Wintertime in the Midwest is here, and so is the snow! Many of us have already been out and shoveling our driveways or sidewalks in the last weeks, but are you being safe about it? Shoveling snow is a weight lifting exercise that also increases your heart rate, and like any exercise, it is important to do it properly to avoid injury. Here are some things to keep in mind when shoveling snow this season:
- If you have an existing back issue, heart issue, or have had a heart attack in the past, check with your doctor before taking on this task. The combination of the cold and activity places a lot of stress on the heart, and any repetitive, strenous activity – particularly one that includes lifting or pushing – has potential to aggravate an existing back injury.
- Be sure to use a shovel that is comfortable for you, and space your hands apart for better leverage.
- To help prevent injury, take a few minutes to warm up and stretch your muscles prior to getting started. Try to shovel snow early and throughout the day when possible, to avoid shoveling deep and heavy snow all at one time later on. Try to push the snow instead of lifting it with your shovel. If it has become too deep, or is wet and heavy, shovel in layers a few inches at a time rather than trying to move several pounds of snow in one shovelful. If you need to lift the snow with the shovel instead of pushing it, treat it like any other lifting movement, and make sure to bend your knees and lift with your legs while keeping your back straight. Do not bend at the waist or lift with your back. Also avoid twisting your back or flinging the snow – instead, walk it over to where it needs to go.
- Be sure to wear layers that you can remove if you get too warm, wear warm gloves, and use snow boots that will help keep you warm and better protect you from slips and falls.
- Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you feel chest tightness or pain, or any signs that may indicate a heart attack, stop and seek medical attention immediately.
If you have a difficult time removing snow or are not able to shovel, check out these tips and ideas from the Weather Channel on alternative ways to remove snow:
You also may have a neighbor who can help, or a neighborhood kid looking to make a little winter spending money. Use your judgement, and be safe!
With the recent drop in Minnesota temperatures and dustings of snow, we know that winter is here! With it comes more cold, snow, and all the good and bad that accompany the winter season.
It is common for people who have Multiple Sclerosis to have difficulty regulating their body temperature, and for that reason summers can be notorious for causing flare ups. However, some people also experience problems with extreme cold as well…one of the most common issues caused by cold is increased spasticity. It can be tempting to go above and beyond in an effort to stay warm…but remember not to overdo it! Increasing body temperature too much can cause uncomfortable heat-related symptoms as well. Instead, try wearing layers that you can remove slowly if you become too warm, drink hot beverages that will gradually warm you from the inside, take warm/hot (but not too hot) showers. For more on how you can deal with the season’s drops in temperature, this blog post by Julie Stachowiak PhD through the MSSociety has some great suggestions and first hand experience. It is also important to remember that although the cold can cause uncomfortable symptoms to increase, it is not worsening the disease itself – just the symptoms.
If you have MS and have found ways to counteract the cold, please share!
Neurologists board certified in sleep medicine can work with your dentist to evaluate, diagnose, and treat sleep disorders. Oftentimes, your dentist is a first line identifier of symptoms that may indicate an underlying obstructive apnea or other sleep problem. They work in conjunction with sleep physicians and centers certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, like the Noran Clinic Sleep Center, to identify these issues. Sleep physicians can then recommend treatment with your dentist when a snoring or apnea disorder is diagnosed. If additional underlying disorders are found to be causing sleep disturbances, your dentist is informed and the sleep neurologist can make other appropriate recommendations for treatment. Find out more at the American Academy of Dental Sleep medicine’s website below:
If your bed partner has noticed snoring, pauses or gasps in your breathing at night, or if you are experiencing morning headaches, increased daytime tiredness, or any other symptom that may indicate that you are not getting quality sleep, please contact Noran Neurological Clinic at 612-879-1500 to schedule an appointment with a neurologist specializing in sleep medicine.
The American Brain Foundation announced their Neuro Film Festival, now in its fifth year. The festival aims to raise awareness about the need for why more funding is needed for research into the prevention, treatment, and cure of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Submit a video telling your – or a loved one’s – story about why more research is needed to find cures for brain disease.
