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KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a medical question for Dr. John, send it to mornings@9news.com and make sure to have Ask Dr. John in the subject line.

Question #1

I'm a 16 year old and I have constant knee pain no matter what when I'm walking down the stairs or riding my bike to town. I'm not sure if it's runner's knee or growing pain. I do stay very active with sports and riding my bike everywhere. What should I do if it is runner's knee? Tyler

Answer

When it comes to joint pains our knees are the main joint we usually complain about. This is even true for children, especially as they get older and more involved in sports or other activities. Some of these pains can be due to what is frequently referred to as "growing pains". These pains happen as children get older and more active and usually involve the muscles and not so much the joints themselves. Although most might think growing fast causes this type of pain it's probably more the high level of activity, especially jumping, that children do causing this issue. But other, more serious conditions can cause also constant joint pain and need to be looked into before labeling it as a "growing" type pain. This includes conditions known as Osgood-Schlatter and Osteochondritis Dissecans. An examination of the knee and possibly an x-ray can help see if these or other issues could be causing the pain. Another condition, runner's knee, might be responsible. It's also called patellofemoral syndrome. This is usually a pain in the front of the knee near the knee cap. If it is runners knee than rest, ice, and stretching can help keep it under control, with rest being often the hardest, but most effective thing to do.

Question #2

What are the top diets and the worst diets?

Answer

This is sometimes a loaded question because it depends on what the diet is for. Is it for a healthy heart or to lose weight? The best diets combine both goals and that means making lifestyle changes and not just using the latest fad diet. As I often say, you can lose weight quickly with many of the diets that you see advertised or promoted. But you can't stick to these diets long term so that usually means gaining that weight, and maybe even more, back. So switching to one you can add to an otherwise healthy lifestyle and maintain for years to come is a very important part of a great diet. Although it's easy for me to sit here and say "eat healthy" that's sometimes easier said than done. But to help, US News and World Report looked at the most popular diets to see which would be healthiest. The winner was the DASH diet, with the TLC, Mayo Clinic and Mediterranean diet taking top spaces. On the other end of the spectrum, they felt the Dukan, Paleo and Raw Food Diet were the lowest ranking ones.

Question #3

Merri in Aurora wants to know more about homemade flavored waters that are all the rage this year. She wants to know if they are good for you beyond hydration...do they also provide nutrients from the fruits and veggies as they soak in the water?

Answer

Adding fruit to water can be a great and healthy summertime treat for all ages. Fruit slices can add vitamins and nutrients to plain ice and water and give it some extra flavoring, especially for those that don't necessarily like drinking water in the first place. And adding fruit to the water won't increase calories of the drink. Other additives, like powdered or liquid flavorings, can add either extra calories or artificial flavoring and sweeteners. So for a great, tasty and healthy summertime treat add fruit slices to a pitcher full of ice and water.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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