Running Tips for Cold and Snowy Weather

Article featured on Brigham Health Hub

During the frigid winter months many runners settle for the treadmill, or even worse, for not running at all. Don’t let the cold weather and snow discourage you from running outside. If you’re prepared, winter runs can be a fun and beautiful experience.

Here are some cold-weather running tips for staying warm and safe during the winter months.

1. Layering and wearing appropriate clothing is crucial for cold-weather running.

You will want to keep most of your body covered and protected from exposure. Wear synthetic, sweat-wicking clothing as your innermost layer. Wearing moisture-wicking clothing as the fabric closest to your skin keeps your body dry and makes your clothes a better insulator. Make sure you are not wearing cotton underwear or socks. Lycra or polypropylene running tights are optimal for the waist down. Your outermost layer should be wind-resistant and waterproof if it is raining or snowing out. GORE-TEX® is a breathable material and is ideal for your outermost layer. If it is very cold, a fleece liner or a long-sleeve shirt is a good option for a middle layer. Dressing in layers allows you to adapt to the weather during your run. A significant amount of body heat can be lost through the head, so make sure you wear a hat. A balaclava or face mask is a good idea when it is extremely cold. Do not forget to wear gloves as well! After your run, it is important to quickly change into dry and warm clothes.

2. Run smart! Be aware of the many cold weather hazards.

During the winter months, the days are shorter and more people will be running in the dark. Try running routes that have street lights and sidewalks or extra space for runners. If you are running in the dark, make sure you wear reflective clothing, and consider wearing a flashing light. Visibility may be poor in bad weather, and you are no match for a car.

It is also important to run carefully, as balance and perception are more difficult with low light. Try to avoid running in snow or slushy areas and certainly avoid running on ice. If you end up running in snow or slush, shorten your stride to avoid falls or groin/hamstring strains and consider wearing traction cleats.

Don’t let the cold weather and snow discourage you from running outside.

3. Know the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite.

Hypothermia is a dangerous condition that occurs when your body temperature drops below 95°F. Risk factors for hypothermia include extended time in cold temperatures, wetness, improper clothing, dehydration, and exhaustion. The initial signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering and poor coordination. Don’t exceed your fitness levels and run out further than you can comfortably return in cold weather. Also, it’s easy to forget to drink water during the winter, but you still lose moisture in the cold. Remember to remain hydrated.

Frostbite is an injury caused by excessive exposure to extreme cold. It involves tissue damage, usually in the fingers, toes, ears, or nose, that may become permanent if not treated promptly. Symptoms include stiffness and numbness, and the affected area may turn white. The best prevention is to dress properly, but frost nip or mild frostbite can be treated by rapid re-warming of the area by soaking in warm water.

4. Be prepared for an emergency.

It is also a good idea to carry a phone or to have a running buddy. With some extra preparation and forethought, the winter months can certainly remain a great time to run and train!


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

The Top 9 Benefits of Regular Exercise

Article featured on Healthline

Exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories.

There are many types of physical activity, including swimming, running, jogging, walking, and dancing, to name a few.

Being active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. It may even help you live longer.

Here are the top 9 ways regular exercise benefits your body and brain.

1. Exercise can make you feel happier

Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.

It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression.

Additionally, exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.

Interestingly, it doesn’t matter how intense your workout is. It seems that exercise can benefit your mood no matter the intensity of the physical activity.

In fact, in a study in 24 women diagnosed with depression, exercise of any intensity significantly decreased feelings of depression.

The effects of exercise on mood are so powerful that choosing to exercise (or not) even makes a difference over short periods of time.

One review of 19 studies found that active people who stopped exercising regularly experienced significant increases in symptoms of depression and anxiety, even after only a few weeks.

SUMMARY

Exercising regularly can improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

2. Exercise can help with weight loss

Some studies have shown that inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity.

To understand the effect of exercise on weight reduction, it is important to understand the relationship between exercise and energy expenditure (spending).

Your body spends energy in three ways:

  1. digesting food
  2. exercising
  3. maintaining body functions, like your heartbeat and breathing

While dieting, a reduced calorie intake will lower your metabolic rate, which can temporarily delay weight loss. On the contrary, regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which can burn more calories to help you lose weight.

Additionally, studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is essential for keeping the weight off and maintaining lean muscle mass.

SUMMARY

Exercise is crucial to supporting a healthy metabolism and burning more calories per day. It also helps you maintain your muscle mass and weight loss.

