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January 02, 1987 - Image 54

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-02

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MedSport physical therapist measures muscle strength.



Special to The Jewish News


retend you've just taken a
nasty spill out on the slopes.
Your knee feels as if it may
have exploded, and looks to
be at least twice its normal


Chances are, you're about to be-
come one of a growing number of
sports-minded Americans who enter
sports medicine centers each year for
treatment of battered knees, pulled
shoulder muscles, twisted ankles,
broken bones, shin splints, tennis el-
bows, and a host of other sports-related
injuries. As you hobble into one of the
centers examining rooms, you may
meet a limping defensive lineman on
the way out, or a high school basket-
ball star with his arm in a sling. You
may even spot a professional ball
player or two. Chances are many of the
patients you'll see will be individual,
week-end athletes.
In your course of out-patient
treatment the first person you'll see
will probably be a staff physician in
the field of sports medicine.
"When we see the injured athlete
initially, what we want to do first, of
course, is relieve inflammation," says
Dr. Nathan Gross, a physiatrist, a spe-
MedSport athletic trainer fitting an athletic knee brace.
cialist in physical medicine and re-
habilitation. He works mostly with
have the exercise equipment we can
cardio-vascular fitness, and tradi-
high-school-level and recreational
use, and also modalities of treatment
tional weights to train smaller muscle
athletes at Cottage Hospital Sports
like ice, heat, electrical stimulation of
Medicine Center in Grosse Pointe, and
the muscles."
"One of the advantages of a sports
in Sinai Hospital's sports medicine
The exercise equipment Gross
medicine center is the expertise of the
programs in Detroit and West Bloom-
mentions would be something you'd
people there, the ability of those people
come to know very well over the course
who work in that special field to make
"Doing that might mean prescrib•
of treatment, which might last as long
a highly-precise diagnosis of an in-
ing rest, and maybe some anti-
as ten-12 weeks, should your injury be
jury," says Gross. "You'd be surprised
inflammatory medication to reduce
a serious one.
at the number of athletes who go
pain and swelling. After we come to a
In most sports medicine centers,
around thinking they have tendonitis,
diagnosis of the injury, we prescribe
you'd probably find an Orthotron
for instance, when what they really
the individualized treatment pro-
machine for leg strengthening exer-
have is a stress fracture."
grams, try to get motion back in an
cises, along with a full range of
Dr. Robert Burks, physician for
affected joint, for example, work on
Nautilus equipment, Mini-Gyms for
all Wayne State University athletic
strengthening, co-ordinating through
low back conditioning, exercise bikes
teams, and head of the Sports
various therapeutic exercises. We
and pulse monitors, treadmills for
Medicine Center at Harper Hospital,
54 Friday, January 2, 1987

says that those physicians familiar
with the field of sports medicine will
most likely prescribe treatment utiliz-
ing the services of physical therapists
and trainers.
"That's one of the main advan-
tages of having sports-related injuries
treated at a sports medicine center,"
he says. "Elsewhere, a doctor might
prescribe just rest and medication for
certain types of sports-related injuries.
A sports physician may not prescribe
total rest (of the arm), for something
like tennis elbow, but would utilize
other exercises to still keep the arm in
shape while the elbow healed."
"Even though athletes may be in-
jured, they still want to keep their fit-
ness level up," says Tony Stachurski,
Administrative Director at the Uni-
versity of Michigan's new 12,000 sq. ft.
MedSport Center in Ann Arbor, "They
don't want to become de-conditioned.
So, at MedSport, we provide alternate
ways for them to train. In other words,
we don't just treat an injured knee, for
instance. While we're getting that
knee in shape, we want to keep every-
thing else going well, too."
While you're getting that knee in
shape, you may want to take a look
around and see what additional serv-
ices these high-tech treatment centers
offer for the community. You may find
some surprises.

For instance, some sports
medicine centers treat patients who
have never suffered a sports-related
injury. In fact, some of them aren't
athletes, either.
"We have several people here who
are recovering from heart attacks or
bypass surgery, or who have ex-
tremely high blood pressure, and were
referred here so that they could get in
on thine kind of regimented pro-
grams," Says Stachurski. "We also
have\five \heart transplant patients in
our program right now, along with
some people who are awaiting trans-
plants and need to be in better condi-
tion before they go in for surgery.

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