nmo orthopaedics

How Much Exercise Is Enough?

Article by Barbara Robb | Found on Everyday Health

How much exercise is enough? Short answer: It depends.

“How much exercise is enough for what?” asks David Bassett Jr., PhD, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He explains that, before you make a decision on how much you need, you should have a good idea of your exercise goal or goals: Are you exercising for physical fitness, weight control, or as a way of keeping your stress levels low?

For general health benefits, a routine of daily walking may be sufficient, says Susan Joy, MD, co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Sports Medicine Center in Sacramento and team physician for the Sacramento Kings.

If your goal is more specific — say, to lower your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular fitness, or lose weight — you’ll need either more frequent exercise or a higher intensity of exercise.

“The medical literature continues to support the idea that exercise is medicine,” saysJeffrey E. Oken, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with the Marianjoy Medical Group in Wheaton, Illinois. “Regular exercise can help lower risk of premature death, control your blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, combat obesity, improve your lung function, and help treat depression.”

Here, experts break down exactly how much exercise is enough, on the basis of your personal health and fitness goals.

Current Physical Fitness Guidelines for All Adults

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone needs two types of physical activity each week:  aerobics and muscle-strengthening activities. (1)

Aerobic activity involves repetitive use of the large muscles to temporarily increase heart rate and respiration. When repeated regularly, aerobic activity improves cardio-respiratory fitness. Running, brisk walking, swimming, and cycling are all forms of aerobic activity.

Muscle-strengthening activities are designed to work one or more muscle groups. All the major muscle groups — legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms — should be worked on two or more days each week, according to federal guidelines. Lifting weights, working with resistance bands, and doing pushups are all are forms of muscle-strengthening activities, according to the CDC.

Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities. If activity is more vigorous in intensity, 75 minutes a week may be enough. For even greater health benefits, though, more activity is better: 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a mix of the two, says the CDC.

It’s best to be active throughout the week, rather than concentrating all your physical activity in one day. That means aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, five days a week. You can break it up into even smaller chunks, too: three brief periods of physical activity a day, for example. In order for it to be effective in improving health and fitness, the CDC says you need to sustain the activity for at least 10 minutes at a time.

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Lose Weight or Maintain Weight Loss?

Research consistently shows that, to lose weight, integrating exercise into your routine helps. For example, in one study published in the journal Obesity, women who both dieted and exercised lost more weight than those who only dieted. (2)

If you’re trying to control your weight through exercise, however, the general activity guidelines provided by the CDC might not be sufficient; you’re likely going to need to devote some extra time to exercise.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 150 to 250 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity yields only modest weight-loss results, and to lose a significant amount of weight, you may need to perform moderate-intensity exercise more than 250 minutes per week (in addition to dietary intervention). (3) So how much exercise do you need in a day? That equates to about one hour, five days per week.

Meanwhile, the CDC suggests that, if you increase your intensity, you can reap similar weight-control benefits in about half the time. For example, in one study published in January 2017 in the Journal of Diabetes Research, women who performed high-intensity interval exercise lost the same amount of weight and body fat compared with those who performed moderate-intensity cardio, but they did it while exercising for significantly less time. (4)

It’s important to remember that once you hit your weight-loss goals, you need to continue exercising to make sure you don’t regain the weight. A study published in August 2015 in the Journal of Primary Prevention that analyzed data from 81 studies investigating the role of exercise in weight management found that one of the biggest ways exercise helps with weight management is by preventing weight gain (perhaps even more than it helps you lose weight). (5)

The ACSM recommends performing more than 250 minutes of exercise per week to prevent weight regain.

To both lose weight and prevent weight regain, the ACSM recommends performing strength-training exercises to increase the body’s levels of fat-free mass, which improves metabolic rate. That’s why, when Harvard researchers followed 10,500 men over the course of 12 years, those who performed 20 minutes of strength training per day gained less abdominal fat compared with those who spent the same amount of time performing cardiovascular exercise, according to data published in the February 2015 issue of the journal Obesity. (6)

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Improve Cardiovascular Health?

Fortunately for anyone trying to improve their heart health, a little bit of exercise goes a long way.

For overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends performing at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days per week. (7) Other research shows that aerobic exercise is the most efficient form of exercise for improving measures of cardiometabolic health, including insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and blood pressure. (8)

AHA recommends performing strengthening activities at least two days per week to help preserve and build lean muscle.

However, if you are actively trying to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol levels, the AHA advises upping your exercise time and intensity to an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-cardiovascular activity three to four times per week. Before engaging in high-intensity exercise, especially if you have a history of heart issues, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what intensity of exercise is safe for you, Dr. Oken says.

And, again, remember that it’s okay to work up to your target exercise levels. No matter what your goals are, some exercise is always going to be more beneficial than none. Small steps sometimes lead to the biggest gains.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area. New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more. If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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5 Common Running Injuries and How to Heal Them

Article by Anna Medaris Miller | Found on US News

Runner’s lingo

If you come across a group of runners on the street, in a coffee shop or on an online forum, chances are they’re discussing one of three things: hydration issues, running schedules or injuries, says Joe English, a multi-sport athlete and coach in Portland, Oregon. And, if the topic is injuries, chances are there’s little consensus on, say, how long the sufferer should rest, whether to soothe it with ice or a foam roller and which practitioner to see. “Running injuries are super common, but there’s a lot of different information out there about how you deal with them,” English says. Here, he and other experts set the record straight.

The best offense is a good defense.

Whether it’s a slight shin irritation or a full-blown stress fracture, most running-related injuries can be traced back to a few causes: poor planning, a poor warmup, poor form or pushing too hard, says Nathan DeMetz, an online personal trainer based in Goshen, Indiana. “People are driving their feet down rapidly into the ground, and that damage can start to add up really quickly,” he says. Working with professionals, be they running coaches, personal trainers, physical therapists or sports medicine doctors, can help keep injuries at bay. But if it’s already too late, read on to learn how to identify and cope with five common running-related injuries:

1. Runner’s knee

About 50 percent of running injuries are knee-related, estimates Robert Gillanders, a physical therapist in Bethesda, Maryland, and spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. It’s easy to see why: The sport requires your knees to repetitively endure shock from the ground below and from body weight above the joint. If your gait’s a bit off, your training too accelerated or your shoes imperfectly fitted, that strain will add up – often to pain around the kneecap, aka runner’s knee. While rest is key, treatment may also include new shoes, dialed back mileage or quad-strengthening exercises. A sports medicine doc or physical therapist can help make the call.

2. IT band syndrome

Not all running-related knee pain is considered runner’s knee. If the outer, not front, of the joint is making you wince, it’s likely your IT band, a stretch of connective tissue that runs from your hip to your knee. “It’s almost like gristle that provides support for the outside of the knee,” Gillanders says. Running with IT band syndrome, which occurs more in women because wider hips ask more of the tissue, will only bring on pain earlier in runs. “There’s almost no way to get rid of it without resting it and getting ice on it and getting treatment,” English says. Foam rolling and expert-guided strength and balance work often help.

3. Achilles pain

Fifty percent of runners injure their Achilles tendons – the thick band of tissue joining the calf muscles with the heel – at some point during their careers, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. That’s partly because the band endures a lot of strain and doesn’t have a rich blood supply, which can prolong the healing cycle, Gillanders says. Men are particularly prone to Achilles injuries because they tend to have tighter calves than women. Like many running-related injuries, a good prevention and treatment technique for Achilles pain is flexibility work. “For every hour of running, you should really be doing an hour of a stretching-focused activity” like yoga, English says.

4. Plantar fasciitis

Sometimes, that same calf tightness can lead to shin splints or heel pain known as plantar fasciitis, which is most likely in runners who are heavier, have ramped up their routines too quickly and have flatter feet, among other risk factors, APTA reports. To treat heel pain, again, rest and professional help is key. Physical therapists may, for example, guide you in stretching exercises, prescribe icing and help you identify shoes or braces that can support your foot as it heals. Once you get back on your feet, you might try switching up your running surface to something softer, like a dirt path, grass or a track, English says.

5. Stress fractures

If you have a stress fracture and try to hop on the leg that hurts, your body won’t let you – it knows it will be too darn painful. “That’s when we take you out of a race,” English says. You can also identify the injury – essentially little cracks in the bone that can shatter – if one dime-sized spot, usually on the shin or under your foot, hurts to the touch. While one of the most serious running injuries, a stress fracture isn’t the only one that should send you to a sports medicine clinic. If you visit one, English says, “you’ll be back in business much faster than doing anything on your own.”

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area. New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more. If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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Foot Anatomy and Physiology

Article by Elizabeth Quin | Found on VeryWell

The human foot is incredibly complex in its structure and function. This brief overview provides a basic understanding of foot anatomy and physiology as it relates to some of the more common sports injuries, such as fracturesankle sprains, and plantar fasciitis.

Foot Structure

The forefoot includes the five metatarsal bones, and the phalanges (the toes).

The first metatarsal bone is the shortest, thickest and plays an important role during propulsion (forward movement). It also provides attachment for several tendons. The second, third, and fourth metatarsal bones are the most stable of the metatarsals. They are well-protected and have only minor tendon attachments. They are not subjected to strong pulling forces.

Near the head of the first metatarsal, on the plantar surface of the foot, are two sesamoid bones (a small, oval-shaped bone which develops inside a tendon, where the tendon passes over a bony prominence) They are held in place by tendons and ligaments.

The midfoot includes five of the seven tarsal bones (the navicular, cuboid, and three cuneiforms). The distal row contains the three cuneiforms and the cuboid. The midfoot meets the forefoot at the five tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints. There are multiple joints within the midfoot itself.

Proximally, the three cuneiforms articulate with the navicular bone.

Two large bones, the talus, and the calcaneus make up the hindfoot. The calcaneus is the largest tarsal bone and forms the heel. The talus rests on top of it and forms the pivot of the ankle.

Foot and Toe Movement

Toe movements take place at the joints.

These joints are capable of motion in two directions: plantar flexion or dorsiflexion. In addition, the joints permit abduction and adduction of the toes.

The foot as a whole (excluding the toes) has two movements: inversion and eversion. All the joints of the hindfoot and midfoot contribute to these complex movements that are ordinarily are combined with movements at the ankle joint.

The Foot Arches

The foot has two important functions: weight bearing and propulsion. These functions require a high degree of stability. Also, the foot must be flexible so that it can adapt to uneven surfaces. The multiple bones and joints of the foot give it flexibility, but these multiple bones must form an arch to support any weight.

The foot has three arches. The medial longitudinal arch is the highest and most important of the three arches. It is composed of the calcaneus, talus, navicular, cuneiforms, and the first three metatarsals. The lateral longitudinal arch is lower and flatter than the medial arch. It is composed of the calcaneus, cuboid, and the fourth and fifth metatarsals. The transverse arch is composed of the cuneiforms, the cuboid, and the five metatarsal bases.

The arches of the foot are maintained by the shapes of the bones and by the ligaments.

Also, muscles and tendons play an important role in supporting the arches.

Muscles of the Foot

The muscles of the foot are classified as either intrinsic or extrinsic. The intrinsic muscles are located within the foot and cause movement of the toes. These muscles are flexors (plantar flexors), extensors (dorsiflexors), abductors, and adductors of the toes. Several intrinsic muscles also help support the arches of the foot.

The extrinsic muscles are located outside the foot, in the lower leg. The powerful gastrocnemius muscle (calf) is among them. They have long tendons that cross the ankle, to attach to the bones of the foot and assist in movement.

The talus, however, has no tendon attachments.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area. New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more. If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

sports injuries, orthopedics

Brain Differences in Athletes Playing Contact vs. Noncontact Sports

Article Found on ScienceDaily

A study from researchers at Indiana University in the journal NeuroImage: Clinical has found differences in the brains of athletes who participate in contact sports compared to those who participate in noncontact sports.

The differences were observed as both groups were given a simple visual task. The results could suggest that a history of minor but repeated blows to the head can result in compensatory changes to the brain as it relates to eye movement function. Or it could show how the hundreds of hours that contact sport players spend on eye-hand coordination skills leads to a reorganization of the brain in the areas dedicated to eye movements.

While more research is needed, senior author Nicholas Port said the findings contribute important information to research on subconcussive blows — or “microconcussions” — that are common in sports such as football, soccer, ice hockey, snowboarding and skiing. Interest in subconcussions has grown significantly in recent years as the long- and short-term risks of concussions — or mild traumatic brain injury — have become more widely known and understood.

“The verdict is still out on the seriousness of subconcussions, but we’ve got to learn more since we’re seeing a real difference between people who participate in sports with higher risk for these impacts,” said Port, an associate professor in the IU School of Optometry. “It’s imperative to learn whether these impacts have an actual effect on cognitive function — as well as how much exposure is too much.”

To conduct the study, Port and researchers in the IU Bloomington Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences scanned the brains of 21 football players and 19 cross-country runners using fMRI technology.

The researchers focused on these sports because football is a physical game in which small but repeated blows to the head are common, whereas cross-country is extremely low risk for such impacts. The contact sport players did not have a history of concussion, but these sports are known to lead to repeat subconcussive blows.

The researchers also scanned the brains of 11 non-college-level athletes from socioeconomic backgrounds similar to the football players to ensure their scan results were not rooted in factors unrelated to their sport.

The differences in football players’ versus cross-country runners’ brains were specifically seen in regions of the brain responsible for visual processing. These regions were much more active in football players versus cross-country runners or volunteers who did not play college sports.

“We focused on these brain regions because physicians and trainers regularly encounter large deficits in players’ ability to smoothly track a moving point with their eyes after suffering an acute concussion,” Port said.

Although there were clear differences between the brains of the football players and the cross-country runners, Port said interpretation of the study’s results is challenging.

“Everyone from musicians to taxi drivers has differences in brain activity related to their specific skills,” he said. “The differences in this study may reflect a lifetime exposure of subconcussive blows to the head, or they could simply be the result of playing a visually demanding sport where you’re constantly using your hands and tracking the ball.”

The ideal way to find the root cause of these differences would be a similar analysis using only football players, he said. The next generation of wearable accelerometers to measure physical impact during play will greatly enhance researchers’ ability to confidently sort players of the same sport into groups based on exposure to subconcussions.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area. New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more. If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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Bone Marrow Edema in Lower Spine is Common in Young Athletes

Article Found on ScienceDaily

New research indicates that young recreational and elite athletes commonly accumulate excess fluid in the bone marrow around the joint that connects the spine with the pelvis. The Arthritis & Rheumatologyfindings may help define what amount of fluid detected on imaging tests may be considered ‘background noise’ in physically active healthy individuals compared with patients who have axial spondyloarthropathy (axial Spa), an inflammatory disease with low back pain as its main symptom.

