There are several reasons why people end up suffering from lower back pain, whether it be a result of lifting something heavy or the factor of a condition such as arthritis. Whatever the cause, this is a common condition and many Americans experience it at some point in their life. Not all lower back pain is serious but if you were injured and have certain symptoms (numbness, weakness, or tingling in the legs) you'll need to call the doctor. Here at Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St.Thomas and St. Croix, treat these issues with a variety of approaches—read on to learn a few.
Lower Back Pain Management
- Try icing your back within the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury, for this helps reduces inflammation. You can also switch over to using heat pads, but remove it after 20 minutes to let your skin rest.
- Continuous movement such as walking, swimming, biking, and other activities help, but you need to avoid overexerting yourself; therefore, ask your physicians about which exercises are safe and suitable for you.
- Stretching, sitting up straight, and taking occasional breaks from your desk every 20 minutes.
- Create a smart workspace that doesn't require hunching forward to reach your mouse/keyboard or see your computer monitor. Find the proper chair that supports your lower back and enables your feet to stay planted on the floor.
- Women tend to wear high heels which create an unstable posture, so opt for flats instead of four-inch pumps to avoid pain that may develop in the lower spine.
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen may help reduce back pain.
If you would like to learn more about lower back pain management, call one of Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists' offices today:
"About 1 of 3 U.S. adults—or about 75 million people—have high blood pressure. Only about half (54%) of these people have their high blood pressure under control," says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately for those dealing with this condition, here at Virgin Island Orthopedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix, our physicians make it their mission to help those dealing with high blood pressure and hypertension.
Here are some FAQs on the topic:
What is high blood pressure/hypertension?
"Hypertension is the most common, costly, and preventable cardiovascular disease risk factor," according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
Blood pressure normally fluctuates throughout the day, but the problem is when it doesn't come down. This increases your risk of having a stroke, heart attack, and other problems.
How do you measure your blood pressure?
Patients generally use a blood pressure monitor to accomplish this. When taking a reading, there are two numbers: systolic and diastolic. The systolic number indicates how hard the blood pushes when the heart is pumping, while the diastolic number shows how hard the blood pushes between each heartbeat.
What causes high blood pressure?
When it comes to hypertension, there often isn't a single cause. Instead, there are a number of contributing factors, including being overweight, family history, age, race, not being physically active, using tobacco, consuming too much sodium, and consuming too little potassium in your diet.
How to deal with hypertension?
If your doctor says you have high blood pressure, you need to get it under control. This often requires making a few lifestyle changes, including:
- You need to eat a diet that's healthy for your heart, so eat fresh fruit and vegetables, and limit trans fats.
- Exercise is important, about 30 minutes a day, for everyone, especially if you suffer from obesity.
- Medicine and reducing stress will help manage blood pressure effectively.
If you have any more questions about hypertension, contact one of our office in St. Thomas and St. Croix:
- St. Thomas: (340) 714-2845
- St. Croix: (340) 692-5000
When you take a visit to your physician, they will generally take a reading of your blood pressure. This measurement shows how hard your arteries are working to pump blood through your body. Paying close attention to these results is important, for high readings are classic warning signs of lead to heart disease and other serious conditions. Here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics & Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix, your cardiologist, Dr. Ahmet Sayan, watches this vital sign to keep you in optimal health. Read on to learn more!
The best blood pressure
Ideally, your blood pressure should be 120/80. While occasional variations are OK, consistently higher readings warrant monitoring at home and with your physician in his St Thomas or St. Croix office. Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 75 million American adults have hypertension, a condition that has devastating effects on your cardiovascular health.
Common problems stemming from high blood pressure are:
- Heart attack
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney disease
- Blood clots
- Peripheral artery disease
As such, hypertension cannot be ignored. Fortunately, Dr. Sayan can help you to successfully manage your heart health for years and years to come.
Symptoms of hypertension
Also called "the silent killer," hypertension may have no symptoms at all. Although some people may experience headaches or GI problems (e.g. vomiting) according to the CDC, these signs are generally the exception rather than the rule.
Managing your blood pressure
Some cases of hypertension are related to inactivity, weight problems, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Others result from block arteries, heart damage, and heredity. While you cannot do anything about genetic factors, you can modify lifestyle issues and treat other underlying diseases.
