West Hills Hospital & Medical Center
West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is your community resource for better health. We have the capability and expertise to perform emergency open heart procedures, perform brain and spine surgery.
818.676.4000

How to find relief from migraines

Migraines can be debilitating. The symptoms may keep you out of work and away from your family, but you can regain control of your life with help from the neurologists at West Hills Hospital. Here, you’ll find the cutting-edge treatments and personalized medical guidance you deserve.

Self-care during a migraine

When you first experience migraine symptoms, try to reschedule your planned activities. Many patients find it helpful to sleep or relax in a quiet room. Turn off the lights and lower the window blinds.

Place a cold pack or heating pad on your head or neck. Try both heat and cold therapy to see what works best for you.

Preventive medicines for migraine patients

Your doctor can prescribe medications that are intended to reduce the frequency of your migraines. These preventive medicines are generally appropriate for patients who suffer several migraine attacks each month. Anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants and cardiovascular medicines are some examples.

Preventive strategies for migraine patients

Your doctor can help you identify migraine triggers and learn how to avoid them. Some common migraine triggers include:

  • Skipping meals
  • Consuming alcohol or caffeine
  • Consuming chocolate or aged cheese
  • Changing sleep patterns

Pain relief medications for migraine patients

Your doctor may prescribe acute care medications that you will take at the first sign of a migraine attack. Triptans, ergots, glucocorticoids and anti-nausea drugs are some examples of prescription pain relievers for migraine patients. Some patients find sufficient relief with over-the-counter migraine medications.

Injections for migraine patients

When migraine trigger avoidance and medications aren’t enough to control migraines, a neurologist may recommend injections of OnabotulinumtoxinA. This medication inhibits nerve activity to relax the muscles.

Your doctor may inject this substance into the muscles of your neck and forehead every 12 weeks to reduce the frequency of your migraine attacks.

West Hills Hospital brings together leading neurologists and neurosurgeons who are committed to giving each patient superior, compassionate care. At our hospital in West Hills, we’ll customize a migraine treatment plan that’s right for your unique needs and preferences. Call our hospital today at (818) 676-4321 to request a physician referral.


Common reasons men don't see the doctor

Men have a reputation for health care avoidance. But for every excuse men give for not seeing the doctor, there’s at least one compelling counterargument. If the men in your life haven’t seen a doctor in over a year or are experiencing some unusual symptoms, you can reassure them that the physicians at West Hills Hospital are second to none. At our state-of-the-art hospital, we treat our patients like family because we live and work in the same West Hills communities. When it’s time to ask your guy to see a doctor, be prepared with a response to the following common excuses.

They don’t have primary physicians

One simple reason why many men don’t see their family doctors regularly is that they don’t have a family physician. Some men only see a doctor when they are sick or injured—and sometimes not even then. If your guy doesn’t yet have a family physician, it’s time to find one.

Family physicians are necessary because they keep track of their patients’ health over time. They provide personalized medical guidance, recommend health screenings and coordinate care with specialists. It’s important for every man to develop a long-term, working relationship with a family physician he trusts.

Doctor’s appointments take time

It’s tough to find an hour or two of spare time in a packed schedule, but that’s why many family physicians offer early appointments, allowing patients to get a checkup before work. Plus, preventive healthcare allows doctors to detect potential problems as early as possible. This can save patients a great deal of time later on.

If he’s still not convinced, compare annual exams to routine car maintenance. If your guy wouldn’t think of driving a car many thousands of miles without getting new spark plugs or an oil change, then he might see the sense in seeing a doctor now and then.

They wait out symptoms

It’s not uncommon for men to ignore health issues, like nagging back pain, unusual fatigue or daily headaches. They often try to tough it out, telling themselves that the symptoms will go away eventually. But you can tell your guy that when symptoms are persistent, they could indicate a more serious underlying health problem.

At West Hills Hospital, we are firmly committed to putting our patients first by giving them the one-on-one attention and superior care they deserve. Our healthcare providers in West Hills live in the same communities as the people we help, giving us a unique insight into their health needs. Call a member of our nursing staff at (818) 676-4321 and let us know how we can help you.


What are the most common injuries in runners?

If you’re looking for a challenging workout that doesn’t require special equipment and that you can enjoy with friends or family, why not lace up a pair of running shoes? June 7 is Global Running Day—a time when avid runners and beginners alike pledge to run for better health. If you have an underlying medical condition, consider talking to a doctor at West Hills Hospital about whether it’s safe for you to start running. If you suffer a sports injury, our emergency care doctors and orthopedic specialists will provide the superior care you deserve.

Ankle sprains

Many of the most common injuries in runners are overuse injuries, but acute injuries can also occur. For instance, runners are susceptible to suffering ankle sprains. An ankle sprain occurs when a ligament becomes overly stretched or torn.

In some cases, ankle sprains are severe enough to warrant emergency care. Ankle sprains cause:

  • Sudden pain in the ankle area
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Swelling

If you hear a popping sound, it’s time to seek emergency care. This indicates the ligament has been severely torn. You will also need emergency care if the ankle has been dislocated.

Stress fractures

Unlike most fractures, stress fractures are usually an overuse injury characterized by hairline cracks in the bone. Runners are prone to developing stress fractures of the feet and lower legs. They can be characterized by:

  • Pain that worsens with activity and lessens during rest
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising

If you have a stress fracture, you’ll need to take a break from running until it heals, which may take six to eight weeks.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is another repetitive strain injury that runners are susceptible to developing. It involves the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that stretches along the bottom of the foot. It is indicated by a sharp pain in the heel that worsens with activity.

The healthcare providers at West Hills Hospital are committed to helping our injured patients get back on their feet quickly. We are leading providers of responsive emergency care and sophisticated orthopedic care in West Hills. To request a referral to a physician at our hospital, you can call a registered nurse at (818) 676-4321.


Is your backyard pool safe for your family?

Having a backyard swimming pool means you can count on fun all summer long, as long as you have taken the appropriate measures to keep it safe. Unfortunately, swimming pools can also derail your summer fun by causing the need for a trip to the emergency room or even loss of life. Don’t let a beautiful summer day turn into a tragedy. Follow these steps to make sure your backyard pool is safe.

Set up a secure perimeter

Controlling access to your pool is one of the most effective ways of preventing an emergency. Ensure that your pool is surrounded by a fence that is at least four feet high and that has a gate that is both self-closing and self-latching.

Adding an alarm to the gate is a great way to know if a child opens the gate when you’re not at the pool to supervise. Keep your pool covered and pull up all of the ladders when not in use.

Lay out the rules

Make sure that everyone who uses your pool knows the household rules. Kids should not be allowed access to the pool without adult supervision. Don’t allow running on the pool deck, where a fall could lead to serious injuries that need to be treated in the emergency room. Don’t allow diving, unless you have a designated diving area with deep enough water. Make sure all swimmers know to stay away from drains.

Teach kids how to swim

Learning how to swim can help your kids avoid many dangers in the pool. According to the American Red Cross, about 200 children die each year in backyard swimming pools, so being confident in the water and knowing even some basic swimming skills could save your child’s life.

When summertime illnesses and injuries do strike, West Hills Hospital and Medical Center is here to help. Get information about our emergency care in West Hills or request a referral to one of our physicians by dialing (818) 676-4321.


What are the best sports for adults to take up?

Who says that kids get to have all the fun? There are plenty of sports that are ideal for adults who may have let a little time go since their last workout and even more time pass since they were last active in anything beyond walking around the neighborhood. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, which is the perfect excuse to dip your toes into a new sport while simultaneously reaping the health benefits of being more active. Here is a look at some sports that are ideal for adults to take up.

Swimming

Swimming is a great sport for adults because it is low-impact, so it doesn’t put undue strain on the joints, and it accommodates people of many different abilities. You are always welcome in the pool, whether you were a competitive swimmer in your youth or you’re just getting comfortable in the water for the first time.

Swimming is also something you can do anywhere and doesn’t require investing in any special equipment. You can opt to start swimming on your own in a community pool or find an adult swim club in your area, so you can enjoy the social side of swimming as well.

Dancing

There is an adult dance class out there for just about everyone. If you miss your ballet and tap classes you took in your youth, many studios offer classes for adult dancers. You can also opt for social dance classes, such as salsa, ballroom dancing and swing dancing.

Don’t worry about going to dance class without a partner. There are also people on hand ready to dance with someone who came to class solo.

Kickball

The favorite recess pastime is springing up around the country with adults-only leagues for the young at heart. Kickball requires a fair amount of aerobic activity, so make sure you condition before jumping into the game, and listen to your body to avoid injuries while playing.

For those bumps and bruises that happen to active adults, West Hills Hospital and Medical Center are here around the clock with emergency care and access to diagnostic imaging and orthopedic care in West Hills. Get a referral to a primary care provider to make sure you’re healthy enough to compete or find out more about our hospital services by calling (818) 676-4321.


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