New Study Shows Combatting Childhood Obesity In Schools Is Working

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

obesityResearch Finds the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program Reduces Prevalence of Childhood Obesity.

According to a recently published study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, schools can win the fight against childhood obesity. The study found that the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program is an important means of supporting schools in reducing students’ rates of obesity.

Effect of the Healthy Schools Program on Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in California Schools, 2006 – 2012, is the first peer-reviewed journal article published about the Healthy Schools Program’s impact on child obesity rates.

An analysis of 281 schools in California that participated in the Program from 2006-2012 concludes that the Program is “an effective model for addressing childhood obesity among engaged schools,” and that meaningful participation in the Program is linked to reductions in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among students in high-need schools.

Ten years ago, the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association founded the Alliance for a Healthier Generation with the goal of reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity, and this study confirms the organization is delivering on its mission and that healthy school environments are having an effect on student weight.

“It’s encouraging to see the proven positive impact of the Healthy Schools Program on childhood obesity. Over the past ten years, the Alliance involved all stakeholders ‒ schools, companies, communities, healthcare professionals and families. The combination of commitment and cooperation has made the difference,” said President Bill Clinton.

kidsexercisevector“This study is evidence of our 2005 dream realized. While we know we have much more work to do to reverse the tide of obesity, we’re showing signs of success through the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.

The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program, which was launched in 2006 with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides schools with a framework, assessment and action plan, as well as virtual and onsite training and technical assistance and access to national experts to help them create sustainable healthy change. While the study looked at schools in California, the Program serves more than 29,000 schools nationally, the majority of which are high-need ‒ 40% or more of a school’s students receive free or reduced price lunch.

The study demonstrates the power of providing high-quality training and technical assistance to help schools make policy and system changes that improve children’s access to healthy foods and physical activity. The more that schools engaged with the Healthy Schools Program, and the longer they engaged, the greater reductions they saw in student rates of obesity. For example, for each additional year of exposure to an Alliance national advisor, schools saw a nearly 2% decline in student rates of overweight and obesity.

“Healthy school environments are critical to ensuring that every child grows up at a healthy weight and to RWJF’s goal of building a nationwide Culture of Health,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “This study reinforces the critical role that the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program can play in making a healthy school the norm and not the exception in the United States. We are proud of our commitment to initiate and expand the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program over the past decade, and we look forward to continued progress in our joint efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.”

“We’re pleased the findings confirm that the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program is delivering on our mission: to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “Reaching more than 17 million students across the country and growing, we will continue to positively impact children’s health on a national scale.”

About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. Through our Healthy Schools Program, we help to build healthier school environments for more than 17 million students by improving physical education, health education, child nutrition, and staff wellness policies and programs in more than 29,000 schools. Learn more and join the movement at http://www.healthiergeneration.org.

About the Clinton Foundation
The Clinton Foundation convenes businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change. Because of our work, more than 29,000 American schools are providing kids with healthy food choices in an effort to eradicate childhood obesity; more than 85,000 farmers in Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are benefiting from climate-smart agronomic training, higher yields, and increased market access; more than 33,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions are being reduced annually across the United States; over 350,000 people have been impacted through market opportunities created by social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Asia; through the independent Clinton Health Access Initiative, 9.9 million people in more than 70 countries have access to CHAI-negotiated prices for HIV/AIDS medications; 75 million people are benefiting from disease prevention efforts and investments in the U.S.; and members of the Clinton Global Initiative community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. Learn more at http://www.clintonfoundation.org, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ClintonFoundation and on Twitter @ClintonFdn.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association (AHA) is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke—America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. The American Heart Association team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of the offices around the country.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. The Foundation strives to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit http://www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at http://www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at http://www.rwjf.org/facebook.

Association Between Chronic Pain And Obesity

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

obesityThe literature suggests that obesity and pain are significant co-morbidities, adversely impacting each other. The nature of the relationship however is not likely to be direct, and many interacting factors appear to contribute.

