Sleeping Tips for Post-Operative Pain

When faced with an issue on our phones, laptops, or other various technological devices, oftentimes we know that by turning it off and then on again will reset the device, and things will begin working normally again. A good night’s sleep can sometimes do the same for humans! You go to sleep with a stomachache, or maybe you have a headache, or sore throat, and you wake up feeling just fine – a nice 8 hours seems to fix it better than any medicine would.

Sleep is obviously not the cure-all for every condition, but it is a critical factor in the body’s natural healing process. Proper sleep allows the body to heal in plenty of different ways, but specifically, it:

  • Prompts your immune system to activate the release of a type of small proteins called ‘cytokines,’ which fight inflammation, infection, and trauma
  • Allows you heart to take a break by dropping blood pressure, slowing breath, and relaxing the muscles of the body, which reduces inflammation
  • Replenishes your body’s energy and balances the hormones that contribute to hunger and stress
  • Slows brain activity, which can lead to a more productive attitude and positive feelings

When we’re in physical pain, though, as the result of a surgery, injury, or operation, it can be difficult to find a good night’s sleep in the cards. Especially if your injury affects your normal sleeping position, you might have a hard time catching your Z’s.

Here’s a few tips for sleeping with post-op pain, as well as the best sleeping positions for 4 common operations that Dr. Stacie Grossfeld, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist, helps rehabilitate.

General Post-Op Pain Sleeping Tips:

  • Practice Your Sleep

If you know you’ll be having an operation in the near future that will affect a part of your body for an extended period of time, practice your sleeping! An abrupt change in position might contribute to restlessness and, when combined with new pain, can be unmanageable. If you start shifting your position and sleeping differently before the pain is introduced, you’ll have a better chance at getting more sleep.

  • Take Pain Medications Strategically Before Bed

Pain medications differ in many ways, from potency, contents, time it takes to be effective, and the time it stays effective. Talk to your doctor beforehand about the medications you’ll be prescribed and get the scoop on side effects and if there are stipulations to when you can take them, because you’ll want that relief to help lull your body to sleep. This can be an important tool in your pain-fighting toolbox, so get your information from the source!

  • Establish a Strong Internal Clock

Waking up and going to bed at the same time everyday isn’t always the most glamorous nor the most convenient, but it helps a lot in the long run. Not only with pain! Having a consistent schedule leads to more, higher-quality sleep year-round, and that has proven to help you:

  • Get sick less often
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
  • Reduce stress and improve your mood
  • Think more clearly and do better in school/at work
  • Get along better with people
  • Make better decisions to avoid injuries

The Best Sleeping Position for…

1. Knee Surgery and Knee Arthroscopy

For the best healing results after knee surgery, sleep on your back with your leg propped up and straight. However, DO NOT place the propping pillows directly under the knee, as this bends the knee slightly – instead, place them under your calf or foot so that the knee remains completely straight while elevated.

Most doctors don’t recommend sleeping on your side until further along in your treatment and healing, but side sleeping may be more comfortable for some and, with the right support, completely fine, as well. On some procedures, it’s better to wait for side sleeping until your doctor gives the green light, but it’s always important to keep a couple of pillows between your legs to keep your knee up.

2. Shoulder Surgery and Rotator Cuff Surgery

For any shoulder surgeries, including rotator cuff surgery, sleeping with an incline is the most recommended position. Whether this is on a recliner, with a wedge, or with a simple pillow-pile, an incline prevents you from rolling to your healing shoulder. This is a risk that sleeping on your non-operative side or back presents, and that cuts off the proper blood flow and put tension and pressure on the injury, potentially re-injuring it or slowing the healing process down.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury and have undergone surgery for it in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help with your recovery. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

An Interview with Dr. Grossfeld: A (Late) Celebration of National Women Physician Day

We celebrate National Women Physician Day everyday with Dr. Stacie Grossfeld, double board certified sports medicine and orthopedic surgeon

On February 3rd, the nation came together to celebrate a group of professionals that deserve 100% of the glory: women physicians. National Women Physician Day gives due credit to women, who have worked long and hard to get to where they are today, and Orthopaedic Specialists, PLLC is quite a special place, as we get to celebrate women physicians everyday – we’re owned and operated by our very own female physician, Dr. Stacie Grossfeld, M.D.

We might be a little late to Women Physician Day, but we figured that International Women’s Day was just as fitting!

About Dr. Grossfeld, M.D.

Dr. Stacie L. Grossfeld started her journey to being the double bard-certified orthopaedic surgeon she is today as a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She served her internship and residency at the University of Minnesota and then additionally completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Fowler- Kennedy Sports Medicine Center. Now, Dr. Grossfeld is an independent, non-hospital employed orthopedic surgeon practicing in private practice at Orthopedic Specialists in Louisville, Kentucky and double board-certified in orthopedic surgery by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons and in sports medicine, also through the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons.

To get Dr. Grossfeld’s extensive history, opportunities, awards, achievements, and work, visit her About page on the website! To celebrate her practice and work, we got a small interview to get her perspective on how it feels to be a woman in the medical field, along with a few get-to-know-you questions for her patients to enjoy!

An Interview with Dr. Grossfeld

  1. What interests you most about your area of work?

Dr. Grossfeld: “Every day is different. Every patient has different problems and needs and it’s extremely rewarding to help patients regain their mobility, independence, and return to their job or sporting activity!

  1. What is your favorite part of your work?

Dr. Grossfeld: “Truly helping people is my favorite part. When the patients come back in the office and I see that they are so happy to be out of pain, it’s the best feeling ever.”

  1. When going through medical school, what was the most challenging for you?

Dr. Grossfeld: “Medical School required a lot of information to be learned at a rapid pace. I made sure I studied really hard everyday so that I never had to cram for exams, because that would have been too stressful for me, personally. However, I really had to be super focused and put most of my life on hold during those years because the intensity of medical school, and I found that to be very challenging for who I am and my personality.”

  1. If you weren’t double board-certified in Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, what areas or other careers do you think you would be practicing in?

Dr. Grossfeld: “The fashion industry, for sure! I think I would fit right in working for the House of Gucci or the House of Chanel, personally.”

  1. In your opinion, what are the best opportunities your work has brought you?

Dr. Grossfeld: “Besides the day-to-day opportunity to work with my patients, the ability the teach other doctors and mentor other females in business and in medicine has been something I love doing and am extraordinarily grateful for.”

  1. What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

Dr. Grossfeld: “In my free time, I am avidly into sports! I love to play tennis, ride my bike, ski, and do various other stuff with my family.”

