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What is the Best Thing for Stiff Joints?

Article by Jenna Fletcher | Found on MedicalNewsToday

Many people experience stiff joints as they age. Others may experience joint stiffness due to medical conditions and lifestyle choices. Sometimes, people can treat stiff joints at home.

Many people who experience joint stiffness tend to feel it after sitting for prolonged periods or after first waking up. Some people experience a mild discomfort that goes away after moving again. Others find that the stiffness lasts longer and is more uncomfortable. Read more

Exercises That Are Easy On Your Joints

Exercises That Are Easy On Your Joints

Having rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t give you a pass to escape working out. In fact, regular exercise can keep your joints and muscles strong. It can also improve your heart health. That’ll make you better equipped to deal with complications that may crop up.

Other benefits of regular exercise include:

  • Less pain
  • More stability in your joints
  • More energy
  • Improved physical function and performance
  • Better bone health
  • Improved quality of life

Stretches

To ease joint stiffness and widen your range of motion, you need to stretch your muscles. Morning is a good time for gentle stretching or yoga. It’s also a good idea any time before exercise.

Leg/hamstring stretch: While standing, lean forward as far as you comfortably can and reach toward your toes. Make sure you bend your knees a little to keep your legs soft. Hold it for 10-20 seconds.

Finger/wrist stretch: Bend your fingers forward, then backward, holding each stretch for 10–20 seconds each time. Then do the same with your hand to stretch your wrist muscles.

Cross-body arm stretch: Put your arm across the front of your body and gently hold it for 10-20 seconds, then switch to the other arm. Next, reach up to the sky with one arm and then the other, tilting each arm slightly over your head to stretch your shoulders.

Neck stretches: Drop your head forward gently, and then roll it slowly toward one shoulder and back toward the other.

Yoga Poses

Cobra: Lie face-down on the floor, keeping your toes pointed away from you. Press your palms into the floor and slowly raise your upper body. Keep your elbows close to your side.

Extended leg balance: While standing, put all your weight on one foot. Use a chair or table for support and slowly lift your leg and hold it with one leg on the outside of your knee. For an even better stretch, rotate your leg out to the side from that position and hold.

Seated spinal twist: Sit up tall in a chair and put your hand on the outside of the opposite thigh. Gently twist in the direction of your arm and hold. Then, switch to the other side.

Strength Exercises

RA can slowly take away muscle mass. So, it’s important to work out your muscles to help them stay strong.

If you have swollen joints, you can do isometric exercises. They hold your muscles in one place. They also don’t make you move your joints.

If your joints aren’t swollen, isotonic exercises (movements that work against resistance, like weightlifting) are good for building up muscles.

Talk to your doctor before you start any kind of strength training.

Abdominal contractions: To do this isometric exercise, lie on your back and put your hands on your stomach muscles. Lift your head and hold it. You can continue this exercise by squeezing the muscles that lifted your head without actually picking it up, too.

Palm press: This is isometric, too. Hold your hands so they face each other. One hand should have fingertips up and the other should have fingertips down. Press your palms together and hold.

Bicep lifts: While you sit in a chair with your arms resting on your thighs palms up, hold light weights in your hands. Then, raise them toward your shoulders, bending at the elbow.

Seated knee lift: With a resistance band over your legs in a seated position, raise one leg slowly, then switch sides.

Exercises for Endurance

Your heart muscle needs a workout just like your biceps or quads do. Aerobic exercises raise your breathing and heart rates. Your best bets are exercises that get your blood pumping and are easy on your joints.

Walking: Daily walks are an easy way to get into the exercise groove. Start with slow and short strolls if you’re new to regular exercise. Then work up to longer, faster walks as you get stronger. Be sure to stretch before you start and after you finish. Drink plenty of water, too.

Cycling: A stationary bike takes away your risk of a fall. Again, start slowly if you’re a beginner, and go faster as you get better.

Swimming: Water workouts are great when you have RA. They take weight off your joints. They also raise your heart rate. Water also acts as resistance against your muscles. That can make you stronger.

You can swim laps or join a water aerobics class. Use water weights for some more muscle work.

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How Much Exercise Is Enough?

