Tips to Improve Your Orthopedic Health

Health has been the key focus for people of all ages. And as we grow older, the orthopedic issues also start taking control of our actions. These orthopedic health issues restrict our ability to move and be active and affect our very existence. Orthopedic health comprises of strong bones and joints so that physical incapacity and disability in movement is prevented.

The following orthopedic tips will help you adopt better lifestyles and adhere to appropriate diet so as to make your orthopedic health stronger.

Pay Attention to your Diet: You are what you eat. A healthy food regimen should focus on supplying the necessary nutrients for the bones and joints as you grow older. This diet should be balanced so that each meal provides the nutritional value as per the requirement. From the perspective of orthopedic health, you should pay attention to having the following vitamins and minerals in your food.

Pay attention to your diet

  1. Calcium: Our bones are made up of calcium and hence calcium rich food which includes dairy and milk products should be taken sufficiently to ensure your skeletal of bones is strong and healthy. Beans, lentils, almonds, leafy green vegetables are also rich sources of Calcium.
  2. Vitamin D: Vitamin D acts as a catalyst in the absorption of Calcium which then adds to the strength of bones. Sunlight is yet another trusted sources of Vitamin D so ensure spending some time (at least minutes) in the morning sun for absorbing the Vitamin D.
  3. Dietary Supplements: In case your body is excessively deficient in these minerals and vitamins or you are not able to get sufficient quantity through diet, then you should consider having dietary supplement with expert’s advice. Even then, you should concentrate on the above two dietary sources and not just give it completely to the supplements.
  4. Vitamin K: Vitamin K is also important as it works with Vitamin D to help the body absorb Calcium. It is an important component in building and maintaining the bone mass.

Limit your Bad Habits: 

Limit your bad habits

Smoking, drinking, caffeine should be consumed in moderation. Smoking prevents the absorption of Calcium, whereas more than 1-2 drinks a day may inhibit the absorption of Vitamin D. Similarly Coffee may not be harmful to bones directly but excessive consumption of caffeine may interfere with calcium absorption. Certain medications like steroids etc. may also prove to be harmful when used for longer duration.

Be Physically Active:

Be physically active

Simple exercises like stretching, walking, swimming and biking are good for all. In case you are already facing pain in your joints, then you should avoid any exercises which put excess stress on the joints for example deep knee bends. Another great way of improving orthopedic health is to start with stretching and warm up before exercising. This maintains flexibility and improves performance reducing the chances of injuries like sprains and strains.

People who are more active are less prone to osteoporosis. Similarly, women are more prone to osteoporosis than men and above the age of 50. With respect to bone density, you may adopt the ‘use it or lose it’ formula.

Adjust your Home and Work Environments:

Adjust your Home and Work Environments

People tend to continue with their discomforting routines as long as the pain alarm is not continuous. However, good posture is greatly responsible for maintaining the bones and joints in alignment such that the muscles are able to function properly. This aids to reduce wearing of joints, imposes less stress on ligaments and helps in strengthening the spine thereby reducing backaches.

For those who work on computers, the setup should be ergonomic. Despite this, one should take breaks often and type softly. This will keep their body joints active and avoid conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.

As we grow older, the space should be comfortable enough to move around. It might require installation of handrails in broad areas, or having flooring which helps better grip and so on.

Sleep Posture: 

Sleep Posture

Sleeping is directly related to the relaxation of body. The sleeping posture should be such that it helps in maintaining the natural curvature of the spine. This can be done by lying down on your back and keeping a pillow under your knees or lying on one side while keeping your knees slight bent as in fetal position. Lumbar roll may also be helpful if you have the habit of sleeping on your back.

The Footwear:

The footwear

Your feet are wrapped around in the shoes most of the time. Hence it is important to pay attention to how you place your feet and what footwear your wear. Shoes should be comfortable and should support the foot so as to avoid cramping, deforming and pain. Wearing excessive heels as part of fashion should not get in the way of your orthopedic health.

Enjoy life with preventive care of your Orthopedic Health!

Common Risk Factors for Hip Replacement

hip replacement surgery

As the age passes by, the body starts expressing the effects of natural aging process in the form of deformities. When your joints start aching and do not support movement, you know that you are not just getting older, but there’s a need to take some actions which will help you to continue doing things that you love and enjoy life. A bad hip joint may be obstructing your way. Modern science has blessed humanity with advanced surgeries like total hip replacement to help you get over the pain and limiting movement. In reality, these replacement surgeries are not just related to the elderly, they are equally beneficial for people of all ages with a worn hip joint.

