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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, December 11, 2017

Is your housework hurting you?

You're about to have a house full of guests for the holidays, so everything has to be spotless, right? But experts warn house cleaning could pose some potential dangers, including falls from step ladders while dusting hard-to-reach spots, slipping on wet floors after mopping, and back strains from strenuous vacuuming or incorrectly lifting heavy equipment.

These things can result in some serious injuries such as:

Here are a few simple tips to keep safe while tidying up:
  • Warm up just as you would before any workout. Do a few back stretches and neck rolls before setting out to sweep or vacuum your entire home.
  • Keep a set of cleaning supplies both upstairs and down to avoid lugging them back and forth.
  • Invest in products that offer reachability, like extender wands, to help you tackle high-up spots.
  • Always practice correct ladder safety when climbing up (on a ladder or step stool) to clean something.
  • Try alternating sides when vacuuming, and switch it up between right and left arms for each room.
The noxious fumes from some cleaning products--especially those that are ammonia or bleach-based--can be dangerous too.

Make sure to open a window or turn on the AC when cleaning for good ventilation, and never mix two products together. Consider some green alternatives like vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda mixed with warm water, or one of the many certified "green" or "eco-friendly" solutions on the market these days.

And if you do feel you've pulled something, or suffered an injury while cleaning, please contact us for an appointment.

(Adapted from

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Watch out for these toys this year...

As holiday gift-giving reaches a frenzied pace this month, take a minute to ensure you've made safe choices.

While that new motorized scooter with super-fast, jet-like propulsion seems cool, it could be a disaster just waiting to happen.

ERs report huge spikes in activity in December and early January due to injuries from unsafe toys. Common injuries include sprains and strains, broken bones or fractures, deep cuts and skin lacerations, and even concussions. Ride-on toys are typically the worst offenders.

Each year, the consumer group WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm) releases a list of toys deemed unsafe after hours of rigorous testing and evaluation.

Here are the worst offenders:
  • Do it yourself slack line kits (strung between two trees)
  • Motorized skates
  • Motorized scooters
  • Hoverboards
  • Drones
  • Faulty fidget spinners (can lead to cuts on fingers and even choking)
The motorized toys have the biggest risk for your child because they can lose control and suffer serious injuries within split seconds. If you do opt for one of these items, make sure to review all operating instructions beforehand and always keep a watchful eye over them.

With any ride-on toy, such as a bike or skateboard, you'll also want to invest in a good quality helmet and arm or elbow pads.

And for the small kiddos, don't forget to check their gifts for any choking hazards.

If your child suffers a serious injury after hours, visit Texas Orthopedics' Urgent Injury Clinic where no appointment is necessary and X-ray and casting capabilities are right onsite.

(Adapted from Good Housekeeping)

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Stay Stress-Free this Holiday

You sailed through Halloween and the Thanksgiving holiday. But now December is here, and it's really 'go' time. There are so many parties and the 'to do' lists seem endless! And for some -- that translates to some major stress.

So, take a deep breath. And check out these seven tips to help you stay sane and stress-free:

  1. Take a hike. Literally. Hiking or walking for at least 30 minutes a day outdoors stimulates the production of serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain.
  2. Sniff some citrus. The scent of lemons and oranges is proven to alleviated stress and better your mood. Rub a slice of the inside of the peel on your skin to release the essential oils or place a bowl of fresh zest on the counter to diffuse throughout the room.
  3. Stick to your daily routine. Keep your regular workout schedule going, or weekly lunch date with friends on your calendar. This sense of normalcy will help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
  4. Let go of perfection. You may forget to mail a card or gift, or send the wrong item to your child's gift exchange at school. Cut yourself some serious slack at this time of year. It will all be okay.
  5. Silence your cell. Dedicate a few days over your holiday to unplug. Turn off automatic email and text alerts, and check in only when absolutely necessary.
  6. Have some honey. Honey has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can boost immunity, and the sweetness packs and energetic punch. Try a spoonful in your favorite warm winter beverages.
  7. Don't overschedule. Focus on what and who are really important to you during the holidays. Your family maybe or a few special friends? Choose how you spend your time wisely, and remember that it's always perfectly acceptable to politely decline any invitation or say 'no' to a task you are not able to complete.
(Adapted from

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What's the deal with ketones?

Many high-profile athletes claim that ketones are the key to their enhanced performance.

But what are they? And do they really work?

Ketone supplements replicate the effects of a high-fat, low-carb diet favored by many athletes these days (over the traditional high-carb diet typically followed for training). Burning through fat stored in the body is said to produce quicker bursts of energy/better performance than slower-digested carbs.

A recent study published in Frontiers in Physiology, (conducted by the Australian Institute of Sport), evaluated the popular supplement on eleven members of a world-class men's cycling team. The men were given either a placebo drink or one laced with a ketone supplement an hour ahead of and then immediately before long rides, each averaging about 19 miles with intense pedaling at high speeds.

Here's what they found:
  • Every rider who drank the ketone supplement performed worse than others who did not.
  • Those riders' times were about two percent slower and power output was almost four percent less.
  • Some form of gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, nausea, dry retching) was reported by each rider who drank the ketone supplement.
While this study was small, and more research on ketones is needed, scientists feel that any boost athletes may feel from the supplements could be largely mental.

If you are considering a ketone supplement, do so in moderation. Burning through stored fat too quickly can lead to sickness, as evidenced by the study, and potentially damage muscles and bones that do actually funnel nutrients from stored fat cells. This can result in muscle strains, sprains and even fractures or broken bones.

If you have questions about ketone supplements and your training, please contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

How to Holiday-Proof Your House

The moment the last of the turkey leftovers are finished (and sometimes even before), people are pulling out ladders to string up lights and decorate for the next holiday. While decorating your house and packing it in with family and friends are what the holidays are all about, it can also create an environment ripe for accidents and serious injuries like falls.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that more than 300,000 adults age 65 years and older suffer hip fractures and are hospitalized each year. Falls are the cause of more than 95 percent of these fractures. It's important for seniors to be careful around the holidays especially when in unfamiliar surroundings or homes that they visit infrequently.

Young children are also at risk for falls, excitedly dodging between trees, strings of light, garland, and trying out new toys.

Here are five tips to keep your home safe for everyone this season:

  1. Reduce clutter. Keep presents, packages and empty decoration boxes clear of doorways, hallways, and away from stairs.
  2. Designate a play area for young kids. Encourage them to play in their rooms or a den or family room away from the Christmas tree, fireplace, or any areas outside that are heavily decorated.
  3. Install nightlights. If having family and friends stay overnight, make sure bathrooms, hallways, and stairs are well-lit for getting around in the dark.
  4. Keep outdoor walkways clear. While we are not often at risk for slippery or icy walkways in Central Texas, you should still make sure that driveways, sidewalks, and entryways are clear of windblown leaves, sticks, or other debris for your visitors.
  5. Consider baby/safety gates. Placed strategically on stairs, these could prevent toddlers, and elderly family members alike, from falling if unattended.

Also remember to practice proper ladder safety when climbing up to install outside lights or trim the tree. Choose the correct height for the job and make sure that it can withstand your weight. For other reminders on safe ladder use, visit the AAOS Ladder Safety Guide.

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2017 Super Doctors

Texas Orthopedics is proud to share that several of our physicians have been honored as Super Doctors for 2017 in the December issue of Texas Monthly magazine.
Please help us to congratulate:
Super Doctors is a national group that salutes outstanding physicians from more than 40 medical specialties who have earned a high degree of peer recognition and/or professional achievement.
Texas Orthopedics has had a number of our physicians land on this list each year. We are exceptionally proud of them, and all of our outstanding staff members, for their heartfelt dedication to both their patients and the advancement of the medical community.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

RA and Sleep

With shorter days, longer nights, and the hint of a chill now finally in the air, conditions are ripe for some sweet slumbering.  Sadly though, that may not be in the cards if you are one of the 75% of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who report sleep problems.
RA is an autoimmune deficiency causing painful inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. Stiff joints can keep you awake at night and make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.
One big way to alleviate sleeplessness at night is to exercise during the day. Physical activity can help lubricate joints so that they are not as stiff and tight. And, exercise actually tires you out so that you are more relaxed and restful by the end of the day.  (Avoid working out within three hours of your bedtime because the adrenalin boost that you get can keep you awake.)
Check with your rheumatologist or physical therapist about which type of exercise is best for you and your condition. Good options for those suffering from RA include low-impact activities like walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi, and Pilates.
Here are some other tips to help get some Z’s:
  • Stick to a sleep schedule, and go to bed and wake up every day at close to the same hour.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption, especially later in the day. 
  • Wind down before hitting the hay. Read, take a warm bath (which can also soothe joint pain), or enjoy a cup of herbal tea.
  • Outfit your bedroom for optimal sleep—cover windows, limit electronics displaying disruptive bright lights or noise, and adjust thermostats so you’ll be comfortable all night, especially as the temperature drops.
If you still have serious sleep issues and are not getting at least six to eight hours per night, due to your RA symptoms, please contact us for an appointment with one of our rheumatologists.
(Adapted from Healthgrades)

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