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Healthy Lifestyle September 2017

Our Children – Keep Them at a Healthy Weight

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented. In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, the Lake Cumberland District Health Department encourages your family to make healthy changes together.
• Get active outside: Walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride, or play basketball at the park.
• Limit screen time: Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games) to 2 hours or less a day.
• Make healthy meals: Buy and serve more vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods.
Taking small steps as a family can help your child stay at a healthy weight.
It is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place. Visit our website at and click the “52 Weeks to Health” banner to learn more about each of these areas.
While at our website fill out the Health Calculator & Wellness Profile to take the first step toward personal wellness AND to be entered for a chance to win $1,000.00.

Advantages to physical therapy to relieve pain

Chronic pain affects people all around the world, greatly impacting sufferers’ quality of life. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, recent reports have indicated more than 1.5 billion people worldwide experience chronic pain. Common complaints include lower back pain, headache, neck pain, or neurogenic pain, which is pain resulting from damage to peripheral nerves.
Pain can impact people in many ways, as some people can tolerate discomfort better than others. Chronic pain may result in missed time at work, depression, anger, and an inability to live a full life. According to a recent Institute of Medicine Report: Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research, pain is a significant public health problem that costs society at least $560 to $635 billion annually.
To cope with pain, many people rely on over-the-counter and prescription medications. This reliance on drugs has helped to fuel pain medication addictions that can lead to other drug abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says research now suggests that abuse of opioid pain medications may actually open the door to heroin use. Some individuals report switching to heroin because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription opioids. A safer and sometimes more effective method of pain relief than opioids, physical therapy can help a person get back on track and feel much better in the process.
The American Physical Therapy Association says while surgery and prescription drugs can be the best course of treatment for certain diagnoses, there is increasing evidence that conservative treatments like physical therapy can be equally effective and cheaper treatment plans for many conditions. Physical therapy can be as effective as surgery for meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tears and spinal stenosis, among other conditions.
When a patient is prescribed physical therapy, a therapist will develop a treatment plan that addresses the specific needs of the patient. This is essentially a collaboration between patient and physical therapist. Therapists are experts in improving mobility and motion and have studied extensively to that end. Because weakness or stiffness may be contributing to pain, therapists try to address the source of the pain and relieve the pain itself.
Physical therapy may include exercises that stretch the body and improve flexibility. Strengthening exercises will help work on core muscles as well as other parts of the body to prevent injury down the road. Therapy may target specific areas of pain. Because of their expertise, therapists may be able to assess posture, gait and other attributes that may be contributing to injury and make suggestions to reduce recurrence.
In addition to the therapies mentioned, a combination of massage and other work may be included in a physical therapy plan. This may include TENS and ultrasound. According to WebMD, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS, uses a device to send a low-voltage electric current to the skin over the area where you have pain. Ultrasound sends sound waves to the places you have pain. Both of these options may help to block pain messages to the brain and offer relief.
Chronic pain can be debilitating. However, physical therapy is often an effective way to combat chronic pain and help individuals find relief and return to living full lives.

Reduce kids’ risk of getting colds at school

School-aged kids who catch colds or the flu from their classmates can quickly spread those colds to their family members, who then might spread the colds further when they go to work. Preventing the spread of colds and flu at school is a team effort that requires the assistance of not just parents, but also teachers and students. Still, parents might be the first line of defense when it comes to preventing the spread of cold and flu at school.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 38 million school days are lost to the flu each year. Those lost days can affect students who miss lesson plans, but also affect parents, who often must take days off from work to tend to their sick children.
While there’s no way for parents to guarantee their children won’t catch a cold or the flu this school year, they can take various preventive measures to increase kids’ chances of staying healthy and achieving perfect attendance.
• Make sure kids are immunized and that their immunizations are current. Vaccinations bolster kids immune systems. That’s important, as kids’ immune systems are naturally less mature than adults’, making them more vulnerable to germs and viruses. The CDC recommends that adults and children receive their flu vaccinations in October while noting that such vaccinations can be administered as late as January and still prove effective. The CDC also recommends that adults and children receive flu vaccinations each year. Additional vaccinations may not need to be administered as often, but parents should still ensure kids’ are up-to-date with their shots.
• Make sure kids regularly wash their hands. Kids often catch colds by rubbing their hands that have been exposed to cold virus germs on their noses or eyes. To prevent that, parents can teach kids to wash to their hands thoroughly, including scrubbing the backs of their hands, between their fingers and around their fingernails. Kids should know to wash their hands regularly, but especially after they use the bathroom and before they eat, drink or touch their mouths, noses or eyes.
• Keep kids home when they are sick. Parents don’t want their children to miss school, but kids who are suffering from colds or flu should be kept home. This prevents the spread of colds and flu to classmates and teachers, and time to rest at home may help youngsters recover more quickly.
• Teach kids to avoid common germ spots. Germs can be lurking anywhere, but some spots seem to make more welcome homes for germs than others. Studies have shown that kids were most likely to encounter germs in schools on water fountain spigots and on plastic cafeteria trays. Teach kids to never put their mouths on fountains and to avoid eating any food that might fall onto their trays in the cafeteria.
School-aged children are susceptible to colds and flu when spending time in the classroom. But parents can reduce their youngsters’ cold and flu risk in various ways.

LCDHD receives Opioid Grant

Lake Cumberland District Health Department (LCDHD) is pleased to announce it has received a $249,963 per year grant for three years from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration (HRSA) for their 10-county service area. HRSA awards grants through a competitive application and review process. The award will fund the work of The Lake Cumberland Opioid-Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment consortium (Dr. Larry Oteham, Pulaski County Detention Center, The Adanta Group) whose efforts will focus on improving health outcomes and reducing morbidity and mortality related to Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) the service area will include ten rural Kentucky counties Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, Taylor, and Wayne.

Kentucky’s opioid epidemic has made national headlines and has been the topic of numerous news stories and documentaries. In 2015, Kentucky was ranked number four among the states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdoses with a rate of 29.9 per 100,000. Increasing overdose rates are not the only concern in our community, poor health and social outcomes due to prolonged substance use, is also concern in our district. Data shows that opioid drug arrests have increased by 28% in one year once arrested substance users find themselves going through a revolving door of repeated arrest and incarceration.
The goal of the grant is to educate and provide resources to persons with OUD in order to decrease overdose morbidity and mortality. Also, to provide additional education to healthcare providers, detention centers, law enforcement, and community members on substance abuse and OUD. The consortium will use evidence based education and information when implementing the program in our ten-county service area.

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