Orthopedic Associates' Blog

rss

Orthopedic Associates' Blog


The 5 Best Hikes in St. Louis This Fall
The 5 Best Hikes in St. Louis This Fall
When the weather turns from hot and humid to cool and brisk, you can’t help but make plans to be outside. With so many beautiful and historic places to hike around St. Louis, you’ll want to make plans to get the whole family outside and moving. It’s about more than just getting “steps” on your tracker; spending time hiking together is a great way to encourage some screen-free bonding time with your family. Once you’ve gotten your hiking boots, backpack and water bottle lined up, consider this list of the best hikes around St. Louis. Lime Kiln Loop Trail—Looking to get in a good workout while hiking? Walk this 3.2-mile loop at a brisk pace as it winds up and down (from a 300 to 800-foot elevation) through the woods. If you’re looking for nature, this is the trail for you: birds and even reptiles can be seen until the first freeze. Where: Rockwoods Reservation, 2751 Glencoe Road, Wildwood ...

Does Foam Rolling Actually Work?
Does Foam Rolling Actually Work?
By: Dr. Burke Ah, the foam roller. So many gym-goers finish up their workout of choice and then head straight to the blue cylinder for another session of self-myofascial release (SMR). Many athletes swear by this tender-spot-targeting practice but there is no empirical data to date that supports the belief that foam rolling improves muscle performance, increases range of motion, or aids in recovery. So, is foam rolling really effective, or is it more of an assumed benefit that misjudges the end results? Let’s start with the purpose: self-myofascial release. Fascia is the soft tissue that helps connect your muscles together and supports muscle movement. When you overuse a group of muscles, even during exercise, the fascia can become restricted. Fascial restriction can also be caused by trauma, namely injury, and inactivity. Inflammation can start to take place during fascial restriction, which can cause the connecting tissue to thicken and become very painful. This is why myofascial release, such as massages and other forms of physical therapy, can be initially painful but excellent for your long-term muscle improvement and joint health. With ...

How Do Your Bones Know When the Weather Is Changing?
How Do Your Bones Know When the Weather Is Changing?
By: Dr. Burke “A storm’s a-comin’. I can feel it in my bones!” You’ve probably heard someone say those same words and it may sound like an old wives’ tale. The reality is there may be some truth to your bones telegraphing when a change in weather is on its way. Barometric pressure shifts with different weather fronts and the fluctuation in pressure has a direct impact on joints and bone. Bones or joints that have experienced a major injury or surgery can be the first place your body experiences change in barometric pressure. It may be why old football injuries ache and your bum knee may not be up for taking the stairs. When the environment is hotter, our muscles tend to be more relaxed and inclined to move well. When the temperature cools, it triggers our muscles and joints to contract more and limit motion as part of our built-in ‘survival’ mode. Some scientists and healthcare leaders hypothesize that headaches and migraines may be early signs of inclement weather. It’s believed that people who suffer from arthritis notice an increasing level ...

St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts from Orthopedic Associates
St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts from Orthopedic Associates
By: Dr. Nogalski St. Patrick’s Day is almost here! Shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, and of course, green beer are all in season as the luck of the Irish sweeps across St. Louis. There are all sorts of legends and interesting tidbits about St. Patrick that may surprise you. Here are a few fun facts about St. Patrick and one of St. Louis’ favorite holidays: St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, but did you know he wasn’t even Irish? He was English! St. Patrick was born around A.D. 387 in either Scotland or Wales (historians argue over which country is the right birth location). Whether it was Scotland or Wales, both countries were then a part of the Roman Empire. St. Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates at age 16. He was brought back to Ireland and sold into slavery. He spent the next six years as a shepherd in the hill country of Ireland. He escaped at age 22 ...

What is hip arthroscopy?
What is hip arthroscopy?
By: Dr. Ryan Pitts Doctors often want to know the extent and severity of an injury or condition without undergoing the risk of invasive surgery. Patients who suffer from hip injuries are at a higher risk of further health complications due to their condition. This is where hip arthroscopy proves its greatest value. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, hip arthroscopy is a “surgical procedure that allows doctors to view the hip joint without making a large incision (cut) through the skin and other soft tissues.” (AAOS) The surgeon inserts a small camera called an arthroscope into the hip region and takes pictures. Any necessary incisions will be miniscule compared to the full incision required for a more invasive inspection of the joint area. Hip arthroscopy is not as widely used as knee and shoulder arthroscopy, but it is nevertheless still effective. Surgeons often use hip arthroscopy to identify smaller problem areas and conduct minor procedures. Some surgeries that are often conducted during hip arthroscopy include the following, among others: Repairing torn cartilage ...

What our orthopedic specialists would love for Valentine's Day
What our orthopedic specialists would love for Valentine's Day
By: Dr. Burke Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day. I understand, it’s a Hallmark holiday for many people, but there’s no question, our orthopedic specialists have love on their radar this year. No, it’s not romantic love, but it’s the love we have for our patients. Here are a few things our orthopedic specialists would love for Valentine’s Day this year: We would love for everyone to do the right types and amounts of stretches before and after exercising. Asking your muscles to do any type of strenuous exercise without warming up is like doing a math test right after your alarm clock goes off. You probably won’t do your best and your muscles don’t do their best without waking up first. Show your muscles some love and give them a good stretch before and after exercising. We would love for you to use an exercise partner at the gym, especially if you will be lifting heavy weights. Know your ...

3 exercises to keep your joints healthy
 3 exercises to keep your joints healthy
By: Dr. Hulsey The holiday season is an easy time to become a couch potato enjoying a full suite of Christmas sweets, treats, and time off your feet. Too much sedentary sitting can make your joints feel stiff and unused. We all know the value of staying active, but where do you start with joint health? Here are three exercises we’ve found that keep you moving and your joints feeling like they should this winter. 1. Take a walk or go for a jog or run every day. Strap on your shoes and hit the trail for a brisk walk or even a run. The movement your body endures during a walk or jog encourages blood flow throughout your body. Walking for 30 to 60 minutes every day can also help you maintain a healthy body weight. This will alleviate unnecessary pressure on your back, hips, and knees. Walking is especially good for people who suffer from forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). (Arthritis.org) 2. Do weight-resistance exercises. Weight-bearing exercises encourage our bodies to grow more muscles, which help reduce tension ...

How frostbite affects your extremities
How frostbite affects your extremities
By: Dr. Randal Aaranson The winter cold can have a devastating effect on your skin, especially sub-freezing wind chill. Frostbite is essentially the freezing of skin and tissue and can occur within a matter of minutes. Frostbite typically affects the skin and tissue of exposed areas, such as your nose, cheeks, ears, hands, and feet. One of the common misconceptions is that frostbite only affects exposed skin. Even covered extremities, such as hands and feet, can be at risk of developing frostbite because of the relative temperature under gloves and shoes. Can you get frostbite in St. Louis? You may wonder, “Doesn’t frostbite only occur in extremely cold places, like the Dakotas and Canada?” Unfortunately, the risk of frostbite can be present in any sub-freezing temperatures. St. Louis’ winter wind chill temperatures often register at below the freezing point. A 10- to 15-minute walk to the train station without the proper winter clothing can put anyone at risk for developing first-stage frostbite, a condition called frostnip. Symptoms of frostbite Since frostbite is the freezing of tissue, the initial symptoms are pain and tingling sensations ...

Best local St. Louis biking trails to ride off that Thanksgiving Turkey
By: Dr. Nogalski Thanksgiving is here and that means football, family, and feeling overstuffed after a turkey dinner. One of the best ways to get your metabolism up and burn off the Thanksgiving excess is to hit the bike trails around St. Louis. Grant’s Trail The long and winding Grant’s Trail passes along Grant’s Farm and into Whitecliff Park. The main loop is about eight miles long. The first six miles are paved and the next two miles are unpaved so plan accordingly. Park at Grant’s Farm and lace up your riding shoes for a beautiful scenic ride through the fall foliage. Castlewood State Park Castlewood State Park features eight beautiful trails for any level of cyclist to enjoy. There are some mountain bike trails and some road trails that travel along the Meramec River and through open meadows. Katy Trail State Park Katy Trail State Park is one of our best-kept secrets in St. Louis. A ten-mile between Weldon Spring and Augusta will give you a good workout and beautiful scenery. Stop in Matson for a quick breather and some apple pie. You won’t ...

How to avoid common ski injuries this winter
  How to avoid common ski injuries this winter
By: Dr. Mohammed Paracha Yes, winter is coming and for many St. Louisans, they hear the call to Hidden Valley. If you don’t like skiing on ice and want to see breath-taking views, look to the west for the gorgeous ski resorts of Vail, Aspen, and Breckenridge in Colorado. The first snow across the Rockies lightly decorates the winter wonderland of Greens, Blues, and Black Diamonds and kickstarts ski season. Whether you’re a skier or boarder, there’s no denying that hitting the slopes comes with its fair share of risks. Even the most experienced resort attendee can find themselves bruised, sore, and even broken without the proper precautions: Always wear the right protective gear, especially if you will be near the treeline on your runs. Invest in a good helmet to protect your head during collisions. If you’re a beginner or inexperienced skier or snowboarder, enroll in ski school. It’s absolutely worth your time and will keep you safer on the slopes. ...