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Monday, January 16, 2017

3 Exercises for High Heel Lovers

Whether wearing stilettos, or up-to-the-sky boots, high heels may look great, but they can have painful consequences for your feet. High-heeled shoes can damage leg muscles, ankles, bones in your foot, and affect overall balance over time.

If high heels are on frequent rotation in your shoe repertoire, add these easy exercises to your regular workout to strengthen lower legs avoid chronic foot pain.

1. Seated calf stretch
Sit in a chair with legs extended and heels flat on the floor, then wrap a resistance band around the ball of your foot. Pull the band towards you while keeping the leg straight. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, then repeat three to five times.

2. Standing calf raises
Stand with legs hip-distance apart and rise onto the balls of your feet, then slowly lower back down. Aim for three sets of up to twenty reps.

3. Paper towel scrunches
Place a roll of paper towels on the ground, grip it with your foot, slowly roll it up and back while seated. Perform same exercise on each side five times.

Alternating between heels and flats throughout the week is also a good idea. When your foot is in a flat shoe, it can stretch and recover from the rigor of a heel.

If you experience any ankle or foot pain that is persistent or severe, please contact us for an appointment.

(Courtesy of

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12 Minutes of Yoga for Your Bones

More than 700,000 spinal fractures and more than 300,000 hip fractures happen in the United States each year. Many of these are attributed to osteoporosis, or weakened bones. That’s a startling statistic not easily lost on a group of specialists in rehabilitative medicine at Columbia University.
In 2005, they embarked on a comprehensive decade-long study to determine if yoga—which encourages greater flexibility and balance as well as better posture--might be an effective therapy for osteoporosis, and whether or not it could decrease instances of falls and fractures.

The results were published in a recent issue of Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation.

227 people (with diagnosed osteoporosis) participated in the study and were tasked with performing 12 specific yoga poses daily, or at least every other day.

Here are the highlights:
  • X-rays showed improved bone density in the spine and femur.
  • Even when bone density did not increase, improvements in posture and balance were noted.
  • There were no reported or X-ray detected fractures of any kind in the participants over the ten years.

The 12 poses that were part of this program and designed to be done in 12 minutes are:
  • Tree
  • Triangle
  • Warrior II
  • Side-angle
  • Twisted triangle
  • Locust
  • Bridge
  • Supine hand-to-foot I
  • Supine hand-to-foot II
  • Straight-legged twist
  • Bent-knee twist
  • Corpse pose
If you suffer from osteoporosis and would like to discuss a new exercise regimen, like yoga, to help manage your condition, please contact us for an appointment.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

New ACL Repair Technology

A new surgical technology is now being tested that promises to heal the ligament better than ever before compared with traditional techniques.

The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is the stabilizing ligament in the knee joint. If it’s injured, playing sports – and even walking – can be downright painful if not near impossible. We treat ACL injuries all the time here at Texas Orthopedics. Sometimes physical therapy helps, but most often times, surgery is needed to repair it.

A new procedure developed at Boston Children’s Hospital, known as the Bridge-Enhanced ACL repair (BEAR), has orthopaedic surgeons excited about its possibilities. The BEAR technique uses sutures and a special protein-enriched sponge placed between the torn ends of the ACL to promote healing. The sponge is soaked with the patient’s own blood allowing a clot to form and encouraging new tissue growth to mend the tear.

Early results using this technique have been very promising, although it is still in an experimental phase and undergoing FDA testing. If this procedure becomes common, athletes can expect much smoother, and shorter, recovery times.

If you have suffered an ACL injury and are considering repair surgery, please contact us for an appointment.

(Courtesy of

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5 Tips for Managing RA at Work

If you are one of the 1.5 million people suffering from RA (rheumatoid arthritis) sitting upright at your desk or hunched over a computer can be a shock to bones and joints.

Here are some simple tips to help manage your RA at work:

1. Sit up straight

Sitting up straight engages your back and core muscles and keeps your spine limber. Check that your workstation is ergonomically correct with the monitor at eye level and your chair set so feet can rest comfortably on the floor.

2. Move your mouse

Alternate your mouse so that it’s on both sides of your desk throughout the day. This keeps one set of finger and wrist joints from getting too tired and strained.
3. Work out during the day

Take a brisk walk during your lunch break, or visit the nearby gym. Staying active during the day interspersed with sitting at your desk will keep joints flexible and lubricated.

4. Stretch

Stopping work to stretch at least once every hour is beneficial to both your joints, and your mind. Stand up and reach high above your head while taking a few deep breaths to get blood flowing. Or perform a few seated leg stretches from your chair.

5. Check out orthotic inserts or splints for extra support

If you stand on your feet all day, a good pair of orthotics could help relieve pressure throughout your whole body and reduce foot pain. Similarly, a wrist splint may give you extra support and reduce fatigue and irritation if you routinely use just one hand to perform your job.

If your RA pain is persistent and severe, and unmanageable with medication and exercise, please contact us for an appointment.

(Courtesy of Healthgrades)

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Carbs, Colds, and Working Out

The old saying that you need to ‘starve a cold’ may not apply if you are still planning to work out through your coughs and sniffles.

An interesting new study shows that consuming carbohydrates when you work out with a minor illness, such as a cold, may in fact boost your immunity.

The recent research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology explains how exercise is a form of stress to the body, and when there’s stress, our immune systems kick into high gear. Add in the already present strain of a cold, and your system starts working double time to fight off the sickness.

If you just can’t throw in your towel and give up a day or two at the gym when you’re under the weather, the study says to make sure you fuel up with some choice carbs beforehand. Aim for 1-2 ounces of carbs for each hour you plan to work out. Some good options include:
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole grain breads and cereals
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
Additionally, things that go a long way in helping to combat cold symptoms include warm liquids like soups or teas, spicy foods, and any citrus fruits or vegetables known for their Vitamin C.

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5 Fitness and Wellness Trends for 2017

The new year has arrived. Like many, you’ve probably made a list of resolutions or goals to tackle in 2017. And like many, a better commitment to fitness and attention to your own wellness have landed somewhere on there.

If you’re looking for new ways to approach fitness and wellness, check out these five trends experts say will be big this year:

1. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
Bursts of vigorous exercise alternating with brief rest times prove more efficient and beneficial than slogging away at a monotonous pace over a longer period. Studies show that going all out for one whole minute equals 45 minutes of lighter activity.

2. Hygge (hue-gah)
Hygge is a Danish word to describe the warm, cozy feeling you get from simple pleasures. It is an emerging trend people the world over are putting to practice in how they work out, eat, and live daily life. So many other fitness and dietary fads are based on restrictive principles by cutting things out. On the contrary, hygge encourages you to simply do what makes you happy without following any stringent rules or feeling regret.

3. Matcha
Matcha is a powdered form of Japanese green tea. Health experts are mad for matcha due to its healthy antioxidants and metabolic boosting properties without the harsh effects of caffeine. It can be prepared as a latte beverage to satisfy your regular coffee craving.

4. Wearables
Wearable technology for fitness has only just begun. Fitness trackers were a good start, but experts predict that even more hi-tech modes to help merge fitness seamlessly into your daily life are on the horizon. Look for fitness tracking fabrics in the near future…

5. Rest and recovery
In response to the immediate and continuous data streaming to us all day long on our body’s vitals, there is a renewed focus on rest and recovery at night. Doctors say that “unplugging” several hours before bed is the key to a good night’s sleep, as the body and mind both need to wind down and literally recharge, just as devices do.

(Courtesy of The Huffington Post)

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Weird Things That Happen When You Run

Running is a popular pastime here in Austin. We see quite a few patients with runner's injuries at Texas Orthopedics, like sprains and strains or tendonitis.

There are a number of other issues though that crop up with regular running that are just par for the course, but then there are those not-so-common things that strike runners like:


It's not fun or something people like to talk about it, but when clothing rubs excessively against a runner's chest, armpits, thighs, or groin, chafing can occur. And if you've ever experienced this painful, rug-burn like sore, it's no picnic.

Slathering skin with an emollient ointment, such as Vaseline, along with wearing sweat-wicking tops can reduce chafing.

Runny nose

Between these frigid temps and allergies, running outside may require lots of tissues! Running gets all of your bodily fluids flowing, including mucous from your nasal passage. Some runners even experience a cold-like cough when they are running, only to have it stop the second they slow down.

Stash a hankie somewhere, or use a bandana tied to your will likely come in handy.

Potty problems

The urge to "go" while you are on a run can come quickly. There is a lot of jostling motions to your core that can impact the intestines and bladder sending you racing for a restroom on the trail.

For a longer run, or an organized race, plan your fluid and food intake the night before so you can know what to expect from your body's digestive system the next morning. And be sure to take note of public restrooms or outhouses along the way before your even gets underway.

Black toenails

When we say black toenails, we're not talking about a trendy new hue for pedicures. Runners can bet these not-so-pretty toes when shoes don't fit properly, especially if they're too small. Blood blisters literally form under the nail. It's a good idea to get your shoes professionally fitted if you are a frequent runner, and invest in good-quality socks to keep both your toenails and feet healthy.

If any of these symptoms are persistent or severe, please contact us for an appointment.

Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).
(Courtesy of CNN-Health)