Choosing the Best Baseball Safety Gear for Your Child

choose baseball safety gear

Your ideal Saturday afternoon with your child should include singing, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” not saying, “Take me to urgent care.” Whether your child will be lacing up for his or her first year of little league or preparing for an advanced season, it’s always the right time to ensure your child has the safest gear available to protect against injury. Below we outline the key factors to consider when choosing gloves, cleats, bats, and helmets for your little league all-star.

Fits Like a Glove

Start your baseball glove shopping by choosing a material. Synthetic leather does not require a break-in period and will better suit younger players. Genuine, oil-treated leather offers better game-day comfort and is the step-up choice for more advanced players. Make sure the glove fits snugly without being too tight or too loose. The key is to be like Goldilocks and find a glove that fits just right. It should also be stiff enough to offer some resistance, but flexible enough to provide control for both pitchers, catchers, and fielders. If your child’s glove is a few years old and has lost too much of its form and structure, it may be time for an upgrade.

Batter Up

Your future MVP will need a bat for use at home and possibly for practices and games.  Regardless of your child’s age or experience level, choosing the right bat is all about size. Youngsters between 3’ and 3’4’’ are well-suited for a 26-inch bat. Increase the bat size one inch for every four to five inches your child grows (yes, that may mean multiple purchases during those exciting growth spurt years). Make sure when measuring your child that you do so when he or she is wearing baseball cleats.

Lace ‘Em Up

Just like with running shoes, cleats make a significant impact on performance, safety, and minimizing the risk of injury. Once your child is playing competitively, you will want to select cleats that offer the flexibility to make quick, explosive movements (think stealing a base), superior traction, and proper support. To protect a player’s ankles, it’s all about the height of the shoe. As the name implies, high tops extend above ankle-height to provide extra support for too easily sprained ankles. If your child is looking to set a new speed record, you will want to consider low tops that enable faster lateral movements. 

Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset

The helmet will be the most critical safety item you will purchase for your player. It is vital to minimizing the risk of concussions and other head and neck injuries. To help you gauge your product purchase, know that typically the more money you spend on a helmet, the better quality product you’ll get in return. Higher-end helmets are usually made with high-impact padding and are often more comfortable. Just like with gloves, follow the Goldilocks rule when choosing a helmet. It should fit snugly, but not be too tight, and shouldn’t wobble around your child’s head—no matter their age.

A weekend of little league games should never end in an injury, but if it does, rely on the compassionate care experts at Nova Health. Click here to view Nova Health’s urgent care locations in Lane and Douglas Counties.

Should You Immunize Your Baby?

Should I Immunize my Baby?

As of June 24, the United States recorded 33  new Measles cases in one week. With a total of 1,077 cases documented so far this year, experts are now calling this the worst Measles outbreak since 1992. Concerns about the growing risk of Measles across the nation has resurfaced dialogue surrounding a decision every parent must face: Should I vaccinate my baby?

Health experts say the current Measles outbreak is spreading among adolescents whose parents chose not to immunize their children by issuing the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine during early developmental years. The recent trend of parents passing on the MMR vaccine is the result of concerns by some parents that the vaccine may cause Autism; however, no formal studies have ever confirmed a link between the two. Today, with the resurgence of a disease the U.S. declared eliminated in 2000 resurfacing with deadly consequences, parents of newborns and couples who are pregnant should educate themselves about the benefits of immunizations so they can talk to their doctors and make informed decisions regarding the best health protections for their babies.

Health Benefits of Childhood Immunizations

Prevention is always more effective than reactive treatments, which is why immunizations remain the most powerful defense against known, contagious diseases. Children can be vaccinated against fourteen known serious childhood diseases within the first two years of their lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these diseases include:

  • Diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (Whooping cough)
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Polio
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)
  • Rotavirus
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

Certainly, every parent wants to protect their child and keep him or her safe for the entirety of the child’s life. From a communicable disease perspective, vaccinations are the best way to safeguard your child’s health. Here are four reasons why:

The 14 Diseases Listed Above Are Still a Threat

Yes, Polio still exists, even if it feels like no one has talked about the realities of the disease since the 1940s. While vaccines have limited the number of cases of the conditions listed above, strains still exist—including in other countries—and are still a threat unless a child receives appropriate vaccinations. As we see today with the current, Measles outbreak, it is only through consistent, mass immunization that we can keep these diseases contained.

