An orthopedist’s job is to treat musculoskeletal issues in your body. These are issues related to bones and muscles, such as sprain, strain, broken bones, arthritis, and more. Since orthopedists are quite familiar with the complexities of the muscles and bones, they deal with your musculoskeletal system in a way that other doctors cannot.
However, orthopedic doctors do have certain areas of expertise – some are specialized in spine care, while some work with arms, and others may have majored in knee or hip. Whether an orthopedist treats your problem externally with medication and physical therapy, or they perform orthopedic surgery to evade the problem, one thing is for sure: advanced technology integration in orthopedics has made healing possible.
Now, if you are reading this article, it is quite possible that you are considering making an appointment with an orthopedist, but you are not sure – Is orthopedics for me? Do I really need it? These and more questions might be keeping you on the fence.
To help you be sure about your problem, whether it is one of orthopedics or not, we curated 9 problems that people who should make a visit to an orthopedist face.
9 Problems to Visit an Orthopedist For
Before we talk about every problem in detail, some of the basic and most common problems people visit orthopedists are sports injuries, strain or sprain from overuse, arthritis, and bodily pains.
If you think you have contracted any of the aforementioned injuries or pains, it should be a reason enough for you to visit an orthopedist.
If not, then maybe you will find your answers below.
1. For Pain Relief
As stated above, orthopedic doctors deal with musculoskeletal issues. That includes pain in any part of the entire musculoskeletal system, such as in joints, nerves, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, tissues, and other possible areas of the body.
The parts where the pain originates can be the shoulder, arm, wrist, knee, hip, legs, ankle, foot, back, and neck. If you have a newly-developed or chronic pain in any part of the body, whether it’s dull or sharp, it is one of the reasons that you got to visit an orthopedist.
A general or primary care physician wouldn’t be able to treat you as good, because only orthopedists know the conditions and complexities of pains in parts of the musculoskeletal system. An orthopedist wouldn’t only find the root cause of your pain, but would also reduce it.
2. For Joint Pain (Arthritis)
Arthritis is a degeneration or inflammation disease that affects the joints of your body – where bones meet and move. This disease is usually a consequence of old age; degeneration is a gradual breakdown of bones that begins when a person is in their old age, usually between the ages of 40 and 60.
The breakdown of bones occurs when a protective layer of cartilage is wearing down – the function of cartilage is to keep the joints in motion; when the cartilage wears down, it affects the motion of joints negatively.
These changes in bones can cause chronic pain whenever you use the joint. It is very common in feet, knees, hip, lower back, elbows, and shoulders. It results in stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion, which is a condition called osteoarthritis.
An orthopedist is an expert in treating arthritis and preventing the limitation of range of motion of your joints, along with reducing pain from joints and bones.
3. For Lower Back and Legs Pain (Sciatica)
Sciatica is a name given to body pain that initiates in the lower back and spreads through the leg to the foot. People between the ages between 30 and 50 are likely to develop sciatica, with the leading cause being deterioration. Sciatica also occurs due to a bulging disc, which pressurizes the sciatic nerve that causes pain.
In most cases, the pain goes away with time if the patient rests and doesn’t do anything to make it worse. However, if it lasts more than 5 weeks, it is best to visit an orthopedic doctor.
4. For Weak Bones (Osteoporosis)
Osteoporosis is another condition in aging adults. Osteoporosis means refers to “porous bone,” which means weak bones. In some people, the bones start to wear and weaken with age, and they develop osteoporosis, which puts them at greater risk of injuries, like bone fractures.
Osteoporosis leaves you with less bone mass and lesser strength to hold back bone-related injuries. If you think your bones are weak, it is recommended that you get it diagnosed, so you can treat yourself and recover from it.
Orthopedists deal with osteoporosis patients on a regular basis, so it will be a quick appointment to get it diagnosed and have a recovery plan.
5. For Injuries
Injuries are unpredictable, and everyone is likely to suffer from them at least once in their lifetimes. These injuries can result in pulled muscles, sprain or strain, or broken bones.
The process of the eradication of this pain and the recovery from the injury should be specific in every case, depending on the kind of injury suffered by a kind of body type. And primary care physicians cannot do that.
On the other hand, orthopedists not only diagnose the cause of such injuries and recommend the best treatment methods for them, but they also introduce ways for you to prevent them in the future. These injuries can include injuries in tendons, muscles, and ligaments, fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, a sprain in the ankle, a tear in the hip or shoulder, and plantar fasciitis.
Some injuries should go away with time but they don’t. Moreover, sometimes, the injury can go away but the range of motion isn’t relieved. Orthopedists will solve such problems too.
6. For Non-Invasive Treatment to Your Problem
For whatever reason you are visiting an orthopedist, your treatment is likely to include non-invasive procedures before the doctor recommends anything drastic, like surgery.
Your recovery schedule may include specific hours of rest and physical therapy. It is also possible that your orthopedist applies acupuncture or pain-relief injections to lessen the intensity of pain.
Whatever happens, it will be a plan devised carefully by a professional after your personal input. And it’s one of the reasons why you should never hesitate to follow the orthopedist’s decision after walking out of their office.
7. For Numb or Tingling Hands (Loose Grip)
If your hands often get numb without giving you the reason, or if you are experiencing tingling in your palm or fingers that make you drop things often, it’s possible that you are developing or have developed carpal tunnel syndrome.
This condition can be caused by different things, which may include a suppressed wrist injury, regular work with vibration tools, repetitive twisting of wrists, and more.
Diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid can also be the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. However, this syndrome can be mistaken for other conditions, like arthritis, wrist tendonitis, and more.
To be sure what’s causing your hands to lose grip so easily or tingle frequently, visiting an orthopedist is the best option.
8. For Loss of Strength
It is common for people to lose weaker than they used to be after accidents, injuries, and stress or anxiety. People who exercise keep a record of their strength and notice it increasing with time, so their strength decreases when they stop working out.
The expert opinion states that athletes and sportspeople start to lose strength after 3 weeks of inactivity, and an average person can start losing strength after 3 weeks of inactivity.
However, if your strength is decreasing with time even when you are trying to balance it out, it is recommended that you visit an orthopedist to get the cause to disclose.
It could also be happening to you because of weak bones, an illness that hadn’t completely vanished in the past, or a newly-developed condition that hasn’t been diagnosed. The best choice is to not let it get worse with time and get it checked as soon as possible.
9. For Discomfort in the Workplace
If you work in a place where there is a hazardous environment that involves a lot of physical labor and repetitive work routines, it is common that you start feeling discomfort in your body. Occupations, where work in repetitive motion is necessary, are one of the major causes of developing stress injuries in your body; in the muscles, nerves, and tendons.
This is caused by weightlifting on a regular basis, using machines that vibrate, working in awkward positions constantly, and applying your body force repetitively in the same motion. All of this and more like this result in an uncomfortable situation in your body, which comes with pain.
So, if you work in such an environment and face discomfort, don’t shove it under the rug as regular pain. It is possible that you might be developing a condition. Make an appointment with an orthopedist.
These were 9 problems for which you should visit an orthopedist. If you think you have a different problem, visit an orthopedist hospital without wasting time and worsening the case. You can’t take chances when it comes to your health.