3 Reasons to Consider an Open MRI for Back Pain

Affecting about 80 percent of the population at one time or another, back pain is a common reason to see a doctor. Oftentimes, the process of figuring out what’s causing spine-related discomfort involves image tests that may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While there is some concern in the medical community about over-relying on MRIs, there are some instances – like the ones discussed below – when an open MRI may play a significant role in fine-tuning treatment recommendations.

Conservative Treatments Haven’t Worked for 4-6 Weeks

Most instances of back pain will respond well to conservative (non-surgical) treatment within 4-6 weeks from the time symptoms become noticeable. However, if medication, therapeutic exercise, hot and cold therapy, and various forms of PT aren’t effective beyond this point, it typically becomes increasingly likely that there’s a structural issue involved. An MRI produces the detailed bone and soft tissue images needed to determine if this may be the case.

A Specific Problem Other Than Sprain/Strain Is Suspected

An MRI isn’t likely to be ordered if the suspected caused of back pain is strained muscles and tendons or sprained ligaments. But if a specific structural problem, like a herniated disc, compressed nerve, or an abnormally narrow part of the spine, is believed to be the source of a patient’s symptoms, an MRI may confirm whether or not this is the case. An MRI can also be an important diagnostic tool if symptoms experienced may have more than one possible source. For instance, sciatica-like pain is sometimes caused by irritation of the nearby piriformis muscle.

New or Returning Symptoms Are Experienced After Surgery

While every effort is made to achieve a proper diagnosis prior to recommending spine surgery, there are times when symptoms might remain or return after a reasonable recovery period. An MRI is one of the tests that’s often done when this is the case. The results may either identify a previously undetected source of back pain or show an entirely new source of pain. With fusion surgery, for example, other parts of the spine sometimes become unstable enough post-surgery to trigger new symptoms.

MRIs, in general, are considered safer than the X-rays and CT scans that are also routinely performed on back pain sufferers because there is no radiation exposure to worry about. What makes an open MRI appealing is the way it’s performed. Patients with a fear of being in a confined space often feel more at ease when an open MRI is performed. Plus, the information shown in the results is just as detailed as what’s produced by a traditional MRI scan.… Read More

How to Stay Up-to-Date in the Industry When You’re a Dentist

When you decided to be a dentist, you probably decided that you wanted to do everything that you could to help people. On a daily basis, you might help people overcome their fears of having dental work done, and you might help people gain beautiful smiles that they never thought they could have. Even though you might do all of these things, you could be wondering if there are other things that you can do that can help you be an even better dental care professional. Staying up-to-date with what is going on in the industry is one good way of doing so, and these tips can help you do just that, even if you have a busy schedule as a dentist.

Go Back to School

You might be required to attend continuing education classes from time to time in order to maintain your license as a dentist in your state. Beyond these classes, though, consider taking other courses from time to time. These classes can be a great challenge and can help you keep your education completely up to date, which can help you be a better dentist.

Read Magazines and Journals About Dentistry

From an implant dentistry magazine to other magazines and journals about various aspects of the dental care community, there are a ton of traditional publications out there that can help you stay abreast of what is going on in the dental care industry. Many of these publications are very interesting to read, too. Also, some of them can be accessed online, which is probably a lot more convenient for you when you have a busy schedule as a dentist.

Attend Industry Events

There are often conferences and other events out there that are catered toward those in the dental care industry. If you usual make up excuses to skip these events, consider going next time. You might have fun and meet others in the industry, and you can learn a lot, too.

Keeping your education and skills sharp is important as a dentist. If you’re concerned about not being up-to-date enough on what is going on in the dental care industry, making a few simple changes can really help.… Read More

How to Prep Months in Advance for a Big Move Across the Country

Unless you make a totally spur-of-the-moment decision, you will know months, or even years, ahead of time where you might move to next. And sometimes, especially when those moves are across the country, you need help prepping to get yourself, your family, your pets, and your belongings from point A to destination B.

For tips on how to prep for your next big move months in advance, read and consider the following article. You don’t need a decision making course to take these prep tips to heart.

Pack Up Your Belongings a Little at a Time

If you have time to sit around and do nothing for a day, then you have time to box up some of your belongings for your impending move. Start with stuff you don’t use very often, then move on to things that you use semi-often the closer you get to your move day. Save your everyday belongings for the very last box on the night before your big move.

Hire Professional Movers and Packers for the Final Months in Your Old City

Don’t have time to pack and move yourself? Hiring professional movers and packers can save you time and money in the long run. They often have their own supplies, like boxes and tapes, and can help you efficiently shift life from one destination to another.

Make Regular Trips to Your New City to Accommodate Yourself with New Surroundings

Your new city is filled with different attractions, shops, restaurants, and people, all of whom deserve your attention for a little while. Ergo, you should make a few planned trips to your new city with hopes of becoming familiar with the area.

If You Can, Prep Your New Home on Your Regular Visits

Remember the first tip of packing a little at a time? You can move a little at a time too. If your new home is already semi-set for move-in, and it’s officially yours, take a box or two with you to the new place whenever you make those regular visits of accommodation and familiarization.

Make Early Arrangements for Moving Any Pets or Valuables

Understandably, there are probably some belongings you don’t want in the back of a moving truck. And your pets are family, so you’ll of course be taking them with you. Find someone you trust, like a best friend or loved one, that can help you move your pets and valuables on move day. Pay them in meals, gas money, and a place to stay before they head back home.… Read More

3 Major Benefits of the Behavioral Health Field

With the population continuing to increase at record rates never before seen in the span of human history, it is understandable that rates of mental illness will go up as well. With all of the advances being made in medicine, it is important to note that similar breakthroughs are being made in the field of behavioral health. This is significant on so many levels, not the least of which is equipping people with the tools that they need to be productive members of society. With that in mind, consider the following three major benefits of the behavioral health field today.

Early Diagnosis

With the advances being made in the area of clinical research in psychiatry, it is now possible to diagnose behavioral health problems early on. While many people have traditionally been forced to live without knowing why they act the way they do, psychiatrists today are able to determine it much sooner. This allows clients to get the help that they need without fear that they will be ostracized by society.

Chemical Body Balance

Behavioral health issues are often a result of a chemical imbalance in the body. Psychiatrists now better understand this and are able to help individuals return to a proper chemical balance over time. This allows clients to act more appropriately, enabling them to live a normal life without fear of acting out at the most inopportune of moments.

Better Acceptance Into Society

Behavioral health is now becoming mainstream. Psychiatrists are better accepted, and so are their patients. It is no longer taboo to have a diagnosed mental illness. The breakthroughs that are being made in this field are allowing people to live a happy and healthy life, free of the emotional strife that has plagued them for far too long.

These three areas alone illustrate how behavioral health has evolved as a field. It is important to understand a range of mental illness, its symptoms, and treatments. This will help individuals better understand what is going on with them and to assimilate more fully into broader society.… Read More

Simple Changes to Improve Your Health

When you set a goal to be healthy, the steps might appear overwhelming. For this reason, many people fall short of achieving their health goals. There are simple ways to start out with a healthier mind and body, however. Consider these tips to get you closer to your goals.

Getting Rid of Vices

Vices are habits that aren’t necessarily good for you, such as drinking alcohol in excess amounts or smoking cigarettes. For the sake of your health, you should give up these vices. Try to replace them with healthy pursuits. Blend up a smoothie, go for a walk or take up a new hobby. These habits are good for your mind and body. You may not even miss the old habits if you slowly change a few parts of your daily routine.

Prioritizing Dental Care

Many people don’t realize that taking care of your teeth and gums is just as important as heart health. When issues develop in your mouth, these germs can quickly move to other parts of your body. Visit the dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. You might opt for teeth whitening Arlington Heights too. Although this procedure is largely cosmetic, it boosts your self-esteem. Your health is based on both psychological and physiological components.

Exercising on a Regular Schedule

Life is understandably busy. It’s difficult to fit exercise into a day that’s filled with work and family responsibilities. Make it a priority to work out at least two or three times a week. Join a gym or find a friend to encourage your physical fitness.

Working out stimulates the body to release good hormones or endorphins. You feel and look better as a result of your efforts. These good feelings are associated with a healthy lifestyle. In other words, you want to lead a healthy lifestyle to gain those endorphins back each time.

Don’t forget to visit your doctor on a regular basis. Although you may be a healthy adult, there are underlying issues that may be impacting your life. High-blood pressure is a good example. With professional help and a healthy lifestyle, your quality of life will significantly improve.… Read More