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Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer

Each year, about a million Americans learn that they have skin cancer—the most common type of cancer in the United States. Approximately 40-50% of Americans who live to age 65 will have skin cancer at least once in their lifetimes. The risk is greatest for people who have fair skin that freckles easily—often those with red or blond hair and blue or light-colored eyes—although everyone can develop skin cancer. The main cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet (UV) radiation from excess exposure to the sun or artificial sources of UV radiation, such as sun lamps and tanning booths. People who live in areas closer to the equator, which gets high levels of UV radiation from the sun, are more likely to get skin cancer. For example, skin cancer is more common in Texas than in Minnesota, where the sun is not as strong. Skin cancer is also related to lifetime exposure to UV radiation. Most commonly, it appears after the age of 50, but the sun’s damaging effects begin at an early age. Therefore, protection should start in childhood to prevent skin cancer later in life.

What Is Skin Cancer?

The skin is the body’s largest organ, weighing about 6 pounds. It protects us against heat, light, injury, and infection; helps to regulate our body temperature; and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. Cancer (malignant tumor) is the out-of-control division of abnormal cells in the body. These cells can then invade nearby tissues and spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. The two most common kinds of skin cancer are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinoma accounts for more than 90% of all skin cancers in the United States. It is a slow-growing cancer that seldom spreads to other parts of the body. Squamous cell carcinoma also spreads rarely, but more often than basal cell carcinoma. Another type of skin cancer is melanoma, which usually begins in a mole, in the cells that produce skin pigment. All forms of skin cancer, however, should be treated early because they have the potential to invade and destroy nearby tissues.

What Are the Symptoms of Skin Cancer?

The most common warning sign is a change on the skin—especially a new growth or a sore that doesn’t heal. A change in the size, shape or color of a mole can be a symptom of a melanoma. All three carcinomas are found mainly on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun—the head, face, neck, shoulders, hands, and arms—but can occur anywhere. Rough, red or brown scaly patches on the skin, also called actinic keratoses, can sometimes develop into squamous cell cancer. The patches usually appear on sun-exposed areas, but can be found elsewhere on the body. Skin cancers do not all look the same. Some may start as a small, shiny, smooth, waxy or pale lump. Others can appear as a firm red lump. Sometimes, the lump bleeds or develops a crust. Skin cancer can also start as a flat, red spot that is rough, dry, or scaly. Not all changes in the skin are sure signs of cancer, but if a skin symptom lasts longer than 2 weeks, see a doctor. In most cases, skin cancers are not painful, so don’t wait for the spot to hurt. The cure rate for skin cancer could be 100 percent if all skin cancers were brought to a doctor’s attention before they had a chance to spread. However, once a cancer is allowed to spread, the effects can be fatal.

To identify skin cancer early on:

  • Check yourself regularly for changes in the skin. Promptly report any new, colored growths or any changes in growths to your doctor.
  • Check your skin in a well-lit room using a mirror after a shower or bath.
  • Learn where your birthmarks, moles, and blemishes are, and what they usually look like.
  • Check for changes in the size, texture, or color of mole, or a sore that does not heal.

During a skin self-examination, evaluate the entire surface of the skin carefully, especially the following areas:

• The front, back, left and right sides of your body.

  • Palms and forearms, including the under sides and the upper portions of your arms.
  • The back and front of your legs.
  • Feet, including the soles and the spaces between the

    toes.

  • Face, neck and scalp. Use a comb or a hair dryer to

    move hair so that you can see these areas more easily.

How is skin cancer treated?

Surgery can get rid of many skin cancers quickly and easily. In fact, the cancer is sometimes completely removed at the time of the biopsy, and no further treatment is needed. In some cases, doctors suggest radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination. Even though most skin cancers are cured, the disease can recur in the same place or elsewhere on the skin. People who have been treated for skin cancer should examine themselves regularly, visit a doctor for regular checkups, and follow the doctor’s instructions on how to reduce the risk of redevelopment.

How Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?

Whenever possible, avoid exposure to the midday sun, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the peak hours for harmful UV radiation. Wear protective clothing with long sleeves as well as a hat to help block the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Lotions that contain sunscreens can also protect the skin. These lotions are rated in strength according to the sun protection factor, which ranges from 2 to 30 or more. Those rated 15 to 30 block most of the sun’s harmful rays. But do not assume that because you are wearing sunscreen, it’s “safe” to spend endless hours in the sun. Water can wash it off, as can sweat.

Enjoy your summer while taking measures to protect against the suns damaging rays!

 

 

PreventingJoint Injuries with Proper Movement

Human joints come in many shapes and sizes and allow us to move and carry out normal activities of daily living. Without joints, we would be rigid and immobile. But they are also often injured, causing pain and discomfort. The most commonly injured joints are the knees, shoulders, ankles and spine. Approximately 30 million doctor visits a year are due to knee and shoulder injuries alone. Some 150 million to 200 million cases of back pain send people to the doctor every year—and many of those are related to joint injuries.

How do joints work?

Joints are designed to withstand the loads placed on them and provide a full range of motion. Each joint is made up of at least two surfaces that touch each other and allow for movement. These include ball-and-socket joints such as the hip; hinge joints such as the knee and elbow; and gliding joints, such as those in the spine.

The bones that make up the joint allow movement, but it is the muscles that pull the bones that produce the movement. Muscles are attached to bones by structures called tendons. Tendons must be both strong to facilitate movement and compliant to prevent damage to the muscle tissues. Ligaments, which are stiff structures that connect bones, help to prevent excessive movement. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are attached around each joint at very specific positions, with joint surfaces shaped in exact dimensions. Fluid within most of the joints lubricates the joint surfaces to reduce friction and allow for lifelong use.

How do I keep joints in good shape?

The movements that you perform on a daily basis are critical to long-term joint health, as are proper nutrition, a healthy exercise regimen, and a healthy lifestyle. Proper lifting is also important. (See sidebar on the back.) Moving a joint through its full range of motion serves several important purposes. Joints are not supplied directly with blood as are other organs within the body, so the saying “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” applies to joint function. Most joints in the body are lined with cartilage—a firm but pliable tissue that covers the surfaces of the bones that make up the joint. Cartilage within a joint is nourished by synovial fluid, which is “forced” into the joint cartilage through a process called imbibition. The pressure within the joint providing nourishment to the cartilage occurs only when joint movement happens. And this is why movement is critical to joint health. The grinding of bone on bone without a cartilage covering may lead to degenerative joint disease, tearing up the bones and creating cysts, bone spurs, and excess bone production. A spinal disc is made up of two parts: a larger, outermost, more ligament-like portion called the annulus fibrosus and an inner gelatinous portion called the nucleus pulposous. These two structures are primarily fluid- or water-based and they also rely on movement and imbibition for their nourishment. Therefore, movement in the spine is also critical to the health of the spinal joints. Proper diet and nutrition also contribute to joint health by providing the joints with enough healthy nutrients for long-term stability and resistance to wear and tear. A healthy lifestyle, one that is free from tobacco products and other toxins, helps to ensure proper blood supply to tissues surrounding joints and speeds up healing of joint injuries when they occur.

How are joints injured?

Most of the injuries to joints occur because abnormal stresses are placed on a normal joint. A joint can be injured acutely from a single traumatic event. An ankle sprain is a classic example. The ankle joint is protected by ligaments on the inside and outside. When the ankle moves excessively inward, the ligaments on the outside of the joint are torn. The ankle swells, leading to bruising and pain. In some cases, small pieces of bone and cartilage may be torn away. Frank fracture of the tibia and/or fibula (ankle bones) can also occur. Other joint injuries are called repetitive-stress injuries or cumulative-trauma disorders. These injuries occur when relatively small abnormal stresses are repeatedly placed on normal joints. The stresses placed on joints by poor posture, poor joint position during the performance of a task, and/or poor workstation ergonomics make these joints more likely to be injured.

How can I prevent repetitive stress injuries?

There are three basic principles that are especially important when considering the impact of proper joint movement:

1. When lifting an object, be sure that the largest muscles in the area perform the task. The larger the muscle or muscle group utilized for lifting, the less the stress placed on smaller, more vulnerable muscles and the joint itself.

2. During any activities, you should be able to comfortably assume several different postures, to avoid staying in one posture for extended periods. Muscles will fatigue and joints are more likely to be injured when you hold a particular posture, especially a poor one, such as staying partially bent forward at the waist.

3. When performing tasks, keep the joints that are being used either in their neutral posture or approximately halfway into the range of motion. Working with your joints at the extremes of their ranges of motion for prolonged periods places abnormal stresses on those joints and can result in repetitive stress injuries.

Be Careful When Lifting Objects

When lifting, be certain to follow these simple suggestions:

  • When lifting anything from the floor, keep the spine straight and lift with the legs.
  • Do not bend over at the waist and lift with the muscles of the low back. Your body
  • is more easily injured in this position.
  • Keep the object being lifted close to your body.
  • Keep your elbows flexed.
  • Keep your head up and your neck straight as you lift.