  1. What accomplishments have you achieved and which are you most proud of?

Dr. Grossfeld: “Personally, I’m most proud of being able to run my own practice, teach the U of L residents, and still continue to be able to maintain a home-life with my husband and son.”

We thought it might be pertinent to mention that there is a very long list of other accolades listed on her page, including:

  • The recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owner’s (NAWBO) Small Business Owner of the Year Award in 2016
  • The Most Compassionate Doctor Award
  • A place on the Top Ten Orthopedic Doctor list in Louisville, Kentucky
  • The Patient’s Choice Award as a top-rated doctor on
  • The YMCA’s Volunteer of the Year award given to her by the Norton Commons YMCA
  • Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC has received the 2017 Business of the Year Award from Louisville Business First
  1. When (or if) you plan to retire, what will you miss most about your work?

Dr. Grossfeld: “Ha! Good question – my husband asks me what I am going to do when I retire and my answer is always ‘work’. I would miss the daily interaction with the patients, my staff, and the residents. But I don’t think I could stop working and contributing and learning! I’ve thought about perhaps opening up a glass blowing studio or starting a community garden when the time comes.”

  1. Have you ever found it difficult to be a female physician?

Dr. Grossfeld: “I have not, but I know that many women in ortho have, as closely-tied to sports as it is, and they are infinitely deserving of National Women Physician Day. We all know how it is when it comes to most men and sports – they want to be as close to the action as possible, and that means that it can be very competitive and male-dominated in some areas (most areas, actually, since only about 11% of practicing orthopedic surgeons in the US were women in 2022). Fortunately, I was in a residency that had a lot of female residents, and I have received countless compliments from patients that state they feel female doctors listen better and are more compassionate compared to male doctors, so I would strongly advise not letting the gender disparity stop women from entering the field of ortho medicine!”

  1. Is there any advice you would give to other women going into the medical field?

Dr. Grossfeld: “Do what you love; this is a career, not a job, and we cannot do it all. You’ll need help if you are going to have a family – either a husband that works from home or close relatives that can help raise your kids. It truly takes a village in this line of work!”

National Women Physician Day acknowledges the roadblocks and barriers that have been presented to women throughout history, and honors how they paved the way for today’s generation of women. Although there is still struggle and gender disparity, we’re slowly closing it. To learn more about the history behind National Women Physician Day, visit the University of Madison-Wisconsin’s blog!

If you or someone you love has suffered a sports injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, double board-certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments can be available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

A Study on Concussions: Treatment Methods and Rehabilitation

What are the best methods of recovery from a concussion?









As the last installment in this series on concussions, we’ve touched on the symptoms and dangers of concussions as well as put the spotlight on our special guests, Harriet Owen and the Lynn Family Vision Training Center. When it comes to treatment methods and rehabilitation, both of our spotlight partners give great advice and examples of healthy ways to recondition your brain after a head injury.

Why Would You Need Reconditioning After a Concussion?

The brain accounts for 20% of the body’s energy use and plays a massive part in controlling bodily functions as a big part of the central nervous system, such as thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger, perception, and practically every other process that you associate with the body. That’s pretty important, right? So, if you would go to the doctor after you hurt your foot because you don’t like the pain and inconvenience it presents in your daily activities that you need that foot for, why wouldn’t you go after a brain injury when every activity needs the brain?

While they are quite elastic, there is only so much that a brain can recover from on its own. With the help of rehabilitation habits and other emerging treatments, you can come back even stronger. But if neglected, brain functions can deteriorate over the course of a concussion. As Dr. Mark Lynn says, “The brain is injured until it is fixed.” And it can’t always do that on its own. In fact, people have been known to experience symptoms and effects of concussions long after doctors or trainers give them the green light to return to daily life when no rehabilitation was pursued; this is called post-concussion syndrome, and it can last for months or even years.

But the name ‘post-concussion syndrome’ is misleading because sometimes, it’s not ‘post-concussion’; it’s an active concussion at work that will continue to affect brain functions until addressed.

Harriet Owen began spiraling with what other doctors would label ‘post-concussion syndrome.’ Once she received the correct diagnosis, she found results when she partnered up with Lynn Family Vision and Dr. Tad Seifert, who were able to guide her out of the habits she had formed early in the concussion.

With so much variation in the advice for treatment and recovery from concussions, what are the “do’s and don’ts” that come from the experts and the experienced?

Do’s and Don’ts of Concussion Recovery

From Lynn Family Vision

With as much cutting-edge technology and innovative treatment methods that Lynn Family Vision has available, along with the years of experience researching and working directly with both vision and neuro-optometric patients, there’s a lot of advice to be taken from the Lynns.

The very first piece of advice they would give is to be very wary of traditional treatment methods. Loved ones with your best interests at heart or outdated internet articles might tell you that a dark room to rest your brain is the best way to go, but that is the worst advice to follow!

Dr. Mark Lynn maintains, along with several other leading researchers in the area (like the University of Michigan), that near immediate cognitive exercise can decrease the time needed for recovery. Not to any extremes, as overworking a concussed brain can worsen a concussion, but something as simple as bouncing a ball at night and trying to focus on precision and accuracy is one of his go-to recovery methods that almost everyone can do.

However, other traditional recovery methods are ones that Dr. Lynn can get behind, such as:

  • Limiting or avoiding screen-time
  • A gradual re-introduction to normal activities
  • Lots of rest
  • Being patient with yourself while you work back up to where you were, because your brain will not be at 100% as soon as a doctor or trainer gives you the green light

Lynn Family Vision is fortunate enough to have available innovative new technology that trains the brain through how it perceives the world through the eyes. As neuro-optometric specialists, they are constantly exposed to the effects of concussions and, subsequently, how to right them. Contact Lynn Family Vision today to book an evaluation and create plan of action to re-train your brain for healthier functions.

From Harriet Owen 

As Harriet’s situation developed from a lack of proper treatment from the correct doctors, her advice is to not wait to seek out advice from specialists. As soon as you realize that your symptoms are growing or are not going away, the correct help can make all the difference in your recovery journey.

Even if the injury is one you’ve seen or had many times before, there is always a chance that something went differently this time. Women in particular can get concussions easier and on a more severe scale than men, and once someone has gotten a concussion, it will be easier to get an even worse one in the future. Brushing symptoms off because of the perception that ‘you know how to deal with it’ or ‘you don’t think it’s that serious’ or ‘it’s happened before’ has a high potential of making everything worse for much longer and requiring more work to get back to where you were before the injury.

Don’t Wait!

