Men’s Health Month: Understanding and Preventing Orthopedic Conditions in Men

Posted on: June 4th, 2024 by Ortho Illinois

June is Men’s Health Month, a great time to raise awareness for orthopedic conditions that impact men. By understanding these conditions and learning how to prevent them, men can take charge of their health and enjoy more active, pain-free lives.

From the rigors of physically demanding activities and high-impact sports to the stress patterns caused by greater muscle mass, men’s lifestyles play a significant role in having a higher risk for some injuries and conditions. Add to this the detrimental effects of smoking, excessive drinking, and postponing medical help, and the risk increases even more.

Common Orthopedic Conditions in Men

Hand fractures: Men are 58% more likely to break their fingers and 76% more likely than women to break the bones in the hand. These injuries often occur from sports, manual labor, or accidents. Simple falls, catching a ball incorrectly, or using heavy machinery can all contribute to these painful fractures, which require proper treatment to heal correctly.

High-impact sports injuries: Men who play high-impact sports like football, basketball, and soccer can experience a range of injuries from fractures to severe sprains and ligament tears. The intense physical contact and rapid movements involved in these sports put tremendous stress on the body, increasing the likelihood of significant injuries.

Soft tissue trauma: Men are more prone to soft tissue injuries, such as Achilles tendon injuries. These often result from sudden, intense physical activity or overuse. Activities like running, jumping, and quick directional changes can strain the tendons and muscles, leading to painful tears or inflammation that can sideline even the most active individuals.

Secondary osteoporosis: This type of osteoporosis is caused by lifestyle factors, diseases, or medications. Men develop secondary osteoporosis due to habits like alcohol abuse, smoking, and the use of medications such as steroids. This condition weakens bones, making them more susceptible to fractures, and highlights the importance of healthy lifestyle choices.

Osteoarthritis: As men age, they can develop osteoarthritis, which causes joint pain and stiffness due to the wear and tear of cartilage. This degenerative condition can affect any joint but commonly impacts the knees, hips, and hands, leading to decreased mobility and quality of life.

Preventative Measures for Men

  • Exercise regularly: Engage in regular physical activities that include strength training, flexibility exercises, and cardio. This helps maintain a healthy weight and strengthens muscles and bones.
  • Practice good posture: Good posture reduces strain on your joints and spine. For example, when lifting heavy objects, use your legs instead of your back to avoid injury.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Extra weight puts additional stress on your joints, especially your hips and knees. Eating a balanced diet and staying active can help you manage your weight.
  • Wear protective gear: Always wear appropriate protective gear when playing sports or engaging in activities that could cause injury.
  • Seek early treatment: Don’t ignore pain or discomfort. Early treatment can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider can help catch and address issues early.

By understanding these common orthopedic conditions and taking steps to prevent them, men can enjoy healthier, more active lives. This Men’s Health Month, make a commitment to take care of your bones and joints, and encourage the men in your life to do the same.

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