Posted in Health, hockey, news, Sports

las vegas “bans” capital letters in support of golden knights

the las vegas war cry as the knights ready to battle against the washington capitals for the stanley cup is #nocaps.

 

 

eye chart no caps with name.jpg

eye chart lower case letters

 

this week the iconic “welcome to las vegas” sign was photoshopped, donning its support with all lower case letters, thanks to las vegas county officials.

98.5 radio host chet buchanan might have launched one of the most brilliant fan decrees seen in modern sports.

“knight up days” have also been declared on those days where the knights and capitals play for the stanley cup.

knight'd up

playoff games are scheduled for the following (pacific):

  • game 1: may 28 at vegas, 5 p.m. (nbc, cbc, sportsnet, fubotv)
    game 2: may 30 at vegas, 5 p.m. (nbc, cbc, sportsnet, fubotv)
    game 3: june 2 at washington, 5 p.m. (nbc, cbc, sportsnet, fubotv)
    game 4: june 4 at washington, 5 p.m. (nbc, cbc, sportsnet, fubotv)
    *game 5: june 7 at vegas, 5 p.m. (nbc, cbc, sportsnet, fubotv)
    *game 6: june 10 at washington, 5 p.m. (nbc, cbc, sportsnet, fubotv)
    *game 7: june 13 at vegas, 5 p.m. (nbc, cbc, sportsnet, fubotv)

 

daliah wachs, md, faafp is a nationally syndicated radio personality on gcn network, iheart radio, kdwn…..

she is also a board certified family physician and assistant professor at touro university nevada

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Posted in Health, hockey, news, Sports

The Golden Knights: Why They Continue to Win

Image above from Forbes

 

The inaugural success of NHL’s newest team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, has smashed records. Whether its their multiple winning streaks, or the fact that in February they broke the record for most points by an expansion team in their inaugural season, the Knights have had a run like no other.

Now they are on their way to the Stanley Cup!

How?  Beginner’s Luck?  Nope.  Not in the least.  The Knights were destined to succeed from the beginning.  Here’s my psychological take….

 

Vegas Baby!!

The excitement surrounding the Entertainment Capital of the World is infectious.  The home of the Golden Knights, T-Mobile Arena, is actually on the Strip (resort corridor).   Where lights and dazzle brighten the sky and headliners bathe in standing ovations, Las Vegas offers a launching pad into fame.  You can’t miss. Talent and electricity create the perfect environment for a break out star, or star team.

 

20160406_tmobile_arena-6620-a4f346d366.jpg

 

We Built This City

The Las Vegas Valley is home to 2 million people.  Residents not only support the tourism industry but a city that has built phenomenal schools, medical centers, universities, parks, and just about everything any metropolis across the nation has.  So when the birth of a hockey team came down the canal, a city so strong and passionate was committed to nurturing this creation, ensuring its success.

 

shutterstock_158905172.jpg

 

The Perfect Recipe

A professional ice hockey team put together by General Manager George McPhee, with Head Coach Gerard Gallant, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, and players such as Karlsson, Marchessault, Neal, Tuch, Reaves, to name a few, were the perfect ingredients to make NHL gold.  True, the doubling of the NHL by adding six new expansion teams did allow for high-caliber players to be drafted and traded but the advantage wasn’t unique to the Knights alone. New opportunities provide the freshness and clean state needed to create a masterpiece, whether its art, food, or sports.

 

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Image by Yahoo Sports

Icing on the Cake

So maybe the Golden Knights didn’t officially “start from scratch.” But for the most part they were not expected to crush first season.  So every win was a happy surprise and each loss was considered par for the course.  Odds were against them and very few of us (except for me) thought the playoffs were ever within their reach.  With no pressing expectations, they could build on each win’s momentum.  Psychologically this is a jet stream that can take a team to the playoffs.

 

So can they win it ?!!  Yes, …but it helps if no one’s expecting it…..

 

Go Knights Go!

 

 

knight'd up.jpg

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio.

She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada

Posted in Health, news, Sports

Are Many Athletes at Risk for Depression?

Post-athletic activity depression (PAAD) may affect multiple athletes when their season ends due to the high hormone levels induced by their prior rigorous exercise regimen suddenly dropping.

 

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps admitted at the The Kennedy Forum in Chicago last week that he had battled depression for years and contemplated suicide.  With his multiple decade athletic career, the most decorated in history, how could an Olympian find life so unlivable?

