Symptoms Caused By Pinched Nerves

Your ability to move your body, feel the heat from a fireplace or the cold from an icecube, experience pain or even feel vibration all requires the nerves in your body to work properly.  The nerves, which are part of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) originate from your spinal cord and extend to all areas of your body.  They travel down your arms into the tips of your fingers and travel down your legs into your toes.

The nervous system is made up of two distinct components.  The Central Nervous System (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord.  The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) is made up from the nerves that extend from the CNS.  These nerves are delicate structures that can become injured if they are stretched too far, traumatized or pinched.

Pinched Nerves

A pinched nerve (also called nerve entrapment) is caused when a nerve is compressed by another structure.  For example, you may have heard of a person with a “pinched” nerve in their back.  This commonly occurs when a disc in the back herniates and the material form the disc presses on (pinches) the nerve.  This compression of the nerve can cause a variety of symptoms.

Symptoms From a Nerve Compression

A pinched nerve can produce symptoms including:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pins and needles
  • Weakness

Common Areas of Nerve Entrapment

There are common areas in the body that are suceptible to nerve entrapment.

  • The spine – This commonly occurs when a disc herniation is involved and typically occurs in the neck or low back.
  • The shoulder – Thoracic Outlet Syndrome occurs when nerves or vessels are pinched in the shoulder area.
  • The wrist – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the nerves of the wrist are compressed.
  • The gluteal area – Piriformis Syndrome occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed from excessive muscular tightness.
  • The ankle – Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome happens when the nerves in the ankle/foot are compressed.

Treatment For Pinched Nerves

Fortunately, treatment for pinched nerves is often successful with conservative care, such as from a Physical Therapist.  Treatments may include ice, stretching, strengthening, and special therapies to resolve the entrapped nerve.

For those that do not resolve with therapy, surgery is a possibility.






The Motions of the Shoulder Joint

The shoulder joint is comprised of three bones – the humerus, clavicle, and scapula.

While the acromioclavicular joint (AC) is known as the meeting point of the acromion and clavicle, the the meeting of the humerus and scapula is what’s known to many as the shoulder joint.  The shoulder joint is known as a ball and socket joint allowing for a great deal of motion in the area.  However, this shallow socket and significant motion provides one major disadvantage – greater chance of injury.

The glenohumeral joint is known to be the most mobile in the human body.  Let’s talk more about these movements of the shoulder joint.


Generally, flexion is defined as the angle produced when the distance between two body parts is decreased. Shoulder flexion is referred to as the position you create when you move your arms, from a resting position on your side, towards your head. Shoulder extension, on the other hand, refers to the position you make when you move your arm and stick them out on your back. The muscles affected by these movements are the coracobrachialis, pectoralis major, and the anterior deltoid.

Shoulder flexion and extension are very useful when you need reach for an object above your head or on the ground. When you ride the bus or express train, you can extend your arms and grab the train grab handle to keep yourself safe.


motion of shoulder - Maplewood of Sauk Prairie

Shoulder abduction happens when you move your arms away from your waist or the middle of your body. The moment you raise your arm from the side, that’s considered as an abduction of the shoulder. This movement’s normal range is somewhere within 150 degrees, starting from your palms at your side, slowly moving your hand towards your head in a straight formation.

On the other hand, shoulder adduction happens as you move your arms towards the center of your body. Hugging yourself is an example of shoulder adduction. The normal range for this shoulder movement is within 30 to 50 degrees, depending on your body composition and flexibility. If you have a muscular biceps or chest, except that it’ll be challenging to move both of your arms inward.

These shoulder motions are very useful when you need to protect yourself from strong impact. You can hug yourself when you see something that might hit your chest. Shoulder abduction, specifically, is useful in protecting your head in case of imminent danger.

