Ah, fall. Cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and a long afternoon spent raking in the yard.
Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, it can also mean a trip to the doctor or physical therapist.
Indeed, more than 38,000 Americans were injured while raking in 2012, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
It’s not hard to fathom how many people end up with achy, pulled and torn muscles with all the bending, twisting, pulling and reaching motions that are required to rake the yard.
“If done properly, leaf raking provides a great opportunity for outdoor exercise during a beautiful time of year,” said Dr. Raymond B. Raven, an orthopaedic surgeon and spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “However, if you have not exercised your shoulder, arm and neck muscles for some time, you can be seriously injured. Raking is vigorous exercise.”
Raven said everyone should warm up their muscles for at least 10 minutes with stretching before even picking up a rake. “In addition, be sure to wear gloves while working in the yard and in the garden,” he said. “Serious injuries and infections can easily be prevented.”
In addition, the AAOS recommends the following safety guidelines while raking:
Avoid twisting your back. Keep it straight and turn your whole body while raking. Use your legs to shift your weight instead of your back, and avoid throwing a bag of leaves over the shoulder or to the side as this twisting motion also can strain the back.
Use short strokes to reduce the risk of over extension injuries.
Vary your movements. Avoid excessive stress on one muscle group.
Bend at the knees and squat rather than at the waist when you pick up heavy piles of leaves or lift garbage bags or bins.
Make sure your rake is the proper height and weight. If it’s too short, you could strain your back. If it’s too heavy, it will put added strain on your neck and shoulders.
Wear gloves. Opt for a rake with padded handles to prevent blisters.
Don’t obstruct your vision. Wear shoes with slip-resistant soles.
Start slowly and pace yourself. You don’t want to overexert yourself, especially if you have a lot more leaves to rake!
Source: AAOS news release
+ Learn about the health benefits of massage. Whether you’re an athlete, an expectant mother, or a post-operative patient, massage can help relieve stress, decrease muscle tension and stimulates the release of endorphins that work as your body’s natural pain killer.
+ Read about myofascial release - a therapeutic massage that gently manipulates the fascia, the tough, connective tissue that covers the body like a web stretching from head to toe.
By the time most of us leave work every day, nobody feels like running to the store and making a meal from scratch. Don’t even mention stopping along the way to sweat out some calories at the gym first.
Sadly, relaxing usually means sitting in front of the TV – not unrolling a yoga mat.
And that’s exactly why it’s important to take note of compelling research that, if taken to heart, can positively affect our health and wellness.
Consider the latest study that comes from scientists at UC San Francisco and the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. A small pilot study shows – for the first time – that changing what you eat, how much you exercise and controlling your stress can actually lengthen your telomeres. That’s pretty significant when you understand that telomeres are the parts of our chromosomes that affect aging.
“Our genes, and our telomeres, are not necessarily our fate,” said Dr. Dean Ornish, lead author and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in a news release. “So often people think ‘Oh, I have bad genes, there’s nothing I can do about it.’ But these findings indicate that telomeres may lengthen to the degree that people change how they live. Research indicates that longer telomeres are associated with fewer illnesses and longer life.”
Telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, affect how quickly cells age, according to the news release. And when they shorten, the cells age and die faster.
Most importantly, shorter telomeres are associated with several diseases including: obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease and vascular dementia.
“Telomere shortening increases the risk of a wide variety of chronic diseases,” said Dr. Peter R. Carroll, co-author. “We believe that increases in telomere length may help to prevent these conditions and perhaps even lengthen lifespan.”
+ Decrease your stress with massage therapy at Bon Secours In Motion Physical Therapy and Sports Performace. Whether you’re an athlete, an expectant mother, or a post-operative patient, massage can help relieve stress, decrease muscle tension and stimulates the release of endorphins that work as your body’s natural pain killer.
Today’s students may want to lighten their load when they head back to school this fall. Last year, more than 24,000 people were treated in the hospital or at their doctor’s office for injuries related to backpacks, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Nearly 40 percent of the injuries were for children ages 5 to 18.
“Backpacks are designed to distribute the weight of load among some of the body’s strongest muscles,” said Dr. Michael Wade Shrader, an orthopaedic surgeon and spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “But, when worn incorrectly, injuries such as strains, sprains and posture problems can occur. While some of these injuries can be minor, others can have a lasting effect on kids, and follow them into adulthood.”
Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs can signal that a backpack is too heavy or fits poorly. Make sure to try readjusting the backpack or carrying some books to ease the load on the back.
The AAOS and Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America suggests the following tips to lower the risk of injury and improve comfort:
Use both shoulder straps. This helps distribute the weight. Adjust the shoulder straps so the backpack stays close to the back.
If the backpack is too heavy, try rearranging the items. Place heavier items low and toward the center.
Don’t let children carry backpacks that weigh more than 20 percent of their body weight.
Children and adults should bend at the knees when lifting a backpack.
Store backpacks where people can’t trip on them.
Students should drop off books at their locker throughout the day if time permits.
Only carry books that are needed.
Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
+ Learn more about Bon Secours physical therapy programs. Our physical therapists help patients recover from all sorts of injuries.
About 10 days before his event in Monte Carlo, Track and Field Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, LaShawn Merrit strained the semimembranosus portion of his hamstring. As a 17 year old, LaShawn was the fastest in the world under 19 years of age. And being from Portsmouth (an alumni of Wilson High School), he came to one of the Bon Secours In Motion Physical Therapy and Sports Performance clinics (at Chesapeake Square). In Motion specializes in getting injured athletes back to a competitive level of performance. On his last day of Physical Therapy, LaShawn had these things to say about his rehabilitation and return to sport:
Q: How has In Motion helped you?
A: I have healed completely and am able to return to the highest level of competition for my events. At 5 weeks post-MRI, I have no scar tissue or swelling. The staff at In Motion took time with me, pampered me. There was lots of laughing and they made me feel like family.
Q: What can you say about your Physical Therapist, Roland Butler?
A: It was great to be supervised by someone with such a knowledge about the body. I came in about twice a week for exercises, stretching and a low level laser treatment on my thigh. Roland is a great person who helped me with my whole body strength and off-season stretching and massage.
LaShawn’s muscle strain was healed and confirmed with an MRI. He received a combination of low level laser therapy and micro-current electrical stimulation, as well as other techniques for pelvic mobility to aid in decreasing his hamstring tightness. LaShawn competes in the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow on August 10-18 and we would like to wish him good luck and say what a joy it was to work with him!
If you are an injured athlete and need to return to competition please contact us at the location nearest you to receive the same great care that LaShawn received.
Electronic medical records have been hailed as the next “big thing” in medicine. No longer a luxury; they’re becoming a care requirement – which is a good thing for patients.
At Bon Secours In Motion our EMR, ConnectCare, enables us to access a patient’s medical data in a single electronic health record (EHR), including medical history, allergies, test results and medications, in one secure and confidential electronic record. The patient’s care team has access to all treatment plans and safety alerts, ensuring continuity of care throughout a patient’s life.
Through ConnectCare, medical staff can readily access confidential patient information from any computer to review charts and analyze test results. Physicians, nurses and staff are presented with an immediate and comprehensive overview of a patient’s medical history, and multiple users can access the same patient record at the same time.
This streamline gives therapists more time to accommodate patients, focus on the therapy, and to provide more services to patients.
EMR for physical therapy services includes physical therapy documentation software which records clients’ visit for sessions and can really improve patients’ scheduling process so that physical therapy services are offered to clients in a more organized system.
Alexander Aboka, MD, MPH, a sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery specialist with Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists in western Hampton Roads, talks about the benefits of arthroscopic acl surgery for active patients struggling with knee pain. Considered the “gold standard” for acl injury, arthroscopic surgery allows surgeons to visualize injuries more clearly with minimal disruption to surrounding muscles and joints.
Best of all? It allows patients of all ages to get back to their normal level of activity more quickly!
Physical therapy is just one essential part of any comprehensive pain management plan for those suffering from chronic pain.
Using only one method to manage pain (such as chiropractic adjustments or acupuncture) will often fail to resolve problems, or leave the patient with insufficient skills to manage pain. There are many different ways to approach pain management, and a balanced program is more likely to be effective and get you the results you want.
Physical therapy can improve a patient’s quality of life and reduce pain through a variety of strategies including:
Physical therapists can prescribe a program of graded exercises — movement that are gradually increased according to your abilities. They help improve conditioning and movement, reducing the stress and strain on the body.
Using gentle, hands-on techniques, a physical therapist will manually manipulate or mobilize tight joint structures and soft tissues. Manual therapy is used to increase range of motion, improve quality of tissues, and reduce pain.
Posture Awareness and Body Mechanics Instruction
Improving posture can ease built-up muscle tension and help train the body to move more efficiently while performing activities even when at rest.
By participating in a multidisciplinary program, patients can take control of their body and learn to manage chronic pain in a healthy, effective way. Talk to your doctor to find a treatment plan right for you.
For more information about physical therapy programs for pain treatment in Hampton Roads, contact our team at Bon Secours In Motion Physical Therapy.
Frozen shoulder is common condition that affects the shoulder, but is poorly understood, often misdiagnosed and routinely treated ineffectively. It involves a gradual stiffening of the shoulder joint, with associated pain and significant limitations in range of motion affecting the ability to perform activities of daily living. More often than not a minor injury or overuse event will initiate the scarring of the soft tissue lining of the joint.
This condition most commonly affects middle aged individuals and is more prevalent in perimenopausal women, and in diabetics. Patients often ignore the symptoms as the initial discomfort may subside, but the stiffness progresses to a point where it impairs their normal activities of daily living including grooming, dressing, overhead work and leisurely activities like golfing, fishing or gardening.
Disabling symptoms can often persist for over 18 months before slow improvement, but early diagnosis and treatment can lead to quicker resolution and return to normal function.
Early evaluation by a shoulder surgeon is instrumental to making the correct diagnosis, and initiating the appropriate treatment protocol including a combination of customized physical therapy, oral medications and injectable steroid regimen. The conservative approach is generally successful in treating the condition within a few months, but there are instances where surgery is necessary. Modern arthroscopic techniques have revolutionized our ability to treat this condition by performing a release of the scarred lining of the joint, freeing up the shoulder. This can lead to dramatic improvements in motion and pain with only a brief recovery period after this minimally invasive outpatient surgery.
Alexander M. Aboka, MD, MPH, of Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists is a fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, arthroscopy, and shoulder and knee reconstructive surgery. He completed an orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship at the Cincinnati Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has provided sports medicine coverage at a variety of levels with high profile teams, including the University of New Mexico Lobos and the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Aboka, please contact him online or call his office directly at 757.215.3789.
“First of all, it is important to distinguish between people who can type ‘blind’ and people who cannot (who use two fingers). The advantage of extended Feet for non-‘blind’ typers is that they can see the keys more easily. There are no disadvantages of extended Feet for them. But things are different for people who can type blind, as they do not look at the keyboard while typing. The Feet do not therefore need to be extended. In fact, extending the Feet can put one’s wrists at risk if they are angled back too far. For this reason, blind typers can best keep the Feet retracted and use a relatively thin keyboard. Various studies even have demonstrated a beneficial effect when angling the keyboard away from the user (with a negative incline).”
So, if you have to look at the keyboard when you type, extending your keyboard feet can be good.
If you can type without looking at the keyboard, however, you’re ergonomically better off ignoring them. If they keyboard isn’t comfortable flat, your chair might be too low — try adjusting it higher and you should notice a difference. Click the link to read more!
Hip arthroscopy is a modern minimally invasive surgical technique that can be used to treat various conditions affecting the hip joint. It has revolutionized our ability to diagnose and treat painful conditions of the hip that affect young active individuals and athletes. Often the pain results from an injury or overuse during athletic activity, and persists despite some conservative treatments. Some of these conditions include hip impingement, snapping hip syndromes, labrum tears, cartilage injury and loose bodies. Recent studies indicate that some of these conditions can precipitate the early development of arthritis.
Previously these conditions were poorly understood and surgical treatment involved large incisions and dissections which often resulted in significant down-time and soft tissue injury, necessitating prolonged recovery and rehabilitation. Currently hip arthroscopy can be performed on an outpatient basis and can allow for a quicker return to symptom-free function.
If you are a young or middle-aged active individual and are experiencing hip pain, or painful catching or popping sensations after an injury, or discomfort with prolonged sitting or activity, you may benefit from an evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon with specialty training in hip arthroscopy.
Alexander M. Aboka, MD, MPH, of Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists is a fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, arthroscopy, and shoulder and knee reconstructive surgery. He completed an orthopaedic sports medicine fellowship at the Cincinnati Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has provided sports medicine coverage at a variety of levels with high profile teams, including the University of New Mexico Lobos and the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Aboka, please contact us online or call our office directly at 757.215.3789.