Category: ‘In the News’

Dr. Plancher provided opinion to Men’s Journal about The Real Reason to Get a Physical Before You Hit the Gym

Posted in In the News | August 24, 2017


The Real Reason to Get a Physical Before You Hit the Gym

by Laura Williams, 8/24/17

Newsflash: If you’re worried that exercise could cause a heart attack, it’s pretty unlikely. A 2015 study published in the journal Circulation found that only five percent of sudden cardiac arrests in middle-aged adults take place during “sporting” activities. Those who do experience heart complications during exercise are much more likely to be witnessed by bystanders, receive immediate care, and have a positive (i.e. survival) outcome. Frankly, you’re much more likely to die of cardiac arrest while sitting on your couch at home than you are to die of one at the gym.

But what’s really significant about this study is easy to miss. Of the heart attacks that take place during exercise, the majority of the victims had one or more risk factors, as well as cardiovascular symptoms in the week preceding the attack, and in some cases, a known preexisting heart disease. In other words, exercise didn’t cause the attacks — underlying conditions did. (more…)

Dr. Plancher was quoted in HEALTH on the topic of Runner’s Knee

Posted in In the News, Sports Injuries, Sports Injury, Trail Running | August 14, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Runner’s Knee–Even If You’re Not a Runner

You don’t have to run to develop patellofemoral pain syndrome, and fortunately, this knee pain is most often treatable without surgery.

Cindy Kuzma, August 14, 2017

What is runner’s knee?

Runner’s knee earned its nickname because of how frequently it strikes a specific type of athlete. But you don’t have to pin on a race bib or do laps around a track to develop this knee pain. “I don’t call it runner’s knee in front of my patients, because even non-runners get it,” says Alice Holland, DPT, of Stride Strong Physical Therapy in Portland, Oregon. (more…)

Dr. Kevin Plancher was quoted in in a story about 5 Fitness-Injury Horror Stories

Posted in General Orthopaedics, In the News, Injury Prevention, Sports Injuries | July 28, 2017

ER Doctors Share 5 Fitness-Injury Horror Stories

Every year there are upward of half a million gym-related injuries treated in emergency rooms. Direct from the ER docs who treated them, here are some of the gnarliest.

Laura Williams, MS, July 28, 2017

Scraping your legs on the front of a plyo box or pulling a muscle on the treadmill is one thing, but some of the things that happen to people who are just trying to get fit can blow your mind.

In 2006, weightlifter “Big” Brian Bach loaded up the squat rack, started his set, then collapsed to the ground. His femur had broken in one leg and his tibia and fibula in the other leg. (more…)

Dr. Harvey was featured in an article titled “9 Ways to Have Fun While Fun While Getting Fit”

Posted in In the News, Strength Training | May 15, 2017

9 Ways to Have Fun While Getting Fit

MAY 15, 2017

See why these workouts are shaping up to be the coolest ways to work up a sweat.

In our technology-dependent society, people are more sedentary than ever. As a direct result of this lack of physical activity, a variety of serious health problems have begun affecting much of the world. According to the World Health Organization, the lack of physical activity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. It is also the main cause of about 21 to 25 percent of breast and colon cancers, 27 percent of diabetes and approximately 30 percent of ischaemic heart disease cases each year. The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of both). This breaks down to 30 minutes a day, five times a week. The term “physical activity” refers to any activity that involves bodily movements such as playing, working and doing house chores. Obviously, it also means exercising, which is a great way to be physically active.

Thanks to large nationwide gyms as well as small boutique gyms, along with fitness centers and studios, exercising is a whole lot cooler and more fun these days. Unique classes are perfect for gym enthusiasts who want a change from the same old bike or treadmill in the gym, as well as novice exercisers who need working out to be fun. What’s more, these fitness classes present a great opportunity to socialize with friends, expand your professional network and enjoy a shared experience with others, while being healthy and fun at the same time. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting fitness classes available today.

AIR: This 50-minute intense aerial fitness training class combines elements of conditioning, Pilates, ballet and high-intensity interval training on aerial hammocks. It is designed to strengthen, lengthen and tone the body.

