Alternative Ways to Treat Chronic Pain

We all experience physical pain at some point in our lives. In many instances pain will subside after a few hours or days. However, when pain lasts for weeks or longer, it is considered chronic and may require some form of pain management therapy.

Chronic pain could be caused by many things, such as a medical condition like arthritis or fibromyalgia.  It could also be the result of ongoing medical treatments, such as cancer therapy or it could be caused by nerve damage sustained by an injury. Whatever the cause of your pain, it is important to know that there are many options available to treat it.

For many years opioids were prescribed to treat pain, but they can be very addictive and therefore not always the best option. It is important to understand the potential benefits and risks before you begin taking these types of medications and explore alternative forms of pain management.

Other, non-addictive types of medication available to treat symptoms of pain include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) – such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin
  • Acetaminophen – Tylenol

  • Antidepressants – can improve sleep and alleviate pain
  • Anti-seizure medications – effective in treating pain related to nerve damage or injury

  • Steroids – used to alleviate inflammation and pain

Medications however are not the only form of therapy to manage pain. Physical therapy and exercise, if done correctly and under the supervision of a professional can build tolerance and reduce pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy (TENS) is another type of therapy that uses electrical stimulation to diminish pain.  Other types of pain therapy can include acupuncture, massage, heat and cold therapy, meditation, as well as dietary modifications and nutritional supplements.

A doctor who specializes in pain management can help. They can identify the source of your pain and determine the best approach to manage it, both physically and emotionally.

If you are experiencing chronic pain and would like to see a pain management specialist, please call Jamaica Anesthesia Associates at 718-06-7246 or 718-206-PAIN.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Offers Weight Lifting Safety Tips

Lifting weights can offer many health benefits, including strengthening your muscles, burning excess fat, and improving your overall physical fitness. If however, it not done safely, weight lifting can result in serious injury or even death.

Before you begin to lift weights, you should speak with a qualified instructor or other trained professional to teach you the proper technique to avoid an injury. They can advise you on an appropriate starting point that should include what exercises are best suited for you as well as how much weight to start with, and at how often to lift. Many factors will play a role in determining your weight lifting regime including age, overall physical health, and the reason you want to lift weights.

Some weight lifting safety tips should include:

  • Take time to warm up and cool down before and after your workout by stretching your muscles
  • Avoid weight lifting alone. Using a partner to “spot” you will help you avoid injury
  • Understand the proper form when lifting weights, including keeping your back straight
  • Don’t exercise any set of muscles more than three times per week and never lift more weight than you can handle safely
  • Take a moment to understand how to operate the equipment and inspect it to make sure it is in good condition
  • Wear shoes with good traction to avoid slipping
  • Stop lifting weights if you feel faint or are experiencing any  type of pain

It is important to speak to your doctor if you are considering beginning a weight lifting program to make sure it is the best form of exercise for you. You should also consult with your doctor if you suspect you sustained an injury while lifting weights.

To make an appointment with a physician at Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Your Pet Be A Distraction To You While You Drive?

There are many known driving distractions that we are warned to avoid while on the road. These include: talking or texting on your mobile device, eating or drinking, attending to personal grooming, or adjusting our vehicle’s radio or navigation system. While it is important to be mindful of each of these potential distractions, there is another type of distraction that doesn’t get as much attention – driving with our pets.

Many people take their dogs or cats in the car with them when they run local errands; others bring them along for long road trips. During these excursions, our pets often have free reign of the vehicle, will place their head out the car window, and in some cases, even sit in the driver’s lap. These activities, while adorable, can pose great danger to not only the operator of the vehicle, but also the other passengers, fellow motorists, and even the pets themselves.

A recent study of individuals who frequently travel with their pets in the car revealed some very startling facts about their behaviors. The survey concluded that 64 percent of drivers admitted to engaging in a potentially distracting pet-related activity, and 29 percent admitted to actually being distracted by their pets. Some of the activities noted in the study included petting or playing with their pets, allowing them to stay in their lap, feeding them treats, and taking photos of them.  The same study determined 84 percent allowed their pets to ride in their vehicle while unrestrained.

To avoid these types of distractions while driving, motorists should consider purchasing a safety device for their dog or cat. There are two types of devices to choose from:

  • Pet seat belts – They are easy to use and work in tandem with your normal seat belt. Check to make sure the pet belt is the right size for your animal. One that’s too big or too small is counterproductive and can cause unnecessary injuries.
  • Pet carriers- Look for a sturdy carrier with ample ventilation and plenty of room for your pet to turn around and stretch out. Also, make sure you secure the carrier so that it stays safely in place if you suddenly brake or get into an accident.


Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma Division warns that driving with your beloved pet in the car doesn’t need to be dangerous. Take some time to make sure you can safely restrain your pet to maximize safety for you and your lovable friend.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Offers Facts About Cold Sores

Cold sores are small fluid filled blisters, also known as fever blisters, that are develop on or near the mouth and the lips. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). Cold sores are highly contagious and are spread by coming in close contact with secretions from the blisters or sharing utensils or other personal hygiene items with an infected person. It is important to keep in mind that the virus can spread even when an infected person does not have a cold sore.

A cold sore usually develops in several stages during an outbreak. The stages of a cold sore are:

1 Tingling and itching near the mouth
2 Formation of a fluid filled blister
3 The blister breaks
4 Scab forms
5 Scab falls off and sore heals

Additional symptoms a person may experience during an outbreak include:

  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

There are several factors that can cause a cold sore to develop or reoccur if a person has already had an outbreak in the past: These include:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Eating certain foods
  • Having a cold
  • Allergic reaction

The diagnosis of a cold sore can usually be made by visual inspection. It is also possible to do a blood test to see if the virus is present.

There are no cures for a cold sore but there are ways to treat the symptoms.  Antiviral medications are often prescribed and there re over the counter medications treatment available to purchase.

Speak to your physician if you think you have a cold sore and it doesn’t start to heal in two weeks. You can also schedule an appointmrnt with a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

This October Jamaica Hospital Observes Health Literacy Month

You have just been diagnosed with a medical condition and your doctor provides you with detailed information about your condition, the cause and symptoms, as well as how to treat it. After leaving you realize that you didn’t quite understand everything that your doctor shared and you are confused about what to do next. This is a common occurrence that takes place between patients and healthcare professionals.

It has been well documented that many people face challenges when trying to comprehend the important health information being shared with them by their doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Failure to understand complex medical information could affect a patient’s health.

To address this issue, the month of October has been designated Health Literacy Month.  This global observation is intended to raise awareness about this issue and encourage individuals as well as organizations in the healthcare industry to promote the importance of creating ways to share health information in a way that is understandable to our patients.

This year’s Health Literacy Month theme is “Be a Health Literacy Hero.” Jamaica Hospital is participating in this campaign by helping our patients and community improve their healthcare literacy by offering the following tips:

  • Ask questions – Then, make sure you get and understand the answers. If you don’t understand, ask the doctor or nurse for more information.
  • Repeat information back to your doctor or nurse – After your doctor or nurse gives you instructions, repeat them back in your own words.
  • Bring a pen and paper – Take the time to write instructions down so you can refer to them later.
  • Have another adult with you – This might be especially true when you expect to receive important information.
  • Ask for an interpreter – You have a right to an interpreter, at no cost to you. Tell your provider what language you prefer to communicate.

By following these tips, you can improve your health care literacy and improve your overall health.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Jamaica Hospital Provides Patient Safety Tips For Your Next Hospital Visit

Dealing with illness or injury can be a stressful situation for anyone. When faced with challenges concerning your health or that of a loved one, you place your trust in the hands of healthcare professionals to provide you with solutions to those problems.

jamaica Hospita, hospital safety tips

The last thing that you need to think about during a medical emergency is the possibility of an error occurring during treatment, but by taking an active role in your care plan and working with your doctors and nurses, you can drastically reduce these chances and greatly enhance the probability of a positive outcome.