If you or someone you love has suffered a concussion or an injury as a result of a concussion in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

February is All About Heart

What are the best exercises for heart health? Cardiovascular health in Louisville, KY.

The month of February seems to be overflowing with symbols of love and devotion: shaped into candy, stamped onto cards, sewn into pillows and stuffed animals – the heart is everywhere! Valentine’s Day is only one event that happens to fall in the short month, though; February is American Heart Month, too. So, while you shower your friends, partner, and family with affection, turn your gaze inward and show some love to your heart, as well!

It’s well known that exercise is the best way to keep a heart healthy, but did you know that there are certain one that are better for the cardiovascular system than others? It’s important to note that exercise and how safely you can do it changes with health conditions. If you have an existing heart condition or are at high risk of developing one, talk to your doctor about safe exercises and avoid strenuous workouts when you do!

Here’s a few of the best exercises for healthier hearts.

Heart-Healthy Exercises

1. Paced Walking

As an easy starting point as well as a very effective workout at any stage of fitness, walking is severely underrated. Not only is it easier on the body and joints than running and other exercises are, but it provides plenty of opportunity for an increased heart-rate while you chat with a friend, listen to an audiobook, or enjoy nature.

2. Cycling

Since you can control the resistance on a bike, cycling presents a very versatile workout that can be as easy or as difficult as you choose. It’s a great exercise for cardiovascular health, as the use of the bigger muscles in your legs really get the blood pumping and reduces the risk of heart disease.

3. Weight and Strength Training

Building muscles helps in several areas of cardiovascular health. Besides raising your heart-rate when you lift – or do body-weight exercises – strength training also increases the learn muscle mass that burns calories even when you’re at rest. This helps control and maintain weight, which is a big contributor to a healthy cardiovascular system.

4. Yoga

As a strength and flexibility exercise, yoga benefits the heart in more indirect ways than other exercises. Instead of raising your pulse, the mindfulness and calming facet of yoga can actually lower blood pressure and contribute to healthy cholesterol and blood glucose levels, which are good when it comes to heart health!

5. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

With the constant fluctuation between intense activity and a recovery period, HIIT workouts strengthen the function of the heart and blood vessels by forcing a continuous raise and lowering of heart-rate and vessel contraction, which can be healthier than an uninterrupted moderate exercise!

6. Swimming

Easy on the joints, but a full-body workout: swimming has it all! Since you’re using almost every muscle to propel yourself through the water, the heart gets a workout trying to supply all the blood every muscle needs. Swimming decreases the risk of a myriad of different diseases and conditions, including heart disease and strokes.

Use your heart and show it some love this year, you’ll thank yourself later!

If you or someone you love has suffered an exercise injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

A Vision for the Future: Lynn Family Vision Training

Louisville, KY Sports training and vision training. Better reflexes, better vision, faster and quicker decision making

If you’re an avid soccer fan here in Louisville, perhaps the name ‘Lynn Family’ rings a bell; it is, after all, the name of the stadium that’s home to Racing Louisville FC and Louisville City FC. With naming rights having been purchased with a donation to its construction, the Lynn family name is known far and wide amongst the sports community, but you may be surprised to hear that having their name in the stadium lights isn’t the only reason that it resonates through athletes and others alike – it’s actually because of their vision training program.

Dr. Mark E. Lynn, his wife, Cindy Lynn, and their son, Dr. Mark J. Lynn, all play integral parts in running Louisville’s own Lynn Family Vision – a vision training facility that helps people at all stages of life in all sorts of situations.

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation in Louisville, KYDr. Mark J Lynn of Lynn Family Vision, Vision Training in Louisville, KYCindy Lynn business administration vision training







Now, you might be asking, “What is vision training? And why would people need it?” and the answer is deeper and more nuanced than you might expect. Follow along to find out what vision training is and just how applicable it has the potential to be for everyone.

What is Vision Training?

What the Lynn’s focus on over at Lynn Family Vision is a facet of the vestibular-ocular connection, or how the brain and the eyes interact and collaborate to signal to the body how to move and react to what you see happening around you. As you can imagine, if there is a discrepancy between those two critical organs and how they are able to function together, it greatly inhibits a person’s ability to live in the world that is actively happening, constantly moving, and always requiring the brain to process what the eyes see as they see it.

Depending on how drastic the discrepancy is, sometimes it’s not noticeable, but other times, it’s debilitating. That’s where Lynn Family Vision comes in – they’re the experts at what’s called neuro-optometric therapy and rehabilitation, or Vision Training.

This training is done using various tests to determine 6 different factors that are used to measure vestibular-ocular heath. These factors are:

1. Convergence (Fixation Stability): The ability to focus on a certain object or location

2. Divergence (Sciatic Eye Movement): The ability to move your eyes between two objects or locations

3. Visual Decision Making: The ability to process things visually at an acceptable speed

4. Choice Reaction Time: The ability to make a decision

5. Recognition: The ability to discriminate and identify objects where they are in space

6. Visual Acuity: The ability to process the speed of moving objects or stationary objects while in motion

Other than these factors aimed specifically towards neuro-optometric rehabilitation, Lynn Family Vision also provides training for:

    • Get customized vision training and neuro-optometric rehabilitation in Louisville, KYEye, Hand, Foot, and Head Coordination
    • Peripheral Vision
    • Tracking
    • Balance
    • Depth Perception
    • Contrast Sensitivity

If you’ve played sports, perhaps you’ve heard of IMPACT testing for concussions — a baseline test that measures cognitive function before a concussion so that they have measurements of comparison for after a concussion. That test measures in terms of memory, attention span, and visual and verbal problem solving in no specific terms – it’s merely to give doctors an objective baseline.

The testing at Lynn Family Vision brings those measurements into a narrower scope of quantifiable units, discerning results down to the millimeter as their technology tracks the movements and focus of the eye. This precise and comparable data is what lends the vision testing and training at Lynn Family Vision to so many applications, from athletes wanting to improve their performance to head trauma victims trying to get their life back.

Vision Training Applications

The patients at Lynn Family Vision come from all over with all sorts of conditions or situations. One of the greatest characteristics of vision training that makes it so potentially beneficial is its versatility and customizable nature. Insofar, Dr. Lynn and Dr. Lynn have been able to connect with patients across the globe and cross paths with other leading minds in the trade, such as Dr. William V. Padula of the Padula Institute of Vision Rehabilitation.

But let’s take a look at the types of cases that the Lynn family helps to rehabilitate on a regular basis.

