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Office Hours

(By Appointment)

Mon    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tue     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wed    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Thu     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Frid     8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sat and Sun  Closed

 

Quest Lab hours:     Mon-Fri 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Plantar Fasciitis

Foot pain is a common problem. We often take our feet for granted and do not realize how disabling foot pain can be until we have it.  Plantar fasciitis is one for the most common foot problems I encounter in my practice. It is often triggered when we start or ramp up an exercise program. It is also one of the most common reasons why people give up their exercise efforts. As we head towards the new year many of us are resolving to get healthy and fit. Don't let this common problem get in your way of establishing an exercise routine. I have added a segment on plantar fasciitis under our Adult Wellness Guide. I hope you find it helpful.

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

Tis the Season.. for Heartburn

This is the start of the holiday seasons! And unfortunately the season for weight gain and heartburn. It is a fun time of year from Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah, New Year's, Super Bowl Sunday, through Valentine's Day. But as typical Americans we tend to overdue it in the eating department. My first word of advice is know it and plan ahead so not to fall into the winter 10 lb weight gain club. Control portions and plan ahead to avoid over eating at parties and family gatherings.  And remember to not skip out on your exercise routine. However, in the spirit of the seasons I have added a new section to the Adult Wellness Guide portion of our website dedicated to heartburn, symptoms and treatment. I hope you find it helpful.

 

Happy Halloween

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

Measles

Many of you have heard that there has been a reported case of active Measles in Fairfax and Loundon County. This has been the first and so far only case reported in our area. However, over the past several years there has been reported outbreakes of several preventable disease in communities across the United States, including Measles, Mumps, Whooping cough, and meningitis.

The medical community has all been put on high alert to look for, screen for and report any suspicious cases. The Fairfax County Health Department, CDC, and local hopsitals have been fabulous in getting information out to the public and to the health care community. If you think you may have been exposed or have conerning symptoms, call our office for information or contact the Fairfax County Health department.

I would like to take this time to urge our patients and the general community to take advantage of the availabilty of vaccines for preventable diseases. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of misinformation out there about vaccine safety.  As a result some individuals have decided not to vaccinate themselves or their children. Vaccination in the United States is safe and effective. To date no studies have shown any link to vaccines being the cause of Autism or weakening the immune system. If you would like to read more indepth information on vaccine safety, I recommend www.cdc.gov.

 

Next time you are in the office for an appointment, please request that your provider review your immunization history to determine if you would benefit from any vaccinations.

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

Concussions

There has been much in the news about the seriousness of concussions outlined by NFL players stories and some rather tragic incidents with high school athletes. I have delt with a concussion in one of my own children and have treated many patients with concussions. I thought it would be useful the put out some basic information about concussions, what they are and how they are treated.

 

What is a concussion?

 

The simplest way to think of a concussion is a brain that has been bruised. The brain, which is a solid organ, is suspended (floats) in a small amount of fluid (cerebral spinal fluid) and is protected by the skull (bone). When the head takes a hit, for example from a fall, tackle, motor vechile accident, the force of the blow causes the brain to hit the hard surface of the skull. This force causes the brain to then move in the opposite direction and hit the skull on the opposite side.  Think of the action of the typical bobble head doll. When the dolls head is flicked the head goes back and forth several times. Depending on the amount of force it may do this a few times or many. The action of the brain hitting the skull causes injury, bruising, a concussion.

 

What are the symptoms of a consussion?

 

First a few key points. Every head injury should be evaluated immediately. If you have a child athlete, the Commonwealth of Virginia, has trained all public school coaches and trainers in sideline evaluation of head injury and all athletes have completed a pre-season concussion test. In addition, Commonwealth of Virginia law requires any school athlete who has sustained a head injury to not return to game or practice until cleared by a health provider.

 

That being said, symptoms of a concussion vary from person to person and are affected by factors such as the force of the hit. Symptoms can be immediate or may be delayed up to several days.

 

Urgent symptoms that require immediate medical treatment:

 

loss of consciousness

seizure

appears dazed or stunned

confused

moves clumsily

responds to questions slowly or incorrectly

can't recall events prior to or immediatey after the hit

 

Less urgent signs, but evauation by a health provider is still recommended

 

headache

vomiting

fuzzy vision

feeling mentally foggy

nausea

balance problems

light and noise sensitivity

changes in sleeep

changes in mood (irritable, sad, nervous)

concentration problems or forgetful

 

Treatment:

 

Every head injury should be evaluated by a health provider. Alarm type symptoms should be evaluated immediately by the local emergency departement. Milder symptoms should be evaluated as soon as possible and ideally within 24 hours.

 

I recommend:

 

Rest. Stop physical activity and exercise.

Avoid electronics. No TV, computer, lap top, IPAD, smart phone, electronic reader devices.

Avoid mentally demanding activity (school and work).

Do not drink alcohol or use ellicit drugs.

Get plenty of sleep.

Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet with adequate protein and complex carbohydrates.

See your health care provider and follow their recommendations.

 

The providers of Capital Family practice evaluate and treat concussions. If you have had a head injury call us for an appointment to be evaluated. We also work very closely with our local specialists including neurology, neurosurgery, physical therapy, and behavior therapist when more specialized care is needed.

 

For additonal information on this topic go to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at www.cdc.gov/NCIPC.

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD

Camp, Sport and School Year Physicals

It is that time of year to plan for summer camp, school entrance and sports physicals for the next academic year!

 

Many parents and children are just concered about getting "the form" completed so that their child can participate in a camp, athletic program or enter a school. Most children are healthy and the paperwork can be viewed as a hassel. Many urgent care centers and schools will preform very brief evaluations to get the forms completed in bulk. However, I would urge you to schedule your child's physical with your health care provider. We are concerned about much more than "the form".  This is an opportunity for a complete health evaluation including review of medical history, screening for health problems, physical exam, udating and discussing important immunizations. Maintaining a good relationship between a child and health care provider is also very important as children grow to become young adults.

 

Under our Pediatric Corner we have provided links to may of the required school forms. School entrance physicals are good for 1 year prior to the entrance of school. Athletic forms may be completed after May 1st for the following academic year. Summer camps, as well as, colleges have individual requirement for completion dates, so please check with your specific camp, college or university.

 

We look forward to seeing you and making sure your summer and next academic year is happy and healthy.

 

Kathleen M. Curtis MD