Monday, August 28, 2017

Runner’s Knee: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Runner’s Knee: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

If your knees are sore and swollen, particularly if you live an active lifestyle, you might have developed a condition called runner’s knee. This condition affects many people, and can make it painful to walk and bend the knee.

What causes runner’s knee?
As its name suggests, runner’s knee is common among runners—but that doesn’t mean they’re the only people who can develop this condition. Runner’s knee can develop when the joint becomes irritated by repeated exercises like running, biking, walking, and bending, or when the knee sustains an injury from a blow or a fall.

Problems with the feet can also lead to runner’s knee. Feet that are hypermobile (meaning the joints move too much), flat, or have fallen arches may cause the condition. Similarly, malalignment in the bones and tight or weak quadricep muscles put pressure on the knees and may cause them to turn in or out, leading to runner’s knee.

What are the symptoms of runner’s knee?
People with runner’s knee may experience pain in front of, behind, and around the kneecap. This pain usually accompanies walking, going up or down stairs and hills, squatting, running, kneeling, or doing any other action that requires the knee to bend. Some people also experience swelling, tenderness, and a popping, cracking, or grinding sensation in and around the knee joint.

If you think you may have runner’s knee, speak to your doctor. Ignoring the condition can cause it to become worse.

Treating runner’s knee
The first step in treating runner’s knee is allowing the knee to rest. If you run, cut back on the distance and strenuousness of your workout. While you can’t avoid bending your knee altogether, stay away from any activities that require you to bend your knees often, such as squats.

Try putting ice on your knee every three to four hours for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, until the pain subsides. You may want to wrap your knee for extra support, and put your leg up on a pillow when you sit or lie down.

Medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen may help reduce the swelling and pain. If you’re on other medication, speak to your doctor before taking any drugs for your knee pain. Gentle stretches for the quadricep muscles may also help, and consider getting orthotics or arch support to help reposition your feet and ease pressure off of your knees.

Runner’s knee often stems from other issues like muscular imbalance, joint dislocation, or a fracture. At Stem Cell Therapy, we specialize in using alternative, safe, and minimally-invasive treatments to restore the body to health and relieve pain in the joints. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy can help with your runner’s knee.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting a Better Night’s Sleep with Back Pain

Getting a Better Night’s Sleep with Back Pain

If you live with back pain, getting a good night’s sleep might seem like a thing dreams are made of. You might find yourself tossing and turning for hours, struggling to get comfortable—and when you do finally doze off, you’re jolted awake by a twinge. Sadly, the more sleep you lose, the more sensitive to pain your body becomes, meaning your sleeplessness may actually cause your back pain to worsen over time.

Your body needs sleep to heal, making it more important than ever to get a solid eight hours of rest when you’re in pain. But don’t despair—it is within reach! Here are some simple tips for getting a better night’s sleep with back pain.

Change your sleeping position
When it comes to back pain, the position you sleep in can make a huge difference. Sleeping on your stomach, for instance, flattens your spine and twists your neck, both of which will only make things worse. So which position should you sleep in?

In fact, there’s no single position that’s best. Remaining in one position for too long actually increases back pain, so the best plan is to switch it up throughout the night. Try lying in a fetal position on your side, with a pillow tucked between your legs. If you prefer to sleep on your back, put a pillow beneath your knees. Or if you find sleeping on your stomach is more comfortable for you, place a pillow under the lower part of your abdomen and pelvis to minimize the strain on your back.

Sleep on a medium-firm mattress, and use one pillow
The type of mattress you sleep on is also important. If you’re able to, shop for a new mattress that feels comfortable to you—in most cases, a medium-firm mattress will do the trick. If your current mattress feels too firm, you can also try adding an egg crate mattress pad.

Sleeping on a stack of pillows puts more pressure on your neck, so try sleeping with just one. Many people with back pain find that a contoured pillow helps ease the strain on their neck.

Try to relax
You may be able to reduce nightly back pain by doing daily exercises or stretches designed to help you relax. Stress is often a big contributor to pain, so if you can, eliminate stressful situations from your day, and unwind before going to bed by doing things like reading a book or taking a relaxing bath.

Consider stem cell therapy
If you’re looking for a long-term solution to your nightly back pain, consider stem cell therapy. This regenerative treatment aims to relieve back pain by taking stem cells from the patient’s own body and injecting them directly into the site of injury to promote healing. Many people have found stem cell therapy effective for reducing their back and spinal pain, increasing their quality of life and helping them to get a better night’s sleep for good.

