Shoulder Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment

Shoulder arthritis can be an extremely painful and limiting condition. Whether you have been diagnosed with a type of shoulder arthritis or suspect your might have this affliction, you are likely suffering from one or more key symptoms.

There are a few different types of shoulder arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type. It is also known as degenerative joint disease. This type of shoulder arthritis develops over time as smooth cartilage wears away, causing rubbing between the rough ends of the bones. The end result is a very painful, restricting condition.

Symptoms:

The main symptoms of shoulder arthritis are pain and decreased range of motion. The shoulder is a complicated part of the body. Arthritis may not be limited to one part of the shoulder. Some people have pain and limited motion in the ball and socket joint of the shoulder. Other people experience pain in the joint where the collar bone and scapula meet.

In addition to pain and loss of motion, some people also experience a grinding sensation in the shoulder when doing certain activities. This can be painful as well as irritating. Further, some individuals report feeling weakness and/or stiffness in the shoulder.

Treatment:

If you have been experiencing any or all of the symptoms in your shoulder for an extended period of time, it is wise to seek the opinion of an orthopaedic surgeon. Specifically, it is advisable to see a surgeon that is fellowship trained in shoulder and elbow.

Once you have been given a diagnosis, your orthopaedic surgeon can review the options for treatment of your shoulder arthritis. Surgery might be an option but there are other non-operative treatments that could help. Here are some of the steps that could help relive symptoms of shoulder arthritis.

  • Rest and modifications of  specific daily activities
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Ultrasound
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

If you think you are suffering from shoulder arthritis, do not ignore the symptoms. Seek treatment and explore your treatment options.

 

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections: Non-Surgical Treatment for Acute and Chronic Conditions

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are an innovative approach to treat a variety of orthopaedic conditions. If you are suffering from an orthopaedic injury or condition, read further to determine if this might be a treatment approach for you.

Platelet Rich Plasma is a fluid that is derived from a patients’ own blood. This fluid is filled with growth factors that can aid in soft tissue and bone healing. Due to the healing properties of this fluid, Platelet Rich Plasma can be extremely beneficial for orthopaedic patients.

Dr. Joshua Nadaud, of Agility Orthopaedics,  specializes in PRP injections for the lower extremity. This is an innovative and new approach that Dr. Nadaud has incorporated into his practice and can benefit patients of all ages. It is a non-surgical approach that can be used to treat a variety of conditions both chronic and acute.

Mike Johnson, an avid skier and race car driver, recently experienced the healing benefits of Platelet Rich Plasma. After suffering from an acute tennis injury, he sought the expertise of Dr. Nadaud for treatment.

Mike shares his story:

“I was a week away from going skiing with my family when I tore my calf muscle playing tennis.  Luckily, Dr. Nadaud got me right into his office and was able to help me with a boot and some Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) cells.  We were both a bit skeptical that I would make it on the slopes, but once I got my ski boot on, I knew I would be fine.  I’m sure my tear wasn’t as bad as it could have been but at the time, I thought there was no chance I would be able to ski with my family.  Since then, I have sent two friends to see Dr. Nadaud and I would highly recommend him to anyone.”

If you are suffering from an orthopaedic injury or chronic condition, you might want to consider Platelet Rich Plasma injections. In the St. Louis area, contact Dr. Joshua Nadaud at Agility Orthopaedics.

Ski Injuries: Identifying and preventing common issues

Ski injuries plague thousands of winter sport enthusiasts every year. Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned veteran, a ski injury can put a major damper on your winter break plans.

Skis injuries range in severity depending on a variety of factors. Injuries to the knee, ankle, shoulder and arm are very common. No matter what your level of experience, it is important to be informed on injury prevention before you hit the slopes this season.

Common Types of Ski Injuries

Foot and Ankle

  • Lateral ankle ligament sprain
  • Ankle fracture
  • Fifth metatarsal fracture
  • Frostbite

Knee

  • Meniscus injuries
  • ACL and PCL tear or strains (anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament)
  • Medial collateral ligament injury

Hand and arm

  • Wrist sprain
  • Wrist tendonitis
  • Skier’s thumb
  • Finger fractures
  • Wrist fracture
  • Frostbite

Shoulder and elbow

  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Shoulder separation
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Shoulder fracture
  • Elbow fracture

Neck and Back

  • Neck strain
  • Whiplash
  • Herniated disk
  • Muscle strains of the back

Prevention of ski injuries can mean the difference between a great vacation and months of painful recovery. Weeks before you hit the slopes, it is important to make sure you are in good shape. Plan ahead with skiing conditioning exercises such as squats, agility drills and hill or stair running. Building up endurance is key for minimizing injuries that happen when your body is fatigued.

In addition to building strength and stamina, focus on building your core strength and flexibility. Improving your balance and posture will give you a good foundation for proper form on the slopes. Increasing flexibility will help your body respond well to the rigorous demands of skiing.

Another key to preventing injury is to take it slow. Even if you are trying to pack a lot of fun into just a few short days, do not overdo it. Plan a shorter day of skiing on your first day so you do not fatigue too quickly. If you do too much at first, you will be more sore and tight for the rest of your skiing days.

If you do get injured while skiing, be sure to allow your body a chance to heal before hitting the slopes again. What might start as a minor injury can quickly escalate if you try to push through the pain with further activity. Be sure to consult an orthopaedic surgeon if you do sustain a ski injury this winter.

Knee Pain: Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatment

Knee pain is not an easy symptom to ignore. If you suffer from pain in your knee and the surrounding area, you know how physically limited life can be. There are several causes for this type of pain as well as a variety of treatments. Understanding the cause of your pain can help determine the best treatment options.

Whether your knee pain is new or you have been dealing with it for an extended period of time, finding treatment now is the best option. But how do you know if you need surgery or if other treatment options will be enough to address your knee pain?

Meeting with an orthopaedic surgeon is a great first step to understanding and treating your knee pain. Some people might assume that consulting with a surgeon means they will have to have surgery. This is a common myth. Orthopaedic surgeons treat both operatively and non-operatively. Surgery is only considered if absolutely necessary.

Depending on the specific type of injury or issue in your knee, an orthopaedic surgeon can determine whether or not your knee pain can be treated without surgery.

Non-Surgical Treatment Approaches

Some knee pain can be managed without surgery. Depending on the severity of your injury or knee issue, you may be able treat your injury with minimal intervention. For some people, use of acetaminophin, ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve swelling and pain. In addition, using the four simple steps of R.I.C.E. can alleviate painful symptoms. Resting your leg/knee, using ice, compressing the area and elevating the knee may provide enough relief from knee pain to get back on your feet. Further, physical therapy exercises, as prescribed by a doctor, often lead to effective recovery from  injury or discomfort in your knee.

Surgical Treatment Approaches

Surgical treatment of knee pain varies widely. Identifying the source of the pain is the first step. Orthopaedic surgeons are able to use physical examinations as well as X-ray images to determine the underlying cause of knee pain. In some cases such as damaged/torn ligaments or cartilage, surgical treatment can be very beneficial. Knee arthroscopy, osteotomy, partial knee replacement and total knee replacement are examples of the surgical approaches that can benefit some patients.

If you have been suffering from knee pain, do not hesitate to contact a board certified orthopaedic surgeon to explore what options are right for you.

Holiday Travel: Stretches and Exercise for Health

Are you traveling this holiday season? Whether you are strapping in the car for a long road trip or racking up frequent flyer miles on an airplane, November and December are prime months for holiday travel. But don’t let your travel plans interfere with your physical health.

It is easy to get out of a normal exercise routine when you are traveling. You might not have access to a gym or the desire to put in a hard work out. However, this is the best time to make sure you are taking care of your body. Stretching and moderate exercise are great ways to not let the indulgence of the season add numbers on the scale. Don’t let holiday travel interfere with your health this season.

Stretching is not only great for circulation and mobility. It is also important to prevent bodily issues such as back pain and blood clots while sitting for extended periods of time during holiday travel. Here are some easy stretches to do while traveling:

  1. Twist while seated. Gently twist your torso while inhaling and exhaling.
  2. Walk. This may seem simple but even walking down the aisle of an airplane or getting out for a brief stroll at a rest stop is great. This can help blood flow and stretches out your limbs.
  3. Neck stretch. Slowly tilting your head from left to right allows you to stretch the muscles in your neck.
  4. Toe touch. Without locking your knees, simply reach your finger tips down toward the floor. This stretches not only your legs but also your back.
  5. Side stretch. While standing, reach your arms over head and gently tilt from right to left at the waist.
  6. Upper body stretch. Reach your arm across your body while sitting. Use your opposite hand to gently press your outstretched arm to your chest. Switch arms and repeat.

Beyond stretching, there are a number of simple exercises you can do while traveling away from home:

  1. Jogging or walking. Setting out for a walk or a jog is an easy, free way to get your heart rate up. Using an application such as Map My Run can help you track your distance and calories.
  2. Yoga. Incorporating yoga moves into your day is a great way to decrease stress and tone your body. Apps like Fit Star Yoga and Daily Yoga are easy to use from your phone or other electronic device.
  3. Pack your gym. Packing along items like a jump rope, tension bands or small hand weights can amp up your personal exercise session.
  4. Run the stairs.
  5. Class pass. Many gyms around the country offer a class pass that you can purchase and use for classes at other gyms. This can be a cost-effective way to stay in your gym routine while traveling.
  6. Fitness trainer apps like Sworkit, 7 minute workout and Workout Trainer: personal fitness coach are great ways to get a detailed workout routine that you can do anywhere.

Rather than let holiday travel be an excuse to skip a workout, use it as a reason to try something new. Take advantage of time away from the normal stress of home and work to explore new types of exercise.

Happy Holidays!

Orthopaedic Injuries: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (R.I.C.E.)

Orthopaedic injuries can require surgery to bring desired results. However, there are several types of orthopaedic injuries that can be successfully treated without surgery. If you have sustained an injury through exercise, an accident or a work related incident, it is possible that four simple steps could decrease the severity of your injury, leading to a successful recovery.

Rest, ice, compression and elevation, also known as R.I.C.E., are basic yet extremely effective steps for alleviating pain and swelling from an orthopaedic injury. The key to this treatment approach is using the steps as soon as possible after sustaining an injury. Putting these steps to use might seem simple, but it is always important to seek the advice or a physician or orthopaedic surgeon before trying to treat injuries on your own.

R.I.C.E.

Rest (R):

The first step to implementing R.I.C.E. is simply resting. While easy in theory, this can be very challenging for many people. Whether you are an athlete, an active parent or have a physical occupation, taking time to rest your injured body part can seem impossible. Keep in mind that the sooner you are able to heal completely, the sooner you can safely return to your normal daily routine.

Ice (I):

The second part of this process is pretty self explanatory. Icing your injured body part helps reduce inflamation and brings physical relief. One important thing to remember when applying ice to your body is to never apply it directly to the skin. Always use a cloth or towel as a barrier between your ice pack and your body to avoid damaging the skin. Apply ice for about 10-15 minutes at a time. Repeat this process about 3-4 times a day.

Compression (C):

Another important element is wrapping your injured body part with an elastic bandage. This can also help to reduce swelling as long as you are careful not to wrap it too tightly. If you are unsure how to wrap the injured area appropriately, always consult your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon to avoid worsening the injury.

Elevation (E):

Just as important as resting, elevating your injured body part can help lessen swelling. Use a pillow or something similar to keep the impacted area at or above the level of your heart.

Orthopaedic injuries are both painful and frustrating. Some of these injuries require surgery, physical therapy and a long recovery process. If you find yourself suffering from an orthopaedic injury, using R.I.C.E. can be a good first step to treating your condition. Always remember to follow-up with your physician or orthopaedic surgeon to discuss treatment options.

Knee Arthroscopy for Meniscus Tear: Recovery and Running

To a runner, knee injuries can be a potentially devastating occurrence. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) paired with physical therapy, can often lead to a full recovery. However, some injuries are chronic and debilitating, requiring further medical treatment.

Suffering from a meniscus tear is both painful and frustrating. Daily activities become difficult and running can further aggravate the issue. While not all tears require surgical intervention, many patients can benefit from a procedure called a partial meniscectomy.

Lori Heinrichs, an Agility Orthopaedics patient, struggled with a torn meniscus over the course of several months. After fearing that her running career was over, Lori came in for a consultation that changed everything. Dr. Nadaud performed a knee arthroscopy with a partial meniscectomy on Lori. After fully recovering, Lori was able to ease back into her running routine successfully.

Here is what Lori had to say about her experience:

“While training for a half marathon in 2014, I sustained a knee injury that prevented me from running the race. I saw an orthopedic surgeon and was told that it was time to stop running. I was only 32 years old and my running days were over? That’s when I went to see Dr. Joshua Nadaud. After looking at my MRI, he said he would do all he could to ensure I would run again. In 2015, Dr. Nadaud performed surgery on my knee and set me up with physical therapy. It was not long after and I was back in my running shoes. In October of 2016, I ran my first half marathon and was completely free of knee pain for the entire 13.1 mile race! Thank you Dr. Nadaud for the miracle work you did on my knee!”
If you have been struggling with knee pain, don’t ignore it. Make an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon to determine the best plan for a full recovery.

Marathon and Half Marathon Training and Race Preparation

Fall is an exciting time of year for marathon and half marathon runners. Cool, crisp mornings mean perfect weather for distance running. If you have been training for a marathon or half marathon over the past several weeks, you have likely been following a race plan. If you are preparing to start training, you are likely looking for the best method to perform well on race day and to avoid injury.

There are several things to consider while training for a marathon or half marathon. Whether this is your first long race or you are a seasoned marathoner, treating your body right will help you not only before your race but also in recovering after.

Nutrition

When people think about marathon training, one of the first things that comes to mind is the concept of “carb loading.” Carbohydrates before a race can be beneficial in giving your body a boost of stored energy before a long run. However, Nutrition is a huge part of training from day one.

As you start logging several miles on long runs, consider nutritional supplements to eat during your outings. Energy gels like GU Energy, Power Bar Gel and Hammer Gel can give you some added fuel to get through a running slump.

Over the course of several weeks of training, your body will be burning more calories than normal. This is not an excuse to over-indulge in your favorite carbohydrate heavy foods. Rather, balancing your meals with lean proteins, plenty of leafy greens, healthy fats and whole grains will give your body the energy it needs to perform well from day one of training through race day.

Hydration is just as important during race training as nutrition. Make sure to drink water consistently throughout the day and night, not just before hitting the pavement. Consider Electrolyte replenishment in the form of dissolving tabs or sports drinks.

Running Schedule

Both seasoned runners and first-time racers should rely on some sort of training schedule to follow. There are a number of great schedules out there. Most suggest incorporating 2-3 shorter runs during the week and one long run over the weekend. This long run should increase each week as you approach race day. Do some research and ask fellow runners for their best training plan. It is best that you find one that fits best into your schedule and that isn’t hard on your body.

Cross Training

Just as important as the running portion of your marathon and half marathon training is cross training. Running multiple days each week is tough on your joints. Beyond running, incorporating strength training, yoga, cycling and swimming can help with speed and stamina. It also breaks up the monotony of running.

Recovery

Recovery is vital to race training. For both marathon and half marathon race preparation, there are several days in which your body takes a beating from a long run. Be sure to stretch before and after your runs. It is also key to refuel your body with lean proteins and healthy fats. Muscle repair is essential to help avoid injury and build strength. Also be sure to hydrate all day after your runs.

Injury Prevention

Running is great exercise and has wonderful benefits for your body. But even for seasoned runners, competing in a marathon or half marathon is a big trauma to your body. It is very important to allow your body to heal and recover after a long run. Take the day off every time you have a long run. After the race is over, be sure to take a few days off. It is also beneficial to schedule a massage for the day after your race to decrease muscle soreness and inflammation.

If you do sustain an injury during race training for a marathon or half marathon, be sure to consult an orthopaedic surgeon. Don’t try to push through training no matter how much you want to complete this goal. It is important to address any running injuries as soon as they develop to avoid more serious issues.

Friday night football: Common injuries and prevention

The shift from summer to fall signifies a number of changes. The weather shifts, the leaves begin to turn and weekends become filled with a variety of fall sports. Football is one of the most popular sports of the season. Whether enjoying this activity as an athlete or a parent of a player, there are several things to consider before launching into a busy football season.

There are a number of common injuries sustained by football players during any given game. Despite wearing pads, helmets and supportive footwear, each and every play can result in a serious injury.

Here are the most common football injuries:

Knee Injuries

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears and strains
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tears and strains
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tears and strains
  • Meniscus tears
  • Patellar fractures
  • Knee dislocations

Head Injuries

  • Concussions caused by single or repeated trauma to the head
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, degenerative disease

Overuse Injuries

  • Patellar tendinitis, also known as jumper’s knee
  • Back pain
  • Rotator cuff strains or tears

Shoulder Injuries

  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder tendinitis

Foot and Ankle Injuries

  • Sprained ankles
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel contusions
  • Tendonitis
  • Ankle fractures

It is no secret that football can be a very dangerous sport. Prevention is key for avoiding a football injury this season. Addressing any injuries, as soon as they occur on the football field, is the best way to avoid serious issues. Consult a board certified orthopaedic surgeon for a full assessment and treatment options.

Make sure to stay hydrated while playing football or any sport. Choose proper fitting gear that is in good condition while practicing and playing in all football games. Using faulty pads can result in an unnecessary injury. Never play football without a helmet and report any pain or injury to your coaching staff.

Always warm-up before hitting the football field. Many strains and tears can be prevented if you are taking simple precautions such as stretching and warming up appropriately.

 

Foods for Bone Health: Osteoporosis Prevention

When it comes to preventative health, one of the most effective tools you have is managing your diet. In addition to a maintaining regular exercise routine, developing a healthy meal plan is essential for preventing some of the most debilitating health conditions, including osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis, the thinning of the bones caused by a decrease in bone mass, plagues men and women of many cultural backgrounds. However, women, specifically those entering menopause, are more likely to suffer from this affliction. Preventing osteoporosis with diet and exercise is key to avoiding many painful and limiting injuries. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent developing this bone condition, incorporating several foods into your daily meal routine can help lessen your chances of suffering from osteoporosis.

Preventing osteoporosis is one way to decrease your chances of suffering from an orthopaedic injury. Keeping your bones healthy and strong is not only a great way to avoid injury but is also helpful in healing quickly if you do experience a bone injury. From foot and ankle injuries to shoulder and elbow issues, your bone health is key for getting back to your normal lifestyle.

The main dietary defenses for preventing osteoporosis include: Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin D.

Foods for bone health:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Low-fat or non-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat or non-fat milk
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Oranges
  • Raisins
  • Artichokes
  • Tomatoes
  • Okra
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Egg yolks

Beyond adding healthy foods to your diet, it is important to also avoid certain elements for osteoporosis prevention. Try to minimize salt and caffeine as much as possible to avoid loss of bone mass.