Ouch! A sudden jolt of pain just shot through your lower leg and now it feels like your ankle is being squeezed in a vise-grip. You might have been running down the court, taking a hike on rough terrain, stepped in a divot in your yard or maybe you tripped while walking. No matter how you did it, all ankle sprains will have some (if not all) of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty moving the ankle
- Difficulty walking
- Warm to the touch
- Increased pain to the touch Continue Reading »
First row: (from left) Deb Cross, Diane Schanke, Patty Comperini, Carlene Enama, April Schumacher, Dan Smith, Stacy Thiel, Tammy Hintz. Second row: (from left) Kent Katalinick, Traci Behnke, Laura Ruys, Tom Laabs, Robert Black. Back row: (from right) Brandyn Behnke, Linda Vanstippen, Carl Mohl, Joe Schweda, and Scott Thompson.
I recently attended a training program at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala. with 17 other Affinity employees, where we learned the appropriate skills on how to respond to, and manage, emergency incidents. We participated in a mock disaster where a group of domestic terrorists attacked a subway, causing injuries, death and disruption of daily life.
Training is the key to success and we were lucky to have been able to participate in a simulated terrorist exercise. I learned a lot of valuable information not only for our facilities but also for our community and the entire state.
I learned how to prepare as a health care provider, but there are also some things you can do as a community member to prepare for a disaster. Events can strike at any time, so having a plan in place can help make a difference. Red Cross gives a few ways you can help prepare:
- Make an emergency preparedness kit
- Create and practice your family disaster plan
- Have at least one member of your household trained in first aid and CPR/AED
- Know what emergencies or disasters are most likely to occur in your community
- Read through the appropriate disaster guides for your area
- Make an evacuation plan with a map and highlighter and determine two or three destinations and the routes to get there
Share what you have learned with your household, family members and neighbors. Encourage them to be informed.
For more information on the training program I attended click here.
Shoulder functions depend on multiple components working together to perform desired tasks, including muscles (rotator cuff, etc.), tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone. Certain injuries or problems can arise involving any of these components of the shoulder that can contribute to shoulder dysfunction.
Dysfunction can result in pain, weakness, a decreased range of motion, instability or a combination of these issues. Many issues in the shoulder can be managed with non-operative measures such as rest, ice, medications (anti-inflammatory i.e. Aleve/Ibuprofen) and physical therapy. For other conditions further intervention such as steroid/cortisone injections or surgical intervention may be required.
If you are having persisting pain, weakness, loss of motion or feelings of instability compromising your function or quality of life, you should consider seeking medical evaluation by your primary care doctor or orthopedic surgeon. Along with a clinical examination, evaluation will likely include x-rays and possibly an MRI.
Common Shoulder Injuries
Separation actually refers to injury to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint as opposed to the actual shoulder. This is a small joint consisting of the junction of the collarbone (clavicle) and acromion (part of the scapula, aka, shoulder blade). Injury typically involves a forceful fall onto the shoulder that stretches or disrupts the joint capsule or the associated ligaments, which stabilize the collarbone.
You may notice swelling, a bump or prominence at the end of the collarbone at the top of the shoulder. This injury does not usually require surgery, but instead medical management and therapy. Severe cases may require ligament reconstruction and stabilization of the collarbone.
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The knee can be at risk for injury because of the relatively long lever arm of the femur and tibia. Both of these bones are about twice as long as a lug wrench, so the torsional force produced by these long lever arms is substantial. Added to that is the body force that’s six to eight times your weight and transferred to the knee during running, cutting and jumping activities. Changing from quadrupeds to bipedal gait also plays a role in our knees as we change directions because the higher degree of force is concentrated on the knees (or a single knee) with movement instead of balanced on all four legs.
The human knee is made of living tissue and requires warm-up periods prior to athletic endeavors. Techniques to steadily increase your heart rate prior to workouts are crucial for preventing knee injuries. Jumping jacks, biking, walking or rowing are great ways to increase your cardiac output and blood flow before strenuous lower half training.
Dynamic stretching is also important as a mechanism to avoid injury and should be a part of your warm up. Research has indicated that static stretching (ex. lying on the ground and stretching in a hurdler’s stretch) will usually lower athletic performance by pre-stretching muscle-tendon units and changing muscle compliance and elasticity. Rare exceptions, such as dance and rhythmic gymnastics, do better with concentrated static stretching. As the knee increases temperature, there is greater flexibility in our movements and, although there are significant individual variances in flexibility, every athlete functions optimally as blood flow increases. Continue Reading »