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Posts Tagged "participants"

9Jul

Ballsy participants sought for Vancouver testicle study

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Dr. Ryan Flannigan inside VGH’s Robert Ho research building in Vancouver. Dr. Flannigan is leading a study on a new way to treat scrotum pain. Photo: Arlen Redekop/Postmedia


Arlen Redekop / PNG

Males who suffer debilitating scrotal pain can now sign up for a new study using an old but reformulated numbing medication with lidocaine.

Nearly five per cent of males can suffer so much that mere walking can be painful if they have chronic pain in their testicles and scrotum, the latter of which are the sacs of skin surrounding the testicles.

Dr. Ryan Flannigan, a Vancouver General Hospital urologist who is the director of the male infertility and sexual medicine research program at the University of B.C., said that he has seen up to 100 men with chronic scrotum pain in the last six months alone. Some patients come from as far away as the Northwest Territories. But many men don’t bother to seek medical attention because, as Flannigan points out, males are generally more reluctant than women to go to doctors and more inclined to brush off medical concerns.

Flannigan, who specializes in testicular and penile abnormalities, said testicular pain is described by patients as either constant aching or episodes of sharp pain.

The scrotal pain condition occurs in a range of ages — from teenagers to men in their ’60s — but it most commonly affects those in their 20s and 30s, Flannigan said.

While conventional treatment has involved injecting a lidocaine anesthetic into the spermatic cord to help numb pain, it is temporary relief for only up to four hours. So in the new study, soon to enrol 20 patients, lidocaine will be reformulated into a polymer paste that is designed for a slow, more sustained release, over seven to 14 days.

The needlepoke through the skin at the top of the scrotum into the spermatic cord can be uncomfortable but Flannigan said he tells patients “it’s like a visit to the dentist when the freezing goes in.”


In a study that will soon enrol participants who suffer from severe scrotum pain, Dr. Ryan Flannigan will be injecting a newly formulated solution of a numbing agent designed to provide longer relief. Photo: Arlen Redekop/Postmedia

Arlen Redekop /

PNG

The paste, developed by a UBC spinoff company called Sustained Therapeutics (which is funding the study), will be injected into tissues, not blood vessels. Flannigan said the polymer material will “naturally break down” as it is metabolized.

Besides lidocaine-based injections, other treatments that may be tried include anti-inflammatories, steroids, and sometimes even surgery to cut nerves that are transmitting the pain. Physiotherapy can also help when the pain originates in another area of the body and is referred to the testicles.

Preclinical trials in animals at UBC affirmed the safety and proof of concept behind the intervention. Now the goal of the Phase 1 trial in humans will be to determine a safe and effective dose.

Flannigan said common causes of the condition include a blow to the testicle area, a previous infection in the area, inflammation in the spermatic cord that stores and carries sperm, and nerves pinched during hernia repair or a previous vasectomy. Pain can also be caused by enlarged veins in the scrotum, cysts, or kidney stones. The cause remains unknown in nearly half of cases.

Flannigan said men from around B.C. — or even outside the province — will be considered for the trial. To register an interest, males should contact the clinical trials unit at the Vancouver Prostate Centre or call 604-875-5675.

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19Feb

Club 16 provides cross-training tips for Sun Run participants

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If you’re not outside running, what kind of exercises can you do to help you prepare for the Vancouver Sun Run? We asked Alexander Klocek, fitness manager at Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness in Coquitlam, to provide some suggestions on what you can do if you’re working out in a gym.

What kind of cross training can I do as a runner?

Any cross training that targets resistance training focused on the lower body is going to benefit a runner. Building muscle to support the ankle, knee, and hip joints is crucial for endurance in long distance running. It also decreases the potential damage to ligaments tendons, and cartilage.

For best results, we recommend a circuit style workout which includes some training to increase cardiovascular capacity for the long-distance run. Working with free weights, kettlebells, and machines is a great start for resistance training.

How does cross-training help me run faster?

It helps by increasing the muscular strength and endurance of the lower body which increases the cardiovascular capacity and delivery of oxygen to the muscles. The more oxygen that goes into muscles, the slower the fatigue. This allows a runner to increase the speed of the pace and sustain it longer.

Can exercise in the gym make my knees/hips/ankles stronger?

Yes. Working on functional movement patterns which include squatting, hinging, pulling pushing, rotation, gait, and lunging, improves the biomechanics of the movements which decreases the forces on the joints by running. The increase in muscle size provides extra support for the joints which further decreases the chance of injury.


Alexander Klocek, fitness manager, Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness Coquitlam.

PNG

For a runner, what’s better: swimming or lifting weights? Why?

Generally speaking for running, weight training is a much more beneficial form of cross training. With swimming the VO2 max/cardiovascular capacity is largely different from that of running and will likely not cross over to increasing performance in running. It is largely an upper body dominant exercise and does not involve gait-like movements. Therefore, the transfer of ability of swimming to running is minimal. Lifting weights helps improve the specific muscles involved in running by increasing the strength, efficiency, and the cardiovascular capacity.

What kind of routine should I follow if I’m working out by myself in the gym?

If you do not know what kind of weight training you should be doing, we highly recommend getting a personal trainer to guide you through a proper workout for your body.

Everyone has a different body and different imbalances that may need to be addressed before you start weight training. This begins with working on functional movement patterns and focusing on the lower body. Types of exercises you can expect include squatting, hinging, lunging, step ups, leg presses, and hamstring curls.

The training format largely depends on the level of the client. Generally, one or two exercises in a row targeting opposite muscle groups would be a great start. If the client is a little more advanced, mixing this in with a short burst of cardiovascular activity such as a run, aerobic steppers, and side shuffles would be a great way to challenge the runner. You would want to minimally train lower body at least 1x a week and upper body to strengthen the core 1x a week as well.


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