Hip Replacement

Hip is one such joint in the human body that if it is affected by arthritis, it leaves the person in constant suffering and pain, especially if the case involves osteoarthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four women and one in five men are exposed to lifetime risk of hip arthritis, which may require a hip replacement surgery for relief.

What are the risk factors that trigger a bad hip?

There can be several reasons which can contribute to a bad hip. Here are some of the risk factors highlighted by orthopedic specialists which are known to trigger a bad hip.

Developing Osteoarthritis in Hip: 

Arthritis is one of the most common causes for hip pain. This inflammation of joints is known to be worse when you wake up and gradually settles down as you start becoming active during the day. Further it begins to worsen with time.

Developing Osteoarthritis in Hip

Hip is supposed to be the most vulnerable joint in the body to develop arthritis, and osteoarthritis in particular. The risk of developing hip osteoarthritis prevails more in women than men. Yet as we grow older, the hips are getting weary and fatigued while carrying the most of our body weight daily. This imposes great pressure on the cartilage present in the joint area. As the cartilage degrades with excess weight and aging, the person gets the risk of having a constant complaint of pain in the hip region.

Excessive Body Weight and higher Body Mass Index (BMI):

BMI

BMI is a measure of body fat which is calculated from your weight in relation to your height. Higher BMI can be associated with an increased risk with the success of hip replacement surgery. Your body weight is largely supported by your limbs and hence excess weight adds to the strain that your hip joints are exposed to. This further adds to the risk of developing osteoarthritis. The outcome of this can be as severe as stopping your hip movement to the extent that the person starts avoiding your daily routine activities.

Family History of Arthritis:

Almost 50 percent of hip arthritis cases may be found related to inherited genetics. This can be either in the form of a family member with identified osteoarthritis problem or in the form of having genes for poor bone health, thereby causing the condition of arthritis.

A Hip Trauma in the Past:

In case you had faced a severe hip injury in the past, it might trigger your hip pain with aging. This may further increase your risk for osteoarthritis as well.

Amount of Physical Activity as Part of Daily Routine: 

Physical Activity

Walking, running, exercising, doing household chores and so on, are some types of the physical activities. Physical activity adds excessive strain on your hips. Thus there is higher chance of having the need for hip replacement. This excess strain also causes wear and tear in the hip joints thus resulting in constant ongoing pain. This exposes your hip joints to higher risk of injury and thereby the need for undergoing a hip replacement surgery later.

Benefits of Hip Replacement

Hip replacement surgery has been proven to offer great relief in pain and considerable mobility in patients who are suffering from osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis of the hip region. More than 90% of patients get relief from pain and the increased mobility for around 10 years and many of them would have it functioning even for 20 years.

Still, whenever you get a hip pain which doesn’t go away after your basic treatments like some exercises, local application of some gel or ointment for pain relief, it is highly recommended that you visit an orthopedic specialist for a consultation and explore the options suggested by the expert. However, no pain should be ignored and timely actions are a great help in keeping your body fit and active.

Five Tips That Will Help You Improve Your Spinal Health

Improve Your Spinal Health

Improve Your Spinal Health

As per stats, there are many people who carry out the back pain every day. While living the pain daily life, it may prevent you from enjoying the social life and ability to achieve your daily tasks.

We will explain few simple tips and stretches which can help you to take care of your spine. These tips will surely help you to lower the chances of back pain later.

1. Stretching Exercise

Stretching Exercise

Getting out some time to focus on the flexible body and that can only be achieved by different stretch exercise. There are many kinds of stretches that can help you to keep your body flexible and healthy. You may follow these simple stretches step, to keep your spine healthy:

i. Stand with your feet hip distance apart and your knees slightly bent.

ii. Interlock your fingers behind your back (as per your comfort, no matter if your fingers don’t touch, you may still keep it practicing while holding them on to a dish towel.). Now, simply breathe-in and straighten your arms to expand your chest.

iii. Exhale and bend at your waist, letting your hands stretch towards your head. Hold for 10 seconds or 5 deep breaths.

2. Getting A Good Massage

Getting A Good Massage

Many of us don’t know the actual benefits of massage as it really helps to keep your spine healthy as well as general stress. Getting a good massage increases the endorphins (a natural painkiller of the body) in your bloodstream and resultant it cuts down your pain medications.

