Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones in which there is a loss of bone density and destruction of bone tissue. Even though you may not notice a difference in your bones, over time they will lose many important proteins that are vital to keeping your bones strong. As a result, your bones will have less strength and you will be much more susceptible to fractures, especially if you fall.
According to this article from Krames Staywell http://ssov3.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Conditions/Orthopedics/Osteoporosis/85,P00932 Osteoporosis affects over 10 million Americans over the age of 50, with women four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.
34 million Americans over the age of 50 have low bone mass which increases the threat for osteoporosis. Loss of Estrogen is the number one cause of bone loss in women during and after menopause. Woman can lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the five to seven years following menopause.
Other risk factors for osteoporosis –
- Age – Bones will become less dense and lose strength with age
- Overall poor health
- Tobacco Smoking
- Race – White and Asian women are most at risk, even though all races may develop the disease
- Low body weight
- Poor vision
- Thyroid disease
- Low levels of testosterone
- Early menopause
- Certain medications – Most associated medication risks are steroids and anticonvulsants, but there is evidence emerging with regard to other medications
- Low calcium intake
- Having a fracture occur as an adult
Many people are not affected with symptoms of osteoporosis and the disease is often referred to as the “silent disease.” Some people may have pain in their bones and muscles, particularly in their back. On occasion, a collapsed vertebra may cause severe pain, decrease in height, or deformity in the spine. Osteoporosis most often occurs in the hips, spine and wrists.
Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center’s physicians, physical therapists, and pain management specialists have extensive experience treating nearly every kind of condition including osteoporosis. We offer a range of non-operative treatment options as well as many minimally invasive options that are treated in our surgical center on an outpatient basis. Please contact us today @ 540.347.9220 for more information or visit us @ www.broava.com. Our number one goal – Get YOU back to GOOD health.
3 Blue Ridge Orthopaedic physicians earn awards
The award is given to select physicians every year in recognition of exceptional patient care, services and compassion, and is granted based on actual patient reviews.
More than 200,000 patients across the United States provide online feedback about their medical care every month. Patients rate their physicians based on the care they receive, including bedside manner, doctor-patient face time, follow-up care and the courtesy of the office staff. Hundreds of thousands of these individual patient reviews were written and shared over the course of 2012. Only physicians with the highest patient rating for their compassion and bedside manner are selected to receive the Compassionate Doctor Award.
Of the nation’s 870,000 working physicians, only 3 percent were awarded the Compassionate Doctor Award in 2012.
Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center’s award recipients are:
• Dr. David Kim, director of pain management, specializes in medical acupuncture, pain management and interventional procedures. Dr. Kim is fellowship-trained in interventional pain management and is the founder of Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center’s interventional pain clinic. He holds privileges at Fauquier Hospital, is a diplomate of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and is American Medical Association board-certified in pain medicine. Dr. Kim is a two-time recipient of the Compassionate Doctor Award (2011-12).
• Dr. Robert Smith, orthopaedic surgeon, specializes in sports medicine and serves as the team physician for Fauquier High School. He is fellowship-trained in sports medicine, and helped care for the Baltimore Ravens and regional college teams. Dr. Smith is a first-time recipient of the Compassionate Doctor Award.
• Dr. Jeffrey Wise, orthopaedic surgeon, specializes spinal care, joint replacement and general orthopedics. He holds privileges at Fauquier and Fair Oaks hospitals, is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, and a member of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Wise serves as the team physician for Kettle Run High School and is one of the physicians for Virginia Gold Cup. Dr. Wise is a two-time recipient of the Compassionate Doctor Award (2011-12).
Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center in Warrenton has eight physicians, a team of assistants and subject-matter experts in physical therapy, massage therapy and medical nutrition.
It’s hard to face the fact that most of us will have some type of spinal degeneration, a drying out of the discs and arthritic changes in the spine due to age. If you have a job that requires hours of standing, you are more at risk, although those with desk jobs are certainly not immune to back pain.
Follow these strategies from Krames Staywell to reduce your risk!
Overweight and out of shape are a risky combination because of the stress and pressure they place on the spine. Aerobic conditioning on a treadmill, stair machine, or elliptical trainer will accomplish two things: Strengthen the trunk muscles so they can support the spine and burns calories, which in turn causes weight loss.
Office workers on occasion may have to lift boxes of files or a heavy stack of mail at some point during the day. Here is what you should do:
- Stand close to the object
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend at the knees and tighten your stomach muscles.
- Lift with your leg muscles as you stand up.
- Don’t twist your spine; pivot your feet to change directions.
Follow these same steps in reverse as you put the object down.
Adjust your Workstation
Start by adjusting your chair to support your back. Adjust so the lumbar support fits into your lower back inward curve. Then adjust the chair so your feet are resting flat on the floor. For the most benefit, place your monitor and keyboard directly in front of you.
Keep Moving During the Day
Our backs require movement and lots of it! Do your best to take a walk to the coffee or water machine. Walking will keep your muscles strong and lubricate the spine.
The Spine Center at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center resolves everday aches and pain. Poor posture, trauma, lifting, and aging are all factors that can injure your spine and cause pain. Whether caused by an injury or the normal wear and tear of time, spine-related ailments require the best care available. Call us today @ 540-347-9220 to schedule an appointment or visit http://www.broava.com/ to learn more about our services.
Sciatica Nerve Pain describes symptoms of leg pain and may include tingling, numbness or weakness that originates in the lower back and travels through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve. This Spine-Health article discusses some of the most common signs of a sciatica nerve.
- Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely occurs in both legs)
- Pain that worsens when sitting
- Burning or tingling down the leg (vs. a dull ache)
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
- A constant pain on one side of the rear
- A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or to walk
Is sciatica nerve pain interfering with your life? Our spine center, physical therapy, and pain management specialists can help determine both the cause and, most importantly, the most appropriate treatment for you. Contact us today to get started on the path to less pain.
Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms?
- Pain restricts your everyday activities, such as walking or bending.
- Stiffness makes it hard for you to get mobility in your legs.
- You are in pain while in a restful state.
- Pain relief from anti-inflammatory drugs is minimal.
- You have tried other treatment options and persistent pain does not go away.
Many times we don’t want to admit to ourselves that our bodies need a little help. Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center offers a wide arrangement of comprehensive services to assist in making your life easier. Please contact one of our Joint Replacement Specialists today @ (540) 347-9220.
Here in Fauquier County, we’re already a quarter of the way through the school year. Yesterday marked the end of the first nine weeks of school, and today is the start of the second nine weeks.
Students enjoyed a half-day yesterday, but it’s back to normal today. And, for many students, “normal” includes a heavy backpack, weighted with books and homework assignments. Some students carry 30 pounds or more on a daily basis. This is enough weight to literally compress the discs within the spine. It’s really not surprising, then, that some students develop back pain, shoulder pain and/or neck pain over the course of the school year. In fact, one study found that more than one third of middle-school-aged students complained of back pain.
Prevent back pain from back packs
- The American Chiropractic Association recommends limiting backpack weight to no more than 10% of a child’s weight.
- The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends choosing backpacks with padded backs and two wide, padded shoulder straps.
- Encourage your child to always use both shoulder straps.
- Encourage your child to only carry the minimum number of text books, papers, etc.
- If possible, consider purchasing duplicate copies of your child’s heaviest text books, and keeping the spare book at home.
- Consider a rolling backpack.
Is your child carrying too heavy a load?
If your child leans forward to carry his or her backpack, then it is likely the load is too much. Encourage your child to tell you if he or she is feeling discomfort or pain from carrying their backpack. And, do not ignore any sign of pain; back pain in childhood can lead to back pain as an adult.
If you cannot find a way to lighten your child’s load, or if the pain is not subsiding, please give us a call. We can offer recommendations for strength-building exercises. We will also determine whether there may be other issues contributing to the back pain.
This advice applies to you too!
Adults are not immune to back pain from carrying heavy loads. Over-weighted briefcases, shoulder bags and purses can cause or contribute to back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain. If you suspect your bag may be causing problems, we can help you find pain-free solutions.
Hip replacement surgery is used to correct hip pain when other treatments, such as physical therapy, and medication, are not sufficient. Hip replacement helps alleviate pain from a number of ailments, including arthritis or a fractured hip. There are many factors that go into recommending hip replacements. As this AAOS Orthoinfo article explains:
There are no absolute age or weight restrictions for total hip replacements. Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient’s pain and disability, not age. Most patients who undergo total hip replacement are age 50 to 80, but orthopaedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Total hip replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.
