Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates Blog

Check back often for the latest from Mid Atlantic!

How to Know If You're at Risk for Spine Problems

Spine problems can cause chronic, debilitating pain. There are several factors that might place you at a greater risk of developing back pain that is caused by spinal problems. While some of the risk factors for spine problems are unavoidable, others are within your control. By understanding the risk factors, you might be able to take some steps to keep from developing problems with your spine so that you can maintain a healthy back while enjoying better mobility and decreased pain. Growing Older One of the risk factors for developing back pain and spine problems is aging. Over time, you may develop conditions such as spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease from the wear and tear that have been placed on your spine. While you can't completely prevent the ravages of aging, you can help to minimize them by regularly exercising, including gentle stretches. Job-Related Risk Factors Certain professions carry...
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What You Need to Know About Hip Replacements

Hip discomfort can have a big impact on your ability to enjoy life. Simple everyday activities, such as getting out of the bed and walking to the mailbox, can become difficult. If the chronic pain becomes too unbearable, a hip replacement may be necessary. Here’s what you need to know about hip replacements. What Causes Hip Pain? Arthritis is by far the most common cause of hip pain. When dealing with arthritis, your cartilage cushioning gradually deteriorates over time. The extra wear and tear will eventually start to take a toll. While some people are naturally more inclined to experience arthritis as they age, others may have suffered an injury in the past. What is a Hip Replacement? A hip replacement is a surgical procedure that involves replacing your damaged cartilage with artificial materials. The goal is to restore the normal functioning of the hip. Afterwards, you can look forward...
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How to Keep Active if You Have a Broken Arm

A broken arm will definitely take some time to heal. However, simply sitting around being sedentary is not a good idea. Exercising regularly is among the most important aspects of maintaining good health. Furthermore, the enhanced blood circulation actually promotes quicker healing. Here are some tips to stay active with a broken arm. Listen to Your Doctor Before attempting to get active, be sure to consult your doctor . You’ll need to avoid putting any type of strain or weight on your arm. Going against your physician’s orders makes you far more likely to get reinjured. This means even more downtime. Go Walking or Hiking Going for a brisk walk in the park is far better than sitting in front of your television. If you really want to maintain your cardio level, consider hiking. It promises to get your heart pumping. However, stick to relatively smooth trails. Hiking on rough...
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Exercises that Help Strengthen Your Knees

Knee pain is a common problem, especially as people age. A sedentary lifestyle can aggravate knee problems by not allowing the joint and the muscles around it to strengthen. Being overweight can also put extra stress on the knees.  Fortunately, there are some simple exercises and stretches that you can do to strengthen your knees and alleviate joint pain while improving your mobility. Here are a few to try:  1.) Straight Leg Raises Start by lying on your back on a flat, firm surface. Bending one knee, place that foot flat on the floor. Keep the other leg straight as you lift it to the height of the other knee. This will strengthen your thigh muscles, which in turn will relieve some stress from your knees.  2.) Hamstring Curls  Standing upright with a chair in front of you for balance, spread your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lift one leg, lifting...
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Exercises that help strengthen your shoulders

Strong shoulders are much more than just an attractive physical feature. There are many smaller muscles in the shoulder area that provide support and stability for the biceps and triceps. If these muscles are not kept strong, they can become unstable and lead to physical injuries. Injuries to any of the shoulder muscles can lead to a great deal of pain, inflammation, and a limited range of motion that takes a lot of time to heal. The following four exercises can help build shoulder strength to prevent injuries and allow you to perform your daily tasks more efficiently.  Four Exercises that Build Shoulder Strength Overhead Press  The overhead press is performed by standing straight and holding weights at shoulder level. By lifting these weights straight up and lowering them back down, you can effectively engage the shoulder muscles to build strength. If you are a beginner, you don't even need...
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What Are the Signs That You Might Need Knee Surgery?

Whether you are casually walking down the street or playing a game of softball, your knees are always hard at work. They play a critical role in your overall mobility. Chronic knee problems will ultimately make your life a lot more stressful. Here are some of the key signs that you may need knee surgery. Persistent Pain After initially sustaining a knee injury, it is normal to experience pain for a few days. However, chronic pain is definitely a cause for concern. The constant discomfort will eventually start to wear on you. If you are routinely reaching for a bottle of pain medication just to get through the day, knee surgery could prove to be the next step on your road to recovery. Trouble Walking The ability to walk is something that a lot of people take for granted. When dealing with knee issues, walking can become a big challenge....
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Full Hip Replacement: Do I Need One?

A total hip replacement is a serious operation. This type of surgery is very difficult and risky, and the recovery period is also long and arduous. Patients should be fully informed about the risks associated with this procedure. Medical intervention is an excellent option when the case is severe enough, but patients should always seek alternatives before assuming that such a drastic procedure is needed. Alternatives to Hip Replacement There are many options for people who have hip pain, so a total hip replacement should only be considered in the most extreme cases and when all other options have been exhausted. These options may include dietary changes, specific exercises, physical therapy, manual therapy and medication. If the pain persists throughout the course of the alternative treatment, this will be another sign that the hip replacement might actually become necessary. Patients may also try alternative approaches to pain control like acupuncture...
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What You Need to Know about Ankle Arthritis and Ankle Replacement Surgery

Arthritis remains one of the most common causes of joint pain and disability throughout the United States. It is estimated that approximately 350 million people around the world suffer from arthritis of one form or another. At times, pain and limited movement can lead patients to seek joint replacement surgeries to improve their quality of life. However, these procedures come with some degree of risk and should be carefully considered with respect to this fact. Here we will discuss some important things to keep in mind if you are considering undergoing ankle replacement surgery. Signs of Arthritis Arthritis in the ankle joint can result in a variety of symptoms that will alert you to the existence of a problem. Pain is often the first symptom noticed by patients. This pain can come and go at times. You may notice that it is worse during times of activity or at night...
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Shoulder or Neck Pain? How to Tell the Difference

Pain specialists are often asked how to tell the difference between shoulder and neck pain. This is an important clinical question, and patients are also invested in understanding the difference between these two distinct types of problems. The treatment plan will depend on the diagnosis of the problem, so it is important to correctly identify the cause of the pain. Professional Perspectives on Pain Clinicians can use a variety of methods to perform the initial examination. The precise methods selected by the examiner will depend on their training. Different professionals are trained to approach the same problem using a unique set of tools. For example, chiropractors tend to analyze the neck and shoulder pain from the perspective of the alignment of the bones. However, they are also aware of the role of the soft tissues in creating pain. Soft tissue specialists will approach the pain from the perspective of the...
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Who is Most at Risk for Osteoporosis

Current statistics indicate that approximately 44 million adults in the United States have osteoporosis or low bone mass that can eventually lead to this disease. Osteoporosis is a common problem in adults aged 55 years and older. Osteoporosis can make it much more likely for an older adult to suffer from a serious bone fracture if they fall or become injured in some other manner. What is osteoporosis and who is most at risk of developing it? The following paragraphs will answer these questions. What is Osteoporosis? Bone is a living tissue present throughout the human body. When this living tissue undergoes loss of mass, it can become brittle and easier to break. This condition is called osteoporosis and is a leading cause of bone fractures in older adults. Who is Most at Risk for Developing Osteoporosis? While osteoporosis can strike anyone at any time, it is most common in...
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Three Signs That You Might Have Arthritis

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and it can affect people of all ages. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis may develop because of infections or injuries to the joints that exacerbate the breakdown of cartilage located in them. People may also develop osteoarthritis as a part of the aging process when the cartilage breaks down with age. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that develops when the immune system attacks the synovium, a tissue that produces fluid to help cushion the joints. Both types of arthritis can be very painful and debilitating. It is important for people to recognize the early symptoms of arthritis and to see their doctors for help. Three Common Signs of Arthritis People who have arthritis may experience joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. These symptoms may come and go. They may also range in severity...
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A Closer Look at Five Common Orthopedic Surgeries

When injuries or malformations are severe or conditions of the joints and musculoskeletal system don’t respond to conservative treatment, orthopedic surgery is an option that can often relieve pain and restore normal function. Here is a closer look at five common orthopedic surgeries. 1. Knee Replacement Surgery Replacement of the knee joint is a common procedure that may be needed after a serious break or fall. It can also bring relief and restore mobility to the knees of arthritis patients when severe swelling and pain isn’t alleviated by medication or other therapies. The surgery may involve modifications to an existing joint or replacement with a synthetic joint that replicates the actions of a natural knee joint. After their recovery, patients enjoy improved range of motion, and they may no longer have to rely on walkers and other mobility aids. 2. Foot Surgery for Morton’s Neuroma Morton's neuroma is a common...
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Ways to protect yourself from developing arthritis

Arthritis is a health condition that inflicts thousands of people with pain and stiffness in the joints, especially among the elderly. Although there is a genetic component that can alter your likelihood of developing arthritis, anyone can develop this condition. However, even a genetic predisposition doesn't guarantee that you'll develop arthritis; there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk. Many of these steps begin with taking a healthier approach to your daily habits. 1. Aim for a Healthy Weight Losing weight reduces the stress on your bones and joints whenever you walk, stretch or bend over. Excessive weight is particularly harsh on high-impact joints that are more likely to develop arthritis, including your knees and hips. If you're unsure of how to lose weight, talking with your doctor can help you find the best solutions for your situation. Eating less and filling your plate with healthy foods...
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What is the Best Surface to Run On?

The natural instinct of most runners is to head off on whatever surface is nearby. That could be the green grass of the neighborhood park, the wood chips that make up a local trail, the roads of the marathon that you've been training for, the sidewalks of your busy neighborhood or even the moving belt of a treadmill as you look out at snowy conditions or an electric thunderstorm making its way through the area. What many runners don't consider is what impact the surface that they run on has on their feet and knees, which is especially significant when you consider that you will generally accumulate at least a thousand steps for every mile that you run. Although the specifics differ depending on things like pace and weight, a considerable amount of force is being put through your feet and knees throughout your runs. First, let's look at what...
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Most Common Orthopedic Injuries

Each day, Your body makes a variety of movements. As bone, muscles, ligaments, and tendons become worn and damaged, you may develop certain ailments that require orthopedic care. At Mid Atlantic, we specialize in the recovery process. Here are three of the most common injuries that occur from sporting accidents, aging, or everyday activities. Ankle Sprains Your ankle connects your leg and foot. When you twist or bend your ankle in the wrong way, a sprain may happen. This can occur as a result of playing sports, wearing inappropriate footwear, or lack of flexibility. Although a mild injury will get better with rest, a more serious problem may require orthopedic care. You may need to wear a brace or cast and undergo physical therapy to help regain your strength. In severe cases, you may need some type of surgical treatment. If a doctor suspects that you have loose pieces of...
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