5 Ways to Regulate your Sleep Schedule

5 Ways to Regulate your Sleep Schedule

Written by McKenzie Jones 

Your whole life will suffer if you are not getting the right amount of sleep each night. Disrupted sleep schedules can affect both your physical health and your mental and emotional well-being. This is why it is so important to address any potential sleep disruptions and fix the problem before it becomes a serious issue. Here are five ways that you can regulate your sleep schedule so that you can get the rest that you need.

Promote Healthy Circadian Rhythm

Your sleep and wake cycles are controlled by the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Without a well-functioning circadian rhythm, your body does not know when it is time to sleep and when it is time to be alert.

There are a number of things that you can do to promote a healthy circadian rhythm. Exposing your body to natural light when you wake up sends the signal to your brain that it is time to get energized. It is also a good idea to avoid taking naps. If you must take a daytime snooze, make it quick and do it early in the afternoon rather than later in the day. Being diligent about exercising regularly can also help to support your body’s internal clock so that it functions at optimal levels.

Implement a Regular Bedtime Routine

You will be able to fall asleep more quickly if you train your body by implementing a regular bedtime routine. Your personal needs and preferences will dictate your routine. Perhaps you want to start the process with a relaxing bath or a warm mug of herbal tea? Other people find success in dimming the lights and reading for a bit before trying to fall asleep.

Another good way to signal to your body that it is time to go to bed is to engage in a consistent skincare routine before turning in for the night. Nourishing your skin with nutrients and hydration should be a part of your nightly routine, prepping your body and your mind for a good night of sleep. The right products from Happy Healthy You will also leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed and ready to welcome a night of quality sleep.

Minimize Blue Light

Your smartphone or tablet habit may be hindering your ability to get the rest that you need. Smartphones, tablets, and computer screens all emit blue light. This light can negatively affect circadian timing.

In order to prevent this from happening, you should avoid blue light the hour or two before bedtime. Rather than reaching for your phone before closing your eyes, try reading a book instead. You should also be intentional about limiting the amount of artificial light around you in the evening hours.

Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment

You cannot expect to get a restful night of sleep if you do not have a comfortable sleeping environment. Taking active steps to make this as relaxing as possible can have a profound effect on the quality of sleep that you enjoy.

In addition to cozy bedding and a mattress suited for your needs, you also need to be mindful of sleep and light pollution. You may find that you sleep better if you invest in a good pair of blackout shades. A white noise machine can be instrumental in blocking out extraneous noise so that you sleep more soundly. Experiment with a few different tools to find what works best for you in your quest to sleep better.

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

What you drink in the hours before bed may also impact how quickly you fall asleep and if you are able to stay that way through the night. While you may fall asleep more quickly after a night of indulging in alcoholic drinks, the booze is also more likely to disrupt your rest and wake you up in the middle of the night.

Too much caffeine in the hours before bed can make you too wired to fall asleep. Reducing your consumption of both alcohol and caffeine starting in the late afternoon hours can prove beneficial in supporting healthy sleep patterns.

These five tips are all great ideas to help you to regulate your sleep schedule so that you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead.

 

 

 

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals offers a full continuing education program leading to Certification as a Health Care Life Coach, you may preview our program by accessing this link.

5 Reasons a Mammogram is Important for Women’s Health

Doctor reviewing mammogram on x-ray.

Written by McKenzie Jones 

What are Mammograms?

During your annual physical with the doctor, you may learn that it could be advantageous to have a mammogram. A mammogram is a simple medical procedure that uses low-energy x-rays to screen a human breast to detect potentially cancerous masses. In the US, an annual mammogram is the gold star procedure for early detection and is recommended as an annual procedure to anyone past the age of 40. Why is having a regular mammogram essential to women’s health? Read on to learn 5 reasons you should quit waiting around and schedule your annual exam today.

1. Early Detection Is Key

Cancer is a scary subject. However, if you are armed with facts and your own medical and testing data, you will be better prepared to face the road ahead. When you find cancer in its earlier stages, you have more treatment options available to you and a higher rate of long-term survival. Mammograms can “find” breast cancer roughly 5 years before you can feel it, which gives you more time to figure out your plan. The introduction of 3D mammography has also broadened the scope and abilities of cancer detection. Not only do 3D scans produce fewer false positives, but they have also improved detection rates by roughly 50%.

