Protecting Your Joints

Did you know that the cartilage that cushions your joints can break down just like the tires on your car get worn after years of use?

It’s a condition called osteoarthritis. And without enough padding, your bones will hurt when they rub against each other.

This frayed cartilage can’t heal or grow back. You cannot reverse the arthritis once it has started. There are some things you can do to ease the pain and protect the cartilage you still have. Use these tips to slow the damage.  

1. Slim down if you’re overweight. It will help take stress off your knees and hips. Every pound you lose removes 4 pounds of pressure off your knee. That lessens wear and tear in the joint, Schneiderbauer says. You may actually slow the progress of arthritis if you lose a significant amount of weight.

2. Do aerobic exercise. Arthritis pain may make you reluctant to work out, but research shows that pain and stiffness get worse when you aren’t active enough. Regular exercise that gets your heart pumping will boost your blood flow, which keeps cartilage well nourished. And an extra benefit: it helps you reach a healthy weight. Stay as active as you can. Avoid high-impact activities like jumping or running. Choose walking, cycling and swimming as alternative exercises. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week.

3. Build stronger muscles around your joints. It can help your body absorb some of the shock that normally goes through your joint when you move around during the day. Try to build up the muscles that surround your joint. To improve symptoms in your knee, for example, strengthen the quadriceps muscles, which are in the front of your thigh. A physical therapist or personal trainer with experience in working with people with arthritis can show you exercises that will help.

4. Stretch every day. It will help you improve your ability to move your joints. This not only fights stiffness but also helps protect the cartilage from more wear and tear. Try Yoga or Pilates to help make you more flexible and lubricate your joints.

5. Try glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. They may help protect your cartilage, though there’s no proof that either one will rebuild it or slow down your arthritis. Some studies suggest they can ease your pain.

6. Use over-the-counter pain relievers for flare-ups. Some common ones are naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, and acetaminophen(Tylenol). Check with your doctor to decide which one is safe for you. Make sure to read the label and take them only as directed.

7. If home remedies fail, ask your doctor about injections. Cortisone shots are good for short-term flare-ups. Hyaluronan injections may help, too. It may work as a lubricant and anti-inflammatory in your joint.

Need Help Taking Care Of And Managing Your Joint Care?

 

Torn ACL? Weekend Warriors and Athletes Know your Options.

Did you just slide into home base like a maniac and something went pop? On the Volleyball Team at school and it was the finals, you jump, you slam, your knee throbs… On the ski slopes during the annual vacation, you hit a mogul mine field by mistake, you take the turn, you hear a snap…   

The term ACL refers to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. ACL tears are often the season ending injuries we hear about in sports. In the United States, it is estimated that ACL injuries happen to 1 in every 3000 people and usually occur when the foot is planted firmly and the knee pivots, twists or overextends suddenly.

When the ACL is torn, the mechanics of the knee change and create abnormal pressure on the meniscus and articular (covering) cartilage of the femur and tibia. As a result, injury to the meniscus can occur if the ACL is left untreated. Once the meniscus is injured, the risk of osteoarthritis increases sharply. Therefore, when you have an ACL injury, it is important to modify or limit activities that increase stress on the knees until your ACL is treated and healed.

Knee Facts:

  • Approximately 19.4 million visits to physicians’ offices in the US per year are due to knee problems.
  • The knee is a complex joint with many components, making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries.
  • Oral medications can mask the pain but do not aid in the healing of knee injuries. 
  • Most knee injuries can be successfully treated with or without surgery. 
  • Sadly, regardless of treatment, ACL injuries in high-school youths are associated with a 10-fold increased risk for degenerative knee arthritis later in life.  

ACL Injury Symptoms

Minor ACL tears may go unnoticed immediately but will appear a few hours later with pain and
swelling. Even with a slight tear, your knee may feel unstable and your knee may ‘give way’ with
sudden movements.

More serious ACL tears or ruptures are accompanied by severe pain and often a popping
sound. Swelling in the knee usually gets worse for several hours following an ACL tear, with the
most rapid swelling occurring within the first 4 hours. The knee may feel as though something has
snapped and walking or bending the knee is usually impossible.

The most important thing you can do immediately is to be seen by an Orthopaedic specialist.
Your injury should be assessed quickly so you can begin whatever treatment is necessary to get
you back into the game.

Contact us today. We Can Help.

Rotator Cuff Facts:

Your shoulder has an incredible range of motion, but this means that it is also very prone to injury. The shoulder can easily slip out of alignment by a few millimeters, become weak due to regular wear and tear, or become completely dislocated during a fall. The joint where the upper bone (humerus) of the arm meets the shoulder (scapula and acromion process) is called the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is the most vulnerable part of the shoulder and is where most shoulder injuries occur. To better understand what is happening inside your rotator cuff it is helpful to understand the different parts of the shoulder.

Rotator Cuff Facts:   

The term “rotator cuff” refers to a group of four tendons that attach four shoulder muscles to the upper arm bone.

  • About 6 million people in the U.S. seek medical care each year for shoulder problems.
  • The shoulder joint has the widest range of motion of all joints in the body.
  • Rotator cuff injuries are typically associated with motions that require repeated overhead motions
    or forceful pulling motions. This is an injury that is very common in athletes, especially baseball
    pitchers, football players, weightlifters, rugby players, volleyball players, swimmers, boxers, tennis
    players, bowlers and cheerleaders.
  • Continual repetitive use of the injured rotator cuff will lead to a worse injury.
  • 2-5% of the population will experience Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder), most for no apparent
    reason.
  • Women and diabetics are common sufferers of Frozen Shoulder.
  • Although the rotator cuff can tear suddenly as a result of a serious injury, most rotator cuff problems
    develop over time.
  • The rotator cuff is a shallow ‘ball-and-socket’ joint where the humerus (upper arm) meets the
    scapula (shoulder blade).
  • Deep Tissue Therapy can greatly reduce the time it takes to move through the 3 stages of Frozen
    Shoulder.
  • Rotator cuff tears occur most frequently in men, ages 40-50, who do manual overhead work.
  • The most common tendon torn in the rotator cuff is the supraspinatus tendon.
  • A complete tear of the supraspinatus tendon will limit your ability to lift your arm at your side
    (abduct).

Need Help to alleviate the pain and diagnose your problem?

Connect with us today