Monthly Archives: June 2016

TEXT NECK … Is that really a “thing”?

June 28, 2016

texting adults

Indeed it is. Think about it. We spend much of our day with our heads lowered to read our smartphones. It’s not unusual to see people “text-walking” or worse, driving while texting. With all the advantages of having a world of information at our fingertips, there is also an associated health risk.

There are over 4 billion mobile devices in the world and the average American usage is 2.7 hours per day communicating on these devices. It’s no wonder we have sore necks and shoulders. In fact, it’s becoming an epidemic affecting millions and it’s growing.

Constant lowering of the neck to look downward puts the spine in an unnatural curve that can cause reduction in the cervical spine, thus creating a “pain in the neck”. Worse, that pain can radiate through the shoulders, creating tension, and even debilitating headaches. As the situation intensifies, the arms may become weak, numb, or tingle. Over time, this pattern can become lingering and as a result, a challenge to treat.

The average head weighs about 10 pounds. When tilted downward 15 degrees, the force of your head on your cervical spine increases to about 25 pounds. The more tilt, the more weight; that can be up to as much as 60 pounds of force on your neck. Prolonged tilting downward creates excessive strain causing stress injury. Over a long period of time it may even lead to spinal misalignment, early onset of arthritis, disc compression, or nerve damage.

text neck

So how do we combat this growing concern? Resistance and strengthening are keys to reinforce the neck and shoulder muscles and offset damage. Taking frequent breaks, maintaining good posture, and doing neck stretches help circumvent damage. Most important, when using a mobile device, place it at eye level to avoid tilting of the neck. Remember … Hold Your Head Up!

If you believe you have “text neck” or any form of musculoskeletal pain, Sarasota Orthopedic Associates has four convenient locations to help you alleviate your discomfort. We offer same day appointments when needed. Give us a call at 941-951-2663 (BONE) or check our website here for more information.

 

Sources:   WFLA; LA Times; Today Health & Wellness

This entry was posted in on June 28, 2016 by sarasotaAdmin.

SUMMER IS A PERFECT TIME FOR POOL THERAPY

June 22, 2016

pool therapy

One of the advantages living in Florida is our sunny weather year round so it is not unusual to have daily access to a pool, whether at a private home, community development, or a local Y. Even if you’re in a climate with cold winter temperatures, there are gyms offering year round swimming. From an orthopedic perspective, swimming is one of the most beneficial exercises you can do, and better yet, it can be so much fun that you don’t think of it as exercise.

When prescribed as Aquatic Therapy, there are many techniques and forms of bodywork. Applications include those for spine pain, musculoskeletal discomfort, post-operative rehabilitation, and disabilities or disorders. It may be most beneficial when non-weight bearing exercises are needed or when normal range of motion is limited due to pain, inflammation, or rehabilitation.

Water has properties that provide resistance which are beneficial in exercising. Because of these properties, the muscles actually work harder when submerged in water compared to doing that same exercise on dry ground. Try to imagine running through water and how much more difficult it would be and how much more time it would take to cover the same distance as running a mile on land. Submersion into the water makes it harder to move because of the buoyancy. This resistance also helps tone muscle and improve balance.

Pool exercise can also burn calories. An average 30 minute pool exercise routine can burn off approximately 300 calories. The water also helps reduce body fatigue as it supports so much of the body weight. Pool exercises, done three or four times a week, could result in weight loss and be fun in the process!

Water is also known to have an added benefit on the body and brain. There is a theory called “blue mind” that suggests being close to, in, over, or under the water makes us happier and healthier. For this reason, yoga studios and massage spas incorporate waterfalls into their décor. The gentleness of being near or in the water sends a soothing feeling of relaxation and can lower blood pressure.

PT Pool

Pool therapy has become a widely accepted form of exercise and is now offered in many gym facilities, parks, and community developments. The Arthritis Foundation has even partnered with many YMCA’s across the country in a program called PACE, or People with Arthritis Can Exercise. In fact, they have an excellent website with great tips for a water walking routine. Always check with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/simple-routines/water-walking.php

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we have an on-site therapy pool at our Bahia Vista location as well as a team of expert physical therapists at our offices. To learn more about us, click here or call us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment.

 

Sources: brainline.org; SOA.md website; Wikipedia; Arthritis Foundation

This entry was posted in on June 22, 2016 by sarasotaAdmin.

BACK TO LIFE: MANAGING YOUR HIP PAIN

June 15, 2016

    hip pain woman

Hip pain is a very common complaint we hear from patients at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. A decrease in mobility may make your daily activity problematic, depending on the severity. Did you know hip pain stems from many different causes?

We typically think of a broken hip as a condition suffered by the elderly, however hip fractures can occur in younger patients, particularly from a traumatic injury such as a serious fall, sports injury, or auto accident. These injuries may also involve labral tears, impingement, avascular necrosis (loss of blood to the bone), bursitis, and muscle tears.

