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HealthPerks Newsletter for July 2013

Are You Living in Pain?

Did you know that an estimated 80% of all people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives? Or that 50% will deal with knee pain, and 25% with hip pain? Whether it’s due to a temporary sports injury, arthritis, or another chronic bone or joint issue, orthopedic pain can slow you down and have a serious impact on your quality of life.

But orthopedic pain is not an inevitable part of aging, and you don’t have to give up the activities you love or suffer in silence. There are more treatment options than ever today, and finding a solution that meets your goals and works with your lifestyle is generally very achievable. Recent innovations in orthopedic care have resulted in minimally invasive surgical procedures that can help you get back to activity much quicker. New pain management protocols and non-surgical treatments can treat a variety of injuries and issues. And personalized rehabilitation programs can help speed recovery time and success.

No matter how extensive – or minor – your orthopedic issues may be, there are comprehensive treatment programs that can deliver life-changing results. You can take steps now to alleviate your pain and minimize the impact on your lifestyle. Learn more about ways to help protect your bones and joints by downloading our tip sheet on the right.

For a referral to one of the board-certified orthopedic experts at El Camino Hospital, call 1-800-216-5556.

Sun Safety at Any Age

Spending time outside is a great way to increase your family's level of physical activity. But before you hit the beach, pool, or backyard, make sure you're aware of this sun safety advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

For babies under 6 months
  • Avoid sun exposure when possible.
  • Dress in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn.
  • Apple a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small exposure areas, such as the infant's face and the back of the hands.
  • If an infant gets sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.

For other children and adults
  • Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, and cotton clothing with a tight weave.
  • Wear sunglasses and/or contact lenses with total UV protection.
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours - between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Every two hours or after swimming, apply one ounce of SPF 15 or greater (adults should use SPF 30 or greater) that protects against UVA and UVB rays – even on cloudy days.
  • Use extra caution near water and sand as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.
  • Remember that 80% of a person's lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. Be a good role model and protect both your skin and your child’s.

To speak to one of our physicians about sun and safety, call 1-800-216-5556 for a physician referral.

Travel Tips for Seniors

Whether you’re visiting your grandkids or cruising the Mediterranean, traveling should be an exciting and rewarding experience. Stay safe and healthy on your next vacation by planning ahead with these helpful hints:

  • If you are traveling overseas, make sure your vaccinations are up to date. No matter what your destination, make sure that you’ve had a recent tetanus booster.
  • Talk to your doctor to see if you need medication in case of altitude sickness, travelers’ diarrhea, or motion sickness.
  • Consider travel insurance. Many health plans – including Medicare – won’t pay for services outside of the US, so review your coverage and supplement if necessary.
  • Drink plenty of pure water to ensure you stay hydrated – especially if you’ll be spending several hours in a plane or car.
  • If you’re crossing time zones, ask your doctor about the proper time to take your medications.
  • Keep medications in their original containers – and keep it with you in your carry-on bags. Bring extra medication – or an extra prescription – in case you get stranded.
  • Carry medication information on your person, so it will be easily found in case of emergency.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Remember that proper rest is vital to staying healthy, alert, and enjoying your vacation to the fullest.

A primary care physician (PCP) can help you prepare for a safe and healthy vacation. If you don't have a PCP, click here or call 1-800-216-5556 for a referral.
Get 8 tips to help you keep your bones and joints healthy and pain-free.
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