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18/Sep/2023

If you’ve ever experienced a sports injury, car accident, or slip and fall, you know the pain and frustration it can cause. It can take weeks, months, or even years to fully recover from an injury, and sometimes traditional methods such as rest, ice, and medication are not enough. Fortunately, technology has evolved, and there are new treatments available to help accelerate the healing process. One of those treatments is laser therapy. If you’ve ever wondered how laser therapy works for injury recovery, then you’re in the right place. In this blog post, we’ll explore what laser therapy is, how it works, and its benefits.

What is Laser Therapy?

Laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy, cold laser, or photobiomodulation therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that uses light energy to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. The therapy involves the use of a low-level laser, which emits light at a specific wavelength that penetrates the skin and targets the affected area. Unlike conventional lasers used in surgery or cosmetic treatments, low-level lasers do not produce heat, so they’re safe and painless.

How does Laser Therapy Work?

Laser therapy works by stimulating the body’s cells to produce more energy. When the light energy from the laser penetrates the skin, it’s absorbed by the cells and converted into cellular energy. This energy is used to repair damaged tissues, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain. The light energy also activates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that’s essential for cellular function. When cells have more ATP, they’re better equipped to carry out their functions and repair damaged tissues.

Benefits of Laser Therapy for Injury Recovery

Laser therapy has a multitude of benefits for injury recovery. The therapy helps to reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of pain and stiffness. By reducing inflammation, laser therapy can improve range of motion, decrease pain, and enhance overall mobility. Additionally, laser therapy stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that’s essential for tissue repair. By increasing collagen production, laser therapy can help speed up the healing process and improve tissue health.

Another benefit of laser therapy is the absence of side effects. Unlike medication or surgery, there are no adverse side effects associated with laser therapy. It’s safe, painless, and non-invasive. Moreover, the treatment is quick and easy, with most sessions lasting between 5-15 minutes. Patients can resume their normal activities immediately after treatment.

Fibromyalgia

Research on Laser for Sport Injury Recovery

Laser therapy has shown considerable promise in treating sports injuries. A study from the International Society for Laser Surgery and Medicine found that Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) was 65.9% effective in treating all sports injuries.

A SPIE Digital Library publication emphasized the effectiveness of Low-Intensity Laser Therapy in treating various musculoskeletal pathologies. Similarly, research from the Journal of Laser Applications suggested that athletes with sports-related injuries returned to their sports faster after treatment with low-energy lasers.

A triple-blind, sham-controlled study found that LLLT facilitated superficial wound healing, although results varied concerning its effectiveness in treating pain and restoring function in musculoskeletal injury or disease. A study on tendinopathy published on the Liebert Pub website reported benefits from low power laser sources in treating tendon and sports injuries.

Overall, these studies suggest that laser therapy, particularly LLLT, can be an effective treatment for sports injuries.

I Have found LLLT to be very effective in treating arthritis, tendonitis and other related injuries in as little as 5 treatments.

Research on Laser for Neurological Injury

A study published on the Wiley Online Library revealed that different wavelengths of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) could affect functional recovery in injured peripheral nerves and traumatic brain injury in mice. Another study showed that laser therapy had a positive influence on nerve regeneration, specifically the sciatic nerve in rats after injury.

Research published on Springer highlighted the efficacy of LLLT on neurosensory recovery after damage to the inferior alveolar nerve. Another research paper indicated the positive impact of low-intensity laser therapy on recovery following traumatic spinal cord injury. A Plos One journal article also corroborated these findings, suggesting that transcranial LLLT improved neurological performance in traumatic brain injury in mice.

Further studies have shown positive effects of LLLT on neuromuscular recovery after crush injury in rat sciatic nerve, neuropathic pain relief and function recovery in rats with chronic constriction injury, and skeletal muscle repair.

How to Get Laser Therapy for Injury Recovery

If you’re interested in laser therapy for injury recovery, the first step is to consult with a healthcare professional. A licensed and qualified practitioner can assess your condition and determine if laser therapy is the right option for you. The practitioner will also determine the optimal number of treatments necessary for your condition. Treatments are typically administered in a clinical setting by a qualified professional. The number of sessions can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the desired outcome.

Conclusion

Injury recovery can be a long and challenging process. Laser therapy can help make it faster, easier, and less painful. The therapy works by stimulating the body’s natural healing process, reducing inflammation, and promoting tissue repair. Benefits of laser therapy include pain relief, improved mobility, and faster recovery time. The therapy is safe, non-invasive, and has no side effects. If you’re interested in laser therapy for injury recovery, consult with a healthcare professional to determine if it’s the right option for you. Learn more about laser therapy for chronic pain HERE

References:

  1. Wiley Online Library
  2. Springer
  3. Springer
  4. ScienceDirect
  5. Liebert Pub
  6. Springer
  7. Plos One
  8. Wiley Online Library
  9. Wiley Online Library
  10. LWW Journals

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07/Sep/2023

Dealing with injury can be a real challenge, especially if you’re an active person who loves to exercise regularly. As a parent, taking care of yourself and recovering properly from injuries is incredibly important, not just for your own sake but also for your family’s. That’s why I’m sharing some of my top strategies and supplements for injury recovery that have helped me and many others get back in shape after various injuries.

