• Topics

Regina Herzlinger: Innovating in Health Care

Regina Herzlinger presents Grand Rounds on Innovating in Health Care at Mass General OrthopaedicsInnovating in Health Care
Regina Herzlinger, DBA
Harvard Business School
Boston, MA.

Grand Rounds presented on January 15th, 2015 at the O’Keefe Auditorium, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.
Continue reading

Trauma Care in the Himalayas

David Lhowe Trauma Surgeon at Mass General Hospital David Lhowe, MD is an Orthopedic Trauma and Hip & Knee Replacement surgeon in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School.


Sandwiched between its gigantic neighbors, China and India, the tiny nation of Bhutan is making a rapid transition from an isolated kingdom to a modern Asian democracy. Its 600,000 residents are almost exclusively Buddhist, and are dispersed over a landscape that remains largely forested with relatively little arable terrain. The population clusters in valleys, separated by Himalayan mountain barriers which have only recently become connected by two-lane roads. Through most of its history the country has been isolated from even its closest neighbors, and has only opened to Western tourists in the last 20 years. While visiting Bhutan from the United States is now possible it doesn’t come cheaply. The Bhutanese government charges US citizens a substantial daily tax for the duration of their visits. Continue reading

Good As New: Guide to Total Hip Replacements

Here at Mass General, we are creating these patient guides for many of our top surgical procedures and services. This particular guide for a total hip replacement summarizes the entire joint replacement process at Massachusetts General Hospital. Includes: introduction to our care team, an explanation of treatment options, surgical preparation information, expectations after surgery and recovery at home. These Patient Guides also provide valuable information for patients’ family members.

Download PDF here:

Hands-Only CPR: No Training Necessary

How To:

  1. Call 911
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest, without interrupting
  3. Push deeply, about 100 times per minute. That’s faster than three times every two seconds
  4. Do NOT be afraid, your actions can only help
  5. Look around and invite your friends or other onlookers to help
  6. Continue until trained Emergency Personnel arrive

Continue reading

The Plank: Strengthening the Core

The core is commonly thought of as only your abs, but consists of multiple muscle groups in your abdomen, back and pelvis. Core muscles are engaged during all activities requiring a coordinated movement of the upper and lower body. They generate the force and power required for many activities, while simultaneously playing a foundational role in stabilizing the torso.

Our modern sedentary lifestyle does nothing to working these important core muscles and over time result in their weakening, and the consequent injuries from seemingly simple tasks.

There are various ways to strengthen these core muscles. The PLANK, for instance, is easy to perform, effective and appropriate for any age and fitness level. With no special equipment, the plank can be performed on a carpeted floor or mat in your living room, in the gym between sets of other exercises, or at the end of a workout. Also, the plank literally only takes a minute!

In performing the plank, you hold a steady position by isometrically contracting the deep stabilizing abdominal muscles (transverse abdominus), while keeping the lower back (erector spinae and multifidi) stable, fighting fatigue and simultaneously building endurance. This exercise is not appropriate if you have any shoulder weakness or injury.


Step by Step: How to perform and hold the Plank
Plank Strengthening the Core Aches & Joints

  • Have a wrist watch or clock nearby to track time
  • Place forearms on floor, shoulder distance apart (see above) and elbows directly below the shoulders as demonstrated below
  • Extend legs back, one at a time, straightening the knees and balancing on your toes
  • Keep your body straight as a plank (see below)
  • Relax your neck and look down at the floor
  • As you fatigue, there will be a tendency for your hips to sag. Squeeze your deep abdominal muscles and glutes, and hold your hips in line with the rest of the body
  • For starters, hold the position for 30 seconds and work up to 60 seconds or longer
  • Rest on your knees; when ready, repeat plank for two additional sets

Plank Strengthening the Core Aches & Joints


For a more challenging workout: In the plank position, alternately lift and move each leg outwards (see demonstration below)
Plank Strengthening the Core Aches & Joints


Julie Schlenkerman, Personal Trainer, Clubs at Charles River ParkThe Plank was demonstrated by Julie Schlenkerman, certified personal trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park, Boston, MA. Julie is an avid runner and ran the 2009 Boston Marathon in 3:16:14!


From our Archives: Simple exercises & Related articles

Scapular Exercises for Stronger Shoulders

Exercises for Strong and Healthy Shoulders
Shoulders permit our arms to move in a wide arc and perform elaborate activities. This mobility is due to superb coordination of muscles and soft tissues around the shoulder and shoulder blades (scapula, SKA-pew-la), and is essential for performing activities in a pain- and injury-free manner. See related article on Rotator Cuff complications impairing shoulder movement.

Conventional shoulder exercises strengthen the larger muscles but tend to overlook the mid-back muscles that stabilize the scapulas. This can often result in muscle imbalance and consequently, bad posture. Even non-shoulder exercises like running on a treadmill with shoulders slouched can lead to stiffness and pain. These conditions increase injury potential and thus the need for corrective exercises.

Michael Bento, personal trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park, Boston, demonstrates simple exercises you can do at home to develop shoulder strength and protect them from injury. As a bonus, these exercises also help tone the all important core muscles.

These exercises can be performed on a stability ball as shown, or on a work bench. Dumbbells or additional weights are not required. And as I surprisingly found out last week, you can do these scapular exercises while standing and starting with the arms in front! Yaay!


Common Starting Position for Shoulder-Scapula Exercises
scapular exercises

  • Anchor heels to a wall, toes on the floor and slowly roll out on a stability ball.
  • Rest upper abdomen on the ball and straighten body forming a line from ears to ankles.
  • Pull your shoulder blades down, tuck your chin and look at the floor.
  • Start with arms straight, hands in front of the ball (or bench), fingers lightly curled, palms facing each other and thumbs pointing forward.
  • In this position, your core muscles including abdominal and gluteus muscles are engaged in stabilizing your body.
  • For a challenging core-muscle workout, move your heels away from the wall as demonstrated above and use as starting position.

Continue reading

Yoga for Arthritis

This piece accompanies the article Men are from Mars and Women get Arthritis.


Yoga can provide immense physical benefits for women with arthritis.

For arthritis patients, aerobic exercises, muscle conditioning and increased physical activity can keep you strong and agile, improve heart fitness and reduce your weight. Yoga provides an effective alternative to the traditional strengthening and aerobic exercises, and offers other benefits as well.

While yoga may bring visions of complex body contortions, most yoga classes provide simple, gentle movements that gradually build muscular strength, promote balance and improve flexibility. Its meditative nature soothes and relaxes the mind, and is associated with increased mental alertness and enthusiasm. Scientific studies have shown that practicing yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, which is strongly recommended for arthritis patients. Yoga does not increase pain or worsen arthritis.

Picture of Padmasana Yoga Pose
Continue reading