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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, December 22, 2014

Texas Orthopedics Brightens the Holiday Season

We have some busy little elves this holiday season.

Through the local charity Partnerships for Children, we've focused our giving to the littlest and most vulnerable members of our Central Texas community - abused and neglected children who are in the care of Child Protective Services. We've had the privilege of working with this organization for the past three years.

And our physicians and staff have come through again - we collected an overwhelming number of toys for 20 children. We placed bins at our various locations so our patients could contribute as well.

Last week we partnered with our neighbors, Austin Regional Clinic and Austin Radiological Clinic at Quarry Lake for a blood drive. And the timing couldn't be better because the Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas says the need for blood is constant during the winter months, but donation can slow - especially around the holidays.

Seasons Greetings from our family to yours!

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Best Foods for Your Bones

While many of us will enjoy the delicious foods of the holiday season, don't forget some great, functional foods for your bones. Most know that milk and dairy products are great for bone health. But there are other foods that nourish and protect your bones too, such as certain fishes and dark leafy green vegetables.

Fish such as salmon, sardines and whitebait are a good choice. While fresh fish is always an excellent option, the canned variety of these fishes is also highly beneficial.

For dark greens, leafy types such as kale, spinach, and turnip pack a powerful punch of calcium, and vitamins A and K too. Broccoli is also a great go-to food for your bones. When preparing these vegetables, eating them raw, maybe in a salad, or lightly steamed is your best bet for absorbing the most nutrients.

Other calcium-rich foods that encourage strong bones include yogurt, cheese, nuts and dried fruits such as figs and apricots. Fortified cereals and other whole grains are also smart choices.

A healthy mix of these foods should be part of your regular diet to maintain optimal bone health:
  • Cereal, calcium-fortified
  • Soy milk, calcium-fortified
  • Dairy milk (nonfat, 2%, whole or lactose-reduced)
  • Swiss cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Orange juice, calcium-fortified
  • Canned sardines
  • Canned salmon
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Turnip greens
  • Broccoli
  • Dried beans
In addition to a proper diet, orthopedists recommend taking calcium supplements, around 1,000 mg daily, and vitamin D supplements, around 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily.

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

Monday, December 15, 2014

4 Tactics for Pain-Free Cycling

Whether you are new to cycling or an old pro, these tips should help you make the most out of your ride and keep it pain-free.

1. Get a Proper Bike Fit

The first thing you need to do when you purchase your bicycle is get a bike fit. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but in the long run it will be worth it to prevent unnecessary aches and pains, or even serious injury.

2. Do Some Stretching

Stretching will help you improve your flexibility and keep your joints safe. Check out these stretching exercises and yoga positions that are specifically for cyclists.

3. Watch Your Shoes

Foot pain and hot spots can affect even experienced cyclists because the fat pads in our feet shrink over time. Try a loose or wider shoe, and change your foot beds regularly.

4. Get the Right Accessories

Gloves and bike shorts aren't just for fashion. The gloves protect your hands from calluses, blisters, and the impact caused by falls, while bike shorts can save you from painful chaffing.

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dr. Mukai on KLBJ News: Tech Neck

You've heard about the dangers of texting and driving, yet, texting could also be the reason for your next trip to the doctor's office.

Dr. Ai Mukai, physiatrist at Texas Orthopedics, spoke to Perry Watson of KLBJ News Radio about a recent study that shows how looking at our smart phone can cause aches and pains your spine and neck. Click here to list to the story online.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dr. Whittemore Retires: Good Luck & Thank You

After nearly three decades of serving Central Texas patients, Dr. Archie Whittemore will be retiring. His last day at Texas Orthopedics will be December 31, 2014.

Dr. Whittemore has a deep and remarkable career in orthopedics in Texas. He earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio followed by a residency at University Hospital in San Antonio. His first medical position was as a physician for the United States Army from 1972-1974.

Dr. Whittemore left the following note to his patients:

It has been an honor to care for your orthopedic needs. I will leave with the feeling that we have accomplished a lot together, and I hope that you will continue to have a keen interest in your future healthcare needs. I will miss our visits very much.

I am leaving a group of very dedicated musculoskeletal providers in our office that are ready to continue your care. Your medical records will remain at Texas Orthopedics. If you choose to seek medical care from a physician outside of Texas Orthopedics, please request a records release form by calling 512-439-1000. You may also print a records release form on our website

I have greatly valued our relationship and thank you for your loyalty and friendship over the years. Best wishes for your future health.