The research was conducted to improve the diagnosis of axial Spa, which most commonly affects people in their teens and 20s, especially young men. Bone marrow edema, or the accumulation of excess fluid in bone marrow, in the sacroiliac joint is an inflammatory process thought to play a major role in the disease. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect bone marrow edema and structural changes in the sacroiliac joint when patients begin to experience pain, but there is ongoing debate about what constitutes a positive MRI for the diagnosis of axial SpA early in the course of the disease. Read more

sports injuries, orthopedics

Sports Injury Prevention Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Article Found on AAP.org

More American children are competing in sports than ever before. Sports help children and adolescents keep their bodies fit and feel good about themselves. However, there are some important injury prevention tips that can help parents promote a safe, optimal sports experience for their child. Please feel free to use them in any print or broadcast story, with appropriate attribution of source.  Read more

sports injuries, orthopedics

Ball Games and Circuit Strength Training Boost Bone Health in Schoolchildren

Article Found on ScienceDaily

The type of exercise that children get in school does make a difference. This is shown by a major Danish study from researchers at the University of Southern Denmark and University of Copenhagen. Eight to ten-year-old schoolchildren develop stronger bones, increased muscular strength and improved balance when ball games or circuit training are on the timetable.

The study, which was published in the February 2018 issue of the recognised British Journal of Sports Medicine, examined bone and muscle health in 295 schoolchildren from Frederikssund and Copenhagen over a whole school year where the children participated in the ‘FIT FIRST’ training concept, looking into the effects of various types of intense interval training at school.

This programme was initiated at University of Copenhagen by researchers Professor Peter Krustrup and Assistant Professor Malte Nejst Larsen, now at the University of Southern Denmark, and run in collaboration between sports coaches and schoolteachers.

In the study, the researchers compared the effects on children who took the normal school PE classes with children who had intense exercise on the timetable for two hours a week in the form of ball games on small pitches or ‘circuit training’ consisting of gymnastic and strength exercises using their own body weight.

Strong bones in children prevent osteoporosis later in life

“Our research shows that intense exercise at school has clear positive effects on bone density, muscular strength and balance in 8-10-year-old children,” says the project leader Peter Krustrup, Professor of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Southern Denmark.

“In the children in third grade who played ball games three against three or participated in circuit training for 3 x 40 minutes a week, muscular strength increased by 10% and balance improved by 15%, while the children’s bone density increased by a whole 45% compared to the control group. These types of sports are great ways for children to “put bone in the bank.”

Malte Nejst Larsen, Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, adds: “The study shows that bone density in the ball-game group rose by 7% in the legs and by 3% in the body as a whole, giving a real boost to bone health. Exercise in school for children aged 8-10 which improves bone density, muscular strength and balance is the first big step towards preventing osteoporosis later in life,” he says.

About the FIT FIRST concept

FIT FIRST stands for ‘Frequent Intense Training — Football, Interval Running and Strength Training’.

The concept has been developed based on many years of Danish research into the importance of intensity for effects on cardiovascular and bone health, and the influence of the organisation of sports activities, such as the use of small-sided football, team handball, floorball and basketball on small pitches. Like the concept ‘FIFA 11 for Health in Europe’, the aim of FIT FIRST is to produce well-specified, evidence-based and implementable tools to boost fitness and health through exercise at school.

The project was run in a partnership between the Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health at the University of Copenhagen, Gentofte Hospital and the municipality of Frederikssund, with financial support from the Nordea Foundation (Nordea-fonden), the Aase and Ejnar Danielsen Foundation, Augustinus Fonden, FIFA’s research unit F-MARC, the Danish Football Association (DBU), Team Denmark, the Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) and the Danish Ministry of Culture.

Findings from the project

The study of the FIT FIRST concept showed that:

    • Bone density in the legs and in the body as a whole rose by 44% and 46% more in the ball-game group than in the control group, while bone density in the circuit training group rose by 39% and 17% more than in the control group. The increase in bone density in the legs was significantly greater in the ball-game group than in the circuit training group.
    • Bone density in the legs increased by 7.0% in the ball-game group, 5.6% in the circuit training group and 4.0% in the control group, while bone density in the whole body rose by 3.0%, 2.9% and 2.1% in the three groups.
    • Muscular strength, measured by a standing long jump (squat jump), increased by 10% for both the ball-game and circuit training groups, while there was no change in the control group.
    • Balance improved by 13% in the ball-game group and by 19% in the circuit training group, while there was no change in the control group.