Understanding Food Allergies

Food allergies occur if your immune system has an abnormal response to an otherwise harmless food or food component. Once the immune system mistakenly decides that a particular food is dangerous, it creates specific antibodies to it. The next time you eat that food, the immune system releases massive amounts of neutralizing chemicals, including histamine, to protect the body. These chemicals trigger a cascade of allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and/or cardiovascular system. Food allergy patterns in adults often differ from those in children. The most common foods to cause allergies in adults are shrimp, lobster, crab, and other shellfish; peanuts; walnuts and other tree nuts; fish; and eggs. In children, eggs, milk, peanuts, soy, and wheat are the main culprits. Children typically outgrow these allergies, whereas allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shrimp usually are not outgrown. Unlike children, adults usually do not lose their allergies. According to researchers from the National Institutes of Health, you’re more likely to develop food allergies if several members of your family have allergies. This includes any type of allergy—even hay fever.

 

What are the common symptoms of food allergies?

Symptoms of a food allergy can include: • Coughing
• Tingling in the mouth
• Swelling in the tongue and throat

  • Skin reactions like hives, eczema, or itching
• Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

It’s critical for people who have food allergies to identify them and to avoid foods that cause allergic reactions. Some foods can cause severe illness and, in some cases, a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which can constrict airways in the lungs, severely lower blood pressure, and cause suffocation by the swelling of the tongue or throat. Research suggests that people with asthma are particularly at risk for anaphylactic reactions.

What is a food intolerance?

Although many people have adverse reactions to certain foods, true food allergy a reaction triggered by the immune system is uncommon. Unlike a food allergy, a food intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system. According to the Cleveland Clinic a food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It occurs when something in a food irritates a person’s digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest or break down the food—often owing to

a lack of a specific enzyme. Intolerance to lactose, found in milk and other dairy products, is a very common food intolerance. It’s important to distinguish food intolerance from food allergy. If you have a food allergy, eating even the tiniest amount of the food may trigger a serious allergic reaction.

By contrast, if you have a food intolerance, you can often eat small amounts of the food without a reaction.

Joint Pain & Food Sensitivity/Intolerance

The following is a list of common problem foods that may be associated with a sensitivity, which in turn may cause inflammatory joint pain. Citrus, corn and corn products, dairy products, gluten grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt, kamut), yeast, and eggs, as well as members of the nightshade family — tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant. Figuring out what you’re sensitive to may just make all the difference with your efforts to reduce joint pain.

How are food allergies managed?

At present, there is no cure for food allergies. The best way to manage a food allergy is to avoid the foods (or food proteins) that trigger the reaction. To do this, you must read the detailed ingredient lists on each food you consider eating. Many allergy-producing foods, such as peanuts, eggs, and milk, appear in foods one normally would not associate them with. Peanuts and milk, for example, may be used as a hidden protein source in a variety of foods, such as candy, caramel sauces, baked goods, and cereals—just to name a few. Eggs are used in some salad dressings, marshmallows, mayonnaise, and sauces. (See sidebar for more information.) Because of a new law, the Food and Drug Administration now requires ingredients in a packaged food to appear on its label. You can avoid most of the foods to which you are sensitive if you read food labels carefully. In addition, avoid restaurant-prepared foods that might contain ingredients to which you are allergic. Patients with severe allergies and a high possibility of anaphylaxis are often advised to carry a pre-loaded syringe containing epinephrine (adrenaline) for emergency treatment. Milder allergies can be treated with an antihistamine.

Can Dr. Fitzpatrick help treat my allergies?

More importantly are my chronic aches & pains related to my diet?

It may necessary to maintain a food diary if you are considering addressing your food allergies. Start by eliminating those foods from your diet that you are curious about. Eat only those foods that are the most non allergenic such as, pears, peas rice and range fed turkey or lamb. After about 2 weeks of eating a very basic diet then add foods back into you diet one at a time and monitor your symptoms. Eat the item, monitor your symptoms then go back on the basic diet for 2 days and reintroduce again. This will give you a clear picture as to what foods are causing you allergies or sensitivities or neither.

Specific allergy tests may be recommended to help determine the exact allergen. Dr. Fitzpatrick would be able to set up a referral to a medical doctor specializing in the treatment of allergies or naturopathic physician.

Identifying Common Food Allergens

If you have any of the following food allergies, carefully read labels to avoid the following ingredients:

Milk proteins: Casein, caseinates, rennet casein, whey, lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate, lactoglobulin, lactulose

Egg proteins:

Albumin (also spelled albumen), meringue or meringue powder, nougat, artificial flavors, lecithin, marzipan, marshmallows, ice cream, salad dressing and pasta may include egg proteins.

