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  • Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments For The Cervical and Lumbar Spine – Brace Specialists Near You

    1.) Degenerative Disc Disease

    Degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease. It is a term that is used, however, to describe changes that happen to your spinal discs as you get older. A normal progression for the discs is to age and as they get older there will be physical change. – Spinal discs are typically soft in nature and have an ability to compress (acting as shock absorbers). These discs allow your spine to move more freely in both flexing and twisting movements. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) can develop at any place in the spine, but it most often occurs in the lower back and cervical (neck) region.

    Pain in the back at the site of the DDD can develop, along with osteoarthritis, a herniated disc and/or spinal stenosis. These all can be related to the changes we are talking about with your discs.

    A.) Osteoarthritis: This is the break down of cartilage that protects and actually helps to cushion the joints.
    B.) Herniated disc: This occurs when there is an irregular bulge or when the spinal disc breaks open.
    C.) Spinal stenosis: This refers to the narrowing of an individuals spinal canal. The spinal canal is what houses the spinal cord.

    As a result of these conditions, more pressure may be exerted on the spinal cord and this may lead to pain and compromised nerve function.

    2.) Causes of DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease)

    As a person ages, our spinal discs begin to age as well. They break down (degenerate) which causes a loss of fluid in the disc (loss of elasticity) and as a result they will lose some of their ability to act as shock absorbers. Loss of fluid in the disc also makes the affected disc thinner and this will narrow the distance that once was found between each vertebra (spinal bone).

    3.) What Can A Brace Do To Help Me?

    A quality made back support (either for your lumbar or cervical spine) will help to stop movements that will cause pain for your back. Many times when people put them on they notice a few key things:

    A.) Pain Decreases
    B.) Increased Spinal Stability
    C.) Improved Posture

    These back (or neck) braces do not heal degenerative disc disease. A cure for this problem is not widely available currently. However, a quality back support can help to relieve the painful symptoms of the problem and this can help to give you your life back! – The use of high grade orthopedic supports are a conservative treatment option that is recognized by physicians and other medical professionals throughout the world to help treat pain problems conservatively.

    4.) Does Insurance Cover Back or Neck Braces?

    It is very possible for your insurance to cover an orthosis (orthopedic brace support). If you are interested in any type of back (or neck) support contact your local licensed orthotist for more information. They will (almost always) help to facilitate a claim on your behalf, doing most of the leg work for you in the process. If the brace is not covered at 100 percent then many times a very large portion of the brace can be covered.

    Note: This is health information. For medical advice regarding braces speak with your local, licensed orthotist.

    Source by Daniel Rinella

  • What is the Difference Between a Medial and Lateral Unloader Knee Brace?

    Degenerative Joint Disease affects millions of Americans and with an aging baby boomer population will most certainly become more of an issue as we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and battle against the affects of our youth. The knee joint is one of the most effected areas in the body regarding the “wear and tear” effects of osteoarthritis. More patients and doctors are looking for alternatives to medication and surgery to improve patient mobility, reduce pain and swelling, and prevent the inevitable and dreaded “knee replacement”.

    “Unloader” knee braces, or “arthritis” knee braces, are designed to literally bend the knee into a position that reduces the stress and weight on the affected joint, thereby reducing pain and swelling. There are two compartments in the knee, referred to as medial or inner and lateral or outer compartments. The vast majority of patients suffer from medial compartment osteoarthritis (unicarpartmental oseoarthritis). When this occurs, the joint cartilage, synovial fluid are reduced or absent and the result is a “collapse” of the medial compartment.

    The knee joint becomes misaligned and what was normally a joint that bears equal pressure to support the body, turns into a painful angular joint, with excessive wear and pressure on the inner compartment, with pain, swelling and in advanced stages, limitation of movement. The angular change caused by this medial compartment arthritis is referred to as a varus deformity. This term refers to an inward angulation of the lower leg in relation to the thigh. If you have ever seen a newborn and looked at their legs, you will understand what a varus or bow leg is. This is a varus deformity.

    Likewise, the angular change caused by a lateral compartment arthritis is referred to as a valgus deformity. This term refers to an outwards deviation of the lower leg in relation to the thigh. Many people are familiar with the term “knock knee”. In the old days, you would see movies, where the teenage girl sits with her knees and thighs together, and her feet spread out. This is a valgus deformity.

    An “unloader” knee brace corrects the varus or valgus relationship of the leg to the thigh, making the entire leg straighter and aligning the joint back to its level position. By bending the knee joint back into a more aligned position, the brace opens up a gap or space between the leg and thigh bone, so the two bones do not rub up against each other. This reduces the pain or swelling that occurs when two rough arthritis bones come in contact with each other.

    When purchasing an “unloader” knee brace, it is important to know if you have a medial or lateral osteoarthritis. This can be confirmed with x-rays, noting the collapse of the knee joint, and the angular changes that are occurring. It is also important to consult with your treating doctor prior to purchasing such a device. Wearing a lateral unloader knee brace with a medial compartment arthritis may result in increased pain, swelling and accelerated joint damage. There are many choices to be made when deciding which arthritis or “unloader” knee brace to purchase. Please check with your doctor and do your research before you choose.

    Source by Dr. Kenneth Shapiro

  • Arthritis Signs and Symptoms Tell the Story

    There are many arthritis signs and symptoms.

    Arthritis is a disease that is characterized by inflammation of the joints. It is the most common disease in the United States and is classified as a rheumatic disease. This condition means that different individual illnesses with differing factors, treatments, complications and prognosis occurs. They are similar in that they have a tendency to affect the joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage and may affect internal body areas.

    Arthritis signs and symptoms include pain and limited functions of joints, joint swelling, joint stiffness, tenderness or pain when touching a joint and warmth and redness in the joint. Arthritis can attack joints in almost any part of the body.

    Different forms of arthritis such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause changes that you can see and feel. With Osteoarthritis the symptoms can range from stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes with activities like walking, bending or stooping to severe joint pain. Rheumatoid arthritis can attack almost any joint in the body. Most of the time with rheumatoid arthritis if you have arthritis in a joint on one side of the body the same joint on the other side of the body will be affected.

    If you have arthritis signs and symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Diagnosing arthritis early can help to prevent irreversible damage and disability. Your doctor will review your history of arthritis signs and symptoms and examine the joints for inflammation and deformity.

    Certain blood, urine, joint fluid and x-ray test may also be ordered to help get an accurate diagnosis of arthritis. It may take several visits before your doctor can be certain of the diagnosis. Your primary physician may refer you to a rheumatologist for more specialized care.

    There are several arthritis signs and symptoms and they must be taken seriously. There is no known cure for arthritis. Therefore, the treatment goal for this disease is to minimize the symptoms and on-going destruction of arthritis.

    With the proper treatment you can continue to live a happy and active lifestyle.

    Source by Jeff Foster

  • A Quality Knee Brace For Golf – How to Find the Best One! – Special Report

    Do you enjoy playing golf, but have a knee issue you are dealing with currently?

    1.) Knee Braces For Support

    Knee problems can keep you from playing the game that you enjoy. We do not want this to happen to you, but when it does, then you need to start thinking about some options to help solve your knee issue. One way to help treat your knee instability or pain is with the use of a well designed knee brace. Braces can help, however they are not all the same. We will help give you some pointers to get you on the right track, without having to pay “an arm and a leg” for your new knee support! We would rather you save your hard earned money and spend it on new toys, such as a driver etc.!

    2.) The Game of Golf & Knee Problems

    Most people indicate that their pain or instability problems flare up in a few different scenarios on the course. You may find that your same issues coincide with these, or you may have some of your own. Here are a few common examples that people tell us about. People usually indicate that your knee pain or instability flares when:

    A.) Walking up and down hills

    B.) Golfers having knee problems during their backswing

    C.) Golfers having knee problems during the swing through phase

    Do your knee problems flare up in any of these scenarios?

    3.) Transferring Weight During Your Swing

    As you move your weight transfers back and forth, or, side to side, depending on what you are doing. You already know this to be true… When you have a knee issue of some kind and you push yourself on the course, excessive movements can make your discomfort or instability soar! Knee supports can help, at the very least, to remind you not to make certain movements that will cause you pain. Many times they will help you to avoid these excessive movements entirely, and you will find that you can play for a lot longer with the use of a support for your knee.

    4) Mild, Moderate, or Severe?

