Illinois Senior Olympics Named 2014 OCI Foundation Chip In Fore Charity $20,000 Grant Winner

SnrOlym blue state torchThe Orthopedic Center of Illinois Foundation (OCIF) today announced that Illinois Senior Olympics was selected to receive $20,000 as the beneficiary for the 11th Annual OCIF Open: Chip in fore Charity. The community impact grant will be funded through proceeds from the OCIF annual golf outing scheduled for September 15 at Illini Country Club.

“We treat athletes of all ages at the Orthopedic Center of Illinois, and the grant review committee feels the Illinois Senior Olympics is a tangible representation of our goal to help people enjoy an active lifestyle,” said OCIF Board Member Ron Romanelli, M.D. “This year, Senior Services of Central Illinois took the administrative lead, instead of letting an organization outside of Springfield perhaps move the event. We felt sponsoring the inaugural event under SSCI leadership ensured the continued availability of this program to seniors in our community.”

Founded in 1977, the Illinois Senior Olympics is the oldest statewide games for seniors in the United States.  Men and women 50 years and older are able to participate with medalists advancing to the 2015 National Senior Games. The majority of Illinois Senior Olympics events will be held during September in and around Springfield.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of Chip in fore Charity and to date, OCIF has granted $205,000 to Springfield area organizations.  Past grant recipients include: genHkids (2013), Springfield Sharefest (2012), Camp Care-A-Lot (2011),  Springfield YMCA (2010), Sangamon County Child Advocacy Center (2009), Big Brothers Big Sisters (2008), Southwind Park (2007), Contact Ministries (2006), Boys and Girls Club of Springfield (2005), and Central Illinois Foodbank (2004).

For more information on the Foundation or to be a sponsor at this year’s event, please visit the OCIF website or call (217) 547-9100.

Improve Your Core Knowledge to Prevent Injury and Improve Balance

By Duane Meyer, Physical Therapist
Midwest Rehab at OCI

From elite athletes to seniors, core exercises are acknowledged as an important part of any exercise program. They not only help athletes of all calibers perform at their best, but they are an important element in helping to reduce falls and injuries for seniors.absfinal

What exactly are the core muscles? Different experts include different muscles, but they all agree that they consist of the muscles of the abdominal region, the hips, and the back, including the deep muscles of the abdomen and back. The following are the most commonly included muscles:

  • rectus abdominus, front of the abdomen
  • internal & external obliques, abdominal front and side
  • transverse abdominus, deepest muscle of the abdominal wall located under the obliques and wrapping around the waist
  • erector spinae, running from the neck to lower back
  • multifidus, under the erector spinae and along the vertebral column to extend and rotate your spine
  • hip flexors, front of the pelvis and upper thigh
  • gluteus muscles, buttocks, outer thigh, hipadductors, the medial thigh

Benefits of core strength
Strong core muscles can help reduce back pain and improve balance, posture and athletic performance. While the abdominal muscles get most of the credit for protecting the back, it is the combination of the abdominals, the hips, and the back muscles that provide the foundation for maintaining normal posture and reducing the strain on the lower back.

Athletic performance is also improved by strong core muscles. The transfer of power to the arms and legs is provided by the stabilization of the spine. Powerful movement is accomplished from the center out, not from the extremities alone. We often hear of baseball pitchers working on leg, back, and abdominal strength to get more velocity on their pitches. The same is true for tennis players and their serve.

A strong core also improves balance and posture. Muscle imbalances and weakness can lead to poor posture which can lead to pain and injury. Muscle weakness and poor posture can also lead to poor balance, especially in seniors. In a 2013 article in Sports Medicine, studies showed that core strengthening can increase strength by 30% and balance and functional performance by 23% among seniors. Core strength training had an adherence rate of 92% based on a German study of 32 older adults, published in Gerontology in 2013.

Core strengthening is most effective when the exercises cross multiple joints and work together to stabilize the spine. A study published in March of 2013 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that exercises that move muscles farther away from the torso, such as buttocks and deltoids (shoulder muscles) elicited greater core activation than isolated exercises. A 2012 study showed that seated dumbbell exercises had an 81% lower rectus abdominus activation rate than standing dumbbell presses. Therefore, seniors should try to perform standing exercises when possible and safe.

There are many exercises that can strengthen the core. Many of them can be performed at home with little or no equipment. Abdominal bracing is a key element of core strengthening. To correctly brace, you should attempt to pull your navel back to your spine. This primarily recruits the transverse abdominus. You should avoid holding your breath when performing abdominal bracing and strengthening exercises. A core strengthening program should contain elements of spinal flexion, rotation, extension, and stability.

Pictures and instructions abound on the internet for core strengthening programs. However, you should check with your physician or physical therapist before beginning a new exercise program. Not all exercises are appropriate for every individual and every condition. Seniors with osteoporosis need to be especially careful with flexion and rotation exercises. Our staff is available to work with you on developing a program specific to your abilities and needs—call our office today to schedule a consultation: (217) 547-9108.

Duane received his physical therapy degree from the University of Iowa. Duane has worked in hospital and private practice settings for more than 30 years. His clinical interests are primarily in orthopedics and neuromuscular disorders.



This article was published in the July-September 2014 edition of ”FYI from OCI”, a quarterly publication created by the Orthopedic Center of Illinois. To see the full publication, click HERE.

Community Education- “Cervical Disc Replacement Surgery”

Monday, August 11, 2014TimothyVanFleet copy
Memorial Medical Center, Carpenter Conference Center 224 W. Carpenter, Springfield

Disc degeneration can lead to narrowing of the spaces between the vertebrae in the neck, resulting in neck pain and stiffness, headaches and shoulder and arm pain. When these symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical treatments, it might be time to consider the next step. Join Tim VanFleet, MD, for a discussion about the benefits of cervical disc replacement surgery and other surgical options.

Reserve your seat today! Call (217) 788-3333.

*Note: the Carpenter Street Conference Center is located on the south side of the street, across from Memorial.