At Stem Cell Therapy, we specialize in safe, natural regenerative therapies. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy is right for you. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Is PRP Effective for Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder is a condition that makes the shoulder joint stiff and painful. It may be caused by injury or immobility, particularly if you’re unable to move your arm for a long time, such as after a fracture, surgery, or while recovering from a stroke. You also have a greater risk of developing the condition if you have diabetes, with as many as one in five diabetes patients experiencing frozen shoulder at some point in their lives.

The condition develops when the capsule (connective tissue) in the shoulder joint to become tight and thick. This can make it difficult to move the shoulder and can be very painful, especially at night. At first, the symptoms may seem minor or barely noticeable, but they typically intensify over time. While frozen shoulder generally resolves itself within one to three years, the condition often requires medical treatment and/or physical therapy.

One treatment that has prozen effective for many patients living with frozen shoulder is called Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what PRP treatment involves, and explore how it can help patients with frozen shoulder.

What is PRP?
PRP is a form of therapy used to rejuvenate the cells and encourage the body to heal itself. During the procedure, the therapist draws blood from the patient and puts it through a centrifuge in order to obtain Platelet Rich Plasma. This is a component of blood and contains a wealth of natural growth factors. When injected into the site of injury, it can stimulate the healing of damaged cells.

The therapist will usually repeat the procedure at intervals for a certain length of time to maximise the effects. They may also instruct the patient to perform certain stretching exercises after each treatment to improve flexibility in the joint.

Combatting the effects of frozen shoulder with PRP
A study published in 2016 showed that PRP is one of the most effective forms of treatment for frozen shoulder.

While many treatments for frozen shoulder have side effects, PRP has a low risk of adverse reactions. This is because the treatment uses blood extracted from the patient’s own body. As a form of therapy for frozen shoulder, it can reduce pain, restore limb function, and improve the shoulder’s range of motion more effectively than most other forms of treatment.

At Stem Cell Therapy, we use PRP to treat frozen shoulder and similar conditions. Our minimally-invasive methods employ the body’s natural healing processes to bring about restoration and rejuvenation. Get in touch today to find out if PRP can be effective for you.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ankle Pain? Your Summer Shoes Might be Causing It

When the sun comes out, so do the flip-flops, sandals, and bare feet. But as great as it feels to let your toes see the sun for a change, many summer shoes fail to provide the support your feet and ankles need. In fact, if you’ve been experiencing ankle pain along with the warmer weather, there’s a good chance that your summer shoes are the culprits.

The right footwear can help stave off pain or prevent existing problems from worsening. Here are a few shoes to leave at home this summer for healthier, stronger ankles.

Flip-flops: your ankles’ nemesis
Flip-flops are fine for short distances, like walking to the pool and back. They’re also better for your feet than wearing no shoes at all. But walking in them for longer distances can have a bit impact on your ankles.

For one thing, flip-flops offer virtually no support and very little cushioning. This puts unnecessary strain on your ankles, and can lead to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis—two conditions that make walking very painful.

Flip-flops also have a nasty habit of slipping out from under your feet, making it easier to sprain or even break your ankle. If you’re prone to falls, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

If you do want to wear flip-flops this summer, look for a pair with cushioning and thick soles. Wear them sparingly, and swap them out for shoes that provide better support when you know you’ll be walking far.

The truth about sandals
You might think sandals would be easier on your feet than flip-flops. In some cases, they are—but the type of sandal you choose can make all the difference. Unfortunately, sandals with flat, thin bottoms and very few straps holding them in place can be just as bad as flip-flops.

When choosing sandals, always opt for a pair with multiple straps (preferably adjustable ones) for maximum support. Ideally, your sandals will have heel and ankle straps, as well as straps across the front of your feet. They should also have arch support and a thick sole so your feet will have more cushioning.

The hidden cost of wearing flats
While flats stabilize your feet better than flip-flops do, they still don’t provide much support, especially for the arches.

As with flip-flops, wearing flats occasionally over short distances is unlikely to do any lasting damage to your ankles. Just don’t plan to go hiking in them!

Why heels are not your friends
High heels and wedges might be fashionable, but these styles rarely offer much in the way of stability. Your risk of falling or twisting your ankle is much greater, and you’re forced to put all your weight on the balls of your feet, leading to pain.

