Monthly Archives: March 2022

Physical Therapy is a better alternative for managing chronic pain

COVID-19 is not the only epidemic the United States has been facing in the last few years. The opioid crisis preceded COVID-19 and has become an even larger issue as a result of the global pandemic.  A large number of people addicted to opiates were initially prescribed them for a legitimate use however, there are much safer, non-drug options available.

In a March 2016 guideline, the CDC said the use of opioids can be avoided completely—in most cases—by using non-drug therapies, including Physical Therapy (PT).

In March 2016 the CDC issued a guideline stating that while there are certain conditions—including cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care—where prescribed opioids for chronic pain may be appropriate, in many cases opioid use could be greatly reduced or avoided altogether.

“The contextual evidence review found that many nonpharmacologic therapies, including physical therapy… can ameliorate (lessen) chronic pain,” the guideline states. “There is high-quality evidence that exercise therapy (a major part of physical therapy) for hip or knee osteoarthritis reduces pain and improves function right after treatment and that the improvements last for at least 2-6 months… Exercise therapy also can help reduce pain and improve function in low back pain and can improve global well-being and physical function in fibromyalgia.”

Physical therapists partner with patients, their families, and other health care providers to manage pain, and reduce or eliminate the need for opioids. Research has shown that an education session with a physical therapist can lead to improved function, range of motion, and decreased pain.

Before you agree to prescribed opioids, ask your doctor physical therapy might be right for you.

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Information pulled directly from the CDC website:

What are the “activities of daily living?”

The activities of daily living (ADLs) is a term used to collectively describe fundamental skills required to independently care for oneself, such as eating, bathing, and mobility.

ADL is used as an indicator of a person’s functional status. The inability to perform ADLs results in the dependence of other individuals and/or mechanical devices. The inability to accomplish essential activities of daily living may lead to unsafe conditions and poor quality of life. Hospitalization for an acute or chronic illness may influence a person’s ability to meet personal goals and sustain independent living. Chronic illnesses progress over time, resulting in a physical decline that may lead to a loss of ability to perform ADLs.

The activities of daily living are classified into basic ADLs and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). The basic ADLs (BADL) or physical ADLs are those skills required to manage one’s basic physical needs, including personal hygiene or grooming, dressing, toileting, transferring or ambulating, and eating. The Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) include more complex activities related to the ability to live independently in the community. This would include activities such as e.g., managing finances and medications, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry.

Basic ADLs
The basic ADL include the following categories:

  • Ambulating – The extent of an individual’s ability to move from one position to another and walk independently.
  • Feeding – The ability of a person to feed oneself.
  • Dressing – The ability to select appropriate clothes and to put the clothes on.
  • Personal hygiene – The ability to bathe and groom oneself and maintain dental hygiene, nail, and hair care.
  • Continence – The ability to control bladder and bowel function.
  • Toileting – The ability to get to and from the toilet, using it appropriately, and cleaning oneself.

Learning how each basic ADL affects an individual to care for themselves can help determine whether a patient would need daily assistance. It can also help the elderly or disabled people to determine their eligibility got state and federal assistance programs.

Instrumental ADLs
The instrumental ADLs are those that require more complex thinking skills, including organizational skills.

  • Transportation and shopping – Ability to procure groceries, attend events, and managing transportation, either via driving or by organizing other means of transport.
  • Managing finances – This includes the ability to pay bills and managing financial assets.
  • Shopping and meal preparation – Everything required to get a meal on the table. It also covers shopping for clothing and other items required for daily life.
  • Housecleaning and home maintenance – Cleaning kitchens after eating, maintaining living areas reasonably clean and tidy, and keeping up with home maintenance.
  • Managing communication with others – The ability to manage telephone and mail.
  • Managing medications – Ability to obtain medications and taking them as directed.

The IADL differs from ADL as people often begin asking for outside assistance when these tasks become difficult to manage independently.

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Click here to find out how Love My Nurse helps with ADLs

Information pulled directly from the NIH website:

How do you mend a broken heart?

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in your body. Heart failure is a serious condition, but it does not mean that the heart has stopped beating.

  • About 6.2 million adults in the United States have heart failure.
  • In 2018, heart failure was mentioned on 379,800 death certificates (13.4%).
  • Heart failure costs the nation an estimated $30.7 billion in 2012. This total includes the cost of health care services, medicines to treat heart failure, and missed days of work.

What are the risk factors for Heart Failure?

