Repair, Rebuild, Regain - Injury Rehab on a Kick Scooter
Here at Swifty HQ, we talk about fitness and the health benefits of embracing active travel through scooting a lot. Why? Because we’ve felt the positive effects ourselves, and want to help you do the same! Recently, we've heard from numerous customers who are utilising their Swifty's to aid in recovery following an injury or operation. They've found scooting to be a great way of staying active and building back their fitness levels.
The recovery period is absolutely crucial, as the adult human body needs plenty of time to heal. As scooting is low impact on joints, it is the perfect way to keep fit without running the risk of causing further damage. Active rehabilitation is a popular approach to injury recovery and prevention, and a kick scooter is a perfect way for you to embrace it!
In our recent survey to the Swifty community 1/5th of the respondents defined themselves as 'physically disadvantaged'. The types of impairment ranged from chronic fatigue, to back pain to amputees. Despite their wide and incredibly varied range of abilities, they all found scooting to be an invaluable asset.
Important, please note: We would always recommend consulting first with your doctor or physician before considering a scooter for rehabilitation or if you have an existing condition, we cannot offer medical advice.
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Adult Scooters for Low Impact, Active Rehab That Fits Around You
With scooting, there is no set speed or distance you need to achieve in order to see results, it’s entirely up to you! Fun and accessible, a scooter is a great asset for someone at any level of fitness. Whether you’re looking to get moving for the first time following an injury, or you're well on your way to feeling 100% again, you can find a scooting routine that works for you and your specific needs.
As a low impact activity, scooting can help with all manner of injuries. For instance, while recovering from a foot injury, you can either rest the injured foot on the scooter or use it to softly push yourself along. Unlike running, scooting will allow the injured foot to go through a full range of movement without ever taking on the full pressure. Active physiotherapy that is safe and fun!
You'd struggle to find a more enjoyable, low impact variable exercise than heading out on a kick scooter. We all know how monotonous running can be, especially on a treadmill and for those who are yet to build up their stamina. Boredom is one of the root causes of abandoned fitness endeavours and the all-time biggest killer of motivation.
Keep things fresh and interesting by adopting kick fit style exercise. It'll open up new routes, and you'll be able to travel much further and explore more areas than you can on foot. One kick on a scooter will take you a lot further than one step of a run!
Thanks to scooting's flexibility, this exercise can be fitted into almost any existing fitness plan, making it perfect for those recovering from sprains, strains, and sports injuries. In fact, a little while ago Swifty was approached by the strength and conditioning coach of the NBA Brooklyn Nets because of how scooters are such a ‘great way to build low-impact cardio and multi-planar exercise into the team’s training and rehab’. If it’s good enough for the Brooklyn Nets, it’s good enough for you!
‘‘I have accumulated quite a few overuse injuries, including rotator cuff inflammation from handball/racquetball; 2 lumbar ruptures from running; shoulder separation from Aikido, and others. When my Physiotherapist recommended that I stop running and cycling, I was feeling pretty huffy. Enter SwiftyONE. Scooting itself has been a blessing. It is more workout than walking and for me, as speedy as running—but without the shock factor.’ – Trustpilot reviewer
Active Recovery to Build Back Confidence in Your Muscles
If you’ve had some time out from exercise and are looking to build back your fitness levels it can be daunting to start again. A sprained ankle, for example, could put you out of action for up to 5 months, and your ankle rehab time could be more on top of that. You’re inevitably going to be cautious when you head out for the first time after.
A trip on an adult scooter allows you to comfortably work out your entire body without putting too much pressure on any specific part, building your confidence back one push at a time.
Less certain about a particular area of your body? No problem, it couldn't be simpler to adapt your riding to what feels most comfortable. For example, if one leg is a bit weaker than the other that can rest on the footplate for most of the journey and the amount it’s used can be built up in subsequent journeys.
Turning to scooters will mean you open yourself up to a whole new way of moving. As Scootergirl2222 has said in a post on Instagram ‘I bought my first kick scooter a few months ago as a result of an injury preventing me from doing some of my normal hobbies. I started exploring the paths that were so familiar to me but seeing them in a new light.... Especially the hills! My injury is getting better but I'm not sure I want to put my scooter down just yet... Let the adventures commence!’.
