Uncategorized

Hydration

Hydration is a crucial health habit for a healthy life. Doctor’s suggest that an individual should drink 1-1.5 liters of water throughout the day, and more if they sweat more than the average person. They also suggest that individuals drink water rather than sugary drinks when recovering from dehydration. There are other sources fluid besides drinking water, juice, etc. Fruits contain water and are a great source of fluid, as well as a healthy snack. Avoid caffeinated drinks. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and causes you to lose more fluids. Individuals should ensure they drink water before exercising or going out in the sun.

A few signs of dehydration:

  1. Thirst. If you are experiencing thirst, you are dehydrated. It is important to drink fluids as you become thirsty because, without fluids the body becomes fatigued and could go through heat exhaustion or other terrible effects of dehydration.
  2. Dark-Colored Urine. Dark yellow pee is the most obvious sign of dehydration. Though you may not feel dehydrated when you have dark-colored urine, you will soon feel the effects of dehydration.
  3. Dizziness/Confusion. If you are feeling light-headed or “not all there” you may be experiencing dehydration.

Easy ways to stay hydrated:

  1. Drink water/fluids during every meal.
  2. Drink water/fluids when taking medicine
  3. Drink water/fluids in social settings.

If you would like to learn more about hydration and how to stay hydrated or avoid dehydration you can visit:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-staying-hydrated

or

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated—Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp#.WPZIalPyuRs

Source:

Publications, Harvard Health. “The importance of staying hydrated.” Harvard Health. N.p., 18 June 2015. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy. N.p., 25 June 2015. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

Stretching – Why is it Important?

Stretching is extremely important before competing in an athletic event, whether than be running, swimming, football, basketball, etc. Many people lose the importance of stretching when they aren’t competing in athletic events regularly. Stretching is important because it increases muscle flexibility and helps a person avoid injury.

Regular stretching keeps muscles healthy and flexible. A lack of stretching tightens muscles, which could lead to easy injury. It takes much less exertion of the muscle to result in an injury when muscles are tight. Stretching ensures that muscles are more prepared for impact and flex rather than bend or tear when they are used.

Many injuries, particularly hamstring injuries, are a result of poor stretching. Taking five minutes to stretch could ultimately save you from an injury that will keep you off your feet for 5 months.

Daily stretching may seem like a hassle, but it’s not necessary to stretch every muscle every day. “The areas critical for mobility are in your lower extremities: your calves, your hamstrings, your hip flexors in the pelvis and quadriceps in the front of the thigh,” says David Nolan, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. The muscles we use daily should be stretched daily, but muscles, such as the tricep, don’t need to be stretched as often.

Stretching once won’t result in much. A pattern of stretching needs to be developed in order for stretching to be effective. As you develop this pattern, you will see much more flexibility in your muscles.

Source:

“Staying Healthy.” The Harvard Medical School Health Letter Book (2013): 1-74. Web. 6 Apr. 2017. <http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching>.

5 Benefits of Healthy Living

Everyone knows the importance of living a healthy life. Even though we all know we should, we still eat too much junk food and watch one more episode rather than go for a jog. The following are five benefits of healthy living that may persuade you to make some changes in your diet/exercise habits:

  1. Weight Control. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly helps you be in control of your weight. When people are unhappy with their weight, they become insecure and discouraged.
  2. Improves Mood. Healthy people are usually happy people. When people are depressed or in a sad/bad mood they often resort to overeating to combat their feelings. A healthy diet helps people avoid those upsetting moods.
  3. Combats Diseases. Healthy people are less prone to diseases, particularly heart or blood problems. Regular exercise and healthy diets are often the difference between a senior citizen with frequent strokes and one without.
  4. Boosts energy. Fatigue is natural in the human body. Healthy habits delay fatigue. People have more energy to make it through the end of the day and be more productive when they keep their healthy habits.
  5. Improves Longevity. A little exercise a day goes a long way. 30 minutes of simple exercises, such as walking, help people avoid premature deaths.

Healthy habits all start in the mind. We have to make the decision to pick up the apple rather than the donut. If you are concerned about your health, please contact our office and we will be happy to help you the best we can.

Sources:

The Healthline Editorial Team. “The Benefits of Healthy Habits.” Healthline. N.p., 4 Aug. 2016. Web. 18 Mar. 2017. <http://www.healthline.com/health/5-benefits-healthy-habits#Boostsenergy5>.

Achilles Tendon Injury

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body. It stretches from the bones of your heel to your calf muscles. You can feel it — a springy band of tissue at the back of your ankle and above your heel. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for this tendon to get injured. It could be mild or moderate and feel like a burning pain or stiffness in that part of your leg. But if it’s severe, it may mean that your Achilles tendon is partly torn or completely ruptured.

Causes. Achilles tendon injuries are most common in sporting activities. These injuries tend to happen when you start moving suddenly, as you push off and lift your foot, rather than when you land. The following are other causes of achilles tendon injuries:

  • You overdo activity.
  • You boost your physical activity level too quickly.
  • You wear high heels, which can stress the tendon.
  • You have “flat feet,” (fallen arches). This means that when you take a step, the impact causes the arch of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons.
  • Your leg muscles or tendons are too tight.

Symptoms. The most obvious one is pain above your heel, especially when you stretch your ankle or stand on your toes. It may be mild and get better or worse over time. If the tendon ruptures, the pain is instant and severe. The area may also feel tender, swollen, and stiff. If your Achilles tendon tears, you may hear a snapping or popping noise when it happens. You could have bruising and swelling, too. You may have trouble pointing your toes if the tendon tears completely.

Treatment. Minor to moderate Achilles tendon injuries should heal on their own. You just need to give them time. To speed the healing, you can:

  • Rest your leg. Avoid putting weight on your leg as best you can.
  • Ice it. Ice your injury for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours to reduce pain and swelling. Continue this for 2 or 3 days, or until the pain is gone.
  • Compress your leg. Use an elastic bandage around the lower leg and ankle to keep down swelling.
  • Elevate your leg. Prop your leg up on a pillow when you’re sitting or lying down.
  • Take anti-inflammatory painkillers. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen will help with pain and swelling.
  • Use a heel lift. Your doctor may recommend that you wear an insert in your shoe while you recover. It will help protect your Achilles tendon from further stretching.
  • Practice stretching and strengthening exercises as recommended by your doctor, physical therapist, or other health care provider.

Recovery. It may take months, but it depends on how serious your injury is. Different conditions heal at different rates. Don’t rush things. Do not try to return to your old level of physical activity until:

  • You can move your leg as easily and freely as your uninjured leg.
  • Your leg feels as strong as your uninjured leg.
  • You feel no pain in your leg when you walk, jog, sprint, or jump.

If you push yourself too much before your Achilles tendon injury fully heals, you could get injured again and the pain could become a long-lasting problem. Usually, the above techniques for treating the injury are enough. But in severe cases, you may need a cast for 6 to 10 weeks or even surgery to repair the tendon or remove extra tissue.

To prevent Achilles Tendon injuries, you could try the following:

  • Cut down on uphill running.
  • Wear shoes with good support that fit well.
  • Always boost the intensity of your physical activity slowly.
  • Stop exercising if you feel pain or tightness in the back of your calf or heel.

To learn more about achilles tendon injuries visit:http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/achilles-tendon-injury#3

Source:

“What Is an Achilles Tendon Injury?” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2017.

Labral Repair

Labral tears are often caused by a direct injury to the shoulder, such as falling on an outstretched hand. The labrum can also become torn from the wear and tear of activity. An injured labrum can lead to shoulder instability. The extra motion of the humerus within the socket causes additional damage to the labrum. An extremely unstable shoulder may slip or dislocate. This can also cause the labrum to tear.

There are surgical and nonsurgical treatments for a labral repair, the latter being much less expensive. Nonsurgical treatment consists of medication, therapy, and other things your doctor may deem necessary. You may need therapy treatments for four to six weeks. Most patients are able to get back to their activities with full use of their arm within this amount of time.

If your symptoms don’t go away, you may need surgery. Dr. Larsen is an expert in labral repair surgery. He has mastered the arthroscopic repair technique:

Several new techniques allow surgeons to place anchors into the bone around the shoulder joint and reattach the labrum using the arthroscope. There are many variations of these anchors, but most are drilled into the bone and have sutures (stitches) attached that are then used to tie the labrum down to the bone and enable the labrum to heal back in the appropriate position.

If you are experiencing labrum issues, please contact Dr. Larsen’s office and see how we can help you.

To learn more about labral repair visit: http://www.houstonmethodist.org/orthopedics/where-does-it-hurt/shoulder/labral-tears/

Source:

“Labral Tears.” Labral Tears | Orthopedics & Sports Medicine | Houston Methodist. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

ACL Repair

An ACL injury is the tearing of the anterior cruciate  ligament  — one of the major ligaments in your knee. ACL injuries most commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops, jumping or changes in direction. ACL surgery s usually done by making small incisions in the knee and inserting instruments for surgery through these incisions (arthroscopic surgery). In some cases, it is done by cutting a large incision in the knee (open surgery). The goal of ACL surgery is to restore normal or almost normal stability in the knee and the level of function you had before the knee injury, limit loss of function in the knee, and prevent injury or degeneration to other knee structures.

Not all ACL tears require surgery. Following are possible reason why to have surgery and why not:

You may want to consider surgery if you:

  • Have completely torn your ACL or have a partial tear and your knee is very unstable.
  • Have gone through a rehab program and your knee is still unstable.
  • Are very active in sports or have a job that requires knee strength and stability, and you want your knee to be as strong and stable as it was before your injury.
  • Are willing to complete a long and rigorous rehab program.
  • Have chronic ACL deficiency – when your knee is unstable and affecting your quality of life.
  • Have injured other parts of your knee or other knee ligaments or tendons.

You may want to consider other options if you:

  • Have a minor tear in your ACL.
  • Are not very active in sports and/or your work does not require a stable knee.
  • Are willing to stop doing activities that require a stable knee or stop doing them at the same level of intensity.
  • Can complete a rehab program that stabilizes your knee and strengthens your leg muscles to reduce the chances that you will injure your knee again and are willing to live with a small amount of knee instability.
  • Do not feel motivated to complete the long and rigorous rehab program necessary after surgery.
  • You have medical problems that make surgery too risky.

Dr. Larsen is an expert in ACL repair. If you are wondering if you should have surgery or not, he would be happy to give his opinion and help you get back to having a strong knee.

Sources:

Mayo Clinic Staff Print. “ACL injury.” Overview – ACL injury – Mayo Clinic. N.p., 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 11 Feb. 2017.

“Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Surgery.” WebMD. WebMD, 4 Aug. 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2017.

Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that form a cuff over the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons hold the arm in its joint and help the shoulder joint to move. The tendons can be torn from overuse or injury. There are three common techniques used to repair a torn rotator cuff: open repair, mini-open repair, and arthroscopy. The following takes place during a rotator cuff repair:

  • The tendons are re-attached to the bone.
  • Small rivets (called suture anchors) are often used to help attach the tendon to the bone.
  • Sutures (stitches) are attached to the anchors, which tie the tendon back to the bone.

Signs of a torn rotator cuff are:

  • Pain when you rest or at night, and it has not improved with exercises over 6 to 12 months.
  • You are active and use your shoulder for sports or work.
  • You have weakness and are unable to do everyday activities.

Recovery can take 4 to 6 months, depending on the size of the tear and other factors. You may have to wear a sling for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Pain is usually managed with medicines. Physical therapy can help you regain the motion and strength of your shoulder. The length of therapy will depend on the repair that was done.

Dr. Larsen performs rotator cuff repairs and is more than happy to help you or anyone you know recover from this type of injury or pain. To learn more about rotator cuff repairs and if it’s the right thing for your shoulder condition, come visit Dr. Larsen. You can also do your own research at https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007207.htm.

 

Source:

“Rotator cuff repair.” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. N.p., 9 May 2015. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.

What Food/Drinks You May Want To Avoid

Doctor’s don’t only focus on their patients, but they also consider their personal health and physical condition. In a study done by Dana Leigh Smith, many different kinds of doctors were asked about what they eat and don’t eat. The following is a list of the nine foods/drinks that doctor’s don’t touch.

  1. Flavored Oatmeal. Euegina Gianos avoids flavored oatmeal because they “contain trans-fats, corn syrup, and added sugar.
  2. Cream-Based Soups. Doctor’s try not to eat cream-based soups because, “[They] are loaded with empty calories and often have concerning fillers like hydrolyzed proteins, food dyes and corn syrup.” says Dr. Taz Bhatia.
  3. Cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers aren’t terrible, but eating them too often is not a healthy choice. Blase Carabello informs us that “[cheeseburgers] are high in heart disease-causing saturated fat and served in a processed bun made with refined carbohydrates.”
  4.  Low-Fat Packaged Baked Goods. Rebekah Gross said, “I avoid any product marketed as ‘low-fat.’ Typically, these items are extensively processed and packed with chemicals that are added to try to achieve the consistency or reproduce the flavor of the full-fat models on which they are based . . . I’d rather indulge in a smaller portion of a food naturally high in fat or sugar than ingest an artificial substitute.”
  5. Nutrition Bars. Lara Devgan recommends avoiding nutrition bars because “though they can be tasty, for the amount of calorie-dense carbs and fat they contain, you might as well eat a candy bar.”
  6. Giant Cups of Coffee. Caffeine is not a product that you should consume frequently. It is great for a wake up call or quick energy, but can be very harmful to your health if you drink it too frequently.
  7. Deli Meats. David L. Katz says, “The processed varieties [of deli meats] are a bad choice . . . If you eat meat, it should be pure—like you want your own muscles to be.”
  8. Soda. Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas claims that he “steers clear of sodas—high risk, no reward.” Soda is packed with sugar “which makes it challenging for the body to maintain healthy glucose and insulin levels.”
  9. Soy Milk. A big reason why Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas avoids soy milk is because “soy mimics estrogen and activates estrogen receptors in the body.”

It’s your body, so you understand what your body needs and when you should cut back on certain things. These are just a few foods/drinks you may want to reconsider not eating when you see them again.

Source:

Smith, Dana Leigh. “Doctor’s Avoid These Unhealthy Foods and Drinks | Eat This Not That.” 9 Foods and Drinks Doctor’s Never Eat. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2016

Marathon Training Myths Busted By Sports Medicine Experts

Sports Medicine experts were asked about which Marathon running tips are myths and which are backed up by scientific evidence. Here are the results:

Carb loading is absolutely essential to running fast. This is a myth. Robert Truax, an osteopath and sports medicine specialist at the University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center, said experts now advise simply eating enough before a race. He said, “What you’re eating the night before and the diet you eat is critical if you’re trying to win the Olympics. But if you’re trying to complete the marathon … your training is the most important.”

A long stretch will keep you injury free. This is another myth. Dr. Dennis Cardone, the chief of primary care sports medicine at the department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, said studies have shown a good stretch doesn’t translate into a better or safe run. “They should just do some type of warm-up,” he said of marathon runners. “It’s not so much about the stretching.” John Honerkamp, a coach for the New York Road Runners, said he sometimes stretches to get the circulation going, but he warned, “If you go out on long [training runs] and don’t stretch, don’t do that that on race day.”

Eat a bunch of unfamiliar sports bars/goo/gummies during the race. Once again, myth. While experts advise having some kind of calorie replacement every hour during a long run, they advise against eating a bunch of unfamiliar food, including products such as goo, gummies or bars. It’s wise to go easy on sports goo, designed to be easily eaten during long runs, Cardone said. “The general recommendation is just one during the marathon. It’s big carbo load and can affect your stomach,” he said. He pointed out that the top rule for marathon runners is to avoid doing anything different on race day from how they train. This means avoiding any free sports treats from the marathon expo unless they were already incorporated into your training.

Drink at every water station.  Myth. Cardone advises runners to wait until they feel thirsty before taking a drink. “One of the biggest problems is hyponatremia … a decrease in sodium in body,” he said. Slower runners can end up drinking too much water, which can decrease the sodium concentration in the body — a potentially dangerous condition if the level drops too low. “We’ve gone full circle to ‘Don’t overhydrate.’ That’s more dangerous than being underhydrated,” says Cardone.

Compression clothing will help you run faster. Absolute myth. There is no item of clothing that is going to allow you to magically run faster, experts noted. The important thing is to feel comfortable and at your best in whatever clothing you choose to wear. Experts add that if you haven’t been training in compression clothing, race day is not the time to start.

Beer can help relieve aches and pains. This is a fact. Beer (in moderation) can act as a muscle relaxer to help diminish the pain of a long run. Truax said, “Depending on what beer you’re getting, there’s a carbohydrate load, and the oldest muscle relaxer in the world … is alcohol.”

There’s plenty of tips you will hear from all sorts of marathon runners. Don’t take them all as facts until you try them out and have evidence. Remember to never implement something new on race day. Stay consistent with the way you trained.

Source:

Mohney, Gillian. “Sports Medicine Experts Bust Marathon Training Myths.” AbcNews.go. N.p., 02 Nov. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.

5 Reasons for Eating Healthy

We all know that we should eat healthy foods, but only a few of us can overcome the craving for candy, a greasy burger, or junk food. Following are five reasons you should eat healthy:

1: Eating Healthy Increases Productivity. Your body needs energy to function properly. We get this energy from the foods we eat. The more energy we have, the mire productive we are. Energy is not directly related to the amount of food we eat. It is more closely related to the types of foods we eat. Proteins, fruits, and vegetables give us the energy that will boost our productivity.

2: Enhance Mood. The food we eat affects how our brain and body function. Our body feels good when we feed it healthy foods. If our body feels good, we are often in a good mood. If we eat junk food or other unhealthy food, our bodies don’t feel so great and this can be reflected in our mood.

3: Regulate Weight. Obesity contributes to 20% of American deaths. Eating healthy can help to reduce body weight. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, reducing your body weight can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Simple healthy choices go a long way. These choices can be as simple as drinking water or a low sugar juice instead of soda, replacing fried foods with fresh vegetables or fruits, etc.

4: Be healthier. Not everybody who is thin is healthy, and not everyone who is overweight is unhealthy. What we eat and what we do throughout the day determines if we are healthy or not. It is crucial that we get the vitamins and minerals our body needs to function properly. By controlling what we eat, we can ensure that our body has all of the nutrients it needs.

5: Live Longer. A healthy diet can add years to your life. Many diseases and terminal illnesses can be avoided simply by eating a healthy diet. Avoiding junk foods, greasy/fatty foods, and other unhealthy foods will ultimately result in a happier and longer life.

Next time you have to make the decision between an unhealthy and a healthy food, remember the saying: “An apple a day keeps the Doctor away!”

Source:

Glover, Lacie. “6 Reasons for Eating Healthy – NerdWallet.” NerdWallet. N.p., 12 Feb. 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.