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 .

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From Beginner To Become Your Own Personal Trainer (Part 2)

become your own personal trainer

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

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

Mastering the movement

mastering the movement

If you want to have lasting results, there is no shortcut, you need to learn the basic movements. It’s like at school, learning and progressing.

The best way to start a strength training is to do a bodyweight workout at home (I started like that). If you want to do a barbell movement in your workout, you can use a broom stick or a PVC pipe. If you want to do a dumbbell movement, you can use 2 sections of PVC or 2 bottles of water.

The technique is very important for movement like squat, deadlift, pull ups, bench press. That’s why using light weight will allow you to learn to make the right movements. It’s going to be a bit long but you’re going to avoid having injuries and months of frustration.

Use your smartphone to make videos of your exercices to compare them with tutorial videos that you can find on Youtube or others.

It’s possible that you feel uncomfortable with an exercice even if you have videos to improve. In this case, I advise you to see gyms in your area to hire a coach for 1-2 sessions. It’s only to improve your techniques, it’s not to hire a coach for several months. This coach will teach you what you need to know to train at home safely.

It’s not always obvious to understand tutorial videos on Youtube or others. The reason is that the person who explains how to do the technique knows very well how to make the movement but forgot to explain mistakes he/she made when he/she was a beginner.

If you have difficulties with a part of the movement, don’t get upset or be frustrated. It’s just something you can improve and by tracking your workouts, you’ll see that.

What to take

what to take

Clothes

To start, takes comfortable clothes. Don’t buy special fitness clothes. The gym isn’t a fashion show, forget what people think about you. There is no ego in a gym. I like to wear simple clothes, no known brand because I always tear my clothes by dint of using them. Maybe I dress like a tramp but everyone is silent when they see my performances.

Note : If you go to workout after school/work, take your gym outfits with you to go to the gym directly.

Shoes

For shoes, takes shoes minimizes with a flat and hard sole. For example Classic Chuck Taylor , Vibram or Powerlifter shoes .

I use for my strength training Classic Chuck Taylor and for my cardio Puma.

Drink

Take a bottle of water. It’s handy to have a bottle of water next to you to drink between 2 sets rather than go to the toilettes.

Notebook

Takes a notebook to track your workout during your workout. Often after our workout we don’t remember the workout’s details as having done 1 more rep or 1 more set. If you use a smartphone, you can use Evernote  as a notebook or a fitness app like Jetfit .

Shower gel

We sweat during our workout and it’s always nice to take a shower after an effort. If you’re going to train before going to school/work, shower gel is essential.

Your music

Takes an MP3 player or smartphone with a great playlist to « get in the zone » and make you feel like a superhero. Often music in gyms are special. In my gym often we can hear bachata or it’s nightclub ambiance.

My playlist it’s 50 Cent, G-Unit, 2 Eminem’s song and soundtrack of japanese cartoon « Hajime No Ippo » (boxe) and « Hokuto No Ken » (martial art) and soundtrack of « Rocky ».

I’ve been using my smartphone for a few years to listen to my music and keep track of workout (Jefit) and it’s really cool.

The basic rules

basic rules

There are basic rules for gyms. By following these rules, you’ll be comfortable in any gym :

  • Put weights in the right place when you finished using them.

  • If a person is using a equipment you want to use, it’s OK to kindly ask this person how many sets he/sh has left to do.

  • If another person wants to use the same equipment as you, you can offer him/her to work together. You do a set while the other rest and vice versa. You may not be comfortable with that and you can say no. Say something like « no but I still have 2 sets and after it’s for you ».

  • If a person asks you to spot and you have never done that, tell that person you never did that and ask him/her what you’d like you to do. This person will explain everything to you.

  • If a person offer to spot you on an exercice (bench press), don’t worry. Usually it’s always an experienced person who does this to help you. It’s motivating and it’s a good opportunity to exceed your limits.

  • Cleans the sweat that has on the equipment you want to use. In gyms, there is always a station with liquid cleanser and tissues.

  • With benches, leaves a space between you and the others so that everyone can keep their personal space.

  • Even if you see a person making a move that you have never seen, let it happen. You don’t want someone to come and tell you that what you do is wrong. It’s the same for others.

  • Avoid speaking in your smartphone and call the person after your workout. You’re in a gym to train, only to train.

  • Don’t sit on equipment forever. Do your sets and go to the next exercice. Don’t sit on equipment for 2 hours.

Start your strength training as soon as possible. It’s by doing exercices several times that you’ll improve your technique. Don’t be afraid to do wrong because the majority of people in a gym have no idea what they’re doing. I have been practicing for several years and I’m always improving each one of my exercices, I say each of my exercices.

What keeps you from starting a strength training ?

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

-Steph

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Find The Gym For Your Goals (Part2)

find a gym diffrent type

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

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

Type de gyms

different type gym

You noticed there are several categories of gyms. That’s why you have to take your time to think about a gym that fits your needs.

Fitness center franchise

In the best known franchises, you will have cheap membership. It’s cheap but you have few amenities, some type of trainings are forbidden, free weight section is limited and often the staff has no experience.

Health clubs/Sport clubs/YMCA

Clubs look like franchises but they have a better service. There is more amenities, towel service, child care, pool, tennis court. Membership can reach $100, some type of training can be prohibited and free weight’s section limited.

Note : Franchises and clubs can be convenient if you travel a lot because with their membership, you can train in different cities.

Locally owned gyms

These gyms have a better equipement, a free weight’s section bigger and a better quality staff than franchises and health clubs. Membership is around $25-50 and it’s real that amenites are less good than health clubs.

Weightlifting club/barbell club/crossfit

It’s a room with bumper plates, dumbbells, barbells and pullup bar. With the membership, you have a coach and classes, that’s why it’s expensive. These gyms are open at certain hours during the day. These gyms have their own workout program, you can’t do your own workout program.

College/university gyms

it’s cheap and you need to paid upfront in full.

You can have a discount « alumini » memberships if you go to the college or university that you attended. If you don’t live near of you old college/university, some gyms offer memberships to family members of alumini or staff, local « senior » memberships or event just local resident memberships. What is great with this type of gym is you can have acces to their full facilty (pool, racquet courts, classes, etc).

Test drive the gym

test drive

The next step is to look for gyms in your city now that you know differtent types of gyms.

Do a test in gyms to see if the equipement meets your needs. Some gyms offer pass for 1-2 weeks. During the test phase, go train the same days that you plan to train after signing the contract.

Imagine that you find the perfect gym, you sign the contract and eveydays you train, it’s war. The gym is full of people and you can’t use equipement. This is a situation to avoid.

Here is what is important to see during the test phase :

  • Is there enough equipment for everyone or you have to fight to have a bench ?

  • Does the equipment work well ?

  • What is the gym’s atmosphere ?

  • Is it clean ?

  • If you go befoire school/work, is there enough shower available or you have to wait ?

You can read gym’s reviews on internet by searching with Google or DuckDuckGo. Attention, on internet people prefer to complain than to do compliments so be careful. For me the best thing to do is talk to gym members to know what is positive and negative.

Contracts

contract

A lot of people don’t want to have a membership gym because one of their friend had a bad experience to stop a gym’s membership. This for this reason it’s important to take your time to read the contract and understand clauses.

Here things to look at in a contract :

  • A membership termination clause because for exemple, you move or you lose you job. This is rare but sometimes you can stop a membership if you live near the gym. Usually there is a fee named «  early termination fee » (that’s what I have).

  • The possibility when you’re on vacation ou you have to work for several weeks in another city to freeze your membership.

  • If the gym goes bankrupt, what happens to members ?

  • Membership renewal is automatic ?

You know salespersons work with commission so if a sales person make you a promise, make sure that this promise is in writing. Taking the contract at home is the thing I advise you to read it quietly and understand clauses.

If you feel that the salesperson put pression on you or that you don’t feel comfortable for another reason, leave the gym.

Note : There are states that has specific laws. For exemple, you can cancel the contract only 2 days after signed it. It would be a shame if you signed this type of contract without being aware of this clause. This is why it’s important to take the contract at home to read it quietly.

Here different membership’s fees :

  • Activation fee

    You pay these fees when you’re a new member. You pay these fees once.

  • Monthly cost

    it’s a fee you pay every month

  • Maintenance fee

You pay these fees per year. Attention, some gyms have a special clause that says : « We don’t have this kind of fee now but later, it’s possible to add these fees without telling you ». Be sure to know this clause if it is in your contract.

When I enrolled in my gym, there was an offer for people who applied for registration on internet. Look at gym’s website to know offers but also ask always to salesperson if there are discounts.

In gyms, there is often a membership’s range of price. You need to negotiate, don’t hesitate. Don’t forget that the more you take the more expensive membership, the more the salesperson will have a larger commission. If the salesperson tell you : « No », it doesn’t matter, you tried to get the best price.

By negotiating, somethimes you can register in a gym for the first time without paying the activation fees. To do it, you need to talk to the person who has permission to do this. Sometimes they can call you 1-2 days after to offer you an exceptional offer.

You can also have a nice offer by paying an annual membership up front. Look at the price difference.

Also you can have offers with you health insurance. It’s always with a limited number of gym but look if you have this option.

Stay focus

stay focus

The difference between a workout at home and a workout in a gym is that in a workout in a gym, you can really make your potential evolve to the maximum.

For exemple, if you do a barbell’s workout, you will have always heavy weight plates to go to the next level. It’s the same thing for dumbbells. You need heavier, it’s here. No need to worry about buying new.

Of course, there are negative pointst to enroll a gym. You have to move there (bike, bus, car, etc), you to wait if you go during busy hours, the cost and do your workout around unkown people.

I repeat, you can train at home to be healthy or gain strength with a bodyweight workout program. You can buy a set of dumbbell, barbell, kettelbell or a sandbag. You can do sprints or walk (like my father) outside with any weather and it’s free.

For me the gym, it’s an important moment of my day. It’s the moment where I’m focus on myself and the society’s pressure no longer exists.

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

-Steph

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