The Journal of Pain Research has published the review “The Association between Chronic Pain and Obesity”.

As corresponding author Professor Akiko Okifuji says “Both obesity and chronic pain are serious public health concerns in our society. They also co-occur often, although it is not to say that one causes the other. Rather, there appear to be multiple factors that contribute to each of these conditions. It is clear though that when they do co-occur, the adverse impact of the problems is much worse than each of them alone. Treating each of these conditions can be challenging; obesity further complicates the treatment of chronic pain and vice versa.”

Professor Okifuji continues “Our paper highlights the significance of the relationship and need for further research. Further clinical research evaluating the nature of the relationship is urgently needed in order for us to develop innovative and optimal therapies to address the comorbidity of pain and obesity.”

As Dr. Michael Schatman, Editor-in-Chief, explains “This paper represents an important contribution to the literature, given the increasing rates of obesity as well as the stigmatization of obese pain sufferers.”

The Journal of Pain Research is an international, peer-reviewed, open access, online journal that welcomes laboratory and clinical findings in the fields of pain research and the prevention and management of pain.

Dove Medical Press Ltd is a privately held company specializing in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine.

Hard Truths Of Fighting Fat

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Beverly Hills Physicians…..please share your comments below as weight loss surgery has always been a controversial topic. According to WebMD, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery if:

* You’re an obese adult, especially if you have a weight-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes.

* You know the risks and benefits.

* You’re ready to adjust how you eat after the surgery.

* You’re committed to making lifestyle changes to keep the weight off.

Ultimately, this sensitive topic should be discussed with your physician to see if it is the right move for you.

weightlossballtextSouthern California based medical group Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) sees a great many patients exploring weight loss surgery as well as non-surgical paths to weight loss, and they typically experience a surge of interest from prospective patients with the beginning of every new year. A Las Vegas Sun article published December 27 notes that people who truly want to lose weight must think beyond quick-fix diets and unsustainable exercise plans if they actually want to make their dreams of becoming permanently thinner and healthier a reality, and that the only path to success is permanent lifestyle change. BHP agrees, but adds that weight loss surgery and other techniques can make dealing with the hard truths of weight loss a great deal easier.

BHP explains that, while weight loss fads typically produce only the most minor and short-lived results, even individuals who set out to make genuine lifestyle changes have an extremely difficult challenge before them. These people are often able to achieve some loss of weight, at least at first. One problem identified by BHP is that, over time, strong desires to overeat actually become all that much stronger the more weight an individual loses – and that means severely obese patients who have the most weight to lose, and the greatest need to lose it, have the hardest task before them. For most, the medical group notes, the constant pangs of appetite are simply too difficult to ignore over the long term.

BHP notes that there is a preponderance of evidence supporting the fact that weight loss surgery options such as the gastric sleeve and Lap Band can make permanently defeating obesity a great deal more achievable because they get to the root of the problem by actually reducing the patient’s appetite. Doctors have found that both of these procedures make it uncomfortable to overeat, while the sleeve procedure – which removes roughly 75 to 85% of the stomach – may also have some added benefits in terms of reducing the body’s production of hunger-stimulating hormones.

Of course, the medical group adds, a great many individuals with weight issues may not meet the definition of severe obesity (a BMI of 40 or more, or 35 or more with related health problems). For them, BHP offers both non-surgical assistance in the form of coaching and medical monitoring, as well as the new Obera balloon weight loss system. They explain that the latter is a temporary procedure which reduces the stomach’s capacity, but is intended for individuals whose weight may be a health issue but who may not be sufficiently obese to be candidates for the other weight loss procedures.

However it is accomplished, experts agree that real weight loss that lasts takes time and commitment – but that doesn’t mean that the challenge can’t be made significantly less difficult with the help of outstanding medical professionals like the team at BHP. To learn more about their options, interested readers can call 800-788-1416, or visit BHP online at http://www.BeverlyHillsPhysicians.com.

