• Make a BJC Health appointment on your iDevice

Don’t Turn Your Back On It: 2 months into the campaign

0

By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

Trying to improve disease awareness is hard work, potentially unrewarding and frustrating. So, any attempt at a public awareness campaign is approached with a degree of hope and trepidation.

I’ve written about the Don’t Turn Your Back On It campaign (read Who’s Got Your Back? & The Back Cave).

It’ a campaign designed to get young males (and yes, I know females are affected to) with chronic back pain to visit a website where they’ll answer a few key questions to determine if they have Inflammatory Back Pain.

Inflammatory Back Pain Symptom Screener

Inflammatory Back Pain Symptom Screener

 

Having Inflammatory back pain may mean that the diagnosis is spondyloarthritis / ankylosing spondylitis so determining this is a key stepping stone to a correct diagnosis.

This campaign, supported by Abbvie (a pharmaceutical company), Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW, a number of allied health professionals, rheumatologists and patient advocates has just entered its 3rd month.

I thought it worth sharing some milestones achieved:

  •  ~14,000 visits to the campaign website
  •  >3,300 positive screener results (approx. 38% of total screener submissions)
  • ~300 positive screener recipients electing to receive further information

An important part of the campaign involved attempting to engage GPs:

  • GP postcard mailer distributed to ~4,000 GPs in our state, New South Wales
  • The Back Pain Maze poster placed in ~900 GP waiting rooms
  • ~700 AS GP Fact sheets downloaded through an online portal

Traditional media & social media highlights include:

  • Media articles in >19 publications (mainly local community papers)
  • 113 Media clippings generated – including radio snippets, and national TV coverage (A Current Affair, estimated audience of 1 million viewers – watch “Michael Slater Reveals Secret Illness“)
  • >700 website visits from Facebook & Twitter

It’s encouraging. A good start. We hope there’ll be more interest and that we can keep the ball rolling.

Please help if you can. Share the links so we can get more people with chronic back pain screened, and hopefully, reduce the delay for some in getting the correct diagnosis.

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
Arthritis requires an integrated approach. We call this, Connected Care. Contact us.
This blog focuses on arthritis, healthcare in general, and Connected Care. Please subscribe to keep in touch:
 
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Why do some find Pain difficult to describe?

7

Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

My mother was having some chest discomfort.

I wanted her to describe it to me but she found this very difficult.

It’s just painful. 

I will admit this frustrates me.

Is it sharp or dull? Does it ache, throb, burn? 

Is it intermittent or constant?

What brings it on? What makes it worse? What relieves it?

She found it very difficult to give me the details I wanted to help make a diagnosis. This is not an uncommon scenario in clinic. Some just find it near impossible to describe their pain.

I don’t quite understand it and that’s why I’m asking the question. Can you explain?

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
Arthritis requires an integrated approach. We call this, Connected Care. Contact us.
This blog focuses on arthritis, healthcare in general, and Connected Care. Please subscribe to keep in touch:
 
Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner

When the volume control for pain gets turned up

7

By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

She reached into her handbag and brought out the token of her appreciation.

Mug

It was very unexpected. And I’m been very touched by it.

She has been a “difficult” patient with lots of pain in various areas. Sometimes, there was an explanation such as a rotator cuff tear. Sometimes, her rheumatoid arthritis appeared active, but at other times, the degree of symptoms seemed out of keeping with what I could find on assessing her.

In recent months, I had found myself apologising for not helping her very much. I had tweaked her medication, started then stopped then replaced various drugs.

The preceding consultation, I had a discussion with her about the possibility that her pain was “centralised”. I explained that over time, in patients who suffer chronic disease, the body can become more sensitive to various stimuli and chronic pain seems to snowball.

It’s a situation where the volume control for pain gets turned up.

This seems to occur more often when there are other unpleasant events in one’s life, including but not limited to social and financial stress, anxiety and depression, increasing medical diagnoses, weight gain, poor sleep, poor fitness, etc.

This is not an easy discussion to have but she listened.

I then asked her to visit this website: https://fibroguide.med.umich.edu.

I learnt of this website at a recent meeting and it is now my go-to site for patients with fibromyalgia.

She went home, and worked through the website with her supportive family. Something clicked. She recognised many of the situations described.

She learned that the road forward was hard and involved a lot of self-help and family support. It’s not easy by any means but I think she felt relief.

She could understand. She could see that no doctor would be able to solve the problems with a magic pill.

And, unexpectedly, she thanked me for this.

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
Arthritis requires an integrated approach. We call this, Connected Care. Contact us.
This blog focuses on arthritis, healthcare in general, and Connected Care. Please subscribe to keep in touch:
 
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Michael Slater & his Secret Spondylitis

6

By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

Michael Slater was a dashing international cricketer during the 1990s, an opening batsman we rushed to watch. He is now a TV presenter. He is high profile, charismatic and public.

This may sound mean but it’s good when high profile celebrities get a disease they are willing to talk about.

It gets the message on air. It can improve the awareness of disease. It may lead to increased interest, improved research funding or other support and actually improve the lives of other sufferers.

Michael Slater has ankylosing spondylitis. Click the link to watch the TV piece on this from the national broadcaster, Nine.

Yours truly had a small part.

We need more media coverage of the rheumatic diseases. Our profile is poor and our patients suffer due to this.

A Current Affair: Michael Slater

A Current Affair: Michael Slater

 
Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
Arthritis requires an integrated approach. We call this, Connected Care. Contact us.
This blog focuses on arthritis, healthcare in general, and Connected Care. Please subscribe to keep in touch:
 
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Shoulder cortisone injection: a video showing what’s involved

0

By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

It’s common to hear patients worried about having a cortisone injection to their shoulder. Often this is due to something well-meaning friends have said.

Most shoulder injections done by rheumatologists are done “blind”.

When I say “blind”, I mean they are done without the aid of any radiologic machine guiding the injection. I often perform cortisone injections this way. I’m not sure that there is clear evidence to suggest that radiology guidance is always better.

In the last few years however, I’ve started to use the ultrasound machine to help guide my injections for a particular type of shoulder injection.

I find it more satisfying for a subacromial injection. This is a type of injection where we direct the tip of the needle into the subacromial bursa under that ledge of bone at the point of your shoulder, the acromion.

The following video shows a subacromial injection performed in my rooms with Lisa, our ultrasonographer, helping guide the injection.

I recorded this to try and reassure some of you who may be very worried as to what a shoulder injection entails. I hope you’ll agree it looks rather simple and comfortable.

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
Arthritis requires an integrated approach. We call this, Connected Care. Contact us.
This blog focuses on arthritis, healthcare in general, and Connected Care. Please subscribe to keep in touch:
 
Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner
Page 10 of 73« First...«89101112»203040...Last »