Tips for Athletes to Avoid Fractures

Fractures are prevalent among athletes, especially in those who have been active since childhood. When young athletes participate in competitive sports, they may not rest properly between training sessions, leading to increased stress on their developing bones. 

Unfortunately, fractures can sideline athletes for up to 3 months. This time off can be detrimental, especially for competitive athletes at crucial points in their careers. 

How Can a Fracture Be Prevented?

Florida athletes can implement the following tips to prevent fractures and avoid any gaps in their participation:

Use Proper Gear and Footwear. 

Wearing supportive footwear and gear that’s designed for your sport helps protect your bones against impact. Think of this as a continual investment, as running shoes wear out faster than you might think!

Warm Up and Cool Down. 

Gently warming up with light exercise and active stretching helps prep your body for activity. Cooling down should take double the amount of time as your warm-up, as it primes your body for recovery. To prevent fractures, don’t skimp on your warm-up or cool-down!

Ease Into New Regimens.

Stress fractures can result from rushing into an intense new training regimen before your body is ready to handle the impact. So, start slowing, gradually gaining strength and stamina before pushing your body to its limits.

Prioritize Bone Health. 

It takes until age 16 to 18 for bones to completely stop growing, leaving teen athletes particularly susceptible to fractures. On the other hand, bone mass naturally diminishes with age, making advancing age a significant fracture risk factor. 

So, no matter your age, prioritize your bone health to prevent fractures. Calcium and vitamin D are crucial nutrients for strong, resilient bones, and you can talk to your Florida sports physician about whether supplements are the right choice for you. 

At Florida Wellness Medical Group, we’re here to help you reach your peak with expert sports medicine services. Contact us today to book an appointment!

Can Stretching Improve Sports Performance and Reduce the Risk of Injury?

Stretching and strengthening tend to go hand-in-hand for optimal physical performance. But, are the benefits of stretching rooted in science? Can it actually improve sports performance and ward off future injuries?

In this article, we’ll discuss the proven benefits of stretching, whether you’re a professional athlete or stay active for your health. 

Stretching for Sports Performance

Stretching regularly helps keep your muscles flexible, improves circulation, and improves range of motion. All of these benefits can lead to greater sports performance. In fact, clinical research has confirmed that stretching regularly improves jump height, force, and speed, all of which can notably enhance your athletic performance

Additionally, dynamic stretching can directly boost power performance when it’s done immediately before working out. Dynamic stretching includes movements that bring the joints and muscles through a complete range of motion. This is the opposite of static stretching, which involves holding a position for around 30 seconds. 

Stretching for Injury Prevention

Stretching benefits injury prevention by increasing flexibility and range of motion. Keeping your muscles flexible by stretching reduces the force on your muscles with physical activity. Less force leads to a lower risk of injury!

However, to reap the benefits of stretching, it’s important to stretch properly. Here are some tips:

  • Stretching shouldn’t hurt, so stop if you experience pain. Pain is a sign that you’re over-stretching. 
  • Stretch both sides of the body evenly to prevent imbalances. 
  • Breathe normally while you stretch. 
  • Hold each stretch for around 30 seconds; if you don’t hold the stretch for long enough, you’re unlikely to experience its benefits. 
  • Stretch while you’re warm, or warm up before stretching. 

Stretching is an essential part of any well-rounded fitness routine. For professional, personalized guidance, request an appointment at Florida Wellness Medical Group today!

Common Sports Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries result from repetitively putting stress on the same area of the body. With the demanding training involved in many sports, this type of injury is particularly common among athletes. 

In this article, we’ll explore the sports overuse injuries that we see frequently at our Tampa clinic.

Tendinitis

Tendinitis develops when a tendon (cord-like tissue that attaches muscle to bone) becomes inflamed, causing pain, difficulty moving, stiffness, and a grating or crackling sensation with movement. Achilles tendinitis is particularly common among athletes and affects the Achilles tendon, which extends down the back of the lower leg. 

Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee (also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome) causes dull pain around the patella, which is located at the front of the knee. It’s the point at which the knee connects to the lower part of the thigh-bone. As the name suggests, a runner’s knee is particularly common in runners because they repeatedly stress the knee joint. An abnormal gait or structural defect can increase your risk of this overuse injury. 

Shin Splints

Shin splints result from repetitive strain on the shinbone and lower leg muscles. This causes inflammation and pain along the front of the shin-bone and inner lower leg. The pain may feel sharp or dull and achy but typically worsens after physical activity. Shin splints are prevalent among runners, dancers, and athletes in high-impact sports. 

Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia at the arch of the foot becomes inflamed and irritated. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that links the heel bone to the base of the toes. With plantar fasciitis, patients tend to experience pain and stiffness at the bottom of the heel. These symptoms tend to be the worst in the morning, after physical activity, and after standing or sitting for prolonged periods. 

At Florida Wellness Medical Group, we offer a variety of therapies for sports injuries, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, and more. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment!

