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Physician Profiles

Review profiles on doctors, including education, specialties and experience.

Areas of Practice

Learn more about our areas of expertise: Fractures, Sports Injuries, Joint Replacements, Work Injuries, Neck and Back Pain, Motor Vehicle Injuries.

Recent News

Follow recent news updates on the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center and our doctors.

Welcome to the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center

Orthopedic Surgeons Serving Rochester NY & The Finger Lakes Region

For orthopedic surgery that can repair and restore function to limbs and joints, Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center is a talent in preventative and rehabilitative procedures. For sports injury, neck pain, joint pain and a range of other debilitating symptoms, Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center is your best chance in the Finger Lakes, NY region for top tier joint replacement and orthopedic surgery.

Our Physicians

Dr. Daniel Alexander

Dr. Daniel Alexander is the owner of Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center. Born and raised in Buffalo and a former lieutenant in the Buffalo Fire Department, Dr. Alexander received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo....

Dr. Christopher Brown

A specialist in sports medicine focusing on the shoulder and knee, Dr. Brown has had the opportunity to work at a variety of world class institutions while providing care for athletes both on and off the field. Dr. Brown also serves as...

Dr. David Cywinski

Dr. Cywinski, raised in Buffalo, NY, has an interesting background which includes 14 years as a Fayetteville, NY firefighter and as a paramedic instructor at SUNY Health Science Center. His BA degree in Biology was obtained at the State University...

Dr. Peter Stasko, DPM

Peter Stasko, DPM is board certified in foot, reconstructive rear foot, and ankle surgery through the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is also a fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Peter Stasko, DPM,...

Scott Mattoon, RPA-C

After graduating from Midlakes High School, Scott enlisted in the United States Army, where he functioned as a combat medic for over three years. After serving as a medical specialist in the 28th Combat Support Hospital, Scott was honorably discharged...

Dr. Paul Stasko, DPM

Paul Stasko is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine who completed undergraduate at SUNY Brockport where he played Varsity ice hockey and earned his degree in Biology.  He attended podiatry school at Des Moines University-College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery.  After...

Recognition

Joint Commission National Quality Approval Seal
Newark-Wayne Community Hospital named Orthopedic Joint Center of Excellence by Joint Commission! Congratulations to the surgeons, surgical team, and staff at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital for achieving The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for its total knee and hip replacement program. Newark-Wayne now joins Rochester General, Unity, and United Memorial Medical Center as Rochester Regional Health’s fourth accredited Orthopedic Joint Center of Excellence. The Joint Commission Gold Seal is a symbol of Newark-Wayne’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. Thanks to everyone involved for their dedication and hard work in achieving this incredible milestone!

Recent News

Buying The Right Shoes For Joint Health

October 24, 2016 / 0 comments

Sometimes people like to be thrifty, and who can blame them? It feels good to save money on groceries here, find a really good back to school sale there, however, there is one place where we really don’t want to skimp. A good rule of thumb is: if you have to spend extra money, it should go to anything that comes between you and the ground. This means dropping some decent dough on mattresses, tires, and especially shoes.

When it comes to choosing your next pair of shoes, there are quite a few things to consider.

Think how much of a beating our feet take on a daily basis! In addition to the weight our feet are bearing to begin with, consider the force we put on them whenever we’re walking. An average person takes about 4,000 to 6,000 steps a day, and even a sedentary person can still take about 1,000-3,000 steps per day. All of that pressure created by taking steps bears down on our foot bones, which sends shocks back up our bodies that can be felt in our knees, hips, and back. The best way to prevent this foot, knee, hip and back pain is to spend a little extra money on something good to put between you and the ground. That’s why we stress investing in good shoes.

Each person has a different foot pattern and arch. Some people are flat footed, others have high arches, and some have medium arches. Some people place their weight on one side of the foot or the other, or perhaps they land on the ball of their foot rather than the heel. Maybe they land completely flat! Everyone has their own unique way of walking, and shoe companies are happy to celebrate that difference! That’s why all major sports brands make and carry different types of sport-specific shoes for different types of people.