Internal/External rotation

If you’re wondering how internal shoulder rotation looks like, imagine that you’re a cabinet and that your arms are the doors to this cabinet. Now, shut the door. Shutting the door, or bringing your arms towards your chest, while bending your elbows at 90-degrees, is considered medial rotation or internal rotation. The normal range for this shoulder motion is within 70 to 90 degrees.

The opposite of internal rotation is external rotation, and this happens when you swing or move your forearms away from your body. The normal motion range for lateral rotation is 90 degrees.

Both of these shoulder motions are very useful in keeping your shoulders flexible. When you need to release the stiffness of your shoulder or back muscles, these motions can help you achieve that purpose.


As the term suggests, this shoulder motion is characterized by a movement of the body in a circular motion. An end of the body is kept at a relatively stationary position as the other end moves like a circle. This movement refers to the sequential combination of abduction, extension, adduction, and flexion. Same with shoulder rotation, this motion can help keep the moving part of the body flexible and free from stiffness.

If you’ve been experiencing any difficulty in moving your shoulder joints, it’s time to talk to a chiropractor. Your friendly neighborhood chiropractor will help you identify the root cause of your shoulder joint problem and troubleshoot. Call us today, and let’s keep your bones and joints healthy and flexible.


Successful shoulder replacement surgeries account for 90% of all shoulder and elbow surgeries in the US yearly. Shoulder arthritis is the most common cause of shoulder replacement surgery. However, this type of surgery is not helpful for patients with complex types of shoulder arthritis such as cuff tear arthropathy. This condition involves a large rotator cuff tear. Patients with this condition may experience limited motion and pain when subjected to conventional shoulder replacement surgery. The better option is a reverse shoulder replacement surgery.

Conventional vs. reverse shoulder replacement surgery

The conventional or regular shoulder replacement surgery simulates the normal function and movement of the shoulder. The process involves a plastic cup that is inserted into the shoulder socket (glenoid). The surgeon will attach a metal ball to the top of the upper arm bone (humerus).

In the reverse shoulder replacement surgery, the metal and the socket switch positions. The surgeon fixes the metal ball in the socket and the plastic cup positions on the upper end of the humerus.

The difference between the conventional versus the reverse replacement surgery is the position of the ball and socket parts of the shoulder joints. They reverse their natural positions.

The patient must be able to comply with the required conditions of the total Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery before they go under the knife. If you want to know if you qualify, set an appointment with a shoulder and elbow surgery specialist.

Who should undergo reverse shoulder replacement surgery?

Patients with the following conditions are candidates for total reverse shoulder replacement surgery:

  • An irreparable and completely torn rotator cuff
  • Cuff Tear Arthropathy
  • An unsuccessful shoulder replacement surgery
  • Severe shoulder pain
  • Difficulty lifting your arm away from your side or over your head
  • A complex shoulder joint fracture
  • A chronic dislocation of the shoulder
  • A tumor of the shoulder joint
  • Chronic shoulder pain cannot be relieved from standard treatments such as rest, medication, physical therapy, and cortisone injections

Shoulder prosthesis

Reverse shoulder prosthesis uses screws on the socket side to place it in position. The screws hold the plate attached to the bone of the shoulder blade. The metal ball screws into the plate that has been connected to the socket.

The part of the prosthesis that is placed into the arm bone uses cement that acts as the glue between the metal prosthesis and the bone. The surgeon presses the plastic socket piece at the other end of the prosthesis to fit into the end of the stem. It is secured by locking it into the metal ball on the shoulder blade. This allows the socket to move to allow the shoulder to restore normal motion. The muscles surrounding the prosthesis keep the parts fixed in place.

After the surgery

  • Follow the prescribed exercise program.
  • From the day of surgery up to 6 weeks, avoid extreme arm positions such as behind your body or arm straight.
  • Don’t overdo physical activities.
  • From 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, don’t lift anything heavier than 5lbs.
  • Don’t participate in heavy lifting after shoulder replacement surgery.
  • Don’t push yourself up out of bed or chair since it requires muscle force contractions.

