Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Off the Shelf Knee Ligament Bracing

When it comes to torn knee ligaments, there are a lot of things that are inconvenient, but proper ligament bracing doesn’t have to be one of them. There are a number of off-the-shelf options that provide state-of-the-art engineering at great prices, and you can even order them from the comfort of your home. The following is a quick checklist of important features and benefits to consider when selecting a a medical knee brace.


  • What type of ligament bracing do you require? Many quality braces can support several different ligament instabilities, such as ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL, rotary and even combination instabilities. If you have multiple instabilities consider a brace with a cage frame that will provide multiple points of leverage and support.

  • What activity level do you require? There are braces for low, medium, high and extreme impact. Select a brace level to meet your athletic needs. If you are strategically delaying surgery or plan to playing “at risk” sports, you should look for a brace specifically constructed for sports.

  • Is the brace comfortable? You will be wearing the brace for extended periods of time so it needs to be comfortable. This means a product constructed with padding, adjustment features and a design that does not rub, chafe or slip. A cheap brace is more likely to slip, cause heat rash and blisters and just be a general pain. Also, if you are recovering from reconstructive surgery, select a brace that will not make contact with any of the points of incision.

  • Is it a respected brand? When it comes to stabilizing ligaments, quality counts. Look for quality products comprised of non-corrosive materials. Respected medical knee brace brands recognized for quality craftsmanship and innovative design include BREG, OSSUR and Bledsoe.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premier supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality specialty orthopedic braces and support, such as a hinged knee brace or high quality lumbar brace, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Understanding & Treating Patellar Dislocations

A patellar dislocation is a commonplace injury that involves the patella (aka the "knee cap".) The patella is situated in the patellofemoral cavity between the distal femur and the tibia, held in place by a number of ligaments and tendons. These ligaments can be damaged by a direct blow to the knee or an awkward motion, which in turn can lead to the knee cap sliding out of place. Most of these dislocations involve the patella moving laterally to the left or right side. The result is severe swelling, reduced mobility and an intense pain felt inside of the knee cap. There several sports particularly associated with these sorts of injuries, including hockey, gymnastics, rugby, football and soccer. Some other factors that put an individual at risk include:


  • Age – People between the ages of 16 to 20 years tend to have the highest occurrences of patellar dislocation due to a higher rate of aggressive sports participation.

  • Gender – Women are more susceptible to these injuries because of how their hips distribute the body's weight.

  • Genetics – These sorts of injuries tend to run in families due to physiological similarities. Some birth defects can also increase the likelihood of injury.

In most patellar dislocation cases, people are able to slide the patella back into place with a simple leg extension resulting in a distinctive knee pop, but in some instances the injury is just too great. In these cases, many doctors will recommend a patellar stabilizer knee brace which should be worn for (at least) two to three weeks. These braces are often used in conjunction with professional physical rehabilitation. Many doctors also recommend taking a glucosamine supplement which is believed to keep ligaments strong. If instability continues beyond 8 to 12 weeks, speak with your doctor about more aggressive options, as in some rare instances, surgery may be the best option for patella ligament repair.


Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products, cold therapy devices, shoes for diabetics, and a wide knee braces including patella stabilizers, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What is Electrotherapy and Can it Help with Arthritis?

Electrotherapy is the use of electrical energy currents for medical treatment. It was first pioneered in the mid 1800’s when medical professionals noticed that electric currents could be used to stimulate muscle contractions. Today, electrotherapy is used primarily for physical rehabilitation. It has been approved by the American Physical Therapy Association for pain management, improved joint function, tissue repair, blood flow issues and the treatment of neuromuscular dysfunction.


One of the best known applications of electrotherapy is the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in the knees, hips and hands. In these instances, an electrotherapy device sends tiny electric signals directly to the joint. This is often combined with heat and compression for increased effectiveness. Patients frequently wear the device while sleeping and it is recommended that electrotherapy be administered for 6 to 12 months for optimum results. In some arthritis cases, electrotherapy treatment may help reduce pain, enhance blood circulation, increase joint flexibility and promote deep tissue repair.


Before seeking out a new electrotherapy device, speak to your personal physician or physical therapist. A physician’s order is required to obtain one of these devices and you should only operate the device under the on-going supervision of a medical professional. If your physician agrees that electrotherapy may be beneficial for your specific arthritis condition, seek out a device that is comfortable and convenience to use. If you are covered by Medicare, there are a number of Medicare approved devices such as the J-Stim 1000 therapy system. Ask your physician which device they would recommend for you.


Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition. Always consult with a medical professional prior to initiating electrotherapy treatment.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of medical products including a wide selection of orthopedic braces and supports. For quality cervical collars, a wide elbow brace selection and other quality braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Osteoarthritis Pain Relief

Arthritis – specifically osteoarthritis also known as “wear and tear” arthritis – is a sneaky condition. Often progressing slowly, early on the symptoms are subtle, difficult to even notice. Eventually they become more pronounced, more annoying.. and then one-day you suddenly realize that it has become painful to do many simple tasks.


Over 21 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that typically manifests after age 65. In some instances, however, it can affect healthy, young adults in their late 20's or 30's. As with many pain-driven diseases that have no known cure, osteoarthritis can be tricky to treat. Vioxx, a popular arthritis pain medication, was recently recalled due to potentially deadly side effects. Other prescription arthritis pain medications will also likely be pulled for similar reasons. Despite these set-backs, there are still some viable, non-addictive options for treating osteoarthritis.


Supplements and diet
  • Research shows that Omega-3s can lubricate the joints and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate not only relieve pain, but may actually aid in cartridge renewal.

  • Strategic joint movement
  • Pain and stiffness is often most acute after not using a joint for a prolonged period of time, so try to use your affected joints every so often. Unfortunately, too much use can also aggravate pain, so you must strike a careful balance.

  • Weight management
  • Obese individuals are four times more likely to develop osteoarthritis because the weight puts additional strain on the joints. Medical research also suggests that the hormonal changes that accompany obesity can accelerate the condition.

  • Arthritis braces and gloves
  • Special arthritis gloves and braces help alleviate hand and wrist pain by applying pressure and controlling joint movement.

  • Cortisone or Hyaluronic acid injections.
  • Cortisone can help decrease inflammation and thus relieve pain. A possible drawback is that overuse may actually further damage the joint, so limit shots to three per year.

  • Hydraluronic acid injections may decrease pain by lubricating the joint for a period of 3 to 5 weeks.

  • Acupuncture
  • Several studies have shown that acupuncture may decrease osteoarthritis symptoms over time.

  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Heat wraps, moist heat therapy pads and ice packs can be used to decrease swelling and blood flow to affected areas and thus control pain.

  • Magnet Therapy
  • Some studies found that magnet therapy may be beneficial for individuals with hip or knee osteoarthritis.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee braces, wrist braces or lumbar braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a condition resulting from the compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway between the forearm and hand that is threaded with nerves and tendons. The median nerve is responsible for both sensation and movement in the thumb and middle three fingers. If the median nerve becomes compressed, the result is often pain, limited movement and other unfortunate symptoms.


What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The most common symptoms include:


  • Numb hands / loss of sensation in the thumb or fingers

  • Tingling fingers

  • Hand and wrist pain

  • Cold hands

  • Impaired hand motor skills

  • Poor hand circulation

  • Higher frequency of hand “falling asleep”

  • Decreased grip strength

  • Disrupted sleep due to hand pain or tingling

  • Aching shoulders and/or neck

Why did I get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are several common factors that are likely contributing to your condition.


