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Weve all done it. Whether you're walking down the driveway to get the mail, or stepping out of the car, its nearly impossible to avoid taking a spill on the ice during the winter months. And aside from a bruised behind, the most common casualty is that to your wrist or hand in an attempt to break your fall.
"The wrist is often fractured during a fall on an outstretched arm. In this position, the arm remains straight and the wrist takes the full force of the fall. A physician should examine a person with severe wrist pain after a fall, and x-rays should be taken to rule out a fracture. While the two bones in the forearm, the radius and the ulna, are the most likely to fracture, it is also possible that the small bone in the wrist just behind the base of the thumb, the scaphoid bone, can fracture. A scaphoid fracture is difficult to find even with x-rays because the fracture line is very fine. If wrist pain persists after a negative x-ray, then the wrist should be x-rayed again about 10 days after injury. By then, the healing process causes the fracture line to widen, making it more visible. If left untreated, a scaphoid fracture can lead to chronic pain in the wrist and the inability to extend the wrist backward.
Prevention is the best protection against winter injuries. Being in shape and having the proper equipment can help to reduce injuries, but learning how to fall correctly and safely can be your best bet for preventing injury."
Yep, it's a real condition: Cell Phone Elbow
Did you know that there is one cell phone per every two people on the planet? Its true, and as more and more people are using cell phones, typing at a workstation and using other techy gear that requires a bent elbow results in pain. You may have heard it referred to as cell phone elbow. The more technologically correct name for that pain by doctors is called, cubital tunnel syndrome.
Wait, what is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome? According to Medical News Daily and Dr. Peter J Evans, Director of Hand and Upper Extremity Center in Cleveland, OH:
Cubital tunnel syndrome is the second most common nerve compression syndrome in the upper extremities after carpal tunnel syndrome. The syndrome commonly occurs after prolonged cell phone use and manifests as "pins and needles" tingling, aching, burning or numbness in the ulnar forearm and hand. The ulnar forearm is the lower half of your arm, between the elbow and wrist that faces away from you when you bend your arm to touch your shoulder.
Common culprits the cause Cubital Tunnel Syndrome include extended periods of time talking on a cell phone and typing or sleeping with a bent arm. If the pain goes untreated, the nerve endings can become very inflamed and anti-inflammatory measures must be taken. In extreme cases, surgery is an option to move or remove the stressed nerve, relieving tension. Check in with your doctor. Good odds he or she will suggest that you try KT Tape as a drug-free, surgery-free way to ease the pain and allow the nerve endings to function properly.
Cheerleading is the leading cause of catastrophic injury in young women
KT Tape clinicians and managers have noticed that more cheerleaders at the collegiate and high school levels are becoming fans of KT Tape. Cheerleading has become a very demanding sport and cheerleaders endure rigorous athletic practices, training and competition. Young woman cheerleaders are incredibly strong, fit, flexible and have impressive endurance. With more than three million cheerleaders in the U.S., sprains, strains and injuries happen often.
According to Medical News Today and data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, cheerleading related accidents grew from about 5000 in 1980 to 28,000 injuries per year today. On a more dramatic note, the National Center of Catastrophic Sports Injury Research states that cheerleading accounts for approximately 65 to 66 percent of all female catastrophic injuries in either high school or college.
According to a Live Science article: "A major factor in this increase has been the change in cheerleading activity, which now involves gymnastic-type stunts," said Dr. Frederick O. Mueller, lead researcher on the new report and a professor of exercise and sports science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "If these cheerleading activities are not taught by a competent coach and keep increasing in difficulty, catastrophic injuries will continue to be a part of cheerleading."
We're pleased to hear from so many cheerleaders and their coaches as they focus on making the sport safer. They come to us with a lot of questions about how to use KT Tape to recover from sore muscles, strains and certain injuries. And they tell us they like how KT Tape doesn't restrict mobility, how it's not bulky to wear under uniforms, and how it is soft and flush to the skin so it won't snag a stunting partner the way braces do. If you're a cheerleader or a cheer coach, check out the KT Tape taping instructions here and keep it safe out there!
Don't flake out and forget the milk!
Health experts say you should feel good about grabbing a bowl of your favorite flakes after a tough workout. According to a new study, cereal is better at aiding recovery post-workout than sports drinks. But dont just grab a dry handful of your favorite brand. The secret ingredient seems to be the milk. The cereal and the sports drink were just about equal in their ability to restore lost energy via stored glucose, but the protein in the milk provided raw material to rebuild muscles, an ingredient that was missing from the sports drinks.
We found that glycogen repletion, or the replenishment of immediate muscle fuel, was just as good after wholegrain cereal consumption and that some aspects of protein synthesis were actually better. Cereal and non-fat milk are a less expensive option than sports drinks. The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high quality protein, which can promote protein synthesis and training adaptations, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home."--Lynne Kammer, Researcher, University of Texas at Austin
Kammer says when you exercise, your body breaks down muscle protein. Exercise makes your body produce more protein to replace it, but you need to take in new protein to keep things in balance.
Check out the rest of this article for more great tips on how much fluid to consume, what to eat and how to stay cool and healthy while you get ready for a great season.
And as you recover from a race or a great workout, don't forget to keep plenty of KT Tape on hand for sore muscles and joints.
Here we are, a few weeks into 2010. At KT Tape we know that our New Years resolutions are beginning to wear heavily on us. Whether its cutting soda out of your diet, saving your pennies or losing 20 lbs, millions of folks around the world know that these resolutions can be tough.
Now here's a little history for you: New Years celebrations and resolutions began with the early Romans, when the Roman calendar was marked with Janus head; with two faces one looking to the past and one looking forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans sought forgiveness from their enemies at the start of the new year.
Today our resolutions tend to be more health related. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, the Top 3 Resolutions are to lose weight, quit smoking and exercise regularly. However, 60% of all resolution makers fail to reach their goals. Rather than simply resolving to exercise more its important to set small attainable goals that you can actually conquer.
Now that we're about a month into the new year, it might be a good time to reevaluate your strategy. To help you out, take a look at these five Mini-New Years Resolutions from www.sheknows.com.
New Years resolution #1: Make time for you
The problem: Taking care of yourself on a daily basis if you dont already maintain a fitness routine can be challenging. From daycare to meetings or just catching up with friends, it can often feel like you dont really fit into the equation of your day.
The solution: Start making yourself a priority. Let people around you know that youre hoping to make a big fitness change in your life and ask them for their support. See if your friends can help you with a few day-to-day tasks -- or even exercise with you. Get your husband to clean up the dishes so you can head off to the gym or outside for a walk. By sticking to your I need me time plan, youll be more likely to keep an exercise schedule.
New Years resolution #2: Write it down
The problem: You want to lose weight and tone your muscles, but havent set any concrete targets and youre not sure how to go about achieving your fitness goals.
The solution: Studies show people who write things down from what they eat to how they feel before, during and after exercise are more likely to stick to a new healthy living plan. So, before you start any routine, go to your local bookstore and buy a journal to track your fitness goals (or keep one online). Include inspirational quotes in your fitness journal to inspire you to exercise whenever you feel like taking a day off (or feel too lazy to get off the couch). Doing this will help you feel more organized and in control of your fitness future.
New Years resolution #3: Set realistic fitness goals
The problem: Your fitness goals are too lofty and could set you up for failure. For example, its January and you want to run a half-marathon by March or youre hoping to lose 10 pounds in one month.
The solution: Talk to your doctor before starting any fitness regimen to help you set realistic fitness goals. Make an appointment with a qualified personal trainer who can assist you in breaking your larger New Years resolutions into smaller more tangible fitness targets and tasks. This will keep you motivated and increase your odds of being successful. A medical or fitness professional can also help you plan for and overcome the inevitable hurdles that may hinder your workout schedule; for example, illness, injury, or family and work obligations.
New Years resolution #4: Enlist your friends
The problem: You would rather go out with your friends for an après-a-bad-day-at-work drink than head to the gym.
The solution: Get your friends to hop on the fitness train with you. People are more likely to stick to a fitness regimen if they have someone to support them. While hiring a personal trainer works, a more cost-effective and emotionally significant way to do this is to work out with a friend. Not only will you be able to motivate each other to stick to your long-term plan, youll also get to indulge in some quality bonding time.
Now get back out there and get after it!
Can a good holler ease the pain?
It seems to be common knowledge that screaming out in agony when you stub a toe, hit your thumb with a hammer or sprain your ankle on the basketball court makes you feel somewhat better.
Feels better to scream along with the pain huh? Well, some experts say you may be right. According to a Medical News Today article and a study conducted by Richard Stephens, John Atkins and Andrew Kingston at Keele University in Staffordshire, UK, and recently published in the journal NeuroReport, swearing is a universal instant pain-fix. During their study they concluded that:
"The observed pain-lessening (hypoalgesic) effect may occur because swearing induces a fight-or-flight response and nullifies the link between fear of pain and pain perception. Our research shows one potential reason why swearing developed and why it persists.
Of course, you should watch your mouth or you'll have to wash it out with soap. So, for pain relief extending past that instant yell, please remember KT Tape will be there to get you back out on the court, on the trail or back to whatever you love to do.
Neck, Shoulder and Wrist Pain Three Times the Pain for Triathletes?
Here at KT Tape, we have instructed and taped up many triathletes due to their strained position on the bike. Some triathletes and cyclists have a tough time getting comfortable. Thats due in no small part to the deep tuck created by some aero bar setups. The goal is to get the back as flat as possible, but thats tough to achieve for many riders. A bad position can result in neck, shoulder and wrist pain.
Attaching aero bars to an existing setup is one of the most common mistakes made by beginning triathletes. This position places the hip angle in an extreme bend, and forces the elbows in front of the shoulders, requiring the neck muscles to work especially hard to look ahead, says Dr. Michael Ross, M.D., Sports Medicine for Active.com.
Strengthening your core muscles and perfecting your handlebar setup can prevent much of this pain. Dr. Ross explains the ideal ratio of weight distribution for your bike setup near the bottom of the page here. Also, this article on the triathlete website Slowtwitch.com gives a great explanation of how to set up your bike and get the proper fit, including detailed equations on bike geometry.
And don't forget, if you've already made these mistakes and are suffering, check out taping techniques in these KT Tape instructional videos to alleviate the pain without drugs.
Running outside in winter? Are you crazy!? We are. Although cold weather can make your running regimen more challenging, it makes us feel great to get moving during these winter months. It's easier than you think. All you need are a few key strategies and a firm running goal, and you'll be running in any kind of weather. Detailed below are some tips from Active.com
Set a Specific Goal: There is nothing more motivating than to train for a race or specific goal. You can plan to run a 5K, half marathon or reach a number of miles every month. You'll have instant motivation in knowing you have to train for the race or hit your target mileage. Reward yourself when you reach your goals, then set another one.
Run With a Buddy or Group: Make your workouts safe and social. You'll have a built in motivational source, a friend to chat with along the way and it is safer to run in numbers. Running with others (or pets) is a great way to beat the winter doldrums. If that's not enough motivation, reward yourself with a fun race destination like Arizona, Florida or even Mexico.
Accessorize: Having the right apparel makes all the difference in the world. Layering is the key to avoiding over- or under-dressing. Consider wearing a layer that blocks the wind; pants, tights and top that wick the moisture away from your skin; and, for the coldest days, a mid-layer that fits more looselylike fleecethat insulates and moves the moisture from your base layer away from your skin.
Your winter running wardrobe should include a running jacket, hat or headband, gloves, tights and a few long-sleeve shirts. Your body temperature increases as you run, so you don't need many layers in most winter conditions.
Dress for 15 to 20 Degrees Warmer: Over-dressing is easy to do in winter running. Dressing for 15 to 20 degrees warmer than it actually is will allow your body temperature to increase and reduce the risk of overheating and excessive sweat. You should feel chilled when you walk out the door. If you are toasty warm, remove a layer. Less is more.
Run During Light and Warmer Times of Day: If possible, run during daylight hours so you can absorb that needed sunshine we rarely get in the winter. You'll get your miles in during the warmest time of day and come back with a smile on your face.
Be Seen: If you run when it is dark out, wear a reflective vest or flashing lights so you're seen by traffic. In snowy weather, wear bright clothing. Run with identification or a runner's I.D. in your shoe or pocketjust in case.
Hit the Treadmill: When the weather gets bone-chillingly cold and icy, hit the treadmill. Treadmill running is a great way to stay fit and you'll get in quality miles without risking an injury from slipping on ice.
Gear Up: Wear trail shoes or a traction device like Yak Trax. They will give you better traction and stabiI used these to tackle the Antarctica Marathon and they worked really well on the snow and ice.
Note: Avoid wearing the Yak Trax indoors or on roads without snow. They're portable enough to keep them in your pocket until you hit the snow.
Stay Low: Shorten your running stride and keep your feet lower to the ground. You will run more efficiently and reduce the risk of slipping, falling or straining muscles. Choose to run on fresh snow rather than ice or packed snow. You will get better traction on fresh snow and reduce the chance for slipping. Watch out for snow-covered cracks and holes in the road.
