• The Teddy Bridgewater Knee Injury


    NFL coaches and players know that the ultimate success or failure of an entire season often hinges on the health of the quarterback. And in the brutal world of the NFL, a signal-caller’s knees, shoulders, back, and neck are at risk every time he drops back to pass. A trip to the playoffs and possible shot at the ever-elusive Super Bowl trophy can be gone in a single play. It’s even worse when a season-ending injury to your quarterback occurs on the practice field. Or in a non-contact drill. That’s exactly what recently happened to Minnesota Vikings quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, when his knee buckled on a routine play.

    Teddy’s Diagnosis
    The injury occurred about thirty minutes into practice on August 30th. Bridgewater, a second year player out of the University of Louisville, was leading the first team Viking offense through basic drills when misfortune struck. He planted his foot in the turf the wrong way and went down in a heap. The result was described later by the team as a dislocated knee, torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and “other structural damage.” The traumatic injury required a 911 call. Bridgewater was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center, the premier trauma center in the area.

    ACL Surgery
    Surgical repair of an ACL is a serious surgery but one with a good outcome most of the time. The complicating factor here is that Bridgewater is a pro football player who wants to return to a high level of athletic competition. Plus there’s the tricky bit that his knee actually dislocated. An ACL repair involves using a graft taken from another part of the patient’s body. Usual suspects are either a hamstring or knee cap tendon. If available, the doctor might choose to use a donor tendon that is actually a healthy ACL. Most ACL repairs can be accomplished through a series of small incisions, though sometimes require cutting the knee open. No details have been provided on the exact process Bridgewater will need.

    Return to Action
    While the Vikings have not yet ruled Bridgewater lost for the season, it seems to be a foregone conclusion. The time required to make a full recovery is liable to be significant. Players who have suffered similar injuries usually take at least a year before they are ready to get back into action. In Bridgewater’s favor is the fact that he is young, only 23-years-old, and, from all indications, is staying positive about the coming rehabilitation process. In short, the kid is ready to get to work so that he can play again.

    Unfortunately, catastrophic knee injuries are a common occurrence in the NFL. Some players are able to return to pre-injury form and some are not. The odds on whether Teddy Bridgewater is able to return to play quarterback are probably even at best. The good news is that a quarterback can play effectively without doing much running. Ask Tom Brady. Always in the discussion as the greatest quarterback ever, Brady is a statue in the pocket. You’re more likely to witness the birth of a three-headed goat than see the man pull the ball down and take off on foot. One problem. Bridgewater has been a dual threat to date. He may have to change that mindset when he returns and resign himself to the idea of being a pocket passer.

  • Diabetes Effects On Your Joints


    While joint pain might not be the first thing you associate with Type 2 Diabetes, the fact is that this condition can lead to aching, discomfort, and other musculoskeletal symptoms. Several diabetes complications and treatments can increase the risk for experiencing these symptoms. Here are some of the known causes of joint pain associated with diabetes.

    Neuropathic Arthropathy
    Also known as charcot joint, this deterioration of the joints is caused by nerve damage and often occurs in the feet. Neuropathic arthropathy is characterized by tingling and numbness in the affected joints as well as swelling or deformation. This condition can often be treated with weight-bearing exercise and orthotic supports.

    Diabetic Hand Syndrome
    This complication is caused by a thickening of the skin that eventually limits the movement of the fingers. Eventually, you may be unable to move your hands. However, good blood sugar control and physical therapy can often improve mobility. A similar complication called Dupuytren contracture tends to affect the palm, causing deformity of the entire hand. This usually occurs among people who have had diabetes or metabolic syndrome for a long time.

    People with type 1 diabetes are more susceptible to the thinning and weakening of the bones known as osteoporosis. If you're concerned about this comorbidity, preserve your bone density by eating healthy meals with plenty of calcium and Vitamin D as well as performing regular weight-bearing exercise.

    Medication Complications
    In 2015, the FDA advised that certain drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes can cause joint pain. The medications, which are part of a relatively new class called DPP-4 inhibitors, controls blood sugar by boosting the amount of insulin the body produces after a meal. Those who are prescribed DPP-4 inhibitors should tell a healthcare provider immediately if joint pain is present.

    Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
    People with diabetes are more than twice as likely as those without diabetes to develop both types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a common comorbidity among those who have type 2 diabetes and are obese. The extra weight puts pressure on the musculoskeletal system, causing pain, swelling, and symptoms in the joints. Controlling obesity often resolves these symptoms. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to also have rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy joints. Taking steps to reduce inflammation, including healthy diet and certain types of exercises, can help control the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

    Forestier Disease
    This complication is caused by hardening of tendons and ligaments that limits range of motion, often in the spine. Symptoms include stiffness, discomfort, and decreased mobility, but can often be resolved with over-the-counter pain relievers and other lifestyle remedies.

    Frozen Shoulder
    Though the cause of this condition, which limits mobility in one shoulder, is unknown, the presence of diabetes is a common risk factor.

    If you've been diagnosed with diabetes or are at high risk for developing this condition, talk with your doctor whenever you experience any unexplained symptoms, including joint and muscle pain.

  • 3 Signs You Might Be Experiencing Severe Back Problems


    Most of us occasionally hurt our back through heavy lifting, pulling, or straining ourselves through activities that our bodies are not equipped to handle. Some activities may be fun and relatively harmless, like bowling, but the wrong angle of rolling a ball down the lane could twist or hurt part of a person's back. Thankfully, most back pain clears up within a day or two on its own or with at-home treatment, like over-the-counter pain medication, cold compresses, or heating pads. However, sometimes we injure our back more than we realize, which may lead to serious back problems that become progressively more painful and harder to deal with. Here are three things to watch for that may indicate severe back problems.

    Unusual or Persistent Discomfort
    If you are experiencing difficulty in sitting comfortably, or are unable to comfortably lay on your back due to unusual discomfort, you may have major back problems. The pain may manifest on one side of your back, both, or the upper or lower part of your spine. Or it might be felt generally all over. If the pain cannot be effectively managed with home remedies within a day or two, then it's probably time to go to the ER or a local urgent care center for a detailed medical evaluation.

    Difficulty Walking
    Sometimes back pain can radiate down a person's leg, making it difficult to walk steadily or at all. The difficulty may be experienced as pain, although for some people it feels like more of a numb or tingling sensation. If you have injured your back lately or suspect you may have some problems with it, and you are having difficulty walking, it's important to stay off your feet for a couple of days to give the damaged area a chance to heal. Then see a doctor for follow up, as muscles and nerves may be involved, or perhaps discs in the back, any of which may require prompt treatment.

    Other Body Areas Affected
    Serious back problems may affect other parts of the body. For example, pain, numbness, or tingling may be felt in the back of the neck area. Sometimes these sensations will travel down one or both arms. In addition, a person may experience difficulty with vision or hearing, or perhaps start having unusual headaches. Any changes to physical function following a suspected back injury should be reported to the doctor.

    A person's back is literally the unifying framework of the human torso and limbs. When the back is injured, it can affect other parts of the body and a person's ability to function, and may require treatment like physical therapy. If the pain will not subside following a suspected back injury, or you are having other related symptoms, don't try to manage the problem on your own. Contact a doctor to find out more about your back issue and have it treated before it becomes even more serious, leading to ongoing discomfort and possibly missed work.

  • 3 Key Differences Between an Abdominal Pull and Tear


    Severe abdominal pain can be worrying, especially when the cause of the pain is not clear. This type of pain is indicative of both an abdominal pull or an abdominal tear, but the two are not always so easy to distinguish.

    An abdominal pull refers to a pulled muscle in your abdomen, typically caused by intense or excessive exercising. It is very common among athletes and other similarly active individuals. When a muscle is overstretched, it will forcefully contract, weakening it and making it more susceptible to injury.

    An abdominal tear occurs when internal organs or their surrounding connective tissue "tears" through a vulnerable (weakened) area of the abdominal muscles. The vulnerable area may be there from birth or develop later on in life, and tears under repetitive physical stress or pressure.

    Here are 3 key points to consider when determining the differences between an abdominal pull and an abdominal tear:

    Symptomatic Differences

    The best way to determine the cause of abdominal pain, as far as self-diagnosis goes, is to pay careful and close attention to your symptoms. Both abdominal pulls and abdominal tears will typically manifest as pain in the abdomen that worsens with movement, but being able to identify any and all other co-occurring symptoms can help clear up some of the confusion.

    With a particularly severe abdominal pull, you may notice some visible bruising on your abdomen. You may also experience sudden muscle spasms and/or cramping as well as general muscle weakness and stiffness.

    With an abdominal tear, you may notice a visible bulge in the abdomen and may experience an aching and/or burning sensation. Abdominal symptoms may also be accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting.

    Different Causes

    Another helpful way to determine the cause of your abdominal pain is to think back to what might have caused your symptoms in the first place. Both pulls and tears can be caused by improper heavy lifting and persistent cough or sneezing.

    An abdominal pull can also be caused by intense exercising and by sudden fast movements.

    An abdominal tear can be caused by increased pressure on the abdomen and by diarrhea or constipation.

    Treatments & Recovery Times

    Once you identify the cause of the abdominal pain, it's important that you treat the pain properly in order to heal. For both pulls and tears, it's recommended that you make use of an abdominal binder and also apply ice to the affected areas regularly.

    For an abdominal pull, it is recommended that, in addition to ice, you also apply heat, alternating between the two as needed. There are also over-the-counter drugs available to help manage the symptoms and start the healing process. The pain will decrease as the muscle heals, the recovery time ranging from a few days to a few months depending on the severity of the injury.

    Typically, an abdominal tear requires surgery in which the abdominal wall is surgically repaired. Recovery time is estimated to be about 3 weeks, though high-intensity activities should be avoided.

    These are few of the telling factors that, with some consideration, can help point you toward the cause of your abdominal pain. Keep in mind that if you are experiencing extreme, prolonged pain, it's highly recommended that you speak to your doctor about your symptoms.

  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

    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 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

    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.

    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.

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