Survey Reveals Myths About Back Pain
are so afraid of being told they will need surgery that they may
not seek even the most basic help for their back pain.
That’s a key finding of a recent member survey of an
organization dedicated to improving spine care—the North
American Spine Society (NASS).
is heartbreaking to see that myths and an unnecessary fear of
surgery are holding people back from getting even the most
conservative help for their back pain,” said Joseph Cheng, MD,
MS, associate professor of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt
University Medical Center and NASS Public Affairs Committee
Most Don’t Need Surgery
According to Cheng, the vast majority (90 percent) of people
with back pain will get better without treatment or by using
conservative treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication,
exercise, coping skills and physical therapy.
Spine surgery is recommended in only about 1 percent of cases,
with very specific diagnoses, after a more conservative course
of treatment already has been tried.
Back Pain Myths
Despite these facts, patient concerns about potential surgery
came up many times throughout the “9 for Spine” survey results.
The survey shows that 66 percent of spine specialists surveyed
believe that fear of possible treatments, including surgery,
keeps their patients from seeking help for back pain.
of their patients believe the myth that once you have spine
surgery, you are destined to have multiple spine surgeries. The
survey also found that over 12 percent of patients wait more
than 90 days from the onset of their back pain to seek help from
a spine specialist—far longer than the recommended four to six
Preventing Back Pain
asked what advice they would offer their patients to prevent
back pain, 76 percent of the specialists surveyed stressed the
importance of regular exercise and nearly 50 percent urged
patients not to smoke.
Dr. Cheng, “Right at the top of the list are common sense things
like exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy
body weight and using proper body posture and mechanics when
using electronic gadgets or lifting heavy objects.”
North American Spine Society’s 6,500 members are dedicated to
providing the highest-quality spine care.
learn more about back pain myths and caring for your back, visitwww.knowyourback.org.
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Asthma Rates At An All-Time High In The U.S.
Misperceptions Abound About What Defines Asthma
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asthma
is a leading chronic illness affecting an estimated 18.7 million
adults and 7 million children. Many people who experience
persistent asthma fail to recognize the severity of their
disease − often until it is too late and they are fighting to
breathe. And while mild asthma can be managed on an “as needed”
basis with a quick-relief inhaler, people with persistent asthma
should talk to their doctor about daily treatment with a therapy
that actually helps prevent symptoms and reduce the number of
problem is that many people living with asthma fail to realize
that if they are using a quick-relief inhaler to treat their
symptoms more than twice a week other than for prevention of
exercised-induced bronchospasm (EIB), their asthma is not well
controlled. In these cases, a quick-relief inhaler isn’t really
helping the underlying problem. The National Institutes of
Health says that inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapies are the
first treatment options to consider for long-term control
therapy in patients with persistent asthma. ICS therapies are a
maintenance versus a quick-relief or “as needed” approach to
asthma care. They are intended to be used daily to manage and
prevent persistent asthma symptoms.
“Many asthma patients don’t understand that fast-acting inhalers
are not for regular, daily use. They should only be used when
experiencing asthma symptoms,” said Dr. Gene Colice, Director of
Pulmonary, Critical Care and Respiratory Services at Washington Hospital Center.
“More importantly, if a patient is using a fast-acting inhaler
more than twice a week, their asthma is not controlled and they
should talk to a doctor to discuss better options.”
example of an ICS therapy that can be used daily to manage
persistent asthma is QVAR® (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA).
QVAR is important because of its small particle size. Asthma
attacks are caused by inflammation that can affect both the
large and small airways of the respiratory system, from the
windpipe to the small passage ways of the lung. Because of its
small particle size, QVAR is proven to reach both the large and
small airways. QVAR helps to prevent inflammation and improve
patient feels their asthma symptoms are not under control,
scheduling an appointment with their doctor is the first step in
gaining back control. Much like any other condition, compliance
with a treatment protocol is key to managing persistent asthma.
If a daily maintenance therapy is in order, patients need to
remember to comply with their treatment schedule and realize
that feeling better does not mean they should stop taking their
“Asthma is a complicated disease because the symptoms aren’t
always present, so patients sometimes feel like their asthma is
cured when it really isn’t,” said Dr. Colice. “Maintenance
treatments, like ICS therapies need to be taken every day to be
effective. Asthma doesn’t need to limit anyone from living their
life, as long as they take their medications as prescribed and
regularly talk with their doctor about asthma control.”
Approved Uses and Important
dipropionate HFA) Inhalation Aerosol is used in the ongoing
treatment of asthma as preventative therapy in patients 5 years
of age or older.
QVAR® is also used for asthma
patients who require systemic corticosteroid administration,
where adding QVAR® may reduce or eliminate the need for systemic
QVAR® does not replace
quick-relief inhalers for sudden symptoms.
