Archive for category: Nutrition & General Health

The Benefits of Walking

Article featured on Healthline

Walking can offer numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. It may also help prevent certain diseases and even prolong your life.

Walking is free to do and easy to fit into your daily routine. All you need to start walking is a sturdy pair of walking shoes.

Read on to learn about some of the benefits of walking.

1. Burn calories

Walking can help you burn calories. Burning calories can help you maintain or lose weight.

Your actual calorie burn will depend on several factors, including:

  • walking speed
  • distance covered
  • terrain (you’ll burn more calories walking uphill than you’ll burn on a flat surface)
  • your weight

You can determine your actual calorie burn through a calorie calculator. For a general estimate, you can also refer to this chart.

2. Strengthen the heart

Walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week can reduce your risk for coronary heart disease by about 19 percent. And your risk may reduce even more when you increase the duration or distance you walk per day.

3. Can help lower your blood sugar

Taking a short walk after eating may help lower your blood sugar.

A small study found that taking a 15-minute walk three times a day (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner) improved blood sugar levels more than taking a 45-minute walk at another point during the day.

More research is needed to confirm these findings, though.

Consider making a post-meal walk a regular part of your routine. It can also help you fit exercise in throughout the day.

4. Eases joint pain

Walking can help protect the joints, including your knees and hips. That’s because it helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support the joints.

Walking may also provide benefits for people living with arthritis, such as reducing pain. And walking 5 to 6 miles a week may also help prevent arthritis.

5. Boosts immune function

Walking may reduce your risk for developing a cold or the flu.

One study tracked 1,000 adults during flu season. Those who walked at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day had 43 percent fewer sick days and fewer upper respiratory tract infections overall.

Their symptoms were also lessened if they did get sick. That was compared to adults in the study who were sedentary.

Try to get in a daily walk to experience these benefits. If you live in a cold climate, you can try to walk on a treadmill or around an indoor mall.

6. Boost your energy

Going for a walk when you’re tired may be a more effective energy boost than grabbing a cup of coffee.

Walking increases oxygen flow through the body. It can also increase levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Those are the hormones that help elevate energy levels.

7. Improve your mood

Walking can help your mental health. StudiesTrusted Source show it can help reduce anxiety, depression, and a negative mood. It can also boost self-esteem and reduce symptoms of social withdrawal.

To experience these benefits, aim for 30 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate intensity exercise three days a week. You can also break it up into three 10-minute walks.

8. Extend your life

Walking at a faster pace could extend your life. Researchers found that walking at an average pace compared to a slow pace resulted in a 20 percent reduced risk of overall death.

But walking at a brisk or fast pace (at least 4 miles per hour) reduced the risk by 24 percent. The study looked at the association of walking at a faster pace with factors like overall causes of death, cardiovascular disease, and death from cancer.

The takeaway

Walking can fulfill daily recommended exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Consider getting a pedometer or other fitness tracker to keep track of your daily steps.

Choose a walking route and daily step goal that’s appropriate for your age and fitness level.

Warm and cool down before walking to avoid injury. Always speak to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Take Care of Your Knees

Article featured on UCSF Health

Five Steps to Improve Strength and Flexibility

Although collateral ligament injuries often occur during sports and are difficult to avoid, there are several steps you can take to improve the overall strength and flexibility of your knees:

  • Manage your weight: Every pound in excess of your normal weight puts three or four additional pounds of pressure on your knee every time you take a step.
  • Keep your legs strong: The hamstrings, in the back of the thigh, and the quadriceps, the muscles in the front of the thigh, are crucial shock and impact absorbers. These muscles must be kept strong and flexible to protect the joint surfaces in your knee.
  • Stretch your muscles: Stretching before exercising should be a regular part of your warm-up; however, it is important not to over-stretch. Never push or pull on your leg with your hands while you are stretching, and avoid squatting during your warm-up, which can put stress on your knee joint.
  • Wear proper shoes: Well-cushioned, well-fitting athletic shoes can reduce the impact of the load exerted on the knees.
  • Ease into shape: If your activities require twisting and turning such as racket sports, skiing, soccer and basketball, don’t assume you can play yourself into shape. Make sure you are in good physical shape before you play.

The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Prehabilitation: An Essential for Successful Orthopedic Surgery Outcomes

Article featured on Movement Orthopedics

As you prepare for an orthopedic surgery, such as joint replacement or spinal fusion, you may be seeking ways to maximize your chances of a successful outcome and a smooth recovery process. An often overlooked but critical component of surgery preparation is prehabilitation – a proactive approach to enhancing your physical condition, mental well-being, and overall readiness before undergoing the procedure. By engaging in targeted exercises, improving your nutrition, and addressing any mental or emotional concerns, prehabilitation can contribute significantly to a successful surgery and recovery experience.

As you embark on your journey towards orthopedic surgery, understanding the value of prehabilitation and its role in your treatment plan can profoundly impact your overall experience and success. Our team at

Key Components of a Comprehensive Prehabilitation Program

Prehabilitation is an individualized process that addresses multiple dimensions of physical and mental well-being to optimally prepare patients for their upcoming orthopedic surgery. Essential components of a comprehensive prehabilitation program include:

  1. Targeted Exercise Regimens: By incorporating specific exercise routines into your daily routine, you can improve your overall strength, flexibility, and endurance before undergoing surgery. These exercises may focus on the affected area, surrounding muscles, and the full range of motion to ensure you are in the best possible shape when entering the operating room.
  2. Nutritional Support: Proper nutrition plays a critical role in overall health and can significantly impact your recovery from surgery. By optimizing your diet with the guidance of a dietitian, you can ensure you are meeting your body’s essential needs for nutrients, vitamins, and minerals necessary for healing and rebuilding strength.
  3. Mental and Emotional Preparation: As you approach your surgery date, addressing any mental or emotional concerns can help reduce stress, anxiety, and improve your overall mental preparedness for the procedure. Tools such as mindfulness practices, relaxation techniques, and discussing your concerns with healthcare providers can be invaluable in this preparation process.
  4. Patient Education and Support: Understanding the details of your specific surgery, your role and responsibilities in the recovery process, and having access to essential resources and support can significantly contribute to the success of your prehabilitation efforts.

