Tips for Safe Summer Sports

SUMMER SPORTS SAFETY ADVICE FROM ONS SPORTS MEDICINE SPECIALIST, KATHERINE VADASDI, MD.

Summer Sports Blog

With Memorial Day upon us, summer is a great time for outdoor sports as long as you take certain precautions to avoid injury and illness. With the increase in temperatures, proper hydration is a must. Intense exercise that causes you to sweat is usually a good reminder to drink water, but you can become dehydrated simply taking a walk or playing ball with your child during hot weather. Swimmers, who don’t notice their perspiration and tend to feel cooler because they are exercising in water, need to remember to replace fluids on a regular basis, too.

Generally, it takes the body about 10 days to adapt to the heat. Even if you’ve stayed conditioned throughout the winter, it’s important to start your outdoor exercise slowly, gradually increasing in time and intensity until your body has fully acclimated. Whenever possible, exercise in the cooler parts of the day such as morning and evening.

Similarly, if you haven’t played a sport since the fall, such as golf and tennis, don’t expect to just pick up your game where you left off. Back sprains, tennis or golfers elbow and wrist problems can pop up if you haven’t taken the time to develop the muscles that are important for your specific sport. Knee injuries such as meniscus tears and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures are common when the knee is unstable and if there is an imbalance in the hip and leg muscles. A sudden pivot or twist while running or jumping could derail your active summer by requiring surgery and rehabilitation. Relatively short strengthening programs can have a significant impact on reducing the risk of ACL injuries and anterior knee pain.

It’s also important to protect your skin from the sun. At the very least, use a waterproof sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 – 45 that is designed for sports. Be sure to apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you go outside, even if the day is overcast, and reapply every two to three hours.

Treatments for Tennis Elbow

ONS DR. DAVID WEI TALKS ON TREATMENT FOR TENNIS ELBOW. 

Tennis season is in full swing and so are the risks of overuse injuries such as Tennis Elbow.

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Tennis Elbow typically happens when a repetitive swinging motion pulls on the extensor tendons that connect the muscles in the forearm to the elbow, creating microscopic tears. Despite its name, there are many types of activities that can injure these tendons, especially those involving repetitive wrist motion. Although it continues to be a mystery as to why some patients develop Tennis Elbow while others are not affected, we do know that the end result is an abnormal change in the quality of the tendon itself, called angiofibroblastic hyperplasia.

Typical symptoms are pain along the outer side of the elbow with wrist motion and with gripping. The pain can be especially exacerbated by activities involving lifting objects with your elbow extended and the palm of your hand facing downward.

Recent data suggests that nearly all cases may resolve spontaneously, and the mainstay of treatment always begins with non-operative options. Avoiding aggravating activities or modifying the way you perform them can help decrease pain. For instance, lift things closer to your body, with your palms up. A splint or a counterforce brace can also help by relieving the strain on the tendon. In some cases, a physical therapy program and possibly injections will help the condition.

Most people don’t require surgery for Tennis Elbow. If, however, non-operative measures fail and the pain persists beyond six months, it may be time to consider surgery to repair the damaged tendons. Recovery time from surgery is relatively fast, but the tendons need time to regenerate, requiring approximately six to eight weeks.

Dr. Wei discusses tennis elbow in greater detail in this video.

 

The Importance of Injury Prevention: Don’t Become a Statistic

QUALITY OF LIFE, ACTIVITY AND PRODUCTIVITY ARE AFFECTED BY PAINFUL ORTHOPEDIC CONDITIONS. 

One in two Americans over the age of 18 and nearly three out of four age 65 and older have a musculoskeletal condition costing an estimated $213 billion each year in treatment, cadolori articolari 1re and lost wages, according to a report by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI), The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans: Opportunities for Action.

The study finds that the quality of life, activity and productivity of an estimated 126.6 million American adults are affected by painful conditions and disorders affecting the bones, joints and muscles, a number which is comparable to the total percentage of Americans living with chronic lung or heart conditions. Among children, musculoskeletal conditions are surpassed only by respiratory infections as a cause of missed school days.

The report states that arthritis and related conditions top the list of orthopedic ailments (51.8 million adults) followed by back and neck pain (75.7 million combined). With an aging population, the number of people faced with musculoskeletal discomfort can be expected to greatly increase.

Fortunately, advances in diagnostic and treatment technologies, such as those that are available from the sub-specialists at ONS, can provide patients with pain relief and a safe return to mobility. However, the report underscores the importance of injury prevention strategies for individuals of all ages and the need for prompt treatment when injuries occur and orthopedic conditions first appear. With top orthopedists, neurosurgeons, physical therapists and physiatrists, ONS is committed to finding non-surgical options as the first line of treatment. Only 10 percent of ONS patients require surgery.

Golf Advice For US Open Championship Fans

Golf may be perceived as a low risk sport, but it is physically demanding and golf related injuries are increasing.

Another great stretch to do before and during play.
A great stretch to do before and during play.

If watching the US Open Championship has inspired you to head for the links, here are a few exercises for golfers to ensure an injury free day on the course and to get the most out of your summer golf! The pros do it, you should too!

Golf advice for US Open Championship fans!

1. Train by repetitive motor learning specific to golf. Example: long distance runners are not trained by sprinting.

2. Never separate the torso from the hips while swinging.

3. For a more beneficial aerobic workout, walk outside, NOT on a treadmill.

4. Improving flexibility will result in fewer injuries, swing consistency, improved distance through less compensation and greater power.

5. Remember to stretch AFTER you warm-up your muscles.

6. To achieve a more powerful swing, strengthen your core through resistance training, yoga and Pilates.

7. Avoid surgery by taking care of your body on and off the course through exercise, healthy diet habits and minimizing stress.

8. Wrist weakness and radiating forearm pain could be “golfers elbow.” Be sure to maintain proper form and resist the temptation to play too much. REST is the best treatment for this injury.

9. Swimming, biking and using the elliptical machine are three of the most effective cross-training exercises.

10. When picking up your ball, always remember to bend with your knees.

Most IMPORTANTLY: Listen to your body and don’t play if you’re experiencing pain or are tired. If something is beginning to hurt, get it checked out.

– See more at: https://onsmd.com/2012/07/02/golf-hazards-and-injury-prevention/#sthash.pKnTk8as.dpuf

Powerpoint presentation of talk on Therapeutic Injections Available Online

On Tuesday, June 4th, Physiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Heftler gave an informative talk at Greenwich Hospital on how some sports injuries may be effectively treated with therapeutic injections.  If you missed the talk, here is a link to his powerpoint presentation:

Dr. Jeffrey Heftler – Injection of Knee and Hip

Physiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Heftler gave a talk at Greenwich Hospital on Injection Therapy for sports injuries.
Physiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Heftler gave a talk at Greenwich Hospital on Injection Therapy for sports injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gender Differences in Sports Injuries: Do Risks for Women Outweigh Benefits?

Seminar Presented bythe Greenwich Hospital Women’s Health Initiative to highlight women’s sports injuries

Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine specialist Dr. Katie Vadasdi.
Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine specialist Dr. Katie Vadasdi.

On Wednesday, April 3, 2013 from 12-1:30 PM, Katie Vadasdi, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist from ONS  (Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery Specialists) on Valley Drive will be the featured speaker at a Greenwich Hospital Women’s Health Initiative lunchtime event on gender differences in sports injuries. The talk will take place in the Noble Conference Center at Greenwich Hospital at 5 Perryridge Road.

Did you know that women are more at risk for some injuries than men when engaged in running, skiing, swimming and soccer among other sports? Dr. Vadasdi will share her unique, firsthand perspective as an athlete and a physician who treats amateur, student and professional athletes on a daily basis. She’ll address concerns such as how differences in anatomy, physiology and training habits may contribute to the tendency for women to suffer more stress fractures and ACL tears than men and the role of factors such as age and hormonal changes may play in injury. She’ll offer practical tips for keeping women athletically active and healthy at any age. To register for the talk, call 203-863-4277 or 888-305-9253, or register online at http://www.greenwichhospital.org. A box lunch is available for $10 person.

Dr. Vadasdi is a graduate of Dartmouth College and earned her medical degree at Dartmouth Medical School. She performed a residency in orthopedics at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York and completed fellowship training in shoulder, elbow and sports medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Orthopedics.

Country Club Injuries By Dr. Katie Vadasdi


Spending a day at the club can be like taking a mini vacation. Regular responsibilities are put aside to enjoy a game of tennis, a swim, a friendly round of golf or to work out.  The gains for body, mind, and spirit are many, however along with the benefits come risks for injuries.

ONS PT Chalon Lefebvre demonstrates an effective golf stretch.

Many common injuries may get better on their own, while others require medical treatment.  The repetitive motions of any sport can take a toll over time and if your technique isn’t always picture perfect, you may be creating unintended stress on joints and ligaments.

Shoulder injuries are particularly common in racket sports.  Injuries to the rotator cuff, a group of tendons within the shoulder joint, can range from inflammation (tendinitis) to a tear.  Tendinitis can often be treated with rest and physical therapy; whereas a rotator cuff tear that can impact normal range of motion, often requires surgery to resolve. Persistent shoulder pain warrants an evaluation by a physician, ideally an orthopedic surgeon or sports medicine specialist.

Injuries to the elbow are common in both racket sports and golf.  Tennis elbow is an injury to tendons on the outside of the elbow, while golfer’s elbow is an injury to the tendons on the inside.  Both are common overuse injuries and are often caused by repetitive activities other than their names imply.  They may improve with rest but often require bracing, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications.  Less often, the problem persists and may require surgery.

A knee injury can result from a missed step on the tennis court or playing golf.  The meniscus is a cushion of cartilage within the knee; one on the inside and one on the outside.  They can easily be torn even without major trauma.  In some cases just kneeling down to tie a shoe can cause a tear, so you might not recall a precipitating event. Many knee injuries improve with rest and therapy, but sometimes an arthroscopic procedure is needed to fix or clean up the damage.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an important stabilizer in the knee.  A tear or “rupture” of the ACL is usually caused by significant trauma or landing and twisting motions, such as from skiing or jumping in basketball.  If you experience both pain and swelling in your knee, it’s important to have it evaluated by a doctor.

The Achilles tendon is also commonly injured with fast cutting moves, as in tennis, squash and paddle tennis.  These injuries range from inflammation to a complete rupture of the tendon.  Some patients feel a dull pain in the Achilles just before a rupture, but generally they describe it as a single moment. You’ll often hear people say they thought someone kicked them in the back of the calf when actually it was the tendon giving way.

Can injuries be avoided without giving up your club ranking? Maybe not entirely, but it is possible to minimize the wear and tear on your body by implementing a proper conditioning and stretching program that is specific to your activities.  In general people sustain an injury when they don’t take the time to prepare their bodies properly, and when they don’t listen to their bodies and stop at the first sign of pain.

Tips to help prevent Country Club Injuries:

  • Adopt a conditioning and strengthening program that builds core strength and works on flexibility.
  • Start any sport with a warm up and gentle stretches. Don’t just walk onto the court and start slamming at tennis balls or swinging at golf balls.
  • Periodically check your mechanics. Take a lesson, or work with a coach to make sure your technique is good.
  • If you do get an injury or feel some pain, stop and rest and see if it subsides.
  • If pain persists, get checked out so you don’t make a small problem a larger one.

Golf Hazards and Injury Prevention

ONS PT Chalon Lefebvre demonstrates an effective golf stretch.

Often perceived as a low risk sport, golf is actually physically demanding and injuries from golf are on the rise.

One study showed that during a two-year period, 60 percent of golf professionals and 40 of amateurs suffered either a traumatic or overuse injury while golfing. Over 80 percent of the reported injuries were related to overuse.

“Many golfers incur injuries to the back, wrist, elbow and other joints,” says John Crowe, M.D., who specializes in treating hand and wrist conditions. “Newer players are often hurt because of poor mechanics, but avid golfers with years of experience frequently suffer from overuse injuries. As with many activities that involve repetitive movements, joint wear and tear is a major concern. Also the combined twisting of the spine and the torque that is absorbed in the hands while swinging and hitting the ball can create ideal conditions for injury.”

ONS physicians treat a wide variety of conditions in professional and amateur golfers. Of the aches and pains that commonly afflict golfers, low back pain is the most common injury or complaint in both groups. The rotation of the spine as a golfer swings his club toward the ball places considerable strain on the spine and surrounding muscles in the back. Players who lack ideal flexibility and strength are at particular risk for back strain, but professionals too are at risk due to the regular high demands imposed on their bodies. Most back/spine problems can be corrected by adjusting the dynamics of the players swing, anti-inflammatory medications or other conservative treatments.

Another great stretch to do before and during play.

Second to low back injuries are upper extremities injuries. A golfer’s wrist is particularly vulnerable to injury from overuse or poor wrist control during the swing. Unexpected accidents may also cause injury like swinging at a ball in high grass and colliding with a tree root.

Try these 10 helpful tips!

1. Train by repetitive motor learning specific to golf. Example: long distance runners are not trained by sprinting.

2. Never separate the torso from the hips while swinging.

3. For a more beneficial aerobic workout, walk outside, NOT on a treadmill.

4. Improving flexibility will result in fewer injuries, swing consistency, improved distance through less compensation and greater power.

5. Remember to stretch AFTER you warm-up your muscles.

6. To achieve a more powerful swing, strengthen your core through resistance training, yoga and Pilates.

7. Avoid surgery by taking care of your body on and off the course through exercise, healthy diet habits and minimizing stress.

8. Wrist weakness and radiating forearm pain could be “golfers elbow.” Be sure to maintain proper form and resist the temptation to play too much. REST is the best treatment for this injury.

