Take these steps to avoid getting sidelined by common orthopedic issues
Who doesn’t remember the childhood lyrics “The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone” and so on? The joints do this connecting work. In fact, the human body has more than 200 joints. Over 45 million Americans suffer from joint pain and are limited when it comes to physical activity. According to U.S. News, this number is on the rise, with about 67 million projected to suffer from moderate to severe joint pain by 2030.
Nicholas Pearson, DO, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute, walks us through the four major joints and gives us tips for keeping them healthy.
Trouble spots: Overhead motions from activities such as swimming, tennis and weightlifting or even washing walls can trigger a shoulder injury. “It’s important to keep the shoulder joint centered in the socket,” Dr. Pearson says. “The way to do this is by maintaining strong muscles around the shoulder.”
Quick tips: Do exercises and stretches that target the deltoid, trapezius and rhomboid muscles, as well as the biceps and triceps.
Trouble spots: Improper warmups before exercise can stretch or tear the muscles that support the hip joints. Older adults may experience stiffness and pain in the hip joint from osteoarthritis, which is a breakdown of the cartilage that cushions joints.
Quick tips: “Avoid overtaxing core muscles and hip flexors,” Dr. Pearson says. “Stay away from deep squats and lunges. Baby squats and baby lunges will provide the benefit of the exercise without taxing the hip joint.”
Trouble spots: Have knee pain? Check your waistline. “There is clear data that obesity is not good for the joints,” Dr. Pearson says. “For every 5 pounds you lose, it feels like 25 pounds of weight loss on the knee.”
Quick tips: Exercise strengthens and stabilizes muscles around the knee. “Focus on hip flexors, abductors and quadriceps,” Dr. Pearson says.
Trouble spots: Shoes can play a big role in ankle joint health. “We see ankle problems from women squeezing into high heels,” Dr. Pearson says.
Also, high-impact activities with quick side-to-side motions stress the ankle.
Quick tips: Wear supportive, appropriately fitting shoes. Strengthen your foot muscles and shin muscles to better support your ankles.
Suffering from Joint Pain?
Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute is proud to introduce Nicholas Pearson, DO, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in sports medicine. He can perform life-changing surgeries, including shoulder, knee and hip scope replacements. He sees patients in Blackfoot and Idaho Falls. To schedule a consultation at either location, call (208) 535-3626.
Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.