2. Mammograms are Smarter Than Fingertips

Women are encouraged to perform self-breast exams (SBEs) monthly for several reasons. Breasts are made up of uniquely irregular tissues and fats, and it’s good to get familiar with your breasts, chest, and armpit areas. This way, with time, you will be better equipped to feel if something is “off” or changing within your own body. Consider adding an SBE during your monthly menstruation to keep it recurring and regular. That being said, self-detection results in roughly 18-25% of breast cancer diagnoses, while mammograms can detect breast cancer in 87% of their screenees. Using multiple early-detection methods is a smart way to stay informed about your health.

3. Mammograms Have a Proven Track Record

Since 1990, an overall increase in regular mammograms in the US has helped reduce women’s breast cancer deaths by 30%. What a statistic! There is a direct connection between higher mammogram numbers and lower breast cancer-related fatalities. The process has also been streamlined due to successful detection rates. It is quite straightforward to get a mammogram referral from your primary care physician or an obgyn near me. The sooner you schedule and complete your mammogram, the better you’ll feel.

4. It’s Not Always Genetic

Yes, it is a fact that if you gave a genetic link to breast cancer, you have a higher likelihood of breast cancer. It’s super important that mammograms are a regular part of your life if you have a direct family member that developed breast cancer, so don’t play around or delay. However, it is also true that 75-85% of people diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history or known risk factors. Therefore, everyone must get regularly screened. Simply add it to the list of questions you have for your doctor during your annual physical, and they will be able to guide you in the right direction.

5. Time is of the Essence

Unfortunately, your risk factors increase and your long-term survival rates tend to decrease as you age. This is particularly noticeable after age 40 and continues as you get older. The age for an annual mammogram used to be set at 50, but studies have shown time and time again that finding out earlier than 50 affects your survival rates and complication risks. Since the recommendation has been lowered to 40 years, the number of breast cancer-related deaths has decreased.

Final Considerations…

One last thing to note: If you’re scared about scheduling a mammogram for any reason, consider an honest approach with your primary care physician. Explain your feelings, and allow them to reassure you. That is a completely normal reaction to have for something as daunting as cancer. Know that getting the facts will be better for your overall peace of mind. Schedule an OB appointment at your earliest convenience, and just check it off your list once and for all.

 

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals offers a full continuing education program leading to Certification as a Health Care Life Coach, you may preview our program by accessing this link.

 

How to Avoid Long Term Spine Problems

spine

Written by McKenzie Jones 

Even though you do not pay much attention to it, your spine forms an integral part of your body. Thanks to it, you can sit upright, walk and even move your entire body. If you have never had backache before then, you might never realize how important this part of your body is. However, there are various things you can do to ensure that your spine stays healthy.

Pay Attention to Your Posture

One of the leading causes of spinal problems has to be your posture. If you sit or stand wrongly, then your spine will bend in that direction. The first thing you need to do is stand on a wall with your heels firmly on the ground. If you cannot pass your hand through the small of your back, you need to work on your posture. Prolonged poor posture will make the spine bend awkwardly, and that will cause you to have back issues.

Sit Upright

You probably spend most of your time sitting in a chair, and if your posture is wrong, then there is a huge chance you might start experiencing back pain. Just like you did with the standing posture, ensure that you sit upright in the chair. Do not slouch forward or bend so back up into the chair. Doing that might feel comfortable at first, but it will make your spine deform, and you might never sit properly again. The thing with your spine is, you might be damaging it without even knowing. By the time you realize, the damage might be too much that it is irreparable.

Monitor Your Weight

The one thing that might be straining your spine is your weight. If you realize that your back keeps hurting no matter what you do, you might want to think about looking at your weight and know how it is progressing. You might realize that the main reason your back has issues is you have gained so much weight serially around the mid-section that you can no longer walk around with a straight posture. For this reason, it makes sense if you took your time and worked on losing weight. You can start out simple with dieting then move on to exercise. No matter what you do, ensure that you are working on yourself and your body.

