Tag: sports

RICE your knees…How to care for a sports injury

As the weather is starting to warm up, many of us are thinking about getting outside and getting active.  With this increased movement, it’s no wonder that a search of google trends from 2004-2016 showed that April of each year is the most common month for searches related to knee injuries (1).

The R.I.C.E. method is one of the most commonly recommended ways to treat sports injuries to joints and muscles.  It has even received a stamp of approval from the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (2).  This method has 4 steps:


R is for Rest  Try to avoid using the injured area and putting weight on it for 24-48 hours if possible (3)

I is for Ice Every 4 hours, put rice on the injury for 20 minutes at a time (3).  For comfort, you can place a thin cloth between the ice bag and your skin (2).

C is for Compression Wrap the area with a bandage, like an ACE wrap, in order to gently compress the injured area.  This will help control swelling.  Just be careful not to wrap it too tight and cut of your blood flow (3).

E is for Elevation This is your opportunity to sit and prop your feet (or other injured spot) up.  Use pillows or other comfortable items to try to keep the area above the level of your heart.  This can reduce swelling (3).


Once you start feeling better, you can SLOWLY and GENTLY start using the injured area again.  Also, if you’re not sure how bad you’ve hurt yourself, be sure to get it checked out by a medical provider.



  1. Using Google Trends To Assess For Seasonal Variation In Knee Injuries. Dewan, Varun and Sur, Hartej. February 21, 2018, Journal of Arthroscopy and Joint Surgery.
  2. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. How to Care for a Sprained Ankle. American Orhopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. [Online] http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/how-to/foot-injury/Pages/How%20to%20Care%20for%20a%20Sprained%20Ankle.aspx.
  3. Sports Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. How to Use the R.I.C.E Method for Treating Injuries. UPMC Health Beat. [Online] August 27, 2014. https://share.upmc.com/2014/08/rice-method-for-treating-injury/.



Adam Rippon: America’s Olympic Sweetheart

During the 2018 Winter Olympics that have been happening in Pyeongchang, South Korea, American Figure Skater Adam Rippon has stolen the hearts and minds of many, including this writer. But beyond his charming persona and impressive skating abilities, Rippon has brought visibility to other queer athletes by being the first openly gay athlete to compete in the Games.

Rippon presents by what is defined as stereotypically gay: often using more “feminine” mannerisms and speaking with what can be called the “gay lisp”. At the same time, he is being praised not just for his personality and looks, but also his athleticism, a praise that is often withheld from gay men who do not present in ways that are more heteronormative.

I look forward to seeing what other heights Rippon can reach, and what he will continue to do with the platform that he has amassed. If you’re interested in more reading on this topic, I would highly recommend the article below.


them. How a Fabulous, Femme Gay Man Finally Became America’s Sweetheart – https://www.them.us/story/how-a-femme-gay-man-became-americas-new-sweetheart

Concussion Concerns in Girls’ Soccer

There are many days we might want to forget.  There is one day in 2006 that I do forget completely, due to a fairly severe concussion during a soccer game.  Though I was fortunate to be treated and recover well, concussions can have effects lasting years after the incident, especially when not properly attended to.

This year alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that over 1.7 million Americans will suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), be it a mild concussion or something much more serious. 29,167 of these will be during girls’ soccer.

One of the biggest arenas for TBIs is competitive athletics, and concussions have risen in sports like girls’ soccer, making it second to only football among sports with the highest number of concussions. Studies show that, due to many factors including generally smaller head and neck sizes, and the fact that girls are playing soccer more aggressively in recent years, they are twice as likely as boys to sustain a concussion.

Since many concussions in girls’ soccer happen either during a collision or after a player heads the ball, there’s been discussion about banning heading or putting a cap on the number of headers a player can take before a certain age, with the hope of protecting players from TBIs and their effects.

Over the past four years dozens of US states have passed laws similar to one introduced in the state of Washington in 2009, under which young athletes who suffer a suspected concussion in sport must be cleared by a medical professional before being allowed back to the game.   But, could this measure backfire by discouraging players from reporting injuries, at the risk that they might not be allowed to play for one or more games?

Since most concussions occur without any loss of consciousness, players, coaches, and parents alike should be well versed in recognizing the signs and symptoms, and should seek medical assistance immediately if any of concussion symptoms are observed.

Most agree that there is still not enough proof to warrant any ban on headers or other aspects of what is also one of the fastest growing sports in the country.  But all agree that awareness and education about head injuries are vital to keeping young players safe on the field.


For more facts on youth and adolescent sports-related concussions, see: http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/facts.html

Photo courtesy of K.M. Klemencic