Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Orthopedics

  • Occasionally a problem elsewhere in the body can cause pain in the arm or elbow. These may include: A neck problem, such as a pinched nerve in the neck. A shoulder problem, such as arthritis in the shoulder. A wrist problem, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. A heart problem, such as angina...

  • It is important to have realistic expectations of joint replacement surgery. Replacement joints are not "miracle" joints. They will not restore a joint to the function it had before the arthritis began. Pain relief is the most dependable outcome of...

  • Discusses decompressive laminectomy, the most common type of surgery to treat lumbar spinal stenosis. Looks at how surgery may reduce pressure on nerve roots to relieve pain. Covers risks.

  • Learn how being active builds a strong core and keeps your back healthy.

  • Just keep moving, even if it's only a few steps. That's what Robert learned is a key to helping his low back pain. "I discovered that what you have to do is this: You do as much as you can." Robert has been suffering with low back pain for more than 15 years. There have been several times when his back went out and he...

  • Getting back to work with low back pain depends on what your day is usually like. But there are some basics that apply to everyone. Moving keeps your back muscles strong, which can help your back. And avoiding activity for more than a day or two can...

  • Learn what to expect during hip replacement surgery and how it can ease the pain of arthritis.

  • Learn about activity and exercise to help reduce low back pain.

  • Learn easy ways to help prevent the return of low back pain.

  • Compare the pros and cons of having surgery for spinal stenosis.

  • Needle aponeurotomy (say "ap-uh-noo-RAH-tuh-mee") is a procedure used to straighten bent fingers ( contracture) caused by Dupuytren's disease. This procedure may also be called percutaneous needle fasciotomy. The procedure can be done in your doctor's office. It usually takes about 30 minutes. The affected hand will...

  • Psoriatic arthritis (say "sor-ee-AT-ik ar-THRY-tus") is a type of arthritis that sometimes occurs in people who have a skin problem called psoriasis. The arthritis causes joints to become swollen, tender, and painful. Psoriatic arthritis is an...

  • Your calf muscle is actually two muscles, the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. These muscles can be injured if they get overstretched. Injury to a calf muscle can range from a strain or pull that you can treat at home to a more serious...

  • Learn what knee osteoarthritis is and what may cause it.

  • Covers surgery to replace the ball, but not the socket, of the hip joint. Looks at why it is done and how well it works. Discusses what to expect after surgery and living with a hip replacement.

  • An avulsion fracture occurs when an injury causes a ligament or tendon to break off (avulse) a small piece of a bone that's attached to it. The ligament or tendon also may be damaged. This type of injury can happen in the hip, ankle, knee, heel,...

  • What is a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury? A PCL injury is a sprain or tear of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). The PCL is a band of tissue that crosses inside the center of the knee joint. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg. The PCL keeps your knee stable when it moves forward...

  • A fifth metatarsal Jones fracture is a break or a thin, hairline crack in the long bone on the outside of the foot. A Jones fracture occurs near the end of this bone that is closest to the ankle. A Jones fracture can happen when a person jumps or...

  • Two techniques can help you manage your energy when you have myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). They are: Staying within your energy envelope. Pacing yourself. These techniques can give you better control over your symptoms so that you can be as active as possible. They may also lead to...

  • Learn more about doing rehab right after knee replacement surgery, so you can find that sweet spot between resting and getting stronger.

  • Minor arm injuries are common. Symptoms often develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or an injury. Arm injuries are often caused by: Sports or hobbies. Work-related tasks. Work or projects around the home. Your child may injure his or her arm during sports or play or from accidental falls. The chance of...

  • Covers problems like swelling or arm pain caused by overuse, arthritis, and hormone changes. Links to info on bursitis and osteoarthritis. Includes tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Most people will have a minor back problem at one time or another. Our body movements usually do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury. Back problems and injuries often occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home...

  • After being away from sports since his college days, Steve decided it was time to get back in shape and back into the game. Squash (an indoor racquet sport) and weight training topped his list of activities to enjoy again. And he did for a while—until arthritis turned his enjoyment into pain. First signs of pain...

  • Bev isn't letting the pain of arthritis in her hands and back keep her from doing her favorite activity—gardening. Nor does she let it keep her from doing anything else in her life. She has found ways to help reduce the pain that allow her to still enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like seeing the season's first...

  • Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help keep your muscles strong and reduce joint pain and stiffness. And it can help you reach and stay at a healthy weight. But you want to make sure that you don't hurt your joints when you exercise. Before you get started, ask your doctor what kind of activity would...

  • The pain and stiffness from arthritis may make it hard for you to do your daily tasks. For instance, if you have problems with your hands or fingers, you may find it hard to type or to open and close a door. If you have problems with your hips or knees, it may be hard to go up and down stairs or get in and out of a...

  • When you find out that you have osteoarthritis, you may be scared and worried about how it may change your life, work, and relationships. It's hard to know how fast your arthritis may progress. Your symptoms may come and go, stay the same, or get worse over time. Some days you may feel fine and be able to do the things...

  • Guides through decision to have shoulder replacement surgery. Discusses what happens in shoulder replacement and what to expect after surgery. Also covers other treatments that you might try to manage osteoarthritis. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Includes links to info on back and neck pain. Also includes links to info on drugs used to treat back and neck pain, and guides to help you decide among treatment options.

  • Has info on finger, hand, and wrist problems as well as shoulder injuries. Also has info on osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia with links to low back pain exercises and info on tennis elbow surgery.

  • Discusses possible causes of chest pain, which include angina, heart attack, pneumothorax, or chest wall pain. Covers heart attack symptoms. Includes interactive tool to decide when to seek care. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Backpacks are handy for carrying books—and lots of other things. But if they're not used right, they can strain muscles and even cause back pain. Backpack safety is important for everyone. It's especially important for children, who can be hurt by regularly carrying too much weight or by not wearing their backpacks...

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of upper and middle back pain. Looks at treatment with rest, pain medicine, and surgery. Includes steps to prevent back pain from returning, such as practicing good posture and getting regular exercise.

  • It was a week to forget. Cathy was working hard and training a new employee. She was enduring long meetings. She and her husband had just moved into a new house. And they were set for a trip to Italy in 2 weeks. "I had too much to do and too little time," Cathy says. "That means stress. And when I start stressing, my...

  • Sometimes Patty doesn't know whether to laugh or cry when one of her three kids runs at her for a flying hug. She loves the affection, but picking up her kids all the time is one reason the 33-year-old third-grade teacher has back pain. She tries to smile and gently remind her kids to hug mommy with their feet on the...

  • Ravi thought he was coping well with his back pain. He had gotten used to having pain most days since he hurt his back in college while playing rugby. He figured some amount of pain would always be part of his life. But over a couple of months, Ravi stopped going out with friends after work. He didn't go on bike rides...

  • Learn about acupuncture and massage for low back pain.

  • Learn how your back is like a bridge and the three things that can fix most back problems.

  • Learn how to use your walker correctly so you can stay stable and safe.

  • Learn how to use heat and ice to treat pain from arthritis.

  • Guides you through the decision to use epidural corticosteroid shots to relieve back pain. Explains risks and benefits of epidural steroid shots. Compares steroid shots with other treatment for back pain.

  • When your back hurts all or most of the time, it can affect more than just your body. There's an emotional side to chronic pain. You may need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. You need support. Support groups—where you meet or talk to...

  • Jack remembers it well—and not in a good way. "I'll never forget the first time I had back pain. I couldn't move. I had to crawl to the car and push and pull myself into the seat. The drive to the doctor's was hard. The pain was unreal." When Jack got to his doctor's office, he had questions. "What can you do? Will I...

  • What is low back pain all about? Dr. Robert Keller, an orthopedic surgeon, shares his thoughts about the basics. Dr. Keller, many people have low back pain. When someone sees you about low back pain, what do you tell that person? Dr. Keller: This really depends on the cause. If it appears the pain is...

  • Is housework bad for you? Ask Lorna what she thinks. You'll get a lesson in how to tackle those chores—and how not to. "I never had back problems, and then one Saturday I bent over to scoop out the cat box," she recalls. "When I tried to straighten up, I could hardly do it." Lorna didn't have a severe episode. She...

  • Healthy, satisfying sex is very important for relationships. And the fear of having sex because of back pain can be a big problem. If your sex life has suffered because of back pain, take heart. Many people have faced this problem. And there are steps you can take to deal with it. 5 tips for a better sex life...

  • It's a sad fact: You have back pain and you also have housework to do, children to take care of, and errands to run. When you can't find someone else to do a chore for you, keep in mind these important rules: Bend forward carefully. When you must bend forward to empty the dishwasher, pick up clothes, make the bed...

  • Use these tips when your back aches. Keep moving If you can, walk for 10 to 20 minutes at a time every 2 to 3 hours. Walk on level surfaces, not on hills or stairs. Walk quickly if you can, and swing your arms as you walk. Lying down for too long can make back pain worse. Sitting can make it worse too...

  • When you have low back pain, try these steps to help you move from sitting to standing: If you are in a chair with arms, scoot forward until you are on the edge of the seat. Bring your feet in toward the chair. Then stand up. Use the arms of the...

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in children and teens are less common than in adults. But they do occur, especially in teens. An injury that hasn't been treated (or one in which the treatment didn't work) can lead to future knee problems....

  • Surgery is usually the best treatment for a broken (fractured) hip. Three types of surgery can be used. Hip repair (internal fixation). Hip repair involves stabilizing broken bones with surgical screws, nails, rods, or plates. This type of surgery is usually for people who have fractures in which the...

  • What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a disease that affects your bones. It means you have bones that are thin and brittle, with lots of holes inside them like a sponge. This makes them easy to break. Osteoporosis can lead to broken bones (fractures) in the hip, spine, and wrist. What causes osteoporosis...

  • Learn what to expect during knee replacement surgery and how it can ease the pain of arthritis.

  • What is an MCL injury? An MCL injury is a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament. The MCL is a band of tissue on the inside of your knee. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg. The MCL keeps the knee from bending inward. You can hurt your MCL during activities that involve bending...

  • Learn simple ways to keep your back healthy.

  • Learn how to sit and lift correctly to keep your back healthy.

  • Learn why X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may not find the cause of your low back pain.

  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a term used to describe a group of painful conditions. Examples of earlier names for these conditions include reflex sympathetic dystrophy, causalgia, and Sudeck's atrophy. Pain is the main symptom of CRPS....

  • Learn how using crutches the right way will help you stay stable and safe while you heal.

  • Learn how to use your cane correctly so you can stay stable and safe.

  • The shape of a newborn's head may be affected by how the baby was positioned in the uterus, by the birth process, or by the baby's sleep position. Positional plagiocephaly (say "play-jee-oh-SEF-uh-lee") means that a baby's head is flat in the back...

  • Osgood-Schlatter disease is a knee problem that causes pain and swelling in the shinbone (tibia) just below the kneecap (patella). This is the spot where the patellar tendon attaches to a bony mound in the knee called the tibial tubercle. Older...

  • Learn the right way to lift objects to protect your back.

  • Learn an easy way to give yourself a back massage using a tennis ball.

  • Get ideas about tools and changes to your home that can simplify your daily life.

  • Learn when and how to use ice and heat to relieve low back pain.

  • Learn how to protect your back and relieve pain during pregnancy.

  • Hear a story about how heart attacks may feel different than you expect.

  • Learn easy ways to protect your back when you get in and out of bed and while you sleep.

  • Learn how activity can help reduce joint pain and how to exercise safely when you have arthritis.

  • Learn how to care for your stitches to help them heal properly.

  • Learn steps you can take at home to reduce pain and swelling after a sprain or strain.

  • Learn how to take care of your cast or splint at home.

  • Learn how to use a compression wrap for a sprained ankle to help control swelling.

  • Learn how to wear a sling to protect an injured arm.

  • Learn how to do the bird dog exercise to increase strength and stability in your shoulder, core, and hips.

  • Learn how to do the bridging exercise to increase strength and stability in your core and your legs.

  • Hear what others thought about as they decided whether to have herniated disc surgery.

  • Compare pros and cons, including risks and benefits, of having herniated disc surgery.

  • Learn how surgery can repair a herniated disc and how long it takes to recover.

  • Learn how home treatment of back and leg pain from a herniated disc can help you avoid surgery.

  • Hear what others thought about when deciding whether to have back surgery.

  • Learn how surgery for spinal stenosis pain is done and how long it takes to recover.

  • Learn how home treatment and physical therapy can help you avoid surgery.

  • Learn why taking your osteoporosis medicine is so important.

  • Golfer's elbow is pain or soreness in the inner part of the elbow from movement of muscles and tendons in the arm. A tendon is tissue that connects your muscles to bone. Golfer's elbow isn't just a problem with the elbow. It also involves the wrist....

  • Discusses splints, which are used when a bone is broken or other tissues injured. Covers how to care for splints and deal with swelling. Discusses complications that may require emergency care.

  • Learn what to expect and what to watch for as you recover from knee arthroscopy.

  • Learn how ACL surgery is usually done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn how surgery for a meniscus tear is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn how knee arthroscopy is done and what to expect after surgery.

  • Learn the pros and cons of having a hip replacement.

  • Learn the pros and cons of having a knee replacement.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have hip replacement surgery.

  • Hear what other people thought about as they decided whether to have knee replacement surgery.

  • Learn about surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after hip replacement surgery.

  • Learn about surgery to repair a broken or fractured hip and what to expect.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after hip repair surgery.

  • Learn about shoulder replacement surgery.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after rotator cuff surgery.

  • Get tips on how to take care of yourself at home after shoulder replacement surgery.

  • Learn how long it may take to start doing daily activities again after a hip replacement.

  • Learn how long it might take to start doing everyday activities again after a knee replacement.

  • Learn seated exercises you can do at work or at home that can help you relieve stress and strain.

  • Learn how your work area affects your health and safety and how to set it up.

  • Get tips on how to set up and use your computer in a way that prevents aches and pains.

  • Learn what movements may help cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Get tips to help prevent it and manage symptoms.

  • Learn stretches that can help you prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and manage your symptoms.

  • Think about what you've tried for back pain and what you might consider now.

  • Arthritis hurts. And it can make it harder to move your joints. When you don't move your joints as much, your ligaments, tendons, and muscles can shorten and get weaker. But knee shots, or injections, can help you cope with the pain and be more...

  • Complementary medicine includes many treatments you can use along with standard medical treatment. A lot of people use some form of complementary medicine to treat osteoarthritis. Some of these treatments may help you move more easily and deal with the stress and pain of arthritis. But in some cases, not much is...

  • Painful knee arthritis can keep you from being as active as you need to be. You may not walk as much. You may avoid going up and down stairs. But when you don't move that knee as much, the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around it can shorten and...

  • Learn how osteoarthritis usually begins, and listen to stories of how it can progress differently in different people.

  • Learn about different treatments for knee arthritis other than surgery.

  • Learn about the pros and cons of having knee replacement surgery.

  • Learn how cartilage is replaced by implants in knee replacement surgery.

  • Learn about recovering from knee replacement surgery, and listen to stories about different recovery experiences.

  • Learn about the different treatment options for knee arthritis, and hear stories of what others have tried.

  • Scoliosis is a problem with the curve in your spine. Many people have some curve in their spine. But a few people have spines that make a large curve from side to side in the shape of the letter "S" or the letter "C." If this curve is severe, it can...

  • Spondylosis is age-related change of the bones (vertebrae) and discs of the spine. These changes are often called degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. These changes don't always cause symptoms. But they are a common cause of spine problems...

  • Growing pains are leg pains that can hurt enough to wake your child at night. Although they can be very painful, they are not serious. They will not cause any long-lasting problems. Growing pains can start as early as the toddler years, or they can...

  • What is a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury? An LCL injury is a sprain or tear to the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). The LCL is a band of tissue on the outside of your knee. It connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg and helps keep the knee from bending outward. You can hurt your LCL...

  • Learn what skin graft surgery is and how to prepare your child for it.

  • Learn what you can do at home to care for your child after a skin graft.

  • Guides through the decision to have surgery for plantar fasciitis to relieve foot and heel pain. Covers alternative treatments, including stretching exercises and orthotics. Discusses risks. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Unexplained shoulder pain that does not change when you move your neck, shoulder, or arm or that occurs with symptoms elsewhere in your body (such as in your abdomen or chest) may be referred shoulder pain. Referred pain means that a problem exists...

  • Guides you through the decision to have surgery for a herniated disc in the low back. Describes the types of surgery available, as well as nonsurgical treatment. Lists the benefits and risks of both types of treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Covers causes of hip fractures. Includes list of things that increase risk. Describes symptoms and how hip fractures are diagnosed. Covers treatment choices. Offers prevention tips, including ways to slow osteoporosis.

  • Defines flatfoot, its causes, and who is affected by the condition. Lists symptoms and discusses treatment options. Offers pictures of exercises that may help.

  • You can help prevent foot injuries and problems. Wear good athletic shoes, such as shoes with cushioned soles (especially heels) and good arch support. Physical therapists, orthopedists, podiatrists, and sports medicine health professionals can...

  • The following tips on good footwear may prevent toe, foot, or ankle problems or injuries. Have your feet measured regularly. The size of your feet may change as you grow older. Have both feet measured. Often one foot is larger than the other. The shoes should be fitted to the larger foot. Don't...

  • Briefly covers symptoms and diagnosis of a broken toe. Discusses treatment options, which include home care and surgery.

  • Covers how broken noses can happen. Discusses symptoms such as nose pain, swelling, and crooked or bent appearance. Covers diagnosis and treatment. Also covers possible complications, such as infection and breathing difficulty.

  • Guides through decision to have a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test for osteoporosis. Explains DXA test. Includes risk factors for osteoporosis you can and cannot change. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through decision to have knee surgery for an ACL injury. Compares surgery to rest, exercise, and rehabilitation as treatment for an ACL injury. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to have surgery for rotator cuff disorders. Lists risks and benefits of surgery. Talks about other treatment. Explains rehabilitation for rotator cuff surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Guides through the decision to have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for low back pain. Discusses the problems an MRI can find and why it may not show the source of pain. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Normal changes occur in your feet as you age. Feet tend to spread, possibly causing shoe size to change. Have your feet measured each time you buy shoes. Do not assume that your shoe size has not changed. The bottoms of the feet lose the fatty pads...

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are part of normal cartilage. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint. Glucosamine, also called chitosamine, is a natural substance that is found in the covering of shellfish. It is available in different...

  • Discusses arthroplasty, joint replacement surgery for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Covers why it is done. Also covers how well it works and the risks.

  • Discusses arthroscopic surgery, used to treat joint pain for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Covers how well it works and the risks.

  • Discusses synovectomy, surgery done to remove inflamed joint tissue resulting from rheumatoid arthritis. Covers why it's done and what to expect after surgery, including a need for physical therapy. Also covers how well it works and risks.

  • There are several surgeries to correct joint problems in the hand caused by rheumatoid arthritis, including: Carpal tunnel release, which involves releasing or cutting a ligament in the wrist to relieve pressure on a nerve that runs through the...

  • The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) worked together to develop the 2010 Rheumatoid Arthritis Classification Criteria for rheumatoid arthritis. The goal is to identify possible...

  • Rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects the joints but can also affect the whole body, causing what are called systemic symptoms. These systemic symptoms occur especially in people who have severe disease. Problems associated with rheumatoid arthritis can develop in the: Eyes. Inflammation of the...

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are different types of arthritis. They share some similar characteristics, but each has different symptoms and requires different treatment. So an accurate diagnosis is important. Osteoarthritis is the most...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for hammer, claw, or mallet toe. Includes symptoms of hammer, claw and mallet toe and describes nonsurgical treatment. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • You may be able to relieve heel pain by stretching tight calf muscles. See a picture of a calf stretch exercise. Stand about 1 ft (30 cm) from a wall and place the palms of both hands against the wall at chest level. Step back with one foot, keeping that leg straight at the knee, and both feet flat on the...

