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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


What are the Causes and Treatment Options of Carpal Tunnel?
What are the Causes and Treatment Options of Carpal Tunnel?
By: Dr. Bell If you drive a desk for your job, you may know what it’s like to live with the pain of carpal tunnel. Even though many people are familiar with carpal tunnel, a lot of people are not quite sure exactly what causes carpal tunnel and what can be done to alleviate it. Let’s examine what causes carpal tunnel and what treatment options are available. What Causes Carpal Tunnel? The carpal tunnel is quite literally a tunnel that runs from your forearm to your hand. (NCBI) Inside the tunnel are your median nerve and nine tendons. The median nerve provides sensation for the front of your thumb, index, middle finger and parts of your ring finger. It also controls small muscles where your thumb connects to your palm. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when a problem leads to pressure on the median nerve. (NCBI) This is why many patients with carpal tunnel experience pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected muscles. Some may also experience pain in their forearm between their hand and elbow. What Treatment Options Are Available for Carpal Tunnel? There are ...

St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report - April 2017
St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report - April 2017
By: Dr. Bell  Baseball is back in the Lou! After a long winter watching the Cubby Bears finally experience our familiar joy, our Redbirds are back to reclaim the title. With Opening Day kicking off on Sunday evening, we saw a fantastic showing by Carlos Martinez. It gives all of us in Cardinal Nation a good vibe for 2017. Our year will be even better as some of our favorite Cardinals recover on the disabled list. Here is a quick overview of which Cardinals are bouncing back from injuries: John Gant, SP Gant began the 2017 season on the 10-day disabled list. He pitched well during spring training before exiting the Cardinals’ March 25th Grapefruit League game with tightness in his right groin region. Team doctors later confirmed Gant suffered a strained groin muscle. The 24-year-old right-hander was acquired as part of the Jaime Garcia trade with Atlanta during the offseason. He is currently with the Cardinals’ Triple-A Memphis affiliate. Tyler Lyons, RP Lyons underwent surgery on his knee in November. He last pitched in meaningful games on July 30th, but he did return to ...

Common sports injuries: mallet finger
Common sports injuries: mallet finger
By: Dr. Robert Bell Have you ever seen a basketball player or quarterback jam their finger and the finger looks crooked? No, the finger isn’t broken or dislocated, but it’s obvious that the finger has an accordion-type shape from tip to hand. This is a condition called mallet finger and is more common than you might expect. Mallet finger occurs “when the tendon that straightens your finger (the extensor tendon) is damaged.” (ASSH) When a player’s fingers collide with a fast-moving basketball or a football helmet, forcible contact of the fingertip can tear the extensor tendon that helps straighten the finger. In some extreme cases, the force is strong enough to also detach some of the bone connected at the end of the extensor tendon. A torn extensor tendon renders the finger incapable of straightening on its own strength without the tendon’s support. Symptoms and signs of Mallet Finger A telltale sign of mallet finger is a drooping appearance of the fingertip. Additionally, concentrated pain, swelling, and even pooling blood under the fingertip are also often symptoms of mallet finger. Some patients who experienced ...

Should I be worried about the pain in my hand?
Should I be worried about the pain in my hand?
Dr. Bell Your hand hurts, but you don’t know why. Of course, it’s easy for our brains to go to the worst possible scenario: it’s probably broken and I’ll never be able to use my hand again. Now, we all know that’s a silly notion, but you can’t ignore pain, nor should you. Is it a numbing sensation? Do you feel ‘tingling’ in your fingers that starts at the palm of your hand? There may be an excellent answer to why your hand is in pain. A simple bump on a kitchen counter or a tabletop can cause some bruising that may last for a day or two. If you accidentally slept with your hand pinned under your body or your partner’s body, that can disrupt some of the blood flow for a short while. Gently massage the pain area and see if the pain subsides. If your hand continues to be in pain, you may want to consider other causes: Tendinitis can cause hand pain Repetitive motion, such as manual labor, manufacturing, and even typing on a keyboard with your wrists improperly ...

Why are athletes wearing tape on their bodies during the Summer Olympics?
Why are athletes wearing tape on their bodies during the Summer Olympics?
By: Dr. Bell We love watching our favorite athletes don the beloved red, white, and blue in Rio. What may stand out to their appearance is that some athletes seem to be wearing some form of tape on their shoulders, backs, and legs. Strips of blue, black, yellow, and really any other color seem to be stretched across all visible parts of different athletes’ bodies. Why are Olympic athletes wearing tape, and how is that tape supposed to help? Of course, we should assume that there is some competitive explanation as to why certain athletes are wearing tape. So, what type of tape is it? It’s called kinesiology tape, or kinesio tape or KT as it’s often called, and it’s a cloth-based athletic tape that can be applied to sore or underperforming muscles to help alleviate pain and support better muscle function. The tape has a composition very similar to human muscles and responds to movement in like manner. Some athletes may have whole patterns, zigzags, and spider webs of the tape on their body, which may you wonder if there’s a ...

Why are athletes wearing tape on their bodies during the Summer Olympics?
Why are athletes wearing tape on their bodies during the Summer Olympics?
By: Dr. Bell We love watching our favorite athletes don the beloved red, white, and blue in Rio. What may stand out to their appearance is that some athletes seem to be wearing some form of tape on their shoulders, backs, and legs. Strips of blue, black, yellow, and really any other color seem to be stretched across all visible parts of different athletes’ bodies. Why are Olympic athletes wearing tape, and how is that tape supposed to help? Of course, we should assume that there is some competitive explanation as to why certain athletes are wearing tape. So, what type of tape is it? It’s called kinesiology tape, or kinesio tape or KT as it’s often called, and it’s a cloth-based athletic tape that can be applied to sore or underperforming muscles to help alleviate pain and support better muscle function. The tape has a composition very similar to human muscles and responds to movement in like manner. Some athletes may have whole patterns, zigzags, and spider webs of the tape on their body, which may you wonder if there’s a ...

St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report 2016
St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report 2016
We’re one month into the 2016 MLB season and our Cards are in a fight for the NL Central again. With the Cubs and Pirates gaining steam, Cardinals fans are looking to the injury report to see who we can expect to kickstart a winning streak heading into summer. Here is a run-down of all our favorite Cardinals who are banged up and recovering from injuries: Jhonny Peralta, SS The Cardinals’ star shortstop suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb in the middle of spring training. He underwent surgery on March 10th and participated in fielding drills on Sunday, May 1st for the first time since his surgery. He is expected to start his rehab assignment in late May and rejoin the Cardinals for major league action by early to mid-June. Mitch Harris, RP Harris began the 2016 season on the disabled list due to nerve compression in his right (throwing) elbow. He is currently working through extended spring training assignments in hope of building his arm strength up for the big leagues. He is expected to join the Cardinals in mid-June. Jordan ...

St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report - May 2016
St. Louis Cardinals Injury Report - May 2016
We’re one month into the 2016 MLB season and our Cards are in a fight for the NL Central again. With the Cubs and Pirates gaining steam, Cardinals fans are looking to the injury report to see who we can expect to kickstart a winning streak heading into summer. Here is a run-down of all our favorite Cardinals who are banged up and recovering from injuries: Jhonny Peralta, SS The Cardinals’ star shortstop suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb in the middle of spring training. He underwent surgery on March 10th and participated in fielding drills on Sunday, May 1st for the first time since his surgery. He is expected to start his rehab assignment in late May and rejoin the Cardinals for major league action by early to mid-June. Mitch Harris, RP Harris began the 2016 season on the disabled list due to nerve compression in his right (throwing) elbow. He is currently working through extended spring training assignments in hope of building his arm strength up for the big leagues. He is expected to join the Cardinals in mid-June. Jordan ...

What’s Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and how do you treat it?
What’s Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and how do you treat it?
By: Dr. Robert Bell Cubital Tunnel Syndrome isn’t a common name but you may be very familiar with its effect. It can manifest a sharp, tingling pain and weakness in your forearm that extends down through your wrist, hand, and ring and small fingers. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is the second most common nerve compression condition in the forearm region after Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. (NCBI) The ulnar nerve runs from the lower neck region to the tip of the hand. The cubital tunnel is a narrow region under a protrusion of bone called the medial epicondyle on the inside of the elbow joint. (AAOS) You may be more familiar with this area by its common name of the “funny bone”. Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Cubital Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve becomes entrapped, irritated, or compressed in the inside portion of the elbow joint. There are several known causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, such as: Overuse of the elbow region - Repetitious movements of the elbow, like playing a sport, using a hammer, or working ...

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 ...