Cochrane Columnists | Cochrane Times
Dr. Andy Reed column: Fixing the Cuff
I see a lot of rotator cuff injuries! In fact, I’d guess about 15-20 percent of all the patients we put through our clinic have a shoulder injury of one kind or another, and if the patient is over age 40, there’s a good chance that they have a rotator cuff problem. The term ‘rotator cuff ’refers to a group of four tendons and their muscular attachments that connect the top of the humerus to the shoulder blade. The shoulder socket is a bit like a golf ball sitting on a tee. The cuff helps to hold the ball in the centre of the tee.
Thawing the frozen shoulder
I’ve seen a lot of frozen shoulders (adhesive capsulitis) lately! It’s a relatively common condition in the clinic that can cause serious pain and disability for those affected. If you’ve ever had a frozen shoulder you’ll no doubt agree that it can be seriously debilitating! Fortunately, for most people, it resolves in time, although recovery can be protracted. Pain and stiffness are the main hallmarks, with full recovery generally taking anywhere from six months to several years.
Gotta pay to play
I was just having a conversation with one of my die-hard “environmentalist” buddies, the kind who shames their family for not owning an electric vehicle – yeah, the worst kind of hippie. They told me that they’re getting into cryptocurrency, which surprised me because it’s so bad for the planet. Bitcoin mining is responsible for 0.5 per cent of total global electricity consumption.
Single tear for Ontario
It’s been a long year and we’re all itching to shed the masks and hit the road, or jump on a plane for anywhere not in North America. Luckily, those of us in the Bow Valley have mountains, rivers and crags to play on, most being world-class destinations. This past week alone, I rock climbed at a sunny sector, ice climbed on a north face, paddled a river and skied on sunny resort slopes with thousands of people. Shoulder season rocks.
Avi death, Green Day and festival
An experienced backcountry skier died last week on Haddo Peak near Lake Louise. He was skiing with a friend when an avalanche on an easterly aspect swept him over cliffs to his death. He is friend narrowly escaped the same fate. Many Canadian skiers, hikers and snowmobilers have died in avalanches this year. According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, at least 36 people have died in US avalanches this year, and over 50 in Europe.
Caffeine, the buzz is real
In my last column, I discussed the benefits of sleeping like a champion, and mentioned that sleep is one of the best and cheapest performance enhancers around! Today, I’m writing about caffeine, another fantastic, widely available, cheap and at times tasty performance enhancer, that I’d quite honestly struggle to live without!
A letter to a dead friend
Dear Raph, you’ve been gone for 10 years. You were last seen on May 13, 2011, by your roommate in the old trailer park, but I last saw you a few days before that. I’d heard that you’d lost one of your fingers after a car towing accident. The driver hit the gas while you were still rigging the line and your finger was squeezed off. As a climber, rope technician, mechanic and musician, it was a devastating blow.
Winter, vortex and buffalo
What a rush to wake up Monday morning to nearly 30 cm of fresh snow at the ski hills. We all like winter, to a degree, otherwise why would we live in these high alpine towns where it snows for up to eight months of the year. Honestly, it was a nice change from the rainy weekend because the end of March is too soon for the spring melt. If you want coastal conditions, then head to the coast.
Vanmore, pay up and beer
We’ve entered the season of Vanmore, which means a steady stream of RVs, Sprinters, mini-vans, jimmy-rigged motorhomes, 1974 Ventura trailers, 1973 Bolers, truck campers, beaver-panelled station wagons and campulences (an ambulance turned camper) will be rolling into town for the next six months. Some of them will stay for a night en route to lush west coast parking locations, some will stay for a weekend, but most will stay for the summer.
How to enhance your performance, for free
Last weekend we lost an hour of sleep with the start of Daylight Savings Time. This may not seem like a huge deal, but I began to wonder if there is much data on health risks associated with losing an hour of sleep. Sure enough, after some digging around on Pubmed I found a few published studies suggesting that, yes, after the clocks spring forward in March, there is a spike in workplace injuries the following Monday. Motor vehicle accidents are more common immediately after the onset of daylight savings time, and there is an increase in heart attacks on the first 3 days afterwards. Sleep, it seems, plays a huge role in the optimization of health, and not only health per se, but also athletic performance.
Early season rock reminders
It’s rock climbing season in the Bow Valley, which means it’s time to hang up the ice tools and pack the belay glasses. Some Canmore and Banff-area rock that makes for great spring climbing, are Grotto Canyon, Echo Canyon, Sleeping Buffalo (Tunnel Mountain), Yamnuska, and Grassi Lakes once the snow’s gone. If you’re looking to get into rock climbing this year, be sure to reach out to a local guide, there are countless in the valley who are trained to teach you to not die in the mountains.
Canmore hypocrisy and name change
I’ve been climbing in the Bow Valley for over 20 years and have lived here for 16. I’ve seen a lot of changes, some good and some bad. In 2014, local Chris Carlson wrote a letter addressing the proposed development of 25 additional residences in Peaks of Grassi. In the letter, he said, “Protectionist rhetoric masquerading as community concern and environmental protection is disingenuous and polarizes otherwise caring communities.”
Earthquake, death blocks and new gym
On Feb. 13, an earthquake that rattled the Bow Valley was felt by thousands didn’t cause any damage or injuries. It happened five kilometres north of Banff at 17.3 kilometres under Cascade Mountain. A Canadian seismologist said the 3.9 magnitude earthquake was not unusual. The earthquake, which occurred at 6:33 p.m. was also reported as 4.4 magnitude by the United States Geological Survey.
Trophy Wall, Goat’s Eye and Three Sisters
The Trophy Wall is one of Canada’s most impressive and famous ice climbing areas. It’s found high on the north face of Mount Rundle above the Bow River, Banff golf course and Trans Canada Hwy. There are a number of climbs on it, the classics being Terminator WI6, Replicant WI6 and Sea of Vapours WI6. The wall is soaked in climbing history, from the first ascents to the free-solos to the bolt wars that saw an established route stripped of hardware.