Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Good Posture & Your Spine Health
Good Posture & Your Spine Health
“Sit up straight! Don’t slouch,” scolded mothers and grandmothers for generations, and at dinner tables all across the nation, children’s eyes all rolled together. It turns out that Mom and Grandma were onto something. Good posture does help portray an image of self-confidence, it looks nice, and it enhances physical performance. You don’t see anyone slouching when you’re watching athletes compete in the Olympics or celebrities walk down the red carpet at the Oscars. Posture and Orthopedic Health Posture plays a large role in the overall health of your spine. In orthopedics, we consider posture the way that your muscles, joints, and skeleton work together to hold your body upright. Your spine is a complex system of muscles, ligaments, and bones, and it has an incredible range of motion. Having such a great range of motion is certainly an advantage, but the downside is that there are lots of opportunities for things to go wrong. Poor posture is a leading cause of back pain, which, according to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, is one of the most common painful disorders ...

Simple Ways to Prevent Knee Pain
Simple Ways to Prevent Knee Pain
Dr. Richard Hulsey Be kind to knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.” – Baz Luhrmann, “The Sunscreen Song” There are many kinds of knee pain, and many things that can cause it. Years of wear and tear on joints over the course of a lifetime can create discomfort, as can an instantaneous injury. As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and there are strategies for keeping your joints healthy and preventing future knee pain. Knowledge of how to exercise and actions to avoid are key for protecting your knees from injury. Weight One of the most common causes of knee pain, especially pain from osteoarthritis, is weight gain. The human body was intended to only carry a certain amount of weight based on your height and build. Additional weight places undue strain on your joints, especially your knees. If you are overweight or obese, you add stress to your knees with every step you take. In addition to increasing the chances for a knee injury, this damage happens slowly over time and is cumulative. Maintaining ...

How Runners Can Prevent 7 Common Injuries
How Runners Can Prevent 7 Common Injuries
By: Dr. Pitts There’s a certain amount of pain that is to be expected with running; sore muscles after a long workout or tired feet after a race. A bit of discomfort that can be soothed with a long soak in the tub and rest is nothing unusual. However, there are specific injuries that can happen to runners that require medical attention and recuperation (e.g. no running) time. Many of these injuries can be avoided with a bit of intention and preparation. Here some of the most common running injuries and how to avoid them. Runner’s Knee The medical term for runner’s knee is patellofemoral pain syndrome, but it’s really just a fancy way of saying that you’ve got pain around or behind your kneecap. Runners are repetitively pounding their feet on the ground, and this force is compounded when running downhill or running with weak hips. To prevent this pain, stick with running on flat or uphill surfaces. Avoid hard surfaces (like pavement) and stick to running on grass, a rubberized track or other soft surfaces. If the pain doesn’t go away, ...

6 Simple Ways to Prevent Foot Pain
6 Simple Ways to Prevent Foot Pain
By: Dr. Aaranson At the end of a long day of walking around a city while on vacation, you might have said that your “dogs are barking.” It’s common to feel foot pain if you’re not used to walking very far and then decide to go for a long hike. However, foot pain can be caused by a variety of things, and they don’t all involve walking an unusually great distance.  According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, about three-quarters of Americans will experience foot pain at some point. The pain can range from mild to severe, and it may last a only a short time or carry on for months or years. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent foot pain. 1. Wear the right shoes Don’t go barefoot. It puts a strain on your feet and can lead to athlete’s foot and plantar warts from walking on unsanitary surfaces. If you shower in a locker room or use public pools or walk on beaches, bring a pair of flip flops to protect the skin of your feet. ...

Diabetes and Foot Care
Diabetes and Foot Care
By: Dr. Aaranson Diabetes is commonly perceived as a single illness, but it is actually a group of metabolic disorders that can cause many problems. It is either caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin (Type 1), or the body’s cells not responding properly to the insulin that is produced (Type 2). A third form, gestational diabetes, only occurs when a pregnant woman develops high blood sugar levels. The most common type of diabetes is Type 2, which accounts for about 90% of the 415 million cases worldwide. Many people find the variety and widespread nature of diabetes-related symptoms to be surprising. Everything from respiratory and urinary issues, as well as blurred vision and gastric distress are all symptoms of diabetes. One of the more common symptoms associated with diabetes is the presence of foot problems. Why the Issue? For people with diabetes, diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage, can cause tenderness and interfere with the ability to feel pain and temperature—a dangerous combination. If left untreated and unchecked, these foot problems can result in ulcers or injuries that can become infected. If ...

