Walking Towards Healthier Knees

Article featured on ScienceDaily

A new study published today in Arthritis & Rheumatology led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reveals that walking for exercise can reduce new frequent knee pain among people age 50 and older diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Additionally, findings from the study indicate that walking for exercise may be an effective treatment to slow the damage that occurs within the joint.

“Until this finding, there has been a lack of credible treatments that provide benefit for both limiting damage and pain in osteoarthritis,” said Dr. Grace Hsiao-Wei Lo, assistant professor of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at Baylor, chief of rheumatology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and first author of the paper.

The researchers examined the results of the Osteoarthritis Initiative, a multiyear observational study where participants self-reported the amount of time and frequency they walked for exercise. Participants who reported 10 or more instances of exercise from the age of 50 years or later were classified as “walkers” and those who reported less were classified as “non-walkers.”

Those who reported walking for exercise had 40% decreased odds of new frequent knee pain compared to non-walkers.

“These findings are particularly useful for people who have radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis but don’t have pain every day in their knees,” said Lo, who also is an investigator at the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety at Baylor and the VA. “This study supports the possibility that walking for exercise can help to prevent the onset of daily knee pain. It might also slow down the worsening of damage inside the joint from osteoarthritis.”

Lo said that walking for exercise has added health benefits such as improved cardiovascular health and decreased risk of obesity, diabetes and some cancers, the driving reasons for the Center for Disease Control recommendations on physical activity, first published in 2008 and updated in 2018. Walking for exercise is a free activity with minimal side effects, unlike medications, which often come with a substantial price tag and possibility of side effects.

“People diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis should walk for exercise, particularly if they do not have daily knee pain,” advises Lo. “If you already have daily knee pain, there still might be a benefit, especially if you have the kind of arthritis where your knees are bow-legged.”


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink, and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

2 Simple Exercises to Keep Your Feet Healthy

Article featured on Cone Health

According to Marcus Duda, MD, a Greensboro orthopedist and member of the Cone Health Medical and Dental Staff, proper foot care is important to your health.

“During the pandemic, people became less active as gyms closed and activities stopped,” says Dr. Duda, a foot and ankle surgeon who has patented a graduated compression sock. “I started seeing a lot more foot and ankle issues.”

Many patients complained of a stone bruise or burning pain on the bottom of the foot and ankle stiffness. Achilles contracture or tendon stiffness was the culprit.

“After prolonged sitting, the Achilles tendon tightens and puts more pressure on the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot,” shares Dr. Duda. “Stretching out this tendon takes pressure off and relieves the pain.”

Dr. Duda suggests simple exercises. While leaning against the kitchen counter with your hands, place one foot back with the heel flat on the floor and lean forward with knees straight. As you stretch the back of your calf, you should feel the stretch from your heel up through the back of the knee. Stretch for 60 seconds five times a day.

“As you age, connective tissue called fascia weakens,” he adds. “This can lead to pain and weakness in your joints and muscles along with balance problems.”

To build fascial strength, Dr. Duda recommends doing short 30-second exercises several times a day. Hold onto the counter, and face forward. With bare feet, raise up on your toes like you are trying to grab a marble while lifting your heels. Once you have enough strength, try hopping on the ball of your foot.

If your foot or ankle pain is severe or does not go away, consult with your doctor or orthopedist.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

The Top 9 Benefits of Regular Exercise

Article featured on Healthline

Exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories.

There are many types of physical activity, including swimming, running, jogging, walking, and dancing, to name a few.

Being active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. It may even help you live longer.

Here are the top 9 ways regular exercise benefits your body and brain.

1. Exercise can make you feel happier

Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.

It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression.

Additionally, exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.

Interestingly, it doesn’t matter how intense your workout is. It seems that exercise can benefit your mood no matter the intensity of the physical activity.

In fact, in a study in 24 women diagnosed with depression, exercise of any intensity significantly decreased feelings of depression.

The effects of exercise on mood are so powerful that choosing to exercise (or not) even makes a difference over short periods of time.

One review of 19 studies found that active people who stopped exercising regularly experienced significant increases in symptoms of depression and anxiety, even after only a few weeks.

SUMMARY

Exercising regularly can improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

2. Exercise can help with weight loss

Some studies have shown that inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity.

To understand the effect of exercise on weight reduction, it is important to understand the relationship between exercise and energy expenditure (spending).

Your body spends energy in three ways:

  1. digesting food
  2. exercising
  3. maintaining body functions, like your heartbeat and breathing

While dieting, a reduced calorie intake will lower your metabolic rate, which can temporarily delay weight loss. On the contrary, regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which can burn more calories to help you lose weight.

Additionally, studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is essential for keeping the weight off and maintaining lean muscle mass.

SUMMARY

Exercise is crucial to supporting a healthy metabolism and burning more calories per day. It also helps you maintain your muscle mass and weight loss.

3. Exercise is good for your muscles and bones

Exercise plays a vital role in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones.

Activities like weightlifting can stimulate muscle building when paired with adequate protein intake.

This is because exercise helps release hormones that promote your muscles’ ability to absorb amino acids. This helps them grow and reduces their breakdown.

As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and function, which can lead to an increased risk of injury. Practicing regular physical activity is essential to reducing muscle loss and maintaining strength as you age.

Exercise also helps build bone density when you’re younger, in addition to helping prevent osteoporosis later in life.

Some research suggests that high impact exercise (such as gymnastics or running) or odd impact sports (such as soccer and basketball) may help promote a higher bone density than no impact sports like swimming and cycling.

SUMMARY

Physical activity helps you build muscles and strong bones. It may also help prevent osteoporosis.

4. Exercise can increase your energy levels

Exercise can be a real energy booster for many people, including those with various medical conditions.

One older study found that 6 weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for 36 people who had reported persistent fatigue.

Exercise can also significantly increase energy levels for people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other health conditions. In fact, exercise seems to be more effective at combating CFS than other treatments, including passive therapies like relaxation and stretching or no treatment at all.

