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.

What is Piriformis Syndrome? – Symptoms and Treatment

When you’re suffering from pain in the buttocks or lower back pain, you may be on the journey to find out the source of the pain. There are many different aspects that could be causing your pain and symptoms including injury, bruising, bursitis or piriformis syndrome. There could be other causes as well but discovering what piriformis syndrome is can sometimes alleviate all your lower back pain problems.

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

This problem is not too common but can cause pain in the buttocks, lower back, and it can radiate down the leg and into the feet. This problem is typically caused by some sort of compression on the sciatic nerve or a contraction of the piriformis muscle itself. This contraction can cause the nerve to be compressed and it can be quite painful to deal with pain in this area.

This can be caused by trauma to your back or piriformis muscle itself, overuse of the area, and sometimes a pinched nerve can be irritated and can cause the contractions which will make the pain more intense.

Symptoms to Look For

If you’re wondering if your lower back pain is stemming from the piriformis muscle, here are a few symptoms to look for:

  • Tingling or numbness
  • Pain becomes more severe when you try to do certain things such as climbing stairs, stretching your legs out straight, or walking can sometimes cause the pain to worsen
  • The pain can radiate from the back down to your foot

 

Treatment for Piriformis Syndrome

A variety of treatment options are available to help you deal with this intense pain that piriformis syndrome can cause.  Some find that doing stretches to help the muscle relax and stretch out can offer great relief from the pain. Some exercises such as Yoga positions can also help to relieve the muscle contraction and work the muscle loose. Some treatment methods include physical therapy or massage can help to relieve that muscle cramping and contraction.

The use of NSAID’s can also be helpful in reducing inflammation and pain in this case. Injection therapy has also been used and in very rare cases, surgery is needed to help relieve the pain and the pressure placed on the nerves.

If you’re suffering from this type of lower back pain it can cause you to miss out on so many things. You can do some stretches and exercises at home, coupled with a lot of rest to help the muscle relax and release the contractions. It’s very important that if you suffer from this syndrome that you keep stretched and be sure to not do any activities that could aggravate the problem.

Common Causes for Meniscus Tear & Prevention Tips

Your knees bear the brunt of a lot of your movement. They are where your legs bend to be able to walk or run properly, they bear the weight of your body, and they are how you can make fast or quick turns and movements when you’re in motion. What happens when your knee is injured? There are a couple of common injuries found in the knee region and one of the main ones is a meniscus injury. This can vary in pain levels and treatment options depending on how bad the meniscus tear is. Here are a few things to know about the injury and treatment/prevention tips out there.

Common Reasons for a Meniscus Tear

Some of the most common reasons for this type of injury is due to sports or heavy lifting. It occurs when you turn very quickly or you twist your knee when your foot is firmly planted on the ground. This can happen in baseball as you’re trying to make that out or it can happen when you’re lifting furniture to move into a new home. It all happens as you twist your knee while it’s slightly bent and you do not move your foot. No matter what causes the meniscus tear, it can vary in levels of injury and pain.

Levels of Meniscus Injury

With just a minor injury you typically experience pain and slight swelling, but it will go away after a few weeks or so. You can make sure to ice it and give it a lot of rest to help speed the process. A more moderate level of tear or injury will cause pain at the side of the knee or middle of your knee. You will notice that the swelling gradually gets worse and it can be quite painful to bend your knee or squat.

For those with a major tear in the knee you may find that your meniscus has torn off pieces and it is now moving into the joint area. You may find your knee gives way when you’re walking and the pain and swelling continue to get worse.

Treatment and Prevention

Treating your meniscus injury is usually done with rest, elevation and with ice to keep swelling down. In severe cases surgery and physical therapy are also required. To prevent the meniscus tear, be sure you are cautious of how you move and take care to not turn quickly on your knees. Be sure to always have help when lifting items that are too heavy by yourself. Try to pick up your foot to maneuver instead of keeping it on the ground so that your entire leg can turn with you.

3 Causes for Finger Joint Pain and Treatments

Whether you work in manual labor all day or you’re at an office job, your fingers and hands are quite busy. Daily tasks can become difficult to do if you’re suffering from finger joint pain or finger pain. Learning the most common causes for finger pain and the treatment options available can help you to live life to the fullest again, without the pain in your hands or fingers. Here are a few common causes of pain in the joints of your fingers.

Injury

Perhaps you may not have even realized you injured your hand or fingers and this is the cause of your pain. Other times you know when you did it and can pinpoint what caused the finger pain. Either way an injury can cause pain in the joints and fingers of the hand making it difficult to use that appendage until it’s healed.

Arthritis

There are several types of arthritis that can cause finger joint pain. RA, or rheumatoid arthritis, causes inflammation in the joints and can cause knots and growths on the fingers. It can also cause them to twist and cause more pain. Arthritis can come along with age or it can come along due to genetics. Osteoarthritis is another form that can affect the hands and fingers.

Other Causes

Another common source of finger pain is an infection from a cut or scrape. If you do not take care of the injury when it happens, you can end up with a painful infection. You could also develop neuropathy if you suffer from uncontrolled diabetes or have had diabetes for a very long time. This can cause numbness and pain in the appendages.

One other common cause of finger joint pain is carpal tunnel syndrome. It may start out as numbness and tingling but can progress to more painful problems if not taken care of.

Treatment Options

For pain in the fingers and joints you can take over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce the inflammation causing the pain. If your finger is broken or injured the doctor may put a brace on the finger so that you can reduce the movement giving it time to heal. For other symptoms such as carpal tunnel you may also find a brace to steady the wrist and hands can help to alleviate the symptoms.