Peanuts:

Peanuts may be in: artificial nuts, beer nuts, ground nuts, mixed nuts, monkey nuts, nut pieces. Cold-pressed, expelled, or extruded peanut oil (sometimes listed as arachis oil), Mandelonas (peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored to taste like almonds), peanut butter or peanut flour. African, Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican, Thai, & Vietnamese dishes; baked goods; candy; chili; egg rolls; enchilada sauce; flavoring; nougat;
& sunflower seeds.

 

Take Back Your Energy Levels with Rest, Nutrition & Activity!

Advanced Spine Care would love to thank you for your support in the previous year and wish you a truly joyful holiday season. Our primary goal for 2012 will be to serve the needs of our patients with greater efficiency and higher patient satisfaction. We are honored that you have allowed us to play a vital position on your healthcare team.
 
If you’re like most of us, you’ll be using this special time of the year to reflect and renew. Many of us decide to break old, unhealthy habits. Others resolve to take better care of themselves, improve their diets, lose some weight, or begin a regular exercise program.

Since the one of the most common ambitions of people is to become more fit in the upcoming year I have included some helpful information.
 

Exercise the Easy Way

Years ago, Americans walked approximately12 miles every day. Today, we’re lucky if we can get to 3,000 steps. As a country, we’re not getting enough motion in our daily lives. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort to incorporate exercise into your schedule.
 
Start Small

If all you can manage is a five-minute walk, do it. Five minutes are better than none. Eventually, you’ll be able to work your way up to 30 minutes or more, and you’ll be taking a big step toward maintaining the flexibility and mobility of your joints. For those on a time crunch, consider taking small breaks from work. Simply getting up from your desk and walking around the office or the parking lot or going up and down the stairs a few times is enough to get your blood flowing and to trigger feel-good endorphins to get you through the rest of your day. You can also think about incorporating exercise into the activities that you enjoy, such as shopping. Next time you take a trip to the mall, walk around the entire perimeter before going into a

store. Or you can turn household chores and yard work into exercise. Consider washing your car by hand rather than using a drive-through car wash. And next time you have to mow the lawn, don’t groan and put it off. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to get in some exercise and work up a sweat. The same is true of raking leaves and vacuuming the living room—anything that gets you on your feet and moving around is going to be beneficial to your health.
 
What’s My Motivation?

With busy schedules and the rising cost of gym memberships, it’s easy to make excuses for not exercising. The important thing is to remember what motivated you to start working out in the first place. Do you want to be able to keep up with your grandkids? Play 18 holes of golf? Avoid the diabetes that runs in your family? Wear a fabulous dress hanging in your closet? Whatever it is, keep your goal in mind to keep your body moving toward it.
 
Vary Routines

If you already have a workout routine that you enjoy, think about how you can tweak that plan to get the greatest health benefit. Regardless of how you choose to exercise, the experts agree that it’s important to vary your routine at least every few weeks to avoid plateaus and see maximum results. Variety can be as simple as changing the machines on your weight-lifting circuit or switching from a treadmill to an elliptical.

If you’d prefer to continue with the same activity, such as running, consider altering how far or how fast you run. Switch from interval training to hill training, or from one-mile sprints to three mile jogs.
 
New Exercise Options

Tired of running on a treadmill? Check out these exercise options to spice up your workout routine: Practice yoga. With a variety of styles and poses, yoga can fit into many different lifestyles and address a variety of health and fitness needs. The physical benefits of yoga, such as increased flexibility, strength, endurance and balance, make it an excellent option for athletes to complement the often repetitive motions of training. The same benefits are valuable to less active people looking for a way to add more movement to their days. Swim. Diving in for a few laps is a great workout option because it provides cardio and resistance training without any added stress on your joints. You can also “run” in the water for even more variation. Either strap on a flotation device and hit the deep end for minimal resistance while running, or try the shallow end (with the water level hitting about mid thigh) for much stronger resistance. Do weight training. You can use free weights or grab those soup cans from the cupboard and fill an old gallon milk jug with water to create your own. Start small—with light weights and only a few repetitions—and work your way up to more sets with heavier weights. Go for a bike ride. Biking is good for your body because it provides a great cardio workout without putting extra stress on your joints. You can hit the trails for an outdoor ride or try a spin class at your local gym for a more structured workout. Take Zumba classes—or any kind of dance. Zumba is a dance fitness program combining Latin and international music styles such as salsa, merengue, cumbia and reggaeton. Classes are fun, so you won’t realize you’re exercising and you can make the workouts as high impact as you’d like.
 

