Ease Lower Back Pain by Doing These Three Easy Things

Back pain commonly accompanies work tasks, especially if you have an office job. It’s important to protect, strengthen, and nourish your lower back in order to reduce any pain and prevent damage from occurring. Try adding one or all of these three tips to your routine to take stress off your lower back.

  • Use a stand-up desk for at least part of your day.
    Sitting for long periods of time is a common cause of lower back pain. The posture that you take while sitting, especially if leaning forward to look at a computer screen, puts an unusually heavy load on the lumbar discs, joints, and other structures. To avoid these long periods of putting stress on the lower back, many people have taken to using stand-up desks, at least for part of their work day. These desks range in styles, from inexpensive desk toppers to fully-adjustable models.

    If you suffer from lower back pain, it’s a good idea to start off by standing for only short periods of time and gradually increasing your stamina. You can add a cushioned mat under your feet for more comfort. Standing more, along with taking short walks around your work area or taking occasional stretch breaks, break up long periods of sitting, which can make a big difference on how your back feels.

  • Stretch your hamstrings daily.
    The hamstrings are the large muscles that run down the back of each thigh. These muscles can easily become too tight, potentially transferring this stress to the lower back and contributing to back pain. Doing one or two gentle hamstring stretches a day is a quick and easy way to alleviate back pain.
  • Sleep in a slightly reclining position
    Supporting the lower back in a slightly reclined position, with the knees supported and elevated, can help alleviate back pain. This is especially true for those with lower back diagnoses such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and lumbar degenerative disc disease. If you find it difficult to sleep on your back, try resting in a reclining chair and/or reclining in your bed while reading before going to sleep. The easiest way to adopt this new sleeping position is to use an adjustable bed, also called an adjustable base.

It’s important to care closely for your back to prevent injuries from occurring down the line.

Do You Know the Signs of a Stroke?

Did you know that each year in the United States about 800,000 people suffer from a stroke? Of those, almost 600,000 are first attacks, and 140,000 of them will result in death. In the event of a stroke, it can be highly important to understand the warning signs and also understand what exactly you should do. Knowing this information could be the difference between someone living or dying due to stroke complications.

  • Difficulty Walking
  • Coordination Problems
  • Paralysis on One Side of Body
  • Difficulty Speaking
  • Slurred Speech
  • Facial Drooping
  • Limb Weakness
  • Rapid Eye Movement
  • Confusion

Although most strokes in the United States occur in patients over the age of 65, anyone of any age, gender, and even race can have a stroke. If you notice yourself or someone else displaying signs of a stroke, get them help immediately. Time is of the essence when it comes to properly treating a stroke and saving a patient’s life.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke is a medical event in which a patient experiences a sudden interruption of blood supply to their brain. The majority of strokes are caused by artery blockage leading to the brain and are called ischemic strokes. Other strokes may be caused by bleeding in the brain and are referred to as hemorrhagic strokes.

How to Help Someone Having a Stroke

If a situation takes place where you think someone may be experiencing a stroke, it is important to remain calm. Next, we suggest:

  • Calling 911. You should immediately contact 911 and inform them you believe someone is having a stroke. In the event someone is having a stroke, time is extremely important and no time should be wasted. Contact the person’s family and/or friends after help is on the way.
  • Taking notes. Any information about the person’s condition and the events that occurred can be very important for medical professionals. Note the time and any symptoms that occurred.
  • Staying with the stroke victim. In the event someone is suffering from a stroke, it is important to provide assistance as falling could result in further injuries and medical complications.

The Complete Guide to Allergic Reactions — Symptoms Treatment and Prevention

More and more people are being stricken with allergies. In the U.S. alone allergic conditions are the fifth leading type of chronic disease. Allergic responses to food account for 200,000 annual ER visits and about 10,000 hospital stays.

What Is an Allergy?

When your immune system reacts to an allergen (a foreign substance), that is an allergic symptom. An allergy can be caused by something you ate, was injected with, touched or inhaled. The degree of the reaction varies, it can be a runny nose, irritated throat, or itchy eyes. More severe allergies can cause rashes, asthma attacks, swelling in the throat, or death.

The immune system response can be localized or widespread throughout the body. Some common allergens include:

  • Bee stings
  • Insect Bites
  • Milk, nuts, eggs or shellfish
  • Penicillin
  • Pollen
  • Animal Dander
  • Grass and other plants

Anaphylaxis or Anaphylactic Shock

The most severe or potentially life-threatening reactions are anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. When an allergic person is exposed to an irritant, their system because sensitized to the foreign substance. If contact happens again, anaphylaxis can come on fast. The body releases histamines that bring on allergic systems such as:

  • Tightening of the airways
  • High anxiety
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling of face, eyes or tongue
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Testing for Allergies

If you suspect you have allergies, there are tests that can be done to assess the situation. Either skin tests or blood tests can be performed by a medical professional to determine where your sensitivities lie.

Skin Prick Test

A doctor will prick the skin surface with a variety of allergens. For example, if you suspect you have seasonal or environmental allergies, your doctor may test the area with grass, pollen, dust and pet dander. If you have symptoms after eating shellfish, you may be pricked with serums from lobsters, crab or other mollusks. If your skin becomes swollen, red and itchy, you are likely to be allergic to these substances.

Allergy Blood Tests

Blood tests are used for the following reasons:

  • The patients are on meds that may interfere with prick testing.
  • A chronic skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis interferes with a skin test
  • A sensitive allergen may cause an adverse reaction
  • For babies and younger children, it is easier to conduct a blood test

What to Do If You or Someone is having an Allergic Reaction

Whether your response was mild or severe, medical attention is important if this is your first reaction.

  • Mild to Moderate: Even a mild allergic reaction can be cause for alarm. Anxiety can make the response worse, so try to keep calm the person. Next, identify the cause of the allergic response to avoid further contact.
  • Severe Reaction: Inspect the throat of someone having a severe allergic reaction. If the throat is swollen, the person’s voice will be very shallow, coarse or hoarse. If the individual was stung by a bee, scrape off the stinger with a firm object. Do not try to squeeze or pull it out. This can release more poisonous venom. If the person has an EpiPen available inject the allergy medicine. Do not offer oral medication if the person is having a hard time breathing.

Allergy Prevention

Since there is no way to stop being allergic to certain irritants, the best approach is to try to prevent reactions.

  • Stay away from foods, medications and other irritants that have caused a response in the past.
  • If you have a severe allergy to anything, wear a medical ID bracelet and always carry rescue medication.
  • If your child already has an established food allergy, introduce new foods in small amounts, one item at a time, so you can determine any additional sensitivities.

The Role of Pharmacists in the ER

An up and coming field for pharmacists is in emergency medicine. These pharmacists have a wide range of vital duties and work directly with patients and administration. To learn more about the role of pharmacists in the ER, continue reading on.

  • Direct Patient Care Rounds. This is a vital role in protecting ER patients. The pharmacist directly participates with patient’s diagnosis and treatment. This allows the pharmacist to be a part of the prescribing process.
  • Medication Order Review. To help provide patients with fast and reliable care, ER pharmacists asses the individual medication therapy.
  • Medication Therapy Monitoring. ER pharmacists will follow through with their patients to ensure safety and efficiency in medication delivery. They also check for side effects and the possibility of allergies to the medications.
  • Patient Care Involving High-Risk Medications and Procedures. This role also helps to ensure patient safety. ER pharmacists need to select the proper dose for patients who are prescribed high-risk medications. They may also provide education and training in high-risk medications and procedures to other emergency department healthcare providers.
  • Resuscitation. ER pharmacists have an important role in providing patients with immediate medications and treatments, answer emergency questions ER staff may have, and treat patients with a toxicologic emergency.
  • Medication Procurement and Preparation. Patients in the ER need immediate attention and medications. Pharmacists need to have medications readily available for immediate use. They can also make suggestions for a more efficient work-flow.
  • Medication Information. ER pharmacists can quickly retrieve medication information and provide quick answers in any emergency situations.
  • Documentation. ER pharmacists can recognize trends in documentation that may require further education for emergency healthcare providers. This allows for improved patient care in the ER. ER pharmacists play an important role in caring for patients in emergency situations.

Expanding the Lab Testing Services of Physician Practices

Many physicians and clinics are evaluating the possibilities of extending their in-office diagnostic laboratory testing services. This is by no means an easy task and takes careful consideration. Lab solutions for physician practices are needed to better the service of our patients. We will see what this can mean for you as a patient.

Chronic disease and population health management drive change in test philosophy. An extent of CLIA-waived diagnostic lab tests is common in most physician clinics. An increase in chronic disease rates leaves many of your physicians wondering if they need to expand moderately complex laboratory testing. These tests allow our physicians to properly assess our patients here at Angleton ER.

What are the key factors to consider to select the right lab equipment? Does the lab testing equipment:

  • Supply suitable test menus?
  • Supply proper cost per test and time to test?
  • Fit within the available space?
  • Have the proper and approved environmental infrastructure to support it?
  • Require little or no maintenance?
  • Carry a minimum one-year warranty?
  • Require few additional supplies?

Primary staffing needs for offering moderately complex diagnostic lab tests is vital. CLIA requires personnel who perform the following roles: lab director that is responsible for all testing operations, a lab technician who is trained to run equipment, and lab technician consultant who ensures the accuracy of equipment and standard protocol. Ensuring proper staffing means better and faster care for our patients like you.

What Does Expansion Mean for You?

Our clinic’s purpose is to serve the community and help families in times of need. Expansion is what will allow our practice the opportunity to properly fulfill its necessary purposes. The main goal of expanding lab capabilities is doing everything to keep our patients like you healthy and happy.

Be Prepared For Dental Emergencies

No matter how careful we try to be, dental emergencies sometimes happen. The best thing to do is to avoid panicking and be prepared. Learning basic dental first aid saves teeth and prevents further injury. Here are a few tips for dealing with dental emergencies when they come up.

When you damage a tooth

Not every type of tooth damage requires immediate dental care. If a tooth is cracked or chipped but doesn’t hurt, try to avoid damaging it further until you can come in to see your dentist.

If your tooth damage is accompanied by a toothache, you should aim to visit your dentist as soon as possible so that you don’t injure the tooth’s root or any soft tissues in your mouth.

When you lose a tooth

If you seek professional dental care immediately, there’s a good chance you can save a lost tooth. Carefully recover the tooth from wherever it’s fallen. If you can, try to gently place it back into its socket, or otherwise store it in your cheek or in a glass of milk until you can get to the dentist. If you’re able to come in within the first three hours of losing the tooth, your dentist may be able to re-attach it for you.

When you have a toothache

Toothaches can be caused by any number of issues, not all of them serious. Try to manage your tooth pain with over-the-counter painkillers if you can. If the ache persists for several days or is too intense to manage on your own, make an appointment to see your dentist immediately.

If you’re ever in doubt about whether you should visit a medical professional about your dental emergency, never be afraid to give the emergency room or your dentist a call. No matter what happens, we’re here for you.

All About Ankle Sprain Treatment

Have you managed to twist your ankle? Experiencing swelling, tenderness or bruising? You may have an ankle sprain which occurs when there is an injury to the ligaments in and around your ankle. When you accidentally twist your ankle or turn it awkwardly, it can stretch and tear the ligaments which hold your ankle together.

Symptoms of an Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains are actually very common and may come with certain symptoms in the area such as:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty Walking/Putting Weight on Ankle

Your ankles, unfortunately, are susceptible to various kinds of injuries. This makes it important to seek medical care in the event you’ve injured your ankle to rule out anything more serious or severe.

Sprained Ankle Treatment at Angleton ER

To prevent further injury and discomfort along and promote recovery, it is important to treat an ankle sprain. Along with treatment at our Angleton ER, your doctor may suggest some tips to aid in the healing process once you are home. These may include:

  • Wrapping the affected ankle with elastic bandages
  • Wearing an ankle brace for support
  • Using crutches to support your weight.
  • Elevating your affected foot while relaxing or sleeping.
  • Taking medication to reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Keeping weight off the affected ankle

Contrast Bath for Ankle Sprains

Contrast bath therapy (hot/cold immersion therapy) is a form of treatment that may be used to treat a sprained ankle. During the treatment, your affected ankle will be first immersed in warm water, next your ankle will be immediately immersed in ice water. The treatment is typically repeated several times, alternating between hot water and cold water.

Have you injured your ankle and think you may have a sprain? Don’t hesitate to visit us at Angleton ER. We’d be happy to evaluate your ankle to determine the extent of your injury and provide treatment to reduce the symptoms and get your ankle back to good health.