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Approximately 200,000 Americans age 65 years or older are hospitalized each year due to hip fractures, and 95 percent of those happen because of falls. Unfortunately, it’s a trend that may increase as our population ages. So, here are the answers to seven common questions about hip fractures: What actually breaks in a hip fracture? The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. One type of fracture, called a subcapital fracture, happens in the neck of the femur bone, which is right below the ball. A second type of hip fracture occurs in the bend of the femur, which we call an…

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It’s a beautiful, cool fall day  and your son and his friends decide to play a pickup game of basketball down at the park. After two hours of playing, you come limping home. Your hamstring is tight and sore. “I think it’s cramping up,” you say. You might think it makes sense to put heat on it to loosen up the cramping to make it feel better. WAIT! It is better to ice an injury than to risk using heat and making it worse. What happens when I get injured? When an athlete is injured, the body’s response is inflammation.…

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As the athletic trainer at Holy Cross High School, I see just how important proper weight-training form is. Incorrect technique can lead to muscle strains, sprains or even fractures and other injuries, which can cause major setbacks. Always consult with a strength and conditioning coach, athletic trainer or someone familiar with proper technique. They can observe your form and work to correct it if necessary. Keep these tips in mind in your weight-training program to help you avoid injury. Warm up and stretch before your workout This ensures your muscles are loose and ready to work. If you start lifting…

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As an athletic trainer for Covington Catholic High School, I see lots of bumps, bruises and injuries that can be painful. The golden rule in the world of sports medicine is to use pain as a guide. This rule applies to patients doing rehab in the sports medicine clinic, and to athletes who play a contact sport. Is it pain or simply soreness? It can be difficult to differentiate between pain and soreness. Symmetrical or bilateral soreness after strenuous lifting or new activities is often typical. Pain experienced because of one specific movement, or a gradual increase in pain…

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As the athletic trainer at Conner High School, I’m often asked if it’s necessary to cool down after a workout or game. Although there is controversy about whether warming up and cooling down can prevent injuries, allowing time for proper warmup and cool-down will not hurt your body or your performance. Proper warmup and cool-down after any type of exercise are not only beneficial, but can improve your athletic performance. How to warm up Athletes need to take warming up and stretching seriously before any sporting event. Some research suggests using dynamic stretches before activity. Your warmup should be sport-specific…

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The terms “sports drink” and “energy drink” are commonly used interchangeably; however, they are significantly different products. As an athletic trainer for St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine, parents and athletes are often unsure of the difference and which drink is recommended for performance. Energy drinks are marketed as quick-energy beverages with their primary ingredients being high levels of carbohydrates and caffeine. They are considered a food supplement and are not regulated by the FDA. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns of the potential health risks associated with energy drinks due to the stimulants they contain. The use of these products is…

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No matter how old your child, receiving the news that he or she failed a hearing test is enough to shock you. You’re likely to question it, to wonder if that could possibly be true, or maybe, particularly if your child is no longer a baby, it’s something you’ve suspected yourself. Children are screened for hearing impairments when they’re newborns and then again usually before they enter kindergarten. If a hearing loss is suspected, for example your child “failed” the test, he or she typically is referred to an audiologist for a complete hearing evaluation. When failure isn’t really failure…

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No matter how positive you are, negative thoughts happen from time to time. You know how that feels ““ when your “half full” glass suddenly becomes “half empty.” Next time negativity starts creeping in, use these tips to refill your glass. Start small When you start feeling down, focus on what you can accomplish today. Make a list of small tasks you can complete and pretty soon those tasks will add up. Take care of yourself Get up and exercise. It might not be at the top of your list of things to do, but regular exercise can improve…

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We’ve all been there, it’s the end of a long day and your child has made a small ““ or big ““ mistake. The first reaction might be to lash out and correct that mistake, but there is a better way. Next time you need to stop and take a breath, remember eight tips to make disciplining your child a better experience for both of you. Use positive discipline Show your child the positive ways to handle a situation. Don’t just say no and use negative language. When your child acts up, refrain from saying “No! Don’t do that.” Instead,…

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If you live with someone who suffers from mood swings, you know it can be difficult to be in the same room. But, you can take steps to make those times a little easier to handle. Ask what is wrong Do this before you try anything else. If your loved one says nothing, don’t get mad. Leave him alone. Give him some time to work out the feelings. And if he tells you what is on his mind, maybe he is willing to accept help. Step away and think about what happened Remember it’s not the person, but the…

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