Water Polo Study Highlights Head Injury Risk

Water Polo Study Highlights Head Injury Risk

Water polo players appear to face similar head injury risks as athletes in better-known sports, a new study finds. “For years, water polo’s head trauma risks have been downplayed or overshadowed by football-related brain injuries,” said study co-author James Hicks.

“Our data quantifies the extent of the problem and sets the stage for additional research and possible rule changes or protective gear to improve water polo safety,” Hicks added. He is chairman of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine.

“People who’ve never seen a game may not realize how physical it is,” Hicks said in a university news release. “Head-butts and elbows. Balls flying up to 50 miles per hour.”

And while no concussions were diagnosed among players in the study, the force of the head blows was “similar to those observed in collegiate soccer, another sport that is commonly studied for the risks associated with repeated head impact exposure,” he added.

For the study, Hicks and his colleagues tracked several dozen players in Division 1 NCAA Men’s Water Polo over three seasons. The players wore caps embedded with electronic sensors.

Overall, the researchers counted an average of 18 head hits per game. Offensive players were far more likely to get hit in the head than players in defensive and transition positions (60%, 23% and 17%, respectively), the findings showed. Players attacking from the left side of the goal suffered more head hits than players on the right, possibly because right-handed athletes commonly throw shots from the left zone, the researchers noted.

Offensive center was the most dangerous position in terms of hits to the head. On average, those players took nearly seven blows to the head per game, which amounted to 37% of all head impacts recorded in the study. The second-most vulnerable position, defensive center, averaged two head hits per game, according to the report.

The study authors concluded that “intercollegiate water polo athletes may represent a valuable cohort for studying the acute and chronic effects of repeated head impacts in sport to extend our knowledge of athlete physiology and neurology and to inform evidence-based policies to promote the safety of athletes and the benefits of sport.”

The study was published online May 2 in the journal PLOS ONE. In a previous study, Hicks and a colleague found that 36% of 1,500 USA Water Polo players recalled at least one concussion during their playing career.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on water polo injury risk and safety.

Kid's Sports Injuries: The Numbers are Impressive

Kid’s Sports Injuries: The Numbers are Impressive

Article Featured on Nationwide Children

The Numbers Are Impressive

The picture of youth sports in America is changing. Youth athletes often begin their competitive sports careers as early as age seven, with some youth participating in organized sports activities as early as age four, if not sooner. With an estimated 25 million scholastic, and another 20 million organized community-based youth programs in the United States, the opportunity for injury is enormous.

This is why sports injuries are the second leading cause of emergency room visits for children and adolescents, and the second leading cause of injuries in school. Approximately three million youth are seen in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries and another five million youth are seen by their primary care physician or a sports medicine clinic for injuries. These numbers leave out the injuries not seen by a physician.

What Does This Mean?

Physical activity is necessary for normal growth in children. However, when the activity level becomes too intense or too excessive in a short time period, tissue breakdown and injury can occur. These overuse injuries were frequently seen in adult recreational athletes, but are now being seen in children. The single biggest factor contributing to the dramatic increase in overuse injuries in young athletes is the focus on more intense, repetitive and specialized training at much younger ages.

Overuse injuries such as stress fractures, tendinitis, bursitis, apophysitis and osteochondral injuries of the joint surface were rarely seen when children spent more time engaging in free play. The following risk factors predispose young athletes to overuse injuries:

  1. Sport specialization at a young age
  2. Imbalance of strength or joint range of motion
  3. Anatomic malalignment
  4. Improper footwear
  5. Pre-existing condition
  6. Growth cartilage less resistant to repetitive microtrauma
  7. Intense, repetitive training during periods of growth

What Should Be Done?

Early recognition and treatment of injuries is critical in returning athletes to their sport safely and quickly. Any injury that involves obvious swelling, deformity, and/or loss of normal function (i.e. movement or strength) should be seen by a physician immediately. All other injuries that appear to be minor should resolve themselves within a few days. However, if it does not heal on it’s own, and your child is not back to full participation without pain, it is best to have him/her evaluated by a physician. Nagging injuries that go untreated can turn into chronic problems that require a much longer time away from the sport to allow the injury to heal properly.

