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Urgent Care Clinics

Friday, October 30, 2015

Urgent care clinics seem to be popping up everywhere and you may be wondering exactly what they are and if they are for you. Urgent care clinics tend to treat more serious issues than retail clinics but are not designed to provide the life-saving treatments you would receive at a traditional emergency room. With extended hours and the ability to get you into a doctor quickly, their popularity is rising due to their convenient nature. While there are many pros to these clinics, there are other factors to think about before deciding where to seek out medical attention.

There are several advantages to urgent care clinics that are helping to lead to their popularity. To start, the speed in which you are treated tends to be better than traditional clinics or hospitals. This is great for those sudden illnesses or injuries that don’t quite warrant the ER but need to be dealt with as soon as possible. The wait times tend to be shorter since there are more physicians and nurses on staff than at a traditional doctor’s office. If lack of time is an issue for your family, an urgent care clinic may be a great fit for you in those times of need. Most have x-ray and other advanced machines that you may not find in your primary physician’s office and typically expect to have to go to the ER for. Broken bones, sprains, and mild burns are all common issues treated in house at an urgent care clinic. Another benefit, as mentioned earlier, is that they tend to have extended hours going into the evening time and are open on the weekends. Those with busy schedules or those who have difficulty getting off of work can still get the medical care they need without the restrictions of traditional business hours. Perhaps one of the main perks of urgent care clinics is the cost. For cash paying patients, they are often a great deal less in price than what one would be charged by going to the ER. Those with insurance will also probably save since the copay tends to be less than that of an ER visit.

While the benefits seem plentiful, there are some disadvantages to take into consideration. To start, you most likely won’t see the same physician each time you go. It may also be hard or impossible to schedule a follow up with the doctor who initially treated you. If you are an individual who likes the familiar and is not comfortable sharing your medical history with several different physicians or nurses, an urgent care clinic may not be for you. It is important to note that all medical staff, no matter where you go, are all held to the same oaths and standards of care. Another negative is that some urgent care clinics don’t save “files” on the patients they see so it may require some digging on your and an office staff’s part to put together your medical history from visits there.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages of attending an urgent care clinic. Although your situation may not leave you a great deal of time to think about where to go for a medical issue, try to take a moment to look at what you think your specific health needs will be and if you will be better suited to visit your primary care physician, an urgent care clinic, or an emergency room. Do some research before a medical issue hits so you are familiar with the location of the urgent care clinic along with their hours and other important information such as what they typically treat there. By being informed ahead of time, you will be in a better place to make the right decision in the time of need.


Friday, October 23, 2015

As colder weather arrives throughout the US, joints and muscles tend to get a bit more achy. Seasonal change brings about temperature and pressure changes that make our joints and muscles sore. Adding colds and other illness to the mix certainly doesn't help! Here are some tips for beating soreness that comes during Autumn.

There are ways to fight pain without resorting to medications. One way to avoid meds and beat pain is to introduce heat relief to muscles. Investing in a heating pad or hot water bottle could offer a level of relief and relaxation that you've never experienced. The heat from these items relaxes tension in muscles, and allows increased blood flow in the area. Increased blood flow helps rebuild damaged tissue and ushers away compounds in muscles that make them feel sore.

Another way to kick up the relaxation, as well as offer relief, is to treat yourself to a massage. A licensed massage therapist can help you with muscle soreness because he or she is trained in the techniques that can help liberate those feelings of stiffness and pain. The added relaxation factor is certainly a plus!

Body maintenance is also an important part of keeping yourself feeling fresh and fit. Exercise certainly helps; keeping your joints and muscles in motion can help keep stiffness away. Simply stretching can also help with soreness by opening up blood vessels and increasing blood flow to tissues in the body. Along with exercise, eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water can also help relieve aches and pain. Vitamins found in fresh vegetables and fruits are instrumental in rebuilding healthy tissue in the body. Water helps with the cell building and repair process, and helps your blood move toxins out of the body.

Of course, not all pains find their roots in the muscles. Some conditions like arthritis are caused by inflammation of the joints. Your joints can be very sensitive to changing temperature and pressure. Some sufferers of arthritis advise fellow sufferers to dress warmly. Keeping a sweater handy for chilly situations could save you some pain. Increasing Vitamin D, either through supplementation or increased sunlight exposure, could help as well.

Some pains will require medication. Take medicines in accordance with the directions given by your doctor or pharmacist. Consult these professionals when mixing over the counter pain killers and prescription drugs. If your doctor does decide that you need the help of a prescribed medication, be sure that you are getting the best possible price by showing your pharmacist your FreeRxPlus card. Visit FreeRxPlus.com to print or request your free card now.

Habits to Avoid for Dental Health

Friday, October 16, 2015

We’ve all been told the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth from a young age. But what about the other, often daily, habits that we put our teeth and mouth through? Preventative care is a major factor in teeth and oral health. Taking a look at your habits and other factors can help to save you a great deal of pain and hassle in the future.

Don’t brush too hard: As we said above, brushing your teeth regularly is part of good oral hygiene. But did you know that if you brush too vigorously, you could be causing more harm than good? Brushing too hard can irritate gums and wear down enamel which can cause sensitivity and cavities. To avoid these problems, use a soft bristle tooth brush. Look for the ADA (American Dental Association) logo on the package, which means the brush has been certified to remove plaque but not cause damage.

Refrain from teeth grinding and jaw clenching: Most individuals who do this may not even realize they are. If you grind teeth or clench your jaw from stress, try your best to make a cautious effort to relax your jaw when it starts to happen. If you grind in your sleep, talk with your dentist about mouth guards that can help. Grinding or jaw clenching can cause micro fractures in your teeth and lead to jaw problems later on.

Avoid chewing ice: The cold temperature and hardness of ice cubes can cause serious damage. It may seem to be easy to chew but dental experts say that the hardness of ice cubes can cause fractures and other damage. Small cubes and chips aren’t nearly as detrimental but still take caution on eating ice that requires a great deal of “chomping”.

Don’t use your teeth as a tool:
We are all guilty of using our mouth or teeth as a tool at some point. Whether that is cutting a piece of thread, ripping a tag off, or opening a package of food – save your teeth for chewing your food only. Using your teeth as a tool can cause fractures or cracks. While you may not have an immediate issue, using your teeth in this way can cause major dental issues down the line.

Avoid biting your nails:
Biting your nails is bad for more than your fingers. Chewing on your nails can cause enamel to splinter which makes way for a number of tooth diseases and issues. The motion that occurs when chewing your nails can also cause your teeth to shift.

Leave out the acidic food:
Sucking lemons or drinking a great deal of carbonated drinks can be especially rough on your teeth. Foods or drinks that have a high acidity level can wreak havoc on your enamel and cause decay around your gum line. Sipping soda slowly or several times throughout the day is especially bad since you are basically bathing your teeth in an acid bath all day.

Of course, visiting your dental specialist regularly will help you keep on top of your dental hygiene. Your dentist can advise you of your personal habits that may be causing damage to your teeth as well as help you establish a good routine for overall dental health. Dentist visits can be expensive but shouldn’t be blown off. Visit www.YourDiscountBenefits.com to check out the variety of dental savings plans that are available. These plans will help you and your family keep up with your oral hygiene and teeth health without breaking the bank.

How to Save on Prescriptions

Friday, October 9, 2015

For those who need medications to live a happy and healthy life, being frugal isn’t much of an option. In 2014, Americans filled 4.3 billion prescriptions and spent nearly $374 billion on medicine. This amount is staggering! Unfortunately, medications don’t usually go on sale and prices can often rise with no notice. Most individuals are forced to either pay the price or go without. Luckily there are a few things that you can do to ensure you are receiving as much of a discount as possible on the medications you so desperately need.

Split higher dosage pills: Pill splitting is based on the fact that many pills cost about the same even if they contain twice as much medication. For example, a 100 mg pill is often about the same price as a 50 mg pill of the same drug. Ask your doctor if your medication is safe to be split. If it is, you can ask them to prescribe twice the dosage you really need, so you can split your pills in half, making them last twice as long. It is important to note that many pills are not safe to split so it is imperative that you talk to your doctor before splitting them yourself.

Ask about generics: Generic medications can save a great deal of money in most situations. Almost 80% of FDA-approved drugs have generic alternatives. Most of those generics cost an average of four times less than the brand-name versions. Unfortunately, a generic version of a drug cannot be made until six months after the name brand’s patent protection expires. Usually, the longer a medication has been out, the more luck you will have finding cheaper generics.

Be open with your doctor or pharmacist: Don’t be embarrassed to let your doctor know that you are struggling to pay for your medications. You may be surprised to find that there are less expensive treatment options available to you. By being open with your doctor or pharmacist, you can discuss other options that may work for you and in turn save you money.

Shop around at different pharmacies: You may be shocked at how much prices can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. Even those located in the same town can have drastic differences. There are many factors that go into play when a pharmacy determines how much they charge for a medication so don’t be afraid to make phone calls before settling on one location to fill your prescription. Read more about price checking here.

Use your prescription savings card: Something as simple as showing your FreeRxPlus prescription savings card can save you as much as 97%! Most savings cards are free and don’t require personal information to be able to be used. Be sure to do your research though because not all cards are created equal. Make sure you get a card that has a large pharmacy network so that you can save at more than just a few locations. Unfortunately not all cards have the same optimal savings either. FreeRxPlus’ pharmacy network spans to over 56,000 locations across the United States and Puerto Rico and offers some of the best discounts possible. Your pharmacist will know what to do when you present them with your card and will let you know both the cash price and the discounted price with your savings card. It may seem too good to be true but thousands save every day with no strings attached. If you have yet to get your FreeRxPlus discount card, visit FreeRxPlus.com and print or request your no cost card today.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Autumn: the leaves are changing, the air is becoming crisp, and the delicious aroma of pumpkin spice everything fills the air. Many people start planning for the holidays, which are just around the corner. In doing so, we sometimes get out of our good habits and fall into the groove of sweet treats and staying indoors where it’s warm. Even though the air temperature and leaves are changing for the season, your healthy habits don’t have to!

Even though a new season of treats and goodies are starting to show up, remember to make good choices. Fall is the season of pies, Halloween candy by the boatload, and tons of holiday-themed snacks, not to mention the return of those delicious pumpkin spice lattes! Keep in mind that, even though these treats are delicious, many of them are packed with sugar, which can certainly derail your healthy eating habits or doctor-recommended diet. You can still enjoy the flavors of the fall without overindulging. Keep moderation in mind. Also, find healthy ways to enjoy your favorite fall foods, such as pumpkin.

Speaking of keeping your choices on the healthy side, game day snacks don’t have to be unhealthy for you to enjoy your favorite sports. Try replacing high-calorie chicken wings with veggie sticks and low-calorie ranch dip. Try substituting beef in game day chili with turkey; or, for a totally new spin, make veggie chili!

Of course, fall is the season of the common cold. Give the cold a one-two punch by keeping your exercise regimen on track and increasing your vitamin C intake. Vitamin C can be found in foods like yogurt, and also, your favorite fall gourd, pumpkin! Remember, when exercising, drink plenty of water and get outdoors. Being outdoors helps your body soak up the sun’s rays, which help your body make vitamin D to further heave off a cold.

Even though many summer vegetables are out of season, there are still some fresh vegetables that are in season. Beets are a delicious addition to a fall spread. Greens like collards, mustard, and turnip give you the opportunity to ingest good, healthy fiber and vitamins, and can be prepared as a delicious warm treat for a cool fall day. Members of the mustard family, such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are in season, and can help you add green to your plate.

Of course, fall is the time to get a flu shot. Influenza, if not treated or prevented, can be deadly. At the very least, it can kill your productivity or keep you out of work for a few days. Get with your doctor or local pharmacy to schedule an appointment to have your flu shot. It could save you a lot of trouble, or, perhaps, your life!

Keep yourself in line with these healthy reminders. Also, enjoy the changing seasons and beautiful weather while it’s here!

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