September 15, 2016
Why do joints hurt more with age? Mice may have an answer...
Osteoarthritis affects approximately 27 million Americans. It's the gradual degradation of cartilage, which is essential for cushioning our joints. Damaged, inflamed, and weak cartilage causes pain. But what causes the cartilage to wear out as we get older?
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN found that mice who had senescent cartilage cells injected into their knee joints displayed symptoms of osteoarthritis. Mice who received injections of non-senescent cartilage cells were free from the symptoms.*
Senescent cells are cells that have stopped dividing, or simply put, stopped doing a good job. As we age we get more of these low-performing cells and they build up in joint cartilage (and elsewhere in the body), causing the cartilage to underperform.
Now that the study has found a causal link between senescent cells and osteoarthritis, it's up to the field of medicine to figure out if targeting those cells will help people get better, and if so, how. While we watch and wait for the research to move in the right direction, there are great treatments for osteoarthritis available today. Anti-inflammatory medications, injections, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, orthotics, and in more advanced cases, surgery, can greatly improve symptoms.
A well-trained and experienced board certified orthopedic doctor and surgeon is the best health professional to properly diagnose and treat osteoarthritis. He or she can set up a custom treatment plan that works for your lifestyle and goals. It will be based on your health history, a thorough examination, and you and your doctor's opinions about how best to proceed. It's most common to start with conservative treatments and if you don't respond well to those, move toward injections or surgery. Everyone is different, but our doctors are committed to improving your symptoms as much as possible. Many patients end up pain free and others improved and able to do more activities they love.
February 22, 2016
"Should I live with the pain or have surgery?"
Any one of our doctors will tell you that in almost every instance, their patient tells THEM when it's time for surgery, not the other way around. While serious trauma like fractures or other extreme injuries often require surgery immediately, most orthopedic conditions happen gradually or just aren't bad enough to have to rush to the doctor.
All of the TOSMG doctors are very skilled surgeons, yet approximately 10% or less of their non-trauma patients actually end up having surgery. There are many, many options for treating orthopedic pain. These options can either prevent surgery altogether (this happens a lot!) or put it off for months or years. This responsible, well-informed type of medicine creates important time and space for patients to decide what's best for themselves and their families.
One of the things our doctors are known for is listening. Another is investigating the whole health story of every patient and finding the best treatment program for each. Activities, lifestyle, and diet profoundly affect the body's musculoskeletal system. A course correction from an excellent doctor can make all the difference toward living a healthier life.
Here are some of the most common non-surgical treatment options you and your doctor can use to help you:
• Activity Modification
• In-Office Physical Therapy and Home Therapy Instructions
• Anti-inflammatory Medications
• Steroid Medications or Injections
• Joint Lubrication Injections
• Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
• Braces and Orthotics
• Environment Modification
August 12, 2015
Do calcium supplements cause calcium deposits and bone spurs in the body?
Having the right amount of calcium (and Vitamin D) in the diet is important for keeping bones healthy and strong. Supplements can help make up the difference between what's missing in your diet, but it's considered best to get it through foods rather than supplements. Still, a doctor may recommend calcium supplementation if there is concern that a patient's health is at risk because they aren't getting enough.
Calcium supplements won't cause bone spurs or any other type of calcium deposits in the body. Those deposits are the body's response to inflammation. When something is causing pain or inflammation in the body, it attempts to grow a protective shield to stop the inflammation from doing further harm. Bone spurs are an attempt to grow bone to fuse areas together that are causing problems. Calcium deposits on tendons or other structures are attempting to protect the body as well.
Some literature suggests that getting too much calcium through supplements can cause harm to the body, though, so it's important not to take more than the recommended amount. Current guidelines recommend that healthy adults get about 1,000 mg of calcium and 600 IU of Vitamin D daily, and elderly adults get about 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D daily. Again, that's the TOTAL recommended for each day of food and supplements combined. There is usually no need for supplementation if food is providing at least that amount.
If you have bone spurs or other calcifications in your body that are bothering you, or you just have pain in certain areas, an orthopedic doctor can help investigate the cause.
June 17, 2015
"Can an orthopedic doctor help with autoimmune disorders?"
Millions of people in the United States are afflicted with autoimmune disorders, which occur when the body attacks its own healthy tissues. Women are affected more than men. Since our joints are the shock absorbers in our bodies, they can be very painful targets of an autoimmune attack.
While autoimmune disorders can be tricky to diagnose and treat at the root, there are ways to relieve or lessen the pain that they cause. Among the most common autoimmune disorders our patients need care for are rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica, both of which can severely affect the muscles and joints.
Treatment for these and other conditions affecting the bones, muscles, and joints begins by getting the right diagnosis. After that, an orthopedic doctor will work with you to plan a treatment program based on your symptoms and your lifestyle needs. Less severe symptoms may be managed with conservative therapies such as rest, ice or heat, medications, activity changes, injections, or physical therapy. If an autoimmune disease has progressed to a more destructive point, you and your doctor may discuss surgical options to restore or replace damaged or deformed tissue or bone. At any point, we will also be happy to consult with other doctors overseeing your care.
It's our hope that autoimmune disorders will be eradicated soon and also that treatments until then will continue to improve. We want all of our patients to live pain free and be able to do what they love.
April 24, 2015
Allograft vs. Autograft: Ask Your Surgeon
Quite a few orthopedic surgeries require some type of transplant to help close a gap to replace destroyed bone or tissue. These transplants most commonly come from either the patient's own body (autograft) or a cadaver (allograft). Some synthetic tissue substitutes or tissue structures made from animal collagen are also available. There is at least one alternative using amniotic tissue from living donors as well.
Because orthopedic procedures are common in the U.S., so are tissue and bone transplants. Some estimates put the number at more than one million each year.
If you need surgery, you can ask your orthopedic doctor if he or she will need to insert new tissue into the area you're having fixed. Your doctor can explain the risks and benefits associated with each type of transplant:
• No rejection issues, since they come from the patient's own body
• Two surgical procedures instead of one, since the site where the tissue or bone is harvested from becomes a second injury
• Possible weakness or problems from the harvest site
• Extra recovery after surgery in caring for two surgical sites
• Only one surgery site from which to recover
• Possible rejection issues, since the tissue is from another person's body
• Very small risk of disease transfer (Ask your surgeon to about the sterilization and disease screening procedures of the tissue you're receiving)
Synthetic, Animal-derived, and Live Human Amniotic-derived Structures
• Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for any of these
Tissue transplants normally assimilate into the body and cannot be precisely removed after time has passed, as opposed to a piece of medical hardware.
February 3, 2015
If you suspect an injury, it's okay to see a doctor early!
In some cases, feeling pain after a sudden movement during sports or activities means an injury has happened. This type of pain is different than aching muscles after overworking, or gradual onset of joint or tendon pain. Sometimes the injury that's just occurred will feel better and heal on its own, with no negative effects.
Other times the injury starts to feel better, but without an orthopedic doctor to guide the healing, it may not heal properly. There can be other symptoms that last beyond the pain, such as swelling, weakness, instability, or limited range of motion. Over time, these unchecked symptoms can lead to more serious or even permanent damage.
An orthopedic doctor is more likely to properly diagnose and treat sports and activity injuries than another type of doctor. Here are just some of the injuries that may seem mild but can lead to complications if untreated or misdiagnosed:
• ACL tears
• "Slipped hip" in growing teens
• Hip stress fractures
• Upper-thumb-meets-wrist bone (scaphoid) fracture
• "Skier's Thumb"
• Achilles Tendon Rupture
• Inner foot tendon (posterior tibial tendon) rupture
November 25, 2014
When are injections the best choice?
