1 in 4 U.S. Adults Disabled by Arthritis: CDC

1 in 4 U.S. Adults Disabled by Arthritis: CDC

Arthritis is expanding its grip on Americans, with 24 million adults limited in their everyday activities because of the debilitating joint disease, U.S. health officials say.

Overall, 54 million adults — or one in four — report an arthritis diagnosis. And the number of people disabled by it has jumped 20 percent since 2002, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

“Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from going about their daily routines,” CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat said in an agency news release.

The joint aches, stiffness and swelling of arthritis can make holding a glass, carrying a grocery bag, or walking a short distance difficult or even impossible, the agency said.

Why so many Americans have arthritis isn’t clear, and can’t be attributed solely to an aging population. Almost two of five adults with arthritis are of working age — 18 to 64 years old, the CDC said.

The most common types are osteoarthritis, which is age-related wear and tear; rheumatoid arthritis; gout; lupus; and fibromyalgia, the CDC reported.

Arthritis costs at least $81 billion in direct medical costs annually, the agency said.

Although narcotic painkillers are often prescribed for arthritis, other options are safer, the CDC added.

Instead of opioids, doctors and loved ones can encourage people with arthritis to exercise and watch their weight. “Physical activity is a proven strategy to ease pain and reduce symptoms among people with arthritis,” Schuchat said.

Exercise — such as walking, swimming or biking — can reduce symptoms by as much as 40 percent. Yet, about one-third of adults with arthritis aren’t active, the CDC noted in its March 7 Vital Signs.

Self-management education is another important arthritis tool that doctors need to recommend, the report co-author said.

Along with physical activity, “it is just as important for them [doctors] to motivate their patients to attend workshops to learn how to better manage their arthritis,” said epidemiologist Kamil Barbour, of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

People are more likely to attend an education program if a health care provider recommends it. But to date, only 1 in 10 Americans has participated in this type of program, the CDC reported.

The report also found that arthritis frequently occurs with other health conditions, namely heart disease, diabetes or obesity. These conditions become harder to manage with arthritis, the agency said.

Whiplash Injury

Whiplash Injury

What is a whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to your neck. It is caused by your neck bending forcibly forward and then backward, or vice versa. The injury, which is poorly understood, usually involves the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in your neck.

What causes a whiplash?

Most whiplash injuries result from a collision that includes sudden acceleration or deceleration. Many whiplash injuries occur when you are involved in a rear-end automobile collision. They also happen as a result of a sports injury, particularly during contact sports.

What are the symptoms of a whiplash?

These are the most common symptoms of whiplash:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Low back pain
  • Dizziness
  • Pain in your arm or hand
  • Numbness in your arm or hand
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Sleeplessness
  • Tiredness

The symptoms of whiplash may look like other conditions and medical problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is a whiplash diagnosed?

Along with a complete medical history and physical exam, tests  for whiplash may include the following. Many whiplash injuries include damage to soft tissue that can’t be seen on X-rays:

  • X-ray. Electromagnetic energy beams produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Large magnets and a computer make detailed images of organs and soft tissue structures in your body.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan.  X-rays and computer technology make horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of your body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of your body, including your bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.

XTiss_20140225_v1_001

How is a whiplash treated?

Your healthcare provider will determine specific treatment for whiplash, based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of your injury
  • Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of your injury
  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • Ice applications for the first 24 hours
  • Cervical (neck) collar
  • Gentle, active movement after 24 hours
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen)
  • Muscle relaxing medicines
  • Physical therapy
  • Osteopathic manipulation

What are the complications of a whiplash injury?

While most people who have a whiplash injury recover within a few weeks to a few months, some have persistent pain for several months or longer.

When should I call my healthcare provider?

If your symptoms have not improved within the time frame your healthcare provider suggested, let him or her know. Also, if your symptoms get worse or you get new symptoms, tell your provider.

Key points about whiplash

  • Whiplash injury is poorly understood, but usually involves the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in your neck.
  • It is caused by the neck bending forcibly forward and then backward, or vice versa.
  • Many whiplash injuries occur if you are involved in a rear-end automobile collision.
  • Your healthcare provider will determine specific treatment for your whiplash.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.
DO vs MD – What’s the Difference?

DO vs MD – What’s the Difference?

If you’re trying to determine the difference between an MD and a DO, you almost certainly fit into one of two categories. You’re either a student considering a career in medicine or a patient wondering what exactly the difference is.

What is an MD?

When most people think of a physician, they’re thinking of an M.D. – standing for Medical Doctor or Doctor of Medicine. MD’s practice a form of medicine called allopathic. James Whorton, the man credited with coining the phrase, explained that Doctors of Medicine (M.D.’s) use treatments that affect someone who’s ill differently than someone who’s healthy. For example, an antibiotic taken by someone without a bacterial infection would not improve his or her health.

Medical Doctors (MDs) in the United States attend medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

 What is a DO?

Short for Osteopathic Doctor, DO’s receive their medical degree from a U.S. osteopathic school. Unlike MD’s, a DO is accredited by the American Osteopathic Associate Commission within the Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA).

