Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Common orthopedic conditions affecting children
Common orthopedic conditions affecting children
By: Dr. James Burke We love seeing kids run, play, and enjoy life with fully healthy bodies. This sometimes means our Orthopedic Associates staff needs to help children with orthopedic conditions get the treatment they need to feel their best. Here are some of the more common orthopedic conditions that we see affecting children today. Bowlegs Bowed legs, a medical condition called genu varum, is a noticeable outward bending of the lower legs starting around the knee region. Many children experiencing bowlegs will naturally grow out of it as toddlers. However, being bowlegged beyond toddler age or being bowlegged in just one leg may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as Blount disease, a growth affecting the top of the tibia bone that can be surgically removed, or rickets. Thankfully, rickets can often be treated by adding more vitamin D and calcium to your child’s diet. Toe walking Many toddlers walk on their toes when first learning to walk. If your child persists with walking on their toes beyond the age three mark, you may want to consult with your pediatrician ...

Why do my muscles get stiff in the winter?
Why do my muscles get stiff in the winter?
By: Dr. R. Randal Aaranson Have you noticed it’s harder to warm up your muscles when you’re cold? Even if you’re not outside, just the chill of the winter weather makes your muscles feel stiff. If the early morning gym routine feels a little harder when the temperature is below 50 degrees, you’re right- it is harder! Our muscles lose heat and contract in colder weather as a matter of self-preservation. (NCBI) Our brains signal our body to tighten our muscles and joints to preserve body heat and energy. The same exercises and even everyday movements that seem easy in the summer are physiologically harder to complete in the winter. Our muscles have to work harder than normal because of winter stiffness which can increase muscle soreness. How to prevent muscle soreness in the winter The key to loosening up stiff muscles is extending your warm-up session. It’s worth the extra five or ten minutes to get your blood flowing to help prevent injuries and overuse exercising during the winter. Starting with a good cardio exercise, like jogging, burpees, jumping jacks, or pushups ...

Three most common fall-related winter injuries
Three most common fall-related winter injuries
By: Dr. James Burke The winter months present greater risk for injuries than any other season simply because of snow and ice. The pace of everyday life doesn’t always see a slippery sidewalk or driveway as a potential injury waiting to happen. One of the worst winter accidents is a fall due to snow or ice. One out of every five falls cause a serious injury, such as a broken bone or a traumatic brain injury. The risk is even greater for elderly citizens with over 2.5 million elderly people treated receiving emergency medical treatment each year because of a fall. While falling on ice can cause a myriad of potential injuries, including a wounded pride, here are three of the most common injuries due to falling during the winter. Sprained or broken wrist The falling sensation can cause us to instinctively reach out and try to brace the fall. With an uneven icy surface underneath us, the displacement of weight can often cause a wrist injury, even a completely broken wrist. Hip fracture Walking on uneven icy surfaces can sometimes cause our feet to ...

5 steps for maintaining a balanced life in 2016
5 steps for maintaining a balanced life in 2016
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey It’s 2016 and that means a new year, new you, right? At the top of the list for most popular New Year’s Resolutions is maintaining a healthy lifestyle or fitness goals. Also towards the top is reducing stress and living a fulfilling life. Did you know that only eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions? If so many people fail at having a balanced life in the new year, what are the steps you need to take to be successful? Our Orthopedic Associates team compiled five simple steps to maintain a balanced lifestyle into 2016 and beyond. Write down S.M.A.R.T goals for 2016 Do you know what you want your life to look like in 2016? Did you write down your goals? Are they S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive? Saying you want to lose weight is a good start, but saying you want to lose four inches off your waist by April 1st is easier to target because it’s a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Reduce stress Mistakes happen at higher speeds: twisted knees from rushing to a meeting, ...

How to finally keep your New Year's fitness resolutions
How to finally keep your New Year's fitness resolutions
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey It’s the time of year for setting New Year’s Resolutions. Each year the goal of “losing weight” or “staying fit and healthy” climb to the top of most popular New Year’s Resolutions. Sadly, only eight percent of U.S. adults who make at least one New Year’s Resolution actually fulfill their commitments. (StatisticBrain) Don’t be despaired by those numbers though! Here are some great tips for making and keeping your weight-loss and fitness goals for the new year and beyond. Get a workout partner Strength in numbers is a great principle to follow when it comes to keeping your New Year’s fitness resolutions. Finding the right workout partner can help you stay motivated and accountable for those early mornings or long work days where the last thing you want is to hit the gym. A study by the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Indiana found that married couples who joined a gym and worked out separately experienced a dropout rate of 43 percent over one year’s time. Married couples who worked out at the same time, even if ...

Top exercises to work off that holiday turkey
Top exercises to work off that holiday turkey
By: Dr. Michael Nogalski The holiday season means turkey is on the menu. Whether you’re a dark meat or light meat lover, turkey packs a punch. It can leave you with a post-dinner coma watching football and longer-term love handles after the holiday season. Here are a few great exercises to help shed your post-holiday gobbler gut. Get moving You can take a walk, go up and down the stairs, or even go for a brisk jog. It doesn’t have to be intensive, but get your body moving to increase blood flow to vital organs, including your stomach. This isn’t a race (thank God!), so go at a pace that pushes your pulse without being too intense. Squats Begin with your body weight. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at the knee and lower your body as if you’re sitting down. Stop with your knees at a 90-degree angle (warning: do not bend your knees more than 90 degrees.) and then reverse motion to a full standing position. Repeat exercise for three sets of ten reps. If you Lunges Stand up straight with your ...

How Santa avoids "elf" Workers’ Compensation claims
How Santa avoids
By: Dr. James Burke The Big Guy is on his way. You know, the Big Guy. White beard, red suit, reindeer, sleigh, the makin’-a-list-checkin’-it-twice Big Guy: Santa. Christmas time is here and we all know the busiest man on earth is gearing up for his one night of wonder. Of course, Santa can’t do everything by himself; he needs elves to help him make sure the Big Dance gets everyone a present on Christmas Day. With all the hustle and bustle of making toys for kids around the world, you might wonder how Santa keeps his factory “incident-free” all year long. We’re no Santa experts, but here are probably a few ways Santa keeps his elves happy and safe from filing a Worker’s Compensation claim. If you and your company want to stay on Santa’s Nice List this year and next, you might want to consider following some of these steps. Make a list, check it twice Of course, Santa’s list is his Nice List, but your list may be safety regulations for important procedures. Make sure you and your team members are ...

Getting your Christmas tree up without throwing your back out
Getting your Christmas tree up without throwing your back out
By: Dr. Keith Wilkey The holiday season is here! It’s time to deck the halls, wrap presents, and put up the Christmas tree. Before you wrestle your favorite Douglas fir into place, there are a few tips to keep in mind to keep your back and knees on the “feeling nice” list this year. First, you may be thinking, “It’s a Christmas tree! How much could it possibly weigh?” The average 6-7 ft. Fraser fir tree weighs around fifty pounds. (North Carolina Christmas Trees) When it comes time to swing that piney bundle on top of your luggage rack, you want to be careful with how your back, knees, and shoulders are positioned for the safest lifting possible. It never hurts to use a second person’s assistance when loading or unloading a Christmas tree. As with all heavy lifting, lift with your legs, not with your back. Always do a few stretches before lifting heavy objects, keep your back straight, and position your legs shoulder-width apart for maximum lifting power. If you have a taller car, like an SUV or a minivan, ...

Best hiking trails to enjoy fall in St. Louis
Best hiking trails to enjoy fall in St. Louis
By: Dr. Byler Fall is here and that means two things: the Cardinals are in the playoffs, and the leaves are turning. Getting out for a beautiful hike in the autumn weather is a great way to embrace fall in St. Louis. Here are some of the best hiking trails around the greater St. Louis area where you can stretch your legs, get some exercise, and enjoy fall in St. Louis. Castlewood State Park Follow the Meramec River through Castlewood State Park into the valley for a breath-taking snapshot of fall. This is a great family-friendly park to catch a sneak peek of wildlife. Check out the World Bird Sanctuary, which can be accessed through Lone Elk County Park. Dr. Edmund A. Babler State Park Babler State Park is known for its bike paths, but hikers will equally enjoy the beauty offered by this West County wonderland. Altogether, there are six trails for hiking and hikers may enjoy packing a light picnic lunch. Keep an eye out for feathered friends as Babler is home to a wide variety of beautiful birds. Katy Trail State ...

4 of the most common football injuries and how to avoid them
4 of the most common football injuries and how to avoid them
By: Dr. Burke Football is back! Autumn is here. The boys of fall are strapping up their cleats, tying on shoulder pads, and making the walk to kickoff under the Friday night lights. Football has started to make dramatic improvements when it comes to player safety, especially when it comes to concussion protocol and helmet-related incidents. One of the realities of football is that injuries do happen; it’s a collision-based sport, so we should expect some injuries at time. However, there are ways to help protect against some injuries that aren’t collision-related. Here are some of the top football injuries and how your favorite football player can best try to avoid them. ACL/MCL injuries How many times have you seen a football player’s body go one way and his knee goes the other direction? It’s painful to even watch, right? Many knee injuries occur in football when a vital ligament, like the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or the MCL (medial collateral ligament), tears or even over-stretches. If a player has surgery to repair the torn ligament, it can take ...