Tag: Marcin Gornsiewicz

Heliotrope Rash: What Is It, And Why Call It That?

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.


Heliotrope is a plant that produces clusters of sweet scented flowers in summer and has a very brilliant violet or purple color. It is considered poisonous, as it contains alkaloids, potent liver toxins, and will cause gastric distress in humans and animals if ingested. There are reported cases of death among horses, cattle and dogs. There have been no human losses to date, as this would be an unusual part of our diet.  Read more →

Popcorn Joints

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.


Entwine your fingers together and then bend them back. Do you hear the popping sound? Chances are you do. We have all done and heard it before, and some kids do it all the time just for fun or to make their parents crazy. Knuckle cracking is a common habit. Where is the noise coming from? To understand it, you need to know a bit about joint anatomy. Read more →

Too Much Gaming Can Be A Real Pain

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.


It is definitely a strange sensation to wake up in the middle of the night unable to move an arm or to sit with legs crossed then be unable to walk, due to a loss of sensation, as if the legs are not there anymore. This is called temporary paresthesia. When pressure is applied for a prolonged period of time either by sleeping on an arm or sitting on a foot, nerves are compressed and kept from sending massages back to the brain properly. The communication from the brain to other parts of the body os basically cut off. Once the body moves again, the pressure is off the arm or leg. The feeling comes back slowly, however, there is re-adjustment time. There may be an itching, pricking, tingling “pins and needles” sensation before the body part finally returns to normal. We all go through this once in a while, and it is completely benign and normal, but if tingling and numbness occurs on a regular basis, it may be a sign of a certain medical condition. The most common condition affecting over 8 million Americans each year is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).  Read more →

Walking On Tiptoes

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.



My 13 year old son is an avid soccer player. He plays for his school team. He is in Knoxville Football Club, and with the beginning of spring, the number of training sessions and games have increased. He is very fit and sporty, has suffered no obvious injury, so it took me by surprise when he recently started complaining of pain in both of his heels during and shortly after soccer sessions. The more he played, the more he struggled. Eventually, he came to a point where he couldn’t run to keep up with other players, and his soccer skills suffered. There hasn’t been any swelling or bruising, and he wears decent quality cleats. So, why is he in pain? Is this a potentially serious problem? Should he continue playing? Read more →

Not Just For Tennis Players

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.



Every year millions of teenagers participate in sports activities. 40% of all pediatric injuries are sports related. When a sports injury occurs, it is important to quickly recognize it and seek proper treatment. Injuries among young athletes can be divided into two categories: acute and overuse injuries. Acute injuries are caused by a sudden trauma, for example a collision on the field between players. Overuse injuries occur gradually over time and can affect muscles, ligaments, tendons and growth plates. They are caused by repetitive trauma to a certain body area with no adequate time to heal. Training errors combined with rapidly changing physical characteristics of a young body contribute to a rising injury rates.  Read more →

Jumper’s Knee

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.


“The load placed on the knees could be up to 7 times the body weight of a soccer player during kicking, and up to 11 times body weight when volleyball player lands after a jump.”


The knee is the largest joint in the body. It is essential for sitting, walking and running. The bones that make up the knee are the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone) and the patella (knee cap). They give the knee strength needed to support the body’s weight. Ligaments are bands of tough fibers that hold these bones together. Read more →

Raynaud’s phenomenon – Caring for this Sensitive Condition

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.


“One day in late 1850’s Dr. Maurice Raynaud had a new patient, a young, healthy French girl, and noticed her fingers suddenly becoming pale and cold.”


It is getting colder every day. Winter is around the corner. Our body adjusts to new weather conditions accordingly. Blood vessels supplying the skin narrow in response to cold temperatures to minimize heat loss and keep the body’s core warm. This is called vasoconstriction and is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, the same system that is also activated when we are nervous or upset. Cold hands and feet are then normal physiological response to both cold exposure and emotional stress. Unfortunately, sometimes this system overreacts and vessel constriction becomes exaggerated.

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The mysterious growing pains

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.

Sep2013MarcinYour 5-year-old child wakes up in the middle of the night screaming from pain, crying, and pointing toward the legs. You look at them but you don’t see anything wrong. You rub them and the child is in deep sleep again within thirty minutes. When your child wakes up in the morning, he/she is absolutely fine, no pain or limping, ready for daily activities like nothing ever happened. The same thing occurs again a week later, this time even more dramatic, disrupting sleep for the whole family. You are now seriously worried and ask yourself questions. Is my child really in pain, or is he/she faking it? Is it serious? Should I call my doctor? Read more →

Your kid’s lower back hurts? Really?

Backpack alert from a rheumatologist

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.


July2013-MarcinBack pain in adults has been extensively studied. Until recently, a complaint of back pain in a child or adolescent was rather uncommon, but that has changed. Aside from specific medical conditions, long hours spent on computers, tablets and smart phones, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, heavy schoolbags, competitive sports all likely contribute to an increased number of kids with either acute or chronic back pain. Read more →

Mom, can I go outside and play soccer?

How can you answer this question, if your kid has arthritis?

by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.

MarcinMay2013Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is the most common form of arthritis in children. There are several subtypes of JIA and the clinical presentation varies. Unfortunately, pain is a common denominator, and is a major factor preventing children with arthritis from being more active. They fear the pain and injury due to a flare up of the disease by simply running, jumping or playing tag. Typical symptoms and components of JIA include joint swelling, stiffness, anemia, muscle atrophy, weakness and fatigue and contribute to decreased exercise level. The disease often results in a sedentary lifestyle and poor fitness even in kids with clinical remission when the joint inflammation is under good control. JIA may be carried on into adolescent and adult life. Read more →