The Link Between BMI and Joint Health: How Weight Impacts Hip and Knee Joint Longevity

As we’ve heard many times before, maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial for overall health, however the impact of a healthy body weight on specific body parts, specifically the hip and knee joints, is often underestimated. Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight, along with the measure of relative muscle mass, can significantly affect the health and longevity of these weight-bearing joints. Today, we’ll discuss the correlation between BMI and joint health, with focus on the hip and knee joints, and how weight management plays a crucial role in preserving joint function and longevity.

It is important to note, muscle mass has a great influence on BMI measurements as BMI is factored upon height and weight and does not differentiate between muscle mass and fat mass. Muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue, therefore a person with a high muscle mass, but relatively low fat mass may have a higher weight resulting in a higher BMI measurement. This does not necessarily mean that the individual is overweight or unhealthy. The impact of BMI on weight-bearing Joint Longevity discussed within this article, does not pertain to those of high muscle mass with low fat mass measurements. 

The Impact of BMI on Hip Joints

The hip joint is one of the largest weight-bearing joints in the body and is responsible for supporting our body weight during both sedentary activities and when facilitating movement. Studies have shown that a higher BMI is associated with an increased risk of hip osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of cartilage and bone within the joint. This is because the excess body weight places additional stress on the hip joint, accelerating the wear and tear process and increasing the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Maintaining a healthy BMI through a nutrient dense diet and consistent exercise regimen can help preserve joint function and longevity.

The Effect of BMI on Knee Joints

Similar to the hip joint, the knee joint is also susceptible to the effects of excess body weight. Studies have demonstrated a clear link between higher BMI and an increased risk of knee osteoarthritis. The excess weight puts pressure on the knee joint, leading to cartilage damage and inflammation, which are key indicators of osteoarthritis onset. Additionally, higher BMI is associated with an increased risk of knee injuries, such as tears in the ligaments or meniscus, further compromising joint health. By maintaining a healthy BMI, individuals can help protect the integrity of their knee joints, reducing the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis and either delaying the need for a total joint replacement or avoiding one altogether.

The Role of Weight Management in Joint Health

Weight management plays a crucial role in preserving the longevity of the hip and knee joints. For individuals who are overweight or obese, losing even a modest amount of weight can significantly improve joint function. 

Maintaining a healthy weight and BMI measurement is especially crucial when looking to qualify for a total joint replacement as BMI is one of the several factors considered when determining a patient’s eligibility for a hip replacement or knee replacement. Although there is not a specific BMI ‘cutoff’ that qualifies or disqualifies a patient, risks such as infections, blood clots, and anesthesia complications, exponentially increase in those with higher BMIs. Generally, a BMI below 40 is preferred as qualification for a total joint replacement to reduce these risks.

The decision to move forward with a hip or knee replacement surgery is inevitably up to the individual and their orthopedic specialist who will complete a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s overall health, the severity of joint damage, pain during daily activities, and functional limitations. If recommended to reduce one’s BMI measurement, a combination of regular physical activity, such as low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling, or resistance training combined with a nutrient dense diet can help individuals achieve and maintain a healthy BMI, reducing the burden on their joints and maintaining joint health for the long run. 

To schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained specialists, give us a call at 719-632-7669 or visit us at to learn more.

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Hip Anatomy and Functions of the Hip

Hip Anatomy

The hips and structures within the hips are some of the most important and complex structures in the human body. They play a crucial role in our everyday movements, from walking and running to sitting and standing. Understanding Hip Anatomy is essential to maintaining optimal hip health and longevity. Join us as we explore the fascinating intricacies of the hips, from the bones and joints, to the muscles, ligaments and primary functions that support our everyday movements.

Bones of the Hip

There are five bone structures that make up the hip. Three of which come together to form the primary hip structures: the Ilium, the Ischium, and the Pubis, with the other two, the Femoral Head and the Acetabulum, forming the hip joint.

  • Ilium: This large, wing-shaped bone forms the upper part of the hip, providing stability and support for the joint.
  • Ischium: The ischium is the lower and posterior part of the hip bone. It forms the “sit bones” and supports our body weight when we sit.
  • Pubis: The pubis is the anterior part of the hip bone and is responsible for connecting the two hip bones at the front of the pelvis.

The Hip Joint

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, designed for both mobility and stability. It consists of two primary components:

  • Femoral Head: The rounded head of the femur (thigh bone) fits into the acetabulum, creating the ball part of the ball-and-socket joint. This structure allows for a wide range of motion in multiple directions.
  • Acetabulum: The acetabulum is the socket or cup-shaped structure in the hip bone that receives the femoral head and provides stability to the joint.
Bones of the Hip,

Ligaments of the Hip

Within our hip anatomy, we have several ligaments that hold the bones of the hip together and provide stability to the joint.

  • Iliofemoral Ligament (Y-shaped ligament): This ligament is the strongest in the body and helps to prevent overextension of the hip joint.
  • Pubofemoral Ligament: This ligament reinforces the front of the hip joint and assists in preventing hyperextension.
  • Ischiofemoral Ligament: Located on the back of the hip joint, this ligament stabilizes the joint during internal rotation and extension.
Ligaments of the Hip, hip anatomy
Ligaments of the Hip, hip anatomy

Muscles of the Hip

Now that we’ve covered the bones and ligaments that form the hips’ basic structures, let’s dive into the anatomical components that give us the strength and support to move and stabilize ourselves through space: the muscles of the hip.


The hip joint is surrounded by a complex network of muscles. Some of the key muscles include:

  • Gluteus Maximus: This is the largest and most powerful hip muscle, responsible for hip extension (extending the leg backwards) and external rotation (moving the leg outwards).
  • Gluteus Medius and Minimus: These muscles lie on the outer side of the hip and are responsible for hip abduction (moving the leg away from the body), internal rotation (rotating the leg inwards) and external rotation (rotating the leg outwards).
  • Iliopsoas: This is a group of muscles responsible for hip flexion (bending the hip joint), helping you lift your knee towards your chest or hinging over to pick something up.
  • Adductors: The adductor muscles on the inner thigh allow for hip adduction (moving the leg toward the midline of the body).
  • Iliotibial Band (IT Band) is a thick band of muscle fascia that originates at the lateral portion of the iliac crest and inserts at the lateral condyle of the tibia (shin bone). Its main function is the provide stabilization to the pelvis and aid in posture control.
Muscles of the hip, gluteal muscles
Adductors, iliopsoas, muscles of the hip
Iliotibial band (IT Band), muscles of the hip, anatomy of the hip

Movements of the Hip

These muscles help facilitate the four primary movements of the hip: Flexion, Extension, Internal Rotation, and External Rotation.

  • Hip Flexion: involves lifting the thigh toward the abdomen or vice versa, bringing the abdomen closer to the thigh. This movement is essential for activities like walking, running, lifting the leg, walking up stairs, hinging over to pick something up, sitting in a chair, etc.
  • Hip Extension: involves extending the leg backward and is executed when your back leg is straightened as you walk. You execute hip extension anytime you stand up from a seated position or run.
  • Hip Internal Rotation: occurs when the thigh is rotated or turned inwards towards the midline of the body. Anytime we cross our legs, we are performing hip internal rotation.
  • Hip External Rotation: occurs when the thigh is rotated or tuned outwards, away from the body. We perform this movement when we take a turn during a walk or sit in the butterfly stretch position during a yoga class.

It’s no wonder, when we injure even a small structure in our hips, it can take its toll on our everyday movements. This is why, we at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group emphasize strengthening your hip muscles, core, and leg muscles in efforts of preventing injury during activity. Strengthening these muscles through a full range of motion will also aid in maintaining your mobility.

