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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on December 13, 2013

Holiday cheer fills the crisp air and the snow covers the tops of trees, painting a joyful winter picture. However, cold weather often comes with numerous potential health dangers. Young children, older adults, and the chronically ill may be put into vulnerable positions this winter, and Southwest Spine and Pain Center wants everyone to be prepared. The following information outlines the top three winter health dangers and smart ways to defend and avoid them from affecting you and your family.

Hypothermia. Approximately 700 deaths occur each year in the United States from hypothermia. When your body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) it is considered hypothermic. Adults over the age of 65 are often at a higher risk because their...

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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on December 11, 2013

The never-ending shopping list on top of the holiday chores is a lot to be responsible for during the holidays. As the days get shorter, our obligations become greater, almost always increasing stress and anxiety. When you add all the holiday stress with your chronic pain or spine condition, its never easy or fun.

Our Southwest Spine and Pain Center medical staff knows the holidays can be stressful and have created an environment of compassion and ease in all of our locations. We want each and every one of our patients to be prepared for every obstacle that comes their ways during their treatment. That is why we have provided a list of essential tips for fighting off holiday stress and depression.

Don’t hide your feelings. Know that it is okay to feel...

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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on December 6, 2013

The patients at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are compassionate and motivated people who work effortlessly to manage their pain and live normal lives. As providers of treatment and other interventional therapies, we want our patients to be equipped with all the proper tools to combat pain through any obstacle. Utah is best known for its winter activities. However, these fun adventures can be quickly interrupted when sneaky causes of winter pain arise and make it feel impossible to overcome.

We’ve determined three of the sneakiest causes of winter pain and provided some solutions to help people with chronic pain fight back and have a pain free winter and holiday season.

(1) The Problem: Dry Winter Air. During the winter season, temperatures drop...

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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on December 4, 2013

Chronic pain can feel unbearable at times. Medications and alternative therapies work differently for each patient, and sometimes patients take matters into their own hands. Let’s face it; we’ve all been guilty of it before. The prescription bottle says to take one but we take two because we think it will help. Physicians prescribe medications according to dosage and what they believe will help the patient best, and patients should adhere to these instructions.

At Southwest Spine and Pain Center, we work effortlessly to inform our patients about the risk of deviating from our direction and what will help with their pain management. We have provided a list of four common pain medication mistakes that will hopefully help chronic pain patients use their pain management therapies...

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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on December 2, 2013

On January 1, 2013, the International Headache Society published a paper citing weather predictions “could help chronic sufferers more efficiently anticipate headache and migraine arrival and begin preventative treatment immediately.”

We’ve learned that weather conditions do play a role in the levels of chronic pain symptoms, but could it they actually predict the future? Southwest Spine and Pain Center knows the level of interest this topic has for our chronic pain sufferers. We want to produce as much information and education to our patients so they can continue their pain management outside office walls.

In the study, headache incidences increased by 31 percent when lighting struck within a 25-...

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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on November 27, 2013

The holidays can be a real pain in the back! What is supposed to be a season filled with scented candles, and joyful music, ends up being stressful and strenuous on our bodies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 50,000 Americans sustain a back injury from a winter-related activity. In addition, 5,800 of those injuries are decorating-related.

At Southwest Spine and Pain Center, we want to spread joy through holiday pain management. Ordinary tips such as using good posture is helpful, but during the holiday season everything is bigger and our patients need bigger tips.

Most of our days and nights will be spend at the mall shopping for our families. Instead of letting back pain hold you back from getting your loved ones gifts, follow these...

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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on November 22, 2013

For those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the fall and winter months can be depressing, to say the least. Shorter days, lesser sunshine, and chilly temperatures make for an obvious disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm, which sometimes leads to feelings of depression.

Come January and February, individuals with SAD may feel like not even getting out of bed in the morning. Other symptoms include weight gain, irritability, and social avoidance. At Southwest Spine and Pain Center, we know the wintertime can be a hard season for our chronic pain patients. With locations all across Utah, we hope to better serve all of our patients, especially during difficult times.

Though the exact cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder is still unknown, physicians and scientists...

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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on November 20, 2013

Scientists and researchers alike agree that pain worsens with colder weather conditions, but could your pain actually predict the weather? On sunny days your pain may be excruciating and sure enough, it rains the following day. One of the longest controversies in medicine is weather conditions and the aggravating affects of physical pain.

In 400 B.C., Hippocrates noticed and hypothesized seasonal illnesses. The Chinese term for rheumatism translates to “wind-damp disease.” However, modern research shows inconclusive and inconsistent results matching weather patterns to reported pain. The inconsistency has left some people to dismiss the relationship at all and chalk it up to physiological misunderstandings.

Amos Tversky, a late Stanford psychologist in the mid-1990s, said...

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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on November 15, 2013

The funny bone didn’t just get its name because of the weird feeling after hitting it. In fact, the funny bone isn’t a bone at all. The tingling or burning sensation that is felt after hitting the region inside your elbow is actually from pressure of the ulnar nerve against the humerus bone (running from your elbow to your shoulder). Similar feelings of pricking or numbness may occur when you sleep on your arm or leg in a funny position.

Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves from performing properly. In severe cases, neuropathy can cause paralysis, although it is very rare. For most people with nerve pain, symptoms depend on the severity but usually include pain and weakness.

Nerve pain, also known as neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy is when damage is...

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Submitted by Kaitlyn Wekerle on November 13, 2013

It’s that time of year again; winter scented candles, Christmas lists, holiday shopping, and everything that goes along with it. Thanksgiving has yet to come, but most of us are already feeling the stress and headaches that often come during the winter season.

At Southwest Spine and Pain Center, we want to bring pain relief in every form to our patients so that they can enjoy their holidays. Many migraine and headache sufferers anticipate the upcoming agony, but by following our advice, the holidays will be much more merry.

  1. Alcohol. Holiday parties will offer up many cocktails. These seasonal celebrations will make it hard not to overindulge. Instead, drink in moderation or choose water to stay hydrated and avoid headaches.
  2. Holiday...
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