See a Doctor

Many times when your spine has an issue, there will be tell-tale signs. You might notice that your back hurts way more than it should, even if you are not straining. In such a scenario, talking to a spine specialist will help you identify the issue, and you can deal with it as it happens. It beats having to wait for the entire condition to get worse and have you confined to a hospital bed. Many people fear going to the doctor because they do not want to know the issue. However, it is recommended that you see a doctor sooner rather than later. It will help you discover any condition you might have and treat it before it gets worse.

Sleep Well

Whenever you think about sleeping, the only thing that runs through your mind is getting in enough hours of sleep. However, your sleeping posture might be the reason why you are having backaches. If you realize that you wake up with body aches, chances are you are not sleeping properly. The first thing you need to do is get an orthopedic mattress. It will ensure that your back does not bend, and your spine will get aligned better when you sleep. There are several mattresses in the market that provide that support, so you should check them out. Additionally, it would help if you got a good pillow. A comfortable pillow will ensure that your neck and head are well aligned as you sleep. If you have any area on your spine that needs support, you can get a body pillow to ensure you sleep better and reduce the risk of damage to your spine.

 

Taking care of your spine is easier than trying to get it fixed. With the tips above, you get to ensure that you stay healthy and your spine will not have any problems that can be incapacitating.

 

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals offers a full continuing education program leading to Certification as a Health Care Life Coach, you may preview our program by accessing this link.

 

What is a Rhizotomy?

Nervous System

Written by McKenzie Jones 

Rhizotomy is a slightly obstructive surgical procedure to eliminate agitation from a painful nerve. It destroys the various nerve fibers that convey pain waves to the brain. The nerve fibers can be killed by burning them with an electrical current or destroying them with a surgical device. Rhizotomy immediately alleviates pain and can last for many years until the nerve heals and resumes normal functioning. Rhizotomy is also known as neurotomy or ablation, killing or eliminating cells.

Illnesses Managed by a Rhizotomy

Rhizotomy is utilized in treating various forms of pain and unusual nerve activities like:

Spasticity- the unusual tightening of your muscles, is managed by rhizotomy. A selective dorsal rhizotomy is suitable for spasticity resulting from cerebral palsy. It leads to the enhancement of communication between the muscles and the spine.

  • Joint pains such as the knee and the hip resulting from arthritis
  • Neck and back pain caused by herniated discs, arthritis, spinal stenosis, and various degenerative spine illnesses. The procedure performed in such conditions is termed facet rhizotomy since it invades the spine’s facet joints.
  • Various diseases attacking the peripheral nerves
  • Trigeminal neuralgia, which is facial pain caused by trigeminal nerve irritability, is also managed by rhizotomy.

Recovery After Rhizotomy

Rhizotomy is a fast procedure that only takes a short period- however, you will take some time in the recovery room at the surgical center due to the anesthesia used. You will start functioning normally after this based on your response to anesthesia, such as going to work or driving only after two days. You may also experience swelling, pain, or bruising in the area of surgery.

Forms of Rhizotomy

Various forms of rhizotomy comprise killing the fibers in a nerve that convey pain signals. Based on where the nerve is situated, rhizomes can be carried out using local or general anesthesia and typically utilize fluoroscopy, x-ray, or image-controlled technique to ascertain precision.

Radiofrequency Rhizotomy

Radiofrequency rhizotomy is also referred to as ablation, which utilizes a radiofrequency current to destroy the fibers. It is usually applied in patients who experience recurrent pain and require help dealing with scar tissue.

Glycerol/glycerine Rhizotomy

Here, the surgeon utilizes a needle to put a small number of chemicals to the base of the impacted nerve. The chemical eliminates the nerve fibers within the nerve between 45 to 60 minutes.

Endoscopic Rhizotomy

In this type of rhizotomy, the surgeon utilizes a camera gadget known as an endoscope to determine the impacted nerves and destroy their fibers. The endoscope is positioned through a tiny opening through various tubes known as tubular retractor structures. It enables the surgeon to reach the nerve without interfering with the healthy tissues and organs. This process is also termed a directly visualized rhizotomy.

