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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Prevent Sports Injuries

Playing sports is a lot of fun. Getting hurt is not. Here are some key points to remember so you can stay in the game.

  • Warm up:  Performed pre-exercise, this can include light cardiovascular activity (such as brisk walking) to raise your heart rate, and active warm up with stretches or activities similar to your sport.
·         Cool down:  Performed following exercise, this should include static stretching to muscles used during the sporting activity. Static stretching involves stretching while the body is at rest, by stretching to a point of tension and holding that stretch for a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • Stretching:  Concentrate on all muscle groups in the upper body, lower body, and core.
  • Core Strengthening Program:  General or tailored to your sport, including balance activities.
  • Cardiovascular Exercise: 30-60 minutes per day  
  • Footwear: Select shoes appropriate to your sport that provide support and shock absorption.
  • Avoid Overtraining: When competing, begin training far enough ahead of time to work up to your target.  Progression into an exercise program too quickly can lead to injury.
Consult with a personal trainer, athletic trainer or physical therapist for exercise suggestions specific to your sport. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan patient writes inspiring autobiography about life in a wheelchair

DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) patient, Sharina Jones, will be at RIM Thursday, June 27 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, signing copies of her new self-published autobiography, Life of a Push Goddess.

Life of a Push Goddess is the story of one disabled woman's push through discrimination to prove that not all goddesses are alike. Sharina’s idyllic life turns upside down at age five when she’s shot. Paralyzed from the waist down, she refuses to be confined by a wheelchair. When her father dies and her family falls apart, Sharina’s eating disorder rages out of control and exacts a dangerous toll on her body and self-esteem. Will she conquer her demons and be reunited with the man who loves her as she is?

Through the cruel taunts of classmates to cheerleader tryouts to winning the title of Ms. Wheelchair Michigan 2011, Jones’ story is a roller coaster of joy, shock, grief, anger, laughter and expectation. Jones doesn’t claim to be an expert on self-esteem issues or ask for sympathy in her 144-page book. Instead, she offers a look at life from a wheelchair – and how that life is just as hilarious, heartbreaking and hopeful as one walked on two feet. She touches on issues such as discrimination against the disabled and more with brutal honesty and easy humor.

Sharina Jones is a former Ms. Wheelchair Michigan and the founder and president of Think Beyond the Chair, a non-profit agency which provides social activities, events, support, education and advocacy for people with disabilities. Life of a Push Goddess is her first book.

Life of a Push Goddess is available at Amazon, Kindle and Lulu.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan recognized for nursing excellence by Magnet

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has awarded DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) Magnet® designation for excellence in nursing. Magnet® designation is one of the highest distinctions a hospital can receive, less than 7 percent of hospitals in the U.S. have achieved Magnet® status. RIM is the only rehabilitation hospital in Michigan and one of only three rehab hospitals in the U.S. to receive the Magnet® designation. RIM joins the DMC’s Detroit Receiving Hospital and Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in achieving this honor.
A jubilant cheer resonated throughout the hospital today, as a packed auditorium of RIM staff received a surprise phone call from Pat Reid Ponte, DNSc RN NEA-BC FAAN, Chair of the Commission for the Magnet Recognition Program®, who delivered the good news.
Magnet® status is bestowed only to hospitals that exceed professional standards in nursing practice, leadership, education and research, and are able to document them. Research shows there are clear benefits to hospitals that achieve Magnet® status and to the communities they serve including consumer confidence, recruitment and retention, and maintaining positive patient outcomes.
“This momentous achievement only confirms what we have always known, that RIM’s nurses are among the best in the country. This is great news for RIM, the community and our patients who truly benefit from the professionalism, care and dedication our nurses provide every day,” said Bill Restum, PhD, president, RIM.
“RIM’s nursing staff has met the highest standards of excellence to receive Magnet status designation.  We are recognized for providing the very best in nursing practice and leadership, said Julia M. Libcke MSN, CRRN. Vice President, Patient Care Services, RIM. “I am incredibly proud of our rehabilitation nursing staff and the entire RIM family.   Today we celebrate our journey and the amazing difference we make each day in the lives of our patients and families,” she added.
RIM began their rigorous Magnet® journey in 2008. After submitting 116 sources of evidence compiled to verify the nursing staff's excellence in the 5 Model Components of Magnet®, representatives from the ANCC conducted a two-day, multi-faceted site visit to RIM in March 2013. Three Magnet® Appraisers observed nursing practice and performance, and spoke to nurses, physicians, board members and community stakeholders during the site visit.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hand therapy puts world back at patient’s finger tips

