The Varied Forms of Arthritis Treatment for Pain Management

Arthritis falls within the rheumatic diseases, which are exemplified by different illnesses requiring varying treatments based on the person and the prognosis. The similarity between all forms of arthritis is they affect tendons, cartilage, joints, ligaments, and muscles. There are studies that indicate some internal areas of the body are affected by arthritis.

Arthritis Treatment Varies Based on Forms of the Disease

Because the forms of the disease are different, arthritis treatment can vary too. More than 100 known types of arthritis are currently on the books and that is increasing. Osteoarthritis is attributable to the wear on cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis comes from the overactive immune system, which causes inflammation. It is no wonder by the types and arthritis treatments that the disease is the most common illness of a chronic type in the U.S.

Worldwide, over 350 million people have arthritis. Contrary to what some people believe, arthritis does not only affect older people, because more than 50% of sufferers are under the age of 65. Women do make up a higher percentage rate at 60%.

Contributing Factors to Arthritis Treatment

There are many contributing factors to arthritis treatment. Not only does the type of arthritis play a hand in treatment, but the location, persistence, severity, and medical history of the sufferer also have a role. Arthritis treatment is customized by the doctor for each patient.

There are many forms of arthritis treatment that have been handed down for generations that still supply relief. These home remedies are often combined with nonprescription medications to decrease the cost of treatments, but some cases warrant very strong prescription drugs, surgical operations, and joint injections.

Obese or overweight people with arthritis may be asked to lose weight to reduce the stress on their joints. Treatments serve two general purposes. They should relief the pain and inflammation and they should contribute to joint health, both improving and protecting joint function.

One of the first actions prescribed by doctors is rest and carefully using the affected areas. Heat and cold compresses have some comforting effect and creams for pain do provide incremental pain relief. Extended use of joint supplements may provide some relief from osteoarthritis, especially those with chondroitin and glucosamine additives.

Many arthritis treatments are a matter or trial and error to see what works best. Supplements are controversial because of lack of clinical support, and most doctors suggest their use only if there is obvious improvement when they are taken. If there is no improvement within two months, a supplement is probably not going to help the situation.

Exercise can help strengthen up muscles around arthritic joints, taking pressure off those painful areas. This may include physical therapy, going to a fitness center, and/or a home program. Along with that, steroid injections into the problematic area may give substantial relief for months. This may allow people to dramatically improve their activity and avoid surgery, or at a minimum delay it.

Bracing may also help arthritic joints, such as a knee offloading brace or a back brace in a time of a pain flare up. A TENS Unit may also help decrease pain as well.

If a patient has mild to moderate pain, an over the counter medication such as Tylenol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories may make life much more tolerable. In those instances where pain is substantial, a short term course of narcotics can help a patient get through the rough patch.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Types Of Cardiovascular Disease And How Can Cardiology EHR Software Come In Handy

It is a very common belief among us that a when a person has a heart disease, he is prone to having a heart attack. We do not try to look into the depth of the issues, and carry a knowledge base that does not try to go below the surface. We need to acquaint ourselves more thoroughly with heart diseases, so that we do not falter when it is time to take a quick decision.

There are many types of cardiovascular or heart disease. However, this post is about the 3 most commonly seen cardiovascular diseases: Coronary heart disease, Congestive heart failure, and Atherosclerosis.

Types of Cardiovascular Disease

Coronary Heart Disease: This cardiovascular disease takes place when the arteries get blocked or partly blocked by becoming narrower. What blocks the well-functioning arteries suddenly? Dead cells, fat, cholesterol and calcium are the main constituents that block the arteries. Reports suggest that over 60% of all cardiovascular-related deaths are a result of coronary heart disease. One of the major reasons why people die from this disease is because it does not have any proper symptom unless the arteries get blocked.

Congestive Heart Failure: This cardiovascular disease takes place when the heart fails to pump the required amount of blood for the entire body. Congestive heart failure has some clear symptoms like weakness, tiredness, sore chest and lack of breath. What are the main causes of this disease? Its causes are high blood pressure, hemochromatosis, amyloidosis and myocarditis.

