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Where Back and Neck Pain Begin

Where Back and Neck Pain Begin: Upper back and neck pain can stop you in your tracks, making it difficult to go about your typical day. The reasons behind this discomfort vary, but they all come down to how we hold ourselves while standing, moving, and — most important of all — sitting.

What is low back pain?

Low back pain can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back. Pain in the lower back can restrict mobility and interfere with normal functioning and quality of life.

What is neck pain?

Neck pain is pain that occurs in the area of the cervical vertebrae in the neck. Because of its location and range of motion, the neck is often left unprotected and subject to injury.

Pain in the back or neck area can be acute, which comes on suddenly and intensely, or chronic, which can last for weeks, months, or even years. The pain can be continuous or intermittent.

Common Causes of Back Pain and Neck Pain

Fortunately, most episodes of back pain will heal with time: approximately 50% of patients will feel relief from low back pain within two weeks, and approximately 90% within three months, regardless of the treatment.

The majority of episodes of acute back pain are due to a muscular strain and these will usually resolve with time because muscles have a good blood supply to bring the necessary nutrients and proteins for healing to take place.

Even with today’s technology, the exact cause of back and neck pain can be found in few cases. In most cases, back and neck pain may be a symptom of many different causes, including any of the following:

  • Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use such as repetitive or heavy lifting
  • Trauma, injury, or fractures
  • Degeneration of vertebrae, often caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, or the effects of aging
  • Infection
  • Abnormal growth such as a tumor or bone spur
  • Obesity due to increased weight on the spine and pressure on the discs
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Muscle tension or spasm
  • Sprain or strain
  • Ligament or muscle tears
  • Joint problems, such as arthritis
  • Smoking
  • Protruding or herniated (slipped) disk and pinched nerve
  • Osteoporosis and compression fractures
  • Congenital (present at birth) abnormalities of the vertebrae and bones
  • Abdominal problems, such as an aortic aneurysm

Back Pain Caused by Lumbar Spine Problems

For patients with low back pain that lasts longer than three months, or patients with predominantly leg pain, a more specific and definable problem for the pain should be sought. There are several very common causes of low back pain and leg pain:

In younger adults (20-60 year olds) the disc is likely to be the pain generator and conditions may include:

In older adults (over 60 years old), the source of back pain or leg pain is more likely to be the facet joints or osteoarthritis, and back conditions may include:

In addition to the above, there are several miscellaneous causes of back pain.

Neck Pain from Cervical Spine Conditions

While neck pain is less prevalent than lower back pain, there are several cervical spine conditions that may cause neck pain, arm pain and other symptoms, including:

Additionally, there are several miscellaneous causes of upper extremity pain related to conditions of the cervical spine.

Understanding Back Pain

he back and spine are designed to provide a great deal of strength, protecting the highly sensitive spinal cord and nerve roots, yet flexible, providing for mobility in all directions.Image result for Understanding Back Pain

However, there are many different parts of the spine that can produce back pain, such as irritation to the large nerve roots that run down the legs and arms, irritation to small nerves inside the spine, strains to the large back muscles, as well as any injury to the disc, bones, joints or ligaments in the spine.

Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Chronic back pain is typically described as lasting for more than three months.

Back pain can take on a wide variety of characteristics:

  • The pain may be constant, intermittent, or only occur with certain positions or activities
  • The pain may remain in one spot or refer or radiate to other areas
  • It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation
  • The problem may be in the neck or low back but may radiate into the leg or foot (sciatica), arm or hand.

Other than pain, back pain symptoms may include weakness, numbness or tingling.

Fortunately, most forms of back pain get better on their own: approximately 50% of patients will experience back pain relief within two weeks and 90% within three months.

If the pain lasts for more than a few days, is getting worse, does not respond to back pain remedies such as a short period of rest, using ice or heat, lower back pain exercises and over-the-counter pain relievers, then it is usually advisable to see a back doctor. There are two instances in which emergency medical care is needed:

  • Bowel and/or bladder dysfunction
  • Progressive weakness in the legs

Fortunately, these conditions are rare.

