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When Should I See a Doctor About Chronic Pain?

No one enjoys feeling pain, especially when that pain seems to have settled in and become a part of your normal day. Chronic pain stays with you for months, years, or even for the rest of your life. It can greatly change how you live, work, and play. While the pain may come and go at times, overall chronic pain is an issue you’re often stuck with. So, when is it time to go to the doctor to discuss chronic pain?

You Have Pain Beyond the Expected Recovery Time

If you’re recovering from an injury, you were likely given a timetable for that recovery. If you’re still having a bit of pain for a few days after your expected recovery time is up, that’s not too unusual. Every person is different, and it’s hard to lock down the exact time your injury will be fully healed and you won’t feel pain any longer. However, if the pain continues for several weeks and doesn’t seem to be letting up, it’s time to talk to a doctor about it. That’s not normal.

It Prevents You from Living Your Life

If you can’t easily climb up steps, walk across the room, or do anything else you’d normally do without experiencing pain, it’s time to speak to a doctor about it. You shouldn’t simply accept the pain and continue going on as you have been. There may be medication or a treatment option that will help you reduce or eliminate the pain completely.

The Pain Gets Worse

If you’ve been dealing with chronic pain for some time and it suddenly gets worse, it can be a sign that you’ve re-injured yourself or that something else is wrong. See a doctor as soon as you can. Otherwise, it’s possible this new damage will become permanent, leaving you experiencing a higher level of pain than usual.

There are a number of different ways of dealing with chronic pain, including medication and surgery. However, those aren’t always the best option. Chiropractic pain management can often reduce or eliminate your pain easily and quickly. Contact Maximum Orthopedics today to discuss how we can help you manage your chronic pain.

  • Posted on: Jun 30 2019
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Should You Apply for Temporary Disability?

If you’ve been injured at work and won’t be able to be back on the job for several weeks or months, others may encourage you to apply for temporary disability. But should you? There are a number of reasons why it makes sense to apply, but there are a few reasons why it may not necessarily be a good idea. Many of the reasons not to apply have to do with the chances of being denied.

Does Your Employer Offer Short-Term Disability?

Only a handful of states require businesses to have short-term disability insurance coverage. This means your state may not have the option for you to apply for short-term disability. If your employer doesn’t have a short-term disability policy or doesn’t fund short-term disability themselves, there’s nothing for you to apply for.

Are You Eligible?

If your employer does offer short-term disability, the next thing to determine is if you are eligible. If you have any type of pre-existing condition, you may not be. You will need to go through all of the documentation related to your employer’s short-term disability to determine if you are eligible. If you are, you may want to apply. If you’re not, you’ll be denied.

Will You Be Off Work Long Enough?

You will need to be off work for the waiting period outline in your employer’s disability paperwork. In some cases, you may need to be off work for a week or more. You will also have to meet the definition of disability, which does change from employer to employer. In most cases, it means you are unable to complete your regular work duties due to the injury you received.

Should You Apply if You Meet these Requirements?

If you do qualify for short-term disability, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t apply. You’re not going to be able to work for a set amount of time, and you will need some form of income to cover your medical bills and monthly financial obligations. Even if you cannot return to work by the time your short-term disability payments end, you will still have had that money to help you every month.

If you need help applying for short-term disability or other workers’ compensation benefits, the team at Maximum Orthopedics is here to help. Contact us today.

  • Posted on: Jun 15 2019
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Myths People Believe About Chiropractors

While many people are very thankful that they can see a chiropractor for their pain, others may never want to visit one. They have bought into a number of the different myths people often believe about chiropractors. These myths often paint chiropractors as quacks who don’t actually help people at all. Let’s take a look at a few of these myths and the truth.

Anyone Can Call Themselves a Chiropractor

Some people believe that chiropractors are unlicensed or have very little training. This is not the case. Most chiropractors have gone through a full undergraduate program, often as a pre-med major, and then follow it up with a graduate degree focused on chiropractic medicine. This includes thousands of hours of instructional practice, plus classes on biology, physiology, anatomy, and chiropractic procedures. While they may not have a full M.D., chiropractors are far from uneducated, and a person cannot simply open a chiropractic clinic without being certified and licensed. The American Chiropractic Association and similar organizations make certain chiropractors follow these procedures.

Chiropractors Aren’t Safe

This myth comes from the fact that some people do feel pain or headaches after visiting the chiropractor. These side effects do occur, but they usually vanish within about 24 hours. They happen because the body was out of alignment. Spinal manipulation does push and pull nerves, muscles, and other parts of the body around, which can cause some pain. However, because everything is being put back into its correct alignment, the pain you felt before your visit will be gone.

It is true that chiropractic manipulation can be dangerous for people who are dealing with certain conditions such as broken bones, inflamed joints, circulation issues, and bone disease. However, if you visit a chiropractor, they will ask you many questions about your health before doing anything to make certain it’s safe.

It Doesn’t Work

Finally, some people believe chiropractic manipulation doesn’t work. The data shows otherwise, of course, with many people saying they have felt some or total relief of pain due to chiropractic therapy.

Want to try it yourself or learn more about chiropractors? Contact Maximum Orthopedics today.

  • Posted on: May 31 2019
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Basic Orthopedic Exercises You Can Do at Home

Want to do some basic orthopedic exercises at home to help decrease your pain or improve your range of motion after an injury? There are several different basic exercises you can do on your own without any fancy equipment or going to a rehab facility. Here are a few of them.

Take a Walk

You may not think of walking as an orthopedic exercise, but it is a good way of working your knee joints. Walking for just a few minutes can do a lot for your body because warm up your joints. It’s also very easy to do. In fact, you can incorporate it into other tasks such as shopping – just take an extra lap or two around the store while you’re checking off your grocery list.

Leg Raises

Another good exercise for your knees is to lie on the floor. Take one food and place it flat on the floor, bending your knee. Keep the other leg straight and lift it up until your knees are at the same height. Do each leg ten times for one set, and try to do three sets during one exercise period.

Shoulder Stretches

To work on your shoulders and rotator cuffs, take one arm and stretch it across your body. Use your other hand to hold your upper arm for about 30 seconds. Then relax the arm for another 30 seconds. Repeat with each arm four times.

Hip Joint Exercise

If your hip joint hurts due to injury or arthritis, you can do straight leg raises to help increase the strength in the area and decrease pain. Lie down on the floor on your right side. Lift your left leg off the ground until your foot is about two feet high. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower your leg. Repeat with each leg five times.

These exercises will help you strengthen your body and reduce the amount of pain you’re in on a daily basis. Of course, depending on where your pain is, there could be more effective exercises you could do. Contact Maximum Orthopedics today to discuss your unique condition and what exercises are best to help you reduce pain.

  • Posted on: May 15 2019
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Should I Use Heat or Ice on an Orthopedic Injury?

If you’re dealing with an orthopedic injury, you’re likely wondering what the best way of managing the injury is. Ideally, you’ll have an appointment with an orthopedic expert lined up, but you might have a few days before the appointment during which you need to treat the injury. In other cases, you might simply be trying to manage chronic pain. Do you do so with heat or ice, though? It actually depends on the type of injury you’re dealing with.

Using Heat

If you’re dealing with arthritis or any other type of chronic joint pain, heat is the way to go. By applying heat to an area, you’ll increase the blood flow and help loosen up the tissues around the joints. However, it’s important that you do this before you begin any type of activity that you know is going to cause you pain. You don’t want to use heat after the activity, nor should you apply heat to any sudden injury. Only use the heating pad to treat your chronic condition as a pre-emptive solution.

Using Ice

While heat helps with chronic conditions, ice is the solution for acute (sudden) injuries. If you’ve hurt yourself within 48 hours, apply ice to the area where you have swelling. It will help reduce the swelling, stop muscle spasms, and even reduce the pain. You can also use ice for treating any chronic condition, but you want to do so after you’ve worked out or done any other activity. Here, the ice is used to help with inflammation. Never use ice before you’re active.

Tips for Controlling Pain with Heat and Ice

There are a few ways you can use heat and ice to help deal with chronic orthopedic pain. Using heat before an activity and ice afterwards will help minimize the amount of pain you feel while you’re active and during the rest of the day. You do, however, want to avoid using both heat and ice on any area you know has poor circulation or that has a lack of sensation. Also avoid both types of treatment on any area that is infected.

Every person and every injury is unique. If you’re not certain whether to use heat, ice, or neither, contact the experts at Maximum Orthopedics to discuss your specific injury and treatment plan.

  • Posted on: Apr 30 2019
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Temporary vs Permanent Disability Benefits

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, on the job accident, or other type of injury that has left you unable to work for months, years, or for the rest of your life, you need to seek out disability benefits. These benefits will allow you to maintain your current state of living while you deal with medical bills, physical therapy, and adjusting to your new way of living. Before you begin the process of applying for benefits, though, you need to understand the differences between temporary and permanent disability so you know which one to pursue.

