Preparing for the Winter Weather

As the winter weather quickly approaches that means that the ice and snow is on its way.  The most common injuries experienced during the icy cold months are: hip fractures, head injuries, back injuries, knee injuries and wrist injuries. These injuries can become very severe if not taken care of properly. In order to decrease the risk of receiving these injuries, there are some important steps you can take. Slip & Fall Injuries This includes fractured hips, wrist injuries, head injuries Decrease the risk by: Taking your time with slower and shorter steps Wearing footwear with good rubber tread for traction Trying to avoid heavily snow and ice covered walking surfaces Shoveling Injuries This includes back and knee injuries Decrease the risk by: Pacing yourself by taking frequent breaks Wear slip-resistant boots Dressing accordingly, keep warm Pushing the snow instead of trying to lift Another health threat during the winter is Hypothermia. In order to avoid hypothermia, always remember COLD. C is for cover = Cover yourself and all exposed areas. O is for overexertion = Avoid activities that cause you to sweat which can make you lose body heat. L is for layers = Wear loose layers that trap air and insulate. Your most outer layer should be tight and water repellent. D is for dry = Stay as dry as possible. Change your clothes if they become damp and...
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Physical Therapy for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that affects an individual’s bone density. This disease is characterized by the loss of bone tissue and low bone mass. Individuals that have osteoporosis have weakened and fragile bones which can increase the risk of bone fractures. The most fracture-prone areas on the body for individuals with osteoporosis are major joints or bones such as the wrist, hip, and vertebrae of the spine. Physical therapy can help maintain strength and stamina as well as increase overall bone and joint health. Aside from physical therapy, there are every day exercises and activities to help prevent and manage the effects of osteoporosis. Exercise Types: Weight-bearing exercises: this helps increase endurance and muscle tone Walking on treadmills or outside Climbing stairs Dancing Hiking Strengthening exercises: this increases strength as well as stability Weight load does NOT have to be heavy It can be as simple as 2 lbs – 8 lbs. Use lighter ankle and wrist weights Loading exercises: this improves strength, stability, and bone density Place weight loads on specific body regions Focus on hip and spine, arms and shoulders If you are over the age of 50, consider getting a bone density test or Dexa Scan (DXA scan). This will help determine the risk level of osteoporosis as well as understand your current bone mass or density. This scan also helps to establish the content and quality of the minerals within your...
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Signs of Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator cuff injuries are one of the most common musculo-skeletal disorders. Each year there are approximately 200,000 Americans that require surgery in order to repair a torn rotator cuff. In addition, another 400,000 Americans have surgery in order to correct rotator cuff tendinitis or partial tears. Signs of a rotator cuff tear: Pain and tenderness in your shoulder Pain is most prevalent when reaching overhead, reaching behind your back, lifting, pulling, or sleeping on the injured side Weakness in the shoulder Loss of shoulder mobility Snapping or cracking sounds when moving the shoulder Rotator cuff injuries occur in a variety of populations. Athletes of all ages and individuals 65 and older are most susceptible to rotator cuff injury. Athletes are susceptible because of the high levels of physical stress exerted in their sports. Seniors are at risk because of the everyday wear and tear that occurs with aging. If you are experiencing shoulder pain consult with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you. You may want to consider having surgery for a rotator cuff injury if… Your symptoms have lasted 6 – 12 months You have a complete tear You have significant weakness and loss of mobility in your shoulder Your tear and symptoms were noted after a recent, acute...
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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as physiatry, is a specialized branch of medicine that focuses on treating the function of the entire body, as opposed to the practice of treating a specific system. It is commonly referred to as patient-centered care. PM&R doctors, known as physiatrists, are rehabilitation physicians that completed training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation and are experts in nerves, muscles, and bones. Physiatrists treat many different types of diseases and disorders such as chronic pain management, post-operative care, and specialist rehabilitation. The treatments they provide maximize their physical, social, psychological, and vocational potential by prescribing a variety of treatments. These can include sports physical therapy and sports medicine, therapeutic exercises, trigger point injections, and musculoskeletal ultrasounds, among many others. Most physiatrists work with a team of professionals to ensure the patient returns to optimal overall health. Other team members may include a rehabilitation nurse, psychiatrist or psychologist, occupational therapist, orthopedic surgeon, physical therapist, and clinical social worker. The members of the rehabilitation team will depend on the type and extent of injury, patient’s needs, insurance coverage, and facility resources. It is important for the patient and his or her family to remain engaged in the treatment plan to keep communication among the team members open and to ensure a more efficient...
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When is surgery right for you?

Rotator Cuff Surgery – Is it right for you? A common source of shoulder pain is a rotator cuff injury. A torn rotator cuff weakens your shoulder and can make everyday tasks such as getting dressed, driving, and showering difficult and painful. Surgery to repair the shoulder is recommended if the pain becomes chronic and does not improve with nonsurgical treatments. To help determine if rotator cuff surgery is right for you, consider the following: The length of your injury symptoms. If they’ve lasted at least six months to a year, surgery is recommended. If the tear is larger than 3cm Your shoulder has become significantly weaker Knee Surgery – when is it necessary? Arthritis in the knee causes pain, swelling, and stiffness from the inflammation of the joint. The most common types of arthritis in the knee are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis. Symptoms that persist despite nonsurgical treatments will likely require surgery. The different types of knee surgery are: Cartilage grafting. Tissue is taken from a healthy part of the knee to replace cartilage lost in the knee. This is generally done in younger patients who do not have a lot of damage. Osteotomy. To help relieve pain on the knee joint, the femur or shin bone is cut and reshaped. Arthroplasty – partial or total knee replacement. This is more common in older patients that have experienced chronic pain and when other treatments have failed. The damage cartilage and bone are removed and replaced by a plastic or metal joint. Dr. Carney at Bergen Orthopedics has successfully performed many rotator cuff and knee surgeries. To schedule a consult to help you decide what type of treatment is best for your type of injury, contact our...
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