Riverside Community Hospital
Riverside Community Hospital is committed to the care and comfort of our patients and improving the overall health of our community.

Why is the knee more prone to injuries than other parts of the body?

It’s no secret that the knee is an injury-prone joint. The orthopedic specialists at Riverside Community Hospital often treat patients who have sustained acute injuries like ligament tears, as well as chronic knee conditions like osteoarthritis. The knee is a complex hinge joint, and any of its many components can sustain damage.

Excessive stress on the knees
In the accompanying video, one of the orthopedic surgeons at Riverside Community Hospital explains the main reasons why the knee is so susceptible to injuries. It’s subject to considerable stress from everyday use - standing up, climbing stairs and stepping down from curbs are all common activities that force the knees to work harder. Athletes subject their knees to more strain from running, pivoting and jumping.

Sometimes, these movements push the knee beyond its capacities, and an injury occurs. The knee can also sustain damage gradually. The stress of everyday activities can add up over the years, potentially causing overuse injuries and chronic knee problems.

Common knee problems
Dozens of problems can affect this large joint, including the following acute injuries:

  • Tendon injuries
  • Ligament injuries
  • Kneecap dislocation
  • Meniscus tear
  • Knee fractures

Chronic knee problems and overuse injuries can significantly reduce quality of life by preventing patients from doing the activities they enjoy, like sports and gardening. Some examples are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pseudogout
  • Tendinitis
  • Iliotibial band syndrome

Knee pain is never normal. If you’re experiencing unusual knee symptoms, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedist for expert care.

Preventive health recommendations
Knee injuries aren’t inevitable as you grow older. You can reduce your risk of knee pain with the following steps:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear well-fitted, supportive shoes
  • Warm up and stretch before exercising
  • Use proper form while exercising
  • Increase workout intensity gradually
  • Strengthen the leg muscles that support the knee

When aching knees are keeping you from the activities you love, let the orthopedic specialists at Riverside Community Hospital help you reclaim your quality of life. Our highly trained surgeons and talented nurses continually strive for healthcare excellence to give our patients the best possible outcomes. Call a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463 to request a referral to an orthopedic specialist.

Are there medications you can take to treat the flu faster?

Infections are caused by different types of germs, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Antibiotics are only capable of treating bacterial infections. Since the flu is caused by a virus, doctors never prescribe antibiotics to treat the flu. However, there are antiviral medications available to help some patients recover from the flu faster. The Emergency Room physicians and nurses at Riverside Community Hospital can help if you’ve developed severe flu symptoms or complications.

How antiviral drugs work

Antiviral medications can be administered intravenously or taken by mouth. They work by improving the severity of symptoms and shortening the duration of the illness. Antivirals are also useful for reducing the risk of serious flu complications, including pneumonia.

When antivirals should be used

Emergency Room doctors prefer to give patients antiviral drugs within two days of the onset of the flu. This is because the medicine is most effective when given early. However, some people may still benefit from taking antivirals later on.

Who may benefit from antiviral drugs

Most people who contract the flu can recover well at home, without medical intervention. Doctors may decide to prescribe antivirals to individuals who develop severe flu symptoms, which can include:

  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe vomiting

Patients who develop complications of the flu may be given a prescription for antivirals, or they may receive intravenous drugs in the hospital.

Some patients who are at a high risk of complications may be given antivirals at the first sign of influenza. These high-risk groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who recently gave birth
  • Seniors
  • Young children
  • Residents of long-term care facilities

Additionally, there are many medical conditions that can place a person at an increased risk of severe flu symptoms or complications. These include:

  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Blood disorders
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Chronic lung disease

Influenza can be serious, so consider talking to your physician about protecting yourself with the flu shot. Riverside Community Hospital encourages our neighbors throughout Riverside to take advantage of our many preventive healthcare services. A registered nurse is available to assist you at (951) 788-3463.

How are your heart and lung health related?

You may think of your heart and your lungs as two very different parts of your body, but in reality, they are closely linked. Achieving good heart health and good respiratory health means keeping both your heart and your lungs healthy. Here is what you need to know about cardiopulmonary health problems.

Right side of the heart
If your cardiologist identifies problems with the right side of your heart, you could also be at risk for lung health issues. Poor pumping on the right side of your heart can impact your lung functioning and ultimately interfere with the ability of your heart and lungs to oxygenate blood so that it can be circulated throughout your body.