CAUTION: If you are stopping
or switching from an oral corticosteroid to QVAR®, follow your
doctor’s instructions to avoid health risks. (See WARNINGS,
Inhaled corticosteroids may cause
a reduction in growth rate, so children taking QVAR® should have
their growth checked regularly. The long-term effect on final
adult growth is unknown.
Do not stop taking QVAR® abruptly
without talking to your doctor.
In clinical studies, common side
effects included headache and sore throat. These are not all of
the possible side effects of QVAR. For more information, ask
your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
You are encouraged to report
negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch,
or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
For complete prescribing
information, go to www.QVAR.com
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Three Ways To Help Save A Life
people can do the extraordinary: Help save a life. Your marrow
donation, your financial contribution, your time and energy—any
and all of these gifts can result in a cure for someone like Valaria Fenderson.
12 years old, Valaria’s been
admitted to the hospital more than most people. The reason:
sickle cell anemia. This inherited blood disorder has plagued Valaria since
birth, causing frequent bouts of debilitating pain in her legs,
back and chest.
for the day when this pain is gone—a day when she can feel
normal—and a marrow transplant is the only way this dream can
However, no one in her family is a matching donor. Her doctors
have turned to the Be The Match Registry—the world’s largest
listing of potential marrow donors—to search for one selfless
stranger who could save her life.
marrow transplant can cure someone with sickle cell anemia or
life-threatening blood cancers, but like Valaria,
most patients do not have matching donors within their families;
that’s why Be The Match’s mission is so vital. The nonprofit
organization connects patients with donors and facilitates
Adding more potential donors to the registry is crucial. If
you’re between the ages of 18 and 44, you’re especially needed.
Research shows that such donors provide the greatest chance for
can join the registry at a registry drive or sign up online atBeTheMatch.org.
Potential donors must meet age and health guidelines and be
willing to donate to any patient in need. Each registrant
completes a health history form and provides a swab of cheek
Registering isn’t the only way you can help. Financial donations
help patients afford medical procedures, fund clinical research
to improve transplant outcomes and bring a patient a step closer
to a cure.
Volunteering is a third way to help. You could organize a
registry drive and recruit donors at your school, church or
civic center or consider volunteering at a Be The One Run
fundraising run-walk event.
bottom line: Every registry member, every contributor and every
volunteer increases the odds that a critically ill person will
have a second chance at life.
still looking for that second chance. “She’s in less pain now
but she still needs a transplant,” her mother said. “I’m
confident that Valaria’s match
is out there—just an ordinary person who realizes that he or she
can become the cure for someone battling sickle cell anemia and
blood cancers.” Are you that person?
find out how you can help, visit www.BeTheMatch.org or
call (800) MARROW2.
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Proven In Hospitals, New Topical Powder Stops
is good news for people who bleed easily, such as the 52 million
Americans on blood thinners or those with thin skin. For them,
the smallest cut can bleed for hours or even days before
stopping. It’s a nuisance that disrupts their daily life. While
medical professionals have the technology to stop bleeding
instantly in the hospital, an over-the-counter solution is now
available to do the same in the home.
After many successful clinical studies and years of use in
leading hospitals, the topical powder, called WoundSeal, created
by senior citizens for senior citizens, stops bleeding through
the creation of an instant scab. It is the only product that
stops bleeding and seals the wound within seconds of its
“It’s just amazing how effectively the powder works,” says Louis
M. Guzzi, M.D. “I think it is the next generation of wound care,
like adhesive bandages were a century ago. Once poured and
pressed onto the bleeding wound, the powder combines with blood
to form an instant scab, which is waterproof and durable. In
most cases, bleeding stops almost instantly, even for my
patients on blood thinners.”
topical powder works for everyone and does not interact with
popular retirement community in southwest Florida,
Jim Simpson, 65, said this medical breakthrough is welcome news.
someone who takes blood thinners, I bleed easily at the
slightest bump and bandages do not stop the bleeding. It’s been
frustrating to constantly change messy bandages to the point
that it really disrupted my life. But then we tried this powder
and it worked in seconds the first time I tried it. I’ll never
be without it again.”
Guzzi agrees. “I trust it so much that I gave it to my mom and
grandmother to use at home when I can’t be there to help.”
WoundSeal, which is guaranteed by the manufacturer to work, is
now available at Walgreens and CVS locations nationwide. For
more information, medical facts, store locations, clinical
studies and testimonials, visitwww.woundseal.com or
call (800) 722-7559.
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A Day With The Atom
too small to see can have a big influence on your life in
surprising ways. For example, consider what life would be like
if scientists had not harnessed the atomic nucleus to meet human
needs. There are many more ways than most people realize that
nuclear science and technology play a positive role in their
daily lives. Here’s a look at some examples:
you turn on the light, there’s a one in five chance the
electricity came from a nuclear power plant.
you wear contact lenses, the saline solution you use may have
been sterilized with radiation.
nonstick surfaces on kitchenware are sometimes applied with the
help of radiation.
advanced materials in your car are often made possible by
radioisotopes and radiation techniques, and the rubber on the
tires may have been made stronger with the help of radiation.
can sleep safely knowing you have a smoke detector to alert you
to potential danger thanks to its built-in radioisotope.
more information from the American Nuclear Society, go towww.ans.org/pi/atom.
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New Website For Those Experiencing Vision Loss
new to vision loss can take heart. There are ways to stay
self-reliant and manage the challenges that come with vision
problems by getting support and making changes at home.
quality of life need not lessen; here are some tips to keep
living at home both comfortable and safe:
• Keep rooms well lit. This reduces the chances of tripping over
• Use task lighting for reading and other close work, as this
• When eating, set the table by placing plates and utensils on a
surface of contrasting color; e.g., a light-colored plate on a
dark place mat.
• Eliminate clutter. A good idea, generally; additional open
space can improve navigability.
• Use a basket or tray to store and keep track of TV remotes,
keys and pill bottles. Always return these items to their “home”
when not in use.
Vision loss in adult years can have a dramatic effect on
emotional well-being, daily life and independence. For the more
than 25 million Americans with vision problems, help and
resources are available on VisionAware.org, a free, easy-to-use,
informational website from the American Foundation for the Blind
(AFB) and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation.
Visitors to the site will find:
• Information on eye conditions and disorders;
• Breaking news on the latest developments in vision loss
treatment via theVisionAware blog;
• Directories of helpful services, products and resources;
• Information on coping with vision loss;
• Different ways to connect with others, including message
boards and social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.
The new VisionAware complements
AFB’s family of websites, designed to help people with vision
loss achieve their full potential.
The American Foundation for the Blind is a national nonprofit
that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. Since
1955, Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation has been a
vital source of support on local, regional and national levels
for the blind and visually impaired. For more information, visitwww.VisionAware.org.
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Understanding High Pressure In The Eye And
pressure in the eye is an important risk factor for developing
Pressure in the eye can go up when fluid does not drain out of
the eye properly. This can happen if the drains in the eye are
not working correctly. Too much fluid stays in the eye, which
causes pressure in the eye to rise. This high pressure in the
eye is also known as ocular hypertension.
people with high pressure in the eye may develop open-angle
glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma and can
damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the link between your
eye and your brain. When pressure rises in the eye over time,
the optic nerve may be damaged.
important to know that open-angle glaucoma can develop in one or
both eyes. If you are diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma, your
eye doctor may recommend a treatment option to lower pressure in
the eye. There are a number of options available to lower
pressure in the eye to help manage your condition. The most
common treatments are prescription eye drops or surgery.
Sometimes, both are needed. Today, most prescription eye drops
to lower high pressure in the eye contain preservatives and they
come in multiuse bottles. Preservative-free options to lower
high pressure in the eye are also available and come in
single-use containers. It is important for you to talk to your
doctor about your treatment options. Together, you can decide
which one is right for you.
Once-daily ZIOPTAN™ (tafluprost ophthalmic
solution) 0.0015% was approved by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) in February 2012. ZIOPTAN is a
prescription, sterile, eye drop solution. ZIOPTAN is used to
lower the pressure in the eye (or intraocular pressure) in
people with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension when
their eye pressure is too high. ZIOPTAN belongs to a group of
medicines called prostaglandin analogs (PGAs).
ZIOPTAN is not for use in children.
is important that patients diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma
work with their eye doctors to find a treatment option that will
help lower their eye pressure,” said George Spaeth,
M.D., Wills Eye Institute, Philadelphia.
“I am happy to have another option for patients in my practice.”
ZIOPTAN (tafluprost ophthalmic
solution) helps lower the pressure in the eye and control it
throughout the day. In clinical studies of up to two years,
ZIOPTAN was shown to be effective in lowering high pressure in
the eye. ZIOPTAN, used once daily in the evening, lowered high
eye pressure by 6−8 mmHg (mmHg = millimeters of mercury, a
measurement of fluid pressure in the eye) after being used for
three months. It lowered high eye pressure by 5−8 mmHg after
being used for six months. At the start of the study, patients’
pressure in the eye was 23−26 mmHg before taking ZIOPTAN.
ZIOPTAN is approved to lower elevated IOP. ZIOPTAN is not
approved to treat or prevent any other signs of open-angle
glaucoma or ocular hypertension, including optic nerve damage
and/or vision loss.
Unlike most eye drops that lower high pressure in the eyes,
ZIOPTAN is preservative-free. And it comes in sterile,
more information on ZIOPTAN, talk to your eye doctor and visitwww.ZIOPTAN.com.
Important Safety Information About ZIOPTAN
ZIOPTAN may cause serious side effects including:
• changes in
the color of your eye (iris). Your
iris may become more
brown in color
while using ZIOPTAN. This color change may not go away when you
stop using ZIOPTAN. If ZIOPTAN is used in 1 eye only, the color
of that eye may always be a different color from the color of
your other eye.
darkening of the color of the skin around your eye (eyelid). These
skin changes usually go away when you stop using ZIOPTAN (tafluprostophthalmic
increasing the length, thickness, color or number of your
eyelashes.These eyelash changes usually go away when you
stop using ZIOPTAN.
• hair growth
on your eyelids. This
hair growth usually goes away when you stop using ZIOPTAN.
Before you use ZIOPTAN, tell your doctor if you have or have had
eye problems, including any surgery on your eye or eyes, are
using any other eye medicines, or have had any other medical
Before you use ZIOPTAN, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or
plan to become pregnant. It is not known if ZIOPTAN will harm
your unborn baby. You should use an effective method of birth
control while you use ZIOPTAN. If you become pregnant while
using ZIOPTAN, talk to your doctor right away. Tell your doctor
if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known
if ZIOPTAN passes into your breast milk. Talk to your doctor
about the best way to feed your baby if you use ZIOPTAN.
your doctor about all the medicines you take, including
prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and
herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of
them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new
your doctor if you have any new eye problems while using ZIOPTAN,
including an eye injury, an eye infection, a sudden loss of
vision, eye surgery, swelling and redness of and around your eye
(conjunctivitis), and problems with your eyelids.
most common side effects of ZIOPTAN include redness, stinging or
itching of your eye, cataract formation, dry eye, eye pain,
blurred vision, headache, common cold, cough, and urinary tract
infection. Tell your doctor if you have any other side effects
that bother you. These are not all of the possible side effects
of ZIOPTAN. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Prescribing Information and Patient Information for ZIOPTAN are
available at www.zioptan.com.
information is provided by Merck.
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The Journey Of Mental Health Recovery
one point, Josh described his life as a nightmare. He heard
voices compelling him to break into his parents’ homes and take
his sister’s car, landing him in jail. He says it is difficult
to discuss this period of his life without perpetuating the
negative stigma related to his diagnosis of schizophrenia, a
condition that affects about 2.5 million American adults. Now,
13 years later, with a treatment team and family support, Josh
cites accepting his schizophrenia as the turning point in his
recovery, allowing him to actively engage in his treatments and
better manage his illness.
a combination of treatment that may include medication and
psychotherapy, many living with severe mental illness, such as
schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar I disorder,
are able to participate in daily activities and live meaningful
medication and the support I’ve received from my treatment team
have helped my symptoms improve over time. I feel I live a
normal life,” says Josh. “A good sign that things are going well
for me are the friendships I have with others and the support I
receive from them.”
According to experts, a recovery plan can help people with
severe mental illness meet their goals. Because everyone’s
mental health recovery journey is his or her own, recovery plans
are tailored toward each person’s unique needs.
Medication, including oral and injectable treatments, is the
foundation of the recovery process for most people with
schizophrenia. Taking antipsychotic medication regularly and as
prescribed can help reduce symptoms.
Long-acting injectable antipsychotic therapies (LATs), which are
administered every few weeks to a month depending on the
medication, offer patients a choice of how often to take their
medication and may help eliminate one less pill a day for their
“With the right plan and support, I’ve seen individuals live
fulfilling lives and contribute to society,” says David T.
Susman, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at Eastern State Hospital
in Lexington, Ky. “When I help someone build a recovery plan, we
discuss personal, work and social goals, and strategies for how
that individual, with help from their recovery team, can achieve
journey of recovery starts with hope, empowerment and
understanding that people can overcome the barriers and
obstacles that confront them. Family, friends and peers can
serve as an important support system.
“Families need to understand that schizophrenia is treatable and
that there have been many developments in antipsychotic
medications over the years,” says Katie Cadigan, documentary
filmmaker and a caregiver for her brother who lives with
schizophrenia. “The more our family learned about my brother’s
disease, the more he welcomed our help in making treatment
decisions and invited us to be part of his recovery.”
learn more about how treatment can help support your recovery
plan or that of a loved one, log on to www.TreatOnceMonthly.com.
TreatOnceMonthly.com provides resources for individuals living
with schizophrenia to help them understand treatment options and
choose a medication that is right for them with the help of a
healthcare professional. Visit the site to watch patient videos,
access a doctor’s visit guide and learn more about different
types of long-acting treatment.
About Serious Mental Illness
Approximately 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older—more
than one in four adults—are diagnosed with a mental disorder in
a given year. Of this percentage, about 6 percent, or one in 17
Americans, live with a serious mental illness.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., provided the content for this
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