University of St. Francis Softball Player Competes in Nationals after Shoulder Overuse Injury Recovery

Jasmine Sifuentez, 21, of Orland Park, IL, stepped back on the softball mound this spring for the first time in more than a year. A pitcher for the University of St. Francis softball team, she is part of a growing number of young athletes missing playing time and experiencing pain from overuse injuries.

Training nine months each year for much of her life, playing softball has become her way of life. However, over time, she developed a nagging pain in her right shoulder that she assumed was a normal consequence of pitching. Eventually, it became too much and she began physical therapy to treat it conservatively. Then, one day, while still in physical therapy and practicing normally, her shoulder pain took a turn for the worse.

“It was during the fall season and I had thrown a lot the day before,” explains Sifuentez. “I was training in the weight room doing squats when I heard a ‘snap’ in my right shoulder. I knew something was wrong immediately.”

Concerned that it was time to take her shoulder condition seriously, she visited the athletic trainers at her school who referred her to sports medicine surgeon Dr. Brian Forsythe at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. After a consultation, he diagnosed a labral tear in her right shoulder and recommended surgery to repair it.


“I was definitely scared going into surgery, but also kind of relieved,” Sifuentez said. “Dr. Forsythe and his team thoroughly explained everything to me, which put me at ease. After playing through the pain for so long, it was a relief to finally have a plan to fix it.”

View 3D Animation of the surgical procedure (Brochure)

After her successful surgery, she completed a regimen of physical therapy and was cleared by Dr. Forsythe to throw for her junior year. For the first time since high school, she was pitching pain-free in what she considers her “best season yet.” She and her team did so well that they went on to compete in Nationals at the 2015 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) Softball World Series in Columbia, KY.

She credits Dr. Forsythe getting her back to playing the game she loves and returning her to the same level of play.

877 MD BONES (877.632.6637)

Gift of Tissue Donation through AlloSource; Innovative Sports Injury Recovery Lab

Episode 15.23 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.


Segment One: Meniscus Transplant – Allograft Tissue Recipient turned Doctor

meniscusDr. Rachel Frank talks about her unique perspective on the use of donated tissue, as she herself is an Allograft recipient, as well as an orthopedic surgeon at Rush University Medical Center. When Rachel was in college, a meniscus injury sustained while playing Big Ten Soccer ultimately sidelined her from her active lifestyle. The process of receiving a meniscus allograft fueled her interest in orthopaedic sports medicine and she pursued her dream of becoming a doctor. Now Rachel works alongside the surgeon who helped her heal, Dr. Brian Cole, as an orthopedic resident at Rush University Medical Center and is able to use her personal Allograft experience to help her patients. READ THE FULL STORY>>

allograft meniscusLearn more about the gift of tissue donation and the importance of donors at AlloSource and the Gift of HopeRelated Podcast-Post: The Michael Collins Story.

Meniscus Transplant Procedure: Brochure and 3D Animation

Segment Two: Athletic Performance, Evaluation and Training

Mike Stella, MA, ATC, PES, CES from Athletic Movement Protocol (AMP) discusses the AMP Recovery Lab, how it differs from other sports medicine-training facilities; the methods they use to help athletes reach their health and fitness goals: functional movement screening and orthopedic assessment leading to a custom designed program.

Injury Treatment, Rehabilitation, Reconditioning.The AMP Recovery Lab is a membership based sports medicine service, located in Jericho, NY.  Our primary directive is to educate our clients on best practices in training, corrective exercise, and recovery, while working to prevent injuries in athletes and the physically active.  Our multidisciplinary approach utilizes the expertise of various fields, and brings it all together in a integrative training environment, modeled after elite division 1 and professional athletic organizations. The membership format gives AMP Members access to preventative care, manual therapies, corrective and rehabilitative exercise programming, recovery technology, and athletic injury reconditioning services based on the needs of the individual client.

How it works

All AMP athletes undergo a thorough evaluation process to identify and correct faulty movement patterns before they present as injury.  Utilizing information gathered from the evaluation, an AMP Recovery Lab ATC will work with your Performance Coach to create a unique and systematic plan to address your injury and performance concerns, and get you back in the game quickly, safely, and better than ever.   Our mantra is to be proactive regarding athletic injuries, not reactive, after all, it is far better to maintain the machine then wait for it to breakdown.


Every program designed at AMP pays careful attention to the corrections that athletes need to make in their posture, movement, and technique.

Every program designed at AMP pays careful attention to the corrections that athletes need to make in their posture, movement, and technique.

