The medical field of orthopedics encompasses the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. The root word “ped” means “child,” and this field began with treating children who had bone-growth and similar musculoskeletal issues. Orthopedics has now exploded into serving people of all ages.
Let’s talk about some common musculoskeletal injuries doctors treat, how these injuries can be prevented, and where you can go in the eastern Tennessee and southwest Virginia area for outstanding orthopedic care.
#1: Hurt Shoulder from Working at a Computer All Day
If you’re right-handed, your right shoulder is vulnerable to developing an overuse injury from typing and using the mouse all day, every day; if you’re left-handed, it’s your left shoulder.
That is why it is important to stretch your arms periodically throughout your workday. Get up and walk around, as this will also give your whole body a break from sitting and typing.
If you’re having one of those days when you simply cannot take breaks whenever you want, just lift your arms and hands all the way up, and cup your hands into a pulled stretch. This may cause your shoulders to experience a light cracking sound – this is okay! It shows that your shoulders do indeed need a good stretch.
#2: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causing Wrist Pain and Hand Weakness
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually develops from overuse and a lack of taking enough breaks. It can also be caused by being pregnant and other health conditions that cause pressure on the median nerve. “Carpal” means “wrist,” and the tunnel is the passageway through which this nerve is housed in the middle of the wrist (carpal) bones.
The median nerve serves all fingers except the pinkie. That is why one of the key indicators of carpal tunnel syndrome is pain or weakness in the wrist, hand, and fingers except for the little finger.
#3: Strained Muscles from Not Warming Up
If you’re just not in the mood to warm up and go full-throttle into your sport or exercise, don’t be surprised if your muscles are sore for a few days.
Even if it’s just for a minute or two, stop and stretch your arms, hands, legs, and feet. Walk around and get your muscles going. Try to spend five minutes doing a full warm-up, so your body will be ready for action.
It is ideal to also cool down after you’re done exercising, as this will help to slow down your heart rate naturally. Otherwise, you could become dizzy if you go from moving quickly to suddenly stopping.
#4: Foot Injury from Wearing Unsupportive Shoes
Doctors are constantly surprised at the fact that people wear uncomfortable shoes just because they think they look great. The fact is that high-heeled shoes, especially those with a very pointy toebox, can cause all sorts of foot problems – such as bunions, blisters, corns, and chronic foot pain.
Shoes that are too tight or do not let the feet breathe can also cause foot problems, including hammertoe, mallet toe, blisters between the toes, and bone spurs.
#5: Knee Arthritis from Overuse
People think of arthritis as being associated with older individuals only, but it can actually develop in young athletes, too. The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, develops due to too much wearing-down of the protective cartilage in a joint. This occurs especially in the knee and hip.
Osteoarthritis of the knee can easily develop if you play tennis, basketball, soccer, or another sport that puts constant pounding pressure on the knees. Joggers and runners are also susceptible to knee arthritis.
The solution is to take plenty of breaks and give your joints a rest. You may also consider losing some weight if you’re overweight, as this will take pressure off of your lower joints.
Orthopedic Doctors in Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol, Tennessee
If you have joint pain, muscle weakness, a sports injury, or anything that warrants seeing an orthopedist, the expert team at Watauga Orthopaedics is here for you. We have convenient locations in Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol.
If you have any questions about our practice or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our outstanding orthopedic doctors, contact us today by calling (423) 282-9011 or by completing our appointment self-scheduler online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!