October 2013 - Orthopaedics Plus
Triathletes Feel Less Pain
A new study from Israel finds that triathletes feel less pain than casual exercisers. If further research shows that intense training has given them this ability, then it could be a way to treat chronic pain sufferers.
Triathletes train and compete in a grueling mix of three endurance sports: swimming, cycling and long-distance running, without rest. They push themselves beyond what most of us can endure.
However, we know very little about what gives them these abilities. That is, until two physical therapy researchers at Tel Aviv University decided to investigate and propose a possible explanation, which they report in the journal PAIN.
The results show that the triathletes and non-athletes identified pain to the same extent, but the athletes perceived it as less intense, and could withstand it longer.
Arthritis: What Are My Options?
Arthritis is the biggest challenge in orthopaedics. But what is it and how can we treat it?
Arthritis is simply damage to the joint surface cartilage and the adjacent structures. This can be from trauma, years of use or overuse, or simply from genetics and inheriting less durable cartilage. The process of gradual deterioration cannot be “cured” but the discomfort that results can be treated and in some cases the progression can be delayed.
This article discusses options including suppliments, exersice, Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatories, Corticosteroid injections, Viscosupplementation, PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections, Prolotherapy, Stem Cells, Arthroscopic surgery, and Joint Replacement.
Pre-Season Snow Skiing Conditioning
Pumpkins are for sale in front of the local grocery store and the leaves are starting to fall. Mother nature is whispering her annual reminder. “Get ready to ski.” The freezing levels have been as low as 6000 ft. recently the snow is on it’s way. You’ll probably get the skis’ waxed right? You may have even checked airfare or hotel rates for your favorite ski destination. Finally found that comfortable pair of boots? OK all that stuff is ready but what about the thing that makes the skis go? No not gravity. It’s you and your muscles, joints and psyche. Our bodies are the most important piece of ski equipment we have. Unfortunately we can’t go out and buy a new one when it ceases to perform the way we’d like. We have to go build the body we have into the body we want. A study was done a few years ago which reviewed emergency room cases involving skiers. From this research they concluded that skiing on consecutive days and skiing at the end of the day progressively increased the risk of injury. Specifically they said to avoid skiing after 5 pm on the 5th day because injury was almost certainty. They equated the increased injury risk with fatigue. Another way of saying that is the better conditioned you are the less risk of injury you will have. If you are well prepared you’ll feel it. You’ll have more fun and feel great maybe even have the confidence you need to try a few runs you have avoided in the past
When it comes to pre season conditioning for skiing it’s good to work backwards from when we expect to begin. Unless you hike local glaciers and ski down during the summer, chances are you’ll begin skiing somewhere around December 1st each year. Giving yourself 6-8 weeks to train and prepare for that first day means the time to start is now. The forces our bodies are subjected to when we ski are so large it’s silly not to be physically prepared to handle them. Besides, better preparation means better skiing and more fun.
No ‘one size fits all’ solution in physical therapy
Tennis has been hard on Ellen Marin’s knees. At 67, she’s suffered through two torn anterior cruciate ligaments and meniscus tears in both her knees. But even with arthritis compounding her injuries, Marin has resisted surgery, relying instead on physical therapy to strengthen her muscles and eliminate pain.
For Marin, a psychoanalyst who’s been playing tennis for 35 years, physical therapy can often delay surgery. But when it comes to treating aging knees, there’s no “one size fits all” approach, says Ivan Hernandez, director of physical therapy at Executive Park Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy in Yonkers, Elmsford and Briarcliff Manor.
“Many people with knee pain will benefit from exercises that make their hips stronger and their ankles looser,” explains Hernandez. “Pain is an indication that something is going wrong. You modify the exercise and if after modifying it it’s still not resolved, you nix it.”
Benefits Of Pre-Surgical Physical Therapy
Therapy can be crucial in regaining maximum function. What many people don’t realize, however, is that therapy can also be very beneficial in preparation for surgeries. A therapist will work with a patient prior to their surgery to make recovery as smooth as possible. There is usually some degree of weakness of the muscles that occurs after any surgery, so the stronger the involved muscles are prior to surgery, the easier it makes recovery. We often recommend a simple, home exercise program that can strengthen the area without increasing pain pre-surgically.
Physical therapists will help patients work on the right muscle groups, using the correct technique, in order to prevent injury. Another aspect of pre-surgical therapy is working on techniques for getting into and out of bed, or out of a chair as these can be even more difficult for a time after joint surgery.
From preparing for an upcoming joint surgery, to helping you achieve an active life after surgery, we, as physical or occupational therapists will work with you to set and reach your goals.
Icing is very important for sprains, strains, overuse injuries, and bruises. If you find yourself injured this summer, follow these tips for icing properly in order to be back to normal as soon as possible.
1. Act fast – make sure you ice as soon as you can after experiencing the injury.
2. Perform an “ice massage” – move the ice frequently, don’t allow it to sit in one spot.
3. Elevate – helps reduce swelling.
4. Keep track of time – don’t ice for more than 15-20 minutes per hour.
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