The Multiple Benefits of Prehabilitation in Orthopedic Surgery

Incorporating a proactive prehabilitation program into your surgery preparation has several benefits, including:

  1. Reduced Complications: Patients who participate in prehabilitation programs often experience fewer postoperative complications, such as infections, blood clots, or excessive bleeding, due to their optimized pre-surgery physical state.
  2. Improved Surgical Outcomes: By entering surgery in the best possible condition, patients have the potential to achieve better outcomes. Enhanced strength, flexibility, and mental preparedness can result in shorter procedural times and greater overall surgical success.
  3. Expedited Recovery: Prehabilitation can also accelerate your post-surgery recovery timeline, allowing you to regain strength, mobility, and function more rapidly than unprepared patients. Having a strong foundation before surgery gives you a head start on the rehabilitation process and can get you back to your normal activities with greater ease.
  4. Increased Confidence and Emotional Resilience: Being better prepared, both physically and mentally, for your upcoming surgery can increase your level of confidence in the process and your ability to handle any challenges that may arise during recovery. This emotional resilience is invaluable in navigating the post-surgery journey with a positive outlook and determination.

Real-World Applications for Various Orthopedic Procedures

Prehabilitation can be applied to a wide range of orthopedic surgery types, including:

  1. Joint Replacement Surgery: For patients undergoing joint replacement procedures, such as total hip or knee arthroplasty, prehabilitation can enhance mobility, flexibility, strength, and stamina before surgery, contributing to improved clinical outcomes and recovery.
  2. Spinal Surgery: Those preparing for spinal surgery, such as spinal fusion or discectomy, can significantly benefit from targeting their core strength, flexibility, and overall preparedness as they enter the operating room.
  3. Arthroscopic Surgery: For individuals undergoing arthroscopic procedures to address sports injuries, degenerative conditions, or other joint issues, prehabilitation can fortify the muscles surrounding the affected joint and enhance overall recovery.
  4. Orthopedic Trauma and Fracture Surgery: Patients recovering from fractures or orthopedic trauma can also benefit from prehabilitation programs focused on regaining strength, mobility, and function before surgery, leading to improved postoperative outcomes and quality of life.

Conclusion

Prehabilitation is a crucial element in optimizing your orthopedic surgery outcomes and expediting your recovery journey. By embracing a proactive and holistic approach to your physical and mental preparedness, you can take confident strides toward improved orthopedic health and overall well-being.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Guide to Fall Fitness and Health

Article featured on VeryWellFit

The end of summer can seem like a sad time of year, but there’s something about the cool, crisp air that can breathe some new life into your usual routine, especially when it comes to exercise.

1. Take Advantage of the Great Outdoors

Without the heat and humidity, outdoor workouts become much more comfortable and, after a busy summer, many of us are ready to get back to some sort of fitness routine. Fall weather, for many areas, offers some of the best outdoor workouts all year long.

With kids back to school and holidays on the way, it may be a challenge to find time to exercise, especially when there’s not as much daylight. Challenge, however, is at the very heart of staying fit, particularly with the long days of winter to come.

Getting started now can help you generate enough momentum to make it through the coming seasons without gaining weight. Try these great fall workouts to keep you fit.

Walking

Walking is just about the easiest way to exercise outside and a great way to get in some extra movement throughout the day. With cooler weather, you don’t have to worry about sweating as much, so that may make it easier to be active all day long.

All you really need is a good pair of walking shoes and, perhaps, some fall weather gear to keep you warm, dry and protected. The key to making it enjoyable is to make it a daily thing:

  • Make it a habit to walk every day when you get home from work or at night after dinner.
  • Get up 10 minutes early and start your day with a brisk walk around the block. Use the time to think about what you want to accomplish and make your to-do list.
  • Plan fall activities that involve walking: apple-picking, hunting for the perfect pumpkin or enjoying the beautiful colors with some colorful autumn walking.
  • Get to work a few minutes early and take a few laps around the parking lot.

Hiking

Fall is a great time to go hiking, with cool weather, no bugs and, of course, magnificent views. Plus, hiking burns mega-calories as you increase your elevation and really work those legs.

Just a few reasons to add hiking to your routine:

  • It works multiple areas of fitness: Not only do you strengthen your muscles by climbing, but you also increase your cardio endurance as well. Walking or hiking up an incline gets your heart rate up, helping you burn calories and get fit.
  • It works multiple muscles: Hiking up and down even small inclines involves the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, core and the feet.
  • It gets you outside: If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time inside working. Hiking lets you get back to nature, clear your head and remember there’s a world outside.
  • Hiking is great fall exercise: Not only is fall perfect for hiking, if you do it at the right time you can see amazing colors as the leaves change.

If you’re in a flat area, look for small lakes, forest preserves or bike trails that allow you to get away from city life and enjoy the great outdoors.

If you do hike, you’ll want to make sure you have the right equipment like hiking boots, and a way to stay hydrated.

Running

Rounding out the top outdoor fall activities is running.

Fall is probably the best time of year for running outdoors. It’s not too hot, not too cold and watching the leaves change colors each time you head outside can make each workout a new adventure.

The real key to making fall running more comfortable is to dress in layers so you don’t get too hot or too cold. Next? Making sure people can see you if you’re running in the dark by wearing reflective running gear.

2. Get Back to the Gym

When the weather turns iffy, getting to the gym can help you stay on track with your workouts, especially if you get involved in a variety of activities.

To make the most out of your time at the gym, don’t just do the same machines each time you go, but take advantage of all your gym has to offer:

  • Swimming: Swimming is such a great no-impact activity and perfect for a complete, whole-body workout.
  • Fitness classes: There’s an energy you gather from other people when you workout in a class setting that you often don’t get working out by yourself.
  • Hire a personal trainer: Fall is the perfect time to hire a pro and get your workouts on the right track from day one.
  • Work out with a buddy: If you feel intimidated or don’t like working out by yourself, bribe a friend into working out with you. Knowing you have to show up will keep you motivated.
  • Keep it interesting: If you tend to gravitate to certain cardio machines, you can always change things up with interval training, which is a great way to burn calories and get in shape. You can even try more variety by mixing and matching different cardio machines, like in this cardio medley workout.

Making Your Exercise Habit Stick

Making fitness stick is all about momentum (among other things), so if you’re a beginner, start with about 3 days of exercise a week.​

Do more if you can, but always start where you are rather than where you want to be. Ease your body and your mind into your new exercise schedule to minimize the risk of injury and add on as you get settled in.

