Category Archives: blog

Stretching Tips To Help Prevent Injury

By  aenriquez  published  June 19, 2020

It is safe to say that stretching before you exercise is one of the most under-appreciated health tips. Yes, it’s popular to establish a cardio-style exercise regime. Yes, it’s helpful to improve muscle tone by lifting or with other isometric practices. But stretching? Who has time for that?

The fact is, that athletic-looking man or woman in the parking lot who is walking on crutches or that great tennis player you watched at the courts with two knee braces to keep him going is often someone who did not stretch before going full force in their chosen sport. In addition, many people who stretch will tell you they do so because they suffered a ligament tear in high school or the doctor warned them their knee would “blow out” again if they didn’t take proper care of themselves.

Of course, you can stretch properly and still get hurt. You can ignore stretching and get lucky, working out hard without injury. But you are still raising risks by not stretching before your workout. Here’s why.

BENEFITS OF STRETCHING

Makes tasks easier

Increased flexibility simply makes it easier to perform in any sport. Furthermore, going hard in any sport can make muscles and ligaments tighten, rather than gain flexibility, according to the Mayo Clinic. So, why risk injury or a compromised performance? 

Improves range of motion

An approved range of motion is also why some tasks are easier when you stretch first. You can reach further, run easier, and extend yourself a bit more when you stretch regularly. Have you ever noticed how you can climb a set of stairs much easier after you stretch?

Better posture

Having good posture can be compared to the balance you need to ride a bicycle. When you are in balance, the bike seems to have no weight. When you are off-balance, then you realize how much the bicycle weighs.

The same can be said for better posture. You can run faster and react quickly when you have the correct posture. Also, the correct posture will translate to less wear and tear progression on your joints.

Better circulation

Your cardio-vascular system pumps oxygen to the many parts of your body. Oxygen is transferred from the atmosphere to your blood supply by your lungs. You also need to exhale carbon dioxide.

Needless to say, your cardio-vascular system is critical for all human movement and survival. When you exercise, of course, you breathe harder, because your body needs more oxygen when you work out. Stretching helps by getting your heart pumping at a higher rate before you start running hard.

Some Tips On Stretching

There are two basic styles of stretching. One is called “dynamic” stretching. This involves stretching in a more aggressive style – stretching by exercising lightly or “bouncing” as you stretch.

The other style of stretching is called “static ” stretching. This style involves no bouncing, only pulling gently on muscles and ligaments. With static stretching, you stretch in one direction gently and keep up the pressure for a moment or two.

Leg stretches while sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you and bending forward is a form of static stretching, while running in place would be seen as dynamic stretching.

Thirty Seconds

Stretching a muscle group gently but firmly is recommended for static stretching, widely viewed as the correct style for most of us. It is also recommended that you hold each stretch for 30 seconds, then relax and repeat the stretch several times.

Pain-free

If the stretching causes you pain, you have gone too far. Ease back and aim for pain-free stretching. If the pain persists or reduces your functioning significantly, discuss the matter with your physician.

For top sports injury care in the Tempe, Arizona, area, call the FXRX clinic for an appointment. Dial 480-449-FXRX.

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Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction Affects Mostly Women, But Men Too

By  aenriquez  published  June 11, 2020

It has been postulated, casually and clinically, that there will be a sudden rise in childbirths nine months after the initial COVID-19 lockdown date in each country. If this is true, congratulations are in order. However, one study has shown that 37.1 percent of pregnant women experience some degree of discomfort from symphysis pubis dysfunction, an ailment that also affects men and non-pregnant women.

Symphysis pubis discomfort is the name given to a condition marked by pain in the symphysis pubis joint, which is where the two pelvis bones meet in the front of the pelvis. This joint is held together by a dense pattern of ligaments, which can become stretched and strained. When this occurs, the discomfort can be anywhere from mild to severe.

Symptoms of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

  • Pain in the pelvic region, which can be mild to severe. Clicking noise in the pelvis while in motion occasionally appears
  • Difficulty walking or maintaining proper posture when walking
  • Incontinence can develop.
  • Difficulty urinating can also occur.
  • Diagnosing Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

Doctors begin diagnosing symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD by reviewing the patient’s medical history and through a one-on-one discussion.  Frequently, ultrasounds are given to assess the problem. In addition, X-ray images can be used to diagnose SPD, but this is not recommended for pregnant women.

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction and Pregnancy

Pregnancy can cause SPD and occurs in higher rates among pregnant women who were obese before they became pregnant. It is also prevalent in men or women who experienced lower back pain in the past.

 The health of the fetus is not affected by PSD, although it could be a factor in the decision of how to deliver the child. Women with PSD should discuss this with their obstetrician and/or their primary physician.

One option for pregnant women with PSD is to wear a supportive belt that takes some of the pressure off the woman’s pelvic bones. This can reduce discomfort if worn for the prescribed duration. Another study reported that 20 percent of those with PSD experience bouts of severe pain.

What Can You Do? Treatment Options

There are several steps you should review with your physician. These include several options you can try at home to reduce distress from PSD.

  • Chiropractic sessions help in some cases
  • Massage therapy can help in some cases

Stretching. Doctors often recommended an exercise that involves lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. The patient then tightens the stomach muscles and the gluteal muscles in 20-second intervals. The process is repeated 10-20 times.

  • Putting a pillow between legs while asleep
  • Avoid long periods of sitting
  • Rest
  • Supportive shoes help in some cases
  • Kegel exercises
  • Keep knees together when standing from a sitting position to reduce discomfort
  • Pain medication can help in some cases

If you are experiencing Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction symptoms, call the FXRX clinic in Tempe, Arizona, for an appointment. Dial 480-449-FXRX.

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How to Fit Exercise into a Busy Life

By  aenriquez  published  June 8, 2020

The COVID-19 lockdown has reminded many of us that you don’t need New Year’s Eve to establish new priorities in your life. Many people have re-established their connections to nature, taking long walks that may have faded from memory before the crisis began. Others have dusted off their neglected home exercise equipment dedicated an hour a day to get in shape.

However, with and without lockdown measures, modern lives are busy.  We fill up the day with work, chores, projects, cooking, and time-erasing entertainment. So, how do you maintain a healthy workout routine when your life seems too busy to do so?

Here are some tips for starting an exercise routine or sneaking one in when your life seems to busy to do so.

One strategy involves becoming more efficient in your exercise style. Often recommended are styles called interval training or a similar strategy called Tabata training. There is also a popular option known as the Seven-Minute Workout.

Interval training

This style of training combines various exercises. A very common form of this is a jogging path that also includes chin-up bars, rope climbs, and other options.

Tabata training

This is similar to interval training. With this style, you combine two times of exercises, say pushups combined with jumping jacks. You do jumping jacks for 20 seconds, then take a 10-second rest and then do the pushups for 20 seconds. After a few cycles of this, you switch to two other exercises, still keeping with the 20 second/10 second routine.

Seven-Minute Workouts

This routine involves doing twelve different activities for 30 seconds then taking a 10-second break between each one. The specific exercises can vary, but one standard seven-minute routine includes jumping jacks, wall sits, push-ups, abdominal crunches, step-ups using a chair, squats, triceps dips using a chair, plank, running in place with high steps, lunges, push-ups with rotations and side planks.

Other tips:

Do what you love

If you find it difficult to even think of exercising, try getting a workout through something you love. Maybe you enjoy a game of tennis. As long as you exercise at least three times a week, you should be all right.

Take any Motivation you can find

Don’t worry about motivation. Anything that works is perfectly acceptable. Maybe you just enjoy the company you can find at the gym. If that helps get you there, don’t argue with it. Say thanks and get to the gym.

Make a Schedule

Some people need a routine they can stick to. If so, put exercise down as a priority and don’t let other distractions derail your routine.

Stairs Instead of Elevators

This idea involves more than just avoiding elevators when possible. There are many ways to include exercise in your daily life. Try parking at the farthest reaches of the parking lot rather than parking as close to the store as possible.

If you are just beginning an exercise regime and need advice, call the FXRX clinic in Tempe, Arizona, for an appointment. Dial 480-449-FXRX.

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Joint Health during the Pandemic

By  siteadmin  published  June 3, 2020

With age, bones are constantly undergoing change in their structure and composition.  Old bone is being resorbed and new bone formed. However, after about 30 years of age, new bone formation tends to slow down, causing reduced bone density and pain and stiffness in the joints.

While regular exercise can stimulate bone formation, it is important to eat right to provide the body with the necessary raw materials to build strong bones and joints.

Here is a list of foods that are good for your joints.

  • Fish: Some types of fatty fish, like salmon, herring, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from the consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Soy-Based Foods: Foods such as tofu high in protein but very low in fat. In addition, their anti-inflammatory benefits may relieve joint pain.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil:  Extra virgin olive oil has been associated with increased levels of osteocalcin, important for bone formation. Olive oil is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
  • Cherries: Anthocyanins, found in cherries, may help to reduce gout attacks.
  • Dairy Products: Low-fat milk products, like yogurt, contain plenty of calcium and vitamin D, both of which increase bone strength and are extremely important for those with osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
  • Dark Green Vegetables: Dark green, leafy vegetables contain large quantities of calcium, which is one of the most important minerals for strong bones. Include the following in your diet – kale, collard greens, spinach and Chinese cabbage.
  • In addition to the above, the following are also important for bone and joint health –
    • Sweet Potatoes: rich in potassium and magnesium to boost bone health.
    • Grapefruit: high in vitamin C, to prevent bone loss.
    • Broccoli: rich in vitamin C and K, contains sulforaphane, which may slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
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Advantages of PRP Therapy

By  siteadmin  published  May 5, 2020

PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is a ground breaking treatment for many ailments, considered untreatable so far. One popular application of PRP therapy has been minimizing downtime after injury and allowing quick return to active play in high-level athletes.

PRP treatment utilizes and boosts the body’s natural healing mechanism to quickly repair damage to tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. PRP has also shown great potential in treating degenerative joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis, neurological and other disorders.

PRP is obtained from a small amount of the patient’s own blood. Platelet rich plasma is extracted from this blood and injected into the site of injury. Platelets and growth factors in PRP stimulate natural tissue regeneration and healing at the injury or damage site. Usually 3 PRP injections are administered 1 week apart, but this may vary depending on the site and extent of injury. Patients start experiencing significant reduction in symptoms and improved function, second injection onwards.

Conditions that can benefit from PRP

  • Tendon injuries
  • Hip, knee, and other joint osteoarthritis
  • Hip and hamstring strains
  • Knee injuries
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Plantar fasciitis

Benefits of PRP

  • Lasting relief, compared to other treatments such as pain medications, or steroid injections
  • Minimal risk of infection since the PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood
  • Simple andfast outpatient procedure
  • Potential to delay or avoid the need for joint replacement surgery

If you are suffering from a ligament or tendon injury that does not appear to be healing despite rest and conservative treatments, consult your orthopedic doctor about PRP therapy.

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Difference between Sprains and Tears?

By  siteadmin  published  April 8, 2020

While sprains and tears are similar injuries, they are not exactly the same.

Sprains

When a ligament is overstretched or torn upon an injury, such as falling, twisting of a joint, or an impact to the body, it is referred to as a sprain.

Sprains oftenheal in a period ranging from a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury, and can be –

  • Mild sprain: The ligament is stretched but the joint is still stable
  • Moderate sprain: The ligament is partially torn but not completely separated from the bone; the joint becomes unstable
  • Severe sprain: The ligament has completely torn or separated from the bone

Sprain Symptoms

  • Hearing or feeling a ‘pop’ in your joint during injury
  • Localized pain
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion

Tears

Tears occur when a ligament, tendon, or muscle is torn. Tears may result from the same injuries that cause a sprain but tears are more serious injuries.