Another great example of this is Allyson Richmond's review of the SwiftyONE Marine Allyson says ‘In my mid-50s, I was sidelined by an ankle injury and after 4 years of searching for another form of exercise, I decided to try active scooting … and I'm securely on track to returning to my previous level of fitness.’ She goes on to say how she’s ‘determined to continue increasing my level of fitness so that I can commute both to and from work entirely on my Swifty’. Despite her injury, she’s found kick scooters to be an accessible and enjoyable way to get out and on track with her fitness goals.
Regaining confidence goes beyond just the muscles that help you move, however. We were recently contacted by Michelle who told us how scooting has helped her rebuild her ‘endurance and lung capacity after COVID-19’! The accessibility of scooting meant she was still able to get active even though ‘Initially I could only scoot a hundred meters or so before gasping for air’.
‘I recently bought a SwiftyZERO and it has been instrumental in my recovery from COVID-19. Initially, I could only scoot a hundred meters or so before gasping for air. Over the course of three months, I have increased my endurance and lung capacity almost back to normal. It has been slow-going with many relapses but the good days now outnumber the difficult ones. My yellow Swifty will always represent grit, hope and a reminder to keep moving.’ - Michelle
Scooting for Cardio after Foot, Knee or Lower Limb Injuries
According to the NHS website ‘The knee joint is probably the most frequently damaged joint and is particularly vulnerable as it takes the full weight of your body’. When looking at something like knee injury rehab, the low impact benefits of scooting can be a real asset.
Many people that suffer from injuries as a result of overactivity will likely be frustrated by their affliction and want to find a way to get active as soon as possible again. Scooting can offer that chance to get moving again sooner than a lot of other activities.
This is something we’ve heard a lot of feedback about from our community too, one customer left a review on Trustpilot saying ‘This is the second SwiftyONE I’ve purchased within a week. I’d been thinking about getting one for a while to allow me to get some low-impact aerobic exercise as a knee issue stops me from jogging/running these days – and I also wanted a fun way of getting around’. Another reviewer has told us 'I have had a bad knee for years and this is helping me build up strength in my legs without heavy impact. I haven't looked back.’
'Less than 3 months ago I had my ACL and my meniscus damaged (knee injury) and was hard to walk, I am still under consultant care. We went once to the park with me on my bike but after the ride, my knee was so tender and painful that it took a few days of rest to settle down again. The Swifty scooter, on the other hand, offers just the best combo ever for me, my knee is getting stronger and I am exercising with my son. The first time we went out on the scooter, was hard work for me and I was out of breath, but now I feel my self-getting fitter and stronger.' – Trustpilot review
Active Rehab: Can't Run or Cycle? Scoot to Recover after Knee, Ankle or Leg Injuries
We often discuss the cardio benefits that scooting brings, but what we have also discovered from talking to our community is that the scooting action allows you to go through full ranges of movement in various joints comfortably and without risk of further damage. It can work as a rehab exercise.
One customer reached out to us to let us know the benefits he has found from scooting as a result of an accident where they broke both their leg and ankle - ‘The prognosis for my recovery and range of movement in my ankle was quite poor. Cycling proved to be far too painful to be useful for rehabilitation, but scooting (oddly) turned out to be much more tolerable.’ ‘Scooting really helps reduce the swelling that I still get in my ankle. It’s a daily tool for me to help my rehabilitation. My range of ankle movement far exceeds the best case scenario I was given.’
Equally, kick scooting can benefit those living with conditions that limit our movement, as we found when contacted by a customer with ‘severe arthritis of my right hip and knee’. Running or cycling simply isn’t an option for people with conditions such as this, but scooters offer a way to get active safely. The customer told us - ‘I'm 56, overweight with severe arthritis of my right hip and knee and need to lose weight prior to my hip replacement op. This scooter is perfect for 'low impact' exercise. I've changed the handlebars to 'cross risers', fitted a velo meter to it and there is no stopping me!’.
Cycling is often what people first turn to if they’re looking for a less impactful way to get active, but cycling can be restrictive as an exercise to those who have experienced back injuries. This is a sentiment we were told about by the below customer -
'My back is a concern as I injured it a couple of years ago. This then led me to research scooters, in particular kick scooters. I chose this over a bike option due to being able to be upright. I would definitely recommend Swifty scooters to anyone who may have similar issues to me or simply want a city form of transport or simply for a good quality product as an alternative to a bike.’ - Trustpilot Review
Active Travel to Rebuild Balance
As well as building up your muscular endurance and general cardio, scooting is a brilliant way to develop an often overlooked part of fitness: balance. It’s something it’s all too easy to neglect and which many people take for granted. Been resting for a significant period of time? Your balance will most likely have depleted and it’s something that will naturally continue to do so with age. However, all is not lost! This is something we could all be working on right now.
