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The studio celebrates the grand opening of its second location with gratis workouts starting Saturday. By Caroline Cunningham
The new Fuse Pilates studio includes a Ladder Room. Photograph courtesy of Fuse.

Fans of Fuse Pilates, time to clear your weekend schedule: The Dupont Circle studio’s first sister location opens Saturday, and to celebrate, co-owners Roxanna Hakimi and Mariska Breland are offering free classes at both outposts.

Fuse, which has earned devotees for its blend of traditional Pilates with high-energy music and other types of exercises, is expanding into a 2,500-square-foot space on the second floor of 1401 14th Street, Northwest. The new location features two large group fitness studios and a third for one-on-one classes, rehab, and health coaching. One of the group fitness rooms is equipped with 11 ladders for the Fuse Ladder full-body workout, which involves climbing, hanging, lunging, and squatting on the apparatus; the second will be used for mat classes, such as Fuse Toys, which uses weights and balls in the all-levels exercises.

The weekend kicks off with gratis classes on Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 AM at both Fuse locations and continues with a free lunchtime class on Monday at noon and three Thursday “happy hour” classes—including an ’80s-themed session at 8 PM—at the 14th Street studio. Wrap up the Pilates party with an actual happy hour with snacks and drinks Thursday night. (See the full schedule online.)

Also good to note: If you sign up for a five- or ten-class package this weekend, you’ll receive 30 percent off the regular price.

Fuse Pilates. 2008 Hillyer Pl., NW, 202-525-3767; 1401 14th St., NW.

Posted at 01:48 PM/ET, 10/23/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Protein is key for fueling her intense workouts. By Tanya Pai
Christy Adkins. Photograph courtesy of DC Brawlers.

Are you a local health, nutrition, or fitness expert with a love of food? Keep a food diary for us! E-mail for details.

Christy Adkins is a member of Washington’s newest professional sports team, the DC Brawlers. The team—one of eight groups in the National Pro Grid League and the inaugural champions—competes in coed functional fitness “human performance races.” Christy, 29, is a graduate of George Washington University, where she played Division 1 lacrosse; she now works as a registered nurse and a personal trainer. She started CrossFit workouts seven years ago, and has placed in the top ten in the CrossFit Games three times since 2009.

As a pro athlete, her daily schedule involves plenty of physical activity, so to fuel up for her grueling workouts, she relies on a diet rich in protein and healthy fats, plus plenty of vegetables and even the occasional chocolatey treat. Between training sessions and indulging her love of bacon, she likes to spend time with her husband, Tim, and their yellow Lab, Bella. Read on for a look at a typical day of eating for Christy.

7 AM: “I always wake up hungry and ready for coffee right away. Luckily, my husband makes coffee before he leaves the house at 5, so there is some waiting for me. I like to drink it black or with heavy cream if we have it. I love when I have the time in the morning to sit, sip coffee, and eat an About Time bar with almond butter. If I’m heading into DC for work, I eat this on my drive.”

8 AM: “I cooked applewood-smoked bacon in a pan, threw in some frozen veggies or the leftovers from dinner, and let them cook in the bacon grease. Then I added three eggs for a delicious scramble.”

11 AM: “After an hour and a half of lifting (five sets of five back squats, heavy double snatches, and snatch pulls), this fuel pack gave me the energy I needed to get through my sets of weighted pull-ups and powers me through a conditioning workout with rowing on the erg, muscle-ups on the rings, and dumbbell clean-and-jerks. The Fuel for Fire packs are just puréed sweet potato, apple, and whey protein. I like that they don’t upset my stomach while giving me the carbs I need without any of the fake stuff like some of the goos and gel packs have.”

12:30 PM: “My post-workout protein shake—just water and chocolate About Time protein.”

2 PM: “Lunch was leftovers from dinner last night: grass-fed, organic ground beef purchased from the Organic Butcher, cooked in a no-sugar-added marinara sauce from Trader Joe’s, and served over spaghetti squash.”

2:30 PM: “Afternoon coffee with something special added. CrossFit friends and some of my Grid teammates got me hooked on coffee blended with organic butter and coconut oil. Add a tablespoon of each to hot coffee, blend on high, and get a yummy, creamy, high-in-good-fats coffee treat.”

5 PM: “I needed a snack to tide me over until dinner. I made an open-face pb&j sandwich with Paleo bread, almond butter, and Crofter’s organic raspberry fruit spread. My mom visited last week and bought this bread for us, but I usually make my own with a really simple recipe that consists of almond flour and eggs.”

