Monthly Archives: August 2016

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Chronic pain almost cured

 

Chronic pain

Pain is a good thing, surprisingly. It alerts our bodies that something is wrong.

But some paints are simply pains, not warnings. Some pain is constant. About 100 million people (that’s one third of Americans) suffers from chronic pain.

Because pain is sometimes good, curing chronic pain has been wary research. Doctors don’t want to stop our body from recognizing when something is wrong, but they want the unnecessary pain to stop.

A lot of painkillers don’t even do the job they claim to. They mask the pain instead of cure the source, and that’s where the research begins: finding the source.

When something causes us pain – a burn or a cut – the site sends a message through our nerves to our spinal cord, which then alerts the brain. In the past, a lot of focus was placed on the nerves near the site of the problem.

Now, we’re focusing on the perception of said pain in the brain.

Kenneth Follett of the University of Nebraska investigates the effect of placing focus elsewhere. Brain scans of subjects’ anterior cingulated cortices showed that patients could, to some extent, control their pain sensations based on conditioning. It’s almost like “reshaping” the circuits in the brain.

Similar, some studies show that “rewiring” the brain helps. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is used to treat major depression, but studies are finding that the 8-inch coil placed in the head can actually disrupt the pathway of pain as well.

Other studies show that the glial cells are actually responsible for a lot more than they’ve gotten credit for in the past. The achiness of the flu is actually because of glial cells exciting the spinal cord neurons, alerting the brain of the pain. Altering the glial cells can be a huge step in controlling unnecessary, chronic pain.

There’s still a lot to be done, but we’re on the way to managing our pain. You can read a lot of the interesting research here.

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6 things to do for the end of summer

 

6 thingsto do for the end of summerSchool is starting back up, the sunny days are becoming a bit cooler, and the days seem to be getting slightly shorter. All of this is indication that summertime is coming to a close. If you are as surprised as we are then you are probably thinking back to yourself and asking, “What did I even do this summer?” Don’t worry! We have six solutions to make the ending to your summer as eventful as possible.

 

  • Try something you have never done before

This is super vague, but the result of doing this is one of the best feelings ever. By indulging in something you have never tried, it gives you the opportunity to connect to something out of your comfort zone and maybe find a new hobby. Activities such as, skydiving, cooking class, water skiing, hiking, reading the newspaper, anything that you have not done in your life. It doesn’t matter how simple or extreme, just go out and get it done!

 

  • Have a barbeque

A classic summer tradition, if you haven’t had one yet this summer then fire up the grill. Invite some friends, buy some food, and get creative with what you eat for this summertime staple. It is sure to be a day to remember from your summer.

 

  • Volunteer

This seems unusual since this is an activity people like to do during the holiday season, however, the impact is still significant. Find a place that you enjoy going and ask to volunteer for a day, the animal shelter, soup kitchen, your church. Wherever it is, take a day to do this good deed, the impact it will have will be longer than summer itself.

 

  • Watch the sunset

One of the most relaxing activities to do over the summer is to sit and watch the sun set and the night roll in. Bonus points if you find an excellent location, grab some friends, a chair, and your phone (you will want to take pictures), and stare at the wondrous show that mother nature has to offer.

 

  • See a summer movie

Seeing a movie is a summer must, it’s not too late either. A lot of critically acclaimed movies actually come out in August and September, see one that has great reviews and some that were so-so, and you can be the critic.

 

  • Pick some flowers

This doesn’t sound super exciting, but actually it can be really enjoyable. Fresh cut flowers smell and look beautiful, and will look great on your kitchen counter. Make a day of it and drive to a city you have never been too with a friend, grab lunch, pick flowers and explore.

 

Fill your last few weeks of the best season on the calendar with lively activities, we hope they fill you with memories to last a long time.

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5 ways to reduce anxiety

 

5 ways to

We all know what it is, and only some of us know what it feels like. Anxiety is a mental health disorder that makes a person feel worried, and harbor fear. This can interfere with someone’s daily life. Anxiety can happen anytime and anywhere, it can cause panic attacks, stress, restlessness, inability to set aside worry, or blowing events out of proportion. Anxiety can be treated with medications and counseling, however, some patients say all of their efforts to treat anxiety fall short. There are ways to reduce anxiety, drug free and counselor free. Learn the 5 easiest ways to treat anxiety.

 

These 5 tips are best when used in the midst of a panic attack or when you are starting to feel anxious. They can relieve stress and make a person feel better right away.

 

  • Breathe

One of the most underrated ways to treat any mental disorder. By taking long, slow breaths when you’re feeling anxious you can slow down your mind and feel calmer and less stressed. It makes the body go from a flight-or-fight response to a relaxing, more calming environment.

 

  • Talk to yourself in a positive manner

When a person is anxious there are a lot of negative feelings in the brain. Challenge it by talking to yourself with positive aspects. For example, “This feels bad right now but I can manage it and I can get through this.” By telling yourself this mantra you can get through an anxiety spell quickly.

 

  • Keep your day-to-day schedule

If you were cooking dinner, or going on a shopping trip, and you had a panic attack, still keep doing what you were doing. It’s better to be actively doing something, especially something you had planned on doing, than to just sit and wallow in the negative energy that your brain is giving off at that very moment.

 

  • Picture yourself somewhere else

Visualize yourself at your favorite place, or a calming scene. This helps by letting the brain know that it’s ok and everything will be ok. It is even suggested that you visualize when you’re not in the midst of an anxiety attack, because then it will be easier to access when you are anxious.

 

  • Accept that you’re are feeling anxious

Feeling anxious isn’t something to feel ashamed about, it’s an emotion just like the feeling of happiness or excitement. If you talk to yourself and say, “Ok, I’m feeling anxious let’s change this,” then you can come out of those feelings a lot quicker than you usually would.

