Sprain, Strain or Break: What’s the Difference?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, SportsCare, Winter | Posted on 27-01-2014

Older Man with Injured Leg in SnowWhether you are braving the icy, snowy weather or playing an indoor sport for exercise, winter can be a time when injuries to bones and muscles occur. If — or when — that happens, do you know the difference between a strain, a sprain and a break?

John Gee, a physical therapist for Memorial’s SportsCare, explains:

Strains occur in muscles and/tendons (the tissue that connects muscle to bone) and are most commonly caused by overuse (such as sports that require excessive jumping). However, any activity that causes a muscle to be twisted, pulled, overstretched or torn, such as a fall on the ice, can result in a strain. The most common symptoms of a strain include pain, muscle spasms/weakness, swelling, inflammation and cramping. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond Weight Lifting and Agility Training

Posted by | Posted in ALMH, SportsCare | Posted on 19-08-2013


Max Cook, senior, Lincoln Community High School

Max Cook is serious about improving his basketball game.

A senior this fall at Lincoln Community High School, Max has his sights set on earning an athletic scholarship. The 17-year-old is turning to the staff at Memorial SportsCare at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital to help him sharpen his game.

“Staying ahead of the competition is never easy. For some local athletes, weight lifting and agility training may not be enough,” said Missy Anderson, athletic trainer. “That’s why we offer an 18-session Performance Plus Program for those athletes ready to get a step ahead of the competition.” Read the rest of this entry »

How Yoga Supports Your Workout Regimen

Posted by | Posted in Events, Exercise, SportsCare | Posted on 11-04-2013

Yoga ClassNeed a low-impact exercise to compliment your cardio and strength-building exercises?

Just say, “om.”

Yoga — a set of body movements intended to stretch parts of the body while also focusing on breath control —is a great way to enhance your workout routine, said Gabriel Stinson, MS, PES, a sports enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare.

“Moving through and holding the various positions of yoga focuses on improving strength, flexibility and cardiovascular function,” Stinson said. “It’s also a great stress reliever. It provides a great workout while refreshing the mind and body.” Read the rest of this entry »

Training for a Tough Mudder

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 28-03-2013

mud runThe first time Gabe Stinson learned about a Tough Mudder race from a friend, he was intrigued. And once he participated in his first – he was hooked.

 Whether it’s a Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder  or Spartan Race, they’re gaining in popularity,” said Stinson, MS, a certified performance enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare.

Though more people are participating, these competitive events —  which combine off-road running through fields or rough terrain and challenging obstacles — are not for everyone, Stinson cautioned. Training is very different from training for a traditional road race. Read the rest of this entry »

Experts Urge Bounce House Safety Precautions

Posted by | Posted in ExpressCare, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Safety, SportsCare | Posted on 17-12-2012

Inflatable bounce houses are becoming a staple at backyard birthday parties and other outdoor gatherings. But with children’s more frequent exposure to these popular party attractions comes a higher likelihood of injury, experts are finding.

A new study, which looked at numbers from 1990 to 2010, found that more than 11,300 children were treated for bounce house-related injuries in 2010, twice the number from 2008. The study found that most injuries occurred from falls and collisions with other jumpers; more than half of the injuries included fractures, sprains and strains.

While the study couldn’t pinpoint a reason for the increased number of bounce house-related injuries, the authors suggest their growing popularity, which Paul Kircher, ATC/L, an athletic trainer with Memorial SportsCare, said he agrees with. Read the rest of this entry »

When Running Form Matters

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, SportsCare | Posted on 20-09-2012

As Gabe Stinson, M.S., a certified performance enhancement specialist with Memorial’s SportsCare, found out, even when you help other people improve their fitness, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ve mastered a perfect running form.

“A friend of mine told me about a race series called Tough Mudder, and I was hooked. I signed up for the nearest race and started training. For the first month or so, I ran pain free,” Stinson said.

But then the problems began. “My right knee started to hurt with every run. I backed off my training and rested, which helped. But the pain came back, and I knew it was time to see an athletic trainer.

“In just one session, my trainer saw that my calves, especially my right one, were tight. This threw off my running form that led to my knee pain. The advice? Stretch before and after each run to maintain proper running form.”

Stories like Gabe’s are fairly common according to Amanda Wilson, PT, DPT, ATC, also of Memorial’s SportsCare. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Nutrition Tips for Teen Athletes: Eat Well to Play Well

Posted by | Posted in Nutrition, SportsCare | Posted on 06-09-2012

As teens are back in school, many are also back in football, soccer or cross-country practices. If you have a teen athlete, their extra physical activity means an increased need for the right nutrition.

Katie Horstmeyer, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian who works with Memorial SportsCare, said the right nutrition makes a noticeable difference in a teen’s performance during practice and competition. To play well, teens need to eat well by making the right food choices. Horstmeyer outlines a few of her favorite nutrition tips for teen athletes and their parents. Read the rest of this entry »

Women’s Biathlon Offers Weight-Loss Surgery Patient Another Milestone

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Bariatrics, SportsCare | Posted on 04-09-2012

Margarita after bariatric surgery ready to participate in Memorial SportsCare's Women's Biathlon

One of her biggest challenges awaits Margarita Martin on Sept. 23, and the Charleston nurse and mother of three couldn’t be more excited.

Margarita will join hundreds of other central Illinois women when she takes part in Memorial SportsCare’s women’s biathlon. The 20-kilometer bike ride followed by a 5-kilometer run will be the biggest athletic event she’s tackled to date.

And that’s quite an accomplishment, considering that the 5-foot-10 woman weighed just over 300 pounds through most of the first half of 2011. After she had bariatric, or weight-loss, surgery at Memorial Medical Center in May 2011, she eventually lost 140 pounds.

Read her weight-loss story.

To prepare for the biathlon, Margarita has been running three days a week – a fast, short run and two slower, long runs – and doing cross-training exercise four days a week, including weights, hill training and bicycle riding. Read the rest of this entry »

Want to Build Power? Step Outside the Gym

Posted by | Posted in SportsCare | Posted on 01-08-2012

You don’t need to keep your power-strength workouts to the confines of your local gym. Take a look around your environment or even stop by your local junkyard, farm-supply shop or hardware store, and you’ll find the materials for a fun, inventive way of building strength for your sport of choice.

In the video below, Joshua Grant, an athletic trainer with Memorial SportsCare who works with several of the sports teams at Taylorville High School, describes four exercises using a tractor tire, sledgehammer, chain and sports utility vehicle.

Read the rest of this entry »

Biathlon Training For the Beginner

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Events, Exercise, SportsCare | Posted on 02-07-2012

September 23, 2012 | 9am

Congratulations! You’ve decided you want to cross the finish line at SportsCare Women’s Biathlon on Sept. 23 this year!

Now that you’ve decided to make the commitment, you may need some help figuring out where to start and what to do. Memorial SportsCare’s athletic trainers devised a training program to help beginners get into the right condition to be able to participate in the biathlon.

The biathlon consists of 12 miles of biking on gently rolling hills followed by a 3.1-mile run on a mostly flat course. At the end of the training program, you’ll be able to complete both – what an amazing achievement. Read the rest of this entry »