  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is first and foremost a repetitive strain injury. It is often triggered by a repetitive task, vibration, position or prolonged compression. If you execute a repetitive task or hold your wrist in an awkward position for long periods of time, you are at high risk to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

  • If you have a small carpal tunnel the likelihood of nerve compression is significantly higher. This is often genetically inherited and thus difficult to “treat”.

  • The condition is much more prominent in women, which is likely due to the fact that they have significantly smaller carpal tunnels in general.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also result from an injury, rheumatoid arthritis or hypothyroidism.


How can I treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

At the end of the day, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is really a series of symptoms, so the goal is to stop these symptoms or at the least, minimize them. If the symptoms disappear the syndrome is essentially over. Unfortunately, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms return with high frequency and often demand vigilant management. Some treatment options include:


  • Rest and immobilization.

  • Wearing a carpal tunnel brace, especially during specific trigger tasks.

  • Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and subsequent pressure on the nerve.

  • Surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve.



Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition. A doctor can perform tests to determine whether a patient needs to be treated for carpal tunnel syndrome. Consulting with a medical professional is advisable for anyone who is experiencing any of the before-mentioned symptoms.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premier supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality specialty orthopedic braces and support, such as a hinged knee brace or high quality lumbar brace, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Health Care Reform and Diabetes

While there may be future changes to the Health Care Reform Bill passed in March 2010, as it stands now, there are a number of provisions that will help the 24 million diabetics in American. It is still uncertain how exactly the bill will affect coverage of lifestyle products such as diabetic shoes, but it is certain that it will give diabetics better access to medical care and decrease their vulnerability as a whole. As of November 2010, the following is a quick reference list of some of the main changes that will affect diabetic’s medical coverage and treatment.


  • The bill features new coverage options for those with pre-existing conditions. Diabetics have long felt the sting of insurance company’s “pre-existing conditions” exemptions. Health Care reform bans discrimination against pre-existing conditions in both adults and children.

  • Insurers will be prohibited from dropping people after they become sick. This includes being diagnosed with diabetes
  • .
  • Insurers will be prohibited from issuing annual and lifetime limits on benefits.

  • Insurers will be prohibited from increasing medical costs based on gender or health status.

  • Young adult with diabetes will be able to stay on their parents insurance until the age of 26.

  • The bill provides free “preventative care” coverage, which will be beneficial to the 57 million Americans who are considered pre-diabetic.

  • For diabetic seniors, a new limit on out-of-pocket drug costs will help them avoid the infamous Medicare “donut hole” (i.e. the gap between Medicare drug benefits and paying full cost for medication.)

  • The bill includes a National Diabetes Prevention Program which will assist community programs that target at-risk behavior and other contributing factors such as food accessibility. According to the American Diabetes Association, the pilot program reduced the risk of diabetes by 58% in the communities they were implemented in.

  • The bill also creates a nationally monitored, stat-by-state Diabetes Report Card to track diabetic-related issues. This program requires that the Institute of Medicine and the Department of Health Services collaborate on diabetes medical education initiatives.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a insurance or medical professional. To find out more about how diabetics may benefit from upcoming health care reform, please visit the American Diabetes Association.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale distributor of comfort footwear offering a wide selection of shoes for diabetics as well as orthopedic shoes for both women and men. Please visit MMAR Medical online for more information.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Tips

If you have type 2 diabetes, food plays an important role in your day-to-day well being and may even be the key to eventually overcoming diabetes. If you eat correctly, you are more likely to feel good, lose unwanted weight and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. It is important to eat strategically. You should not only choose appropriate foods, but also schedule meals and snacks so that you keep your blood glucose in check.


Below are a few helpful diet tips for diabetics. This information is not intended to replace the help of a medical professional. Before you create your diabetic diet plan, talk to your doctor about what your specific blood levels should be before eating, as well as 1 to 2 hours after eating. This information will help you map out your schedule. Determine how often you should be checking your blood glucose level and schedule two or more A1C tests every year to monitor your progress. Visiting your doctor is the first step to creating a strong diabetic diet strategy.


Diabetes Diet Tips:


  • Reduce the amounts of fried foods you consume as they are high calorie. Purchase leaner cuts of meat and opt to roast, bake or pan fry with fat free cooking spray or a little olive oil.

  • It goes without saying, but eat more fruits and vegetables (but don't fry them!) Most people think they hate fruits and vegetables, but in truth they just haven’t discovered how they like them. Try a new fruit every week. Learn new ways to prep vegetables. Dip raw vegetable in hummus. Explore non-traditional and exotic preparation of vegetables.

  • Switch to low-fat or fat-free dairy products and mayonnaise. You can also substitute mayonnaise with mustard and butter with reduced fat spread rather.

  • Studies have shown a correlation between foods high on the Glycemic Index (GI) (i.e. simple carbohydrates) and diabetes as these foods elevate blood sugar rapidly. If possible, avoid high GI foods entirely or limit their consumption. Only buy whole grain breads and/or cereals.

  • Consider complementing your diet with physical exercise, talk to your doctor prior to embarking on any new physical activities and be sure to purchase a pair of high quality diabetic running shoes to protect your feet.

  • Spend a month studying portion control. Measure all your foods and learn to understand what constitutes a serving. For example, a serving of dairy would be one cup of non-fat / low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese or milk. Many people consume two or three servings in a sitting without even knowing it! After a month of carefully measuring portions, you will be better able to gauge what you should be consuming.

  • Read about nutrition a couple times each week. Knowledge is power and will help you make better choices. Avoid fad diets and stick to proven nutrition principals and respected publications.

  • When in doubt, cook at home. It is much harder to control what you eat in a restaurant or drive-through.

  • If you are in a cooking rut, take a cooking class or two. You can attend lot of free classes by simply visiting Youtube.

  • Limit your alcohol intake as it can make your blood glucose level crash.

  • Give yourself credit! Major lifestyle changes are difficult and you will not always be perfect. Just remind yourself that these changes are for you, your body and your long-term health. It takes time to acclimate to a new diet regimen, so be patient... low-fat milk may taste strange the first few weeks, but take heart! You will get used to it and eventually prefer it.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a leading medical device supplier specializing in diabetic footwear including socks and shoes for diabetics as well as a full line of orthopedic braces and supports.

Monday, November 8, 2010

How Do Compression Stockings Work?

Compression therapy stockings, socks and hosiery use compression to treat circulation issues that contribute to blood clots as well as thrombosis disorders such as spider and varicose veins. They can also be used on sedentary patients to ease pains associated with prolonged immobilization and on patients before significant surgeries. The stockings apply gradient pressure to the veins in the leg, with the strongest pressure around the ankle, with pressure diminishing as the stocking progresses up the legs. This pressure creates a “natural pump” in the legs that helps to push the blood back to the heart when the wearer moves their legs. This “natural pump” prevents the pooling that leads to symptoms like aching, swelling and the feeling of heaviness.


These stockings come in varying degrees of pressure, are typically prescribed by physicians and can be worn with a variety of shoes, including diabetic footwear and comfort shoes. While compression stocking will not correct existing varicose and spider veins, it can halt their development and prevent the creation of new problem veins. These socks and stocking can also greatly reduce the risk of developing blood clots during long car trips and flights.


Compression therapy stocking can be custom made which tends to be more expensive, or you can purchase socks and stocking that fit specific specifications. Compression stockings come in both knee-length and thigh-high varieties. Because compression therapy is a proven medical treatment that can be prescribed, insurance will often cover the cost.


When you are considering compression therapy stockings, are several factors to consider:



  • The specific condition being treated: Are you treating against blood clots or varicose veins? What symptoms are most acute?

  • Overall comfort: Is the stocking or sock comfortable enough to wear every day?

  • Ease of movement: Does the stocking or sock allow for proper movement?

  • Appearance: How do they look? Do you like the appearance personally?


Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale distributor of comfort footwear and diabetic shoes as well as a wide slection of orthotic braces and supports. Please visit www.mmarmedical.com for more information.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Choosing a Cold Therapy System

Cold therapy is a highly effective method of pain management and is especially useful after an orthopedic trauma such as a serious sport’s injury, during physical therapy and post surgery, including arthroscopic, reconstructive and plastic surgeries. When used correctly a cold therapy system decreases fluid buildup, reduces swelling and limits muscle spasms. It also slows the release of chemicals which cause both pain and inflammation. The end result is a faster, less painful recovery.


There are a number of cold therapy systems currently available on the market. The following is a quick check list to help you identify the cold therapy system that will work best for you.


  • Is the system comfortable? If you will be wearing the device for long periods of time, comfort will matter. Look for a cold therapy pump system that is ergonomically designed to provide comfortable area coverage and allows custom-tailored temperature control. If you are allergic to latex, seek out systems that use Latex-free pads.

  • Is the system easy to clean? Moisture breeds bacteria so it is important to choose a system that is easy to clean. This is critical if you are rehabilitating after a surgery as incisions are especially vulnerable to bacterial infection.

  • Does the system need to be portable? Will you be using it exclusively at home, or will you be traveling with it to a rehab clinic or another away location? If you plan on taking the cold therapy system with you on the road at any time, look for a system that is both compact and light weight. A smaller system will also make storage easier. If you plan on using the system in locations that do not have electricity outlets, choose a system that offers a manual pump option.

  • How important is convenience to you? If you are looking for convenience, seek out a system that is easy to use and quiet. Higher quality products and medical device sites will also feature helpful instructional videos.

  • Is the system dependable? Look for a respected name brand cold therapy manufacturer such as Breg, Ossur or Vitalwear. These systems offer superior filtration systems and motors, backed by reliable warranties. The result is a high quality system that reliably delivers consistent temperature.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of cold therapy devices as well as braces and supports. For quality back braces, a wide knee brace selection and other quality braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Preventing Skiing Injuries

This past week, Crested Butte Colorado had their first snow of the fall. Of course that means skiing / snowboarding season is just around the corner! There are many wonderful things to look forward to on the slopes including fresh powder, crisp, clear mornings, amazing views and relaxing at the lodge after a rewarding day of exercise that was actually fun. Unfortunately, with every ski season, we inevitably see a rise in knee, wrist and soft tissue injuries. Since the season is due to start in about a month, now is the time to prepare. With the right preparation you can decrease the likelihood of injuries.


  • Work on strength training. Skiers should consider strategic strength training prior to hitting the slopes, with special attention to the hamstrings. Muscular imbalances between the quads and hamstrings can lead to knee injuries.

  • Improve your core strength, flexibility & balance. Work on strengthening your core muscles, increasing your flexibility range and improving your balance in preparation for the ski season. Yoga, Pilates, balance boards and exercise balls are all excellent additions to your strength training regimen.

  • Check your equipment. Equipment will warp after sitting for months in storage, so have a professional check your bindings every season. Always resist exaggerating your experience level to the mechanic. If you are unsure or have been out of practice for more than one season, err on the side of "beginner / intermediate".

  • Get the right braces. If you have experienced an significant knee injury in the past, find a quality soft support or hinged knee brace to wear on the slopes. Skiers are especially at risk of a ligament tear.

  • Brush up on proper form. If it’s been a while since you have hit the slopes, brush up on proper form. Always keep your hands forward, knees slightly bent and your weight centered over your skies. If you fall, do not try to get back up while still moving. Wait until your body comes to a complete stop. If you are still learning or it has been a couple years, consider taking a class from a professional.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic braces, diabetic footwear and other medical products. For the best selection of quality knee and ankle braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Choosing an Athletic Ankle Brace for Support and Rehabilitation

A quality ankle brace can aid in rehabilitation and prevent injury, while also providing structural support to the muscles and ligaments. With all of the athletic ankle brace varieties now available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right brace for your specific injury or condition. To aid in this process, MMAR Medical has created a quick overview of the different ankle braces and their uses.


Soft Ankle Wrap

A soft ankle support provides light compression and support for sprains, dislocations, drop foot and other similar ankle injuries. A quality soft ankle wrap should be constructed from breathable, hypo allergenic material that can be laundered. It should also be easy to adjust and fit comfortably in a lace-up shoe. These wraps are great for athletic use. There are a wide variety of soft ankle support designs to choose from. Velcro, zipper and lace-up ankle braces are all popular choices.


Hinged Ankle Brace

A hinged ankle brace offers more stability than soft ankle wraps. These braces tend to be more rigid and feature a hinge that permits controlled movement while also preventing extreme movements that could re-injure the affected areas. Look for a hinged ankle brace that fits comfortably and fits easily into a lace-up shoe.

A hinged ankle brace is a good choice for grade I, II, III and “high” ankle sprains and is also a great transitional brace for someone who is getting out of a cast or cam walker boot. This is often the ankle brace of choice for athletes who struggle with chronic ankle instability. These braces can also provide relief and support to those suffering from drop foot or osteoarthritis symptoms.


Stirrup Ankle Brace

A stirrup ankle brace is comprised of inflated air cells that are specially arranged to provide support and compression to the ankle. These braces are especially effective at reducing edema (swelling of the tissue), which in turn encourages healing. Some stirrup ankle braces require you to inflate them, but pre-inflated models are becoming more popular. These ankle braces are best for severe ankle injuries and sprains. They can be worn during moderate physical activities but are not appropriate for sports or running.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of medical products and orthopedic braces. To learn more about MMAR Medical’s wide selection of support braces, including every variety of knee brace available, visit MMARMedical.com.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What to Expect with Herniated Disc Surgery

Occasionally a herniated disc is severe enough that surgery is required. Before the procedure, your doctor will examine you spinal column via MRI or CT scan. This will allow the doctor to determine if in fact the herniated disc is the source of your symptoms and whether or not surgery is a viable option. If it is, plan to be off work for 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery for an office job, and 4 to 8 weeks for a job that demands significant physical labor.


The surgery will occur in a hospital under general anesthesia and in some cases can be done on an out-patient basis. During the surgery the surgeon removes the tissue that is pressing on a nerve or the spinal cord. This is call discectomy or microdiscetomy. In the case of microdiscentomy, the surgeon uses a tiny microscope to view the disc and nerves. This allows for greater precision and is typically less invasive. Depending on where the herniation is, the surgeon may also remove a very small piece of vertebra in order to get a better view of the area.


Surprisingly, after surgery you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk rather quickly. Walking throughout your recovery will inhibit the buildup of excessive scar tissue. You will likely be provided pain medications (if so desired) and a post-op spinal brace to curb pain during the recovery period. You will be walking, but you should resume more rigorous physical activities gradually. You can usually start low impact exercise such as swimming and biking around two weeks after the procedure. That said - every human body is different. Always listen to your body during the recovery period and avoid activities that cause pain.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premier supplier of medical products and devices including a wide selection of braces and supports. For quality cervical braces and collars,as well as elbow braces and shoulder immobilzers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Herniated Disc Symptoms / Slipped Disc Symptoms

What exactly is a herniated disc?
Spinal vertebras are the stacked, bone building blocks that make up the spine. Between each vertebra is a disc, a body of strong connective tissues, that acts as a cushion. When this "cushioning" is pushed outside of its normal resting position, due to strain or injury, it often referred to as a herniated disc. The disc moving on its own is really not an issue… in fact, if no symptoms are experienced, then typically no treatment is required. The disc’s proximity to spinal nerves, however, can create significant quality of life issues.

So what are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

The following list of herniated disc symptoms that may help you decide whether it is time to visit your doctor to discuss treatment options.


  • If a disc is not pressing directly on a nerve, you may experience a dull ache in the lower back. This pain may dissipate and stop completely over time.

  • A slipped disc may also result in pain, numbness, a pins-and-needles tingling or weakness in of places. This is often referred to as sciatica. The sensation usually occurs on one side or the other of the body. It can occur gradually or suddenly. It may also come and go. It may increase with certain activities... It all depends on the degree of the slip and where it is located.

  • If the issue is in the upper back, you will likely feel sciatica in your in the front of your thigh. If the issue is in the lower portion of your lower lumbar area, you will likely feel pain down your lower back, leg, ankle, foot or buttocks. If the slip is in your neck, you may have waves of pain in your shoulders, arms or chest.

  • Some individuals experience loss of bladder and/or bowel control because the disc is pressing a very specific nerve. If you experience this symptoms, see you physician immediately as it can be quite serious.

I have some these symptoms… how should I treat my herniated disc?
The good news is that most herniated discs heal on their own without invasive treatments and can be prevented in the future with muscle strengthening and correct lifting techniques. Other treatments include bed rest, activity modification, ice/heat therapy, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, medical support braces, steroids and surgery. Each herniated disc is different so it is important to contact your doctor and discuss treatment options.


Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premiere supplier of medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, lumbar brace or other quality brace, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Understanding Scoliosis

A slight arch or curve to the spine is normal and helps the human body balance, move and walk properly. Occasionally, however, the curve of a spine will occur side to side (laterally) in an S formation; this condition is called scoliosis. Approximately 3% of the population is affected by scoliosis. It can lead to physical deformation as discomfort, and in some instances scoliosis can cause significant health problems for the joints, lungs and heart, as well as irritation to soft tissue and the erosion of vertebrae. Some early symptoms of scoliosis include an aching back, pain, fatigue and an appearance of even shoulders or hips.


There are three types of scoliosis. Congenial scoliosis occurs in the womb and involves fused vertebra that eventually lead to malformation of the spine. Neuromuscular scoliosis is the result of poor quality muscle control, and is often found in individuals with muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and polio. The most common form of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis, which is most likely hereditary. Idiopathic scoliosis is typically diagnosed in children, mostly girls, between the ages of 10 and 14 years old.


Treatment of scoliosis depends on the type, the degree of intensity of the curve and the curve’s location in the spine. Many children with idiopathic scoliosis simply outgrow the condition, but in some cases it needs to be corrected with a special back brace such as a TLSO brace. On rare occasions scoliosis surgery is required, where the curve is surgically corrected and the relevant vertebrae are fused. Post surgury a medical brace is used to stabilize the spine for an expedient recovery.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a leading medical device supplier, including an extensive collection of support, orthopedic and medical braces. MMAR also specializing in diabetic shoes and socks and hot & cold therapy products.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disorder that affects the body’s metabolism, specifically how the body processes food for energy. A healthy human body breaks food into glucose which, with the help of a hormone produced by the pancreas called insulin, fuels our cells via the bloodstream. When you have diabetes, this process is disrupted and the result is unhealthy levels of glucose in the bloodstream, also known as hyperglycemia. Chronic hyperglycemia can lead to kidney, neurological and cardiovascular damage and eventually death.


There are two reasons for chronic hyperglycemia: Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes.


Type 1 Diabetes

In a healthy body, the pancreas automatically releases insulin to move glucose into the cells thus lowering blood sugar levels and nourishing cells. With Type 1 Diabetes the pancreas produces little to no insulin and in some cases even destroys its own insulin. The result in chronic hyperglycemia. Type 1 Diabetics must regularly take insulin in order to survive.


Some interesting facts regarding Type 1 Diabetes include:

  • Only 15% of diabetics have Type 1 Diabetes.

  • Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable and is genetic rather than lifestyle oriented.

  • Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease because it is the result of the body harming itself.

  • Most cases of Type 1 Diabetes occur in individuals under the age of 40 which is why it is often called Childhood or Juvenile Diabetes.


Type 2 Diabetes

In the case of Type 2 Diabetes, the cells are resisting insulin thus preventing glucose transmission. The medical community has yet to determine exactly why this occurs, but it is almost certainly related to overeating and being overweight. Every time a cell is exposed to insulin, it builds up a bit of resistance as it is slightly toxic. If you consume large quantities of foods, frequently exposing cells to large quantities of insulin, your body will try to “protect” itself and thus become insulin resistant. This leads the pancreas to produce more insulin, perpetuating the problem and even resulting in further weight gain.


Some interesting facts regarding Type 2 Diabetes include:

  • The majority (approximately 85%) of diabetics have Type 2 Diabetes.

  • The inability of cells to absorb energy has a lot to do with the healing and infection issues Type 2 diabetics experience. This is why proper foot care, including special high quality diabetic shoes, is so critical.

  • Type 2 Diabetes is often the result of lifestyle. It primarily affects the overweight and unfit.

  • Type 2 Diabetes usually appears later in life, but as younger generations become more and more sedentary; it has appeared with greater frequency in people in the 20’s and teens.

  • Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled and even eliminated with lifestyle changes.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group is a leading supplier of diabetic footwear and medical support braces, including high quality unloader, ACL and hinged knee braces for athletes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pre-Diabetes & Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes – especially Type 2 Diabetes - can easily go undiagnosed because the symptoms are often deceiving slight, rarely disrupting day-to-day life. If you are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, it is important to be awareness of pre-diabetes symptoms. Early detection can help minimize the effects of diabetes and, if followed with proper treatment, may even lead to full reversal of the condition.


You are particularly at risk of Type 2 Diabetes if you are overweight, inactive, over 45 years of age, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, and/or have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes. Unfortunately many pre-diabetics do not experience distinguishable symptoms, but there are a few noteworthy symptoms to look out for if you are at risk.


If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should visit your doctor immediately.


  • Increased thirst accompanied by frequent urination: One of the more common symptoms of diabetes development, you may experience an increased, even insatiable thirst as well as an increased need to urinate. This is because your body is pulling water out of your bloodstream which leads to systematic dehydration.

  • Increased fatigue and exhaustion: As insulin decreases, it becomes difficult for the cells in the bloodstream to properly moderate blood sugar, which can lead to a constant feeling of exhaustion.

  • Blurred vision: High blood sugar levels diabetes can cause the lens of the eye to swell leading to blurred vision. Full blown diabetics run a higher risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.