  • Guides you through decision to have or not have carpal tunnel release surgery. Looks at problems carpal tunnel syndrome can cause. Covers types of surgery and compares with wrist splint therapy. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • If emergency care is not needed, the following steps will protect the wound and protect you from another person's blood. Before you try to stop the bleeding: Wash your hands well with soap and water, if available. Put on medical gloves, if available, before applying pressure to the wound. If gloves are...

  • When rheumatoid arthritis affects the neck joints, particularly those located at the top of the spine, complications can occur. Bones and joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis may dislocate and press on the spinal cord or on the nerve roots....

  • Tips to prevent foot cramps include the following: Take a warm bath and do some stretching exercises before you go to bed if cramps wake you at night. Avoid pointing your toes while you stretch. Try not to sleep with your toes pointed. Keep your...

  • Covers surgery to replace ends of both bones in a damaged joint to create new joint surfaces. Includes slideshow on hip replacement. Looks at why it is done and how well it works. Discusses what to expect after surgery and living with a hip replacement.

  • Little Leaguer's elbow occurs in young baseball players who throw the ball too hard or too often (for example, more than 80 times twice a week). The growing part of the elbow, called the growth center (physis), widens and enlarges a part of the...

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a condition in which a piece of bone or cartilage (or both) inside a joint loses blood supply and dies. OCD may be caused by injury or overuse from an activity that repeatedly jams one bone end against another. OCD...

  • A pinched nerve (nerve entrapment) in or near the elbow can cause elbow pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness of the arm, wrist, or hand. The nerve that most commonly gets pinched in or near the elbow is the ulnar nerve. It is located in the elbow area, on the little finger side when the palm is facing up. Less often...

  • Bursitis is an inflammation of small sacs of fluid (bursae) that help joints move smoothly. Olecranon bursitis, which affects the olecranon bursa at the back of the elbow, is sometimes called Popeye elbow. This is because the bump that develops at...

  • Guides you through treatment choices for lumbar spinal stenosis. Covers tests used to diagnose and guide treatment. Discusses treatment with medicines, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, or surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Covers surgery to replace the ends of bones in a damaged joint. Includes slideshow on knee replacement. Looks at why surgery is done, risks, and how well it works. Discusses what to expect after surgery and living with a knee replacement.

  • Guides through decision to have your child have surgery for scoliosis. Discusses curves of the spine and when surgery is normally the best choice for treatment. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Is this topic for you? This topic is about spinal stenosis of the lower back, also known as the lumbar area. If you need information on spinal stenosis of the neck, see the topic Cervical Spinal Stenosis. What is lumbar spinal stenosis? Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back...

  • What are the most important things you need to know about your medicines? Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine. The information provided here is general. So be sure...

  • Covers common causes of elbow injuries. Discusses injuries caused by sudden injury and those caused by overuse. Discusses treatment options. Offers interactive tool to help you decide when to see a doctor. Covers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Looks at conditions, such as gout, pinched nerve, bursitis, tennis elbow, and golfer's elbow, that may cause elbow problems. Offers interactive tool to help you decide when to see the doctor. Covers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • At one time or another, everyone has had a minor facial injury that caused pain, swelling, or bruising. Home treatment is usually all that is needed for mild bumps or bruises. Causes of facial injuries Facial injuries most commonly occur during: Sports or recreational activities, such as ice hockey, basketball...

  • Facial problems can be caused by a minor problem or a serious condition. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, or facial weakness or numbness. You may feel these symptoms in your teeth, jaw, tongue, ear, sinuses, eyes, salivary glands, blood vessels,...

  • Discusses common toe, foot, and ankle injuries. Covers home treatment and basic foot care. Offers injury prevention tips.

  • Discusses groin problems and injuries. Looks at acute injuries, hernias, rashes, and other groin problems in children. Covers signs and symptoms. Offers home treatment and prevention tips. Covers emergencies such as severe pain and signs of shock.

  • Details types of injuries to the fingers, hands, and wrists. Discusses possible emergency situations. Includes worksheet to help you decide when to seek care. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Covers finger, hand, and wrist problems caused by medical conditions and overuse. Offers symptom check list. Includes worksheet to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Looks at common causes of minor and serious head injuries. Discusses possible head injury emergencies. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Provides overview of head injuries in those age 3 and younger. Offers tool to help you check symptoms and decide when to see doctor. Discusses emergency symptoms and when to seek care. Offers prevention tips.

  • A hip injury can be hard to deal with, both for the child who has the injury and for the parent or caregiver. A child who has a hip injury may feel pain in the hip, groin, thigh, or knee. A child in pain may limp or be unable or unwilling to stand,...

  • A hip injury and pain can make it hard to walk, go up and down stairs, squat, or sleep on the side that hurts. A clicking or snapping feeling or sound around your hip joint ( snapping hip) may bother you or cause you to worry. But if your hip is not...

  • A hip problem can be hard to deal with, both for the child who has the problem and to the parent or caregiver. A child who has a hip problem may feel pain in the hip, groin, thigh, or knee. A child in pain may limp or be unable or unwilling to...

  • Hip pain can make it hard to walk, go up and down stairs, squat, or sleep on the side that hurts. A clicking or snapping feeling or sound around your hip joint (snapping hip) may bother you or cause you to worry. But if your hip is not painful, in many cases the click or snap is nothing to worry about. Home treatment...

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises can help a child who has juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) control pain and stiffness and maintain mobility. A physical therapist can help figure out how much exercise is appropriate for each child. Stretching exercises are those in which the joints are moved through...

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, also called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Looks at treatment with NSAIDs, physical therapy, and possibly shots of steroid medicine. Includes tips for helping your child cope with JIA.

  • What are rotator cuff disorders? The rotator cuff is a group of tough, flexible fibers ( tendons) and muscles in the shoulder. Rotator cuff disorders occur when tissues in the shoulder get irritated or damaged. Rotator cuff disorders include: Inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis) or of a bursa (...

  • Discusses open surgery and endoscopic surgery to help relieve foot and heel pain from plantar fasciitis. Describes how it is done and what to expect after surgery. Covers how well it works and the risks.

  • Covers plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain. Discusses causes, including flat feet or tight Achilles tendon. Covers treatment to relieve pain and improve strength and flexibility. Discusses what increases your risk and offers prevention tips.

  • What is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury? An anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injury is a tear in one of the knee ligaments that joins the upper leg bone with the lower leg bone. The ACL keeps the knee stable. Injuries range from mild, such as a small tear, to severe, such as when the ligament tears...

  • A regular exercise program is an important part of anyone's lifestyle. If you have osteoarthritis, check with your health professional before beginning or continuing any exercise so that you can determine whether it is safe and effective for...

  • Capsaicin (Zostrix), available without a prescription, is a pain reliever that comes in a cream that you apply directly to your skin (topical analgesic). It has been found to relieve joint pain from osteoarthritis in some people when rubbed into the...

  • If osteoarthritis in the joints of the hands or feet is so severe that function is impossible (rare with osteoarthritis), surgery may allow some pain-free motion. In the hands, the goal is enough pain-free motion to allow the person to do basic...

  • For moderate to severe pain from osteoarthritis, try applying heat and cold to the affected joints. Experiment with these heat and cold techniques until you find what helps you most. Apply heat 2 or 3 times a day for 20 to 30 minutes, using a...

  • If you have osteoarthritis and your joints hurt when you do an activity, try other ways of doing it that do not cause pain. If you get tired when you do a task for long periods of time, break the task down into several smaller tasks, and rest between them. Avoid extended periods of standing, and try not to kneel or...

  • Covers surgery (osteotomy) to remove a wedge of bone near a damaged joint. Looks at why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Covers physical therapy. Includes info on how well it works and the risks of surgery.

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of osteoarthritis. Covers possible treatments with over-the-counter pain medicines and prescription medicines. Includes info on home treatment for joint pain, including using heat or ice, staying at a healthy weight, and exercise.

  • Weight-bearing exercises, started in your youth and continued throughout your life, can help prevent osteoporosis. These exercises, such as walking, jogging, climbing, dancing, or lifting weights, help you build strong bones as a young person. And...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of osteoporosis in women. Looks at treatment with medicine. Includes steps to slow bone loss with exercise, eating healthy foods, and quitting smoking. Covers protecting yourself from falling to prevent broken bones.

  • Discusses causes and symptoms of hammer, claw, and mallet toes. Covers diagnosis (including specific tests and exams). Looks at treatment options, including surgery. Also offers home treatment tips.

  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a hip problem a baby is born with or that happens in the first year of life. In this condition, the top of the thighbone doesn't fit securely into the hip socket. This problem may affect one or both hip...

  • Spina bifida is a type of birth defect called a neural tube defect. It occurs when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) don't form properly around part of the baby's spinal cord. Spina bifida can be mild or severe. The mild form is the most common. It...

  • Paget's disease can cause complications such as: Osteoarthritis. Paget's disease can damage the bone around a joint. This can cause the cartilage in the joint to weaken and break down, which leads to arthritis. Many people feel bone or joint pain...

  • If you have trouble moving around or if you become tired easily because of multiple sclerosis (MS), it may help to make some changes in your home. For instance, it might be helpful to: Change the location of furniture so that you can hold on to...

  • What is Paget's disease? Paget's disease is a problem of abnormal bone growth. It may affect just one bone, but it usually affects more than one. In normal bone, the bone tissue is constantly being broken down, absorbed into the body, and then rebuilt with new cells. In Paget's disease, bone tissue is broken down...

  • Doctors do not use lab tests to diagnose fibromyalgia. The results of lab tests done on people with fibromyalgia should be normal unless another condition is present. You may have lab tests to rule out other diseases or to find out whether you have...

  • Exercise is one of the most important treatments for fibromyalgia. Regular exercise will strengthen your muscles, increase blood flow to the muscles, and increase your endurance. It also may reduce the risk of tiny injuries to the muscles that may...

  • Nondrug methods of relieving pain may be helpful for people who have fibromyalgia. These can include: Applying heating pads or taking warm baths or showers. Gentle massage of painful muscles. Regular exercise to help strengthen muscles, which will...

  • Information on fibromyalgia, a syndrome that causes people to feel pain even when there is no injury. Covers symptoms and how it is diagnosed. Includes info on treatments such as medicines, exercise therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

  • Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that lets a doctor look inside your joints. The doctor uses a thin viewing tool called an arthroscope, or scope. It allows the doctor to see the joint surfaces and the tough tissue that covers and cushions the ends of the bones (cartilage). The doctor can also see the surrounding soft...

  • Discusses extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), a procedure that uses shock waves to break a kidney stone into smaller pieces. Covers how it is done and what to expect after treatment. Covers risks.

  • Changing body mechanics can help you prevent or treat a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Maintain good posture. Slumping your shoulders or staying in positions in which your upper body is thrust forward (many people do this to relieve back pain)...

  • Some people with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) have areas of the jaw joint that "trigger" severe pain. Trigger point management includes trigger point compression and trigger point injections. Trigger point compression is done by a doctor or physical therapist, who applies firm pressure to the jaw...

  • For arthroscopic jaw surgery, the surgeon inserts a pencil-thin, lighted tube (arthroscope) into the jaw joint through a small incision in the skin. The arthroscope is connected to a small camera outside the body that transmits a close-up image of the joint to a TV monitor. The surgeon can insert surgical instruments...

  • Ulnar tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the ulnar nerve at the wrist. This nerve is found on the pinkie-finger side of the wrist. Overuse or repetitive use of your hands or wrist may cause swelling or thickening of the tissues close to the ulnar nerve. Swelling from a ganglion can also affect the ulnar nerve...

  • Repeated hand and wrist movements, especially if they are done in awkward positions such as with the wrist bent forward or back, can cause swelling or thickening of tissues within the carpal tunnel. The swelling makes the carpal tunnel smaller and...

  • Try to avoid hand and wrist movements that can cause pain and other symptoms. Keep your wrists straight or only slightly bent. Avoid activities that bend or twist the wrists for long periods of time. Take frequent breaks from typing or other...

  • A wrist splint is a brace that looks like a fingerless glove. It stabilizes your wrist in a straight and sometimes slightly bent-back position. Wearing a wrist splint minimizes pressure on the median nerve and allows you a period of "relative rest"...

  • Covers open surgery to release pressure on the median nerve to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms in your hand. Looks at how the surgery is done, how well it works, and what to expect after surgery. Includes info on risks.

  • Covers endoscopic surgery to release pressure on the median nerve to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms in your hand. Looks at how the surgery is done, how well it works, and what to expect after surgery. Includes info on risks.

  • Discusses carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition caused by pressure on the median nerve. Covers causes and symptoms such as tingling or numbness in the hand, forearm, or wrist. Discusses what increases your risk. Covers nonsurgical and surgical treatment.

  • The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in your back are cushioned by round, flat discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. If they become damaged, they may bulge abnormally or...

  • Discectomy is surgery to remove lumbar (low back) herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord. It tends to be done as microdiscectomy, which uses a special microscope to view the disc and nerves. This larger view allows the surgeon to use a smaller cut (incision). And this causes less...

  • Follow instructions from your physical therapist or other health professional for stretching and strengthening exercises. Stretching exercises are controlled stretches that prevent tennis elbow stiffness and tendon shortening. Gently bend, straighten, and rotate your wrist. If you have increasing...

  • Surgery for tennis elbow may involve: Cutting (releasing) the tendon. Removing inflamed tissue from the tendon. Repairing (reattaching) tendon tears if it is possible to do so without overtightening the tendon. Surgery may be done using arthroscopy, traditional open surgery, or a combination of the two techniques...

  • Covers symptoms of tennis elbow, including pain around the elbow. Covers activities that increase risk, like gardening, swimming, or golf. Looks at treatment options, including surgery. Offers prevention tips, including photos of exercises that may help.

  • Covers surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Discusses why it may be done such as for a bulging disc, to relieve pain, or help prevent serious nerve damage. Looks at how well it works and risks.

  • Discusses herniated disc, which is also called a slipped or ruptured disc. Covers symptoms like back pain, numbness, and weakness. Looks at sciatica and bulging disc. Discusses nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. Offers prevention tips.

  • You can slow the onset of osteoporosis or reduce its impact if you form habits that build and strengthen your bones. It is best if you start healthy habits early in life, but it's never too late. Habits that build and strengthen bones include:...

  • Your doctor or physical therapist will design a physical rehabilitation (rehab) program for you that takes into consideration your normal level of activity, physical fitness, and extent of your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A rehab program should include: Flexibility exercises. Strengthening exercises...

  • Surgery for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries involves reconstructing or repairing the ACL. ACL reconstruction surgery uses a graft to replace the ligament. The most common grafts are autografts using part of your own body, such as the tendon of the kneecap (patellar tendon) or one of the hamstring tendons...

  • Many foot problems—such as bunions, calluses and corns, or hammer, claw, or mallet toes—will not become severely painful or disabling if you wear shoes with a wide toe box that gives your toes and the ball of your foot more room. Try to wear shoes that: Have low heels. Avoid high-heeled, narrow, or...

  • What is myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)? Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) (say "my-AL-jik en-seh-fuh-loh-my-uh-LY-tus") is a disease that makes you feel so ill that you can't do your normal daily activities. Sleeping problems occur along with...

  • You may find it helpful to change your schedule to take advantage of times when you have more energy and feel less tired. Keep a diary for a week or so, and record the times of day when you have energy and when you are tired. If there is a pattern to how your energy levels change during the day, try to...

  • People who have chronic health problems, such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), often benefit from support groups. These groups can be a good source of information and tips for managing your illness and a chance to share your frustrations and problems with others who are in a similar...

  • Bunion surgery generally involves an incision in the top or side of the big toe joint and the removal or realignment of soft tissue and bone. This is done to relieve pain and restore normal alignment to the joint. Small wires, screws, or plates may be used to hold the bones in place. There are no guarantees that a...

  • What is a bunion? A bunion is an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe. The big toe may turn toward the second toe. The tissues around the joint may be swollen and tender. A bony bump at the base of the little toe is called a bunionette or tailor's bunion. The little toe also...

  • What is bursitis? Bursitis is a painful swelling of a small sac of fluid called a bursa. Bursae (plural of bursa) cushion and lubricate areas where tendons, ligaments, skin, muscles, or bones rub against each other. People who repeat the same movement over and over or who put continued pressure on a joint in their...

  • The nerves that carry messages to and from your legs come from your low back. By checking your muscle strength, your reflexes, and your sensation (feeling), your doctor can tell whether there is pressure on a nerve root coming from your spinal column. He or she can often also tell which nerve root is involved. Muscle...

  • Slouching puts stress on your lower back. Slumping or slouching on its own may not cause low back pain. But after the back has been strained or injured, bad posture can make pain worse. When you sit, keep your shoulders back and down, chin back,...

  • Bed rest of more than a couple of days can actually make your low back pain worse and lead to other problems such as stiff joints and muscle weakness. If you do use bed rest for a short time, remember the following guidelines. Sitting up in bed puts...

  • There is some evidence that heat will help decrease low back pain. There is little proof that cold will help. But some people do find that heat or cold help them. Follow these suggestions if you would like to try heat or cold for low back pain. Heat to relieve low back pain Apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes...

  • Stress is what you feel when you have too much to handle. You may have too much work to do, or you may be having trouble with children or a spouse. If stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can affect your health. Where do you hold your stress? We all "hold" stress in different ways. Some people hold stress in...

  • Comprehensive rehabilitation (rehab) programs offer a variety of treatments for low back pain. They may use physical therapy, pain management with medicine and mental skills, and other medical treatments. These programs teach people how to care for...

  • Covers a surgical procedure that joins, or fuses, two or more vertebrae to treat low back pain. Looks at why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Includes how well it works and possible risks.

  • Covers the causes and symptoms of low back pain. Looks at treatment with rest, over-the-counter pain medicine, and heating pads. Includes steps to prevent low back pain from returning, such as practicing good posture and getting regular exercise.

  • Surgery may be used to treat a rotator cuff disorder if the injury is very bad or if nonsurgical treatment has failed to improve shoulder strength and movement sufficiently. Subacromial smoothing involves shaving bone or removing growths on the upper point of the shoulder blade ( acromion). It removes damaged tendon and...

  • Surgery may be used to treat a torn rotator cuff if the injury is very severe or if nonsurgical treatment has failed to improve shoulder strength and movement sufficiently. Surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff tendon usually involves: Removing loose fragments of tendon, bursa, and other debris from the space in the...

  • Brace (orthotic) treatment for scoliosis is used to prevent spinal curve progression and to maintain a more normal appearance of the back. The goal of brace treatment is to prevent the curve from getting worse. Bracing does not correct a curve. There may be some initial straightening of the spine and the appearance of...

  • In spinal fusion for scoliosis, rods, hooks, wires, or screws are attached to the curved part of the backbone and the spine is straightened. Small pieces of bone, called grafts, are then put over the spine. Bone for grafts is often taken from the person's pelvic bone. The grafts will grow together with the spinal...

  • Includes information on gout, a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the body. Info on symptoms, including swelling and pain that is often in the big toe. Covers how a diet high in purines can raise uric acid levels. Discusses diagnosis and treatment.

  • Impingement occurs when inflammation, bone spurs, or fluid buildup causes a rotator cuff tendon to be squeezed and rub against a bone. Every time you raise your arm above your head, the upper tendon in the rotator cuff (supraspinatus tendon) and the...

  • Debridement involves removing loose fragments of tendon, thickened bursa, and other debris from around the shoulder joint. By clearing damaged tissue from the region of the shoulder joint, it helps the doctor to see the extent of the injury and...

  • Doctors use X-ray images of a person's spine to measure spinal curvature. A curve or angle of the spine is measured in degrees and describes how severe the curve is. (The angle is determined by the intersection of lines projected from the top and...

  • The cosmetic aspects of scoliosis and the braces used to treat it may greatly affect a child or teen. Teenagers may find wearing a brace devastating to their self-image. Most braces should be worn for 20 hours a day or more, usually for several...

  • What is scoliosis? Scoliosis is a problem with the curve in the spine. Many people have some curve in their spine. But a few people have spines that make a large curve from side to side in the shape of the letter "S" or the letter "C." If this curve is severe, it can cause pain and make breathing difficult. The good...

  • When you have Parkinson's disease, you may find that making simple changes to your home and in your daily activities can help you stay independent for a longer time. Simplifying your daily activities may help you to save your energy for activities...

  • Covers causes and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Looks at treatment with medicine, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Discusses things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms and help control the disease. Includes importance of regular checkups.

  • Covers causes and symptoms of spondyloarthropathies, a family of long-term (chronic) diseases of joints. Looks at specific symptoms of each type. Discusses treatment with mild exercise, over-the-counter medicines, and other options.

  • Inflammatory eye disease (uveitis) can develop as a complication in children who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Children and adults who have JIA can develop cataracts, glaucoma, corneal degeneration (band keratopathy), or vision loss. The...

  • Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) must do regular range-of-motion exercises to prevent contractures and to maintain joint range and flexibility. If your child is 4 years old or younger, an adult will need to move the child's joints...

  • If your child has severe joint damage from juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), your child's doctors may recommend a total joint replacement. As you and the doctors work through this decision together, consider the following: Your child's age. Consider how old your child is. His or her bones may still...

  • Looks at sudden injuries like meniscus tears or torn ligaments that cause knee pain. Covers injuries like bursitis and tendinitis caused by overuse. Includes tool to help you decide when to call a doctor. Offers home treatment and prevention tips.

  • Helps you check symptoms of leg injuries caused during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, and work or projects around home. Includes bruises, swelling, sprains, pulled muscles, and broken bones. Discusses treatment and prevention.

  • Helps you check symptoms of leg problems not caused by injury. Covers symptoms like pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, tingling, weakness, and lumps and bumps under the skin. Includes pictures of bones of lower leg, thigh, and muscles and tendons.

  • An adult central nervous system tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain and/or spinal cord. There are many types of brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors are formed by the abnormal growth of cells and may begin in different parts of the brain or spinal cord. Together, the brain and...

  • Osteosarcoma and malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) of the bone are diseases in which malignant (cancer) cells form in bone. Osteosarcoma usually starts in osteoblasts, which are a type of bone cell that becomes new bone tissue. Osteosarcoma is most common in adolescents. It commonly forms in the ends of the long...

  • A childhood brain or spinal cord tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain or spinal cord. There are many types of childhood brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors are formed by the abnormal growth of cells and may begin in different areas of the brain or spinal cord. The tumors may...

  • Most people will have a minor neck problem at one time or another. Our body movements usually do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or injury. Neck problems and injuries most commonly occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related...

  • Nose injuries often occur during play, sports, accidents, fights, and falls. Pain, swelling, and bruising are common, even with minor injuries. Home treatment can usually help relieve your symptoms. It may be hard to tell if your nose is broken. Swelling can make your nose look crooked even if it is not broken. When...

  • Improper posture may put too much stress on your back and neck. The key to good back posture is to keep the right amount of curve in your lower back. A healthy back has three natural front-to-back curves that give the spine an "S" shape. Too much...

  • Good posture and the way you move your body can help prevent tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. If your headaches seem to be related to tension in this area, be aware of your posture and position during daily activities. This...

  • Discusses casts, which are used when a bone is broken. Covers how to care for casts and deal with swelling. Discusses complications that may require emergency care.

  • Minor shoulder problems, such as sore muscles and aches and pains, are common. Shoulder problems develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, or an injury. They can also be caused by the natural process of aging. Your shoulder joints move every time you move your arms. To better understand shoulder problems and...

  • Your wound will need care and observation. After the stitches or staples are put in, the area may be covered with a thin layer of ointment and covered with a nonstick bandage. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your stitches or staples. Be sure to follow those instructions. Check with your...

  • Splinting immobilizes a limb that may be broken or severely sprained to prevent further injury and ease pain until you can see a health professional. Splinting may also be helpful after a snakebite while you wait for help to arrive. There are two...

  • It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a doctor. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that...

  • The following tips may help you stand and walk using good posture: Keep your ear, shoulder, hip, and ankle in a line. Avoid locking your knees while standing. Try placing one foot on a low stool if you must stand in one position for a long time. Switch feet every few minutes. Keep your lower back in the neutral...

  • Most back injuries are caused by lifting or twisting and are not serious. Minor injuries can also result from overuse of the muscles and ligaments in the back. Back pain caused by a minor injury will usually go away by itself within 1 to 4 weeks. Moderate back injuries may result from tripping or falling short...

  • Ice and cold packs can relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions, such as arthritis. Types of ice and cold packs Ice towel. Wet a towel with cold water and squeeze it until it is just damp. Fold the towel, place it in a plastic bag, and freeze it for 15 minutes...

  • Many times mild groin pain is caused by a minor injury that you may not have even noticed. Home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your pain. Most of the time when a serious problem is causing groin pain, you will have other...

  • A bite injury may need to be closed by a health professional, may require antibiotic medicines, or both. The decision to close a wound with stitches, staples, or skin adhesive depends on: The type of biting animal. The size and location of the bite. The time that has passed since the bite occurred...

  • A blow to the chest can cause a minor or serious injury. It is not unusual to have the "wind knocked out of you" and be short of breath for a few minutes after a blow to the chest. Even after a chest injury, it is important to determine whether your pain might be caused by a heart problem. If you do not have any...

  • Injuries to the tailbone (coccyx) can occur when you slip or fall and hit your tailbone (impact injury). The most common symptom of a tailbone injury is pain when you sit, especially if you slump or sit on a hard seat. Straining to have a bowel movement also can be very painful. Home treatment often eases pain. You...

  • The following exercises will help strengthen the muscles in your neck as well as relieve existing neck pain. You don't need to do every exercise. Do the ones that help you the most. Stop any exercise that increases pain. Do each exercise slowly. Talk to your doctor before doing any of these exercises. Side and...

  • The possibility of a spinal injury must be considered anytime an accident involves the head, face, neck, or back. Permanent paralysis may be avoided if the injured person is kept from moving (immobilized) and is transported correctly. Do not move the person if you think he or she may have a spinal injury...

  • Good body mechanics means practicing good posture throughout the day. Use good body mechanics all the time, not just when you have back pain. Keep your back in the neutral position—not too curved and not too flat. When you must stay in one position for long periods of time, take regular breaks to stretch and restore...

  • Overuse injuries occur from stressing your joints, muscles, or other tissues without allowing them to recover. For example, throwing a baseball at high speeds over and over can stress your shoulder joint and cause an injury to part of that joint (the rotator cuff). Stress fractures, in which a bone breaks from the...

  • If you or your doctor thinks you may be at risk for osteoporosis, you may have a screening test to check your bone thickness. A screening test may be advisable if you have: A fracture in a minor injury that may have been caused by osteoporosis. Another medical condition that is known to cause bone...

  • What is a meniscus tear? A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions your knee. Each knee has two menisci (plural of meniscus)—one at the outer edge of the knee and one at the inner edge. The menisci keep your knee steady by balancing your weight across the knee. A...

  • Guides through decision to have a diagnostic test like an MRI or arthroscopy done on a meniscus tear. Describes the two tests. Lists the three types of meniscus tears. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides you through the decision to have surgery for a torn meniscus. Explains two kinds of surgery. Explains when surgery is done. Lists risks and benefits of surgery for meniscus tear. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Surgery to repair a torn meniscus involves rehabilitation, although it varies depending on the injury, the type of surgery, and your orthopedist's preference. In general, meniscus surgery is followed by a period of rest, walking, and selected exercises. Every recovery is different and depends on many things. But here...

  • What is an ankle sprain? Most people have twisted an ankle at some point in their life. But if your ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, you have most likely sprained it. This means you have stretched and possibly torn the ligaments in your ankle. Even though ankle sprains are common, they are not...

  • Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are surgeries that are done to try to relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine by stabilizing the broken bone with a substance that works like cement. These surgeries are not done very often, because most fractures heal on their own. Fractures can happen because of...

  • Guides you through decision to take bisphosphonate medicines for osteoporosis. Lists medicine names like alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel). Lists risks and benefits. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • The risk of getting osteoporosis increases with age as bones naturally become thinner. After age 30, the rate at which your bone tissue dissolves and is absorbed by the body slowly increases, while the rate of bone building decreases. So overall you lose a small amount of bone each year after age 30. In women, bone...

  • Ankle sprains are common injuries that can result in lifelong problems. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems. Rehabilitation (rehab) exercises are critical to ensure that the ankle heals completely...

  • Ankle sprains are common injuries that can result in lifelong problems. Some people with repeated or severe sprains can develop long-term joint pain and weakness. Treating a sprained ankle can help prevent ongoing ankle problems. If an ankle sprain does not heal correctly, the joint may become unstable, resulting in a...

  • The iliotibial band is a band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh. It provides stability to the knee and hip and helps prevent dislocation of those joints. The band may overdevelop, tighten, and rub across the hipbone or the outer part of the knee. Each time the knee is bent or the hip flexed, the...

  • What is avascular necrosis? Avascular necrosis is bone death that occurs when the blood supply to the bones is decreased or stopped. Without an adequate blood supply, the bone breaks down and dies and collapses. If the bone affected is near a joint, the joint may also collapse. Although any bone can be affected...

  • Pelvic pain and problems urinating may mean you have a bladder infection. Flank pain with fever and urinary symptoms may mean you have a kidney infection (pyelonephritis). Flank pain is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist. It can be on one or both sides of the back. If you have pelvic or flank pain and...

  • Skin adhesives are clear gels that may be used to hold the edges of a small cut together. Your doctor may apply a skin adhesive instead of stitching your cut. A liquid will be applied to your skin and allowed to dry. As it dries, it creates a film that will hold together the edges of your cut. If a skin adhesive is...

  • Footwear plays a large role in the development of foot and toe problems such as bunions, calluses and corns, and hammer, claw, and mallet toes. Shoes that don't fit properly make these conditions worse and more painful. But wearing the right shoes may help keep foot problems from becoming worse. A comfortable...

  • Discusses patellar tracking disorder, a problem that causes kneecap instability. Covers causes and symptoms. Covers treatment with physical therapy and surgery for severe cases. Links to exercises that can be done at home.

  • The kneecap (patella) is normally positioned over the front of the knee joint at the base of the thighbone (femur). A kneecap can be dislocated, or moved out of its normal position, when: The inner edge of the kneecap is hit, pushing it toward the outer side of the leg. This can happen more easily if there is patellar...

  • The hamstring muscles are the three muscles that run down the back of the thigh. They attach to the lower pelvis and to the back of the leg just below the knee. Tight hamstring muscles cause the tendons that attach them to the bone to feel taut and make them vulnerable to injury. Regular stretching can prevent...

  • Plica in the knee is a ridge or fold of the tissues lining the knee joint (synovium). Normally a plica does not cause problems, but it can become inflamed and thickened from injury or overuse. This is called "plica syndrome." Plica syndrome can interfere with normal joint function and cause pain when the thickened...

  • Orthotic shoe devices are molded pieces of rubber, leather, metal, plastic, or other synthetic material that are inserted into a shoe. They balance the foot in a neutral position and cushion the foot from too much pounding. A wide range of orthotics are available for different foot problems. Doctors do not always agree...

  • A subluxation is a partial dislocation. The kneecap, or patella, can sublux out of its normal position more easily when the thigh muscles are weak, when the patella is not firmly held by the surrounding tendons and ligaments, or when there is a problem with the alignment or structure of the knee bones. A patellar...

  • Bursitis or a tendon injury (tendinopathy) in the elbow causes soreness or pain in the elbow region, particularly when the arm is in motion. Pressing on the affected area will also cause pain. The epicondyles are the bony bumps you can feel on the inside and outside of your elbow. Tendinopathy or epicondylopathy is a...

  • Bursitis or a tendon injury ( tendinopathy) can cause pain at the side of your hip when you rise from a chair and take your first few steps, climb stairs, drive, or lie down with direct pressure on the side of the hip. See a picture of bursitis of the hip. To prevent and ease hip pain during work, play, or daily...

  • Patellar tendinopathy, also known as jumper's knee, affects the tendons that attach the kneecap to the shinbone and the quadriceps tendon to the kneecap. Prolonged kneeling can cause prepatellar bursitis, which can develop into an egg-shaped bump on the front of the kneecap. To prevent and ease knee pain during work...

  • Bursitis or a tendon injury (tendinopathy) in the shoulder can cause pain on the outside or front of the upper arm. Common symptoms include pain, pinching, and stiffness when you raise your arm. These symptoms are often brought on by doing repeated overhead movements. Pain from bursitis or a tendon injury can keep you...

  • Inflammation or small tears in a tendon ( tendinopathy) can cause wrist pain. Although tendinopathy is a different condition than carpal tunnel syndrome, both can respond to the same home treatment tips: Gently warm up your wrists and fingers before beginning an activity. Fan open your fingers. Stretch your wrists...

  • An injury to the Achilles tendon ( Achilles tendinopathy) can cause pain and stiffness on and above the back of the heel. Achilles tendinopathy is common among athletes. But it also occurs in people of all ages, activity levels, and jobs. Bursitis can also cause pain and swelling at the back or bottom of the heel. To...

  • Bursitis can cause a bursa to produce and fill up with fluid. A bursa that is swollen with fluid can be diagnosed and treated by drawing the fluid out with a needle and syringe (aspiration). Fluid often builds up in the bursa again. Draining the bursa can provide relief, but the cause of fluid buildup may also require...

  • Describes symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome such as tingling, numbness, or pain in the fingers, thumb, or hand that occur with pressure on the median nerve. Offers prevention tips. Offers links to more info on carpal tunnel syndrome and office ergonomics.

  • Most women develop back pain at some point during pregnancy. As the size and weight of your growing belly place more strain on your back, you may notice your posture changing. To protect your back from poor posture, unnecessary strain, and painful injury, follow these guidelines: Avoid standing with your belly...

  • Spondylolysis is a defect or fracture of one or both of the wing-shaped parts of a vertebra. These "wings" help keep the vertebrae in place. When a "wing" is absent, defective from birth, or damaged, a vertebra can slide forward or backward over the bone below, sometimes pressing on the spinal cord or a nerve root. This...

  • A back school is an educational program that teaches you practical information about back care, posture, body mechanics, back exercises, and how to prevent long-term back problems. Going to a back school gives you the tools for self-care, which may improve how well you manage low back pain. Back school works only as...

  • Botulinum toxin A is a protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, the same bacteria that causes botulism food poisoning. When injected into muscle in tiny amounts, botulinum A (Botox) can stop or reduce muscle spasm by blocking nerve signals to the muscle. This treatment has been used since the early 1990s...

  • Covers intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) to treat spinal disc-related chronic low back pain. Explains why it is done and what to expect after surgery. Includes how well it works. Looks at possible risks.

  • Lists common lifting mistakes. Offers basic rules to protect your back when lifting. Includes links to pictures on proper lifting technique and more extensive info on low back pain and herniated disc.

  • Experts disagree about the use of heat after an injury. Some experts: Do not recommend using heat because it may increase swelling, especially in the first few hours right after the injury. If you decide to use heat and you notice that the swelling increases, stop using heat and return to cold treatments. Think heat...

  • What is congenital torticollis? Torticollis, also known as "wryneck," is a condition in which your baby's head is tilted. The chin points to one shoulder, while the head tilts toward the opposite shoulder. Treatment is necessary to prevent your baby's face and skull from growing unevenly and to prevent limited motion...

  • What is a slipped capital femoral epiphysis? A slipped capital femoral epiphysis occurs when the upper end of the thigh bone (femur) slips at the area where the bone is growing (growth plate or physis) and does not fit in the hip socket correctly. The condition is most common in young teenagers. It's more common in...

  • Covers causes of sciatica such as a bulging or ruptured disc, spinal stenosis, and bone spurs. Looks at symptoms such as pain in your back or buttocks. Includes treatment with a cold pack, medicines, and exercises to relieve pain.

  • What is patellofemoral pain syndrome? Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain in the front of the knee. It frequently occurs in teenagers, manual laborers, and athletes. It sometimes is caused by wearing down, roughening, or softening of the cartilage under the kneecap. What causes patellofemoral pain syndrome...

  • Discusses bone spur, a bony growth formed on normal bone. Includes info on common sites for bone spurs like the heel and shoulder. Covers causes, symptoms, and how they are diagnosed. Discusses treatment with medicines or surgery.

  • What is low bone density? Low bone density (sometimes called osteopenia) refers to bone density that is lower than the normal peak density but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Bone density is a measurement of how dense and strong the bones are. If your bone density is low compared to normal peak...

  • What is spondylolisthesis? Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one bone in your back ( vertebra) slides forward over the bone below it. It most often occurs in the lower spine ( lumbosacral area). In some cases, this may lead to your spinal cord or nerve roots being squeezed. This can cause back pain and...

  • Discusses a break in the navicular (scaphoid) bone, one of the bones in the wrist. Covers causes and symptoms, such as pain, tenderness, and swelling. Discusses diagnosis using X-rays. Covers treatment with arm cast, splint, or surgery.

  • What is radial head subluxation? Radial head subluxation means that the radius, one of two long bones in the lower arm (forearm), has pulled away from its normal position. The ligament that supports the radial bone then slips into the elbow joint. When this happens, the radial bone can't move back into its normal...

  • Discusses ganglions, small cysts that look like bumps often on hands and wrists. Covers exams and tests used to diagnose ganglions. Covers nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Mucous cyst ganglions usually occur when osteoarthritis symptoms develop, at middle age or older. This type of ganglion is more common in women than men. Mucous cyst ganglions are found at the joint nearest the fingernail (distal interphalangeal [DIP] joint). The ganglion is firm and does not easily move under the...

  • Bursitis is an inflammation of the small sacs of fluid (bursae) that cushion and lubricate the areas between tendons and bones. The trochanteric bursa is a large sac separating the greater trochanter of the hip and the muscles and tendons of the thighs and buttock. Bursitis can affect many of the bursae around the hip...

  • What is neck pain? Neck pain can occur anywhere in your neck, from the bottom of your head to the top of your shoulders. It can spread to your upper back or arms. It may limit how much you can move your head and neck. Neck pain is common, especially in people older than 50. What causes neck pain? Neck pain can be...

  • Cervical (neck) collars are sometimes used to support the neck. Hard collars are rigid and are usually made from plastic. They hold the head and neck very still. They are usually only used after major surgery or a serious injury, such as a broken neck. Soft collars may be made from felt, foam, or rubber. They allow...

  • Cervical spinal fusion ( arthrodesis) is a surgery that joins selected bones in the neck ( cervical spine). There are different methods of doing a cervical spinal fusion: Bone can be taken from elsewhere in your body or obtained from a bone bank (a bone graft). The bone is used to make a bridge between vertebrae that...

  • Spinal decompression surgery reduces pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots and may reduce neck pain. To relieve the pressure, your doctor may remove: Bony growths (bone spurs or osteophytes) and fibrous tissue that are narrowing the spinal canal and pressing on spinal nerve roots. Parts of the vertebrae...

  • Discusses common Achilles tendon problems. Covers tendinopathy, which includes tendinitis and tendinosis. Also covers tendon tear or rupture, paratenonitis, peritendinitis, and bursitis. Discusses symptoms such as pain and swelling in back of leg or heel.

  • Guides through the decision to have surgery for tennis elbow (also called lateral epicondylitis). Explains how surgery is done. Covers risks. Lists reasons for and against surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • There are two types of surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon: In open surgery, the surgeon makes a single large incision in the back of the leg. In percutaneous surgery, the surgeon makes several small incisions rather than one large incision. In both types of surgery, the surgeon sews the tendon back...

  • Rehabilitation (rehab) and/or physical therapy are the usual treatment for an Achilles tendon injury. For Achilles tendinopathy, physical therapy can decrease your pain. It can allow you to gradually return to your normal activities. For an Achilles tendon rupture, you can try a rehab program after surgery to repair the...

  • Discusses ankylosing spondylitis, a condition that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the spine. Covers causes and symptoms. Looks at treatment with conditioning exercises, medicines, and surgery. Offers home treatment tips.

  • Assistive devices and orthotics are tools that help you hold objects, open and close things, transfer weight while shifting positions, or walk. It is important to find a balance between use and rest of a painful (arthritic) joint. When exercise is not enough to control pain, assistive devices and orthotics may help to...

  • Covers exercises that are helpful for a person with osteoarthritis. Includes aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercises, and tips to motivate yourself. Includes things to avoid. Looks at why it is important to exercise and gives tips on how to exercise.

  • Discusses exercises to stretch and strengthen the plantar fascia ligament and Achilles tendon. Has illustrations of exercises. Covers exercises to avoid. Offers other tips like resting or icing to help relieve heel pain.

  • Most people find osteoarthritis to be a nuisance that eventually becomes significant enough to affect their daily activities. And sometimes there are more serious complications. Possible complications of osteoarthritis include: Rapid, complete breakdown of cartilage resulting in loose tissue material in the joint...

  • What is ergonomics? Ergonomics (say "er-guh-NOM-iks") is the study of the kind of work you do, the environment you work in, and the tools you use to do your job. The goal of office ergonomics is to set up your office work space so that it fits you and the job you are doing. When your workstation is set up right, you...

  • Physical therapists provide a type of treatment you may need when back pain makes it hard to move around and do everyday tasks. This treatment helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also helps improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level. The goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks...

  • Covers exercises that may help reduce or prevent low back pain. Includes aerobic, strengthening, and stretching exercises. Looks at why it is important to exercise for low back pain. Includes tips on how to do the exercises.

  • Bacterial infections of the spine are rare but can include infection of: The discs (discitis). The spinal cord (usually an infection of the tissue covering the spinal cord, called an epidural abscess). One or more vertebrae (osteomyelitis). The facet joints, which may be the site of infectious arthritis. Bacteria...

  • Guides you through decision to have spinal manipulation. Describes treatment and how well it works for low back pain. Lists benefits and risks of both spinal manipulation and home treatment. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Because children and teenagers are more flexible, back pain is not as common in this age group as it is in adults. Back pain in a child that occurs immediately after an injury or an athletic event should be checked by a doctor. Back pain in children and teens may also be caused by an overuse injury. Children or their...

  • Amputation is the removal of a body part. This can be done by a doctor in a hospital setting, such as when a foot must be amputated because of diabetes complications. But amputation may also happen during an accident. An amputation may be complete...

  • What is calcific tendinitis? Calcific tendinitis (also called calcific tendinopathy) happens when calcium builds up in the tendons. It is most common in the shoulders. But it may occur in the elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, or feet. People most affected by calcific tendinitis are between 30 and 50 years old. Women...

  • What is the collarbone? The collarbone (clavicle) is one of the main bones of the shoulder joint. It holds the shoulder up and, along with the shoulder blade (scapula) and acromioclavicular (AC) joint, provides stability and strength to the shoulder. The collarbone also protects nerves and blood vessels from the neck...

  • What is a shoulder separation? A shoulder separation is the partial or complete separation of two parts of the shoulder: the collarbone (clavicle) and the end of the shoulder blade (acromion). See a picture of shoulder separation injuries. The collarbone and the shoulder blade (scapula) are connected by the...

  • What is frozen shoulder? Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is stiffness, pain, and limited range of movement in your shoulder. It may happen after an injury or overuse or from a disease such as diabetes or a stroke. The tissues around the joint stiffen, scar tissue forms, and shoulder movements become difficult and...

  • Puncture wounds are less likely than cuts to be stitched, stapled, or have a skin adhesive applied because: Puncture wounds tend to be smaller than cuts and usually do not heal better or scar less when stitched. Puncture wounds tend to be deeper, narrower, and harder to clean than cuts. Sealing bacteria into a wound...

  • Osteotomy ("bone cutting") is a procedure in which a surgeon removes, or sometimes adds, a wedge of bone near a damaged joint. This shifts weight from an area where there is deformed or damaged bone to an area where there is more or healthier bone. In Paget's disease, bone tissue breakdown and rebuilding frequently...

  • Many people take oral or inhaled steroid medicines for conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These medicines include beclomethasone, flunisolide, and prednisone. The oral kind and the high-dose inhaled kind can cause bone loss over time. If you are on these types of medicines for 6...

  • Discusses taking calcium and vitamin D to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Includes info on how much calcium you need based on your age or life stage. Offers list of calcium-rich foods and calcium supplements.

  • Phantom limb pain is pain that is felt in the area where an arm or leg has been amputated. Although the limb is gone, the nerve endings at the site of the amputation continue to send pain signals to the brain that make the brain think the limb is still there. Phantom limb pain can be mild to agonizing and even disabling...

  • Describes disease and factors that increase risk. Covers symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

  • The decision to have a limb amputated is difficult for the person and his or her doctor. Many times, extensive measures have been tried to save the limb. The major causes of amputation are diabetes and/or peripheral arterial disease that results in either painful, poor limb function or gangrene. In general, amputation...

  • Exercises are a very important part of treatment for a rotator cuff disorder. If you have pain, weakness, and stiffness in your shoulder from a rotator cuff problem, your doctor will likely suggest that you try exercises and other at-home treatments. These treatments may include rest, ice, heat, and NSAIDs such as...

  • Orthopedic surgery is used to treat tight muscles and spasticity related to cerebral palsy. An incision is made in the skin over the affected muscle. Parts of the muscle are then cut to release the tightness.

  • What is periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)? Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a condition in which a person's legs, and sometimes arms, move repetitively and uncontrollably while he or she is asleep. These episodes of limb movement can disrupt the person's sleep, causing insomnia or daytime sleepiness...

  • A sports hernia is an injury of the inguinal area caused by repetitive twisting and turning at high speed. This type of hernia occurs mainly in people who play ice hockey, soccer, or tennis. Although the condition is known as a hernia, in many cases an obvious hernia is not seen. The main symptom is groin pain that may...

  • Surgeons often use phalangeal head resection to correct hammer, claw, and mallet toes. In this procedure, the surgeon removes part of one of the toe bones, the phalangeal head, so that the toe can lie flat. The affected tendons are cut and then reattached to conform to the new, correct toe position. A wire or tape holds...

  • After an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, you lose leg strength and motion and stability of the knee. It is important that you regain your leg strength and motion as soon as possible, whether you choose to have surgery for your ACL injury or not. Exercises to regain muscle strength and knee motion should begin...

  • A lot of the research on preventing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries has focused on women: women athletes injure their ACLs up to 8 times as often as men athletes. Although the following tips come from women's programs, they can help anyone prevent ACL injuries. Training and conditioning should take...

  • What is a spinal cord injury? A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a soft bundle of nerves that extends from the base of the brain to the lower back. It runs through the spinal canal, a tunnel formed by holes in the bones of the spine. The bony spine helps protect the spinal cord. The...

  • Guides through decision to have bunion surgery. Provides general overview of what bunions are. Looks at types of surgery, possible complications, and effectiveness. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can be classified based on function (how much feeling and movement you have) or on where the damage occurred. When a nerve in the spinal cord is injured, the nerve location and number are often used to describe how much damage there is. For example, a C7 injury is associated with the seventh...

  • People who have had a spinal cord injury (SCI) don't always have the ability to cough forcefully. A forceful cough is important, because it will help you bring up mucus in the lungs, which can help prevent some lung complications, such as pneumonia. But some people shouldn't try assisted cough. Don't use an assisted...

  • A spinal cord injury (SCI) makes movement difficult. Movement is what keeps your muscles and joints flexible and helps prevent spasticity. If you cannot move your muscles and joints easily, you may lose some of your range of motion. This will make it harder to perform daily activities, such as getting dressed or moving...

  • Manual therapy includes: Massage, which applies pressure to the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles. Mobilization, which uses slow, measured movements to twist, pull, or push bones and joints. Manipulation, which uses pressure on a joint. It can be done with the hands or a special device. The careful...

  • What is spondylosis? Spondylosis is age-related change of the bones (vertebrae) and discs of the spine. These changes are often called degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. These changes don't always cause symptoms. But they are a common cause of spine problems that can range from mild to severe. What causes...

  • When you are recovering from a spinal cord injury (SCI), it is best to work with a group of health professionals known as a rehabilitation (rehab) team. Your rehab team designs a unique plan for your recovery that will help you recover as much function as possible, prevent complications, and help you live as...

  • Rehabilitation (rehab) for a spinal cord injury (SCI) is typically done in a special center. You and your family work with a rehab team, a group of health professionals that designs a unique plan for your recovery. This plan will help you recover as much function as possible, prevent complications, and help you live as...

  • Pain in a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be complicated and confusing. There are different types of pain, and they are often described in different ways. You may feel pain where you have feeling. But you may also feel pain in an area where otherwise you have no feeling. The pain may be severe at some times. But at other...

  • Talking with your partner may help your sexual function, whether it be erection problems for men or lack of arousal for women. Couples often wrongly assume that they each know what the other person likes when it comes to sex, but likes and dislikes may change after a spinal cord injury (SCI). Talk about how the SCI...

  • Sensual exercises may help you enjoy sexual intimacy and find satisfaction after a spinal cord injury (SCI). You may find that your old methods of finding satisfaction still work or that they no longer do. Doing sensual exercises with your partner may help you relax and focus more on the pleasurable touching of...

  • Lung and breathing problems are common in a spinal cord injury (SCI). This is because you may not be able to use some of the muscles necessary for breathing, or they may be very weak. This makes it difficult to breath, cough, and bring up mucus from the lungs, which leads to a greater risk of lung infections such as...

  • Mobility is an important aspect of a spinal cord injury (SCI). The ability to move lets you participate more fully in community life and do the things you would like to do. You are not "confined" to crutches or wheelchairs—they make you independent. Mobility devices can help you get to work, go shopping, and get around...

  • When you leave a rehabilitation (rehab) center for your home after a spinal cord injury (SCI), you need to have your home ready for your special needs. Following are some of the adaptations and adaptive equipment you may need. Talk with your rehab team about what you will need specifically and the best way to proceed...

  • After your spinal cord injury (SCI), you may need a wheelchair. Moving from your wheelchair to other locations is known as a transfer. If you have enough upper body strength, you may be able to do this yourself. Your injury and strength will determine what type of transfer you do. But there are general things that are...

  • Autonomic dysreflexia is a syndrome in which there is a sudden onset of excessively high blood pressure. It is more common in people with spinal cord injuries that involve the thoracic nerves of the spine or above (T6 or above). Be prepared to call your spinal cord injury therapist, , or other emergency services if you...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for an Achilles tendon rupture. Describes different types of treatment and when surgery is the best option. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is a disorder in which there is bone growth in the ligaments, particularly where they attach to the bones of the spine. You may have no symptoms. Or you could have minor spinal stiffness and pain. Over time your spine will stiffen and your vertebrae may fuse together.

  • Covers creating and following a plan to help manage symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Discusses early treatment with exercise and medicine to limit joint damage. Includes tips for coping with chronic joint pain, fatigue, and stiffness.

  • Exercise can reduce pain and improve function in people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Also, exercise may help prevent the buildup of scar tissue, which can lead to weakness and stiffness. Exercise for arthritis takes three forms: stretching, strengthening, and conditioning. Stretching involves moving...

  • Guides through decision to have knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis. Describes other surgeries and treatment options used to decrease osteoarthritis pain. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Guides through decision to have hip replacement surgery. Discusses what happens in hip replacement and what to expect after surgery. Offers interactive tool to help you decide.

  • Heat and cold treatments can help with mild to moderate pain from cancer. But talk to your doctor before trying either of these during chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Heat may relieve sore muscles. Use a heating pad, a gel pack, or a hot-water bottle. Or you can take a hot bath or shower. Apply heat for no longer...

  • Guides through decision to have surgery for Dupuytren's disease. Includes other treatments for Dupuytren's disease. Describes the two types of surgery usually done. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

  • Most children who have juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) will have some pain and discomfort from the disease. The pain of JIA is related to the type and severity of the disease, the child's pain threshold, and emotional and psychological factors. Pain limits a child's ability to function. With care and good...

  • The purpose of physical therapy is to decrease pain and allow you to gradually return to your normal activities. Physical therapy for spinal stenosis involves treatment with physical or mechanical means, such as through exercise or heat. Physical therapy may reduce pain in the soft tissues (such as the muscles...

  • Covers narrowing of spinal canal in the neck. Looks at symptoms like pain or numbness in neck, shoulders, arms, hands, or legs caused by squeezing of nerves and cord. Discusses treatment with medicine, exercise, physical therapy, and surgery.

  • Covers causes and symptoms of changes in your spinal discs as you age. Includes changes that can result in back or neck pain, osteoarthritis, herniated disc, and spinal stenosis. Looks at treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Meniscectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of a torn meniscus. A meniscus tear is a common knee joint injury. Surgeons who perform meniscectomies ( orthopedic surgeons) will make surgical decisions based on the meniscus's ability to heal as well as your age, health, and activity level. Your doctor will...

  • A meniscus tear is a common injury to the cartilage that stabilizes and cushions the knee joint. The type of the tear can determine whether your tear can be repaired. Radial tears sometimes can be repaired, depending on where they are located. Horizontal, flap, long-standing, and degenerative tears—those caused by years...

  • A meniscus tear is a common knee joint injury. How well the knee will heal and whether surgery will be needed depends in large part on the type of tear and how bad the tear is. Work with your doctor to plan a rehabilitation (rehab) program that helps you regain as much strength and flexibility in your knee as possible...

  • Is this topic for you? The heel and elbow joints are common sites of tendon injuries. For more information about tendon injuries in these areas, see the topics Achilles Tendon Problems and Tennis Elbow. This topic does not address severe tendon tears or ruptures. To help you assess a tendon injury, see the topic...

  • Blood vessel and nerve damage linked with diabetes can lead to serious infections that are extremely hard to treat. Often the first place you have a problem is your feet. When you lose the ability to feel your toes and feet, you are more likely to injure them without knowing it. Even a minor injury, such as a small cut...

  • Plantar fasciitis in athletes is often the result of overtraining. You will need to reduce your level of activity. Or you will need to switch to another type of activity that puts less stress on your feet. This, combined with stretching, anti-inflammatory drugs, and making sure that you have good-quality shoes, will...

  • This article shows how to do easy and then more difficult exercises to help with patellar tracking disorder.

  • What are shin splints? Shin splints are a condition that causes pain and sometimes swelling in the front part of the lower leg (shin). The pain is most likely from repeated stress on the shinbone (tibia) and the tissue that connects the muscle to the tibia. They are common in people who run or jog. Activities where you...

  • What is chronic myofascial pain? Most people have muscle pain from time to time. But chronic myofascial pain is a kind of ongoing or longer-lasting pain that can affect the connective tissue (fascia) of a muscle or group of muscles. With myofascial pain, there are areas called trigger points. Trigger points are usually...

  • Discusses muscle cramps, also known as charley horses. Covers causes like strained muscles, dehydration, and needing more potassium or calcium in your body. Covers treatment and prevention, including stretching or taking a warm bath.

  • What is whiplash? Whiplash is pain and stiffness in the neck after an injury that has caused the neck to move suddenly or beyond its normal range. It occurs when the head is suddenly forced backward or forward and is then snapped in the other direction. This kind of motion most often happens to people in a car that is...

  • Gout is a form of arthritis marked by sudden attacks of painful, inflamed joints. If it is not controlled, gout can cause severe damage to joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. This used to be treated with a strict diet, but now there are medicines that can control it...

  • Discusses Baker's cyst (also called popliteal cyst), a pocket of fluid that forms a lump behind the knee. Covers causes such as swelling from arthritis and knee injury. Discusses symptoms. Covers treatment, including things to do at home and surgery.

  • What is de Quervain's tenosynovitis? De Quervain's (say "duh-kair-VANZ") tenosynovitis, also called De Quervain's, is a problem that makes the bottom of your thumb and the side of your wrist hurt. When you have de Quervain's, the ropey fiber ( tendon) that helps move your thumb away from your fingers becomes swollen...

  • Describes clubfoot and what causes it. Covers symptoms and diagnosis. Also covers treatment, including surgery and nonsurgical methods. Offers info on when clubfoot might point to a more serious problem.

  • Discusses symptoms of a fractured rib, such as pain and difficulty when breathing and pain around fractured area. Covers how fractured ribs are diagnosed. Looks at treatment choices. Offers home care tips to prevent pneumonia.

  • You can use paraffin wax (may be called either paraffin or wax) to apply moist heat to your hands or feet to ease the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis. Paraffin especially helps to reduce pain and loosen up your hand and finger joints before exercise. You should talk with your doctor before trying paraffin at...

  • A walking aid—a walker, crutches, or a cane—helps substitute for a decrease in strength, range of motion, joint stability, coordination, or endurance. It can also reduce the stress on a painful joint or limb. Using a walking aid can help you be more safe and independent in your daily activities. Almost everyone has...

  • A walking aid—a walker, crutches, or a cane—helps substitute for a decrease in strength, range of motion, joint stability, coordination, or endurance. It can also reduce the stress on a painful joint or limb. Using a walking aid can help you be more safe and independent in your daily activities. Almost everyone has...

  • A walking aid—a walker, crutches, or a cane—helps substitute for a decrease in strength, range of motion, joint stability, coordination, or endurance. It can also reduce the stress on a painful joint or limb. Using a walking aid can help you be more safe and independent in your daily activities. Almost everyone has...

  • Covers shoulder surgery to replace the ends of bones in a damaged joint. Includes what to expect after surgery, continued recovery, and living with a shoulder replacement. Looks at why it is done, how well it works, and the risks of surgery.

  • Hip resurfacing arthroplasty is surgery that replaces the damaged outer surfaces of the femoral head found at the top of the thighbone and, if needed, the cup-shaped socket where the thighbone meets the pelvis in the hip joint. People younger than about age 55 who have hip osteoarthritis have been difficult to help...

  • In older adults, hip fractures are usually caused by a fall. Even a slight fall can sometimes cause a fracture in a weakened hipbone. Children and young adults are more likely to break a hip because of a bike or car accident or a sports injury. Falls cause more fractures—including hip fractures—as people age because...

  • Asks questions that help you find out if your low back problem might be helped by surgery. Results help you talk with your doctor about back pain or other symptoms like leg pain. Helps you talk with your doctor about surgery and other treatment options.

  • Explains what core stability is. Covers how keeping the muscles of your trunk strong helps your posture, balance, and movement, and helps prevent injuries. Gives tips on how to increase your core strength and stability.

  • "Fibro fog" is the name commonly given to the cognitive problems that can go along with fibromyalgia syndrome. These problems with concentration and memory can lead to confusion, losing your train of thought, or forgetting or mixing up words or details. You can take steps to manage fibro fog. Try some of the...

  • Prolotherapy involves injecting a substance into the body to promote the growth of normal cells, tissues, or organs. There are three types of prolotherapy. The type used to treat joint pain is called inflammatory prolotherapy. In inflammatory prolotherapy, a sugar water solution (dextrose) is injected into a weakened...

  • Tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands are common during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. These problems are usually caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, and they usually go away after pregnancy. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a specific group of symptoms that can include tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain...

  • During childhood and teen years, new bone grows faster than existing bone is absorbed by the body. After age 30, this process begins to reverse. As a natural part of aging, bone dissolves and is absorbed faster than new bone is made, and bones become thinner. You are more likely to have osteoporosis if you did not reach...

  • What is Morton's neuroma, and what causes it? Morton's neuroma is a swollen or thickened nerve in the ball of your foot. When your toes are squeezed together too often and for too long, the nerve that runs between your toes can swell and get thicker. This swelling can make it painful when you walk on that foot...

  • What is a SLAP tear? A SLAP tear is a specific kind of injury to your shoulder. To help make your shoulder more stable, there is a ring of firm tissue, called the labrum , around your shoulder socket. The labrum (say "LAY-brum") helps keep your arm bone in the shoulder socket. SLAP stands for "superior labrum...

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