Be Active Your Way Blog
Brett D. Owens, MD: Brett is an orthopaedic surgeon in the U.S. Army currently stationed at the United States Military Academy where he cares for student-athletes. He is new to blogging, but is excited to participate representing the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.
David Geier, MD: Dr. Geier is an orthopaedic surgeon and the Director of MUSC Sports Medicine. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wake Forest University and after completing medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina, he completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at the world-famous Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tenn. He completed a sports medicine fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as the team physician at Washington University in St. Louis and assisted in the orthopaedic care of the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. He returned to Charleston in 2005 and created the MUSC Sports Medicine program.
Dr. Geier is Board Certified in orthopaedic surgery. He is a member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, an associate member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He serves on the Public Relations Committee for AOSSM. He is a principal reviewer for the American Journal of Sports Medicine and a regular contributor for Outpatient Surgery magazine. He is the Head Team Physician for the Charleston Battery and Head Tournament Physician for the Family Circle Cup. He has served as orthopaedic consultant for professional and elite sports teams, including the United States Women’s Soccer team when they played in Charleston. He also serves as the head team physician for many area high schools and is the head physician for many recreational sports teams and leagues.
By Dr. David Geier, AOSSM
One of the most common reasons patients give for not exercising is an injury or pain. People often use knee or shoulder pain or some other limitation as an excuse for not playing sports or being physically active. And while certainly musculoskeletal injuries can affect participation, rarely should these injuries keep people on the sidelines permanently.
Joint pain is unfortunately a fairly common affliction among the United States population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2006 approximately 30% of adults reported that they experienced some sort of joint pain in the previous 30 days. Musculoskeletal injuries are rarely completely incapacitating, however. While many weekend warriors cite old knee or shoulder injuries as reasons that they can't exercise now, with so many options available, even people with real injuries should be able to modify their routines and still get in a good workout.
For example, a female with early knee arthritis can still perform cardiovascular-enhancing exercise. She might not be able to run long distances six or seven days a week, but she might be able to run two days a week and swim or ride a bicycle the other days to decrease the repetitive impact on her knees. A male with rotator cuff impingement from overuse at work or in the yard might have to back off from tennis or baseball, which might aggravate his shoulder, but he could play soccer or another non-throwing sport. And for athletes who enjoy lifting weights, simply adjusting a few of the exercises might be enough to exercise in spite of a current injury.
For those who fear that they are making an injury worse, they should see a sports medicine physician. Most injuries do not need surgery, and often there are simple initial treatments, such as physical therapy, home exercises, taping, or anti-inflammatory medications. And while patients are often reluctant to go to the doctor for fear of being completely shut down from a sport or activity, sports medicine physicians usually try to encourage treatments and rehabilitation that get people back to sports and exercise as quickly as possible.
Finally, even if the activity is potentially detrimental to a joint, it might not always be that bad. Someone with near bone-on-bone knee arthritis is possibly making his knee worse running every day. Having said that, if he wants to keep running, the benefits of his overall health might outweigh the risks to his knee. Daily exercise can provide multiple medical benefits, including improved cardiovascular function, lower blood pressure, and weight loss, as well as improved sleep and mood. Even if he needs a knee replacement in the future, the medical upside to exercise is significant.
While aches and pains can be an obstacle to physical activity, they shouldn't be permanent barriers to all exercise. If you are worried about injuries or exercise modification discuss it with a doctor and know that being physically active is possible despite these pains.
What kind of activities can we promote to keep people moving no matter the aches and pains?
Tags: physical activity, injury, joint pain, sports medicine
Childhood obesity has become one of the most widespread public health problems in the United States, and it has received tremendous media attention in recent years. Obesity in children and adolescents has also been thought to be a significant risk factor for cardiac disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure later in life.
Do American children meet the Guidelines?
Does much of the childhood population engage in 60 minutes of physical activity, and does that activity level increase or decrease over time? Laura Basterfield et al. published a study in the January 2011 edition of Pediatrics that showed that the physical activity levels of children are low. They found that the children averaged 26 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at an average of 7 years old and 24 minutes per day at an average of 9 years old. Only 6.4% of children averaged the recommended 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at age 7 and 5.7% did age 9.
A Proposed Solution
As gloomy as this data seems, there might be a fairly simple solution. Russell Jago et al. published a study in the February 2011 edition of Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise looking at the influence of best friends on a child's physical activity level. The authors determined that the physical activity levels of 10- to 11-year-old children were closely related to physical activity levels of their best friends.
Encouraging children and adolescents to get outside with their friends and play will largely meet the Physical Activity Guidelines. It really isn’t that complicated. There are numerous examples of activities that kids can do together that are both fun and also have aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening properties.
For example, riding a bicycle or walking a dog can serve as moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Games with friends, such as playing tag, or more formal sports, are terrific ways to get vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Likewise, playing on playground equipment, playing tug of war, or climbing a tree are muscle-strengthening activities, while push-ups, sit-ups, or more formal resistance training can be used by older adolescents. Impact sports and activities, such as running, jumping rope, and formal sports like tennis and volleyball can help strengthen bones.
It is important to remember that children and adolescents should meet these Guidelines with a variety of activities. Engaging in activities that stress different body parts will avoid overuse issues and decrease the chance of injury. The STOP Sports Injuries campaign aims to keep kids active in sports and exercise while decreasing injuries that can occur. There are a variety of resources available to parents, coaches, and physicians to educate them and promote safety in sports and other activities.
Patterns of low levels of activity and high levels of sedentary activity are established in childhood and only get worse as they get older. Let’s work to get kids outside playing with their friends, exercising, and playing sports to keep them healthy for life.
What are some other ways that each of us can work with our community, schools, employers and our own families to get kids outside and active more frequently?
Tags: outside play, obesity, sports safety, STOP Sports Injuries
There is nothing more discouraging to a young athlete than an injury. Keeping young athletes safe is critical to fostering enjoyment from sports and developing a lifelong active lifestyle.
Many children and youths participate in organized athletics, either through school or community leagues. These athletes can be challenged both physically and mentally from this activity and may formulate lifelong relationships with organized sports. Unfortunately, injuries do occur. Among the roughly 7 million high school scholastic athletes, approximately 2 million injuries occur annually. Sports like soccer, basketball, and football are commonly participated in and injury research has led to some preventive measures to help make these sports safer for kids. Preventive measures may take the simple form of equipment or rule changes. But how do we get the word out about just the simple activity of safely participating in athletics and marketing to those groups who need the information the most? (parents, coaches and athletes themselves.)
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and its partners, including the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, National Strength and Conditioning Association, SAFE Kids USA, Sports Physical Therapy Section and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine along with many individual hospitals, sports medicine practices and sports leagues are stirring up a grass roots movement to teach and market safe sports participation. The initiative called STOP Sports Injuries, is engaging community leaders by asking them to send out press releases to local media, giving talks on safety issues to parents and coaches, placing specialized logos of participation on websites, releasing public service announcements and have local individuals follow up with radio and TV stations and interacting on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Slowly but surely the word is getting out and the campaign is really starting to create a buzz in the sports medicine community. This type of marketing and education effort takes a lot of time and persistence but our hope is to make an impact and keep kids active and participating in sports so they can enjoy the benefits of exercise for a lifetime.
For more information or to get involved, visit our STOP Sports Injuries Web site and help share our commitment to keeping kids in the game for life. We would love to hear your suggestions for additional outreach or ways to enhance our educational efforts.
How can your organizations get involved and help market injury prevention to multiple audiences (coaches, parents, athletes and healthcare providers?
Tags: youth and sports injuries
Marketing Physical Activity
This page last updated on: 11/04/2009
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