running

Run away from Running injuries

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Race season is off to a fast start this Spring and regardless of your running experience, there are many chances for injuries. So, how do you avoid them? Well, there are a few ways and this article gives a few good tips for staying injury free.

Running is a great way to get in shape, but it can also lead to injuries. Knowing about common injuries and how to prevent them can keep you on track toward achieving your fitness goals.

Experts recommend the following strategies to prevent injuries:

Identify your running goals
You may choose to start running to improve your physique, lose weight, increase cardiovascular fitness, or socialize with friends. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to identify this goal when creating your exercise program. If you want to improve cardiovascular fitness, for instance, you should run at a quick pace to maximize your heart rate. If you’re running to lose weight or reduce body fat, it’s better to run at a slower rate for a longer time. Depending on your goal, your doctor or personal trainer may decide that a modest walking or jogging program is appropriate. Setting goals helps you follow a safe pace and keeps you from overexertion, which can result in injury.

Have a physical evaluation
Certain health problems may hamper your running performance and increase your risk for injury. Specifically, osteoporosis, arthritis, and other degenerative joint diseases can increase your injury risk. If you have any significant health issues, you should discuss these with your doctor before you start to run.

Warm up before your run and stretch after you run
Doing so can prevent some of the most common injuries. It’s most important to stretch muscles that move joints. These include the calf muscle, which moves the knee and ankle, and the hamstring, which moves the knee and hip. Walk or gently jog for 5 minutes. Cool down at the same pace for another 5 minutes at the end of your run.

Wear the correct shoes
Buying shoes at an athletic store, where a salesclerk can help you choose a shoe that fits your foot type, can help prevent injuries.

Common injuries
The following injuries are common among runners:
Achilles tendinitis
This injury is marked by dull or sharp pain along the back of the Achilles tendon, calf tightness, and early morning stiffness. Stretching can help prevent this injury. To treat it, rest, and stretch until the pain is gone.

Plantar fasciitis 
This injury is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick, fibrous band of tissue in the bottom of the foot. Proper stretching can help prevent such an injury. Anti-inflammatory medication, stretching, and ice compresses help relieve pain.

Shin splints
This injury is caused by overuse or poor conditioning and worsened by running on hard surfaces. This injury causes pain on the inside of the shinbone. Shin splints are treated by complete rest and stretching until the pain is gone. You can relieve symptoms by stretching and using ice and anti-inflammatories. Once your symptoms have eased, you should make changes in the distance you run and your speed.

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Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center has on-site state-of-the-art technology to diagnosis and treat orthopaedic conditions.
Both of our offices are equipped with in-office radiology departments. Not only does this facilitate rapid diagnosis but it is also convenient for patients who may be experiencing pain or disability at the time of their visit. To schedule an appointment with
one of our board-certified and fellowship trained physicians, call our Warrenton office at 540-347-9220 or our Gainesville office at 703-743-2814.

Beth Holloway, RN, M.Ed. and Kim Larson APRN, FNP © 2000-2015 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.

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!

Get Back in the Game with our Sports Medicine Team!

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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.  Overuse injuries and repetitive trauma can occur to the tendons, bones and joints.

There are many things to consider in caring for an athlete beyond the diagnosis.  This includes sport-specific rehabilitation and the time required to get back on the field.  We work directly with our team of physical therapists to speed recovery and treat the “Whole” patient.

Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center offers a wide range of assessment and treatment options for numerous sports medicine conditions.

  • Dislocations
  • Ligament sprains/Injuries
  • Sports hernia
  • Fractures
  • Concussions
  • Tendonitis

The treatment of sports-related injuries is more specialized and sophisticated than ever before, and we 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 speak to a sports medicine specialist, please call 540.347.9220 or visit www.broava.com for more information.

Is Knee Pain Preventing you from Living LIFE to the Fullest?

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Knee pain is a widespread complaint for many people.  Who would think a small joint like the knee could produce such debilitating pain?  There are several factors that can cause knee pain such as arthritis, runner’s knee, bursitis, tendinitis, ligament sprains and tears, meniscus tears, bone fractures, and gout.

Healthy Knees

A healthy knee joint bends easily.  Cartilage, a smooth tissue, covers the ends of the thighbone and shinbone and the underside of the kneecap.  Healthy cartilage absorbs stress and allows the bones to glide freely over each other.  Joint fluid lubricates the cartilage surfaces, making movement even easier.

A Problem Knee

A problem knee is stiff or painful.  Cartilage cracks or wears away due to usage, inflammation, or injury.  Worn, roughened cartilage no longer allows the joint to glide freely, so it feels stiff.  As more cartilage wears away, exposed bones rub together when the knee bends causing pain.  With time, bone surfaces also become rough, making the pain much worse.

Understanding Knee Replacement

A knee prosthesis lets your knee bend easily again.  The roughened ends of the thighbone and shinbone and the underside of the kneecap are replaced with metal and strong plastic components.  With new smooth surfaces, the bones can once again glide freely.  A knee prosthesis does have limitations, but it can help you walk and move with greater comfort.

At Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center, we recognize that painful joints can interfere with your sleep, limit daily mobility, or keep you from participating in activities that you love.  If managing your joint pain is no longer working, our team of joint replacement specialists can help by replacing all or part of your problem joint.  Please contact our joint specialists @ 540.347.9220 to schedule an appointment or simply for more information.

It’s March Madness! Prepare Yourself!

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Do you play hard?  These injuries are the most common injuries in basketball.

  • Finger Jams – Finger joint pain and swelling from an impact injury which can lead to dislocation, fractures and ligament tears.
  • Hamstring Strains – Excessive stretch or tear of muscle fibers and other related tissues.  Pain can be moderate to extremely heavy in the back of the leg just over the knee.
  • Patella Tendonitis – Also known as jumper’s knee.  This injury is caused from overuse from repetitive overloading of the extensor mechanism of the knee.  Most commonly, pain is felt with an aching feeling in the anterior knee.  May lead to complete tendon tear which requires surgery.
  • Achilles Tendonitis – Inflammation and pain of the large tendon in the back of the ankle caused by overuse.
  • Shin Splints – Commonly found in athletes that run often.  This condition is characterized by pain in the lower part of the leg between the knee and the ankle.
  • Ankle Sprain – A partial or complete tearing of the ligaments in the ankle.

Here are a few tips from orthoinfo.aaos.org to help keep you safe!

  • Maintain you’re fitness.  Be sure you are in good physical condition at the start of basketball season.
  • Make it a part of your routine to warm up and stretch.  Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury.
  • Hydrate.  Even small levels of dehydration can hurt you’re athletic performance.  Drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid 2 hours before exercise.
  • Use of proper equipment.  Shoes, ankle supports, knee and elbow pads, mouth guards, and safety glasses are all critical equipment tools to arm yourself with.
  • Ensure a safe environment.  Make sure courts are free of debris that can be hazardous when playing.
  • If you are injured make sure all signs of injury are gone before returning to play.
  • Prevent overuse injuries.  Limit the number of teams you play on in a season.  When playing on more than one team you are at risk for overuse injuries.

Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center offers the most comprehensive care under one roof.  Whether you need to be seen for sprains, strains, or other serious sports injuries our team of specialists can help.

We will help you achieve your goals of getting back in the game!

Call us today at (540) 347-9220 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.