Massage also encourages the blood circulation that brings restorative nutrients to the affected area and speeds up the healing.

3. Stay Hydrated

Stay Hydrated

As per studies, dehydration may lead to many problems in the body including your joints and spine. Spinal discs are vulnerable due to dehydration and may begin to lose height. Hence spinal discs begin to shrink and you become predictable to painful spinal disc. Herniated Disc, also called a slipped or ruptured disc. A herniated disc occurs when your spinal disks lose some of their water content.

According to an Orthopaedic Surgeon, Herniated disks most common causes are, sometimes, using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large, heavy objects can lead to a herniated disk, as can twisting and turning while lifting objects. The most common signs and symptoms of herniated disks are arm or leg pain, numbness or tingling, and weakness.

4. Get a Healthy Sleep

Get a Healthy Sleep

Getting a healthy sleep is an integral part of your overall health. Your body & muscles need a good night’s sleep to repair the muscles and skin itself. As per Orthopaedic Surgeons, it is highly recommended to sleep on your side and on your stomach. Your spine feels high when you sleep on your stomach while sleeping on your side helping to avoid sleep apnea symptoms and diminishes upper airway collapse and gives you an improved night’s rest.

Using a good quality mattress and pillow also helps you to maintain the alignment of your neck.

5. Maintain Healthy Weight 

Maintain Healthy Weight

It is advised to maintain a healthy weight to living an active, healthy, and energetic life. People with overweight and obese have an increased risk for spinal pain, joint pain, and muscle strain.

Especially, people with overweight are most likely to experience lower back or spinal problem than people with healthy weight level. People with overweight around their belly pulls the pelvis forward, strains the low back and create the low back pain.

You can maintain your healthy weight by doing exercise and a healthy diet plan.

Common Exercises after Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint Replacement Surgery, also known as Replacement arthroplasty, requires an orthopedic surgery for treating arthritic or dysfunctional joint surface by replacing it with an orthopedic prosthesis. When a surgeon prescribes and schedules such Joint Replacement Surgery, physiotherapy and some exercises are usually prescribed as pre and post-surgery routine.

Exercise after joint replacement surgery

Why exercise after joint replacement surgery?

Until you understand the necessity and significance of the role exercises play in the recovery and success of the undergone arthroplasty, it is quite difficult to keep yourself pushing to do the exercises. Usually patients are made to walk from day one, initially very short distances, then performing light activities, and later walking outdoors and even climbing stairs. The increase in movement has to be gradual so as to make the new prosthesis get adjusted in the body.

Exercises play a significant role in strengthening the muscles and improving knee movement. When you feel uncomfortable while doing the exercise, don’t worry since there is some amount of discomfort when you start with it. However, on the other hand, these exercises are a definite help in speeding up the recovery and quickly diminish the postoperative pain.

Common Exercises recommended after Joint Replacement Surgery

It is quite probable for a patient to understand what exercises should be done at this stage. Below are some of the exercises which a patient can practice after undergoing a joint replacement surgery.

Exercises after Joint Replacement Surgery

  1. Ankle Pumps and Circles: Bend your ankles up, stretching your toes inwards (towards you) and then bend both ankles down pointing your toes outwards. For circles, rotate each foot clockwise and anticlockwise while keeping them facing the ceiling.
  2. Thigh Squeezes: Also known as Quadriceps sets, you start with tightening the muscles on the front of your thigh while pushing the back side of your knee into the bed (surface). Hold for a while and relax. 
  3. Buttock Squeezes or Gluteal Sets: Simply, tighten the muscles of your buttocks by squeezing the muscles together. Hold for a while and relax. 

    Excercises

  4. Heel Slides: Slowly bend your hip and knee by sliding your heel upwards towards your buttocks. Keep the heel surfaced on the bed while moving it. Now, slide your heel back down to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. If you feel the friction in sliding the heel, you could place a plastic bag under your heel to make it slide easily. 
  5. Lying and Sitting Kicks: These kicks are also helpful in recovery and relief from pain.

In addition to exercising, walking is equally important in building your strength and endurance. You should know clearly about how much you should walk and how the amount of walk and exercise needs to be gradually increased so that you don’t overdo it. At any point, advice of orthopedic surgeon and physiotherapist is highly recommended since they know the details of the surgery and patients’ case history.

Recovery Time After Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Usually done in old age, hip replacement surgery is quite a major operation and hence takes sufficient care, time and exercise to recover fully from it. Although most patients have similar questions around the recovery process and the time it takes to recover fully, there can be no definite answer to these questions as each person’s case varies significantly.

Yet, the fact is that one should be mentally prepared for taking due care for around 3 to 6 months for returning to their normal daily routine. Broadly, the recovery can be divided into two segments:

Short-term recovery involves the patient to start walking with minimal or no aids and being shifted from major pain relievers to simple medications. This type of post-op recovery takes around 10 to 12 weeks. It includes getting out of the hospital bed, starting to walk with the help of a walker on day 1 or day 2, and getting stabilized in the movement. Further, if things are favorable, the patient is typically discharged on day 3. By this time, the patient is able to have a sound sleep overnight without taking pills. Even after the discharge, the patient is typically on the walking aids but the pain subsides gradually. Once the person is off the walking aids and is able to walk sufficiently without the pain or resting in between, the patient is exhibiting good signs of a favorable short term recovery.

Long-term recovery involves the complete healing of the hip area including the surgical wounds and the internal tissues. With this type of recovery, the patient returns to the normal life activities without any external support or extra medications. It is at this point of time, that the patient is advised to resume work and other activities as routine. Another sign of total recovery is when the patient starts to feel normal again and there is no pinch of pain left in that area. In the language of orthopedic surgeons, the long-term recovery is marked by that physical condition in which the patient is beyond their arthritic pain and dysfunction which existed before the time of operation.

Other factors at play in recovery

Positive attitude, the nurses say, is most important in influencing the recovery of any post-op case. It gives them sufficient motivation to diligently work for their recovery despite bearing some amount of pain.

Information and understanding about the hip replacement surgery and the do’s and don’ts also help the patient in recovering faster.

Early activity is another significant healer which speeds up healing and recovery. Some patients take the initiative to initiate their walk right on the day get the surgery done.

Exercises and physical therapy are of utmost significance when it comes to the post-op recovery. The best way is to start under therapist’s guidance on day two after the surgery and continue with it for almost two or more months.

Strong support system from the medical staff also speeds up the recovery process.

Determination and positive attitude are keys to speedy recovery after THR.

How to Prepare for Hip Replacement Surgery

Medical science is coming up with solutions and techniques which are helping in increasing the average lifespan and also improving the quality of old age. Hip Replacement Surgery is one such activity which is used when the hip joint is either worn out or sufficiently damaged to the extent that it starts to drastically reduce the mobility and gives the sensation of pain even while the person is resting.

hip relacement

The Cause

There are no defined rules for suggesting a hip replacement. However the most common reasons which lead to a hip replacement surgery as a treatment are:

  • Hip or Groin Pain: When a person gets soreness during or after the exercise or if the pain interferes with one’s daily routine, it is a clear indication of hip arthritis.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the hip shows up in the form of difficulty in wearing the shoes or socks. Generally the problem is seen more in one foot than the other.
  • Reducing movements: When one starts avoiding movements which make their overall mobility as less than what is essential, it is a sign of severe effect of hip arthritis.
  • One Leg Test: If your ability to stand on your problem leg is less than even a minute and this stands true even with the support of a side table or table top, then indeed the hip is badly damaged.

Preparations for Hip Replacement Surgery

When you have any of the above symptoms, you can consult an orthopedic surgeon for advice on hip replacement surgery. Caused by osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis, this is amongst the most common surgical procedures done by orthopedic surgeons. Once the decision for getting your hip replaced has been made, you can take following steps towards preparing yourself for the surgery rather than being on the auto-pilot mode till the surgery day.

Know the procedure. Before hospitalization, you should gather related information like the type of joints to choose from, the recovery period etc.

Jot your questions. It is quite natural to have doubts and questions about the surgery. Jot down all of these questions and doubts and make sure to address them point by point with your doc in next appointment.

Get trained with physical therapy. Since the reduced mobility would have affected your muscles as well, you can approach your physical therapist pre-op wherein most people do this only post-op. This will help be stronger with the muscles to help support the movements and gear up with faster recovery.

Lose weight. In case of obesity, it is a great way to decrease the chances of post-surgical complications. It also reduces recovery time since the overall load that needs to be borne by the newly placed joint is lesser.

Ergonomic Sitting. Proper seating is necessary so as to start with necessary movement with care and comfort. A firm chair with arms and a high seat to sit is most suitable place to sit with comfort after surgery.  In case of staircase, the side railing is indeed helpful.