Benefits of Physical Activity and the Brain
As people age, the human brain typically shrinks in size. However, some recent research led by Dr. Erickson (2013) and colleagues suggests that one of the benefits of physical activity is that it is linked to heightened brain functioning, enhanced cognitive functioning and lower cortical atrophy.
According to this research, it may be that physical activity serves to maximize the brain’s own plasticity. Certain areas in the brain seem to be more influenced by physical activity including the prefrontal and hippocampal regions. (more…)
Protection from Sun during Outdoor Activity
Now that summer is coming, and sunnier days are ahead, thinking about protection from the sun is especially important for people who engage in a lot of outdoor activity including outdoor athletes.
Many people experience excessive UV exposure and perhaps athletes in particular. Reasons identified by researchers Jinna and Adams (2013) published in Sports Medicine to explain intense UV exposure include not using sunscreen, not covering skin with clothing, UV radiation as reflected by either water or snow, UV radiation changes due to altitude, sweat induced skin photosensitivity, time outside from childhood, time outside during high UV radiation periods. (more…)
Why do obese people have a higher incidence of osteoarthritis compared to the non-obese population?
The thought has been that the increased weight causes mechanical “wear and tear” on the articular cartilage, leading to arthritis. Research is now suggesting different reasons. An outstanding review article was published in the March, 2013 edition of the American Journal of Orthopaedic Surgeons, authored by Dr. Ryan Koonce and Dr. Jonathan Bravman discuss the scientific link between obesity and osteoarthritis including knee osteoarthritis.
The definition of obesity is based in body mass index (BMI) not total body weight. BMI is calculated by taking the weight of the person in kilograms divide by their height in meters squared. Obesity is defined as a BMI of greater than 30 whereas over weight is defined as a BMI between 25 and 29. In the US 68% of the population is overweight and 34% are obese. These numbers have double in the last twenty years. Obesity is associated with a variety of medical conditions such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, asthma and some types of cancer. (more…)
Baby Boomers and Health
As reported by Dr. Dana King and colleagues (2013), baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 comprised about 26% of the population in the U.S. in 2010.
Looking at baby boomers and health, including the overall health status of the baby boom generation, researchers looked at National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to compare current baby boomers to the prior generation when both were at the same age. (more…)
Research on orthopedic injuries in musicians and dancers reveals that certain orthopedic injuries are particularly common among these types of artists. Research by orthopedic surgeon Dr. A.B.M. Rietveld published in Clinical Rheumatology (2013) specializes in treating orthopedic injuries in musicians and dancers and identifies some of the most common types of orthopedic injuries.
During medical assessment for orthopedic injuries in musicians, it is recommended that musicians play their particular instrument during diagnosis since factors like posture, stability in the shoulder and trunk and other habits are an important part of the physical examination, diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
Common orthopedic injuries in musicians include those stemming from posture-related issues like Cervicobrachialgia. Individuals experiencing Cervicobrachialgia often experience symptoms that include neck pain that may extend into the arm, and thoracic outlet syndrome is also not uncommon. Hand related conditions like osteoarthritis are also found among musicians. (more…)
Golfer’s Elbow, or Medial Epicondylitis, is an overuse injury involving chronic inflammation of the medial collateral ligament. People suffering from golfer’s elbow typically experience pain on the inner side of the elbow but swelling does not normally occur.
If you think you may have medial epicondylitis, it is advisable that you seek out a professional medical evaluation. An examination for golfer’s elbow may include plain x-rays, a physical examination and an MRI if you do not respond to the initial treatment to make sure you do not have a ligament tear. (more…)
Brain Injury in Sports
Canadian researchers examined sports injury data about 13,000 Canadian children and teens and found that ice hockey accounted for around 44% of all brain injuries among kids.
For kids 11 and older, the game was responsible for more than two-thirds of brain injuries. Player to player contact, getting hit into the boards or checked by an opponent from the back all were cited as dangerous moves that sometimes led to a brain injury in sports. Other activities were also considered in terms of risk for a brain injury in sports including soccer and football. (more…)
Depression and illness are strongly associated, according to research led by Dr. Margaret A. Ege. Reporting at the annual conferences for the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, Dr. Ege discussed her study which examined whether people 60 and older with specific medical conditions have a higher prevalence of depression.
Looking at data from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Dr. Ege found that 5% of the entire sample had major depression but among (more…)