Understand why you’re buying your shoes. Is this for a specific sport? Do you need casual wear?

The easiest way to find out which shoe is right for you is to visit a specialty shoe store. Shoe stores that deal specifically in athletic shoes are a good start, such as Feet Fleet or a local athletic store (aofas.org). Typically, the staff will be trained to identify different strides, read wear patterns on your current shoes (so bring a well-used pair on your visit), and understand what kind of support you need depending on your step. If you’re looking for a certain sport shoe, then absolutely purchase a shoe that is specifically designed for that sport and stick to it. For example, if you were to tell an employee that you’re experiencing hip pain while running, they would be able to find a few running shoe types for you to test. The shoe will be specifically supported so that when your foot hits the ground, the shoe will better absorb the shock from hitting your hips, relieving that pain. Also, give the employees a chance to measure your foot. While adult feet do tend to stop growing, they do continue to spread. Some people can experience up to a two size increase because of the way their feet have matured!

Again, let a staff member at a shoe store know about any pain you’re experiencing so they can bring you appropriate footwear to adjust for that peculiarity you’re experiencing. Are you purchasing shoes for work or dress? Seek out a specialty shoe store that also trains their staff to identify foot support needs in their customers. They’ll often have quality brands that are specifically manufactured for orthopedic support while also looking stylish. Yes, we can now have both–the future is amazing! Consider these brands when looking for dress and casual shoes:

And there are plenty more once you begin looking!

When purchasing high heels, it’s especially important to buy quality shoes. Because high heels are created the way they are, the stress created between the foot and the leg bones can more readily lead to stress fractures. High heels also lead to higher rates of toenail deformities, sprains and strains, bunions and hammertoes, and causes heel pain in general. Preferably, avoid high heels where possible.

As always, if you’re experiencing pain in the foot, knee, hips, or back, schedule an appointment with the Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center so we can understand what course of action is right for you. Proper foot care is an important step, but it’s always best to check with a doctor before starting out on your own workout regimen or abrupt change in footwear.

References:

“Footwear.” FootcareMD. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/how-to/footwear/Pages/default.aspx

Podiatrist Shoe Recommendations. Suffern Podiatry. https://suffernpodiatry.com/shoe-brand-recomendations/

“10,000 Steps a Day.” The Walking Site. http://www.thewalkingsite.com/10000steps.html

Elliot, Candice. “Quality vs. Cost.” Listen Money Matters. https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/quality-vs-cost/

Benefits of Calcium Supplements

September 7, 2016 / 0 comments

For decades, we have been bombarded with information that calcium is good for your bones, that we all need milk for its calcium and vitamin D, and once we get older we need to take calcium supplements—eat all the calcium! But why?

All cells in the human body need calcium, not just bones and teeth. A healthy heart, strong muscles, and quick reflexes all require calcium (Martin “Calcium Blood Test”).

As patients become more involved and conscious of their diet and health care, they find themselves asking “Why should I take calcium supplements? Can’t I get enough calcium from a good diet? What do calcium supplements do for me?”

We at the Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Centers are glad patients are asking.

The human body does indeed need calcium. Over 99% of the calcium in our bodies is used to build our bones and teeth. However, the amount of calcium that is in our bodies depends greatly on how much calcium we absorb through our diet (Wardlaw and Hampl 404). How well our body absorbs calcium also depends on the Vitamin D that’s present. This is often why you see milk fortified with Vitamin D—it helps in calcium absorption.

The human body typically absorbs about a quarter of the calcium we ingest. That being said, young people (and particularly women who are pregnant and infants) absorb calcium much more efficiently than older adults, such as those who are in their late sixties and onwards. Postmenopausal women have been reported to have the least calcium absorption (405).