  • Lingering cuts and infections: Diabetics often develop thin skin and poor circulation, which in turn can lead to cuts or infections that just won’t go away. This issue is especially prevalent in the hands and feet, which explains the critical importance of diabetic shoes and a comprehensive diabetic skin care regimen.

  • Acanthosis nigricans (Dark, thick, velvety skin in body folds and creases): This skin condition is especially common on the neck, elbows, knees, knuckles and armpits, this skin. While it does not necessarily indicate that you are developing diabetes, it can be a highly visible and noteworthy warning sign.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of medical products including a wide selection of diabetic footwear as well as medical grade braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, wrist brace, lumbar brace or other quality brace, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Proper Use of a Cold Therapy System

Cyotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is a highly effective way to treat the pain and swelling associated with orthopedic trauma and surgery. Cold therapy not only alleviates pain, but in some instances it can accelerate the healing process all-together. It does this by decreasing fluid buildup thus reducing swelling in the injured areas. (Swelling hinders recovery and increases localized pain.) In addition, cold therapy slows the release of the chemicals that trigger pain and inflammation, while also limiting the muscle’s ability to contract, thus reducing spasms. While there are many benefits to the proper use of cold therapy, cold therapy can also cause harm if administered incorrectly.


Cold therapy systems are most frequently used following orthopedic surgery. The system is similar to an ice chest in appearance. It utilizes tubes and pads to circulate cold water that chill the affected body part. These devices are typically recommended by surgeons and physical therapist to their patients, who then use these systems in the privacy of their homes. In some stances, a physician or therapist may not provide clear instructions. In others, a patient does not follow instructions precisely. No matter the reason, using a cold therapy system incorrectly can lead to serious injuries.


Most if not all cold therapy injuries revolve around the leaving the system on for extended periods of time, thus resulting in a frost-bite like condition which can result permanent nerve damage and skin issues. If you are using a cold therapy system, carefully follow your physician’s instructions… when in doubt, limit the duration of use to ten minutes at a time. Many cold therapy systems do not feature a built-in “kill switch” that shuts the system down after a certain amount of time. If you are concerned that you may forget about the contraption or accidentally leave it on too long, consider the Breg’s 300 or Polar Care Kodiak systems. These top-of-the-line cold therapy systems feature built in timers to ensure you are never exposed to cold for too long and they also come with a variety of pads for the knee, ankle/foot, back and shoulder.


If you receive a cold therapy system, it is vital that your doctor discuss proper use of the device, including cold therapy time intervals. If you have developed any unusual systems following cold therapy, be sure to contact your physician immediately.


Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of diabetic shoes, hot and cold therapy systems, as well as back braces and supports. For quality braces including cervical collars, please visit www.mmarmedical.com.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tips for Easing Back Pain


Approximately 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Thankfully, there are a number of easy-to-incorporate lifestyle changes and treatments that can help prevent or mitigate your back pain. The following is a quick list that will help your back pain and prevent future symptoms.


Standard treatments

The following treatments are widely accepted as being the most effective for back pain management and relief.
  • If currently experiencing back pain, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce swelling that can aggravate back pain.

  • Stay as active as you can. Only take bed rest if explicitly advised by a doctor. Weak, tight or inactive muscles are more susceptible to strains.

  • If you must sit at a computer most of the day, be sure to sit with feet flat on the floor. Depending on the type of back pain you suffer, lumbar supports and footrests may also help in alleviating symptoms. Also, when you sit at a desk for long periods of time, be sure to get up and move around once every hour.

  • Physical therapy can help manage pain through a series of muscle strengthening and aerobic exercises.

  • If you must stand for long periods of time, be sure to regularly shift your weight.

  • Don’t sit on a large billfold for extended periods of time.

  • Eat right and exercise. Many instances of back pain are correlated to excess belly fat. That extra weight means more strain on your back muscles. A few lifestyle changes will help reduce your waistline and your back pain symptoms. Focus on strengthening your core and back muscles. Choose lower impact aerobic activities like cycling or swimming.

  • Your mom was right - bend from the knees, not your back when lifting heavy objects.

  • Regular massage can help to release toxins and loosen tight muscles.

  • If back pain persists over a 6 week period, you need to visit your primary care physician to develop a treatment plan.

  • If you experience moving pain traveling down your legs (aka sciatica) or notable weakness in your legs, you should contact your primary care physician right away.

  • If you experience problems associated with your bowel or bladder function while experiencing back pain, you should contact your primary care physician right away.

  • Even with herniated disks, very rarely does back pain require surgery. However, if your condition does require surgery, techniques are becoming less evasive and there are a number of effective back braces that will certainly aid in a quick recovery.

Alternative Treatments

There are a few interesting alternative therapies that may enhance your standard treatments.
  • Some alternative health practitioners recommend special anti-inflammatory diets and supplementation. A food allergy test may identify foods that are contributing to muscle inflammation. Supplements such as omega-3-fatty acids are also known to reduce inflammation.

  • If stress is contributing to your symptoms, herbal medications such as St John’s Wart and Kava naturally aid in relaxation.
  • Yoga can aid in flexibility and strength, as well as relax the body and mind.

  • While scientific research is still pending, acupuncture, healing touch and Reiki have been purported to aid in alleviating back pain.

  • Contact your primary care physician to discuss how you can incorporate alternative treatments into your back care regimen.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, wrist brace, lumbar brace or other quality braces, please visit mmarmedical.com.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summertime Tips for Diabetics

It’s this time of the year again: time to float in the pool, make your grills sizzle or just relax in the sunshine. Summer really is the perfect time for playing outdoors, but along with all the fun comes high temperatures and humidity. People with chronic conditions have to take precautions in the heat, especially individuals with diabetes.

  • Drink plenty of caffeine-free fluids and keep hydrated. Dehydration can easily lead to heat exhaustion, and may ultimately result in heat stroke. Diabetic patients are particularly susceptible to overheating on tough summer days when blood glucose runs out of control. While drinking a small amount of caffeinated beverages is fine, over consumption can have an impact on blood glucose levels.

  • Wear appropriate clothing for the summer, such as lightweight cotton, wide brimmed hats and sandal-style diabetic shoes.

  • Find a safe way to store and transport insulin. Diabetic patients should carry insulin with them wherever they go, but this can pose a problem on summer days. Insulin shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight or extremely high temperatures. Keep your insulin in a cooler or refrigerator in your car so that your medication kit can stay cool when it’s baking outside.

  • Check your blood glucose level at least four times a day. Closely monitor your blood glucose, especially when you are not feeling well.

  • Avoid doing strenuous activities in direct sunlight. Whether you are working out or engaging in other outdoor activities that require a lot of energy, try to schedule it on early mornings or late evenings when the heat is less intense.

  • Watch out for symptoms of trouble: if you feel dizzy, nauseous, have cool or clammy skin, or sweat excessively, be extra careful because these are indications for heat exhaustion. It is advisable to move to a cool place and drink more fluids until the symptoms abate.

Staying well in the summer heat poses challenges for people with diabetes, but as long as you are on the lookout for dangerous signs and take actions immediately, you can enjoy summer as everyone else does!