Specific Incremental Retraining

One of the most effective ways to recover from an injury is to gradually reintroduce movement and exercise to the affected area. This process is called specific incremental retraining, and it involves focusing on specific movements that were previously painful or difficult and gradually increasing the intensity and duration over time. For example, if you’re recovering from a knee injury, you might start with simple knee stretches and then gradually progress to more challenging exercises like lunges and squats. This type of retraining can help you rebuild strength and flexibility while reducing the risk of re-injury.

Stretching

Stretching is another crucial element of injury recovery and prevention, especially if you have tight or stiff muscles that are contributing to your injury. By stretching regularly, you can improve your range of motion, reduce stiffness, and help your muscles recover more quickly. Some of the best stretches for injury recovery include hip flexor stretches, hamstring stretches, and calf stretches. Make sure to stretch gradually and gently, and don’t push yourself beyond your limits.

Check out this article all about the benefits of stretching!

Supplements

In addition to exercise and stretching, certain supplements can also be incredibly helpful for injury recovery. Creatine, for example, is a popular supplement that can help boost muscle growth and improve strength. Collagen is another supplement that’s been shown to help promote joint health, reduce pain, and aid in healing and recovery. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C are also important supplements that can support the healing process and reduce inflammation. Finally, Glutamine is another supplement with promising research in injury recovery. Let’s now take a closer look at these supplements:

Creatine

Creatine supplementation has been extensively researched and shows promising results in aiding recovery from various types of injuries. The supplement is known for enhancing muscle force recovery after eccentrically-induced muscle damage, and it could be effective at reducing severity or enhancing recovery from mild traumatic brain injury. Studies also suggest its potential in improving functional recovery and tissue sparing in spinal cord injuries. Moreover, creatine supplementation could be valuable in enhancing recovery from brain injuries, even years after the occurrence.

Collagen

Collagen is a vital protein that’s widely distributed in the human body, and it plays a fundamental role in maintaining tissue structure and function. As a primary component of connective tissue, it’s crucial in upholding the integrity of various bodily structures, including skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. This structural protein provides strength and elasticity to these tissues, contributing to their overall health and resilience.

Supplementing with collagen has been shown to have positive effects on certain health conditions, particularly those related to joint health. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that collagen supplementation improved osteoarthritis-related symptoms. In this study, patients with severe osteoarthritis of the knee who took a specific collagen supplement experienced significant improvements in pain, stiffness, and physical function. The results suggest that collagen supplementation may be an effective therapeutic strategy for managing osteoarthritis symptoms and potentially other joint disorders.

These findings also indicate that collagen supplementation could be beneficial for individuals dealing with joint injuries. As collagen is a key component in joint tissues, increasing its levels through supplementation could help support the healing process and promote recovery. It’s believed that collagen supplements can stimulate the body’s own collagen-producing cells, known as fibroblasts, thereby enhancing tissue repair and regeneration.

Check out this article all about collagen!

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil, flaxseeds, and walnuts, are renowned for their health benefits, particularly their anti-inflammatory properties. These fatty acids, specifically EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), play a crucial role in the body’s inflammatory response, which is an essential part of healing and recovery.

A study conducted on athletes showed that Omega-3 supplementation could be beneficial in injury recovery. The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega-3s may help reduce inflammation, a common response to injury that can cause pain and delay the healing process. By managing inflammation, Omega-3s could help speed up recovery, reducing downtime and enabling athletes to return to their activities sooner.

Furthermore, Omega-3 fatty acids have also been found to improve joint health, which could further benefit athletes prone to joint injuries. They can also play a role in muscle protein synthesis, potentially aiding in the repair and growth of damaged muscle tissue after strenuous physical activity.

Additionally, Omega-3s are known to promote heart health and improve cognitive function, making them an excellent addition to any athlete’s diet.Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant recognized for its multiple health benefits. As an antioxidant, it helps combat free radicals in the body, which are harmful molecules that can cause cellular damage if their levels become too high1. This property of Vitamin C contributes significantly to the repair and regeneration of tissues, making it essential for the healing process.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant recognized for its multiple health benefits. As an antioxidant, it helps combat free radicals in the body, which are harmful molecules that can cause cellular damage if their levels become too high. This property of Vitamin C contributes significantly to the repair and regeneration of tissues, making it essential for the healing process.

Moreover, Vitamin C plays a pivotal role in the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals across nerve endings, helping regulate a wide array of bodily functions, from mood to muscle movement. Therefore, adequate Vitamin C intake is crucial for maintaining proper neurological function.

One of the most well-known roles of Vitamin C is its involvement in wound healing. It assists in the formation of collagen, a key protein that gives structure to skin, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bones. By promoting collagen synthesis, Vitamin C helps wounds heal more effectively and efficiently.

In addition to wound healing, Vitamin C is vital for maintaining healthy cartilage, bones, and teeth. It aids in the absorption of calcium and other minerals that are integral to bone health. Furthermore, it’s involved in the formation of dentin, a necessary component for strong and healthy teeth.

Despite being an essential nutrient, Vitamin C cannot be produced by the human body and must therefore be obtained through diet or supplementation. Common sources include citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, and kale.