Scooting is the ideal way of putting your balance to the test. Riding a scooter destabilises your smaller, interconnecting muscles in the knee and ankle, making your body work to keep you stabilised.
You’re already very close to the ground so it’s very easy to step off if you need to, especially compared to say, a bike. Even the most confident first-time scooters are wobbly on their weaker leg, so it’s good to get an equal work out across the body, something that can be a challenge to fit into other types of a workout!
We have worked hard to perfect the geometry of our scooters to offer you a stable and safe ride. Recently a customer contacted us to say how great the difference is compared to their previous scooter and how the Swifty would have given them more confidence during their injury recovery -
‘When you are in the early stages of rehabilitation you are so nervous about falling/twisting. The Swifty would have been a huge security blanket of stability’
‘Scooting will give me one big leg’ is one of the main misconceptions we hear about adult scooters at Swifty - learn the rest of our Top 5 Scooter Myths
Using a Scooter to Stay Mobile
A great deal of injury recovery has to be done inside, sat and resting the injured limb. For many, being stuck in the house can take a terrible toll on their mental health. Getting yourself up and about is going to do wonders for your mind as well as your body which is busy working hard to heal.
There’s a close link between your mental and physical health, and if you’ve sustained a physical injury it stands to reason your mental health can be tested somewhat. If you’re an especially active person the range of endorphins released during exercise will suddenly stop during your rehab period, which can have a considerable effect on you.
The ease of scooting gives you the chance to get up and be somewhat mobile during your recovery (of course dependant on your injury). In fact, Olympic short track speed skater, Elise Christie, utilised one of the Team GB Swiftys when she was dealing with an ankle injury in order to get around the Olympic village in Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Not all exercise needs to be about the physical benefits, positives can come just from knowing you aren’t just stuck in one place. One of our followers on Instagram has found this with their scooter too. They told us ‘as someone who has chronic pain stopping me walking any distance [my Swifty] has been a lifeline and a great way to get endorphins!’.
We have also had customers that suffer from conditions that limit their mobility praise their Swifty as a way of allowing them to get around. One person has left a trust pilot review saying - ‘My SwiftyONE is stable and smooth and, as I suffer from MS, is fantastic for helping me to get around - wouldn't want to be without it’.This sentiment is echoed by Caroline in a comment on one of our blogs -
‘I have Multiple Sclerosis and suffer from a condition called drop foot, so walking is difficult. The freedom my scooter has given me to get out and about is mammoth, otherwise, I would be a couch potato I'm afraid!’
Active Travel Solution for Those with Lower Limb Difference
Struggling with a more severe form of injury or living with a limb difference? A scooter can still be a great aid to your daily life and fitness.
Here at Swifty, we're passionate about helping people with limb difference to embrace the many benefits owning a scooter can bring. How do we know scooting works? We learned from two of our own ambassadors Jack Eyers and Poli Paterson. Both Jack and Poli are above the knee, single-leg amputees, and both have found their Swifty’s invaluable in getting around.
In Poli’s case, using a Swifty made getting from A to B easy and fun, and allowed her to unlock a greater sense of freedom in her day-to-day life. By working her weaker side, she did something numerous doctors had told her was impossible. Poli actually fixed her hip contracture (a common issue that amputees face). You can learn more about Poli’s story HERE.
As for Jack, he’s been busy opening up the range of movement in his less dominant side, which has been great throughout his training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. His kick scooter is the perfect means of transportation on competition days and helps him to get between locations without causing any sores or discomfort. He's also praised his Swifty for aiding him in building trust in his right leg. By gaining an understanding of where his prosthetic leg is positioned during a scoot, Jack is able to put that side of his body ‘through the full range of movement, which doesn’t happen otherwise’. Without this, his hip flexors would get drastically stiffen and ultimately become a potential cause of injury.
Both ambassadors actively work with the charity Limb Power who's goal is to 'engage amputees and individuals with limb impairments in physical activity, sport and the arts to improve quality of life and to aid lifelong rehabilitation.' We have also worked with Limb Power to help demonstrate the benefits that kick scooters can bring to amputees. Making scooting accessible to people is important to us to we want to help where we can so as many people can feel the benefits of scooting as possible!