Smith Clinic Patients and Guests,

In the wake of recent developments regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we feel it is our responsibility not only to keep you healthy, but to also keep you informed. We are actively monitoring updates and advice regarding the Coronavirus through local, state and federal health officials and will keep you informed of any changes or additional information that might impact our community. 

Please be assured that our staff is taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of illness in our facility. We have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols and increased the frequency in which we disinfect high-use surfaces such as door knobs, bathrooms and fitness equipment. 

In an effort to best protect our patients, guests and staff, we encourage you to take the following measures while in our facility:

  1. Use wipes and hand sanitizer located in our lobby and throughout our gym and treatment rooms. Fitness members please wipe your equipment off before and after use.
  2. Wash your hands before and after treatment. Wash in warm, soapy water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.
  4. If you are not feeling well, please call us to cancel your appointment. If you are a fitness member, please avoid exercising at The Smith Clinic until you are well.

The Smith Clinic maintains our commitment to keeping a safe and clean environment, and we greatly appreciate your help in ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our patients, fitness members, guests and staff. If you have any questions or we can assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to ask. 

Thank you for doing your part to keep yourself and others healthy. 

The Smith Clinic Staff
Why We Should All Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Like many of you, our earliest memories of St. Patrick’s Day are from elementary school. We hunted for four-leaf clovers in the grass during recess, pinched each other for not wearing green and enjoyed a variety of “green food” (thanks to the miracle of food coloring). Yet, none of this had anything to do with the man behind this spring holiday. In fact, many of us still have no idea who St. Patrick was, except that his holiday leads to big sales and large displays of corned beef at the grocery store.

The Story of St. Patrick
At 16, Patrick was captured by Irish raiders and taken back to Ireland as a slave. He remained there for six years before he heard a voice say, “Behold, thy ship is ready.” He found that ship 200 miles away and fled Ireland, thinking he’d never return.

Like his father, Patrick got involved in his church, ultimately ordained as a priest. In 432 A.D., at the age of 48, Patrick responded to a vision, which led him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Though no outside religion had penetrated Ireland for a thousand years, Patrick experienced incredible success through unconventional methods. Reports vary, but it seems Patrick planted several hundred churches and baptized thousands, possibly tens of thousands. His influence continued after his death, with the end of the slave trade and a decrease in violent crimes.

To this day, Patrick is credited as evangelizing Ireland and according to Cahill, saving Western civilization.

What St. Patrick's Day means for us TODAY
In a world where we tend to demonize those who disagree with us and struggle to connect with those who live and believe differently, we find several attitudes in Patrick that can guide our lives in public and private as followers of Jesus: Love God and love your enemies.

In his autobiography, Confessio, Patrick described how his faith grew during captivity as a young adult. “More and more the love and fear of God came to me, and faith grew and my spirit was exercised, until I was praying up to a hundred times every day and in the night nearly as often.” This wasn’t simply a private love for God; it produced a public love for his enemies. Patrick came to love his captors, to identify with them and to hope for their reconciliation to God.

Patrick embodied Jesus’ command in Matthew 5 to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” While it’s easy to gravitate to our tribes online and shout down those who disagree with us, Patrick shows us the impact we can make when we love those who are against us.

However you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, may we remember the example that St. Patrick set before never fails.
Seven of the Most Common Sports Injuries
Beyond minor abrasions, blisters, and cramps, the most common sports injuries are due to overuse. For example, tennis players who repeatedly stress their forearm muscles may develop tennis elbow, runners whose shoes aren’t supportive enough may be plagued by shin splints or runner’s knee, and baseball players who don’t work to strengthen their shoulder in the off-season may find themselves with a shoulder impingement. Running—since it involves every muscle from the foot to the neck, putting particular strain on the legs—leads to the most injuries, and running is an essential element of many active sports. But everyone from amateur practitioners to pro athletes are plagued by these seven most common sports injuries. Knowing how to prevent and treat these injuries can keep their occurrence rare and minor.

1: Pulled muscle
The most common sports injury is pulled muscles. Muscles get “pulled” when a sudden, severe force stretches the fibers beyond their capacity. If only some fibers tear, then it’s a pulled muscle; if all of them tear, then it’s a full-blown muscle tear. Hamstring pulls are particularly common among runners, and most everyone has experienced a pulled calf muscle. Stretching before and after exercise helps prevent muscle pulls, but even so they may pull from overuse, fatigue, weakness, lack of flexibility, or a sudden fall. Treat a pulled muscle with ice and rest until the pain and swelling subside. An anti-inflammatory pain reliever may also help. The muscle fibers must be gradually re-lengthened with gentle stretching as soon as it’s tolerable, so the fibers don’t heal in a shortened state. If repeated pulls occur around one area, work to strengthen the immediate and surrounding muscles.