Minor tears may heal in a few weeks while severe tendon and muscle tears need several months. Severe tears may even require surgery to repair.

Tear Symptoms

  • Sudden, severe pain
  • ‘Popping’ sound at the time of the injury
  • Loose joint
  • The affected area is unable to bear weight
  • Instant bruising
  • Joint Immobility
  • Visual deformity
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Does Your Child Have Sever’s Disease?

By  aenriquez  published  March 12, 2020

Sever’s disease is a common affliction of the back of the heel that is brought on by stress on that area during childhood and adolescence. The dynamics of Sever’s disease, named after the doctor who first described it in 1912, makes logical sense when you look at the basic conditions that create the disease

Bone growth and intense physical activity are the two basic conditions that create (or can create) Sever’s disease. The back of the heel is the location of growth for the heel bone. This occurs at a site known as the bone plate or growth plate. When we are fully grown, the bone plate closes over and becomes solid bone. But when we are young and growing, a growth plate is weaker than solid bone.

Children, of course, are very physically active. Sever’s disease, it follows, is most often associated with athletic children, especially during a period in which they participate in competitive sports and even more specifically when that sports that require wearing cleats – football, sometimes soccer, hockey, lacrosse and other sports – which can put more stress on a child’s heel due to the hardness of the shoe.

Simply because girls and boys mature at different ages, the onset of Sever’s disease differs from gender to gender. It can occur younger or older than these ages, but the most common age for cases is from ages 5-12 for all children and from ages 8-10 for girls and ages 10-12 for boys.

Symptoms of Sever’s Disease

The symptoms of Sever’s disease, which is also called calcaneal apophysitis, revolve around pain, swelling, and redness in the heel. Specifically, the symptoms include:
 

  • Painful heels, especially when walking or running
  • Redness of the heel and ankle
  • Swelling of heel and/or ankle
  • Heat coming from the swollen, red area
  • Difficulty walking
  • Tendency to favor the heel by walking on the ball of your foot or on your toes

Treatment

First, be aware that Sever’s disease is almost always a temporary condition that is relieved by rest with elevation, with occasional applications of an ice pack and with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as naproxen and/or ibuprofen.

  • Rest the heel or heels. Stay off your feet for a while.
  • Keep the feet elevated as you rest.
  • Apply cold packs or ice, as needed to reduce pain, heat, and swelling
  • .Wear softer shoes.
  • Wear insoles that cushion your foot.
  • Discuss temporary braces with your physician.
  • In severe cases, discuss the possibility of a cast to immobilize the area.

Rest assured that Sever’s disease which is associated with childhood and adolescence, is generally a short-term condition corrected by rest, a change of footwear, and over-the-counter medications. By definition, it does not carry over into adulthood because the heel bone has stopped growing by then, and the growth plate is replaced by solid bone.

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Parents: Do You Have A First Aid Kit Ready? You Should

By  aenriquez  published  March 2, 2020

It is five in the morning, and you’re sound asleep, dreaming of lambs and butterflies, but a persistent drumming sound is pounding your eardrums. You start to gain consciousness when you realize it’s your child out in the driveway once again practicing layups. Then the drumming stops, and you know he’s just tried a jump shot, and you wait for the ball to crash against the garage. You have an athletic kid. What are you going to do?

You could call the police – just kidding. Or you could open the window and tell him you’re trying to sleep. Or you could assemble a first aid kit because you know someday you’re going to need one. We recommend that this is the choice you make – oh, and make some coffee or buy some earmuffs. You can’t sell your kid. You’re stuck with ’em.

So, here are a few items you should include in that first aid kit, which you probably should make up twice – one for the car, one for the home.

You could go all out and buy an ambulance. But here are a few basics you’ll want to have on hand if your kid is a go-go-go athletic type.

No. 1 A first aid book or, better yet, flashcards. There’s no sense having a first aid kit if you don’t know what you’re doing with it. Get a handy flashcard that lists easy to follow diagrams. This is not the time to stop and read. You want to go to the instructions right away.

A cell phone and phone numbers. Keep a list or upload emergency numbers into your phone, so they are easy to find in an emergency.

An updated list of medical forms, including allergies and current or recently used medications.

Surgical scissors and bandage sheers. Basically, you want a pointy set of scissors and a non-pointy set. The non-pointy set is great for times you don’t want to slip and stab someone, including yourself or your child. But you may find a need for pointy scissors when you have to start sheering in the middle of an article of clothing, for example.

Safety pins. You’ll be surprised how handy everyday necessities like safety pins can be in an emergency.

Forceps and tweezers. Forceps are professional grade tweezers that can clamp and hold position while pinched. Very handy. On the other hand, they tend to be larger than some applications require. Smaller tweezers can be better when trying to extract a small splinter, for example.

Wooden tongue depressors are useful for holding things (including tongues) in place when you don’t want to use your fingers.

Surgical gloves and CPR masks are both very handy when you want to avoid trading germs around. Buy a small pack of sterile gloves.

A flashlight – preferably one that works. Test your flashlight often to make sure that the batteries are up for the job and that the thing works properly.

Travel-ready cold and heat packs that can be used on the road. These packs often work by squeezing the package, which allows for a chemical reaction to produce either a refrigerant or heat.

A blanket and a cell phone. These require no explanation. However, you can shop around for a blanket designed for emergencies. Often these are highly effective and easy to pack.

Elastic bandages, bandage tape and an assortment of Band-Aids. Bandages should include wrapping gauze and various sizes of sterile gauze pads. Include non-stick bandages as well. Also, sterile cotton swabs are handy.

Liquid soap and alcohol pads or a bottle of alcohol are useful for cleaning and sterilizing hands, wounds and equipment.

Aluminum finger splints, eye patches, sterile eyewash, contact lens remover, eye bandages.

Anti-bacterial liquid soap, sunscreen, lip balm, anti-bacterial ointment, topical pain medication for bee stings and the like.

An asthma inhaler if your child has asthma. Often children forget to bring their inhaler and have asthma attacks at inopportune times.

If first aid kits are not very helpful for worse cases, immediately bring the patient to a primary care doctor.

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Seven Strange Symptoms of Dehydration

By  aenriquez  published  February 26, 2020

Dehydration, in a mild form, is a common occurrence in the United States due to the relative accessibility the public has to clean drinking water. However, it remains a serious public hazard in many parts of the world and is a significant cause of death when associated with other conditions, such as the flu, diarrhea or vomiting, all of which contribute to hydration declines and do not always occur with a rise in thirst, which is the most obvious signal that says your body is low in fluids.

Since dehydration is defined as a lack of fluid, it quickly affects all of the most obvious forms of liquid-oriented systems in your body, which include blood flow, the passing of urine, saliva, and sweat. Our bodies, however, are 75-78 percent water when we are born, a figure that drops to 65 percent after one year. As adults, our bodies are between 50 percent and 65 percent water. So, it follows that regular intake of high volumes of water is a critical health concern.

Moreover, it helps to understand how our bodies eliminate fluids, which is primarily by exhaling, sweating, and urinating. With these three methods, our bodies rid themselves of about a cup, two cups, and six cups of water per day, respectively. Needless to say, that would be the minimum amount of water that needs to be consumed each day to break even. The standard recommendation of water intake, however, is frequently called 8X8, a shorthand way to remind you to drink eight glasses of eight ounces of water per day. That’s a half-gallon of water per day.

Dehydration

Severe dehydration is, of course, fatal. But many warning signs tell you that you are low on fluids – besides thirst. Here are some of the signs:

  • Headaches

Our brains are approximately 70 percent water. As such, a lack of water quickly affects the brain, specifically by causing it to shrink in size, which leads to headaches.

As such, the first thing to do when you have a headache is not always to reach for an aspirin, but simply to drink a glass or two of water. If you want to cover your bases, then take the recommended dose of aspirin and drink two glasses of water at the same time.

  • Dizziness

Lack of water leads to two critical medical conditions that have far-ranging implications. These are a decrease in blood flow and a decrease in blood pressure. Both of these contribute to dizziness, which, as you may already know, is a common occurrence when you are sick with the flu. People with the flu lie down and sleep a lot. When they get up quickly, they become dizzy because they have not been drinking water while they are asleep.

  • Less Elasticity of the Skin

The way a veterinarian diagnosis dehydration in an animal is by pinching and pulling its skin. The skin forms a pinched shape and, when the doctor lets to, the skin does not spring back to its normal position, the pinched bump remains upright. This occurs in humans as well. Skin, when dehydrated, does not retreat to a normal position when it is dried out.

  • Dark Urine

When you are dehydrated, the kidneys react. They react by holding onto liquids, storing it up; this turns your urine dark yellow and even brown in some cases.

  • Muscle Cramps

Muscles need water, the same as all body tissues. When dry, they get tighter, leading to cramps.

  • Bad Breath

Your saliva is critical for keeping your breath smell clean. It does this through its antibiotic properties, which are very handy in the mouth, where people are likely to introduce bacteria to your system. When there is a lack of saliva, the bacteria of your mouth thrive, creating bad breath.

  • Rashes

Rashes Your skin reacts to heat in various ways. One symptom is prickly feelings on your skin. Another way is heat rash. A red, bumpy rash, often called hives, appears when you are overheated, which is a symptom of dehydration.

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Swelling of the Knee

By  aenriquez  published  February 20, 2020

A common complaint among knee injuries is a condition frequently called water on the knee or sometimes, simply, swollen knee. A doctor might refer to this as an effusion of the knee, which indicates the movement of fluid.

There are many causes for water on the knee, and it will take an examination and possibly some laboratory analysis of the fluid to figure out the underlying cause of the effusion. The first noticeable symptoms, however, include a swollen, puffy, stiff knee. It is likely to be painful. In addition, the swollen area could be soft and pliable, moving the way a water balloon feels when you poke at it.

Causes

There are many possible causes for water on the knee. There could be an underlying disease present. Your knee could be swollen from acute trauma, such as a sports injury involving a collision or an over-stretching of a ligament. Over-use could be the problem. This implies long-term use of the knee, often in a repetitive fashion, that has worn down some of the joint’s cartilage. A bone could be fractured or broken. An infection could have set in. Various diseases could also result in water on the knee.

Common Diseases

The most common knee diseases include osteoarthritis, gout, pseudogout, blood or bone infections, tumors, cysts, or bursitis.

Risk Factors

There are risk factors involved in knee conditions, including age – the older we get, the more susceptible we get to many conditions – lifestyle, especially when involved in high-stress sports, and obesity. The more overweight you are, the more likely you are to injury your knees or have cartilage wear down over time.

Prevention

If you can avoid getting old, that would help. Unfortunately, no one has figured that out yet. However, you can strengthen your leg muscles to give more support to your knee when you need it. You can also try losing weight to take some stress off of your knees.

Diagnosis

Doctors will first interview the patient to see if there is an obvious lifestyle or family history factor to take into consideration. After this, the physician may order an X-ray, an ultra-sound or MRI imaging to be done to get a look at what is happening in your knee.

If imaging does not result in a firm diagnosis, the doctor may try a joint aspiration, also called an arthrocentesis procedure. This involves drawing some of the fluid out of the knee (with a syringe and a need), then sending the fluid to the laboratory to look, primarily, for the presence of bacteria, indicating an infection or crystals, indicating either gout or pseudogout.

Treatment

Treatment might begin with drawing fluid from the joint to reduce the stiffness and pain. In some cases, the fluid may not return, and the patient will not need further treatment. However, there’s a chance the fluid will return, as the cause of the fluid has not been addressed.


Treatment may also involve the use of antibiotics, pain, or anti-inflammatory medication or surgery. The surgery could include a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure or a more complicated procedure. Knee replacement surgery is also a possibility, depending on the underlying condition and after serious discussions of alternative therapies.

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