How to Ease Pain Caused by Varicose Veins

How to Ease Pain Caused by Varicose Veins

If you have varicose veins, you’re not alone. According to the American Society for Vascular Surgery, more than 20 million Americans are affected by raised and enlarged veins, which most often occur in the legs or feet.

Our veins have tiny valves that work to circulate our blood, carrying it from the rest of our body to our heart. When these one-way valves quit working or are weakened, blood doesn’t flow as it should and pressure beings to build from the blood collecting in the legs.

For some, the resulting varicose veins may only be a cosmetic concern, but for others they could indicate a more serious problem and require treatment. It’s important to speak with your doctor about any concerns that you have regarding varicose veins. Your doctor can check for common symptoms, like swelling, sores, skin discoloration or tenderness, to make a diagnosis and discuss a treatment plan, if necessary.

If you are experiencing large bulging veins, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can try to minimize discomfort. Here are four at-home therapies that may help ease pain associated with varicose veins or prevent them from getting worse.

  1. Exercise

Exercise has a number of health benefits, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that getting your blood pumping can be good for your vein health too. Low-impact exercises that get you moving but don’t put additional stress on your veins can help minimize symptoms by promoting blood flow.

Walking and bicycling can be great options to help relieve pain and discomfort from swollen veins. You should consult your doctor before starting a new workout routine. Some exercises can be counterproductive to vein health and your health care provider can help determine what’s safe and effective for you.

  1. Compression Stockings

Your doctor may recommend compression stockings – a special type of hosiery that applies pressure to your lower legs. Wearing compression stockings compresses the surface veins in your legs, which encourages circulation and blood flow from the legs and feet to the heart. Compression stockings vary in strength, size, brand and type and can be purchased online or at a pharmacy.

  1. Elevating Your Legs

Our veins are having to work against gravity – pumping blood back up from our legs to our heart. Elevating your legs, however, works with gravity to help encourage blood flow and alleviate pressure. Less pressure can mean less pain and much needed rest for your veins and body.

  1. Over-the-counter Medication

Over-the-counter medication might be recommended to manage discomfort. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help. But if you notice any issues with your varicose veins or symptoms become too painful, treatment may be needed. Varicose vein treatments can include laser surgery, sclerotherapy and catheter-assisted procedures.

If you are experiencing pain from varicose veins, speak with your health care provider. Your health care provider can provide additional information on available options and determine if treatment may be necessary. Making a few lifestyle adjustments, like adding low-intensity exercise to your day and remembering to elevate your feet, can be conservative approaches to easing varicose vein pain.

Your primary care provider can help diagnose and manage a wide range of health issues, and refer you to a specialist when needed. Don’t wait to speak with your provider if you have any questions or concerns. If you need a primary care provider, find one near you today.

Hand Safety Tips while Working on the Lawn or Garden

Hand Safety Tips while Working in the Lawn and Garden

Hand Safety Tips while Working on the Lawn or Garden

Warm weather and longer days bring many people outside for fun in the sun, including tending to their lawns and gardens.

Participating in these activities brings an increased chance for serious hand and upper extremity injuries, especially when using lawn mowers and other garden tools.

Special precautions should be taken when gardening and working on the lawn to prevent injury. We’ve gathered a few recommended safety tips to keep in mind while working on the yard.

Lawn Mowing Safety

  • Keep all children away from the area being mowed. The safest place is inside.
  • Make sure there are no sticks, stones or other objects that could get in the path of mowing.
  • Reach under the mower only when it has been turned off and the blade has completely stopped.
  • Refuel the mower only when it has cooled completely.
  • Do not give children rides on lawn mowers.
  • Wear tight fitting clothing so it does not get caught in machinery.
  • Store garden tools in their proper place when they’re not in use.
  • Always wear sturdy, close-toed shoes.
  • Never alter safety mechanisms on tools and mowers.

Gardening Safety

  • Avoid the sun’s rays with a light, long-sleeved shirt, long pants and a hat.
  • Wear gloves that are pliable with no restriction of movement and padded to avoid the development of calluses.
  • Keep tools clean and sharp.
  • Use ergonomic tools with grips that fit your hand.
  • Provide proper storage of tools to prevent rust or from tripping over them.
  • Use a wrist splint if signs of wrist tendinitis develop.
  • Poison ivy or poison oak plants should be avoided. Exposure to poisonous plants should be immediately followed with washing hands and effected area.
  • Remove splinters or thorns by washing the infected area, removing the object with a magnifying glass and pointed forceps and treating the area with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Scrub and trim torn fingernails; apply an antibiotic ointment if necessary.