If your child does get injured while playing sports, the best treatment plan is R.I.C.E:

Rest

  • Do not use the injured area until seen for further evaluation by a physician
  • If walking with a limp, have the athlete use crutches

Ice

  • Apply ice to the injured area to help decrease pain and swelling
  • Use ice 15 – 20 minutes at a time
  • Crushed/cubed ice or frozen peas/corn works best, avoid using chemical cold packs
  • Always ice for the first 48 – 72 hours after injury
  • Never sleep with ice on the injured area

Compression

  • Elastic wrap/compression sock should be used to reduce swelling
  • Apply wrap beginning below the injured area and wrapping upward
  • Always leave toes/fingers exposed
  • Watch for numbness, discoloration or temperature changes (loosen wrap if needed)
  • Do not sleep with wrap on the injured area

Elevation

  • Use gravity to control swelling
  • Prop injured area higher than the heart

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

ACL Injuries in Children and Adolescents

ACL Injuries in Children and Adolescents

Article Featured on Nationwide Children’s

It has been frequently emphasized that children are not simply “small adults.” Children and adults are different anatomically and physiologically in many ways. Knee injuries in children and adolescents frequently demonstrate these differences.

Read more

Ice or Heat: How to Treat Common Injuries

Original Article By John Donovan at WebMD

That sports-filled weekend was a big thrill. But now it’s over, and you’re feeling it.

Your back aches. Your ankle is sore. You can’t remember where you put the ibuprofen. After all that testosterone-filled fun, it’s time to take stock of your bumps and bruises. You need to see where you stand, physically. If you can stand at all, that is.

Should You See a Doctor? There are no set rules. But in general, see the doctor if:
  • Your injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness
  • You can’t tolerate any weight on the area
  • A longtime sore joint is weak
  • When to Treat It Yourself

If none of those apply, it’s probably OK to wait a little while. Do some self-treatment and see how you feel after a few days.

If you’re just sore, it will get better over time, says Kenneth Mautner, assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory University in Atlanta. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for your aches and pains.

Ice or Heat?
Most of the time, ice is for comfort rather than true treatment, says R. Amadeus Mason, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and family medicine at Emory.

Ice controls pain and closes your blood vessels to ease swelling. It can also limit bruising. Use it during the first 48 hours after you get hurt. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, then take it off for the same amount of time. Wrap a wet towel or cloth around it so it doesn’t sit right on your skin. A cold water bottle will do in a pinch.

Follow the RICE treatment to do it right:

  • R for rest
  • I for ice
  • C for compression (Wrap something like an elastic bandage around the injured area.)
  • E for elevation (Keep the injured part above your heart, or at least parallel to the ground.)

Don’t use heat for a new injury. It works best to loosen tight muscles and ease aching joints before a workout or game. It can also help with ongoing problems, like tennis elbow.

Wrap or Brace?

An elastic bandage puts pressure on the hurt area, which holds down swelling. That might help you feel better, says Matt Gammons, MD, first vice president for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Braces are mostly used for long-term problems like knee arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. But if you sprain an ankle, your doctor will put you in one. A brace that lets the joint move a little can help you heal faster.

Don’t use an elastic bandage or a neoprene brace to steady a shaky joint. “If you’re wrapping because your knee feels unstable, that’s not good,” Gammons says. You need a doctor to look at it.

When Can You Get Back Out There?

Rest the area for at least 48 hours. You should be good to go if the soreness disappears and there’s no injury or swelling you can see.

If you don’t give it some time off, that sore muscle or achy joint could turn into what doctors call an overuse injury.

We know these by clever names like tennis elbow, shin splints, and swimmer’s shoulder. You’ll need to see a doctor to get diagnosed and treated if you have problems with the same area time after time.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

What Is Tennis Elbow?

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Article Featured on WebMD

Doctors know the condition as lateral epicondylitis. The rest of us call it “tennis elbow.” The term has entered wide use, though only a small group of people diagnosed with tennis elbow actually get it from playing tennis.

Tennis elbow is a common injury that will usually heal with minor treatment, but you have to give it time and rest.

Where Is the Pain?

Tennis elbow is a pain focused on the outside of the arm, where your forearm meets your elbow.

