best orthopaedic surgeons, albuquerque

Flexibility: A Must at Every Age

By Len Canter | Featured on US News

Flexibility is a component of all types of movement — from everyday activities to the most rigorous exercises. Being flexible helps you stay mobile and avoid injury.

Yet flexibility training often gets lost in the shuffle or pushed to the bottom of the list after cardio and strength training.

Its goal is to increase your range of motion — how far you can reach when, for instance, you bend from side to side, or raise your arm overhead to grab an item from a high shelf.

Flexibility is best achieved through static stretching, which are stretches you ease into and hold for 10 to 30 seconds while inhaling and exhaling — no bouncing, no holding your breath.

As you start a stretch, focus mentally on the muscles you’re targeting. Extend just to the point of discomfort; you shouldn’t feel any pain.

Here are three moves that target the lower body.

For your hamstrings, sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Think of your hips as a hinge and, with a straight back, lower your chest toward your thighs until you feel the stretch in the backs of your thighs. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

For your hips, stand up straight, facing a sturdy chair or table in case you need it for support. Raise the heel of your right foot behind you and use your right hand to press it toward your backside without moving your thigh or your hip out of alignment. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then switch legs and repeat.

For your calves, step forward with your right leg. Keep your left heel flat on the ground and press your left hip forward as you redistribute your weight over your right leg. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then switch legs and repeat.

Note: It’s important that muscles are warm before you do static stretches. They’re a great follow-up after every cardio workout, but do at least 2 or 3 focused sessions per week, targeting all muscle groups, and always after a minimum of 10 minutes of light activity.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic 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 orthopaedic 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 orthopaedic 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.

5 Signs of a Torn Rotator Cuff

5 Signs of a Torn Rotator Cuff

POSTED BY MICHAEL CARLSON, MD, Article Featured on Revere Health

A rotator cuff tear can totally disrupt your normal activities.  Pain from a rotator cuff injury could even awaken you from sleep, Prevention says.  However, early diagnosis and orthopedic treatment can help prevent loss of strength or motion.  

What’s a rotator cuff anyway?

The rotator cuff is at the top of each arm.  You can lift and rotate your arm thanks to this important structure.  Late baseball great Don Drysdale remarked that “A torn rotator cuff is a cancer for a pitcher.”  The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) describes it as the spot where tendons of four muscles combine to cover the upper end of your arm.Not everybody with a tear is an athlete.  Anybody can fall or get injured while lifting.  Everyday Health suggests that repetitive motions during activities like painting or carrying equipment every day often cause these tears.  So do bone spurs from aging.

Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common shoulder problems I see. The National Center for Biotechnology Information says tears occur in 25 percent of Americans older than 50 and 20 percent of those older than 20. According to the Hospital for Special Surgery, pinched nerves and shoulder arthritis are commonly mistaken for rotator cuff tears.The National Center for Biotechnology Information says tears occur in 25 percent of Americans older than 50 and 20 percent of those older than 20.You might not see any physical signs of a tear.  However, during an exam, I’d probably see atrophy of your shoulder muscles.  I’d also look for a kind of winging of your shoulder blade and might be able to feel a tendon defect.

What are the common signs of a tear?

1. Pain at night and at rest

You’ll really notice it when lying on the shoulder that’s hurt.  Initially, it might be intermittent.  Pain usually starts in the front of the shoulder, then radiates along the side of the arm.

2. Pain when you lift or lower your arm

It occurs when you make specific movements such as lifting or reaching.  Worsening pain means your tear is probably getting bigger.

3. Weakness when lifting or rotating an arm

Even activities like getting dressed or combing your hair might be difficult or impossible.  Weakness could be associated with either a traumatic injury or a chronic problem.

4. Crackling when moving your shoulder

You might find it odd.  Some say it’s a grating or a crinkling sound from under the skin.  It’s called crepitusand is a sign of inflammation or joint damage.

5. Snapping sensation and immediate weakness

They’re associated with an acute injury like a fall or from forceful activity like pitching.  Pain could extend the entire length of your arm.  Raising the arm over your head might be impossible.

What treatment options are there?

The most common non-surgical options I advise for tears include:

Anti-inflammatory drugs
Activity modification
Physical therapy
Steroid injections

I recommend surgery if you’re in sports, have a large tear, do overhead work or still have pain or weakness after several months.  Several types of repairs are available, depending on whether there’s a partial or full-thickness tear.

If you have signs of a tear, you need an evaluation by a doctor who specializes in orthopedics.  Many of my patients are young athletes with fast-paced lives.  As a skiing and golf enthusiast, I understand the desire to resume your activities.  I have considerable training in minimally invasive procedures and like to begin with conservative treatment.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic 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 orthopaedic 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 orthopaedic 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.
6 Best Ice Packs For Knee Replacement Surgery (Plus DIY Ice Pack)

6 Best Ice Packs For Knee Replacement Surgery (Plus DIY Ice Pack)

Article Featured on Knee Replacement Discovery

Icing the knee isn’t the best part about TKR recovery. Most people, even athletes, dislike icing because it’s cold and uncomfortable (numbness and pain). However icing your knee after replacement surgery can be an extremely beneficial way to reduce inflammation and aid in a quicker recovery.

How can icing my knee help my recovery? We’ll address that question in this article and I’ll share my experience as an athlete, coach, and someone who’s gone through TKR surgery.

We’ll also discuss the best ice packs for knees after knee replacement surgery, what to look for in a good ice pack, and how to make a homemade icepack that actually works.

My Experience With Knee Pain, Inflammation, and Icing 

I’ve had a knee pain since I injured my knee in college. That was decades ago and I’ve managed to live with the pain. Over the years I’ve made subtle life adjustments to make things less painful.

I’ve adjusted my exercise to include swimming instead of running and always getting an isle seat for flights. For many years I was able to do all the things I loved without too much pain. I’m a firm believer that icing helped me reduce pain and inflammation.

Pain, no matter where on the body, is usually accompanied by inflammation. Inflammation works well to fight damage and repair the body by increasing blood flow.

When this occurs capillaries become permeable so blood cells, hormones and nutrients can enter the area and repair damage.

Fluid is usually made up of dead white blood cells and other bodily waste after it has been used in the area. For people like me with knee problems, the inflammation and swelling can become chronic when the body doesn’t realize the problem is too serious to repair (in my case no meniscus). The inflammation is uncomfortable and creates more pain.

When I was younger the inflammation from strenuous activity was minimal but in recent years it was creating more pain. I’ve had my knee drained a few times because there was too much fluid in the joint.

Icing has always been a part of my routine post-exercise. I’ll admit that I don’t ice all the time, only when I know I’ve overworked the knee. I keep ice packs in the freezer and after a game or hike I’ll grab an ice pack and rest on the couch while I watch the news. I’ve found that icing my knee for 10-15 minutes after exercise noticeably reduces swelling, and thus speeds up recovery.

After my TKR surgery, I’ve been more consistent with icing. It’s understandable that my ligaments, muscles, and bones will take time to adjust to my new knee.

My body alignment has also changed due to the fact I’m no longer limping. The surgeon recommended that I ice daily after surgery, elevate my leg, and also ice after physical therapy sessions (any exercise). Eventually, the swelling will subside as my knee heals (given there aren’t complications).

Best Ice Pack After Knee Replacement Surgery

RankBrandMaterialPrice
#1Elasto-Gel Ice WrapFlexible gel, won’t leak$$
#2Adalid Ice PackRemovable gel pack (neoprene and nylon)$$
#3Shock Doctor Ice Pack and CompressionMultiple gels packs, adjustable straps$$
#4Ubertherm Ice Pack1 large removable gel pack, adjustable$$$
#5Therapaq Ice PackLarge surface area for heat and cooling$
#6DIYMade with household materials (soap, alcohol, salt, corn syrup)$

How Long Should I Ice My Knee After Knee Replacement Surgery

One question you might be asking is “how long should I ice my knee after surgery”. If you’re like me, swelling will occur most within 2-3 weeks of surgery and less-so from 3-6 months. Early on, icing is a great way to reduce inflammation and pain.

Most doctors will recommend icing your knee 3-4 times a day. 3-4 times per day for the first 2-3 weeks should be relatively simple because your mobility will be limited. After a few weeks, inflammation will gradually reduce, but icing can still work great to naturally decrease inflammation and pain.

If possible, plan to ice your knee daily for months after TKR surgery. Icing will be of value years later too after exercising. If you can make it part of your daily routine it would be smart (for example, 10 minutes every night before bed).

How To Ice Your Knee After Knee Replacement Surgery

Icing your knee is simple and straightforward. The ice helps stop inflammation (associated with heat) in its tracks. Icing can be as simple as a zip-lock bag and ice cubes from the freezer or a specialized ice pack with a wrap to keep the ice secure to your knee.

If you’re using a homemade ice pack (zip-lock) make sure you have a layer of fabric between the bag and your skin. If the ice rests directly against the skin (or thin layer of plastic) it could cause burning.

Wrap the zip-lock bag in a cotton towel then apply to your knee. Zip-lock bags can also leak or perspire so check to make sure there isn’t water coming off the bag.

If you purchase an ice wrap it will be ready to go with fabric to protect your skin and it will likely have a strap to tie the ice to your knee. An ice wrap won’t leak or perspire and will be more user-friendly. Ice wraps are also reusable so you don’t have to worry about running out of ice (see options below).

When icing your knee it’s good practice to elevate it to heart level using a few pillows. Elevation will help reduce swelling and cycle fluid out of your leg where it can be processed by your body. You can elevate your leg while icing, but it is important to elevate your knee whenever you are sitting period.R

Best Knee Ice Wrap After Knee Replacement Surgery

What makes the best ice wrap for your knee? Early on I was using ice cubes and a zip-lock bag. Was it effective for icing? Yes, however, there were also problems.

The plastic bags occasionally leaked and they always perspired. They also fell off my knee again and again and I had to rearrange them or pick them up.

After a few days, we upgraded to an ice wrap to save the hassle of making ice cubes and cleaning up water leaks. The ice wrap was reusable so we saved water in the process. The wrap I use has reusable gels that are included with the wrap, they fit inside the wrap and it is applied around my knee with straps.

I can adjust the straps on the wrap to compress the ice against my knee. It’s easy and when I’m finished I throw in the freezer for a few hours until I’m ready to use again.

It helps to have 2 wraps to make sure one is always frozen. Below are a few knee ice wraps that I like. Any of these would be useful after TKR surgery and they will last forever.

#1 Elasto-Gel Ice Wrap 

When I came home after my TKR surgery I began icing with the Cryo Cuff (you can read about the Cryo Cuff here).  The Cryo Cuff saved me time and money on ice.  I filled up the cooler once a day and kept the device near my recliner. I used the same water/ice all day and didn’t have to worry about fetching it from the freezer.

When I began my physical therapy, the therapist mentioned the Elasto-Gel Ice Wrap.  I was told that it was the ice wrap preferred by physical therapists because it didn’t leak, was comfortable and easily conforms to the knee.

>> check Elasto-Gel price on amazon 

When I tried their Elasto-Gel Wrap I wasn’t disappointed and decided to purchase one for myself.  Transitioning from the Cryo Cuff to the Elsasto-Gel was a good decision when I became more mobile because I had to keep it cold in the freezer.

The Elasto-Gel is soft and uses velcro to tighten the wrap.  It’s also oversized so it fits all knee sizes.  This was a great investment for me and I plan to continue using it throughout my first year of recovery.

#2 Knee Support Brace Wrap with Ice Gel Pack – Adalid Gear

Adalid makes a nice quality wrap specifically for the knee and elbow. This product only uses 1 gel pack but it’s a large pack (7.3 x 8.5 inches). The pack fits in an inside pocket on top of the knee and is strapped on securely by an upper and lower strap. Similar to other wraps on this list, the pack can also be heated for heat therapy.

The brace is an adjustable stretch-type material made from neoprene, nylon, and polyester. The gel pack is leak-proof and reusable in nylon (heated and cooled). The ice pack can be used for 20 minutes at a time then refrozen. It can also be hand washed if needed.

>> check Adalid Knee Wrap price on Amazon 

The ice wrap weighs 1.1 lbs and is guaranteed for one year with a no hassle replacement. Because it uses 1 ice pack, it will not be able to ice the back of the knee. If you’re creative you might be able to make it work for the back of the knee but the main downside to this wrap is only 1 ice pack (but it’s big).

In some ways, one large ice pack will be easier to manage than having to arrange multiple smaller ice packs – your call.

#3 Shock Doctor Ice Recovery Compression Knee Wrap

The Shock Doctor is a perfect ice wrap for knees. It is contoured to fit any knee at a slight bend. It uses adjustable straps and gel ice packs. Although it’s advertised for tendonitis, knee bruises, and strains, it is perfect for people like me recovering from knee replacement surgery.

This compression wrap comes in 2 sizes (S/M or L/XL). In the smaller sizes there are 3 ice packs while the larger have 4 ice packs. All ice packs are removable and reusable.

The wrap uses kycra pockets for the ice packs and N-Tex neoprene for the wrap material. It is latex free. The wrap only weighs 1 pound so it’s lightweight too.

>> check Shock Doctor Knee Wrap on Amazon

I like the fact it adds a compression component to the icing and the adjustable straps allow the user to tighten to comfort without worrying about the ice falling off. Reviews say that patients love it for their knee replacement and that it stays cold longer than your typical ice pack. It can also be used for heating!

#4 Ubertherm Compression Ice Wrap

Ubertherm is a popular ice wrap made for reducing inflammation and knee pain. It uses 1 large ice pack that covers the knee. The ice pack can also be adjusted (reversed) to ice the back of the knee as well.

The cold pack uses multiple chambers of gel that doesn’t freeze (never below 34 degrees F) into an ice block. Rather, it gets cold and holds some flexibility. The gel will stay cold up to an hour and refreezes in an hour – longer than others on our list.

Ubertherm markets their product as providing a longer icing time, comfortable, with good strap support. The gel can be removed as packets so the wrap can be washed. It weighs 1.8 lbs and measures 12.2 x 5.2 x 4 inches. Ubertherm is a U.S. company based in Maryland.

>> check Ubertherm Ice Wrap price on Amazon

Reviews mention it works great without the hassle of ice. Others mention the quality is superb but they must keep the leg straight while icing (should be expected right). I like the appearance and the fact its gel never freezes too much – it remains at the perfect temperature for icing.

#5 TheraPAQ Large Reusable Gel Ice Pack w/ Wrap

The TheraPAQ is the simplest product on our list, but its simplicity also makes it a good option for post-TKR surgery. The ice pack comes as a gel pack that is a large rectangle. The gel pack fits inside a rectangle pack that can be strapped to the leg.

The straps are made with elastic and Velcro. Its design is functional and it doesn’t offer the knee contouring that other ice wraps on our list offer. The pack can be taken out of its sleeve and put in the freezer or heated.

I like the product and the price – and so do other customers. It comes with a money back guarantee if you aren’t 100% satisfied (any time). TheraPAQ weighs 2 lbs and measures 11 x 14 inches, making it one of the larger ice packs on our list.

>> check TheraPaq price and reviews on Amazon

Due to its large flat design, it might work better on flat body parts (like the back) than it does for rounded areas of the body like the knee. However, it has good enough reviews to be an option to ice my knee after knee replacement.

Ice Pack For Knee: Homemade Options (How To Make A Cold Homemade Ice Pack For Your TKR)

If you’re a true do-it-yourselfer (DIY) I’m also including an option to make your own ice pack. I mentioned earlier that adding ice cubes to a zip-lock bag is the simplest solution and as long as you’re not worried about excess moisture or leakage then you can go with it – I’ve done it before and it works.

If you’re willing to give a little more effort you can make your own gel-like ice pack. It won’t cost much but it will take you some time. If you make multiple homemade ice packs then you can always have one frozen ready to use while the other is refreezing. Below are a few options. Let us know what DIY ice pack works best for your TKR recovery.

Homemade gel ice pack

The homemade gel ice pack requires three items. First, you’ll need a few gallon-sized zip-lock bags (the big ones). Second, you’ll need 2 cups of water, and finally 1 cup of rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol will keep the water from completely freezing and it will be more malleable to fit around your knee.

Mix the 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol in a zip-lock bag and seal. When you seal it, make sure all of the air can escape.

Now, put the first bag into another zip-lock bag. You can even use a third zip-lock bag to ensure there isn’t a leak.
Put all the bags into the freezer for 1 hour and the contents should result in a gel-like substance perfect for icing. If you need some extra help, check out the video below.

Homemade ice pack salt

A homemade ice pack with salt results in a slush-like substance that can be effective for icing after knee replacement surgery. Salt decreases the temperature needed to freeze water and adding a few tablespoons to water will make the perfect ice pack that can be used again and again.

To make the salt ice pack add 2 tablespoons of salt to 2 cups of water. For a gallon sized zip-lock use 3 cups water and 3 tablespoons of salt. Place the zip-lock bag inside another zip-lock bag to make sure nothing will leak and you’ve got a DIY ice pack for knee replacement rehab.

Homemade ice pack with dish soap or corn syrup

Another option is to use dish soap or corn syrup as your liquid instead of water. You can dump a whole container of dish soap in a zip-lock bag and you don’t need any other ingredients. The same goes for corn syrup.

While writing this I wondered, “why use dish soap or corn syrup – it’s wasteful” then I remembered you can always use the dish soap later after you’ve stopped icing (just refill the container it came in. I like this idea.

A corn syrup or dish soap leak would be horrible to clean so do the same as recommended above and use a few zip-lock bags to make sure there’s a seal.

Homemade ice pack rice, coins, or frozen vegetables

Use these only in case of emergency! These are options, but honestly, they won’t work as good as ice or homemade gel. Rice, coins, and vegetables can be frozen and they will retain the cold long enough to ice your knee, but there are better options above.

Homemade ice packs are not created equal. if I had to choose one, I’d go with the water + alcohol or water + salt. Try these out and let us know which one is best for you.

Can You Ice Too Much After Knee Replacement

I’ve been asked if there is such a thing as “icing too much”. Generally, you don’t want ice on your knee all day. Exercise and movement is an important part of healing so don’t remain in one position and ice your knee constantly.

In my experience, icing should be done alternatively with movement. Early after TKR surgery, you’ll be icing more often. After a few months, you’ll likely ice less often.

The length of time you ice matters and you won’t want to ice for longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. Longer icing might damage skin or cause localized frostbite.

Excessive Swelling After Knee Replacement Surgery

Swelling should be expected after knee replacement surgery so there’s no cause for alarm. Swelling can remain for 3-4 months after surgery and that’s why icing is so important.

In addition to ice, there are a few recommendations that medical professionals say should be followed. These good practices are:

  • Compression

Compression can be applied to the knee to reduce swelling and pooling of fluid in the leg. Compression stockings go on the leg and are tight against the skin (think of a tight sock).

They are also used when we are standing for long periods of time or exercising. Standing activities will increase blood flow and swelling to the area.

  • Elevation

In the section above I mentioned how to incorporate elevation with icing. Elevation can also be done on its own while watching television.

Elevation also reduces swelling and promotes proper blood flow throughout the body. When using elevation to reduce fluid in the leg, try to elevate the leg to the same level as the heart. This can be done for 20-30 minutes and be used in combination with ice.

  • Exercise

Most importantly, exercise. Exercise can promote swelling if strenuous but it also increases blood flow and helps to reduce blood clots in the leg after surgery.

Exercise post-knee replacement should be low-impact and short (start slow and consult your doctor). Getting the blood pumping through the body is great for circulation and you can follow up the exercise with ice and elevation.

What About Heating My Knee

Heating your knee is something you’ll probably do after knee replacement surgery. I use heat the opposite way than I use ice. Before physical therapy, exercise, or stretching, I use heat to warm up the knee and attract blood and improve elasticity.

Heating can help loosen the joint and attract blood – we’re going for the opposite effect with icing which usually occurs after activity or during recovery.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed icing after knee replacement surgery. I discussed my experience icing my knee and the relief I received when icing to reduce inflammation.

We also discussed how inflammation works, the length of time to ice and how long you should be icing your knee after surgery. There were 3 other activities to remember in addition to icing that will help reduce inflammation and pain.

1) Elevation will help reduce fluid build up in the leg.

2) Compression will discourage swelling and the risk of blood clots after surgery.

3) Exercise – although it might not sound like a good idea right after TKR surgery, exercise is important for blood circulation and helps flush out toxins while strengthening the muscles and ligaments around the knee.

There are many different knee ice wraps on the market that make icing an easier task. While you can create your own ice packs, sometimes buying an ice wrap is more effective and less of a hassle in the long run. We really like the Uberthereum Compression Wrap because it’s functional and has been well reviewed.

If a DIY project is in order, try out the variety of homemade ice packs that can be made using just a few ingredients and handy zip-lock bags. Multiple homemade ice packs can be made and rotated to use as another refreezes. Just remember to use multiple bags to reduce leakage and wrap the ice pack in cloth to avoid freezer burn of the skin.

I hope you enjoyed this article and my experience recovering from total knee replacement surgery. It’s been a long road, with preparation, surgery, and recovery but the result is worth it. I hope you regain your health and mobility just like I did.

Why Does My Hip Hurt? 8 Causes of Hip Pain & Problems

Why Does My Hip Hurt? 8 Causes of Hip Pain & Problems

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. 

Whenever you use the hip (for example, by going for a run), a cushion of cartilage helps prevent friction as the hip bone moves in its socket.

Despite its durability, the hip joint isn’t indestructible. With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused. Bones in the hip can break during a fall or other injury. Any of these conditions can lead to hip pain.

If your hips are sore, here is a rundown of what might be causing your discomfort and how to get hip pain relief.

Causes of Hip Pain

These are some of the conditions that commonly cause hip pain:

Tendinitis. Tendons are the thick bands of tissue that attach bones to muscles. Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of the tendons. It’s usually caused by repetitive stress from overuse.

Muscle or tendon strain. Repeated activities can put strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the hips. When they become inflamed due to overuse, they can cause pain and prevent the hip from working normally.

Hip labral tear. This is a rip in the ring of cartilage (called the labrum) that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. Along with cushioning your hip joint, your labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the ball at the top of your thighbone securely within your hip socket. Athletes and people who perform repetitive twisting movements are at higher risk of developing this problem.

Cancers. Tumors that start in the bone or that spread to the bone can cause pain in the hips, as well as in other bones of the body.

Avascular necrosis (also called osteonecrosis). This condition happens when blood flow to the hip bone slows and the bone tissue dies. Although it can affect other bones, avascular necrosis most often happens in the hip. It can be caused by a hip fracture or dislocation, or from the long-term use of high-dose steroids (such as prednisone), among other causes.

Symptoms of Hip Pain

Depending on the condition that’s causing your hip pain, you might feel the discomfort in your:

  • Thigh
  • Inside of the hip joint
  • Groin
  • Outside of the hip joint
  • Buttocks

Sometimes pain from other areas of the body, such as the back or groin (from a hernia), can radiate to the hip.

You might notice that your pain gets worse with activity, especially if it’s caused by arthritis. Along with the pain, you might have reduced range of motion. Some people develop a limp from persistent hip pain.

Hip Pain Relief

If your hip pain is caused by a muscle or tendon strain, osteoarthritis, or tendinitis, you can usually relieve it with an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

Rheumatoid arthritis treatments also include prescription anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like methotrexate and sulfasalazine, and biologics, which target the immune system.

Another way to relieve hip pain is by holding ice to the area for about 15 minutes a few times a day. Try to rest the affected joint as much as possible until you feel better. You may also try heating the area. A warm bath or shower can help ready your muscle for stretching exercises that can lessen pain.

If you have arthritis, exercising the hip joint with low-impact exercises, stretching, and resistance training can reduce pain and improve joint mobility. For example, swimming is a good non-impact exercise for arthritis. Physical therapy can also help increase your range of motion.

When osteoarthritis becomes so severe that the pain is intense or the hip joint becomes deformed, a total hip replacement (arthroplasty) may be a consideration. People who fracture their hip sometimes need surgery to fix the fracture or replace the hip.

Call your health care provider if your pain doesn’t go away, or if you notice swelling, redness, or warmth around the joint. Also call if you have hip pain at night or when you are resting.

Get medical help right away if:

  • The hip pain came on suddenly.
  • A fall or other injury triggered the hip pain.
  • Your joint looks deformed or is bleeding.
  • You heard a popping noise in the joint when you injured it.
  • The pain is intense.
  • You can’t put any weight on your hip.
  • You can’t move your leg or hip.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on March 22, 2018


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic 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 orthopaedic 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 orthopaedic 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.

best, albuquerque, orthopaedic doctors

How Muscles Regulate their Oxygen Consumption

A new study by researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that an enzyme called FIH determines how muscles consume oxygen. Without the enzyme, the need for oxygen increases during physical exercise. The finding is of potential significance to elite athletes, who have been found to have higher levels of FIH in their muscles than others. The study is published in the scientific journal Cell Metabolism.

When you exercise, your muscles consume oxygen to produce energy, until the level of oxygen drops below a particular threshold. Subsequently, energy is generated by the process of anaerobic metabolism, which does not require oxygen. However, this leads to the production of lactic acid and eventually exhaustion and cramping. In a new study, researchers demonstrate that the enzyme FIH (Factor Inhibiting HIF) is a key to how this switch-over happens.

“We’ve discovered that the muscles regulate oxygen consumption in a very precise way using the oxygen-sensitive enzyme FIH,” says principle investigator Professor Randall Johnson at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institutet. “The enzyme makes sure that the muscles can use a more effective oxygen-based metabolism for as long as possible and then promotes a very quick transition to anaerobic metabolism.”

Using mice in which the production of the enzyme was blocked, the researchers found that mice lacking FIH in their muscles require more oxygen than normal when exercising.

“We were able to show that without FIH, the muscles use much more oxygen than is otherwise the case,” says Professor Johnson. “This could be of great significance to elite athletes, who, according to an earlier study of ours, have uncommonly high levels of muscular FIH.”

FIH was discovered over ten years ago, but until now no one has understood its exact function. FIH is found in all the body’s cells and tissues, but is 50 to 100 times more abundant in the muscles than in any other part of the body. The findings can now open the way for new forms of metabolism-affecting drugs.

“No one’s entertained the idea of developing a drug that affects FIH before, but I think our study will lead to greater examination of that possibility,” says Professor Johnson. “Here you’re able to affect the metabolism itself, perhaps mainly in the muscles, but possibly in other parts of the body too. This can be important in other contexts, such as diabetes and obesity.”


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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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.

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What is Tendinosis?

Article by Amy Smith | Found on MedicalNewsToday

Tendinosis is a chronic tendon injury. It is a common condition but is often misdiagnosed as tendinitis.

In this article, learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for tendinosis, as well as what makes it different from tendinitis. Read more

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Study Proves ‘Muscle Memory’ Exists at a DNA Level

Article Found on ScienceDaily

A study led by researchers at Keele University has shown for the first time that human muscles possess a ‘memory’ of earlier growth — at the DNA level.

Periods of skeletal muscle growth are ‘remembered’ by the genes in the muscle, helping them to grow larger later in life. Read more

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Studies reveal characteristics of bone, tendon injuries incurred by Olympic athletes

Article Found on ScienceDaily

Female athletes participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were more likely to experience bone stress injuries in their lower extremities while competing in track and field compared to other events. In addition, tendon abnormalities similarly were most common in track and field athletes, however they most frequently involved the shoulder, Achilles and patellar tendons.

These findings, which are published in two separate studies in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, are the first to report epidemiological data on bone stress injuries and tendon abnormalities detected at the Olympic Games. They were conducted in collaboration with researchers from New York, Pennsylvania, Switzerland, Norway, France, Germany and Brazil. Read more