Category Archives: Health and Wellness

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Cold Weather Joint Pain

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Do plunging temperatures seem to trigger your joint pain? You’re not alone.  Many people report suddenly worsening symptoms as the weather changes.  A common theory is that this is the result of changes in barometric pressure that leads to subtle changes in the pressure on joints and joint lining. The research into the phenomena has led to conflicting results. There isn’t a solid, scientific explanation for why so many people suffer joint pain as the weather changes. But there is a good deal of anecdotal evidence. One study found that as many as two thirds of people suffering from chronic joint pain believed there was a link between the severity of their symptoms and the weather.  In the words of one rheumatology expert, Dr. James Fant, “…I’ve been practicing for nearly 20 years and I’ve heard it so often from so many patients that I know there’s something to it.”

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If you do regularly suffer joint pain, or even if you do not, there are some precautions to help avoid or mitigate pain as the weather changes. Wear warm, protective clothing to avoid suddenly exposing your joints to dramatically cooler conditions. Stretch and move regularly, especially if you sit a lot at work.

If joint pain has become a very significant problem as the climate grows chillier or if you know from experience your pain seems to worsen dramatically as the weather changes, see a joint specialist. First, they can diagnose the underlying source of your “baseline” joint pain: whether it’s a form of arthritis, injury to the bone, cartilage or other joint tissue, or even damage caused and/or worsened by poor posture or deformity. They can treat the underlying condition, and establish a plan to help deal with sudden changes in temperature. This may include special exercises, stretches, medication, or even assistive devices.

Our joint treatment professionals are available for consults. Request an appointment today for a healthier, more active season ahead!

 

 

 

 


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Five Ideas For a Joint Friendlier Holiday Season

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This holiday season give your joints cause to celebrate. Try these five tips to keep your knees, shoulders, hips, and other joints healthy and happy.

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Eat Right

Feed your joints this holiday season, and enjoy great flavor, stronger joints, and an anti-inflammatory boost. Get in Omega 3’s with oily fish, like salmon; carotenes, like those in squash, yams, and carrots; calcium and vitamin D, which can come from dairy, leafy greens, and appropriate, regular exposure to sunlight.

 

 

Make Your Kitchen Joint Friendly

If you’re responsible for food preparation over the holidays, it’s especially important to make sure your kitchen is as joint-friendly as possible. An enjoyable tradition can become a painful ritual fast when proper precautions aren’t taken. Check out this guide over at our fellow AOSMI subsidiary site, njhandandwrist.com, for some great tips.

 

Shop Small or Online

Whether it’s stocking up on ingredients for big holiday meals, or hitting the Black Friday sales, it can be tempting to do some heavy-lifting while shopping this time of year. Don’t fall for it–your health is worth more than any bargain. Shop small when it comes to groceries, and try doing your holiday shopping online if possible. Lots of stores offer the same deals online, without the crowds or cutthroat competition.

 

 

Give From the Joints

If you know someone suffering from knee, hip, shoulder, or other joint issues, consider gifts that will help make things easier for them. In urban areas, subscription-based grocery delivery services are becoming increasingly common, and are a great way to spare those with joint pain from the challenges associated with lugging heavy grocery bags. In Northern climes, see what kinds of snow shoveling services are available. Therapeutic massage is another simple route. Don’t forget to gift yourself, too. At your next joint specialist appointment, ask if there are any assistive or support devices, footwear, etc. your doctor recommends looking into–and then add to your wish list!

 

 

 

See A Specialist

If you’ve been suffering in silence, make this the season you get professional help for your joint pain or mobility issues. It’s a gift that will keep on giving. Our team accepts appointment requests here.


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Hip Health: Five Steps

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Hip health is vital to maintaining mobility as we age. Try these tips to keep your hips healthy, strong, and pain free.

Chow Down, Bone Up

Two types of food are especially important: oily fish and dairy products. The oily fish will get you your omega-3 acids, which help lubricate joints and ease inflammation. The dairy will help you get your daily vitamin D and calcium, both of which are essential to building and maintaining bone density.

Try Some Simple Exercises

If you are experiencing any pain in your hips, please consult with a doctor and/or physiotherapist before performing any exercises–even these!

Hip Squeezes: Lay flat on your back with your knees raised and bent. Put a cushion between your knees, squeeze, and hold for five seconds.

Leg Raises: Lay on your back with your legs laying flat on the ground. Slowly raise each leg, keeping both straight, and hold in the air for at least two seconds.

Side Raises: Lay on your side, with the knee closest to the ground bent. Raise the other leg, keeping it straight, and hold for five seconds.

Repeat each exercise ten times (ten per leg, for the last two).

Be Hip, Take a Dip

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: hit the pool. Water is your joints’ friend. It allows you to get those strengthening exercises without putting too much pressure on your joints.

Take a Load Off

Maintain a healthy weight, and your hips will thank you. Less lbs means exponentially less pressure on your hip joints.

Hips Don’t Lie–So Listen To Yours

If you are experiencing pain in your hips, see a doctor ASAP–don’t wait it out. A wide range of issues, including things like gynecological issues or foot problems that you might not expect, can cause hip pain. Identifying the source of discomfort as soon as it arises is integral to keeping your hips healthy.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your hips, we encourage you to request an appointment with our joint specialists today.


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Four Ways to Make Fitness a Joint Effort

Extra pounds mean lots of extra stress on your joints. Poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle won’t do them any favors, either. Science says that one of the most effective ways to stick to and achieve success in a weight loss or fitness program is via social support–i.e., not going it alone. Try these tips to create a team, even if it’s only of two.

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For The Gambling Man (Or Woman)

DietBet is a nifty site that lets you buy into a bet–for example, that you can lose 10% of your body weight in six months. Those who successfully meet their goal split the pot at the end of the bet. You can set up your own pools and goals, or join one of the many pre-existing pools.

Wearable Tech

Fitness bands are an awesome way to measure daily activity. Because many focus on steps, their isn’t so much pressure to force yourself into intense workouts that are harder on the joints. Many offer additional features, like heart rate monitors and tech to help record how well you sleep. Most, like Jawbone’s UP, have an application that also allows you to add teammates so that you can encourage each other throughout the day. You can customize your privacy settings, so if you don’t want to share certain info–like sleep patterns or meals–you don’t need to. Plus, there’s just something fun about having a piece of wearable tech–like a friendship bracelet.

Take it To Twitter (And Instagram, and Facebook…)

Research suggests that those who share their efforts to get healthy on social media are more successful. Social media allows you to connect and garner the support of friends and family all over the country or even the world. Who knows who you’ll inspire to join you?

Check in with Doc

First off, always check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise or diet plan. They can help you find activities that are a good fit for your ability levels and generally make sure you won’t inadvertently harm yourself. Second, they may be able to recommend a local clinical weight loss group, or to fitness classes that are well suited to your goals.

If you’re all set to get social and get started, but are worried about lack of function or pain in your joints, contact our office to request an appointment.


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Four Ingredients Your Joints Will Love

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Think of your joints like hinges: fill them with gunk, and they’ll have trouble functioning. Clean and care for them, and they’ll keep swinging longer. Try incorporating these ingredients into your summer recipes for a jolt of joint-friendly goodness.

Ginger

Why: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it a smart choice when your joints are swollen or if you’re suffering from arthritis. It may take time to provide the best effects, so we suggest finding a ginger recipe you won’t mind indulging in regularly.

Recipe: Try a refreshing ginger lassi! Lassi, common in parts of India and Nepal, is a drink made with thinned yogurt. They’re cool, refreshing, and offer a bit more substance than traditional fruit smoothies. The yogurt gives them a little bit of bite, and means you’re also getting some calcium and protein. This recipe recommends a teaspoon of ginger, but if you like the flavor of ginger, you can certainly add more– some versions call for two tablespoons.

Broccoli Rabe

Why: Broccoli rabe is a terrific, non-dairy source of calcium–which is a must-have for strong bones and joints. It’s a little more sour than the more familiar variety of broccoli–in a good way, fans of the rabe would argue. It also gives you some vitamin A and fiber.

Recipe: Take it to the grill! Grilling seasoned broccoli rabe gives it some interesting texture without boiling away the nutrients.

Salmon or other Fatty Fish

Why: Fatty fish are a great source of vitamin D, which is essential for absorbing calcium. You can get this vitamin from time outside, too–but some people may have trouble absorbing their vitamin D this way, or may not spend enough time outside. Plus, you’re getting heart healthy omegas and protein–not to mention tasty, tasty fish.

Recipe: This Salmon Club with Avocado Butter. Ideally, you’d be eating this in a leafy yard overlooking the lake, but it’s also portable enough to bring into the office.

Walnuts

Why: Omega 3 fatty acids, found in walnuts, help joints work more smoothly. Fatty fish are a great source, but so are walnuts–especially if you are avoiding fish. Plus, they have some protein.

Recipe: Walnut and red pepper dip is a yummy alternative to hummus–try it with veggies, on pita bread, or in a wrap.


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Four Ways to Maintain Joint Health

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When it comes to joint pain and aches, the best cure is often prevention. Below are some tips for maintaining joint health as you age:

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Extra pounds put extra pressure on your joints. In fact, research suggests that for every pound gained, a person puts approximately four times more stress on their knees. Maintaining a healthy weight means happier, less stressed joints today and in years to come.

Get Your Heart Pumping

Get some cardio in! Getting your heart rate up may help reduce joint swelling. If joint pain is already an issue, then opt for bicycling or swimming–both of which can get your heart pumping while being gentle on joints.

Bulk Up

Build strong muscles to support your joints. This will help alleviate some of the pressure on the joints themselves. A medical professional or physical therapist can help recommend exercises that will help bulk you up in key areas.

Fuel Up

Your joints and the muscles that support them rely on quality nutrients to stay strong. Get the lowdown on some great joint-friendly ingredients to try here.

Interested in learning more about how you can care for your joints now so that they’ll stay strong? Request an appointment with our joint experts today!


Limited mobility and chronic pain from damaged joints is a tragedy that affects more than just one person — it robs families, loved ones, and communities of so much you have to offer. The specialists at the Advanced Joint Replacement Institute want to help you get back on your feet and out in the world. Our team has the experience, skills, and technology to replace joints using minimally invasive techniques for a faster recovery time, less pain, and less scarring.