Monthly Archives: April 2014

Is Aquatic Physical Therapy an Option for you? You bet!

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Aquatic Therapy is a procedure which attempts to improve function through the application of aquatic therapeutic exercises which facilitates healing and return of function.  Water buoyancy decreases the amount of weight borne by the joints and can be very useful for patients with osteoarthritis, healing fractured bones or obesity.  Our Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation department provides this therapy through a cooperative arrangement with the Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility.

Think Aquatic Therapy might be for you?  Let the specialists at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center assess your condition and develop a treatment plan that is tailor made for you.  Our staff of Certified Physical Therapist’s specialize in Orthopedics’  and will work hard to restore you to full functionality by using evidence-based treatments.

To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists please call 540.347.9220 (Warrenton location) or 703.743.2814 (Gainesville location).  For more information on the comprehensive services offered by Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center visit www.broava.com.

Injuries happen. We can help you get better.

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The sun is shining, trees and flowers are coming back to life. The area we live in is perfect for getting outside and exploring and if you are a runner, there are many races out there to participate in. With the Blue Ridge Orthopaedic Foundation’s Bodies in Motion race coming up on May 18, this seems like a good time to review injuries that can happen and a little on how to prevent them from happening. Overuse injuries and repetitive trauma can occur to the tendons, bones, and joints.

Tendonitis: Inflammation of the tendon that can be caused by minor or serious injury to parts of the body. Tendonitis can affect the elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, thumb, and Achilles tendon. Symptoms include pain and a loss of range of motion. Treatment for tendonitis includes ice and anti-inflammatory drugs.  To keep from hurting your tendon again try changing your activities or how you do them. For example, if running caused the injury, try swimming some days. If the way you use a tool is the problem, try switching hands or changing your grip.

Sprains and strains: Sprains are injuries to ligaments while strains are injuries to muscles or tendons. Both are caused by physical stress, and can affect the ankle, knee, neck, wrist, back, legs, and hands. Symptoms include pain and swelling. Treatment for strains and sprains includes R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation) or, in severe cases, surgery. Preventing a sprain can be difficult since it can occur after simply stepping off a curb or landing wrong when jumping.

Dislocations: These occur when extreme force is put on a ligament allowing the bones to become disconnected.  Common body parts affected by dislocations include the shoulder, knee, hip, and finger. Symptoms include pain, discoloration, deformity and immobility. Treatment requires returning a bone to its normal position. Seek medical help right away if you:

  • Have severe pain in a joint
  • Can’t move the joint normally
  • Can see the misplaced bone
  • Have numbness or tingling
  • Have a break in the skin over the painful joint

Fractures: There are two types of fractures, or broken bones. Stress fractures are caused by repeated stress on the bone. Compression fractures result from osteoporosis, when bones lose calcium there are more susceptible to breaking. Fracture symptoms include swelling, discoloration, and pain. Any fracture to the leg or arm should be considered a medical emergency. The arm or leg should not be moved until help arrives. Don’t attempt to straighten or adjust the bone. This can damage the bone and injure nearby blood vessels and nerves. Treatment includes R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation), medication, and a cast or splint.

Ligament injuries and tears: Ligaments are tough bands that connect bones. Stressing them can cause injuries, such as sprains and tears, which are often diagnosable only through thorough examination and, in some cases, arthroscopic surgery. Treatment includes physical therapy, bracing and surgery.

At Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center, our sports medicine specialists are experts in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of common injuries that occur during sports or exercise and our facility is fully accredited. Call or visit us online today. We can see you within 24 hours! We have offices in Gainesville 703.743.2814 and Warrenton 540.347.9220 and in most instances, you can be seen within 24 hours! Visit us online at www.broava.com today!

Ready…Set…Golf!

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Golf is a demanding sport which can certainly cause golf injuries.   The majority of golf injuries occur from over-use and improper body mechanics.

