The Full Guide to Preventing Sports Injuries in Kids

The NIH periodically updates some of its most-referenced documents on pediatric prevention and care. This page is widely considered the gold standard in vetted and conservative recommendations for young athletes.

A quick glance at the page reveals its value: summary overviews of several injury types which are common to young people, including growth plate injuries, sprains, broken bones, and repetitive motion. Several of these are especially likely to strike three-season athletes or anyone focused on a single high-level sport to the exclusion of other activities.

The page also makes a clear distinction between minor bruises which can benefit from RICE therapy, and more serious injuries that require the intervention of a pediatric orthopedist such as myself:

Get professional treatment if any injury is severe. A severe injury means having an obvious fracture or dislocation of a joint, prolonged swelling, or prolonged or severe pain.

Kids know their own bodies best, but they aren’t always the best sources for candid information about pain. Try your best to open an honest dialogue about what hurts and how much, and you can prevent minor issues from blossoming into chronic conditions as your child enters adolescence and beyond.

San Diego: Prevent Tennis Elbow Today

When the outside portion of your elbow joint becomes chronically damaged or inflamed, the resulting condition is known as epicondylitis, or tennis elbow.

Up to one-quarter or more of the athletes who engage in various vigorous sports including baseball, basketball, and, yes, tennis, are likely to contract tennis elbow during their lifetimes. The condition is characterized by a burning soreness and weakness that travels from the elbow to the hand, as well as pain during any of the active “straightening” motions you conduct on a daily basis.

Although many cases of tennis elbow can be treated with medications such as NSAIDs and corticosteroids, there are some cases where an orthopedic elbow surgeon has to go in to repair areas of damage that aren’t going to properly heal on their own, a procedure that involves repositioning the tendon for ease of motion.

Now the good news: Tennis elbow is treatable, even curable, and it doesn’t take long. Visit the San Diego orthopedic surgery center at AOSM for more information on how to treat and prevent tennis elbow and related injuries anywhere in Southern California.

Further Info on Heavy bags and Shoulder Pain

One of the most commonly overlooked culprits in our ongoing battle against shoulder pain is the heavy bag. This particular enemy is a shape-shifter, and can strike anyone who carries a heavy purse, briefcase, school bag, or duffel.

Heavy bags get you two ways: the weight is a stressor by itself; and the asymmetry of pulling with just one side of your body is just as bad. Both are fairly deadly to your shoulder’s health:

Toting a heavy bag around on your shoulder can put stress on your tendons and lead to tendonitis, or put stress on the bursas (the sacks of fluid that lubricate your joints) inside your shoulder and lead to bursitis, says Dr. Sachkheim. Sometimes, the pain may not actually originate in your shoulder joint, but instead is happening because your heavy bag is putting too much strain on your trapezius muscle….

The shoulder is a complex system of bone, muscle, tendons, and cartilage,
and the range of motion that we require of it is simply unrivaled in human mechanics. When that motion is stressed or impeded by the additional weight of a bag, the shoulder can respond with inflammation, abrasion, and pain.

I can help. As a sports medicine specialist and former Department Head for Orthopaedics, I proudly give my patients the very best care for shoulder pain and rehabilitation in San Diego. Please call today to set up a conversation and evaluation.

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Where Does Knee Pain Come From?

It’s time, once again, for a quick look at the causes of knee pain. Most people are aware in some vague sense that knee pain is often caused by torsional injuries of the sort we see during football games and Olympic downhill events. But what about in everyday life?

Knee injuries are more closely associated with athletic activities than with carrying the groceries, but your mileage may vary. When you’re experiencing tendonitis, torn cartilage or a baker’s cyst, many of these conditions can build up slowly over time, accumulating damage during the quotidian rituals of your life until the pain becomes too intense to ignore. Even simple activities such as climbing stairs or lifting children can create inflammation and injury.

But knee pain can also arise from acute traumatic events, which will require surgery to repair:

Injuries to the knee structure can cause swelling and bleeding if it is not properly treated. A fracture can happen if a person is suffering from medical conditions like osteoporosis. This will lead to the weakening of the bone and knee can fracture even due to a slight pressure.

The best way to diagnose and address knee pain is with the help of a qualified orthopedic knee pain specialist. The offices of Dr. William Holland offer superior knee pain care, management, and surgery throughout the Southland. Contact the office today to get your questions answered.

When Is Elbow Surgery Necessary?

Elbow pain treatment can include anything from OTC pain medications to arthroscopic elbow surgery. The goal in all treatments is to restore freedom of movement and your natural strength during everyday tasks, without the pain.

Treating elbow pain effectively requires a few steps. You’ll need a detailed evaluation from a local San Diego orthopedic surgeon who has significant experience in the area of sports medicine. This evaluation will include a physical exam, a medical history, a series of mobility tests and, if necessary, some imaging.

Common takeaway prescriptions may include physical therapy, corticosteroid or platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections, and plenty of rest. You may also be scheduled for a surgery to correct any tissue that has become too damaged or obstructive to allow for safe and easy healing:

There are various procedures that may be recommended, depending on the cause of the elbow pain. Examples of surgical procedures that may be used include fracture repair, arthroscopy, and elbow replacement.

For the most complete local evaluation, get the standard in San Diego elbow surgery. Contact Dr. William Holland to set up an appointment today.

Preventing Kid Injuries During Skiing

Skiing is a great way to get your kids off the iPad and onto the slopes – an outdoor recreation that lets California born-and-breds see a side of the natural world they might otherwise never witness up close.

But snow is also a fast, high-impact, and slippery medium, one which punishes the overconfident among us with terrible spills. Thousands of children are injured skiing each year in preventable ways, and the vast majority of these could be helped with a little education.

This page is a great place to start. It outlines the most common ski injuries among children, from head injuries to broken bones to torn cartilage. As a pediatric orthopedist, I follow all such resources with interest, and I found this especially helpful:

The majority of these injuries occurred when there was less than 1 inch of new snowfall, and snowfall of less than 2 inches was associated with increased injury severity. This corroborates the long-held ski patroller observation that, with low snowfall, the slopes are icier and faster and skiers are at increased risk of all injuries under such conditions—particularly severe injuries.

In other words, less snow means more go: icier conditions are more difficult to manage and harder to strike. Scant snowfall also means there are often fewer people on the slopes, which can cut both ways: it reduces the chance of a collision with another skier, but it provides far more room to open up and attain top speeds.

Bottom line: ski your expertise, and do not try harder slopes until you have mastered the level before. Making sure that all boots and skis are properly sized is important too, and don’t forget to study some simple ways to minimize the damage of an impact when you lose control.

For more information about pediatric injuries and pediatric orthopedic surgery in San Diego, contact the offices of Dr. William Holland today.

Is a Nerve Block Procedure Right for Knee Pain?

Knee pain is notoriously hard to treat.

Common analgesics barely make a dent, while more powerful opiates tend to work in the short term, but require ever-larger doses as your body pushes back against these habit-forming drugs. Steroids can be a double-edged sword as well, giving patients windows of relief but exacting a long-term toll on the health of the joint.

What about nerve blockers? As this video describes, these injections operate along a different pathway from other painkillers, and may be giving many patients a new way to ease the burning of chronic knee pain:

Nerve blockers aren’t without risks of their own, of course, and every patient requires a differently tailored course of treatment. It is important to remember as well that chronic pain is often the result of an underlying condition which may be treatable: orthopedic knee surgery is the best way to perform a lasting repair.

Still have questions about how to treat knee pain in San Diego? Reach out to the experts today.

Good Ways to Combat Neck Pain for Women

Neck pain is common across the board for most ages, but it’s especially common among grown women. The reasons for this are varied, but they may include some habits particular to American women, many of which are preventable.

A recent article on the website Bustle outlined these causes in some detail, making a fairly compelling case that these avoidable sources of discomfort can be relieved in a matter of days. Among the culprits mentioned are overloaded handbags, excessively tight bra straps, and the following, which I had not considered until today: women tend to cross their legs more than men, leading to long, asymmetric sitting:

If you sit with crossed legs, or with one foot wedged under your butt, you’re likely throwing off your back’s alignment. Both habits tilt the pelvis, Dr. Andrew Schafer tells me, which over-stretches one side of the spine and over-compresses the other. “When this happens, pain under one the shoulder blades will be the tell-tale sign,” he adds. Catch yourself next time, and make it a point to keep both feet on the floor.

It’s a good list and a sound reminder that the pain we experience often arises out of the habits we develop. Address one and you address the other, enhancing your comfort and getting some much-needed relief from your daily aches.

To learn more about treating neck pain in San Diego, contact the office here.