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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, December 11, 2017

Is your housework hurting you?

You're about to have a house full of guests for the holidays, so everything has to be spotless, right? But experts warn house cleaning could pose some potential dangers, including falls from step ladders while dusting hard-to-reach spots, slipping on wet floors after mopping, and back strains from strenuous vacuuming or incorrectly lifting heavy equipment.

These things can result in some serious injuries such as:

Here are a few simple tips to keep safe while tidying up:
  • Warm up just as you would before any workout. Do a few back stretches and neck rolls before setting out to sweep or vacuum your entire home.
  • Keep a set of cleaning supplies both upstairs and down to avoid lugging them back and forth.
  • Invest in products that offer reachability, like extender wands, to help you tackle high-up spots.
  • Always practice correct ladder safety when climbing up (on a ladder or step stool) to clean something.
  • Try alternating sides when vacuuming, and switch it up between right and left arms for each room.
The noxious fumes from some cleaning products--especially those that are ammonia or bleach-based--can be dangerous too.

Make sure to open a window or turn on the AC when cleaning for good ventilation, and never mix two products together. Consider some green alternatives like vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda mixed with warm water, or one of the many certified "green" or "eco-friendly" solutions on the market these days.

And if you do feel you've pulled something, or suffered an injury while cleaning, please contact us for an appointment.

(Adapted from Healthline.com)

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Watch out for these toys this year...

As holiday gift-giving reaches a frenzied pace this month, take a minute to ensure you've made safe choices.

While that new motorized scooter with super-fast, jet-like propulsion seems cool, it could be a disaster just waiting to happen.

ERs report huge spikes in activity in December and early January due to injuries from unsafe toys. Common injuries include sprains and strains, broken bones or fractures, deep cuts and skin lacerations, and even concussions. Ride-on toys are typically the worst offenders.

Each year, the consumer group WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm) releases a list of toys deemed unsafe after hours of rigorous testing and evaluation.

Here are the worst offenders:
  • Do it yourself slack line kits (strung between two trees)
  • Motorized skates
  • Motorized scooters
  • Hoverboards
  • Drones
  • Faulty fidget spinners (can lead to cuts on fingers and even choking)
The motorized toys have the biggest risk for your child because they can lose control and suffer serious injuries within split seconds. If you do opt for one of these items, make sure to review all operating instructions beforehand and always keep a watchful eye over them.

With any ride-on toy, such as a bike or skateboard, you'll also want to invest in a good quality helmet and arm or elbow pads.

And for the small kiddos, don't forget to check their gifts for any choking hazards.

If your child suffers a serious injury after hours, visit Texas Orthopedics' Urgent Injury Clinic where no appointment is necessary and X-ray and casting capabilities are right onsite.

(Adapted from Good Housekeeping)

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Stay Stress-Free this Holiday

You sailed through Halloween and the Thanksgiving holiday. But now December is here, and it's really 'go' time. There are so many parties and the 'to do' lists seem endless! And for some -- that translates to some major stress.

So, take a deep breath. And check out these seven tips to help you stay sane and stress-free:

  1. Take a hike. Literally. Hiking or walking for at least 30 minutes a day outdoors stimulates the production of serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain.
  2. Sniff some citrus. The scent of lemons and oranges is proven to alleviated stress and better your mood. Rub a slice of the inside of the peel on your skin to release the essential oils or place a bowl of fresh zest on the counter to diffuse throughout the room.
  3. Stick to your daily routine. Keep your regular workout schedule going, or weekly lunch date with friends on your calendar. This sense of normalcy will help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
  4. Let go of perfection. You may forget to mail a card or gift, or send the wrong item to your child's gift exchange at school. Cut yourself some serious slack at this time of year. It will all be okay.
  5. Silence your cell. Dedicate a few days over your holiday to unplug. Turn off automatic email and text alerts, and check in only when absolutely necessary.
  6. Have some honey. Honey has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can boost immunity, and the sweetness packs and energetic punch. Try a spoonful in your favorite warm winter beverages.
  7. Don't overschedule. Focus on what and who are really important to you during the holidays. Your family maybe or a few special friends? Choose how you spend your time wisely, and remember that it's always perfectly acceptable to politely decline any invitation or say 'no' to a task you are not able to complete.
(Adapted from Health.com)

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What's the deal with ketones?

Many high-profile athletes claim that ketones are the key to their enhanced performance.

But what are they? And do they really work?

Ketone supplements replicate the effects of a high-fat, low-carb diet favored by many athletes these days (over the traditional high-carb diet typically followed for training). Burning through fat stored in the body is said to produce quicker bursts of energy/better performance than slower-digested carbs.

A recent study published in Frontiers in Physiology, (conducted by the Australian Institute of Sport), evaluated the popular supplement on eleven members of a world-class men's cycling team. The men were given either a placebo drink or one laced with a ketone supplement an hour ahead of and then immediately before long rides, each averaging about 19 miles with intense pedaling at high speeds.

Here's what they found:
  • Every rider who drank the ketone supplement performed worse than others who did not.
  • Those riders' times were about two percent slower and power output was almost four percent less.
  • Some form of gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, nausea, dry retching) was reported by each rider who drank the ketone supplement.
While this study was small, and more research on ketones is needed, scientists feel that any boost athletes may feel from the supplements could be largely mental.

If you are considering a ketone supplement, do so in moderation. Burning through stored fat too quickly can lead to sickness, as evidenced by the study, and potentially damage muscles and bones that do actually funnel nutrients from stored fat cells. This can result in muscle strains, sprains and even fractures or broken bones.

If you have questions about ketone supplements and your training, please contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists.


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