Pain Management

Different types of pain.

Pain is a common condition which can be caused by any number of different factors, such as injury, surgery, illness or ongoing medical conditions. The chances are you’ve experienced pain for yourself, and in many different ways.
There are two main types of pain – acute pain and chronic pain. Let’s take a look at both.

Acute Pain

Acute pain usually starts suddenly and lasts for a shorter period of time. These are just a few of the types of acute pain:

  • Post Surgery
  • Toothache
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Period pains & abdominal cramps
  • Cold/flu (Sinus pain)
  • Burns or cuts
  • Sports injuries, such as sprains
Chronic Pain

Chronic pain lasts longer than acute pain (usually more than 3 months) and is generally somewhat resistant to medical treatment. It is linked with a number of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Nerve pain
  • Back pain
What else can be done?

When it comes to managing pain, getting the right medication is of the utmost importance. But there are a few other things you can try to help reduce the impact of pain.

 

Maintain a healthy weight

If you are overweight, losing the extra kilos will reduce the impact on your hip and knee joints.

Stay well hydrated

Headaches are a common symptom of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water or re-hydration fluids may assist with pain relief.

TENS Therapy

Trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS machines, use small electrical currents to prompt a pain-relieving response from the body.

Hot or cold packs

A hot pack can reduce discomfort from muscle pain. A cold pack can help reduce swelling after an injury.

Relaxation & stress management

Stress can actually make your pain worse. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, practising yoga or socialising with friends may help to reduce pain.

Please find below a pain chart that can be downloaded and filled in to be taken into either your local Pharmacist or Doctor.

Diabetes Awareness Week

This year, National Diabetes Week runs from 12 – 18 July 2020 and the focus will be on supporting the emotional and mental health of people living with diabetes.

Did you know that people living with diabetes can make up to 180 extra decisions each day covering everything from food to medication to exercise and more just to stay well and healthy?

Mentally and emotionally that is a lot of stress to deal with.

Research shows that managing the daily challenges of diabetes can lead to anxiety, distress and depression for one in three people living with the condition.

That’s why this National Diabetes Week, we’ll be working to:

  • Raise awareness of the mental and emotional challenges of managing diabetes
  • Providing blood glucose consumables via NDSS program.

Above all we’ll be working with our community, so you know you’re not alone. We are here to help and support you.

For more information follow the links below

Live Your Life Virtual Expo

In a first of its kind for people living with diabetes, Diabetes Australia is hosting Live Your Life Virtual EXPO on Saturday 18 July 2020.

This free event will showcase the latest information on diabetes for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, their families and carers.

For program details or to register visit the Live Your Life Expo website.

Men’s Health Week

This Men’s Health Week, being held from 15-21 June this year, aims to provoke thought and discussion about what needs to be done to improve male health.

Suicide prevention is one focus of the week. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says that 1.5 million Australian men aged 18 and over had a self-reported mental or behavioural condition in 2014-15. The statistics are staggering, with 1 in 8 men experiencing depression, and 6 out of every 8 suicides being men.

Other men’s health facts include:

  •          Men are at significantly higher risk of dying from liver disease.
  •          Men are more likely to die of heart disease at an earlier age.
  •         80% of spinal cord injuries occur in young men.
  •          Men on average live 4.4 years less than women.
  •          Top 3 reasons for reduced lifespan in men are cardiovascular disease, suicide, and motor accidents.

So, what can we all do about this I hear you ask? SUPPORT each other.

Headspace Warwick is a wonderful confidential service helping young people in the community aged 12-25 with their mental health and wellbeing. They will focus your care around individual needs and work with their in-house team to offer you tailored support. Please feel free to call them on 07 4661 1999

Beyond Blue’s Support Service (1300 22 4636) which is a 24/7 service, can be a great starting point if you are worried about your mate and think he might need a bit of extra support. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people around the world, both physically and mentally. Beyond Blue is a great haven to seek support.

The Warwick Men’s Shed not only passes on real life skills, but it’s a way of talking over problems with a few mates while doing something constructive.

Be sure to speak to your local GP about your concerns – they are a vital support for both your mental health and physical well being.

From all of us at the Friendlies, please support each other and spread awareness during Men’s Health week.

