By John Gallucci Jr.
THE WINTER months
can be brutal, but don’t
worry: Spring is in the
air. You are no doubt getting ready for some great
outdoor activity after
being cooped up inside
for the last three months.
First things first: cleaning
up the yard and getting the outdoor furniture
out of the attic or garage so you can begin to
enjoy the nice weather. But before you begin,
remember to be safe, as it is very common to
injure yourself with simple household chores.
As a physical therapist, I treat people for
numerous spring cleanup injuries every year,
including problems from slips and falls due to
poor footwear, sprained ankles from stepping
on a hose, shoulder and forearm injuries from
painting and cleaning, and, of course, lower
back injuries from lifting and rotating.
Take a step back and slow down—you
don’t have to get everything done in one day.
Usually, muscle strains happen because the
muscle has been overworked by doing too
much too soon. Separate your chores to be
performed over several days, and allow proper
rest if you start to experience pain or soreness.
Back pain is usually caused by poor body
mechanics and repetitive rotation; therefore, it
is important to always use your legs when lift-
ing and to keep items you are carrying close to
your body in order to keep a strong center of
balance. Many back injuries can be prevented
if you continually move throughout your life,
as good flexibility and strong legs and core
help to decrease lower back injuries.
To help avoid a sprained ankle due to
stepping on uneven surfaces or unwound
hoses, always make sure your work area is
clean and free of obstacles or hazards. The
majority of accidents happen around the
house, so please be safe. As for shoulder and
forearm injuries, many people get hurt due to
repetitive, continuous overhead motions
while cleaning and painting. Before perform-
ing any long, tedious activities, it is important
to warm up and stretch first. Also, try not to
work for long periods of time; take frequent
breaks to give your body the rest it needs to
recover and move on to the next task.
Please use these tips to enjoy the warm
weather outside and stay out of the emergency room. Have a great spring! C
John Gallucci Jr. is president of JAG Physical
Therapy & JAG Pediatric Therapy and medical
coordinator for Major League Soccer.
Spring injury prevention
The Costco Connection
In addition to carrying spring-cleaning supplies, Costco warehouses and Costco.com
offer a variety of over-the-counter pain
medications, hot and cold packs and first-aid
kits, as well as prescription medications at
for your health
THE SOURCE OF a U.S. measles outbreak
has been traced to Disneyland visitors in
Anaheim, California, during the third
week of December.
Measles is an extremely contagious
virus that is spread by coughing and sneez-
ing, with the virus living up to two hours
on a surface or in an airspace where the
infected person coughed or sneezed,
according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC). At press
time, more than 155 measles cases can be
tracked from the current outbreak, having
spread to 16 states and Mexico.
How can that happen, since measles
was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000?
It’s because the measles virus travels here
from countries where it is still a common
disease, brought by unvaccinated Americans
returning home after being infected, or by
unvaccinated foreign visitors who arrive
here already infected with the virus, according to the CDC.
Between 2000 and 2013, the incidence
of measles in the U.S. ranged from 37 to
220 cases per year.
Symptoms of measles
Watch for these signs:
• High fever
• Runny nose
• Red, watery eyes
• Rash of tiny red spots that appears
two or three days after other symptoms,
beginning on the head at the hairline or
behind ears, then spreading down the body.
The disease is highly contagious, even
before the appearance of the rash. There is
no treatment to get rid of an established
measles infection, but fever reducers, rest
and increased fluid intake will provide
The CDC: Get vaccinated
A successful vaccination program—
measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine—
began in the U.S. in 1963. Prior to that, as
many as 4 million Americans got measles
each year, with as many as 500 deaths,
48,000 hospitalizations and about 4,000
related cases of encephalitis, a potential
cause of deafness, blindness, mental deterioration and death.
The CDC recommends all children get
two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with
the first dose at 12 through 15 months of
age, and the second dose at 4 through 6
years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28
days after the first dose.
Infants younger than 12 months
should not have any exposure to unvaccinated adults or children.
Students at post-high school educational institutions who do not have evidence of immunity against measles need
two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at
least 28 days.
Adults who do not have evidence of
immunity against measles should get at
least one dose of MMR vaccine.
Everyone 6 months of age or older who
will be traveling internationally should be
protected against measles.—David Wight
The Costco Connection
All Costco pharmacists are certified to
provide vaccination and immunization
services, but not all pharmacies can offer
all vaccines. Call ahead to determine avail-
ability of vaccines and age requirements
(varies by state). Fever reducers are also
available at warehouses and Costco.com.
John Gallucci Jr.