It is common for your doctor to prescribe post-surgical physical therapy after your shoulder replacement surgery.  Those who live near Sauk Prairie can receive their physical therapy at Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.


People use their hands for just about anything – cooking, eating, driving, holding things, working, etc. Hands make daily tasks and routines easier. Most people don’t realize the importance of their hands until they experience pain or a tingling sensation that prevents them from doing their usual routines.

Wrist pain is usually the most common complaint. Affected areas will present specific symptoms such as dull pain, sharp pain, tightness in the area, or a sensation of pins and needles. There are many causes of pain that occur in the hands. Due to the complex structure that makes up the fingers, wrists, and hands; determining the root cause of the pain entails a comprehensive medical history, physical inspection, and diagnostic imaging tests.

Here are the four causes of wrist and hand pain:

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis / Wrist Tendinitis

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is one of the top conditions that cause wrist and hand pain. Its presenting symptom is pain on the side of the thumb and wrist. It is also considered as Wrist Tendinitis as a result of a repetitive or sudden injury to the wrist.

Women appear to be more affected by De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis than men. This condition is also called “mommy’s wrist” due to a higher prevalence in new mothers and postpartum moms. This is associated with repetitive motion of holding and picking up a baby combined with hormonal fluctuations that result in fluid retention and swelling around the joints after giving birth.

Pain is usually felt around the thumb and its nearby wrist structures where two thumb tendons occupy the same space.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Neuropathy, often popularly called ‘peripheral neuropathy’ is the dysfunction or damage of the nerves in your body. It is an indication of a problem occurring in the peripheral nervous system. Neuropathies will usually start in your hands and feet but will also manifest in other body parts.

Common signs and symptoms of Neuropathy include ‘pins and needles’ sensation, numbness,  sharp pain, changes in sensation, loss of coordination, muscle weakness or twitching, paralysis, abnormal heart rate, excessive sweating, problems with bladder, digestion, and bowels.


Arthritis is the most common cause of wrist and hand pain for people age 40 and older. Although the wrist is the least affected part when it comes to arthritis compared to other joints of the body, arthritis on the wrist can occur as a result of wear and tear or a history of wrist joint injury. When a tear in the wrist ligaments happens, bones form in an unusual pattern. This abnormal movement causes the cartilage breakdown. The cartilage acts as a cushion between the two bones in a joint. When the cartilage breaks down, bones rub each other that causes bone spurs which is one aspect of arthritis.

Symptoms include swelling, stiffness, loss of normal range of motion, and pain in the affected part.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a prevalent condition among office workers who are always using the computer. This condition is a result of a compressed or squeezed median nerve.

The median nerve is located in the middle of the wrist and travels to the hand. It is surrounded by flexor tendons and tissues. When the surrounding structures become swollen, the tunnel becomes narrowed putting pressure on the median nerve. This pressure causes numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hand.

When to see a doctor

You need to see a doctor when the symptoms of wrist and hand pain prevent you from doing your activities of daily living. The doctor will perform a physical examination, thorough medical history, and diagnostic procedures to determine the cause of pain in your wrist or hand. The doctor will prescribe medication, surgery, and may recommend physical therapy for advanced cases.


Stress is your body’s response to threat, demand, or pressure. When you feel a threat to your physical, emotional, or psychological being, your body’s defenses switch to automatic response known as the ‘fight or flight’ response or the ‘stress response’. It is a built-in mechanism that reacts to protect your body and being from real or imagined threats.

Sometimes, recurring stress can cause a buildup of worrying thoughts that could often lead to anxiety. Anxiety is your body’s response to stress. It is a feeling of fear or worries about what’s to come.

Causes of Stress

Each person is surrounded by countless life stressors that can trigger stress responses and anxiety. Common external and internal stressors are the following:

External Causes of Stress

  • Major life changes, death of a loved one
  • Work or school demands
  • Relationship troubles
  • Financial problems
  • Being too busy with so many things
  • Family life

Internal Causes of Stress 

  • Negative outlook in life
  • Inability to accept uncertainty
  • Rigid mindset, lack of flexibility
  • Negative self-talk
  • Perfectionism/unrealistic expectations
  • All-or-nothing attitude

When working properly, the “fight or flight” response will help you stay focused, alert, and full of energy. For example in a situation where you need to defend yourself or avoid accidents, your body will respond automatically to protect yourself from imminent danger.

Chronic Stress

Continuous stress or too much exposure to stressors can leave you feeling overwhelmed and that may suddenly sneak up on you. People don’t realize the amount of stress they’re going through until they suddenly feel choked up with too many demanding events in their lives. This stress build-up can eventually lead to physical, emotional, and psychological health breakdown over a course of time if left unchecked.

Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety

A person who is overwhelmed by a lot of life stressors can react tremendously with little tiny stressors. When you are too overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, even the simplest of things like dealing with your partner or kids can become a burdensome toil on your part. Even if you are simply running late in light traffic causes your temper to blow up. You easily get irritated and out of focus with little distractions.

Here are ways to decrease anxiety and stress whenever you feel overwhelmed in certain situations:

Calm your body and your brain

A calm mind and body relieve stress by lowering the stress hormone called cortisol and it also lowers your blood pressure. To calm your mind and body, listen to slow music, take a meditative walk, eat nutritious food, get adequate sleep, engage in social activities, do some routine exercise like yoga, and be present in the present. Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings of the moment.

Always practice these calming techniques even if you are not in a stressful situation. The more you apply these techniques, the easier you can employ them when you are facing a challenging situation.

Get therapy

There are many kinds of therapy you can seek out when you are overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. Occupational therapy will help you transition from your daily work routines to your new normal. A qualified therapist is an effective partner in your support system. They nurture and guide you in applying life skills that help you in calming your mind and body.

In a long-term facility, older people get stressed out when they feel overwhelmed with the thought of their diseases or disorders. Practicing these mind and body relaxation techniques can help them in their memory care and physical therapy if there are bodily disorders that can stress them out. Their therapist and caregivers can assist them in dealing with day to day tiny stressors with guided techniques in calming the mind and body.



The human body changes every minute of every day. It constantly creates, destroys, and rejuvenates the body cells. There are constant processes that the body needs to undergo to live continuously. As the body ages, there are expected changes in the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of each person.

The most common expectation of aging is the physical function. Hearing and eyesight may not be as sharp as it was before. Physical movements may not be as flexible as a decade before. Also, in the cognitive part, reacting to daily situations may not be as accurate as before. Seniors may understand things differently than the usual stuff they are used to encounter every day. Speech changes in Seniors can significantly affect the way they communicate with the people around them. And not surprisingly, speech changes can happen to the senior population too.

Changes in physical attributes of speech

The muscles in the larynx and the vocal cords work hand in hand in producing sound. Just like in many areas of human health, aging can jumpstart an avalanche of bodily changes, including changes in speech among seniors. The body parts responsible for producing voice may start to weaken, and vocal cords are losing its elasticity.

If you feel there are changes in your speech recently or have observed in someone else, it is essential to know the causes of this condition and what you can do about it.

Aging and its effects on speech

Aging can bring many physical changes in the body. It is not clearly understood why the body ages. As a person ages, the body loses its elasticity and flexibility. The muscles become weaker, and this includes the muscles lining in the jaw and throat. Along with the throat, muscle weakness is the changes in the tissues and glands in the body. This could greatly affect the speech of the elderly leading to shaky, hoarse, and modified pitch.

Other disorders and diseases could also affect speech along with the aging body. For example, if a person has Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, or Stroke, these conditions are directly proportional to the changes in a person’s ability to talk and communicate. Certain medications, injury, and underlying causes may be to blame.

Signs of speech changes in seniors

Changes in the speech may not be easy to recognize in the early stage of aging. Sometimes, changes in speech may just be mistaken as a result of flu, cough, and sneezing. The telltale signs of speech changes in Seniors include:

  • Changes in cognition
  • Difficulties participating in a conversation
  • Difficulty producing certain sounds or saying certain words
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness and changes in pitch
  • Loss of hearing

If you feel any of these signs or if you observe them in your loved ones, you may want to set an appointment with your Geriatric Doctor to diagnose the underlying cause of the speech changes properly. If you are worried about you or your loved one’s deteriorating speech, see your doctor for speech problem treatments appropriate for you or your loved one’s condition.


The foot is considered one of the most frequently used parts of the body. It is through the foot a person can stand, walk, run and move accordingly. The foot is composed of several small bones that allow movement and weight-bearing.

Several problems can occur in the foot which may result in pain, immobilization, difficulty in walking, and can be worsened with every step. There are several causes of foot pain. Here are 7 of the most common causes of foot pain while walking.

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is a group of thick connective tissue that is located across the bottom of the feet.

The pain may be described as stabbing pain at the bottom of the foot and gets worst when walking or standing. It usually occurs first thing in the morning. It is the cause of foot pain while walking for an estimated 15% of foot problems.

2. Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is the thickening of a group of tissues surrounding a nerve that runs from the ball of the foot to the toes. This usually develops as a result of injury, nerve irritation, or trauma. This condition places pressure on the toes making the person feel that there is always a marble or a rock inside the shoe.

The pain may be described as a tingling sensation on the ball of the foot that radiates to the toes. Sometimes, the person with Morton’s Neuroma will report numbness or burning in the foot especially while walking.

3. Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia is the painful inflammation of the ball of the foot.

The pain presents as a sharp burning and aching pain on the ball of the foot. Tingling and numbness can also be present. The pain is located on the ball of the foot just behind the toes. The symptoms are highly similar to Morton’s Neuroma. The doctor may perform an Xray to rule out underlying causes.

4. Tendinitis

Tendinitis is the inflammation of the thick and fibrous cords called ‘tendons’ that connect the foot muscles to the bones. The three most common tendon inflammations are the Achilles Tendinitis, Extensor Tendinitis, and Peroneal Tendinitis.

The pain may be described as an ache in the back of the heel or the leg with little to moderate stiffness or tenderness in the foot.

5. Hallux Vagus

Hallux vagus, also known as ‘bunions’ occurs when the big toe tilts toward the other toes. This toe misalignment causes a bony prominence or a bump on the inside of the foot right at the base of the big toe.

The pain can be described as a burning sensation, particularly in the big and second toes. The pain can worsen when the person is wearing closed or restrictive shoes. The person may also report swelling, redness, and numbness in the foot.

6. Arthritis

Several types of bone and joints arthritis can affect the foot including the ankles, toes, heels, and ball of the foot.

Osteoarthritis can cause degradation of the cartilage of the feet. The cartilage acts as the protective cushion between two bones rubbing each other. Osteoarthritis leads to stiffness in the feet particularly the toe region down to the heel.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that destroys the ligaments, cartilage, and tendons surrounding the different bones of the feet. The pain is presented as dull combined with joint swelling, redness, warmth, and stiffness.

7. Heel Spur

A heel spur is an abnormal bony-like growth located between your heel bone and your foot arch. This condition causes pain, redness, and swelling. The pain is radiating throughout the entire foot especially during walking, running, jogging or any other physical type of activity.

When to See A Doctor?

If the pain increases as time goes by and it starts to hamper your daily activities, it is better to set an appointment with a doctor or an orthopedic specialist.

One or more of these causes of foot pain will prompt you to see a doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical exam on the affected area. They may also perform several diagnostic procedures to rule out the underlying cause of foot pain.



“Dance until you drop.” as one famous line says. The aging process is one that can be challenging, but doesn’t have to be.

As first scientifically proposed by a German biologist Dr. August Weismann, the body is like a mechanical system that is going to break down with use over the years. The wear and tear theory of aging asserts the effects of aging causes progressive damage to the body cells over time until it functions less than the normal.

In the medical field, the legally elderly age is 65 years old. From this age, a person can experience several body changes. Amongst all these are joint body pain and symptoms associated with illnesses of hypertension, diabetes, etc.

Accompanying the aging process may be a gradual decrease in muscle mass and strength. Functional impairment can be a result of putting some risks to older adults.

Causes of leg weakness in the elderly

  • Sarcopenia. It is a degenerative condition associated with aging where muscle mass gradually declines, resulting in muscle weakness of the extremities. Physically inactive people tend to lose muscle mass by 3-5%. The elderly have the highest risk of acquiring this condition, and it is one of the most causes of incidents of falls and fractures among older adults.
  • Vitamin D deficiency. Older people would likely develop Vitamin D deficiency due to decreased dietary intake, diminished sunlight exposure, reduced skin thickness, impaired intestinal absorption, and impaired hydroxylation in the liver and kidneys. Vitamin D is proving to develop muscle strength among the elderly.
  • Inflammation. The body typically responds to a reconstruction of the damaged cells right after an injury. Chronic inflammatory illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are believed to decreased muscle mass and leg weakness.
  • Diabetes and Hypertension. These two medical conditions can lessen blood perfusion in the body. Diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy damaging the nerves in the legs and feet while hypertension can increase blood pressure in the arteries of the extremities, causing leg weakness.

Effects of leg weakness

● Risk of falls and fracture. Handrails all over the bathroom are needed to reduce any injury to the elderly. We can use assistive devices like walkers to prevent damage as well.
● Functional impairment. Muscle weakness and fatigue are a result of limited mobility. A caregiver can help assist an elderly cope with daily activities.

Preventing leg weakness

  • Exercise the legs. The sit to stand chair exercise works well for seniors with weak legs and allows them to improve their balance. Participate in a simple daily routine activity to eliminate too much of physical inactivity.
  • Control your weight. Weight gain can affect joints of the legs. The more overweight you are, the higher the risk of developing osteoarthritis and leg weakness.
  • Elevate legs. It can promote good circulation among the rest of the body and prevents swelling. Elevating the legs by putting a small pillow can ease tired feet.
  • Vitamin D supplement. The recommended supplement of vitamin D for the elderly is 1000 IU/day. It can lessen not only muscle problems but also the risk of cardiac illnesses.f
  • The right diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables, including berries and green leafy veggies. Meat and fish products also provide protein for muscle improvement.


Baby boomers, those who are born between 1946 and 1964, are aging and with this fact, the number of dementia cases is rising. The need for memory care services is also expected to rise. According to the projections from World Alzheimer’s Report and RAND Corporation, the number of people with dementia will possibly double or even more by the year 2040. The demand for quality memory care services will rise sharply over the coming decades. The baby boomers generation is creating a surge of people needing treatment for dementia cases. Fortunately, the senior care industry is adept at accepting the change and meeting the demands. According to Senior Housing News, new and existing communities are ready and equipped in the development of memory care units.

Deciding to put a loved one in a memory care community

People with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia sufferers need specialized and comprehensive care. Deciding to put your loved one in a memory care unit can be a difficult decision but the benefits outweigh the consequences. Memory care services offer more than assisted living, it gives seniors the quality of life they need with their condition.

Why you need memory care services

Memory Care Services are more expensive than traditional assisted senior living. It offers particular programs and features specifically for Dementia sufferers.

Memory Care Programs often include the following services:

  • A secure environment where they can safely wander around preventing elopement incidents.
  • A low staff-to-resident ratio
  • Color-coded hallways and building design that help seniors to navigate the premises easily and reduce their anxiety
  • Sensory-based programming
  • Can accommodate people in their early, middle or late stages of the disease

Effective Assisted Living with Memory Care Services can deliver improvements in the quality of life of the resident. Through effective services and efficient treatments, the family will observe the following indications of improvement in the quality of life of their loved one:

  • Reduced number of medications
  • Negative medication side effects
  • Reduced incidents of injuries and falls
  • Decreased number of ER visits
  • Fewer incidents of violent behaviors
  • Improved independence and Social Interaction
  • Improved body nutrition and Decreased vitamin deficiencies
  • Residents are functioning at a higher level
  • Increase sense of happiness
  • Improved or maintained mental functions of about 75% of residents in six months

The role of family in memory care

The role of the family is important in determining how their loved one lived before coming to the center. Once families decide to bring their loved one to memory care services, the memory care team will work with them to get the necessary information about the new resident:

  • Who they are
  • What are their life experiences
  • What has brought them a sense of success and purpose

Individualized programs help dementia sufferers to practice their interests, hobbies, and experiences unique to each one. The memory care communities work hand in hand with the families to help their loved ones create meaning and purpose even at their current state.


As people age, they don’t only get wiser – they also become more prone to fractures from common accidents such as falls. Based on statistics, 1 out of 3 adults (aged 65 and up) falls each year in the United States. The bad news is, most of these accidents could be fatal. As a matter of fact, 8,000 accidents were fatal to American seniors in 1995.

What are the common fractures for seniors?

In most cases, the patient is subject to hospital admission due to trauma. The older the age, the higher the likelihood of hospitalization. Accidents such as falls cause fractures, especially in the high-risk areas of the body such as the following:

  • Hip – Hip fracture is a common type of fragility fracture and is often associated with the highest mortality among seniors. Apart from falls, older adults who have low vitamin K and vitamin D levels are also at risk.
  • Thighbone – Fracture in this area is typically sustained in high-impact trauma, such as dangerous falls or car crashes.  Damage occurs to the thigh bone once a large amount of force hits it.
  • Pelvic bone – This happens when a strong force breaks the bony structure of the pelvis. Typical causes are falls, pedestrian accidents, motor vehicle collisions, or a vehicle crash injury.
  • Spine – Spine fracture is also known as a broken back. Immediate, high-impact trauma normally brings spinal cord injury.
  • Upper arm bone – This usually results from a fall when an arm is outstretched.
  • Forearm – This can affect one or two of the forearm bones. Aside from falls, a direct force from an object causes this fracture.
  • Hand – Hand fracture occurs when one of the bones in the hand breaks, usually caused by a fall, twisting injury, crush injury, or collision in sports.
  • Leg/ankle bones – This is typically brought about by falls, sports injuries, and motor vehicle accidents.

Are all fractures equal?

While some fractures do cause severe occurrences such as permanent disability and death, others may not be fatal and the patient can fully recover by means of physical therapy.

What factors increase the likelihood of getting fractures?

Senior citizens who experience the following are at a higher risk of getting fractures caused by accidents:

  • Eye problems such as cataracts and myopia
  • Joint and muscle issues such as arthritis
  • Nervous system disorders such as sciatica
  • Lack of balance and gait such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Sleepiness, usually brought about by medication

How can fractures be prevented?

Fractures don’t have to happen in the first place. Here are some measures you can help an elderly do to prevent accidents right before they happen.

  1. Engage in physical activity to improve mobility, flexibility, and strength.
  2. Limit sleep-inducing medicines especially during the daytime, if possible.
  3. Seek appropriate treatment for medical conditions such as those stated above.
  4. Install safety modifications like metal handles, maintain good lighting, and clear all possible obstacles around the residential area.

Seniors are at a higher risk of getting fractures. But with proper care and supervision, our beloved elderlies can live a longer, fracture-free life.

What To Do

For those who have had a fracture and need rehabilitation, look to Strides Maplewood in Sauk City WI.  Our physical therapy and occupational therapy department can help you to return to normal life.