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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

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)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Texas Orthopedics and the Holiday Wishes Program

Texas Orthopedics recently helped make the holidays a bit brighter for many local kids through the Partnershipsfor Children’s Holiday Wishes Program and the Williamson County Children's Advocacy Center. On December 8 and 9, we delivered toys and gifts to the 25 children who were sponsored by our practice this year.  Numerous physicians and staff members came together from all of our offices to make this generous contribution happen.

We have a long-standing commitment to giving back to the community, especially during the holidays. The Partnerships for Children’s Holiday Wishes Program is one that we love and have participated in for the past several years.  There is nothing sweeter than seeing the smile on the face of a child receiving a special gift at this time of year.

For a second year in a row, we also partnered with the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center. They are a statewide association representing all local advocacy centers while fulfilling the shared mission of protecting and providing for children.

We are in awe of the special work that both groups do, and Texas Orthopedics is honored to have the opportunity to partner with them each year after year.

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

Final Holiday Fetes (parties!)

You’ve conquered Thanksgiving and made it through the first half of December. Now you’re in the home stretch. But there are still probably a few holiday celebrations lingering on your calendar between now and New Year’s Eve.

So how can you successfully navigate these final family dinners, office potlucks, and social soirees and still emerge in somewhat good health on the other side?

Here are a few easy ways to make healthy food choices when you are out and about for the rest of this busy month:

1. Brown bag it.
Offer to bring a dish or a few snacks with you to the party. This way you can plan ahead to make something healthy that you know you’ll enjoy. Or if you know the only fare there will be super-indulgent and not in line with your diet, bring your own food.

2. Don’t ever go hungry.
Eat a light meal or filling snacks before even leaving your house for a party. Load up on whole grains, fruits and veggies, and lean proteins so that you aren’t ravenous upon entry!

3. Practice good portion size.
Grab a tiny appetizer or salad plate at the buffet to fill up rather than a giant dinner plate. And drink a full glass of water between helpings to quench thirst and give you time to consider if you really want to go back for those seconds.

4. Plan your indulgences.
If you know you are attending a party with a hot chocolate bar, or something that truly is one of your guilty pleasures, then don’t deprive yourself. Enjoy the holiday treat you’ve been looking forward to, but then make sure to eat well before and afterwards to balance it all out.

5. Set your stop watch.
Keep track of how long you’ve been somewhere and designate a departure time for yourself. Open-ended open houses that go on for hours often encourage non-stop eating and drinking. It’s a good idea to make a graceful exit after you’ve made your rounds if something is too tempting for your tummy.

Finally, remember to get in a little exercise each day during the holidays. You may not have time for a full workout, but a quick walk for 30 minutes, or fitness DVD at home before you head out the door can go a long way in helping you stay fit.

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

(Adapted from Real Simple)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Is Golf Exercise?

We're lucky because our climate in Central Texas allows for golf to be played year-round, and there are numerous accessible, public courses throughout the city, suburbs and beyond.

Golf is also one of those unique sports that can easily be played by anyone at any age. No cumbersome equipment is needed, and the basic physical requirements are simply that you can walk and swing a club.

A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine touted the many health benefits of the sports, while also emphatically stating that yes, golf is considered a sport, contrary to what many fitness skeptics say.

Here's what the study found:

  • Whether you walk or drive a cart is the single biggest factor in determining the quality of exercise you are getting on the course. Walking is understandably the optimal option.
  • Walking a typical 18-hole golf course will measure about 4 to 8 miles long. The recommended daily amount of walking to reap benefits for adults is 30 minutes, or 2 to 3 miles. Playing (while walking) a round of 18-holes far exceeds that. 
  • Golf has been proven to enhance cardiovascular health and also lung function. 
  • In addition, golf may help older players with improved balance, flexibility, and even ease minor aches and pains associated with arthritis.
The mental health benefits of playing golf are that it can be an uplifting, social escape if played in a group with friends. Or it can be a calming, restorative, almost meditative, ritual if played on your own. 

As with most sports, there's the risk of injury. Here's what we see at Texas Orthopedics:

If you are experiencing any aches or pains as a result of your golf game, please contact us for an appointment.

(Adapted from CNN-Health)

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

Benefits of Cold Weather Exercise

Baby it's cold outside... I simply must go... get a workout in! Yup, working out in the cold weather can be an invigorating experience with loads of health benefits.

We are fortunate in Central Texas where our winter weather is not too extreme. So even though the temps dip down, it is often still sunny with clear skies. Perfect weather for a run, outdoor obstacle course, or paddling on one of our local lakes.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of exercising in the cold:

  • Burning more calories.
    Your body is not only burning calories from your workout itself, but also from the energy used in regulating your temperature to keep you warm. Double the burn. It's a win/win. 
  • Strengthening your heart.
    Just as your muscles and body work hard to keep you warm in the cold, your heart has to work equally hard to keep the blood pumping. Cold weather workouts can really boost your cardiovascular strength. 
  • Keeping you hydrated.
    Contrary to login, you can still sweat a great deal while outside in the cold weather. As your body loses this valuable moisture, your thirst buds kick in and you want a drink. So, if you sweat more, you take in more water, and drinking lots of water is always a good thing.
  • Conditioning your muscles.
    People tend to be more vigilant about warm-up exercises and stretching in cold weather more so than at other times of the year. Mentally you want to "warm up" when you go outside, no matter what your activity, so your body automatically craves a bit of motion in order to get blood flowing and help adjust to the temperature drop from being indoors. Warming up is a crucial part of any workout or sport, so if it becomes part of your routine during the winter, it will likely stick with you as the seasons change. Warming up keeps muscles limber and flexible and can help reduce the risk of tendonitis and sprains and strains.
Make sure to dress in several light, breathable layers when you head outside, and don't forget the sunscreen and a hat. The sun's strong rays can be just as damaging in the winter as they are in summertime.

Courtesy of The Huffington Post)

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

Monday, December 5, 2016

Prolonged Sitting at Work

It’s easy to stay plopped down in your desk chair at work for hours on end without so much as a twitch.

But research has shown that prolonged sitting can do a number on your body.  Unfortunately, this is typical in many office settings as people are tied to their desks, sometimes hours on end.

Being sedentary for hours at a time can trigger neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as headaches and other more serious issues like carpal tunnel syndrome,  all of which can ultimately lead to decreased productivity and even missed days.

Making small adjustments in the way you sit, or maneuver yourself during the workday, can provide numerous health benefits in and out of the office.

Here are simple tips to ease your aches and pains due to prolonged sitting:
  • Consider a standing desk so your legs have constant range of motion and you are able to shift your body more frequently.
  • If seated at a traditional desk chair, check that the seat height is appropriate. Feet should rest comfortably flat on the floor with knees and hips able to bend easily at 90-degree angles.
  • At least once every hour, stand up and take a quick lap around your office floor and/or do some stretching—like reaching arms high up above your head or extending them out to the sides for several counts.
  • Organize “walking” meetings with colleagues, or use a mobile headset if it’s just you on a training or conference call. Walk up and down halls, stairwells, or even parking lots and garages.
  • Try some easy exercises at your desk when you feel tension setting in, such as shoulder shrugs, neck rolls, torso twists, or seated leg extensions.
If any of your aches and pains are severe, or persist over a long period of time, please contact us for an appointment.

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

Dancer's Injuries

From the tiniest ballerina to the most senior troupe or company girl “on pointe,” many dancers dream of playing a part in the family favorite and holiday tradition that is the Nutcracker Ballet.
But it’s not all gumdrops and sugar plum fairies. In fact, dancing can be downright painful.
Dancers are at risk for a number of injuries, not unlike the common sports variety that we treat daily here at Texas Orthopedics. Similar to athletes, dancers must perform incredible tasks with muscular strength and flexibility, all while projecting an image of effortlessness and grace.
The many hours of rehearsals, coupled with the repetitive and high-impact leaping and landing on the hard stage surface can really do damage to a dancer’s body. Common dancer’s injuries we frequently see include:
If you have a dancer, whether a toddler or teenager, participating in a holiday show this season, here are some tips to help them avoid injury:
  • Wear properly fitting shoes and costumes
  • Pay close attention to the correct technique and form
  • Do plenty of warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after each rehearsal or performance
  • Know their body’s limits, and recognize when they are tired and need a break
  • Never, ever dance through the pain of an injury
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat healthfully during this busy time
If your dancer has suffered a fall, or has extreme pain or swelling of any kind, seek medical help immediately. If he or she experiences a nagging pain that does not subside after a few days of rest and over-the-counter pain medication, please contact us for an appointment.
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ladder Safety for the Holidays

We treat a fair amount of fractures, broken bones, and sprains in our office each day at Texas Orthopedics. These injuries can be caused by falls, trips, or a mishap on the sports field. But this time of year, a number of these same injuries are often attributed to accidents involving, of all things, a ladder.
As people start climbing to string lights around their houses, or trim the tree, potential injury from improper use of a ladder is at an all-time high. More than 630,000 ladder-related injuries were reported in 2015 according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Here are some simple safety tips to follow so that you are not laid up with a ladder injury this holiday season:
  • Never use a broken or damaged ladder, or one that has bent or uneven rungs.  
  • Wipe off any mud, grease, oil, or other slippery substance that might be on the ladder. Check your shoes too for slippery soles, and never wear flip-flops when climbing a ladder.
  • Make sure the ladder is set up on stable, even ground, or flooring.
  • Position ladder away from chandeliers, electrical wires, tree limbs, or any other obstructions.
  • Have someone near you, within shouting distance, when on a ladder in case you fall.
  • Face the ladder rungs while climbing, not the other way around.
  • Do not stand on the top rung, or above any marked levels.
If you do suffer a fall, get up slowly, and then seek help immediately if you suspect something is broken.
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).

Our 2016 Super Doctors

Texas Orthopedics is excited to announce that seven of our physicians have been recognized as Super Doctors for 2016 in the December issue of Texas Monthly magazine.
Please join us in congratulating:

In addition, the following have been named to the Super Doctors Hall of Fame for being featured on the list for at least ten years:

Bradley Adams, DO.
Robert Foster, M.D.
Richard Lutz, D.O.
James Smith, M.D.
Scott Smith, M.D.
Super Doctors is a national group that salutes outstanding physicians from more than 40 medical specialties who have attained a high degree of peer recognition or professional achievement.
Texas Orthopedics is proud to have a number of physicians land on this list over the past several years. We are truly grateful for all of our exceptional staff members and their numerous contributions to both our patients and medical community.

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

Monday, November 21, 2016

Tips for a Turkey Trot

"Turkey Trots" and other holiday fun-runs are popular at this time of year. They are a great way to get a little exercise and spend time with family and friends before digging into piles of stuffing and a plate full of pie.
Fun-run events are typically shorter in distance than full or even half-marathons, usually a 5K to 10K, and they are designed for a variety of participants who run at all levels.
Whether you are a regular runner, or just hoofing it for fun, these six tips will help you hit your stride on race day:
1. Do a little reconnaissance.
Check out the track or trail before the even so that you know the terrain (up hills or down), and the route. Be sure to know where the race starts and ends too so you can share that with family and friends who are meeting you there.
2. Fuel up, and dress up.
Get a good meal the night before, and the morning of your run. A healthy mix of proteins and carbohydrates will keep you going, along with plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Dress appropriately for the weather. Although we still are having sunny, mild days here in Central Texas, the mornings can be chilly. So, dress warmly in light layers that you can easily shed as you run.
3. Walk as needed.
Taking a break to walk a few steps during the race is okay, especially if you are not a frequent runner. Listen to your body, and if you need a break, take it. Walking interspersed with running has even been shown to help muscles stay limber longer than running alone.
4. Designate cheerleaders.
For your family and friends who aren't joining you for the run, designate special spots for them along the way to cheer you on. If they've traveled from far away to be with you during the holidays, this will help them feel included even if they are not participating themselves.
5. Beware of selfies.
A new phenomenon seen throughout many sporting events, especially marathons, is the emergence of runners' selfies or livestreaming video. While it a can be fun to update your gang on social media with your phone as you are running, it can also be extremely hazardous to you and others. You could trip, fall, or collide with something--even another runner--while losing focus of the path right in front of you.
6. Finally, celebrate.
After you finish the race, celebrate with your supporters. Plan for reservations ahead of time if you want to eat somewhere particular as the holidays are so busy. Or let a special gift-giver close to you know that you might like a massage as an early holiday treat in the day or two after your run to help muscles relax and heal.
If you have any pain or discomfort following your race that does not subside with rest and over-the-counter medication, please contact us for an appointment.
Keep up with Texas Orthopedics news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (@TexasOrthopedic).
(Adapted from

Tone Down the Vitamin D

Once thought to be an essential daily supplement, especially during these not-so-sunny winter months, Vitamin D devotees are now getting a warning from doctors. New research from      The New England Journal of Medicine shows that people are taking the vitamin far too liberally, and some doctors are issuing costly, unnecessary blood tests to track its deficiency.

While Vitamin D is an important contributor to healthy bones, like calcium, the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is being routinely exceeded by patients fearing things like arthritis, osteoporosis, and even cancer, heart disease, and diabetes--also thought to be triggered by a deficiency of the vitamin.

In reality, research suggests that only 6% of Americans, aged 1 to 70 years old, are actually Vitamin D-deficient. Testing for Vitamin D levels is also at an all-time high. It is Medicare’s fifth most common test, following cholesterol levels, and just ahead of blood sugar levels, and prostate cancer screenings.

The spike in testing may be attributed to reports over the past several years that those who don’t get enough sunshine, typically during the winter, are at risk of a deficiency. Exposure to the sun helps our skin make Vitamin D, but it is also readily available in dietary sources such as milk and dairy products, fatty fishes, and fortified cereals and grains.

The bottom line is that you probably are already getting enough Vitamin D (600 to 800 IU daily), even more than you realize. And unless you have other risk factors recognized by your doctor, there is no need for regular blood testing.

Too much Vitamin D can even be harmful and lead to issues like nausea, constipation, and kidney stones…none of which are pleasant!

If you are concerned about your Vitamin D intake and would like to speak with one of our physicians, please contact us for an appointment.

(Adapted from the Austin American-Statesman)

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

Monday, November 14, 2016

Stopping Osteoporosis In Its Tracks

While we treat osteoporosis in both men and women every day here at Texas Orthopedics, it does tend to be more prevalent in the latter…specifically women over the age of 60 years or those who have experienced menopause.

Unfortunately, by the time most women start to think about taking care of their bones, it is often too late and osteoporosis has already set in. Osteoporosis is when bone density is lost, leaving bones weak and brittle and susceptible to breaks and fractures.

So, what’s a girl to do? Bone loss is usually not too top-of-mind in your 20s and 30s, but doctors are now saying that perhaps it should be.

Here are five simple ways to add credit to your “bone bank” early on so that you are in good shape by the time your 60s roll around:

1. Stay active

Establishing a regular exercise routine in your 20s can strengthen your bones for years to come. Weight-bearing workouts and resistance training--think yoga, Pilates, and tai chi--are your best bet.

2. Eat right

You know the saying, “you are what you eat”? Well, get some calcium in you, girlfriend! Bones need calcium, and Vitamin D, to stay strong and healthy. Make sure you are getting at least three servings of calcium-rich foods per day, including dairy, and non-dairy sources such as kale, edamame, almonds, and oranges.  

3. Keep your weight in check

Being underweight can definitely diminish bone strength, just as being overweight can. Find your healthy weight and stick to it. Fluctuating a few pounds here and there, especially at certain times of the month or around the holidays, is normal, but experiencing any drastic changes could be cause for concern.

4. Know your family history

This is true about any major medical condition, whether it be heart disease or cancer. If your mother or grandmothers had osteoporosis, there is a chance you will too. If it runs in your family, be proactive and discuss with your doctor when you should start getting regular bone density exams.

5. Watch your periods

There is strong evidence linking estrogen to bone density. So, if you have a hormone imbalance, and irregular menstrual cycles, it could be damaging to your bones. Track your cycle, and get checked out if you are missing your period altogether.

If you would like to schedule a bone density exam, or discuss your risk factors for osteoporosis with one of our physicians, please contact us here.

(Adapted from

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

Casual for a Cause

Giving back to the community is something we take very seriously here at Texas Orthopedics. But for November and December, we are keeping it really casual, as in “Casual for a Cause”.

We are once again partnering with our friends at Partnerships for Children with our Casual for a Cause campaign.

Throughout the upcoming holiday season, we will donate funds to the Partnerships for Children Holiday Wishes Program. Texas Orthopedics’ staff will give $5 to earn a “Casual for a Cause” sticker that will give them the chance to dress down on the last Wednesday of each month. Our different office locations will then be vying to bring in the most money for this special group that ensures children in need will have a happy holiday.

The first Casual for a Cause Wednesday was on October 26. If you visit our office on one of these Wednesdays and are thinking our crew is looking a little too comfy during the workday, just remember that we’re going Casual for a Cause!

Partnerships for Children is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting children in CPS care.

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

Friday, November 11, 2016

Texas Orthopedics Honors Our Veterans Today

Texas Orthopedics salutes all of our nation’s servicemen and women every day, but today we are especially grateful for their duty as we celebrate Veteran’s Day.

We are proud to have many members in our practice who have so selflessly served our country, including:

Dr. Peter M. Garcia, Jr. 
Dr. Bradley R. Adams
Dr. Richard A. Lutz
Dr. Zachariah Logan
Ron Howard
Allen Schultz
Kathy Mitchell
Jo Lopez
Debbie Jara
Jody Ramirez
Chris Brame
Kim Godfrey
Casandra Allen

Dr. Zachariah Logan, who recently joined us, enlisted in the Army right after high school. Following an initial training period in San Angelo, he was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska as a Firefighter and EMT.

Texas Orthopedics has treated many active and retired servicemen and women over the years, and it has been our privilege to do so.  Please join us today in thanking our staff, and all of our patient veterans, who have bravely served in the military.

Veteran’s Day is celebrated annually on November 11, in conjunction with Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, to commemorate the end of World War I.

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