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.
Due to the structure of the hip, pain in this area can have many different causes. The location of the pain may give you some clues as to what is causing the discomfort in the hip. For example, if you’re having pain in the inside of your hip or in the groin area, it’s probably a problem with your hip joint. If you’re having pain in the outside of your hip, upper thigh or in the outer buttock area, it’s probably a problem with the muscles, ligaments or tendons that surround your hip joint. Bursitis, tendonitis, a tear, dislocation, fracture or inguinal hernia are potential sources of pain in the hip area.
Pain can also come from a disease or condition. Arthritis, some types of cancer, osteoporosis and pinched nerves can all lead to hip pain, as well.
Since there are so many potential underlying causes of hip pain, you should get it checked out by a doctor. When you first notice pain in the hip, you can try rest, pain relievers, ice or heat. If you have intense pain, are unable to walk or have signs of infection, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Injuries to the fingertip are really very common and can happen almost anywhere – from using a hammer or saw to pinching your hand in a door or smashing it while moving something heavy. These everyday injuries can result in damage to part of the fingertip, including the bone, nail bed, your skin and soft tissue.
So, why does it hurt so much?
Our fingertips are full of nerves that make them extremely sensitive, which results in the pain you feel when they are injured. Without prompt and proper treatment, a fingertip injury can cause problems with hand function and may result in permanent deformity or disability. To ensure the best outcome, it is important to have a hand specialist examine your finger after an injury.
Remember, if you have injured your fingertip and something just doesn’t feel or look right, call us to make an appointment with our hand specialist, Dr. Kang.
Cross-training is when an athlete participates in training activities that are different from those of their main sport. This well-rounded exercise regimen is important because it builds strength and flexibility in muscles that the athlete might not use in their regular training. Adding in different activities such as jogging, biking, swimming and rowing can prevent repetitive injuries that come from practicing the same sport over and over. Cross-training can also prevent athletes from burnout or getting bored with their training.
So, what about in regards to children?
Cross-training is important for children because their bodies are still growing. Children have bones and growth plates that are immature and more susceptible to injury than mature bones. While adults can train harder by adding miles and additional weight, there is a limit to what children can face without injury from overuse.
Injury to the growth plates can cause serious complications, such as shorter or crooked limbs and reoccurring injuries. When children are training, we must pay attention to the fact that their musculoskeletal systems are still developing and need the chance to rest, even more so than in adults. Cross-training allows their muscles a break, instead of falling victim to overuse.
Another reason to cross-train with children is to make them more well-rounded athletes. Your children may think they know what sport they want to specialize in, but giving them exposure to other activities might open their eyes to new opportunities.
Moderation and variety are both important, allowing kids to be safe and have fun!
Do you have numbness, tingling and pain in your hands and arms? If so, you could have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve (one of the major nerves in your hand) is squeezed or compressed as it travels through a passageway on the palm side of your wrist (actually called the carpal tunnel). This nerve is responsible for movement and feeling in your thumb and first three fingers.
So, what causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
The condition could be hereditary, but there are other factors that can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. Repetitive hand movement can cause inflammation of the tendons and swelling that puts pressure on the nerve. Illnesses such as hyperthyroidism, arthritis and diabetes can cause the syndrome, as well as the swelling from pregnancy. Women and the elderly are more likely to develop the condition.
A lot of times the symptoms first appear in the hands at night. Symptoms will gradually increase as the condition worsens, but shaking the hands and wrists might relieve the pain.
Once diagnosed by a doctor, there are a variety of treatments to try. Wearing a brace or splint, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, changes in repetitive hand and wrist activities, nerve gliding exercises and steroid injections are all treatment options. If the condition has progressed, surgery might be another option.
Playing tennis is a great way to get outside and exercise for people of all ages. Like with any sport, however, there is a risk of injury when playing tennis. Shoulders, wrists and elbows are easy targets for injury from overuse.
