Good Posture Tips from Dr. Dean

Healthy senior man stretching for posture

“Stand up straight,” is something we’ve all been hearing since we were kids. It turns out that this is pretty sound advice – especially as we age! Maintaining good posture while standing, sitting, and even while sleeping helps maintain proper spinal alignment while also reducing strain on your muscles and joints. Even so, most of us struggle to avoid slouching or other natural bad habits that impact posture. In this article, our founder Robert Dean, M.D., talks with us about why good posture can be a struggle today and shares five simple “Good Posture Tips” to help you morning, noon, and night!

Why Good Posture Can Be Difficult

When we were kids, being told to stand or sit straight felt…pretty annoying. After all, it is a natural tendency to slouch after prolonged periods of being in the same position. But why is this?

“The modern human lifestyle does not lend itself naturally to good posture,” says Dr. Dean. “Many people spend the majority of their days behind a desk for work without the proper equipment to keep them from slouching as the day wears on. Then, there are people whose jobs keep them on their feet and that exertion can lead to fatigue and stress, which in turn can cause bad habits related to posture – including hunching over your smartphone multiple times during the day.”

And it’s not just daytime bad habits that contribute to poor posture. According to Dean, how we sleep is also a big factor. “It’s important to promote proper spinal alignment during sleep,” he says. “But people tend to end up in sleeping positions that are not conducive, or they are sleeping on an old or uncomfortable mattress that’s making them toss and turn. Not only does this impact spinal alignment, but it also has a negative impact on the quality of your sleep which creates a cycle of muscle tension and stress that only adds to posture issues.”

With all of these obstacles, then, how can we be mindful and focus on promoting good posture throughout the day and night? Dr. Dean has some helpful tips, and the good news is that they are pretty easy to follow!

Dr. Dean’s Good Posture Tips

 

Upgrade Your Workspace

Whether you are working from the office or the “home office”, setting up your workspace to promote good posture is key. Your desk and chair should be at elbow height so you don’t have to slouch down or stretch up when using your computer. And your chair should allow you to sit comfortably with your back against it and your knees at hip level. If you need a little help, there are many different types of chair cushions available today that can help promote better posture while sitting. Talk with your doctor if you are having trouble with good posture while sitting for a recommendation on what types may be best for you.

Uncross Your Legs

This one is really important for people who sit at a desk most of the day. For many people, especially women, crossing your legs feels pretty natural and even comfortable. But this is actually bad for posture while sitting! Instead, you should keep your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. You may need to adjust the height of your desk chair to get comfortable with this as well.

Be Mindful When Standing

I find myself splitting my time at work between sitting at my desk and standing while I’m working with patients. When you are on your feet for a prolonged period of time, it’s common to get uncomfortable and to shift your weight or stance which can impact your posture. The key here is mindfulness! While standing, always remember to keep your feet hip distance apart with your knees slightly bent. Try to distribute your weight evenly on your feet, being sure to not shift back onto your heels which may feel good in the moment, but actually puts stress on your spine. Then, to prevent your back from arching which can cause muscle pain, try pulling your stomach in, as if someone is standing in front of you and pulling a string from your belly button towards them. Finally, and I can’t stress this enough if your job has you on your feel you need to wear shoes that are comfortable and help promote good posture!

Avoid the Smartphone Hunch

It’s no secret that we are collectively addicted to our smartphones! Whether you are sitting or standing, it’s important to mind your posture while checking in on your emails, texts, and social media. Do not hunch over your phone! Instead, get a smartphone holder for your desk that holds it upright for you, allowing you to interact with it without having to hunch over. If you are using your smartphone while standing, this is when you can get pulled out of that mindfulness we just discussed. So, it’s important to continue to hold yourself properly while using your phone.

Evaluate Your Sleep Situation

So, it’s much harder to be mindful of your posture while you are sleeping! First, I recommend that you try falling asleep in the best position to promote spinal alignment. For most people, I would suggest falling asleep on your back as long as this is comfortable. Other people have a natural inclination to sleep on their sides, which can cause pressure build-up at the hip, but if this preferred, I would use a wedge or knee pillow to help keep your spine aligned while sleeping. Finally, you should evaluate your mattress, pillows, and bedding. If you are not comfortable while sleeping or waking up with aches or pains, it’s probably time for an upgrade.

If you are living with knee, hip, or shoulder pain that isn’t improving with self-care, it may be time to evaluate your options before your conditions gets worse. You can set up a free consultation with Dr. Dean to see if you are a candidate for AROmotion, a non-surgical procedure that he developed to stop joint pain fast with lasting results. Just fill out the form below to get started!

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

The Connection Between Stress and Pain

Woman experiencing stress

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Whether it’s balancing the many aspects of your day-to-day or navigating your way through the ever-changing “new normal” – there’s no magic formula out there to avoid it. And, if stress isn’t effectively managed, it can have a significant impact on your health and wellness. This includes how your body manages the balance between stress and pain.

Given the extraordinarily stressful times we are living through right now, it’s more important than ever for those living with joint pain to acknowledge and manage their stress. So, we talked with Robert Dean, M.D., founder of AROmotion, to get the medical facts on stress and pain as well as his tips on daily stress and joint pain management.

What is Stress?

“To put it into very simple terms, stress is the body’s reaction to change,” says Dr. Dean. “When stress occurs, the body must adjust physically, mentally, or emotionally. The good news is that our bodies are designed to respond to certain amounts of stress, which helps us react and cope accordingly.”

What happens, then, when we are living through times of significantly increased stress like we are right now? According to Dr. Dean, this is when we must pause and find ways to prioritize wellness and stress management. This is especially important, he says, for those who are currently living with chronic joint pain.

“It’s crucial to develop good stress management skills in order to help manage joint pain,” says Dean. “Even during times of heightened stress, it is possible to make small changes to your daily routine that will help.”

The Stress-Pain Connection

Before we get Dr. Dean’s tips for managing stress and joint pain, let’s get a better idea of why stress and pain are inextricably linked. According to the Arthritis Foundation, your body’s stress response triggers the release of chemicals that ready you to face the challenge at hand, and when it fires repeatedly, the increased tension in your muscles can amplify your arthritis pain. Stress also sets off the immune system’s inflammatory response, which can fuel joint pain.

“There is no escaping the connection between stress and pain,” says Dr. Dean. “I always tell my patients that we cannot control the outside factors creating stress in our lives, but we can in fact help control how we react to it.”

Simple Ways to Manage Stress and Pain from Dr. Dean

So, when it comes time to advise his patients on how to put stress management for pain into practice, what exactly does Dr. Dean tell them? While the exact list may vary by patient depending on their situation, here are his constant tips for how those living with joint pain – and everyone- can better manage stress:

  • Keep Moving: stress can cause fatigue, which in turn may lead some to stop their daily workout routines. However, daily movement is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to combat stress. So, whether it’s a yoga class, the treadmill, or a walk around the neighborhood – be sure to either keep up with your daily movement or start something new.
  • Eat Well: stress can also create cravings for “comfort foods” that are typically higher in calories and processed ingredients. To avoid feeling sluggish or gaining weight during times of stress, it’s recommended to stick to a balanced diet that includes whole foods like fruits and veggies, healthy fats, and lean proteins.
  • Create a Relaxation Ritual: whether it’s a warm bath, a walk with your dog, or sitting down for a quiet dinner with your significant other, creating a daily relaxation ritual will not only help curb stress, it will give you something to look forward to every day.
  • Shut Down: today’s 24-hour news and social media cycle has caused us to become dependent on our smart phones for constant updates. Pick a set time each day to shut down and step away from your devices so you can do other things like mindful meditation, journaling, or just sitting and relaxing. And, you should always shut down before you go to bed as blue light from your devices will disrupt your sleep cycle.
  • Talk to Your Doctor: if you are finding stress and joint pain management to be difficult, talk with your doctor about what solutions may be best for you.

“While stress management can help when dealing with joint pain, you may also find that your pain is not subsiding even when you are doing all the right things,” says Dr. Dean. “If this is the case, AROmotion may be able to help by offering a non-surgical treatment that stops joint pain fast while promoting healing and strengthening.”

If you are living with knee, hip, or shoulder pain and would like a free consultation with Dr. Dean, just fill out the form below to request your telephone or in-office appointment today.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and pre-recorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

5 Foods for Your Joint Health

Healthy Whole Foods on a Table

With the fall back time change right around the corner, shorter days and cooler temps are upon us! Naturally, most people will start to crave heartier “comfort” foods as the seasons change – but that doesn’t mean you have to toss your health and wellness goals out the window. This is especially important for those living with joint pain or arthritis because the foods you eat can have an impact on your joint health. In this article, we share 5 of our favorite foods that can help your joint health while still delivering on flavor and variety.

What Types of Foods are Best for Joint Health?

While there is no “cure-all” diet for joint pain, the foods you choose to eat can play a role in helping or harming your joint health. Specifically, certain fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats are believed to help reduce inflammation while offering other health benefits. And, when you replace processed foods and sugars with these types of foods, you are more likely to stick to your weight goals, improve your heart health, maintain more energy throughout the day, and sleep better at night. In other words – there’s nothing to lose by tweaking your diet to include more whole, natural, lean foods.

That said, everything is easier said than done when it comes to making significant dietary changes. So, we talked with AROmotion’s own Robert Dean, M.D., and asked him to list his 5 favorite foods that anyone can incorporate into their diet to promote better joint health. These selections can be used to prepare a variety of recipes across breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks and are readily available at your local grocery store (in other words, Dr. Dean did not select any hard-to-find or super expensive ingredients).

Before we dive into the list, please remember to always talk with your doctor before making any significant dietary changes and/or if you have any food allergies or sensitivities.

5 Foods for Your Joint Health
Olive Oil

Not that long ago, it was believed that adopting a low-fat or fat-free diet was the best path to health and wellness. Since then, more research has emerged to prove that healthy fats are an essential part of the human diet. That’s why olive oil is our top pick for cooking oil, dressings, or other recipes that call for fatty oils. Not only is it packed with healthy fats and antioxidants, but research has also indicated that it can help reduce inflammation which can have a positive impact on your joints.

Olive Oil Being Poured Into Glass Bowl

Salmon

This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which studies have shown to have the ability to reduce inflammation. Additionally, it’s loaded with healthy protein that will help keep you fuller for longer! With so many recipe options out there including many of the ingredients on our list, you can always find new and delicious ways to prepare this popular fish.

Raw Salmon with Seasoning on Wood Board

Garlic

The perfect natural flavor enhancer to many dishes, garlic is low in calories and high in antioxidants. It is also believed to have immune-boosting properties, which is why garlic supplements are often used to reduce the duration of common colds. Whether you spread it roasted onto whole grain bread or use it sparingly for flavor, this is an easy and delicious addition to your daily diet.

Garlic on Table with Rosemary Sprigs

Berries

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with fewer sugars and calories? Berries are a fantastic option! Berries contain antioxidants that have shown in some studies to reduce inflammation, are naturally low in calories, and can be used in a variety of ways. We love them blended in a morning smoothie, sprinkled over Greek yogurt, or accompanied by light whipping cream for a guilt-free desert.

Mixed Berries in Jar on Table

Turmeric

This ancient spice may be best known as the flavor and color-driver in curry, but there’s a reason why it’s been a staple in Eastern medicine for centuries. Its most powerful compound, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  And, there are many ways to enjoy its unique flavor outside of curries, including turmeric teas, soups, and hearty cold-weather recipes that are sure to hit the spot. (Check out some great ones from The Kitchn here.)

Turmeric on Table

Now that you know how delicious boosting your joint health can be, it’s time to hit the grocery store and develop your own unique recipes that will keep you full and healthy all season long. Remember, these are just tips to help benefit your joint health over time. If you are experiencing joint pain that is preventing you from doing the things you love, you should talk with your doctor about your treatment options. Our Board-Certified Physicians are also here to help and can offer a  free consultation to see if you are a candidate for our non-surgical, FDA-approved procedure to treat knee, hip, and shoulder pain. Just fill out the form below and an  AROmotion team member will contact you.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

Simple At-Home Shoulder Pain Exercises

Healthy senior couple holding each other's shoulders

Maintaining a strong and healthy upper body as we age is one of the keys to reducing inflammation and pain in our shoulder joints. But, as we get older, it can become difficult to do traditional upper body exercises which tend to rely heavily upon using weights and weight resistance to build up strength. At AROmotion, we believe that daily movement is one of the pillars to maintaining healthy joints as well as overall health and wellness. We also know that exercises have to be modified based on age, experience, and other health factors – which is why we are sharing these simple at-home shoulder pain exercises that can be modified based to fit your particular needs while reducing the risk of injury.

First, let’s get to know the anatomy of the shoulder courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation. The shoulder is made up of three bones: the scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collarbone), and humerus (upper arm bone). Two joints in the shoulder allow it to move: the acromioclavicular joint, where the highest point of the scapula (acromion) meets the clavicle, and the glenohumeral joint. The glenohumeral joint is the one most people think of as the shoulder joint. It is formed where a ball (head) at the top of the humerus fits into a shallow cuplike socket (glenoid) in the scapula, allowing a wide range of movement. The surfaces of the bones where the ball and socket meet are covered with smooth, elastic cartilage that absorbs shock and allows the joint to move easily.

The human shoulder

Your shoulders carry a lot of weight, both figuratively and literally, which is why keeping them strong and healthy over time is so important to your long-term wellness. That said, it’s also important to build up strength when starting to do shoulder exercises to help ease the pain so you don’t cause strain or damage. We love these simple at-home shoulder pain exercises because each one can be modified with different weights and the number of reps.

As with any new exercise routine, please consult with your doctor before getting started and do not push your body past its limits. Remember, you will build up strength and flexibility over time.

Warm Up with Shoulder Rolls

This simple movement will help warm up your muscles and shoulder joints and prepare for more challenging movements ahead. You can do this warm-up seated or standing, with or without hand weights. If using hand weights, we suggest starting as light as possible as you build up your strength. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your feet hip-distance apart and firmly on the ground, whether you are standing or seated.
  • If using hand weights, hold them securely but without too tight of a grip that may become uncomfortable.
  • Roll your shoulders up towards your ears and take a deep breath in. Then, roll them back, feeling the stretch in your upper back, and exhale.
  • Do one set of 10, then take a break, and repeat if desired and/or able.

Up-Down Shoulder Lifts

This exercise combines traditional shoulder presses with alternating, lower impact movement so your muscles will not tire as quickly. This can also be done seated or standing, with or without hand weights.

  • If using weights, bring your hands up to your shoulders, then lift your arms straight up to the ceiling. Move slowly as you return your hands to your shoulders, taking care to breathe in and out during the movement.
  • Next, drop your arms down straight towards your side slowly, again taking note of your breath, and then move them back up to your shoulders.
  • Repeat the sequence 10-20 times based on your comfort level.

The Shoulder Row

This movement works the arms, shoulders, and upper back and can be done seated or standing, with or without hand weights.

  • Lean forward with a flat back, imagining that someone is pulling a string from your head towards the wall in front of you and from your back towards the wall behind you.
  • Stick your arms out straight ahead and slowly pull them back, keeping your elbows close to your body like you are rowing a boat. Pull back while taking a deep breath in until you can feel your shoulder blades moving closer together, being careful not to over-extend yourself.
  • Slowly move your arms back to your starting position while exhaling.
  • Repeat this movement 10-20 times depending on your comfort level.

Cross Over Shoulder Stretch

Now that you’ve given your shoulders a good workout, it’s time to show them some TLC with a nice, finishing stretch that should be done without hand weights.

  • Whether seated or standing, take a deep breath in and cross one arm over your chest, hooking it with the elbow crease of your opposite arm.
  • Breathe in and out while you feel the stretch and hold for 10-20 seconds.
  • Repeat the movement on the opposite side.
  • You can repeat the sequence 3-5 times or until you feel you’ve achieved a good cool-down stretch.

This simple, low-impact sequence is the perfect way to start a daily shoulder pain exercise routine. Over time, you should notice an increase in your shoulder strength and flexibility which can help decrease shoulder pain from normal, daily wear and tear. If you are experiencing shoulder pain that is not improving from exercises, you should talk with your doctor about your treatment options. Our Board-Certified Physicians are also here to help and can offer a  free consultation to see if you are a candidate for our non-surgical, FDA-approved procedure to treat knee, hip, and shoulder pain. Just fill out the form below and an  AROmotion team member will contact you.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

Low-Impact Hip Pain Exercises for Strength and Flexibility

Healthy senior couple stretching outdoors

Did you know that the hip joint is one of the most common sites of joint pain and osteoarthritis? This is because we rely so much on our hips to carry our body weight and manage basic, daily movements such as walking and running. That’s why it’s so important to maintain hip strength and flexibility as we age. However, if you are experiencing hip pain as you age it may seem too difficult to give your hips the exercise that they need each day. In this article, we will share some simple, low-impact hip pain exercises that you can do at home to help build up strength and flexibility.

First, let’s get to know our hips a little bit better! The hip joint is a “ball-and-socket” synovial joint, which means it allows for a wide range of motion. Each hip joint is responsible for bearing the weight and managing the movement of the lower half of each side of the body.  Healthy hip joints are able to accommodate more intense movements such as running or jumping. When hip joints are weakened and/or inflexible, which can happen over time from prolonged sitting or lack of exercise, it becomes more difficult for them to perform their daily functions without strain or discomfort.

By keeping your hip joints strong and flexible, you are helping them keep up with your body’s needs as you age. When your hip joints are in good shape, you can enjoy a larger range of pain-free motion while reducing the inflammation that can cause arthritis. That said, it is important to modify hip exercises as you age based on your body’s specific needs so you don’t overexert your hip joints while you build up strength and flexibility over time.

We love these low-impact hip pain exercises because they are great for everyone regardless of age and exercise experience. When you start with low-impact movements like these, you can build up strength and flexibility over time without putting additional strain on your hip joints. And, these exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home!

As with any new exercise routine,  please consult with your doctor before getting started and do not push your body past its limits. Remember, you will build up strength and flexibility over time.

Butterfly Pose

Woman doing butterfly pose

This is a great warm-up for your hip pain exercise routine because it helps open up the hip flexors while engaging your thigh muscles. Don’t be intimidated by the photo – it’s OK to start with your knees higher off the ground because you will be able to move them close towards it as you build up flexibility. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit on the floor (use a pillow if needed) and press the soles of your feet together.
  • Imagine a string pulling your head up to the sky, elongating your spine while keeping it straight and tuck in your chin.
  • Breathe in and out deeply, and with each breath let yourself sink more into the stretch.
  • Continue to breathe in and out for at least 30 seconds to start, up to a full minute with experience, then repeat 2-4 more times.

Knee Hugs

Woman doing knee hugs on floor

Next, move on to knee hugs which will combine deep breathing with subtle lower body movement to continue warming up your hips:

  • Lie on the floor (use a mat or towel if needed), knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
  • Slowly bend in one knee towards your chest, grab hold and pull towards you. You can also place your legs straight out in front of you if you are a little more flexible.
  • Breathe in and out from the stomach as you hold the stretch for 10-15
  • You can repeat 2-3 times on the same side then switch to the other side, or alternate sides based on your preference.

Hip Marching

Woman doing seated hip exercise

Grab a chair and get ready to take things up just a notch! This simple seated exercise helps strengthen your hips while also engaging your thighs and abs.  (Directions courtesy of Eldergym).

  • Sit in a chair with feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift up your right knee as high as is comfortable while taking a deep breath in, then lower your leg back to the ground while exhaling.
  • Alternate lifting your knees for a total of 10 lifts on each leg.

Standing Hip Extension

Woman doing standing hip exercise

Now, stand up and get behind your chair for the final part of this hip pain exercise sequence:

  • Grab the back of the chair with both hands and stand tall, being sure to straighten your spine and not arching your lower back.
  • Lift your right leg back, directly behind you, as far as you can without causing discomfort and hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Return to your starting position and repeat 5-10 times on the same side before switching to the other side.
  • If you are more advanced and want more of a challenge, you can add a resistance band around your ankles.

This simple, low-impact sequence is the perfect way to start a daily hip pain exercise routine. Over time, you should notice an increase in your hip strength and flexibility which can help decrease hip pain from normal, daily wear, and tear. If you are experiencing hip pain that is not improving from exercises, you should talk with your doctor about your treatment options. Our Board Certified Physicians are also here to help and can offer a  free consultation to see if you are a candidate for our non-surgical, FDA-approved procedure to treat knee, hip, and shoulder pain. Just fill out the form below and an  AROmotion team member will contact you.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

The Best Knee Exercises for Healthy Joints

Senior Woman on Stairs Stretching Knee

Always start slowly with any exercise routine to warm up and prevent injury. Listen to your body and don’t push past your limits. Remember, your strength and flexibility will increase over time!

The Forward Bend

Woman doing forward bend knee exercise

You don’t have to be a total yogi to get a good stretch from the forward bend. This knee exercise will stretch your leg muscles, especially targeting your hamstrings. Tight or weak hamstrings are limited in the protection they give your knees, so it’s important to work them out.

Standing on your mat, start with your hands on your hips. Bend forward from your hip joints as you exhale, lengthening your upper body as you reach toward the mat. Reach your fingers towards the floor and touch the floor with your fingers or your palms. You can also reach around or behind your ankles. If you can’t keep your knees from bending while reaching toward the floor or if you can’t reach that far, you can modify the stretch and reach toward a chair to support you while you stretch downward. Relax your shoulders and neck, letting your head hang freely. Remember to breathe as you deepen the stretch. To come out of the pose, bring your hands up to your hips, push your tailbone down, and breathe in as you bring your upper body back up.

