BackPain
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Back Pain

The Guilt of Back Pain

Back pain is such a common ailment that a study in 2012 found that Lower Back Pain (LBP) was the most common cause of disability worldwide. Other studies show that people who suffer from LBP suffer from the following mental conditions as a direct result: depression, catastrophic cognition, fear of moving or activity, and beliefs about healing. When treated for these conditions, LBP improvement is minimal. A new study is researching the effects of diagnostic uncertainty and guilt related to pain, as an alternative to treatment. Scientists believe with targeting these two areas that patients will see a drastic improvement in overall condition.

Woman with GuiltDiagnostic Uncertainty is the belief that your condition is misdiagnosed based on a number of factors. This can include doctors not being able to find the actual diagnosis related to the condition. As well as severity of the condition not matching the diagnosis, even if patients agree with the condition. One other prevalent concern is patients feeling as though the diagnosis given by their doctor is incorrect but not feeling confident enough to speak up about it – among other concerns. With so much uncertainty, patients can have a feeling of general uncertainty, anxiety, and guilt about their condition.

Man in DispairGuilt around a patient’s condition can be chronic and unexplained, especially when undiagnosed or the diagnosis is uncertain. This extends into relationships and work environments. People experiencing LBP will feel that they’re making up the condition or something they’re doing is contributing. This will increase guilt when a decrease in social time with family and friends decreases or work gets difficult as a result. Isolating based on these feelings will only make the situation worse.

As medicine becomes more and more advanced, doctors are noticing the complex conditions that each of us have in life. Looking at the complete person in a diagnosis and condition, including mental and emotional health will allow physical health to improve. Diet, emotional/mental health, interpersonal relationships, and general wellness all play just as important roles in the overall health of a person as chronic illness does. As we explore our health, the most important practice is to support each other – even if science cannot explain what we’re feeling.

sprained ankle support
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Ankle, Ankle Sprain

Sprained Ankle Support

Nearly 25,000 sprained ankles occur every day, so the likelihood of it happening to you is pretty high. Imagine you’re walking around on the beach, and you step in a spot on the sand that is more uneven than the rest. You roll your ankle and a ligament gets pulled or even worse – torn. What happens now? You need some sprained ankle support.

The most important process to follow after a sprained ankle is RICE. It goes as follows:

R: Rest

The most important action to take after a sprained ankle, is none at all.
Allow your body to have time to heal, and not make the condition even worse than it is.
Try to stay off your ankle as much as possible.

I: Ice

A huge concern after an ankle sprain is swelling.
This can cause acute pain and worsen the sprained ankle situation.
Keeping swelling down is crucial for sprained ankle support.

C: Compression

Keeping the ankle compressed will also help with swelling, as well as supporting the ligaments.
Try our compression wraps or braces.

E: Elevation

After spraining your ankle, keeping it elevated for 2 to 3 days will reduce bruising and swelling.

Following these steps following a sprained ankle, will get you started out on the right foot for recovery. After rest and relaxation most sprains heal on their own. Keeping pain down with a mild over the counter pain reliever might be necessary.

If you’re experiencing extreme pain, heard a pop sound when you sprained your ankle, or see extreme bruising and swelling – visit your doctor. For extreme cases of sprained ankles or torn ligaments surgery will be a possibility.

The most important part of sprained ankle support, is having patience. Your body will naturally heal itself, but giving it time to rest, relax, and do it’s job is crucial.

 

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Incontinence

What should I know before purchasing Incontinence Pants?

For some of us, incontinence can be a second full-time job. For some it can be an old friend who needs your help at the most inconvenient times. No matter the severity, you cannot mess this up. At work, out on the town, or even in the car; an accident is an embarrassing and unwanted happenstance. We get this, so we created a small guide that helps you think about what you need from your incontinence pants.

  • Size: Absorbent pants come in many sizes, ours – like many match the size of your waist.
  • Absorbency: When manufacturers refer to absorbency, they are talking about the amount of liquid the garment can hold – usually measured in ounces.
  • Gender-Specific Design: Manufacturers will make different products for the bodies of different people, unless its a structural design don’t fall for color marketing gimmicks. Unisex incontinence pants are great for everyone!

