comes to regular exercise. So here it is, the exercise you can get during only a week or two of the year: Raking leaves.

Raking on a beautiful fall day gives you a chance to work out in nature’s health club. No fancy gear needed. No trip to the court or the health club, just put on an old shirt and jeans.

According to Fitness, The Dynamic Gardening Way (Bonds of Nature Publishing), and author Jeffrey Rustuccio, just 30 minutes of rigorous raking burns up about 200 calories.

Here’s how to do it:

* Before starting, loosen up your arms, legs, and back with some stretching exercises so you won’t get sore muscles.

* Keep knees slightly bent and use your arms and legs, not your back, for movement.

* Rake with a sweeping motion, breathing in as you extend the rake and out as you sweep it back toward yourself.

* Work in repetitious movements. Numbers don’t matter, but the pattern does.

When you get tired, quit and save the rest for tomorrow.

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Test your knowledge: the stages of breast cancer

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Most people are familiar with the concept that cancers are diagnosed in “stages.” But do you know what this really means? In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, test your knowledge with these three true or false statements.

1. True or false: there are four stages of breast cancer

False. The staging system for breast cancer has five stages (zero to four). Stage zero is assigned to ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) breast cancer, which means the cancer cells are confined to a duct or lobule. Stage four is assigned to metastatic breast cancer, which means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. In general, the higher the stage, the more cancer has spread through the breasts and to nearby organs.

2. True or false: the stage changes as the cancer evolves

False. A stage describes the location and amount of cancer present in the body when it’s first diagnosed. Since the stage is based on the initial diagnosis, it doesn’t change even if the cancer grows, spreads, or comes back following remission. For example, a stage two breast cancer that eventually spreads to the liver will be referred to as metastatic, but it remains a stage two cancer.

3. True or false: the staging system helps determine a prognosis

True. Doctors use the stage of cancer to predict the course of the disease and the patient’s likelihood of recovery. This is possible because cancers that appear in the same part of the body with the same stage tend to have a similar prognosis. The stage is also used to develop a treatment plan and assign patients to appropriate clinical trials if they wish to participate.

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
70°
Mostly Cloudy
7:32am6:21pm EDT
Feels like: 70°F
Wind: 5mph N
Humidity: 75%
Pressure: 29.98"Hg
UV index: 3
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72/45°F
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70/50°F

Upcoming Events

Oct
19
Mon
all-day WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Oct 19 – Nov 12 all-day
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Please show your support by purchasing fresh fruit for you, your family and friends to enjoy over the holidays! To place your order online, simply click here. Navel, Grapefruit, Juice Oranges — Whole Box $40, Half[...]
Oct
24
Sat
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 24 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and take a tour of Mount Bleak House[...]
5:00 pm Free Community Food Distribution @ Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall Parking Lot
Free Community Food Distribution @ Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall Parking Lot
Oct 24 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Free Community Food Distribution @ Baptist Church's Fellowship Hall Parking Lot
Dinner Together and the Warren County Liason will host a free food distribution for the Front Royal/Warren County community on Saturday, October 24th, from 5-6 PM, at 1st Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hall Parking Lot (14[...]
Oct
25
Sun
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 25 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and take a tour of Mount Bleak House[...]
Oct
26
Mon
10:00 am Ask a Master Gardener @ Warren County Extension Office
Ask a Master Gardener @ Warren County Extension Office
Oct 26 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Ask a Master Gardener @ Warren County Extension Office
Answers to your gardening questions and problems! E-mail questions and pictures to greenhelpline.warrenco@gmail.com Mondays from 10:00am -1:00pm, April-October (except holidays) Come in or call 540-635-4549  *in-person and phone help available after coronavirus emergency*
Oct
29
Thu
1:00 pm Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Vi... @ Online Event
Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Vi... @ Online Event
Oct 29 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Virginia get back to work @ Online Event
Dear Job Seeker, We are delighted that you are participating in our Virtual Hiring Event sponsored by the Virginia Employment Commission and the Virginia Career Works Centers. I am mindful that many of the citizens[...]
Oct
30
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Oct 30 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Oct 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
Oct
31
Sat
10:00 am Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Oct 31 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
10-11 am: Dog Costume Parade and judging 1-2 pm: Wedding on the Gazebo 4 pm: Children’s Costume Parade with judging and prizes 5 pm: Trick or Treat on Main Street. Merchants and County Businesses will[...]
5:00 pm Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Oct 31 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Bring your best costumes and GLOW throw with us! Trick or treat, throw axes and have an amazing Halloween with SVAXETHROWINGCO! KID friendly! Make your reservation today, spots will fill up fast: www.svaxethrowingco.com Fill out[...]