Tag Archives: chronic pain

HELP FOR THE LADIES: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR ORTHOPEDIC PAIN

Does gender affect orthopedic injuries and conditions? The simple answer is:  you bet it does.  Consider the differences and where women are at higher risk and experience conditions exclusive or largely related to gender. More important, let’s look at how women can prevent risk.

Feet and Ankles

With 26 bones and 33 ligaments, so much can go wrong on both men and women. While genetics is a factor, women are two times more likely to experience foot injuries than men. So, what’s the variance? Those shoes! Stiletto heels … flip flops … pointy toes … any of these can cause a number of painful conditions like hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, bunions, poor posture, back pain and ankle strain. What to do? Be sure to stretch your calf muscles daily, opt for wedges when you want height, look for shoes with support, and alternate heel heights daily.  Check out Vionic.com for some stylish, yet practical choices.

spike shoes

Knees

Women have a higher risk for ACL tears than men. There are several theories as to why, however a common belief is that the space in a woman’s knee is narrower, leaving it at greater risk than men. Strengthening exercises like seated leg raises, side-lying leg raises, and calf raises may help. Always check with your physician prior to starting any exercise routine.

Headaches

Women are more prone to experience headaches, particularly tension headaches and chronic migraines. Of headache sufferers in the U.S., 70% have a family history of headaches and for chronic migraines, 85% are women. Among the reasons, aside from genetics, are diet, allergies, stress, sound, hormonal changes, and posture. There are multiple treatments for headaches including Botox injections of the head and neck to relax muscles. An Interventional Pain Management Physician can determine if you are a candidate.

Shoulders

This topic is common with women. Carrying a large shoulder bag can throw your body out Botof alignment causing multiple conditions. “Heavy Purse Syndrome” can create shoulder and neck pain from muscle overuse. It can also throw your entire body out of position and affect your gait. A change in posture may lead to falls.  There are a few things you can do to avoid discomfort: Use a wide strap for your bag and frequently alternate sides for carrying. Remove items you don’t need … do you really need to carry your partner’s keys or all those pens and candy? Make sure your bag weighs no more than 10 pounds.

shoulder bag

Back and Neck

Back and neck pain may be related to any number of reasons including a too-heavy purse, poorly fitting shoes, or weak muscles. Even frequent texting lowers your neck and can put extra pressure on your neck and spine … it’s good to follow mom’s wise words, “Sit up straight”! When lifting heavy objects be sure to lift properly by maintaining a wide base of support at your feet, squatting from the knees and hips (NOT at the waist), and maintaining a straight back. Pregnant women are more susceptible to low back pain due to swelling tissues along with changes in the musculoskeletal system. If a woman has back pain prior to pregnancy, she is two times more likely to experience it during the pregnancy.

Osteopenia / Osteoporosis

Lastly, the aging process may sometimes be unkind. Osteoporosis is a common condition affecting over 10 million Americans. Of those, 80% are women. It is predicted that one in two women over the age of 50 with osteoporosis will eventually break a bone. What to do?  Exercise and diet play a significant role in keeping bones healthy.

What’s a girl to do? The good news is that YOU are in control. Keep these helpful hints in mind:

  • Strengthen your muscles with exercise
  • Watch your diet and maintain an optimum weight
  • Practice good posture
  • Empty out that purse
  • Wear smart shoes with support
  • Lift properly
  • Use a cross body purse instead of a shoulder bag
  • See your physician if discomfort persists

One small change can make a huge difference. Be well!

Sarasota Orthopedic Associates has three locations and offers same day / next 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.

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TUESDAY TRIVIA ORTHOPEDIC POP QUIZ – How Much Do You Know?

SKELETON THINKING

Let’s have some fun today and see if you can answer these questions.  Answers below…no peeking!

  1. Does cracking your knuckles increase your risk of arthritis?
  2. Should you put ice or heat on an injury?
  3. What’s the #1 condition experienced by seniors?
  4. How many years of education does it take to become a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon?
  5. What’s the reason for most visits to the emergency room?

answers

  1. While the sound of cracking knuckles can be particularly annoying to some people, truth is, contrary to popular myth, that it does not increase your chances of developing arthritis. It does, however, increase chances of minimizing your grip strength over time. The popping sound you hear is merely nitrogen releasing from the liquid in your joints. That liquid helps to lubricate your joints and keep them moving. If you experience pain with the popping, see an orthopedic hand specialist.
  2. Trick question! The answer is both. Using ice at the beginning of an injury will assist in reducing swelling. After swelling subsides, heat will help to increase blood flow to the injury and may reduce discomfort. When pain is not alleviated, consult your physician.
  3. The most common complaint among the elderly is arthritis and over 50% of seniors experience discomfort from this chronic condition. Unfortunately, arthritis is part of the aging process, however, there are many simple remedies such as NSAIDS and exercise to alleviate the associated discomfort. There are more options for more aggressive pain. As with any condition causing pain, a visit to your physician is warranted.
  4. It typically takes 14 years of education to become a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon. The requirements are 4 years of an undergraduate degree, 4 in medicine, 5 in a residency program, and 1 in fellowship. That’s a lot of education and it ensures you’re in good hands!
  5. Most emergency room visits are from falls and injuries. Sports injuries are common among youth sports participants, weekend warriors, professional athletes, and even “DYI” homeowners. Falls are particularly common among the elderly population and may occur from balance disorders, slip & falls, medication, obesity, walkway hazards, or poor footwear.

