Facility makes own prosthetics

Paramount Prosthetics is among only 16 facilities in the world that utilize the prosthetic technology known as an environmentally managed system. Ray McKinney opened a new facility in Mount Pleasant after passing his Gurnee, Ill., office to his son Michael in 2013.

Reworking former physicians’ office suites, McKinney provided for shallow steps from the parking lot to the building and quick snacks and juices in the waiting area for patients with diabetic issues. His team also designed wide hallways and latticed doors to rehab areas to give the facility an open feeling. “I have observed that amputees tend to be more claustrophobic than the general population,” explained McKinney.

The facility has everything needed to produce prosthetic limbs using EMS, from X-ray and casting equipment to a limb finishing lab. At the end of three hours a patient can walk out on his or her new limb. If a person is a brand-new amputee, the office also has rehab equipment including steps, a ramp and exercise machines.

Better by leaps and bounds


Mark Grobner went through four prosthetic legs before finding the one that worked for him. In September 1995, Grobner lost his right leg just below the knee when injured by a forklift on the job in south-suburban Chicago. At the time he was first fitted with a prosthetic that used a pin suspension system.

“I had a lot of scar tissue and the pin would rub and break down more tissue,” he said. He wore the first leg for eight years, periodically undergoing surgeries to remove tissue damaged by rubbing and sores.

New steps in prosthetics technology


MOUNT PLEASANT — Most people know the discomfort and blistering that comes with shoes that don’t fit properly. Correcting the problem is as simple as finding another pair of shoes.

For those with prosthetic legs that don’t fit properly, however, problems are more painful and the fix is not so easy.

Lift the weight off


Local fitness instructors and trainers say that adding weights to an exercise regimen can be the best thing for losing weight, firming up and adding definition and strength. Cardio alone won’t do it.

“You can go on a treadmill and walk and walk and walk, and eat better, and you’ll burn calories and fat, but you’ll start burning any muscle,” said Aaron Pankau, fitness director at the RecPlex. “When you include strength training, you’re going to build muscle. Adding in the right nutrition, you can start seeing results in the first month though it might not be on the scale. What I’d look at is inches versus scale weight. Muscle weighs more than fat.”

Getting those bright pearly whites


From chewing gums and pricey toothpastes to strips and gels, the number of teeth whitening products lining the shelves of supermarkets and drug stores keeps expanding.

Most whitening products are based on varying doses of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Over the past two decades, teeth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments, according to the American Dental Association.

A smart way to manage diabetes


Like most teens, Erin Ball, 18, interacts perpetually with her smartphone. She uses scores of applications but there are a couple she uses like her life depends on it ... because it does.

Ball was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (often called juvenile diabetes) in 2010 and monitors her blood sugar tests, multiple insulin injections, diet and exercise. It’s a complicated regimen that has gotten a little easier since she retired her logbooks and started using smartphone apps to manage her disease 18 months ago.

‘One suicide is too many suicides’


Kelly Wilson doesn’t want any mother to experience what she did on Aug. 14, 2009.

“On the day that it happened, I just sat there and said, ‘How could something like this happen and I not have a clue?’” said Wilson, recalling the day her daughter Jamie Leigh Wilson, 21, took her life.

Climbing new heights for health

FRESNO, Calif. — Standing beneath a bouldering wall dotted with plastic holds of different shapes and sizes, Aubrey Lim carefully examines which route she wants to take.

Bouldering, unlike many other methods of climbing, doesn’t use ropes or harnesses although athletes can use climbing shoes and hand chalk. Walls are typically no more than 20 feet tall and padded flooring helps prevent injuries from falls.

Be your best self in 2014


When the clock struck 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, millions of people made their resolutions — and it’s a safe bet many of them were related to getting fitter and healthier in 2014. Yet for all the good intentions, few — only about 8 percent — will be realized. Here, local health experts offer tips to help you be your best self this year in three important areas — building lean muscle, keeping your blood pressure in check and eating healthier. Those are the goals; here’s their advice.

You are what you eat (and that’s not a good thing)


Sometimes the old adage “you are what you eat” is good news; at other times it can harbinger ominous tidings for health. This is what three family members have discovered in their recent journeys to wellness.

Amy Zimmerman wanted to lose weight gained after her first child; her husband Jake sought a remedy for debilitating foot pain; Amy’s mother, Peggi Ingram, was looking for a way to navigate the unpredictable waters of pre-menopause.

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