Drink to Your Health


I just spent two glorious weeks in Italy, and when it came to eating and drinking, all bets were off! I cherished the time with my family to unwind and enjoy in the simple pleasures of summer—and in Italia, that means homemade al dente pasta, fresh fish, garden-picked veggies, gelato, and wine—lots of wine!

Particularly in the summer, there are more occasions to raise a glass and enjoy a cocktail or cold beer when socializing. And I’m often asked if it’s okay to drink when trying to lose weight and get healthy. Here’s my answer: Yes! The caveat? That you drink in moderation. In the U.S., moderate alcohol consumption = no more than 1 drink per day for women, and no more than 2 drinks per day for men (1 drink = 12 oz. beer, 6 oz. wine, or 1.5 oz. distilled spirits). Studies even show that moderate alcohol consumption is thought to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

Have a Plan

My strategy for when I know I’m going to be drinking is to eat well leading up that event, packing in as much nutritionally dense food as possible during the day (think GREENS and lean protein). You can also love your liver up by taking a tincture of milk thistle and/or drinking a product called Dandy Blend (a coffee-like mixture made from dandelion root, beet root, and chicory). Also, plan to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink. Alcohol can be extremely dehydrating to your system.

Drink This—Not That

Instead of a strawberry margarita, opt for top-shelf tequila with fresh lime and soda water.

  • Why? The number of calories in a margarita can rival that of a large order of fries!
    It’s also one of the most sugary drinks you can order; and we all know excess sugar consumption can lead to obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. No thank you.

Instead of craft beer, opt for light beer.

  • Why? In a word, calories. Light beer contains a fraction of the calories you’ll find in a microbrew, which can contain up to 600 calories in one pint! It’s literally a meal in a glass (but likely won’t satiate you).

Instead of wine coolers opt for red wine.

  • Why? Again, wine coolers are packed with sugar and other additives from which your body needs to detoxify. Red wine, on the other hand, has tannins that contain procyanidins, a class of flavonoids, which protect against heart disease. Wines from Sardinia and southwest France have more procyanidins than other wines.

While I love a good glass of red wine, will you sometimes see me out on our ski-boat with a vodka and lemonade? Yep. But you know I’ve eaten well all day to mitigate any negative impact on my health. Now that you know the risks and benefits of imbibing along with which alcohol to favor over others, you can still enjoy summer parties—without giving your “health kick” a hangover!


I am also excited to report that I had the honor of presenting a talk in NYC last week at the Natural Gourmet Institute on the Psychology of Eating as part of their series on “Cooking for People with Illness.” We did a mindful eating exercise and slowed waaaay down to savor the flavors of our food.

I’m on Instagram!

KMHC is now on Instagram! You can find fun tips, 14 Day Transformation friendly recipes, and stay up to date on all my programs there. Follow me at @KarenMalkinHealth. And if you didn’t know, I’m also on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Are you ready to get back on track?

In my 14-Day Back-to-Basics Transformation, you’ll kick sugar and detox from those summer cocktails, create new habits and emerge feeling lean and energetic. You will recieve healthful tips in my daily emails to you, my social media accounts, and in our exclusive community Facebook page.

Additionally, during this 2-week experience, you’ll receive 1:1 support from me as well as a wellness bag of nutritional products and superfoods to help you along with way.

Will you join us? Sign up here.

To your good health, Karen

Knee Stability in Golfers

The knee can be a very simple or complex structure, especially in terms of the golf swing. The knee joint is simply the femur (thigh bone) connecting to the tibia (shin bone). The knee is constructed to simply flex/bend and extend/straighten. Or is this joint really that simple? Throw on cartilage, ligaments, menisci, a capsule, and muscular attachments, and it gets a little more complex. Now, understand the knee is the joint in the middle of two very long bones, which makes it highly susceptible to injury. What most people do not know is that the knee also has the ability to perform some rotation, which helps its ability to stay stable and lock into place.

Now, because we are connected to the ground during the golf swing, and the golf swing is inherently rotational in nature, this complex joint is now even more prone to injury. In the golf swing, the knee’s job is to help keep us stable, whereas the ankles and hips are to be mobile to allow for rotation of our body in the backswing and follow-through. With this in mind, imagine your hips being extremely stiff (or maybe they already are). If you are not able to rotate your hips in either the backswing, downswing, or follow-through, the motion HAS to come from somewhere else…your “stable” knees. (Remember, the knees only allow for very minimal rotation, and that rotation is only supposed to be with locking the knee all the way straight, not when they are bent such as in the golf swing.)

