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Welcome to the office of medical doctor Huntsville AL

If you are looking for help with physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain management or electrodiagnostic medicine, you’ve come to the right place.

Dr. Eric R. Beck, medical doctor in Huntsville AL, is triple board-certified in these areas and offers patients advanced treatment for a wide variety of muscle and nerve disorders (from carpal tunnel syndrome to children with cerebral palsy) and musculoskeletal pain, among other things. He has a special interest in the rehabilitation of adults and children with neurological illness and injury.

Dr. Beck is also available for medico-legal consultation for issues related to general physical medicine and rehabilitation as well as pain management.

Medical Doctor Huntsville AL Dr. Eric Beck offers medical services to the residents of Huntsville, Fort Payne, Birmingham, Normal and Brownsboro.

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Medical Doctor Huntsville: Neck Pain Management

Introduction

Medical Doctor Huntsville: The neck is a very vulnerable part of the spine. It is susceptible to injury. Muscle, ligament, nerve, and spine injuries are common causes of neck pain. Poor posture and “wear and tear” can also cause neck pain. Degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, can cause the spinal structures to break down and put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
Neck pain can spread to the head, shoulders, arms, and hands. It can be acute or chronic. Acute neck pain begins suddenly, usually after an injury. Acute neck pain resolves as the injury heals, usually within several days or weeks. Chronic neck pain lasts longer than three months. Chronic pain may be constant and caused by structural changes in the spine from degenerative diseases.

A medical examination is necessary to identify the cause of the neck pain and to determine the appropriate course of treatment. Neck pain is usually treated with non-surgical methods. However, if symptoms progress or continue, there are a variety of spinal surgeries to relieve neck pain.

Anatomy

The spine is divided into regions that are defined by their curvature and function. The cervical spine is located in your neck. The cervical spine supports your head and connects it to your trunk. The cervical spine supports less weight than any other portion of the spine. It also has the greatest amount of mobility and flexibility. Your neck can bend forward and backward or tilt from side to side. Your neck can also turn or rotate to the right and left, a motion used when checking for traffic before crossing a street.

Seven small vertebrae make up the cervical area of your spine. Vertebrae are the series of small bones that align to form the spine. The back part of the vertebra arches to form the lamina. The lamina creates a roof-like cover over the back opening in each vertebra. The opening in the center of each vertebra forms the spinal canal.

Your spinal cord, spinal nerves that travel to your arms and hands, and arteries that supply blood travel through the protective cervical spinal canal. The top section of the cervical spinal canal is very spacious. It allows more room for the spinal cord than any other part of the spine. The extra space helps to prevent pressure on the spinal cord when you move your neck.

Intervertebral discs are located between the vertebrae in your cervical spine. The discs are made of strong connective tissue. Their tough outer layer is called the annulus fibrosus. Their gel-like center is called the nucleus pulposus. The discs and two small spinal facet joints connect one vertebra to the next. The discs and joints allow movement and provide stability. The discs also act as a shock-absorbing cushion to protect the cervical vertebrae.

Causes of Neck Pain

Medical Doctor Huntsville About Neck PainMedical Doctor Huntsville: Neck pain is caused by abnormalities in the soft tissues, nerves, discs, or vertebrae of the neck. The soft tissues–muscles, tendons, and ligaments, can strain from over exertion, poor posture, physical stress, and injury. Motor vehicle crashes, sports, falls, or violence are causes of neck injuries. Soft tissue injuries can cause painful muscle spasms or tightening of the neck muscles.

The spinal cord or spinal nerves cause neck pain when they are compressed, pinched, or irritated. This commonly occurs from structural changes in the spine. Bone spurs, abnormal bone overgrowths caused by Osteoarthritis, can grow in to the spinal canal or nerve root openings on the vertebrae. Bone spurs can also contribute to a condition in which the spinal canal is narrowed, called Spinal Stenosis. Some degenerative diseases can cause the spinal structures to thicken and extend into the spinal canal over time. The narrowed canal causes pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in pain.