 

Anxiety affects millions of people, if you ever feel alone you are not. There are tons of support groups for anxiety, and counseling services available if you do have it. These tips will help anyone with anxious thoughts, if you still have trouble contact your doctor.

 

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Breast cancer has impact on both men and women

Breast cancer impacts

It is important that young men and women are aware of breast cancer and don’t let fall underneath the radar. Young women often do not consider themselves to be at risk, about 7% of all breast cancer cases are diagnosed as women under the age of 40. The Young Survival Coalition reminds us that breast cancer can strike at any age and the lower incidence of disease is of little comfort to the more than 250,000 women living in the United States who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Detection of cancer in younger patients may be more aggressive or less responsive to treatment in some cases; those who are diagnosed at a younger age are more likely to have a mutated gene to begin with.

 

It is important to preach early detection and remind men and women to get mammograms annually. The American Cancer Society recommends annual screening beginning at age 40. Why not under the age of 40 though? It is pointed out that because breast tissue tends to be denser in young women, mammograms are less effective as a screening tool, but self-exams are a good way to screen yourself for abnormalities.

 

It is also important to know that breast cancer is an issue for men as well. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2011 more than 2,100 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed and about 450 men in America died from breast cancer. Although it is a small percentage, men should still be as aware as women. The National Weather Service reports that there are annually 39 deaths per year from lightning strikes, with people being more alert and aware naturally. With 450 men dying from breast cancer, men are more alert about lightening strikes even with a lower death rate? Be alert. Be aware. Spread awareness about breast cancer to everyone including men!

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Questions to ask before you get an MRI

 

Questions to ask before you get an mri

With any topic discussed in medicine, the patient should be aware of what is going on. Whether it be a procedure, an illness, or an examination, we believe that the patient should know everything no matter how complicated it may be. We want to inform patients of everything as best as we can, but people make mistakes and can forget to include everything. That is why we believe the patient should ask questions about what is going on, this includes an MRI. Here are 7 things you need to ask the doctor, and yourself, before you get an MRI.

 

  • Is the facility ACR accredited?

An ACR accreditation is basically winning a gold medal at the Olympics, but for radiology. Always go to a facility that is ACR accredited because that means they have the best technology, staff, and doctors.

 

  • Can you eat and drink before an MRI?

An MRI doesn’t require any special preparation. You can eat or drink unless your doctor tells you not too. You can also continue with your day as normal after you have an MRI.

 

  • Can I wear jewelry and normal clothes during an MRI?

Anything metallic, or metal is not allowed in the MRI room. An MRI machine has a strong magnetic field and some materials will interfere with the screening. So jewelry, belts, glasses, dentures, or hearing aids will need to be taken off.

 

  • Who is looking at my images?

The radiologist will be the on interpreting your images and seeing what the problem is. The MRI technician will be the one taking the images. Both will see the images.

 

  • How long will the MRI be?

An MRI takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes, however, it may take longer depending on where you are getting the MRI.

 

  • What kind of MRI is it?

There are three different types of MRIs: open, closed, and wide bore. Closed bore MRIs can be stressful, especially for patients who have claustrophobia. Know which one you will be getting your MRI done in.

 

  • Does the doctor who wants me to have this scan own the scanning equipment or the scanning facility? 

If so, ask for a second opinion. MRI’s can be expensive depending on your insurance and out of pocket costs. Ask for another opinion from a different doctor if the first has financial interest in you getting an MRI.

 

Asking these questions to a doctor before you get an MRI can save you money, time, and headaches. It will also ensure that you get the best MRI experience possible.

 

 

 

 

 

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Can getting an MRI prevent heart disease?

Can getting an MRI prevent heart disease

 

MRI’s, one of the best imaging technologies in medicine, are used for a plethora of medical problems, including problems involving the heart. The heart is what keeps us alive, and keeps the blood flowing in our bodies. Can an MRI actually prevent the #1 killer of adults in the U.S., heart disease? Studies are saying yes.

 

So if MRI’s can actually prevent heart disease, a good question to ask is how? An MRI is used on the heart by taking images of the hearts structure. An MRI can actually see the thickness of the walls of the heart and measure the blood flow in and out of the heart. By doing this examination, you can also see if there are any obstructions of blood flow because of artery blockage. As well as this, if a person has already had a heart attack, an MRI can show any of the damaged parts of the heart.

 

We encourage anyone who has a family history of heart trouble, has had a heart attack, or is just curious to look at in-depth images of their heart, to schedule an appointment for an MRI. It actually could save your life.

 

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If the doctor orders an MRI, get one

 

If the doctor orders an MRISome patients suspected that physicians ordered MRIs so leniently because they were not aware just how much the patient was paying for it. However, Johns Hopkins researchers said no: “revealing the costs of MRIs and other imaging tests up front had no impact on the number of tests doctors ordered for their hospitalized patients.”

The problem is not that the tests are being ordered, it’s that the patients don’t understand why they are being ordered. Physicians are sure they need the information, so the patients think that they’re just throwing a line in and hoping to catch a fish, but that’s rarely the case.

When the physicians were made aware of the price of these tests, the number of laboratory tests dropped, but not imaging tests. Imaging tests like MRIs, CTs, and Ultrasounds offer too valuable of accurate information.

So if a physician orders and MRI for a problem, make sure to get one. They did not make that decision lightly, and it’s not something that can be put off for too long without consequences.

Better yet, call Open MRI of Pueblo at 719-404-0991 or visit our website for more information. You can read the blog that has more information on the subject and the John Hopkins study here.