Four Tips For CrossFit Safety

As most of you know, CrossFit is one of the fastest-growing fitness trends in the world. It is utilized by police academies, tactical operations teams, military special operations and hundreds of professional athletes around the world. But now it’s crossed over into everyday athletes and fitness minded people.

CrossFit uses a combination of weightlifting, sprinting, gymnastics and the support of work out partners to create a fitness phenomenon.

Due to the strenuous activities used in CrossFit, injuries do occur fairly often. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published a recent study showing that 73.5% of 132 CrossFitters surveyed had sustained an injury. Another 9% of these injuries required surgery.

An injury can take you out of your workout regimen for weeks. Simple preparation can keep your active lifestyle on track and keep your body healthy.

The most common CrossFit injuries involve shoulders, lower back strain, knee disorders and overuse conditions like tennis elbow or Achilles tendonitis. At Xpress Ortho Care, we encourage you to practice your preferred fitness regimen including CrossFit, but we also want you to know how to avoid injuries:

  • Make sure you are practicing the proper technique, using the correct equipment and not overtraining.
  • Make sure your goals are realistic and incremental. Don’t try to do too much, too soon.
  • Practice CrossFit in a safe environment and wear the right gear, such as gloves and power belts
  • Warm up thoroughly and make sure you adequately stretch. This lengthens your muscles which can help minimize tears, strains and sprains.
  • Listen to your body and rest! Try setting two rest days a week to allow your body to recover, heal and prevent injuries.

Any CrossFit injuries should be evaluated immediately. Early intervention by an orthopedic specialist at Xpress Ortho Care is the key to keeping injuries from getting worse over time with repeated exercise.

Tips For Recovery From a Strain or Sprain

At one time or another, most of us have experienced the excruciating pain as we twist our body, injuring a joint because of a fall or improper landing. Ankles are the most commonly sprained, but these tips can help you recover and heal more quickly.

What’s the difference between a strain and a sprain?

It helps to know the difference. A strain is a muscle injury, while a sprain is a ligament injury. Your ligaments are the rugged, non-stretchy tissue that connects joints as well as giving your joints support. If it’s only slightly stretched, but can still support the joint, you’ve luckily only experienced a mild sprain. If the whole support of the joint is disrupted, this is a more severe sprain.

How do you know you’ve experienced a strain or sprain?

Symptoms for strain and sprain include:

  • pain in the injured area
  • swelling in the injured area
  • difficulty using or moving the injured area in a normal manner
  • bruising or redness in the injured area

What do you do if you suffer a strain or sprain?

It’s key to prevent further injury. Heat, like warm compresses, can actually do more harm than good in the first few days after a strain or sprain. Resist massaging the area too vigorously as well, as this could increase bleeding around the injured ligament or muscle.

A visit to the Xpress Ortho Care is a quick and convenient way to be sure if you have a strain or a sprain. Even if you decide not to visit us, you should give your muscles or ligaments the best possible chance of recovery.

Steps To Recovery

It is important to protect your muscle or joint. At Xpress Ortho Care we can provide splints, braces or even slings for your shoulder, arms, ankles, knees or more.

Many medical practitioners will recommend RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) to help reduce swelling and pain associated with strains or sprains:

  • Rest the injured area. This may mean using crutches or a cane if the ankle or knee is hurt. Don’t forget to move those injured areas from time to time. Do this very gently in all directions, but avoid any movement that causes a lot of pain. Avoid putting your full weight on the injury and vigorous exercise for several weeks. Our staff can show you the exercises best for recovery to fit your healing needs.
  • Ice the injured area for 20 minutes up to eight times a day. Don’t let it touch your skin directly as it can damage the skin. Place the ice in a plastic bag, then wrap it in a towel. You can also use a bag of frozen peas! Icing reduces both swelling and pain, because it limits the blood flow to the damaged area.
  • Compress the injury with bandages. Consult with your Physician or our Xpress Ortho Care Staff about the best compression method and how to apply it correctly to allow free movement and prevent stiffening.
  • Elevate the injured area above the level of the heart as much as possible. The blood needs to flow away from the affected joint to help reduce pain and swelling and start the healing process.

Consult with your Physician or our Xpress Ortho Care staff about over-the-counter pain relievers including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

Tips For Preventing Backpack Injuries In Your Kids.

It’s back to school time! Soon the summer heat will end and the leaves will begin to change. Back to school means purchasing new textbooks, supplies and the backpack to carry everything. But, have you ever considered backpack safety?

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, backpack-related injuries send an estimated 5,000 children a year to emergency rooms. More than 14,000 children are treated annually for injuries. Overweight or incorrectly carried backpacks can be a leading cause of strain- and overuse-related injuries in children and teenagers, This includes neck, back and shoulder pain, in addition to severe sprains in the related joints and muscles.

Backpack injuries are entirely preventable if you remain vigilant and follow some simple guidelines for selecting the right backpack for your child:

  1. Your child’s backpack, when full, should weigh no more 15% of your child’s weight.
  2. To distribute the weight equally across your child’s strongest muscles, the straps of your child’s backpack should be wide and well-padded.
  3. Make sure your child knows that both straps must be worn at all times. This keeps the backpack securely against your child’s back.
  4. Check that the bottom of the backpack is no more than 4 inches below your child’s waistline.

Make sure your child is aware and participates is his or her back health. You can show them how to distribute the load properly by placing heavier items at the bottom of the backpack, which is against the child’s back, and encouraging them to keep their backpack free of unnecessary items. If your child’s school allows it, select a rolling backpack to help prevent potential back and spinal injuries.

It is important to observe your child and pay attention to see if you notice excessive strain or early signs of back pain when your child uses a backpack.

Bring your child into Xpress Ortho Care to talk to one of our experienced providers. We can answer all your questions and help you understand how to prevent backpack injuries.