Sinus Problems?

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publications, please share your comments below…..

didyouknow?Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinus passages, producing a stuffy head and pain. Antibiotics are usually not effective. Try to use saline rises, decongestants, and pain relievers to ease symptoms until the body heals itself.

The sinuses (the hollow spaces behind the nose) are prone to infection by various microorganisms. In a sinus infection, also called sinusitis, the sensitive lining of the sinuses swells up and gushes mucus, triggering nasal stuffiness, a runny nose, and facial pain. Once upon a time, sinus sufferers headed straight to a doctor to get an antibiotic, but we now know this is usually a waste of time. Most cases of sinusitis are associated with viral infections, which are bulletproof to antibiotics.

Taking simple steps to ease symptoms while the body clears the infection makes the most sense, according to the November 2015 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. “Everybody thinks of antibiotics as the magic cure-all, but the vast majority of people will get better without ever having to consider an antibiotic,” says Dr. Jeffrey Linder, a primary care physician and associate professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Basic self-care steps to soothe symptoms include:

– saline (salt water) rinses, using either a neti pot or prepackaged saline nasal sprays

– decongestants, either in nasal spray or pill form

– pain relievers — any kind is fine, but nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or aspirin will ease inflammation in addition to pain.

“If you have been doing all the right things for 10 days and you’re not getting better, then it’s totally reasonable to call your doctor and ask about an antibiotic,” Dr. Linder says.

Read the full-length article: “Inflamed sinuses: It’s best to watch and wait”

Also in the November 2015 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch:

– Exercise to banish aches and pains
– Easy diet upgrades
– Is your heartburn pill really working for you?
– How to stop the flu in its tracks

The Harvard Men’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Occupational Therapy Offers Relief For Hand Pain From Arthritis

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newsOccupational Therapist Roxanne Perry with Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training with tips on how OT can help manage osteoarthritis hand pain and prevent further joint damage.

Opening a jar, buttoning a shirt or brushing your teeth are everyday activities that feel far from routine for those with arthritis in their hands, a highly common condition causing pain and disability for millions of Americans. But occupational therapy, or OT, focusing on the hands can ease pain and increase range of motion for these patients, whether used on its own or after surgery, according to Roxanne Perry, a licensed occupational therapist and certified hand therapist at Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training.

With 27 bones in each of our hands (including the carpals which are the small wrist bones and are often involved when a patient has arthritic pain) perhaps it’s not surprising that osteoarthritis is the most common cause of hand arthritis – a word that literally means “inflamed joint.” Osteoarthritis itself is the most common type of arthritis in the United States, affecting about 12% of American adults and occurring when the smooth cartilage covering joints gets worn away because of age or overuse – causing pain, stiffness, swelling and sometimes knobby finger joints.

Hand therapy is a specialized practice area among occupational therapists, who treat these patients to preserve or increase their hand mobility so they’re able to perform everyday tasks more easily and comfortably.

“As a non-surgical option or a way to boost your recovery from hand surgery, occupational therapy is tailored to fit each person’s individual situation and needs, both at home and at work,” says Perry, who has more than 20 years of clinical experience treating injuries of the upper extremity. “The ultimate goal is to restore and optimize the way your hands function as well as to improve your independence and overall quality of life.”

Preventing further joint damage

For those with hand osteoarthritis for which surgery isn’t recommended, OT serves a preventative role, Perry explains. Patients are taught ways to prevent further joint damage, which can include:

Splinting: Immobilizing affected joints, particularly at night, helps them rest when you do and cuts down on joint inflammation, pain and swelling, Perry says. Splints used during sleep are made of a thermoplastic material that stretch and mold closely to the shape of the hand, while neoprene splints may be prescribed during the day to allow movement while also providing support. An occupational therapist will ensure splints are fabricated and fitted to each patient’s needs.