Changes in the intervertebral discs can also cause neck pain. As we age, our discs lose water content. Our discs become shorter and less flexible, a condition called Degenerative Disc Disease. Once the discs are injured, they do not have the blood supply to repair themselves and they deteriorate. Without the protective disc, the spine can become structurally unstable and unable to tolerate stress. Degenerative Disc disease can also lead to a herniated disc.

A herniated disc occurs when the outer disc layer, the annulus, ruptures. When the inner content, the nucleus pulposus, comes out of the disc, it can cause pressure on the nerve tissue. When the inner contents of the disc come in contact with the spinal nerves, a chemical reaction occurs that causes irritation, swelling, and pain.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are degenerative diseases that cause changes in the discs and vertebrae. Normally, the discs act as a cushion between the vertebrae. Without the disc functioning well, pain can occur. Spondylosis is a condition that results when Osteoarthritis or a fracture causes disc degeneration and the overgrowth of bone. Spondylosis causes stiff and painful joints. Spondylolisthesis is a condition that results when a weakened vertebrae slips out of alignment on the spine.

Osteoporosis is a medical condition that can cause the cervical vertebrae to weaken. Osteoporosis causes more bone calcium to be absorbed than is replaced. Bone calcium is necessary to keep your bones strong. The weakened bones are susceptible to multiple fractures. Osteoporosis can cause the cervical spine to curve, resulting in hunched posture and neck pain Huntsville.

Symptoms

The type of pain that you feel depends on the cause of your neck pain. Your pain may range from mild to severe. The pain may begin suddenly and gradually get better, or it may start gradually and persist over time. The pain may spread to your head, shoulders, arms, and hands. You may get headaches. Your neck may feel stiff. You may not be able to completely move your neck. Your shoulder, arm, and hand muscles may feel weak. You may also experience numbness or tingling in your forearm, hand, or fingers.

You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe neck pain following an injury, such as from a motor vehicle crash, diving accident, or fall. You should not move your neck until it can be examined. To avoid the risk of further injury or paralysis, a medical professional should immobilize your neck. In rare cases, the loss of bowel and bladder control accompanied by significant arm and leg weakness indicates a serious problem. If you experience these symptoms, you should also seek immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis of Neck Pain

Medical Doctor Huntsville: Your doctor can determine the cause of your neck pain. The cause must be identified in order to treat your symptoms appropriately. Your doctor will perform a physical examination. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. You will be asked to perform simple neck movements to help your doctor assess your muscle strength, joint motion, and joint stability. Your doctor will test the reflexes and sensation in your arms and legs. Your doctor may order lab studies to rule out disease processes that may affect your neck.

Your doctor will order imaging studies to identify the location and source of your neck pain Huntsville. Your doctor will order X-rays to see the condition of the vertebrae in your cervical spine and to identify fractures, misalignment, narrowed discs, or damaged facet joints. Sometimes doctors inject dye into the spinal column to enhance the X-ray images in a procedure called a myelogram. A myelogram can indicate if there are pinched nerves, herniated discs, bone spurs, or tumors.

A bone scan may be used to show fractures, tumors, infections, or arthritis. A bone scan requires that you receive a small harmless injection of a radioactive substance several hours before your test. The substance collects in your bones in areas where the vertebrae are breaking down or repairing.
Your doctor may also order Computed Tomography (CT) scans, a Discogram, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans to get a better view of your spinal structures. CT scans provide a view in layers, like the slices that make up a loaf of bread. The CT scan shows the shape and size of your spinal canal and the structures in and around it. Your doctor may inject dye into the disc area to enhance the CT images in a procedure called a Discogram. A Discogram provides a view of the internal structure of a disc and can help to identify if it is a source of pain. The MRI scan is very sensitive. It provides the most detailed images of the discs, ligaments, spinal cord, nerve roots, or tumors. X-rays, myelograms, bone scans, CT scans, and MRI scans are painless procedures and simply require that you remain motionless while a camera takes the pictures.

Nerve conduction studies may reveal how your cervical spinal nerves are working. Doctors commonly use a Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test. During the study, your spinal nerve is stimulated in one place and the amount of time it takes for the message or impulse to travel to a second place is measured. Your doctor will place sticky patches with electrodes on your skin that covers the spinal nerve. The NCV test may feel uncomfortable, but only during the time that the test is conducted.

An Electromyography (EMG) test is often done at the same time as the NCV test. An EMG measures the impulses in the muscles to identify nerve and muscle problems. Healthy muscles need impulses to perform movements. Your doctor will place fine needles through your skin and into the muscles that the spinal nerve controls. Your doctor will be able to determine the amount of impulses conducted when you contract your muscles. The EMG may be uncomfortable, and your muscles may remain a bit sore following the test.

Neck Pain Management

The treatment for neck pain depends on its cause, severity, and duration. The majority of neck problems are treatable with pain medications, short periods of rest, and physical therapy. You may wear a soft neck collar for support.

Over-the-counter medication or prescription medication may be used to reduce your pain. If your symptoms do not improve significantly with these medications, your doctor may inject your neck with pain relieving medication. Occupational or physical therapists can provide treatments to reduce your pain, muscle spasms, and swelling. These include modalities, such as heat, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation. The therapists will also show you exercises to gently stretch and strengthen your neck muscles. Aquatic therapy may help ease your pain, relax your body, and provide support for you to exercise your joints.

Neck Surgery

Medical Doctor Huntsville: Surgery is recommended when non-surgical methods have provided minimal or no improvement of your symptoms. Surgery may be required if a herniated disc, bone spur, or a narrowed spinal canal is pressing directly on a nerve or the spinal cord. Surgery may also be required to stabilize a fractured vertebra after traumatic injury. The goals of neck surgery are to remove the pressure from the nerves or spinal cord and establish neck stability. There are several options for surgery, depending on the cause of the neck pain. Some of the more common surgeries are described below.

An Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion is the type of surgery most frequently used for a herniated cervical disc. An Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion involves removing all or part of a herniated disc or discs. The surgeon also fuses or secures two or more vertebrae together to stabilize the area.

Spinal Fusion is the type of surgery most frequently used for degenerative disc disease. Spinal Fusion involves removing the degenerative disc from between the vertebrae. The vertebrae are fused together to stop movement.

The most common surgery for Spinal Stenosis is a Laminectomy. The goal of this surgery is to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves by enlarging the spinal canal where it has narrowed. To do so, the surgeon removes all or part of the lamina on the affected vertebrae.

Recovery

Recovery from surgery depends on the cause of your neck pain and the type of surgery that was performed. Most surgeries require at least an overnight stay in the hospital. Your physician will let you know what to expect.

Individuals usually participate in physical therapy following surgery. Physical therapy exercises will help strengthen your neck muscles. Overall, most individuals achieve good results with surgery and are able to resume their regular lifestyles.

Prevention of Neck Pain

Medical Doctor Huntsville: It is important that you adhere to your restrictions and exercise program when you return home. It is important to keep your muscles strong and flexible. You should use proper posture when lifting, standing, sitting, and moving your body.

It can be helpful to maintain a healthy weight. Do not smoke. Smoking increases the risk of surgical complications and hinders bone fusing.

Medical Doctor Huntsville: Knee Cap Pain

Knee Cap Pain

Medical Doctor Huntsville: Aching or sometimes burning pain over the kneecap. Prolonged sitting (AKA moviegoer’s knee) often brings on pain. Other activities such as squatting, crouching, stair climbing and running can also bring it on. Your kneecap may make funny noises such as grinding or popping.

The Causes for Knee Cap Pain

Knee pain over the anterior or kneecap area of the knee is extremely common in the aging weekend warrior. Possible causes are an increase in weight (ouch!), weak quadriceps (thigh muscles), arthritis under the kneecap and malalignment of the leg (mostly in women).

The Basic Stretch

Hamstrings- The basic towel stretch. Lie on your back. Holding the two ends of a bath towel loop the towel over the bottom of your foot. Keeping your knee straight pull back . Your leg should be at approximately 90 degrees with your body and in line with your body. If you are doing this right you should have a good pull on your hamstrings. Quads- Kneel with your feet underneath you and your buttocks resting on your heels so that you are sitting like Ken Watanabe in the “Last Samurai” at a Buddhist shrine. . Lean back keeping your knees and feet on the floor until your thighs get tight and stretch.

