Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Four office chair stretches to relieve back pain
We’ve all been there before: you’re midway through your workday hunched over a computer screen when you straighten up in your office chair. Ouch! A sharp twinge or a dull ache lets you know your back is suffering from poor positioning. You need to stretch out your back muscles and loosen the negative pressure before that small ache turns into a big-time problem. Eight out of 10 adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. (NIH) As common as back pain may be, you don’t have to be a victim. Here are five stretches you can perform in the comfort of your office chair to relieve tension, soothe back pain, and help protect your spine during a long work day. Self-Hug Just as the name suggests, it’s time to give yourself a big hug. Wrap both of your arms around your shoulders like you’re giving someone a hug and grab the back of your shoulders with your hands. Take a few deep breaths allowing the shoulder blades to expand and contract. This relieves tension between your shoulders and ...

How to Choose an Orthopedic Care Provider
How to choose an orthopedic care provider Finding the right orthopedic surgeon can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve recently experienced a traumatic injury. How does your medical plan fit into the picture? Can you take your time finding the right doctor for you? There are several important factors to consider when it comes to choosing an orthopedic care provider. Network of insurance coverage for orthopedic care The first step is determining which orthopedic providers are included in your medical plan’s network. If you do have an out-of-network orthopedic surgeon in mind, you will want to calculate the projected cost of their services. Your primary care physician usually has a list of orthopedic surgeons they recommend to patients. Review the list with your doctor and ask why they recommend a specific surgeon.  Reputation of the orthopedic physician  Once you have a list of your in-network orthopedic surgeon, you will want to review those orthopedic specialists. No doctor is perfect, but the more you can gain trust in their expertise through reading about a previous patient’s satisfied experience, the better peace of mind you ...

How bad posture affects your spine (and exercises to correct it!)
How bad posture affects your spine (and exercises to correct it!) Did you know that lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability around the world? A recent study shows that over 31 million Americans currently suffer from lower back pain. (ACA) Although sitting at a desk all day may be a known cause of back pain, having poor posture causes more musculoskeletal disorders than we might realize. Warning signs of poor posture As our bodies age, it’s easy to let our spine contract with pain points, such as rounding the upper back and arching the lower back to accentuate the spine’s natural S-curve. There are several known signs of poor posture, including: Rounded shoulders Back pain Uneven wear patterns on the soles of your shoes (ex: your left shoe’s sole is significantly more worn-out than your right shoe’s sole) Head leans to either side or forward Bent knees when standing or walking Potbelly  Slouching, sleeping on your stomach, leaning too far to ...

Getting started with NextGen, our Online Patient Portal
Getting started with NextGen, our Online Patient Portal Our care team at Orthopedic Associates works hard to bring you the best care possible, including using the latest technology to help you stay in the loop on your treatment plan. We use NextGen, our online patient portal, to help patients monitor and receive their most recent health updates. Many of our patients at Orthopedic Associates are already enjoying several benefits of the NextGen system: 1. Schedule your next appointment from any device You can  request an appointment on any browser from any smart phone, tablet, or computer without having to make a single phone call. This gives you the flexibility to manage your health care when it’s convenient for you. 2. Connect with your care team via NextGen’s secure messaging service Do you have a question for your doctor or need to discuss some personal health information with a member of our team? Simply use NextGen’s secure messaging system to send and receive communication with our staff.  3. Make secure payments through NextGen NextGen allows you to access patient statements and securely pay your bill using our online ...

How the St. Louis Cardinals protect their muscles and joints
Photo Credit: Keith Allison Spring is here and that means our beloved St. Louis Cardinals are back in Jupiter, Florida getting ready for a new season. Baseball is a grueling stretch of nine months, over 200 games (including spring training and postseason, unless you’re the Cubs), and hours upon hours of weightlifting, conditioning, and of course, the grind of playing professional baseball at the highest level. No one likes seeing their favorite Redbird hit the disabled list, so how do the Cardinals keep their muscles and joints healthy and working at an optimum level for an entire baseball season? Winter conditioning Many professional athletes use the offseason to work out on their own away from team facilities in the comfort of their own homes. Of course, baseball’s offseason is during the winter and that means holidays and colder weather climates for many players. They may be professional athletes, but it’s safe to assume a few of them might like a second helping of Grandma’s pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving, just like we do. A good offseason workout routine is important for keeping their bodies ...

Get out and about St. Louis in April with 5Ks and Fun Runs!
Spring is the start of marathon and 5K season in St. Louis. Whether you’re a seasoned pavement-pounder, sidewalk shuffler, or just looking for a great way to stretch your legs and enjoy a great walk for a wonderful cause, there’s an event for you! Here are five great fitness events to help you stay fit and active while stepping into spring this year: Race for Veterans 6.2K, 10K (Creve Coeur Lake) Saturday, April 4th Our troops and their families sacrifice so much to preserve our freedom and the Race for Veterans is a great way for us to show our support. All race proceeds (minus event costs) go to benefit veterans and their families in gaining higher education. Creve Coeur Lake is a beautiful setting with a nice, flat route where you can train for the Race for Veterans run and other upcoming events. Food trucks and refreshments will be available after the race. Register here for the Race for Veterans 6.2K and 10K. GO! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend Saturday and Sunday, April 11th & 12th This is Granddaddy of them all ...

How Do You Recover?
Orthopedic injuries are as unique as the people who experience them. As a result, whatever journey towards recovery that you take should also be custom tailored to your unique situation. There are a lot of Orthopedic care providers that see surgery as the only option to help improve the lives of their patients. Orthopedic Associates is fortunate to employ a team of physicians that know that this is absolutely not the case. There are many ways to manage the pain caused by an orthopedic problem and even more ways to help heal that pain in the long term. The first question we ask ourselves, and our patients, is what does complete rehabilitation look like? Is it managing pain? Is it eliminating pain? Is it improved physical strength? Is it a short term solutions, a long term solution, or some combination of both? The second step is recognizing that the body is a complex network of bones, tissues, molecules, and nerves. Where another Orthopedic practice might look at back pain as an opportunity to surgically correct a problem, Orthopedic Associates sees ...

Orthopedic Associates Featured Physician: Frank J. Bender III, MD
Orthopedic Associates is proud of our exceptional physicians who provide care to thousands of patients across the St. Louis area. Their expertise and incredible commitment to the best patient care possible allows us to help so many of you enjoy the fullest, healthiest life. This month we are excited to feature Dr. Frank J. Bender III, MD. Dr. Frank J. Bender III carries a long line of serving others before joining Orthopedic Associates in 2013. He previously served in the Army National Guard while living in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. He has also volunteered his time in under-resourced clinics in Illinois, Indiana, and North Dakota. We are very appreciative of Dr. Bender for giving his time to serve our country and so many communities. As a strategic member of our Orthopedic Associates team, Dr. Bender is a board-certified physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation, specializing in pain medicine. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and he completed his medical internship and residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh. Dr. Bender ...

Foot and Ankle Services offered by Orthopedic Associates
Your feet and ankles are the foundation for staying on the go in your everyday life. When your feet or ankles hurt, it can throw off your body’s entire alignment. Orthopedic Associates is proud to offer a variety of foot and ankle treatment services to help you stay on your feet and living the best life possible. Many patients suffer from a range of common foot and ankle complications:  Plantar fasciitis Shin splints Hammer toes and other toe conditions Achilles tendon complications and surgical repair Foot and ankle sprains and fractures Heel spurs Bunion treatment and removal Lisfranc fractures – mid-foot fractures caused by impact or injury, often sports-related Morton’s Neuroma – very painful nerve condition that affects the toes area Dr. R Randal Aaranson is a vital part of our foot and ankle treatment team at Orthopedic Associates. He is St. Louis’ leading expert in podiatric treatment services and a veteran member of ...

Orthopedic Associates Featured Physician: R Randal Aaranson, DPM
Orthopedic Associates is proud of our exceptional physicians who provide care to thousands of patients across the St. Louis area. Their expertise and incredible commitment to the best patient care possible allows us to help so many of you enjoy the fullest, healthiest life. This month we are excited to feature Dr. R Randal Aaranson, DPM. Dr. Aaranson has served with our Orthopedic Associates staff since 2008. Prior to joining our team of physicians, he served in private practice for seventeen years. He is a graduate of Temple College of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia and completed his residency at Central Medicine Center in St. Louis. Dr. Aaranson’s expertise as a foot and ankle specialist is well renowned throughout the St. Louis area and beyond. He is the attending physician for podiatric surgical residents in many St. Louis area hospitals and health care centers. He also serves on the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and as a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. One of Dr. Aaranson’s many valuable traits is his extensive knowledge and experience in comprehensive podiatric ...