3. Exercise is good for your muscles and bones

Exercise plays a vital role in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones.

Activities like weightlifting can stimulate muscle building when paired with adequate protein intake.

This is because exercise helps release hormones that promote your muscles’ ability to absorb amino acids. This helps them grow and reduces their breakdown.

As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and function, which can lead to an increased risk of injury. Practicing regular physical activity is essential to reducing muscle loss and maintaining strength as you age.

Exercise also helps build bone density when you’re younger, in addition to helping prevent osteoporosis later in life.

Some research suggests that high impact exercise (such as gymnastics or running) or odd impact sports (such as soccer and basketball) may help promote a higher bone density than no impact sports like swimming and cycling.

SUMMARY

Physical activity helps you build muscles and strong bones. It may also help prevent osteoporosis.

4. Exercise can increase your energy levels

Exercise can be a real energy booster for many people, including those with various medical conditions.

One older study found that 6 weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for 36 people who had reported persistent fatigue.

Exercise can also significantly increase energy levels for people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other health conditions. In fact, exercise seems to be more effective at combating CFS than other treatments, including passive therapies like relaxation and stretching or no treatment at all.

And let’s not forget the fantastic heart and lung health benefits of exercise. Aerobic exercise boosts the cardiovascular system and improves lung health, which can significantly help with energy levels.

As you move more, your heart pumps more blood, delivering more oxygen to your working muscles. With regular exercise, your heart becomes more efficient and adept at moving oxygen into your blood, making your muscles more efficient.

Over time, this aerobic training results in less demand on your lungs, and it requires less energy to perform the same activities — one of the reasons you’re less likely to get short of breath during vigorous activity.

Additionally, exercise has been shown to increase energy levels in people with other conditions, such as cancer.

SUMMARY

Engaging in regular physical activity can increase your energy levels. This is true even in people with persistent fatigue and those with serious health conditions.

5. Exercise can reduce your risk of chronic disease

Lack of regular physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease.

Regular exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, heart health, and body composition. It can also decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

More specifically, exercise can help reduce or prevent the following chronic health conditions.

  • Type 2 diabetes. Regular aerobic exercise may delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. It also has considerable health benefits for people with type 1 diabetes. Resistance training for type 2 diabetes includes improvements in fat mass, blood pressure, lean body mass, insulin resistance, and glycemic control.
  • Heart disease. Exercise reduces cardiovascular risk factors and is also a therapeutic treatment for people with cardiovascular disease.
  • Many types of cancer. Exercise can help reduce the risk of several cancers, including breast, colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, lung, liver, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, thyroid, gastric, and esophageal cancer.
  • High cholesterol. Regular moderate intensity physical activity can increase HDL (good) cholesterol while maintaining or offsetting increases in LDL (bad) cholesterol. Research supports the theory that high intensity aerobic activity is needed to lower LDL levels.
  • Hypertension: Participating in regular aerobic exercise can lower resting systolic BP 5–7 mmHG among people with hypertension.

In contrast, a lack of regular exercise — even in the short term — can lead to significant increases in belly fat, which may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

That’s why regular physical activity is recommended to reduce belly fat and decrease the risk of developing these conditions (34Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Daily physical activity is essential to maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

6. Exercise can help skin health

Your skin can be affected by the amount of oxidative stress in your body.

Oxidative stress occurs when the body’s antioxidant defenses cannot completely repair the cell damage caused by compounds known as free radicals. This can damage the structure of the cells and negatively impact your skin.

Even though intense and exhaustive physical activity can contribute to oxidative damage, regular moderate exercise can actually increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants, which help protect cells (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).

In the same way, exercise can stimulate blood flow and induce skin cell adaptations that can help delay the appearance of skin aging (37Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Moderate exercise can provide antioxidant protection and promote blood flow, which can protect your skin and delay signs of aging.

7. Exercise can help your brain health and memory

Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills.

To begin with, it increases your heart rate, which promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. It can also stimulate the production of hormones that enhance the growth of brain cells.

Plus, the ability of exercise to prevent chronic disease can translate into benefits for your brain, since its function can be affected by these conditions.

Regular physical activity is especially important in older adults since aging — combined with oxidative stress and inflammation — promotes changes in brain structure and function.

Exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s vital for memory and learning, to grow in size, which may help improve mental function in older adults.

Lastly, exercise has been shown to reduce changes in the brain that can contribute to conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

SUMMARY

Regular exercise improves blood flow to the brain and helps brain health and memory. Among older adults, it can help protect mental function.

8. Exercise can help with relaxation and sleep quality

Regular exercise can help you relax and sleep better.

With regard to sleep quality, the energy depletion (loss) that occurs during exercise stimulates restorative processes during sleep.

Moreover, the increase in body temperature that occurs during exercise is thought to improve sleep quality by helping body temperature drop during sleep.

Many studies on the effects of exercise on sleep have reached similar conclusions.

One review of six studies found that participating in an exercise training program helped improve self-reported sleep quality and reduced sleep latency, which is the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

One study conducted over 4 months found that both stretching and resistance exercise led to improvements in sleep for people with chronic insomnia.

Getting back to sleep after waking, sleep duration, and sleep quality improved after both stretching and resistance exercise. Anxiety was also reduced in the stretching group.

What’s more, engaging in regular exercise seems to benefit older adults, who are often affected by sleep disorders.

You can be flexible with the kind of exercise you choose. It appears that either aerobic exercise alone or aerobic exercise combined with resistance training can both improve sleep quality.

SUMMARY

Regular physical activity, regardless of whether it is aerobic or a combination of aerobic and resistance training, can help you sleep better and feel more energized during the day.

9. Exercise can reduce pain

Although chronic pain can be debilitating, exercise can actually help reduce it.

In fact, for many years, the recommendation for treating chronic pain was rest and inactivity. However, recent studies show that exercise helps relieve chronic pain.

In fact, one review of several studies found that exercise can help those with chronic pain reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.

Several studies also show that exercise can help control pain associated with various health conditions, including chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder, to name a few.

Additionally, physical activity can also raise pain tolerance and decrease pain perception.

SUMMARY

Exercise has favorable effects on the pain associated with various conditions. It can also increase pain tolerance.

The bottom line

Exercise offers incredible benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health. Regular physical activity can increase the production of hormones that make you feel happier and help you sleep better.

It can also:

  • improve your skin’s appearance
  • help you lose weight and keep it off
  • reduce the risk of chronic disease

And it doesn’t take much movement to make a big difference in your health.

If you aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity spread throughout the week, you’ll meet the Department of Health and Human Services’ activity guidelines for adults.

Moderate intensity aerobic activity is anything that gets your heart beating faster, like walking, cycling, or swimming. Activities like running or participating in a strenuous fitness class count for vigorous intensity.

Throw in at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms), and you’ll exceed the recommendations.

You can use weights, resistance bands, or your bodyweight to perform muscle-strengthening exercises. These include squats, push-ups, shoulder press, chest, press, and planks.

Whether you practice a specific sport or follow the guideline of 150 minutes of activity per week, you can inevitably improve your health in many ways.

Starting Your Day With a Walk Can Be Beneficial

Article featured on Healthline

When you wake up in the morning, movement might not be your first priority. But starting your day with a walk — whether it’s around your neighborhood or part of your commute to work or school — can offer your body a number of health benefits.

Here are 10 reasons why you may want to start your day by getting in some steps. There are also a few tips to seamlessly work it into your daily routine.

1. Boost your energy

Starting out your day with a walk may give you more energy throughout the day. If you walk outdoors, that’s especially true.

Studies show that adults who walked for 20 minutes outdoors experienced more vitality and energy than those who walked for 20 minutes indoors.

A small study found that 10 minutes of stair walking was more energizing than a cup of coffee for 18 women who felt sleep-deprived.

The next time you need a morning energy boost or feel tired when you wake up, you may want to try a walk.

2. Improve your mood

There are physiological benefits to walking in the morning, too.

A walk may help:

  • improve self-esteem
  • boost mood
  • reduce stress
  • reduce anxiety
  • reduce fatigue
  • ease depression symptoms or reduce your risk for depression

For best results, try walking for 20 to 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.

3. Complete your physical activity for the day

One benefit of walking in the morning is that you’ll complete your physical activity for the day — before any other family, work, or school obligations derail you.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that healthy adults should complete at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

Try to complete a 30-minute walk 5 mornings a week to meet these requirements.

4. It may help you lose weight

Walking in the morning may help you meet your weight loss goals. Walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes can burn up to 150 calories. Combined with a healthy diet and strength training, you may find you lose weight.

5. Prevent or manage health conditions

Walking can offer numerous benefits for your health, including boosting your immunity, as well as preventing and helping you manage various health conditions.

Studies show that walking for 30 minutes per day can reduce your risk for heart disease by 19 percent. If you live with diabetes, walking may also help lower your blood sugar levels.

It can even help increase your life span and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

6. Strengthen muscles

Walking may help strengthen the muscles in your legs. For best results, walk at a moderate to brisk pace. Try to change up your routine and climb stairs, walk up and down hills, or walk at an incline on the treadmill.

Add in leg-strengthening exercises like squats and lunges several times a week for more muscle tone.

7. Improve mental clarity

A morning walk may help improve your mental clarity and ability to focus throughout the day. A recent study found that amongst older adults, those who started their days with a morning walk improved their cognitive function, compared to those who remained sedentary.

Walking may also help you think more creatively. Research shows that walking opens up a free flow of ideas, which may help you problem-solve better than if you’re sitting or remaining sedentary. This is especially the case if you walk outdoors.

The next time you have a morning meeting or brainstorming session, suggest that your co-workers join you a on a walk, if possible.

8. Sleep better at night

Walking first thing may help you sleep better at night later. A small 2017 studyobserved older adults aged 55 to 65 who were experiencing difficulty falling asleep at night or were living with mild insomnia.

Those who exercised in the morning versus the evening experienced better sleep quality at night. More research is needed to determine why exercising in the morning may be better for sleep than exercising at night, though.

9. Beat the heat

One benefit of walking in the morning in the summertime — or if you live in a climate where it’s warm year-round — is that you’ll be able to fit in exercise before it gets too hot outside.

Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated before and after your workout. Bring a water bottle with you, if needed. Or, plan to walk along a route with water fountains.

10. Make healthier choices throughout the day

Starting your day with a walk may set you up to make healthier choices throughout the day. After your walk, you may feel more energized and less sleep-deprived.

When your energy drops or you’re tired, you’re more likely to reach for comfort snacks or energy boosters. Walking in the morning may inspire you to choose a healthy lunch and snacks in the afternoon.

Make it part of your routine

  • Set out clothing for your walk the night before. Leave your socks and sneakers by the door so you don’t have to look for them in the morning.
  • Try to set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier so you can get in at least a 20-minute walk in the morning. Look for a nature trail nearby or just walk around the neighborhood.
  • Find a friend or co-worker to walk with in the morning. Chatting and working together can help keep you motivated.
  • If you don’t have a lot of time in the morning, consider making walking part of your commute. If you can’t walk all the way to work, try getting off the bus a stop or two early to get a walk in. Or, park farther away from your office so you can walk from your car.

Should you walk before or after breakfast?

If you walk in the mornings, you may wonder if walking before or after breakfast matters and if it’ll help if you have weight loss goals. Research is mixed on whether or not skipping breakfast will increase your metabolism or help you lose weight faster.

Some research shows that exercising in the fasting state (before breakfast) helps your body burn more fat. But more studies are needed.

In the meantime, it depends on your body. If you feel fine taking a walk before eating, or if your stomach feels better if you don’t eat, that’s OK. Or, you may find that you feel better eating a small snack like a banana or a fruit smoothie before heading out on your walk.

Either way, after you exercise, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast and drink plenty of water.

The takeaway

Starting your day with a short walk can offer a number of health benefits. You may feel more energized throughout the day, see your mood and mental clarity improve, and sleep better at night. Be sure to stretch before and after your walk and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If you have more questions, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

How to Relieve Pain From Sitting All Day

Article featured on Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania

Do you have an office job or one that requires you to sit for long periods of time? Or maybe even requires you to sit for the entire day? If you do, you are probably also familiar with the stress that puts on your body, such as back and neck pains. You may even worry about your posture.

Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common pains that results from sitting at a desk all day. There are two types of back pain: upper and lower. Each can be caused by different things, but both are pains you can get from sitting at your desk all day. Let’s take a deeper look at each one.

UPPER BACK PAIN

There are 12 bones within your upper back. The first is at the base of your neck and the twelfth ends just below your ribcage. Upper back pain consists of any pain that occurs within this area.

Most of the time, upper back pain is caused by bad posture. While sitting at your desk, it’s easy to slouch over in your chair without realizing it. But try out these tricks to prevent those pains.

  • Take regular breaks from sitting: Every once in a while, try standing up and walking around. This will relieve some of the stress put on your body from sitting all day, and it will also allow you to move other muscles in your body.
  • Take stretch breaks: This is very similar to the first suggestion, but here, you want to make sure you are actually stretching your muscles so they don’t tighten up.
  • Try getting a regular massage: Getting a massage can release some of the built-up tension in the back.
  • Work with a physical therapist: A physical therapist can help you work on keeping your joints healthy and strengthening your muscles.
  • Work on your posture: Focus on your posture, whether you’re sitting down or walking. This is huge in preventing back pain.

Most back pains can be fixed with simple lifestyle changes. However, if your pain persists, we’d love to meet you and check out those issues you’re having!

LOWER BACK PAIN

Over 50% of Americans will experience lower back pain throughout their lifetime.

Lower back pain is pain experienced in the vertebrae known as L1 through L5. We have discs which are sacs that prevent your vertebrae from rubbing together. A common cause of lower back pain is bad posture, which puts strain on those discs.

Like upper back pain, lower back pain can probably be fixed by lifestyle changes, one of the most common being working on your posture. But there may be something more going on, such as:

  • Sciatica: pain that runs from the base of the spine down your legs
  • Herniated disc: pressure on the disc that causes it to reshape, which triggers lower back pain
  • Muscle strain/lumbar strain: overuse of the muscles that causes pain to stretch into your buttocks (but not into the legs)
  • Degenerative disc disorder: when discs in the lower back are damaged

Shoulder Pain

This may seem like a strange pain to have from sitting, but it definitely happens. Well, what could be causing shoulder pain at your desk job? Small, repetitive activities can place stress on the muscles in your shoulder, such as using a mouse or keyboard all day. In addition, check out this list of what could be contributing to your shoulder pain.

  1. Bad posture
  2. Putting too much pressure on your shoulder, even if in small amounts
  3. Contact stress, such as how you rest your arms on your desk
  4. Holding your body in an unnatural position for too long
  5. Extreme temperatures

Surprisingly, a lot of repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are actually computer-related. So study your everyday habits while at your desk or working on your computer and see if you’re making any movements that could be causing that shoulder pain.

WHAT CAN OIP DO FOR YOUR SHOULDER PAIN?

Once we figure out what is causing your pain, we can choose the best treatment plan for you. Here are some of the options:

  • Rest: Resting your sore and hurting muscles can keep you from overusing the muscles long enough for them to begin healing.
  • Physical or occupational therapy: There are always exercises and activities that can improve stability and help relieve some of that pain.
  • Medications and/or injections: Certain medicines and injections can be used to treat pains that result from arthritis.
  • Small surgical procedures: Some causes of pain may require a simple surgery. We can usually perform these types of procedures in a minimally invasive manner.

We prefer to visit the above methods to see if one of them will work, but sometimes, there is something more serious going on. If this is the case, a more in-depth surgery or treatment plan is the route we have to take.

Elbow Pain

Like shoulder pain, you wouldn’t expect that this kind of pain would come from sitting at your desk, but here we are. Maybe you lean on a desk all day, putting stress on your elbow and joints. Maybe you move your elbows in harsh ways all day while sitting at your desk. Whatever the case may be, take a look at these few tips for relieving pain.

  • Rest: The most obvious answer for relieving pain is rest. Take the stress off your elbow. You could also be overusing it, which could be causing inflammation.
  • Heat: Most of the time, you’re told to ice, but for elbow pain, applying heat could stimulate blood flow, which encourages healing.
  • Stretching: Stretching sore muscles can help if maybe your muscles have just tightened up. Try stretching you arm out straight with your palm facing the ceiling. Slowly bring your fingers into your palms. Hold this for 30 seconds. Turn you arm over, where your palm is facing the floor, and repeat the stretch.
  • Bracing: Wearing a brace over the affected area can keep the muscles in position and prohibit them from moving, which can aid the healing process.

Hip Pain

The hip is the largest ball-and-socket joint in our body and is where the bones in the upper part of the leg connect to your body. The hip will support you while walking, running, or any other activity you may take part in. But the hip will also support you while you’re sitting. In fact, your hip bends to support your weight when you’re sitting down, which can put stress on the hip and cause you pain.

Sometimes, hip pain is just a result of sitting down for too long, so you may be able to stand, move around and stretch to relieve the pains. But sometimes, your hip pain could mean there is something more going on with your body.

The kind of pain you are experiencing and where you’re experiencing it can help you determine what the issue may be. Pains on the outer portion of the hip are usually related to your ligaments, tendons and/or muscles. But pains on the inner portion of the hip are usually tied to health issues related to your hip and its connecting joints. There’s also the possibility that your back pain has worked its way into your hip, known as referred pain.

WHY DO I HAVE HIP PAINS?

As with all pains related to sitting down for long periods of time, it could be a few different things.

  1. Bad posture: This puts strain on all parts of your body.
  2. Crossing your legs: Crossed legs can put stress on either hip and cause pain.
  3. Leaning to either side: Leaning one way or the other puts stress on your hips.
  4. Sitting unevenly: Sitting on an uneven surface can strain your hips.

There could definitely be something more serious going on, so if making these alterations while sitting doesn’t help, get a professional evaluation.

Knee Pain

Pains in the knee can be a result of a previous injury, but they can also be overuse, wear and tear or maybe it’s just the way you’re sitting. While you may not think you would be putting stress on your knee while sitting, you definitely can. So what could be causing those knee pains?

  1. Sitting for too long: Dr. JoAnn Manson says that sitting for 8 hours or more each day is bad for your body.
  2. Sitting in an abnormal position: If you’re sitting with your knees in random positions, it could be putting unnecessary stress on them.
  3. Furniture: If you’re sitting on a chair or couch with an odd design, it could be causing you to strain your muscles and body parts.

These are the most common reasons you could be having knee pains in relation to sitting at your desk all day. However, as always, there can definitely be an underlying condition causing these pains. If you feel you need to have your knees examined, our physicians can take a look to determine the problem.

Most people tend to avoid doctors when it comes to knees because they believe surgery is the only way to fix the pain. However, our physicians will work through all non-surgical treatment methods before surgery. We will do our best to find a method that works for you. We won’t pressure you into surgery unless we believe it is the only way to help you relieve those pains.

HOW CAN I ALLEVIATE KNEE PAINS WHILE SITTING?

There are some things you can work on to prevent knee pains.

  1. Pick an office chair that supports your spinal curves. This can help alleviate some of those other pains from sitting as well.
  2. Adjust your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor and your thighs are parallel to the floor. This will help with your posture and make sure your knees aren’t bent at ridiculous angles. If for any reason you are unable to adjust your chair to accomplish these tasks, consider some sort of footrest. Your feet need to be flat on a surface below you.
  3. Adjust your armrests so that your arms can rest in a relaxed position.
  4. Make sure your desk and chair allows room for your knees, thighs and feet.
  5. When working at your desk, make sure your work is directly in front of you and not too far away. This will keep you from moving into odd positions and putting stress on your body.

Another idea, which may seem very odd, is to look into a standing desk. This keeps you from sitting too long and bending your body at unnatural angles.

If these adjustments don’t help with your pain, reach out to our staff so we can evaluate your pains and struggles.

Pain Management

Now let’s talk about how to manage your pain. It’s important to note that pain is a symptom. Usually, your pain means that there’s something underlying. In this case, the underlying problem is how you’re sitting while at a desk, at work, etc.

If you’ve tried our tips and tricks previously mentioned and your pain is still an issue, contact us today! We will take a look to make sure you don’t have a more serious problem, such as arthritis or chronic joint pain. Whether it is something more or just pain associated with sitting at a desk all day, we will come up with a plan to treat your pain.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

10 Ways to Move More in Everyday Life

Article featured on Healthline

It can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to make time for exercise. Here are some tips I give my physical therapy patients… and how I manage to keep myself moving. I get it. We’ve all said, “Who has time to exercise when you’re a…”

Just fill in the blank: working parent, working night shifts, entrepreneur, student, person who commutes, or parent who stays at home keeping children alive. You’re not alone in trying to figure out how to fit exercise into your day.

Over the past 11 years, I’ve realized the I’ll-work-out-later approach doesn’t work for me. I have to block time out of my day to exercise so I can stay sane and maintain my health and strength.

And here’s another tip: Try adding in a few bonus activities throughout the day and week to keep your body moving. Just a few extra minutes of movement here and there really do add up over time.

Here are 10 ways to move more during everyday life, without having to block more time out of your busy schedule!

1. Take the stairs

I know. This is so boring, and you’ve heard it a bajillion times. Yet, it’s one of the best tips for a reason.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator increases your heart rate, helps with balance, and improves lower-extremity strength. If you’re feeling saucy and have a few minutes, you can even do some heel raises off the edge of a step for calf strength, or take the stairs two at a time.

Skip the elevator, your body and heart will thank you.

2. Incorporate walking meetings

If you work from home or have transitioned to virtual conference calls, schedule a walk during one call per day.

If you don’t need to be staring at a screen looking at spreadsheets, plug in your headphones, slip your phone in your pocket, and solve the world’s problems on a walk. It’s a great way to mix up your daily routine.

And if you work in an office, take your one-on-one meetings to go. Walking together enhances team bonding, and you may even come up with better ideas. Research shows walking boosts creativity and enhances mental acuity.

3. Lunge it up

I do this a lot, and I get funny looks sometimes, but hey — I’m a busy woman, and my time is precious!

When you’re shopping, try walking lunges down the supermarket aisles while holding onto the cart. The cart offers a good balance point, and you can get about 10–20 lunges in a single pass, depending on how long your supermarket’s aisles are. Go for it, it’s surprisingly fun!

4. Sit on an exercise ball

Swap out your office chair for a stability ball. This can help with back pain and help improve posture, and while sitting on the ball, you can do some gentle mobility stretches for your neck, pelvis, and spine.

Try a hula-hoop motion and tucking and untuck your pelvis to help fire up your core stabilizers. If you want to add in some abdominal work, you can also try seated marches or other exercises on the ball — all while sitting at your desk!

5. Park far away

While we need to be safe and alert to our surroundings, if you’re in a safe and well-lit area, consider parking further from the entrance of wherever you’re going. Adding in a few minutes of walking time here and there adds up over time and can increase your daily step count!

6. Have more sex

Yup, you’re welcome. Some older research states that sex burns calories at a rate of about 3.1 calories per minute for women and about 4.2 calories for men.

So although it’s not the same as a vigorous jog, you can (for sure) work up a sweat during sex. Have fun, try new positions and techniques, and bond with your partner all while moving more.

7. Foster a pet

Our local shelter and other adoption agencies are always looking for volunteers to help. Take the family to the shelter and volunteer to take a few dogs for a walk.

You get to increase your time outside, help a dog and your community, teach your kids about caring for others, and spend some quality family time being active and moving your body. It’s a win-win-win for all involved.

8. Have a dance party

Clear the furniture from the room and put on some tunes. You can do this while cooking dinner, folding laundry, or vacuuming.

Dancing is a fabulous way to burn calories and work on your balance and coordination. Plus, you can make it a game or contest with your kids. They need to learn about 80s rock, right? Put on some ACDC (or whatever makes you tap your feet) and get shakin’.

9. Switch up your game night

During your next family game night, swap out cards or board games for active games.

Here’s a list to jog your memory: hide and seek, kick the can, scavenger hunts, Twister, freeze dance, potato sack races, pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, hopscotch, jump rope, hula hoop contests, limbo… the games you once played as a kid are just as fun to play now.

Games like these can be played with people of any age, as well as indoors or outdoors. My family has a blast playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Freeze Frame Dance Party, and we all are sweaty and tired afterward.

10. Exercise or stretch during TV time

I know this goes beyond all tenets of “binge and chill,” but hear me out. Walk on the treadmill, use a stationary bike, stretch on the floor, use weights for upper- and full-body strengthening, or do Pilates during your next Netflix sesh.

If you watch a 30-minute show and move the whole time, that’s 30 minutes of exercise you didn’t have before! You can even limit it to when the commercials come on if that feels like a good place to start.

Keep your exercise stuff near your “binge-watching” place, and do some bodyweight exercises or even foam rolling during your show. Just a few reps of bicep curls, tricep presses, or arm raises with light hand weights will make a huge difference in your arm strength, posture, and well-being.

This is especially true for women, who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Incorporate weight training into your routine to keep your bones healthy and strong.

The bottom line

I hope these ideas will motivate and inspire you to get up and move a bit more throughout your day.

I know how difficult it is to maintain a good routine. It can seem overwhelming when you first start to exercise, but trying a few of these things will help.

Start small by adding in a few lunges here and there, a walking meeting once a week, or stairs a few times, and before you know it, you’ll be movin’ and groovin’ much more than you were before.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Exercises and Stretches for Hip Pain

From Versus Arthritis

Here are some exercises designed to stretch, strengthen and stabilize the structures that support your hip.

It’s important to keep active – you should try to do the exercises that are suitable for you every day. Repeat each exercise between 5–10 times and try to do the whole set of exercises 2-3 times a day.

Start by exercising gradually and build up over time. Remember to carry on even when your hip is better to prevent your symptoms returning.

If you have any questions about exercising, ask your doctor.

It’s also a good idea to try to increase your general fitness by going for a regular walk or swim, this will strengthen your whole body – which helps support your hip. It can also improve your general health, fitness and outlook.

Simple stretching, strengthening and stabilising exercises

The following exercises are designed to stretch, strengthen and stabilise the structures that support your hip. These exercises for hip pain (PDF, 983 KB) are also available to download and keep.

It’s important not to overstretch yourself if you’re in pain. It’s normal to feel some aching in the muscles after exercising, but you should stop and seek advice if you have joint pain that lasts more than a few days.

If you’ve had a hip replacement you will probably be advised to take it easy for the first six weeks and not to push yourself too much. Ask your physiotherapist what exercises they recommend you should start with and how to do them.

You may feel slightly uncomfortable during or after exercise, but this should settle within 24 hours. It shouldn’t be painful. If you feel any sudden pain stop exercising and seek medical advice.

An illustration of someone marching on the spot.

Hip flexion (strengthening)

Hold onto a work surface and march on the spot to bring your knees up towards your chest alternately. Don’t bring your thigh above 90 degrees.

An illustration of someone standing whilst holding onto a table, moving their leg backwards and keeping it straight.

Hip extension (strengthening)

Move your leg backwards, keeping your knee straight. Clench your buttock tightly and hold for five seconds. Don’t lean forwards. Hold onto a chair or work surface for support.

An illustration of someone standing and holding onto a chair, lifting their leg sideways.

Hip abduction (strengthening)

Lift your leg sideways, being careful not to rotate the leg outwards. Hold for five seconds and bring it back slowly, keeping your body straight throughout. Hold onto a chair or work surface for support.

An illustration of someone standing whilst holding onto a table, bending their knee towards their bottom.

Heel to buttock exercise (strengthening)

Bend your knee to pull your heel up towards your bottom. Keep your knees in line and your kneecap pointing towards the floor.

An illustration of someone squatting down, bringing their knees towards their toes.

Mini squat (strengthening)

Squat down until your knees are above your toes. Hold for a count of five if possible. Hold on to a work surface for support if you need to.

An illustration of someone laying on their back with one bent leg and one straight leg with a towel under it's knee. They're raising their foot off the floor.

Short arc quadriceps exercise (strengthening)

Roll up a towel and place it under your knee. Keep the back of your thigh on the towel and straighten your knee to raise your foot off the floor. Hold for five seconds and then lower slowly.

An illustration of someone laying down with their legs straight, pulling their toes and ankles towards them whilst pushing their knees to the floor.

Quadriceps exercise (strengthening)

Pull your toes and ankles towards you, while keeping your leg straight and pushing your knee firmly against the floor. You should feel the tightness in the front of your leg. Hold for five seconds and relax. This exercise can be done from a sitting position as well if you find this more comfortable.

An illustration of someone laying on their back with their knees bent and hands under the small of their back. They're pulling their belly towards the floor.

Stomach exercise (strengthening/ stabilising)

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Put your hands under the small of your back and pull your belly button down towards the floor. Hold for 20.

An illustration of someone laying on their back with their feet to standing, lifting their pelvis and lower back off the floor.

Bridging

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your pelvis and lower back off the floor. Hold the position for five seconds and then lower down slowly.

An illustration of someone laying on their back and pulling their knee toward their chest.

Knee lift (stretch)

Lie on your back. Pull each knee to your chest in turn, keeping the other leg straight. Take the movement up to the point you feel a stretch, hold for around 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times. If this is difficult, try sliding your heel along the floor towards your bottom to begin with, and when this feels comfortable try lifting your knee.

An illustration of someone sitting with their knees bent and feet together, pressing their knees downwards.

External hip rotation (stretch)

Site you your knees bent and feet together. Press your knees down towards the floor using your hands as needed. Alternatively, lie on your back and part your knees, keeping your feet together. Take the movement up to the point you feel a stretch, hold for around 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times.

 


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Daily Stretching Routine for Seniors

From AAPTIV

Tight muscles, stiff joints, and aches and pains—aging can take a toll on your body, but the good news is that stretching can help you feel better.

Research indicates that stretching improves flexibility, promotes balance, and has the power to reduce pain or stress. Additionally, stretches that focus on posture and mobility can support daily activities and limit your risk of falling or injury. Read more