Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to fit a Breg ACL Knee Brace

A knee brace is only as effective as its application. If it is not properly fitted to your leg, you can actually experience more pain than without the support. Knee braces, including the Breg ACL, are commonly used for conditions as varied as osteoarthritis and ligament conditions. Professional athletes and workout enthusiasts benefit greatly from knee supports. Follow these basic steps to fit a Breg ACL knee brace, and use the information to position your brace correctly.


Preparing the Brace
Most brace manufacturers number their Velcro straps to make installation easier for new users. The back of the brace has four straps that must be pulled from their loops. Loosen all four of the straps and press them together to keep the Velcro from sticking to clothing during the fitting. The brace's front panel houses two straps. Do not pull these from their loops, but simply loosen their tension and press the Velcro together to hold them in place.

Position the Patient
The brace recipient should be sitting on a chair. They must sit near the edge of the seat and place their foot on the floor. The recipient should not be in an uncomfortable position because both feet are supporting the person's weight. Do not position them on the edge of the seat where they can easily slide off. Position the leg at a 30-degree angle. This positioning is critical to align the brace's hinge point with the knee.

Initial Placement
Visually locate the hinge point on the brace. It is often referred to as the pads. Press the brace onto the recipient's leg. Align the pads with the top of the kneecap. Push the brace further onto the leg by pressing the pads toward the posterior leg area. The bottom brace portion, called the tibial cuff, should flare upward with the positioning motion. Press the tibial cuff down until it is flush with the recipient's leg.

Placement Caution
It is crucial to sit the pads back on the leg's posterior to flare the tibial cuff up. If it does not lift up during pad positioning, the brace is not correct. By continuing with improper positioning, you possibly cause the tibial cuff to rub and compromise the tibia's crest, creating more pain within the leg.

Strap Tightening
Starting with the lower, posterior leg, or number one, strap, loosen the Velcro. Place the strap through the loop and tighten around the leg. Continue to strap number two, above the posterior knee, and affix it snugly. Avoid tugging on the straps to prevent pad misalignment at the knee joint. Affix strap number three above the posterior knee as well. Tighten the front, lower leg strap, or number four. Affix and tighten the remaining lower and posterior leg strap. Straighten the leg and tighten the last front strap, or number six.

Final Alignment Check
Bend the braced knee and visually check the pads. They should be aligned with the center of the kneecap or slightly above. The brace should remain in place with proper positioning.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympic Dreams for Underdog Athletes

With the 2014 Winter Olympic opening ceremony under two weeks away in Sochi, Olympic and Paralympic and medal hopefuls from around the world are putting in their last practices and final touches on their routines. For some athletes this is the first and only chance they’ll have to perform on the Olympic stage, while some familiar faces have already captured gold and had their face on the Wheaties box.

Notable United States’ Winter Olympic veterans include Shaun White, who’ll be making his 3rd appearance in two snowboarding disciplines and 36-year old skier Bode Miller participating in his 5th winter games. The 2014 Sochi Olympic Games are sure to excite spectators and inspire younger generators of athletes to achieve Olympic glory of their own.

We’d like to shine the spotlight on a sport known for their underdogs and giving second chances to athletes. The bobsled events at Sochi will feature teams and individual athletes looking to overcome past Olympic failure and injury in the quest for Olympic glory. While not every athlete will be able to overcome the obstacles set before them, the bobsledders below are role models due to their perseverance and commitment to Olympic sport.

Jamaican Bobsled Team

The Jamaican bobsled team returns to the Olympic Games in 2014 after failing to qualify for the games in 2006 and 2010. The island nation who burst onto the sport’s radar after qualifying for the 1988 games in Norway and inspired the film Cool Runnings, is focused on besting their 14th place finish in 1994. While the team may not be borrowing sleds from rival countries and racing with a lucky egg like they did in the movie, the Jamaican team is using 21st century technology to fund their Olympic dreams. The team has relied on the crowdfunding site Crowdtilt to meet a $100,000 shortfall in funding. Good news is the team and their coaches were able to meet their goal and will be landing in Sochi soon!

Lolo Jones

The Olympic stage is nothing new to this former Track & Field Olympian but she is hoping for a better result on the ice. The former World Indoor Champion in the 60 m hurdles will attempt to bounce back from disappointing summer games performances in Bejing and London to finally make the Olympic podium. Lolo’s powerful stride was enough for USA Bobsled coaches to give her a spot on the Olympic team as a brakeman, responsible for getting the sled moving at the beginning of the race and controlling the speed downhill. While Lolo has an outside chance to medal in the women’s bobsled her dedication and commitment to reach Olympic glory will inspire younger athletes for generations.

Johnny Quinn

Former standout wide-receiver for the University of North Texas, Johnny Quinn was recently named a push man on the USA-2 four-man Olympic bobsled team. Just like Lolo and the Jamaican teams, Johnny’s road to Sochi was not an easy one. After not making any NFL regular season rosters in ’07 or ’08 Johnny caught on with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2009. In the last game of the regular season he suffered a torn ACL. Knowing he still wanted to compete, his agent and former football player turned silver medal Olympic bobsledder, Todd Hays, suggested he take up bobsledding. Johnny joins Herschel Walker as the only former NFL player to complete in the winter games when he joins the four-man crew in Sochi.

We hope you enjoy the XXII Olympic Winter Games and root for your favorite underdog bobsled teams during the competition dates of Feb. 16-23.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Truth About Concussions in the NFL

During the last few NFL seasons, the dominant discussion has been about player safety—particularly when it comes to concussions. In 2009, the NFL formally admitted that players were indeed at higher risk of developing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE, particularly those that suffered repeated concussions. CTE is a degenerative brain disease that can result in dementia, memory loss, confusion, and depression, and due to studies performed over the past two decades, has been linked to repetitive head trauma, which is likely for NFL players to experience.

The public and media conversation surrounding the issue is broad. Some opinions can be extreme and insensitive:

But there are also a lot of activist groups forming that are concerned about player safety in football:

Most people seem to have slight skepticism on both sides of issue:

But how has the NFL been dealing with it?

The controversy surrounding concussions in football started over 20 years ago when former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue denied the risk of concussions in football by essentially saying it was media hysteria.

The league went on to continue denying the link between concussions and football, even as they paid former NFL center Mike Webster disability benefits due to his "total and permanent" dementia that resulted from head injuries.

After Mike Webster's death in 2002, his brain was examined, and for the first time Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) was cited as a reason for his mental condition. He was only 50 years old when he died.

In the ensuing years, previously published NFL studies that claimed there was no connection between concussions and brain damage were contradicted by new, independent research.

Finally, after the league was compared to the tobacco industry in a congressional hearing, the NFL admitted that concussions are linked to long term mental health issues.

"It's quite obvious from the medical research that's been done that concussions can lead to long-term problems." – Greg Aiello, NFL Spokesman

So what has been done?

Since 2009, a number of rule changes have come to fruition that are intended to reduce the number of concussions in the league including:

  • It is an illegal "blindside" block if the blocker is moving toward his own endline and approaches the opponent from behind or from the side, and the initial force of the contact by the blocker's helmet, forearm, or shoulder is to the head or neck area of an opponent. Penalty: 15-yards.
  • It is an illegal hit on a defenseless receiver if the initial force of the contact by the defender's helmet, forearm, or shoulder is to the head or neck area of the receiver. Penalty: 15 yards.
  • A player who has just completed a catch is protected from blows to the head or neck by an opponent who launches.
  • All "defenseless players" are protected from blows to the head delivered by an opponent's helmet, forearm, or shoulder.
  • Kickers and punters during the kick and return, and quarterbacks after a change of possession, are protected from blows to the head delivered by an opponent's helmet, forearm, or shoulder, instead of just helmet-to-helmet contact.
  • The ball is declared dead at the spot if a runner's helmet comes completely off.

But of course with the rule changes, there comes an entirely new form of controversy and concern for the integrity of the game, particularly on the defensive end of the ball.

With NFL players getting bigger, stronger and faster each year, the league certainly isn't devoid of big hits, even with the rules changes.

And with hits like these, it's no surprise that concussions are still a common injury. Even if helmet-to-helmet hits were completely eliminated from the game, it wouldn't even cover the majority of the causes of concussions.

In fact, the trend seems to be continuing upward:

This of course could partially be due to new guidelines for when players are allowed to return to a game after a blow to the head , which would have previously gone unreported.

So that leaves improvements in equipment technology. The NFL and GE have partnered to award up to $10 million each year to companies and individuals developing the latest advances in protection from traumatic brain injury.

There are also discussions about helmet technology.

Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS) sensors are also being incorporated by many football programs, especially in the NCAA, in an effort to better detect when a serious impact to player's head has occurred. While these systems aren't currently able to be used diagnostically, funding from the NCAA and other organizations has allowed researchers to make great advancements in determining how concussions occur and the severity of these types of hits.

By now the seriousness of the concussion issue has permeated every level of football, and awareness is at an all-time high.

Hopefully through awareness, taking better precautions and preventive measures, and developing more effective technology, we will be able to curb the rate of concussions in football and allow players to remain healthy throughout the rest of their lives.

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MMAR Medical is retailer of medical equipment, including a large selection of sports braces and other injury solutions.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Treating Diabetic Neuropathy with Aqua Relief

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 26 million Americans are living with diabetes today. And with diabetes comes a whole new set of complications that patients must seriously think about when being proactive about their health. One such complication is Diabetic Neuropathy. According to the Center for Disease control it affects 60 to 70 percent of the patients diagnosed with this disease.

What is Neuropathy?

So what does Diabetic Neuropathy mean? Neuropathy is the result of damaged nerves in the peripheral nervous system (i.e. the nerves outside the brain and spinal column) which can lead to the narrowing of the arteries and subsequent poor blood circulation. The most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes, but it can also be caused by infection, metabolic disorders, exposure to dangerous toxins and traumatic injuries. The condition causes chronic pain, burning or a tingling numbness, often in the hands or feet, and it can also affect muscle movement as well as blood vessels, bladder, intestines and heart.

Beyond discomfort and pain, neuropathy also poses a danger to sensitive diabetic feet. Damage to nerves means that the body loses the ability to regulate blood pressure, which results in poor blood circulation to extremities. Poor blood circulation can also lead to swelling and dryness of the foot—making the foot more injury prone. At the same time, the lower blood flow reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrition supplied to the skin and surrounding tissue. Feet become more injury prone and yet have difficulty healing... a dangerous situation that can lead to serious ulcers and infections.

How Can You Treat Neuropathy?

For diabetics, its crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you're experiencing neuropathy. Cutting down on drinking alcohol, quitting smoking, exercising, and watching your blood sugar levels will all help you prevent further nerve damage. But what about nerves that are already damaged? Science has long known the advantage of the application of heat for treating a wide array of ailments and injuries. The physiological benefits include increasing the diameter of the arteries in the body to increase blood flow which in itself has a therapeutic effect. One of these products is the Aqua Relief System.

How can the Aqua Relief System Help?

The Aqua Relief System is one of the most popular systems for treating achy feed and hands, the primary symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and poor circulation. The following is a quick overview of how this high quality hot and cold therapy system works and it's primary features.

The Aqua Relief System is an all-natural, proven effective way to treat the pain and symptoms of neuropathy. The system can be used for both heat and cold therapy, depending on the user’s particular needs. The system pumps heated or chilled water through patented therapy pads that are applied to the affected area. The result is improved circulation, improved cellular function, and decreased pain in neuropathy situations.

The Aqua Relief System can also be applied to non-neuropathy injuries. Heat can be used to relax muscles and decrease stiffness in tendons and ligaments. Likewise, cold therapy is effective on immediate injuries as it can reduce swelling and can be useful in some chronic pain conditions. The system is most often applied to hands and feet, but can also be comfortably fit around the knees, shoulders, and ankles.

Aqua Relief System Features:

  • All-in-one heat and cold therapy system
  • Easy to use and store at home
  • Water is circulated all around the affected area, providing optimal 360°treatment
  • Provides added compression, which helps reduce pain and inflammation
  • 32° F to 120° F
  • Safety timer
  • Can be used on the hands and feet (and all other body parts)
  • Covered by Medicare and Medicare Approved

Have any questions about our hot or cold therapy systems? Please contact MMAR Medical at 1-800-662-7633 to speak to a heat and cold therapy expert today. Also check out our wide supply of quality diabetic shoes and compression therapy sock and stockings, essential products for proper diabetic foot care.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.

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, lumbar 1brace or other quality brace, please visit