Non-Opioid Pain Relief Offers Hope to Weekend Warriors

They may not make ESPN’s highlight reel, but amateur athletes get injured just as often as the pros. It could be from an awkward golf swing, or something as simple as not warming up or stretching long enough before participating in an event.

Whatever the case, there is one thing they have in common with well-paid pros, according to Outside magazine: “The reality is that all athletes are one fall, twist, or tweak away from landing their own opioid prescription.”

Do Your Health Insurance Homework

(NewsUSA) – Fall means not only shorter days and colorful leaves, but also the season of open enrollment for health insurance for most Americans.Employer-sponsored benefits can be confusing, and a combination of doing some homework and seeking expert advice can help most individuals make the most of the plans available to them.Confusion over health insurance remains a common problem; approximately 76 percent of American workers reported that they did not understand some elements of their health insurance, according to the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report conducted by Lightspeed GMI on behalf of insurance provider Aflac.Areas of concern reported by survey respondents included deductibles, copays, and the determination of whether a health care provider is in-network.Consumer education is the key to making smart decisions during open enrollment periods, according to Aflac, which offers three top tips for maximizing health insurance.-Be prepared. Before your employer opens enrollment for health insurance this year, take the time to look into all the available options. Data from Aflac’s consumer survey showed that 83 percent of workers spent less than an hour researching potential health insurance benefit plans, and 20 percent of those did no research on health insurance plans at all.-Be advised. Get expert help. The Aflac survey found that approximately two-thirds (67 percent) of workers said they were confident that they understood all aspects of the health insurance plans for which they signed up.However, only 24 percent said they understood everything when they were questioned in more detail about deductibles, copays, and in-network providers.-Be enhanced. Consider additional voluntary insurance coverage to help fill the holes in employer-offered plans. Approximately 81 percent of employees report a need for voluntary insurance benefits, according to the Aflac survey, and 90 percent say that they view voluntary insurance as essential to a complete health benefits program.Some examples of voluntary insurance include not only health insurance, but also accident insurance, insurance for critical illness, and insurance for hospital stays, which may not be covered by an employer’s insurance. Voluntary insurance also can be used to help with expenses associated with gas, groceries, and rent for individuals with illnesses or injuries that prevent them from working.Visit Aflac.com for more information about options for health benefits and how to choose a benefits plan.

Addicted Babies Are The Latest Victims in U.S. Opioid Crisis

Newborn babies are the most recent casualties of the U.S. opioid crisis.

With prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin being used by women who are pregnant, the result is an “explosion” of infants who are as addicted to the drugs as their mothers. Current published data in JAMA Pediatrics shows that the number of cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has risen exponentially in the nation from 2000-2012, with nearly 22,000 affected infants in that last year alone.

Stroke Care Quality And Prevention A Priority in China

(NewsUSA) – As part of its ongoing efforts to reduce death and disability from stroke globally, the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association (ASA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, and the Chinese Stroke Association (CSA), announced that Boehringer Ingelheim has joined a project launched with Medtronic to fund the development of a stroke care quality improvement program in China modeled after the AHA/ASA Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program."Stroke continues to be the leading cause of death in China," says Yongjun Wang, MD., Ph.D, President of Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University and executive president of the Chinese Stroke Association. "We are devoted to providing the platform for the education, training, clinical research and public education about the symptoms of stroke."Understanding the signs of stroke and reacting quickly are critical to increasing the survival rates and improving outcomes of stroke patients," says Ying Xian, M.D., Ph.D, FAHA, American Stroke Association spokesperson and Assistant Professor of Neurology and Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center and Duke Clinical Research Institute."The AHA-powered program that the Chinese Stroke Association is developing is significant given the prevalence of stroke – particularly hypertension – in the country, as well as the nearly 7,500,000 of Chinese people who suffer from a stroke."The adapted Get With The Guidelines program is a set of "best practices" that aims to continuously improve treatment, enhance the quality of care and prevent future strokes in China. Education about the signs and symptoms of a stroke is a component of the project and is applicable for first responders and emergency medical personnel."We feel honored to have the opportunity of working together with the Chinese Stroke Association, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and Medtronic to reduce the burden of stroke in China," says Georg van Husen, M.D., Corporate Senior Vice President, head of Therapeutic Area CardioMetabolism, Boehringer Ingelheim."The work we have done to improve acute stroke care through our Angels Initiative with the World Stroke Organization and the European Stroke Organization will add great value to this program.""As a leading stroke care solution provider in stent retriever therapy, Medtronic is deeply committed to working in the global marketplace to improve the quality of stroke care around the world, and particularly in China," says Chris Lee, President and CEO, Medtronic Greater China."Our efforts with the American Stroke Association, Chinese Stroke Association, and now Boehringer Ingelheim to significantly improve the quality of stroke care across the country underscore that commitment. Boehringer Ingelheim joining us also adds to the scale and reach of the project and will bolster our collective efforts to make a significant health impact." 

