At POA, our entire staff is dedicated to helping our patients and people of all ages in the communities we serve maintain healthy, active lives – and our blog is intended to help us do just that. From sharing timely health information and tips from our team to giving you a glimpse into the impact we are making across the Delmarva Peninsula, we invite you to stay connected.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain in the muscles and soft tissue. Fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory and cognitive problems, and mood issues also accompany the musculoskeletal pain. Researchers believe fibromyalgia is caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, some types of infections, and physical or emotional trauma. Repeated nerve stimulation causes the brain to alter, making the pain receptors more sensitive.
Different types of pain come with fibromyalgia. Myofascial pain is a major initial pain in patients with fibromyalgia, resulting from tight muscles. Central sensitization is when the brain becomes more sensitive to pain, which also affects those with fibromyalgia. Neuropathic pain is another common pain that results from tight muscles pinching the nerves. In late stage fibromyalgia, patients might develop allodynia, a pain in the skin when lightly touched. Pelvic pain, migraines and abdominal pain are also found in those with fibromyalgia.
While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, medications such as pain relievers, antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs can help reduce the symptoms. Exercise, while difficult, has also been shown to be a successful pain reducer for those with fibromyalgia. Self-care is an important aspect of treatment, as well.
Running is a great way to maintain your overall health. It is a full-body workout that gets you into shape and reduces stress. However, like any other type of exercise, risk of injury comes with running. So before you start your running routine, make sure you keep the following tips in mind to prevent injury and get the most out of your workout!
- Stretch – To maintain and increase your flexibility, stretch all parts of your body during your workout. Static stretching is not as effective, so warm up for 5-10 minutes before doing your stretches.
- Warm up and cool down – Don’t jump right into your fastest pace. Warming up and cooling down are important in order to prevent injury and reduce muscle soreness.
- Strength train – Strong muscles, ligaments and tendons help prevent injury while running. When your muscles are strong, the impact of hitting the ground is less traumatic on your body and your gait is less likely to be affected by muscular fatigue.
- Wear the proper shoes – To avoid injury, make sure you are wearing the correct shoes for your feet and running type. Go to a specialty store to get advice about what type of running shoes you should be wearing.
- Listen to your body – This is a must. You know what your body usually feels like, so stop running at the first signs of unusual pain. Running through the pain will only cause the injury to worsen, but stopping at the first sign of pain could help prevent a potential and more serious injury.
Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal disorder characterized by the sideways curvature of the spine. The two most common types of scoliosis are degenerative scoliosis and idiopathic scoliosis. Degenerative scoliosis is most common in adults and results from traumatic bone collapse (from injury or illness), previous back surgeries or osteoporosis. Idiopathic scoliosis is found in adolescents – as many as 4 in 100. The name “idiopathic” means that there is no identifiable cause for the condition. About 30% of patients with idiopathic scoliosis have a family history of scoliosis, but research is still being conducted to determine the exact cause.
In patients with scoliosis, the spine can be curved in three ways: a single curve to the left (in a C shape), a single curve to the right (in a backwards C shape) or two curves (in an S shape). Other visible symptoms of scoliosis include shoulder height asymmetry, a rib hump and the body tilting to one side.
Treatment of scoliosis depends on the degree of spinal curvature and how much growth is still expected in the patient. Observation, back braces and surgery are all options for potential treatment.
The Spine Center at Peninsula Orthopaedic Associates treats the majority of scoliosis patients without surgery, but when surgery is indicated as the best treatment option, they rely on innovative, minimally invasive and motion-preserving surgeries to reduce recovery time and decrease discomfort.
By Dr Jason Scopp
Sports-related injuries happen both on and off the field. In fact, they sometimes happen when you least expect it. Today, we continue to see a wide variety of injuries affecting our patient’s joints and bones. Some are minor and can be managed through non-surgical treatment and therapy, while others may be more serious and require surgery. But there is one thing I share with all athletes, trainers and parents – how to recognize a possible injury.
Here are some warning signs that tell you it’s time to see an orthopaedic specialist:
You are not recovering in your usual period of time from whatever soreness you typically have after the activity.
- Your pain does not go away with rest and inactivity.
- You have noticeable instability in your joints.
- You’re having consistent pain during and/or after exercise and sports.
- You notice persistent or new swelling around a joint after activity.
- You are experiencing audible and painful pops.
I also can’t stress enough the importance of allowing your doctor to analyze the way you move to identify the possible biomechanical problem that could be causing your injury.
From sprains and strains to dislocations and fractures, winter can be a bit tough on our bodies, especially our bones and joints. However, at POA we know many of these injuries can be prevented when you properly prepare for sports and activities by warming up, staying alert, and not being afraid to call it quits when you feel tired or are experiencing pain.
Our 10 Tips:
- Warm-up your muscles before participating in winter sports and activities. Remember, cold muscles, tendons, and ligaments are vulnerable to injury.
- Wear protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding.
- Make sure your equipment is working properly prior to going outside and using it.
- Dress in layers of light, loose and water- and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Remember, layering allows you to accommodate your body’s constantly changing temperature.
- Wear proper footwear that provides warmth and dryness, as well as ample ankle support.
- Don’t be reckless and take chances.
- Pay attention to the temperature and wind chill.
- Seek shelter and medical attention immediately if you or anyone with you is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activities. You can easily become dehydrated in the winter, too – not just the summer.
Know your limits. Always quit when you are in pain or feel you are starting to become exhausted.