  • Contour: This refers to how the undergarment fits against the body. Special features such as flexible tabs and leg cuffs are meant to make the product fit snuggly and comfortably to your unique body. Molicare briefs, for example, feature fitted leg cuffs.
  • Odor Control: Don’t get stuck in a stinky situation, most incontinence pants have unique odor control technology.
  • Tabs: Tabs refers to the way pants are secured to your body. Ours comes in two styles – velcro and pull-up waist.
  • Moisture Wicking: Many incontinence garments have a means of moving water away from the body – make sure yours makes the cut.

Having Incontinence issues is more common than you think, and you should never feel embarrassed by what your body does. Keeping it in line with incontinence pants is a great option to keep the embarrassment down, but make sure you have the correct pants for your needs. Looking at these specific factors will help you target what your body needs most.

ATSURGICAL PITCHING INJURIES
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Sports Inuries

Common Pitching Injuries

Pitching injuries can put a dent in your season for good, and no one likes a bench warmer.  We’ve compiled a couple of the most common injuries, symptoms, and support to help you out.

ATSURGICAL PITCHING INJURIESRotator Cuff Tendinitis Pitching Injuries

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis is a pitching injury that occurs closest to the shoulder in the arm. This area contains many muscles and tendons that help keep your arm from popping out of your shoulder. However, with age or extra tension (like pitching for years, improper technique, and lack of rest) these parts can become swollen or damaged. If you start feeling pain front and top of your shoulder, or the outer part of the upper arm – make a doctor’s appointment to get it looked at. Other symptoms could be loss of motion and/or strength, a clicking noise once the shoulder is raised over your head, or tenderness/swollen muscles in the front of your shoulder. Treatment involves an anti-inflammatory, rest, stretching and mixing cold and heat therapies. More severe cases will involved physical therapy, and even surgery – but this is less common.

ATSURGICAL PITCHING INJURIESElbow Tendinitis Pitching Injuries

Elbow tendinitis is very similar to rotator cuff tendinitis, just found in the elbow instead. Another name used to refer to elbow tendinitis is Tennis Elbow. This injury is very common for pitchers who spend their time snapping balls at fast speeds. We go into this condition extensively in our other post; Tennis Elbow: Symptoms, Exercises, & Treatments.

Medial Elbow Ligament Disruption Pitching Injuries

The medial elbow ligament is located on the inside of the elbow, its is to provide stability to the joint. Injury occurs, not surprisingly with repetitive overuse – like throwing. Symptoms include tenderness and pain, on the inside of the elbow – see your doctor if you find these symptoms after a game. Treatments for MELD include rest and hot/cold therapies, and for more severe cases surgery.

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Diabetes

Top 5 Steps for Great Diabetes Foot Care

Diabetes foot care is not usually a big concern with people, the main concern for those with diabetes is regulating blood sugar. However, to many patients’ surprise – the symptoms do not stop there. Nearly 70 percent of people with diabetes, have some form of neuropathy. This is damage of the nerves in the hands or feet from poor or low circulation. Symptoms include lose of feeling in the hands and feet, or higher risk of infection. Here are 5 steps for taking care of your feet with diabetes.

Diabetes Foot Care

Diabetes Foot Care Step 1: Inspect your feet daily.

Patients should check their feet daily, to make sure no new discolorations, sores, or cracked/dry skin occur. Using a mirror for the under side of your feet, make sure you check the entire foot. Have someone help you if you cannot manage.

Diabetes Foot Care

Diabetes Foot Care Sep 2: Check water temperature accurately.

With intensive damage to the nerves of your feet and hands, you might find it harder to know when water is too hot. Hot tubs, baths/showers, and doing dishes can become a huge problem if the water is too hot and you cannot feel it. This can lead to scalding burns and blisters – which invite infection. Using your elbow will help you keep accurate readings of water temps.

Diabetes Foot Care

Diabetes Foot Care Step 3: Invest in good footwear and socks.

Shoe shopping with a diabetes sufferer can become a real task. Making sure you have the right footwear and accessories is very important. Some tips include: looking for deeper toe boxes, and optimal coverage on the top and bottom of the foot. Also shying away from shoes and socks with seams inside that can rub against your feet. Socks should have padding and be really good at wicking away moisture. Check out our great compression socks!

Diabetes Foot Care

Diabetes Foot Care Step 4: Don’t go barefoot!

Along with checking water temperatures, you should never go barefoot in your own home. Nerve damage significantly decreases the foot’s ability to feel for any objects. Stepping on a lego isn’t a concern, but a thumbtack or getting a splinter becomes deadly. You may not feel the object cut or scrape your foot – allowing infection to grow and spread.

Diabetes Foot Care Step 5: Orthotics are your friend.

Keeping comfort in mind, getting a good pair of inserts can get be helpful. You can find great gel inserts for much less than a new pair of shoes, and for a whole lot more impact. We sell great inserts, like these or these.

Taking your diabetes care one step at a time is important and helps make it more manageable. Always talk to your doctor for recommendations on new products and treatments that help you overcome the troubles that diabetes brings to your life.

Concussions
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Sports Inuries

Severity of Concussions Increases in Womens’ Soccer

Attention for Women’s Soccer has been building, medical and sports authorities are finding players are at higher risk for more severe concussions than most sports players. This comes at a surprise when compared to more high contact sports like football, and wresting.

 

Concussion Stats

New studies have shown that for every 100,000 soccer players, 33 will get a concussion per year. This is fewer than in football, where every game that’s played – someone walks away with a concussion. However, scientists are finding that concussions sustained from player soccer are more severe. This is alarming as soccer among girls is becoming increasingly popular, especially after the 2012 London Olympics gold and the continued coverage in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro games.

concussions

Causes of Concussions

People might be wondering how soccer players are at more risk for severe concussions compared to football and wrestling. The answer seems simple when you think about it, it’s all about where the action is. In football there’s high contact with other players, and in wrestling there’s a lot a deceleration/acceleration concussions. However, in soccer there’s a lot of balls bouncing on heads and heads accidentally colliding. When players are required to bounce balls off their heads that are soaring at most 60 mph, you might see where the concern is.

Ways to Reduce Severity of Concussions

The best practices to reduce severity of concussions, is to be situationally aware. Soccer players need to practice always being aware of their surroundings. Where are the other player’s elbows, where is the nearest player to me, where is the ball landing? And perhaps one of the most important practices is to protect the head. Bouncing the ball off the player’s head should either be phased out as a practice, or we should start equipping our players with helmets. A lot of research has been done on the importance of helmets in reduces concussions in the realm of football, researchers should use this as a jumping off point for soccer players and their unique challenges.

Check out our sleeping collar to help you with recovery!

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Ailments, Health & Fitness, Sports Inuries, Tennis Elbow

6 Common Sports Injuries & How to Heal Them

Hamstring strain

This imminently preventable injury is felt as a sudden sharp pain at the back of the thigh. A hamstring sprain is remedied by cold therapy with a compression wrap applied ASAP for 10-15 minutes every hour for the first day. After this, every 2-3 hours is usually sufficient. Use our bernie bag with the hot/cold pouch and our elastic bandage wrap for optimal results.

Shin splints

Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), shin splints occur when the tendons inside the shin bone swell from overuse. It’s the least comfortable of the injuries this writer has experienced. It feels like hitting your funny bone with your other funny bone. It’s a common ailment to affect folks just breaking into running, but don’t let it discourage you. Doctors recommend giving it 4-6 days to heal before returning to running, but if you continue running, wrap your leg first with an elastic bandage wrap for a few weeks.

Ankle sprain

This common injury typically occurs when the ankle rolls inwards, damaging the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, but the inverse will also occur on occasion. This ailment can be treated with P.R.I.C.E.: protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Similar to the hamstring strain, this type of sprain is remedied by cold therapy with a compression wrap applied. It is once again recommended that you use our bernie bag with the hot/cold pouch and our elastic bandage wrap for optimal results.

ACL tear

The torn ACL, or “anterior cruciate ligament”, is a common occurrence in sports that require quick-turning, such as soccer or football. Sadly, unlike the sports injuries above, this one is going to require professional help, but the first 72 hours require P.R.I.C.E. and the aforementioned bernie bag with the hot/cold pouch and elastic bandage wrap combo.

Groin pull

This tear to the abductor muscle creates pain between the belly and inner thigh that ranges from somewhat tolerable to excruciating. In the first 72 hours, use the AT Surgical patented combo of the bernie bag with the hot/cold pouch and elastic bandage wrap.

Tennis elbow (epicondylitis)

Tennis elbow can happen immediately, but unlike the other injuries listed here, it can also happen over time as a result of the tendon of the wrist extensor muscle becoming inflamed and eventually degenerated from the movement of tendons where they attach to the elbow. Treatment is a breeze with a counterforce brace, which pulls the tendons away from the elbow to prevent further inflammation. Use the P.R.I.C.E. method for a winning combo.

Portable Heating Pads - Snowy Car
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Back Pain, Sports Inuries

Portable Heating Pad: Our Top 5 Uses

Portability

Perhaps the most obvious use of a PORTABLE heating pad is the portable aspect. You don’t have to worry about plugging them into the wall, standing in weird positions to get it to the right spot in relation to the cord, and no scary electrical fires to worry about. Which means the uses are as infinite as your ability to carry it. Keep them in cars during the winter in case you break down, in first aid-kits, sleep with them (wrap it in something in case you fall asleep on it – a sock?), the list goes on and on.

People walking across snowy street - Portable Heating Pads

Staying warm in the cold seasons

During the cold seasons your hands miss out on the warmth of your jacket and double layer of socks on your feet. You can combat this by sticking two of our smaller sized hand warmer hotshotz into your jacket pockets. Keep them in cars in case of emergencies, just remove them out during the warm months to prevent against any accidental bursts.

Dilating the Blood Vessels

When you’re injured, blood cells flood your vessels and kind of sit around the area. In order to increase blood-flow you can apply heat to the area. The cells and vessels in the area will start moving faster creating more space and allowing more flow. This brings additional oxygen, nutrients, and materials to the affected area which helps pain, inflammation, healing, and happiness.

Portable Heating Pads - Sports Injury

Stimulating Skin Sensation

When an injury occurs your pain receptors start firing messages to your brain – essentially screaming about how there’s something wrong. One way to help decrease this is to apply heat to the affected area, this causes the receptors to calm down by increasing blood flow and sending parallel messages to the brain – kind of like distracting your noggin. This works great on your back, check out our large heating pad for help.

Increasing Flexibility

Focus on the flexibility of the soft tissue around the affected area – including muscles and connective tissue, this will help with pain. One way to achieve this is to to apply heat to the area, with portable heating pads. Stiffness occurs when blood-flow to  tissue increases, which decreases flexibility and causes pain. By heating up the area you’re able to promote circulation and move that blood away from the area – increasing flexibility and reducing pain.

When you’re done with the pad, don’t throw it out! Just boil it until it goes clear again and you’re all set to use it again! Check out our video below about the HotShotz portable heating pads.

Get 20% off your purchase of Portable Heating Pads while supplies last

 

Sports Inuries

How To Wrap a Sprained Wrist with an Adhesive Bandage

Adhesive bandages work some real magic on your wrist lemme tell you, but that magic is nulled by not wrapping it up right. Check it out below to see some wrist wrapping adhesive bandage art.

Wrapping Wrists with Adhesive Bandages

Many athletes need to wrap themselves in adhesive bandages to support their wrist, elbows, legs, and other important parts to reduce inflammation, and ease pain. It’s a great way to add some oomph into your recovery or maintenance. If you have a sprain, using an adhesive bandage helps heal the sprain faster, supports it, and keeps everything in line. If you do a lot of lifting at work, support is the name of the game – keep a wrist brace on to stay nimble.

Use these instructions to apply your wrist adhesive bandage.

Step 1)

Starting next to your thumb, grab onto that end piece like it’s your lifeline from falling off a cliff. Wrap that bad boy around your hand – either side of the hand – you know do you. Bring it around, real tight – but don’t suffocate your hand.

Step 2)

Keep wrapping that tape around your hand over and under like a figure skater running eights around a rink. Make sure you’re tucking the bandage between your palm and thumb. Keep it up until you feel supported enough, we all have different needs.

Step 3)

Swerve the tape to left or right and wrap it around the base of your hand twice so-so tight. Finish it up by snipping the excess.

Then you have a nice, supported, loved wrist. Ready to take on the adventures of a lifetime. Check out all of AT Surgical’s fabulous self-adhesive wrist bandage here. Or our clip adhering bandages here.

 

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Health & Fitness, Sports Inuries

A Brief & Amusing History of Boxing and It’s Injuries, Part 1

“…but Odysseus gave Irus a blow on the neck under the ear that broke in the bones of his skull, and the blood came gushing out of his mouth; he fell groaning in the dust, gnashing his teeth and kicking on the ground, but the suitors threw up their hands and nearly died of laughter…”

-Homer, The Odyssey

Two men are playing cards at a brandy shop in London. It is the year 1725. A third man favors one opponent, and alerts him of the contents of the other’s cards. Incensed and feeling cheated, our player challenges the rat to a boxing match there in the store. The defeat is swift, but our man hasn’t had enough! He challenges his friend, who throws down his hand and raises two more in fisticuffs. Perhaps it is the brandy, but the defeat is swifter still, and as the cheater falls, he injures his neck, and perishes the next day. Our 2-0 champion is found guilty of manslaughter and branded with an M (for murder) for his crime.

It wouldn’t be long before 1743, when boxing champion Jack Broughton released Broughton’s rules, a set of guidelines that would reduce boxing deaths and kick off the modern era of boxing, but first let’s cover the oft sordid beginnings of pugilism.

Boxing was first portrayed on a stone tablet in ancient Sumeria. In the image, our fighters fists and legs are crossed as though the fight has yet to start. Perhaps some ancient bell smelted from bronze off-tablet is waiting to officiate the match. It is obvious from various depictions emerging from different cultures that gloves and other elements were introduced over time, which should hardly be surprising to anyone familiar with how often the rules of basketball change, or how evolution works in general.

In 688 B.C. boxing was lifted from the tablets to become an Olympic event, and the sport quickly gained popularity in amphitheaters across the Roman empire. In place of rounds, opponents would just beat on each other until one of them submitted. The addition of leather wrappings kept boxer’s hands from breaking over each other’s faces, keeping the assailants in the match longer, and shifting the ratio of injury in favor of the one doing the most punching. Weight categories were yet to be established, so heavyweights dominated the field. Alas, the Romans were as vicious as they were clever, and soon metal studs and braces were added for additional impact.

As one of the few people notable enough in history to go by his first name, Galen (of Pergamon) was a renowned medical researcher who pushed forward the development of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, logic, and philosophy. Galen made his way from Turkey to Rome to further his studies. Of the Roman athlete he had this to say:

“…when the athletes grow old, they creep, wrinkle and squint due to the severe blows; their eyes fill with catarrhal liquids, their teeth fall, and their bones become porotic and break easily”.

Most athletes were slaves, and, until really, really late in the game, Romans didn’t really care about what happened to slaves, so a little extra injury on the part of a combatant was worth the spectacle, which constantly needed to be trumped up to higher levels of absurd brutality to compete with the draw of human and animal sacrifice. This demand for bloodshed led to the addition of spikes to the gloves, a hat tip to the Wolverine if ever we saw one.

Things just devolved from there, and by the time Seneca showed up, his philosophy of stoicism was being completely validated:

“By chance I went to one of the mid-day shows, expecting some fun, wit and relaxation… The men have no armour and their entire bodies are exposed to blows, so no one strikes in vain. Many spectators prefer this to the ordinary pairings and even the contests given by popular request. Of course they prefer it! There is no helmet and no shield to stop the weapons… In the morning men are thrown to lions and bears: but it is to the spectators they are thrown at noon.”

In 393 A.D., it was decided that boxing was just too edgy, and the Romans abolished it before eventually just collapsing altogether, leading to a thousand year spell of plagues, bad science, and zero organized boxing tournaments. Italians revived the sport in the 12th century, but it wouldn’t rise to prominence again until “prizefighting” emerged in England in the 16th century.

Much to the delight of pugilism enthusiasts everywhere, boxing history officially resumes when Duke Christopher of Moncik of Albemarie, a man destined to become Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica, put on a match between his butler and his butcher in a manner not dissimilar to a boy pitting the insects in his mother’s garden against one another. You may be more impressed if Sir Duke of Honorableness had engaged in the bout himself, but understand it would be unbecoming of a proper Englishman of the time to fight with his own two hands.

New rules allowed contestants to take a knee mid-combat, ending the round and making time for recovery. However, this option was frowned upon as being unmanly, and amendments penalized the act until the rule eventually succumbed. Nevertheless, boxing picked up steam, and manuals were published teaching the craft of punching a man into submission, stressing the importance of striking the head with your full weight behind you. The result was a lot of traumatic brain injuries until the sport was modernized by one particularly talented pugilist.

Tune in for Part Two, when Jack Broughton enters the fray and brings order to the tumultuous sport. Meanwhile, check out our line of athletic supports to prevent injuries, boost recovery, while looking like a boss.

Want to see Part 2 sooner than later? Log in and leave a comment!