Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bed & Bath Safety for Seniors

Each year, many senior citizens are injured in and around their own homes; this typically occurs because no safety measures are implemented in their houses to ensure their well-being. Oftentimes even the most well meaning families are unsure of how to make sure their loved ones are taken care of at home, as they assume that homes are a safe and familiar place. Three of the most potentially precarious rooms in the home are the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

Bedroom: The two main concerns in the bedroom are comfort and mobility – elderly citizens may have a more difficult time getting into and out of bed and sleeping a sufficient amount.
  • Raise the bed off the ground to make it easier to get into – beds that are lower to the ground are more challenging to get into. Make sure to place the bed securely against a wall or use lockable wheels.

  • For many people, the risk of falling can be reduced by changing the height of the bed. A bed that is too high or too low can affect how easy it is to stand up from a sitting position.

  • Make sure to find the right mattress – a firmer mattress will provide the right support.

Bathroom: Risks in the bathroom including slipping on wet floors and difficulties getting into and out of shower cubes and tubs.

  • Hand rails and bars are a must for bathrooms as they make it easier for elderly family members to get into and out of the shower. Never use a towel rack to steady yourself: it can fall off the wall and take you with it. Hand rails can also be useful next to the toilet to make it easier to stand up and sit down.

  • Step-in showers are safer than tubs for bathing, but if a bathtub is your only option, make sure that hand rails are within easy reach.

  • Line your bathtub or shower with a nonslip rubber mat or abrasive strips. In the shower, seats can make bathing easier and reduce the risk of a fall. You can buy special shower seats with rubber grip footing, or find built-in ones.

Kitchen: Fire hazards are one of the biggest concerns for elderly family members, especially those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Cooking can become potentially dangerous as they may begin to cook and then abandon the task without turning off stoves and ovens.

  • Older family members may also have a difficult time exchanging the batteries in fire detectors as they are typically hard to reach and require a step-ladder.

  • Make sure to remove any towels or curtains that are near an open flame or stove-top. Keep small stoves and heaters at a safe distance from flammable materials and furniture.

  • Check that all wires and cords are out of the way to avoid trips and falls.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale medical supplier specializing in orthopedic braces including wrist braces, cervical braces and hinged knee braces. For more information, please visit mmarmedical.com.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Understanding and Treating Hand / Wrist Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis in the hand and wrist is the most common form of degenerative inflammatory arthritis. Typically the result of cartilage erosion from long-term repetitive movements, Osteoarthritis can manifest in just about any joint in the human body, but the wrist is especially prone to this injury because it is one of the most frequently used joints. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition for Osteoarthritis, while in others it can also be triggered by a fracture or an intense sprain. While not dangerous, Osteoarthritis makes accomplishing simple tasks painfully difficult.


Symptoms of Wrist Osteoarthritis:
  • Inflexibility and pain in the wrist joint.

  • After prolonged use, your wrist joint may fill with fluid and feel tight or swollen.

  • Occasionally when using your wrist, you may hear a creaky or squeaky noise known as creitus.

Treatment of Wrist Osteoarthritis:
  • Noninvasive treatments are preferred and surgery is rarely considered necessary.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to reduce swelling and discomfort.

  • Thermal therapy has been proven especially effective for relieving pain. Heating pads or arthritis gloves are great options.

  • Wrist braces can be used to provide support and alleviate pain during activities.

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises can help prevent discomfort over time. Speak to your physician or physical therapists for the best stretches and strengthening movements for you.

About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of medical products including a wide selection of support braces and a full line of diabetic shoes. For quality wrist and back braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tips for Preventing an ACL Tear

More than 100,000 Americans suffer an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear every year. If you actively play sports, chances are you or someone you know has experienced a knee ligament injury. These injuries have a high incident rate in sports like soccer, skiing and basketball, which involve jumping, twisting and other knee-stressing activities. One of the most dreaded sports injuries, an ACL tear can put you on the sidelines for a very long time and often requires painful surgery as well as post-operative therapy.

The ACL is located at the center of the knee and controls the forward movement of the tibia. Anything compromises this movement can ultimately strain or tear the ACL. This is most frequently seen in landing jumps or when changing directions suddenly. ACL injuries are highly influenced by pelvic positioning. Since women physiologically have wider hips, they often suffer a higher instance of ACL strain and tearing. A female soccer player, for instance, is eight times more likely to suffer an ACL tear than a male player.

There are measures you can take to prevent an ACL tear. The following is a list of the best practices to minimize risk:
  • Strength. Strong muscles can help guard against ligament strain. Lift weights two to three times a week, especially concentrating on the hip, thigh and abdomen areas. Strong leg muscles will stabilize the knee while a strong core provides pelvic stability.

  • Flexibility. Stretch regularly, especially before and after sports and exercise. Limber muscles perform better and pare less likely to strain. Activities like pilates and yoga are especially effective.

  • Conditioning. Often as we grow older we can only play a sport a few times a month. If you are a weekend warrior, be sure to train regularly between games. A conditioned body is less likely to injure. Practice drills and plyometrics that require balance, strength and agility. You can find out more on ACL drills and training recommendations at the Santa Monica ACL Prevention Project.

  • Weight. Excess body fat in the abdomen area can place extra strain on the knees. As if you needed another reason to watch your weight!

  • Support. If you have experienced an ACL strain in the past, you are especially vulnerable to a future tear. A hinged knee brace or a soft support can provide extra stability during sporting activity.


About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale medical supplier specializing in diabetic shoes and orthopedic braces including medical knee braces. For more information, please visit mmarmedical.com.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Top 10 Dangerous Lies Runners Tell Themselves

  1. No pain, no gain! My knee hurts but I’m just going to keep pushing myself! That’s what real athletes do.

    The Truth: Never ignore what your body is telling you. Whether it’s a sudden sharp pain or a lingering dull pain, you need to pay attention and address the cause. It may only be a strain that requires a few days rest, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. If a pain persists, seek out a doctor’s opinion. Diagnosing the pain early on can prevent long-term injuries later.

  2. Just jump right into it! There’s no reason to ramp up my activity level… I’m ready to go!

    The Truth: There is such a thing as too much, too soon. You should not increase your activity level more than 10% each week. Sudden jumps in activity increase the likelihood of injury. Likewise, sudden increases in your speed or drastic training changes (for example, a switch from jogging to intense intervals) also increase the probability of injury.

  3. Exercise everyday to the extreme! Rest is for the weak!

    The Truth: You should give your body a break at least once a week. Also, you should skip your work out if you are sleep deprived or mentally exhausted.

  4. Broken-in shoes are the best. These have been my favorite running shoes since the Clinton administration!

    The Truth: Old shoes may be superficially comfortable, but they lose arch support and shock absorption over time. This can lead to foot, ankle and joint injuries. Purchase new running shoes (not tennis or cross trainers) every 350 - 450 miles.

  5. I can eat crap because I run a lot! Pass me the KFC! I’m a runner!

    The Truth: Because of the demands you put on your body, you need to make sure your diet is rich in calcium and healthy fats (especially fish oil). You can still treat yourself every now and again, but most doctors recommend a diet chalk full of vegetables and lean protein.

  6. I run to lose weight, so I better cut my calories as well. If I go low-cal, I’ll become a lean, mean running machine!

    The Truth: On the flip side, you do not want to drastically reduce your caloric intake either. Your body needs the calories for fuel.

  7. I run so I don’t have to lift weights. What’s the point of strength training when a run works all my lower body muscles?

    The Truth: You should strength train two to three days each week. Not only will this improve your health, but it will stabilize ligaments and help to guard against injury. If you plan to strength train and run on the same day, opt to run first.

  8. I don’t have a lot of time, so I’ll just skip the warm-up. It’s better to get my full run in rather than waste time on stretching or warming up my muscles.

    The Truth: Skipping a warm up is one of the fastest ways to injure yourself. Take the time to do and reduce the cardio portion of your workout if need be. Just imagine how much running you will miss if you sustain a quad or calf injury. Better to not risk it.

  9. Stretch to the extreme! I like to stretch myself as far as I can go to limber up before my run.

    The Truth: You should gently stretch to a point of slight pressure rather than full-blown pain. You can injure yourself stretching too deeply.

  10. Braces look ridiculous and just get in the way. I hurt my knee a few months ago, and despite what my doctor told me, I stopped wearing my brace because it makes me look weird.

    The Truth: A knee brace, when worn according to doctor specifications will stabilize compromised ligaments, provide support and prevent further injury. Athletes of all ages rely on braces to speed up recovery and prevent further injury.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality hinged knee brace, wrist brace, lumbar brace or other quality brace, please visit www.mmarmedical.com.