Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


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 ...

December 2015 St. Louis Blues Injury Report
December 2015 St. Louis Blues Injury Report
Our St. Louis Blues are feeling a little black-and-blue after a string of injuries to start the 2015-2016 NHL season. With the Blues currently flirting around the third-place position in the Western Conference, we’re thirty games into the season with an eye towards a strong finish in 2015. Here’s a complete breakdown of every Blues player recovering from a recent injury. Patrik Berglund, Center Berglund dislocated his right shoulder injury on August 25th. He was placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) on October 7th following surgery. He will be re-evaluated by team doctors around early February to determine whether he can return to the ice this season. Jaden Schwartz, Left Winger Schwartz fractured his left ankle on Friday, Oct. 23rd when he reportedly slipped and slid into a goal post. His ankle required surgery with an anticipated recovery time of at least twelve weeks. The 2010 first-round draft pick is expected to return to action by the end of January. Scottie Upshall, Right Winger The Blues signed Upshall on Oct. 5th following a training camp tryout. The twelve-year veteran suffered an undisclosed injury in late ...

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, ...

What is a cortisone injection?
What is a cortisone injection?
By: Dr. Burke Cortisone injections are designed to relieve inflammation and pain in a targeted area of the body. Cortisone shots are often injected into joints, such as knees, elbows, hips, shoulders, and ankles. With proper application and physician supervision, cortisone injections can be an excellent pain relief solution. Cortisone injections usually include a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid, a powerful anti-inflammatory medication. (Arthritis Health) Cortisone injections are also sometimes prescribed for allergy relief and skin problems, such as psoriasis and acne. The relief is often almost immediate and the patient is able to perform everyday tasks without pain. Cortisone injections are usually limited in application over time due to some potential side effects. Many physicians limit cortisone injections to only three to four times a year at least six weeks between injections. Some potential health risks of cortisone injections include: Osteoporosis near repeated injection sites Joint infection Nerve damage ...

5 leading causes of severe knee pain
5 leading causes of severe knee pain
By: Dr. Noglaski If you have ever had knee pain, you know how it can limit your ability to play and work, even do daily activities. Knee pain happens because of injury, strains, inflammation, or wear and tear over time. Most knee problems are improved with specific exercises or sometimes with medication or surgery. There are five leading causes of severe knee pain that can limit your everyday life. Ligament damage There are four ligaments that connect your thigh bone (femur) with your lower leg. (Healthline) The two collateral ligaments are located on either side of your knee: The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is on the inside of your knee. The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is on the outside of your knee. The two cruciate ligaments criss-cross each other inside your knee joint to form an “X”: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is towards the front of the inside of your knee. ...