Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


10 Ways to Relieve Joint Pain in Cold Weather
10 Ways to Relieve Joint Pain in Cold Weather
By: Dr. Kramer Unlike the sharp pain that can result from injury, there’s a low-level of joint pain or ache that pops up as the weather turns cold. You might have felt it after spending time outside, or simply waking up in a colder room during the winter months. You might have even heard people say that they can feel rain or snow coming in their joints. This might sound like a far-fetched idea, but it’s not entirely off base. Although there is little scientific research around cold weather and joint pain, there is evidence that supports the theory that dips in the barometric pressure can increase joint pain. If you find yourself feeling stiff or achy when the temperature drops, try these tips. Dress for the Cold Add an extra layer over your hands and wrists, knees and legs. Fleece-lined leggings can add an extra layer of comforting warmth. Keep an extra pair of gloves in your bag so you’re always prepared. Add Layers As you’re planning what to wear for the day, add in base layers of clothing as well as outer ...

Causes, Symptoms and Treatments for Arthritis Pain
Causes, Symptoms and Treatments for Arthritis Pain
By: Dr. Burke  Arthritis pain can present itself in many ways: as a dull ache, a burning feeling, a sharp pain or a pressure that feels like there’s a vice grip on your joints. Either way, it’s an ongoing challenge to manage pain from arthritis, which is the leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 52.5 million adults have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. There’s plenty of information out there about pain remedies, exercise and medication, so how do you know what’s right for you? Causes First, let’s take a look at what causes arthritis pain. The term itself can describe more than 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, including osteoporosis and diseases of the connective tissues. There isn’t a single type of arthritis, so the causes can include: Injury that leads to degenerative arthritis Abnormal metabolism that leads to gout and pseudo gout ...

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 ...

Preparing Your Home for Post-Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Preparing Your Home for Post-Total Knee Replacement Surgery
By Dr. Kramer Recovering from total knee replacement surgery can be a painful, grueling experience. The good news is many patients experience a new lease on life after knee replacement that allows them to enjoy golf, running, dancing, and many other activities that were painful to experience before the surgery. The recovery period can be several weeks long and of course, every patient’s situation is unique. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to make your post-total knee replacement recovery a bit easier to manage around the house. In the days after your surgery, you will likely be back home and trying to have life be as normal as possible. With some simple changes in your home, you can make your recovery period much safer and more enjoyable. Protect against falling Of course, we hope you don’t fall at any time, but patients with a new knee are at a higher risk of falling. It’s wise to protect against a fall by installing an extra hand rail or two around the house and wearing shoes or socks with good traction. You may also ...

How to recover from ACL surgery
How to recover from ACL surgery
By: Dr. Nogalski Approximately 200,000 ACL-related injuries occur in the U.S. every year. Of those 200,000 injuries, an estimated 95,000 injuries are full ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament. Professional athletes and rec-league wonders are familiar with the shin-grasping scene of an ACL injury. If you’re lucky, you may experience only a Grade 1 sprain. Unfortunately, many ACL injuries are at least a Grade 2 sprain, which is a partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. Most Grade 2 ACL sprains and all Grade 3 ACL sprains do require surgery. The recovery period following ACL surgery can be grueling, but the rehabilitation process is worth it. You will probably be given a set of exercises to complete in the recovery room immediately following the surgery. This will encourage good blood flow through your knee to help prevent blood clots. Your primary concerns in the first two weeks following surgery are to reduce swelling in your knee and to keep the incision area clean. Prop your knee up on a pillow four to six times a day to relieve pressure. Your orthopedic specialist ...

Is foam rolling really effective?
Is foam rolling really effective?
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. ...

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 ...

How long does it take a sprained ankle to heal?
How long does it take a sprained ankle to heal?
By: Dr. Hulsey “He’s to the 35, the 30, cuts back inside, to the 25, the 20, and he’s down! Thompson got caught from behind, rolled his ankle, and it doesn’t look pretty!” How many times have you seen a football player sprain their ankle and think, “That looks painful!” A sprained ankle doesn’t happen to just the giants of the gridiron in football. Approximately 25,000 people experience sprained ankles every day. (American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society) A sprained ankle can happen during an evening walk, exiting your vehicle, or stepping off a curb. What causes sprained ankles and how long does it take to recover from a sprained ankle? According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, a sprained ankle is “a stretch injury of the ligaments that support the ankle.” (AOSSM) Your ligaments have some natural dexterity, but even ligaments have their limitations. There are three main types of ankle sprains: Inversion sprain - Occurs when the ankle is rolled inward. Inversion sprains are the most common type of ankle sprains ...

Bunion surgery now more effective and routine than ever
Bunion surgery now more effective and routine than ever
By: Dr. Aaranson If you’ve ever had bunions, then you know how painful they can be. It hurts to wear shoes of any size and it’s sometimes painful to even walk. Bunions are large bumps that form on bony protrusions on the side of your foot, such as the main joint on the outside of your big toe. Most bunions have a red appearance and are sore to the touch. Bunions form when your toes are forced together and the side of your foot rubs against tight-fitting shoes, like high heels. Some bunions are genetic or caused by stress to your foot. If left untreated, bunions can cause significant mobility issues and greater health complications. Thankfully, bunion surgery has come a long way in the past few years. Our very own Dr. R Randal Aaranson shared some of the medical advances available to patients today. Bunion surgery is now done as an outpatient procedure and most patients can walk on their repaired foot immediately following surgery. Arthritic bunions are another form of bunions being treated today. Arthritic bunions are further complicated in that ...

How to Treat Tennis Elbow
How to Treat Tennis Elbow
How to Treat Tennis Elbow By: Dr. Strecker Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) is an inflammatory condition affecting the tendons on the outer protrusion of the elbow joint. It’s called “tennis elbow” because a repetitive motion, like the constant swinging of a tennis racket, can cause damage due to overuse. However, many cases involving tennis elbow are caused by work-related overuse, such as assembly line repetition, construction, or warehouse loading. The tendons on the outside of your elbow are often called “extensors” and they help connect your forearm muscles to your ulna bone, the main bone in your forearm. The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis (ECRB) is the tendon that’s most often the focal point of tennis elbow. The ECRB tendon helps stabilize your wrist when your elbow is extended. Since the ECRB tendon is positioned over the outer bony formation of the elbow joint, overuse will rub the tendon raw and cause microscopic tears in the tendon tissue. This causes weakness and pain in your elbow and forearm, a condition we call tennis elbow. Symptoms of tennis elbow One of the telltale signs of tennis ...