If I have right knee osteoarthritis, do I have to work out my left side as well?
I was recently asked by a patient why he had to work out both sides of his body in physical therapy if only his right knee hurt. I can understand some of the confusion. After all, if your right shoulder were painful and inflamed and required an injection, the medication would only be put at the site of inflammation -- in your right shoulder. You would not be a candidate for a right and a left shoulder injection! However, physical therapy, for the most part, is much different. I'll explain.
There are two basic components to physical therapy -- passive and active. In the passive component, the therapist may apply ice, heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and other modalities to the painful area. For the most part, these modalities are only placed at the site of injury (there are a few exceptions that are beyond the scope of this blog). So, in this sense, physical therapy is functioning si...
Anyone who's ever had an asthma attack knows about the chest tightness and why it occurs. Yet what about the chest soreness that occurs the next day? Why does asthma causes chest pain?
The interesting thing to note here is there are no pain receptors in your lungs!!! The reason asthma causes pain is because asthma causes you to breathe the wrong way.
Confused? Allow me to explain with a pithy lesson on how we breathe. (To learn why we breathe click here )
Breathing is the process of moving air into and out of the lungs. Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that can be done either consciously (you control it) or unconsciously (without thinking of it). Unconscious breathing : Most of the time you don't think about breathing, yet you continue to do it. This is an important safety net for life, because if we had to think about breathing 24-7 we'd accomplish little and most life would cease to exist. Air goes into your...
Raise your right hand if you are taking a cholesterol-lower medication like Crestor or Lipitor. Now, raise your left hand if you have chronic pain. Those of you with both hands in the air should listen up. Cholesterol-lowering medications can cause pain and Lipitor is the most prescribed drug in America . Yikes! Now ask yourself these questions: did the pain start within a year or two of starting the offending drug? Did the pain get worse within a year or two of starting the offending drug? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may need to reconsider your use of a medication that causes pain.
Crestor, Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor; this group of drugs are generally called the "statins" because the generic name of these drugs that lower cholesterol ends in "statin". These medications have the potential to cause serious muscle problems including muscle pain. The most serious problem is called rhabdomyolysis which means that the muscles literally start to disin...
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