About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality back brace, including a high quality lumbar brace, please visit mmarmedical.com.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Helping Your Diabetic Child – Strategies for Healthy Psychological Development

Approximately 186,000 American citizens under the age of 20 have diabetes. Most children suffer from Type 1 Diabetes, but society has seen a recent marked increase in Type 2 Diabetes as a direct result of the recent childhood obesity pandemic. The medical community often focuses exclusively on the physical care of diabetic children, but it is also important to address the psychological aspects of growing up with a challenging, sometimes scary, ailment.


The good news is that your diabetic child can and should lead a very normal, happy life. That said, there are some psychological and emotional challenges they may encounter along their journey. When first diagnosed many young children have a difficult time mentally processing the magnitude of diabetes. Some common emotional reactions are shame, guilt and an acute fear of dying. In some cases, they may feel as though they are being punished. Children often struggle with the fact that their parents are not all-powerful. They might blame their parents for the diabetes and may even believe that their parents could make the diabetes go away but choose not to.


It is important to address these feeling head on. Ignoring them may have lifelong consequences for your child. Your goal is to quell these fears and promote a healthy sense of security and self-esteem in your child. This will establish the foundation for lifelong physical and mental and health.

  • Assure your child that they are not being punished; you love them unconditionally and if you knew of any way to cure them of diabetes, you would do everything in your power to do so.

  • Acknowledge that it is unfair that they have diabetes; but that it is a manageable condition and that they will lead a very normal, happy, healthy life.

  • Keep things in perspective. Communicate that your child has diabetes but they are not defined by diabetes. They are so much more than just their medical condition.

  • Promote a sense of self care. Always supervise your child’s health, but also encourage and foster independence. Your child will need to practice responsible self-care in the future… now is the time to develop that sense of competence.

  • It will be difficult because it is hard to see your child suffer, but you too will also need to practice restraint. Despite good intentions, overprotective parents undermine a child’s self-esteem and foster a self-image of sickliness.

There are a number of excellent resources available to help parents care for their diabetic child. Talk to your doctor about books and website that they would recommend. Consider summer camps that specialize in diabetic children. Look for mental health specialists who understand childhood diabetes. While formal therapy may not always be necessary, having these specialists as advisers can be a tremendous help during stressful times.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a provider of wholesale medical products including diabetic footwear , medical support braces for the spine, back, knee, hand and ankle and hot and cold therapy products. For more information on diabetic shoes and medical braces please visit MMARmedical.com.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bed & Bath Safety for Seniors

Each year, many senior citizens are injured in and around their own homes; this typically occurs because no safety measures are implemented in their houses to ensure their well-being. Oftentimes even the most well meaning families are unsure of how to make sure their loved ones are taken care of at home, as they assume that homes are a safe and familiar place. Three of the most potentially precarious rooms in the home are the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

Bedroom: The two main concerns in the bedroom are comfort and mobility – elderly citizens may have a more difficult time getting into and out of bed and sleeping a sufficient amount.
  • Raise the bed off the ground to make it easier to get into – beds that are lower to the ground are more challenging to get into. Make sure to place the bed securely against a wall or use lockable wheels.

  • For many people, the risk of falling can be reduced by changing the height of the bed. A bed that is too high or too low can affect how easy it is to stand up from a sitting position.

  • Make sure to find the right mattress – a firmer mattress will provide the right support.

Bathroom: Risks in the bathroom including slipping on wet floors and difficulties getting into and out of shower cubes and tubs.

  • Hand rails and bars are a must for bathrooms as they make it easier for elderly family members to get into and out of the shower. Never use a towel rack to steady yourself: it can fall off the wall and take you with it. Hand rails can also be useful next to the toilet to make it easier to stand up and sit down.

  • Step-in showers are safer than tubs for bathing, but if a bathtub is your only option, make sure that hand rails are within easy reach.

  • Line your bathtub or shower with a nonslip rubber mat or abrasive strips. In the shower, seats can make bathing easier and reduce the risk of a fall. You can buy special shower seats with rubber grip footing, or find built-in ones.

Kitchen: Fire hazards are one of the biggest concerns for elderly family members, especially those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Cooking can become potentially dangerous as they may begin to cook and then abandon the task without turning off stoves and ovens.

  • Older family members may also have a difficult time exchanging the batteries in fire detectors as they are typically hard to reach and require a step-ladder.

  • Make sure to remove any towels or curtains that are near an open flame or stove-top. Keep small stoves and heaters at a safe distance from flammable materials and furniture.

  • Check that all wires and cords are out of the way to avoid trips and falls.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale medical supplier specializing in orthopedic braces including wrist braces, cervical braces and hinged knee braces. For more information, please visit mmarmedical.com.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Understanding and Treating Hand / Wrist Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis in the hand and wrist is the most common form of degenerative inflammatory arthritis. Typically the result of cartilage erosion from long-term repetitive movements, Osteoarthritis can manifest in just about any joint in the human body, but the wrist is especially prone to this injury because it is one of the most frequently used joints. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition for Osteoarthritis, while in others it can also be triggered by a fracture or an intense sprain. While not dangerous, Osteoarthritis makes accomplishing simple tasks painfully difficult.


Symptoms of Wrist Osteoarthritis:
  • Inflexibility and pain in the wrist joint.

  • After prolonged use, your wrist joint may fill with fluid and feel tight or swollen.

  • Occasionally when using your wrist, you may hear a creaky or squeaky noise known as creitus.

Treatment of Wrist Osteoarthritis:
  • Noninvasive treatments are preferred and surgery is rarely considered necessary.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to reduce swelling and discomfort.

  • Thermal therapy has been proven especially effective for relieving pain. Heating pads or arthritis gloves are great options.

  • Wrist braces can be used to provide support and alleviate pain during activities.

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises can help prevent discomfort over time. Speak to your physician or physical therapists for the best stretches and strengthening movements for you.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of medical products including a wide selection of support braces and a full line of diabetic shoes. For quality wrist and back braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tips for Preventing an ACL Tear

More than 100,000 Americans suffer an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear every year. If you actively play sports, chances are you or someone you know has experienced a knee ligament injury. These injuries have a high incident rate in sports like soccer, skiing and basketball, which involve jumping, twisting and other knee-stressing activities. One of the most dreaded sports injuries, an ACL tear can put you on the sidelines for a very long time and often requires painful surgery as well as post-operative therapy.

The ACL is located at the center of the knee and controls the forward movement of the tibia. Anything compromises this movement can ultimately strain or tear the ACL. This is most frequently seen in landing jumps or when changing directions suddenly. ACL injuries are highly influenced by pelvic positioning. Since women physiologically have wider hips, they often suffer a higher instance of ACL strain and tearing. A female soccer player, for instance, is eight times more likely to suffer an ACL tear than a male player.

There are measures you can take to prevent an ACL tear. The following is a list of the best practices to minimize risk:
  • Strength. Strong muscles can help guard against ligament strain. Lift weights two to three times a week, especially concentrating on the hip, thigh and abdomen areas. Strong leg muscles will stabilize the knee while a strong core provides pelvic stability.

  • Flexibility. Stretch regularly, especially before and after sports and exercise. Limber muscles perform better and pare less likely to strain. Activities like pilates and yoga are especially effective.

  • Conditioning. Often as we grow older we can only play a sport a few times a month. If you are a weekend warrior, be sure to train regularly between games. A conditioned body is less likely to injure. Practice drills and plyometrics that require balance, strength and agility. You can find out more on ACL drills and training recommendations at the Santa Monica ACL Prevention Project.

  • Weight. Excess body fat in the abdomen area can place extra strain on the knees. As if you needed another reason to watch your weight!

  • Support. If you have experienced an ACL strain in the past, you are especially vulnerable to a future tear. A hinged knee brace or a soft support can provide extra stability during sporting activity.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale medical supplier specializing in diabetic shoes and orthopedic braces including medical knee braces. For more information, please visit mmarmedical.com.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Top 10 Dangerous Lies Runners Tell Themselves

  1. No pain, no gain! My knee hurts but I’m just going to keep pushing myself! That’s what real athletes do.

    The Truth: Never ignore what your body is telling you. Whether it’s a sudden sharp pain or a lingering dull pain, you need to pay attention and address the cause. It may only be a strain that requires a few days rest, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. If a pain persists, seek out a doctor’s opinion. Diagnosing the pain early on can prevent long-term injuries later.

  2. Just jump right into it! There’s no reason to ramp up my activity level… I’m ready to go!

    The Truth: There is such a thing as too much, too soon. You should not increase your activity level more than 10% each week. Sudden jumps in activity increase the likelihood of injury. Likewise, sudden increases in your speed or drastic training changes (for example, a switch from jogging to intense intervals) also increase the probability of injury.

  3. Exercise everyday to the extreme! Rest is for the weak!

    The Truth: You should give your body a break at least once a week. Also, you should skip your work out if you are sleep deprived or mentally exhausted.

  4. Broken-in shoes are the best. These have been my favorite running shoes since the Clinton administration!

    The Truth: Old shoes may be superficially comfortable, but they lose arch support and shock absorption over time. This can lead to foot, ankle and joint injuries. Purchase new running shoes (not tennis or cross trainers) every 350 - 450 miles.

  5. I can eat crap because I run a lot! Pass me the KFC! I’m a runner!

    The Truth: Because of the demands you put on your body, you need to make sure your diet is rich in calcium and healthy fats (especially fish oil). You can still treat yourself every now and again, but most doctors recommend a diet chalk full of vegetables and lean protein.

  6. I run to lose weight, so I better cut my calories as well. If I go low-cal, I’ll become a lean, mean running machine!

    The Truth: On the flip side, you do not want to drastically reduce your caloric intake either. Your body needs the calories for fuel.

  7. I run so I don’t have to lift weights. What’s the point of strength training when a run works all my lower body muscles?

    The Truth: You should strength train two to three days each week. Not only will this improve your health, but it will stabilize ligaments and help to guard against injury. If you plan to strength train and run on the same day, opt to run first.

  8. I don’t have a lot of time, so I’ll just skip the warm-up. It’s better to get my full run in rather than waste time on stretching or warming up my muscles.

    The Truth: Skipping a warm up is one of the fastest ways to injure yourself. Take the time to do and reduce the cardio portion of your workout if need be. Just imagine how much running you will miss if you sustain a quad or calf injury. Better to not risk it.

  9. Stretch to the extreme! I like to stretch myself as far as I can go to limber up before my run.

    The Truth: You should gently stretch to a point of slight pressure rather than full-blown pain. You can injure yourself stretching too deeply.

  10. Braces look ridiculous and just get in the way. I hurt my knee a few months ago, and despite what my doctor told me, I stopped wearing my brace because it makes me look weird.

    The Truth: A knee brace, when worn according to doctor specifications will stabilize compromised ligaments, provide support and prevent further injury. Athletes of all ages rely on braces to speed up recovery and prevent further injury.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, wrist brace, lumbar brace or other quality brace, please visit www.mmarmedical.com.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Runner’s Knee Injuries & Treatments

Running is one of the most effective aerobic exercises around. It strengthens the heart, increases athletic endurance, decreases stress, whittles the waistline and even improves posture and balance. Like most athletic endeavors, however, running has the risk of injury. Since a runner’s knees receive the bulk of the impact, it is no wonder that knee injury is among the most common running-related ailments. The three most common knee injuries observed in runners include:


Plica Syndrome
Plica syndrome is the inflammation of the tissue surrounding the knee joint. In some extreme instances, the lining can become so inflamed it creates a "shelf" that extends beyond the knee cap. Plica Syndrome can be very painful and treatment involves physical therapy and in some cases surgery.


Patellofemoral Syndrome
Also know as plain old "runner's knee," Patellofemoral Syndrome involves the erosion or softening of the cartilage around the kneecap and is usually the result of years of repetitive movement. While there is some debate over treatment and recommendations will vary depending on the injury's specifics, most medical experts agree that Patellofemoral Syndrome is best managed with mild to moderate pain relievers, isolated muscle work, preventative stretching, and a quality patella knee brace or sports knee brace.


Dislocating Kneecap
Dislocating kneecap is exactly what it sounds like… a propensity for the knee to dislocate during what would be normal innocuous movements on a healthy knee. This ailment is not only painful during the actual dislocation, but with time, it can lead to chronic pain and knee instability. Dislocating kneecap is best treated with physical therapy (typically strengthening exercises) and a patella stabilizer.


Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. For quality back braces, knee braces, and a wide elbow brace selection and other quality braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do My Children Need Orthotics?

It is important to pay attention to the development of your children’s feet as the first few years of walking will impact how their feet develop for the rest of their lives. Long term flat footedness that is left untreated can lead to back pain, leg pain and several other conditions.

Flat feet usually occur when the longitudinal arch fails to develop entirely, resulting in a collapsed arch which leaves the entire sole of the foot coming into contact with the ground. For some people this only occurs in one foot (unilaterally) but for others, it occurs in both (bilaterally).

In infants, flat feet are common and to be expected – this is due in part to “baby fat,” which masks the developing arch and need not cause worry in parents. The development of the arch occurs over the course of a child’s infancy and early years. To aid your child’s arch structure development allow them to walk barefoot on varying terrain and exercise often.

Doctors typically prescribe orthotic aids to children with flat footedness starting from a very young age. Conditions of flat footedness and other problems are noticeable from the age a child begins to walk so specially designed shoes and insoles can be implemented early on to prevent worsening of the problem.

Usually around 4 or 6 years of age the arch should be fully developed. Symptoms and identifying factors of flat footedness become very apparent around this time and parents will bring in their children for evaluation if they notice distinct problems with mobility or if the child complains of pains.


Symptoms of Flat Footedness (Pes Planus):
  1. If a child begins to walk oddly or clumsily, for example on the outer edges of the feet

  2. If a child limps

  3. If he or she feels foot pain or fatigue during walks

Children who complain about calf muscle pains or any other pains around the foot area or knee may be developing or have flat feet.
For younger children, or those with less severe conditions, simply allowing them the opportunity to develop arches – with foot gymnastic exercises, barefoot walking or walking on moldable terrain like sand can help develop their arches.

As with any medical condition, seeing a specialist such as a podiatrist will allow for a better diagnosis of your child’s situation. For many children with less severe arch impediments, support braces and orthotic insoles can help alleviate the problem. In other, more severe, circumstances custom-fit ankle or foot braces can be crafted for your child to wear. Sometimes they only need use an orthotic brace for a period of time before the problem is fixed.

In some cases of persistent pain and flat footedness physical therapy and/or surgery may be the only options available. Consulting a doctor will provide you with the information you need to keep your children’s feet healthy!