Whether you’re an athlete or just someone who values their joint health, be sure to check out our Healthy Hips series on our website at to learn more about hip anatomy. Tune into our Youtube channel to learn how taking an interest in ways to optimize hip strength and mobility can dramatically affect your hip and overall physical longevity.

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General Orthopedics at CSOG

General Orthopedics at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

At Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, our physicians specialize in General Orthopedics and are trained to thoroughly assess a wide variety of bone conditions. These conditions range from head to toe and are conditions that may have affected surrounding structures within the joints, such as muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.

As one of our patients, you can expect to have very detailed and thorough discussions with your physician regarding your diagnosis and treatment options available to fit your general orthopedic needs. Our providers share information in easy to understand terms and actively encourage you to participate in your treatment’s decision-making process. Your care is about you and we want you to feel comfortable with the decisions made to help you get back to your pain-free lifestyle.

The most common General Orthopedics disorders and diseases include:

  • Fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Sprains and strains
  • Bursitis and tendonitis
  • Ligament and tendon tears
  • Cartilage Tears

Many injuries or conditions can be resolved with non-surgical treatment options such as physical or occupational therapy, cortisone injections, viscosupplementation, or PRP therapy. However, if you and your doctor determine that surgery is the best treatment option, our surgeons specialize in a number of minimally invasive procedures proven to accelerate the recovery process.


Arthroscopic procedures allow the surgeon to operate through smaller incisions with use of a miniature camera, also known as a scope, which enables the surgeon to view the joint with great detail while preserving the surrounding tissues, such as muscles and tendons. Arthroscopy has shown a number of recovery and longevity benefits compared to traditional surgical methods such as:

  • Smaller incisions enabling the surgeon to cut through less surrounding tissues, decreasing the chance for severe scarring.
  • Accelerate the recovery process as the surrounding musculature is not damaged to such great extents
  • Shorter recovery period
  • Decreased risk of infection

As with any procedures, candidacy for an arthroscopic procedure may vary dependent upon the severity of the injury and the patients overall health status. Discuss with your physician to see if arthroscopy is the best treatment option for you.

Call us at 719-632-7669 to schedule your initial consultation.

Cycling Sports Medicine Image
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Medical Minute: How to fit and use Crutches, Canes, and Walkers

How to fit and use Crutches, Canes, and Walkers

Welcome to another Medical Minute segment. Here, Haeleigh Little, a certified orthotic fitter from Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group reviews how to properly fit and use crutches, canes, and walkers.


The number one thing patients struggle with is getting the height correct. The height for all of these devices will depend on body type. Most crutches will have markers that will allow for adjustments, but each body is different. Fit can change depending on each individual’s body length, leg length, and arm length.


If a piece of equipment is not fitted properly, then the ultimate concern is the risk of injury. If the crutch or cane is not properly fitted to a patient’s particular height, you risk injury to the shoulders, elbows, and wrists because you are now relying on those parts of the body to walk.


Typically, you will want your crutches to sit approximately two or three finger widths below the armpit. If the crutches are too short, you can risk putting excessive pressure on internal structures and muscles within the armpit. Next, you will want to ensure the crutch allows for a slight bend in the elbow, that way in the case of a fall, you do not hyperextend your arm, potentially causing injury.


When fitting a cane, hold your arm down at your side, the top of the cane should hit at your wrist. You can do the same for measuring walkers, however you will want it to hit a bit above your wrist to compensate for slight bend your elbows as you walk with the device.


The biggest tip we recommend for all patients to follow is: go slow, listen to your body, and be aware of your surroundings when using any form of walking assistance equipment.


To schedule an appointment, please call the office at 719-632-7669. Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group does require a prescription for walking assistance devices so you will want to make sure you have talked to either your orthopedic physician or family physician prior to scheduling your appointment.
With these tips, you can safely fit crutches, canes, and walkers, and be on the path toward healing.

PhysiciansEric K Jepson

Eric K Jepson, DO

As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jepson’s specializes in the treatment of complex knee and hip problems, revision surgery, and new procedures for the treatment of arthritis.

> Eric K Jepson, DO

Tyler R. Bron, MD

Tyler R. Bron, MD

Dr. Bron has completed a fellowship in Adult Reconstruction, specializing in the treatment of arthritic hip and knee conditions.

>Tyler R. Bron, MD


Theodore L. Stringer, MD

Theodore L. Stringer, MD

Dr. Stringer focuses on total joint replacement and arthritis management of the hip and knee.

>Theodore L. Stringer, MD

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Orthopedic Self-Care Tips

Helpful Orthopedic Self-Care Tips

Your body’s musculoskeletal system is a complex masterwork made up of thousands of moving parts that performs like a well-oiled machine and with orthopedic self-care, you can maintain this process. Whatever movements you make — walking, stretching, reaching, bending, flexing, grasping — are dependent upon the smooth interaction of bones, muscles, and joints. That’s why avoiding injury and the wear and tear of repetitive motions over the course of a lifetime is so important. Here are some orthopedic self-care tips you can use to keep your body in top shape for years to come.

How to Build Your Bone Strength

  • Flex those joints. Spend a few minutes every day slowly stretching and moving each of your joints through their full range of motion without hyperextending.
  • Stay active. Avoid allowing your joints to remain in the same position for an extended period of time, commonly from standing, sitting, leaning, bending over, etc. Stay active, taking breaks often, by moving around and stretching to prevent your joints from stiffening.

helpful care tips

How to Keep Your Muscles Healthy

  • Exercise regularly. Any physical activity is better than none, but strength training is most beneficial for maintaining muscle mass and tone. Not only does it prevent muscle atrophy (losing muscle mass) over time, but it also strengthens your bones.
  • Drink plenty of water. Muscle function is dependent on hydration. Drinking water prevents muscles from cramping. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages if you can, as these can lead to dehydration.

We’re here to provide total care and help you stay active and fit. If you have any questions about our Express Bone & Joint Injury Care services, please call our office at (719) 622-4550.

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Prevention Tips: Avoid Orthopedic Disorders and Injuries

Prevention Tips: Avoid Orthopaedic Disorders and Injuries.

According to the old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s certainly true when it comes to orthopedic disorders and injuries. One of the best ways to deal with them is to avoid them in the first place.

prevention tips
Here are several simple ways you can avoid serious orthopedic disorders and injuries:

  • Watch your weight. Did you know that for every 10 pounds you gain, there is a 36% increased risk that you will eventually develop osteoarthritis? Imagine the stress that an additional 20, 30, 40 pounds or more would put on your muscles and joints! Simply maintaining the normal weight for your height will greatly reduce that risk.
  • Never stop exercising. Regardless of your age, regular exercise increases muscle mass and helps keep your joints functioning properly. The best routines include walking, swimming, stretching, and biking on level ground. However, limit or avoid exercises that place extreme stress on your joints, such as long-distance running and deep knee bends. Also, be sure to stretch before you exercise to maintain flexibility, enhance performance, and reduce the risk of stress injuries such as sprains and strains.
  • Focus on developing strong core muscles. These help you balance your body weight, rather than putting too much stress on specific joints. You can strengthen your core muscles by practicing yoga and/or pilates.
  • Wear supportive yet comfortable footwear. The right shoes promote proper alignment and reduce the risk of developing back or knee pain.
  • Make sure your home and workplace are safe. Most injuries occur in the home and in work environments. Household safeguards may include handrails on stairs and hallways, proper flooring, and the installation of bathmats and grips in bathtubs to avoid slips and falls. At home or on the job, be conscious of repetitive movements that can cause strains. If you must do some heavy lifting, be sure to stretch first, then lift using your legs and core muscles. Also, be sure your workstation is ergonomically friendly, especially if you need to sit for long hours or work at a computer. Take frequent breaks to avoid repetitive stress conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

At CSOG Express Bone & Joint Injury Care, not only can we treat your pain – we can show you how to prevent and avoid orthopedic disorders and injuries. If you have any questions about our express care services, please call our office at

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Does Positive Thinking Help with Recovery Time After Surgery?

