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Sep 12

4 Surprising Ways You Could Get a Concussion

Although a large number of concussions are related to sports and other physical activity, thinking that the injuries are exclusive to athletes is a common misperception.

There are numerous, everyday ways that you might suffer a concussion, including these examples: 

1. Falls and tumbles: You don’t need to be on a ski slope to have a fall lead to a concussion. Anytime you stumble or fall and hit your head, you could be at risk. That might be something as simple as slipping on the ice or smacking your head on an overhead beam.

2. Roller coasters: Unlike the coasters of a few decades ago, the latest innovations can whip you around like a rag doll. Because concussions involve the brain moving inside the head, this type of sudden acceleration and fast turning could cause injury, even if you haven’t hit your head on anything.

3. Being shaken: When you’re violently shaken in some way, particularly in an abuse situation, your neck won’t be strong enough to stabilize your head. That significantly increases the risk of concussion because your brain will be sliding back and forth against the inner walls of your skull. 

4. Whiplash: Often seen in car accidents and sports, whiplash is when the neck goes through an acceleration-deceleration movement very rapidly — like when someone rear ends your car and you snap forward and back. Much like the damage that happens if you’re shaken, the motion causes the brain to move inside the skull. Cue the concussion.

The good news is that most concussions are resolved within a few days to a few weeks, and require simple rest as a treatment. Some are so minor that they may take only hours to heal. 

That doesn’t mean there aren’t instances where the damage is serious, though, especially if you’re at risk for a second concussion. If you think you’ve suffered from a concussive injury, see your healthcare provider or visit the ER to be sure.

 

 

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. 

Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.


Sep 08

7 Common Myths About Concussions - and the Facts You Need to Know

Although the issue has gotten more attention in the past few years, and led to some better strategies for contact sports, there are still many misconceptions out there that people need to know to stay healthy.


Sep 06

Why Concussions Are Different for Kids

Although concussions can happen at any age and can cause the same symptoms for children as adults, kids can be particularly susceptible to the injury—and may even take longer to heal.

According to Cornell University, every year about half a million children visit an emergency room for traumatic brain injuries, and they’re the top cause of ER visits among teens. About 80 to 90 percent of these are concussions.

Here are some reasons concussions are different for children and teens:

  • Their brains are more susceptible to injury: Because their brains are still developing, they may be more vulnerable when it comes to falls, fights, or sportsrelated injuries. That factor also makes recovery times longer than for adults.
  • They may not be able to tell you the problem: Younger children, in particular, probably won’t be adept at describing “brain fog” or letting you know they have a gap in their memory of certain events.
  • Symptoms may be mistaken for behavior problems: Some of the symptoms of concussion are irritability, frustration and difficulty concentrating. These are some of the same symptoms as ADHD.
  • Excessive sleep is harder to detect: As any parent of a teenager knows, sleep is an essential component of their lives. But that makes it harder to spot a concussion, because that sleep may be one of the symptoms that the brain is injured.
  • Symptoms may not occur right away: Similar to adults, the signs of a concussion could be delayed, sometimes by up to 72 hours. By then, whatever injury happened may be forgotten, especially if it’s minor. For example, if a child has a headache and is nauseated, it may be tied to the tumble off his bike a few days before.
  • Kids and teens may not tell you about symptoms: Especially if they’re involved in sports and want to keep playing, children may not report that a fall or hit has caused a headache, dizziness, or other sign of concussion. They may try to play through it, thinking it’ll get better, even though that could worsen the damage considerably.

Whether your child plays sports or not, know the signs of a concussion and speak with a healthcare provider or visit the ER if you suspect your child may be dealing with this type of injury.

 

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.


Sep 01

Are Weak Hips Actually the Cause of Your Knee Pain?

Knee injuries are one of the most common reasons people visit a Physical Therapist. The knee is the largest joint in the body and is put under the most amount of strain. From IT band syndrome to bursitis to tendinitis, there is a vast amount of ailments that affect the knee, but more often the problem extends beyond the knee.

When experiencing knee pain, most people do not think of looking to the hip as the source of the issue. The ball and socket joint in the hips have many ligaments that help stabilize the hip and control motion in the leg and knee. The hip muscle that is the biggest culprit in causing knee pain is the gluteus medius. The gluteus medius is in charge of abducting* your hip and upper leg when the leg is not on the ground. As your foot hits the ground the glute medius helps control the collapse of the leg from the forces of gravity, including the internal rotation of the femur. The glute medius prevents over rotation of the femur and the diving in of the knee. Both of these motions put an excessive stress on the knee joint. 

When you sit your gluteus medius helps turn your legs outward, which is where many knee pain victims problems begin. Because the average American sits over 10 hours a day, the gluteus medius becomes weak and stretched out. As it weakens, it has a harder time keeping the thighs and hips turned forward. When the thighs turn inward, it puts too much strain on the knee causing knee injuries like IT band syndrome and tendonitis.

Strengthening your gluteus medius and the surrounding muscles is a great way to reduce the stress on the knees and get them back into optimal shape. Though not all knee pain is caused from muscle weakness, it is important to look at the whole body rather than isolating the problem to the injured area. 

 

*Abducting is when the limbs pull away from the center of the body. Adducting is when the limbs move towards the center of the body.

 

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. 

Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.


Aug 31

Is One Running Surface Better Than the Other?

Asphalt, grass, trails, treadmills or track—runners have a variety of options when it comes to running surfaces, but is one really better than the other? The truth is, variety is much more important than choosing one “best” surface. Varying hardness, level of unevenness and incline all can help with speed, strength and efficiency, as well as help work different muscles in the leg lowering the chance of injury.  

Roads—while readily available—put a lot of strain on your knees, shins, and feet. Hard surfaces force our bodies into repetitive movements, putting strain on the same joints and muscles over and over increasing the chance for overuse injuries. However running on hard surfaces is important for practicing racing rhythm and working on speed. Softer surfaces like grass and trails are easier on the joints and help develop stabilizer muscles in the leg. Because more muscles are engaged while running on uneven surfaces the chance of overuse injury is decreased. On the other hand, soft surfaces do have their drawbacks. The chances of rolling an ankle or other injuries related to unpredictable terrain are much higher.

There is no “right” or “best” option for running surfaces. Just like your diet, variety and balance is key. So next time you head out for your daily run try switching things up, your muscles and joints will greatly appreciate it. 

 

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. 

Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.

 


Aug 22

Is 10,000 Steps a Day Enough?

It has become almost common knowledge that the average person should take 10,000 steps a day thanks to the influx of tracking devices on the market. The default goal for most tracking devices is 10,000 steps, but where did that number come from? Is there a medical reason to embrace that number or is an arbitrary goal that just has been accepted?

The history of 10,000 steps actually goes back to Japan in the 1960s. The 1964 Olympics were taking place in Tokyo, which caused the locals to take a deeper concern for their health. Soon after the first pedometer named the man-po-kei was created. Man-po-kei stands for man=10,000, po=step and kei=meter or gauge. It turns out 10,000 is a very favorable number in the Japanese culture and no real medical science informed the number. 

Today, 10,000 steps has become adopted globally partly because it is a nice round number and because generally walking 10,000 steps burns 2,000-3,500 extra calories every week.  Typically a pound of body fat equals 3,500, therefore walking 10,000 steps, in theory, would help you lose a pound a week. The problem is 10,000 is just too simplistic of a figure and only works on paper. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. While 10,000 steps is a good goal, especially since the average person only gets about 3,000 steps a day, it does not guarantee good health and weight loss. You cannot out-walk an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle.  

Without a doubt, there are great health benefits to increasing your activity through walking and other low-intensity activities, even if they don’t lead to weight loss. But it is important to understand, although 10,000 steps is an easy number to remember and is a great goal to get people moving, it is the not the magic number to being fit and healthy. An overall healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet is the best way to ensure good health. 


Aug 17

The Danger of Specializing in Sports Too Soon

An increase in sports specialization in young athletes has led to the drastic rise of injuries in youth sports. The pressure on athletes from parents, coaches and the athletes themselves to reach the pro ranks is pigeonholing kids as young as 10 years old into a single sport. Camps, travel teams and off-season practices are packing on the hours for young athletes whose bodies are not ready to be practicing all-year-round like the professional athletes they look up to. Kids are not just playing one sport for a few months anymore, rather they play that same sports for over 3/4 of the year. Injuries that were once only seen in elite athletes are now becoming common among many young athletes such as ACL tears.

The facts: 

  • A study at Loyola University found that young athletes who specialize in one sport are 70%-93% more likely to be injured compared to those who play a variety of sports. 
  • Ohio State University found that young athletes who specialize too soon are more likely to burn out and quit as well as have a higher rate of adult physical inactivity.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reported they treated 400% more ACL injuries in 2012 than they did in1999. ACL injuries used to be a fairly uncommon injury in young athletes, but they are now one of the most prevalent. 
  • Dr. Micheli, the Director of Sports Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, reported that nearly 25 years ago only 10% of youth sports injuries he treated were overuse youth injuries. Today however, overuse injuries represent 70% of all youth injury cases he sees.

Recommendations for young athletes:

  • Athletes should take a 2-3 month break from their sport. The break could be spread throughout the year (i.e. 1 month break 2-3 times a year) or take place all at once.
  • Athletes should avoid specializing in one sport before they reach puberty.
  • 1-2 days off per week is necessary to help prevent injury and allow time for muscle recovery.
  • Unstructured free play is important for young athletes throughout the year.
  • A variety in activity is key as the athlete stays active all year.

 

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. 
Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.


Aug 10

Blow-By-Blow: The Facts Behind Concussions [Infographic]

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. 
Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.


Aug 09

Dynamic or Static Stretching, Which Is Better?

Often times stretching is seen as an option before a workout, something we are supposed to do but is not necessarily essential. A quick little routine of touching your toes for a few seconds or pulling your arm across your chest, and you are good to go right? Unfortunately not, your stretching routine can actually make or break your workout.

Dangers of static stretching
Stretching is essential before a workout, but holding static stretching poses is not going to help you achieve your fitness goals. Research suggests static stretching hurts athletic performance. Strength, power, and explosive muscular performance all are affected negatively with a static stretching session before a workout or training session. Even if your muscles feel loose after static stretching, they will actually be less elastic and powerful.

Static stretching puts you at a higher risk of injury. Holding a stretch for several seconds will not raise your heart rate or body temperature, keeping your muscles cold and possibly leading to injury. 

Why dynamic stretching is the better pre-workout option
Some people shy away from dynamic stretching because it seems like a mini-workout session before the actual workout, but it truly is the best way to prevent injury and boost performance. Dynamic stretching means your body is continually moving while stretching. It prepares your joints and muscles through continual repetitive motion, with each repetition stretching the muscle further. Because you are constantly moving, your body temperature will rise, warming up your muscles and lowering the risk of injury. 

Another benefit to dynamic stretching is that it can be individualized for specific sports. Unlike static stretches that have no relevance to the actual activity about to be performed, dynamic stretching prepares you for the specific movements that will be performed. For example, dynamic stretches for a long run versus a basketball game will be very different due to the different movements needed for each activity. 

The bottom line is take the extra 5-10 minutes before your workout for a dynamic stretching session, your muscles will thank you. 

 

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. 
Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.


Jul 27

Self-myofascial Release: Does It Actually Help?

Self-myofascial release (SMR) sounds complex, but it is actually just a fancy term for a self-massage that helps release muscle tightness by using a tool such as a foam roller, lacrosse ball or your hands. SMR has grown from a technique only used by elite athletes and physical therapists, to something widely used among all individuals. 

How does SMR work?
SMR works by rolling a foam roller, lacrosse ball or other tools to apply pressure to a trigger point. A trigger point or “knot” is a group of tight shortened bands of muscle tissue which often cause pain in various parts of the body. These trigger points can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as bad posture, repetitive stress and injury. When deactivating a trigger point or releasing the tension of a shortened muscle by applying deep compression, it helps restore the muscle to normal function. SMR allows for healthy blood flow, restores healthy tissue, increases mobility and improves muscle imbalances. 

Should it hurt?
It is uncomfortable, yes. If you have ever had a deep tissue massage it is easier to understand the pain associated with it. The muscles are tight and knotted up so some pain is inevitable when trying to break up the tension. If it becomes too painful, try applying pressure to the surrounding areas. 

When should SMR be done, before or after a workout?
Ideally SMR should be done before and after a workout. Using SMR in a dynamic-warmup is a great way to get the muscles ready for a workout by increasing blood flow and reducing muscle tightness. Using SMR in a cool down helps begin the healing process and reduce soreness.  

How to SMR using a foam roller.
It is important to roll slowly. Find those trigger points and slowly roll back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds on the trigger point. You will slowly begin to feel the muscles release some of the tension. 

 

The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. 
Please consult your health care provider, or contact Viverant for an appointment before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Viverant shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.


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