Jamaica Hospital has created a person-centered care model that focuses on patient communication and empowerment. We encourage all patients to take an active role in their treatment plan.  To that end, we have provided the following tips to help you during your next hospital visit:

  • Provide your healthcare providers with a detailed medical history, including a list of all existing conditions, prior hospitalizations as well as prescription and over the counter medications you are currently taking.
  • Be sure to notify your medical team of any known food or medication allergies
  • Check that you were issued a hospital identification wristband that contains accurate personal information
  • Ensure that all doctors, nurses, and the rest of your healthcare team positively identify you before providing treatment. Ask that all providers address you by name and confirm your date of birth.
  • Visually inspect your environment for cleanliness as healthcare facilities are likely environments to spread germs if they are not properly maintained
  • Closely monitor that all healthcare providers wash their hands before and after they provide treatment
  • Be an active participant with your healthcare provider. Provide details about how you are feeling, ask questions about all treatment plans and prescribed medication, including potential side effects.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare team to repeat information if you do not understand something initially

Jamaica Hospital understands the stress associated with a hospital visit. By providing the tips listed above, we hope to eliminate some of your concerns so you can concentrate on a fast and complete recovery.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Your Child’s Rash Due To Fifth Disease?

Fifth disease, also known as erythema infectiosum, is a contagious viral infection that is most common in school-age children.  The disease produces a rash on the face and body of those who have it.

Jamaica Hospital shares that a child with a red rash on their cheeks may have fifth disease

The feature that sets fifth disease apart from other types of rashes, such as rubella or scarlet fever is the distinctive, sudden appearance of bright red cheeks, commonly referred to as a “slapped cheek” rash. This can followed by a second rash a few days later on the chest, back, buttocks, arms and legs. The rash may be itchy, especially on the soles of the feet. It can vary in intensity and usually goes away in seven to 10 days, but it can come and go for several weeks.

Other symptoms of fifth disease are usually mild and may include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Pain and swelling in the joints

Fifth disease is transmitted from person to person by respiratory secretions, such as saliva, sputum, or nasal mucus when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The incubation period is usually four to 14 days, but can be as long as 21 days. Those with fifth’s disease are most contagious when symptoms resemble that of a fever or a cold. By the time a rash appears they are no longer contagious.

There is no vaccine or medicine that can prevent fifth disease. You can reduce your chance of being infected or infecting others by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water
  • Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home when you are sick

Treatment for fifth disease typically involves taking over the counter medications to relieve symptoms, such as fever, itching, and joint pain.

To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Diabetes Affect Your Sense of Hearing?

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, a disease that inhibits the body’s ability to produce and manage insulin appropriately, causing glucose to build up in the bloodstream instead of feeding hungry cells.

If you have diabetes, you should be aware of how it can impact your hearing as research has indicated that diabetics have a higher probability of developing hearing loss than those without the disease.

diabets and hearing loss, Jamaica Hospital

Multiple studies in recent years have examined the relationship between diabetes and hearing loss. In one study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) those with diabetes were found to be more than twice as likely to have mild to moderate hearing loss than those without the disease. A separate study published by the Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism analyzed the results of more than 20,000 participants and concluded that diabetics were more likely to have hearing loss than those without the disease, regardless of their age.

While researchers are uncertain as to exactly how diabetes negatively impacts our sense of hearing, most believe that high blood glucose levels cause damage to the small blood vessels in the inner ear.

Our inner ears are lined with hair cells called stereocilia. These hairs cells are responsible for translating the noise our ears collect into electrical impulses, which are then sent to the brain where we process them into recognizable sounds.  Like other parts of the body, these hair cells require good circulation to function. If damaged, these cells cannot regenerate and hearing loss would be permanently affected.

With a higher likelihood of developing hearing loss, it is recommended that diabetics take certain precautions to avoid damaging these cells, including:

  • Turning down the volume on personal electronic devices and limiting the use of devices that require headphones or earbuds
  • Protecting your ears from excessive noise with earplugs if you engage in noisy hobbies or attend loud events.
  • Incorporating an appropriate amount of exercise into your daily routine. Even a moderate amount improves circulation and blood flow.
  • Maintaining an appropriate weight. Excessive weight makes it more difficult for your heart to pump blood effectively to all parts of your body, including your ears.

Most importantly, you should schedule a hearing evaluation regularly with your doctor if you have diabetes.

To speak to a doctor about how to better manage your diabetes, please call 718-206-7001.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What Are the Symptoms Of A Pinched Nerve?

Jamaica Hospital, Pinched Nerve

Our nerves are specialized cells that carry important messages throughout our bodies in the form of tiny electrical signals.  When too much pressure is applied to our nerves by surrounding tissues, ligaments or bones, it can result in a pinched – or compressed nerve.

A pinched nerve can occur in various parts of our bodies and they can cause radiating pain, tingling, numbness or weakness. Damage from a pinched nerve may be minor or severe. It may cause temporary or long-lasting problems.

Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:

  • Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
  • Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward
  • Tingling, pins and needles sensations
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area
  • Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”

Symptoms may worsen when attempting certain movements, such as turning your head or straining your neck. Problems may also become worse while sleeping.

Certain medical conditions can contribute to the development of a pinched nerve. These include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid disease
  • Pregnancy

A pinched nerve can also occur as the result of an injury or from repetitive activities. Conversely, long periods of inactivity or lying down can also cause the problem.

Maintaining a healthy weight, stretching regularly, avoiding repetitive motions and practicing good posture are some tips to avoid developing a pinched nerve.

With rest and other conservative treatments, such as taking over-the-counter medications, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks

See your doctor if the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve last longer or don’t respond to self-care measures.  Your doctor can provide treatment options to shrink swollen tissue around the nerve. Treatment options may include anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, or surgery.

To make an appointment to see a doctor at Jamaica Hospital to treat a pinched nerve, please call 718-206-7001.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What is Popcorn Lung and Can Vaping Cause It?

“Popcorn lung” is the nickname for bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious and irreversible lung disease that can damage the smallest airways in your lungs, resulting in coughing and shortness of breath.

popcorn lung, pulmonary medicine, Jamaica Hospital, vaping, e-cigarettes, lungs

The condition got its nickname because of the chemical diacetyl, a buttery flavored chemical that was commonly found in microwave popcorn.  After workers at the factories that produced microwave popcorn began to experience symptoms associated with bronchiolitis obliterans after inhaling diacetyl, manufacturers removed it from their products.

While diacetyl is no longer a threat from microwaved popcorn, many are now being exposed to it through e-cigarette vapor. Diacetyl is often added to “e-juice” liquid by some e-cigarette companies to complement flavorings such as vanilla, maple, coconut and more. In fact, recent studies have found that more than 75 percent of flavored e-cigarettes and refill liquids tested positive for diacetyl

So how does diacetyl cause popcorn lung? Your lungs are where your blood receives oxygen before carrying it to cells in the rest of your body through tiny air sacs called alveoli. Exposure to diacetyl can irritate or scar the alveoli, causing inflammation or narrowing, making it difficult for them to deliver oxygen to your blood.

The main symptoms of popcorn lung are a dry cough and shortness of breath. These show up between two weeks and two months after you’ve been around a toxic gas or had an illness. You’re especially likely to have them after exercising or heavy labor.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Flu-like illness with fever
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Wheezing
  • Eye, skin, mouth, or nose irritation, if caused by chemical exposure

Popcorn lung is often misdiagnosed as asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. To diagnose popcorn lung, your doctor will order an X-ray, CT scan or a surgical lung biopsy. Your doctor may also want to measure your lung’s function by conducting a pulmonary function test.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for popcorn lung, but there are treatments to help alleviate the symptoms or slow the progression of the disease. Treatment options include prescription corticosteroids, cough suppressants, bronchodilators to open the airways or immunosuppressant therapy to decrease your body’s immune response. In severe cases oxygen supplementation may be needed. If left untreated, popcorn lung can be fatal in some cases.

The best way to prevent developing popcorn lung is to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals like diacetyl, found in e-cigarettes.

If you are experiencing symptoms of popcorn lung, make an appointment to see your doctor. To make an appointment with a Pulmonologist at Jamaica Hospital, please call our Ambulatory Care Department at 718-206-7001.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.