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.

Coronoid Fracture: Cause & Symptoms

Coronoid fractures often happen in the ulna although they are relatively uncommon. However, coronoid fractures can be critical injuries. They usually occur in conjunction with elbow dislocations and will lead to elbow instability. The coronoid is designed to strengthen the elbow, increasing the stability. Therefore, a fracture will lead to unstable elbows and a possible loss of motion.

Traumatic elbow injuries such as a coronoid fracture will usually result in a dislocation of not only the bony structures but also injuries to the soft tissues. Very often, the posterior elbow is dislocated and managing it is extremely difficult. Unlike other fractures, coronoid fractures do not respond well to close reduction or splinting.

Causes

Coronoid fracture usually comes hand in hand with an elbow dislocation as dislocation itself involves a large energy impact onto the surrounding bones and soft tissues, leading to several severe soft tissue injuries. This usually happens during high impact sports such as rugby or accidents. One of the most common cause is a fall from a certain height, landing on an outstretched arm when trying to break the fall. The main mechanism involves a combination of twisting and flexing. When the elbow is loaded axially, it is in its weakest state and will lead to the weakening of the coronoid.

Symptoms

Patients suffering from coronoid fractures often have the following symptoms. Patients will be in tremendous pain with diffuse swelling and tenderness. The level of tenderness can be multifocal and depends of the area of injury. Range of motion including flexing, extension and rotation will be severely limited or totally impossible.

Complications

Coronoid fractures may lead to complications if it is not treated properly. The ends of broken bones are sharp and they can cut and tear surrounding blood vessels, nerves and tendons. Fractures may also lead to excessive bleeding and swelling in the elbow region, causing blood clot formation and the disruption of normal blood flow to the rest of the arm. This will lead to a loss of sensation and even function of the arm, requiring emergency attention.

Management

Patients suffering from coronoid fractures will have unstable elbows and it can be fixed by suturing the bone and anterior capsule to the anterior ulna. Surgery will involve either internal fixation or replacement of the fractured radial heads. The injured ligaments need to be surgically reconstructed and if the elbow is still unstable, hinged external fixation will be required.

Olecranon Fractures: Treatment & Management

Our elbow is a complex hinge joint made up of three different bones. It can also perform various functions. The elbow is able to bend and straighten up, rotate and turning up and down. When you try to bend your elbow, the sharp tip protruding out is called the olecranon. Olecranon fractures are injuries that affect the particular bone.

Treatment

After a patient suffers from an Olecranon fracture, the first thing a doctor will administer is ice and pain relief medication followed by elbow immobilization. The doctor will then determine if surgery is required depending on the extent of the fracture.

Nonsurgical treatment

Patients who do not have a severe fracture will not be required to undergo surgery. Nonsurgical treatment is fairly straightforward. The patient will need to immobilize the fractured elbow using a splint or sling during the healing process. The patient will also need to visit the hospital once a week for X-ray imaging to monitor the healing process. If there are no protruding bone fragments, movement will resume after a month. During the healing process, a physiotherapist will be assigned to teach basic strengthening exercises. If the fracture shifts during this process, the patient will eventually surgery to piece the bones together.

Surgical treatment

Surgery will be needed for patients who have serious fractures such as an open fracture or displaced fracture. In a displaced fracture, the fracture is out of place. This is due to the strong attachment of the bicep muscles to the olecranon. Once the fracture is out of place, the elbow will be unable to straighten at all. An open fracture on the other hand means that the bone fragments have cut the skin, leading to an increased risk of infection. This is a much more serious condition and patients will be administered with antibiotics and tetanus shot. An incision will be made at the back of the elbow where the surgeon will piece the bone fragments together again. Large pieces of bones may be joined together using pins, wires, screws or plates and these metal implants can be permanent or biodegradable.

Management

Following surgery, rehabilitation will be required in order to regain the elbow to its previous condition. As the healing process is lengthy, bone resorption could have taken place. As such, the region is much weaker. A physiotherapist will thus concentrate on regaining bone mass and muscular strength in the elbow.

Importance of Recovery Period In Your Exercise Regime

Rest and recovery is probably the most important part of your exercise regime. Sufficient rest is required to maintain high level performance levels but many people still choose to over train and overuse their muscles. Too much rest will cause you to lose the intensity while too little will cause you to burn out fast. You need to strike a balance between rest and training. Repair and strengthening of the body doesn’t take place during the exercise itself. Instead, they happen when the body is at rest.

Recovery starts the moment you stop exercising. The glycogen in your muscle will be replenished and your body will start to repair muscles that are damaged such as minor muscle tears. It is through this process that your muscles get stronger and firmer. Imagine yourself twisting a paper clip now. The more you twist it, the stronger and more difficult it becomes. Your muscles will be able to withstand stronger loads the next time. However, all these are only possible through rest and recovery.

Sufficient recovery time also helps to burn more fats in your body. You can be doing a lot of cardiovascular training but without sufficient rest, you cannot burn off the fats effectively. Recovery allows the body to have time to fully stretch and contract the muscles and increase the heart rate. This increases metabolism and eat away excess fats.

Many athletes suffer from injuries simply because they over train and overuse their muscles. Without sufficient recovery periods, the muscles are unable to cope with the intense activities going on and pre-existing injuries will be amplified. Insufficient rest will also cause you to lose focus on what you are doing at the moment and this can be very dangerous, especially if you are lifting heavy weights.

Another extremely important reason why recovery is important is to allow sufficient rehydration of the entire body. Intensive training will use up all the fluids in the body and if they are not replenished, it can cause muscle cramps and even cause the body to break down. The muscles need to be constantly fed with electrolytes to keep them in optimum condition.

Rest and recovery are the most important part of a training regime. Although you may be tempted to not rest during exercises hoping to gain more muscles, it can lead to injuries and cause a negative effect for the body. Recovery also helps to repair the body and prevent injuries such as shoulder pain or elbow pain especially if you are playing sports such as tennis.

5 Applications of Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy or more commonly known as Shockwave therapy is a non invasive medical treatment that sends acoustic waves to injured parts of the body with the intent to reduce pain and promote healing. The shockwaves used for Shockwave therapy is similar to those used to break down kidney stone, but it is only at one tenth of the intensity, rendering it rather safe for the body. There are many uses of shockwave therapy and it can be widely applied to treat different injuries. Let’s take a look at some of the common applications of Shockwave Therapy.

Decrease pain

Shockwave therapy promotes hyperaemia which is actually the increase in blood flow to a targeted part of the body. Hyperaemia is the basis of shockwave therapy and the increase in blood flow provides extra energy and loosens up the muscles and path interactions between the actin and myosin. This will reduce muscle tension and decrease pain.

Dispersion of substance P

Substance P is a neuropeptide in the body and it functions as a transmitter and modulator for nerve communication. The main purpose of substance P is to modulate inflammation. Shockwave therapy can efficiently disperse substance P and increase the secretion of histamine. Dispersion of substance P also helps to reduce pain in the affected area and reduce the risk of developing oedema or fluid retention.

Increases collagen production

Collagen is the main protein that is found in the connective tissues throughout the body. It works together with elastin to provide structure and flexibility to the skin. Collagen is also the pre-requisite for any repair mechanism in the body that is due to a damaged ligament structure. Shockwave therapy will help to stimulate collagen production in the deeper layers of the tissues and this is something that you can never achieve just by taking collagen supplements.

Increases metabolism

Shockwave therapy removes nociceptive metabolites and helps to increase oxygen levels in the body and increasing the energy source. It also helps to reduce histamine which is acidic and increases the metabolism rate in the body.

Plantar fasciitis

Shockwave therapy will over stimulate nerves that are responsible for the transmission of pain to the brain, reducing pain immediately. It will also trigger the healing mechanism of the body and increases the formation of blood vessels in the affected area, speeding up the recovery process.

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment method that can be used for treating soft tissue injuries. Since it is non-invasive, there is minimal downtime and a hospital stay is not required. However, shockwave therapy may be painful for some but it is otherwise tolerable.

Top 3 Most Common Elbow Injuries

Our elbow is basically a joint in which the humerus bone, ulna bone and the radius bone is connected together to form a joint that functions like a hinge. The radius bone and the ulna bone also enable the elbow to rotate around the forearm. The main function of the elbow is to move forward and back as well as rotate around. Tendons are connected to the elbow and they can be easily injured either due to a sudden impact or due to ageing. The elbow is one of the most easily injured parts of the body as it is like a ball and socket joint in which the ball can easily slip out of the socket. Let’s look at some of the common elbow injuries.

Dislocation

Elbow dislocation is one of the few serious elbow injuries that can be sustained. Dislocation is often caused by trauma or injury such as a sudden impact from full contact sports such as rugby or high falls from activities such as rock climbing. The patient will suffer an immediate loss of motion in the elbow and severe pain. Depending on the severity, the elbow may even look like it is deformed due to the bones sticking out. The bones will need to be rejoined back in the shortest possible time. Most people will try to push back the bone but this is a huge mistake as it should only be performed by highly trained medical personnel under sedation to prevent further damages to the surrounding tendons.

Fracture

Fracture is another serious elbow injury and the symptoms are similar to a dislocation. It is also caused by sudden impact or fall from great heights and landing on a hand, causing the elbow to fracture. Patients will suffer a loss in range of motion but not as much as a dislocation. In more severe cases, patients may even experience numbness and this can indicate possible nerve damages. Since fractures are cracks in the bone, patients can experience a loss in blood circulation and this can be easily diagnosed by a lower temperature in the injured area or a weakened pulse.

Olecranon Bursitis

Patients who are suffering from Olecranon Bursitis will experience swelling at the elbow and will feel pain with every movement. Olecranon Bursitis is due to the inflammation of the bursa and this is often caused by overuse of the elbow or infection. This is usually due to prolonged periods of leaning on the elbow with the whole body weight leaning on it.

Elbow injuries are inevitable at some point in time of your life. However, the elbow is a part of our body which is heavily used daily and if we fail to take good care of it, it will cause much inconvenience to our daily lives.

 

Sprained, Tears or Fractured?

Sports injuries are inevitable at some point in time of your life. After a hard training session or a game of your favourite sports, there will definitely be those post game aches and pain that you will suffer which are perfectly normal. In unwanted cases, you could have landed badly from a jump or fell awkwardly on your shoulders, resulting in a swollen ankle or shoulder. You try to self medicate but what injury is it exactly? Is it a sprain, muscle tear or a fracture? How do you differentiate them from one another?

Sprains

A sprain occurs when you stretch or partially tear the fibrous tissues or more commonly known as your ligaments. They occur mostly in places such as your ankles and wrists. Ligaments helps to connect the connective tissues from your bones to your joints. There are three degrees of sprains namely the first, second and third degree. Some signs of sprains include pain, bruising, tenderness, inflammation, swelling and immobility of the affected area. Sprains can usually heal on their own but more serious sprains may require surgery. Always see a doctor if the pain is excruciating or you suffer from numbness in the area which could imply something more serious.

Tears

Muscle tear or commonly known as muscle strain implies that you have torn a muscle or a tissue called tendons. They occur most commonly in places such as the hamstring which is located at the back of you thigh. Muscle tear can cause severe pain and inability to walk or carry out normal functions properly. They are commonly caused by over use of muscles, suddenly pulling of the affected tissues and cyclic cycles of muscles.

Fracture

Fractures are probably the most serious as compared to tears and sprains. A fracture implies that there is a broken or cracked bone involved. Fractures are extremely serious injuries and you must seek a doctor immediately. Common symptoms include difficulty in breathing, loss of mobility at the affected area, fingers or toes turning blue due to lack of blood flow and seeing a bone sticking through the skin. There are two types of fractures namely the acute and stress fractures. Simple acute fractures are caused by a sudden hard blow to the bone resulting in the bone breaking, causing injury only to the bone and not to the surrounding tissues. If you see a bone sticking through your skin, you have a compound acute fracture which will cause infection to the surrounding tissues and are much more serious. Stress fractures are normally from repeated stress on your affected area mainly caused by sports or gymnastics.

Now that you know what sports injury you are suffering from, you can do the necessary R.I.C.E actions and seek a doctor if you need to. There are so many different sports injuries and above are only three of them. Always consult a doctor if you are unsure as wrong self mediation can further aggravate the injury.