The Effectiveness of Rhizotomy

The success rate of rhizotomy is not 100%, just like the various procedures. A certain number of patients may slightly or not benefit from rhizotomy ultimately. Other individuals who experience pain alleviation from the process may come back after the regrowth of the nerve. However, such cases only affect a small number of patients. During your consultation with a rhizotomy specialist, it is significant to request all the details to decide your procedure. The majority of patients that experience rhizotomy get long-lasting pain alleviation.

Risks Associated With Rhizotomy

The side effects of rhizotomy are based on the type of nerve being worked on or the procedure being performed.

  • Radiofrequency rhizotomy contains higher chances of causing numbness than the chemical procedure.
  • The side effects of glycerol rhizotomy include: vomiting, infection, bleeding, nausea and a slight possibility of experiencing numbness and other anesthesia-related issues.

If you are experiencing back pain, you need to understand facet joints, which are underdiagnosed sources of pain. Most patients usually spend a lot of time managing the pain without success. It is due to the misdiagnosis of the leading cause of such pain. Rhizotomy, therefore, addresses topics such as controlling the pain resulting from such facet joint pain, which is effective. The first step in determining whether rhizotomy is suitable for you is steroid pain injections. If they succeed in minimizing the pain by at least 80% or higher, then rhizotomy is ideal for you. It relieves your pain, enabling you to finally feel better.

 

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals offers a full continuing education program leading to Certification as a Health Care Life Coach, you may preview our program by accessing this link.

Meeting The Challenges Posed By Moving Away For Work

Funny girl with blue doctor uniformBy Lucy Peters

Most medical professionals are enduring one of the most difficult and challenging periods of their career. Now, many are moving to other jobs, in new cities, on the back of their work, in search of better pay and work/life balance. Indeed, CNBC has highlighted huge wage growth and upheaval from multiple sectors ranging from healthcare assistants to surgeons. For medical professionals making the move, there’s a wide range of factors to consider, from the amenities and security of a new town to crucial factors, such as the ability of a young family to settle on new shores.

Making the switch

Upheaval will impact every member of the family but children are often disproportionately impacted. According to a study analyzed by Psychology Today, relocating with a young family can, if managed improperly, create serious long-term problems that impact the development of kids well into adulthood. The reasons why are fairly clear – the emotional and physical ties that anyone makes with their community and surroundings is one that has a big impact on who that person becomes later in life. Depriving them of it, without explanation, can be harmful. The key is, of course, communication. Families moving to a new city should first make it absolutely clear just what is involved with the move, and why it’s happening. To further develop the message, provide opportunities to retain ties with the home community. That’s easy in the modern day, with the help of communications tools.

Developing new roots

Don’t treat a new area as simply somewhere to stay. A healthy psychological state relies on community; one NAMI blog asserts that community helps to develop a sense of belonging, purpose, and support, all crucial factors when putting roots down in a new city. Meet neighbors, join local events and traditions, and make your out-of-work life as important as making a good impression in your new job.

A work-life balance

Moving to a new job is a chance to impress. As a result, many workers will work long hours, go the extra mile, and do everything in their power to make a good impression on a new boss and set of co-workers. Unfortunately, that attitude can be dangerous. A report by the BBC found that western workers now operate, on average, 54 hours a week – and that this can be detrimental to long-term health. It’s clear that making a good impression can be beneficial to long-term professional development and job satisfaction, but it cannot come at the sacrifice of a work-life balance. Back yourself by setting boundaries early and only taking on what you can sustainably support. You will thank yourself in the long run.

Your family, too, will thank you. Moving to a new community is something that often benefits the breadwinner in the family, but it needs to be looked at through the prism of family. Look for solutions that benefit everyone, not just the newly employed.

 

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Certification Programs and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

Certified Case Manager Education: What is Population Health?