In a total hip replacement, artificial components replace damaged bones and cartilage. Orthoinfo explains the process as follows:
- The damaged femoral head is removed and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur. The femoral stem may be either cemented or “press fit” into the bone.
- A metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem. This ball replaces the damaged femoral head that was removed.
- The damaged cartilage surface of the socket (acetabulum) is removed and replaced with a metal socket. Screws or cement are sometimes used to hold the socket in place.
- A plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer is inserted between the new ball and the socket to allow for a smooth gliding surface.
Your orthopaedic specialist can determine if you are a good candidate for a hip replacement. Factors including your medical history, physical examination results, and X-ray results will help determine if a hip replacement will help you.
If you are experiencing chronic or debilitating hip pain, contact us to set up an appointment with one of our specialists. We can help determine your pain’s cause and the best treatments for you.
Neck pain can have many sources. This Spine-Health article discusses some of the more common forms of neck pain. We’ve summarized them below.
Pain that radiates down the arm
If you experience neck pain moving down your arm and possibly into your hands with symptoms of numbness, burning or tingling, this could indicate a cervical herniated disc or foraminal stenosis, resulting in a pinched nerve. Non-surgical treatment, such as physical therapy and medication, is often successful.
Neck pain related to certain activities or positions
If your neck pain is present only during certain activities or when holding your head in certain positions, this could indicate cervical foraminal stenosis. Non-surgical treatment is often effective, but severe and/or prolonged pain may require surgery.
Arm Pain with Lack of Coordination
Arm pain combined with reduced motor skills in the arms and legs is often caused by cervical spinal stenosis with myelopathy, which stems from a cervical herniated disc or degenerative changes in the joints that can cause pressure on the spinal cord. These symptoms often develop slowly over time. Treatment often requires surgery to decompress the spinal canal.
Is neck pain interfering with your life? Our spine center and pain management specialists can help determine both the cause and, most importantly, the most appropriate treatment for you. Contact us today to get started on the path to less pain.
Cycling is great exercise. It’s also very hard on the body—particularly the back. While riding a bike on the road or over rough trails does wonders for your lower body, it’s hard on your back. Riding a bicycle does little to strengthen your back muscles, and the posture required to excel on the bike puts strain on your back, especially if you also ride off-road over uneven, challenging terrain.
None of this should prevent you from enjoying cycling, however. Here, via Spine Health, are some tips you can use to keep your back—and your riding—strong:
- Make sure your bike matches your riding. For casual bike riders, consider a mountain bike with higher, straight handle bars, which keeps your posture more upright, and fatter tires, which offers more cushion and shock absorption.
- Make sure the bike fits your body. Your local cycling shop should be able to help with this.
- Use proper form. Your arms should support some weight, to keep your chest up. Shift positions periodically to keep your body—particularly your neck-from getting stiff.
- Remember to push and pull with the legs while biking. It shouldn’t be just downward thrusts when pedaling!
- Use shock-absorbing bike accessories such as seats and seat covers, handlebar covers, and gloves.
- Work some back strengthening exercises into your off-bike workout routine. Your back will thank you as you roll down the road!
Suffering from back pain? Concerned about adding cycling to your workout regime? Our spine, sports medicine, and physical rehabilitation experts can help. Contact us today and let’s talk!
Lifting weights can do wonders for your body, even if your not out for an Olympic medal. If you’re not careful, however, it can do painful things to your back.
Here, courtesy of Spine-Health, are tips for protecting your back as you push yourself in the weight room.
- Keep weight amounts within your personal limits before you begin weightlifting. The condition of your back plays a role!
- Use less weight but do more repetitions.
- Use a training machine rather than free weights for certain weightlifting exercises. This helps ensure your form is consistent. A machine may reduce stress on the back and can generally be used by someone with little or no supervision.
- Use a spotter when working with free weights.
- Discuss wearing a weight belt with your spine specialist or trainer. Studies are inconclusive on the value of belts, but your particular circumstance may merit one
- Do not perform exercises such as the clean and jerk, dead lift, snatch or squat without proper supervision. These exercises pose greater risk for back injury and back pain.
Weightlifting can deliver tremendous benefits. Before you develop a program, however, come see our spine and sports medicine specialists to discuss limitations and proper approaches.