Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


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 ...

Do I need Physical Therapy for my back pain?
Do I need Physical Therapy for my back pain?
Dr. Mohammed Paracha Your back hurts… a lot. An ice pack, two pain relievers, and massaging your lower back for a few minutes helps take the edge off. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to deal with the same ache and stiffness? Your back may not be injured to the point of needing surgery, but there’s no question you’re in pain. Your doctor recommends physical therapy to help alleviate your discomfort. Do you really need physical therapy for your back pain, even if you’ve never needed back surgery? You may be surprised! According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, physical therapy can be as effective as surgery and less risky for at least one lower back condition (lumbar spinal stenosis). Surgery brings a series of additional risks, some life-threatening, but it can be extremely effective. Whether it’s a new injury or an old nagging one, you may want to consider physical therapy for your back pain. Physical therapy can help stretch and reposition your back muscles and musculoskeletal structure. Active stretching combined with regular exercise ...

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 ...

Protect your feet and legs from these common running injuries
Thousands of St. Louisans love lacing the low tops and pounding the pavement for a good exercise. Whether you’re an Asics aficionado or a Nike newbie, there’s a lot to learn about running, including what injuries you might expect. Hopefully you can avoid any injuries this summer, but if not, it’s helpful to know what to do. That's why Orthopedic Associates recently hosted an event, with the help of running shoe specialist David Spetnagel (Fleet Feet), on the best ways to keep yourself in top-running condition during the Summer months. Participants were able to come out and ask questions about their foot and running health directly to the experts! For those who couldn't make it, we typed up a little summary of the night's events for your reading pleasure! (image of Dr. Aaranson speaking on runner's health at our recent event) Most common injuries for runners One of the best ways to avoid injuries involves preparation and prevention. This includes appropriate stretching before and after running, and also watching where your feet fall along the path. Some injuries can’t ...

How to recover after running a marathon
Marathon season means runners of all ages are pinning on race bibs and pounding the pavement across St. Louis. If you’ve recently finished your marathon or half-marathon, there’s a good chance you pushed yourself a little too far at one point during the race. Even if you ran a clean race overall, your body still needs time to recover from several weeks, if not months of training.  Here’s some good information to help your body recover after running a marathon… Post-marathon stretches for best recovery Your post-marathon recovery begins as soon as you cross the finish line. You need to carefully and thoroughly stretch your muscles out after a race. This helps remove any remaining lactic acid from your muscles and greatly reduces muscle soreness. Using a foam roller to massage out your thighs and calves is an excellent way to loosen any leftover lactic acid. You may experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) in the hours following your race. Pay attention to the level of soreness you experience because it’s an indication of possible injuries ...

Four office chair stretches to relieve back pain
We’ve all been there before: you’re midway through your workday hunched over a computer screen when you straighten up in your office chair. Ouch! A sharp twinge or a dull ache lets you know your back is suffering from poor positioning. You need to stretch out your back muscles and loosen the negative pressure before that small ache turns into a big-time problem. Eight out of 10 adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. (NIH) As common as back pain may be, you don’t have to be a victim. Here are five stretches you can perform in the comfort of your office chair to relieve tension, soothe back pain, and help protect your spine during a long work day. Self-Hug Just as the name suggests, it’s time to give yourself a big hug. Wrap both of your arms around your shoulders like you’re giving someone a hug and grab the back of your shoulders with your hands. Take a few deep breaths allowing the shoulder blades to expand and contract. This relieves tension between your shoulders and ...

How to Choose an Orthopedic Care Provider
How to choose an orthopedic care provider Finding the right orthopedic surgeon can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve recently experienced a traumatic injury. How does your medical plan fit into the picture? Can you take your time finding the right doctor for you? There are several important factors to consider when it comes to choosing an orthopedic care provider. Network of insurance coverage for orthopedic care The first step is determining which orthopedic providers are included in your medical plan’s network. If you do have an out-of-network orthopedic surgeon in mind, you will want to calculate the projected cost of their services. Your primary care physician usually has a list of orthopedic surgeons they recommend to patients. Review the list with your doctor and ask why they recommend a specific surgeon.  Reputation of the orthopedic physician  Once you have a list of your in-network orthopedic surgeon, you will want to review those orthopedic specialists. No doctor is perfect, but the more you can gain trust in their expertise through reading about a previous patient’s satisfied experience, the better peace of mind you ...

How Do You Recover?
Orthopedic injuries are as unique as the people who experience them. As a result, whatever journey towards recovery that you take should also be custom tailored to your unique situation. There are a lot of Orthopedic care providers that see surgery as the only option to help improve the lives of their patients. Orthopedic Associates is fortunate to employ a team of physicians that know that this is absolutely not the case. There are many ways to manage the pain caused by an orthopedic problem and even more ways to help heal that pain in the long term. The first question we ask ourselves, and our patients, is what does complete rehabilitation look like? Is it managing pain? Is it eliminating pain? Is it improved physical strength? Is it a short term solutions, a long term solution, or some combination of both? The second step is recognizing that the body is a complex network of bones, tissues, molecules, and nerves. Where another Orthopedic practice might look at back pain as an opportunity to surgically correct a problem, Orthopedic Associates sees ...

Orthopedic Associates Featured Physician: Frank J. Bender III, MD
Orthopedic Associates is proud of our exceptional physicians who provide care to thousands of patients across the St. Louis area. Their expertise and incredible commitment to the best patient care possible allows us to help so many of you enjoy the fullest, healthiest life. This month we are excited to feature Dr. Frank J. Bender III, MD. Dr. Frank J. Bender III carries a long line of serving others before joining Orthopedic Associates in 2013. He previously served in the Army National Guard while living in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. He has also volunteered his time in under-resourced clinics in Illinois, Indiana, and North Dakota. We are very appreciative of Dr. Bender for giving his time to serve our country and so many communities. As a strategic member of our Orthopedic Associates team, Dr. Bender is a board-certified physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation, specializing in pain medicine. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and he completed his medical internship and residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh. Dr. Bender ...

Common Fall-Related Bone Fractures Among Elderly Adults
Whether it’s weather-related or in your everyday routine, a simple fall can mean significant danger and harm to an elderly adult. Slips and falls are some of the leading causes of bone fractures for the elderly. An estimated 87% of bone fractures among people 65 years and older are due to falls. (MedicineNet) Of these fall-related fractures, there are four most common fractures that elderly adults tend to experience from such mishaps. Hip An estimated quarter-million hip fractures happen every year among people over 65 years of age in the U.S. (CDC) Of these hip fractures, over 95% of them are caused by falling, often by falling sideways and landing on the hip joint. The added pressure of the full body weight and other aging factors, including osteoporosis, contribute to hip fractures. Femur (Upper-Leg Bone) Another more common bone fracture caused by falling is a broken femur, or upper leg bone. Because of the strength of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the femur, a broken femur can often be very serious. It may even result in a compound fracture in severe situations. The ...