Does Positive Thinking Help with Recovery Time After Surgery?

There is solid evidence that having a positive attitude about your surgery and recovery process will help increase your healing rate. According to researchers who reviewed 16 different studies about positive mental attitude and healing, the right frame of mind can make a huge difference. The studies covered over 30 years and different types of surgery, but they all came to this conclusion. So if you’re wondering “Does positive thinking help?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

How does positive thinking help? 

does positive thinking help - happy couple smiling and laughingThe exact reason positive thinkers tend to have better surgical healing outcomes is still not completely understood. Scientists do however, have a few theories to explain the benefit of positive thinking:

  1. Thanks to the body’s primary stress hormone Cortisol, when we are stressed, the body reacts by increasing inflammation. Positive thinking however, allows you to have a more optimistic outlook on a stressful situation thus, allows you to feel less stress. In turn, this optimistic outlook can help lower inflammation. With less inflammation, the body is able to heal in a more efficient manner.
  2. People who are more positive in general tend to choose more beneficial life decisions. These decisions typically stem from having a vision and plan focused on achieving long-term goals. They understand the road will not be easy or painless, but instead of focusing on the pain, they choose to focus on the end result. For those in post-operative stages, plans for achieving their long-term goals will often include following post-operative orders or physical therapy recommendations with upmost integrity.
  3. Negative thoughts and emotions weaken your immune system’s responses. This goes back to the increase in inflammation as stress increases that we discussed in number one above. Chronic elevations of Cortisol that are derived from negative emotions, can lead to a ‘resistant’ immune system and more inflammation.

While the precise reason why positive thinking helps may elude scientists, the benefits of choosing an optimistic psyche through any adversity are very real.

How can you become a positive thinker?

Now that we have answered the question, “Does positive thinking help with recovery after surgery?” you may be left wondering how to get this benefit in your own life. There are some simple steps you can take to shift your frame of mind for a more positive outlook on surgery and life in general.

  • Smile more! Studies have show that smiling, even fake smiling, improves your outlook. This simple act reduces both stress levels and your blood pressure.
  • Practice re-framing stressful situations. When something has you stressed or anxious, try to find something to be grateful for in the situation or a way to see what the lessons  to learned within the situation could be. There is almost always a silver lining to every dark cloud in your day.
  • Work on becoming a resilient person. You can do this by fostering positive relationships with friends and family, learning that change is just a part of life, and working to resolve stressors in your life instead of ignoring them.
  • Work on your Environment. The environment you create around you and in your head is shown to be one of the biggest catalysts with the way you perceive each day. Examples of ways to adjust your environment can include: doing what you can to keep an organized home, remaining positive in stressful situations, working on strengthening your personal relationships, staying as mobile as possible, and staying hydrated.

Another way to reduce the stress associated with an upcoming surgical procedure is to have complete trust in the expertise of your surgical team. At Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group our team of specialists will walk you through the surgery and recovery process step by step. If you need anything throughout your journey, we are here for you. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation with one of our caring and competent physicians.

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Safety Tips for Kids Playing Sports

Safety Tips for Kids Playing Sports

Your young athlete is learning valuable skills, having fun and staying fit. Most parents encourage their children to engage in sports for all of these benefits. You may also be concerned about how to keep your child injury free this season. Follow these safety tips for kids playing sports, and your child will get the most our of their sports activities.

Kids playing sports need protective gear

kids playing team soccerProtective gear is the first line of defense in preventing injury for kids playing sports. Of course that gear will be different depending on what sport your child plays. Protective gear may include:

  • Helmet
  • Cleats
  • Pads
  • Eye protection
  • Athletic cup (for boys)

Your child’s coach should let you know what protective gear you will need.

Always warm up

It’s never a good idea to hit the field or court without warming up first. Your child should start with a light jog and then do some stretching before every practice and game. In team sports, most coaches will have the kids warm up together. For individual sports, you may need to lead your child in a warm-up routine.

Know how to play the game

When all the players know and follow the rules of the game, fewer injuries occur. This is where practice comes in. The more children practice their chosen sport, the better they will be at following the rules, staying in the game and off the sidelines with an injury.

Kids playing sports must look out for others

It’s important for your child to be aware of his or her teammates while playing. This can be accomplished by being courteous of the other players, listening to the coach, and being aware of surroundings. It is also important for kids playing sports to communicate with their teammates. For example, yelling “I got it!” when going in to catch a baseball can prevent a collision with the other players.

Never play while injured

Unfortunately, even when you follow the above tips, injuries can still happen. Kids playing sports may be tempted to push through and keep playing with an injury. Be sure to give your child time to heal before returning to their sports activities or the injury may become worse. This can end a fun season for your child.

Specialists in sports injuries

When the unthinkable happens, and your child is injured while playing sports Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group is here to help. With an onsite x-ray machine, our Express Care Clinic is available for your urgent care needs. Our specialists in the sports medicine clinic will also treat your child and get him or her back to the sports they love.

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The best sleeping positions for neck and back pain relief

The Best Sleeping Positions for Neck and Back Pain Relief

When you sleep your body is doing much more than resting. This time allows your body to regenerate and enable you to feel refreshed and rejuvenated when you wake up. In order to get the optimum benefits from sleeping, it is important for you to consider the best sleeping positions for neck and back. Whether you are already suffering from neck and back pain or your pain results from your sleeping position, follow these helpful tips to get the best out of your night’s sleep.

Best Sleeping Positions for Neck and Back

Keeping your spine in a neutral position while sleeping is the key to relieving neck and back pain. This means that your spine is straight and your hips are sleeping positions and worst sleeping positions for neck and back pain

  • Sleeping on your back provides the best overall sleeping position to keep a neutral spine. Use a small pillow to support your head while still keeping your neck aligned with your spine.
  • Sleeping on your side with your legs stretched out is the next best option, especially if you snore while sleeping on your back. You can place a pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned.

Sleeping Positions to Avoid

With the goal being sleeping with a neutral spine, there are some sleeping positions to avoid in order to prevent neck and back pain.

  • Sleeping on your side with your legs curled is not an ideal position as your neck and shoulders cannot align properly. Your weight distribution is also uneven in this sleeping position which can lead to back pain.
  • Sleeping on your stomach may be the worst position of all if you are trying to avoid neck and back pain. Your spine is not aligned in this position, it puts pressure on your joints, and your neck must twist to one side.

When to See a Specialist

If you have been using the best sleeping positions for neck and back but are still experiencing chronic pain, it may be time to see a specialist. The trained physicians at the spine clinic at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can help. Our services range from treating conditions such as herniated discs and low back or neck pain, to more complex problems such as spinal tumors, scoliosis, and stress fractures. The majority of spine problems can be treated without surgery. In most cases, our doctors will refer you to our in-house physical therapy department to try conservative treatment first. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.

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Finding Meaning in Daily Rituals

Finding Meaning in Daily Rituals

We all have our own routines: the way we prepare a meal, get ready in the morning, or wind down before bed. Our daily choices create our future. But what makes the difference between a daily routine and a daily ritual? It’s all about mindfulness.