Conditions That Can Create Back Pain

By far the most common cause of lower back pain is a muscle strain or other soft tissue damage. While this condition is not serious, it can be severely painful. Typically, lower back pain from a muscle strain will get better within one to three weeks.

Treatment usually involves a short period of rest, activity restriction, use of hot packs and/or cold packs for local discomfort, and pain medication. Over the counter pain medication used to treat muscle strain may include acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), Motrin, or naproxen (e.g. Aleve). Prescription pain medications may be recommended for severe back pain.

Different Causes of Back Pain

Typically, younger individuals (30 to 60 year olds) are more likely to experience back pain from the disc space itself (e.g. lumbar disc herniation or degenerative disc disease). Older adults (e.g. over 60) are more likely to suffer from pain related to joint degeneration (e.g. osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis).

In some instances, a patient may experience more noticeable leg pain as opposed to back pain as a result of certain conditions in the lower back, including:

  • Lumbar herniated disc. The inner core of the disc may lead out and irritate a nearby nerve root, causing sciatica (leg pain).
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis. The spinal canal narrows due to degeneration, which can put pressure on the nerve root and cause sciatica.
  • Degenerative disc disease. As the disc degenerates it can allow small amounts of motion in that segment of the spine and irritate a nerve root and cause sciatica.
  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis. A small stress fracture allows one vertebra to slip forward on another, usually at the bottom of the spine. This can pinch the nerve, causing lower back pain and leg pain.
  • Osteoarthritis. Degeneration of the small facet joints in the back of the spine can cause back pain and decreased flexibility. May also lead to spinal stenosis and nerve pinching.

It is important to know the underlying condition that is causing the low back pain, as treatments will often differ depending on the causes of back pain.

How can back and neck pain be prevented?

The following may help to prevent back and neck pain:

  • Practice correct lifting techniques
  • Use telephones and workplace computers and other equipment properly
  • Maintain correct posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping
  • Participate in regular exercise (with proper stretching before participation)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce emotional stress that may cause muscle tension

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The cause of back pain can usually be diagnosed with a detailed description of one’s symptoms. The description of back pain symptoms, along with one’s medical history (and possibly diagnostic testing), will usually lead to a diagnosis of a general cause (such as back strain), or a specific condition (such as a herniated disc).

Back Pain Symptoms from a Sprain or Strain

Back sprain or strain symptoms generally include:

  • Pain is usually localized in the low back (doesn’t radiate down the leg)
  • Pain often starts after lifting something heavy, lifting while twisting, or a sudden movement or fall
  • Pain may include muscle spasms, tenderness upon touch
  • Pain is less when resting and worse during certain activities.

Lower back pain from a muscle strain usually will get better within one to three days.

Chronic Back Pain Symptoms

Symptoms that are part of a diagnosable chronic condition can include:

  • Leg pain (sciatica) and possible numbness. Pain can radiate down the leg to the buttock and/or the foot, and can be worse with sitting or prolonged standing. This type of pain can be due to a lumbar herniated disc.
  • Pain with certain movement and positions (such as bending forward, running). The pain tends to fluctuate, with low level or no pain at times, and then flare up at other times. This chronic back pain can be caused by degenerative disc disease.
  • Lower back pain, often accompanied by leg pain, which worsens when standing or walking for long periods. This pain may be caused by a small stress fracture in the back of the spine called isthmic spondylolisthesis.
  • Lower back pain that is worse in the morning and in the evening, and stiffness (usually in older adults). This back pain may be caused by facet joint osteoarthritis(degenerative arthritis).
  • Pain that is felt down the legs when walking and standing upright and that feels worse with more walking and gets better after sitting down (usually in older adults). This pain may be caused by lumbar spinal stenosis and/or degenerative spondylolisthesis.

There are many more conditions can cause lower back pain, leg pain and other symptoms; the intention of this article is to highlight the most common ones.