Other decorated athletes have suffered from depression as well:   Terry Bradshaw, Daryl Strawberry, Larry Sanders, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Oscar de la Hoya to name a few.

Post-athletic activity depression (PADD) may ensue when the high levels of exercise aren’t maintained and the mind isn’t prepared for losing or being surpassed by another athlete.  As you will see biology as well as psychology play huge factors in the mental health of an athlete.

Exercise wards off depression

Michael Phelps admitted to going into a depression after each Olympics.  His workouts leading up to each of the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics were illustrated by Arizona State coach Bob Bowman at the American Swimming Coaches Association, and demonstrated thousands of hours and yards swum each week.

Multiple studies have proven that exercise wards off depression. This is in part due to multiple mood enhancing hormones being released during athletic activity such as:

  • endorphins
  • norepinephrine
  • dopamine
  • serotonin

So if after a meet, marathon, playoff or Olympic race ends, does the average athlete keep their rigorous training schedule? Probably not.  Hence these hormones that the body has become accustomed to seeing aren’t there at their previous levels, inducing a depression.  If someone is at risk for depression, the drop in these hormone levels could, in theory, depress one to the point that they contemplate suicide.

Being the best puts you psychologically at risk

They say winning is addictive and from a psychological standpoint, that’s correct.  Once you win you reform a new identity.  Those psychologically mature and stable will not find their win their only identifying factor and additionally will understand that you “win some, lose some”.  However those who struggled for years to win, especially if the prize is an Olympic medal, may not deal with “lose some” so easily.

Once you own that Superbowl ring, first place blue ribbon or gold medal others look at you as “one of the best”.  How much higher can you go?  Usually an athlete only has two choices. Maintain their “top” status, difficult to do with aging and younger up and comers vying for their spot, or start losing. Most athletes aren’t preparing for how to lose.  They can’t. They use all their waking hours preparing on how to win.  So when the loss does come, they’re unprepared.

loss

Could some CTE symptoms be related to post-athletic activity depression?

I believe so. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degeneration of brain tissue and function from multiple hits to the head.  Many who suffer from CTE have mood changes, anxiety, anger and impulsivity.  CTE tau protein build up in the brain contributes to this but hormones can play a role as well.

What needs to be studied are the mood changes incurred by athletes after each season or race to see if a “funk” sets in because their exercise regimen is not being maintained.

Moreover all athletes should have access to counseling to thwart depression and suicidality because losing is inevitable for everyone.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news, Sports

Aaron Hernandez’ Brain Images Show Severe Damage Due to CTE

Ex-Patriot’s tight end, and convicted murder, Aaron Hernandez, was found postmortem to have had severe CTE and again confirmed this week he had the worst CTE neuroscientists had ever seen in his age group.

Images were released showing severe atrophy, or shrinking of the brain, in key parts that regulate memory (hippocampus) and judgement (frontal lobe). This confirmed the loss of brain volume (atrophy), and tau protein deposits throughout his frontal lobes that were seen previously by neuropathologists.  The frontal lobe of the brain regulates impulse control, memory, judgement, social behavior and problem solving.

hernandez10s-2-web

 

hippocampus

Athletes who sustain multiple concussions are at high risk of developing CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.  This progressive, degenerative disease of the brain is also found in veterans and those who have sustained repeated head trauma.  Symptoms include mood disorders, paranoia, impulse control issues, aggression, and memory loss to name a few.

Dr. Ann McKee, Boston University CTE Center director, said, “We’ve never seen this in our 468 brains, except in individuals some 20 years older.”

Although McKee couldn’t confirm the CTE was responsible for Aaron Hernandez’ criminal history, it is strongly linked to behaviors that could be impulsive and violent.

A lawsuit (reportedly $20 million) has been filed by the family against the NFL and New England Patriots.  Hernandez was only 27 years old when he hung himself in his prison cell April 19th of this year.

Researchers from Boston University concluded the 27 year-old football star had stage 3 of 4 CTE.  This severity is rarely seen in someone this young.

What are the stages of CTE?

The CTE Stages are as follows:

Stage 1: Loss of concentration, attention, dizziness and headaches

Stage 2: Additionally short term memory loss,  mood disorder such as depression, and at times explosive outbursts

Stage 3: Worsening loss of memory, judgement, ability to do daily tasks, movement disorders, tremors and suicidality

Stage 4: Amnesia, severe cognitive impairment, evidence of dementia.

CTE.jpg

IMAGE FROM SITES AT PENNSTATE

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news, Sports

Clavicle, Collarbone Fractures – Your Questions Answered

On Sunday, Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a collarbone fracture and may be out for the season.  Here are your questions answered.

What exactly is a collarbone?

The collarbone is another name for the clavicle.  It’s the bone that connects the scapula (shoulder-blade) to the sternum (breastbone).  We have one on each side and it runs horizontally providing shoulder girdle support.  Not only does it provide upper skeletal strength and support but it also protects many major vessels that run underneath it.

 

clavicle

Image from AAOS

What’s a collarbone fracture?

The clavicle (collarbone) is one of the most common types of bones to fracture during sports injuries.  There are three major Groups or Types of clavicle fractures.

Type I – is the most common and occurs in the middle third of the clavicle

Type II – is the second most common and occurs distally, or closer to the shoulder.

Type III – is the most rare and occurs the most medially, or closer to the rib cage/sternum.

clavicle fractures

 

What are the signs/symptoms of a clavicle fracture?

Before bruising and swelling ensue, one will have sharp pain in the area of the collarbone and have difficulty moving his shoulder.

So signs of a clavicle fracture include:

Pain

Loss of range of motion of the shoulder

A bulge at the fracture site

Swelling

Bruising

Tenderness at the fracture area

In young children, not wanting to move the arm on the affected side

 

How are collarbone fractures treated?

If the bone has not shifted too significantly, clavicle fractures can be treated non- surgically.  Arm slings will be given to decrease the movement of the shoulder girdle.  Pain medication and antiinflammatories may be prescribed, and physical therapy will be instituted immediately to improve range of motion and strength.

If the clavicle is displaced significantly from the injury then surgery will be needed to reunite the ends using plates, rods and screws.

 

How long does it take collarbone fractures to heal?

In adults, healing could take anywhere from 6-12 weeks.  For children, clavicle fractures may heal sooner.

How does one prevent a collarbone fracture?

During sports, protective equipment is key to avoiding injuries from falls and tackles.  As in Aaron Rodger’s and Tony Romo’s cases, being sacked by another large player barreling towards them must be avoided at all costs.

 

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

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Posted in Health, news, Sports

Aaron Hernandez had “Most Severe Case” of CTE: Family to Sue NFL

Ex-Patriot’s tight end, and convicted murder, Aaron Hernandez, was found postmortem to have had severe CTE.

Athletes who sustain multiple concussions are at high risk of developing CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.  This progressive, degenerative disease of the brain is also found in veterans and those who sustained repeated head trauma.  Symptoms include mood disorders, paranoia, impulse control issues, aggression, and memory loss to name a few.

A lawsuit (reportedly $20 million) has been filed by the family against the NFL and New England Patriots.  Hernandez was only 27 years old when he hung himself in his prison cell April 19th of this year.

Researchers from Boston University concluded the 27 year-old football star had stage 3 of 4 CTE.  This severity is rarely seen in someone this young.

The lawsuit claims that by the time Hernandez joined the NFL, the league knew of the dangers of concussions and led players to believe they were safe.  Attorney Jose Baez stated the Patriots and NFL were “fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries and failed to disclose, treat or protect him from the dangers of such damage.”

Neuropatholoigsts found loss of brain volume (atrophy), and tau protein deposits throughout his frontal lobes.  The frontal lobe of the brain regulates impulse control, memory, judgement, social behavior and problem solving.

What are the stages of CTE?

The CTE Stages are as follows:

Stage 1: Loss of concentration, attention, dizziness and headaches

Stage 2: Additionally short term memory loss,  mood disorder such as depression, and at times explosive outbursts

Stage 3: Worsening loss of memory, judgement, ability to do daily tasks, movement disorders, tremors and suicidality

Stage 4: Amnesia, severe cognitive impairment, evidence of dementia.

CTE.jpg

Image from Sites at PennState

This is a developing story.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, Politics, Sports

Using the NFL Injury Report to Pick this Week’s Winners

The NFL Injury Report tells us all we need to know to make our picks.

For years I’ve been dissecting the NFL Injury Report and predicting who would win during the playoffs and Superbowl. When you’re a doctor who loves football, it’s not that difficult.

So my success has prompted me to make the risky move of posting my strategy and results.  There are varying levels of theory, just like layers of the epidermis.  And each deeper layer of prediction should confirm the simpler ones.  But if I can’t scientifically deduce the winner, I wing it.

Method 1 – Number game

Let’s take for example Thursday night’s game between the Chiefs and the Patriots.  According the NFL injury report, there were 3 injuries reported for the Chiefs and 5 for the Patriots.  A novice may just say 3 is less than 5 so the Chiefs will win.  But as a physician, this is not good enough.   We need to also look at the types of injuries.

Method 2 – Anatomy counts

According to the NFL Injury report, the Chiefs sustained injuries to the knee, another knee and ankle.  The Patriot’s sustained injuries to the  knee, shoulder, ankle, another knee but also hamstring.  Yes, Matthew Slater’s hamstring injury is very telling. Why?

Think about when you were playing football.  If you hurt a finger you still played.  If you sprained your knee, you toughed it out. But what happened when you sustained a groin injury.  You were leveled.  Probably couldn’t even get up.  So any injury involving the groin is physically devastating for a player, and from a psychological standpoint, the whole team.

If a groin injury specifically is not incurred and reported by the NFL injury report, then you look at the injuries closest to the groin.  A head injury is also very concerning so that will come after groin.  Hence the scale from most devastating to least in terms of injured body parts listed is:

Groin < head/concussion < hip< < glute < quad < hamstring  < eye < abdomen < chest < knee < shoulder < calf < arm < ankle < foot < wrist < hand < finger < toe.  

The Patriot’s hamstring injury is closer to the groin than any other injury hence the team wasn’t looking very good for Thursday night’s game.

If specific injuries are not listed, we can sometimes count how many did not participate in practice.

 

Method 3 – Colors 

In case of a tie….meaning both teams sustained equal numbers of groin injuries or subsequent proximal body parts, we look to the main colors of the Jersey.  Black, Blue, Green and Yellow will fare worse than White and Red, Brown. In medicine, Black may happen with necrosis, Blue is associated with hypoxia, Green- mucous, Yellow – gonorrhea.  White and Red are fairly routine and healthy colors in medicine (bones and blood).  Silver and Purple are colors that are fairly neutral as we usually don’t see those colors on a routine basis in medicine unless with hair.

Therefore, the color scale from most problematic to least is:

Black < Blue < Yellow < Green < Orange < Purple < Silver < White < Red.

Again this is only used if predictions cannot be made due to an anatomical tie.  Again I must stress we do not use the color method unless we are unable to predict using the NFL injury report.

With Thursday night’s game, the Chiefs wore white and the Patriots wore blue.   But despite this method, the Patriots were at a disadvantage with the hamstring injury all along.

So what will happen this Sunday?  Let’s use what we learned to predict the winners!!

Jets vs. Bills  

1 Eye injury vs. 1 Concussion

Prediction:  Jets

********************************

Falcons vs. Bears

A Falcon chest injury vs Bears’ two ankles, a knee and finger injury

Prediction:  Falcons

********************************

Jaguars vs. Texans

1 ankle, 1 hamstring injury vs. 1 ankle and 1 shoulder

Prediction:  Texans

********************************

Raiders vs. Titans

foot, quad, knee and back vs Titan’s groin injury – very close but…

Prediction:  Raiders

********************************

Eagles vs. Redskins

0 injuries vs. hip and knee

Prediction:  Eagles

********************************

Colts vs. Rams

Groin, foot, shoulder, hamstring, lumbar plague the colts – zero injuries reported for the Rams

Prediction:  Rams

********************************

Seahawks vs Packers

Calf, shoulder, thigh, wrist, knee ankle vs. ankle

Prediction: Packers

********************************

Panthers vs. 49ers

knee, groin, ankle shoulder vs. hamstring and back injury

Prediction:  49ers

********************************

Giants vs. Cowboys

Concussion and ankle vs. ankle

Prediction: Cowboys

********************************

Ravens vs. Bengals

The Raven’s concussion is up against the Bengal’s ankle and elbow.  Tough call…..

Prediction:  Bengals

********************************

Steelers vs. Browns

A knee and shoulder injury vs. a knee injury

Prediction:  Browns

********************************

Cardinals vs. Lions

Ankle, tricep and calf injury vs. knee and foot

Prediction:  Lions

********************************

We pray that no one gets hurt and those who do recover quickly.  Here’s to a safe season of one of the best sports ever!!  FOOTBALL!!

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician