exercise

Is it a Sprain? Or is it a Strain?

sprain vs strainA common question we field from patients with injuries is, “Is it a sprain? Or is it a strain?” While they both result in similar pain and symptoms, sprains and strains are actually different injuries that involve completely different parts of the body.

A sprain is an injury that affects the ligaments, which are a type of connective tissue that connects bones to other bones. When a sprain occurs, the ligaments are either stretched or torn and depending on the severity of the stretching and tearing, can be very painful. Sprains most commonly affect the ankles, in particular the lateral (outside) portion of the ankle, which can occur from a variety of activities.

Strains, on the other hand, affect the tendons, the fibrous connective tissue that connects muscles to bones, or the muscles themselves. Strains involve the stretching and/or tearing of these tendons or muscles.

Symptoms of Sprains and Strains

The hallmark symptoms associated with sprains and strains are similar

  • Pain
  • Redness and/or bruising
  • Swelling and inflammation at the site of the injury
  • Stiffness in the affected area

Causes of Sprains and Strains

Sprains typically happen suddenly and can occur in a variety of ways. When a person falls or twists in a way that puts their body in an unusual position or is hit with an impact that does the same, sprains can occur. On the contrary, strains can occur over time as a result of prolonged, repetitive movements, or occur suddenly.

One of the most common causes of sprains and strains is participation in athletic activities.

Treatment of Sprains and Strains

Most sprains and strains can typically be resolved with the RICE method – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Depending on the severity of the injury, future treatment and recovery efforts may involve a combination of physical therapy and various exercise techniques.

Seek help from a sports medicine physician if you experience any of the following:

  • Cannot put weight on the affected area without feeling significant pain
  • Cannot move affected joint
  • Have numbness around the injured area
  • Have significant swelling and/or changes in skin color

With proper care, most sprains and strains will heal without long-term side effects.

Prevention of Sprains and Strains

While there is no true way to prevent all sprain and strain injuries, proper stretching and strengthening regimens can help keep your body strong and more resistant to many injuries, including sprains and strains.

The highly-trained physicians and surgeons at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center treat a wide variety of orthopaedic, spine and sports medicine conditions, including sprains and strains from the foot and ankle to hand and elbow.

About Dr. Olufade

Dr. Oluseun OlufadeOluseun Olufade MD, is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Interventional Pain Medicine. He completed fellowship training in both Interventional Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine. During his fellowship training, he was a team physician for Philadelphia Union, a major league soccer (MLS) team, Widener University Football team and Interboro High School Football team.

Dr. Olufade employs a comprehensive approach in the treatment of sports related injuries and spinal disorders by integrating physical therapy, orthotic prescription and minimally invasive procedures. He specializes also in concussion, tendinopathies and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. He performs procedures such as fluoroscopic-guided spine injections and ultrasound guided peripheral joint injections. Dr. Olufade individualizes his plan with a focus on functional restoration.

Dr. Olufade has held many leadership roles including Chief Resident, Vice-President of Resident Physician Council of AAPM&R, President of his medical school class and Editor of the PM&R Newsletter. He has authored multiple book chapters and presented at national conferences.

How to Train and Prepare for Summer Running Races – Join Us for a Live Online Chat!

Running Training Live ChatWhether you are a seasoned marathon runner or recreational jogger, it is important to train properly and know how to prevent injury.

If you are interested in learning more about preventing and treating sports and running injuries, join Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD, for an online web chat on Tuesday, June 9 at noon. Dr. Mason will be available to answer your questions such as:

  • Injury prevention
  • Stretching
  • Race-day tips
  • Symptoms of certain athletic injuries
  • Risk factors for athletic/running injuries
  • Treatment for specific sports injuries
  • When to visit your sports medicine physician

To register for the live chat, visit emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats! If you already have questions for Dr. Mason, go ahead and submit in advance so our team can answer during the chat!

Sign Up for the Chat

From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapies and athletic injury rehabilitation, our sports medicine specialists provide the most comprehensive treatment for a range of athletic-related injuries. Visit our website to learn more about the Emory Sports Medicine Center.

The Right Amount of Exercise: New Studies Reveal Ideal Frequency and Intensity

Exercise GuidelinesEat your vegetables, get a good night’s sleep, and exercise regularly. These are a few of the principles most of us are familiar with when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. But how much exercise should you really get, and what level of exercise is needed to make a difference? Is there such a thing as too much exercise?

Recently, two new studies, both published in JAMA Internal Medicine, answer common questions about the ideal frequency and intensity of exercise a person should get each week.

What are the current exercise guidelines?