It’s related to a muscle and tendons in your forearm. Tendons connect your muscles to your bones. When you constantly use your arm in a repetitive motion, the tendons at the elbow end of a certain muscle — the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle — may develop small tears.

The tears lead to inflammation and may put stress on the rest of your arm, making it painful to lift and grip things. Left untreated, it can become chronic (that’s medical-speak for “ongoing”).

Tennis elbow affects up to 3% of the population, particularly adults between 30 and 50 years of age. But less than 5% of cases are linked to tennis.

What Causes Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a classic repetitive stress injury caused by overuse. Any activity that strains the muscles around the elbow over and over again can cause it. There’s also a version golfers get called “golfer’s elbow.”

In tennis, hitting a backhand puts some stress on your forearm muscles, which repeatedly contract when you hit the ball. If you have poor technique or grip the racquet too tightly, that stress may increase in the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the elbow. The tendons may get small tears.

The more you do it — and tennis is a game of repeated strokes — the greater the chance for tennis elbow.

You can get it from other racquet sports, such as squash or racquetball. You can also get it from jobs or activities that involve repetitive arm motion, such as:

  • Tree-cutting (repetitive use of a chain saw)
  • Painting
  • Carpentry
  • Playing some types of musical instruments

Butchers, cooks, and assembly-line workers are among the groups that get it often.

Golfer’s elbow differs from tennis elbow in that the pain is focused on the inside of the elbow. But the causes are similar: tendon tears caused by repetitive movement, whether it’s a golf swing, lifting weights, or simply shaking hands.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of tennis elbow is an ache on the outside of the elbow. Over time — from a few weeks to a few months — the ache turns into a chronic pain. The outside of your elbow may become too painful to touch.

Eventually, you may find it harder or more painful to grip or lift things. Sometimes tennis elbow affects both arms.

Treatment

Your doctor may ask you to do some simple actions to see whether you have tennis elbow. These include straightening your wrist against pressure and checking for pain in parts of your arm. He may also order an MRI scan for you.

Tennis elbow can usually be treated with exercise, physical therapy, and medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin. Talk to your doctor if you have ongoing pain and think you may need to take pain relievers for an extended time.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions ó such as sports injuries and fractures ó to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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How to Treat a Crick in the Neck

Article Found on MedicalNewsToday

A crick in the neck makes the neck feel stiff and less mobile than usual. Some people report that a crick also feels like something in the neck needs to pop into place.

A crick in the neck can be temporary or chronic. It is often painless but may be connected to the chronic neck or shoulder pain.

In this article, we look at what causes a crick in the neck, as well as what treatment options are available. Read more

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The Difference Between Sprains and Strains

Article by Elizabeth Quinn | Found on VeryWellFit

Sprains and strains, while sometimes used interchangeably, are not the same thing. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, the tough, fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bone. Ligament injuries involve a stretching or a tearing of this tissue.

A strain, on the other hand, is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon, the tissue that connects muscles to bones.

Depending on the severity of the injury, a strain may be a simple overstretch of the muscle or tendon, or it can result in a partial or complete tear.

Sprains

A sprain typically occurs when people fall and land on an outstretched arm, slide into base, land on the side of their foot, or twist a knee with the foot planted firmly on the ground. This results in an overstretch or tear of the ligament(s) supporting that joint.

Common types of strains include:

  • Ankle SprainsThe ankle is one of the most common injuries in professional and recreational sports and activities. Most ankle sprains happen when the foot abruptly turns inward (inversion) or outward (eversion) as an athlete runs, turns, falls, or lands after a jump. One or more of the lateral ligaments are injured.
  • Wrist SprainsWrists are often sprained after a fall in which the athlete lands on an outstretched hand.

Signs and Symptoms

The usual signs and symptoms of a muscle sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, and the loss of functional ability (the ability to move and use the joint).

Sometimes people feel a pop or tear when the injury happens. However, these signs and symptoms can vary in intensity, depending on the severity of the sprain.

