4 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries This Spring

4 Tips for Reducing Your Chances of a Sports Injury This Spring

There is no way to completely rule out the risks associated with spring sports, but by utilizing these four precautions, you can minimize your risk of injury significantly.

1. Always Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Before we get into the rest of our tips, let’s warm-up. This step is important to protect your muscles and joints. When our ligaments aren’t in use, they become stiff, are less flexible, and are more prone to injury. Warming up your body increases your internal temperature and blood flow to your muscles, which can help reduce your chances of a tear or strain. This is crucial especially before a more intense workout or activity such as HIIT, hiking, or distance running.

Warming Up

Your warm-up routine should last for about 10 minutes — and you should start with light exercise and gradually increase intensity before your main activity. Here are some activities to add to your next warm-up:

  • General stretching
  • High knees
  • Jogging in place
  • Lunges
  • Jumping jacks
  • Side shuffles

Cooling Down

It’s just as important to cool down after your workout when it comes to lowering your risk of sustaining a sports injury. This not only lets your heart rate come down, but gives your muscles a middle ground to recover. Some examples of cool-down exercises you can add to your routine include:

  • Walking
  • Light jogging
  • Yoga

2. Always Wear Protective Gear

It’s critical that you always wear these recommended safety gear items, depending on the activity:

  • Proper footwear
  • Padding
  • Mouthguard
  • Helmet

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

Calcium and vitamin D are two essential nutrients that support and maintain healthy bones and muscles — working together to maintain bone density and muscle strength.

Be sure to fuel your body before and after exercise with some of these foods:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Dairy
  • Lean protein
  • Almonds
  • Eggs

4. Seek Sports Injury Treatment if Needed

Whether months inside have caused you to feel new aches and strains, or you’re recovering from an existing sports injury, it’s important to consult with your doctor before getting back into the game.

Common sports injuries and related afflictions we have treated include but are not limited to:

  • Tendonitis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprains
  • Chronic headaches
  • Shoulder or knee pain
  • Breaks and fractures, especially in the feet, wrists, shoulders, and spine

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

Common Sports Injuries and How to Treat Them

Article featured on Arkansas Surgical Hospital

Most sports injuries result from either overuse of a joint or damaging a joint through tearing or spraining ligaments or muscles.  Some of the most common sports injuries include torn ACLs, shoulder dislocation, torn rotator cuffs, and sprained ankles.  During the late summer months, emergency departments and orthopedic specialists see a sharp uptick in these injuries.  Sports such as baseball, basketball, volleyball, and tennis contribute to the increase in sports injuries.

Sprains

Sprains or strains are the most common sports injury, with ankle sprains affecting 25,000 people every day.  Any sports activity that requires running, lunging, or shifting on your feet can lead to an ankle sprain, which is the stretching or tearing of ankle ligaments.  A strain is damage to the tendons or muscles.  Both cause swelling, pain, and the need to stop using the ankle for a while.

To minimize your risk of ankle sprains, make sure you stretch and warm up properly before any sports activities.  Stretching helps warm up the ligaments and muscles and makes them more flexible.  More flexibility means less chance of overextending the ligaments and causing damage.

Torn ACL

Knee injuries can be devastating to casual exercisers as well as athletes.  The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in the knee is one of the major ligaments controlling joint movement and preventing overextension of the knee.  The ACL connects the upper and lower leg bones.  Most torn ACLs are the result of sudden stopping and starting movements or shifts in direction.  They are common in basketball and other sports that may cause the individual to shift balance quickly.  Jumping and landing, as in volleyball, can also cause a torn ACL.  If you are exercising or participating in a sport and hear or feel a sudden “pop” in your knee, you may have torn your ACL.  A torn ACL will cause severe pain, the inability to put weight on your leg, and swelling.

As with any potential sports injury, the first step in prevention is proper preparation.  Stretching and warming up will help prepare the ligament for exercise.  Stretching after workouts will also help keep the joint from tightening up and becoming injured.

