Pace yourself, focus on posture while working out and working from home amid coronavirus pandemic, doctors say

Sarah Schulte Image
Thursday, July 16, 2020
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This dancer suffered her first major injury after trying to record an at-home audition.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to exercise at home, leading to an increase in injuries in some cases.

Krista Ellensohn, a 31-year-old dancer, still has a few more months of physical therapy while recovering from surgery. She tore her ACL while recording a dance audition on her phone in her condo parking garage; seconds into it, Ellensohn goes down.

"I heard something pop in my knee at least twice, and I sat there by myself in a garage space in a condo building," Ellensohn said.

Dancing since she was 5, Ellensohn's torn ACL is her first major injury. Like so many, COVID-19 has forced her to train on her own.

"I've been trying to train intermittently, not nearly as much as I do on a regular basis -- dancing six days a week -- probably only doing it a couple days," she said. "I'm sure (there's a) lack of muscle in my lower half."

Ellensohn is one of many patients at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush who have been injured during the COVID-19 pandemic, either overdoing it or not doing it correctly while exercising at home.

"The injuries we've seen are tendon injuries, rotator cuff injuries from people in the 40s, 50s, 60s," said Dr. Jorge Chahla, who works at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush.

Chahla said he has also seen many injuries caused by people working from home without the proper chairs or desks.

"They are basically working under conditions they are not used to working, so a lot of back problems, a lot of hip problems," he said.

And while she continues to work hard to get back to dancing, Ellenson admits it's not a bad time for an injury.

"Luckily there are no performances I'm missing at the moment; every time I tell someone I'm injured (they say it's the) best time to do it," she said.

And as the pandemic continues, doctors say they best way to avoid injuries is to concentrate on your posture when working from home and pace yourself when exercising on your own.