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Protecting Yourself from Dehydration in the Hot Summer Months

The heat is on “high” in Arizona! Staying hydrated in the Arizona climate is definitely a challenge but most importantly a necessity.

With Valley temperatures in triple digits, it’s important to stay hydrated. How much water do you need to drink during the summer in Phoenix?
According to the Mayo Clinic, men should drink about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages per day in a moderate climate and women should drink about 9 cups (2.2 liters) per day. That’s roughly in line with the old adage to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water or fluid per day, at least if you’re a woman. Eight 8-ounce glasses per day is about 1.9 liters. Men would need to drink more to meet their needs. Keep in mind, though, that the 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women applies to moderate climates. Phoenix is in a desert climate, so your body needs significantly more water to keep hydrated.

2-1-1 Arizona, the state’s community information service, suggests drinking 5 to 7 ounces of fluids every 15 to 20 minutes to replenish the fluids necessary to stay hydrated. That translates to roughly 240 ounces or 30 cups per day if you drank 5 ounces every 20 minutes for the 16 hours (the typical person is awake).

The typical bottler of water holds nearly 17 ounces or 2 cups of water, so to drink 30 cups, you need to drink roughly 15 bottles of water per day in Phoenix. If you’re heading outside for any length of time or exercising, you’ll need to up your fluids even more!Image result for summer hydration

The good news is that you don’t need to rely solely on the water and fluids you drink. You can get some of your water intake from the foods you eat. Fruits and vegetables are particularly good for getting additional water since some, like cucumbers, melons, tomatoes, celery, and lettuce, are at least 90 percent water.

Since it’s hard to track how much water you’re getting from your food, it’s important to know the signs of dehydration. Mild dehydration can leave you feeling lethargic; signs of more severe dehydration include nausea, headaches, and dizziness. If you start experiencing those symptoms, get water as soon as possible.

Dehydration can come on quickly, especially if you are outside. If you plan on playing sports or hiking during the summer, the recommends starting to hydrate a few days before you go out.

Beverages: some hydrate, others dehydrate

Some beverages are better than others at preventing dehydration. Water is all you need if you are planning to be active in a low or moderate intensity activity, such as walking, for only an hour or less. If you plan to be exercising longer than that, or if you anticipate being out in the sun for more than a few hours, you may want to hydrate with some kind of sports drink. These replace not only fluid, but also chemicals like sodium and potassium, which are lost through perspiration. Too much or too little sodium and potassium in the body can cause trouble. Muscle cramping may be due to a deficiency of electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.

Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, teas, and colas, are not recommended for optimal hydration. These fluids tend to pull water from the body and promote dehydration. Fruit juice and fruit drinks may have too many carbohydrates, too little sodium, and may upset the stomach. If you’re going to drink fruit juices while exercising, you may try diluting them with 50% fruit juice and 50% water first.Image result for summer hydration

Adequate hydration will keep your summer activities safer and much more enjoyable. If you need to increase your fluid intake, keep an extra pitcher of water with fresh lemons, limes, or cucumber in the refrigerator.

Hydration tips

As summer temperatures hit, here are a number of important tips.

  • Drink enough water to prevent thirst.
  • Monitor fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow and not dark yellow or cloudy.
  • For short-duration (less than 60 minutes), low-to-moderate-intensity activity, water is a good choice to drink before, during and after exercise.
  • Any time you exercise in extreme heat or for more than one hour, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6 percent to 8 percent carbohydrates. This prevents “hyponatremia” (low blood sodium), which dilutes your blood and could also lead to serious impairment and death.
  • Begin exercise well-hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after your exercise session.
  • Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise bout, and avoid exercising with a hangover.
  • Consider all fluids, including tea, coffee, juices, milk and soups (though excluding alcohol, which is extremely dehydrating). The amount of caffeine in tea and coffee does not discount the fluid in them, even if they have a slight diuretic effect, according to the most recent report by the National Research Council’s Food and Nutrition Board.
  • Eat at least five cups of fruits and vegetables per day for optimum health, as they all contain various levels of water and the all-important nutrient potassium.
  • During exercise, for those who experience high sodium losses, eat salty foods in a pre-exercise meal or add an appropriate amount of salt to sports drinks consumed during exercise. Orange juice is high in potassium. Dilute juices, such as V-8 or orange juice, 50/50 with water so that the drinks are 6 percent carbohydrate solutions (the same as sports drinks), which will empty from your stomach quicker than 100 percent juice (juices are naturally 12 percent solutions), allowing the electrolytes and water to quickly reach your heart and organs.
  • Following strenuous exercise, you need more protein to build muscle, carbohydrates to refuel muscle, electrolytes to replenish what’s lost in sweat, and fluids to help re-hydrate the body. Low-fat chocolate milk is a perfect, natural replacement that fills those requirements.
  • You can also replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain salt and potassium, such as soup and vegetable juices.
  • For long hikes, when you’ll need food, dried fruit and nut mixtures contain high amounts of potassium, sodium, protein, carbs and calories — though continue to drink plenty of water.
  • To determine your individualized need for fluid replacement: During heavy exercise, weigh yourself immediately before and after exercise. If you see an immediate loss of weight, you’ve lost valuable water. Drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost; use this figure to determine the amount of water (or sports drink) you’ll need to drink before and during your next exercise session to prevent weight/water loss in the future.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

If you want to avoid health problems from dehydration it’s vital to listen to your body and drink water throughout the day. Water is the best way to prevent and beat dehydration, especially during the warm summer months when we are all prone to perspire even more so than usual.

Symptoms of Dehydration

  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness
  • Thirst
  • Decreases urination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Symptoms of Severe Dehydration

  • Extreme thirst
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Extremely dry mouth and mucus membranes
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lack of sweating
  • Lack of tears
  • Very little or no urination
  • Skin that won’t ‘bounce back’
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Delirium

People at Risk for Dehydration and Hypernatremia

  • Children and infants
  • Elderly
  • Chronically ill
  • Endurance athletes
  • High altitude dwellers

Simple Steps to Avoid Dehydration

The best way to avoid dehydration, particularly during hot summer months, is to be sure you and your loved ones are drinking plenty of pure water on a daily basis, at least eight to ten, eight ounce glasses full. If you are exerting yourself or out in the heat, drink even more water.

Avoiding dehydration is as simple as drinking enough pure water on a daily basis but so many just don’t do this. When you realize the high price your body will pay from a serious case of dehydration or hypernatremia, you’ll be asking for more water to drink everyday.

Top Hydrating Foods

  1. Coconut Water
  2. CeleryImage result for hydrating foods
  3. Watermelon
  4. Cucumber
  5. Kiwi
  6. Bell Peppers
  7. Citrus Fruit
  8. Carrots
  9. Cultured Dairy (amasai/kefir/yogurt)
  10. Pineapple
  11. Tomatoes
  12. Strawberries
  13. Star fruit
  14. Cantaloupe

 

If you suspect that someone is dehydrated, seek immediate medical attention.

The Maricopa Association of Governments coordinates the Heat Relief Network, a listing of places where people, especially vulnerable individuals such as those experiencing homelessness, can receive water and, in some cases, a place to cool off. Get more information www.azmag.gov/heatrelief.

 

#heat #Dehydration #InjuryPrevention #IllnessPrevention #HeatStrokePrevention #HeatStroke #KeepHydrated #Results #Recovery #Relief #Summer

Read about Summer Time Injuries

Cast Away: Fishing Safety & Boating in Arizona

Cast Away: Fishing Safety & Boating in Arizona! Arizona is blessed with diverse fishing opportunities, from the large reservoirs to the trout lakes in the mountains, and plenty of low-elevation fishing holes in between. Go out and catch a memory!

Recreational fishing (especially angling) is one of the most popular activities in the world, but as with other sports, it’s not without its risks. Most anglers are careful to avoid the obvious and most dramatic of fishing dangers (dehydration, hooking a finger, boat motor fires, accidental drowning, etc.). However, if you want to keep yourself in top fishing shape, you also have to protect yourself from more mundane fishing hazards – overuse injuries.

As the name states, overuse injuries are caused by too many uninterrupted repetitions of an action. The body parts involved become fatigued to the point of injury; this effect is intensified if the repeated action requires awkward or unnatural movements, such as is sometimes seen in bowling or pitching a baseball. Overuse injuries are notoriously stubborn to cure – but then again, it’s often those with the injuries that are stubborn. Because you must treat an overuse injury with rest (which means taking a sometimes lengthy break from the beloved activity that cause the injury in the first place), many people make the mistake of returning to activity before their injury is fully healed, creating a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break.

Angling provides the perfect conditions for an overuse injury thanks to the repetitive movements of casting coupled with the bad body mechanics that are common to so many people. As is often said, prevention is the best medicine. With a few simple tweaks, you can help stop overuse injuries from ruining your fishing trips.

Although it might sound silly, you should prepare in advance of a fishing trip the way you would for other athletic events. Keeping yourself in good physical condition will give you the endurance you need for long fishing sessions, and you will be less plagued by the aches and pains that can make your trip less enjoyable. Besides eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, you should include stretching and strengthening exercises specifically geared for the muscles you will use during angling – your abdominals, back, and upper body.
Because fishing trips are often all-day affairs, it’s important to change up your activity. Alternate sitting and standing – but do both with good posture – to avoid unnecessary stress on your back and feet. Switch your grip and casting style throughout the day so no one motion or position is repeated excessively (and as an added bonus, this will help you master a diversity of fishing styles). And perhaps most important of all, take breaks to rest, even if you don’t feel tired. Remember that most people don’t realize they are developing an overuse injury until it’s too late.

Lastly, be realistic about your abilities. Seek coaching to fix any bad body mechanics you may have during casting. Shooting heads and sinking weights put extra strain on the wrists, elbows, and shoulders of anglers who aren’t adept at their use, so avoid them for all but short periods of time if you fall into this category. In addition, using heavy or long rods, longer lines, and fishing for heavy fish should all be engaged in sparingly unless you are expert enough to do so correctly.

Fishing memories can last a lifetime, so don’t let an overuse injury keep you from enjoying the water with your friends and family.
You throw a hook into the water, you sit and wait for a bite or you reel back in. Fishing is a great pastime, but in order for it to be truly enjoyable, you must be safe. Keep these important guidelines and tips in mind for a safe fishing experience.Image result for arizona fishing

1. Get physically prepared.
You don’t necessarily need to be in top physical shape to catch a fish, but you do need to be able to navigate in and out of a boat or possibly across rocks to your favorite fishing spot. Since regular physical activity is essential for your family’s health, make sure you stick to a daily fitness routine leading up to fishing season. Consider visiting the local pool to brush up on your swimming strokes in the case you fall out of the boat or into the water from the shore.

2. Check your fishing gear.
Fishing lines get old and tangled, fishing poles get worn, and lures can break. Open up your tackle box and discard broken fishing tackle. Restring your pole if the line looks ragged and replace your reel or pole if showing signs of damage. The last thing you want to do is cast out and hook someone or yourself due to faulty fishing gear. If you are going out on a boat, do a boat safety check and make sure your life vests are in good condition.

3. Dress up for the occasion.
Sturdy, protective footwear is especially important when fishing. It can keep you from cutting your foot on obstacles in the water or on shore, keep your feet warm, and prevent slipping. Wear clothing according to the weather conditions, choosing attire that will keep you cool in the heat and warm in the cold. Wear sunscreen regardless of temperature and consider a hat that shades your ears and face. Be sure you and the kids don those life vests if you are on the water. Life jackets are also important if you are wading in deep waters that have strong currents. Even if you are an excellent swimmer, a life jacket can help keep you safe in the event that you fall and hit your head.

4. Pack a first aid kit.
Image result for first aid kitWhile you are hoping for the big catch, you may fall and sustain a cut, get bit by insects, or get a hook in the hand. A first aid kit can come to the rescue for many injuries.
For scrapes and cuts, rinse the wound with clean water (this doesn’t mean pond water) and stop the bleeding by compressing with a clean cloth. Apply an antibiotic cream and cover with a bandage. Try to keep the area dry, changing bandage as needed.

For insect bites and stings, clean area with water, apply a cold compress if available, apply antibiotic cream, and take acetominophen or ibuprofen for pain. Be sure to remove ticks and stingers, if present, before treating. To avoid bites and stings, apply an insect repellent before you start fishing.

When it comes to fishing hooks, if the hook is embedded in the head or face, in a joint, or near an artery, seek medical help immediately. If the hook is embedded in the finger or elsewhere in the skin, clean area with soapy water. Tie a long piece of fishing line to the rounded part of the hook. Push the hook shank parallel with the skin and give the fishing line a firm, sharp yank. The hook should come right out of the entry point. Wash the area again and apply an antiobiotic ointment and bandage to keep it clean and dry.
Note: Be sure your family is current on your tetanus vaccinations.

5. Stay aware of your fellow fishers.
Keep distance between you and your fellow fishers to avoid hook or pole injuries when casting. Safety glasses are a good idea for kids to protect their eyes, especially as they hone their fishing skills. In addition, always know where your family members are and don’t let your kids fish alone. Employ the buddy system.
New anglers. Should always learn how to cast overhead first. This cast teaches the proper technique and is safer than side casts.

6. Never go fishing alone. Always fish with someone else and, ideally, with two other people. If one person is injured or in danger, a second person can stay with them while the third person seeks help. This is especially important when rock fishing. Let somebody know the location of your fishing trip, who you are going with and an approximate time you will be back.

7. Weather and fishing
Staying aware of weather conditions is an important part of fishing safety. Make sure you have the most up-to-date local weather information available and be prepared for sudden changes. For coastal locations, take particular note of unexpected tide and swell conditions.

Additional Fishing and Boating Safety Tips: 
• No drinking or using drugs while driving a boat.
• Abide by boat speeds and wake zone laws.
• Stay alert of debris, stumps, boulders when boating.
• Stay off of the water if there are lightning storms.
• Use your boat lights at night.
• Keep an extra fully-charged battery on board.
• Use caution with hooks, like baiting, knot tying, rigging.
• Don’t fish in unrestricted zones.
• Be sure you keep your area organized and clean.
• Carry maps of the areas you will be at.
• Bring a cell phone.
• Stay hydrated.

Arizona fishing and boating trips can range from a day of casting for trophy largemouth bass to fly-fishing for brown trout on Woods Canyon Lake. In order to experience the best fishing in Arizona, check for updates to fishing regulations, read local fishing reports, and find the best spot.

These 11 Amazing Spots In Arizona Are Perfect To Go Fishing
Image result for arizona fishing• Big Lake
• Cluff Ranch Ponds
• Dead Horse Lake
• Dogtown Lake
• Lake Pleasant
• Lake Powell
• Oak Creek
• Peña Blanca Lake
• Riggs Flat Lake
• Saguaro Lake
• Tonto Creek

 

 

If you experience an injury during your summer activities the Team at TOCA is here to help! Learn more about our Orthopedic Surgeons, Sports Medicine Physicians and Physical Therapy Team. To schedule an appointment call 602-277-6211!

Read more about summer time outdoors in Arizona: Arizona Hiking Tips: Take a Hike. Do it Right.     10 Common Summer Injuries  Men’s Summer Health & Common Sports Injuries

#Results #Recovery #Relief #family #summer #fishingfun #fishingsafety #TOCA #TOCAMD #AZFishing

Men’s Summer Health & Common Sports Injuries

The summer is a great time to build up your fitness program, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, take a vacation, and have fun. It’s also a time to pay attention to your health and safety. Below are tips to help you stay safe and healthy this summer and all year long.

Sprains, strains, tendonitis, and even broken bones are all consequences of living an active and athletic lifestyle. Luckily, with the right knowledge and preparation, many injuries can be diminished or entirely prevented.

There are two classes of injuries: traumatic and cumulative. Traumatic injuries are those accidents that happen in sport or daily life, such as rolling your ankle on a trail run or crashing your bike on the morning commute. Cumulative injuries relate to tissue damage that occurs over time as a result of repetitive strain. These types of injuries creep up and may be a function of poor posture, faulty movement patterns, or improper training.

 

The Seven Most Common Sports Injuries

What weekend warriors need to know about preventing and treating the seven most common sports injuries!

After a sedentary work week, end-zone catches and 36-hole weekends can take their toll in common sports injuries. The seven most common sports injuries are:

  1. Ankle sprain
  2. Groin pull
  3. Hamstring strain
  4. Shin splints
  5. Knee injury: ACL tear
  6. Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome — injury resulting from the repetitive movement of your kneecap against your thigh bone
  7. Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

To see how to prevent and treat these common sports injuries — and to learn when it’s time to look further than your medicine cabinet to treat sports injuries— read on.

The most common sports injuries are strains and sprains

Sprains are injuries to ligaments, the tough bands connecting bones in a joint. Suddenly stretching ligaments past their limits deforms or tears them. Strains are injuries to muscle fibers or tendons, which anchor muscles to bones. Strains are called “pulled muscles” for a reason: Over-stretching or overusing a muscle causes tears in the muscle fibers or tendons.

“Think of ligaments and muscle-tendon units like springs,” says William Roberts, MD, sports medicine physician at the University of Minnesota and spokesman for the American College of Sports Medicine. “The tissue lengthens with stress and returns to its normal length — unless it is pulled too far out of its normal range.”

Preventing the most common sports injuries

Sometimes preventing common sports injuries is beyond our control, but many times sports injuries are preventable. “Some injuries,” Roberts says, “we bring on ourselves because we’re not conditioned for the activity.” His advice: “Work out daily and get double benefit — enjoy your weekend activities and garner the health benefits.”

Every workout should start with a gentle warm-up to prevent common sports injuries, says Margot Putukian, MD, director of athletic medicine at Princeton University. “Getting warmed up increases blood flow to the muscles, gets you more flexible, and could decrease injuries,” she adds.

Overuse injuries are common and preventable, according to Putukian. “Don’t come out and hit the ball for an hour after not playing for a while,” she says. Whether it’s hiking, running, or team sports, do some “pre-participation training” first by lightly working the relevant muscle groups in the weeks before the activity.

And learn to recognize when you’ve already left it all on the field. Stop when you are fatigued. Muscle fatigue takes away all your protective mechanisms and really increases your risk of all injuries. You can always come out to play again next weekend — if you don’t get injured today.

Treating the most common sports injuries

Usually, common sports injuries are mild or moderate — there’s some damage, but everything is still in place. You can treat them at home using the PRICE therapy method described later in this article. But you should expect that some common sports injuries may take months to heal, even with good treatment. If a sprain or strain is severe, however, the entire muscle, tendon, or ligament is torn away, and surgery may be needed.

Here are some specific tips for treating each of the most common sports injuries:

1. Ankle sprain

What it is: Most athletes have experienced a sprained ankle, which typically occurs when the foot turns inward. This turning stretches or tears the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, which are relatively weak.

What you can do: With an ankle sprain, it’s important to exercise to prevent loss of flexibility and strength — and re-injury. You can ask your doctor or physical therapist to help you know what kinds of exercise you should do.

When to see a doctor: It’s important to note where the sprain has occurred. A ‘high ankle sprain’ is slower to heal and should probably be seen by a doctor to make sure the bones in the lower leg did not separate. One way to recognize a high ankle sprain is that this sprain usually causes tenderness above the ankle.

2. Groin pull

What it is: Pushing off in a side-to-side motion causes strain of the inner thigh muscles, or groin. Hockey, soccer, football, and baseball are common sports with groin injuries.

What you can do: Compression, ice, and rest will heal most groin injuries. Returning to full activity too quickly can aggravate a groin pull or turn it into a long-term problem.

When to see a doctor: Any groin pull that has significant swelling should be seen early by a physician.

3. Hamstring strain

What it is: Three muscles in the back of the thigh form the hamstring. The hamstring can be over-stretched by movements such as hurdling — kicking the leg out sharply when running. Falling forward while waterskiing is another common cause of hamstring strains.

What you can do: Hamstring injuries are slow to heal because of the constant stress applied to the injured tissue from walking. Complete healing can take six to 12 months. Re-injuries are common because it’s hard for many guys to stay inactive for that long.

4. Shin splints

What they are: Pains down the front of the lower legs are commonly called “shin splints.” They are most often brought on by running — especially when starting a more strenuous training program like long runs on paved roads.

What you can do: Rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medicine are the mainstays of treatment.

When to see a doctor: The pain of shin splints is rarely an actual stress fracture — a small break in the shin bone. But you should see your doctor if the pain persists, even with rest. Stress fractures require prolonged rest, commonly a month or more to heal.

5. Knee injury: ACL tear

What it is: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) holds the leg bone to the knee. Sudden “cuts” or stops or getting hit from the side can strain or tear the ACL. A complete tear can make the dreaded “pop” sound.

When to see a doctor: Always, if you suspect an ACL injury. ACL tears are potentially the most severe of the common sports injuries. “A completely torn ACL will usually require surgery in individuals who wish to remain physically active.

6: Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome

What it is: Patellofemoral syndrome can result from the repetitive movement of your kneecap (patella) against your thigh bone (femur), which can damage the tissue under the kneecap. Running, volleyball, and basketball commonly set it off. One knee or both can be affected.

What you can do: Patience is key. Patellofemoral pain can take up to six weeks to clear up. It’s important to continue low-impact exercise during this time. Working out the quadriceps can also relieve pain.

7. Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

What it is: Repetitive use of the elbow — for example, during golf or tennis swings — can irritate or make tiny tears in the elbow’s tendons. Epicondylitis is most common in 30- to 60-year-olds and usually involves the outside of the elbow.

What you can do: Epicondylitis can usually be cleared up by staying off the tennis court or golf course until the pain improves.

The PRICE principle for treating common sports injuries

The U.S. Marines say that “pain is weakness leaving your body.” Most of the rest of us would add, “OK, but can’t we hurry it up a little?” The answer is yes. Using the PRICE method to treat any common sports injury will help get you back in the game sooner.

First, it’s important to know that swelling is a normal response to these injuries. Excessive swelling, though, can reduce range of motion and interfere with healing. You can limit swelling and start healing faster after common sports injuries by using the PRICE principle:

  • P — protect from further injury
    For more severe injuries, protect the injured area with a splint, pad, or crutch.
  • R — restrict activity
    Restricting activity will prevent worsening of the injury.
  • I — apply ice
    Apply ice immediately after a common sports injury. “Ice is the miracle drug” for sports injuries, says Putukian. “It’s an anti-inflammatory, without many side effects.” Use ice for 20 minutes every one to two hours for the first 48 hours after the injury. Don’t use heat during this time — it encourages swelling and inflammation.
  • C — apply compression
    Compression with an elastic bandage will help reduce swelling.
  • E — elevate the injured area
    Elevating the injured area above the heart will also reduce swelling.

Over-the-counter pain relievers usually relieve the pain of common sports injuries to a tolerable level. If they don’t, it’s probably time to see a doctor.

When to get medical attention for common sports injuries

We know you’re tough — but you also need to be smart. If you suspect a serious injury or if you have any of these signs, see a doctor:

  • Deformities in the joint or bone — it looks “crooked,” or moves abnormally
  • You cannot bear weight or can’t use the limb without it “giving way”
  • Excessive swelling
  • Changes in skin color beyond mild bruising
  • It’s not getting any better after a few days of PRICE therapy

 

If you are injured the Team of Orthopedic Physicians here at TOCA are here to help! To learn more or schedule an appointment call: 602-277-6211.

 

#Results #Recovery #Relief #Injuryprevention #Menshealth #ShowUsYourBlue #SportsMedicine #SportsInjury #TOCA #TOCAMD

National Senior Health & Fitness Day – Exercise Ideas for Older Adults!

National Senior Health & Fitness Day – Exercise Ideas for Older Adults!

Senior Health & Fitness Day is a time to explore the many senior-friendly physical activity options, and to understand the importance of exercise and nutrition for ongoing health and illness/injury-prevention. A healthy diet can boost energy and immunity, and regular exercise is necessary to retain bone mass and lower the risk of fractures, and to build muscle strength and reduce the risk of falls.

Finding ways to get exercise as you get older is a smart and easy way to stay fit and improve your health. Exercise is just as important in your older years as when you were younger.

Research shows that an exercise routine offers a wealth of health benefits. One study found that adults ages 75 and older who exercised lived longer than older adults who didn’t exercise. Another study discovered that older women who squeezed in resistance, or strength, training workouts each week improved their cognitive function.

It’s also well known that regular exercise can help to boost heart health, maintain a healthy body weight, keep joints flexible and healthy, and improve balance to reduce falls.

Exercise does not take as much time as you may think. For general health benefits, older adults need about 2½ hours of aerobic (walking, running, and other activities that get the heart pumping faster) activity per week. These activities should be combined with activities that strengthen muscles at least 2 days per week.

Joining a gym and making use of the machines, trainers, and classes is 1 way to exercise. But you can also have fun there, meet new people, and do a variety of different activities that keep you healthy and strong.

Easy ways to exercise –

Exercise actually comes in many forms, including activities that feel more like fun than hard work:

* Dance. Sign up for a dance class with your spouse or a friend or carve out some dance time at home.

* Go bowling. Join a bowling league or make a weekly date with some of your friends. If you have grandchildren, bring them along.

* Rediscover a favorite sport. Whether you love the elegance of golf or the challenge of tennis, make time for these leisure activities. If possible, vary your activities over the course of each week to work different muscle groups.

* Enjoy the great outdoors. When the weather cooperates, ride your bike, visit a local park for a hike, or simply go for a walk. These are all great exercises that get you outside and into the fresh air.

* Get in the swim. Swimming is an excellent exercise choice, particularly if you have arthritis joint pain. Join a local fitness center with a pool. Work in regular swims to meet your cardiovascular needs without straining your joints.

Balance and strengthen count, too –

To help prevent falls, you also want to practice exercises that improve your balance. Yoga and tai chi fit the bill. They will also help you manage stress, feel more relaxed, and improve muscle tone. Yoga or tai chi classes are widely available in many areas, from senior centers to the Y.

Taking some time to stretch every day can also help keep your joints flexible and keep you moving well. It’s also important to lift some light weights. Canned goods from your cupboard are a fine substitute. You can also use a resistance band to tone your muscles.

Add a little “elbow grease” when doing chores and these regular activities will count as a workout:

* Cleaning the house

* Raking leaves in the yard

* Gardening

* Mowing the lawn

* Sweeping and dusting

Remember that getting older doesn’t mean slowing down. You’ve got to keep moving to stay young at heart…as well as in mind, body, and spirit.

#Results #Recovery #Relief #seniorhealthandfitness #exercise#injuryprevention #TOCAMD #TOCA #TheOrthopedicClinicAssociation

Memorial Day Safety and Injury Prevention

This Memorial Day, at TOCA and around the Nation we honor those Americans who have put their lives on the line to bravely defend our country’s freedom. Each day and especially on Memorial Day we take a moment to remember the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives to protect our great Nation and hard-won freedom.

Memorial Day Safety and Injury Prevention: The first three-day holiday weekend of the summer and the unofficial “kickoff” to summer is upon us. We all have various activities scheduled for the weekend, which may include cookouts, picnics, boating, swimming, motor sports, work around the house, etc. No matter what you have planned, please make safety a part of your weekend.

DRIVING SAFETY: This weekend, 33 million Americans are expected to hit the roads, according to AAA, but more traffic means more traffic accidents.

  • Be well rested and alert, use your seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road.
  • If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink.
  • Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Use caution in work zones. There are lots of construction projects underway on the highways.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
  • Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather. Don’t overdrive your headlights.
  • Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low. If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.
  • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk.
  • Let someone know where you are going, your route and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

GRILLING SAFETY: Hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob; nothing says summer like grilling!

  • Ensure that the grill has been thoroughly cleaned. Dirty grills cause many injuries, particularly propane grills.
  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while you grill
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.

WATER SAFETY: The beginning of summer also means the start of pool or beach season for many in the U.S.

  • Do your part, be water smart! Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
  • Appoint someone as lifeguard, rather than assuming one of your partygoers is keeping an eye on swimmers.
  • Adults: actively supervise children; stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. And kids: follow the rules.
  • Don’t just pack it; wear your U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket – always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings can be fun, but they are no substitute for a life jacket and adult supervision.
  • Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair – everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards.
  • Reach or throw, don’t go! Know what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1; and know CPR.
  • Don’t fool with a pool: fence it in. Enclose your pool and spa with four-sided, four-foot fencing and use self-closing, self-latching gates.

Use Extra Caution with Fireworks: Nothing wraps up a great Memorial Day party better than a blazing fireworks display. Some towns and cities allow for select smaller fireworks to be enjoyed at home. If that’s the case, follow your local laws about what kind of fireworks are permitted.

  • Fireworks should be lit outside in an area without flammable branches or grass. Have a water hose or bucket of water handy to extinguish spent fireworks.
  • After you light a firework, get away to a safe distance. Don’t try to hold a firework in your hand after it’s lit, and do not light it into a container of any kind. Only responsible adults should light fireworks. Always ensure they are safely disposed of after the fun is over.

Stay Safe Under the Sun: There’s no better feeling than soaking in the new summer sun on Memorial Day — but don’t forget sunscreen and keep hydrated.

  • Skin can become severely burned after just a few hours in the sun, which can increase your risk of skin cancer in the long run.
  • Consider providing or looking for available shade, like umbrellas or covered picnic areas, to reduce sun exposure for yourself and your guests. A hat and sunglasses can offer extra coverage.
  • Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen after two hours of sun exposure.
  • Drink plenty of water before, while, and after you are active. This is very important when it’s hot out and when you do intense exercise. You can drink water or rehydration drinks.
  • Encourage your child to drink extra fluids or suck on flavored ice pops, such as Popsicles.
  • Stop working outdoors or exercising if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or very tired.

Injury prevention is not only part of our mission here at TOCA, the TOCA team and physician group are dedicated to adult and youth safety. Our experts work with and in the community year-round and emphasize injury prevention over the summer and around holidays.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 #thankyouforyoursacrifice #injury prevention #holidaysafteytips #Recovery #Results #Relief #TOCA 

10 Common Summer Injuries

10 Common Summer Injuries – Summer is a season full of beautiful weather, vacations, sports, and other enjoyable outdoor activities. Unfortunately, summer also means an increase in injuries. There are many ways to prevent the injuries that are most common during the summer months, as you and your family enjoy the warm weather. Here you can find helpful tips and facts to help you have a safe and injury-free summer.

1. BICYCLE INJURIES: Wearing a helmet will reduce the chance of a head injury by 85 percent, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. The use of a bicycle helmet also seriously reduces the chance that a bike accident, which often involves a motor vehicle, will be fatal for the cyclist

2. BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL INJURIES: Since baseball is a non-contact sport, injuries happen with unintentional contact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Warming up and stretching can help prevent common strains and sprains. Coaches are also advised to become very familiar with the conditions of their field, and to be prepared for emergency situations with an on-hand first aid kit along with a medical response plan.

3. PLAYGROUND INJURIES: Studies indicate that roughly 7 out of 10 playground injuries happen because of a fall or an equipment failure. Pediatricians are acutely aware of such hazards.

* Ground cover is important. Stay away from concrete and grass. The best ground covering is rubber or wood chips. Also, look for rusty nails or broken equipment.

* Remember to apply sunscreen regularly while enjoying an outdoor playground.

4. ATV, MOPED AND MINI BIKE INJURIES: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises against using ATVs on paved roads, allowing children under the age of 16 to ride adult ATVs, or riding an ATV as a passenger. Additionally, that government agency urges ATV enthusiasts to always wear helmets and protective gear.

5. SOCCER INJURIES: Proper conditioning, stretching, warmups and cool-downs are key to preventing many of these injuries including the severe sprains, torn cartilage and damaged anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs).

6. SWIMMING INJURIES: When spending time at a pool, lake or shoreline with family and friends, designate brief shifts in which an adult is always serving as a “water watcher.”

Here are some other swimming safety tips:

* Never dive into shallow water.

* Jump into lakes, rivers or the sea feet-first, particularly in dark waters, where you can’t see what’s below.

* Stop swimming during inclement weather.

* Try to avoid crowded swimming spots where it’s hard to monitor your group.

* Avoid wearing headphones at the pool or beach, so you can hear any developing trouble.

7. TRAMPOLINE INJURIES: On average orthopedic physicians see one to three patients each week with a trampoline injury. Sprains and fractures are the most common among them but bruises, bumps and bloody noses are also a concern. Here are some of this doctor’s trampoline safety recommendations:

* Allow only one person on a trampoline at any given time.

* Use a trampoline net to minimize falls.

* Make sure the trampoline is situated on a relatively soft surface such as a lawn.

* Make sure the trampoline is secure.

* Keep the trampoline well-maintained. Any damage to the supporting bars or mats present a fresh safety danger.

* Untrained tumblers should avoid somersaults and other “high-risk maneuvers.”

8. VOLLEYBALL INJURIES: Staying fit during the off-season is the best way for regular players to avoid injury during games. Recreational players should remember to stretch and warm up before a game, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

9. AM– USEMENT PARK, STATE FAIR AND CARNIVAL RIDE INJURIES: The following are the top ride safety tips from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).

* Mind the posted height, weight and health restrictions on each ride.

* Read any posted safety rules for each ride. Responsible parks also have attendants who remind riders about safety rules at the start of each ride.

* Never dangle your hands or feet outside of a ride.

* Always stay in your seat during a ride.

* Always use the straps, belts, crossbars and any other ride safety equipment.

* Make sure your possessions are secure.

10. WATER SPORTS INJURIES: Many of these injuries can be prevented with preseason conditioning and a purposeful warm up before your exercise.

Although doctors regularly treat cuts, strains, sprains and orthopedic injuries from such water sports as jet-skiing and wakeboarding, they also caution against dehydration, which outdoor enthusiasts may forget about while frolicking in or near water.

The team members at TOCA and our Physicians are here to help! To learn more about TOCA and our physicians visit more of our webpages here on: www.tocamd.com or call 602-277-6211!

#Recovery #Results #Relief #TOCAMD #SummerFun #InjuryPrevention#PlaySmart #PlaySafe #SummerSaftey

Arizona Hiking Tips: Take a Hike. Do it Right.

Arizona Hiking Tips: Take a Hike. Do it Right.
When you explore trails, you’re leaving the safety and structure of your home and local Starbucks for an unpredictable and unstructured environment.  You can never eliminate the unpredictable aspect of nature, but the risk is part of the reward.  To make the most of your experience, you should be adequately prepared for what might happen.  Here are some simple rules to follow and items to bring on your trail adventure:
Plan Ahead
* Before you go, plan ahead. You are entirely on your own. Your descent marks your entry into a world in which preparation, self-reliance, and common sense are crucial. Be conservative in planning your hikes!
* Check the Weather. Checking the weather for the location where you will be hiking the days leading up to your hike and then double checking the morning of your adventure will make all the difference in the world. Knowing what the temperature is, what the percentage for rain will be, the long term forecast, the ceiling of clouds and the wind speeds will help you decide what the perfect clothes will be for your trip. It will also tell you whether or not going out that day is a good idea. If the weather looks bad, but you really want to hike, find a location where the weather will impact you the least. If you are not used to hiking with low visibility in wind, rain and sleet, avoid the mountains during stormy days.
* Know your Terrain. Before you hike something, know what it will be like and do some research. Read a guidebook, check online, ask Exotic Hikes a question, look at Topo maps and Google Satellite images; do whatever you can to understand what you will be dealing with. By researching your trail and the terrain you will be encountering, you will be able to bring the right clothes, shoes, amount of water and food and other miscellaneous gear.  Researching terrain will also let you know if you should expect a water source on the trail or if you need to pack extra water with you.
* Know what your destination will be. Don’t overestimate your capabilities. Hike intelligently. You are responsible for your own safety as well as that of everyone in your party. Choose the hike that is best suited to your fitness level, interest and seasonal appropriateness. When you plan your hike, think of the position of the sun. On hot days you will want to hike early and late in the afternoon. If you do hike during the day, choose trails along creeks and those that provide shade. In the cooler weather, you may prefer to hike mid morning through mid afternoon to take advantage of the sun’s warmth.
* Leave a note of where you are going. This is common sense. Never go hiking without telling at least 2 other people where you are going and when you expect to return. Leaving a note takes all of 5 seconds and could save your life. This is one of the simplest ways to stay safe and get rescued, should you get stranded. (Stay on the trail and never shortcut switchbacks.)
* Know where to get help. Most hiking trails have exit points that allow you to take a side path and reach a main road or a wilderness stop. Knowing where those side roads are can make a world of difference if you are seriously injured and alone.
 
Be a Lightweight and Bring the Essentials! 
* The less you carry, the more enjoyable your hike will be, so travel as lightly as possible. The heaviest items in your pack should be your food and water. Hiking sticks can take some of the stress off your legs.
 
* Wear well-fitting and broken-in lightweight hiking boots. Bring a small lightweight flashlight and a change of batteries and bulb. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Bring a map, compass, signal mirror, first-aid supplies and water purification tablets (as a backup). 
* Carry your cell phone. Even if you don’t have a signal, some “smart phones” have survival applications.
 
Dress Appropriately! Protect yourself from the sun. Wear hats with broad brims, sunglasses, sun screen and long-sleeved clothing. Consider wearing layers to modulate your body temperature. If you hike early in the morning, the weather will get much warmer by mid-day. If you hike late in the afternoon, be prepared forImage result for hiking safety tips for arizona a significant temperature dip when the sun goes down. Wear comfortable, broken-in boots or hiking shoes that will protect your feet from heated surfaces and loose, sharp rocks. A slip-free sole is a must!
 
Know your limits and abilities!
You, more than anyone else, know what your body is capable of doing while hiking. The worst thing you can do is to push yourself too hard and get stuck, unable to hike up or down. Do not feel like you have to keep up with someone hiking faster than you, as they are hiking at their pace and not yours. As soon as you feel out of your comfort zone, take a break, eat some protein, and drink some water and rest. If you still feel fatigued after a break of 5 or 10 minutes with zero improvement of your health and well-being, rest a bit more and call it a day. You are hiking for your enjoyment, not to keep up with everyone else.
Avoid Huffing and Puffing 
* If you can talk while you are walking, you are walking at the perfect speed. When you huff and puff, your legs, your digestive system, your whole body does not get enough oxygen to function efficiently. Your energy reserves get used up very quickly with this type of metabolism (anaerobic – without enough oxygen), and it creates a lot of waste products. These waste products make your legs feel heavy and make you feel sick.
 
* Walking uphill at a pace that allows you to be able to walk and talk will help guarantee that your legs and your body are getting the oxygen that they need to function efficiently (aerobically – with enough oxygen). Because your body will generate fewer of these metabolic waste products, you will be better able to enjoy your hike, and you will feel much better when you reach its end. It may seem like you are walking too slow, but at an aerobic pace (sometimes baby-sized steps when the trail is steep) your energy reserves will last many times longer, and you will get there feeling well.
 
Be Kind to Yourself
* Do not exceed your normal level of physical activity or training. If you have asthma, heart problems, diabetes, knee, back or any other health or medical problem, please limit your exertion and especially your exposure to the heat. The altitude, the strenuous climbing, dehydration, and the intense inner Canyon heat, all combine to make any medical problem worse. Please stay within your training, physical limitations, abilities.
 
Take a Break: Hiking isn’t a race. If you feel tired, stop and take a small rest. There is no shame what-so-ever in having someone pass you on a trail. If you start getting tired, find a stump to sit on and kick back to enjoy the beauty of nature. Sometimes, just sitting in solitude along a trail can bring the best moments. After resting for 15 minutes in silence, birds start chirping more and wildlife not seen emerges from the forest around you. While everyone else is rushing to their destination, it is more than allowed to stop and smell the roses, especially when doing so will keep you rested, safe and thinking straight.
* A break of five to seven minutes every 30 to 60 minutes can remove approximately 20 to 30 percent of the waste products that have built up in your legs while hiking. Sit down and prop your legs up above the level of your heart and let gravity help drain these metabolic waste products out of your legs.
 
* Eat some food, drink some fluids, and take this break time to really enjoy and appreciate the view. These efficient breaks can really recharge your batteries. In the long run, these breaks will not slow you down.
 
No Hydration, No Food, No Fuel, No Fun 
The absolute worst thing you can do while hiking is to not stay properly hydrated and fed. Depending on the hike, you can lose anywhere between 2,000 and 6,000 calories to reach your destination. Those calories need to be replenished, or you will start seeing an increase in cramping, loss of high level cognitive abilities, dizziness and severe lethargy. Hiking is not the time to skip a meal or hold steady to your diet. Eat a ton while on the trails and diet while at home. Bring more water than you think you would ever drink, bring extra Gatorade and bring water purifiers with you. If you are properly hydrated, you should need to urinate at least once on every hike, and the urine should not be dark yellow or brown.
* The hiking rule of thumb is to drink a liter of water per hour, but in weather than exceeds 85 F, the need for water intake increases dramatically. Carry more water than you think you will need. It is easy to become dehydrated very quickly without realizing it is happening.. Signs of dehydration include headaches, fatigue and nausea. Drinking small sips of water throughout the day is a good way to stay hydrated. Some hikers find that pliable water bottles with tube extensions, called bladder bags, fit nicely into daypacks, and offer hikers the opportunity to sip whenever they feel thirsty while keeping their hands free.
* Eat and drink more than you normally do. Eat before, during, and after you hike. Eat before you are hungry. Drink water before you are thirsty. No matter what the temperature, you need water and energy to keep going.
 
* Keeping yourself cool and hiking in Arizona takes a very large amount of energy (food). Salty snacks and water or sports drinks should be part of any hike. Food is your body’s primary source of fuel and salts (electrolytes) while hiking in a desert climate.
 
* Your best defense against illness and exhaustion is to eat a healthy breakfast, a snack every time you take a drink, and a rewarding full dinner at the end of the day. This is not a time to diet.
 
* Eating adequate amounts of food will also help guarantee that you are replacing the electrolytes (salts) that you are sweating out. If you replace the water, but not the electrolytes that you have sweated out of your body, you can develop a serious and dangerous medical condition known as hyponatremia (water intoxication), which, if left untreated, can lead to seizures and possibly death. You need to eat about twice as much as you normally would to meet your energy and electrolyte needs while hiking.
 
Watch Your Time
Image result for hiker taking a break* Plan on taking twice as long to hike uphill as it takes to hike downhill. As a courtesy, give uphill hikers the right of way. Do not hike in the dark! Experienced hikers don’t do it, and without a flashlight it is extremely dangerous. 
Do not leave your hiking partner
* If you are hiking alone or with a group, never leave someone behind or let someone hike on too far ahead. This is where a large number of accidents happen.  Leaving someone behind is rule number one and should be avoided at all costs. If your group is tired and can’t continue, stop and head back. Live to hike another day.
 
Give Animals their Space 
* Animals are wild, and no matter how many people they see, they can still attack. The best way to not threaten an animal is to keep your distance at all times. Also, do not feed or try to touch any animal. This includes squirrels, chipmunks, birds, deer or other people’s dogs.
**Following these rules is not a guarantee to keep you safe, and many other hikers have their own rules for safety that are great. This list is intended to get each and every hiker thinking about their own actions and behavior on mountains and, hopefully, being prepared enough to help others be safe on the trails.
If you experience an injury out on the trails the dedicated team of Physicians and staff here at TOCA are here to help! To schedule an appointment call: 602-277-6211. 
#Results. #Recovery. #Relief.

Dr. Cummings and Vito Berlingeri talk Golf, injuries and recovery in the latest addition of the AZ Golf Insider!

Dr. Cummings and Vito Berlingeri talk Golf, injuries and recovery in the latest addition of the AZ Golf Insider. Check out the full artical by clicking here: http://staging.yudu.com/…/…/45vcVtT1Y15VmxzM/html/index.html

“When I went into his office, Dr. Cummings greeted me like he had known me for 30 years”, said Berlingeri. “He told me with surgery and physical rehab, I would be back to hitting golf balls within seven weeks.”

That’s exactly what happened, with Berlingeri able to play 18 holes just three months after surgery.

Associated with TOCA since 2001, Dr. Cummings estimates that up to 40% of the patients he sees play golf, including numerous PGA Tour professionals. No matter the skill level, he encourages all golfers to take injury prevention measures, especially keeping your core strong.

“Your body only has so much time before wear and tear happens. I’ve recommended other golfer friends with injuries go to Dr. Cummings at TOCA ever since.” (said Vito Berlingeri)

Getting an accurate diagnosis and then a plan is critical to the process, Berlingeri and his physician (Dr. Dean Cummings) agreed.

“You have to spend at least 10-15 minutes warming up in what I call a combination dynamic and static workout. That’s doing some stretches plus some movement patterns. I also recommend stretching while you’re playing.”

“At TOCA we provide an excellent assessment while looking at the whole body and not just an individual body part,” Dr. Cummings said. “We also make sure that each patient is treated with conservative therapeutic management first, and then surgery if needed. I think we have doctors in our group who are phenomenally gifted, but the good thing is they know when to operate, which is very important.”

Dr. P. Dean Cummings is an Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Physician and Surgeon at TOCA.

To learn more about Dr. Cummings and TOCA or to schedule an appointment visit: www.tocamd.com or call 602-277-6211!

#Results #Recovery #Relife #Golf #AZGolf #AZGolfInsider #AGA#BunkertoBunker #TOCA #TOCAMD 

March 2017 is Cheerleading Safety Month!

March 2017 is Cheerleading Safety Month! Safety is a big concern in all sports and cheerleading is no exception. Because it combines both stunting and gymnastics, there are many opportunities for accidents if the proper precautions aren’t taken. While we often think of them as being nothing more than entertainment on the sidelines, cheerleaders serve a vital role, and the stunts they pull are demanding both mentally and physically. Cheerleading Safety Month comes each year to raise awareness that safety is vital to the health and performance of our team’s biggest supporters.

Basic Cheer Safety:
* Remove all jewelry
* Wear athletic shoes
* Keep your hair tied back
* Always have supervision
* Practice on safe surfaces such as mats and padded floors
* Have an emergency plan

In order to stay out of harm’s way and still perform spectacular stunts, there are a few basic guidelines that must be followed:
* Get proper instruction
* Always use a spotter
* Follow proper progression
* Practice proper technique
* Don’t push it
* Focus
* Warm up
* Communicate
* Don’t ignore injuries
* Stay in shape

Of course, cheerleading safety should be practiced any time cheerleading is being performed, but March – Cheerleading Safety Month – provides the perfect opportunity to shine the spotlight on cheerleading safety.

March often marks the winding down of basketball season and with it most school cheerleading will also come to an end. Soon, tryouts for the next season will take place, giving coaches the opportunity to implement their safety programs for a new team.

There are four groups directly responsible for the safety of the cheerleader – the administration, the coaches, the cheerleaders themselves, and the cheerleaders’ parents. Each can use this month to focus on cheerleading safety and enhance safety in their programs.

Administrators, are you involved in your cheer program? Make sure you have selected a qualified coach to supervise the team and give them sufficient support. At a minimum, the coach should complete the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators safety course. Coaches should also take advantage of any other training available, such as training provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations or the US All Star Federation. They should be encouraged to attend camps, clinics and coaching conferences in order to further their knowledge of skill techniques. As an administrator, you should make sure your program has adequate practice facilities and matting and that the coach is following the safety rules.

Coaches, are you fully aware of your responsibilities with regard to safety? You should make sure your cheerleaders are using proper skill progressions. Don’t pressure your cheerleaders to try skills they are not ready to attempt. You or someone at practice, such as a coach’s assistant, should be CPR certified and trained in basic first aid. Make sure that you are following recognized safety rules and practices (AACCA, NFHS or USASF) outlined for your program. Develop and practice an emergency plan in the event a serious injury occurs.

Cheerleaders, you too have a responsibility for your own safety. If you feel scared about a particular stunt or tumbling skill, voice your concerns to your coach or parent. Take stunting very seriously, and stay focused on the skill and your part in it until it is safely completed. Practice good health and fitness habits so you can perform to the best of your ability. Remember, others are relying on you to be at your best during every performance.

Parents, use your voice! Know the safety rules, and If you find that standard practices aren’t being employed, bring it to the attention of the coach. If that doesn’t resolve the matter, do not hesitate to take your concerns to the administration. Ultimately, if you feel that your child’s safety is being compromised, take the difficult step of removing them from the program.

Cheerleading can be a safe and healthy activity when it is properly supervised. Let’s use this month of awareness to make sure we are all doing our part!

History of Cheerleading Safety Month
As the basketball season winds down to a close, Cheerleading tryout season often starts, and a bunch of intrepid new group comes to pick up the pom-pom and start down the demanding path of becoming a cheerleader. With the Administrators, Coaches, the Cheerleaders Parents, and Cheerleaders all working together, an education on how to perform at their very best while being safe in their efforts can be passed on and absorbed.
Cheerleading has been around for a long time, since the late 1800’s in fact, and believe it or not back then it was an all-male sport. From 1877-1923, it was the men that led the cheers, that helped to support their team, and in 1898 the idea of organized teams entered the scene. It wasn’t until 1923 that there women actually entered the field of cheerleading, and it took until 1940 for them to actually be recognized in things like student pamphlets and newspapers.
In 1987 the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches & Administrators was formed, and it wasn’t long after that that the important of safety education among Cheerleaders and those who trained them became obvious. This was the first seeds of National Cheerleading Safety Month coming to pass.

How To Celebrate Cheerleading Safety Month
There are a number of great ways to celebrate Cheerleading Safety Month, starting with being an active advocate for safety in your local cheerleading squad. This is a special opportunity for parents and administrators, a chance to make certain that your children or team is observing all the necessary safety practices to ensure they have a great, and safe, time.
You can also make contact with the National Cheer Safety Foundation to register as an official Cheer Safety Ambassador with their organization. This allows you to report injuries in cheerleading, build an emergency plan, and generally be a great asset to your team, your children, and their safety.

 

For more information on orthopedic sports medicine call 602-277-6211!

#cheersafe#Results#Recovery#Relief#Gameon#Sportsmedicine#Injuryprevention

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Cubital tunnel syndrome, also known as ulnar neuropathy, is caused by increased pressure on the ulnar nerve, which passes close to the skin’s surface in the area of the elbow commonly referred to as the “funny bone”.  Cubital tunnel syndrome is not as well known as it’s relative (carpal tunnel syndrome) however it also can cause severe pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the hands and arms.

You’re more likely to develop cubital tunnel syndrome if you:

  • Repeatedly lean on your elbow, especially on a hard surface
  • Bend your elbow for sustained periods, such as while talking on a cell phone or sleeping with your hand crooked under your pillow

There are five different sites in this region that can cause compression of the nerve in the Cubital Tunnel. As the nerve becomes compressed or entrapped, it produces pain, discomfort, numbness, and decreased hand strength.

Most people are familiar with the odd sensations felt when accidentally bumping this area, as brief numbness, tingling and shooting pain occur. Similar symptoms are experienced in Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, but they are experienced on a chronic level. Symptoms are most intense along the ulnar (inside) aspect of the forearm, often extending down into the ring and small fingers.

Early symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome include:

  • Pain and numbness in the elbow
  • Tingling, especially in the ring and little fingers

More severe symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome include:

  • Weakness affecting the ring and little fingers
  • Decreased ability to pinch the thumb and little finger
  • Decreased overall hand grip
  • Muscle wasting in the hand
  • Claw-like deformity of the hand

Treatments for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and Radial Tunnel Syndrome:

Cubital tunnel syndrome often can be managed conservatively, especially if electromyography reveals that there is minimal pressure on the ulnar nerve.

Mild cases of cubital tunnel syndrome often respond to physical therapies such as:

  • Avoidance of undue pressure on the elbow during daily activities
  • Wearing a protective elbow pad over the “funny bone” during daily activities
  • Wearing a splint during sleep to prevent over-bending of the elbow

In cases where splinting doesn’t help or nerve compression is more severe, about 85% of patients respond to some form of surgery to release pressure on the ulnar nerve. These include surgeries that:

  • Result in simple decompression of the ulnar nerve
  • Shift the nerve to the front of the elbow
  • Move the nerve under a layer of fat, under the muscle, or within the muscle
  • Trim the bump of the inner portion of the elbow — the medial epicondyle — under which the ulnar nerve passes

If you exhibit symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, the Physicians and staff here at TOCA are here to help! Nerve testing may be prescribed to determine your level of compression . Your physician may also prescribe arm therapy to help alleviate the pain and improve function. Based on the severity of the condition, splinting, specific exercises, modalities, and other treatments can be initiated to assist in gliding the ulnar nerve and reducing compression to the area. More severe cases may require surgery to reduce pressure on the affected nerve.

For more information or to schedule an appointment call 602-277-6211.

#Recovery #Results #Relief #TOCA