Atherosclerosis: This cardiovascular disease takes place when there is a lack of oxygen in the heart. Atherosclerosis also happens when some areas of the body like eyes, brain and kidneys do not get adequate amount of oxygen from the heart. This disease is also a result of blocked arteries due to the deposit of cholesterol and its fusion with calcium and fibrous tissue.

How Can Cardiology EHR Software Come In Handy?

Cardiology EHR software helps in managing the situation during a cardiovascular disease. The biggest advantage of this EHR software is that it allows the user to go paperless. This means that taking care of a patient with cardiovascular disease is better, faster and more efficient. There is no longer the hassle of maintaining paper record files, and the caregiver can totally focus on the treatment plans.

Not only this, the Cardiology EHR software offers an easy-to-use design, vaccine interface, clinical reminders, powerful reports, appointment reminder calls, specialty and customizable templates, growth charts, radiology interface, and many other useful features. All of them taken together make the process cost-effective and accurate.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Natural Weight Loss – The Healthiest Way to Lose Weight

We naturally lose weight in many ways such as through exercise, sports, and a healthy and complete diet. Natural weight loss is indeed the healthiest way to lose weight for we do not need to make use of technology, as in the cosmetic surgical procedure of taking away body fats we know as liposuction and drugs like weight loss supplements (herbal or non-herbal) and the different weight loss diet programs or the fad diets.

Many professional health specialists maintain that natural weight loss is the healthiest way to live a healthy life. Unlike the weight loss supplements and the ceaselessly advertised diet pills that claim to make weight loss quicker, natural weight loss does not have adverse effects on the human body. Unlike the starvation diets popularized by the famous in the glitz and glamor show-business, it does not require us to lose weight but holding in our cravings for the food we love to eat and others—thus, we starve ourselves in these starvation diets.

What’s more is that the natural weight loss method helps us to be more confident in ourselves and our body build in that we do not worry about what other people think of us—whether we are overweight or not—because the method teaches us that our build is the ideal for our height and age and we are assured of that because we know our weight borders that of the ideal weight according to our chronological ages.

So how does natural weight loss work? As said in the first two paragraphs, all we need to lose weight naturally is exercise (and lots of it) and a healthy and complete diet. There are exercises we can use daily that facilitate this natural loss of weight. We can get them from the aerobics videotapes, DVD’s, and VCD’s we have or those that are sold on the stores. There are also books that offer instructions on the varying exercises that help us to naturally lose weight. Health and lifestyle magazines are also good sources of these weight loss facilitating physical exercises.

As for the food we take, there is no limitation in contrast with the fad diets, crash diets, starvation diets, or other weight loss programs that require maintenance of a certain diet program or plan. All we do is take food in small quantities during our daily regular meals. Isn’t this the ideal, safest, healthiest and most suitable weight loss program we can avail ourselves of? Not only that, it’s cost effective, too!

There’s no need to employ a medical practitioner’s aid when we make use of this method. Constant regular check-ups with our personal or family doctors will have to do. We can bring about the loss of weight in our bodies if we will it and adhere to the natural weight loss program. The program is fairly simple to maintain and follow. Not only is it healthy to the user but it also is cost effective. All you need to do is avoid those that could ruin the state of good health you’re in.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Pain Management and Anesthesia Coding – Get Payments For Unlisted Procedures

You can get paid for unlisted procedures, but the road is not always easy, mor eso in pain management and anesthesia practice. However, there are ways you can boost your chances of reimbursement.

You should make an effort to obtain pre-authorization from the payer in a letter. If you have clinical trials that have been conducted by recognized bodies of physicians, see to it that you include that information in your pre-authorization letter requesting approval for a pain management procedure for which you’ll be using an unlisted code.

The letter should also include any current CPT codes that are similar in work and risk.

Study payer’s policies for tips. Most medical policies that payers publish on their websites include disclaimers that every benefit plan defines what services are covered and what services are excluded. One of the things you want to keep up with are those policies payers publish on their websites. It may so happen that sometimes those policies can very much work to your advantage.

