Health Tips Blog

Halloween Safety Tips

Trick Or Treat

Just a few reminders to keep your little goblins safe during the much anticipated childhood event of “Trick or Treat”:

1. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the correct size and length to prevent any falls or trips. Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure shoes fit well. Add reflective tape striping to costumes and trick or treat bags for improved visibility. Make sure costumes are of nonflammable material. Masks can block vision, consider non toxic make up. Pretest make up on a small patch of skin to make sure there will be no reactions for the big day. Make sure accessories such as a sword or stick are not sharp, so if a young child falls, they will not get injured. Glow sticks are a fun way to improve visibility, but remember the liquid inside could be hazardous if ingested.

2. Walk safely on sidewalks and do not cut across yards. If no sidewalk is available, walk far away from the road facing traffic. Remember motorists may have trouble seeing the Trick or Treaters. Don’t assume because one car stopped, the other cars will. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly. Teach your child never to dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. Children under 12 should have adult supervision.

3. Make sure your porch or doorway is free of clutter so a child cannot trip when visiting your home. Remove toys, garden hoses, yard tools, etc. Restrain pets so they cannot jump on a child or bite them. Make sure your pathway is well light and free of slippery leaves (or snow!). Make sure candle lit pumpkins are on a sturdy table and away from flammable objects.

4. Review with children how to call 9-1-1 if they become separated, lost or if they ever have an emergency. Review with children their address and contact phone number. A parent could place this information inside the costume to facilitate an easier relocation of a lost child.

Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Pneumonia Vax

Pneumonia signs and symptoms include chest pain with difficulty breathing, high fevers with chills, excessive sweating, fatigue, and a cough with phlegm production that persists or worsens. Pneumonia can be serious and symptoms can last for weeks, potentially requiring hospitalization and, in some cases, death. Prevnar 13 is a pneumonia vaccine approved for adults 18 years of age and older but recommended for adults 50 years of age and older. It offers protection against 13 strains of streptococcus pneumoniae strains. As you get older, your immune system cannot respond as quickly to infection, and chronic health conditions could increase your risk for developing pneumococcal pneumonia. The CDC recommends adults 65 and older receive the Prevnar 13 vaccine to protect against pneumococcal disease.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Shingles Vax

Nearly one in three people in the United States get shingles, resulting in an estimated one million cases diagnosed annually. The risk for developing shingles increases as you get older but children can contract the virus, especially if they have had chicken pox in the past. Shingles is a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body. The most common complication is post herpetic neuralgia (PHN) that can cause severe and debilitating pain, lasting weeks, months or years. Shingles can also lead to serious complications involving the eyes, such as vision loss and blindness; rarely can it cause pneumonia, hearing problems, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death. Zostavax is the only shingles vaccine approved in the United States, which has been used since 2006. This vaccine reduces the risk of developing shingles by 51% and PHN by 67%. Studies show 99% of Americans 40 years of age and up has had chicken pox , therefore, everyone 60 years of age and older should get the vaccine. You should still receive the vaccine to prevent future occurrences of the virus, even if you have had shingles in the past.

Video Running Analysis

Running 

Do you have difficulty running due to knee or calf pain?  Does your hip or back pain prevent you from training for your next race? If so, a video running analysis is perfect for you!  Running is an activity that requires repetitive use of many muscles and joints in your body. Asymmetries can cause abnormal stress and strain on your body and create pain which may prevent you from running or from meeting your potential as a runner.   Running is a single leg activity and therefore requires many different structures to be balanced and work together. If your muscles are tight, weak or even over stretched, you may develop abnormal running patterns which may create pain, decreased performance or injury over time.  Although it is likely that the therapist can see “something is not right” when watching you run, finding faults in someone’s running pattern is much more likely with a video that can be broken down and analyzed in slow motion.  Even if you are not currently injured, a running video analysis is a great way to help you become a more efficient runner.

A running gait analysis will consist of a brief warm up on a treadmill followed by a 1 minute video from the side, front, and back.  The video will be reviewed by a Licensed Physical Therapist to look for potential factors that might lead to or be causing your pain. Angles will be measured and compared to normative data from current research. Suggestions will be made for corrective or preventive exercises to help you run more efficiently and overall, become a better runner. You will get a copy of your video electronically.

If you think you will benefit from a running gait analysis or to make an appointment, please call our Physical Therapy Department at the Natatorium, Rehab at the Nat, at (330)926-0384. You will need a Physical Therapy prescription from your physician.

It's Flu Season: Are you ready?

Blog Flu Shot 

Influenza is a viral respiratory infection that differs from year to year. It can spread from one person to another through small droplets of saliva expelled into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can also spread through contact with objects the infected person has touched, such as a door handle or phone. The flu comes on suddenly with symptoms of cough, fever, chills, body aches and fatigue, which may last up to 10 days. You will need to stay home from work or school while you have a fever. The best treatments include resting, drinking fluids and taking over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen per package directions. Try and limit your smoking. If you have kidney, heart or liver disease talk with your health care provider before you increase your fluid intake. Your urine should be a pale yellow or clear like water. Your health care provider may prescribe antiviral medications to prevent other health problems, such as pneumonia, from developing. Older people and those who have lung disease are most at risk for contracting pneumonia, or other health complications, from influenza. Influenza causes thousands of deaths each year and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations.

Influenza Virus Vaccine Injection

                The injectable influenza virus vaccine (flu shot) is a “killed virus” vaccine. Becoming infected with the flu is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. The influenza vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the virus, which helps your body develop immunity to it. The flu shot will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body. The influenza virus vaccine is for use in adults and children who are at least 6 months old. Please discuss with your health care provider or pharmacist about medications you are taking that could weaken your immune system such as steroids, medications used to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders, or medicines to treat or prevent organ transplant rejection. You may need to wait until treatment is completed to receive the flu shot. Additional information is available from your local health department and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Balance

I Stock -balance 

Do you experience balance difficulties, stumbles, or falls? This is not a normal part of life and can be corrected! Physical therapists trained in balance dysfunction are available and can teach you how to stay safe and balanced. Our Easy Street Therapy department has a falls and balance program which will assess why you are off balance. Typically, your balance utilizes input from 3 separate systems to maintain balance: your vision, your inner ear, and the feedback from your feet. A physical therapist will help your brain to integrate the information from these systems to keep you more confident.

In addition to the usual equipment you see in balance training such as parallel bars or foam pads, our Easy Street Therapy location also has a balance trainer from NeuroCom called the Balance Master. This device was created by NASA to evaluate the inner ear function and balance control of astronauts.

To learn more, contact Easy Street Therapy at (330) 971-7445 to schedule your evaluation. 

Dizziness

I Stock -dizziness 

Do you have dizziness when rolling or getting out of bed? Did you know that this room-spinning dizziness can be treated in as little as one appointment with a physical therapist? This condition is called BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and is the number one cause of dizziness. BPPV is caused when calcium carbonate crystals, called otoconia, are displaced into the semi-circular canals in the inner ear. A physical therapist can reposition these crystals which will eliminate the spinning dizziness!

This treatment is over 85% successful on the first attempt, which means a quick resolution of dizziness. A physical therapist at our Easy Street location specializes in dizziness and can help you! Often after having BPPV, a person can experience balance difficulties which your physical therapist can help you correct.

To learn more, contact Easy Street Therapy at (330) 971-7445 to schedule your evaluation.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantarfasciitis Web 

Do you have foot pain when you take those first steps in the morning? Or when you stand for a while? You may have plantar fasciitis. Traditional Physical Therapy interventions may include modalities like Graston, ultrasound, ice as well as range of motion, stretching and strengthening exercises.

Some plantar fasciitis symptoms respond well to a Mulligan treatment approach, which involves a simple and pain free joint mobilization technique followed by a light taping procedure. This approach typically only involves a two-week treatment duration.

Our physical therapists at the Natatorium are available to evaluate your foot and ankle issues and recommend treatment options to improve your foot pain and get you back to usual daily and recreational activities.

To learn more, contact Rehab at the Natatorium at (330) 926-0384 to schedule your evaluation. New evaluations are typically seen within 24 - 48 hours.

Protecting the Arms from Baseball-Related Injuries

With the start of another baseball season upon us, it is important for coaches, parents and athletes to be aware of some ways to protect their arms from injury. The American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), lead by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, has outlined risk factors for injuries, as well as injury prevention recommendations. Risk factors for injury include overuse, poor pitching mechanics, poor physical fitness and throwing curveballs at too early an age.

ASMI recommendations for preventing injuries in adolescent baseball pitchers include:

  • Watch and respond to signs of fatigue (decreased velocity, decreased accuracy, upright trunk during pitching, dropped elbow during pitching, increased time between pitches)
  • No overhead throwing of any kind for at least 2 - 3 months per year. No competitive baseball pitching for at least 4 months per year
  • Do not pitch more than 100 innings in games in any calendar year
  • Follow pitch count limits and days of rest
  • Avoid pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons
  • Learn good throwing mechanics ASAP. The first steps to learn, in order: 1) basic throwing; 2) fastball pitching; 3) changeup pitching
  • Avoid using radar guns
  • A pitcher should not also be a catcher for his team. The pitcher/catcher combination results in many throws and may increase injury risk
  • If a pitcher complains of elbow or shoulder pain, discontinue pitching until evaluated by a sports medicine physician
  • Encourage athletes to have fun playing baseball and encourage participation and enjoyment of other sports and various physical activities

Little League Baseball has adopted pitching rules with pitch count limits and required days of rest for adolescent pitchers. These recommendations are as follows:

 

LEAGUE AGE

PITCH LIMIT

    7-8

50 pitches per day

    9-10

75 pitches per day

  11-12

85 pitches per day

  13-16

95 pitches per day

  17-18

105 pitches per day

 

REST REQUIREMENTS

 

LEAGUE AGE 14 & UNDER

DAYS OF REST OBSERVED

66 or more pitches in a day

Four (4)

51-65 pitches in a day

Three (3)

36-50 pitches in a day

Two (2)

21-35 pitches in a day

One (1)

1-20 pitches in a day

Zero (0)

LEAGUE AGE 15-18

DAYS OF REST OBSERVED

76 or more pitches in a day

Four (4)

61-75 pitches in a day

Three (3)

46-60 pitches in a day

Two (2)

31-45 pitches in a day

One (1)

1-30 pitches in a day

Zero (0)

Additional rules of note established by Little League Baseball include the following:

  • The league must designate the scorekeeper or another game official as the official pitch count recorder
  • The pitch count recorder must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either manager or umpire and must inform the umpire when a pitcher reaches their pitch limit
  • The manager must remove the pitcher when they have reached their pitch limit. The pitcher may remain in the game at another position. However, a pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches in a game cannot play the position of pitcher for the remainder of that day. Any player who played the position of catcher in four or more innings in a game is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day

Do you or your child have a throwing injury? Questions about injury prevention for the overhead athlete? The physical therapists at Western Reserve Hospital Rehab at the Natatorium have many years of experience treating throwing injuries. Contact us to find out how we can help!

Ankle Sprains

I was watching the Cavs game the other night. As I was watching, I noticed that Iman Shumpert started limping and then went out of the game. As I continued to watch, they mentioned that he had twisted his ankle. So today, I want to talk about an extremely common injury – the ankle sprain. 

Let’s first look at some of the anatomy in the ankle. The ankle is primarily composed of three bones and a variety of ligaments to provide stability. The tibia and fibula are the two bones that form the lower leg, and those connect to the talus bone in the foot. This connection is made stable by a variety of ligaments, which are on either side of the ankle joint. The three major ligaments in the ankle are the deltoid, talofibular and calcaneofibular. On the inside of the ankle, the deltoid ligament provides significant support and stability. Rarely is an ankle sprain on the inside of the ankle. The other two ligaments, especially the talofibular ligament, are where the ankle sprain normally takes place. The talofibular ligament is on the outside of the ankle and is divided into two sections, anterior and posterior.

The anterior talofibular ligament connects the talus (foot) to the fibula (outer lower leg). When you step on uneven ground or on the outside of your foot, the twisting pressure on the ankle will cause the anterior talofibular ligament to stretch more than the ligament is meant to, which causes injury to the ligament. This injury to the ligament will then cause the body to try to protect the ankle joint. The inflammation process is meant to heal the joint, but it will cause stiffness and discomfort. The ankle will swell with fluid as it tries to stabilize the joint and prevent it from moving any more. To treat an ankle sprain, you have to deal with the swelling and inflammation. You would need to rest, ice, compress and elevate the ankle. I have also been trained to perform facial-distortion (soft tissue) techniques that will get you on the road to recovery quickly.