Hand Hygiene

Good hand habits to stay safer from flu and germs this winter

Here at the Friendlies we have not shied away from good hand hygiene practices.  Doorknobs, the button on the photocopy machine, the kettle, microwave door, refrigerator door handles, PC keyboards – they are all places with high hand traffic and therefore the potential to spread viruses and bacteria across our workplace.

Washing your hands frequently can stop the spread of germs and viruses.  For hand hygiene to be effective it needs to be consistent and thorough. Here are three hand habits to prevent you from getting sick and spreading germs:

 1. Frequently wash your hands – including before, during and after preparing food; before changing contact lenses; before and after caring for someone who is sick; after you have blown your nose, coughed or sneezed; before treating wounds; after changing nappies or assisting a child who has used the toilet; after touching pets or picking up their waste.

 2. Wash them the correct way – Especially when it comes to children, it can be hard to explain to them about germs when they can’t see them. To get the idea across, put glitter on your child’s hands and then get them to wash their hands with just water and after that with water and soap. You can also put some glitter on your hand and then touch your child to show how germs are spread.

Some steps to ensure the correct way to wash your hands:

a. Wet your hands with clean running water.

b. Apply enough soap to cover your hands. Rub your palms together and then your palms over each other with your fingers interlaced, cleaning under your nails, the backs of your fingers and your thumbs. For children. Simply singing the ‘happy birthday’ song twice should do the trick.

c. Rinse your hands with clean running water.

d. Dry your hands using a clean towel, a single use paper towel or air dryer.

3. Watch what you touch – germs, like influenza and coronaviruses, can survive for many hours on hard surfaces like stainless steel and plastics and in the air in enclosed environments.  The best way to avoid spreading germs is to frequently wipe down all those surfaces which are touched by multiple people during the day. Surfaces should be cleaned with detergent or soap and water, and then disinfected with a product designed to kill viruses following the label instructions. 

 

During the COVID-19 outbreak and flu season, everyone must practice good hygiene to protect against infection and stop viruses from spreading.  Come in and see us at the Friendlies for all your hygiene needs.  We can help with hand sanitisers, gloves, masks and other items. 

Red Apple Day

A highlight of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Red Apple Day sees Australians young and old support the work of Bowel Cancer Australia.

Bowel Cancer Australia is a 100% community-funded national charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, quality treatment and the best care for everyone affected by bowel cancer.

What is Bowel Cancer:

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, can affect any part of the colon or rectum; it may also be referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where the cancer is located.

Most bowel cancers start as benign, non-threatening growths – called polyps – on the wall or lining of the bowel.

Polyps are usually harmless; however, adenomatous polyps can become cancerous (malignant) and if left undetected, can develop into a cancerous tumour.

Who gets Bowel Cancer:

Bowel cancer affects men and women, young and old.

Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world; 1 in 13 Australians will develop the disease in their lifetime. Bowel cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer.

Around 30% people who develop bowel cancer have either a hereditary contribution, family history or a combination of both. The other 70% of people have no family history of the disease and no hereditary contribution.

The risk of developing bowel cancer rises sharply and progressively from age 50, but the number of Australians under age 50 diagnosed with bowel cancer has been increasing steadily. That is why it’s important to know the symptoms of bowel cancer and have them investigated if they persist for more than two weeks.

Almost 99% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully when detected early.

How can I reduce the risk of bowel cancer?

Healthy diet and lifestyle choices, as well as screening and surveillance, can help to reduce your bowel cancer risk.

Evidence reveals quitting smoking, abstaining from or limiting alcohol consumption, and eating foods containing dietary fibre are all beneficial.

Maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in regular physical activity have also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, but not rectal cancer.

Additionally, people who are more physically active before a bowel cancer diagnosis are less likely to die from the disease than those who are less active.

Bowel cancer screening is safe, easy and can be done at home.

Screening involves collecting small samples of toilet water or poo, placing them on a card or in a container, and mailing them to a pathology laboratory for analysis. The results are then sent back to the individual and their GP.

A positive result means blood in poo has been detected. It does not necessarily mean bowel cancer is present but does require further investigation by a GP and a referral for colonoscopy within 30 days.

