5 consejos de entrenamiento para una temporada invernal épica
Whether it’s cross-country or downhill skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing, your off-season preparation is vital to an injury-free and healthy experience once the snow starts to fall. We’ve got you covered with expert tips that will make you the king or queen of the hill. Millions of skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes annually. So whether you’re a weekend warrior or stay active year-round, you need to prepare your body for the demands of your favorite winter sport to avoid minor aches, pains or even severe injury. Count on two to three weeks for your body to adapt to the physical challenges ahead if you’re active. Otherwise, give yourself a minimum of six weeks to gear up for the snow. Ready to shred? Here are some conditioning tips to help put you on the path to a fun, successful winter season. 1. Start With Cardio Cardiovascular exercise increases endurance as it conditions the heart, lungs and muscles and provides a solid foundation for other forms of exercise. And when you live and play at altitude, you need even more endurance. “Research shows that our maximum heart rate, cardiac output and ability to exercise are suppressed at altitudes over 5,000 feet,” explains Daniel Staffa, PT, DPT, OCS, of Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. “In the Reno-Tahoe area, altitudes can quickly rise over 8,000 feet when we exercise in the Sierras, so it’s critical to have cardiovascular fitness to avoid associated fatigue and decreased mental alertness on the slopes.” Try this: Pick an aerobic activity you enjoy — speed walking, running, hiking, biking or a cardio machine like the elliptical trainer. Build up to a minimum of 30 minutes, three days a week. 2. Increase Your Strength Your core works overtime to stabilize the body and absorb the shock of pivots and turns and variable snow conditions. Strengthen your core, lower back, hamstrings and calves and you’ll go a long way toward guarding against ligament tears and damage to other joint structures. Stronger muscles will also allow you to relax while maintaining control and making those quick adjustments that uneven terrain demands. Try this: Squats, wall sits and lunges. Work your core and lower and upper extremities with a variation of sit-ups, crunches, back extensions and planks. 3. Integrate Plyometrics Staffa explains that if your legs aren’t used to absorbing the impact of landing, severe injuries can occur. Preempt such trauma with plyometric exercises, or “explosive movements,” that simulate the movements of your favorite sport. You’ll develop greater power in your legs when you combine plyometrics with your strength training. Try this: Incorporate multi-directional drills — such as lateral jumps and forward and backward jumps — on variable surfaces like a trampoline, solid ground, or a box or step. Here’s a challenge for the more advanced: Stand in front of a bench or box (12 inches or so). Jump up and then immediately back down. Do this 10 to 30 seconds at a time, rest and repeat. Or get old school and bust out the jump rope. 4. Improve Your flexibility Flexibility is the ability to move joints through their entire range of motion, from a flexed to an extended position. Being flexible will allow you to pivot, twist and turn and navigate varying snow conditions with ease. You can increase your flexibility while maintaining bone alignment with stretching. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down. Try taking it easy the first 15 minutes of your day on the hill; try starting with a beginner’s run or walk to warm up and prepare your body. Do the same at the end of the day or go for a brisk walk to cool down. Stretching will help return muscles to their normal length. Try this: Dynamic stretches such as leg swings, arm swings and torso twists. Target your quads, hamstrings, calves, and lower back. 5. Fuel for the Hill Staffa suggests loading up on healthy complex carbohydrates the day before you go out and bring along your favorite protein snacks. Assess the slopes before making that first run — is the snow heavy, fresh or wet — and stay mindful of your fatigue level throughout the day. Don’t forget to hydrate and re-hydrate before, during and after exercise. And most important, have fun! Visit Renown Physical Therapy and Rehab for more information. Or call 775-982-5001 to consult with our sports and orthopedic experts who can help you develop an individualized training program in preparation for the winter season, including methods for overcoming previous injuries and limitations.
Experto en escoliosis pediátrica de Reno da nuevas esperanzas a una niña
For Michael J. Elliott, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon specializing in scoliosis, it’s just another day helping patients. But to local five-year-old Makenna Christensen, her substantial spine correction is life-changing. Though her journey to body confidence was months in the making, her smiles are a reminder that a thorough, thoughtful treatment plan can yield amazing results. A Surprising Start Words don’t adequately describe the feelings you have when you unexpectedly learn your child has a birth defect. For Nicole and Nick Christensen it was a shocking surprise. During Nicole’s sonogram appointment something unusual was seen. After an amniocentesis, their baby girl was diagnosed with Noonan syndrome, which can affect a child’s height and bones. To prepare, the couple read all they could on the subject. Fortunately their daughter Makenna, was born full term and healthy. Shortly after birth, Makenna had some feeding issues and returned to the hospital. Although they resolved and she had no major complications, both parents felt unsure about their newborn’s future. With the help of Nevada Early Intervention Services , Makenna’s development was monitored until she was three years old. “Her posture has been an issue her whole life,” says Nicole. Nick also noticed when Makenna started walking her range of motion was poor. It was especially noticeable when she got dressed and raised her arms to put on clothing. Nicole observed Makenna was falling a lot in preschool. She asked Makenna’s pediatrician about physical therapy to support her coordination and muscle tone. Although physical therapy was helping Makenna, her therapist suggested Nicole seek the opinion of Dr. Michael Elliott, a pediatric specialist in orthopedics at Renown Children’s Hospital. Scoliosis Casting - A Successful Treatment Approach Dr. Elliott diagnosed Makenna with scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. While this condition is most common during a teenage growth spurt, it can also happen in early childhood. Affecting about four million people in the United States, it is estimated 20 percent of all spinal deformities in the U.S. are people living with scoliosis. Makenna’s spinal curve was significant – over 30 degrees. Through years of experience Dr. Elliott opted to put Makenna in a spinal cast, instead of multiple surgeries. “My approach is to postpone surgery as long as possible - it is tough for the patient and families,” he says. “Often excellent results can be achieved through non-invasive treatments such as, casting and bracing.” Nicole appreciated Dr. Elliott’s reassurance through the treatment plan. “It was obvious through the X-rays that there was a significant issue,” she shares. “He guided us through the timing and process and how correcting it sooner would help keep her future growth on track.” For seven months Makenna wore a cast that looked like a tank top, bracing her spine while allowing movement. Now she wears a hard plastic brace, specially fitted to her body. “Kids tolerate casting well,” explains Dr. Elliott. “It is a 45-minute procedure. The patient sleeps while their spine is put into traction as the cast dries.” She will continue to wear larger braces as she grows, eventually only wearing them at night. A Straight Path into the Future Dr. Elliott admits, “Not every cast is a cure. Two thirds of a child’s spinal growth happens by the age of five. Getting past the five-year mark means fewer surgeries. It’s wonderful to see Makenna’s body image improved.” Nicole agrees, “The way Makenna holds herself is completely different. She’s more confident on her feet and more balanced.” She can now play with her sister Aria, 4, and brother Lexi, 8 months, without the fear of falling. Nick is in awe of the improvements she has made, “Seeing her thrive more has been wonderful.” The Christensen’s are hopeful about the future. “Makenna is doing really good. She’s wearing her hard brace full time and her growth is consistent,” expresses Nicole. “She’s even starting swim lessons this week.” With mask wearing at every doctor visit during the COVID-19 pandemic, Makenna and Dr. Elliott look forward to seeing each other’s smiles in the future. Makenna’s story highlights the over 18 different specialty options for children locally at Renown Children’s Hospital.
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Bone Fractures in Children Honest Expert Advice
Michael Elliott, MD, head of the Department of Pediatric Orthopedics and Scoliosis, answers some common questions about bone fractures. Is there a difference between broken bones and fractures? No, these are two different names for the same injury. Of course the common term is a broken bone. Using either name will describe your concerns. Medical personnel typically describe a broken bone as a fracture to a specific bone. For example, a broken wrist is also a fractured distal radius. To clarify, this describes the injured bone and the precise location. How do I know if my child has broken their bone? Many times children will fall and complain of their arm or leg hurting. In most cases the pain goes away and the child will return to their activities. When there is a deformity to the limb (curve in arm) and the child is complaining of pain, it is probably a fracture. If the arm or leg looks straight, look to see if there is any swelling or bruising. Both are signs of a possible fracture. Finally, if the limb looks normal but the child continues to complain, gently push on the bone. Likewise if it causes the same pain, then they likely have a fracture and should have an x-ray. My child fractured their growth plate, what does this mean? Growth comes from this area of the bone. In detail, these are located all over the body but typically at the end of the bones. With this in mind, fractures to these areas can result in the bone growing abnormally. Because of potential shortening of the arm or leg, or bones growing crooked, it is important to follow fractures closely (up to 1-2 years or longer). It is better to identify a problem early. Small problems can be treated with small surgeries. What if the bones of the x-ray do not line up? Because children are growing, unlike adults, their bones will remodel and straighten with growth. The amount of remodeling occurring depends on a child’s age, the bone fractured and the location. In many cases an angled bone will grow straight over the course of a year. For this reason, someone with experience in caring for children needs to follow bone growth. How long does it take fractures to heal? Factors deciding when a cast can come off include: Child’s age. Bone fractured. Fracture location. Young children heal faster than teens, teens heal faster than young adults, who heal faster than older adults. In young children most fractures heal in 4-6 weeks. However, teens generally take 6 weeks to heal, and adults can take much longer. Although your child is out of their cast, it may not be healed completely to return to all activities. Placing a splint is during this time is common. This typically gives them added protection for several weeks after their cast is removed - in case they forget their limitations. What if my child is still limping? Whether a child is in a walking or non-weight bearing cast, removing it often leaves them stiff and sore. Therefore many children will walk as though they still have a cast in place. In most cases this resolves in about three weeks. Regardless, if your child is still limping or walking abnormally after three weeks, contact the treating doctor. They may benefit from physical therapy or a repeat evaluation. (This article was original published in the July 2019 issue of South Reno Kids & Sports.)
