Thursday, March 17, 2011

Knee Osteoarthritis

What is it?

More than 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis making it the most common form of osteoarthritis in the US. Knee osteoarthritis is generally caused by the deterioration of articular cartilage in the knee. This particular type of cartilage is especially important because it provides a protective, wear resistant surface to the end of moving bones and without this protective layer, bones will experience undue wear and tear. Some of the most common causes of this condition include:

  • A Traumatic knee injury

  • Repetitive strain on the knee

  • Genetics

  • Obesity

What are the Symptoms?

Knee osteoarthritis typically develops gradually over a time and may include any of the following symptoms:

  • Localized pain (during or after activity)

  • Stiffness

  • Limited range of motion

  • Swelling

How is it Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for knee osteoarthritis, but there are a variety of treatments for managing its symptoms. Some of these treatments include medications that can help relieve pain such as acetaminophen. Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful for reducing swelling and discomfort.

Knee Braces

Aside from medications, there are a variety of knee braces capable of relieving the symptoms commonly associated with knee osteoarthritis.

Knee Sleeves

Single-piece knee sleeves are characteristically made with neoprene and are the simplest type of knee brace available. This particular type of brace is slipped over the affected knee and provides warmth, compression and additional support. These braces are an excellent choice for mild to moderate osteoarthritis pain and may be purchased over the counter at most drug stores.

Unloader Braces

An unloader brace is a semi-rigid knee brace constructed from plastic. These braces feature metal struts located on either side of the leg which limits lateral knee movement and provides increased stability. Unloader braces are best suited for individuals suffering from severe osteoarthritis pain and discomfort.

These braces are also typically custom fit for the wearer and may be ordered from an orthotics store.

Whether purchasing a simple knee sleeve or an unloader brace, it’s important to always consult your health care provider prior to using any orthotic device.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of shoes for diabetics, cold therapy systems and orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of medical support braces. For quality back braces, including a wide number lumbar and cervical braces, please visit

Friday, March 11, 2011

Common Ankle Injuries

With springtime rapidly approaching, the days are getting sunnier and warmer, enticing people to play outdoors. During outdoor exercise and activity, the ankle is one of the most vulnerable and easily injured components of the body. The most common ankle injury is the ankle sprain, also known as a rolled ankle, twisted ankle, or ankle ligament injury. An ankle sprain is very common and surprisingly easy to do... but thankfully, it is also very treatable. Here are some of the basic facts about sprained ankles.

A sprained ankle occurs when your ankle moves in a way that it is not supposed to move. This includes jumping and landing on your ankle incorrectly or stepping laterally incorrectly while playing sports. Many basketball players have had this common injury occur because of the lateral motion and jumping that is part of the game. Tennis is another sport that is no stranger to sprained ankles.

There are three types of sprained ankle injuries: inversion, eversion and high ankle sprains. Inversion is when you roll your ankle on the outside of the foot. This is the most common type of sprain with over 90% of sprains consisting of inversion sprains. Eversion is when the ankle rolls on the inside of the foot and high ankle injuries occur from a sudden outward twisting motion of the foot.

Ankle sprains are classified into three classes. Class 1 sprain occurs when the ligaments are only minimally damaged. Class 2 sprains occur when there is some tearing of the ligaments. Class 3 is the classification of the most severe tears and ankle injuries.

A sprained ankle creates swelling and inflammation in the ankle. It might be hard to put pressure on the ankle since the nerves in the ankle become more sensitive.

The best way to treat most sprained ankles is through RICE - rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Rest: try not to use the ankle whenever possible. This includes staying away from sports and exercise.

Ice: Icing the ankle can reduce swelling. You can use cold therapy wraps or professional cold therapy systems. Just make sure you do not ice it for too long - 20 minute increments should suffice.

Compression: Ankle braces are known to improve ankle injuries. Ankle braces range from simple ace bandages to laced ankle braces to even high-tech hinged ankle braces. Braces provide support for the ankle. Compression braces/bandages also help push swelling away from the ankle and toward the body.

Elevation: Elevating the ankle above the heart aids in reducing swelling.

Sprained ankles can be a pain and debilitate a key part of our body. The good thing is that most twisted ankles can be healed but only with proper treatment. Remember, rest, ice, use a ankle brace and your ankle will be healed promptly.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale medical supplier specializing in diabetic footwear, cold therapy systems and various medical braces. Please visit for more information.