Because the human body tends to decrease its calcium absorption, doctors and dietitians recommend calcium supplements to encourage the appropriate absorption rate. So, for instance, while an average adult (a person over the age of 18) is expected to have a daily value of 1000 mg of calcium in their diet, people over the age of 70 are encouraged to have a daily value of 1200 mg (Brown 476). Hence, calcium supplements really give our bodies an extra opportunity to take in as much calcium as possible. Like with milk, you’ll often find calcium supplements that include Vitamin D as part of their compound makeup to help encourage maximum calcium absorption, which again, is about 25% of what you’re actually ingesting.

Alright, so we need to increase calcium intake in our diets as we age. But, why? Well, that 99% of calcium contributed to your bones and teeth isn’t a permanent thing, but it’s always in motion. That other small percentage of calcium that isn’t in our bones and teeth is being used in our bloodstream. Remember how earlier we said that all cells in the body need calcium? That’s very true, and our body is willing to sacrifice it from our bones so that our heart, muscles, and nerves receive that much needed calcium. Certain cells in our bodies, osteoclasts, exist to break down the calcium in our bones if we aren’t getting enough calcium through our diet (Wardlaw and Hampl 406). Other cells, osteoblasts, then work to rebuild the missing bone. Hence, our bones are constantly breaking down and regenerating, which is why whenever we break bones, we can heal again. However, this only happens if we have sufficient amounts of calcium for our bodies to work with.

So now it all comes together: if a person breaks a bone, a boost in calcium helps slow the eroding actions of the osteoclasts and instead helps the osteoblasts repair the damage, all while the other cells in our body are still getting their required serving of calcium as well. The same goes for older adults: by increasing the amounts of calcium in our diets, such as through supplements, we help the osteoblasts build and keep the osteoclasts from eating away at the calcium deposits in our bones.

Here’s the big question that has to be on everyone’s mind: what about Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis literally translates into “porous bone,” and that pretty much gives an accurate visual. Osteoporosis happens to both men and women, however it’s more prevalent in women due to the fact that men typically have larger bodies and denser bone mass (Brown 497). Since women usually have smaller bodies and lighter bone mass, osteoporosis tends to hit women sooner. Osteoporosis can be delayed by consuming the recommended amount of calcium (1000-1200 mg) during youth as well as leading an active lifestyle. Those osteoblasts mentioned earlier can actually work harder whenever bones experience weight-bearing or resistance exercises. The additional stress and pressure put on bones puts the osteoblasts to work to reinforce bone density, and thereby creating stronger bones that take a longer time to break down when our bodies stop absorbing calcium as efficiently from our diets. Athletes don’t often tend to experience osteoporosis in their old age because of the healthy bone strengthening they did during their prime calcium absorbing days.

If you’re a person between the ages of 18-30, now is the prime time of your life to really work on strengthening your bones and working to prevent brittle bones in your future. If you’re concerned about genetic factors or think you might be at risk for osteoporosis, contact the doctors at Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Centers to schedule a consultation about which supplements they recommend and how you can start taking care of your bones now.

Brown, Judith E. Nutrition Through the Life Cycle. 3rd Ed. Thomson Wadsworth, 2008.

Wardlaw, Gordon M. and Jeffrey S. Hampl. Perspectives in Nutrition. 7th Ed. McGraw Hill Higher Education, Boston, 2007.

Martin, Laura J., and David Zieve. “Calcium Blood Test.” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2016.

Treatment And Healing of Stress Fractures

September 7, 2016 / 0 comments

Since we specialize in sports medicine at Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center, it’s safe to say we know a thing or two about stress fractures.

It’s not uncommon to see athletes—be they new to a sport or not—come in with stress fractures. Stress fractures are tiny microfractures in a bone that are created when force is applied to the bone that tendons and muscle can’t cushion or the bone can’t support. While not as severe as a break, stress fractures can be painful and damaging.

There are a few possible explanations for causes of stress fractures:

In a typical workout scenario, an athlete will work up to a new goal over time by extending a training session or workout a few minutes each practice, or by gradually adding in mileage for each new run, so that the body’s muscles can keep up with the new gradual strain. Muscles build and ligaments stretch, both of which support the body’s bones, particularly the weight-bearing bones like the femur, tibia, and foot bones, which are at a higher risk for stress fractures. When an athlete skips the incremental steps to build muscle strength and over-exerts the body, like practicing three hours instead of the usual 30 minutes or running 13 miles after consistently running 3 or 4, the muscles can’t properly support the bones. This can increase the risk of stress fractures.

Sometimes stress fractures happen because of reasons out of a person’s control. For instance, a sports court might have a previously cushioned flooring replaced by a harder material, which can shock a body which had been accustomed to a cushioned floor. While the athlete is physically capable of a high level of impact and activity, the body has been conditioned to the previous set of standards, so placing that extra power and force against more resistance jars the bones, causing the fractures. Another fairly common scenario is a new pair of shoes which might improperly support an athlete’s foot, and the new stress could hurt their feet or legs.

Drastic equipment switches and training environment changes—such as new shoes or a new venue—should be broken in over short amounts of time to allow the body to familiarize itself with the new environment. The body should adjust fairly quickly, but each situation is unique. The bone and joint experts at Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center can quickly and professionally advise each person on an appropriate approach to his or her needs for optimal athletic performance.

Stress fractures aren’t only limited to the leg bones or feet: while fractures are often seen in leg bones, especially the tibia, kneecap, or foot bones, it’s not uncommon to see stress fractures in other areas of the body. Sometimes fractures can occur in the spine due to gymnastics, in arms from tennis or baseball, or even the ribs because of boxing or from a car accident. Stress fractures can happen to anyone, and they generally occur at the location of the most strain on your body.

Symptoms of a stress fracture can be tricky to identify right away. Sometimes symptoms won’t be noticeable for a few days or possibly weeks, since there aren’t often visible indicators. Typically, the most obvious indicator is pain that occurs during—and shortly following—a workout. If the fracture is small, or what is called a “low-risk stress fracture,” the pain will go away with some rest until the next workout, when the bone (and therefore the crack) is being stressed again. It’s important to make an appointment with the Finger Lake Bone and Joint Clinic at this time so that an assessment can be performed to determine how severe the fracture is and what treatment plan is necessary. A “high-risk stress fracture” can hurt for extended periods of time, possibly accompanied by swelling, and in some cases bruising. Injuries like this should be seen by a doctor immediately. High-risk stress fractures can lead to more serious medical problems quickly, so time is of the essence.

Both types of stress fractures should be checked out by a doctor, as stress fractures can lead to bigger problems down the road. Stress fractures can also indicate a need to change a routine, diet, or workout regimen. If stress fractures go untreated they can grow into larger and more painful problems, such as bone healing in an incorrect position. Sometimes, if not treated properly, the fractures may never have the chance to heal at all.

In order to determine if a patient has a stress fracture and what kind, the doctors at Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center will usually order an MRI to see exactly what damage has been done to the bone, and what kind of treatment plan will best set the patient up for a quick and successful recovery.

Recovery plans will certainly differ depending on the severity of the stress fracture. Some stress fractures can heal with rest or medical footwear, other stress fractures might need screws, and sometimes surgery is needed to graft new bone to help heal the fractured bone.

If you’re experiencing pain, bruising, or swelling that’s difficult to pinpoint in an area that takes an everyday beating, call Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center to make an appointment to get on the road to recovery now!

“Stress Fractures.” OrthoInfo. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Oct. 2007. Web. July 2016.

“Stress Fracture.” FootCareMD. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, n.d. Web. July 2016.

“Stress Fractures.” KidsHealth – the Web’s Most Visited Site about Children’s Health. The Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. July 2016.

Proper Sleeping Positions for Night Pains

July 1, 2016 / 0 comments

Several of our clients suffer from uncomfortable aches and pains, either long term or short term.

Oftentimes, those pains are never so obvious as at night time, when you’re trying to fall asleep and simply cannot get comfortable.

Note: if you’ve been experiencing back and neck pain for over 4 weeks, it’s recommended you make an appointment with a doctor, as there may be a serious issue at hand. Less than 4 weeks of back pain is typical of small pulls or strains that will normally heal themselves through rest and some assistance, so please continue reading to learn what those aides are.

