Thursday, 17 of January of 2019

Category » Exercising Tips

Reduce Hand & Wrist Pain With These Easy Exercises



Chronic pain, stiffness and swelling in your fingers, hand and wrist can make it difficult to do even the simplest tasks, from opening a jar to buttoning your shirt. Osteoarthritis is the most frequent cause for this type of discomfort, but other conditions may also be a factor, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cysts or sprains from a fall or overuse due to a sports injury.

Here are some simple exercises from Harvard Medical School that can help increase mobility, while decreasing pain.

Step 1. Place a rolled-up towel on a table and put your forearm on it, palm side down. Move the hand upward gently until you feel a light stretch. Relax the hand and return to the starting position.

Step 2. Keep your forearm on the towel and gently move your wrist up and down through the full range of motion.

Step 3. Sit with your arm at your side. Bend your elbow so it’s at a 90-degree angle with your palm facing down. Now gently rotate your forearm so that your palm faces up, then down. Repeat several times

Step 4. Extend your finger straight out from your hand. Curl the fingers in like a hook; then extend them again. Now make a full fist and extend your fingers again. Repeat several times.

If you experience numbness or tingling in your hand, fingers or wrist or severe pain, check with the doctor first before doing any exercises, no matter how gentle. Dr. Kagan not only specializes in knee, hip and shoulder pain, but also orthopedic conditions affecting the hand and wrist. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 239-936-6778 or go to

How Exercise Can Help Joint Pain



shutterstock_127325003While joint pain from osteoarthritis may eventually require surgery, before then, it’s a good idea to explore all the non-surgical ways you can decrease discomfort and increase your range of motion. One of the most overlooked options is free, easy to accomplish and effective – exercise.

You might be thinking that exercise is the last thing on your mind if your joints are achy, tender and stiff. In fact, you might be inclined to move as little as possible. But medical experts will tell you that keeping up an appropriate fitness routine is exactly what you should be doing. In fact, Harvard Medical School calls exercise the secret to joint pain relief. It can definitely help improve the quality of your life.

Here’s why. Exercise strengths muscles, tendons and ligaments that hold the joint in place. It allows your body to stretch and be more flexible, helps maintain stronger bones and gives you more energy. It can also help control your weight, or loose weight, which can take pressure of the joints.

You may not be able to doing anything strenuous like run, play tennis or volleyball, but you could walk outside or on a treadmill, swim laps or do water aerobics, ride a bike or just perform stretching exercises at home or the gym. The key is to pace yourself and not overdo it. If you or a loved one is coping with arthritis and unsure which type of exercise is safe for you to perform, ask your doctor for a recommendation. Perhaps you might even consider a few sessions with a physical therapist if you haven’t been active in a while.

For more information about joint pain and treatment options, contact the office of Dr. Kagan at 239-936-6778 or go to


7 Tips To Staying Safe and Injury-Free While Cycling



shutterstock_116062120With Southwest Florida’s year-round sunshine, bicycling is a popular way to get exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Of course with the summer heat, it’s always wise to bike in early morning or early evening, to wear sunscreen and a hat, and to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Here are some excellent tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons to help cyclists stay safe and avoid injuries, which can range from the minor cuts, bruises and sprains, to fractures and even head injuries. Don’t let an accident ruin your fun.

Purchase a bike that is the right size for your body. Some bike shops even offer a professional fitting for avid cyclists. Why is this important? A bike frame that is too large, or handlebars and seat heights that are not adjusted properly can make it hard to control the bike, which will increase your risk of injury. Don’t forget to keep your bike in good condition by checking the brakes, tires and gears regularly.

Wear a helmet, all the time. National statistics show that wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 85 percent. Buy a helmet that is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A good fitting helmet should be snug, which means it won’t slide forward, back or to the side. It should cover the top of your forehead and the chin strap should keep the helmet from rocking or moving in any direction.

Don’t overdo it. For many people, cycling can be a fast-paced sport. Be sure to pace yourself to avoid overuse injuries or even heatstroke in the summer. On long rides, be sure to bring water with you. Change positions occasionally to avoid putting too much pressure on one part of the body or straining muscles.

Follow the rules of the road. Cyclists riding on the street must follow the same traffic laws as drivers, including stopping at lights and stop signs, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, yielding to pedestrians at a crosswalk and yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway. Ride defensively, be aware of your surroundings and be careful of uneven or slippery surfaces and riding next to parked cars.

Don’t text and bicycle. Avoid listening to music with head phones, talking on a cell phone or texting. Be careful of doing anything that will distract you.

Wear appropriate clothing, especially appropriate footwear. Flip flops or sandals may be popular in Florida, but could put your toes at risk should you fall off the bike. You may want to consider padded gloves and shorts for longer bike rides. Also be careful of loose clothing that could become entangled in the gears.

Lights are essential for night visibility. Make sure drivers can see you. Wear bright fluorescent colors, put rear reflects on the bike and have both tail lights and headlights that are visible from 500 feet away.

Sometimes injuries happen, despite the best precautions. If rest, ice, elevation and compression aren’t enough, call an orthopedic specialist for an evaluation. For more information go to or call 239-936-6778.

Running Injuries – How To Treat & Prevent Them



shutterstock_110884610Running is a popular exercise these days that offers many benefits, from physical fitness to cardiovascular health. But it also puts runners at risk for orthopedic injuries that can range from bothersome to debilitating. What are some of the most common concerns?

  • Shin splints (pain that runs down the front or inside of the lower leg)
  • Stress fractures (tiny cracks in the leg bone)
  • Achilles tendinitis (inflammation in the tendon that attaches the calf to the heel)
  • Muscle strains or tears (hamstrings, quadriceps, calf and groin muscles)
  • Illotibial band syndrome (inflammation of the ligament that runs from the knee to the hip)
  • Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot, from heel to toes)
  • Ankle sprains (stretching or tearing of the ligaments around the ankle)

Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries for all sports, including running, says the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). A recent article in the New York Times reported on a NATA study that suggests “ankle injuries are often mistreated or not treated at all and should not be taken more seriously to prevent re-injury, prolonged discomfort, chronic ankle instability and greater risk of early arthritis in the ankle.”

How are ankle sprains best treated? The study recommends never walking on a sprained ankle or ignoring the pain. Instead, ice it right away.  Wrap the ankle in a compression bandage, prop it up and apply cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.  Go ahead and take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen, but wait a day or two to begin taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofens.  Initial swelling is part of the body’s healing process, but after 48 hours, you’ll want to prevent the swelling from getting any worse.

Although X-rays are typically taken at the ER or a doctor’s office, the study suggests that a medical professional can usually diagnose an ankle sprain based on guidelines such as deformity, swelling, tenderness and inability to bear weight. Once the initial acute phase is over, “functional rehab” is recommended to help prevent re-injury. That means doing exercises that help strengthen the ankle and improve balance and flexibility.

Here are some suggestions for runners to help prevent injuries of all kinds, including ankle sprains. Warm-up and stretch before going for a run. Vary your fitness routine so you’re not running every day. Select a course that has a flat, smooth surface (be careful of running on the beach and sidewalk, which are uneven) and wear appropriate athletic shoes that fit well and are made for running.

For more information about ankle sprains or other orthopedic-related injuries, go to or call Dr. John Kagan at 239.936.6778.

Summer Is Officially Here on June 21: 5 Tips To Stay Fit This Summer





Friday, June 21 is the first day of summer, although here in Southwest Florida, it feels like summer arrived a few months ago!  The heat and humidity are always a challenge to staying fit if you’re one of the many people who enjoy outdoor activities for exercise.

To beat the heat, book the earliest time available for a game of tennis or golf. Take a swim in the pool – Southwest Florida is said to have more pools and golf courses than anywhere else in the U.S.  Or, go for a jog around the block in the evening or walk on the beach at sunset. Whatever exercise you choose, here are some tips to keep in mind.

#1  Keep hydrated and wear sunscreen- Drink plenty of water to prevent any risk of dehydration or heat stroke, and wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it’s alarming to note that there are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the total combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer.

#2  If you’re over 50 and rarely exercise, it’s never too late to gain the benefits from being physically active. According to the Harvard Medical School, a Swedish medical study found that “men exercising regularly for 10 years or more decreased their death rates.” In fact, exercise made as a big a difference as quitting smoking. If you haven’t exercised in a while, schedule a check up with your doctor first.

#3 Exercise, stretching, avoiding smoking and maintaining an appropriate weight so you don’t stress your joints is important for physical well being. But Harvard Medical School also found that exercise can make a difference in mental function, including reaction time and thought processes such as planning, scheduling, coordination, focus and memory. Here’s what they had to say: “People who exercise regularly will have less mental decline. Physical activity appears to be as least as important in staying mentally sharp as keeping your mind active and maintaining strong social connections.”

#4  How much exercise and what kind? Aim for three times a week, or even better every day for at least 30 minutes. Include both aerobic exercise that raises your heat beat, and flexibility and conditioning exercises that stretch the ligaments, tendons, muscles and joints.

#5.  If you start experiencing joint pain, lessen the intensity of the workout or take a break from the activity for a while.  Icing the tender area, taking anti-inflammatory medications or applying topical creams can help.  But more intense pain, limited range of mobility and tenderness that doesn’t go away should be seen by a doctor.  For a consultation or more information, call board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Kagan at 239-936-6778 or go to

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/content/53/6203553/html/Kaganorthoblog/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1938

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/content/53/6203553/html/Kaganorthoblog/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1938

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/content/53/6203553/html/Kaganorthoblog/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1938