Posts for category: Osteopathic Medicine
Know the warning signs that could spell heart trouble.
According to the CDC, approximately 1 in every 4 deaths is associated with heart disease each year in the US alone. This makes heart disease the leading cause of death in both men and women. Knowing the signs and symptoms that something might be wrong is important so that you know when to turn to our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers, for a checkup.
This is probably the most obvious and common symptom that something is wrong, and yet, some people don’t even realize that their chest pain may actually be an emergency situation. If you don’t feel well and you are experiencing chest pain, you need to call 911 or have someone drive you to your nearest ER right away. If you are having a heart attack, you may experience chest tightness or heaviness that feels as if someone is sitting on your chest. You may also find it difficult to breathe.
Chest pain that appears during physical activity or movement may be associated with angina. Of course, chest pain isn’t always heart-related, but it’s best to rule out a heart attack or other heart problems first if you are experiencing chest pain.
Sudden Aches and Pains
When the heart doesn’t get enough blood it needs to work harder. This doesn’t always mean that the pain will develop in the chest. Sometimes you may experience pain in the shoulder, arms, back or stomach. If you notice any pain that comes on during activity but goes away with rest, this could be a sign of heart disease.
Swollen Feet and Ankles
While swelling can occur for a number of reasons such as standing/sitting for long periods of time or being overweight, the type of swelling associated with heart disease is more severe. If you have heart disease, swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet is surprisingly common. Severe swelling should be checked out right away by one of our doctors.
A palpitation refers to a rapid or irregular heartbeat. While palpitations can sometimes be harmless or be induced by stress, dehydration, or caffeine intake, some palpitations point to heart problems. When you experience a palpitation it’s important to write down everything you know about it including when it occurs, if something has triggered it, and how it feels. Giving this information to our doctors can be very helpful in providing an accurate diagnosis.
Concerned? Call Us
Protect your heart health by visiting your Brandon, FL, doctor at least once a year for a physical. Call Biggers Family Medicine today at (813) 655-4646 if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or if it’s time for your annual checkup.
Do you have pain in the joints of your knees, fingers, toes, back, or neck? If so, you may have arthritis. While it is indeed true that arthritis is more likely to be a problem as you grow older, it is still possible to develop it at a relatively young age if you've had a significant joint injury. Fortunately, your St. Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine, can help you manage your painful arthritis symptoms. Read on to learn more!
Common arthritis symptoms
Arthritis affects the joints, destroying the bone-cushioning cartilage within them and, in some cases, eventually damaging the bones themselves. While you've probably heard of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, those aren't the only forms of the disease—in fact, there are more than 100 types of arthritis!
If you have arthritis, you may experience:
- Joint Pain and Stiffness: Are your joints painful and stiff when you first wake up or after a period of inactivity? Arthritis may be to blame, especially if the pain worsens at the end of the day.
- Decreased Range of Motion: Movement of your joints may be restricted due to the disease.
- Swelling and Other Symptoms: Depending on the type of arthritis you have, the skin over the joint may swell, turn red, and feel warm to the touch.
- Bone Spurs: Bone spurs can form over arthritic joints.
- Cracking: You may hear cracking sounds when you bend or move the joint.
How you can ease arthritis symptoms
If you have arthritis, it's important to:
- Keep Moving: Although moving may sound like a bad idea when your joints hurt, moving actually reduces stiffness and pain.
- Stretch and Strengthen: Whether you go to physical therapy or perform stretching exercises on your own, exercises improve flexibility and range of motion. It's also important to strengthen the muscles that support your joints.
- Visit Your Brandon Doctor: Your doctor can prescribe medications that not only reduce pain but also decrease inflammation. The drugs prescribed vary depending on the type of arthritis you have and the severity of the disease. When arthritis is severe, surgery may be helpful.
Need relief? Contact us
Ease your arthritis pain with a visit to your primary care physician. Call Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine at (813) 655-4646 to schedule an appointment.
Keep your blood pressure in check with medication and simple lifestyle changes.
High blood pressure didn’t get the nickname “silent killer” for nothing. After all, if left untreated, hypertension can damage blood vessels and cause other serious health problems that you may not even notice until it’s too late. Even though there is no cure for high blood pressure, our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers, can create an effective treatment plan to help manage your condition—read on to learn more!
Make Changes to Your Lifestyle
Even if you haven't been officially diagnosed with high blood pressure, it’s important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle, particularly if you are at an increased risk for high blood pressure. In fact, there are simple changes you can make to your daily routine in order to stay healthy. These changes include,
- Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking
- Managing stress
- Limiting alcohol
- Getting regular physical activity
- Eating a healthy diet that is low in sodium
- Reading labels and taking medication as instructed by your doctor
Monitor Your Blood Pressure
When it comes to your blood pressure, you should know your numbers. By regularly checking your blood pressure, you can ensure that you are in healthy shape and find out if you should visit your doctor in Brandon, FL, for care. Closely monitoring your blood pressure is also a good way to determine if any new medication is actually working.
Take Your Medication
Chances are good that anyone with high blood pressure will need to take medication for the rest of their lives in order to manage their condition. Those with consistently high blood pressure readings may be prescribed,
- Calcium channel blockers
- Thiazide diuretics
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)
Other medications that may be combined with traditional blood pressure medications include,
- Beta blockers
- Alpha blockers
- Renin inhibitors
- Aldosterone antagonists
Biggers Family Medicine has a new home at 538 Wilbur St., Brandon, FL, 33511. If you are concerned about your blood pressure or you have questions about treating high blood pressure, call us at (813) 655-4646. Please note that we also have a new fax number: (855) 366-8430.
Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) provides a natural, drug-free way to treat pain and a variety of other health problems. The treatment is only offered by physicians who are doctors of osteopathic medicine, like Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine at our new location at 538 Wilbur Street in Brandon, FL.
What is OMT?
During OMT, your Brandon doctor uses his or her hands to stretch and apply gentle pressure to your muscles and joints. Issues with your joints and muscles can affect your body's natural balance and cause pain or other uncomfortable symptoms. OMT can improve blood flow, promote healing and relieve pressure on nerves, reducing pain.
Pain medication can be helpful if you suffer from chronic pain, but prescription and non-prescription drugs often cause unpleasant side effects. They may make you nauseous or dizzy or affect your ability to drive safely or focus at work. Some can even be addictive. OMT can reduce your reliance on pain medication and may even make surgery unnecessary.
The treatment is particularly helpful for back pain and neck pain. The gentle manipulations improve the alignment of your spine and relax tight muscles. OMT treatment can also improve your range of motion and decrease stiffness. Thanks to increased blood flow to your back or neck, healing may be accelerated.
OMT is More Than Just a Pain Treatment
Although OMT is often used to treat painful muscles and joints in the back, shoulders, knees, hips and elbows, it's also an effective treatment for other disorders, illnesses and diseases. Do you have asthma? Correcting spinal misalignments may improve the ability of your lungs to expand fully every time you inhale. OMT may also enhance the functioning of the nerves that serve the lungs, reducing your asthma symptoms.
OMT may improve symptoms related to menstrual pain, sinus problems, sciatica, sports injuries, sprains, tendonitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), or repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome. The treatment may even be helpful if your baby has colic or feeding difficulties.
Could you benefit from seeing a doctor who specializes in osteopathic medicine? Call Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers of Biggers Family Medicine at our new location at 538 Wilbur St in Brandon, FL, at (813) 655-4646 to schedule an appointment. And our new fax number: (855) 366-8430.
Many patients believe that being physically fit and feeling good is all that’s necessary for good health and wellness. However, another major aspect of being wholly well is to have strong mental health. Both what you think and how you think can have a large bearing on how you feel day-to-day, and can even affect your bodily systems in some cases! That's why here at Biggers Family Medicine, P.A. in Brandon, FL, we offer mental health counseling—read on to learn how these appointments can help you.
What Is Mental Health Care?
As opposed to physical health (which pertains to bodily functions), mental health is concerned with how we feel, think, and act on a daily basis toward both ourselves and others. Mental health care is focused on helping patients maintain good mental health and also treating patients with therapy or medication when something is not quite right. The most common mental health conditions include depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Mental Health: As Important as General Health
Many mental health problems are inherited from family members, which is why it’s a good idea to do some research into your family history. A physician at Biggers Family Medicine, P.A. in Brandon, FL can help guide you to the mental health treatments solutions that you need to feel better about yourself and navigate your life successfully. In a number of ways, mental health is just as important as caring for your general health., for when you are mentally well, you fully understand the importance of taking care of yourself by means of eating well, exercising, communicating with others, and participating in self-care activities.
Mental Health Treatment Options
If you or a family member is potentially experiencing issues related to mental illness, early intervention is best. The first step is seeing your trusted family physician to talk about what’s going on, and to receive a referral for mental health care if necessary. Mental health treatments may include medication, talk therapy, or behavioral therapy. Also note that some symptoms may be related to a physical issue that your Brandon, FL, physician can help you address.
Schedule a Mental Health Checkup
Maintaining good mental health should be one of your top priorities. See your primary care physician for a referral to a qualified mental health professional. Biggers Family Medicine, P.A. has moved to a new location in Brandon, FL. Call the new number at (813) 655-4646 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Joel Biggers or Dr. Elizabeth Biggers.