“I first thought my injury was no big deal. A few stitches and I’d be on my way. Wow, was I wrong.  It’s amazing how something seemingly so small has made such a big impact on my life.”
It was Nov. 30, 2013 and Kathleen Lowry was making a smoothie in what she calls her “ninja blade blender.  As she was pouring it into a cup, the blade came tumbling out.  Instead of letting it fall to the floor, she tried to catch it, slicing the tip of her right index finger.
As a nurse anesthetist at the Sinai-Grace Berry Surgery Center, she is familiar enough with medical situations to know this cut needed more than a band aid.  She headed to a nearby ER where a medical student said she was lucky that she didn’t cut her tendon, stitched her up and sent her home.
At first she thought she was healing well, but still unable to bend the tip of her finger a week and a half later, she knew the accident was much more serious.  She went to see a hand surgeon who said her tendon had been severed and it had probably retracted into her palm. Surgery was a must. Her doctor wasn’t available but her coworkers recommended DMC hand surgeon Dr. Brian Najarian.
“When I called Dr. Najarian’s office, they got me in immediately.  Dr. Najarian and his whole staff were so reassuring and really put me at ease.  He was also very thorough in explaining everything.”
Two weeks after her accident, Kathleen had surgery.  Dr. Najarian was able to fish the tendon out of her palm and reattach it.  He gave her a 50/50 chance that her fingertip nerves would regenerate and he was optimistic that she would regain functional use of her finger.  He sent her to DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan to give her finger every chance for a positive recovery.
“I’ve been going to DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan in Novi two times a week since my surgery.  They are just terrific there.  They’re knowledgeable and offer the most advanced treatments. But what I’m most impressed about is they’re taking care of me emotionally too.”
Kathleen says this small injury has left her depressed and frustrated.  While her friends and family are telling her to enjoy the time off work, she can’t.  The injury happened on her dominate hand and she can’t pinch or grasp. That means extra effort to write, use a keyboard, eat, dress and just in general taking care of her daily needs.
“Holy cow, this has been difficult.  I’m so thankful DMC Rehabilitation Institute is there to help me through it.  From the tip of my finger to my toes, they’re worried about the whole me.  I look forward to going back to work and getting back to life, thanks to Dr. Najarian and DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan’s Wheelchair Basketball Team Wins National Championship

DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan’s (RIM) wheelchair basketball team, the Detroit Diehards, are the 2013 National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s (NWBA) Division III National Champions. The team defeated Tampa Bay in the finals Sunday, April 21 during the NWBA tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. This was the team’s fourth appearance in the tournament and their first national championship win.

The Detroit Diehards were one of 24 Division III teams competing in the tournament held April 18-21, and the only team to go undefeated during tournament play.

RIM’s 8-member team is comprised of athletes with physical disabilities, aged 18 to 40 from throughout southeast Michigan. The team was 10-4 during regular season play and was ranked third going into the tournament.
Several team members also received special honors. Eighteen year-old, double amputee, Jesus Villa, who hit a game winning shot during the semi-final game, was named MVP of the tournament. Hurie Johnson was named to the 1st Team All-Tournament and Kevin Konfara and Deon Vereen were named to the 2nd Team All-Tournament.
The NWBA is comprised of over 200 wheelchair basketball teams within twenty-two conferences. Founded in 1948, the NWBA today consists of men's, women's, intercollegiate, and youth teams throughout the United States of America and Canada.

