Preventing Orthopedic Problems

Overview

Take Control of Your Orthopedic Health

Hundreds of thousands of knee replacements and hip replacements are performed each year in the United States. And those numbers are on the rise.

But some of these surgeries are preventable. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle have a direct effect on muscle strength, joint flexibility and bone density. Increasing evidence also points to the fact that maintaining a healthy body weight can lessen the effects of osteoarthritis and prevent injuries.

Your Aurora primary care doctor can offer you guidance on how to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle that will help keep you walking, working and enjoying your favorite activities.

The Aurora Difference

Preventive Orthopedic Care at Aurora

Our health care providers work as a team to support you in maximizing your orthopedic health. This team approach benefits you on multiple levels - from greater health and happiness to more cost-effective care. Our approach also includes:

  • Emphasis on preventive care: Our primary care doctors work to help you stay healthy, so you can avoid surgery whenever possible. We emphasize a comprehensive approach to your total health and help you maintain wellness long-term.
  • Comprehensive home care: Our primary care doctors can refer an Aurora at Home team member to visit your home, assess it, and make recommendations for how to make your environment safer. This helps many older adults and their caregivers prevent injuries and orthopedic problems in the home.
  • Partnership with “About Health”: We work with six of the top health care systems around the state of Wisconsin. These partnerships give you access to even more of the latest orthopedics services available today.

Learn how to find the right care for you.

Prevention Tips

Top Tips for Orthopedic Health

Making a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you avoid serious orthopedic problems:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: For every 10 lbs. of weight gained, there is a 36% increased risk of developing osteoarthritis. Obesity also puts more weight on your joints, which can weaken muscles and make injuries more likely.
  • Keep it moving: Good exercises for everyone - even those with some orthopedic sensitivity - include stretching, walking, swimming and biking on a level ground. Try to avoid exercises that put too much stress on your joints, like deep knee bends. But keep working to increase muscle mass no matter your age.
  • Develop a strong core: Strong core muscles help you balance your body weight. Yoga and Pilates are two good kinds of exercise to strengthen your core and promote orthopedic health.
  • Stretch before exercise: Stretching is important to maintain flexibility, improve performance and decrease stress injuries like sprains and strains. If you're going to lift weights or do high impact aerobics, work on warm up and stretching exercises before and after exercise. These types of exercises promote increased flexibility and help prevent muscle and joint injuries.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: Supportive shoes promote proper alignment. Women who wear high heels on a regular basis increase their risk of developing back pain and knee pain.
  • Get regular checkups: Yearly visits to your primary care doctor are one great way to stay on top of your orthopedic health. This is especially important for older adults, who can be more likely to develop arthritis and suffer injuries. A primary care doctor can discuss additional preventive measures to protect your orthopedic and overall health.

Optimize Your Home & Work Environments

A safe home and workplace that’s free of hazards can go a long way in preventing injuries:

  • If you work at a computer, consider a standing workstation or other ergonomic setups. To avoid conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, take breaks often and type softly.
  • If you do physical labor as part of your job, be aware of repetitive movements that could cause strains.
  • If you do heavy lifting, always stretch beforehand and lift properly using your core muscles.

Older adults and their caregivers can optimize their home environment to prevent injuries and make the space easier to navigate. The most effective home safeguards include:

  • Installing handrails in hallways
  • Installing appropriate flooring to prevent fractures
  • Managing slippery areas like bathtubs with bathmats or grips

Holistic Care

The Mind-Body Connection

Your orthopedic health may be improved by incorporating holistic practices into your overall care. At Aurora, our integrative medicine services can increase overall health and boost immunity – both of which support better orthopedic health.

Our integrative medicine services include:

  • Chiropractic: Chiropractors offer a variety of noninvasive, specialized chiropractic treatment options to relieve pain and improve joint function. Learn more about our chiropractic care.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncturists stimulate specific parts of the body using tiny needles. Acupuncture can help treat orthopedic conditions like sprains and strains by reducing pain and inflammation. Acupuncture also promotes relaxation. Learn more about acupuncture at Aurora.
  • Massage therapy: Our licensed massage therapists use massage to help with muscle soreness, to increase blood flow and to improve function and pain levels for problems like lower back pain. Learn more about massage therapy at Aurora.

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