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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, August 3, 2015

Triathlon Training Tips

Triathlon training is tough and grueling for even the strongest athletes. So it's no surprise that a recent study revealed more than half of the triathletes monitored suffered an overuse injury during their course of training. While competing in triathlons is a great way to get fit, you are at risk for injury if you don't pace yourself.

Here are a few tried and true training tips to help get the most out of your triathlon experience and help you safely cross the finish line:

Make a plan
  • Select a competition/distance that is right for you 
  • Start your training gradually, begin with shorter distances and work up to longer ones with faster sprints and greater intensity
  • Check out websites such as USA Triathlon to locate training groups or routes in your area
Consider a coach or training partner 
  • Enlist a coach to check or correct your technique at the start of your training to help prevent injuries later on down the road
  • Have a friend or partner help to keep you on track with your goals
Eat properly
  •  Consume foods rich in nutritional content and high in complex carbohydrates
  • Increase your intake closer to race time, and supplement with energy gels and sports drinks as needed
Choose proper equipment
  • Research water temps to see if you need a wetsuit
  • Make sure your bike chains and pedals are working properly, and don't forget your helmet
  • Wear comfortable training shoes, and avoid sporting a brand new pair that can lead to blisters
Finally, and most importantly, listen to your body. If you miss a training session, don't try to overcompensate and go at it harder next time. Build rest days into your training schedule to relax and recuperate. Tendonitis, sprains and strains, knee and hip pain, and unfortunately fractures, are all too common in triathletes. 

If you experience severe or persistent pain while training, contact us before a more serious injury can occur.

(Adapted from STOP Sports Injuries)

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Strengthening Feet

You pamper them. You massage them. You dress them up in designer shoes. But sometimes what your feet really need is a good, old-fashioned workout.

Weak and inflexible feet, often confined to ill-fitting shoes and parked still under a desk all day, can directly contribute to chronic back, hip, knee and shoulder pain. Weak feet and ankles also cause injury to the Achilles tendon, calves, and create issues with your toes.

On average, a person "plants" their foot (Or presses it into the ground) around 10,000 to 15,000 times a day. Each press made into the ground absorbs roughly 300 pounds of force. (Hospital for Special Surgery, New York)

Adding to the stress put on our feet is shoes, especially those that are narrow in the toes. Pushing toes up together in such a limited space decreases their dexterity and ultimately cases surrounding muscles in the foot to deteriorate.

Just as you would dedicate time to exercising your core during a workout, build in some time to focus on your feet as well. To build foot strength, try these simple movements: 
  • Toe extensions - using an elastic band, wrap it around all five toes, then flex, hold for five seconds, and repeat several times on each foot. 
  • Calf raises - stand at a bar or chair and hold lightly while balancing on one foot and rising up onto your toes, hold for several seconds, lower down, and repeat. 
  • Calf stretches - sit with one leg stretched out in front of you and wrap a towel around the ball of the foot, pull towel back gently, hold for at least ten seconds, and alternate and repeat for each leg. 
Lastly, once you have built up a steady exercise routine for your feet, kick off your shoes and go barefoot once in a while. Allowing your feet to breathe and stretch will have positive effects on your feet, and ultimately your entire body's well-being.

(Adapted from Men's Journal)

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Common Hip Injuries in Kids

Scraped knees and sprained ankles are pretty common in youngsters, but hip injuries? Surprisingly, they can and do occur in kids and teens, especially those active in sports.

With their bodies still forming and bodies constantly changing, children are particularly vulnerable to orthopedic injuries.

The hip is a ball-in-socket joint, and one of the body's largest weight-bearing joints. It endures tremendous wear and tear from kids who are always on the move... running, jumping, playing.

Two common pediatric hip injuries are:

Slipped Capitol Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE)

An  SCFE is more simply described as a femur, or large bone, fracture. A fracture is when a bone breaks into two pieces, and bones with open growth plates, such as in children, are very susceptible. This can occur via a high-impact sport, activity or other physical trauma. 

Symptoms include: 
  • sudden pain in hip, thigh, or knee
  • limping or inability to bear weight while standing
If your child is suffering from severe hip pain, see an orthopedist immediately. Surgery may sometimes be necessary to correct the fracture.

Hip Avulsion

When a small chunk of bone attached to a tendon or ligament is torn away from the main part of the hip bone, it is known as a hip avulsion. This injury is most frequently associated with high impact running activities, like track/field, soccer, basketball, and football. An x-ray is often the best way to diagnose it. Symptoms may be similar to those of the SCFE, but treatment for this is usually just restricted activity for a period of time.

With any hip injury, especially those in children, it is important to seek early evaluation and take swift action if necessary. Allowing a hip injury to persist can predispose a child to painful arthritis later on.

Parents, and especially coaches of young athletes, should always be mindful of the possibility of a pediatric hip injury.

Adapted from STOP Sport Injuries

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tips to Avoid Dehydration

Our bodies are composed of 60 percent water. We lose that water continuously through sweat, tears, and urination. So it is essential to be forever replenishing those fluids. Too little water in our systems can lead to dehydration, which is a scary condition, especially during the summertime.

Signs of dehydration include:
  • extreme thirst
  • infrequent urination
  • dry skin
  • tiredness or faint dizzy feeling
Another sign of dehydration is dark-colored urine. If you are sufficiently hydrated, urine should be clear, light, and straw-colored.

The average adult needs about 3 quarts of water daily, or about 8 to 12 glasses. And if you are spending time outdoors in the heat, you should consume even more.

Just as wearing sunscreen protects your skin from the sun in the summer, it is important to protect your body from dehydration. Tips to help prevent dehydration are: 
  • Drink plenty of water before, dug, and after physical activity.
  • Take water breaks at least every 15 to 20 minutes when outside.
  • Have a sports drink, or vitamin-fortified water, if exercising or being active for more than one hour. 
  • Swap out water for frozen fruit (like grapes and sliced peaches) or sugar-free popsicles for an icy treat. 
  • Limit alcohol consumption as it can increase risk of dehydration and impair your ability to make smart/safe decisions while outdoors or in the sun. 
  • Monitor salt intake as it can increase risk of dehydration as well. 
  • Head indoors or seek shade if you experience a dizzy or lightheaded feeling.
  • Wear a single layer of lightweight, breathable, light-colored clothing when working or exercising outdoors, and consider also wearing a hat with a wide brim.
If you experience dehydration-like symptoms, start by drinking small amounts of water over a long period of time to rehydrate yourself. If you are still not feeling well after that, it may be necessary to seek medical attention and receive fluids intravenously.

(Courtesy of WebMD)

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Dr. McDonald on KVUE: Common Hip Injuries Among Teens

What can be passed off as a pulled hip muscle may actually be something called hip impingement. Dr. John McDonald, orthopedic surgeon at Texas Orthopedics, says it commonly occurs in teenagers during their peak growth years, between 12 to 15 years old, although the painful symptoms may not be experienced for several years. Yet, without treatment the hip impingement could lead to arthritis later in life.

Watch Dr. McDonald's interview with KVUE to learn more about this commonly misdiagnosed hip injury among teenagers. 

If you're experiencing sharp pain in one or both of your hip joints, contact Texas Orthopedics at (512) 439-1001 to book a consultation.

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

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dr. Brannan Smoot Travels to Managua on Surgical Mission Trip

Dr. Smoot recently traveled to Managua, Nicaragua with the Health Volunteers Overseas to volunteer his time and expertise to those in need of important knee procedures.

He worked in a local clinic to first evaluate patients and then performed four knee arthroscopy procedures, a surgery that uses a tiny camera to look inside the knee. Small cuts are made to insert a camera and small surgical tools into your knee for the procedure.

Dr. Smoot also spent time teaching surgical residents important skills both in surgery and in clinic.

This is his fourth trip to Managua and he was excited to have his daughter accompany him.

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

Monday, July 13, 2015

Congrats to our Super Doctors Rising Stars

Congratulations to Drs. Kenneth Bunch, Brian Hardy and Ai Mukai who were selected by their peers as outstanding "rising star" doctor in Texas. The results were published in Super Doctors Rising Stars, a special section in the July 2015 issue of Texas Monthly magazine.

Physicians selected as Super Doctors Rising Stars must be active physicians who have been fully-licensed to practice for approximately 10 years or less. Only 2.5% of all Texas physicians are selected.

Texas Orthopedics 2015 Super Doctors Rising Stars

Dr. Kenneth Bunch, Physiatrist

Dr. Brian Hardy, Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Ai Mukai, Physiatrist

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