Category: ‘Injury Prevention’

Dr. Kevin Plancher was quoted in BodyBuilding.com 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…)


Protect Your Knees While Running on the Treadmill

Posted in Blog, Fitness, Injury Prevention, Press Releases | March 1, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Offers Tips That Can Lead to Fewer Knee Injuries – “A Small Incline.”

New York, NY & Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) March 01, 2017

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March 2017 – All year round the treadmill represents freedom for many runners, especially in the winter months when people don’t want to stop training to brave the cold weather, snow or ice. Treadmill running poses special challenges to the knees – and setting the treadmill to a small incline can help protect these vulnerable joints, says orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, MD, founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. (more…)


Weekend Warriors: Play Hard, Have Fun and Stay Injury Free

Posted in Blog, Injury Prevention, Press Releases | January 17, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine with tips for weekend warriors

Greenwich, CT and NY, NY (PRWEB) January 17, 2017

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Weekend warriors are people who find little time to play in their favorite sports during the workweek, but instead, pack a weeks’ worth of them into the two short weekend days. The goal for these folks is to enjoy their sports while staying injury free.

“The good news is that ‘weekend-warrior’ type exercise is beneficial to the cardiovascular system,” explains Kevin Plancher, M.D., founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. The benefits of physical activity, even if just on the weekends, include improved overall health, increased energy, weight management and sheer fun. “So while we encourage our patients to exercise regularly, if that’s not possible, we are happy for them to get out on the weekends and play a game, run a bit and work up a sweat, adds Dr. Plancher. We offer the following tips for understanding the risks for injury helping them to stay healthy.”

‘Weekend Warrior’ Risks

Dr. Plancher offers that sometimes ‘Weekend Warrior’ activities are welcoming for injury. “They are often greater in intensity than weekday exercise sessions,” he explains. For example, many weekend warrior sports like soccer, basketball, golf and tennis tend to involve groups of players. “Playing a sport with a group of buddies or on a team can inspire a more competitive spirit than, say, walking or jogging alone,” says Dr. Plancher. “The more competitive the game, the more likely we are to push our bodies past their limits, increasing the risk of injuries,” he says.

According to Dr. Plancher the typical weekend warrior injuries are most likely to occur in the joints and muscles of the knees, shoulders and elbows. “That’s because they are the three key areas that receive the most shock and friction during these ‘Weekend Warrior’ activities.”

Ready, Set, Play

Dr. Plancher offers the following tips to prepare the body for a weekend of intense sports activity:

Sneak in some weekday activity. “’Weekend Warriors’ can take small steps during the week to prepare themselves for their weekend activities,” Dr. Plancher points out. For example, he suggests taking a quick 20-30 minute walk at lunch each day, or keeping a set of light weights in the office and fitting in a couple of sets of lifts during the day. Dr. Plancher also suggests using a resistance band to stretch the shoulders and back muscles while in the office. Lastly, where possible, core strengthening such as planks or sit-ups can help prevent back injury. In all, any movement that can keep the muscles engaged and the joints moving will help prepare the body for the more intense activity on the weekends.

Make sure to warm-up and stretch on game day. Dr. Plancher advises that it is critical to warm-up the body and muscles before getting out on the field or court. He suggests a short jog or brisk walk in advance of the game to get the blood flowing and increase joint flexibility. He also advocates for some gentle stretching work to prepare the muscles for a more intense workout.

Know when to rest “’Weekend Warriors’ should be mindful of when they are over doing it and should allow for reasonable resting during long games or physical activities,” Dr. Plancher advises. “It’s OK, in fact, imperative, to take regular rest breaks and to hydrate the body. If substitutes are available, take the opportunity for a rest. You don’t need to be the last guy down the mountain or play all 4 quarters of a Saturday basketball game to have some fun. The odds for injury increase when players are tired.” he adds.

Don’t over-do it. “Knowing when you’ve had enough is not always easy, but it’s particularly important for ‘Weekend Warriors’. Dr. Plancher advises to pay attention to signals from the body indicating that it is overworked, or injured, and immediately stop the activity.” Dr. Plancher warns that “some sports-related joint and muscle injuries require immediate medical attention to minimize further damage. If you feel that you might have injured your knee or shoulder during a game, take a rest and if pain persists, see a doctor sooner than later.

Most importantly. Make sure your health can allow for exercise. Check first with your internist before starting any new exercise regimen.

“Weekend sports are lots of fun and when played with a reasonable attitude and attention to safety, they can be a wonderful way to enjoy a Saturday or Sunday afternoon with friends or family,” adds Dr. Plancher.

Kevin D. Plancher, MD, 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, CT. http://www.plancherortho.com


Dr. Plancher was published in WAG Magazine on Ski Injury Prevention

Posted in Blog, In the News, Injury Prevention | January 10, 2017

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JANUARY 2017, WAG WELL

EASY GLIDERS

By Kevin Plancher

As the team physician for the United States’ men’s and women’s downhill teams, as well as the snowboarding and freestyle teams, I understand the needs of skiers and snowboarders perhaps better than most.

Together, their disciplines attract more than 28 million participants each year, with the athletes — both weekend and professional — pushing the envelope by adding challenging tricks and lengthy bump runs in both sports. At Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Greenwich’s Cos Cob and Manhattan, the ultimate goal is to keep even the novice injury-free while out on the slopes. Proper conditioning can prevent many of the associated downhill injuries by adding strength and flexibility to the muscles, tendons and ligaments that are used in the sport.

Common injuries for skiers are to the knee and shoulder, whereas snowboarders need to remain particularly aware of the ankle and wrist. By following some simple guidelines, you can greatly decrease the incidence of injury to any body part. Focus on the four areas below to ensure a great season:

  1. BALANCEBalance is the first step toward safe skiing. The better your balance, the less likely you are to fall. The ability to balance on one leg can be achieved with a few simple exercises. A single-leg dead lift while holding light weights works well, as does simply standing on one leg.
  2. FLEXIBILITY:Increasing your flexibility can protect your joints during a downhill run as well as during an unexpected fall. Flexibility decreases the chance of falling while also providing better and safer falling. Make stretching a part of your post-cardio exercise program to ensure all muscles are warm and ready to go.
  3. STRENGTHENING:Strengthening muscles, tendons and ligaments is imperative to good form. Squats and rotations on a Bosu ball, a device with a large flat surface on top and a soft ball-shaped underside, are excellent starting points. You can build strength in your lower legs with band work and strength-training machines, but we do caution you to avoid deep knee squats and weighted leg extension exercises as they can put unnecessary strain on the knees.
  4. CARDIO:There is no question that improved cardiovascular fitness can make a better skier and snowboarder by increasing stamina and decreasing fatigue. We recommend a fitness/aerobic program that includes at least 30 minutes of conditioning each day. You can choose biking, running, swimming or even walking. You can begin slowly with the end goal of achieving 60 minutes of cardiovascular training each day.
  5. CORE DEVELOPMENTA strong and stable core equates to better balance, better coordination and overall increased power on the hill. These are critical components to avoid injury. Core strength can easily be achieved with yoga, Pilates or dance classes. It can also be achieved with proper sit-ups, planks or oblique reaches.

Remember, skiing and snowboarding are fun group activities that are exhilarating for all of the senses. We, at Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, believe that with the above training program in place and with thoughtful preparation, enthusiasts can enjoy a healthier and safer season. So get out there, have fun and stay injury-free.

Kevin D. Plancher, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and the founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, a general orthopedics and sports medicine practice. For more, visit plancherortho.com.

 


Be Mindful of Potential for Injury at the Gym

Posted in Fitness, Injury Prevention, Press Releases | December 8, 2016

Dr. Margaret Harvey with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine with 8 tips for working out without getting hurt.

Greenwich, CT and New York, NY (PRWEB) December 08, 2016

Dr. Margaret Harvey with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and a four-time marathoner, advises that the gym is a great place to build strength and endurance. But at the same time she advises that it is important to be mindful of the potential for gym-related injury. Dr. Harvey offers the following 8 tips for staying fit and injury free at the gym.

Start with a Warm Up: Don’t challenge cold muscles. Run in place for a few minutes before stretching, gently and slowly practice the motions of the exercise to follow. Warming up increases the body temperature, heart and blood flow rates, and loosens up the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints to decrease the risk of injury.

Don’t Skip the 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. Never stretch to the point of pain, and avoid bouncing on a muscle that is fully stretched. It’s terrific to do stretching exercises at home each day to maintain flexibility.

Keep a Light Touch on the Handrails: “With cardio machines like treadmills and the elliptical trainer, keep your hands resting lightly on the handrails, not with a death-grip on the rails. A clinging, hunched position will cause an improper spine alignment which can be jarring to your shoulders and elbows. If you need to hang on for your life, the setting is probably too high,” says Dr. Harvey.

Cross Train: Mixing it up by regularly switching from one activity to another has many benefits over doing the same routine. It prevents mental burnout and since different activities target slightly different muscle groups, the result is a more comprehensive conditioning.

Focus on Muscle Groups, Not Individual Muscles: “People get hurt when they put too much emphasis on one muscle, e.g. getting huge biceps or lats. A better approach 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 because they build functional strength. Wait at least 48 hours before working the same muscle group again.

Pay Attention to Your Shoes: “If you play a sport more than three times a week, get the right shoes for that activity,” Dr. Harvey says. “For example, running shoes are designed to put your foot and leg into the best position to propel you forward. 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. Cross-training shoes are a better choice for sports like tennis or step classes. Regular exercisers should replace their shoes every twelve months, or at the first signs or wear (running shoes should be replaced every 480 to 800 kilometers).”

Accept Your Limitations: Dr. Harvey notes that “as we age, our bones lose density and strength, our ligaments and tendons stiffen, we lose circulation and in general we become more vulnerable to injury.” Keep on going to the gym, but use more caution as you get older to protect your body.

Consider Hiring a Professional: Using a machine incorrectly or putting on too much resistance is cause for concern and potential injury. “Use the mirrors, if available, to monitor your form and technique,” says Dr. Harvey. She also advises to consider signing up with a personal trainer, even for just a couple of sessions, for some sensible tips for injury free routines.

Margaret Harvey, DO, is a sports medicine fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a general orthopaedics and sports medicine practice with offices in New York City and Greenwich, CT. http://www.plancherortho.com


Ski Season is Coming: Prepare Now for an Injury Free Experience on the Slopes

Posted in Blog, Injury Prevention, Press Releases, Strength Training | November 10, 2016

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine with tips on pre-season core development, strength, flexibility and endurance training.

Greenwich, CT, New York, NY (PRWEB) November 10, 2016

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Ski season is coming. Downhill skiing continues to be a hugely popular winter pastimes, attracting nearly 20 million participants to the slopes each year. Snowboarding is gaining popularity too, with more than 8 million Americans participating in the sport each year. Along with the beautiful vistas and exhilaration of a day on the slopes, the reality is that skiers and snowboarders face numerous health risks associated with these activities.

According to Kevin Plancher, MD, leading NY-area orthopaedist and official surgeon of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams, “The good news is that many ski and snowboarding related injuries can be prevented with smart pre-season conditioning to add strength and flexibility to the muscles, tendons and ligaments used while skiing, many of which are rarely, if ever, used during normal everyday activities.” (more…)


Habits That Affect Your Joints—The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Posted in Injury Prevention | August 15, 2015

Old manProtecting your joints is essential to preserving your mobility and avoiding pain. Some habits can benefit your joints while others can cause harm.

Keep reading to learn more, and remember to always ask your doctor for more specific guidance.

The Good

The following habits can help your joints stay healthy:

  • Eating a balanced diet: Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can keep your whole body healthy. A balanced diet ensures that your body gets the nutrients it needs to keep everything healthy and strong. Eating right also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is very important to protecting your joints.
  • Stretching: Regular stretching helps you prevent stiffness and increase your flexibility, which can make it more difficult to injure yourself, especially during exercises.
  • Walking daily: Something as simple as a 20-minute walk every morning can help you protect your joints. Walking helps you maintain bone density without the high impact of running. It also helps you maintain your cardiovascular health and manage your weight.

The Bad

Some habits that hurt your joints include:

  • Carrying a very heavy purse or backpack—this can put uneven pressure on your joints and cause injuries.
  • Exercising without stretching before and afterward—stretching improves your flexibility and prevents injuries
  • Only doing cardio—cardio exercises are important, but strength training strengthens the muscles around the joints, so it is important to keep some variety in our workout routine.
  • Ignoring your body’s signals—if you are experiencing pain or severe fatigue, it is important to listen to your body. You may need to see your doctor or take a rest day.
  • Skimping on sleep—sleep is essential to protecting your joints and your overall health. It is important to get enough sleep and not to exercise when you’re sleep deprived.
  • Avoiding exercise—Don’t avoid exercise because you’re worried about hurting your joints. Regular exercise strengthens the muscles around your joints, which helps prevent injuries. Exercise also helps you keep the pounds off, which is important because gaining too much weight is terrible for you joints and your cardiovascular health.

The Ugly

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your overall health, and it turns out that it is bad for your joints as well. People who smoke or chew tobacco are much more likely to have joint problems in addition to all the other health concerns that come with smoking. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor and your family for support.

 

To learn more about protecting your joints and living a healthy lifestyle, contact Plancher Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.


5 Ways To Prevent Injuries Before You Start Your Run

Posted in Injury Prevention | July 30, 2015

19723270Running is great exercise, but if you aren’t careful, running can also take a hefty toll on your joints. Fortunately there are plenty of things you can do before ever starting your run that will help you stay injury free.

 

Use the following tips to make your next run safer before you start.

Set Reasonable Goals

Many injuries occur because runners try to add mileage too quickly, or because they try to run too fast when they aren’t properly prepared. One rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by no more than 10 percent from week to week. Don’t jump straight from 10-mile runs to 15 miles. Move gradually from ten miles to eleven and then from eleven miles to twelve and so forth. If your body tells you that this pace is still too quick, listen. Being patient is key to preventing injuries.

Invest In Good Shoes

Your shoes are the foundation of your run. Invest in high quality shoes that fit well and replace them every 300-500 miles. To make your shoes last longer, don’t wear them for other activities and get a second pair to switch between.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

If you are groggy, sluggish, and tired, you are more likely to hurt yourself while running. Getting enough rest helps you focus, remember things, and stay positive. Sleep also gives your muscles a chance to rebuild and repair themselves. Sleep is just as important to your health as your exercise routine, so don’t skimp on sleep to sneak in a run.

Give Your Body The Fuel It Needs

If you want to avoid feeling lightheaded, sluggish, or unfocused, you should stay hydrated and have a snack before you run. Your body needs water and food to fuel your run.

Warm Up And Stretch

Many injuries can be prevented if you warm up and stretch before your run. Your muscles will be less stiff and sore, and you’ll be able to stride further and move faster. Your warm up is as important as the rest of your workout. Stretch your arms and legs before you run and jog or walk for a few minutes before you hit a full run to prepare your body for movement.

 

For more advice about protecting your body and your joints, visit Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.


Repetitive Strain Injury: Are You at Risk?

Posted in Injury Prevention | February 28, 2015

As its name implies, a repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a result of prolonged, repetitive, and forceful movement. Such movements tend to be seemingly harmless at first — typing on a keyboard, clicking a mouse button, hand movements by assembly line workers — but becomestrain injury increasingly harmful as the same movements are repeated over and over, day after day.

RSI causes damage (also known as micro tears) to the muscles, tendons, and nerves of the body part involved. The most commonly affected parts include the fingers, wrists, and forearms. It should be noted that RSI is not a specific medical disorder but rather a collective term of conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, and tendonitis.

Common signs and symptoms of RSI

The following symptoms are common among RSI conditions:

  • Numbness and tingling sensations
  • Weakness
  • Loss of grip strength
  • Sharp pain
  • Restricted mobility in the affected joints, tendons, and muscles

Are you at risk?

There are three basic components that increase your risk for repetitive strain injury: poor posture, poor technique, and overuse. The following factors can further put you at risk for RSI:

  • Your job requires heavy computer use all day
  • Infrequent breaks
  • Lack of exercise
  • A stressful work environment
  • Long fingernails (These put the fingers in an unnatural position, consequently putting stress on your fingers.)
  • Chronic lack of sleep
  • Overweight or obese
  • Poor ergonomics
  • Existing health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, thyroid disorders, or any condition that involves swelling

A visit to the Plancher Orthopedics office will include an assessment of your risk for RSI and a discussion of steps you can take to prevent RSI from happening in the first place. Call us at 212.876.5200 to schedule an appointment today!


Yoga Injuries Happen Too and Here’s How to Prevent Them

Posted in Injury Prevention | December 15, 2014

Yoga have always been extolled for its long list of health benefits — from reducing stress to increasing strength to improving flexibility. Many athletes even turn to yoga to help deal with injuries associated with overuse and heal quickly. However, are you aware that the calm yoga fitnessyoga injuries routine can also lead to, rather than help heal, injuries?

Most yoga injuries happen gradually due to constant misalignment and overstretching. In fact, this interesting New York Times article talked about how a long-time yoga practitioner and instructor had to undergo surgery to deal with excruciating pain resulting from a yoga-related injury.

You don’t have to stop your downward dog routine if you’ve been doing yoga for a while now. Nor should you think about not giving yoga a try because you’re afraid of getting injured. Below is a quick guide to staying injury-free as you ommm your way to increased flexibility and strength.

1. Warm up! Basic stretching such as shoulder and neck rolls can help prepare the body for more complex poses. Don’t forget to warm up the mind as well before practice by taking a few deep breaths.

2. Do not rush yourself into difficult poses. Take it easy in the beginning and do not expect to be able to do a headstand on your first few sessions. In fact, it’s perfectly normal not to be able to touch your heels to the floor in the downward dog pose the first time you hit the mat.

3. Come out of a certain pose in a gradual and slow manner.

4. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to evolve at your own pace.

5. Communicate to your instructor. If you think you won’t be able to do a certain pose, don’t do it. Do not be embarrassed if you’re not ready yet to hold a certain pose perfectly. Modifications can actually be done and will help the body gradually gear up to its full variation without increasing your risk of injury.

6. Find a highly-experienced and qualified yoga instructor.

7. Schedule an appointment with Plancher Orthopedics before signing up for a yoga class! We will assess the presence of underlying physical weakness or mobility issues that will most likely increase your risk of getting injured when doing yoga.

Call us at 212.876.5200 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment today.