Mohsen Zargar discusses ACHES, PAINS and OSTEOARTHRITIS

Dr. Zargar explains:  Osteoarthritis, also known as Degenerative Joint Disease, is the most common type of arthritis in the United States and the country's leading cause of disability.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 27 million Americans have osteoarthritis and the number is expected to grow.
Osteoarthritis can occur at any age due to genetics, body weight, or sports and work injuries, but is more common in older adults.  It is a result of a breakdown in cartilage in the joint, which normally acts as a cushion and allows for smooth joint movement. Osteoarthritis is a common and painful ailment, but treatment options are available to improve quality of life. Common Symptoms: Most patients who have osteoarthritis report pain in one or more joints.  The hips, knees, spine, and hands are the most common locations for arthritis, but it can develop in any joint. Osteoarthritis may begin slowly and cause only minor pain and inconvenience initially, but progress over time.  Commonly, patients experience stiffness and joint aches for about 30 minutes after waking, or following a period of inactivity. Some patients feel a crunching or grinding sensation when moving the joint. In certain cases, bone spurs can grow on or near the joint, resulting in little lumps below the skin.  Sometimes there will be swelling near or around the joint, which should be investigated and treated by a doctor. Seeking a diagnosis as early as possible when these symptoms arise is crucial, as early treatment reduces disability and improves quality of life. Diagnosis: As there are many types of arthritis, as well as illnesses with symptoms similar to osteoarthritis, it is important for patients to talk to their doctor for a professional diagnosis and to rule out other, potentially serious conditions.  Any time a patient encounters new or persistent joint pain, it is always best to be safe and consult a physiatrist for a check-up.  Doctors United has several board certified physiatrists that are willing and able to answer all your questions. In addition to a physical exam of the area or joints in pain, some of the tests a doctor may order include: X-rays MRI Blood tests Family history Treatment There are many treatment options available for osteoarthritis.  While surgeries are sometimes necessary in severe cases to improve a patient's life and ability to function, operations are not the first line of defense for arthritis. Many conservative, non-surgical options are also effective.  Physical therapy, chiropractic, lifestyle changes, diet and exercise, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, or a combination of treatments are effective for osteoarthritis. If you have further questions about your joint pain or about arthritis, please contact Doctors United at any one of our five convenient locations.
Give us a try.
We'd like to help.
Mohsen Zargar, Operator

Essential Medical Tests for Middle-Age Americans

Dr. Zargar asks: Is Middle Age Stopping You From Doing What You Want?

For most Americans, middle age is the prime of your life. However, certain health conditions can take years off your life. While people with a family illness or known condition may need to be screened at any earlier age than others, there are certain tests and screenings specifically recommended for people who are in their 50s to 60s. Some tests are recommended annually, while others are only once every few years. Completing these tests is important for early detection and treatment, if necessary. Getting the testing done now can save your life in the future.

Blood Pressure

You should have your blood pressure checked annually. Our Board Certified Primary Care Internists will inform you of your blood pressure results. If your blood pressure is high, it means blood is flowing through the arteries at higher than normal pressures, which is dangerous. High blood pressure, known as hypertension, leads to stroke and heart disease. If untreated, hypertension can affect your brain, heart, limbs and eyes. Having it checked is simple and pain-free.

Balance Test

As people age, it's not uncommon to lose balance. Unfortunately, it can also get dangerous. Although a fall when you're in your 50s isn't as devastating as when you're older, it can still result in broken bones and serious injuries. Balance, as well as reflex issues, could indicate a more serious underlying neurological problem, condition or illness, such as multiple sclerosis. Balance changes may also result as a side effect from certain medication. Our neurologist can help assess and diagnose potential neurological issues by testing your balance. We recently also acquired equipment which can test your balance. If you feel dizzy or off balance when you make a sudden change in movement, such as bending down or quickly turning you may consider having this test taken.

Circulation Test

The circulation test is recommended to detect peripheral arterial disease. If you are middle-aged and experience cramping in the foot or leg or have a history of heart disease, it is especially important to have the test done. This test is often done by a podiatrist. He uses an ankle cuff to check the blood pressure.

Weighing In

Stepping on the scale isn't fun for most of us, but it's necessary. Americans tend to gain weight in their 50s. Monitor weight gain carefully and fight back with diet changes and exercise. Being overweight increases the risk of many diseases and losing weight helps decrease those risks.
Doctors United is a great resource to learn more about these tests and to find a provider near you.
Give us a call.
Let's see if we can help.
Sincerely,
Mohsen Zargar
Operator

Mohsen Zargar Discusses Technological Advances in Podiatry

Podiatry is the treatment of disease in the foot and ankle. When you think about how much walking you’ve done over the years, it probably comes as no surprise that your feet undergo considerable wear and tear throughout your lifetime. Because the health of your feet can have a real impact on your overall wellness, it’s important to take proper care of them by visiting a podiatrist at the first sign of trouble.
If you experience pain or other issues with your feet, don’t despair; technological advances in podiatry have led to faster diagnoses and better treatments for a variety of foot disorders. Let’s take a look:

Surgery Has Come a Long Way

It’s not uncommon to feel anxious when reporting foot problems to your doctor. However, don’t let your fears delay you for too long – otherwise, your foot issues will worsen over time. Ulcers and infections of the feet have always been of grave concern to podiatrists, especially when it comes to patients with diabetes. In the not-so-distant past, lack of blood flow to the feet of a diabetic patient meant that minor wounds and ulcers could quickly lead to amputation. Luckily, technological advances have empowered doctors to more effectively treat these ailments, making amputation the exception rather than the rule.
For surgeries, an increase in minimally invasive options is changing the way patients recover. A surgical instrument called an endoscope allows surgeons to make smaller incisions during certain procedures, such as heel spur surgery, to help minimize a patient’s pain and recovery time.  While we at Doctors United do not perform surgery,
our goal is to see a patient before the problem worsens and gets to the surgical arena.

Up-and-Coming Technologies

New therapies in the field of podiatry are being studied and discovered every year. For example, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is an injection therapy that has been around for a few years, but has received great results in recent studies for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. PRP is a type of personalized medicine that uses the patient’s own blood plasma to heal foot problems and infections that have been resistant to other treatments. Other drug therapies for the treatment of food disorders are in ongoing clinical trials.
Improving your life by taking care of your feet has never been easier. Your doctor can help you decide what treatments are right for you. Contact Doctors United today for more information about podiatry and how to improve the health of your feet.
Don't let a small issue become a bigger one.
Yours in health,
Mohsen Zargar

Mohsen Zargar discusses exercise and pain: How a Physiatrist Can Help at DOCTORS UNITED.

   

Exercise is a foundation for optimal health and well-being. Our bodies are designed for movement, and being active brings benefits such as weight management, injury reduction, increased energy, disease resistance and improved sleep. But what if you can't exercise because of a painful medication condition? Exercise would likely help, but if you're in too much pain you may not be able to get started.
If your ability to move is compromised by a condition relating to nerve, bone or muscle, a physiatrist has the training and knowledge you need. Physiatrists are medical doctors with the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. They support your quest to improve your activity level by diagnosing the underlying cause of your pain and devising a non-surgical treatment plan.

Diagnostic Approaches

If your issue involves nerve or muscle, your physiatrist might perform an electromyography (EMG) test to determine muscle and nerve function. Lasting anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, this test involves two parts. One is a nerve examination in which your doctor electrically stimulates specific nerves and then measures their function. The other part of this test is a muscle study involving the insertion of fine needles into muscle tissue and an analysis of the signals picked up from the needles. Whether only one or both parts of the EMG are performed is determined by the specific nature of your condition. Symptoms that could generate an EMG referral from your doctor include tingling, sensation loss, numbing, burning or radiating pain.
Physiatrists also use other diagnostic tools shared by many medical specialties. Some of these include:
  • Blood work analysis
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Bone scan
  • X-ray
  • Cardiac & pulmonary testing
  • Ultrasound

Treatment Options

The goal of your physiatrist is to help you achieve optimal functioning despite your condition and to improve the overall quality of your life. In doing so, they may employ the assistance of a team of other specialists, including physical therapists, nurses, occupational therapists, orthopedists, rheumatologists and prosthetists.
A physiatrist is a medical doctor, and as such can prescribe medication and referrals as needed. Each treatment plan is tailored to the patient's specific needs, and some of the methods used include:
  • Pain medication
  • Braces
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Massage
  • Electrotherapies
  • Traction
  • Artificial limbs
  • Therapeutic exercise
If you have movement-related pain that's holding you back from a healthier lifestyle, a physiatrist could offer the help you need, and can suggest a less invasive approach if your condition is one that is sometimes treated surgically. Contact Doctors United to book an appointment and begin the process of improving your ability to exercise and restoring your health.
Yours in health,
Mohsen Zargar
 

HOW CAN A PHYSICAL THERAPIST HELP YOU?

If you're experiencing pain when you walk or carry out everyday tasks, or if you have an illness that reduces your range of motion, it may be time to see a physical therapist. A physical therapist can often help you to move with greater ease and less pain. Over time, a physical therapist may even be able to help you restore your physical fitness and function. A physical therapist can help you to: Carry out daily tasks. Move more easily. Get in and out of bed with less difficulty. Walk with less pain. Move up and down stairs better. Recover from some surgeries, such as knee and hip reconstruction. Reduce arthritis pain. Decrease pain and symptoms associated with illnesses, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Type II Diabetes. What Types of Treatment Does a Physical Therapist Offer? According to the American Physical Therapy Association, a physical therapist will use a series of techniques to help to reduce pain or swelling. These techniques can include: Massage - the use of hands and a moisturizer or oil. Pressure is applied to the area that is affected in an effort to reduce pain, muscle spasms or tightness and to increase blood flow to the area. Mobilization - a series of movements in which your physical therapist will twist, pull or push a joint that is causing pain. This method helps to increase flexibility and can loosen tight joints. Manipulation - the use of hands or an instrument to apply varying levels of force at different speeds to a joint. This increases the joint's flexibility. In addition to these treatments, a physical therapist will suggest that you do a series of exercises. These exercises will include stretches to lengthen your muscles, core movements to strengthen and stabilize your body and weight lifting to improve your muscle condition. Your physical therapist may also suggest that you walk often: 6,000 steps or more is recommended. How Can I Find a Physical Therapist? If you think a physical therapist could help you manage your pain or improve a medical condition, contact Doctors United. We have several physical therapists who can help you.

Can Dry Feet Be a Sign of Health Problems?

Can Dry Feet Be a Sign of Health Problems?

Did you know that your feet can speak volumes about your health? Dry skin, corns, bunions, calluses and blisters don't just prevent us from wearing sandals confidently. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), skin complications are often one of the first signs that you're suffering from diabetes. While dry skin and fungal infections can affect anyone, diabetics are most likely to suffer from these particular issues due to reduced blood flow to the legs, feet and other parts of the body. However, certain conditions such as diabetic blisters and diabetic dermopathy (also called shin spots) are unique to individuals suffering from this health condition. If your feet appear or feel unhealthy, consultation with a physician is critical

If You've Already Been Diagnosed With Diabetes

Existing diabetics should ensure their doctors carefully examine their feet at each wellness visit, which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends on a quarterly basis. Immediately contact your physician if you develop any new issues with you feet or legs, including the following:
  • Dramatic changes in the appearance or the skin or toenails
  • A loss of sensation
  • Persistent tingling
  • Dry skin
  • Blisters
The CDC reports that adults 45 or older with diabetes are 10 times as likely to lose a leg or foot to amputation as individuals without diabetes. Regular preventative care and a proactive approach to managing your diabetes, supervised by a physician, are crucial to maintaining healthy feet.

Best Practices for At-Home Foot Care

Both diabetics and non-diabetics should inspect their feet and practice good hygiene daily. If you are unable to visually inspect your feet, enlist a spouse, friend or roommate to assist you. Proper-fitting shoes are critical for maintaining good circulation, and the ADA reports that Medicaid may cover the costs associated with special shoes for individuals suffering from diabetes or some other foot conditions.

Preventing Diabetes and Identifying Risk Factors

Finally, to prevent diabetes, engage in healthy lifestyle habits on a regular basis. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking, which can restrict blood circulation. A licensed physician can identify whether your risk for developing diabetes is high, moderate or low, and recommend appropriate diet and exercise programs.
Are you suffering from dry skin on your feet, or other signs of health issues? Call Doctor's United for an appointment today! We have convenient hours and accept Medicaid.

Mohsen Zargar introduces Dr. Mark Peralta, Board Certified Internist

Mohsen Zargar of DOCTORS UNITED is very pleased to welcome Dr. Mark F. Peralta, Board Certified Internist to our Yonkers location on South Broadway.  Dr. Peralta has worked in several hospitals, namely New York Presbyterian, Helen Hayes and St. John's Riverside Hospital to name a few.  Please stop by DOCTORS UNITED and come in and meet Dr. Peralta should you have any health concerns you would like to discuss.   Yours in health, Mohsen Zargar