Posts Tagged ‘injury prevention’

Decking the Halls – Avoiding Potential Injuries

Common Injury PreventionMore than 250 people a day were hurt by decorating accidents between Nov. 1 and the end of December last year. Almost a third of these injuries were the result of falling off a ladder, while another large percentage were neck or back related injuries.

Here are some common injuries that can occur while decking the halls this year:

  • You could fracture your hand, wrist, ankle or other bone in the body if you fall off the ladder while hanging decorations.  It is also possible to dislocate your shoulder or tear the meniscus (cartilage) in your knee.
  • Herniating a disc or straining a muscle in your neck or back while carrying big, heavy boxes of decorations.
  • Doing all the decorating in 1-2 days? This increased activity may lead to acute tendinitis in the knee or impingement in the shoulder.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid injuries:

  • When using a ladder to hang decorations, make sure you have the correct type of ladder for the job. Also ensure that the ladder is sitting on level ground and have a helper on the ground to hold the ladder if possible. Don’t lean too far to either side of the ladder. Move the ladder to the spot you need to reach.
  • When carrying heavy or awkward sized boxes and totes of decorations, make sure to use proper lifting techniques. Squat down to pick up the box instead of bending at the waist. Don’t rotate your body as you lift. Pick the box straight up and turn your whole body to avoid straining a muscle in your back.
  • Decorating for the holidays is not something we do every day so our bodies might not be used to running up and down a ladder all day hanging lights on the house. If you can spread out the decorating over a few days or week, this may help you avoid a flare up of acute tendinitis or impingement. Another idea is to have a helper to assist you with the decorations.

We hope you have a safe and healthy holiday season. If you do end up with a injury over the holidays, you can trust Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine to take care of all your orthopedic needs!

About Scott Maughon, MD
Dr. Scott MaughonOrthopaedic Surgeon
Team Physician: Northview High School

Dr. Maughon is an orthopaedic surgeon new to Emory but has been a member of the community for over 20 years and is a native Atlantan. He attended medical school in Augusta at the University of Georgia, completed his residency training in Atlanta at Georgia Baptist Medical Center, and completed his fellowship training in Birmingham at the American Sports Medicine Institute.

Dr. Maughon sees patients in our Duluth clinic and performs surgery at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. He sees patients with any type of orthopaedic condition or injury but specializes in those needing shoulder, knee, or hip arthroscopy, joint replacement surgery, ACL surgery, or any type of sports medicine treatment.

When asked why he chose sports medicine as his specialty area, Dr. Maughon says, “To put it simply, I love helping others. I have always loved sports and it is so rewarding to help an athlete get back on the field and start competing again. I’m able to help that kid continue on and maybe even pursue a college or professional career down the road.”

About Emory Ortho, Sports and Spine in Johns Creek and Duluth
Emory Orthopaedics, Sports & Spine has recently opened two new clinics, one in Johns Creek and one in Duluth. Emory physicians, Kyle Hammond, MD, and Oluseun A. Olufade, MD see patients in Johns Creek. Mathew Pombo, MD and T. Scott Maughon, MD see patients in Duluth. Our new clinic locations care for a full range of orthopedic conditions including: sports medicine, hand/wrist/elbow, foot/ankle, joint replacement, shoulder, knee/hip, concussions, and spine. To schedule an appointment call 404-778-3350

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Tips to Avoid Turkey Day Injuries!

Thanksgiving The holidays are a time to celebrate, spend time with family and hopefully enjoy a few relaxing days off from work. For many weekend warriors, “relaxing” means pulling together a game of football or basketball in the back yard. While these games are often enjoyable, many end in injuries such as:

Although some injuries can not be prevented, others can be prevented with some simple warm up measures and consistent muscle training.

  • Build a cardiovascular base. You should maintain your cardio base by doing cardio exercise about 2 times a week year round. You can do running, biking, swimming, rowing, and walking to maintain this base training.
  • Maintain proper nutrition. A balanced diet is important year round but especially during the holidays when temptations are all around us. Adding extra weight, adds strain and stress to the body and this could lead to injury.
  • Core strength. Develop core strength by doing simple core exercises on a weekly basis such as planks or crunches. Poor core strength can lead to a variety of issues, including back pain.
  • Dress correctly. Use the appropriate footwear and protective gear for the sport you are playing. If you are playing football, put on a helmet to protect yourself from a concussion. This could save you from an emergency trip to the hospital before you can even eat your Thanksgiving turkey.

If you do end up with a sports related injury over the holidays, trust Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine to get you back in the game quickly!

