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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Thursday, September 3, 2015

High Intensity Interval Training: Is it Right for You?

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the hottest fitness trends. Gyms solely dedicated to this type of workout are everywhere.

So, what does this fitness program entail? It is really worth all the hype? And are there any risks involved?

To decide if HIIT is a good fit for you, consider the following:

What is HIIT?

HIIT is a form of intense cardiovascular exercise that incorporates elements of Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman, and other controlled movements. Its unique format alternates periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with brief recovery periods. Sprints, followed by a series of squats, coupled with a few repetitions using various weights or kettlebells might make up a typical HIIT sequence.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

Shorter, more intense workouts (normally around thirty minutes a few times a week), with less time spent at the gym, are one of the main draws of HIIT. This type of workout aims to improve fat burning and glucose metabolism, which are also great benefits. Often HIIT is done in groups so the camaraderie with others helps keep you motivated.

What are the risks associated with HIIT?

Overuse injuries such as tendonitis, bursitis, and muscle strains are extremely common in HIIT, especially for those who jump right in being less active for a while. There is also the risk of hurting yourself if you don't set the machines or equipment properly.

Check with your doctor before starting HIIT, or any similarly intensive exercise program. Wear properly-fitting clothes and shoes, and always work with a certified trainer and safe equipment.

If you experience persistent pain or discomfort while engaging in this, or any type of workout, contact us.

(Adapted from STOP Sports Injuries)

Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Monday, August 31, 2015

Aches and Pains From Too Much Standing

Sitting at your desk too long is no good experts say, and now research shows standing too long on the job can be detrimental to your health, as well.

Close to half of all workers worldwide stand for more than three quarters of their work day. Prolonged standing can lead to fatigue, swollen feet, leg cramps, shoulder, neck and back pain, and even varicose veins.

While these health issues are problematic for those suffering from pain, employers should also take note. Ongoing pain can cause poor performance in the workplace and missed days of work.

A new study, published in Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, evaluated men and women in two age groups. They were asked to stand for five-hour periods with timed, seated breaks (up to five minutes) and a 30-minute lunch break. Muscle fatigue was monitored while participants reported their levels of pain or discomfort.

The study results showed that at any age, too much standing leads to fatigue.

If your job requires standing for extended periods of time, you can help lessen the effects by:
  • Sitting down for breaks whenever possible
  • Taking quick walks, if permissible
  • Wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly
  • Treating sore areas with ice or heat therapy, gentle stretching, and over-the-counter-pain medication, as needed
But, if your pain is severe and persistent, it may be time to see a doctor.

(Adapted from Medical News Today)

Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Becker's Review Interviews Dr. Bergin on Obesity and Orthopedics

Texas Orthopedics' own Dr. Barbara Bergin was recently featured in Becker's Spine Review for an article titled, "Obesity & the Orthopedic Industry: Key thoughts for surgeons today."

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), more than one-third of all adults in the U.S. are obese, accounting for a very large percentage of the nation's healthcare spending.

Obesity is a serious condition often triggering a host of medical conditions, but not often mentioned are the many orthopedic implications including chronic back, knee, and hip pain, as well as arthritis.

Dr. Bergin notes that many of her patients experiencing bone or joint pain, or early symptoms of arthritis, are also overweight. "When I see 45 year olds with degenerative joint disease and no history of injury or connective tissue disorder, I must draw the conclusion that their weight has had a causative effect on this process."

Excess body weight typical of someone who is obese can lead to painful pressure on the joints and even broken bones.

Because surgical options are also limited, the real challenge Dr. Bergin says is getting a patient to lose weight. With obesity being such a sensitive issue though, doctors are often met with denial or resistance when they suggest weight loss as treatment.

For some patients, proper diet and exercise can make a great difference in the pain they are experiencing. For others, where weight loss has proven ineffective, she urges doctors to simply offer their heartfelt patience and support.

You can read more of Dr. Bergin's interview at Becker's Spine Review.

Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Monday, August 24, 2015

Picking the Right Backpack for Your Kid's Back

Choosing the right backpack for your child can play an important part of school success just as having a healthy breakfast each morning, or getting a good night's sleep before a test. And we don't mean just by picking out the one with the hottest color or coolest superhero...

Backpacks that do not fit properly, worn incorrectly, or are too heavy can create aches and pains for children and teens, especially as their young bones are still forming and delicate.

