Thursday, July 3, 2014

Can Arthritic Knees Predict The Weather?

Knee Pain, Joint Pain, Muscle Pain & The Weather

Have you ever heard someone say they know it is going to rain because their arthritic knees are acting up? Believe me, it's not just Grandma, I've even experienced it myself. While your joints may not hold the answer for the weekly weather forecast, there are some theories to explain how the weather can actually affect your joints and muscles.


In people with arthritis, joint pain, muscle pain, headaches and even those who don’t normally suffer, humidity is said to affect the body, often causing pain. Humidity often rises before, during and after it rains, as well as when it is hot outside. This means that grandma’s knees might not be fibbing after all.

Barometric Pressure

During levels of high humidity, barometric pressure is often low. So what is barometric pressure you ask?  Barometric pressure, or atmospheric pressure, is known as “the weight of the air”. A rise in barometric pressure usually means good weather, while a decrease usually means bad weather. Decreases in barometric pressure, especially those that come quickly, such as a rainstorm or a heat wave, often affect the body in people who are more sensitive or who have pre-existing conditions. The variation in pressure causes changes in the fluids in your body, which can also cause inflammation or sensitivity to the joints, especially those with arthritis.


It may be easy to forget to drink as much water as you know you should be drinking, but when you are in pain and it is hot outside, it is more important than ever to make sure you are hydrating your body.

The joints in your body are able to move more fluidly when your body is properly hydrated, but if you are not drinking enough water you may experience worsened joint pain and even muscle cramps.

On top of the pain, those who do not drink enough water are often more prone to fatigue – meaning you won’t be motivated to push physical activity or exercise which lack of can in itself, lead to joint and muscle pain.

So what can you do?

As far as the weather goes, we don’t have much of a say in the forecast, but making sure you keep yourself hydrated and healthy is something you can control. 

If you have a condition such as Arthritis, it can also be beneficial to look into Physical Therapy and/or Interventional Pain Management techniques to help strengthen your body and prevent a flare up. The same advice is recommended for athletes who are prone to sports injuries and people who have a high level of daily activity.

At New York Pain Care, the Top Pain Management Doctors and Physical Therapists in NYC can help treat a flare up, or help you to avoid one.

Request an appointment now on ZocDoc or call us at 212-604-1300.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Don't Bike Your Way To A Knee Injury

It’s no secret that biking is an excellent, not to mention enjoyable, form of exercise and transportation. With the new Citi Bikes all over NYC, it is hard to find an excuse not to go cycling through the park on a nice day, fit in a cardio workout or even get to a meeting at the office on time. 

Bicycles are undoubtedly, a convenient solution, especially in Manhattan. “So what is the problem with cycling then”, you are probably asking? Riding a bike, especially when you do it on a regular basis, can be particularly tough on your knees. Knee injuries are all too common among bike riders and can lead to more serious conditions such as Knee Bursitis and Ligament Strains. For this reason, we have put together some handy guidelines to follow to avoid knee injuries and knee pain while bike riding.

Adjust The Seat

While this seems quite simple, you’d be surprised to find out that knee pain in bicyclists is most often associated with a bike seat that is improperly adjusted. If the seat of your bike is too low, this can cause you pain on the front of your knee. If the seat of your bike is too high, this can put unnecessary tension on the knee and cause pain in the back of the knee.

Mind Your Feet

Preparing your feet, in more ways than one, is also vital in not only making sure you have a comfortable bike ride, but a bike ride that will not put extra pressure on your knees. 

First tip is to wear sneakers for bike riding. Other shoes, such as flip-flops or dress shoes, do not provide adequate support or flexibility to your feet. While sometimes you cant help it, throw a pair of sneakers in your bag if you know you will be riding your bike later in the day. Put some sneakers on Anthony Weiner!

Another tip is to position your feet on the pedals so that the pedals are parallel to the ground. This helps you keep your knee in line to prevent a knee injury.

Lastly, some people have one leg that is longer than the other. This difference in height can make it difficult to adjust the bike seat and pedals to fit both legs comfortably. A solution for you if you fall into this category and bike often, is to look into Orthotics. Orthotics are custom fit for you to wear inside of your shoes and provide comfort and support (not just when riding a bike!). Our doctors use Sole Supports Orthotics to custom fit our patients with not only knee and foot pain but back pain as well!

Gear Up

If you are an avid bike rider or even just an occasional bike rider, it is important to understand the gears on your bike and how to use them. Riding your bike in the wrong gear can lead to all types of sports injuries, knee pain and knee injuries being most common. Do your research on your bike and which gear should be used for going uphill, going downhill, going fast, etc. Check out this great article by Total Women's Cycling that explains how to use your gears efficiently.

Take Care Of Your Knees

Cycling can actually be a great exercise for knee injuries, but is often done in moderation as part of a Physical Therapy or Rehabilitation program. If you are experiencing knee pain from bike riding, playing a sport or for any other unknown reason, do not try to diagnose it yourself.

At New York Pain Care, the Top Knee Pain Doctors & Sports in Manhattan can help you diagnose your knee pain, treat your knee pain and prevent future knee injury.

Request an appointment now on ZocDoc or call us at 212-604-1300.

Friday, May 9, 2014

5 Questions About Epidural Steroid Injections Answered

Epidural Steroid Injections by Top Pain Doctors at New York Pain Care

1. Q: Are Epidural Steroid Injections as scary as they sound?

A: No, Epidural Steroid Injections are not nearly as scary as they sound! Epidural Steroid Injections are non-surgical procedures performed in the office to provide relief for multiple pain conditions such as back pain, Herniated discs and Sciatica. If your doctor has recommended an Epidural Steroid Injection, your pain most likely, regardless of the cause, is severe enough to get in the way of your normal daily activities. Knowing that an in-office Epidural Steroid Injection can provide relief for this pain can be comforting in and of itself! Why should you suffer if you there are pain relief options?

In addition, an experienced physician will walk you through the procedure, explain what to expect before and after an Epidural Steroid Injection and also explain realistically what results to expect.

All of these things, and especially trusting the doctor you are working with and knowing that they are highly specialized in the field, should ease your normal worries!
2. Q: Should Epidural Steroid Injections be the first and last form of treatment for my pain?

A: This is a tough question to answer, as every patient’s condition and pain is different than the next. Depending on the severity of your pain, your doctor may recommend an Epidural Steroid Injection after doing a full work up including diagnostic studies. Your doctor may recommend an Epidural Steroid Injection to provide relief for you to then be able to work with a team of Physical Therapists and Rehabilitation Specialists, to optimize your results and prevent the return of your pain.
3. Q: Does getting an Epidural Steroid Injection mean I will not need surgery?

A: Epidural Steroid Injections are non-surgical procedures. The goal of most injections is to in fact, avoid surgery. While even the best physician cannot promise that your condition will not require surgery in the future, Epidural Steroid Injections are surely a step in the direction of avoiding surgery.

4. Q: What should I expect before, during and after my Epidural Steroid Injection procedure?

A: On the day of your Epidural Steroid Injection, your doctor and their nurses may offer you intravenous sedation or a local anesthetic is applied to a region of the surrounding area being injected. Once you are comfortable, your doctor will use an x-ray guided needle to direct the injection into place.

What is the actual Epidural Steroid Injection made of, you ask? The epidural Steroid Injection is a combination of anesthetic and cortisone steroid solution, which is an anti-inflammatory to decrease inflammation of the nerves and decrease swelling, pressure and relieve pain.

5. Q: Are Epidural steroid injections the right procedure for me?

A: Not necessarily, Epidural Steroid Injections are safe but may not be the appropriate treatment for you and your pain. Come and see one of our highly trained specialists at New York Pain Care who can diagnose and treat your condition to get you on the road to living a pain free life! Request an appointment now on ZocDoc or call us at 212-604-1300.

 Learn about Epidural Steroid Injections at New York Pain Care

Friday, May 2, 2014

Understanding Osteoarthritis

Understanding Osteoarthritis - In Honor of Arthritis Awareness Month

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. Commonly referred to as “arthritis”, it is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

Osteoarthritis is a condition that can be aggravated by increasing age, obesity, previous trauma, overuse, and genetics. Osteoarthritis is a condition that is growing and according to the CDC by 2030, approximately 67 million Americans will have Osteoarthritis. The condition is poorly understood and requires further research to aid the prevention and treatment of the disease. Arthritis is a common cause of disability in the United States.

Common symptoms of Osteoarthritis are:
  • joint related pain
  • difficulty with motion of a joint
  • morning stiffness
  • pain that is worse after an activity or towards the end of the day

Many different triggers can aggravate symptoms such as activity, diet, flu-like symptoms, etc.

The joints that are commonly affected include: hands, feet, spine, and weight bearing joints such as the hips and knees. Osteoarthritis can reduce your ability to perform activities of daily living whether it is walking, standing, running or as commonplace as dressing ourselves or grooming.

The diagnosis of Osteoarthritis can be evaluated by your physician with a comprehensive history and physical examination. Routinely, X-rays are performed to confirm the physician’s findings and to evaluate for other conditions. Treatment for Osteoarthritis is dedicated to lifestyle modification, pain relief, and physical exercise. For education on what exercises are most appropriate, physical therapy or occupational therapy are prescribed.

Osteoarthritis a very common disorder that is not fully understood. At present day the most effective treatment is education and prevention. Research would be able to provide appropriate treatments that could alleviate the millions of people suffering from this condition.

Find relief from your Osteoarthritis pain by calling us at New York Pain Care today at (212) 604-1300 or book online here.

With Top Pain Management Specialists like Dr. Mehta, New York Pain Care offers the most comprehensive Osteoarthritis treatment options in Manhattan. 

Vivek Mehta, MD New York Pain Care Doctor

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Finding The Right Doctor to Treat Your Chronic Pain Condition

Finding The Right Doctor to Treat Your Chronic Pain Condition

Everyone who has experienced chronic pain knows what a severe impact it can have on your life. From disturbed sleep to trouble walking, climbing stairs or even sitting, chronic pain needs to be treated as early as possible. There are so many pain management doctors that the process of finding the right one for you may seem overwhelming; how do you choose?

Choosing Based on the Network
Many people turn to their health insurance company for listings of specialists in their network. This is a good place to start, and many pain management doctors accept a wide range of insurance plans. However, try not to select a doctor only because they are covered by your insurance. New York Pain Care accepts PPO and POS Insurance Plans.

Getting Recommendations
Asking friends or family members for a recommendation is another common first step for people seeking a medical professional. Be aware, though, that the doctor who treated your friend may not be the right fit for you. A pain management doctor should not only meet high professional standards, but should be someone who listens to you and respects your point of view.

Looking at Credentials
Consider the highly qualified doctors at New York Pain Care. Located near Union Square, New York Pain Care includes Interventional Spine Specialists such as Dr. Vivek Mehta, a Board Certified physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation who completed his residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. Dr. Mehta successfully completed a fellowship in Interventional Spine Medicine at The Orthopedic Clinic Association in Phoenix, Arizona and is a member of multiple professional associations, including the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine and the North American Spine Society. 

Finding Someone with Experience
Of course, a doctor’s credentials are not the only thing you should consider. A doctor should have experience that is relevant to you. Dr. Mehta, for example, is experienced in treating athletes. He has been a doctor for teams from high school to professional levels in a wide range of sports, including football, basketball, hockey, and baseball. He was also a Spine Consultant for the NBA Phoenix Suns, WNBA Phoenix Mercury, and Arizona State University Football team.

Research our doctors and talk to them to make sure you are comfortable. Answers to questions such as “How do you integrate a patient’s preferences into a treatment plan?” and “What is your approach to prescribing pain medication?” should give you a good sense of a doctor’s treatment philosophy. 

With professionals like Dr. Mehta, New York Pain Care offers the best treatment in the area. Call us today with any questions or concerns or to schedule an appointment at (212) 604-1300 or book online here.

Check out this Press Release recently published on Dr. Vivek Mehta.