Exercising correctly is also crucial.  Practice landing and jumping properly.  Your knees should be straight for jumping and bend when landing.  Try not to twist your knees when you’re jumping or coming back down, which increases stress on the ACL.  Changing directions should also be practiced so you can do it without twisting the knees.

Shoulder Dislocation

A dislocated shoulder has a wide range of symptoms, including deformity of the joints, severe pain, swelling and bruising, instability or locking of the joint.  There may also be weakness, burning, or numbness in the neck or arm.  Some people may experience shoulder spasms that increase the pain.  Unfortunately, there is a 7 in 10 chance of a repeat shoulder dislocation after the first one.  For this reason, it’s imperative to learn ways to prevent it in the first place and minimize the chance of recurrence.

For tennis players and others who rely on their shoulder joint, warm-up and stretching are a good idea, but they should also take the time to strengthen the shoulder joint, so it’s less likely to become dislocated.  Exercises can be as simple as pushing out against a wall with your arm; elbow flexed as though shaking hands with someone.  Repeat this up to 20 times, holding for 5 seconds each time.  Then push the arm and shoulder inward, pressing the bent hand into the opposite palm, repeating 20 times for 5 seconds each time.  Resistance band exercises can also strengthen the shoulder joint, as can working with lightweight dumbbells.

Many shoulder dislocations are the result of falling and catching yourself improperly.  If you do fall, resist the urge to catch yourself with your hands, as this frequently leads to a shoulder dislocation or broken arm bone.  Keep your arms bent close to your body, spinning so that you land on your buttocks or side.  Wearing protective gear on your shoulders can also help prevent repeat injuries.

Torn Rotator Cuff

Fraying or the tearing of rotator tendons in the shoulder is known as a torn rotator cuff.  While physically active people are most susceptible to a torn rotator cuff, you can also sustain a torn rotator cuff even if you are sedentary.  The pain of a torn rotator cuff may be sudden and severe or begin as a nagging pain when using the shoulder for routine activities such as shaking hands, lifting things, putting on clothing, or reaching behind the body.  Severe pain at night due to swelling may interfere with sleep.

Exercise focusing on strengthening the small cluster of muscles in the rotator cuff.  Combine activities that strengthen the entire shoulder area with some exercises specifically for the rotator cuff.  Lower resistance with multiple repetitions is best for strengthening the area.  Keeping the movements small and controlled will also help.

The Takeaway

Increased activity and participation in sports are good for your health, and changes in the weather makes it more enjoyable.  To make sure you can continue to enjoy your activities, the crucial elements are proper warm-up, exercises to strengthen your joints, and knowing how to move correctly to minimize the possibility of injury.  Working on balance and stability is also helpful.  Yoga, tai-chi, and other activities that focus on slow stretching and enhanced, safe movement can help reduce injuries.  Knowing your limits is also essential.  If you haven’t played basketball for a few years, a rigorous game the first time out isn’t a good idea.  You need to relearn how to move safely and make sure your muscles and ligaments are properly toned and warmed up every time 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, 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

Top 5 Most Effective Evidence-based Treatment Options for Concussions

Article featured on Complete Concussion Management

Historically, patients with concussion were told to rest, rest, rest. And when that didn’t work, they were told to rest some more.

The research on concussions is evolving at an exponential rate and we are realizing that not only does prolonged rest not work; it can actually make you worse.

Sadly, many healthcare practitioners are not keeping up with the explosion in concussion research and are still telling their patients that the only treatment for concussion is rest. If you have fallen victim to this, you don’t need more rest; you need a second opinion.

While it is true that during the early stages following injury, moderate rest is still important, that timeline seems to be getting shorter, with longer duration rest creating worse outcomes for patients. So, if you have been resting for more than a week, and are still having significant symptoms, it’s time to switch it up. More rest is likely contributing to your ongoing symptoms.

If not rest, then what?

