Eye Health: Is Surgery the Answer?

Do You Need Physical Therapy? It Is Possible.

Sometimes it is obvious that a person is in need of physical therapy. After a major injury or extensive surgery, your doctor may refer you to a physical rehabilitation center for services. However, what if the problem is not as noticeable and has been around for years? A physical therapist may be able to help. Here are some of the lesser-known problems that physical rehabilitation services can address.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you know the pain and numbness that often occurs as a result of a flair-up. A physical therapist can teach you exercises that will help to reduce the compression in your wrists, as well as restore the range of motion in your hands. 

Bad Knees

Have you ever thought, “I could never be a runner or play that sport because I have bad knees”? A physical therapist may be able to change that. Because physical therapists often practice sports medicine, they are the perfect specialist to help you with achy joints that arise from past injuries. Old, untreated injuries can lead to other problems, such as muscle stiffness and reduced mobility. A physical therapist can help you address those old injuries and dull aches so that you can get back to doing things that you love.

Previously Broken Bones

Not everyone who wears a cast will require or be prescribed physical therapy after a broken bone. However, in some cases, it may be needed.If you wore a cast for more than a few weeks, it might be a good idea to see a physical therapist in order to develop a plan to prevent re-injuring the bone as well as to reduce the stiffness that comes from being stuck in one position for a long time.

After Pregnancy

Many women find it difficult getting back on their feet after having a baby, and physical therapy offers several benefits to new mothers, such as help regulating their bowel function and overcoming the physical trauma of childbirth. Women’s health is a specialty of many physical therapists for this reason.

Autism and Developmental Delays

Children with sensory processing disorders, such as autism, can benefit from physical therapy being a part of their therapy routine. A physical therapist can help these children deal with challenges related to muscle tone and balance as well as provide Sensory Integration Therapy.

Physical therapists can provide a wide range of treatment, but only if you seek their help. If you are suffering from pain and stiffness, be an advocate for yourself. Talk to your doctor about your need for physical therapy, and then schedule a physical therapy evaluation from a clinic like Holly Heights Nursing Home as soon as possible.

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High-Tech Head Injury: Changes In The Diagnosis, Prevention And Treatment Of Concussions

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are also known as concussions, and they’re big news in the sports world. Due to concussions, college and pro players are frequently forced out of play, and later forced to endure other issues related to their concussions. Parents of football players are concerned, and sports leagues are facing the possibility of increased liability for long-term damage to players from head injuries.

The good news is that coaches and players are more aware of the dangers of concussions. Soon, all sports should begin to see reductions in the numbers of concussions, if programs and technology work as planned.

The NFL’s program is already working

This season, the NFL has released data indicating that reported concussions are down 25% this past season, even with increased injury reporting overall.

Officials credit changes that have been made to reduce the numbers of concussive injuries, which include reduced practice times and new limits on hitting with the crown of the helmet.

Most concussive injuries were caused by helmet-to-helmet or helmet-to-shoulder contact. Clearly, the NFL’s efforts are making a difference and should be modeled by football leagues everywhere.

Researchers continue to engineer protective equipment to further reduce the number of concussions.

There are new techniques being developed to diagnose concussions.

From eye-tracking technology to blood tests , researchers are working to develop tests to measure the degree of damage done to delicate brain tissue by traumatic brain injury.

They are studying ways to determine how long a player may be sidelined, and methods to measure the degree of previous concussion events.

Technology is also helping measure the level of impact players receive on the field, further helping alert coaches and players to injuries that should be examined by a physician.

Research is showing players how to reduce risks.

Some teams are using eye training while others are using neck-strengthening exercises to reduce the risk of concussion.

One of the best ways to protect players is to continually stress the importance of reporting symptoms of concussions, even if it means they may be pulled from play. Studies show that players tend to minimize their injuries.

Parents, coaches and sports medicine professionals should encourage young players to recognize and report any suspected head trauma as soon as possible.

With proper training, advanced technology and treatment, head injury should become rare in team sports. No player should have to give up sports due to TBI. Have other questions? Contact a professional such as Dr. Lisa M. Schoene to learn more.

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Is An Assisted Living Community Right For You? 4 Factors To Help You Decide

The decision to move into an assisted living facility can be a difficult one to make, especially if you’ve lived in the same home for many years. However, if your kids have left the nest and you live alone, caring for your family home may become too much of a burden for you to manage on your own. Consider these four factors when trying to decide whether or not it’s time to downsize and move into a retirement community:

Getting Around

Do you have trouble getting around? If you no longer drive and must rely on friends, family or public transportation to get where you need to go, a retirement community may be a welcome change for you. Many retirement homes and independent living facilities offer convenient transportation options for residents, so you’ll never need to worry about finding a ride to your next appointment or social engagement.

Maintaining Your Home

Are you struggling to keep up with the maintenance of your home? Paying others to take care of yard work, cleaning and home repairs may become too expensive, especially if you live on a fixed income or modest retirement. In a retirement community, your maintenance responsibilities are minimal, allowing you to truly enjoy the freedom of retirement.

Accessibility of Your Home

Do mobility issues prevent you from enjoying your home to its fullest? If you have difficulty climbing stairs or you worry about having a slip and fall accident at home alone, a retirement home may be the right choice for you. Assisted living facilities offer full handicap accessibility, including ramps, grab bars in bathrooms and emergency response protocols.

Connecting to Family and Friends

Do you ever feel isolated from family and friends while living in your home? The loneliness that comes from isolation not only causes depression, it can also shorten your life, according to Time Magazine. If you live alone and no longer drive, you may go days without having a face-to-face connection with another person.  

In assisted living, you’ll likely experience a better quality of life by being part of the community’s built-in social network. Most retirement homes offer social events and field trips, allowing you to be surrounded with like-minded peers anytime you wish.

Some believe assisted living facilities are only intended for helpless or feeble seniors. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you could experience a whole new lease on life with the freedom and independence that comes from living in this type of retirement community. For more information, contact a community like Heritage Commons.

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When Should You See Your Family Doctor For Your Cold Symptoms?

Most people are able to handle the common cold symptoms on their own and never find a need for the opinion of their doctor. However, there might come a point where you actually do need to seek the attention of a trained medical professional after you have started out with cold symptoms. Take a look at the following signs as to when that would be, so that you are well prepared with when to make that phone call.

Your Mucus Is Changing Color

While it might not be the most pleasant experience in the world, you need to make sure that you are taking the time to inspect the color of your mucus. Every once in a while, take a second to glance at the mucus that has come from your throat or nose. If it is clear, or even a little cloudy, you are still good to go. However, if your mucus has suddenly turned green or dark yellow, you might want to consult a doctor. You could have an infection brewing in your body that needs dealt with.

Your Chest Is Starting To Hurt

Make an appointment with your doctor if you are starting to feel discomfort in your chest. Of course, if the pains are sudden and stabbing, it might be best to head straight to the emergency room in case of a cardiac issue. However, should the pain simply be from the stress of excessive coughing, you have time to wait for an appointment. Also, some colds can turn into pneumonia, which can cause chest pain, so it is best to have it checked out instead of simply making any assumptions.

You Are Not Getting Any Better

Even with over the counter medication, you should be able to start to see some improvement in your symptoms within a few days. However, should you find that this is not the case for you, or that you are actually getting worse as the days pass, you need to contact your doctor as soon as possible. You might have a viral infection that will require a treatment of antibiotics before you will ever start to feel better.

With all of that information in mind, you should have a much easier time being able to figure out whether you are at the point where you need to be seen by a medical professional or if you are still okay to treat yourself at home. If you think what you have is allergies instead, contact an allergist like Mark Montgomery MD FACS.

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Preparing For Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

So, you’re having arthroscopic done on your knee. Congratulations – you’ll soon be pain free. The prognosis after arthroscopic knee surgery is excellent. However, you will be immobile for a small time and on crutches for at least a few days. Prepare ahead so that both your surgery and recovery time are optimal.

Information to Tell Your Doctor

It is always best to be honest with your doctor, no matter how inconvenient those truths. However, as you’re preparing for arthroscopic knee surgery, your doctor needs to know specific information from you, according to Medline Plus.

Many people enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. If, however, you regularly imbibe more than that, tell your doctor. Alcohol affects both how anesthesia works and how your wound heals. So, yes, your doctor will likely advise you to taper off alcohol consumption.

Likewise, smoking slows down the healing process. It’s ideal if you can quit smoking before your surgery. Your doctor can help with that.

Make sure you tell your doctor about all medicine you currently take. This includes over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements. Any substances in your body can interact with the anesthesia and pain medication.

Finally, if you think you might be coming down with an illness, let your doctor know. This includes chronic outbreaks such as herpes.

Items to Purchase

Knee scoping is a minimally-invasive procedure. Typically you go home the same day. However, having some items on hand will make your recovery feel easier.

First of all, your doctor will likely prescribe pain medication. Have that prescription filled ahead of time. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are also effective against the pain and swelling associated with the surgery. Likewise, your doctor may prescribe aspirin for blood clots.

You’ll go home with your knee dressed and/or secured with an Ace bandage. You may need to change the dressing, so have gauze and medical tape available.

For the first 24 hours, you want your knee elevated and iced. Set up your convalescent location beforehand.  Buy a bag of ice or, even better, purchase two or three medical ice bags. Have those set up in the freezer.

General Preparations

Someone will need to drive you home from the clinic and be around those first 24 hours. If you live alone, set that up before you go in for surgery. Likewise, make sure you have provisions for feeding yourself the first couple days because you will not feel like preparing meals.

You’ll need to be seen at the health care clinic and, possibly, by your surgeon after the surgery. Set up those appointments before you have surgery.

Obviously, you’ll need to take time off work or school. Your doctor will tell you exactly how long, but expect at least a few days. Likewise, you won’t be able to drive, probably for at least a week. Plan for alternate forms of transportation.

It won’t be long before you’re in physical therapy and then, finally, pain free. Plan for your knee surgery and recovery ahead of time so the interim feels easy.

For more information, contact a local clinic, like Noyes Knee Institute.

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5 Things Medical Call Center Workers Should Know

One medical call center service is not like another. Read on to find out some of the best things that you might find when you’re calling an answering service or call center office for a medical provider with questions.

Clinical Hours

Call center operators should have a firm grasp of when a provider office is open. On the off hours, they should be able to provide the same quality information as the daytime schedulers and receptionists about which parts of a provider facility are open. They may not be able to do the scheduling, but they can direct callers toward the right solutions.

Doctor Names

Medical call center workers should also know about which doctors and medical professionals are involved in a practice. That way, callers can at least know that they got through to the right office, and they can try again during normal business hours. Having staffers who know the names of practice doctors gives callers more confidence in the system, and enhances the reputation of the provider office.

Patient Needs and Referrals

It’s also helpful for call center service workers to understand how to direct patients with questions about specific things such as referrals. They can explain, for example, how referrals are handled, and who is in charge of the referral process. Again, this helps callers with basic orienting information that they can work on when the practice or facility is open.

Emergency Contacts

Many providers have a doctor on call or an emergency contact number. Call center workers should know when to direct customers toward these resources, and should be able to give them the contacts that they need, so that they can feel safe while self-evaluating whether their call is an emergency or not.

Pharmacy Resources

In many cases, the trained staff in a pharmacy can answer questions about medication or other patient questions. It’s helpful when the call-center service knows about how the medical provider works with local pharmacies. It may be as simple as just giving a caller a phone number, or directing them toward a particular pharmacy for their needs.

Pharmacies are a critical part of off-hours medical management for a patient community, and this is another area where having the right call center information in place can make a big difference.

Having the right information in a medical call center gives the provider a good positive reputation in the community. People who call in feel that they are being served, and that the provider understands that the nature of medicine is a 24/7 practice. All of the above can lead a practice toward better partnerships and greater success serving patients.

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Removing Old Shrapnel From Your Gums: Why Gum Surgery Is Highly Recommended

After you have served your country and have had shrapnel removed from your jaw, mouth and face, there may still be some bits lurking about. This is a common occurrence because medical triage in a war zone is not always the best. Visiting a dentist for the first time after your wounds have healed is a good idea because the panoramic x-rays he or she takes will reveal war debris that is still present. Your dentist will recommend more surgery by specialists like Periodontal Specialists for the following reasons.

Remaining Shrapnel Causes Future Infections

In a war zone there is not time to call a dentist or a maxillofacial surgeon to the operating table to pull out every last bit of metal and debris from wounds. The surgeons that worked on you there before they sent you home removed everything they could and then stitched you up for transport stateside. Whatever is left behind may cause future infections or sit and fester in your gums. When your dentist says you should have gum surgery to remove the debris he sees in your x-rays, he is trying to protect your oral and physical health.

Gum Surgery Can Help Repair Damages 

When your dentist sees that there is a lot of damage to your teeth and gums, he or she can help repair and/or replace the tissues and teeth. The damaged tissues are carefully examined, the dentist cuts away any dead or dying tissues, and applies grafting mesh to cover spaces where the tissues are too far apart to stitch together. Damaged teeth are replaced with implants, so long as there is enough gum tissue to stitch around the implants. 

Advanced Maxillofacial Surgery

Your dentist not only removes shrapnel that could be a problem later, but helps restore your smile and your ability to talk and chew again. If the muscles that connect your jaw to your face received injury in battle, your dentist can and will refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon. This special type of dental surgeon not only does gum surgery and tooth repair, but also lower facial muscle repair to help you lead a more normal life again.

Your Services Are Covered

Because you are a war veteran, your dental services and surgery should be covered by your military benefits package. If there is anything that is not covered, there are many dentists and oral surgeons who provide free or low-cost services to military men and women. Regardless of the extent of dental work you need, there is someone who can help.

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