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We care about keeping you informed and hope you’ll find this quarterly edition of our Doctor’s Orders e-newsletter filled with helpful information, health tips and interesting updates from our Bone and Joint family.

In Season:
Warm-up vs. Stretching for Increased Motion

It's beginning to cool off outside, and that means more of us will be getting out to enjoy the weather by going for a run, climbing the steps of Tiger Stadium, or taking a bike ride for exercise. It's important to understand the difference between warming up and stretching. Your muscles react differently, and benefit differently to both warming up and stretching. What many people may not realize is that it's important to do both!

Warm-up vs. Stretching:

  • Studies have found that just warming up, with no stretching, has no effect on range of motion, but when followed by stretching, range of motion is increased. Evidence suggests stretching your muscles for 30 seconds each, instead of 15, for increased range of motion.
  • If your main obective is injury prevention, research suggests that stretching should be limited and warm-up time increased before exercise.

Even though you'll soon be getting out to enjoy the cooler weather, that doesn't mean you don't need to drink as much water as you would during the summer months. Dehydration is still a risk no matter the temperature is outside, so make sure you still drink plenty of water.

Whatever your health and exercise goals are this fall, remember to take care of your muscles and joints, have fun, and enjoy the weather!

Source: About.com

Did You Know:
Three Commonly Confused Conditions in the Hand and Wrist — by Joe A. Morgan, MD

Carpal tunnel syndrome, basilar joint arthritis of the thumb, and de Quervain's tendinitis of the wrist can be easily confused. They are all three separate conditions, but they can occur in any combination with each other, sometimes making it unclear on where to begin for diagnosis and treatment.

Carpal tunnel syndrome represents compression of the median nerve in the wrist. Usually, the problems begin with being worse at night, and gradually progressing from there.

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are:

  • numbness in the fingers and thumb side of the hand
  • weakness of grip
  • pain

Arthritis of the basilar joint of the thumb is also a common condition that causes pain. The pain can be present either at rest of with use. It will become worse with pinching and gripping, and normally a pinch of the thumb to the fingers will create one pound of force. That force is transmitted to the base of the thumb and becomes approximately 13 pounds of force. If arthritis is present in that joint, then the more a person pinches and grips with the hand, the more that person is likely to experience pain in the base of the thumb.

De Quervain's tendinitis is an entrapment of two of the tendons that straighten the thumb. Those two tendons are the abductor pollicis longus and the extensor pollicis brevus. Pain can be present at rest but it is usually with activities such as a dart-throwing motion of the wrist. Direct pressure over the tendon compression site also creates pain with de Quervain's tendinitis.

All three of these conditions usually occur spontaneously and gradually — and have a tendency to worsen over time. All are more common in ladies than in men. The treatment of all three of these conditions begins with conservative management, which consists of anti-inflammatory medication by mouth, Cortison injection, and specific splints for each condition. When conservativei treatement fails to yield lasting relief, then surgery for any of the three conditions can be considered.

Sporting Goods:
Getting Back in the Game
— by David M. Pope, MD

Our Saturday Morning Sports Clinic is underway again! The Sports Medicine Physicians at the Bone and Joint Clinic Drs. Murtagh, Dugas and Pope participate in the free clinic held each Saturday morning, from 7A-9A, during the fall at the Lake After Hours on Drusilla Lane.

The purpose of this clinic is to evaluate injured athletes during the football season to accelerate diagnostic workup and care. This allows an earlier evaluation of the athlete prior to a typical office visit on Monday with an orthopedic physician, or prevents the need for an Emergency Room visit to assess a mild to moderate athletic injury. This clinic is performed in collaboration with Peak Performance Physical Therapy and with our colleague physicians at the Baton Rouge Orthopedic Clinic.

It is requested that the athlete be accompanied by an adult guardian or caregiver for the evaluation. X-rays are taken if applicable to the situation to assess for potential fractures. If further diagnostic workup is needed such as MRI or further x-ray testing, the patient is referred to an orthopedic office to continue care. Although the clinic is run during the football season, typically from the first week of September through the first week of December, any or all athletes of other sports are also welcomed for evaluation at the clinic.

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In Season
Did You Know
Sporting Goods



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We are located in the Orthopedic Center at:

7301 Hennessy Blvd., Suite 200
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

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