There are a few symptoms that are possible indications of serious medical conditions, and patients with these symptoms should contact a doctor immediately:

  • Difficulty passing urine or having a bowel movement
  • Progressive weakness in the legs
  • Severe, continuous abdominal and lower back pain.

What Can Increase The Potential for Back Problems?

There are many risk factors for back pain, including aging, genetics, occupational hazards, lifestyle, weight, posture, pregnancy and smoking. With that said, back pain is so prevalent that it can strike even if you have no risk factors at all.

Specific Risk Factors for Back Pain

Patients with one or more of the following factors may be at risk for back pain:

Aging. Over time, wear and tear on the spine that may result in conditions (e.g., disc degeneration, spinal stenosis) that produce neck and back pain. This means that people over age 30 or 40 are more at risk for back pain than younger individuals. People age 30 to 60 are more likely to have disc-related disorders, while people over age 60 are more likely to have pain related to osteoarthritis.

Genetics. There is some evidence that certain types of spinal disorders have a genetic component. For example, degenerative disc disease seems to have an inherited component.

Occupational hazards. Any job that requires repetitive bending and lifting has a high incidence of back injury (e.g., construction worker, nurse). Jobs that require long hours of standing without a break (e.g., barber) or sitting in a chair (e.g., software developer) that does not support the back well also puts the person at greater risk.

Sedentary lifestyle. Lack of regular exercise increases risks for occurrence of lower back pain, and increases the likely severity of the pain.

Excess weight. Being overweight increases stress on the lower back, as well as other joints (e.g. knees) and is a risk factor for certain types of back pain symptoms.

Poor posture. Any type of prolonged poor posture will, over time, substantially increase the risk of developing back pain. Examples include slouching over a computer keyboard, driving hunched over the steering wheel, lifting improperly.

Pregnancy. Pregnant women are more likely to develop back pain due carrying excess body weight in the front, and the loosening of ligaments in the pelvic area as the body prepares for delivery.

Smoking. People who smoke are more likely to develop back pain than those who don’t smoke.

When To Call a Doctor

Image result for When To Call a DoctorThe bottom line that everyone should remember is that if one is in doubt, consult a doctor. If back pain is getting worse over time, does not feel better with rest and over the counter pain remedies, and/or involves neurological symptoms then it is advisable to be evaluated by a back pain doctor.

When to See a Back Pain Doctor

In general, if the pain has any of the following characteristics, it is a good idea to see a physician for an evaluation:

  • Back pain that follows an accident, such as a car accident or falling off a ladder
  • The back pain is ongoing and is getting worse
  • The pain continues for more than four to six weeks
  • The pain is severe and does not improve after a few days of typical remedies, such as rest, ice and common pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or Tylenol)
  • Severe pain at night that wakes you up, even from a deep sleep
  • There is back and abdominal pain
  • Numbness or altered feelings in the upper inner thighs, groin area, buttock or genital area
  • Neurological symptoms, such as weakness, numbness or tingling in the extremities – the leg, foot, arm or hand
  • Unexplained fever with increasing back pain
  • Sudden upper back pain, especially if you are at risk for osteoporosis.

Back Pain Symptoms That Require Urgent Medical Care

The following back pain symptoms may be indications of a serious medical condition and anyone with these should seek immediate medical care:

  • Difficulty passing urine or having a bowel movement
  • Progressive weakness in the legs
  • Severe, continuous abdominal and low back pain.

People should also seek prompt medical attention if other unexplained symptoms accompany their back pain, such as fever, history of cancer, recent unexplained weight loss, pain that is so bad it awakens them from sleep, or pain after a trauma.

Diagnostic Tests for Indicators of Back Pain

Diagnostic tests can indicate if a patient’s back pain is due to an anatomic cause. However, because diagnostic tests in and of themselves are not a diagnosis, arriving at an accurate clinical diagnosis requires any test to be to be correlated with the patient’s back pain symptoms and physical exam.

