Flu Immunization Clinics at Arnot Health

Arnot Health is holding flu immunization clinics for all members of the community who are 19 years or older. Arnot Health will bill Medicare for anyone enrolled in Medicare Part A or B. All others will be charged $43.00, cash or check only.

Flu immunizations are available as follows: 

Monday, October 5
10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Elmira, NY
Cusick Meeting Room

Tuesday, October 6
10:30am – 12:30pm at
 the Dormann Library, Bath, NY              

Monday, October 12
10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm at Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY
Petrie West Conference Room

Tuesday, October 13
10am – 1pm at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Elmira, NY
Cusick Meeting Room

Monday, October 26
10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm at 
Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY
Petrie West Conference Room

For more information, please call Health on Demand at 607-737-4499.

4 Potential Hazards for Child Athletes vs. Adult Athletes

For children and young adults, participating in sports is a great way to learn the values of exercise, teamwork, winning and losing, and working hard toward your goals. Athletics can enrich young lives and prepare kids for a lifetime of healthy living. As adults – coaches and parents alike – it’s important to remember the roles we play in developing young athletes and keeping them free from injury. Medically speaking, kids are not just “little adults,” they are built differently and transition physically through growth stages, making them more susceptible to injury. The following list identifies some potential hazards for child athletes and ways we can help kids enjoy the benefits of sports while minimizing the risks of injury:

Mixing Size and Strength

Children grow at all different rates, so one age does not necessarily mean one size. Some 7-year-olds may develop upper-body strength more quickly for example, while others may see faster growth in their legs and feet. This means that discrepancies in agility, speed, strength, and overall size can be fairly wide, creating a volatile situation for young athletes. As adults, we can identify these differences and do our best to create match-ups that are safer and more even.

Growth Plate Vulnerability

Growth plates are areas of cartilage located near the ends of bones and are particularly vulnerable to fractures. They typically close or harden by age 21, so adults do not have to worry about injury to these areas. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons estimates that 15% to 30% of all childhood fractures are growth plate fractures. For these reasons, it is especially important for children to wear all forms of proper protective gear to minimize the risk of growth plate fractures.

Overuse Injuries

Just because a child spends time in practice and games, it doesn’t mean he or she is going to want to play less at home or in school. Young muscles and bones can sometimes experience too much play time, resulting in potential overuse injuries. Coaches and parents should always stress the importance of warming up and training so that their young athletes’ bodies may be properly prepared for all activities.

Under-Preparation

Prevention measures are the best for avoiding injuries in children, and several factors can determine the right kind of preparation for each child. In general, young athletes should be in the right condition to participate in sports. A doctor can determine overall physical condition with a pre-sports physical, checking for flexibility, strength, and body capacity. It’s also important to know and abide by the safety rules and regulations of each individual sport, including all of the proper equipment and padding.

In general, exercise and training can be truly beneficial for children, but injuries at a young age can contribute to long-term problems. As long as parents and coaches understand the potential risks for injury and burnout, their little athletes will enjoy the positive growth and lifelong benefits of sports and competition.

For more information, contact Dr. Beth Dollinger, Orthopedic Surgeon at Arnot Health.

Nicer Weather May Cause More Injuries

The nice weather is upon us and the urge to push the kids outdoors for some quality fresh air and playtime is overwhelming. This time of year is full of possibilities, including the possibility of injuries. For a variety of reasons, emergency room visits increase as much as 15-20% for children and young adults in the spring and summer. Let’s take a look at some of those injuries and common causes and see if we can’t put a little more focus on safety.

Spring & Summertime Injuries:

With a sudden increase in outdoor activities, emergency room visits for this age group also increase. Typical injuries include:

  • Wrist Fractures
  • Ankle Fractures
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries
  • Sprains
  • Stress Fractures

Children and young adults are growing. Where the bones are actively lengthening (a.k.a. wrists, ankles, etc.) the structure can be weakened and fracture easily.

What You Can Do Throughout The Year:

Being dormant and inactive throughout the long winter months is of particular concern not only for your overall health, but can be a large contributor to injury numbers. Muscles are cold and weakened, tendons are tight, and for growing children, still adjusting to their new size. One of the most important things you can do to prevent injury is to stay active, and keep your children active, throughout the year. Make sure they are moving and stretching indoors throughout the long winters. Make sure to switch it up, working in strength, cardio, and aerobic exercise year-round.

Once the Nice Weather is Upon You:

When the days get longer and the temperature finally reaches acceptable levels, take it slow. Try to gradually ease your kids back into the full swing of strenuous activities. Too much too fast is taxing on the body. A 30 mile bike ride or a marathon session of pitch and catch may sound like a perfect way to spend the first nice day of the year but doing too much too fast can be, simply put, too much. In addition to taking it slow to start, you can also make sure you take the usual precautions associated with outdoor safety such as:

  • Bike Helmets
  • Wrist Guards
  • Knee Pads
  • Shin Guards

A quick note about safety equipment: Please don’t merely dust it off and send it out with the kids. Make sure the equipment fits properly and is in good condition; kids can grow a lot in just a few months, so last year’s sizes may be too small this year.

Trampolines:

In addition to all the things listed above, some outdoor activities are just not a good idea. Backyard trampolines are the cause of a surprising number of injuries and should probably, for peace of mind alone, be avoided. Ankle Injuries, wrist injuries, back injuries, and neck injuries abound, and those are just the most common. There are plenty of other fun things to do outside, the risk may not be worth the bounce.

For more information, or to talk or schedule an appointment with Dr. Beth Dollinger, click here to find her contact information listed in our provider directory.

Walking Program Participants “Step It Up” at the Arnot Mall

Last night, members of the Arnot Health “Step It Up” walking program met at the Arnot Mall for a mid-point check in. “Step It Up,” which began with a kick-off event on April 7, is a free 6-week community walking program designed to improve overall health through a focus on improved nutrition and increased activity.

More than 20 participants showed up for the mid-program event, which began with a stretch and warm-up routine in the community room at the mall. The group then dispersed in several directions so that each member walked a full lap around the interior of the mall; the estimated distance was over a half mile.

Once they returned, Nykole Parks, Community Health Services Coordinator for Arnot Health, asked about their progress so far and gave some tips to keep participants motivated during the second half of the “Step It Up!” program.

On May 19, a program End Event will celebrate the overall progress of each member. Health screenings that were initiated in the opening event will be performed again to track participant progress.

“Step It Up!” is sponsored by Arnot Health, Chemung County Health Department, Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council, and Creating Health Places to Live, Work and Play. For more information, or to find out how you can be a part of this program next time it’s offered, visit www.arnothealth.org/weight-loss-and-healthy-habits-step-it-up-program.

DSC_0585 DSC_0584 DSC_0576 DSC_0568 Arnot Health Step It Up Walking Program at the Arnot Mall

What is ‘Skier’s Thumb’ and how does it happen?

‘Skier’s Thumb’ refers to a specific injury to the hand that occurs, primarily, when a significant force is applied pulling the thumb backwards and away from the palm. This causes injury to the ulnar collateral ligament which connects your thumb and hand as well as provides the tension and stability of your thumb. Skier’s Thumb is often seen as a result of a skiing accident, hence the name, when someone falls with their poles still in hand. When this happens, the poles can either snag and pull back on the thumb, or, the hands can hit the ground with the poles underneath, popping the thumb in the air. Another common ‘off-the-slopes’ cause includes car accident injuries when the driver has their thumb(s) wrapped around the steering wheel, puling the thumb back on forceful impact.

So, what are the symptoms?

  • Pain and swelling of the thumb and hand
  • Weakness and instability of the thumb
  • Inability to ‘pinch’ something or hold objects between the thumb and forefinger

If you are exhibiting the above symptoms, it’s best to visit your physician for an x-ray.

How is Skier’s Thumb Treated?
The treatment of Skiers Thumb can vary depending on the severity and extent of the damage. If the ulnar collateral ligament is torn or completely separated from the bone, extensive treatment is most likely necessary including:

  • Brace or casting for 3-4 weeks
  • Surgical mending or reattachment followed by a brace or cast
  • After the above, physical or occupational therapy will be necessary for an additional 4-6 weeks to improve/restore range of motion and flexibility.

While Skier’s Thumb can, and does, occur in other situations, it’s best to let go of your poles if you’re heading for a spill on the slopes to minimize your risk of this type of injury.

Fun Fact: Years ago, this condition was often referred to as ‘Gamekeepers Thumb’ as it was seen in game farmers caused by the repetitive motion of wringing a birds neck between the thumb and forefinger. We’re really not too upset with the name change.

Skier's Thumb Injury

If you’d like more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Beth Dollinger, click here to find her contact information listed in our provider directory.

Heart Month at Arnot Health: Stop Smoking Right Away

Throughout the month of February, we will be sharing important heart health tips from the Arnot Health Heart and Vascular Institute, an advanced support team that provides high-quality, compassionate care in state-of-the-art facilities. This week, we’re talking about the effects of smoking – and quitting – on your heart and body.

According to the American Heart Association, smoking by itself increases the risk of coronary heart disease. It decreases your tolerance for physical activity and increases the tendency for blood to clot; a severely dangerous combination.

“Smoking can stress the entire body,” said Maureen Tuite, Clinical Director and Nurse Practitioner at the Arnot Health Heart and Vascular Institute. “Inflammation in the lungs makes it harder to breathe, and increased blood pressure and high cholesterol leads to heart disease.”

Many people are familiar with the dangers and side effects of smoking, but the inverse benefits of quitting can be just as powerful. Your lungs can begin to heal themselves right away, and your whole body can recover over time. “After you quit for a year or two, you can help reverse some of the damage to your heart,” said Maureen. The statistics below from the American Heart Association highlight the benefits of quitting:

  • After 20 Minutes: your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the cigarette-induced spike
  • After 12 Hours: the carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal
  • After 2-6 Weeks: your circulation and lung function begin to improve
  • After 1-9 Months: clear and deeper breathing gradually returns
  • After 1 Year: your risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50 percent
  • After 5 Years: your risk of stroke is similar to that of someone who has never smoked

Quitting is very difficult because tobacco is so highly addictive, but success is more likely with aids like gum, patches, or prescription medications. The New York State Quit Line offers free access to replacement products like these. One of the most important factors, of course, is never starting in the first place.

According to Maureen Tuite, “We work hard in the community to keep adolescents from picking up the habit. While tobacco companies spend exorbitant amounts of money advertising to young people, it’s imperative to keep providing education on the harmful realities of smoking.” As other products like e-cigarettes emerge, it’s important to understand the dangers of those, as well. Manufacturers are not required to release the ingredients of e-cigarettes, and they have not been around long enough to understand their long-term effects.

More research and resources are available from the American Heart Association, and the most important thing to remember is that it’s never too late to quit.

Follow Arnot Health on Facebook for daily heart health tips and more throughout the month of February.

Heart Month at Arnot Health: Exercise for Your Heart

It’s Heart Month, and throughout February we will be sharing important tips for taking care of your heart from the Arnot Health Heart and Vascular Institute, an advanced support team that provides high-quality, compassionate care in state-of-the-art facilities.

The first thing to think about is physical activity and how we can start improving our overall health right away. This time of year brings lots of opportunities for outdoor fun in the Twin Tiers. Those big winter storms also bring out the shovels and snow plows that we have all learned to despise. No matter how you’re getting your exercise these days, it’s important to remember to start small and build your way to a healthier heart.

“We all know the advantages of exercise, but sometimes our ambitions – to get the driveway clear, to go sledding with our kids – outweigh our abilities,” said Maureen Tuite, Clinical Director and Nurse Practitioner at the Arnot Health Heart and Vascular Institute. “This time of year, we see lots of patients in our cardiac cath lab from over-exertion; trying to lift heavy snow or running up the hill with a sled can strain the heart. Additionally, the cold air makes it a little more difficult to breathe and causes more cardiac stress than warm-weather climates.”

Here are some tips for those who would like to be more active this winter, but are not used to strenuous activity:

  • Go for walks at the mall or in a school gym, or find an indoor workout facility like the Senior Center or YWCA/YMCA
  • Shovel lightly and take breaks often. When a big storm is upon us, try shoveling more often so the snow never becomes too deep
  • Dress warmly to help prevent the affects of extremely cold air on your lungs
  • Drink lots of water to help hydrate your muscles and keep your body working efficiently

Preventing injuries and set-backs by setting realistic goals is important to long-term success. Your heart and your whole body will be much healthier in the long run, and your driveway will still be clear (until the next storm)!

Follow Arnot Health on Facebook for daily heart health tips and more throughout the month of February, and visit our Heart Month page to find out more about free screenings and classes.