The Bright Side of an Injury

The Positive Side To Injuries


An injury can be a huge setback for any athlete or fitness enthusiast, but is it the end of the world? Absolutely not! At Missouri Orthopedics, we understand that you want to get back to your normal routine as soon as possible, but we also want you to know that there may be benefits to your injury.

Bari Lieberman from Refinery29 wrote an article entitled “Why I’m Glad I Broke My Ankle.” During her story, she explains how she ended up breaking her ankle during a laser tag game. She was devastated that she would not be able to perform her workouts that she claims she was “addicted” to. She used exercise to relieve stress and to take a break from the demands of being a senior in college.

While her ankle was injured she could no longer perform her usual workout routine, the same workout routine that she had been doing since she was in high school. Although she was mobile, she could not get on an elliptical or a treadmill and that was her go to start of exercise. Instead of completely throwing in the towel on fitness while her injury healed, Lieberman decided to compromise and try something new. She began using a rower. During this new workout she discovered that she was being challenged much more during this than she had been for some time on her cardio machines. Even after her injury was healed she kept exploring different types of exercises that would challenge her. She says being injured opened up her eyes and now she is getting more from her workouts.

Your doctor or your PT should talk with you about what you can and cannot do while recovering from your injury, but Bari Lieberman’s story is one to keep in mind. Take your injury & go with it, see the positives that it can bring and embrace them!

Prevent Occupational Injuries

Prevent Occupational Injuries


A worker is injured every 5 seconds in the United States, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational injuries are not only painful and inconvenient, but they are extremely costly. We want our patients to put more thought into reducing work related injuries since most of them are the result of a momentary lapse of judgment or a lack of proper safety precautions.

Most occupational injuries are preventable so stay injury free while at work using these tips:
• If you have a desk job, make sure that you sit with your knees at about a 90 to 130 degree angle. Any more or less of an angle can cause strain on your back.
• Be sure you’re lifting properly. Keep your back straight, the weight balanced and close to your body while bending at the knees and using your hips.
• Stay healthy! Eat the right foods and exercise frequently and properly, making sure you stretch before and after your workout.
• Stretch throughout the day. If you sit at your computer all day, make sure to stretch periodically. If you stand all day, taking the load off can also help prevent injury.
• Fatigue greatly increases the risk of injury, so be sure to get a good night’s sleep.

Preventative Prehab

What is prehab and should I do it?

Although it seems like it may be, prehab isn’t just for professional athletes. For anyone who is active and wants to avoid injuries and the rehab that comes after them, prehab should be an essential part of your workout regimen.

From one individual to the next, the exact prehab plan will be different, but the ultimate goal remains the same: to improve the body’s overall function. At the center of prehab is a focus on enhancing core function, which will help to mitigate muscle imbalances and poor posture. Muscle imbalances can alter normal functions in the body, changing both the way joints are loaded and the mechanics of our movements. This can trigger a domino effect of compensations throughout the entire body since the body is one kinetic chain.

And this doesn’t only happen to the pros. “Sixty-five percent of injuries are caused by these imbalances and overuse, which are more apt to come from spending long hours sitting at a desk than from playing on a field,” says Shana Martin, a master trainer for ACE and TRX.

mo-orthopedics-sports injury-prehab-stretching

How to Prehab
The best prehab focuses on stability and mobility training for the entire body, with additional attention to injury-prone areas such as the shoulders, Martin says. Ten to 20 minutes of myofascial release (using a foam roller or massage stick) followed by a dynamic warm-up incorporating corrective exercises and an assortment of mobility-focused movements for the feet, ankles, hips, thoracic spine, chest, and shoulders can be quite beneficial, says Todd Durkin, C.S.C.S., owner of Fitness Quest 10 and author of The Impact Body Plan.

Once joint and postural integrity is gained or restored, you can shift to movement-based training centered around the five primary movement patterns: bend and lift movements (such as squats), single-leg movements (lunges), pushing movements (pushups), pulling movements (rows), and rotational movements (woodchops). These movements not only apply in the gym, they also translate to the things we do in everyday life, from climbing up the stairs at work to carrying a heavy bag of groceries to the car. Developing efficient movement patterns will ultimately decrease the likelihood of pain and injury.

For those with an existing injury that requires surgery, doing prehab under the guidance of a fitness professional can help you enter the procedure in the best possible shape so recovery goes more smoothly. “Often individuals will have conditions associated with orthopedic and/or cardiorespiratory issues that aren’t the direct reasons for the surgical intervention,” says Anthony Carey, C.S.C.S., founder of Function First in San Diego and inventor of the Core-Tex. “Addressing these conditions prior to a procedure minimizes the detrimental effects on the rehabilitation process while also enabling the supporting structures adjacent to the involved area to be functionally maximized to aid in daily activities during rehab.”

So, regardless of your training goals, current fitness level, activities, and preexisting conditions, prehab should be a part of your routine to help you maximize your workouts and remain injury-free while enabling you to live your happiest, healthiest, fittest life.

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How to treat an Injury

treating injuries with Mo Orthopedics St Louis

We know that when you have to put your training or work at a standstill because of an injury, you can become frustrated. The best way to recover from an injury is to understand what the best treatment is for your injury.

Icing an acute injury and heating a chronic injury are the proper ways to treat with ice or heat. Unfortunately, most of us do not understand the difference between acute and chronic so we self-treat with whatever we think feels good. Enhancing your body’s physiology with the proper use of ice and heat at the proper time can help shorten a recovery episode.

The physiology of ice can be best explained as follows:

Ice constricts blood flow to muscles. As the muscle cools, the amount of blood in the muscle diminishes as the constriction process pushes it out. This is great to help reduce bruising, swelling and discomfort.

As the muscle warms and the blood vessels expand, new blood comes rushing in and cleans the debris left behind from the injury and stimulates the healing process. It is recommended that ice is only applied for 10 minutes every hour. The more often the cycle is allowed to transition, the faster one’s body can recover from an acute muscle injury (injury having severe onset and a short course). Always place a towel between the body and the ice to prevent trauma to the skin. Note that the increasing the icing time has a negative effect on the body.

Moist heat is a great treatment tool for chronic muscle injuries (injuries persisting for a long time). Moist heat applied to the injury site opens up the blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely. Typically, chronic injuries have some sort of ischemia (lack of blood) associated with them. The ischemia is detrimental to healing and the moist heat helps reduce it. Apply moist heat for up to 20 minutes every hour and always place multiple towels between the body and the moist heat to prevent trauma to the skin.

What happens if you place heat on an acute injury or ice on a chronic injury?

Think of this scenario. You burn your mouth on a hot cup of coffee (acute). Do you suck on an ice cube or drink more hot coffee? Ice reduces the inflammation to the burn and diminishes the nerve response allowing some sense of a good feeling. It’s a little different with a muscle injury in that the heat initially feels good even though it is adding inflammation and swelling. Then, once the heat is removed the injury site is typically more irritated than if you just left it alone. Ultimately, you are extending your symptoms and delaying the healing cycle when heat is applied to an acute injury. With a chronic injury, applying ice when heat is suggested can delay the therapeutic effects that heat offers.

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