How did you do with your answers? Any surprises?

If you have a chronic pain or injury, you’ll be pleased to know Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offer same day/next day appointments at all three of our locations when needed. Check out our website at www.SOA.md or call us at 941-951-2663.

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THE SUPER SEVEN

superfoods

Our previous blog post talked about foods and drinks to NOT put into your body. Now let’s talk about the 7 foods that are nutritious AND taste good to help preserve your musculoskeletal system.

  1. Salmon is often referred to as a “super food”, packing a punch of protein, minerals, and vitamins like B12. Most important: salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt because the liquid is drained giving it a creamy texture. It contains probiotic cultures and is lower in lactose than regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, zinc, and B12. Stir some blueberries or strawberries into a cup of plain Greek yogurt and you have a great kick start to your day.
  3. Sweet potatoes are another “super food” and extremely versatile. Plain or fancy with stuffing or toppings, they are high in fiber and potassium. They are also known to maintain a healthy blood pressure. A sweet potato contains more nutrients and less calories than a white potato.
  4. While dairy products are essential to a child’s growth, it can be a source of discomfort for some adults. Dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D, along with other nutrients, to help keep bones and teeth strong. For those on a diet, you may opt for a fat free version and there are lactose free brands for those with a low tolerance. Both still have the calcium that is provided in regular milk.
  5. When your mom told you to eat your veggies, she was on to something. Leafy greens should be your “go-to” vegetable whenever possible. Greens like broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach, romaine lettuce, and arugula contain essential vitamins like A (for the immune system), C (for tissue repair), and K (for blood coagulation). Nuts may also lower your blood sugar. The best nuts for your health are almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews, however, go easy since a large handful may contain as many as 200 calories.
  6. Another great source of fiber and vitamin B can be found in beans. They may also help lower cholesterol and blood sugar. The best beans with benefits are chickpeas, lentils, peas, kidney and black beans.
  7. Figs, dried or fresh, are rich in fiber and give you a feeling of fullness. They are also high in calcium to help promote bone health.

So there you have it. Add these “Super 7” to your regular diet and you’re on your way to a healthy eating habit. When you do have pain or injury to your musculoskeletal system, Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can be your “go-to” place for help. We have 3 convenient locations and offer same or next day appointments when needed.

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WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I HAVE AN MRI?

O-Scan-In-Use     GE-Signa-HDe-1_5T-MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging, also known as an MRI scan, uses radio waves and magnets along with a computer to create detailed two-dimensional or three-dimensional images of organs and tissues. Radio signals given off by the body are digitally processed to produce images based on both the body’s anatomy and its chemical composition. There is no radiation involved in the MRI exam. Patients who know what to expect tend to have less anxiety about this painless, non-invasive test.

Preparing for an MRI

Most MRI scans do not require dietary restrictions before the test. Leave jewelry at home since it will have to be removed for the test. You will be asked to place your belongings in a locker and change into a gown. Once you are in the exam room, the technologist will confirm your identification and exam orders. An MRI exam is probably one of the easiest and most comfortable medical exams you may ever experience.

During the Test

For some patients, your doctor will order an injection of contrast dye through an IV, which will be inserted just before the scan. This simply makes details of the MRI more clear. You will be asked to lie on a cushioned table that will automatically move into the magnet after you’ve been comfortably positioned. During the test, the technologist will be in another room with a glass window and can be contacted by you through a microphone or a buzzer that you will hold.

While it’s important to lie still during the procedure, the scan itself is painless. Banging, thumping, or tapping noises may be heard, so we provide non-magnetic headphones for you to listen to your choice of music during the test. The entire MRI takes between 15 and 60 minutes to complete depending on the size and number of body parts to be scanned. We also offer Extremity MRI for hand, wrist, foot, or knee scans; this technology places only that specific body part to be inserted into the machine, rather than a full scan. When the screening is over, you may resume normal activities, including working and driving, right away.

Patients experiencing pain or musculoskeletal issues can schedule an appointment with Sarasota Orthopedic Associates at any of our three locations by calling 941-951-2663 or going to our website here. In addition to MRI and other imaging tests, we offer specialized care for chronic and acute conditions of the foot, ankle, hip, knee, shoulder, spine, elbow, hand, and wrist.

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FUN FOOD & FITNESS QUIZ – TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

fitness-aging[1]

Nowadays we’re more prone than ever to think about our health and ways to stay fit. With so much information and “mis”-information out there in cyberspace to “digest”, it’s not easy making wise choices”. It’s difficult to separate myth from fact. Take our quick quiz and see how much you know. Then check your answers below.

  1. You stuffed yourself by binging on fatty foods at a party. What’s the best way to counter your overeating: Take a walk for 30-45 minutes OR Fast for the next 12 hours.
  2. Which burns more calories: swimming OR jogging?
  3. Cycling OR Aerobic Dancing?
  4. At PF Chang’s Restaurant which is the lowest in calories: Crisp Salad, or an Egg Roll?
  5. Which burns more calories: Boxing OR Jumping Rope?
  6. Which has more calories: a Starbucks Grande Caramel Frappuccino OR an Applebee’s Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad?
  7. What is the strongest muscle in the human body?
  8. Which contains more lycopene: a cup of watermelon or a tomato?
  9. What is the longest bone in the human body?
  10. Which burns more calories: cardio OR strength training?
  11. BONUS QUESTION – True or False? Crunches are the best way to lose belly fat.

apple

ANSWERS:

  1. If you said take a walk, then pat yourself on the back. Fasting throws your metabolism out of whack while walking burns off a few calories, increases blood flow, and relieves stress.
  2. Swimming wins this one with approximately 580 calories burned vs 390 from jogging. Plus it’s more fun!
  3. The winner here is cycling but not by much. An hour of cycling burns approximately 480 calories vs. 440 from aerobic dancing, plus you get some fresh air. Which brings up another point … indoor cycling and outdoor burn equal calories so either way, you’re shedding those calories.
  4. You may be pleasantly surprised to know that the egg roll has 180 calories with 6 fat grams while the salad contains 270 calories and 22 fat gram. Sometimes the tastier choice actually IS better for you!
  5. Boxing takes the bigger punch on this one with 720 calories. Jumping rope is good aerobic exercise as well with 670 calories burned.
  6. You’ll be glad to know that while the Frappuccino is full of sugar, it has far less calories and fat than the salad which weighs in at a whopping 1,290 calories. There are far better salad choices out there, so think before ordering!
  7. This is a tricky one and there may be a couple of “correct” answers. There are different ways to measure strength: dynamic, elastic, and endurance. To complicate things even more, there are 3 types of muscles: cardiac, smooth, and skeletal. Most will say the strongest is the masseter, or jaw muscles, because it is based on weight and ability to force as much as 200 pounds on the molars. For more on this subject, check out this link: https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/muscles.html
  8. In a one cup comparison, watermelon edges out tomatoes by a slim margin. Lycopene is a free-radical antioxidant able to fight some cancers. You can also get a healthy dosage of lycopene in pink grapefruit, red peppers, mangos, and carrots. Think “red” although some other non-red foods like asparagus contain lycopene.
  9. The femur, or thighbone, wins this one and comprises about one quarter of the height of an adult. Runner up is the tibia, or shinbone. The smallest? It’s the stapes, or stirrup, located in the ear.
  10. Both are important. Cardio will burn more calories, but won’t do much for your muscles. With strength training for every three pounds of muscle you gain, you may burn an extra 120 calories a day without even trying. The best solution? Do both!
  11. The most popular abdominal exercise in existence is not the best way to trim your midsection. They will tone a small portion of your abs, however your shoulders and butt need to move as well to be effective. Your waistline will sculpt faster by doing planks. If you do decide to do crunches, make sure you’re doing them correctly or you could put your spine into a painful situation.

So how did you do with your answers? At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we treat conditions of the musculoskeletal system with skilled physicians at each of our four locations. If you have chronically sore muscles, aching joints, or suffer from pain, call us at 941-951-2663 (BONE) or check our website www.SOA.md by clicking HERE. You may also obtain an appointment with us via our website BUTTON “request an appointment” which directly reaches our skilled scheduling team.

Driving … A Pain In The Neck? AND IN MY BACK!

driving neck pain

We’ve heard many times about how important it is to maintain good posture at our workplace desks to protect our neck and spine, however most of us don’t give it a second thought when driving. Unlike sitting in a chair, the spine experiences variations of force when in a car. Vibrations from car movement may push on the discs, our internal “shock absorbers”, acting as cushions.

Proper driving posture and seat positioning may avoid a myriad of chronic problems. Here are some helpful tips to avoid discomfort:

Position your car seat to the proper height and distance across from the wheel so that your hands can comfortably reach the recommended “10 and 2” or “9 and 3″ location.

  • Your thighs should rest as much as possible on the seat in order to align your knees on the same level plane as your hips.
  • Elbows should be slightly bent.
  • Consider using a neck support, one similar to that used on a plane. This keeps your neck straight. Even a 20 degree downward curve in the neck will cause stress over time.
  • If you have lumbar support in your car, use it. If not, use a portable back support or a rolled up sweater to place at the small of your back.
  • A seat cushion used for extra padding will help protect your spine from a bumpy ride.
  • For long rides, take regular breaks; get out and s-t-r-e-t-c-h.
  • If you have cruise control, use it to give your back a rest. Place both feet firmly on the car floor. Bend your ankles a few times to stimulate blood flow.

seat-position

Whatever the cause of your neck or back pain, don’t delay having it checked. Chronic pain needs assessment, particularly if it’s worse at night and wakes you up from your sleep.

The physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are experts in diagnosing, evaluating, and treating neck and back pain. Call us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment at one of our four locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, or Bradenton. For more information about us, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/srqsoa or our web page at www.SOA.md