Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. We strive to deliver high quality, cost effective healthcare in the communities we serve.

A Look at ACL Injury Prevention

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are quite common in athletes. Watch this featured video to hear from the Director of Orthopedics and Neuroscience at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. She explains that the patients who arrive at our hospital with ACL injuries are typically soccer, basketball, and football players, although any activity that involves a sudden pivoting motion can lead to an ACL tear.

Understanding ACL Injuries
The ACL is a tough band of tissue that connects the thigh bone to the lower leg bone. It’s located in the middle of the knee. The ligament can become overstretched, partially torn, or completely torn. This can occur when a person suddenly stops, rapidly changes direction, incorrectly lands from a jump, or receives a direct collision. This is why ACL injuries are particularly common among athletes who play certain sports such as basketball.

Identifying Your Risk Factors
Any athlete who plays sports that involves these sudden moves could sustain an ACL injury. However, this injury could also occur in non-athletes. ACL tears are more common in women, those who have previously had an ACL injury, and those with a muscle strength imbalance in that part of the body.

Preventing ACL Injuries
If you’re at risk for an ACL tear, one of the most effective ways to prevent this injury is to always use the proper form and technique for your particular sport. Be particularly cautious when turning, jumping, and landing. Throughout these movements, keep your knees and hips bent, rather than straight. You might also consider working with a physical therapist at your community hospital. Physical therapists usually work with patients who are rehabilitating from injuries or coping with medical conditions, but they can also show athletes how to strengthen specific muscle groups. Strengthening the hamstrings and quadriceps is particularly helpful for preventing ACL injuries.

After a sports injury, the staff at the Rehabilitation Department at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center can help you get started on the road to recovery. Our orthopedics program is supported by both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. You can request a referral to a physician at our hospital in Thousand Oaks by calling a registered nurse at (877) 888-5746.

Answers to Your Questions About Seasonal Flu

Seasonal influenza is caused by viruses. The flu isn’t just another type of cold; it’s a serious illness that may lead to severe symptoms or complications. Certain people are at an increased risk of requiring emergency care for flu-related problems, including seniors, young children, and people with certain chronic medical conditions. At Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, you can find exceptional preventive care to support your family’s wellness throughout the year.

Who should get a flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages six months and older receive an annual flu shot, provided they do not have a medical condition that interferes. It’s important to get a flu shot at the start of each season because different flu viruses circulate each year.

Is the flu shot safe?
Before any vaccine is approved for use, it undergoes rigorous testing to ensure that it has a favorable safety profile. Flu shots are safe for almost everyone, including pregnant women. There is a risk of minor, temporary side effects such as redness and swelling at the injection site. Rarely, more serious side effects like allergic reactions can occur. Despite what some people believe, the flu shot cannot cause the flu. You can consider speaking with your doctor if you’re not sure if the flu shot is right for you. However, health experts generally agree that the risk of contracting the flu is far greater than the risk of side effects from the flu shot.

What should I do if I contract the flu?
If you do contract the flu this year, it’s advisable to stay home and rest. Drink plenty of fluids and consider taking a fever reducer. If you have a high risk of complications from the flu, your doctor might prescribe antiviral medications. If you experience severe symptoms such as trouble breathing or sudden confusion, emergency care is needed. Please do not try to drive yourself to the hospital.

When your family is in need of emergency care in the Thousand Oaks area, you can count on Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. Our emergency care team is committed to maintaining the highest standards of healthcare excellence and our ER wait times are consistently below the national average. For non-emergency information about our hospital services, you can call (877) 888-5746.

Steps Toward Good Health in the New Year

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to start exercising. But after a few weeks or months, many new gym members stop making time in their schedules for fitness. This is unfortunate because exercise offers so many positive benefits for both physical and mental health. This year, make a plan to make physical activity a regular habit. If you would like to consult a doctor regarding your exercise plans, you can turn to Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center.

Know the Guidelines
Doctors recommend doing cardiovascular exercise on most days of the week and strength training exercises on two or more days per week. Most adults should aim for a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An example of moderate-intensity exercise is brisk walking. However, if you have a medical condition, are a senior, or are pregnant, consider asking your doctor about personalized exercise recommendations.

Make a Plan
A successful New Year’s resolution requires a specific and actionable plan. Plan to start slowly, especially if you haven’t exercised in a long time. Set realistic long-term and short-term goals. Your long-term goal might be to run in a 5k race, but if you’ve never run before, you should start with brisk walking. After a few weeks of brisk walking, you might be ready to start alternating walking with jogging.

Be a Social Exerciser
Exercising with friends or family can be more enjoyable and you might be more likely to stick with your plan. Ask a friend to join an exercise class with you or meet you for a walk in the park instead of lunch. You might even consider adopting a rescue dog. Dog owners tend to get more exercise because their furry friends need regular walks.

Consult a Fitness Coach
If you’re feeling stuck with your exercise program, consider hiring a fitness coach. Personal trainers can revamp your routine, teach you how to use the proper form and techniques, and keep you motivated during each workout.

Physical limitations can make it difficult for some people to exercise, which is why Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is pleased to offer a complete suite of physical rehabilitation programs. Our hospital is focused on providing patient-centered care for every stage of life. You can direct questions about our Rehabilitation Department in Thousand Oaks to a registered nurse at (877) 888-5746.

How Can You Cope with Holiday Depression?

Depression is a serious problem year-round, but the holiday season can throw it into sharp relief. When it seems like everyone around you is filled with holiday cheer, feeling sad or worthless can be even more difficult to cope with. The holidays can be especially burdensome after a diagnosis of a major illness or a death in the family. However, depression is a treatable disorder and every patient with depression deserves to have a better quality of life. Consider speaking with your physician about your challenges. And in the event that you experience suicidal thoughts or actions, the emergency room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is always open.

Design a Reasonable Schedule
The stress of the holidays can worsen depressive symptoms and one leading reason for holiday stress is a busy schedule. Don’t be shy about declining invitations; there’s no need to offer an excuse. If you have trouble handling crowds and traffic, consider doing all of your holiday shopping online this year. And don’t forget to schedule some unstructured “you” time every day to let yourself relax and unwind.

Avoid Striving for Perfection
It can be hard to reconcile the image you might have in your mind of the perfect holiday with the reality of what actually happens. There is no need to strive for perfection. Try to give yourself some perspective. Would the world end if you forget to pick up a wreath for the front door or if you have dusty bookshelves when company arrives?

Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is a depressant. It may be tempting to soothe your frayed nerves with some spiked eggnog, but it won’t really support your mental health. Instead of self-medicating with alcohol, step outside for some fresh air or pet a furry friend when you feel overwhelmed.

Seek Medical Care
Making these changes can help you cope more effectively, but depression is a mental health disorder that often requires medical care. If you haven’t yet sought help for your depression, consider making this your priority this holiday season. You can rest assured that your doctor will respond to your concerns with compassion and without judgment. There are many effective treatments available to you.

High-quality emergency room care is just part of what we do here at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. Our hospital offers renowned care for cardiology, surgery, orthopedic, and bariatric patients. Call a registered nurse at (877) 888-5746 if you would like general information about our hospital services.

Don't Let Stress Ruin Your Health

It might not surprise you to learn that chronic stress isn’t healthy. But did you know it can have specific consequences such as an increased risk of heart disease, weight gain, and digestive disorders? In fact, being stressed out frequently can even result in a greater tendency to contract infections because the immune system isn’t working as well as it should be. At Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, we encourage families in Thousand Oaks to take advantage of our preventive healthcare resources.

What the Research Suggests
For years, clinicians have been documenting the many negative effects of chronic stress on physical health. Some of the early research performed by two pioneers in the field focused on the chronic stress of medical students. For a decade, the researchers evaluated the immune function and stress levels of the students. They noted that during the three-day period of exams, the students had remarkably lower immune function. Specifically, they had reduced levels of natural killer cells, which are responsible for combating infection and tumors. The study participants also had weaker T-cells and their production of gamma interferon had nearly ceased entirely. Since that study was released, many others have been performed that suggest a causal relationship between chronic stress and long-term depression on poor immune health.

How Stress Causes Indirect Consequences
Stress doesn’t only result in lowered immune function; it can also have other indirect consequences on health. When a person is under stress, he or she may be less likely to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep—all of which are also crucial for supporting immune function and other areas of health. Some people under chronic stress might also turn to cigarettes, alcohol, or other substances of abuse.

How You Can Improve Your Stress Response
It isn’t always easy to manage stress, but with practice, you can learn to adjust your stress response. Exercise is an effective way to blow off steam for short-term stress management and improve wellness for long-term benefits. Yoga and tai chi, which are forms of moving meditation, have been shown to be particularly helpful. If you have trouble managing your stress by yourself, consider speaking with a mental health counselor.

Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is your source for high-quality medical services—from preventive medicine to sophisticated diagnostics to minimally invasive interventions. Our hospital is dedicated to helping patients live life well. To request a referral to a doctor in Thousand Oaks, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (877) 888-5746.

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