March 2012

Sports Medicine Program Serves the Active Community Member

For nearly 20 years, Northwest Community Hospital's (NCH) Physical Rehabilitation Sports Medicine Program has provided athletes of all competitive levels – including the recreational weekend warrior – with a wide range of both preventive health management and injury rehabilitation services. Together, NCH physical therapists and licensed athletic trainers provide comprehensive rehabilitation care and education to athletes 14 years and older.

"Our experienced and specialized team has built a portfolio of sports medicine resources that can be customized to meet the needs of any type of athlete," says Karen McCauley, director of NCH Physical Rehabilitation Services.

McCauley explains that the goal of the Sports Medicine program is to help athletes return to activity quickly and safely. To accomplish this, the team applies a progressive approach to rehab using the latest rehabilitation methods and tools. Since the Program is based out of the NCH Wellness Center, recuperating athletes have access to the facility's expansive fitness center, warm water therapy pool and lap pool. Whether an individual needs to address a bothersome ailment from years past, or requires rehab for a more recent injury, NCH experts are equipped to develop an exercise program that builds speed, agility, strength and/or endurance.

Outreach: Education and Evaluation

The Sports Medicine team also hosts educational seminars throughout the year, as well as the popular NCH Sports Injury Clinic. Held every other month, the Sports Injury Clinic is a free screening opportunity available to anyone who has a sports related injury and/or sports performance concern. At the Clinic, the NCH team will address an individual's concerns by taking a brief history and performing a screening assessment.

"The Sports Injury Clinic is a great resource for local athletes who are looking for a convenient, quick and cost-free physical screening assessment," says McCauley. "At the Clinic, attendees are given documented recommendations for follow-up care, and are encouraged to share findings of the screening assessment with their physician."

Helping Seniors Stay Active

In addition to rehabilitation of patients whose goals include returning to full and optimal participation in their sport, NCH's Sports Medicine team manages the Arlington Heights Walkers Club at the Arlington Heights Senior Center. Participants enjoy monthly group walks, senior fit testing events, and education sessions about a variety of topics such as low back pain, osteoporosis, and foot care. "The goal is to encourage healthy living choices among our older population and to help them stay physically active on a daily basis," adds McCauley.

More information

To learn more about the Sports Medicine program at NCH, physicians can contact Karen McCauley at 847.618.3560. The next Sports Injury Clinic will be held in May, and registration with NCH is required for attendees. For details about the free Sports Injury Clinic, physicians and their patients can call 847.618.3575.