7 PM: “I roasted an organic brined chicken I bought at Trader Joe’s following this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo. I used sweet potatoes and a regular onion instead of her suggested veggies. I cooked some more bacon in a pan, then sliced Brussel sprouts in half and tossed them in. I could seriously cook all my vegetables in bacon fat; sometimes I’ll do coconut oil instead, but my true love is bacon.”

9:30 PM: “Sometimes at night I will have a couple pieces of dark chocolate or some Paleocrunch from Steve’s Club. Almost every night, I make a shake with chocolate About Time nighttime protein, a frozen banana, a spoonful of almond butter, ice, and water. It’s a sweet treat that helps me not wake up hungry in the middle of the night!”

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 10/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Experts share their advice on ways to avoid getting hurt. By Dora Grote
There's no room for injury when training for a fall run. Photograph via Shutterstock.

1. Follow the Rule of Ten

If you want to push yourself, build up slowly: Run 10 percent farther than you did last week, or add 10 percent more weight than you lifted last week, says Dr. Rajeev Pandarinath, an assistant professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

2. Don’t Lift Above the Shoulders

Our bodies aren’t built to lift heavy weight over our shoulders, says Dr. Kenneth Fine of the Orthopaedic Center in Rockville. When you’re holding your arms out at a 90-degree angle from your body, the weight shouldn’t go above that.

Says Fine: “The irony is that shoulder presses are not important for the human body, and many elite athletes do not do this exercise, whereas amateur athletes often do. An overhead press puts too much unhealthy stress on the rotator cuff.”

3. Cross-Train

Exercising for several hours a day can be healthy, but it’s best to mix the types of exercise. “Limit any particular activity to one hour a day,” Fine says.

4. Warm Up

Light cardio exercises to warm up your muscles, followed by gentle stretching, can help prevent injuries. More dynamic stretching, such as walking lunges and high knees, can help prepare you for high-intensity workouts such as CrossFit, Pandarinath says.

5. Listen to Your Body

“We like to think we’re still in our twenties, so we train with a lot of gusto and cross a line and start having shoulder and knee pain,” says Dr. Chris Annunziata of Commonwealth Orthopaedics in Arlington.

As more runs and marathons have cropped up, people are “diving in too quickly,” causing injuries, says Dr. Daniel Pereles of Montgomery Orthopaedics. CrossFit and Tough Mudders, among other workouts, can lead to rotator-cuff tendinitis (from lifting weight overhead) as well as knee tendinitis and stress fractures (both from repeatedly jumping).

It’s fine to challenge yourself, but don’t ignore your body’s messages.

Not sure if you're over-exercising? Read more about when to consult a specialist and therapy treatments that could help relieve your aches and pains here.

This article appears in our October 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 03:00 PM/ET, 10/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This elegant appetizer is as easy as it is tasty. By Tanya Pai
Photograph by Rebecca Scritchfield.

Want to impress your friends at your next potluck? Try registered dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield’s recipe for kiwi-prosciutto crostini, an easy appetizer that’s as pretty as it is healthy—not to mention delicious. Bright green kiwi fruit has “more vitamin C than an orange and as much potassium as a banana,” Scritchfield says. “They’re also a great source of micronutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants, and they’re high in fiber.”

Kiwis are in season through the month, and Scritchfield makes the most of their tangy flavor by pairing the fruit with cool goat cheese and thin slices of prosciutto. The dish packs a sweet-salty punch and is a great way to sneak in a serving of fruit, which Scritchfield says nearly 70 percent of Americans don’t eat enough of.

Yield: 16 servings
Per-serving nutrition: 100 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 230 milligrams sodium, 11 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein.

16 slices toasted crostini*
1 package (4 ounces) garlic-and-herb goat cheese
2 kiwis
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto (8 slices), cut in half

1) Spread crostini slices with goat cheese.
2) Peel and slice each kiwi lengthwise into 8 slices. (A serrated peeler works great for this.)
3) Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each piece of kiwi.
4) Top crostini with prosciutto-wrapped kiwifruit. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 30 minutes.

*To make crostini, heat broiler. Slice 8-ounce baguette into ¼-inch slices. Using about 1½ tablespoons olive oil, lightly brush each slice. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes per side. Cool on wire rack. (May be made up to 2 days before serving. Store in airtight container.)

