4 Ways To Survive The Cast

A cast is meant to hold broken bones in place until it heals. Casts help to immobilise the immediate areas around an injured joint and reduces muscular contractions, preventing further movement at the injury site. It holds the entire broken bone in the correct alignment while allowing it to heal naturally. It can either be placed to prevent surgery for minor cases or as a protective barrier after surgery depending on the seriousness of the injury. However, casts are bulky and rigid things that make movement extremely difficult. Let’s look at some ways to survive the cast.

Crutches

Your best friend throughout your time in a cast would probably be your crutches. Since movements will be severely hindered, you will definitely need assistance to move around. It is impractical to ask your family and friends to help you all the time so this is where crutches come into the picture. Crutches can help you to move around much easier and reduce dependency on your loved ones.

Wheelchair

Wheelchair is another possible means to move around in a much more comfortable method. However, wheelchairs will cause inconvenience to those around you due to the size of it and although you are more comfortable, there are more limitations to what you can do. For example, you can easily board a bus using crutches but it is impossible to board a bus that is not equipped for wheelchairs.

Elevate your legs

Prolonged periods of being in a cast can cause blood to concentrate at the injury site due to the sheer weight of it and gravity acting on it. As such, if your legs are in a cast, you should try to elevate it in a position above your heart whenever you can. Elevating above the heart will allow for proper blood circulation and promote a speedier healing process. This is especially important during your sleep whereby your feet will be in the position for at least 7 hours. Prop your legs up using multiple pillows and reduce the chances of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Ice

Ice will help to decrease the swelling and relieve pain. However, make sure you do not cause the cast to become wet or it might start to affect the integrity of it. To prevent this from happening, place some ice inside a small plastic bag and wrap it with a towel. When possible, ice the injured region for 15 minutes every hour. This will definitely speed up healing.

Casts are bulky protective items that help to protect your injured joint or bone. It immobilises the injured part and ensures proper alignment is met during the recovery phase. As such, it will cause inconvenience to our lives and much adjustment has to be made. However, it is a crucial part of the healing process and if this step goes wrong, our joints will be affected for life.

Dos and Don’ts When Recovering From Hairline Fracture

Only those who have experienced fracture will know the immense pain when the fracture first occurred. The immediate onset of pain followed by several limitations that will cause us to alter our activities to accommodate to the inconvenience caused. After everything is over, it’s time to start the recovery process. Recovery from a hairline fracture is a spontaneous process that does not require any external energy to kick start it. However, there are some Dos and Don’ts which should be observed to expedite the healing process and prevent reoccurrence.

Partake high energy food

Although healing is a spontaneous process, prompt and fast healing will require extra energy input. The daily caloric intake needs to be increased to promote healing. Metabolic demands of the body increases drastically. An adult will require around 2500 calories daily while a patient suffering from fracture will need about 6000 calories! So start eating more food that is packed with energy.

Increase protein intake

Our bone is like a rigid sponge that is filled with a protein matrix embedded with calcium reinforcements. Half of the bone is made up of protein and protein is the building block of our body. During a fracture, the structure is compromised and the body will start to synthesis a new protein matrix. As a result, it will require tremendous amount of protein. An increase in protein intake will also result in an increase of growth factors such as insulin that will increase muscle strength and promote bone renewal. If protein levels are insufficient, the healing process will be compromised and delayed.

Increase antioxidants intake

Antioxidants are great against free radicals such as oxygen. During a bone fracture, the damaged tissues generate a huge amount of free radicals that will attack the collagen in the body. These free radicals will cause inflammation and lead to an even further damage on the collagen structure. Antioxidants will neutralise these free radicals and promote healing.

Do not exert force on the fractured area

The fracture region is already very weak and further exertion of weight can cause the fracture to get worse. Imagine a piece of glass that is shattered. If you place something heavy on the crack lines, you will notice it spreading out. This applies the same to a fracture. If you really need to move around, use crutches or a walker to help you along.

Although a hairline fracture is not as serious as a full fledge fracture, it still poses a huge risk to the patient. Any further aggravation will cause the injury to worsen and lead to undesirable consequences. Always remember to get plenty of rest and consume foods that are high in calcium, essential minerals and protein.