If you already have one of the back and neck pain experts at the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center helping you with your persistent back, neck, and shoulder pain, then please keep reading as well.

Here are a few ways our patients can position themselves for a good night sleep regardless of the pain they have:

Neck Pain

Not terribly uncommon, neck pain can be addressed during your regularly or unregularly scheduled sleep in such ways as: Avoid using too high or too stiff a pillow. Harvard Health Publications claims if your pillow is either or both of these things, this can keep neck muscles tensed and flexed during the night, which leads to a morning of stiffness or soreness.

Instead, try a memory foam support pillow. These pillows are typically shaped to form to the contours of your neck and shoulders that will give you individualized support. Memory foam manufacturers also make different styles of pillows that claim to better support back or side sleepers, depending on the sleeper’s preferred position.

For Side Sleepers who experience neck pain, use a pillow that has higher neck support than head support to maintain a level spine (so a pillow made especially with built-in support for side sleepers, or slide a neck roll into the pillowcase of a flatter pillow).

When traveling as a passenger or even while watching TV in a recliner or on the couch, a horseshoe shaped pillow can support your neck while you relax. The cushion will keep your head balanced so in case you doze off your neck muscles won’t strain as your head droops to one side.

However, if you do get a horseshoe pillow, make certain it’s not too cushioned in the back: that could push your head forward and defeat the purpose.

Lower Back Pain

A very common problem, lower back pain can be alleviated by altering your sleeping position:

Back Sleepers: If you naturally sleep on your back and are suffering from lower back pain, take an extra pillow and tuck it under your knees. The lift action to your legs helps maintain the natural curvature to your spine, taking stress away from your lower back.

Side Sleepers: Instead of sleeping board straight, bend your knees up towards your chest a bit and place a pillow between them. Again, this aide helps maintain the natural position of your spine, so your muscles can relax and heal during the night.

Stomach Sleepers: This sleeping position is hard on a back. The Mayo Clinic recommends stomach sleepers to try and change their sleeping position to either back or side, but if that proves difficult, placing a pillow under the pelvis and lower abdomen can help reduce the strain

inflicted on the spine. In addition, a stomach sleeper could also try sleeping without a pillow under the head if they’ve experienced extra strain on their back.

Shoulder Pain

Ah, the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is the most common cause of night pain in the shoulder.

Typically, the rotator tends to wear out and degenerate, and your body is rarely more aware of it than at night. There are a few things you can do to try and alleviate the discomfort:

  • Sleeping in a recliner (don’t forget that horseshoe shaped neck pillow)
  • Switching to a shoulder support pillow
  • Over the counter Anti inflammatory medications or juices such as Tart Cherry Juice
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections

These are some ways you can treat your night time shoulder pain, but depending on the stage of rotator cuff tendonitis, surgery may be your best option. If that is the case, you’ve come to the right place.

If you feel like you need professional advice and a plan of attack for your night time pains, set up an appointment with the bone and joint experts at the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center.

Together we can help you manage your pain and get back to having a good nights’ sleep.

 

References:

“Say “good Night” to Neck Pain.” Harvard Health. N.p., 27 Oct. 2015. Web. 13 June 2016.

Luks, Howard J., MD. “Rotator Cuff Tears and Shoulder Pain at Night.” Howard J Luks MD.

N.p., 06 July 2015. Web. 13 June 2016.

“Back Pain.” Slide Show: Sleeping Positions That Reduce Back Pain. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June

2016.

Am I Doing This Right? Your Guide To An Injury-Free Workout

May 27, 2016 / 0 comments

Did you know that you don’t have to visit a Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center location to enjoy

the services the doctors at FLBJC offer? You can actually get their professional help and advice

right here on the Internet!

 

Many injuries can be prevented through a consistent regimen of working out. Through working

out, your muscles and bones become stronger, which helps prevent slips and pulls when you’re

doing every day activities such as working in the garden or playing sports with friends or your

kids. However, almost as a catch-22, if not performed properly, it’s possible someone could

injure him- or herself while working out. The doctors at FLBJC know this possibility exists, so

we’ve taken the initiative to prevent workout injuries.