2: Runner’s knee
Knee injuries account for more than half of sports injuries. Many of the kneecap’s aches and pains are grouped into a catch-all bucket of “runner’s knee,” which of course affects more than just runners. Runner’s knee is a misalignment of the kneecap; as the knee flexes or straightens out, it pulls off to the side and rubs the side of the groove, wearing our the cartilage and sometimes causing fluid to build up and swell the knee. You can prevent runner’s knee by wearing properly supportive footwear and strengthening the quadriceps muscle, both of which help align the kneecap in the center of its groove. Treat runner’s knee by stretching and massaging the quadriceps, which stretches the muscle fibers and alleviates the contraction that’s pulling the kneecaps up. 

3: Shoulder impingement
A very delicate part of the body, the shoulder is involved in about 20% of sports injuries. The shoulder bones are held together by a group of muscles called the rotator cuff muscles, and they are responsible for the shoulder’s fine movements. If the shoulder joint is continually stressed—as in sports that involve throwing or hitting a ball (baseball, tennis, golf, volleyball, etc.) as well as weight training and swimming—then the rotator cuff muscles stretch out, which allows the head of the joint to become loose within the shoulder socket. When the arm is raised it can catch the tendon of the short head of the biceps between the ball and the socket, impinging the shoulder and inflaming the tendons. Strengthening the rotator cuff muscles is the best way to keep the joint in the socket and avoid this injury. If you impinge a shoulder, the RICE method may be used, but if the pain persists then physical therapy may be necessary.

4: Shin splints
Affecting athletes who run a lot, shin splints are pains in the muscles near the shin bones. The muscle responsible for raising the arch of the foot attaches to the shin bone on the inside of the leg, and repeated stress can cause the arch to pull some of its muscle fibers loose from the shin bone, causing minor internal bleeding and pain. They occur when running or jumping on a hard surface, especially for people who aren’t used to exercising or who increase the intensity of their workout too fast, or simply from overuse or unsupportive shoes. To prevent shin splints, increase arch support to avoid excessive pronation and pull on the tendon. It can also help to vary the surface you’re working on, for example, switching from asphalt to grass to soften the impact. Treatment consists of ice, stretching, and anti-inflammatory medication.

5: Tennis elbow
Elbow injuries account for 7% of all sports injuries. Tennis elbow affects the muscles of the forearm and the tendon the connects the muscles to the elbow bones—in other words, the muscles that bend the wrist backward and cause the wrist to turn the palm face up. When overused—as in sports like tennis and golf—these muscles become inflamed. It’s called tennis elbow because the backhand tennis stroke is a common culprit in this injury. Golfers experience pain in the non-dominant arm, as the forearm pulls the club through the swing. The best prevention is to re-situate the body positioning to take stress off the elbow. Forearm-strengthening exercises may also help, such as squeezing a soft rubber ball. 

6: Ankle sprain
Ankle sprains are common among athletes who jump, run, and turn quickly, including soccer, hockey, basketball, and volleyball players. The quick movements lead to a twisted ankle (stretched ligaments) or sprained ankle (partial or full tear), often when the foot rolls to the outside instead of landing squarely on the sole. The ankle may swell up and turn black and blue; if it can still bear some weight, it’s probably not broken, but an x-ray can rule out a hair-line fracture. The best treatment is RICE, which limits internal bleeding and reduces the swelling. Prevent ankle sprains by—you guessed it—strengthening the muscles, particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, all of which promote stability. A lace-up or compression ankle brace can also help, especially with weak ankles.

7: Achilles tendinitis
The largest tendon in the body, the Achilles connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and is responsible for lifting the heel off the ground. This tendon may suffer tendinitis and become inflamed when overused, especially in sports that involve frequent running or jumping, such as basketball, lacrosse, skiing, and volleyball. Excessive pronation of the ankle and food can cause the Achilles to tear—which announces itself with a pain like a gunshot. Treatment of a minor Achilles tendinitis involves RICE, stretching, and anti-inflammatory medication, but tears may require surgery. Prevention includes strengthening the muscles, particularly the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes.

If you or a loved one experience any sports-related injury, trust The Smith Clinic to get you back on your feet. Call us today to schedule a consultation and get on the road to recovery! 

Note: “RICE” is a common treatment for many minor injuries. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
In May, The Smith Clinic will celebrate 20 YEARS of being in business... what a ride it has been!

We are overwhelmed by God's faithfulness over the last 2 decades and give Him all the glory for allowing us to serve you each and every day!

In preparation for our big anniversary, we will start celebrating in the coming weeks with fun contests, door prizes, and much more! So, be on the lookout for announcements on how to participate. The countdown is ON!!