If you have high blood pressure, Dr. Sayan may recommend some of the following treatments based on your unique case:
- Medications such as diuretics or beta-blockers (always take as directed)
- A low salt diet
- Routine exercise (just a brisk 30 minute walk several times a week works wonders)
- Smoking cessation
Additionally, stress plays a significant role in cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension. The American Heart Association recommends learning relaxation techniques to control stress and lower your blood pressure.
Do you have high blood pressure?
Find out with a routine check-up at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics & Medical Specialists. Call either location today to set up an appointment—for St. Croix, phone (340) 692-5000, and for St. Thomas, call (340) 714-2845.
Find out what living with rheumatoid arthritis really feels like.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect joints throughout the body as well as cause damage to the eyes, heart, skin, and blood vessels. There are different types of arthritis, and here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Chase offers different ways to treat your arthritis depending on the type and severity. Here are the warning signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA),
- Stiffness: One of the most common symptoms of RA, this stiffness can make you feel as if the joints aren’t as easily mobile as they used to be, especially in the morning. As you begin to move around in the morning, you may notice the joints loosening up a bit within a couple of hours.
- Swelling: Fluid accumulation within the joints can also lead to puffiness, swelling, and tenderness in and around the joints.
- Pain: Inflamed joints can really hurt, even when you’re not in motion.
- Warmth: It’s also natural for affected joints to be red and warm to the touch due to inflammation.
These symptoms most commonly occur in the joints of the hands; however, RA can also affect the:
Symptoms are often symmetrical, meaning that they affect the same joints on both sides of the body. Along with joint problems, you may also experience muscle aches, fatigue, and depression. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of RA, it’s important that you turn to our Saint Thomas orthopedic doctor for an immediate consultation. Since symptoms usually appear gradually over time, it’s natural for you to not immediately notice symptoms until you’ve possibly had RA for a year or more.
How is RA diagnosed?
When you come in for an evaluation, blood tests and x-rays may be performed to check for the presence of an autoimmune disorder and joint damage. Since symptoms often come and go, you may not be experiencing a flare-up during your consultation. That’s okay; we can still ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and perform the proper tests to rule out other disorders and illnesses that can mirror symptoms of RA.
Need care? Give us a call
Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine has offices in St. Croix and St. Thomas to ensure that the care you receive is never far away. If you are experiencing signs of rheumatoid arthritis, call one of our offices today for a comprehensive evaluation. For St. Croix, dial (340) 692-5000, and for St. Thomas, dial (340) 714-2845.
Your knee is a more complex joint than you may realize. And, when it hurts, you notice it and how it affects your mobility. At Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in Saint Thomas and St. Croix, Dr. Jeffrey Chase is the expert to see for diagnosis, treatment and healing of your knee pain.
What's the source of your knee pain?
There are a wide variety of factors that cause knee pain--age, injury, arthritis, cystic conditions, worn/torn cartilage, and more. Trauma or a disease process can precipitate these conditions, affecting the knee cap, or platella, upper and lower leg bones, as well as the ligaments and tendons which support and move them.
Common sense says knee pain is not normal. If you have trouble bearing weight on your knee, see swelling or signs of infection, or notice your knee has a different shape than it usually does, contact Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in Saint Thomas or St. Croix.
Expect a thorough diagnostic work-up. Tell Dr. Chase about the timing, severity, and location of your knee pain and whatever may worsen or relieve it. He will examine your knee and how you walk and also take a series of X-rays and other tests such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging and/or ultrasound to view the softer tissues of the joint. From there, he can plan treatment.
Treating knee pain
Your treatment plan encompasses several treatment modalities. Some, you likely know:
- Ice to reduce swelling
- Compression and support with an elastic bandage
- Elevation above heart level
Additionally, whether you need surgery or not (arthroscopy or knee joint replacement as examples), physical therapy is important to restore balance, strength, and full mobility. Dr. Chase agrees with the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons which highly recommends a knee strengthening and conditioning regimen as part of your treatment for knee pain.
Preventing knee pain
Here are some tips on keeping your knees functional and healthy:
- Maintain your ideal weight.
- Stretch before you work out, and be sure to keep yourself in good overall physical condition (in other words, stay as active as possible).
- Rest, ice, and elevate after a strenuous workout even if you are not in pain.
- Wear proper knee pads and shoes as appropriate to your sport or work activity.
Always seek good advice
At Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, the professional team enjoys seeing people feel better and be completely rehabilitated from the cause of their knee pain and dysfunction. For more information on our various specialties, or if you are in pain, call either of our two offices for a consultation. In St. Croix, phone (340) 692-5000. In Saint Thomas, call (340) 714-2845.
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