Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (plan-ter fash-ee-eye-tiss) is pain in the heel or arch of the foot. It is caused by irritation of the plantar fascia—the band of tissue that goes from the heel to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a common condition. It is also called jogger’s heel. The main symptom is pain in… Read more »

Tests and Treatments Your Employees May Not Need

Some employers have doctors do medical exams to help keep workers healthy and productive. Or, a new employee may be sent to the doctor before starting the job. The doctor may order tests and treatments. But some tests are not needed. And some treatments may actually be risky for employees. Plus, some­times this care can… Read more »

Hospital Hazards

A hospital stay can be risky, especially for older people. For example, many seniors who could walk on their own and care for themselves before entering the hospital lose these abilities during their stay. They may also develop delirium (sudden, intense confusion). As part of the Choosing Wisely series, the American Academy of Nursing has… Read more »

Dietary Supplements to Prevent Heart Disease or Cancer

Vitamins and supplements are big business in the US. Americans spent almost $34 billion on them in 2013, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. These products are heavily marketed. For many years, people believed claims that they could help prevent heart disease and cancer. There has now been a great deal of research on these… Read more »

Sleeping Pills For Insomnia

Insomnia (trouble sleeping) is a common problem. It’s considered “chronic” if it occurs three nights or more a week for at least three months. If you have trouble sleeping, you may be thinking about getting a prescription for sleeping pills. But these drugs are often not the best option. And they can cause other problems…. Read more »

Screening Tests for Brain Aneurysms

A brain aneurysm is a weak area in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain. It can burst and cause a stroke, and can even lead to death. Doctors use imaging tests—like CT scans or MRIs—to screen for brain aneurysms. That may sound like a good idea. But the tests and follow-up can… Read more »

Monitoring Your Baby’s Heartbeat During Labor

Doctors, nurses, and midwives check your baby during labor and birth with a “fetal heart rate monitor.” There are two ways to do this: Continuous monitoring (CM): Records your baby’s heartbeat throughout labor. Intermittent auscultation (IA): Checks your baby’s heartbeat at certain times during labor. IA is often a better choice. You may want to… Read more »

Stable Heart Disease

Large blood vessels called arteries supply blood to your heart. They can become narrowed or blocked. This is called heart disease. As a result, less blood and oxygen may flow to your heart. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, or other symptoms. An angiogram is a test for heart disease. The doctor places… Read more »

Stress tests after a stent procedure

A stent procedure is done to open a blocked artery in your heart. Sometimes people get yearly stress tests afterward to see if the blockage might happen again. But stress tests usually aren’t helpful after a stent procedure unless you have symptoms of heart disease. Here’s why. Routine stress tests usually aren’t needed. Stress tests… Read more »

Blood Transfusions for Anemia in the Hospital

Getting a blood transfusion in the hospital can save your life. You may need a lot of blood if you are bleeding heavily because of an injury or illness. But anemia is usually not urgent. And usually you don’t need a lot of blood. You may only need one unit of blood while you are… Read more »


Colonoscopy is the most accurate exam used to detect and prevent cancer of the colon and rectum.  It can find cancer early and save lives. But even a very good exam can be done too often. Here’s when you need it and when you don’t. What is a colonoscopy? A colonoscopy uses a flexible, lighted… Read more »

Preventing Seizures After an Ischemic Stroke

An ischemic (iss-keem-ik) stroke is the most common type of stroke. A blood vessel gets blocked so that it can’t send blood to a part of the brain. This injures the brain and can cause a seizure. A seizure causes: Involuntary body movements. Strange sensations. Blackouts. Some doctors routinely prescribe anti-seizure medicine after an ischemic… Read more »

Blood Tests to Show Your Risk for Miscarriage

Blood tests to show your risk of miscarriage have become more common. The tests show if you have a condition called “thrombophilia.” This condition can increase blood clots. It may increase the risk of a miscarriage or other problems during pregnancy. There are many different tests for thrombophilia. Doctors often order the tests for pregnant… Read more »

Brain Scans for Head Injuries

A blow to the head can be scary. Usually, the injury is not severe. But sometimes there can be a concussion, bleeding on the brain, or cracks to the skull. It is important for the doctor to examine you or your child for a possible concussion or another injury. A blow to the head can… Read more »

Treatments to Relieve Chronic Pain

Pain that won’t go away is more than frustrating. It can be harmful to your health and well-being. It can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep, eating right and exercising. It can affect your mood and work and can keep you from spending time with your friends and family. If you’re one of… Read more »