Follow these safety tips from www.mayoclinic.com/health/golf/Ho00075

  • Use proper posture – Think about your posture before and during your swing.  Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and distribute your weight equally on both feet.  Avoid hunching over the ball, which may contribute to neck and back strain.
  • Stay smooth – The power of a golf swing comes from force transferred smoothly through all the muscle groups, from your ankles to your wrists.  If you depend on one part of your body for your hitting power, you may be more prone to injuries. 
  • Don’t over swing – If you swing the club too hard or too fast, you may stress your joints.  Relax and take a nice, easy swing at the ball.  The best golfers have consistent – not necessarily fast – swing tempos.
  • Stretch and warm up – Before you practice your golf swing or play a round of golf, warm up with a brisk walk or a set of jumping jacks.  Stretch your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, spine and pelvis.  Swing your golf club a few times, gradually increasing your range of motion.
  • Start slowly – You might practice your swing for hours, believing it’s helping your game – but if your body isn’t conditioned for the strain, practicing your golf swing may do more harm than good.  Work up to your desired level of activity instead.
  • Strengthen your muscles – You don’t need bulging muscles to hit a long drive – but the stronger your muscles, the greater your club speed.  Better yet, stronger muscles are less prone to golf injuries.  For best results, do strength training exercises year –round
  • Focus on Flexibility – Regular aerobic activity can give you staying power on the course.
  • Lift and carry clubs carefully – Golfers who carry their own bags have higher rates of shoulder and back injuries than do other golfers.  If you jerk heavy clubs out of the trunk of your car, you could injure yourself before you reach the first hole!  Use proper lifting technique:  Keep your back straight and use the strength of your legs to lift.
  • Choose proper footwear – Dress for comfort and protection from the elements.  Wear golf shoes with short cleats.  Long cleats dig into the sod and hold your feet planted as you swing, which may strain your knees or ankles.

We wish you a healthy, injury free golf season.  If you do experience an injury, the physicians and therapists of Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center are here to help.   Through careful diagnosis and treatment planning we will get you back to the game as quickly as possible!

Contact us today @ 540.347.9220 (Warrenton office) or 703.743.2814 (Gainesville office) to schedule a consult with one of our sports medicine specialists, and visit our website www.broava.com for more information on all comprehensive services provided by Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center.   

What is a Joint Dislocation?

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Dislocations can happen to almost any joint (the place where your bones come together), and are most common in the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, and the finger.  Dislocated elbows occur most often in children.  Most dislocations result from trauma, such as a blow or fall but, some can happen during normal activities such as throwing a ball.

Normally, bones glide smoothly within your joints, allowing a wide range of motion.  But a bone can be pushed or pulled out of position.  This is known as a dislocation.   Dislocation prevents normal joint movement and can be very painful.  Prompt treatment is crucial.  A dislocation needs emergency care.  Injuries that aren’t treated promptly take longer to heal and may result in lasting damage to the joint.  Seek medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Have severe pain in a joint
  • Can’t move the joint normally/immobility
  • Can see the misplaced bone
  • Have numbness or tingling
  • Have a break in the skin over the painful joint

What to Expect – Treatment

  • You may be given pain medication to make you more comfortable
  • The joint will be examined and an x-ray may be taken to check for fractures or other injuries
  • The joint is put back into place
  • A dislocated finger or elbow may be splinted to keep it from moving while it heals.  An injured shoulder may be placed in a sling.

The treatment of sports-related injuries is more specialized and sophisticated than ever before, and all of us at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center pride ourselves on providing the most advanced care available.  Anyone who maintains an active lifestyle, from student athletes to weekend warriors, can benefit from advances in the diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries.

To schedule an appointment with our sports medicine specialists, please call 540.347.9220 (Warrenton office) or 703.743.2814 (Gainesville office) and be sure to visit our website @ www.broava.com for a complete listing of comprehensive services offered by Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center

What is Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery?

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Over the past 5 years a major advance in the surgical approach to performing a hip replacement has been developed.  In addition to remaining minimally invasive, this approach avoids cutting any major muscle groups.  The incision is placed over the front of the upper thigh and avoids lateral hip pain when sleeping on one’s side.

What are the advantages?

  • No muscle cutting, allowing improved hip strength after surgery
  • Lowest dislocation rate compared to all previous approaches
  • Improved leg lengths-allows more accurate equalization of leg lengths.
  • No restrictions after surgery –sitting, crawling, stooping is allowed with no postoperative limitations.
  • No restriction on weight bearing or exercises
  • Reduction in postoperative pain
  • Decreased hospital stay and a quicker recovery.

If you are suffering with arthritis, hip pain and stiffness you can now choose anterior hip replacement surgery.  Dr. James Ramser with Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center is one of the few physicians who perform this innovative surgery, routinely in Virginia.  Call our joint replacement specialists for more information today at 540.347.9220 (Warrenton office) or 703.743.2814 (Gainesville office) to schedule an appointment today.  Our specialists can see you within 24 hours!  In addition, don’t forget to visit us @ www.broava.com for more information on all comprehensive services offered by Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center.