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Healthy bones are part of a healthy life. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sonya Sloan has some tips on how to keep your aging bones feeling youthful.

 

WHAT IS IT ABOUT TURNING 40 THAT BRINGS ON ACHES AND PAINS YOU DIDN’T HAVE BEFORE?

DIET, WEIGHT, INJURIES, SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE, STRESS

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF BACK, HIP, AND KNEE PAIN?

SAME AS ABOVE, BUT ALSO THE PHYSIOLOGIC CHANGES TO OUR BODIES (HORMONES/ BLOOD FLOW)

WHAT TREATMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ACHING BONES?

CHANGE YOUR DIET – EAT LESS PROCESSED FOODS, BE MORE ACTIVE AND NOT JUST A WEEKEND WARRIOR

IF YOU GET AN INJURY, USE RICE (REST, ICE, COMPRESSION AND ELEVATION) NSAIDS OR HOLISTIC METHODS LIKE TURMERIC, ACUPUNCTURE, MEDICATIONS AND SLEEP, PHYSICAL THERAPY OR SURGERY

 IS WEIGHT A MAJOR FACTOR IN HAVING BACK, HIP, OR KNEE ISSUES?

YES! EVERY 1 POUND ON YOUR BODY EXERTS 4-5 POUNDS ON YOUR HIP, KNEE OR ANKLE JOINTS. THUS A LOSS OF JUST 10 LBS = 50 LBS ON YOUR JOINTS.

WHAT CAN CAUSE SHARP PAINS THROUGHOUT THE BACK, HIP OR KNEE?

ARTHRITIS OR OSTEOARTHRITIS, LIGAMENT OR MUSCLE INJURIES, NERVE DAMAGE (PINCHED NERVE OR HERNIATED DISCS)

CAN WEARING 3-INCH HEELS OR HIGHER ON A REGULAR BASIS CAUSE ANY OF THESE ISSUES?

YES AND NO. THERE ARE NOT ADEQUATE STUDIES SPECIFICALLY FOR A CONSENSUS, BUT THE THOUGHT IS THE SHIFT IN WEIGHT LEADS TO INCREASE PRESSURE AT THE KNEE JOINT AND MEDIAL FOOT. BUT DEPENDING ON HOW YOU ARE SHAPED, THE HEIGHT AND TYPE OF HEEL, ALL OF THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. SAFE ZONE: BELOW 2-INCHES, OCCASIONAL HEELS LESS THAN 3.5-INCHES. STAY AWAY FROM OVER 5-INCH HEELS UNLESS THERE IS A PLATFORM ON THE FOREFOOT OR THE FRONT OF THE SHOE.

DO MORE PEOPLE INJURE THEMSELVES WHILE EXERCISING?

YES, BUT THERE IS A CAVEAT. WEEKEND WARRIORS THAT OVERDO IT OR DO IT WRONG GET INJURED MOST. SPRAIN, STRAINS AND FRACTURES ARE BAD, BUT THE MOST DANGEROUS IS CARDIOVASCULAR – HEART ATTACK, STROKE OR OTHER ISSUES, IF NOT CLEARED BY YOUR DOCTOR.

DO YOU RECOMMEND YOGA AND OTHER LOW-IMPACT ACTIVITIES?

YES, LOVE IT FOR BODY, MIND AND SOUL.SWIMMING HAS THE LEAST IMPACT ON YOUR JOINTS. (WEIGHTLESSNESS) YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FULL IN THE WATER OR GET YOUR HAIR WET)… TRY WALKING ACROSS THE POOL, DOING ARM AND LEG MOTIONS UNDERWATER.

WILL THE ACHES AND PAINS DEFINITELY COME OVER TIME?

IT VARIES, DEPENDING ON THE LIFESTYLE CHANGES YOU MAKE, WITH WEIGHT LOSS, AND HOW MUCH WEAR AND TEAR HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. YOU COULD HAVE LESS AND LESS ACHES AND PAINS, OR MORE. IT’S ABOUT BEING CONSCIOUS OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING, EATING AND FEELING AND MAKING EFFORTS TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER LONG TERM.

Dr. Sloan answers your ‘Text Tom’ questions on the next page.

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