The top 5 most effective evidence-based treatment options for concussion:

1. Exercise Therapy

Following concussion, animal (and many human) studies have demonstrated a reduction in blood flow to the brain in the early stages. Recent research has found that these blood flow changes may persist for some time following injury due to ongoing dysfunction in the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS consists to two opposing sides that tend to work in opposition to one another.  The Sympathetic Nervous System is also known as the “Fight, Flight, or Freeze” system – this side of the ANS is responsible for increasing our heart rate, dilating our blood vessels to pump blood to our muscles, release adrenaline, dilate our pupils, and get us ready for action.  Our Parasympathetic Nervous System on the other hand is our “Rest & Digest” system – this side of the ANS is responsible for lowering our heart rate, increasing our digestion, activating our metabolism, and helping us to be relaxed and calm.

These two systems can be thought of like a teeter-totter.  When one is up, the other is down.  They fluctuate their dominance throughout our days but the system should maintain a harmony and balance.

Concussion creates an imbalance in the ANS with most suffering from high “Sympathetic Tone” – this means that we are stuck in a fight or flight state.  Our heart rate tends to be elevated and doesn’t respond well to increased demands, blood flow to our brain is not as responsive, our digestion shuts down sometimes leading to stomach pains, food sensitivities, and increased inflammation, our anxiety levels increase, we may get lightheaded more easily, and we suffer symptoms with increased cognitive and physical activity.

The good news is that this problem can be tested for and rehabilitated very easily; provided you know what you’re doing!

The mainstay rehabilitation for this problem actually goes against conventional thought: exercise!

Researchers at the University of Buffalo have published numerous studies demonstrating complete symptom resolution and improved brain blood flow (as measured on fMRI) through a specific graded exercise program alone.

More recent evidence suggests that exercise might even help speed recovery in the early stages after concussion!

It is important to see someone who knows exactly what they are doing with this protocol. Testing with a trained professional must be done first to establish set points as well as your specific program.  There is also more to balancing the Autonomic Nervous System that must be taken into consideration as well.

2. Manual Therapy & Neck Rehab

With every concussion, there is also a whiplash.

Studies have demonstrated that the acceleration required to cause a concussion is somewhere between 70 and 120 G’s (where G = force of gravity = 9.8m/s2). Whiplash, on the other hand has been shown to occur at only 4.5 G’s.

It is therefore conceivably impossible for a concussion to occur without also causing a sprain or strain injury to your neck! In fact, a Canadian study found that 100% of the time, these injuries are happening together.

What becomes even more confusing is that the signs and symptoms of whiplash and neck dysfunction are the exact same as concussion! Headaches, cognitive and emotional problems, balance problems and dizziness, eye movement control problems, and brain blood flow abnormalities43 have all been shown to occur in whiplash and neck pain patients.

There is actually no way to tell if the symptoms are coming from your neck or from your concussion except with testing (some specific tests that we won’t go into here). In fact, most of the patients healthcare practitioners see in this category don’t report any neck pain; which makes this all the more confusing for practitioners. In a recent unpublished study with the University of Buffalo, the researchers found that there was absolutely no difference in the symptoms that whiplash patients report and the symptoms that concussion patients report.

Concussion is an injury that typically resolves quite quickly in most people (symptoms generally disappear for 80-90% of patients within 7 to 10 days); however, whiplash symptoms can linger for up to a year or more.

So, if you are still having concussion symptoms, even if you don’t have neck pain, you may actually be suffering from symptoms that are coming from your neck; which are easily treated with manual therapy and rehabilitative exercises.

3. Diet/Nutritional Changes

With injury to any tissue, there is inflammation; concussions are no exception with several studies demonstrating increased inflammatory markers following injury.

Concussion results in a metabolic dysfunction (read: energy deficit) in the initial stages, which is why strict rest used to be prescribed early on; the thought was – anything that burns energy, such as thinking or physical activity, could increase symptoms.  As mentioned above however, rest is no longer considered an effective treatment for concussion.

It is important to note however that the majority of studies examining this metabolic disruption show a recovery between 22 and 45 days after injury. In other words, beyond a 3-6 week period, there is little metabolic explanation for your symptoms; unless of course you did not rest in the initial stages and/or received a second concussion soon after the first.

