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’s ER Earns Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is proud to announce that its Emergency Department recently received Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Clinical ultrasound is the real-time performance and interpretation of ultrasound by a physician at the bedside to diagnose, monitor, and treat medical conditions.

Jamaica Hospital’s emergency department physicians are now trained to utilize ultrasound to guide them during complex procedures and help them expedite the correct diagnosis for many life-threatening conditions such as abdominal aneurysms, ectopic pregnancies, and internal bleeding. This diagnosis can be made within minutes, ultimately resulting in faster treatment and better patient outcomes.

Accreditation by the American College of Physicians indicates that Jamaica Hospital’s Emergency Ultrasound Program meets the high standards set forth by ACEP in the Ultrasound Guidelines: Emergency, Point-of-Care and Clinical Ultrasound Guidelines in Medicine.  The hospital’s program has met ACEP standards in all areas including administration, performing and interpreting ultrasound examinations, and patient confidentiality and privacy.

In addition, accreditation required the hospital’s emergency physicians to be credentialed in emergency ultrasound – a process that requires extensive training and continuing education.

Jamaica Hospital was one of only a handful of hospitals in New York State, and the only one in Queens to obtain ACEP’s Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation.  This designation is a testament to the continued high quality of care provided by Jamaica Hospital’s Emergency Department.  According to Celine Thum, MD, FAAEM, Director of Emergency Ultrasound, “Point-of-care ultrasound is an integral part of how emergency care is delivered at Jamaica Hospital and has already had a positive impact on our patients. Our doctors have used this technology to identify emergent pathologies in patients, which has resulted in positive outcomes and lives saved.”

Geoffrey Doughlin, MD, Chairman of Emergency Medicine added, “We are proud to have achieved this accreditation by the American College of Emergency Physicians as it demonstrates that Jamaica Hospital is among the best in the world at delivering point-of-care emergency ultrasound.”

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 Type Of Flu Vaccine Is Best For Seniors

With flu season upon us, it is recommended that everyone six months and older receive their annual influenza (flu) vaccine.  This is especially true for senior citizens as they are at a greater risk of developing serious complications from the flu. While there is no debate over whether or not seniors should get their flu shot, there is one about what type of vaccine they should receive.

Many providers are now recommending that patients over the age of 65 receive the vaccine Fluzone, a higher dose injectable vaccine formulated specially for seniors.  Like other flu vaccines, Fluzone is comprised of three different strains of the influenza virus that are most likely to cause the flu during the upcoming season.  However, Fluzone contains four times the amount of antigen (the inactivated virus that promotes a protective immune response) as a regular flu vaccine and produces a stronger immune response.

This high-dose vaccine was created specifically for seniors because their immune defenses are weakened due to their age. It is estimated that approximately 75% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older and between 50% and 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in this age group.

The results of seniors who have taken high-dose vaccines are promising. Initial studies have indicated that 25% fewer cases of influenza occurred in adults 65 years or older who took the high-dose vaccine compared with those who took the standard-dose vaccine, but other studies also revealed that seniors who received the high-dose vaccine were more likely to develop side effects, such as a fever and soreness at the injection site, during the week after vaccination.

If you are over 65 years old and still haven’t received your flu vaccine this year, speak to your doctor about whether or not a high-dose vaccine is right for you.

If you would like to make an appointment with a doctor t Flushing Hospital, 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.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is characterized by numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand caused by pressure exerted on a major nerve and tendons in the wrist.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of the wrist through which passes the median nerve and these tendons.  It usually starts, gradually, with numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers that, at first, may appear to come and go and ten as it progressively worsens, remains constant.  It generally affects women more frequently than men.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Tingling or numbness of the thumb, index finger and middle fingers
  • Weakness of the hand with difficulty holding on to objects

Compression of the median nerve can be caused by a few different factors.  Some people have naturally occurring smaller carpal tunnels which can lead to increased likelihood of damage.  Any damage to treat area of the wrist can cause a problem.  A previous wrist fracture or anything that may cause swelling in that area can lead to the problem developing.  In addition, there are certain health related issues such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and arthritis which can be associated with this condition. 

Temporary relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can be addressed by:

  • Taking quick breaks from repetitive activities of the hand
  • Rotate your wrists and stretch your palms and fingers
  • Avoid sleeping on your hands and wrists
  • Ultrasound therapy which makes the area of the wrist warm and more flexible

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome really depends on what the cause is and how severe it has become.  If symptoms appear, never wait too long before seeking treatment options as this can lead to permanent damage.  Some simple remedies include stopping any activity that may be compressing the nerve, putting ice on the wrist for 10-15 minutes once or twice an hour, taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling, and wearing a night splint to take the pressure off of the nerve.

Some cases can be helped with injections of corticosteroids.  When the condition is really severe, surgical intervention may be required.  If you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to be treated by an orthopedic physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-6923 to schedule an appointment.

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.

Shining Our Employee Spotlight on Dominic Rodrigues

This month we shine our Employee Spotlight on Dominic Rodrigues, Registration Supervisor in the Emergency Department.

Dominic was born in Bangladesh and came to New York when he was three years old. He grew up in Queens Village and attended P.S. 82, Junior High School 109 and August Martin High School. Dominic is a graduate of Queensborough Community College with a degree in Business Management.

Dominic began his career in 2002 at Jamaica Hospital as a registrar, then became a financial investigator. He was later promoted to his current position as a supervisor.

Dominic still resides in Queens Village with his wife Annmarie and their 8-year- old son Andrew. He enjoys spending his free time with family and friends. One of Dominic’s favorite things to do is to go fishing, primarily in the Spring and Summer but he has also gone occasionally in the winter months. When he is home he enjoys building things with his son. They have built model airplanes and they also put together puzzles of maps.

