STAYING HEALTHY OUTDOORS
By John Gallucci Jr.
SPRING IS UPON us. This is
when our green thumbs come
out and we begin our gardening
routines. But take care:
Gardening can also take a physical toll, thanks to the bending,
lifting, kneeling, raking and digging.
Gardening chores put many different muscles
and joints into movement. The larger muscle groups
of the legs, arms and back are utilized during these
chores. Over the next few months it is important to
begin a simple stretching routine for these muscle
groups. As with any exercise routine, you should
warm up before stretching [exercises could include
jump rope, squat jumps or jumping jacks]. I recommend that your warm-up be enough to break a sweat
before stretching and progressing into your activity
of choice. By maintaining good flexibility, you will
see much less incidence of muscle strains and prolonged stiffness or pain. Stretches should be held for
10 to 15 seconds before activity and for 20 to 30 seconds after activity.
It is also important not to do too much too soon.
Many folks sit at their desks all week, then try to
clean up the yard, till and plant, all in one day. If that
describes you, you should try instead to break up
gardening into segments with rest periods in
between so you do not become fatigued and ultimately injure yourself.
You must also remember to hydrate appropriately. Dehydration can cause muscle fatigue and
cramps, which can lead to more dangerous health
issues. I recommend drinking at least six 8-ounce
glasses of water per day, and drinking at least six
ounces of water every 20 to 30 minutes during activity. You will have more energy and be able to garden
longer without fatigue or injury.
Finally, when you tackle a project, make sure
you are using the right-size tool in the appropriate
manner, such as standing on a ladder while pruning,
using a shovel for pushing instead of digging or utilizing a rake for leaves instead of for tilling. All too
often, I see patients who have injured themselves by
using the wrong equipment. C
John Gallucci Jr. is the medical coordinator for
Major League Soccer in addition to owning and
operating JAG Physical Therapy’s six outpatient
physical therapy facilities.
IN TODAY’S WORLD, says Costco
member and Harvard physician
Dr. Leana Wen, author of When
Doctors Don’t Listen (Thomas
Dunne Books, 2013), when
patients go to the doctor, what
they get are tests to rule out problems, and patients often end up
learning only what they don’t have,
as opposed to an actual diagnosis
of what they do have.
As a result of how our healthcare system has evolved, says
Wen, medicine has morphed from
thoughtful engagement between
doctors and patients to cookbook
or cookie-cutter medicine that
regards all individuals as alike,
which can lead to patients being
mis- or undiagnosed, left with
huge bills, and suffering the side
effects of unnecessary tests and
months, sometimes years, of
uncertainty and angst.
Inspired by her mother’s long
“BRAIN INJURIES do not
discriminate” is the message emphasized by the
Brain Injury Association of
America in its 2013 awareness campaign.
Facts tell the story.
■ 1. 7 million people,
including 475,000 children,
sustain a traumatic brain
injury (TBI) in the U.S. each
year. Of those individuals,
52,000 will die, 275,000 will
be hospitalized and 1. 3 million will be treated and
released from an emergency room.
■ 3. 1 million people
live with lifelong disability
as a result of TBI.
■ TBI contributes to a
third of all injury-related
deaths in the U.S. each year.
■ Causes of TBI include falls ( 35 percent), car
crashes ( 17 percent), work-place accidents ( 16 percent)
and assaults ( 10 percent).
■ The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention estimate that TBI costs
the U.S. $76.3 billion each
year in direct medical costs
and indirect costs such as
No two brain injuries
are alike, and TBI is not an
isolated event. For many,
it is the start of a lifelong
neurological disability, often
misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Immediate access
to expert trauma care, specialized rehabilitation and
lifelong disease management are a few of the elements needed to restore
and maintain quality of life.
To learn more about
TBI and how you can help,
battle with cancer, Wen is passionate about guiding patients to
advocate for better care by doing
one very simple thing: asking
for a diagnosis when they go to
see their doctor. Her book’s tips
include the 8 Pillars to Better Diagnosis so patients can help their
doctors reach the right diagnosis:
1. Tell your whole story.
Even if your doctor is steering you
away from a narrative and toward
the cookbook world of “chief complaints,” tell your whole story.
2. Assert yourself in the
doctor’s thought process. Find out
what your doctor is thinking as he
or she is listening to your history.
3. Participate in your physical exam. As your doctor is examining you, ask what he or she is
4. Make the differential
Keep asking what else
could be going on. Evaluate with your doctor the
likelihood of each possible
5. Partner for the decision-making process. Partner with your
doctor to devise a plan for narrowing down possible diagnoses.
6. Apply tests rationally.
Do not just consent to tests;
u what your doctor is thinking as he or she is listening to your history. t cal exam. As your doctor is exam- ining you, ask what he or she is o diagnosis together. s ate with your doctor the likelihood of each possible
5. Partner for the decision- making process. Partner with yourowing down possible diagnoses. owing down possible diagnoses.
6. Apply tests rationally. s
ensure that your doctor explains
why each test should be done.
© ZOONARHITTOON / AGE FOTOSTOCK
MARCH 2013 ;e Costco Connection 61