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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Should You Use Heat or Ice to Treat an Injury?
Nov 4, 2019 By Emory Healthcare

heat vs ice therapy You’re not alone if you have ever been confused about whether to apply ice or heat to an injury or painful area. We all know icing and heating are two of the most common and natural treatment options available. These treatments have been around for decades and provide good ways to reduce pain. The question is: which is best, ice or heat? While both therapies can reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling, they aren’t appropriate for every injury. Choosing the wrong one can possibly make your injury worse, instead of better. Knowing how to use ice or heat as your pain reliever can go a long way, whether you’re dealing with an injury that just happened or an ongoing nagging pain.

When to Use Cold Therapy

It’s best to use cold therapy for acute or sudden pain caused by a recent injury that’s sensitive, red or inflamed. Inflammation is a normal bodily response to an [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Young Hockey Player Successfully Rebounds After Surgery
Jul 17, 2019 By Kyle Hammond, MD

youth sports hockey playerRyan can't remember life before hockey. He was two years old when he donned his first pair of skates, and only three years old when he began flying around ice rinks working on his slapshot. Ryan loves the game and can't get enough of it. Friends and family aren't surprised, though. Dad was a former goaltender in the National Hockey League and a long-standing professional hockey coach. Hockey is in Ryan's blood. Ryan's passion for the sport has grown over the years, and so has his time on the ice. He got his start playing on local teams, practicing a few hours each week. He progressed to a more serious traveling squad at the age of 10. By 14, Ryan was competing for Thunder Hockey Club, a tier I AAA-level organization that spent every other weekend of the long season (August through April) on the road. During one of those weekend games in Nashville, Ryan slid across the ice and [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Emory Sports Medicine Center Searching for Relief from Osteoarthritis in the Knee
Jun 6, 2019 By Emory Sports Medicine

osteoarthritis of the kneeAnyone who suffers from painful osteoarthritis of the knee knows how debilitating the condition can be. Joint stiffness, swelling and pain progress over time as cartilage wears away. Eventually, simple activities, like walking or kneeling, become intensely painful. Lifestyle modification, medication and steroid injections may help alleviate symptoms for some people, but these treatments also carry some risk. Many patients, short of a total knee replacement, are out of options. To address the problem, researchers at Emory Healthcare’s Emory Sports Medicine Center have begun a study to investigate ways in which various cellular therapies may provide relief for this ever-growing population. The idea behind stem cell therapy is that live cells can be transferred to a patient in hopes of improving symptoms or lessening a disease process. While there have been patients in the past [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Calling All Weekend Warriors: Prevent Injury with Expert Advice
May 3, 2019 By Kyle Hammond, MD

weekend warriors baseballAcross Georgia (and most of the country), weekend warriors are suiting up on the basketball court, soccer pitch, baseball diamond or football field. These men and women are enjoying recreational sports – and the warmer temps – with friends and family. Weekend warriors take their sports very seriously, but also don’t always apply the same intensity and discipline to year-long physical activity. Because of that, they’re more likely to experience an injury, most often because of overdoing it on the field or lack of proper training. The most common injuries we see among recreational athletes include:

  • Broken bones
  • Knee pain and problems
  • Ligament injuries
  • Sprains and strains
Enjoy the game — and all the health benefits team sports has to offer — with a few simple tips to stay injury free.

1. Get Ready for the Season

While it can be tempting to jump [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Beginning an Exercise Routine
Apr 26, 2019 By admin

Exercise RoutineFor people of all ages, regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy. It can slow the aging process, lengthen your life and improve brain health. If you don’t have a regular exercise routine, you may not where to start. But take heart — it’s easier than you think.

Talk to Your Doctor and Trainer

If you’ve never followed an exercise routine or have let it slide for a while, check with your doctor first. A physical exam can determine your overall health for your age. Your doctor can also recommend suitable exercises if you’ve had injuries such as broken bones, muscle or ligament injuries, or have had surgery like hip or knee replacement. After talking with your doctor, you might also consider working with a professional trainer who can show you proper exercise technique and form to help you prevent injury.

