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What is a Meniscus Tear?

The meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage in your knee. It helps cushion the friction between your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) and it also helps your leg distribute weight as you walk.

A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries. When people talk about torn cartilage in the knee, they are usually talking about a torn meniscus. This injury can happen when weight is placed on the leg while pivoting, which often occurs during sports such as soccer and football. When a meniscus tear takes place, typically the patient feels immediate pain. Swelling and stiffness soon develops due to the inflammation of the injured ligament.

Whether a tear can heal on its own depends on the size of the tear and its location along the meniscus. Typically if it occurs on the outside edge of the meniscus, which has rich-blood supply, it can heal on its own with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Tears on the inside area of the meniscus usually must be surgically repaired. If you experience knee pain, consult your physician to diagnose the issue and determine the best treatment.

Prevent Back Pain From Gardening

Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She recently tore her ACL and will be sharing her experiences with us as she works towards getting back into sports.

I still remember when I was younger how a pair of elderly ladies commented about the way I was bent over in the flowerbed, “Oh, your back will be regretting that one day.” I had no idea what they meant.

Now that I’m recovering from my ACL reconstruction surgery, I’m more aware of how the various activities I participate in can affect my body – especially gardening. Since I’ve had some free time during my ACL recovery, I’ve looked up some ways to prevent back pain from gardening.

  • Keep your back straight. When you’re weeding, get down on your knees or kneel on one leg. Lean forward to get the weeds and keep your back hollow. Don’t stoop over. Think of your torso as one solid unit.
  • Use a gardening stool. If you suffer from knee pain or can’t kneel, this is a good alternative. Try to keep your back hollow as you work. This is how I’ve managed to tone down the weeds in my yard, even though I’ve only been out of surgery for a month!
  • Wear a back brace. A back brace provides compression and helps keep your spine in the proper position. It also serves as a reminder to keep your back straight.
  • Warm up and stretch before gardening. I know you’re not going for a jog, but it will keep your muscles limber as you move around in the yard.
  • Mix up what you’re doing. Change up your activities in the garden. Weed for 10 minutes, then water some plants, then trim the suckers off your tree, etc. It gets hot out there so it’s a good excuse for a water break!
  • Get the right tools. I spent hours trying to dig up some weeds. Then my mother-in-law hacked at the ground with a pickaxe and the weeds came up out of the loosened dirt with no problem. Sounds silly, but it saved me from having to bend over for long periods of time.

Long hours in the hot sun, stooped over and pulling at weeds, or digging up rocks to plant some new flowers… all of this can have a negative effect on my back. I’m hoping the measures I take now will help in the long run!

References:
About.com – Back & Neck
FitSugar.com
Virginia Tech

The Top Ankle Brace for Sports

A few days ago we posted about ankle injuries during basketball. The same risks that basketball players encounter are also common in other sports. One of the most important ways to protect your ankles during physical activity is to wear ankle braces. Ankle braces help provide stability and prevent rolled ankles.

Certified athletic trainer and product specialist Leana Rice recommends the DonJoy Velocity Ankle Brace as the best ankle brace for sports. It’s designed for maximum ankle protection without hindering your movement regardless of which sports you play. It’s available in three levels of support so you can get the right brace depending on whether you play contact or non-contact sports. It’s also compact and lightweight, so it fits inside your shoes easily.

One of the greatest features of the DonJoy Velocity Ankle Brace is that it can be personalized without the high cost of a custom ankle brace. It comes with a moldable foot plate that you can bring to a medical professional to contour the brace to the shape of your foot. This helps place your foot in an optimal position for weight bearing, which can help alleviate pressure from the ankle joint.

The DonJoy Velocity is ideal for sports such as football, basketball, soccer and other activities that require running and turning at high speeds. If you’re a serious athlete that wants to perform at the highest level while keeping your body healthy, learn more about the best sports ankle brace – the DonJoy Velocity Ankle Brace!

Ankle Injuries in Basketball

The sport of basketball can be very demanding on the ankles. Running quickly down the court, changes in direction at high speeds, jumping for rebounds, landing, and the occasional collision with other players can cause the ankle to be overextended and overused.

The ankle is held in place by three major ligaments, which prevent the ankle from rolling too far forward, outward or inward. A twist or rollover injury of the ankle can cause a painful tear or rupture in these ankle ligaments. In addition, these injuries can cause instability and swelling, which makes it difficult for athletes to continue playing basketball immediately after an injury has occurred.

Ankle injuries must be taken seriously since this part of your leg helps support the weight of your entire body. An ankle sprain can cause even a simple activity, such as walking, to be extremely painful. A basketball player that has injured his or her ankle could be kept off the court for weeks, or even the rest of the basketball season. Make sure to protect and support your ankles when playing basketball by wearing basketball ankle braces.

Featured Product: Aircast Pneumatic Armband

Aircast Pneumatic Armband
Aircast Pneumatic Armband

If you suffer from elbow pain, check out the Aircast Pneumatic Armband. It’s designed for joint disorders such as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.

The Aircast Pneumatic Armband uses the technology that has made Aircast the brand in ankle braces. Most armbands provide pressure by constricting around the entire arm. The Pneumatic Armband focuses compression only on where it’s needed, using aircells that can target specific areas of the tendon.

This elbow brace is also designed for comfort. You’ll hardly realize you’re even wearing an elbow brace because the Pneumatic Armband contours to the shape of your arm. It’s made of breathable material that won’t retain heat while you’re working out. Plus it’s super easy to put on – this brace has just a single Velcro strap that holds it securely in place.

This elbow brace is ideal for tennis players, golfers, or individuals that simply need extra elbow support during repetitive activities. Check out the Aircast Pneumatic Armband today!