The aches and pains that come from sports, falls, or daily life can be frustrating and set you back from being your best. But at some point, you may experience an orthopedic injury and need an orthopedic pain management plan.
When that time comes, it’s important to have a better understanding of the type of injury you have and what to expect with orthopedic care.
What is Orthopedic Injury?
Before we get into the most common orthopedic injuries, what makes an injury an orthopedic injury? Simply put an orthopedic injury is any trauma or damage to your musculoskeletal system. This includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
Take Preventative Measures
While these injuries are deemed common for a reason, it should be noted there are ways to prevent or prolong these pains and strains. We recommend stretching and proper recovery when you’re sore or feel pain in your body.
With any injury, it’s imperative to be proactive and get the correct orthopedic pain management right away before the injury worsens and you end up needing a longer recovery time or more intensive treatment.
Common Orthopedic Injuries
Whether you’re an athlete, have a laborious job, or just had a bad fall, it’s possible you’ll experience one of these orthopedic injuries in your lifetime. You’ll notice that a lot of these injuries are caused by overworking or overusing your muscles, so it’s important to be mindful of how your muscles are feeling during an activity, workout, or simple day-to-day movement.
Lower Back Pain
It can be frustrating to have lower back pain and not know the cause of it or how to alleviate the issue. Some common lower back injuries stem from the following.
- Lifting too much
- Sitting or laying down for a long period of time
- Sleeping in a weird position
In the case of sleeping in a weird position, you may notice the pain is gone after a day or two.
If your back pain lasts longer than a week, we’d recommend scheduling an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.
For more serious pains, there are two different types of lower back strain, muscle or lumbar strain. As the name suggests a muscle strain indicates that your muscle begins to tear due to being overused or overworked. On the other hand, a lumbar strain is when your ligaments are beginning to tear.
In some cases, lower back pain comes from strain in your extensors, flexors, or obliques as these all support your spine. In most cases our team finds that back pain is stemming from a different part of your body, so it’s best to have a specialist determine your condition (instead of trying to self-diagnose) to ensure you get the best care.
The thought of getting back surgery or having a long recovery time may deter you from seeking orthopedic care. However, minimally invasive surgeries are becoming more popular. Because they require a smaller incision they can offer a quicker recovery.
Since our hands and wrists are used constantly throughout the day, you’ll notice pretty much right away if something is wrong. If you recognize tingling or numbness in your fingers, you may be experiencing carpal tunnel.
Seeking orthopedic treatment can help rule out any underlying condition that is posing as carpal tunnel or confirm if your pain is from carpal tunnel. To treat this, or other common wrist injuries, you will usually start with wearing a splint at night and be advised to avoid activities that will worsen the pain and injury.
If necessary, you may need surgery to relieve your pain. Fortunately, carpal tunnel release is one of the most routine procedures in the United States. The surgery is relatively simple and will not require an overnight stay in the hospital.
At Lancaster Orthopedic Group, you’ll find there is a collaboration between your orthopedic specialist and your hand therapist to provide a treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. We will be by your side from injury to surgery and through recovery.
With hand therapy, the goal is to optimize an orthopedic pain management plan and restore your muscles and bones back to fully functional. Your therapy treatment will typically begin just days after your surgery so you can return to daily activities with as little disruption as possible.
Often, we associate a torn meniscus with a torn ACL or anterior cruciate ligament, both being common sports injuries. But sometimes a torn meniscus can be caused by a forceful twist of your knee or in older adults, the deterioration of your knee.
Torn meniscus pain is quite substantial so you won’t be able to ignore it for long. You might experience swelling, locking in your knee, or even the inability to move your knee in a full range of motion. If your injury happens suddenly, for example from a sports game, you’ll be prompted to seek orthopedic care immediately.
During an orthopedic visit, your specialist may conduct The McMurray Test. This is an orthopedic test to determine if you’ve torn your meniscus. We will rotate your tibia and listen for a clicking or locking sound as evidence of a tear.
Depending on the tear, you may not need surgical treatment. If your pain subsides you may just need to rest, ice, use compression, and elevate your leg. Even if you aren’t getting surgery, you should still take caution in returning back to normal activities to avoid further damage to your ligaments.
As the name suggests a tennis elbow is a common sports injury tennis athletes get from the repetitive movement of the hand, wrist, and arm. In fact, 50% of tennis players will experience this common elbow injury in their lifetime.
Tennis players are not the only ones susceptible to tennis elbow; painters, plumbers, and carpenters are also known to experience pain on the outside of their elbow or a weaker grip, both of which are signs of this injury.
A majority of the time, you won’t need surgical treatment to relieve your pain. More than likely, you’ll need to go through a few sessions of physical therapy so you can go back to a full range of motion.
A simple at-home test can help determine the severity of your elbow injury. Stand behind a chair with your arms fully extended and palms facing down. Then, try to lift the chair. If this movement causes pain on the outside of your elbow, there is a possibility you are experiencing tennis elbow.
Ankle or Foot Sprain
An ankle or foot sprain is a pretty routine injury; in fact, 75% of Americans will experience some type of foot problem in their lifetime. Sometimes, your sprain can be healed with ice, rest, and elevation. However, an untreated ankle sprain can also become a much bigger issue.
There are different levels of severity, like most injuries, and the severity will help determine your treatment and recovery plan. In the first week of your injury, you should rest, elevate, and ice. It’s essential to not rush this initial step so you can fully heal your ligaments.
After an adequate recovery period, you can start to restore your range of motion and stretch by doing simple exercises. Eventually, you should gain enough strength to start gradually returning to normal activities.
If the pain persists, or you feel the injury is more severe, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic specialist. Your specialist will create a personalized orthopedic pain management plan that could include wearing a brace, taking anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy sessions.
Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body, which also means it is the most known place for a joint to be dislocated. Your shoulder is made up of three bones: your collarbone, shoulder blade, and upper arm bone. The top of your upper arm bone is shaped like a ball, and when this bone comes out of the socket, it’s referred to as a dislocated shoulder.
As with other frequent orthopedic injuries, sports, overusing the muscles, or some sort of trauma is the main cause of this injury. You may experience intense pain, numbness, muscle spasms, and swelling if your shoulder is dislocated.
To treat this common shoulder injury, an orthopedic doctor will pop your shoulder back into place and give you a sling to wear during your recovery time. After the pain and swelling have stopped, you will be advised to do exercises to strengthen your range of motion and muscles.
Now that you have a better understanding of the common orthopedic injuries and how we, as orthopedic specialists, would help you heal, you can be more prepared if an injury happens to you or your child.
Create a unique orthopedic pain management plan with our specialists so you can get back to being your best. Schedule your appointment today.