About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale medical supplier specializing in diabetic footwear, orthotic inserts and various support braces. Please visit www.mmarmedical.com for more information.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Identifying Carpal Tunnel



Symptoms and Causes of a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an increasingly common problem, affecting between 4 and 10 million Americans, many of whom self diagnose their symptoms as something else. Since the symptoms of carpal tunnel are typically non-severe many of those suffering from CTS assume that their pain or suffering is temporary and due to some external condition.

In truth, many small signs may be indicative of Carpal Tunnel. Of course, it is important to get checked out by a physician in order to make sure that the symptoms are indeed causative of CTS and not another condition. As with most health issues, the sooner one identifies the root of the problem, the sooner it can be taken care of. With many patients, CTS can be remedied with the use of wrist supports and exercises, while more severe cases will require surgery.

Most symptoms of CTS begin as infrequent occurrences and progress gradually over a few weeks or months. In the beginning, pain may be subtle so many patients may not even notice until the symptom worsens over time.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel:

  1. Numb Hands/ Numb Fingers: numbness usually affects the first four fingers (thumb - ring finger) and the palm; patients may lose the ability to sense heat or cold

  2. Hand and/or Wrist Pain: one of the first symptoms, generally occurs on the palm side

  3. Tingling Fingers: typically between the thumb and middle finger of the affected hand, sometimes also the ring finger; the fifth finger usually lacks these sensations

  4. Weakness: may be unable to grasp items and have a tendency to drop things; loss of motor skills in hands

  5. Swelling Sensation: patients may feel that their hands are swollen even if no swelling is visible

  6. Arm Pain: hand or wrist pain may extend to the forearm/upper arm

  7. Poor circulation: hands are cold while forearms/upper arms are warm; hands fall asleep often

Additional symptoms of CTS (which may also be linked to other health issues) include high blood pressure and sleeplessness. Of course, both of these may be pre-existing conditions and not indicative of a development in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Many people who suffer from CTS do so because of environmental factors – such as workspace issues and repetition of a specific motion, but for some the condition may be hereditary. For either situation, the issue is the same – the carpal tunnel has been compromised. In congenital cases, this typically means that the carpal tunnel is smaller than that of most people. In the case of external reasons, there are a few commonly identified practices that can lead to the onset of CTS. In either case, it is important to go to a doctor so he or she can assess the severity of your condition and help decide if wrist supports or a hand splint may aid your recovery or if surgery may be the answer.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel:

  1. Sprains/Fracture

  2. Over activity of the pituitary gland

  3. Hypothyroidism

  4. Rheumatoid arthritis

  5. Work stress

  6. Fluid retention in pregnancy/menopause

  7. Repeated use of high-force vibrating hand tools

Many other causes of CTS are known, so be sure to consult a physician to make a correct diagnosis of your condition.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports and a full line of diabetic shoes. For quality wrist and back braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Technorati Code

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Back Stretches for Relieving Back Pain

If you suffer chronic back pain, stretching is an excellent pain management strategy. Not only does stretching feel good, it also increases your range of motion, enhances flexibility and reduces the likelihood of further injury.


There are several stretches that target the back specifically. Garard Malanga, the Director of Pain Management at New Jersey’s Overlook Hospital, suggests starting with gentle neck stretches. If you loosen up the neck muscles, you will also reduce the tension in your upper back. Always stretch slowly, to the point of tension rather than pain. Hold the stretch for approximately 10 to 20 seconds, and do not bounce. If you feel to urge to bounce, you are probably stretching too far. And don’t forget to breathe deeply when you stretch!


The following five stretches will help alleviate pain and feel great.


Stretch #1
  1. Sit in a chair with feet flat on the ground

  2. Curl /arch your back and neck slowly forward until you chest meets your thighs

  3. Reach to the ground (touching it if you can)

  4. Hold for 10 seconds

  5. Return to neutral seated position and repeat 10 times


Stretch #2
  1. Kneel on all fours

  2. Arch your back towards the ceiling like a cat

  3. Hold for 5 seconds

  4. Return to the neutral position

  5. Now push your stomach towards the floor (mirror to the cat stretch)

  6. Hold for 5 seconds

  7. Return to neutral position and repeat this stretch 10 times


Stretch #3
  1. Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor

  2. Grab the back on your thighs and pull them towards your chest until a comfortable stretch is felt

  3. Hold for 15 seconds

  4. Repeat 10 times


Stretch #4
  1. Continue lying on your back, knees bent, feet resting flat on the ground

  2. Rotate your hips to the left until you feel the stretch, keeping your entire back flat to the floor

  3. Hold for 10 seconds, then rotate slowly, smoothly to the other side

  4. Repeat 10 times


Stretch #5
  1. Last stretch – continue lying on your back, feet flat on the floor

  2. Push down, through the feet, and slowly, smoothly lift your gluts towards the ceiling

  3. Hold for ten seconds

  4. Repeat 10 times


Couple a solid stretching routine, with a quality back brace, and you should feel tremendous relief from your chronic back pain.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality back brace, including a high quality lumbar brace, please visit www.mmarmedical.com.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Why does my back hurt?

As we’ve previously mentioned, many Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives – 8 in 10 of us roughly. For some, back pain is chronic and severe enough to lead them to seek medical help and for a percentage of people that back pain is symptomatic of a larger health issue.


Fortunately for us, most back pain is temporary and easily alleviated. Back pain sometimes comes about because we have been sitting hunched in front of a computer for many hours, for others because of strenuous physical labor. For the easy fixes, exercise, a back pain brace or another simple fix can quickly lessen your pain.


Some common causes of back pain can be easily identified so as to make them avoidable – or, at least, fixable.


  1. Strained muscles: the most common cause of back pain is an injury to a muscle (strain) or a ligament (sprain). Muscle strains cause up to 85% of back pain experienced. How do you pull a muscle? By overloading it. When you overstretch a muscle, you essentially tear it which causes inflammation, muscles spasms and pain. Lifting heavy weights, pulling on your back instead of using your legs and abs, unexpected twisting or falling down are some of the ways in which back muscles can be pulled.

  2. Muscle overuse: overusing your muscles means that one group of muscles is being held in tension for too long – this occurs when you remain in one position for too long (such as sitting down) or only work out one muscle group to the detriment of others. The body was made to move and our multiple muscle groups have distinct duties – when one muscle or group of muscles is forced to work harder and/or longer than others, they tire and cause us pain. Lumbar support can often alleviate lower back pain due to poor posture or prolonged seating, while other back brace and supports can help mid-torso pains.

  3. Nerve pressure: pressure on the nerve roots in the spinal canal can be caused by a herniated disc in the lower back. Herniated discs occur when repeated vibration or motion are applied to the back. Sometimes herniated discs occur simply because of old age due to normal wear and tear as vertebrae and spinal discs become less flexible. In most cases, symptoms of a herniated disc can be managed with nonsurgical treatment and will go away over time.

  4. Stress: it is well documented that stress wreaks physical havoc on the body – from gastrointestinal disturbances to headaches. Add back pain to that list too. Tension caused by stress and internal turmoil can manifest itself along your spine and cause pain. Acupuncture, exercise, meditation and yoga have all been shown to help as has physical therapy which can be undertaken for as little as two months with results.

Of course, back pain that is extreme in discomfort, prolonged, or accompanied by other symptoms (fever, vomiting etc) ought to be checked out by a doctor to ensure that more serious conditions are not an issue.


Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. For quality back braces, including a wide lumbar and cervical braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.