Abnormalities on the left side of your heart can contribute to lung issues as well, but right-sided heart health issues may be more problematic.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a respiratory condition that often includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is one of the leading causes of death in the US and one of the most common conditions to affect both the heart and the lungs.

COPD leads to impaired lung function. In turn, the heart struggles to fill with oxygenated blood. As the disease progresses, the heart typically starts to pump fewer times per minute. This change can even occur in people with mild COPD who have not yet begun to experience symptoms.

Heart and lung health advice
There are several actions you can take that will protect both your heart and lung health. These lifestyle choices will help to keep cardiopulmonary disease at bay:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Reduce your stress levels

Do aerobic exercise at least 30 minutes on most days—it will make your lungs fill with oxygen, and oxygen-rich blood will flow through your body

Riverside Community Hospital’s Heart Institute in Riverside is committed to providing comprehensive cardiac diagnostics and treatments to patients throughout the Inland Empire. If you’re concerned about your heart and lung health, call us today at (951) 788-3463.

Can head trauma affect your future risk of stroke?

Head traumas can lead to serious consequences, such as fatigue, personality changes, severe headaches, and balance issues, but can they also increase the risk of experiencing a stroke in the future? As it turns out, there may be an association, but why the relationship exists is a mystery.

What are head traumas?

Head traumas are also called traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs. They occur as the result of a blow to the head or intense shaking of the upper body, often as the result of sports injuries, falls, or auto accidents.

Concussions are a common form of TBIs, but contusions, coup-contrecoup, and diffuse axonal injuries, as well as others, fall into this category. In most cases, TBIs are treated in the emergency room.

How do head traumas affect the risk of strokes?

By studying emergency room records for ERs in California from 2005 to 2009, researchers discovered that people who were treated for a TBI were 30% more likely to have a stroke that people who had not experienced an injury. Of people who experienced TBIs, just over 1% had a stroke within a year of being treated for a TBI.

According to the same research study, TBI seemed to increase the risk of stroke in patients under 50 more than it did in people who were over 50.

Do head traumas cause strokes?

Although the research indicates that there could be a link between head traumas and stroke, it doesn’t indicate what the relationship is. There are a few different reasons strokes could occur in people after head traumas, such as:

  • Head traumas are more likely to occur in people who are in poor health, so they already had a greater risk of stroke than the general population.

  • Head traumas lead to a decline in health that then exacerbates the risk of a stroke.

The studies that have been performed to determine if head traumas increase the risk of stroke did not measure any of the reasons why a relationship exists, so researchers are unsure of the cause.

The emergency room in Riverside at Riverside Community Hospital provides comprehensive emergency and trauma care. We are a Level II Trauma Center, equipped with a helipad and we provide fast, efficient care for head injuries, strokes, and many other medical crises. Get answers to your questions about our services by calling (951) 788-3463.

Healthy tips for aging veterans

You may have gotten a little older since your first day at boot camp, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your health. There are plenty of steps aging veterans can take to get healthier and stay that way. Maintain your good conditioning or boost your health with this advice.

Get a checkup
Seeing your primary care physician regularly for checkups is an important part of preventing health problems and managing the chronic conditions you may already have. Most people should have a checkup annually, but your physician will tell you what is right for you.

During your checkup, your physician will do a number of health screening tests to look for signs of any medical conditions and to evaluate your health risk factors. Expect your doctor to check:

  • Weight
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood glucose

He or she may also recommend periodic cancer screenings, such as colonoscopies, prostate exams, and mammogram.

Stop smoking
Many vets picked up smoking during their time in the service, and if you haven’t given up yet, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, smoking negatively impacts almost every area of your health. It raises your risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, oral cancer, and long list of other conditions.

Smoking can be hard to give up, but it’s not impossible. If you’ve tried to quit but struggled to give it up for good, talk to your physician. There are many strategies that could help you finally conquer the habit.

Manage chronic medical conditions
If you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease, you don’t have to experience the complications. Prevent any chronic medical condition you have from becoming worse by carefully following your treatment plan. If you’re finding it difficult to manage your medication or if you’re not controlling the symptoms as much as you’d like, call your physician so that he or she can adjust your treatment plan.

The healthcare team at Riverside Community Hospital is committed to helping our veterans’ live their healthiest lives. Referrals to our physicians are just a phone call away. Call our hospital in Riverside at (951) 788-3463.

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