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Clubfoot An Unexpected Story of Expert Baby Care
A clubfoot is where the foot is turned in on itself and points toward the ground. A clubfoot diagnosis during pregnancy is surprising and challenging during any circumstance. And in the case of parents anticipating surgery during a pandemic, options can be scarce. These parents took a deep breath, and with the help of Michael J. Elliott, MD, pediatric surgeon with Renown Children’s Hospital, their baby is on the road to recovery.
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Get Moving: How to Exercise with Arthritis
An arthritis diagnosis doesn’t mean your exercise routine has to end. In fact, a consistent routine can actually improve mobility. Although stiff and painful joints can make it difficult to keep moving, staying active is essential for easing pain. October 11 is World Arthritis Day, so we asked Michelle Higgins, MPT at Renown Physical Therapy & Rehab some advice about exercising with arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis affects one in five adults and 300,000 children. As a matter of fact arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability. Your joints certainly don’t need to suffer when you exercise. In general exercise is actually necessary for those with arthritis. Not only does it reduce joint pain, but it also increases strength and flexibility. Furthermore those adopting a regular exercise routine also have more energy, deeper sleep and find it easier to maintain a healthy weight. “Exercise is a necessary component to managing your arthritis,” says Higgins. “Consistent participation in an exercise program has been shown to promote long-term pain relief, increased body function and an improved quality of life. Alternatively, a lack of exercise can actually increase joint pain or stiffness and eventually lead to long term disability and suffering.” Exercising With Arthritis Exercise truly is the most effective non-drug arthritis treatment available for reducing pain and improving movement. And it can even include daily activities like gardening, dancing or walking your dog. Of course talk to your doctor or physical therapist about what exercises fit into your specific treatment plan. With this is mind, the four specific components below are important to an effective arthritis exercise program: Range of motion Moving joints through their full available range of movement is important. This frequently increases function and decreases joint stiffness and pain. For this reason, aim to complete these exercises daily. Examples include bending, straightening, and rotating specific joints, or static and dynamic stretching. Strengthening These exercises target muscles supporting and protecting our joints and bones. Strengthening is also necessary for weight control, so two-to-three sessions per week are recommended. In order to allow your body to adapt, begin with light resistance and start slow. Strength exercises include weightlifting and using resistance bands. Low-impact aerobic exercise Aerobic exercise is certainly necessary for overall well-being, weight management and heart health. Aim for two-to-three sessions a week. Low-impact exercises include walking, swimming, cycling, elliptical machine exercises and water aerobics. Balance Good balance is also vital for an effective arthritis program. On the positive side, solid balance prevents falls by increasing your ability to stay upright whether you are moving or sitting still. Likewise, it improves your confidence with walking and daily activities. In order to keep excellent balance, incorporate daily balance exercises. Examples of balance exercises include the use of an exercise ball, Tai Chi and exercises such as standing on one foot. Start Slow, Finish Strong As you begin your exercise program, remember to listen to your body. Start slowly – it can take several weeks for your body to adjust to exercise. Consult your doctor, or physical therapist, if you experience increasing pain or swelling which doesn’t go away with rest. Above all, incorporate fun and motivating activities so you’ll stick to them long term and improve your results. Renown Physical Therapy & Rehab 775-982-5001 Through outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy, Renown Physical Therapy & Rehab gives you hands-on, individualized treatment in convenient Reno/Sparks locations. We have the latest, most advanced physical therapy and rehab equipment, specialty services and treatments. Renown Physical Therapy & Rehab is now open on Robb Drive in addition to three additional locations in Reno and Sparks. Call 775-982-5001 or visit us online.