Common Soccer Injuries and How to Treat Them
Common Soccer Injuries and How to Treat Them
By: Dr. Nogalski Spring is a great time for youth soccer. All ages and experience levels of young soccer players will make their way onto the pitch in the next few weeks. As parents we want to cheer on our favorite soccer players while making sure they’re safe. There are a few common injuries that your child may face during this soccer season: Knee injuries - ACL sprains (tears in the anterior cruciate ligament) are some of the most common soccer injuries. Some knee injuries can prevented by wearing the proper size of cleats and being mindful of the situation. Achilles tendonitis - Inflamed or damaged Achilles tendons can occur when a player does not properly stretch or condition prior to the game. The most effective way to prevent Achilles tendonitis for soccer players is for the coaching staff to lead their players in stretching exercises throughout the week, before the game, and following the game. You as a parent can look ...

3 exercises to keep your joints healthy
 3 exercises to keep your joints healthy
By: Dr. Hulsey The holiday season is an easy time to become a couch potato enjoying a full suite of Christmas sweets, treats, and time off your feet. Too much sedentary sitting can make your joints feel stiff and unused. We all know the value of staying active, but where do you start with joint health? Here are three exercises we’ve found that keep you moving and your joints feeling like they should this winter. 1. Take a walk or go for a jog or run every day. Strap on your shoes and hit the trail for a brisk walk or even a run. The movement your body endures during a walk or jog encourages blood flow throughout your body. Walking for 30 to 60 minutes every day can also help you maintain a healthy body weight. This will alleviate unnecessary pressure on your back, hips, and knees. Walking is especially good for people who suffer from forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). (Arthritis.org) 2. Do weight-resistance exercises. Weight-bearing exercises encourage our bodies to grow more muscles, which help reduce tension ...

4 methods Santa’s elves use to protect their backs from injury
4 methods Santa’s elves use to protect their backs from injury
By: Dr. Mohammed Paracha With less than two weeks until Christmas Eve, you know that Santa’s little helpers are hustling to load the sleigh for the busiest man on earth. All of that building, packing, wrapping, and loading is back-breaking work! How do the elves protect their backs through the Christmas season? Since we don’t have an insider at the biggest operation center in the world (i.e., the North Pole), we can only guess how the elves stay ache-free. Here are four methods we believe Santa’s elves use to keep their backs healthy. First, teamwork: As we all know, Santa’s elves are smaller in stature than most humans. Preparing enough presents for all the children of the world would be tough enough for anyone, but Santa’s secret is that he has an army of elves. There are enough elves to team up and tackle heavy objects together. Nowhere is the saying “Many hands make light work,” a truer statement than above the frozen tundra. Work smarter, not harder. This isn’t the elves’ first Christmas; they’ve been doing this work for thousands of years. ...

How to avoid common ski injuries this winter
  How to avoid common ski injuries this winter
By: Dr. Mohammed Paracha Yes, winter is coming and for many St. Louisans, they hear the call to Hidden Valley. If you don’t like skiing on ice and want to see breath-taking views, look to the west for the gorgeous ski resorts of Vail, Aspen, and Breckenridge in Colorado. The first snow across the Rockies lightly decorates the winter wonderland of Greens, Blues, and Black Diamonds and kickstarts ski season. Whether you’re a skier or boarder, there’s no denying that hitting the slopes comes with its fair share of risks. Even the most experienced resort attendee can find themselves bruised, sore, and even broken without the proper precautions: Always wear the right protective gear, especially if you will be near the treeline on your runs. Invest in a good helmet to protect your head during collisions. If you’re a beginner or inexperienced skier or snowboarder, enroll in ski school. It’s absolutely worth your time and will keep you safer on the slopes. ...

What is Jumper’s Knee?
What is Jumper’s Knee?
By: Dr. Nogalski You hop down from the last few rungs of a ladder and immediately wince in pain. Your left knee gives a sharp twinge. It hasn’t been the same since your pickup basketball game at the gym last week. You may be suffering from jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis according to its official name. The patellar tendon connects your kneecap to your shinbone and is designed to work with the range of the knee joint. The patellar tendon helps your knee flex, bend, and absorb impact, like jumping. Overuse of the patellar tendon can occur during activities that require repetitive jumping, like gymnastics, football, basketball, and even everyday activities. Symptoms of jumper’s knee The most telltale sign of jumper’s knee (patellar tendonitis) is a sharp pain between your kneecap and the top of your shinbone. Difficulty bending your knee or doing a small jump can also be a sign of patellar tendonitis. If you are experiencing any noticeable swelling or redness, you should immediately contact your primary care physician. Self-care treatment of jumper’s knee Thankfully, overuse injuries can often heal themselves with ...