And let’s not forget the fantastic heart and lung health benefits of exercise. Aerobic exercise boosts the cardiovascular system and improves lung health, which can significantly help with energy levels.

As you move more, your heart pumps more blood, delivering more oxygen to your working muscles. With regular exercise, your heart becomes more efficient and adept at moving oxygen into your blood, making your muscles more efficient.

Over time, this aerobic training results in less demand on your lungs, and it requires less energy to perform the same activities — one of the reasons you’re less likely to get short of breath during vigorous activity.

Additionally, exercise has been shown to increase energy levels in people with other conditions, such as cancer.

SUMMARY

Engaging in regular physical activity can increase your energy levels. This is true even in people with persistent fatigue and those with serious health conditions.

5. Exercise can reduce your risk of chronic disease

Lack of regular physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease.

Regular exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, heart health, and body composition. It can also decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

More specifically, exercise can help reduce or prevent the following chronic health conditions.

  • Type 2 diabetes. Regular aerobic exercise may delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. It also has considerable health benefits for people with type 1 diabetes. Resistance training for type 2 diabetes includes improvements in fat mass, blood pressure, lean body mass, insulin resistance, and glycemic control.
  • Heart disease. Exercise reduces cardiovascular risk factors and is also a therapeutic treatment for people with cardiovascular disease.
  • Many types of cancer. Exercise can help reduce the risk of several cancers, including breast, colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, lung, liver, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, thyroid, gastric, and esophageal cancer.
  • High cholesterol. Regular moderate intensity physical activity can increase HDL (good) cholesterol while maintaining or offsetting increases in LDL (bad) cholesterol. Research supports the theory that high intensity aerobic activity is needed to lower LDL levels.
  • Hypertension: Participating in regular aerobic exercise can lower resting systolic BP 5–7 mmHG among people with hypertension.

In contrast, a lack of regular exercise — even in the short term — can lead to significant increases in belly fat, which may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

That’s why regular physical activity is recommended to reduce belly fat and decrease the risk of developing these conditions (34Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Daily physical activity is essential to maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

6. Exercise can help skin health

Your skin can be affected by the amount of oxidative stress in your body.

Oxidative stress occurs when the body’s antioxidant defenses cannot completely repair the cell damage caused by compounds known as free radicals. This can damage the structure of the cells and negatively impact your skin.

Even though intense and exhaustive physical activity can contribute to oxidative damage, regular moderate exercise can actually increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants, which help protect cells (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).

In the same way, exercise can stimulate blood flow and induce skin cell adaptations that can help delay the appearance of skin aging (37Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Moderate exercise can provide antioxidant protection and promote blood flow, which can protect your skin and delay signs of aging.

7. Exercise can help your brain health and memory

Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills.

To begin with, it increases your heart rate, which promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. It can also stimulate the production of hormones that enhance the growth of brain cells.

Plus, the ability of exercise to prevent chronic disease can translate into benefits for your brain, since its function can be affected by these conditions.

Regular physical activity is especially important in older adults since aging — combined with oxidative stress and inflammation — promotes changes in brain structure and function.

Exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s vital for memory and learning, to grow in size, which may help improve mental function in older adults.

Lastly, exercise has been shown to reduce changes in the brain that can contribute to conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

SUMMARY

Regular exercise improves blood flow to the brain and helps brain health and memory. Among older adults, it can help protect mental function.

8. Exercise can help with relaxation and sleep quality

Regular exercise can help you relax and sleep better.

With regard to sleep quality, the energy depletion (loss) that occurs during exercise stimulates restorative processes during sleep.

Moreover, the increase in body temperature that occurs during exercise is thought to improve sleep quality by helping body temperature drop during sleep.

Many studies on the effects of exercise on sleep have reached similar conclusions.

One review of six studies found that participating in an exercise training program helped improve self-reported sleep quality and reduced sleep latency, which is the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

One study conducted over 4 months found that both stretching and resistance exercise led to improvements in sleep for people with chronic insomnia.

Getting back to sleep after waking, sleep duration, and sleep quality improved after both stretching and resistance exercise. Anxiety was also reduced in the stretching group.

What’s more, engaging in regular exercise seems to benefit older adults, who are often affected by sleep disorders.

You can be flexible with the kind of exercise you choose. It appears that either aerobic exercise alone or aerobic exercise combined with resistance training can both improve sleep quality.

SUMMARY

Regular physical activity, regardless of whether it is aerobic or a combination of aerobic and resistance training, can help you sleep better and feel more energized during the day.

9. Exercise can reduce pain

Although chronic pain can be debilitating, exercise can actually help reduce it.

In fact, for many years, the recommendation for treating chronic pain was rest and inactivity. However, recent studies show that exercise helps relieve chronic pain.

In fact, one review of several studies found that exercise can help those with chronic pain reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.

Several studies also show that exercise can help control pain associated with various health conditions, including chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder, to name a few.

Additionally, physical activity can also raise pain tolerance and decrease pain perception.

SUMMARY

Exercise has favorable effects on the pain associated with various conditions. It can also increase pain tolerance.

The bottom line

Exercise offers incredible benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health. Regular physical activity can increase the production of hormones that make you feel happier and help you sleep better.

It can also:

  • improve your skin’s appearance
  • help you lose weight and keep it off
  • reduce the risk of chronic disease

And it doesn’t take much movement to make a big difference in your health.

If you aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity spread throughout the week, you’ll meet the Department of Health and Human Services’ activity guidelines for adults.

Moderate intensity aerobic activity is anything that gets your heart beating faster, like walking, cycling, or swimming. Activities like running or participating in a strenuous fitness class count for vigorous intensity.

Throw in at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms), and you’ll exceed the recommendations.

You can use weights, resistance bands, or your bodyweight to perform muscle-strengthening exercises. These include squats, push-ups, shoulder press, chest, press, and planks.

Whether you practice a specific sport or follow the guideline of 150 minutes of activity per week, you can inevitably improve your health in many ways.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Best Foot Exercises for Healthy Feet

Article featured on Medical News Today

What are the best foot exercises for healthy feet?