Goodbye, Dr. Whittemore. Enjoy retirement!

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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Austin Fit Highlights Dr. Bergin's Riding & Writing Passions

When not working with patients, Texas Orthopedics' surgeon Dr. Barbara Bergin can often be found training and riding horses. It's her passion outside of medicine, discovered almost by accident. It's also how she stays fit and active.

At the age of 40, Bergin decided to learn to ride a horse at the suggestion of a friend. She fell in love with the sport. She now competes in cow horse competitions and has received awards in a number of competitions, including third place in the National Reined Cow Horse Championships.

Austin Fit magazine caught up with Dr. Bergin to learn more about her favorite sport and what she does to stay competition ready and injury free. For Bergin it's also opened up a new, interesting chapter.

Said Dr. Bergin to Austin Fit, "Forty years ago, before I started riding horses, I never saw myself doing any of the things I do right now, except for being an orthopedic surgeon," Bergin said. "Sometimes you can't predict where you'll be later on in life, but it's important to enjoy what you do. If you have a good opportunity, take it. If you think something sounds fun, do it."

Click here to read the full article.

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

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dr. Mukai on KVUE: 'Tech Neck'

We all know that texting and driving is a danger. But, did you know that texting is also a pain in the neck... literally?

A new study published in Surgical Technology International says that looking down at a cell phone is equivalent to placing a 60 pound weight on your neck. How much is 60 pounds? Six bowling balls or an 8-year old child. All this looking down can lead to a lot of aches and pains in your neck and spine, which is often referred to as 'tech neck'.

Dr. Ai Mukai, physiatrist at Texas Orthopedics, discusses the study on KVUE-TV and what we can do to prevent it.

Click here to see the story on

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

3 Winter Weather Exercise Tips

When the temperature drops, it's tempting to head outside for a great run or workout. Chilly weather is so inviting to Central Texans as we welcome a much-needed break from the heat. But it's important this time of year to remember to bundle up and stay protected from the elements while you are outdoors. Cold weather sports injuries are very common but can be avoided.

Here are things to watch for along with some helpful tips as you head out the door:

Brain freeze - literally
If your body temperature drops and you begin to shiver, your decision-making and coordination abilities suffer. Dressing appropriately for outside is key to maintaining proper body heat. Several warm, but breathable and lightweight, layers are the best option. Pay close attention to your head and feet to ensure they are fully covered.

Sprains & Strains
Cold weather can cause constricted blood vessels which do a poor job of pumping blood to your muscles and tendons. Decreased blood flow leads to inflexibility and potential sprains, strains, and other musculoskeletal injuries.

Scott Smith, MD orthopedic surgeon for Texas Orthopedics, suggests increasing the amount of time you warm up before a strenuous outdoor activity, and engaging in dynamic moves, like side-shuffles and slow jogging, until you've broken a light sweat.

Cold and flu susceptibility
The cold and flu virus spread more easily in dry, cold air. Being outside in extreme conditions can compromise your immune system leaving you vulnerable to illness. Stay healthy and prevent the spread of these germs by washing/sanitizing hands frequently, limiting contact with sick people, and getting a flu shot.

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

Monday, December 1, 2014

These Docs Are Super Duper

Congrats to the eight Texas Orthopedics' physicians who made this year's Super Doctors list by Texas Monthly magazine.

The annual Super Doctors announcement highlights outstanding physicians from more than 40 medical specialties who have attained a high degree of peer recognition or professional achievement. Approximately 5 percent of Texas physicians make the Super Doctors' list.

Texas Orthopedics' 2014 Super Doctors
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic). 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dr. Koval on KLBJ News: Men & Osteoporosis

Even though 1 in 4 men over 50 years old will suffer a fracture because of osteoporosis, few men are getting screened and treated for the disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Dr. Robert Koval, Texas Orthopedics' rheumatologist, specializes in treating and diagnosing osteoporosis and other health issues affecting the joints, muscles and bones. He spoke to KLBJ news radio about the new study and how men can improve their bone health. Click here to hear the story on

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

'Tis the Season To Lend A Helping Hand

The bitter temperatures couldn't keep the Texas Orthopedics team from fulfilling their promise - to help build a new home for a family in need through Austin Habitat for Humanity.

While the Texas Orthopedics team is used to providing medical care or administrative assistance, they proved to be great home builders, too! Some of the projects completed for Austin Habitat included landscaping, building a fence, painting, caulking, and other home improvement projects. The result was a beautiful home for a family in need.

