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Nearly 21 million women live with neck pain. The problem is
typically caused by arthritis and degenerative disk disease, and
accentuated by poor posture, declining muscle strength, stress,
and a lack of sleep. The best treatment for neck pain is a
combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and
stretching exercises. Ergonomic improvements such as keeping a
computer monitor at eye level and putting a tablet reader at a
45° angle can also help prevent neck pain.
Breast calcifications are common, affecting about 50% of women
over age 50. Most calcifications are noncancerous and do not need
treatment. If they are clustered in one breast, they may require
Some studies have linked migraine headaches to an increased risk
of symptom-free or "silent" strokes, which can lead to memory
loss and dementia. However, the Women's Health Study did not find
a higher risk cognitive decline in women with migraines.
Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications in the world.
In addition to its applications for pain relief and prevention of
heart attacks and strokes, research is now finding aspirin may be
valuable for cancer prevention. Studies have highlighted
aspirin’s ability to prevent several types of cancer, including
esophageal, pancreatic, lung, colorectal, prostate, skin, and
breast cancers. Although it’s too early to recommend aspirin
specifically for cancer prevention, this may provide an
additional benefit for people who are already on daily aspirin
A short urethra, coupled with the drop in estrogen after
menopause, increases older women’s susceptibility to urinary
tract infections (UTIs). The lack of estrogen can also lead to
vaginal atrophy, which can increase the risk of recurrent urinary
infections. Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment for UTIs,
and some women who get several UTIs a year may need to take them
long-term. To prevent repeat infections, women should make sure
to fully empty their bladder each time they use the bathroom,
urinate after sex, and drink plenty of water.
A polypill is a treatment that combines three, four, or more medicines into a single pill. It’s an idea that could make it easier to take medicines, and thereby prevent many women from missing essential medications. Studies conducted so far have found that a polypill combining a statin and blood pressure–lowering drugs effectively reduced LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. Researchers still need to establish the dose of each medicine in the polypill that will be safe and effective for the largest number of people.
There is no evidence that commercial screening tests for
conditions such as carotid artery disease, aortic abdominal
aneurysm, peripheral artery disease, and chronic kidney disease
are useful for women who aren’t at high risk for them. Commercial
screening tests can be expensive, and they aren’t generally
covered by insurance. Rather than investing in unnecessary tests,
women are better off seeing their doctor to identify their
disease risk factors.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has reaffirmed its 2004 recommendation that women at low risk not be routinely screened for ovarian cancer, because routine screening does not reduce ovarian cancer deaths.
Some topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can
relieve osteoarthritis pain as well as oral medicines, with less
risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. The best evidence is for
diclofenac solution or gel.
Researchers have identified several effective fall prevention strategies, including home safety modifications, home-based exercise programs, tai chi, cataract surgery, changes to medication doses, and anti-slip shoes.
Black cohosh does not appear effective for relieving hot flashes, and there is not enough evidence to confirm its safety or effectiveness for other menopausal symptoms, according to a new review.