What are the symptoms of heart failure?
Common symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath during daily activities
  • Having trouble breathing when lying down
  • Weight gain with swelling in the feet, legs, ankles, or stomach
  • Generally feeling tired or weak

How is heart failure treated?
Early diagnosis and treatment can improve quality and length of life for people who have heart failure. Treatment usually involves the following:

  • Taking medicines
  • Reducing sodium in the diet
  • Drinking less liquids
  • Devices that remove excess salt and water from the blood
  • Heart transplant and other surgeries
  • Getting daily physical activity
  • Tracking symptoms each day so that they can discuss these symptoms with their health care team

Call 316-633-9578 for more information
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Click here to find out how Love My Nurse helps with heart failure

Information pulled directly from the CDC website:

“D” is for Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.

Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can really help. Taking medicine as needed, getting diabetes self-management education and support, and keeping health care appointments can also reduce the impact of diabetes on your life.

The three (3) main types of diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. Approximately 5-10 percent of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
  • With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults (but more and more in children, teens, and young adults). You may not notice any symptoms, so it’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you’re at risk. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active.
  • Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby could be at higher risk for health problems. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born but increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Your baby is more likely to have obesity as a child or teen, and more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life too.

In the United States, 96 million adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. What’s more, more than 8 in 10 of them don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The good news is if you have prediabetes, a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program can help you take healthy steps to reverse it.

Call 316-633-9578 for more information
Complete an online form to request FREE Home Health Services now
Click here to find out how Love My Nurse helps manage diabetes

Information pulled directly from the CDC website:

The ABCs of COPD

What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

What are the symptoms of COPD?
Symptoms of COPD include:

  • Frequent coughing or wheezing.
  • Excess phlegm, mucus, or sputum production.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Trouble taking a deep breath.

Who has COPD?
Chronic lower respiratory disease, primarily COPD, was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States in 2018. Almost 15.7 million Americans (6.4%) reported that they have been diagnosed with COPD. More than 50% of adults with low pulmonary function were not aware that they had COPD, so the actual number may be higher. The following groups were more likely to report COPD in 2013:

  • Women.
  • People aged 65 to 74 years and ≥75 years.
  • American Indians/Alaska Natives and multiracial non-Hispanics.
  • People who were unemployed, retired, or unable to work.
  • People with less than a high school education.
  • People who were divorced, widowed, or separated.
  • Current or former smokers.
  • People with a history of asthma.

What causes COPD?
In the United States, tobacco smoke is a key factor in the development and progression of COPD. Exposure to air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors, and respiratory infections also play a role. In the developing world, indoor air quality is thought to play a larger role than it does in the United States. People should try to avoid inhaling tobacco smoke, home and workplace air pollutants, and respiratory infections to prevent developing COPD. Early detection of COPD may change its course and progress.

What are the complications or effects of COPD?
Compared to adults without COPD, those with this disease are more likely to:

  • Have activity limitations like difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
  • Be unable to work.
  • Need special equipment like portable oxygen tanks.
  • Not engage in social activities like eating out, going to places of worship, going to group events, or getting together with friends or neighbors.
  • Have increased confusion or memory loss.
  • Have more emergency room visits or overnight hospital stays.
  • Have other chronic diseases like arthritis, congestive heart failure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, or asthma.
  • Have depression or other mental or emotional conditions.
  • Report a fair or poor health status.

How is COPD diagnosed?
A simple test, called spirometry, can be used to measure pulmonary—or lung—function and detect COPD in anyone with breathing problems.

How is COPD treated?
Treatment of COPD requires a careful and thorough evaluation by a physician. COPD treatment can alleviate symptoms, decrease the frequency and severity of exacerbations, and increase exercise tolerance. Treatment options that your physician may consider include:

  • Quit smoking. For people who smoke, the most important part of treatment is smoking cessation.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke and other air pollutants at home and at work.
  • Ask your doctor about pulmonary rehabilitation, which is a personalized treatment program that teaches COPD management strategies to improve quality of life. Programs may include plans that teach people how to breathe better and conserve their energy, as well as provide advice on food and exercise.
  • Take medication. Symptoms such as coughing or wheezing can be treated with medication.
  • Avoid lung infections. Lung infections can cause serious problems in people with COPD. Certain vaccines, such as flu and pneumococcal vaccines, are especially important for people with COPD. Learn more about vaccination recommendations.
  • Respiratory infections should be treated with antibiotics, if appropriate.
  • Use supplemental oxygen. Some people may need to use a portable oxygen tank if their blood oxygen levels are low.

Call 316-633-9578 for more information
Complete an online form to request FREE Home Health Services now
Click here to find out how Love My Nurse helps manage COPD

Information pulled directly from the CDC website: