June, 2018

Summer Sports and Injuries

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Part I
Now that the kids are out of school and families are taking vacations we are all more prone to common musculoskeletal injuries from sports and just plain "horsing around" and playing in the yard.
One of the most common injuries we are seeing at this time of year is an ankle strain :

An ankle strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon in the ankle. An ankle strain is a common injury that occurs when the ankle muscle is stretched or torn. A strain is caused by twisting or pulling of the muscle or tendon and may be caused by playing sports, lifting heavy objects or an injury that causes the foot and ankle to twist inward.

Symptoms of an ankle strain may include pain, muscle spasms, swelling and bruising. The affected ankle is often difficult to move, making it difficult to walk and put pressure on the foot. An ankle strain may be diagnosed through a physical examination and X-rays may be performed to rule out the possibility of a fracture or dislocation. Most ankle strains can be treated through conservative methods such as:

Resting the ankle
Applying ice
Using compression bandages
Elevating the ankle
Taking anti-inflammatory medication
Going to physical therapy
Ankle strains usually heal within 2 to 6 weeks, and most individuals can resume physical activity at this time. Surgery is not usually required to treat an ankle strain. Taping or bracing can help protect the ankle after injury and also helps prevent future injuries from occurring. It is important to take extra precautions after an ankle injury, as some patients may be susceptible to recurring injuries.

Whenever there is doubt consider having a physician evaluate your injury and possibly obtain x-rays to rule out a fracture of the ankle.

Don't forget your sunscreen !

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Sun damage can affect any area of the skin as a result of long-term exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Sun damage most commonly occurs on the face, hands and arms, and may lead to sun spots, age spots, rough skin and wrinkles. Years of sun exposure can also lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Because of the damaging effects of the sun, adequate protection is essential in maintaining the long-term health of the skin, especially in the summer months.

In addition to avoiding the sun during peak hours and wearing protective clothing, sunscreen is one of the best defenses against the harmful rays of the sun. Sunscreen protects the skin against harmful UV rays and should be applied to the skin before engaging in any kind of outdoor activity.

It is important to choose a sunscreen that provides protection from all UV rays of the sun. UVA rays can prematurely age the skin, causing wrinkles and age spots and UVB rays can burn the skin. Too much exposure to UVA or UVB rays can cause skin cancer. The best sunscreen offers protection from all UV light. Sunscreens that provide protection from all types of UV rays are often advertised as broad-spectrum coverage. It is also important to choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, which refers to the amount of time it takes the skin to react to the sun as opposed to unprotected skin.

To ensure that sunscreen provides the best protection from the sun, is beneficial to remember the following:

Apply generous amounts of sunscreen to the skin
Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going outdoors
Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours
Reapply sunscreen after swimming or heavy perspiration
Apply sunscreen even when it is cloudy
With regular sunscreen use, people can reduce their risk of skin cancer, age spots, burns, premature aging and other forms of sun damage.

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