Be “Hip” About Hip Strains

A hip strain involves an injury to the muscles and tendons of the hip area.

Usually, the cause of a hip strain is an accident or traumatic impact to the hip that results in small tears in the muscle fiber or tendons. Previous injuries in the area, repetitive overuse, and insufficient warm up can bring about a hip strain.

A hip strain can result in pain felt directly over the injured muscle or tendon. Because the bones in the hip anchor muscles that are in the leg, across the abdomen, and in the buttocks, pain can also appear in other areas. Pain increases with activity. There may also be swelling, stiffness, tenderness, muscle spasm, bruising, or a partial/full loss or muscle strength or joint flexibility. Walking may be difficult in some cases.

When your injury does not improve with home treatments, or it is obvious that the injury is severe, it’s time to see one of the physicians at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Beaches. A diagnosis will be made after a thorough exam that may include placing pressure on the injury area, x-rays, and performance of movements to determine limitations, stability, strength, and amount of pain. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may or may not be needed.

Mild and moderate hip strains are treated with RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Avoiding activities that aggravate the condition is also recommended. Your JOI Beaches physician may prescribe the use of anti-inflammatory medication and crutches. Moderate hip strains may require additional measures including physical therapy, massage, and/or heat therapy. Severe strains usually require surgery and, afterward, rehabilitation. No matter how severe, hip strains need to be allowed to heal completely before normal activities are resumed.

If you believe that you have suffered an injury resulting in a hip strain, please schedule an appointment for a consultation at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Beaches. One of our highly-skilled physicians will be happy to discuss your symptoms, make a diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan for you. Contact us today at 904-241-1204 or online at






If the Shoe Fits, Wear It to Prevent Hammer Toe

A hammertoe is a toe that has a tendency to stay bent at the middle joint. A muscle and ligament imbalance around the toe joint causes the middle joint to bend and become stuck in a claw-like position.

A toe that curls rather than buckles is also called a hammertoe. Any toe can become a hammertoe. Sometimes all toes become hammertoes because of peripheral nerve or spinal cord problems.

A flexible hammertoe can still be moved and straightened at the joint by hand. Because it is a mild, early stage of the problem, there can be more options for treatment. A rigid hammertoe occurs when tendons in the toe become rigid, pressing the joint out of alignment and making it immovable and extremely painful. Equally painful are the sometimes resulting corns or calluses. Surgery may very well be the only option. With both the flexible hammertoe and the rigid hammertoe, the sooner you receive treatment, the better the result.

The muscle imbalance that causes a hammertoe puts pressure on the toe’s tendons and joints, forcing the toe into the claw-like shape. It can be present at birth or can come about later in life due to arthritis, family history, foot and ankle abnormalities, or injuries, especially those caused by the frequent wearing of ill-fitting shoes. In fact, most cases of hammer toe can be prevented just by wearing properly fitting shoes that give the toes room enough to lie flat next to each other.

Some possible symptoms of hammer toe include the following:
• Corns on the top of a toe or calluses on the bottom of a toe
• Pain or discomfort in the middle of a toe joint, at the base of a toe, on the top of a toe, or in the ball of the foot
• A toe that curls down
• Cramping in a toe and possibly in the foot or leg
• Painful or difficult motion of a toe joint
• Problems finding comfortable shoes
Hammer toes can be very serious for people with diabetes and/or circulation problems. They should be seen by a physician at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Beaches at the first sign of trouble in order to avoid serious developments.

After a diagnosis of hammer toe, your JOI Beaches doctor will work with you to develop a plan of treatment. Treatments include getting properly fitting footwear or using straps, cushions, corn pads, or splints to help relieve symptoms. Foot exercises may be suggested in an effort to restore or maintain the tendons’ flexibility. Severe cases of hammer toe might require corrective surgery to straighten the toe.

If you are noticing changes in one or more toes that could indicate hammer toe, please schedule an appointment for a consultation at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Beaches. One of our highly-skilled physicians will be happy to discuss your symptoms, make a diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan for you. Contact us today at 904-241-1204 or online at

The Weather Outside is Frightful and so are Winter Sports Injuries!

Winter Sports Insurance Isn’t an Option- It’s a NecessityIt’s another North Florida winter.  Our beautiful climate as well as a great selection of indoor facilities allows us to participate in almost any sport, any time of the year.  But wintertime brings with it the need for speed, the quest for some snow, and a general desire to be “cool” in more ways than one.  The risk of injury is heightened as the temperature lowers.  Winter sports injuries are either cumulative due to overuse or acute due to trauma.  Cumulative injuries develop over time as a result of stress on muscles, joints, and soft tissues.  Acute injuries are the result of impact or sudden force.

The last time it snowed in North Florida enough to get out and play in it was during The Great Blizzard of ’89.  But that doesn’t stop the thousands of residents who pack up and take off for the North Carolina or Colorado slopes.  And since most of them are amateurs or recreational sports enthusiasts, they are subject to a number of injuries.  Let’s take a look at skiing/snowboarding and sledding/tobogganing…

  • Skiing and Snowboarding
    Dangerous terrain, lift accidents, falls, collisions, and personal factors cause traumatic skiing/snowboarding injuries.  Some possible skiing/snowboarding injuries include anterior cruciate or collateral(ACL) ligament injuries;   shoulder dislocations or fractures; shoulder separations; lower extremity fractures; spinal injuries; closed head injuries; and wrist, hand, or thumb injuries.

    Prevention is the key to reducing or eliminating skiing/snowboarding injuries.  Through instruction before getting on the slopes, beginners learn safe skiing/snowboarding techniques, the importance of good warm-ups and cool-downs, and the importance of properly fitted equipment.  Instructors are able to determine the correct ability levels of the skiers/snowboarders and will match them to the correct terrain.

  • Sledding and Tobogganing
    Most injuries while sledding occur as a result of hitting fixed objects or colliding with other sledders.  Some possible sledding/tobogganing injuries include sprains, strains, cuts, and fractures.  The most dangerous injuries occur to the head and neck.

    Sledding/Tobogganing injuries can be reduced or eliminated by following a few guidelines.  The sledding/tobogganing area should be free of obstructions.  The path should not cross water, streets, or drop-offs.  Since headfirst sledding/tobogganing is extremely dangerous, riders should always face forward.  Children should always wear helmets and have adult supervision.

For skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and tobogganing, common sense precautions of dressing appropriately, using protective gear and equipment that is in good working order, staying hydrated, being aware of changes in weather and other conditions, and adhering to rules, signs, and warnings are vital not only for you but for the safety of others.  Participants in these sports need to be in good physical condition, stay alert, and stop when they are tired or in pain.

If you or a family member has suffered an injury while participating in a winter sport, please schedule an appointment at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Beaches.  One of our highly-skilled physicians will be happy to evaluate the injury and prescribe the best course of action to get you back in the game.  Contact us today at 904-241-1204 or online at


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