Return2Fitness

  • What is a Clavicle Fracture?

    A clavicle fracture is otherwise known as a 'broken collarbone'. This is a very common type of fracture that happens to people of all ages.

    Anatomy
    The collarbone lies between the rib cage and the shoulder blade. It connects the arm to the torso. The collarbone sits atop some important nerves and blood vessels. Even so, these aren't usually injured when the clavicle breaks.

    Description
    The collarbone is long, and most fractures happen in its middle. Sometimes, the bone will fracture where it connects at the rib cage or shoulder blade.

    Causes
    Clavicle fractures are many times caused by a direct blow to the shoulder. This may occur when you fall on your shoulder or in a car accident. In babies, it can occur when they go through the birth canal.

    Symptoms
    These kind of fractures can be very painful. You may have trouble moving your arm. Some of its other symptoms can be:
    - Sagging shoulder
    - Trouble moving your arm because of the pain
    - A grinding feeling when you try to raise your arm
    - A bump over the fracture
    - Bruising or swelling over the collarbone

    Treatment
    The majority of clavicle fractures heal without surgery. The doctor may give you a sling to prevent movement. Some patients may take over-the-counter pain medicine, but sometimes they need a prescription pain medication. Rarely, people may have fractures near the shoulder end of the clavicle. These patients are referred to an orthopedic surgeon.

    Surgery
    Surgery is only required in about 5%-10% of all clavicle fractures. If any of the following conditions pertain, then surgery may be required:
    - Multiple fractures in one clavicle
    - Open fracture of the clavicle (It breaks through the skin)
    - Clavicle shortening due to bone loss
    - Clavicle break that involves vascular or nerve structures
    - Bone pieces fail to heal together
    - Fractures that interfere with normal joint function

    Rehab
    The general guidelines for clavicle fracture rehab include some pointers and some exercises to rehabilitate the area. Here are the pointers:
    - No arm raising - You shouldn't raise your injured arm above 70 degrees in any direction for four weeks after the injury.
    - No lifting - You shouldn't lift more than five pounds with the injured arm for six weeks after the injury.
    - Ice - You can ice the injured area for 15 minutes three times a day to aid in reducing the pain, swelling, and inflammation.
    - Use a sling - Use a sling on the injured arm for three to four weeks after the injury to support the clavicle.
    - Posture - When you use the sling, you need to maintain the proper bone and muscle alignment. You need to maintain good posture in the shoulder area. You cannot slouch.

    Exercises
    There's not enough room here to describe all of the exercises that you need to do. Your physical therapist is an expert in this area and will guide you through a complete regiment.

    A clavicle fracture can be very painful, and you need to consult with your doctor to determine what form of treatment is necessary. Surgery is rarely needed but in certain cases is a good idea. Generally speaking, the fracture will heal by itself. In this case, all you need to do is manage the pain and keep the area supported.

  • Top 3 Most Common Sports Injuries

     

    Injuries in major sports are an inevitable and fairly regular occurrence. While some are particular to certain sports, there are some injuries that affect athletes in general. With that said, the following are the 3 most common sports injuries as well as how and why they happen.

    Knee Injuries

    A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL tear, is a potential injury for many types of athletes, including those who play tennis, football, soccer, basketball and those who ski. The ACL runs diagonally across the front of the knee. It connects the thigh bone and the shin bone while preventing the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur.

    ACL tears typically occur as a result of a sudden pivoting motion with excessive force and power behind it, such as when a tennis player quickly shifts from side to side across a court or a basketball player maneuvers around opposing team members. Tears are either partial or complete, depending on the stress the ACL receives.

    Pain, instability and swelling of the knee are symptoms of an ACL tear, which's treatable with either physical therapy, surgery or both.

    Groin Strains

    Groin strain, also known as pulled groin or groin pull, is a mild to severe injury affecting muscles of the inner thigh. The injury refers to tears in the abductor muscles, those on the inner thigh responsible for pulling the limbs toward the mid line of the body or of closing the legs. This injury occurs frequently in football, baseball, soccer and hockey.

    Groin strains can occur in one of two ways, either through jumping motions or rapid movements from side to side. During such compound movements, muscles may contract too quickly or rupture beneath the encumbrance of too much strain. Consequently, even a fitness enthusiast squatting heavy weight too quickly or without proper form is at risk of a groin pull.

    Most groin injuries heal with compression, ice and rest. Lots of rest. Returning to activity prematurely is the main cause of new aggravation for healing groin injuries, which in turn transforms groin pulls into long term problems. Consulting a doctor is only absolutely necessary if significant swelling follows a groin pull. Otherwise, most individuals with mild groin pulls can recover on their own.