The most common condition we see as a cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease. This is the wear and tear of the joints occurring when the cartilage (or cushion) between joints breaks down. Characteristic indicators of OA might be pain, stiffness, swelling, and/or loss of mobility. Currently there is no cure for arthritis, however there are many ways to help manage it.

hip pain

Whether trauma or arthritis, at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we begin with a comprehensive evaluation to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Typically we you will have a digital x-ray taken on-site in our office at your first appointment. Having on-site technology allows for a prompt diagnosis. Knowing the exact problem is essential to determining the best treatment options for you.

In the case of a less serious hip injury, Physical Therapy may be all that’s needed to extend your range of motion and manage your condition. PT and regular low impact exercise, such as bike riding or walking, may strengthen your muscles and help relieve discomfort in the joints. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) or aspirin may be helpful, although should not be used on a long term basis. Other options include cortisone injections and PRP (platelet rich plasma) however, PRP is not a covered benefit of insurance and there is currently not enough scientific data to validate its effectiveness. It is important to know that nothing currently will regrow cartilage nor correct alignment.

hip injection

If measures to alleviate hip pain fail, you may want to explore a discussion with us about hip replacement surgery. You may be surprised to learn that hip replacement surgery can mean a relative quick recovery time. Everyone is unique so your timeline could be longer or shorter depending on individual circumstances. You will likely be in the hospital for about three days. A day or two after surgery you will start moving with assistance. Physical therapy will be fundamental to an optimal recovery. After 12 weeks, you may be able to resume normal activity under consent from your surgeon. In every case, it’s vitally important to discuss your situation with a skilled surgeon and listen closely to their advice.

The team of physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are experts in diagnosing and treating your condition. We have four convenient locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and are able to accommodate same day appointments when needed. Cal us at 941-951-2663 for an appointment or click HERE to view our website.

Sources: SOA website; WebMD; Arthritis Foundation; American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

This entry was posted in on June 15, 2016 by sarasotaAdmin.

Sugar & Drug Abuse? WINNING THE WAR

June 6, 2016

sugar heroin

Recent studies have found that sugar can be as addictive as cocaine or alcohol according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse. For some people, eating foods high in sugar may produce chemical changes in the brain’s “reward” center causing addictive cravings. Sugar is sugar … don’t be fooled by replacing white table sugar with honey, agave, or brown sugar. Those may have some nutritional value, but they are still sugar with calories and addictive qualities. In fact, sugar overuse may sometimes lead to problems other than addiction like diabetes and liver disease.

SUGAR IN TWO FORMS

  • Free sugars are those added to food and liquids whether at the table, in the kitchen, or at the manufacturer. Free sugar is the form we need to cut down on consumption. Identifying these sugars can be difficult since they appear in many different forms like agave, raw sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, molasses, glucose, dextrose, coconut sugar, and honey.
  • Natural sugars are those found in fresh, frozen, or dried fruits and vegetables. They are also found in dairy products like milk, plain yogurt, and cheese.

WHAT FREE SUGAR DOES TO OUR BODIES

Consuming excessive sugar over long periods of time stimulates our brain activity and hormone levels. This increases glucose levels which lead to the pancreas releasing insulin. This causes the body to retain calories as fat, causing weight gain. Carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, chips, and fries process slower than free sugar, however, still break down into sugar. The result: the excess weight puts strain on our joints and we crave more sugar.

Since these sugary foods stimulate the same areas of the brain as drugs of abuse, they may cause loss of control over consumption and cravings. Currently the average American consumes almost 20 teaspoons of sugar every day; that’s over 65 pounds of sugar a year, per person!

sugar addition

SO HOW DO WE WIN THIS WAR?

  • The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 10% and ideally less than 5% of our calories be consumed from added or natural sugar. For the average person per day, the recommendation is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
  • Read labels; food labels list ingredients in descending order. If sugar or a form of sugar is in the first 3 ingredients, put it back on the shelf.
  • The same goes for a packaged food with more than one sugar listed — put it back!
  • Eliminate soft drinks and fruit juices; they are jam packed with sugar.
  • Limit consumption of candy, baked goods, and desserts to special occasions.
  • “Low fat” packaged foods often compensate with extra sugar; read the label.
  • Eat fresh fruit rather than canned which have added syrup containing sugar.
  • Protein such as eggs, beans, and nuts can help control sugar cravings.
  • Eliminate sugars from your diet slowly; don’t go “cold turkey”.
  • Drink water!

The good news is that when cutting back, no math or calorie counting is involved in eliminating sugar. Try replacing sugar with tempting flavors like ginger, lemon, vanilla bean, nutmeg, or cinnamon.  Bottom line, the easiest way to cut back is to avoid processed sugar whenever possible and eat fresh fruits instead.

Taking care of our bodies through eating well and proper exercise is paramount to healthy bones and muscles. If you experience pain or discomfort in your joints or muscles, give us a call at 941-951-2663 for an appointment. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we have four locations and offer same day appointments when needed.

 

Sources: WebMD; Authority Nutrition; American Diabetes Association; US National Institute on Drug Abuse; World Health Organization

This entry was posted in on June 6, 2016 by sarasotaAdmin.