Article by Barbara Robb | Found on Everyday Health

How much exercise is enough? Short answer: It depends.

“How much exercise is enough for what?” asks David Bassett Jr., PhD, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He explains that, before you make a decision on how much you need, you should have a good idea of your exercise goal or goals: Are you exercising for physical fitness, weight control, or as a way of keeping your stress levels low?

For general health benefits, a routine of daily walking may be sufficient, says Susan Joy, MD, co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Sports Medicine Center in Sacramento and team physician for the Sacramento Kings.

If your goal is more specific — say, to lower your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular fitness, or lose weight — you’ll need either more frequent exercise or a higher intensity of exercise.

“The medical literature continues to support the idea that exercise is medicine,” saysJeffrey E. Oken, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with the Marianjoy Medical Group in Wheaton, Illinois. “Regular exercise can help lower risk of premature death, control your blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, combat obesity, improve your lung function, and help treat depression.”

Here, experts break down exactly how much exercise is enough, on the basis of your personal health and fitness goals.

Current Physical Fitness Guidelines for All Adults

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone needs two types of physical activity each week:  aerobics and muscle-strengthening activities. (1)

Aerobic activity involves repetitive use of the large muscles to temporarily increase heart rate and respiration. When repeated regularly, aerobic activity improves cardio-respiratory fitness. Running, brisk walking, swimming, and cycling are all forms of aerobic activity.

Muscle-strengthening activities are designed to work one or more muscle groups. All the major muscle groups — legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms — should be worked on two or more days each week, according to federal guidelines. Lifting weights, working with resistance bands, and doing pushups are all are forms of muscle-strengthening activities, according to the CDC.

Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities. If activity is more vigorous in intensity, 75 minutes a week may be enough. For even greater health benefits, though, more activity is better: 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a mix of the two, says the CDC.

It’s best to be active throughout the week, rather than concentrating all your physical activity in one day. That means aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, five days a week. You can break it up into even smaller chunks, too: three brief periods of physical activity a day, for example. In order for it to be effective in improving health and fitness, the CDC says you need to sustain the activity for at least 10 minutes at a time.

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Lose Weight or Maintain Weight Loss?

Research consistently shows that, to lose weight, integrating exercise into your routine helps. For example, in one study published in the journal Obesity, women who both dieted and exercised lost more weight than those who only dieted. (2)

If you’re trying to control your weight through exercise, however, the general activity guidelines provided by the CDC might not be sufficient; you’re likely going to need to devote some extra time to exercise.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 150 to 250 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity yields only modest weight-loss results, and to lose a significant amount of weight, you may need to perform moderate-intensity exercise more than 250 minutes per week (in addition to dietary intervention). (3) So how much exercise do you need in a day? That equates to about one hour, five days per week.

Meanwhile, the CDC suggests that, if you increase your intensity, you can reap similar weight-control benefits in about half the time. For example, in one study published in January 2017 in the Journal of Diabetes Research, women who performed high-intensity interval exercise lost the same amount of weight and body fat compared with those who performed moderate-intensity cardio, but they did it while exercising for significantly less time. (4)

It’s important to remember that once you hit your weight-loss goals, you need to continue exercising to make sure you don’t regain the weight. A study published in August 2015 in the Journal of Primary Prevention that analyzed data from 81 studies investigating the role of exercise in weight management found that one of the biggest ways exercise helps with weight management is by preventing weight gain (perhaps even more than it helps you lose weight). (5)

The ACSM recommends performing more than 250 minutes of exercise per week to prevent weight regain.

To both lose weight and prevent weight regain, the ACSM recommends performing strength-training exercises to increase the body’s levels of fat-free mass, which improves metabolic rate. That’s why, when Harvard researchers followed 10,500 men over the course of 12 years, those who performed 20 minutes of strength training per day gained less abdominal fat compared with those who spent the same amount of time performing cardiovascular exercise, according to data published in the February 2015 issue of the journal Obesity. (6)

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Improve Cardiovascular Health?

Fortunately for anyone trying to improve their heart health, a little bit of exercise goes a long way.

For overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends performing at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days per week. (7) Other research shows that aerobic exercise is the most efficient form of exercise for improving measures of cardiometabolic health, including insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and blood pressure. (8)

AHA recommends performing strengthening activities at least two days per week to help preserve and build lean muscle.