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By |March 14th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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By |March 5th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Avoid Pain from Backpack Use

Back pain is pervasive among American adults, but a new and disturbing trend is emerging. Young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). In fact, the U.S.Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that backpack-related injuries sent more than 7,000 people to the emergency room in 2001 alone. The problem has become so widespread, that the California State Assembly recently passed legislation that would force school districts to develop ways of reducing the weight of students’ backpacks. Similar legislation is being considered in New Jersey as well. The ACA suggests limiting the backpack’s weight to no more than 10 percent of the child’s body weight and urging the use of ergonomically correct backpacks.

What Can You Do?

The ACA offers the following tips to help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse
could cause the students in your household.

  • Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 10 percent of his or her body weight.A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward to support the weight on the back, rather than the shoulders.
  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  • A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively.
  • Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry-and the heavier the backpack will be.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.
  • Wide, padded straps are very important. Nonpadded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your child’s shoulders.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack to fit to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle, causing spinal misalignment and pain.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter handout materials or workbooks. Or encourage your local school district to purchase textbooks on CDRom.
  • Although the use of rollerpacks – or backpacks on wheels – has become popular in recent years, the ACA is now recommending that they be used cautiously and on a limited basis by only those students who are not physically able to carry a backpack. Some school districts have begun banning the use of rollerpacks because they clutter hallways, resulting in dangerous trips and falls.

Chiropractic Care Can Help

If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call Dr.Fitzpatrick at Advanced Spine Care. Doctor Fitzpatrick is licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages and will use a gentler type of treatment for children. In addition, doctors of chiropractic can also prescribe exercises designed to help children develop strong muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture and sleeping habits.

By |February 9th, 2015|Public|0 Comments

Build Better Mousing Habits

Don’t rest your arm on the edge of the desk while manipulating the mouse. prolonged use of a computer or a mouse, particularly when the work area is not designed well, can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and/or neck and arm pain. When working with a computer mouse, try the following:

  • Don’t move the mouse with just your wrist.
  • Use your entire arm and shoulder.
  • Don’t rest your arm on the edge of the desk while manipulating the mouse.
  • Hold the mouse loosely. Keep your wrist relaxed.
  • Don’t hold it up or down; instead, hold it in a neutral (straight) position Move away from the mouse several times per hour and move your wrists, arms, and shoulders around.
By |February 9th, 2015|Public|0 Comments

Avoiding Injuries in the Workplace

What Causes Workplace Injuries?

Joints are designed to withstand the loads placed on them and provide a full range Many workplace injuries are called repetitive stress injuries or cumulative-trauma disorders. These injuries occur when abnormal stresses are repeatedly placed on normal joints by poor posture or poor joint position during the performance of a task. Many of these stresses are caused by poor workstation design and/or repetitive task performance. In addition, poor posture at the workstation can also be detrimental. For example, prolonged use of a computer or a mouse, particularly when the work area is not designed well, can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and/or neck and arm pain. Many modern product manufacturers are designing their products ergonomically, mixing form with function. Such products blend in easily with the worker’s actions while on the job and make tasks safer and easier to perform.

When working at a desk, try these suggestions for greater comfort:

  • Choose a desk that is the proper height. All things on your desk should be within easy reach.
  • Your feet should be touching the floor, with the legs and body forming an angle of 90 to 110 degrees.
  • Keep your body straight with the head and neck upright and looking forward, not to the side. Do not hunch over or slouch.
  • Adjust the height of your monitor. Look forward with your head in a neutral position. Your eyes should be at the same height as the top of the monitor. Leaning your head forward can lead to headaches and neck pain.
  • When typing, keep your wrists straight, your shoulders perpendicular to the floor, and your forearms parallel to the floor.
  • When reading at your desk, use a bookstand or a paper holder to keep your eyes in the same neutral position you use to read documents on your computer monitor.
  • When talking on the phone, use a headset, when possible, especially if you talk on the phone for prolonged periods. Holding the phone between your shoulder and cheek will only lead to neck pain and headaches.
  • Stand up and stretch your legs with a short walk about every 20 to 30 minutes
  • Take micro-breaks often, stretching your neck, arms and wrists, back, and legs. Simple stretches include neck rotations, fist clenches, arm dangles, and shoulder shrugs.
By |February 9th, 2015|Public|0 Comments

Avoid Lifting Injuries

When lifting, follow these simple suggestions:

When lifting from the floor, keep your back straight and lift with the legs. Do not bend over at the waist and lift with the muscles of the low back. Your body is more easily injured in this position. Keep the object being lifted close to your body. Keep your elbows flexed. Keep your head up and your neck straight as you lift.

By |February 9th, 2015|Public|0 Comments