Friday, April 11, 2008

Ouch! My Back Hurts: Understanding and Dealing with Low Back Pain

Working in Occupational Medicine one of the most common injuries and complaints that I encounter are back pain/injuries. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that nearly everyone at some point in their life will have back pain which will interfere with work, everyday activities as well as any leisure activities. It is also stated that back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States whereas headaches is listed as the first common.

If anyone has ever suffered the agonizing experience of having low back pain, then they know the impact of having their quality of life affected. It us one of the most annoying and agonizing discomforts that just seems to present at the most unfortunate times. Rushing and stressful events may trigger this type of injury secondary to neglect and carelessness. I think we have all been there.

Often there is no one event that may be the cause of the low back, it may arise from many different sources such as lifting especially if done improperly, sitting, standing, or walking for a long period. Other precipitating factors may also contribute to low back pain such as a fall or a trip. Read More For Tips and Prevention of Back Pain

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Measles Outbreak in the United States!

Everyone Be Aware:

There is a measles outbreak!!
It is affecting different parts of the United States.

A measles outbreak has been reported in the United States. This has been linked to an introduction from someone in Switzerland visiting Arizona. The first case was reported on February 12, 2008 when an adult visitor from Switzerland was hospitalized with the measles and pneumonia. Still ongoing there has been nine confirmed cases through March 31, 2008 in Arizona. And two other suspected cases in which one is a resident from Colorado. These nine cases that have been confirmed range from the ages of 10 months to 50 years old. All of these were infected in the healthcare setting except for one. And all these cases were individuals that were unvaccinated during the time of exposure. Read More About Measles Outbreak...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Child Abuse and Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome (MBPS)

Please read this it may save a child:
During my career as a Physician Assistant and having worked in several Emergency Rooms I have encountered unfortunate situations with child abuse. These have to be the hardest cases and scenarios to deal with because there is seldom a true or definite sign of physical abuse. Only when the cases are very clear where the child has been battered severely can this be definitely called a case of child abuse.

We all know that child abuse can be done in many forms and not only through physical abuse. There are many forms of psychological and emotional abuse as well. And again these are very unfortunate cases because these children are often missed and go on to having more abuse inflicted on them for several years. However, there is also another form of abuse which is not so quickly recognized and for that matter not many are even aware that it exists, and this is called Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome also known as MBPS.

Examples of MBPS cases are usually presented as a young child that is hospitalized more than 30 times in his or her 6 years of living. They are diagnosed with asthma, pneumonia, unexplained fevers and mysterious illnesses. Physicians are unable to determine a cause of illnesses. Another example could be that of a child at the age of 10 has been admitted to the hospital more than 200 times. He or she has gone through numerous surgeries for unexplained abdominal pains and diarrhea. The child at times has vomited for no apparent reason and has also developed unexplained fevers and malaise.

These unfortunate children were the result of MBPS. Please read more on this...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Understanding a Blood Pressure Reading: Systolic and Diastolic

As a health care provider I am always asked about blood pressures and the significance of "the numbers" used in obtaining a blood pressure. I have found a vast variety in how individuals correlate and interpret "these numbers." An understanding of what and how a blood pressure is obtained may help to clarify that.

Accurate measurement of blood pressure is crucial to classify individuals with certain health risks and to also guide in correct management of other disease processes. There are several types of devices used in measuring blood pressure. The auscultatory (listening) technique with a trained professional and a mercury sphygmomanometer (an instrument used to measure blood pressure in an artery that consists of a pressure gauge, an inflatable cuff placed around the upper arm, and an inflator bulb or pressure pump) is still considered to be the method of choice in assessing a blood pressure according to the American Heart Association Journals. However, we know that there are a variety of different devices found today such as electronic ones.

Regardless, of which method is used the way a blood pressure is measured is done the same. A cuff is wrapped around the upper arm which occludes the brachial artery it is then inflated to above systolic pressure (the contraction of the heart, during which blood is pumped into the arteries), then it is gradually deflated as the blood flow is re-established giving a tapping noise. Please read more on obtaining and understanding a B/P.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why Do We Seek Medical Advice?

As a medical provider it always amazes me that when an individual seeks help, they never really seem to want the reality of what may be the cure. I find more often than not that when I see a patient they are more than willing to share what they may be feeling, however when I seem to offer what I think may be the answer it does not seem to be what they want to hear.

How many of us know someone or even for that matter ourselves, that may have an issue such as obesity, addiction, stress or just general aches and pains? Well, I see it daily and even feel it for that matter. But, why is it when seeking medical consultation there is always, well almost always resistance met with the prescription that may be of help. I constantly hear the same stories over and over, which some may consist of:

- I don't have time
- I'm not getting on medications
- It won't help me
- I can't quit
- It makes me sick

The excuses are endless, and are very frustrating from a provider's point of view. I can honestly say that for myself and other health-care providers something goes off in our brain sort of like this, "Well then what do you want from me?" But fortunately I hope I am speaking for others as well, we are compassionate and caring individuals that would truly like to make a difference and the hopes would be to make the patient ultimately feel and be better. Please read more to find out what can be done to get appropiate medical advice.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention of Tennis Elbow

What is lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)? Lateral epicondylitis is just a fancy term for tennis elbow. It is the name for a condition in which the bony bump on the outer surface of the elbow becomes painful and is very tender to touch. The technical term for this bump is called the lateral epicondyle so when it becomes inflamed it is referred to as a lateral epicondylitis.

How does tennis elbow develop? Tennis elbow develops from overusing the muscles in your forearm when used to straighten to raise your hand and wrist. When these muscles are overused, the tendons that are attached to the lateral epicondyle become inflamed. And when this motion is repeated tiny tears can develop causing pain.

Who develops tennis elbow? Any activity that requires repetitive motion can cause tennis elbow, however it is most common with tennis players (such as the name), carpenters, machinists, and typists. However this type of injury can be seen in many other activities or jobs depending on the type of maneuvers and how often it is done. Click here for more information on tennis elbow

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Omega Fatty Acids Inhibit Pain and Other Health Risks

What are the omega fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fatty acids, which mean that it cannot be synthesized by the body and must result from the diet. The best source for this fatty acid is found in fish especially sardines, salmon and herring. It may also be found in vegetarian sources such as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybeans, soybean oil and walnuts.

Omega-6 fatty acids are also considered essential fatty acids, but most individuals are not deficient in these. Good food sources to obtain these fatty acids include cereals, whole grain breads, eggs, and poultry.

Omega-9 fatty acids are not considered essential fatty acids. These can be synthesized from unsaturated fat by the human body. Good food sources of these fatty acids include olive oil, rapeseed and mustard seed.

How do these fatty acids inhibit pain and reduce other health risks?
Click here to find out...