Bone & Muscle Health

Bone & Muscle Health Articles

The best meds for back pain

An estimated 80% of people will seek medical attention for back pain at some point in their lives. Most of the time over-the-counter pain relievers does the trick. But they may not be effective enough. Some people require stronger prescription drugs while they seek treatments to address the source of their back pain. (Locked) More »

Tips to help you embrace abdominal workouts

Some people don’t enjoy doing abdominal exercises and may find it more palatable to sprinkle abdominal exercises throughout the day. Ideas include taking a quick break to march in place, do a modified push-up, or stand on one leg. The key is to make each ab exercise count by “activating” the muscles. That means drawing in the belly button toward the spine, holding the position for 10 seconds, then relaxing and repeating. More »

Ask Dr. Rob about piriformis syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is a painful condition that develops due to irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve near the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle connects the lowermost vertebrae with the upper part of the leg after traveling the "sciatic notch," the opening in the pelvic bone that allows the sciatic nerve to travel into the leg. Here, the muscle and nerve are adjacent and this proximity is why trouble can develop. The condition is relatively common. Estimates suggest that about 5% of cases of sciatica (irritation of the sciatic nerve causing radiating pain from the back or buttock into the leg, calf and foot) are due to piriformis syndrome. It seems to be more common among women though the reason for this is not known. The typical patient with piriformis syndrome complains of "sciatica" — that is, sharp, severe, radiating pain from the lower back or buttock down the back of the leg and into the thigh, calf, and foot. Symptoms may seem to be due to hip bursitis or disc herniation ("slipped disc") but the doctor's examination helps sort out the true cause because with piriformis syndrome the person also has: More »

Turning your back on back surgery

Back pain remains one of the top reasons people seek medical care for pain, and for many older man, the source of their pain is spinal osteoarthritis. Finding relief is an ongoing struggle, but men should think hard before turning to surgery without first trying less invasive treatments. Surgery may help control the pain in some cases, so a person can function better, but it won’t cure the osteoarthritis. (Locked) More »

Managing statin muscle pain

Muscle aches and cramps—the most common side effects of statins—are more common in women than in men. Treating vitamin D deficiencies and low thyroid hormone levels, changing prescriptions, and making lifestyle changes may help. (Locked) More »

Age-proof your knees

Numerous strategies can help stave off or prevent knee problems related to osteoarthritis. Boosting muscle strength stabilizes the knee joint and helps absorb stress. Losing weight relieves pressure and pain on the joints. Improving range of motion may reduce symptoms. Other ideas include avoiding high-impact activities such as jogging and aerobics classes that involve jumping, and avoiding long periods of standing on hard surfaces or squatting. Sitting on a low stool while gardening may also help. More »

In a slump? Fix your posture

Most changes in posture are a result of bad habits, such as sitting hunched over and not standing correctly. Over time, these habits can create muscle weakness and imbalances that can trigger spasms and place stress on the neck, low back, and shoulders. More »