Monday, August 31, 2009

A little Monday Humor: Things People Say on Patient Charts

Hello everyone! I thought this week could start off with a little humor. I found a list of "Things People Say" on patient charts. It's actually pretty scary how many things can be written incorrectly...

Comments on Doctor's Charts:
  • "Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year."
  • "On the 2nd day the knee was better and on the 3rd day it disappeared completely."
  • "The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1993."
  • "Discharge status: Alive but without permission."
  • "Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful."
  • "The patient refused an autopsy."
  • "The patient has no past history of suicides."
  • "Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital."
  • "Patient's past medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days."
  • "Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch."
See the full list here:
Common Patients' Sign-In Complaints:
  • "Diarear."
  • "Sore trout."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Foot Stretches to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

Rest is the first treatment for plantar fasciitis. Try to keep weight off your foot until the inflammation goes away. You can also apply ice to the sore area for 20 minutes three or four times a day to relieve your symptoms. Often a doctor will prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen.

A program of home exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are the mainstay of treating the condition and lessening the chance of recurrence. Below you will find several foot stretches courtesy of the Mayo Foundation. As always, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.

Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds — don't bounce — and do one or two repetitions two to three times a day.

Clockwise from upper left:

1. To strengthen arch muscles, place a towel on the floor, grab the towel with your toes and pull it toward you.

2. While sitting, grasp your toes and gently pull them toward you until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot. Stretch one foot at a time.

3. Stand as shown, with your back leg straight and heel down. Move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Switch legs and repeat.

4. Stand on a step near the bottom of your stairs, put your weight on the ball of one foot and slowly lower that heel until you feel your calf muscle stretching. Repeat on the other side.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Plantar Fasciitis – an Overview

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.

Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.

Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in people who are on their feet a lot, such as athletes and soldiers. People who are overweight, women who are pregnant and those who wear shoes with inadequate support, are also at a higher risk of plantar fasciitis.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot. But, if tension on that bowstring becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch, which can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:
  • Your feet roll inward too much when you walk (excessive pronation).

  • You have high arches or flat feet.

  • You walk, stand, or run for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.

  • You are overweight.

  • You wear shoes that don't fit well or are worn out.

  • You have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles.

What are the Symptoms?

In most cases, the pain associated with plantar fasciitis:

  • Develops gradually

  • Affects just one foot, although it can occur in both feet simultaneously

  • Is worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it also can be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up from a seated position

  • Feels like a sharp pain in the heel of your foot

What are the Risk Factors?

Factors that may increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis include:

  • Age. Plantar fasciitis is most common between the ages of 40 and 60.

  • Sex. Women are more likely than men to develop plantar fasciitis.

  • Certain types of exercise. Activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and attached tissue — such as long-distance running, ballet dancing and dance aerobics — can contribute to an earlier onset of plantar fasciitis.

  • Faulty foot mechanics. Being flat-footed, having a high arch or even having an abnormal pattern of walking can adversely affect the way weight is distributed when you're standing, putting added stress on the plantar fascia.

  • Obesity. Excess pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia.

  • Occupations that keep you on your feet. People with occupations that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces — such as factory workers, teachers and waitresses — can damage their plantar fascia.

  • Improper shoes. Shoes that are thin soled, loose, or lack arch support or the ability to absorb shock don't protect your feet. If you regularly wear shoes with high heels, your Achilles tendon — which is attached to your heel — can contract and shorten, causing strain on the tissue around your heel.

Keep in mind, ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in a chronic condition that hinders your regular activities. You may also develop foot, knee, hip or back problems because of the way plantar fasciitis changes your walking motion.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

  • Put your feet up. Stay off your feet for several days when the pain is severe.
    Apply ice. Hold a cloth-covered ice pack over the area of pain for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day or after activity. Or try ice massage. Freeze a water-filled paper cup and roll it over the site of discomfort for about five to seven minutes. Regular ice massage can help reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Decrease your miles. You probably won't have to permanently retire your running or walking shoes, but it's a good idea to cover shorter distances until pain subsides.
    Take up a no- or low-impact exercise. Swap swimming or bicycling in place of walking or jogging. You'll likely be able to return to your regular activities as heel pain gradually improves or disappears. However, some people find that the only way to avoid a recurring problem is to permanently modify their aerobic activities.