There are three types of injections commonly used in orthopedic medicine:
• Cortisone is a steroid injection that is used to relieve more severe pain for those with symptoms of advanced osteoarthritis or another chronic condition or injury. A single cortisone injection can give anywhere from weeks to months of pain relief. A series of injections can be given. Patients who do not respond to cortisone may be candidates for surgery.
• Lubricant injections are for those with mild or moderate joint pain where the natural lubricant is no longer working optimally. These types of injections are made from hyaluronate, which is found in rooster combs and is very similar to the substance already naturally occurring in human joints. It's marketed under brand names such as Synvisc and Euflexxa. Lubricant injections are often given with long-term joint protection as a goal, before the joint is too degraded.
• PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections are used to speed up healing after surgery, or for an injured area that did not require surgery. PRP is made by taking the patient's own blood, spinning it in a centrifuge, extracting the healing cells, and re-injecting them in concentrated amounts into the same patient's damaged body part. It's been used successfully in a variety of patients. Athletes who need to return to their sports quickly are often good candidates for PRP injections.
September 11, 2014
Protect Your Joints with These Healthy Foods
Joints get worn out from all the activities we do. But eating a healthy diet can slow the natural cartilage degeneration that happens with age and overuse. Here are some super foods that can help:
1. Nuts high in vitamin E (almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanuts) defend against free radicals, which destroy healthy cell membranes in the joint area.
2. Omega-3 sources like wild salmon or a splash of flax-seed oil on a side dish protects against the chronic joint inflammation that begins in our 30's and contributes to joint cartilage breakdown.
3. Black beans, pineapple, and spinach are high in the mineral manganese, which plays an important role in the formation of bone.
4. Popeye wasn't kidding: eat your spinach. Kale, okra, and dairy products like cheese and yogurt are also great sources of calcium, another essential mineral for bone health.
5. Collagen isn't just for pretty skin—your joints need a lot of it, too. Blackberries and raspberries, fish, carrots, red apples (eat the peel—wash well!), citrus fruits, unprocessed high-protein foods, oysters, and garlic help the body produce more collagen naturally.
July 10, 2014
ADD to LOSE: Simple Tricks to Keep Arthritis at Bay Longer
Our sedentary (tv, computers) and singularly focused (one sport or activity) lifestyles can wear our bodies down too quickly. This causes us a lot of health problems, one of the most common being arthritis. No one wants joint pain to keep them away from their favorite things. So rather than have to completely avoid your favorite activities, why not add something good into your routine? You'll likely lose something bad...
• ADD: stretching several times a day, every 30 minutes if you're sitting or standing for long periods, and
LOSE: weight by improving muscle tone; swelling/fluid retention by improving circulation; stiffness by improving range of motion
• ADD: a new type of workout/activity every week to break up your regular training/routine, and
LOSE: the risk of injury to overtaxed joints; weight by using muscles in new ways; pain and stress from overuse of certain areas of the body
• ADD: just 10 minutes of daily core strengthening (see our May 29th post "What makes a successful lifelong athlete?"), and
LOSE: poor posture that stresses joints
• ADD: one cup of vegetables to one meal every day, and
LOSE: extra weight that puts pressure on joints
April 30, 2014
Sprain or Strain? RICE and see a doctor!
People often use the terms interchangeably, but sprains and strains are not the same. A SPRAIN refers to an injury, over-stretch or tearing of a ligament, which attaches bone to bone. A STRAIN involves injury to a tendon or muscle. A tendon attaches muscle to bone.
Symptoms can be similar:
--Sprain symptoms can include pain, swelling, and bruising. Loss of function is sometimes experienced.
--With strains, people often experience pain, muscle weakness, spasms, and a loss of muscle function.
Treatment for both is similar: RICE method
Seek medical attention for sprains and strains when:
1. You experience severe pain
2. You cannot put weight on the injured joint
3. The injured area looks deformed
4. There is numbness over the injured area
5. You cannot move the injured limb or body part
May 29, 2014
What makes a successful lifelong athlete?
