Stay in the game and learn how to listen to your body and avoid injury with these tips.
Overuse injuries can be the bane of physically active people, from elite athletes to weekend warriors. Excessive, repeated stress on tendons, bones and joints over weeks or months can lead to painful knees, shin splints, tennis elbow and other overuse injuries. Most of these problems stem from the “terrible toos”: trying to do too much, too hard, too soon. Not getting enough rest and using poor technique or equipment can also make you vulnerable.
You can prevent overuse injuries by following some common-sense guidelines and listening to your body.
Common overuse injuries
Unlike the sudden pain of a torn ligament or sprained ankle, overuse injuries develop slowly and show up more subtly. At first you might feel minor pain or tenderness in the affected area just after you exercise. Eventually the pain becomes chronic and may keep you from participating in your sport or everyday activities.
Common overuse injuries include:
Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) — Pain and weakness at the outside of the elbow
Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) — Pain and weakness at the inside of the elbow
Swimmer’s shoulder (rotator-cuff tendinitis) — Pain with overhead activity, problems sleeping on the shoulder, weakness of the shoulder
Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome) — Pain around or underneath the kneecap, made worse with running, jumping or cycling, going up or down stairs, and sitting with knees bent
Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome) — Leg pain associated with running
Achilles tendinitis — Ankle pain associated with running, dancing or jumping
Plantar fasciitis — Heel or foot pain that’s often worse with your first steps of the day
Stress fractures — Pain in the foot, lower leg, hip or other area that’s made worse with weight-bearing activity
Limits and common sense
To avoid overuse injuries without sacrificing your commitment to fitness, follow these guidelines:
Increase your workouts gradually. Observe the 10 percent rule — don’t increase your workout time or distance by more than 10 percent each week. If you’re currently running 10 miles a week, add one mile or less a week to your total.
Warm up, cool down and stretch. Warm up for five minutes before your activity by exercising at a low intensity, then do some slow stretches that you hold for about 30 seconds. After exercise, cool down for five minutes, then stretch again.
Rest when needed. Fatigue may increase your chance of injury, so allow time for your body to recover and heal. Include rest days and easy days in your schedule.
Cross-train with other activities. Pursue a variety of exercises to give your joints and muscles a break. If your main focus is an aerobic exercise such as running, incorporate strength training into your routine — and vice versa.
Learn proper technique. Take lessons or work with a coach or trainer to learn the correct techniques — especially if you’re learning a new sport or using a new piece of equipment.
Get the right equipment. Choose the appropriate shoes for your activity, and replace them when they’re worn out. Consider using orthotics or a heel cushion if you experience foot pain. Running shoes should be well cushioned.
Pay attention to evenly working your muscles Strengthen muscles on both sides of your body to avoid imbalances.
Above all, listen to your body. Don’t ignore pain — it signals that you may be heading for injury. Remember, it’s better to take a day or two off than to find yourself laid up for several weeks waiting for an injury to heal.
Suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. This translates into an annual suicide rate of approximately 14 per 100,000 people dying a year by suicide (44,193 a year), out-ranking homicides (ranked as the 16th leading cause of death).
The suicide rates decreased from 1990-2000 from 12.5 to 10.4 suicides per 100,000. Over the past decade, however, the rate has again increased. Every day, approximately 121 Americans die by suicide or approximately one person kills themselves every 12 minutes. (CDC)
In 2015, there were 1,104,825 attempted suicide in the United States. Approximately one person attempts suicide every 31 seconds.
It is generally estimated that there are 25 attempts for one death by suicide.
Between 25 and 50 percent of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. Those who have made suicide attempts are at higher risk for actually taking their own lives.
Each suicide intimately effects at least six other people (estimated). In 2013, it was estimated that one in every 63 Americans became a suicide-loss survivor.
The most commonly reported means of completing suicide, across all groups, was by firearm (49.8%), followed by suffocation or hanging (26.8%), poisoning (15.4), cutting (1.7%) and drowning (1.2%).
Mental health diagnoses are generally associated with a higher rate of suicide. Psychological autopsy studies reflect that more than 90 percent of completed suicides had one or more mental disorders, most notably depression. (NAMI)
Rates of completed suicide are highest among those between the ages of 45-54, followed by an equally high rate for the elderly (age 80 and over).
It is estimated that elderly adults have rates of suicide close to 50 percent higher than that of the nation as a whole (all ages).
Suicide is currently ranked as the second leading cause of death for youth (15 to 24 years old) in the United States behind accidents/road traffic.
