Fun, fun, fun! That is what summer is all about now that school is out and the winter blizzards are a thing of the past. Before the parachutes, wakeboards, skateboards, and soccer balls come out of the closet, a few words of caution should be heeded. Before the horses are loaded up for the big summer ride and roundup, some warnings should be understood.
Even with the best intention for safety and fun, many activities of enjoyment can cause injury. Those injuries usually amount to chronic pain with arthritis in the future because no matter how far the practice of medicine has come, injuries rarely heal back to an original, pristine state. Mirco-injury to ligaments and cartilage leave a joint vulnerable to the effects of overuse, stress, and aging . Thus, these joints become arthritically inflamed and painful later. The price of pain might be in years to come, but it will come. Take a look at the common injuries associated with some popular summertime activities.
Practically everyone experiences low back pain at some point in life. Some experience it more frequently than others. If you struggle with frequent episodes of low back pain, here are some tips to help you prevent it.
1. Think BEFORE You Lift : By thinking about how to lift properly, you can prevent 90 percent of the causes for a sudden, sharp pain in the back. Place your feet shoulder width apart, bend the knees and tighten up your abdominal wall; all of this is done before you lift.
2. Provide a Good Base of Support : Think as if you are a chair; one leg is pretty wobbly. Two legs are better than one, especially with the feet widely placed for extra support. Place a hand down on a counter top for even more support and now you are a three-legged chair. And both legs and arms in contact with something solid will give your spine the most stable base of support possible.
Human beings are well designed for many things. We have large brains for poetry and quantum mechanics; we are good long distance runners, and of course have these awesome opposable thumbs. Unfortunately, some parts are not designed very well for our 21st century lifestyles. The low back , or lumbar spine, is first on my list for sending back (or forward?) to the engineers. A close second though might be the " knee cap " or patellofemoral joint.
The "knee cap" or patella is an ovoid shaped bone whose main purpose is to act as a fulcrum that big muscle on the front of your thigh, the quadriceps. (I'll wait while you grab your high school physics book). There are plenty of folks who do not have patellae, but because this causes the quad muscle to work inefficiently, few of these folks can run or climb stairs well. The design issue with the patella is that it articulates, or rubs up against, the end of the femur bone (thus the "patellofemoral" joint). For those of us who have pa...
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