Adaptive Cycling Effective For Knee Rehabilitation

Adaptive cycling is a great way for seniors to rehabilitate their knees after surgery or better yet before surgery is even necessary.

Benefits of Adaptive Cycling for Seniors

Increases or restores range of motion
Increases or restores knee joint stability
Increases or restores muscle strength
Decreases or eliminates pain
Prevents re-occurrence of injury
Is non weight-bearing
Is low impact
Is an aerobic (cardiovascular) workout
Offers variable resistance
Keeps you in a stable position

Common Conditions

Arthrofibrosis
Also known as ‘stiff knee syndrome’ is said to be one of the most difficult orthopedic conditions to treat. It is an abnormality triggered by injury or trauma to the joint and is most common in the knee joint. In layman terms it is ‘excessive scar tissue that forms in the joint leading to limited range of motion’ despite rehabilitation efforts. Early recognition and proper treatment is critical for a best outcome. The Arthrofibrosis foundation is a great resource in helping understand this often frustrating condition.

Knee Injury
According to Ortho Info, there were 10.4 million visits to doctors offices in 2010 for knee injuries. Common knee injuries include: fractures, dislocations, sprains and ligament tears. Nonsurgical treatments include immobilization, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen and physical therapy are often prescribed before exploring surgical options.

Knee Surgery
There are many types of knee surgery performed and one of the most common is meniscus cartilage repair or removal. This is usually performed arthroscopically as a minimum invasion technique. Meniscectomy is the official medical name. Other common knee surgeries are ACL repair or replacement and knee replacement.

Knee Replacement
Total Knee Replacement (TKR) or partial knee replacement have become some of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed with over 600,000 performed in the U.S. during 2016 alone, and various sources project over 3 million will be performed per year by 2030. Knee Arthritis is the root cause for many of these surgeries. Studies show that approximately 90% of people experience pain relief from knee replacement surgery but there are potential complications to be aware of from risk of infection to sometimes longer knee rehabilitation and challenges with regaining knee range of motion. Surgeons typically encourage patients to work to regain their range of motion early on in the knee rehabilitation process. Physical Therapy often includes the use of a stationary bike and later on, adaptive cycling can help patients gradually increase their knee range of motion during the knee replacement recovery process.

If you are an older adult that is trying to reduce or rehabilitate knee pain, you may want to consider outfitting your bike with a set of wheel stabilizers like FATWHEELS. These heavy duty “training wheels” retrofit to almost any bike on the market and they will provide you with the stability you need to enjoy the FUN, FREEDOM & HEALTH benefits of riding a bike.

Until next time,

Colleen

FATWHEELS Bicycle Safety Series – Kids and Traffic

10 Reasons Kids are Especially at Risk in Traffic Situations

Riding on busier streets demands greater skills to avoid collisions. If children develop safe cycling skills and learn to follow the rules of the road, many collisions can be avoided. Some accidents, however, happen through no fault of the cyclist, so children must be taught to ride defensively and to wear bicycle helmets.

Kids are particularly vulnerable because they :

1. expect others to look out for them

2. have no understanding of complicated traffic situations

3. overestimate their knowledge and physical strength

4. focus on one thought at a time.

5. assume that if they can see someone, they can also be seen.

6. think vehicles can stop instantly.

7. have difficulty estimating the speed a vehicle is traveling.

8. have a field of vision one third narrower than adults have.

9. have difficulty determining the direction of sounds.

10. do not have the experience or judgement needed to ride at night.

At FATWHEELS, we take bicycle safety very seriously. Our adaptive training wheel kits are used in hospitals, school settings and by riders of all ages and abilities all across North America. We use only the highest quality materials for our products and back them up with 100% confidence.

Until next time,

Colleen,

FATWHEELS Bicycle Safety Series – Early Cycling Skills

Exploring the world beyond their own neighborhood gives children a sense of independence.

Never pressure children to ride a two-wheeled bike, consider children’s coordination and desire to learn to ride. Children develop at different rates, but most “typical” children can graduate from tricycles to training wheels between the ages of 4 and 6. If your child has special needs consider investing in a set of adaptive training wheels such as FATWHEELS so that they feel safe & secure while learning how to ride.

Children Under Age 10

This age group usually has not developed the skills to ride with traffic and should not ride on the street.

  • Make sure you and your children wear approved helmets
  • Children under age 7 should only ride with adult supervision even on the sidewalk.
  • Children age 8 & 9 may be allowed to ride unsupervised , but not on the street.
  • Unless you are riding with them, never allow children to bike in or around traffic.

Children over Age 10

This age group may ride on their own with proper training, but may need to be restricted to certain streets.

  • Explain that a bicycle is a vehicle and must obey all traffic signs and rules.
  • Street riding should depend on traffic, maturity, adequate knowledge, and ability to control the bike and follow the rules of the road.
  • Bicycle or walk all routes with your children to identify safe routes for bicycling between home and school etc.

At FATWHEELS, we take bicycle safety very seriously. Our adaptive training wheel kits are used in hospitals, school settings and by riders of all ages and abilities all across North America. We use only the highest quality materials for our products and back them up with 100% confidence.

Until next time,

Colleen

FATWHEELS Bicycle Safety Series – Bikes

When choosing a safe bicycle for your child consider the following points:

Look for a bike that is simple, safe, sturdy, and durable. Most children do not appreciate or use gear, hand brakes, and other safety features until age 9.

  • Consult experts who can help choose a bike children can control but will not outgrow quickly. Children may lose control and be injured on a bicycle that is the wrong size.
  • Buy training wheels that are made with strong steel and thick rubber NOT thin metal and plastic.
  • Make sure fender edges are rolled over or coated to avoid cutting legs and fingers.
  • Choose a bike with a chain guard and avoid wearing loose pant legs when riding.
  • Choose a bike with knobby grippy pedals to keep feet safe.

FATWHEELS takes bicycle safety very seriously. Recently, we have started offering bike bundles on our website that pair a safe, high quality bicycle with a set of our adaptive training wheels. These bikes are manufactured & distributed by Kent International and our adaptive training wheels are used in hospitals, school settings and by riders of all ages and abilities all across North America. Both companies use only the highest quality materials and back them up with 100% confidence.

Until next time,

Colleen

How Do Adaptive Bikes Help Children With Disabilities?

There are obvious benefits to adaptive bicycles, including increased opportunity for exercise. Children of all abilities benefit from exercise, as it increases cardiovascular health, muscle tone, bone/joint health, stamina, balance and coordination. For children with disabilities (who may have differential requirements such as postural support), commercial bikes from big-box stores may be inaccessible for reasons of low muscle tone, poor coordination or cognitive disabilities. Adaptive bikes may have heavy-duty training wheels, extra-wide frames, trunk reinforcements, head support, leg or hand straps, and steering assistance to help these children engage with physical movement.

Continue reading →

It’s All About Balance

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of adults over sixty-five fall each year. Most are not seriously injured, but broken bones and head injuries from falls land about 700,000 people in hospitals each year, the CDC says.
Tiffany Shubert, a physical therapist who is also a research scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill confirms this statistic and is quoted as saying “And once people fall or become noticeably unsteady, “fear of falling” itself becomes a problem. “People start to limit their activity because they are afraid, they might fall. That can have a huge impact on quality of life. “You are afraid to walk up and down stairs, so all of a sudden you can’t go to the movie theater anymore.”


The key is to be thinking about balance before you ever have a fall.


To give us some information about balance, we turn to Peter Wayne, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Peter maintains that balance is not just a matter of how well the vestibular system of the inner ear is working. Declines in strength, flexibility, vision, touch, and mental functioning can all contribute to balance problems. “Balance is a very complicated process,” he says. But improving it can be simple. Here are a few tips:


• Practice standing on one foot, challenging yourself to increase the duration. You can do it online at the grocery store or while brushing your teeth. If that is too difficult at first, start by using a chair back or bathroom counter for support. If it is easy, try raising your foot higher or holding it out to the side. For extra challenge, try standing on a throw pillow or closing your eyes.


• Try heel-to-toe walking, as if on a balance beam.


• Practice getting in and out of a chair without using your hands.


• Exercise while standing on a wobble board or Bosu ball (an inflated rubber disc on a stable platform).


• Try tai chi or yoga. The evidence that tai chi can improve balance is especially strong, and studies show it is quite safe for people of all ages and fitness levels. In a typical class, a series of movements is performed in a slow, graceful flow, accompanied by meditative deep breathing.


If you are an older adult that likes cycling, you may also want to consider adaptive cycling by outfitting a bike with a set of wheel stabilizers like FATWHEELS. These heavy duty “training wheels” retrofit to almost any bike on the market and they will provide you with the stability you need to enjoy the FUN, FREEDOM & HEALTH benefits of riding a bike despite any challenges that you may have with your balance.


And remember what Albert Einstein said; “Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving!”


Until next time,

Colleen

Meet Chris Kennard

Chris Kennard is a 13-year-old from De Pere, Wisconsin. He is a reader, a swimmer, and now with the help of FATWHEELS… a cyclist!

Christmas Morning

A new bike with a set of Large FATWHEELS was waiting for Chris beside the tree on Christmas morning.  His father, Jay Kennard, also purchased a bike stand trainer hoping it  would help Chris develop his pedaling skills.  Jay reports that he had trouble at first, but by adding foot cages to the pedals, Chris can keep his feet straight enough to pedal for 15 minutes at a time. A BIG accomplishment for Chris. Continue reading →