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area. New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more. If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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Young Athletes: Injuries And Prevention

Article by Catherine Paddock, PhD. | Found on MedicalNewsToday

High profile events like the Olympics bring the hope that witnessing and celebrating dedicated athletes at the top of their game, will inspire young people to take up sport and physical activities that help them develop confidence, lead more satisfying lives, and not least, secure long-term health by reducing their risk for developing chronic illness like diabetesobesitycancer and cardiovascular diseases.

But unfortunately, if they don’t take appropriate measures, young athletes can instead, end up in pain, on a different path to poor health, due to avoidable sport injury.

James R. Andrews, a former president of the American Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), said in May this year, the US has experienced a tremendous rise in the number of young people taking up sport. Estimates show 3.5 million children aged 14 and under receive medical treatment for sport-related injuries, while high-school athletes account for another 2 million a year.

“This makes sports the leading cause of adolescent injury. Along with time away from school and work, these injuries can have far-reaching effects,” said Andrews.

This article looks at some of the common and less common injuries in young athletes. It then reviews a new project that is tracking injuries in Olympic athletes, introduces some ideas about avoiding and minimizing injury, and finishes with a list of tips for preventing sport injury in children.

Common Sport Injuries

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health in the US, the most common sport injuries are due to accidents, poor training practices or using the wrong gear or equipment. People can also hurt themselves because they are not in shape, or because they don’t warm up or stretch enough.

Some injury experts in the US have said they are also seeing more and more young athletes injured because of overuse and doing too much, and this may partially explain the growing numbers that drop out of sport by the eighth grade. The most common sports injuries are:

  • Knee injuries,
  • Sprains and strains,
  • Swollen muscles,
  • Achilles tendon injuries,
  • Pain along the shin bone, and
  • Fractures and dislocations.

While injuries in young athletes are similar to the ones that affect adults, they can’t always be treated in the same way because their bodies are not fully developed.

Take for example knee injury.

One type of knee injury is damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This is a severe injury that occurs most often in athletes who play football and other contact sports.

Twenty years ago, doctors were seeing few children or adolescents with ACL injuries. Today, these injuries are more common because youngsters are taking up sports earlier, and pushing themselves more competitively.

Another reason for the rise in young people with ACL injury, say researchers from the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City, is that more and more young athletes are specializing in one sport, putting them at risk of injuries normally only seen in professional athletes.

But this type of knee injury in young people is a particular concern because it is not easy to repair in growing bodies, for instance ACL reconstructive surgery that works well in adults can potentially cause uneven limb length or other deformities in growing bodies. That is why often the best course has been “benign neglect”. However, clinicians are beginning to realize that not operating can also lead to problems, such as early arthritis.

There are alternatives to conventional ACL reconstructive surgery, that have lower risk of damage in growing bodies, such as the All-Inside, All-Epiphyseal ACL Reconstruction (AE), but this is not commonly available.

Clinicians are calling for more research to be done into sports injuries in younger people.

Back and Neck Injuries

Back and neck injuries are much less common in young athletes, but when they occur, they can cause enormous frustration. The athlete must complete a comprehensive and demanding rehabilitation program before returning to competitive sport: in some cases, they may never return to their given sport.

Most back and neck injuries in athletes are sprains of ligaments or strains of muscles. Aside from trauma, these are usually due to athletic overuse, improper body mechanics and technique, being out of condition, or not stretching enough. The athlete will complain of back pain when active and performing, and will feel relief when resting.

But, occasionally, a more serious condition can have similar symptoms. Because of this, proper treatment of back and neck injuries in young athletes should always include a good evaluation by a doctor, using imaging studies when necessary.

According to the North American Spine Society, the more serious back and neck injuries include:

    • Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis: a particular type of defect in the vertebra of the spine (spondylolysis), and where one vertebra slips relative to another (spondylolisthesis). A common cause of back pain in young athletes, particularly gymnasts because they have to twist and hyperextend their spines.
    • Stinger (also called “burner” or “nerve pinch”): where forcing the head back and to the side compresses a nerve of the spinal cord in the neck, or where forcing the head sideways away from the shoulder over-stretches the nerves in the neck and shoulder. Most common in football and wrestling, the injury often goes unreported because symptoms can resolve suddenly and quickly. Can recur and lead to persistent pain or arm weakness if not treated.
    • Disc injury: a common cause of back pain in adult athletes, much less so among young athletes, it may or may not be associated with sciatica (shooting pain down the leg). Careful diagnosis, including MRI scans, can help to rule out other possible causes that can mimic disc injury in young bodies that are still growing.
    • Scheuermann’s Disease or juvenile kyphosis: another common cause of back pain in young athletes during puberty that occurs in the mid- as opposed to the lower-back, and leads to a roundness of the back that worsens to a dome shape on bending forwards. Exercises are often not enough to correct this disease, and if wearing a brace does not relieve the pain, surgery may be required, after which it is unlikely the athlete will be able to resume their given sport.

Research on Olympians: the Injury and Illness Performance Project (IIPP)

Although you can’t completely eliminate injury and illness, you can look at ways to reduce the risks. This is the purpose of an ambitious and comprehensive national multisport study called the Injury and Illness Performance Project (IIPP).

Beijing 2008 was the first time the International Olympic Committee gathered data on multisport injury, and the Great Britain (GB) squad showed itself to be the best prepared, recording the lowest average injury rate.

Shortly after Beijing, the UK Sport Research & Innovation Team and the English Institute of Sport (EIS) set up the country’s first national multisport injury and illness epidemiological study of its kind.

The project started collecting and examining data in 2009 and is still ongoing. Medical and coaching staff from sports national governing bodies send in detailed information about the occurrence of injury and illness in athletes, and their exposure to risk in training and competition.

Rod Jaques, Director of Medical Services at EIS, says it is important to understand the nature of illness and injury incidence before putting in place new treatments.

14 Olympic sports are involved in the study, each with their own set of data on injury incidence, illness prevalence, and associated risk factors. And each sport has a specific set of recommendations for reducing the risk of injury or illness.

Injury-related results from the project show that since 2009:

    • 67% of interruptions to training for British athletes from Olympic sports have been because of injury.
    • 43% of athletes will get at least one injury per season, some will have several.
    • On average, each injury results in a loss of 17 days of training, and 1 missed competition.
    • The rate and severity of injury during training is lower than during competition.
    • Overall, injuries to the knee, shoulder, hip and lumbar spine present the greatest risk, and the greatest number of total days lost.

EIS Sports Physician Kate Strachan says that the project is a powerful tool because you can turn to an athlete and say, “you have lost X days due to injury last season”. This is just as important to take notice of as making sure you have the best kit and training environment and coach.

Paul Jackson, another EIS Sports Physician, works with pentathletes. He says the information on the link between some lower limb injuries and training load has helped them change injury prevention drills. For some pentathletes, “this means not running and fencing on the same day,” he adds.

Debbie Palmer-Green, a Research Scientist at the EIS, says the project signifies a new approach that views injury and illness as “performance threats”.

Prehab to Avoid Rehab

Prehab, short for prehabilitation, is a relatively new idea in sports medicine and therapy. It is a personalized exercise program that is individually designed for athletes to help them prevent injury in their given sport.

(There is also another use of the term prehab that refers to improving patients’ fitness before undergoing surgery so they make a quicker recovery and can withstand the inactivity that often follows the procedure).

The aim of prehab is to avoid injury by compensating for the repetitive movements and stresses of regular, often daily, training. In some respects, you can view athletic training for peak performance in a sport as a form of repetitive strain, with the potential to result in injury in much the same way as computer operators can get occupational injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder problems.

With repetitive use, muscles become tight, the body develops imbalances in strength and muscle coordination. These happen naturally during activity, but because training is repetitive, they become repeatedly reinforced with each workout, unless that workout also incorporates some compensating activity, such as in a prehab routine.

A common problem in athlete training is that many athletes and coaches follow the traditional methods of upper and lower body lifting, or basic sprinting and lifting exercises, as a way to develop strength outside of the specific sport drills. But this can leave the core weak in comparison. A prehab program in this case would start with core stability, perhaps focusing on hips, stomach and back core.

Once the basic core program is in place and working, the prehab is updated to include more subtle and focused movements that increase dynamic stability and improve skills in the given sport.

To ensure the best chance of success with prehab, the athlete should start practising it before injury occurs. But unfortunately the usual route to prehab is via injury. A typical scenario is the athlete injures him or herself, goes to a sport therapist or specialist trainer for rehabilitation (rehab), and the therapist then persuades them to sign up for prehab to stop it happening again.

Another way to keep prehab useful and working for the athlete, is to ensure it continually evolves with the needs and changing fitness and ability of the individual. The exercises should be progressive and re-evaluated regularly. There is also the important need to challenge and motivate the athlete, and stop them becoming bored, or habituated to the program.

A successful prehab program is one that forms a regular part of an athlete’s training routine. The therapist needs to have a detailed knowledge of the athlete’s sport, their strengths and weaknesses, and be able to have frank, open conversations with the individual.

Focus on Body’s Imbalances

Stew Smith, graduate of the US Naval Academy, former Navy SEAL, and author of several fitness and self defense books, advocates prehab as a way to prevent common injuries of daily life and sport.

He says, to be specific, a prehab program must focus on a person’s body imbalances. There are many natural imbalances in the body:

“Basically, for any movement your body makes,” says Smith, “there are two or more groups of muscles or joints that are stretching (or flexing) to make (or oppose) that motion.”

Most imbalances, says Smith, occur in the following regions of the body:

    • Abdomen/lower back: too many people when working out, focus on stomach muscles and neglect lower back.
    • Chest and upper back/rear shoulder: many young athletes try to “bench press a truck” but neglect their upper backs and rear deltoids. This can result in shoulder injury and a sloping upper back.
    • Thighs and hamstrings: you need a very delicate combination of exercises so the backs of the legs don’t get underworked. Hamstring injuries usually occur when sprinting or jumping, and usually the upper side of the hamstring gets injured. A smart rehab program would include stretching that incorporates the top and bottom of the hamstring connections.

Tips for Injury Prevention in Young Athletes

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:

    • Time off: take at least 1 day off a week to give your body time to recover.
    • Take breaks: during practice sessions and games to reduce risk of injury and prevent heat illness.
    • Use the correct gear: this should be right for the sport and fit properly, for instance pads for neck, shoulders, elbows, chest, knees, and shins, as well as helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and/or eyewear. And don’t assume because you are wearing protective gear you can perform more dangerous and risky things.

 

Drinking regular fluids should be an important part of your exercise regime.

    • Drink plenty of fluids: before, during and after exercise or play to avoid heat illness; wearing light clothing also helps. Coaches and trainers should reduce or stop practices or competitions when heat or humidity is high.
    • Build muscle strength: do your conditioning exercises before games and during practice to strengthen the muscles you use during play.
    • Increase flexibility: by stretching before and after games and practice.
    • Use the proper technique: coaches and trainers should reinforce this during the playing season.
    • Play safe: coaches and leaders should enforce strict rules against headfirst sliding (eg in baseball), spearing (football), and body checking (ice hockey), and stop the activity if there is any pain.

They also advise coaches and parents to consider the emotional stress that the pressure to win can cause for a young athlete, and recommend they adopt these principles:

“Young athletes should be judged on effort, sportsmanship and hard work. They should be rewarded for trying hard and for improving their skills rather than punished or criticized for losing a game or competition. The main goal should be to have fun and learn lifelong physical activity skills.”

Hear, Hear.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

orthopedic doctors, new mexico, albuquerque

Correct Warm-Up Reduces Soccer Injuries in Children by Half

Article Found on ScienceDaily

A warm-up program developed specially for children reduces soccer injuries by around 50 percent. Sports scientists from the University of Basel reported these findings in the academic journal Sports Medicine. A total of 243 teams comprising around 3,900 children from four European countries took part in the study.

The characteristics of soccer injuries in children differ from those seen in young people and adults. “For example, children are more likely to suffer broken bones or injuries to the upper extremities,” says sports scientist Dr. Oliver Faude from the University of Basel. Until now, however, epidemiological data on soccer injuries in this age group has been scarce. Read more

new mexico, orthopaedic doctors, albuquerque

13 Causes of Leg Cramps–and How To Stop Them

Article by Jenna Birch | Found on Health.com

What are leg cramps?

If you haven’t already, you will probably experience leg cramps at some point in your life. They can hit at the worst possible moments; whether you’re lying in bed at night or taking a run on the treadmill, that sharp stabbing pain can feel totally debilitating. If leg cramps, also called charley horses, persist, they can become even more irritating, perhaps knocking you off your typical exercise or sleep routine.

leg cramp is a sharp, sudden contraction or tightening of the muscle in the calf, which usually lasts a few seconds to a few minutes. If a cramp does hit, you can ease it in the moment by stretching the muscle gently. To find a long-term solution to leg cramps, however, you might need to take a closer look at their many potential causes.

To keep leg cramps at bay, make sure you’re nourishing your body and getting enough rest. You’ll also want to rule out any underlying issues that could be contributing to leg cramping, such as peripheral artery disease or thyroid issues. See a doctor when cramps prevent you from exercising, or if they seem to happen spontaneously without a trigger.

Here, experts weigh in on the major reasons you might be experiencing leg cramps, so you can keep those muscles free of charley horses for good.

Dehydration

One of the classic causes of leg cramps is dehydration. “Athletes and avid exercisers deal with cramps all the time,” says Mark D. Peterson, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School, “especially during the summer months, in the heat without enough liquid.” The reason dehydration causes cramping is largely theoretical, says Todd J. Sontag, DO, family physician with Orlando Health Physician Associates. It may be that fluid depletion causes nerve endings to become sensitized, “triggering contractions in the space around the nerve and increasing pressure on motor nerve endings,” he says. This depletion is exacerbated by hot conditions or exercising, since you lose more fluid through sweat.

Mineral deficiency

It’s not just water that you sweat out. Lost electrolytes can also contribute to leg cramping. If you’re low in certain electrolytes and other minerals, that imbalance can trigger spontaneous cramping. An imbalance in sodium, calcium, magnesium, or potassium could all lead to leg cramping, says Gerardo Miranda-Comas, MD, associate program director of the sports medicine fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Sports drinks can help reduce cramps thanks to their sodium, as can eating wisely. Bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, yogurt, and nuts are rich in those muscle-friendly minerals and may ward off the deficiencies that could cause leg cramps.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy increases a woman’s risk for leg cramps, especially during the second and third trimesters. “This is most likely because the odds of magnesium and potassium deficiency are higher during pregnancy,” Peterson says. If you’re pregnant and experiencing leg cramps, stay hydrated and consider taking a magnesium supplement–with your doctor’s approval.

Exercise intensity

When you’re trying to kick your routine up a notch–increasing your biking mileage, starting to swim for triathlon training–your muscles aren’t automatically used to the new intensity and movement. “Whenever cramps are induced by starting or restarting an exercise, that’s usually an indication of ‘too much, too soon,'” Dr. Miranda-Comas explains. “Your muscles don’t act and respond the same when you jog and sprint, for instance, so any increase in workout volume or intensity can trigger cramps.”

Fatigue

You may be more prone to leg cramps when you’re already overtired. You might be more lax in your diet or forget to hydrate effectively, or, if your body hasn’t had enough time to properly recover from your last bout of exercise, your muscles might already be in rough shape. “Physiologically, when the muscle is fatigued, it’s not as synchronized in using nutrients,” Dr. Miranda-Comas says. In other words, a tired muscle loses more nutrients than it uses, so it’s not functioning at its peak. Nighttime or nocturnal leg cramps, which affect more than half of adults, can also be triggered by tiredness. “Although there is no one definitive cause [of nighttime leg cramps], they are likely associated with muscle fatigue and nerve dysfunction,” Dr. Sontag explains. “There’s also new research to suggest athletes that underwent higher-than-normal-intensity exercise had an increase in the incidence of nocturnal leg cramps.”

Sitting or standing

Muscles were made to move, contract, and rest, so if you’re doing anything out of the ordinary–sitting at a conference all day, standing in line at an amusement park–you might experience some leg cramping. Standing for a prolonged period of time can understandably contribute to muscle fatigue, which in turn can cause cramping, Dr. Sontag says. But too much sitting isn’t necessarily better. Prolonged sitting “may predispose the muscles to malfunction,” he explains, as the muscle fibers may become hyperactive. When the muscle is “on” and can’t relax, you end up getting a cramp. If you get leg cramps from standing, make sure to take a seat before your muscles feel too tired. And if you cramp from sitting for long periods of time, try to spend at least a couple of minutes walking around per hour that you’re seated.

Medications

If there’s no obvious cause of your leg cramps, then you might want to take a look at any recent additions to your medication list, Dr. Sontag says. Diuretics, a class of medications used to lower blood pressure, may trigger cramps because they deplete the body of fluid and salts, he explains. Other medications that may cause leg cramps include osteoporosis drugs like raloxifene and teriparatide; intravenous iron sucrose (used to treat anemia); asthma medications like albuterol; conjugated estrogens (used to treat menopause symptoms); and pain meds like naproxen and pregabalin. Commonly prescribed statins are also associated with muscle cramps in general, he adds. Talk to your doctor if you started taking a new medication at the onset of your leg cramps; Dr. Sontag says he is usually able to find an alternative medication for his patients.

Peripheral artery disease

If your leg cramps seem spontaneous and not exercise-related, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out underlying concerns. Some, for instance, “those that affect how the body moves electrolytes,” Dr. Miranda-Comas says, can cause leg cramps. Others, like peripheral artery disease, when cholesterol clogs blood vessels in the legs, affect blood flow. PAD can trigger cramps since there may not be enough blood getting to the legs.

Multiple sclerosis

Leg cramps can also be a symptom of the nervous system disorder multiple sclerosis. Some people with MS experience spasticity, which can include a range of involuntary muscle spasms and twitches, as well as leg cramps. Spasticity might feel like a mild tightness or tingling in the muscles to some people or more severe cramping and pain to others.

Left untreated, spasticity can cause frozen or immobilized joints, so talk to your doctor if you have

Osteoarthritis

Much like overexcited nerves can cause overuse-related leg cramps, nerves that malfunction for other reasons can lead to cramping too. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is usually categorized by stiff and achy joints. But people with the painful condition may also experience muscle spasms and leg cramps. These leg cramps are usually linked to osteoarthritis of the spine, which, when severe, could lead to pinched nerves or other nerve damage.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Too-high blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes can lead to damage to the nerves in the legs, feet, arms, and hands called diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This nerve damage often leads to feelings of numbness or tingling, but it can also produce muscle twitching and full-blown leg cramps when the nerves in the legs aren’t functioning properly. Diabetes treatment can help prevent any further nerve damage, but a doctor might recommend pain medication or anticonvulsant drugs to tamp down the leg cramps.

Hypothyroidism

Thyroid conditions may also contribute to leg cramps, Dr. Sontag says. People with hypothyroidismproduce too little thyroid hormone, and overtime that deficiency can damage the nerves that send signals from your brain and spine to your arms and legs. Some people with underactive thyroids will feel tingling or numbness in their muscles, while others might experience leg cramps.

Always check with a doctor if you have unresolved leg cramps, especially with adequate nutrition, hydration, and stretching.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.