Category Archives for "emergency"

How to Prepare for a Competition Abroad

Preparing for a competition in another country takes weeks in advance to properly adapt the body to new environmental conditions. There are a number of aspects to consider when travelling abroad such as the climate, elevation, pollution, accommodations, food, water, vaccinations, and emergency plans.

Jet Lag

Jet lag is when the body cannot adapt rapidly enough to a time zone change. This results in fatigue, poor sleep and performance. There are a multiple factors affecting jet lag such as the number and direction of time zones crossed, age, individual health, dehydration, stress, alcohol, and excessive food intake. It is estimated to take approximately one day per time zone crossed to re-synchronize the body. It is recommended to spend time outdoors once you arrive at destination to help adjust the sleep/wake schedule. To prevent jet lag, slowly adjust your sleep schedule a few days before travel and maintain adequate levels of hydration and nutrition.

Nutrition

Travelling in another country entails eating a wide variety of exotic foods. Avoid risk of food contamination by avoiding tap water with ice, peeled fruits, shellfish, and buffet style meals. Bring a water filter or water purification tablets. It is recommended to eat foods that are similar to the foods you would eat at home. Scout potential restaurants nearby and determine what to items to pack if necessary.

Avoid high-fiber foods before competition and limit fat as well as protein intake prior to activity. Consume carbohydrates such as bread, rice, or pasta prior to competition. Eat a large meal at least 3 to 4 hours before the competition to allow for adequate digestion. A small snack will take approximately 1 hour to be properly digested.

Emergency Plan

Ensure the coaching staff, medical aids, and/or you yourself are familiar with the medical personnel at the facilities as well as the ambulance and emergency procedures. Apply for the appropriate travel insurance. Remember to pack any required medications and a small first-aid kit. For any acute sprains, immediately rest, apply ice, compress, and elevate the injured part. This is known as the R.I.C.E. method.

Climate

For colder environments, wear layers of clothing with the innermost layer being made out of lightweight polyester or polypropylene, the middle layer made out of polyester fleece or wool, and the outer layer as protection from the wind or rain. Use clothing vents and adjust insulation to reduce sweat accumulation. Only wear the outer layer if it is windy or rainy.

For warmer environments, wear breathable, lightweight materials and protect yourself from the sun with proper coverage by wearing a hat, sunglasses, long sleeves or a thin jacket. Bring sunscreen and proper footwear.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Responding to a Cervical Spinal Cord Injury


A catastrophic cervical spinal cord injury occurs with structural distortion of the cervical spinal column due to actual or potential damage to the spinal cord. Damage above the C5 vertebrae in the spinal column results in the greatest risk of immediate sudden death for an athlete. Above this level, damage may impair the spinal cord’s ability to transmit respiratory or circulatory control from the brain. Effective acute care is critical in preventing permanent dysfunction or death in an athlete as a biochemical cascade of events can occur during the initial 24 to 72 hours post-injury.

Any of the following symptoms warrants the initiation of a spinal cord injury management protocol:

– unconsciousness or altered level of consciousness

– bilateral neurologic complaints

– significant midline spine pain

– obvious spinal column deformity

Treatment:

When treating a cervical spinal injury, stabilize the spine in a neutral position immediately. Avoid applying traction to the cervical spine to create as little motion as possible. After manual stabilization of the spine, immobilizers such as foam blocks or straps may be used. If rescue breathing becomes necessary, the person with the most training and experience should establish an airway using the safest technique. 

If the athlete is in a position that prevents treatment of the airway, slowly realign the cervical spine. However, stop movement if the athlete experiences increased pain, neurologic symptoms, or muscle spasms. Prepare for transport to the nearest hospital.  The team physician or athletic trainer should accompany the athlete to help guide equipment removal.
If possible, remove equipment to clear access to the airway. Remove helmet and shoulder pads if necessary.

Prevention:

1) Use appropriate technique when tackling or engaging in contact (keep your head up)
2) Medical personnel should be able to recognize and respond promptly to cervical spinal injuries
3) Ensure equipment hardware is not rusted and is repeatedly inspected for maintenance
Athlete may return to play only after full tissue healing, neurologic recovery, and medical clearance from a physician.

Watch Iyad, physiotherapist at InSync, demonstrate how to mobilize a stiff neck with a quick and easy exercise:

Casa, Douglas J., et al. “National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Preventing Sudden Death in Sports.” Journal of Athletic Training, vol. 47, no. 1, 2012, pp. 96–118., doi:10.4085/1062-6050-47.1.96.
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Catastrophic traumatic brain injuries, including hematomas and cerebral edema, are the second most common cause of fatalities in football players and can occur in many other contact sports. When there is severe contact with the head, the brain swells and blood pools to increase the intracranial pressure. If treatment is delayed, displacement of the brainstem, known as a herniation, or respiratory arrest can occur. 

Types of Brain Injuries:

Diffuse cerebral edema, or second impact syndrome, primarily occurs in children when the athlete suffering post-concussive symptoms following a head injury returns to play and sustains a second head injury.
Skull fractures, although not always visible, can arise from a head impact. Skull fractures can cause swelling and tenderness, bruising around the face, and bleeding from the nose or ears. All skull fractures should be treated by a physician.
Intracranial hemorrhage is a pathological accumulation of blood within the skull activity and occur in different regions of the brain. An epidural hematoma occurs when the middle meningeal artery, located by the ear, ruptures due to a direct blow to the head. Blood then pools between the skull and the dura mater, a protective membrane that envelops the brain. The onset of symptoms are rapid and emerge within a few hours. The athlete may initially have a period of lucidity, but a decline in functioning is seen 2-3 hours later. 

Another type of hematoma known as a subdural hematoma is more commonly seen in adults over 45 years old and is associated with a tear in the bridging veins of the brain due to serious head trauma. Symptoms may include nausea, headache, or vomiting.  

Common Symptoms:

Common symptoms include: visible wounds, fractures, swelling, facial bruising, altered state of consciousness,  bleeding, stiff neck

Treatment and Prevention:

If any traumatic brain injury is suspected, then treat as a medical emergency and call 911. Refer the athlete for a CT or MRI scan to confirm bleeding.

Helmets are key in preventing catastrophic head injuries and reducing the severity of concussions. Athletes and coaching staff should be educated on the risks and symptoms of concussions or the head injuries discussed above. Proper technique in contact sports may significantly reduce the occurrence of head injuries.

Watch the video below on how to mobilize a stiff neck:

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.