The backswing is one story. Now think about how hard we swing to get that ball as far down the fairway as possible. A lot of rotational force needs to go through our lead knee (left knee for a right handed golfer) in our follow-through. That is why stability is so important through our knee. Stability is the ability to maintain position despite outside forces acting upon it. Essentially, the knee needs to be very strong. This strength is important in the quadriceps and hamstrings, as well as the hip muscles above. Keeping these muscles strong will help to keep the knee stable through the swing. Here are some exercises you can add to your exercise/gym program. Always remember that proper form is extremely important to both prevent injury and target the correct muscles.

  1. Squats – can use TRX bands to assist or a counter top at home; can do sit-to-stands from a chair if squats are difficult for you
  2. Lunges – making sure you keep your knee in line with your toe and keep your body tall
  3. Hamstring Curls – smooth movement bending and straightening your knee
  4. Dead Lift – more advanced exercise; consult your fitness expert

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Understand that some of these exercises may not be right for you or may need to be modified. Furthermore, also understand that mobility/flexibility of the hips and ankles are also very important to decrease stress to the knees in your golf swing.

If you have any additional questions on how your golf swing might be impacting your knees, or if you have pain in your golf swing, call Athletico’s Golf Performance Center in Oak Brook at (630) 572-9700 to set-up a complimentary injury screen or biomechanical evaluation with a certified golf fitness instructor.

Pros turn to ‘posture shirt’ to help improve performance

NBA star Dwight Howard has worn one, so has Peyton Manning. Major league pitchers have worn them. NBA player Eric Gordon of the New Orleans Pelicans was wearing one when he returned from a 21-game layoff with a torn labrum. It’s a “Posture Shirt,” made by a company called Alignmed, and its job is to help keep the wearer’s shoulders properly positioned, a key to reducing fatigue.


2015-01-20-alignmed-posture-shirtPosture shirts do basically the same work as kinesio tape — the black strips seen pulling Olympians’ shoulders and backs into place on the volleyball court. Unlike the tape, there’s no precise spots or application — just put the shirt on. Variable stretch sections in the back of the shirt — the company calls them “neurobands” — work on the postural muscles in the upper body, including stimulating the muscles to hold your shoulder blades pressed against your rib cage. When the shoulder blade begins to pull away from the rib cage due to fatigue, the socket in which the shoulder rotates isn’t set up right — the arm angle changes, which reduces the accuracy and power of throws while also increasing risk for injury. With the shirt on, the stretch bands encourage the shoulders to return to the correct position.

While use of the shirts by professional athletes is on the rise, people who sit at a desk all day and use a computer are actually the ideal customer, says Craig Morgan, an orthopedic surgeon in Wilmington, Del., and a doctor for the Kansas City Royals. “That’s probably 30% of America.” The garment “takes the place of Mom yelling at you about your posture,” says Tom House, a former major league pitcher and a coach at USC who works with NFL quarterbacks and professional baseball players.

Morgan says Royals pitcher Greg Holland “wears it every game.” Holland saved 46 games in 2014, posting a 1.44 ERA. One year at spring training, Morgan dropped off Alignmed garments for Royals players to try. “It’s my understanding that he put one on, and he’s never taken it off.” Morgan says he uses the shirt to rehab pitchers in the Royals organization who have strength issues associated with control of their shoulder blade – an issue that, when fatigued, can cause changes in a pitcher’s arm angle that lead to a drop in velocity and accuracy. He said he partially credits its use with the team’s low injury numbers among pitchers. In 2014, only one Royals pitcher, Tim Collins, spent time on the disabled list with an elbow- or shoulder-related injury. And he’s been able to use the shirt to maintain velocity and control where, in the past, surgery might have been needed.

“Noel Arguelles was a Cuban defector who was signed three years ago by the Royals for $7 million,” Morgan says. “He shows up at (Wilmington, N.C., the Royals’ high-A affiliate), and his first two starts were spectacular. His third start … in the third inning, all of a sudden, this guy can’t throw a strike, and he’s lost 10 mph on his fastball.” In previous experiences, Arguelles’ problem – weakness of muscles around the shoulder blade – would take Morgan about three months to rehab. By using the posture shirt, Arguelles recovered faster and pitched a complete game shutout just two weeks later.


Professional athletes tend to talk up any product they feel helps them play better, even if it invites skepticism — energy necklaces, pressure point bracelets, copper-infused elbow sleeves. And it’s not as if Alignmed garments aren’t readily available — they sell for $80 and up from the company’s website. So why aren’t the shirts better known among the general public? Morgan says athletes, noting that the shirts’ stretchy bands have a level of compression, may be reluctant to be too public about using them, lest they run afoul of Under Armour, Nike or other major sponsors who also manufacture compression garments.

The makers of Alignmed say they don’t want to compete with the likes of Under Armour. Though both types of garments feature compression, CEO Bill Schultz says the Alignmed shirts are medical devices and have been classified as such by the American Medical Association. The highest-level and most sophisticated shirt in the Alignmed line can be obtained with a prescription, and as such, the shirts have been subjected to medical studies by sports scientists as well as physical therapists and medical schools.

In one study of college and high school pitchers, Morgan found that pitchers’ accuracy can be maintained for 20 percent longer when wearing an Alignmed shirt. In another study at USC, House found an increase in accuracy among pitchers who wore the posture shirt. Morgan and House are both medical advisers to the company. Eric Cressey, the owner of Cressey Performance in Jupiter, Florida, is a baseball training specialist who works with Major League pitchers including reigning AL Cy Young winnerCorey Kluber. “(With pitchers,) you have to be careful about anything that’s ‘one-size-fits-all,’ ” Cressey says. He acknowledges a posture shirt could be good for certain pitchers with certain shoulder problems, but he thinks it’s more useful for the regular office worker.

“If you were going to generalize and say, ‘You need this,’ I’d say it’d be for them … they have a lot of utility in the general population who spend too much time sitting at a computer.” Studies back up Cressey’s opinion. In a four-week study of office workers conducted at the Utilities Center for the city of Colorado Springs, those wearing the Alignmed shirt decreased their overall fatigue by 21 to 29 percent, and increased productivity by as much as 20 percent. “If you’re sitting at a desk, working at a computer, that’s going to create a compensation that creates postural dysfunction,” says Gary Vitti, athletic trainer for the Los Angeles Lakers. “If you’re an airline pilot, if you drive a truck, if you sit in a car a lot, whatever it is … a garment like this can help you.” It also can be tiring. Posture shirts not only squeeze the wearer, the stretch bands encourage use of muscles that a person may “cheat around” if poor posture is a habit.


The reason may be as simple as time. Posture exercises or workouts attempt to overcome eight hours of poor, desk-bound posture with 10 minutes of correction – a balance that, without fixing the posture problem, is virtually impossible to overcome. The shirt evens out the clock by stimulating the muscles to practice proper position throughout the day, as House says, “reminding” your body of the neutral position “to start any movement,” an optimal position that will increase power and reduce injury risk.

That means, Vitti says, that when worn while training – whether for the NBA or for a half-marathon or just to look better – the shirt can improve most of the exercises you do, because you’re training them in the position that’s ideal for those exercises. Vitti wears a posture shirt garment while running and lifting weights, when trainers and other coaches aren’t there to correct his position. So while it’s great for training the Lakers and other pros, Vitti says, if athletes can get such benefits “as easily as wearing the correct garment, why wouldn’t everyone want to do that?”

Re-conditioning NBA Players for New Season; Comparing Euroleague-US Team Physicians

Episode 15.22 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.


Segment One: Getting NBA Players back to game from off-season

Dr. Brian Cole and Steve Kashul discuss getting back to routine after vacation inactivity, irregular schedules and surgeries; NBA off season rest and re-conditioning.

nba vacation1 nba vacation2



Segment Two: Comparing Euroleague-NBA Team Physician Experiences

Dr. Guy Morag from the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Head Physician for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv discusses similarities and differences of his responsibilities with Dr. Brian Cole, Head Team Physician for The Chicago Bulls.

The Euroleague Basketball World Tour will take a major step in October when, for the first time ever, two Turkish Airlines Euroleague powerhouses will face off against each other in a preseason game on North American soil. The Euro Classic game will be played in Chicago on October 1.

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv

EA7 Emporio Armani Milan

Maccabi and Milan enjoy one of Europe’s most enduring rivalries. In 2014, Maccabi dramatically defeated Milan in a best-of-five playoff series to advance to the Final Four and eventually win the Euroleague title. In 1987 and 1988, Milan beat Maccabi in consecutive championship games that featured legends such as Bob McAdoo, Mike D’Antoni, Dino Meneghin, Mickey Berkowitz, Doron Jamchi and Kevin Magee, amongst others.

“After many years of sending our teams to the United States on the Euroleague Basketball World Tour, we are very excited about the opportunity for two of them to play each other there for the first time,” Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO, said. “Americans know their basketball, which is precisely why we are sure they will like what they see of the Euroleague’s unique style of play.

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan are two of the many Euroleague clubs that are steeped in history, but they also play the kind of basketball that we are sure will be to the liking of fans in Chicago and New York.” Two European League basketball teams are competing at United Center in October.