Dominic likes taking trips and likes picking new places to explore. A few years ago he took his family to Australia and describes it as one of the best vacations he has ever taken.

Dominic enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center because he feels like he is a part of a really wonderful group of people. He enjoys helping people, both his fellow employees and the patients that come to us from all over. He looks forward to continuing to contribute to the hospital’s growth and success.

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.

Medications That Can Affect Eyesight

Did you know that some of the medications you may be taking can cause changes in your eyesight?

You may be more at risk of a condition known as Dry Eye, if you are taking medications such as:

  • Diuretics
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Cholesterol lowering drugs
  • Beta-blockers
  • Birth control pills

Dry eye is a condition where a person doesn’t have enough tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Since tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision, people with dry eye often have red, itchy, inflamed eyes with blurred vision.

If you medications are causing dry eye, you do not want to stop taking them right away since that can cause a harmful effect.  It is best to discuss your condition with a physician and discuss the best solution. 

Often times, an adjustment in dosage, a change of medication and artificial tears can help alleviate the condition.

If you would like to schedule an appointment at the Jamaica Hospital Department of Ophthalmology, please call 718-206-5900.

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.

Foods To Avoid Before Bed

Having Trouble Sleeping- Sleep Specialists in Queens, New York

Our late-night food options can negatively affect the quality of our slumber and contribute to a loss of sleep. Therefore, if we want to get a good night’s rest, there are certain foods we should avoid.

The following foods are either: acidic, fatty, spicy or difficult to digest. They may also contain high amounts of sugars or stimulants.  It is best that we do not consume them right before going to bed.

  • Cruciferous vegetables-   Broccoli, kale cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables contain large amounts of insoluble fiber, making them difficult to digest. Complex sugars found in these food items can also contribute to bloating and gas.
  • Red meat- Beef, lamb, veal and other types of red meat are all high in protein and fat which require our bodies to work harder during digestion.  Our bodies will be focused more on breaking down these foods than sleeping.
  • Cured meats and cheeses- Food such as prosciutto, salami or Gouda cheese contain tyramine an amino acid that can make us alert.
  • Caffeinated food- Large amounts of caffeine can be found in dark chocolate, certain sodas or coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps us alert and remains in our system for hours.
  • Spicy food- Chemicals in spicy foods can upset our stomachs, cause heartburn or raise our core body temperature, making us restless throughout the night.   Therefore, think twice before using hot sauce or eating spicy cuisine before bed.
  • Alcohol- Studies have shown that alcohol is disruptive to our sleep cycles.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, alcohol “blocks REM sleep, which is often considered the most restorative type of sleep. With less REM sleep, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.”  Alcohol also suppresses breathing which can lead to sleep apnea.

A good night’s sleep is important to our health. Taking small steps such as being smart about the foods we consume can improve our quality of sleep, allowing us to be more energetic and productive when we are awake.

 If you have questions about how diet or other lifestyle habits may affect your sleep, please call 718-206-5916 to speak with a sleep specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

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.

How Do You Know If It’s A Panic Attack Or A Heart Attack ?

You are experiencing pain in your chest and shortness of breath. Are you having a heart attack or are you experiencing a panic attack? Both conditions share very similar symptoms and have a sudden on-set, so how can you tell them apart?

Typical symptoms of a heart a heart include chest pain, shortness of breath, radiating pain, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. During a heart attack it feels as if pressure or a squeezing sensation on the chest and it typically doesn’t improve over time. Heart attacks are usually brought on by exertion.

During a panic attack you may also experience shortness but it is usually accompanied by tingling of the hands, shaking, and a rapid heartbeat. Instead of a squeezing sensation, a panic attack often produces a sharp, stabbing pain in the chest. Pain experienced during a panic attack usually improves within 30 minutes. Panic attacks are usually due to stress.

Determining the difference between the two can be difficult but don’t take any chances if you are uncertain. If you are experiencing chest pain for more than three minutes you should seek help by calling 911. It is always best to have trained medical professionals examine you in order to be safe. An electrocardiogram and a blood test will be performed to confirm or rule out a heart attack.

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.

Employee Spotlight on Frank Filloramo

This month we shine our Employee Spotlight on Frank Filloramo, Paramedic.

Frank Filloramo is a very familiar face to many people as he has worked in the Pre-Hospital Care Department at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for over 30 years. Frank grew up in Howard Beach, New York and went to elementary school at St. Helen’s, then on to Christ the King for High School, and attended St. John’s University.

While working at Jamaica Hospital, Frank worked for the New York City Police Department as a Sergeant in the Counterterrorism Division. He retired from that position in 2010 after having served for twenty years. He also worked part time for two years as a paramedic for the New York Mets at Citifield. He says it was a great experience and he met some very interesting players. In 2017, Frank was one of the employees who went to Puerto Rico as part of Jamaica Hospital’s Hurricane Maria relief effort to the island.

Frank currently lives in Connecticut and has three beautiful daughters, ages 16, 13, and 10 years old. They mean the world to him. In his free time he enjoys cooking with his girls, especially making home-made pizza. Frank says that family is the most important part of his life. This is why holidays that involve family gatherings such as Christmas are special to him. While his immediate family is his number one priority, he values his family at Jamaica Hospital as well.

Frank enjoys working at Jamaica Hospital. He says that it is like a second home. The hospital allows Frank to live his dream of helping others and sharing his knowledge with colleagues. Jamaica Hospital is fortunate to have Frank as part of our team at and we look forward to him remaining with us for many more years.

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.