Saturday, Jun 15th

marathonIf your goal is to run a marathon, you're in good company. Distance running has grown significantly in popularity over the last several decades, with more than 50,000 runners completing the TCS New York City Marathon in 2023. While running is a great exercise option with many health benefits, as with any new exercise plan, it is best to consult with your physician to discuss any underlying health conditions before you begin.

With a few precautions, you can prevent common running injuries and make the most of your training. The most important part of a running program for injury prevention is a proper warmup and cool down. A 5 to 10-minute “dynamic warmup,” such as walking lunges, high-stepping, or arm circles, will get your blood flowing and warm up your muscles in motion more effectively than simple stretching.

There are a variety of resources online with customized training plans based on your experience level, with a typical training timeframe of 16 WPHospitalJan2024weeks for beginners. I recommend starting small with running just one mile, walking part of the way if you need to. Take the next day off and see how you feel.

It is normal to experience discomfort during and after running, but it is important to recognize the difference between “good pain,” such as muscle aches, and “bad pain,” which might indicate an injured tendon or inflammation of the tendon from overtraining. If you experience sharp pain around your hip, ankle or knee during every step, pinching pain or the sensation of buckling or instability, pause your training regimen and see an orthopedist.

For overall conditioning and to avoid muscle strains, add two strength training sessions per week to your routine on days when you aren’t running. Try body weight exercises with resistance bands, push-ups, crunches, lunges, or calf raises. Remember to incorporate at least two rest days into your routine each week to allow your body time to recover.

StevenAndelmanDr. Steven AndelmanAim to increase the intensity of your training by no more than 10% each week to build your endurance as you approach race day. “Slow and steady” is truly a winning mantra.

Dr. Steven Andelman is an orthopedic surgeon at White Plains Hospital Physician Associates who specializes in adult and pediatric sports medicine. For an appointment, call 914-849-7897.

Health Matters
The original version of this article was published in Health Matters, a White Plains Hospital publication.

cashmereWe have gotten several reports about clothing and carpet moth infestations in Scarsdale homes this month - from people who never had a problem before. Friends have pulled out cashmere sweaters, finding them riddled with holes, or dragged furniture away from the wall and discovered large holes in their wool carpets. What to do to stop the destruction?

We asked Stewart Muir, an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) at JP Mchale, why this is happening and what, if anything, can be done. Here is what he shared:

Is this just coincidence or is there an increase in the population this year? If so, why?

There has been an increase in clothing moth activity over the years. Some of the reasons can be contributed to our warmer winters, increased deliveries of clothing to our homes, a shift back to natural fibers in clothing and carpeting and the introduction of natural fibers for insulation purposes.

How do they get into homes and closets?

Clothing moths can enter our homes from the outside through our open doors and windows and be introduced in packages delivered to our homes.

What are some preventive steps people can take to avoid the problem initially?

Some preventative measures the homeowner can do is to make sure all windows and doors are kept closed and screens are checked for any tears. Inspect any deliveries for possible adult moths concealed in the packages.

Once moths are discovered, what should people do to eradicate them?

Once discovered a pest professional should be contacted to conduct a thorough inspection of the home. If adults are seen flying around home, a vacuum can be used to remove.

Is it possible to totally eliminate them - once found in the house?

If the source of the infestation is found and removed, you can eliminate a clothing moth infestation. Unfortunately, if the source, either natural insulation or dead rodents, is behind a wall or ceiling, the chance of elimination decreases greatly.

What commercial solutions do you recommend - traps etc?

While Pheromone traps will help control a clothing moth infestation, they will never eliminate one. Without a thorough inspection from a pest professional and applying pesticides in the proper amounts and locations, elimination will not occur.

However, an article in the Atlantic this month says the fight to eliminate the moths is futile. Katherine J. Wu writes, “Sweater-Eating Moths Are an Unbeatable Enemy” She quotes Isabel Novick, a biologist at Boston University who says, “These particular moths—webbing clothes moths—are simply too well adapted to modern human life; as a species, “they don’t really live outside anymore,” Clothes moths have evolved into a perfect nuisance, so capable of subsisting on the contents of our homes that permanently purging them may be impossible.”

And according to the Atlantic, the moths won’t stop with your cashmere sweaters. Anything is fair game. The article says, “Woolen clothing makes for an especially convenient meal. But clothes-moth larvae will also happily eat carpets and rugs woven with animal hair—as well as upholstered furniture, wool insulation, the downy stuffing in couches and pillows, and the woolen felt pads sometimes found in pianos. Pushed to its limit, webbing clothes moths may also turn to nylon stockings, cotton blends, soybean meal, or household dust.”

