It’s Men’s Health Month: How healthy are you?

Taking care of your health at any age is important, but throughout the month of June, anchored by a Congressional health education program, screenings, health education and outreach activities are being pushed to inform men on what they could be at risk for and what they need to improve on as a part of Men’s Health Month.

The goal of this month is to spread awareness of early detection and treatment of health issues among men, encouraging regular check-ups and general education about overall health.

Men’s Health Month is symbolized by the color blue, with Wear Blue Day taking place June 16. People are encouraged to wear blue on this day in support of the Month, creating a better understanding of some of the issues that men face.

Did you know?

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men, with cancer not too far behind.
  • On average, men live five years less than women.
  • Approximately 30,000 men in the U.S. die each year from prostate cancer. Men who lead active lifestyles with prostate cancer have a better survival rate than those who are not active. Regular physical activity has great health impacts on overall health, and men who demonstrate three or more hours of healthy exercise actually lower their risk of prostate cancer by 61 percent.

Bone and joint problems vary by gender, meaning treatment and recovery are different for both men and women. This month, make it a point to set up an appointment if you’re feeling any aches or pains. Not receiving the proper treatment only allows for aliments to worsen.

Below are a few orthopedic conditions that men are at higher risk for.

  • Fractures in their fingers and hands.
  • Complications with osteoporosis and hip fractures, developing conditions like pneumonia and systemic infections after a hip fracture.
  • More likely to have a soft-tissue injury like tears to an Achilles tendon or an arm-muscle injury.
  • Men, as they get older, can develop not only osteoporosis, but also rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid problems.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these orthopedic issues, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician. For more information, visit our website.

For more information on Men’s Health Month, visit: www.menshealthmonth.org.

Treating Sciatica

Those experiencing pain in the lower back or hip that extends into the back of the thigh and leg may have a common condition known as sciatica.

Sciatica may feel like an intense leg cramp, with sharp, shooting pain. This crampy feeling can last for weeks, and can also cause muscles to feel weak and numb.

Those between the ages of 30 and 50 are at the greatest risk for developing this condition. It can occur simply from the wear and tear of muscles over time or any sudden pressure on the vertebrae, but most commonly develops from a herniated disk. The herniated disk puts pressure on the nerve roots that become the sciatic nerve. These nerve roots will likely become inflamed and irritated, thereby increasing pain.

It’s important to meet with your doctor to diagnose and treat sciatica. Be prepared to offer a complete medical history, including details on where and when your pain started and how it feels. Your physician will likely conduct a physical examination to pinpoint the issue, and may ask you to do various exercises, or order X-rays or an MRI.

In severe circumstances, sciatica can be treated surgically. Most often, however, the condition will heal itself after adequate time and rest. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, can help to manage the pain, though you’ll need to consult with your doctor before taking any medication. Although resting the affected area is of the utmost importance, some movement is essential to the recovery process. Movement will help to reduce inflammation, which reduces pain. Every circumstance is different, and sometimes your physician may suggest cortisone injections and/or physical therapy.

If you’re having issues with sciatica, contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician. For more information about Campbell Clinic, please visit our website.

This blog post was adapted from AAOS.