What you eat and how you exercise can prevent foot and joint pain

Written by admin on June 18, 2013 – 5:44 pm -

Joint pain is the most common complaint for the patients visiting an orthopedic surgeon. Many common causes of pain can be managed with a few easy and inexpensive strategies. Here is some simple advice to help you maintain a healthy, pain-free lifestyle.

Do
•change your shoes when showing signs of wear
•obtain custom shoe inserts to correct flat-footedness or collapsed arches
•regularly engage in a low-impact, cardiovascular fitness regimen
•allow sufficient time to recover following a period of intense exercise

Don’t
•engage in excessive, high-impact exercise when you are in pain
•forget to stretch
•exercise at a higher intensity than you are used to
•eat too many highly-processed foods or beverages

Do

Do change your shoes when showing signs of wear:
A great deal of technology and research goes into the construction of today’s athletic footwear, and this has led to improved comfort and stability for active people. For best results, opt for a professional fitting to find the right shoe for your foot and for the activity in which you will engage. When your shoes show signs of wear, your feet and arches will not receive the cushioning and support that are necessary to prevent joint pain. Change your shoes frequently, especially when they are showing signs of wear.

Do obtain custom shoe inserts to correct flat-footedness or collapsed arches:
Shoe inserts redistribute weight and relieve pressure on sensitive areas of the feet, and can reduce the stress on the lower body, correct an improper gait, and compensate for structural abnormalities, which may also prevent or alleviate knee, hip, and lower back pain. Pick up some shoe inserts at your local store or speak with your physician about getting custom shoe inserts to help you correct flat-footedness or collapsed arches.

Do regularly engage in a low-impact, cardiovascular fitness regimen:
Joint stiffness and pain are often caused or exacerbated by inactivity. By keeping the muscles and joints active, you can lessen the incidence of pain. Regular exercise also strengthens the muscle groups surrounding the joints, providing support that can reduce the likelihood of injury.

Do allow sufficient time to recover following a period of intense exercise:
Rest is important following activity to enable the tissues comprising the muscles and joints to regenerate, and to allow any minor swelling to dissipate. Not resting properly between workouts may intensify any pain you may experience and contribute to further injury.

Don’t

Do not engage in excessive, high-impact exercise when you are in pain:
The basis of a conservative approach to pain treatment is rest. When pain occurs, suspend activity for a couple of days and consider over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medication. Resume activity gradually and stop as soon as any pain returns.

Do not forget to stretch:
Muscles that have not been properly warmed up and stretched are much more prone to injury and pain from exertion. To be sure that you prevent injury, even if you are just going for a walk, make sure that you stretch and warm-up sufficiently before and after your activities.

Do not exercise at a higher intensity than you are used to:
It is not wise to begin from a state of relative inactivity to participating in an event such as a 5K run or an hours-long bike ride. The inflammation and pain that can result from such an immoderate activity can last several days and can lead to injury. It is important to train properly for such events.

Do not eat too many highly-processed foods or beverages:
A growing body of evidence suggests that processed wheat flours and sugars contribute to the incidence of musculoskeletal pain. The best diet for preventing joint pain is one that is balanced and includes sufficient protein, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Summary

Always consult your physician if you have questions about preventing joint pain. Sore joints can have a significant negative effect on your life and prevent you from doing the things you love. Maintaining healthy joints is a tough task, but your physician can provide you with helpful advice that will keep your joints in great shape.


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Take Five To Stretch

Written by admin on April 6, 2012 – 7:29 am -

This post can also be found on the Association Executives of North Carolina’s Success By Association blog.

The core of my practice is sports medicine. But it isn’t just athletes that get injured. As we rely more heavily on technology and the average person uses a desktop computer, a smartphone, and an Ipad in a given day, chronic overuse injuries are only going to increase. Ailments like epicondylitis (tennis elbow), carpal tunnel, and tendinitis are generally caused by repetitive use of the forearm, wrist, and hand muscles. These problems are degenerative in nature and can be extremely uncomfortable and activity limiting. Ergonomics, the study of efficiency in the workplace, can offer many solutions and adjustments for reducing the severity and frequency of these problems. Here I’d like to offer my own advice- Take 5 to stretch.
5 minutes in the mid-morning and 5 minutes in the afternoon to do these 3 simple stretches will go a long way to keeping your arms limber and pain free, hopefully for years.

1. Epicondylitis Stretch- Epicondyle is the medical term for the bony area of your elbow where your wrist and forearm muscles attach. You have a medial epicondyle for the muscles that flex your wrist and enable you to pronate (turn your palm toward the floor). You also have a lateral epicondyle for the muscles that extend your wrist and allow you to supinate (turn your palm up). In order to stretch these muscles, you should reach your arm out in front of you with your elbow straight and use your opposite arm to bend the wrist into flexion. Hold 20 seconds. Then, keeping your elbow straight, pull your wrist into extension. Hold 20 seconds. Repeat each way one more time.

2. Wrist Rotation- Keeping your wrist poised while typing all day can cause stiffness, pain, and contribute to carpal tunnel. To give your wrist a break, make a loose fist and rotate your wrists in circles for about 20 seconds. Go on to stretch your hands (exercise 3) then repeat for 20 more seconds.

3. Hand/Finger Stretch- Give your hands a break from typing, emailing, texting, tweeting, blogging, and data entering. For this stretch, you want to spread your hands and fingers out as wide as you can and then make a tight fist. Open your hand and widen your fingers then pull it back into a fist. Repeat about 10 times.

Three exercises. Five minutes. Make it part of your daily routine until it becomes a habit- just like brushing your teeth. I would be happy to see you in the office for any problem any time, but if I can help keep you healthy, that’s even better.


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