To Brace or Not to Brace? The Orthopedic Question of the Day

The two joints that are most often braced are the ankle and the knee.  When you get an injury, you might want to have information in your head now about whether or not you need a brace, and we are here to help.  Braces range from the simple, like a sleeve, to the complex, with hinges and hardware that are adjustable.  They provide temporary support and stability meant to decrease pain and give you confidence in that joint.

Here are some key points that you might not know.  Knee injuries differ from ankle injuries in that the pain is frequently related to muscle control, so a brace won’t necessarily help.  Consider how a brace limits how your muscles would normally engage in activity.  Braces allow your muscles to weaken while they are immobilized, so you might wear a brace for strenuous activity, but not for everyday activities in order to keep the surrounding muscles from getting too weak.  Another consideration is whether your injury might have done permanent damage that requires surgery.  If you are having swelling that won’t decrease, pain that is persistent, you heard a pop at the time of injury, &/or you have lost full range of motion, you should seek an orthopedic surgeon’s assessment.

After your injury, you might try a brace for support and pain relief, but listen to your body and if the pain persists, something doesn’t feel right, or you have questions, call Paragon Orthopedic Center for a consultation.  541-472-0603

To brace or not to brace: What’s best? – Mayo Clinic Health System

Having a Little Fun

While Paragon Orthopedic Center encourages healthy habits, we also recognize that it’s okay to indulge in moderation every now and then.  Today, if you’re a fan of the chocolate chip cookie, you will be pleased to know that it is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day.  Yes, August 4th is the day to reflect on its accidental history and learn a few facts about this delicious treat. The chocolate chip cookie’s invention dates back to 1938 and remains one the most popular cookies.  How do the chocolate chips keep their shape and why don’t chocolate chips melt all over the place?  Because they have less cocoa butter than chocolate bars.  Visit your favorite bakery and they might be giving them out for free in honor of the day!  This article from Newsbytes will give you more information and even a recipe, if you’d like to make your own at home.
National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day: History, facts, recipe, and more | NewsBytes (newsbytesapp.com)

Too Many Medications?

The need for more medications increases with age as our bodies become less efficient, healthy, and/or capable.  You might have multiple doctors who might not be in sync with your various prescriptions.  Here’s the problem with that:  1-as we age, we can be more sensitive to side effects and the more medications you’re on, the more chances of increased side effects, 2-it is easier for a doctor to prescribe something new than to take all of your meds into account, and 3-the expense of all those prescriptions can take a chunk out of your monthly budget.  Have you considered asking about cutting back on them?  Ask your clinician to deprescribe to possibly reduce a dose or eliminate medications that are not needed.  It is good to have your healthcare provider take a good look at everything you are taking to make sure they are: 1-helpful, 2-still necessary at the current dosage, and 3-not combining to cause side effects that affect your daily living.  Paragon Orthopedic Center encourages you to be an active participant in your health; be educated about what you are taking and why.  One more thought is to consider non-drug therapies.  Instead of taking something to help you sleep, cut back on caffeine.  Instead of taking pain medications, try acupuncture or neurofeedback.  Before making any changes, always discuss your medications and desires with your healthcare professional.  National Public Radio has an article that goes into this subject in more depth:
Too Many Medications? It Might Be Time To Ask Your Doctor About Deprescribing : Shots – Health News : NPR