Tennis elbow is common among tennis players. It is the inflammation of tendons connecting the muscles in the forearm to the outer part of the elbow. Rotator cuff tears can also happen in the shoulders, typically gradually and over time as the player serves and swings. Because of the hard surface of the court, ankle sprains and back pain are also common complaints.
So, what can you do to prevent these tennis injuries?
- Get the right gear – Choose a racket that is the right size and weight for you. Having the correct grip size and string tension can help prevent tennis elbow. Also, make sure you choose tennis shoes and socks that have cushion to reduce the stress of pounding on the court.
- Focus on your technique – Work with a professional to make sure your technique is not leading to habits that cause injury. Don’t arch your back too much while serving and pay attention to how you’re landing on the court.
- Warm up – Do dynamic stretches to warm up your muscles. Shoulder strengthening stretches can also prevent common tennis injuries.
- Rest! – Take a break when you’re tired and make sure you’re giving your body rest in between playing. Overexertion can lead to overuse and injury.
If the spine wasn’t an important part of your body, there wouldn’t be a saying to express something of priority as “the backbone.” Keeping your backbone healthy is important to your overall health and wellness. Back pain is a common reason people come to see us at Peninsula Orthopaedic Associates, but there are things you can do in your everyday life to make sure your spine is healthy and pain-free.
- Sleep properly – Sleeping in the right position is crucial to your spine health. Sleeping on your stomach puts a lot of pressure on your spine; sleep on your side to ease that pressure. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to relieve pressure. Invest in a supportive mattress and pillows that allow your spine to rest in a comfortable and aligned way.
- Exercise – Movement is great for spine health, whether it’s range of motion, strengthening or aerobic! Stretching and bending keep your spine from getting stiff and strengthening exercises (especially core work) help the muscles around the spine be supportive. Also, with exercise comes weight loss, which decreases stress on the spine.
- Work on your posture – Don’t slouch. Standing and sitting tall can prevent a lot of back pain, keeping your spine balanced and aligned. Choose an ergonomic chair for the office and take breaks every hour to walk around and stretch out.
Stretching can introduce many benefits to your physical health. Not only does stretching increase flexibility, but stretching also reduces muscle tension and soreness, reduces the risk of injury to the tendons, joints and muscles, enhances body awareness and increases the ability to perform skilled movements.
But, are you stretching correctly? While there are lots of benefits to stretching, if done incorrectly, it can cause injury. Make sure to keep the following tips in mind when stretching.
- Warm up – People think stretching is the warm-up, but a lot of times a deep stretch should not be the first thing you do. Before going into an intense stretch, do a general warm-up to get those muscles working!
- Breathe – Make sure you are breathing during your stretches. Slow and relaxed breaths during your stretch allow the body to relax, improve blood flow and remove lactic acid from the muscles.
- Dynamic stretches vs. static stretches – Focus on dynamic stretching (stretching while moving) during your warm-up. This will prepare your muscles for your main activity. Static stretching can be done after your workout to maintain flexibility and decrease next-day soreness.
- If you feel sharp pain, stop! There’s a difference between the ache of tight muscles and sharp or intense pain that can indicate injury, like torn tissue.
Looking for a low-impact exercise that’s good for your joints? Find your way to a local pool at the YMCA or community center.
Swimming is a great option for exercise that’s easy on the joints. The buoyancy of the water supports body weight and reduces stress on the joints, while letting you still get a great workout in. Whether you have arthritis, lower back pain, a sprain or are recovering from hip or knee replacements, swimming is a great way to get back into shape. Many seniors find this to be a great low-impact exercise, to be enjoyed regardless of age. You can also try a heated pool to reduce joint pain.
Not only is swimming great for your joints, but it has other crucial health benefits. Swimming uses many different muscle groups and the water provides resistance for those muscles to work against. This allows you to build lean muscle and can lower your metabolism. Due to the resistance your muscles face, you can burn 400 to 500 more calories an hour exercising in the water.
Swimmers have also been shown to have lower heart rates (swimming is great for your heart), improved blood pressure, improved breathing and better circulation.