Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 52, Tuesday July 5, 2005





Dr. Lutful Aziz FCPS, PHD Counsultant "analgesia", Pain relief centre

Neck pain indicates problems of cervical spine, but it can also indicate meningitis or encephalitis (brain fever) through pain and stiffness. So neck pain should not be treated casually, especially if there is fever.
Incidence and risk personalities: Cervical spondylitis is normally seen in the elderly due to osteoarthritis, but in this modern, sophisticated world, even youths in their early twenties seem to suffer from it. This may be due to a sedentary lifestyle, and improper use of the spine. Generally, the incidence is higher in old age. Men suffer more than women. The severe inflammatory Ankylosing spondylitis occurs more commonly in youngsters and Cervical spondylitis occurs more commonly in old people. Risk personalities are:
§ Old people
§ Computer professionals
§ People doing work that demands minute concentration
§ Persons who constantly work by bending their neck
§ Bike users
§ Travellers who travel a long distance and sleep sitting
§ Drivers who keep the neck in the same position for a long time
§ Watching TV in abnormal positions or by lying down
§ Habit of holding neck in one position
& Telephone operators or persons who often cradle the phone on the shoulder.
Causes may be primary (by degenerative wear-and-tear phenomenon) or secondary (by diseased or inflammatory process or injury). The common causes or triggers are mainly:
· Wrong positions in work or sleep for a long time
· Complete rest or non-use of joints, or sedentary or sluggish nature
· Fall or injury or trauma
· Violent exercises
· Diseases of bones
· Drugs affecting bones
· Overuse of TV, phone, bike, chairs, etc.
Symptoms: Usually an array of symptoms will alert us. If we neglect those, it will lead to permanent damage. Cervical spondylitis can cause a different set of symptoms depending upon the involvement of vertebrae or disc or both. The main symptoms are:
o Pain in neck which can radiate to back, shoulders, and down to the hands
o Early morning stiffness of the neck and shoulder denote the need for additional support
o Pain and stiffness can be noted when about to move after a period of rest
o Weakness of hands with numbness and tingling sensation
o Crackling sounds when moving the neck
o Occipital headaches with swaying gait or giddiness, or lack of concentration
o Swelling and tenderness of the neck may be noted in spots of inflammation
o Sometimes chest pains
o Tilt of neck to any one of the sides due to inflammation
o Restriction of movements of the neck
o Pain gets intensified with movement, bending, coughing and sneezing
o Irritability and sleeplessness due to constant pain

Style Files

Maheen Khan Fashion designer, Mayasir

I like to wear closed shoes, but I find that most closed shoes don't look right with ethnic clothes such as saris, shalwar kameez, churidar suits and so on. I want to look smart but at the same time, want to keep a feminine soft appearance. The problem is, I always prefer to wear flats, but for the life of me, I can never find soft dainty flats. I have tried those jooti's which are so fashionable now, but find them very uncomfortable. They are handmade, stiff, and the sizes never seem to be right. What should I do? Can you help me?
I sympathise with you totally. It is sometimes difficult to find closed shoes that go with an ethnic image. Jootis are usually a great shoe accessory for ethnic suits or even saris, although open sandals look best with almost anything. I would like to suggest ballerina shoes as a wonderful little alternative for you. These are really hot right now. They are the flexible, soft, bending kind. They are extremely comfortable to wear, especially if you like flats; they come in closed as well as in open heels with one or more straps. Ballerina shoes can come in solid colours, printed, or embellished with jewels. These shoes are dainty, feminine and light. Shaped well, these give your feet a slim appearance.

