Preventing Common Golf Injuries

Tips From TOCA’s Orthopedic Experts 

With the Phoenix Management Waste Open in “full swing,” Valley of the Sun residents are certainly luck to enjoy this high-profile golf event right in our own backyard. And, we are fortunate to live in an area where we can get our golf game on year-round! So, preventing common golf injuries should be top-of-mind.

Even though golf is considered a low-impact sport, the repetitive movements of golf can increase the chance of chronic pain or serious injury to the lower back, wrist, shoulder, and elbow. Just ask TOCA orthopedic and sports medicine specialist Dr. Dean Cummings, who treats many golfers, including PGA Tour pros.

“Golf is an incredibly dynamic sport where there are a lot of moving patterns going on during the swing at one time,” says Dr. Cummings. “If there is one thing that’s off — in your shoulder, elbow, wrist or knee, for example — it can ruin the whole swing. When that happens, golfers try to compensate in some way. That can lead to injury down the line.”

TOCA Tips for Preventing Common Golf Injuries

The majority of golf injuries are due to poor mechanics and overuse. For this, reason, TOCA’s orthopedic and sports medicine experts recommend that golfers of all ages and abilities take the following measures in the hopes of preventing common golf injuries:

  • Keep Your Core Strong! Building core strength can help reduce the chance of injury AND improve your golf game.
  • Adequate Warm-Up. Never rush into a round of golf! Spend at least ten to fifteen minutes warming up in a combination “dynamic” and “static” workout (stretches plus movement patterns).
  • Stretch Between Holes. You have time between each hole. Use it wisely by stretching throughout play to stay loose and prevent injury.
  • Get a Grip! Gripping the club incorrectly or too tightly can cause hand and/or wrist pain and injury. Learning proper grip technique can keep you injury-free and enhance your game.
  • Remember to Bend. Bend your knees when picking up balls and heavy clubs to avoid unnecessary back pain.
  • Cool Down. The best time to stretch is just before you leave the course, when your muscles are still warm. Five to ten minutes of post-golf stretching helps increase circulation to joints and tissues and reduces overall stiffness and soreness.

Help ensure that golf remains your lifelong passion and pastime by following the above tips for preventing common golf injuries …  and contact TOCA today if you need help getting back into the swing of golf due to ongoing pain or injury: 602.277.6211.

Stress Fracture Symptoms and Treatment Tips from TOCA’s Orthopedic Experts

“You have a stress fracture” is a diagnosis shared all too often by orthopedic specialists, especially when treating athletes. Athletes are most at risk due to repetitive activity and overuse of their feet and legs. Overuse causes the lower extremities to continually absorb these forces and potentially causing tiny cracks in the bones.

If athletic activity is too frequent, it diminishes the body’s ability to repair and replace bone. And the likelihood of sustaining a stress fracture increases. That’s why runners, dancers, soccer players, and basketball players are particularly vulnerable to stress fractures.

And, according to The Orthopedic Clinic Association (TOCA) orthopedic and sports medicine care expert, Dr. Gerald Yacobucci, MD, “If they are already experiencing consistent pain, the more these athletes train and compete, the more they may be placing themselves at greater risk for injury – and time away – from the sport or activity they enjoy.”

Here’s what Dr. Yacobucci and the TOCA team want ALL athletes, parents, and coaches to know in order to recognize stress fracture symptoms, help prevent stress fractures from occurring, and remain injury-free.

Stress Fracture Symptoms

What are some of the signs of stress fracture to watch out for? Rather than the sharp pain resulting from an acute fracture, stress fractures are typically accompanied by a dull pain that increases gradually. Often, the pain subsides during rest and intensifies during activity. Swelling around the site may be present as well as some tenderness and bruising. As mentioned above, stress fractures can be caused by overuse of lower extremities, common in athletes, but they can also arise from a sudden upsurge in physical activity. Osteoporosis can also increase the chance of a stress fracture.

It’s important to remember that, if dull pain persists, it’s time to seek help from an orthopedic specialist!

Treatment of Stress Fractures

Immediately after injury or stress fracture symptoms occur, patients are encouraged to follow the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method. Once you consult with you orthopedic specialist, he/she will examine the “pain point” and X-rays will likely be taken. If the stress fracture is not visible via X-ray, but your doctor still suspects that you have a stress fracture, he/she may recommend that you get an MRI.

Nonsurgical treatment options for stress fractures include keeping weight off of the area (perhaps wearing a boot or using crutches), and modified activity for a period of up to 8 weeks. In some, more severe, cases, surgery may be necessary to allow the stress fracture to heal properly. This typically entails using a pin, screw, or plate to “fasten” the bones together in order to promote healing. The key to recovery is to allow ample time for rest, healing, and rehabilitation. Taking time off ensures that you can eventually get back to the activities you enjoy safely and without placing yourself at risk for additional injury.

Stress Fracture Prevention

According to Dr. Yacobucci, “One of the most important pieces of advice I share with patients, especially athletes, is to monitor and be mindful of your activity and pain level. If you find that you’re consistently experiencing pain during training or workouts, then it’s time to listen to your body’s signals. Refrain from activity until you seek further treatment from an orthopedic expert.”

Additional stress fracture prevention tips from Dr. Yacobucci and TOCA experts include:

  • Wearing footwear with good support.
  • Strength training and cross-training to avoid overuse of certain muscle sets and strain on bones.
  • Good nutrition, including plenty of calcium and Vitamin D for optimal bone strength.
  • And good common sense. Listen to your body’s signals and seek help if pain persists after adequate rest.

To schedule a consult with Dr. Yacobucci, or one of TOCA’s knowledgeable and highly trained orthopedics specialists, please contact us at 602.277.6211.

Dr. Blazuk and colleagues study the Validity of Indirect Ultrasound Findings…

Title: Validy of Indirect Ultrasound Findings in Acute Anterior Cruciate Ligament Ruptures

Ken Mautner, MD, Walter I. Sussman, DO, Katie Nanos, MD, Joseph Blazuk, MD, Carmen Brigham, ATC, Emily Sarros, ATC

Objectives: Ultrasound (US) is increasingly being used as an extension of the physical examination on the sidelines, in training rooms, and in clinics. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in sport is common, but the literature on US findings after acute ACL rupture is limited. Three indirect US findings of ACL rupture have been described, and this study assessed the validity of these indirect signs.

American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine /  J Ultrasound Med 2018; 9999:1-8 / 0278-4297

Click here for full article!

 

Dr. Justin Roberts joining TOCA September 3, 2018

Dr. Roberts, MD is excited to be joining the outstanding physicians at The Orthopedic Clinic Association.

Dr. Justin Roberts is an orthopaedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in surgery of the foot and ankle. He specializes in comprehensive care of both simple and complex foot and ankle conditions including sports injuries, fractures, arthritis, and deformity. He has special interests in ankle replacement, flat foot correction, bunion correction, arthroscopy, traumatic and post-traumatic reconstruction.

Dr. Roberts was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, then attended medical school at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Roberts came to Phoenix for orthopaedic residency at Banner University Medical Center, then completed fellowship training at the Orthopaedics Associates of Michigan in Grand Rapids, MI. During fellowship, he received comprehensive training in complex surgical reconstruction of the foot and ankle.

Dr. Roberts promotes a relaxed atmosphere where open and honest communication is encouraged. Patient education is a critical part of his practice, and he will take the time to explain your condition and all treatment options. He emphasizes exhausting non-operative measures prior to recommending surgical intervention. Dr. Roberts understands that foot and ankle problems can be very disabling and recovery can be extensive. He is dedicated to working with you through every step to get you back to the quality of life you desire.

When not working, Dr. Roberts enjoys rugby, fishing, golf and spending time with his family.

 

Dr. Josh Vella – 5th Annual World Congress in Orthopedics-2018

Dr. Josh C. Vella, TOCA Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon, is honored to carry the distinction of becoming an international lecturer at the 5th Annual World Congress in Orthopedics-2018 in Milan, Italy.

He was one of a few distinguished international lecturers who discussed various new treatment options with the theme of this years conference “Breaking Barriers in Orthopedic Research”.

Photo: Dr. Josh C. Vella (center), Dr Michael Boland (right) of The Hand Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand and Dr  Scott Fried (left) in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University Hand Center in Philadelphia.

Join Team TOCA with Dr. Feng & the Arthritis Foundation for the Walk to Cure Arthritis!

Enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather by joining Team TOCA, Dr. Earl Feng (Orthopedic Surgeon, Arthritis & Total Joint Reconstruction) and the Arthritis Foundation in the Annual Walk for the Cure, Saturday May 5th, 2018 at the Phoenix Zoo! Dr. Feng is not only a TOCA Physician & Surgeon but also serves as a Board Member for the Arthritis Foundation!

At TOCA, each of us has an important role in helping the more than 1.2 million Arizonans living with arthritis including many our patients, our colleagues, and more than 6,000 children in Arizona alone. TOCA is proud to continue our support the 2018 Arizona Walk to Cure Arthritis on May 5th at the Phoenix Zoo. As a sponsor of the Walk to Cure Arthritis, our goal is to help more people with arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes for patients with arthritis who are being told “no” a lot. No, there isn’t a cure. No, you cannot play sports. No, you cannot pick-up your grandchild.

Here is how you can help!

• Through funding critical research for osteoarthritis to find better treatments and ultimately a cure.
• Giving kids living with arthritis the opportunity to attend Camp Cruz to meet other kids living with arthritis.
• Supporting programs like the Live Yes network for people in our community struggling with pain, connecting them with others with arthritis.
• Getting a patient get back on their feet so they can walk their dog.
• Helping a grandparent alleviate back pain so they can pick up their grandchild.
• Saying “YES” to a patient today!

The event features a three-mile and one-mile course, with arthritis information and activities for the entire family!

Let’s raise funds to find a cure for arthritis, then come together to support each other and walk! Every step counts, every dollar matters!  The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis to help the more than 50 million Americans and 300,000 children with arthritis live better today and to keep the Arthritis Foundation’s promise of finding a cure for tomorrow. Be a Champion of Yes – join our team and raise funds to fight arthritis and find a cure, all while having A LOT OF FUN! If you aren’t able to join the team, we’d appreciate your donation to help reach our goal.

Click here to learn more about this event, join Team TOCA and/or Donate Today! Team TOCA

Event Location:
The Phoenix Zoo
455 N Galvin Pkwy
Phoenix , AZ 85008
Event Schedule:
Event Registration Starts 5/5/2017 6:30 am
Event Registration Ends 5/5/2017 8:00 am
Event Starts 5/5/2017 7:30 am
Event Ends 5/5/2017 10:00 am
Fees:
Walk to Cure Arthritis Registration: No Fees
Event Registration

To Learn more about Dr. Feng and TOCA visit: www.tocamd.com or call 602-277-6211

#Arthritisfoundation #WalktoCureArthritis #Results #Recovery #Relife#TOCAMD #TOCA #ArthritisPhxWalk #PhoenixZoo

Halloween Safety Tips from your OrthoDocs

Halloween is known as a favorite holiday, full of spooky fun and lots of candy. However, it can also present many opportunities for injury, as we take to the streets in pursuit of trick-or-treating goodies. Let’s talk Halloween Safety!

Monsters and aliens are not the only scary things out on October 31st. Trips and falls (or even more serious accidents) can put a damper on Halloween festivities. But a little preparation and thought can go a long way in protecting you and your children from harm.Pedestrian injuries are the most common type of Halloween injury. There are four to five times more pedestrian fatalities on Halloween versus the average for the rest of the year.

Other common Halloween injuries are trips and falls from costumes that are too big or obstruct sight; burns from highly-flammable costumes; and cuts while carving pumpkins.

The following tips taken from the American Academy of Pediatrics and physicians at TOCA offers the following tips for Halloween safety:

Halloween Safety Tips from your OrthoDocs!

REMEMBER: The main thing to do is use your own common sense and rust your parental instincts. If it doesn’t feel safe or comfortable, then it probably isn’t; go with your gut, follow our advice, and keep things safe this Halloween.

Choosing a Costume

Everyone loves dressing up at Halloween, children most of all. And it’s so sweet seeing them go from door-to-door trick or treating locally – who doesn’t take a million pictures before they go out with their little buckets? But sadly it can be dangerous for some children, as there have been a number of well-documented accidents where children’s Halloween costumes were set alight by accident.

Don’t worry too much though- there are lots of things you can do to mitigate the risk. You need to make sure what you buy is as safe as it can be from candles, fires and sparks, and you need to brief them on what to look out for, as well as what to do if the worst happens. We’re sure everyone will stay safe this Halloween, but you can be super sure if you read our fullproof guide to Halloween costume safety!

1. Use flame-resistant materials

As it’s Halloween, your child is very likely to be near candles, lanterns, and other decorative flames. Polyester and nylon are both flame-resistant materials, for example. When picking out your child’s costume always look for the label “flame-resistant” and make sure there is a visible CE mark.

REMEMBER: It’s safer to choose costumes made up of one layer of heavier materials as opposed to flimsy, layered, frilly ones. Thinner materials made up of lots of layers tend to burn much faster because more oxygen can get to the fire.

2. Pick a costume that’s made out of ONE material

Costumes that are made of one single type of material will often catch fire more slowly than those that are made out of lots of different materials.

If a costume is made of a variety of different fabrics, they can all react to a flame in a different way and, in some cases, can fuel the fire even faster.

3. Wear clothes UNDER the costume

Not only because it can go from warm to chilly here in Arizona when you’re trick or treating but also because it’s safer. Speaking about costumes, Kevin O’Neill from the Fire and Rescue Service said: “These are toys. Toys have a lower fire safety requirement. They have a lower fire safety standard. Just be aware of that and take measures.

One of those measures is to ensure children are wearing clothes under the costume.

They should be wearing woollen tights for example or a woollen jumper or jeans. That way it gives some protection that if they were to catch fire you’ve still got a barrier between the garment and your skin.”

4. Ditch the capes

Capes are very common on Halloween costumes, but – as proven by Madonna – they can pose a tripping hazard even to adults. More worryingly, however, is the fact that they pose a strangulation risk.

And on that note…

Avoid costumes and costume jewellery that is tight around the throat. Avoid anything, especially cords and sashes, that tie around the neck.

5. Read the label on face paints

If you are buying face paints then they should be FDA approved. Always look for a CE mark and always check the packaging displays clear ingredients in English.

And remember that the words ‘non-toxic’ doesn’t always mean it will be safe for your skin. Do an allergy test on a small patch of skin before using on you or your childs face.

No matter how tired you are following a night of fun, make sure you remove any costume makeup before bedroom to prevent possible skin irritation.

6. Keep an eye on accessories and props

Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. If you think if you, a friend or your child would be hurt if their was a fall on the accessory, be it a wand or a sword, then do not wear it.

Again, look for a visible CE mark when purchasing.

7. Be careful with masks

You want to make sure that a mask fits well (so that it’s comfortable and doesn’t slip), that the eye holes are big enough to see out of, and that you can breathe comfortably while wearing it.

8. Remember to stay visible

Choose bright and light coloured costumes and clothing wherever possible. If you or your kids are heading out trick-or-treating or an outdoor party, carry a glow stick, and buy reflective tape and attach it to your/ your childs costume. This will ensure that motorists can see your child – and that you can keep an eye on them!

9. Don’t forget the shoes!

Related imageWear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. You don’t need to wear “red-carpet starlet” high heels; leave them at home and pop on sturdy footwear that you won’t trip in.

And, on the note, remember that many shoes that come with costumes are NOT meant for outdoor use; make sure your child is wearing shoes that fit properly and have proper grip to them, so that they don’t slip and fall. Also so they can comfortably survive the night walking around in their shoes.

10. And of course, make sure it fits

Do not purchase costumes that are flimsy, billowing, too big, or that drag on the ground; not only will this be a tripping hazard, but it could also get caught up in Halloween candles.

A Few Additional Halloween Safety Precautions:

While Out Trick or Treating

  • Be safe, be seen. To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
  • Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child.
  • All children should WALK, not run, from house to house and use the sidewalk, if available, rather than walk in the street.
  • Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Parents should plan out the trick-or-treating route – best to stay on well lit roads with sidewalks.
  • Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.
  • For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
  • Bring a flashlight and cell phone with you.

Choose Safe Houses

  • Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
  • Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
  • People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches.

Image result for jack-o-lanternSmart Jack-o’-lanterns

  • Use a flashlight, battery tea light or flameless candle to light your jack-o’’-lantern.

When carving pumpkins:

    • Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.
    • Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin, then let an adult do the cutting.
    • Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave lit pumpkins unattended

 

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics
http://www.aap.org

 

#TOCA #TOCAMD #Halloween #HalloweenSafety #KidSafe #MyOrthoDoc #HalloweenFun #Trickortreat #Halloweencostume #Holidays #Celebrate #HappyHalloween

7 Safety Tips for an Injury-Free Labor Day

Labor Day is synonymous with the end of summer, and the long holiday weekend is upon us. Labor Day is typically packed with celebratory events like backyard barbecues, final excursions to the lake, picnics at the park, and beach parties. But even festive events like these present hazards you should be aware of.

Whether you’re planning a final summer outing or staying home to wrap up summer chores, we want you and your family to enjoy a safe close to the season. To help you do so, we’ve gathered these helpful Labor Day weekend safety tips.

1. Road-trip, anyone?

If you’re planning a weekend excursion make sure you’re well rested, plan for frequent rest stops, and divide driving duties if possible. You should also have your car checked by a registered mechanic to avoid a break down on the road. Don’t forget to pack a vehicle emergency kit that contains items like a flashlight, jumper cables, a tool kit, tire gauge and flares.

Tips for Safe Travel

  • Carry an emergency supply kit in your trunk.
  • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.
  • Buckle up and observe speed limits.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

 

2. Festive Fireworks

fireworks1They are fun, flashy and festive, but many of us overlook the injury fireworks can cause. The National Safety Council reports that children 10 to 14 years of age are at three times the risk of being injured by fireworks than the population as a whole. Even sparklers can inflict serious injury. If you choose to use fireworks be sure you only light one at a time, maintain the recommended distance from spectators, and never allow any horseplay while fireworks are being set up or ignited. If a firework malfunctions, don’t re-light it. Above all, never allow young children handle fireworks and never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

3. Alcohol in Moderation

Alcohol and parties often go hand in hand, but beware that drinking impacts your decision making, coordination, reaction time and vision which makes you vulnerable to a number of hazards. If you plan on consuming alcohol, setting a limit on how much you will consume. And the time to set your limit is before you arrive at the neighborhood cookout. Once you set an alcohol limit, stick to it. Drink one glass of water in between alcoholic drinks to help keep hydrated and pace your alcohol consumption. If you drink more than you planned, ask for help getting home. And keep in mind that operating a motor vehicle after just a drink or two is dangerous.

4. Boating Safety

wakeboardingBoating is a quintessential Labor Day event. Make sure you keep it safe by ensuring the boat is in good mechanical condition, and carries all safety equipment including personal flotation devices, an emergency kit and a first aid kit. Keep away from restricted areas, be sure that you’re familiar with the rules of the water, and tell someone on land where you’re heading and what time you expect to return. For more boating safety tips, read “7 Tips for Avoiding Danger on a Boat.”

Tips for Safe Swimming

  • Check weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day.
  • Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area supervised by a lifeguard.
  • Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water and always stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.
  • Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

5. Conquering Outdoor Chores

Lots of us look forward to relaxing on Labor Day weekend, but if you’re tackling outdoor chores instead, we hope you’ll keep these safety tips in mind. Before you use any power tool make sure the cord isn’t frayed, that it is free of cuts and appears to be in good condition. If you need an extension cord be sure it is designed for outdoor use. Additionally, be sure that the extension cord’s amperage can handle the demand of the power tool you’re using. Cleaning gutters, trimming trees and painting are just a few common outdoor chores that require a ladder, and ladders are notoriously dangerous. Only use a ladder when there’s someone else at home and if you’re using a metal ladder be careful that it does not come into contact with an electrical source.

6. Prevent Food-borne Illnesses

grilling
What’s a Labor Day holiday without lots of food? Picnics, barbeques, and neighborhood pot-lucks are plentiful and that means so is the chance of food-borne illness. To minimize the chance of cross-contamination, wash your hands before and after you touch raw meat. Dry your hands on paper towels instead of cloth towels, and discard immediately. Refrigerate meat that’s waiting to hit the grill. Never leave food that requires refrigeration (think potato salad, coleslaw or chicken salad) out in the sun. Instead, set the item the bowl is in on top of a pan filled with ice, and serve from a shaded area. Return the item to the refrigerator as soon as party-goers have been served.

Tips for Safe Grilling

  • Keep the grill away from the house, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

 

7. Hydration and sun protection

Soda and juice might be a bit tastier, but you should hydrate your body with water instead. If you’re having a party, set out a few tubs full of bottled water and encourage your guests to drink small amounts often. Remember the golden rule: If your urine is yellow, you’re not drinking enough water.

It’s the end of summer, but in many parts of the country the sun is still raging. Apply sunscreen before you head out in the sun and reapply as necessary. Remember that the elderly and the young have especially sensitive skin and don’t forget that some medications can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Whether you’re splashing in a pool, enjoying the ultimate picnic or knocking out those household chores, we want you to stay safe this Labor Day weekend. Remember: An accident is never planned. But keeping out safety tips in mind may help prevent one.

 

The American Red Cross First Aid App for smart phones and tablets provides users with expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores and at redcross.org/mobileapps.

The Team at TOCA wish you and your family health and happiness as we celebrate this Labor Day.

To learn more about TOCA, our Physician Team, or to schedule an appointment call our dedicated TOCA Team at: 602-277-6211!

 

If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in reading: 10 Common Summer Injuries, Arizona Hiking Tips, Protecting Yourself from Dehydration and Fishing Safety & Boating

#Injuryprevention #Recovery #Results #Relief #MyOrthoDoc #TOCA #TOCAMD #LaborDay

Backpack Safety!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When you move your child’s backpack after he or she drops it at the door, does it feel like it contains 40 pounds of rocks? Maybe you’ve noticed your child struggling to put it on, bending forward while carrying it, or complaining of tingling or numbness. If you’ve been concerned about the effects that extra weight might have on your child’s still-growing body, your instincts are correct. Backpacks that are too heavy can cause a lot of problems for kids, like back and shoulder pain, and poor posture. Did you know that according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries from heavy backpacks result in more than 7,000 emergency room visits per year. Sprains, strains, and “overuse” injuries were among the top complaints.

When selecting a backpack, look for:

  • An ergonomic design
  • The correct size: never wider or longer than your child’s torso and never hanging more than 4 inches below the waist
  • Padded back and shoulder straps
  • Hip and chest belts to help transfer some of the weight to the hips and torso
  • Multiple compartments to better distribute the weight
  • Compression straps on the sides or bottom to stabilize the contents
  • Reflective material

Backpack Safety Tips:

  • Your backpack should weigh only 15% – 20% of your total weight
  • Use both shoulder straps to keep the weight of the backpack better distributed
  • Tighten the straps to keep the load closer to the back
  • Organize items and pack heavier things low and towards the center
  • Remove items if the backpack is too heavy and only carry items necessary for the day
  • Lift properly by bending at the knees when picking up a backpack

Remember: A roomy backpack may seem like a good idea, but the more space there is to fill, the more likely your child will fill it. Make sure your child uses both straps when carrying the backpack. Using one strap shifts the weight to one side and causes muscle pain and posture problems.

Help your child determine what is absolutely necessary to carry. If it’s not essential, leave it at home.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

 

If you or your child is experiencing neck or back pain the expert Physicians at TOCA and the dedicated staff are here to help! Call 602-277-6211 to schedule your appointment today!

 

#Recovery #Results #Relief #BackpackSaftey #MyOrthoDoc #BacktoSchool

Foot & Ankle Conditioning Program

After an injury or surgery, an exercise conditioning program will help you return to daily activities and enjoy a more active, healthy lifestyle. Following a well-structured conditioning program will also help you return to sports and other recreational activities.

This is a general conditioning program that provides a wide range of exercises. To ensure that the program is safe and effective for you, it should be performed under your doctor’s supervision. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which exercises will best help you meet your rehabilitation goals.

Strength: Strengthening the muscles that support your lower leg, foot, and ankle will help keep your ankle joint stable. Keeping these muscles strong can relieve foot and ankle pain and prevent further injury.

Flexibility: Stretching the muscles that you strengthen is important for restoring range of motion and preventing injury. Gently stretching after strengthening exercises can help reduce muscle soreness and keep your muscles long and flexible.

Target Muscles: The muscle groups of the lower leg are targeted in this conditioning program, as well as the tendons and ligaments that control movement in your feet. These include:

  • Gastrocnemius-soleus complex (calf)
  • Anterior tibialis (shin)
  • Posterior tibialis (center of calf)
  • Peroneus longus (outside of lower calf)
  • Peroneus brevis (outside of lower calf)
  • Soleus (calf)
  • Dorsiflexors (ankle)
  • Plantar flexors (ankle)
  • Invertors (ankle)
  • Evertors (ankle)

Length of program: This foot and ankle conditioning program should be continued for 4 to 6 weeks, unless otherwise specified by your doctor or physical therapist. After your recovery, these exercises can be continued as a maintenance program for lifelong protection and health of your feet and lower legs. Performing the exercises three to five days a week will maintain strength and range of motion in your foot and ankle.

 

Getting Started

Warm up: Before doing the following exercises, warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of low impact activity, like walking or riding a stationary bicycle.

Stretch: After the warm-up, do the stretching exercises shown on Page 1 before moving on to the strengthening exercises. When you have completed the strengthening exercises, repeat the stretching exercises to end the program.

Do not ignore pain: You should not feel pain during an exercise. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you have any pain while exercising.

Ask questions: If you are not sure how to do an exercise, or how often to do it, contact your doctor or physical therapist

 

1. Heel Cord Stretch

Repetitions 2 sets of 10
Days per week 6 to 7

Main muscles worked: Gastrocnemius-soleus complex
You should feel this stretch in your calf and into your heel

Equipment needed: None

Step-by-step directions

  • Stand facing a wall with your unaffected leg forward with a slight bend at the knee. Your affected leg is straight and behind you, with the heel flat and the toes pointed in slightly.
  • Keep both heels flat on the floor and press your hips forward toward the wall.
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds. Repeat.

Tip Do not arch your back.

2. Heel Cord Stretch with Bent Knee

Repetitions 2 sets of 10
Days per week 6 to 7

Main muscles worked: Soleus
You should feel this stretch in your calf, the sides of your ankle, and into your heel

Equipment needed: None

Step-by-step directions

  • Stand facing a wall with your unaffected leg forward with a slight bend at the knee. Your affected leg is behind you, with the knee bent and the toes pointed in slightly.
  • Keep both heels flat on the floor and press your hips forward toward the wall.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds. Repeat.

Tip Keep your hips centered over both feet.

 

3. Golf Ball Roll

Repetitions 1
Days per week Daily

Main muscles worked: Plantar fascia ligament
You should feel this exercise along the bottom of your foot

Equipment needed: Golf ball

Step-by-step directions

  • Sit on a stable chair with both feet planted on the floor.
  • Roll a golf ball under the arch of your affected foot for 2 minutes.

Tip Sit up tall and keep your foot toward your chair.

 

4. Towel Stretch

Repetitions 2 sets of 10
Days per week 6 to 7

Main muscles worked: Gastrocnemius-soleus complex
You should feel this stretch in your calf and into your heel

Equipment needed: Hand towel

Step-by-step directions

  • Sit on the floor with both legs out in front of you.
  • Loop a towel around the ball of your affected foot and grasp the ends of the towel in your hands.
  • Keep your affected leg straight and pull the towel toward you.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Tip Sit up tall and keep your legs straight.

 

 

5. Calf Raises

Repetitions 2 sets of 10
Days per week6 to 7

Main muscles worked: Gastrocnemius-soleus complex
You should feel this exercise in your calf

Equipment needed: Chair for support

Step-by-step directions

  • Stand with your weight evenly distributed over both feet. Hold onto the back of a chair or a wall for balance.
  • Lift your unaffected foot off of the floor so that all of your weight is placed on your affected foot.
  • Raise the heel of your affected foot as high as you can, then lower.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Tip Do not bend the knee of your working leg.

 

5. Ankle Range of Motion

Repetitions 2 sets
Days per week Daily

Main muscles worked: Dorsiflexors, plantar flexors, invertors, evertors
You should feel this exercise at the top of your foot and throughout your ankle

Equipment needed: None

Step-by-step directions

  • Sit down so that your feet do not touch the floor.
  • Use your foot to write each letter of the alphabet in the air. Lead with your big toe.

Tip Keep the movements small, using just your foot and ankle.

 

 

6. Marble Pickup

Repetitions 20
Days per week Daily

Main muscles worked: Plantar flexors
You should feel this exercise at the top of your foot and toes

Equipment needed: 20 marbles

Step-by-step directions

  • Sit with both feet flat and place 20 marbles on the floor in front of you.
  • Use your toes to pick up one marble at a time and place into a bowl.
  • Repeat until you have picked up all the marbles.

Tip Do not place the marbles too far out in front or to the side.

 

 

7. Towel Curls

Repetitions 5
Days per week Daily

Main muscles worked: Plantar flexors
You should feel this exercise at the top of your foot and your toes

Equipment needed: Hand towel

Step-by-step directions

  • Sit with both feet flat and place a small towel on the floor in front of you.
  • Grab the center of the towel with your toes and curl the towel toward you.
  • Relax and repeat.

Tip You can make this exercise more challenging by placing a weight on the edge of the towel.

 

 

8. Ankle Dorsiflexion/Plantar Flexion

Repetitions 3 sets of 10
Days per week 3

Main muscles worked: Anterior tibialis, gastrocnemius-soleus complex
You should feel this exercise at your calf, shin, the back of your heel, and the top of your foot

Equipment needed: Use an elastic stretch band of comfortable resistance

Step-by-step directions

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.
  • For dorsiflexion, anchor the elastic band on a chair or table leg, then wrap it around your foot.
  • Pull your toes toward you and slowly return to the start position. Repeat 10 times.
  • For plantar flexion, wrap the elastic band around your foot and hold the ends in your hand.
  • Gently point your toes and slowly return to the start position. Repeat 10 times.

Tip Keep your leg straight and heel on the floor for support.

 

If you are experiencing foot and/or ankle pain the experts at TOCA are here to help! View our website for more information or call our dedicated team to schedule an appointment today at: 602-277-6211!

 

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