Currently, health experts and the government recommend that a person should exercise moderately for 150 minutes per week to develop and maintain proper health and fitness.

What did the new studies find?

During the first study, researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Harvard University and other institutions collected significant data on nearly 661,000 adults’ exercise habits. They divided the participants into various categories based on their personal exercise habits, ranging from adults who did not exercise at all to others who exercised more than 10 times the recommended amount, or around 25 hours per week. Researchers then compared 14 years’ worth of death records from each group, concluding that:

  • Individuals who did not exercise at all had the highest risk of premature death.
  • For those who did not meet exercise recommendations, but did some sort of exercise weekly: 20% reduction in premature death risk.
  • For those who did the recommended 150 minutes per week of exercise: 31% reduction in premature death risk and increased longevity benefits.
  • For those who tripled the recommended level of exercise by working out moderately—mostly walking—for 450 minutes per week, or slightly more than one hour per day: 39% reduction in premature death risk.

Adults who exercised nearly 10 times the recommended amount per day saw around the same reduction in premature death risk as adults who met the recommended guidelines.

While previous studies have suggested that adults who exercise too frequently have an increased probability of dying young, this study did not yield the same conclusion.

In the second study, researchers from Australia recorded data from 200,000 adults to determine how much time each participant spent exercising and how much of that exercise was considered vigorous, or intense. Similar to the first study, the researchers then compared individuals’ death statistics.

The study found that adults who met recommended exercise guidelines significantly reduced their risk of early death, which supports the first study’s findings. Researchers also found that people who exercised vigorously on occasion saw a small reduction in death risk.

  • Individuals who spent up to 30% of their weekly exercise time in vigorous activities were 9% less likely to die early than those who exercised the same amount at a moderate level.
  • Individuals who spent more than 30% of their exercise time doing vigorous exercise had about a 13% reduction in premature mortality.

The study did not find any jump in mortality risk for those individuals completing the most strenuous exercise.

What are the main takeaways?

The two new studies found that: to decrease early death risk and prolong life span, every person should attempt to exercise for the recommended guidelines of 150 minutes per week and have about a fifth of that weekly exercise be intense (30 minutes). Those individuals who wish to exercise vigorously for a longer period of time should feel free to do so without the fear of increasing mortality risk.

About the Emory Sports Medicine Center

From professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles, the sports medicine experts at Emory Sports Medicine Center want to make sure you have the proper information to achieve the best possible outcomes. Our full service clinic offers a full range of treatment for orthopaedic conditions and injuries including sports medicine, foot and ankle, joint replacement, shoulder, knee and hip, spinal care, and concussions. It also offers x-ray, physical therapy and rehabilitation services.

Emory Orthopaedics has locations in Johns Creek, Atlanta, Tucker and Dunwoody. All physicians bring extensive training and experience to the clinic. Click for complete information about all Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine physicians and locations.

Appointments for surgical second opinions or acute sports injuries are available within 48 hours at 404-778-3350.

Related Resources

Why are Sports Physicals Important?

Sports PhysicalsAfter months of being dormant during the winter, most children who participate in sports are anxious to get back in the game as soon as warm weather arrives. While increased exercise and participation in sports outweigh the risk of injury or illness, it is crucial that every child undergo a pre – participation sports physical before beginning practice with their chosen sport. In the United States, pre – participation exams (PPE) are required for student-athletes of all ages who want to participate in sports and/or sports camps.

But are sports physicals really necessary? Absolutely! A PPE provides the following prior to participation:

  • Identifies any potential life-threatening conditions, such as risk of sudden cardiac death.
  • Evaluates existing conditions that may need treatment prior to participation, or monitoring to avoid future injury.
  • Identifies any orthopedic conditions that may require physical therapy or other treatment.
  • Identifies athletes who may be at higher risk for violence, substance abuse, STDs, depression, eating disorders, anemia, asthma, hypertension, etc.
  • Reviews concussion history (if previously concussed, the PPE determines if the student-athlete is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms).

There are two portions of the physical:

  • Review of medical history: Student athletes and their parents need to come prepared to openly and honestly discuss all medical history. Knowing the complete history helps doctors identify conditions that might affect the student’s ability to participate and/or perform in their sport or activity. This is not a time to try and hide past injuries or medical conditions.
  • Physical exam: many schools perform partial physical exams, but if you would like a more complete physical exam, visit your family’s personal physician or pediatrician. He or she may refer your child to a Sports Medicine specialist if he thinks the child needs further evaluation for orthopedic concerns or if the student has had a history of concussions.

PPEs usually occur six weeks prior to the start of sports or camp. Most student-athletes are cleared for full participation following a sports physical exam, but those who require follow-up care are generally cleared from all potential complications within the six week timeframe.