Wearing shoes with lower, wider heels helps to balance the weight of your feet and prevent problems down the road. You may also want to choose heels with rubber soles, which provide extra stability. But in general, heels should be worn in moderation.

Looking after your ankles and feet
Whatever style of shoes you prefer, always make sure they fit comfortably, and try to avoid uneven ground like gravel pathways when out for a walk. Consider investing in a pair of athletic sneakers or heel inserts to give you the support you need.

Don’t let ankle pain plague your summer. Stem Cell Therapy provides cutting-edge regenerative medicine that can help your body heal itself. With our safe and minimally-invasive treatments, many patients have experienced long-lasting relief from pain. Contact us today to find out if Stem Cell Therapy is right for you.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Don’t Let Joint Pain Ruin Your Summer Holidays

Summer is a time for outdoor adventures, fun excursions with family and friends, and relaxing by the pool. Unfortunately, summer can also be a time of increased joint pain for many people. Hot weather and high humidity can aggravate pain and swelling in your joints, while vacations often involve a lot of walking, which takes its toll on your ankles and knees.

To prevent aching joints from ruining your summer holidays, here are some easy steps you can take.

Stay hydrated
Drinking lots of water helps keep joint pain at a minimum during the summer time. Instead of just drinking when you get thirsty, try to drink water at regular intervals throughout the day. Keep a bottle with you at all times to sip from, and it’ll quickly become second nature.

Eight glasses of water a day is the rule of thumb, but your doctor may give you a personalized recommendation. You should also steer clear of drinks that have alcohol, caffeine, or sugar in them, as these contribute to dehydration. For some flavor, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into your water bottle, or infuse a fruity taste by adding some slices of apple, kiwi, or strawberry.

Stay active
It can seem hard when you’re in pain, but staying moderately active is one of the best ways to minimize joint pain during the summer. If you’ve been sitting for a long time, get up and move around the room, or take a short walk outside.

If you’re staying somewhere with a pool, take advantage of it. The buoyancy provided by the water makes swimming easy on the joints, and the exercise will leave you with more energy, as well as improving your flexibility and strength. It’s also a refreshing way to cool off on a hot day.

Don’t overdo it
When you’re enjoying your vacation or even just pottering around in your garden in the sun, it can be easy to lose track of time and put too much strain on your body. That’s why it’s important to know your limits.

If it’s a really hot day, it might be best to stay indoors where there’s air conditioning until it gets a little cooler out. Similarly, don’t push yourself too hard when exercising in hot weather. Take regular breaks, keep the water bottle handy, and look after yourself.

Take time to stretch
Doing some gentle stretches before and after exercising can make a big difference where joint pain is concerned. If you’re gearing up for a long day of walking, show your joints some love with a few simple stretches before you set out. And don’t forget to take a few minutes to cool down afterwards by gradually slowing down before stopping. If you’re sore or find your joints feel swollen, apply an ice pack–it will feel nice after being out in the heat.

If joint pain keeps interfering with your summer plans, it may be time to consider an alternative form of therapy. Stem Cell Therapy is a safe, minimally-invasive option that renews damaged joints by encouraging your body to heal naturally. When combined with healthy lifestyle changes, Stem Cell Therapy has proven effective for many patients.

To find out if Stem Cell Therapy is right for you, contact us today.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Back Pain: Knowing When to Rest, and When to Seek Help

Back pain affects most Americans at some point in their lives. It can range from the occasional twinge that slows you down to severe, constant pain that makes it hard to work, sleep, or perform everyday tasks.

Depending on the cause of your back pain and your pain tolerance, you may be able to treat it at home through simple techniques like rest and over-the-counter medication. In other cases, back pain requires prompt medical attention to prevent an injury from worsening.

Here are some ways that you can determine whether your back pain can be treated at home or deserves a visit to the doctor.

When to Seek Help
Back pain can be a symptom of another condition, a result of trauma, or simply the result of wear and tear. Some causes are more serious than others.

If your back pain started after a recent trauma (such as a car accident, fall, sports injury, or assault), it’s important to seek medical attention at once. Damage to the spinal cord can result in lifelong complications, including paralysis. After a trauma injury to the spine, it’s always best to seek a medical opinion, even if your pain seems delayed, or if you don’t feel the injury is serious.

Another indicator that you should visit a doctor is if your pain persists for a week or more without any signs of improvement. If your back pain is severe and/or constant and seems to be worsening, or if it wakes you up at night, your healthcare provider can advise you whether you require treatment.

If your back pain is accompanied by pain in the abdomen, this may indicate an abdominal aortic aneurysm. This means an artery in the abdomen has torn, and can result in internal bleeding and death. Seek medical help immediately if your pain extends to both your back and abdomen, particularly if it is so severe you are struggling to stand up straight.

You should also seek medical treatment for back pain when it comes with other symptoms like fever, redness, swelling, numbness, or tingling. These can be indicative of serious and even life-threatening conditions.

If you are under the age of 20, are currently or have previously been treated for cancer, or have osteoporosis, it’s best to visit the doctor if back pain strikes.

When to Rest
If your back pain isn’t too severe, and if it isn’t accompanied by other symptoms, then you may be able to soothe the pain and treat the underlying cause with a little rest and home remedy.

The most effective cure for mild back pain is rest, and in this case, a little goes a long way. Get some sleep, or just lie down on a bed or couch, in any position that’s comfortable. If your back feels strained, you can use pillows to ease up the tension between or under your knees, or under your hips or head, depending on your position. Too much bed rest can make matters worse, so be sure to balance it with some gentle physical activity and stretches, once you’re feeling up to it.

Over-the-counter medications can also help alleviate back pain. Try Tylenol, Advil, aspirin, or a similar painkiller. In many cases, a heating pad or cold pack applied to the painful area for 10-30 minutes will help relieve discomfort. If you don’t have one at hand, you can easily create a cold pack by wrapping a damp towel around some frozen peas. You may also want to consider getting a massage, which can loosen up those back muscles and ease the stiffness you may be feeling.

Mild back pain should start to feel better after a day or two. If it doesn’t, it may be time to seek medical treatment.

If you’re looking for a long-term solution to back pain, Stem Cell Therapy may be right for you. This alternative, regenerative treatment has been highly effective for many patients living with back pain, giving them a new lease on life. Contact us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with the doctor. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

How Weight Loss Can Ease Joint Pain

No one wants to live with joint pain. Unfortunately, millions of Americans will experience pain in their knees, hips, or lower back at some point during their lives. There are many causes of joint pain, but obesity is one of the most common. Excess weight can also worsen existing conditions. The result is pain, low energy, and discomfort that can affect every aspect of your life.

The good news is, losing even a small amount of weight can go a long way. If you have arthritis or another condition causing chronic joint pain, your doctor will likely have recommended weight loss to aid your treatment. Among a myriad of other health benefits, maintaining a healthy weight looks after your joints and can significantly relieve joint pain. 

Reducing pressure on your joints
Your weight-bearing joints (your ankles, knees, and hips) have to support your full weight. When you walk, even more pressure is placed on these joints. In fact, the pressure put on your knees during activities like walking up or down stairs is two to three times that of your body weight. That’s a lot to ask of your knees!

Over time, joints can become worn down and damaged by overuse. Carrying around extra weight increases the pressure put on your joints, wearing them down quicker and causing pain. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can ease up the pressure on your weight-bearing joints, making your knees, hips, and ankles happy.

Relieving inflammation
Obesity is a key risk factor in the development of arthritis, a condition that causes joints to become painful, stiff, and inflamed. But excess weight can actually promote inflammation, increasing a person’s risk of developing arthritis, and making symptoms worse in those who have it.

Studies have shown that a weight loss of just 10% can greatly reduce inflammation in the body. This is just one reason that doctors recommend weight loss to patients with arthritis.

Healthier lifestyle, healthier joints
Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. But with even a few small lifestyle changes like healthier eating and more exercise, you can achieve a healthy weight that relieves your joint pain and gives you more energy throughout the day.

Patients with joint pain often worry that exercise will make their pain worse. While this is true of some activities, there are plenty of fun, low-impact exercises that are easy on the joints. Swimming, water aerobics, yoga, tai chi, and cycling are all great options. If you enjoy the atmosphere of the gym, avoid the treadmill and opt for the rowing machine or elliptical instead.

Tired of joint pain and arthritis ruling your life? If you’re ready for a fresh start, it’s time to consider whether alternative therapies might be right for you. Stem Cell Therapy is a safe and minimally-invasive treatment that uses your body’s natural healing mechanisms to stimulate tissue repair in your affected joints. Combined with healthy lifestyle changes, the treatment has proven effective for many patients.

To find out if Stem Cell Therapy is right for you, contact us today.