Athletic Performance

Dr. Mark Lynn says that a majority of their regular patients at the moment come from an athletic background, and that he and his son have seen everyone from young prodigies and high school overachievers to professional cyclists and soccer players that play their games in the Lynn Family Stadium. The trick to a better performance, especially in cases where athletes have already undergone specialized and targeted training to improve a problem area with no results, can lie in a vestibular-ocular discrepancy.

A few millimeters difference in how fast your eye can get to the bottom right side of your vision as opposed to any other area of your vision wouldn’t be noticeable in most non-athletes’ lives – but when you’re a baseball or tennis player, or a goalie, then those few millimeters make all the difference. These athletes tend to use every one of the 6 facets listed above in tandem for a peak performance, so if one or more of these areas is lacking, even by the tiniest bit, then the overall performance is afflicted.

With Vision Training, though, athletes are trained with state-of-the-art technology and methods, and they come out with better, more precise focus, a higher decision-making speed, and a heightened ability to process their surroundings as they go about their games and matches.


A concussion is defined as the result of a blow to the head or violent shaking. And the brain is half of the vestibular-ocular connection, a very important half. If the brain can’t process what the eyes see because of injury, then there’s a very large discrepancy, and that’s where a lot of concussion symptoms originate from. Dr. Lynn has described Vision Training as “PT for the Brain.” Much like when any other part of the body is injured, the brain also needs some TLC to get back to where it was before a concussion.

With Vision Training’s narrowed scope of results and the developing methods, there have been leaps and bounds made to apply these treatments regularly at sporting events with sideline technology that would help with response time, pre-injury training to provide more specific baseline data, and a fast recovery time. All of these things are being studied, but even in the first steps of analyzing neuro-optometric patients, Dr. Lynn says that they’ve found a 400-600% faster recovery time and that patients who have repeat concussions while undergoing or having previously undergone Vision Training have less severe concussions the second time around.

This application to concussions is oftentimes seen as a way to get back to sports as quickly as possible, but Dr. Lynn says that he deliberately makes the individual criteria that his patients must pass at a 60/40 split – 60% of the testing and training is done to get normal life back on track, which can include being able to get back to work or school, improving concentration and focus abilities, increasing energy levels, and expanding mental capacity. Only after that daily function is complete does the training differ to incorporate sports-related criterion and demands.


Dr. Lynn says that he respects learning disabilities of all types, forms, and functioning levels, and seeing kids, teens, and other individuals with fixation or perception struggles manage and overcome some of those disabilities is one of the most rewarding aspects of Vision Training. With ADHD and ADD diagnoses on the rise, Dr. Lynn states that there is always a chance that a child or teen’s inability to concentrate or unwillingness to participate in academics could be due to a vestibular-ocular discrepancy.

Without the physical ability to fixate on an object, process what the eyes see, and use that information to make a decision, schoolwork and traditional teaching methods can get very discouraging for a lot of children and teens. By training specifically for any discrepancy that the diagnostic visit might pick up, that vestibular-ocular connection grows stronger and in the correct way – kind of like a retainer fixing the alignment of teeth, or a brace realigning the spine. The eyes, if they aren’t correctly seeing things, and the brain, if it isn’t correctly perceiving things, can play a big part in academic performance and ability.

Brain Health

Another area where Dr. Lynn has begun to explore is the realm of brain health in a non-traumatic way. That is, conditions of the brain that didn’t come about because of injury. We as a society have been trying to manage onsets of dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and strokes, amongst other conditions of the brain, and it’s long been known that one of the best defenses to these diseases and conditions is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and regularly give your brain a workout.

Vision Training is the workout that many like to give their brain. By exercising that vestibular-ocular connection, you’re using all the parts of your brain that you can. This benefits individuals who have family histories with brain diseases and conditions, those who have been diagnosed with early onset symptoms, or even those currently suffering from a condition. By retraining the brain, the consequences of a condition can be substantially combatted, especially conditions like Parkinson’s disease that affects movement.

Physical Health

The effects of Parkinson’s disease is a great segue into how Vision Training can benefit physical health, as well. Besides helping people after they’re injured to get back to a state of living where they’ll be able to do all the things they love and that they need to do to stay healthy, Lynn Family Vision has also seen patients that have described themselves as “perpetually clumsy.”

But if the movement that your brain signals for isn’t right because of a discrepancy in that brain-eye connection, it’s not clumsiness that causes falls, bumps, and collisions, it’s a misalignment of the eye. This is why Dr. Lynn has seen patients sent to them from nursing homes and assisted living centers – by training to be better at locating where objects are in space, like the ground, there is less of a risk of falling and hurting yourself.

The ability to make decisions and react also applies to our everyday life, because our ability to react to what’s happening determines our safety and stability. In a busy city, a car, a grocery store, and with as many distractions as we have, that reaction time is crucial to physical health and safety.

Career Performance

As a combination of performance, brain health, and overall benefit, Dr. Lynn says that they get a myriad of professionals looking to stay at peak performance when their career doesn’t lie in the sports field. And that isn’t all surprising when all of the factors tested and trained at Lynn Family Vision are important to everyday life and careers that require the same functions as sports do. That’s why they’ve seen and trained everyone from professional gamers to CEO and CFOs to keep a sharp game.

Think Vision Training May Be For You?

Vision rehabilitation in Louisville, KYMaintaining the ability to make decisions quickly and accurately based on what you see is a large part of the life of workers in any career and individuals at any stage of life, and that’s why Lynn Family Vision has been exploring avenues and partnerships to get more studies and data on the work that they’ve seen make a difference in real-time out there for the world to see.

Dr. Lynn says that it’s not just a sports endeavor for him – this neuro-optometric rehabilitation has the potential to change a lot of lives. In fact, one of the most common pieces of feedback that Dr. Lynn says he and his family hear is that Vision Training at Lynn Family Vision helped each of their patients to get their lives back.

If you’d like to explore what Lynn Family Vision does or schedule an appointment, visit their website, call them at +1 502-308-5966, or send them an email at Their office is located at 801 Edith Road Louisville, KY 40206, near Champions Park.

If you or someone you love has suffered a physical sports injury in the Louisville, Kentucky area, double-board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

Avoiding Injuries as You Head Back to the Gym

New Years Resolution gym goers injury prevention how to work out at the gym

If your New Year’s resolution involves unfreezing your gym membership and going back to work on your fitness, then you might want to take some time and precautions to ensure that you don’t leave with a brand new injury that will keep you off your feet for even longer! All muscles, whether you used to be a professional athlete or you’ll be using a gym for the first time ever, need time to get back into the groove of use and rebuild themselves to be stronger and more resilient.

This means not going “all-in” from the start. Taking the proper precautions is just as important in your journey to fitness than any exercise is. Here’s 6 things that you can do to avoid injuries at the gym, so that you can be on your feet and exploring exercise without pain!

1. Warm Up, Stretch, and Cool Down

Number one on the list and one of the most effective ways to prevent simple injuries that evolve from disuse is to take the time to warm your body up to the more intense workouts that you might want to do and cooling down after you’ve completed them. If you haven’t been working out or have only been doing low-impact, low-intensity workouts, stretching is an integral part of exercising. Allow your body time to adjust to this new venture, you’ll thank yourself later!

2. Practice the Movements without the Weights

Improper form and misuse of machines is a big source of injuries at the new year. Just because you’ve seen someone do a workout, or you think you know how to work a machine, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. More often than not, there’s more to a practiced movement than what meets the eye. You might have to pay attention to your posture, the position of your feet and hands, and which muscles to engage for the exercise to be properly and safely completed. If you’re going to the gym solo, brush up on proper form and practice those movements without weights before jumping into the thick of it!

3. Start With a Personal Trainer

If you’re not confident with your knowledge of how to exercise safely or how to get the results that you want, we recommend going the extra mile and hiring a personal trainer to get you started! Some gyms will have them available for an extra fee, and you can schedule sessions with them, and others will allow you to bring your own personal trainer (provided they pay to use the gym, too). This provides more structure for you, having workouts made and decided for you instead of having to figure out what to do on your own, and you’ll always have someone to spot you and watch your form to prevent injury.

4. Buy Proper Equipment

Depending on what you go to the gym to do, this could be as simple as investing in a new pair of running shoes to buying activity-specific gear like a yoga mat, resistance bands, or power-lifting equipment. A lot of gyms might provide these items, but they might not be the best quality there is. For better impact support or to fit your experience and/or intensity level, you’ll want to invest in your own gear to bring, so that you know you’re getting the protection you need.

5. Cross Train

Cross training in multiple different areas strengthens your entire body instead of focusing intensely on one area. Think of it like nutrition – as healthy as fish might be, eating only fish is still unhealthy. Give yourself a well-rounded approach so that you don’t end up over-working one part of your body or leaving another open for injury by neglecting it. Remember that every part of the body has a purpose and works together to move, if only one part of the equation is worked on, it puts extra strain on the other parts to keep up. Work everything so that you don’t hurt anything!

6. Drink Water

Don’t forget to hydrate! Your muscles need water and electrolytes to function and repair themselves, so you can reduce your risk of overheating, cramping, excessive exhaustion, headaches, and muscle tears. Drink your water or electrolyte drink before, during, and after your workout to maintain proper hydration for function and repair.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury at the gym in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

A Study on Concussions: Symptoms and Severity

What are the symptoms of a concussion

When it comes to concussions, oftentimes people are tricked into thinking that the symptoms and signs they experience are only temporary, since some of the more common ones aren’t necessarily considered severe. But this isn’t always true, and we’ll hear first-hand from Harriet Owen how brushing symptoms off, even after the smallest of head injuries, can be extremely detrimental in the scheme of recovery.

Concussion Symptoms, Signs, and Grades

This mild to severe system of recognition manifests in the existence of ‘grades’ that concussions can be classified by. While there is usually only one diagnosis of “yes, you have a concussion” or “no, you’re clear,” sometimes, a diagnosis can be furthered into 5 grades that build off of each other.

  1. Grade 0: A slight headache and perhaps some difficulty concentrating.
  2. Grade 1: A dazed or confused feeling for less than a minute.
  3. Grade 2: Cloudy, dazed, or confused senses that last longer than a minute, dizziness, amnesia, ringing in the ears, irritability
  4. Grade 3: Becoming unconscious for less than a minute
  5. Grade 4: Becoming unconscious for more than a minute

These aren’t the only symptoms of a concussion, though, and when it comes to the full list of signs of a concussion, the CDC categorizes them into 2 groups: observed and reported.

Observed symptoms are usually picked up externally, by outsiders who are watching the individual. This might include parents, teammates, coaches, friends, romantic partners, doctors, or trainers. It’s important to make note of head injuries so that if these signs do start appearing, then proper treatment can be sought and the injury isn’t left to become worse.

Observed Signs of Concussion:

  • Can’t recall events prior to or after a hit or fall
  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Forgets an instruction, is confused about an assignment or position, or is unsure of the game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes

Reported symptoms are the opposite – they usually don’t have any outward evidence (although some of them might), and it’s the individual that recognizes the change or feeling and then let’s someone else know.

Feeling dizzy and nauseous

Reported Signs of Concussion:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision
  • Bothered by light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”

No matter how mild the concussion is, a checkup with a medical professional should be sought out, because brain injuries can be very dangerous, if given the chance.

Harriet Owen’s Growing Concussion Symptoms

Harriet’s specific symptoms provide a great example of what can happen if concussions are not taken seriously by individuals and the doctors that provide them care – what could have been a short recovery time snowballed into a 15 month period of pain, confusion, and misdirection.

Harriet describes the initial crash and subsequent signs as, “I knew almost immediately I’d hit my head, my helmet was scuffed and I had a bit of a headache, but I didn’t think it would have caused me a sustained concussion.”

This is why concussions are such slippery conditions – if it’s just a headache, it really doesn’t seem like anything to have to go to the doctor for. But even Grade 4 concussions can start out with symptoms of a Grade 0 concussion. Within a few days, that one small, unassuming headache didn’t go away and continued to become worse, and that’s when Harriet realized that something was wrong.

Her next problem? Her doctors didn’t. She was prescribed over the counter painkillers and more sleep, but no neurological or imaging tests were performed, even after persistent pain. Harriet began to experience more severe symptoms as time went on, with the reported worst being:

  • Fatigue

Even the smallest tasks drained her, and that led to more time inside, in dark rooms, and unable to do the things she loved. This contributed to the worsening of other symptoms such as depression and physical activity difficulties.

  • Headaches

What started as a small symptom quickly turned unbearable. This led to light sensitivity and contributed to a lack of concentration and memory from the constant pain.

  • Personality Changes

Without the ability to cycle and complete daily tasks without pain and other side effects, the pain combined with the fact that her brain couldn’t regulate her emotions as well as it had been caused personality changes in the form of depression, mood swings, and reactive behavior.

She says that, “…my change in personality really impacted everyone around me the most. I wasn’t myself; they didn’t know how I was going to react or be each day, and they didn’t know how to help me.”

