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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Common Running Injuries and Prevention

Many people vow to ramp up their fitness routines in the new year. While challenging yourself physically is a great resolution, going at it too hard right our of the gate can put you at risk for injury.

Runners: Listen up: Running is an excellent sport with many health benefits, but if you don't pace yourself properly, you are likely to suffer from one of these common issues: 
  • Runner's knee: tender pain surrounding the kneecap due to the repetitive force of pounding the payment
  • Achilles tendonitis: painful swelling of the Achilles tendon, or tissues connecting the heel to lower-leg muscles, often caused by improper footwear, tight muscles, or a too rapid increase in running distance or speed
  • Plantar fasciitis: inflammation, or actual tearing, of the delicate tissue on the soles of the feet, also due to the pounding nature of running or unsupportive shoes
  • Shin splints: sharp aching sensation in the shins when the muscles and tendons attached to the shinbone become irritated
Pulled muscles, sprains, fractures, and blisters are also common.

To protect yourself and prevent injury, follow these simple tips: 
  1. Abide by the ten percent rule.
    Don't increase your mileage by more than ten percent each week so that your body has time to adjust to new distances.
  2. Schedule rest days.
    Your body needs rest and time to recuperate every few days. It's just as important as your body needing exercise. 
  3. Check your shoes.
    Keep track of how many miles you have logged in a particular pair of shoes, and replace them every 600 miles or sooner. It's also a good idea to have your shoes fitted properly at a specialty running store.
  4. Keep it even.
    Running on smooth, even surfaces is more forgiving than trails made up of rough, rocky terrain.
If you have a painful or persistent running injury, make an appointment with your orthopedist.

(Courtesy of Greatist)

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Bone-boosting Benefits of Yoga

Strike a pose. A yoga pose that is! Yoga has long been credited as a stress reliever for mind, body and soul. Now research suggests that this ancient practice of holding and releasing the carefully choreographed positions has bone-boosting benefits as well.

A recent study published in the journal, Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, questioned if yoga could be an effective treatment for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone-weakening condition that affects both men and women and often leads to debilitating breaks and fractures.

This particular study tracked more than 200 women who performed a sequence of yoga poses at least every other day from 2005 to 2015.

Results revealed that yoga improved the women's balance, strengthened their gait, and ultimately increased bone density - specifically in the spine and femur.

Like weight-bearing activities, the controlled resistance used in yoga poses puts pressure on bones and strengthens them. The push and pull between muscles and bones causes the body to produce more osteocytes, or bone-making cells, improving bone density as you age.

In addition to increased bone density, other benefits of yoga include: 
  • greater flexibility/range of motion
  • better posture and balance
  • enhanced coordination
  • reduced emotional and physical stress
Check with your doctor first if you are being treated for osteoporosis or any serious medical condition before starting yoga or any new exercise regimen.

(Adapted from Shape magazine)

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Dr. David Savage Discusses Exercise Apps for Cold, Winter Months

The winter months in Austin can be unpredictable, which creates obstacles for those who like to exercise outside.

Dr. David Savage was recently interviewed by Ann Wyatt Little at Fox 7 about injuries he and his colleagues see during the colder months.

"In a popular cycling town like Austin, we see a lot of clavicle fractures, people fall down and break their clavicle or break their wrist. Runners I see trip and fall," Dr. Savage explained to Fox 7.

Dr. Savage also shared some great apps (many of them free!) that can help Central Texans stay fit and safe, especially when they don't want to venture outside if it's cold or wet. You can see those apps and his entire interview here.

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

Dr. John McDonald Takes Hip Expertise to Symposium in Vail, CO

Dr. John McDonald
was asked to speak at the Smith and Nephew Vail Hip Symposium for the second year in a row. Approximately one hundred orthopedic surgeons attended from the US and around the world to hear Dr. McDonald speak about hip arthroscopy in the elite athlete and traumatic hip instability.

Dr. McDonald was also a lab instructor for cadaver labs. As a cadaver lab instructor, he helps surgeons learn and become more comfortable with hip arthroscopy techniques.

The course director for the Smith & Nephew symposium is Dr. Marc Philippon, who is Dr. McDonald's mentor and has performed more hip arthroscopies than any other surgeon in the world.

Dr. McDonald will also teach the Vail Masters Shoulder Arthroscopy course in early February.

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

So many people make New Year's resolutions, yet only a few will actually keep them.

According to research from the University of Pennsylvania, only 77 percent of those making resolutions are still on track a week into the new year, with a mere 40 percent achieving a specific goal by year's end.

Here are tips to help stay the course and meet your goals, fitness/health or otherwise, in 2016:

  1. Make one change at a time
    Wanting to eat better, work out more, and lose weight are all great aspirations. But trying to accomplish everything all at once can be disastrous. Start by preparing nutritious meals, and healthy snacks for on-the-go, at home first for a week or two, then add gradually in gym classes or a workout to your schedule.
  2. Break up your goals
    Setting smaller, more attainable goals is always wiser than making one big declaration to do something. Losing 10 pounds is a very finite goal, but challenging yourself to go to the gym at least three times a week for a whole month allows you to make a positive change, with a littler wiggle room, and will set you off in the right direction.
  3. Lift your spirits
    If you find your willpower breaking down, take a moment to do something you enjoy until you get your resolve back. Watch a funny movie, listen to your favorite music, or hang out with friends. It's okay to take a break from your resolutions, you'll find that doing so will then get you back on track with a renewed energy and focus.
  4. Enlist your senses to help out
    Visual stimulation, or auditory or otherwise, can be very powerful. Putting a photo in plain sight of a new outfit you want to fit into, or a beach you'd like to save up for and visit on vacation, can be a huge motivator.
  5. Write down, then share your goals
    Finally, people who actually write down their goals on paper are significantly more likely to achieve success than those who don't. Also, sharing your journey with someone else hoping to achieve similar goals can help hold you accountable and stay driven.

    (Adapted from WebMD)

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Texas Ortho Staff Resolutions

A few of our staff members have already put their healthy resolutions to pen, and are sharing them with us now for a little inspiration:

Dr. John McDonald:

To work out with friends... often when I try to exercise on my own, I find excuses not to go (work, rest, etc.). When I have a buddy expecting me, I don't want to let them down. This way I am much more diligent with my workouts.

Dr. Barbara Bergin:

You've heard these driving do's and don'ts before... but have you resolved to do them? 
  • Don't text and drive. I've literally been pulling over to text if it's absolutely necessary to text right that minute. But there are other options, including making an old fashioned phone call! 
  • Obey the 3, 4 or 5 second rule. No matter what the rule or road conditions, stay well behind the car in front of you. You can't depend on the predictable flow of traffic to keep you out of trouble. It doesn't matter what causes abrupt changes in the flow of traffic. You might be the one who pays for not keeping your distance. 
  • Don't drink and drive. Don't do it. Either don't drink, have a designated driver in the group, or take a cab. Don't do it this year. Not even once. 
A bunch of people are going to die or get maimed this year because of failing to do these three things. I don't want it to be you or me, or anyone I care about, and that's certainly includes anyone reading these resolutions.

Amber Anderson, PT:

To substitute Diet Sprite with La Croix sparkling water... I am pretty diligent about drinking water throughout the day to stay hydrated, but I do crave something fizzy with a little flavor. Sparkling water, especially fruity ones, is a way to mix it up without artificial sugars and unnatural ingredients.

To log workouts/runs in a daily journal... by recording my runs each day, I am able to track progress in mileage/pace on any given week. This also helps ensure I am building in rest days with yoga or swimming to avoid injury. Using a journal is a great way to set goals and stay motivated.

Write down your New Year's resolutions on paper, set attainable goals, and share them with a friend who will hold you accountable can all help you achieve success.

Good luck, and Happy New Year from Texas Orthopedics!

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

Monday, January 4, 2016

4 Bone Health Resolutions for 2016

Often we resolve to get in better shape or exercise more in the New Year. We want to lose 5 pounds or flatter abs or less underarm jiggle.

For this year, why not direct some of that energy to your bones? If you don't have strong, healthy bones, you can't work out safely or even perform simple everyday physical tasks, without putting yourself at risk for breaks or fractures.

Here are four easy ways to better bone health in 2016: 

  1. Get warmed up, and get moving.
    Just thirty minutes a day of physical activity can do wonders for your body. Exercise keeps joints and muscles flexible, maintains bone and cartilage health, and reduces general pain and stiffness. Warming up beforehand gets blood flowing and prepares your body for more intense activity to follow. 
  2. Pump some iron.
    Weight-bearing workouts are essential to maintaining strong bones. In addition to weight-training with machines or free weights, other beneficial activities include jogging, hiking, heavy gardening, baseball, basketball, dancing, aerobics, racquet sports, and bowling. 
  3. Pop a (Calcium) pill.
    Check with your doctor first, but consider taking a Vitamin D or calcium supplement if your diet is lacking either. Adults need approximately 1,000 IU per day of Vitamin D from foods or sunlight. Calcium recommendations vary, but generally adults need 1,000 to 1,200 mg daily. 
  4. Lighten your load.
    Be mindful of how you carry common items like backpacks, purses, computer bags, messenger bags, etc. Carrying these without proper support or weight distribution can lead to neck, back and shoulder injuries over time. Bend at the knees to lift things, and use double straps if possible to minimize stress on any one part of the body.
Also remember to get screened regularly for arthritis and osteoporosis if you are of a certain age, have other certain risk factors, or a family history of either disease.

(Courtesy of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons).

Dr. Smith on KXAN: Tips to Prevent Hoverboard Injury

Hoverboards were a big 2015 holiday wish list item. While they may be fun to ride, they are also causing serious injuries for many kids and adults.

Texas Orthopedics' surgeon, Dr. Scott Smith, shared tips with KXAN-TV on how to prevent a trip to the doctor or emergency room. Rule number one: Before you take a ride on the hoverboard, wear protective gear such as a helmet, wrist and elbow guards.

Check out Dr. Smith's interview on KXAN-TV.