Palms West Hospital
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Palms West Hospital is proud to have provided the Western Communities with healthcare excellence since 1986.

Your Guide to Living with Arthritis

There are many different types of arthritis, which is a condition defined by pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints. While the exact care for your arthritis will depend on the type of arthritis you have and the parts of the body it affects, there are some general guidelines that can help you live more comfortably with this condition. Below, you can see the basics of living with arthritis so that you are not limited in your daily activities by this chronic condition.

Balance Rest and Exercise

While it is important to allow sore joints to rest, you should not overlook the importance of exercise on days when inflammation is mild. Low-impact cardiovascular exercise and muscle strengthening exercises can both benefit patients with arthritis by improving blood circulation and taking pressure off of the joints from regular activities. In some cases, working with a physical therapist to identify the right exercises to relieve specific symptoms will be the best strategy for building up a more active routine.

Work Closely with Your Doctor

You will want to have a relationship with both your primary care physician and an orthopedic specialist so that you can discuss any changes in your symptoms or concerns about your condition. Certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause secondary health problems, so it is important that your primary physician is aware of your condition to more effectively manage your preventive care.

Prepare for Bad Days

Even with all the right steps in ongoing medical and personal care, arthritis—like any chronic condition—will present both good days and bad days. You can prepare ahead of time for the bad days by taking steps like preparing and freezing meals for the family, having a friend to call when you need help around the house, and knowing when it is time to take a break for rest and rehabilitation.

If you suffer from arthritis in Loxahatchee, the Orthopedic & Spine Care Center of Palms West Hospital can provide the comprehensive care you need to live well. For a closer look at our orthopedic services for adults and pediatric patients, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (561) 345-7009.


When Should Patients Go Through Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is often included as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. A patient may be referred to an occupational therapist by a specialist in orthopedics or by another healthcare provider. The goal of occupational therapy is to help patients enjoy independent and productive lives by allowing them to compensate for loss of function. Occupational therapists at Palms West Hospital can also help patients improve cognitive and motor functions.

When Self-Care Skills and Daily Functioning Are Limited

Occupational therapists work closely with patients to determine their limitations and goals for rehabilitation. Often, occupational therapists help patients regain or improve the ability to dress, bathe, and groom themselves to reduce their dependence on other people. Occupational therapy can allow patients to learn new ways of performing the activities of daily living, including household chores, meal preparation, and work activities.

When Recovering from Surgery

Many patients require rehab programs after surgery, including those who undergo joint replacement surgeries. When patients anticipate an upcoming surgery, they may consult an occupational therapist in advance to discuss ways of modifying the home environment that can support their recovery. An occupational therapist can help patients learn how to use assistive devices and to otherwise compensate for reduced function during recovery.

After Surviving a Stroke

Stroke recovery is often called a lifelong process. Each stroke survivor has unique needs and limitations. Some may only be mildly impaired, while others are severely disabled. An occupational therapist can help all of these patients improve their degree of functioning and reduce their dependence on others.

When Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability

Children and adults with developmental disabilities can benefit from receiving occupational therapy. An occupational therapist focuses on helping patients achieve maximum functioning by teaching adaptive methods of task completion and modifying the steps of essential tasks. Occupational therapists often work with individuals with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and Down syndrome.

Along with our specialists in orthopedics and pediatrics, Palms West Hospital features compassionate providers of services for rehabilitation near Loxahatchee, FL. To learn more about rehab at our community hospital, please visit our website and browse our list of medical services. A registered nurse is available 24/7 at (561) 345-7009.


Why Is Prenatal Care So Important?

Prenatal care refers to the healthcare services that an expectant mother receives from an obstetrics specialist, midwife, or other healthcare professional. Prenatal care is essential for every expectant mother. Ideally, these services begin before pregnancy. At a preconception visit with a provider at Palms West Hospital, women will discuss medical conditions, medications, and testing to promote a healthy pregnancy.

Manage Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions may place your health or your baby’s health at risk. Sometimes, medical conditions arise during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Other women may already have existing medical conditions when they become pregnant. With proper prenatal care, expectant mothers can manage these conditions to reduce the risk of problems. An obstetrics provider can help expectant mothers manage thyroid disease, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, depression, obesity, and other conditions that may affect pregnancy.

Detect Potential Problems

Routine testing is an integral component of prenatal care. At each prenatal care appointment, the healthcare provider evaluates weight gain and blood pressure. At some visits, women may have a pelvic exam, Pap smear, blood tests, urine tests, and ultrasounds. These exams allow for the early detection of problems that may affect the health of the mother or baby.

Provide Dietary Advice

Another reason why prenatal care is essential is that women receive personalized dietary guidance. Based on an expectant mother’s current weight and whether she is pregnant with multiples, the doctor can recommend a safe rate of weight gain. The physician can provide advice on how to choose foods and prenatal vitamins to get all the nutrients the baby needs. Expectant mothers also learn about foods they must avoid.

Provide Lifestyle Guidance

Prenatal care encompasses lifestyle guidance. Expectant mothers who smoke, consume alcohol, or have a substance abuse problem can receive the counseling they need to reduce the risk of harm to the baby. The doctor can also provide recommendations for safe exercise during each trimester of pregnancy.

The New Life Center at Palms West Hospital features dedicated specialists in obstetrics in Loxahatchee, FL. Our obstetrics services include comprehensive childbirth and parenting classes to meet the unique needs of every family. Expectant parents can speak with a registered nurse by calling (561) 345-7009 or visit our website to learn more about our medical services, including imaging services such as ultrasounds.


Common Reasons to See a Podiatrist

Podiatrists specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions that affect the foot. A podiatrist may order imaging studies, perform diagnostic tests, administer medications, and perform surgeries. There are many reasons why you might make an appointment with a podiatrist. At the orthopedics department of Palms West Hospital, you’ll find highly trained specialists of podiatry who can assist you with acute foot injuries, diabetes, infections, and many other health problems.

Diabetes

Patients with diabetes can benefit from including a podiatrist on their diabetes care team. Doing so may reduce the need for hospitalization and the risk of lower limb amputation. A podiatrist can help diabetic patients learn how to keep their feet clean and dry to reduce the risk of infections. He or she can provide guidance on footwear selection and perform examinations to check for problems. Patients with diabetes who notice any abnormalities of the feet are encouraged to see a podiatrist promptly. These abnormalities may include skin color changes, dry cracks or bleeding of the skin, pain, swelling, and open sores.

Acute Injuries

Podiatrists often treat patients with acute injuries of the foot and ankle. Heel pain is particularly common. It’s often caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Podiatrists can also treat heel spurs, sprains, strains, and broken bones of the feet—just to name a few conditions.

Infections

Any infection requires prompt attention. However, diabetics in particular need to exercise caution regarding infections. It is possible to develop an infection from an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails most often affect the big toe. Some signs of this foot problem include tenderness, redness, swelling, and drainage. A podiatrist can treat the ingrown toenail and prescribe antibiotics if there is an infection. Podiatrists also frequently treat patients with fungal infections, including fungal toenail infections and athlete’s foot. Debridement, topical medications, or oral medications can treat fungal infections.

Podiatry is one of the many types of orthopedic care in Loxahatchee, FL, that you’ll find at Palms West Hospital. Our other medical services include rehabilitation and emergency care. If you would like to speak with a registered nurse, please call (561) 345-7009 any time of the day or night.


An Overview of Common Allergies in Children

Allergies are quite common in children, particularly those who have a family history of allergies. The severity of allergy symptoms can vary widely from mild nasal congestion to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If you suspect your child may have allergies, you can consult a specialist in pediatrics to have your child tested. At the Children’s Hospital at Palms West, our pediatric team provides specialized care for the youngest of patients.

Food Allergies

It is possible for any food to cause an allergic reaction. However, the majority of adverse reactions to foods are triggered by just eight of them:

  • Peanuts

  • Tree nuts

  • Fish

  • Shellfish

  • Eggs

  • Soy

  • Wheat

  • Milk

Often, an allergic reaction to a food occurs within a few minutes of consumption; however, delayed reactions are possible. Some of the indicators of an allergic reaction to food include vomiting, stomach cramps, dizziness, weak pulse, shortness of breath, wheezing, and persistent coughing. Children may complain of a hoarse throat, have trouble swallowing, have difficulty talking, or take on a bluish coloring of the skin. If any of the signs of anaphylaxis occur, such as fainting and rapid heartbeat, the child requires emergency care.

Indoor Triggers

Along with food allergies, children may be diagnosed with allergies to indoor allergens such as dust mites, mold, animal dander, and cockroach droppings. After the pediatric doctor identifies a child’s allergy triggers, he or she can offer guidance on minimizing symptoms by practicing careful environmental control. Sneezing, red and itchy eyes, runny or stuffy nose, wheezing, and coughing are possible signs of an allergy to one of these triggers.

Outdoor Allergies

Outdoor allergies include seasonal triggers such as tree and plant pollen. Children may also have allergies to insect bites or stings, car exhaust, cigarette smoke, or other irritants. The symptoms of outdoor allergies are similar to those of indoor allergies.

If your child suffers a serious allergic reaction, you can count on Palms West Hospital to provide compassionate emergency care near Loxahatchee, FL. Our specialists in pediatrics can also help parents learn how to provide proper food and nutrition despite a child’s food allergies. If your child requires emergency care, please call 911 now; otherwise, you can direct non-emergent inquiries to a registered nurse 24/7 by calling (561) 345-7009.


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