  • Lack of Concentration and Memory

Even as a professional cyclist, Harriet still has a full-time job as a data-analyst for Trek Bicycle Corporation, which involves a lot of screen time. The light from the screen triggered headaches and the work caused mental fatigue, even when she already felt that she couldn’t function at 100% due to her lack of concentration and memory, and that was demoralizing.

  • Difficulties Participating in Physical Activity

Cycling is Harriet’s passion and her profession, so slowly becoming unable to ride at all became a dark spot in her life, and this big change in her life greatly affected her mental health.

She says, “Cycling for me during this time, was mostly non-existent or very inconsistent. If I ever did ride, it would be no longer than an hour at a lower heart rate, and my body would play catch-up, and I’d pay for it a couple of days later. It wasn’t healthy for me to keep being in this vicious cycle, so there was a long period of time that I just couldn’t ride. It affected me mentally, as well as physically, I lost a lot of muscle mass!”

When asked which symptoms impacted her daily life the most, Harriet quoted headaches, fatigue, and personality changes. But the shift from cycling every single day to barely being able to do an hour of low-heart rate exercises exacerbated her condition and the side effects that came along with it, and the initial habits she formed when she hadn’t gotten a concussion diagnosis ultimately hurt her recovery.

Concussions Are All Around

Sports players get a lot of concussions. Why?

Especially in athletes, concussions are a likelihood of every head injury obtained. We’ve heard from a professional just how easy it is to brush off the burgeoning symptoms, and how that can play a part in the recovery process.

Even if you don’t encounter concussive accidents much in your sport, it’s still a big risk! As a cyclist, Harriet didn’t believe that concussions were all that common in cycling, but once she deliberated further, she realized that a cyclist hits their head more often than not when they crash their bike, which is just a part of the sport.

Helmets and other head safety gear provide some protection, but concussions occur internally. So, while your head might still be intact thanks to the helmet, your brain doesn’t have the same stability, and is very susceptible to injury and, subsequently, the side effects.

No element of a concussion is enjoyable, but the worst part, according to Harriet, is that, “Life as you know it is taken away from you the moment you hit your head. People can’t see the injury, so it’s hard to anyone to understand what you’re going through. It is a real mental battle to get back.”

What to Do If You Have a Concussion

Don’t let a concussion trip you up or slow you down! Get help and a diagnosis as soon as you recognize any sign or symptom of even a mild concussion. If caught early, no matter the grade, treatment and recovery time will be far less intense and the toll on your body far less severe.

In the third and final installment of this blog series, we’ll explore the extensive and innovative treatment that Harriet went through to get back to her best form, and what she might have done differently if she had known that she would end up with sustained concussion.

If you or someone you love has suffered a concussion or head injury in the Louisville, Kentucky area, board-certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

When to Phase Out Sports Gear for Safety Reasons

Sports gear should be replaced for safety

When it comes to sports, especially athletes who are serious about their performance and further opportunities, equipment plays a big part in a lot of different aspects of the game. From how well they play, to how long, to if they can at all since there are a lot of requirements – sports gear can very quickly become a pricey addition to giving up evenings and weekends to get to practices or watch games. Unfortunately, some sports require more equipment than others and, for safety’s sake, need to be replaced more often.

From structural integrity to an entire change in your form that puts more pressure on your bones and joints, phasing out gear is integral to those who participate in sports regularly. If you’re not sure if you or your child’s equipment needs to be replaced, we’ve done the research for you and have come up with a list of sports and their subsequent equipment that needs to be inspected, monitored, and renewed once their time in the safety parameter is up.

Running Shoes

When it comes to specialized sports gear, running is one that doesn’t require an entire bag of different items. However, the equipment it does require – running shoes – are a very important detail that contributes both to performance and safety.

As shoes wear out, they will:

  • Lose tread, which can lead to slipping
  • Develop fabric holes in the top
  • Lose sole cushioning, which leads to more impact on your muscles and joints and more strain in your tendons and ligaments, and even stress fractures
  • Cause your gait to change with the deterioration of material

To avoid this, it is recommended that you change your running shoes out every 300-500 miles or 4-6 months. Pay attention to your runs, though, and if you run more than that, it could be sooner!

Signs that shoes (include cleats!) are getting worn down and need replacing:

  • You feel more sore or have aches and pains in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or spine
  • You get new blisters/the shoes are uncomfortable
  • The shoe shows excessive wear or breakage on the interior or exterior
  • The shoe doesn’t feel like it protects you anymore


So many sports require cleats to play; you’ll often find that cleats are not interchangeable between each individual playing field. Even so, some are similar in regard to how long you can wear them, and others are quite different. Sports gear that is categorized as non-running shoe footwear is just as important as running shoes, but with the highly differential nature between pure running and running during a game, need to be treated differently, as well.

  • Cycling:

For these specialized cleats, it’s recommended that they’re replaced every 3,000-5,000 miles cycling or when you notice them either beginning to get stuck in the pedal or not catching on.

  • Soccer:

Usually, every season does a number on soccer cleats. By the time a full, higher-intensity season is finished, they might be holding on by a few threads! For a lower-level season, such as a recreational or school league, cleats will usually last for a couple of seasons, but replace when they begin to lose shape or form holes, since every position will have a different playing style and intensity, which affects the life of the boot.

  • Football:

Like soccer, football cleats will usually only last for one season. Depending on the surface that you’re playing on, though, you may be switching from one type of cleat to another, and each pair will last a little longer.

  • Baseball/Softball:

In general, baseball and softball cleats will last around 6 months to a year, or approximately 1-2 years of weekly games, depending on how often they’re used. If they are used in a higher league, where practices and games multiple times a week occur, then it will be much shorter. Cleats should provide stability, grip, and acceleration; once they stop giving that, it’s time to invest in a new pair.

  • Honorable mention: Skates:

With skates, since the actual fabric and material part never actually touch the ice, more often then not, it’s only the blade that needs to be replaced. It’s recommended that the blades be replaced once they are dulled down to lower than 3/8″ at the center of the ball of the foot area or the center of the heel area. In regard to the material part, you should be on the look out for loose rivets, holes, proper stiffness and support, and quality of the blade holder.

Mouth Guards

As a general rule, you should be replacing your mouth guard after every season or every 6 months. Not only does this provide cleanliness and sanitation, but mouth guards become less effective with use, thinning out and fraying and not being able to protect your teeth as well.

However, especially with younger mouth guard-wearers, there are some circumstances that they should be replaced sooner. These are:

  1. If it gets damaged, thins, or deformed
  2. If your mouth is still growing or you are undergoing orthodontic treatment
  3. If your bite has changed (losing baby teeth or getting wisdom teeth removed will both change a bite)


Depending on the sport, again, helmet replacement has a different time frame, especially in reference to the material it’s made with and how it’s used.

  • Bike helmets: Every 5-10 years depending on amount of use. More biking = sooner. Less biking = later.
  • Football helmets: The CDC recommends every helmet be replaced entirely every 10 years, but reconditioned and recertified every 2 years.
  • Batter/catcher helmets: After 10 years, batter helmets are not eligible for recertification and should therefore be replaced. However, some helmets are recommend not to recondition/recertify at all, and should be replaced every 3-5 years, depending on the quality of it.
  • Motor sports and equestrian helmets: Every 5 years is the standard, but if the material shows any signs of extreme wear and tear such as cracks, tears, breakage, or loose parts, its essential that it’s replaced sooner.


There is a lot of nuance to softball and baseball gloves, which are the two sports that use them for safety reasons along with performance.

The life and safety that a glove provides depends heavily on the use and care put into the glove. For higher leagues, the normal life of a glove is about 2 years, and then noticeable wear and tear begins to show, and the replacement happens. In order to protect the thinly covered bones in your hand from the intense and often fast-moving projectiles that you’re trying to catch, your glove needs to be up to the task of giving you the best performance and the best protection.

It’s important to phase out gloves when:

  1. The padding feels thin and your hand feels unprotected
  2. The material feels dense and heavy when you use it
  3. There is a ripping, cracking, or other physical deficiencies
  4. The form is floppy, formless, and doesn’t hold shape anymore

Bats and Rackets

With these types of very necessary pieces of sports gear across the board, phasing them out can be a question of safety, especially when considering average breakage points and whether or not the gear breaking would put anyone at risk at any given time, but more often than not, this category of gear can be phased out when it loses its functionality.

Baseball bats, with as much as they’re thrown around in proximity to other players and fans, are probably the riskiest of the items in this category, and their time in the hands of players usually lasts from 1-3 years. Especially with wooden bats, which break and shatter more often than composite and aluminum bats, there should be consistent and often inspection of bats to make sure that there are no physical deformities, rips, tears, or sharp edges present.

Tennis, pickleball, squash, badminton, etc. rackets should be inspected for any fraying of the strings, as well as any exposed material underneath the grip of the racket that might cause you pain when it twists and shifts as you play. The materials begin to break down with the nature of the game – flexing and bending in a way that, overtime, will distort the racket and cause structural degradation. It’s suggested that, on average, around every 2 years, you might want to start looking for an upgrade.

Protective Gear/Pads

In football, with as much contact as there is, it’s important for the safety gear outside of helmets to be properly cared for, reconditioned, and replaced. Shoulder pads should be cleaned and sanitized after every use, reconditioned every year, and replaced every 3-4 years. Sometimes, the retired pads can be reused and passed down to the junior varsity team for practice or a younger league that isn’t as intense as others are, but protective sports gear needs to be up to standard and able to prevent injuries in those situations for them to be ethical.

Have You Had a Sports Injury Near Louisville, KY?

If you or someone you love has suffered a sports injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, board certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

A Study on Concussions: Meet Harriet Owen, Professional Cyclist

Getting a concussion is a serious injury, especially if it goes undiagnosed or untreated. Head trauma, no matter how small, should always be tested for possible concussions, because as we'll read, they can have big consequences if left alone.

You get rear-ended on your way home from work, a stray foul ball hits you when your attention is elsewhere at your child’s baseball game, you trip over a root on a hike and don’t have time to catch yourself before your head hits the ground – head injuries are more common than you might expect in everything you do. When doing recreational activities, though, especially contact ones, our risk of concussion skyrockets more than any other time, and most people might not think to take the proper precautions once the injury occurs.

What is a concussion?There’s an age-old myth of ‘concussions don’t happen in non-contact activities’ that manages to fool many of us, but without proper gear, training, or awareness, you’re just as vulnerable to concussions in non-contact activities as you are in contact ones. And you can, of course, still get a concussion that isn’t sports-related – adults are especially prone to getting them as a result of a fall.

Any head injury can result in a concussion, which is defined by the CDC as,

“…a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.”

Each year, there’s a suspected 1.7-3.8 million concussions that happen due to sports and recreational activity, but there’s a catch: only 5 in 10 concussions are reported or detected, which means there’s a hidden 50% of concussions that go untreated.

If some concussions are so insignificant as to go undetected, then why worry about them? Surely a headache for a few days can’t be that bad, right?

Wrong, actually.

Meet Harriet Owen, a professional cyclist from the UK who took over a year to recover from a concussion – one she thought was simply a temporary headache that developed from crashing her bike like she had done so many times before.

Harriet Owen and Her Story

Can minor concussions be serious? This professional cyclist says yes - her's took 15 months to recover from.Having been cycling since she was 11 years old, Harriet Owen’s love for biking is a long, multi-generational one. Ever since she was a child growing up in Oxford, United Kingdom and watching her father compete in local races, Harriet looked at a bike and saw fun and excitement, but perhaps not her future as a professional cyclist, at the time.

Her cycling teams stretch back to 2011, but her professional career didn’t start until 2015, and she was a year into it before coming over to the United States to race in criteriums in 2016. Her experience with concussions, though, began in March of 2021, as she was participating in her team’s first training camp in Belgium.

On their first ride together, Owen and her team set out to practice some basic drills and rotating techniques. Whilst in the middle of the pack, the rider directly in front of Owen hit a bump in the road and subsequently knocked into the back wheel of the teammate in front of her, resulting in a crash that no one had time to react to.

As she and another teammate were sent right over the top of the crash, she collided head-first into the ground, earning what she thought was a scuff on her helmet and a bit of a headache that would go away after a while – nothing that she even remotely thought would end up being a concussion that would take 15 months to recover from.

From a minor injury to a nearly career-ending experience, Harriet quickly found that her concussion – left untreated or mistreated by the neurologists that she saw as the headaches persisted – was far more severe than she thought. Despite having to face a serious injury in a foreign country, Harriet found a support system that led her to the life-changing, innovative training and treatment that she received right here in Louisville with the help of Dr. Grossfeld, Dr. Mark Lynn of Lynn Family Vision, and their colleague Dr. Tad Seifert, a nationally-renowned neurologist.

Coming back from 15 months of constant pain, memory and concentration issues, personality changes, mood swings, and constant fatigue was a battle that Harriet had to struggle through with previous doctors telling her to take over the counter pain medications. She was constantly overexerting her body and mind, and demoralizing adjustments in her everyday life led to periods of depression. Now, though, with the ability to look back at her experience, Owen has come out of it with a depth of knowledge regarding concussions, symptoms, signs, prevention methods, and a high respect for and understanding of the consequences that result from leaving head injuries untreated, as well as a story to tell other athletes to raise awareness.

Make sure to tune into the next few blogs to learn more about Harriet’s story, her treatment, her roadblocks and hurdles on the way to recovery, and all about concussions, including their symptoms, their severity, and how they can affect facets of your life that you might not have considered.

If you or someone you love has suffered a concussion or head injury in the Louisville, Kentucky area, board-certified sports medicine physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.

Winter Paddle Boarding

Winter paddle boarding what to wear and how to do it

Now that we’ve crept into the colder months, all those fun summer activities we listed seem to have run their course and passed their prime time. But that’s not true at all! In fact, the activities such as trail walking, running, and hiking and indoor fitness classes are just as applicable in the winter as they are in the summer. But what about winter paddle boarding?

That doesn’t seem to make much sense upon hearing, at first. All water activities, actually, seem a little out of reach unless it’s lap swimming at an indoor pool. If you’re up for a challenge, though, incorporating or continuing certain summer water activities into your winter workouts is plenty feasible.

Winter paddle boarding is a hobby that many don’t want to give up because of colder temperatures and frigid waters – and you don’t have to, either, if you’re willing to take the correct precautions.

Considerations for a Safe Winter Paddle Boarding Experience

1. Weather

Just like summer paddle boarding, weather plays a very big part in your adventures. Precipitation isn’t anyone’s friend on the paddleboard, as it makes the board slick and difficult to remain upright on. Pairing this with frigid waters should you fall in, and you have much less favorable circumstances than you would if you fell in during the summer.

To make sure you don’t get caught in a winter storm or a low-visibility environment, always check the weather before setting out on your winter paddle board journey. It’s good to remember that winter weather can be much more unpredictable than other seasons, and attempting to ride the front-end of any storm probably won’t work out in your favor.

These conditions may also change the environment you think you know, as well as other features such as current strength and the stillness of the water. If you aren’t properly prepared, winter weather can play a much larger factor than you think, so always take it into account, especially when dressing for it.

2. Clothing

What should you wear when winter paddle boarding? Clothing is one thing that can make or break your winter paddle boarding excursions – we all know it’s cooler on the water, and you need to dress for that, even if you’re deciding to go paddle boarding during a mid-winter warm spell. Dress in layers, and try to avoid cotton, as it stays wet once it gets wet. If it’s your primary layer and it absorbs moisture, you might be a little colder than you anticipated.

Your clothing lineup should include all of the following:

  • Water Shoes
    • Insulative boots made of neoprene or other waterproof materials work best to keep your feet warm while still giving you a good grip on your board.
  • Gloves
    • Make sure your gloves are flexible enough to grip your oar
  • Hats and/or Ear Warmers
    • Most body heat is lost through the head, so you’ll want to make sure to cover it up! Beanies and other full-head covers are better suited than ear-warmers, but you might want to bring both in case your hat doesn’t cover your ears.
  • Sunglasses
    • Make sure you can see past any reflections on the water. Fishing sunglasses can even help you see what’s below the surface better, too!
  • Wetsuit or Drysuit
    • If you think you’ll come into contact with the water, rely on a wetsuit to keep you warm, but a drysuit is just fine if you don’t think you’ll fall in!
  • Body Warmer or Appropriate Covering

3. Time and Place

If you’ve only just started paddle boarding, or you’ve only ever paddled in one location, winter might not be the best season to branch out. Try to stick to locations you know with still water and not a lot of ice chunks or frozen-over, slushy zones. Sticking close to the shore is a good idea, as well, since those will be the warmer waters and with more places to stop should something go wrong.

It also might be tempting to go when you’d normally work out before or after work, but with days getting shorter and darkness both lingering longer into the day and settling in earlier in the evening, you don’t want to be caught on the water in the dark. Anyone else on the water needs that light to be able to see you, and you need the light to see where you’re going. It’s always colder without the sun, so you’ll need to plan ahead for the sunrise or sunset that marks either the beginning or the end of your winter paddle boarding trip.

4. Gear

Besides clothing, your paddle boarding gear might stay relatively the same, depending on how light you pack and how experienced you are. In the winter, you should always have and use a SUP leash, so that in the case of an accident that ends up with you in the water, you have the quickest means to track down your board and exit the water without expending too much precious energy.

Your phone should also be on-hand, in a waterproof case, and physically attached to either you or your board for easy access and safety. Especially if you’re paddling solo (which is something we’ll cover momentarily), you’ll want a way to contact a friend if something goes awry, you lose more energy than you expected before you get back to your entry site, or unexpected weather rolls in.

5. Company

Since open water activities hold more risk than controlled activities, you always need to have a point of contact. Phones are a great and necessary tool to have, but in the event that you lose the device, or it runs out of power, someone should either be with you or know where you are and what time they should expect the “I’m Okay!” call.

Paddling is always more fun with a buddy, though, so it’s highly suggested that you find a friend to take on the winter waters with you! This goes for both winter and summer, however, and anthropocentric safety measure should never be overlooked.

6. The “After”

Having a warm-up bag ready for you when you get back to your mode of transportation is an easy way to combat the chill of winter. A warm change of clothes that include thick socks, a comfy sweater or sweatshirt, and some throw-on sweats can get your body temperature right back up – bonus points if they’re oversized for . Having a towel in case of any water accidents is also a necessity, and towels that you can attach to your body for an easy change outside of the car can be super helpful and much easier than trying to wriggle your way out of your suit in your seat.

A lot of winter paddle boarders also pack a thermos full of something warm to eat and/or drink to refuel after your adventures on the water, and you should always have water around to hydrate! Even on cold days, you still sweat and need to drink water or some other rehydration beverage to replenish your body, so make sure you grab a drink before you leave!

Are You Ready?

Now that you have all this knowledge, you can include winter paddle boarding on your “to-do” list in these cold months! Make sure to warm up those arm muscles and stretch out those legs before you get moving, and don’t lock your knees! Are you ready to paddle? Check out the best locations to paddle board (remember to know your surroundings, though) in Louisville!

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury in the Louisville, Kentucky-area, double-board certified physician Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC can help. Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC is accepting new patients, and same day appointments are available. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Orthopaedic Specialists PLLC today at 502-212-2663.