3. Get Fit at Home

You don’t have to go to a gym to get back into fitness. Working out at home can be just as effective, especially if you’re just not crazy about the gym or you’re on a budget.

Working out at home has a number of benefits including:

  • Convenience: You don’t have to pack a bag or drive anywhere.
  • Flexibility: Having a home gym means you can do a workout any time.
  • Variety: While you may not have access to all the machines a gym has, you do have access to a variety of ways to exercise. Workout videos, workout apps on your smartphone or tablet or making your own workouts.
  • Easy on the wallet: All you really need for a great workout is your own body. As you progress from bodyweight exercises, you can buy inexpensive equipment such as resistance bands or dumbbells.

One thing to keep in mind is that working out at home does require some self-discipline. There’s always something that needs to be done, whether it’s work, laundry, or paying bills. It’s easy to let that become an excuse to skip your workouts.

Create a habit you can stick with by working out at the same time every day and including lots of variety in your routine.

4. Try Something New

Summer often finds us being weekend warriors–going for long bike rides, playing sports and just generally getting out and being more active.

When fall hits, many of us head to the gym or bring our workouts indoors and that can quickly lead to boredom and burnout. So this is a great time to try something completely different.

Tai Chi

Also known as a moving meditation, tai chi is a slow, fluid activity that helps improve balance and strength while keeping you relaxed and connected to your body.

Tai chi is an excellent activity to do on a chilly fall night to help you stay active. It can boost your mood, improve posture and even improve your heart health.

With the stress of going back to work and school, tai chi is the perfect stress-relieving workout.

Yoga

Yoga is another kind of moving meditation that promotes balance, flexibility and soothing mind/body connections. Depending on the type you choose, yoga can be relaxing or it can be challenging, sometimes both.

You find a local yoga studio near you, try a yoga app or videos, or even put together your own series of poses.

Barre Workouts

This ballet-inspired workout focuses on balance, coordination, and core strength by incorporating a mix of exercises that go through a full range of motion and those that isolate and hold challenging positions. Popular examples include Physique 57, The Bar Method, Pure Barre, and Pop Physique.

CrossFit

If you really want to test your limits, try something like CrossFit. This type of workout involved high-intensity interval training, doing exercises with very heavy loads and measuring a variety of metrics during each workout so you can see your improvement. The movements are considered functional, meaning they engage your whole body in a variety of ways.

CrossFit is very high intensity and not necessarily for beginners, so you’ll want to have some exercise experience and make sure the gym you choose has a good reputation.

Circuit Training

If you want something with a lot of variety but without the intensity of something like CrossFit, good old-fashioned circuit training is a great choice.​

With circuit training, you choose 10 or more exercises, either cardio, strength training, or both and do each one, one after the other with no rests in between. With this kind of training, you work multiple areas of fitness, burn more calories and make your workouts more interesting.

Sample Cardio Circuit

Warm up with 5 minutes of light cardio and then do each exercise below, one after the other, without resting in between. Complete 1-3 circuits.

  • 1 min – Plyo Jacks
  • 1 min – Burpees
  • 1 min – Jog in Place
  • 1 min – High Knee Jogs
  • 1 min – Plyo Lunges
  • 1 min – Ski Abs
  • 1 min – Squat Kicks
  • 1 min – Jumping Jacks
  • 1 min – Squat Jumps
  • 1 min – Speed Skaters

The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:

503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

7 Most Common Accidents and Injuries During Back to School

Article featured on HealthPartners

Whether your kiddo is a little daredevil or just a bit klutzy, accidents happen.

The good news is that most mishaps result in minor injuries that can be treated with a dab of antibacterial ointment, a little rest, and lots of hugs and kisses. But the reality is that every tumble has the potential to be “the big one” – an injury that has you speeding toward the nearest hospital.

But it’s a fine line. What kinds of child injuries really raise the boo-boo bar? When is a trip to urgent care enough? And when might you need to seek highly-specialized emergency care at a pediatric trauma center?

1. Falls: The most common cause of injury for kids of all ages

Falls are the leading cause of injury among children. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that roughly 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries every day.

When and where are falls most likely to happen?

Playgrounds, especially slides and monkey bars, are some of the most common causes of injury. Other common fall hazards include:

  • Stairs
  • Beds without railings
  • Windows
  • Elevated landings
  • Baby walkers
  • Slippery bathtubs
  • Cluttered pathways

Also, while falls are the most common injury for kids of all ages, babies and toddlers are especially fall-prone. Little humans simply don’t have the same movement control and balance that older kids and adults do. Of course, there are numerous child fall prevention best practices that can help reduce the chances of a serious injury. But falls can still happen in a flash.

What types of fall injuries may need specialized trauma care?

Head, neck, back or spine injuries, and broken bones top the list. More specifically, these injuries can often need the highest level of trauma care – or what’s often called Level 1 trauma care. Why? These kinds of injuries can be more complex, which may require expert care from a range of specialists.

In addition, we suggest that you bring your child to a trauma center right away if they’re experiencing any of the following symptoms after a fall:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Possible broken bones – especially if the potential fracture is located in areas like the head, face, neck, back or pelvis, or if a bone has pierced through the skin – ligament tears or a spinal cord injury
  • New or worsening bleeding or swelling, headache, nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness or memory loss surrounding the accident

Learn more about what to do if your child falls and hurts themselves.

2. Being struck by or against an object: Accidental impacts

Most kids get bumped into on a regular basis – especially if they play sports (or have older siblings). Usually these run-ins are minor accidents caused by playing a little too hard or getting distracted.

But according to CDC and NEISS All Injury Program data from 2000-2018, the frequency of emergency department visits after being struck by or against an object is second only to falls, especially for kids aged 0-14.

When and where are kids most likely to get struck by or against an object?

These types of childhood injuries can happen anytime and anywhere. Here’s just a sampling of some of the accidents that fall into this category:

  • Walking into a wall, door or piece of furniture
  • Being hit by an object such as a baseball or a falling storage box
  • Getting hit and hurt by another player during a football, soccer, lacrosse, softball, baseball or other sports game
  • Being pinned under a piece of furniture or an appliance that tipped over

What types of “struck by or against” injuries may need trauma care?

Head, neck, back or spine injuries, and broken bones are often top trauma priorities for these types of accidents, too. Also, if your child is injured after being pinned under or against something, internal injuries can be a concern.

We suggest heading to a pediatric trauma center if your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Possible broken bones – especially if the potential fracture is located in areas like the head, face, neck, back or pelvis, or if a bone has pierced through the skin – ligament tears or a spinal cord injury
  • New or worsening bleeding or swelling, headache, nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness or memory loss surrounding the accident

3. Motor vehicle accidents: The most common injury for teen drivers and riders

There are millions of motor vehicle accidents every year. Next to falls, these accidents are the most common causes of nonfatal injuries among teenagers.

When and where are motor vehicle accidents most likely to happen?

Whether your child is cruising in your family car or riding an ATV at the cabin up north, motor vehicle accidents can happen anytime. And teens between 16 and 19 are at a higher motor vehicle crash risk than any other age group, according to the CDC.

Why? One reason is because teens are less experienced drivers or they’re riding with less experienced drivers.

The CDC says that the crash risk for teen drivers is especially high during their first few months of licensure. In addition, the presence of other teen passengers increases crash risks.

When may trauma care be needed after a motor vehicle accident?

Motor vehicle accidents can cause a range of injuries – some obvious and some subtle. And even low-speed accidents can leave kids with an injury.

After any motor vehicle accident, we suggest getting your child checked out. Some injuries may or may not present themselves right away. Urgent care can be a good choice for minor bumps, scrapes or bruises.

If an ambulance arrives and paramedics say a trip to the ER is recommended, we suggest you follow their advice and ask to be taken to the nearest pediatric trauma center.

In addition, we recommend seeking pediatric emergency care if your child has any of the following injuries or symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Visible or possible head, neck or back injuries
  • Possible broken bones – especially if the potential fracture is located in areas like the head, face, neck, back or pelvis, or if a bone has pierced through the skin – ligament tears or a spinal cord injury
  • New or worsening bleeding or swelling, headache, nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness or has memory loss surrounding the accident

4. Cuts and puncture wounds: Injuries that are more than a little scratch

Whether they’re playing with friends or helping you in the yard, a lot of kids accidentally cut or poke themselves with something sharp. Most wounds will sting and throb, but once they’re cleaned and patched up they typically heal pretty quickly.

But more serious lacerations or piercings are relatively common, especially for kids between 5 and 14 years old.

When are cuts and piercings most likely to happen?

Usually, most deep cuts or piercings occur after another common kid injury occurs – namely a bad fall or being hit by something. But other household accidents involving machinery like yard tools, kitchen appliances or cutlery can be the culprits, too.

When may trauma care be needed for cuts and piercings?

If your child has any lacerations or puncture wounds that occurred after a fall, being hit by an object, or may involve a broken bone, head to the nearest trauma center. Multiple injuries will likely require care from multiple specialists.

If a cut or puncture is the primary injury, get emergency pediatric trauma care if your child’s injury is:

  • Bleeding heavily or the bleeding hasn’t decreased after five to 10 minutes of direct pressure
  • Causing numbness or inability to move fingers, toes, arms, legs, joints or other parts of their body
  • Deeper or longer than ½ inch
  • Located on your child’s head or face, or close to an eye
  • Caused by a dirty or rusty object
  • Embedded with dirt, gravel or other debris
  • Has ragged or separated edges
  • Caused by an animal or human bite
  • Extremely painful
  • Showing signs of infection (e.g. increased warmth, redness, swelling or drainage, or foul odor)

5. Bites and stings: Wounds caused by animals, insects and humans

The vast majority of bites and stings are minor – requiring little to no medical treatment. But according to the previously mentioned CDC and NEISS All Injury Program data, bites and stings are the third most common reason for ER visits for kids aged 0-9.

When and where are bites and stings most likely to happen?

Like any injury, bites and stings can happen anytime, anywhere. Among children, dog bites are some of the most common injuries we see.

When may trauma care be needed after a bite or sting?

After any bite or sting, seek emergency pediatric trauma care if:

  • The wound (or wounds) is bleeding heavily or the bleeding hasn’t decreased after five to 10 minutes of direct pressure
  • The wound (or wounds) is showing signs of infection (e.g. increased warmth, redness, swelling or drainage, or foul odor)
  • Your child is having difficulty breathing or showing other signs of an allergic reaction such as swell hives, wheezing or trouble swallowing, rapid pulse or dizziness

Specifically for animal bites, seek emergency care if:

  • The animal that bit your child is wild
  • The bite or bites are deeper or longer than ½ inch – especially if they’re located on your child’s face and/or near an eye
  • The bite is from a venomous snake or spider
    • Venomous snake and spider bites are rare in the Midwest, and Minnesota and Wisconsin have just two species of poisonous snakes
  • The bite is from a bat (which is uncommon in Minnesota and beyond, but requires fast care)

6. Foreign bodies: When something is where it shouldn’t be

It’s safe to say that every kid experiences a “foreign body” at some point during their childhood. Whether it be a splinter in their finger or a sweet pea in their nose, curious kiddos get things stuck.

But more serious cases happen. In fact, it’s the fourth most common reason for an ER trip for kids between 1 and 4 years old.

When and where are foreign body injuries most likely to happen?

Most of the time, the child will inhale or ingest something on their own. This can happen during a mealtime or during playtime, when there are a lot of choking hazards around.

When may trauma care be needed for removing a foreign body?

Most foreign bodies can pass through their gastrointestinal track without issue, but sometimes they become lodged in the throat, stomach or soft tissues. Choking and bowel obstructions are the biggest concerns, and require emergency medical care.

If your child appears to be choking, take action by using choking first aid techniques like back blows or the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the object. If you don’t know how or your efforts aren’t working, call 911.

If your child has swallowed something and you’re unsure if it can be passed naturally, call your doctor. Go to a pediatric trauma center if you notice any of the following symptoms of a possible bowel obstruction:

  • Severe abdominal pain, cramping or swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Loud bowel sounds
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Constipation

7. Burns: Injuries that aren’t only caused by fire

Whether a curious hand grabs for a hot pan or repeated sunscreen applications didn’t get the job done, mild burns are pretty common for kids.

But only a little amount of time – sometimes just seconds – is needed for burn injuries to worsen.

When and where are burns most likely to happen?

Thermal burns – burns caused by coming into contact with flames, or hot metals, liquids or steam – are the most common among children. But other types of burns include:

  • Chemical burns caused by acids or solvent cleaners (e.g. bleach, ammonia, paint thinner)
  • Electrical burns after coming into contact with an electrical current
  • Radiation burns (aka sunburn)
  • Friction burns such as road rash or carpet burn
  • Cold burns such as frostbite

When may trauma care be needed for burn injuries?

