FROM OUR EXPERTS
I cam across this fascinating recent Q&A about compression fractures, which sadly are very commonly suffered by those with osteoporosis: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/health/x1588271712 The two things I took away from this piece are, 1) if you have osteoporosis and back pain, don't wait, hesitate or otherwise chalk it up to old age, but seek medical intervention soon -- there may be treatment options rather than living with pain; and 2) if, like me, you have various risk factors for future osteoporosis (family history, etc.) then the description of what exactly happens to your verterbrae may motivate you to renew your efforts on taking calcium and Vitamin D, doing weight-bearing exercise, and generally being conscious of your bone health to help avoid such problems in the years to come.
The Medical College of Wisconsin is conducting a clinical trial on a new treatment for vertebral compression fractures (VCFs). In this study we'll find out if a new way of placing bone cement, into a fracture, is superior to existing procedures like vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.
Vertebral compression fractures remain the most common type of fracture from osteoporosis, outnumbering hip and wrist fractures combined. Many people have asymptomatic fractures (painless), or attribute the pain to existing arthritis or other spinal degenerative problems, and let them go undiagnosed. Some recover without the need for surgical intervention, and some experience continued immobility, pain and physical limitations even after the recommended amount of time to recover. Once a compression fracture occurs, the odds of having another goes up, and it's when we suffer several of these that we develop a rounding of the spine called kyphosis or c-curve. This kyphos...
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...
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