  • Use shoes that have an added arch support. Arch supports take the tension off the plantar fascia and help absorb shock. Z-CoiL shoes help by absorbing up to 50% of the shock to your joints caused by everyday walking. Our footwear is created with nearly an inch of soft and resilient forefront cushioning and its rocker-bottom shape gently assists your forward motion. The Z-Orthotic™ helps to support the longitudinal arch, reducing stress on the plantar fascia. The coil in the heel can also be adjusted for over-pronation (flat feet) to normalize your gait.

  • Stretch your arches. Simple exercises using household objects can stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How Z-CoiL Footwear Can Ease Your Back Pain

According to the American Chiropractic Association, 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some point in their lives, and half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

How Z-CoiL® footwear can help:
The shock-absorbing heel in Z-CoiL® footwear, in conjunction with thick forefoot cushioning, reduces impact to the body by up to 50% compared to conventional shoes. The built-in Z-Orthotic™ also promotes good posture, which relieves further stress on your back, while rocker-bottom soles in the shoes help you maintain a smooth gait as you walk.

Test out a pair of Z-CoiL shoes for yourself and feel the difference! Z-CoiL Store Locator

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

5 Tips To Ease Back Pain

Roughly 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at some point during their lives. Women, in particular, are prone to posture and back problems—thanks to toting around outrageously heavy purses, going through pregnancy, or giving one-hip rides to kids. Whether you’re in the midst of fighting the ache or just want to prevent it, here are some expert-endorsed quick-and-easy ways to wage your war.

Pass the broccoli, please
You know that calcium is key for strong bones, but Japanese researchers have identified something else you need: vitamin K. It’s believed that the vitamin, found in broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens, helps calcium deposit in the bones, making them denser. The stronger your bones, the stronger your whole body—and the lower your chances of an injury that could cause back pain.

Lighten your load
If your purse or briefcase tips the scales at more than 10 percent of your weight, it’s too heavy. And you need to carry it right. Your best bet is a model with a long strap that lets you position it across your chest like a messenger bag. Can’t part with your shorter-strapped number? Switch shoulders every 20 minutes.

Sleep right
A harder bed may not be better for your back. A recent study in Spine found that people who slept on softer beds reported less lower-back pain than those who snoozed on harder ones.
Pillows? Yours shouldn’t raise your head out of alignment with your spine. How to tell: If you’re a back sleeper, your chin shouldn’t press into your chest. If you’re a side sleeper, it shouldn’t curve up toward your shoulder.

Tighten those abs
Having strong core muscles (we’re talking abs here) can help protect your back from injury. Do this core-strengthening pelvic tilt 2 to 3 times per week: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and lower back flattened. Pull in your belly button toward your spine, contracting your abs; your pelvis should lift slightly off the floor. Do 2 to 3 sets of 12 reps.

Aim for good posture
Sitting at a desk for eight (or more) hours a day can really do a number on your back. Make sure to sit with your back against your chair (get a lumbar pillow if you chair doesn’t allow this) and both feet flat on the floor. Another option: Try using a stability ball as your desk chair. Start off slow (20 minutes at a time), and if it feels good, stick with it.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baby Boomers Staying Active

While there may be no single fountain of youth, you can slow down the aging process by staying physically active. Regular exercise enhances muscle and joint function, keeps bones strong, and decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Here are some tips developed by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons that can help you exercise safely.

Warm Up
Always take time to warm up and stretch before physical activity. Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running/walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

Be Consistent
Don’t succumb to the “weekend warrior” syndrome. Compressing your physical activity into two days sets you up for trouble and doesn’t increase your fitness level. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you’re truly pressed for time, you can break it up into 10 minute chunks. Remember that moderate physical activity can include walking the dog, working in the gardening, playing with the kids and taking the stairs instead of an elevator.

Be Prepared
Take lessons and invest in good equipment. Whether you’re a beginner or have been playing a sport for a long time, lessons are a worthwhile investment. Proper form and instruction reduce the chance of developing an “overuse” injury like tendonitis or stress fractures. Lessons at varying levels of play for many sports are offered by local park districts and athletic clubs. Select the proper shoes for your sport and use them only for that sport. When the treads start to look worn or the shoes are no longer as supportive, it is time to replace them.