Vaccines are Safe and Proven Effective

Despite the myths that may be circulating among some social circles or the social stratosphere regarding adverse risks of cognitive disabilities associated with vaccines, such rumors have never been validated. Currently, The United States has the safest vaccine supply in its history, which means it has never been safer to immunize your child.

Your Doctor Can Advise You of Any Known Risks

When it comes to making any decisions regarding the health and wellness of your child, your doctor will always be your best, more trusted health advocate. There may be some instances in which your doctor may not recommend vaccinating your child—such as cases of allergies, a weakened immune system, or recent medical treatments. Always consult and collaborate with your doctor to decide what course of treatment is best for your baby.

Vaccinations Mean Fewer Sick Days

Not every disease or communicable illness poses a risk of death, however, every illness does pose a risk of sick time and missed days of school that could be detrimental to your child’s development and education. Plus, unvaccinated children can pose health risks and contagion threats to other children to which they are exposed, which could result in a further spread of disease.

Talk to Your Doctor

Before making any decisions about your family’s immunization strategy, talk to your doctor about immunization benefits and risks and what’s best for your baby. By understanding the facts about immunizations, and knowing you have a health care expert committed to your family’s long-term wellbeing, you can make informed decisions that will give you comfort and confidence throughout your child’s development

Seven Tips to Sleep Better Starting Tonight

Seven Tips to Sleep Better Starting Tonight

If you’ve suffered through a miserable night’s sleep, then you know the importance of quality, uninterrupted Zzzs. The morning after insufficient sleep can leave you feeling mentally fuzzy, lethargic, and even give you a headache. Persistently lacking enough sleep can also lead to weight gain, reduced exercise performance, heart disease, or stroke. The average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you’re struggling to reach this minimum effective dosage, follow the tips below to regain your nights and improve your days.

  1. Be consistent. Make it a point to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day—even on weekends. Consistency helps to set your body’s internal clock and maximize sleep quality. Set your bedtime for the time of the evening when you naturally feel tired so that you’re not frustratingly tossing and turning for weeks while your body adjusts to your new schedule. You may need to gradually move up your bedtime to reach that critical eight-hour mark and get up early enough for work or to get your kids off to school on time.
  1. Increase your exposure to bright light. Daily exposure to natural sunlight or artificial bright light has been proven to help improve sleep for insomniacs. Bright light exposure during the day helps to keep your circadian rhythm—your body’s internal clock—healthy. A recent study found that two hours of bright light exposure during the day increase the amount of participants’ sleep by two hours, and sleep efficiency by 80 percent. If your busy schedule is keeping you indoors, make it a point to get outside every day, even if only for twenty minutes. Take one work phone call a day while walking outside, walk your dog around the block before dinner, or trade in your treadmill for your sidewalk. If the weather isn’t cooperating, make the switch to artificial bright-light bulbs.
  1. Set a routine. Your body will begin to naturally transition to sleep if you create a nighttime ritual that gradually slows down your body and mind. Consider a routine that includes pre-bedtime yoga, reading, or meditation. Limit your smartphone screen time, though. Using your phone stimulates your brain. Plus the light emitted from an LED screen interferes with your brain’s ability to produce the sleep hormone melatonin, which means scrolling through your Insta feed before bed may be making it harder to wind down and fall asleep. 
  1. Skip the late night latte. If you are a daily caffeine consumer, commit to cutting off the java drip at least six hours before bed. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Studies have found that caffeine can remain in your bloodstream for six to eight hours, worsening sleep quality. If you have to have something warm in the evening, switch to decaf.
  1. Limit nap time. Naps are not meant to be second sleep shifts. If you nap for too many hours during the afternoon or early evening, it may be difficult to fall into a deep sleep at night. If you must nap, limit it to 15 to 20 minutes and rest in the early afternoon only.
  1. Exercise daily. It should be no surprise that exercise can make you tired; however, don’t feel like you need to run a 10K or power lift for 45 minutes to boost your sleep quality. Even light exercise can help you power down at the end of the day.
  1. Ask your doctor about taking a melatonin sleep aid. Often used to treat insomnia, melatonin supplements can help some people to fall asleep faster. A recent study found that 2 mg of melatonin before bed can improve sleep quality, help you sleep more quickly, and make you feel more energized the next morning. As with all supplements, never begin a new medication routine without first discussing with your doctor.

