Sports-related concussion symptoms linger twice as long for adolescent girls

Adolescent female athletes suffer concussion symptoms twice as long as their male counterparts, according to a new study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Researchers found the extended recovery period may be due to underlying conditions including migraines, depression, anxiety and stress.

The research analyzed the medical records of 110 male and 102 female athletes, ages 11 to 18, with first-time concussion diagnoses. The median duration of symptoms was 11 days for boys and 28 days for girls. The data also showed that symptoms resolved within three weeks for 75 percent of boys, compared to 42 percent of girls.

“These findings confirm what many in sports medicine have believed for some time,” said lead researcher John Neidecker, DO, a sports concussion specialist in Raleigh, North Carolina. “It highlights the need to take a whole person approach to managing concussions, looking beyond the injury to understand the mental and emotional impacts on recovery when symptoms persist.”

Full story at Science Daily

Relieve holiday headaches with physical therapy

PORTAGE—The fact that the season of giving, joy and celebration can also be our most stressful time of year is one of the worst-kept secrets of the holidays.

And yet, year after year, we charge forward, often fighting through headaches to complete our shopping, plan for get-togethers with friends, and fulfill all our family obligations.

But why fight through the headaches, asks Portage physical therapist Mary Rose Strickland of New Life Physical Therapy, when a physical therapist can often provide relief from cervicogenic and tension-type headaches by correcting the problems that are causing your pain?

Full story of getting through the holiday with PT at Portage Daily Register

Researchers: A City’s ‘Stress Level’ Could Affect Local Hospital Ratings

Could it be that when it comes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) star rating system, no hospital is an island? Some researchers are wondering just that, after finding a high correlation between a city’s level of “stress” among residents and lower overall ratings for local hospitals.

The report, published as a research letter in the November 28 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine (abstract only available for free), compares CMS hospital ratings with the results of arecent study that compiled demographic, health, and financial data on residents of 150 cities across the US. The CMS star system, posted at its Hospital Compare website, bases its ratings on factors such as readmission rates, surgical mortality, and hospital-acquired infection. The stress study, sponsored by WalletHub, looked at 5 categories of stress: work, money, family, health/safety, and coping mechanisms. Using data that touched on a range of issues including, among others, poverty levels, divorce rates, suicide rates, average hours of sleep per night, binge drinking, and number of psychologists per capita, WalletHub researchers assigned an overall “stress level” score to each city.

Full story of a city’s stress level and local hospital ratings at APTA

8 Surprising Habits That Cause Back Pain

1. The Habit: Sleeping On An Old Mattress

According to the National Sleep Foundation, a good mattress will last nine to ten years. Haven’t replaced yours since Cheers first aired? Chances are that your spine isn’t getting the support it needs.

The Fix: Replace your old mattress with one that’s not too hard and not too soft—the former won’t allow the curves of your back to sink in, and the latter won’t offer enough support. A memory foam topper can also be helpful because it’ll contour to your body, allowing your spine to stay straight throughout the night.

2. The Habit: Carrying a Huge Bag

If you’re someone who likes to carry around all the essentials and nonessentials in your bag, your back is feeling it. Carrying a heavy load on one side of your body causes your shoulders to become imbalanced, throwing your spine out of balance too.

The Fix: Switch to a lighter bag—the American Chiropractic Association recommends that your purse (with everything in it) weighs no more than 10 percent of your body weight. You can also spread out all of your stuff between a purse and a tote, one on each shoulder, to stay balanced.

3. The Habit: Wearing Stilettos…Or Flats

Heels that are too high for you will force you to arch your back, putting stress on your joints. But flats can also be bad for you, depending on your foot type. Sandals without a supportive back can also do damage, causing your feet to move from side to side and distributing your body weight unevenly.

Full story of back pain causes at Care2.com

Best treatment of your headache varies with the cause

Life can be a pain at times, literally. Every day, one in 20 adults suffers a headache. Stress is usually to blame, but headaches can be caused by a number of things such as dehydration, hormones or environmental factors.

Treatments for Different Headaches and CausesThere are many different types of headaches, and while most are nothing to worry about, you should be aware of symptoms that could signal a serious problem.

Sinus headaches are common and typically accompany allergy symptoms (sneezing, runny nose). Pressure behind the eyes and in the forehead worsens when the head is tilted forward. Over-the-counter medications will relieve symptoms, but the underlying allergy needs to be treated along with any resulting sinus infection.

Tension headaches are the most common. Dull pressure or tightness is felt in a band around the head, resulting from tension in scalp and neck muscles. Over-the-counter medications are a quick fix, but finding ways to relax and avoid stress is recommended. Patients sometimes will need preventive medications to help reduce frequency and severity of these headaches.

Full story of treatments for different headaches at TB 10 News

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What’s really causing your back pain? Eight everyday habits that could be to blame

A shocking survey ­carried out by the ­British ­Chiropractic Association has found two in three of us have suffered serious neck or back pain by the time we hit 35.

What to Blame for Back PainAdd in people over 35 and the figures reach eight in 10.

It’s no wonder back problems are the ­biggest cause of time off work in the UK, and the second most common reason for going to the GP.

But the latest ­research also shows surprisingly few cases of back pain are the result of a serious accident or ­injury – the vast majority are caused simply by the cumulative effects of lifestyle that we tend to ignore.

For example, the Prime Minister David Cameron’s recurrent back pain is likely to have been ­triggered, at least in part, by all those hours at a desk or travelling in cars – and stress when he’s not chillaxing on holiday.

“Simple daily habits, such as hunching to read your smart phone, slouching in front of your computer – even having a weekend lie-in – can, over time, strain your spine and the surrounding muscles, leaving you vulnerable to serious back injury,” agrees BCA chiropractor Tim Hutchful.

“People will come to me in pain and say, ‘I just bent down to pick something up and my back went’, but actually it’s their ­behaviour in the months or years before which has led to the weakness – the one-off event is just the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.”

So to stop back pain now – and prevent future agony – try targeting the following unexpected culprits…

Full story of back pain causes to blame at the Mirror Lifestyle UK

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Why you should take headaches more seriously

Taking Headaches More SeriouslyA headache can be caused by localised conditions like a toothache, infection in the ear, problems or infections within the nose and other structures on the face, intracranial problems (problems within the skull) which are the major contributors of headaches and vascular causes – popularly known as a migraines. Other causes include high blood pressure, strokes, aneurysms etc. It is the commonest cause for worry amongst patients and often causes so much discomfort that in severe cases it may hamper a person’s day to day activities. (Read: Headaches – why you should take them more seriously)

The symptoms provide clues

The type of headache often indicates the cause for the headache. Headaches, with vomiting and weakness of the limbs often signify a space occupying lesion in the head. Those that are shifting in nature and with an aura are can indicate a migrainous headache and those that occur in the front of the head, and increases on bending would indicate frontal sinusitis (infection of the frontal sinus). (Read: Migraine: Facts you should know)

They affect children too

Headaches were earlier the prerogative of adults. We now find that a larger number of children suffering from  headaches. In most cases they suffer from stress headaches, that are usually due to emotional issues at home, problems with friends at school, tension to perform and the peer pressure syndrome. Other factors include, problems in proper visual acuity or being able to see things clearly, squinting (or slight squint in the eyes) etc. Here is where it is important that the child get his/her eyes tested.  Another startling fact is that there is a marked increase in the number of children suffering from migraines. The positive aspect is that headaches in children are usually without a brain disorder, and can be taken care of fairly easily.

Full story of taking headaches seriously at Health India

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Chiropractic Benefits Include Solutions for Stress Relief Says Lexington Chiropractor

Chiropractic Care Helps Relieve StressLynch Chiropractic Center in Lexington, KY is raising awareness about the benefits of chiropractic care for stress relief. While chiropractic’s benefits for pain management and injury rehabilitation are well known, chiropractor Dr. Kevin Lynch says that the treatment is also beneficial for managing stress. Dr. Lynch recommends combining chiropractic care with deep tissue massage, exercise rehabilitation and nutritional detoxification for maximum stress relief.

Lexington chiropractor Dr. Kevin Lynch is working to help patients better manage stress through natural, drug-free treatments. “Today’s high stress world is literally killing many of our patients — and they don’t even realize it,” said Dr. Lynch. “Individuals who are under constant stress are at increased risk for chronic health problems, including heart disease. Many have poor eating and sleeping habits as they constantly rush from one thing to the next. It’s no surprise that our patients feel overwhelmed, exhausted and just plain worn out.”

Dr. Lynch says that chiropractic care, along with natural treatments, helps manage stress by bringing balance back to the body. When the body is under stress, the brain signals the adrenal glands to produce hormones, including cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones trigger the body’s “flight or fight” response.

Full story of chiropractic care and stress relief at The Wall Street Journal

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Having knee pain? The cause may be in your hips

Knee Pain May be Caused by Your HipsOne of the more common injuries we see with young athletes, most notably female athletes, is anterior knee pain, or what is also known as runner’s knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).

PFPS is an irritation on the undersurface of the knee cap. Most people with this condition will complain of pain along the inside or outside of the kneecap or directly below the kneecap. These symptoms are more commonly brought on with running and jumping (sports) or squatting, walking down stairs and prolonged sitting.

So what causes PFPS? Even though pain is felt at the knee, the knee is not usually the culprit. One of the most common causes is weakness in certain muscles of the hip. These particular muscles control the mechanics of the knee, and with weakness, they cause the femur (or upper leg bone) to internally rotate and adduct (knee goes inward) causing the kneecap to track outside of its normal groove. This will cause much irritation and stress to this joint.

Functional weakness in these hip muscles can also lead to more serious injuries in sports, such as tearing your ACL. This devastating injury, along with other serious knee injuries, can be the result of poor knee mechanics during landing or cutting. Again, these faulty knee mechanics are the direct result from weakness in the lateral hip muscles which can easily be diagnosed and treated by your athletic trainer or physical therapist.

Full story of knee pain and the hips at the Journal Star

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BioHug offers hug therapy in an automatic vest

BioHug Offers Hug Therapy for PTSDBioHug’s Israeli pressure garment provides custom soothing for people with autism, PTSD and others prone to high stress.

Most of us have moments when we could really use a hug – when we’re sad, lonely, scared or stressed. The therapeutic value of a good squeeze for emotional wellbeing is well documented.

For people affected by autism, post-traumatic stress and anxiety or attention disorders, research has shown that hugging is an especially effective soother.

That is the scientific fact behind the development of the BioHug Vest by Haifa-based BioHug Technologies. Already in use and soon to roll out to a wider market, the vest provides an effective, portable, non-restraining stress-relief solution using deep, hug-like pressure.

“We’re all familiar with stress, which is associated with lots of health problems,” says BioHug CEO Andrew Schiffmiller. “For some populations it can be associated with much more severe symptoms – someone with autism under stress may injure himself or others, while someone with ADHD under stress may be unable to stay on task.”

Full story of BioHug at Isreal 21

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