OrthoCARE and SpineCARE Doctors Provide Tips to Keep Families Healthy, Injury-Free

OrthoCARE and SpineCARE Doctors Provide Tips to Keep Families Healthy, Injury-Free

Summer is finally here, a time when children and adults focus on outdoor activities as the weather warms up and school winds down. This added activity can have great health benefits and be a lot of fun, but it also can result in injuries like sprains, bruises and sore muscles. With proper precautions, families and individuals can greatly reduce the chances of injury and better enjoy themselves, according to the doctors of OrthoCARE and SpineCARE.

“No matter what type of exercise or sport you’re engaged in, take time to properly warm up and cool down by stretching your muscles to keep them loose and elongated,” says OrthoCARE’s Dr. Reggie Alexander. “Tight muscles can lead to inflammation, pain and injury.”

Dr. Alexander specializes in orthopedics and sports medicine, with particular expertise in ACL reconstructions. He was fellowship-trained in sports medicine at UCLA, completed his residency in orthopedics at University of Chicago Hospital, and holds his undergraduate and medical degrees from Howard University. He also is an athlete who enjoys football and basketball in his spare time. As an athlete and sports medicine expert, he says people often overlook one of the easiest ways to prevent injuries: “The simplest solution is usually the most missed.

Always wear proper safety equipment and ensure that it’s in good condition and fits as intended.” Dr. Alexander’s colleague – foot and ankle specialist Dr. Nere Onosode – agrees, emphasizing the need for “the right fit,” particularly with regard to shoes. He explains: “If you experience pain in the ball of your foot while riding your bike, this may be a bone issue from metatarsal crowding or an entrapment of nerves, but more often than not, it’s because your shoes aren’t the right size or shape for your feet. If that’s the case, then full length arch supports with good padding should alleviate the pain.”

To find the right size and shape, Dr. Onosode recommends people have their feet measured by a foot and ankle specialist. He suggests getting them measured at least once a year or more often if shoes get tight. “People’s feet can change due to weight gain or loss, aging or a wide variety of other factors, so it’s important to have your feet measured regularly. Also, our feet tend to swell during the day and most people have one foot that’s larger than the other, so we recommend having both feet measured at the end of the day when they’re both at their largest.” Dr. Onosode adds that it’s important to try on shoes and walk around a bit to ensure the right fit. “Don’t rely on size alone. Make sure they feel right too. They shouldn’t feel overly tight or loose, and the ball of your foot should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.”

An avid cyclist and a former track athlete, Dr. Onosode is a founding member of the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons. He specializes in minimally invasive reconstruction techniques, and he completed his podiatric medicine and surgery residency with a rear-foot and ankle-surgery certification at The University of Louisville/Jewish Hospital. He also holds a medical degree from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and a bachelor’s from The University of Louisville.

Dr. Alexander and Dr. Onosode assist patients with a wide variety of orthopedic needs, encompassing the feet, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, fingers and more. They offer a comprehensive and patient-centered approach, focusing on non-surgical solutions first, and when surgery is necessary, providing the most minimally invasive options possible. They work closely with Dr. Douglas Won, founder and director of SpineCARE, an affiliate of OrthoCARE. The two practices are divisions of Lumin Health in Irving, Texas, and they have matching ideologies of patient care.

“Our philosophy has always been to explore all non-surgical solutions first and consider minimally invasive surgery as a last resort. Our approach is patient-centric and approximately 95% of our patients are treated non-surgically,” notes Dr. Won. An expert in minimally invasive spine procedures, Dr. Won helped develop endoscopic laser spine surgery and was the first surgeon in Texas to perform it with a 3mm incision, the size of a small grain of rice. Such a small incision, performed with the right tools, generally results in less damage to the skin and muscles, less blood loss, less pain and a faster recovery time. “When surgery is necessary, we use the most non-invasive methods possible – not only by making small incisions, but also by using tools and equipment that go between the muscles instead of tearing them. Some doctors say they’re minimally invasive because they make small incisions, but they use expandable retractors and other tools that can do as much damage as open-back surgery,” explains Dr. Won.

Dr. Won is one of the most highly trained spine specialists world-wide, having completed fellowship training in spine surgery at William Beaumont Hospital’s Spine Center, as well as fellowship training in cervical spine surgery, microscopic spine surgery and spinal deformity surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency through Washington University SOM/Barnes-Jewish Hospital, received his Doctor of Medicine from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, and holds undergraduate degrees from Northwestern University and Harvard University. He also is a clinical assistant professor at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and he enjoys various sports, such as Tae Kwon Do, rock climbing, tennis, golf and salsa dancing.

“Exercise is so important for your spine and your general health. If you aren’t already doing so, try a team sport or working out with a friend. Exercising as a group or pair can be more fun and help keep you motivated,” says Dr. Won. “Establish a regular routine, but don’t overexert yourself. If you don’t know how much is too much, or you’re not sure where to begin, ask a health care professional for a gradual exercise program to get you started.

Exercise can reduce stress, help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your quality of life – it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.” Dr. Won emphasizes that people will get the most benefit out of a re-occurring or “regular” exercise routine and recommends adding conditioning and core strengthening elements to help reduce the chances of injury during cardio activities. Conditioning and core strengthening elements are designed to help tone and stretch muscle groups. Conditioning may target any area of the body and includes activities such as weight training, aerobic exercises or calisthenics. Core strengthening focuses on the torso – primarily the abs, back and pelvis. “The most common reason for exercise or sports-related injuries is the lack of preparation,” explains Dr. Won.

“To reduce the chances of injury, regularly strengthen your muscles, tone your core, and stretch before and after activities.” To further reduce chances of injury, Dr. Won suggests adopting healthy habits such as reducing stress, losing excess weight and not smoking. “Stress, improper body weight and smoking are some of the most common causes of back and neck pain. The body tightens its muscles when it’s stressed, which result in spasms and pinched nerves. Also, stress inhibits the body’s natural ability to heal, as does smoking. Smoking restricts blood flow to vital spinal tissues, which deprives them of oxygen and important nutrients needed for healing. “Excess weight can cause cardiovascular issues, conditions like asthma and diabetes, organ failure, back conditions and other health concerns. Work with your primary care physician or nutritionist to determine your target weight and the appropriate dietary and exercise programs to get there.”

OrthoCARE specializes in foot and ankle care; sports medicine; and general orthopedics, including knees, hips, elbows, fingers, shoulders and more. The OrthoCARE team focuses on non-surgical solutions first, and when surgery is necessary, provides the most minimally invasive options possible. It has locations in Dallas, Frisco, Irving and Plano. www.orthocaredfw.com 972-573-7802 SpineCARE is a nationally acclaimed, comprehensive spine center dedicated to providing the most effective answers to back and neck problems. The SpineCARE team offers a wide variety of innovative pain management and rehabilitation services such as pain mapping, injections, physical therapy, chiropractic services, discography, electromyography and the no incision pain procedure (NIPP). SpineCARE has 10 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including: Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Grand Prairie, Irving, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano and Joshua. www.spinecaredfw.com 972-255-5588