Features you want to look for include:
  • Wide, padded shoulder straps as opposed to narrow ones that can cut into the skin
  • Two shoulder straps - one shoulder strap, or messenger bags, can put too much weight on one shoulder
  • A padded back to protect sharp edges on the inside of the bags
  • Rolling backpacks are also a good choice for kids who do not have to climb stairs during their school day

Tips for wearing your backpack properly are: 
  • Always use both shoulder straps. Draping a backpack over one shoulder can increase curvature of the spine.
  • Tighten shoulder straps so the backpack is snug and close to the body (versus hanging low down the back)
  • Pack light, and check that the weight of the backpack is never more than 10 to 20 percent of your child's total body weight
  • Use the side pockets and compartments
  • Encourage your kids to make frequent pit stops at their locker to swap out books throughout the day so they are never carrying a full load
And remind your kiddos to let you know if they ever experience neck, back or shoulder pain, especially at the start of the school year when wearing a backpack every day is new again.

(Courtesy of

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dr. Smoot on KXAN: Ankle Replacement Surgeries Take a Step Forward

We often hear about knee or hip replacment surgeries. But did you know that there are also ankle replacement procedures?

Dr. Brannan Smoot, Orthopedic Surgeon at Texas Orthopedics, says that while ankle replacement surgery is still an uncommon procedure, because of recent refinements, we will likely see more of these types of surgeries in the future.

Watch Dr. Smoot's interview with KXAN-TV to learn more about this procedure.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Texas Orthopedics Announces Bundled Payment Initiative

Texas Orthopedics, Sports and Rehabilitation Associates’ patients in Central Texas will now be able to take advantage of a value-based approach for major joint replacement surgeries of the lower extremities. The program is a part of an innovative ‘Bundled Payments’ model through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made possible through a collaboration with AccentCare Health Management in Dallas, Texas.

Bundled Payment “single price” models encourage doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers to work more closely together to improve patient experience, patient outcomes, and reduce costs in the healthcare system, according to CMS.

“This innovative approach helps us to evolve from a fee-for-service to a value-based payment model which is overall better for patient care,” said Randall Schultz, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Texas Orthopedics.

Under this partnership, effective July 1, 2015, Texas Orthopedics and AccentCare take on financial and performance accountability for each patient. Medicare patients will pay a lower price for applicable replacement surgeries while benefiting from a coordinated care approach.

“In a model like this, we are rewarded for providing excellent care and penalized for anything less. It means higher quality care, with fewer complications, and a better overall patient experience while also reducing the costs to Medicare,” explained Schultz. Schultz expects to see cost savings to Medicare between 10 and 20-percent.

AccentCare will address Texas Orthopedics’ joint replacement patients with recovery-related needs two days prior to hospital admittance through 90 days after patients’ discharge from the hospital. A patient care manager will be assigned to every patient and will assist via in-person visits and follow-up phone calls.

These care managers, who are registered nurses with AccentCare, guide patients on how to better manage their health by reviewing discharge instructions, medications, diet and cues to recognize changes in their condition that may require prompt attention. They will also focus on patient safety with home assessments and the coordination of other resources including minor home modifications, equipment, or transportation to follow-up medical appointments.

“AccentCare initiated this partnership with Texas Orthopedics to give qualifying patients an advantage,” said Dr. Greg Sheff, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at AccentCare. “Together with Texas Orthopedics, we offer an innovative program in an industry evolving to help mitigate the risk of complications that might otherwise result in costly setbacks to recovery.”

The organizations consulted with health policy experts in developing the bundle payment program including Kevin Bozic, MD, Chair of Surgery and Perioperative Care at the Dell Medical School at University of Texas at Austin. Bozic says the Bundle Payment program is in line with Dell Medical School's efforts to facilitate value-based care delivery models for providers and patients throughout Central Texas.

“I applaud the Texas Orthopedic leadership team for taking this bold step. Episode-of-care payment models are opportunities to bring diverse groups of stakeholders together to improve the value of care on what matters most: optimizing outcomes for patients,” said Bozic.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Freescale Employees Receive Sports Injury Tips from Dr. McDonald

Nearly 120 Freescale employees attended online and in person for a special presentation from Texas Orthopedics' Dr. John McDonald on common sports injuries.

Dr. McDonald was invited by the Austin, Texas-based semiconductor company to discuss injuries that often occur among active adults, from weekend warriors to elite athletes.

In addition to reviewing why sports injuries commonly occur and where on the body they are most frequent (the answer is the knee), Dr. McDonald touched on prevention strategies.

While the potential for injuries often increases with age, explained Dr. McDonald, listening to your body stretching, increasing strength training and incrementally adding activity (versus jumping in and out of intense routines) are several examples for reducing your chance of injury.

Most importantly, if any pain persists, don't be afraid to call the doctor.

Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).