Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Breakthroughs in Pain Management

Pain management is still a relatively new field in the world of medicine. Pain can come from several sources, such as disease or trauma. Also, external factors such as stress and anxiety may worsen the situation or even be the cause. Pain management physicians help find the origin of the pain, diagnose it and ultimately treat the pain with several different modalities or recommendations, from least invasive to most invasive.

There are many ways to treat pain, including the use of medicine, specific therapies, injections in certain areas of the body. Spinal cord stimulation may be an option and involves electrodes placed on a trial basis either in the spinal column or around the area of pain, depending on the situation.

“Spinal cord stimulation was first developed in the 1960s,” explained Patrick F. Annello, MD, co-director of pain management at St. Francis Hospital. “The patient is monitored for five to seven days, with potential results including improved activity, better sleep, enhanced mood and the use of less medication. If there is an improvement of greater than 80% in regard to pain, then a permanent implant of the device is performed 2–3 weeks later.”

Pain management physicians work with other physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, Tai-Chi instructors, yoga instructors and other experts to help address a patient’s pain. Meditation, special diets, and vitamins and supplements may be additional options to pursue, under a doctor’s supervision. 

An improved healthier life starts with physicians who put your health needs first. To learn more or to find a physician near you click here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Five Tips to Prepare You for Your Next Doctor’s Visit:

While we may not look forward to visiting the doctor, we know it’s important to have an annual check-up. Preparing for a physician visit is a great way to work with your provider and become active in your own health care. Most doctors will welcome your participation.
Here are some tips to make your visit less nerve-racking and more productive.
  1. Understand your health insurance. Call prior to your visit to see if you are covered or if you need a referral.
  2. Make a list and prioritize your concerns.
  3. Bring a list of any prescriptions and/or over-the-counter medications, including vitamins, you are taking.
  4. Know your family history.
  5. Bring a family member or friend with you.
“The most important component of your health is you. If you are interested and serious about staying healthy and avoiding illness, injury, and medical interventions, you must think and behave differently,” explains Andrew Sama, MD, chief of emergency services for Catholic Health Services of Long Island. “Discuss a plan with your physician that will work for you long term and stick to it. Be sure to have all of your age appropriate screening exams and stay up to date on all your vaccinations.  Remember, when you notice a change in your general health, make an appointment to see your physician.”

Download this helpful worksheet before your next doctor's visit.

An improved healthier life starts with physicians who put your health needs first. To learn more or to find a physician near you click here.