The Basic Strengthening exercise- TV quad sets. When you are sitting watching TV, straighten your knee until it locks. Hold it like this until you get a good burn in your quads. Relax. Repeat 2-3 times a day. You can do a similar exercise in the gym. Set the leg extension machine from full extension (knee locked straight out) to about thirty degrees of flexion (or knee slightly bent). Put on enough weight to get 10-12 repetitions. Do this two to three times a day, three time a week.

Bracing /Splints

Medical Doctor Huntsville: The basic treatment for these type of problem is stretching and strengthening. However, you might consider some support in the form of a brace or splint to facilitate your recovery. You may also need these braces to help you participate in certain activities. If you want minimal bracing and maximal benefit then I would recommend the classic Cho-Pat strap. This will allow you to pursue most of your activities without weighting you down. For those needing more secure stabilization of the kneecap with activities then the Corflex-J brace would be my recommendation.
See web site to buy.

When to worry about knee pain

With any knee pain, catching or locking especially with squatting activities is a serious concern. If this happens, get thee to a doctor. Your symptoms should start to improve with your program in three to four weeks. If things are not improving or getting worse by four weeks this also should prompt you to find a friendly doctor’s office. If at any time you develop sharp shooting pains, numbness, tingling, swelling or discoloration of the limb please call your doctor for an appointment. My mantra for medical problems is “When in doubt, check it out”. If things don’t feel or look right talk to someone who knows.

Other things

If your running shoes are over six months old, change them out.

Buy Knee Braces: We’re just stocking up on an excellent line of knee braces. If you’re in a hurry or in pain, email me for immediate attention: drbeck@becks-world.net

Medical Doctor Huntsville: Osteoporosis

Medical Doctor Huntsville: Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease.  It causes progressive bone loss and increases the risk of fractures.  Osteoporosis is more common in women than men, and the incidence increases with age.  Bone loss from osteoporosis can lead to fractures and disability.  The progression of osteoporosis may be reduced with treatments, including dietary changes, nutrition supplements, exercise, and medications.

Although the exact cause of osteoporosis is unknown, there are several factors that may contribute to the condition.  As you grow older, new bone production decreases, resulting in a reduced total bone mass.  People with small bones or a family history of fractures have a greater risk of developing osteoporosis.  The risk for women increases at menopause when estrogen levels drop.  Poor nutrition, a low calcium diet, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and a lack of regular exercise are lifestyle factors that may contribute to osteoporosis.  Medications, such as steroids or anticonvulsants, and some illnesses, such as thyroid disorders or bone cancer, can cause osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis Symptoms

Osteoporosis does not cause symptoms in the early stages of the disease.  As osteoporosis progresses, you may experience bone tenderness or pain, particularly in your neck or low back.  You may develop stooped posture and a loss of height.  For many, bone fractures are the first sign of osteoporosis.  The spine, wrists, or hips are common fracture sites.

Osteoporosis Treatment

Lost bone cannot be replaced, but further bone loss can be prevented.  Treatments are also aimed at reducing pain and preventing fall-related fractures.  Your doctor will make nutrition and exercise recommendations for you.  Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are commonly advised.  Weight bearing exercises, such as walking, can help prevent bone loss and possibly increase bone density.  It is also helpful to reduce the risk factors that you can control, such as quitting smoking.

There are several different types of medications that are used to treat osteoporosis.  Your doctor will review the risks and benefits of the medications with you.  Bisphosphonates and hormone replacement therapy are used to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.  Newer anti-estrogen medications, such as Raloxifene, are selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).  SERMs act similar to estrogen to increase bone density, reduce the risk of fractures, and lower the risk of breast cancer.  Calcitonin is a medication that eases pain and slows the bone loss process.  Alendronate is a newer FDA approved medication to help prevent bone loss from osteoporosis.

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis cannot be cured, but its progression may be prevented with medication, diet, and exercise.  You should reduce the risk factors that you can control, such as not smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.

Huntsville AL Doctor Sponsoring Halloween Candy Buy-Back Program

Huntsville Medical Doctor on Huntsville Newswire

Huntsville AL  Dr. Eric Beck is sponsoring a Halloween Candy Buy Back from November 1st – November 5th, 2010 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at his office located at 2011 Gallatin St., Huntsville, AL 35801

Dr. Beck is collecting the candy from trick or treaters’ in exchange for cash.

All of the candy collected will be donated to the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You can bring in your extra candy for $1 per pound!

Not only will it save your teeth, our troops that are serving our country overseas will be able to enjoy a Halloween away from home!

“People helping people” have been one of the prominent strengths of our country. Now during these hard economic times, the spirit of giving and helping is needed more than ever.

Huntsville Medical Doctor on Huntsville Newswire

Huntsville Physician Hosts a Halloween Candy Buy Back

Second Annual

HALLOWEEN

CANDY BUY BACK

Trick or Treating is FUN!

 

But all that sugar in the bag can cause tooth decay as
well as triggering weight gain, feeling of tiredness,
robbing our body of vital nutrients and opening the door
to other health problems like diabetes.

 

Turn TRICK OR TREATING

into a FUN and HEALTHY event!

 

Bring in your extra candies and we will give you

1 DOLLAR for every Pound!

Candy Drop-off Dates:
November 1st 2011 to November 5th 2011
Call us for a Drop-off Time


Eric Beck, MD

2227 Drake Ave #5, Huntsville, AL 35805
Tel: (256)382-1603

Nerve Damage Caused by Denture Cream by Eric Beck, Medical Doctor, Huntsville, AL

In this video Dr. Eric Beck medical doctor speaks about denture cream and nerve damage. A recent ABC News investigation has identified a connection between the use of the popular denture cream Fixodent and permanent neurological disorders. Some Fixodent users allege that regular use of the cream has caused them to develop serious, debilitating nerve damage, which has sparked a class action lawsuit against this product’s and it’s manufacture (s).

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Fixodent Can Cause Nerve Damage?

Fixodent: Can Excessive Use of Popular Denture Cream Cause Nerve Damage?

Medical Doctor Huntsville Nerve Damage FixodenMark Jacoby had no idea why his body was failing. Symptoms appeared gradually, said the 41-year-old former construction worker from York, Pa.

“I started getting tingling in my fingertips. And then it started happening in my toes,” he told ABC News’ 20/20 anchor Chris Cuomo, who is the Chief of the Law & Justice Unit. “I started getting weaker and, you know, I couldn’t walk right, off balance and I’m at this point now.”

Jacoby, who now uses a wheelchair, said his doctors searched for years for the cause of his debilitating neurological illness that robbed him of his independence.

Doctors eventually tied his disorder to high levels of the mineral zinc in his body. Jacoby, who has worn dentures for 20 years, said it came from his denture cream, Fixodent, which contains zinc.

“I can almost guarantee you it was the Fixodent,” said Jacoby. “It’s soaked into your body and it messes with the nerves.”

Similarly, 48-year-old Anne Coffman from Maine said she was a heavy user of Fixodent because of ill-fitting dentures, and after three years her body felt different.

“I started getting numbness in my toes. I wasn’t sure so I kind of didn’t do anything about it at first,” Coffman told Cuomo. “Then it started moving over to both feet and then … up to my knees.”

After many painful tests, she was diagnosed with zinc poisoning, a condition in which high zinc levels interfere with the body’s absorption of copper, which can lead to serious and irreversible neurological problems.

“[Fixodent] is the only product that I’ve ever used that had zinc in it,” Coffman said.

Coffman is now in a wheelchair and struggles with everyday tasks because of weakness in her hands and arms.

“I have trouble eating,” said Coffman. “I drop the fork a lot, so it gets frustrating.”

Coffman and Jacoby are part of a class action lawsuit against Procter & Gamble, makers of Fixodent, alleging that their use of the product has caused their devastating problems.

“I don’t know if you can put a dollar value on my health or anybody else’s, for that matter,” Coffman told Cuomo. “I would prefer to see [the makers] take the zinc right out of the product … or take the product right off the market.”

Used by many of the 35 million Americans who wear dentures, the cream is marketed with the catchy tag line, “Fixodent — and forget it.”

But what the maker didn’t tell consumers for years was that the adhesive contains zinc, which when ingested or absorbed in large amounts over time can lead to serious nerve damage.

The possible connection first was made five years ago by researchers at the University of Texas, who studied four denture users with neurological disease.

“They had high zinc levels that we could measure in the blood,” said Dr. Sharon Nations, author of a study in the journal Neurology. “And all of them reported that they were using very large amounts of denture cream.”

That study was completed in 2006, but its publication in Neurology was delayed for more than two years.

It was delayed, according to its authors, because of a peer review by Dr. Kenneth Shay, a dentist, who lambasted the study and called the link between excessive use of denture cream and neurological disease “little more than speculation.” He said that the authors “don’t understand the nature of the material they are writing about.”

But an ABC News investigation found that that Shay, at the time, also was a paid consultant to Procter & Gamble, the maker of Fixodent, when he reviewed the study.

“It is an outrage. This was wrong,” David Rothman, a professor at Columbia University Medical School, told Cuomo. “That is a fundamental transgression of professional medical ethics and not to be allowed.”

In e-mails and documents obtained by ABC News, Shay not only made recommendations that, according to the authors, led them to water down the study’s finding, but also sent draft reports of the study to Procter & Gamble.

In one e-mail, he said, “Please be circumspect because, as a reviewer, I’m not supposed to be passing an unpublished manuscript around.”

It is unclear what, if anything, Procter & Gamble did with the information Shay passed on to it.

It wasn’t until 2009, after the study was published in the journal Neurology, that Procter & Gamble added a “new label information” warning to the side of Fixodent packages, and on the back, cautioned that “prolonged zinc intake may be linked to adverse health effects.”

Shay declined to be interviewed, but in a phone call with ABC News he defended his review of the study, saying that the research report had “objective shortcomings.”

Procter & Gamble sent a written statement to ABC News reading:

“Procter & Gamble is committed to providing safe and effective products for all consumers. That is who we are and what we stand for. We go to great lengths to ensure that our products safely deliver best-in-class performance, so consumers can choose our products with total confidence. Fixodent is safe for use as directed, as supported by the experience of millions of consumers over many years. Our Fixodent formula has undergone extensive scientific testing, and we continuously monitor for its safe use. … We know of no valid scientific evidence that using Fixodent as directed causes any ill health effects.”

Click here to reach the full statement.

But Mark Jacoby and others like him said it all comes too late. He has stopped using Fixodent, but said the damage to his body has been done.

“Fixodent and forget it?” said Jacoby. “Well, apparently I can’t forget it ’cause it took a lot away from me.”

If you have suffered from adverse reaction to Fixodent, send your story to Chris Cuomo.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/fixodent-popular-denture-cream-nerve-damage/story?id=12866372&page=1

Personal Injury & Insurance Coverage by Eric Beck, Medical Doctor, Huntsville, AL

In this video Dr. Eric Beck medical doctor speaks about personal injuries and medical insurance coverage. If an individual has all documents filed and saved there shouldn’t be a problem for the medical insurance provider to cover all medical visits, medications, and therapy. Now in the other side, lack of documentation can turn things upside down, individuals with lack or no documentation cannot expect coverage. Dr. Eric Beck encourages individuals to keep track of all documents and stay organized. To obtain further information please visit your local medical doctor.

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Staph Infection by Eric Beck, Medical Doctor, Huntsville, AL

In this video Dr. Eric Beck medical doctor speaks about staph infections. A staph infection is also known as skin bacteria. These bacteria can live harmlessly on many skin surfaces, especially around the nose, mouth, genitals, and anus. But when the skin is punctured or broken for any reason, staph bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection. People can get staph infections from contaminated objects, but staph bacteria often spread through skin to skin contact. The bacteria can be spread from one area of the body to another if someone touches the infected area. To obtain further information please visit your local medical doctor.

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