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Sharecare.com an easy to use health care site

March 19, 2012

My forearm is in excruciating pain.  From the tip of my elbow through my fingers, the sharp sting penetrates my muscles.  I think I knew the problem, and probably the cause, but I made an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon anyway, hoping for some miracle relief.

Is this a new ailment?  Is it arthritis?  Carpel tunnel?  Oh no, I won’t be able to use the computer!   So I head to the doctor.

Sure enough, it was what I thought.  A recurrence of tennis elbow, which I got from throwing a ball to my dog too much—not from playing tennis.

“But I haven’t thrown the ball in months,” I tell her.  Then I confess, but I have been spending more time than usual on my computer, researching and writing blogs.   And then there’s the knitting that I do to relax.

“Your tendons are pissed,” she tells me.  “Cool it with the knitting, take breaks from the computer and return to your physical therapy exercises you have at home from the last bout.  It will go away, but it needs rest.”

Then she gives me some really good information, she tells me about www.sharecare.com a web site, founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz that allows people to use the Internet to research their conditions, and get accurate, clear, concise answers to their questions.

She also tells me, that she, Dr. Rachel Rohde, a board certified orthopedic surgeon, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, had to apply and be accepted to be a physician who answers questions on the site.

Had I known about www.sharecare.com  before I visited Dr. Rohde for a recurring problem, I probably wouldn’t have wasted everyone‘s time and money this minor issue.

Managing My Wellness

As soon as I got home I went to the site and put in the question, “what is tennis elbow?”  From there, it took me to some easy to read and understand questions and answers such as:

  • What causes tennis elbow? (including a muscle diagram)
  • How is it diagnosed?
  • How is it treated?
  • How can I prevent it from reoccurring?

And the preventions included warm-up, stretching and strengthening exercises accompanied by photos that were reviewed by orthopedic surgeons (names and credentials listed.)

Presently there are 48 health topic categories, each with subcategories covering every aspect of health from diet and nutrition, to family health issues, to addictions, to healthy hearts, menopause, aging, hearing and cancer.  There are hundreds of doctors affiliated with the nation’s top hospitals answering questions.

In the introductory video Dr. Oz says he developed the site to be an “ideal reference for today’s savvy consumer.”

As we Boomers know, the more information we have about our health, the better equipped we can be when we seek treatment.

Sharecare is not a substitute for medical care, but it’s a great Internet tool available to us help us solve small health issues, and to educate us on our larger health issues and those of our loved ones.

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