Orthopaedics is the medical specialty for the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of injuries and diseases to your musculoskeletal system. This includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. Orthopaedics care for patients of all ages, from newborns with clubfeet to seniors with arthritis. The orthopaedist treats a wide variety of problems including:
While most orthopaedists practice general orthopaedics, some may specialize in the foot, hand, shoulder, spine, hip, knee and still others in children, trauma or sports medicine. All orthopaedists are medical physicians with extensive training in the musculoskeletal system, with most orthopaedists completing 13-14 years of formal education.
Here are some of the common conditions that orthopaedists treat:
Almost 14 million people per year visit a physician due to back pain. Excessive strain of the muscles and ligaments of the back cause most often back pain. Lifting improperly and twisting suddenly, can also cause low back pain. Exercise is a common treatment for those suffering from low back pain. Orthopaedists usually prescribe a regimen of exercises that will specifically increase muscle strength to better support the spine, as well as improve flexibility and function. You can prevent back injuries by exercising; using correct lifting and moving techniques; maintaining proper body weight; avoid smoking and maintain proper posture. When beginning any type of exercise program, be sure to discuss it with your physician and remember to start slow and steady.
The knee is the largest joint in the body and the most easily injured. Most knee injuries are found in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL). These are most often injured while playing sports. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is also injured often. Changing direction, twisting suddenly, slowing down when running and landing from a jump is often the cause of tears to the ACL. Skiers, basketball players and athletes who wear cleats are prone to these injuries. Damage to the MCL is most often cause by contact to the outside of the knee and is found in football players. The PCL can be damaged when a blow occurs to the front of the knee or a simple misstep, such as in football or soccer. But you don’t have to be an athlete to experience these types of knee injuries. If you are injured, seek treatment as soon as possible. For mild injuries, use Rest.Ice.Compression.Elevation, or R.I.C.E.
More than 42 million Americans have some form of arthritis. There are two major types, osteo and rheumatoid.
Osteoarthrits: Found in weight bearing joints, such as the knee, hip and spine.
Rheumatoid: Found in joints of hands, wrists, feet and ankles.
Exercise is very important for people who suffer from arthritis. Exercise will help keep the joints flexible and the muscles around them strong and it can reduce pain.
This is a major health problem that contributes to bone fractures every year. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones weaken and lose their density. They become thin, brittle and can fracture easily. It is caused by the natural aging process because of the loss of bone mass. But exercise can help slow down the progression of osteoporosis and help build strong bones.
Talk to your physician about an exercise program that is right for you and your condition.