It seems like not long ago we were still waiting for the summer to begin and now that June is nearly over we’re in the thick of it. Midsummer came and went as we celebrated the first day of the season on June 21. Now, we’re preparing for our 4th of July barbecues and trips to the beach. This June we covered a lot of topics that can help you stay safe and pain-free in the hot summer sun. Let’s recap some of what we discussed.
We kicked off the month with a general post about the virtues of staying hydrated. It is critical for you and your children that you don’t find yourself in a position of dehydration or suffering from sun sickness. We shared healthcare providers’ recommendation about consuming enough water and ways you can spot dehydration and sun sickness in yourself or the people around you. We also briefly recapped some ways you can stay safe around water as well.
Following that theme, we wanted to discuss National Sun Safety Week and how you can protect your skin and overall health in the summer heat as well as other times throughout the year. We talked about a few of our favorite outdoor activities, the risks of developing skin cancer through sun exposure, and sun safety practices that you can easily implement. We also shared some information about choosing a sun screen product and what the initials SPF actually mean.
Next, we looked at some of the most recent studies on opioid medications and the risk of developing dependence or addiction. From those studies we put together five ways that you can reduce your risk if you’re taking opioid medications for pain. They include working with your doctor on your treatment plan, recognizing the signs of overdose, utilizing mobile apps to help you stay on track, combining treatment with alternative methods of pain relief, and monitoring access to the medicine cabinet to prevent children from accessing these drugs.
Later in June, we took a closer look at the practice of acupuncture specifically as it relates to head pain. We started out with a basic overview of the history of the practice and how, in general, it works. Then we narrowed our focus on the practice as it is used to relieve a variety of head pain conditions, such as migraine and tension headaches. We highly encourage patients dealing with headaches to consult with a specialist and determine if acupuncture is the right technique to explore for relief.
Next we reviewed a type of tension reduction therapy called active release techniques. These are used to relieve pain in tired and overused muscles. Active release techniques can be used for a variety of pain conditions, with the exception of traumatic injury. Things such as headaches, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, carpel tunnel syndrome, and more can be treated. Active release techniques can be done in a clinical therapeutic setting or you can learn some simple motions to loosen tired muscles at home.
To piggy-back on our exploration of acupuncture for head pain, we dove deeper into alternative treatments that can help relieve a variety of these conditions. We explored acupuncture, biofeedback, neuromodulation, transcranial stimulation, and Botox. Each option has risks and benefits so we encourage patients with headaches to seek the help of a professional before determining the right treatment for your specific pain.
One of our passions here at Holistic Pain is to share real world resources that can benefit patients at any state. Migraine.com is a website that brings together people with chronic migraine pain from all over the world to help them find community and relief. We looked at their extensive content and user stories to provide some insight on how this site can help anyone seeking support for their experience. We encourage all of our patients and their loved ones to talk openly about chronic pain in an effort to gain acceptance and compassion.
TMJ pain is such a common condition that most cases go unreported. The ones that do get noticed are usually associated with extreme head pain, dizziness, and ear problems. Because so many experience pain related to TMJ it is critical that we know how to handle it so it doesn’t become worse. In this blog post we talked about massage techniques that you can find from professionals or learn to do at home that can relieve the tension that causes TMJ.
Of course, where would we be in June if we didn’t talk about Father’s Day? While some people lament that this is just one of many Hallmark holidays, we encourage our readers to take their observance once step further. Father’s Day coincides with Men’s Health Week and we believe that the dialogue about the issues men face doesn’t go far enough. We hope you used our advice to open a conversation with your family about the importance of men’s health issues.
Aging is inevitable but there are things we can do to protect our brains and enter our later years healthy and happy. In this post we looked at some of the common degenerative brain conditions most associated with aging and discussed six things you can start doing today to improve your cognitive function as you age.
From our exploration into the Migraine.com site, we learned about the work of Kerrie Smyres. As she has lived her life for over 25 years with constant headache pain and frequent migraines, she has taken her experience and created a resource to help others. We applaud Kerrie for the work she does spreading awareness about her condition.
Which blog post was your favorite this June?
Image by Jean-Jacques Boujot via Flickr