Sadly it seems moths, like deer, are here to stay. The best you can do is to take preventative measures like dry cleaning sweaters and keeping them in plastic bags or storage boxes before stowing them away for the summer. Wrap sweaters in plastic bags and put them in the freezer to kill any larvae. To prevent them from finding breeding spots, do your best to dust, vacuum and clean areas where household dirt accumulates. Last, consider wearing synthetic materials. Though they are “unnatural,” they have a better chance of surviving in your closet. As for your carpets, wool and wool blends are all prey to the moths. So rather than investing in expensive wool carpets, go for polypropylene. It's reasonably priced, wears well and is resistant to moths.

Do you have any solutions? Please comment below.

Columbia(The following was written by Sharon Higgins, the mother of a senior at Columbia University School of General Studies.)

To the Office of the Columbia University President and President Minouche Shafik,  

I would not be a responsible parent if I did not protest your decision to cancel commencement. 

Cancelling commencement and moving smaller ceremonies off campus is completely shameful, selfish, pathetic, repugnant and anti-American. You should not give in to the terrorists and professional agitators that took over Hamilton Hall. Columbia campus has been quiet for seven days, the underclassmen will be vacating by the end of this week and Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams have given their unconditional support, reinstate graduation on Morningside campus!

The students that you are punishing, are the students who are hard working, law abiding and are the real future of this country. How dare you beat them down (especially since they were deprived a graduation four years ago.)

Call in the National Guard if you have to but let these deserving, smart and respectful students have their day to be recognized and revered. Don’t let it be the other way around. It is obvious that my words do not adequately express my feelings of anger and sadness that your decision has brought and I am only the parent. What my daughter is feeling is one thousand times worse. If you are to do nothing about reinstating commencement and graduations on the Morningside campus where it has been held continuously for the past 125 years, then the very least you can do is resign.

Reinstate graduation or resign right now! 

A parent from the Class of 2024.

P.S. PS. And to rub salt into the wound, it was insulting that my daughter had to hear about the cancellation of commencement from the New York Times. Your office did not notify the General Studies students about your decision to cancel commencement until late this morning.

HandSurgery(The following was submitted by Dr. George Pianka from White Plains Hospital)

For patients experiencing discomfort or struggling with daily activities due to chronic afflictions of the hand, advancements in hand surgery have brought new treatment options to help relieve pain and restore function in a convenient outpatient setting.

A technique known as Wide Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet (WALANT) has proven transformational for patients, says Dr. George Pianka, a board certified orthopedic surgeon at White Plains Hospital Physician Associates.

“Many procedures that were previously difficult to do without general anesthesia can now be done using WALANT,” explains Dr Pianka, who has been at the forefront of the specialty for nearly 35 years. In addition to his board certification, Dr. Pianka holds a Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand and is a member of the prestigious American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Relieving Pain, Restoring FunctionWPHospitalJan2024
Dr. Pianka attributes the growing popularity of WALANT procedures to the ease, comfort and convenience they offer patients, especially those whose hand function has been compromised due to stenosing tenosynovitis, also known as “trigger finger” and Dupuytren’s contracture, an abnormal thickening of tissues in the palm of the hand.

Trigger fingers have multiple symptoms, including finger stiffness, a popping or clicking sensation as the finger moves, tenderness, and one or more fingers being locked in a bent position.

The WALANT procedure to address trigger fingers is known as percutaneous trigger finger release, and is performed in the office during a routine visit with a small needle puncture. The band of tissue along the tendon sheath at the base of the finger known as the A1 pulley is divided, allowing the tendon to move freely. The procedure takes one to two minutes and return to normal activity is allowed immediately. Patients can easily receive treatment for multiple fingers affected over time.

Dupuytren’s contracture is believed to be hereditary, although the specific causes are not known. Symptoms can include uncomfortable lumps and pits within the palm, bending of the finger(s) towards the palm and difficulty doing daily activities, such as washing hands or putting on gloves, or shaking hands.
Similar to trigger finger, patients with Dupuytren’s contracture can also find relief for their symptoms with a short in-office WALANT procedure known as Needle Aponeurotomy. During the procedure, under local anesthesia, the abnormal tissue in the hand is weakened with multiple passes of a needle and then separated to open the finger from the palm. There is no open wound.

Benefits of WALANT Procedures for Patients

In addition to comfort and convenience, a key benefit that WALANT procedures offer is making treatment available to patients who may not be candidates for traditional surgery due to the risks that general anesthesia may pose to their health, such as those with conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); cardiovascular conditions; those who have had a recent heart attack or stroke; or who take blood thinners.