Temporary Disability

Temporary disability, as the name suggests, is designed to temporarily help you cover your bills and medical costs until you can return to work. You will likely be awarded temporary disability if you will eventually fully recover and be able to return to work. It’s meant to help you remain financially stable in the short term. It can cover injuries such as broken bones or illnesses such as severe cases of the flu. Anything that makes it impossible to do your job or to handle routine tasks such as walking or preparing meals can make you eligible for temporary disability.

Note that a number of insurance companies and even state governments don’t offer this type of disability. Even those that do will have a maximum amount of time you can take advantage of temporary disability benefits.

Permanent Disability

If, on the other hand, you have been injured to the point that you will be permanently impaired, you can apply for permanent disability. This type of disability is designed to provide you with financial assistance for the rest of your life. This type of long-term disability is only awarded if medical experts have determined that you will not recover completely and will always have a disability. Losing a limb, for example, could qualify for you for permanent disability if it means you cannot do the job you’ve been trained to do. In addition to being injured, it’s also possible to be born with a qualifying disability such as blindness.

Determining which type of disability is right for you often requires a medical specialist. The experts at Maximum Orthopedics can help you apply for the correct type of disability.

  • Posted on: Apr 15 2019
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Why It’s Important to Seek Medical Assistance After an Auto Accident

Some auto accidents are so severe and scary that you don’t really have a choice regarding medication attention—you may need help just getting out of your vehicle. But other auto accidents aren’t as bad. You might have a few bumps and bruises, but overall, you don’t feel like you’ve had any injuries bad enough for medical attention, so you wave off the emergency services or decide not to go to your doctor. Unfortunately, this can be a major mistake. There are several reasons why it’s important to seek medical assistance after any auto accident.

You May Be Hurt More Seriously than You Realize

Whiplash and other injuries can take hours, if not days, to cause you pain. When you’re in shock from a car crash and your adrenaline is going, your body dulls the pain. Later, though, you may realize just how badly you were injured. If you don’t seek medical attention right after the accident, it may be difficult to conclusively show that the crash is the cause of your injuries. This is especially true if you wait several days.

The earlier you’re examined, the better, because it may be possible to deal with your injuries while they are still mild. If you go days or even weeks before you see a doctor, you may have caused additional damage to your body, making what was a fairly minor injury much worse.

The Medical Report Helps Your Court Case

If you’re suing for personal injury from an auto accident, having a medical report from that same day can greatly help. It shows that you recognized your injuries were severe and that you sought medical assistance right away. This medical report can also backup any injuries or pain that develop later. If you don’t have a medical report, the defendant in the case may be able to show that your injuries weren’t connected to the accident.

Help Is Available—Make Use of It

If emergency services were called to the scene, there’s no reason not to let them at least give you a quick check-over to make sure you’re not injured worse than you thought. They’re already there, so let them do their job. Even if you don’t go to the ER, it also doesn’t hurt to make an appointment with your doctor after the accident. It’s always a good idea to be cautious after an accident. Even a minor fender bender can result in serious whiplash. Contact Maximum Orthopedics after any car accident to ensure you truly aren’t hurt too badly.

  • Posted on: Mar 26 2019
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Is My Injury Severe Enough to File Worker’s Comp?

If you’ve been injured on the job, but your injury doesn’t seem major, you may wonder if it’s worth going through the work to file a worker’s compensation claim. You may get treatment and not even need to take time off work. However, there’s always the case that you’ve injured yourself worse than what you realize. If you have been injured, but it doesn’t seem too severe, there are still some steps you need to take to determine if you need to file for worker’s comp.

Will You Be Off Work at All?

If you do need to take some time off work, it’s likely that you do need to file a worker’s comp claim. If you’ll only be off for the afternoon or for a day or two, your injury will likely be ruled too minor. However, if you are off work for more than that, you may want to consider worker’s comp, especially if it will take more than a week for you to recover.

How Extensive Are Your Injuries?

If you can take care of your injury with a standard first-aid kit, it’s not enough to file a worker’s comp case. Small cuts, scrapes, and bruises are considered too minor. Anything that requires an ambulance or a visit to the emergency room, however, is likely going to be severe enough to qualify for worker’s comp.

Do You Have Recurring Injuries or Pain?

