Youth Injuries & Sport Care: When It’s All In Your Head

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Youth head injuries are frightening and frustrating, especially when you’re a driven and determined athlete used to pushing through other injuries. Even a mild concussion can cause significant injury to your brain, and this makes it even more important to understand what to expect during the process of recovery.

When your injury is “all in your head”, sometimes it is difficult to take ongoing symptoms seriously. Since giving your brain a chance to heal is so important to your future performance, here are a few important things to keep in mind.

1. Be honest. Let your coach, parents, and doctor know if you’re experiencing symptoms of concussion. While you may be tempted to gloss over lingering headaches or trouble concentrating after an injury, ignoring symptoms may mean you re-injure your brain and have an even longer recovery.

2. Expect recovery to take time. According to a study published February 2016 in The Journal of Pediatrics, recovery from a concussion takes more time for younger players and those who have yet to go through puberty, with the average recovery time between about 33 and 54 days.

3. Expect frustration. You may have trouble with things like balance, sleeping, and concentration. You may have less of an appetite, experience headaches, and have a hard time predicting your emotional response to stress. While your brain heals, its normal to feel frustrated with symptoms.

4. If symptoms come back after you’ve been cleared to return to active sports, speak up! Recovery from concussion is a complex process and some symptoms can linger. Your doctor is the best one to determine a safe level of activity depending on what you’re experiencing.

While youth injuries are frightening and frustrating, the good news about having an injury that’s “all in your head” is that most young people with a concussion do experience complete recovery. Understanding what to expect during the process will help reduce your stress as you work to regain complete health.

Providing treatment for youth injuries and sport care is a big part of what we do. We’re committed to working with you to help manage your symptoms and get you back to active sports as soon as its safe for you to do so. Please contact us and we’ll work with you every step of the way.

Take Concussions Seriously

Signs of concussion

Before hitting the football, baseball and soccer fields for practice in your upcoming fall season, make sure you are informed & educated on concussions.

What is a concussion? Long term damage to the brain due to an injury.

Concussions can happen to anyone who plays any sport, including sports such as basketball, wrestling, tennis & gymnastics. If you suspect someone has a concussion, the most important thing you can do is to remove them from the field of play and have them seek medical help. Hopefully your coach went though a training course on how to recognize when one of their player may be experiencing symptoms of a concussion.  Some concussion signs to look for include:

  • Confusion
  • Appearing dazed
  • Acting clumsy or moving rather slow
  • Memory loss. For example: the score of the game, or where they are
  • Unconsciousness

If you are a parent reading this article, we caution you against debating the authority the coach may make to remove your child from the game upon suspecting they are experiencing a concussion.  It is better to be safe, than sorry. And, returning to a game while experiencing a concussion can really cause some further brain trauma.

Just remember, that after seeking medical help for a concussion, it is important to continue to build your way back to recover and take things slow. And, that includes the doctors specific orders they may give about returning to the sport & playing field.

Upon receiving approval from a doctor to regain their physical activity, and they have been cleared to begin working out again, we suggest taking exercise slow. Concussions are a serious issue and it is important athletes take the time they need to recover from any head injury before returning to play.

For any questions regarding concussion or the safety of your health while playing on the field, give Dr. Irvine a call today.

Pregnancy & Knee Pain

Pregnancy and knee pain, pain relief for pregnant people, Dr. IrvineRelieving knee pain during pregnancy

Pregnancy and knee pain go hand in hand in the maternal world. Some women experience such pain to where they do not feel comfortable even walking, and may require bed rest for the remainder of their pregnancy. It is important to note that if you are experiencing knee pains, this is fairly common and can range from a mild disturbance to excruciating discomfort.

Breathe; you do not have to be immobile due to your knee pain with the help of Dr. Irvine.

Dr. Irvine recommends:

  1. A low-impact exercise to help strengthen your quads to help support your knees.
  2. Getting off your feet more to take the pressure from your knees. Any additional weight gained during pregnancy can have an affect on your knees, so taking a few sessions to prop your feet up whenever possible will help ease & possibly prevent further pain.
  3. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the safest pain pain reliever for women who are pregnant. Try to avoid aspirin or ibuprofen which can lead to developmental problems for your baby.
  4. Consider purchasing a knee brace to help relieve the knee pain. A knee brace will assist in supporting your other ligaments and tendons.

Should you have any concerns, please call the Missouri Orthopedic office at 314-567-5850.

The Bright Side of an Injury

The Positive Side To Injuries

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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!

http://www.refinery29.com/exercise-injury-benefit?utm_source=shape&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=link

Vitamin D Benefits

Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

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Did you know that sunshine is our greatest source of vitamin D, a nutrient crucial to bone, skin and mental health? About 80 to 90 percent of our vitamin D comes from sun exposure, says Dr. Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., who has studied and published on vitamin D for decades. “The problem is [many of us] assume if you have a healthy diet that you’re getting enough of every nutrient,” he says. Even the best dietary sources of vitamin D aren’t loaded with the nutrient: a serving of salmon is a good bet, with around 450 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per three ounces, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. But there are just 137 IUs per serving of fortified OJ and around 120 in fortified milk.

The Institutes of Medicine recommend most children and adults under age 70 get 600 IUs of vitamin D daily, and those over 70 should aim for 800. But Holick, working with an Endocrine Society committee, found that up to 1,000 IUs a day for children and 1,500 to 2,000 IUs a day for adults was safe and effective, he says. (These recommendations are also well within the safe upper limits set by the IOM).

Without enough sunlight and dietary D, children may be at greater risk for rickets, a softening of the bones, and adults may be at greater risk for osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency may also up risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, says Holick.

So what should you watch for if you’re concerned you might not get enough?

Here are a few signs you might need more vitamin D.

Your bones ache.

“Especially in winter, [vitamin D deficient] adults feel more achiness in bones and muscles,” says Holick, “and joints are a little more stiff when they get up in the morning.”

You’ve got the blues.

Vitamin D seems to improve levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, says Holick, which in turn could lift your spirits. In a small 1998 study, healthy people given vitamin D supplements during the winter reported greater positive feelings than people given no D. However, a larger study in women over 70 found no significant mental health benefit.

You’re 50 or older.

The skin simply doesn’t make as much vitamin D as you get older, and the kidneys start to grow a little less productive when it comes to converting that D into the form the body puts to good use, according to the American Cancer Society. Older adults may also spend more time indoors, according to the NIH.

You’re overweight or obese.

There’s no change in vitamin D production in people carrying excess weight, but the higher concentration of body fat affects the levels of vitamin D in the blood. That’s because vitamin D is fat soluble, says Holick, meaning the more body fat you have, the more it gets “diluted,” he says. People who are overweight or obese may require more daily vitamin D to make up for this effect.

You have darker skin.

Studies have shown distinct demographic differences in rates of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency. “Your skin pigment is natural sunscreen,” says Holick. A sunscreen with 30 SPF reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamin D by a whopping 97 percent, he says. Someone with very dark skin needs up to 10 times the amount of sun exposure than someone with a very pale complexion to make the same amount of vitamin D, he says.

You’re a big-time head sweater.

Travel back in time a century or so and you’d find visiting doctors asking new mothers about how sweaty they found their heads. No joke, says Holick. “It’s one of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency.”

You have gut trouble.

People with Crohn’s, celiac or inflammatory bowel disease may be a greater risk for vitamin D deficiency because of the way these gastrointestinal conditions affect fat absorption. With these and other stomach issues, fat absorption can be lower, but that in turn lowers absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like D, according to the NIH.

So, how can you get intake Vitamin D safely?
Holick says “sensible sun exposure” is key, since D production only occurs on unprotected skin. If you know you’re likely to get a mild sunburn after 30 minutes outside without sunscreen, venture out for about 10 to 15 minutes and then put your sun protection on, he says. Expose arms, legs, abdomen and back if you can, for max vitamin D production. And keep in mind depending on where you live, you may only make vitamin D for part of the year due to the angle of the sun, he says, and likely only from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the same reasons.

Original Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/29/vitamin-d-deficiency-signs-symptoms_n_5200408.html?utm_hp_ref=health-fitness&ir=Health+and+Fitness