Top 6 White Collar Work Injuries

Work is literally a pain in the body. Don’t you frequently experience pain throughout your body when you return home from work? Studies have concluded that white collar professionals are the ones that have the highest medical claims among all occupations. White collar workers and blue collar workers suffer different pain mainly due to their different job scope. White collar workers sit at their desk the entire day and it does not seem to be hard work at all. However, they often reach home with muscle aches everywhere.

Back pain

Sitting on the chair for prolonged periods can cause a lot of pressure and straining on the back muscles. This is commonly termed as mouse shoulder. You can also experience chronic stiffness in the upper back, lower back and spinal cord. Sitting down for too long will cause the spinal discs to compress and cram up as well as causing inflexibility in the hips which will increase stress levels in the lower back.

Typing injury

Typing injury or repetitive stress injury as its name suggests implies pain in the hands that are caused by repeated typing motions and this will cause even simple daily activities to be almost impossible. This is due to the repeated stresses acting on the tendons and ligaments of the hands. This can cause the ligaments to be inflamed and swell up as a result.

Blurry vision

Staring at the computer screen for the entire will put a lot of strain on the eyes and will leave it dry and tired, eventually leading to blurry vision, headache and eye pain.

Repeated stress disorder

Doing repeated motions every single day in the office can cause muscle overuse and lead to ligament and tendon injuries as well as cause muscle aches.

Neck stiffness

Stiffness of the neck is also another common complaint that many white collar workers have. Due to the prolonged periods of computer usage, the neck is kept in a position unmoved due to the need to view the computer screen. The mistake of setting the monitor height at an incorrect height further aggravates the problem.

Migraines

Many office workers also experience migraines during work and this can ruin a day badly. The exact cause for migraine is still unsure but this is largely due to the prolonged staring at computer screens.

All it takes is just some adjustment to office ergonomics that will lead to a vast improvement in terms of posture and working conditions. Setting the monitor screens at the correct height and the screen brightness to the correct setting can eliminate headaches and even migraines. Sitting upright can reduce chances of back problems.

5 Applications of Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy or more commonly known as Shockwave therapy is a non invasive medical treatment that sends acoustic waves to injured parts of the body with the intent to reduce pain and promote healing. The shockwaves used for Shockwave therapy is similar to those used to break down kidney stone, but it is only at one tenth of the intensity, rendering it rather safe for the body. There are many uses of shockwave therapy and it can be widely applied to treat different injuries. Let’s take a look at some of the common applications of Shockwave Therapy.

Decrease pain

Shockwave therapy promotes hyperaemia which is actually the increase in blood flow to a targeted part of the body. Hyperaemia is the basis of shockwave therapy and the increase in blood flow provides extra energy and loosens up the muscles and path interactions between the actin and myosin. This will reduce muscle tension and decrease pain.

Dispersion of substance P

Substance P is a neuropeptide in the body and it functions as a transmitter and modulator for nerve communication. The main purpose of substance P is to modulate inflammation. Shockwave therapy can efficiently disperse substance P and increase the secretion of histamine. Dispersion of substance P also helps to reduce pain in the affected area and reduce the risk of developing oedema or fluid retention.

Increases collagen production

Collagen is the main protein that is found in the connective tissues throughout the body. It works together with elastin to provide structure and flexibility to the skin. Collagen is also the pre-requisite for any repair mechanism in the body that is due to a damaged ligament structure. Shockwave therapy will help to stimulate collagen production in the deeper layers of the tissues and this is something that you can never achieve just by taking collagen supplements.

Increases metabolism

Shockwave therapy removes nociceptive metabolites and helps to increase oxygen levels in the body and increasing the energy source. It also helps to reduce histamine which is acidic and increases the metabolism rate in the body.

Plantar fasciitis

Shockwave therapy will over stimulate nerves that are responsible for the transmission of pain to the brain, reducing pain immediately. It will also trigger the healing mechanism of the body and increases the formation of blood vessels in the affected area, speeding up the recovery process.

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment method that can be used for treating soft tissue injuries. Since it is non-invasive, there is minimal downtime and a hospital stay is not required. However, shockwave therapy may be painful for some but it is otherwise tolerable.