Take Extra Time To Warm Up: Your body will warm up more slowly in cold weather, especially if you run in the morning. Take at least five minutes to walk briskly before you start to run. It may take 10 to 15 minutes of running before you are completely warmed up and in your running tempo. Take a hot shower to pre-warm your muscles or put your clothes in the dryer on hot for a few minutes then head out for your run.
Hydrate: It is just as important to drink fluids in your winter runs as it is in the summer. Make sure to hydrate before, during and after your runs to avoid dehydration. Use warm fluids in your water bottle or tuck it under your jacket to avoid freezing.
Start into the Wind: Start your run into the wind so you have the wind at your back on your way home. You'll avoid getting chilled by the wind after you've been sweating.
Keep it Fun: Mix up your route. It will get you outside and enjoying winter rather than cursing it.
Thanks to Active.com for these tips, and happy trails from everyone at KT Tape!
Relieve back pain with safe exercise.
Lower back pain can make you want to lie on the floor and do nothing. But getting up and getting some exercise may be the best thing for it. According to a recent study by University of Alberta featured on Medical News Today, men and women with chronic lower-back pain who exercised four days a week had a better quality of life, 28% less pain and 36% less disability than people who workout out only 2-3 days per week.
While it could be assumed that someone with back pain should not be exercising frequently, our findings show that working with weights four days a week provides the greatest amount of pain relief and quality of life," said Robert Kell, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus.
Professor Kell presented his findings at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Seattle, Washington in May 2009. He found that about 80% of North Americans will suffer from lower back pain at some point.
In the study, four groups made up of 60 men and women with chronically sore lower backs each exercised with weights in two, three or four-day weekly programs, or not at all. After 16 weeks, the group that exercised four days per week said their pain decreased by 28%, as the group that exercised three days per week reported an 18% reduction in pain, and the group that worked out two days per week had a 14% improvement.
Chronic back pain sufferers should always check with a doctor before beginning a fitness program. Here are some good exercises from BigBackPain.com to help strengthen your core muscles. At KT Tape we want to be healthy, safe and continue to be active. We do see a lot of back pain sufferers turning to KT Tape when back pain flairs up, as it is a great solution to tape the injury rather than taking pain medication. This allows you to keep exercising safely to ensure strength and mobility sooner.
Leadville Trail 100 Champ to Host Mountain Town Movie Tour of Race Across the Sky
Rebecca Rusch, a KT Tape sponsored athlete and three-time reigning 24-Hour Solo Mountain Biking World Champion, will host a five-stop Mountain Town Movie Tour of Race Across The Sky, the new documentary about one of the most intense endurance mountain bike races of all time, the Leadville Trail 100. The tour is the fist opportunity for many core cycling communities in the Rockies to view the inspirational documentary.
This inspirational film has been shown in larger cities, but has not yet been seen in the core cycling communities of the Rocky Mountain West. Rebecca was in New York City for the films premiere. The first screening was intended to be a one time only event, but after sold-out showings and multiple requests from cyclists and friends, Rebecca decided to bring the film to a select group of mountain towns. The tour will kick off in Rebeccas hometown of Sun Valley, Idaho. Here is the official tour schedule:
Presented by Specialized, each stop of the movie tour will be a fundraiser for International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and its local chapter clubs. Rebecca will be on hand for each screening to greet attendees and sign posters. She'll also mingle with riders and fans and host a raffle with gear from tour sponsors, including Specialized, Ergon, Buff, Red Bull, Adventure Medical Kits, and KT Tape.
Im so excited to be a part of this film tour, Rusch said. The race itself was amazing. But to be able to share the experience through this film and bring it to cycling communities that are close to my heart is icing on the cake. The premiere showings were only in big cities, so I cant wait to bring the film to these core cycling communities and also be able to support their local trail advocacy work.
The Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race covers incredibly challenging terrain, climbing to 14,000 feet in elevation and dipping into the valleys in Leadville, Colorado. Rebecca won the 2009 Leadville Trail 100 event, sharing the podium with Lance Armstrong. Race Across The Sky features candid conversations with elite and amateur riders during the 2009 race, including Rebecca, as they compete in one of the most high-profile mountain biking events in the sport. Click here to see a trailer of the film. Rebecca is available for interviews. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to meet her. Tickets for Race Across The Sky are available at individual theaters. Check the Rebecca's website for specific show locations, dates and specifics.