Category: ‘Patient Education’

Dr. Plancher featured in Westchester Magazine: Avoid Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries

Posted in In the News, Patient Education, Sports Injuries, Sports Injury | February 13, 2017

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4 Ways to Avoid Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries; We asked a doctor how to dodge a major mishap on the slopes.

BY FRANCESCA RUSSO

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2017.02.13

Baseball might be America’s favorite pastime, but skiing and snowboarding are America’s gnarliest, attracting an estimated 30 million participants each year. A typical ski season in the United States lasts from late November through early April, which means five perfect months to hit the slopes and possibly rack up a few spills.

We talked to Kevin Plancher, MD, the official surgeon of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams, about some tips for preventing winter sport-related injuries.    (more…)


New Options for Cycling at Home Offer Key Benefits

Posted in Fitness, In the News, Patient Education | January 26, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Provides Tips for Getting the Most Out of Indoor Cycling.

Greenwich, CT & New York, NY (PRWEB) January 26, 2017

The benefits of regular physical exercise are well known: improved health, improved energy and mood, better sleep, and weight control. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every adult should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise. For decades, one of the most popular ways of exercising was on a stationary bike, either at home or at the gym. “A stationary bike offers many benefits,” says Dr. Kevin Plancher of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “It gets the heart pumping without putting undue stress on the joints. And an indoor bike can be used in any weather, by novice and experienced exercisers and at varying levels of time and intensity.”

But for all their benefits, many exercise bikes bought for home use wind up as expensive clothes racks or dust collectors in the basement or attic. Why does motivation seem to flag after just a few months? “One reason is boredom,” says Dr. Plancher. “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.” One attempt to address this problem is with spin classes offered at gyms. These programs use bikes that evolved from the stationary bike to more closely resemble a road bike and offer the camaraderie and competition of working out with a group. But, as Dr. Plancher points out, what is sacrificed is the freedom and convenience of working out at home on your own schedule.

New options now make it possible to combine the comfort and convenience of working out at home with quality hardware, expert instruction, metrics, and more classes and instructors than any gym could offer. One of the companies in this new market, Peloton Interactive, Inc., manufactures a “smart bike,” which has a high-definition monitor attached to the handlebars. It uses home wi-fi to stream live classes from Peloton’s studio and to provide an archive of thousands of past classes of every type, letting you choose from a wide variety of rides, instructors, and soundtracks. The system tracks your performance and compares your current ride to your personal best so you can push yourself to set new personal records. You can also compete against others who have done the rides you choose and review user ratings of instructors and rides. If you participate in a live ride, the instructor sees your metrics and can address you as if you were in the room. “This system incorporates all the performance and motivation factors of indoor cycling in the gym with the convenience of working out at home,” says Dr. Plancher. “This is an important new trend that represents the next generation of exercise technology, one that can potentially transform the landscape for home fitness.”

Tips for getting the most from your cycling workout
However you ride – on an upright stationary bike, a recumbent bike, or a new smart bike – Dr. Plancher offers tips to help you get the most from your cycling workout:

Before you buy a bike, do your homework: Consider what kind of bike you want and factors like how much room you have and how much you want to spend.

Have an expert ensure that you’re buying a bike that fits you properly – seat height, distance from pedals and handlebars, etc.

Make sure you understand how to safely adjust intensity and other options. Start slowly and increase the intensity of your ride gradually.

The bike seat shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Try padded shorts or a gel seat to improve comfort. Sit lightly on the seat.

If you’re not using one of the newer smart bikes that provide streaming and archived classes, look into buying or renting cycling videos that have a variety of rides and changes of scenery.

Consider cross training with another activity once or twice a week to build up endurance in different muscles and prevent overuse injuries.

“The most important factor in a successful fitness program is finding the one that is right for you,” says Dr. Plancher. “Indoor cycling has worked for millions of people and new advances make it even more appealing. But the program that works for you will be the one that suits your personality, fitness level, and lifestyle and that you will enjoy and stick with.”


Don’t Let Arthritis Control You!

Posted in General Orthopaedics, Patient Education | August 31, 2014

People who have to deal with chronic arthritis get a lot on their plate. Aside from the fact that the illness is a long-term one and has no total cure, just dealing with the pain can be overwhelming and depressing at the same time. For those of you who may be suffering from the same condition, know that there is so much more to life than just going through the pain. You can deal with it wisely through proper rest and exercise.

Here are some tips to help you face arthritis pain head-on:

The Key to Healthy Bones and Joints: Exercise

Exercise does not only strengthen the bones and joints; it also helps one to cope with pain from arthritis. Design an exercise program with your physical therapist or doctor that suits your condition. An exercise program involves special range-of-motion routines to keep your joints fueled. Swimming and walking are some forms of exercise that can be included in this routine.

Just a few tips to help you with your routine, start slowly with a few exercises and then add more routines. It is also important that you listen to what your body tells you and stop when pain is already felt.

Save Energy: Rest!

Keeping your joints functional does not only include exercise and other activities. Your body needs an amount of rest to compensate for the stress too. Listen to your body when it has to take a break. If there is pain after you exercise which persists for two hours or more, you may have done too much. Be mindful of the time and intensity you spend during exercise next time.

General Orthopaedics in New York City

Arthritis affects billions of individuals each day, but don’t be a slave to it. Schedule a consultation with our general orthopaedic experts here at Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine today by calling us at 212-876-5200 and know more about your condition and how you should deal with it.

 


Exercise After an Ankle Sprain

Posted in Patient Education | March 1, 2014

When you get a sprain it can be tempting to want to get back to your regular routine as quickly as possible. But healing takes time and pushing yourself too much can cause your injury to get worse. A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament – ligaments connect one bone to another at a joint and keep them in place. Ankle sprains are the most common types of sprains because they occur so easily – often when you just place your foot in the wrong position or fall down awkwardly. The severity of the sprain depends mainly on how far the ligaments were torn or how far they were stretched.

The Healing Process

Your doctor will let you know the severity of the injury and whether you should see a sports injury expert like those at Plancher Orthopedics & Sports. Doing so can help heal your ankle faster, particularly if you play sports.

The best way to heal from a sprain is to follow the RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. How much you need to rest and apply compressions depends on the severity of the sprain. Typically, you should use ice for three days after the injury, to keep down swelling so blood can flow better, and heal the pain quicker.

You may need to wear a brace on your ankle if the sprain was bad enough, for up to 6 weeks after being injured.

Whether your sprain was particularly bad or not, your doctor will probably recommend you try to apply some weight or small pressure to it within the first week – for smaller sprains sometimes just 1 or 2 days later. Once you can comfortably put some weight on it, you can begin to do some rehabilitative exercises to speed up healing and get the surrounding muscles stronger top better support it.

Getting Strength Back

The best advice of course is to always start small. Once you can bear some weight on your ankle and have a fuller range of motion, simply start by pushing your foot against a sturdy object in a flexed position with the inner side of your foot against it. Hold it there about 10 seconds and build up to three times a day. Repeat with the outer side. Once you can comfortably do this, move onto some more challenging exercises:

  • Push your foot down against an object, holding for 10 seconds. Repeat pushing up against an object.

Once these exercises are all done comfortably, move onto using a resistance band. Do the same exercises with the band, tightening it more and more as you gain strength every few days.

Back To Normal

Always be sure to check with your doctor before performing any exercises of course. Once you can comfortably use a resistance band however, you are ready to start using your ankle more. Start slow by walking, then power walking, and more building back up to your workout or sport. Ankle sprains may be frustrating to get over, but you can get back to normal if you take it slow, follow doctor’s instructions, and get some expert rehab advice from a good specialist like those at Plancher Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in NYC.


How to Strengthen Wrists

Posted in Patient Education | January 30, 2014

While we typically spend most of our workout time training the larger muscle groups we need to perform, oftentimes smaller muscles are ignored. But although they are small, they are still imperative to getting stronger and preventing injury. One of the most commonly ignored – but also commonly injured – areas are the wrists. But even performing certain exercises like push-ups or planks can be less effective if your wrists aren’t strong enough to handle your weight. By adding some wrist-strengthening exercises to your normal routine, you’ll not only notice improved performance in sports and training – you’ll notice it in everyday tasks at home too!

Weights

Using weights to strengthen your wrists is just as good as using them for your arms! Doing some wrist curls – with your wrists facing up and down – will add good overall strength to the muscles surrounding your wrists and forearms, making a great shield for weaker wrist bones.

Wrist Circles

Circle your hand around in a circle to the right a few times, then to the left. Repeat this exercise any time during the day or even as a warm up before a workout or game.

