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Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Considering that more than 800,000 children a year seek care for TBI (traumatic brain injury) – which includes concussion – you would think that there would be a set of standardized care recommendations, right? Surprisingly, healthcare providers have not had access to evidence-based guidelines for pediatric mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury – e.g. “concussion”) until September 4 of this year, when The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new clinical recommendations.

The new guidelines aim to help healthcare providers improve the health of their patients through 19 sets of clinical recommendations. Everything from diagnosis and prognosis to management and treatment is covered in the new mTBI guidelines, which were developed after “an extensive review of scientific literature, spanning 25 years of research.”

5 Key Practice-Changing Recommendations

According to a CDC media release, the guideline includes these “five key practice-changing recommendations…”

    1. Do not routinely image patients to diagnose mTBI.
    2. Use validated, age-appropriate symptom scales to diagnose mTBI.
    3. Assess evidence-based risk factors for prolonged recovery.
    4. Provide patients with instructions on return to activity customized to their symptoms.
    5. Counsel patients to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than 2-3 days of rest.

Concussion Resources for Parents

If your child has been diagnosed with a concussion, view these CDC resources:

Additionally, you can find many concussion-related resources on the Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics Blog:

Concussion Care? See Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For more information about concussion care in Houston, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546. Concussions deserve to be taken seriously. Repeat injuries – especially if the initial injury has not healed – can be very dangerous. Whether a concussion occurs in a child or adult, rest is important for recovery! Don’t hesitate to see an urgent care provider for an immediate evaluation.

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.

When it comes to contact sports, safety is a top concern for players, parents and coaches. Face and head protection equipment offer some of the easiest and most effective methods for athletes to protect themselves from serious injury. An infographic from National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) provides some tips and suggestions…

Helmets

Helmets are required in football, ice hockey, baseball, softball and men’s lacrosse. They’re designed to prevent skull fractures, but not concussions. (Check out “Concussion 101 for Parents & Athletes.”) Helmets should display a sticker from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. They should be certified on a regular basis. Learn how to properly fit a football helmet here.

Face Masks

Face masks are required for ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, football and softball (depending on the state). They’re used to protect the eyes and jaw in hockey and lacrosse and the facial bones in football. Be aware that different positions need different types of protection. For example, the face mask of a football lineman will have a more closed cage than that of a quarterback or receiver.

Protective Goggles

Protective goggles are required for field hockey and girls’ lacrosse (in some states). Small ball sports, such as racquetball and tennis, may require protective goggles, as well. Some basketball players, football players, and swimmers also opt for goggles to protect the eyes and surrounding bones.

Ear Protection

Wrestlers and water polo players are required to ware ear protection to prevent injuries to the ears and scalp. Even if protective gear isn’t required during practices, athletes should still wear it to stop preventable injuries, such as swimmer’s ear, cauliflower ear, or broken blood vessels.

Mouth Guards

Mouth guards can prevent injuries to the teeth and mouth in field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, and wrestling (if the athlete wears braces or an orthodontic device). Mouth guards are an easy and low-cost way to prevent serious injuries, including tooth and root fractures and tooth displacement.

Throat Guards

Contusions, lacerations, and fractures may all be prevented with a throat guard – often required for hockey and lacrosse goalies, as well as softball and baseball catchers. There are various types of throat guards available. Choose one that’s most comfortable and offers the most protection for your position.

For more information, check out the full infographic below…

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment 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.

Millions of adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic hip pain. In many cases, hip pain originates with an injury during sports or athletic activity. A new infographic from the Mayo Clinic encourages individuals experiencing hip pain to see a healthcare provider if the pain originated during sports, as the pain may be a sign of a hip joint structural issue.

Fast Facts About Hip Pain From Athletic Activity

    • Tears in the labrum, the ring of cartilage where the thigh bone meets the socket, are found in 66% of younger athletes with hip problems.
    • These tears may result from bones not fitting together correctly.
    • Repairing labrum doesn’t resolve structural issues, so injury may recur if the hip structure isn’t repaired.

What Are the Most Common Underlying Issues?

    • Hip Dysplasia: The socket where the end of the thigh bone is seated is too shallow. This allows the hip to slip out of socket more easily, tearing or damaging the labrum. Hip dysplasia is more common among women.
    • FAI (Femoroacetabular impingement): The socket is too tight or the bone has irregularities or bumps. When FAI occurs, labrum and cartilage pinched between the tight contact is torn or damaged. FAI can be aggravated by activity.

