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...
Many would argue that back pain is inevitable and for some it becomes a sudden reality. Bending over to pick up a piece of paper, moving furniture, or reaching for something in the car's back seat; one of these scenarios may sound familiar to you. At home or at work, you need to know what to do when a sudden attack of back pain occurs. Fortunately, most back pain will get better naturally. But in order to improve your chances of recovery and to save yourself a trip to your doctor's office, you need to learn some first aid for back pain.
Those of you familiar with life-saving first aid remember the ABC's (Airway, Breathing, and Circulation). Let's apply the ABC's to your back; "A" for arrest the offending activity, "B" for balance the pressure, "C" for control the inflammation. With the ABC's for sudden back pain, you can quickly recover from a sudden back pain attack.
Let's go back to the scenarios: bending, lifting, and twisting (the BLT's). All of these activiti...
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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