    Take a moment and think about your knee instability and pain on a scale 1-10. Is the issue mild, moderate or severe? It is best to probably error on the side of more instability or pain in this scenario. The reason why is that you will need to have the most knee support ready when your knee issues really flares up! When you go to a knee brace website, you will find that they offer these supports based on mild, moderate or severe pain and instability scenarios.

    5.) Golf Apparel

    You will also find that with the improvements in design that many low profile knee braces can fit underneath your clothing.

    Source by Daniel P. Sims

  • Choosing a Knee Brace – Do I Need a Knee Support-Brace? – Special Report

    Are you trying to figure out which knee brace would be best for you?

    Are you on the fence about getting one, and need some more information before making your mind up?

    1.) Introduction To This Article

    We will talk about the knee and its anatomy first in this free article. Next we will get into reasons why knee braces can help. Not everyone needs one, so it is wise to read through this free information first before getting one.

    2.) Knee Anatomy

    The knee connects the legs and feet by muscles, ligaments, and tendons connected to each other. Every bone end is covered with a coating of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. When the knee is in trouble, the muscles, cartilage and joints are in danger too.

    There are two groups of muscles in the knee: the quadriceps that are located on the front of the thighs and straighten the legs, and the hamstring muscles which are located on the back of the thighs and which helps bend the leg at the knee. The knee consists of the tibia, femur, patella, cartilage, synovial membrane, ligaments, the patellar tendon, and meniscii. Each need to be protected, especially after an injury occurs. – The ligaments are a very important part of the knee; it serves as bands that help to provide support to the joint and limit the joint from excessive movement. When ligaments are injured, the knee joint becomes unbalanced and this can cause intense pain or instability problems.

    3.) The Severity of Your Knee Problems

    The severity of your knee problems can vary, of course. Mild knee problems do not need as much protection as a more serious ligament rupture of course. Just because the ligament consists of tough, elastic connective tissue that surrounds the joint to give support and limits the joints movement, it does not mean that it should not be taken care of. It is someone’s obligation to protect his/her own knees. Protecting the ligaments is like protecting the other parts of the knees.

    4.) Brace Choices For You

    For more mild knee problems, you may only need to look at knee braces that are elastic in nature. Usually this means that they are made from drytex or neoprene. Many times people will like a drytex knee brace because they say it breathes better.

    When you get a more involved knee brace, this means that your knee problem is considered to be more than just “mild” in severity. Hinges of different strengths can be used to help limit side to side movements and excessive front to back movements that can further your knee injury. Just because a brace has a hinge on it does not mean that you will not be able to easily use it. The hinges are there for your benefit. They only help to stop movements that can hurt you. – For more information about which knee support you may need you should contact your brace professional to help tailor a brace type to your knees needs.

    *This is health information. Although we believe in the benefits of knee support, this is not medical advice. It is important to speak to your doctor about medical advice that pertains to your particular situation.

    Source by Daniel P. Sims

  • A Gymnastics Knee Brace – Support Your Knees – Special Report

    A Gymnastics Knee Brace

    How do your knees feel currently? – Are they stopping you from participating at the level you want to in gymnastics?

    Introduction: The world of gymnastics is extremely impressive. We both know that a lot of time and effort go into perfecting your routines. Although it is a great experience for many people, sometimes knee pain or instability issues settle in. The stress to be your best can really be a chore when your knee is hurting you. If you have any knee problems then this free information can help you.

    1.) Knee Pain or Instability While Performing

    All it takes is for a quick twist of your knee to hurt some of the internal structures in and around your knee joint. It does not matter who you are… Knee problems do not care, they will come for you; even if you are careful. Sometimes it is an imperfect landing, or a repetitive stress that will wear down your knee. Either way, you will need to face your knee problems and the following information can be of great help.

    2.) Treatment Methods

    Everyone has choices. Sometimes, even when we do not think we do. What we are saying here is that you can choose to rest and ice your knee, maybe elevate it as well. These are all conservative methods of treatment that you can do before or after gymnastics to help douse the pain that a knee problem will bring on. These are good for before or after your gymnastics work out, but what about during the work out? – That is the reason why knee braces can be very helpful for almost any time you are moving around.

    3.) Knee Braces For Support

    The benefit of knee braces are that they are there with you when you are active. They can help to provide meaningful support for you while you train, or in almost any activity that requires your knees. The support can help stop excessive movements that can inflame a minor, moderate or even a severe knee injury. They help to promote healing and if you are not yet diagnosed with problem, they can help you to maintain proper knee alignment so you can avoid any future difficulties.