Population Health Management

Today’s Certified Case Manager is becoming more involved in assessing and working with information on population health. Population health looks at the data of an entire group instead of an individual patient and considers not only the general state of health of the population but typical outcomes as well.  “Population health is defined as the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.” (1)

 The term “population health” is a broad one and the group examined can be defined in a variety of ways; your chosen population could be a specific town or city, race or even age group. Viewing data across a broad population can help determine the best practices of care for that particular group and allow for that group’s needs to be anticipated and met. A definition of population health is: “The inherent value of a population health perspective is that it facilitates integration of knowledge across the many factors that influence health and health outcomes.” (1).    “The CDC, which has a Division of Population Health, is far wordier and gives more of a functional definition. Population health is interdisciplinary, according to the CDC website, and an approach that uses “nontraditional partnerships” among different sectors of the community — public health, industry, academia, healthcare, local government entities — to achieve positive health outcomes.” (2)  We see more content being added today to Case Manager Certification education curriculums on this interesting and important practice topic.

William Edwards Deming was a scientist and engineer and is best known for his principles of productivity; his approaches are often modeled by organizations looking to boost efficiency and quality while lowering costs. Deming’s involvement was a key component of Japan’s recovery after WWII; he also brought his unique take on the tie between quality and productivity to corporations in the US, including the Ford Motor company. This attention to quality helped Japan rebound after WWII and become a booming economy just a decade later; it also helped Ford and other US car makers understand why Japanese motors were outperforming homegrown products year after year. Applying these same principles to population health can help improve outcomes and as a natural byproduct of that improved care, reduce costs as well.

 

The Deming Philosophy and Healthcare

The Deming philosophy or approach at its most basic states that when an organization focuses on improving quality, costs will naturally fall over time. Case managers work with this philosophy everyday and are at the forefront of guiding quality, cost-effective care.  Conversely, an organization that is focused on costs will find their quality dwindling over time. This philosophy can be applied to a variety of industries – including healthcare. When we focus on improving care and outcomes, we can expect costs to drop; focus too much on costs and the quality of care can easily slip. Case managers know this well and serve as educators today to teach this to others on the health care team.

 

Applying Deming Principles to Healthcare

Managed Care = Managed Processes

The concept of managed care is less about planning the daily work of individual providers and more about the way that the entire process works. The broad approach that is taken to care will have a larger impact on the health of specific populations; engaging and including physicians and providers in the planning process is a must. These providers are the clinicians dealing with clients on a regular basis, and their insight could hold the key to improved overall process and better levels of care.

 

Engaging Physicians in the Process of Care

Including working physicians in the conversation will greatly improve both the approach to care and the outcomes. Doctors, nurses certified case managers and other providers are working “in the trenches” daily and already have the skills and knowledge to predict what methods will work and what will not. Incorporating frontline care providers in conversations about population health is a must if we are going to properly serve that population and understand what will work (and what won’t).

 

Accurate and Timely Data is a Must

“In God we trust…and all others must bring data.”
William Edwards Deming

This Deming quote is at the heart of why data is so important. If we can’t measure population health data, there is no way to tell if measures are resulting in improved outcomes, worsened outcomes or having no impact at all. The ability to measure and compare data from a specified population is a must; without accurate data and the ability to analyze it, there is no way to determine if measures designed to improve care have any actual impact at all.

The quality-based approach outlined by Deming offers many advantages and possibilities for population health and for healthcare in general.  For true gains to be made, the right data must be collected and accessible, front-line caregivers need to be involved in the planning process, and a broad approach to care for a specific population needs to be implemented. We need to continue to provide continuing education for our case managers and others on the health care team in the quality improvement process, including the use of quality improvement tools, data collection and appropriate interpretation of data.

Some reasons we should care about population health include; 1) it is people focused, 2) it seeks to improve the health of our society, 3) it helps to reduce costs as society becomes healthier, 4) it promotes medical science to deliver better care, 5) it leads to the ability to provide better access to care, and 6) it promotes better patient engagement (3). As such it fits very well into the role of todays certified case manager. It would be most advantageous if we provide our case managers more continuing education and opportunities to become involved in this area of practice. Becoming more intimately involved in population health will assist case management profession in its ultimate growth and expansion of specialized professional practice.

