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  • Muscle Strain & Treatment

    There are more than 600 muscles in your body to help you breathe, move, lift and grab things, and pump blood through your body. So it’s very common that these muscles can become sore after strenuous work or exercising. Although soreness can be expected, a muscle strain, pull or tear is more serious and may require several days of rest or even medical attention.

    This can be done by warming up before exercise. Start your workout with some light walking or jogging. Flexibility is also important in preventing injury and re-injury of an already strained muscle. You can increase flexibility with stretching.

    The recovery period following your workout is just as important as the workout itself. That’s because your body needs ample time to rest in order to repair muscles, replenish energy, and reduce post-workout soreness.

    Symptoms of Muscle Strain:
    - Weakness in your muscles or tendons
    - Pain in a specific muscle or tendon when its used
    - Swelling or bruising at the site of an injury
    - Inability to use the muscle at all
    - Muscle pain while resting

    Seek medical care if you cannot walk, if there is significant swelling, pain, fever, or open wound.

    Treatment of Muscle Strain:
    - Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as naproxen or ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling. Always read the label warnings or consult with your doctor before taking any new medications.
    - Use the R.I.C.E. Method:
    - Rest the strained muscle. Avoid activities that are causing the pain.
    - Ice the muscle. Use an cold compress on the affected area for 20 minutes on every hour while awake.
    - Compression gently applied to the muscle. Use an elastic bandage to provide support
    and decrease swelling.
    - Elevate the injured area to decrease swelling.
    - Stretching: Don’t keep the strained muscle still too long. Start with light stretching to slowly increase your activity so that the muscle doesn’t become stiff.

    Resources:
    http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/muscle-strain

    http://www.hopkinsortho.org/muscle_strain.html

    http://www.healthline.com/health/strains#Overview1

    http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Kids/healthy_muscles.asp

  • Benefits of Compression Clothing

    Does compression clothing work?

    That really depends on your definition of work. Will compression clothing magically make you the next Peyton Manning? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t help your performance and help you recover faster after a minor injury.

    The research behind compression clothing has shown that placing balanced pressure to specific parts of the body can increase blood circulation and oxygen delivery, creating enhanced muscle performance.

    Specific Benefits of Compression: 

    - Skin temperature increases slightly, enhancing warm-up exercises.

    - Enhanced proprioception helps improve leg strength and vertical jump.

    - An increase in venous return enhances blood circulation.

    - Reduced muscle movement provide stability to the muscle prevent injury.

    - Aids in the removal of blood lactate to the muscles, making for a faster and easier recovery after exercise or injury.

    - Effects of muscle soreness after exercise are reduced, alleviating swelling and inflammation.

    - Muscle support is increased, therefore increasing muscle performance.

    When To Wear Compression?

    Compression clothing can be worn to enhance performance during physical activity, including running,  cycling and competitive sports. It also helps protect the skin from rashesWearing compression gear after a minor injury or torn muscle may aid in recovery time. Benefits can also be seen without strenuous activity if you experience long periods of standing, immobility, or strain.

    Types of Compression Clothing:

    Upper Body
    Compression shirts are good during and after sports or weight training for reducing inflammation and swelling in the muscles.

    Quads & Glutes
    These parts of the body can help circulate blood back to the heart. Compression shorts help circulating and blood flow to the legs, as well as reduce fatigue.

    Calves & Ankles
    Ankles and calves can become swollen after being sedentary for a long time, after a long run or workout. Compression socks and stockings help reduce the risk of blood clots forming in the leg.

