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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 ...

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 ...

5 need-to-know safety tips this soccer season
5 need-to-know safety tips this soccer season
By: Dr. Burke Fall in St. Louis is a perfect time to put on your long sleeves and stroll the sidelines of a youth soccer game. Whether you love the ref’s eyesight or not, it’s always fun seeing your favorite lil’ soccer player race by in a brightly colored uniform. What you love even more is a fun and safe game without a trip to the ER. Here are five need-to-know safety tips to keep your next Lionel Messi on the field and in the doctor’s office: Drink plenty of water. Yes, this may sound like a tired, broken record, but drinking copious amounts of water will help carry more oxygen to your child’s limbs and brain to make the right move (and reaction) in time. Fall in Missouri can still see temperatures in the high-80s or hotter. With a heavier uniform, shin guards, and the extra heat of running around, staying hydrated is crucial. Stretching is not to be taken lightly. ...

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 ...

Hit the streets with these fall 2016 St. Louis fun runs, 5K runs, and 10K runs
Hit the streets with these fall 2016 St. Louis fun runs, 5K runs, and 10K runs
By: Dr. Aaranson   Labor Day Weekend is the kickstart of race season across the Lou. Donning your favorite pair of ‘go fasters’ and pinning on a race bib is as familiar to St. Louis as October baseball. Whether you’re a ‘Fun Run’ enthusiast or a more focused 5k or 10k warrior, there are plenty of races in all sorts of places to enjoy this fall. Here is a list of some of the more featured fun runs, mini-marathons, and half-marathons happening in St. Louis over the next few months. Saturday, September 24th @ 9:00 a.m. | St. Jude to End Childhood Cancer Walk/Run 5K (Downtown St. Louis) St. Jude’s work with battling childhood cancer is reason enough to lace up your shoes and donate to their research. Treatments invented at St. Jude have changed the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since opening in 1962. The St. Jude to End Childhood Cancer Walk/Run 5K starts at Ballpark Village on Saturday, September 24th at 9:00 a.m. Click this link to register for the St. Jude ...

5 benefits of tracking your fitness with mobile apps
5 benefits of tracking your fitness with mobile apps
By: Dr. Burke There are currently over 100,000 health-related apps available for smartphones. (The Conversation) Approximately 69 percent of U.S. adults monitor their health data via a health app in the areas of exercise routines (including heart rate), blood pressure, eating patterns and caloric intake, glucose levels, sleep, fertility cycles, emotional moods, and even sex. (VCloudNews) Nearly half of all U.K.-based adults who self-track their health via mobile apps report ‘strong behavioral change’. As we all know, just because something’s popular doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for your health, like binge-watching Netflix shows instead of exercising. What are the benefits of using a mobile app to track your fitness? We believe there are at least five major benefits to monitoring your health through a mobile app: Measuring results for future improvement. As the adage goes, “What is measured is realized. What is realized is capable of being changed.” The ability to record and evaluate your fitness performance, frequency, and changes over time is vital information that your primary care physician would be interested in ...

Wrapping up the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Wrapping up the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
By: Dr. Nogalski The stories leading up to Rio 2016 Olympic Games were characterized by cautionary hope. We hope the facilities are ready. We hope the civil unrest is at peace for the Games. We hope the Zika virus doesn’t place any athletes at risk. We also hope our star-studded, star-spangled U.S. team had a historic victory on the medal stand. To the best of our knowledge, all of our hopes came true. The United States led all countries in Olympic success at Rio with 121 medals, including 46 golds, 37 silvers, and 38 bronzes. The next closest country, China, finished with 70 total medals. It marked the sixth Olympic games in a row that the U.S. topped the medal count and the largest difference in total medals of a non-boycotted Olympics since the 1924 Olympics. The host country of Brazil did have impressive showings in several competitions, winning gold in men’s soccer in a breath-taking final shootout. They also fielded a men’s gymnastics team for the first time in Olympic history and secured multiple medals in individual apparatuses. Beach volleyball is ...

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. ...

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 ...