Have a healthy recipe to share? E-mail for a chance to be featured on Well+Being.

Posted at 02:30 PM/ET, 10/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
What to eat (and avoid) at Starbucks, Pret a Manger, and other grab-and-go spots. By Caroline Cunningham
Salted almonds from Starbucks will give you a hit of protein in a portion-controlled serving. Image via Shutterstock.

It’s 3:32 in the afternoon and you’re starving. Dinner is still a few hours away, and that bag of all-natural trail mix you meant to bring to work is sitting on the kitchen counter at home. Before you give up and reach for a sugar-laden baked good from your favorite coffee chain, try one of these healthier grab-and-go options that will keep you satisfied and help you avoid another energy crash.


While a slice of the iced lemon pound cake may sound light and airy, its 470 calories and 47 grams of sugar say otherwise. Avoid the pastry case and go for a pack of salted almonds instead; the nuts are packed with monounsaturated fats, which are great for your cardiovascular system, and protein to calm your growling stomach.

Corner Bakery

The “nuts equal healthy” rule doesn’t carry over here, however, where the 690-calorie maple pecan bar offers a whopping 37 grams of fat and 51 grams of sugar. Try the seasonal fruit medley and a pack of bakery chips, which contain a much more reasonable 8 grams of fat.

Pret a Manger

The “hearty grains” muffin may sound healthy, but with 470 calories and 26 grams of fat, it’s a frightening false advertisement. Swap the muffin for mixed fruit for an all-natural sugar kick, paired with Pret’s organic popcorn for something that’s truly whole-grain.


If you’re in the mood to sip your snack, don’t attempt to down one of Potbelly’s milkshakes. The mocha shake packs a mind-boggling 802 calories and 100 percent of your daily recommended value of saturated fat. Instead, go for the mixed-berry smoothie, which at 464 calories isn’t ideal but at least has a third of the fat and many more antioxidants than its coffee-flavored counterpart.


While you don’t really have to ask whether Cosi’s Mississippi mud pie is good for you, you’d be surprised to know how much sugar also sneaks its way into the “healthy” yogurt parfaits. The Greek yogurt clocks in at 24 grams, while the strawberry fresh fruit parfait has nearly double that. Ditch the dairy and try a bag of carrots, a fruit cup, or even a turkey sandwich off the kids’ menu.

Au Bon Pain

Pecans are going to give us a complex: ABP’s 740-calorie pecan roll contains 43 grams of fat. Instead, go for hardboiled eggs, which have 13 grams of protein to give you that last-leg-of-the-day power boost you need. Or if your sweet tooth will not be denied, try the 230-calorie pack of chocolate covered almonds.

Posted at 12:20 PM/ET, 10/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
What’s the man version of “whimsical”? By Tanya Pai
The burrito-print Brogamat bag. Photographs courtesy of Dan Abramson.

Here at Well+Being, we love a good yoga session almost as much as we love a nice burrito. Now, thanks to Dan Abramson, there’s a product that combines the two. Abramson, who’s based in San Francisco, is the creator of Brogamats: extra-long, extra-thick yoga mats designed with men in mind but appropriate for “people of all walks of life, all genders, all Lululemon budgets, and all levels of earthy pretentiousness,” as the website declares. Even more fun than the mats themselves are the bags to put them in, which come in solid colors or printed with man-friendly things like bears, plaid, and, yes, an image of a foil-wrapped burrito (though it’s unfortunately currently sold out).

Brogamats are available online, along with Abramson’s Kickstarter-funded Yoga Joes—a collection of GI Joe look-alike toys molded into traditional yoga poses, aimed at getting a wider audience interested in the practice. Both would make a great gift for your favorite yoga enthusiast with a sense of humor; it’s never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts, after all.

Don’t see the perfect design? Abramson happily takes suggestions—“the best ideas come from people around me,” he says via e-mail. Our picks for Washington-centric versions: seersucker (the official unofficial Washington summer uniform), a Metro map (for when you want to be simultaneously relaxed and tense), and an all-over Shackburger print so you can dream about what you’ll be doing after yoga. Check out the current Brogamats bag collection below, and share your design suggestions in the comments.

Posted at 04:30 PM/ET, 10/14/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Tweets and pictures from the road race, which turned 30 this year. By Tanya Pai

On Sunday morning, around 35,000 runners gathered for the 30th annual Army Ten Miler. Of the 26,238 finishers, 25-year-old Kerri Gallagher won the women’s overall for the third consecutive year, finishing in 54:50—six seconds faster than her 2013 time, which broke the course record. Army Spc. Caroline Jepleting, who flew in from Germany for the race, came in second in the women's division, earning the top US military finisher spot with a time of 56:34. Solonei Da Silva, 32, won the men’s overall for the second year in a row, with a time of 48:28.

The 2015 Army Ten-Miler is scheduled for October 11. Read on for some highlights from this year’s race below, and see more photos via Flickr.

Read More

Posted at 12:45 PM/ET, 10/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Put down the pumpkin bread and try roasted sweet potatoes instead. By Caroline Cunningham
Local chains are offering healthy fall-themed dishes such as pumpkin soup. Image via Shutterstock.

Pumpkin-flavored treats are popping up everywhere, but indulging in all of the breads, cupcakes, muffins, and lattes—many of which are loaded with sugar, fat, and empty calories to keep you craving more—unfortunately doesn’t count as a balanced diet.

Instead, we’d like to introduce you to five fall specials around town that will allow you to taste the season without ditching your healthy eating plan.

Turkey & Cheddar on 9-Grain Cranberry Ciabatta at Au Bon Pain

The cranberry ciabatta bread is certainly festive, but it’s also responsible for 290 of the 550 calories in this sandwich. Dine open-faced instead, and focus on the rest of this flavor-packed meal: savory turkey, cheddar cheese, and arugula with an apple butter and mustard spread.

Jamaican Sweet Pumpkin and Vegetable at Soup Up DC

This Union Market eatery offers a fun alternative to basic pumpkin soup. It’s composed of locally grown vegetables and is gluten-, additive-, and preservative-free, making it a great choice to warm up on a chilly October afternoon.

Sweet Potato Falafel Flatbread at Pret A Manger

This fun twist on a Mediterranean staple brings pumpkin’s superfood cousin, sweet potato, into play. The falafel is topped with immunity-boosting pickled cabbage and carrots paired with cool tzatziki sauce and tomatoes, and the whole ensemble rests on Pret’s artificial-flavoring-free flatbread. Though this sandwich offers 25 grams of protein, it contains about half the daily recommended amount of sodium; if you’re watching your salt intake, you may want to give this one a pass.

Roasted Turkey and Fall Vegetables Salad at Sweetgreen

The salad chain’s new menu includes this bowl of organic mesclun topped with roasted turkey, in-season Brussels sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes, and a cranberry vinaigrette. This is a low-calorie, vitamin-packed way to treat your taste buds to the harvest season in a low-calorie, vitamin-packed meal.

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup at Cosi

Sip this cancer-fighting soup made with butternut squash (not pumpkin, as the name suggests) and spiked with chipotle sauce. The bright orange fall vegetable is packed with alpha and beta carotene, which can help prevent the spread of cancer cells.

Posted at 11:15 AM/ET, 10/10/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Zumba classes, spa days, and more ways to benefit the cause. By Tanya Pai
Show your pink pride with these Breast Cancer Awareness Month events. Image via Shutterstock.

According to the American Cancer Society, women in the US have a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. Though the figures are lower, a number of men are diagnosed every year, as well. Breast Cancer Awareness Month, recognized each October, aims to increase awareness and education about the deadly disease and raise money to put toward finding a cure. Local organizations, workout studios, and businesses are hosting events this month to show their support. Know of one that’s not on the list? Let us know in the comments—and don’t forget to enter this week’s photo contest, themed around the color pink for breast cancer awareness.

Pink Party at Celadon Spa

The downtown DC day spa is donating 20 percent of sales from certain services to Breast Care for Washington DC. Think Kevyn Aucoin makeup lessons, Deborah Lippman mani-pedis, massages, and more. October 9, noon to 6 PM.

The Capital Wheel Goes Pink

Here’s a good reason to check out the Capital Wheel at National Harbor: This weekend, the lights on the Ferris wheel will be pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and when riders show up wearing the rosy hue, a portion of the proceeds from their ticket purchase will go to the Inova Life With Cancer Family Center. Look for area retailers displaying pink ribbons; a portion of their sales will also benefit Inova. October 10 through 13.

Dance Party With Makers Lab

Makers Lab offers up a “workout dance party,” featuring a hip-hop dance set to tunes from a deejay, plus refreshments in the form of Raw juices. Tickets ($20) include a complimentary juice, and proceeds benefit ZuriWorks for Women’s Health, which aims to increase cancer awareness and education. October 19, 4 to 7 PM.

The Great Pink Pumpkin Fights Breast Cancer

Turn your usual weekend partying into a philanthropic effort with this Friday-night event at the Midtown Party Plex. Participate in a costume contest, watch a fashion show, try out some pink hair extensions, and hit the cash bar; proceeds from ticket sales ($20 in advance, $25 at the door) benefit the nonprofit We Will Survive Cancer. October 24, 8 to 11 PM.

Barbells 4 Breast Cancer

Fitness Together Capitol Hill has partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation for a bench-press competition to raise money for education and services. For every pound a participating athlete lifts, $1 will be donated to the foundation. If you’re not into lifting weights, you can sponsor individual athletes and participate in the raffle. October 25, 8 to 11 AM.

Race for Every Woman 5K

Alpha Breast Cancer Support Services holds a 5K run/walk beginning at Arlington’s Bon Air Park. Register as an individual for $10, or gather your friends and go as a team. Proceeds will go toward breast cancer awareness among Ethiopian and Eritrean women. October 25, 9 AM.

Ride for the Cure DC

Suit up in pink and head to a step or indoor-cycling class at Metro Center’s Crunch Fitness to benefit the cause. KTX Fitness trainer Keith Thompson leads the sessions; a portion of the proceeds from class sales ($30 each) benefit breast cancer awareness. October 25 and 26, multiple sessions.

Phunktions Phitness Day

Head to College Park for a daylong fitness event with Phunktions Hip Hop Dance Company to benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Start the morning with a 5K, then check out a range of fitness classes that includes yoga, core boot camp, and ballroom-dance basics. Tickets are $20 for the 5K and classes, or $15 for the classes only. October 26, 9 AM to 6 PM.

WorkOUT Breast Cancer

The For Goodness Sake Foundation hosts a fundraising event at the Reebok Fithub in Georgetown. A $25 ticket gets you a Zumba workout with a Reebok instructor, 15 percent off in-store merchandise, a swag bag, light bites, mini spa services, and more. Even better, 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit Capital Breast Care Center. October 26, 2 to 4:30 PM.

Find Tanya Pai on Twitter at @tanyapai.

Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 10/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
As CrossFit, Tough Mudders, and marathons become more popular, Washingtonians are suffering more sports injuries. Here’s how to avoid overdoing it—plus good treatment options if you do hurt yourself. By Dora Grote
To avoid injury, Dr. Kenneth Fine suggests limiting any one exercise to an hour a day. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

Beth McCann was jogging on the W&OD Trail in Arlington a few years back when severe pain literally stopped her in her tracks.

A registered nurse at the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, McCann had been an almost daily jogger for 30 years. When training for a marathon (she runs about one a year), she can log nearly 50 miles in a week.

On this October day—she had been training for the Marine Corps Marathon—she barely managed to walk home. A visit to a sports-medicine specialist revealed a stress fracture in her lower back. She ended up on crutches for six weeks and was unable to run for a year.

The specialist McCann saw was Kenneth Fine of the Orthopaedic Center, which has locations in DC and Rockville. Dr. Fine, she says, made her realize the importance of rest (she hadn’t been sleeping well before her injury but continued to be on the go) and of listening to her body during exercise (she had ignored aches and pains before the fracture).

McCann started getting deep-tissue massages every two to four weeks to help with circulation to the injured area. During the year she couldn’t run, she took spinning classes and lifted weights; now that she’s able to run again, she still takes days off from jogging to spin and weightlift.

“I’m a push-the-envelope kind of athlete, and that will get you in trouble, as I have found out,” says the 54-year-old Arlington resident.

It’s a common problem in Washington. As CrossFit, Tough Mudder competitions, and marathons are becoming increasingly popular, overuse injuries are taking a toll.

“Washington has a high number of people who are very motivated and disciplined, sometimes to the point of being obsessive, which can lead to over-exercising,” Fine says. While he notes that exercise is important in managing or staving off stress and illness, an obsession with exercise “leads to our area having a very high fitness level but to more overuse injuries. You will see the orthopedic surgeon more often, but you’ll see other doctors less often.”

When to Consult a Specialist

As the name suggests, sports-medicine doctors study and treat athletic injuries such as ligament and cartilage tears, stress fractures, and muscle and tendon strains.

The basic treatment for minor or moderate sports injuries has remained the same for years—ice for the first 48 hours paired with 72 hours of rest and elevation. How do you know when an injury is severe enough to see a doctor? One key sign is if you can’t bear weight on the affected area.

“If it hurts you a little bit to walk, it’s okay to wait and protect yourself and not exercise,” says Dr. Chris Annunziata of Commonwealth Orthopaedics in Arlington. “Give it up to a week and you should be getting better with ice, elevation, and rest. If it doesn’t get better, go to the doctor.”

While physicians not trained in sports medicine might treat just the acute injury, a sports-medicine specialist will also try to determine what led to the injury—and then to correct any problems with the goal of maximizing future performance.

“If someone is a long-distance runner, do they have inflexibility of their muscles or an imbalance of strength?” Annunziata says. “We try to direct care to affect those causes.”

Sports-medicine specialists are trained to get you back on your feet as safely and as soon as possible and to keep you moving even during treatment.

Says Annunziata: “If a runner comes in with knee irritation, we will allow them to do swimming, elliptical training, and cycling to improve lower-extremity flexibility around the knee and hip.”

From Dry Needling to Plasma

A sports-medicine doctor usually will do one of several things to treat an injury. He or she may prescribe anti-inflammatory pills or give an anti-inflammatory shot. If trained as an orthopedist—many othopedists have experience with sports-related injuries—the doctor will perform any necessary surgery.

Depending on the injury, a sports-medicine doctor may send you to physical therapy. Some physical therapists are also certified in sports medicine. As with any sports specialist, their aim is first to identify the reason the injury may have occurred.

“I look at how you are moving—are you having neck pain when you turn your head?—and try to figure out the source of your pain,” says Stacy King, owner of Aspire PT & Wellness in Bethesda, who is an orthopedic clinical specialist.

Once the problem is identified, a physical therapist will, among other things, give a patient stretches and corrective exercises to improve flexibility and strength.

Dry needling is a new trend in therapy that, like acupuncture, involves inserting needles into the body. While acupuncture follows a set of points and meridians, dry needling targets trigger points in muscles that are causing pain. The goal is to get a twitch response, which feels like a muscle cramp and which ultimately relaxes the muscle.

“It’s a faster form of treating trigger points,” King says. “The patient often feels the benefits quickly—some feel results immediately.” The average number of treatments is four, and side effects can include muscle soreness and bruising.

A physical therapist must be trained to do dry needling, through an organization such as Kinetacore, and this treatment isn’t for everyone. Someone who is in the first trimester of pregnancy, has a clotting disorder, or is within six weeks of having surgery shouldn’t receive dry needling.

Other therapies are on the horizon for treating serious or lingering sports injuries—including those that rely on the human body, such as plasma and stem cells, to accelerate healing.

PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, therapy is one such treatment. A patient’s own blood is centrifuged, separating it into layers. The platelet-rich layer, full of growth factors, is then injected back into the patient.

Although the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons hasn’t yet validated PRP as a scientifically proven method of treatment—it’s being studied—Fine says he and other doctors are using it.

“I have used it in cases such as elbow tendinitis and plantar fascitis where patients have not improved with standard treatments,” he says. “The pros are that it makes intuitive sense to inject growth factors to try to stimulate tissue to heal, and there are some studies showing its benefits. The cons are that we really don’t know at what concentration they would work best. There are many studies that show no improvement from PRP.”

While Fine says he hasn’t seen serious negative side effects, possible ones include infection, blood clots, nerve pain or injury, skin discoloration, and worsening of symptoms.

Other treatments in the experimental stages include stem-cell therapy and human-growth-hormone injections into joints. “Stem cells are being used, but they are in the very early stages, so there really are no good scientific articles,” Fine says.

Choosing a Doctor

Many family physicians now are very well versed in sports medicine; you might check if your primary-care doctor is board-certified in the field. Other medical specialties allow physicians to get a Certificate of Added Qualifications in sports medicine. Orthopedic surgeons, for example, can do a fellowship and take a written test through the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery to become certified in sports medicine. The American Board of Family Medicine offers a similar test for family doctors. Licensed physical therapists—who don’t have an MD—can also become board-certified through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialities.

“It’s a sexy thing to tell your patients you’re a sports-medicine specialist,” Fine says, “but not everyone is certified.”

Want to see a sports-medicine practitioner? You can find certified specialists at

To find recommended sports-medicine specialists, orthopedists, and rehabilitation doctors, see our Top Doctors list.

This article appears in the October 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 12:50 PM/ET, 10/08/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()