Treatment options for both of these things can include simple dietary changes such as avoiding pro-inflammatory foods (red meats, refined sugars, white breads and pastas, artificial sweeteners) and replacing them with healthier options such as fruits and vegetables, fresh caught fish (salmon, mackerel, herring), and good fats (coconut oil, flax seed, almonds). These changes may help to offset an ongoing inflammatory response and reduce your symptoms.

Another option would be to speak to your doctor about a short course of anti-inflammatory medications. Note that we say “short course” as, over a prolonged period, these medications can begin to harm your stomach and gut leading to ulcers.

4. Vestibular and Visual Rehab

Dizziness is one of the most common ongoing complaints of patients with persistent symptoms. This may be due to a number of overlapping issues such as problems with the balance centres of your brain, your visual system, and/or problems with the muscle and joint sensors of your neck.

Visual system problems may also be one of the causes of ongoing cognitive complaints such as trouble with concentration and/or memory. If you find yourself reading a passage and then having to re-read it several times before you understand what it is saying, you might have a problem with how your eyes are moving or working together. Testing for each of these areas requires extensive knowledge of each of the systems and how they may interact. If you have not had extensive testing of these systems, then you are in the wrong place!

Following a thorough assessment of these areas a proper rehabilitation program can be set up. The research on rehabilitation for these areas is extensive with numerous studies showing resolution of dizziness, and visual abnormalities with a fairly short course of treatment.

5. Education and Reassurance (due to Psychological Comorbidities)

It has been well established that patients with a pre-existing history of depression and/or anxiety tend to have prolonged symptoms. Not only that, the symptoms of these and other mental health conditions can result in, or mimic, the same symptoms of concussion (dizziness, mental confusion, concentration problems, sadness, emotional outbursts).

Many of these issues can begin before or after the concussion, which may be due to the concussion itself, or a direct result of being mismanaged by someone giving you improper advice. In other words, being told to sit in a dark room, avoid all social contact, not go to work or school, and not do any physical activity for months on end may be causing to the very anxiety, depression, and symptoms that you are attempting to stop.

Studies examining the overlay of mental health and concussion are endless (so much so that I won’t even begin to start referencing them), and mental health will always be a big part of concussion management. In most cases, patients often feel much better following some education and reassurance. The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation recently demonstrated to be one of the best evidence-based treatment options for preventing long-term symptoms was patient education and reassurance!


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 Health Benefits of Swimming

Article featured on verywellfit, Medically reviewed by Vanessa Nzeh, MD

Swimming is the fourth most popular form of exercise in the United States with over 27 million people participating over the age of six.

But there are also many barriers to participating in swimming. For instance, many people don’t learn to swim until later in life and some may experience discomfort or even fear of the water because it’s an unfamiliar environment.

Despite those hurdles, swimming provides a range of unique health benefits. Some people describe the sensation of immersing themselves in water as transformative or healing—and many enjoy the antigravity aspect of floating. There are also many documented health benefits associated with swimming that may inspire you to develop your own program of pool or open water exercise.

Health Benefits of Swimming

Participation in any physical activity—especially on a regular basis—can provide a wide range of health benefits. Regular exercise improves heart health, can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and may even reduce the risk of certain cancers. Exercise can also help you experience sharper thinking, learning, and judgment skills as you age, reduce your risk of depression, and can even promote better sleep. And just a single bout of exercise can provide immediate benefits, including reduced short-term feelings of anxiety.

The water environment and the fact that swimming involves the entire body give it a few unique advantages over other popular activities such as walking, running, or cycling.

Researchers have investigated the many ways participation in different types of swimming can affect the body. It is important to note, however, that just like any physical activity, there are significant differences between participation levels.

For example, lifelong competitive swimmers may experience different health benefits than those who swim for fun just a few times per month. These are some of the findings regarding the health benefits of swimming.

May Improve Body Composition

Swimming may help you to reduce body fat. A small study published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation found that middle-aged women who swam regularly (60-minute sessions, three times per week for 12 weeks) showed an average drop in body fat of almost 3% while a control group (women who did not swim) showed no significant change. The swimmers also showed improved flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, and improved blood lipids.

