Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?
Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?
By: Dr. Aaranson   An experienced runner knows a well-fit shoe is priceless, especially when you face the uphill section of a marathon. Improper fits can cause blisters, foot conditions, and a variety of other complications. Shoes is arguably one of the most debated topics among runners: what type of running shoe is best for runners? Support structure is important to consider: how much motion control does your shoe give you? If you’re naturally overpronated in your gait, a shoe ‘expert’ may have recommended a heavier type of shoe with more support. Unfortunately, research shows that the type of running shoe likely doesn’t matter. A recent study published by Aarhus University in Denmark followed the running progression of 927 adults who were novice runners for an entire year. (British Journal of Sports Medicine) The runners were men and women ranging from age 18 to 65. Researchers profiled each runner’s foot to determine their most natural pronation pattern. The runners were then divided into five categories: Neutral pronation ...

How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics
How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics
By: Dr. Aaranson  Our feet withstand an amazing amount of weight and pressure over the course of a lifetime. The reality is that our feet were never intended to wear shoes, but we adopted the use of shoes through innovation, technology, and comfort. Of course, wearing shoes provide all sorts of helpful benefits, as well as protection from sharp or hard objects that can damage our feet. Shoes can also bring their own potential health risks, namely from improper support for your feet as you walk. Spending significant amounts of time on your feet without the proper support can lead to any combination of foot, knee, hip, and back pain. Wearing shoe inserts or a custom set of orthotics is one of the best ways to alleviate shoe-related foot pain and prevent further damage. 3 tips for telling if you need orthotics How do you know if you need shoe inserts or orthotics? These three tips can you help determine if you need to invest in a new pair of shoe inserts or orthotics: Look at ...

When is a total knee replacement necessary for my arthritis pain?
When is a total knee replacement necessary for my arthritis pain?
By: Dr. Richard Hulsey Arthritis pain can be debilitating. You know what it’s like to feel the sharp wince halfway up the stairs. Walking, let alone jogging or dancing, is a challenge with how much pain you feel. Maybe you’ve tried a regimen of pain medications and nothing’s worked. Is total knee replacement your final option to relieve your arthritis pain? Total knee replacements are more common than ever with an estimated 3,000,000 knee replacements to be performed every year by 2030. (AAHKS) Thankfully, there are many non-surgical treatment options to consider before undergoing total knee replacement. Is total knee replacement the best option for your particular condition? That may be the case, but the obvious choice is to consider non-invasive procedures and treatments first. Non-surgical alternatives for osteoarthritis knee pain NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can help manage osteoarthritis pain in your knee. Losing weight is an excellent way to help reduce arthritis pain by relieving unnecessary pressure. Using a cane to assist you with walking can be a good, short-term solution as well as physical therapy. (Arthritis ...

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 ...

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 ...

Getting your Christmas tree up without throwing your back out
Getting your Christmas tree up without throwing your back out
By: Dr. Keith Wilkey The holiday season is here! It’s time to deck the halls, wrap presents, and put up the Christmas tree. Before you wrestle your favorite Douglas fir into place, there are a few tips to keep in mind to keep your back and knees on the “feeling nice” list this year. First, you may be thinking, “It’s a Christmas tree! How much could it possibly weigh?” The average 6-7 ft. Fraser fir tree weighs around fifty pounds. (North Carolina Christmas Trees) When it comes time to swing that piney bundle on top of your luggage rack, you want to be careful with how your back, knees, and shoulders are positioned for the safest lifting possible. It never hurts to use a second person’s assistance when loading or unloading a Christmas tree. As with all heavy lifting, lift with your legs, not with your back. Always do a few stretches before lifting heavy objects, keep your back straight, and position your legs shoulder-width apart for maximum lifting power. If you have a taller car, like an SUV or a minivan, ...

Orthopedic Associates and Fleet Feet Sports St. Louis present “How to avoid injuries while Marathon and Distance Running” Workshop
Orthopedic Associates and Fleet Feet Sports St. Louis present “How to avoid injuries while Marathon and Distance Running” Workshop
Orthopedic Associates and Fleet Feet Sports St. Louis is teaming together to provide a one-night workshop on avoiding injuries while long-distance running. It will be held at Orthopedic Associates’ Des Peres location (1050 Old Des Peres Road, Suite 100, St. Louis, Missouri 63131) on Wednesday, September 30th, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Dr. R. Randal Aaranson of Orthopedic Associates and David Spetnagel, owner of Fleet Feet Sports St. Louis, will be presenting. R. Randal Aaranson, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon who has served with Orthopedic Associates since 2008. Dr. Aaranson has extensive experience helping runners and other athletes recover from foot and ankle injuries using both surgical and non-surgical treatment options. David Spetnagel has been the proud owner of Fleet Feet Sports St. Louis for over twenty years. He and his team love helping runners of all experience and skill levels find the right running gear and training regimens to stay fit and safe for any distance. Why should I attend? “How to avoid injuries while Marathon and Distance Running” will be jam-packed with great information to improve and protect ...