 

Fourteen free tutorial videos are collected in one place on the FLBJC website to help

demonstrate to our clients proper methods of injury prevention. From stretching poses to basic

workouts, Finger Lakes Sports Medicine has short, concise videos to show you how to safely

work out your body for optimal functioning health.

 

Stretching:

The Mayo Clinic states that “Stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, range of

motion in your joints. Better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or

decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion and

enabling your muscles to work most effectively.” However, you want to make certain you’re

not hyperstretching (overstretching) your muscles, which could lead to pulls or tears.

Clark Brown, of Brownstone Physical Therapy, explains the science behind the importance of

stretching and demonstrates a series of helpful stretches in less than 6 minutes in the short

Stretching Module video (11 th video). Other videos have more stretching demos, and for more

stretching help, classes such as yin yoga or a physical training session can help improve

flexibility.

 

Core Strengthening:

We’ve written plenty over the benefits of core strengthening, but how about some actual

tutorials to show how it’s done? In less than a minute and a half, you can have five workouts

that focus directly on proper core care by watching the Core Basics Module (3 rd video).

 

Knee Strength Training:

Most people have knee problems at some point in their life (webmd.com). With that in mind,

the 4 th video on the Finger Lakes Bone and Joint Center Injury Prevention webpage is devoted to

the largest joint in your body. The Dynamic Knee Strength video gives you three simple

exercises to focus on your knees and keep them strong.

 

There are several more short injury prevention videos at your finger tips through Finger Lakes

Bone and Joint, so check out the videos ranging from lower and upper extremities strength

training to tennis and lacrosse modules to help strengthen your body and keep it strong for

years to come. If you have any other questions, call the doctors at the Finger Lakes Bone and

Joint Centers to schedule an appointment to find a strength training plan that is right for your

needs.

“Knee Pain Causes, Treatments, Tests, and Home Remedies.” WebMD. WebMD. Web. 08 May

2016.

“Fitness.” Stretching: Focus on Flexibility. Mayo Clinic. Web. 08 May 2016.

Joint Pain and Sweet Relief: Different Methods for Managing Joint Pain

April 28, 2016 / 0 comments

More than 50 percent of US adults over the age of sixty-five have clinical signs of arthritis (a term that encompasses nearly a hundred different forms of the disease). The number of patients suffering from one form or another is expected to nearly double by the year 2030. It comes as no surprise that many of the patients at Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Centers suffer from degenerative arthritis, often in the form of osteoarthritis, and trust our doctors for care and management.

 

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease where the protective cartilage between two bones breaks down. When this happens, the two bones rub together which can cause a number of issues including pain, stiffness, and swelling. Osteoarthritis is often found in weight-bearing joints such as hips, knees, ankles, and the spine (Abboud and Abboud).

 

There are several methods that can help manage the disease once an individual is diagnosed. Pain, stiffness, and swelling can be managed with medication and therapy. Other factors, such as maintaining (or reaching) a healthy weight and getting enough exercise, can also help manage osteoarthritis symptoms while improving joint mobility and flexibility. Primarily, the doctors at Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Centers will work individually with patients to create unique care plans that address each person’s particular form of osteoarthritis, which could include, but are not limited, to the following:

 

Common Medication Treatments:

 

  • NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs): These drugs—available both over the counter and by prescription—reduce swelling caused by inflammation. Arguably they are the most commonly used drugs to treat osteoarthritis symptoms, however they must be used with caution. While they reduce inflammation, NSAIDs do nothing to slow or alter the disease and side effects could include gastrointestinal distress, allergic reactions, and in some prescription drug cases, contribute to possible birth defects.

 

Common Over the Counter NSAIDs: Naproxen (Aleve, Midol), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and others.

Common Prescription NSAIDs: Meloxicam (Mobic), Oxaprozin (Daypro), Celecoxib (Celebrex), and more.

