What is a Herniated Disk and What Are the Symptoms?

Our spine consists of a series of bones called vertebrae. Separating these vertebrae are cushions filled with a jellylike substance. These cushions allow the spine to bend. When one of these disks starts to slip out of place, it causes a condition called a slipped, ruptured, or herniated disk.

Most herniated discs occur in your lower back (lumbar spine), although they can also occur in your neck (cervical spine). You can suffer a herniated disk and not experience any symptoms, but most people do. The most common symptoms associated with a herniated disk are:

  • Arm or leg pain – If your herniated disk is in your lower back, you’ll typically feel the most intense pain in your buttocks, thigh and calf. If your herniated disk is in your neck, the pain will typically be most intense in the shoulder and arm. This pain may be more intense when you cough, sneeze or move your spine into certain positions.
  • Numbness or tingling – People who have a herniated disk often experience numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves.
  • Weakness – Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This may cause you to stumble, or impair your ability to lift or hold items.

While suffering a herniated disk is most often the result of a natural aging process called disk degeneration, it can sometimes be the result of a traumatic event or improperly lifting heavy objects.

Risk factors for developing a herniated disk include:

  • Excess body weight causes extra stress on the disks in your lower back.
  • People with physically demanding jobs have a greater risk of back problems.
  • Some people inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disk.

Tips to avoid a herniated disk include exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, lifting heavy objects with your legs and not your back, and practicing good posture.

In many cases, the best treatment for a herniated disk is rest, but if your symptoms are persistent or worsening, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor who may prescribe medications or refer you for physical rehabilitation.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with a herniated disk and would like to see a doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-  5486 to make an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Flushing Hospital Offers Tips To Manage Your Children’s Vaccinations During World Immunization Week

It is World Immunization Week; an observance led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise public awareness about how immunizations can save lives. During this week-long event, efforts are made to encourage parents to vaccinate their children against a variety of preventable diseases.

Immunizations prevent illness, disability and death from many diseases, including:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles, mumps and rubella
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumonia
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus diarrhea
  • Tetanus

Despite all their benefits, there is still an estimated 18.7 million infants worldwide still missing out on basic vaccines.

One of the best ways for parents to keep track of their children’s immunization history and make sure they are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations is by setting up an electronic medical record (EMR), like MyChart, which is available for free to all Flushing Hospital patients.

In addition to allowing parents to access to their children’s records, including their immunization history, MyChart also gives patients the ability to:

  • Review test results online
  • Review health education topics
  • Access discharge instructions
  • Request prescription refills online
  • Interact with your provider via email
  • Request an appointment

To create an account is easy. All a patient needs to do is go to the Flushing Hospital’s website and click the link to MediSys MyChart: https://mychart.medisys.org and click on the “sign up now” tab.

World Immunization Week is an opportunity for Flushing Hospital to remind parents of the importance of maintaining their children’s vaccinations and how MyChart can help them do that. My making it easy to access their immunization history, parents can make sure their children are properly protected.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Strength Training Safe For Your Child?

For better or worse, children today play sports at a much different level than in previous generations. They start much younger and the level of competition is much higher. This has led some parents and coaches to incorporate strength training programs for children, however many wonder at what age or if this is appropriate or safe.

The answer is, if done properly, strength training can be safe and offer many benefits for young athletes. Strength training is even a good idea for kids who simply want to look and feel better. In fact, strength training might put your child on a lifetime path to better health and fitness.

There is a distinction between strength training and lifting weights, and experts don’t want parents to be confused. According to the Mayo Clinic , “Weightlifting can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons and areas of cartilage that haven’t yet turned to bone (growth plates) — especially when proper technique is sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight.” This type of training should not begin until bones are fully-matured, which is after the onset of puberty.

Instead, children should focus on strength training that incorporates using their own body weight to get stronger, by doing push-ups, chin-ups, or planks. Another type of training that can increase not only strength, but also coordination is the use of resistance bands and tubes. Children can begin this type of training when they become interested in sports, usually between ages six and eight.