Daily Rituals Versus Routines

Pouring a cup of coffeeYour daily routine may feel like it’s controlling you. It’s the long list of tasks you must complete every day from getting the kids to school, to going to work, then making dinner and getting everyone to bed. If you are mindful about the simple steps in this process, you can turn your routine into a ritual that you control. When you create daily rituals, you allow the small steps in your day to take on greater significance. This can add happiness and meaning to your daily life.

Creating Positive Rituals

The same tasks performed every day in the same order can be considered either daily routines or daily rituals, it all depends on your frame of mind. How can you give those things the meaning needed to make the transition into becoming a pleasing ritual?

  • First you need the right perspective and attitude. Instead of negative self-talk, change your inner dialogue to something positive that you can repeat daily.
  • Instead of mindlessly completing your tasks, really focus your attention on your actions. Involve all of your senses in whatever you are doing.
  • Focus on the bigger picture of why your daily rituals are important to your life. Every action you complete in a day has a benefit somehow.

By being intentional about these steps, you can bring meaning to your day and enjoy greater productivity and an elevated mood.

Daily Rituals with Physical Therapy

If you have an injury or are recovery from surgery, physical therapy may be part of your daily routine. Turning your prescribed exercises into a daily ritual can not only bring you more satisfaction, but also speed the healing process. Whey you are more invested in physical therapy, you get better results. The specialists at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can get you connected with someone in our physical therapy clinic to help you on your healing journey.

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How to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

How to Improve Balance and Prevent Falls

Every year, one in four older adults will experience a fall. This can often lead to painful injuries such as hip fractures. In fact, falls are the leading cause of death in this age group, but if you are 65 or older, you don’t need to consider falls to be a natural part of the aging process. Improving your balance will greatly decrease your risk of experiencing a fall.

Tips for how to improve balance through exercise

As you age, the systems that prevent falls are also aging. Your vision, muscles, and central nervous system are all losing a small amount of function the older you become. Your reaction time to trip hazards is increasing as well. All of these factors combine to create a great risk of falling as you age. Here are some ways on how improve balance through exercise:

  • Aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, or bicycling. This helps serve as gait training as well as increasing your stamina.
  • Lift weights to help strengthen your muscles. You can use hand weights, resistance bands, or weight machines.
  • Flexibility training such as stretching or yoga. Find a local class with other seniors who are interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Tai Chi for muscle strength and balance. This ancient Chinese practice has been shown to decrease the incidence of falls in older adults.

Before starting any exercise program for how to improve balance, you should consult your doctor. If you experience pain or dizziness after a new activity, stop and rest.

Tips for how to improve balance through training

Exercise is not the only way to improve your balance and avoid falls. This can also be accomplished through balance training activities that you can do as you go about your day. Some examples are:

  • Alternate balancing on one foot while waiting in line
  • Practice sitting and standing without using your hands for assistance
  • After you are used to taking walks, try switching to an uneven surface.

By combining exercise and balance training, you can help condition your body to avoid a nasty fall. If you are looking for help with getting started on a plan for how to improve balance, contact the physical and occupational therapy office at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group. We can help develop a plan to keep you on your feet. If you do experience a fall, the physicians at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can help as well. Give us a call today.

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Safety tips for bike to work day Colorado Springs

Safety Tips for Bike to Work Day Colorado Springs

While the weather in Colorado can sometimes be unpredictable, our 300 days of sunshine offers the opportunity to bike to work. Biking to work benefits you in many ways including:

  • Saving money on gas
  • Getting a daily workout
  • Reducing air pollution
  • Avoiding traffic
  • Getting fresh air and sunshine
  • Increasing positive mood

Whether you are a seasoned bike enthusiast or just getting started, you’ll want to keep some safety precautions in mind if you plan to participate in Bike to Work Day Colorado Springs.

Tips for Biking to Work Safely

Bike to Work SafetyBicycles are considered vehicles in most states, and rules apply for safely operating bikes in the same way they do to cars. In order to avoid accidents or injuries follow these tips.

  • The first thing to take care of when you decide to bike to work is a good helmet. This one simple step can reduce your risk of injury by as much as 85 percent.
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially if you need to ride your bike in the dark. It’s important to stay visible to those around you.
  • Keep your bike properly maintained. Check your tire pressure, gears, brakes and chain regularly.
  • Know the rules of the road. Use proper hand signals and stay in bike lanes or on approved roadways.
  • Watch for hazards in your path such as rocks, glass or sand, and pay special attention at intersections.
  • Don’t wear earbuds while riding to work. You need to be fully aware of your surroundings in order to react quickly.

Follow these six tips, and Bike to Work Day Colorado Springs will be safe and fun!

Bike to Work Day Colorado Springs

In the state of Colorado, June is bike to work month, with an official “bike to work day” that is normally scheduled in the month of June. For 2020 the date has been postponed to September 22, 2020. The number of participants in Bike to Work Day Colorado Springs has risen dramatically since it’s start in 1995. Biking is especially popular in Colorado, so that trend is likely to continue.

If you are an inexperienced biker and find yourself sore or injured after biking to work, contact the specialists at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group to help get you healthy and back on your bicycle enjoying all the benefits of riding your bike to work.

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How Screen Time Affects Your Health

How Screen Time Affects Your Health & What You Can Do About It

Most parents are concerned with the amount of time their children spend on screens, but the average adult spends 11 hours per day on a screen of some sort. All of this technology can be a life-saver in business and productivity, but unfortunately, it’s not so good for your health. Some negative effects of too much screen time are:

  • woman holding a phoneWeight gain: more time in front of a screen translates into less physical activity
  • Depression: significant time spent watching TV or playing videos games correlates to higher depression rates
  •  Vision problems: this can include blurred vision, headaches, and dry, strained eyes
  • Sleep disruption: the blue light emitted from cell phones and computers hinders melatonin production, the hormone necessary to help you fall asleep
  • Other health conditions: screen time can even increase the likelihood of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer

What you can do about how screen time affects your health

In this digital age, not one is asking you to give up screens entirely. Most people need to use an electronic device for work or school, staying in touch with friends and family, or simply for entertainment. The key here is being conscious of your screen time usage and practicing moderation. Here are some tips for healthier screen time habits:

  • Use the settings on your phone to set limits on certain apps or on phone usage overall
  • Schedule quality time with your family and friends
  • Make time for exercise
  • Turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime
  • Seek help if you are experiencing depression
  • Take breaks from sitting at your computer at least every hour

When you start paying closer attention to your screen time habits, you will be able to change how screen time affects your health.

Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group cares about how screen time affects your health

At Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, we provide a holistic care model. How you spend your time each day affects your physical health as well as your mental health. If you are experiencing negative effects from excessive cell phone usage, check out our article on how to prevent smartphone hand pain. Our specialists are also available to help if you are feeling pain in your back, legs, or joints due to sitting for long periods of time in front of a screen. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!

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5 Tips To Start Lifting Weights Safely

5 Tips To Start Lifting Weights Safely

If you’re like most Americans right now, you are looking forward to getting into the gym. If you haven’t done a weightlifting program before, you may wonder how to start lifting weights safely. It’s an important thing to consider, especially if you are unfamiliar with using weights to stay fit and healthy. Here are some tips to help get you started.

1. Warm up your muscles

Before doing any sort of strength training, you need to get your muscles warmed up. You can accomplish this through stretching or using a foam roller to wake up your muscles. Another great option is 5-15 minutes of cardio to get your blood flowing. Now your muscles are ready for a workout.

2. Learn proper technique

You must lift weights properly to avoid injury. Most gyms have trainers available to help you with the correct form when weightlifting. If you do not have access to a trainer other great resources are online videos, Facebook groups or fitness apps. Don’t just wing it when trying something new. This is definitely not how to start lifting weights safely.