Floor Exercises

Planks and pushups are great for your wrists too, but sometimes you need to build up the strength to be able to do the full exercise. Start out by doing one pushup, or a 10 second plank if your wrists are too weak. Then, build up from there adding a few reps or seconds every week. You should be able to hold a plank for at least 60 seconds, and do at least 15 full pushups in a row,

Doing just these three small exercises every day can make big changes in the strength of your wrists. This will prevent injuries like sprains when you fall, help improve sports performance like controlling a tennis racquet or throwing a football and even help you when typing at the computer!


Strengthening Weak Knees

Posted in Patient Education | January 2, 2014

Weak knees aren’t only a curse for athletes or gym buffs; they can affect anyone at any time in life. Having weak knees can make you more susceptible to injury not only on your knees, but by making it easier for you to fall or trip, they can make it more dangerous for injuries anywhere.

Stronger knees can help you move better during the day, help prevent painful osteoporosis later in life, and of course help you in your sports performance. But when it comes to getting stronger knees, people tend to get confused – there is no knee muscle’ so how do you make your knees stronger? The trick is to work the muscles surrounding the knee.

The larger muscles around the knee aren’t difficult to work. They’re muscles you work in any typical workout – major muscles like quadriceps and hamstrings in the thighs, and calves and shins. The muscles that get tricky to work are the smaller muscles, especially in the inner and outer thighs. Unless you purposely want to work your thighs there, you aren’t going to go out of your way to do it, but it’s vital to the strength of your knees. Below are some exercises you can add to your routine to help target those muscles, and make your knees stronger.

  • Front Leg Lifts: Sitting down, lift one foot up in front of you, straightening your leg. Return to start position. Repeat with other leg. Also try this exercise with a weighted cable machine or a resistance band.
  • Sit on a chair and stretch one of your legs out in front of you. Flex your foot and make a large circle with in, in a clockwise direction. Repeat 10 times, and then repeat in a counter-clockwise direction. Repeat with other leg.
  • Side leg lifts: Laying down on your side, stack your legs, one on top of the other so that your hips are in line with your shoulder. Lift your leg up to the ceiling as high as you can, then slowly lower down. Repeat with other leg.
  • Inner Leg Lifts: laying down on your side with legs stacked, put your leg closest to the floor in front of you. Lift it up towards the ceiling as high as you can and lower back down. Repeat with other leg.

Do all of these exercises for 10 repetitions, building up to three sets.

Adding knee strengthening exercises to your routine isn’t hard and only takes 5 minutes, but it can make such a huge difference into your everyday actions – whether it is walking or football. Be sure to add them to your day and you’ll feel the difference in just a few weeks!


Stronger Back, Stronger Core

Posted in Patient Education | December 28, 2013

Your core, the muscles of the abdominals, oblique’s and back, is the most important muscle group in your body. Whenever you use other muscles in your arms, legs, shoulders, and neck – anywhere – they are connected to your core. A strong core can help improve sports performance, posture, and even make you look slimmer! When most people work out however, they tend to ignore their back muscles, an important part of core strength. But by making a few small changes in your workout, you can easily engage your back muscles and strengthen them, helping your core in the process.

Posture

Working out, or sitting at home watching your favorite show, posture is important! Not only does it keep your back strong and safe, it helps to actually strengthen the core – the entire core! Great posture can also help protect your back from injury, and help you to maintain a strong back as you get older, preventing improper curvature of the spine.

Working Out

When you’re working out, be sure to maintain proper posture during each exercise. Also be sure to add some extra back-strengthening moves to your regular workout. Here’s how:

  • Planks: Doing planks is one of the best things you can do for your body. They work every part of your body from your neck to your toes! If a full plank is too difficult, try starting on your knees first. Begin with a 10 second plank, and add 5 seconds every other workout.
  • Deadlights: This is one of the best strengthening exercises for your back, and it also works your abs and hamstrings! Hold either a dumbbell in each hand, or a weighted bar with both hands. Stand with feet hip width apart. Without bending your back, and keeping your shoulders back, lower the weight as low to the floor as you can go, then rise back up.
  • Supermen: This exercise works your lower back by using your ab and back strength to lift your arms and legs. Start out by holding it 15 seconds, and work up to 60.

Stretches

By adding some simple stretches to your day every morning and evening you can prevent injury to your back during the day.

  • Reach your arms up and stretch down, vertebrae by vertebrae, bending your back until your touch your toes. Slowly roll back up and repeat.
  • Now keep your arms up, but reach back behind your head as far as you can go without losing your balance. Slowly return to start.
  • Finally, a great exercise to strengthen and massage your back at the same time that you can do every night. Sit on the ground on a mat or thick blankets. Wrap your legs in your arms, getting into ball position and balance in that position. Slowly roll back all the way, and then roll back up. Repeat 3 or more times.

Strengthening your back is integral to core strength, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Add these tips to your everyday routines and in just a month you’ll notice a great change in your overall strength!


Exercises for a Speedy Recovery After Hip Replacement!

Posted in Blog, Hip Replacement, Patient Education | November 30, 2013

Athletes move their bodies a lot, predisposing them to all sorts of injuries. Hip injuries can ruin an athlete’s dream for good. Thus it has to be diagnosed as soon as possible. Here at our New York sports medicine practice, we have treated a lot of athletes with hip injuries. It is our goal to help them from start to finish, from the initial consultation up to the rehabilitation phase and full recovery.

Some hip injuries call for hip replacement. After hip replacement, it is important to perform exercises regularly in order to restore the normal movement of the hip as well as its strength. Through these exercises, the person can return to his or her daily activities until full recovery is attained. Here are the most common exercises to be done after total hip replacement.

  • Ankle Rotations
  • Bed-Supported Knee Bends
  • Buttock Contractions
  • Abduction Exercise
  • Quadriceps Set
  • Straight Leg Raises
  • Standing Exercises
  • Standing Knee Raises
  • Standing Hip Abduction and Extension

These exercises improve blood flow to the legs and feet, preventing any blood clots. They also help in strengthening your muscles as well as improve the movement of your hip. At first, you may not feel comfortable doing the routines, but you will soon get used to it. You also have to remember that they hasten your recovery and minimize any pain that you feel after surgery. For instructions on how to perform these exercises, please click here.

If you have a hip injury or if you just had a hip replacement and need help with your recovery, set an appointment with our team of experts by calling 212-876-5200 or by filling out this online form. We look forward to hearing from you!

 


A Beginner’s Guide to Avoiding Trail Running Injuries This Fall

Posted in Fall Sports, Patient Education, Trail Running | September 20, 2013

If you’ve been thinking of trying trail running for a while now, the crisp days of fall are the perfect time for you to unleash that primal need to simply head for the woods and run long distances. Here at our New York sports medicine practice, we get a lot of questions about avoiding injuries while going on a trail running adventure this fall — from The North Face Endurance Challenge Trail race in San Francisco to the Rock Creek Stump Jump in Chattanooga. Below is a quick beginner’s guide to enjoying the trails and avoiding injuries at the same time!

 Less Likelihood of Injuries in Trail Running

To begin with, trail running offers the advantage of lesser likelihood of injuries in comparison to road running. This is due to the ever-changing surface of trails which strengthen core muscles. Also, running on trails tend to soften the impact to your joints and you get to use a wide variety of muscles than running on asphalt alone.

1. Choose non-technical trails in the beginning.

By and large, trails could either be classified as non-technical or technical. It is best to begin with non-technical trails when you’re still starting out as it will gradually introduce your muscles and joints to the impact of uphill and downhill runs. Beginner-friendly trails are often flat and dirt-racked, perfect for newbie runners.

2. You do not have to run the hills.

Veteran and professional trail runners know that it is more efficient to walk steep hills rather than run uphills only to have lesser energy left on the way down. So learn from the pros!

3. Invest in the most comfortable pair of running shoes.

While comfort varies from one individual to another, the basic requirements when thinking about acquiring a new pair includes shoes that are not too tight on the heel area but rather fitting snugly, having some wiggle room, and a natural-feeling support. Avoid common mistakes such as buying for looks and assuming your size.

4. Always be on the lookout for rocks and slippery roots.

Avoid stepping on roots, large rocks, or fallen trees as much as possible. Try to step over them instead to avoid your chances of slipping. Also,when crossing rivers and streams, try to directly walk into the water rather than stepping on wet, mossy rocks.

Finding a New York Orthopedics Specialist

Consider seeing a New York orthopedics specialist before your next trail running adventure for a thorough assessment and evaluation of your running form. Our group of fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopedics are specialists and draw upon their training at world-renowned medical centers. Moreover, we offer on-site certified occupational hand therapy, registered physical therapists, and certified athletic trainers, all eager to design individual rehabilitative treatment regimes to optimize functional return and get you back in the game. Contact us now by filling out this contact form or by calling 212-876-5200.