new mexico, orthopaedics, albuquerque, clinic

Take it Outside: Fun Summer Workouts

Article Featured on Foreo.com

From hiking to wakeboarding, these activities are the best ways to get fit outside the gym.

Tired of your usual workout routine? Don’t sweat it. No one wants to be inside, running on the treadmill when the sun is shining and the weather is sweet. Take advantage of the warm weather and switch up your training by trying one of these outdoor summer workouts.

Hiking

Hiking is a great activity because there are trails for people at all different exercise levels. Easier flat trails, like San Francisco’s Lands End, allow you to get the entire family involved, while stepper trails, like Yosemite’s Half Dome, offer experienced hikers a full day of activity. Most trails offer a stellar view, which sure beats the view at the gym.

Stand-Up Paddleboard

If you’re looking to try an activity to strengthen your balance and core, take a trip on a stand-up paddleboard. While it may look like a peaceful journey (and it is), this exercise is anything but easy and is a full body workout.

Paddleboard Yoga

If you’re looking to upgrade your daily yoga session, consider taking your warrior pose to the water. Paddleboard yoga incorporates the Zen of yoga with the strength training of paddleboarding. Floating on the water with the breeze in your face will soon be your favorite way to enjoy shavasana.

Bubble Soccer

You can now play soccer while encased in a giant plastic bubble. Why? You might ask. Because it’s ridiculously fun. Get a cardio workout while having the time of your life.

Kayaking

Kayaking is one of the best upper body workouts you can do in the water. Choose a kayak with two seats, so you can sweat it out with a friend or significant other. After all, couples who train together, stay (strong) together.

Wakeboarding

Are you adventurous and good at swimming? We have the perfect workout for you. Wakeboarding is a sport that involves riding on shortboard while being pulled by a boat. It takes a significant amount of strength to stay upright on the board for a high-impact training session.

Get out there and get your sweat on!


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.

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The Link Between Weight Loss and Knee Pain

Article Featured on Healthline

Why does my knee hurt?

Knee pain is one of the most common complications of being overweight or obese. If you’re among the millions of people who experience chronic knee pain, even a small weight loss can help reduce pain and lower the risk of osteoarthritis (OA).

According to a 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), of the roughly 100 million American adults who experience common chronic pain, nearly 20 percent, or 20 million people, have knee pain. This is second only to the number of people with lower back pain.

More than two-thirds of people in the United States are either overweight (with a BMI between 25 and 29.9) or obese (with a BMI of 30 or higher).

Those extra pounds increase the stress on your knees. That stress can cause chronic pain and lead to other complications such as OA.

How weight loss affects knee pain

Maintaining a healthy weight has many health benefits, including reduced risk of a number of diseases that include:

  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • certain types of cancers

Losing weight benefits knee pain in two ways.

Decreases weight-bearing pressure on the knees

Each pound of weight loss can reduce the load on the knee joint by 4 pounds. Lose 10 pounds, and that’s 40 fewer pounds per step that your knees must support. And the results add up quickly. Less pressure means less wear and tear on the knees. This lowers the risk of OA.

Reduces inflammation in the body

For years, OA was considered a wear and tear disease caused by prolonged excess pressure on the joints, particularly the knees, which, in turn, caused inflammation.

But recent research suggests that inflammation is a key OA risk factor, rather than a consequence of OA. Being overweight may increase inflammation in the body that can lead to joint pain. Losing weight can reduce this inflammatory response. One study suggests that just a 10 percent reduction in weight can significantly lower inflammation in the body. Another study found that even simply overeating triggers the body’s immune response, which increases inflammation.

The link between weight gain and OA

Being overweight or obese significantly increases a person’s risk for developing OA.

According to John Hopkins Medicine, women who are overweight are four times more likely to develop OA than women who are a healthy weight. And men who are overweight are five times more likely to develop OA than men who are a healthy weight.

But losing even a small amount of weight can be beneficial. For women who are overweight, every 11 pounds of weight loss can reduce the risk of knee OA by more than 50 percent. Men who drop into the overweight category (BMI below 30) and men who drop into the normal weight category (BMI below 26) can reduce their risk of knee OA by 21.5 percent.