Many people experience foot or ankle pain at some point. Keeping the feet strong can help alleviate this soreness and improve overall health and flexibility.

Regularly exercising and stretching the feet and ankles can help ensure that the muscles are providing the best support. These exercises may also increase range of motion in the feet, helping keep a person active for as long as possible.

Most foot exercises are simple and require no complicated equipment to perform. People can do them at home or in the gym as part of a regular exercise routine. The following exercises can improve flexibility and mobility in the feet.

1. Toe raise, point, and curl

This exercise has three stages and will help strengthen all parts of the feet and toes.

To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keeping the toes on the floor, raise the heels. Stop when only the balls of the feet remain on the ground.
  3. Hold this position for 5 seconds before lowering the heels.
  4. For the second stage, raise the heels and point the toes so that only the tips of the big and second toes are touching the floor.
  5. Hold for 5 seconds before lowering.
  6. For the third stage, raise the heels and curl the toes inward so that only the tips of the toes are touching the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  7. Build flexibility and mobility by repeating each stage 10 times.

2. Big toe stretch

Keeping a wide range of motion in the big toe is important. The following exercise also has three stages and is designed to stretch and relieve pain in the toes from wearing tight shoes.

To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring the left foot to rest on the right thigh.
  3. Using the fingers, gently stretch the big toe up, down, and to the side.
  4. Keep the big toe in each position for 5 seconds.
  5. Repeat this 10 times before switching to the other foot.

Exercises for strength

The following exercises can help enhance the strength of the feet.

3. Toe splay

Doing the toe splay exercise can improve control over the toe muscles. People can do it on both feet at once or on alternate feet, depending on which they find more comfortable.

To do this exercise:

  1. Sit in a straight backed chair, with the feet gently resting on the floor.
  2. Spread the toes apart as far as possible without straining. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  3. Repeat this motion 10 times.
  4. Once a person has built up their strength, they can try looping a rubber band around the toes. This will provide resistance and make the exercise more challenging.

4. Toe curls

Doing toe curls builds up the flexor muscles of the toes and feet, improving overall strength.

To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lay a small towel on the floor in front of the body, with the short side facing the feet.
  3. Place the toes of one foot on the short side of the towel. Try to grasp the towel between the toes and pull it toward oneself. Repeat this exercise five times before switching to the other foot.
  4. To make this exercise more challenging, try weighing down the opposite end of the towel with an object.

5. Marble pickup

Doing the marble pickup can increase strength in the muscles on the undersides of the feet and toes.

To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place an empty bowl and a bowl of 20 marbles on the floor in front of the feet.
  3. Using only the toes of one foot, pick up each marble and place it in the empty bowl.
  4. Repeat this exercise using the other foot.

6. Sand walking

Walking barefoot on sand is a great way to stretch and strengthen the feet and calves. This is a good exercise in general because sand’s soft texture makes walking more physically demanding.

To do this exercise:

  1. Head to a beach, a desert, a volleyball court, or any other location with sand.
  2. Remove the shoes and socks.
  3. Walk for as long as possible. Try increasing the distance slowly over time to avoid overexerting the muscles in the feet and calves.
  4. The following exercises can be helpful for pain relief.

7. Toe extension

The toe extension is useful in preventing or treating plantar fasciitis, which is a condition that causes pain in the heel when walking and difficulty raising the toes.

To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place the left foot on the right thigh.
  3. Pull the toes up toward the ankle. There should be a stretching feeling along the bottom of the foot and heel cord.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds. Massaging the arch of the foot while stretching will help ease tension and pain.
  5. Repeat this exercise 10 times on each foot.

8. Golf ball roll

Rolling a golf ball under the foot can help relieve discomfort in the arch and ease pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place a golf ball — or another small, hard ball — on the floor next to the feet.
  3. Lay one foot on the ball and move it around, pressing down as hard as is comfortable. The ball should be massaging the bottom of the foot.
  4. Continue for 2 minutes, then repeat using the other foot.
  5. A frozen bottle of water can be a soothing alternative if no suitable balls are available.

9. Achilles stretch

The Achilles tendon is a cord connecting the heel to the calf muscles. It can strain easily, but keeping it strong may help with foot, ankle, or leg pain.

To do this exercise:

  1. Face a wall and raise the arms so that the palms of the hands are resting flat against the wall.
  2. Move one foot back, keeping the knee straight. Then, bend the knee of the opposite leg.
  3. Keep both the heels flat on the floor.
  4. Push the hips forward until there is a stretching feeling in the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides. Repeat three times on each side.
  6. For a slightly different stretch, bend the back knee and push the hips forward.

Foot health and safety tips

To help keep the feet strong and healthy:

  1. Complete a thorough warmup routine before exercising.
  2. Wear supportive footwear for day-to-day activities and sports.
  3. Replace worn-down shoes as often as possible.
  4. Build up strength and flexibility slowly to condition the feet and ankles.
  5. Avoid uneven surfaces, especially when running. Try not to run uphill too often.
  6. Listen to the body. Do not overdo activities.
  7. Prevent any recurrence of injury by resting and seeking appropriate treatment.

Summary

Keeping the feet and ankles healthy is a good idea. Performing the exercises above can help ease existing pain, prevent discomfort, and reduce the risk of injury.

People with a diagnosed foot condition such as plantar fasciitis or strain to the Achilles tendon may wish to try exercises to help.

Always check with a healthcare professional, if possible, before starting a new exercise and stretching routine.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

6 Benefits of Trail Running

Article featured on Verywellfit

If you’re tired of running the same routes on city streets or on the treadmill, then trail running may be a great way to break the boredom, reduce your risk of injury, and challenge yourself in a new way.

Trail running is exactly what it sounds like: lacing up those sneakers to clock the miles in nature. The difference between road running and trail running is that trail running is a bit more unpredictable, meaning you are not guaranteed a smooth, paved path.

While elevation changes may occur in both road and trail running, depending on the location, trail running may also have unpredictable terrain with surfaces (such as rocks, roots, and streams) that require a special shoe designed to help support your foot during this style of workout.

Health Benefits of Trail Running

According to Kelly Pritchett, Ph.D., RDN, CSSD, Associate Professor in Nutrition and Exercise Science at Central Washington University, road running and trail running share similar benefits such as improved aerobic fitness, increased muscular endurance, and a boost for mental health. While Pritchett notes the cardiovascular outcomes are likely comparable between both types of running, research has yet to determine whether trail running provides a greater cardiovascular benefit than road running.

Nevertheless, science has shown us that trail running indeed has health benefits that extend far beyond our physical health. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits.

Promotes Longevity

Good news! A 2020 systematic review has shown that running was associated with a lower risk of death related to cardiovascular and cancer disease states in both men and women. Pritchett points out this review did not have specific trends for weekly volume, pace, duration, or even terrain, yet noted that some running (or jogging) versus no running (or jogging) proved to have improved health in participants as well as longevity benefits. And, more is not necessarily better when it comes to logging those miles. The authors also noted that higher doses of running may not have greater mortality reduction benefits.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Whether running or jogging, you are moving more than just the muscles in your legs. Yes, your heart is a muscle too! With every stride you take, your heart is pumping out blood to help support your workout while strengthening itself over time.

A stronger heart sets you up for success, just like the 2020 systematic review above noted with a lower risk of mortality seen from cardiovascular disease in participants who logged any amount of running throughout their week.

While this benefit isn’t isolated to trail running, it’s a baseline for further research that could look at the cardiovascular differences between road versus trail running.

Improves Muscular Strength and Balance

Amanda Brooks, running coach and author of Run To The Finish: The Everyday Runner’s Guide to Avoiding Injury, Ignoring the Clock and Loving the Run, notes one of the best benefits she shares with her clients to get them on the trails is the added benefit of strength training that the terrain offers to work stabilizer muscles.

Pritchett agrees, sharing that given the varied terrain with trail running, runners may see improvements in lower limb strength, balance, and neuromuscular benefits. Plus, it reduces the impact on the joints due to the softer surface which may, in turn, reduce the risk of injury.

But, Pritchett advises moving with greater awareness as there may be a greater risk for tripping over roots or rocks. This is especially true when hydration and fueling are neglected and decision-making and cognition are impaired.

May Reduce the Rate of Some Injuries

Running on the road is harder on your joints than running on a soft surface like a trail. In fact, you may reduce your risk of certain injuries by heading out onto the trail instead of the pavement. In a study conducted in 2020, researchers compared road runners to trail runners and specifically analyzed the impact of each on the Achilles tendon. The study authors found that road runners have higher loads on the tendon and less shock absorption that can result in Achilles tendon structure changes.

Boosts Mood and Mental Well-Being

One of the best ways to get your “vitamin N” (nature) in to improve mental well-being, says Pritchett, is to run outdoors on trails. And the research agrees!

According to a 2020 study, participants who logged up to 6.5 miles of running on trails self-reported higher wellness and health scores on the surveys. While there are limitations to this research, including the self-reported survey and limited diversity in the sample, it does complement the earlier research.

A study published in 2019 that showed both experienced and novice runners preferred specific characteristics in their running environments to gain the restorative capacity from their run, which included green and lively spaces.

Promotes Community

In a run funk? Grab your friends and lace-up together for the trails, or consider joining a running group to embrace the community aspect that running can provide.

Brooks shares that, “Trail running can bring some fun and joy back to a lot of runners, who spend their time so focused on paces when hitting the road.”

While she does note there are some limitations to trail running if you are working on speed work for a road race, there are also many benefits as we’ve seen above, and something many of us have missed over the past year: connection!

How to Reap the Benefits: Tips for Trail Running

If you are new to trail running (or running in general), Brooks offers tips to get your workout off on the right foot!

Invest in Trail Running Shoes

First, she reminds clients that trail shoes are necessary given they offer the additional traction needed when you hit the trail terrain. For those runners who are used to the road, embracing the slow down and remembering to pick up your feet is crucial.

Adjust Your Stride

“Picking up our feet sounds like an obvious thing”, says Brookes, “but distance runners sometimes have a little shuffle that helps them conserve energy. On the trails, dirt will grab that shuffle and slow down your pace, so there’s a need for greater awareness of your foot-strike.”

Fuel and Hydrate Strategically

For those seasoned trail runners participating in trail ultra-events that can last greater than four hours, Pritchett notes the extreme demand from a physiological perspective placed on the body including dehydration, neuromuscular fatigue, inflammation, exercise-induced muscle damage, and glycogen depletion.

To prepare your body properly for these events, Pritchett points out research has shown adequate carbohydrate intake and hydration during training and races can help delay fatigue and improve performance in these situations, meaning fueling pre, during, and post-trail runs can greatly impact your overall experience with the trail run.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

What is Lactic Acid Build Up and How to Get Rid of It

Article featured on Verywell fit

Lactic acid is created when the body turns glucose into energy. The production of lactic acid occurs when oxygen levels are low, generally during high-intensity exercise. Lactic acid build-up can hinder your exercise routine, so it’s important to understand why it happens and how to prevent it.

What Lactic Acid Is

Lactic acid is produced in muscle cells and red blood cells. It forms when the body breaks down carbohydrates for glucose during exercise in certain conditions. “Lactic acid is a result of glycolysis (or the breakdown of glucose), an energy system that creates ATP energy in the absence of oxygen in muscle cells,” says Jenna Braddock, MSH, RD, CSSD, ACSM-CPT, owner of MakeHealthyEasy.com and OffSeasonAthlete.com.

Braddock also notes that there is a difference between lactic acid and lactate. Although the two words are used interchangeably, they are not technically the same.

Lactic acid has a hydrogen ion that is available to donate, while lactate is the molecule left after that hydrogen ion is cleaved from the molecule.

“This distinction helps us understand what is happening in the body; lactate is a fuel source for the body and has many important functions,” adds Braddock. During exercise, the working muscle cells can continue anaerobic energy production for one to three minutes, during which you can perform at high levels.

Why Lactic Acid Builds Up

During high-intensity exercise, muscles require more oxygen than the body can take in, causing anaerobic respiration and lactic acid build-up. When lactic acid develops depends on a person’s fitness level. The body clears lactic acid when it develops, but it may not be able to keep up when the levels start to increase rapidly.

“This is often termed “lactate threshold” for high-intensity aerobic activities (like running), but keep in mind lactate accumulation can also occur with strength training,” says Chrissy Carroll, RRCA Running Coach at Snacking in Sneakers.

When this increased acid builds, the muscles get tired and may not be able to contract as effectively. Some people may notice a burning sensation in the muscle during exercise.

“Interestingly, some experts believe the production of lactate actually helps the muscles delay fatigue during intense exercise,” says Carroll. She also notes that contrary to popular belief, the lactic acid buildup is not what’s responsible for delayed onset muscle soreness that occurs in the 24-48 hours after a workout.

How to Get Rid of It

“Decreasing the exercise intensity, resting from the activity, and taking deep breaths may all be helpful ways to clear lactic acid during an exercise session,” says Carroll.

Another proven method for clearing lactic acid is engaging in active recovery after exercise. Low-intensity movements, like yoga, walking, biking, or foam rolling, may clear lactic acid from the body.

A study compared active and passive recovery in 14 downhill skiers and found that active recovery caused a greater decrease in lactic acid. Skiers who performed the active recovery were able to move faster and complete more runs.

Ways to Get Rid of Lactic Acid

  • Decreased exercise intensity
  • Resting
  • Taking deep breaths during exercise
  • Active recovery or low-intensity movements, such as yoga, walking, biking, or foam rolling

How to Prevent Lactic Acid Build-Up

“The feeling of burning and fatigue that is associated with lactic acid can be improved most significantly through training,” says Braddock. She recommends increasing volume, intensity, and duration of training gradually to prevent lactic acid buildup.

But, “you do not have to avoid lactic acid build-up completely,” according to Carroll. “It’s normal for certain training regimens to include high-intensity intervals that are completed above the lactate threshold, couched between easier training days and/or rest days, to allow for proper training adaptations and recovery,” Carroll adds.

Braddock also notes that fueling properly for a workout can positively affect lactic acid levels. “Beta-alanine3 is a supplement that can be used to delay the impacts of lactate accumulation, but it may negatively impact other areas of performance,” says Braddock.

She also urges athletes to work with an experienced sports dietitian to develop a fueling and supplement plan that’s right for them.

How to Prevent Lactic Acid Build-Up

  • Increase volume, intensity, and duration of training gradually
  • Incorporate rest days and easier training days
  • Fuel your body properly
  • Consider working with a sports dietitian to develop a custom fueling and supplement plan

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.
New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.
Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.
If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Unexpected Benefits of Movement and Exercise That We Love

Article featured on Thrive Global
Whether you opt for a sunrise yoga class or an impromptu dance party before dinner, making time for movement provides us with many rewards — some expected, and some surprising. Pausing to appreciate the unexpected ripple effects of movement can help motivate us on days we feel uninspired or lethargic.
We asked our Thrive community to share with us the surprising rewards they’ve experienced from moving their bodies more. Which of these benefits do you love?

It allows us to clear our minds

“I try to take a daily morning walk, either around my neighborhood or near my office as a recommendation from my therapist. In the six months that I’ve done this, I’ve found not only a shocking amount of clarity but motivation to tackle the rest of the day. Moving my body gives me the space to think about challenges differently.”
—Sentari Minor, strategist and social impact advocate, Phoenix, AZ

It gives us a burst of energy

“I’m surprised by how quickly my energy level increases whenever I move my body. Suddenly, tasks I don’t enjoy, like cleaning, get done.”
—Kristin Meekhof, author, therapist, life coach, Royal Oak, MI

It improves our creativity 

“One of the most surprising benefits of movement for me has been the ways that it increases my creativity. Without fail, anytime I move — whether it’s walking, dancing, or riding a bike — I am flooded with inspiration and ideas.”
—Becky M., coach, Ashburn, VA

It helps us silence negative thoughts 

“Moving my body helps me silence negative thoughts. Some estimates say we have up to 60,000 thoughts a day, and 80 percent of them are negative. We often fail to recognize that exercise is a great way to create space between your thoughts and bring balance into your life. I find that when I put on a good playlist, get my body moving, and raise my heartbeat, the worries of the past and fears of the future begin to fade as my consciousness focuses on the present moment. Movement of the body comes in many forms, and exercise does not have to live in the gym.”
—James Petrossi, president of PTNL, Austin, TX

It creates community

“I’ve grown to appreciate how being in motion invites motion. Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been managing our neighborhood community garden. When people driving by see me out there weeding, shoveling, and tending, they stop the car to come over and check it out. They walk by and ask to come inside the garden gate and walk around. This year, for the first time in about 15 years, all garden beds are rented.”
—Donna Peters, MBA faculty and executive coach, Atlanta, GA

It helps us stay resilient

“My personal obsession with fitness started six years ago, and I can’t rave enough about the benefits of moving my body when it comes to managing my anxiety. Movement has become a part of my coping mechanism and a part of my self-care ritual. To me, resilience is a daily practice and that is what fitness and movement does for me. It activates resilience in body, mind, and soul.”
—Karisa Karmali, certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, Ontario, Canada

It sets us up for our day ahead

“Movement has been a big part of my daily routine ever since I had a pretty spectacular burnout in the world of banking 10 years ago. Moving each morning, with a run along Hong Kong’s green hiking trails or stretching out my body with a flow yoga class, is a way to reconnect mind and body and center myself before entering the fray of another day in the corporate world. Even better, having adherence buddies for each activity that energize me means I’m motivated even on the days when it’s tempting to roll over and doze.”
Liz Bradford, chief of staff, Hong Kong