Standing Quad Stretch

Woman outside doing quad stretch

The standing quad stretch is a great way to strengthen your knees and improve your balance. If balance poses give you trouble, you can do this stretch by holding on to a chair or placing a hand on the wall.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your weight on your left foot and lift your right foot tucking the knee behind. Grip your ankle or foot and pull your shin toward your glutes, pointing your knee toward the floor. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then switch to the right foot.

Standing Side Leg Raise

Woman doing side leg lift with chair

The standing side leg raise exercise plays an important part in achieving optimum knee health. This knee strengthening exercise is a great way to help improve your balance, tone your thighs and make your knees more resilient at the same time.

Stand freely or use a chair to support your balance. Shift your weight to your left foot and bring your right leg up to the side very slowly. Lift your right leg as far as you can, making sure to keep your leg straight. As you raise your leg, you should feel a nice stretch on the inner thigh. Keep the leg up for at least ten seconds, and then slowly bring it down to the mat then switch sides.

Floor Leg Lifts

Woman doing floor leg raises

The Leg Raise exercise is a gentle way to help strengthen the muscles in the thigh and hamstrings and strengthen the knees. This stretch will also engage your core, helping to strengthen your abdominal muscles and lower back.

Lie down on your back. Put your hands on the mat beside your glutes. Keep your body straight and your toes pointed up. Don’t bend your knees or lift your lower back off the mat. Inhale and raise your legs off the mat slowly and smoothly. Raise your legs as high as you can while keeping them straight. Try to get your legs at about a 30-degree angle and hold the posture. Exhale, keep your back on the mat, and bring your legs to the mat.

By committing to these simple knee exercises even just 2-3 times a week, you will be well on your way to increasing strength and flexibility for healthier joints! Before beginning any exercise regimen, consult with your physician to determine if these exercise recommendations are right for you. 

If you are experiencing knee pain, or if you have been told that you may have to have knee replacement surgery, contact us to see if our non-surgical procedure that stops knee pain fast with minimal recovery time and no hospital stay may be right for you. Just fill out the form below and a team member will get back to you as soon as possible.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

Getting a Second Opinion on Joint Replacement Surgery

Woman having knee looked at by orthopedic surgeon

Written by Robert Dean, M.D.

As a doctor, I’ve spent many years helping patients figure out what treatment options are best for their individual conditions. Once I have identified the underlying medical problem, I always lay out all treatment options – and if having surgery is one of these options, I would do everything in my power to be sure that they would see the most qualified surgeons in that field. Whether the patient is facing heart surgery, gallbladder surgery, or joint replacement surgery, it is always prudent and appropriate for a person to seek a second opinion. While surgery may be the best solution for a patient, it is invasive and will likely require a hospital stay and an extended recovery period.  That’s why it’s important for patients to empower themselves to make the best decision for their long-term health and wellness. In this article, I will share my recommendations for individuals seeking treatment options for knee, hip, shoulder, or other joint pain who have been told that surgery may be the best option.

Ask the Right Questions

Most laypeople do not realize that every surgeon is different in terms of years of experience and surgical training, approaches, and techniques applied to the type of surgery being performed. When it comes to total joint replacement surgery, there are orthopedic surgeons that have been trained to perform different types of total joint replacements in which they cut out the ends of the bone, creating a post or base to adhere the implant to in order to help stop joint pain. So, before a patient commits to total joint  replacement surgery, here are the questions to ask:

  • How many of these procedures has the surgeon performed?
  • Is this something they specialize in or do they just do one or two replacements per month?
  • Which implants do they use?
  • What are the complication and infection rate at the hospital where the procedure will be performed?

Understanding Surgical Implants

Regarding the final question about implants, it’s important to know that there are dozens – yes, dozens – of different knee, hip, and shoulder implants from different companies. These implants are all slightly different and one may be better for you versus another. Every human body is unique, so having the option of one particular style or design of implant versus another may be critical to your success as far as function and pain relief.

X ray of hip implant

You probably don’t know that orthopedic surgeons typically adhere to one or two brands or variations. The surgical technique can be slightly specific to that implant, and the surgeon may not be exploring options for learning how to use other types of implants. That’s why it’s so important that you ask the questions and get all of the information you need.

It is also important to know that sometimes patients believe they are having joint replacement surgery done with a specific implant. When patients are rolled into the operating room, they are often anxious and out of sorts and tend to glance over the surgical consent form without confirming that the implants being used are in fact what they have been told would be used. I have a specific example of a patient who thought she was having a hip replacement and the make and model of the implants she was to have was made of titanium. After her surgery, she had a lot of post-procedure difficulties with pain, swelling, and inflammation and it appeared that she was having a reaction to the actual implant. Approximately 3 months later, she found out that the implant used was a generic implant made of nickel, not titanium, and she had very specifically listed on her allergy sheet that she was allergic to nickel. Sadly, she had to have the implant removed in a second surgery and the appropriate implant. And, unfortunately, revisions of surgeries are typically longer to heal and don’t have the best outcomes.

This topic was covered in-depth on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and I highly recommend that anyone considering joint replacement surgery watches the clip in full.

Understanding Hospital Stays & Recovery Time

Almost all joint replacement surgeries are performed in hospitals because the hospital needs to supply the particular implant that the surgeon chooses. What does this mean for the patient? It means that you will have to go under anesthesia and then there will be wound healing and weeks or months of post-surgical physical rehabilitation.

Seeking a Second Opinion

Now that you understand the right questions to ask if you are told that you need total joint replacement surgery and know what to expect from your hospital stay and post-procedure recovery, let’s explore the process of getting a second opinion.

The only way to determine which surgeon is the best match for you based on experience and skill, as well as which implant is best, is to have at least two if not three consultations with different orthopedic surgeons. Remember, joint replacement surgery is an invasive process that requires a hospital stay and a long recovery process, so you need to be informed and empowered to make the absolute best decision for yourself.

Contact Me for a Second Opinion

So the moral of the story is “buyer beware” – because 1) you want a surgeon who has the right skill and experience, 2) you want to know which implants the surgeon is trained to use and why they choose that particular company and brand, and 3) you want to make sure the hospital that is going to host the surgery is one that has a low infection rate and provides the appropriate implant devices  – so that you get what you’re paying for and the pain relief that you need.

I started AROmotion to help more patients experiencing joint pain get fast relief without surgery. We have treated more than 1,200 patients with an extremely high success rate because we have a thorough screening process to determine who is a candidate. If you are seeking a second opinion on joint replacement surgery, I can help by assessing your situation to determine if you are a candidate for the AROmotion procedure. Just fill out the form below and someone on my team will contact you to schedule a free virtual consultation.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

Dr. Dean’s Self-Care Tips

Hands making a heart over sunset

Written by Robert Dean, M.D.

Like so many of us, I’ve been having to change my life in many ways due to the quarantine and the ongoing isolation from COVID-19. During times like this, the most important question to ask is this: How do we take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually/emotionally when faced with so much stress and uncertainty?  The answer is through self-care, and in this article,  I am going to share some of my favorite tips to help you make it part of your daily routine.

Adjusting to a “New Normal”

I found that for the first week or two of quarantine it was actually kind of novel being home sorting out our remote work situation. But then I realized I couldn’t go to the gym!  And some of the other outdoor activities that I was taking for granted were also no longer an option. I went online to order light weights, exercise bands, and a good yoga mat to start working out regularly at home. But, of course, everything was out of stock! Eventually, I got what I needed and settled into a routine. (BTW…good Internet is a critical component of anything we do these days!)

Fast forward to today, and while restrictions have lifted slightly, we know we aren’t going back to what used to be the normal way of life anytime soon. Now that we are settling into the “new normal”, it’s important to focus on maintaining balance when it comes to our health and wellness through self-care.

Start With the Basics: Exercise, Diet, & Sleep

In today’s 24/7 “always-on” world, it’s easy to put self-care at the bottom of our priority list. But, right now we are in a unique situation in that we are spending more time at home with fewer distractions than before. This means we have a unique  opportunity to carve out more time to focus  on the basics of physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual wellbeing.

Woman doing yoga outside at sunset

You can start by simply taking 20 to 30 minutes out of our day to stretch and do some core exercises. Personally, I find that adding yoga or Tai Chi to your routine is a good place to begin. During these exercises, you can integrate meditation to help clear the mind to reduce stress and create focus. There are thousands of inspirational writings online and even learn different techniques of yoga, Tai chi, and basic stretching and strengthening exercises. The Internet is a wonderful resource!

Couple cooking healthy dinner together at home

And, don’t forget to pay attention to your diet! Spending more time at home can cause us to spend more time at the refrigerator and to confuse boredom and/or stress with hunger. As always, stick to a healthy and balanced diet that favors whole foods, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. You can even make meal preparation a family affair by carving out time each day to cook together so everyone feels like they are pitching in. Of course, it’s OK to indulge every once in a while, but again – when it comes to diet it’s all about balance. If you are looking for healthy eating ideas, follow AROmotion on Facebook and Instagram for weekly tips on healthy foods that are also great for your joints.

Happy senior couple going to sleep

Finally, getting a good and restful night’s sleep is vital when it comes to self-care. Most adults need a sold 7-8 hours of shut eye each night, but this can be challenging when we are experiencing stress and non-stop changes to our daily routine. The best way to combat this is to create and stick to a bedtime routine that consists of the following:

  • Commit to shutting down at the same time each night. Put your smartphone somewhere where it’s out of immediate reach. Then, work on shutting down the noise in your mind by participating in a relaxation ritual such as a warm bath, gentle nighttime yoga, or even simple cup of decaf herbal tea.
  • Create a comfortable and peaceful bedroom environment. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for rest and rejuvenation, which includes a comfortable and supportive bed, décor that helps inspire relaxation, and minimal distractions like television.
  • Give yourself the time you need to fall asleep and stay asleep for 7-8 hours. When it comes to falling asleep, everyone is a bit different. Some lucky ones fall asleep the moment their heads hit the pillow while others take longer to unwind their minds and prepare for sleep. So, if you know that it typically takes you an hour to fall asleep, you should set a bedtime 8-9 hours before your alarm goes off.

Next: Learn Something New

Now that most of us are not driving to and from the office, visiting restaurants, or doing other things that take up our personal time, we have more time to invest in learning something new that can help inspire happiness. Initially, it may feel “selfish”, however, it is critical that we take care of ourselves to be better and healthier not just for us but also for the people we love. So, if you’ve always wanted to learn how to draw, or learn how to play the ukulele, or how to grow an herb garden – really any craft or hobby! This unique time of quarantine gives us the opportunity to indulge in some of these “selfish” therapies that we’ve always wanted to try.

Taking care of “you” has never been so simplified from a lifestyle perspective. We have far fewer distractions from life outside of the house and we have more personal time! We’re not forced to get dressed and drive somewhere which allows us an extra 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there so we can actively work on taking care of ourselves. Now is the time to nurture our body, our mind, and our soul. Let’s take the lemons we were dealt with COVID-19 and make some lemonade! I hope that during this time we all learn to love ourselves a little better and after we get back to life after COVID-19…I hope that these new practices stay part of our new normal!

If you are experiencing joint pain and have been told to either treat the pain with over-the-counter medications or that you may need joint replacement surgery, contact us today for a free consultation. One of our board-certified physicians will talk with you and determine if you are a candidate for our minimally-invasive procedure that stops joint pain and gets you in and out of our office the same day, with minimal recovery time. Simply fill out the form below to request your free consultation with us today.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

What Causes Joint Pain?

Rendering of Joint Pain in the Knee

Written by Robert Dean, M.D.

Joint pain is one of the most common health-related issues affecting people today, and it often prevents them from enjoying their lives to the fullest. In order to effectively treat joint pain, we must first understand the root cause of it. The causes can vary widely, from something as simple as overuse to inflammation to gout, or even to an infection inside of the joint. In this blog post, we will talk about some of the more common causes of joint pain that bring patients to our offices for our minimally-invasive procedure.

At AROmotion, our patients present with knee, hip, or shoulder “joint” pain. However, often these pain symptoms are not truly inside of the joint, but rather outside and around the joint. They may involve the overlying tendons, ligaments, or bursa that live next to and around the actual joint. So, the most important first step in evaluating a person’s pain is to determine whether it is truly the joint that is source of the pain!

A “true joint” is composed of the two bones and lubricating fluid inside of a joint capsule. It is important to know that the bones are covered with a hard ceramic/Teflon-like coating called Hyaline Cartilage (click the link here to dive deeper into the topic with Science Direct). Hyaline Cartilage is critical since bone is alive with sensory nerve endings and blood vessels. So, for any condition to cause joint pain, it must agitate or stimulate those pain-sensing nerves that are inside of the bone underneath of the hard Hyaline Cartilage. (By the way, this Hyaline cartilage that I’m describing, this hard Teflon like coating, is the same type of cartilage you will see on the end of a chicken bone! That hard rubbery cartilage on the tip of the bone is in fact the Hyaline cartilage.)

Joint pain typically involves inflammation or swelling inside of this joint capsule, which puts pressure on the Hyaline Cartilage coating the bone. When the pressure is severe enough, the pain-sensing nerves inside of the bone will be agitated and transmit pain signals to your brain. So, for example, if you do a lot of yard work like raking and digging, you overuse the hip and shoulder joints. This overuse will cause inflammation and swelling inside the joint capsule. This puts pressure on the Hyaline Cartilage and the nerve endings underneath. Pain signals will transmit to your brain stiffness and soreness and if severe enough actually pain.

Hyaline Cartilage
Image of Hyaline Cartilage

There are many conditions that lead to symptoms of joint pain. So, in the end, it is the pressure and agitation to these sensory nerves that tell you that the joint hurts!

Simple injuries, like accidentally dropping something on your hand or twisting/spraining your knee or ankle can also cause joint pain. This is because there’s a direct force to Hyaline Cartilage and to the bone underneath, agitating those pain-sensing nerve endings. The painful nerves trigger inflammatory cytokines that will cause the joint to swell. Cytokines in an acute setting or one-time setting, like a knee sprain, are actually a useful part of the healing process. In chronic arthritic syndromes, however, it is this pain that perpetuates the cycle of inflammatory cytokines via a neuropeptide called Substance P which is secreted by the agitated sensory nerve endings. Nerve pain – Substance P - Inflammatory Cytokines  swelling that leads to more nerve pain. The cycle of pain and inflammation smolders as a feedback loop in chronic joint pain conditions!

Summary:

From garden variety Osteoarthritis to more complex diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, infection, or even cancer, joint pain is always the end result of the agitated sensory nerve endings inside of the bone.

The most important point is that most joint pain is our body’s response to something irritating the sensory nerves inside of the bone. There’s always a cause and an effect. The only way you’re going to have true joint pain is by irritating and stimulating the pain-sensing nerves in the bone underneath of the protective Hyaline Cartilage. 

Any other pain that you may be experiencing from a “joint” is most likely outside of the joint and not truly joint pain. Rather, it is a result of painful tendons, ligaments, or bursa near or around the area. So first the diagnosis of joint pain needs to be correctly made and then the workup and diagnosis of the underlying cause of the pain will direct proper medical treatment.

This is where AROmotion comes in. If you are experiencing joint pain and have been told to either treat the pain with over-the-counter medications or that you may need joint replacement surgery, contact us today for a free consultation. One of our board-certified physicians will talk with you and determine if you are a candidate for our minimally-invasive procedure that stops joint pain and gets you in and out of our office the same day, with minimal recovery time. Simply fill out the form below to request your free consultation with us today.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and prerecorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.

Robert Dean, M.D., is board-certified in internal medicine and leads the practice at AROmotion. Since 1997, Dr. Dean has helped patients in clinical practice and has given numerous talks at various medical conferences. He has traveled around the world with the Starkey Hearing Foundation helping to give the gift of hearing. He. was voted one of the Top Doctors in Florida by his peers and is known for his ability to simplify conditions and treatments from confusing medical jargon for his patients.

Meet AROmotion’s Dr. Robert Dean

Robert Dean, M.D., of AROmotion

“A keen acumen and a love for humanity is a physician’s greatest attribute.” – Dr. Robert Dean.

Throughout his 20-plus year career in medicine, Dr. Robert Dean has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to combining the art and science of medicine with a truly empathetic approach to treating patients on the human level. He has traveled the globe in pursuit of medical excellence while taking the time to deliver needed care to some of the most at-risk and underserved communities. Today, Dr. Dean leads the team at AROmotion, a Florida-based practice dedicated to helping patients end joint pain through a groundbreaking, minimally-invasive procedure that has helped many individuals successfully avoid joint replacement surgery. Here, we take a look back at his journey from a boy whose curiosity was fueled by his father, a pharmaceutical research scientist, to one of the most beloved and respected doctors among his peers today.

A Storied Career Inspired by Childhood Imagination

Dr. Dean’s exposure to medical research and terminology began at a young age, when he would spend time listening to his father, a research scientist, talk about traditional medications that had non-traditional origins that were fascinating. For example, there were stories about one of the most common blood pressure medications used in western medicine today and how it was developed from the lethal venom of the Brazilian Pit Viper or how the toxic poison from a rainforest frog that could actually be used to save people’s lives. As one would imagine, this captivated the imagination of a young boy who was also interested in the traditional science behind medicine. This, coupled with his empathetic nature, led him to a career in medicine where he would tirelessly pursue medical mysteries and new ways to help people live healthier, happier lives.

After earning his B.S. and M.D. at Rutgers- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Dr. Dean began a clinical rotation at Princeton Hospital. He developed a deep personal interest in helping displaced Kurdish refugees suffering from cholera after the first Iraq war, leading him to complete a residency in Internal Medicine at Brown where he worked under one of the top pioneers in cholera treatment.

This would not be the last time that Dr. Dean traveled abroad to bring a higher level of medical care to those across the globe. In fact, he would eventually go on to honor his father’s dedication to researching non-traditional medicines with his TV Series, Cures for Mankind, where he explored various rainforests and ecosystems in pursuit of life-saving drugs – just like the ones his father once told him of during his childhood.

Creating AROmotion

Soon after finishing his postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University, Dr. Dean moved to Tampa to start his medical practice, where he integrated the treatment of patients with orthopedic injuries and pain who were often told that surgery was their only option. These long-time patients had been sent to the best surgeons available but ended up with post-surgical pain and poor quality of life. This is when he identified the large treatment void between medical treatments to mitigate symptoms and the incredibly invasive extreme of total joint replacement surgery. This led him to the creation of AROmotion, Florida’s premier practice for a minimally-invasive 3 tier approach to stopping joint pain without surgery. His practice has successfully treated more than 1,000 patients with a groundbreaking approach that combines radiofrequency neurotomy, orthobiologics, and custom reconditioning program for long-term joint pain relief.

AROmotion's 3-Tiered Approach

Dr. Dean found that different specialties in medicine were not communicating on how their different treatments could augment each other when combined. The neurotomy mitigates bony nerve pain from chondromalacia, which makes patients really happy! However, this pain inside of the joint is what is actually perpetuating arthritis. So, when the pain stops so does the swelling and inflammation. This creates a much healthier joint environment for healing and orthobiologic therapies. Finally, the muscles and ligaments need to be reconditioned since the joint is now moving the way it had a long before the pain took over.

The success rate for AROmotion is extremely high because of the steps taken to ensure proper patient selection. Appropriate screening is critical as one in every four consultations are deemed non-candidates.

Medical Excellence With Empathy

Joint pain is a complex topic, and patients often find themselves confused after their initial medical consultations. This can lead to some patients who do not need invasive surgery to take that step, whereas Dr. Dean believes that every consultation should be a conversation between doctor and patient where he and his team listen closely and determine if AROmotion is the right fit. With this approach, Dr. Dean and his team are able to break through the standard medical jargon to help patients feel educated about their condition and empowered when it comes to making decisions about their joint pain treatment.

“I can’t stress enough how comfortable Dr. Dean made me feel during the consultation process,” says Haley Fox, an AROmotion patient. “I did a lot of research before calling AROmotion, but the way he explained things made a world of difference. He was able to help me understand the root cause of my hip pain and why self-management was not a viable long-term solution. Not once did I feel pressured to book the procedure; instead, I felt like Dr. Dean helped me understand what I needed to learn, made his recommendation, and then let me make the right decision for me.”

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From a young boy whose imagination was fueled by his father’s stories of non-traditional drugs to one of Florida’s most respected physicians, Dr. Dean’s story demonstrates the passion and care behind AROmotion. Along with his team of board-certified physicians, he is dedicated to helping more people stop joint pain without invasive surgery and get back to pain-free living.

If you are experiencing joint pain and have been told that surgery is your only option, or if you have been taking over-the-counter medications to mask the pain, now is the time to book a free consultation with Dr. Dean’s team to see if you are a candidate for AROmotion. Simply fill out the form below to request your consultation today.

By entering your information and clicking Submit, you are consenting to be contacted by our company representatives by phone, email, text/SMS, and through the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and pre-recorded messages at the number(s) and email address(es) listed above even if your number provided on the form above is on a National or State Do Not Call List. Your consent does not require you to purchase any goods and/or services and you understand that you are not required to sign this authorization to receive services.