Strength training can offer children many benefits, including:

  • Increasing muscle strength and endurance
  • Protecting muscles and joints from sports-related injuries
  • Improving performance
  • Developing proper techniques that can continue into adulthood

Even if your child isn’t an athlete, strength training can help promote a healthy lifestyle and bolster self-esteem.

Before having your child begin a strength program, make sure it is under the supervision of a trained professional experienced in youth training.  A good program should not be too intense, include a proper warm-up and cool-down periods, and emphasize technique over results. Lastly, because they are kids, your child’s program should incorporate an element of fun.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Men’s Health – Learn About Testicular Cancer

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. This month-long observance spotlights the disease and emphasizes the importance of understanding the risks and warning signs of it.

Testicular Cancer is the most common cancer in men ages 15-34, with an estimated 10,000 cases diagnosed in the United States every year.  Testicular cancer, which can develop in one or both testicles, occurs when sexual reproductive cells called germ cells experience abnormal growth. If germ cells become cancerous, they multiply, forming a mass of cells called tumors that begin to invade normal tissue. If not treated, they can spread rapidly to other parts of the body including to the abdomen, liver, lungs, bones and brain.

Regular testing by your physician and conducting monthly self-examinations of the testes is important for early detection. Since testicular cancer is usually isolated to a single testicle, comparing your testicles with one another for abnormalities can be helpful. It is important to know that it is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other so your focus during a self-exam should be on other differences between the testes as well as changes from the previous month. In addition to self-exams, all men should have their primary care physician check their testicles as part of their annual physical.

The warning signs of testicular cancer include:

  • A lump of any size on the testicle
  • Enlargement of the testicle, change in shape, size or any irregularities
  • Pain or discomfort in the scrotum or testicle
  • A dull ache or sense of pressure in the lower abdomen or back
  • A feeling of heaviness or fullness in the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts due to elevated hormone levels

In most cases early stages of testicular cancer present themselves in a completely painless manner. If any of these symptoms are present, you need to see your doctor for further testing immediately.

By raising awareness during the month of April, we can empower individuals to learn more about testicular cancer and educate men about the importance of early detection.

To make an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Fluoride In Drinking Water Benefits Our Teeth

One way to prevent tooth decay is to drink plenty of water. Most public water systems in the United States (approximately 75%) have added fluoride to their supply.

Drinking fluorinated water has been proven to be a key contributor in the prevention of tooth decay. It keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities in adults and children by about 25%. By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation has been shown to save money for families and for the U.S. health care system.

Fluoride exists naturally in most water supplies, but usually not enough to prevent cavities. Fluoridation of community water supplies is simply the adjustment of the existing, naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water to an optimal level for the prevention of tooth decay. It is recommended that community water systems adjust the amount of fluoride to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water.

While some have questioned adding fluoride to our water supply, for more than 70 years, the best available scientific evidence consistently has indicated that community water fluoridation is safe and effective. It has been endorsed by numerous U.S. Surgeons General, and more than 100 health organizations recognize the health benefits of water fluoridation for preventing dental decay, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and the American Dental Association

Thanks in part to adding fluoride to our drinking water, the oral health in the United States is much better today than it was many years ago; however, drinking water alone will not prevent tooth decay. It is recommended that everyone still brush (with fluorinated toothpaste) and floss daily and see their dentist regularly.

To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Dental Department, please call 718-670-5521.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Flushing Hospital Provides Information About Addiction to Valium

There are many highly –addictive substances that have caught the nation’s attention in recent years. Some of these drugs are illegal, but many are prescription medications that when taken inappropriately, can be very dangerous. Flushing Hospital’s Department of Addiction Services would like to educate the community about one of these drugs, Valium.

Valium is the trade name for diazepam, a popular tranquilizing medication or sedative prescribed by both medical doctors and psychiatrists to treat a variety of conditions.  It is most commonly used to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks, but it can also be prescribed to help people sleep, prevent seizures, and sooth of muscle spasms.

Valium is intended to strengthen certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters work to slow down activity in the central nervous system, resulting in pleasurable feelings of relaxation and sedation for the user. While it can be effective when taken correctly, if taken in large doses, for an extended period of time or for reasons other than prescribed, Valium can become very addictive.  Even people who take Valium as prescribed can develop a dependence on the drug.

Valium addiction rarely develops overnight. In many cases, it can take a few weeks to several months for someone to display signs of Valium abuse.
Some of the symptoms of Valium abuse include:

  • Shaking
  • A change in appearance / hygiene
  • Slow movements and speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive sleepiness

If not treated, Valium addiction can lead to many serious physical and mental health issues, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Loss of memory
  • Violent or aggressive tendencies
  • Poor motor function
  • Problems with digestion and urination
  • Slowed respiration
  • Low blood pressure

Taking excess amounts of Valium increases the risk of an accidental overdose. This could end in a coma or even death, especially if it is paired with other drugs like alcohol, which also produces depressant effects on the body.

It is important to seek treatment for a Valium addiction because attempting to quit on your own can be dangerous and in extreme cases, unsupervised withdrawal can lead to seizures and death. It is recommended that withdrawal be overseen by qualified specialists to ensure the safety and comfort of the patient.

To speak to someone at Flushing Hospital’s Addiction Services Department, please call 718=670-5078.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The MediSys Health Network Recognizes The Accomplishments Dr. Sabiha Raoof During Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month.  In recognition of this special observance, the MediSys Health Network would like to honor a woman who is very important to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Sabiha Raoof.

Dr. Raoof began her career at MediSys as an attending physician in 1997 after completing her radiology fellowship training. According to Dr. Raoof, “I was young and full of energy, but I was also a mother of two young children, and that aspect of my life has always been very important to me. Working for MediSys allowed me to maintain a balance between my professional goals and my role as a mother.  I never had to compromise my priorities and that gave me the opportunity to grow and thrive professionally. “

After working for a few years as an attending physician, Dr. Raoof was appointed as the Chairperson of Radiology at Jamaica Hospital in 2000 and then at Flushing Hospital in 2001.  Dr. Raoof added “I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to build the department and I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve together.” Under her guidance, the Radiology Departments at both hospitals have earned the Diagnostic Centers of Excellence designation from the American College of Radiology.

Through the years, Dr. Raoof has taken on many additional roles in the healthcare industry that has brought a great deal of positive visibility to the network.  She currently serves as the Vice Chair for the American College of Radiology’s Quality Experience Committee and is a member of their Commission on Clinical Decision Support. She has also been working with CMS for the last four years, initially serving as a national faculty member for the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative and now serves as one of the Clinical Champions for the Quality Payment Program.

Providing the highest quality care to our patients has always been a major focus for Dr. Raoof, so when she was appointed as the Chief Medical Officer for MediSys in 2017, her main goal was to use the position to improve the quality of care throughout the organization and to do so in a patient and family centered approach to keep patient safety in focus. AS CMO, she has been the driving force behind many initiatives designed to improve the patient experience.

 While Dr. Raoof appreciates the opportunities she has been given in the MediSys Health Network, she realizes that many other women are not as fortunate. “Even today, we have under-representation of female physicians in leadership positions in the healthcare industry. I feel lucky to work for this organization and I commend our administration for being so forward thinking and allowing the most qualified people to progress to leadership roles throughout the organization without any bias against gender, culture, religion or ethnicity.”

Women’s History Month is very important to Dr. Raoof. It not only allows her to thank the many women in her personal and professional life who have supported and been an inspiration to her, but it also serves as an opportunity for her to encourage her female colleagues to step up and be willing to lead.  According to Dr. Raoof, “Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate the tireless half of our population. Women are our future leaders, innovators, and peace-makers. This is a month to celebrate our progress in the face of historic challenge and to dream of our future. “

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Flushing Hospital Celebrates Patient Safety Week

March 10th through the 16th has been designated National Patient Safety Awareness Week. In recognition of this observance, Flushing Hospital Medical Center has scheduled a full week of fun and educational activities.

To kick-off the week, the Patient Education Department is holding a special all-day event in the hospital lobby to test everyone’s safety knowledge by playing various games where participants have the opportunity to answer questions and win prizes.

Throughout the week, Flushing Hospital will ask everyone to take the ‘Hand Hygiene Pledge” and hospital staff will also demonstrate proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE), which can eliminate the transmission of infectious disease.

The theme of this year’s Patient Safety Awareness week is  “See, Say, Do & Thank You”, which asks patients to not only notice and identify good safety practices, but also do something by thanking those individuals when these practices are witnessed.

One of the most important factors in improving patient safety is practicing proper hand hygiene and Flushing Hospital’s hand hygiene compliance rates are above national averages.

Congratulations to all involved in making Flushing Hospital a safe environment for our patients.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Flushing Hospital Recognizes National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation is urging all Americans to give their kidneys a well-deserved checkup.

The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health by serving following functions:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day
  • Regulating of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • Removing toxins from the body.
  • Balancing the body’s fluids
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control, some quick facts on Kidney Disease are:

  • Kidney disease is the 9th  leading cause of death in the country.
  • More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
  • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
  • Currently, more than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the U.S. today.

Often times, kidney failure can be prevented or delayed through early detection and proper treatment of underlying disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can slow additional damage to the kidneys.

If you are 18 years or older with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or a family history of kidney disease, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor and ask that you be screened for kidney disease.

If you would like to make an appointment to have your Kidney’s checked, you can call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 for an appointment

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Learn About What Causes Motion Sickness and Tips to Avoid it

Motion sickness is a common condition that many of us experience at some point in our lives. It is the feeling of nausea, dizziness or uneasiness that can develop during a bumpy or rocky ride. For some, this sensation may occur while traveling in a car, boat, train, plane or other modes of transportation.

Motion sickness also referred to as seasickness, carsickness or airsickness is caused when the brain receives mixed signals from our balance-sensing system which consists of our eyes, inner ear (semicircular canals) and sensory nerves.    Mixed signals are received by the brain because your eyes cannot see the motion your body is feeling, or conversely, your body cannot feel the motion your eyes are seeing. Motion sickness can start suddenly, typically with a feeling of uneasiness then progressing to other symptoms such as dizziness, a cold sweat, headaches or vomiting.

Children and pregnant women are most susceptible to motion sickness. However, anyone who is traveling can be at risk. Factors that can increase the chances for symptoms to appear include poor ventilation in a vehicle, the type of vehicle, fears or anxieties about traveling or the orientation in which a person is sitting or standing.

Treatment for motion sickness may include medication, home remedies or applying simple changes to your environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends the following interventions for treatment or prevention:

  • Being aware of and avoiding situations that tend to trigger symptoms.
  • Optimizing position to reduce motion or motion perception—for example, driving a vehicle instead of riding in it, sitting in the front seat of a car or bus, sitting over the wing of an aircraft, holding the head firmly against the back of the seat, and choosing a window seat on flights and trains.
  • Reducing sensory input—lying prone, shutting eyes, sleeping, or looking at the horizon.
  • Maintaining hydration by drinking water, eating small meals frequently, and limiting alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Avoiding smoking—even short-term cessation reduces susceptibility to motion sickness.
  • Adding distractions—controlling breathing, listening to music, or using aromatherapy scents such as mint or lavender. Flavored lozenges may also help.
  • Using acupressure or magnets is advocated by some to prevent or treat nausea, although scientific data on efficacy of these interventions for preventing motion sickness are lacking.
  • Gradually exposing oneself to continuous or repeated motion sickness triggers. Most people, in time, notice a reduction in motion sickness symptoms.

Most cases of motion sickness are mild. Symptoms are typically self-treatable or go away when a person is no longer in motion.  However, medical professionals recommend that you see a doctor if you experience motion sickness repeatedly or if symptoms persist after your journey.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.