11 Most Common Sports Injuries



As evidenced by the fact that Super Bowl 50 was watched by almost 112 million people (not counting out-of-home watchers, like those in sports bars), one of the largest turnouts in TV history, sports are one of America’s favorite trends. Unfortunately, with sports being so popular, injuries are a consequence. All too often we see our favorite players being temporarily sidelined with a concussion or a painful knee injury. What are the most common injuries and how do they occur?


Hip Flexor Strain


The hip flexor is a group of muscles in the upper leg and hip that help pull the leg upwards. Injuries occur when the muscles are stretched too far or are torn. Usually these muscles are strained when the muscles are stiff, weak, or haven’t been warmed up. Sports like football and soccer are susceptible to a hip flexor strain because of sudden movements upwards or changes in direction.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear


While not exactly the most common injury in sports, it is certainly one of the most severe and career-impacting. This ligament connects the leg bone to the knee, so if this were to tear, your leg would be rendered useless, unable to carry weight without extreme pain and the threat of causing more damage. Suddenly stopping or changing direction can cause a strain or tear of the ACL, but being hit, usually forcing the knee in an unnatural direction, can cause a tear. Probably the most famous ACL injury is that of the NFL’s Washington Redskins Joe Theismann when an opponent, Lawrence Taylor, fell into his knee and forced it inwards.




A concussion is a brain injury that results from a hit to the head. The brain “floats” in a clear fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which acts as a buffer in big hits. However, it cannot completely restrain the brain, so when the brain hits the walls of the skull, a concussion occurs. Concussions can take two weeks to a month to heal completely. Hockey is a notorious sport for its level of concussions. A recently discovered disease that results from numerous concussions is called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Such hockey players as Steve Montador and NFL players Junior Seau and Mike Webster died of CTE.


Ankle Sprain


Any sport where one jumps or changes direction suddenly is prone to an ankle sprain, which can appear if one rolls or twists the ankle. The ligaments, usually on the outside of the ankle, stretch or tear and can heal with rest and ice.




Sciatica is a term for injury toward the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, down the legs, and into the feet—the longest nerve in the human body. Most commonly caused by improperly stretching it can also occur for runners who have legs that are not the same length. Sciatica also encompasses back spasms and bulging or herniated discs. This injury is more likely to be seen in running cycling, golf, and tennis.


Hamstring Strain


Three muscles behind the knee make up what is the hamstring, which is often “pulled,” or stretched too far. Actions where one may overuse the hamstring muscle, such as hurdling or leaning forward while waterskiing, can result in a strain or tear. A lack of flexibility or not warming up is a big contributor to injury. One should rest when they are tired because the mechanisms that protect the muscles cease to work when the muscles are fatigued.


Groin Pull


Used to help pull the legs together, the groin muscles can be found in the in the inner thigh. Moving from side to side frequently, like football, soccer, or hockey, can result in groin pulls.


Shin Splint


Shin splints are likely to occur in people with flat feet, dancers, or those who play sports where one stops and starts suddenly: tennis, soccer, basketball, to name a few. A shin splint is characterized by a shooting pain down the leg, and generally just takes a bit of rest to return to normal. However, if the pain persists, there could be more problems that a sports medicine professional needs to see.


Tennis Elbow


Also known as golf elbow, tennis elbow makes up almost seven percent of all sports injuries. Tennis elbow, scientifically called epicondylitis, is an injury of many little tears in the elbow ligaments that come from repeated use of it.


Shoulder Injuries


Shoulder injuries, like dislocations, strains, and sprains, make up nearly twenty percent of all sports injuries. They only occur by over usage with overhead movement, which is the case for many sports. Strength-building exercises during the offseason are the best way to keep the shoulders healthy.


Patellofemoral Syndrome
While the name is not a common vocabulary word, it is the proper term for an injury where the kneecap repeatedly grates against the leg bone, which wears down the ligaments that are supposed to keep them from contacting one another. This is the most common of the knee injuries, which make up over fifty percent of sports injuries. Basketball is one of the more common sports for this injury, but it can also occur in football, volleyball, cycling, and even swimming. It is recommended that one wears proper shoes and runs on softer surfaces, like tracks rather than concrete.