For those suffering with arthritis, you may find that your doctor can prescribe you something to help with the symptoms and to reduce the pain. Finger joint pain can be caused by a variety of ailments and it’s important to pinpoint where your pain is coming from.

Toe Walking in Children: Symptoms, Causes and Management

Somewhere around the ages of 12-14 months old your children start to walk. While in most cases children walk flat on their feet, some children start walking on their tip toes instead of flat feet. Generally, this will disappear after about three months or so of learning to walk. Usually at the latest it is by the age of three that they will put their feet flat on the ground to walk. However, there are some cases where children have toe walking as their normal walk and they never put their feet flat on the ground. They will walk either on the ball of their feet or straight up on their tip toe areas.

Causes of Idiopathic Toe Walking

There are many different aspects that can be the cause of toe walking. Some children with cerebral palsy tend to walk on their toes or the ball of their foot. Muscular dystrophy is another common cause of the tip toe walk pattern. Even some children with autism have been known to walk this way but most times that is not the case.

Features of this to watch out for include things such as your children walking on only the tip toe areas or the balls of their feet, they walk with straight knees, and there is often a history of this type of walking in the family. Children with toe walking can typically keep up with other kids their age even when just balancing on their toes. You will notice they also walk this way on both feet, not just one or the other. They also can stand still with both feet on the ground flat but when they began to walk they go back up on their toes.

Management of the Symptoms and Condition

If your child is still toe walking after two years old, it is time to consult your physician. There are exercises you can do at home with your child to help strengthen those muscles and help them walk flat on their feet. You can work with them on calf-stretch exercises, Achilles tendon stretches, and also sit to stand exercises to help them stretch those muscles and get them to working properly.

Shoes are another consideration in the treatment and management of toe walking. While shoes alone will not correct the issue, it can help them to have the support they need to bring their foot down farther than they do when barefoot. Make sure that the shoes your child has includes a high cut shoe that includes a wide sole, firm heel of the shoe, and rigid support.

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.

Top 5 Trampoline Injuries: Prevention

Having a trampoline in your backyard seems like a fun and exciting way to get outside and get to moving. While it could be fun, there are some serious trampoline injuries that can take place if precautions are not taken. These can include everything from broken bones and sprains to something even more serious such as concussions or neck injuries. Learning how to prevent the top four trampoline injuries from happening in your home is critical to keep the fun lasting for years to come. Here are some of the top four injuries that people deal with on a trampoline.

Broken Bones

Children and adults can easily break bones on the trampolines in their friend’s yard or in their own. This can happen by colliding with someone else while jumping, falling off the trampoline during a jump or landing wrong on the trampoline itself.

Sprains or Strains

Again this can happen on the trampoline while you or your child are jumping around. You could land wrong and twist an ankle or even get your arm caught in the sides of the trampoline when landing as well. Many people suffer from twisted limbs when jumping and landing incorrectly.

Head or Neck Injuries

A more serious injury on the trampoline includes injuries to the neck or head.  People have broken their necks or hit their heads and developed a concussion after jumping on the trampoline. Another way these trampoline injuries occur is if there are two people jumping and they collide on landing. They can develop severe head injuries if they hit their heads together or if they fall off the trampoline and land on the ground.

Bruises, Cuts, and Scrapes

These are more minor injuries that happen but they happen nonetheless. It is very important that if you cut yourself on the trampoline that you take the proper methods of caring for it afterwards. Be sure to clean out the cut or scrape and ice down bruised areas to prevent more swelling.

Precautions to Prevent Trampoline Injuries

Some might say to leave the trampoline at the store and walk away. Some would tell you not to even put one in your yard, but if you have one already, here are some ideas to keep in mind. Always have an adult present when jumping on the trampoline. Only allow one person to jump at a time and everyone else should be off the trampoline. Make sure not to do flips on the trampoline and to check all aspects of the unit for damage and needed repairs.

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.

Knock Knees: Symptom and Treatment

When your children are learning to walk it is a fun and exciting adventure. It can also be a little overwhelming as you learn to let go and let them do it on their own, stumbling and falling along the way. As your children continue to grow and go off on their own walking adventures, you may start noticing some differences in the way they stand or how their legs fit together. One fairly common sight in children under the age of around 6 or 7 is Genu Valgum, or what you know as knock knees. While in most cases of knock knees, the knees will eventually spread out further apart as your child matures. If you’re concerned with the way your child’s knees or legs are developing, here are some signs and knock knee treatments you should know about to make sure everything is developing as it should.

Symptoms of Knock Knees

Take a look at how your child stands. If you notice that when they stand with their knees together their ankles are much farther apart than they should be, this could be a sign of knock knees. If the angle their knees are turned inward is larger than a 15-degree angle, you should seek out a consultation. They may complain of pain or other problems with their knees as well. They may have difficulty walking on a regular basis, have one leg that is turned in more than the other, or instead of getting better the problem is getting worse.

Knock knees, Genu Valgum, is caused by a variety of things. Rickets, excessive weight such as in an obese person, or weak knee ligaments can all be culprits of this condition. There are ways to treat it if you get to your pediatric physician or your pediatric orthopedic doctor.

Treatment

Typically, treatment for this condition does not take place unless the child is around 10 years old or older. That is because your child is still growing and the condition usually fixes itself with time. If there’s an underlying cause of the problem, then that will be treated first. Things such as losing weight if the problem is due to being overweight, strengthening ligaments, and getting in your Vitamin D and calcium if rickets is the cause, are just a few ways they can be treated.

As a general rule, surgery is the very last resort for knock knee treatments. There are two types generally used that include guided growth and an osteotomy. Both of these are held off as long as possible to help the child to develop normally.