Common Injuries That Sports Medicine Doctors Treat

While sports and various physical activities are an excellent way to stay fit and gain mood-boosting endorphins, they present the risk of injury. Sports medicine doctors, like members of the team at Florida Wellness Medical Group, provide specialized care for sports injuries. Their goal is to protect your health while helping you return to the field, court, or rink faster. 

Some of the most common injuries that sports medicine doctors treat are:

Knee Injuries

Among athletes, the knees are particularly vulnerable to injuries, including:

  • ACL tears, which occur when the ligament that connects the shinbone and thigh bone is torn
  • Patellar tendinitis, occurs when the tendon in the patella, which connects the kneecap and shinbone, becomes inflamed
  • Torn meniscus, which occurs when the meniscus, a pad of cartilage in the knee is torn, causing pain, inflammation, and stiffness

Sprains

Sprains are extremely common, especially among athletes. This injury develops when a ligament (the type of tissue that connects two bones in a joint) is stretched or torn. Athletes tend to experience sprains from overstretching a ligament with extreme movement and may need sports medicine treatment to help the ligament heal properly. 

Dislocated Joints

When a joint is dislocated, it means that one of the bones in the joint pops out of its normal alignment. This injury most commonly affects the shoulder, but can also impact the knees, hips, and elbows. Sometimes, the joint may immediately pop back in the joint, but proper treatment is important to address the resulting injury to the surrounding tissues. Other times, a sports medicine doctor will need to safely pop the joint back into place. 

At Florida Wellness Medical Group, we’re proud to offer top-of-the-line integrative care for sports injuries. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Why is Whiplash Pain Often Delayed?

Whiplash is a neck injury that most commonly occurs during auto accidents. It develops from a fast, vigorous back-and-forth motion of the neck. 

Pain from whiplash is often delayed for hours or even days. This can prolong patients’ recovery process and lead to worsened symptoms. 

The Reasons Behind Delayed Whiplash Pain

Adrenaline

One of the key reasons behind delayed whiplash pain is the body’s fight or flight response. In a car accident, in particular, the body releases adrenaline into the bloodstream.

Adrenaline is a type of stress hormone that prepares your body to respond to a threat. It dilates your blood vessels and airways for increased oxygen, boosts circulation to the muscles, and even reduces sensations of pain. 

The adrenaline rush that occurs during a car accident can numb the pain from whiplash. Until your adrenaline levels decrease, you may not notice whiplash symptoms.   

Delayed Inflammation

Additionally, it can take time for your immune system to trigger inflammation around the injured area. Once your body registers the inflammation, it may have been hours or days since the injury occurred. 

Short-Term Effects of The Accident

After a car accident, sports accident, major fall, or another type of physical trauma, many people don’t recognize whiplash symptoms as signs of the injury. They may write off the pain as a short-term effect of the accident, rather than an indication of a larger problem. 

Symptoms of Whiplash

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Neck and shoulder stiffness
  • Headache
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck
  • Light sensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Blurry vision
  • Irritability
  • Memory issues

Following a car accident, sports injury, or any form of physical trauma, visit a physician for a complete evaluation. Even if you’re not yet experiencing symptoms of whiplash, your physician can check for this injury and prescribe a treatment plan. 

Schedule an appointment at Florida Wellness Medical Group to speak with one of our trained physicians.  

Why You Should See a Doctor After a Car Accident Even if You Feel Fine

After being in a car accident, many people don’t experience any pain or discomfort. However, even if you feel fine, it’s crucial to see a doctor after the crash.

Certain auto accident injuries, such as whiplash and concussions, can have delayed symptoms. Additionally, the adrenaline of being in a crash can mute pain, stiffness, and other injury symptoms for hours or even days following the accident.

During a medical evaluation after an auto accident, your doctor can ensure that any injuries are diagnosed and that you receive the care that you need for a fast recovery. By seeing a doctor after a car accident, you can avoid long-term symptoms from injuries that often have delayed symptoms, including: 

Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common auto accident injuries. It occurs when the neck is forced to suddenly whip back and forth. This forceful motion damages the soft tissues in the cervical spine, often leading to neck pain, lost range of motion in the neck, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and numbness in the arms. 

It can take days or even weeks for whiplash to present with symptoms after an auto accident. However, any delay in treating whiplash can lead to further damage and worsened pain. So, it’s in your best interest to see a doctor after a car accident, even if you don’t have symptoms. 

Concussions

A concussion is a brain injury that can occur when you receive a blow to the head. It causes brain cell damage that can inhibit the cells’ function and communication. Headache, nausea, vomiting, light/noise sensitivity, confusion, fatigue, and balance problems are all possible symptoms of a concussion. 

Concussion symptoms aren’t always apparent after an auto accident. However, it’s essential to get checked for a concussion by a doctor after a crash to avoid worsened brain damage. 

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when the exterior of the spinal disc cracks or tears. The soft interior of the disc can press out through this crack and irritate nearby nerves. 

Along with other spinal injuries, a herniated disc may not cause obvious symptoms after a car accident. If you sustain a spinal injury in an auto accident but don’t receive a medical evaluation promptly after the crash, the injury could become much worse. Possible complications from an untreated herniated disc include chronic pain and permanent nerve damage. 

At Florida Wellness Medical Group, we provide medical evaluations and specialized care for auto accident injuries, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, and more. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Injuries Caused by Heavy Lifting and How To Treat Those Injuries

Lifting heavy items, whether at work, at the gym, or during a move, can pose a risk to your physical health. Heavy lifting can strain the back muscles, spine, wrists, and shoulders, potentially leading to injury. 

Below, you’ll find the most common injuries caused by heavy lifting, as well as the treatments available to help you make a full recovery. 

The Main Injuries Caused by Heavy Lifting

Back and Spinal Injuries

The back and spine are highly susceptible to injury when you’re lifting heavy objects. Excessive pressure may be put on the spine while lifting, potentially straining or tearing the back muscles. Lifting extremely heavy objects could also lead to herniated spinal discs or pinched spinal nerves, which may require a more lengthy recovery process. Chiropractic care focuses on the spine and can be particularly effective in treating these types of injuries.  Continue reading

Why It’s Important To Visit Florida Wellness Vs. an Emergency Room for Your Injury

If you’re injured, your first instinct may be to visit the emergency room. People often think of the ER as the fundamental care option when they need care for a sudden injury; but, in truth, visiting one of Florida Wellness Medical Group’s four office locations is the superior option for most injuries when compared to the ER. 

Avoid Sky-High ER Costs

The ER is the most expensive option for injury treatment. A single ER visit could easily cost over $1,000, with costs added for any treatment you receive, whether it be stitches or an X-ray. You can avoid these exorbitant costs by going to Florida Wellness Medical Group for injury treatment instead. Continue reading

Whiplash After An Auto Accident

Whiplash is a common injury sustained by victims of automobile accidents. As an injury that often becomes apparent later on after the accident, not immediately, it’s important for whiplash victims to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s wise to schedule an appointment with a motor vehicle injury care specialist, such as the staff at Florida Wellness Medical Group, to identify possible injuries. 

Let’s learn more about whiplash and the treatment options available for this prevalent auto accident injury. Continue reading

5 Sports Injury Treatments That Help You Come Back Even Stronger

sports injuries treatmentSports injury treatments are widely needed when you consider that there are more than 8.6 million sports-related injuries each year, and 20% of those injuries are bone fractures or other serious injuries, according to the CDC

A sports injury can take you off the field for a few days or it can end your season. Most athletes are eager to play again, whether they want to compete in high-level competitions or simply enjoy the camaraderie and exercise on the field. However, if you don’t take enough time to heal your injury, you could reinjure it or permanently damage your body. 

These sports injury treatments can’t promise an immediate recovery, but that can help you work to get healthier. If you recently suffered a sports injury, consider these options to help you heal.  

#1) Physical Therapy

One of the most common ways to treat sports injuries is with physical therapy. Your therapist will walk you through a series of exercises to stretch your muscles, improve your range of motion, and build back your strength. Physical therapy is often used after serious injuries where the athlete needs to get back to the same competitive level as before the break or tear. However, it can be valuable in all sporting levels. 

#2) Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a popular treatment amongst athletes to help a variety of problems. Chiropractors can help with multiple types of injuries, not just back problems. For example, they can work to reduce pain in knee problems, sprains, strains, dislocations, and even fractures. Chiropractic care takes a whole-body approach to healing, making it one of the top sports injury treatments on this list.   

For more information on how chiropractic care can help athletes, watch this interview featuring Florida Wellness on Daytime on WFLA News Channel 8.

Related: What Can Chiropractic Care Do for Sports Injuries?

#3) Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is another option for sports injury treatments. This practice does more than help the body relax and reduce muscle tension. It can also help with pain relief, improve your range of motion, and improve circulation. At Florida Wellness, we offer a specific sports massage that targets muscle-tendon junctions subject to repetitive movements. We can also focus on the injured muscle group to help with recovery. 

#4) Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is an up-and-coming option for sports injury treatments. This is the process of applying cold air or mist in order to reduce swelling or inflammation. Depending on the method, cryotherapy can be used to treat acute injuries that are in the process of healing or chronic problems (like arthritis) to reduce long-term pain. Many NFL and NBA players, including LeBron James, have tried cryotherapy.    

#5) Rest 

This is the treatment that athletes need the most, but few have the patience for. Resting your injured body can help it recover faster. Even if you want to get back in the game, waiting a few days can help you come back completely and reduce the chances of reinjury. Your team needs you playing at 100%, not fighting through at 50%. 

Work With Specialists on Sports Injury Treatments

If you recently suffered a sports injury, seek out medical help – no matter how superficial it may seem. There may be underlying problems or sensitivity that is more serious than you first think. 

Request an appointment with Florida Wellness Medical Group and tell us your preferred time and location to see a medical specialist. Let us know that you have a sports injury that needs to be treated and we will find a way to help you.