However, another study examined changes in body composition in younger women who participated in a 12-week swim program. The study involved 34 women in their early 20s who were assigned to a swimming group or a non-swimming (sedentary) group. The swimming group participated in three 60-minute swim sessions per week for 12 weeks.

At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that the swimming group did experience a decrease in hip circumference but did not show significant changes to body composition as compared to the non-swimming group.

Lastly, in 2015 researchers evaluated the psychological, social, and physical health states of competitive swimmers engaged in long-term training. The study took place during four days of the French master championships in 2011. All swimmers selected for the event were invited to take part in the study, but only 490 participated.

May Lower Blood Pressure

A handful of studies have suggested that swimming may help lower blood pressure. One study involved women who had been diagnosed with mild hypertension. Researchers evaluated the effects of different swimming protocols on their blood pressure.

For the study, 62 women were randomly assigned to participate in high-intensity swimming (6–10 repetitions of 30-second all-out effort interspersed by 2 minutes of recovery), moderate swimming (one hour at moderate intensity), or a control group (no training or lifestyle changes).

After 15 weeks, researchers saw no changes in the control group. But both the high intensity and moderate swimming groups saw a decrease in systolic blood pressure. Both groups also decreased resting heart rate and body fat.

Several other studies have also found associations between swimming for exercise and lower blood pressure, especially in people with hypertension.

Reduced Risk of Musculoskeletal Injury

Exercise physiologists have noted that many popular sports and leisure activities require a certain level of technique and can involve impact with the ground leading to bruises, contusions, bone fractures, and more serious injuries. This can make the high risk of injury a point of weakness for many traditional sports and athletic activities.

However, in at least one published review, researchers point out that the probability of these types of injuries taking place in a low-impact swimming environment is minimized given the fact that weight is reduced through the use of the water’s buoyancy.

Fewer Respiratory Infections

If cold weather swimming appeals to you, participation in this extreme sport may help you to avoid upper respiratory tract infections and gain other health benefits.

Also called “winter swimming” or “ice swimming,” the sport involves swimming in cold to ice-cold water, most often in water below 5 °C (41 degrees Fahrenheit). Ice swimming used to be practiced only by extreme athletes, but has grown in popularity and now recreational swimmers compete regularly in both local and international events.

Scientists who published a 2020 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reviewed studies related to ice swimming. They found that regular participation was associated with improvements in hematological and endocrine function (including decreased blood pressure, decreased triglycerides, and better insulin sensitivity), fewer upper respiratory tract infections, relief from mood disorders, and a general sense of well-being.

The researchers note, however, that only experienced swimmers in good health should participate in the sport. They state that “there is a risk of death in unfamiliar people, either due to the initial neurogenic cold shock response or due to a progressive decrease in swimming efficiency or hypothermia.”

If cold weather swimming sounds too extreme, you may still be able to gain better respiratory health with traditional pool swimming. A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Yoga compared the health effects of swimming to yoga.

Also, swimmers who participated in the 2015 study at the French Masters had greater peak expiratory flow values which suggested improved lung function.

Improved Health Perception

In 2015, a group of researchers investigated how different levels of participation in swimming might affect the health perception of middle-aged women. In their report, the study authors write that health perception is important in the way we manage our overall health because our behavior and choices are based on what we perceive about health in the first place.

They note that this relationship is important now more than ever as stress levels and fatigue are on the rise in many areas.

In the 2015 study involving participants of the French Masters, researchers measured the swimmer’s health perceptions. All of the female swimmers and the older age groups of male swimmers reported significantly higher values when it came to perceptions of vitality as compared to reference values. All of the swimmers who participated in that study also indicated significantly lower scores for the perception of bodily pain.

More Swimming Benefits

Many people who swim describe benefits that are not likely to be reported in clinical studies. In fact, according to U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS), Olympic swimmer Janet Evans once described swimming as the “ultimate all-in-one fitness package” because it improves your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

These benefits are not groundbreaking news to Marty Munson, a marathon swimmer who has swum around many islands including Key West and Manhattan. Munson is a USMS-certified swim coach, a certified Adult Learn to Swim instructor, and is a USA Triathlon Level 1 coach.

