PAYING IT FORWARD

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Many times we see our glass as half empty rather than half full. At this time of year we are reminded of how blessed we are when we witness others less fortunate.

This year, with the help of Circus Arts Conservatory, we took on a rather large project for the holidays and “adopted” local families in dire need. One family had been homeless until recently. Without the generosity of others, their holiday would have been far from merry. Another had difficulty putting food on the table for seven children. Another was a single mom working full time at minimum wage struggling to support her children.  There are so many stories like this in our community and beyond. Our Giving Tree project brings to mind how lucky we are every day to have food, clothing, and shelter and how difficult it is to look away from those who suffer without these basic needs.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates our “elves” created a Giving Tree to help fill the wishes of those with very little. Not only did we fulfill every wish, we collected many extras along the way with an abundance of canned goods and substantial amount of cash to purchase food gift cards. We cried happy tears yesterday as we wrapped 85 gifts.

This morning we delivered those wrapped gifts to families. Our hearts are overjoyed, knowing on Christmas morning children will be surprised with a new bike, or skates, or clothes and have a hot meal to share with their family. To see the tears of appreciation in their mom’s eyes fills us with an awesome sense of giving and inspires us to carry that benevolence long into the coming year. Francis of Assisi said “For it is in giving that we receive”.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we are grateful for the abundance in our lives and mindful of the importance to pay it forward. It truly is better to give than to receive.  We wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, Happy Hanukkah, blessed Kwanza and most of all, a New Year filled with hope, love, joy, and prosperity.

WHEN A HAND NEEDS A HAND

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There are 206 bones in the adult body and 27 of them are in the hand and wrist. So it is understandable that most people will suffer a broken bone to the hand or wrist during their lifetime. These injuries can be debilitating since they can inhibit normal functions of the hand, while adversely impacting normal, daily activities. The frequency of hand and wrist use allows for a constant opportunity for injury.

Most disorders of the hand and wrist can be treated non-surgically with splints, injections or physical therapy. However, traumatic injuries to the hand can cause nerve, artery, vein, muscle, tendon, ligament and joint cartilage problems. Sometimes more severe injuries will require joint replacement.

While there are numerous elbow problems and conditions, tennis elbow seems to be the most common and well known. Many elbow conditions can be treated conservatively without surgery. When surgery is needed, minimally invasive arthroscopy permits the orthopedist to treat the problem resulting in small incisions, less pain and an early return to activities.

Utilizing the advancement of medicine and technology, Sarasota Orthopedic Associates’ hand, wrist and elbow specialists can effectively treat the patient’s problems. Our orthopedists’ experience-based knowledge allows them to optimize recovery and maximum function with the best possible outcome.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. With four locations we are able to provide same day appointments when needed. Visit us online at www.SOA.md or call 941-951-2663 to make an appointment. You may also make appointments online at our website.

GIVING THANKS FOR THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

At this time we stop and take a breath for that one special day to reflect on what makes us thankful. But what about the rest of the year? Shouldn’t we start every day thankful for at least one something in our lives? Our days are so hectic balancing work and family and we are bombarded with an overload of technology that it’s hard to take five minutes to go to our quiet place for refreshing our minds with thoughts of goodness. So we take this time to raise a glass of kindness and give thanks for …

Our families and friends

  • Our jobs
  • Our mentors and life’s experiences
  • Those who don’t know us yet offer a warm smile or greeting
  • Our homes
  • Our freedom
  • Grandchildren
  • Puppies and kittens
  • Coffee – and the barista who knows your order by heart
  • Our health and modern medicine to help us when we’re sick
  • Fresh air
  • Flowers and sunshine and rainbows and sunsets
  • The ocean and mountains
  • Our education
  • Diversity
  • Ice Cream
  • Teachable moments and those willing to teach
  • Music and theatre and art and creativity
  • Our men and women who serve
  • A long nap on a rainy afternoon
  • Our senses to enjoy the beauty around us
  • Hugs
  • Tears to shed for those we’ve lost and laughter to recall the memories
  • Most of all, we are thankful for YOU.

What did we miss? What makes you thankful? Everyone at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates wishes you and your loved ones the happiest of Thanksgivings.

A SUPERB HERB FOR WHAT AILS YOU?

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Fresh herbs and spices are great in cooking and add unique flavor profiles to your inspirational dishes. But, did you know grandma may be right about some of her home remedies to ward off ailments? Check out some of these well-known herbs and spices and their healing components:

BASIL – Sure we love it on a caprese salad or in a yummy pesto.  Basil is a source of fiber with anti-inflammatory agents and can act as a detox agent.

CHIVE – So isn’t this really an onion?  Actually, in reality, it’s from the lily family (along with garlic) and helps boost the immune system. The phytochemicals and anti-oxidants help fight off cancer, sinus problems, and even the common cold.

CILANTRO – Yes, we love it in our salsa and Asian cooking. It’s high in fiber and iron and is thought to be helpful in detoxing.

CINNAMON – Be careful of this one; too much cinnamon can be dangerous. In moderation, cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar.

DILL – Use this to get your beta carotene. Have hiccups? Grandma says try dill in a cup of hot water!

GINGER – A study found that 500 mg of ginger was just as effective as Dramamine for sea sickness.  Using ginger may prevent an upset stomach and nausea.

LAVENDER – What a lovely fragrance! No wonder the scent is used to aid with insomnia. Lavender contains polyphenol antioxidants.

MINT – Mint is known to aid digestion and stave off bad breath.  A mere 2 Tablespoons of mint will give you half of a daily required dose of Vitamin A.

PARSLEY – It’s not just a garnish for your meals. This herb is full of Vitamins A, C, and K as well as aiding in digestion.

ROSEMARY – Besides smelling so fragrant, rosemary is considered to have a cancer fighting agent, carnosic acid. A study done in the United Kingdom revealed rosemary to improve memory tasks.

SAGE – This herb contains antiseptic and antioxidant agents and is touted as an aid for decreasing anxiety. In European countries it is used to combat excessive perspiration, particularly with hot flashes.

THYME – Said to assist with congestion, thyme contains thymol which has antiseptic properties.

TUMERIC – This spice is commonly used in curries and is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know! And while you’re here, check out our website at www.SOA.md.  Our 12 physicians see patients in four locations and we offer same day appointments when needed. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

What’s So Special About PHYSICAL THERAPY?

 

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October is NATIONAL PHYSICAL THERAPY MONTH and it’s a time when we honor the special people on our PT team. Where do we begin?

First, let’s look at the definition of Physical Therapy: the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity using various methods of massage, manipulation, temperature, and/or exercise.

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Ok, well that’s sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Maybe not … let’s take a look at how long it takes to become a Physical Therapist. It’s a path of SEVEN YEARS minimum. Typically a bachelor degree is required with a concentration in biology, anatomy, kinesiology, or a similar study in the sciences. Then, after an impressive GPA achievement, a high GRE score, an interview process, and referral recommendations, the candidate is accepted into a physical therapy program of studies for three years. There are even specialties within the field; a few are geriatric, sports rehab, hand, industrial, aquatic (check out our aquatic therapy pool), and vestibular. By now, you probably understand it’s not a simple path to this career, although it’s a rewarding one.

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A Physical Therapist is an expert in the treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal disorders and pain relief. More important, they are educators in helping you understand your body and how to avoid injury after the healing process. Typically at a first appointment, your PT may perform a number of things including an assessment evaluation, discussion of your issue, take a medical history, check your ROM (range of motion), balance, and muscle strength. In therapy they may use modalities such as heat/ice, ultrasound, massage, electronic stimulation, and/or hands-on treatment. You’ll be given a series of exercises with instructions to perform at home that will help you heal and strengthen.

Pain Concept.

The number of visits needed will vary upon your condition. The most important and critical instruction to remember is that YOU are the key to YOUR  recovery. You play an important role in this process. Compliance with your home exercises and following the number of recommended visits to your Physical Therapy appointments will benefit your healing and speed your recovery.

So now you know why we love our Physical Therapy staff. We are grateful to them for all they do to keep us healthy and strong!  The commitment of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.  For more information or an appointment, go to our website at www.SOA.md or call us at 941-951-2663.  We have four convenient locations and offer same day appointments when needed.

SHOULDER INJURIES IN GOLF

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Shoulder injuries are common in golfers. Stresses on the shoulder are different from other sports because each shoulder is in opposition when swinging the club. The forward shoulder stretches across the body with the trailing shoulder raised and rotated. This leads to different complications in each shoulder.

In addition, the rotator cuff muscles are placed under stress as they are a major force in providing power and control of the swing. The leading, non-dominant shoulder is most commonly injured. It is placed into an extreme position during the backswing causing impingement, or, pinching of the rotator cuff. This condition causes inflammation and rotator cuff tears. The placement may also put stress on the shoulder joint and cause tears of the labrum (a stabilizing structure in the shoulder).