3. Choose the right weight

free weights at the gymWhen you first start lifting, you’re better off having slightly too little weight rather than too much. Experiment when doing your workout and see what weight size feels comfortable. It should be somewhat difficult to complete the last few reps of your final set of lifts. Your arms or legs may shake with the effort, but you should not feel sharp pain.

4. Rest between workouts

When starting a new lifting routine, your body will need rest to recover from the strain on your body. Weightlifting causes tiny tears in your muscles. This is how the body grows new muscle mass, but you need 1-2 days between weightlifting sessions to let this process happen. How do you feel the day after your workout? Soreness is to be expected, but you should not be in pain. If you are, give yourself another day of rest.

5. Gradually increase your time lifting

If you are new to weightlifting, give your muscles a little time to adjust to this new routine. Start out with just two days per week for the first 1-2 weeks, then add in a third day. You don’t want to shock your muscles and get hurt. Ideally you will work your way up to 3-5 lifting sessions each week.

Follow these tips for how to start lifting weights safely and you should avoid an injury. If you find you over did it at the gym, visit the Express Care Clinic at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group. We can help with all of your acute orthopedic needs.

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Heel Pain In The Morning With Dr. Dresher

Heel Pain in the Morning with Dr. Dresher

Do you have chronic heel pain in the morning? This may be due to plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects the heel bone to your toes. This painful condition can inhibit your daily life and activities. Thankfully, plantar fasciitis treatment can usually be accomplished at home.

What is causing my heel pain in the morning?

Heel pain in the morning getting out of bed

Plantar fasciitis occurs when small tears accrue in the tissue band from any of the following issues:

  • Wearing shoes that are too hard
  • Bad habits when running
  • Flat feet
  • High arch without proper support in shoes
  • Being overweight
  • Standing for long periods

While some cases of plantar fasciitis are due to genetics, many can be prevented or treated with good home care.

How can I prevent heel pain in the morning from plantar fasciitis?

There are many things you can do to prevent pain from plantar fasciitis including:

  • Wear shoes with good support
  • Replace tennis shoes often
  • Avoid walking on hard surfaces barefoot
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Low-impact exercises like swimming or walking
  • Avoid high-impact exercise such as running
  • Stretch your legs and feet

Whether you lead an active lifestyle or spend much of your time at home, these things can help prevent plantar fasciitis from developing.

How can I get treatment for plantar fasciitis?

If you know your heel pain in the morning is caused by plantar fasciitis, there are non-invasive ways to treat it. These include:

  • Rest
  • Ice the bottom of the foot
  • Stretching
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotics
  • Night braces

We always suggest you start with home care and other minimally invasive plantar fasciitis treatments before seeking the help of a doctor.

When should I see a doctor?

If the pain persists after several months you should schedule a visit with Dr. Dresher, our trained foot and ankle specialist. You may have underlying issues such as a bone spur rubbing on the tissue or a stress fracture. At that time Dr. Dresher may request an x-ray or an MRI to better understand what is causing your heel pain in the morning. Surgery should be the last resort for plantar fasciitis treatment unless there is a secondary condition like a bone spur. The specialists at the foot and ankle clinic at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can assess your condition and make a plantar fasciitis treatment plan that will work for you.

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Tips For Preventing Smartphone Hand Pain

Tips for Preventing Smartphone Hand Pain

Let’s face it, most of us have our phones in hand more often than not. Holding and using your device for several hours each day can lead to pain in your hands and wrists. You can even develop a repetitive stress injury in your thumb from typing too much. Follow these simple tips for preventing smartphone hand pain.

Hold your phone correctly

Person holding a smartphoneMost of the positions you can hold your phone in are not good for your muscles. This is why developing smartphone hand pain is so common in today’s times. When using your phone, try to keep your wrist straight as much as possible. You can do this by texting with once hand rather than using both thumbs. Another method would be setting your phone on a flat surface while you type.

Relieving smartphone hand pain

When you are experiencing pain due to excessive use of your phone, there are things you can do to alleviate this discomfort. Some of the best ways to do this are:

  • Take breaks to stretch your hands, fingers and wrists
  • Apply heat to relax sore muscles
  • Apply cold to calm more acute muscle spasms
  • Massage your hands to increase blood flow and relieve tight muscles
  • Use your fingers instead of your thumbs when typing to prevent developing a serious condition in this digit
  • Use the voice activated features of your phone

All of these techniques will help you recover from smartphone hand pain and help to prevent damage to your hands, fingers, or wrists. Making lifestyle adjustments to use your phone less will also go a long way in preventing pain and injury.

When to see a professional for smartphone hand pain

Most symptoms related to using your smartphone can be relieved with home treatment. If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, cramping, or stiffness long after you put down your phone, it may be time to see a professional. You may have developed a repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis or nerve damage. The hand specialists at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can help. Our skilled doctors will assess your condition and make recommendations for treatment options so that you can get back to your activities of daily living.

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5 Tips For How To Choose the Right Doctor

5 Tips for How to Choose the Right Doctor

Choosing a doctor that you are comfortable with and confident in is a very important decision for your health. Like most important life decisions, making an informed choice can take some investigation and effort. Your time will be well spent when you follow these five tips on how to choose the right doctor for you.

1. Talk to family and friends

Finding the right doctor can be as simple as asking people you trust for their recommendations. Your friends and family members may have experience with the type of doctor you are looking for. Remember though that all people are different, and the perfect doctor for your best friend may not be the perfect fit for you as well.

2. Check on insurance coverageImage of Doctors

Once you have a few names on your list, check with the providers to be sure their office accepts your insurance plan. This can easily be accomplished by calling the doctor’s office or your insurance carrier. Leaving out this important step can put an unexpected bill in your mailbox.

3. Consider location

While you may be willing to travel farther for a renowned specialist, you should still consider driving time when looking for a new doctor. If you will have frequent appointments, you may not want to make a long commute to visit your doctor’s office. You’re also much more likely to keep appointments with a provider that is conveniently located near where you live or work.

4. Research the quality of care

The most important question to answer when deciding how to choose the right doctor is how confident are you in their quality of care. You can use the website Certification Matters to find out if the doctor you are considering is board certified. Board-certified physicians must pass comprehensive exams as well as stay up to date on advancements in their field of expertise. This ensures your doctor is on the cutting edge of recent studies and technology and can provide you the best care possible.

5. Call the doctor’s office

Now that you’ve narrowed down your search to a few providers, give each office a call. Is the receptionist friendly and attentive? Did you experience a long hold time? Are they booked out very far in advance? These are important things to consider when deciding on a new provider.

We can help you with how to choose the right doctor

Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group has specialists to meet all of your orthopedic needs. Our orthopedic physicians are board-certified or board-eligible and fellowship-trained in many subspecialties including sports medicine, foot & ankle, spine, hand & upper extremity, trauma, and joint replacement. With this breadth of knowledge and expertise, we have you covered from head to toe.

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How Wearable Technology Can Help With Physical Therapy

How Wearable Technology Can Help with Physical Therapy

Sometimes when you leave the physical therapist’s office, the best laid plans to follow through on your PT goals fall apart. So many of us have smart watches and fitness trackers like the Apple Watch and Fitbit. These amazing gadgets can keep track of your activity levels as you go about your day, but they can also help with physical therapy when you leave your physical therapist’s office.

Using your smart watch to help with physical therapy

Person with Fitness Tracker WatchWhether you have an Apple Watch or some other variety of smart watch, this piece of wearable technology can help with physical therapy tracking and goals. Some fitness features included in a smart watch might be:

  • Recording workouts
  • Step tracking
  • Heart rate tracking
  • Goal setting
  • Long term trend data

A smart watch provides a great way to help with physical therapy. It will often include software that tracks session-based tasks that would be assigned by your physical therapist. When you’re completing these activities on your own at home, this information can be invaluable to meeting your physical therapy goals.

Using your Fitbit to help with physical therapy

Wearable fitness trackers like the Fitbit can also help with physical therapy. Many of the features of this wearable technology are similar to those of the smart watch, and they can include:

  • Heart rate tracking
  • Activity tracking
  • GPS tracking

Depending on which version you own, fitness trackers tend to be smaller and lighter than a smart watch. They are also more likely to be waterproof which can be helpful if swimming is part of your physical therapy routine.

No matter what type of wearable technology you choose, these handy gadgets can keep you on track with your physical therapy plan. The better you are at sticking to your goals, the quicker you will heal from your injury or surgery. The physical therapy office at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group is here to help with your physical therapy needs. Give us a call today!

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Tips For Travel After Knee Replacement Surgery

Tips For Travel After Knee Replacement Surgery

If you have a surgery scheduled for knee replacement, you may be wondering how soon you will be able to get back to normal life. For many, this includes travel after knee replacement surgery either by car or by airplane. Both of these will require you to sit for longer periods of time in a cramped position. We will discuss some precautions you can take to make travel after knee replacement more comfortable after your initial healing period of 6-10 weeks.

Air travel after knee replacement surgery

Inside View of Plane with PassengersWill you be able to make your daughter’s wedding the summer after your surgery? Questions like this may weigh on your mind as you schedule your knee replacement. Air travel poses some unique challenges. It often involves lots of walking to and from your gate, sitting in a small seat for several hours, and the added concern of developing a blood clot. Here are some precautions you can take to have a safe and comfortable flight:

  • Wear compression socks to prevent a potential blood clot
  • Get up and walk around as often as possible
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water and avoiding alcohol and coffee
  • Stretch and flex your muscles

By following these recommendations you will be able to enjoy your flight and arrive at your destination with minimal discomfort.

Car travel after knee replacement

Ready for that next road trip? Once your initial recovery period ends, you can make plans to hit the open road. Aside from the cries of “Are we there yet?” from the back seat, car travel after knee replacement shouldn’t cause you too much anguish if you follow these simple tips:

  • Take frequent breaks and walk around
  • If possible, switch from driver to passenger to give your driving leg a break
  • Stretch out your legs and flex your muscles as often as you can

Even if you haven’t used any assistive devices during your recovery period, you may want to consider using a cane, walker, or crutch while you are traveling to relieve some of the stress on your knee joint.

The specialists at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group are your best choice for your knee replacement surgery. We can also provide physical therapy services as well as support during the healing process. Give us a call today if you have any questions about travel after knee replacement.

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How Does A Flexible Spending Account Work With Coinsurance?

How Does a Flexible Spending Account Work with Coinsurance?

Health insurance has become a complicated enterprise. Some commonly used terms like copay, deductible, coinsurance, and flexible spending account may not be so common to the typical consumer. We will explore how does a flexible spending account work, and what is coinsurance.

How does a flexible spending account work?

Doctor Shaking Hand with PatientsA Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, lets you set aside money for medical expenses. Since your employer removes the funds from your paycheck before taxes, you realize the tax savings. You and your employer can add money to the account up to the limits outlined by the IRS. It is important to note that the money in a Flexible Spending Account must be used by the end of the year, otherwise your employer can keep the unused funds. Some employers may let you to pay expenses for the previous two months or roll over $500 to the next year. Each year you must re-enroll in the FSA program. You will also need to:


  • Find out what your employer’s contribution will be
  • Estimate how much you will spend on medical care this year
  • Decide on the amount you want deducted from your paycheck each month for your FSA

You can use the funds in your flexible spending account one of two ways. You can either use the provided debit or credit card or use your own money and send in receipts for reimbursement.

How does a flexible spending account work with coinsurance?

Many people confuse copay with coinsurance. They are very different things in the health insurance industry. A copay is a flat rate you pay when you see a doctor or receive other medical treatment. Coinsurance is the amount you are responsible for after you have met the deductible. There are three phases in health insurance:

  • Deductible phase: you have not yet met your deductible
  • Coinsurance phase: you pay a certain percentage for your care
  • Out-of-pocket maximum phase: your insurance company covers all the charges

Once you are in the coinsurance phase, you and your health insurance company are now sharing the cost of treatment at a set percentage rate. You can use your FSA to cover this additional cost for your health care needs.

How does a flexible spending account work at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group?

At Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, we accept all major insurance carriers as well as Flexible Spending Account payments. You can visit our offices for all of your orthopedic needs. When you require urgent orthopedic care, come to our Express Care Clinic for immediate help for your injury.

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Avoiding An Injured Finger This Winter

Avoiding an Injured Finger this Winter

The most common finger injuries we see in the clinic include lacerations, crushing injuries, fractures, and sprains. Finger sprains are quite common, especially in the sports world, and symptoms may linger for several months. In the winter, some types of injuries become more common. These can include:

  • Frostbite
  • Sprains from winter sports
  • Lacerations from snowblowers

Injured finger: Frostbite

You can easily get an injured finger due to frostbite. This condition can occur in as little as thirty minutes when your hands are exposed in freezing temperatures. The symptoms of frostbite include:

  • Cold, tingling skin
  • Numbness
  • Discolored skin
  • Joint and muscle stiffness
  • Waxy-looking skin

With frostbite, prevention is key. Always wear insulated gloves when you will be working or playing outdoors. If you will be out for long periods of time, try using hand-warmer packets, and switch to mittens as they will keep your fingers warmer.

Injured finger: Sprain

Finger sprains are very common in any winter sport. Practice helps reduce the risk of injury, but you cannot prevent them entirely. If a finger is jammed or sprained, you can buddy tape the injured digit to an adjacent non-injured one as a form of splinting. If the injured finger is swollen, discolored, misshapen, or in severe pain, it may be more than just a sprain.

Injured finger: LacerationsWintertime person using snow blower

Each year, around 9,000 people lose a finger to a snowblower accident. Snowblower injuries may vary from a simple cut that can be repaired with a few sutures to a more severe injury that requires finger re-implantation or amputation. You must use proper caution when operating a snowblower. Always turn the machine off before trying to clear a blockage with your hands.

When to visit the doctor?

Since finger injuries often occur after a forceful, sudden impact, they are difficult to prevent. It is best to see a doctor if you think you have broken a finger. A specialist like those of us at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can help assess your situation and provide splints and other treatment as necessary. Determining if you have a sprain, fracture or potentially a tendon injury can be important to assess in the first couple of days after an injury for the optimal outcome. In many situations, you can receive treatment other than surgery.

If the injury appears more severe, it is important to see a doctor right away. That is one reason we opened our Express Care walk-in clinic. It is a more affordable alternative to the ER and provides on-site expert care for orthopedic injuries that is often not available right away in an Emergency Room. We are also happy to take care of you in the hand department whenever you need to see a physician. Same-day appointments are usually available.

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How To Prevent Common Winter Injuries

How to Prevent Common Winter Injuries & When to Go to the Hospital

Winter brings fun times celebrating the holidays with family and friends as well as participating in exhilarating sports like skiing and sledding; however, it is also critical to prevent common winter injuries. Winter also has a set of common injuries that can leave you wondering when to go to the hospital. You can enjoy all that winter has to offer while still remaining injury-free.