     Compression Short by McDavid Compression Pant by McDavid

    Compression Calf Sleeve by McDavid

    Compression Shirt by McDavid

    Resources:

    http://www.mensjournal.com/gear/sports/the-compression-sportswear-craze-20131108#ixzz3EqotyXb9

    http://runnersconnect.net/running-tips/benefits-of-compression-clothing-for-runners/

    http://www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au/fitness/workouts/268-compressed-for-success

    http://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/the-physiology-behind-compression-clothes

  • Football Injury & Prevention

    It’s Fall and that means Football! Unfortunately, Football is a dangerous sport and can cause intense strain to the muscles and ligaments of the body. The most common injuries reported are in the legs, knees or ankle. This is a result of the frequency of the start and stop movements required of the sport. Statistics have shown that more than 85% of high school football players will experience some type of football injury during their career.

    Common Football Injuries

     

    ACL Injury - A direct front or rear hit can cause the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee to tear or become damaged.

    MCL Injury - A side hit can cause a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament on the inside of the knee.

    Torn meniscus - Aggressive pivoting, sudden stops and turns, kneeling, and even squatting can cause the meniscus cartilage to tear.

    Ankle Sprains and Strains - Pressure to the ligaments, along with the aggression of the game cause soft tissue damage leading to sprains and strains.

    Muscle Contusion - A bruise so deep and large that it can impair muscle function. It’s most often seen in the thigh area.

    Torn Hamstring - Quick start and stop movements can cause the hamstring muscles to tear.

    Shoulder Tendinitis - Repetitive throwing can cause inflammation of the tendons in the shoulder.

    Prevention of Football Injuries

     

    Pre-season Wellness Evaluation - All players should have a pre-season physical to determine their readiness to play and uncover any condition that may limit participation or cause injury.

    Stay Fit - Maintain good health by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly in the football off-season. A combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching exercises will reduce risk of injuries.

    Warm Up - Stretching and warming up your body gradually before a practice or game will aid in preventing injuries. Specific areas like the hips, knees, thighs and calves should be .

    Cool down - Stretching and cooling down is equally as important at the end of practice, as it is at the beginning. Stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and keep muscles flexible.

    Hydrate - Dehydration can hurt performance and cause cramping. Try to drink at least 24 ounces of water or hydrating beverage 2 hours before activity. While in practice or during a game, consume 8 oz. of water every 20 minutes.

    Wear Proper Equipment - The game of football requires several types of protective equipment. Make sure all equipment is fitted properly before playing the game.

    Proper Football Equipment

     

    Helmet
    Chin Strap
    Mouth Guard
    Jockstrap

     

    football girdle mcdavid

    Football Girdles

     

     

    Shoulder & Chest Pads/Protection

    shoulder chest protection mcdavid

     

     

     Knee, Elbow, Shin Pads

    McDavid Knee Elbow Shin Pads

     

     

     

    Compression Sleeves

    McDavid Compression Sleeve

     

     

     

     

    Resources:

    American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00549

    UNCC National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. http://nccsir.unc.edu/

    Sport Safety International. http://www.sportsafetyinternational.org/new-ncaa-guidelines-aim-improve-safety/

    Sports Medicine About.com.   http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/footballinjuries/a/footballinjury.htm

  • Foot Drop Exercises

     

    If you find yourself all the sudden having loss of strength, coordination and sensation in your foot, you may be experiencing symptoms of foot drop. Its not a disease, but it could be a sign of an underlying cause. Foot drop is paralysis of the muscles responsible for helping lift the front part of the foot.

    Causes of Foot Drop:

    - Nerve Injury: Perineal nerve injury, Compression of the nerves of the lower spine, damage to nerves during a hip or knee replacement surgery.

    - Brain or Spinal Disorder: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Cerebral Palsy,

    - Muscle or Nerve Disorder: Muscular dystrophy, Polio, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

    Treatment of Foot Drop:

    The treatment method of the condition will depend on what caused the Foot Drop. Early treatment seems to work the best, including:

    - Orthotics
    - Foot Brace
    - Physical Therapy
    - Surgery

    Step Smart Foot Drop Brace by Step-Smart

    Step Smart Foot Drop Brace by Step-Smart

    Early treatment has been show to be the best in reducing foot drop symptoms not caused by a permanent disorder. Exercises that help strengthen the foot and increase flexibility may prevent further treatment.

    Foot Drop Exercises:

    - Ankle Rotation: sitting down with your back straight, raise one leg and slightly roll it inward and hold, then slowly turn it outward and hold. Repeat up to six times, alternating legs.

    Heel-Toe Rock: stand with your feet hip-width apart. Rock back and forth from your toes to your heels. Hold for 5 seconds on each up to six times.

    - Foot Stretch: sit with both feet straight out, loop a towel over the top of the affected foot and extend the toes. Slowly pull the towel toward your chest for 5 seconds. Repeat up to six times.

    - Cycling: the motion of the foot while cycling is helpful and can be done while on a stationary bike, road bike or lying on your back with your feet in the air.

    Resources:

    http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/foot-drop-causes-symptoms-treatments

    http://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/0315/p1489.html

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1170097-clinical

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/foot-drop/basics/risk-factors/con-20032918

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/177388-foot-drop-exercises/

  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain: Causes, Diagnosis & Therapy

    Have you ever felt pain around your lower back where the pelvic bone meets the spine? Its a type of pain that you can feel in the nerves, joint and even ligaments. If so, you may be feeling Sacroiliac Joint Pain. While its one of the most common forms of lower back pain, it also mimics the symptoms of many other back conditions. Please consult a physician about your specific condition.

    There are two Sacroiliac Joints on either end of the spine. They have several nerve endings, causing pain in this area to be extremely sensitive. Nerves are what signal the brain when there is pain or disruption in the body.

    There are several causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain:

    - Osteoarthritis

    - Infection of the joint

    - Stress Fracture

    - Pregnancy pressure on the joint

    - Inflammation of the joint

    - Trauma to the lower back

    - Moving or Twisting the wrong way

    - Too much movement (hyper-mobility)

    - Too little movement (hypo-mobility)

    Diagnosis of Sacroiliac Joint Pain can be difficult due to its broad symptoms and causes. It is often misdiagnosed as hip bursitis, muscle or nerve spasms, and other back conditions. A physical exam by a certified  specialist and some tests are often required. Tests can range from x-ray and CT Scan to MRI and bone scan.

    Treatment is given based on specific diagnosis of the cause and severity of the Sacroiliac Joint Pain. Some treatment methods may include:

    - Steroid injections in the joint

    - Muscle Relaxers

    - Prescription Medication

    - Acetaminophen or NSAIDs

    Physical Therapy & Stretching Exercises:

    A single knee to chest stretch: Gently pump the knee three to four times as you bring each leg towards the chest. Complete 10 repetitions on each leg.

    Press-up stretch: Lay flat on your stomach with your chest down and back up, press up on your hands while keeping the pelvis on the floor. Keep the lower back and buttocks relaxed. Gradually work from 5 seconds, up to 30 seconds per repetition. Complete 10 repetitions.

    Lumbar rotation stretch: Lay on your back with both knees bent, while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Rock your knees from side to side. Keep the lower spine as still as possible. Complete move for 30 seconds.

    Hot and Cold Therapy: At different stages of Sacroiliac Joint Pain

    Supports and Braces:

    A belt or brace designed for SI Joint Pain can help stabilize and reduce the stress to the sacroiliac joint. Most look like an over-sized belt that fits tightly around the waist. Your physician will figure out a regimen that is right for you. However, average treatment is 24 hour use for 10 days and then a gradual reduction of wear over a six to eight week period.

    OPPO Sacro Brace OPPO Sacro Brace

    Resources:

    https://www.treatingpain.com/conditions/sacroiliac-si-joint-dysfunction

    http://medicine.med.nyu.edu/conditions-we-treat/conditions/sacroiliac-joint-pain#symptoms

    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sacroiliac-joint-dysfunction/accurate-diagnosis-sacroiliac-joint-dysfunction

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