If you have one headache due to being exposed to something at work, it’s likely not something worker’s comp will cover. However, if you’re in a work environment where you are constantly exposed to something that gives you headaches, it can be considered a hazard and is most likely covered by worker’s comp. So even if your injury doesn’t seem severe, if it’s recurring, you may still have a case. Issues that get worse over time can also qualify for worker’s comp. For example, your carpal tunnel syndrome may continue to get worse over time until it needs treatment.

Seek an Expert’s Opinion

While your thoughts on your injury are important, you’re most likely not a trained medical expert. What seems fine to you may actually be a sign of severe damage or injury. That’s why it’s important to visit Maximum Orthopedics when you’ve been injured at work. We will evaluate your injuries and help you determine if you should file a worker’s comp claim.

  • Posted on: Mar 1 2019
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Managing Your Pain Without Surgery

No one wants to deal with pain, especially not long-term chronic pain. But sometimes it may seem like the options—drugs or surgery—simply aren’t any better. Who wants to take medications for the rest of their life, especially if those medications have horrible side effects? Surgery can also be risky. Fortunately, there are some pain management techniques that do not require either.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help you stretch and relax your muscles, reducing pain and giving you greater mobility. Physical therapy is generally directed by a professional, at least at first, so that you what exercises to do and how often to do them. This is necessary because if you don’t perform the exercises just right, you may hurt yourself further. Some physical therapy may require weights or other additional equipment or may be done in the water.

Massage

Massaging injured muscles can also help relieve the pain and improve your range of motion. There are various types of massage that can help with different pain. Deep tissue massage may be needed for severe pain, while more gentle options may help others. According to studies, massage can actually help decrease your pain for months.

Alternating Hot and Cold Treatment

Another type of treatment you may make use of is to alternate hot and cold options. This involved using a heating pad to help with inflammation and then an ice pack to reduce swelling. Sometimes you alternate heat and cold, while other times, one or the other may be more beneficial. It all depends on the type of pain you’re dealing with.

Acupuncture

Another option is to try acupuncture. This traditional Chinese treatment can actually be very helpful when dealing with chronic pain. While the idea of having small needles stuck in your body may sound like it would cause more pain than it would cure, acupuncture is surprisingly effective.

A Combination of Treatments

Often, what really works for a patient is a combination of different treatments. Physical therapy when combined with cold treatment, for example, may be the key to managing your pain. For others, it may be massage and hot treatment. It often depends on your specific type of pain, where that pain is located, and its underlying cause.

Need help managing pain without surgery or medication? Contact Maximum Orthopedics today.

  • Posted on: Feb 26 2019
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Common Orthopedic Surgeries

There are a number of different types of orthopedic surgeries you can have. Many of these procedures are actually very common and often have few side effects. If you’re scheduled for an orthopedic procedure, it may help calm you to know if you’re undergoing one of the most common types of orthopedic surgeries. Here are some of these surgeries.

Joint Replacement

Many people undergo knee replacement surgery, a type of joint replacement. These surgeries are very common and include knee and hip replacement. Once complete, you will need to see your doctor regularly for several months just to make certain that the implant is successful and that there are no issues with it. In most cases, patients regain a great amount of mobility that they had lost and are able to return to living a pain-free life.

If your joint replacement does have complications, your orthopedic surgeon may need to do a revision joint procedure. This means that they remove the defective implant and put in a new one. If you have an older implant, you may also need a revision joint procedure at some point.

Debridement

A debridement is a type of orthopedic surgery that involves removing dead tissue. Sometimes, this much be done before the body can start to heal correctly. This process simply removes the dead tissue. In some cases, some bone also must be removed.

Fusion

When your body is in need of more stability or if you have damage done to your spine or to specific bones, a fusion may be necessary. The surgeon will fuse together the vertebrae in your spine or a bone graft to the fractured bones in order to help them heal and make them stronger. This isn’t always necessary with back or bone injuries, but it is often done to provide more stability and improve healing times.

Soft Tissue Procedures

If you have torn tendons or ligaments, your orthopedic surgeon may need to do surgery to repair them. This common surgery is often necessary before you can start healing.

Carpal Tunnel

Another very common orthopedic surgery is done on those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. This surgery helps release the pressure and return a full range of motion to the wrists and hands.

There are a number of other orthopedic surgeries that are very common. If you’re in need of one of these procedures, the experts at Maximum Orthopedics are here to help. Contact us today for more information.

  • Posted on: Feb 1 2019
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