It helps us realize how capable we are

“I got hooked on walking years ago. It all started with listening to audiobooks. I kept wanting to hear the next chapter and soon found that I was walking three to four hours without giving it a second thought. I was over 40 years old before discovering that I had a Maasai-like ability to walk long distances. Today, I have a hard time not walking at least three miles or so every day. This regular practice had given me endurance and stamina I never had when I was in my 20s, which gives me the confidence that I will age in good health in mind, body, and spirit.”
— Maria Baltazzi, travel designer and mentor, Los Angeles, CA

It keeps us mindful

“I love the meditative quality of movement. For me, time on my yoga mat is time spent with my body, completely focused on how it feels, how it moves and finding smoother, more nourishing ways of moving it. When your mind is completely immersed in the sensations in your body, there’s little space for worries, anxieties, or even mundane thoughts to whirl around in your head. To know that I have this body to pour my attention into whenever I want to divert from or interrupt a flow of corrosive or unproductive thoughts is priceless. It can take a while for that focus to become natural. We bring our attention to the body on the yoga mat where it’s easier so that when we’re in a more difficult situation we can put our practice into action.”
—Felicity Pryke, yoga teacher, Lancashire, U.K.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.
New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.
Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.
If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

What are the best foot exercises for healthy feet?

Article from MedicalNewsToday, medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS — Written by Bethany Cadman

Many people experience foot or ankle pain at some point. Keeping the feet strong can help alleviate this soreness and improve overall health and flexibility.

Regularly exercising and stretching the feet and ankles can help ensure that the muscles are providing the best support. These exercises may also increase range of motion in the feet, helping keep a person active for as long as possible.
Most foot exercises are simple and require no complicated equipment to perform. People can do them at home or in the gym as part of a regular exercise routine.

Exercises for flexibility and mobility

The following exercises can improve flexibility and mobility in the feet.

1. Toe raise, point, and curl

a person curling their toes

This exercise has three stages and will help strengthen all parts of the feet and toes.
To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keeping the toes on the floor, raise the heels. Stop when only the balls of the feet remain on the ground.
  3. Hold this position for 5 seconds before lowering the heels.
  4. For the second stage, raise the heels and point the toes so that only the tips of the big and second toes are touching the floor.
  5. Hold for 5 seconds before lowering.
  6. For the third stage, raise the heels and curl the toes inward so that only the tips of the toes are touching the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  7. Build flexibility and mobility by repeating each stage 10 times.

2. Big toe stretch

a person stretching their big toe

Keeping a wide range of motion in the big toe is important. The following exercise also has three stages and is designed to stretch and relieve pain in the toes from wearing tight shoes.
To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring the left foot to rest on the right thigh.
  3. Using the fingers, gently stretch the big toe up, down, and to the side.
  4. Keep the big toe in each position for 5 seconds.
  5. Repeat this 10 times before switching to the other foot.

Exercises for strength

The following exercises can help enhance the strength of the feet.

3. Toe splay

a person splaying their toes

Doing the toe splay exercise can improve control over the toe muscles. People can do it on both feet at once or on alternate feet, depending on which they find more comfortable.
To do this exercise:

  1. Sit in a straight backed chair, with the feet gently resting on the floor.
  2. Spread the toes apart as far as possible without straining. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  3. Repeat this motion 10 times.
  4. Once a person has built up their strength, they can try looping a rubber band around the toes. This will provide resistance and make the exercise more challenging.

4. Toe curls

a person curling their toes using a towel

Doing toe curls builds up the flexor muscles of the toes and feet, improving overall strength.
To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lay a small towel on the floor in front of the body, with the short side facing the feet.
  3. Place the toes of one foot on the short side of the towel. Try to grasp the towel between the toes and pull it toward oneself. Repeat this exercise five times before switching to the other foot.
  4. To make this exercise more challenging, try weighing down the opposite end of the towel with an object.

5. Marble pickup

A person picking up marbles with their toes

Doing the marble pickup can increase strength in the muscles on the undersides of the feet and toes.
To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place an empty bowl and a bowl of 20 marbles on the floor in front of the feet.
  3. Using only the toes of one foot, pick up each marble and place it in the empty bowl.
  4. Repeat this exercise using the other foot.

6. Sand walking

A person walking on the beach with sand on the bottom of their foot

Walking barefoot on sand is a great way to stretch and strengthen the feet and calves. This is a good exercise in general because sand’s soft texture makes walking more physically demanding.
To do this exercise:

  1. Head to a beach, a desert, a volleyball court, or any other location with sand.
  2. Remove the shoes and socks.
  3. Walk for as long as possible. Try increasing the distance slowly over time to avoid overexerting the muscles in the feet and calves.
Exercises for pain

The following exercises can be helpful for pain relief.

7. Toe extension

a person extending their toes

The toe extension is useful in preventing or treating plantar fasciitis, which is a condition that causes pain in the heel when walking and difficulty raising the toes.
To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place the left foot on the right thigh.
  3. Pull the toes up toward the ankle. There should be a stretching feeling along the bottom of the foot and heel cord.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds. Massaging the arch of the foot while stretching will help ease tension and pain.
  5. Repeat this exercise 10 times on each foot.

8. Golf ball roll

a person rolling their foot on a tennis ball

Rolling a golf ball under the foot can help relieve discomfort in the arch and ease pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
To do this exercise:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place a golf ball — or another small, hard ball — on the floor next to the feet.
  3. Lay one foot on the ball and move it around, pressing down as hard as is comfortable. The ball should be massaging the bottom of the foot.
  4. Continue for 2 minutes, then repeat using the other foot.
  5. A frozen bottle of water can be a soothing alternative if no suitable balls are available.

