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.
Busy work schedules don’t leave much time for hours of exercise during the week. This is why a lot of us end up being weekend warriors. We might squeeze a couple of short workouts in during the week, but we all know many of us save our more intensive exercise for the weekend.
So, how can you incorporate safety into your lifestyle?
1. Exercise during the week
Inconsistent exercise leads to injury. Even if it’s just 30 minutes every other day, exercising during the week will help your overall fitness and make your weekend workouts more productive (and more fun)! Go for a walk, take a jog or spend some time on a bike. Also, make sure you’re stretching.
2. Ease into it
Especially when learning a new sport or activity, take your time to learn the proper techniques. You can’t expect to jump full force into something new. Work your way up to becoming a master. Talk with a trainer for helpful tips and for feedback on your technique. Easing into it also means warming up and cooling down!
3. Stay hydrated
Up your fluid intake before and after exercising. We’re talking water – NOT coffee and soda. Also, make sure you’re eating a well-rounded diet. Your body needs fuel to keep up with your intensity.
4. Listen to your body
If you’re busy during the week, you might feel like this is your only time for activity. But, listen to your body. If it’s telling you to stop, there’s a good reason for it (especially if you exercise infrequently). If you’re recovering from an injury or have pushed yourself too hard, take a break. There will be other weekends.
So why should you drink a glass of milk today? Because it promotes healthy bones! We want to help stop bone disease before it starts.
Milk is a prime source of calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Calcium is important for building strong bones and vitamin D helps your body absorb that calcium. Your body does not naturally produce calcium, so it’s important that you get it from other sources. When we think of calcium our minds go straight to milk, but there are lots of other foods you can eat to get your daily dose. Besides dairy products, you can get calcium for strong, healthy bones from leafy greens, seafood, legumes and fruit.
Not only does calcium help build strong bones, but it also helps maintain them. Osteoporosis (the brittle bone disease) is a condition that threatens the health of your bones, making them much more susceptible to fracturing and breaking. The United States sees more than two million osteoporosis-related fractures each year.
There are two ways you can reduce your risk of osteoporosis: building strong, dense bones before the age of 30 and limiting bone loss as an adult.
So, how can you reduce bone loss in adulthood? You guessed it – drinking milk! Regular exercise and getting adequate vitamin D, vitamin K and calcium all help keep your bones from becoming porous.
At our Bone Wellness Center, we offer our patients comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and a wide variety of treatment options, including bone density testing, diet and nutritional guidance, exercise therapy, fracture care and surgical intervention, as well as prevention and education.
May is National Osteoporosis Month, and we’re here to give you the inside scoop on osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become less dense and are more likely to break or fracture. The word osteoporosis literally means “porous bones.”
Primary osteoporosis is the most common type of osteoporosis and is age-related. As you get older, the rate of losing bone mass increases and the rate of building bone mass decreases. Women are more likely to be affected by this type of osteoporosis and at a younger age, due to lack of estrogen after menopause and having a lower bone mass to begin with.
Secondary osteoporosis occurs because of existing medical conditions (like cancer or hyperthyroidism) or from medications that break down bone. This type of osteoporosis affects men and women equally and can occur at any age.
Osteoporosis does not usually show symptoms in the early stages of the condition. People often do not notice until they break or fracture a bone. Later symptoms can include loss of height, stooped posture and broken bones in the hips, spine and wrists.
While some of the risk factors of osteoporosis cannot be helped (gender, age, family history), there are things you can do to decrease bone loss:
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D
- Don’t smoke cigarettes
- Decrease alcohol intake
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.