Did you know that there are between 100,000 and 200,000 Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries in the United States each year? It is one of the most common types of knee injuries among active people between 15 to 45 years old. It comprises around 40% of all sports injuries. It's a very serious type of injury, too. When you sprain or tear your ACL, you lose the stability in your knee joint, causing the knee to often give way and buckle. Your knee then swells and becomes too painful for you to even stand. Nearly 30,000 of those patients go on to get reconstruction surgery that costs between $17,000-$25,000 (average cost of an ACL reconstruction surgery in the UK is £6,000) to repair their damaged ligaments.
The ACL is one of the major ligaments in your knee that is responsible for roughly 90% of stability in the knee joint. It helps keep your knee stable when you rotate. You may get ACL injury when get hit very hard on the side of your knee, overextend your knee joint, or suddenly stop and change direction. Don't worry too much if you're a jogger, swimmer, or biker since these activities place little stress on the ACL. However, if you ski, play football, basketball, volleyball, or rugby, then you are at high risk for this type of knee injury. Around 70% of ACL sprains and tears involve little or no contact with other players, while 30 percent result from direct contact. Not surprisingly, males make up most of the cases for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. However, females have a shockingly higher risk for the injury.
The NCAA statistics says that female athletes are 2 to 8 times more likely to sustain an ACL injury. Studies also reveal that at the age of 14 years, girls have 5 times higher rates of serious non-contact ACL tears than boys. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University set out to find out why. Past studies have come up with a good list of what make women more vulnerable to ACL damage. These include anatomical differences and slower reflex time, but the most intriguing are hormones. Oestrogen, a primarily female hormone, has been known to negatively affect ACL strength and flexibility. However, the Johns Hopkins researchers opted for a newer, unique approach. They decided to study testosterone levels instead.
The researchers wanted to find out what role testosterone has in knee ACL injuries. Is it the key difference between men and women? To find out the answer, they used eight castrated male rats and eight normal male rats. The castrated rats have an average testosterone level of 0.14 ng/mL, while the group of normal rats have 3.54 ng/mL. After measuring the ligament strengths of both groups of rodents, they found that the normal rats with higher testosterone levels have stronger ACLs. This clearly indicates that testosterone may influence ACL strength and the injury rate of the ligament.
Specifically, the study found that it takes 15 percent more force to cause ACL injuries on the rats that have higher testosterone levels. In order to tear the rats' ligaments, the researchers had to exert 34.6 Newtons on the group with higher testosterone, while only 29.2 Newtons on the castrated group. Researchers believe the finding could eventually pave way for the development of a method to use hormones in preventing knee injuries. In the future, you may only need to have your testosterone levels tested to see if you need training strategies to strengthen your ligament and reduce the chance of getting an ACL injury.
In the meantime, preventative rehabilitation programs are the key to keeping your ACL injury free. These exercises include training drills that require balance, power and agility. They have been found to reduce the risk of ACL damage. Many sports physicians highly recommend these exercises to their female players. Knee conditioning exercises allow women to have more active lifestyles and participate in more sports without having to fear disabilities from ACL injuries.
Joy over your new pregnancy can quickly start to fade away once the symptoms of morning sickness start to creep up! Symptoms of morning sickness can include nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, and sometimes, even dizziness.
Marjorie Greenfield, a leading obstetrics and gynaecology expert and author of 'The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book' states that over 70% of pregnant women will suffer from nausea during their pregnancy whilst 50% will suffer from vomiting. The book is well worth a read for anyone wanting to learn further about their symptoms so far!
Despite it being an unpleasant experience, morning sickness has no health risk for the baby. In fact, some studies reveal that it can be a sign of a healthy pregnancy, with lower rates of miscarriages and stillbirths.
For the majority of women, symptoms of nausea and vomiting start between week 5 and week 6. But for about 13% of women, morning sickness begins before the missed period. This means that some women will feel the symptoms of morning sickness before they even realise that they are pregnant. For many women, these symptoms can be quite severe (to the point of not being able to eat or drink). This can quickly lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, especially in cases where the woman also experiences vomiting.
Don't be fooled by its name. Morning sickness can actually happen any time of the day, not just in the morning. In fact, studies reveal that nausea and vomiting are limited to the morning in only 13.6% of pregnant women.
Interestingly, in a study of 292 pregnant women who had nausea, 85% reported feeling sick twice a day, while a shocking 56% had three episodes daily. Additionally, 70% of episodes of nausea in the study lasted 1 to 4 hours.
Symptoms tend to get worse, or gets better, around 11 to 13 weeks of pregnancy. Thankfully, for about 90% of women morning sickness tend to disappear by the end of the twelfth week (1st trimester). However, one in five women will experience it into their second trimester, while an unfortunate few will suffer for much longer than this.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer but the most common reasons include:
Nutritional deficiencies, such as low levels of magnesium and vitamin B6, may also be responsible for making nausea and discomfort during pregnancy even worse.
Now to the good part – We have carefully researched and scanned the seven most effective remedies to relieve your dreaded morning sickness. By using these tips, you can surely beat the morning sickness bug!
Right here we go;
Research as early as 1989 has shown that wearing acupressure bands helped reduce morning sickness symptoms.
Since then, many others studies have shown positive results for using acupressure for nausea. Some studies have also looked into the effectiveness of acupressure or acupressure bands for seasickness, travel sickness and chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.
Acupressure bands work by providing continuous pressure on an acupuncture point in your wrist (P6 - Nei-Kuan). They do this by using a plastic stud within the band.
Sea-Bands are the most commonly used acupressure bands. A recent study in Italy found that morning sickness was reduced in 70% of women who used Sea-Bands. Another study showed women wearing Sea-Bands also reported less anxiety, depression, and hostility.
Ginger is a great natural remedy for helping symptoms of morning sickness during pregnancy. A study in 2005 published by Obstetrics & Gynecology (the official publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), looked at 675 women suffering with morning sickness and found that taking ginger significantly improved their symptoms.
Another study in 2003 gave participants 125 mg of ginger extract 4x a day for at least 4 days and found positive results. If you are suffering from mild pregnancy nausea and vomiting, we think it’s worth giving ginger products a try. These can include ginger extract, ginger chew, and ginger tea.
You can even use ginger essential oils to bath in. You can also utilise the essential oils around your home using a diffuser or humidifier. The humidifier can also be used when your newborn arrives, to clean and purify the air.
Also known as Pyridoxine, it is another great supplement to help with curing morning sickness. It aids the body process certain amino acids that somehow reduces nausea. Natural food sources of B6 include avocados, bananas, chicken, fish, whole grains and nuts.
Many studies have shown significant evidence to support this. A study with 59 participants showed that there was over a 50% improvement of condition when taking a vitamin B6 tablet orally every 8 hours for 3 days. However, it is highly recommended that you consult your midwife and physician before taking any supplements, as some supplements could have teratogenic (harmful to the fetus) effect during the first trimester of pregnancy if taken in high doses.
It's great to get some fresh air, de-stress and release endorphins which are the “feel good hormones” to help combat stress and fatigue. Stress has been found to contribute to the symptoms of morning sickness.
Getting a good amount of exercise can help ease nausea. However, it is suggested that the exercise should be done with caution. You should perform 30 minutes of light exercise maintaining your heart rate just under 140 beats per minute. It is also best that you listen to your body and seek proper medical advice before embarking to an exercise program.
Once your doctor gives you the go signal to exercise, remember to keep your body cool. Try to stay well-hydrated to keep you and your baby safe.
Some women find other herbal remedies beneficial including peppermint tea, lemon balm tea and chamomile tea. These aromatic drinks can be quite soothing, but they are temporary fixes! Some women even find sniffing mint to be quite soothing.
Chewing anise or fennel seeds are also known to treat an upset stomach as the Chinese have done for centuries to combat morning sickness. Try chewing on anise or fennel seeds throughout the day to help you feel better.
Reflexology is an ancient Chinese treatment that has been gaining popularity for effectively relieving a host of medical conditions including nausea. What's so great about it is the fact that you can perform the technique on yourself anywhere, anytime you need.
In this alternative therapy, the feet are used to represent a map of the body, and certain points are pressed to ease the symptoms. The evidence for this is not very strong, but some women find this treatment very relaxing.
This is probably the most important of all morning sickness tips. Getting a good night sleep is going to help the body recover and rejuvenate. It may be worthwhile getting a good maternity pillow to support the back, neck and stomach. We highly recommend purchasing a good quality pillow and these can range from memory foam pillows to orthopedic pillows.