Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


All About Sciatica
All About Sciatica
By: Dr. Paracha If you’ve ever had a sharp pain radiate from your pelvis and run down the back of your legs, you’ve likely been made aware of your sciatic nerve. This nerve, the largest one in the human body, roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the lower back and passes through the buttock area. It sends nerve endings down the lower limbs, all the way down to the ankle and foot. Sciatica refers to pain in this nerve, which is a very common thing to experience. Although the symptoms can be painful and potentially incapacitating, permanent nerve damage rarely occurs. Symptoms Sciatica can cause more than just pain. You might experience tingling or numbness caused by an irritation of the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve. Weakness in the legs or feet may also occur. These symptoms will manifest after sitting or standing for a long time. Symptoms may worsen from movements that cause the spine to flex (like exercises that bring your knees to your chest). Relief may be found by walking, lying down and spine-extending movements, ...

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 ...

Do you need a total joint replacement for your arthritis?
Do you need a total joint replacement for your arthritis?
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey The aches and discomfort of arthritis can disrupt anyone’s everyday routine. A simple walk through the store is no longer relaxing as ol’ “Arthur” lets you know he’s still around. Pain medication doesn’t seem to do the trick. Physical therapy helped, but your arthritis pain still flares up at times. Would a total joint replacement relieve your arthritis pain? This is a frequent question many of our patients ask who are suffering from arthritis. Arthritis is more common than ever with people living longer. The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons estimates 500,000 hip replacements and 3,000,000 knee replacements will need to be performed each year by the year 2030. (American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons) But the question remains: do you need total joint replacement to be free of your arthritis pain? We believe in exploring all viable treatment options, starting with non-invasive treatments, to help alleviate your arthritis pain. For many patients, undergoing a total joint replacement may provide the relief and new lease on life they need. However, there are several criteria we ...

Avoid these foods to ease arthritic pain
Avoid these foods to ease arthritic pain
Arthritis is best understood as any condition involving inflammation in your body, specifically your joints. The ache and pain of arthritis carries the potential of disrupting your daily routine. Dietary choices can play a significant role in how your body experiences arthritic pain. It helps to know what foods may be the culprits and how to avoid them for minimizing how arthritis affects your everyday life. Refined sugar Who doesn’t love dessert?! Having a sweet tooth can invite refined sugar into your diet, which engages pro-inflammatory cytokine proteins. (NCBI) Beware of any ingredients ending in “-ose,” such as sucrose, fructose, and other alternative names for refined sugar. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) Monosodium glutamate, or MSG as it’s often called, is a common food additive that can initiate chronic inflammation. Avoid MSG for both your overall health and more specifically, your arthritis. Saturated fats Research shows that saturated fats are a leading cause of adipose (fat tissue) inflammation. Cheese, red meat, pasta, and grain-based desserts, such as most types of cookies, are some of the more notorious sources of saturated fats and known contributors to arthritic conditions. ...

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 ...

Helping Hands: How Grandparents Shape Lives
"Happy or sad I think that grandmothers are the wisest, most understanding people in the world (excluding, of course, grandfathers)." -Jane Moore, age 10

 Richard and Helen Exley (Eds.), To Grandma and Grandpa As the Baby Boomer generation shifts into the role of “grandparent”, more and more research is being done on the social, financial, and developmental impact that grandparents have on their grandchildren. In the past, parents were given the majority of the credit for the emotional and physical evolution of their kids, but the increased research indicates that grandparents play an equally important role in early-adult-education.

 Additionally, According to AARP, because of trying economic circumstances and increased military deployment, 2.6 million (up 8% from the previous year) grandparents are the primary caregivers for America’s youth. Even if you are not a primary caregiver, you have the ability to influence your grandchildren’s development beyond what you had initially thought.

 The unfortunate thing is that as Boomers age into the role of “grandma” or “grandpa”, so do their joints. It’s important to keep a pulse on your physical health so you don’t miss ...