How Increasing Core Stability Helps in Injury Prevention

Did you know that the core consists of more than just your abdominal muscles? Actually, the core also includes your lower back, hips, and pelvis. Imagine your core as a trunk of a tree. A weak trunk leaves the tree vulnerable to cracks, breaks, and caving. The same is true for our core muscles; a weak core increases the risk of injury because the body’s foundation support is lacking.

How Does a Strong Core Help in Injury Prevention? has great information by various health professionals on the importance of core stability. Dr. Peter Dun states:

“For a range of injuries that can be classified as overuse or repetitive – such as types of neck/lower back pain, groin/hamstring/shoulder rotator cuff problems among others – it is important that assessment of the integrated stabilizing system of the body frame [the core] is included in overall injury management.”

Usain Bolt is a great example of an athlete with a strong core, which is a major contributor to his success as a runner.

“The body is a unit – a kinetic chain of links that work together to maximize speed. While certain links are more important than others (glutes and hammies), all of the body’s muscles must be powerful and coordinated for optimal performance. A strong core can help protect Usain’s spine by transferring forces more efficiently and sparing the lumbopelvic structures.” – Brett Contrenas, CSCS

What Are Some Ways to Strengthen Core Muscles?

Building and maintaining a strong core is pivotal for the body to work as a cohesive unit. Many “core” exercises consist solely of crunches and sit-ups; however, research shows that exercise professionals, and even the military, question these types of exercises because of lower back and spine injuries. Additionally, sit-ups and similar exercises only strengthen the outer layer of the abdominal, the rectus abdominis. If the deeper, internal muscles are overlooked, the core will still be weak. Instead, find exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor, transverse abdominis, and diaphragm. Pilates is a great place to start.

We are passionate about our clients! Contact us to find out how we can help relieve pain and assist in injury management.

Tips to keep your feet safe this Halloween!

Top Toe Shape!

With all of the frights, and terrors let’s leave our feet out of the scary mess. Sprained ankles, added weight to your feet from a cosutme or high heels; whatever it may be: below we have listed tips & advice on how to take it easy on your feet this Halloween season.

MO Sports Med, Foot Safety

1. Layers, layers, layers! An overlooked healthy tip in keeping your feet not only warm, but safe from additional harm is to layer your socks especially when it’s frigid outside which often happens around Halloween. Try to stay away from cotton socks as they absorb the moisture.

2. Keep an eye out on the tempature. If you are planning on being out & about on Halloween night, make sure that tempatures are safe for all night activities such as trick or treating. Consider the wind chill when hitting the spooky streets, as wet & cold feet are painful & to help prevent frostbite.

3. Insulation, please. Keep your shoes insulated for added layers of protection. Especially if your customer calls for a thin layer of outer protection.

4. Step out of your costume. Like the above tip, sometimes our costumes call for a very thing shoe & some costumes recommend no shoes. While shoes may not be in style for your costume, we recommend wearing them for support.

5. High heeled beauty. We’re sure you’ve experienced blisters, nerve pain on the balls of your feet, and plantar fasciitis from the heel pain your shoes carry; none of which are a spirited way to end a fun night! Keep in mind that the pain from high heels are not always worth the sex-kitten look your costume may bring.

6. Reflect yourself. Did you know that each Halloween, at least five kids are hit by cars? It is a good idea to put bright, reflective tape on your child’s shoes so they can be seen in the dark.

7. Safety first. There will be several tripping hazard from decorative items on Halloween such as pumpkins, ghouls and other scary decorations on peoples porches, steps and yards. Be sure to talk with your kids & remind them to always be on the look out and to carry a flash light so they can see where they are walking. If sidewalks are available, always use those.

Back to school

Backpack/Bookbag Safety

Bookbag safety, Backpack safety, Back pains

Children’s health and safety has been a continued concern for teachers, parents and health care specialists including Dr. Irvine. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries from heavy backpacks result in more than 7,000 emergency room visits per year. Sprains and strains were among the top complaints in children.
Dr. Irvine suggests double checking the weight of your child’s backpack when it is full.
A rule of thumb, a backpack should weigh only 15% of a child’s total weight.  For example, if your child weights 100 pounds, their backpack when full should weight 15 pounds maximum, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association.  Also keep in mind when school supply shopping this year, that backpack straps should be wide and padded.  Make adjustments to the backpack so that the bottom of the full backpack is not more than four inches below your child’s waistline. If you are concerned about the weight of your child’s backpack, a rolling bookbag is a fantastic alternative option.

Prevent Golf Injuries

Injury Prevention, MO Orthopedics, Orthopedic Doctors in MO, Golf TipsGolf is a favorite sport among many, but alongside the fun and athletic comes injuries. Some golfers acquire injuries from golfing due to poor swing techniques and poor conditioning. Overuse of your arms can also lead to problems, although this is most often found in professional golfers. Check out our helpful tips below to keep you on the course longer.

  1. Golf Swings: Be sure to rotate the hips and shoulders together, and try to avoid bending or hyperextending the spine. Always use the appropriate golfing equipment for your skill level and size. If you are not sure what the proper swing is, we recommend taking a class or two from an instructor.
  2. Golf conditioning:  Conditioning for any sport should always include a warm up and stretching. To improve your overall endurance on the course, flexibility should be worked on. Your core muscles, such as your stomach and spine, are important parts of your body that should be strengthened to help with injury prevention.
A proper warm-up before playing golf should include light exercise to loosen the body, such as a brisk walk or slight jog. Be sure to keep in mind when stretching to include the neck, shoulder, trunk and legs.
By staying fit and swinging properly you can enjoy golf for many years, without too many office visits in our office. However, the staff at Missouri Orthopedics always here for you!

Common Swimming Injuries

Prevention tips for swimmers from Dr. Irvine

We are in the midst of the summer season, and one of the most popular summer activities is swimming. You do not have to be a professional swimmer to get a swimming injury, they can happen to anyone at anytime. However, elite swimmers who train more than five miles per day may experience more than others: joint pain, shoulder pain or discomfort, hip or back pain from rotation & even your knees may experience injury.
You may be wondering what causes swimming injuries exactly, since swimming is considered a low-impact fitness activity, Dr. Irvine is here to help you prevent some of the most common swimming injuries to keep you safe this summer and even into the swim season this school year.

Injury Prevention when Swimming, Swimming Injuries, How to avoid injury while swimming, Mo sports med


This may include rotator cuff, shoulder blade or even scapula, biceps tendinitis all which could cause stress surrounding your shoulder joint(s).

Knees, Hips, Back

This may include tendon & ligament damage. Those who breaststroke often may experience hip pain from hip tendon inflammation.

Prevention Tips

  • For elite swimmers: know the proper techniques to swimming.
  • If you are feeling pain or discomfort during swimming, tell someone immediately, whether a parent or your swim coach.
  • Make sure to get enough rest in between long periods of swimming to allow enough recovery time.
  • Perform core strengthening techniques for pre and early season routines.
  • If you have serious concerns, pains or aches consult with Dr. Irvine to help prevent any further or serious injuries.