4 Ways to Protect Ankle from Sprain

If you’ve ever had a sprained ankle you know just how painful they can be. Sometimes they can feel as if you’ve broken bones or torn ligaments but all you’ve done is twisted, or sprained, the ankle severely. Once your ankle sprain has finally healed, you may be susceptible to reinjuring the ankle if you do not take a few precautions. Here are four ways you can protect your ankle from reinjuring it after you’ve healed from the ankle sprain itself.

Wear a Brace

If it’s only been a few weeks since you hurt your ankle, wearing a brace for a month or two while you’re exercising is a good idea. It will help to support the ankle during vigorous activity that might otherwise reinjure you. The semi-rigid type brace is best for right after you’ve injured yourself and you’re healed. It will offer the necessary support and protection during running, walking and other exercise. There are also other wraps and braces you can use to support your ankle during the time of gaining your strength back such as air filled or lace braces.

Balance Work

Work on balancing on your foot that you injured. By practicing balancing exercises on that leg it helps to strengthen the leg and ankle to protect it from injury. Start out by only balancing on the leg for around 30 seconds or so. You can slowly increase this time as you gain more strength in the muscles. This should be done no less than three times a day and can be done more if you’re ankle is holding up to it.

Heel Raises

You should also perform heel raises to help strengthen the ankle. You can do these from a seated position or you can do them standing. Just as with the balance work, start by doing the heel raises and stretches for at least 30 seconds at a time and increase to three minutes or more as you gradually hold it longer.

Other Exercises

Other types of exercises you can use to help prevent an ankle sprain are toe raises, ankle circles and using steps to gain strength back in the ankle that was injured. You can also practice in and out motions where you turn your ankle as far in as you can and hold then turn it back out and hold. Adding in resistance to the in and out motion can also help you build strength back in the joint and ligaments.

These are just a few ways to help you gain strength and protect yourself from having another sprained ankle.

Elderly Hip Fracture: Top 4 Symptoms & Prevention Tips

Growing older comes with its own set of dangers and precautions that need to be taken to ensure that you avoid a variety of problems that could arise. As you age, your bones may become weaker and not be able to handle a fall or trip as they once could. One of the major causes for concern is a hip fracture in elderly generations. The hip fracture itself can lead to many other problems due to the inability to move it well and being down and out for a while to recover. Here are the top four symptoms of a hip fracture and a few prevention tips to protect you or your loved one.

Can Not Move

After your loved one or yourself has taken a fall, you may not be able to move right away. That can be a sure sign that your hip has fractured during the tumble. It may be very difficult or even impossible for you to get back up on your own.

Pain and Bruising

Another sure sign of a hip fracture is the severe pain that may be felt in your hip or groin area. This can be quite excruciating and can make it very difficult to function. You may also notice bruising and swelling in the hip area as well. Your loved one may feel a lot of stiffness as well in the hip area if they have fractured their hip.

Not Able to Put Weight on the Leg

If you’re dealing with a hip fracture in elderly loved ones, you may notice they cannot put weight on the leg that the hip is fractured on. They may try but cannot succeed as there is just too much pain in that joint area.

Outward Turning or Shorter Leg

You may notice that the leg on the injured side is turned outwards toward the foot in a way that is not natural for it to be. There also may be signs of one leg being shorter than the other when there is a hip fracture present.

Prevention Tips

A fractured hip in the elderly can be quite dangerous so there are a few prevention tips that should be taken into consideration. Be sure to always have assistance around if they have trouble standing or sitting down. Make sure that if there are rugs or carpets in the areas that your loved ones frequent that they are tacked down or remove them if possible. Be sure that the pathways and walkways are clear of items that could cause tripping. Do not have wheels on any of the chairs they use and be sure there is a chair or safety rails/handles in bathrooms. These items can help to prevent a very dangerous situation.

Common Cause of Overuse Injuries: Prevention & Treatment

Sports are a great way to keep active and healthy throughout your entire life. One concern with playing a variety sports are the common overuse injuries or even stress fractures. There are many different injuries that can come about from using the same muscles over and over, but there are ways to prevent them as well. Take a look at some of the most common overuse injuries and how you can avoid or treat them if you fall victim.

Going Farther Than You Actually Can

When it comes to a new exercise program or sports adventure, you must be realistic on what you are capable of handling. Most common injuries come about due to the inability to admit you can only go so far with your new activity. Start slow and make sure to take your time in pushing yourself. If you push yourself too far too fast you can end up with stress fractures or pulled muscles and ligaments.

Know The Correct Form

When you are learning a new sport or exercise, it is important that you use the correct form at all times. Work with a professional or seasoned trainer in the specific sport you’re trying to learn. This will help you to learn the correct form before you start making bad habits in the way you play or perform the move. Bad form can cause a variety of overuse injuries in your body when you do not learn the right way to perform the sport or move beforehand.

Preventing and Treating These Injuries

To treat an overuse injury, you want to make sure to start cutting back on the practice during your time of being injured. Be sure to warm-up properly during every exercise or workout. Ice down the injury so that you can help to reduce any inflammation that may be present and be sure to get plenty of rest. You may also find that anti-inflammatory medications will help during treatment as well.

To prevent these common overuse injuries from happening in the first place, be sure you learn the proper form before you start an exercise or program. Make sure your shoes are worn in but also offer the proper support for the activity you’re about to do. Remember you do not have to be the fastest at the program right away. Learn the proper technique from the get go and take it easy to ensure you have it right. All of these tips can help you to prevent injures such as stress fractures from happening to you and taking you out of the game.

3 Common Injuries From Weight Lifting

Everyone wants to be healthier and stronger. One way to do that is with a healthy diet plan and exercise, combining both cardio and strength training. While strength training is a great method of toning and getting stronger, there are some very common weight lifting injuries that you should be aware of before getting started. They range from shoulder injuries to knee and back injuries. Learning what they are and how to avoid them to be safe when lifting is key in making the type of progress you wish to make.

Shoulder Injuries

When you are performing such tasks as overhead lifting like bench presses or shoulder press, you can run into an injury called shoulder impingement. This injury is when you have inflammation and swelling in the rotator cuff area. At first you may only notice pain in the shoulder when you’re lifting your arms, but eventually the pain can be felt no matter what you’re doing as it progresses. If you’re not cautious, then this shoulder impingement injury can also lead to a tear in the rotator cuff itself.

Back Injuries

Lifting heavy weights with your back instead of your legs can result in serious back strains or sprains. If you’re lifting with your back, you may also experience a herniated disc which is quite painful. Sprains are typically caused by acute injuries or trauma to the back making the ligaments stretch to far or even tear. Strains typically affect the muscles instead of the ligaments in the back. Most of these weight lifting injuries can be treated with medication and relaxation. The herniated disc however may require physical therapy or even surgery to correct the problem.

Knee Injuries

Remember to also protect your knees as you’re lifting weights. The knee joint or patellar tendon can be injured by repetitive squatting motions, deep knee bends, and extension of the knee.  As you are bending and squatting during your weight lifting, the tendon can start to get tiny tears in it. Then you may start to feel pain below the kneecap. It is important that you keep an eye on this and get treatment as soon as you can. Some cases are helped with patellar tendon strap or physical therapy. In extreme cases, surgery may be needed to repair the knee.

Lifting weights is a great way to get your body into shape and to help you feel and be stronger. While you’re lifting, it’s very important that you take the necessary safety steps and precautions to prevent yourself from having any weight lifting injuries.

Nursemaid’s Elbow: Cause, Symptom & Prevention

Children are always playing, jumping around, running and generally having a great time. However, there is an injury that can occur to a child that happens suddenly and is cause for a visit to the pediatrician. The commonly termed phrase is pulled elbow or nursemaids elbow, but it is known in the medical community as a radial head subluxation. What is that and what can you do to prevent it from happening to your child? Here are a few things you need to know about this common injury and how you can keep it from happening.

What is Pulled Elbow?

Basically, nursemaids elbow is when the joint of the elbow is pulled partially out. The ligaments around the elbow and the bones in the arm are still growing and are not as tight as the ligaments in adults. This can lead to young children suffering from this injury where they have a small separation of their radiocapitellar joint. Some children have ligaments that are very loose around this joint and thus can suffer from this injury multiple times.

How Does It Happen?

The nursemaids elbow or pulled elbow injury can happen multiple different ways. If children are playing with their friends and someone pulls on their arm too hard it can pop out of place. If you or their care giver is holding their hand and you must pull them quickly out of harm’s way, it can cause the joint to dislocate. When friends or family swing your child around by their arms it can also cause this radial head subluxation to take place. Another way that it can be done is if you’re holding the hand of your child and they happen to pull back on you rather harshly or sometimes even when they fall down and are still holding your hand. It is very rare that it happens from a fall such as this but it does.

How Can You Prevent It?

While it can be a common injury to your children, you want to make sure to try and prevent it as much as possible. Be sure you do not swing your child around while only holding their arms or hands. This can be an easy way to have the pulled elbow injury pop up. Also pick your children up by grasping them under the arms. Do not try to lift them up by their hands or arms. Make sure you also avoid tugging on their arms or hand as this can cause nursemaids elbow as well.

Top 4 Baseball Injuries: Prevention

Baseball is an all-time favorite pastime not only in America, but around the world. From the backyard family games to the pitcher’s mound in the big stadiums, baseball is a game everyone can enjoy watching or playing. While this game is fun and exciting, it can also be dangerous to the players if the proper caution and preventative measures are not taken. From elbow injuries to hurting the pitcher’s shoulder, there are several different injuries that can occur when one plays on a regular basis. Here are the top four common baseball injuries and what you can do to prevent them from happening to you or your children.

Top Four Injuries

When it comes to the sport, there are several injuries that are commonly seen. One of the most common is muscle strains or soft tissue type injuries. This can occur when you pull a muscle during pitching, catching, or running bases. Two more types of injuries that are commonly seen include cuts and bruises. This happens due to running into another player, sliding into the bases, or even getting hit with the ball during a play.

One other type of typical baseball injury is a ligament injury. This includes spraining the ligament which happens a lot when pitching, catching or running the bases. All of these can be minor injuries but others can be quite detrimental to the player. It can cause you to miss a full season if the injury is severe enough.

How do you stop these injuries from happening? What can you do to avoid elbow injuries such as overuse or avoid injuring your pitcher’s shoulder? Here are a few tips to help you prevent these most common injuries from happening.

Tips to Prevent Injuries

Always make sure to warm up gradually and properly each time you go to play. Do not skip the warm up as this can help you get your muscles and body prepared for what you are about to do.  Start with easy slow pitches, running at a slow pace around the bases, and getting your body prepared for the game.

Rotate the pitchers to other positions. Make sure that you do not overuse your pitcher or overuse your arm as the pitcher. Also as the coach of a baseball team, follow the guidelines on age appropriate pitching. For example, teens and adults can typically pitch two games a week while the younger crowd should max out around 75-100 pitches a week. This will help to prevent them from injuring their shoulder.

Always wear your protective equipment such as helmets, shin guards and catcher’s mitt if you’re playing baseball. This can help you to prevent any major injuries and keep you playing your favorite sport.

Common Childhood Orthopedic Conditions

When it comes to your child’s growth, you may notice things from time-to-time that don’t seem quite as they should. Those could include things such as their speech, you may notice they seem to have flatfeet, or even that they suffer from knock-knees. While most often times you’ll find your children grow out of some of these concerns you have, others may not grow out of them and need assistance in handling the situation. Here are some common conditions children deal with of an orthopedic nature.

Walking on Their Toes

Most times you’ll find your toddler that is learning to walk with walk on their toes. As they get stronger and walk more consistently, this should disappear. However, if it does not and your child is over age 3, they need to see a doctor about this condition. This can cause harm to their muscles later in life if it is not dealt with at an early age.

Flatfeet That Stay

Typically, babies are born with their feet flat and develop their arches later on in life. However, there are some children who never get an arch and they still have flat feet later on. This may appear that they have weakness in their ankles due to the way their foot appears when they are standing straight up. Doctors say that most times this is not a cause for concern but in those cases where pain is involved, they may prescribe arch supports to assist in reducing the discomfort and help the foot to develop correctly.

Knock-Knees

While a lot of children do show a slight tendency towards the knock-knee condition, more often they not it is something they grow out of. However, if they do not grow out of it or one side is more pronounced than the other, you should seek medical assistance. Such items as braces or inserts in the shoes can help your child’s legs start to straighten out and reduce any pain they may be having.

Other conditions that may require a doctor’s visit include pigeon toes or children who seem to have the bowing out of their legs. In most cases all of these conditions are something your children will grow out of without any intervention. In the cases where you do need to seek intervention, the orthopedic specialists can assist you in making sure your child is comfortable and growing at the pace they should be.

Top 4 Yoga Injuries: Prevention

All around the world you’ll find people getting into the sun salutation position or downward dog at their local Yoga studio. Maybe they’re even doing Yoga at home with their own mat and via the television. Either way, Yoga injuries can still occur if you are not careful. Just like any other sport you can experience lower back pain or other injuries if you do not do the positions as they are meant to be. Check out a few of the ways people get injured during Yoga and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

Wrist Pain

One of the most common Yoga injuries is pain to the wrists during the poses. A lot of times your wrist carries most of your body weight in the poses and this can lead to injuries. You have to learn the right techniques to leveraging the weight while still holding the correct position.

Shoulder Pain

Be careful not to shrug your shoulders and hold them up to high during your positions. When you raise your shoulders up to your ears, you are not allowing the neck muscles to support you as they should. This can cause pain and injury to your shoulder areas.

Lower Back Pain

While many people use these stretches to relieve lower back pain, some end up having pain because of improperly doing the pose. When you are folding forward in your positions, you want to make sure that you take it slowly and do the position in the correct way. Otherwise it leaves your back going in the wrong direction which can lead to disc pain or injury.

Knee Pain

This can arise from sitting in the Lotus position which is a full cross-legged position. If you have knee pain already, then it’s best to avoid this position. Always make sure that you do not aggravate your pain by pushing your body further than it’s ready to go.

How to Prevent Yoga Injuries

It is vital that you learn the correct positioning for all poses before starting a full class. You can take the beginners class or work with a trainer before pushing yourself too far. They can help you learn the correct way to get into position and hold it without putting yourself in danger of injuries. While Yoga is a fabulous way to get exercise and flexibility, it can also be painful if you push your body farther than you should. Take it slow and learn the right techniques, and in no time you’ll be doing the head stands!

Most Common Cycling Injuries: Prevention

When it comes to a fun way getting in your exercise or even getting from point A to point B, cycling has been the number one way for many years. People of all ages enjoy riding their bikes out on trails, in their neighborhoods and even renting them at the beaches. One problem that comes with this mode of fun and exercise is cycling injuries. Learning how you can prevent these from happening to you will keep you happily cycling for years to come. Check out the common cycling injuries below and a few tips on how to prevent them from happening.

Pain in the Hands or Wrists

Some people experience pain in their hands or wrists after riding. Typically, that is because a lot of people ride with their elbows locked and arms straight out. To prevent that from happening to you, be sure to keep your elbows bent during riding time. This will help your elbows act as shock absorbers for the rest of your arm when you hit bumps or dips along the way.

Pain in the Neck or Back

You might experience neck pain or even back pain after you’ve been riding for a while. Most often times this is due to improper positioning on the bike itself. If you’re handlebars are set at too low of an angle, then you may find yourself rounding your back or bending over to reach them. If you seem to stay in one position for too long this can cause your neck pain to start as well. Be sure to change positions often and get off to stretch while you’re riding for a lengthy period of time.

Pain in the Knees

You may find the most common problem with cycling is the knee pain that can develop. This is mostly due to overuse of your knees. It can result in problems such as cyclists knee, quadriceps tendonitis, or other conditions that are from overuse of the joint. Make sure you give your knees plenty of rest before and after the cycling journey you take. Also shoe wedges can help to relieve the overuse of your knees and thus help prevent your knee pain from coming back.

Head Injuries

Always remember to wear a helmet whenever you are riding to prevent dangerous cycling injuries from happening. Keeping a helmet on at all times will drastically reduce the potential for you to suffer from a head injury during your bike ride.

Keep these tips in mind to help you enjoy cycling and prevent the most common cycling injuries.

5 Daily Activities To Reduce Risk of Knee Injury

The knees are so essential for our mobility but often times, we tend to overwork them or neglect to take care of them. Athletes are more prone to knee injuries and the injuries that they incur might be more severe. It could be an acute injury from accidents or overuse injury from excessive stress on the knees for long periods of time.

However, it is possible to prevent knee injury. There are simple things you can do every day to protect your knees, reduce the risk of twisting them and cutting down on the stress you put on them.

1) Stand on one leg

This stance helps to improve your balance and knee stabilizing strength. Simply stand on one leg, but avoid pulling your other leg all way up in a tight grip. Keep it bent loosely and spread your arms out to balance if needed. To increase the difficulty, you can slowly rotate your upper body left and right.

2) Stretch your hamstring

This exercise can be done anywhere, whether you’re taking a walk from your desk or watching TV. It strengthens your hamstring to give you more balance and reduce stress on your knees. Position one foot on a chair or a high step while keeping the other leg and your back straight. Then lean forward and hold the position for 20 seconds, feeling the stretch down the back of your leg.

3) Wear comfortable shoes

Avoid high heels and shoes that are too tight. Choosing a good fit helps maintain a proper leg alignment and balance, which takes pressure off the knees. You can choose to wear running or tennis shoes as those give more cushion and support. Shoe orthotics that you can buy at drugstores would also be a good alternative to give more stability and comfort.

4) Use a knee brace

Especially when engaging in sports, fabric sleeve brace provides support for the knee and prevents injury. If your daily activities involve bending, squatting and frequent changing directions, using a brace would prevent acute injuries or wearing your knees out.

5) Keep a healthy diet

To keep your knees strong, you need to keep your bones strong with a healthy diet. Take more dairy and dark green, leafy vegetables. It is especially important for elderly people and women that have gone through childbirth to replenish the calcium lost in old age and labour.