For a more thorough physical exam, our team of sports medicine specialists would appreciate the opportunity to evaluate you or your loved one at one of our three clinic locations. To make an appointment, call 404-778-3350 or make an appointment.

Emory Sports Medicine Center is conducting several upcoming sports physicals in partnership with schools across metro Atlanta. Check the dates below to see if your student-athlete is eligible to participate.

  • Berkmar High School – Thursday, April 2 from 3:30 to 6p.m.
  • Johns Creek High School – Saturday, April 18 from 9a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Northview High School – Saturday, April 18 from 9a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Decatur High School – Wednesday, April 29 from 5 to 7:00 p.m.
  • West Forsyth High School –Thursday, April 30 from 4:30 to 6:30p.m.
  • Blessed TrinityHigh School – Wednesday, April 22 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Atlanta Girls’ School – Wednesday, May 6 at 2 p.m.
  • Pace Academy – Tuesday, May 19 from 12 to 3 p.m.

About Dr. Jeff Webb
Jeffrey Webb, MDJeff Webb, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Dr. Webb started practicing at Emory in 2008 after completing a Fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in pediatrics and sports medicine. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and serves as the primary care sports medicine and concussion specialist for the team. He is also a consulting team physician for several Atlanta area high schools, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, and many other club sports.

Dr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. He is currently active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books.

Related Resources

Emory Sports Medicine Center
Preventing & Recognizing Symptoms of Dehydration Among Student Athletes
Understanding Exercise Induced Asthma
Injuries in the Young Athlete – How much is too much?

4 Healthy Tips to Winter-Proof Your Outdoor Workout

During the winter months, exercising outside takes not only motivation, but proper preparation to prevent injury. Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD, shares ways to keep your body safe and warm while exercising in the cold. Below are a few healthy tips to help prevent injury:

  • Make sure to warm-up before starting to exercise
  • Keep your fingers, nose and ears covered
  • Make sure to stay hydrated
  • Invest in proper work-out clothes using materials designed to balance body temperature and help with perspiration

For more tips on how to stay safe, warm and dry while training in cold weather, view the full FOX 5 News segment.

Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

About Emory Sports Medicine

The Emory Sports Medicine Center is a leader in advanced treatments for patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries. From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapy and athletic injury rehabilitation, our sports medicine physicians and specialists provide the most comprehensive treatment for athletic injuries in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Duluth, Johns Creek and the state of Georgia. Constantly conducting research and developing new techniques, Emory sports medicine specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of sports injuries.

Our sports medicine patients range from professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles and want the best possible outcomes and recovery from sports injuries. Our doctors are the sports medicine team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Tech and provide services for many additional professional, collegiate and recreational teams. Appointments for surgical second opinions or acute sports injuries are available within 48 hours. Call 404-778-7777 today.

About Dr. Mason

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University.

He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children.

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Takeaways from Dr. Mason’s live chat on “How to Run and Train for Running Races and Other Athletic Adventures”

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the live chat with Amadeus Mason, MD, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Family Medicine. Dr. Mason answered questions about how new runners can develop a plan for training and working up to a long race. He also discussed proper training before a marathon as well as running shoes and how frequently to replace them.

Below are a few questions and answers from the chat. You can see all of the questions and answers by reading the chat transcript.

Question:  Are there any special precautions of which “new” runners with low back pain should be mindful?

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason:
Running should not be causing low back pain. If your low back pain was already present before you started running, or you are experiencing low back pain after running, I recommend you be evaluated to find out why.
 
 
 
Question:  I would love to become a runner. As of now I am training using the Get Running app. I want to know if this is a good way to ease into running so, that I may one day be able to run a 5K?

Amadeus  Mason, MDDr. Mason:
There is no one, single way to work up to running a 5K. While I am not familiar with that specific app, I would recommend some general principles to help prevent injury:

  1. Have a plan.
  2. Stick to your plan.
  3. Progress slowly and never increase pace and distance at the same time.
  4. Cross train, taking regular rest days. Consider running every other day.
  5. A 5K is only 3.1miles. There’s no need to be running longer than five miles at any individual session.

If you missed this chat with Dr. Mason, be sure to check out the full chat transcript!

Visit our website for more information about Emory Sports Medicine Center.

Are you a Weekend Warrior and Want to Learn How to Train for Summer Running Races and Other Athletic Adventures?

If so, join Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason, MD for an online web chat on Tuesday, June 10 at noon. Dr. Mason will be available to answer your questions regarding running and other sports injuries such as

  • Prevention of injury
  • Stretching
  • Symptoms of certain athletic injuries
  • Risk factors for athletic/running injuries
  • Treatment for specific sports injuries
  • When to visit your sports medicine physician

If you are interested in learning more about preventing and treating sports and running injuries register for the live chat by visiting emoryhealthcare.org/mdchats!

About Dr. Mason

Amadeus Mason, MDDr. Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University. He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children

Related Links

Emory Sports Medicine
Runner’s chat with Dr. Mason 2013 transcript
More Runners’ Chat Questions Answered
Tennis Elbow and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Therapy – Is it Right for Me?

What is Better for My Health? Weights or Cardiovascular Exercise?

Cardio vs. WeightsFor the promotion of overall health and reduction of risk around developing diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, the most effective fitness plan incorporates both cardiovascular training and strength training. There are different benefits to the different types of exercise, so it is ideal to plan your weekly workout routine split (2-3 days of each) between strength and cardio training.

Benefits of cardiovascular training

  • Breathing harder and deeper increases amount of oxygen in the blood
  • Heart, lungs, blood vessels work more efficiently with cardio exercises to transport oxygen through the body
  • Burns calories – one hour of running burns approximately 600 calories in a average female and 750 calories in the average male

Benefits of strength training

  • Increase muscle mass – you will be able to do activities longer after building muscle mass
  • Maintain joint flexibility
  • Increase bone density
  • Manage your weight – Note that muscle burns more calories than fat so if you have more muscle your metabolism is likely to be higher and you are likely to be slimmer.

Lack of sufficient exercise contributes to the possibility of developing conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer. All forms of exercise can reduce your risk of developing diseases that can be harmful to your overall health.

If you can exercise 5 – 6 days a week for over 30 minutes a day, you are ahead of the game. And if you can’t make 30 minutes a day, start small by taking the stairs at work, doing some calisthenics when you wake up in the morning, or by going for a short bike ride with your children. Work it in when you can – your body and health will thank you for it!

Related Resources:

How to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
Understanding & Preventing Tennis Elbow
Tennis Elbow Isn’t the Only Thing that Causes Tennis Elbow
Understanding IT Band Syndrome
Understanding Runners Knee

About Dr. Mason

Dr. Amadeus MasonDr. Amadeus Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University. He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children.

About Emory Sports Medicine

The Emory Sports Medicine Center is a leader in advanced treatments for patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries. From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapy and athletic injury rehabilitation, our sports medicine physicians and specialists provide the most comprehensive treatment for athletic injuries in Atlanta, Duluth, Johns Creek and the state of Georgia. Constantly conducting research and developing new techniques, Emory sports medicine specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of sports injuries.

Our sports medicine patients range from professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles and want the best possible outcomes and recovery from sports injuries. Our doctors are the sports medicine team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Tech and provide services for many additional professional, collegiate and recreational teams. Appointments for surgical second opinions or acute sports injuries are available within 48 hours. Call 404-778-7777 today.

Understanding Exercise Induced Asthma

Sports Induced AsthmaHave you found yourself coughing, wheezing or feeling short of breath during or after exercise recently? If so, it may not just be due to being out of shape. It could be caused by Exercise Induced Asthma; also known as Exercise Induced Bronchospasm. Exercise Induced Asthma could be solely triggered by exercise, or due to a variety of other triggers. This, like other forms of asthma, occurs when airways in your lungs constrict and produce extra amounts of mucus, making it hard to breathe.

Symptoms of exercise-induced asthma include:

  • Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath while exercising
  • Chest pain/tightness
  • Fatigue during exercise
  • Compromised athletic performance

These symptoms can start soon after you begin exercise, and can worsen up to 10-15 minutes after you finish.

Seek immediate medical treatment if your symptoms get worse, since exercise induced asthma can be life threatening in emergency situations:

  • Shortness of breath quickly worsens
  • No improvement even after using a rescue inhaler
  • Shortness of breath continues even after recovery from your workout

There are no clear causes of exercise induced asthma, but factors that can provoke an attack are:

  • Cold air
  • Dry air
  • Air pollution
  • High pollen counts
  • Respiratory infections such as colds
  • Chemicals

No particular exercise is totally forbidden, but those that make you breathe harder can be triggers. These include basketball, running, hockey and soccer versus weightlifting, golfing or moderate walking.

Exercise Asthma risk factors include:

  • Already having asthma
  • Hay fever or other allergies
  • Having a parent or sibling with asthma
  • Smoking or second hand smoke exposure
  • Exposure to chemical triggers such as chlorine in pools
  • Being a child (they tend to be more active than adults)

After being tested and diagnosed by your doctor, they may prescribe two kinds of medicine: Quick Relief and/or Long-Term Control medication.

  • Quick Relief medication is for rapid, short-term symptom relief during an attack. Sometimes a doctor may recommend using it before exercise.
  • Long-Term Control medication is for frequent asthma symptoms that occur even when you are not exercising or when using medicine before workouts does not help. They are taken daily.

If using both, it is suggested not to use the Quick Relief inhaler more than recommended. Get in the habit of recording the number of puffs you take per week. If you find that you need to use it more frequently, talk to your doctor to adjust your Long-Term Control medication.

The good news is that with treatment, you can do intense aerobic activity, along with avoiding causes of attacks by breathing through your nose, wearing a scarf over your nose and mouth, avoiding exercise when the air is polluted or dirty, avoiding exercising near recently mowed lawns, and warming up before exercise and cooling down after.

About Dr. Mason
Dr. Amadeus MasonDr. Mason is an assistant professor in the Orthopaedics and Family Medicine departments at Emory University. He is board certified in Sports Medicine with a special interest in track and field, running injuries and exercise testing. He has been trained in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Mason is Team Physician for USA Track & Field, Tucker High School, and Georgia Tech Track and Field.

Dr. Mason is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the America Road Racing Medical Society, and the USA Track and Field Sports Medicine and Science Committee. He has been invited to be a resident physician at the US Olympic Training Center, a Sports Medicine consultant in his homeland of Jamaica and the Chief Medical Officer at multiple USA Track and Field international competitions. He is an annual speaker at the pre-race expo for PTRR, Publix marathon and Atlanta marathon commenting on a wide variety of topics related to athletics and running injuries.

Dr. Mason is an active member of the Atlanta running community. He attended Princeton University and was Captain of the track team. His other sports interests include soccer, college basketball and football, and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). A Decatur resident, he is married with three children.

Related Resources:

Understanding Runners’ Knee aka Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Knee PainDo you have pain in the front of your knee behind the kneecap? If so, you may have patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS for short), commonly known as “runners’ knee”. Typically runners’ knee is not a product of an injury, but is caused by abnormal leg mechanics including weakness in the quadriceps which result in poor tracking of the kneecap.

You can increase your risk of developing runners’ knee if you have tight hamstrings, or do not warm up enough before an event. Runners often experience patellofemoral pain as they increase their running distance and/or frequency.

Symptoms of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome:

  • Pain in the knee, usually in the front of the knee, behind the kneecap
  • Pain in the back of the knee or also above or below the kneecap
  • Pain that gets worse after sitting for long periods of time
  • Pain that gets worse after going up or especially down stairs or hills
  • Pain that gets worse when wearing shoes with high heels
  • Pain with jumping, squatting, and lunging
  • “Crunching” or “popping” in the knee
  • Minimal swelling

The good news is that this condition is treatable with improving your overall leg mechanics. You should think about incorporating strength training into your running training so that you strengthen the quadriceps and gluteus muscles. It is also important to stretch the hamstrings and IT band. If you have flat feet or foot pronation (fallen arches) you should consider inserting orthotics in your shoes to support your arches.

If you are diagnosed with this condition, you may have to stop running temporarily until the knee pain subsides, but continuing to run will not cause long term damage. You should at least consider adding in cross training with activities such as swimming and cycling which will be easier on the knee with PFPS and maintain your fitness. Make sure to ice your knee after exercise and take anti-inflamatories like ibuprofen. You may also want to try a neoprene sleeve for comfort.  Refer to this Patellofemoral Syndrome document for some exercises you can safely do to strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility and stretch the quadriceps.

If your knee pain has not improved within 4-6 weeks, you should consult your sports medicine physician.


Emory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

Peachtree Road RaceEmory Healthcare is the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia and includes Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory University Orthopedics & Spine Hospital, Wesley Woods Center, Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Emory Adventist Hospital, The Emory Clinic, Emory Specialty Associates, and the Emory Clinically Integrated Network.

Come visit us at the AJC Peachtree Road Race expo in booth 527 to get your blood pressure checked and learn more about how Emory Healthcare can help you and your family stay healthy!

About Dr. Jeff Webb

Jeffrey Webb, MDJeff Webb, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Dr. Webb started practicing at Emory in 2008 after completing a Fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in pediatrics and sports medicine. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and serves as the primary care sports medicine and concussion specialist for the team. He is also a consulting team physician for several Atlanta area high schools, the Atlanta Dekalb International Olympic Training Center, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Perimeter College, and many other club sports.

Dr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. He is currently active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books. Dr Webb is an avid runner and has completed 16 Peachtree Road Races.

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