Men’s Health: Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons that keep the arm seated properly in the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff tears are common shoulder injuries among men, especially for men over the age of fifty.

Acute tears can be caused by falls, lifting something too heavy, or in conjunction with other shoulder injuries such as collarbone breaks or shoulder dislocations. Tears tend to be more prevalent among painters, carpenters, swimmers, baseball pitchers, and tennis players who make repetitive overhead motions.

Degenerative tears increase with age as tendons become worn away. Activities that were once performed with ease such as shoveling snow, chopping wood, or digging in the yard can put too much strain on an aging rotator cuff. Many tears of this type require surgery followed by extended physical therapy to repair and restore mobility.  

Home health agencies provide physical therapy to help patients manage their condition, reduce pain, and restore function. Home health therapists help senior patients avoid rotator cuff injuries by teaching muscle strengthening and safe lifting techniques. They assess a patient’s home environment for hazards and create a plan to eliminate them.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the most common symptoms of a torn rotator cuff include:

  •  Pain at rest and at night, particularly when lying on the affected shoulder

  • Pain when lifting and lowering your arm or with specific movements

  • Weakness when lifting or rotating your arm

  • Crackling sensation when moving your shoulder in certain positions

Promote men’s health issues throughout the month of June. Partner with retail and community organizations to sponsor healthy living booths at:

  • Local sporting goods stores

  • Fitness centers

  • Community ball parks

  • Car / Boat show

  • Flea market

  • Big box stores

Improve your marketing strategy with personalized home health, home care, and hospice print media. Visit TAGwebstore.com or call us at 866-232-6477 for more information.

June is Men’s Health Month...

Recognizing Men’s Health Month provides a good opportunity to connect with your referral network. Start by providing the physicians in your service area with brochures on topics relevant to men’s health. Be sure to include information on heart disease which is the number one cause of death for men in the United States.  According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 3 men suffer some form of cardiovascular condition. Thankfully the risk for developing heart disease can be modified with a healthy diet and lifestyle. As young adults, men should know their cholesterol levels, keep physically fit, and have regular check-ups to maintain good cardiovascular health.

Unlike heart disease, cancer can strike the healthiest of men. The top three cancers that occur in men:

Prostate cancer is the number one cancer risk for men aside from skin cancer. Most cases of prostate cancer occur in men over the age of sixty-five. The American Cancer Society recommends that when men reach the age of fifty they should begin the discussion with their doctor about prostate cancer screening. Prostate cancer is very treatable with a 5-year relative survival rate of 99%. Risk factors that may require screening prior to age fifty: having a family history of prostate cancer, being African American, being obese, and being exposed to Agent Orange.

Lung cancer kills more men every year than any other type of cancer. The majority of lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke. Unfortunately, symptoms of lung cancer don’t typically occur until the disease is at an advanced stage. The prognosis depends on whether or not the cancer has spread beyond the lungs. The five-year relative survival rate on non-spreading cancers is 50%.

Colorectal cancer is another major cancer concern for men. Cancer screening for most men should begin at age 50 and repeated every 5 – 10 years. Men at higher risk like those with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or a family history of colon cancer should be tested sooner. There are several methods of screening, though colonoscopies are frequently prescribed as they enable the doctor to check the entire colon for polyps or cancer. Finding and removing pre-malignant polyps can often prevent colon cancer. The 5-year survival rate for localized stage I colon cancer is about 90%. 

How you can get involved in promoting men’s health:

  • Plan a Wear Blue Day to promote awareness for Men’s Health Month. Hand out T-shirts to your employees, and referral groups. 
  • Organize a flag football or a softball game between your company and referral groups. Invite local media to attend to spread awareness.
  • Sponsor a mini health fair. Provide health screenings and ask local restaurants to supply healthy snacks.
  • Have your nurses give a presentation on Men’s Health and provide handouts on heart health, hypertension, prostate cancer, etc. 
  • Set up an information table on Men’s Health at a local gym, sporting goods or home improvement store. The Saturday before Father’s Day would be a great time to plan this.

Visit our Webstore for Informational Materials on Men’s Health and other Conditions.

A perfect outreach opportunity: Men’s Health Week

According to MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, men need to take a greater interest in their health. It states that men are more likely than women to smoke, drink, make unhealthy choices, make risky choices, and postpone medical care. June is Men’s Health Month and Men’s Health Week is June 13–19, 2016. Make an extra effort to connect with men in your community and take advantage of this opportunity to help them improve their health.