Treat the Cause – Not Just Symptoms

Think of the cartilage in your hip like a a tire. When the tire’s not properly aligned, it gets uneven wear on one side. In the same way, the cartilage in your hip can be subjected to uneven wear. If the issue is caught early on and repaired, then the cartilage may very well last for years to come. If unchecked, however, the uneven wear in the hip could lead to permanent structural issues as the cartilage continues to wear down. Even if the alignment issue is fixed, the permanently damaged cartilage could cause lasting pain. This is one reason why it’s so important to get hip pain checked out early on.

Treating Hip Pain

Hip pain may be treated through…

    • Exercise Therapy: Learn about a few exercise tips for people with hip pain. Proper stretching and exercise may help alleviate some types of hip pain.
    • Total Hip Replacement: Sometimes surgery is necessary. Learn more. Total hip replacement surgery is a process in which surgeons replace damaged portions of the hip joint.

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For more information about hip pain and treatment options in Houston, schedule an appointment 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 talk a lot on this blog about health and safety in sports. And while many golfers might be concerned about golfer’s elbow or other joint injuries, it’s important to remember that not all sports injuries are strictly related to athletic form!

An infographic from Auger Law reminds us that the golf cart can be one of the most dangerous aspects of a golf game. Let’s take a closer look at the facts…

Golf Cart Injury Statistics

    • From 1990 to 2006, golf cart accidents increased over 130%. There were 150,000 golf cart injuries during this time.
    • 40% of accidents were caused by falling or jumping.
    • Children under the age of 16 constituted 30% of all injuries

The majority of these accidents are occurring at sports facilities, such as golf courses. Looking at the accidents recorded, 15% occurred on streets or public property, another 15% occurred at home or on a farm, and the remaining 70% occurred at sports facilities.

Golf Cart Injuries & Falling

Falling is one of the main dangers of being in a golf cart accident. We’ve discussed fall prevention at length here on the Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics Blog. It’s important to note that falling can increase your risk for head and neck injuries, including concussion. If you’ve sustained a fall, see a health care provider for a fall assessment.

Top 10 Causes of Golf Cart Accidents

  1. Sharp turns
  2. Distracted driving
  3. Inattentive drivers
  4. Racing and horseplay
  5. Too many passengers
  6. Not engaging the brake
  7. Driving under the influence
  8. Driving over dangerous terrain
  9. Reversing downhill
  10. 10. Hanging the leg outside the vehicle

5 Tips for Safer Golf Cart Driving

  1. Don’t let the kids drive. If your child isn’t legally allowed to drive a car, then they also shouldn’t operate a golf cart.
  2. Take it slow. Speed isn’t worth the injury.
  3. Pay attention. Just because a golf cart isn’t as big or as fast as a car doesn’t mean it deserves any less of your attention.
  4. Avoid reckless behavior. No sharp turns, dangerous slopes, or drinking and driving.
  5. Stay the course. Only drive in approved areas.

And, by the way, if you do find yourself with a case of golfer’s elbow, try these stretches and exercises for relief!

Find a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor Near You

Looking for a sports medicine doctor in Houston? Schedule your next 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 walking is good for us, right? But what exactly does walking do for your health? Is it worth the time? Would you just be better off doing more intense exercise in a shorter period? An infographic by Woowalkers reveals seven specific reasons why walking is so great for your health. Check out their findings below…

#1 Walking strengthens the heart.

As you probably know, walking is great medicine for the heart! You can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. The Stroke Association says that a brisk half-hour walk each day can help prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes. Overall, walking can reduce risk of stroke by up to 27 percent.

#2 Walking improves mood.

When you walk, you simply feel better. Studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants in mild to moderate cases of depression, releasing feel-good endorphins while reducing stress and anxiety.

#3 Walking shores up your bones.

Walking can stop the loss of bone mass for those with osteoporosis. (Learn more about osteoporosis management.)

#4 Enjoy a longer life as a result of walking!

Research out of the University of Michigan Medical School and the Veterans Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System says those who exercise regularly in their fifties and sixties are 35 percent less likely to die over the next eight years than their non-walking counterparts.

#5 Walking leads to weight loss.

A brisk 30-minute walk burns 200 calories! Over time, calories burned can lead to pounds dropped.

#6 Boost your vitamin D by walking.

Many people in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient. This affects important things like bone health and the immune system. Walking is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while getting your vitamin D fix.

#7 Reduce cancer risk.

Research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that women who walked at least seven hours per week were 14 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.

See a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor Near You

Have questions about what kind of activity could help improve your health? 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.

Football consistently ranks as one of the most injury-prone sports. From concussions to tissue injuries, football comes with more than a few health concerns for parents, coaches, and players. The good news is that proper equipment can go a long way in keeping players safe.

As we’re in the midst of the Texas football season, let’s take a closer look at just how far football equipment safety has come over the years with this infographic

Helmet Development

When football was first played in 1869, helmets were not used. By the 1920s, players had soft leather helmets. Still, it wasn’t until the 1940s that helmets became mandatory (officially adopted by the NFL in 1949) and that manufacturers shifted from leather to plastic. By 1980, molded polycarbonate shells replaced hard plastic. Today, helmets have been designed to reduce concussions. Learn how to fit a football helmet.

Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads were a part of the game before the official start of the NFL. In the 1920s, leather and padding was often sewn into the shirt. In the 1930s, pads separated from the shirt, covering the shoulders and chest. In the 1960s, plastic replaced leather. By the 2000s, shoulder pads had become much more sophisticated; synthetic fibers became commonplace, making pads lighter and more breathable.

Face Mask

In the 1920s, helmets lacked a bar or face mask. In the 1950s, manufacturers added a single bar across the face, which was used by all NFL players by the 1960s. It wasn’t until the 1970s, however, that full face masks were introduced. In the 1980s, protective visors became a part of the uniform. By the 2000s, the NFL had banned the use of single bar face masks. (Surprisingly, mouth guards are not mandatory in the NFL.)

Pants Padding

Pants padding was first introduced in the 1920s. It wasn’t until 2014, though, that the NFL made thigh/knee pads mandatory.

For more football injury resources, view:

Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment 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.

On September 21, Apple released the Apple Watch Series 4. As Women’s Health wrote in a recent review, this device has the potential to be more than just a fitness investment – it can be a lifesaver:

“The new Apple Watch health and fitness features make it a powerful device for your overall well-being. That’s because game-changing bells and whistles have elevated the Apple Watch Series 4 from an investment-worthy health accessory to a sleek and beautiful device that actually might save your life.”

The new Apple Watch Series 4 brings a number of changes, most significantly: fall detection and ECG reading. Let’s take a closer look at what those features could mean for patients at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics.

Fall Detection on the Apple Watch

Fall assessments are a big part of what we do in our Houston offices. One in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year, and up to 30 percent of these individuals sustain a moderate to severe injury. While we make an effort to educate patients in fall prevention techniques, falls – and fractures – do happen.

The new Apple Watch features an accelerometer and gyroscope that can detect if you’ve fallen. Upon a hard fall, the device will ask if you would like to call emergency services. An easy swipe can call 9-1-1 and message your emergency contacts. If you’re unresponsive for 60 seconds, the Apple Watch will automatically place the call and notify your contacts for you. In addition to making the emergency call, the Apple Watch can store and display critical Medical ID information for emergency personnel.

ECG App

Perhaps the biggest breakthrough in this year’s device is the ability to take an ECG, which provides data that can be used to detect an irregular heart rhythm (such as atrial fibrillation). A consumer-friendly ECG device that fits on your wrist – and has FDA-approval – is truly a revolutionary development.

The heart rhythm data can easily be exported and shared with your primary care provider or our team at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. The device can even notify you of a high heart rate or arrhythmia without requiring you to initiate a scan.

Find a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor Near You

Looking for a sports medicine doctor in Houston? Schedule your first 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.

Maybe you’ve heard of plyometric exercises… and then again, maybe you think “plyometric” sounds like some really expensive new machine that’s ultimately going to gather dust in the garage!

If you’re skeptical about “buying in” to something new, relax! Exploring plyometrics will cost you nothing. There’s no machine and no special gear required.

What Are Plyometric Exercises?

Plyometric exercises – also known as “plyos” – are a form of jump training. Athletes use plyometrics to train muscles to exert maximum force in a very brief period of time. Ultimately, plyometrics can increase power (speed-strength). Plyos can be beneficial for just about anyone who wants to build strength and burn calories. Plus, you probably already know some plyometric exercises and don’t even realize it!

6 Plyometric Exercises

    1. Jumping Jacks are a great plyometric exercise. Practice jumping jacks for 60 seconds. Make sure your heels come down to the floor with each jump.
    2. Tuck Jumps are another great lower body plyo. Stand with feet hip-width apart, then jump, pulling knees toward the chest. Both feet should leave the ground and return to the ground together.
    3. Burpees are a sure way to get your heart pumping. Begin by standing with feet together. Then, lower down into a deep squat, place hands on floor, and kick your legs out backwards into a plank position. Jump the feet back into their original position and fly out of your squat, leaping up with hands stretched directly up to the sky! Repeat 10-20 times.
    4. Clapping push ups will give your upper body a quick burst of energy. Begin by performing a regular push-up. Then, when raising yourself up away from the floor, push hard, giving yourself enough space to clap your hands before returning palms to the floor. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
    5. Broad jumps can help build serious leg strength. Assume a squat position, then harness all the energy you can to leap forward out of the squat. As soon as you land, immediately propel yourself forward into the next jump. Repeat for 5-6 jumps.
    6. Mountain climbers will work your legs and and abdomen! In a plank position, with your abs strong and engaged, pull one knee toward the chest (drawing power from your abs). Quickly return the leg back to plank and then pull the other knee in toward the chest. Repeat as quickly as possible (while maintaining strength and stability) for 30 to 60 seconds.

Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment 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.

You’ve probably heard that you should “load up” on carbs before a workout. Or that you should consume some protein as soon as you’re done. But what are the real “rules” when it comes to eating for endurance and performance? A new infographic from National Athletic Trainers’ Association takes a closer look, providing specific guidelines for athletes looking to improve their nutrition.

Three to Four Hours Before Workout

In the hours leading up to workout, you’ll want to optimize your carbohydrate status to prevent fatigue and restore glycogen content. Meals that are high in carbs, low in fat and fiber, and low-to-moderate in protein can be a good fit. Examples include pancakes or waffles with syrup, bagel with cream cheese, a couple of eggs with toast and fruit, or yogurt with granola.

Less Than One Hour Before Workout

Right before a workout, you’ll want to consume some more carbs so you’ll have plenty of fuel. Good options include sports gels, bars or drinks; pretzels or crackers; or high-carb granola bars.

During Workout

During your workout, you need to provide your hard-working muscles with a little extra fuel. For workouts lasting around an hour or less, these carbs can help improve performance. For workouts lasting longer than two hours, carbs can help prevent or delay hypoglycemia and increase endurance.

Good food options include sports gels, bars and drinks; small pieces of fruit (a clementine, for example); half a banana, a small apple, or a handful of grapes.

Immediately After Workout

Following a workout, you should consume carbs and protein to assist in glycogen restoration and prevent fatigue. Low-fat chocolate milk, a smoothie, yogurt, bagel, or piece of fruit with peanut butter are a few good options.

One to Two Hours After Workout

Finally, you’ll want to restore fluids and provide your body with energy in the hour or two after a workout. Recovery is necessary for restoration of muscle and liver glycogen storage. You’ll also want to replace fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat. Consume carb-rich and protein-rich foods to aid in muscle repair and improve muscle glycogen storage. Examples include whole grain or brown rice with grilled chicken/fish; whole wheat pasta with meat sauce or meatballs; hoagie/wrap; or sweet potato and steak.

For more information, check out the full infographic below…

Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

For more information about eating right for peak performance, contact 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.

Cheerleading has undergone some dramatic changes over the last few decades. Once considered an after-school activity, cheerleading has evolved to a full sport in its own right. Highly developed athletic programs have propelled cheerleading forward into the competitive arena. As competition and skill increases, so does risk of injury.

“As with any other athlete,” writes the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in a new infographic, “cheerleaders face injury concerns, especially musculoskeletal injuries and those related to overuse since the cheer season tends to be year-round.” Let’s take a closer look at NATA’s recommendations for cheer safety…

    • Skills Progression: Learn proper positions and techniques. Demonstrate competency in basic skills before moving on to more advanced moves.
    • Coach Certification: Practice under certified coaches. Several programs exist for the purpose of training coaches, providing them with the knowledge they need to keep athletes safe. Programs include: U.S. All Star Federation, the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators and the National Federation of State High School Associations.
    • Rules and Regulations: Acquaint yourself with new rules and regulations in cheer. For example, governing bodies such as USA Cheer and AACCA constantly review existing rules and regulations, making adjustments to reduce risk of injuries. These organizations may increase spotter requirements, update surface restrictions, or rule against certain skills (e.g. the removal of double twisting mounts).
    • Access to Medical Care: Ensure adequate access to medical care.

Cheer Fast Facts

    • Approximately 400,000 students participate in high school cheerleading annually, with 123,386 involved in competitive spirit squads.
    • According to a National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, injury rates in cheerleading rank 18th out of 22 sports, with an overall injury rate of 0.71 injuries per 1,000 athlete-exposures.
    • In 2014, there were fewer emergency room visits for girls ages 14 to 18 for cheerleading (21,831) than girls’ basketball (47,113), soccer (37,193) and softball (27,940).
    • More spirit coaches than any other coaches have taken the AACCA certification course. Currently, 20,000 coaches have completed the AACCA Spirit Safety Certification course with nearly 5,000 coaches completing the course in 2015.

See a Sports Medicine Doctor Near You in Houston

For any Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment 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.