Got a Pain in the Butt? It May Be Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome is a not too uncommon sports injury that if left untreated, can attack your sciatic nerve which will run either very close or through this muscle, depending on how your individual body is wired. How it works is simplistic. The Piriformis is one of a group of small muscles that is seated deep in the buttocks region of the body and the job of this muscle is to rotate the leg outwards.

When their is an injury to this muscle and it’s usually an impact injury that causes this; the muscle will become tight and put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause pain which can radiate down the leg. Another cause for this injury is failure to stretch before rigorous physical activity involving leg movement.

If you do have a piriformis injury. Apply heat as needed and then stretch Piriformis muscle when the pain subsides. A good stretching exercise is the hip stretch roll. Simply lay on your back and put one leg over the other. You should feel this in the hip and buttocks area. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds initially and work up to 30 seconds as your injury heals.

After you recover, make it a point to always stretch and warm up your muscles before engaging them in any activity. This will keep you on the field of play and off the benches!

Relief for Arthritis of the Knee

With the joint of the knee you will find some smooth and fibrous tissue that connects where each bone comes into contact with another. When the joint is functioning normally, the tissue works as a shock absorber for the bones and additionally buffers other tissue known as the synovial membrane, that produces synovial fluid that lubricates the joint and makes moving easy.

Enter osteoarthritis which is also referred to as regenerative joint disease and those helpful tissues thin and in some cases, wear away completely. The result is that the bones become thicker and may form spurs which make movement of the joint painful.

The reason this type of arthritis strikes is still unknown; but what is know is that osteoarthritis can strike any part of the body but is mostly seen in weight bearing joint areas such as the hips, legs, knees and feet. Women are much more likely to suffer from this condition after they reach 50-years of age. Symptoms of arthritis in the knee.

This condition makes itself readily known. There will be a deep aching pain in the knee that is worse after any type of exercise or repetitious movement. Initial stiffness upon waking in the morning is also very common. Popping or clicking noises when moving the knee may also be heard.

There is currently no cure for this condition but there are a number of things you can do to alleviate the pain. Knee supports have given pain relief for some people.

Keeping your weight at a healthy level will do wonders for taking away pain. If you’ve been carrying a little extra baggage on your body. Work to lose it through healthy diet modification and you’ll notice your knees will love you again.

Individuals with knee based arthritis may have been discouraged to exercise as they experienced pain afterwards. However there are specific exercises that a specialist can prescribe that are safe to do as well as helping keep your joints, muscles and tendons conditioned and strong as possible.

Heat and cold treatments administered after exercising can bring total relief to your joints.

Surgery can be an option for some people and your individual lifestyle and commitment to exercise and your weight can play a big role in whether or not you’re a viable candidate for this avenue of treatment.

There are a lot of ways you can treat your painful knees, in short the pain isn’t something you have to learn to deal with – see a specialist and you’ll find that there is a route for treating the pain in your knees that will let you have your full quality of life back!

Ouch! Ankle Sprain

A sprained ankle is something that a good number of athletic people will face. Knowing what to do in the event it happens to you will mean you can get back in the action of what you love to do even quicker.

A sprain is simply the tearing or over-stretching of a ligament. The most common way that an ankle is sprained is when the ankle is weight-bearing such as in running, and turns under so the sole of the foot is facing inwards. The weight of the body is suddenly shifted and ligaments on the outside of the ankle tear or pull in response.

There are three degrees to a common ankle sprain.

1st Degree – Indicates light tearing and there is almost no joint instability. Mild pain and mild swelling will be noticed.

2nd Degree – Moderate tear and some instability of the joint will be noted. Moderate to severe pain and there will difficulty walking on the ankle. Swelling will be very noticeable.

3rd Degree – Complete rupture of the ligament, extreme instability of the joint will also be apparent. Severe pain will usually turn into no pain felt whatsoever but the swelling of the area will be severe.

A sprain, especially if it is suspected to be second or third degree should be seen by a medical professional as quickly as possible. Until you can get in to be seen, put cold on the area to minimize swelling and keep it mobilized to stop any further damage from being done. Using R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) will do wonders for relieving pain and swelling until you can get the injury diagnosed professionally.

The Most Effective Way to Use Ice as a Pain Reliever

A common question many people have when they have an injury is why the ice pack is put on and off the injury so often. It would seem that once your injured body part “got used to” the cold, to leave the pack or wrap on and let it does its job, right? Wrong!

Ice is a very, let me stress, very effective way to relieve swelling and pain in an injury; however it can also actually slow down the healing process and even damage tissue if the ice is applied for too long of a period at a time. Done correctly, ice is a marvelous part of a recovery therapy for an injury.

It works so simply. The cold constricts the blood vessels in the area that it’s applied. This in turn reduces the blood flow around the injured site. The cold also works to reduce swelling in the area of the injury too. Ice will numb the injured area and this will lower the pain factor substantially as well as prevent painful muscle spasms.

Using the cold wrap in short periods is important as the skin is sensitive to cold and really doesn’t “get used to” it. Obviously don’t apply ice directly to your skin and a wrap or cold pad is really the best choice. Applying ice directly can lead actually lead to frostbite of the area or even nerve and tissue damage. Another point to know about your body, when your skin is cooled to a temperature below 59-degrees, the body will open up the blood flow to the cold area and that’s what you don’t want to happen around your injured area.

A good icing schedule is 10-minutes on and 10-minutes off. You can repeat this cycle several times without risk of causing further damage and it will help keep pain under control along with swelling. Obviously have an injury looked at by a trusted medical professional who can ascertain the exact nature and extent of your injury, however until you can get in to be seen – this is a good way to keep your pain, swelling and spasms to a bare minimum.

New Guidelines Proposed for Treating Youth Athletes’ Neck Injuries

A study was presented last week at the San Francisco gathering at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Specialty Day and at this meeting a strong case was made for changing the way injuries of the neck are treated on field for young sports participants.

One major change would be to leave helmet and shoulder pads on any athlete that is suspected of suffering a neck injury. The protective equipment is best and most safely removed in a controlled setting, the new study finds.

Dr. Gehron Treme, former sports medicine fellow at the University of Virginia stated, “There was a clear hole in the on-the-field guidelines in the treatment of young (8 to 14 year olds) contact and collision sports athletes with possible neck injuries”.

He further stated that “Skeletal proportions are different in children than adults. Kids have larger heads than torsos. With this study, we looked to see if this disproportion would result in a different recommendation, such as removing the helmet only. Our study found, however, just as is the case with adults, that both the helmet and shoulder pads should be left on for initial treatment and removed as a unit once the patient is stabilized,”

This study is important as it indicates additional injuries may be caused during on field treatments when worsening the neck injuries could be lessened or prevented by waiting to remove the protective gear. An interesting part of the study concluded that there was no statistically significant difference in alignment when the boys wore no equipment and when they wore both helmet and shoulder pads. However, wearing shoulder pads alone resulted in unacceptable alignment changes that could put a patient at risk if the helmet alone was removed.

Fortunately, on field injuries such as this aren’t common, however making a uniform way of treating them will raise the chance of the athlete that suffers a major neck injury during field play making a full and complete recovery. And the treatment received in the first 10 minutes after an injury can determine greatly how the patient will do in the long term part of their recovery.