Prevalence of Suicide in College Students:
Available data suggests that suicide occurs at a rate between 6.5 and 7.5 per 100,000 among college students, approximately half the rate for nonstudent college-aged adults. (SPRC)
18 percent of undergraduate and 15 percent of graduate students have seriously considered attempting suicide in their lifetimes. Between 40 and 50 percent of these same students report multiple episodes of serious suicidal thoughts.(Drum, Brownson, Burton Denmark & Smith, 2009)
Studies suggest that female graduate students are at a greater risk for suicide than male graduate students and younger students of both sexes. (Big Ten Student Suicide Study)
80 percent of students who die by suicide never contact mental health services. (NAMI)
By gender (from the CDC)
Males take their own lives at nearly four times the rate of females and represent 77.9% of all suicides.
Females are more likely than males to have suicidal thoughts.
Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (56.9%).
Poisoning is the most common method of suicide for females (34.8%)
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the following statistics for 2001-2010 among White/Caucasian Americans:
At 15.8 per 100,000, the suicide rate for Whites of all ages was the second highest rate among racial/ethnic groups and higher than the overall U.S. rate of 13.8. (Suicidology, 2015)
Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for Whites of all ages and the 2nd leading cause of death for young White males ages 15-34.
The highest rate in the White population, 51.75 per 100,000, was found among adult males 85 and older.
The lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts of Whites have been placed at 16.10% and 4.69%, respectively.
The CDC reported the following statistics for 2001-2010 among Black/African Americans:
The suicide rate for all ages was 5.6 per 100,000, slightly less than half of the overall U.S. rate of 13.8. (Suicidology, 2015)
Suicide was the 16th leading cause of death for Blacks of all ages and the 3rd leading cause of death for young Black males ages 15-24.
Males ages 25 to 34 had the highest rate of suicide in the Black population, 16.43 per 100,000.
The lifetime prevalence rate of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts of Blacks has been placed at 11.82% and 4.15%, respectively.
The CDC reported the following statistics for 2001-2010 among Hispanic/Latino Americans:
The suicide rate for all ages was 5.85 per 100,000, slightly less than half the overall U.S. rate of 12.08.
Suicide ranked as the 12th leading cause of death for individuals of Hispanic origin of all races and ages, and the 3rdleading cause of death for Hispanic males ages 15 to 34.
The highest suicide rate in the Hispanic population, 30.58 per 100,000, was found among adult males 85 and older.
The lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts of Hispanics has been placed at 11.35% and 5.11%, respectively.
The CDC reported the following statistics for 2015 among American Indians and Alaska Natives:
The suicide rate for all ages was 19.5 per 100,000, much higher than the overall U.S. rate of 13.8 and the highest of all racial/ethnic groups. (CDC)
Suicide ranked as the 8th leading cause of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives of all ages. Suicide ranked as the 2nd leading cause of death among youth ages of 10 to 34.
The suicide rate among American Indian/Alaska Native adolescents and young adults ages 15-34 is 19.5 per 100,00, which is 1.5 times higher than the national average for that age group.
Lifetime rates of having attempted suicide reported by adolescents ranged from 21.8% in girls to 11.8% in boys and from 17.6% of both sexes raised on reservations to 14.3% of both sexes raised in urban areas.
Lifetime rates of suicidal ideation were significantly higher among youth raised on reservations (32.6%) compared to youth raised in urban areas (21%).
The CDC reported the following statistics from 2001-2010 among the Asian American and Pacific Islander population:
The suicide rate was 6.19 per 100,000, approximately half the overall U.S. rate of 12.08.
Suicide ranked as the 10th leading cause of death for all ages and the 2nd leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24.
The highest rate in the Asian American and Pacific Islander population, 29.76 per 100,000, was found among adult males 85 and older.
The lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has been placed at 9.02% and 2.55%, respectively.
When it comes to treating cancer, early detection can be beneficial. That’s why experts are constantly working to develop new technology that catches the disease as soon as possible.
“Cancer screening leads to early detection of cancer, allowing most cancers to be diagnosed at a stage that is curable,” said Lauren Nye, an oncologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
But navigating this process can be confusing, to say the least. What cancer diagnostic tests should you have done and at what age? And how reliable are these tests? Below, experts break down the important tests you should be aware of when it comes to early cancer detection and when (or if!) you should consider taking them:
Some at-home genetic tests can also offer health results. Within 23andMe’s health and ancestry service, customers can opt in to accessing their risk for the select variants of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene through a report. The report, authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, provides information on whether a person’s genetic result is associated with an increased risk for breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers.
Stacey Detweiler, a medical affairs associate and genetic counselor with 23andMe, said it’s important to note that 23andMe “only tests for three of more than 1,000 BRCA variants known to increase cancer risk.”
And a negative result in the report ― i.e., “no variants detected” ― does not mean the user isn’t at risk for cancer because other genetic and nongenetic factors that are not tested still play a large role in overall risk for these cancers, Detweiler added. But a positive result ― or “variant detected”― may indicate a person’s risk for certain cancers, especially breast and ovarian cancer in women.