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Pain may be felt in the shoulder or upper arm at various phases of the golf swing, or following play, often when the arms are overhead or at night. Injuries to the shoulder may be sustained from a poor golf swing, a mis-hit, or from overuse. Golfers can develop tendinitis and tears in the rotator cuff from a combination of poor mechanics and the repetitive motion of the golf swing.

Prevention

While many golf injuries occur due to a combination of overuse and poor technique, a lack of conditioning and flexibility also contribute to injuries and pain. Tips:

  • Rest between playing to prevent overuse injury.
  • When in discomfort, decrease the amount of time you play.
  • Shorten your back swing and turn more through the hips & waist.
  • Refine your swing to decrease force on the shoulder joint; pro lessons will help.
  • Exercise when not on the course to improve flexibility.
  • Warm up with brief cardio and stretching to decrease injury.

Treatment

  • Shoulder pain should be treated initially with rest or decreased playing time.
  • It’s best to completely avoid playing until pain is resolved.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be helpful over a brief timeframe.
  • Icing over 24-48 hours may support relief.
  • Range of motion exercises should improve flexibility.
  • If pain persists beyond 7-10 days, consult your physician.

A sports medicine physician can examine the shoulder and obtain x-rays or an MRI to determine the cause of injury. Most injuries are treated with rest, anti-inflammatories, and/or physical therapy. Bursitis and tendinitis may be treated with a cortisone injection. For pain that continues despite a thorough treatment program, surgery is an option to consider. Recent advances in arthroscopic surgery allow repair of most injuries through minimally invasive techniques, enabling quick return to your game and minimizing downtime.

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Steven Page, MD is an Orthopedic Surgeon with a specialty in Sports Medicine at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. He is Fellowship Trained and Board Certified. Dr Page serves as a Team Physician for the Mustang football team at Lakewood Ranch High School. The commitment of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. For an appointment go to our website at www.SOA.md or call 941-951-2663.

Pssst … Come closer … We need to talk about an embarrassing problem

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Do you find yourself talking to your friends about how you used to be a runner? You may have run 5k’s, Half Marathons, and even a full 26.2, but now you haven’t run in years because you know when you do, you are going to experience urinary leakage somewhere along the way? You are not alone. One in every 3 women experience this problem, which Physical Therapists call stress incontinence.

Stress Incontinence is a condition where a person experiences involuntary expulsion of urine when pressure within the abdomen increases suddenly, as in coughing, sneezing, jumping, or running. Stress Incontinence is not related to psychological stress, but it can add a significant amount of stress to our lives. It can be so embarrassing it becomes debilitating. It can keep us from wanting to move, much less exercise, compounding the problem. When we become less active we lose our previous fitness level, we get depressed, eat more, and gain weight, making harder to do the things we want to do. It’s a vicious cycle, and it happens to So. Many. Women.

Unfortunately, due to the frequency of its occurrence, stress incontinence is joked about amongst friends and accepted as a normal occurrence of aging and post-partum bodily changes. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s normal, and it doesn’t have to continue to be a part of your life.

The answer is simple. Exercise. Knowing which exercises and how to do them without increasing the problem can be more difficult. That is where physical therapy comes into play. Just as with any other muscular injury/dysfunction, physical therapy may help you regain control of the muscles being affected by stress incontinence: your pelvic floor.

Your pelvic floor is a network of muscles that SHOULD act like a taut trampoline, holding your abdominal organs up inside and resisting increases in abdominal pressure even when coughing, sneezing, jumping, or running.  When this network of muscles loses its tone, (due to 9 months of continuously building pressure or any other cause) it descends and can start to act more like a hammock. When muscles are too lax they aren’t as strong and don’t contract as well.

What would I do in physical therapy to help with urinary leakage problems?

  • Exercises for postural correction that put your pelvis and therefore, the muscular network that is your pelvic floor, in a better position for functional strengthening
  • Learn how to complete core strengthening/stability exercises without increasing intra- abdominal pressure
  • Learn specific types of breath work and the connection between the diaphragm and pelvic floor
  • Learn how to control intra-abdominal pressure whenever possible
  • Learn how to properly complete a Kegel using the right musculature, and how to progress incorporating them while engaging in functional activities
  • Create lifestyle changes to decrease frequency/urge for urination; for instance, nutritional changes and scheduled voiding times
  • Learn voiding positions that decrease intra-abdominal pressure to avoid worsening of symptoms

It takes one bold move. You have to start talking about your symptoms of stress incontinence outside of your social circle. Talk about it with someone who can help. There are many different resources. While your primary care physician, OBGYN, or urologist, may have suggestions for how they can help with this issue, they may not be aware of physical therapy as an option. Physical therapy is less invasive than many medical treatments available, and it makes sense to start with the simplest, least invasive method to get you back on track.

You were a runner … You can be that runner again. Let us help you get there. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates our commitment is to get you back on your feet, back to work, back in the game and back to life. With four locations and same day appointments when necessary, our team of physical therapists and orthopedic physicians treat people of all ages. Learn more about us at www.SOA.md or give us a call at 941-951-2663. Appointments may also be made on our website.

Source: Jennifer Clarkson, DPT, L/CNMT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, as well as a Licensed Massage Therapist with certifications in Neuromuscular Therapy and Integrated Pregnancy Massage.

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Eating Well On the Road

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Today our blog features an article from United Healthcare and their publication “This Week’s Healthy Inspiration”.

How many of you are traveling frequently? Or have a long commute? Or heading off on a road trip? Don’t let traveling for work or pleasure put you on a crash course with an unhealthy, fast-food diet. ‘Nowadays, you can eat a healthy, balanced, calorie-appropriate meal no matter where you travel,’ says Elisabetta Politi, nutrition director at Duke University Diet and Fitness center. To eat better on the road, Politi suggests:

  • Take healthy snacks with you. Stock a cooler with cheese, pre-cut vegetables, yogurt and other good foods to munch on while in transit. Pack a bag with individual portions of low-fat popcorn, trail mix, energy bars, nuts or dried fruit.
  • Drink more water. Avoid the sugar of soda and other soft drinks that add empty calories. Don’t think that diet sodas and artificial sweeteners are any better because some studies find they may actually increase appetite. If you crave a sweet drink, try a little low-fat chocolate milk.
  • Pick healthy menu items. Opt for lighter fare like salads, grilled sandwiches and wraps when possible, an option easier to do now that many restaurants either post or can provide their food’s nutritional information. If you must indulge, choose small portions or share larger ones to help limit intake.
  • Eat a good breakfast. Always start a travel day with a healthy meal to help balance out what may come later. If your overnight hotel room has a refrigerator, load it the night before with cereal, low-fat milk, yogurt and fruit so you can start the day right.

The commitment of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. We have four convenient locations and offer same day appointments when needed. Call us for an appointment at 941-951-2663, or visit our website at www.SOA.md where you may also make an appointment or obtain more information.

For the Ladies: HIGH HEEL HAZARDS

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We know, we know. We can already hear you saying, “But I love my high heels”. Aesthetically, high heels make the shape of a woman’s leg more appealing yet it seems the prettiest shoes are the most dangerous. Unfortunately, high heels are the poorest shoe choice for your health, propelling your entire body out of alignment, and altering your gait. What’s a girl to do? We’re not suggesting you become a fashion “don’t”, however there are some things you should ponder before buying your next pair of high heels.

First, some facts:

  • Every day in the US, there are over 28,000 ankle sprains.
  • 55% of those go untreated as “just a sprain”.
  • An untreated sprain may lead to future instability, early arthritis, exercise difficulty, and balance issues
  • High heels pull the muscles and joints out of sync with the rest of your body, causing back and knee pain.
  • 42% of women 25-49 years of age wear heels daily; 34% of women over 50 wear them as well.
  • In 1986, 60% of women wore heels daily; that has decreased today to below 39%. Women are now opting for more comfort and there are many well- known brands offering sophisticated choices.
  • A 1” heel puts 22% of body weight on the ball of your foot; a 2” heel places 57% of your weight; and a 3” heel puts a whopping 76% of your body weight on the forward foot. Ouch.

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So, how can you be fashionable and healthy at the same time? Some tips:

  • Avoid wearing high heels on a daily basis; vary your shoe choices to rotate heel heights.
  • When wearing heels, limit wear to 4 or 5 hours at a time.
  • Limit heel height to 2”; if you need more height, choose a platform with an incline of a couple inches. A “kitten” heel (a one inch, tapered skinny heel) is a fashionable alternative.
  • Avoid pointed toe boxes that squeeze your toes together; if you want a pointed look, make sure your toes have room in the toe box before the shoe tapers (a pointy toe high heel may cause ingrown toenails).
  • Our feet tend to expand as the day progresses so purchase shoes later in the day for the best fit.
  • Perform daily calf stretches.
  • Shoes that are too large may cause blisters from friction when walking; leather insoles will help keep your foot from sliding inside the shoe.
  • Choose a thicker heel rather than a skinny stiletto for better balance.
  • Many savvy shoe brands are making dressy flats so why not opt for a pair?

If your feet or ankles have suffered the wear and tear of time in high heels, the physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can help get you back on your feet. We have convenient locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton and are able to accommodate same day appointments when needed. For more information go to our website at www.SOA.md or give us a call at 941-951-2663. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

Sources: American Podiatric Medical Association; American Osteopathic Association; Medical Daily; Women’s Health

What’s That Sound? SNAP, CRACKLE, POP

knuckle cracking

It’s a question most orthopedic surgeons get asked on a daily basis: “My joint pops…is that normal?” Like most things in life, if it’s not broke (or hurting), don’t fix it. An acute injury resulting in an audible “pop” is different from a situation such as a hip “popping” for years. Popping, cracking, or crunching of joints is quite common and often nothing to be too concerned with, especially if it is not causing discomfort or affecting one’s activities. Here are some need to know tidbits on joint popping and cracking.

What Causes This?

  • Numerous theories and causes exist including ligament stretching, tendons snapping, nerves subluxing, or bubbles forming within the joint. A recent study investigated the bubble theory using MRI videos to propose the mechanism by which “cracking” your knuckles results in a negative-pressure event which draws synovial fluid into the joint, thus leading to the subsequent pop. Why does it feel good to crack a knuckle? Thoughts are that the pressure phenomenon within/around the joints stimulates certain receptors which allows for muscles to relax. Another theory suggests natural painkillers (endorphins) are released with such activity, which may explain why it can be a difficult habit to break.
  • Other things must also be taken into account when discussing the cause of noise around a joint, such as prior injuries, surgeries, hardware/implants around the joint, and other accompanying symptoms. It is quite common for someone who injures their ACL to feel or hear a “pop” from the ligament rupturing. This must be taken in a different context from the chronic, painless popping that someone may experience around their knee cap from soft-tissue issues.
  • Lastly, arthritis can commonly be accompanied with crunching or cracking sensations and as long as it is not resulting in increasing pain or swelling, it is something that can be observed. Some older style knee/hip implants may result in noises (e.g. squeaking), and if you were experiencing this, it would likely be best to visit with your orthopedic surgeon to check the status of things and make sure the components were not wearing out in an abnormal fashion.

Should I Be Concerned?

In general, if the popping/cracking around a joint is not causing pain or swelling to occur or interfering with your function or activities, there shouldn’t be much concern. Studies have looked at whether or not cracking your knuckles would lead to arthritis, and to date, no such correlation has been shown. That said, it is generally recommended that one not perform such activities too frequently or on purpose as there have been reports of joints/knuckles becoming loose from habitual cracking. In addition, habitual knuckle crackers have been shown to develop hand swelling (not from arthritis) and decreased grip strength which can lead to decreased manual function. Nodules can also form from such activity, and this may cause cosmetic concerns for certain patients.

Common Areas to Experience It

Any joint can develop it, but perhaps the most common areas to experience it are in the hands, knees, spine, and shoulders.

  • As already mentioned, knuckle cracking is a common occurrence.
  • With regards to the knee, the anterior aspect often experiences popping/crunching from the patellofemoral joint (knee cap). This can be from mild softening of the joint, but most of the time it is from soft-tissues in the area (e.g. plica, fat pad) that simply release themselves during motion.
  • Similar to the knuckles in the hand, the facet joints and other muscles/ligaments around the spine are prone to popping.
  • The spine is a complex unit with numerous muscles, joints, discs, and ligaments contributing to its stability. Chiropractors make a living out of therapeutically popping, cracking, and aligning patients’ backs, so why would you get too concerned with your back popping if you’re not having any discomfort with it?
  • Lastly, the AC joint of the shoulder almost always develops arthritis, but rarely causes too much pain or functional limitation. Popping over this portion of the shoulder with no other symptoms is quite common. On the contrary, patients with symptomatic instability or arthritis in the shoulder joint proper will almost always have pain or issues with their function accompanying this, and would thus be treated differently to the above mentioned scenarios.

Summary

Painless popping around joints is an issue that one should hardly ever get too concerned with. If popping occurred from an acute injury or there were other symptoms being experienced in addition to it, then a visit with your orthopedic surgeon would be recommended at that point. Otherwise, keep up what you are doing and don’t let some painless noise around a joint stress you out.

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Trevor Born, MD is an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in sports medicine. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. We have four convenient locations and offer same day appointments when needed. Visit our website at www.SOA.md or call us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment. Appointments may also be made via our website.