Damaged hamstrings Symptoms, Treatments, and Drugs.

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Symptoms

By Mayo Clinic staff

Signs and symptoms of a hamstring injury include:

  • A sudden, sharp pain in the back of your thigh during an activity
  • A popping or tearing sensation in the muscle
  • Swelling and tenderness within a few hours of the injury
  • Bruising or discoloration along the back of your leg
  • Muscle weakness or inability to put weight on your injured leg

When to see a doctor
Mild hamstring strains can be treated at home. But for more severe hamstring injuries, you should see a doctor if you:

  • Can’t bear any weight on your injured leg
  • Can’t walk more than four steps without significant pain
  • Have numbness in any part of the injured area
  • See redness or red streaks spreading out from the injury
  • Have injured the same muscles in the past
  • Aren’t sure about how severe your injury is

Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic staff

A hamstring injury may be:

  • Mild. A mild injury strains your hamstring muscles and causes pain with minimal loss of muscle strength. You can expect to heal quickly without much downtime.
  • Moderate. A moderate injury is a partial tear of one or more of your hamstring muscles. It causes pain and some loss of muscle strength.
  • Severe. A severe injury is a complete tear of your hamstring muscles — either of the muscle fibers themselves or of the muscle from the bone (avulsion). You experience severe pain and significant loss of muscle strength. Severe injuries may take months to heal adequately. Complete hamstring avulsions may need surgical repair.

Initial therapy
The initial goal of treatment is to reduce pain and swelling. To accomplish this, your doctor may recommend that you do the following:

  • Take a break from strenuous activities to allow the injury to heal.
  • Use a cane or crutches to avoiding putting your full weight on your injured leg.
  • Apply ice packs several times a day to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Wrap the injured area with a compression bandage or wear compression shorts to minimize swelling.
  • Rest with your leg elevated above the level of your heart, if possible, to improve drainage and minimize swelling.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to reduce pain and inflammation.

Severe injuries involving torn hamstring muscles may, in rare cases, require surgery. If needed, surgery is performed by an orthopedic surgeon.

Rehabilitation
After the initial pain and swelling of a hamstring injury subside, your doctor may recommend a program of rehabilitation exercises. The goals of rehabilitation are to:

  • Improve range of motion of your leg and prevent muscle stiffness
  • Restore muscle strength and flexibility
  • Return you to your full activity level prior to injury

Your doctor or a physical therapist can set up an exercise schedule and show you how to perform specific exercises designed to rehabilitate your hamstring muscles. You may gradually increase the intensity level of the exercises as you regain strength and mobility. How long you’ll continue these exercises depends on how severe your injury is, but standard rehabilitation exercise programs may last for several weeks, at least. A mild to moderate injury may take up to six weeks to heal; severe injuries can take several months to heal.

Rehabilitation exercises may be especially important for protecting your hamstring muscles from re-injury after you get back to your normal activity level.

Low Blood pressure and exercise

Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is defined as blood pressure less than 90/60 mmHg. One serious consequence of low blood pressure includes lack of adequate blood flow to the brain, which may lead to episodes of dizziness or fainting. In some cases, exercise may lead to the problem of insufficient brain blood flow, thus producing dizziness.

Symptoms of Hypotension

When the blood pressure drops below 90/60, the brain is not being adequately perfused with blood. This leads to a problem supplying the brain with oxygen and nutrients, which are both carried by the blood. A lack of sufficient oxygen leads to serious damage to neurons, the cells of the brain. The early signs of insufficient brain blood flow include dizziness and fainting. This is your body’s way of correcting the problem: Since not enough blood is getting to the head, you are forced to fall down so blood can get where it needs to go.

Causes of Hypotension

Multiple cardiovascular abnormalities can lead to hypotension. If you are low on blood volume, either from dehydration, pregnancy or traumatic hemorrhage, the pressure within the vessels will decrease and could lead to perfusion difficulties. Alternatively, heart failure may lead to insufficient cardiac output, thus decreasing pressure due to a malfunctioning pump. Finally, an abnormality in pressure feedback mechanisms might lead to positional hypotension. In this case, the sensors in your brain that are designed to detect blood pressure are malfunctional. These feedback regulators are unable to communicate low-blood-pressure signals as they normally would.

Exercise-Induced Hypotension

If you experience fainting or dizzy spells during exercise, you may have exercise induced hypotension. The cause of the problem could be a weak heart that is unable to keep up with the demands you place on it during exercise. Alternatively, you may simply be dehydrated and low on blood volume.

Treatments

Symptoms of dizziness or fainting are serious neurological problems and should be properly evaluated by your physician. Treatment for this condition varies depending on the root cause of hypotension. For instance, if proper hydration during exercise fixes the problem, then your hypotension was likely caused by dehydration. If the problem is a weak heart, you may be referred to a cardiologist for further evaluation.

References

How a Concussion Changed My Life – A Story by Alana Hurov

How a concussion changed my life

Alana Hurov

One moment I was reaching up to close the living room blinds and the next I was on the floor, blood dripping down my face.

The five-foot long window treatment in my downtown Toronto condo had come down and hit me between the eyes.

A freak accident.

I staggered to the couch and called a friend to take me to the hospital.

I had suffered a “mild” concussion. The emergency roomdoctor explained that the blow to the head had caused my brain to bounce around in my skull.

The diagnosis: a mild brain injury, a broken nose and temporary symptoms ranging from headaches to dizzy spells. I was told to take a few days off work and stock up on Advil Extra Strength. All should soon return to normal.

Except it was anything but normal.

That was March of 2009, and days of recovery turned to months. I was in and out of the emergency room suffering debilitating migraines, insomnia, vertigo and fatigue. Exhaustion consumed me.

Brushing my teeth, showering and dressing became huge obstacles.

I took a long-term leave from my jobs as a certified yoga/ Pilates teacher and TV producer. Instead of going to the gym and booking interviews, I was visiting neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, support groups and eventually rehab.

Finally after about three months — I received a diagnosis that explained what was happening to me — and ultimately changed my life.

I was suffering from post-concussive syndrome.

Dr. Shree Bhalero, medical psychiatrist at the University of Toronto and a specialist in traumatic brain injury, describes post-concussive syndrome as a series of symptoms that follow a blow to the head.

“Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, depression, personality changes, impaired concentration, insomnia, reduced sex drive and lowered tolerance to noise and light are just some of the possible symptoms.”

And they can last a year or longer.

“Studies show that 30 per cent of concussion patients suffer from post-concussive symptoms,” says Dr. Charles Tator, a neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital.

Dr. Michael Cusimano, a world-renowned neurosurgeon based at the University of Toronto, says many factors determine the severity of a brain injury.

“Different people have different genetic susceptibilities,” he says. “A minor brain injury to some may become deadly to others.”

Other factors include how fast the brain was moving inside the skull at the time of impact, the area of the brain that was struck, and the daily work demands on the patient. “A journalist will use different parts of their brain than a factory worker,” says Cusimano.

Tens of thousands of people get concussions every year in Canada, but there are no hard statistics because many go unreported or misdiagnosed, says Tator, who is also he founder of , a national non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries.

Women tend to concuss more easily than men and take longer to recover. While it’s not clear why this is, “one theory is that women have weaker neck muscles,” says Tator. “When the blow to the head occurs, women may have more of the whiplash effect, which causes the concussion.”

A study published in May 2012 by researchers at Michigan State University found that women report more symptoms of post-concussive syndrome than men.

In my case, I caged myself inside my downtown condo for nearly eight months — too tired to move and too ashamed to be seen. I was consumed with anxiety, sadness and negative thoughts. I fantasized about taking my own life. Thankfully my family doctor put me on antidepressants.

Within a month, I had more energy, felt inspired to lead a normal life and gained the confidence to teach yoga again. It gave me renewed strength, confidence and a sense of purpose.

My feelings were not uncommon.

Thirty per cent of all concussion patients suffer from depression, according to Bhalereo.

After nearly a year, I reluctantly returned to my television work. Walking through the doors I was unsure how I would readjust to a high-stress producer job. For 15 years, I’d thrived on deadlines and breaking news. I now struggled with all of it.

I looked like the same person, but felt completely different. I became anxious under pressure and got migraine headaches. I forgot names and faces of people that I had known for years. I was extremely sensitive to my environment and no longer enjoyed the constant stress of a newsroom.

By 2011, the anxiety and headaches had subsided. But something still felt wrong. I just wanted to be healthy and happy again

To read more on this story please search Alana Hurov. See you at the top! 41 Sports

 

Concussion rates in college football players have doubled:

Concussion rates in college football players have doubled since new rules were put in place to help manage the number of head injuries, a new study shows.

As part of new rules, college athletes cannot return to play until a team doctor clears them to participate once symptoms have been resolved.

Beth Hall, ASSOCIATED PRESS As part of new rules, college athletes cannot return to play until a team doctor clears them to participate once symptoms have been resolved.

Researchers found that the number of concussions reported by players at three different Division 1 college football programs went from 23 head injuries in the season before new NCAA concussion rules went into effect in 2010 to 42 during the next season.

The increase in the number of concussions is not simply that more athletes are getting hurt playing football, which may increase their risk of brain injuries as they get older. Another explanation might be improved awareness of the problem and that symptoms from these head injuries were previously under-recognized.

“The timing of the new NCAA regulations and the increase in reported concussions could certainly be attributed to under-reporting from players and coaches in the past, researcher Kelly G. Kilcoyne, MD, says in a news release. He is an orthopaedic surgeon at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

The study looked at concussion data from football practices and games at three U.S. military service academies: the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. It compared the number of head injuries reported to athletic trainers by players and coaches during the 2009-2010 season to those occurring in 2010-2011.

The new findings were presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine annual meeting in Baltimore.

New rule, new concussion rates

In April 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association put in place new guidelines for college sports teams that required each school to have a concussion management plan.

As part of this plan:

Athletes are informed of concussion symptoms at the start of each season.

Athletes sign a statement agreeing to report concussion-related symptoms to the medical staff.

Athletes who have a concussion must be removed from the sport for at least one day.

Athletes cannot return to play until a team doctor clears them to participate once symptoms have been resolved.

All three of the football programs at the schools had an increase in the number of reported concussions in the first season after the new NCAA rules took effect.

When data from the three programs was combined, researchers found 42 concussions in more than 36,000 athlete exposures in games or practices during 2010-2011 compared to 23 concussions in nearly 40,500 exposures the previous season. This meant the concussion injury rate for football had doubled under the new guidelines.

Concussion symptoms may occur hours or days after a bump or blow to the head. They may include a headache, vomiting or nausea, weakness, dizziness, blurred vision, concentration and memory problems, and irritability.

This study was presented at a medical conference. The findings should be considered preliminary, as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

Concussion in children: What are the effects?

I’m concerned about childhood head injuries caused by contact sports. What are the possible effects of concussion in children?

Answer

from Sherilyn W. Driscoll, M.D.

Most sports-related head injuries, such as concussions — which temporarily interfere with the way the brain works — are mild and allow for complete recovery. However, concussion in children also can pose serious health risks, ranging from temporary memory lapses to fatal brain swelling. Also, concussion in children sometimes goes unrecognized, as symptoms may not be noticed right after the injury.

Head injuries take time to heal. Your child will need time to rest until his or her symptoms are completely gone, which usually takes several days. Your child should rest from both physical and thinking (cognitive) activities, as these can worsen symptoms.

After your child’s head injury, your child risks other complications if he or she returns to sports and other activities before his or her concussion has healed. Another blow to the head while the initial concussion is healing can occasionally result in fatal brain swelling — a condition known as second impact syndrome. Also, a young athlete who sustains a concussion is at risk of developing postconcussion syndrome, which is characterized by persistent concussion symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, irritability and difficulty with thinking skills, such as memory and attention. These symptoms can be particularly confusing for a child, as well as his or her family and teachers, if the child doesn’t realize he or she has had a concussion. Researchers continue to study other potential long-term effects of concussions. Once a child has sustained his or her first concussion, he or she is at a higher risk of sustaining another. The effects of multiple concussions over years can be cumulative.

To protect your child from head injuries, insist on appropriate and properly fitted protective equipment — such as a helmet — during sports and other activities. However, helmets and mouth guards don’t protect against all concussions. Also, make sure your child knows that even a mild bump or blow to the head can cause a concussion, and that concussions don’t always involve a loss of consciousness. Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headache or a feeling of “pressure” in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, groggy or dazed
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Sleeping problems
  • Mood changes

If you think your child has sustained a concussion, seek medical help immediately. Your child’s doctor will determine how serious the concussion is and when it’s safe for your child to return to sports, school or other activities.

Concussions

Symptoms

By Mayo Clinic staff

The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not be immediately apparent. Symptoms can last for days, weeks or even longer.

The most common symptoms after a concussive traumatic brain injury are headache, amnesia and confusion. The amnesia, which may or may not be preceded by a loss of consciousness, almost always involves the loss of memory of the impact that caused the concussion.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue

Some symptoms of concussions may be immediate or delayed in onset by hours or days after injury:

  • Concentration and memory complaints
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  • Disorders of taste and smell

Symptoms in children
Head trauma is very common in young children. But concussions can be difficult to recognize in infants and toddlers because they can’t readily communicate how they feel. Nonverbal clues of a concussion may include:

  • Listlessness, tiring easily
  • Irritability, crankiness
  • Change in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Lack of interest in favorite toys
  • Loss of balance, unsteady walking

When to see a doctor
See a doctor within one to two days if:

  • You or your child experiences a head injury, even if emergency care isn’t required

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you call your child’s doctor for advice if your child receives anything more than a light bump on the head. If your child remains alert, moves normally and responds to you, the injury is probably mild and usually doesn’t need further testing. In this case, if your child wants to nap, it’s OK to let them sleep. If worrisome signs develop later, seek emergency care.

Seek emergency care for a child who experiences a head injury and:

  • Vomiting
  • A headache that gets worse over time
  • Changes in his or her behavior, including irritability or fussiness
  • Changes in physical coordination, including stumbling or clumsiness
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Slurred speech or other changes in speech
  • Vision or eye disturbances, including pupils that are bigger than normal (dilated pupils) or pupils of unequal sizes
  • Changes in breathing pattern
  • Lasting or recurrent dizziness
  • Blood or fluid discharge from the nose or ears
  • Large head bumps or bruises on areas other than the forehead, especially in infants under 12 months of age

Seek emergency care for anyone who experiences a head injury and:

  • A loss of consciousness lasting more than a minute
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Obvious difficulty with mental function or physical coordination
  • Symptoms that worsen over time

Athletes
No one should return to play or vigorous activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present. Experts recommend that an athlete with a suspected concussion not return to play until he or she has been medically evaluated. Experts also recommend that child and adolescent athletes with a concussion not return to play on the same day as the injury.