Why Women Suffer More from Dry Eye-And How They Can Find Relief

(NewsUSA) – More than 16 million Americans report that they suffer from a condition called dry eye, and the total number may be as high as 30 million.Women are twice as likely as men to endure this often-painful condition, with symptoms including irritated, scratchy, or burning eyes, a feeling of something in the eyes, excess watering, and blurred vision.Why is dry eye more common in women? One reason is that computer use, makeup and contact lens wear can exacerbate the condition, explains John D. Sheppard, M.D., M.M.Sc., President of Virginia Eye Consultants. The hormonal changes associated with menopause and pregnancy may also adversely affect the eyes. And the incidence of dry eye rises with age.But now, women can find relief from these symptoms, thanks to an eyelid hygiene product from NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NYSE MKT:NBY) called Avenova.A key root cause of many cases of dry eye is the dense population of bacteria growing on the eyelids and lashes."These bacteria can block glands in the eyelids that produce an oil that keeps our tear film from evaporating," Dr. Sheppard explains. "Without enough oil, the eyes dry up and become painful."The bacteria also release toxins that cause inflammation and produce an enzyme that compromises this crucial oil layer.First, Dr. Sheppard and his colleagues are directly fighting the bacterial overpopulation using Avenova ocular eyelid spray. The key ingredient in Avenova is Neutrox, a pure 0.01 percent formulation of hypochlorous acid, a substance that is naturally made by our human white blood cells to fight microbial invaders."Avenova does an excellent job removing the excess harmful bacteria," says Dr. Sheppard. "Moreover, it directly inactivates the lipase enzyme that breaks up our vital oil."Dr. Sheppard and his colleagues also manage dry eye by using oral Omega 3 and essential fatty acid supplements to help control inflammation.These natural, organic and extremely safe approaches are bringing huge improvements for Dr. Sheppard’s own patients. "Women may no longer need to suffer from this often-painful condition." 

Why One War Hero Turned to Chiropractic Care For Pain Relief

(NewsUSA) – Just when he thought he was pulling his life together after being hit by a roadside bomb during his second deployment in Iraq, Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris suffered yet another injury in 2014 — this time not military-related — that caused him to once again turn to opioids to try to relieve his pain. But doing so, he says, left him so depressed that he "contemplated suicide." The alternative to opioids that finally did work for him? Drug-free chiropractic care, which Harris so credits with "literally giving me back my life" that he’s now encouraging support for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ opioid awareness campaign. Watch the video here.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan

(NewsUSA) – The Medicare Annual Election Period takes place this fall from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. It’s a time for people with Medicare to make important decisions about their health care.There are many factors, in addition to premiums and medical provider networks, to consider when researching the Medicare plan that best meets your health and budget needs for 2018. Knowing the benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans — both offer enhancements to Original Medicare — will also be key in your decision making.Here are five common hiccups Medicare beneficiaries may experience when considering their options:* Your monthly payments are not the only thing to consider. After you analyze your previous year’s plan and assess the most affordable option for the coming year, including extra costs that can be incurred down the road, consider the total value of the Medicare plan you select.* Your drug coverage is not the same everywhere. Drug prices can vary depending on your location, pharmacy and how much you’ve used your prescription benefits. Make a list of your medications and consider prescription drug plan options that include mail-order.* Your plan is not just for medical visits or emergencies. People living with a chronic condition may want to look for plans offering personalized care, such as health coaching. Many Medicare Advantage programs also offer benefits, such as fitness programs, for maintaining healthy, active lifestyles.* You may not need the same plan as your spouse/significant other. It’s important for spouses to sit down and assess your health needs, and doctors and hospitals. This ensures your Medicare plan makes sense for your health, budget and lifestyle.* You’re not on your own in making this decision. Utilize free resources, such as licensed Medicare health insurance agents, Medicare.gov or go to Humana.com/Medicare, to help identify the best plan for you.You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY: 1-877-486-2048 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 2018 Medicare plan information. Or you can call Humana at 1-888-204-4062 (TTY users can use 711).Understanding the resources and tools at your disposal will allow you to take "advantage" of all the benefits Medicare plans have to offer in 2018.Humana is a Medicare Advantage [HMO, PPO and PFFS] organization and a stand-alone prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana plan depends on contract renewal.ACCEPTED: Y0040_GHHK3KFEN 

Maintain Gut Health For A Healthy Harvest

(NewsUSA) – Fall is in full swing which means cooler temperatures, sweaters and pumpkin everything. As we head into a season filled with decadent treats, busier schedules and shorter days, we can’t forget our well-being. Similar to the love and care that goes into a bountiful autumn harvest, there are steps we have to take to nurture our digestive health. Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic Formula along with a healthy diet and lifestyle will help to restore the balance of good bacteria in your digestive tract for strong core health.* See full-sized image here. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Have Neck Pain? Try This Alternative to Opioids

Your body does quite an amazing balancing act with your head! Imagine a ten-pound mass (your head) sitting on top of a column of bones (your neck) with split-second movements in all directions and under enormous forces. It is no wonder that neck pain is one of humankinds most common and persistent problems.

To better understand this affliction, know this: Neck pain comes in a variety of forms. There is the temporary kind after sleeping awkwardly; the sore kind you may experience after exercise; or the nagging kind that is often associated with trauma such as a car accident. In the first case, at least, the general consensus can be “stop doing what makes it worse.”

New Resources Critical for Stroke Recovery

(NewsUSA) – The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA), the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke has developed new stroke rehabilitation tools for healthcare professionals and clinical providers, to help stroke patients achieve the best recovery outcomes and quality of life possible.The tools, which are developed through the AHA/ASA’s Together to End Stroke initiative, leverage recommendations from the first-ever, AHA/ASA issued Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Guidelines for healthcare providers, and call for intensive, multidisciplinary treatment.The Healthcare Provider tool-kit includes recommendations in the following areas (and more):* The Rehab Program* Prevention and Medical Management of Comorbidities* Transition in Care and Community InterventionsThe Patient and Caregiver toolkit is also available and includes:* Patient guide to making good rehab decisions, such as what to expect in medical rehab and how to choose the right rehab facility.* Patient quick sheet to rehab planning to ask the right questions at the hospital, before discharge, for rehab providers and questions family members should be asking.Together to End Stroke, which is nationally sponsored by Kindred Rehabilitation Services, elevates awareness that stroke is largely beatable through high-quality rehabilitation, patient support and implementation of the AHA/ASA’s Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Guidelines."The science of stroke rehabilitation is advancing rapidly, due to the development of new technology, and stroke outcomes are improving as a result," says Dr. Mitchell Elkind, chair of the American Stroke Association and professor of Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University.Stroke is a leading cause of serious disability. But there’s increasing evidence that rehabilitation can have a big impact on a survivors’ quality of life. In many cases, survivors regain skills and return to independent living. However, many survivors do not receive the appropriate level and amount of rehabilitation services needed to maximize recovery."Stroke is largely preventable, increasingly treatable, and, now more than ever, beatable. With the AHA/ASA and its alliances putting more strategic efforts in place, all of us can provide better care, which can translate into fewer stroke recurrences and less disability in stroke survivors," says Elkind.For more information and to access the free rehabilitation and recovery resources for healthcare providers and patients, visit StrokeAssociation.org/recovery