If you’ve ever tried to define sprains and strains but can’t quite identify the difference between the two, you’re not alone. These two terms are often used interchangeably to describe overstretching or tearing of soft tissues in and around your ankles. There is a key difference, however, and knowing what that is can help you differentiate between ankle sprains and strains.
An ankle sprain involves a stretching or tearing of the ligaments connecting the bones in the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Ankle sprains are a very common injury among athletes and active individuals. These sprains can sometimes be prevented by performing targeted exercises to help strengthen the muscles surrounding your ankles, providing protection for those ligaments.
Alternatively, an ankle strain occurs due to overstretching of the muscles surrounding the ankle joint. Symptoms of an ankle strain include pain and swelling. To help prevent ankle strains from occurring, conducting stretching exercises before participating in sports or other activities is always a good idea. Another preventative measure is to avoid overdoing it, as many muscle strains occur when you are fatigued and worn down.
Anyone at any point can experience a sprain or strain, but certain risk factors increase your odds for overstretching a joint. Factors contributing to sprains or strains include:
Treatments for Ankle Sprains and Ankle Strains
Ankle sprains are most often treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (also known as R.I.C.E.). Sometimes, a severe sprain in the ankle may require that the patient wear a walking boot for ankle support.
An ankle strain can generally be treated at home. Resting for several days will help to limit pain and prevent further damage. You can also alternate between icing and heating the ankle to loosen up the muscle. Other treatment options include anti-inflammatory medications, which will reduce pain as well as swelling.
Severe strains and sprains may need more time to heal. You may also need physical therapy to help you regain strength and range of motion. If you are experiencing lingering ankle pain, let us help you get back on track. Schedule an appointment with us today by calling 901.756.1650.
"Sit up straight!" "Don't slouch!" We've likely all heard those admonishing words more than once growing up. And most of us begrudgingly complied, having no concept of the anatomical rationale behind the prodding. So, what is posture anyway? And why is it so important?
In short, posture refers to the body's alignment and positioning with respect to the ever-present force of gravity. Whether we are standing, sitting or lying down, gravity exerts a force on our joints, ligaments and muscles. Good posture entails distributing the force of gravity through our body so no one structure is overstressed. Like a building with a poor foundation, a body with poor posture is less resistant to the strains and stresses we experience over the months, years and decades of life.
The sitting position is where most of us get into trouble with poor postural habits. This is especially true when driving or using a computer for extended periods of time. As we focus on the activity in front of us, we tend to protrude the head and neck forward. When this occurs, the weight of the head and upper body is no longer balanced over the spinal column, but instead must be supported by increased muscular energy and placing spinal ligaments on stretch. Over time this leads to fatigue and eventually even pain in the neck and upper back.
Sitting and standing with proper postural alignment not only allows alleviates strain on your body's ligaments and muscles, but also offers many other additional benefits. Here are just a few:
To achieve correct posture while standing, the ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should align in one straight line. To give you a mental image of what good posture looks like, imagine a plumb line running from your earlobe. If you have correct posture, the line would hang straight to the middle of your anklebone.
A big issue people have with achieving a neutral spine is getting the shoulders to line up where they should be. Most individuals with bad posture have shoulders that round forward, giving them that Quasimodo look. If you can’t tell if you’re rounding your shoulders forward, here’s a quick test:
Hang your hands down by your side. If the backs of your hands face forward, then you’ve got rounded shoulders. If your thumbs face forward, then your shoulders should be aligned for good posture.
Being aware of good posture is the first step to breaking old poor postural habits and reducing stress and strain on your spine. Standing straight and sitting upright just takes some intentionality and consistent work. To repeat an old adage you may have heard from your mother: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Thanks Mom!
On Sunday, we celebrate Father’s Day, which naturally makes many of us mindful of our earthly fathers. But, did you know that you also have a Heavenly Father? Think of the purest love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount—that is the measure of our Heavenly Father's love for us. In fact, He loves us so much, that He sent His only son, Jesus, to take on our sin, so that we might live holy and blameless with Him in eternity!
You see, before Jesus was born of Mary, He lived in perfect glory, intimacy, and unity with His Father and the Holy Spirit. After the fall of Adam and Eve, God desired you and I to share in that same love, intimacy, and glory. Jesus’ death and resurrection reveal to us the very desire of our Heavenly Father's heart, which is to be with us for all eternity.
We are important to God because we are His children. No matter our flaws or mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us. He knows and loves you, is mindful of you, hears your prayers and knows the desires of your heart. So, this Father’s Day, may you have joy knowing that your Heavenly Father has shown His love for you, not just in words, but also through the the most amazing gifts of love, forgiveness and eternal life in Christ Jesus.
If you’re watching your weight or have a hard time keeping your hunger in check in the morning, you likely have heard how important protein is. While it’s easy for most of us to get enough of the nutrient at lunch and dinner, breakfast can often be a struggle. Bagels, cereal, and smoothies don’t always pack a big protein punch. Not to mention, if you skip your morning meal, you’re not getting any protein at all.
Studies show that a high-protein breakfast habit has been linked to weight management or weight loss. This means you may eat less throughout the day, including in the evening. Protein also boosts alertness so you are productive and helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels so you have steady energy to face the day, she adds.
Registered dietitians say starting with at least 20 grams is a good goal for weight loss and hunger management. Ready to start your day off right? Try one of these high protein breakfasts next time you’re tempted to reach for the cereal box.
BLUEBERRY-ALMOND BAKED OATMEAL
Oatmeal on its own is a delicious breakfast full of fiber and whole grains, but you can round it out and amp up the nutrition by adding flax meal, chia seeds, soy or almond milk, or protein powder. That's right, you can stir flavored or unflavored protein powder right into your oatmeal. Top with blueberries and almonds for extra fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins.
Another option to increase the protein in your oatmeal is to add a couple of dollops of Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with cinnamon for extra flavor. This packs 11 grams of protein per serving and is easy to take on the road with you.
MINI EGG FRITTATAS
If eggs for breakfast sounds boring, try individual frittatas. Mix whole eggs and extra egg whites together with sautéed vegetables. For even more protein, add some turkey sausage or cheese. Simply pour the mixture into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees until you can insert a knife in them and it comes out clean (in a standard-size muffin tin, that will be about 20 to 25 minutes). These are a perfect option if you're not a morning person, as they can be made ahead and then reheated quickly on your way out the door.
COTTAGE CHEESE BOWL
When it comes to increasing your protein intake, low-fat cottage cheese is an option many people overlook. The nutrition, taste, cost, and ease of preparation make it a great addition to your breakfast rotation. (Note: Low-fat cottage cheese has more protein per serving than full-fat, although both are great options.) We recommend filling a bowl with cottage cheese, mixing in some beans, and topping with tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PORRIDGE
Sometimes you just have to have something sweet for breakfast and with this simple dish you can have your protein and the taste you crave. Mix together cooked oats, natural peanut butter, dark cacao, and sweet banana. Top with yogurt or your choice of milk. YUM!
Start your morning off right with a simple parfait made of yogurt, berries and muesli. Muesli is a whole grain cereal often eaten uncooked. There are lots of variations, so pick one high in fiber and low in sugar. We suggest one containing barley, since it's got both fiber and protein.
Protein smoothies are a tried-and-true healthy breakfast, but vegans may feel left out of the smoothie love as they don't do whey or egg proteins. No problem! There are plenty of vegan-friendly protein powders. For example, try to blend brown rice and pea protein powder with coconut oil, flaxseed, pea protein milk, spinach, blueberries, and a small amount of stevia and cinnamon. This provides a healthy serving of protein along with vital fats, vitamins, fiber, and micronutrients. The taste factor doesn't disappoint, either!
CRUSTLESS MINI QUICHES
You can't go wrong with eggs and veggies in the morning, and you can get both in these grab-and-go crustless quiches. Simply mix eggs with any type of vegetables you like—chopped sweet potato, asparagus, kale, and red onion are some of our favorites—add seasonings like garlic, sea salt, parsley, and cilantro. Bake in the oven until you can insert a knife in them and it comes out clean. These are loaded with fiber, protein and an incredibly wide range of nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B6, and B12, as well as folate and chromium.
In the world of protein powders, collagen deserves more love. Collagen powder is pure protein that's cheap, flavorless, and dissolves well in shakes. We suggest blending it with plant milk, berries, chia seeds, and nut butter. The best part? Collagen is no ordinary protein—it may help give you plump glowing skin, reduce joint pain, strengthen nails, hair and teeth, and can improve intestinal conditions and digestion.
AMPED-UP AVOCADO TOAST
Avocado toast is the trendiest breakfast food right now, and with good reason. It provides a healthy dose of fats and fiber. But it can be improved. Give yours a nutritional boost by adding an egg or two and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. This adds filling protein and B vitamins.
Now you can still have your favorite breakfast dish and get your protein too with this recipe. Simply blend until smooth 1/2 cup each of egg whites, oatmeal, and 1% cottage cheese along with 1 teaspoon baking soda. Cook the batter like a pancake. These pancakes may help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and contain lots of protein for the amount of calories. Plus, the finished product doesn't taste like eggs or cottage cheese!
BREAD PUDDING IN A MUG
Bread pudding is the ultimate comfort food in the morning, but it doesn't have to be a calorie bomb. Indulge with this healthy version from Harris-Pincus. Mix one egg, 2 tablespoons vanilla whey protein powder, a packet of stevia, and 2 tablespoons milk. Fold in a chopped apple and two slices of cubed whole-grain bread. Pour in a mug, and microwave for one minute. Top with syrup and cinnamon. Delish!
Whether you like sweet or savory, exotic or comforting, vegan or paleo, on-the-go or sitting down, there is something everyone will love on this list. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Summer means more time outdoors, BBQs, pool parties and the occasional getaway. And as easy as it might be, we really shouldn't ignore our health this time of year, though, as warm weather means extra exposure to the sun’s UV rays and hotter temps that can make us feel bloated and dehydrated. The good news? There are plenty of ways to balance fun with feeling our best from now all the way through Labor Day. Here are 6 easy tips to keep your health in check, allowing for a successful summer:
1. Apply Sunscreen Daily
The important of applying sunscreen cannot be stressed enough. Sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer, as well as the risk of severe sun burns, and ,if not careful, this can lead to extreme dehydration and a trip to the hospital. Sunscreen also been proven to help slow down your skin's aging process. As a general rule, use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF. One ounce is considered enough to cover the body.
2. Embrace "Healthier"
Families and friends love a good BBQ during the summer. But instead of the traditional staples, try to broaden the palette a little. For example, rather than regular burgers and brats drenched in BBQ sauce, embrace fresher flavors like grilled chicken or fish and grilled fruits and veggies as a fresh side dish. These portions of tasty protein are much healthier than hamburgers or hot dogs, and they leave you feeling full longer. For tasty yet healthy recipes, check out www.eatingwell.com...you'll be surprised at all the possibilities!
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Water should always the beverage of choice throughout the entire year, but it is especially important during the summer when dehydration is at greater risk. Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily and more if exercising or outdoors for more than a few hours. A good guide to follow is: for every hour in the sun, drink at least 1 to 2 glasses of water. This prevents dehydration and replenishes energy levels while soaking in the rays.
4. Travel Light
Making sure the essentials are packed is common before a flight, but so is overpacking. While most people do not link luggage to injury, it is also quite common. Packing light can prevent injuries such as strains, pulls, and tears. If packing more for an extended trip, use proper techniques for heavy lifting. Bend at the knees, and use your leg muscles, and avoid twisting or rotating your spine.
5. Eat Breakfast
Breakfast may take the backseat with all the fun awaiting outside, but without proper nutrition first thing in the morning, the body can wilt in the summer sun and potentially lead to heat overexposure, dehydration, or fainting. Eating a healthy breakfast can deter these risks, balance blood sugars, and heighten energy levels to kickstart the day. A morning meal should be balanced with protein, healthy fat, and fiber. Here are some great protein packed breakfast ideas to start off your morning right!
6. Get Moving
Added heat (even if it’s dry heat!) can often make exercise uncomfortable in the summer months. Try getting some exercise in the morning hours before the sun is at its peak, or break up your day and go for shorter walks throughout your day. Many doctors suggest at least 30 minutes a day, but most importantly, just do something that gets your heart rate up. Plus, fresh vitamin D is good for you...just don’t forget to wear good shoes, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen!
Staying healthy is key to enjoying all that summer has to offer. Keep it simple and stay prepared, and you'll be well on your way to a successful, stress-free summer!
One of the key factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle is staying physically active. “Staying active” can mean much more than just another trip to the gym, though! With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to feature a few fun ways to stay active in the Mid-South.
Typically known for it's BBQ and blues, the Mid-South also holds many beautiful parks, trails, and opportunities to aid in maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle, while also having fun. Whether you’re a local or just visiting for a weekend, here are four (out of many!) great ways to get active in Memphis and the Mid-South:
Ride the Greenline
Shelby Farms Greenline is a 10.65 mile paved, urban trail that connects pedestrians and cyclists in Midtown Memphis through Shelby Farms Park to Cordova. A rails-to-trails project that transformed an unused railroad line into one of Tennessee's favorite trails, the Greenline is one of our favorite activities in Memphis! To learn more about the Greenline and everything else that Shelby Farms has to offer, visit the Shelby Farms website here.
Play a Round of Disc Golf
Meeman-Shelby Forest Park is home to one of the largest and most beautiful disc golf courses in the Southeast. The 36-hole, wooded course is divided into two 18-hole courses that offer beginners and advanced players a challenging game.
In addition to Disc Golf, Shelby Forest Park also offers paddling, biking, boating, fishing and much more, making it more than worth the trip! For more info on disc golf and all the park has to offer, check out their website here.
Hit the Treetops
If you’ve been to Shelby Farms Park recently, you may have noticed people scaling Go Ape’s intricate set-up of platforms, ropes, and nets with multiple zip lines hovering across Pine Lake. It’s one thing to observe or read about this adventure course. It’s an entirely different thing to experience it, though!
If you're looking for a unique and adventurous way to get some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors, we highly recommend you try Go Ape! For more info, check out their website here.
Visit the Memphis Zoo
Regular cardio, at any speed, can help promote a healthy lifestyle. Situated on 70 acres and boasting more than 3,500 animals, the Memphis Zoo is the perfect destination for a day trip with the family, while also getting your steps in! Known nationally as one of the nation's top zoos, the Memphis Zoo is definitely worth checking out. Click here to plan your trip!
The Bluff City is so fortunate to have many options for the outdoor lover. If you're looking for even more ideas, this article has some great additional options to explore. We'd love for you to let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Please let us introduce you to one of our newest additions to The Smith Clinic Staff: Phillip Franklin. Originally coming to us as an intern from The University of Memphis, Phillip is now a full time member of The Smith Clinic staff, and we couldn't be more delighted!
In an effort to help you get to know Phillip a little better, we did a little Q & A with him. Check out Phillip's story below:
Q: Where are you from?
A: I am originally from Memphis,TN. Born and raised.
I graduated from White station High School in 2014 and decided to further my education by staying home to attend the University of Memphis. I spent the next 4 years graduating with a B.S. Degree in Exercise Sports Movement Science in the School of Public Health Studies.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I have to find the time for hobbies as I have 2 jobs that pretty much occupy most of of my time. When I can get away, I like to go to the gym, cook tasty meals, and vacation with my girlfriend, Stephanie.
Q: Favorite thing about Memphis?
A: Memphis is like a melting pot. It has everything and everyone you can think of. Each part of Memphis is unique. If I had to pick a certain thing that I love about Memphis has got to be the food. Locals that have their own businesses have all their own unique foods that each of us crave. You can get about anything you want anywhere from them and they all have their own special flavors that cater to our stomachs! You can catch me at Central BBQ, India Palace, or The Wing Guru.
Q: Favorite thing about The Smith Clinic?
A: Never thought a working place could feel so much like home. The Smith Clinic is very team oriented and has an AMAZING family atmosphere. I almost forget that I am working when I am helping each patient with their care. From the moment you walk through those doors, you are immediately welcomed with a genuine smile and a huge hello! It’s just amazing the stories that come through the doors each and everyday.Every patient I have met, young or old, inspires me to do a little more. We always have a couple laughs here and there during sessions. Each patient we handle, we try to provide the best possible care and have them leave feeling satisfied and with a smile until the next time they come back. Not a day goes by that we don’t cherish and love one another that we meet everyday.
Q: Why did you chose PT as a career path?
A: I chose PT because when I was in high school I was running cross country and track, and in between seasons getting ready for track in the winter, both of my legs were experiencing IT Band Syndrome. To start my runs, I would have to hobble and skip. I would clinch my teeth, as I would be cutting around corners and going up hills, and all I could feel was a sharp knife pain digging into my knee. Finally, I decided to seek some help by going to physical therapy. I still laugh about this day, as I went to track practice after my very 1st PT session feeling great! That was me being stubborn and not thinking that I just needed to take some time off to heal. I really took things in perspective, when I realized there were a lot of exercises that I use to be strong in, were now very weak. I needed PT to re-strengthen the muscles I tore down. Even if my PT sessions were only a hour long, the care that I received was tremendous, as they were always paying attention to me and hands on throughout. Soon enough after healing, I ran my fastest mile time by the end of my senior season. That is what has fed my drive to be a profession in the field.
Q: Any additional thoughts?
A: It is honestly a very heart warming feeling that I planted my own little seed in helping a patients recovery. The patients put in all the work, but with just a little help from us at the Smith Clinic, we make them feel brand new again!
We are so excited to have Phillip as a part of The Smith Clinic Family!
Happy Easter, Friends!
This weekend, eggs will be dyed, pastels will be worn, and a mythical bunny will deliver baskets filled with candy and treats to homes all over. While there is no harm in making memories and having a little fun, Easter Sunday really should be recognized as the most important and sacred day of the entire year, as it commemorates Jesus' resurrection and ascension to heaven.
The true significance and meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ's victory over death. His resurrection symbolizes the eternal life that is granted to all who believe in Him, as well as the complete verification of all that Jesus preached and taught during His three-year ministry. If Christ had not risen from the dead, if He had merely died and not been resurrected, He would have been considered just another teacher or Rabbi. However, His resurrection changed all that and gave final and irrefutable proof that He was really the Son of God, and that He had conquered death once and for all.
Despite the pastel-colored eggs and kids' games, Easter is for recognizing Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead and His glorious promises of eternal life for all who believe in Him. Jesus, our Savior, our God and Redeemer, laid down His life as our sacrificial lamb to pay for our sins. When he rose from the dead three days later, He gave victory over eternal separation from God (death) to all who put their faith and trust in Him. That is the new covenant - everlasting life spent with God through faith in all that Jesus Christ has done and continues to do.
This Easter, may we remember the true meaning of the holiday, recognizing the sacrifice made for us, so that we might live and live abundantly!
Whether it is in the dead of winter or in the middle of summer's scorching temperatures, our bodies needs water. Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being.
Did you know your tissues and organs are mostly made up of water? In fact, our brains are 80% water, muscles (including your heart) are 75% water, blood is 83% water, lungs are 90% water, skin is 64% water, and even our bones are 30% water! Knowing this, it is vital to think of water as a nutrient your body needs.
Need motivation for drinking more H20? Here are 8 specific ways drinking water and staying properly hydrated will tremendously benefit your health:
1. Brain Health
Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you in a number of ways, including:
2. Weight Loss
Drinking water helps you lose weight by acting as an effective appetite suppressant so you will feel fuller and eat less – all with zero calories! Drinking plenty of water also prevents fluid retention, because your body won’t try to retain water if it’s getting enough. Additionally, multiple research studies have demonstrated that drinking a large, cool glass of water will increase your metabolism by 24-30% for up to 90 minutes.
Your body fluids transport waste products in and out of your cells, while your kidneys and liver flush those waste products and other toxins out of your body. This process can only work properly and efficiently, however, if you are well hydrated. When you are not drinking enough water, you are at an increased risk of developing kidney stones and experiencing urinary tract infections.
4. Maintain Regularity
Sufficient hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and helps prevent constipation. Water helps dissolve waste particles and passes them smoothly through your digestive tract. If you’re dehydrated, your body pulls water from your stools to maintain hydration, leaving your colon dry and making it more difficult to pass waste.
5. Healthy Muscles
Being adequately hydrated is very important when exercising. Drinking water helps prevent muscle cramping and lubricates the joints in your body.
Additionally, drinking water can actually make your muscles stronger. Water carries oxygen to the cells of your body, including those of your muscles. Being well hydrated enables your muscles to work longer and harder before they feel tired, and this will help you build muscle.
6. Youthful Skin
Your skin contains lots of water and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Drinking plenty of water hydrates skin cells and plumps them up, making your face look younger. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes your skin, and increases the elasticity of your skin. It also flushes out impurities and improves circulation and blood flow, helping your skin glow.
7. Regulate temperature
Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. Some scientists have even suggested when there is too little water in the body, heat storage increases and the individual is less able to tolerate heat strain. Having a lot of water in the body may reduce physical strain if heat stress occurs during exercise.
8. Performance Booster
Dehydration during exercise may hinder performance. Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity. More research is needed to confirm this, but one study found dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes.
9. Prevent Bad BreathHave you ever hung out in a crowd of runners after a marathon? You'd be wise to remain at a comfortable distance when speaking. Bad breath is often a clear sign of dehydration, and, in addition to the food you eat, dehydration can also cause bad breath.
10. Save Money
If none of the aforementioned benefits sound motivating to you, then consider how much money you could save by drinking water. If you spend money on soda and coffee each day, you’ll spend in the $2-$4 range. If you spend money on bottled or pre-made drinks almost every day, this can add up to thousands of dollars a year. Instead, purchase a reusable water bottle to fill up on-the-go. In most cases, it won't cost you a dime!
It’s necessary to maintain a healthy mind and body so you can feel good throughout the day. Need help drinking more water? Keep track of your water intake by measuring your progress with a cup or water bottle placed in a spot you will see it throughout the day. Set goals for yourself at time points throughout the day to make sure you are drinking enough. Here are a few other tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:
So the next time you’re thirsty, instead of ignoring your kitchen sink at home or the bubbler at work, take a moment to savor the one drink that’s free, refreshing, and actually good for us: plain old water!