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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Arthritis Myths and Facts



Chances are you know someone, young or old, living with arthritis. Arthritis affects more than 50 million Americans. One in every five adults and 300,000 children live with the debilitating condition that causes joint pain, stiffness, immobility and swelling.

During May Arthritis Awareness we want to remind our community about common myths and misconceptions surrounding this disease. (Courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation)

Myth #1: Arthritis aches and pains just come with getting older.
Fact: People of all ages, races, and genders suffer from arthritis. Two-thirds of those with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.

Myth #2: Arthritis is not considered a serious health concern.
Fact: People with arthritis log 44 million outpatient visits and account for 992,100 hospitalizations each year. The disease is a more common cause for limited physical activity than heart disease, cancer or diabetes, and is expected to affect more than 67 million Americans by the year 2030.

Myth #3: Arthritis patients should avoid exercising.
Fact: Endurance and resistance types of exercise offer unique benefits for people with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatic conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, and a healthy weight greatly reduces pressure on the joints frequently affected by arthritis, such as the knees.

Myth #4: Not much is being done to advance a cure or treatments for arthritis.
Fact: Medical groups around the world are dedicated to arthritis research and developing better treatment options while hunting for a cure. Special organizations are also focused on raising awareness of the disease and its issues at the local level and in Washington, D.C. to generate more funds and assistance for research.

Are you suffering through joint pain? Don't. Make an appointment with a Texas Orthopedics specialists to find out the source of your aches and pains.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dates Announced for ACL Injury Prevention Camp



We see many young Central Texas athletes at our clinics for injuries caused on the playing field. Recently, it has been a growing number of female athletes with the same injury - a torn ACL.

The rise of ACL injuries among females is not uncommon. In fact, girls are 8 to 10 times more likely than boys to tear an ACL.

Prevention is key. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, specific types of physical training can reduce the risk of ACL injury by as much as 72%, especially in young women.

That's why Texas Orthopedics became a Certified Clinical Site for the nationally acclaimed Sportsmetrics program for preventing ACL injury. We'll be launching our first ACL Injury Prevention Camp this summer.

Contact us for more information or to register at 512-439-1935 or email sportsmetrics@txortho.com.

ACL Injury Prevention Camp

Dates: June 8 - July 17 or July 20 - August 28 (Monday, Wednesday & Friday)
Time: 12-1:30 p.m.
Location: Austin Sports Academy, 275 Lotus Circle, Austin, TX 78737
Cost: $600

Texas Orthopedics' 6-week training program will consist of:
  • Dynamic warm-up
  • Jump/plyometric drills
  • Strength training
  • Flexibility exercises
All athletes will have their progress charted in a training log and receive a Sports Injury Test Report pre- and post-training.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Injury Prevention Programs



During the 2013-2014 academic year, high school athletes suffered more than 300,000 lower-limb injuries requiring medical attention and suspension of play for at least one day (according to the Colorado School of Public Health Pediatric Injury Prevention, Education and Research Program).

Yet a recent study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport claims that only a mere 10 percent of high school coaches have adopted Injury Prevention Programs (IPP) to reduce these types of injuries.

A solid IPP might include 15 to 20 minutes of stretching and strengthening exercises for hips, legs and thighs, along with jump-training to practice soft landings and minimize impact to the knees. The exercises are meant to be done three to four times a week before a practice or games.

This recent study involved 66 head coaches of basketball and soccer teams at 15 different high schools in Oregon. The online survey gauged their knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding IPPs.

Highlights include:
  • 14 coaches reported using one of the IPPs, with six claiming they implemented the IPP exactlly as designed.
  • Coaches of girls' teams reported to be more aware of IPPs than coaches of boys' teams.
  • Coaches who did not use an IPP said the programs offered no advantage to their current training methods, were not compatible with their needs, or seemed difficult to implement.
Most exercises in an IPP have been developed to decrease serious injuries like ACL/Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears, but they are also helpful in reducing more common ones such as sprains and muscle strains.

Coaches interested in implementing an IPP for their team are encouraged to check with health care providers, such as orthopedic specialists, to learn about what type of program would most benefit their young athletes.

(Adapted from Reuters Health)

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

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rheumatoid Arthritis



Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and debilitating forms of arthritis, causing painful, swollen joints and deterioration. Although we don't know the exact cause of the disease, many scientists now suspect that the microbiome, or mass of bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract (aka... your gut), is to blame.

Several current studies have uncovered an important link between gut microbes and autoimmune diseases where the body's immune system attacks its own tissue, such as with rheumatoid arthritis. Immune cells in the intestines, where most of the body's immune cells reside, are prone to activating inflammatory cells throughout the body, including those that affect joints.

Recent research, specifically from New York University, suggests that rheumatoid arthritis patients are more likely to harbor a harmful bug (Prevotella copri) in their intestines than those not suffering from the disease.

The rate of these autoimmune diseases has risen significantly over the past several years. Many scientists attribute this to changes in our bacterial ecosystem. Modified diets, excessive antibiotic use, and decreased contact with animal and plant sources naturally packed with microbes have all altered the state of our body's native bacteria.

The result is a microbiome with an improper ratio of good and bad bugs. This imbalance in the delicate immune system can cause immune cells to attack not only bacteria, but the body itself.

Research indicates that promising future arthritis treatments may focus more on adjusting the microbiome through diet. Following a Mediterranean diet (plenty of fish, olive oil, and vegetables, and low in meat and saturated fat) has often proven helpful to rheumatoid arthritis patients. Additional studies from Finland have also discovered that a vegan diet can change the gut microbiome leading to an improvement in arthritic symptoms.

(Adapted from The Atlantic)

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Right Amount of Exercise



It is well known that regular exercise contributes to a longer, healthier life. But how much exercise is enough? Does doing the bare minimum, 150 minutes weekly, according to medical industry guidelines, still help? And, what about if you do more than the minimum?

Two recent studies published in the JAMA Internal Medicine (The Journal of the American Medical Association) tackled these questions.

The first and more comprehensive of the studies was conducted mainly by the National Cancer Institute and Harvard University. They reviewed data on exercise habits from more than 661,000 adults over the course of 14 years. Subjects were grouped by their weekly exercise times, ranging from those who did not exercise at all to those who worked out 10 times more than the recommended amount.

Finding revealed that: 
  • Those who did not exercise at all were the highest risk of an early death. 
  • Those who met 150 minutes of weekly moderate exercise achieved greater 'longer life' benefits and were 31% less likely to die during the 14 year study than those who did not exercise.
  • Those who did triple the amount of exercise, working out for at least 450 minutes per week, were 39% less likely to die early than people who never exercised.
The second study out of Australia yielded similar results. Data from more than 200,000 adults was analyzed with regard to time spent exercising and how much of that exercise was considered vigorous, such as running versus walking.

Like the first study, they checked mortality rates and found that meeting the recommended amount of weekly exercise greatly reduced the risk of an early death.

Bottom line... everyone should aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. It will be life changing.

(Adapted from The New York Times)

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

Monday, May 4, 2015

Dr. Koval on KXAN - Men and Osteoporosis



Most people think osteoporosis only strikes older women, but a new study finds men are not being screened as often as they should for this bone deteriorating disease.

It's true women are more likely to break a bone because of osteoporosis - about half will over age 50. But so will one in four men. Dr. Koval explained that prevention is key. "The earlier you catch it the better the outcome is going to be, the quicker you get treatment going you are able to save bone density and prevent fractures."

To see the entire KXAN story about men and osteoporosis, click here

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jumper's Knee and Safe Jumping



From small jumps to big jumps, jumping is a pretty simple and ordinary action helping us get places and get on or off things. In sports, jumping is just as routine especially where jumping plays a big role in the action such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis and track. It is also the cause of many knee injuries.

Jumper's knee (patella tendonitis) often affects athletes who jump repeatedly with rapid acceleration and deceleration and who play on hard, unforgiving surfaces.

Symptoms: Typically an athlete will feel a shooting pain or aching along the front of the knee that follows sports activity. Swelling might occur, but it is not always an indication of jumper's knee>

Prevention: Strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee cap will help prevent the injury from occurring. Try implementing quad exercises and stretching before your sports season starts and throughout your regular training once the season is underway.

If pain still persists, non-operative treatments include ice, medication, physical therapy and activity restriction and modification. Neoprene braces and straps can also provide support and comfort while playing sports.

If the knee pain persists you may need to consider surgery. The recovery time is often 6 to 12 months accompanied by physical therapy and rehabilitation.

(Adapted from Stop Sports Injuries)