Keeping your body physically active and powerful for many decades requires two key orthopedic elements: stable joints and core stability. A stable body happens all over, not with just abdominal crunches. There are hundreds of core exercises you can do intentionally, and many you can do in everyday life with just a little increased awareness of good posture.
Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Go around as much of the day as possible pretending like someone is going to punch you in the stomach. You'll feel your stomach, back, and even gluteus muscles contract inward to stabilize you as you prepare for the fake impact.
2. Stand up straight and balance on one leg.
3. Balance on one leg, keep the upper body erect, and squat down, keeping your knees over your ankles.
4. Plank: get into the top of a push-up position and hold your abs, lower back, and gluteus muscles in. For added difficulty, balance your feet on a bosu ball (1/2 exercise ball). Side planks with the body sideways and one arm up are also great for the core.
5. Even during aerobic activity, be mindful of your core. Use it to stabilize your movement instead of letting your moving limbs pull you around
November 20, 2013
Ankle OCD in Young Athletes Ages 10-16
OCD (osteochondritis dissecans) of the ankle can occur when blood supply to the bone and cartilage is very poor or cut off. The condition typically presents after trauma to the ankle. In the event of a severe ankle sprain, bone or cartilage pieces can become loose, causing pain and swelling, eventually leading to reduced blood supply. This can lead to bone tissue death.
OCD is a rare condition that often results from sports requiring repetitive jumping and pivoting. It affects young athletes during growth spurts (10-16 years of age).
Symptoms include ankle instability, pain, swelling, and ankle stiffness or immobility. Treatments for OCD include rest, ice, bracing, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. Surgery is recommended when all other conservative methods fail, if pain persists for more than 3 months, or if ankle motion is extremely restricted.
October 1, 2013
Cortisone Injection Therapy for Pain Relief
Cortisone is a steroid that can be effective at reducing inflammation, especially in the joints. Cortisone is naturally produced by the adrenal glands in your body when under stress. The cortisone that is injected into your body is synthetically produced. It is injected directly into the area of inflammation.
Cortisone injections usually begin to work within a few days and can last up to a few months. They have been found to be helpful with trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, shoulder bursitis, frozen shoulder, plantar fasciitis of the foot, and many more conditions. Most physicians limit treatment to three cortisone injections because continued cortisone usage can cause tendon or cartilage damage. Physicians usually weigh the effectiveness of the first injection to determine how to proceed with care.
September 23, 2013
Do orthopedic surgeons always want to operate?
An orthopedic surgeon is first and foremost a medical doctor who helps patients get better. Most of the time that doesn't mean actually having surgery. The doctors at TOSMG estimate that for every patient who comes to them with orthopedic problems, less than 1 in 10* will actually have surgery. So what happens to the rest?
Physical therapy, rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, changing habits, injection therapy, and stretching are among the most common prescriptions for our patients. It's only when a combination of these more conservative treatments fail that surgery may be suggested. But the simple fact is that most people get better without it.
*Estimate only. Does not include patients who are referred for a surgical consultation, meaning that another doctor has already determined, and that the TOSMG doctor agrees, that the patient needs a highly trained, expert orthopedic surgeon in order to get the best outcome.
July 10, 2013
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
The process of healing happens in several stages. Inflammation, one of the healing phases, has been the subject of a lot of exciting research in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is a fast growing option that can aide in the inflammatory stage.
PRP is obtained from an individual's own blood. As the name suggests, it has a high concentration of platelets, which are a specific type of cell that plays an integral role in blood clotting. Many factors that are that are required for cell healing and are critical for cell recruitment, multiplication, and specialization are contained in these platelets and plasma portion of blood.
To obtain PRP, a blood sample is collected from the patient. The sample is placed in a centrifuge, which separates the blood into its different components. The platelet rich plasma can then be extracted from the sample. It is treated and delivered via ultrasound guided injection to the injured area, typically bone or soft tissue such as a ligament or tendon. Following the injection, exercise is discouraged for a very short period of time.
Ongoing medial studies have shown promising signs regarding the effectiveness of platelet rich plasma treatments. Because the PRP is obtained from a patient's own blood, it is considered a relatively low-risk treatment with the potential to improve or speed up the healing process.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about PRP or other orthopedic needs. Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group is committed to pursuing the health of each and every patient.
May 20, 2013
Bone spurs (osteophytes) are the body's reaction to stimuli. When parts of the body are constantly stressed with repetitive motion, impact, or pressure, the body thinks it is injured and begins to form new bone at the location of the stress. The new bone formation is called a bone spur. People often begin to feel pain when the bone spur adds pressure to the nerves or begins to impact other bones or tendons. Bone spurs can occur on all parts of the body. For example, plantar fasciitis is a common diagnosis in the foot, where bone spurs occur on the heels. Another common place where bone spurs occur is in the shoulder.
If you do not feel any symptoms from your bone spur, it may not be necessary to treat it. If symptoms do arise, diagnosis by an orthopedic doctor followed by physical therapy can be an effective way to treat bone spurs. A physical therapist can use ultrasound and deep massage to decrease pain. Rest, icing, taking anti-inflammatory medication, and stretching are also helpful treatments for bone spurs. Surgical removal is another option.
Please call Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group for any of your orthopedic needs, where caring for families in the South Bay is our privilege.
May 13, 2013
MRI and X-ray...what's the difference?
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging and has been used for more than 30 years. MRI's use a magnetic field and radio wave pulses to form images of the structures inside the body. They do not use harmful radiation, and they are completely painless. An MRI machine is a tube that embodies a circular magnet. Within the tube is a bed that the patient lies on while being scanned, which takes about 30 minutes. MRI scanners can find things that other types of scanners cannot. They can take images from almost any angle and show a 360-degree view. This provides a very concrete approach to investigating diseases within the body. Some MRI's are closed, which can be uncomfortable for patients with claustrophobia. Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group has an OPEN MRI machine on-site.
X-ray stands for x-radiation and was developed in 1895. Lasting just a few minutes, x-rays are a painless and quick method of showing images of the structures within the body. The procedure can last about a few minutes. X-rays effectively show bones, some dense tissue, and metal objects such as pacemakers and metal plates. They use x-ray beams, which are absorbed into the body in various amounts, depending on how dense the area is. White area on x-rays are the more dense material, such as bone or metal. Gray represents fat and muscle. The biggest risk to having an x-ray is the exposure to dangerous ionizing radiation. This can increase the chance of birth defects and diseases, and can change some DNA.
Please contact Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group for your next x-ray or MRI. Caring for families in the South Bay is our privilege.
April 29, 2013
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disorder. The origin of RA is unknown. The most common area that it affects is the hands, but it can appear in the wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and knees as well.
Symptoms of RA differ from person to person, but the most common symptom is joint inflammation. Joint inflammation can cause stiffness (especially in the morning), water retention, pain, increased skin temperature, and a redness tone to the skin. These symptoms may cause patients to feel tired, less hungry, and have muscle aches. With more severe cases of RA, tissues of internal organs and the synovial lining of tendons can be affected.
Conservative treatment for RA can include:
The most effective treatment for RA is early and aggressive intervention. Please contact Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group for your orthopedic needs, where caring for families in the South Bay is our privilege.
April 22, 2013
Ganglion cysts are small cystic swellings around the tendons or joints, most often found in hand, foot, or knee. They are also known as "bible cysts" because the treatment in the past was to hit the cyst with a bible or large book to cause it to rupture.
Ganglion cysts are most common in the hand, more notably the wrist or fingers. They are often on the back of the hand. It is also common to have swelling at the metacarpophalangeal joint (where the finger meets the hand) and interphalangeal joint (the next joint out from there).
There are various causes of ganglion cysts, but the most common reason is a protruding area due to a weakened portion of a tendon sheath or joint capsule.
The most common treatment for ganglion cysts is surgery. A surgeon will aspirate (drain) the cyst and inject the area with corticosteroid. Stiffness and scar formation can occur from the surgery.
Please contact Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group for any of your orthopedic needs, where caring for families in the South Bay is our privilege.
April 3, 2013
Are protein bars healthy to eat?
For the past few years, protein diets have been the weight loss craze. Have you heard people say, "Eat more protein and you will lose weight"? The US RDA for people over the age of 14 is 46-56 grams of protein daily. The correct amount for each person depends on age, activity level, and other health considerations. If you consume too much protein, it can be challenging to your kidneys and liver. It can also cause constipation if you don't increase your fiber and water intake.
Some of us reach for a protein bar as a filler between mealtimes, and others may eat protein bars as a meal replacement.
Although protein bars brag that they have a high level of protein, there are other ingredients that may not be so healthy such as high fructose corn syrup, sugar, sodium, and partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils. Be sure to look at the nutrition label and take into account the extra calories that the protein bar contains toward your daily caloric intake.
Protein bars are most effective after a workout because they contain protein and a complex carbohydrate, which helps build muscle. To increase lean muscle, lift weights and then eat a protein bar within 30 minutes of your workout to replenish your muscles.
March 27, 2013
Is juicing healthier than eating fruits and vegetables?
Some experts say that juicing can give your immune system a boost, help with digestion and weight loss, and reduce the risk of cancer.
Juicing can be beneficial because it allows your body to focus only on nutrient absorption and your digestive system to take a backseat because the fiber is extracted. Also, for those of you who don't enjoy eating fruits or vegetables, juicing may be a way to spice up your diet.
In some cases, juicing can lead to foodborne illness. All raw foods can contain pathogens that can lead to unpleasant side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea. If you do plan on juicing, make sure to wash your fruit and vegetables thoroughly. It is also important to drink the fresh juices immediately to prevent bacteria production and some experts believe that the antioxidants and phytonutrients break down once they are exposed to light and air. Lastly, the juicing process removes the healthy fiber from fruit and vegetables.
The bottom line? While juicing is believed to have health benefits, there is little scientific evidence suggesting that it is better for you than eating whole fruits and vegetables.
March 19, 2013
How much water should you drink?
Drinking water should be an important part of your day. Water assists with body temperatue regulation and provides nutrients to your organs and tissues. Mild dehydration can include joint and muscle pain, lower back pain, headaches and constipation.
20% of your water comes from the foods you ingest
80% comes from beverages you drink
How much water should you consume?
Here's a quick way to estimate. Divide your weight in half for the amount of water you should drink. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink at least 50 ounces of water or fluids a day. You should also consider your activity level and if you tend to be more physical, add a few more ounces.
Although water is the best form of hydration, you can also consume sports drinks and juices. Take into consideration the nutritional content, such as calories, salt, and sugar level.
March 13, 2013
Are you looking for ways to stay healthy for the summer months approaching?
Most of us are fighting with time and trying to eat healthy. Besides eating three healthy meals, it is beneficial to eat healthy snacks. Snacking helps maintain your blood sugar levels and prevents overeating.
Here are some ideas for healthy snacking:
-Yogurt and Granola: Yogurt contains calcium and vitamin D, which helps strengthen bone, and protein, which promotes lean muscles
-Mixed Nuts: Contain protein and vitamin D, which has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease
-Fruit: Add pineapple and mango to get your daily Vitamin C intake
-Ants on a Log: Pack peanut butter in a celery stick and top it with raisins
-Popcorn: Popcorn is rich in fiber and low in calories
-Nutrition Bar: Choose a bar that has less than 200 calories, is high in protein, has more fiber, and has less sugar and fat
-Hard Boiled Egg: This 70-calorie snack is rich in protein
-Edamame: Try 1/4 cup of this tasty treat, which is high in fiber and protein
Tomato Juice: Just 4 ounces allows you to drink your vegetable intake
Before your work week, prepare a few of these snacks to bring on the go, and get a jumpstart on your summer diet. Enjoy!