However, if you are actively trying to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol levels, the AHA advises upping your exercise time and intensity to an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-cardiovascular activity three to four times per week. Before engaging in high-intensity exercise, especially if you have a history of heart issues, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what intensity of exercise is safe for you, Dr. Oken says.

And, again, remember that it’s okay to work up to your target exercise levels. No matter what your goals are, some exercise is always going to be more beneficial than none. Small steps sometimes lead to the biggest gains.


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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5 Lifestyle Steps for Better Bone Health

Article by Jeanie Lerche Davis | Found on WebMD

If your doctor says you have thinning bones — osteopenia or osteoporosis— it’s critical to take steps to slow the progression of this disease.Calciumexercise, no smoking, no excess drinking, bone density tests — all these are necessary, says Kathryn Diemer, MD, professor of medicine and osteoporosis specialist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“These are basic things that all women should do,” Diemer tells WebMD. But they’re especially important for women with low bone density. While you can never regain the bone density you had in your youth, you can help prevent rapidly thinning bones, even after your diagnosis.

Here’s a breakdown of five lifestyle steps to help you on the road to better bone health.

Bone Health Step 1: Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium builds strong bones, but vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. That’s why postmenopausal women need 1,200 milligrams calcium and at least 400 IU to 600 IU vitamin D daily for better bone health.

“Any patient being treated for osteoporosis should have both calcium and vitamin D levels checked in blood tests,” says Diemer.

Most American women get less than 500 milligrams of calcium in their daily diet. “Sun exposure helps produce vitamin D, but as we get older, our skin is not as efficient at making vitamin D. Also, if we’re careful to use sunscreen, we’re at risk of having low vitamin D level.”

Here are ways to give your body a boost of both calcium and vitamin D:

Calcium in food: We know that dairy has calcium, but other foods do, too.

  • Low-fat milk or soy milk (8 ounces): 300 milligrams calcium
  • Cottage cheese (16 ounces): 300 milligrams calcium
  • Low-fat yogurt (8 ounces): 250-400 milligrams calcium
  • Canned salmon (3 ounces): 180 milligrams calcium
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice (6 ounces): 200 milligrams-260 milligrams calcium
  • Cooked spinach, turnip greens, collard greens (1/2 cup): 100 milligrams calcium
  • Cooked broccoli (1/2 cup) 40 milligrams calcium

A calcium supplement may be necessary to make sure that you’re getting enough, says Diemer.

Calcium supplementsAll the calcium bottles on store shelves can be confusing. Basically, there are two types of calcium — calcium carbonate and calcium citrate — that can be purchased over the counter.

  • Calcium carbonate must be taken with food for the body to absorb it. Many women have side effects from calcium carbonate — gastrointestinal upset, gassiness, and constipation, Diemer tells WebMD. If you take calcium carbonate with magnesium, however, you won’t likely have the constipation. “It acts just like Milk of Magnesiaand seems to help move things through.”
Certain medications can interfere with absorption of calcium carbonate — including NexiumPrevacidPrilosec, and others used to treat acid reflux(GERD) or peptic ulcers. If you take those medications, you should probably take calcium citrate.

  • Calcium citrate is generally well tolerated, and can be taken without food. You might need to take more than one pill to get the recommended dosage, so take them at separate times — to help your body absorb the calcium. If you take more than about 500 milligrams of calcium at one time your body will simply pass it as waste.

Check the supplement’s label before buying. Look for either “pharmaceutical grade” or “USP (United States Pharmacopeia) standards. This will ensure high-quality pills that will dissolve in your system. “Even generic brands are fine if they have that information,” Diemer advises.

Don’t forget vitamin D. Most calcium pills — and most multivitamins — contain vitamin D. However, you can get vitamin D in food (fortified dairy products, egg yolks, saltwater fish like tuna, and liver). Research suggests that vitamin D3 supplements may be a little bit better absorbed and retained than Vitamin D2.

If you’re taking osteoporosis medications, take calcium, too. “A lot of patients think if they start treatment they don’t need calcium,” she adds. “That’s not true, and physicians often don’t emphasize the point.”

Take prescription calcium if necessary. In some cases, doctors prescribe higher-strength calcium and vitamin D tablets.

Bone Health Step 2: Weight-Bearing Exercise

Calcium supplements and osteoporosis medications can stop bone loss — which allows the bone to rebuild itself, Diemer explains. “But the body needs ‘encouragement’ to rebuild bone,” she adds. “The skeleton needs to be under stress so it will get stronger.” That’s why exercise is important for better bone health.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before you begin any exercise regimen. Here are some types of exercises your doctor may suggest.

Make walking a daily ritual. Walking, jogging, and light aerobics make your bones and muscles work against gravity — which puts stress on the skeleton, which strengthens bones. Bicycling is also good for bones; it offers some resistance, which improves muscle mass and strengthens bones.

Swimming, however, is not a good bone-booster, says Diemer. “Swimming is great for joints if you have arthritis, but it’s not doing anything for osteoporosis. With swimming, the skeleton is comfortable so it is not working to hold itself up.”She advises 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise five days a week if you can. “I’m satisfied if they get 30 minutes, three times a week.”

Core strengthening is critical, too. Abdominal exerciseslower back exercisesyogaPilates, and tai chi help strengthen the spine. “All that stuff is great, because the most common fractures are in the spine,” Diemer tells WebMD. “Strengthening muscles to the spine gives more support to the spine. The other thing about yoga, Pilates, and tai chi — they improve balance, which prevents falls.”

Tell your instructor that you have osteoporosis. If you’re taking yoga or Pilates, make sure you have a certified instructor. You need close supervision to make sure you don’t harm yourself.

Bone Health Step 3: Don’t Smoke & Moderate Alcohol

“Nicotine is toxic to bone,” Diemer tells WebMD. “The first thing I tell patients who smoke is, if you don’t stop smoking there’s very little we can do for your bones. You counteract all medications.”

Alcohol in moderation is fine, but just one or two drinks a week, she advises. “Alcohol in excess causes about 2% bone loss in a year’s time. Nicotine also causes 2% bone loss. If you’re having alcohol and nicotine both in excess, the combined bone loss is actually doubled — 8% bone loss.”

Bone Health Step 4: Talk to Your Doctor

Many factors affect bone strength. Use of certain medications to treat chronic diseases, for example, is an often-overlooked risk factor for developing osteoporosis. Also, certain medications may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or loss of balance — which could put you at risk for a fall.

Your doctor can explain your own risk — as well as options for preventing and treating bone loss.

These are questions you might ask your doctor:

  • How can I best improve my bone health?
  • What is the best calcium to take?
  • What medication can help me?
  • Has this medication been proven to lower risk of fractures of spine and hip?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Do I need special instructions for taking my bone medication?
  • Will the medications affect other drugs that I’m taking for other conditions?
  • How will I know if the treatment is working?
  • How soon will I see a change?
  • How long will I take this medication?
  • Am I taking any medications that put me at risk for a fall?
  • What exercise is safest for me?
  • Are there exercises I should not do?
  • How can I know if I’ve fractured a bone in my spine?
  • How soon should I schedule my next appointment?
  • What should I do to prevent falls?

Bone Health Step 5: Bone Density Testing

bone mineral density test (BMD) is the only way to determine the extent of your bone loss. The gold-standard bone density test is dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), says Diemer. “It’s a low-radiation test and is the most accurate bone test we have.”

Your doctor will determine how frequently you should have a bone density test. If you’re taking osteoporosis medications — or have certain risk factors — you may need a test every six months. Before having the test, check with your insurance company. Some will only cover bone density tests every two years.

“Usually we can get insurance companies to agree to cover yearly tests, at least for the first year after treatment starts,” Diemer tells WebMD. “If the physician says it needs to be done, they usually will pay. But you may need to be persistent in getting it covered.”


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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5 Common Running Injuries and How to Heal Them

Article by Anna Medaris Miller | Found on US News

Runner’s lingo

If you come across a group of runners on the street, in a coffee shop or on an online forum, chances are they’re discussing one of three things: hydration issues, running schedules or injuries, says Joe English, a multi-sport athlete and coach in Portland, Oregon. And, if the topic is injuries, chances are there’s little consensus on, say, how long the sufferer should rest, whether to soothe it with ice or a foam roller and which practitioner to see. “Running injuries are super common, but there’s a lot of different information out there about how you deal with them,” English says. Here, he and other experts set the record straight.

The best offense is a good defense.

Whether it’s a slight shin irritation or a full-blown stress fracture, most running-related injuries can be traced back to a few causes: poor planning, a poor warmup, poor form or pushing too hard, says Nathan DeMetz, an online personal trainer based in Goshen, Indiana. “People are driving their feet down rapidly into the ground, and that damage can start to add up really quickly,” he says. Working with professionals, be they running coaches, personal trainers, physical therapists or sports medicine doctors, can help keep injuries at bay. But if it’s already too late, read on to learn how to identify and cope with five common running-related injuries:

1. Runner’s knee

About 50 percent of running injuries are knee-related, estimates Robert Gillanders, a physical therapist in Bethesda, Maryland, and spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. It’s easy to see why: The sport requires your knees to repetitively endure shock from the ground below and from body weight above the joint. If your gait’s a bit off, your training too accelerated or your shoes imperfectly fitted, that strain will add up – often to pain around the kneecap, aka runner’s knee. While rest is key, treatment may also include new shoes, dialed back mileage or quad-strengthening exercises. A sports medicine doc or physical therapist can help make the call.

2. IT band syndrome

Not all running-related knee pain is considered runner’s knee. If the outer, not front, of the joint is making you wince, it’s likely your IT band, a stretch of connective tissue that runs from your hip to your knee. “It’s almost like gristle that provides support for the outside of the knee,” Gillanders says. Running with IT band syndrome, which occurs more in women because wider hips ask more of the tissue, will only bring on pain earlier in runs. “There’s almost no way to get rid of it without resting it and getting ice on it and getting treatment,” English says. Foam rolling and expert-guided strength and balance work often help.

3. Achilles pain

Fifty percent of runners injure their Achilles tendons – the thick band of tissue joining the calf muscles with the heel – at some point during their careers, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. That’s partly because the band endures a lot of strain and doesn’t have a rich blood supply, which can prolong the healing cycle, Gillanders says. Men are particularly prone to Achilles injuries because they tend to have tighter calves than women. Like many running-related injuries, a good prevention and treatment technique for Achilles pain is flexibility work. “For every hour of running, you should really be doing an hour of a stretching-focused activity” like yoga, English says.

4. Plantar fasciitis

Sometimes, that same calf tightness can lead to shin splints or heel pain known as plantar fasciitis, which is most likely in runners who are heavier, have ramped up their routines too quickly and have flatter feet, among other risk factors, APTA reports. To treat heel pain, again, rest and professional help is key. Physical therapists may, for example, guide you in stretching exercises, prescribe icing and help you identify shoes or braces that can support your foot as it heals. Once you get back on your feet, you might try switching up your running surface to something softer, like a dirt path, grass or a track, English says.

5. Stress fractures

If you have a stress fracture and try to hop on the leg that hurts, your body won’t let you – it knows it will be too darn painful. “That’s when we take you out of a race,” English says. You can also identify the injury – essentially little cracks in the bone that can shatter – if one dime-sized spot, usually on the shin or under your foot, hurts to the touch. While one of the most serious running injuries, a stress fracture isn’t the only one that should send you to a sports medicine clinic. If you visit one, English says, “you’ll be back in business much faster than doing anything on your own.”

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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Foot Anatomy and Physiology

Article by Elizabeth Quin | Found on VeryWell

The human foot is incredibly complex in its structure and function. This brief overview provides a basic understanding of foot anatomy and physiology as it relates to some of the more common sports injuries, such as fracturesankle sprains, and plantar fasciitis.

Foot Structure

The forefoot includes the five metatarsal bones, and the phalanges (the toes).

The first metatarsal bone is the shortest, thickest and plays an important role during propulsion (forward movement). It also provides attachment for several tendons. The second, third, and fourth metatarsal bones are the most stable of the metatarsals. They are well-protected and have only minor tendon attachments. They are not subjected to strong pulling forces.

Near the head of the first metatarsal, on the plantar surface of the foot, are two sesamoid bones (a small, oval-shaped bone which develops inside a tendon, where the tendon passes over a bony prominence) They are held in place by tendons and ligaments.

The midfoot includes five of the seven tarsal bones (the navicular, cuboid, and three cuneiforms). The distal row contains the three cuneiforms and the cuboid. The midfoot meets the forefoot at the five tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints. There are multiple joints within the midfoot itself.

Proximally, the three cuneiforms articulate with the navicular bone.

Two large bones, the talus, and the calcaneus make up the hindfoot. The calcaneus is the largest tarsal bone and forms the heel. The talus rests on top of it and forms the pivot of the ankle.

Foot and Toe Movement

Toe movements take place at the joints.

These joints are capable of motion in two directions: plantar flexion or dorsiflexion. In addition, the joints permit abduction and adduction of the toes.

The foot as a whole (excluding the toes) has two movements: inversion and eversion. All the joints of the hindfoot and midfoot contribute to these complex movements that are ordinarily are combined with movements at the ankle joint.

The Foot Arches

The foot has two important functions: weight bearing and propulsion. These functions require a high degree of stability. Also, the foot must be flexible so that it can adapt to uneven surfaces. The multiple bones and joints of the foot give it flexibility, but these multiple bones must form an arch to support any weight.

The foot has three arches. The medial longitudinal arch is the highest and most important of the three arches. It is composed of the calcaneus, talus, navicular, cuneiforms, and the first three metatarsals. The lateral longitudinal arch is lower and flatter than the medial arch. It is composed of the calcaneus, cuboid, and the fourth and fifth metatarsals. The transverse arch is composed of the cuneiforms, the cuboid, and the five metatarsal bases.

The arches of the foot are maintained by the shapes of the bones and by the ligaments.

Also, muscles and tendons play an important role in supporting the arches.

Muscles of the Foot

The muscles of the foot are classified as either intrinsic or extrinsic. The intrinsic muscles are located within the foot and cause movement of the toes. These muscles are flexors (plantar flexors), extensors (dorsiflexors), abductors, and adductors of the toes. Several intrinsic muscles also help support the arches of the foot.

The extrinsic muscles are located outside the foot, in the lower leg. The powerful gastrocnemius muscle (calf) is among them. They have long tendons that cross the ankle, to attach to the bones of the foot and assist in movement.

The talus, however, has no tendon attachments.


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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Children Are as Fit as Endurance Athletes

Article Found on ScienceDaily

Children not only have fatigue-resistant muscles, but recover very quickly from high-intensity exercise — even faster than well-trained adult endurance athletes. This is the finding of new research published in open-access journal Frontiers in Physiology, which compared the energy output and post-exercise recovery rates of young boys, untrained adults and endurance athletes. The research could help develop athletic potential in children as well as improve our understanding of how our bodies change from childhood to adulthood — including how these processes contribute to the risk of diseases such as diabetes.

“During many physical tasks, children might tire earlier than adults because they have limited cardiovascular capability, tend to adopt less-efficient movement patterns and need to take more steps to move a given distance. Our research shows children have overcome some of these limitations through the development of fatigue-resistant muscles and the ability to recover very quickly from high-intensity exercise,” say Sébastien Ratel, Associate Professor in Exercise Physiology who completed this study at the Université Clermont Auvergne, France, and co-author Anthony Blazevich, Professor in Biomechanics at Edith Cowan University, Australia.

Previous research has shown that children do not tire as quickly as untrained adults during physical tasks. Ratel and Blazevich suggested the energy profiles of children could be comparable to endurance athletes, but there was no evidence to prove this until now.

The researchers asked three different groups — 8-12 year-old boys and adults of two different fitness levels — to perform cycling tasks. The boys and untrained adults were not participants in regular vigorous physical activity. In contrast the last group, the endurance athletes, were national-level competitors at triathlons or long-distance running and cycling.

Each group was assessed for the body’s two different ways of producing energy. The first, aerobic, uses oxygen from the blood. The second, anaerobic, doesn’t use oxygen and produces acidosis and lactate (often known by the incorrect term, lactic acid), which may cause muscle fatigue. The participants’ heart-rate, oxygen levels and lactate-removal rates were checked after the cycling tasks to see how quickly they recovered.

In all tests, the children outperformed the untrained adults.

“We found the children used more of their aerobic metabolism and were therefore less tired during the high-intensity physical activities,” says Ratel. “They also recovered very quickly — even faster than the well-trained adult endurance athletes — as demonstrated by their faster heart-rate recovery and ability to remove blood lactate.”

“This may explain why children seem to have the ability to play and play and play, long after adults have become tired.”

Ratel and Blazevich explain the significance of their findings. “Many parents ask about the best way to develop their child’s athletic potential. Our study shows that muscle endurance is often very good in children, so it might be better to focus on other areas of fitness such as their sports technique, sprint speed or muscle strength. This may help to optimize physical training in children, so that they perform better and enjoy sports more.”

Ratel continues, “With the rise in diseases related to physical inactivity, it is helpful to understand the physiological changes with growth that might contribute to the risk of disease. Our research indicates that aerobic fitness, at least at the muscle level, decreases significantly as children move into adulthood — which is around the time increases in diseases such as diabetes occur.

“It will be interesting in future research to determine whether the muscular changes we have observed are directly related to disease risk. At least, our results might provide motivation for practitioners to maintain muscle fitness as children grow up; it seems that being a child might be healthy for us.”


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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What are the Symptoms of a Broken Foot?

Article by William Morrisson, MD | Found on MedicalNewsToday

Injuries to the feet are common and can sometimes result in broken bones. Being able to recognize the symptoms of a broken foot can help determine how serious it is and when to see a doctor.

This article looks at the causes and symptoms of a broken foot, and when to seek medical help. It also discusses first aid, diagnosis and treatment, recovery, and prevention tips. Read more

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Is Your Child Ready for Sports?

Article Found on HealthyChildren.org

Sports readiness means that a child has the physical, mental, and social skills to meet the demands of the sport. While general guidelines can help you select a sport based on age, it’s important to remember that children develop at different rates. Children are more likely to enjoy and succeed in sports when they have the physical, mental, and social skills required by the sport.

Ages 2 to 5 years

Before age 6 years, most children do not have the basic motor skills for organized sports. Balance and attention span are limited, and vision and ability to track moving objects are not fully mature. Instead, look for other sports activities that focus on basic skills such as runningswimmingtumbling, throwing, and catching. These skills can be improved through active play but do not require organized sports activities. Children at this age have a short attention span and learn best when they can explore, experiment, and copy others. Instruction should be limited, follow a show-and-tell format, and include playtime. Competition should be avoided. Parents can be good role models and should be encouraged to participate.

Ages 6 to 9 years

By age 6 years, most children have the basic motor skills for simple organized sports. However, they may still lack the hand-eye coordination needed to perform complex motor skills and may not yet be ready to understand and remember concepts like teamwork and strategies. Sports that can be adapted to be played at a basic level and focus on basic motor skills are the most appropriate. This includes running, swimming, soccerbaseballtennisgymnasticsmartial arts, and skiing. Sports that require complex visual and motor skills, quick decision-making, or detailed strategies or teamwork (footballbasketballhockeyvolleyball) will be difficult unless modified for younger players. Rules should be flexible to promote success, action, and participation. The sport should focus on learning new skills rather than winning. The equipment and rules should also be appropriate for young children. For example, smaller balls, smaller fields, shorter game times and practices, fewer children playing at the same time, frequent changing of positions, and less focus on score keeping.

Ages 10 to 12 years

By ages 10 to 12 years, most children are ready for more complex sports. They have the motor skills and cognitive ability to play sports that require complex motor skills, teamwork, and strategies. Most experts believe that sports at this level should focus on skill development, fun, and participation, not competition. Most children would rather play more on a losing team than less on a winning team.

Some children in this age group may be starting puberty. During this time, the physical differences between children, particularly boys of the same age, can be dramatic. This can make a difference in what sport is best for your child. Boys who start puberty sooner will be temporarily taller, heavier, and stronger. This may give them a physical advantage, but it doesn’t mean they are more talented and will continue to excel in sports. If possible, they should compete with boys with the same physical ability. Similarly, boys who mature later may experience a temporary physical disadvantage in sports. This should not be seen as a lack of talent or ability. These boys should be encouraged to play sports with less emphasis on physical size, such as racquet sports, swimming, martial arts, wrestling, and certain track events.

Also, growth spurts can temporarily affect coordination, balance, and the ability to perform a skill. Keep in mind that it can be frustrating if this is seen as a lack of talent or effort.

Other Guidelines

  • Get fit and learn a new skill. Encourage your children to participate in activities that promote physical fitness as well as learning sports skills. The activities should be fun and right for their ages.
  • Focus on fun. Choose sports programs that focus on personal involvement, variety, success, and fun rather than competition, strict rules, and winning. It may help them stay interested and want to keep playing.
  • Check out the rules. Equipment and rules should be right for their ages. If not, they should be modified.
  • Make sure safety is a priority. Appropriate setting, equipment, protective gear, program design, and rules of play are important.
  • Keep differences in mind. Prior to puberty, there are very few differences between boys and girls in endurance, strength, height, or body mass, and they can compete together on an equal basis. During puberty, to make sure athletes are well matched in contact sports, consideration should be given to body size and physical maturity as well as chronological age.
  • Proceed with caution. Early specialization in a single sport, intensive training, and year-round training should be undertaken with caution because of the risk of overuse injury, mental stress, and burnout. Playing only one sport may also prevent a child from developing a variety of motor skills that they would learn from participating in several different sports.
  • Wait until your children are ready. Children should not play competitive win/lose sports until they understand that their self-worth is not based on the outcome of the game.
  • Find a good sports program. Get feedback from other children and parents who are in the programs. Try to check out programs before you join them. A sign of a good program is children having fun.

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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3 Ways to Make Healthy Habits Stick

Article by Stacy Peterson | Found on MayoClinic.org

How many times have you set lofty weight-loss goals at the start of a new year and given up on them just a few weeks later? Or maybe you vowed to kick poor eating habits once and for all but slipped back into your old ways soon after. Resolutions offer a lot of promise, but they tend to fizzle out when a challenge arises or motivation wanes. So what exactly makes lasting change so hard?

The simple answer is that we are creatures of habit. It takes energy and intention for our brains to pause and think about doing things differently. Consider the behaviors and skills that are so ingrained in you now as an adult, such as brushing your teeth or driving a car. When you first started doing them, you had to really think about how to do them.

Want to start making steps toward real change? Try these simple tips to make new habits stick.

  1. Ditch the all-or-nothing approach. Grand ambitions may be motivating in the beginning, but trying to change too much at once is likely to lead to disappointment. Instead, start small. For example: If you want to clean up your eating habits, begin by making consistent healthier choices at one meal and build from there. Discover your favorite healthy breakfast foods — oatmeal, eggs, smoothies, Greek yogurt, fruit — and make sure you have them readily available.
  2. Look for opportunities to make changes. Would you like to be more active? Before you sign up for a 5K, try walking an extra five to 10 minutes a few times a day. Opt to take the stairs when you can. And go for a quick walk when you catch yourself sitting for too long.
  3. Be patient. Track your positive changes with a food or activity journal so that you can reflect on them. Remember that it may take time to see results, and that’s ok. If weight loss is your overall goal, focus on the behaviors that help you get there rather than the scale alone. It’s important to celebrate your day-to-day accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Over time you’ll reap the rewards of a healthier lifestyle.

Although change is difficult, pathways for different ways of thinking and behaving can be created and strengthened with intention, time and effort. With repetition, these new habits get easier and become the norm. So stick with them!

Experiments

  1. Try incorporating your new behavior into something you’re already doing. For example: If you want to add movement to your day, walk around the block before you bring in the mail. If you’d like to make gratitude a priority, the next time you’re in the shower reflect on people or events in your life that you appreciate.
  2. Determine what your small change is this week, and stick to it. For example: Add one vegetable to your meals each day. Or set aside time at the beginning of each week to create a meal plan and grocery list.
  3. Reach out to a family member, friend or colleague who might be able to support you in the change you’re looking to make. If you have a friend who is a motivating workout buddy or a great encourager, enlist his or her help — you don’t have to do it alone!

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.