Austin Habitat is the largest nonprofit provider of affordable home ownership opportunities in Central Texas. The mission and vision of Austin Habitat are anchored around our dedication to ending the cycle of poverty housing and the deeply held belief that everyone deserves a decent, affordable place to live.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Excessive Texting Causes More Damage Than You Think

We all know that texting and driving is dangerous. But did you know that texting can be a danger to your neck and spine too? There has been a steady increase in neck and back pain due to the forward head posture that comes with the constant use of a handheld device or phone.

A new study in the journal Surgical Technology International examined this trend in neck pain and calculated the amount of force exerted on the head while looking down. Researchers found that your head bears the weight of approximately sixty pounds when you assume the texting position.

Sixty pounds is roughly the weight of four adult-sized bowling balls. Or six plastic grocery bags full of food. Or an 8-year-old. Now imagine any of those things sitting on the back of your neck for an extended period of time - not good.

A New York back surgeon came up with this figure via a computer model of the human spine. The average head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds, and tipping it down to check a phone increases the gravitational pull on the neck exponentially.

This diagram demonstrates how the pressure bearing down on your neck surges at various inclinations resulting in possible muscle strains, disc herniation, and even pinched nerves.

To avoid stress on your spinal system, orthopedists advise taking frequent breaks from your phone, about every 20 minutes, and performing light neck and shoulder stretches.

Also try raising your hand to eye level so that you are looking at the phone straight on, granting your neck muscles a much-needed rest.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Osteoporosis Does Not Discriminate

A recent study revealed that men are just as at risk for osteoporosis as women, if not more, yet few men are getting screened and treated for the disease.

Osteoporosis causes the thinning and weakening of bones, often resulting in painful breaks or fractures. It is commonly regarded as a condition that mostly affects women, but a recent study in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery states otherwise. In fact, 1 in 4 men over 50 years old will suffer a fracture because of osteoporosis.

A bone density test can determine if you suffer from osteoporosis. This test is routinely performed on women in their 60s, but rarely on men.

Broke or fractured wrists and hip bones are typical causes of osteoporosis. Wrist fractures are the earliest of the fragility fractures and tend to be a precursor to a more serious hip or spine injury.

According to this study, hip fractures in men can be particularly dangerous as they have twice the mortality rate of women during the initial hospitalization and first year after a hip fracture.

Men should be more aware of the possibility of osteoporosis if they have suffered from a wrist or hip injury. In conjunction, doctors should educate men about the warning signs - such as these types of breaks or fractures, or an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle that can diminish bone strength.

Osteoporosis prevention tips for men include:
  • Performing weight-bearing exercises
  • Jogging, running, or other high-impact activities to improve bone density
  • Maintaining a healthy vitamin D and calcium intake
If you're over 50 years old, speak to your doctor about osteoporosis and steps you can take to improve your bone health.

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Camp Mabry Soldier Opts for Non-Surgical Back Treatment

As we honor our veterans this November, we are reminded of their courage, strength and desire to serve and protect. A fine example of such commitment is Camp Mabry soldier SFC Jon Martinez who faced debilitating and possible career-ending back surgery due to a herniated disc. His dedication to the Army, and his wish to continue serving in the Middle East, led him on a different path to address his back issues.

He chose a non-surgical approach and was treated by Dr. Ai Mukai, an interventional spine and electrodiagnostic medicine specialist at Texas Orthopedics. An epidural steroid injection, couple with intense physical therapy, put this soldier on the road to recovery and the successful completion of several subsequent tours of duty.

Click here to see his story on

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Is it a Concussion? Would You Know What to Do?

A recent news report from the Journal of Athletic Training found many high school football players don't know enough about the symptoms and consequences of a concussion. Concussions are serious business. They can lead to brain hemorrhage, coma and death if not properly treated.

Texas Orthopedics is committed to our community's young football players, so we thought it was important to provide the following important information about concussions.

What Causes a Concussion?

A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

Concussion Symptoms

Here are a few of the most common symptoms:
  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Dizziness or "seeing stars"
  • Appearing dazed
 Some symptoms you may not know about:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration and memory complaints
  • Irritability and other personality changes
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
Some of these symptoms appear immediately, while others may not be noticeable until days or months after your injury.

What to Do If You Think You Have a Concussion

Most importantly, don't return to the field. A player should try to relax and rest. Seek medical attention immediately.

To learn more about concussions related to football and sports, check out the CDC's website here. And keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic). 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to Start Exercising Again After an Injury

Athletes and regular exercisers are prone to recurring injuries. But once the pain subsides, you can go back to exercising, right? Not so fast... follow these tips:

Follow the 10% Rule

Instead of going from 0 to 100, which is a common way to reinjure yourself, increase your activity by 10% each week. Pick a place you're comfortable starting and increase the distance, intensity, weight lifted or time of exercise by 10% each week until you're back to your normal routine.

Work Out Different Muscles

Overuse injuries are very common, but maintaining muscle balance across the joint helps to keep these injuries at bay. So for example, to protect and strengthen your ACL, lift weights with both your quads and your hamstrings.

Make Sure You're Eating Right

Don't take a break from good eating habits while you're injured. Make sure you're getting all the nutrients you need to sustain your workout again. And don't forget to stay hydrated!

Stay Positive

An injury may impede your progress to your goals, and that can get you down. But no matter your fitness level, it's important to stay positive and keep going.

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Bones and Joints

November is American Diabetes Month®, a time to focus the nation's attention on issues surrounding diabetes.

Did you know people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing several bone and joint disorders? Here are some of them:

Charcot Joint

Charcot (shahr-KOH) joint, affecting the feet, occurs when a joint deteriorates because of nerve damage - a common complication of diabetes. Symptoms include numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in the affected joints. Treatment includes the use of orthotic supports to the affected jointed and surrounding structures.


Osteoarthritis is a joint disorder characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage. People with have type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of osteoarthritis, mostly because of the obesity problems associated with type 2 diabetes. Osteoarthritis causes joint pain, swelling and stiffness, as well as loss of joint flexibility or movement. Treatment involves exercising and maintaining a healthy weight; caring for and resting the affected joint; medications for pain; and in some cases surgery.


Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and prone to fracture and people with type 1 diabetes are at an increased risk. Symptoms are silent in the early stages, but once the disease has progressed people experience loss of height, stooped posture or bone fractures. Weight-bearing exercises like walking and eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D are the best ways to reduce additional damage.

Frozen Shoulder

Diabetes is a common risk factor for frozen shoulder, a condition characterized by shoulder pain and limited range of motion. Symptoms include pain or tenderness with shoulder movement, stiffness of the joint, and decreased range of motion. If started early, aggressive physical therapy can help preserve movement and range of motion in the joint.

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

Physical Therapy Before Surgery Reduces Costs and Care Needs

Most patients assume they only need physical therapy after surgery. But a new study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reveals that one or two sessions of prehabilitation (physical therapy before surgery) can reduce postoperative care use by 29% for patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement, saving $1215 per patient.

According to new research, the main benefit of prehabilitation is that in just one or two sessions patients are more prepared for postoperative physical therapy. These sessions can include patient training on walking devices (such as a walker or cane), planning for recovery, and managing patient expectations.

To find out more about the physical therapy team at Texas Orthopedics visit their website 

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips for Trick or Treating

The air is feeling (slightly) cooler, bags of candy line the supermarket shelves, and pumpkin patches are getting busy. This can only mean one thing: Halloween is here! So in the spirit of celebration, here are some safety tips for your family to have a great time trick or treating this year.
  • Don't let kids go trick or treating alone. Have them walk in groups or with a trusted adult. 
  • Kids should only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat. 
  • A good meal prior to trick or treating will discourage kids from filling up on Halloween candy. 
  • Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible. 
  • Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation. 
  • Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
  • Remind drivers to watch our for trick or treaters and to drive safely. 
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street.

Have a Happy Halloween! Keep up with Texas Orthopedics  news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic). 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Does a Large Bust Size Cause Back Pain?

Millions of women suffer from back and shoulder pain. Could the cause be larger breasts?

While your back and shoulder pain could be attributed to a larger bust size, it's more likely that there is another underlying cause. Here are three possible sources for your pain.

Extra Pounds
Is your larger bust size a cause of being overweight? Extra body weight can cause stress to your body including your back and shoulders. Try incorporating exercise into your daily routine such as back stretches and core strength training to alleviate the pain.

Chronic Poor Posture
Being hunched over at your computer or phone all day is bad news for your back and shoulders and may be a main source of your pain. And the weight of your breasts may be exacerbating the stress on your back. What can you do? Don't stay seated for long periods of time. Take frequent short breaks to get up and walk around.


Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease among older women. As osteoporosis progresses, you may experience bone tenderness or pain, particularly in your neck or lower back. Risk factors include a family history of the disease, poor diet lacking in calcium, smoking, being inactive, certain medications, and lower body weight. If you think you might be at risk, make an appointment with a doctor.

If you're still experiencing pain, consult with a doctor to find out about your options.

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Link Between Knee Problems, Arthritis and Knee Replacement

Did you know that the knee is the most commonly injured joint in the body? It makes sense when you think about what the knee does - it supports the weight of your body and facilitates movement and walking. So, when it's damaged, you experience symptoms such as moderate to severe pain, the inability to put weight on your knee, stiffness, instability, and swelling.

A variety of factors cause knee problems from sports injury, aging, wear and tear, accidents, and disease. The most common disease of the knee joint is arthritis.

To learn more about non-surgical arthritis treatment options as well as total knee replacement surgery check out our Arthritis Camp on November 6th! The event takes place the first Thursday of every month, refreshments are served, and best of all - the event is completely FREE!

3 Types of Arthritis that Cause Knee Problems
  • Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting about 21 million Americans. It tends to develop as people age and results from overuse of a joint. 
  • Post-Traumatic arthritis can develop in individuals of all ages after a serious knee injury such as a fracture or severe torn ligaments. 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types of arthritis and can affect people of all ages, but most frequently occurs in women over 30 years old.
When the treatment for your knee problems isn't successful in relieving pain, a partial or total knee replacement surgery may be the optimal solution.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

For many people with arthritis, total knee replacement is the only way to reduce pain, restore function, and improve the quality of life. The surgery involves removing the damaged portion of the knee and replacing it with artificial implants called prosthetics.

Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Partial knee replacement is a good option for patients who have arthritis in one part of the knee or section of the knee joint. During the surgery, your doctor will remove only the bone and tissue that needs to be taken out and replace it with a prosthetic. The rest of the healthy tissue and bone is left alone.

If you're still experiencing pain, consult with a doctor to find out about your options.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Texas Stars Ready to Face Off This Season

While baseball is coming to an end and football is halfway through the year, there's good news ahead for sports fans.... hockey is just gearing up.

The Texas Stars are playing their first games of the season this month. Physicians from Texas Orthopedics will be assisting this season as the Star's official sports medicine providers. Check out their profiles on our website to learn more about each doctor.

Christopher Danney, MD

Brian Hardy, MD

Bradley Adams, DO

Robert Foster, MD

J. Brannan Smoot, MD

Tyler Goldberg, MD

Marc DeHart, MD

Come out to a game this season and watch the Texas Stars in action.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Weighing In On Barefoot Running Debate

The debate about barefoot running is a complicated issue. It has its fans and foes and neither is completely in the right. Regardless of your decision, if you are thinking about barefoot running, to do
it correctly and prevent injury, the first thing you need to do is consult with a doctor.

Here are some other things to think about before you make the switch to minimalist footwear.
  1. Why do you want to run barefoot?
    Are you looking for a solution to a chronic injury or simply love the idea of running without shoes? Maybe you're simply bored with your current running shoes. Think about your motivations before you jump on the bandwagon. There may be other less risky solutions.
  2. What level of runner are you?
    Are you just starting out running? Or, are you a seasoned veteran? Barefoot running is not a good starting choice for new runners. Your body isn't ready for the extra stress, and running barefoot will only increase your risk of injury.
  3. What kind of pains do you think running barefoot will solve?
    Part of the reason people choose to run barefoot or wear minimalist footwear is because they think it will eliminate pain. If this is your motivation, consult your doctor because the problem most likely isn't your shoes. Your pain could be rooted in your gait, joint flexibility, or other orthopedic issue. 
Still unsure about barefoot running? Book an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists to discuss the benefits and risks.

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Is Your Purse Weighing You Down? 3 Tips to Relieve Your Pain

In a previous blog post, we discussed aches and pains caused by kids' heavy backpacks. But, did you know that your purse can also be a culprit for shoulder and back pain?

All those "essential" items you have stored in your purse - keys, wallet, phone, make-up, receipts, snacks, glasses, etc - are weighing you down in a bad way.