Keep a watch on employer plans. Payers often handle medical plans for employers. It is essential to check the patient’s benefit plan for payment information even if the payer website says that the procedure isn’t covered. Be prepared for a bit of a surprise as well because sometimes a specific plan may cover the procedure.

But in the end you should stick to the AMA official coding guidelines unless your contract with a payer stipulates otherwise. If you have any difficulty with a payer processing any unlisted procedure code, then you may take in hand the issue with the payer rep who may direct your provider that it’s all right to report a CPT code breaking away from the AMA CPT guidelines.

To get free CPT code information, there are various one-stop websites that offer free trials. Once you’re sure the website meets your purpose, you can get yourself registered there.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Reducing Inflammation May Help Prevent Blood Vessel Disease In Diabetics

For years researchers have know that there has been a significant link between chronic inflammation and diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. Now recent studies show that reducing inflammation may actually help people with high glucose levels or diabetes to avoid the heart disease and blood vessel disease that almost goes hand in hand with diabetes.

Controlling Blood Sugar Levels Is Not Enough

For years scientists have not been able to understand why in patients whose diabetes were caught early and who managed to control their blood sugar levels exceptionally well still seemed to develop heart and blood vessel disease at much the same rate as diabetics who struggled to control their glucose levels. Now recent studies reveal that while controlling those blood sugar levels is important and can help diabetics maintain overall better health, it may not be enough to prevent or even significantly slow the advancement of blood vessel disease. The reason is that inflammation, which has been linked to both diabetes and heart disease is also the reason that most diabetics develop heart and blood vessel disease as well as diabetes.

This only makes sense when you stop to consider that when the body becomes inflamed white blood cells rush to fight the inflammation and heal the body. In cases where chronic inflammation is a problem the immune system becomes worn down and simply can’t protect the body effectively. So do the results of these latest studies give any hope to diabetics? The answer is yes.

Fighting Inflammation

The results of this study on the effects of inflammation on diabetics suggests that reducing inflammation in the body may slow or prevent blood vessel disease in diabetics as well as produce other benefits that are not yet known. Researchers are now looking at all the ways you can help to reduce inflammation and suggest some of the following.

• Get proper Exercise. Diabetics have always been encouraged to exercise and this is more important than ever as exercise actually helps to reduce inflammation in the body, which can help to keep your blood vessels and heart healthy and strong.

• Take off those Extra Pounds. Carrying extra weight can also contribute to inflammation of the body, so taking off that extra weight can help reduce inflammation plus has the added benefit of lessening stress on your heart and blood vessels.

• Get Proper Dental Care. Although researchers have not yet urged diabetics to get proper dental care, the fact is that periodontal disease can cause inflammation that contributes to blood vessel disease, so diabetics should take extra care to make sure that they get regular check ups and have any gum or periodontal disease treated as early as possible.

• Talk to Your Doctor about Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. Diabetics should also talk to their doctor about the possible use of anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce that inflammation. Make sure you discuss with your medical professional the advantages and disadvantages of taking such medications and make an informed decision regarding whether or not these drugs are right for you.

Reducing that inflammation gives diabetics the hope of living a longer, healthier life. So do everything you can to fight that inflammation that may be destroying your health.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Easy Weight Loss – Top 3 Mental Tricks For Dropping Weight Fast

Is there really such a thing as easy weight loss? Weight loss is a billion dollar industry and shows no signs of slowing down as people cram more and more into an already overextended day. There is no time for healthy eating and as a result, people grab a bite at their favorite fast food restaurants. This unhealthy habit, along with increasingly sedentary lifestyles, leads to expanding waist lines. So naturally, people look for an easy way to shed the weight.

Most people finding losing weight and keeping it off extremely difficult. Yet, weight loss can be easy if you develop the right mindset. However, you should first examine your true motivations for wanting to shed weight. Is your desire to lose weight about you or is it about pleasing someone else? If it is for someone else’s benefit, then you have lost the battle before you have even begun. Having a healthy attitude towards losing weight is essential in helping you reach your target weight loss goals.