Sprain Severity Scale

  • Grade I Sprain: A grade I (mild) sprain causes overstretching or slight tearing of the ligaments with no joint instability. A person with a mild sprain usually experiences minimal pain, swelling, and little or no loss of functional ability. Bruising is absent or slight, and the person is usually able to put weight on the affected joint.
  • Grade II Sprain: A grade II (moderate) sprain causes partial tearing of the ligament and is characterized by bruising, moderate pain, and swelling. A person with a moderate sprain usually has some difficulty putting weight on the affected joint and experiences some loss of function. An x-ray or MRI may be needed.
  • Grade III Sprain: A grade III (severe) sprain results in a complete tear or ruptures a ligament. Pain, swelling, and bruising are usually severe, and the patient is unable to put weight on the joint. An x-ray is usually taken to rule out a broken bone. This type of a muscle sprain often requires immobilization and possibly surgery. It can also increase the risk of an athlete having future muscles sprains in that area.

When diagnosing any sprain, the doctor will ask the patient to explain how the injury happened. The doctor will examine the affected joint, check its stability and its ability to move and bear weight.

Strains

A strain is caused by twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon. Strains can be acute or chronic. An acute strain is caused by trauma or an injury such as a blow to the body; it can also be caused by improperly lifting heavy objects or over-stressing the muscles.

Chronic strains are usually the result of overuse—prolonged, repetitive movement of the muscles and tendons.

Common types of strains include:

Contact sports such as soccer, football, hockey, boxing, and wrestling put people at risk for strains. Gymnastics, tennis, rowing, golf and other sports that require extensive gripping can increase the risk of hand and forearm strains. Elbow strains sometimes occur in people who participate in racket sports, throwing, and contact sports.

Two common elbow strains include:

Signs and Symptoms

Typically, people with a strain experience pain, muscle spasm and muscle weakness. They can also have localized swelling, cramping, or inflammation and, with a more severe strain, some loss of muscle function. Patients typically have pain in the injured area and general weakness of the muscle when they attempt to move it. Severe strains that partially or completely tear the muscle or tendon are often very painful and disabling.

Strain Severity

Strains are categorized in a similar manner to sprains:

  • Grade I Strain: This is a mild strain and only some muscle fibers have been damaged. Healing occurs within two to three weeks.
  • Grade II Strain: This is a moderate strain with more extensive damage to muscle fibers, but the muscle is not completely ruptured. Healing occurs within three to six weeks.
  • Grade III Strain: This is a severe injury with a complete rupture of a muscle. This typically requires a surgical repair of the muscle; the healing period can be up to three months.

When To See a Doctor for a Sprain or Strain

  • You have severe pain and cannot put any weight on the injured joint.
  • The area over the injured joint or next to it is very tender when you touch it.
  • The injured area looks crooked or has lumps and bumps that you do not see on the uninjured joint.
  • You cannot move the injured joint.
  • You cannot walk more than four steps without significant pain.
  • Your limb buckles or gives way when you try to use the joint.
  • You have numbness in any part of the injured area.
  • You see redness or red streaks spreading out from the injury.
  • You injure an area that has been injured several times before.
  • You have pain, swelling, or redness over a bony part of your foot.

Treatment

The treatment of muscle sprains and strains has two main goals. The first goal is to reduce swelling and pain; the second is to speed recovery and rehabilitation.

To reduce swelling it is recommended to follow use R.I.C.E. therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) for the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury.

An OTC (or prescription) anti-inflammatory medication may also help decrease pain and inflammation.

R.I.C.E. Therapy

Rest: Reduce regular exercise or other activities as much as you can. Your doctor may advise you to put no weight on an injured area for 48 hours. If you cannot put weight on an ankle or knee, crutches may help. If you use a cane or one crutch for an ankle injury, use it on the uninjured side to help you lean away and relieve weight on the injured ankle.

IceApply an ice pack to the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day. A cold pack, ice bag, or plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel can be used. To avoid cold injury and frostbite, do not apply the ice for more than 20 minutes.

Compression: Compression of an injured ankle, knee, or wrist may help reduce swelling. Examples of compression bandages are elastic wraps, special boots, air casts, and splints. Ask your doctor for advice on which one to use.

Elevation: If possible, keep the injured ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist elevated on a pillow, above the level of the heart, to help decrease swelling.

Rehabilitation

The second stage of treating a sprain or strain is rehabilitation to restore normal function. When the pain and swelling are reduced you can generally begin gentle exercise. A custom program is often created by a physical therapist that prevents stiffness, improves range of motion, improves flexibility and builds strength. Depending on the type of injury you have, you may go to physical therapy for several weeks, or do the exercises at home.

People with an ankle sprain may start with range of motion exercises, such as writing the alphabet in the air with the big toe. An athlete with an injured knee or foot will work on weight-bearing and balancing exercises. The length of this stage depends on the extent of the injury, but it is often several weeks.

Rebuilding strength is a slow and gradual process, and only when done correctly can the athlete consider returning to sports. It’s tempting to resume full activity despite pain or muscle soreness, but returning to full activity soon increases the chance of re-injury and may lead to a chronic problem.

The amount of rehabilitation and the time needed for full recovery after a muscle sprain or strain depend on the severity of the injury and individual rates of healing. A moderate ankle sprain may require three to six weeks of rehabilitation and severe sprain can take eight to 12 months to rehab completely and avoid re-injury. Patience and learning to cope with an injury is essential to recovery.

Preventing Sprains and Strains

There are many things athletes can do to help lower their risk of muscle sprains and strains. Start by reviewing these 10 tips for safe workouts.

  • Perform balance and proprioception exercises.
  • Practice rehabilitation exercises.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly.
  • Replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread wears out or the heel wears down on one side.
  • Ease into any fitness routine and get into proper physical condition to play a sport.
  • Warm up before participating in any sports or exercise.
  • Wear protective equipment when playing.
  • Avoid exercising or playing sports when tired or in pain.
  • Run on even surfaces.

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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What are the Main Functions of the Muscular System?

By Lana Burgess | Found on MedicalNewsToday

The muscular system consists of various types of muscle that each play a crucial role in the function of the body.

Muscles allow a person to move, speak, and chew. They control heartbeat, breathing, and digestion. Other seemingly unrelated functions, including temperature regulation and vision, also rely on the muscular system.

Keep reading to discover much more about the muscular system and how it controls the body.

How the muscular system works

The muscular system contains more than 600muscles that work together to enable the full functioning of the body.

There are 3 types of muscles in the body:

Skeletal muscle

Skeletal muscles are the only muscles that can be consciously controlled. They are attached to bones, and contracting the muscles causes movement of those bones.

Any action that a person consciously undertakes involves the use of skeletal muscles. Examples of such activities include running, chewing, and writing.

Smooth muscle

Smooth muscle lines the inside of blood vessels and organs, such as the stomach, and is also known as visceral muscle.

It is the weakest type of muscle but has an essential role in moving food along the digestive tract and maintaining blood circulation through the blood vessels.

Smooth muscle acts involuntarily and cannot be consciously controlled.

Cardiac muscle

Located only in the heart, cardiac muscle pumps blood around the body. Cardiac muscle stimulates its own contractions that form our heartbeat. Signals from the nervous system control the rate of contraction. This type of muscle is strong and acts involuntarily.

Eleven main functions of the muscular system

The main functions of the muscular system are as follows:

1. Mobility

The muscular system’s main function is to allow movement. When muscles contract, they contribute to gross and fine movement.

Gross movement refers to large, coordinated motions and includes:

  • walking
  • running
  • swimming

Fine movement involves smaller movements, such as:

  • writing
  • speaking
  • facial expressions

The smaller skeletal muscles are usually responsible for this type of action.

Most muscle movement of the body is under conscious control. However, some movements are reflexive, such as withdrawing a hand from a source of heat.

2. Stability

Muscle tendons stretch over joints and contribute to joint stability. Muscle tendons in the knee joint and the shoulder joint are crucial in stabilization.

The core muscles are those in the abdomen, back, and pelvis, and they also stabilize the body and assist in tasks, such as lifting weights.

3. Posture

Skeletal muscles help keep the body in the correct position when someone is sitting or standing. This is known as posture.

Good posture relies on strong, flexible muscles. Stiff, weak, or tight muscles contribute to poor posture and misalignment of the body.

Long-term, bad posture leads to joint and muscle pain in the shoulders, back, neck, and elsewhere.

4. Circulation

The heart is a muscle that pumps blood throughout the body. The movement of the heart is outside of conscious control, and it contracts automatically when stimulated by electrical signals.

Smooth muscle in the arteries and veins plays a further role in the circulation of blood around the body. These muscles maintain blood pressure and circulation in the event of blood loss or dehydration.

They expand to increase blood flow during times of intense exercise when the body requires more oxygen.

5. Respiration

Breathing involves the use of the diaphragm muscle.

The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle located below the lungs. When the diaphragm contracts, it pushes downward, causing the chest cavity to get bigger. The lungs then fill with air. When the diaphragm muscle relaxes, it pushes air out of the lungs.

When someone wants to breath more deeply, it requires help from other muscles, including those in the abdomen, back, and neck.

6. Digestion

Smooth muscles in the gastrointestinal or GI tract control digestion. The GI tract stretches from the mouth to the anus.

Food moves through the digestive system with a wave-like motion called peristalsis. Muscles in the walls of the hollow organs contract and relax to cause this movement, which pushes food through the esophagus into the stomach.

The upper muscle in the stomach relaxes to allow food to enter, while the lower muscles mix food particles with stomach acid and enzymes.

The digested food moves from the stomach to the intestines by peristalsis. From here, more muscles contract to pass the food out of the body as stool.

7. Urination

The urinary system comprises both smooth and skeletal muscles, including those in the:

  • bladder
  • kidneys
  • penis or vagina
  • prostate
  • ureters
  • urethra

The muscles and nerves must work together to hold and release urine from the bladder.

Urinary problems, such as poor bladder control or retention of urine, are caused by damage to the nerves that carry signals to the muscles.

8. Childbirth

Smooth muscles in the uterus expand and contract during childbirth. These movements push the baby through the vagina. Also, the pelvic floor muscles help to guide the baby’s head down the birth canal.

9. Vision

Six skeletal muscles around the eye control its movements. These muscles work quickly and precisely, and allow the eye to:

  • maintain a stable image
  • scan the surrounding area
  • track moving objects

If someone experiences damage to their eye muscles, it can impair their vision.

10. Organ protection

Muscles in the torso protect the internal organs at the front, sides, and back of the body. The bones of the spine and the ribs provide further protection.

Muscles also protect the bones and organs by absorbing shock and reducing friction in the joints.

11. Temperature regulation

Maintaining normal body temperature is an important function of the muscular system. Almost 85 percent of the heat a person generates in their body comes from contracting muscles.

When body heat falls below optimal levels, the skeletal muscles increase their activity to make heat. Shivering is one example of this mechanism. Muscles in the blood vessels also contract to maintain body heat.

Body temperature can be brought back within normal range through the relaxation of smooth muscle in the blood vessels. This action increases blood flow and releases excess heat through the skin.

Five fun facts about the muscular system

  1. Muscles make up approximately 40 percent of total weight.
  2. The heart is the hardest-working muscle in the body. It pumps 5 quarts of blood per minute and 2,000 gallons daily.
  3. The gluteus maximus is the body’s largest muscle. It is in the buttocks and helps humans maintain an upright posture.
  4. The ear contains the smallest muscles in the body alongside the smallest bones. These muscles hold the inner ear together and are connected to the eardrum.
  5. A muscle called the masseter in the jaw is the strongest muscle by weight. It allows the teeth to close with a force of up to 55 pounds on the incisors or 200 pounds on the molars.

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions ó such as sports injuries and fractures ó to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

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7 Ways to Cope With the Emotional Stress of an Injury

Article by Elizabeth Quinn | Found on VeryWell

Coping with the stress of an injury requires both physical and psychological resilience. Sports injury recovery typically focuses on physical rehab, but it’s also important to include sports psychology techniques to help recover mentally and emotionally.

Athletes react to injuries with a wide range of emotions which may include denial, anger, sadness, and even depression.

An injury often seems unfair to anyone who has been physically active and otherwise healthy. Although these feelings are real, it’s important to move beyond the negative and find more positive strategies to cope with this setback. In many cases dealing gracefully with an injury helps an athlete become more focused, flexible, and resilient.

Here are some sports psychology strategies you can use for faster injury recovery.

1. Learn About Your Injury

The more you know about the cause, treatment, and prevention of your injury, the less it can cause fear or anxiety. Learn how to talk to your doctor.

Ask the following questions of your doctor, trainer, coach or therapist until you know exactly what you can do to heal quickly and fully.

  • What is my diagnosis (what type of injury do I have)?
  • How long will recovery take?
  • What is the purpose of the treatments I am receiving?
  • What should I expect during rehab?
  • What alternative workouts can I safely do?
  • What are the warning signs that I am getting worse?

By understanding the injury and knowing what to expect during the rehabilitation process, you will feel less anxiety and a greater sense of control.

2. Accept Responsibility for Your Injury

This is not to say that the injury is your fault.

What this means is that your mindset needs to change. Instead of focusing on performance, you need to accept that now you have an injury and you are the only one that can fully determine your outcome.

By taking responsibility for your recovery process, you will find a greater sense of control and will quickly progress in recovery, rather than pushing yourself to perform at your pre-injury level.

3. Maintain a Positive Attitude

To heal quickly you need to be committed to overcoming your injury by showing up for your treatments, and listening and doing what your doctor and/or athletic trainer recommend. You also need to monitor your self-talk—what you are thinking and saying to yourself regarding the injury and the rehab process.

Your self-talk is important. To get the most out of your daily rehab, you need to work hard and maintain a positive attitude. Remain focused on what you need to do, not what you are missing out on.

4. Use the Mind to Heal the Body

Growing research shows that it may be possible to speed up the healing process by using specific mental skills and techniques such as imagery and self-hypnosis. Imagery techniques use all of the senses to create mental images, feelings, and sensations related to a desired outcome as though it is happening now or has already happened.

5. Get Support

A common response after an injury is to isolate yourself from teammates, coaches, and friends. It’s important to maintain contact with others as you recover. Your teammates, friends, and coach can listen when you need to vent or can offer advice or encouragement during the rehab process.

Just knowing you don’t have to face the injury alone can also be a tremendous comfort. So, go to practice; remain around the locker room and the weight room. Be visible by being an active member of the group.

6. Set Appropriate Goals

Just because you are injured doesn’t mean you stop planning or setting goals.

Rather than viewing the injury as a crisis, make it another training challenge. Your goals will now focus on recovery rather than performance. This will help keep you motivated.

By monitoring your goals you will also be able to notice small improvements in the rehab of your injury. You will feel more confident that you are getting better and improving.

Remember to work closely with your therapist or doctor. They can help you set realistic goals that are in line with each stage of your rehab. Most athletes have a tendency to try to speed up the recovery by doing too much too soon. It is important to accept that you are injured and know your limits.

7. Maintain Your Fitness While Injured

Depending upon the type of injury you have, you may be able to modify your training or add alternate forms of training to maintain cardiovascular conditioning or strength. Work with your trainer, therapist, or physician to establish a good alternative workout program. If you can’t run, perhaps you can cycle or swim.

Work on relaxation training and flexibility, as well. Create a modified strength training program, do a limited amount of exercise to maintain cardiovascular fitness or focus on better nutritional health.

With the right knowledge, support and patience an injury can be overcome without turning your whole world upside down. By taking things slow, setting realistic goals, and maintaining a positive, focused approach, most athletes can overcome minor injuries quickly and major injuries in time. Make sure you see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for any injury.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area. New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more. If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.

nmo orthopaedics

How Much Exercise Is Enough?

Article by Barbara Robb | Found on Everyday Health

How much exercise is enough? Short answer: It depends.

“How much exercise is enough for what?” asks David Bassett Jr., PhD, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He explains that, before you make a decision on how much you need, you should have a good idea of your exercise goal or goals: Are you exercising for physical fitness, weight control, or as a way of keeping your stress levels low?

For general health benefits, a routine of daily walking may be sufficient, says Susan Joy, MD, co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Sports Medicine Center in Sacramento and team physician for the Sacramento Kings.

If your goal is more specific — say, to lower your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular fitness, or lose weight — you’ll need either more frequent exercise or a higher intensity of exercise.

“The medical literature continues to support the idea that exercise is medicine,” saysJeffrey E. Oken, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with the Marianjoy Medical Group in Wheaton, Illinois. “Regular exercise can help lower risk of premature death, control your blood pressure, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, combat obesity, improve your lung function, and help treat depression.”

Here, experts break down exactly how much exercise is enough, on the basis of your personal health and fitness goals.

Current Physical Fitness Guidelines for All Adults

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone needs two types of physical activity each week:  aerobics and muscle-strengthening activities. (1)

Aerobic activity involves repetitive use of the large muscles to temporarily increase heart rate and respiration. When repeated regularly, aerobic activity improves cardio-respiratory fitness. Running, brisk walking, swimming, and cycling are all forms of aerobic activity.

Muscle-strengthening activities are designed to work one or more muscle groups. All the major muscle groups — legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms — should be worked on two or more days each week, according to federal guidelines. Lifting weights, working with resistance bands, and doing pushups are all are forms of muscle-strengthening activities, according to the CDC.

Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities. If activity is more vigorous in intensity, 75 minutes a week may be enough. For even greater health benefits, though, more activity is better: 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a mix of the two, says the CDC.

It’s best to be active throughout the week, rather than concentrating all your physical activity in one day. That means aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, five days a week. You can break it up into even smaller chunks, too: three brief periods of physical activity a day, for example. In order for it to be effective in improving health and fitness, the CDC says you need to sustain the activity for at least 10 minutes at a time.

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Lose Weight or Maintain Weight Loss?

Research consistently shows that, to lose weight, integrating exercise into your routine helps. For example, in one study published in the journal Obesity, women who both dieted and exercised lost more weight than those who only dieted. (2)

If you’re trying to control your weight through exercise, however, the general activity guidelines provided by the CDC might not be sufficient; you’re likely going to need to devote some extra time to exercise.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 150 to 250 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity yields only modest weight-loss results, and to lose a significant amount of weight, you may need to perform moderate-intensity exercise more than 250 minutes per week (in addition to dietary intervention). (3) So how much exercise do you need in a day? That equates to about one hour, five days per week.

Meanwhile, the CDC suggests that, if you increase your intensity, you can reap similar weight-control benefits in about half the time. For example, in one study published in January 2017 in the Journal of Diabetes Research, women who performed high-intensity interval exercise lost the same amount of weight and body fat compared with those who performed moderate-intensity cardio, but they did it while exercising for significantly less time. (4)

It’s important to remember that once you hit your weight-loss goals, you need to continue exercising to make sure you don’t regain the weight. A study published in August 2015 in the Journal of Primary Prevention that analyzed data from 81 studies investigating the role of exercise in weight management found that one of the biggest ways exercise helps with weight management is by preventing weight gain (perhaps even more than it helps you lose weight). (5)

The ACSM recommends performing more than 250 minutes of exercise per week to prevent weight regain.

To both lose weight and prevent weight regain, the ACSM recommends performing strength-training exercises to increase the body’s levels of fat-free mass, which improves metabolic rate. That’s why, when Harvard researchers followed 10,500 men over the course of 12 years, those who performed 20 minutes of strength training per day gained less abdominal fat compared with those who spent the same amount of time performing cardiovascular exercise, according to data published in the February 2015 issue of the journal Obesity. (6)

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Improve Cardiovascular Health?

Fortunately for anyone trying to improve their heart health, a little bit of exercise goes a long way.

For overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends performing at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days per week. (7) Other research shows that aerobic exercise is the most efficient form of exercise for improving measures of cardiometabolic health, including insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and blood pressure. (8)

AHA recommends performing strengthening activities at least two days per week to help preserve and build lean muscle.

However, if you are actively trying to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol levels, the AHA advises upping your exercise time and intensity to an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-cardiovascular activity three to four times per week. Before engaging in high-intensity exercise, especially if you have a history of heart issues, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what intensity of exercise is safe for you, Dr. Oken says.

And, again, remember that it’s okay to work up to your target exercise levels. No matter what your goals are, some exercise is always going to be more beneficial than none. Small steps sometimes lead to the biggest gains.


New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area. New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more. If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.