Orthopedic Services, Physical Therapy

Common Orthopedic Ailments Explained

We’re all unique individuals with distinct needs and health conditions—however, when it comes to orthopedic ailments, unfortunately, many of us face similar situations.

Kevin Groh, a Physician Assistant at Fast Pace Health, has almost a decade of experience working in orthopedics. Groh has seen patients with a broad range of injuries. Some are much more common than others. And while treatment for each will be a little different, Groh says there’s one big thing everyone can do to prevent some of these injuries from occurring.

“The biggest thing is for people to move, to keep their bodies strong and active,” he said.

Keeping your body strong and active is an essential part of prevention and pain management. But if you are having orthopedic pain, Groh explains why and what to do about it.

Inflammation and Pain

Inflammation is often the cause of your pain. When a part of your body is inflamed, you may experience swelling, tenderness and warmth in the joints. You may also experience stiffness in the joints, especially in the morning, that lasts a few hours. You may also feel a dull, throbbing, or pulsating pain.

When your body becomes inflamed, it causes swelling. The swelling then presses against nerve endings. These nerve endings then send pain signals to your brain.

If you’re feeling sore, Groh shares the most common orthopedic conditions and treatment options.

Low Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common pain complaints. Causes are diverse, but often patients are experiencing lumbar strain or disk herniation. If you’re experiencing pain, a sedentary lifestyle of an acute injury may be to blame.

You may also get some tingling in the extremities, usually your foot, which can be a sign of a pinched nerve or a narrowing of the space where the nerve runs out, Groh says.

“Usually that tells us there’s a disc herniation, but it can also be arthritis of the disk in the back as well,” Groh says.

Shoulder Pain

Many people with shoulder pain experience pain at night, especially when sleeping on the affected shoulder. You may also have a hard time lifting things above the head or even just moving the arm above the head, Groh says.

Problems in your rotator cuff can cause shoulder pain. Here, the tendons in your shoulder get pinched between bones and inflammation occurs.

Knee Arthritis

Most commonly, Groh sees people with pain and stiffness in the morning in the knee. As the knee moves through the day, the pain loosens and subsides.

Knee pain can happen at any age, but arthritis is often the primary cause, Groh says.

As we age, the bone and cartilage in your knees can wear down. Then the space between your bones can narrow and collapse, causing bone spurs and pain, Groh says.

Hip Bursitis

Hip pain is also a common condition Groh sees—and just like other parts of the body, your hips can become inflamed from overuse.

The cause isn’t a traumatic injury. Instead, small movements, like running, walking, or even standing, can cause pain over time.

If you’re suffering from any of the conditions above, there are several treatment options.
To relieve pain, Groh recommends considering physical therapy and medications (as directed by your provider).

One option is cortisone injections to get the inflammation down. Depending on your specific pain, Groh may also recommend hyaluronic acid, a jelly-like substance that puts cushioning between the bones. Facepace Health also offers platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which can help with healing.

Groh also recommends physical therapy. Therapy getting the body moving helps improve circulation. Physical therapy can help strengthen your muscles alleviate pain from pinched nerves.

If you are experiencing pain, visit your local Fast Pace Health clinic. An orthopedic practitioner can help diagnose your pain and create a specific plan of treatment that fits your needs.

This blog originally ran in Oct. 2021

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