By AlloSource: Doing More with Life


Jake’s life was never without sport: as one season ended, another began. Soccer became basketball, basketball became track, and he enjoyed the athletic challenge of each sport. However, constant knee pain threatened to put Jake on the bench.

Jake’s knee pain started three years ago and doctors suggested he try stretching and physical therapy to remedy the problem, but the pain persisted. When running or playing soccer, his knee would sometimes give out and it became clear to Jake and his parents that more medical attention was necessary.

“I didn’t feel that I was able to compete to my full potential,” said Jake. “I had an obvious limp when running, but I didn’t know what was causing it.”

After an MRI, Jake’s doctor diagnosed him with Osteochondritis dissecans, a joint condition in which cartilage and bone in the knee become loose. Though he was in the midst of a basketball season and looking forward to track, Jake’s diagnosis forced him to stop playing.

Jake and his family sought a second opinion after his diagnosis and they met Dr. John Polousky of HealthONE Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver. After weighing his options, Jake and his doctor moved forward with surgery. During the procedure, Dr. Polousky used bone and cartilage allografts to replace the damaged tissue and realigned the weight-bearing line in Jake’s leg.

Jake understood prior to his surgery that a deceased tissue donor made the bone and cartilage allografts possible.

“My immediate reaction was sadness. Today I am very appreciative that the person chose to be a donor and wanted to help someone beyond their own life.”

Part of Jake’s recovery included the use of  an external fixator with metal pins anchored into entry points in his leg. “After the surgery I noticed all of the attention I received from strangers. I don’t think they had ever seen an external fixator, and it did look strange,” he said.

Jake recently had the external fixator removed and has started his exercise regimen again. He rides his bike 12 miles per day and does not have any pain.

Receiving donated tissue affirmed Jake’s belief in donation. He registered as a donor when he got his driver’s license and hopes that others will consider registering too.

“I have felt the impact of what it really means to receive something from someone you don’t know. I would be interested in knowing about my donor’s life because
they are a part of me now. He or she made it possible for me to be healthy, so that I can do the things I like to do.”

Winter Exercise Survival Guide





Slide 11 of 11: <p>If you truly despise working out in the cold, it’s not the end of the world. Instead, take the next few months to try a new exercise routine. If you normally run outside, try a spin class. Strengthening lesser-used muscles will help keep you injury-free when you return to your normal routine. Swimming laps in an indoor pool, taking a yoga class, or joining a gym to strengthen and condition your core are all great options. </p>

If you truly despise working out in the cold, it’s not the end of the world. Instead, take the next few months to try a new exercise routine. If you normally run outside, try a spin class. Strengthening lesser-used muscles will help keep you injury-free when you return to your normal routine. Swimming laps in an indoor pool, taking a yoga class, or joining a gym to strengthen and condition your core are all great options.


MSN Lifestyle


Yoga for Hamstrings: Five great yoga poses to help you stretch and lengthen your hamstrings, with modifications for tight hamstrings.

Many of us have very tight hamstrings. For athletes, especially runners, the hamstrings get tight as they’re used during workouts. Hamstrings can also tighten up from sitting all day, which many people do in this technology-oriented world. Doing some yoga for hamstrings poses can help you loosen the hamstrings, allowing better range of motion and comfort.

For you yogis, flexible hamstrings will also let you work on more advanced poses like hanumanasana (splits). To help you lengthen your hamstrings, I’ve compiled my favorite hamstring stretches. In all of these poses, be sure to engage your quads so you don’t lock and/or hyperextend your knees. For all hamstring stretches, be sure you’re feeling a nice, comfortable stretch in the belly of the muscle, its widest part.

Yoga for hamstrings: forward fold

The forward fold is probably the best known yoga pose to stretch the hamstrings. I often start my post-run stretching with this pose because it’s a nice way to relax after working hard. In the forward fold you should try to keep your back straight and pull your chest toward your legs—don’t curl your back over and just try to get your nose to your legs. To modify for tight hamstrings, bend your knees more and place a yoga block or other firm object beneath your hands.

Yoga for hamstring: wide-legged forward bend

This hamstring stretch is similar to forward fold but is a little less intense on the hamstrings. Again, it’s important to keep a flat back and lead with your chest to get the most out of this pose. To modify for tight hamstrings, place a block, chair, or some other firm object under your hands or arms so you don’t fold as deeply.

Yoga for hamstrings: head-to-knee forward bend

This forward bend is also a well-known hamstring stretch. As in the other hamstring stretches, be sure to lead with your chest when folding in. To modify for tight hamstrings, keep a bend in the knee and don’t fold over as deeply.

Yoga for hamstrings: pyramid pose

Pyramid pose is probably my favorite hamstring stretch.  Make sure that your hips are facing squarely forward before you fold to make sure that you’re getting the most out of the pose. To modify for tight hamstrings, step the back foot in closer to the front foot to shorten your stance. You can keep a bend in the front knee and you can also place something firm like a yoga block under your hands to make the pose a little easier.

Yoga for hamstrings: reclining big toe pose

This hamstring stretch can get deep into the muscle. You can use a yoga strap if you have one, if not, use a similar object like a belt. If you’re very flexible, you can grab around the big toe with your thumb, index, and middle fingers and pull from your hand. Be sure to keep your bottom foot flexed and keep that leg active and keep your back on the floor. To modify for tight hamstrings, bend the knee of the stretched leg slightly, or don’t pull the leg as close to the torso.

Contributed by Dr. Beth Brombosz at

35 Amazing Health Benefits of Running, According to Science

Running can help improve your cardiovascular health * Running can help improve one’s mood * Running can strengthen joints * Running burns calories * Running helps promote proper leg workouts * Running helps in working out the core * Running is ideal for a general workout * Running can help promote meditation * Running can help promote weight loss * Running helps improve the health of bones and the muscles * Running can help increase energy levels * Running reduces risk of chronic disease * Running helps skin health * Running helps in improving brain and memory health * Running improves the quality of sleep and helps in relaxation * Running reduces pain * Running increases the learning abilities * Running protects the brain from aging * Running helps to decrease cravings for unhealthy foods and substances * Running increases creativity * Running reduces stress * Running increases an individual’s sex life * Running relieves menopause symptoms * Running reduces someone’s risk of cancer * Running increases the lifespan of a human being * Running increases the functioning of the lungs * Running helps in assimilation of vitamin D * Running helps to improve balance * Running helps to get rid of beer belly * Running fights off common cold * Running reduces depression * Running keeps eyes healthy * Running helps to improve the hearing ability * Running alleviates anxiety * Running boosts self-esteem

Read the entire article at Sports Fitness Advisor

Sport Fitness Advisor