By Patrick N. Smith, M.D. Every year in the United States about 65 million people will be suffering from back pain. Roughly ninety percent of the U.S population will experience at least one debilitating back-pain event in their lives. It is also estimated that back pain will cost the U.S. approximately 50 billion dollars in lost wages annually. It is the second most common reason a person sees the doctor (only behind the common cold!). So, WHY SO MUCH BACK PAIN? GOOD QUESTION! Here are two commonly overlooked risk factors: SMOKING – One of the most unrecognized risk factors for back problems is smoking. Approximately 43 million Americans smoke, or about 19% of the population. Smoking has been linked to heart disease and several cancers, but here’s another reason to stop- smoking has been linked to degenerative disc disease, a progressive deteriorating condition of the lumbar spine. Research published in the American Journal of Medicine found a greater than 30% increased risk for low back in smokers compared to non-smokers. Due to the decrease blood flow caused by nicotine and the lowering of oxygen in the blood, it is felt that smoking disrupts the supply of vital nutrients and oxygen […]
By Carl T. Hasselman, M.D. and Alex J. Kline, M.D. Over the years shoes have been used for protection, to make a fashion statement, to improve athletic or dramatic performance and as a social status symbol. Styles have changed since the Greek times of sandals to high heel shoes in the 16th Century to constrictive high heel shoes after World War II. Interestingly, in barefoot societies there are few bunions and foot problems; however, in modern societies with constrictive shoe wear, 1 in 6 people will develop problems with their feet. If these facts are known, then why do we continue to wear such shoes and what can we do to improve comfort in our feet? The most important lesson to remember is this: The mo$t expen$ive $hoe is not nece$$arily the be$t $hoe!!!! Many times you are paying for a name or the advertising of that shoe and not for high quality or what is in your foot’s best interest. First, we must discuss the anatomy of a shoe by its parts. The top of a shoe (covering the foot) is called the upper and the bottom (the part in contact with the ground) is called the sole. The […]
Managing Carpal and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include wrist pain, hand numbness, loss of grip strength, and tingling fingers. With cubital tunnel syndrome, the tingling sensation occurs only in the pinkie and ring finger. In both conditions, early detection and treatment can help avoid permanent nerve damage. If you want to learn more about carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome-including causes, symptoms, and treatments-attend a presentation by Franklin H. Chou, MD, of Three Rivers Orthopedic Associates-UPMC, a specialist in hand and upper extremity surgery. Wednesday, May 6, 2015 6 to 7:30 p.m. UPMC St. Margaret 815 Freeport Road Pittsburgh, PA 15215 Neil Y. Van Horn Pavilion (Hospital Entrance A) Parking will be validated and light refreshments will be served. Reservations are required, call 412-784-4022. Why Are My Fingers Tingling?