Sit-stand desks are becoming increasingly popular, and have been touted as solutions for reducing obesity, combating cardiovascular disease, premature death.
No one can argue that staying active can have multiple benefits. Adults that maintain a regular exercise program will find that exercise can help them:
Over the last twenty years, physical fitness as a means to improve overall health has increased among the over-40 set. This is great, right? Yes, absolutely. Athletes who remain active as they age do a better job than non-athletes in retaining lean muscle mass. They also show improved bone density, bone structure and bone strength. However, what physicians are seeing are injuries related to the increased level of activity.
A number of major cities have seen shared e-scooters, or electrical scooters, take over their streets. It's certainly popular with the riders, but it is creating waves with a lot of critics as well. In Portland, Oregon, there are four companies trialing the scooters over a several-month period. Driving around my city, I find that we are being inundated with scooters - being used on the sidewalk, on the streets, in bike lanes.
Some of the 75 plus cities that have tried to adopt this new concept of convenient transportation have already kicked these companies out, and I'm curious what will occur here in Portland.
So what about the orthopaedic surgeon’s take on the e-scooter craze? When I first saw these people zipping down the street on these motorized scooters, my first thought was, "Why is no one wearing any protective gear?". We wear helmets when we ride bikes, a wise roller blader wears knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads with helmet. Why are these scooters exempt? And even if it's not a rule, it is simply common sense. Anything that makes you go faster than your own feet can carry you should have some kind of protective gear.
I wondered to myself, “How long before I see an e-scooter aficionado in my clinic?”. The answer is...no long! Just this week alone, I’ve had TWO e-scooter injuries, one of which was a fracture that was significant enough to warrant surgery. And no, there was no protective gear involved. These injuries would have been avoidable with wrist and elbow guards.
Pedestrians are at risk too. Imagine walking out of a store, to be mowed down by a scooter that can top 15-20 mph. There should be a designated place for these scooters to be enjoyed. Many people feel that the bike lane is probably the best place - and I agree. That e-scooters are on the sidewalk suggests two things. One, that no guidelines have been established on where these should be ridden. Two, that perhaps the infrastructure for bikes, scooters, rollerbladers, etc., could be improved upon. We certainly could take a hint from cities like Vancouver, B.C., where bike lanes abound.
I do feel e-scooters, in addition to being a little adrenaline thrill, are also potentially a good solution as an alternative mode of transportation. However, this trial is making it clear that there needs to be a designated place for these to be ridden and that a little more awareness of safety equipment is necessary.
And lastly, what effect does being able to haphazardly drop off a scooter anywhere have? For one thing, this is yet another tripping hazard for a pedestrian. Some may not take this one seriously - but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve treated fractures, of the hip, knee, ankle, wrist, elbow and beyond, for so-called “simple” trip and falls. And secondly, it just looks sloppy. We have many Nike Biketown bikes that function similarly in that you pay to use by the minute and can return back to any of a number of corrals around town. However, the difference is that there are corrals, and once a bike is returned, they line up neatly like a bright orange industrial sculpture - as opposed to abandoned e-scooters just scattered about.
I admit, these e-scooters look zippy and fun, and I’ll probably try it out too. However, remember these tips for safe e-scooting:
We will see where the remaining months take us here in Portland and whether these e-scooters are here to stay. But for now, have fun scooting about but do it safely!
What do you think about the e-scooter craze? Would you try it?
...you want to wait extra loooong for your fracture to heal
...you want to have a higher risk of surgical complications, like infection or problems healing your wound
...you're okay with developing osteoporosis
...you want to be more likely to develop overuse injuries, like bursitis or tendonitis - and take longer to recover
...you want to have a detrimental effect on your athletic performance
...you want to have more pain after a surgery
Sound attractive? I would guess not for most.
As an orthopaedic surgeon, I treat many acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, including fractures, sprains, strains, tendon/ligament injuries and bursitis. I often discuss with smokers the risks above - not to mention the risks of smoking that first come to mind...the damaging effects on the heart and lungs. Many individuals are unfamiliar with the fact that smoking can even affect the health of the bones and joints.
Your doctor tells you that you have a rotator cuff tear...now what?
The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that connect muscle to the top of your humerus at the shoulder. These tendons are important because they help give you the strength to be able to lift you arm as well as rotate it. You need your rotator cuff to be able to reach a lightbulb, swing a tennis racket, or even to scratch the back of your head.
Standup paddleboarding (SUP) is a watersport that is rapidly growing in popularity. The Sports and Fitness Industry Association showed in the past three years, participation in standup paddleboarding has increased by nearly 120 percent. That’s more than other fast-growing sports including adventure racing, MMA, rugby and BMX.
As a sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon, I work with athletes of many levels. One area that we don’t always get to touch on when focusing on injury is nutrition and its importance. This is where we rely heavily on our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists for solid advice. I’m honored to have Niki Strealy, RDN, LD of Strategic Nutrition talk to us about nutrition for the active adult. Not only is she a seasoned professional, she herself is a runner and a track coach. Who better to bring together nutrition and sports?
Thanks, Niki, for being a part of my blog!
Dr. Bergen is one of my inspirations in blogging, and she sets the bar high. Check out her blog at www.drbarbarabergin.com!
I cannot agree with Dr. Bergen more, when she says “respect the stairs”! Read on...