Monthly Archives: December 2012

Resolve to be a healthier you in 2013

Happy New Year!

The holidays are behind us, the gifts are unwrapped and the champagne has all been poured. Welcome to a brand new year! We love the beginning of every new year. It’s another chance to start fresh with a new calendar, new goals and new plans for the next 12 months and beyond.

Yes, we’re talking about New Year’s resolutions. Did you make any? We sure did. And, if you like, we can help you succeed with some of your resolutions this year:

  • Did you resolve to eat better? Whether you’re balancing a medical condition or just want to start eating a healthier diet, our registered dietician is here to help. Click here to learn more.
  • Did you resolve to get more active? We understand how an old injury or a recent accident can restrict your movement and limit your activity. If you’re eager to move beyond past limitations this year, you may want to chat with one of our physical therapists. They are here to help you heal, recover and get moving again. Click here to learn more.
  • Did you resolve to treat yourself better? Whether you need help balancing stress, chronic pain or recovery, massage therapy can be a great help. Our certified massage therapist specializes in therapeutic, sports, Swedish, myofascial release and deep tissue massage. Click here to learn more.
  • Did you resolve to feel better? Chronic pain, old injuries and undiagnosed medical issues can dramatically affect how we feel and act. If you are suffering, our pain management specialists can help you to find a diagnosis, develop a recovery plan and move beyond the pain. Click here to learn more.
  • Did you resolve to deal with it? Sometimes, it seems easier to ignore an issue than to deal with it. But, ignoring a bum hip, cranky knee or tight shoulder won’t help if you really need surgery. Make 2013 the year you finally deal with that fussy joint. Our orthopaedic surgeons are here to help. Click here to learn more.

If you’re looking to feel better, move better or treat yourself better, we can help. Give us a call, and begin transforming some of those 2013 resolutions into reality: 540-347-9220.

Nearly 100 Coats Donated!

If you know us well, then you know we’re committed to our community. We’ve done food drives. We’ve collected backpacks filled with school supplies for local children. And, every year we organize our Bodies in Motion race to raise funds for local schools and charitable organizations. We will keep doing all those things. But, this year, we decided to add something new to the mix: our very first coat drive

We started collecting gently-worn coats, hats, scarves, mittens and gloves in mid-November. By December 7 — less than four weeks later! — we had collected 93 winter coats and 58 assorted hats, scarves, gloves and mittens. That’s more than 150 donations!

We’re blown away. Thank you to all our patients, staff, friends and family who helped make our very first coat drive such a fantastic success. We couldn’t have possibly done this without your help.

We distributed the entire collection through the Warrenton Bible Fellowship on Saturday, December 8, which means those first 150+ donated coats, hats, scarves, mittens and gloves are already being used by needy adults in children in the Warrenton area. If you donated your gently-worn winter gear, you’re making a very real difference for some of your neighbors and fellow community members. Thank you.

We are still collecting gently-worn coats, hats, scarves, mittens and gloves. Please just drop your donations off at our front desk.

Thank you to everyone who donated!

Guilt Free Holiday Celebrations!

Worried about destroying your healthful food habits that you have kept up with all year long, during the holidays? Try these tips for keeping off those unwanted pounds from the holidays.

For the day leading up to the party, prepare small, low-calorie meals during the day so that you can eat all that delicious holiday food without overdoing your calorie intake for the day. If you are bringing a dish to the holiday party, make it a healthy low calorie dish. Bring platters of vegetables or fruit with a yogurt dip. Upon arrival to the party try socializing, which is calorie free, instead of heading straight for the buffet table. To help you build a healthful plate at the buffet try filling the plate with lower-calorie party foods like fruits and vegetables. Also, it’s alright if you want to try everything on the table, but remember to be smart and try smaller portions. If those cravings are just too intense for you to ignore during the holidays, try balancing out those extra party calories with more physical activity. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator or after dinner take a walk with the family.

For more information contact our Registered Dietician at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center at 540-347-9220.






Five tips for pain-free snow shoveling

According to the calendar, we’re a bit more than a week away from the first day of winter. And, we all know what that means: It’s time to find the snow shovel and prepare ourselves for some wintry weather.

Snow shoveling can be a hassle. It can also be a pain in the neck. Literally. Every year, thousands of people seek medical care at emergency rooms after injuring themselves while snow shoveling.Countless more probably treat themselves at home for sprains, bruises and pulled muscles.

We can’t promise you a snow-free winter. And, there’s nothing we can do about slippery ice and poor wintertime weather conditions. But, we do have a list of tips that should help reduce your risk of injury.


  1. Start early. If the forecast calls for a lot of snow, start shoveling before the storm is over. It’s easier to clear small amounts of snow. And, you’ll be less likely to strain your back lifting shovelfuls of heavy, wet snow.
  2. Dress for the weather. Hats and gloves and coats will keep you comfortable. Layers will help, since you’re likely to warm up once you’ve started. But, the most important piece of clothing is what you wear on your feet. Choose rugged boots or shoes with soles that grip slippery surfaces well. Even better: invest in a set of YakTrax or other removable snow cleats for your shoes.
  3. Stretch and warm up. It may seem silly, but a quick stretch to warm up your muscles will help prevent injuries.
  4. Choose good gear. All snow shovels are not created equal. You want to use a shovel that fits your height and size. Select a shovel that doesn’t require too much bending over, and doesn’t feel too heavy in your hands.
  5. Perfect your technique. Whenever possible, push snow rather than lifting it. And, when you have no other choice, lift carefully. Use your legs rather than your back. Resist the urge to clear deep snow in one scoop. And, try to avoid twisting when you’re tossing the snow away.


For even more pain-free snow shoveling tips, check out these websites:


What if you do pull a muscle, strain your back, or slip and fall? Some injuries can be treated at home with rest and ice. Others may require medical care. When in doubt — or, if you’re still hurting several days after an injury — call us at 540-347-9220. Our physical therapists and orthopaedic surgeons will work with you to diagnose your injury, plan your recovery and get you back in snow-shoveling shape as quickly as possible.

Five Tips for Decking the Halls Safely

Whether your holiday traditions include singing carols or lighting a menorah, we all hope they don’t involve one thing: a trip to the emergency room.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the number of injuries related to holiday decorations and celebrations are on the rise. The CPSC estimates that more than 13,000 people sought emergency medical treatment for injuries suffered while decorating during the 2010 holiday season. Countless others likely cared for their injuries at home, or sought medical care from their own physicians.

Holiday injuries aren’t a given. And, thankfully, they aren’t even terribly common. But, they do happen. And, for the most part, they are preventable. We’ve collected our top five tips for holiday decorating safety, and are sharing them with you here. For more information, check out the safety and fire-prevention tips provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Five Tips for Decking the Halls Safely

  1. Use the correct ladder or step ladder for the job. Ladders and step ladders are designed to provide stability and safety. Chairs, tables, couches and your buddy’s shoulders don’t offer the same stability.
  2. Ask for help when you need it. Holiday decorations can be heavy, bulky or outright frustrating. Whether you’re lifting a massive Christmas tree or trying to untangle a mess of lights, remember to ask for help if you need it. Thedecorations will be hung faster, and your risk of injury will decrease.
  3. Don’t over-reach. Hanging lights outside can be a hassle, especially when you need to constantly climb down the ladder to shift it over a few feet. It’s tempting to reach just a little further, to hang just one more light. But, it’s also dangerous. Reaching too far to the side or overhead while on a ladder can dramatically increase your risk of a fall. Be safe and follow the belt-buckle rule: always keep your belt buckle with the upright rails of the ladder. Click here for more ladder safety tips.
  4. Skip the breakables if there are small children around. Broken ornaments are no fun. And, sometimes, they can even be the cause of injury. Skip the mess and risk, and stick with non-breakable ornaments if small children will be around. Click here for more tips on holiday safety for children.
  5. Respect electricity. Holiday lights may seem too small to pose a risk, but faulty wiring and overloaded circuits cause electrical fires every holiday season. Take the time to ensure your lights are in good working order, and skip the temptation to string more than two or three light strands together. Click here for more tips on working safely with holiday lights.

Here’s one bonus tip from our physical therapists: Have you had surgery recently? Are you nursing an injury or chronic pain? Reduce the risk of further injury by taking it easy with the decorating this year. Seemingly simple activities — reaching overhead to hang lights, for example — can trigger muscle pain, cramps or spasms in the neck or upper back. When in doubt, ask your doctor or physical therapist about your ability to climb ladders, reach overhead or lift heavy boxes.


Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season.