Home exercise program: In addition to working with hand osteoarthritis patients during office visits, occupational therapists also teach them range-of-motion exercises and gentle strengthening techniques they can perform at home. These therapeutic movements may include finger touches, curls, stretches and bends. A typical OT schedule involves office visits twice each week for 4 to 6 weeks and is generally covered by insurance with a prescription.

Information on pain management: Occupational therapists can offer education about over-the-counter and other types of anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain. Other pain management techniques may include soaking the hands in warm water or dipping them in warm paraffin wax. Additionally an OT can provide information on joint protection and adaptive equipment that can help increase patient’s independence.

“Avoiding further joint damage is a big part of effective treatment for hand arthritis,” Perry notes. “It’s not something you’d want to attempt without the guidance and expertise of an occupational therapist.”

If surgery needed, restoring strength and function

Surgery for osteoarthritis of the hand may be suggested when a patient either suffers from too much pain – a highly individual decision – or too little function. Surgical techniques can include; basal joint arthroplasty, also known as a joint replacement of the thumb, osteotomy, in which part of the bone of a joint is removed to realign the joint, and fusion of the joints, a procedure use when arthritis is particularly bad.

But even in this scenario, OT can play a crucial role in restoring a patient’s quality of life. If surgery is indicated, OT helps patients to manage post-operative pain; reduce swelling; promote wound care and healing; and restore range of motion, strength, and function.

“While a conservative, non-surgical approach is generally successful for managing hand osteoarthritis, sometimes surgery is the best course,” Perry says. “But either way, an occupational therapist can improve patients’ hand function and pain levels, reducing the stress on involved joints. OT shouldn’t be a last resort – it should be the first thought for people who develop hand arthritis.”

– Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training has provided personalized, integrative, and skilled one-on-one physical therapy services to residents of Westchester/lower Fairfield counties since 2001. http://www.armonkptst.com/ – Roxanne Perry, OTR, CHT, is a licensed occupational therapist and certified hand therapist at Armonk Physical Therapy & Sports Training.

Washington DC Is The Nation’s Fittest City

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This article is courtesy of ACSM, please share your comments below…..

joggersResidents of the nation’s capital, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul, and San Diego enjoy a variety of outdoor exercise options and have relatively low rates of smoking, obesity and diabetes. That combination of measurable health and community indicators makes them the three fittest of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Oklahoma City, Memphis and Indianapolis rank last among the 50 metro areas studied in the eighth annual American Fitness Index® (AFI) ranking being released today by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundation. View the rankings and individual metro data here.

There’s good news and areas of concern from the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. The AFI reveals a troubling 11.3 percent drop in the percentage of individuals who exercised in the last 30 days, and a 7.8 percent increase in the diabetes death rates from 2014 to 2015. The AFI ranking also notes a 5.5 percent drop in those who eat enough fruit each day. Five metro areas dropped significantly in the rankings, falling five or more positions.

On the more positive side, there was also a 9.5 percent decrease in the percentage of respondents who reported that they had been diagnosed with angina or coronary heart disease, and a 5.5 percent increase in the number of park units from 2014 to 2015. Nine metro areas improved their ranking by five or more positions.

With funding from The Anthem Foundation, ACSM studies Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) using a composite score to measure the health of each MSA. Access to public parks was added as a new measure in 2015, and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area topped the list for the second consecutive year with a score of 79.6 out of 100 possible points, a two-point improvement over 2014.

“The AFI is two things: a measure of how healthy a metro area is today, and a call-to-action for urban and suburban leaders to design infrastructures that promote active lifestyles and lead to positive health outcomes,” says Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, chair of the AFI Advisory Board. “Our goal is to provide communities and residents with resources that help them assess, respond and achieve a better, healthier life.”

“We have proudly sponsored the American College of Sports Medicine American Fitness Index® for the past eight years and have witnessed the growing impact this report can have on the health and well-being of communities,” said Sam Nussbaum, MD, chief medical officer for Anthem, Inc. “Across the United States, government, business and organizations have proven that by working together we can improve the health of our cities. These coalitions are using the actionable data from this report to drive health improvement. It is heartening to see a city’s health improve, and this year there were some remarkable shifts in rankings. Opportunities remain and measurement, shared learning and commitment to healthier lifestyles will benefit individuals, our cities and our nation.”

Last year, ACSM also released its first series of AFI data trend reports recapping and documenting progress during a five-year period for each metro area. You can learn more about community health data trends in a given area by going here.

Because physical inactivity has become an epidemic in the U.S., ACSM encourages Americans to exercise for at least 30 minutes and participate in 10 minutes of stretching and light muscle training five days a week. Modeling healthy behavior by reducing sedentary time, incorporating activity into the weekday schedule, joining walking clubs, setting goals and involving family and friends can improve fitness, reduce the risk of chronic disease and enhance quality of life.

At the community level, the AFI data report can be used as an assessment and evaluation tool to educate community leaders on the importance of key indicators of physical activity. Leaders can then focus on policy, systems and environmental change (PSE) strategies that are evidence-based and create sustainability for the community.

ACSM is a global leader in promoting the benefits of physical activity and advocates for legislation that helps government and the health community make it a priority. ACSM encourages Congress to support continued funding of parks, trails and safe routes to school, as well as the need for all Americans to meet the prescribed physical activity recommendations included in the National Physical Activity Guidelines, and the need for the guidelines to be regularly updated every 10 years.

View the rest of the article here.

Signs, Dangers And Treatments For Concussions

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Medicine in Motion, please share your thoughts below…..

newsMost injuries sustained on the sports field have obvious tell-tale signs such as pain, bleeding, swelling or discoloration. The nature of a concussion, however, can make it extremely challenging to recognize at first glance – the physical evidence is hidden beneath the injured person’s skull, after all. Concussions are commonplace among high school athletes, affecting about 63,000 students every year.

Although many injured athletes are eager to get back into the game, a person suspected of having a concussion should immediately be removed or remove themselves from a game or any activity or sport. An increase in heart rate can worsen symptoms, but perhaps more importantly, a quick return to activity significantly increases the injured person’s risk of an even more serious brain injury. A doctor should always be consulted before an athlete returns to a sport or activity.

“Concussions are serious business, but we don’t always know how severe the damage is immediately after the injury occurs,” said Dr. Martha Pyron, Austin sports medicine doctor and owner of Medicine in Motion. “If you or your child has taken a blow to the head, you might be wondering if a concussion has developed. I recommend referring to our symptoms checklist and heading to a doctor if you have even the slightest suspicion that it is a concussion. The healing process may take time, but a quick response will be your athlete’s best bet for a solid recovery.”

Concussion facts and tips:

1. What is a concussion? It is the mildest form of brain injury, but can still lead to death and/or permanent brain damage if not treated properly.

2. How does a concussion occur? Usually, it is from a blow to the head, but a person can get a concussion by just abruptly stopping, even if he or she does not hit their head.

3. What are the consequences of a concussion? Usually, if treated properly, concussions resolve without any long term consequences. But if not treated properly, and sports are attempted while still recovering from a concussion, the concussion can lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

4. What are symptoms of a concussion? Headache is the most common symptom of concussion, but it is not always present. Nausea, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, confusion, difficulty with concentration, behavioral changes, slurred speech, dizziness, blurry vision, sleep disturbance, and emotional changes can all occur.

5. How is a concussion treated? The brain must rest. At first this may mean rest from ALL activity including talking on the phone, watching TV, or even reading. Eventually, the concussion resolves and the athlete returns to all activity without difficulty.

6. How does a person know when their concussion has resolved? It is difficult to tell sometimes. But generally, three things need to be in place: 1. All symptoms have resolved; 2. The physician’s physical exam of the concussed person is normal; and 3. The person is able to think clearly and use their brain at the same level as prior to the injury.

7. How does a person know if they are able to use their brain the same as before? There are computerized tests which can measure concentration, memory and reaction times. If this test is taken before the head injury as a baseline, it can be used as a measure of when the test scores return to normal after the injury.

8. Where should a person go if they think they have a concussion? If a person is injured and their symptoms are worsening despite rest, they should go to the ER. If they have symptoms which occur that they think are related to a concussion, they should seek medical care from a physician who has experience with concussions and has the ability to test concentration and memory skills. Otherwise, it may be difficult to tell when the concussion has been resolved. Medicine in Motion has the capability to do a full evaluation.

– Medicine in Motion (MIM) specializes in providing top quality sports medicine in Austin, Texas, for athletic individuals of all ages and levels. The staff at MIM believes active bodies are healthy bodies, therefore it is the office’s goal to keep patients energetic and fit. To that end, MIM provides treatment of injuries and illnesses, including the use of physical rehabilitation; promotes healthy living with personal training and nutrition coaching; and offers comprehensive sports medicine evaluations to optimize health, activity level and sports performance. For more information or for questions regarding sports medicine in Austin, contact Medicine in Motion at 512-257-2500 or visit the website at http://www.medinmotion.com.

Navigating Retail Health Clinics

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publications. What are your thoughts about their article….please share below…..

Retail health clinics are fine for a short-term illness or as a backup, but they should not replace a long-term relationship with a primary care physician.

newsThe hot trend of making health care more convenient is showing up in more and more local drugstores and big box chains in the form of retail health clinics, reports the March 2016 Harvard Health Letter. “Twenty years ago you had to go to an emergency department if you got sick and needed immediate care. Now we have an explosion of options, such as retail health clinics,” says Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, a researcher on the topic and an associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School.

Retail health clinics have many perks. They’re easy to get into, with extended hours and no appointments necessary, and they’re staffed by a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant. The clinics offer all kinds of health services—everything from treating minor illness like colds, pinkeye, or urinary tract infections to providing physicals, health screenings, and vaccinations—and the prices are often more affordable than other options. “We have found in our data that clinics are 30% to 40% cheaper than a doctor’s office visit, and 80% cheaper than an emergency room visit,” says Dr. Mehrotra.

Does the lower price translate into poor-quality care? “We’ve found that the quality of care at retail clinics is equal to or superior to some doctor’s offices, because the clinics are more likely to follow national guidelines of care,” says Dr. Mehrotra.

Despite all the perks, retail health clinics may not be right for everyone. A report from the American College of Physicians published online Oct. 13, 2015, in Annals of Internal Medicine maintains that the clinics are fine for a short-term illness or as a backup when people can’t see their doctors, but they should not replace a long-term relationship with a primary care physician. Dr. Mehrotra agrees.

Read the full-length article: “Should you use a retail health clinic?”

Also in the March 2016 issue of the Harvard Health Letter:

* The health benefits and risks of owning a pet

* Are prescription pain pills worth the risk?

* How to build a better bladder and stay dry

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free)

Americans Low In Vitamin E

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didyouknow?Royal River Natural Foods, a locally-owned independent natural health store in Freeport, Maine, reports a new study that found people of all ages are low in vitamin E, and particularly those 20 to 30 years old. Vitamin E may extend life, aid the brain, and help ensure healthy reproduction.

The report is part of the January 2016, issue of “Natural Insights for Well Being®”, which Royal River Natural Foods publishes free each month to help inform the Freeport community of the latest scientific discoveries in nutrition. Also in the January issue, college students with depression saw symptoms subside after taking omega-3 fish oil capsules for three weeks and postmenopausal women who continued taking vitamin D after stopping hormone replacement therapy were 26 percent less likely to develop breast cancer compared to women who stopped taking or who had never taken vitamin D, among other important findings.

“The findings this month are important for young adults looking to start a family, for students who want to do well in school, or women who want to reduce chances of breast cancer,” said Becky Foster, supplement manager. “New findings this month include studies from scientific journals such as the ‘Journal of the Public Library of Science – One,’ the ‘Journal of Nutrition,’ and the ‘Journal of Applied Physiology,’ among others.”