The most common diagnostic tests include:

  • X-ray. This test provides information on the bones in the spine. An x-ray is often used to check for spinal instability (such as spondylolisthesis), tumors and fractures.
  • CT scan. This test is a very detailed x-ray that includes cross section images. CT scans provide details about the bones in the spine. They may also be used to check for specific conditions, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. CT scans tend to be less accurate for spinal disorders than MRI scans.
  • MRI scan. An MRI scan is particularly useful to assess certain conditions by providing detail of the intervertebral disc and nerve roots (which may be irritated or pinched). MRI scans are useful to rule out spinal infections or tumors.

Injections may also be used to help diagnose certain types of pain. If an injection of a pain relieving medication into a certain spot in the spine provides back pain relief, than it confirms that is the area causing pain.

 

If you are experiencing back or neck pain the team of physicians and staff members at TOCA (The Orthopedic Clinic Association) are here to help! For more information you can read more about our Neck & Spine Physicians and The Spine Center at TOCA for non-operative and operative procedures. For questions or to schedule an appointment with our orthopedic spinal surgery and general musculoskeletal physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists call: 602-277-6211!

 

#Results #Recovery #Relief #BackPain #PainInMyNeck #NeckPain #TOCA #TOCAMD #BackPainRelief #NeckPainRelief

Men’s Summer Health & Common Sports Injuries

The summer is a great time to build up your fitness program, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, take a vacation, and have fun. It’s also a time to pay attention to your health and safety. Below are tips to help you stay safe and healthy this summer and all year long.

Sprains, strains, tendonitis, and even broken bones are all consequences of living an active and athletic lifestyle. Luckily, with the right knowledge and preparation, many injuries can be diminished or entirely prevented.

There are two classes of injuries: traumatic and cumulative. Traumatic injuries are those accidents that happen in sport or daily life, such as rolling your ankle on a trail run or crashing your bike on the morning commute. Cumulative injuries relate to tissue damage that occurs over time as a result of repetitive strain. These types of injuries creep up and may be a function of poor posture, faulty movement patterns, or improper training.

 

The Seven Most Common Sports Injuries

What weekend warriors need to know about preventing and treating the seven most common sports injuries!

After a sedentary work week, end-zone catches and 36-hole weekends can take their toll in common sports injuries. The seven most common sports injuries are:

  1. Ankle sprain
  2. Groin pull
  3. Hamstring strain
  4. Shin splints
  5. Knee injury: ACL tear
  6. Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome — injury resulting from the repetitive movement of your kneecap against your thigh bone
  7. Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

To see how to prevent and treat these common sports injuries — and to learn when it’s time to look further than your medicine cabinet to treat sports injuries— read on.

The most common sports injuries are strains and sprains

Sprains are injuries to ligaments, the tough bands connecting bones in a joint. Suddenly stretching ligaments past their limits deforms or tears them. Strains are injuries to muscle fibers or tendons, which anchor muscles to bones. Strains are called “pulled muscles” for a reason: Over-stretching or overusing a muscle causes tears in the muscle fibers or tendons.

“Think of ligaments and muscle-tendon units like springs,” says William Roberts, MD, sports medicine physician at the University of Minnesota and spokesman for the American College of Sports Medicine. “The tissue lengthens with stress and returns to its normal length — unless it is pulled too far out of its normal range.”

Preventing the most common sports injuries

Sometimes preventing common sports injuries is beyond our control, but many times sports injuries are preventable. “Some injuries,” Roberts says, “we bring on ourselves because we’re not conditioned for the activity.” His advice: “Work out daily and get double benefit — enjoy your weekend activities and garner the health benefits.”

Every workout should start with a gentle warm-up to prevent common sports injuries, says Margot Putukian, MD, director of athletic medicine at Princeton University. “Getting warmed up increases blood flow to the muscles, gets you more flexible, and could decrease injuries,” she adds.

