Solving the Mystery of Chronic Pain

chronic painAccording to a CDC report published in 2016, roughly 20.4% of all adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain, while 8 percent of U.S. adults suffer from high-impact chronic pain. Unfortunately, treating chronic pain has remained a challenge due to the general mystery surrounding its causes. Chronic pain has mostly been managed through the use of opioids. (more…)

3 Earthquake Safety Tips

No major damage has been caused by earthquakes in California in the past few years, but it’s important that we know what to do for earthquake safety if a serious earthquake does hit. After all, California is an area that is earthquake-prone.

That’s why the Great California Shakeout event is held every October 17 to increase earthquake safety awareness. More than 9 million people have registered for the 2019 twelfth annual Great California Shakeout.

Here are 3 earthquake safety tips you should know:

1. Drop, Cover, and Hold On

Remember these three steps you should follow when an earthquake hits:

  1. Drop – Because a serious earthquake could knock you over (causing injury), you should drop to the floor on your hands and knees immediately. 
  2. Cover – Using one arm, cover your head and neck from potential debris falling from the ceiling. If possible, crawl under a nearby desk or table for shelter. If there’s no cover, crawl to an interior wall away from any windows. Bend your body over your knees to protect vital organs.
  3. Hold On – Remain dropped and undercover until the shaking stops.

2. Create a Family Emergency Plan

Make sure you create a family emergency plan so you know what to do following an earthquake. First of all, establish an out-of-town contact. This contact should be willing to act as a communication coordinator for your family and everyone in your family should have the contact’s phone number in their cellphones. This contact can help you know everyone’s okay and can get help if you need it.

3. Subscribe to Alert Services

ShakeAlert and other warning apps can text you alerts about bad weather, local emergencies, road closings, and more.

Learn how to prepare yourself for an earthquake by signing up for October’s Great California Shakeout. Keep up-to-date with the latest health news and emergency preparation tips by visiting us at The Benefits Store

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 10 Things to Know

Breast cancer continues to be one of the most serious forms of cancer. In fact, it’s the second most common form of cancer affecting women. It’s estimated that one out of every eight women born in the U.S. will be affected by breast cancer at some point during their lives. Fortunately, survival rates are high if breast cancer is diagnosed early. It’s why getting a mammogram is so important and why October was named National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in order to highlight the importance of getting screened.

Since this month is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are ten things you should know about breast cancer:

  1. Although breast cancer lifetime risk has increased over the past five decades, this is in part because of longer life expectancy. 
  2. Although men can develop breast cancer, it’s 100 times more common in women. Women are also 200 times more at risk of developing breast cancer than men.
  3.  Around 0.10 percent of all U.S. men are diagnosed with breast cancer as well.
  4. Around 80 percent of breast lumps are discovered during monthly breast self-exams.
  5. Around 85 of all breast cancer cases occur in women with no family history of breast cancer.
  6. Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death for women in the U.S. 
  7. Despite the progress in breast cancer treatment, breast cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer-related death.
  8. There are currently 2.8 million women who have breast cancer or who had breast cancer at one time in the U.S.
  9. Women who are overweight are 1.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer after they have experienced menopause. Women who are obese are twice as likely to develop breast cancer after menopause.
  10. Women who were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40 are 4.5 times more likely to develop another breast cancer.

Be sure to schedule a mammogram and spread awareness about breast cancer for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For all the latest health news about the advancements being made to treat breast cancer, continue visiting us at The Benefits Store.

Aspirin Use: Risks Versus Benefits

Aspirin Use

Aspirin is commonly used to relieve pain caused by headaches, muscle aches, toothaches and other ailments or conditions. It can even help reduce fevers as well as pain and swelling. For a while, medical experts recommended those at-risk for cardiovascular disease take low-dose (80mg) aspirin daily prevent heart attacks and strokes. However, there may be a major health risk in doing so.

Taking Too Much Aspirin is Risky

The idea that aspirin can help prevent strokes and heart attacks has been accepted as fact. But last year, three clinical trials revealed taking aspirin every day could result in some serious health problems, including bleeding risks. As a result of these findings, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology changed their clinical practice guidelines by recommending that individuals over the age of 70 or those that have an increased bleeding risk avoid taking aspirin on a daily basis.

In one of the studies, researchers discovered many Americans over the age of 40 were taking aspirin every day to prevent cardiovascular disease, and the majority of them did it without the knowledge or advice of their doctors. Researchers found almost 25% of these Americans (roughly 29 million people) were taking daily aspirin despite the fact they didn’t have cardiovascular disease. Additionally, roughly 50 percent of adults over the age of 70 without a history of heart disease or stroke were also taking aspirin every day. 

Ask Your Doctor When Aspirin Should be Taken

There’s usually no harm in taking aspirin sporadically as a mild pain reliever, which is its intended use. If you’re considering taking aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks or strokes, you should speak with your doctor first. If you’re not at risk for cardiovascular disease or if you have an increased bleeding risk, don’t take aspirin daily without your physician’s recommendation. To remain up-to-date with the latest health research and studies, keep visiting us at The Benefits Store.