 

  • Analgesics: Also available by prescription and over the counter, these drugs are typically strict pain killers. Analgesics help manage the pain often experienced by arthritis, but they do nothing to stop or reverse the progression of the disease. While analgesics are often the next most common method of pain management behind NSAIDs, doctors approach them with caution because of the possibility of patient abuse and addiction. For that reason, it’s important to have open communication with your doctor regarding how well these drugs are working for your symptoms.

 

Common Over the Counter Analgesics: Acetaminophen (Tylenol, some Excedrins).

Common Prescription Analgesics: Vicodin, Percocet, and more.

 

  • Corticosteroids: These steroids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce swelling in problem areas. Corticosteroids are synthetic versions of naturally produced human hormones; however, serious side effects could arise that include, but are not limited to: high blood pressure, weight gain, and increased risk of infection. Therefore, it’s important a patient and doctor discuss whether or not this treatment is the right option for his or her particular situation.

 

Common Prescription Corticosteroids: prednisone, methylprednisolone, and prescription strength hydrocortisone

 

  • DMARDs (Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs): Originally only used for the most severe arthritis cases, studies now show that DMARDS can delay the long-term damage caused by degenerative joint disease. While most DMARDS are effective, they also run the risk of some very serious side effects that should be discussed with your doctor.

 

Common Prescription DMARDs: Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, Etanercept (enbrel), and more.

 

There are additional medications for pain management that could be discussed with the doctors at Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center if any of these treatments have not worked out for you in the past.

 

Common injections: corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid.

 

Corticosteroids can be injected into arthritic joints and relieve the pain associated with inflammation within the joint. This can be associated with long term relief but is not right for everyone. As well, Hyaluronic acids (Synvisc or Hyalgan) can be injected. In this procedure, a gel-like fluid is injected into the knee joint and may take 1 -3 injections over several weeks. Both of these procedures have risks and benefits and could be discussed with the Physicians at Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center. In this procedure, a gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid is injected into the knee joint.

 

Other methods are available to treat joint pain that could be explored. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) are additional therapy plans for those who like to embrace alternative medicine. CAM therapies for arthritis can include Acupuncture/Acupressure, Aromatherapy, Herb application, Homeopathy, Hydrotherapy, Reflexology, Polarity therapy, Reiki and touch therapy. Because alternative medicine therapies are not standardized or regulated, it’s important to be aware of your own diagnosis as well as the reputation, credentials, and certifications of the therapist assisting you. Diligently research all methods you might be considering and discuss these treatments with your assigned physician, fully understanding any possible negative side effects that could occur through your chosen therapy. Also, find out the financial commitment required by an additional therapy, as most CAM therapies are not covered by insurance.

 

For those who cope with the daily effects of degenerative arthritis, the physicians at Finger Lakes Orthopedics can offer the expertise of an individualized treatment plan for you, be it conservative therapies or surgical treatments, or a combination of the two! There’s a treatment plan that is right for you, and we’ll help you find it.

 

 

Abboud J, Abboud S. No More Joint Pain [e-book]. New Haven: Yale University Press; 2008. Available from: eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), Ipswich, MA. Accessed April 4, 2016.

 

“Osteoarthritis Treatment.” Arthritis Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.

 

“Spinal Osteoarthritis Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Pain Relief, and More.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.

Managing The 5 Major Causes of Low Back Pain

March 2, 2016 / 0 comments

Whether you sit in an office chair or stand on your feet all day, it’s possible that you’re experiencing some pain in your low back. It’s so uncomfortable that you try stretches, over the counter medication, yoga, and/or chiropractic care. Your pain begins to affect your work and family life to the point where everything you do revolves around avoiding pain.

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you’re not alone. Low back pain is a prevalent problem. Over 80 percent of adults—both men and women—experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Depending on the severity of the low back pain, it’s possible that low back pain can reduce an individual’s quality of life (Tavafin and Montazeri). It’s a serious problem with serious origins.

