Relief from Common Sports Injuries

In the Bleachers - bl_c070714.jpgFrom all-star athletes to weekend warriors, one thing they all have in common is athletic pain.  Sports injuries and athletic pain are as common to sports and exercise as scoring and sweating.  But you don’t have to be a pro-athlete or weekend warrior to suffer.  In fact, I experience some of this same pain myself after standing all day  in the pharmacy.

Certain parts of the body take the brunt of all sports–related injuries. The good news is, we all can take preventative measures; there’s no need to skip your workouts and live life as a couch potato.   And if you forget your pre-game warm-up?  A compounding pharmacist can help with a customized pain management prescription.

Lower Back Pain :   While there are different types of lower back pain – bulging discs, back spasms, sciatica (pain traveling down the leg from the lower back) – the most common reason for sports-related back pain is simply improper stretching.

Although some lower-back injuries cannot be prevented, proper warm-up before exercising will significantly reduce your risk of injury.  If you’re currently trying to rehabilitate your back, Yoga and Pilates have long been considered excellent practices for spinal mobility strengthening.   Core exercises like planks and proper techniques when lifting are all helpful to avoid further back problems.

Pulled Muscles:   You can pull many different muscles, depending on the sport, but hamstrings, the muscles behind your thighs, are the most commonly injured. This is especially common in sports involving running, like basketball, football and soccer.

Pulling hamstrings is quite painful and can even cause bruising.  The best way to prevent pulling them, and other muscles, is to stretch properly before and after exercising and avoid working out while fatigued and weak.

Ankle Sprain:  Ankle sprains are almost inevitable in sports that involve jumping, running and turning quickly. Therefore, sprains are very common among soccer, hockey, basketball and volleyball players.

Strengthening your ankles by doing ankle lifts, taping them, or wearing a lace-up brace can help avoid injury or lessen the pain of a bad sprain. To help your ankle heal faster, try to move it gently to get the circulation going and reduce the swelling.

Shoulder Injury:   About 20% of sports injuries involve the shoulder, including dislocations, sprains and strains. Shoulder injuries are most common in sports that involve a lot of overhead movement; like tennis, swimming, weightlifting, baseball, and volleyball.  Repeat and overuse of the rotator cuff — the group of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder – will lead to pain, stiffness, and weakness in the shoulder.

To prevent shoulder injuries — which often occur when you haven’t been using your shoulder muscles for a while, such as during your league’s off-season — be sure to strengthen your muscles through weight training before the season begins.

Runners Knee:  Knee injuries account for over 50% of all sports injuries. Although torn ligaments and cartilage are the most common injuries, many knee problems are grouped into the category of “runner’s knee,” which includes a variety of aches and pains related to the kneecap.

Replace shoes and insoles regularly; avid runners and athletes should purchase new running shoes every six months.  Choose softer running surfaces; if given the option, opt for an indoor track rather than hard pavement.  You should also strengthen your quadriceps through weight training, and cross train to prevent overuse. If you injure your knee, don’t exercise for at least two days and take an anti-inflammatory medication. When you resume your workout, make sure to warm up properly and apply ice to your knee for about 20 minutes afterward.

If you got a little overzealous on the field, or the non-pharmaceutical relief methods described here aren’t enough, a compounding pharmacy can help.  Over-the-counter medications and anti-inflammatory drugs may have unexpected side effects.  VH Pharmacy offers customized transdermal gels and topically-applied creams that provide relief on the spot.  These formulations can be used for:


Pain in muscles and/or joints

Damage to nerves


Mild Stress Fractures

Don’t be a hero!  Even I use these compounded medications when aches and pains from a long week of standing behind the pharmacy counter have me down.  You may also find that your insurance policy covers the cost of the prescription.

ABOUT VH PHARMACY:  VH Pharmacy is a family-owned and operated neighborhood pharmacy.  In business for more than 40 years, VH Pharmacy has been under the leadership of Pharmacist Eddy Blanco for the past 11 years.  With his extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical compounding, Eddy Blanco has transformed VH Pharmacy into a technologically cutting-edge facility.  To learn more about our services, please visit our website at, or call us today at 305.324.8777. 


Migraines: Causes and Cures

migraineMigraine headaches have been in the news a lot lately, and not just because it’s summer, kids are out of school and mothers from Weston to Pinecrest are collectively massaging a dull, throbbing pain at the temples. Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain, has been generating a lot of news coverage lately about this condition in the hopes of generating awareness and creating new research opportunities.

Although the exact cause of migraines is still not well understood, the problem is considered to originate in the nervous system. It is believed that migraines occur when blood vessels in the brain press on nearby nerves. Regardless of the how and why, one thing is clear: they’re painful! So much so that ancient migraine relief ranged from the beyond absurd, like drilling a hole in the head to alleviate the pain, to the train-wreck-of-ideas, which included making an incision at the temple to insert garlic cloves.

The expression “Hindsight is 20/20” may have originated for just this example.  Because who among us doesn’t recognize these “remedies” cured the patients’ migraines by replacing that pain with a hole in the head, literally?  Fortunately, we live in an era of true enlightenment and modern medicine, with information and knowledge at our fingertips. And while traditional medicine offers sufferers many options, more and more patients are turning to compounding pharmacists for treatment alternatives.

A good compounding pharmacy is able to offer over-the-counter nutraceuticals , commercial prescriptions and compounded alternative choices specific to the needs of the client. Nutracueticals are frequently more cost effective and present fewer side effects than traditional options. Unlike commercial prescriptions that are mostly offered in the form of a pill, compounded prescriptions can be created in liquid capsules, transdermal creams, rapid-dissolving tablets, nasal sprays, suppositories, and sub-lingual drops. Best of all, most insurance providers are open to working with compounding pharmacies to cover the cost. Many pharmacies have billing specialists who are usually able to get most claims covered by your plan.

Although the causes of migraines remain uncertain, with the increasing number of treatment options available, nearly all of the 26 million Americans who suffer should be able to find relief. When a patient, physician and pharmacist work together with the resources of functional medicine and the expanded possibilities of prescription compounding, a successful treatment is almost guaranteed.


VH Pharmacy is a family owned and operated neighborhood pharmacy.  In business for more than 40 years, VH Pharmacy has been under the leadership of Pharmacist Eddy Blanco for the past 11 years.  With his extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical compounding and natural alternatives to conventional medicine, Eddy Blanco has transformed VH Pharmacy into a cutting-edge facility.  To learn more about our services, please visit our website at or call us today at 305.324.8777.



3 Tips for Starting an Exercise Routine

We’re still early in the New Year and many of us are on the “get fit” kick. That’s great! Unfortunately, many of us will also fall off the wagon this year, too. The reasons will be numerous, of course, but many times it’s because we didn’t have a plan for meeting our goals. Or maybe we never even had goals; we just knew that getting ‘in shape’ was a good idea.

Well guess what? Not anymore. This blog will give you some sure-fire tips for getting it right this year!

One.  Set small goals when it comes to the gym. If it’s been years since you set foot in a gym – if ever – then start small. You might want the six-pack abs and toned frame, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your new body. That’s okay! Instead of immediately going to the gym six times a week, consider going twice in the first few weeks. Once you hit your goals, celebrate them! And slowly but surely, add on additional days to your plan. Step by step.

Two. Pick exercises that you like. Sounds like common sense, right? It’s not. In fact, many people will stick to a routine that they hate simply because they don’t know any alternatives, or they’re intimidated. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or assume that it has to be a struggle in order for it to work. Not true!

Three. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Either from a trainer or a friend, it’s always a good thing to have someone to help you and/or keep you on your game. You’ll have weak moments, you’ll have questions, and you may want to skip when you know you shouldn’t. But having a trainer or friend at your side can be the extra boost you need to follow through.

Stick with it! We know you can. Not only is exercise great for your health, but it lifts up your spirit, too. At VH Pharmacy, we believe in doing all that we can to help you lead a healthy, happy life. Call us today at 305-324-8777 to see how we can help!


3 Tips for a Healthy You in 2013

 Every New Year, we come up with a set of wonderful resolutions to help ourselves be the best that we can be. And that’s great! The problem? Many times, they fall by the wayside, but that doesn’t have to be the case! Will you stick by all of them? Maybe not. But these three, we think, are ones that you can stick to. Give it your best shot – we’re cheering for you!

Drink More Water. Sodas and fruit juices – yep, even fruit juices – are loaded with empty calories and refined sugars that pack. Water is not only good for us, but it’s less expensive on average and it’s calorie free. In addition, it keeps us feeling full for longer. Simply switch out a few extra sugary drinks with extra servings of water, and without even stepping into a gym, you’ll lose weight!

Exercise. Not sure what you’re doing in the gym? Intimidated by all of it? Just start moving. Commit to taking a walk once or twice a week and consider anything beyond that a bonus. In the beginning, getting started is a big deal. You’ll increase your energy levels and you’ll burn calories, too. Once you’re ready for something more intense, consider working with a personal trainer.

Sleep More. Hey, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Our bodies don’t operate their best with less than six hours of sleep; they’re at their best after eight hours. Instead of staying up late with stress, TV and extra snacks, get some shut-eye. We think the very thought of a full night’s rest is pretty energizing. How about you?

For everything else health-related, we’d love to help! For all of your pharmacy needs, and some of your shopping needs, too, VH Pharmacy is here for you. Call us at 305-324-8777 today!


The Case for Vegetables

The Case for Vegetables This may be our least-exciting blog title to those of you who aren’t big fans of vegetables, but hear us out! Experts suggest that we eat five to nine servings of vegetables each and every day, but the fact of the matter is that very few folks even reach the minimum. But with all of the variety that exists in the world of vegetables – some you may not even know about – there’s definitely something for every taste; even those of you who aren’t big veggie fans.

Here is a quick list of some veggies that are packed with nutrients and can add some flavor to your meals, too. (more…)


Why Vitamins Are Important for Your Kids

Vitamins! As parents, you’re told time and time again that they’re essential to the health and development of your children – but is it really true?

Turns out, it is.

As childhood obesity continues to rise – 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States classify as ‘obese’ – it’s evident that many of our children aren’t receiving proper nutrition on a day to day basis, causing their future health to be negatively impacted. Indeed, studies show that nutritional deficiencies in childhood have a direct impact on that child’s future issues with heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and obesity.

So what are your children missing out on? More often than not, it’s these:

  • Vitamin D – It’s essential for the support of growing bones, teeth and muscles in children. And the alternative, if it’s in short supply? Children with Vitamin D deficiencies often experience stunted growth and muscular irregularities, as well as possible dental issues down the line.
  • Vitamin A – Children reap the benefits of healthy skin and immune system support, as well as the healthy development of their eye site and cellular development through the proper intake of Vitamin A.
  • B Vitamins – Especially crucial for children, the B Vitamin complex aids in cellular division and growth in children, as well as proper protein absorption for muscle growth, and nervous system function, too.

See the importance of vitamins and nutrition for your children? Well, we do, too. That’s why VH Pharmacy is pleased to provide FREE vitamins for your children! Yes, you read that right.

Each month, you can come into VH Pharmacy – or place an order online, along with your prescription delivery – and get a free month’s supply of children’s vitamins! Vitamins are a great way to supplement your child’s dietary intake, especially if they’re picky eaters and missing out on essential vitamins and minerals. Get yours today!


Introducing the My Dose Alert Program

Compliance. For many patients, it’s the hardest part about taking medication. Swallowing pills or liquids? No problem. Remembering that you’re supposed to take your medicine three times per day, and preferably after a meal? That can be difficult. Add into the mix that a patient may be taking several medications at a time, and compliance can become a major struggle. But not to worry! Your friends at VH Pharmacy have a solution – the My Dose Alert Program!

How does it work? It’s simple. If you have a medication to take, we can help you remember when to take it so that you don’t have to. Upon registering for the My Dose Alert Program, we will automatically send you text messages to your phone based on the times you’re supposed to take your prescription. Taking multiple medications? We have a system in place to remind you of all of the medications you’re responsible for taking. You should never miss a dosage again!

Indeed, the My Dose Alert Program has proven to be a helpful program for our customers, but it has proven even more useful to our customers who also care for an aging loved one. You have plenty of things on your plate to begin with – isn’t it a nice feeling to know that we have your back when it comes to this important element of caregiving?

We also have clients who rely on the My Dose Alert Program in assisted living facilities to manage the medication compliance needs of multiple patients. The text alerts are a simple, effective solution to a real issue that our customers have encountered. It’s just one of many ways that we’re aiming to serve you better!

Still have questions about the My Dose Alert Program, or want to get started today? Click on the link here and send us a message. We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible!


What is compounding? Why would I use it?

As you may know by now, VH Pharmacy specializes in pharmacy compounding. But what exactly does that mean? And more specifically, what does it mean for you? We’re glad you asked.

Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of making personalized medications for patients. They’re made from scratch, meaning that individual ingredients and flavors are mixed together in the exact dosage and form required by you – that means no one-size-fits-all prescription strengths or dosage forms. Are you used to taking your medication in pill form but would prefer to have it in a cherry flavored liquid? We can do that. Looking to take your pain medication in a ‘just right for me’ dosage form like a customized fast acting cream or gel instead of a bunch of tablets? We can do that, too.

The number of applications for pharmacy compounding is impressive, too. We can pair anti-aging products together in one easy-to-use cream, for example, and eliminate the need for multiple different products. We can also help in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy treatment, sports medicine compounds and pain management creams, too. Do you have a child who struggles to swallow medications in pill form? Our pediatric care solutions allow us to add in flavors that make the medications friendly to little taste buds, while delivering it in an easy-to-swallow liquid form, too. Going in for oral surgery? Are you afraid of needles? We have dental care gel applications, too, either for pain management or pre-surgical preparations.

In each of these scenarios, compliance is the number one objective. That means preparing a medication that makes it possible for you to use it consistently without concern over poor taste, side effects, or ease of use.

Does that clear up some of your pharmacy compounding questions? We hope so. Even so, we’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions about your health and nutrition or prescription compliance, give us a call. We’re happy to help! Reach us at 305-324-8777 today!


Adding Omega-3 to Your Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids. You’ve likely heard advertisements or read articles about their benefits to your health, but what exactly are they good for? Good question. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered ‘essential fatty acids,’ meaning they’re not produced naturally within your body. Instead, they need to be consumed, either through food or nutritional supplementation.

The benefits are numerous, though it’s important to consume them within normal recommended amounts. Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation in the blood vessels and joints within your body, and play a role in reducing harmful triglyceride levels in your blood. As such, they also appear to aid in the reduction or severity of heart disease, and researchers have found that they can reduce symptoms of depression, aid in prenatal health, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

While much of the research is preliminary on the full extent of benefits provided by Omega-3s, the fact remains: They’re crucial to overall health, and they may be even better than we know today.

So where do you get these Omega-3s? Flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, and tuna are just a few of the popular sources, though numerous Omega-3 nutritional supplements are now available. However, when choosing a supplement, always consult with your physician or pharmacist first.

Got any other questions about your health and nutrition? We’re happy to help! Give us a call at 305-324-8777.

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