All Posts in Category: Health Basics

Seizure First Aid

Do I call 911?

Seizures do not usually require emergency medical attention. Only call 911 if one or more of these are true:

  • The person has never had a seizure before.
  • The person has difficulty breathing or waking after the seizure.
  • The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • The person has another seizure soon after the first one.
  • The person is hurt during the seizure.
  • The seizure happens in water.
  • The person has a health condition like diabetes, heart disease, or is pregnant.

These are general steps to help someone who is having any type seizure:

  • Stay with the person until the seizure ends and he or she is fully awake. After it ends, help the person sit in a safe place. Once they are alert and able to communicate, tell them what happened in very simple terms.
  • Comfort the person and speak calmly.
  • Check to see if the person is wearing a medical bracelet or other emergency information.
  • Keep yourself and other people calm.
  • Offer to call a taxi or another person to make sure the person gets home safely.

First aid for generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures

When most people think of a seizure, they think of a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, also called a grand mal seizure. In this type of seizure, the person may cry out, fall, shake or jerk, and become unaware of what’s going on around them.

Here are things you can do to help someone who is having this type of seizure:

  • Ease the person to the floor.
  • Turn the person gently onto one side. This will help the person breathe.
  • Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp. This can prevent injury.
  • Put something soft and flat, like a folded jacket, under his or her head.
  • Remove eyeglasses.
  • Loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make it hard to breathe.
  • Time the seizure. Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.

Stop!

Knowing what NOT to do is important for keeping a person safe during or after a seizure.

stop sign with hand

Never do any of the following things:

  • Do not hold the person down or try to stop his or her movements.
  • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. This can injure teeth or the jaw. A person having a seizure cannot swallow his or her tongue.
  • Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth breaths (like CPR). People usually start breathing again on their own after a seizure.
  • Do not offer the person water or food until he or she is fully alert.
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Too Much, Too Little, Just Right

All too often a patient will come into clinic that has been very diligent with a fitness regime for years but despite preemptive health measures the patient will develop low back pain. It is described as a deep ache that is worse in the morning and/or night begins to interfere with the normal activities of his/her day. Seems like such a waste of time to put all the effort into staying fit then still having pain, right?

Often there is no specific injury and very little diagnostic grounds other than “facet hypertrophy” (described normally as arthritis in the low back) to support the claim of this pain. Chances are with most of these patients, arthritis did not develop in the last week or month. It is an accumulation of years of repetitive weightbearing and compressive forces to the spine that have brought about this change. The question remains, what can be done to improve this pain when you already believed you were doing all the right things to stay healthy?

In terms of treatment with patients that present with the history that I have outlined above; moderation becomes a recurrent phrase of emphasis. Other useful tools are variation and observation. Mixing up the cardio routine with a variation of biking (indoor or outdoor), swimming, and walking. If you have a gym routine for lifting weights or resistance exercises, try mixing things up by doing body weight activities or group aerobics. It may also be a nice change of pace to do a beginner’s class of yoga or Pilates. Moderation and observation are key parts to avoiding overuse injuries that cause setbacks.

There is current research to suggest that indeed there is a “happy medium” to activity. Too much activity can have as much of a negative impact on the body as doing nothing at all. Take home points:

  1. Use Variation in exercise choice
  2. Practice moderation with strenuous activities
  3. Observe how your body responds to activity and modify if necessary

If you are having setbacks due to low back/neck pain from too much activity or you find yourself sedentary and have no idea where to start, give us a call at 501-661-0077 for a consultation and evaluation at Legacy Spine and Neurological Specialists so that we can get you Back to Life!

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Bell’s Palsy

Definition

Bell’s palsy refers to facial paralysis caused by a lesion or inflammation of the facial nerve. Symptoms resemble a stroke, with unilateral facial weakness. However, most facial weakness from strokes spares the forehead muscles. These are weakened with Bell’s palsy. Patients will have unilateral facial weakness that often causes difficulty with eyelid closure, dropping of the affected side of the mouth and reduced ability to wrinkle the forehead or the nose.

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Memory Loss

Memory loss is a common neurological concern. Often, mild forgetfulness is due to stress, distraction, or even depression. Though patients can experience a little forgetfulness with aging, significant changes in memory or thinking are never only attributed to age.

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The Relationship of Neuropathy & Diabetes

Arkansas is ranked 4th among the nation in adult diabetes rates. This is somewhat of an alarming statistic. There are different forms of diabetes but type 2 diabetes is the one I would like to highlight. One complication that can be associated with type 2 diabetes is neuropathy.

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Holiday Health Tips

With the Holidays right around the corner, there are so many opportunities to over indulge, so here are some good tips to fight off those extra LBs and stay fit this Holiday Season!

Exercise: Its easy to skip out on your exercise during this extremely busy time of year, but here are some ideas to keep you motivated.

  1. Get outside

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Migraine Triggers

Many migraine patients recognize specific triggers to their headaches. Migraine patients are more sensitive to certain substances in their foods and environments as well as changes to their routine. Too much or too little sleep, changes in exercise routines, and processed foods can worsen migraine headaches.Heavy, flowery scents or cigarette smoke are frequent triggers.

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Writers Cramp

Task-specific dystonia, also known as “writers cramp” can occur in people who do repetitive movements.

It gets its name task-specific because classically, it only occurs during one specific task. It can be inherited, secondary to an underlying neurologic cause, or occur sporadically.

It is often initiated by voluntary movement with symptoms “overflowing” into adjacent muscles causing involuntary muscle cramping of adjacent fingers, wrist, and can include forearm. It can sometimes resemble a tremor. The most common task-specific dystonia is writers cramp, but this also frequently occurs in musicians due to the repetitive motions of playing an instrument. Treatments range from conservative measures such as occupational therapy and stretching to Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections of affected muscles if severely limiting function.

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Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween is quickly approaching, so the pumpkin carving has begun, with that comes some delicious and nutritious pumpkin seeds!

Pumpkin seeds are considered a nutritional powerhouse, containing magnesium, copper, protein, vitamin K, iron, and  zinc! They are full of antioxidants, high in fiber & low in calories.

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