Overuse injuries are common and preventable, according to Putukian. “Don’t come out and hit the ball for an hour after not playing for a while,” she says. Whether it’s hiking, running, or team sports, do some “pre-participation training” first by lightly working the relevant muscle groups in the weeks before the activity.

And learn to recognize when you’ve already left it all on the field. Stop when you are fatigued. Muscle fatigue takes away all your protective mechanisms and really increases your risk of all injuries. You can always come out to play again next weekend — if you don’t get injured today.

Treating the most common sports injuries

Usually, common sports injuries are mild or moderate — there’s some damage, but everything is still in place. You can treat them at home using the PRICE therapy method described later in this article. But you should expect that some common sports injuries may take months to heal, even with good treatment. If a sprain or strain is severe, however, the entire muscle, tendon, or ligament is torn away, and surgery may be needed.

Here are some specific tips for treating each of the most common sports injuries:

1. Ankle sprain

What it is: Most athletes have experienced a sprained ankle, which typically occurs when the foot turns inward. This turning stretches or tears the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, which are relatively weak.

What you can do: With an ankle sprain, it’s important to exercise to prevent loss of flexibility and strength — and re-injury. You can ask your doctor or physical therapist to help you know what kinds of exercise you should do.

When to see a doctor: It’s important to note where the sprain has occurred. A ‘high ankle sprain’ is slower to heal and should probably be seen by a doctor to make sure the bones in the lower leg did not separate. One way to recognize a high ankle sprain is that this sprain usually causes tenderness above the ankle.

2. Groin pull

What it is: Pushing off in a side-to-side motion causes strain of the inner thigh muscles, or groin. Hockey, soccer, football, and baseball are common sports with groin injuries.

What you can do: Compression, ice, and rest will heal most groin injuries. Returning to full activity too quickly can aggravate a groin pull or turn it into a long-term problem.

When to see a doctor: Any groin pull that has significant swelling should be seen early by a physician.

3. Hamstring strain

What it is: Three muscles in the back of the thigh form the hamstring. The hamstring can be over-stretched by movements such as hurdling — kicking the leg out sharply when running. Falling forward while waterskiing is another common cause of hamstring strains.

What you can do: Hamstring injuries are slow to heal because of the constant stress applied to the injured tissue from walking. Complete healing can take six to 12 months. Re-injuries are common because it’s hard for many guys to stay inactive for that long.

4. Shin splints

What they are: Pains down the front of the lower legs are commonly called “shin splints.” They are most often brought on by running — especially when starting a more strenuous training program like long runs on paved roads.

What you can do: Rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medicine are the mainstays of treatment.

When to see a doctor: The pain of shin splints is rarely an actual stress fracture — a small break in the shin bone. But you should see your doctor if the pain persists, even with rest. Stress fractures require prolonged rest, commonly a month or more to heal.

5. Knee injury: ACL tear

What it is: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) holds the leg bone to the knee. Sudden “cuts” or stops or getting hit from the side can strain or tear the ACL. A complete tear can make the dreaded “pop” sound.

When to see a doctor: Always, if you suspect an ACL injury. ACL tears are potentially the most severe of the common sports injuries. “A completely torn ACL will usually require surgery in individuals who wish to remain physically active.

6: Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome

What it is: Patellofemoral syndrome can result from the repetitive movement of your kneecap (patella) against your thigh bone (femur), which can damage the tissue under the kneecap. Running, volleyball, and basketball commonly set it off. One knee or both can be affected.

What you can do: Patience is key. Patellofemoral pain can take up to six weeks to clear up. It’s important to continue low-impact exercise during this time. Working out the quadriceps can also relieve pain.

7. Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

What it is: Repetitive use of the elbow — for example, during golf or tennis swings — can irritate or make tiny tears in the elbow’s tendons. Epicondylitis is most common in 30- to 60-year-olds and usually involves the outside of the elbow.

What you can do: Epicondylitis can usually be cleared up by staying off the tennis court or golf course until the pain improves.

