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.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-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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Heat Illness

heat illness

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.

Every summer, hundreds of people experience sun-related illnesses and heat. Being prepared and hydrated avoids theses situations.

Why

When an athlete exercises, his/her body temperature increase and the body sweats to cool the body. During this process, body fluids and electrolytes are lost. If the boy is not recharged with fluids and electrolytes, it’s dehydration and it increase the risk of heat illness as a heat stroke.

Symptoms

Symptoms are :

  • Chills

  • Dark colored urine

  • Dry mouth

  • Headaches

  • Thirst

  • Weakness

If the heat illness progress, there are more serious symptoms like :

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Body temperature increasing to dangerous levels

  • Muscle cramps

  • Nausea

  • Tingling of the limbs

  • Death

How to prevent

The most effective treatments for heat illness are :

  • Proper training for the heat

  • Fluid replacement before, during, and after exertion

  • Appropriate clothing (light colored, loose fitting and limited to one layer)

  • Early recognition via direct monitoring of athlete by other players, coaches and medical staff

  • Monitoring the intensity of physical activity appropriate for fitness and how an athlete has acclimated to conditions.

  • If possible, having an athletic trainer on site during events and practices to properly prevent and treat heat illnesses.

In situations where the training program is intense or during a trip in a hot climate, an athlete should limit the intensity and duration of the training session. Thereafter, the athlete will increase the training’s intensity for a period of 7-14 days to allow to the body, the time to adjust to the climate and environmental conditions. For athletes with respiratory, gastrointestinal or other diseases, they should especially evaluate these new conditions.

When an athlete should hydrate

hydrate

It’s necessary to hydrate before, during and after a training session. Drinking 47cl (16 ounces) of water is recommended 1 hour before exercises. Hydration should continue with 11-23cl (4-8 ounces) of water every 15-20 minutes throughout the effort

There is a trick to track the hydration’s level is to weigh before and after a physical activity. If the athlete is lighter after a physical activity, this means that there a deficit of fluids (indicated by weight loss) and it’s necessary to recharge them. For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink more to evaluate the losses (perspiration). An athlete who loses more than 2-3% of his/her bodyweight during exercise may decrease the performance and the body’s physiological function.

If the athlete is heavier after a physical activity, it means that there is a surplus of fluids (indicated by gain weight). For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink less to evaluate the surplus.

How to treat it

When you see signs of heat illness or heat stroke, it may be an imminent danger of death. It’s necessary that a person immediately call for medical assistance while you’re cooling the person at risk.

Treatment included :

  • Getting the athlete to a shaded area

  • If it heat stroke, cool the athlete rapidly using cold water immersion. If immersion is not available you may use spray from a hose, cold water sponging, or placing cold towels over the entire body

  • Monitoring body temperature

  • Providing cool beverage if possible (i.e., if the athlete doesn’t have altered consciousness).

  • Getting medical assistance as soon as possible.

Heat exhaustion is a type of heat illness that can happen after several days of exposure to high temperature and improper or unbalanced fluid recharging.

Statistics

  • Heat stroke is a type of serious illness related to heat. It can cause death to athletes and this is probably the leading cause of athlete death during the months of July and August.

  • The body produces 1.8 liters (a half of gallon) of perspiration to cool the body every hour. If there are not enough fluids or the heat is overwhelming the body, the person may develop heat-related illness.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-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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Seated Barbell Calf Raises

seated barbell calf raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

seated barbell calf raises

Sitting on a bench with a step under your forefeet. The barbell placed on the bottom of your thighs.

  • Do an extension of your feet

This exercise works mainly soleus. This muscle is part of the triceps surae and inserted above the knee’s joint, on tibia and fibula. It attached below to the calcaneus by the Achilles tendon. This muscle has the function of extending the ankles. The difference with the seated calf raises machine is that you can’t work with heavyweights. To have better results, it’s advisable to work with sets of 15 to 20 reps minimum.

Attention

If you have pain on thigh because of the barbell, you can use a towel or barbell pad.

Variant

You can do this exercise with the barbell without weights (the Olympic barbell weighs 20kg/44lbs) on a bench. In this case, it’s necessary to do sets with a lot of reps until the burning sensation,

triceps soleus muscles

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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Find The Gym For Your Goals (Part 1)

radar dragon ball

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

The gym can become an important part in your life. For this reason is important to choose your gym well otherwise you will become bitter.

It’s not necessary to train in a gym to gain strength or to have a good physical condition. You can do a bodyweight workout program at home (bedroom, garage or basement).

But if you really want an athletic body, you need to have equipment like barbells or dumbbells. It’s possible that you don’t have place or resources to create your home gym (like me), so the best option is to have a gym membership.

Discover really what you want

discover

Don’t do the mistake to have a gym membership in the closest gym to your home. Think about your goals.

Make a list of things you need in a gym and make the difference between « must have » and « would be nice to haves ».

Equipment

I wrote an article in 2 parts about this topic (click here link ). Imagine you have a workout program based on barbell, you need to check this :

  • Olympic barbell

  • Power rack (or at least a squat rack)

  • Dumbells up to 45-68kg (100-150lbs) or heavier if you want to do a dumbell training over barbell

  • Pullup bar/Dip station

  • Flat bench with racks for the bench press

Classes

Gyms offer free classes for their members like kickboxing, dance fitness, stationary bike or yoga. This is helpful for beginners, don’t hesitate to try one.

Amenities

Some gyms offer good anemities like child care, a zone only for women ( my sister came one time in my gym and she said that men stared at her too much) or dry cleaning.

An environment to be focus

For me the gym has an important part in my day. When I train at home, I know I’ll be bothered by my rommates. I find it easier to concentrate when I’m at the gym with my headphones. When I’m at the gym it’s « my time » to me, I’m in my bubble. Everything about home, school, work doesn’t exist. The only thing is important is my workout.

Coach

Gyms have coaches available to help you improve your technique or workout program. From time to time it’s pratical.

Rules

A « must have » rule can be you can bring your childen at gym. I don’t have children but it looks cool for people who have children. Some gyms don’t allow to do deadlift and have vibram  so check if rules match with what you want to do.

A gym membership can be a long-term commitment so look at these points :

  • If you do a workout program based on dumbbells like me, be sure that dumbbells up to 45-68kg (100-150lbs) or heavier

  • If you think you’ll do the Olympic lift, look for bumper plates and a gym that lets you drop the weight.

  • If you think you’ll try kickboxing or yoga later, check that the gym has this type of classes.

Budget

calculator

During my travels, I saw gym membership between $9.- and $365.- per month. In Europe, it’s on average EUR 50.- per month but it depends on the area where you live and the amenities offered.

It’s useless to take the most expensive price thinking that you’ll have everything you need in the gym (I already did this mistake). It’s for this reason I’m writing this article to help you to find the best gym at the best price according to your need.

Also think of the usual thing like the towel. Imagine you go to a gym that offer a towel’s service. You know it and you think it’s great, you don’t nee to bring your towel. One day, you go to train at the gym at lunch and the staff tell you that there is no more towels available. It’s annoying.

Apart from the equipement, there are services that are important to know if the gym offer them or not :

Events offer or trips with discounts. Imagine that the gym organizes a hiking trip and member pay only 20.-. I agree, it’s not an incredible discount but during the hiking trip you’ll able to meet people who work to improve their health like you.

A child care service during your workouts. It’s possible that you have to pay an extra of $20.- or $30.- per month. I don’t have children but it looks pratical.

Free classes including yoga that is great for relaxing muscles. I prefer Tai-Chi but there is no this class in gyms.

Location and hours

hour

Having a gym that is close to your house and your school/workplace is an interesting place.

By exemple, if you gym is close of your school/workplace, it’s cool. But the problem is that if you school/workplace is at a distance of 1 hour from you home, you’ll never train on weekends.

There is something I forgot to tell you in gym’s rules. There are gyms that close at 23h (11pm) and I know some gyms don’t allow their members to start their workout after 22:15 (10:15pm). If you work late in the night or during the night, it’s better to look for a gym open 24/7.

It’s important to choose a gym according to your willpower :

  • Imagine you want to train before you go to school/workplace. You do it because you want to train immediately to avoid not training all day or because when you wake up, you’re groggy and train give you energy for the whole day ?

  • Imagine you want to train after your school/workplace. You do it because you don’t have time to train during the day ? Be carefull because if you’re the type of person who is very tired after school/workplacle, you’ll find excuses to cancel your training. I meet everyday people like this.

An ideal location is to find a gym located between your home and your school/workplace. If you can do this, you’ll save time and money. I can’t do that but it’s really effective.

Note : It’s better to pay a little bit more for a gym that you use several times a week than pay less for a gym that you use from time to time. Don’t be fancy.

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

P.S. To read the Part 2, click here .

-Steph

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Naked With The Bath Towel In Hand

towel

Today, great workout legs and abs. In addition, I managed to do all sets in Romanian Deadlift, my grip has improved, I’m happy.

I don’t know if it’s a matter of culture or education or just people don’t care but earlier this week, a guy walked around naked in the locker room to go to the shower. The guy is fifties, you see, he knows the life better life than me ! I think.

I’ll explain the scene. I finished my shower just before him, I was getting dressed and he came naked, dick in the air with his towel in hand. I see that, I avoid looking at him, I look down. All of a sudden I see he puts his towel on the floor and he puts his feet on it. Me surprised, I look and I think : « Damn, this guy prefer have below of his feet dry rather putting a towel to hide his dick ».

feet on towel

There I started to get irritated. I come to the gym to train, not to see dicks. I don’t understand, the guy at 50 years old, gray hair, he has a beer belly, I think he is a father. It’s not his home here, it’s a public place. In the locker room nobody says anything but I see they have a weird face. I tell myself that the next time I see him, I would tell him somethings.

Today I finished getting dressed when he came in the locker room. He finished his training. It’s weird, he was still next to me ?!? Same thing, the guy is going to shower naked towel in hand. This is the time, now is the time to say something so I didn’t dare to tell him I didn’t want to see his dick every time I see him.

I told him that often female staff (there is not much employees in the gym) come in the men’s locker room to check that everything is OK. It would be unfortunate if it happens while he walks around naked. He said he didn’t know it and thanked me. I think the case is settled but its weird that he doesn’t bother him to walk naked in a public place with his towel in hand ?

stop

I hope you’re not doing that kind of thing ? Because people showing their dicks to everyone annoys me !

Do you want to avoid having a beer belly ? Free fitness program (select a program and click on « Log in as Guest ») or my eBook.

-Steph

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