March 11, 2013
"Who needs a gym?"
There are plenty of ways to improve your health without having to purchase a gym membership. Staying active is a great way to improve cardiovascular endurance, reduce stress, and lower blood pressure. The benefits are endless. A few great ways to stay active are:
1. Biking by the beach: A great low-impact activity that can help with cardiovascular endurance and get some much needed vitamin D.
2. Hiking: For the more adventurous, outdoorsy individuals who like to challenge their bodies.
3. Mall walking: For those who aren't as adventurous and prefer a more easygoing activity, as well as getting some retail therapy.
4. Take a dance class: Pick a particular dance style that suits your personality, and even if you are not the best dancer, you'll burn plenty of calories laughing at yourself.
Most importantly…do something that you enjoy and have fun with it!
March 4, 2013
"Proper Use of a Cane"
Using a cane or other assistive devices can help in relieving/decreasing pain, adding stability and easing the pull of certain muscles.
Here are a few helpful tips on how to use a cane:
A) Walking: The assistive device should be used on the opposite side of the affected limb. If used for balance, pick a side that's most comfortable.
Move the cane and affected limb at the same time. Stand tall with good posture and look ahead, not down at your feet.
B) Proper fit: The length of the cane should be adjusted so that the top of the cane should line up with the wrist joint when standing straight with the arm completely relaxed at your side.
C) Going up Stairs: Up with the "GOOD". Step with the unaffected limb first.
Then move the cane and affected limb up to the step together.
D) Going down Stairs: Down with the "BAD". Step down with the affected limb and the cane together.
Bring unaffected limb down to the same step. When negotiating stairs, it's always safer to use a railing with the free hand whenever possible.
February 15, 2013
"Nerve Pain vs. Muscular Pain"
Nerve pain results from damage to the nerves and is often chronic. The causes vary from chemical irritation, inflammation, trauma (including surgery), compression of nerves by nearby structures (for instance, tumors), and infections. In many cases the cause is unknown. People often report sensations such as: tingling or pins and needles, burning, numbing, stabbing, or electric shock. In some cases the nerve pain may cause extreme sensitivity to touch.
Muscle pain/musculoskeletal pain occurs in muscles or joints. The causes are generally due to injury or inflammation (swelling). There are instances where muscle pain can be caused by diseases, disorders, or medications. This pain does not usually last long and disappears when the injury heals. People with muscle pain report symptoms such as: aching, throbbing, swelling, muscle tenderness or cramping, or stiffness.
February 11, 2013
"Hot or Cold?"
People are often confused on when to use a hot pack vs. a cold pack to treat an injury or condition.
Generally, cold packs should be used during acute/sudden injuries (within 24-72hrs). Cold relieves pain and swelling. Cold packs should be applied for 15-20 minutes with a layer between the skin and cold pack to prevent frost bite. Elevation along with cold pack application can further decrease swelling.
Hot packs should be used for chronic conditions or after the swelling has subsided. Heat helps relieve pain, reduce muscle spasms and increase circulation.
The rule of thumb is, use ice for recent injuries and hot packs for chronic conditions.
If you have diabetes, nerve or sensation problems speak to your doctor or physical therapist before applying cold or heat treatments.
February 2, 2013
"Catch your breath"
Whether exercising, having an anxiety episode or a medical condition like COPD, breathing the right way is very important in ensuring that you get the oxygen your body needs. One simple, yet effective technique is called purse lip breathing.
Begin by slowly inhaling through the nose, keeping the mouth closed.
Pucker the lips as if trying to whistle.
Exhale slowly, blowing air through the pursed lips.
Exhalation should be at least twice as long as inhalation. Begin with a two 2 second inhalation and a 4 second exhalation.
Rest and repeat several times.
If you can't remember the exact steps to this technique, remember this...smell the roses, blow out the candles
December 21, 2012
Benefits of Pool Therapy: Buoyancy and hydrostatic properties of water make pool therapy an ideal alternative to traditional physical therapy. Its buoyancy property allows for decreased stress on joints, decreased pain with weight bearing, decreased tonic muscle activity and allows for increased functional activity. Its hydrostatic benefits include decreased tendency for blood to pool to the lower extremities, decreased swelling and reduction to tactile hypersensitivity. Pool therapy also has positive psychological benefits like relaxation and offers social interaction for our patients.
Keep in mind that pool therapy is not ideal for all. Please refrain from entering the pool if you have one or more of the following: fear of water, tears/breaks in the skin, incontinence, severe peripheral vascular disease or uncontrolled seizure. Speak to your primary physician prior to beginning a pool therapy program.
Talk to one of our doctors or your physical therapist about our pool therapy program available in a new facility located within two miles of our office location.
October 26, 2012
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Are you one of the 1.3 million in the United States that have rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage the joints of the body. This systemic disease affects the internal organs of the body which in turns, causes inflammation to the joint lining tissue. Pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of functional mobility are all symptoms of RA. The inflammation can affect the body's organs such as the heart and lungs. Smaller joints are more likely to be affected by RA such as joints in the hands, feet and elbows. Many times, the inflammation can cause disuse of the joint and therefore, the muscles surrounding the joint become weak. Although there is no current cure for RA, the disease can be controlled especially if you seek medical help early. If you believe you are having symptoms of rhematoid arthritis, please contact one of our orthopedic specialists at Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group. We are here to help you with your wellness journey.
October 19, 2012
Have you ever experienced a repetitive motion injury? If the answer is yes, you may be amongst one of the most common injuries in the United States. These injuries involve the tissues as a result of repeated motions like household cleaning, jogging or throwing a football. Tendintis and bursitis are both common types of repetitive motion injuries. Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon (white fibrious tissue that connects muscle to bone) which is responsible for joint movement. Common tendinitis injuries are located at the shoulder, biceps and elbow like lateral epicondylitis. The most common symptom is pain at the site and worsens with active motion. Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa sac which are located where friction may develop and act as a cushioning between the tendon and the bone. Common bursitis areas are located in the elbow, knee and hip. The most common symptoms are pain, tenderness and decreased mobility at the site. To assist with tendinitis or bursitis symptoms, elevate, rest the involved joint and ice 3 times a day for 15 minutes. If the symptoms worsen such as nighttime awakening from pain or inability to sleep on affected side, please contact one of our specialists at Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group. We are happy to help you with your wellness journey.
October 9, 2012
We know many of you are concerned because of the recent outbreak of meningitis throughout the country. The source of the tainted steroid drugs, the New England Compounding Center Inc, is located in Framingham, Mass. Please rest assured that the physicians at Torrance Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group have not purchased any of our steroid medications from this pharmacy. If you have received an injection from any of our doctors in recent weeks, and are worried about potential risks, please feel free to contact our individual physician's secretary. We will be happy to answer any of your questions and do our best to put you at ease.
July 13, 2012
iPad's have become a staple in many of our lives. Sometimes as modern technology advances, this can affect our general health. Many of recent iPad users have reported neck or shoulder pain, otherwise known as the "iPad shoulder." To prevent an "iPad shoulder," be aware of your posture and body mechanics when using the device. Just like a desktop computer, your iPad should be at eye level and a keyboard may be a great option to maintain proper body mechanics. Every few hours, stand up and stretch. One stretch that may be helpful is standing at a doorway and placing your shoulders and elbows at 90 degrees (similar to a goal post) and gently step one foot forward through the doorway. The name of the game – good posture and good mechanics with all electronic devices to prevent pain.