This may seem overly simple, but the biggest obstacle to overcome in losing weight is a self defeating mindset. If you do not have a positive attitude going into your weight loss journey, you have failed even before you begin. So it is imperative to keep a positive outlook on the process even when you experience setbacks or perceived failures. In order to reach you weight loss goals, you need to focus on the end result, rather than those minor obstacles along the way.

Easy Weight Loss Tip #1 – Believe It to Achieve It

One of the main reasons that people have such a difficult time losing weight is because is because they do not REALLY believe that they can lose weight in the first place. It has been scientifically proven that a person’s beliefs shape his or her world. So if you want to lose the weight and keep it off for good, the first step is developing the mental mindset that coincides with your weight loss goals.

Do not let the negativity of others deter you. And if you find yourself faltering, immediately counter those negative thoughts with positive ones. It may be difficult in the beginning, but once you learn to master your thinking about weight loss, you will find that it is easier to achieve and maintain your goals even when there are setbacks.

Easy Weight Loss Tip #2 – Deal in Reality

Okay, so you have mastered the art of actually thinking about your weight loss in a positive sense. Now, the next issue that most people must to grips with is that their initial weight loss may be highly unrealistic. The truth is that you need to be realistic about your weight loss goals.

It is not realistic to expect to drop 20 pounds in one week. On average, you should expect to lose one to two pounds per week. That may not seem like much, but over the course of a year, you will have lost 56 to 106 pounds. Not that is a goal worth achieving! Set reasonable goals for yourself and the weight will disappear, revealing the slim ‘you’ that you were meant to be.

Easy Weight Loss Tip #3 – View Yourself as a Thinner Person

One of the top mental tricks with anything, including weight loss, is visualizing the end result. You must see yourself the way you want to be (thinner), not the way that you are now (overweight). How you view yourself is directly related to your personal identity. If you have a negative personal identity (such as viewing yourself as an overweight person who will always be overweight), then one of the first things you must overcome is this self defeating view of yourself. It may take time and it may seem silly at first, but the sooner you begin to see yourself as thinner, the sooner it will become a mental reality for you, enabling you to shed those excess pounds more easily.

What most people do not realize is that the right mental attitude is essential when you are trying to lose weight. So before you even begin to attempt to lose weight, you should assess your weight loss mentality first. If you realize that your attitude is overwhelmingly negative, then beginning with the basic metal strategies revealed here should be your first priority. Adjusting your weight loss mentality to a positive mindset will help make reaching your goal weight much easier.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Frequently Asked Questions About Occipital Nerve Blocks For Pain Management

What are occipital nerve blocks?

An occipital block is an outpatient injection performed on either side of the head around the areas of the occipital nerves for pain relief. These are peripheral nerves supplying sensation to the base of the head moving up to the top of the head bilaterally.

What do they work well for?

Occipital nerve blocks have been studied in many research studies, and actually need a lot more research in some conditions to establish efficacy or not. One reason is a lot of these studies did not utilize a control, but just did a bunch and looked back at the results retrospectively.

It has been shown to work well for cluster headaches, cervicogenic headaches, and occipital neuralgia. Additionally, it has shown good results for patients who overuse narcotic medication and have headaches and possibly those in the withdrawal phases to make the headache pain less.

There are also multiple studies that have looked at it for migraines with encouraging results. These studies overall showed approximately a 50% good to excellent result from ONB’s for anywhere from 1 to 6 months.

How are they performed?

The physician sterilizes the injection site and injects in and around the area of greatest tenderness to palpation. Typically the injection contains both numbing medicine along with a steroid, such as Kenalog or Depo-Medrol.

What is injected?

Most physicians who perform occipital nerve blocks will inject a steroid medication along with a numbing medication. The studies performed have not delineated whether or not the addition of the steroid is absolutely necessary to make the results last longer. It has been postulated that simply the numbing medicine can break the “cycle of pain” in multiple forms of headaches. Since the answer is unclear and the risk of adding the steroid is low, it is typically included.

Should multiple occipital nerve blocks be performed?

As with most pain management injections, occipital nerve blocks typically do not produce effective results forever. Therefore, they will most likely need repeating once they wear off.

