Monthly archive for October 2015

Sports Related Concussions :: A Follow Up Report

In a recent interview with WZZM and My West Michigan we talked about concussions amongst students and athletes. Topics included what to look for and how we treat the issues. This was timely with fall sports starting up – most people tend to think of football when they hear about student concussions, but a recent study shed some light on this topic and the results might surprise you.

A new study of 5 years’ worth of concussion data from NCAA sports reveals that men’s wrestling is the sport with the highest rate of sports-related concussion (SRC), but men’s football remains on top in terms of the sheer number of athletes who experience SRC while in practice or competition. And in men’s and women’s sports that can be directly compared—lacrosse, ice hockey, soccer, and others—female athletes tend to have higher rates of SRC than their male counterparts.

Top 5 Sports Per 10,000 Athlete Exposures
1. Men’s Wrestling
2. Men’s Ice Hockey
3. Women’s Ice Hockey
4. Men’s Football 
5. Women’s Soccer

Annual Numbers of Sports-Related Concussions by Sport
1. Men’s Football
2. Women’s Soccer
3. Women’s Basketball
4. Men’s Basketball
5. Men’s Wrestling

Consussions can happen any place, at any time – not just to students during sporting events. The kids might be horsing around at home, dad might take a tumble on the ski slopes, mom might slip on the ice. We see patients with concussions all the time, but the key is to get help right away so we can monitor the patient and administer the necessary care. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the office nearest you.

Senior Fitness with eightWest and WOOD TV

It’s never too late to get fit
Exercise is good for everybody, but it becomes even more important as we age. An appropriate amount of physical activity is essential for seniors to help maintain physical and mental health. At Northern we treat older adults who have an injury or condition, or who want to work on an exercise program. At any age, exercise and physical activity can be a “wonder pill.” It can prevent or delay heart disease/stroke, some cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, low back pain, high blood pressure, and balance problems/falls. But exercise is not just good for you physically, its great for you mentally as well. Exercise and physical activity can also manage stress, improve your mood, reduce feelings of depression, improve your ability to think more clearly, and improve your energy levels.

Our very own Gina Otterbein and Julie Blodgett stopped by the studios of WOOD TV’s eightWest to talk with Rachael Ruiz about this very topic.

Rachael Ruiz, Julie Blodgett, and Gina Otterbein

Gina and Julie demonstrated simple exercises that people can do at home, based on the 4 categories of exercise that we should all follow: endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance.

You can see the segment in its entirety at the link below.

If you missed any of our previous eightWest segments, you can see us talk about healthy kids and teens, proper form when running and stretching, women’s health, and direct access to physical therapy in Michigan.

From the Couch to a 5k :: Race On

Just 12 months ago I never imagined I’d be able to run a 5k, even though it was something I had always wanted to do. I’m 55 years old and was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis. I’ve tried a few couch to 5k programs in the past, but without the accountability of others I never fully completed any of them. When I was introduced to Northern Physical Therapy’s RunFit program and saw the opportunity to train with a group, I signed up. Nothing to lose, right?

After a few hard weeks, I’m happy to say that I completed the entire RunFit program. The group was fun and they gave me the encouragement to keep going. The morning of our 5k I was so nervous, “could I really do this?” I wondered. My goal was to run the entire race without walking, and I did it! Running across the finish line was an exhilarating feeling, not only had I finished, but I came in several minutes under my goal.

Running the race was hard work but whenever I felt like slowing down I thought about my younger sister who was having several health issues. I told myself that after everything she has had to endure, I could do this.

Gina Otterbein and Marcia ran the Katty Shack 5k together in 2015.

Its been just a few months since my first 5k and I’m thrilled to say I have since completed 2 more. I’ve set a goal for myself of running one 5k race each month. I love supporting great causes through the races, and I’m seeing the benefits of my continued workouts, which include yoga, and of course, running. I plan to continue my routine with the hopes that I’ll be healthier in my golden years, and be able to keep up with my energetic grandkids.

I found that by setting a goal and being persistent, it is possible to do anything!