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Questions. Answers. Knowledge. Can dry needling help increase motion/mobility? Dry needling is a technique that uses a solid filiform needle to decrease pain by targeting the trigger point(s) in the muscle. Nothing is injected. Trigger points are areas in muscles that can cause pain, referred pain (pain distant from the trigger point) and limit motion/mobility.

Did you know? DRY NEEDLING

is a technique that uses a solid filiform needle to decrease pain by targeting the trigger point(s) in the muscle.

There are two types of trigger points — active and latent. Active trigger points may cause local and referred pain, be tender to touch and elicit a “twitch” when a needle is inserted into the muscle. Latent trigger points do not typically cause referred pain, but may limit mobility and cause muscles to feel “weak”. For example, if there is a latent trigger point in a buttock muscle, standing on that leg may be difficult and the leg may “feel weak”. There may also be a feeling of limited motion or stiffness. Exercise may irritate the area and not provide increased strength or range of motion. Until the latent trigger points are treated, the leg will continue to feel “weak” and “tight” and not respond well to intense exercise. Usually once relieved, “strength” and mobility return quickly. Tracey Adler, PT, DPT, OCS, CMTPT

Orthopedic Physical Therapy, Inc. Richmond | 804.285.0148 www.orthopedicptinc.com

Does daily exercise prolong the need for knee replacement?

Do symptoms of depression look different in seniors?

Daily exercise has significant benefits for a painful knee affected by the ‘wear and tear’ (osteoarthritis). First, alternate day strengthening of the thigh (quadriceps, hamstrings) muscles offloads the joint and reduces pain, the main reason for a knee replacement. It can prevent giving way, which also causes pain and dysfunction. As such, strengthening may preserve the knee long-term.

Yes. Depression becomes more common and increasingly difficult to diagnose as we age. Lack of energy, cognitive decline of the general symptoms that society considers to be reflective of “old age” may be signs of depression in seniors. It is very important to discuss mental health with your loved ones and healthcare provider.

Second, daily stretching of the leg muscles can reduce stiffness and optimize joint and general function. Stiffness and poor joint and general function are important reasons for considering a knee replacement.

Exercise should be initially guided by a physical therapist and be relatively pain free: low-impact (e.g. swimming, cycling), with gentle strength training added on. Squatting and lunging should be avoided. Regular stretching, strengthening and low-impact exercise can delay the need for a knee replacement. It can also serve as pre-habilitation to help postoperative recovery.

VCU Health Richmond | 804.828.7069 www.vcuhealth.org

OurHealth | The Resource for Healthy Living in Greater Richmond

JenCare Senior Medical Center Richmond | 804.674.3425 www.jencaremed.com

Finally, cardiovascular exercise three times a week can lead to weight loss. Since, the knee joint bears three five times our body weight, losing weight can reduce pain, dysfunction, and preserve the knee.

Nirav Patel, MD, FRCS

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Aaron Stecker, DO

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OurHealth Magazine for Richmond: January/February 2020