An additional consideration is that if the initial nerve block works slightly, it may be repeated sooner rather than later (2 week point versus 3 months or so) to potentiate the results and give more effective pain relief.

Do patients need to have tenderness around the region of the occipital nerves to obtain relief from these nerve blocks?

Occipital neuralgia by definition involves tenderness around the occipital nerves. Cluster, tension, and migraine headaches may not have tenderness in these areas. One study showed that almost half of patients with migraines did in fact have tenderness in the area of the nerves.

The answer to that question is it is unclear if tenderness needs to be present for the injection to work. However, multiple research studies have in fact shown that in patients with tenderness around the occipital nerves that an occipital block has a higher chance of success than otherwise.

This is not to say that if tenderness does not exist around the occipital nerve that the injection would be unsuccessful.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

5 Important Facts That You Must Know About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is inflammation of gums that results from buildup of tartar or plaque, which results in periodontal pockets that support growth of bacteria. This disease can easily be controlled if detected early enough. This is why it is important for individuals to have regular dental checkups and cleanings annually. Here are essential facts about gum disease that you must know.

It is common

Periodontal disease is quite common all over the world. It is reported that almost 85 percent of adults experience this condition. Therefore, if one is not careful, then they can also develop periodontal issues. Early detection of this disease can ensure that buildup of plaque is eliminated and it does not advance to gingivitis or periodontitis over time.

Causes

Periodontal disease is caused by poor oral health hygiene practices. You might develop gum disease if you are not brushing your teeth as recommended or are using improper flossing and brushing techniques. Daily brushing and flossing of teeth is crucial as it eliminates leftover bacteria that form plaque, which results in tartar and breaks down your teeth.

Gum disease indicates other medical problems

Even though gum disease is a dental problem of its own, it can also indicate underlying medical issues. A bacterium that causes periodontitis is connected to heart disease. Gum inflammation can also be an indicator of stroke, diabetes, bone loss and oral cancer. Therefore, when you practice excellent hygiene practices, you can also prevent the occurrence of these medical conditions.

Risk factors

Researchers have confirmed that there is a relationship between gum disease and diabetes and pregnancy. Diabetic individuals are prone to having gum problems. During pregnancy, more progesterone is produced by the body. This hormone is essential for the development of the fetus. However, it also enhances growth of bacteria that result in gum disease. Therefore, regular checkups on your gums are important if you are planning to get pregnant or are already pregnant.

Treatment options

The treatment procedures for gum diseases will vary depending on its severity. Medications can be prescribed to fight off bacteria and infection in the mouth. The dental hygienist can also remove plaque through root planning and scaling. If scaling and planning are not successful, the tartar can be removed through surgical techniques. Tissue and bone grafts can also be used to replace and fix damaged teeth. Laser can also be used to get rid of tartar and plaque buildup.

It is essential for patients to consult a dentist if they are experiencing any symptoms. The earlier gum disease is detected, the better for the patient. The major goals of treating periodontitis include promoting healthy attachments of gums to the teeth, prevent swelling, lower risk of infection, reduce pocket depths and stop progression of the disease. Treatment options can involve both surgical and non-surgical procedures for controlling bacteria growth and restoring oral tissues.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Weight Loss Plan – Choosing the Best Weight Loss Plan

If you’re like most people out there, you want to find the best weight loss plan that will not only allow you to lose weight quickly, but also keep that weight off for good.

There are many weight loss plans out there that offer promising results – and many do deliver, the biggest problem with such plans though is that in most cases, the weight comes right back on almost as fast as it left.

This leaves you discouraged, disappointed, frustrated – and any other synonym you wish to describe how you feel once that weight you lost comes back on.

In order to combat this and find a weight loss plan that is going to deliver results that stay around, there are a few things you need to be asking yourself.

Is The Weight Loss Plan ‘Livable’?

The first thing to question is whether or not this weight loss plan is something you could see yourself doing for the long term. Yes, once you lose weight some adjustments will be made to ensure you don’t keep losing weight, but still, you want to find a weight loss plan that will introduce to you a way of eating that can easily be continued on for life.

