Breathing isn’t something that many of us ever have to actively think about or struggle with – unless maybe we’ve pushed
ourselves too hard in a workout. However, asthma—a common disorder affecting more than 34 million Americans—caused by an inflammation of one’s airways can significantly impact breathing.
There are many different treatment and coping mechanisms available for those who have asthma.
Rachel Story, MD, Allergist at NorthShore, provides some brief information about what can be done to help prevent and reduce asthma symptoms:
What do you do to manage your asthma conditions? Has your asthma improved as a result?
Our backs are responsible for helping with movement, posture and overall support. Without a healthy, strong backbone
we couldn’t do much. Some children develop an abnormal curve in the spine (otherwise known as scoliosis), that if not properly treated can lead to problems. While there isn’t a set determining factor—such as genetics—for developing scoliosis, it is more common
Our backs are responsible for helping with movement, posture and overall support. Without a healthy, strong backbone we couldn’t do much. For unknown reasons, some children develop an abnormal curve or curves in the spine (otherwise known as idiopatic scoliosis,
an example of the unknown reason), that if not properly treated can lead to problems. While there isn’t a set determining factor—such as genetics—for developing scoliosis, it is more common in females.
Some of the common signs to look for when identifying scoliosis include:
Eldin Karaikovic, MD, PhD, identifies some of the scoliosis treatment options:
Do you know anyone who has or had scoliosis?
Gearing up for school often involves more than just prepping for the classroom and after-school routine. While the roads may seem a little less trafficked in the summer months with no more school drop off and carpooling schedules, as the new year starts
it’s important to refresh our minds about street safety.
Jacque Quick, RN, gives some quick reminders for drivers for keeping you, your kids and others safe on the road:
She also reminds kids to be safe by making sure to:
What safety tips do you remind your kids of before returning to school?
Summer vacation is here! While it may seem early, it’s often best to get your child’s required physical and immunizations
scheduled and completed before it gets too close to class being back in session. This way your kids can have all appropriate screening and their vaccines updated so they are kept safe from illness and don’t infect others.
Kenneth Fox, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, gives parents some tips on preparing for back-to-school shots: (Please note this is just a sample list of vaccines needed. Please
refer to your office guidelines for shots).
Booster doses of several of these occur between 12 and 18 months and then again between ages 4 -6 years. Influenza vaccines are yearly beginning at 6 months of age.
Most kids don’t like being pricked by needles or look forward to getting shots. Dr. Fox gives some advice on how to ease the pain of getting shots:
When do you usually schedule your child’s back-to-school appointments? Do you have any tips to help with shots?
For more information, visit the
Illinois Department of Public Health, Immunization Program website.
As summer vacation winds down, you and your kids may be getting ready for the upcoming academic year and school sports season.
This preparation may include revisiting equipment needs, as well as scheduling an annual or sports physical.
Depending on the sport and school, many students who plan to play on their school’s sports team are required to get a sports physical before he or she is allowed to practice or play. Even if your child isn’t playing a sport, physicals are recommended for students
starting in kindergarten through high school.
Cherise Russo, DO with NorthShore, gives her recommendations for prepping for the school sports season:
How many sports are your kids involved with at school?
Just as athletes need to properly stretch and hydrate before and after a workout or event, they also need to be making smart
meal choices. What you eat—regardless if you are an athlete or not—will greatly impact your health.
It can often be hard to determine which foods are best, especially with the myriad of options available at most grocery stores. A good place to start is learning how to make smart nutritional choices when it comes to fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Michael Rakotz, MD, Family Medicine physician at Northshore, gives advice on the best meal choices for both athletes and non-athletes alike:
What smart meal choices do you make to maintain your health?
It’s hard enough sometimes to get into a regular workout schedule, but then to add an extra 5-10 minutes to each session for stretching can make it even more difficult. Fortunately, the benefits of stretching both before and after a workout can make this
extra time worth it.
April Williams, MS, RCEP Exercise Physiologist at NorthShore, discusses the benefits of stretching pre and post workout:
Be sure that you are gently stretching all major muscle groups, especially after working out. It will be easier for you to get a better stretch once your muscles are already warm from your activity. The following stretches are good starting points for any
workout, and can be customized depending on your needs and activity:
Do you stretch before and after you exercise? How long to you usually stretch for?
Whether you’re training for a big race or involved in minimal daily physical activity, drinking water is essential
to keeping your body hydrated and healthy. For most people the recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water. However, if you are an endurance athlete training for a marathon or triathlon, this amount of water may not be sufficient to refuel your body.
Brian Shortal, MD,
Cardiologist at NorthShore, marathoner and triathlete, gives his advice on what endurance athletes can do to stay properly hydrated:
To view tips on how to train for a race in the summer heat—including avoiding certain times, monitoring your weight and urine—view our previous post.
What do you drink to stay hydrated after a strenuous workout?
Has watching the London games made you eager to start a new exercise routine? While your training schedule probably
won’t be as grueling, diving right into a new routine can be difficult. Beginning slow and identifying your workout goals is a great starting point.
Carrie Jaworski, MD, Sports Medicine physician at NorthShore, gives the following tips for starting a new exercise routine:
What weekly workout activities do you enjoy most? How do you stick with your routine?
A day of fun in the sun can lead serious ailments if
you’re not careful. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated and seek shade when you’re enjoying outdoor activities. Learn how to beat the heat this summer by learning the signs and symptoms of heat stroke.
Rick Gimbel, MD, an emergency medicine physician, shares some of the facts and warning signs for identifying heat stroke:
Have you ever experienced heat cramps, exhaustion or stroke? When do you usually know you’ve had too much sun?