Posts for category: Pain Management
As Americans, many of us are very active. Participation in sports continues throughout the lifespan. Do you have a sports injury now, or if you were to incur one, would you know what to do? At Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists in Haymarket and Manassas, VA, our specialists are fellows in sport-related injuries of all kinds. They serve as local team physicians, too. Learn more here.
Preparation is key
Yes, sports injuries happen, but preparation is key to avoiding them. As high school team physicians in the Haymarket, VA, area, our doctors emphasize proper body conditioning, training, supervision, and protective equipment and footwear. Athletes--even those not involved in organized sports--must receive regular physical examinations with their primary care physicians. Then, before beginning any rigorous exercise routine or sport, they should condition their bodies to endure the rigors of activities such as tennis, running, football, martial arts, and more.
Still, injuries happen
The American Physical Therapy Association estimates 8.6 million sports- and exercise-related injuries happen annually in the US. Falls and overexertion account for most, but only a small percentage of those injured actually see a physician or make a trip to the hospital emergency room.
Get evaluated and treated
Pain, limited range of motion, limb weakness, swelling, tenderness, and redness. These are abnormal findings, and if you're experiencing them in an ankle, foot, arm, hand, shoulder, neck, hip, knee, or other area of the body, see your board-certified physician at Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists in Haymarket or Manassas, VA. Our doctors will use the latest in diagnostic techniques and imaging to understand the nature of your injury and the reasons behind it.
Sports injury first aid and treatment
Our doctors encourage you to call the office immediately if you sustain an acute injury. They can inform you how to stabilize your condition.
In general, you should stop immediately whatever activity seems to be causing your pain and dysfunction. If you are biking, stay off your bike. If you are running, walk, or sit down. Do not try to shake off your injury, but rather, take it seriously.
Then, apply the PRICE protocol as outlined by Sports-Health:
- P means protect. Splint, use crutches, pad or do something else to prevent further injury.
- R means rest. In other words, get off your feet.
- I means ice the area.
- C means compression with an ACE bandage.
- E means elevation of the affected part above the level of the heart.
After you're stabilized, see our doctor for a full diagnostic work-up to include a hands-on examination and state of the art imaging. Then, the doctor will formulate a care plan to include physical therapy, medication (analgesics and/or anti-inflammatories), immobilization, or surgery as needed.
At Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists, we help active people prevent and recover from sports injuries of all kinds. If you need us, please contact the office team for a consultation in Manassas or Haymarket, VA, at (703) 369-9070.
Shoulder pain can be more than annoying. Downright debilitating at times, this common orthopedic complaint requires expert diagnosis and treatment. Here at North Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists in Manassas and Haymarket, VA, your team of five board-certified surgeons uncover the reasons for shoulder discomfort and dysfunction. Read on to learn more!
The complexities of the shoulder
It facilitates everything from throwing a ball, to lifting a shopping bag, to styling your hair. Made up of an intricate system of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, your shoulder joint is incredibly strong and flexible. However, it is subject to a wide range of acute, overuse and age-related injuries, too.
These problems fall into four basic categories, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
- Soft tissue tears, stretching, and inflammation
- Fractures (generally of the clavicle, shoulder blade, or upper arm)
- Arthritis and bursitis
- Joint instability (dislocation as an example)
Additionally, people talk a lot about rotator cuff issues. The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons which attach the upper arm to the shoulder blade. With the prevalence of today's active and sports-minded lifestyles, rotator cuff injuries are very common.
Your shoulder examination
If you're having shoulder pain, your physician at North Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists in Manassas and Haymarket, VA, will do a complete examination right in-office. There, they will discuss your medical history, including any orthopaedic injuries. The doctor will evaluate your level of pain and range of motion, amongst other factors.
The physician also uses precise testing to pinpoint the reasons for your pain and to formulate the best treatment plan possible. Testing may include:
- Digital X-ray imaging
- CT scans of the bones
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the soft tissues of the shoulder
- Electrical testing (electromylogram) to look at nerve function
- Arthroscopy, a minor surgery which uses a tiny camera to image the interior of the shoulder joint
Because your shoulder is complex, treating it takes time and patience. While your doctor may recommend something as simple as changing your work or exercise routine, physical therapy and/or surgery may also be the proper route. However, rest assured that your orthopaedic physician will discuss your care plan with you, allowing you both to agree on the best course of action.
Find out more
Don't suffer from shoulder pain—get your life back now. Phone Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists at (703) 369-9070, today!
Find out how an orthopaedic specialist can help get your neck pain under control.
Neck pain is one of the most common reasons people visit our orthopaedic physicians in Manassas, VA. Whether your neck pain stems from a car accident or the problem has been developing over time, it’s important that you seek proper medical attention as soon as possible to prevent the issue from getting worse.
What can cause neck pain?
There are some many things that can lead to neck pain, from injuries to diseases. Common causes of neck pain include,
- Strains and sprains
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal stenosis
- Pinched nerve
- Spondylosis (wear and tear of the bones and soft tissue of the spine)
Along with neck pain, you may also experience stiffness, limited range of motion, pain that radiates to your back or arms, muscles weakness, and headaches. It’s also possible to experience tingling or numbness in the neck, arms, and hands.
