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:
- 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.
- Poor balance may be caused by a number of things. Ear infections, low blood pressure, arthritis, and blurred eyesight are just some.
- 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.
- 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.
- Safety at your workplace, school and home is important. Check for loose rugs, spills, poor lighting, and walkway hazards.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Bionic Hands? – A young Haitian boy born without fingers gets a 3D printed left hand and is now playing catch with his friends.
A New Backbone? – Peking physicians print the first 3D vertebra into a bone cancer patient, allowing new bone to grow into the replaced portion of his spine.
Skull replacements? – In 2014, Dutch surgeons replace the skull of a 22 year old female with a plastic dome for a rare headache disorder.
Science fiction? Not at all. People have been using 3D printing to replace simple devices and have now expanded into the field of medicine. Studies show that this year alone, the orthopedic implant industry is projected to grow over 7% in the United States and this demand will only continue to increase as technology improves. The ability to cost efficiently replace damaged body parts may some day improve people’s lives. Just last week a California seven-year-old received a prosthetic limb via 3D printing. Read about it HERE.
What are your thoughts about 3D Printing? We’d love to hear from you in our comment section below.
We are often asked about the significance of the tree in our logo. Truth is, we are paying homage to the medical field of orthopedics. The crooked tree symbol was first used as an illustration by Nicholas Andry in his 1741 published book on orthopedic medicine. Since that time, it has become the symbol of our profession.
The word “orthopedic” stems from the Greek roots, “ortho” (meaning straight or free from deformity) and “Pais” (meaning child). Early orthopedists would brace or splint young children so they would grow upward, strong, and straight.
Many people think of orthopedic physicians as primarily treating broken bones. We are so much more than that! We deal with the prevention or correction of injuries not only to the skeletal system, but the associated muscles, joints, and ligaments as well. We’ve come a long way in technology and knowledge from when Nicholas Andry first drew that bent sapling which has stood the test of time.
Now you know!
This is one of the most asked questions of our Sarasota Orthopedic physicians. “Should I use heat or ice?”. Here’s the scoop … (click here)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS, is a common condition that affects … (click here for more)
Sadly, 90% of the American population will experience some form of significant back pain at some point in their life. While one can get much advice from the internet, magazines, healthcare providers, and even their Aunt Edna on what is the best remedy, it is often unclear whether continuing an exercise program is a good idea following the development of acute back pain.
A good rule of thumb is that for the first day or two one should try to move as tolerated, given their level of the pain. Studies have shown that the patient who stays in bed not doing any activity will do worse in terms of returning to regular activities as opposed to those who move as best as they can and continue to try to function.
After the first few days one can start to reintroduce activities as tolerated. If, however, any pain radiates down the legs with exercise, then that should be avoided. Oftentimes, if symptoms are recurring in the leg, they may be more notable when a person is standing or sitting. In the case where pain radiates down the leg while in a seated position, biking would be an exercise to be avoided while walking or swimming would be a recommended activity. The same holds true if pain is worse with standing; in that case, biking may be the recommended activity.
In general, it is safe to exercise as long as the pain in the back remains localized and does not become worse with a particular activity. As with any condition, if these measures along with over-the-counter medication do not help over a period of a week or two, medical care should be sought. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we are well equipped to handle any type of injury, including back pain, and are committed to getting you back to life.
Paul Lento, MD
PM&R, American Medical Society Sports Medicine
These healthy habits might be counter-intuitive but they really work. Click here