A negative result means blood in poo has not been detected in the samples; however, it does not guarantee no cancer is present or that the person will never develop bowel cancer.

The at-home test can detect non-visible blood that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Blood in poo is one possible symptom of bowel cancer. If the result of the test is positive, the person is contacted to arrange a colonoscopy.

For people ineligible to participate in the government program, talk to your GP or pharmacist today about BowelScreen Australia, or order a screening test online or by calling Bowel Cancer Australia’s Helpline on 1800 555 494.

 

For more information from Bowel Cancer Australia- click the link below.

Modified Release Paracetamol

Paracetamol Osteo (665mg) to Pharmacist Only Medicine

From 1 June 2020, in order to purchase modified release 665mg paracetamol products, like Panadol Osteo, from a pharmacy you will need to talk with a pharmacist. It is important to discuss with your healthcare provider about the best treatment options available to you for ongoing pain.

What is modified release paracetamol?

Modified release paracetamol (sometimes labelled as sustained release, slow release, extended release, or Osteo) is formulated with a higher dose of paracetamol per tablet (665 mg) compared to immediate release paracetamol at 500 mg per tablet. In modified release formulations, paracetamol is released into the body more slowly and has a more convenient 8-hourly dosing regimen compared to the immediate release products (usually taken 4-6-hourly).

This includes these medicines:

· PANADOL OSTEO

· APO-OSTEO RELIEF

· CHEMISTS OWN OSTEO RELIEF PARACETAMOL

· OSTEOMOL

· PARACETAMOL OSTEO SR

· PHARMACY ACTION PARACETAMOL OSTEO

Overdose or misuse with modified release paracetamol has significant health risks, whether intentional or accidental, has been a common occurrence in Australia and many other countries. The complex and unpredictable concentrations of the medicine in the blood of modified release paracetamol following an overdose makes it very difficult to treat in emergency situations using the standard antidote for immediate release paracetamol overdoses.

The changes mean that you will need to speak to a pharmacist to ensure the medicine is appropriate for you and will be used safely and correctly. If a pharmacist thinks that a particular medicine is not suitable for the condition, is unsafe for the person or is being misused, they may suggest another treatment, refuse the sale of a product and/or refer you to a doctor.

We are here to help.

Please visit the following site for more detailed information.

https://www.tga.gov.au/changes-way-modified-release-paracetamol-products-are-supplied-questions-and-answers#fn

Asthma

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a long-term lung condition of the airways (the passage that transports air into our lungs).  At the moment, there is no cure, but it can be managed.

People suffering from this condition have sensitive airways. These airways become inflamed (also known as a flare-up) when they are exposed to triggers. When the airways become inflamed, the narrowing airways cause significant, persistent and troublesome symptoms. This often caused breathing difficulties, as it is equivalent to breathing through a very thin tube. In addition, it leads to a medical emergency.

An flare-up can come on slowly over hours, days or even weeks, or quickly over minutes.

What are the symptoms?

People with asthma experience symptoms because of the inflammation and narrowing of their airways. Symptoms often vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are:

  1. Persistent cough, irrespective of sound it makes.
  2. Wheezing – high pitch whistling sound made by narrowing of airways
  3. Breathing difficulties – sometimes the signs of airways tightening does not result any sounds (silent asthma) we are familiar with such as wheezing and coughing.
  4. Tightening of chest / Chest pain

Common types of Asthma

  1. Allergic asthma – caused by allergens such as pollen, dust, food items and mould
  2. Non-allergic asthma – caused by irritants such as viruses, air particles from smoke, cleaning products, perfumes and aerosal products
  3. Occupational asthma – caused by workplace triggers such as chemicals, animal proteins, fumes etc.
  4. Exercise-induced asthma – usually caused by physical activities
  5. Noctural asthma – symptoms that worsen at night, possible cause includes dust mites, heartburn or sleep cycle

Using inhalers correctly

Using your asthma or COPD inhaler properly is important, with the right technique you can be sure the medicine will get to where it needs to.
 
The following link has educational videos on all the different types of inhalation devices to help ensure you and your family are using the best techniques to get the most out of your medicines.

Hand Care

How to protect your skin

Proper hand washing is the first line of defence against infections. However, frequent hand washing can lead to dry, cracked, painful and itchy skin which may lead to an infection. This is especially true for those people suffering from skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Dry skin is caused by an impaired skin barrier and a deficiency in the healthy fats in the top layer of the skin.

Here are a few tips for protecting your skin from drying out:

1. Dry your hands properly

After washing your hands, it is important to dry them properly. Not only are germs easily transferred between wet hands, but water has a drying effect on the skin. When water evaporates it reduces the skin’s natural oils.

2. Avoid using hot water for handwashing

Make sure you use warm rather than hot water. It is also a good idea to wear latex or rubber gloves when washing the dishes, and when using cleaning products that may dry out the skin, for example bathroom cleansers or shampoos when washing your child’s hair.

3. Regularly use a moisturiser

Frequent use of hand sanitisers and soaps can strip the proteins in the top layer of the skin. When
this happens you may experience dryness, itching and even cracking or bleeding. Your skin might
feel like its burning. Frequent moisturising helps to avoid dermatitis and heal rough hands, locking the moisture inside. You should use a moisturiser throughout the day and especially when your hands feel dry. To prevent spreading germs, it’s a good idea to carry your own personal tube of moisturiser rather than sharing a jar of it with others. Moisturising while you sleep can also be effective. Simply apply the moisturiser in a thick layer and then put on a pair of thin cotton gloves. If you use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, it’s important to moisturise afterwards. You can speak to your community pharmacist about moisturisers that are suitable for your skin.

4. Emollient soap substitute

Emollient soap substitutes can be used as an alternative to soap when washing your hands, but be aware that they are not recommended as effective against COVID-19 and you should still use soap or alcohol-based hand sanitiser to clean your hands even if you have a skin condition. Your community pharmacist can recommend a suitable treatment for your skin. After washing your hands, rinse and make sure to pat dry rather than rub.

5. Fragrances and preservative
Fragrances and preservatives in soaps, hand lotions, ointments and creams can dry your skin out and make it sore or itchy if you’re sensitive to them. If the product you’re using is making you
uncomfortable, you can speak to your community pharmacist about suitable alternatives.

World Immunisation Week

World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April (24 to 30 April) – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

Key messages

  1. At all ages, vaccines save lives and keep us safe
    Vaccines protect our children across communities and countries and prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Responding to outbreak after outbreak is expensive, ineffective and costs lives. The only sustainable response is prevention ─ by ensuring that everyone is vaccinated, at the right time, with the right vaccines through the course of their lives.
  2. While most children today are being vaccinated, far too many are left behind
    Unacceptably, it’s often those who are most at risk – the poorest, the most marginalized, those touched by conflict or forced from their homes – who are persistently missed. If these children do get sick, they are at risk of the severest health consequences, and least likely to access lifesaving treatment and care.
  3. Everyone can be a vaccine champion
    Talk to people about the benefits of vaccines. Vaccines save lives, help children learn and grow and prevent serious illness and disability.

Know the facts about vaccines

  • Vaccines defend us against deadly diseases. They do this by working with our body’s natural defenses to stop us from getting sick. It is a safe and clever way to produce a protective response, helping to keep us healthy, safe and strong.
  • Two key reasons to get vaccinated are to protect ourselves and to protect those around us. Not everyone can be vaccinated ─ including infants who are too young to be vaccinated, older people who are at risk of serious diseases and those who are seriously ill. They depend on others getting vaccinated to ensure they are also protected through vaccines.
  • All the ingredients in a vaccine help ensure they are safe and effective for you and your family. Vaccine ingredients can look unfamiliar when listed on a label but they occur naturally in the human body, the natural environment and the foods we eat.
  • It is important to get the vaccines you need – on time, every time. Don’t wait until you are exposed to a serious illness – like during an outbreak. There may not be enough time to receive all the vaccine doses needed to keep you safe from the disease.

Hygiene and Coronavirus

With the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus, we just thought we would take some time to go over some basics that can help keep you and your family safe.

Symptons:

Coronavirus can present with symptoms similar to that of the flu.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.

Prevention

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses, including Coronavirus.

Some tips from the World Health Organisation