Category: Chronic Conditions

September 21, 2020
pain awareness month

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks. It may have originated from an injury or is the result of a medical condition like osteoarthritis or diabetic neuropathy. Chronic pain faces many stigmas because society believes if an ailment isn’t visible, it doesn’t exist. For the more than 100 million Americans who deal with it daily, stigma is one more thing they don’t need to deal with. September is Pain Awareness Month. It was created by chronic pain sufferers to bring awareness to the community about issues that surround pain and pain management.

lower back pain

The Face of Chronic Pain

Pain is something we all experience at some point but imagine living with it every day. That is the reality of people that have chronic pain, and it can happen to anyone. Celebrities often make us common-folk think that their lives are perfect, and they have the world at their fingertips. But more and more, we are seeing them speak out about different issues we never knew they had. If you’ve ever seen the movie Dirty Dancing, you remember Jennifer Grey’s arched back in the arms of Patrick Swayze in their dances. You would never know she has suffered from chronic back pain since a car accident in 1987. She’s still dancing thanks to advice from her doctor and repair surgery.

Fitness guru and The Doctors co-host Jillian Michaels has been whipping us into shape for years with her no excuses trademark mentality. From the outside, you would never know she has endometriosis, an often-painful disorder. She suffered from debilitating abdominal cramps before finding relief in an all organic, non-processed diet. George Clooney no longer does the action, and stunt sequences in his roles due to a back injury suffered while filming Syriana in 2005. Before numerous corrective surgeries, his pain was so bad; he considered taking his own life. Although his injury never fully healed, he continues his passion for acting, with modifications.

The Cost of Chronic Pain

The cost of chronic pain spans much further than the estimated 635-billion-dollar annual cost of those diagnosed and society for healthcare costs, lost workdays, and lowered wages. Chronic pain sufferers juggle challenges at work both for limitations and missed days. Living with daily pain is also often associated with mental health issues due to activity limitations, reduced quality of life, and social life changes. I think we can all agree that it is too much for any person to deal with alone. If you have a family member or loved one with chronic pain, listen and learn how to support them better.

chronic pain studies statistics

With the cost of chronic pain being more than heart disease and cancer treatments, the pressure is on to improve options for pain and reduce costs. Clinical research studies help evaluate new promising therapies that hope to achieve that goal. ActivMed is currently looking into new potential options for those that suffer from chronic pain. Qualified participants must have chronic pain in the knees from osteoarthritis, lower back pain, or foot pain due to diabetic neuropathy. To learn more about the chronic pain studies enrolling at our Methuen, MA location, call (978) 655-7155, or click here.

References:

https://www.foxnews.com/health/famous-people-who-live-with-chronic-pain

https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=162927

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2729797

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May 19, 2020

If you have survived a stroke or heart attack, your chances of having another one are 1 in 4. The good news is, up to 80% can be prevented through managing chronic conditions, and lifestyle modifications. May is American Stroke Month, and the 2020 initiative is “One is Enough” which focuses on preventing another stroke. Not all risk factors are within your control, but for the ones we can control, it is time to make changes, even in the midst of COVID-19.

Chronic Conditions and Stroke Risk

 

 

A stroke happens when a clot or rupture blocks blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This disruption in the flow of these vital nutrients results in the death of brain cells. Depending on the severity of the stroke, and where it occurs in the brain, the resulting damage can vary. Stroke sufferers can have paralysis, speech or language problems, memory loss, and changes in behavior.

Several risk factors increase your risk of stroke. Family history, age, and gender are factors that no one can change. However, managing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes play a vital role in prevention and reoccurrence. Diabetes and heart disease impairs your body’s ability to effectively transport oxygen and the critical nutrients we mentioned earlier to your brain. By working with your doctor and following their plan to manage these conditions, you can reduce your risk of stroke. Eating a healthy diet, staying active at least 150 minutes a week, and living tobacco-free are some of the lifestyle recommendations the American Stroke Association suggests in addition to the management of chronic conditions.

Hidden Dangers of Stress and the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm, changing life as we knew it. In addition to fears of contracting the virus, many lost their jobs and businesses, creating a financial and emotional strain few have seen before. During these unprecedented times, stress levels have understandably risen. However, continued stress over long periods can increase your risk of developing certain heart diseases such as high blood pressure if not managed. High blood pressure is the number 1 controllable risk factor for stroke.

Know the Signs

The American Stroke Association uses the acronym “FAST” to help recognize the symptoms of a stroke to get immediate medical attention. It may mean the difference between recovery and disability, so knowing the signs is vital:

  • F (Face Drooping)- Does one side of the face droop, or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven or lopsided?
  • A (Arm Weakness)- Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S (Speech)- Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
  • T (Time to call 9-1-1)- If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

 

ActivMed offers free health screenings for blood glucose, blood pressure, and more. To learn more, visit our website here.

During COVID-19, ActivMed Practices and Research is committed to ensuring the safety of our patients and staff. Click here for our latest COVID-19 facility updates.

References:

https://www.stroke.org/en/life-after-stroke/preventing-another-stroke

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