D.O.’s are trained to have a more holistic approach to medicine and follow a medical philosophy called osteopathic medicine. DO’s are trained to consider a patient’s environment, nutrition, and body system as a whole when diagnosing and treating medical conditions.

Similarities between MD’s & DO’s

  • Both MD and DO physicians base diagnosis and treatment recommendations on scientifically-proven conclusions.
  • Attend 4 years of medical school, plus a residency program ranging from 3-7 years
  • Are licensed by the same state licensing boards, i.e. both MDs and DOs must meet the same requirements to practice medicine
  • Can practice medicine in all 50 states.
  • Are found in every type of specialty medicine.
  • Follow the same undergraduate academic path – a bachelor’s degree, Pre Med coursework, and taking the MCAT

Primary Differences between DOs & MDs

  • Medical students attending osteopathic schools (DOs) must take an additional 200 hours of training learning manipulation techniques of the musculoskeletal system.
  • DO physicians tend to be primary care physicians, whereas U.S.M.D.’s tend to specialize in more specific types of medicine (Dermatology, Cardiology, Orthopedics, etc.)
  • In the United States, 67.4% of active physicians are M.D.s vs. 7.3% which are D.O.s (The remaining 24.2% received their degree from a medical school outside of the United States.)
  • DO students take the Comprehensive Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). MD medical students take the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).

    Summary: Understanding DO vs MD

    In the United States, doctors are either an MD (allopathic doctor) or DO (osteopathic doctor). For patients, there’s virtually no difference between treatment by a DO vs MD. In other words, you should be equally comfortable if your doctor is an M.D. or a D.O.

1 in 4 U.S. Adults Disabled by Arthritis: CDC

1 in 4 U.S. Adults Disabled by Arthritis: CDC

Arthritis is expanding its grip on Americans, with 24 million adults limited in their everyday activities because of the debilitating joint disease, U.S. health officials say.

Overall, 54 million adults — or one in four — report an arthritis diagnosis. And the number of people disabled by it has jumped 20 percent since 2002, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday.

“Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from going about their daily routines,” CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat said in an agency news release.

The joint aches, stiffness and swelling of arthritis can make holding a glass, carrying a grocery bag, or walking a short distance difficult or even impossible, the agency said.

Why so many Americans have arthritis isn’t clear, and can’t be attributed solely to an aging population. Almost two of five adults with arthritis are of working age — 18 to 64 years old, the CDC said.

The most common types are osteoarthritis, which is age-related wear and tear; rheumatoid arthritis; gout; lupus; and fibromyalgia, the CDC reported.

Arthritis costs at least $81 billion in direct medical costs annually, the agency said.

Although narcotic painkillers are often prescribed for arthritis, other options are safer, the CDC added.

Instead of opioids, doctors and loved ones can encourage people with arthritis to exercise and watch their weight. “Physical activity is a proven strategy to ease pain and reduce symptoms among people with arthritis,” Schuchat said.

Exercise — such as walking, swimming or biking — can reduce symptoms by as much as 40 percent. Yet, about one-third of adults with arthritis aren’t active, the CDC noted in its March 7 Vital Signs.

Self-management education is another important arthritis tool that doctors need to recommend, the report co-author said.

Along with physical activity, “it is just as important for them [doctors] to motivate their patients to attend workshops to learn how to better manage their arthritis,” said epidemiologist Kamil Barbour, of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

People are more likely to attend an education program if a health care provider recommends it. But to date, only 1 in 10 Americans has participated in this type of program, the CDC reported.

The report also found that arthritis frequently occurs with other health conditions, namely heart disease, diabetes or obesity. These conditions become harder to manage with arthritis, the agency said.

Preventing Sports Injuries

Preventing Sports Injuries

Exercise is good for the body and with the proper precautions, sports injuries can often be prevented. The quality of protective equipment – padding, helmets, shoes, mouth guards – have helped to improve the safety in sports. But, you can still be susceptible to injury. Always contact your healthcare provider before starting any type of physical activity, especially vigorous types of exercises or sports.

Causes of sport injuries may include:

  • improper or poor training practices
  • wearing improper sporting gear
  • being in poor health condition
  • improper warm-up or stretching practices before a sporting event or exercise

Common sports injuries include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Joint injuries (knee)
  • Muscle injuries
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Pain along the shin bone

How can I prevent a sports injury?

The following are some basic steps to prevent a sports injury:

  • Develop a fitness plan that includes cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility.  This will help decrease your chance of injury
  • Alternate exercising different muscle groups and exercise every other day.
  • Cool down properly after exercise or sports. It should take 2 times as long as your warm ups.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink water to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
  • Stretching exercises can improve the ability of muscles to contract and perform, reducing the risk for injury. Each stretch should start slowly until you reach a point of muscle tension. Stretching should not be painful. Aim to hold each stretch for up to 20 seconds.
  • Use the right equipment or gear and wear shoes that provide support  and that may correct certain foot problems that can lead to injury.
  • Learn the right techniques to play your sport.
  • Rest when tired, Avoid exercise when you are tired or in pain.
  • Always take your time during strength training and go through the full range of motion with each repetition.
  • If you do sustain a sports injury, make sure you participate in adequate rehabilitation before resuming strenuous activity.