If a burn has caused any damage below the epidermis – the outer layer of the skin – some degree of specialty care may be needed. Blisters signal a second-degree burn that’s gone deeper, and any charring or whitish marks are a sign of the most severe third- or fourth-degree burns.

The more severe or widespread the burn, the higher degree of specialty care that is needed and suggest that kids get specialized burn care if:

  • Burns are located on the face, ears, hands, feet or genital area where permanent damage is a risk if not treated properly
  • Burns appear deeper than first-degree and/or cover a large area of the body (e.g. larger than the size of your palm)
  • There are signs of infection (e.g. increased warmth, redness, swelling or drainage, or foul odor)
  • Pain, irritation or discoloration worsens

For the worst kid injuries, get the best possible trauma care

Accidents happen. And the worst ones can result in injuries that need highly-specialized care from pediatric trauma experts.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

Running Tips for Cold and Snowy Weather

Article featured on Brigham Health Hub

During the frigid winter months many runners settle for the treadmill, or even worse, for not running at all. Don’t let the cold weather and snow discourage you from running outside. If you’re prepared, winter runs can be a fun and beautiful experience.

Here are some cold-weather running tips for staying warm and safe during the winter months.

1. Layering and wearing appropriate clothing is crucial for cold-weather running.

You will want to keep most of your body covered and protected from exposure. Wear synthetic, sweat-wicking clothing as your innermost layer. Wearing moisture-wicking clothing as the fabric closest to your skin keeps your body dry and makes your clothes a better insulator. Make sure you are not wearing cotton underwear or socks. Lycra or polypropylene running tights are optimal for the waist down. Your outermost layer should be wind-resistant and waterproof if it is raining or snowing out. GORE-TEX® is a breathable material and is ideal for your outermost layer. If it is very cold, a fleece liner or a long-sleeve shirt is a good option for a middle layer. Dressing in layers allows you to adapt to the weather during your run. A significant amount of body heat can be lost through the head, so make sure you wear a hat. A balaclava or face mask is a good idea when it is extremely cold. Do not forget to wear gloves as well! After your run, it is important to quickly change into dry and warm clothes.

2. Run smart! Be aware of the many cold weather hazards.

During the winter months, the days are shorter and more people will be running in the dark. Try running routes that have street lights and sidewalks or extra space for runners. If you are running in the dark, make sure you wear reflective clothing, and consider wearing a flashing light. Visibility may be poor in bad weather, and you are no match for a car.

It is also important to run carefully, as balance and perception are more difficult with low light. Try to avoid running in snow or slushy areas and certainly avoid running on ice. If you end up running in snow or slush, shorten your stride to avoid falls or groin/hamstring strains and consider wearing traction cleats.

Don’t let the cold weather and snow discourage you from running outside.

3. Know the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite.

Hypothermia is a dangerous condition that occurs when your body temperature drops below 95°F. Risk factors for hypothermia include extended time in cold temperatures, wetness, improper clothing, dehydration, and exhaustion. The initial signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering and poor coordination. Don’t exceed your fitness levels and run out further than you can comfortably return in cold weather. Also, it’s easy to forget to drink water during the winter, but you still lose moisture in the cold. Remember to remain hydrated.

Frostbite is an injury caused by excessive exposure to extreme cold. It involves tissue damage, usually in the fingers, toes, ears, or nose, that may become permanent if not treated promptly. Symptoms include stiffness and numbness, and the affected area may turn white. The best prevention is to dress properly, but frost nip or mild frostbite can be treated by rapid re-warming of the area by soaking in warm water.

4. Be prepared for an emergency.

It is also a good idea to carry a phone or to have a running buddy. With some extra preparation and forethought, the winter months can certainly remain a great time to run and train!


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

7 Tips for Chronic Pain Management

Article featured on CORA Physical Therapy

Chronic pain leads many people to avoid physical activity. Pain medication is often relied on or prescribed to help manage pain. This can lead to other significant problems such as dependence. An alternative and effective pain management strategy is regular exercise. Starting an exercise program, however, can be a whole other kind of pain.

If you believe the long-term health impact of exercise is the best option for you, here are tips for becoming more active.

Tips for becoming more active

Engaging in regular activity—especially when supervised by a physical therapist—can help you overcome the daily experience of pain and discomfort.

An exercise routine and staying motivated can help you feel better. Movement, in any manner, is a type of exercise. Being mindful of the muscle groups you use during daily activities can help you understand areas of your body that can benefit from improvements. For example, climbing stairs is akin to an aerobic exercise that requires lower body strength. Lifting a laundry detergent bottle is akin to a strengthening exercise that requires upper body strength. Awareness of pain levels, and other things like shortness of breath or the inability to perform an activity can give focus to your program design.

The key is to find ways to integrate activity into your life in a way that is natural. Strength training, increasing flexibility, and improving aerobic fitness are all great goals. Physical Therapy and personal training can help you achieve your health and fitness goals effectively and efficiently. Below are tips for getting active, today.

Get active with these 7 tips

1.Try the stairs.

The elevator is convenient, but stairs are a great form of exercise.

Pro tip: Use the railing to help with balance and while you develop the strength needed to perform this one your own. Push through your heel and try to activate your butt muscles.

2. Walk as much as you can.

Whether around your house or around the store, test your capacity and add on incrementally.

Pro tip: Get the right footwear at your local specialty running shop. Keep a journal and monitor improvement. Avoid going further than 50% of weekly volume in a single walk. (I.e., total weekly walking distance is 3 miles, a single walk should not be longer than 1.5 miles OR if total weekly walking minutes is 1 hour, a single walk should not be longer than 30 minutes)

3. Exercise in front of the TV.

When engaging in any sedentary activity like watching TV, try to get more active. Try working out while watching your favorite show. No equipment required.

Pro tip: Any movement is better than no movement. Explore the directions your arms and legs can go in. One day you can do circles with your arms while the next day your reach up and down. Visit each joint and test its potential (within a pain-free pattern).

4. Walk while on the phone.

Get up and pace back and forth to get steps in as you get the job done. Location doesn’t  matter. Whether at work, home, or on vacation, walking and talking is easy fitness.

Pro tip: Talking on the phone can distract from your awareness of the area around you. Knowing where you are and where you are going can help reduce your risk of falls or getting lost if you do become distracted.

5. Schedule in time for short workouts.

Research has shown that you can get exercise benefits from multiple, shorter sessions in a day vs 1 long session. Try 10 minutes of stretching in the morning followed by a few cardio moves. Repeat that process again on your lunch break. Before bed relax with light stretching. By the end of the day, you would have fit in 30 minutes of dedicated exercise time.

Pro tip: Develop daily routines. Loosen stiff muscles in the morning through movement patterns and stretches you are familiar with. Combat your chronic back pain with core and hip strengthening. Improve your posture with repetitions of pulling your shoulder blades together. The best part? No equipment needed!

5. Exercise with your family!

Trade in an evening together on the couch for a walk, bike ride, or throwing the ball around. This is a fantastic way to increase activity while encouraging healthier habits across your household. Taking a short walk after a meal is also linked to improved digestion and reduced instances of reflux.

Pro tip: Friendly competition may help motivate the youngsters. Rewards can incentivize participation. Pick days of the week that works for everyone and make a pact to be active together.

6. Get those chores done.

Walking the dog, cleaning the house, and mowing the lawn are all physical activities. Prep for your activities with a warmup. Treat them like sport, they are challenging.

Pro tip: Be aware of your posture, alignment of joints, breathing, and balance. Also, take note of sore muscles in the day after. This will help you to be conscious of the muscles you use during these activities, and prepare to use them next time.

Don’t let pain stop you from being active

When pain hits, we may feel the desire to rest more and move less. However, in the case of chronic pain, bed rest or prolonged rest, is not the best way to approach a flare up.

Chronic pain will not go away with a bit of rest. Rather than spending more time off your feet, getting a bit more active could be what you need to help finally experience relief from your discomfort.

Of course, this does not mean that you should disregard the pain and start pushing through it on your own with intense activity.

Working with a physical therapist can help you to reduce the experience of pain and discomfort by educating you on activities that are safe, so it will not leave you feeling worse after you are done.

In fact, as stated by Physiopedia, “The nature of a physiotherapist’s (PT’s) work makes us particularly well placed to initiate a discussion about the level of Physical Activity (PA) with each of our patients.”

When pain hits, we may feel the desire to rest more and move less. However, in the case of chronic pain, bed rest or prolonged rest, is not the best way to approach a flare up.

Chronic pain will not go away with a bit of rest. Rather than spending more time off your feet, getting a bit more active could be what you need to help finally experience relief from your discomfort.

Of course, this does not mean that you should disregard the pain and start pushing through it on your own with intense activity.

Working with a physical therapist can help you to reduce the experience of pain and discomfort by educating you on activities that are safe, so it will not leave you feeling worse after you are done.

In fact, as stated by Physiopedia, “The nature of a physiotherapist’s (PT’s) work makes us particularly well placed to initiate a discussion about the level of Physical Activity (PA) with each of our patients.”

Exercise can help with chronic pain by:

  • Supporting healthy muscle development
  • Increasing range of motion
  • Supporting weight loss
  • Improving heart health

Ready to get moving?

If you have not been physically active in a while, starting small is the best place to start. Even 5 minutes can be a great starting point.

If you still are not sure where to start or if you have a nagging pain that is stopping you from starting, you can reach out to to speak with a clinician.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

5 Common Summer Injuries for Kids and How to Prevent Them

Article featured on MedStar Health

Along with all of the outdoor fun comes more opportunity for activity-related injury. In addition to nature-related injuries and illnesses, such as tick bites and sunburn, summer activities present more chances for broken bones, concussions, and other bumps and bruises. As sports medicine physicians, here are some of the most common summer injuries we see in warm weather months and how you can help prevent them at home.

Common summer injuries.

1. Bicycle injuries

Bike accidents are one of the most common summer injuries because the warmer weather presents more chances for you and your kids to ride together. But, a fall from a bike accident can be dangerous, resulting in cuts, scrapes, fractures, or concussions. If vehicles are involved, a bike crash could even be fatal.

Tips to prevent bicycle injuries: You can prevent severe head injuries from bike crashes by wearing a helmet. In fact, the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute suggests that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head and brain injury by up to 88% for both adults and children. Other protective gear, such as knee and elbow pads, can also help to minimize injury from falls. And, a properly-fitted helmet and padding can reduce your risk of injury from skateboard and scooter accidents as well.

2. Playground injuries

More free time on summer vacation means more time spent visiting the local park or backyard playground. Unfortunately, monkey bars, slides, and swings commonly cause fall-related fractures and head injuries over the summer, even if the equipment is properly maintained.

Tips to prevent playground injuries: Playground falls are inevitable, but choosing a playground built over soft surfaces can minimize the risk of severe injury. Avoid playgrounds on concrete or gravel and instead look for playgrounds that hover soft surfaces, like rubber or wood chips. Active supervision is also important, as you may be able to help prevent a fall if you’re within arms reach.

3. Trampoline injuries

Concussions and fractures are also common in the summer months as a result of jumping on a trampoline. Bloody noses, bumps, and bruises may not be as serious but they’re also a concern.

Tips to prevent trampoline injuries: Many trampoline injuries involve a collision between two or more people, so one of the best ways to minimize the risk of injury is to only allow one person to use the trampoline at a time. It’s also a great idea to attach a net around the outside of the trampoline to minimize falls.

4. Water injuries and drowning

Swimming in a pool, lake, or ocean is great exercise but water-related injuries can be fatal. Drowning is the second most common cause of death by unintentional injury from kids between the ages of one and four, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And, even good swimmers can get injured in and around water-related activities like diving, water sports, and boating.

Tips to prevent water injuries and drowning: Adult supervision is the most effective way to prevent drowning accidents, whether you’re at the pool or in open water. Stay within arms reach when your kids are in or around the pool. If the pool is not fenced in, be sure to cover it when it is not being used. If your family is on a boat participating in or watching water sports, make sure everyone wears a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, even if you’re a good swimmer.

5. Overuse injuries

While school sports may take a break from practices during the summer, travel teams or sports camps are in full swing. Overuse injuries, such as tendonitis or Osgood-Schlatter disease in the knee, can be painful and prevent your kids from fully participating in their sports. Shoulder and elbow overuse injuries are especially common in baseball players and pitchers because of the repetitive throwing motion.