While many sports are prone to these injuries, it does not mean the sport is inherently dangerous. With proper equipment, and care for the body, these injuries can be avoided. Sometimes accidents happen though, and that’s why it’s very important to know the sports medicine experts in your community if you are going to play sports.

Everything You Need to Know About In Vitro Fertilization


In Vitro Fertilization can be a scary undertaking for many couples, but with the information below, I hope it becomes a little less daunting. In Vitro Fertilization has helped thousands of couples across the world have successful pregnancies, when they may not otherwise have. I hope this information will help you in your IVF journey!

Who Needs IVF

There are many types of fertility treatments available, and IVF is usually one of the last options on the list, usually reserved for women who suffer from blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, or men who suffer from sperm infertility. There are many other reasons couples may choose IVF treatment, and one of the larger demographics of those seeking IVF are older women with age-related infertility. While this may be successful for some women, age has proven to be a significant determining factor in the success of IVF, with women over 40 experiencing sharp declines in success rates of IVF.

Success Rates

While there are many factors that contribute to the success or failure of In Vitro Fertilization, studies have shown that the overall average success rate is around 30%. These studies show time and again that the biggest factor in determining the success of IVF is the age of the woman. In 2003, 37% of the cycles begun to women under 35 resulted in live births, with only an 11% success rate for women between the ages of 41 and 42. Some studies have indicated that babies born through IVF are more likely to have low birth weights and major birth defects, even though the overall chance of that happening is low. Despite this, there is no denying the joy IVF has brought to hundreds of thousands of people who may have never had a chance without IVF.

The IVF Process

Before and during the IVF process, your fertility specialist will be monitoring your ovaries and the timing of the egg release, to ensure your ovaries are producing eggs and your hormone levels are normal. You may be asked to take fertility medicines or hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce the eggs. The more eggs you can produce, the higher the chance you will get pregnant.

After this, you will move on to the egg retrieval stage. You will be given pain medication to relieve any discomfort, then a tiny needle will be passed through the upper vaginal wall to remove fluid from the follicles. Immediately after aspiration of the follicle, the egg is isolated and placed in a culture dish containing nutrient rich media, where it will be transferred to an incubator.

Next is the fertilization stage. A sperm sample will be gathered and the most active sperm is mixed with the egg in a special chamber, where it will be monitored to make sure that a healthy embryo develops.

The final step is the embryo transfer. First, the embryos are examined to determine the healthiest ones for transfer. To transfer, a speculum is placed into your vagina and the embryos are transferred via a small plastic tube placed through the cervix into the uterine cavity. After this stage, bed rest is often prescribed for around 24 hours.

For more detailed information on the IVF process, this Phoenix IVF clinic has a terrific guide to In Vitro Fertilization.


As you can see, there is a lot that goes into In Vitro Fertilization, but I believe the best advice anyone could give you is to be persistent in your journey. I hope this information has helped anyone seeking information on IVF!

Selecting The Correct Physician For Spine Surgery

Choosing the right surgeon to conduct spine surgery is one task that one should not undergo haphazardly.  This type of surgery is only necessary in certain cases; there are many options besides going under the knife. Therefore, it is vital to understand fully all options available. Often there are conservative alternatives to a surgical procedure. Also,it is always wise to get a second or third opinion before settling on the surgical option.

Once the decision is made, the selection of a surgeon begins. Often, both orthopedic surgeons and neurological surgeons can perform this surgery. Many doctors choose a specialty, so look for one that specializes in spinal conditions. Neurosurgeons often deal with spinal conditions that have developed over time, while orthopedic surgeons treat disorders such as scoliosis. However, both may have received special training to perform certain types of surgery, so it is important to discover what type of surgeries the doctor performs and how much training they have had in regards to certain spinal conditions.

Another factor is how much spine surgery the doctor performs. A doctor who deals with spinal surgery only occasionally might not bet the best fit in comparison to one who spends more than fifty percent of their time performing these surgeries. The doctor should also be board certified in spinal surgery.

Be sure to ask a lot of questions about the surgery and possible alternatives. If the physician refuses to consider options or does not agree with the idea of getting a second opinion, think twice before moving forward. A doctor should not use high-pressure tactics or try to scare someone into having this delicate surgery. Find out what will happen if the condition is not treated and also the long-term effects of surgery, such as further physical problems or the possibility of a second or third surgery in the future.

It could be helpful to ask other patients their opinion of the doctor, and not patients that are referred by the office staff. Find out how their surgery went, if their questions were answered fully, and if they felt comfortable with the doctor and the staff. Trust intuitions; misgivings should not be ignored. A doctor who refuses to answer questions or gives vague answers may not be the best choice.

It is okay to ask who will be assisting the doctor during the surgery. This issue is especially important if students will be helping, as some patients are not comfortable with this idea.  Make sure whoever is assisting is also qualified to perform this type of surgery. A patient should also find out about any side effects of the surgery, possible complications and risks, and what the course of action is if another problem is discovered during the procedure.

Also, ask about what will happen in the days and weeks after surgery. It is useful to know how long the hospital stay will be, if additional help at home will be needed, and how long until normal activities can be resumed. Patients who are working will want this information to arrange time off until a return to work is possible.

After your surgery, make sure you are aware of the proper procedures that you will need to follow. Dr. Irby has a great list of post op. instructions that may help you recover quicker.

Spinal health is an important part of the quality of life. Do not undergo a procedure without being comfortable with the doctor, the process, and potential long-term effects. Freedom from pain is a desirable goal but do ensure that everything possible has been done to make the procedure go smoothly and result in a complete recovery.

Going To The Dentist Doesn’t Have To Be Scary For Your Child

kid at dentist holding hand

When it’s time for your child to go to your local Richmond VA family dentist for the first time, it can be a daunting task to convince them that their experience won’t be a negative one. A parent whose child is afraid needs to be able to explain the ins and outs of the first visit along with finding other ways to make the child more comfortable about the situation.

Knowing that most children can be apprehensive about the mention of having to do something they’ve never experienced before, the best way to bring calm to their minds is to create familiarity, comfort, and safety as a way to be more convincing.

If this is your situation, here are some ways to let your child know that going to the dentist doesn’t have to be scary.


Creating a Familiar Experience

Long before it’s time for your child to have his first experience, it is good to have him already be familiar with the idea of going to a family dentistry. Your own visits to the dentist will help, granted that you take your child with you. Usually, when you’ve been a patron of the same family dentistry for a number of years, they know you well enough to let your child take a tour.

Let him take a look at the tools while the dentist explains what they are used for. Have a brief talk with the dentist’s assistant about what his/her job entails. In some cases, the dentist will actually allow your child to sit with you while you have your teeth cleaned or other procedure.

Once he’s seen that you came out safe and sound, he will be more comfortable with the thought of having his first visit. Your local family dentistry won’t be seen as a house of horror to your young one.


father comforting child

Provide a Sense of Comfort

When our children are comfortable, we are comfortable because there’s no thought of being fearful. Since most waiting rooms are kept quiet, it’s always a good idea to bring along your child’s favorite book, or a coloring book and crayons to keep him occupied until it’s his turn to see the dentist.


Ensure Your Child that You Will Be There

Unless it’s major surgery in the OR, there is no such thing as not being able to sit with your child in a doctor’s office. So if you are told that you are not allowed inside or that you cannot at least stand in the doorway, it’s time to find another dentist.

Situations like seeing the cosmetic dentist are a bit different, because you’ll be seeing a specialist. However, it is best to make your request known ahead of time if your child needs surgery that you will need to be close by.

A cosmetic dentist with the right attitude will discuss the rules with you, and will find ways to help you. Sometimes, a little research is necessary to find a dentist who can work with parent and child alike.


Being a Parent

As our children grow up, there will be many more times when we need to help them through fearful situations. Using the three concepts above will obviously call for various actions depending on the scenario, but the idea is the same.

We, the parents, have the responsibility of assuring our children that we can help them, we care about their feelings, and that we will definitely be there for them no matter what.

Helping Your Picky Eater Stay Healthy

Kid’s Lunch Ideas

As parents, we are acutely aware of the need for our children to have healthful diets. Other than deciding whether to breastfeed or formula feed, it’s generally pretty simple to feed babies. Once they’re old enough for solids, however, things get a little trickier. Some toddlers eat a reasonably varied diet, but many children seem to live on air. It can be incredibly frustrating to try keeping up with constantly changing likes and dislikes. Still, there’s a certain level of comforting control over what they eat while they are at home.

Once children enter preschool, everything changes. Favorite foods may be snubbed at the same time that the kids start demanding previously disliked choices. There’s really no guarantee that your lovingly prepared meals will be eaten, but there ARE things you can do to tip the balance in your favor.

Peer Pressure

Peer influence can be a major factor in your child’s eating habits. Most children will conform to one degree or another, so serving extremely unusual foods may not be successful. Foods that seem
familiar to the other preschool students may be eaten more readily than something perceived as “weird”. For example, very few of the kids will notice if students from religious Jewish or Muslim families can bring sliced up beef or chicken hot dogs instead of pork. Likewise, a child raised in a vegetarian household can bring a tofu or gluten based hot dog.

Easy and Fast to Eat

Preschool snack and lunch breaks are relatively short, so send food that can be eaten quickly. Many kids find it easier to drink when feeling rushed, so consider making a homemade smoothie with powdered milk or nut butter (if permitted) to add an extra hit of protein. You can find reusable pouch style containers or straw style sippy cups to safely pack them. If you plan to freeze them, make sure to leave headspace for the smoothie to safely expand.

If your preschool aged child prefers food that he can chew, consider the texture of what you send. Pack unsweetened applesauce, 100% fruit leather or sliced apples instead of whole apples to make it easier for your kids to finish eating before they run out of time. Other foods that are difficult to eat in a hurry include raw carrots, chewy bagels and foods that require assembly, such as mini pizzas.

A food that is irresistible when served piping hot at the dinner table may not appeal if leftovers are served at room temperature. Likewise, sliced cheese and puddings will not be appetizing if they get warm and mushy through the day. Spending money on durable insulated containers and ice packs permit you to pack homemade food safely and will last your children through preschool until college, if they’re not lost.


As childhood allergies become more serious, banning peanuts and tree nuts in the preschool setting is becoming more common. For children with limited diets, losing staple foods can be distressing to both the child and his parents. Fortunately, there are now many options that may be acceptable substitutes. Sunflower seed butter and soy “nut” butter are two of the more easily located choices. Refried beans and hummus are two other protein rich spreads that many children enjoy.

Pack a Treat

Including treats in your children’s preschool lunchbox is another way to keep their attention. You may find that he eats the package of fruit “snacks” or chocolate kiss first, but if the portion is limited, he will then move on to the rest of the meal. Homemade popcorn, soft pretzels or muffins are always fun, too. Preparing the food at home lets you control what goes into them.

There is no reason that you can’t send food to preschool and be confident that he actually eats it. Choosing the right foods and appropriate storage makes all the difference in the world!

Benefits of Assisted Living and In-Home Care

For many people, the term “assisted living” brings to mind a sort of dormitory for elderly people. In a hospital-like setting, nurses tend to seniors’ needs – feeding them, dressing them, and reading to them. Maybe there’s a weekly bingo night, or a monthly chess tournament for entertainment. Equating assisted living with care for people entirely incapable of taking care of themselves seems to be a common misconception, and this sort of stigma deters seniors from getting the help they want and need.

It goes without saying that not all people above the age of 65 are unable to take care of themselves. Many seniors continue to work beyond the age of retirement, and many of those who are retired continue to participate in a variety of hobbies and activities. But senior caregiving and assistance aren’t only for the ill and disabled. For example, many organizations that provide in-home care offer services for seniors who don’t require help all of the time. They may only need assistance with certain activities such as driving or home maintenance. Seniors Helping Seniors provides home care in Charlotte, NC and connects seniors with other seniors who just need a helping hand.

The most important benefit of assisted living and in-home care is how they provide independent seniors with a sense of security. These people may experience little trouble living alone, but like knowing that there is someone nearby they can call if they ever need help driving somewhere or preparing meals. An assisted living facility or a retirement community offers similar benefits, providing a safe communal space for individuals who are in the same stage of life and are able to live on their own despite occasionally needing some help. Other benefits of assisted living and in-home care include companionship. Many seniors begin to feel isolated as children and grandchildren grow up and move on, and as their friends pass away. With living assistance, seniors can look forward not only to receiving help with activities, but also to seeing a friendly face with whom they can chat and spend time. Home care and assisted living are beneficial to seniors of all levels of capability and need.

How to Maintain Your Dog’s Health

Owning a dog is a very big responsibility. You must treat them as though they were your own child. If you can’t do this then you probably shouldn’t have one. If you do have the time and loving attitude that it takes to uphold this responsibility then there are a few things you need to know about taking care of your precious canine.

wellesley puppyThe first thing you should do is find a reliable animal hospital that can assist you with all of your pet care needs and problems. It shouldn’t be hard being that there are plenty of certified veterinarians all around the Richmond, VA area. It’s very important to regularly set checkups bi-annually to ensure that your loved one is at its optimal health. Here they can re-enforce what I am about to share with you. Your vet should be able to run all the testing necessary to make sure that your pet is living well. He or she can also supply you with heart worm medicine and proper flea medications. Heart worms can be very detrimental to your dog’s life to the point where they can fall ill and die which is why you must keep up with this medication. If you miss a monthly dose you must take your four-legged friend to be check out again. If you medicate for heart worms while your pup is infected this could cause serious problems. The dying worms can cause blockages that could also kill your dog so make sure not to miss their monthly dose. Flea medication is also important not only because fleas can seriously irritate a dogs skin but because the flea larvae can actually turn into tape worms, another parasite that can take over their digestive tract.

You should also keep good track of your little guy’s diet and nutrition. Make sure that your canine friend gets all the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water that he or she requires. Your local animal hospital can help your create a diet that is right for your dog’s size and age. Generally, a puppy up to three months should have four meals a day. When he is between three to six months you can than break it down to three meals a day. After that he can move to two meals a day. The specific calorie intake should be decided by your veterinarian.

A new trend that has been sweeping over the nation is making your own naturally healthy dog treats. With the dog food industry’s unknown ingredient history, many are taking their dog feeding into their own hands by using fresh ingredients. One really great recipe that my dog loves is one that I found on Cesar Milan’s website under the title “Recipe ideas for quick and healthy homemade dog treats” called basic dog biscuits.

I hope you found this helpful and I just want to remind everyone to “LOVE YOUR DOG!!!”

Eating Well as a Senior

If you are a senior living on your own, it can be especially difficult to get the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy. Cooking for one might seem like a waste of time if you don’t have the opportunity to share a delicious home-cooked meal with friends and family gathered around the dining room table. Or maybe you just no longer have the energy you once did to gather all the necessary ingredients at the grocery store, cook a main dish and side dish, and then wash up all the dirty dishes. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to skip a meal, or heat up a frozen dinner in the microwave. However, the ease of inconsistent meals and packaged junk food is not worth sacrificing your health and well-being! Regularly practicing a well-balanced, nutritious diet as a senior doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are some tips to make eating nutritiously an easy part of your lifestyle:

Vegetables Nutrition1. Get Your Meals Delivered to Your Door:

There are many companies out there that offer meal delivery services. Some will provide you with individual ingredients along with a simple recipe to follow, to make a wholesome meal with these ingredients. New recipes might get you excited and motivated about cooking a healthy dish – even if just for yourself!

Having your groceries shipped to you is also an option, so you don’t have to drive out to the grocery store and spend so much time wandering through the aisles and being tempted by less than healthy foods. Many communities also offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, which can deliver locally grown, nutritious foods such as produce, dairy, meat, and eggs. If healthy food is delivered right to your doorstep – you won’t have an excuse!

2. Plan Out Your Meals in Advance

Sticking to a weekly meal plan will help ensure that you’re getting a healthy, well-balanced diet, and might help stop you from picking up junk food for a snack. You might also notice that keeping up with a well-organized meal plan will save you money in the long run – fewer impulse buys!

3. Get Some Assistance

If you’re unable to drive or generally lack mobility, many senior services provide assistance with grocery shopping. Some services will even provide you with help cooking and cleaning up around the house. For more information about senior assistance and caregiving, click here!


There are many reasons to make sure you are eating well, especially if you are a senior. A nutritious diet will provide you with increased bone health, and protect against common ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Some vegetables such as leafy greens even help to ward off Alzheimer’s and keep your mind sharp. Not to mention that eating well will simply make you feel better and give you a higher sense of self-esteem. What are you doing to stay a healthy senior?