In her experience coaching both new and experienced swimmers, she has seen that the sport can be transformative. She outlines a few keys areas where change is likely to occur.

Elevated Sense of Achievement

“So many people come to the pool feeling that swimming is impossible for them,” says Munson. She adds that people are often sure they can’t learn to swim and see they see the water as “other” or “scary.” Part of this may be due to the fact that breathing in the water is different than breathing on land. But after learning a few basics, “new swimmers learn to luxuriate in it, work with it, and move through it,” she says “And they always amaze themselves when they do.”

For swimmers who have some limited experience in the water, there are also benefits. By refining basic skills, beginning-level swimmers can become proficient in the water. Simple tweaks can make the difference between struggling in the water and being frustrated, and gliding through it, and having fun.

Improved Self-Reliance

When people who are just learning to swim finally get the hang of it, they gain so much more than technique, says Munson. “Swimming isn’t just about moving your arms, legs, and core, and getting to the other side of the pool.”

Instead, she describes a process that involves learning to rely on your own strength and abilities. “A big part of swimming is about learning to not fight with the water,” she says. “That kind of acceptance and surrender, used at the right moments, is a powerful skill both in the pool and out.”

Munson says this sense of self-reliance often carries over into other areas of life. “It’s an amazing feeling to know that you can jump into any body of water and manage it just fine,” she says.

Tips to Get Started

If the benefits of swimming have inspired you to dive in and start your own program, Munson has a few suggestions to help you get started.

Reframe Fears About Breathing

People are often afraid of thinking about the fact that you can’t breathe when your head is under the water. But Munson explains that you do breathe under water. You just breathe out when your face is in and breathe in when your head is above the surface. So, it’s not that you can’t breathe under the water. Instead, you breathe differently underwater.

“Many people think they should hold their breath under the water. When you do that, you’re actually creating a feeling of panic. But if you breathe out underwater and breathe in when you bring your head up or turn your head to the side you’ll be able to create the same in-out rhythm that you have on land.”

To adjust to the new breathing pattern Munson suggests that you practice blowing bubbles under the water before you try swimming. Put your face in the water and make a lot of big bubbles, breathe in when you come up. Practicing this pattern will help you to establish a comfortable breathing rhythm.

Be Patient

Many times people have bad previous experiences with water and a qualified instructor can help you get past them. And remember to be patient and kind to yourself as you learn to swim. “Don’t let people force you into deeper water than you’re ready for,” she says. “But also don’t convince yourself that you can’t make it to the next level.”

Learn to Tread Water

Treading water teaches you to keep your head above water regardless of water depth. “When people learn this skill, they get a huge jump in confidence in the water,” says Munson. It helps new swimmers pause and support themselves when they get uncomfortable. Lastly, Munson suggests that practice is important. You don’t have to spend a long time in the pool each session, just a few minutes on a regular basis can make a difference.

“I can always tell when swimmers in my weekly classes have been in the pool in between sessions,” she says. “It doesn’t take long to develop skills, but you do have to get in the pool to do it.”


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

Are You Ready for a Marathon?

Article featured on Summit Orthopedics

If you are a runner, running a marathon may be on your bucket list. We share some advice for you to consider before you commit to your first marathon.

In the summertime race events are plentiful. Runners can include the whole family in a day of fitness fun by signing up for a family run, race to raise money for worthy causes, or set their sites on the race that tests their endurance as a runner: the marathon. It is important for aspiring marathoners to understand that it is one thing to run a 5-mile course, and quite another to complete a 26.2 mile race.

The decision to run a marathon should be given serious consideration. To run a marathon safely means making a significant time commitment to months of planning and training.

We suggest that runners consider three factors before they commit to their first marathon.

Schedule

Training for a marathon means dedicated time to training; but that’s not where your time commitment ends. You’ll also need time for proper recovery between training sessions, and should also factor in a higher-than-normal level of fatigue. If you are at a point where demands on your time are high, or you may not have the support you need, you might want to consider a half marathon instead. This shorter race still requires training, and will give you more first hand experience about whether you are ready for the demands of a longer race.

Pre-Existing Injuries

If you have any knee, hip, or back issues, marathon training is going to increase the stress on problem areas. This is a factor you should discuss with a physical therapist before you commit to training for a big race.

Nutrition

Marathon training increases your body’s nutrition needs. If you aren’t a healthy eater, are you ready to make significant changes in your diet to protect your body’s performance?

Running is a wonderful way to stay fit and healthy, and every runner talks about the emotional satisfaction that goes hand-in-hand with their sport. We applaud ambitious goals like checking that first marathon off the bucket list, and we want you to be ready and able to commit the time and discipline you’ll need to safely train to achieve your goal.


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 Prevent Shin Splints

Article featured on Humpal Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers

A shin splint, which is medically referred to as tibial stress syndrome, is a painful injury to the shin that commonly affects runners, but also dancers and other athletes.

Shin pain most often occurs on the medial side of the shin (termed medial tibial stress syndrome, or MTSS) but can also occur on the lateral or anterior side of the lower leg. Shin splint pain develops due to the overexertion of pressure on muscles in the lower legs causing stress on the tissues in that region. If left untreated, shin splints can lead to lower leg compartment syndrome or even a stress fracture.

Several risk factors have been identified to increase the likelihood of developing shin splints, particularly in runners.  These factors include:

  • being of female gender
  • previously experiencing shin pain, having fewer years of running experience
  • previously using orthotics
  • having high body mass index
  • having a dropped foot bone (the navicular bone)
  • in males, the likelihood increases if you have excessive external rotation in your hips

Obviously some of these risk factors cannot be changed (such as your gender!) but many of these factors as well as others can be addressed by your Physical Therapist in order to lower your chances of developing shin splints.

Unfortunately there are no proven methods available to definitively prevent shin splints. There are several strategies, however, that may help in preventing shin splints.  These strategies include wearing appropriate fitness shoes, warming up before engaging in recreational activities, gradually increasing activity so the body can adapt, discontinuing the activity if you start experiencing pain in the shins, keeping your body weight in check, and seeking the attention of a Physical Therapist before pain arises in order to assess your running or sport biomechanics.

For active individuals such as runners, it is important to take time to find a comfortable shoe that protects the foot and promotes normal mobility. Bulky and ‘shock-absorbing’ shoes may not be the ideal type to allow body’s natural foot and ankle placement.  If you do not have any foot injuries or complications, minimalist type shoes, which replicate the movement of a bare foot are highly recommended.  However, you will likely need to seek advice on transitioning from your current footwear to minimalist shoes to avoid injuries from sudden change.

Minimalist type shoes improve the strength of the feet over time by allowing the feet to bear more of the impact force that is experienced during physical activity. In addition, they promote an increased cadence (step frequency), which subsequently decreases the strain on your lower extremities. There is also reliable evidence available on prevention of shin splints by using shock-absorbing insoles within your shoes, however, more quality research is certainly required before this advice becomes universal. You can assess your running and walking pattern, as well as assess your foot and lower extremity alignment and biomechanics to help you determine the best footwear. Taking adequate time for the feet to adjust to new shoes and gradually increasing the level of physical activity, along with replacing your shoes regularly in order to maximize their function will also help to prevent injury.

Taking ample time to properly warm up before engaging in physical activity can also reduce the occurrence of injuries. A warm up that includes a short activity to get the heart rate up followed by dynamic stretching is best.  Dynamic stretches are stretches that involve quick movements of the limbs and body and, for best results, should simulate the activity you are about to engage in. When athletes perform dynamic warm-ups, they typically demonstrate enhanced flexibility and improved performance. Runners, for example, may do dynamic stretching by swinging their legs back and forth to simulate running or do several jumps on the spot. These quick stretches stimulate the nervous system and increase the range of motion in the muscles and joints.

If you start experiencing pain in your shins during physical activity it is important to discontinue the activity and allow the muscles in the legs adequate time to rest and recover. Simple icing can be very effective in this early stage of pain. Continuing to exercise when pain is felt in the shins can cause overexertion, which may lead to chronic shin splints, or a compartment syndrome or stress fracture developing.


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

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

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