To learn more about the Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center, contact 502.540.3727.

Our Lady of Peace to Host Free Seminars, Alleviate Spring Allergy Symptoms, and More News

KentuckyOne Health News and Events

KentuckyOne Health News and Events

Our Lady of Peace to Host Free Seminar Focused on Making a Successful Transition to Middle School

Midway, Ky. (April 5, 2018) — Transitioning from elementary school to middle school isn’t an easy task. That’s why Our Lady of Peace, part of KentuckyOne Health, will hold an upcoming free seminar focused on how to make a successful transition to middle school.

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Saint Joseph Hospital Recertified as Advanced Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission

Lexington, Ky. (April 4, 2018) – Saint Joseph Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, announced today that it has again earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers.

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Our Lady of Peace to Host Free Seminar to Address How to Speak to Children After a Traumatic Event

Lexington, Ky. (April 3, 2018) — Natural disasters, accidents and violence are topics that we hear of often, but how do they affect children? Traumatic events can sometimes cause fear and anxiety in children, which is why Our Lady of Peace, part of KentuckyOne Health, will hold an upcoming free seminar focused on talking to children after an emotionally disturbing or devastating event.

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Alleviate Spring Allergy Symptoms Through Prevention and Treatment

Louisville, Ky. (April 2, 2018) – Spring has sprung, which means that many Americans are already dealing with seasonal allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing and watery eyes.

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Saint Joseph London and Community Partners Promoting Child Safety During Child Abuse Awareness Month

London, Ky. (April 2, 2018) – April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, a time when many community organizations across the country work together to help prevent child abuse.

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Colon Cancer Awareness [Infographic]

Colon Cancer Awareness Infographic

Did you know that colorectal cancer is treatable if caught early through screening?

Colorectal cancer refers to a type of gastrointestinal cancer that usually begins as a growth, called a polyp, in either the colon or the rectum. Kentucky has some of the highest rates of colorectal cancer deaths in the country. In 2013, the Commonwealth ranked fourth in the nation for colorectal cancer deaths, according to the Colon Cancer Prevention Project.

Fortunately, through early detection and treatment, the disease is also highly preventable. At least 60 percent of deaths from this cancer could be avoided if those 50 years or older had regular screening test, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Review the infographic below to learn more about risk factors for colon cancer and warning signs.

Colon Cancer Risk Factors and Warning Signs

 

Preventive health screenings are key to detecting diseases before you have symptoms. Speak to your primary care provider to learn more about each type of health screening available.

Stay Safe on Two Wheels

Staying Safe on Two Wheels

Staying Safe on Two Wheels

The right protective equipment and respect for the rules can help keep a bicycle accident from spoiling much more than your ride.

In 2015, emergency rooms across the U.S. treated more bicycle injuries — approximately 488,000 — than injuries from all but one other sport, basketball, according to the National Safety Council.

Low rates of helmet use may be to blame, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — fewer than half of riders wear one. Riders who don’t wear helmets typically experience the most serious injuries, such as damage to the brain or spinal cord.

Bicycle safety starts at home and continues on the ride. Here’s how to protect yourself.

Before You Go

  • Do your homework. “Plan your route before you leave home so you won’t encounter any surprises,” said Kathy Panther, director of the brain injury program and inpatient therapy at Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health, and a cycling lover. “If possible, ride with a group, which is safer because you are more visible.”
  • Gear up. Every rider needs a fitted helmet (see “4 Steps to Helmet Harmony”), white headlight and red rear reflectors.
  • Keep your hands free. Outfit your bike with a rack, basket or handlebar bags — or wear a bike shirt with multiple pockets — so you can devote your hands to steering.

On the Road

  • Don’t ride distracted. Put your phone away and leave the earbuds at home.
  • Go with the flow. Travel the same direction as car traffic, which carries less risk of injury.

If you have recently suffered a brain injury from a bike accident or while playing a sport, Frazier Rehab Institute has a concussion helpline open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Just call 502.420.0125 to speak with an expert.

4 Steps to Helmet Harmony

  1. Check the label. Choose a helmet certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  2. Focus on fit. The helmet should cradle your head snugly with no forward or backward tilt or side-to-side movement. Above all, it should protect your forehead — the most likely point of injury in a crash.
  3. Adjust appropriately. Make sure the side straps form a “V” over the ears, and pull the chinstrap until it fits snugly.
  4. Know when to let go. If the helmet takes a hit in a crash, replace it.

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Help Prevent Colon Cancer Through Screening Options

KentuckyOne Health News and Events

KentuckyOne Health News and Events

KentuckyOne Health Announces Affiliation Agreement With Taylor Regional Hospital

Lexington, Ky. (March 15, 2018) — KentuckyOne Health is pleased to announce a new affiliation agreement with Taylor Regional Hospital in Campbellsville.

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Help Prevent Colon Cancer Through Screening Options

Louisville, Ky. (March 9, 2018) – March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of colorectal cancer to help save lives. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States, and the second leading cause of death in men.

Read the full article

Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital to Offer Free Parkinson’s Disease Lunch Seminar

Have you or a loved one recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Are you looking to learn more about the disease and what you can do to live well with it?

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Pills, Pills, Pills: Safety First

Pills, Pills, Pills: Safety First

Pills, Pills, Pills: Safety First

Staying organized is an Rx for prescription safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a quarter of Americans currently take three or more prescription medications. Managing multiple medications can be complicated, especially when many medications interact with each other.

One way to keep track is to create a list of all the medications you take. Share this information with your pharmacist and primary care physician. They can help make sure you don’t have duplicate prescriptions or mix the wrong medications, which can cause adverse side effects.

“Be open with your health care team about every pill you take, including vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter medications,” said Kevin Poe, PharmD, BCPS, clinical pharmacy manager at Saint Joseph Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health. “If you notice unusual side effects, speak up. We can often find alternative prescriptions or adjust your medication list to help you feel better.”

Simple Is Best

“To make medication management easy, consider using the same pharmacy to fill all of your prescriptions,” said Carrie Schanen, PharmD, managed care pharmacy specialist with KentuckyOne Health Partners. “Create a relationship with your pharmacist. That way, he or she knows you and your history.”

Poe recommends asking your pharmacist for tips about organizing your medications. Your pharmacy may recommend tracking apps or sell color-coded pillboxes to sort medications.

“Having a routine can help you remember when to take your medications,” Schanen said. “Try pairing each dose with a memory trigger, like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast.”

Pharmacists are there to help you get the most out of your prescriptions and make sure you take them safely. Always follow their recommendations for handling, storing and taking medications. Keep prescriptions in a dry location away from sunlight, preferably not in the bathroom where humidity can be an issue.

“Be aware of what medications you take and why you take them. You are your own best safety and health care advocate,” said Poe.

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Channeling C.A.R.E.

Channeling C.A.R.E.

Tranquil scenes play 24 hours a day on the new C.A.R.E. Channel at Saint Joseph Hospital.

Hospitals can be a stressful environment for patients who are undergoing treatment or awaiting test results, as well as the visitors, physicians and staff members working diligently to provide the best of care. The new Continuous Ambient Relaxation Environment (C.A.R.E.) Channel at Saint Joseph Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, is a resource to help decrease stress and optimize patient recovery times. The channel was made possible by a gift from the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels to the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation.

“The C.A.R.E. Channel is available on every television in Saint Joseph Hospital,” said Lynnette RauvolaBouta, vice president of mission integration. “The channel always plays nature scenery videos and calm instrumental music, which have been shown to have a positive impact on anxiety and pain.”

The C.A.R.E. Channel began broadcasting in May and is one of the ways Saint Joseph Hospital strives to provide a more healing environment for patients and hospital team members. Additionally, the hospital offers 24-hour chaplain services and pet therapy. Research published in medical journals, including Journal of Music Therapy and Anxiety, Stress & Coping, shows that exposure to music and interacting with animals can be effective complements to standard medical treatment.

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Want to find more ways to give back to your local community? Learn more about the KentuckyOne Health foundations and how you can get involved today.

Know Your Nerves

Know Your Nerves

Know Your Nerves

Approximately 20 million Americans have some type of peripheral neuropathy, a condition that can often be prevented and managed.

Tingling, numbness, muscle weakness — when these symptoms occur in the foot, they’re often signs of one of more than 100 nerve disorders called neuropathy.

Damage to the peripheral nervous system typically begins in the nerves farthest from the brain and spinal cord. One of the most common causes of neuropathy is uncontrolled diabetes. Other factors that increase the risk for neuropathy include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Nutritional deficiency in B1, B12 or iron
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

Take Care

It’s possible to have neuropathy from diabetes without symptoms or with subtle signs that only a health care professional might notice. Numbness caused by neuropathy may make it difficult to notice cuts or swelling on the feet without routinely checking for them.

For this reason, doctors often tell patients with diabetes to do daily foot exams or, if they can’t, have a primary care provider or podiatrist do them. Unmanaged peripheral neuropathy can spread to the legs, arms and hands.

Nicole Everman, MD“Adopting healthier lifestyle habits, such as maintaining optimal weight, exercising daily and eating a balanced diet, can reduce effects of neuropathy,” said Nicole Everman, MD, neurologist with KentuckyOne Health Neurology Associates. “Physical and occupational therapy are also important when treating peripheral neuropathy because they help improve balance and motor strength.”

Other treatment options include oral medications for nerve pain and topical treatments such as capsaicin cream and lidocaine patches. An early diagnosis of neuropathy can help prevent further nerve damage, so people with symptoms should seek medical care.

Keep Your feet in Check

Most of us have heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to diabetic neuropathy.

“Studies have shown that those with diabetes can reduce the risk of experiencing nerve damage by keeping blood sugar levels close to normal,” said Dr. Everman. “Peripheral neuropathy can also be a result of vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin B1 deficiencies, so eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”

Other prevention methods include:

  • Wearing well-fitted shoes
  • Inspecting your feet daily for any redness, swelling or wounds
  • Visiting your primary care physician or a podiatrist regularly

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Fall edition of One Health Magazine. Sign up for your free subscription.

Not only do primary care doctors specialize in diagnosing and managing a wide range of health issues, they also teach you about prevention and wellness.  If you don’t have a primary care provider, find one near you today. To speak with someone about peripheral neuropathy, call KentuckyOne Health Neurology Associates at 859.263.8807.

Farm Safety Tips for Your Hands

Farm Safety Tips for Your Hands

Farm Safety Tips for Your Hands

It’s hard to imagine life without the benefits of powerful farm equipment, but farm implements also pose dangers to the people who use them. Each year in the United States farming is ranked as one of the most dangerous professions, with many farming accidents involving the upper extremities.

Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center offers the following safety guidelines to help keep you, your family and employees safe while working with farm equipment.

Farm Equipment Safety

  • Know the proper use, and limitations of your equipment. If you do not have instructions, contact the manufacturer.
  • Match tractors with equipment of same power and speed levels to prevent machine failure and possible serious injury.
  • Use heavy-duty equipment for heavy-duty jobs.
  • Do not modify or remove safety features such as kill switches, roll bars or control bars. Use safety features and heed the manufacturer’s warnings!
  • Use runners and chain guards on mowers.
  • Keep power transmission shafts covered and shield power takeoff shafts properly.
  • Disengage or unplug all power takeoffs, blades, cutterbars, crimper rolls or other moving parts before handling equipment.
  • Do not use hands to clear jammed equipment.
  • Keep hands and feet clear of moving parts.
  • Inspect controls and parts for loose nuts and bolts before each use.

General Farm Safety

  • Avoid working alone. Use “the buddy system.” Your buddy should know safe usage of equipment and will be able to get help immediately in case of an accident.
  • Never allow children to operate equipment, ride double or play or work nearby. Children may be hit by flying debris or dragged into moving parts. They are not strong or knowledgeable enough to handle equipment properly.
  • Avoid loose or baggy clothing. Clothing can be dragged into machinery.
  • Be vigilant of area and terrain. Stumps, rocks, and hidden debris can cause overturns, and low tree limbs can knock an operator off a tractor.
  • Inspect banks and slopes for stability. On steep slopes, plan path of travel downhill. Never take shortcuts!
  • Report any skin conditions to your physician. Farm soil contains many pathogens conducive to serious infection. Use chemical-resistant work gloves to prevent burns and infection.

To learn more about the Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center, please contact 502.587.4799 or 502.561.4263. For additional information on hand care emergencies, call 502.540.3727.