Are you a licensed health care professional who is interested in becoming a Certified Case Manager? If so, you may want to preview information on our Certification and Fellowship program at the American Academy of Case Management. You may access information here.

References:

  1. David A. Kingdig (Ed.) What is Population Health? Improving Population Health: Policy, Practice, Research. University of Wisconsin. Population Health Sciences.
  2. Karen Appold. Confused About Population Health? You’ve Come to the Right Place. Managed Healthcare Executive. Vol. 30, Issue 10. October 2020.
  3. Christina Rosario. Why is Population Health Important? Advanced Data Systems Corporation. July 8, 2020.

Employee Retention Strategies For The Healthcare Industry

Doctor's uniform and stethoscope isolated in a white backgroudWritten By Lucy Peters

In the current labor market, employee retention is more important than ever. Some are describing the current period as ” the great resignation.” With the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic causing many to reassess their employment and change jobs, this is doubly true in the healthcare industry, which was of course the industry most involved with dealing with the pandemic. Employers are looking for effective strategies to increase employee well-being and therefore retention, which will reduce turnover and costs associated with hiring new employees.

Why Do Employees Leave?

To come up with useful employee retention strategies, it is first important to understand why employees leave their positions. Once we understand this, we can attempt to mitigate these circumstances as much as possible. The two biggest quoted reasons are usually salary and benefits or feeling overworked. In the healthcare industry, the second option here is usually key. In fact, even pre-pandemic, the turnover rates of US hospitals were seeing a small but steady climb, reaching 19.5% in 2020. Replacing employees is expensive and time-consuming, which is why employee retention planning is also a budgetary issue. One sensible idea is to implement an exit interview or survey when an employee moves on, in which you ask them to outline exactly why they are leaving. This data will help you more effectively design your benefits and retain future employees.

Retaining employees is critical to building strong teams and nurturing talents. The key to employee retention is keeping employees both happy and motivated. This can be a particular struggle within healthcare, an industry where long hours and a high-stress environment is commonplace. All is not lost though, as there are still effective ways to increase happiness and motivation in any work environment, and they might just be the key to reducing your turnover rates.

Review Salaries And Provide Better Work Arrangements

The first thing that should be assessed is the salaries offered. Are they lower than the industry average? Remember, lower salaries may seem like a smart financial decision but can incur “hidden” costs if they are contributing to a high turnover rate, as money is spent on replacing and onboarding new employees. These days, employees are also seeking more flexible working arrangements, and this should be implemented wherever possible.

Make Employees Feel Valued

The next step is to ensure employees feel rewarded outside of salary. Some of the most effective ways to reward employees don’t have to cost the earth, and although salary should be considered here, smaller gestures can go a long way in making an employee feel valued – rewarding employees on a budget is perfectly possible. One idea you could implement is to start weekly or monthly lunches to build morale and foster teamwork. Also, ensure hard work is recognized – for example, the gesture of sending a card can go a long way and lets employees know their work is being noticed.

Offering wellness perks such as discounted gym memberships or free classes are also a great idea, as employees that are fit and healthy are much more likely to be happy. Regular surveys where employees can express their concerns or ideas is a great option – as long as you then act on these. Not only will this increase workplace morale but it also gives your employees the chance to change their working environment for the better, empowering them to do better work.

Employee retention can be a particular struggle within the healthcare industry, which has such a high turnover rate. However, there are some important strategies that can be implemented to help mitigate this. Offering perks to increase employee happiness will go a long way, but overall, the most important thing is understanding why employees leave. The use of employee surveys will help you optimise your strategy and create a working environment that they want to be in.

 

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Healthcare Manager Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a Healthcare Manager Program

 

What is Sciatica? How to Treat it

By: McKenzie Jones

Sciatica is a painful nerve condition that gets its name from the very nerve it affects, the sciatic nerve. When you consider that the sciatic nerve travels along the lower back via the hips, butt, and down each leg, it makes sense that people suffering from it tend to complain of lower back pain. Curiously, this condition usually only manifests along one side of the body.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Several symptoms can quickly clue a person in on whether or not they are dealing with a case of sciatica.

  • Paint that starts from the lower spine region, known as the lumbar, and spreads to the butt and along the back of a leg. There might be discomforting sensations anywhere along the sciatic nerve’s path but it most often follows this “course.”
  • Erratic levels of pain in the area. Sometimes it can feel like a minor ache, while other times it feels like you are being jabbed with a burning implement or even got zapped with electricity. The pain will usually be worse during coughing and sneezing and prolonged periods of being seated can worsen these issues. Again, this variable level of pain only manifests along one side of the body.
  • Some sciatic patients complain of numbness, tingling, or weakness in the relevant leg or foot; it is completely possible to feel pain in one section of the leg and feel numb in a separate part.

Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica usually happens when one of the following events occurs and compresses the sciatic nerve.

  • You experience a herniated disc. Your spine is composed of bones and discs. While the former is obvious, spinal discs are composed of a soft gelatinous “nucleus” surrounded by a rubbery “annulus;” herniated discs happen when the nucleus manages to seep out of a torn, damaged annulus.
  • Bone spurs manifest along the spine.
  • The spine becomes narrowed through a condition like spinal stenosis.

How to Prevent Sciatica

The best way to prevent sciatica is to look at the most common circumstances that contribute to it.

  • The spine can change as we age and scenarios like herniated discs and bone spurs are only more likely to occur the older a person gets.
  • Because excess body weight can place additional strain on the spine, it is best to try and stay lean through exercise and good dieting.
  • Jobs that involve a lot of back-twisting, handling heavyweights, or driving for long periods of time all play a role in sciatica but may not be a definitive source.
  • Lengthy Sits. Keeping active is a great way to avoid sciatica; people who stay seated for lengthy periods or whose lifestyle is mostly sedentary are far more likely to develop sciatica.
  • Diabetes manipulates the body’s blood sugar usage and can contribute to the sort of nerve damage that leads to nerve damage. In short, sciatica is another reason to practice good eating habits and avoid developing diabetes.

How to Treat Sciatica

Despite how raging the pain may be from a case of sciatica, sciatica treatment is usually resolved without surgery and can take just a few weeks. In the rare cases where conservative treatments fail to abate the symptoms or the subject has also developed extreme weakness in the legs, bowel, or bladder, doctors will resort to surgical options. If surgery is called for, the surgeon will perform a discectomy or laminectomy, procedures where they go into the part of the body that is compressing the sciatic nerve and either partly removes a bone or repair and/or replaces the herniated disc.

In Conclusion

Sciatica is a form of nerve damage, associated with the lower back, butt, and legs, that can ruin a person’s day. While the pain that flares up with this ailment can vary wildly, the fact remains that the patient is experiencing a pinch or other impairment along their sciatic nerve. Several factors contribute to sciatica and most of them can be prevented. Should you need to go to the doctor, only a small percent of sciatica cases require surgical intervention.

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Health Care Life Coaching Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

Small Steps Equal Joyful Holistic Living

Holistic Health

 By: Tara Tonsetic, CHC Certified Health Care Coach

 Sometimes a simple mind shift and taking a few small steps toward change makes a world of difference during this ever-changing season of life. Small steps can lead to big changes and big changes can lead to a more joyful way of holistic living. Here are a few health care life coach tips you can do that are positive to your overall health, giving you more energy and balance.

 

Water, Water, Water!

 Keeping hydrated is a great way to help improve your overall energy level. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day (Children need 1 for each lb. they weigh). It helps to drink 20 ounces of your total consumption first thing in the morning to help start the daily process. You can always jazz it up by adding fresh fruit or drinking warm water with lemon to help boost your Immune system and balance the pH levels in your body. *Source for drinking ½ your bodyweight in ounces per day Click this link:

 

Restful Sleep.

Getting enough sleep each night is a powerful tool, simple as it sounds. Clocking seven to nine hours of sleep a night is ideal, if you can manage it. Incorporating these small changes can have long-lasting effects. Practice regular sleep patterns by going to bed at the same time each night. Disconnect from all technology at least an hour before bed, including your TV and phone in your bedroom. Also, if

you are feeling worried or anxious, it helps to write down anything that may be causing you stress. A simple list will do. Write down what you plan to do the next day, as well. This will help free up your mind and allow for a restful night’s sleep.