Box + Flow: It’s all about energy, breathing, movement and music at this 55-minute class that includes shadowboxing and heavy bag work. “Box + Flow challenges participants to dig deeper and search inward to find their fight and then let things flow,” says Liv Young, founder of Box + Flow.

H.I.I.P. Hype: H.I.I.P. Hype alternates between painting and body-weight exercises. The class begins with a 15-minute warm up, followed by 45 minutes of alternating exercise and painting at one-minute intervals and ends with painting presentations.

Hot Hula Fitness: This hula-inspired class set to the sounds of traditional Polynesian drum beats mixed with funky Reggae music provides a total-body workout by helping to increase strength and define the core.

Karaoke Cycling: Offered at Crunch locations nationwide, participants in this class belt out the words to popular songs while cycling.

Mantra Flow: This class takes place at AQUA in TriBeCa in New York City, which features a candlelit pool with state-of-the-art cycling bikes immersed in the water. The Mantra Flow is an aqua-cycling class that incorporates endurance training, meditation and the healing principles of water for a complete mind-body experience.

POUND: Inspired by the energy that goes into playing the drums, this cardio jam session uses lightly weighted drumsticks to provide a full-body workout that combines cardio, conditioning and strength training with yoga and Pilates.

Spynga: Designed to help enhance equilibrium and agility, Spynga is a tandem cycling and yoga class. Participants spend 30 minutes on the bike, and then move to the yoga mat to cool down and balance the body.

Zennis: Visitors to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain (Paradise Valley, Arizona) can enjoy this yoga/tennis hybrid, which is led by Sanctuary’s tennis pros. It is a movement-based tennis clinic with a Zen component to promote relaxation, proper alignment and fluidity.

This is merely a sample of some of the many great classes available today at larger gyms, as well as small boutique studios nationwide. While each exercise class may present its own particular challenges, these innovative fitness classes provide unique (and effective) ways to get people moving without the dread of going to the gym for the same old stale workout routine. Additionally, these unique approaches to working out have helped attract many new gym-goers, and have helped motivate them to continue to exercise.

That said, whether you’re a gym rat or a fitness greenhorn, it’s important that all participants take the proper precautions to ensure they do not get injured. Margaret Harvey, D.O. with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine (Cos Cobb, Connecticut and New York City) provides tips for working out without getting hurt:

Warm Up: Run in place for a few minutes before stretching or working out to increase the body temperature, heart and blood flow rates, as well as loosen the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.

Stretch: Start stretching slowly and carefully until reaching a point of tension. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds, and then slowly and carefully release it. Stretching at home each day is recommended to help maintain flexibility.

Use A Light Touch: Rest hands lightly on the handrails of cardio machines, as clinging to them and being hunched over can cause an improper spine alignment.

Focus on Muscle Groups: Don’t put too much time and effort into one muscle. A better approach, according to Harvey, is to target more of your arms or shoulders with moves like the chest press or back row. The best exercises are those that work several muscles at the same time.

Wear Proper Shoes: Not all shoes are created equal. Just because you are wearing a pair of running shoes doesn’t mean that they are good for all exercises. “If they are worn for activities with a lot of side-to-side movement, it can cause the ankle to roll to the side, with the potential for a sprained or even broken ankle,” says Harvey. “Cross-training shoes are a better choice for sports like tennis or step classes.”

Consider Hiring a Professional. Using a machine incorrectly can cause potential injury. “Use the mirrors, if available, to monitor your form and technique,” says Harvey. She also advises to consider signing up with a personal trainer, even for just a couple of sessions, to gain some sensible tips for injury-free routines.

We hope these tips make your next and future workouts as much fun as possible. In addition to getting fit, we’ll tell you why exercising is a great way to clear your mind, and you try one of the new workouts we listed above, definitely let us know what you think, since we’re always looking for exciting ways to get healthier.

If you prefer more traditional exercises, consider going for a hike! Vacation time? Get some fresh air while exploring the Utah Mighty 5 and take in some wonderful sights! Now there’s Toplife, our new lifestyle blog created with you in mind. We are dedicated to exploring how people come together and participate in a global community

Dr. Plancher provided opinion for Energy Times on getting good golf shoulders

Posted in Blog, In the News | April 10, 2017

Getting Good Golf Shoulders

Spring is coming and the links are calling…but will your shoulders be ready for tee time?

“Playing golf well relies heavily on the strength and fitness of the muscles, tendons and joints in the shoulders just to drive the ball off the tee,” says orthopaedic surgeon Kevin Plancher, MD, ofPlancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

Weak shoulders can not only wreck your game but leave you prone to injury. To avoid major issues, “do sensible things, such as stopping play if your shoulder starts hurting during a game,” Plancher advises. “Avoid carrying a golf bag with a sore shoulder, and learn good technique for your swing.”

Plancher suggests the following preseason exercise routine to get your shoulders up to snuff.

Head rolls: Roll your ear gently to one side, toward the shoulder. Tilt head back and forth, repeating on opposite side. Continue for 60 seconds.

Shoulder stretches: Raise right arm in front of you, then bring to left, wrapping left elbow around right arm and pulling that arm closer to your chest. Reverse for left side. Continue 2-3 minutes.

Side stretches: With feet shoulder-width apart, raise right arm directly above head and lean shoulders to the left, swaying right hip slightly out. Feel the stretch along the right side of your body. Reverse for the left side. Continue 1-2 minutes.

Prone T: Lie face down on floor with a folded towel under your forehead. Arms should be out to the sides with palms facing floor. Squeeze shoulder blades together and left hands off floor until parallel to floor. Hold for 3 seconds and lower, repeating 10-12 times.

Lunge with a Twist: Stand in upright position and step forward with your right leg, maintaining your right knee over your right ankle. Rotate your trunk to the left and then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise on the opposite side. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

Forearm Plank with Arm Raise: Place your forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders. Raise your right arm out in front of you and hold for 2 seconds then lower back to the starting position. Repeat with the left arm. Perform 10 times on each side and then rest. Perform 3 rounds.

Reverse Chop with a Squat: Start in a squatting position, holding a weight or medicine ball with both hands next to your left hip. Keeping your arms straight, raise the weight across your body and overhead above your right shoulder while standing up from the squatting position. Lower back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and then switch. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Dr. Plancher was published in Westchester Family Magazine: Prevent Baseball Shoulder Injury

Posted in In the News | April 4, 2017

Prevent Baseball Shoulder Injury

By Kevin Plancher, M.D., April 4, 2017

As the warm weather approaches young athletes will begin hitting the baseball fields for spring training. In the spirit of competition, it will be tempting for these young athletes to start throwing and swinging for the rafters. However, a little pre-season conditioning is vital to build strength and flexibility to prevent a shoulder injury that could take a young player out of the game.

It’s not just professional players who need to go slowly; young athletes should also take precautions before they get onto the fields. Although baseball is not a contact sport, many kids are injured each year with shoulder injuries leading the way. The shoulder is the area most prone to injury for baseball players whether you are pitching or playing the field. Throwing a baseball sends a great amount of twisting force, called torque, into the rotator cuff (a series of four small muscles that holds the shoulder in place and decelerates the arm).

We suggest the following eight pre-season conditioning and best practices for young athletes once the season is underway to hopefully stay injury free.

Always start with a gentle warm up. Players should warm up with some moderate aerobic activity to get the blood flowing to the muscles and joints, such as a short jog or jumping rope. This should be followed by 5-10 minutes of pre-game (and practice) stretching to keep stressed areas flexible and strong. A strong shoulder involves greater dynamic range of motion but should not create hyper-flexibility through improper static stretching techniques. Proper warm up techniques include forward and backward arm circles, external and internal rotations and arm pumps.

Take it slow. Whether you are practicing or playing a game, young ball players should take it slow to best prepare and protect the shoulder muscles. Rotator cuff muscles are smaller, weaker muscles, and they tend to fatigue at a faster rate when engaged in strenuous activity.

Make sure your technique is spot on. Hitting, throwing or pitching a ball incorrectly can further stress the shoulder. Get advice from a coach to make sure your technique is correct.

Get strong with weight training. Focus on exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff and the muscles that stabilize the shoulder. Repetitions should be performed with light weight with the goal of strengthening underused muscles that hold the shoulder together. Young baseball players should do simple exercises such as the forward dumbbell raise or the lateral fly and substitute an incline press for a military press to avoid injury.

Work on your cardio. A cardiovascular fitness routine is the foundation for injury prevention and resilient muscles; aim for 20 to 30 minutes a day before and during the baseball season.

Don’t overdo it. We caution young athletes (and their parents) against pitching in multiple leagues simultaneously because the body needs a break from the wear and tear of throwing. We agree with Little League Baseball’s official advice that pitching be limited to a maximum of six innings per week and include mandatory rest periods between starts (the ideal is four days off).

Don’t play through the pain. Most joint injuries only worsen with continued stress so pay attention to your body. Players need to know the difference between an overuse injury, which tends to be less severe and responsive to self-treatment, and a traumatic injury, which should be evaluated by an orthopaedist immediately. As a general rule, young athletes should call a doctor if a significant affliction fails to improve within 24 hours; if they have extreme pain, swelling or fever, if they have muscle weakness or if they hear a cracking or popping sound with the injury.

Rest. Most rotator cuff injuries will resolve themselves within 3-4 weeks with the RICE treatment – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Resting the joint immediately and slowly resuming activity with gentle stretches and strengthening exercises as it heals is far better than rushing the rehabilitation.

Kevin D. Plancher, M.D., is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and the founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a general orthopaedics and sports medicine practice with offices in New York City and Greenwich, Conn.


Dr. Plancher was featured in Healthy Aging on Collagen Meniscus Implants

Posted in In the News | March 24, 2017

Dr. Plancher was published in Healthy Aging on collagen meniscus implants for the knee. Read more here.

Dr. Plancher was featured in Newsmax Health on a New Fix for Tennis Elbow

Posted in In the News | March 8, 2017

Tennis Elbow Fix: New Technique Eases Pain for Weekend Warriors

By Charlotte Libov   |   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017

A new technique that relieves severe tennis elbow faster and more quickly than traditional surgery can provide relief for this painful condition, a top expert says.

“In the past, there have been types of surgical options available to relieve the pain of tennis elbow, but there is a new procedure becoming popular that requires less recuperation time,” Dr. Kevin Plancher tells Newsmax Health. (more…)

Dr. Plancher was quoted in Health’Sass about running on a treadmill

Posted in Blog, In the News | March 2, 2017


You may be using the treadmill wrong

Especially at this time of year, many people exercise indoors–even runners.

But orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, founder of  Plancher Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, says you may be injuring your knees if you don’t run at a slight incline.

A zero-percent incline, he explains, is not like running on flat ground, it’s like running slightly downhill, which stresses the knee and patellar tendon (front of thigh, helping the thigh straighten the leg).

Higher inclines also may be fun and challenging but can lead to sharp knee pain.

Treadmills come with inclines programmed in for a reason, Plancher says. Running at a slight incline works the big muscle groups and also helps you avoid shin splints.

The slight incline of 3% is optimal.

If something starts hurting, the doctor says, stop doing it. Try biking, swimming, or the elliptical and give your knees a break.

Well, not a break…you know what I mean.


Energy Times featured Dr. Plancher in an article about Home Cycling

Posted in In the News | February 13, 2017

As seen on the Energy Times Facebook Page:

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February 13, 2017

Getting the Most from Your Home Cycling Workout

Even as baseball spring training begins, winter is still in full force for many areas of the country–which means many people are working out indoors while waiting for that warm weather to arrive.

Home cycling is a popular option…at least until the bike turns into a pricey clothes rack or storage unit. Why does that happen?

“One reason is boredom,” says Kevin Plancher, MD, of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “Even watching TV or listening to music or a podcast while on the bike doesn’t seem to be enough to keep a lot of people at it.” And spin classes at the gym may not fit your schedule. (more…)