5 Things to Try Before Opting for Orthopedic Surgery

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If you are recovering from the injury or maybe you have arthritis or some other joint-related condition, it’s understandable to feel like there’s no way out of that situation. These problems don’t only cause pain, they also affect your range of motion and have an adverse impact on the quality of life. Orthopedic surgery poses as an effective way of dealing with these problems, but it’s not the only solution. Orthopedic doctors usually recommend surgical procedures when other things don’t help. If you’ve considered consulting your healthcare provider about orthopedic surgery, you should try these five things first.

Orthopedic SurgeryExercise

To improve mobility and decrease the intensity of pain, physical activity is the most. The problem occurs when most people assume that joint-related conditions and other issues require bed rest, without any movement whatsoever. This couldn’t be more wrong. Before considering orthopedic surgery, you should adhere to a strict exercise program first. The first line of treatment and management of these issues is physical therapy recommended by your doctor, but you can also do some exercises at home. Ideally, you should perform low-impact activities and avoid running because they put more pressure on the affected areas and aggravate the pain.

Exercise and physical therapy are important for flexibility and strength of muscles and joints. For instance, your exercise program may involve riding a stationary bike, flexibility exercises, and so on. Aquatic therapy is yet another way to get more exercise and improve range of motion while decreasing pain. According to one study, water exercise doesn’t only improve joint health; it’s also beneficial for cardiovascular health as well.

Instead of Googling and choosing exercises on your own, you’ll benefit more from contacting a physical therapist.

Glucosamine/chondroitin

Chondroitin and glucosamine are part of healthy cartilage, which acts as a cushion between joints and bones. They are available in the form of supplements and are usually recommended for individuals suffering from osteoarthritis. This supplement improves the mobility of the joint and decreases pain from arthritis of the knee. Furthermore, glucosamine and chondroitin also slow down the deterioration of joint cartilage and reduce the pain of bone on bone.

Since glucosamine comes from shellfish, people who are allergic to shellfish should avoid it. That said, some manufacturers have low levels of shrimp allergen in their supplements, and in this case, they’re safe for consumption i.e. they won’t induce allergic reactions to shellfish.

Joint fluid therapy

Joint fluid therapy is a type of treatment wherein a series of injections is made directly into the affected area. The primary goal of this treatment is to improve lubrication of the joint by replacing the synovial fluid and thus reduce the intensity of pain. In most cases, doctors use hyaluronic acid injections; it is a fluid that occurs naturally in your joints and has the role of a lubricator.

In some cases, patients can receive cortisone injections which are dubbed as effective in reducing pain and swelling in specific areas of the body. The doctor can inject them directly into ankles, knees, hips, elbows, wrists, shoulder, and even spine.

Weight loss

When considering different measures prior opting for surgery, then making certain lifestyle adjustments is a must. Weight loss belongs to that category. Rates of overweight and obesity are constantly on the rise, and besides increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers, the excess weight is harmful to bones and joints as well. If you have some joint condition or you’re in the recovery process after an injury, your body weight could put more pressure on the affected area. Thereby, the pain worsens. Working to reduce weight will alleviate that pressure and make your problem more tolerable.

Bracing

Orthopedic braces and splints stabilize, protect, support the joints and affected areas, and they correct injuries or abnormal alignment through the process of recovery. There are different types of braces, intended for different areas of the body e.g. wrist braces, thumb and hand splints, knee, ankle, leg braces, elbow braces, and so on.

Braces are made of plastic, metal, leather, foam, and they’re also designed to reduce inflammation in a bid to strengthen muscles of the affected area. These devices put pressure on the sides of the joint, thus causing it to realign and decrease the contact between two rough bone surfaces to improve mobility and manage pain.

Bonus

Yoga, stretching and meditation have proven to be fundamental to wellness and pain management for centuries. In a recent study by the Journal of Neuroscience, is was shown that when the body has chemically blocked neuro pathways to opioid based pain relief compounds, meditation bypasses these chemical blocks, still providing healing uninterrupted by the chemical blockade. For those that are unfamiliar with the intricacies of successful meditation, there are many meditation tools that are useful in achieving a deep state to produce healing.

Conclusion

Although effective, surgery is primarily referred to as a last resort, a treatment that is usually recommended when other therapies don’t work. Throughout this post, you’ve seen five things you should try before discussing the surgical procedure with your doctor.


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