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Best Physical Therapy's Health Information Library

Here, we have gathered health articles on almost every major subject in healthcare. Please explore, enjoy, and share this free resource provided by Best Physical Therapy

Premature Babies

Almost 1 of every 10 infants born in the United States are premature, or preemies. A premature birth is when a baby is born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks.

Important growth and development happen throughout pregnancy - especially in the final months and weeks. Because they are born too early, preemies weigh much less than full-term babies. They may have health problems because their organs did not have enough time to develop. Problems that a baby born too early may have include

  • Breathing problems
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental delay
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems

Preemies need special medical care in a neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. They stay there until their organ systems can work on their own.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. You usually get the patches on your elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms and feet, but they can show up on other parts of your body. Some people who have psoriasis also get a form of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis.

A problem with your immune system causes psoriasis. In a process called cell turnover, skin cells that grow deep in your skin rise to the surface. Normally, this takes a month. In psoriasis, it happens in just days because your cells rise too fast.

Psoriasis can be hard to diagnose because it can look like other skin diseases. Your doctor might need to look at a small skin sample under a microscope.

Psoriasis can last a long time, even a lifetime. Symptoms come and go. Things that make them worse include

  • Infections
  • Stress
  • Dry skin
  • Certain medicines

Psoriasis usually occurs in adults. It sometimes runs in families. Treatments include creams, medicines, and light therapy.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. You usually get them on your elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms and feet, but they can show up on other parts of your body.

Some people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis. It causes pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints. It is often mild, but can sometimes be serious and affect many joints. The joint and skin problems don't always happen at the same time.

Your doctor will do a physical exam and imaging tests to diagnose psoriatic arthritis. There is no cure, but medicines can help control inflammation and pain. In rare cases, you might need surgery to repair or replace damaged joints.

Rubella

Rubella is an infection caused by a virus. It is usually mild with fever and a rash. About half of the people who get rubella do not have symptoms. If you do get them, symptoms may include

  • A rash that starts on the face and spreads to the body
  • Mild fever
  • Aching joints, especially in young women
  • Swollen glands

Rubella is most dangerous for a pregnant woman's baby. It can cause miscarriage or birth defects.

Rubella spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People without symptoms can still spread it. There is no treatment, but the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine can prevent it.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rural Health Concerns

Around 15% of people in the United States live in rural areas. There are many different reasons why you might choose to live in a rural community. You may want a lower cost of living and a slower pace of life. You may enjoy having access to big, open spaces for recreation. Rural areas are less crowded and can offer more privacy. You may choose a rural area so that you can live near your family and friends.

But there are also challenges to living in a rural area, including when it comes to taking care of your health. Compared to urban areas, rural communities tend to have:

  • Higher poverty rates
  • A higher percentage of older adults, who are more likely to have chronic health problems
  • More residents without health insurance
  • Less access to health care. For example, clinics and hospitals may be far away.
  • Higher rates of certain substance use, such as cigarette smoking and opioid and methamphetamine misuse
  • Higher rates of chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and obesity
  • More exposure to environmental hazards, such as chemicals used for farming

There are solutions to deal with these problems. A few examples include

  • Clinics offering telehealth to provide care for people who live far away from specialists or can't easily get to their providers' offices
  • Local public health agencies working with their communities to promote healthy living. They can provide wellness and exercise classes and start a farmer's market.
  • Local governments adding bike lanes and trails to encourage people to bike and walk
  • Rural schools can offer counseling and mental health services for their students