Category Archives: General Ortho

What is Causing Your Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain is one of the most commonly complained-about ailments, with around four out of every five reporting this pain at some point in their lives. The lower back, also known as the lumbar spine, is a structure of interconnecting bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles that all work together. The lower back provides support, strength, and flexibility and ultimately helps keep us upright. Still, due to the complex nature of our lumbar spine, it can be susceptible to injury and pain. In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at potential causes of your lower back pain and sharing viable solutions.

Muscle and Ligament Strains

Lower back pain is often a result of muscle or ligament strain or sprains that can occur suddenly or develop slowly over time. A muscle strain happens when the muscle is stretched too far, which causes a tear. A muscle sprain occurs when over-stretching and tearing cause damage to the ligaments, which help connect the bones. Some of the most common causes of lower back sprains and strains include:

  • Lifting a heavy object or lifting with improper form, like twisting the spine while lifting
  • Sudden movements that put too much pressure on the lower back, such as an accident, or a fall
  • Repeating a specific movement over a prolonged period of time
  • Poor posture
  • Sports injuries, especially high-impact sports like football or sports that require twisting

Chronic Back Pain Conditions

The body’s natural healing process for lower back injuries can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. When pain in the lower back persists for longer than three months, the pain can be classified as chronic and may involve more issues than just a sprain or a strain. Causes of chronic back pain may include:

  • Problems with discs: Lumbar degenerative disc disease and lumbar herniated disc are two different conditions that may lead to herniation or inflammation
  • Problems with joints: Facet joint dysfunction, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and osteoarthritis all target the joints, leading to lower back pain
  • Fractures: Trauma may cause acute fractures or dislocations that lead to pain, and osteoporosis may even lead to a compression fracture over time

Lower Back Pain Treatment Options

Early treatment options for back pain align with early treatment recommendations for other sports injuries. The first course of action typically calls for rest, ice and heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Cold packs and pain relievers both work to reduce inflammation, while hot water bottles and heating pads improve blood flow. Depending on the cause of your lower back pain, light stretching can also be therapeutic, but it’s important to consult a doctor to determine the root cause of the issue first.

If back pain does not improve over time, then you may require additional treatments. At Paris Orthopedic Specialists, we believe in exhausting all non-surgical treatments whenever possible, so if you are experiencing lower back pain, physical therapy, back braces, and steroid injections may be able to help. While injections and prescription-strength pain relievers may temporarily reduce pain, physical therapy can help identify and treat the underlying cause of the pain. If you have been experiencing chronic back pain, contact a provider at Paris Orthopedics to learn more about suitable treatment options.  

Consult an Orthopedic Specialist

The team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you are experiencing chronic pain of any kind, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

 

Is Your Footwear Causing your Foot Pain?

As the weather gets warmer, we all start to transition from our winter footwear to our summer footwear. While our cold-weather boots may be heavy and bulky, they’re typically more supportive and secure than many sandals and other warm-weather shoe styles. There are a number of criteria footwear needs to meet in order to be considered supportive. When choosing shoes, you should consider ankle, arch, and heel support as well as protection and shock absorption. Footwear that doesn’t meet these requirements can lead to foot pain, plantar fasciitis, blisters, strained tendons, and more. To help prepare you for the summer season, we are running through a list of instances where your footwear could be causing your foot pain. 

Flip Flops

As convenient as flip-flops may be, this popular summer style could single-handedly be causing your foot pain. Flip-flops flat-soled shoes don’t offer any support or stability. Prolonged wear may even affect how you walk or stand. In addition, running or jumping in flip-flops puts you at a higher risk of injury. A good alternative to this warm weather shoe style is a well-fitted supportive sandal with secure straps around the foot and ankle that is made out of a quality fabric like leather.

High Heels

High-heeled shoes put your feet in unnatural positions that can lead to pain and foot problems down the road. This style creates pressure on the toes and can disrupt your balance and increase the risk of injury like sprained or broken ankles. High-heeled shoes not only contribute to causing your foot pain while you wear them, but they may also cause foot pain even after you take them off.

Pointed Shoes

Shoes with a pointed toe also constrict the natural shape of your foot. By squeezing your toes together at the front of the shoe, this style can cause blisters, bunions, and even nerve pain. 

Old Athletic Shoes

While sneakers are typically one of the best options for supporting your feet, you can still run into issues over time when your shoes are worn out. At Paris Orthopedics, sports medicine is one of our specialties, so we regularly treat athletes that spend a lot of time on their feet. Depending on the sport, the appropriate footwear is designed to offer optimum support, motion control, and cushioning to minimize foot injuries. As a general rule of thumb, if the lining of your athletic shoe doesn’t bounce back when you press on it, it’s likely time to get a new pair of shoes.

Ill-Fitting Shoes

While there are specific shoe styles that lend themselves to be either better or worse for your feet, the primary element when it comes to foot health is the fit of the shoe. To get the correct fit, we recommend getting your feet measured. Shoe size may change as you age, and in many cases, feet are different sizes. Having a professional measure your feet will help ensure that you are optimizing the health of your foot. 

Consult an Orthopedic Specialist

No matter what may be causing your foot pain, the team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is here to help. Our staff is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you have questions about the options available to treat shoulder pain, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

 

How to Treat Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is one of the most commonly reported ailments by Paris Orthopedic patients. While shoulder pain may seem one-dimensional, many underlying causes contribute to the area. In some cases, pain from the neck can radiate towards the shoulders, and in other cases, the pain may be caused by the joints, ligaments, or tendons. Depending on the cause of the shoulder pain, treatment options vary between non-surgical options, minimally invasive surgery, and open surgery. In this blog, we will go through the four primary categories of shoulder problems and the options available to treat your shoulder pain.

We have found that most shoulder problems can be sorted into four categories: tendon inflammation, instability, arthritis, or fracture. It’s important to note that if your shoulder pain prohibits using your arm, or is accompanied by a fever or pain that worsens at night, you should immediately seek medical attention.

Tendon Inflammation

There are many different conditions that can lead to the inflammation of the tendons. Bursitis occurs when excessive shoulder use leads to swelling and inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sacs in the joints called bursae. Another condition that may lead to tendon inflammation is tendinitis or tendon tears. Tendinitis is classified as either acute or chronic. Acute tendinitis is typically caused by activity, while chronic tendinitis comes about with age or as a result of arthritis. Fortunately, most conditions leading to tendon inflammation can be treated with non-surgical options such as rest, application of heat and ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. If the pain does not subside or worsens, visit a Paris Orthopedics specialist to resolve your symptoms.

Instability

Shoulder instability or dislocation occurs when the upper arm is dislodged from the shoulder socket. Dislocation can be partial (known as subluxation) or complete and may be caused by overuse or sudden injury. After the initial dislocation, treatment usually begins by resting, icing, and taking pain relievers to reduce inflammation. A sling can temporarily immobilize the shoulder and help with pain. Once the inflammation has subsided, physical therapy can help strengthen and regain the range of motion. Depending on the severity of the dislocation, the shoulder may still feel loose or unstable after physical therapy. In some cases, surgery can help reattach or tighten ligaments that were altered at the time of the dislocation.

Arthritis

Shoulder arthritis is a condition that we commonly treat at Paris Orthopedics. The most common form of arthritis in the shoulder is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is typically caused by years of use in work or sports. Non-surgical treatments for shoulder pain caused by arthritis include hot or cold therapy, stretching, and weight training, or physical therapy. Medicines like cortisone injections may also aid in pain relief. In some cases, joint replacement surgery may become necessary when all other treatments have been ineffective in reducing pain and improving mobility.

Fracture

Bone fractures, commonly known as broken bones, occur from sudden injury and require immediate medical attention. The most frequently broken bone is the collarbone or clavicle, with other shoulder fractures taking place in the upper arm bone or shoulder blade. While fractures in other body parts may require surgeries or operations, shoulder fractures are most commonly non-displaced, which means that the bones just need time immobilized in a sling to heal properly. In about 20% of cases, shoulder fractures will be classified as displaced and may require additional medical intervention to restore the normal bone structure.

Consult an Orthopedic Specialist

No matter what may be causing your shoulder pain, the team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is here to help. Our staff is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you have questions about the options available to treat shoulder pain, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

Top Five Myths About Arthritis

Arthritis is defined as the swelling or tenderness of one or more of the joints. In the United States, 23% of adults have some form of this condition. Considering this percentage amounts to more than 54 million people having arthritis, it’s not surprising that myths have formed and continue to circulate surrounding this common condition. In order to supply information that can help you with your arthritis, it’s important to know what is fact, and what is fiction. In this blog, we aim to debunk the top five myths about arthritis and educate you on tried and true treatment plans.

1. Joint Pain = Arthritis

While the primary symptoms of arthritis include joint pain and stiffness, not all joint pain is indicative of arthritis. Various other conditions including tendonitis, sprains, and bursitis can all lead to swelling and pain around the joints. Visiting a specialist at Paris Orthopedics can help determine what is causing your joint pain.

2. Arthritis only occurs in the elderly

While the risk of arthritis increases with age, it can occur at any age. In fact, juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children. Some of the primary arthritis risk factors are completely unrelated to age, such as family history, obesity, and previous joint damage.

3. Exercising is bad for your arthritis

Arthritis may make exercise more difficult, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop exercising. In fact, the opposite is true. Staying active can actually help manage pain associated with arthritis. The CDC recommends that adults with arthritis should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. Walking, aerobics and elliptical training are all examples of weight-bearing activities that can help treat arthritis.

4. Arthritis can’t be prevented or treated 

While there are certain risk factors that cannot be prevented or avoided when it comes to arthritis, there are ways to delay the onset of certain types of arthritis and to reduce your overall risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, wearing proper protective sports equipment, and practicing good form during physical activity can all help to prevent certain types of arthritis. If you currently have arthritis, there are ways to treat the condition or to help manage symptoms. A specialist at Paris Orthopedics can help you determine certain lifestyle changes, medications or vitamins that can work for you.

5. Heat is better for arthritis than ice

Both heat and cold can be useful for arthritis. Heat can help relax the muscles and relieve joint stiffness, and cold can help to reduce inflammation and pain. While you can opt for whatever feels comfortable, oftentimes alternating between heat and cold, or using heat in the morning and cold at night can be effective in reducing joint pain associated with arthritis.

Consult an Orthopedic Specialist

The team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you have questions about joint pain, arthritis, or treatment plans, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

Why You Should See an Orthopedic Doctor

Between home remedies and a variety of doctors and specialists to choose from, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between what injuries you should see a doctor for, which injuries to try and mend at home, and which injuries require the specialized qualifications of an orthopedic doctor. As a general rule of thumb, any persistent joint pain, daily soreness or stiffness, or injury that is taking a long time to heal could all be reasons to see an orthopedic doctor. For more specific reasons why you should see an orthopedic doctor, read about some of the ways an orthopedic specialist can help you.

Diagnosing and Treating Pain

Orthopedic doctors specialize in the entire musculoskeletal system. This system includes joints, muscles, nerves, bone, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. This vast understanding of the musculoskeletal system makes orthopedic doctors experts on pain. Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons why patients visit an orthopedic doctor in the first place. Orthopedic doctors can help diagnose and treat pain in:

  • Shoulders
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Ankle & Feet
  • Wrists and Hands
  • Elbows
  • Neck

Improve Range of Motion

Inflammation, stiffness, swelling, and pain can all contribute to a limited range of motion. So many people just accept the limitation as a part of growing older or having been injured, but orthopedic specialists can actually help treat or improve your range of motion. If pain or stiffness makes it difficult to perform everyday tasks, physical therapy, no-surgical treatment, or surgery may be able to help.

Injury Treatment and Prevention

Patients are referred to orthopedic doctors after experiencing injuries such as broken bones, fractures, dislocations, ligament tears, and more. Orthopedic doctors repair and treat these injuries while also working to reduce or eliminate pain. In order to optimize recovery, orthopedic doctors will often work alongside physical therapists and pain management specialists to create a more complete recovery. Athletes and patients alike see orthopedic doctors not only to repair injuries but to prevent them as well. Whether you’re dealing with a minor condition like an ankle sprain or carpal tunnel, or if you have a more serious injury like a hip fracture, orthopedic doctors can help.

Perform Surgical and Non Surgical Procedures 

While certain injuries require surgical treatments, there are many non-surgical procedures that can help with a wide variety of injuries and conditions. While patients may see an orthopedic doctor with surgery in mind, orthopedic specialists can actually help determine whether or not surgery is even necessary. More often than not, surgery is only considered when all other nonsurgical alternatives have been exhausted. This is why orthopedic doctors are a viable option when patients need a second opinion. 

Diagnose and Treat Musculoskeletal Conditions

Orthopedic doctors don’t just work with athletes and broken bones, they also work with conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. These chronic conditions require treatment just as much as broken bones because they continuously worsen over time. 

Consult an Orthopedic Specialist

If you are experiencing chronic pain in the musculoskeletal system, or have recently undergone an injury, our specialists can help. The team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you have experienced limited mobility, joint pain, or chronic stiffness, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

How to Avoid 5 Common Household Injuries

If you’re following the CDC guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19, you’re staying home as much as possible. Many people are using this time at home to get some projects done around the house.  Not only do we have more time to notice things we want to fix, but these projects can also help us feel productive when we can’t get out and about. While checking things off of your home improvement list is gratifying, you have to watch out for common household injuries.

Common Household Injuries to Avoid

Some people are finally cleaning out their garage. Others are making long-needed repairs. And some people are just tired of looking at the same thing day after day and undertaking redecorating projects. All of these activities have the potential to cause common household injuries.

1. Sprains & Strains

Sprains and strains are both common orthopedic injuries. Sprains are injuries to ligaments. Strains are injuries to muscles or tendons. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), the areas of the body that are most vulnerable to sprains are the ankles knees and wrists. The areas most vulnerable to strains are the back and the leg.

2. Fractures

Fractures are common household injuries that can occur during the impact from a fall. Wrist fractures are one of the most common fractures caused by landing after a fall. Other common fractures include ankle fractures, collarbone fractures, leg fractures, and forearm fractures.

3. Tears

While these injuries are often associated with sports, it is possible to tear cartilage or a ligament doing things around the house. Repetitive motion is usually the culprit in these injuries which occur from damage to tissues in the joint. Tears can affect any of the joints in the body. Common tear injuries include:

  • Meniscus tear
  • ACL tear
  • Rotator cuff tear

4. Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon. It can be caused by overuse or an acute injury. It can occur in many joints including the knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees. Examples of tendonitis include:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Swimmer’s shoulder
  • Pitcher’s shoulder

5. Dislocations

Joints can be dislocated during a fall. Shoulders are the most common joints to dislocate, but it can also happen to fingers, elbows, ankles, knees, hips, and the jaw.

Tips to Prevent Injury at Home

You can prevent common household injuries in many ways. Find out how you can prevent injuries due to falling, lifting, and overuse below.

Preventing Falls

A large number of common household injuries are caused by falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury.

  • Use non-skid rubber mats or pads to ensure rugs are secure
  • Secure all electrical cords away from places that get foot traffic
  • Manage clutter to ensure there’s a clear path through rooms
  • Use caution when descending the stairs and use the handrail
  • Get a non-skid rubber mat for the shower floor if it’s slippery
  • Install and use grab bars in showers and bathtubs, especially if kids use them
  • Get your eyes checked to make sure you can see everything clearly
  • Always stabilize ladders and don’t climb too high. Most ladders will have a warning on the last rung that it is safe to climb. Get someone to spot you if possible.
  • Don’t use chairs or other objects to climb on. Use a stable ladder or step stool.

Preventing Lifting Injuries

  • Avoid lifting heavy objects when possible. 
    • Ask for help and do a team lift
    • Use a cart or a dolly to move heavy objects
  • If you do lift something, do not lift with your back muscles, use your legs.

Preventing Other Injuries

  • If you have a hobby that requires repetitive motion (exercising, playing certain sports, doing projects around the house), warm-up beforehand and take breaks to avoid overuse.
  • Use caution when doing chores that require scrubbing or sanding. Take breaks and stretch to avoid shoulder pain.

Consult an Orthopedic Specialist

The team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions, including common household injuries. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you have questions, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

6 Tips for Avoiding Summer Sports Injuries

Summer is upon us once again, and with that comes a variety of summer sports for kids to participate in. While kid’s sports leagues may or may not be up and running where you live, kids are still going to play summer sports even if it’s just in the back yard. 

Even without organized sports kids will be cycling, playing soccer, playing baseball, and swimming. All of these activities have the potential for orthopedic injuries like sprains, overuse injuries, fall injuries, and broken bones. While accidents happen, here are five things you can do to prevent sports injuries this summer.

1. Hydrate and Eat Well

It’s always important to stay hydrated while playing sports, but during the summer when temperatures rise, it becomes even more important. If you’re losing fluid by sweating more than usual, you can become dehydrated more quickly. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, lack of energy, and even fainting. All of those things could contribute to an injury either by distracting you or causing a fall. 

You also need to pay attention to feeding your body well so you have the energy to perform. Eating well can also fuel you so you can make your muscles strong and limber. That will help protect you against injury by protecting your bones. Not eating well may also lead to a lack of energy and fatigue-related injuries.

2. Stay Well-Rested

It can be difficult to get enough rest when you’re a busy athlete. This is especially true for kids during the summer that might not have to observe bedtime during the summer. But getting enough sleep is not only important for your overall health, but it can also help you prevent injuries while playing sports. It will prepare you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Rest is important for improving focus and preventing fatigue-related accidents or overuse injuries. To find out how much sleep you should be getting, check out these recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation

3. Always Warm-Up

Just because the temperatures outside might be high to make you sweaty, that doesn’t mean you can skip warming up before participating in summer sports. Warming up is a ritual that can prepare you for playing sports in several ways. A good warm-up can provide the following:

  • Injury prevention
  • Mental readiness
  • Physical readiness

Physically, warming up properly can increase your blood flow, muscle temperature, and core temperature. A good warm-up can also disrupt temporary connective tissue bonds. All of these things will help prevent injury before, during, and after you play your sport. Mentally, it gets your head in the game and makes you sharp. Being focused and having a clear head can also help you avoid accidents that can cause injuries.

Some good warm-ups include:

  • Squatting
  • Lunging
  • Crawling
  • Mobility exercises for the spine
  • Change of direction drills
  • Dynamic stretching

4. Gear Up

One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent summer sports injuries is to wear the right equipment to protect your body. For baseball, wear the right type of shoes and always wear a helmet while batting. Soccer players should also wear proper footwear and make sure they have shinguards. If you’re cycling, a helmet and other protective pads can help protect you in the event of a fall.

5. Know When To Take A Break

If you are in pain, tired, or know you have an injury, stop playing. Don’t try to play through the pain or tough it out. Playing with an injury can make the injury worse and cause permanent damage. Injuries take time to heal and getting back into the game too soon can have serious consequences and keep you out even longer. Listen to your body and sit out until your pain goes away and you are cleared by a doctor.

6. Seek Medical Attention When Needed

If you do get an orthopedic injury playing summer sports, stop playing and seek medical care from an orthopedic specialist. Signs that you should see the doctor include:

  • Pain that lasts more than a few days
  • Excessive swelling
  • You can’t bear weight on a limb or joint
  • Bone or joint deformities

The team at Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions and injuries. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and osteoporosis treatments at our bone health clinic. If you’re having trouble with bone loss, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

Is There a Difference Between Sprains and Strains?

Strains and sprains are both common orthopedic injuries. However, many people do not know that there is a difference between the two. The difference between sprains and strains comes down to the part of the musculoskeletal system affected. Sprains affect ligaments while strains affect muscles and tendons.

The Basics

A sprain is an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are tissues that connect two or more bones to a joint. Sprains occur when one or more ligaments are stretched or torn. The severity of a sprain injury depends on how badly the ligament is damaged and how many ligaments are involved in the injury. Sprains can occur at any joint in the body, but according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), ankle sprains are the most common type of sprain.

A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. Tendons are the fibrous cords of tissue that connect your muscles to your bones. Strains can range in severity from a mild overstretch to a complete tear. Strains can happen suddenly (acute muscle strains) or develop over time from repetitive movements or positions (chronic muscle strains). Muscle strains commonly occur in the neck, shoulder, lower back, and hamstring.

Symptoms of Sprains and Strains

As we’ve just seen, sprains and strains are different types of injuries, so it only makes sense that they have different symptoms. But because they are both injuries to the musculoskeletal system, there is some overlap in symptoms.

Sprains

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to use the joint
  • Skin discoloration
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness

Strains

  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Swelling
  • Cramping
  • Limited range of movement
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Bruising 
  • Discoloration

Causes of Sprains and Strains

Both sprains and strains occur as a result of an injury during physical activity. They can be caused by similar things, from something as simple as walking to a traumatic injury like a fall or body blow.

Sprains

Sprains may be caused by a number of activities. They can happen during everyday activities or during exercise or playing sports. Sprains are common injuries in sports like track & field, football, baseball, and basketball.

  • Walking on uneven surfaces
  • Landing awkwardly from a jump
  • Overextension while playing sports
  • Landing on an outstretched arm after a fall
  • Twisting or pivoting during physical activity
  • A blow to the body that forces the joint out of its usual position

Strains

Strains can also be caused by a number of physical activities. Some strains occur during everyday activities while others happen during exercise or playing sports. Strains are common injuries in sports like gymnastics, tennis, golf, rowing, boxing, wrestling, soccer, football, and hockey.

  • Slipping and losing footing
  • Lifting something heavy incorrectly
  • Throwing something
  • Not warming up before exercising
  • Overextension during activity
  • Repetitive movements in sports
    • Tennis
    • Golf
    • Baseball
  • Poor or awkward posture for a long period of time

Treatments for Sprains and Strains

The first line of treatment for strains and sprains includes resting, elevating, and icing the affected area. Wearing a bandage or brace may also help with healing by providing compression. Over-the-counter pain killers may help relieve the pain associated with a sprain. Physical therapy can help you regain complete mobility by giving you exercises that will stabilize and strengthen the injured area. Some severe sprains may require surgery to repair. 

Sprains can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to heal depending on the severity. However, if your symptoms last longer than a week, you should see a doctor so they can rule out further injury or develop a treatment plan to heal the injury correctly. Other signs you should seek medical attention include:

  • Numbness in the injured area
  • Inability to walk
  • Inability to use arms and legs
  • The injury is bleeding

The team Paris Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are dedicated to helping our patients recover from a wide range of orthopedic conditions and injuries. Our services include general orthopedic medicine, joint replacement, sports injury treatment, and a bone health clinic. If you’re having trouble with a suspected strain or sprain, call (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

Tips for Relieving Joint Pain in Winter

Millions of Americans suffer from joint pain each year. Some joint pain is due to injury or illness, but a lot of cases are caused by arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 23% of adults in the US are diagnosed with arthritis by a doctor. No matter the cause of your joint pain, you might experience worsening symptoms when it gets colder outside. To get relief, you can try some of these winter tips for joint pain.

1. Stay Active

One of the most important tips for joint pain relief year-round is staying active. Exercise strengthens muscles that help take the pressure off joints and keeps you loose. You may need to focus on this more during cold weather because we often spend less time being active outdoors. You can move many workouts inside during winter to stay active. Try low-impact training with swimming at an indoor pool or using an elliptical trainer. Make sure you safely warm-up for all workouts and include stretching in your routine.

2. Increase Anti-Inflammatories

To receive joint pain, you can increase the number of anti-inflammatory foods you consume. Look for foods that have healthy omega-3 fatty acids like avocados and certain fish. You can also take a supplement of krill oil to increase intake. Other foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties include garlic, turmeric, onions, probiotic foods, green tea, berries, and dark leafy greens.

3. Hydrate

Dehydration is linked to increased pain sensitivity. You lose moisture in cold and dry conditions even though you’re not sweating. Make a point to consume enough fluids throughout the day to relieve joint pain.

4. Dress Warmly

Make sure you bundle up in layers when it’s cold out. Ensure that the joints you have trouble with are well insulated so the cold won’t get to them and cause them to become stiff. 

5. Apply Heat

Along with dressing warmly, one of the best tips for relieving joint pain during winter is applying heat to stiff and aching areas. Heating pads and wraps are good options for applying heat directly to the joint. Electric blankets are good for keeping your entire body warm while relaxing. Some people find relief by soaking in warm water in either a bathtub or hot tub. If you can find a heated pool to swim in, you get the two-for-one benefit of a soak and low-impact exercise.

6. Lose Excess Weight

Extra weight increases strain on joints. It’s not always an easy task to lose weight, especially during the holidays when so many treats are around. However, if you stay active and make smart food choices, knocking off a few pounds might provide you with some pain relief. 

7. Increase Vitamin D

During the winter, some people don’t spend enough time outside in the sun. This can lead to vitamin D deficiency, which is linked to increased sensitivity to joint pain. Have your vitamin D levels checked during your next doctor’s appointment and if it’s low, ask your doctor about the best supplements to take.

8. Avoid Slipping

During the winter, the ground can be slippery due to ice, sleet, or snow. If you live in a place where those conditions are common, consider investing in winter boots that have treaded soles appropriate for gripping slick ground. If you’re already suffering from joint pain, then you don’t want to further injure yourself by slipping and falling.

9. Use Pain Relievers Sparingly

During winter months you might need to supplement these lifestyle habits with a pain reliever. Many times an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen may be suitable to take on occasion. Sometimes these drugs, especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have negative side effects that pose risks if you have conditions like kidney disease or stomach ulcers. That’s why it’s important to check with your doctor before beginning even OTC medication.

10. See an Orthopedic Specialist

Paris Orthopedic and Sports Medicine provide patients in Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma with comprehensive orthopedic services, including treatment for joint problems. If you’re struggling with joint pain, call our Paris, Texas orthopedics office at (903) 737-0000 to make an appointment.

 

6 Tips to Prevent Spring Yard Work Injuries

As the grass finally starts to grow back from the winter months, it becomes a gentle reminder that a lot of work is ahead for you. Every year, thousands of injuries result from poor mechanics when performing yard work and many other injuries result from general mistakes.

While you get prepared to start your spring cleaning outdoors, it is important to consider ways to keep your body healthy and running strong all summer long. Proper consideration now can prevent many unwanted and unneeded medical bills, allowing your time in the yard to be relaxing opposed to causing additional stress.

The following are some helpful tips to prevent yard work injuries this spring and throughout the year:

1. Pay attention to the details

It is extremely common for individuals to get distracted with their thoughts while out in the yard. When this happens, it becomes easy to overlook rocks or debris which can quickly become dangerous projectiles when they come in contact with a lawn mower or weed eater.

It is also important to look for uneven ground that may cause an ankle or knee injury when carrying heavy objects or mowing the lawn. This uneven ground may be tough to see if the grass is too high, therefore a walk through prior to starting work is recommended. Flagging uneven ground may prove to be helpful in preventing a number of injuries.

2. Don’t forget to warm-up

Warming up prior to doing yard work may seem like a ridiculous idea. However, similar to performing any athletic activity it is important to get the body loose prior to engaging in strenuous physical activity. Failing to do so will leave the muscles cold and susceptible to injury when starting out, especially if carrying heavy materials.

It is not essential to perform an overly dynamic warm-up as you would before going for a run or hitting the gym, but light stretching of the major muscle groups in addition to moving the limbs and trunk around will help to get the blood flowing. This will prepare the body for physical activity, preventing and minor muscle strains from becoming nagging injuries over the next few months.

3. Use proper mechanics

Using proper mechanics when performing any physical activity including yard work is the best way to prevent injury. We all know the saying “lift with your legs and not your back” but not many actually put this saying into practice outside of the gym. Keep this in mind as you move pavers or larger plants around the garden. Bracing your core and thinking about proper movement will help keep you healthy, especially when considering back injuries.

If you do not possess the proper range of motion to use proper lifting and movement mechanics, it is important that you start a flexibility program that uses a combination of static and dynamic stretching. The inability to get in certain positions because of range of motion will greatly increase your risk of injuries, both minor and more substantial, such as in the case of a herniated disc.

This applies to both big movements as well as things that require a longer period of postural control, such as gardening. If you feel yourself starting to tighten-up while mending to your flowers or vegetables, it is a good idea to get up for a few minutes to get the blood flowing, assess your position, and get back to work in a healthy spine neutral position.

4. Read equipment manuals

While proper mechanics are important, many yard work injuries are the result of improper or negligent equipment use. Before operating new lawn care equipment or equipment you may not already be familiar with, read the manual to understand all of its safety features and instructions for use.

Always be mindful of your fingers or other extremities any time you are operating any equipment that has a blade including lawn mowers, edgers, chainsaws or hedge trimmers. Remember, sharp blades have the potential to cause injury even when they are not in motion.

5. Know your limits

Whether you’re 20 or 65 years old, there’s a good chance you don’t want to think of yourself as having limits when performing yard work duties. Whether you are trying to carry two bags of grass clippings in one trip or save money by scaling a ladder to clean the gutters yourself, pushing past your limits and comfort zone increase your risk of injury.

As with anything in life that requires a physical demand, be honest with your capabilities when it comes to yard work. There’s no shame in outsourcing these tasks to a professional especially when it helps you avoid an unexpected trip to the emergency room.

6. Have a plan if things go south

Taking the proper precautions can help you to get the most out of your body, achieve the tasks you need done and keep you healthy in the process. But, accidents can happen to even those who go to great lengths to prevent them.

The experienced team at Paris Orthopedic specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of injuries and conditions, including the most common yard work injuries such as strains, sprains and fractures. To request an appointment, call (903) 737-0000.