By adopting proper eating habits while on the diet that you can keep doing, you’ll have a dramatically higher chance of maintaining this weight loss later on.

Does The Weight Loss Plan Allow Foods You Enjoy?

Now, let’s face the honest truth here. No one is going to be happy eating nothing but chicken, fish, vegetables, nuts, and salad for weeks on end – no one.

If your weight loss plan does not allow you to incorporate at least two foods that you enjoy on a regular basis, I’d strongly recommend against it.

Why?

Adherence will be 90% of your results. If you can’t stick with that diet, you might as well just stop right now.

Regardless of how amazing any given diet is, if you aren’t following it, it’s not doing any good, is it?

Find a weight loss plan that you can at least somewhat enjoy to help increase the chances you see results.

Will The Weight Loss Plan Have You Losing One to Two Pounds A Week?

Finally, the third thing you want to address when on your hunt for a weight loss plan is whether or not it’s going to have you losing weight at a proper rate.

If your plan promises 10 pounds lost in one week, guess what, that weight isn’t body fat. You very well could lose water weight and muscle glycogen to amount to that much, but it’s not going to be true body fat loss.

A good weight loss plan should only have you losing one to two pounds of body fat a week. This will help ensure that it does stay off for good.

Very heavy individuals may be able to get away with three pounds max, but that’s as far as you should push it safely.

So, keep these three factors in mind when choosing your weight loss plan.

If you’re looking for a plan that will allow you to eat one food every single day that you truly enjoy while boosting your metabolism in the process, then the Cheat Weight Loss Program  for you.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share:

Seven Pain Management Treatment Options for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

Spinal Degenerative Spondylolisthesis is an extremely common condition that results from spinal arthritis. One vertebra slips on another, and it becomes a mechanical problem that cannot be “fixed”. It may be painless and seen as an incidental finding on x-rays. Or symptoms may include back pain along with buttock, hip, and/or leg pain.

Once diagnosed with degenerative spondylolisthesis, what are treatment options? Here are 7 nonoperative pain management treatment options:

  1. Ignore it
  2. Physical Therapy
  3. Chiropractor Treatment
  4. Spinal Decompression
  5. Pain Medication
  6. Interventional Pain Treatments
  7. Bracing and TENS Unit

Ignoring the symptoms of degenerative spondylolisthesis is a treatment known as benign neglect. It’s not a fatal condition and will not paralyze anyone, so if they symptoms are tolerable it is OK to simply deal with it until it rises to the level of concern. If you are wondering whether or not there is something you can do to prevent the condition from worsening, the answer is – not really.

There is some thought that nutraceutical substances like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may hold off the arthritis that may result in the spondylolisthesis, but this is not a definite.

Physical therapy and chiropractor treatment have been shown to very effective for back pain conditions, especially when they come on acutely (less than one month duration). It may be that your symptoms are an acute exacerbation and if treated with these options, may lessen back to a tolerable baseline.

Spinal decompression therapy is a revolutionary treatment option involving intermittent traction. It is very safe, FDA cleared, relatively painless, and extremely effective. Patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis are OK for the machine unless they have severe osteoporosis or post surgery with hardware.

Pain medications include NSAIDS, Tylenol, neuropathic medications, or narcotics. Over the counter medications according to the manufacturer’s dosage specifications may control the pain very well such Aleve or ibuprofen. Neuropathic medications may include Neurontin or Lyrica. Narcotics should be provided under the guidance of a physician and should only be obtained by one doctor.

Interventional pain treatments include facet injections (facet blocks), epidural injections, or radio frequency ablation. For spinal arthritis or pinched nerves, spinal steroid injections have been shown to be extremely helpful. They are very low risk and may have very high benefit.

Spinal bracing may be very helpful in instances of back pain due to instability with one segment shifting on the segment below. A TENS Unit may keep symptoms at bay when utilized in moderation. It should be used according to your doctor’s recommendations typically no more than an hour at a time with an hour off.

Read More →
Replies: 0 / Share: