Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


4 everyday stretches to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
4 everyday stretches to avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
By: Dr. Bell Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs through overuse and tension of muscles through your wrists and forearms. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that carpal tunnel is the primary cause for almost half of missed work time among U.S. employees. (Arthritis.org) Our Orthopedic Associates team compiled these four stretches to help you avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Shake your hands Pretend you just washed your hands and can’t find a towel to dry them. What do you do? You air-dry your hands by shaking them. Use that same technique by shaking your hands for one minute every hour. This helps relax your median nerve and flexor muscles to prevent cramping. An easy solution can be always air-drying your hands instead of using a hand towel, which may be better for your health with the germ-filled history of hand towels. Wrist flexes Extend your arm at shoulder height directly straight away from your body. Lock your elbow and place your palm facing downward. Spread out your fingers and place your other palm on the back of your extended hand. Gently push down on the extended ...

2016 St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training Injury Report
2016 St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training Injury Report
Spring is just around the corner and the Grapefruit League is in full swing. Some of our favorite Redbirds are still recovering from serious injuries and surgeries from last season until now. Here is a detailed look at who’s on the mend and when we might expect to hear their name echo through Busch Stadium this year. Yadier Molina, C Yes, other important position players are recovering from injuries, but this is Yadi - will he be healthy for Opening Day? Yadi suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb (catching hand) and underwent surgery in December. He is expected to miss most of spring training but it’s likely he will return for Opening Day. Keep your fingers crossed, Cardinal Nation! Tim Cooney, RP The Cardinals discovered soreness and weakness in Cooney’s throwing shoulder early in spring training. Additional testing revealed no structural damage and Cooney will begin a modified throwing program. He made six starts for the Cardinals last year and is in position to battle for a backend rotation spot. Carlos Martinez, SP Martinez suffered a shoulder strain in September of last ...

Improving your posture when sitting at your desk
Improving your posture when sitting at your desk
By: Dr. Cynthia Byler Most people have terrible posture when sitting at a desk. What’s worse is that many of us know this truth. In fact, you may have already straightened your back and squared your shoulders while reading this article. People are sitting more than ever before, a staggering 9.3 hours of sitting every day. The saying is true, “Sitting is the new smoking!” According to the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, people who sit for extended periods of time are 24% more likely to die from health conditions. A sedentary workspace also contributes to chronic back pain, heart disease, colon and breast cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and type-2 diabetes. Together, these diseases are responsible for 63% of deaths each year. (PGDA) Switching to a standing desk alternative for at least part of your work day and being mobile between meetings and projects can be excellent ways to limit the effects of sitting. Changing how you sit can also ensure your body stays healthy and strong. Here are a few simple changes you can implement at your desk to improve your ...

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 ...

Avoid these foods to ease arthritic pain
Avoid these foods to ease arthritic pain
Arthritis is best understood as any condition involving inflammation in your body, specifically your joints. The ache and pain of arthritis carries the potential of disrupting your daily routine. Dietary choices can play a significant role in how your body experiences arthritic pain. It helps to know what foods may be the culprits and how to avoid them for minimizing how arthritis affects your everyday life. Refined sugar Who doesn’t love dessert?! Having a sweet tooth can invite refined sugar into your diet, which engages pro-inflammatory cytokine proteins. (NCBI) Beware of any ingredients ending in “-ose,” such as sucrose, fructose, and other alternative names for refined sugar. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) Monosodium glutamate, or MSG as it’s often called, is a common food additive that can initiate chronic inflammation. Avoid MSG for both your overall health and more specifically, your arthritis. Saturated fats Research shows that saturated fats are a leading cause of adipose (fat tissue) inflammation. Cheese, red meat, pasta, and grain-based desserts, such as most types of cookies, are some of the more notorious sources of saturated fats and known contributors to arthritic conditions. ...

Am I suffering from a herniated disc?
Am I suffering from a herniated disc?
Herniated discs most commonly occur in the lower back region (lumbar spine herniations) or neck region (cervical spine herniations), but they are far less common in the upper back region (thoracic spine herniations). (Mayo Clinic) Herniated discs can be very painful, but often times, patients with herniated discs are unaware of their condition. There are certain symptoms to be aware of that may indicate whether you’re suffering from a herniated disc. Weakness or pain in your toes Herniated discs in your fourth and fifth lumbar segments (L4 and L5) can cause nerve impingement that may make it difficult to raise your big toe. If the herniation occurs between your fifth lumbar segment and first sacral segments (L5 and S1, respectively), you may experience difficulty or even pain standing on your toes. Leg Pain Leg pain, or “sciatica” as it’s sometimes called, can be the leading sign of a herniated disc. Research shows that “approximately 90% of herniated discs occur at L4-L5 and L5-S1, causing pain in the L5 or S1 nerve that radiates down the sciatic nerve.” (Spine Health) If you have a ...

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 ...