There are a few different types of low back pain:

Acute low back pain is typically short term pain lasting only a few days. It’s usually brought on by activities such as shoveling, cutting firewood, gardening, or lifting. Typically, there’s no cause for alarm; often this pain will heal itself in a short amount of time, so a couple days rest often remedies the situation. Acute low back pain has a good prognosis: the patient recovery rate tends to be around 90% (Carey and Freburger).

When acute low back pain winds up lasting a month or longer, further evaluation is needed. Subacute low back pain lasts between 4 – 12 weeks and Chronic low back pain lasts longer than 12 weeks. Subacute and Chronic low back pain are typically brought on by lifestyle factors that can be prevented with proper care and attention.

So what kind of lifestyle habits are we talking about?

Fitness Level: This is typically the common cause for most cases of low back pain but even people in great shape get low back pain. People often claim that their high activity on the weekends is an attempt make up for an entire week of a sedentary lifestyle, but unfortunately this leads to injuries. It’s the “weekend warriors” who are more likely to suffer low back pain because their bodies are not conditioned to endure an intense session after days of inactivity.

While longer exercises such as hikes, tennis, golf, and other activities are fun, you should try to stay active during the week to build your body’s physical endurance to handle that generated weekend stress. Keep your spinal strength up with a core (abdominal) workout plan and low-impact aerobic exercise (walking the dog, elliptical machine, and/or strength training). Depending on how you plan it, you can incorporate the core workouts into your aerobic exercise (yoga, kayaking, and/or swimming are good examples). For basic strength training and core strengthening exercises, check out our Injury Prevention video tutorials.

Weight Gain: Additional weight puts strain on the spine and can lead to low back pain. A fitness program will help in maintaining not only a steady weight (or weight loss, if necessary), but it will also strengthen those abdominal muscles to counter the strain that extra weight can put on your lower back.

Occupational Risk: There are a lot of possibilities for this one. Some people do jobs that involve heavy lifting, pulling, and pushing which can put strain on the spine. On the opposite end of that spectrum, some people sit in office chairs for multiple hours a day with very little movement. For active occupations, be conscious of safety precautions and equipment to protect yourself and your lower back. For sedentary workers, set a timer to get up and move around. Lunch hour workouts are a popular option for all kinds of occupations. It’s a great idea to stand up and walk around a bit every hour or so to take pressure off your back and help engage other muscle groups. Taking several small breaks throughout the day also helps to improve concentration, as contradictory as that may seem (Korkki).

Age: The factor you cannot change, but you can prepare for. As we age, we tend to lose bone density, our muscles become less elastic, and our muscle tone decreases. By maintaining an ideal fitness level, your abdominal muscles are less likely to lose tone and instead remain engaged and support the spine. Low-impact aerobic activity puts enough stress on your bones to make certain their is constant repairing and rebuilding of skeletal tissue, ensuring your bones stay strong even as you age.

Genetics: Regardless of what we try to do, sometimes low back pain is inherent. Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that can cause the spinal joints to fuse and cause limited mobility. There is usually a genetic component to this condition, so check to see if there is a family history of chronic low back pain.

By being conscious of these factors it’s possible to prevent, and in some cases reverse, subacute or chronic low back pain. Before beginning any change in diet or exercise, check with a doctor to make certain those changes are right for you and the overall health of your body. The expert physicians at Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center can ensure that you’re implementing the right preventative care plan for your low back pain needs.

 

Sources:

National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Low Back Pain Fact Sheet”. February 22, 2016. <http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm>

Sedigheh Sadat Tavafian, and Ali Montazeri. “P-117/1073/quality of Life in Women with Different Intensity of Low Back Pain”. Quality of Life Research 14.9 (2005): 2065–2065. Web.

Timothy S. Carey, and Janet Freburger. “Prudence, Nihilism, and the Treatment of Low-back Pain”. Medical Care 43.5 (2005): 425–427. Web.

Phyllis Korkki. “To Stay on Schedule, Take a Break”. New York Times. June, 16 2012. Web. February 22, 2016.

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