Arthritis Awareness Month

September is Arthritis Awareness Month.  Here are some key points about arthritis that I am sure you have heard at one time or another but this disease needs public attention.  Arthritis can impair a person’s ability to perform “everyday” tasks. Physical activity has a positive effect on arthritis and can improve pain, function and mental health. Factors in the development of arthritis include injury, abnormal metabolism, genetic makeup, infections and immune system dysfunction. Treatment for arthritis aims to control pain, minimize joint damage and improve or maintain a quality of life.

There are many types of arthritis and one of the most common is osteoarthritis. I believe education and solutions to delay future damage and keep active is extremely important. Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease that tends to get worse over time. Because of this, early treatment for OA is incredibly important to take control of your disease, delay future damage and keep your joints healthy. Look at your non-surgical options, and make your own decision. As part of the Medicine in Motion team, there is a non-referral Knee Clinic day offered every month.  Patients can make an appointment directly with a Sports Medicine physician who specializes in joint injuries and diseases. Soles in Motion offers a no risk 30 day trial on our Osteoarthritis Unloader Knee Braces. By unloading the affected compartment of the knee, the unloader brace offers people with knee OA a safe, proven, low-risk treatment that will reduce your pain and improve your mobility. I have seen the results and am confident you will be able to maintain or return to an active and healthy lifestyle as a result. As part of our Centre of Excellence, we also provide physio, massage and a specialized exercise/rehab clinic dedicated to working with clients with injury and disease.

Soles in Motion focuses on providing you with the best solution to improve your lifestyle, mobility and activity level no matter what your ability.  Come in a talk to us, we would love to help you!

Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Co-owner, Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth

Osteoarthritis---rheumatoid-arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease of the entire joint involving the cartilage, joint lining and ligaments and underlying bone. The breakdown of these tissues eventually leads to pain and joint stiffness.

The joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis are the joints that get heavy use, such as hips and knees, hands, the spine and also often the base of the thumb and the big toe joint.

Nearly 1 in 2 people develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis by the age of 85, and 1 in 4 people develop hip arthritis in their lifetime.4 Knee osteoarthritis is one of the five leading causes of disability among non-institutionalized adults. Weight loss of 11 pounds can halve a woman’s risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.

Taking part in moderate physical activity 3 times or more per week can reduce the risk of arthritis-related disability by 47% in older adults with knee osteoarthritis.

Between 1979 and 1988, osteoarthritis was responsible for an average 0.2 to 0.3 deaths per 100,000 people. This figure has increased over the years, with OA accounting go around 6% of all arthritis-related deaths in 2003, working out to around 500 deaths per year.

These calculations are likely to be underestimated as they do not include deaths related to things such as gastrointestinal bleeding caused by medications used to treat OA.

For more information on osteoarthritis, see our article: What is osteoarthritis? What causes osteoarthritis?

Skiing and Snowboarding season is here!

skiing-and-snowboarding-injuries

These popular winter sports are a great way to stay active.  Although the incidence of injury in both skiing and snowboarding is relatively similar, on the body where these injuries occur are considerably different. Skiers tend to injure the lower extremity – most commonly the knee – while snowboarders are more likely to injure their backs and upper extremity – specifically areas such as the wrist.

The most common knee injuries in skiing are the MCL (medial collateral ligament) and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).  They occur for different reasons based on the skier’s skill level, the most common being when the knee tilts inwards and the lower leg is forced forwards. This often happens during a fall or when catching an edge.  Preventing knee injuries when skiing is multifactorial. With the pediatric and youth skier, appropriate strength is required before jumping into ski boots. This also is true for the adult skier. Areas of specific focus should be in the hip stabilizers, knee stabilizers, hamstrings and lower back.  Knee braces are designed to prevent injury during skiing and provide support and stability after an injury to keep you on the slopes.  There are several different kinds of knee braces for ligament protection – light weight, designed to fit with ski boots, provide the highest level of twisting and lateral movement.

The most common snowboard injury is the wrist.  The upper body is used to help generate turning forces on the board. In the event of a loss of balance and a subsequent fall, the instinctive reaction of a snowboarder is to outstretch a hand to try and break their fall. This mechanism is commonly known as an ‘FOOSH’ ( Fall Onto an Out Stretched Hand).  There are wrist braces designed to provide maximum protection for the wrist while allowing a range of motion to match your needs.  Made of carbon fiber, they are incredibly strong and are designed for high impact sports.

Soles in Motion services and products are an excellent solution for everyone who wants to be healthier, more active and in less pain.  Whether you want to ski, skate or do your daily chores.  Our team works together to implement the best solution for you.  Soles in Motion also offers a 30-day free trial program on our Osteoarthritis hip and knee braces to make sure they are going to work for you before you commit to purchase.  We are dedicated to making sure our products work.

Get back to what you do best!

Most people have some type of back problem at one time or another in their lifetime.  Back problems can occur anywhere from the neck to the tailbone and can be a result of wear and tear, overuse or injury.  Injuries frequently occur when you use your back muscles in activities that you do not do very often such as lifting heavy objects, yard work, painting, etc.  Overuse injuries are most often from improper movement or posture.  Minor injuries also occur from tripping, falling a short distance or excessive twisting of the spine.  Severe back injuries may result from vehicle accidents, falls from significant heights, direct blows, a high-energy fall onto the buttocks, or a penetrating injury such as a stab wound.  Common medical conditions/deformities such as ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, kyphosis affect your daily activities, restrict movement and cause different levels of pain. There are many thoughts on the effect of a back brace.  Some facts on back braces are:

  • Back braces remind the wearer to avoid undesirable movements
  • Back braces help to achieve proper posture
  • Back braces stabilize the pelvis and spine

A very common myth is that wearing a back brace weakens the abdominal muscles and causes poor body mechanics.  Back braces are designed to help the wearer achieve proper posture and increase awareness of the position of the pelvis and spine.  This constantly reminds individuals of their body positions, making it easier to avoid undesirable postures while in the healing or strengthening process.  By increasing the intra-abdominal pressure, a back support acts much like the stays and support rings of a barrel.  If the support rings are tightened a stabilizing effect is achieved.  A properly designed spinal support stabilizes the spine and acts in the same way.  There are many types of back braces. It is important that the correct brace is selected for the condition or injury but as well, it is as important that the brace fit the shape of the individual.  When the patient cannot avoid certain activities, such as work, then the use of a brace is an important part of the treatment process.  It is important that you be assessed by a professional who takes all aspects of your health, lifestyle, and body type into consideration.  Most insurance companies cover braces if prescribed by a medical professional.

Soles in Motion also encourages you to come in and talk to us, let us assess your gait and the footwear you are wearing, these too may be contributing to your pain.  We are here to help and keep you moving no matter what your abilities!

Submitted by:
Jen Estabrooks,
Co-owner, General Manager,
Soles in Motion,
133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth 902-468-7911 (solesinmotion.ca)