Everyone who goes into surgery for a total knee replacement (TKR) knows the leg is weak from pain and disuse. When and how does muscle strength come back after the operation? Studies show that many patients have weakness and loss of function that can go on for years. Electrical stimulation of the muscles improves strength in young adults. What effect will it have on older adults after a TKR? Physical therapists enrolled patients who were having both knees replaced at the same time in a study of electrical stimulation. Having subjects with both knees replaced gave researchers a chance to use electrical stimulation on only one side. Results were then compared to the patients' own knee that did not get electrical stimulation. Two groups were formed in this study. One group received the same exercises for both legs. The other group received neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). The NMES group did exercise on one side and exercise along with NMES on the weaker leg. Everyone started th...
Varicose veins are large, often winding dilated veins that often stick out from under the skin and occur mostly in the legs. They occur because the valves in the veins that prevent blood from flowing backward (away from the heart rather than towards it) are not working properly. In some people this is a hereditary problem, in others the problem may be acquired (multiple pregnancies, large babies, pelvic surgeries, obstructions to the veins of the abdomen, tumors, and injuries to the legs, hip or knee replacements , to name just a few causes). People who spend most of the day on their feet may develop worse symptoms from these veins then people who do not. Superficial “spider veins” that discolor the legs (called telangiectasia) and may to some people be unsightly, are not varicose veins, and do not cause blood clots, thrombophlebitis, or pulmonary emboli. Thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory condition in which the vein has been injured and as a result of this i...
Treatment - back strain
A common misconception about back pain is that you need to rest and avoid activity for a long time. In fact, bed rest is NOT recommended. If you have no sign of a serious cause for your back pain (such as loss of bowel or bladder control, weakness, weight loss, or fever), then you should stay as active as possible. Here are some tips for how to handle back pain and activity early on:
Stop normal physical activity only for the first few days. This helps calm your symptoms and reduce any swelling (inflammation) in the area of the pain.
Apply heat or ice to the painful area. One good method is to use ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, then use heat after that.
Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Sleep in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place ...
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