4 Common Causes of Wrist Pain, and How to Fix Them

4 Common Causes of Wrist Pain, and How to Fix Them

Article Featured on Stack.com

With eight bones and a network of ligaments and tendons, the wrist is a complex joint that presents plenty of opportunity for problems.No wonder wrist pain is a fairly common complaint among athletes. If you’re experiencing wrist pain, find out if you have one of these four common wrist ailments.

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Hip Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and More

Why Does My Hip Hurt? 8 Causes of Hip Pain

The hip joint can withstand repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear. This ball-and-socket joint — the body’s largest — fits together in a way that allows for fluid movement.

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What Is Tennis Elbow?

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Article Featured on WebMD

Doctors know the condition as lateral epicondylitis. The rest of us call it “tennis elbow.” The term has entered wide use, though only a small group of people diagnosed with tennis elbow actually get it from playing tennis.

Tennis elbow is a common injury that will usually heal with minor treatment, but you have to give it time and rest.

Where Is the Pain?

Tennis elbow is a pain focused on the outside of the arm, where your forearm meets your elbow.

It’s related to a muscle and tendons in your forearm. Tendons connect your muscles to your bones. When you constantly use your arm in a repetitive motion, the tendons at the elbow end of a certain muscle — the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle — may develop small tears.

The tears lead to inflammation and may put stress on the rest of your arm, making it painful to lift and grip things. Left untreated, it can become chronic (that’s medical-speak for “ongoing”).

Tennis elbow affects up to 3% of the population, particularly adults between 30 and 50 years of age. But less than 5% of cases are linked to tennis.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a classic repetitive stress injury caused by overuse. Any activity that strains the muscles around the elbow over and over again can cause it. There’s also a version golfers get called “golfer’s elbow.”

In tennis, hitting a backhand puts some stress on your forearm muscles, which repeatedly contract when you hit the ball. If you have poor technique or grip the racquet too tightly, that stress may increase in the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the elbow. The tendons may get small tears.

The more you do it — and tennis is a game of repeated strokes — the greater the chance for tennis elbow.

You can get it from other racquet sports, such as squash or racquetball. You can also get it from jobs or activities that involve repetitive arm motion, such as:

  • Tree-cutting (repetitive use of a chain saw)
  • Painting
  • Carpentry
  • Playing some types of musical instruments

Butchers, cooks, and assembly-line workers are among the groups that get it often.

Golfer’s elbow differs from tennis elbow in that the pain is focused on the inside of the elbow. But the causes are similar: tendon tears caused by repetitive movement, whether it’s a golf swing, lifting weights, or simply shaking hands.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of tennis elbow is an ache on the outside of the elbow. Over time — from a few weeks to a few months — the ache turns into a chronic pain. The outside of your elbow may become too painful to touch.

Eventually, you may find it harder or more painful to grip or lift things. Sometimes tennis elbow affects both arms.

Treatment

Your doctor may ask you to do some simple actions to see whether you have tennis elbow. These include straightening your wrist against pressure and checking for pain in parts of your arm. He may also order an MRI scan for you.

Tennis elbow can usually be treated with exercise, physical therapy, and medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin. Talk to your doctor if you have ongoing pain and think you may need to take pain relievers for an extended time.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions ó such as sports injuries and fractures ó to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

Causes of Lower Back Pain

Article By John Peloza, MD | Featured on Spine Health

The single most common cause of lower back pain is a torn or pulled muscle and/or ligament.

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Beware of Boot Camp Fitness Classes

Orthopedic Warning: Beware of Boot Camp Fitness Classes

Article By Dr. Ty E. Richardson of Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic | Featured on Angie’s List

An orthopedic surgeon warns of injury risks associated with the popular, so-called boot camp class.

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How to Treat a Crick in the Neck

Article Found on MedicalNewsToday

A crick in the neck makes the neck feel stiff and less mobile than usual. Some people report that a crick also feels like something in the neck needs to pop into place.

A crick in the neck can be temporary or chronic. It is often painless but may be connected to the chronic neck or shoulder pain.

In this article, we look at what causes a crick in the neck, as well as what treatment options are available. Read more

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The Difference Between Sprains and Strains

Article by Elizabeth Quinn | Found on VeryWellFit

Sprains and strains, while sometimes used interchangeably, are not the same thing. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, the tough, fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bone. Ligament injuries involve a stretching or a tearing of this tissue.

A strain, on the other hand, is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon, the tissue that connects muscles to bones.

Depending on the severity of the injury, a strain may be a simple overstretch of the muscle or tendon, or it can result in a partial or complete tear.

Sprains

A sprain typically occurs when people fall and land on an outstretched arm, slide into base, land on the side of their foot, or twist a knee with the foot planted firmly on the ground. This results in an overstretch or tear of the ligament(s) supporting that joint.

Common types of strains include:

  • Ankle SprainsThe ankle is one of the most common injuries in professional and recreational sports and activities. Most ankle sprains happen when the foot abruptly turns inward (inversion) or outward (eversion) as an athlete runs, turns, falls, or lands after a jump. One or more of the lateral ligaments are injured.
  • Wrist SprainsWrists are often sprained after a fall in which the athlete lands on an outstretched hand.

Signs and Symptoms

The usual signs and symptoms of a muscle sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, and the loss of functional ability (the ability to move and use the joint).

Sometimes people feel a pop or tear when the injury happens. However, these signs and symptoms can vary in intensity, depending on the severity of the sprain.

Sprain Severity Scale

  • Grade I Sprain: A grade I (mild) sprain causes overstretching or slight tearing of the ligaments with no joint instability. A person with a mild sprain usually experiences minimal pain, swelling, and little or no loss of functional ability. Bruising is absent or slight, and the person is usually able to put weight on the affected joint.
  • Grade II Sprain: A grade II (moderate) sprain causes partial tearing of the ligament and is characterized by bruising, moderate pain, and swelling. A person with a moderate sprain usually has some difficulty putting weight on the affected joint and experiences some loss of function. An x-ray or MRI may be needed.
  • Grade III Sprain: A grade III (severe) sprain results in a complete tear or ruptures a ligament. Pain, swelling, and bruising are usually severe, and the patient is unable to put weight on the joint. An x-ray is usually taken to rule out a broken bone. This type of a muscle sprain often requires immobilization and possibly surgery. It can also increase the risk of an athlete having future muscles sprains in that area.

When diagnosing any sprain, the doctor will ask the patient to explain how the injury happened. The doctor will examine the affected joint, check its stability and its ability to move and bear weight.

Strains

A strain is caused by twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon. Strains can be acute or chronic. An acute strain is caused by trauma or an injury such as a blow to the body; it can also be caused by improperly lifting heavy objects or over-stressing the muscles.

Chronic strains are usually the result of overuse—prolonged, repetitive movement of the muscles and tendons.

Common types of strains include:

Contact sports such as soccer, football, hockey, boxing, and wrestling put people at risk for strains. Gymnastics, tennis, rowing, golf and other sports that require extensive gripping can increase the risk of hand and forearm strains. Elbow strains sometimes occur in people who participate in racket sports, throwing, and contact sports.

Two common elbow strains include:

Signs and Symptoms

Typically, people with a strain experience pain, muscle spasm and muscle weakness. They can also have localized swelling, cramping, or inflammation and, with a more severe strain, some loss of muscle function. Patients typically have pain in the injured area and general weakness of the muscle when they attempt to move it. Severe strains that partially or completely tear the muscle or tendon are often very painful and disabling.

Strain Severity

Strains are categorized in a similar manner to sprains:

  • Grade I Strain: This is a mild strain and only some muscle fibers have been damaged. Healing occurs within two to three weeks.
  • Grade II Strain: This is a moderate strain with more extensive damage to muscle fibers, but the muscle is not completely ruptured. Healing occurs within three to six weeks.
  • Grade III Strain: This is a severe injury with a complete rupture of a muscle. This typically requires a surgical repair of the muscle; the healing period can be up to three months.

When To See a Doctor for a Sprain or Strain

  • You have severe pain and cannot put any weight on the injured joint.
  • The area over the injured joint or next to it is very tender when you touch it.
  • The injured area looks crooked or has lumps and bumps that you do not see on the uninjured joint.
  • You cannot move the injured joint.
  • You cannot walk more than four steps without significant pain.
  • Your limb buckles or gives way when you try to use the joint.
  • You have numbness in any part of the injured area.
  • You see redness or red streaks spreading out from the injury.
  • You injure an area that has been injured several times before.
  • You have pain, swelling, or redness over a bony part of your foot.

Treatment

The treatment of muscle sprains and strains has two main goals. The first goal is to reduce swelling and pain; the second is to speed recovery and rehabilitation.

To reduce swelling it is recommended to follow use R.I.C.E. therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) for the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury.

An OTC (or prescription) anti-inflammatory medication may also help decrease pain and inflammation.

R.I.C.E. Therapy

Rest: Reduce regular exercise or other activities as much as you can. Your doctor may advise you to put no weight on an injured area for 48 hours. If you cannot put weight on an ankle or knee, crutches may help. If you use a cane or one crutch for an ankle injury, use it on the uninjured side to help you lean away and relieve weight on the injured ankle.

IceApply an ice pack to the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day. A cold pack, ice bag, or plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel can be used. To avoid cold injury and frostbite, do not apply the ice for more than 20 minutes.

Compression: Compression of an injured ankle, knee, or wrist may help reduce swelling. Examples of compression bandages are elastic wraps, special boots, air casts, and splints. Ask your doctor for advice on which one to use.

Elevation: If possible, keep the injured ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist elevated on a pillow, above the level of the heart, to help decrease swelling.

Rehabilitation

The second stage of treating a sprain or strain is rehabilitation to restore normal function. When the pain and swelling are reduced you can generally begin gentle exercise. A custom program is often created by a physical therapist that prevents stiffness, improves range of motion, improves flexibility and builds strength. Depending on the type of injury you have, you may go to physical therapy for several weeks, or do the exercises at home.

People with an ankle sprain may start with range of motion exercises, such as writing the alphabet in the air with the big toe. An athlete with an injured knee or foot will work on weight-bearing and balancing exercises. The length of this stage depends on the extent of the injury, but it is often several weeks.

Rebuilding strength is a slow and gradual process, and only when done correctly can the athlete consider returning to sports. It’s tempting to resume full activity despite pain or muscle soreness, but returning to full activity soon increases the chance of re-injury and may lead to a chronic problem.

The amount of rehabilitation and the time needed for full recovery after a muscle sprain or strain depend on the severity of the injury and individual rates of healing. A moderate ankle sprain may require three to six weeks of rehabilitation and severe sprain can take eight to 12 months to rehab completely and avoid re-injury. Patience and learning to cope with an injury is essential to recovery.

Preventing Sprains and Strains

There are many things athletes can do to help lower their risk of muscle sprains and strains. Start by reviewing these 10 tips for safe workouts.

  • Perform balance and proprioception exercises.
  • Practice rehabilitation exercises.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly.
  • Replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread wears out or the heel wears down on one side.
  • Ease into any fitness routine and get into proper physical condition to play a sport.
  • Warm up before participating in any sports or exercise.
  • Wear protective equipment when playing.
  • Avoid exercising or playing sports when tired or in pain.
  • Run on even surfaces.

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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When it Comes to Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis, More is Better

Article Found on ScienceDaily

Researchers previously showed that overweight and obese individuals with knee osteoarthritis can reduce pain by 50% and significantly improve function and mobility with a 10% or more weight loss over an 18-month period. The investigators’ latest findings, which are published in Arthritis Care & Research, reveal that a 20% or more weight loss has the added benefit of continued improvement in physical health-related quality of life along with an additional 25% reduction in pain and improvement in function.

The results come from a secondary analysis of diet-only and diet plus exercise groups in the Intensive Diet and Exercise for Arthritis (IDEA) randomized controlled trial. A total of 240 overweight and obese older community-dwelling adults with pain and knee osteoarthritis were divided into four groups according to weight loss achieved over an 18-month period: less than 5% (<5% group), between 5 and 9.9% (?5% group), between 10 and 19.9% (? 10% group), and 20% and greater (?20% group).

The researchers found that the greater the weight loss, the better participants fared in terms of pain, function, 6-minute walk distance, physical and mental health-related quality of life, knee joint compression force, and IL-6 (a marker of inflammation). Also, when comparing the two highest groups, the ?20% group had 25% less pain and better function than the ? 10% group, and significantly better health-related quality of life.

Obesity is a health issue worldwide and a major and modifiable risk factor for many of the more than 250 million adults with knee osteoarthritis. “Currently, there is no treatment that slows the progression or prevents this debilitating disease; hence, research has focused on improving clinical outcomes important to the patient,” said lead author Stephen Messier, PhD, of Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, NC. “A 10% weight loss is the established target recommended by the National Institutes of Health as an initial weight loss for overweight and obese adults. The importance of our study is that a weight loss of 20% or greater — double the previous standard — results in better clinical outcomes, and is achievable without surgical or pharmacologic intervention.”


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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Bursitis: Understanding Inflammation of the Bursa

Article by Johnathon Cluett | Found on VeryWell

Every person has hundreds of bursa found throughout the body. The normal function of a bursa is to decrease friction between two surfaces that move in different directions. The bursa is a slippery, fluid-filled sac. Normally, the bursa is thin and contains a small amount of fluid.

A bursa is found where there is a movement of a joint causing two tissues to rub against each other.

For example, behind the elbow or in front of the knee, there is a bursa to allow the skin to move without rubbing against the bone. These movements should be smooth and effortless.

What Is Bursitis?

Under normal circumstances, the bursa provides a slippery surface that has very little friction with movement. Bursitis means that the bursa has become inflamed. The bursa loses its gliding capabilities and becomes more and more irritated when it is moved.

When the condition called bursitis occurs, the normally slippery bursa becomes thickened and swollen. The added bulk of the swollen bursa causes more friction within an already limited space. Also, the smooth gliding bursa becomes gritty and rough. Movement of an inflamed bursa is painful and irritating.

Signs of Bursitis

Bursitis typically results from a repetitive overuse injury or due to prolonged pressure applied directly to the bursa. The next most common cause of bursitis is an acute injury, such as a contusion.

Systemic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout, may also lead to bursitis. The last major cause of bursitis is an infection. An infected bursitis, also called septic bursitis, occurs when there is infection within the bursa. There is usually a break in the skin over the bursa that causes the infection, but there can also be infection spread to the bursa from within the body.

The most common method to diagnose bursitis is based on examination of a patient. The findings consistent with bursitis include:

  1. Tenderness directly over the bursa. An inflamed bursa is usually tender to the touch. Even a bursa deep inside the body may have pain when pressure is applied to the area. Sometimes your examiner will manipulate the area around the bursa to compress the bursa sac to detect tenderness of the area.
  2. Pain with movement of overlying muscles and tendons. When a bursa is inflamed, normal movements of the soft-tissues surrounding the bursa may become painful. Sometimes a grinding sensation called crepitus can be felt when these normally smooth movements become rough.
  3. Swelling of the bursa. When the bursa is located in a superficial location (such as above the kneecap or behind the elbow), the swelling of the bursa may be seen or felt.

If there is a suspicion of infection, your doctor may obtain some of the fluid from the swollen bursa for microscopic analysis. The fluid can usually be suctioned from the bursa with a small needle and a syringe.

Imaging tests such as x-rays and MRIs are not usually needed to make the diagnosis of bursitis but may be performed to ensure there is no other problem, such as a fracture, that could be causing the symptoms of pain and swelling.

If you have any sign of infection associated with bursitis you should alert your doctor immediately.These signs of infection include:

  • Open wounds around the area of bursitis
  • Redness of increasing warmth the skin
  • Systemic signs of infection such as fevers, chills, and sweats

Treatment of Bursitis

Treatment of bursitis depends on the specific type of bursitis, but the general focus is to rest the bursa, decrease inflammation, and allow time for recovery. Most all cases of bursitis will recover with non-invasive treatments. While there are some situations where bursitis may take months to resolve, there will typically be a gradual improvement in symptoms.

When the bursitis is persistent despite appropriate treatment, surgical excision of the bursa is an option. In people diagnosed with an infection of the bursa, a septic bursitis, there will also need to be appropriate antibiotic treatment.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Arthritis and Arthroscopy

Arthritis and Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is one of the most commonly performed procedures to help diagnose problems in the knee and shoulder, including arthritis. It’s a minor surgical procedure and performed on an outpatient basis.

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