    4.) Don’t Look Back With Regrets

    We want you to use the treatment method that works best for you. Just do not look back with regrets wishing you would have done more for your knee, before it got worse.

    (*This is helpful information, but remember to speak to your physician regarding medical advice on your unique situation.)

    Source by Daniel P. Sims

  • Help For Arthritic Knees – The DonJoy OA Adjuster "Unloader" Knee Brace

    If you are an active individual, but suffer from knees that are 20 years older than you are, there is some potential help in a type of brace referred to as an “unloader” knee brace.

    An “unloader” knee brace does exactly what it describes. The brace “unloads” or “off-loads” the knee in patients suffering from unicompartmental osteoarthritis. This is the wear and tear type of arthritis which comes with age, excessive activity over your life time, and hereditary predisposition to develop arthritis.

    There are two compartments in the knee. They are referred to as the medial (inner) and lateral (outer) compartments. In the majority of cases, the medial compartment of the knee bears the brunt of physical trauma over time. The joint actually begins to collapse, losing both joint fluid and cartilage causing an angular deviation in the knee. An x-ray may show a bowing in the knee and leg because of this collapse. When the collapse is in the medial compartment, it is referred to as a varus deformity (bowing). When the collapse is in the lateral compartment, it is referred to as a valgus deformity (knock knee). This causes “bone on bone” contact between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (leg bone) resulting in pain, swelling and reduced range of motion.

    An “unloader” knee brace bends the knee back into a more neutral or straighter position, and reduces the compressive load on that side. This results in less bone on bone contact and less pain and swelling.

    The DonJoy OA Adjuster has been used for years as an alternative to knee replacement surgery by off-loading the medial or lateral compartments of the knee.

    Commended by the Arthritis Foundation and rated clinically effective in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, The DonJoy OA Adjuster offers immediate pain relief without surgery or pharmaceuticals.

    The OA Adjuster has many benefits over tradition arthritis braces that make it the choice of athletes and physicians.

    The OA Adjuster offers easy patient-controlled load adjustment to meet daily needs. Its lightweight (23 oz.), aircraft grade aluminum frame provides a low profile, rigid brace that is comfortable to wear for long term use.

    The brace is ideally suited for active, adult patients with moderate to severe unicompartmental osteoarthritis, moderate to severe ligament instabilities, and for post-operative rehabilitation.

    Unlike many single hinged arthritis braces, the OA Adjuster provides added knee stability to protect the ACL, meniscus and collateral ligaments.

    So if you suffer from arthritis pain in the knee, and want to delay or prevent knee replacement surgery, the DonJoy OA Adjuster may be the alternative you need.

    It is important that you consult with your physician before deciding on an arthritis knee brace.

    Source by Dr. Kenneth Shapiro

  • A Racquetball Knee Brace – How to Get the Best One! – Special Report

    A Racquetball Knee Brace

    Do you have any soreness in your knee(s)? – Is it stopping you from playing racquetball the way you want to?

    Introduction: Racquetball is great, but you will only be a by stander if your knees are painful. Sure you may be able to fight through the pain to an extent, but in the back of your mind you may wish you could just get rid of the discomfort! – This free information will discuss the beneficial use of knee braces to help keep you on the court.

    1.) Knee Pain & Instability

    Knee pain and instability do not care who you are. It will come for anyone and can become a serious road block for you when you want to perform certain activities. Whether you are playing racquetball or not, your knees can have a serious effect on the way you move, and if they are not totally healthy then you will want to think about ways to help make them feel more normal again.

    2.) Treatment Options To Consider

    Many at home remedies have been used for minor knee problems in the past. Some of them have been successful. You know that the use of ice, rest and elevation can help your knee to a certain extent. As you take a look at this though, you will notice that rest, ice and elevation are all things that you will do before or after an activity.

    What about during the game?

    Or, what about during other activities of daily living?

    What are you going to do?

    None of these mentioned at home remedies can help you like a well designed knee brace can. These support should never be overlooked. Here’s why… If you want to help reduce your knee pain, improve your knee stability, and provide yourself with increased knee protection, then you better seriously start thinking about a knee brace.

    3.) A Knee Brace – Why You Should Consider Getting One

    A well designed knee support can provide you with meaningful support. We can not tell you how many times people have told us that their knee pain decreased the moment they put on their new brace. It usually happens within seconds. Excessive side to side movements and hurtful front to back movements can be support with this kind of a support, and the result is that it can help you stay more active.

    (*This is helpful health information, not medical advice. Always speak to your physician regarding medical advice. This is just information about the beneficial use of knee braces.)

    Source by Daniel P. Sims

  • Knee Stabilizer Brace – Increase Your Knee Stability With the Use of a Knee Support

    Are you searching for a way to help stabilize your knee?

    Your Knee Problem

    Let’s take a moment here to talk about this, because it will determine which path you take in finding a knee brace. When you are looking for a knee brace, it is important to determine if you are looking for a way to help stabilize your kneecap (patella) or if you are looking for support for the rest of your ligaments, meniscii, tendons etc.

    Knee Cap Problems

    Sometimes people can have a knee problem that makes their patella dislocate laterally (toward the outside). When this happens, the pain can be a problem of course, but so can the mental strain of watching your knee cap slide out of place!

    Knee braces for dislocating patellas usually include an elastic strap and buttress that rest on the outside of the patella, that provides a slight force toward the middle of your stance. When this happens, the patella is less likely to move laterally, and your dislocation worries have just diminished!

    Overall Stability & Pain Issues

    When you move away from strictly the patella, and you are looking for a good knee brace, you will need to ask yourself a couple important questions.

    1.) Do I have mild, moderate or severe knee discomfort?

    2.) Do I have mild, moderate or severe knee instability?

    You will need to error on the maximum pain and instability that you have felt, because you will need the appropriate knee support when you are faced with these painful or unstable situations again! Once you have these answers you can take them with you to the brace website you are reviewing. You will find that many brace websites will offer their knee braces according to the answers you just came up with…

    The Bottom Line

    When you are worried about your knee, it is important to remember that speaking with your physician is very important. Many people will seek answers from non-qualified people, so it is important to speak with your physician about medical advice. Self diagnosis is never recommended.

    Having said this, most of us can subjectively rate our knee pain and instability, or rate our need for future knee support. Meaningful knee supports can increase your stability, help reduce your knee pain and improve your knee protection as well. – It is your choice whether to go with a brace or not, but in the end you do not want to regret not supporting your knee while you could have!

    Source by Daniel P. Sims

  • Inside Knee Pain – Treatment Options & Braces For Support

    Are you searching for answers to help solve your knee pain problems?

    Do not give into the pain, this article can help you treat your knee discomfort and move on to better more pain free days.

    1.) When Did Your Pain Begin?

    Is your knee pain a result of an accident of some kind? – Sure, we all know that pain can come on as a result of a direct blow, but you may be surprised to know that many knee pain problems happen as a result of two potential things:

    A.) Non-contact Injuries

    All it takes is for an awkward situation to arise involving your knee and all the sudden your meniscus or ligaments can be in jeopardy. What do we mean by this exactly? – For example, if you plant your foot, while twisting your leg to change direction, then a knee injury can easily happen. Unfortunate but true. The situation gets more complicated when you are moving at faster speeds like when you are participating in some sort of sports activity. – However, we have seen situations when some can actually slip off a curb and tear their ACL! – People can also suffer from meniscus injuries and MCL injuries due to non-contact accidents and this too can cause a lot of inside knee pain.

    B.) Wear and Tear

    Overuse and arthritic deterioration can also lead to pain inside the knee. As we get older and our bodies do not respond as they did in our earlier years, then the knee pain can start to get more and more severe. For example, if you have cartilage deterioration then the alignment of your knee can actually change, thus causing pain on the inside of the knee. Often times this is due to Osteoarthritis.

    2.) Treatment Options

    One of the first and best things you can do after an injury to help reduce the pain is to obviously use rest, ice and elevation of the leg. This can help reduce swelling and pain. This can help to a point, but usually people do not walk around with ice bags tapped to their legs and rest is a luxury of time that not all of us can always afford.

    Knee braces that are quality made can also help out a lot in these kinds of situations. A light weight, low profile knee support can help reduce pain, provide meaningful support and help promote healing. You can wear them before, during or after an injury or sporting even to help protect your knee.

    Source by Daniel P. Sims