At-home Exercises For Retired People

At-home exercises for retired people can be an efficient way to bridge the gap between health and comfort. After spending years laboring hard in the work-force, spending time commuting and sitting behind desks or working long hours on the floor it can be a blessing to be able to enjoy the comfort of one’s home. Comfort can at times get in the way of the regular exercise our bodies need in order to stay physically as well as mentally fit.

Dr. David Irvine has extensive experience treating patients who suffer from joint and tendon disease which can sometimes occur due to lack of sufficient resistance exercises. Let’s spend some time and talk about how an active retired person can remain healthy by following a few exercises at home, whether in the comfort of the living room or braving the outdoors.

How does inactivity lead to weaker joints and tendons?

Looking at the human body one might think that the parts make up the whole. However, unlike a car, the body doesn’t have components which can be treated as stand-alone parts. The knee, for example, requires adequate muscle mass in the hamstrings, gluteus muscles as well as the calves in order to protect it during exercise or even when going for a walk.

Strength is not the only factor, tendons are part of the equation as well, requiring adequate elasticity in order to allow proper movement of the knee-joint. Weak tendons can allow for unstable motions of the knee and if in turn these structures are too tight they may cause excess wear and tear of the sensitive joint surfaces.

In medicine we have learned that a sedentary lifestyle inevitably will lead to decreased muscle mass and tighter tendon structures. The main reason for this is nerve stimulation, the lack of which decreases the blood supply to these structures causing them to become less important to the body which in turn causes degeneration – or simply put, if you don’t use it, you might lose it.

Combining daily indoor activities with exercise

You likely have common daily routines at home which may offer some relaxation such as listening to podcasts, reading a magazine or watching entertainment/news on TV. Combining exercise with such activities is the most efficient way to get mental as well as physical stimulation.

  • Stand at the kitchen counter with you feet close together, flex your calves and raise your heels off the floor and lower your weight down to a count of 5 seconds.
  • When seated on that comfy couch raise one leg at a time up to the level of your pelvis and lower it down and repeat with the other leg.
  • When listening to your favorite podcast or news source stand with your feet at arm’s-length away from the wall and gently lower your weight into the wall, performing a standing push-up.
  • Don’t forget that cleaning your home manually is an exercise by itself. A good rubdown of the counters and that circular polishing motion of the interior mirrors will definitely get your heart pumping and provide a wonderful upper body resistance exercise.
  • A couple of inexpensive 10-lb dumbbells should be used to perform biceps curls by standing erect with arms at your sides while flexing the biceps and bringing the weights to your shoulder.
  • A variation of the above exercise is to then go from the flexed biceps position directly into an overhead press by pushing the dumbbells over your head and straightening the arms as if reaching for the stars.

Exercising the body in your outdoor space

  • Gardening is one of the most meditative and laborious activities you can do in your outdoor space. Aerating the lawn, plucking weeds, planting flours and vegetables serve as wonderful exercises.
  • If you have room for potted plants consider adding them to your garden, besides requiring watering such plants need to be regularly re-potted – this is less of a chore and more of an exercise – said the optimistic doctor.
  • Consider waking up early and performing a Tai chi routine before you start your day either out on your patio, in front of some beautiful plants or under the shade of your tree.
  • Don’t let those stairs stop you, if you have stairs leading up to the house then turn on some music and go up and down them daily to provide stronger quads and calves.

Limitations to exercise

At our practice we often encounter patients who have given up exercising either because they are unable to get to a nearby gym or are limited by aches and pains.

The former is easily remedied by performing some simple home exercises as outlined above. Get creative and use common household items to perform resistance exercises.

The latter is a common concern. Patients often associate pain with causing damage. This isn’t always the case but it certainly is worth investigating. If you are trying to be more active but constantly experience pain in a specific part of your body please don’t ignore it. Dr. Irvine’s experience with muscles, ligaments and joint pains allows him to differentiate between benign pains which can be overcome with changes to your exercise routine while identifying more serious disease processes which may require proper intervention such as advanced arthritis, frayed tendons, inflamed joint surfaces etc.

We hope that you gained some useful tips from this article regarding home exercises. If you are experiencing aches or pains while doing them please contact us so that we can guide your exercise better.

Advancements in Knee Arthoscopy

Crystal Ball Technology

Advancements in Knee Arthoscopy, Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine

Most of us are familiar with arthroscopic surgery. This procedure uses tiny cameras and tools to explore and/or repair joints. The word root “arthro-“ actually means joint. Therefore, virtually any joint in the body, such as hip, elbow and knee, can be helped with the use of arthroscopy. The knee is probably the one most people think of when they hear “arthroscopy”, and an estimated one million people in the U.S. are expected to have the procedure performed this year alone.

Synovial fluid is located in each of our joints. This fluid has been used in the past to determine causes or severity of conditions involving those joints. A small sample is taken of the fluid and sent to a lab for analysis. It can be used to test for several disorders, but for our purposes, let’s concentrate on inflammation and degenerative diseases. Typical testing checks the physical appearance of the fluid, including color and clarity. The chemical composition is analyzed. Synovial fluid is comprised of glucose, protein and uric acid. Fluctuations in any of one of these components will signify certain issues are present. For example, lower than expected glucose levels would indicate problems with inflammation or infection.

Researchers have now discovered that these same synovial fluid biomarkers can be an indicator for predicting postoperative outcomes. There are several factors, such as age and duration of symptoms, which were included, along with the biomarker data, to help determine potential results. In other words, physicians would be able to tell how a person will respond after surgery and how successful the procedure will be for each patient.

Much of the terminology and chemical names are meaningless to a non-scientist, but one of the items looked at was T-cell response. T-cells may sound familiar to most as they are mentioned frequently in regards to cancer. They are part of the immune response system, and in cases of infection and inflammation, they are stimulated to respond in an effort to slow down or stop certain processes.

In the near future, surgeons may be able to provide patients with a fairly accurate prognosis regarding their recovery time and expectations after surgery using this technology, much like a prognostic crystal ball.

If you or someone you know is experiencing knee pain or discomfort, please contact us to set up a consultation.

Hip Arthroscopy: A Minimally Invasive Option

HipArthoscopy

The hip-joint is one of the most amazing and important joints of the body. A ball and socket joint, it is one of the most flexible, providing a level of mobility that allows the femur to rotate freely through a 360-degree circle and is capable of supporting half of the body’s weight along with any other forces acting upon the body.

Estimable as it may be, like any other part of the body, the hip-joint is capable of suffering several painful conditions due to falls or repetitive use that is common in athletes. The normal wear and tear that comes with age plays its part as well and can lead to arthritis or tears of tendons and ligaments.

Non-surgical treatments that include rest, physical therapy and injections to reduce inflammation can help but some injuries and even diseases demand a more aggressive approach. Bone spurs around the socket; dysplasia and snapping hip syndrome are a few of the conditions that may fall into this category.

In cases like these, your doctor may recommend hip arthroscopy, a procedure where your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your hip-joint. The camera then displays pictures on a screen, allowing the doctor to use these images to guide miniature surgical instruments to the affected area.

Hip arthroscopy is generally performed under general anesthesia and on an outpatient basis.

Recovery will likely include crutches for a specified amount of time, as well as physical therapy to help restore strength and mobility.

For more information on how we can help, contact us

Most Common Youth Sport Injuries

Youth injuries are frightening to everyone for a variety of reasons. From a parent’s perspective, knowing that your child hurt is reason enough to pull them out of any sport for the rest of their lives. Your kids – and possibly their coach – worry that they may never be able to play again.

Thankfully, our body has strong muscles and bones that make us able to re-cooperate with a little rest; or with more extreme cases, some physical therapy. While allowing your child to play a sport has its potential risks, here are some very common injuries that can arise from intramural and team sports.

CommonYouthInjuries

Sprains & Strains

Many people can get the two of these injuries confused, but they are actually quite different. Sprains are ligament injuries that prevent excessive movement of the joints. Ankle sprains are quite common in sports like soccer, while wrist sprains can occur in football, basketball, and tennis

Strains can injure muscles or tendons. Due to the fact that we are dealing with bundles of cells that produce movement – muscles – and tissue that cushions the bones – tendons – most parts of the body are susceptible to injury.

Growth Plate Injury

The growth plate is an area in children and adolescents that holds developing tissue. When growth is complete, the tissue replaces solid bone. Long bones can include the hands and fingers, the forearms the legs, and the feet. These bone injuries are serious and should be consulted with an orthopedic surgeon.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Hairline fractures and tendinitis are painful injuries related to stress. It’s important to know that these injuries may not always show up on hospital scans while they are still discomforting. Thankfully, a pack of ice and compression will relieve this pain quicker. In the most extreme cases, athletes need crutches, immobilization, and physical therapy.

Keeping kids active is extremely important to us. One thing to remember is that injuries should be reported as soon as they happen. Let us help you get back on the field as soon as possible. Contact us for more information on sports injuries and treatments today.

Supporting Youth After Sports Injuries

An injury for any athlete is difficult. He or she deals with physical pain, as well as a variety of powerful emotions. Sports injuries in youth can be even more difficult to handle. Kids are not simply “little adults” and therefore are not as physically, emotionally or intellectually developed. An injury to them can feel much more traumatic and “life-ending”. This is why it is important to know how to support them during and after treatment.

The initial emotions after an injury include anger, fear, frustration and discouragement. A skilled doctor can help the athlete feel secure and confident in the prescribed treatment, and support and encouragement at home will solidify that. If the injury is severe and surgery is required, it often will be the youth’s first time experiencing hospitals, anesthesiologists and all that goes along with it. Explaining what will happen and staying positive about the final outcome will help lessen any anxiety.

After surgery it is very important to follow the doctor’s orders. Do not push the child too hard, or allow the child to push himself too far either. Strictly adhering to the recommended recovery and rehabilitation plan will yield the best results, regardless of the pressures to return to the game. Studies have shown that optimism during the rehabilitation process helps the athlete’s emotions shift from the initial negative outlook on the injury to excitement and confidence in returning. Along the same lines, approaching rehab with negativity causes the child to doubt and fear that she can ever play again. Remove any pressure to be healed and perfect right off the bat.

Overall, a parent needs to remember that when helping a child cope and recover from a big injury a balance must be maintained between helping and not helping. Support them, but don’t coddle them. Don’t do things for them that they can do for themselves, even when on crutches or in a wheelchair. Allow them small achievements so they can work up to the bigger ones.

Injuries can be heartbreaking, but they aren’t the end of the road. Recovery is possible and you can help your child athlete navigate the journey back to health and success.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help with the process of healing.