What will happen when I come into your office for care?
We will first go through your medical history and then ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing. Our Manassas orthopaedic doctor will then perform a physical exam to check the muscles and joints of the neck. Some tests may be performed to check nerve function, reflexes, and muscle strength.
Based on our findings, we may also recommend certain imaging tests such as X-rays or an MRI to check the anatomy of your spine for problems such as a herniated disc, fractures, an infection, etc.
How does an orthopedist treat neck pain?
There are a variety of nonsurgical treatment options that can help manage your pain and improve your condition, and we will work with you to create the perfect treatment plan. Some treatment options include,
- Ice or heat therapy
- Immobilization (wearing a neck brace)
- Pain medications
- Steroid injections
- Physical therapy
In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to treat certain conditions such as a herniated disc or conditions that are putting pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.
Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists has offices in Manassas and Haymarket, VA, to serve you better. Don’t let neck pain impact your daily life—call us today to schedule an evaluation with one of our orthopaedic specialists.
Find out if your hip pain and stiffness could be the result of joint inflammation.
If you have osteoarthritis this condition leads to inflammation that damages and causes deterioration to the cartilage. As this cartilage breaks down this results in pain, stiffness and swelling. Over time, osteoarthritis can also cause the affected joint to become deformed. If you are having hip pain or trouble walking it’s time to turn to our Manassas and Haymarket, VA, orthopaedic surgeons for care.
What causes osteoarthritis?
While the cause of this chronic condition is currently unknown we do know that there are certain factors that could increase your risk for developing osteoarthritis. These factors include being obese or overweight, joint injuries or advanced age.
What are the symptoms of hip osteoarthritis?
So, how do you know that the pain you experience in your hip is due to arthritis or something else? Here are some telltale signs that you may be developing osteoarthritis,
- Pain or tenderness in the hip joint
- Stiffness that is made worse by inactivity or upon getting out of bed
- A crunching or cracking sound
- Limited range of motion or trouble performing certain activities
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s important to find out if it could be osteoarthritis. By seeking treatment from our Manassas and Haymarket, VA, orthopaedic surgeons early on we can help manage your symptoms and prevent long-term and serious damage to the joints.
What are my treatment options?
The goal, whenever possible, is to prevent the need for surgery. In order to do this we will need to create a customized treatment plan that will cater to the type and severity of your symptoms, as well as your lifestyle. Treatments should reduce joint pain and other symptoms while slowing the advancement of your arthritis and improving your quality of life. Common treatment options for hip osteoarthritis include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight or losing excess weight
- Getting regular exercise
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications
- Using a cane to take weight and pressure off the hip
- Proper rest
- Alternative therapies (e.g. massage therapy; acupuncture)
If the hip joint is damaged severely or if you aren’t experiencing relief from these treatment options then we will talk to you about whether surgery is necessary. Surgery often includes hip resurfacing, which is designed to replace part for the hip joint to prevent the need for a full hip replacement.
The hip joint works like a ball-and-socket, and if the ball of the hip joint is damaged then hip replacement surgery will most likely be the best option for repairing the damage.
If you have questions about managing your osteoarthritis in Manassas or Haymarket, VA, call Northern Virginia Orthopaedic surgeons at (703) 369-9070.
While aches and pains will happen to all of us at some point, there are some people who deal with chronic or serious pain day in and day out. Of course, many people don’t stop to think about how certain habits or choices could actually be causing their pain or making it worse. Could your lifestyle or everyday activities play a role in your pain? Let’s find out!
You Carry Around a Heavy Bag
Do you often carry a heavy bag or briefcase to work or school? Is the bag typically worn on just one shoulder? While it might look stylish to sport a beautiful leather briefcase to work if you overload that bag and favor one arm over another this can lead to a muscular imbalance in the shoulders.
Opt for bags that can be worn over both shoulders and try and remove anything that you really don’t need. You shouldn’t be carrying around more than approximately 5 percent of your body weight around in your purse or bag. If you are, it’s time to reduce the burden to improve your muscular health.
You Have Bad Sleeping Habits
If you are someone who tosses and turns throughout the night and wakes up with a stiff neck, back pain or other discomforts, then you may want to consider how your sleeping positions, your pillows, and even your mattress could be affecting your musculoskeletal health. You want your spine to remain in alignment while you are asleep, so it’s best to opt for a pillow that will provide this support. If you are unsure about what qualities to look for, your osteopath can help make some insightful recommendations.
Not Wearing Proper Footwear
You may not realize it but the shoes that you wear could either improve or negatively impact your musculoskeletal health. Think about it: your feet are carrying around your weight all day long. Not wearing shoes that fit properly will affect your gait, which will lead to tendon, ligament and muscular dysfunction. If you are someone who is dealing with foot, ankle, leg or lower back pain, then your shoes could be to blame.
If you are dealing with persistent musculoskeletal pain and you can’t seem to find relief through at-home measures, this is a good time to visit an osteopath. An osteopath will be able to diagnose your condition and create a treatment plan that isn’t invasive and promotes faster, more efficient healing. Pain doesn’t have to be the norm. Osteopathy can help.