  • Start by visiting the website for the observance at www.menshealthmonth.org. Here you’ll find a ton of logos, posters, flyers and PSAs to use during your efforts this month.
  • Hire a barber or hairdresser for three to four hours and treat your favorite senior community referral sources to free haircuts or shaves for their male residents.
  • Contact your local newspaper or television news station and invite them to shadow a longtime male provider in your agency as he cares for a male client. Be sure to get advance clearance from the client and have him sign a form to consent to the coverage.
  • Create a checklist of the health screenings men need as they get older in order to stay healthy. Distribute it at the senior centers and assisted living facilities in your area. Find a list of these screenings and the reasons for them at the website of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • Remember that men’s health doesn’t just affect men. It affects the women in their lives, too. And these women often have great influence on the decisions and actions of their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. Encourage the women your agency encounters to help the men in their lives adopt healthier habits. Find tips to help involve women in your efforts at the website of the Men’s Health Network.
  • Host a bake sale and donate the proceeds to a local clinic’s indigent fund with an earmark that it help pay for the care of men in your community.

May 2015: Look out for your community’s men

June is the perfect time to show a little love to the men in our lives. After all, June is Men’s Health Month and National Men’s Health Week is June 15-21, 2015. And we can’t forget about Father’s Day on June 21. Stand up for the men in your community and remind them that when they improve their health, they improve not only their own lives, but the lives of everyone they care about. Focus efforts this month on educating about health issues that particularly affect men. Consider this: According to the Centers for Disease Control, women are twice as likely as men to visit the doctor for annual exams and preventive services.

  • Take part in community health fairs this month and hand out flyers about topics such as prostate cancer, high blood pressure, medication management and pain management. Find them www.tagwebstore.com/health-care-flyers.php.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing 307,225 men in 2009 – one in every four deaths! Volunteer to teach a free class on heart health at a local Lions Club, Kiwanis Club or VFW.  Find a ready-made class at www.tagwebstore.com/healthmatters-education-series.php.
  • About 67 million American adults (one-third of the population!) have high blood pressure, a condition that contributes to heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Distribute blood pressure logs to the offices of general practitioners and internists to give to their patients with elevated blood pressure. The logs provide a consistent way to get attention for your agency while helping potential patients manage their condition. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/bloodpressurelog.php.
  • It’s time to think about doing something big. Plan an event to educate your community’s men (and women) about an important Medicare benefit they may not realize they have: The Annual Wellness Visit, which includes a review of medical history and risk factors and a personalized prevention plan. Provide snacks, informative booths and access to a clinician to perform the annual exams. Find a kit to help you plan and execute the event here: www.tagwebstore.com/annual-wellness-visit-kit.php.

Taking steps to ensure safety at home can mean a world of difference to seniors hoping to maintain their independence. June’s National Home Safety Month is a great time to help. Get ready to reach out to your community and educate on home safety and how your agency can help. The National Safety Council-supported observance is an effort to educate people and influence their behaviors in relation to the top causes of preventable death and injury. Here are some things you can do to participate.

  • Host a free educational class at your area senior centers on the importance and basics of fall prevention. Find a ready-made class at www.tagwebstore.com/healthmatters-education-series.php.
  • Show your referral sources this month that you are committed to ensuring patient safety. Integrate patient education guides for fall prevention into your services for those at an elevated risk for a fall. The guides also are an eye-catching tool you can use to show referral sources how seriously you take this issue. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/patient-education-guides.php.
  • Health and safety go hand in hand. Give patients a powerful tool to track their health records, including medications, immunizations, blood sugar and more. Health Logs will go everywhere they go and will keep your agency top of mind. Distribute them to your both your clients and prospective clients. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/healthlog.php.
  • Stock physician waiting rooms – especially those of orthopedic specialists – with flyers about home safety. Be sure to include information about your agency’s fall risk assessments. Find the flyers at www.tagwebstore.com/health-care-flyers.php.

Advances in technology and treatment options mean people diagnosed with cancer have better odds of survival than ever. Join the cancer community in celebrating life after a cancer diagnosis this National Cancer Survivors Day on June 7, 2015. Show your support for increased cancer education while also educating people about ways home care can help.

  • Remind physicians that palliative care isn’t just for patients who are terminal. Sit down with physicians and remind them that all patients battling cancer can benefit from palliative care. Leave behind an informative brochure about this specialized care and how your agency can help. Find it HERE. (Bonus: All brochures at www.tagwebstore.com are Buy 1 Get 1 FREE through the May 31!)
  • Home care agencies should provide oncologists with brochures that discuss the benefits of home care for cancer patients. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/disease-information-brochures.php.
  • Contact the local office of the American Cancer Society and offer to organize a bake sale, sidewalk sale or other charity event to benefit the organization. Be sure to have plenty of informative materials available that educate about cancer. Find personalized agency flyers about cancer at www.tagwebstore.com/health-care-flyers.php.
  • Give cancer patients a comprehensive guide to assist them as they cope with treatment. Find a patient education guide for cancer with chemotherapy/radiation at www.tagwebstore.com/patient-education-guides.php.