Five tips for an injury-free sports season for your child

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Whether your kid is into soccer, baseball or gymnastics, May is a great month to review your child’s goals for the current and upcoming season, and set a plan for success. This is also a good time to ensure you and your child are planning for a safe and injury-free season.

Here are five tips to help plan for a fun, successful and injury-free sports season for your child:

  1. Expect bumps, bruises, sprains and strains. The vast majority of sports injuries require no care other than rest, ice, wrapping and elevation. When in doubt, give us a call. We can show you and your child the best way to wrap an injury to accelerate healing and reduce the risk of re-injury.
  2. Pay attention to size as well as age. Many sports leagues are divided by the age of the child athletes. But, children of the same age can vary dramatically in size and physical strength. If your child is either large or small for his or her age, consider signing them up for an athletic team that better matches his or her size and/or ability.
  3. Remember that children are still growing. Unlike adult athletes, children are still growing. Their bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are not full-size, and may be more susceptible to injury. Watch especially for injuries at the site of your child’s growth plates. These are the areas of cartilage where bone growth occurs at the end of the long bones, like the femur and the tibia. Approximately half of all growth plate injuries occur from team or individual athletic activities. If your child complains of pain at the site of a joint — knee, elbow, hip, etc — we can help. Our team will diagnose the problem and identify a treatment course.
  4. Watch for over-use injuries. Because children are still growing, their bodies are more susceptible to over-use injuries than adult bodies . Throwing a ball — baseball, football, etc — is a common cause of medial apophysitis (aka. little leaguer’s elbow) and osteochondritis dissecans, two over-use injuries which affect the elbow. If your child hasn’t suffered a chronic injury, but is still complaining of joint pain, you may be dealing with an over-use injury. Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center Child Injuries
  5. Know when to ask for help. Because children are still growing, relatively minor injuries can sometimes have long-term effects. When in doubt, please give us a call. A quick examination and/or x-ray will help diagnose the source of your child’s pain. Our sports medicine specialists will then work with you to develop a plan for treatment and recovery, if necessary.

Click here to learn more about injuries and treatments in child athletes:

We hope you and your child enjoy a fun, exciting and injury-free sports season. If an injury does sideline your child, please give us a call. We can help diagnose the injury, plan for treatment and get your child back in the game as quickly — and healthfully — as possible.

Contact us today to schedule a consult with one of our sports medicine specialists:

  •  email us at
  •  call us at 540-347-9220

It’s March Madness! Prepare Yourself!


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 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.

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.

Safety tips for deer hunters in tree stands

Around here, deer season is the stuff of tradition for many families. Many of our neighbors grew up hunting deer with their parents. And, now, many of them are passing the tradition on to their own children.

It’s the first full week of November, and we’re about a month into this year’s deer season. This means more and more folks are spending time in the forests, and some of them are climbing into tree stands to hide from their quarry. This — believe it or not — is the most perilous thing most hunters will ever do. More deer hunters are injured falling from tree stands than any other way.

The statistics are sobering. Some studies suggest that more than 1 in 3 hunters will fall from their tree stands every year, and that 25% of those falls will result in injury. These injuries can be quite serious. Broken bones — especially in the leg or hip — are quite common. Head and spinal cord injuries are also fairly common. Some hunters who fall from their tree stands will never walk again. And, every year, a few won’t survive the experience.

The saddest thing is that many of these injuries are completely preventable. Easy-to-use safety equipment — such as climbing harnesses and ropes — is readily available. This equipment, combined with awareness of the risk, could help you avoid a fall and prevent an injury.

Prevent falls by using your tree stand safely
It only takes a moment to reduce your risk of injury. For example:

If you do suffer a fall, we can help
Falls from tree stands often require significant recovery time, and may even create chronic uses, such as back pain. In many cases, physical therapy can be a great help, often completely eliminating your pain over time.

If you’ve fallen from your tree stand (or suffered a fall in some other way), call us today to discuss your injury and begin your recovery: 540-347-9220.