RIM has been sponsoring the Detroit Diehards since 2002. The team is supported through grants, donations, and fundraising events such as RIM’s annual “Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball Game,” (

DMC’s Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan is one of the nation’s largest hospitals specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. The Institute is home to many innovative programs, including the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery, a world-class facility designed to implement and study innovative treatments in spinal cord injury recovery. RIM is one of eight hospitals operated by the Detroit Medical Center (DMC). The DMC is proud to be the Official Healthcare Services Provider of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, and Detroit Pistons.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Paralympic Medalist, Jeremy Campbell, to visit DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan

DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) is pleased to welcome Paralympic gold medalist, Jeremy Campbell, to Detroit. Jeremy will be speaking to patients, staff and athletes with disabilities at RIM on Wednesday, April 10 from 12-1:30 pm in RIM’s auditorium, located at 261 Mack, Detroit, MI. The event is free and open to the public.

Campbell, from Perryton, TX, was born without a right fibula and had is lower leg amputated when he was only 16 months old. The youngest of three brothers, Campbell grew up in an athletic family and wanted to follow in his brothers’ athletic footsteps, even if he had just one foot to do it.

He spent most of his entire life competing against able-bodied athletes, first as an All-State football player in high school and then in other sports.  As a member of the U.S. National Track & Field Paralympic Team, he has achieved world-wide success and broken numerous records.

Campbell, who competes with a carbon-fiber blade attached to his right leg, is the first disabled athlete to break 60 meters in the 1.5-kilo discus. He set a world record at the Endeavor Games with a throw of 63.45 meters (208 feet, 2 inches).
Campbell earned a pair of gold medals in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing in the discus and pentathlon, and most recently he won gold again in the discus at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Not only is Jeremy training for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, he has also set his eyes on qualifying and competing in the Olympic Games. Off the track, Jeremy prides himself on giving back in the community and being an active role model for those with a disability to show others that no dream is ever too big or out of reach. 

In recognition of his accomplishments,
Campbell will receive “The Spirit of da Vinci Award, ” and deliver the keynote speech at the National MS Society’s 2013 da Vinci Awards® gala, Thursday, April 11, at the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, Michigan. 
The da Vinci Awards® are an international forum of recognition for the most innovative developments in adaptive and assistive technologies.  Inventors and innovators from around the world will compete to win the da Vinci Award in each of five award categories, with the winners announced live at the April 11 gala.

For more information about the da Vinci Awards, visit

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When should you stretch, before or after your workout?

To stretch or not to stretch…..that is the question! And the answer is YES!
But I know you all knew that, right?  Now you may ask, “When should I stretch, before or after my workout?”
Well, I am glad you asked! It turns out that you should actually do both; stretch before and after your workout.
Now here’s the scoop on what to do and when to do it.
There are two types of stretches; static and dynamic.  The static stretch would be considered the “old school” stretch that increases muscle flexibility by moving one end of the muscle while the other end is fixed. The muscle is stretched in only one direction and usually held for 20-30 seconds and repeated multiple times. The dynamic stretch, or “new school” stretch is a stretch that uses sports/activity specific movements to prepare the body for activity.  During this stretch you perform movements similar to the sport/activity you are preparing for by gradually increasing the reach and speed of the movement as the range of motion is also increased. Dynamic stretching stretches the muscle in multiple directions. This is important because during physical activities we are constantly moving in multiple directions, therefore the dynamic stretch will better prepare us for the physical demands of sports related activities.
Here’s the key: Before your activity (especially a sport related activity) begin with a dynamic stretch. Perform the actual movements of the sport/activity and then end with a cool down program that includes static stretching to the muscle groups that were used during the workout.
Why you ask? That’s a good question! Well research has shown that static stretching can decrease muscle strength by up to 9% for 60 minutes after the stretch.  Additionally, the force a muscle can produce may be reduced for a period of time after a static stretch.  On the other hand, dynamic stretching increases core strength, elongates the muscles, stimulates the nervous system, and helps decrease the chance of injury.
Here’s an example of what you should do to incorporate static and dynamic stretching into your exercise routine.
If you were going to play tennis, and wanted to start with a dynamic stretch prior to your match, you could begin by performing mini squats, and then side step squats to the left and right. This would prepare your quadriceps for activity. After the match you could perform a static stretch for your quadriceps by standing on one leg and grabbing the ankle of the opposite leg while pulling it toward your buttock and holding for 20-30 seconds, and repeating 3 times.
Now that you know, you are responsible. Go forth and stretch!
By: Deneen Carter, DPT, OMPT, CSCS, DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan