Over 200,000 knee replacements are done every year in the United States. People receiving new knee joints average 68 years old. A potential problem after this operation is weakness of the thigh muscles (called the quadriceps femoris ). This weakness often persists even with exercise. Loss of strength before surgery is usually caused by aging and arthritis. And if these don't spell trouble, the operation itself affects the muscles even more. Leg weakness can keep a person from getting back to daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, standing up from a low chair, or getting in and out of a car. Exercise is used to build up the muscle after knee surgery, but there is often less strength compared to the other leg. In the case of one 66-year-old man, electrical stimulation was combined with exercise to increase the force of the quadriceps muscles. Electrical stimulation (ES) is used most often by a physical therapist to retrain and build up muscles. ES works by sending an electric c...
A majority of patients have one question on their minds: Where the "heck" is that pain coming from? A red, painful swollen knee may hurt deep, on the side, in the middle, in the back, or just plain everywhere. A shoulder may hurt with the arm up, down or to the side. Although the question of "where" may seem simple enough, sometimes sorting out the exact location of the pain generator is an inexact science. Within the structure of a joint there exist three general areas of interest: the passive structures, the active structures and the nerves. Dissecting out the source of the pain involves the close examination of each of these areas. Once the location of the pain is found, the hope is that treatment can be directed, focused and effective.
By definition, a joint is where two bones join together to create a hinge joint , a ball-and-socket joint , a saddle joint , or one of the other types of joints found in the human body . Because the bones are not actively doing anything, just pro...
Back pain - nonspecific
The majority of nonspecific back pain is probably caused by muscle strain. This usually responds to 2-5 days of rest and pain medications (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents -- ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, etc.), followed by gradual return to activities. Medications may be needed to reduce muscle spasms.
Physical therapy is often prescribed to instruct the patient on proper body mechanics (such as good posture and lifting correctly) and to improve strength and flexibility in the spine, abdomen, and legs.
Surgery is not useful for the treatment of nonspecific back pain.
Most cases of nonspecific back pain resolve on their own or respond to treatment. It is helpful to sleep on a firm mattress, with a board under the mattress, or even on the floor. Heat or ice applied to the affected area may provide some relief.
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