The PRICE principle for treating common sports injuries

The U.S. Marines say that “pain is weakness leaving your body.” Most of the rest of us would add, “OK, but can’t we hurry it up a little?” The answer is yes. Using the PRICE method to treat any common sports injury will help get you back in the game sooner.

First, it’s important to know that swelling is a normal response to these injuries. Excessive swelling, though, can reduce range of motion and interfere with healing. You can limit swelling and start healing faster after common sports injuries by using the PRICE principle:

  • P — protect from further injury
    For more severe injuries, protect the injured area with a splint, pad, or crutch.
  • R — restrict activity
    Restricting activity will prevent worsening of the injury.
  • I — apply ice
    Apply ice immediately after a common sports injury. “Ice is the miracle drug” for sports injuries, says Putukian. “It’s an anti-inflammatory, without many side effects.” Use ice for 20 minutes every one to two hours for the first 48 hours after the injury. Don’t use heat during this time — it encourages swelling and inflammation.
  • C — apply compression
    Compression with an elastic bandage will help reduce swelling.
  • E — elevate the injured area
    Elevating the injured area above the heart will also reduce swelling.

Over-the-counter pain relievers usually relieve the pain of common sports injuries to a tolerable level. If they don’t, it’s probably time to see a doctor.

When to get medical attention for common sports injuries

We know you’re tough — but you also need to be smart. If you suspect a serious injury or if you have any of these signs, see a doctor:

  • Deformities in the joint or bone — it looks “crooked,” or moves abnormally
  • You cannot bear weight or can’t use the limb without it “giving way”
  • Excessive swelling
  • Changes in skin color beyond mild bruising
  • It’s not getting any better after a few days of PRICE therapy

 

If you are injured the Team of Orthopedic Physicians here at TOCA are here to help! To learn more or schedule an appointment call: 602-277-6211.

 

#Results #Recovery #Relief #Injuryprevention #Menshealth #ShowUsYourBlue #SportsMedicine #SportsInjury #TOCA #TOCAMD

National Senior Health & Fitness Day – Exercise Ideas for Older Adults!

National Senior Health & Fitness Day – Exercise Ideas for Older Adults!

Senior Health & Fitness Day is a time to explore the many senior-friendly physical activity options, and to understand the importance of exercise and nutrition for ongoing health and illness/injury-prevention. A healthy diet can boost energy and immunity, and regular exercise is necessary to retain bone mass and lower the risk of fractures, and to build muscle strength and reduce the risk of falls.

Finding ways to get exercise as you get older is a smart and easy way to stay fit and improve your health. Exercise is just as important in your older years as when you were younger.

Research shows that an exercise routine offers a wealth of health benefits. One study found that adults ages 75 and older who exercised lived longer than older adults who didn’t exercise. Another study discovered that older women who squeezed in resistance, or strength, training workouts each week improved their cognitive function.

It’s also well known that regular exercise can help to boost heart health, maintain a healthy body weight, keep joints flexible and healthy, and improve balance to reduce falls.

Exercise does not take as much time as you may think. For general health benefits, older adults need about 2½ hours of aerobic (walking, running, and other activities that get the heart pumping faster) activity per week. These activities should be combined with activities that strengthen muscles at least 2 days per week.

Joining a gym and making use of the machines, trainers, and classes is 1 way to exercise. But you can also have fun there, meet new people, and do a variety of different activities that keep you healthy and strong.

Easy ways to exercise –

Exercise actually comes in many forms, including activities that feel more like fun than hard work:

* Dance. Sign up for a dance class with your spouse or a friend or carve out some dance time at home.

* Go bowling. Join a bowling league or make a weekly date with some of your friends. If you have grandchildren, bring them along.

* Rediscover a favorite sport. Whether you love the elegance of golf or the challenge of tennis, make time for these leisure activities. If possible, vary your activities over the course of each week to work different muscle groups.

* Enjoy the great outdoors. When the weather cooperates, ride your bike, visit a local park for a hike, or simply go for a walk. These are all great exercises that get you outside and into the fresh air.