Easy ways to lose weight

There are steps you can take to start shedding pounds, including:

  • reduce portion sizes
  • add one vegetable to your plate
  • go for a walk after a meal
  • take the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator
  • pack your own lunch instead of eating out
  • use a pedometer

Taking the necessary steps to manage your weight can help protect your knees from joint pain and reduce your risk of OA.


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.

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What are shin splints?

Article Featured on HealthLine

The term “shin splints” describes pain felt along the front of your lower leg/shin bone. Shin splint pain concentrates in the lower leg between the knee and ankle. Your doctor may refer to the condition as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS).

Shin splints frequently affect people who engage in moderate to heavy physical activity. You may be more likely to develop shin splints if you participate in strenuous physical activities or stop-start sports such as tennis, racquetball, soccer, or basketball. Sometimes the pain of shin splints can be so intense that you must stop the activity.

Shin splints is a cumulative stress disorder. Repeated pounding and stress on the bones, muscles, and joints of the lower legs prevents your body from being able to naturally repair and restore itself.

What causes shin splints?

The pain associated with shin splints results from excessive amounts of force on the shin bone and the tissues attaching the shin bone to the muscles surrounding it. The excessive force causes the muscles to swell and increases the pressure against the bone, leading to pain and inflammation.

Shin splints can also result from stress reactions to bone fractures. The constant pounding can cause minute cracks in the bones of the leg. The body can repair the cracks if given time to rest. However, if the body doesn’t get time to rest, the tiny cracks can result in a complete fracture or a stress fracture.

Who is at risk for shin splints?

Various activities and physical attributes can put you at risk of getting shin splints. Risk factors include:

  • an anatomical abnormality (such as flat foot syndrome)
  • muscle weakness in the thighs or buttocks
  • lack of flexibility
  • improper training techniques
  • running downhill
  • running on a slanted surface or uneven terrain
  • running on hard surfaces like concrete
  • using inappropriate or worn-out shoes for running or working out
  • participating in sports that have fast stops and starts (like soccer or downhill skiing)

Shin splints are also more likely to occur when your leg muscles and tendons are tired. Women, people with flat feet or rigid arches, athletes, military recruits, and dancers all have an increased likelihood of developing shin splints.

Symptoms of shin splints

People with shin splints will experience some of the following symptoms:

  • a dull ache in the front part of the lower leg
  • pain that develops during exercise
  • pain on either side of the shin bone
  • muscle pain
  • pain along the inner part of the lower leg
  • tenderness or soreness along the inner part of the lower leg
  • swelling in the lower leg (usually mild, if present)
  • numbness and weakness in the feet

See your doctor if your shin splints don’t respond to common treatment methods or if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • severe pain in your shin after a fall or accident
  • a shin that feels hot
  • a shin that’s visibly swollen
  • pain in your shins even when you’re resting

How are shin splints diagnosed?

Your doctor will usually be able to diagnose shin splints during a physical exam. They’ll ask you about the types of physical activities you participate in and how often you pursue them. Doctors may prescribe diagnostic tests such as imaging scans and X-rays if they suspect that you might be suffering from bone fractures or a condition other than shin splints.

Treating shin splints

Home remedies

Shin splints normally require that you take a break from certain physical activities and give your legs time to rest. The discomfort will usually resolve completely in a few hours or at most in a few days with rest and limited activity. The suggested amount of downtime is typically about two weeks. During this time, you can engage in sports or activities that are less likely to cause additional harm to your legs. These activities include swimming or walking. Your doctor will often suggest that you do the following:

  • keep your legs elevated
  • use ice packs to reduce swelling
  • take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, acetaminophen
  • wear elastic compression bandages
  • use a foam roller to massage your shins

Check with your doctor before restarting any activities. Warming up before exercising is also a good way to make sure your legs aren’t sore.

Surgery

Surgery is rarely used to treat shin splints. However, if your shins splints are causing severe pain and symptoms last for more than several months, your doctor may recommend surgery. This surgery is known as a fasciotomy. In this procedure, your doctor will make small cuts in the fascia tissue surrounding your calf muscles. This can potentially relieve some of the pain caused by shin splints.

Can shin splints be avoided?

Steps you can take to avoid getting shin splints include:

  • wearing shoes that fit well and offer good support
  • using shock-absorbing insoles
  • avoiding exercising on hard or slanted surfaces or uneven terrain
  • increasing exercise intensity gradually
  • warming up before exercising
  • making sure to stretch properly
  • engaging in strength training, specifically toe exercises that build calf muscles
  • not attempting to exercise through the pain

Any intensive exercise program requires strengthening of all surrounding muscle groups. Workouts should be varied to avoid overuse and trauma to any particular muscle group. You should refrain from any intense exercise program if severe muscle pain or other physical symptoms develop.


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.

orthopedic doctors, albuquerque, nm

Inactivity Can Quickly Trigger Diabetes in Seniors

By Robert Preidt | Featured on WebMD

A short stretch of inactivity can unlease diabetes in older adults at risk for the blood-sugar disease, a new study finds. For the study, overweight patients with prediabetes were asked to reduce their daily steps to no more than 1,000 a day for two weeks.

This short stretch of reduced activity led to elevated blood sugar levels and sped onset of type 2 diabetes — and some patients did not fully recover even after resuming normal activity, according to the Canadian study. It was published online recently in The Journals of Gerontology.

“We expected to find that the study participants would become diabetic, but we were surprised to see that they didn’t revert back to their healthier state when they returned to normal activity,” said lead author Chris McGlory.

He is a research fellow in the department of kinesiology at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario. The findings suggest seniors who become inactive due to illness, bed rest or hospitalization are more likely to suffer harmful health effects.

“Treatment of type 2 diabetes is expensive and often complicated,” study co-author Stuart Phillips said in a university news release. Phillips is a professor in the department of kinesiology.

“If people are going to be off their feet for an extended period they need to work actively to recover their ability to handle blood sugar,” he said.

More than 84 million Americans have prediabetes, and more than 30 million are diabetic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In order for prediabetic older adults to recover metabolic health and prevent further declines from periods of inactivity, strategies such as active rehabilitation, dietary changes and perhaps medication might be useful,” McGlory said.


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.

Food and Your Bones

Food and Your Bones — Osteoporosis Nutrition Guidelines

The food that you eat can affect your bones. Learning about the foods that are rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients that are important for your bone health and overall health will help you make healthier food choices every day. Use the chart below for examples of the different types of food you should be eating every day.

If you eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of dairy, fish, fruits and vegetables, you should get enough of the nutrients you need every day, but if you’re not getting the recommended amount from food alone, you may need to complement your diet by taking multivitamins or supplements.

Good-for-Your-Bones Foods

FOOD NUTRIENT
Dairy products such as low-fat and non-fat milk, yogurt and cheese Calcium. Some dairy products are fortified with Vitamin D.
Fish
Canned sardines and salmon (with bones) Calcium
Fatty varieties such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines Vitamin D
Fruits and vegetables
Collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens and broccoli. Calcium
Spinach, beet greens, okra, tomato products, artichokes, plantains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens and raisins. Magnesium
Tomato products, raisins, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, papaya, oranges, orange juice, bananas, plantains and prunes. Potassium
Red peppers, green peppers, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, strawberries, brussels sprouts, papaya and pineapples. Vitamin C
Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens and brussel sprouts. Vitamin K
Fortified Foods
Calcium and vitamin D are sometimes added to certain brands of juices, breakfast foods, soy milk, rice milk, cereals, snacks and breads. Calcium, Vitamin D

Leafy greens and other nutrient-rich foods are good for your bones.

More Examples of Bone Healthy Food

Recent research has found that olive oil, soy beans, blueberries and foods rich in omega-3s, like fish oil and flaxseed oil may also have bone boosting benefits. While additional research is needed before the link between these foods and bone health can definitively be made, the many overall health benefits of these foods make them excellent choices to add to your diet. Studies have also shown that a moderate intake of certain alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages like wine, beer and tea may also be good for your bones. More research is also needed to better help us to better understand the relationship between these drinks and bone health.

More Tips for Eating for Good Bone Health

Beans (Legumes)

While beans contain calcium, beans contain magnesium, fiber and other nutrients, they are also high in substances called phytates. Phytates interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the calcium that is contained in beans. You can reduce the phytate level by soaking beans in water for several hours and then cooking them in fresh water.

Meat and Other High Protein Foods

It’s important to get enough, but not too much protein for bone health and overall health. Many older adults do not get enough protein in their diets and this may be harmful to bones. However, special high protein diets that contain multiple servings of meat and protein with each meal can also cause the body to lose calcium. You can make up for this loss by getting enough calcium for your body’s needs. For example dairy products, although high in protein, also contain calcium that is important for healthy bones.

Salty Foods

Eating foods that have a lot of salt (sodium) causes your body to lose calcium and can lead to bone loss. Try to limit the amount of processed foods, canned foods and salt added to the foods you eat each day. To learn if a food is high in sodium, look at the Nutrition Facts label. if it lists 20% or more for the % Daily Value, it is high in sodium. Aim to get no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

Spinach and Other Foods with Oxalates

Your body doesn’t absorb calcium well from foods that are high in oxalates (oxalic acid) such as spinach. Other foods with oxalates are rhubarb, beet greens and certain beans. These foods contain other healthy nutrients, but they just shouldn’t be counted as sources of calcium.

Wheat Bran

Like beans, wheat bran contains high levels of phytates which can prevent your body from absorbing calcium. However, unlike beans 100% wheat bran is the only food that appears to reduce the absorption of calcium in other foods eaten at the same time. For example, when you have milk and 100% wheat bran cereal together, your body can absorb some, but not all, of the calcium from the milk. The wheat bran in other foods like breads is much less concentrated and not likely to have a noticeable impact on calcium absorption. If you take calcium supplements, you may want to take them two or more hours before or after eating 100% wheat bran.

Alcohol

Drinking heavily can lead to bone loss. Limit alcohol to no more than 2 – 3 drinks per day.

Caffeine

Coffee, tea and soft drinks (sodas) contain caffeine, which may decrease calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss. Choose these drinks in moderation.

Coffee/Tea

Drinking more than three cups of coffee every day may interfere with calcium absorption and cause bone loss.

Soft Drinks

Some studies suggest that colas, but not other soft drinks, are associated with bone loss. While more research will help us to better understand the link between soft drinks and bone health, here is what we know:

  • The carbonation in soft drinks does not cause any harm to bone.
  • The caffeine and phosphorous commonly found in colas may contribute to bone loss.
  • Like calcium, phosphorous is a part of the bones. It is listed as an ingredient in colas, some other soft drinks and processed foods as “phosphate” or “phosphoric acid.”
  • Some experts say that Americans get too much phosphorous, while others believe that it is not a problem as long as people get enough calcium. The harm to bone may actually be caused when people choose soft drinks over milk and calcium-fortified beverages.
  • Luckily you can help make up for any calcium lost from these beverages by getting enough calcium to meet your body’s needs.

More Information

To learn more about other foods that may be good for your bones, visit PubMed.gov, an online service of the US National Library of Medicine, to find research studies on nutrition and bone health.


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.

Avoid Shoulder Pain at Work

Avoid Shoulder Pain at Work

Overview

Your shoulder consists of several joints that connect to various tendons and muscles. The complexity of your shoulder is what enables you to do so much with your arms. It’s also the reason why many people suffer from shoulder pain and injuries.

Read more

Best Exercises for Older Adults

9 Best Types of Exercise for Older Adults

Stay strong, be safe, and maintain your independence by integrating these top fitness options into your training plan.

No matter your age, the best exercise for you is the one you enjoy the most. After all, if you don’t like your workout, how long are you going to stick with it?

Still, when sampling any of the countless forms of exercise out there, it’s important to keep in mind exactly what you want and need to get out of your workout. And that’s bound to change throughout the years, says Barbara Bergin, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in Austin. She explains that, for older adults, the number-one priority must be maintaining your quality of life outside the gym.

To do that, focus on workouts designed to help you build strength, maintain muscle mass, stay mobile, and improve balance and stability. Also key is considering the requirements of any given fitness option. Are your bones strong enough for high-impact exercises such as running and jumping? Is your balance where it needs to be for fall-free bike rides? How much time to do you realistically have to spend at the gym?

Below, experts share the best types of exercise for older adults. As always, it’s smart to check with your doctor before beginning a new fitness program, especially if you have a health condition. The good news: Assuming your doctor hasn’t said a type of exercise is off-limits, choose whatever you like—they’re all terrific.

1. Swimming

There’s a reason swimming is called the world’s perfect exercise. Whether you’re performing the breaststroke, taking a water aerobics class, or playing Marco Polo with the grandkids, getting in the pool is a great way to increase your cardiovascular fitness while also strengthening your muscles, says Victoria Shin, M.D., a cardiologist at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in California.

It does all this while putting minimal stress on your bones and joints, which is a major plus for men and women who have arthritis or osteoporosis. As if that isn’t enough reason to jump in, a 2012 study published in the Journal of Aging Research suggests that swimming can help older adults keep their minds as sharp as their bodies.

Not a swimmer? You can still benefit from water exercise, such as SilverSneakers Splash. If you’re a confident swimmer, you can swim on your own. And when the weather is nice, take advantage by moving your swim sessions outdoors. Research consistently links time in nature with improved mental and physical health.

2. Yoga

With a holistic approach to fitness, yoga helps build muscle strength, aerobic fitness, balance, core stability, mobility, and flexibility—all of which are important for older adults, says David Kruse, M.D., a sports medicine specialist at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Orange, California.

And while yoga is low-impact and gentle on your body’s joints, it’s still weight-bearing, meaning that you have to support your body’s weight with every posture. That’s vital to strengthening not just your muscles, but also your bones.

If you are new to yoga, look for an introductory class that will teach you the basics. SilverSneakers Yoga is made for older adults. Hatha-, Iyengar-, and restorative-style classes are also great options. Talk to your class instructor about any physical limitations before getting started.

3. Pilates

Like yoga, Pilates is known for being a low-impact strength program, but its focus on core strength and stability makes it especially great for older adults, Dr. Shin says. One 2014 analysis published in the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity concluded that Pilates participation improves balance in older adults.

Most gyms offer Pilates classes designed for first-timers, which is especially important for those exercisers interested in classes that rely on the “reformer,” an exercise machine that uses springs, bars, and straps for resistance.

4. Bodyweight Training

One out of every three older adults experiences severe muscle loss, according to an analysis published in Age and Ageing. Meanwhile, when it comes to fighting age-related abdominal fat—a marker for overall health—Harvard research shows that strength training is more time-efficient compared to cardiovascular exercise.

Fortunately, you don’t have to bench press your bodyweight to keep your muscles healthy and prevent fat gain over the years, says Dr. Shin. In fact, she notes, for most older adults, it’s far safer to start small. Simple bodyweight exercises such as chair squats, single-leg stands, wall pushups, and stair climbing will do a great job at keeping your body strong and ready to tackle everyday activities.

Here’s everything you need to know about strength training. Ready to try? Start with the chair squat.

5. Resistance-Band Training

Your gym undoubtedly has an array of resistance bands ready for use, but these inexpensive and beginner-friendly exercise tools are perfect for at-home workouts as well, Dr. Shin says.

In addition, bands can help you challenge your muscles in ways you might not be able to with equipment-free training. For instance, when it comes to strengthening your back (important for good, strong posture), rows and other pulling motions are vital—but hard to do if you don’t have any exercise equipment on hand.

Check out this beginner’s guide to resistance bands.

6. Walking

Even if you can’t find the time to perform a structured workout, you likely have time to put one foot in front of the other to get where you need to go, says Dr. Shin, who recommends most people take 10,000 steps per day, even on days they don’t “work out.” Research published in PLOS One found that people who increased their activity levels to 10,000 steps per day were 46 percent less likely to die in the following 10 years compared to those who stayed sedentary.

For some older adults or people with a chronic condition, 10,000 may not be the right exact number. But the fact remains: Walking is a great, free workout that can have a big impact on your health.

Easy ways to increase your step count include parking farther from the supermarket door, playing with your grandkids, taking the long route wherever you need to go, and even walking your dog. Check out these tips and the video below for awesome ways to mix up your walking workout.

7. Cycling

Another low-impact form of exercise, cycling is ideal for those who want to increase their leg strength, but can’t run or engage in other high-impact sports due to osteoporosis or joint issues, Dr. Shin says. A 2017 analysis published in the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity found that cycling also helps improve cardiovascular health, metabolic health, function, and cognitive performance in adults older than 70.

If you have cycling trails near your home, consider scheduling regular bike rides with family or friends. Indoor cycling classes are another great option for those without access to trails or when weather conditions aren’t ideal. Plus, with a stationary bike, you don’t have to worry about falls or needing to wear a helmet.

Need inspiration? Meet the 72-year-old retired teacher who recently rode her bike across the country.

8. Strength and Aerobic Classes

If you attend SilverSneakers classes, you already know that group exercise isn’t just a fantastic way break a sweat. You’ll also have tons of fun and make new friends along the way, both of which are hugely important when it comes to making exercise a habit. In fact, 2017 research published in BMC Public Health notes that the social aspect of group exercise programs increases activity levels in older adults over the long term.

There is no end to the list of group exercises out there, from SilverSneakers Classic to Zumba to boot camp. If you’re nervous about jumping into a new group, ask a friend to sign up with you.

9. Personal Training

If you’re looking for more attention and instruction than group classes provide, working with a personal trainer is a great path to fitness and fun. Many offer one-on-one and small-group sessions, the latter in which you and one to three of your friends perform the same workout with the trainer. Make it easier on your wallet by using one-on-one sessions to help you get started with a program you can continue on your own or going the small-group route.

No matter which option you choose, the trainer will help you master proper form and build a solid base of exercise knowledge that you can carry with you for years to come. In addition, your workouts will likely blend elements from all of the above forms of exercise.

When choosing a trainer, make sure he or she is certified through a governing body like the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, or the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Bonus points if they have a history of training older adults.


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.

When Arthritis Causes Neck Pain

When Arthritis Causes Neck Pain – Treatment Options and Prevention Tips

By  | Featured on EverydayHealth

Two types of arthritis commonly lead to neck pain: cervical spondylosis and rheumatoid arthritis. With both types, it’s joint damage that causes pain and discomfort in your neck.

Neck Pain and Cervical Spondylosis

Neck or cervical spine pain becomes more common as you age, often because of age-related degeneration of the neck bones. This wear and tear is what causes cervical spondylosis, also known as osteoarthritis of the neck or cervical osteoarthritis, and osteoarthritis may be accompanied by the growth of bony spurs and problems with the ligaments and disks in the neck.

Cervical Spondylosis Symptoms

Symptoms of cervical spondylosis may include:

  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Pain that may radiate into the arms
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms and hands
  • Numbness or weakness in the legs or feet that may lead to problems with balance
  • Neck popping or neck cracking, or grinding or clicking sounds in the neck
  • Muscle spasms in the neck
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping

Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose cervical spondylosis, your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. You may also need to undergo imaging studies, such as X-rays or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), so that your doctor can view the vertebrae, disks, and ligaments of the neck and look for any abnormalities, such as bone spurs, that may be contributing to your symptoms.

Treatment options for cervical spondylosis include:

  • Limiting neck movement, which may mean wearing a cervical collar
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain medication to help relieve your pain and swelling
  • Physical therapy
  • Heat therapy
  • Ice therapy
  • Exercises to improve poor posture
  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Neck exercise to strengthen and stretch the cervical spine
  • Neck steroid injections in some cases
  • In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the spinal cord from bone spurs or a herniated disk

Neck Pain and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Another type of arthritis that can cause neck pain is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an inflammatory disease that can damage the joints. While rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the joints of the fingers and wrists, it can also affect other joints, including the neck.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

The symptoms and signs of inflammation may include:

  • Warm, tender, swollen joints
  • Joint pain and stiffness in the morning lasting more than 30 minutes
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis and Treatment

A rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis begins with a physical exam and discussion of your symptoms. Your doctor may also order laboratory tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, to get a better understanding of your condition.

RA affects each person differently, and treatment will depend on your symptoms and how severe they are. Common treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Medications to reduce inflammation and relieve pain
  • Medications to slow joint damage, such as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic response modifiers
  • Rest when you need it
  • Chiropractic treatment to alleviate neck pain through adjustments to your neck’s vertebrae.
  • Splints to support swollen, painful joints
  • Surgery when necessary; this may involve joint replacement (depending on the joint involved), reconstruction of tendons, or removal of inflamed tissue.

Ways to Treat Neck Pain at Home

In addition to medical treatments, consider:

  • Exercise. When your disease isn’t active, get moving — just don’t overdo it. In moderation, it can reduce your pain, help with movement, make you feel less tired, and it’s just a good thing to do for overall health. Your local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation may offer water exercise and other kinds of classes specifically for people with arthritis.
  • Ice packs. The next time you need to reduce swelling and pain, go to your freezer and grab a bag of frozen peas or corn — these aids conform easily to the neck area.
  • Not smoking. If you smoke, find a way to stop. The chance of complications from RA increases if you smoke, as do your odds of developing osteoporosis.
  • Warm baths. Besides helping with sleep, a warm bath can soothe achy joints and relax muscle tension.
  • Herbal remedies. If you’re looking for natural relief, turmeric, the common kitchen spice, is known to be an anti-inflammatory and may reduce neck pain caused by inflammation. Boswellia is another natural pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Yoga exercise. This ancient practice, which involves stretches, poses, and meditation, is not only a great exercise, but it also relieves stress and neck pain by reducing tension.
  • Massage. Have your partner or a professional gently massage your neck where it hurts, for temporary relief.

Neck Pain: Related Conditions

Neck pain is common among those who are 50 or older. “But I have children who come into my office with neck pain,” says Robin Lustig, DC, CCSP, of New Jersey Total Health in Lodi, N.J.

Other common causes of neck pain include:

Pinched nerve. This occurs when too much pressure is placed on a nerve by surrounding tissue. The pain from a pinched nerve in your neck can radiate into your shoulders, arms, or back. When you have a pinched nerve, you may also feel numbness or tingling in the area.

Injury or trauma such as a car accident or a fall. Injury or trauma to the neck can have long-lasting effects and cause arthritis years later, Dr. Lustig says.

A stiff neck. This is when it’s painful or difficult to move your neck from side to side. “A stiff neck can be caused by sleeping on your stomach in a funny position for a long time or from a muscle that went into spasm,” Lustig says.

Cervical myelopathy. This condition occurs when the spinal cord channel in the back of your neck narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord, which can result in neck pain and numbness or weakness in your hands, arms, legs, and feet.

Shoulder arthritis. “People often develop shoulder arthritis where there is wear and tear or overuse,” Lustig says. The pain from shoulder arthritis can radiate into the neck.

Poor posture. If you sit hunched over your computer all day or hold the phone with your neck while you’re working at your computer, your neck can hurt at the end of the day.

Tumors. A tumor in the cervical region of the spine will cause neck pain and should be examined to determine the best course of treatment. As the tumor grows, it can cause pain as it compresses different nerves.

Meningitis. Neck pain and stiffness is a primary symptom of this infection, which can be life-threatening. If your neck pain and stiffness is accompanied by fever and vomiting, see your doctor immediately.

Lack of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in the way our bodies function. Many people lack magnesium in their diet. Researchers have linked a lack of magnesium to cramps, twitches, muscle tension, soreness, and back and neck pain.

New Research on Neck Pain

Arthritis cannot currently be cured, but researchers are working from many different angles to learn how this disease develops in order to find a cure.

Some of the new research on arthritis includes:

  • Focus on cells. Scientists are studying T-cells, a major player in immunity. They want to find out how inflammation starts so they can stop it.
  • Gene study. To find the genes responsible for rheumatoid arthritis, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Arthritis Foundation are supporting the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium. At 10 research centers around the United States, scientists are gathering information and genetic samples from 1,000 families in which at least two siblings have the disease.
  • Other studies. Researchers are also looking at hormones, bacteria, and viruses in the hope of learning more about RA.
  • Clinical trials. As for research into cervical spondylosis, a recent look on the NIH clinical trials Web site turned up eight trials involving this disorder.

Neck Pain Prevention is Key

You can prevent some neck pain with these steps:

Learn stretching exercises. Consult a physical therapist if necessary. You should stretch every day especially before and after you exercise. If after exercising, your neck hurts, apply ice immediately.

Keep your back and neck supported. This is a must, especially sitting at your computer. If your computer is at eye level, it will keep you from having to look up and down and constantly change your neck position. Use a headset when talking on the telephone to avoid straining your neck.

Sleep with support. Use a firm mattress. If your neck is sore in the morning, you might want to buy a pillow that supports your neck as well.

Click it. Protect yourself from trauma by always using a seat belt when riding in a car.

Managing neck pain requires a consistent approach and carefully following the treatment plan outlined by your healthcare provider. You’re the one in charge of making sure you take the time to exercise, strengthen, and soothe muscles. At times you’ll feel challenged, but if you stay determined, you’ll have the best possible outcome.


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.

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