2016-07-21 / Health

TOTAL well-being

JULY is... Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis affects children, too

Aches and pains are a widely accepted side effect of aging. Over time, bones can become more brittle and cushioning tissues between joints can deteriorate. But while arthritis and pain are often associated with the elderly, young people, including children, can experience arthritis as well.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, juvenile arthritis, or JA, comes in many forms and affects nearly 300,000 children. JA is an umbrella term used to classify a variety of diseases affecting the joints and musculoskeletal systems in children. Juvenile lupus, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), juvenile dermatomyositis, and Kawasaki disease are just a few of the conditions that fall under the JA umbrella.

Unlike adults, who may develop arthritis from years of wear and tear on the body, kids with JA can often trace their condition to genetics. JA also is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s natural immune system ends up attacking its own cells by mistake when something goes awry. With arthritis, that attack can result in pain, inflammation and fever.

Juvenile arthritis can cause persistent joint pain, swelling and stiffness. The Mayo Clinic says that some children with arthritis also develop serious complications, such as growth problems or eye inflammation, and JA may affect the skin and gastrointestinal tract.

Arthritis is typically a lifelong condition. Although flare-ups may last a few days or weeks, those with arthritis can usually expect their symptoms to persist throughout their lives. This can be especially challenging for children who are not mature enough to understand their condition. Furthermore, JA can be easily overlooked by doctors who are not used to seeing young patients with arthritis. Parents who learn to recognize the symptoms of JA may be able to identify the condition before their children’s doctors, and that early detection can help kids better cope with the discomfort and pain caused by their condition.

• Stiffness: Children with JA may be particularly stiff in the morning.

• Pain: Kids who complain of pain right after waking up rather than after a day of physical activity may be exhibiting signs of JA. Pain may dissipate as children begin moving.

• Swelling: Redness and swelling around the joints is an indication of inflammation. This swelling may come and go or persist for several days.

• Fever: Sudden fevers not linked to any respiratory or stomach ailments may be indicators of JA.

• Fatigue: JA can cause children to be more tired than usual. Fatigue also can affect eating and sleeping patterns.

If a pediatrician suspects JA, he or she likely will recommend a visit to a pediatric rheumatologist, who will then take a complete health history to determine the type of symptoms present and the length of time those symptoms have been present. Laboratory work, x-rays and other imaging tests will rule out other conditions, but no test can definitively say if a child is or is not suffering from JA.

There is no cure for arthritis. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and inflammation and improve quality of life. A combination of medications, physical therapy and healthy eating are usually prescribed to ease symptoms. Medications may be anti-inflammatory drugs as well as biologics, which put the disease into remission and prevent the body’s immune system from attacking the body further. Several different treatment plans may be tried until the right combination is found.

Weight management and healthy eating can help a child with JA prevent further joint damage as he or she ages. Physical activity, including low-impact exercises that take the stress off of knees or hips, also are good for the joints and can improve strength and flexibility. Arthritis is a condition that affects both adults and children. More information is available at www.arthritis.org.

Rolnick Chiropractic

Dr. Ellie’s Health Tips: Heart Health

Health Tip of the Month: I recently came across an article of most interest to me concerning heart attacks. In the article written by Thomas Cowan, M.D., he sites research that says that most heart attacks are likely caused by an imbalance in your central nervous system (CNS) and your autonomic (or unconscious) nervous system (ANS), which controls the function of our internal organs. He goes on to say that bypass surgery provides minimal benefit for most people, as sites that are over 90 percent blocked in almost all cases compensate for the blockage by developing collateral blood vessels. As outrageous as that may sound to some people (and most doctors who perform that procedure), he does site group studies where this was proven with angiograms. They observed that blocked arteries made their own new blood passage ways for the blood to flow to and from the heart (the power of the body!). The take away from this article was that electrical impulses from an improperly functioning nervous system has a major influence over heart function and can lead to heart attacks. Dr. Cowan also mentioned how important nutrition was in overall heart health. The newest research is finding that a diet filled with sugar (not fat) is the cause of heart disease. He goes on to suggest that a heart healthy diet is liberal with healthy fat sources but very low in sugar. These fats come from sources such as olive oil, omega 3 fats (fish, walnut), and even organic all natural butter. The bottom line of the article was to protect your nervous system by lowering stress levels and eating a heart healthy diet as mentioned above. Studies in other countries have shown that being in a loving, trusting relationship, having a good job and having contact with nature seems to nourish the nervous system and lower your risk of heart disease.

Thought for the Month: The above article was of most interest to me because as a chiropractor, my sole purpose is to remove imbalances in the nervous system. When a chiropractor does an adjustment, particularly the upper back and upper neck, there is a direct connection from the nerves in those areas to the heart. The article was encouraging to me, as chiropractic research has always pointed to an improvement in bodily function by specific adjustments to the spine and the nervous system. Chiropractic Thought for the Month: According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, patients with neck pain who used a chiropractor were more than twice as likely to be pain-free in 12 weeks, compared to those who took medication.

For more information about Brain Based Chiropractic and Wellness , call Rolnick Chiropractic at 207-283-1168 or check out our web page at www.rolnickchiropractic.com

Providing home care for you and your loved ones

At New England Family Healthcare, we strive to provide the best in-home services for you or your loved ones at affordable rates. Since 2001, we’ve been helping people with personal care (bathing/dressing), light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, companionship and the like. If you or a family member have had surgery, are going through a course of treatment, or can no longer do some of the everyday household chores you’ve always done, call us at 699-4663 for a free consultation.

MASSAGE & ACUPUNCTURE… a vacation for your body.

Need help unwinding over vacation? Or perhaps you need to continue your therapeutic massage and acupuncture treatments while you’re away. Put yourself in the hands of the skilled staff at MassageCraft & Acupuncture Clinic. Our practitioners have over 75 years of combined experience in eastern and western massage techniques, acupuncture and yoga. We have served the Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard community since 1991.

Not sure whether you need acupuncture or massage? Choose acupuncture for pain complicated by digestive distress, menstrual issues, allergies, insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Trying to cram 48 hours in to a 24 hour day? A deep tissue massage will work out the stiffness, soreness and knots. All our practitioners are trained in gua sha and cupping, soft tissue techniques borrowed from Chinese medicine. Both are extremely effective at working out stubborn old injuries and revitalizing damaged tissues.

MassageCraft & Acupuncture Clinic has convenient locations in Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach. We accept workers compensation and some private insurance upon benefit verification. Call 286-8416 or 934-0849 for an appointment. OPEN SUNDAYS. Please visit us at out our web site: www.massagecraft.com

Perplexed, bewildered, dazed, or confused about health insurance?

Karen Vachon, licensed health insurance agent, helps individuals, families, small business owners, and senior citizens navigate their health insurance options. From Obamacare to Medicare, she gets up close and personal to the individual needs of her clients needs and situation, she helps people tap into available resources to best protect life’s twists, turns, and surprises.

“The health insurance purchase has changed a lot in the last few years and people are really confused”, explains Karen, who helps people determine their eligibility for tax credits, choose and enroll in a plan that best meets their needs and budget.

Open enrollment for 2016 ends January 31st – for those who would like to change their plans or enroll for the first time. Special enrollment outside of the annual enrollment period are available for those who have lost employer or state provided coverage, moved in our out of an area, or had a life change.

Tired of 1-800 eternal hold? Feeling perplexed, bewildered, dazed, or confused? Call Karen! 207-730- 2664. There is no fee for her service.

Think you need a hearing aid?

If you need or think you might need a hearing aid, you should call Mark Vail today — he’ll test and evaluate you for the hearing aid you need in the comfort of your home and you’ll be happy with it.

By visiting people in their homes, Mark can make the best assessment of what the person’s needs are. Sometimes, he visits people at their places of work because of concerns there. This attention to detail shows up in the low return rate he has.

You can reach Mark Vail at 284-9600 or toll free at 877-284-3400. Call today and you’ll be hearing better soon.

Monarch Center, There is no place like home

Kindred Assisted Living – Monarch Center is designed for people living with Memory Loss. Each of our residences offers a private bath with adjoining warm and comfortable common spaces, available for socializing, activities and dining. In the warmer months we have a half an acre of protected outdoor areas for recreation and relaxation.

Monarch Center offers specially designed Social programs and a variety of Enrichment programs for individuals and groups. We work to encourage independence and success.

Besides our residential program we also provide respite care. Our respite program can provide an opportunity for a resident to experience our community or provide personnel time for Caregivers.

At the Monarch Center, we take pride in the quality of life we offer residents and the peace of mind we give to their families.

For more information and a visit please call June O’Neill, Senior Living Consultant at 207 284 0900.

Kindred Assisted Living-Village Crossings Earns 2016 Silver National Quality Award

With great honor Village Crossings in Cape Elizabeth is proud to announce our recent recognition from the American Healthcare Association (AHCA) for high quality care. The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is an in-depth process based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence program which encourages the continuous learning and development of integrated quality systems. We earned the Bronze Quality Award in 2009 and Silver in June 2016, among only 71 Silver Quality Award recipients in the nation.

Our application for the Silver Quality Award highlighted the dedicated and clinically sophisticated care that is provided by compassionate licensed and non-licensed staff 24/7. With 57 apartments, and care ranging from independent, to post surgical respite and hospice care, the opportunities are abundant for quality of life to be respected and restored for residents. Our CHF Program is a true measure of the wellness possible within the beautiful home-like, assisted living setting, with the goal of allowing residents to achieve a degree of well-being that their diagnosis had previously made inaccessible. Our success is evident; zero residents required rehospitalizations for CHF in 2015.

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