Sleeping better each night is within your control. By adopting some consistent routines and behaviors, and leading a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and healthy eating habits, you can kick your

How to Safely Dispose of Unused Medications

How to Safely Dispose of Unused Medications

Storing unused or expired medications in your home can cause a potential risk to children, teenagers, seniors, or others in your home. Improperly disposing of drugs, however, can also pose a threat to the environment. When you are no longer in need of prescription or over-the-counter medications, dispose of them safely using the tips that follow.

The Dangers of Storing Medications in Your Home

Storing unused medications in your home that you are not actively taking could pose a danger to anyone in your household who may inadvertently or intentionally misuse the product. The following groups are particularly at risk:

  • Children who mistake medication for candy or food
  • Teens or adults with a substance abuse problem
  • Teens or adults looking to experiment with prescription medication
  • Seniors or adults with a cognitive or memory disability who may be confused about their medication plan

Prescription medication misuse—whether intentional or inadvertent—could result in severe consequences such as dependency, an accidental overdose, or in the worst case scenario, death. 

The Dangers of Improperly Disposing of Medications

When over-the-counter or prescription medications, including pills and liquids, are disposed of using unsafe practices, they can have detrimental effects on the environment when they end up in waterways or landfills. Scientists have found that when pharmaceutical-related chemicals leach into our water system, they not only impact marine life, but they can affect humans by contaminating drinking water supplies. Studies have found that exposure to chemicals such as antibiotics, anti-depressants, steroids, seizure medications, and painkillers are changing the growth, reproduction, and behavior of many species, including frogs and fish—fish that are part of the human food cycle.

The long-term effects of such dangerous food and water supply contamination are not fully known. However, with some awareness of these dangers, and a small amount of effort, the millions of Americans who take medications daily can help to mitigate the impact of these dangers on our environment, and our loved ones.

How to Safely Dispose of Unused Medications

  1. Seek Out a Medicine Take-Back Program. Pharmacies, doctors’ offices, law enforcement agencies, and non-profit organizations routinely coordinate medicine take-back programs. During these events, members of the community can drop-off unused or expired prescription or over-the-counter medications for their safe disposal by pharmacology experts, or the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Such programs are sometimes available seasonally as occasional events, or you may be able to locate a permanent drop-off location in your area that is managed by a local law enforcement agency or non-profit. A take-back program should be your preferred disposal option, and always your first choice.
  1. Throw Out Medicine in Your Household Trash. If a take-back program is not conveniently available in your area, or timely, you can more safely throw out medications in your household trash by following these steps:
  • Mix medicines, but do not crush tablets or capsules, with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds to discourage anyone who may come across disposed of trash to consume.
  • Place the mixture in a sealed container or plastic bag.
  • Throw the container in your household trash.
  • Remove all personal identifiable information from the prescription label and then dispose of the container.
  1. Dispose of Acceptable Liquid Medications by Flushing Them Down the Toilet. Note that this option is only advisable for certain identified medications that include flushing instructions on their packaging. If you have any questions about whether or not your liquid medications can be flushed, reference the DEA’s most current flush list.

The quick and safe disposal of unused medications from your home ensures the greatest safety for family, friends, and the environment. If you have any questions about what to do with your unused medications or would like more information, visit the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

Six Healthy Food Selections for Summer Picnics

healthy food for summer picinic

Six Healthy Food Selections for Summer Picnics

June 21 marks the official start of Summer, but we’re already feeling those summertime vibes. Summer is synonymous with long days, tanned skin, and the backyard barbecue. The weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day mark peak hot dog season. During this timeframe, Americans will consume an average of 7 billion hot dogs—the equivalent of 818 hot dogs every second. While it may be tempting to indulge in your favorite summer foods, you’ll feel better about yourself and your health if you treat each summer picnic like any other meal and make healthy decisions and indulge in moderation. Here are six summertime picnic food selections you can enjoy without the guilt.

  • Watermelon. This sweet summertime treat can help rehydrate you after a rousing game of Ladder Ball with your picnic guests. At only 46 calories per cup, it also includes Vitamins C, A, B1, B5, B6, Potassium, and Magnesium, so eat up. We recommend a watermelon seed spitting contest in the backyard for extra fun.
  • Veggie Burgers. Impress your guests with a healthier twist on a classic barbecue favorite. Veggie burgers are lower in fat and calories than their meat-based counterparts. Veggie burgers are also high in fiber and when consumed as a substitute for red meat, can help reduce your risk of colon cancer and heart disease. Add a slice of tomato for some extra Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate, and Vitamin K.
  • Frozen Yogurt. Swap the vanilla ice cream you typically dollop on top of your strawberry shortcake for frozen yogurt. Depending on the brand you purchase, this healthier alternative may contain probiotics, good bacteria that are healthy for your gut. Frozen yogurt offers calcium and protein, and is lower in calories than traditional full-fat ice cream.
  • Homemade Salad Dressing. Take the time to make your own salad dressing for your party guests. We know it’s easier to grab bottles of dressing off the shelf, but most store-bought dressings are higher in sugar, low-quality oils, and preservatives, making them a less healthy alternative to a simple oil and vinegar dressing you can whip up yourself in less time than you’d wait in the checkout line.
  • Butter-Free Corn on the Cob. Who needs butter and salt when you have freshly grilled corn on the cob? Experience this classic barbecue favorite without any toppings and see what you’ve been missing by masking its flavor with unhealthy additives. Corn is naturally high in fiber and protein, but also sugar, so stick to one serving, no matter how tempting it may be to go back for seconds.
  • Hummus and Vegetables. Swap chips and dip for hummus and veggies. You’ll still enjoy the combo of crunch meets creamy, but with less fat and more nutrients. Hummus is packed with plant-based protein, inflammation-fighting antioxidants, fiber, and has a low glycemic index which may help control blood sugar levels. Enjoy with baby carrots to up your beta carotene as well.

Summer months are all about relaxation and time spent with friends and family. Treat yourself right this summer season by serving up a healthy picnic meal, paired with sunshine and smiles.

The Importance of Prostate Screenings for Men

The Importance of Prostrate Screenings for Men

Here at Nova Health, we love Father’s Day—and not just for the backyard barbecues and the fun of shopping for ties and grill accessories. We love Father’s Day because we all have men in our lives who play a critical role in our happiness. Fathers, brothers, sons, grandfathers, uncles, and friends—everyone who has helped to raise a child, serve as a mentor, or be a positive influence deserves to be recognized this Father’s Day and every day. Since we believe the health and wellness of our fathers and friends is critical, this Father’s Day, we challenge all men to understand the importance of prostate health and learn when to obtain a prostate cancer screening—because we want you all to be healthy and happy and part of our lives this year and every year.

Prostate Cancer Risks for Men

All men are at risk of developing prostate cancer, though only 13 percent will develop the disease in their lifetime. While the most common risk factor for prostate cancer is age, African-American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer are at a higher risk.

Recommended Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines

Cancer that is identified early may be easier to treat. For this reason, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men discuss their risk factors with their physician and consider obtaining a prostate cancer screening based on the following intervals:

  • At age 40 for those identified as highest risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer before age 65).
  • At age 45 for those identified as high risk (African American men and those with a first-degree relative diagnosed before age 65).
  • At age 50 for those identified as average risk who are expected to live at least ten more years.