Why Does Cold Weather Causes Pain in Our Joints?

Do you have an elder at home who seems to be very accurate with her prediction on when the rain will come? They always tell you that once they experience pain in the joint, it will rain soon after. Medically wise, it is still an unsolved mystery about the exact relation between painful joints with cold weather. For a long time, cold and rainy weather has been linked to joint problems and arthritis and these affect areas such as the elbow, wrist, shoulders and knees.

Most people with arthritis or joint problems will suffer pain when the weather changes for the worse. It is largely due to the change in atmospheric pressure. Located in our joints are a lot of sensory nerves which are extremely sensitive to any changes to pressure. Cold weather will cause the linings at the joints to constrict, causing pain and discomfort to patients. Cold weather also restricts the circulation blood flow through the body. As a result, it can cause further inflammation in the joints. Another simple explanation is that during cold and wet weather conditions, movements are severely limited. Most of us will not feel like moving around and want to simply waste our time at home. This lack of movement can cause our body to stiffen up and cause pain in the joints. The natural body mechanism also contributes to joint pain during cold weather. The natural defence mechanism of our body is to divert all the blood from the rest of our body to protect the core of it at the centre of the body. As such, it will divert away and restrict flow to blood to places further from the heart such as the fingers and legs. Due to a reduced blood blow to these extremities, it can cause a lot of problems for people especially those suffering from arthritis.

There is however no strong evidence between cold weather and joint pain although people do experience an increase in joint pain during cold weather. You can try to deal with it with some simple methods. Try to always keep your body covered in thick and warm clothes whenever the weather changes. This will help to proper the flow of blood through your body and reduce joint inflammation. A cup of hot tea or coffee can always help to bring warmth to the rest of your body, relieving some of the symptoms.

 

Top 5 Most Common Types of Arthritis

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “arthritis“? Some of the common things include old age and painful joints. This is actually quite accurate! Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints and this is more common in people of certain age, especially those above 50 years old. There is currently no cure for arthritis. Arthritis occurs in many different forms and there are more than 100 types of them. In this article, let’s take a look at some of the more common ones.

Rheumatic Arthritis

Rheumatic arthritis is a disease of the immune system. The function of the immune system is to protect our body and defend against any foreign intruders in the form of viruses and bacteria. However, rheumatic arthritis causes the immune system to go haywire. Instead of protecting us, the immune system attacks us instead and these slow and steady attacks causes’ great damages to the structures of our body including the joints, muscles and organs.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is degenerative joint diseases which results from overuse of the various joints. Osteoarthritis does not happen at an older age. Instead, it can happen to people as young as 20 years old, especially if they use their joints much more than others. Sports injuries can also cause osteoarthritis. A patient suffering from osteoarthritis has his joint cartilage broken down. The main function of the cartilage is to absorb weight and shock and to cushion the joints. Without it, injuries and accelerated wear and tear can happen to people.

Lupus

Lupus is another disease of the immune system. Acting on the same principle as Rheumatic arthritis, the immune system attacks the healthy components of the body, especially the joints. Not only does Lupus cause inflammation of the joint, it can also cause problems such as swelling and high blood pressure.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia causes pain and stiffness of the joints but unlike other forms of arthritis, it does not cause any inflammation to the joint. As a result, any damages to the joints are not caused by fibromyalgia. The common places affected are the ligaments, tendons and tissues.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis

As its name suggest, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis occurs in juveniles. It is a chronic disorder that causes serious disability to children. The most commonly affected places are the joints and it causes immense pain, swelling and tenderness of the joints.

There are more than 100 types of arthritis out there and they are unique in their own ways. Before seeking medical attention, you should try to determine the type of arthritis you are suffering from. Arthritis causes pain, swelling and discomfort at areas such as the joints and they can cause simple activities such as walking a daunting task.

Unravel the Mystery of Shoulder Pain

The function of the shoulder joint is to provide mobility to the shoulder and it is one of the parts of the body which is heavily used every single day. Many people suffer from shoulder pain. Many different reasons can result in shoulder pain and it is important to know the exact orthopaedic reason and only then can the correct diagnosis and treatment be made. Shoulder pain can suddenly happen and many people are unsure of it. Let’s try to unravel the mystery of shoulder pain today.

Bursitis

Since the shoulder joint is heavily used, there are a lot of rubbing actions throughout the day. There are small fluid filled sacs called bursae to cushion the bones and the soft tissues. These will help to reduce friction and increase gliding motions. However, due to excessive repetitive usage of the shoulder joints, inflammation can happen on the bursae, leading to pain and swelling known as bursitis. This can cause difficulty in performing simple actions such as lifting of the hand or wearing of clothes.

Impingement

Impingement of the shoulder happens when the shoulder blade exerts too much pressure onto the surrounding soft tissues such as the bursa or the tendons, causing bursitis. Over a period of time, shoulder impingement can possible result in a rotator cuff tear.

Shoulder instability

Shoulder instability can be due to overuse of the shoulder joint or due to an injury which causes the arm bone to be loose and slip out of the socket joint. The shoulder joint acts as a ball and socket model where mobility can be easily obtained without much limitation. However when the ball and socket is loose, it can cause subluxation. The surrounding ligaments and tendons are weakened and they are unable to fully support the motions, causing pain and instability.

Tendon tears

Tearing of the tendons could possibly occur due to ageing or injuries, overuse or wear and tear. Depending on the severity of the tear, it can be a partial one or a complete one. A complete tendon tear will result in tremendous pain and loss of stability.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a common cause of shoulder pain and the most common form is osteoarthritis or wear and tear. Arthritis usually occurs during mid-age around 30 years old and over time, it will become worse. Osteoarthritis can also happen at a young age due to injuries or overuse and it will result in rotator cuff tendon tears or inflammation. Arthritis will cause simple daily motions to be almost impossible and you will often experience stiffness of the joints.

There are many reasons that can cause shoulder pain. I hope that the above article had help to unravel some of the mysteries and after you know the exact reason, you will be able to use the correct treatment method.

Top 6 Most Frequent Occurring Orthopaedic Conditions

Many conditions affect our musculoskeletal system and they require the professional treatment and care from orthopaedic doctors. There are some orthopaedic conditions which are much more common than the others.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury

The main function of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is to reduce movement of the femur on the tibia. If there are excess movement on the tibia, it can cause injuries to the surrounding muscles and ligaments. ACL injuries occur most commonly in high impact sports such as soccer, rugby and basketball where there is a sudden impact on the knee, causing the ACL to rupture or a sudden change of direction, when the foot is still firmly implanted on the ground and the knee attempts to change direction. A tear in the ACL can cause the knee to lose its stability and feel like it is unable to support the body’s weight.

Bursitis

The function of the bursa is to act as a cushion and reduce friction between body tissues. Bursitis occurs when the bursa is inflamed. Bursa is located near the joints such as the knees and elbows. The main causes of bursitis are due to overuse, injuries or infection. Patients who are suffering from bursitis will experience stiffness of joints, pain and swelling.

Meniscus injuries

The meniscus is located on the tibia and its function is to absorb shocks that the knee is experiencing and cushion them. Injuries to the meniscus can occur when there is a sudden twisting motion of the knee or due to wear and tear. Meniscus injuries are often accompanied by other knee ligament injuries such as an ACL tear.

Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint and it can be due to many reasons such as ageing, injuries, overuse or infection. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage is slowly being destroyed and it is a chronic disease.

Fractures

Fractures happen when there is a crack in the bone and can be grouped under open or closed fractures. Our bones are high in compressive strength but poor in tensile or shear strength. As such, when there is a twisting motion such as a fall or abrupt change in motion, our bones can easily crack.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis occurs when there is a loss in bone mass and the bone tissues will slowly be destroyed. Osteoporosis will cause the bones to be weak and prone to fracture. This is usually due to ageing or lack of calcium intake. Areas of high stresses are commonly affected such as the hips and spine.

Above are some of the common orthopaedic conditions that are suffered by many people. Orthopaedic conditions have a huge impact on our lives and thus we must do our best to protect our body from any harm.

Common Basketball Injuries

Basketball is an intensive sport that requires motion such as jumping, running, sudden twisting and leaping and thus, the chances of injuries are quite high. Research has concluded that the chances of a basketball injury is twice as high as compared to a baseball injury. Basketball involves the entire body from the arms, shoulders, wrists, waist, knee, ankles and feet. Basketball injuries are classified under overuse and traumatic and as their name suggest results from either constantly exposing a part to stress without providing sufficient rest and from sudden impact.

Hamstring strains

Basketball involves frequent sudden change in direction, especially when a counter attack is going on. During these sudden burst of speed, the hamstring muscle which is located at the back of our thigh will need to contract to decelerate the motion of the shin bone. As such, it is at a high risk of injury.

Hand and finger injuries

Basketball is played with the hands and the ball is usually passed at high speed. An incorrect receiving method could result in the fingers getting locked and twisted. During the shooting process, the fingers could be fractured if the shot is taken incorrectly or an attempt to prevent a block is made. During the dribbling process, sudden hand changing motion could injure the ligaments in the fingers and hand.

Ankle sprain

An ankle sprain is a common basketball injury and it occurs when the ankle is rolled. Ankle sprains can cause damages to the the anterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament. An ankle sprain can also lead to an ankle fracture and doctors will usually do an X-ray to determine whether it is a sprain or a fracture.

Knee ligament

As mentioned above, basketball involves sudden twisting motion throughout the game. During the twisting process, the foot is still firmly grounded on the floor and if it does not change direction with the knee, it can cause damages to the knee ligaments. When the foot is unable to change direction, it can cause rupturing of the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament.

Meniscus

A knee ligament injury is often accompanied by a meniscus injury. The purpose of the meniscus is to act as a cushioning between the bones and they will absorb the shock from the knee. A serious twisting injury can result in damages to the ACL and MCL as well as the meniscus. This will cause instability of the knee.

Overall, basketball is a fun but intensive game that is not meant for people of all ages and medical condition. People with weak knee should avoid the game or they will need to use protective gears. To prevent most of the injuries, protective gears such as a knee brace, finger sleeves and ankle guards could be used to compress and stabilise the area.

Common Upper Back and Neck Injuries

Our neck is one of the part of our body that is used a lot throughout the day and neck. Our neck is extremely flexible but due to the lack of any form of muscle support, it has to bear the weight and stress of our head, placing it at a high risk of injury. Any forms of sudden impact can cause serious injuries and damages to the ligaments. Our spine runs from our back to the neck and it communicates with the entire body by sending nerve signals. One thing that many people fail to recognise is that pain in the arm could be a sign that something is wrong with the neck and not the arm itself since nerve signals are sent through the body. What are some of the common upper back and neck injuries experienced by many?

Muscle sprain

A muscle sprain occurs when there is an injury to the connective tissues called the ligaments either due to sudden twisting motions or injuries such as falls. Some common symptoms of a muscle sprain includes pain, swelling and a loss of flexibility in that region. Depending on the cause, it can be mild or severe.

Muscle strain

The main difference between a strain and a sprain is that strain is an injury to the muscle. Muscle strain can occur due to reasons such as improper posture while lifting a heavy object. Similar to a neck sprain, symptoms of muscle strain includes pain, swelling and loss of flexibility as well as muscle spasm, indicating an injury to the muscle.

Cricked neck

A cricked neck or stiff neck occurs due to prolonged non movement in a certain position such as sleeping or long hours of improper posture while using the computer. It is often due to muscle spasm and can usually be treated with a hot or cold pack.

Whiplash

Whiplash is a common neck injury to the tendons, muscles and ligaments of the neck due to a sudden force which causes the neck to be moved beyond its range of motion. Some common situations include a vehicle accident whereby a sudden braking motion or an impact after being hit by the car in front or behind, causing the neck to be extended beyond its intended range.

Muscle irritation

Our shoulder is attached by large muscles to the shoulder blade and they can be easily irritated when it is exposed to cyclic loading over a prolonged period of time, causing pain, swelling and strains.

Injuries are often due to sudden impact that causes a strain or sprain to the ligaments and tendons, causing injuries and pain to the patient. The chances of injuries can be reduced by taking proper precautions such as protective sportswear and safe driving techniques.