Common winter injuries

Because of the snow and ice, winter carries with it the risk of injury. Some of the most common ways people get hurt in wintertime are:Winter Scene with Snowman and Shovel

  • Slipping and falling on ice
  • Over-exertion while shoveling
  • Injuries from winter activities such as sledding, ice skating and skiing
  • Automobile accidents

While there are risks, you need not stay indoors to keep yourself and your family safe this season.

Preventing winter injuries

Prevention takes some prior planning, but is well worth the effort to keep you and your family healthy and happy.

  • Help prevent slips and falls by using ice melt and wearing appropriate foot attire for the snow. Take your time, and use handrails when available.
  • When shoveling snow, be sure to take breaks, wear warm clothing, and go at a slow pace. To avoid over-exerting one side of your body, alternate throwing the snow to your left or right side. 
  • Use caution when participating in winter sports. Use the correct equipment, and do not take unnecessary risks.
  • If you must go out in icy conditions, most car accidents are preventable when drivers keep a safe following distance, go slowly, and minimize distractions. When in doubt, don’t go out!

When to go to the hospital

Sometimes things happen, even when you have done your best to prevent injuries. At this point you may be wondering when to go to the hospital. A visit to the Emergency Room is in order for all life-threatening injuries. For other severe or minor injuries to your bones or joints, the Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group Express Care Clinic is the perfect option for the best possible care. Our specialists will make you comfortable and assess your injury as quickly as possible to get you on the road to healing and back to enjoying the wonderful winter festivities.

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Help For Your Back & Neck Pain Symptoms

Help for Your Back & Neck Pain Symptoms

Eight out of ten people will suffer back and neck pain symptoms at some point in their lives. Sudden or acute pain may indicate an injury, however many people experience constant, chronic back and neck pain symptoms. The severity of the pain can range from a dull ache to sharp pain that inhibits your activities of daily living. If you are struggling with this common condition, there is help for you.

Potential causes of back and neck pain symptoms

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of your symptoms. There are many different possibilities for causes of this condition including:

  • Over-exertion
  • Repetitive motion
  • Aging
  • Injury
  • Obesity
  • Weak muscles
  • Joint weakness
  • Osteoporosis

Because there are so many things that may cause back and neck pain symptoms, it is important to be evaluated by a specialist when your pain is acute or chronic.

Preventing bigger problems associated with back and neck pain symptomsFather and Child sledding

Since it is difficult to ascertain the exact cause of your symptoms, bigger problems may develop if you ignore what your body is telling you. Untreated back and neck pain could result in:

  • Nerve damage
  • Disability and loss of productivity
  • Depression
  • Further injury
  • Weight gain from lack of physical activity

When your body is in pain, this is a message to you that something is not right or is not working properly. It is important for you to listen to that message and take action.

Treating or minimizing back and neck pain symptoms

There are many ways you can manage your back and neck pain symptoms. The first thing you can start with is an over the counter pain medication such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. Once you are certain that you are not injured, you can also try some of the following methods to alleviate your pain:

  • Exercise
  • Stretching
  • Physical therapy
  • Weight management
  • Assistive devices
  • Pain management techniques

All of these methods should be considered before introducing Opioid medications.

Finding a specialist for back and neck pain symptoms

If you have tried home care methods for alleviating your back and neck pain symptoms and you are still experiencing acute and/or chronic pain, it may be time to seek the help of a specialist. The doctors at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can help. We have a team of specialists who are qualified and ready to assess your back and neck pain symptoms and help you get some relief.

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Recognizing Early Signs Of Arthritis

Recognizing the Early Signs of Arthritis

Twenty-three percent of all Americans experience arthritis.  This condition is an inflammation of the joints that often results in pain and stiffness. It breaks down the cartilage that helps joints bend and move smoothly. The effects of arthritis generally worsen with age.

Early signs of arthritisTwo people skiing

If you experience:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • stiffness
  • redness
  • decreased range of motion in your joints

You may have arthritis. The best way to know for sure is to have a physical examination with an orthopedic specialist. He or she can diagnose your symptoms and order imaging like x-rays, CT scans, or an MRI to help determine the best treatment options for your situation.

Treatment for advanced arthritis

If the arthritis is significantly impairing your ability to perform day to day activities, your physician may recommend surgery to repair the damaged joint. In some cases, a joint repair may be the only thing necessary to smooth joint surfaces and increase function. This can often be done through a small incision and the use of a camera, or scope. More extreme cases may require a total joint replacement in order to reduce pain and increase mobility and range of motion. Although these procedures tend to have great outcomes, you should always ask you doctor about more conservative treatment options for your situation.

Non-surgical options for the early signs of arthritis

Pain is the driving force behind surgical and non-surgical treatment options for arthritis. There is no known cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can reduce pain and help you function more normally. Sometimes, a simple cortisone injection can make a world of difference. Overweight patients can also reduce the pain and stress in joints by losing even a few pounds. The important thing is to speak with a specialist about your specific needs.

Time to see a specialist

Once again, pain is usually what causes people to see a doctor. If you have any questions about your joints or other orthopedic conditions, it doesn’t hurt to come see us. We can educate you on your options and work with you to determine an ideal course of action for you. Visit Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group for more information or to book an appointment for your arthritis pain.

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Shout out to Veterans!

Shout Out to Our Military Veterans!

Veterans Day is celebrated across America on November 11. This national holiday began in 1919 to commemorate the end of Work War I. It was formerly known as Armistice Day until 1954 when President Eisenhower changed the name in order to honor all veterans. There are over 18 million veterans in the United States, and this holiday serves to applaud them for their service and accomplishments.

United States Veterans

Veterans include men and women who have served in any branch of the armed forces:American Flag hanging in a barn

  • Air Force
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Army
  • Coast Guard

Veterans are from all walks of life and many different professions. Nine percent of veterans are women. We have veterans living in every single state of the union as well, and the states with the highest number of veterans are California, Texas, and Florida.

Honor and Sacrifice

Why is it important to honor and thank our veterans each year? These men and women, and their families as well, make great sacrifices to defend and support our country. This is true during times of peace and during times of conflict. Those of us at Audubon Orthotic and Prosthetic Services would like to join the rest of our country in saying thank you to all of our veterans.

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Grilled Food, Independence, and Whiplash – 4th of July Injuries

Grilled Food, Independence & Whiplash – 4th of July Injuries

The 4th of July is a great day to spend time with friends and family as you celebrate Independence Day.  Unfortunately, it is also a day of increased emergency room visits.  Some are due to burns from fireworks, however, the other causes of 4th of July injuries may surprise you.

Five most common 4th of July injuries4th of July Celebration

  • Face and Eye Injuries: When you are looking up at fireworks, your risk of injury is greater.  Be cautious around fireworks, and seek medical attention if your face or eyes are hurt.
  • Hand and Finger Injuries: Again, when handling fireworks, use caution. Even sparklers can burn your hands and fingers.
  • Food poisoning: Proper food handling practices will help alleviate this problem. Always wash your hands when preparing food, and keep foods at safe temperatures.
  • Swimming accidents: Always be sure children are attended to and wearing life vests. If the adults are drinking, they should not be swimming.  This is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
  • Car Accidents: The number one cause of 4th of July injuries is auto accidents. This is partly due to the increased number of people out on the roadways and also to those drinking and driving.

Whiplash and other auto accident-related injuries

Since car accidents are the biggest cause of 4th of July injuries, it is important to know what to do if you find yourself in an accident.  Whiplash is caused by the sudden movement of the neck in a back and forth motion. It is common in rear-ending accidents. Sometimes the effects of a whiplash injury are not immediately apparent. For this reason, it is important to see a doctor after any car accident.

Bone fractures and joint damage are also common injuries that can occur in a car accident. If you are experiencing any pain after an auto accident, seek medical attention. The doctors at the Express Care Clinic at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can assess your injuries and set up an effective treatment plan.

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What To Do About A Fractured Or Jammed Finger

What to do About a Fractured or Jammed Finger

If you have injured your finger, you may be wondering whether it’s a fracture or jammed finger. While both conditions can cause pain, each has unique but similar symptoms. This can make it difficult to distinguish between the two.

Jammed Fingers

With a jammed finger, you may experience:

  • Pain
  • Difficulty holding things
  • Redness and swelling in the injured area

You can get a jammed finger when you smash your finger against something and the force pushes the tip of your finger down towards your hand. In this case, the joint in the middle of your finger absorbs the force of the blow, and the ligament in your finger gets stretched. A jammed finger is a common injury while playing sports, like when you try to catch a ball.  Alternately, you might jam it doing something as simple as closing a door or pushing the sheets under the mattress as you make the bed.

Fractured Fingers

jammed fingerAlternately, with a fractured finger you may experience:

  • Severe pain
  • Inability to bend or straighten your finger
  • Swelling in the finger that lasts for hours or days

You can get a fractured finger in the same ways you would get a jammed finger.  The only difference is the severity of the injury.

Treating Injured Fingers

When it comes to how to treat your injured finger, it depends on how badly the finger is injured. If the injury is minor, you can try the following:

  • Apply ice for fifteen minutes each hour to bring down swelling.
  • Keep your finger elevated above your chest.
  • Take an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen to ease any discomfort
  • If the finger looks like it is out of joint, do not pull on it. Instead, try splinting it or taping it to the neighboring finger
  • Keep the finger splinted until the pain stops. This can take about one to two weeks.

For more serious injuries, see a doctor. You may need surgery if you have a bone fracture or a torn ligament or tendon. An x-ray may be necessary to determine if the finger is jammed or if it is fractured instead.  You should go to express care when your finger appears misshapen or deformed when the finger is numb, if you notice any signs of infection developing on or around the injury, or if the pain does not improve with rest, ice, elevation, and medication. The Express Care Clinic at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group is available to help in these situations.

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Best Ways To Recover After A Skiing Injury

Best Ways To Recover After A Skiing Injury

Skiing is an exciting, fun sport that the entire family can enjoy together. However, like any activity, injuries can and do occur which is why it’s important to know what to do when you find yourself knee-deep in snow and tending to an injury.

Individual seeking the best ways to recover from a ski injury

After a skiing injury

When an accident occurs, it is important to first determine whether you need immediate medical attention or simply have a sprain. If your body is disabled in any way, in severe pain, or you experience numbness you should seek immediate medical attention. In the case that the injury is mild, you want to apply an ice pack or snow from around you onto the area in pain immediately for 10-20 minutes as well as elevate the injured area if necessary. You do not want to apply heat during the first 72 hours following the injury; applying heat will increase pain, blood flow, and swelling, resulting in a slower recovery. It is also important to rest and let yourself heal. The rest period can take as little as a few days, or it could require weeks or months to recover.  

When should I see a doctor?

After an accident, it is important to know which type of doctor to see and when. If you suspect a broken leg, broken arm, or broken ankle, visit an orthopedic specialist or a sports medicine doctor right away.  If your injury doesn’t heal within three weeks you should consider making an appointment with your primary doctor, however, scar tissue can interfere with movement and cause pain in the future which is why you should also visit a physical therapist or massage therapist.

Express Care

The Express Care Clinic at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can provide expert care whether you are dealing with a minor or major injury.  It is a great alternative to the Urgent Care office as we have orthopedic surgeons on staff for when you need them. Express care is uniquely equipped to care for bone and joint injuries. Before you head off on your next Skiing excursion, be sure to save our number, 719-632-7669, in the unfortunate event of a skiing injury. 

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How to Prevent Injury While Playing Basketball

How to Prevent Injury While Playing Basketball

Playing basketball is a great way to stay in shape while having fun and making friends it is not a sport that is played without some risks. While playing it is best to always strive to prevent injury, such as ankle injuries or knee injuries.  The three most common basketball injuries are ankle and foot, followed by hip and thigh, and then knee injuries.  Ankle Sprains are by far the most common type accounting for 43% of all basketball injuries. A sprained ankle occurs when the foot rolls inward or outward causing the ligaments in the ankle to stretch or tear from a sudden and unexpected movement. Hip and thigh injuries can occur when a player jumps, runs, or pivots while placing extra strain on the legs. Finally, knee injuries can either be severe, such as an ACL tear, or minor like a sprain or strain to the knee joint.

prevent Injury such as ankles injuries, & knee injuries while playing basketballWith basketball, as well as all sports, prevention of injury is key.  To prevent foot and ankle injuries, the player needs the right kind of foot support. A good quality basketball shoe as well as taping up your ankle before a game can go a long way for staying on the court. To prevent hip and thigh injuries, do some good stretching and warming up before the start of every game and practice.  For your knees, the best prevention is building stronger leg muscles. Working out when you are off the court will help strengthen the muscles that support the knee joint. Also, if your knees are prone to injury, always wear a knee brace when playing.


How We Can Help

If you are injured playing basketball, start with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE protocol).  When your pain does not subside after using RICE, it’s time to head to the Express Care Clinic at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group.  In some cases, the injury is still apparent after a few weeks, or the patient is a serious athlete who wants to avoid diminished performance or a risk of reinjury. For these instances it is important to consult a specialist who can effectively diagnose the injury and suggest treatment and rehabilitation options. Call us today if you think you are dealing with a foot, ankle or knee injury.

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3 Sports Medicine Tips For Preventing Skiing Injuries

3 Sports Medicine Tips For Preventing Skiing Injuries

Skiing is a great way to get outdoors, experience the beautiful Colorado scenery, and stay physically fit. Unfortunately, skiing brings a risk of injury. What do sports medicine specialists have to say about that? Some of the most common types of skiing injuries are knee sprains, fractured wrists, broken legs, head injuries, shoulder dislocations, and ankle and foot sprains.

By far the most common skiing injury is a sprained knee. This occurs when the ligament around the knee joint is injured by tearing or stretching too far. A knee sprain can happen during skiing when the knee bends in the opposite direction from how it normally bends or from too much strain on the knee joint. This can cause significant knee pain.


Thankfully, there are methods to help prevent injuries while skiing. One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce injury is to wear a brace. Knee, wrist, and ankle braces are readily available and a great first line of defense against injury. Wearing a helmet is also essential in protecting the skull and brain. Our sports medicine specialists recommend another important step in preventing injury – wearing equipment that fits properly.


Conditioning is another way to prevent skiing injuries. Of course, you must do this this well before hitting the slopes. A good program will include endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance. Aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling, biking, or jumping rope will all increase your level of endurance. Strength exercises such as squats, toe-raises, and sit-ups will condition your muscles for the strenuous sport of skiing. Stretches for the hamstrings, quads, and Achilles tendons are the third part of conditioning your body for your next skiing adventure. Finally, balance exercises such as standing on one leg and single leg hops will round out your conditioning regimen.


One final way to prepare your body for skiing is to stretch before heading down that mountain. When most people set out to go skiing, this begins with a long car ride followed by waiting in line while standing in the cold. Your need to warm up your muscles to prevent injury. You can accomplish this by stretching after getting off the lift and then by taking an easy run the first time down.

By following these tips for preparation and prevention, you increase your chances of having a fun and injury-free day on the mountain. Of course, if you do happen to injure yourself, call 719-632-7669 to schedule an appointment with the best orthopedic specialists in Sports Medicine in Colorado Springs.

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