Category Archives: Health

Good Job Me, You Hurt Your Back

Well, I can’t seem to stay out of my physical therapist’s office and I can’t seem to stay away from injuries. I know, I know, you can clap now if you’d like. At a tournament, that is still happening this weekend, well specifically at my match yesterday, I hurt my back. Not quite sure how, but I’m pretty sure it’s sprained.

I’ve sprained my ankle before, so I know what that’s like but I honestly never thought you could sprain your back. Here’s some information on how back sprains work.

A back sprain is similar to any other sprain in that they occur when you overwork a muscle and then it becomes overstretched or torn. A sprained muscle can also be referred to as a pulled muscle. When this occurs, usually there is pain that worsens with movement, decreased mobility, and muscle cramps or spasms.

Back Sprain

Most times, what helps a sprained back is rest, ice, and some form of an anti-inflammatory. Back sprains, as in the actual muscles themselves, typically heal after 1-2 weeks but then for the body to fully recover, it can take 4-6 weeks.

This unfortunately means that I will be doing a little bit of sitting but that’s okay! Most times, a weak core can cause injury to the back, and so that means that I’ve got some work to do on my core. Tennis is a very back and core oriented sport and with my weak core, my back has been taking all of the heat. My core is decently strong, considering I’ve played a lot of tennis and done a fair amount of conditioning for my core, but I guess I need to make it even stronger. Maybe I’ll be able to get my 6-pack now, haha. I’ll probably go see my physical therapist this week and see what she has to say about it. I hope it goes well!

Have a good week everyone!

What Makes a Good Breakfast?

As a high school student who is often rushed in the morning, I find it difficult to always prepare my body for the day. Maybe I’ll grab a piece of toast or get a bowl of fruit but that isn’t exactly the best way to give my body the energy it needs to start the day. Based on personal experience and some research, here’s what I think is important and necessary for a good breakfast.

  1. Protein. Whether that’s through dairy products, nuts, or eggs, it’s important to pack your breakfast with proteins. Proteins help you feel fuller for a longer amount of time.
  2. A variety of foods. Different types of milk, meat and meat alternates, as well as a variety of fruits are important for a good, healthy breakfast. You want a variety so that there’s a variety of nutrients as well.
  3. Smoothies. Smoothies are easy to make and you can get really creative with them. To add on, smoothies are great for when you have to get out of the house quick. They make a great to-go breakfast.
  4. Fruit. In a smoothie, in a salad, or just straight from the container, fruit is awesome. It’s super filling and good for your body. Be careful though as fruit does contain sugar and consuming too much may not be the best thing for your body. As long as you live a healthy lifestyle and stay active, you should be just fine.
  5. Not skipping breakfast, ever. As a high school student, I know a bunch of kids that just don’t eat breakfast. They claim there isn’t enough time or they’re not hungry or they just didn’t want to. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to give your body what it needs to start the day and then get through the day. You want to be able to function properly and keep your metabolism and digestive tract in a rhythm and steady, so don’t skip a meal, especially breakfast.

It’s definitely important to have a wide variety of foods on your plate at breakfast and it’s also important to always eat breakfast. Even if you don’t have time to eat a full breakfast, give yourself something to fuel your body. Eating a good breakfast helps get you on the right track for a good day and helps the struggles of being hangry from staying away.

Have a good week!

What Makes a Good Breakfast?

How to Keep Your Dog Healthy

My two happy-go-lucky dachshunds are pretty healthy and that can be a lot of work but it’s so worth it. A dog’s health is very important, especially when they’re a part of your family. You wouldn’t want one of your own family members to be in pain or sick or feeling yucky all the time, would you? Here’s a few tips on how to keep your dog healthy.

-Feed them properly. Depending on your dog, they will need different amounts of food at different times of the day. For Marty and Boo, they eat three meals of Eukanuba for dachshunds or Science Diet for small dogs. The portions are generally pretty small and they love carrots so if they ever do feel hungry, they snack on them.

-Keep your dogs hydrated. Just like us humans, dogs need water. Make sure to give them fresh water twice a day if not daily. If they are ever running low on water, make sure you give them more. A hydrated dog is a healthy and happy dog.

-Exercise your dog. Whether this is through a game of fetch or a nice long walk, a dog needs to be exercised. This helps them maintain a healthy weight, have some fun, and explore somewhere other than the house.

-Spend time with your dog. My dogs are my best friends. Dogs deserve your attention, after all you bought them or adopted them for a reason. You wanted a companion. Dogs will love you endlessly as long as you love them back. Spending time talking to your dog or giving your dog a belly rub maintains your emotional bond and prevents them from feeling alone all the time. A dog that is often left alone can develop separation anxiety and may develop bad habits.

-Take your dog to the vet for check-ups on time. This can be difficult for busy families but it is very important to always check on your dog’s health. Check-ups can catch problems early on and save your companion from medical issues and expenses. To add to this, taking your dog to get their teeth cleaned regularly can help prevent gum disease and mouth issues down the road. Having your dog put under for teeth cleaning can be a huge expense. There are some dog food stores and grooming places that offer teeth cleaning without anaesthesia. Sometimes it can be as simple as a toothbrush or wipes or gentle cavitron cleaning.

I hope these few tips help you keep your tail-wagging buddies happy and healthy! Don’t forget to keep them well-fed and hydrated and also don’t forget to love them endlessly and enjoy your four-legged companions. 🙂

How to Keep a Healthy Dog

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

The holidays are a special and memorable time of year when you get to spend time with friends and family. You get to eat good food, play fun games, and share love and gifts with one another. All of these holiday activities may be put on hold if you get sick over the holidays, and that wouldn’t be fun! Here are my top ten ways to stay healthy during the holidays.

10. Always wear your jacket and stay warm when you’re outside. This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Even if you feel like it’s warm enough outside, or your if you think what you’re wearing will keep you warm, you’re probably wrong. The weather can change at any moment and it’s better to be prepared with a nice, cozy jacket than have nothing at all.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

9. Drink Emergen-C if you feel like you may be getting sick. Emergen-C is a powder that you add to a drink, in case you didn’t know. It contains vitamin C and it’s very important to get lots of vitamin C in your body if you feel like you’re getting sick. It comes in many flavors, tastes good, and helps you feel better or stay healthy.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

8. Exercise. Exercising helps your body stay strong. When you sweat, your body gets rid of substances it doesn’t need like salts and toxins. Exercising is good for your body in general.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

7. Don’t touch your face with your hands. The easiest way for bad bacteria or a virus to enter your system is through your nose or mouth. To prevent yourself from getting sick, do your best not to touch your face after being around someone sick or dealing with something dirty.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

6. Get a proper amount of sleep. Sleep gives your body time to relax and heal. If you feel like you’re catching a cold or the flu, sleep is a good way to let your body rest and get better.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

5. On top of Emergen-C, stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water or other liquids allows your body to function properly and flush out anything bad if needed. Chamomile tea with honey is great for when you feel like you may be getting sick, or just want a soothing drink before bed. The honey is good for your throat and chamomile aids in fighting infection and works as an anti-inflammatory.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

4. Eat raspberry and cranberry jam. This has been a remedy that works well in my family. To prevent ourselves from getting sick, my mom makes jam that contains raspberries, cranberries, and honey and we eat it by itself or with pancakes. It can be a little sour but in my opinion, it’s yummy and helps me stay healthy.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

3. Walk in fresh air. Going for a walk to get fresh air is not only refreshing and relaxing, but it’s really good for your body. This is a good way to cope with stress and it also helps your body feel good inside and out.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

2. Don’t share drinks or personal items like Chapstick with other people. This should be common knowledge, but just in case you haven’t heard it before, here it goes. Sharing drinks is a really good way to spread illness or disease and it can range from a small canker sore to a major, life-threatening disease. Some people believe that sharing personal items and drinks isn’t that big of a deal. Even if you know the person really well, it’s better to be safe than sorry, know what you’re using or drinking, and bring your own things.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

1. Wash your hands. Germs are all over the place all the time, but during the winter, it seems like there are even more germs because a lot of people get sick. In order to protect yourself from getting sick, wash your hands after using the restroom, work, school, sports practice, or whatever you do. You’re washing away bad germs when you wash your hands and preventing yourself from getting sick. Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer is another way to keep your hands clean. There are many different kinds of hand sanitizer that all work well, so find whatever kind you like and go with it.

Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Make sure to bundle up, stay hydrated, exercise, be aware of your surroundings, get a good amount of sleep, go for walks to get fresh air, avoid sharing drinks and things like Chapstick, and wash your hands to stay healthy this holiday season. To those of you with finals this week, I wish you the best of luck. 12 days ’til Christmas!

Did You Know: Pica

Mental illnesses/disorders are very interesting and can be scary. There are many mental illnesses out there and some are treatable while others are not. Some of them can be classified as anxiety disorders or coping strategies and one of the illnesses that can be classified as both is pica. Here are some facts about pica disorder:

-The name of this illness comes from the Latin word for “magpie”. Magpies are known for their ability to eat almost everything.

-Pica is defined as the consumption of non-food substances. Some of these items may include buttons, hair, glue, screws, dirt, paint, and feces. This behavior has to continue for a month for it to be classified as pica.

-Pica is categorized as an eating disorder, anxiety disorder, and coping strategy for stress or other mental illnesses. People who eat non-food items on a regular basis usually eat them to satisfy their craving for a particular texture or taste. Eating non-food substances gives those who eat them comfort and relief.

-This illness is caused by nutritional deficiencies, dieting, malnourishment, parental neglect, developmental/mental health issues, and pregnancy.

-This illness is most common in children, pregnant women, and people with schizophrenia and OCD. Most children and pregnant women get over their cravings within months on their own.

-Pica is treatable as long as it is caught early and the proper treatment is found. Sufferers of pica are commonly relieved of their symptoms after 1-2 months of treatment.

-Several forms of treatment for this mental and anxiety disorder are multivitamin supplements, medication, and aversion therapy which is praise for eating real food and consequences for eating non-food substances.

-The most famous case of pica was occurred in 1929. After a patient in the psychiatric ward of a hospital died, doctors found a total of 1,446 non-food items in his stomach. There were 453 nails, 148 seeds, 115 hair pins, 85 small stones, 63 buttons, and 42 small stones.

While pica is fairly uncommon, it is on the rise and there has been a 93% jump in hospitalization for sufferers of pica. If someone you know is suffering from pica, please assist them in getting help. This is a serious eating disorder if not treated and can cause serious damage to the body. In Colorado, the United States, and all over the world, there are many pediatricians, psychologists, and other doctors willing to help and treat pica.

This information is not meant to scare or worry anyone. It is here to inform you all about a mental/anxiety disorder that is serious and on the rise. So whether or not this information is new, now you know a few things about pica.

Did You Know: Pica

Did You Know: Pica

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

On Sept. 16th I had surgery on my ankle to create a groove for my peroneal tendons and repair my retinaculum which is the connective tissue that holds the peroneal tendons in place. My tendons actually weren’t torn but they were believed to be, so that was good news! The retinaculum was extremely stretched out though, so the doctor had to cut it and then sew it back together. I just wanted to let you know that in no way am I a doctor or professional in the medical field, all of these tips were created and based off of personal experience. Recovering from surgery can be a hard thing to do, so here are my top ten ways to recover from surgery.

10. Keep yourself occupied. Watch TV, play games, read a book, talk to people, and do whatever you can to keep your mind off of pain and the surgery. You’ll be in a much better mood this way.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

9. Sleep. Sleep does wonders for your mind and body. It gives your body time to relax and heal.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

8. Check on your blood circulation often. This tip applies mostly to people who are having surgery and will be in bed or unable to move a lot for a few days after. Move your legs around, massage yourself or have someone help you, stretch, and get up, IF YOU CAN. Please don’t hurt yourself when you do this. By doing this, you’re keeping your blood moving and preventing blood clots.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

7. Take time off from work or school to recover. You should definitely not go to work or school a for a few days after surgery. You might be in pain and/or have very little energy and you don’t want to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation at work or school. Take all the time you need to feel good enough to return to work or school. It’ll still be there when you return.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

6. Stay positive. It can be really hard to have a good attitude when you’re in pain, but keep a smile on your face and think about good things and you’ll feel better and help your body heal faster.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From SurgeryTop Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

5. Eat food. Right after surgery, you might feel slightly nauseous because of the anesthesia; this varies from person to person. Make sure to take it easy on the food at first, maybe some soup or a smoothie. After a few hours or after the nausea goes away, eat whatever you want.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

4. Drink lots of water. Drinking a lot of water will keep you hydrated and flush out all of the medication and anesthesia.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Right after surgery, you’re in absolutely NO condition to do things all by yourself. Just let your friends or family know what you need and they should be supportive and willing to help you.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery

2.  Relax. This tip goes along with #10 and whether you’re lying             down, sitting, or even sleeping, do whatever makes you feel comfortable. Relaxation helps ease the pain and keeps your mind off of the surgery.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery1. Follow the doctor’s orders! This one should be a no-brainer, but for some people this tip can be hard to follow. Please do what your doctor tells you to do! Stay on top of ice, elevation, medication, go to post-op appointments, and whatever else you have to do. It’ll make you heal faster and feel better.

Top Ten Ways to Recover From Surgery
Ice and elevation 😉

I hope my top ten ways to recover from surgery have been helpful or will be helpful to you in the future. 🙂 To those of you who have had surgery or are going to have surgery, I wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery!

Out With the Boot, In With a Cast

Injuries can be tough, especially when you’re not quite sure what’s going on, or what to do. They can also challenge your patience and character. That was kind of the case for me last week. On September 2nd, it was bye-bye boot, and hello cast.

If you can recall, I was put in a boot in August due to peroneal tendon subluxation, which is the subluxing or dislocation of your peroneal tendons over the lateral malleolus. This subluxing can occur because of a loose or torn retinaculum (a sheath that hold the two peroneal tendons in place), a shallow groove in which the tendons sit, or something specific with the peroneal tendons.

Anyways, I saw the doctor on Wednesday and the tendons were still coming over the lateral malleolus and there was still a lot of pain. The next best thing to do was apparently put it in a walking cast. (No crutches at least, yay!) The cast will have to stay on for a month, and the intent of having my leg in a cast is to hopefully immobilize the tendons better than the boot did.

With the little amount of time I’ve had this cast on, I can tell you all that they’re pretty weird. When the technician first put it on it felt kind of soft and it was a little wet. After a few minutes the cast warmed up, hardened, and then I couldn’t move my ankle! I thought it was a really weird feeling. The thing I liked about wearing a boot was the fact that I could take it off to shower and scratch my leg if it was itchy. Those are things that I definitely cannot do with a cast on. Wearing a cast is a new challenge for sure.

Even with the many visits to doctors of all sorts, I was curious to know what was actually going on with the tendons, so to get an image of that, I had an MRI done on Thursday, the next day. The MRI showed that I had a longitudinal tear on one of my peroneal tendons. Longitudinal tears are not common. (Not good!)

The cast has been a huge struggle for the past week, and my family and I wanted a second opinion on the cast and my ankle. It’s so hard to do daily tasks like bathing and even walking! My mom and I went and saw a orthopedic surgeon this past Thursday. He informed us that there was a very unlikely chance that my tendons would heal in the cast, and surgery was the best way to go. I did get my cast off and my foot is back in a boot until the surgery.

So this upcoming Wednesday, Sept. 16th, I will be getting surgery to repair the torn tendon. The orthopedic doctor/surgeon looked at my MRI and noted that I had a shallow groove, which makes it more likely for the tendons to come out of the groove again, so he will shift one of my bones back 1 cm to trap the tendons where they’re supposed to stay. Then they’ll put screws in the bones so that they’ll heal together and then I’ll have to wait for six weeks, in a boot. I might even be able to walk five days after the surgery. (Woohoo!)

Never in my whole life did I expect to be excited for surgery, but I am truly excited to get this over with. I’ve been having issues with my left foot for about a year in a half,first the sesamoid and now the ankle issues and tendon, and I am really starting to get frustrated with everything that is going on. I want to thank everyone who has been supporting me and doing their best to help me get better and find answers. I look forward to a speedy recovery and hope to be back on the courts soon! 🙂

Out With the Boot, In With a Cast

Back in the Boot- Peroneal Tendon Subluxation

You all remember the blogs about my first boot and the sesamoid fracture, right? Well guess what’s back! August 4th, 2015, the boot comes back on. This time it isn’t for a fracture but for peroneal tendon subluxation.

In your lower leg, there’s a collection of muscles and tendons. They originate from the fibula and travel down the leg and into various areas of the foot. Behind the bony prominence on the outside of the ankle lie the two peroneal tendons, peroneus brevis which attaches to your fifth metatarsal (toe), and peroneus longs which runs under the foot and attaches near the big toe. These two tendons are held in place by a strong, connective tissue called the peroneal retinaculum.

Back in the Boot-Peroneal Tendon Subluxation

Peroneal tendon subluxation is when one or both of the peroneal tendons slip out of position and come over the bony prominence on the outside of the ankle. Once the tendons come out of place, they may remain there or return to their original position. It’s not a good feeling.

Peroneal tendon subluxation can occur because of a torn retinaculum which would allow for the tendons to move freely, shallow grooves which make it easier for the tendons to come out of place, and also a loose or weak retinaculum which is least common.

Back in the Boot-Peroneal Tendon Subluxation

This is can be treated with immobilization (like a boot),  rest, orthotics, and also surgery for retinaculum repair, tendon repair, or groove deepening.

So my boot is back for another month to immobilize and hopefully keep the peroneal tendons in place. Now you know a little bit about peroneal tendon subluxation and I hope to get better soon and see you all back out on the courts!

And as a little side note, my dad and aunt’s birthdays are tomorrow so, Happy Birthday to both of you! 🙂

In the Boot…

About a week ago, I finally went to a sports/foot specializing doctor for my foot. It had been hurting since last fall after I hurt it in dance class. Anyway, the doctor checked out my foot and took some x-rays. After all of the examining, he looked at the x-rays and found a thin fracture on one of my sesamoid bones. (The sesamoid bone is imbedded in the tendons under your big toe.) So the first step in healing the bone was to put my foot in the boot. Dun…dun…dun… Being the athletic, active person I am, it’s been painful and hard to have to sit on the sidelines. But, it has also been a wonderful learning experience. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far from being in a boot.

  • You see a whole new side of the activities/sports you participate in. I’m a dancer and I also play volleyball and tennis so I’ve watched a lot of sports over this past week so far. You learn to see the strategy from off the court and you can see how other players play and how they hit certain shots.
  • Appreciate being healthy. Be as active as possible when you aren’t sick or injured and take advantage of all of your energy and abilities. When you’re healthy there is so much you can do to improve your health and your game!
  • Follow the doctor’s orders. This one is something I already knew when I first had to start wearing my boot but this really emphasized this point. Following what the doctor says will make it more possible for the fracture to heal correctly and fully.
  • Be patient. I’m in this boot for a whole month (which feels like a decade) and I could possibly be out of sports for two-four months but I’ve learned that it’s going to take time and I’ll just have to wait. It’s better to be out for four months than forever.

This experience in the boot has been very different and challenging. It has also really taught me to appreciate being healthy and understand patience. Now I’ll have to wait for my full recovery and I’ll be back out on the courts soon! 🙂

In the Boot...

In the Boot...
My boot 🙂