Posts tagged ‘exercise’

December 19, 2014

Avoid the Ahhh-Choos!

Blowing her nose by oddharmonic via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)As doctors we have become familiar with germs.  When you have them you often need us to help with diagnosis and successful treatment.  We want to help get you on the road to your best possible health!

 

But as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And because the flu has no magical (or scientific) cure specifically, this season is all about prevention.

 

So what can you do in order to avoid having to stop by your friendly neighborhood doctor’s office?   You are feeling great and want to stay that way?  Here are a few handy tips:

 

  • Manage your health: Eat well, sleep well and get a good amount of exercise. Everything you do that’s good for you is good for your immune system!

 

  • Manage your germ contact: Disinfect surfaces and keep a safe distance from others when you feel you are coming down with something, or someone in your life is sick.

 

  • Manage yourself: Cover that cough and wash your hands! Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth too, germs love to sneak in through those places.

 

These may sound like simple solutions but old habits are sometimes hard to break. Stay vigilant, and develop good practices.

 

Oh, and if you’ve heard the kerfluffle about this year’s flu shot, keep in mind that while it is less effective than intended due to mutations, it is still effective. Get your vaccine – and get a better shot at staying healthy!

(Image credit: Blowing her nose by oddharmonic via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health at www.mammographykc.com and general radiology at www.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

 

September 17, 2014

There’s a Better Way To Calculate Body Fat (and We’ve Got It!)

3D-printed Laughing Buddha (right) by Digital Nuisance via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)Obesity and its negative effects on our collective health has been covered repeatedly in the news. There are ways of defining being overweight or obese, most based on height, weight and body mass index (BMI). Body composition is another means of analyzing percentage of body fat, and another tool to help guide and follow treatment.

 

Let’s start with the numbers: accurate weight and height are a starting point. Getting your body mass index (which you can do here once you have your height and weight) is helpful in determining whether your weight is appropriate for your height. But to be truly accurate about weight, body fat and its affect on health, knowing what percentage of your body tissue is fat specifically can be helpful. Here is where radiology can help: DEXA is the most accurate means of assessing body composition.

 

DEXA is known most commonly for measuring bone mineral density. This can identify those with osteoporosis or those beginning to show signs of bone loss. Knowing your bone mineral density is increasingly important with age, and preventing fractures is a goal.

 

DEXA (or Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry if you want to know the words behind the acronym) is the most accurate method of assessing body composition. A DEXA scan is a medical test and is considered the Gold Standard in body composition testing with over 99% accuracy. This imaging technique using low dose x-rays can evaluate bone density, fat density and lean body mass. DEXA gives a total picture of body composition, useful for planning a course of action and then seeing the success (we’ll think positive!) of those actions.

 

Eating well, exercising regularly, talking to your doctor or consulting with a dietician are all actions that can help you on the way to better numbers. Decreasing body fat percentage while maintaining healthy lean body mass is the goal. Decreasing body fat percentage is as significant as overall weight loss to your health.

 

So start with your numbers and move from there. You have the power to get yourself on the road to your best possible health! And we’re happy to help in any way we can, from sharing healthy recipes to exercise tips and tricks to advising you on your DEXA scores to cheering you on and educating you along the way! If you follow us on Pinterest you’ll see more ideas everyday!

(Image attribution: 3D-printed Laughing Buddha (right) by Digital Nuisance via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health at www.mammographykc.com and general radiology at www.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

September 3, 2014

Head Aches and Head Issues #5: What Caused It?

Ice Cream Headache? by Citizen 4474 via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)Now that we’ve covered when not to image the head in case of aches, and what we do to image the head in case of aches… let’s talk about what causes those aches.

 

The biggest fear people have with overwhelming cranial pain is the dreaded T-word. In the vast majority of cases, relax – it’s not a tumor!

 

Instead, the list of causes can be quite long, which means there are many ways of handling pain before jumping into fear-mode. Which of the following common issues can cause headaches?

 

  • migraines
  • tension headaches
  • stress
  • exercise/sex
  • sinusitis
  • dehydration
  • infections – ear or brain (meningitis)
  • dental problems/TMJ issues
  • blood in the brain (from aneurysm or other bleed, or from trauma)
  • post-concussion

 

Answer? All of the above. So before you let your mind wander to a scary place, relax and know that your doctor can help you narrow down the cause of your headache. The treatment may be as simple as hydration by drinking some water, taking allergy medicine to open your sinuses, or perhaps a little deep breathing or meditation to manage stress. You might be surprised to find a little relief is just around the corner from all that racket in your skull. Talk to your healthcare provider about your headache and they can help guide you to potential treatments.

 

To learn more about the long list of potential causes of headaches and what can be done about them, check out great information from the Mayo Clinic, here.

 

 

(Image credit: Ice Cream Headache? by Citizen 4474 via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

 

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health at www.mammographykc.com and general radiology at www.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

 

June 4, 2014

We Love… Best Bones Forever!

Best Bones Forever by Office of Women's Health via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Public DomainAs doctors, we find many people and organizations we love – from patients who we care about deeply to nonprofits that are assisting others on the road to their best possible health. Today we’d like to highlight a really great initiative: Best Bones Forever!

 

Best Bones Forever focuses on the bone health of young girls with the hope of avoiding bone health issues later in life. You know the old saying about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure – well, it’s true! Taking care of yourselves when you are young can help avoid a world of aches further down the line.

 

An initiative of the Office of Women’s Health, the hope is to help prevent conditions like osteoporosis, or loss of bone mass that affects many elderly women. Bone loss can lead to a higher risk of fractures which can be associated with life-threatening complications and side effects which have a profound impact on quality of life. As it turns out, keeping bones strong now means having stronger bones in the future. So whether it’s exercise or a diet with the proper nutrition, the aim is to help girls develop a lifestyle of healthiness that will last them a lifetime and result in less risk for bone loss as aging occurs. And for their parents, some handy notes can be found here.

 

(Oh, and you can like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for more helpful, healthful information!)

(Image credit: Best Bones Forever by Office of Women’s Health via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Public Domain)

 

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health atwww.mammographykc.com and general radiology atwww.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!

 

April 24, 2014

Ankles: Sprains and Pains

Image

For any building to be upright, it requires a solid foundation. Such is true for the human body: if what’s below the knees goes wonky it can have an effect on the body as a whole. Ankles are incredibly resilient joints but when they take a hit (or a fall or a twist) they can be problematic.

 

Ankle sprains are common, and can be seen in athletes and nonathletes alike. Sprains can result from the ankle turning from a misstep, from stepping down at an angle or from sideways movements. There are clinical rules which help determine who needs imaging- mild sprains may not need to be imaged.

 

Sprains typically result in injury to the ligaments, those soft tissue bands which connect bone to bone. If the ankle is unstable or if symptoms do not improve as expected, imaging with an MRI may be needed. This allows assessment of the bones of the ankle as well as the soft tissues, including the ligaments.

 

A fall from a height may lead to fracture or dislocation (ouch). Plain films of your ankle will be the starting point if fracture is suspected.  If a fracture is complex, CT is excellent at showing the anatomy and helping your surgeon plan treatment.

 

Achilles tendontears are often an event with a distinct injury, sometimes related to a sudden movement and abrupt tensing of the calf muscle (Remember those replays of Lebron James’ injury? Ouch!). Physical exam will often reveal a focal defect in the tendon your doctor can feel. We may want to image to see if the tendon is completely torn and the distance between the torn ends to help with surgical planning. Ultrasound can show this nicely, as can MRI.

 

Tendons about the ankle other than the Achilles can also be injured, torn or inflamed. Injuries to other ankle tendons can also be evaluated with ultrasound, although MRI is more commonly used. Tendons about the ankle include the peroneal tendons on the outer side of the ankle and the posterior tibial tendon on the inside.

 

It’s important to treat ankle injuries, because as a foundation for the body, adding a limp can lead to other problems including back pain (double ugh). If left untreated, ankle sprains can lead to chronic instability.

 

As ever, prevention is the best medicine. Some ankle strengthening exercises can be found here.

(Photo credit: Broken ankle Cast detail by FiDalwood via Flickr Copyright Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

April 17, 2014

Shoulder Pain: When You Can’t Shrug It Off

Shoulder joint by National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS) via Wikipedia Copright Public DomainThe shoulder is a complex joint of mythical strength (at least if your name is Atlas and you’re carrying the weight of the world on it).

 

From baseball pitching to carrying little kids to lifting overhead, the shoulder gets quite the workout. It’s important to take care of this joint – especially if it’s been injured. One of the most common injuries is to the rotator cuff tendons.

 

There are four tendons surrounding the shoulder to provide stability and assist in the normal range of motion. Pain and limited range of motion are often the first indicators that something could be wrong with those tendons. They can be inflamed, torn partially or torn full-thickness.

 

After an initial evaluation with your primary healthcare professional, you may be sent for imaging. Typically, this area can be evaluated with MRI or an  ultrasound. Some shoulder injuries are difficult to see without some fluid in the joint – this is when an MR arthrogram might be performed. MR arthrograms can evaluate partial tendon tears and provides an excellent evaluation of the labrum or cartilage lining the joint. Labral injuries may be seen in patients who have had a dislocation of their shoulder joint as well as in athletes.

 

Some of the rotator cuff tendons sit underneath the acromioclavicular joint – the smaller part of the joint on top of the shoulder. Changes in the acromioclavicular joint, either differences in the shape of the acromion or degenerative arthritis, may predispose you to problems with the rotator cuff tendons or may lead to chronic tendon irritation or tears.

 

The shoulder is a complex joint, and vital to many daily functions we don’t even think about, such as brushing your hair or lifting your groceries. So if you have an injury, pain or develop difficulty in moving your shoulder, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.

 

And remember – prevention is the best medicine! Stronger shoulders are less likely to incur injury, and strengthening the rotator cuff can be achieved. Here’s a Real Simple way to improve your shoulder health.

(Photo credit: Shoulder joint by National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases (NIAMS) via Wikipedia Copright Public Domain)

Diagnostic Imaging Centers blogs on regularly about women’s health at www.mammographykc.com and general radiology at www.diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com. Visit our sites for more helpful information!