The combination of extra weight and how your purse is carried can lead to all kinds of problems, including stiff muscles, back pain, arthritis, headaches, asymmetrical muscles, or nerve trauma. To combat this "purse pain", here are 3 quick tips that will help.
  1. Switch things up
    Not only is it a good idea to switch up how you carry your purse, it's a fantastic excuse to go buy some new ones! Keep a small clutch for quick errands, a light handbag for going out, and a cross-body purse for all day use. Make sure you switch up how you're carrying each bag to lighten the load. 
  2. Empty it out
    You don't need three bottles of lotion. Make a point to empty out the contents of your purse and go through them more often so that you only keep essentials - and not 10 used gift cards.
  3. Get rid of key chains
    Just because your third cousin on your mother's side bought you a key chain does not mean you need to have it on your person every day. The best thing for your purse (and your car too!) is to rid of all the key chains and just carry what's absolutely necessary.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

4 Easy Back Stretches to Relieve Aches and Pains

Remember how at ten years old you would go outside, play all day long on Saturday then get up and do it all over again the next day without missing a step? Trying this as an adult usually includes a lot of moaning about aches and pains. 

As adults we spend most of the day crouched over in a chair staring at a computer. Because of this, when you do get out and do some physical activity, your body doesn't bounce back like it used to. 

To relieve these aches and pains, here are 4 daily back stretches to help make you feel young again. 

1. Knees-to-Chest Stretch

While lying on your back, pull both knees up to your chest while simultaneously flexing your head forward until a comfortable stretch is felt in a balled-up position. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, and then return to your starting position.

2. Trunk Rotation Stretch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll your bent knees to one side. Hold for five to 10 seconds, and return to the starting position. Then repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

3. Hamstring Muscle Stretch

Lie on your back and grasp your left leg behind the knee. Raise your leg up to 90 degrees with your knee bent. Attempt to straighten your knee with your toes pointed back toward you. Repeat this exercise with your right leg.

4. Arm Cross Stretch

Extend one arm out straight in front of you. With the other hand, grab the elbow of the outstretched arm and pull it across your chest, stretching your shoulder and upper back muscles. Hold and then release. Repeat with your other arm.

And if you have a foam roller, read one of our previous blogs for additional stretches you can do. Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Physician Assistants: Your Doctor's Secret Weapon

It's National Physician Assistants (PA) Week! And in celebration, it's time we let the cat out of the bag about something - our physician assistants (and all of our extenders) are our secret weapon. They're an essential part of the team here at Texas Orthopedics. In fact, in a previous blog post we described in detail everything you need to know about our physician assistants and extenders.

To all the fantastic PAs here at Texas Orthopedics and all over the country, we just want to say THANK YOU!

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Letter of Thanks During National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month. This is the time of year when we raise awareness about the important role physical therapists play in helping to reduce aches and pains and get people back to what they love most.

Yet, the work they do is year round. The truth is... we LOVE our physical therapist. It's because of the great work they do that we've been able to get to feeling ourselves again.

So, thank you this month and every month.


The Joints, Muscles and Bodies of Thousands of Central Texans

Monday, September 29, 2014

6 Tips to Prevent Kids Sports Injuries This Fall

Are your kids participating in a sport this Fall? Sports injuries during this time of year are serious business, and now is the best time to get started on prevention.

Why is prevention important?

Over 30 million children and adolescents participate in sports. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2.6 children 0 to 19 years old are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries.

While the benefits of participating in a sport far outweigh the risks, it's important to recognize the risks so that you are able to minimize them as best you can.

6 Steps to Take to Reduce Sports Injuries
  1. Make sure they have frequent water breaks to prevent dehydration and overheating. 
  2. Have kids wear appropriate equipment, from the right shoes to safety great that is properly fitted. 
  3. Limit the number of teams your child plays with in one season to reduce over-use injuries.
  4. Get them a preseason check-up from your doctor.
  5. If they are in pain or tired, have them take a break.
  6. Make sure the rules of the game are always followed.
For information on Fall sports injuries check out the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) website. And keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic). 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Post-Baby Body Suprise: Dr. Mukai Talks to The Bump Club

When most people think about carpal tunnel syndrome, they usually picture someone sitting at a desk typing at a keyboard. But, it’s actually common among pregnant women and new moms, especially during the third trimester and just after delivering a baby.

Carpal Tunnel is one of many aches and pains that occur during this special time for moms. From throbbing lower backs to aching feet, new motherhood comes with a lot of added surprises.

Dr. Ai Mukai will speak to The Bump Club in Austin on September 30 with other local health experts about some of these Post-Baby Body Surprises.  The event is open to the public. Hope to see you there!