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.

Are You At Risk for Asthma?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 13 people has asthma. That translates to more than 26 million Americans.

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell, producing extra mucus resulting in difficulty breathing.

If this narrowing and swelling occurs and worsens, it may lead to an asthma attack.

Some tips to help you prevent asthma symptoms from occurring include:

  • Family history of asthma
  • Viral respiratory infections as a child
  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Air Pollution
  • Obesity

Some strategies you help prevent the symptoms of asthma are:

  • Stop smoking and avoid public places where cigarette smoking occurs
  • Avoid outdoor exposure on heavy smog days
  • Adopt a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein
  • Avoid allergens that trigger asthma attacks, such as pet dander, dust, mites, mold and pollen.

If you have recurrent coughing or wheezing that lasts more than a couple of days or any other signs or symptoms of asthma listed above, you should schedule an appointment to see your doctor since treating asthma early can help prevent long-term lung damace and reduce the likelihood of your asthma worsening over time.

If you would like to speak with a respiratory specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001 for 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.

How Obesity Contributes to Lower Back Problems

There have been numerous reports about how people who are obese are at a higher risk of developing a variety of serious health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Obesity can also negatively impact a person’s life in many other, non-life-threatening ways, such as how it can contribute to lower back problems.

As the structure that helps support the body and influence movement, the back has a normal spine curve that is most effective when it is in a neutral position. When a person is obese any added weight in their midsection can shift the pelvis forward and cause the spine to curve excessively inward, placing abnormal pressure on back muscles that are now forced to bear that weight.

Based purely on statistics, there is a very strong association between excess weight and lower back pain. A recent article in the American Journal of Epidemiology assessed that lower back pain was directly related to an increased body mass index (BMI). According to the research, people within a normal weight range were at a low risk of lower back pain, overweight individuals were at a moderate risk, while those who were obese were at the highest risk. The study also concluded that obese people were more likely to have back pain issues more frequently and require medical care to treat their lower back pain.

Obesity is a growing problem in American, affecting nearly 40 %, or approximately 93 million adults in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To address this issue, experts recommend eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. If however, you have tried all diet and exercise programs and are still obese, there are surgical options available to you.

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 The “Stress Hormone” Cortisol Causing You To Gain Weight?

Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the world.  It can be a contributing factor in other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, and dementia. Overeating is often cited as the only reason people are obese. In discussions about weight gain and obesity, many people seem to think that it is purely a function of willpower.

Since what we weigh is, normally, attributed to what we eat we must ask the question:

Is over-eating the only reason a person becomes overweight?

Human behavior is driven by various biological factors like genetics, hormones, stress and neural circuits.  Eating behavior, just like sleeping behavior, is driven by biological processes. Therefore, saying that behavior is a function of willpower is way too simplistic.

Studies have shown that when we are stressed or during tension filled times our body increases its production of the “stress hormone” Cortisol. The increase in Cortisol may be the culprit causing you to overeat.

According to http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/stress-weight-gain#,increased levels of the stress hormone  cortisol causes higher insulin levels which then cause your blood sugar to drop making you crave sugary, fatty foods. The end result of these actions can be an increase in appetite.

Here are some additional factors thought to be the leading causes of weight gain, obesity and metabolic disease that have nothing to do with willpower:

  • Genetics – Obesity has a strong genetic component. Offspring’s of obese parents are much more likely to become obese than offspring’s of lean parents.
  • Insulin – Insulin is a very important hormone that regulates energy storage, among other things. One of the functions of insulin is to tell fat cells to store fat and to hold on to the fat they already carry.  When insulin levels elevate, energy is selectively stored in fat cells instead of being available for use.
  • Medications – Certain medications can cause weight gain as a side effect. Some examples include diabetes medication, antidepressants and antipsychotics. These medications don’t cause a “willpower deficiency,” they alter the function of the body and brain, making it selectively store fat instead of burning it.
  • Leptin –This hormone is produced by the fat cells and is supposed to send signals to the hypothalamus (the part of our brain that controls food intake) that we are full and need to stop eating. The problem for some is their leptin isn’t working as it should because the brain becomes resistant to it.  This is called leptin resistance and is believed to be a leading factor in the pathogenesis of obesity.
  • Thyroid Disease – Thyroid hormone regulates our metabolism. Too little hormone slows the metabolism and often causes weight gain.
  • Cushing syndromeOccurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for a long time. Cushing syndrome, sometimes called hypercortisolism, may be caused by the use of oral corticosteroid medication. The condition can also occur when your body makes too much cortisol on its own.

A doctor can determine if any of these conditions or treatments is responsible for your obesity.  If you would like to see a physician, please contact the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center to schedule an appointment. 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.

Is There a Benefit to Wearing a Fitness Tracker?

Generally speaking, if you are inactive your risk of  experiencing obesity, low energy, diabetes and hypertension is higher.  To combat these health issues, you can incorporate a brisk walk or run into your weekly activity.  The addition of this type of movement to your day may prevent or, in some cases, reverse health issues.

One of the ways some are finding it beneficial to keep track of their activity level is by wearing a “fitness tracker.”  Surprisingly, one of the first reports you may receive from your tracker is that you are not as active as you thought you were.

Most fitness trackers are a good way of monitoring your steps, calories, distance travelled, caloric intake, as well as your heart rate and sleep patterns.  They can be viewed as your “conscience” for personal accountability and motivation for a relatively low cost.

Some of the benefits of a fitness tracker include:

  • Encouraging physical activity – If you check your tracker and see that you are behind in your steps for the day, you may “step” up your game a bit and take a walk.
  • Measuring your heart rate – This feature can give you hard data on the effort you exert while doing a particular workout and/or task. It can give you a hint on the condition of your cardiovascular system by allowing you to see just how quickly your heart rate increases.
  • Providing insights on your sleep patterns – Sleep has a definite influence on your overall health. Fitness trackers that log sleep activity can help you address whatever is lacking in your sleep cycles.
  • Encouraging healthy eating – Fitness trackers can come equipped with apps that help you track your food and may help with weight loss.
  • Promoting interaction – Some fitness trackers allow the user to interact with other users, create group challenges and receive rewards for meeting goals.

There really isn’t a downside to tracking your activity, unless you take your fitness tracker off and it remains lost at the bottom of a drawer.

 

 

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 Obesity Having an Impact on Your Child’s Self-Esteem?

Obesity among teenagers is a growing problem in the United Sates. It is estimated that 31% of teenagers are overweight and another 16% are obese.

Feet on a scaleMany parents and doctors focus on the physical effects of obesity, but what about the psychological and emotional ramifications? Obesity can lead to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, but its depression, low self esteem, anxiety and poor body image that should be the greater concern for most.

Recent studies have concluded that obese teens have considerably lower self esteem than their non-obese peers. The difference in the two groups is most evident among 14 year olds, which also happens to be a critical time for teens because it is when they develop their sense of self worth. It is also an age where peers can be most cruel. Teasing, taunting, and poor treatment from other kids can also contribute to depression and other psychological issues.

Teens with low self-esteem often feel lonely, nervous, or are generally sad. They are also more inclined to experiment with cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. They often become depressed, which causes them to withdraw from social activities with friends and family and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.

There are a variety of factors that have contributed to a rise in obesity among teens. While genetics play a role for some, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle are often the cause for most. Teens today consume too much junk food and sugary drinks and don’t exercise as much as in previous generations. Temptations from television, video games, and computers are often cited as the reasons for a decrease in physical activity.

Professionals suggest that parents of obese teens engage their children in an open dialogue about the issue. Together, parents and teens can work on a plan that is attainable. Efforts to fix the problem should focus on lifestyle issues rather than a calorie count because attempting to impose a strict diet could contribute to the teen’s poor self esteem. Incorporate the assistance of a medical professional, but allow the teen to take charge during visits in an effort to build confidence.  Parents should encourage and participate in improving diet and increasing activity as well.

Jamaica Hospital has a variety of services to help teens facing this issue, including nutritional counseling and adolescent mental health services. Speak to your child’s pediatrician or make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to find the best treatment options for your teen.

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.

Obesity: Lifestyle or Genetics?

“How does she eat so much and not gain any weight?”

It’s a question that has left many puzzled and quite frustrated. The conversation about weight, however, is a longstanding one. Today, especially, weight gain and weight loss remain relevant discussions, as the United States faces an obesity epidemic.

Though several health initiatives to help fight obesity have been implemented over the past few years, it is important to first understand what factors contribute to obesity. According to a National Institutes of Health funded study conducted by UCLA, not only does behavior and environment affect obesity, but genetic factors can also play a significant role in causing obesity.

How our genes actually influence obesity varies. As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), genes give the body instruction for responding to changes in its environment. Some research has linked genes to metabolism, pointing out that genetics affects how one’s body responds to high-fat diets. Genes can either cause an increased tendency to store fat or a diminished capacity to use dietary fats as fuel. Other research has suggested that genes influence behaviors, such as overeating and being sedentary.

The conversation about obesity can now change since research has shown that body weight is hereditary and that genetic disposition affects weight. In all efforts to fight obesity, living environments where high calorie foods are prevalent and physical activity is limited should be looked at more closely.

We understand that the road to healthier choices isn’t easy to travel, especially alone. Here at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center our outpatient registered Dietitians assist patients to grow their knowledge about nutrition, wellness and healthy eating. To schedule an appointment the outpatient nutrition services department can be reached directly at 718-206-7056.

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.

OBESITY OR GENETICS

ObesityGenetics“How does she eat so much and not gain any weight?”

It’s a question that has left many puzzled and quite frustrated. The conversation about weight, however, is a longstanding one. Today, especially, weight gain and weight loss remain relevant discussions, as the United States faces an obesity epidemic.

Though several health initiatives to help fight obesity have been implemented over the past few years, it is important to first understand what factors contribute to obesity. According to a National Institutes of Health funded study conducted by UCLA, not only does behavior and environment affect obesity, but genetic factors can also play a significant role in causing obesity.

How our genes actually influence obesity varies. As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), genes give the body instruction for responding to changes in its environment. Some research has linked genes to metabolism, pointing out that genetics affects how one’s body responds to high-fat diets. Genes can either cause an increased tendency to store fat or a diminished capacity to use dietary fats as fuel. Other research has suggested that genes influence behaviors, such as overeating and being sedentary.

The conversation about obesity can now change since research has shown that body weight is hereditary and that genetic disposition affects weight. In all efforts to fight obesity, living environments where high calorie foods are prevalent and physical activity is limited should be looked at more closely.

We understand that the road to healthier choices isn’t easy to travel, especially alone. Here at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center our outpatient registered Dietitians assist patients to grow their knowledge about nutrition, wellness and healthy eating. To schedule an appointment the outpatient nutrition services department can be reached directly at718-206-7056.

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.

Babyfat or Obesity?

Very funny baby watching her weight, isolated on white

In many cases efforts to curb childhood obesity are aimed at children who are school-aged.  However, new research suggests that interventions directed towards this group may be too late.

The most recent evidence indicates that pivotal times to introduce preventative efforts in your child’s life are during infancy and the toddler years.

According to experts, there are several measures you can take to prevent obesity and keep your baby at a healthy weight.

The Mayo Clinic recommends:

  • Monitor your weight gain during pregnancy.Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can increase a baby’s birth weight. Research suggests that as birth weight increases, so does the risk of childhood obesity.
  • Breast-feed.Some research suggests that breast-feeding reduces the risk of childhood obesity.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened drinks.Juice isn’t a necessary part of a baby’s diet. As you start introducing solid foods, consider offering nutritious fruits and vegetables instead.
  • Experiment with ways to soothe your baby.Don’t automatically turn to breast milk or formula to quiet your baby’s cries. Sometimes a new position, a calmer environment or a gentle touch is all that’s needed.
  • Limit media use.The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages media use by children younger than age 2. The more TV your child watches, the greater his or her risk is of becoming overweight.

It is important to keep in mind that your child needs a diet that is high in healthy fats to foster growth during infancy and caloric restrictions aimed at reducing weight is not recommended for babies under the age of two.  It is highly suggested that you speak to your doctor about age-appropriate dietary guidelines before implementing any changes.

If you feel that you child may be overweight or you would like more information about childhood obesity, please contact Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to make 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.

Senator Comrie and Jamaica Hospital -Promoting Wellness Through Walking

Walk Park

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Community Outreach Department applaud the steps Senator Leroy Comrie is taking to prevent childhood and adult obesity by promoting healthier lifestyle options that include walking.

Obesity is a problem that affects many Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximately one-third, or 78.6 million Americans are obese. In addition, 17%, or 12.7 million children are obese. Obesity is a leading cause of a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer

Living a healthy lifestyle, which includes physical activity, in combination with a healthy diet is the best way to combat obesity. While many forms of physical activity require time and financial commitments that many of us do not have, one of the easiest ways to get your daily dose of physical activity is through walking.

Walking is very important for weight control. Of course, the more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you’ll burn.  Generally speaking, by adding 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn approximately 150 calories a day. If you walk at a more vigorous pace and for a longer duration of time, you can burn even more calories and lose even more weight.

Senator Leroy Comrie and other local elected officials understand the importance of promoting physical activity to combat obesity, so together they created the “Walk for Wellness” event. This second annual series of walks are held in various parks and playgrounds through Southeast Queens on select Saturdays. The walks began in June and continue into October. Each walk begins at 8:30 a.m. and is open to all.

According to Senator Comrie, “The Walk for Wellness event was created to be a community-wide initiative to combat obesity. By supporting one another in this effort, we can really make a difference by improving our health and the health of our neighbors.”

Of course, if you have underlying health issues, speak to a doctor before beginning any exercise program. If you do not have a doctor, you can call Jamaica Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment to determine how much walking is appropriate for you.

To learn more about the Walk for Wellness event, please call Senator Comrie’s office at 718-454-0162.

 

 

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.