Monthly Archives: May 2012

Shoulder Pain Explained

The phrase “shoulder pain” is a common term for several ailments. As this American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons post explains, should pain usually falls into four categories, which are explained below.

1. Tendons: tendinitis, bursitis, and tears
Tendinitis is
the wearing down of a tendon. Chronic tendonitis occurs over a long period of time, such as with age, while acute tendinitis is caused by excessive, repetitive motion—such as lifting weights or swinging a golf club.

Bursitis is inflammation of small sacs—called bursae– in joints including the shoulder. The sacs help reduce friction between muscle and bone., but can become

A tendon tear is just as it sounds. Tendon tears can be caused by age, excessive wear, or sudden movements, and can happen to anyone, regardless of physical condition or age.

 2. Joint instability
In the shoulder, instability means the upper arm bone is separated from the shoulder socket. This is commonly called a separated shoulder. Separated shoulders can be partial (a subluxation) or complete. Once a shoulder separation occurs, the resulting loosening of the associated tendons, ligaments and muscles means the likelihood of more separations increases.

 3. Arthritis
Arthritis in the shoulder is typically osteoarthritis, which is caused by aging and wear and tear on the cartilage that protects the ends of bones. It usually develops slowly and gets worse over time. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness.

4. Fracture
A broken bone in the shoulder usually involves the collarbone (clavicle), upper arm bone (humerus) or the shoulder blade (scapula). Significant swelling, severe pain, and bruises are signs of a shoulder fracture.

Shoulder pain can be complicated.  Fortunately, it is very common and can almost always be successfully treated.

For more information on shoulder injuries, check out our Shoulder Center Of Excellence. Are you experiencing shoulder pain? Contact us and put our expert care team to work for you!

Runners: Don’t Let Lower Back Pain Slow You Down

Running can be a very beneficial part of a workout routine. However, like most exercises, if not done correctly or with proper preparation, a good run can do more harm that good.

A proper warm-up is an important part of a good running regimen.Many people associate running with putting stress on lower extremities, like knees and feet. While that’s true, running also puts a lot of stress on your back. Here are some tips from Spine-Health to help make sure a painful lower back doesn’t sidetrack your running.

  • Warm up properly before you run. This post offers a few tips on stretching and preparing for a run.
  • Stretch your hamstrings regularly—twice a day is good—to minimize stress across the low back
  • Muscle toning and strength training will help your back—and your entire core—stay strong.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes. This article from the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine offers guidance on proper running shoe selection.
  • If possible, run on softer surfaces, like a rubber track or dirt/grass. Avoid running on cement if at all possible—it is harder than even asphalt, and the harder the surface, the more punishment your body must absorb.

Of course, you should always consult with your doctor before starting or making drastic changes to your workout regimen.

Are you experiencing pain from having pushed your workout routine a bit too much? Our team can help. Contact us and we’ll be happy to talk to you.

Stretching Techniques For Runners

With this weekend’s Bodies in Motion 5K coming up, now is the perfect time to read this post on how to properly warm up and stretch out as part of a running routine. In addition, the Fauquier and Liberty High School athletic training departments helped put together this video that demonstrates a few key stretches. Hope to see you out there Sunday morning!

The Mental Aspect Of Managing Arthritis Pain

As part of May’s National Arthritis Month, we will be looking at arthritis pain management here on the BROAVA blog.

If you have arthritis, you probably have read and heard a lot about pain management. Hopefully, you also know that a successful arthritis pain management plan means more than taking physical actions—it’s also about taking a positive mental approach. Following, courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation (AF), are some tips on how to use your mind as a key contributor to pain management.

1) Distract yourself. Focusing on pain only makes it more disruptive. Instead, try turning your attention to something unrelated to your pain. Explained the AF:

The more you focus on something outside your body, such as a hobby or other activity, the less you will be aware of physical discomfort. If you can’t avoid thinking about the pain, try to think of it differently. If that doesn’t work, view the pain as a message to change your routine. If sitting too long causes discomfort, stretch your legs for a bit.

2). Practice positive thinking Negative thoughts can solidify a mood. So, learn to think positive. Said the AF:

For example, you may come home from work and think, “I don’t want to exercise today. It’s cloudy outside, there’s no one to walk with, and besides, I’ve already exercised twice this week.” Or perhaps you approach the situation from a different perspective and think, “I don’t feel like exercising today, but I know I’ll feel better afterward and have an easier time falling asleep.”

3) Change unproductive habits. If you’re going through medicine faster than you used to or you find yourself talking more and more about your condition, consider altering these patterns.  The AF explains how:

One way to make a change is to do something positive in place of the old habit. Reinforce your behavior change by rewarding yourself each time you do something positive – perhaps by spending some extra time in a soothing whirlpool or taking an additional 10 minutes to read the morning newspaper.

At Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center, we recognize that there’s more to treating a patient than addressing the physical ailment.  Our care team focuses on the entire patient experience—and the mental approach to treatment is a major part of this.

Want to learn more about our pain management center of excellence? Contact us and we’ll be happy to talk to you.