“Natural Insights for Well Being®” is free, and Royal River Natural Foods invites all those who wish to gain more valuable nutrition knowledge to stop in and pick up the January issue and meet the friendly, knowledgeable staff.

About the company:
Founded in 1994, Royal River Natural Foods is a unique community, natural food store. They are committed to well-being, body and soul. Experience their outstanding customer service in a warm and welcoming environment. Royal River Natural Foods proudly features local organic food, produce, locally-raised beef, chicken, lamb, pork and seafood, healthy takeout foods, bulk foods, snacks, special dietary products, specialty wines, micro-brewed beers, gourmet food made in Maine, unique gifts, eco-friendly products and much more. Royal River Natural Foods is committed to providing local, organic and sustainably-produced foods that enrich their customers’ lives. For more information about Royal River Natural Foods, visit their website at http://www.rrnf.com.

Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation: What’s In It For You?

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

didyouknow?Dr. Kaixuan Liu with Atlantic Spine Center explains differences, similarities between ablation and rhizotomy procedures and offers tips for understanding benefits.

Strangely enough, getting rid of back pain can involve using a lot of unusual words, such as “radiofrequency nerve ablation” or “facet rhizotomy.” In this case, however, both terms are closely related – and both can deaden chronic back pain by zapping painful nerves along the spine, according to Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD, founder and president of Atlantic Spine Center.

Radiofrequency nerve ablation (RFA) is an emerging technique that can offer back or neck pain relief for up to 18 months. Similarly for facet rhizotomy, just one of many forms of radiofrequency ablation using a heated probe to disrupt pain signals from the spinal nerves to the brain.

“Radiofrequency uses heat to disrupt the nerves conducting pain signals, while rhizotomy can also be performed using laser energy,” explains Dr. Liu, who is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive spine surgery. “But either way, the advantages to patients are many: Prolonged pain relief with a minimally invasive, quick procedure that boasts a high success rate and a rapid recovery.”

Conditions treated with radiofrequency nerve ablation

Adding to the similarities between the two procedures, some of the same back conditions can be treated using RFA, including:

* Spinal arthritis

* Facet arthritis, which occurs in the spinal joints that enable bending and twisting

* Whiplash injury

All RFA patients have one thing in common: long-lasting low back or neck pain that hasn’t been eradicated by using more conservative measures, such as medication or physical therapy. Remarkably the procedure itself is fairly simple: In a surgical center, using mild sedation and local anesthesia, a physician correctly positions the radiofrequency ablation probe with x-ray guidance. After it’s placed along the affected nerves, an electrical current produced by a radio wave heats up a small area of nerve tissue, deadening pain signals there.

Facet rhizotomy is performed similarly, but may also be used for failed back surgery syndrome or facet hypertrophy, a degeneration of the facet joints. “When it’s done, patients get right up and walk around,” Dr. Liu explains. “Side effects are minimal, but the benefits can be huge.”

Tips for understanding the benefits

What are the benefits of RFA? Completed without damaging surrounding muscles or soft tissue, like traditional “open” spine surgery, RFA offers relatively long term (typically 6 months – 1 year) pain relief. Dr. Liu lists its many benefits, including:

* Minimally invasive, requiring only a tiny incision

* No blood loss

* Low infection risks

* Short recovery, home on the same day

* No discomfort during probe-heating portion of procedure

“Almost three-quarters of patients treated with RFA experience marked pain relief – whether their initial back or neck pain was due to an injury, arthritis or another cause,” Dr. Liu explains. “While the degree of pain relief varies by patient, the effects from RFA sometimes last for years. That’s an extremely good payoff from such a simple procedure.”

– Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery with several locations in NJ and NYC. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com, http://www.atlanticspinecenter.nyc

– Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD, is a board-certified physician who is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive spine surgery at Atlantic Spine Center.