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Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Blazuk who passed the Sports Medicine Boards!

Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Blazuk who passed the Sports Medicine Boards! Dr. Blazuk is a Regenerative Orthopedic Medicine, Non-Surgical Sports Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician at TOCA.

Dr. Joseph Blazuk strives to get patients back to the activities that add happiness and meaning to their lives, whether that involves running a marathon or simply going up and down stairs without pain. He practices medicine with the mind set that the body’s natural state is one of health and often injury occurs when a cycle of muscle imbalance, improper biomechanics, and pain takes shape, couched in a poor environment for healing. His focus includes using musculoskeletal ultrasound to provide an accurate, timely diagnosis and developing a patient-centered treatment strategy that avoids the costs and complications of surgery when possible. He has published on adolescent throwing injuries and the usefulness of regenerative medicine injections, among other topics.

He is a fellowship-trained, nonsurgical Sports Medicine specialist.  Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Blazuk earned his undergraduate degree at Princeton University and then returned to New England to complete medical school at the University of Massachusetts.

After finishing residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Chicago, he went on to complete a Primary Care Sports Medicine fellowship in Atlanta at Emory University. He trained under Dr. Ken Mautner, a leader in the field of Orthobiologics treatment and a pioneer in musculoskeletal ultrasound. Dr. Blazuk has extensive experience working with athletes at the elite level including professional football players and Cirque du Soleil performers. He has provided sideline medical coverage at collegiate and high school games, amateur roller derby bouts, and several running events including the Chicago Marathon. Most importantly, he enjoys working with folks who value staying healthy and active.

To learn more about Dr. Blazuk or to schedule an appointment call the dedicated TOCA staff at: 602-277-6211.

#Recovery #Results #Relief #SportsMedicine

 

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]

Shoulder Pain: When to Worry

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Shoulder Pain: When to Worry! The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and because of its extensive range of motion it’s susceptible to injury and pain. While the shoulder is not thought of as a weight bearing joint, once you lift an object or roll over at night, the forces going through the shoulder joint exceed those of most joints due to the long lever arm of the outstretched arm. The shoulder can hurt after it has been injured or for no apparent reason. Most shoulder problems are relatively short-lived but sometimes the pain is indicative of a more complex issue.

No worries:

Slight pain with elevation and when playing overhead sports is common. The four tendons that make up the rotator cuff and the biceps tendon, (the combined musculature that drives the shoulder motions) can be inflamed by activities such as throwing, shooting basketballs, and lifting bags over head. The tendons are covered by a thin layer called a bursa, which swells when irritated. The bursitis is filled with inflammatory components that irritate the nerve fibers sending pain signals to the brain. Eliminating the overhead activities and mild use of anti-inflammatories usually cures the mild bursitis, or tendonitis, and solves the problem. Exercises to strengthen posture are also commonly used by our physical therapists to fix mild shoulder irritations. Slumping at your desk, reaching for your mouse, hunching over your keyboard, can all put extra strain on the shoulder, neck or back and may be the cause of your shoulder pain. Stand with your shoulders at or behind your hips with your belly button tucked in and notice the difference.

More worry:

Pain that does not go away or pain that occurs with every activity indicates that the key tissues are irritated enough that they are sending pain signals even without motion. This degree of inflammation precedes more structural injuries such as tears of the tissue or early arthritis. Treated fully, the tears and the arthritis can be prevented.

Real worry:

Pain at night or pain not improving with therapy after 4 weeks are red flags. Pain radiating down the arm or up to the neck or to the back are also worrisome for injuries not just in the shoulder but sometimes of the neck. These injuries need to be worked up with careful physical exams, x-rays and MRIs. A full tear of the rotator cuff often will present with night pain, since when you roll over you push the arm up into the socket through the rotator cuff tear. Pain radiating down the arm or up to the neck can sometimes be from the discs in the neck or the nerves at the front of the shoulder called the brachial plexus. Instability of the shoulder, with the shoulder popping in or out of the joint is another area that is best treated with early repair of the torn ligaments.

Fortunately most of the torn tissue problems in the shoulder can be repaired under a local block with an arthroscope as an outpatient procedure. The key is to treat them early before full tearing of tissues leads to disability.

Are you experiencing shoulder pain?

To speak to a Shoulder Specialist at TOCA call: 602-277-6211 or visit our shoulder specialty page to learn more.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]