Listen to Your Body
As you age, you may find that you are not as flexible as you once were or that you cannot tolerate the same types of activities that you did years ago. While no one is happy about getting older, you will be able to prevent injury by modifying your activity to accommodate your body’s needs.

Balanced Fitness
Develop a balanced fitness program that incorporates cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility. In addition to providing a total body workout, a balanced program will keep you from getting bored and lessen your chances of injury.

Add activities and new exercises cautiously. No matter if you’ve been sedentary or are in good physical shape, do not try to take on too many activities at one time. It is best to add no more than one or two new activities per workout.

If you have or have had a sports or orthopaedic injury like tendonitis, arthritis, stress fracture or low back pain, consult an orthopaedic surgeon who can help design a fitness routine to promote wellness and minimize the chance of injury.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pink Parking Spaces For High Heel Wearers?



Just read this strange post on ShoeBlog

This does not appear to be a joke. Time Magazine is reporting the following from Seoul, Korea:

“In May, the city government started to paint 4,929 public and private parking places pink throughout the city, with thousands more slated to go under the brush next year. The pink parking spots, reserved for women drivers so they don’t have to walk so far to work or the mall, are part of the South Korean capital’s Women Friendly Seoul Project, an effort for the notoriously macho Asian city of more than 10 million to transform itself into a safer, more heel-friendly “space for women.”

Instead of creating “heel-friendly” parking spaces, why not encourage women to wear safer, more comfortable shoes?

church001If they keep wearing high heels, they may end up using the blue parking spaces…

What do you think?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tips on Staying Social

How can we ensure that strong human connections continue to be an integral part of our lives as we age? Aging experts recommend staying involved in religious and community functions, maintaining a network of friends and family with whom we regularly interact, and volunteering in organizations that get us out and among other people. Here are just some of the options available for staying connected:
  • Pursue social activities, like wine tastings, lecture programs, or traveling with friends.
  • Get involved in projects that require you to have regular contact with others, like planning a gathering for a club, organizing a card- or game-playing night with friends, or helping out with a church supper.

  • Investigate the options for social interactions available in your community — take advantage of programs and services offered at community and senior centers.

  • Seek out people who may share your interests by getting involved at your place of worship, in clubs, and in other organizations.

  • Volunteer for a cause you believe in by contacting a local nonprofit organization, such as a charity you find meaningful, or a local school or museum.
  • Get connected while you improve your health: Join a walking or biking club or your local fitness center, go out golfing, or take yoga or cooking classes.
  • Take an adult-education or college course in something that interests you — you might be amazed at how much you enjoy going back to school!

  • Consider animal companionship, too. Furry, finned, and feathered friends can bring great joy, love, and meaning into our lives. Animal shelters are full of potential companions looking for good homes. (They can also be great places to volunteer.)

Courtesy of

There are many resources to help you connect with opportunities for social interaction in your community. And once you get going, you may find you’re having so much fun it’s hard to stop!

Have any other great ideas that are not listed? Please add your comments.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Reason to Connect

Not only is it fun to spend time shopping with friends or visiting with loved ones—researchers now know that time can also help keep your brain healthy as you age.

Some research indicates that people who have good social networks live longer. They also are physically healthier than people who are socially isolated. In fact, experts say that how socially connected a person tends to be is one of the most important ways of predicting his or her health and independence in later years.Maintaining supportive relationships is an important element of effective aging. The more contact we have with others as we age, the better we may be at retaining mental sharpness.

A large study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who engaged in leisure activities such as learning to play a musical instrument or dancing were less likely to develop dementia.Dancing may be especially beneficial to the brain because it combines physical activity with social interaction, and often involves a cognitive challenge in learning dance steps.

“There’s a lot of evidence that other people are the most unpredictable things you can encounter,” says Lawrence Katz. “So activities that have you engaging with other human beings are a fantastic form of brain exercise.”Other studies suggest that people with the most limited social connections are twice as likely to die over a given period as those with the widest social networks. Many experts believe that social isolation may create a chronically stressful condition that accelerates aging.

This information is especially important to older people, who may be more likely to lead solitary lives—especially if family and friends have moved away or died. Of course, combating loneliness requires time and energy, both in establishing new relationships and in deepening existing ones. But the benefits are well worth the effort.

Stop back tomorrow for Tips on Staying Social!

Courtesy of