SmartSports: Helping Arthritis Pain



Justin grew up in Eastern South Dakota where he learned to love sports and the outdoors. He played multiple sports, including collegiate baseball and that is what inspired him to pursue a future in sports medicine. While pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of Siox Falls, he was a four year starter on their baseball team as well as a student athletic trainer for football, basketball, track, and soccer. His desire to work with athletes took him to South Dakota State University in pursuit of a Masters of Exercise Physiology. During his studies, he also worked as a graduate assistant in the Human Performance Lab. After graduation he worked as a personal trainer and then went on to Physical Therapy school at Wichita State University, graduating in 2006. He has worked as a Physical Therapist for 14 years and is certified in joint and spine manipulation as well as dry needling. As a manual therapist, Justin believes that putting the body in the right environment to heal is the way to achieve success. Justin loves the outdoors and spends his free time hunting, fishing, and camping with his wife and daughter.




When you experience an injury, dealing with the pain that comes as part of the aftermath is expected. While painful, most of the time when recovering from an injury you can find comfort in the knowledge that the pain is temporary. As your body heals, as you go through the motions of building your muscle mass back and improving flexibility with physical therapy, you know that in time you will feel like yourself again. This knowledge gives you something to work towards, and helps the pain feel more manageable—even when it is intense, and never-fleeting. Arthritis pain is different. Arthritis doesn’t develop as a result of an injury, but instead develops over time as a result of chronic use, or even as a result of genetic disposition. This can make dealing with the pain of arthritis even more difficult to cope with, as it begs the question: if the pain is coming from inside the joint, is there anything I can actually do about it? Understanding Arthritis Pain: Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition to affect the joints. Almost 30 million adults in the United States struggle with the condition, and while it can influence anyone of any age, it

most frequently develops among those who are most prone to overuse— those who are over the age of 65. Arthritis occurs when there is a breakdown of the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. This cartilage is what allows the joints in the elbows, ankles, knees and hips to move with freedom. Without cartilage, the bones would rub against one another with each movement, and would cause extreme pain. As the cartilage breaks down, so, typically, does the bone, and as the shape of the joint changes it becomes even more difficult for it to function smoothly. Furthermore, the ligaments and tendons around the joint will often stiffen, and the muscles surrounding the joint will weaken, making it altogether more difficult and painful to move. While arthritis pain typically develops gradually, the realization of what you are dealing with can still come as a shock. In some circumstances the pain will appear more abruptly, especially when the pain develops in association with a change in weather or other environmental circumstance.

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Turning to over the counter pain medications to cope with arthritis pain is ineffective as a long-term solution. While some of the medications may provide temporary relief, they will not help you overcome the pain for good. Physical therapy, on the other hand, can provide actual relief from arthritis by helping to rebuild strength in the joints through targeted movements and flexibility exercises. There is a lot of current research trying to understand what precisely causes arthritis to develop in some people, and not in others. Everyone uses their joints every day, and while it makes sense that so much pressure would cause pain to develop over time, it doesn’t explain why the pain develops when and where it does, and why it happens to some people and not to others. Anti-inflammation and Arthritis : One leading form of arthritis treatment is with the use of anti-inflammatory medication. Certain types of arthritis develop as a result of a build-up of inflammation in the body. Specifically, the tendons and ligaments become inflamed as a result of an internal attack from the immune system, which is typically triggered by some combination of environmental factors. Avoiding certain foods and movements can reduce inflammation, and thereby reduce pain. Physical Therapy and Arthritis: Physical therapy is highly recommended for the treatment of arthritis because it can strengthen and support the joints through guided practice of movement and strength building exercises. Typically, the best activities for arthritis pain are low-impact activities. Working with a physical therapist is the best way to ensure that you are practicing the best techniques for overcoming your discomfort.

There is a long list of home remedies that are said to help with arthritis pain as well, and there is some credibility to some of these concepts. For example, losing weight, exercising regularly, and making some dietary changes such as reducing caffeine and sugar consumption are said to help alleviate pain associated with arthritis. However, before you start making any changes to your lifestyle, it is best to consult with a physical therapist. For more information about how to rid your life of arthritis pain, contact us.

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• 2 tbsp plant-based milk • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 1 tsp onion powder

INGREDIENTS • 1 tbsp vegetable oil • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped • 2 cloves of garlic minced • 1 bell pepper chopped • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15 oz can, drained and rinsed)

• 3/4 tsp coconut sugar • 1/2 tsp garlic powder • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika • 1/2 tsp ground cumin • 10 small flour tortillas • Sea salt & black pepper to taste • Chili powder to taste

• 1/2 cup tomato sauce (passata) • 3 tbsp hot sauce (or more to taste)

DIRECTIONS Using a fork, roughly mash chickpeas in a bowl. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the chopped onion and bell pepper. Cook for 3 min, then add garlic and spice mix and sauté for 1 min. Add all other sauce ingredients and chickpeas to the pan and bring mixture to a boil. Let simmer on low heat for about 2-4 min, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat. Add more chili powder to taste. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F (210 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place about 2 tbsp of the filling onto each tortilla and roll them up tightly. Place every tortilla seam-side down on the baking sheet, next to each other. Brush them with a little bit of vegetable oil (to make them even more crispy). Bake in the oven for about 15-20 min or until they are golden brown and crispy. Drizzle with vegan cheese sauce (optional). Enjoy with your favorite dip!


Patient Success Spotlight


Print sudoku It’s time to go to Smart Sports if: • You’re tired of living in pain • You want to feel better and move better • You have been in an auto accident or injured on the job • You want to prevent injury 1. Call and talk to your therapist 2. Discover why your pain has come back 3. Get your custom recovery program 2 6 5 8 1 7 At Smart Sports, you will receive hands-on therapy treatments by our friendly, caring health experts during focused and individualized sessions.

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You will be welcomed and become a part of the family. “So many opportunities to be healthy under one roof! The staff is very knowledgeable, helpful, and eager to make your experience pleasurable. For those who may be a bit uncomfortable going to a gym for the first time, you don’t need to worry. You will be welcomed and become a part of the family.” -J.W. 6 5 8 6 7 8 2 5 9 4 3 4 1 9

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