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Cheerleading Safety Month – Cheer Safe!

National Cheerleading Safety Month

Cheering for Safety

Give us an S, an A, an F, E, T, Y!  What do we have? SAFETY! Why are we cheering? Because March is Cheerleading Safety Month, and as always, the staff at Altus Emergency Centers is cheering for your child’s safety.

Cheerleading has come a long way since it’s early days, and it is now a highly competitive and demanding sport, and like with any other sport, cheerleaders are susceptible to sports injuries. There has been a lot of debate regarding the number of injuries sustained by cheerleaders, some claim it is on the rise while others feel critical injuries have diminished in recent years thanks to new safety rules applied to the sport.

ER Treatments for Cheerleading Injuries Altus ER Centers Lumberton Texas

Common Cheerleading Injuries


Both are correct, thankfully catastrophic cheerleading injuries have declined considerably during the last decade, however, the number of cheerleader emergency room visits for non-catastrophic injuries has increased, these injuries include:

• Ankle Sprains

• Knee Injuries

• Wrist Injuries

• Shoulder Injuries

• Lower Back Pain, and Concussions

Altus ER Tips to Cheer Safe!

School cheerleading programs must have a certified cheerleading coach managing the program, and there are safety guidelines that must be followed to ensure the wellbeing of the athletes, these include:

cheer safe to avoid common injuries altus er centers texas

Using the Right Equipment

The use of landing mats is not currently mandatory either during practice sessions or performances, but these are recommended.

Most cheerleading-related injuries occur during practice especially when learning new maneuvers, it is advisable to always practice using 4-inch landing mats to avoid serious injuries.

Footgear is an important factor in injury prevention, cheerleaders should wear properly fitting rubber-soled shoes with adequate cushioning and ankle support. Additionally, flyers should consider wearing a cheering vest during practice to protect themselves from bruising and injury.

Choose a Safe Place to Practice

Back in the day when cheerleading was mostly about waving pom-poms and chanting, it was safe to practice out in the open. Because cheerleading now involves advanced acrobatics and gymnastics, practice spaces should be chosen carefully. Never practice on wet or uneven surfaces like grass or turf, instead look for smooth, level, and dry places to practice in which are clear of obstacles that may cause injury.

Stay in Shape

Cheerleading requires a great deal of strength and balance, and therefore athletes should take great care of their fitness all year-round.

Like with any sport it is important not to overdo it, cheerleaders should take time to rest between training sessions to avoid overuse injuries.

Given that cheerleading now requires gymnastic skills, it is not a bad idea to enroll your child in a gymnastics program, this will serve to improve the child’s skills, and confidence which will help prevent injuries.

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Stretch, Warm Up, and Cool Down

We cannot stress how important warming exercises and proper stretching techniques are, these have been proven to reduce muscle strain and prevent injuries, however, cool down exercises and after workout stretching exercises are just as important in injury prevention.

Follow Stunt Progression

The saying you need to learn to crawl before you learn to walk applies to everything in life, especially advanced gymnastic sports. Coaches need to ensure cheerleaders learn the basic skills before introducing more advanced movements and stunts.

Altus Emergency Cares About Cheerleading Safety

At Altus Emergency Centers, we applaud the level of commitment and skill being a cheerleader requires, we encourage students to challenge themselves, improve their skills and push themselves to do things they never thought were possible, but, we urge, parents, coaches, and athletes alike to always put safety first.

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Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

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Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Dangers of Extreme Weight Loss Routines

Dangers of Extreme Weight Loss Routines

ER Doctors Recommend:

Stay Away from Extreme Weight Loss Routines

The beginning of the year is great time to set goals for ourselves, and losing a few pounds, getting more exercise, and improving our fitness level is a wonderful way to start the year, not to mention these goals and easily achievable, but, in our eagerness to get in shape we might end up taking things a little too far.  Avoid any type of extreme weight loss routines.

When our focus lies only on the result, we are more likely to make bad choices, instead, we should be focused on planning the best route to achieve our goals, this way we will avoid making common diet and fitness mistakes that can end up harming our health.


Eating Healthy vs. Dangerous Diets

The Dangers of Extreme Dieting

Anyone who is carrying a few extra pounds dreams of a quick, easy effortless solution to losing their muffin top or love handles, a pill that burns all the fat in a matter of days, a shake that will make us drop a couple of dress sizes in a week, unfortunately, those products are not only ineffective, they can be extremely dangerous, as are fad diets.

Extreme dieting is a very unhealthy way to diet, most fad diets center around cutting back on calories, they do this not taking into account the type or quality of the calories consumed, what they do is limit the amount of food a person ingests to a point where it can border on starvation. This is the reason most fad diets usually don’t last more than 2 weeks, in addition, the body’s response to starvation actually slows down the metabolism, making it harder to lose fat.  Extreme weight loss dieting is dangerous.

Extreme weight loss dieting can have serious health consequences including:

  • Fatigue

  • Gallbladder Disease

  • Muscle Atrophy

  • Malnutrition

  • Constipation

  • Acidosis

  • Rashes

  • And worst of all the regain of any weight loss achieved

Extreme dieting can also have negative effects on our psychological well-being, causing:

  • Irritability

  • Depression

  • Reduced Sex Drive

  • And an increased risk of developing eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.


Signs of Alert! Tell Tale Signs that you need to
Visit the ER Immediately

If you have been trying dangerous diets and experience any of the following signs, please seek immediate emergency medical assistence:

  • You can’t keep food down.  Constant vomiting for over 2 days.

  • Diarreah for more than 3 days, bloody diarreah,

  • Fever higher than 103 F (39.4)

  • Confusion and Lethargy

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Unbearable abdominal pains or cramps

  • Dizziness and Fainting

  • No urine in the last 12 hours

  • Heart Palpitations, Chest Pains

If you are in Texas, go to Altus Emergency Center for the best ER Care 24/7 with No Lines in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton and Waxahachie.

The Benefits of Healthy Dieting

In contrast, healthy dieting will produce an overall feeling of wellbeing helping you:

  • Feel more energetic

  • Become stronger

  • Strengthen your immune system

  • Improve the body’s natural ability to heal itself and repair cell damage

  • Sleep better

  • Ward off diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney, and liver disorders

  • Keep your bones strong

So, this year focus your efforts in eating right, choose fruits instead of sugary treats, drink more water and less carbonated drinks, eat more vegetables and lean meats instead of fried foods, small changes in our eating habits go a long way in improving our health.

Exercising Safely vs. Reckless Workouts

The Dangers of Extreme Weight Loss Exercising

Being motivated to get fit and adopt an exercise regime is great, we can all benefit from some physical activity, but extreme exercising is not something any of us should contemplate. We have been bombarded by reality TV shows where contestant’s workout 8-10 hours a day, this is not only unrealistic, it’s not healthy.

Exercising too much can have the following negative side effects:

  • Severe wear and tear of muscles and joints

  • Dehydration

  • Increased risk of injury

  • Electrolyte imbalance

  • Rhabdomyolysis, a rare condition that occurs when muscle fibers break down and enter the bloodstream, these fibers called myoglobin circulate through the body and cause severe damage to the kidneys, this condition can be fatal.


DANGER! Tell Tale Signs that you need to
Visit the ER Immediately

Whether or not you have been practicing unsafe extreme weight loss type workouts, please visit your nearest emergency center, emergency room or urgent care if you or a loved one exhibit any of the following signs:

  • When an injury is accompanied by a pop or a crack and it doesn’t go back to normal.

  • Inability to walk or bear weight on a limb

  • A joint that locks up or feels unstable

  • A muscle pull, strain that is badly bruised

  • If you experience ANY type of symptoms after a head injury

  • You have bleeding that will not stop

  • Numbness, tingling or weakness

  • Any pain that is unbearable or gets worse with time

  • You feel a dull ache in your chest and you are unusually out of breath

  • You have the mother of all headaches.

Don’t wait in line!  Visit your nearest Altus Emergency Center.  We are Open 24/7, with No Lines to get the best ER care.

How Much Exercise is Safe?

The American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommend healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, this can be achieved with 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week or 20 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise 3 times a week.

Adults should also train each major muscle group 2-3 times a week, making sure to wait at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.

If you don’t already exercise regularly, ease yourself into the habit, don’t try to do too much in the first day, if your goal is to walk for 30 minutes a day, start with 10-15 minutes and work yourself up to 30 minutes, there is no rush, go at your own pace, avoid extreme workout videos and if possible join a gym and have an expert design your workout plan.

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This year our goal at Altus Emergency Centers is for the members of the communities we serve to improve their health, eating better and exercising more in a safe and responsible way.

We are here for you to help you prevent but we are also Open 24/7/365 if you need us.  It’s good to know that you have where to go in the event of an emergency.  At Altus Emergency Centers, you are in good hands.  Plan today to be safe tomorrow.

ACL Injury Causes and Prevention

Inside ACL Injuries

ACL injuries are an ever-present threat to the health of professional athletes who participate in high demand sports like football, basketball, and soccer. The latest victim being the Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, who suffered a torn ACL during practice this weekend.

However, this type of injury does not only target pro athletes, anyone can suffer an ACL injury regardless of age or gender, from kids playing sports at school to weekend warriors who want to have a little fun outdoors, and yes even us couch potatoes can sustain an ACL injury.


What is an ACL Injury?


The knee joint is comprised of three bones, the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone) and the patella (kneecap). These three bones connect to each other via ligaments that hold the bones together and provide stability to the knee.

There are two kinds of primary ligaments in the knee:

  • Collateral Ligaments: Found on either side of the knee, these ligaments are responsible for controlling the sideways movement of the knee.

  • Cruciate Ligaments: These are inside the knee, there are two of them the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) which is in front and the posterior cruciate ligament located in the back. These ligaments cross each other to form an X and are responsible for controlling the back and forth motion of the knee. The ACL prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur and provides rotational stability to the joint.

An ACL injury occurs when there is a tear in the ligament, more than half of ACL injuries cause damage to other structures in the knee such as cartilage, meniscus, and other ligaments.

Injured ligaments are considered sprains, but, depending on the severity they can be:

  • Grade 1 Sprains: Ligaments are slightly stretched but are still able to keep the knee stable.

  • Grade 2 Sprains: In this type of sprain the ligament has stretched to the point where it becomes loose, this is considered a partial tear of the ACL. This type of injury is rare.

  • Grade 3 Sprains: Known as a complete tear of the ligament. In these cases, the ligament is so severely stretched it splits into two pieces, causing the knee to become unstable.

Causes and Symptoms of ACL Injuries


The most common causes of an ACL injury include:

  • Being hit hard on the side of the knee, as is the case in a football tackle.

  • Overextension of the knee joint.

  • Changing direction rapidly.

  • Stopping suddenly.

  • Slowing down while running.

  • Landing from a jump incorrectly.

  • Pivoting with your foot firmly planted.

Symptoms of an ACL injury include:

  • Feeling or even hearing a pop in the knee at the time the injury occurs.

  • Pain on the outside and back of the knee.

  • Swelling within the first few hours of the injury, sudden swelling is usually a sign of a serious knee injury.

  • Loss of full range of motion.

  • Instability of the knee joint, feeling as if your knee is “giving way” or buckling with weight bearing.

Preventing ACL Injuries


Proper training and exercise is the best way to prevent ACL injuries, the ER Trained Physicians at Altus Emergency Centers recommend:

  • Doing exercises to strengthen your leg muscles, particularly the hamstring to ensure overall balance in leg muscle strength.

  • Exercises to strengthen your core which includes your hips, pelvis, and lower abdomen.

  • Use proper techniques and knee position when jumping and landing.

  • Improve pivoting techniques.

  • Wear footwear and padding that is appropriate for the type of activity you are engaging in.

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When Should You Head for the Nearest Altus Emergency Center?

Seek immediate medical attention if you display any of the symptoms listed above; if you suspect you have an ACL injury, suspend any sports playing or other activity you might have been doing and go to the nearest Altus ER to get a proper diagnosis of your injury.

Before arriving at the ER, try to keep your leg above the level of the heart, apply ice, and if the pain is too severe you may take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as ibuprofen).

If you notice your leg or foot is cool and turning blue, seek immediate medical attention, as this could signal the knee joint has dislocated and the blood vessels to the foot were injured.

Altus Emergency Centers are fully equipped to diagnose and treat ACL injuries. All our facilities have on-site x-rays, CT Scans, and specialists that will have you back on your feet in no time.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you in the event of a medical emergency.

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How to Prevent Golfing Injuries

How to Prevent Golfing Injuries Safety Tips to Enjoy

Learn How to Prevent Golfing Injuries so you can “Tee it High, and Let it Fly!”

Playing golf with the family is the perfect vacation or weekend activity, best of all you don’t need to travel far to enjoy a day at the golf course.

Like with any sport, there is a risk of injury when you play golf, the little ones and less experienced players are the ones who run the biggest risk of being injured mainly due to bad posture. To ensure everyone in the family enjoys this great sport safely, we have put together a list of most common golfing injuries and how to prevent them.



Most Common Golfing Injuries

Back Pain

Back pain is at the top of our golfing injuries as according to the American Chiropractic Association, “80% of adults in America will suffer from back pain at some point or another in their lives.” The long hours hunched over your club along with the rotational stresses of the swing, can place considerable pressure on your spine and muscles, leading to minor strains that can easily become severe injuries. The most common type of back pain is lower back pain, however, many golfers experience stabbing pain between their shoulder blades.

Tendinitis in the Elbow

Another one of the golfing injuries, tendinitis, is a condition where tendon tissue becomes irritated and inflamed. There are two common types of elbow tendinitis:

Tennis Elbow: Occurs when there is an injury to the outer tendon.

Golfer’s Elbow: When the injury presents itself on the inner tendon.

Ironically, golfers are more prone to suffer from tennis elbow than from golfer’s elbow.


Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuffs are the four stabilizing muscles located on each shoulder; golfers can easily develop tendinitis, bursitis, and tears in the rotator cuff due to the repetitive motion of the golf swing.

There are two types of rotator cuff golfing injuries, both can cause pain and inhibit your game:

  • Rotator cuff impingements: Occurs when the tendons swell and pinch the space between the arm and the bones in the shoulder.
  • Rotator Cuff Tear: this happens when there are tears in the shoulder muscle and tendons.

Knee Pain and Damage

Golfers commonly complain from knee pain due to the strain placed on it to stabilize the rotation of the hip axis at the beginning of the swing. Torn ligaments can be a result of placing extreme force on a weak knee, and knee injuries are especially problematic for arthritis sufferers given the degenerative nature of the disease which can gradually wear down the joint cartilage.

Hip Injuries

Although the hip joint is usually very mobile and able to withstand a lot of stress, it is particularly vulnerable when playing golf since the swing involves a large amount of pivoting and twisting movements. The hip joint resembles the shoulder joint or rotator cuff so the injuries sustained at the hip are very similar to the tears experienced at the shoulders.

Tips to Prevent Golfing Injuries

TIP #1: Practice correct form and work on your swing.

According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine increasing the range of motion of lumbar spine extension and rotation of the lead hip can prevent one of the most common golfing injuries, lower back pain.

TIP #2: Warm up.

Before you tee off, take a few minutes to stretch your shoulder, back, arm and leg muscles, and if possible, go to the driving range and hit a few balls. This will not only help warm up it can seriously improve your game.


TIP #3: Exercise.

It is important to strengthen the muscles of your back, focus on the trapezoid and pectoral as well as your core. Flexibility exercises like yoga and Pilates also help in preventing back, shoulder and knee injuries.

TIP #4: Have someone else carry your bag.

Paying for a caddy is a good investment, carrying your golf bag across the entire course can increase your risk of back and ankle injuries.


TIP #5: Avoid hitting objects other than the ball.

Hitting the ground or a root instead of the ball can result in an injury, the sheer force of the swing coming to a hard stop can cause injury to your back, wrist, and shoulder.

TIP #6: Choose proper footware and clothing.

Your clothing should be comfortable and suitable to protect you from the elements, remember to wear sunscreen and shades always. Wear golf shoes with short cleats, longer cleats will dig into the soil and hold your feet planted as you swing which may cause knee and ankle injuries.


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We’re Here 24/7 for You and Your Family

If you find yourself in severe pain after a day at the golf course, it is better to visit one of Altus ER Centers sooner rather than later, untreated injuries can become chronic and lead to more severe conditions that may require surgery down the road.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we are strong advocates of education and prevention. Our expertly trained staff is available 24/7. We are here for you when it’s more than urgent.

Altus Emergency Centers
Freestanding ERs. Saving Lives 24/7. No Lines.

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