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Rehabilitation Articles

7 Symptoms of Arthritis in the Knee

There are three different types of arthritis that can occur in your knees. The most common type is osteoarthritis (OA), a progressive condition that slowly wears away joint cartilage. OA is most likely to occur after middle age.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory condition that can strike at any age.
Post-traumatic arthritis develops following an injury to the knee. It can occur years after a torn meniscus, ligament injury, or knee fracture.

It’s possible to have more than one type of arthritis at a time. See your doctor for a diagnosis and to discuss a successful treatment plan for the specific type or types of arthritis you have.

Gradual increase in pain
Arthritis pain can begin suddenly, but it’s more likely to develop slowly. At first, you may notice pain in the morning or after you’ve been inactive for a while. Your knees may hurt when you climb stairs, stand up from a sitting position, or kneel. It may hurt just to go for a walk.

You may also feel pain when you’re simply sitting down. Some people with arthritis say that damp weather or other changes in weather can bring on pain. Knee pain that wakes you up from sleep can be a symptom of OA.

What Is Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger is a painful condition that causes your fingers or thumb to catch or lock when you bend them. It can affect any finger, or more than one. When it affects your thumb, it’s called trigger thumb.

CAUSES
Most of the time, it comes from a repeated movement or forceful use of your finger or thumb. It can also happen when tendons -- tough bands of tissue that connect muscles and bones in your finger or thumb -- get inflamed. Together, they and the muscles in your hands and arms bend and straighten your fingers and thumbs.

A tendon usually glides easily through the tissue that covers it (called a sheath) thanks to the synovium, a lubricating membrane that surrounds joints. Sometimes a tendon gets inflamed and swollen. Prolonged irritation of the tendon sheath can lead to scarring and thickening that affect the tendon's motion. When this happens, bending your finger or thumb pulls the inflamed tendon through a narrowed sheath and makes it snap or pop.

Dislocated Shoulder

What is dislocation of the shoulder? What causes a shoulder dislocation?

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body and allows the arm to move in many directions. This ability to move makes the joint inherently unstable and also makes the shoulder the most often dislocated joint in the body. In the shoulder joint, the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) sits in the glenoid fossa, an extension of the scapula, or shoulder blade. Because the glenoid fossa (fossa = shallow depression) is so shallow, other structures within and surrounding the shoulder joint are needed to maintain its stability. Within the joint, the labrum (a fibrous ring of cartilage) extends from the glenoid fossa and provides a deeper receptacle for the humeral head. The capsule tissue that surrounds the joint also helps maintain stability. The rotator cuff muscles and the tendons that move the shoulder provide a significant amount of protection and stability for the shoulder joint.

Dislocations of the shoulder occur when the head of the humerus is forcibly removed from its socket in the glenoid fossa. It's possible to dislocate the shoulder in many different directions, and a dislocated shoulder is described by the location where the humeral head ends up after it has been dislocated. Ninety-five percent or more of shoulder dislocations are anterior dislocations, meaning that the humeral head has been moved to a position in front of the joint. Posterior dislocations are those in which the humeral head has moved backward toward the shoulder blade. Other rare types of dislocations include luxatio erecta, an inferior dislocation below the joint, and intrathoracic, in which the humeral head gets stuck between the ribs.

 
Dislocations in younger people tend to arise from trauma and are often associated with sports (football, basketball, and volleyball) or falls. Older patients are prone to dislocations because of gradual weakening of the ligaments and cartilage that supports the shoulder. Even in these cases, however, there still needs to be some force applied to the shoulder joint to make it dislocate.

Anterior dislocations often occur when the shoulder is in a vulnerable position. A common example is when the arm is held over the head with the elbow bent, and a force is applied that pushes the elbow backward and levers the humeral head out of the glenoid fossa. This scenario can occur with throwing a ball or hitting a volleyball. Anterior dislocations also occur during falls on an outstretched hand. An anterior dislocation involves external rotation of the shoulder; that is, the shoulder rotates away from the body.

Hip Osteoarthritis: What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms of hip osteoarthritis are hip pain and decreased range of motion. Hip osteoarthritis often progresses gradually and many sufferers may try to ignore the signs until daily activities are affected.

Below is a list of common signs and symptoms of hip osteoarthritis. Recognizing and treating symptoms early can slow or eliminate the progression of osteoarthritis symptoms.

Pain in the hip, groin, back or thigh. Aching and stiffness in the groin, buttock or thigh can be a sign of hip osteoarthritis. Many people experience pain in the side or back of the hip when the hip bears weight. This pain may radiate down the thigh and even cause pain in the knee. Discomfort is usually most noticeable when getting out of bed in the morning and may flare up when participating in sports or other intense activities. Pain may subside with rest.

Treating a Sprained Ankle: Everything You Need to Know

Maybe you were getting really into a new class at your gym. Or maybe you simply stepped awkwardly off the curb. No matter how it happened, your ankle is now painful and swollen, showing every sign of being sprained.
What you do in the first few hours and days after a sprain can help you lessen the pain and heal more quickly, so brush up on these ankle sprain care tips.

The first 24 to 72 hours.

Ankle sprains are very common injuries that can affect anyone—from professional athletes to those with limited mobility, from children to adults. They occur when the ligaments that support the ankle go beyond their normal range of motion and become stretched or torn.

Maybe you were getting really into a new class at your gym. Or maybe you simply stepped awkwardly off the curb. No matter how it happened, your ankle is now painful and swollen, showing every sign of being sprained.

Bandaging a sprained ankle helps stabilize the joint to tissues can heal.

What you do in the first few hours and days after a sprain can help you lessen the pain and heal more quickly, so brush up on these ankle sprain care tips.

The first 24 to 72 hours

5 Reasons Why You May Have a Stiff or Painful Shoulder

Overhead activities like throwing a baseball are difficult. Elevating your arm to put on a sweater is a challenge. Your arm feels weak. Do these symptoms sound familiar? If so, you may have a shoulder condition that makes arm movement difficult and/or painful.


Read about five shoulder conditions and injuries that may be causing you limited mobility in your shoulder:

Is Arthritis Causing Your Hip Pain?

If you have hip pain, there's a good chance that arthritis is the culprit. Find out if it's an inflammatory disease like psoriatic arthritis.

Arthritis pain can affect one or both of your hips. Fortunately, stretching and flexibility exercises can help relieve pain.
Sebastian Kaulitzki/Thinkstock

Arthritis is a common cause of hip pain and mobility changes. But there are different types of arthritis, including psoriatic arthritis that may be the culprit.

More than a quarter of older adults will develop arthritis hip pain, which threatens mobility you're likely to walk slower, climb stairs less quickly, and cover less distance, according to research published in February 2014 in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation.

Common Causes for Elbow Pain

Your elbow lets you throw, lift, swing, and hug, for starters. You can do all this because it’s not a simple joint. And that means, from sports injuries to even elbow, there are a lot of ways things can go wrong.
Your elbow’s a joint formed where three bones come together your upper arm bone, called the humerus, and the ulna and the radius, the two bones that make up your forearm.

Each bone has cartilage on the end, which helps them slide against each other and absorb shocks. They’re lashed into place with tough tissues called ligaments. And your tendons connect your bones to muscles to allow you to move your arm in different ways.

If anything happens to any of these parts, not to mention the nerves and blood vessels around them, it can cause you pain.
Here are some of the different ways your elbow can hurt:

Treating a Sprained Ankle

A sprained ankle is one of the most common orthopedic injuries. Every day, about 25,000 people in the U.S. suffer an ankle sprain. Ankle sprains occur in both athletes and those with sedentary lifestyles, and they can occur during sports or when walking to carry out daily activities.
 
 A sprain is actually an injury to the ligaments of the ankle joint, which are elastic, band-like structures that hold the bones of the ankle joint together and prevent excess turning and twisting of the joint. In normal movement, the ligaments can stretch slightly and then retract back to their normal shape and size. A sprain results when the ligaments of the ankle have been stretched beyond their limits. In severe sprains, the ligaments may be partially or completely torn.

Physical Therapist's Guide to Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs as the result of chronic and repetitive compression or "impingement" of the rotator-cuff tendons in the shoulder, causing pain and movement problems. It can also be caused by an injury to the shoulder. People who perform repetitive or overhead arm movements, such as manual laborers or athletes who raise their arms repeatedly overhead (ie, weightlifters and baseball pitchers), are most at risk for developing a shoulder impingement. Poor posture can also contribute to its development. If left untreated, a shoulder impingement can lead to more serious conditions, such as a rotator cuff tear. Physical therapists can help decrease pain, and improve shoulder motion and strength in people with shoulder impingements.

Tennis Elbow vs. Golfer’s Elbow: the Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow: what’s the Difference?

While many people are familiar with the names of these conditions, there is less widespread understanding about how they differ. Both tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, and golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, are injuries to the tendons attaching your forearm muscles to the bone at your elbow. The “epicondyle” part of epicondylitis refers to the bony bumps or protrusions at your elbow.

Lateral epicondylitis affects the tendons attached to the outer (lateral) side of your elbow, which are connected in turn to the muscles that extend your wrist backward and straighten your fingers. Medial epicondylitis affects tendons connected to the inner (medial) side of your elbow, which are attached to the muscles that flex your wrist and contract your fingers when you grip something.
 
Both injuries are usually the result of repetitive strain on the tendons, and although you don’t have to be a golfer or tennis player to experience them, the repeated forceful motions involved in both sports make them very common.

Acute Neck Pain

Overview
Neck pain results when the spine is stressed by injury, disease, wear and tear, or poor body mechanics. Acute neck pain is abrupt, intense pain that can radiate to the head, shoulders, arms, or hands. It typically subsides within days or weeks with rest, physical therapy and other self-care measures. You play an important role in the prevention, treatment and recovery process of neck pain. However, if chronic, pain will persist despite treatment and need further evaluation.


Figure 1. (Side view)The neck region is called the cervical spine. Protected within the bones of the cervical spine are the spinal cord and nerves. The seven cervical bones, called vertebrae, are numbered C1 to C7. Each bone is separated and cushioned by shock-absorbing discs. The vertebrae are held in place by muscles and ligaments. The spinal nerves pass through bony canals to branch out to the neck and arms.

Tips from the Experts

Tips from the Experts

Coping with Physical Stress


With the stresses of daily life progressively increasing each day, it is no wonder that we are finding stress growing difficult to manage. Although we are readily equipped with the ability to deal with normal stresses of the day we are sometimes encountered by a stressful situation that is overwhelming. An occurrence that can better be characterized as creating distress.

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