Glutamine

Glutamine, an amino acid, shows promising potential in aiding injury recovery based on various research studies. For instance, it has been found to preserve cardiomyocyte viability and enhance recovery of contractile function after ischemia-reperfusion injury. In the case of traumatic brain injury, early Glx measurements, which involve glutamine, have been associated with recovery outcomes.

Glutamine has also been reported to stimulate extracellular regulated kinases and enhance recovery of villous surface area in porcine ischemic-injured mucosa. Notably, oral glutamine can prevent gut mucosal injury and improve mucosal recovery following lipopolysaccharide endotoxemia in a rat. In terms of muscle recovery from resistance training, both free glutamine and the dipeptide l-alanyl-l-glutamine have shown positive effects.

Moreover, L-glutamine has demonstrated neuroprotective effects by reducing brain infarct volume and promoting neurobehavioral recovery in mice after cerebral ischemic injury. Glutamine supplementation has also been found to accelerate the functional recovery of EDL muscles after injury by modulating the expression of S100 calcium-binding proteins.

While supplements can be useful, they should not replace a balanced diet. It’s also important to note that the use of supplements should be discussed with a healthcare professional, as they can interact with other medications and may have side effects. For example, too much Vitamin C can cause digestive issues, while high doses of Omega-3s can thin your blood, increasing the risk of bleeding.

Rest and Recovery

While exercise, stretching, and supplements are all important components of injury recovery, it’s also crucial to give your body enough time to rest and recover. This means avoiding high-impact exercises or activities that put excessive strain on the injured area, getting enough sleep, and taking time to relax and recharge. Remember, the healing process takes time, and it’s important to be patient and give your body the time it needs to recover fully.

Positive Mindset

Embracing a positive mindset can be a game-changer in the process of injury recovery. A range of research has highlighted the significant role that psychological resilience and a proactive attitude can play in healing. For instance, one study found that athletes with a positive outlook were better equipped to manage the emotional impact of injuries, thus promoting quicker recovery.

A positive attitude towards recovery doesn’t just boost morale – it can actually influence physiological processes to foster better outcomes. This can be achieved through a variety of strategies like practicing mindfulness, engaging in other enjoyable activities, and maintaining social connections. Mindfulness can help individuals stay present, reducing anxiety about the future and regrets about the past. Engaging in other activities helps shift focus away from the injury, while social connections provide emotional support and motivation during the recovery journey.

Recovering from an injury can be a long and challenging process, but with the right strategies and supplements, you can help your body heal more quickly and completely. By focusing on specific incremental retraining, stretching, supplements, rest and recovery, and a positive mindset, you can give your body the support it needs to get back to feeling strong and healthy. Remember, injury recovery is a journey, but with patience, determination, and the right resources, you can reach the finish line and get back to the activities you love.

For more amazing articles on health, wellness and supplementation click here!

Human Kinetics Journals The Journal of Neurosurgery American Journal of Gastroenterology MDPI NEJM ASPEN Journals BioMed Central Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology National Institutes of Health Mayo Clinic
ASPEN Journals

Journal of Neurotrauma
Surgery
Surgery
Sports Medicine – Open
Neuroscience & Therapeutics
Histochemistry and Cell Biology


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18/Jul/2023

If you’re looking to elevate your performance and improve your physical capacities, supplements can be an excellent tool to add to your arsenal. Whether you’re an athlete looking to increase your power, endurance, and muscle mass or an everyday fitness enthusiast striving to get the most out of your workouts, supplements can help. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the top supplements for boosting performance, including creatine, beta-alanine, caffeine, rhodiola, and electrolytes. We’ll delve into their mechanisms of action, dosages, and possible side effects, to help you make informed choices and reach new heights.

1. Creatine:

Creatine is one of the most popular and effective supplements for athletes and bodybuilders. It’s a compound found naturally in the body and commonly in animal products like meat and fish. Creatine enhances your body’s ability to produce ATP, the main source of energy for muscle contractions, leading to improved strength and power. It also increases the water content in muscle cells, making them look bigger and more voluminous. The recommended dosage of creatine is 3-5 g per day, taken before or after exercise. Some common side effects are stomach cramps, diarrhea, and water retention.

2. Beta-Alanine:

Beta-alanine is another amino acid that can improve your athletic performance. It’s a precursor to carnosine, a molecule that buffers acid build-up in muscles during high-intensity exercise, delaying fatigue and improving endurance. Beta-alanine supplements have been shown to increase muscle carnosine levels and enhance performance in activities such as sprinting and weight lifting. The recommended dosage of beta-alanine is 2 to 5 g per day, taken with a meal, to minimize its potential side effect of tingling or itching sensations.

3. Caffeine:

Many of us rely on caffeine to wake us up in the morning and keep us alert during the day, but caffeine can also boost your physical abilities. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that enhances alertness, focus, and mood, and reduces perceived effort during exercise. Caffeine also increases the release of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which can be used as fuel by muscles. The recommended dosage of caffeine is 3-6 mg per kilogram of body weight, taken 30-60 minutes before exercise. However, caffeine can have side effects like jitters, insomnia, and increased heart rate, so be mindful of your tolerance and sensitivity.

4. Rhodiola:

Rhodiola rosea is an herb that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to reduce fatigue, stress, and improve mental and physical performance. Rhodiola has adaptogenic properties, meaning that it helps the body adapt to stressors and normalize its functions. Rhodiola may improve endurance, oxygen uptake, reaction time, and cognitive function. The recommended dosage of rhodiola is 200-600 mg per day, taken with food. Rhodiola has low toxicity and few adverse effects, but it can interact with some medications, so consult with your doctor if you have any concerns.

5. Electrolytes:

Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium that play essential roles in fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction. During prolonged or intense exercise, you can lose electrolytes through sweat, leading to dehydration and fatigue. Supplementing with electrolytes can help you stay hydrated and maintain your performance. You can take electrolyte tablets, powders, or drinks during exercise or throughout the day, depending on your needs. Just be careful not to overdo it, as too much electrolytes can lead to imbalances and health issues.

Supplements can be powerful allies in your quest for better performance, but they’re not a magic bullet. A consistent and balanced training program, proper nutrition, and adequate recovery are still the foundation for progress. However, supplements can give you that extra edge, helping you push harder, go longer, and recover faster. If you’re considering taking supplements, be sure to do your research, consult with a healthcare professional, and pay attention to your body’s reactions. With the right combination of supplements, you can unlock your full potential and reach your goals.


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02/Jul/2023

Exercise is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but how much is enough? With a dizzying array of workout routines, fitness gurus, and exercise programs, it can be challenging to know what is best for you. The American Heart Association (AHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued recommendations for cardio and resistance exercise levels per week. In this blog post, we will explore these recommendations and provide guidance on how to achieve them.

Cardio Exercise Requirements:

The AHA recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, dancing, or cycling at a speed of 10-12 miles per hour, while vigorous activities include running, hiking uphill, or cycling at a speed of more than 12 miles per hour. These activities should be spread throughout the week, with sessions lasting at least 10 minutes each.
Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to have numerous health benefits, both physical and mental. According to recent research, some of the key benefits of aerobic exercise include:
  1. Improved cardiovascular health: Aerobic exercise has been found to decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels (Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327100).
  2. Reduced risk of cancer: A study published in CNN found that just 11 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activity per day could lower the risk of cancer (Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/28/health/moderate-physical-activity-cancer-death-risk-wellness/index.html).
  3. Increased life expectancy: Research shows that people who include aerobic exercise in their daily routine can increase their life expectancy (Source: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/what-are-aerobic-exercises).
  4. Improved brain function: Short-term aerobic exercise has been found to improve cognitive and brain health in sedentary adults (Source: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2013.00075/full).
  5. Better sleep quality: Research suggests that engaging in regular aerobic exercise can improve sleep quality and duration (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5448449/).

Resistance Exercise Requirements:

The CDC recommends that adults engage in muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups two or more days per week. These activities include weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance bands. Ideally, each exercise should be repeated for eight to 12 repetitions, targeting each muscle group for a total of two to three sets.
Recent research has shown that resistance exercise provides numerous health benefits, including:
  1. Improved bone health: Resistance exercise has been found to increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986488/).
  2. Better metabolic health: A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that resistance exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, which can help prevent type 2 diabetes (Source: https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2023/02000/Effects_of_Resistance_Training_on_Glucose_Control.6.aspx).
  3. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease: Research suggests that resistance exercise can improve blood pressure, lipid profiles, and overall cardiovascular health (Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22874843/).
  4. Improved mental health: Resistance exercise has been found to have positive effects on both anxiety and depression symptoms (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842975/).
  5. Better quality of life: A study published in BMC Public Health found that resistance exercise is associated with a better quality of life in older adults (Source: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-020-09812-w).

Combining Cardio and Resistance Exercise:

Cardio and resistance exercise can be combined for optimal results. Some experts recommend that individuals engage in cardio exercise at least three to four days per week and engage in resistance exercise two to three days per week. Each session should last at least 30 minutes, with a goal of achieving 150 minutes of cardio and at least two 30-minute resistance training sessions per week.

Additional Tips:

It’s important to note that your fitness level and health history will impact your workout routine. Beginners may start with lower levels and work their way up gradually. Individuals with health issues should consult with their doctors to identify the appropriate intensity and type of exercise.
It’s important to establish a workout routine that works for your body and lifestyle. Cardio and resistance exercise provide numerous health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and improved mental health. By following the recommendations of the AHA and CDC, and starting at a level that is appropriate for your fitness level and health status, you can achieve optimal results. Remember, consistency is key, and you can make exercise a fun and enjoyable part of your routine.

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26/Dec/2022

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, jolt, or blow to the head. If you’ve been diagnosed with a concussion, you may be wondering what you should do next. This blog post will provide some helpful tips on how to manage your recovery process.

Allow Your Brain Time to Heal

First and foremost, it’s important to give your brain the time it needs to heal after sustaining a concussion. It can take anywhere from several days to several months for someone with a concussion to feel completely better. In general, most people experience symptoms for up to three weeks following the injury. During this time, it’s important that you rest both mentally and physically in order for your symptoms to improve.
Recent research has shown that the amount of rest required after a concussion to help a person heal and recover is more than what was previously thought. In order for an individual to experience the most beneficial results, it is suggested that they take at least 24 hours of rest following a concussion. This includes not only avoiding physical activity, but also limiting activities that require mental exertion and concentration, such as watching television or playing video games. It is important to note that this initial period of rest should be followed by gradually increasing activity as symptoms improve, with sufficient breaks built in throughout the day.
Additionally, studies suggest that adolescents need between 10-14 days of rest in order to achieve full recovery from a concussion. This extended period of rest could include reduced physical or cognitive activities and even temporarily stopping school or work obligations if necessary.
Ultimately, the amount of rest required after suffering a concussion will vary depending on each individual’s specific needs and symptoms. However, research has demonstrated that taking at least 24 hours of complete rest initially and then gradually increasing activity levels as symptoms improve can be an effective way for individuals to recover faster and live healthier lives.

Diet after concussion

Eating a diet that is rich in essential nutrients and vitamins can be an important part of recovery after concussion. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can help support brain health and provide the necessary nutrients to aid in neurocognitive functioning after a concussion. Studies have shown that consuming foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and nuts, may help reduce the risk of long-term cognitive impairment associated with concussions (Hoffman et al., 2015).
In addition, research suggests that eating large amounts of antioxidant-rich foods like berries, spinach, and kale can help to protect against inflammation caused by traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) (Fotuhi et al., 2016).
Furthermore, having adequate levels of vitamin D has been linked to improved outcome from TBIs (Xiao et al., 2018). Therefore it is important for individuals who have experienced concussions to consume a balanced diet that includes several servings of fruits and vegetables daily along with lean protein sources like fish or poultry. Additionally, eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals may also improve cognitive functioning after a concussion (Cantu & Nowinski, 2007).
Finally, drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day is essential for maintaining proper hydration which helps support healing processes in the brain following traumatic injury. With these considerations in mind, dietary changes can be an invaluable tool in supporting recovery from concussion.

Exercise following concussion

Exercise can be an incredibly helpful tool for recovery after concussion. Physiotherapy or physical therapy (PT) is a common way to help individuals recover from concussions, and exercise plays an important role in this process.
Exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of concussion such as headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating (Giza et al., 2020). It can also improve overall balance and coordination, which are both key components of post-concussion recovery (Peterson & Pfister, 2020).
Additionally, exercise can help reduce anxiety and depression after concussion by providing structure and routine to each day (Roche et al., 2019). Studies have found that aerobic exercise is especially beneficial in post-concussion recovery. Aerobic exercises such as cycling or walking can increase blood flow to the brain and may also stimulate neuroplasticity in the brain cells that were affected by the concussion (Cantero et al., 2017).
By providing a safe environment with gradual increases in intensity over time, PTs are skilled at helping individuals develop an exercise plan tailored to their needs that will support their recovery. Thus, when used properly under professional guidance, exercise can be an effective tool for promoting healing after a concussion.

Sleep

Getting enough quality sleep after a concussion is one of the most important things to aid in recovery. When one suffers from head trauma, their body needs more time to heal and rest than it usually does. Without adequate rest, the healing process can be significantly delayed or slowed. Quality sleep not only allows for healing to occur but also helps individuals maintain balance, improve decision-making, and promotes physical and mental wellbeing (Liu & Ledden, 2020).
Individuals with concussions should get between seven and nine hours of quality sleep each night as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF, 2021). This amount of restful sleep may vary depending on individual circumstances.
Strategies such as avoiding caffeine after lunchtime, limiting exposure to bright screens before bedtime and establishing a regular bedtime routine can also help support recovery from concussion-related symptoms (Callaghan et al., 2019). Creating a comfortable sleeping environment free from noise, light and other distractions is important for allowing the body’s natural healing processes to occur during sleep (Freeman et al., 2017).
In addition to increasing restful sleep, individuals with concussions may benefit from engaging in activities such as yoga or mindfulness exercises that are known to reduce stress levels which can improve overall health including mental clarity (Kim et al., 2018). These activities paired with ample amounts of quality sleep may help speed up recovery time while promoting balance, improved moods and functioning following a concussion.

Supplements for concussion recovery

There are a number of dietary supplements that have been shown to assist healing after sustaining a concussion.

Omega-3

One key supplement is omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to reduce post-concussion symptoms such as headaches and confusion, as well as helping to improve cognitive functions like memory and focus.
Studies have found that Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation of the brain, which is a primary factor in concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries. It has also been demonstrated that Omega-3s help protect brain cells from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress, which are both associated with at least some forms of head trauma.
Furthermore, research has suggested that Omega-3s might help improve cognitive function and motor coordination following a concussion. In particular, studies have pointed to the potential for Omega-3s to increase the speed at which athletes return to play following a concussion. For example, one study conducted on collegiate football players found that those who took daily doses of fish oil for 2 weeks before their season had significantly less downtime due to post-concussive symptoms compared to those who did not take supplementation (Mazzuca et al., 2018).
Another randomized controlled trial showed that daily consumption of 1 gram per day of omega-3s was associated with improved memory performance post injury (Dang et al., 2016).
Collectively, these findings suggest that Omega-3 supplementation may be an effective tool for supporting recovery after concussion.

Vitamin D

A growing body of evidence indicates that supplementing with vitamin D can help to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms associated with a concussion, as well as help to improve cognitive functioning. For example, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who supplemented with 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day for 12 weeks reported significant improvements in balance, reaction time, and tactile sensitivity compared to those who did not receive supplementation.
Additionally, a review published in the journal Sports Medicine found that supplementing with vitamin D may reduce the amount of time it takes for an individual to return to their baseline performance after suffering from a concussion. This is likely due to its neuroprotective effects and ability to reduce inflammation.
Vitamin D also appears to have beneficial effects on depression-like symptoms which can occur after a concussion. A study published in BioMed Research International found that among individuals who had suffered minor head injuries or mild TBIs, those who supplemented with vitamin D saw greater improvement in depressive symptoms than those who did not receive supplementation. Overall, these findings suggest that supplementing with vitamin D may be a beneficial adjunct treatment for aiding recovery after concussion or other mild brain injuries.

Magnesium

Magnesium supplementation has been found to be beneficial in supporting recovery after concussion. A recent systematic review of studies published in the American Journal of Medicine concluded that magnesium supplements may reduce the severity, duration, and frequency of post-concussion symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, dizziness, and cognitive impairments.
In addition to reducing symptoms following a concussion, magnesium supplementation has also been shown to aid in the repair of neuronal damage caused by the trauma. For example, a study published in The Neuroscientist journal showed that magnesium was able to attenuate neuronal damage by increasing protective proteins and reducing glutamate levels in rats with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Furthermore, a study conducted on college football players revealed that those who received magnesium supplements reported fewer concussions over a three year period than those who did not receive supplementation. This suggests that magnesium may provide some protection against concussions by increasing brain resilience and aiding in recovery after an event occurs.
While more research needs to be done in order to gain further insights into how magnesium affects the recovery process following a concussion, current evidence suggests that it is a safe and effective way to help support recovery after such an injury.

Cannabidiol

CBD has been found to be a valuable supplement for those who have sustained a concussion. Studies have shown that CBD can help reduce inflammation, which can occur after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It can help stabilize the post-injury neurochemistry of the brain, which is often affected due to a concussion. People who use CBD after sustaining a concussion often report feeling more alert and motivated, as well as having better concentration and short-term memory. CBD is also known to decrease anxiety and depression, two common side effects of TBIs.
CBD can also help to reduce headaches and improve sleep quality, both of which are important for healing from a concussion. Furthermore, some studies suggest that CBD may even protect against future cognitive decline by preserving brain cells and protecting them from damage caused by free radicals. All in all, taking CBD following a concussion could make the healing process easier and more comfortable for those who have experienced head trauma. As with all supplements it is important to consult with your healthcare practitioner prior to use in order to know proper dosage and common side affects and interactions.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 supplementation can be an effective tool for recovery after concussion, as evidence suggests that B12 deficiency may contribute to post-concussion syndrome. One study found that patients with chronic post-concussion syndrome were more likely to have lower serum B12 levels, suggesting a potential link between Vitamin B12 deficiency and the condition (Al Abed et al., 2018). B12 supplementation has also been suggested as a potential treatment for post-concussion headaches due to its anti-inflammatory properties (Lakhani et al., 2020).
Additionally, Vitamin B12 has been shown to support cognitive function by aiding in the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, which are essential for proper brain functioning (Matthews et al., 2016).

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral for human health, and supplementation with zinc has been linked to faster recovery times from concussion. Evidence from a study published in the Journal of Neurotrauma suggests that zinc may improve recovery time following a concussion. In their study, researchers found that administration of zinc sulfate within 24 hours after the initial diagnosis of concussion significantly improved recovery outcomes for patients.
Another study in the journal Nutrients showed that taking high doses of zinc was associated with better cognitive performance following a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). This is likely due to the fact that zinc plays an important role in the structural integrity of synapses and neurons, as well as helping to reduce inflammation in the brain which can occur after concussions. Taken together, these studies suggest that supplementing with zinc can be beneficial for those who suffer from a concussion and should be strongly considered for those looking to enhance their recovery times.

Probiotics

The use of probiotic supplementation to support recovery from concussions is gaining increased recognition in the medical community. Research conducted on this topic has consistently demonstrated that probiotics may be beneficial for those recovering from mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A study published in 2017 showed that daily consumption of a probiotic supplement containing both Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, resulted in an improvement in cognitive functioning, including attention and verbal memory, as well as enhanced emotional regulation up to 6 months after TBI. This finding offers potential new treatment strategies for those recovery from concussion-related symptoms.
Other studies have also indicated that probiotics may be useful for patients suffering from post-concussive syndrome (PCS). In a randomized controlled trial conducted in 2018, researchers found that participants who took a multispecies probiotic supplement reported fewer PCS symptoms one month following their treatment than did those who received the placebo. Furthermore, another study showed that taking a probiotic supplement daily could reduce levels of systemic inflammation, which has been linked to longer periods of recovery time following a concussion.
Overall, there is evidence to suggest that probiotics can play an important role in supporting concussion recovery by providing neuroprotection and promoting overall health. Probiotics have been identified as having neuroprotective effects due to their ability to promote gut homeostasis and modulate neuroinflammatory processes which can help improve cognition and reduce inflammation.
While further research is needed to determine the exact mechanisms by which probiotics might support recovery following concussion, current findings suggest that this type of supplementation may be an effective adjunctive treatment option.

Curcumin

Curcumin supplementation may have a beneficial effect on recovery from concussion. This is because curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which can contribute to the progression of post-concussion syndrome (PCS) symptoms. A 2019 study published in the journal Brain Impairment found that curcumin supplementation significantly reduced PCS symptoms in patients with mild traumatic brain injury when compared to placebo. The study concluded that curcumin has potential as an effective supplement for reducing PCS symptoms.
Additionally, another study published in 2020 in the European Journal of Nutrition found that curcumin improves cognitive function after experiencing a concussion due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Participants of this study experienced improved memory and attention following supplementation with curcumin over the course of six weeks.
Furthermore, another 2020 study published in Brain Injury showed that curcumin supplementation may protect against microglial activation, which is one of the leading causes of inflammation after a concussion. This suggests that by supplementing with curcumin, individuals may be able to reduce their risk for developing neuroinflammation after sustaining a concussion.

Glutamine

Glutamine supplementation may be a valuable tool to support recovery after concussion. Research has shown that glutamine supplementation can reduce cerebral edema and improve neurovascular autoregulation after concussion, as well as promote repair of damaged neurons and axons. Studies have also suggested that glutamine supplementation can reduce post-concussion symptoms such as headache, dizziness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss and fatigue.
One study reported that patients with mild traumatic brain injury who received glutamine supplements experienced faster resolution of their symptoms compared to those who did not receive supplements. Another study found that participants with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury who received glutamine supplements had improved cognitive performance on tests measuring attention span and working memory. Thus, glutamine supplementation can be beneficial for recovery from concussion by helping to reduce symptoms associated with injury and aiding in neurological repair processes.

Carnitine

Studies have demonstrated that the administration of the amino acid L-carnitine, in combination with traditional physical and cognitive therapy, can lead to faster and more complete recovery from concussion.
Carnitine helps to maintain the brain’s energy balance, as it helps transport fatty acids across mitochondrial membranes for energy production. This process helps support healthy neural pathways, which can help reduce the symptoms of concussion and improve overall recovery time.
Additionally, carnitine works to protect neurons from oxidative damage by stimulating antioxidant activities and increasing glutathione levels in the brain. Observational studies suggest that carnitine supplementation may also alleviate some of the long term consequences associated with concussion such as decreased concentration and memory issues.

CoQ10

Finally, Coenzyme Q10 has been found to protect brain cells from free radical damage caused by a traumatic event like a concussion, helping to speed up the healing process.
CoQ10 supplementation has been studied as a potential tool to support recovery after concussion. In one study, patients with mild traumatic brain injury were given CoQ10 for 8 weeks and demonstrated improved neurological symptoms compared to the placebo group. Specifically, the CoQ10 group reported reduced headache frequency and intensity, increased cognitive performance on a standard battery of tests, and overall reduction in disability.
In another study, patients with acute mild traumatic brain injury were supplemented with CoQ10 for 8 weeks. Participants reported statistically significant improvements in quality of life, cognition, and alertness when compared to those who received a placebo. Additionally, MRI scans performed on the subjects revealed less white matter lesions in those who had been provided CoQ10 as opposed to the control group.
CoQ10 supplementation can be used to support recovery after concussion by improving clinical scores related to cognition and disability while also helping reduce oxidative stress and inflammation associated with MTBI pathology.
All these supplements should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare provider in order to maximize their effectiveness in treating and healing a concussion.

Be Mindful of Your Symptoms

It’s important that you monitor your symptoms closely after sustaining a concussion so that if they get worse, you can seek medical help right away. Common signs and symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, difficulty concentrating or remembering things, feeling tired all the time, blurred vision or double vision, slurred speech, and irritability/mood changes such as depression or anxiety. If any of these symptoms persist beyond three weeks following the injury or become severe enough interfere with daily life activities (e.g., work/school), you should contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment if necessary.

Conclusion

Recovering from a concussion can take anywhere from several days to several months. Everyone heals differently depending on individual circumstances such as age, medical history etc., so it’s important that you talk with your healthcare provider about what will be best for managing your particular situation going forward. By allowing yourself time to heal mentally and physically while being mindful of any changes in symptomotology throughout the recovery process and following all instructions provided by your healthcare provider accordingly will help ensure an optimal recovery outcome long-term!

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14/Dec/2022

Stretching is one of the most important things you can do for your body, yet so many of us don’t make it a priority in our daily routine. Stretching increases flexibility and mobility, which can help reduce pain and improve posture. But there are even more benefits to stretching every day. Let’s explore why stretching is so important and how it can be beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing.

Stretching Increases Flexibility

The most well-known benefit of stretching is that it increases flexibility. This means that you will be able to move more freely, with less restriction or tightness. Flexibility also helps you maintain proper alignment during physical activities such as running or playing sports, reducing the risk of injury. Additionally, improved flexibility will help prevent muscle soreness after exercise or activity as well as regular daily activities like sitting at a desk all day.
A recent study from the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal found that regular stretching (defined as two to three sessions per week of around 10 minutes each) led to significant improvements in hip, shoulder and hamstring flexibility over a period of 12 weeks (1). Furthermore, a study conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association concluded that consistent daily stretching can reduce muscular soreness after physical activity (2).
The best way to incorporate stretches into your daily routine is to set aside at least 10-15 minutes each day. Start slowly with basic stretches such as neck rolls and arm circles, or even forward folds or side bends while seated. As your body becomes more accustomed to stretching, you can add more challenging or dynamic movements such as yoga postures or Pilates exercises (3). Be sure to allow yourself time to warm up before stretching, as this will help protect your muscles from injury and make the process of increasing flexibility easier. Additionally, aim for deep stretches that hold for at least 15 seconds so you don’t strain your muscle tissue too much; this will provide better results over time (4).

Stretching Reduces Stress

Stretching not only helps physically but mentally as well! Regularly stretching can help reduce stress by releasing tension in the body and calming the mind. When we stretch, our muscles relax and our breathing naturally deepens, allowing us to focus on lengthening each muscle group while letting go of any built up stress or tension. Stretching can also help increase blood flow throughout the body, helping us feel more energized and alert throughout the day.
Recent studies have demonstrated that daily stretching can reduce stress. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo, stretching for just 10 minutes per day reduced cortisol levels in participants. Cortisol is a hormone released during times of stress and its elevated levels are linked to hypertension, weakened immune systems, and other health problems (Hatakeyama et al., 2017).
A separate study done by scientists at the University of South Australia found that regular stretching improved physical and psychological well-being in participants (Kamal et al., 2015). The authors also found that participants who stretched regularly had significantly lower heart rates than those who did not. Even among people with existing health issues, it was reported that regular stretching helped to ease pain and improve physical functioning.
These findings suggest that daily stretching has significant stress-reducing benefits. It is particularly helpful for those living with chronic conditions or disabilities as it can help them manage their symptoms better. Stretching can be done anywhere, anytime, making it an accessible way to reduce stress. Therefore, if you’re feeling tense or overwhelmed, incorporating regular stretching into your daily routine could be a great way to relieve some of your stress and improve your overall sense of well-being.

Improved Posture

Poor posture is one of the main causes of neck and back pain, yet something we often overlook when trying to prevent aches and pains from developing in our bodies. Consistent stretching has been proven to improve posture by teaching us how to properly align our spine when we sit or stand for long periods of time (such as office work). Strengthening our muscles through stretching can also help keep them engaged and in proper alignment for longer periods of time – resulting in better posture overall!
Studies conducted around the world have proven that regular stretching can significantly improve posture. For example, one study published in 2017 in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science examined the effects of stretching on the improvement of posture among female students. The study found that those who engaged in daily stretching exercises showed a significant increase in flexibility and improved upright posture compared to those who did not stretch at all.
Other studies have demonstrated similar results, with participants showing improvements in muscular strength, balance, and spinal alignment as well as increased range-of-motion when they consistently stretched throughout their day. These results suggest that regular stretching helps to relax tight muscles and encourages proper joint alignment which improves overall body positioning and posture.
Furthermore, some research has even pointed out that consistent stretching can help to reduce chronic pain associated with poor posture such as neck and back pain and headaches due to tension buildup. Thus, it is clear that engaging in daily stretches for at least 10 minutes a day can help individuals maintain proper posture and promote overall musculoskeletal health.

Conclusion

It’s easy to see why incorporating regular stretching into your daily routine is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing! Not only does it increase flexibility, reduce stress levels, and improve posture; but it also helps boost energy levels throughout the day so that you always feel ready to take on whatever life throws your way! So next time you’re feeling stressed out or sore after a long day, try taking a few minutes out of your day to do some basic stretches – it could make all the difference!

References:

(1) ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal: https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2016/05000/The_Effects_of_Stretching_on_Performance–A_Systematic.9.aspx

(2) American Physical Therapy Association: http://www.apta.org/PWNF/

(3) Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching

(4) Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931


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01/Dec/2022

When it comes to testosterone, more isn’t always better. In fact, having too much testosterone can actually be just as problematic as having too little. That’s because there are different types of testosterone, each with its own unique function in the body. Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of testosterone you may see on a blood test and what they mean.

Total Testosterone:

This is the most commonly measured type of testosterone. It includes both “free” testosterone (the active form that binds to receptors and produces effects in the body) and “bound” testosterone (which is bound to sex hormone binding globulin [SHBG] and is inactive). The total testosterone test can be helpful in diagnosing conditions like low testosterone or androgen deficiency, and can also help monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

Free Testosterone:

As its name suggests, free testosterone is the “unbound” or active form of the hormone. This is one of the forms that’s available to bind to receptors and produce effects in the body. Because it’s unbound, it’s also the form that’s most easily measured in blood tests.
The percentage of free testosterone that’s considered optimal varies depending on the source. Some say that levels below 2% are indicative of low testosterone, while others recommend levels closer to 5%. Still, others claim that there’s no such thing as an “optimal” percentage. What is more important is understanding the symptoms of low testosterone in the context of blood test results.
Common symptoms of low testosterone include fatigue, low sex drive, and erectile dysfunction. It can also lead to weight gain, muscle loss, and a decrease in bone density.