 

Move That Body!

 When we think about exercising, sometimes it can be overwhelming to add another task to our daily to-do lists. Start small; any movement is good, even if it is just 10-15 minutes a day. Think about what you liked to do as a kid — dance, run, jump on a trampoline? What made you feel happy? Try that out! Think outside the box. *Source for movement each day: click this link

 

Positive Attitude.

 A positive mindset can change so much. Just a simple adjustment on how you view something or how you respond to someone reflects on your overall health. We have the ability each and every day to make the choice to live with positive intentions, to celebrate all the good of life’s happenings, but also to not dwell on those that are not so happy. Remember that you are in total control of your life, how you feel, and how you respond and interact with others!

 

By making these simple changes, you are helping to balance out your blood sugar levels, which will improve your overall physical and emotional wellbeing. It also will give you more energy, thus adding more fuel to your day! Remember, little steps can equal big results. As always, though, don’t forget to grant yourself some grace when trying something different.

Are you a health care professional interested in becoming a professional Heath Care Life Coach? If you have an interest in this sub-specialty practice then the Certification program offered by the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. may be just the program for you. You can preview our Certification Program at this page.

 

Additional Resources

Health Coaching: access this link

How to Calculate How Much Water to Drink:  access this link

Sleep Hygiene : access this link

 

Tara Tonsetci, CHC, is a Certified Health Coach. She may be reached at: tara.tonsetic@gmail.com

Why Hire a Certified Health Care Life  Coach?

Health care life coach By: Tara Tonsetic, CHC

Have you ever started a fitness program, but didn’t see it through to completion? Or, on the flip side, change your way of eating but it just didn’t feel right to you? Maintaining good overall wellness is super important to our everyday lives. Partnering with a Health Care Life Coach might just be the perfect solution to finding what works best for YOU!

Having good insight on your own personal wellness journey is invaluable. There are so many areas to consider, not just what you eat and how you exercise, but your mindset, attitude, how you live, and so much more. Consider hiring a Health Care Life Coach to help guide you through this process. A Coach can help to define your goals, make you conscious of your highs and lows, and most importantly help you to make a plan and hold you accountable to work that plan. A Health Coach is going to help to connect together all the areas of your life for the better.

When hiring a Health Care Life Coach, you want to build a trusting relationship where there is open and honest communication. Your coach will want you to be successful in whatever you define as your success and will help you get there through one-on-one sessions, hands-on exercises, and take away reading homework, to name a few. You may also look to hire someone who can assist with a specific focus that needs attention such as weight loss, stress management, increasing your energy levels, and addiction. There are many coaches out there that specialize in these various areas and more. Define what you would like to accomplish overall and research to find the best person out there to help you do YOU!

Remember to keep these few tips in mind when choosing the best coach for You:

A Health Care Life Coach should provide one-on-one support and take a genuine interest in helping you achieve your goals. A Health Care Life Coach will help you define the life YOU want to live and help you to make a plan to get there.

MOST IMPORTANT: Remember, YOU are always in total control of your actions and goals. The process of working with a coach will allow you to become more self-aware so that you can make the best decisions in any situation that may pop up. You will know what success means to you and you will become your own expert overtime. Happy coaching!

If you are Health Care Professional and are interested in becoming a Professional Life Care Coach, the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. offers a full curriculum of Continuing Education Courses that leads to a national Certification in Health Care Life Coaching. You may access information on our program by visiting this page.

 

Additional Readings:

What is a Health Coach and Should you Hire One?  Access here ( https://bit.ly/3xSTZd5 )

Health Coaching for Patients with Chronic Illness  Access here (https://www.aafp.org/fpm/2010/0900/p24.html )

Why Health Care Needs Health Coaches  Access here  (https://www.physicianspractice.com/view/why-healthcare-needs-health-coaches )

 

Tara Tonsetci, CHC, is a Certified Health Coach. She may be reached at: tara.tonsetic@gmail.com