    Ankle Sprains

    An ankle sprain is potentially the most common sports injury across all disciplines. Ankle sprains occur when the foot turns inward, usually during a series of complicated movements. The unexpected turn of the foot stresses or tears inherently weak ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

    Sports that involve jumping, such as basketball, volleyball, and tennis, tend to see a ankle sprains. Swelling, discomfort, pain and difficulty walking are symptoms of ankle sprains. Luckily, while this injury is often severe, most ankle sprains heal over time and don't require special medical attention. Higher ankle sprains tend to take longer to heal and should be seen by a doctor.

    With lower ankle sprains, it's advisable to do light exercises to maintain ankle strength, flexibility and to prevent future re-injury. A doctor or physical therapist can prescribe an appropriate regimen.

    Sports and injuries go hand in hand. Injuries are an inescapable price that athletes pay in order to perfect technique, battle worthy opponents and get stronger. Luckily, not all injuries are severe, and the most frequent often heal on their own and don't require specialized medical attention.

  • The Purposes Of Conducting Studies for Nerve Damage

    Nerve damage causes a variety of troublesome symptoms, but it can be difficult to accurately diagnose. If nerve damage is suspected, your doctor may decide to conduct nerve studies to properly diagnose and treat your condition.

    The Initial Appointment
    If you're experiencing unexplained tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, pain, or other symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system, your doctor will need to gather information. First, the doctor will ask you about the frequency, severity, and duration of the symptoms, as well as anything else of relevance to get the overall picture of how this is affecting you. Depending on your answers, the doctor may decide the next step is to test for nerve damage.

    Testing for Nerve Damage
    A nerve conduction study assesses how healthy your nerves are. When a nerve is damaged, it is less effective in sending and receiving electrical signals. A nerve conduction study tests the speed and strength of signals produced in the peripheral nervous system, the more than 100 billion nerve cells that enable your brain and spinal column to communicate with the rest of your body. There are two types of nerve signals: (a) motor signals, which coordinate muscle movements, and (b) sensory signals, which send information to the brain about the state of the body. The effectiveness of these signals is critical for a healthy body. For instance, if you touch something sharp, the affected sensory nerves send signals to the brain, which interprets these signals--“pain, possible damage, avoid”--and then sends a message back to the appropriate motor neurons to signal the muscles to move. All this happens lightning fast, of course, and a failure anywhere in the process can cause problems. By measuring the signals, a nerve conduction study can isolate where the signaling process breaks down.

    How Does a Nerve Conduction Study Work?
    The nerve conduction study, sometimes also referred to as a nerve conduction velocity test, measures how fast a nerve signal gets from point A to point B, usually using electrodes attached to the skin. A nerve is stimulated with a very low dose of electricity, and the speed with which the signal travels between electrodes is measured. The strength of the signal is measured as well. Each nerve is tested in this manner to isolate areas of weakness. An electromyography (EMG) is often done at the same time. An EMG assesses how well the muscles respond to to the nerve signals. This helps isolate whether the problem is in the nerves or the muscles.

    What Do the Results Mean?
    When the testing is complete, your doctor will study all the information that has been gathered to determine whether or not there is nerve damage and, if there is, the location and extent of the damage. Variations in the test results can point to a traumatic nerve injury, for instance, or a trapped nerve, or perhaps a chronic condition such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Once there is enough data to confirm a diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe a treatment plan, or course of action, to help eliminate or ease your symptoms. As you follow the treatment, your doctor will monitor how well your nerves are responding and adjust the treatment as needed.

    In summary, a nerve conduction study provides the detailed information your doctor needs to help you get better.

  • How Long Does It Take to Heal From a Torn Meniscus?

    Even as one of the most common knee injuries, a torn meniscus is nothing to scoff at. There are many ways a meniscus can be torn, but it's usually caused by quick, rotating movements like those needed to life heavy objects or play sports. It is extremely painful and can be very difficult to recover from. Sometimes, the tear only requires physical therapy and rest. Other times, it requires all this as well as knee surgery. The severity of the injury determines the recovery time.

    What's a Meniscus Tear?

    A meniscus tear is a split in the rubbery, C-shaped cushion on the outer edge of the knee. The primary function of the meniscus is to keep the knee stable and balance the weight evenly across it. When damaged, it is not only painful but also very difficult to stay balanced. The meniscus accumulates a fair amount of wear and tear with age, so it is more common as people grow older. However, wear and tear is not the only factor in a tear.

    It can also caused by a fast, jerking twist or turn. This often happens when one leg is planted and the other leg's knee is bent, which is why meniscus tears are common sports injuries. Previous injuries contribute to a greater chance of tears happening again.

    Types of Meniscus Tears

    The time it take for a meniscus to heal depends on the severity of the injury. Meniscus tears are usually divided into three groups, each of which has its own therapy requirements.

    Minor tears are the least serious. They include slight swelling and pain. It generally goes away on its own after two or three weeks. If you want to reduce the pain and aid the recovery process, you can take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, rest it, and ice it on and off every 20 minutes.

    Moderate tears require more patience and time. They cause pain in the sides or center of the knee and make the joint feel stiff. Swelling is quite obvious and gets worse with time, usually for two or three days after the initial injury. The motion of the knee is greatly limited and painful, especially while moving. The symptoms might go away by themselves but only with rest. If you continue to use it despite the injury, the pain may feel better for a time but return when it is overused. It can go on like this for years if it is left untreated. Treatment for moderate tears is usually up to the doctor's discretion, but can include long periods of rest, physical therapy, or (uncommonly) surgery. You will have to wear a knee brace. Recovery time ranges from two to three months for a full recovery.

    Severe tears are the worst types. Pieces of the meniscus come off and clog the joint space, causing extreme pain. The knee may feel unstable and you may not be able to move it. If you continue to use it, the knee may give way occasionally It's common to be unable to straighten it completely with a severe tear. It will feel extremely stiff and be very swollen. Severe tears almost always require surgery to remove the torn pieces of cartilage and then lots of rest. Your doctor will probably recommend physical therapy as well. Recovery time for severe tears begin with a minimum of three months and can extend up to as long as you doctor thinks you need.

    What to Expect During Rehab

    Rehabilitation can be strenuous, both physically and emotionally. When you are required to stay off of your feet for a few months it is easy to get discouraged. Physical therapy especially can be challenging. It usually requires some movements that will test the strength of the knee, which can be painful and scary to try. They will also usually give you strength training to do at home between therapy sessions, which can be difficult to keep up.

    Above all, a torn meniscus needs to be taken seriously. The knee is a large component of being able to walk. During recovery, take your time and be cautious. Even if it takes six months to fully recover, invest yourself fully into taking care of it. Yes, it can be scary, but the consequences of permanent damage are far scarier!

  • How Effective is Inversion Therapy?

     

    Inversion therapy is a process that places the body in an inverted position, which puts the head in a lower position than the heart, for numerous therapeutic benefits. Health research studies show that inversion therapy helps reverse the damaging effects of gravity to the body. It's known to be effective in treating back pain and load bearing joint problems. It also helps improve the nervous and immune systems, defy aging, reduce mental stress, and detoxify the body. Usually, inversion therapy involves using inversion chairs, inversion tables and gravity boots.

    Treats Back Pain
    In a gentle way, inversion therapy significantly helps decompress the vertebrae in our back, which allows any herniated discs to move back to their proper places. This removes the pressure from the pinched nerves, which in turn, eliminates or reduces back pain. Decompressing the vertebrae also increases blood circulation in the spine, which helps improve detoxification and oxygen flow. This helps speed up the healing process of damaged discs.

    Relieves Sciatic Nerve Pain
    Inversion therapy also helps relieve sciatic nerve pain, which can range from tingling sensation to chronic pain. Sciatic nerve pain travels from the lower back to the upper leg area. Through decompression of the vertebrae, the sciatic nerve is released, providing relief from pain. It also helps relax the ligaments and muscles surrounding the spinal canal. Moreover, it allows more nutrients, fluid, and oxygen to flow in the spinal canal, which in turn helps revitalize the discs.

    Helps Reverse Cervical Spinal Stenosis
    Cervical spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal cord has been narrowed down in the neck area. It's caused by thickened ligaments in the area and osteoarthritic damage in the cartilage. This causes neck pain or stiff neck that radiates throughout the shoulder and back areas. By undergoing inversion therapy every day, the effects of cervical spinal stenosis can be eased or even reversed in many cases. It gently stretches and relaxes the ligaments, which helps nourish the cartilage while flushing out the accumulated toxins.

    Eases Fibromyalgia Symptoms
    Studies show that people who suffer from fibromyalgia have higher than normal levels of cortisol or stress hormone and lower than normal levels of serotonin or feel good hormone. Inversion therapy positively affects the neurotransmitters and helps balance the hormones, which makes people feel happy and reduces sensitivity to pain. This helps ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It's also known that inverting enhances the functions of the endocrine system.

    Reduces Headaches
    Inverting reduces headaches in many ways. It helps realign the spine, which reduces muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder areas that usually cause headaches. It also relaxes the muscles in the neck, skull and face, which reduces tension headaches. It also decreases stress levels and increases circulation which helps reduce headaches.

    Improves Lung Function
    In a standing position, the blood typically pools in the lower lungs. However, in an inverted position, the pooled blood gets distributed to the upper lungs, which increases oxygen flow and improves overall lung function.

    The above-mentioned benefits are just a few of the many benefits of inversion therapy. Its efficiency in treating and easing various health issues has been proven and experienced by many people. Whether you are trying to find a treatment or just want to stay healthy, you will never go wrong with inversion therapy.

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