9. Achilles stretch

A person doing a standing calf stretch

The Achilles tendon is a cord connecting the heel to the calf muscles. It can strain easily, but keeping it strong may help with foot, ankle, or leg pain.
To do this exercise:

  1. Face a wall and raise the arms so that the palms of the hands are resting flat against the wall.
  2. Move one foot back, keeping the knee straight. Then, bend the knee of the opposite leg.
  3. Keep both the heels flat on the floor.
  4. Push the hips forward until there is a stretching feeling in the Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides. Repeat three times on each side.
  6. For a slightly different stretch, bend the back knee and push the hips forward.

Foot health and safety tips

To help keep the feet strong and healthy:

  • Complete a thorough warmup routine before exercising.
  • Wear supportive footwear for day-to-day activities and sports.
  • Replace worn-down shoes as often as possible.
  • Build up strength and flexibility slowly to condition the feet and ankles.
  • Avoid uneven surfaces, especially when running. Try not to run uphill too often.
  • Listen to the body. Do not overdo activities.
  • Prevent any recurrence of injury by resting and seeking appropriate treatment.

Summary

Keeping the feet and ankles healthy is a good idea. Performing the exercises above can help ease existing pain, prevent discomfort, and reduce the risk of injury.
People with a diagnosed foot condition such as plantar fasciitis or strain to the Achilles tendon may wish to try exercises to help.
Always check with a healthcare professional, if possible, before starting a new exercise and stretching routine.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.
New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.
Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.
If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Exercises and Stretches For Hip Pain

Exercises and Stretches for Hip Pain

From Versus Arthritis

Here are some exercises designed to stretch, strengthen and stabilize the structures that support your hip.

It’s important to keep active – you should try to do the exercises that are suitable for you every day. Repeat each exercise between 5–10 times and try to do the whole set of exercises 2-3 times a day.

Start by exercising gradually and build up over time. Remember to carry on even when your hip is better to prevent your symptoms returning.

If you have any questions about exercising, ask your doctor.

It’s also a good idea to try to increase your general fitness by going for a regular walk or swim, this will strengthen your whole body – which helps support your hip. It can also improve your general health, fitness and outlook.

Simple stretching, strengthening and stabilising exercises

The following exercises are designed to stretch, strengthen and stabilise the structures that support your hip. These exercises for hip pain (PDF, 983 KB) are also available to download and keep.

It’s important not to overstretch yourself if you’re in pain. It’s normal to feel some aching in the muscles after exercising, but you should stop and seek advice if you have joint pain that lasts more than a few days.

If you’ve had a hip replacement you will probably be advised to take it easy for the first six weeks and not to push yourself too much. Ask your physiotherapist what exercises they recommend you should start with and how to do them.

You may feel slightly uncomfortable during or after exercise, but this should settle within 24 hours. It shouldn’t be painful. If you feel any sudden pain stop exercising and seek medical advice.

An illustration of someone marching on the spot.

Hip flexion (strengthening)

Hold onto a work surface and march on the spot to bring your knees up towards your chest alternately. Don’t bring your thigh above 90 degrees.

An illustration of someone standing whilst holding onto a table, moving their leg backwards and keeping it straight.

Hip extension (strengthening)

Move your leg backwards, keeping your knee straight. Clench your buttock tightly and hold for five seconds. Don’t lean forwards. Hold onto a chair or work surface for support.

An illustration of someone standing and holding onto a chair, lifting their leg sideways.

Hip abduction (strengthening)

Lift your leg sideways, being careful not to rotate the leg outwards. Hold for five seconds and bring it back slowly, keeping your body straight throughout. Hold onto a chair or work surface for support.

An illustration of someone standing whilst holding onto a table, bending their knee towards their bottom.

Heel to buttock exercise (strengthening)

Bend your knee to pull your heel up towards your bottom. Keep your knees in line and your kneecap pointing towards the floor.

An illustration of someone squatting down, bringing their knees towards their toes.

Mini squat (strengthening)

Squat down until your knees are above your toes. Hold for a count of five if possible. Hold on to a work surface for support if you need to.

An illustration of someone laying on their back with one bent leg and one straight leg with a towel under it's knee. They're raising their foot off the floor.

Short arc quadriceps exercise (strengthening)

Roll up a towel and place it under your knee. Keep the back of your thigh on the towel and straighten your knee to raise your foot off the floor. Hold for five seconds and then lower slowly.

An illustration of someone laying down with their legs straight, pulling their toes and ankles towards them whilst pushing their knees to the floor.

Quadriceps exercise (strengthening)

Pull your toes and ankles towards you, while keeping your leg straight and pushing your knee firmly against the floor. You should feel the tightness in the front of your leg. Hold for five seconds and relax. This exercise can be done from a sitting position as well if you find this more comfortable.

An illustration of someone laying on their back with their knees bent and hands under the small of their back. They're pulling their belly towards the floor.

Stomach exercise (strengthening/ stabilising)

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Put your hands under the small of your back and pull your belly button down towards the floor. Hold for 20.

An illustration of someone laying on their back with their feet to standing, lifting their pelvis and lower back off the floor.

Bridging

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your pelvis and lower back off the floor. Hold the position for five seconds and then lower down slowly.

An illustration of someone laying on their back and pulling their knee toward their chest.

Knee lift (stretch)

Lie on your back. Pull each knee to your chest in turn, keeping the other leg straight. Take the movement up to the point you feel a stretch, hold for around 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times. If this is difficult, try sliding your heel along the floor towards your bottom to begin with, and when this feels comfortable try lifting your knee.

An illustration of someone sitting with their knees bent and feet together, pressing their knees downwards.

External hip rotation (stretch)

Site you your knees bent and feet together. Press your knees down towards the floor using your hands as needed. Alternatively, lie on your back and part your knees, keeping your feet together. Take the movement up to the point you feel a stretch, hold for around 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

Did You Know That Inactivity is Actually HARD On Your Knees?

Between working from home and being glued to the television watching the latest election updates, many of us are guilty of increased “couch potato” behavior lately.  And we’ve all heard of the dangers of sedentary lifestyles contributing to obesity, etc.,  but did you know that *not* moving can actually weaken your knees and increase your chances of osteoporosis?

Continue reading for more from Noyes Knee Institute and the Journal of Public Health.