A True Joint Effort: Exercises to Prevent Knee Pain
Experiencing knee pain during exercise or while undertaking daily activities? The knee is the largest joint in our body, so it goes without saying a lot hinges on its functionality. Here are a few exercises to help. Is exercise a real pain in the knee for you? Does getting up in the morning require a few minutes for your knees to adjust to walking around? As it turns out, knee pain is common, and it can result from injury, overuse or the breakdown of cartilage over time. Often, this pain is a result of faulty mechanics in your body, according to Jessica Ryder, a physical therapist with Renown Physical Therapy and Rehab. “We see weakness at the hips causing a lot of stresses at the knee,” she says. Exercises that Alleviate Knee Pain Try these three exercise to strengthen your glute muscles and maintain proper alignment in your knees. Hip Lift Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat against the floor. Lift your hips into the air until your body is in a neutral position, then lower your hips back down. Repeat this motion several times until you feel a gentle burn in your glute muscles. Step Down Stand with one foot on a stair or step. Slowly bend your knee and drop the other foot toward the floor. Slowly extend back up to your starting position. While doing this exercise, it’s important to move slowly, maintain control and ensure that your knee is in line with your toes. Do as many reps as needed until you feel a small fatigue in your muscles. Repeat this exercise on the opposite leg. Side Step with Exercise Band Place an exercise band around your ankles. Stand in a slight squat and then take several steps to the side until you feel a small fatigue on the outside of your hips. While doing this exercise, keep your upper body still and focus the exercise to your hips. The band will try to move your knees toward each other Repeat in both directions. Hometown Health and Renown Health are proud to be the official insurance plan and healthcare partners of the Nevada Wolf Pack. Renown Physical Therapy and Rehab | 775-982-5001 Through outpatient physical, occupational and also speech therapy, Renown Physical Therapy and Rehab gives patients hands-on, individualized treatment. Our therapists use evidence-based methods to help patients return to an active, productive lifestyle. Learn More About PT
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Prevent Osteoporosis: Take Control of Your Bone Health Today
Some risk factors associated with osteoporosis are out of your control. But you’re in luck, because some can be lessened by following simple tips. Below, Orthopedic Nursing Manager Katie McCarthy discusses the signs, symptoms and preventive measures. By Katie McCarthy, BSN, RN, ONC, Orthopedic Nursing Manager, Renown Health Osteoporosis is often called the silent disease, because it develops gradually for years with no clear signs or symptoms. And while some bone loss is expected as we age, osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging. So it’s important to start thinking about your bone health early. Bone is not just a lifeless scaffold for the body. It is living tissue that regenerates continually. Once we reach peak bone mass around age 25, we begin losing more bone than we produce, increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis — which literally means porous bone and points to a loss in bone density. In severe cases, normal everyday activities or movements, like hugging, can cause a fracture. After the first fracture you’re at higher risk for more, which can lead to a life of chronic pain and immobility. Bone fractures in the spine or hip are the most serious. Hip fractures can result in disability and even death — especially in older adults. Spinal fractures can even occur without falling. The vertebrae weaken to the point that they simply crumple, which can result in back pain, lost height and a hunched-forward posture. Osteoporosis: Uncontrollable Risk Factors Women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis than men, and white and Asian women are at higher risk than black and Hispanic women. Other uncontrollable risk factors include: age; a family history of osteoporosis; certain genetic conditions; medications and medical treatments; eating disorders; a low body weight and small, thin frame; ethnicity; menopause: In fact, the lack of estrogen produced during menopause is largely responsible for a woman’s increased risk. Poor diet, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and an unhealthy weight also contribute to bone loss. Fortunately, those risk factors are in your control. Without symptoms, you can’t know if you’ve developed osteoporosis unless you get a bone density test or suffer a fracture. If you fall into a high-risk group, are over age 50 or have any concerns about your bone health, consult your doctor and find out if you need to be evaluated. Additionally, if either of your parents sustained hip fractures, you experienced early menopause or took corticosteroids for several months — a steroid often prescribed to relieve inflammation and arthritis — you’ll want to talk to your doctor about your bone health. If you test positive, your doctor will devise a treatment plan to match your needs, which will include lifestyle changes surrounding diet and exercise to build and strengthen weak bones. Medication to slow bone breakdown and build new bone may be prescribed, depending on the severity of your bone loss. If you’ve sustained a spinal fracture that is causing severe pain, deformity or is not responding to non-surgical treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery. Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis You can strengthen your bones now to prevent osteoporosis from starting. Here are some tips: Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in caffeine, sodium and protein. Avoid soda, and talk to your doctor to make sure you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Don’t smoke — it directly correlates with a decrease in bone mass. Smokers also take longer to heal from a fracture. Limit alcohol to two to three beverages per day. It interferes with the production of vitamins needed to absorb calcium and the hormones that help protect bones. Exercise three to four times each week — it’s key to healthy bones. Weight-bearing exercises like jogging, hiking and especially weight lifting build bone mass and density. There are aspects of the aging process we can’t control, but we can do something about bone loss and osteoporosis. Find out your risk, and show your bones a little TLC — you’re going to need them. This story was also published in the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Health Source on April 24, 2016.
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