“We strongly recommend customers whose genetic result is associated with an increased cancer risk to speak to a health care professional about additional testing to confirm the result and to better understand their potential cancer risks,” Detweiler said.
A warning to keep in mind: Some experts caution against at-home genetic health testing if you experience anxiety. It’s a personal decision that’s best weighed against factors including your mental health and your genetic risk for cancer.
“Until there is a cure, screening mammography is our best tool in the fight against breast cancer,” said Michael Fishman, a radiologist at Boston Medical Center. For early detection, Fishman suggested breast cancer screenings with tomosynthesis (i.e., a 3D mammogram).
Breast tomosynthesis takes a series of images of the breast that can be scrolled through, similar to the pages of a book, so radiologists can examine the breast layer by layer. This, according to Fishman, provides radiologists with clearer, more accurate images and allows them to identify cancers that may be hidden in breast tissue. Fishman recommends mammography screenings at age 40 and annually thereafter.
“Some women, depending on their personal breast history, their family history and their genetics, may need to begin screening at a younger age,” noted Lauren Carcas, a medical oncologist and breast cancer specialist at the Miami Cancer Institute. Chat with your doctor about your risk factors to figure out when you may need to start.
David Liska, a colorectal surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, said colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and the ideal tool to screen for it is a colonoscopy.
“A colonoscopy is the only colorectal cancer screening test that can prevent cancer, while other tests just detect cancer. A colonoscopy can both detect and remove polyps before they can turn into colon cancer,” he said, adding that the majority of people may have no symptoms from colorectal cancer at its earliest stage, which is why it is essential to keep up with screenings.
The American Cancer Society recommends people at an average risk for colorectal cancer start regular screenings at age 45.
Stool Tests for Colon Cancer
While colonoscopies are the preferred method for colon cancer screenings, there are other tests that have been approved as well, which can be done from your own bathroom.
High-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) check for the appearance of blood in the stools that are unable to be seen visually. For these tests, which are approved by the FDA as a form of colorectal cancer screening, patients collect stool samples and return them to their doctor for analysis.
Cologuard is another FDA-approved, noninvasive stool screening that can be done for those 50 years or older and with an average risk for colon cancer. Patients can get access to Cologuard by discussing their screening options with their health care provider, who can then prescribe it. The testing kit is sent with simple instructions to follow, according to Mark Stenhouse, president of Cologuard at Exact Sciences.
“Patients provide a stool sample and ship it in the original prepaid box back to the lab. Results are sent to their health care provider within two weeks,” Stenhouse said.
If the test is positive, the patient will be referred for a diagnostic colonoscopy for additional testing. Stenhouse added that Cologuard is intended for those ages 50 and older. The advantages of these tests is that they require no cleansing of the colon and do not involve a patient having to take time off work and to undergo sedation, unless a test result comes back and a doctor deems a colonoscopy necessary.
There are several blood tests a doctor may perform to assess your risk of cancer.
For example, CellMax Life FirstSight test is a blood test for colorectal cancer screening for the presence of pre-cancer or colorectal cancer.
“This test is for the routine screening of individuals 45 years or older and with average risk for colorectal cancer, meaning they do not have a genetic predisposition or a personal or family history of colorectal cancer,” said Mana Javey, the medical director at CellMax Life. Javey added that individuals with a positive result should get a diagnostic colonoscopy as the confirmatory test.
One of the best ways to test for prostate cancer ― one of the most common cancers in men ― is also through a blood test, called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. This measures the level of a protein made by cells in the prostate gland in the blood. A rise indicates there may be an issue with the prostate.
“Studies show that a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test done early — in a man of age 40 to 45 — will assess his risk of developing lethal prostate cancer,” said Behfar Ehdaie, a urologist with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
This test will classify a patient into one of three groups: a low-risk group (where the individual doesn’t need PSA testing for another five years or so), an intermediate-risk group (where the person should get PSA testing in another year or two) and a high-risk group (where the individual should be evaluated more closely right away), Ehdaie explained.
Pap Smears and HPV Tests for Cervical Cancer
Jessica Shepherd, an OB-GYN and gynecological surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center in Texas, said Pap smears and a test for the human papillomavirus are the best screenings available for cervical cancer.
“Cervical cancer was once the No. 1 cancer killer among American women, but the cervical cancer death rate has dropped significantly since the introduction of the Pap test more than 70 years ago,” she said.
This is why HPV testing is important, too, which can be included when you get a Pap smear. Certain forms of HPV can cause cervical cancer and roughly eight out of 10 U.S. women will contract HPV at some point in their lives. “Most HPV infections go away on their own. Those that persist can eventually develop into cancer,” she said, adding that cervical cancer testing offers early detection of abnormalities before they become cancer.
Shepherd said women should be screened for cervical cancer starting at age 21 until age 65 and that women ages 21 to 29 should get tested with the Pap test. For women ages 30 to 65, it’s recommended to be screened with both a Pap smear and the HPV test together, she added. This is the preferred standard for this age group and detects 95 percent of cervical cancer cases.
Mole Mapping for Skin Cancer
Mole mapping is a tool being used in select hospitals and clinics that does a full-body scan of the skin in individuals at high risk of developing melanoma, according to Burton Eisenberg, executive medical director of Hoag Family Cancer Institute in Newport Beach, California.
“The tool takes a series of computer-enhanced photos of your body, evaluating pigmented skin lesions for risk. And every six months to one year, the patient returns and a repeat scan is then used to compare if changes occurred during the interval since the last visit,” he said.
Jenny Sobera, a dermatologist and chief medical officer at Face MD Plus, recommends the procedure for patients with numerous atypical-looking moles. “Because skin cancer is often detected when a mole has changed, mapping may be the only way to distinguish a changing mole from other stable moles in the same general area,” she said.
Sometimes an annual physical can be the earliest point of entry. This might be a time your doctor can catch early signs of a health issue, like cancer, and may refer you for additional testing if they notice anything they’d like to have investigated.
The same goes for yearly specialist appointments, like the dermatologist, where a medical professional might examine your moles for any signs of skin cancer. It’s a procedure that should be performed once yearly for all patients over 35 and those who have risk factors like fair skin, history of sunburn, history of tanning bed use and family history of skin cancer, Sobera said.
Also, “patients that have had skin cancer or pre-cancerous moles should have skin exams annually and in some cases every three to six months,” she added. “Dermatologists are highly trained in early detection and often use dermoscopy to look for subtle changes.”
Finally, don’t underestimate your own power. While many screenings or checks are administered by your doctor ― who recommends tests based on your age, family history and lifestyle ― there are measures you can take at home to make sure you’re in optimal health. This includes performing self-checks for physical signs of certain cancers, like breast cancer or skin cancer.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, everyone should perform a monthly head-to-toe self-examination of their skin to check for “any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous.” The warning signs that a mole may be dangerous include a mole that changes color, increases in size, has an irregular outline or is larger than the size of a pencil eraser. A self-exam should take no more than 10 minutes and is something experts coin “a small investment in what could be a life-saving procedure.”
For breast self-exams, perform them once a month at home either in your shower, in front of a mirror or while lying in bed. Observe any lumps, changes or discharge. Keep note of any abnormalities in your breasts that you experience and report them to your doctor if anything seems different.
Related Video: FDA Proposes New Mammography Standards (Provided by CNN)
We all want to feel better and have less pain as we age or as we function on a daily basis. Here are some stretching type of exercises, I found for you to do. These are to lessen your back pain, maybe even to alleviate back pain all together. MwsR <3
From a kneeling position, place your left knee on the floor directly under your left hip, and place the right foot in front, flat on the ground, directly over the right ankle and the right knee at a 90-degree angle. Using your glute muscles, gently push your left hip forward until you feel the stretch. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
2. Core Strengtheners
Yoga and Pilates classes are often designed to develop core and spine strength. If that’s not your thing, add planks to your daily routine. The plank is one of the best exercises you can do for your core because it builds isometric strength (a static muscle contraction) to help improve your posture.
Lie face down, with your legs extended and your elbows bent, directly under your shoulders. Contract your abs (this is the isometric contraction), then tuck your toes to lift your body off the ground. You should be in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 60 seconds or as long as you can. (
3. Glute Strengtheners
Most people don’t think about their glutes beyond how they look in jeans. However, weak and inactive glute muscles contribute to back, hip, and knee pain. Strengthening this group of muscles can lessen pain. Incorporating an exercise called bridge or hip raise into your daily stretches will strengthen glute muscles, the back of the thighs (hamstrings), and the core.
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, with feet about hip-width apart. Slowly lift your hips, tighten your core, and press your heels into the floor for stability. Make sure the glutes are doing the work by squeezing them. Avoid pushing your hips too high; instead, aim for a straight line from your knees to your shoulders and hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
4. Hip Openers
There are many moves to open hips, but here’s one you can do at your desk: While sitting, cross your right leg, with the right ankle on your left knee. Keep your right leg parallel to the floor, or as close as you can. Gently push down on your right thigh and hold until you feel a good stretch. Repeat on the other side.
“Back-friendly cardio exercises not only help back pain patients stay more functional when discomfort does strike, but can help keep pain flare-ups at bay,” says Kaixuan Liu, M.D., Ph.D., founder and president of the Atlantic Spine Center in West Orange, NJ. Walking, swimming, or using an elliptical trainer or stationary bike are all good options.
Cardio promotes healing by increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the spine, reduces joint stiffness, increases production of endorphins—feel-good chemicals—and helps control weight, which reduces stress on the spine.