Winners could receive up to $1,000 and a chance to attend in April 2014 the Neuro Film Festival in Philadelphia to see their video shown at the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting, the world’s largest meeting of neurologists. Deadline to enter is February 26, 2014. To learn more, please click here to go to the American Brain Foundation’s website.
We have 32 adult and pediatric neurologists at Noran Neurological Clinic, and all are very experienced in treating patients with neurological disorders of all kinds. Furthermore, each of our providers is expertly trained in identifying and managing patients with epilepsy disorders. However, several of our neurologists have undergone additional fellowships in epilepsy or clinical neurophysiology, which includes the study and interpretation of tests like the EEG, a key tool in diagnosing epilepsy. Others have developed a special interest in seizure and epilepsy cases over years of practice. They each continue to work with all types of neurological conditions and have additional interests as well. Since it is Epilepsy Awareness Month, we’d like to highlight some of our providers who have studied or developed a subspecialty in epilepsy. A link to each provider’s bio is included below.
Dr. Gerald Dove MD
Dr. Rupert Exconde MD
Dr. Tacjana Friday MD
Dr. Syed Shahkhan MD
Dr. Beth Ann Staab MD
Dr. Ronald Tarrel DO
You can find bios for all of our doctors, Allied Health Professionals, and Neuropsychologists at our main bio page, http://www.noranclinic.com/providers/neurologist_bios.html.
Click HERE to take an interactive tour of the brain from the Alzheimer’s Association to learn more about how Alzheimer’s disease affects it.
Many people are familiar with the terms “dementia” and ‘Alzheimer’s disease;” generally, it brings to mind the idea of forgetfulness and eventual memory loss. However, Alzheimer’s can be a complex disease in its progression – it can affect recognition of family members and friends, decision making, language, and behavior over time. Learn more about what happens in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke webpage, as well as find information on medications that can help with symptoms, current research, and more links to a variety of resources for patients, family, and friends affected by this difficult condition.
If you live in the Midwest and are looking for local resources, the Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association keeps up to date home care service, driving evaluation and transportation, therapist, and elder law attorney listings, among many others. You can reach them by phone at 1-800-272-3900 or online at:
If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms that may indicate early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s, or have already been diagnosed and are looking for ongoing care, please contact Noran Neurological Clinic at 612-879-1500 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced neurologists.
Learn more about the exciting concussion study Noran is participating in as discussed on WCCO last night.
We are halfway through November, and well into National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, as well as National Epilepsy Awareness month! Both neurological issues affect many people, and you may have a friend or loved one who manages their own condition and/or that of another person.
At Noran Neurological Clinic, all of our neurologists are knowledgeable about a broad range of neurological conditions, including epilepsy and memory loss, and are able to compassionately and expertly provide evaluation and care. Among these, we also have several providers who have done fellowships in epileptology, as well as providers who have developed a special interest in epilepsy care within their practice. We will be posting links to the online bios for these providers throughout the next weeks, but you can also visit out provider bios online anytime at: http://www.noranclinic.com/providers/index.html.
Check in to our blog and facebook page in the next couple of weeks for tips on memory care and info about Alzheimer’s, links to bios of our epilepsy and seizure sub-specialists, and more.
If you or a loved one experiences episodes that may indicate seizure activity, or demostrate changes in memory or other cognitive abilities, please contact Noran Neurological Clinic at 612-879-1500 for an appointment with a neurologist experienced in diagnosing and treating these disorders.
Dr. Okeanis Vaou, movement and sleep disorder specialist, will be the Keynote Speaker at the upcoming Northern Minnesota Parkinson Conference taking place in Duluth on November 2nd. This program is hosted by the American Parkinson Disease Association and Essentia Health. Dr. Vaou will focus on the management of pain and sleep disorders in people with Parkinson’s. For more information on this conference and how to register, check out the brochure here:
Northern MN Parkinson Conference
To learn more about Dr. Vaou and to view her video bio, check out her provider profile page at http://www.noranclinic.com/providers/okeanis_vaou.html
Tune in tonight at 9:00PM to Fox News to watch Dr. Boetticher discuss new evidence suggesting that inconsistent bedtimes may relate to behavioral problems at home and at school.