Christmas & Fitness Gadgets!

Okay, so this year on my Christmas list, I put down that I wanted gold, frankincense and myrrh.
For your own personal Christmas list, I complied a fun list of fitness related products below.
~Dr. Brett Carey, DPT

1. Solo Shot 2
The 2nd edition of an already great product. Solo Shot 2 is robotic cameraman that tracks you via a receiver arm band. I own the first edition myself. It has proved to be an incredible way to improve athletic performance through visual feedback.
 2. Apple Watch

There are still lots of unknowns regarding this device. What I suspect is that with a new tool Kit development program available, start ups will flock to make an abundance of apps. The new Apple Watch will probably have a better feature set than all current wearable combined.
apple watch
3. Waterfi ipod shuffle
Are you an aquatic endurance athlete? This waterproof ipod shuffle may be just the way to keep you from getting bored during long swims and paddle sessions.
P.S. I didn’t buy this device, instead I injected silicon grease for $7 and stuck my ipod shuffle in a ballon – seems to work well – try at your own risk!
4. Rumble Roller massage ball
I wouldn’t trade my rumble ball (extra firm) for any other myo ball. The spikes keep the ball from getting high centered around areas such as the shoulders and the hips.
5. Hitcase
Turn your iphone into an action camera. I haven’t used the Hitcase myself but intend to. Your iphone already comes with a great camera, why not use the camera you already have for your action sports needs?
I love surfing big, frightening waves, those are moments I want to remember for life. This product seems like a good outlet for storing such memories.

Workplace Ergonomics: Making free and cheap changes to your workspace

The cheapest ergonomic set up that I could possibly make.  Looking forward to seeing other peoples ideas on this topic!

The cheapest ergonomic set up that I could possibly make. Looking forward to seeing other peoples ideas on this topic!

I was talking to a patient recently about proper workplace ergonomics to reduce common problems such as carpal tunnel, elbow pains such as tennis and golfer’e elbow as well as neck and shoulder pains.

My patient really wanted to change his work station to accommodate some neck pains he was experiencing. I showed him how to set up his work station in order to avoid causing excessive strain to his neck region.

One problem arose: Like many underfunded workplaces, this particular patient wasn’t given any funds to change his work station and also did not have disposable income in order to buy accessories to make his mostly-desk-work job easier on his body.

He had a Macbook laptop that he was treating like a desktop computer. His chair and desk set up were okay and what he really needed was 1: an external keyboard or second monitor (to avoid looking down all day), an external mouse (to avoid excess side bending at the wrist). I am an Apple fan myself but must admit that Apple accessories are pricey.

Later that evening, I started thinking of how I could help this man feel better at work but also not spend much, if any money. Here in Hawaii us locals pride ourselves on our DIY solutions. In Hawaii the shipping for workplace equipment can cost more than the item itself.

Below are the solutions I came up with:

1: Air Display app: Cost: $10.00

Got an old ipad laying around? This app turns your ipad into a 2nd computer monitor and allow you to use the mouse and keyboard on your laptop. Simply drag content from your laptop screen up to your ipad screen.

This Fixes? The problem of causing excess cervical strain by looking down at a laptop screen all day. Position the Ipad on top of your desk and use the laptop on the desk pullout tray.

2: Printer paper box: Cost: Free!

Buy printer paper in bulk? Good! Take the box that the paper came in, place it on top of your desk and place the ipad with Air Display App on top.

3: RC Trackpad app: Cost: free!

Use your smart phone as your mouse

This Fixes? The problem of excessively side bending the wrist to the center of your laptop. Place phone to the side of your keyboard – where you would normally place an external mouse.

4: Cut up old mouse pad: Cost: free!

Have some old mouse pads lying around? If so, cut them in halves and glue them together in order to make a nice wrist rest in front of your keyboard.

This Fixes? Numb fingers; helps to minimize pressure on the wrists (carpal tunnel region).


In terms of fixing / preventing repetitive strain injuries common for desk workers, $10 can go a long way. I know these ideas may not work for everyone – dependent upon what hardware you are using at work. However, hopefully this will stimulate some new ideas and conversations. We are constantly coming up with new cheap, easy, solutions for poor works station ergonomics. Please email us with any questions or ideas.

Footwear Wars and Gait Analysis

In recent years the footwear debate has heated up.  Battle lines have been drawn between new distinctive groups such as the “minimalist” shoe folks and the “drop heel” traditionalists.
I have had so many patients come in with bags of shoes; hypersensitive to their shoe selections.  Some bring in barefoot running shoes and big bulky shoes and have no idea which direction to turn.  In some ways patients stressing about their footwear mimics the physical therapy professionals also stressing about how to advise regarding footwear.
I am still myself sorting out evidence and peer reviewed studies regrading footwear types.  Evidence and theories change so quickly that I have become determined not to make up my mind just yet…
Footwear war aside, I think its best to shift one’s emphasis to what you stick into the shoe — i.e. your foot.  I have seen plenty of patients bring in prescribed footwear from very highly skilled shoe fitters. The problem sometime being that you have the right shoe but still run / jog wrong.
The right shoe will still let you compensate for weak muscles and inflexible or injured muscle groups. The right shoe still may cause common injuries such as: plantar fascitis, patella tendonitis, IT band syndromes, etc…
My best advice: Footwear is important, bio-mechanical assessment is even more important. When analyzing / correcting your running – be process oriented and not just goal oriented. Know that running / jogging / walking correctly takes a very dedicated effort and an open mind but has big pay offs in performance. At our clinic in Keauhou, we analyze gait / running style of many athletes such as soccer players, 5ker’s and iron men participants. We used HD cameras, imovie software and the Uber Sense analysis app in an effort to paint the most complete picture of what is happening during movement.
Dr. Brett Carey DPT

For the General Public: Using as a resource

Have you ever googled: why does my knee hurt? Try it…

You will see a bunch of random information.  Some will pertain to a particular provider advertising their practice.  Some will suggest that your pain has dozens of different potential causes without really helping you figure out why your knee hurts.

The big problem with most health related web pages is that the web page doesn’t have the ability to interact with you.  Yes you can ask a question to the search engine, but the search engine cannot ask you a question.

Therapydia’s website does well to solve the above mentioned problem.  Best of all, the website is a free resource for anyone to use.  On our site, under the “For You” green box is a section called “Research a Condition.”

For You

Ask whatever you want regarding a particular injury / problem and a physical therapist from somewhere within the United States will answer.  Maybe your problem is an easy fix such as correcting the way you sit or lift an object.  Perhaps the solution sounds more involved and the therapist recommends you seek clinical care.

Although we don’t have the ability to solve all problems online, we do have the ability to start the process of gaining useful and specific information at the point of initial pain onset.  As a medical community, we have long sat within our “walled gardens”, tucking ourselves away in clinics and limiting our exposure to the communities that we are supposed to be serving.  Our ability to advance our skills and practices relies heavily on the ability of our communities to learn more about painful and debilitating conditions.

Please use and don’t wait until your first physical therapy appointment to ask your first question.

A Hui Hou,

Dr. Brett Carey D.P.T.