Tag Archives: arthritis

Lexington Rheumatology: Treating Joint and Soft Tissue Diseases

Dr. Bruce Goeckeritz is a rheumatologist with Lexington Rheumatology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. He spoke about his specialty in an interview on WLTX recently.

A rheumatologist is a doctor who treats the medical conditions that manifest themselves in the joint. That includes all kinds of arthritis, gout and lupus, to name a few.

According to Dr. Goeckeritz, there have been a lot of technological breakthroughs that allow better treatments for people with these conditions.

For example, researchers have discovered that fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder of the joints and muscles, occurs because of problems with the central nervous system – specifically with the way the brain processes sensory input.

Lexington Rheumatology

“We can treat these patients in a number of ways including physical therapy, water-based therapy and with exercise,” Dr. Goeckeritz said.

There are also advances in learning how to use the body’s own immune system to help fight disease.

“Weve been making great strides, especially in the field of immunology,” he said. “Researchers have discovered the mechanisms behind these illness at the molecular level and are finding treatments targeting molecules to treat them.”

Lexington Rheumatology is dedicated to treating joint and soft tissue diseases with exceptional patient care and flexible appointments. Visit LexingtonRheumatology.com to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Keeping Your Back on Track at Work

Lifting heavy objects.
Overusing the same muscle.
Carrying children and groceries.
Sitting at a desk with poor posture.

These are some of the things that put our backs to the test every day. Janie C. “Kaki” Bruce, MD, and and Bruce Goeckeritz, MD, FACR, CCD, are rheumatologists with Lexington Rheumatology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. As doctors treating joint and soft tissue diseases, they have great advice for keeping your back on track in the workplace.

“Sitting at a desk all day can cause neck, shoulder and upper back pain,” Dr. Goeckeritz said. “There can be chronic strain on your muscles from poor posture while spending hours in front of a computer screen using a keyboard and mouse. It’s the same kind of pain that comes form overworking muscles during a weekend project around the house.”

Some patients also experience a headache in the back of the head that gets worse as the day progresses, or pain that spreads and feels like pins and needles.

“For most of us, sitting for prolonged periods is part of our daily routine,” said Dr. Bruce. In fact, studies show that American workers spend nearly six hours of each work day sitting at a desk. “Poor posture or sitting in chairs that are not ergonomically correct can also exacerbate lower back pain.”

Options including ergonomically correct chairs and standing desks can help. A rheumatologist can also proscribe injections, physical therapy, dry needling and muscle relaxers.

Lexington Rheumatology. Clockwise from top left: Bruce Goeckeritz, MD, FACR, CCD; Fernando X. Castro, MD; Janie C. “Kaki” Bruce, MD; Maria Farooq, MD; Frederick A. Talip, MD

“These treatments can help, but strengthening the muscles and preventing future strains are the keys to solving the problem permanently,” Dr. Goeckeritz said.

Back pain that continues for more than three months can be related to osteoarthritis in the back – also known as degenerative disc disease.

“This condition results form wear and tear between the disc spaces in the spine, causing narrowing and bone spur formation,” Dr. Bruce said. “Pain usually begins in patients over age 40 with a history of overuse or injury.”

Other types of arthritis can cause inflammation in the spine and other joints. These conditions usually include stiffness in the morning that improves during the day and with use.

Sometimes, back pain may indicate a more serious condition. Back pain that radiates into the legs, or occurs with a fever, weakness in the leg, or onset of incontinence warrants a trip to the doctor immediately.

Rheumatologists can help establish the cause of back pain, rule out concerning symptoms that need immediate attention, and recommend appropriate therapy.

Back Tips
~Sit upright, pull the computer keyboard toward you and raise the monitor so that you don’t slump your shoulders or lean your head and neck forward while looking at the screen.
~The top of your computer monitor should be at eye level.
~Your chair should have adjustable seat height, back and arm rests.
~Stretch your shoulders, neck and upper back frequently.
~Avoid sitting or holding a muscle group in the same position for hours.
~Outside of work, participate in exercise that focuses on strengthening the muscles of the neck and upper back.

Managing Chronic Back Pain

Millions of Americans suffer with chronic back pain. In this WLTX interview from earlier this month, Dr. Philip Toussaint of Lexington Brain and Spine Institute, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, talks about the best ways to manage the problem. From therapy to surgery, there are a variety of methods.

 

    Notes from the Doctor:

~Most people have back pain at some point in their life.
~In many cases, you can treat back pain at hoe with ice or heat, anti-inflammatory medication and stretching.
~Patients with back pain that lasts more than a week or two should see their doctor.
~While surgery can help some kinds of back pain, it’s a last step in the treatment process. It’s important to be evaluiated and determine the exact cause of the pain in order to start adequate treatment.
~Causes for back pain range from trauma to arthritis, and doctors will customize a treatment plan for each patient. It may include medication, physical therapy or injection therapy – which are effective in most cases.

Lexington Brain and Spine Institute treats all kinds of neck and back problems. For more information, visit LexingtonBrainandSpine.com