9. Swimming, biking and using the elliptical machine are three of the most effective cross-training exercises.

10. When picking up your ball, always remember to bend with your knees.

11. Listen to your body and don’t play if you’re experiencing pain or are tired. If something is beginning to hurt, get it checked out.

Enjoy your summer sports… but don’t get injured

Vary your activities and build a strong core to help prevent injuries

Most athletic injuries are not the result of accidents but are due to poor preparation for sports activity, overuse of joints or muscles, and missing the early warning signs of injury- according to sports medicine specialist Tim Greene, MD.

 

“Most sports injuries are preventable and can be traced to a lack of core body strength.  Core strength refers to the strength of the muscles of the torso that keep your stomach strong and support your back. Think in terms of a tree that has strong branches but a weak trunk. The imbalance of strength can cause strain, cracking and even collapse the trunk.  If your core is not strong and you engage in a running or jumping activity, your risk for injury is increased.”

When you play golf or tennis, swim, or cycle, Dr. Greene recommends varying your activities so your body doesn’t become unevenly strengthened and conditioned. “Incorporating programs like yoga, Pilates, and strength training can be very effective for developing your core and reducing the risk for injury.”

As you go about your summer sports activities, keep these injury prevention tips in mind:

  • Prepare your body for sports activity with sport-specific conditioning and muscle strengthening.
  • Strengthen opposing muscle groups to maintain balance of muscle strength.
  • Maintain proper hydration and give your body adequate nutrition.
  • At the beginning of your sport or workout, activate your body with a dynamic warm up- Begin at an easy pace to slowly increase heart rate, respiratory rate and blood flow to muscles.
  • Warm up both upper and lower extremities.
  • Know when to rest or stop. Many injuries occur from over-fatigued muscles.
  • Use properly fitting protective gear when appropriate, like helmets and wrist and shin guards.
  • Use properly fitting sports clothing and supportive sport-specific foot gear.
  • Vary your fitness routine. Repetitive use of muscles and joints can cause strain and injury.
  • If you feel persistent pain in your muscles or joints, stop exercising and have the pain evaluated.

This summer the ONS Blog will present a series on preventing summer sports injuries.  Check back regularly for valuable tips from our sports medicine experts that may just keep you out of the doctor’s office.

Golf Injuries Prevention

April 24 at 6:30 p.m. Registration begins at 6 p.m.
At ONS, 6 Greenwich Office Park, Valley Drive, Greenwich
Speakers: James Cunningham, MD, orthopedic surgeon and Laura Liebesman, PT 

GREENWICH, CT – Many golfers are back on the courses already this spring so there’s no better time to learn some injury prevention strategies from the pros. The ONS Foundation for Clinical Research and Education offers a free annual seminar presented by medical and golfing experts to help players of all levels avoid common injuries and enjoy their sport to the fullest. On Tuesday, April 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., the ONS Foundation for Clinical Research and Education will present a Free Golf Injury Prevention Seminar at ONS at 6 Greenwich Office Park on 10 Valley Drive. Refreshments will be served. Registration is required. Call 203-869-3131 or email, contact@ons-foundation.org to register.

The program will offer presentations by ONS orthopedic surgeon James Cunningham, MD; ONS physical therapist Laura Liebesman; as well as head PGA professional Mike Summa of the Stanwich Club. Topics to be covered will include the most common injuries to the shoulders, elbows and knees, injury prevention strategies, an update on treatments for common injuries, and sport-specific physical conditioning exercises to optimize strength and flexibility. Mr. Summa will focus on the importance of proper equipment fit and good technique.

“If you haven’t played golf since last fall, it’s easy to get excited and start playing as much as possible,” said Dr. Cunningham who is an avid golfer. “Proper preparation can go a long way towards a healthy golf season.”

Laura Liebesman, PT is Director of ONS Physical Therapy believes in the importance of stretching to help prevent injury. In fact, ONS Physical Therapy has developed the “ONS Golf Fore”, a sequence of four basic stretches that are easy for golfers to do right on the course. Seminar attendees will get a copy of the ONS Golf Fore exercises and a lot of other good advice. Call 203-869-3131 to register, or send an email to contact@ons-foundation.org.

Golf Injury Prevention Seminar – 6:30 PM tomorrow at ONS

Experienced and novice golfers alike will be hitting the links in the coming weeks and the ONS Foundation for Clinical Research and Education is offering a golf injury prevention seminar to help players of all levels avoid common injuries so they can enjoy their sport to the fullest. Tomorrow evening, April 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., the ONS Foundation for Clinical Research and Education will present a Free Golf Injury Prevention Seminar at the ONS building at 6 Greenwich Office Park at 10 Valley Drive. Refreshment will be served. Registration is required. Call 203-869-3131 or email, info@ons-foundation.org to register.

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