Prostate Cancer Screening Procedures

While there currently is no standard prostate cancer screening test, your doctor may recommend one of the following common screening procedures:

  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) – Your doctor will determine the size of the prostate and feel for bumps, soft or hard spots, or other abnormalities and examine the lower colon/rectum wall.
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test – While this test may help identify cancer, it can also identify an enlarged prostate (BPH) or other prostate problems. If your PSA test reflects abnormal results, your doctor may recommend a biopsy, MRI, or ultrasound.

This Father’s Day, if you are an adult male, regardless of whether you have an average or high risk of prostate cancer,  give yourself the gift of good health. Make a promise to yourself to discuss your risks with your doctor when the time is appropriate. That way, you can enjoy countless Father’s Day celebrations (in your honor) for years to come.

Scoliosis Awareness Month. Understand the Signs and Symptoms.

Scoliosis Awareness Month

Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curve of the spine that affects two to three percent of the population in the United States. Often diagnosed in early childhood, if untreated, scoliosis becomes a lifelong condition that can cause pain, discomfort, and other physical complications throughout one’s life. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), every year, scoliosis patients make more than 600,000 visits to physician offices, an estimated 30,000 children are fitted with corrective braces, and 38,000 patients undergo spinal fusion surgery, all in an attempt to treat this complex condition. Every June, families impacted by scoliosis, along with the medical community, recognize Scoliosis Awareness Month. It is a time to gain an understanding of scoliosis, its causes, and treatment options, and continue to generate awareness and research funding to help support those impacted by this condition.

What Causes Scoliosis?

While scoliosis can sometimes be diagnosed during infancy or early childhood, it often develops during the growth spurt that adolescents experience just before puberty. While sometimes caused by cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, the primary cause of most scoliosis cases is unknown.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

The spine is comprised of small vertebrae bones stacked on top of one another. A healthy spine should have a natural curve that allows for rotation and bending. In cases of scoliosis, the spine curves to the side, forming a C or S shape. In the most severe cases, scoliosis can cause health complications over time.

If you believe that you or your child may have scoliosis, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • One shoulder blade higher than the other
  • A shoulder blade that sticks out more than the other
  • The appearance that the head is not centered with the rest of the body
  • Uneven hips or one hip sticking out more than the other
  • A rotated spine
  • Pushed out ribs
  • Difficulty breathing due to a reduced available area for lung expansion
  • Back pain and discomfort
  • Arms not hanging down straight next to the body
  • When bending forward, the appearance that the two sides of the back are different heights

Scoliosis Treatment Options

X-Rays can help confirm the extremity of a spinal curvature. If diagnosed with scoliosis, depending on your age, the cause, and the severity of the condition, your doctor may attempt non-surgical or surgical treatment options to correct the curve of your spine.

Non-Surgical Treatment Option for Scoliosis

For adolescents, spines with lateral curves measuring over 20 degrees may benefit from a temporary, specially designed back brace that is worn to keep the curve from worsening as the spine grows and from requiring surgery later in life. Back braces can also help a curve to become smaller over time. The more the brace is worn throughout the day, the more effective it can become.

Surgical Treatment Options for Scoliosis

Spinal curves greater than 50 degrees may require spinal fusion surgery to improve posture. During the procedure, a surgeon will aim to realign and fuse curved vertebrae to encourage them to heal into a single, solid bone. Thanks to modern advancements in medical technology and tools, spinal fusion surgeries on scoliosis patients can help improve lateral curves significantly.

How to Get Help

If you are an adult who has not adequately treated scoliosis earlier in life, talk to your doctor to understand the extent of your spinal curve, and what options may be available to you to ease any discomfort. If you are a parent who believes your child may be developing scoliosis, talk to your child’s pediatrician. He or she can discuss diagnosis and treatment options and help you to put a plan in place to help protect your child from a worsening condition that could be problematic throughout his or her adult life.

Six Tips for Starting a Backyard Garden

Six Tips for Starting a Vegetable Garden

June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month

One of the best steps you can make for improving your diet is to increase your regular consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables. Not only are fruits and veggies loaded with the kinds of healthy nutrients and minerals that aren’t as readily available from pre-packaged, overly processed alternatives, but they can be low on calories and high on taste. Whether you don’t have easy access to a local farmer’s market, organic grocery options, or you simply want to indulge your green thumb, in recognition of National Fruit and Vegetable Month, we’re providing six tips for starting a backyard garden.

  • Start Small. Walk before you run. Resist the urge to start growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs by starting with just one or two plants to get some experience under your (green) belt. Tomato plants, for examples, are forgiving, making them an excellent choice for beginners and offering versatile culinary options. If space is an option for your garden, consider vining plants, such as green beans and peas, to make use of your available vertical space.
  • Choose a Location for Your Garden. You may be tempted to place your garden where you feel it will add the most significant aesthetic to your backyard, but set your fruits and veggies up for success by choosing the best location for their needs. Most vegetable and fruit plants require at least five hours of direct sunlight daily, while herbs and root vegetables will grow in partial shade. If you need help understanding the different light and water needs of individual plants, talk to an expert at your local nursery.
  • Build Raised Beds. Depending on the size available to you in your backyard or patio, build raised beds for your plants. Raised beds create a physical barrier that protects your plants from weeds and keeps food and moisture dedicated to your crops. Click here to watch an instructional video on how to build a raised garden bed.
  • Feed Your Organic Garden with Organic Matter. Keep your garden and yourself healthy by avoiding harsh chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and growth agents. While mineral nutrients such as agricultural lime, rock phosphate, and greensand can be added to your garden more safely the chemicals, the best fertilizer is organic matter, such as compost, manure, coffee grounds, and shredded leaves.
  • Water Wisely. If you start with seeds, know that they should never be dried out, so make time to water your plants daily. As your plants grow, they will need less water, but don’t think you can rely on Mother Nature alone. The amount of water your fruits and vegetables need will depend on rainfall, humidity, and soil. Clay soil, for example, dries out more quickly than sandy soil and will require more regular watering. Make sure you understand the unique needs of the plants you selected and accommodate them accordingly.
  • Rotate Your Crops. If you’re successful (and you will be!), you’ll find plants you enjoy cultivating and that you are confident growing year after year. Once you are committed to a seasonal cyclicality, plan to rotate your crops. Only plant the same crop in the same soil (or box) once every three years for best results.

Regularly eating healthy fruits and vegetables has been linked to improved health, while gardening has been proven to be a healthy, mood-boosting hobby. By embracing National Fruits and Vegetable Month this June and embracing the challenge and rewards of a backyard garden, you’ll be investing in a project you can be proud of that will help improve your health—mind, body, and spirit—all year long.

Treatment Options for Hip Pain

Treatment Options for Hip Pain

It hurts to stand. It hurts to sit. It hurts so badly you can’t sleep at night. It hurts so badly you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Twenty-five percent of all adults will develop hip osteoarthritis in their lifetime, according to The Arthritis Foundation. If you’re one of the millions who live with chronic hip joint pain, know that you don’t have to accept discomfort or adapt your lifestyle in a way that isolates you or leaves you unable to participate in your favorite pastimes. Read on to learn more about the spectrum of available treatment options for hip pain. Then talk to your primary care physician to determine what treatment option may be right for you.

What Causes Hip Pain?

One of the most common causes of chronic hip pain is hip osteoarthritis, a condition that causes a reduction and deterioration in the cartilage that cushions your joints, resulting in pain and mobility limitation. Other causes may include a hip fracture; bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid sacs between tissues such as bone, muscles, and tendons; or tendonitis, an inflammation or irritation of the tendons often caused by repetitive overuse.

Treatment Options for Hip Pain

Depending on the severity of your discomfort, your doctor may prescribe one of the following treatment plans:

  • Medication for pain management. If your pain is mild, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as naproxen, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen may ease your discomfort. If your pain is severe, you may require a combination of a prescription pain reliever and an anti-arthritis medication, which may come in the form of a hyaluronic acid injection or a corticosteroid injection.
  • Heat. Ice. Other treatment options for cases of mild discomfort include rest and a daily application of ice to the afflicted area for 15 minutes a few times per day. For some, heat provides more significant relief, especially in the form of a warm shower or bath that precedes stretching exercises.
  • Physical Therapy. This treatment option can help to improve mobility and help you manage pain by strengthening the nearly 30 muscles that surround the hip joint. Your physical therapist will work with you to strengthen your hip muscles, increase your flexibility and range of motion, and decrease inflammation in and around the joint.
  • Minimally invasive surgery techniques. Advanced arthroscopy procedures have successfully improved mobility and reduced pain for many without requiring invasive surgery. In this procedure, a surgeon makes one or two small incisions in the hip area to create access points for arthroscopic needles, scalpels, or other special surgical tools to enter and treat the affected area.
  • Hip Surgery. In the most severe cases, your doctor may recommend hip replacement surgery. In this procedure, an irreparable hip joint is removed and replaced with a prosthesis, typically made of metal, ceramic or plastic components.

 If you are living with mild to severe hip joint pain, talk to your doctor. He or she will work with you to explore the possibility of first attempting non-invasive treatment options, and will collaborate with you on a long-term solution to long-term pain management and healing.

Arthritis Awareness Month: Providing Education and Hope

Arthritis Awarness tips

More than 50 million Americans live with the pain and discomfort of arthritis, making it the number one cause of disability in the United States. People living with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis alone miss a combined total of 172 million workdays every year. Not just a disease that impacts older adults, 300,000 children are affected by this often debilitating condition. Every May, we recognize National Arthritis Awareness Month in the hope of continually drawing attention and awareness to this chronic condition, and one day finding a cure to joint pain and arthritic suffering. If you are living with Arthritis, we’re here to offer care, support, and hope in the form of education and treatment options that can ease your daily discomfort.

The Search for a Cure

The Arthritis Foundation is committed to increasing education, state and federal advocacy efforts, and funding sources to help support clinical research. Its supporters aim to one day find a cure to this condition that impacts one in every five adults. Click here to get involved and help support the Arthritis Foundation’s efforts to find a cure.

Diagnosing Arthritis

If you are currently living with chronic pain, and believe what you are experiencing could be a form of arthritis, make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists. A doctor may use a variety of tests to determine if you have arthritis. Diagnostic procedures may include a physical exam of your joints, a mobility assessment, laboratory tests that analyze blood, urine, and joint fluid, or imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds.

Treatment and Hope

Until doctors and scientists find a cure or prevention for arthritis, know that hope exists in the form of successful treatment options. If diagnosed with arthritis, your doctor may prescribe a combination of the following treatment methods:

  • Prescription medications – Common options include:
    • Analgesics to reduce pain.
    • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
    • (DMARD) which slow or stop the immune system from attacking joints and are most commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Biologic response modifiers that target protein molecules involved in the immune response and often used in conjunction with DMARDs.
    • Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system.
    • Topical counterirritant creams and ointments that can interrupt the transmission of pain signals between your brain and joints.
  • Physical Therapy – Hand therapy may help relieve pain for those with aggressive pain in finger joints and wrists. Broader physical therapy efforts can help alleviate joint pain throughout the body.
  • Joint Repair – In cases where less invasive treatments are unsuccessful, surgical joint repair can smooth surfaces or realign joints to improve mobility and reduce pain.
  • Joint Replacement – If your natural joints cannot be repaired, a specialist may recommend a joint replacement surgery.

No matter the treatment plan recommended by your doctor, you can manage your symptoms and help alleviate chronic pain by staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and using heat or cold packs during painful flare-ups. If you’re ready to get help for your joint pain, contact us today to make an appointment with one of our clinical care specialists.