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Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

A hard hit to the head may be more than just a bump or bruise. In some instances, hits to the head can result in concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in which the brain is suddenly jarred within the skull. This can cause chemical and/or cellular damage to the brain.

It’s estimated that 15% of high school students experienced one or more concussions in 2017, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. Six percent of students experienced two or more concussions.

Concussions By the Numbers

Concussion can occur in any sport. Know your risk and discuss safety tactics with your coach to reduce the likelihood of concussion. Find your sport below to learn more about specific concussion risks. For additional information visit the CDC’s HEADS UP page.

    • Girls’ basketball: 1 out of 2 concussions results from a collision with another athlete.
    • Boys’ basketball: 2 out of 3 concussions result from a collision with another athlete.
    • Cheerleading: 91% of concussions happen during stunts. Know your limits, use spotters and practice on soft surfaces.
    • Field hockey: 60% of concussions result from being hit by a stick or ball. Never swing or check around another player’s head.
    • Football: The average high school football players has 592 head impacts per season. Rules that limit tackling and other contact can help reduce head impacts by 40%. 63% of high school football concussions are from tackling.
    • Girls’ ice hockey: 70% of high school concussions result from collision with another athlete.
    • Boys’ ice hockey: 65% of high school concussions result from collision with another athlete.
    • Lacrosse: 3 out of 4 concussions result from a collision with another athlete. Keep your head up and your stick in tight to your body.
    • Girls’ soccer: 1 in 2 concussions from heading in girls’ soccer occurs when players collide.
    • Boys’ soccer: 3 in 4 concussions from heading in boys’ soccer occur when players collide.
    • Volleyball: nearly 40% of concussions happen when diving for the ball.
    • Wrestling: 1 in 2 concussions in wrestling result from a takedown.

For more information, read, “All About Concussions: Important Information for Athletes.”

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

We’re all susceptible to bone fractures, but children have an extra risk that parents should be aware of: growth plate injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, growth plate fractures account for approximately 15% to 30% of all childhood fractures.

An infographic from Hospital for Special Surgery sheds light on growth plate injuries in children and teens. Parents, take a few minutes to review the information below for a basic understanding of this health concern…

What Are Growth Plates?

Growth plates are areas of smooth, elastic cartilage located near the end of long bones in children. These are the areas where bone growth occurs in bones like the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, foot, knee, hand and ankle. Once a child stops growing, these growth plates close and become solid bone.

In the event of a growth plate injury, prompt diagnosis and treatment is important, as trauma can affect how the bone grows, potentially resulting in lifelong complications.

What Causes Growth Plate Injuries?

Growth plate injuries may result from an accident, such as a fall, or from overuse (stress from a repeated activity).

    • One in three growth plate injuries occurs during competitive sports.
    • One in five growth plate injuries occurs during recreational activities.

When Are Children & Teens At Risk?

As long as growth plates are present in a child or teenager, risk for injury exists. However, boys are approximately twice as likely to sustain a growth plate injury than girls. This is partly due to the fact that boys’ growth plates are open for a greater amount of time than girls’.

Female growth plates may close between the ages of 14 and 16, while male growth plates may remain open until ages 16-18.

Houston Orthopedic Physician, Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For more information, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

We know that sleep impacts cognitive performance, physical health, and mental health. A Harvard study shows that continued sleep deprivation can increase risk for many chronic health problems, like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

It’s no surprise to learn that athletes who prioritize sleep enjoy a number of competitive benefits, from better reaction times and increased speed and accuracy to lower risk of injury and fewer mental errors.

Do Naps Make a Difference?

While much research has been done on the effects of overnight sleep, an infographic by YLM Sport Science raises the question, How does napping impact endurance performance?

Let’s take a closer look at their findings below…

“On two occasions, 11 runners completed treadmill running for 30 minutes at 75% VO2max in the morning, returning that evening to run for 20 minutes at 60% VO2max, and then to exhaustion at 90% VO2max.”

    • On one trial, the runners had an afternoon nap approximately an hour-and-a-half before the evening exercise.
    • The control group of runners did not.

The study found that napping did not improve time to exhaustion in all runners. The data indicated that, “The benefits of a nap were dependent on night-time sleep. Runners that improved endurance performance after a nap slept less at night than those that did not improve endurance performance.”

Among runners that improved their performance, ratings of perceived exertion were lower during the time-to-exhaustion on “Nap” than “Control” compared to runners that did not improve.

The Study Concludes…

Ultimately, the study concluded that a short afternoon nap improves endurance performance in runners that obtain less than seven hours of night-time sleep. Napping may be an important strategy to optimize endurance exercise when sleep is compromised.

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

Need to see a sports medicine doctor? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

As any long distance runner knows, the actual running part of a race is only half of the success equation. Sustaining the cardiovascular activity and burning muscles is no small feat, of course. But then there are a thousand other decisions…

    • When should I eat? What should I eat?
    • How should I dress? What do I do if I want to add or remove clothing?
    • How should I hydrate on my run?
    • What shoes should I wear?
    • Is it okay to stop and walk, or will walking make it harder to pick up pace later on?

An infographic from Hospital for Special Surgery helps runners consider a few of these decisions in Home Stretch: A Guide to Finishing the Race, below.

3 Tips for Mental Preparation

  1. Do long runs to prepare mentally. Longer runs will build your physical and mental strength. (Remember, mental and physical strength are both important for finishing a marathon!)
  2. Run your long runs in the same clothes you’re planning on running the marathon in.
  3. Picture yourself crossing the finish line. Mental imagery and positive thinking are key.

And to circle back to the walking question… it’s okay to walk, if you need to! Walking breaks can actually help you return to running even stronger. If your body needs the break, don’t get discouraged.

6 Items Worth Buying for Long Distance Races

    • Foam rollers or sticks to loosen tight or sore muscles.
    • Hat and/or sunglasses to shade your eyes and face. This can prevent you from squinting, helping your face remain relaxed.
    • Compression socks can be excellent for helping with recovery by decreasing leg swelling during and after a long run.
    • Bring throw away clothes for a cold start.
    • Wear a fuel belt, which will allow you to carry water, sports drinks, and gels.
    • Shorts or shirts with pockets for your gels, keys, phone, and money can also be helpful.

Bars or Gels & Goos for Race Day?

Energy bars can be good for a pre-race boost, but may be cumbersome to carry and difficult to eat during the actual race. Gel or goo may be better fits for a mid-race snack.

Meet Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

We all know that regular physical activity is an essential part of overall health. But getting exercise isn’t always as simple as stepping out the door for a morning jog or hitting the gym for a quick upper body weight training session.

Schedule, location, physical disability, and a variety of other factors can all make getting exercise a challenge. Adults with physical disability certainly aren’t alone in facing barriers to exercise!

An infographic by British Journal of Sports Medicine aims to help adults with disability get more physical activity through the following tips. Let’s take a closer look…

Getting the Right Amount of Exercise

BJSM advises adults do strength and balance activities at least two days per week. For substantial health gains, aim for at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate intensity activity per week.

    • “Moderate intensity activity” – can talk, but not sing
    • “Vigorous intensity activity” – difficulty talking without pausing

Tips for Disabled Adults

    • Physical activity makes you feel good! So, try activities you enjoy.
    • Don’t be still for too long. Even a little movement is better than nothing!

Did you know that exercise affects your mood in a variety of positive ways? Exercise helps us manage stress, fight depression, and learn new things.

Benefits of Exercise for Adults With Disability

    • Exercise creates opportunities to meet new people and feel part of the community.
    • Exercise makes daily tasks easier and increases independence. When you can achieve a half-hour of cardio… what can you take on next?! Success builds upon success.
    • Exercise makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
    • Exercise improves mental health and quality of life.
    • Exercise helps to prevent chronic disease.
    • Exercise improves fitness and strengthens bones and muscles, of course!
    • Mobility and balance issues may be improved through exercise.

Want to learn more? Read my post, “What Happens to Your Brain When You Exercise?”

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle, Sports Medicine Specialist

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Running the Chevron Houston Marathon in January? Prepare yourself with this Post-Marathon Guide, provided in infographic form by Hospital for Special Surgery.

First Things First…

Listen to your body! If you are completely exhausted and aching in muscles you didn’t even know you had, then it’s time to rest. Your body will tell you when enough is enough! Ready to refuel? Here’s how to do it in three steps…

  1. Immediately following the race, replenish carbs, rebuild proteins, and rehydrate with 16 to 32 ounces of water (depending on your sweat rate).
  2. Next, add in solid food, as your body is able to tolerate it. Good options include: yogurt and a granola bar, fruit smoothie with a protein source, or a peanut butter and honey sandwich.
  3. Finally, continue to eat adequate calories for 48 hours post-race. Some marathoners prefer small, frequent meals during this post-race period. Eat a range of colorful produce, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats in order to ensure adequate nutrient intake. Continue drinking fluids and minimizing alcohol intake.

(For more on this subject, check out “Eating Before/During/After a Race: Houston Sports Doc on Nutrition.”)

Four Post-Race Stretches

These four stretches can help reduce soreness after the finish line. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.

  1. Standing Calf Stretch. Face a wall and press with hands flat against the wall, keeping one foot in front and the other behind. Toes should point toward the wall. Hold heels down. Lean into the wall by bending your front knee. Keep the back leg straight as you lean into the wall until you feel a stretch.
  2. Hamstring Stretch. Stand, facing a low step. Prop one leg on the step, keeping the knee straight. With both your back and knee straight (foot relaxed), bend forward from the hip. You should feel a stretch in the back of the knee/thigh.
  3. Hip Flexors Stretch. Assume a half-kneeling position with the stretching leg behind you. Stay tall; shift weight forward. You should feel a stretch on the front of the back leg.
  4. IT Band Stretch. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on the ground. Cross one leg over the other so that the ankle of the crossed leg is near the knee of the unmoved leg. While supporting the crossed leg, slowly draw the other leg off the ground, keeping abs engaged. You should feel a stretch in the buttock of the crossed leg.

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

With the #MeToo movement and other political shifts and conversations occurring in our country, an increasing number of sexual abuse and misconduct cases are coming to light. Sadly, this abuse also occurs on the playing field and in locker rooms around the U.S.

U.S. Lacrosse SafeSport

A new infographic from U.S. Lacrosse provides helpful information regarding sexual abuse and what parents and organizations can do to prevent it from happening in athletic departments. The organization’s “SafeSport Program” requires:

    • Background screenings for all coach members (free)
    • Required sexual abuse training and education (online)
    • That coaches model policies and guidelines for appropriate behavior

U.S. Lacrosse and many other organizations state a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual misconduct and abuse against youth.

3 Key Facts About Sexual Abuse

    • An estimated 1 in 8 athletes will be sexually abused within their sport.
    • 60% of children who are sexually abused experience the abuse from someone the family trusts.
    • 1 in 10 children are sexually abused before the age of 18.

SafeSport Authorization Act

Under the SafeSport Authorization Act, which became law on February 14, 2018:

    • Youth abuse must be reported within 24 hours.
    • Abuse awareness and prevention training must be provided in youth sports organizations.
    • Policies should be set to limit one-on-one interactions.

Parents, talk to your children about appropriate touch and relationships. Encourage your children to come to you (or to go to any trusted adult) should an incident occur. Keep the dialogue open!

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

It may be autumn, but in Houston that doesn’t mean athletes are any less at risk for dehydration. Whether you’re out on the practice field or in the heat of competition, make sure you’re following these essential tips for staying hydrated. For more, let’s take a closer look at a recent infographic from Hospital for Special Surgery, which covers “Fluid Facts.”

5 Tips for Staying Hydrated

  1. Plan ahead. Start hydrating before practice. You know your schedule, so take the necessary steps to plan for hydrating!
  2. Have sources of fluid available. Pack water bottles and sports drinks to take with you to practice or the game.
  3. Build in breaks during training. As an athlete, you want to push yourself to become faster, better, and stronger. But you also have to take breaks. Build in breaks for hydrating and you will improve your speed, strength and endurance.
  4. Have appetizing sources of fluid available. (If you like flavor, add a lemon wedge.) If you need a little extra motivation to hydrate, bring along a sports drink or a hydrating beverage that you enjoy drinking.
  5. Listen to your body. If you’re thirsty, drink. If your urine is dark, drink. Your body will tell you when you need water! Ideally, you will hydrate properly before your body sends out an SOS. But, if not, just pay attention to the signs your body’s signaling!

As a general rule, consume 4-6 ounces of fluid for every 15-20 minutes of training.

6 Symptoms of Dehydration

You might be dehydrated if you…

  1. Are thirsty.
  2. Have a headache.
  3. Have a dry, sticky mouth.
  4. Have decreased urine output.
  5. Experience rapid heartbeat.
  6. Experience fatigue.

You might be dehydrated if your pre-workout weight is 2-3% greater than your post-workout weight. For example, if you weigh 160 lb before a workout and then weigh in at 155.2 – 156.8 lb, then you may be dehydrated.

To stay hydrated, drink water or sports drinks (especially for prolonged exercise or training of 60 minutes or more). Avoid soda, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Surpassed only by Florida, Texas ranks #2 in the number of lightning-related deaths in the United States. While suffering injury or fatality from lightning strike is exceptionally rare, it does happen. Athletes reading this blog, who may frequently be outside in open areas for practice and competition, should be prepared to act swiftly when there’s potential for lightning.

Minimize Your Risk for Being Struck

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these precautions:

    • Remain calm.
    • Listen for instructions from authorities.
    • Move to the designated safe shelters, away from metal poles and the open field. These shelters should be determined before the event if a chance of a storm exists.
    • Wait for an all-clear signal, which should occur approximately 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder.

Fast Facts About Lightning

    • Lightning can strike even when it’s not raining.
    • If you can hear thunder, then there is potential for lightning to strike in your area.
    • Lightning often strikes on the fringe areas of a heavy rain. Strikes are common before and after rain. They can occur up to 10 miles away from rainfall.
    • Athletes struck by lightning are often on their way to seeking safety at the time of the strike. Act quickly! Don’t delay in seeking shelter if there might be a risk.

What YOU Should Do As an Athlete, Parent or Coach

    • Check local weather forecasts before practice or play. Be prepared to delay play in the event of a weather “watch” or “warning” in your area.
    • Pay attention to signs of weather changing.
    • Be familiar with any league or organizational policies with regards to thunderstorms.
    • Avoid high points and open areas.
    • Seek indoor shelter. No outdoor or open shelters are truly safe. If an indoor shelter is not available, get inside a car. Don’t touch the stereo, electronics or doorhandles.
    • If your skin is tingling and no shelter is available, crouch in the safety position: weight on the balls of the feet, head down, elbows tucked, hands covering the ears.
    • If someone is struck, call 911 immediately. A person struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge. The victim is safe to touch.

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Did you know that 65% of all runners will be injured in any given year? Or that the average runner sustains one running injury for every 100 hours of running? (source) When facing statistics like those, we could all do well to learn more about preventing running injuries here in Houston.

An infographic from Hospital for Special Surgery provides some valuable information that every runner should review. Let’s take a closer look below.

What body areas are injured the most from running?

    • Lower Leg – 25.6%
    • Knee/Patella – 24.4%
    • Foot/Toes – 18.3%
    • Upper Leg – 12.2%
    • Pelvis/Hip/Groin – 7.3%
    • Achilles Tendon – 6.5%
    • Ankle – 5.7%

Overall, females are at a greater risk of developing running injuries than males. However, males are more likely to injure themselves during a competitive race or marathon than females.

You Might Think…

You might think that “running through the pain” is good for you. While it’s normal to experience some aches and minor discomfort, running through pain is not the right call. If you’re experiencing pain, stop. See a physician if pain persists or worsens.

See a Sports Medicine Doctor In Houston If…

    • You have pain at rest.
    • The pain is not getting better.
    • Nothing alleviates your symptoms.
    • You have any kind of persistent limp.

5 Most Common Running Injuries

  1. Hamstring Tendinosis. Deep buttock pain, aggravated when accelerating or running uphill. Could be caused by poor running mechanics, particularly over-striding.
  2. IT Band Syndrome. Side knee pain (burning or tightness). Pain increases with running and is better with rest. Could be caused by excessive hip adduction and internal rotation or weak hip musculature.
  3. Plantar Fasciitis. Foot arch tenderness, pain with first morning steps, or pain during the first 5-10 minutes of running. Could be caused by overuse, constant stretching of foot arch, or over-pronated foot and tight calves.
  4. Runner’s Knee. Foot knee pain that increases with running, stairs, squatting and sitting. Could be caused by weakness, poor neuromuscular control, or misalignment of the patella.
  5. Shin Splints. Pain along the lower leg (tibia) and/or mild swelling. Could be caused by overuse, inability to control pronation, changing routine, or too much volume.

5 Injury Prevention Tips

So, what can you do to prevent injury?

  1. Don’t run through the pain.
  2. Listen to your body.
  3. Cross train.
  4. Don’t do too much too soon.
  5. Gradually introduce the new (for example: changing shoes, strike patterns, etc.)

Questions? Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For more information about running health and safety, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.