Pianka GeorgeWhat’s more, patients who take medications to manage chronic health conditions who may have had to stop their medications in advance of a surgery can instead continue these regimens as normal. Additionally, many patients in good health but who are unable to take time away from work and family obligations for surgery can now access treatment that fits into their lifestyle. As a result, “a whole new patient population can get the care they need,” explains Dr. Pianka.
Many times, the consultation and procedure can be done in the same in-office visit, after which patients enjoy rapid recovery, including minimal wound care. “A small adhesive bandage over the needle puncture is all that is required. Hand washing is allowed later that same day,” shares Dr. Pianka, emphasizing that patients can feel better and get back to their lives even faster.

Dr. George Pianka sees patients at White Plains Hospital Physician Associates in Hawthorne and Yonkers. To make an appointment, call (914) 631-7777 (Hawthorne) or (914) 375-7777 (Yonkers).

Health Matters: The original version of this article was published in Health Matters, a White Plains Hospital publication.

Shutterstock SkincareSubmitted by Dr. Anisha R. Kumar, Otolaryngology, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at White Plains Hospital
As we age, our bodies change in numerous ways – including, of course, our skin. But those changes are not limited to the wrinkles and so-called “liver spots” that many of us associate with old age. In fact, there are important steps we can all take during each stage of life to promote and maintain strong, healthy skin.

Everyone should be using sunscreen whenever they’re spending time outside, no matter the season. This applies to patients of all skin types and colors. The general recommendation is to apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) 30 minutes before heading outside, and reapplying every two hours (or immediately if you’ve been swimming or working up a lot of sweat). Remember that UV rays can penetrate even the heaviest clouds.

In addition, for preteens, I encourage using a gentle cleanser and moisturizer to nourish and keep their skin healthy. Harsh scrubs or cleansers containing alcohol and other astringents can dilute your skin’s natural oils, resulting in dryness and irritation.

Skin challenges for teenagers and young adults are generally well-known, with puberty causing hormonal changes that can result in acne and the increased use of makeup posing its own complications.WPHospitalJan2024

Tip: Again, using a gentle cleanser once or twice a day can help. Over-the-counter acne-specific treatments can combat the bacteria that cause pimples; for more severe cases, talk with your dermatologist for topical and oral medication options. Moisturizers can again be beneficial, even for patients with baseline oily skin.

Improper removal of makeup can lead to a buildup of pollutants, dirt, oils, sweat, and other substances on the surface of the skin, clogging pores and leading to additional problems. Discussing with a healthcare provider about the best approach for your skin is therefore highly recommended.

Those in their 20s and 30s need to know that their epidermis (the top layer of your skin) and dermis (the middle layer) may start thinning due to their lifestyle, genetics, and/or environment. This process can weaken the skin’s barrier to UV rays, leading to the beginning of sun damage (mostly preventable by using sunscreen).

In addition, your body’s production of collagen – a protein found in your muscles, tendons, skin, ligaments, and bones, helping your body to maintain its shape and structure ¬– can begin to degrade by 1% each year beginning at age 30, resulting in loose skin and a lessening of elasticity in your ligaments and an increase in joint stiffness.

Tip: In addition to using sunscreen, cleansers and moisturizers, consider adding a Vitamin C serum in the morning as well as a Vitamin A derivative such as retinol or tretinoin to stimulate collagen production and increase your skin cell production. Please note: Vitamin A products should not be used if you are pregnant or are nursing.

When you’re in your 40s and 50s, your epidermis will increasingly become thinner and lose its ordered structure, while your dermis will lose its water-binding ability; the result is that your skin will feel rougher, and you will see more wrinkles and fine lines appearing.

Tip: Adding a hyaluronic acid serum for hydration and increasing moisturization are ways to minimize such changes.

Finally, for those 60 and older, you will experience a further decline in collagen, more rough-feeling skin and more wrinkles.

Tip: Wisely choosing the right moisturizer (preferably scent-free to avoid chemicals that can further dry your skin), limiting your exposure to the sun (and always using sunscreen), and keeping baths or showers on the short side to minimize hydration issues, are all recommended; your healthcare provider can make other suggestions.

Furthermore, regularly check yourself for signs of skin cancer. While the highest rates for skin cancer are in those aged 85 and above, due to literally a lifetime of sun exposure, it is not unheard of for people in their 20s and above to develop this disease. The best time to do a skin self-exam is after a bath or shower, checking for any moles, blemishes, or birthmarks from the top of your head to your toes. Contact a dermatologist if you notice even the slightest change.

kumar anishaFollowing the above recommendations, augmented by a discussion with a qualified health professional, can keep your skin healthy and even glowing through the years. As with most good things, it takes a little work – but the benefits are worth it!

Dr. Anisha R. Kumar is the Director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at White Plains Hospital. For an appointment, call 914-849-3755. 

Health Matters: The original version of this article was published in Health Matters, a White Plains Hospital publication.

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