Dr. Kelly McInnis
Given the mechanics of rowing, crew athletes are at risk for spine dysfunction, muscle strain and stress injuries. We find that prevention efforts should focus on core strength training (upper and lower core) and scapular endurance and stabilization.
Sports Medicine Physiatrist
Since its inception in 1965, the Head Of The Charles Regatta has attracted hundreds of thousands of rowers to the banks of the Charles River in Boston. Because of its location, also on the Charles, and its hard-earned reputation as the preeminent sports medicine provider in New England, Massachusetts General Hospital is home to many of the doctors, physiatrists and trainers who work with the local collegiate crew athletes that compete in the annual event. Sports medicine physiatrist and Harvard Athletics team physician Kelly McInnis, DO, is one such caregiver.
Dr. McInnis works closely with collegiate rowers to make sure they perform at their best and avoid injury. While these athletes train hard and are in peak physical condition, Dr. McInnis cautions that competitive rowing can result in repetitive motion injuries. "Given the mechanics of rowing, crew athletes are at risk for spine dysfunction, muscle strain and stress injuries. We find that prevention efforts should focus on core strength training (upper and lower core) and scapular endurance and stabilization. Load management is critical on the boat and while erging."
"Erging" is an abbreviated term referring to the ergometer, a rowing machine crew athletes often utilize to train indoors. "Load management" refers to athletes' modification of rowing stroke relative to a rest interval. Dr. McInnis and her colleagues on the Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine team work with college rowers and other athletes of all ages and skill levels to help them train better, perform faster, and prevent and treat injuries of all types.