When is the pain too much?

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Lorinda wants to help you with pain management.

Pain is a part of life. No one should suffer in silence and solitude. Getting help is the first step toward a life with less pain. Recently, I sat down and thought about my personal and professional feeling on the topic of pain regarding orthopedic health. After some deliberation, I put my thoughts down on paper.

  1. Chronic pain

Ongoing pain can be stifling. If you find yourself suffering from the same old pain every single day, it might be time to make the call. Check-in with yourself. Is your knee pulsing? Do you find it hard to move in certain ways? Don’t suffer in silence. Meet with a professional and figure out what’s going on.

  1. Activity loss

As we get older, we often experience a loss in mobility, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re experiencing trouble gardening or keeping up with the grandkids like you once did, consider seeking orthopedic consultation.

  1. Limited range of motion

Our joints take a lot of abuse. It’s important to keep an eye on our joints as they move. If things don’t feel the same, it’s probably a red flag. This change may be slow and gradual. Aches, pains, and problems doing household chores could be an indicator of joint issues.

  1. Difficulty standing and walking

We definitely take some movements for granted. Every day, most of us get out of bed knowing we will be unhindered. Unfortunately, for some, the simple act of standing can be painful. Struggles with standing and walking shouldn’t be taken lightly. This struggle could be an indicator of more problems to come and should be immediately addressed.

  1. Sprains and soft tissue injuries

Working hard and playing hard sometimes comes with consequences. Sprains are a problem, but in many cases, they don’t require immediate orthopedic intervention. However, if you experience a sprain that doesn’t improve in 48 hours and you’ve tried applying ice and elevation, please schedule an appointment. This kind of pain should be addressed by a professional.

Pain can sometimes be alleviated with simple stretching.

My injuries

I’ve had orthopedic injuries just like anyone else. I ran track in high school and strained my hamstring tendon. My parents got me into physical therapy right away to work on stretching my hamstrings which prevented further injury. I’ve also recovered from other injuries affecting my back. For me, consultation, stretching, yoga, and strength training put me on the road to recovery. During an initial appointment with me, we will work together to find what works best for you.

What to expect during your first visit

A first appointment can be anxiety-inducing, but it doesn’t have to be. In many ways, meeting with Ben Robertson, M.D., or myself isn’t all that different from a regular check-up. During a visit with Dr. Robertson or myself, you should expect us to listen to your story. Getting your perspective on what brought you to us is of great importance. Additionally, we need to know what treatments you have received. We will perform an exam and show you related radiologic images. We will discuss treatment options and outcomes so you can make an informed decision about your care.

About the guest author: Lorinda Zigan, PA-CLorinda Zigan, PA-C, is an expert in pain management and helping people live fuller lives.

Lorinda is passionate about pain management and orthopedic care. Throughout her career, she has helped many people live fuller lives with less pain. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family. She also enjoys tending to her garden and horses.

If you’re experiencing chronic pain, please consider scheduling an appointment with the Orthopedics team at Tri-County Health Care. Call 218-631-3510 to schedule today!

Juvenile Arthritis Month: Donate today!

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An unfortunate side effect of old age is arthritis or a stiffening of the joints. Pain can range from mild problems to chronic pain. Often, young people look on with sympathy but breathe a sigh of relief, glad they won’t have to experience that pain until later in life. What if you had to deal with that pain as a child? Do you think you would be the same person? Every day thousands of children wake up to swollen joints and pain, unable to play, participate in sports, and do all the things kids love to do. July is a time to remember that pain and intensify the search for a cure for juvenile arthritis.

Signs and symptoms

According to the Arthritis National Research Foundation, 300,000 children have arthritis in the United States. The ANRF is urging parents to educate themselves on the disease and spread awareness. Additionally, it’s also important to be mindful of the signs and symptoms. Parents should look for:

  • Difficulty with daily activitiesParents should be on the lookout for typical juvenile arthritis symptoms.
  • Abnormal Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Stiffness
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Red eyes


Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease affecting children from 6 months to 18 years of age. An autoimmune disease refers to an illness generated from the body’s own immune system attacking itself. This is the main distinction between juvenile arthritis and more commonly knows forms of the disease. Symptoms and pain are carried into young adulthood.

Donate today!

Tri-County Health Care is equipped with providers that can help with this unique condition. Tri-County Health Care has several staff members trained in pediatric medicine and an orthopedic department that regularly treats arthritic conditions. Additionally, ANRF is always in need of donations to help in the fight against juvenile arthritis. To donate, visit https://curearthritis.org/donation/. These donations fund research and treatment methods.

Honesty and Healthcare: A letter from Joanne Flom

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Going to the hospital or clinic can be anxiety-inducing, especially as we get older. The knees start to get a little sore, our bones creak and crack, things just don’t work as well as they used to. This realization keeps many from visiting the doctor’s office. However, old age didn’t stop Joanne Flom from seeking help. She looks for honesty and good care and she found it close to home.

Knee pain is a common issue faced by many seniors

Royal treatment

Joanne is 81 and frequently experiences issues associated with old age. Many seniors simply learn to live with medical issues and chronic pain, but not Joanne, she doesn’t need to. She found Ben Robertson, M.D. who has played a pivotal role in her health and wellbeing.

Dr. Robertson is an orthopedic surgeon with Tri Orthopedics and is well known across the region for his expertise in everything involving muscles, joints and bones. During a presentation by Dr. Robertson, he suggested Joanne try a new kind of shoes to help with the pain. It was a simple solution but it turned out to be a pain-relieving miracle. Ever since then, she has met with Dr. Robertson for her all her orthopedic needs.

In a special letter sent to Tri-County Health Care, Joanne expressed her gratitude for all staff members involved in her recent appointment.

“This is the second time I’ve come to Wadena to see him. My treatment yesterday was perfect. I had to wait several days to see him but when the day finally arrived, I was treated like a queen.”

No more pain

Joanne had been suffering from some fairly intense knee pain. After her arrival, it was evident that she was struggling to make her way to the entrance of the clinic. Joanne was swiftly assisted by a patient escort. He got her a wheelchair and made polite conversation all the way to her appointment.

The appointment went swimmingly. Dr. Robertson and his staff politely conducted the examination with poise and speed. After examining her knees and x-rays, Joanne received two shots and was on her way.

Within a day, Joanne’s swollen knees were feeling much better. She had been in so much pain that she was unable to sleep. One of her knees was so inflamed that it had swollen several inches. After her consultation and injections, the swelling was gone and she slept ten hours straight!

Legacy of great care

“I would recommend your staff to anyone in need, I’ve had a good number of dealings with your staff. Other members of my family have had good experiences. They were all handled perfectly. The honesty is wonderful and the care is good,” Joanne explained in her letter. To Joanne, honesty is the most important aspect of care.

Dr. Robertson and his staff really enjoy helping seniors

Joanne has a storied history with Tri-County Health Care. Every family member that has passed through the clinic or hospital has recognized the top-notch focused care. Her father had been hospitalized for two months and she recalled him also feeling like royalty throughout his stay.

Joanne wanted to spread her message far and wide about Tri-County Health Care. She ended her letter by simply thanking Dr. Robertson and all members of staff for making her visit extra special.

Whether you’re feeling day-to-day aches and pains or experience serious issues, the Tri Orthopedics team is available to serve you. Please call 218-631-3510 to schedule an appointment.

Physical therapy goes straight to the source of pain

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By Jessica Sly, Communications Specialist


When physical therapists approach a problem, they go straight to the source. By doing this, they don’t just treat the current symptom. They balance the entire body and, sometimes, can completely restore function. Two Henning residents discovered the life-changing effects of this after visiting Erin Boesl, PT, DPT, at Henning Physical Therapy Clinic.


Jessica StregePhysical therapy patient receiving treatment.

It was a seemingly ordinary Monday morning when Jessica Strege woke up with a pinched nerve in her neck and left shoulder. She endured the pain for a couple weeks, thinking it would go away on its own, but it soon progressed to numbness and pain in her hand. She called her provider, Amy Severson at the Henning clinic, who referred her to physical therapy.

“Dad and Mom had both seen Erin, and she just did wonders for them,” Jessica said. “So when my arm wouldn’t heal on its own, my dad especially said, ‘You need to go see her.’ My dad is like Erin’s biggest fan.”

After listening to Jessica’s history, Erin started her on postural restoration exercises, which revealed that most of her issues were indeed from poor posture.

When someone has poor posture, their muscles have to compensate in unnatural ways and thus cause problems. Erin helped retrain Jessica’s muscles to have good posture. “She made us blow into balloons,” Jessica recalled. “You’re lying down and you have to concentrate on your breathing and what muscles you’re holding and how your legs are positioned.”

As they worked on Jessica’s posture, they stumbled upon other unresolved pain, and they found that by using physical therapy to treat the problems at the core, many were improved.

“It went from her working on my neck and shoulder to addressing issues that I had been dealing with for probably the last 15 years with my hips and pelvis and my low back,” Jessica said. “It all just kind of fell into place. As soon as one thing was corrected, it helped another thing and another.”

When she finished treatment, Jessica took home the knowledge and exercises to nip poor posture in the bud.

“I don’t have pain every day anymore and I did before. Even before the pinched nerve, my back was just painful every day,” she said. “Whenever I start to feel like something’s out of whack, I go back to some of the things I learned.”


Physical therapy patient, Mary Trana, works with Erin Boesel on exercises to relieve her pain.Mary Trana

During a time in her life when she was under significant stress, Mary Trana’s neck stiffened and filled with pain. She sought the advice of a doctor, who told her that physical therapy was her best option. A Henning resident, Mary was pleased to see there were treatment options nearby.

Erin identified the problem and helped Mary ease into exercises and learn how her body functions and moves. It took an entire year for Mary’s neck to regain mobility. “I was just so impressed with how Erin does physical therapy,” she said. “She’s very caring, and she looked at the whole body. The assessment when I came in was head to toe.”

However, about a year later, Mary’s back, which had been plagued by chronic pain since the 1990s, began to get worse. So she asked her doctor to refer her back to Erin. This time, they found that her gluteus muscles weren’t functioning correctly, so they worked together to get them back to their optimal condition. Soon, Mary found the physical balance that she had been missing for so long.

Erin also passed along skills so that Mary could do self-care at home. She tries to complete exercises a couple times a week and can tell if it needs a little extra care.

“For the first time in years, I feel balanced. She just seemed to find the key that helped it,” Mary said. “It still bothers me, but now I feel like I can keep it under control and not live on Ibuprofen all the time. I can’t emphasize enough how much it’s changed my life.”