Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


4 methods Santa’s elves use to protect their backs from injury
4 methods Santa’s elves use to protect their backs from injury
By: Dr. Mohammed Paracha With less than two weeks until Christmas Eve, you know that Santa’s little helpers are hustling to load the sleigh for the busiest man on earth. All of that building, packing, wrapping, and loading is back-breaking work! How do the elves protect their backs through the Christmas season? Since we don’t have an insider at the biggest operation center in the world (i.e., the North Pole), we can only guess how the elves stay ache-free. Here are four methods we believe Santa’s elves use to keep their backs healthy. First, teamwork: As we all know, Santa’s elves are smaller in stature than most humans. Preparing enough presents for all the children of the world would be tough enough for anyone, but Santa’s secret is that he has an army of elves. There are enough elves to team up and tackle heavy objects together. Nowhere is the saying “Many hands make light work,” a truer statement than above the frozen tundra. Work smarter, not harder. This isn’t the elves’ first Christmas; they’ve been doing this work for thousands of years. ...

7 life-changing facts about Osteoarthritis
7 life-changing facts about Osteoarthritis
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 27 million U.S. adults suffer from some extent of osteoarthritis. (CDC) The aches, discomfort, and limited motion caused by osteoarthritis is enough to force a talented supervisor to stop working. It can cause an otherwise healthy grandmother think twice before picking her grandbaby. It can also leave many aging adults in a vulnerable position when it comes to potential injury. While you may know osteoarthritis by name, you may not know how devastating it may be on your future livelihood: If you suffered a significant knee injury in your youth, you are six times more likely to develop osteoarthritis in the injured joint by age 65. If you suffered a hip injury, the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the injured hip region is three times more likely. (HealthCentral) Did you know that osteoarthritis costs the U.S. economy over $86 billion every year? ...

Should I be worried if my child has back pain?
Should I be worried if my child has back pain?
By: Dr. Paracha Children are incredibly resilient and fragile, all at the same time. What may sound like a horrific tumble can sometimes result in a child hopping right back up and continuing on their way. What may be of greater concern to parents is when their child complains of back pain, especially if they’re younger than high school age. Should you be worried if your child says that their back hurts? Children typically have the discomfort of growing pains, but any complaints by your child about having back pain should be taken seriously. It may be a sore muscle from sleeping in an awkward position, which some children tend to do, or from sleeping in a new bed. Temporary aches may be the result of taking a tumble while playing with their friends. If your child continues to experience pain over the course of a day or two, you may want to schedule an appointment with their pediatrician. Older children, specifically high school age, may be experiencing back pain due to athletics and everyday activities. Their bodies are closer to adult ...

Do I need Physical Therapy for my back pain?
Do I need Physical Therapy for my back pain?
Dr. Mohammed Paracha Your back hurts… a lot. An ice pack, two pain relievers, and massaging your lower back for a few minutes helps take the edge off. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to deal with the same ache and stiffness? Your back may not be injured to the point of needing surgery, but there’s no question you’re in pain. Your doctor recommends physical therapy to help alleviate your discomfort. Do you really need physical therapy for your back pain, even if you’ve never needed back surgery? You may be surprised! According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, physical therapy can be as effective as surgery and less risky for at least one lower back condition (lumbar spinal stenosis). Surgery brings a series of additional risks, some life-threatening, but it can be extremely effective. Whether it’s a new injury or an old nagging one, you may want to consider physical therapy for your back pain. Physical therapy can help stretch and reposition your back muscles and musculoskeletal structure. Active stretching combined with regular exercise ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

5 yoga stretches to alleviate your back pain
5 yoga stretches to alleviate your back pain
Lower back pain is enough to make even the toughest of us stop right in our tracks. Taking pain relievers and doing lumbar stretches can sometimes help, but you need the right exercise to help relieve back pain and also strengthen your back to protect against future back pain. Yoga is an excellent exercise for stretching and strengthening your spine through ancient positions and breathing techniques. Yoga for back pain relief Om…. welcome to the world of yoga. Remember, you’re here because your spine is screaming “Uncle!” and you need both pain relief and pain prevention. Grab a mat, put on loose-fitting clothes, and hobble over to some open space for your first session. There are five basic yoga positions that can alleviate back pain: #1: Warrior II Stand with your feet about four feet apart. Raise your arms to shoulder level and turn your palms downward. Turn your left foot 90 degrees to the left and turn your right foot about 30 degrees to ...

3 Common Office Injuries and How to Prevent Them
General orthopedics covers essentially anything having to do with the health of the musculoskeletal system. But in addition to this general field, many orthopedic surgeons also have narrower specialties, such as occupational medicine. Occupational medicine is the branch of preventive care and treatment that deals with workplace health and safety. These safety concerns don’t just apply to workers in industrial settings, either, as many employers and employees assume. There are plenty of ways to get hurt even in your average office setting. Here are three of the most common workplace injuries you should be aware of, as well as some tips on how to prevent them: Carpal Tunnel Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common hand and wrist conditions affecting office workers. Caused by pressure to the median nerve in the wrist, its symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness and tingling in the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often set off by repetitive motion, especially motion in which the wrist is bent so that the hands are positioned lower than the wrists ...