From Noyes Knee Institute

Do you spend a lot of time sitting? Maybe you work at an office where most of your time is at your desk, or maybe when you’re at home, you prefer to rest on the couch instead of being on your feet. Many people live a mostly inactive lifestyle, but they might not realize that inactivity can be the reason why they experience increased joint pain.

Learn the reasons why inactivity can hurt your knees and what you can do to change it.

Weakens Your Knees

If you live a life or limited activity, your body adapts to that lack of motion. Essentially, when you aren’t using your legs muscles, ligaments, and joints for moderate levels of activity, you are losing them. Your knees become weaker as you require less of them.

One runner found that as she took time off running to rehabilitate an injury, she could not run after completing her recovery because of knee pain. She had to complete additional physical therapy because the rest had caused her to develop a condition called chondromalacia of the patella.

Essentially, her kneecap would not follow the proper range of motion because she had developed some weakness in the joint. It’s a common condition for people who are not active. Even something as simple as going up or down the stairs can make your knees ache.

If you spend your day sitting, you also experience pain in other areas that can also aggravate the knee. Your quadriceps become tight, which exert a pulling sensation on your knees.

You can help your knees feel better by focusing on flexibility. Stretch daily, and participate in joint-stabilizing exercises like yoga. Try to be more active during the day. Stand at your desk, or take time to walk around the office a few times. Use the stairs instead of the elevator.

Increases Your Risk of Arthritis Pain

If you start to experience joint pain as a result of arthritis, your first instinct is to rest more, because walking, running, biking, or other activities cause pain. However, resting when you have knee pain is often the worst solution.

Resting will cause the muscles that give the knee support to weaken. As a result, they become less able to bear your weight, which results in greater joint pain. Reduced strength in the knee joint also translates to reduced stability, which can increase your risk for accidents and make exercising even more difficult to do safely.

If you have arthritis or if you have a history of arthritis in your family, staying active is one way you can help to prevent it from getting worse. Ask a knee specialist for exercises that are safe and helpful for strengthening your knees without causing you too much pain during workouts.

Promotes Weight Gain

A sedentary lifestyle is often why people struggle to manage their weight. Gaining weight with age is common, and spending your days seated can make that problem worse. With every extra pound, the pressure on your knees increases by about four pounds. So, just 10 pounds of extra weight means 40 pounds of pressure on your knees.

All that stress naturally means that your knees start to hurt, and they can hurt even more when you try to be active again. Make sure you intentionally choose low impact exercise as first. Try a stationary bike or a brisk walk in supportive shoes to begin. Focus on losing weight through diet control.

After you lose some weight, you can increase your physical workouts if your doctor believes they will be safe. You might try incorporating some resistance training to really give your lower body some increased strength and stability, as long as you also spend time stretching and increasing your flexibility.

Increases Risk for Osteoporosis 

From the Daily Mail

Being a couch potato weakens your bones: Adults in their 60s face greater risk of fractures if they spend hours sitting down each day – but walking 10,000 steps each day helps

  • The study of 214 adults was published today in the Journal of Public Health
  • It is the first to show a link between a sedentary lifestyle and osteoporosis
  • Participants’ hips and spines were scanned to measure their bone density

A couch potato lifestyle leads to weaker bones in later life, particularly for men, researchers have found.

Experts discovered that men spent more time on average sitting still than women and therefore had weaker bones, particularly in their lower back.

But the new findings, conducted by academics from Durham and Newcastle universities, show that even just completing 10,000 steps a day can help to keep bones strong.

The study showed that people in their sixties who spent a lot of time sitting down had weaker bones which increased their risk of developing ‘fragility’ fractures.

It is well known that weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises are important for building bone strength and preventing osteoporosis.

The study, published in the Journal of Public Health, is the first to show that a sedentary lifestyle in men is associated with weaker bones and osteoporosis.

More than half a million fragility fractures – where a fracture occurs from a fall at standing height or less – happen each year in the UK. It is estimated that by 2025, that number will have gone up by 27 per cent.

Dr Karen Hind, of the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Durham University, said: ‘We know that excessive sedentary time can lower someone’s metabolism which can lead to being overweight and Type 2 diabetes.

‘What we now know is that being inactive is also associated with lower bone strength and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

‘Osteoporosis is a disease that affects older people but by encouraging this age group to keep active, it will help improve their bone health.’

The research team followed 214 men and women, aged 62, from Newcastle University’s Thousand Families Study.

Each participant wore a monitor for seven consecutive days which measured their physical activity and sedentary time. The number of daily steps was also recorded, and then compared with public health recommendations.

The participants’ hips and spines were scanned to measure their bone density.

Participants involved in 150 minutes of light physical activity a week had better bone strength than the more sedentary participants, according to the findings.

The men who spent more than 84 minutes per day sitting still, compared to the average of 52 minutes, had 22 per cent lower bone density in their spine.

The researchers say the impact on their bone density is similar to that of smoking, which is also a risk factor for osteoporosis.

The economic and personal costs of osteoporosis are substantial – in the UK the direct costs of fragility fractures are estimated to be £4.4billion which includes £1.1billion for social care.

The participants all lived in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Public Health England statistics indicate that the North East has the greatest proportion of physically inactive adults and the highest incidence of hip fractures compared to the rest of the UK.

The researchers said that the message from their findings is: stay active and reduce sedentary time.

They emphasised that the study shows that hitting the daily target of 10,000 steps and avoiding long periods of sedentary time will increase bone strength.

They say that even making daily lifestyle ‘hacks’ can make a difference – such as parking the car further away from the shopping centre or taking the stairs instead of the lift.

Dr Hind added: ‘Currently there are no specific guidelines for this age group to encourage light physical activity or to reduce sedentary time.

‘Yet, as people retire they are more likely to increase the time they spend watching television and reduce their daily step count.

‘It would be great to see initiatives that specifically target this group to increase their awareness of the importance of staying active and reducing the amount of time spent sitting still.’

Learn more about bone health


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.