I like simple blouses. I find it very difficult to buy good styles in Dhaka. I don't like heavily embroidered ones as they look too formal for my taste. I am about 5'-4" tall, not very thin, neither am I heavy but I have wide hips. I want to get a few tailored. Please suggest a few styles that can work for me.
Let me suggest a few styles for this summer. If you like collar, try a mandarin Chinese style with a slit down your neck line, or you can use it on a front open shirt with loop fastenings. Make it sleeveless, or you can mount cap sleeves. Boat neck blouses with kimono sleeves are also a great summer style. Kimono's have straight arms with wide open sleeves; therefore, I would suggest long sleeveless ones with fabric extensions, giving it an oriental feel. You can also try a blouse with a crew neck, short slit down the centre, but with an interesting twist on the sleeves. Have the slit go up the sleeve, but tie it at the wrist to give it a free and liberating look. Crochet, macramé
, lace trimmings are all, I suppose, good ways to complete the styles. They definitely add character to your garment.

I always end up wearing black, white, ivory, grey, or beige. I really find these hues safe. Year in and out, I always stick to these colours. All that talk about the in fashion colours seem to have no affect on m, but lately I am taken to colours. I would like you to share a few colour tips.
Every season demands a colour change, more so in the West than here in Bangladesh. I suppose with the changing times, even here, colours are creating a fashion statement. Global marketing by media, both electronic and print, are playing such an important role that fashion colours soon make its way to the shelves of the stores here. This season, tangerine, coral, apple green are the colours that have made a fresh come back. If you don't want to wear these colours, you can use them on your accessories. It will clearly give your old wardrobe a fresh start.

By The Way

Clean make-up applicators

Not cleaning your make-up applicators and brushes, well, this is almost like a sin. Applicators and brushes should be cleaned at least bi-weekly. Oil and bacteria build-up can wreak havoc. If you are prone to pimples, you will be surprised at how much a little cleaning makes all the difference.


By Iffat Nawaz

Name Game

Them: "So I don't get it. You have two names?"
I: Yah, one nick and one full name or the real name."
Them: So the nick name is your fake name?
I: No I didn't say that. See in Bangladesh, our parents give us two names, a proper one that's more formal and then another name that's more informal and cute.
Them: But why would they do that? I mean I would think this can cause major identity crisis…like who am I, what am I, it's totally screwing with a child's brain. You can ask any child psychologists and they will tell you the same thing.
I: (Laughs) Child psychologists, what a joke! See, the problem with America is, you guys worry about identity issues to cover the real problems, the big giants ones like the gas price and cost of wars. Child psychologists, my foot! The whole idea seems moronic to me.
Them: Ah! So many things seem clear now, now we know why you are the way you are.
I: What do you mean?
Them: Well! We always wondered about you, you know the peculiarity in your personality, where it comes from… Now we know. It's from being called too many different names from an early age, I am sure that was rough eh? I mean, you are not a total schizophrenic or anything, but you gotta admit you do have those mood swings that could beat any roller coaster…
I: Oh so it's a personal attack now? Now I am the one with childhood mental abuse and adulthood disabilities…And all the children from Bangladesh, the poor unfortunate ones, how dare our parents name us twice out of affection! They should have just stuck to the rule of Americans, the same names used over and over again, Mary, Julie, Joe, Mark, Dick and Tom…yeah, that's super cool and original. Affection and uniqueness over safe and boring. What a tough choice…
you duff cows…
Them: Now, now Iffat, that's not nice is it? Don't take out your bottled up childhood anger on us. You know what though? If I had to pick I would call you Taffi.
I: Taffi!
Them: Yeah or Iffy. Taffi is your name spelled backwards. Super cute right?
I: No, actually it sounds like a bimbo poodle. Thanks! This is the best you could come up with? Iffy and Taffi?
Them: Well it's much better than your real nick name which sounds way too meaningless and random. It sounds so unfeminine.
I: Unfeminine? Do you know there was a cute chubby Indian actress named after my nick name? And she was very feminine…
Them: Aha sure…whatever you say! We understand, it must hurt a lot…from now on we will be more considerate. By the way, did you take your medications today?
I: What medication?
Them: Oh poor thing, it must be the schizophrenia…It's okay, we will save you. Now that you're around Tom, Joe, Dick and Harry, nothing can go wrong. A few sittings at the therapists, and you will start feeling much better than ever before.
I: Right! Ey chilo Kopale!


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