KEEP CALM AND EAT DARK CHOCOLATE …

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For years, we’ve been told to eat healthy and exercise daily, but who can resist the sensual temptation of a Godiva Cappuccino truffle, a Ghirardelli Evening Dream Bar, or a classic Lindt treat? Gosh, even a milk chocolate Hershey kiss will do in a pinch when getting a yen for chocolate.

News broke last week from a new study with a burst of excitement … chocolate may be GOOD for you. WooHoo. A recent discovery of PHENOLIC ACTIVE COMPOUNDS (anti-oxidants) found in THEOBROMA CACOA (cocoa seed) has shown to have abundant benefits by eating chocolate, particularly dark chocolate.   Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of these compounds with little sugar while milk chocolate still contains the beneficial compound but with higher sugar content.

There are health risks and those include a high calorie count and a contributing factor to bone density health. However, the potential benefits include:  blood pressure improvement, mood enhancement, appetite reduction, stroke prevention, improved memory, increased HDL cholesterol (the good kind), reduced cardiovascular risk, lower stress levels, and even skin improvement. This doesn’t give us the green light to stuff ourselves with high quantities of chocolate but it does give some satisfaction minimizing our guilt when enjoying an occasional dark truffle.

More research is still being done and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS check with your physician before adding chocolate to your diet. Since seeing my family physician last week, I now hear a Dove Dark Promise calling my name.

Your thoughts?  Comment below.

More information on us? CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

Treating Arthritic Back Pain: A SOLUTION

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Arthritis or Osteoarthritis that causes back pain can be a debilitating condition for the people who suffer from it, and a challenging condition for physicians to treat. Arthritis of the back affects the facet joints in the spine and although these joints can be injected, studies have shown that this may only provide temporary pain relief.  With the recent technological advances in the field of interventional pain medicine, physicians now have the ability to block the pain from these joints for a much longer period of time.

Radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure in which a specialized needle is used to apply heat directly to the nerves causing pain. After the nerves are heated, they are unable to continue sending pain signals. In addition to back pain, radiofrequency ablation is often used to treat buttock pain, posterior thigh pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches. Studies have shown that radiofrequency ablation can reduce pain severity and frequency in the majority of patients with facet arthritis for up to one to two years.

Radiofrequency ablation is carried out in two steps. In the first procedure, which is diagnostic, a medication is injected into the back over the sensory nerves of the facet joints, also known as the medial branch nerves. This medication serves to temporarily block the pain signals.

If a patient gets pain relief from the diagnostic procedure, the doctor will move forward with the second step, which is the actual radiofrequency ablation.

OOOOOH BABY – PEDIATRIC ORTHOPEDIC CARE

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Did you know that Sarasota Orthopedic Associates provides orthopedic care for children as well as adults?

A pediatric orthopedic physician is specially trained in treating children from newborns to teens. Children are not just small adults. Many times, they are unable to communicate their discomfort or comply during an exam. Pediatric orthopedic physicians are experts in approaching children effectively to provide the best treatment in a friendly setting.

Typical pediatric orthopedic treatments may include those of child spinal deformity, limping/gait, broken bones, and joint infections or tumors. Children are still in a rapid growth phase and respond differently to treatment than adults. The good news is the bones of children heal faster than an adult.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we see many child/teen sports injuries involving the elbow, shoulder, ankle, and knee from activities like baseball, football, and gymnastics. These injuries may be either traumatic events like a fracture, or, a minor injury like a sprain from overuse; both injuries benefit from the skill and expertise of a pediatric orthopedic physician.

Our children are our greatest natural resource and the pediatric orthopedic physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are trained to help keep your children healthy, strong, and thriving. Check HERE for more.

WHEN A HAND NEEDS A HAND

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Many people are unaware that there are specialties within physical therapy treatment.  One of those specialties is Hand Therapy which requires an extensive amount of additional training and certification examination. A candidate must have a minimum of five years as an Occupational or Physical Therapist and accumulate at least 4,000 hours of hand and upper extremity experience.

So what, exactly, do Hand Therapists do? Hand Therapists, in coordination with an orthopedic physician, provide therapy for the hand, wrist, arm, elbow, and shoulder. They manage conditions such as tendon injuries, crush injuries, amputations, and nerve compression to name a few.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we are so proud to offer hand therapy at all three of our locations.  Vivian Robinson, OT/CHT is an Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist with 27 years of experience. Sangeetha Bulusu, OT/CHT/CLT is and Occupational Therapist, Certified Hand Therapist, and Certified Lymphedema Therapist with 22 years of experience. Maggie Hilton, OT is an Occupational Therapist with 17 years of experience. These highly skilled women provide therapy under the direction of our SOA physicians, particularly Dr Michael Gordon, a general and pediatric orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in upper extremities, and, Dr Gregory Farino, a general orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in hand and wrist.

This week is HAND THERAPISTS week and we are so proud to highlight our fine team of skilled therapists and physicians who work in tandem for your optimal results. Check out this link on our web page to learn about hand, wrist, and upper extremity treatment.

THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT OF ALL …

Senior Couple Enjoying Beach Holiday Running Down Dune

… is hearing recovery success stories from our patients.  Whether it’s in person, on Facebook, a patient survey, a phone call or a letter, we never tire of hearing how we were able to help you. We love knowing you are now able to walk without pain, or lift your grandchild again, or improve your swing on the golf course. We share in your joy and enthusiasm of returning to your lifestyle.  We say it in our mission statement and we sincerely believe it:   Our commitment is to get our patients, back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and BACK TO LIFE.

The highest compliment of all is sending your friends and family members to us when they need an orthopedic physician. Our patients are thrilled to learn that surgery is many times not their only option when they come to us.  We know you have choices, and when you choose SOA, it tells us you’ve placed your confidence and trust in us … THAT makes us proud. Thank you, we appreciate it!

Add our link to home page and Learn more about us HERE.

AN MRI EXAM IN COMFORT? NO WAY!

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An MRI exam (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) can be restricting, loud, and uncomfortable for some people. Others may even experience claustrophobia (fear of closed in spaces).

Now say “goodbye” to the traditional MRI when needing a scan of an extremity. SOA is pleased to announce our newest technology, the digital O-Scan Dedicated Extremity MRI. This new MRI is built ergonomically with patient comfort in mind while providing impeccably detailed imaging of a finger, hand, wrist, elbow, arm, toe, foot, ankle, leg, or knee. Only the extremity needing to be scanned is inserted into the MRI … your head and body remain outside the magnet on a comfortable bed. In fact, it’s so comfy and quiet, you may want to read a book or even nap!

The O-Scan MRI is offered at our Venice office, located at 435 Commercial Court. Visit our website HERE to learn more about Sarasota Orthopedic Associates facilities and our physicians.

EAT SMART TO MANAGE YOUR ARTHRITIS

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At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we see so many patients of all ages with arthritis on a daily basis and unfortunately, it’s a condition most of us will eventually experience. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) published these alarming statistics:

  • 1 in 2 people will have osteo-arthritis by the time they reach 85 years of age
  • 2 in 3 people who are obese will experience arthritis in their lifetime
  • 1 in 4 will develop hip arthritis
  • 1 in 250 children under 18 years of age already have some form of arthritis
  • 50% of adults report having arthritis
  • By 2030, over 65 million people will have a physician diagnose them with arthritis

While there is no current cure, there are ways to relieve the inflammation and discomfort accompanying arthritis. The most important protocol you are able to control is diet.

Foods to avoid are sugar, alcohol, MSG, white carbohydrates, red meat, trans-fats (found in many packaged foods … read the labels!), tomatoes, and fatty acids (found in certain oils and dressings).

Your best diet to help contain inflammation should include ginger, walnuts, red bell peppers, carrots, beans, fish, fiber, watermelon, flax seed, apples, cherries, and berries. Read more here for more ways to manage your arthritis.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we have 3 locations with 12 physicians who are able to help you better manage and treat your discomfort from arthritis. We offer same day appointments. Click here to learn about our facility and physicians or, call us at 941-951-BONE to schedule an appointment.

 

 

 

 

7 FEAR FACTORS OF FALLING

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Accidental falls can happen for many reasons.  Sometimes they happen because we may be having a clumsy day or simply not paying attention.  Falls are the #2 leading cause of accidental deaths in the world. Falling is not limited to the aging process; toddlers learning to walk and even young children on playground equipment are candidates.  Most accidental falls occur for reasons we might be able to control:

  1. Certain medications may have side effects causing dizziness. Read the labels, check with your pharmacist, and most important, tell you doctor about all your medications including supplements.
  2. Poor balance may be caused by a number of things. Ear infections, low blood pressure, arthritis, and blurred eyesight are just some.
  3. Lack of activity allows muscles to atrophy; regular exercise, even daily walking helps keep muscles and bones strong and resilient. Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen.
  4. Improper footwear can contribute to a mishap. High heels put the body into imbalance. Flip flops contribute to multiple foot issues. Even poorly fitting sneakers can put you at risk.
  5. Safety at your workplace, school and home is important. Check for loose rugs, spills, poor lighting, and walkway hazards.
  6. If you’ve had a previous fall, you may have weakened a joint, muscle, tendon, or ligament. Proper physical therapy to strengthen a particular area may help avoid future falls.
  7. Finally, the aging process makes us more susceptible to accidental falls so it’s important to maintain a healthy diet, keep weight in check, reduce stress levels, and exercise regularly.

If you do fall, SOA is here to help you get back on your feet.  With 12 physicians in 3 locations, we are able to offer same day appointments.  We treat children as well as adults. Read more about our physicians HERE.

 

10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT WEAR FLIP-FLOPS

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It’s hard to NOT wear flip flops when you live in a gorgeous, sunny climate like Sarasota, Florida. What you might not know, is that you may end up paying a high price in foot damage from the much-loved tropical footwear. Wearing flip flops on a regular basis can lead to infection, not to mention making you accident prone and ending up with poor posture.  Learn about the hazards here.

CANDY CRUSH INJURIES? Are you addicted?

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You may have heard the recent story (click here) about a man who suffered a ruptured thumb tendon from playing the video game Candy Crush for hours at a time. Apparently the thrill of the game masked the pain which eventually resulted in his rupture. For others, there have even been reports of severe eye strain from long spans of video gaming.

Keeping your hand in one position for extended periods of time can cause cramping and reduced blow flow. Simple finger/wrist stretching may help prevent pain and injury and breaks every 30 minutes have been recommended to help alleviate eye strain as well as hand pain. Pain free movement will allow you to enjoy the game safely.

Have you ever experienced pain from video gaming overuse, and what you did to overcome that? We’d like to hear from you in the comment section below.