Whiplash Neck Injuries

Whiplash Neck Injuries

What is Whiplash injury: Whiplash injuries refers to the injuries of the neck which are mainly caused by motor vehicle accident. It happened when the neck is suddenly jolted in one direction and then another. Some of the other causes of whiplash injuries are sports activities, fall or other work injuries. It is actually a descriptive term that defines the mechanism of injury. Whiplash injury can be caused by a strong side to side or backward and forward movement of the neck. Usually our neck muscles, ligaments and tendons are strong enough to sustain injuries but not enough to sustain extremely rapid extension followed by immediate excessive flexion of the neck. Which structures are involved: Whiplash injuries usually involve a combination of muscles, joints, ligaments and vertebral injuries. Sprain-strain injuries of the neck are common after road traffic accident. Our spinal column and head are supported by ligaments that also protect from excessive movement of the vertebrae. The sprain is caused when these ligaments are torn. The facet joints which are the joints of the vertebrae are covered with facet capsules that are common sites of whiplash injuries. Whiplash injuries also affect associated tendons and muscles. Disc herniation and vertebral fracture may also occur in case of severe strain. Signs and Symptoms of whiplash injury: Pain and stiffness in the neck are the most common symptoms of whiplash injury. The pain and discomfort worsen with the movement of the neck. Two third of the people also experience severe headache. The headache can be one sided or sometimes both regions are involved. You may feel pain and stiffness radiating to...
Biohacking for the Running Athlete

Biohacking for the Running Athlete

Biohacking for the running athlete is about finding out the top tips and tricks that can produce substantial changes in your performance.  These nutritional supplements are used by the top athletes in the sport.  When combining proper nutrition, recovery techniques, and exercise protocols you minimize the risk of loosing training time due to injury.  Injuries in running can cost an athlete an entire season especially if the timing of the injury or nutritional deficiency happens when the event is near by.  The risk associated with these supplements and tools are extremely low but consult your physical before starting any new program. Nutrition BaNa-BANa is a hydration beverage that naturally replenishes the body with the liquid it needs for maximum performance. Developed by Dr. Benjamin Yoo, an ER physician, BANa is modeled after saline IVs. By capitalizing on the hydrating properties of sodium*, BANa helps retain fluids that your body has lost. Omega 3 Fish Oil- Omega 3 Fatty Acids are essential to the human body but taken in high enough doses it can have a anti-inflammatory effect. Thorn Research makes some of the highest quality omega 3 fish oils.  During season take 4-5 grams per day. EXOS Research Curcumin-  While some inflammation is necessary to fight off infection and repair broken-down muscle after a workout, long-term inflammation can cause health issues. Curcumin, an antioxidant derived from turmeric (the primary ingredient in curry), has been shown to help maintain the body’s normal inflammatory response while also supporting joint, liver, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular function.* This supplement uses a phytosome-bound botanical extract to ensure maximum absorption compared to other curcumin products.* – UCAN: Generation UCAN...
Does Your Child Have Spear Tacklers Spine?

Does Your Child Have Spear Tacklers Spine?

What is Spear Tacklers Spine?  A spinal condition that could put your son at risk for neurological complications if not corrected before tackling. There have been increasing reports throughout the NFL and NCAA of increased brain injuries as a result of head and brain trauma.  The good news is that spinal research has finally increased the awareness of return to play requirements.  As I was growing up, I experienced this brain trauma first hand while playing football.  When you got your head rattled and couldn’t remember what just happened, you simply got told to shake it off.  There are several important things that can be done in order to still play football but limit your risk of serious injury.  One thing to start with is getting a baseline for Impact testing.  Impact testing needs a baseline to determine when your neurologic testing is back to being normal following a concussion. Without a baseline, it makes it difficult to determine what needs to be done in order to get back onto the field.  The second thing that most don’t realize is the problem of “spear tackler’s spine”.  It is common terminology in football to get what some would consider as a “stinger”.  This is when you hit someone and you would get a shooting pain into the arm and hand.  This occurs due to a sudden stretch of the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves traveling from your neck down into your arm.  The brachial plexus gives nerve supply to all the muscles of the arm and shoulder muscles. A view into my past with my current understanding of the spine allows a complete understanding of what...
Eliminating Stress Fractures

Eliminating Stress Fractures

What causes stress fractures to occur?  A stress fracture is an extremely common condition that happens to 1 out of 5 runners (1). This is a question asked by as many as 1,920,000 runners in the US alone that develop stress fractures (2).   There are two primary areas that stress fractures occur in runners.  One is in the foot bones or metatarsals and the other is in the shin bone or tibia.  On occasion, there could be stress fractures that occur in the hip and femur, but this is not nearly as common as the first two. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome / Stress Fractures The classic sign of medial tibial stress syndrome is extreme tenderness over the inner side of the shin bone just above the ankle and spanning over a 4-6cm distance.  The pain will worsen as the run goes on and typically goes away after the run is over.  This is an early sign and one that should not be ignored. The initial belief is that the stress fracture is caused by periosteal fractioning from the soleus and flexor digitorum longus.  More recently, we have found through research that this is not true, as the stress fracture or syndrome involves cortical bone.  One commonality that is found as a possible cause of stress syndrome or stress fracture is a smaller tibial cross sectional area.  A study was performed by Franklin et al that confirmed that runners with smaller tibial cross sectional areas had a greater chance of developing the syndrome compared to their uninjured counterparts (3).   This finding was supported with the work that was done by...
Shin Splint Treatment Guideline

Shin Splint Treatment Guideline

Running injuries effect millions of americans every year which prevents them from attaining their goal.  This goal may be running a marathon or running as a way to lose weight.  The problem with running is that it is a very repetitive task that can cause a laundry list of painful conditions.  These conditions are similar in any repetitive based activity.  Unfortunetely, runners have not yet had an injury named after the activity itself even though they could have several.  Let us take a look at other sports which have repetitive activities in which the injury is named after the sport or activity.  We can start with tennis elbow which is due to the excessive use of the wrist extensors. We also have golfers elbow due to the excessive use of the wrist flexors. Finally we have jumpers knee which is due to the excessive and repetitive force of the quadriceps contracting which causes irritation to the patellar tendon.  Runners get to enjoy a whole bunch of problems due to the amount of joints that are effected by the motion at hand.  These conditions can include: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, stress fractures, IT Band syndrome, as well as conditions like compartment syndrome and generalized knee pain.  The best action for runners to take is injury prevention.  Much of the prevention and treatment is designed to keep the lower leg tension free and to allow the entire leg to be able to handle the stress applied to it apporopriately.  Usually in running related injuries there will be a break down in the motion pattern which puts a greater concentration of force placed on one particular...