knee injury

Ask Sarah: How to Avoid Knee Injuries with Summer and Fall Activities

Dear Sarah,

My daughter is entering her sophomore year of high school and last year during one of her summer training camps, I was unfortunate enough to watch her friend experience her first ACL tear injury. Watching my daughter’s friend and teammate go through this emotional rollercoaster both physically and mentally has made me very fearful for my daughter. I do not want to see her get hurt and have to go through the same hardships and struggles that sometimes go along with sports-related injuries. Do you have any advice on how my daughter (and her teammates) can avoid developing serious injuries as they finish up their summer training camps and head into fall sporting events?

Thanks for your help.

Lisa -Coldwater, OH

 

Hi Lisa-

I am sorry to hear that your daughter’s friend had to go through the, as you said perfectly, emotional roller coaster of dealing with a sports-related injury. This is never an easy feat to overcome. Luckily, there are several ways to strengthen your muscles and lower your risks of developing a sports-related injury, which is so important with the summer camps and upcoming fall sporting events.

  1. Stay hydrated. Over half of your body is made up of water. That is why it is vital you continue to replenish your body. Good hydration will allow your muscles to continue to work efficiently and avoid secondary problems. Dehydrated muscles do not work as efficiently, which makes it more likely to cramp up or pull a muscle.
  2. Wear the proper equipment. One of the most effective ways to prevent injury is to make sure you are wearing proper foot attire. Before joining a sport, research what the right type of shoe is for that sport and purchase accordingly to reduce pain. If you have flat feet, make sure you look into specialized shoes to offer the proper support. Trips, slips and falls are the most commonly reported causes of injury, so make sure you have the proper footwear to prevent injuries at all costs.
  3. Be mindful and listen to your body. It is highly important that you know your limitations. If your body is telling you it is exhausted and needs a break, listen to it and sit out for the next 10-20 minutes. Don’t overwork yourself. Likewise, if you are experiencing even the slightest amount of pain or soreness in your muscles, ice the area as often as possible.
  4. Prepare your muscles. If you know there are certain muscles that need to be stronger for the sport you are getting into, make sure you try your best to build the target muscles ahead of time. This can help to improve performance and prevent injury. It can also allow your muscles to be prepared for the intensity of training camps, fall sports, etc., ahead of time.
  5. Be familiar with your surroundings and stay alert. Pay attention to the area and people around you at all times. Do not train with headphones; you need to be able to be cognizant of what’s going on around you at all times. If you are running down the country road, it is vital that you are able to hear whether or not a car is coming up behind you. Likewise, pay attention to your surroundings to prevent tripping, get out of the water if you see lightning (if you are swimming), etc.
  6. Warm up and cool down. Never, ever skip a warm-up or cool-down session. These two important sessions help prepare you both physiologically and mentally, reducing the chance of joint and/or muscle injury. Let your warm-up and cool-down intensity cause perspiration, but not fatigue. Good examples of warm-up and cool-down activities include walking or jogging, biking, stretching, and much more.

 

Lisa, I hope these tips help your daughter to prevent injuries this year. Please feel free to share this information with her entire team in order to prevent injuries amongst everyone. If you have any further questions on how to prevent sports related injuries, or what products we offer that can help as well, please feel free to give us a call at 419.678.4979 or visit our products page today!

Enjoy your time watching your daughter play sports this summer and fall!

Sarah at New Visions

Ask Sarah Headshot

6 Yoga Poses to Relieve Pain from Sports and Injuries

There’s a good chance that you have heard about some of the benefits of participating in yoga: increasing your fitness and relaxation levels and curing numerous medical conditions, just to name a couple. While yoga cannot cure ALL medical conditions, it does offer a multitude of relief for musculoskeletal issues and pain, as well as improving flexibility, strength, posture and balance, which can aid in the prevention of sports-related injuries. To stay healthy, active and engaged in sports, athletes must use proper methods for preventing overuse injuries and ensure longevity. Here are 6 poses to increase strength and relieve any pain caused from sports injuries:

6 Yoga Poses to Relieve Pain

  1. Cobra (Back pain). Lie face-down on the ground with your forehead resting on the floor and hands on either side at the middle of your ribcage. Bring your legs together, pressing the tops of your feet into the floor. Reach back through your toes, lengthening your legs, and slowly draw your elbows close to your ribcage. Using your back strength, lift your head and chest. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths and gently release back to the floor.
  2. Wall Plank (Elbow and shoulder pain). Stand and face the wall with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the wall with your arms extended and slowly lean forward. Let your body rest on your hands while keeping your arms and body in a straight line, slowly bending your elbows and inching closer and closer. When you start to feel discomfort, slowly push back to standing.
  3. Rear Arm Lift with Strap (Shoulder pain). Standing, set your feet hip-width apart. While holding the strap in one hand, place both arms behind your back, pulling your shoulders in to grasp the strap with both hands. Make sure this is in a COMFORTABLE position for you. Slowly bring your hands toward each other, opening up the chest as your shoulder blades move toward one another. Also, be sure to breathe as you continue to adjust your shoulders.
  4. Butterfly (Hip pain). Sitting on the floor, bring both soles of your feet together, keeping the knees wide so that your legs form a diamond-like shape. Slowly drop the weight of your legs while keeping your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Breathe deeply.
  5. Supported Warrior (Knee pain). Standing, lay your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Push your right foot forward so the toes are touching the wall. Bend your elbows as if you’re trying to push the wall out of your way. Keeping this same position, step your left foot a few steps behind you, slightly bending the (left) knee to the floor. Hold for 15 counts. Then, slowly straighten the left leg and bend the right knee. Switch leg positions and repeat.
  6. Standing Forward Bend, Variation (Hamstrings). Standing, cross your right ankle over your left. Bend your knees slightly and fold forward, placing your hands on the floor in front of you. If you cannot reach the floor, place a chair or block in front of you to lay your hands on. Reach your “sitting bones” toward the ceiling, moving your ribs away from your pelvis in order to keep your back from rounding. Hold for 30-60 seconds, then repeat, placing your left ankle over your right.

We hope these 6 simple exercises help get you on the road to recover with your sports injuries. Be sure to check out the yogajournal for more information on yoga poses and how they can prevent or relieve pain. And also, always remember to consult with your doctor before trying a new exercise program.

For optimal results in relieving sports related injuries, or any injuries for that matter, be sure to pair these exercises with the appropriate pain management product. Have questions about which product is right for you? Give us a call at 419.678.4979 and we would be happy to help!

 

Resources:

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/lifestyle/play-it-forward/

http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/yoga-poses-to-prevent-the-top-sports-injuries

http://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga/yoga-poses-relieve-aches-and-pains

http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20131230/what-yoga-can-and-cant-do-for-you?page=2

4 Ways to Properly Manage Knee & Ankle Pain

Therapist attending to injured sportsmanSports and other recreational activities can create overwhelming strain on our bodies. Young athletes often experience joint and muscle pain as they push themselves to improve performance. In terms of location, knee and ankle strain is a common complaint and can lead to serious injury. Knowing how to quickly address these aches and pains when they surface will help keep you healthy and active.

4 Ways to Properly Manage Knee & Ankle Pain

  • Use Ice Correctly. Most of us have heard time and time again that ice is a great way to deal with pain, but it’s also important to use ice properly in order to maximize the benefits. Ice is beneficial for decreasing inflammation and swelling. It also lessens muscle cramping or spasms and allows you to alleviate the pain. Avoid using ice immediately before physical activity, if the pain or swelling involves a nerve, if you are prone to hives from cold or if there is a wound/sore on the skin.
  • Use Heat Correctly. Now that we know there are times when ice is beneficial for managing pain, it’s important to understand when heat can also be used. Heat increases circulation, inflammation and is most useful when warming up stiff or scarred tissues before stretching. Because heat can increase swelling, it’s important not to overuse it or use it after physical activity when inflammation is already heighted. Also, avoid heat immediately after an acute injury or when they body temperature is elevated from fever or heat stress.
  • Apply Pain Relieving Gels. Topical pain killers, or analgesics, are sprayed on or rubbed into the skin over painful muscles or joints. Although all are designed to relieve pain, different products use different ingredients. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about which cream is best for your specific symptoms. Make sure you never use them with a heating pad, as this can damage the skin.  Also, don’t apply them under tight bandages or onto wounds and damaged skin.
  • Utilize TENS Therapy. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a drug-free and noninvasive treatment for pain. It works by placing electrode pads on the area of pain. Mild electrical currents generate heat to relieve stiffness, improve mobility and alleviate pain. This treatment is believed to stimulate the body’s production of endorphins or natural pain killers. This therapy can be used for both acute and chronic pain conditions but should definitely not be used by anyone with a pacemaker as the electrical current could interfere with the operation.

Local parents often ask me what it is they can do to help their young athlete manage their sports-related aches and pains. The methods of pain management I recommend definitely depend on the severity and duration of the injury, but I also strongly urge parents to have their child properly evaluated by their family doctor.

Stop by New Visions in Coldwater to see our line of pain relief products that can benefit you!