Know Your Fitness Level

You may think you know [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
You Don’t Have to be Young or a Pro to Play Sports
Oct 30, 2018 By Dr. Boden

Emory Helps People of All Ages Stay Active – On the Field and in Life

At least three times a week, Robert Gaare laces up his soccer cleats, places a pair of protective shin guards inside his socks and hits the field for a scrimmage. “Playing soccer is sheer joy. Nothing but fun,” says Robert. At the youthful age of 71, Robert plays midfielder for FC Georgia United - a soccer club for older adults. “In today’s world, being in your 70’s is not old,” says Robert. “I like to stay active.” Robert has played soccer since he was a boy. When his adult team traveled to Hawaii for a tournament years ago, Robert’s wife, Cathy Kaemmerlen, and his children tagged along for a family vacation. “We enjoy a lot of camaraderie and friendship,” says Robert. “And it motivates me to stay fit. I even go to the gym and lift weights to supplement my [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Hip Pain: Easing Discomfort with Proven Solutions
Sep 17, 2018 By Bryan Whitfield, MD

Hip pain can severely affect your independence, your lifestyle, your job, and more. With pain reaching unbearable levels, a bum hip can level the toughest among us.

It Might Not Be Your Hip

“One of the major things we immediately try to differentiate between is if it’s actually a hip condition—or is the pain coming from the back?” says Dr. Bryan Whitfield, an orthopedic surgeon at Emory Healthcare. True hip pain culprits include impingement, labral tear, bursitis, pain coming from the gluteal tendon, and osteoarthritis.

Causes & Symptoms of a Hip Condition

Sometimes the shape of the bones leads to impingement—the socket and ball essentially running into each other and tearing cartilage around the rim. A fall can sprain the hip and tear tendons. “Most people think their hip is on the back and on the side, what we would call the flank,” states Dr. Whitfield. [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Emory Physicians Help Save Woman’s Leg from Amputation
Aug 24, 2018 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

When you go to the hair salon, you expect to walk out feeling refreshed. But instead of sporting a new haircut, Adela Gongora Arciniegas was carried out on a stretcher and rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery. Adela, who is almost 70 years old, slipped in the salon and took a devastating fall. “I had an open fracture of my right leg – involving the tibia and fibula,” explained Adela. “I was shocked. It was very painful.” The skin on Adela’s leg had broken open near the site of her fractured bone. She also sprained her left foot, fractured her left hand, tore the meniscus in her left knee, and injured her left elbow and lower back. “She had so many injuries you wouldn’t believe it. It was like a storyline from a bad show,” remembers Adela’s daughter Claudia.

Unexpected Journey Leads to Scary Prognosis

Adela’s fall forced her on a [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
How to Avoid Backpack Injuries
Aug 8, 2018 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

Backpack AwarenessNobody ever said that being a parent is an easy job. You have to keep an eye on everything. Are they eating enough vegetables? Getting enough exercise? Spending too much time on their computer? With all the things you need to monitor in a day to keep your kids healthy and safe, it would be easy to overlook this one: Are their backpacks too heavy? But the truth is, it’s something we should be thinking about each morning as we send them off to school, since backpack injuries are common in school-aged children. In fact, one in four students admit to having back pain for 15 days or more during the school year.

Dangers of an Overloaded Backpack

Heavy backpacks and book bags can lead to back, neck or shoulder pain and injury as well as long-term muscle, skeletal and nerve damage, including: • Muscle spasms • Scoliosis • Spine injury • Strain leading to headaches [...]

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Orthopedics, Spine & Sports Medicine
Sciatica: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
Jul 16, 2018 By Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

The number is staggering — more than 65 million Americans suffer from back pain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it’s a leading cause of missed work and the most common cause of job-related disability in the United States. Let’s face it — nobody’s at the top of their game when they’re in pain. And when it’s back pain, it can be outright debilitating. Of course, many back conditions could be causing your pain. But if you’re experiencing lower back pain that travels down your leg, you likely have a common condition called sciatica.

What Is Sciatica?

Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back, through your hip and buttocks, and down your leg. If the pressure is placed on your sciatic nerve, it becomes irritated and can cause pain, weakness or numbness in your leg. Sciatica is often caused by:
  • A bone spur on your
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