MRSA Infections

mrsa infection anatomy

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. Aureaus), or MRSA, is a bacterium that creates skin infections and other types of infections. The first time that MRSA was seen in US hospitals during the 1970s. Recently, there is a new strain of MRSA know as Community Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or CA-MRSA, has left hospitals and began to spread in the community.

This is the strain that is prevalent among athletes. The difference between CA-MRSA and Healthcare-Associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) is in their effects. CA-MRSA usually creates skin infections while HA-MRSA causes bloodstream, urinary tract and surgical site infections. This make CA-MRSA less dangerous than HA-MRSA. Another difference is that CA-MRSA is more vulnerable to antimicrobial.

Symptoms

Signs of infections are :

  • Redness

  • Warmth, Swelling

  • Pus

  • Pain at sites where there are skin wounds

  • Abrasions or cuts

MRSA has the ability to spread to other organs in the body and when that happens, symptoms are more severe.

At this stage, symptoms are :

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Low blood pressure

  • Joint pain

  • Severe headaches

  • Shortness of breath

  • An extensive rash over the body

These more advanced systemic symptoms require immediate medical attention.

Treatment

The 1st choice for treating MRSA skin infection is to use an antibiotic that has been created to kill bacteria with mild side effects. Most early infections with no widespread symptoms can be treated with oral antibiotics. Because of the nature of this decease and antibiotic options, many patients think they’re « cured » after only a few doses and decide by themselves to stop taking the prescribed drugs. However, MRSA is able to re-infect the patient and become resistant to antibiotics used previously.

For moderate to severe infections, treatment may be with intravenous antibiotics.

These infections associated with deep abscesses or boils require open surgical drainage in addition to antibiotic therapy. Most infections resolve in 7-10 days with an adequate treatment despite the fact that a deep abscess can take up to 4 weeks to eradicate the infection by resolving the abscess cavity.

Early identification and treatment of MRSA infections decrease the amount of playing time lost and decrease the chance that the infection will become severe. Skin may be protected by protective clothing or gear designed to prevent skin abrasions or cuts.

Prevention

mrsa infection anatomy

It’s necessary that athletes have good personal hygiene but it must be added that athletes and visitors to athletes facilities must also keep their hands clean by washing them often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub. The minimum is to have clean hands before and after sports and activities. For example when we use weight training equipment that is shared by all gym members, it’s important to have clean hands after using toilette or when someone is injured taking care the wounds (including changing bandage).

Ordinary and antimicrobial soaps are effective for washing hands. It’s noted that liquid soap is a better option because it’s not possible to share this type of soap compared to bar soap. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contain at least 60% alcohol are the perfect choice.

Athletes should shower immediately after exercise and shouldn’t share soap and towels. Washing all uniforms and clothes after each use is important. Athlete should avoid sharing items that are in contact with the skin and avoid sharing personal items as they contact the skin. Fortunately, most surfaces don’t provoke a risk of spreading staph and MRSA.

Athletes who have had MRSA

Several high school, college and professional athletes have contracted MRSA infections. There have already been epidemics among athletes on the same team. A study published in « The New England Journal of Medicine » shows an infection MRSA among St. Louis Rams professional football franchise (USA) athletes. During a single season, MRSA infections were found among 5 of 58 Rams athletes (9 percents) that was tested. All infections developed on areas of the body that are common places for turf injury.

Stats

  • Today, MRSA accounts for about 50-70% of the S. Aureus infections that are present in healthcare facilities across the world.

  • Statistics fro the Kaiser foundation in 2007 indicated that approximately 1.2 million hospitalized patients contract MRSA infections.

  • Serious MRSA infection is still predominantly related to exposure in the healthcare setting, where approximately 85 percent of all serious MRSA infections occur.

  • Fortunately, in children under 18 years old, mortality rates are much lower (1%), even though the number of hospitalized children with MRSA has almost tripled since 2002.

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-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .

Back To The Source Of Equipment (Part 2)

source water river

I read a Nerd Fitness articles  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the part 1, click here

Racks Et Machines

To do squat, there are differents equipements, we name it « racks ». Let’s go.

Squat stands

squat stands

It’s 2 pieces standing, next to each other to hold the Olympic bar. It’s handy because it’s portable and you can do squat outside. But in a gym, it’s not great because you can’t put heavy weights, it’s too fragile.

Squat rack

squat rack

It’s 2 bars that are standing tied with horizontal bars. With the Squat racks, you can put heavy weights.

Power rack

power rack

It’s my favorite. It looks like a large rectangle with poles in vertical and horizontal. The Power racks have holes for placing J-hooks to adjust the height of Olympic bar. What is cool is that you can do several exercices with like pull-up, bench press, overhead press and dips.

Smith machine

smith machine

Smith machine looks like Squat racks except that the bar is guided.

Gym staff will tell you that it’s a machine to do squat safe. I don’t advise to use this machine because it forces your body to make unnatural movements. This scientific study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19855308 ) shows that you have better results with a squat with free weights.

The difference between Squat racks and Smith machine is that the bar where you put weights is fixed on Smith machine.

Weight machine

plate loaded machine weight pin loaded stack machine weight

Weight machines are in 2 categories : Pin loaded (stack machine) and Plate loaded. Pin machines have a rectangular weight stack with a hole to put the pin. More the pin is low, more the weight is heavy to lift. What is cool with this machines is that you don’t need to look for weights anywhere in the gym.

With Plate loaded, there is no weights attached to the machine. You put weights on the machine yourself. Plate loaded machines have a wider range of motion than Pin loaded.

Cable machine

cable machine

No matter the size or design of the cable machie, it will always be a pin loaded (stack machine). A handle is at the end of the cable and you can pull or push in different directions. Cable machine can be an alternative for some exercices you do with dumbbells or barbells. Cable machine has a wider range of motion.

Pull-up Bar

pull up bar

You know in most gyms, there is no real pullup bar (like in my gym). If you don’t find a freestanding bar, there are several alternatives like power rack, smith machine or the top of the cable machine.

Dips station

dips station

Usually dips station is integrated into the power rack or the cable machine. You can find some that are freestanding.

Assisted Pullup /Dip station

assisted pull up

It’s a Pin loaded (stack machine). You choose a weight and you put yourself on the platform. The weight you choose will help you to do pullups or dips. For pullups, I advise you to do Lat pulldown and the day where you can lift your bodyweight, you do freestanding pullup.

Bench

adjustable bench

Ajustables benches and standard flat benches are types of benches you will see in a gym. To do incline and decline exercices, ajustable bench is perfect. Benches are the equipement the most use in a gym, especially on Monday. I don’t know why but Monday is the international chest’s day and it’s hard to find a bench that day.

Bench press

bench press

Squat stand and Squat rack are use to do bench press in small gyms and Crossfit. In big gyms, there are special bench press with a stand attached.

Equipement items

Now you know the main gym’s equipment, I will show you small equipement items.

Collars/Clips

collar clip

There are several collars/clips designs but they have the same purpose that is to keep weights safe on the bar.


Weight plates

weight plate

There are several type of plates :

  • Standard metal plates/ rubber encased weight plates

    They’re made of metal and they shouldn’t be thrown to the ground. There are circle with the denomination of weight on. Depending on the weight, they have different diameters.

  • Bumper plates

    They’re made of rubber and can be thrown to the ground for above your head (clean and jerk).

Plates can have a denomination in kilograms or pounds :

Kilogramme : 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20 et 25kg

Pound : 2.5, 5, 10, 25 ou 45lbs.

You can also find plates with a combination of metal and rubber that can be thrown to the ground but not from aboe you head.

Kettelbells

kettelbell

This is looks like a cannon balls with handles. Most gym don’t have the same weight repertoire than dumbells but it’s possible to find kettelbells of 24kg (53lbs) and 31.75 (70lbs) and more.

GHR/GHD Machine

ghr ghd machine glute ham raise developer

The translation is « Glute Ham Raise » or « Glute Ham Developer ». With this you can do glute ham raise, back extension or sit ups.

Prowler/Dragging sled

prowler dragging sled

Put weights on a prowler and push or pull while you run.

Strongman equipment

strongman kegs yokes hammers tires atlas stone

If you don’t intend to make a strongman competition, kegs, yokes, hammers, tires and atlas stones are good to do from time to time.

Plyo Boxes

plyo Boxe

These boxes have several size. You jump on and off of.

Bands

band

Those are big rubber bans to work mobility and speed lifts.

Gear

It’s funny because people ask me often : « What do I wear ? ». I noticed in gyms, it’s often a fashion show. It’s for this reason beginners are impressed. Unless you have an injury, clothes don’t matter. When I started, I took some clothes that I rarely used and I always do that. Sometimes I see people with cool clothes and I say to myself : « Wow, I have to buy it » and when I see theirs performances I say to myself : « Pffff, show-off ! ».

Clothing

Gym isn’t a fashion show. You’re not going to win a prize because you’re well dressed. We’re here to sweat so wearing comfortable clothes. You know, my clothes and shoes are torn and the funny thing is that people ask me, if they can train with me because they see my body evolve.

Shoes

squat deadlift shoes classic converse chuck taylor all star

It’s important to have a good pair of shoes to do deadlift and squat. A good pair of shoes allows you to put your weight on your heels to be as stable as possible. Running shoes don’t allow you to do this because their soft soles. If you don’t have the budget for this type of shoes, the classic Converse Chuck Taylor All Star works well and is what many top powerlifters still wear.

Personally I use my Converse Chuck Taylor All Star for my strenght training and my Puma to run.

Gloves

Gloves are used to protect hands from callouses. At the beginning, I wore gloves and I still had callouses and sometimes my hands slipped inside gloves because of the sweat. I notices that gloves could also mess up your grip and technique. I don’t use gloves and I don’t recommand to have gloves.

Knee/Wrist wraps

knee wrist wraps

Wraps allow you to have support and stability when you lift heavy weights (squat/deadlift).

Straps

straps

Straps allow you to hold the bar longer in your hands. Straps are wrapped around the bar which relives your grip. It’s excellent for intermediate and advanced lifters. Beginners don’t need to use it.

Weightlifting Belt

weightlifting belt leather weightlifting belt velcro

There are 2 type of weightlifting belt : leather or velcro. It’s very usefull for intermediate and advanced lifters. I use my weightlifting belt only for deadlift and squat.

Stop, stop, stop, I see you start to worry about buyiing all this. Don’t panic, the most important thing to have is a good pair of shoes to get started. It’s simple, let’s go my friend.

Whats’s the biggest mistake you made when you started lifting ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph