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A Message from Dr. Suh

Are you depressed about our lack of summer this year?

I couldn’t wait to leave the heat of Texas and move to Seattle, but now I find myself missing some of the heat. Maybe not the 100 degree weather, but mid 80’s would be nice. Nevertheless, I am doing my part to enjoy the Seattle summer by running the Seafair 5K run this past weekend. As I was doing my post run stretches, I had an idea that I should form a team for next year.

Would you be interested in joining our team?

As we get more active during the summer months, there is an increased risk of strains and sprains. I will explain what these are and what we do to treat them. Strains are injuries to the muscles. Common places of strains are our neck and back. We can also pull our calf muscle and hamstring. Sprains are injuries to our ligaments that connect bone to bone. Common places of sprains are our ankles and wrist, usually from twisting or falling.

Whatever body part that you have injured, the treatment is basically the same, R.I.C.E!

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevate

Resting the area of injury is pretty obvious. But what about ice vs. heat? I often hear from patients that they actually added some heat to an area of injury. This is the wrong choice. Now that football is back in season, let’s take injured football players for example, you will often find them on the sideline with bags of ice on their injury, not a heating pad. Ice is a great anti-inflammatory and reduces swelling. Heat is pro-inflammatory and causes swelling. Think about it, if inflammation means that it is hot or fire, you would throw cold water to a flame, not add heat. Compression is also straight forward for reducing swelling. Ace wraps and braces are typical choices. Lastly, elevation. This applies to extremities such as arms and legs. Swelling and edema is common after injury and elevating the area of injury will help decrease swelling.

I hope you have an injury-free summer! But if you are a weekend warrior like myself and find yourself aching on Monday, you now know what to do. If it feels like more than a strain or sprain, give us a call for an appointment.

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