Emory Orthopaedics, Sports & Spine

Emory Orthopaedics, Sports & Spine has recently opened two new clinics, one in Johns Creek and one in Duluth. Emory physicians, Kyle Hammond, MD, and Oluseun A. Olufade, MD see patients in Johns Creek. Mathew Pombo, MD and T. Scott Maughon, MD see patients in Duluth. Our new clinic locations care for a full range of orthopedic conditions including: sports medicine, hand/wrist/elbow, foot/ankle, joint replacement, shoulder, knee/hip, concussions, and spine. To schedule an appointment call 404-778-3350.

Dr. Mathew PomboAbout Dr. Mathew Pombo, MD

Team Physician: Johns Creek High School, Chattahoochee High School, Berkmar High School

Dr. Pombo is an orthopaedic surgeon new to Emory but has made a big impact on the community in his first 5 years of practicing. Dr. Pombo completed medical school at the University of Georgia, residency at Wake Forest University, and fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Pombo sees patients in our Duluth clinic and performs surgery at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. He has a special interest in managing sports related concussions. He also specializes in ACL surgery, shoulder, knee, and hip arthroscopy, joint replacement, and sports medicine treatments for pediatric patients through adult patients.

Dr. Pombo is very engaged with the community and serves as team physician for several schools and youth sporting groups. Dr. Pombo attended Duluth High School and is proud to be back in his community giving back to young athletes.

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When it Comes to Your Health, are High Heels Worth the Price of Looking Good?

High Heels Back PainEmory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine physicians Kyle Hammond, MD  and Oluseun A. Olufade, MD recently participated in “Ladies Night Out”  at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

The Ladies Night Out event is an annual health fair held by Emory Johns Creek Hospital for women to talk with physicians and other providers in the Johns Creek and North Atlanta communities and learn about services near them.

At the Emory Orthopaedics, Sports & Spine table, Drs. Hammond and Olufade spoke with women about potential injuries that could occur from wearing high heeled shoes and what women might be able to do to help prevent injuries to their backs, ankles, feet, hips and knees.

As a fun activity at the Ladies Night Out event, we also had a free drawing for high heeled shoes that were displayed at the table.  Five lucky women went home with a new pair of shoes and lots of tips to prevent orthopedic injuries.

Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Team at the Ladies Night Out Event
Below are 5 orthopedic conditions or injuries related to wearing high heels and tips on how you can prevent them:

ACHILLES TENDINITIS

Symptom: Pain & swelling in lower calf and heel cord resulting in decreased calf flexibility

Achilles Tendinitis Prevention:

  •  Calf stretches with towel or band
  • Calf raises / strengthening exercises
  • Heel pads
  • Wear short heels or flats

ANKLE SPRAIN / FRACTURE

Symptom: Pain, bruising, swelling and inability to walk

Ankle Sprain & Fracture Prevention:

  • Wear short, wide heels (no stilettos)
  • Single leg balancing
  • Ankle ‘A, B, Cs’

BUNIONS

Bunion Symptom: Tenderness and prominence inside of the big toe joint

Bunion Prevention:

  • Ensure proper shoe size & fit
  • Wear short heels with wide toe box
  • Use pads to cushion bunions
  • Wear heels for brief periods of time if possible

KNEE AND HIP INJURIES

Symptom: Muscles in your hip and knee have to work harder when you wear heels as muscles become fatigued and more prone to injury

Possible Injuries:

  • Muscle strain
  • Tendinitis
  • Meniscus tear
  • Hip impingement

Hip & Knee Injury Prevention:

  • Stretch hamstrings, quads, & hip
  • Strength training for lower body
  • Alternate heels with flats during the work week
  • Balance exercises

LOW BACK PAIN

Low Back Pain Causes: Normal center of gravity changes, increasing the curvature of your low back and tilting your pelvis forward.

Low Back Pain Prevention:

  • Change into flats for long walking distances
  • Strengthen your core (crunches & low back extension exercises)

Although high heels look nice and are fun to wear at special events, try to limit the high heels to special occasions and stick with flats for your day to day activities.  Your body will thank you!

About Dr. Kyle Hammond

Dr. Hammond is an orthopaedic surgeon new to the Emory Orthopaedics faculty.  He recently completed his fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  While at the University of Pittsburgh he was the Associate Head Team Orthopaedic Surgeon for both the Duquesne University Football team and the University of Pittsburgh Men’s Basketball team.  He also worked as a Team Physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the University of Pittsburgh athletics, Robert Morris College athletics, as well as the Pittsburgh Ballet.

Dr. Hammond sees patients at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, as well as Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center in Atlanta.  Dr. Hammond has a special interest in the overhead/throwing athlete, ligament injuries to the knee, Tommy John surgery, joint preservation surgery, and is one of the few fellowship trained hip arthroscopists and concussion specialists in Georgia.

About Dr. Oluseun A. Olufade

Dr. Olufade is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Interventional Pain Medicine. He completed fellowship training in both Sports Medicine and Interventional Pain 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 sees patients at Emory Johns Creek Hospital.

About Emory Ortho, Sports and Spine in Johns Creek and Duluth

Emory Orthopaedics, Sports & Spine has recently opened two new clinics, one in Johns Creek and one in Duluth.  Emory physicians, Kyle Hammond, MD, and Oluseun A. Olufade, MD see patients in Johns Creek.  Mathew Pombo, MD and T. Scott Maughon see patients in Duluth.  Our new clinic locations care for a full range of orthopedic conditions including: sports medicine, hand/wrist/elbow, foot/ankle, joint replacement, shoulder, knee/hip, concussions, and spine.

To schedule an appointment call 404-778-3350

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Injuries in the Young Athlete – How much is too much?

Student Athletes Injury PreventionChildren should be encouraged to participate in sports at a young age. Sports can teach children so many life lessons and helps children build their confidence. However, many parents are starting kids in sports at a young age in the hopes of developing their child into a scholarship athelte or a professional athlete. If a young athlete shows promise, many parents encourage their child to specialize in a specific sport and train year round from as young as 6 or 7 years old. This could be harmful because children’s bodies are still growing and developing. Young athletes are more prone to overuse injuries. It is estimated that close to half of the injuries in young athletes are related to overuse/overtraining. In addition to injuries, young athletes are also susceptible to overtraining syndrome and psychologic stress. Female athletes are particularly at risk for stress fractures and even delayed puberty.

With the exception of baseball pitch count research (which has studied how many pitches a young athlete could handle before injury), there is not conclusive research that indicates exactly how much is too much training for a young athlete. The American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness recommends that young athletes should limit their sports specific activities to five days a week with one complete rest day from all physical activity. In addition, the same council recommends young student athletes take at least 2 months off a year from a specific sport to properly rest and rebuild their bodies. Young athletes should avoid playing on two teams in the same season.

Cross-training is good for the body. Our bodies are not designed to do the same thing over and over again, especially as youth and adolescents. It is also beneficial to play more than one sport. It allows athletes to develop more skills, be involved with a different group of teammates and coaches, and keeps them interested. It is also important to properly train the body in the preseason. In preparing for a season or a race it is important to increase training time/mileage by no more than 10% per week.

Sports are an excellent activity for young children and can help them develop life lessons they will use forever. Parents should be encouraged to pay attention to the child and allow them to rest and relax and take time away from their sport to rebuild and rejuvenate. Pay attention to a child who complains of muscle and joint pains, fatigue, or shows signs of psychologic stress. Athletics are a great way for youth to stay healthy and build a strong character, but remember that the number one reason that young people give for playing sports is “to have fun.”

About Jeff Webb, MD
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 and 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.

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How to Prevent Summer Sports Injuries

Emory Sports Medicine patient Shawn Ploessl is a self proclaimed weekend warrior who sprained his ankle after playing football on the beach with some friends this summer. Many people are like Shawn in that when the weather starts getting nicer, we want to get outside and start working out or playing in a pickup game of baseball or football with friends. The problem is that most of us jump back into outdoor activities after being dormant over the winter and don’t properly warm-up or prepare our bodies for this increased activity.

In a recent news piece by CNN, Amadeus Mason, MD, Emory Sports Medicine physician, gives hints on what you can do to avoid injuries in the summer. Weekend warriors can start preparing themselves for the summer sports season by doing some exercising in the winter and early spring. Some activities that Dr. Mason recommends during the winter are running, indoor strengthening, and indoor cycling or spinning. Watch the entire piece below:

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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.

Importance of Pre-Participation Sports Physicals for Student-Athletes

Children of all ages will benefit from participating in sports. Children can learn many life skills such as team work, time management, competition, conflict resolution as well help to improve social skills. While the benefits of exercising and participating in sports heavily outweigh the risks, it is very important to have every child undergo a pre – participation sports physical before beginning practice with that sport. Pre – participation exams are required for student-athletes who want to participate in middle school, high school or summer sports camps.

The pre-participation exam checks for the following:
• Identify any potential life-threatening conditions such as risk of sudden cardiac death.
• Evaluate athlete for conditions that may need treatment prior to participation.
• Identify any orthopedic conditions/concerns that may need physical therapy or other treatment prior to participation.
• Identify athletes who may be at higher risk for violence, substance abuse, STDs, depression, eating disorders, anemia, asthma, hypertension, etc.
• Evaluate history of concussion and determine if the student-athlete is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms if previously concussed.

Student athletes and their parents need to come to the physical prepared to open and honestly discuss all medical history. The doctors need all the information on the athlete’s medical history to be able to properly examine the athlete and clear him or her for participation in their sport or activity. This is not a time to try and hide past injuries or medical conditions.

Many schools perform pre- participation exams but if you would like a more thorough physical exam, visit your family’s personal physician or pediatrician. He or she may refer your child to a Sports Medicine specialists if he thinks the child needs further evaluation for orthopedic concerns or if the student has had a history of concussions.

Most student athletes are cleared for full participation in sports. Those who need more follow-up often times resume normal activities after ensuring they are cleared from all potential complications from participating in sports.

About Jeff Webb, MD

Jeff 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.

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 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 for an appointment

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6 Tips for an Injury-Free Transition from Indoor to Outdoor Sports

Outdoor Sports TransitionWarm weather is right around the corner and athletes of all ages will be out in force tearing it up on the athletic fields playing the games they love! Injury prevention during the seasonal sports transition is key. It is important to take care of your body and follow certain precautions as athletes transition from winter to spring sports. This is especially important for the young athletes. Outdoor elements such as soggy, muddy field conditions or bad weather, can negatively affect young athletes. Many times young athletes don’t have as much opportunity to train in an environment similar to which they will be playing in during their season. This can greatly increase the risk of athletic injury.

Below is a list of suggestions to help athletes adjust and prepare for the transition from indoor to outside venues and prevent injuries in the process!

All outdoor and field sport athletes should know:

  1. Stretching is extremely important in all sports. Typically, you should hold stretches for 30 seconds! Do some 20 – 30 yard runs, starting out slower and ending up at full speed to loosen the muscles up.
  2. Make sure your cleats are “broken in.” W e highly recommend that the young athlete begin wearing cleats outside on the field surface which they will be playing before the season starts. This will help ensure the cleats fit well and feel comfortable on the playing surface during practice and games.
  3. Arrive to the field early on game day and allow your body to adjust to the outside temperature.
  4. If you are able to arrive early, take a few minutes to walk the field to assess for soft or uneven spots in the field. If it has rained, scout the field for standing water puddles. This is especially important if you haven’t ever practiced or played on the field.
  5. Keep your muscles warm as long as possible before the game. Keep your warm-up gear on til the last second. You can also wear thermal type clothing like Under Armour under your uniform if you are playing in cold temperatures.
  6. Do not let muscles get cool during the game. If you are not playing, stand and keep moving as much as possible.

Spring sports are exciting for the athletes and for all the spectators! We want to help you make sure you stay healthy so you can enjoy them from the field!

About Dr. Brandon Mines

Brandon Mines, MDBrandon Mines, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics. Dr. Mines started practicing at Emory in 2005 after completing his Sports Medicine Fellowship at University of California – Los Angeles. Dr. Mines is board certified in both family practice and sports medicine. He has focused his clinical interest on sports injuries and conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand, knee, foot and ankle. He is head team physician for the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Atlanta Dream.

Dr. Mines is a rotational physician for United States soccer teams and a consulting physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons along with various local high schools, colleges, and community club teams. He enjoys giving talks and lectures regarding the prevention of sports injuries. In fact, as an active member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Society for Sports Medicine, Dr. Mines has attended and presented at various national conferences. Through the years, he has helped all levels of athletes return to the top of their game.

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5 Tips to Make a Healthy Transition from Fall to Winter Sports

Transitioning from Fall to Winter SportsIf you think the holidays are a busy season you should trade places with a high school athlete who is juggling their studies, family life, and multiple competitive sports.   The transition from fall to winter sports can be overwhelming. For many high school athletes they play a fall sport such as football and then transition right into the next sport during the winter season.  These athletes are showcasing their versatile athletic abilities as well as learning valuable life skills such as time-management skills, discipline and commitment.

Even though many young athletes think they are invincible, it is important to prepare them and their growing bodies for the rigors of changing sports and using new muscles in order to prevent injuries.

As a physician at Emory Sports Medicine, I recommend the following:

  1. Take a short mental break for a few days to ensure your mind is ready to begin the rigors of a new sport and intense practice sessions.  Many injuries occur when a student athlete is being careless and not following the coaches instructions.
  2. Build a strong cardiovascular base by running, biking or doing other cardio exercises at least 2 times a week year round. The amount of cardio workouts you need to do is dependent upon the sport you play.
  3. Build Core Strength by doing some simple core exercises such as crunches and planks.
  4. Make sure the athlete has the proper footwear for the sport.  Transitioning from football cleats to basketball shoes can be a big adjustment.  The transition in surface (outdoor grass to wood floor) can in some cases lead to shin splints.  Proper shoes along with stretching can help prevent this from happening.
  5. Maintain proper nutrition all year round – in-season as well as off-season..  Although having a balanced diet is most important, all young athletes should make sure to eat a size appropriate amount of complex carbohydrates when participating in cardio intense sports. Doing so will ensure enough energy is present during the times when they are most needed!

Ensure your young athlete is ready to hit the ground running in winter sports by sharing these words of wisdom with them!

About Brandon Mines, MD

Brandon Mines, MD

Brandon Mines, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics. Dr. Mines started practicing at Emory in 2005 after completing his Sports Medicine Fellowship at University of California – Los Angeles. Dr. Mines is board certified in both family practice and sports medicine. He has focused his clinical interest on sports injuries and conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand, knee, foot and ankle. He is head team physician for the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Atlanta Dream and Decatur High School. He is also one of the team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons.  His areas of interest are diagnosis and non-operative management of acute sports injuries, basketball injuries, tennis injuries, golf injuries and joint injections.

Takeaways from Running Injury Live Chat

Dr. Amadeus MasonOn Tuesday, Dr. Amadeus Mason of Emory Sports Medicine, held a live chat that answered your questions about preventing running injuries. Dr. Mason provided some great answers to some very interesting questions; from how to prevent running injuries to the ideal length of time one should consider when training for a 5k and other long distance races.  Dr. Mason also provided participants with resources on things like: knee pain and strengthening and IT Band Syndrome.

The following is a recap of the live chat, or you can check out the transcript from Dr. Mason’s Preventing Running Injuries chat.

Q. Is it better to stretch before a run? After a run? Or Both?

A. For runners stretching for flexibility, it’s better to stretch after their run, because muscles are looser and more receptive to the stretch at that time. Dr. Mason also noted that while stretching before a run doesn’t hurt, runners should keep in mind that it’s best to spend at least ¼ of the time you spend running on stretching. As an example, Dr. Mason suggests if a runner trains for an hour, it’s best to stretch for at least 15 minutes.

Q. How does a runner prevent shin splints from reoccurring and preventing the pain’s longevity?

A. Runners experiencing recurrent shin splints, or moderate to severe pain in the shin that lasts for a long period of time, should see a specialist. Make sure not to train too much, too quickly, that’s one of the most common causes of shin splints, according to Dr. Mason. If shin splints occur, it’s recommended that a runner modifies their training regimen to accommodate for pain relief. Females, who experience shin splints on a fairly regular or recurrent basis, should contact their Physician.  Continuous shin pain is a possible indication that there’s some sort of hormonal imbalance or insufficient caloric intake from a female runner’s diet.

For more information on preventing running injuries, check out Dr. Mason’s chat transcript. You can also download the resources he shared in the chat by using the links below.

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Athletic Injuries: Young Athletes Play Through the Pain

Athletic Injury Young AthletesA new study shows that many young athletes keep on playing after they’ve been injured. And all too often, those injuries could have been prevented. Safe Kids Worldwide, a global nonprofit organization with a mission of preventing unintentional childhood injury, found that kids are suffering from overuse injuries, dehydration, and even head injuries.

Kids are under pressure to play at a much higher level and with more intensity than they did decades ago. A pitcher who shows potential may play on two or three different teams during a single season. And Safe Kids found there’s a lot of pressure to stay in the game—even when you’re hurt.

A new Safe Kids study shows a third of young athletes who play team sports suffer injuries severe enough to require medical treatment. But nearly 90% of parents underestimate how much time kids need to recover.

As a result, Emory pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Nicholas Fletcher says, a lot of kids play hurt.

“Kids think if they take a week off, they’ll get kicked off the team, or their parents won’t let them play anymore. It’s very important for the kid to stay on the team, so a lot of times they’ll mask the injury,” says Dr. Fletcher.

Safe Kids found that half of the coaches said they’d felt pressure—either from kids or parents—to put an injured child back in the game. And nearly a third of kids said they would play hurt unless their coach made them stop.

“One of the biggest take-home messages I try to convey to coaches is that this 11-year-old also has a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old season,” says Dr. Fletcher, who sees a lot of young players with ACL tears, hip injuries, and throwing injuries. Many of those problems are from overuse. He says if a young athlete is not given time to heal and given proper treatment, he or she can be left with lifelong problems.

Has your son or daughter suffered a sports injury and kept on playing? We welcome your questions and feedback in the comments section below.

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