Get Back in the Game this Spring with Sports Safety Tips

From aaos.com  (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

Green fields and warmer temperatures herald a new spring sports season. But after months of limited or indoor activity, how do you return to the game you love without aches and pains?

Baseball, softball, golf and lacrosse are popular spring sports. And while outdoor exercise is advantageous, these activities do cause many injuries each year, especially among child and adolescent athletes. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2016:
·         There were more than 380,800 baseball-related injuries;
·         Approximately 303,000 softball-related injuries;
·         Nearly 114,200 golf-related injuries; and,
·         More than 49,000 Lacrosse injuries.

Baseball, softball, golf and lacrosse require repetitive motions of the arms, legs, ankles, wrists and elbows, without an ongoing, balanced fitness regimen, or a slow, steady return to a favorite sport, spring athletes may be placing themselves at greater risk for sprains, tears and overuse injuries.

Baseball/Softball

The most common baseball injuries include mild soft tissue injuries, such as muscle pulls (strains), ligament injuries (sprains), cuts, and contusions (bruises). Although baseball is a non-contact sport, most serious injuries are due to contact — either with a ball, bat, or another player. The repetitive nature of the sport can also cause overuse injuries to the shoulder and elbow.

  • Physical exam. A pre-season physical exam is important for both younger and older players. The goal is to prevent injuries and illnesses by identifying any potential medical problems. These may include asthma, allergies, heart, or orthopaedic conditions.
  • Warm up and stretch. Always take time to warm up and stretch.
    Warm up with some easy calisthenics, such as jumping jacks. Continue with walking or light running, such as running the bases. Gentle stretching, in particular your back, hamstrings, and shoulders, can be helpful. Your team coach or athletic trainer may provide a stretching program.

Golf
Most golf injuries are due to overuse from repeating the same swinging motion. Leading the list of injuries is golfer’s elbow, technically known as medial epicondylitis. Golfer’s elbow is an inflammation of the tendons that attach your forearm muscles to the inside of the bone at your elbow.One of the best ways to avoid elbow problems is to strengthen your forearm muscles and slow your golf swing so that there will be less shock in the arm when the ball is hit.The following simple exercises can help build up your forearm muscles and help you avoid golfer’s elbow. For best results, do these exercises during the off-season as well.

  • Squeeze a tennis ball. Squeezing an old tennis ball for 5 minutes at a time is a simple, effective exercise that will strengthen your forearm muscles.
  • Wrist curls. Use a lightweight dumbbell. Lower the weight to the end of your fingers, and then curl the weight back into your palm. Follow this by curling up your wrist to lift the weight an inch or two higher. Perform 10 repetitions with one arm, and then repeat with the other arm.
  • Reverse wrist curls. Use a lightweight dumbbell. Place your hands in front of you, palm side down. Using your wrist, lift the weight up and down. Hold the arm that you are exercising above your elbow with your other hand in order to limit the motion to your forearm. Perform 10 repetitions with one arm, and then repeat with the other arm.

Low back pain is another common complaint among golfers. It is often caused by a poor swing. The rotational stresses of the golf swing can place considerable pressure on the spine and muscles. Also, poor flexibility and muscle strength can cause minor strains in the back that can easily become severe injuries. Here are some simple exercises to help strengthen lower back muscles and prevent injuries.

  • Rowing. Firmly tie the ends of rubber tubing. Place it around an object that is shoulder height (like a door hinge). Standing with your arms straight out in front of you, grasp the tubing and slowly pull it toward your chest. Release slowly. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions, at least three times a week.
  • Pull downs. With the rubber tubing still around the door hinge, kneel and hold the tubing over your head. Pull down slowly toward your chest, bending your elbows as you lower your arms. Raise the tubing slowly over your head. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions, at least three times a week.
  • Yoga and Pilates. These exercise programs focus on trunk and abdomen strength, as well as flexibility.

Lacrosse 
Knee injuries, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, are the leading cause of lost game and practice time for lacrosse players. Ankle and knee ligament sprains, sustained while cutting and dodging, also are common in lacrosse. To avoid these injuries, players should be proactive in conditioning. Stay in shape year round. Prior to the lacrosse season, start a graduated program of plyometrics, neuromuscular training, conditioning, and strength training geared to lacrosse demands. Warm up properly by thoroughly stretching and gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts. Hydrate regularly and get plenty of rest.

Other tips 
With any outdoor sports be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. Also, check your equipment and inspect playing surfaces for needed repairs. Many injuries occur when players start a season on playing fields that are not in peak condition.

Suffering for Fashion: Rethink Shoe and Bag Choices

From aaos.com  (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

Our choice of shoes and bags may be placing unnecessary stress on joints and muscles that over time may cause serious pain or injury.  Large purses and briefcases can cause shoulder, neck, elbow and back pain, and wearing poorly fitting shoes, especially those with high heels, platforms or pointed toes, can result in bunions, hammer toes, corns, knee and lower back pain and other conditions.

Fortunately, being fashionable doesn’t have to hurt. Consider the following tips for avoiding shoe and bag related pain and injury:

Rethink your purse, briefcase or backpack

  • Pack lightly and only carry what is essential for the day. Do you really need to bring your laptop computer to and from work every night? Is it essential to transport a hard-copy of that 300-page report? Do you need to carry a large purse AND a briefcase? In general, your handbag should not exceed 10 percent of your body weight. This means a 150 pound person should carry no more than 15 pounds.
  • When packing your briefcase or large purse, pack heavier items low and toward the center.
  • Do not carry a heavy briefcase, tote or purse for long periods of time; if you must, wear your purse or bag over your shoulder (not in the crook of your arm which can strain the elbow muscles and joints) and switch sides often.  If possible, carry your bag diagonally over the opposite shoulder and hip.
  • If using a backpack, make sure it has two padded and adjustable shoulder straps. Choose one with several compartments to secure various-sized items. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder does not allow weight to be distributed evenly, which can cause muscle strain.

Buy and wear the right shoe

  • Women who walk long distances or frequently get on and off buses, trains or trolleys should not wear a shoe with a heel higher than 2 1/4 inches. If you want to wear high-heel shoes at the office, consider wearing more comfortable shoes while walking to and from public transportation or the parking garage. Keep your high-heeled shoes at work to minimize what you carry to and from the office each day.
  • Try on new shoes (both the left and the right) at the end of the day. Your feet normally swell and become larger after standing or sitting during the day.
  • Make sure the shoes fit. Ask the salesperson to measure the length and width of both feet.  Sizes vary among shoe brands and styles. In addition:
  • There should be 1/2-inch space from the end of your longest toe to the end of the shoe.
  • Your toes should not feel pinched or cramped. You should be able to wiggle them freely.
  • Most high heeled-shoes have a pointed, narrow toe box that crowds the toes and forces them into an unnatural triangular shape. Over time, this can cause the foot to take on the shape of the shoe causing deformities like hammer toes and corns.
  • There is no such thing as a “break-in period.” With time, a foot may push or stretch a shoe to fit, but this can cause foot pain and damage.
  • Shoes that lace or buckle, have Velcro or some type of strapping mechanism, provide more support to your arch. A shoe with a removable insole is helpful so that you can add an orthotic or more cushioned insole if needed.

Keep your feet fit

  • Routine foot and leg stretching exercises, such as rolling your foot over a tennis or golf ball or stretching your legs and feet before you get out of bed, can strengthen muscles and alleviate pain, especially as you age.
  • After a long day of walking or standing, elevate your feet and legs to relieve pressure.
  • Pay attention to changes in your feet.  If you notice calluses, blisters or localized swelling after wearing certain kinds of shoes, consider changing your footwear choice.

February Employee of the Month- Shayna M.

The physicians and staff are proud to announce Shayna M. has been named employee of the month for February 2017.

Shayna joined OCI in 2016.

Shayna was nominated by a co-worker, who said, “Shayna is a true asset to the nursing staff. She is always willing to help with coding questions and is kind and pleasant.”

Congratulations Shayna!