* Get in the swim. Swimming is an excellent exercise choice, particularly if you have arthritis joint pain. Join a local fitness center with a pool. Work in regular swims to meet your cardiovascular needs without straining your joints.

Balance and strengthen count, too –

To help prevent falls, you also want to practice exercises that improve your balance. Yoga and tai chi fit the bill. They will also help you manage stress, feel more relaxed, and improve muscle tone. Yoga or tai chi classes are widely available in many areas, from senior centers to the Y.

Taking some time to stretch every day can also help keep your joints flexible and keep you moving well. It’s also important to lift some light weights. Canned goods from your cupboard are a fine substitute. You can also use a resistance band to tone your muscles.

Add a little “elbow grease” when doing chores and these regular activities will count as a workout:

* Cleaning the house

* Raking leaves in the yard

* Gardening

* Mowing the lawn

* Sweeping and dusting

Remember that getting older doesn’t mean slowing down. You’ve got to keep moving to stay young at heart…as well as in mind, body, and spirit.

#Results #Recovery #Relief #seniorhealthandfitness #exercise#injuryprevention #TOCAMD #TOCA #TheOrthopedicClinicAssociation

10 Common Summer Injuries

10 Common Summer Injuries – Summer is a season full of beautiful weather, vacations, sports, and other enjoyable outdoor activities. Unfortunately, summer also means an increase in injuries. There are many ways to prevent the injuries that are most common during the summer months, as you and your family enjoy the warm weather. Here you can find helpful tips and facts to help you have a safe and injury-free summer.

1. BICYCLE INJURIES: Wearing a helmet will reduce the chance of a head injury by 85 percent, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. The use of a bicycle helmet also seriously reduces the chance that a bike accident, which often involves a motor vehicle, will be fatal for the cyclist

2. BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL INJURIES: Since baseball is a non-contact sport, injuries happen with unintentional contact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Warming up and stretching can help prevent common strains and sprains. Coaches are also advised to become very familiar with the conditions of their field, and to be prepared for emergency situations with an on-hand first aid kit along with a medical response plan.

3. PLAYGROUND INJURIES: Studies indicate that roughly 7 out of 10 playground injuries happen because of a fall or an equipment failure. Pediatricians are acutely aware of such hazards.

* Ground cover is important. Stay away from concrete and grass. The best ground covering is rubber or wood chips. Also, look for rusty nails or broken equipment.

* Remember to apply sunscreen regularly while enjoying an outdoor playground.

4. ATV, MOPED AND MINI BIKE INJURIES: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises against using ATVs on paved roads, allowing children under the age of 16 to ride adult ATVs, or riding an ATV as a passenger. Additionally, that government agency urges ATV enthusiasts to always wear helmets and protective gear.

5. SOCCER INJURIES: Proper conditioning, stretching, warmups and cool-downs are key to preventing many of these injuries including the severe sprains, torn cartilage and damaged anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs).

6. SWIMMING INJURIES: When spending time at a pool, lake or shoreline with family and friends, designate brief shifts in which an adult is always serving as a “water watcher.”

Here are some other swimming safety tips:

* Never dive into shallow water.

* Jump into lakes, rivers or the sea feet-first, particularly in dark waters, where you can’t see what’s below.

* Stop swimming during inclement weather.

* Try to avoid crowded swimming spots where it’s hard to monitor your group.

* Avoid wearing headphones at the pool or beach, so you can hear any developing trouble.

7. TRAMPOLINE INJURIES: On average orthopedic physicians see one to three patients each week with a trampoline injury. Sprains and fractures are the most common among them but bruises, bumps and bloody noses are also a concern. Here are some of this doctor’s trampoline safety recommendations:

* Allow only one person on a trampoline at any given time.

* Use a trampoline net to minimize falls.

* Make sure the trampoline is situated on a relatively soft surface such as a lawn.

* Make sure the trampoline is secure.

* Keep the trampoline well-maintained. Any damage to the supporting bars or mats present a fresh safety danger.

* Untrained tumblers should avoid somersaults and other “high-risk maneuvers.”

8. VOLLEYBALL INJURIES: Staying fit during the off-season is the best way for regular players to avoid injury during games. Recreational players should remember to stretch and warm up before a game, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

9. AM– USEMENT PARK, STATE FAIR AND CARNIVAL RIDE INJURIES: The following are the top ride safety tips from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).

* Mind the posted height, weight and health restrictions on each ride.

* Read any posted safety rules for each ride. Responsible parks also have attendants who remind riders about safety rules at the start of each ride.

* Never dangle your hands or feet outside of a ride.

* Always stay in your seat during a ride.

* Always use the straps, belts, crossbars and any other ride safety equipment.

* Make sure your possessions are secure.

10. WATER SPORTS INJURIES: Many of these injuries can be prevented with preseason conditioning and a purposeful warm up before your exercise.

Although doctors regularly treat cuts, strains, sprains and orthopedic injuries from such water sports as jet-skiing and wakeboarding, they also caution against dehydration, which outdoor enthusiasts may forget about while frolicking in or near water.

The team members at TOCA and our Physicians are here to help! To learn more about TOCA and our physicians visit more of our webpages here on: www.tocamd.com or call 602-277-6211!

#Recovery #Results #Relief #TOCAMD #SummerFun #InjuryPrevention#PlaySmart #PlaySafe #SummerSaftey

New Biologic Therapies for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Our knowledge of the healing process in the human body is rapidly expanding. We have learned a great deal from studying the body’s response to injury at the chemical and cellular level. Much of this knowledge of tissue repair is now being used to develop new and exciting treatments for degenerative conditions such as arthritis…and, as always, the knee joint is getting most of the attention at the outset.

  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Platelet Rich Plasma
  • Amniotic Tissue Preparations
  • Stem Cells

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A stem cell is a cell that has the ability to differentiate into different cell types. Bone marrow derived stem cells are mesenchymal stem cells that can differentiate into soft tissues including muscle, tendon and cartilage that are most relevant to orthopedic issues. Stem cells sit at the center of a growing field of medicine called regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine aims to use the body’s own natural healing systems to repair damage, decrease pain and improve function.
Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive, same-day, non-surgical procedure that is done in an office-based setting. TOCA is among a select group of orthopedic practices that have physicians fellowship-trained in regenerative procedures. Stem cells are harvested or withdrawn with the use of ultrasound guidance through a large needle from the back of the hip. Going to a surgical center or operating room is not necessary. IV sedation is not necessary. This treatment offers a promising alternative for those patients considering having an artificial joint implanted. Patients who have continued pain despite having exhausted more traditional non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections may benefit as well. Stem cell treatments are experimental and are not the current standard of care. However, similar to how interventional cardiology has substantially decreased the number of open heart bypass procedures, interventional orthopedics is a growing field that hopes to use less invasive treatments such as stem cells to stave off or decrease the number of joint replacements and, at the very least, improve pain and function.

During the procedure, stem cells taken from the back of the hip and are concentrated using a centrifuge machine. Together with a patient’s own platelet-rich plasma (PRP), these cells are injected under ultrasound guidance into areas of damage. Though the procedure is experimental, there is evidence that these procedures are safe and effective for a majority of patients. (link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24113698). We assess stem cell therapy’s effectiveness using pain relief and functional improvement as the criteria.

To read more about Stem Cell Therapy Click here. To Download TOCA’s PRP/Stem Cell Therapy Packet information and view patient education videos Click Here.

What Should I do If I Think I’m a Candidate?
Dr. Joseph Blazuk and Dr. Richard Emerson are dedicated to quality comprehensive patient care and to answer all of your PRP and Stem Cell Therapy and procedure questions.

To schedule a consultation call the TOCA Team at 602-277-6211 today!

Please bring whatever radiology films or studies (X-rays, MRIs) you have available.