Blue Hills Sports & Spine's Monthly Newsletter. Our regular assortment of handy and informative tips, tricks and trends to help answer your questions about rehabilitation and fitness.

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Blue Hills Sports & Spine's Monthly Newsletter
September 2018                                                                             Issue # 91
Back To School Means Attention To Backpack Safety

Improper backpack use can cause injury, especially to children with young, growing muscles and joints. A study found that 55 percent of the children surveyed carried backpack loads heavier than 15 percent of their body weight,the maximum safe weight for children recommended by most experts. 
Injury can occur when a child, in trying to adapt to a heavy load, uses harmful postures such as arching the back, leaning forward or, if only one strap is used, leaning to one side.  A too-heavy load also causes muscles and soft tissues of the back to work harder, leading to strain and fatigue. This leaves the back more vulnerable to injury. A heavy load may also cause stress or compression to the shoulders and arms. When nerves are compressed, the child may experience tingling or numbness in the arms.
Worn correctly and not overloaded, a backpack is supported by some of the strongest muscles in the body: the back and abdominal muscles. These muscle groups work together to stabilize the trunk and hold the body in proper postural alignment.

We recommend the following features when selecting a backpack:
  • A padded back to reduce pressure on the back and prevent the pack's contents from digging into the child's back;
  • A waist belt to help distribute some of the load to the pelvis;
  • Compression straps on the sides or bottom of the backpack that, when tightened, compress the contents of the backpack and stabilize the articles
Click here for a great handout to share with others about backpack safety

Stretch With Us

At Blue Hills Sports & Spine, every patient leaves with a home program on day one. Generally you get a handout with some simple pictures and instructions for exercises we think are important to get you going in your recovery. Unfortunately, we know that many people just don't do these exercises. Some due to time, some due to losing the sheet we gave them and others because maybe they aren't sure they are doing them right. For those of you with low back pain, there are some simple stretches for key muscle groups that if done a few times per week just may keep you out of our offices. Instead of a handout, we are including a link to a "stretch along with us" video. You can pull it up on your phone and in real-time stretch along with us. If you have 8-10 minutes, give it a try! Click the image above for the video link.
All About Ankle Sprains

With a return to school also comes a return to Fall Sports for many. With people hitting the field for Football, Soccer and Field Hockey or the trails for Cross Country, sprained ankles are a common injury this time of year. The good news is that many sprained ankles recover on their own pretty quickly. Using ice, a little compression and elevation to control the swelling and then doing a few simple range of motion exercises you will be good to go. To learn more about what an ankle sprain is and some tips on early care, click here. If you aren't lucky enough to have your symptoms resolve after a few days, that's when it's time to come see one of our experts to help make sure that your ankle recovers properly and even more importantly, that you learn the correct exercises to help you prevent additional ankle sprains in the future. 
The content of this newsletter, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only. The content is not meant to be complete or exhaustive or to be applicable to any specific individual's medical condition. It is not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical advice, and it should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider's judgment. The content in this newsletter is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always consult with a qualified and licensed medical care provider and follow their advice without delay regardless of anything read on this website.

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