Tips to prevent overuse injuries: One of the best ways to minimize overuse injuries in kids and teenagers is to encourage them to play more than one sport. Cross-training can help prevent common ligament injuries in the knee, shoulder, and elbow. Additionally, if your child has been sedentary, it’s important to help them gradually return to their sports by slowly increasing the frequency and duration of their participation.

When to see a doctor for a summer injury

If you suspect a head injury of any kind, call a medical professional to determine if they need additional care. It’s always better to seek care sooner rather than later.

If your child had an activity-related fall, you should seek medical care if they are:

  • Limping
  • Unable to put use full range of motion in an extremity (e.g. arm or leg)
  • Experiencing pain or tenderness when pressure is applied to a joint
  • Having headaches or drowsy, as these could be signs of a concussion

Have a safe, injury-free remainder of summer!


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

How to Improve Your Stamina

Article featured on Verywell fit

If you had to choose one—and only one—component of fitness to improve, what would you choose? You’re probably thinking you’d try to improve your strength, endurance, or speed, all of which are worthwhile goals to chase.

However, there’s one less-appreciated fitness factor that actually combines multiple components of fitness into one: stamina. If you want to most bang for your fitness buck, consider working to improve stamina.

What Is Stamina? 

Stamina is defined as “the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort,” according to Oxford Dictionary. What this means in practical terms is that good stamina allows you to:

  • Run faster for longer distances
  • Lift heavier weights for more reps
  • Take longer, tougher hikes
  • Push through perceived pain, discomfort, and fatigue
  • Perform daily activities with high energy levels

The better your stamina, the more efficient you become at just about everything, mentally and physically.

Stamina vs. Endurance

People often use the words “stamina” and “endurance” interchangeably, and while the two terms are similar, they aren’t the same. Endurance is defined as “the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way,” and there are two types of endurance related to fitness: cardiovascular and muscular.

Cardiovascular endurance refers to the ability of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels to support rhythmic exercise such as swimming, cycling, and running. Muscular endurance refers to the ability of your muscles to sustain repetitive movements under a given load, such as during weightlifting or hiking. Both types of endurance are important and both represent a component of stamina.

Stamina vs. Strength

“Strength” has lots of different definitions, but in regard to fitness, it essentially defines how much weight you can lift. People who are very strong can lift heavier weights and can also lift lighter weights for many reps. People with less strength can’t lift as much and may not be able to lift as many reps.

Strength training contributes to your stamina because it conditions your body to sustain movement under heavy loads.

Improving your strength even helps for endurance-focused exercises because the stronger your muscles, the better they can handle repetitive movements.

Stamina vs. Speed

Speed, as you probably know, refers to how fast or slow you move while walking, running, swimming, or performing other cardiovascular exercise. Genetics may influence speed more than they influence strength and endurance, although you can improve your speed with hard work just like you can improve any other part of your fitness.

Stamina mainly comprises endurance and strength, because the definition refers to your ability to sustain a given effort. The stronger you are, the more reps you’ll be able to lift with a given load. The better endurance you have, the longer you can sustain a given speed during a run. Stamina is less of a function of speed, but speed certainly still plays a role in your overall fitness.

How to Improve Your Stamina

The key concept here is to challenge yourself. If you’re trying to improve your stamina (or any aspect of your fitness) you’ll need to follow the “principle of progressive overload,” a physiological rule that explains how the body gets stronger, faster, and fitter.

To put it simply, the principle of progressive overload says that you won’t improve in any capacity if you keep doing the same workouts at the same intensity over and over again.

You must change something, be it frequency, intensity, volume, weight, distance, speed, or rest intervals.

For example, if you can barbell squat 10 reps at 100 pounds, you should next try to squat 12 reps at 100 pounds or 10 reps at 105 pounds. Small tweaks like this lead to significant improvements over time.

Here are 15 ways to change up your workout routine and induce improvements in your stamina. 

1. Go for Long Walks 

Here’s a simple way to improve your stamina: Simply move your body for long periods of time. Going for long walks of 30 to 60 minutes is a phenomenal way to build endurance, especially for beginners. Even advanced exercisers can enjoy the stamina-boosting effects of long-distance walking if they amp up the speed and intensity.

2. Add Running Intervals

If you don’t feel walking is enough to improve your stamina, try tossing in a few running intervals throughout your walk. Interval training is proven to be one of the best methods for improving overall fitness, at least in a time-efficient sense. Next time you head out for a walk, add a 30-second sprint every three or four minutes.

4. Increase Your Running Distance or Time

Go the distance for stamina. Since stamina is a combination of endurance, speed, and strength, challenge yourself to maintain your usual running pace for a minute longer. When you can do that, add another minute. Your stamina should continue to improve this way for a while, although everyone has limits on how far and fast they can run.

5. Run Hills and Stairs

If increasing your running distance or time doesn’t sound fun (we don’t blame you), vary the type of running instead.

If you live near hills or hiking trails, adding hill runs to your routine can make a huge difference in your stamina.

Alternatively, stairs and bleachers work, too. Running in an uphill manner challenges your lungs and legs alike.

6. Try High-Volume Weightlifting

Studies show that volume is the number-one variable in resistance training that improves fitness. Volume refers to the total load you lift in a given session, day, or week. It’s calculated by multiplying weight by reps.

For example, if you perform three sets of 10 squats at 100 pounds, find your total volume by multiplying three by 10 by 100. The total volume comes out to 3,000 pounds. In general, continually increasing your volume benefits your fitness.

7. Practice Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercise refers to any exercise during which muscles fiber, but don’t extend or contract. Planks and wall-sits are two good examples of isometric exercises. Incorporating isometric work into your fitness routine can teach your muscles to sustain a position under stress for longer periods of time.

8. Decrease Rest Intervals During Workouts

One surefire way to improve your stamina is to allow yourself less rest time (unless you’re lifting very heavy weights, in which case you should rest three to five minutes between sets for optimal strength gains).

Studies show that decreasing rest intervals while performing moderate- to high-intensity exercise increases physical performance and body composition.

Shortening your rest interval forces you to perform more work in less time, which in theory should support improvements in stamina.

9. Try Cycling 

Riding a bike in any fashion—mountain biking, road biking, or indoor cycling—can improve your stamina if you push the pace (and the terrain if you’re outside).

Indoor cycling in particular is proven to increase aerobic capacity, a major contributor to stamina, as well as other health markers.

Mountain biking may be more effective at increasing muscular endurance and power due to the increased and variable resistance.

10. Swap Cycling for Rowing

If you’re already an avid cycler, you may want to add rowing to your workout rotation. Scientists have long hypothesized that rowing is a more effective workout than cycling because rowing recruits more muscle groups in a more intense fashion. Rowing seems to improve cardiovascular capacity more than cycling, so next time you have the opportunity to hop on an erg, go for it!

11. Have Dance Parties 

Dancing is a phenomenal mode of exercise that will leave your lungs and muscles burning—and it’s fun! Dancing may also require you to assume new positions and challenge your range of motion, which can improve your overall fitness.

Several scientific studies have shown dancing to have significant impacts on health and fitness, from better mobility and balance to improved cardiovascular endurance. Dance as exercise may also increase adherence for some people, because the cost and transportation barriers to entry are low.

12. Play Sports

Again, destructuring your fitness routine could, if counterintuitively, improve your stamina and fitness. Most sports require complex skill sets that may be outside of your comfort zone. If you’re used to lifting weights, running, or other relatively monotonous movements, swapping one workout each week for a sports game is a great way to hone other physical skills.

For instance, a game of soccer includes sprinting, jogging, walking, cutting, kicking, dodging, and even throwing, depending on the position you play. The intermingling of these different movements provides a fun and challenging way to improve your stamina.

13. Listen to Music While Exercising

Everyone knows a good song can pump you up for your workout. Listening to music brings people joy and energy, and this remains true during exercise. Listening to upbeat music during your workout might boost your performance in a number of ways, from reducing your perception of fatigue, distracting you from the strain of your workout, and making exercise feel easier.

14. Drink Caffeine Before Exercising

If you’re looking for a one-off way to improve your stamina, consuming a bit of caffeine before your workout might help. Studies show that caffeine acts as a great pre-workout supplement, because it can increase your energy, mood, and physical capacities, although the effect seems to be more significant in men than women, and you should be careful not to become reliant on caffeine.

15. Add Meditation to Your Fitness Routine

Remember how we mentioned that the word “stamina” refers to both physical and mental pursuits? This is where that tidbit of information comes in. Adding mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to your overall wellness routine might improve your mental stamina.

If you’re used to fast-paced, engaging workouts, mindfulness practices will challenge you to push through perceived boredom and handle stress, two factors that play a role in how long you’re able to exercise at a near-maximal level. In fact, a 2016 study in the journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that medical students reported improved mental stamina (less stress and improved patience and wellbeing) after six weeks of yoga and meditation.

Don’t Forget to Rest and Recover

Finally, make sure you have recovery days scheduled into your workout routine. Contrary to popular belief, the actual act of exercising isn’t what improves your fitness—it’s the repair and rebuild phase that does. If you perform an intense workout every single day, your body never gets the chance to recover, thus it never has the opportunity to repair your muscles. Rest days are critical to your improvement over time.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday

Everything You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia

Everything You Need to Know about Fibromyalgia

From Medical News Today

Fibromyalgia is a common and chronic syndrome that causes bodily pain and mental distress.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia can be confused with those of arthritis, or joint inflammation. However, unlike arthritis, it has not been found to cause joint or muscle inflammation and damage. It is seen as a rheumatic condition, in other words, one that causes soft tissue pain or myofascial pain.

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), around 5 million adults aged 18 years or over in the United States experience fibromyalgia, and 80 to 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients are women.

Fast facts on fibromyalgia:

Here are some key points about fibromyalgia. More detail is in the main article.

  • Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain, fatigue, and other types of discomfort.
  • Symptoms resemble those of arthritis, but fibromyalgia affects the soft tissue, not the joints.
  • The cause is unknown, but risk factors include traumatic injury, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, and genetic factors.
  • There is no cure, but medications, exercise, acupuncture, and behavioral therapy can help relieve symptoms and improve sleep quality.

Symptoms

Common symptoms include:

  • widespread pain
  • jaw pain and stiffness
  • pain and tiredness in the face muscles and adjacent fibrous tissues
  • stiff joints and muscles in the morning
  • headaches
  • irregular sleep patterns
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • painful menstrual periods
  • tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
  • restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • sensitivity to cold or heat
  • difficulties with memory and concentration, known as “fibro-fog”
  • fatigue

The following are also possible:

  • problems with vision
  • nausea
  • pelvic and urinary problems
  • weight gain
  • dizziness
  • cold or flu-like symptoms
  • skin problems
  • chest symptoms
  • depression and anxiety
  • breathing problems

Symptoms can appear at any time during a person’s life, but they are most commonly reported around the age of 45 years.

Treatment

Medical attention is needed because fibromyalgia can be difficult to manage. As it is a syndrome, each patient will experience a different set of symptoms, and an individual treatment plan will be necessary.

Treatment may include some or all of the following:

  • an active exercise program
  • acupuncture
  • psychotherapy
  • behavior modification therapy
  • chiropractic care
  • massage
  • physical therapy
  • low-dose anti-depressants, although these are not a first-line treatment

People with fibromyalgia need to work with their doctor to come up with a treatment plan that provides the best results.

Medications

Medications may be recommended to treat certain symptoms.

These may include over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. However, the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) issued a recommendation against using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat fibromyalgia in their updated 2016 guidelines.

Antidepressants may help reduce pain. Anti-seizure drugs, such as gabapentin also known as Neurontin, and pregabalin, or Lyrica, may be prescribed.

However, a review has suggested that patients often stop using these drugs because they are not effective in relieving pain or because of their adverse effects.

Patients should tell the doctor about any other medications they are taking to avoid side-effects and interactions with other drugs.

Exercise

A combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training, or strength training, has been linked to a reduction in pain, tenderness, stiffness, and sleep disturbance, in some patients.

If exercise is helping with symptoms, it is important to maintain consistency in order to see progress. Working out with a partner or personal trainer may help to keep the exercise program active.

Acupuncture

Some patients have experienced improvements in their quality of life after starting acupuncture therapy for fibromyalgia. The number of sessions required will depend on the symptoms and their severity.

One study found that 1 in 5 people with fibromyalgia use acupuncture within 2 years of diagnosis. The researchers concluded that it may improve pain and stiffness. However, they call for more studies.

Behavior modification therapy

Behavior modification therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that aims to reduce negative, stress- or pain-increasing behaviors and improve positive, mindful behaviors. It includes learning new coping skills and relaxation exercises.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm