10 Questions From Fans for “Ask The Experts”

  1. Along time ago I was diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome. My knees still bother me all the time. Is there something I can do to alleviate the pain for my daily life and even for sleeping at night?

Kelly F., Lakeview

                  Patellofemoral pain syndrome is often called “jumpers knee.” You can try:

#1 Avoiding activities that aggravate the pain

#2 Ice multiple times per day to decrease inflammation: 4 times per day if possible.

#3 Talk with your physician to see if you are a candidate to take anti-inflammatory medication


  1. I’m training for a half marathon and was wondering what the best types of meals are to eat for energy and strength?

James M., Evanston

The best meals to eat when expending generous amounts of energy are those filled with nutrients to replenish those your body looses during long exercise. Make sure to eat a balanced diet focusing on the following:

#1 Stay hydrated with water

#2 Eat protein rich foods such as turkey, chicken, tofu and nuts

#3 Eat potassium rich foods such as bananas to reduce muscle soreness and cramps

#4 Eat complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole wheat products so that your body can use these as energy to break down for long runs


  1. What’s better for you during a workout, water or Gatorade?

Tyler S., Northbrook

Water. Sports drinks can contain high levels of sugars.


  1. I have bad pains in my shoulder and I’ve gotten two cortisone shots to help me function. Is there a maximum amount of cortisone shots you are allowed to get?

Erin B., Logan Square

Cortisone shots are designed to decrease inflammation and reduce pain in a joint. The number of cortisone injections may vary depending on each patient’s specific condition. Speak with your physician in regard to your case for the proper treatment.


  1. I work out often but I am not very flexible, so I have been working on stretching daily. Is it more beneficial to stretch before or after a workout?

Michelle R., Bolingbrook 

The body benefits from both a “warm up” and “cool down” phase during a workout. This allows the muscles of the body to both prepare and recover from the stress of a workout.


  1. I always feel sleepy and lethargic throughout the day, even in the morning after good night’s sleep. What could be the cause of this?

Brianne S., Lincoln Park

Fatigue and lethargy can occur due to many variable causes. Attempt to get approximately 8 hours of sleep per night. Exercise can commonly increase energy levels throughout the day. However, certain conditions causing lethargy may require attention from you primary medical doctor.


  1. What exercises can I do to relieve myself of neck pain?

Eric F., Naperville

A registered physical therapist can walk you through safe exercises to help relieve neck pain. It is important to do these exercises first under the supervision of a therapist so that you are not at risk of further injury.


  1. I feel like I pulled my hamstring in my basketball game two weeks ago and it still bothers me. How long does a hamstring injury usually take to heal?

Jenna M., Bucktown

Minor tendon injuries or strains may take up to 6-8 weeks of rest to heal. Major tendon injuries or those that continue to be painful or limit activities should be investigated by a specialist. Consult your physician for treatment recommendations.


  1. Is running on the treadmill or running outside better for getting back into shape?

Brian H., Des Plaines

Both running outside and running on a treadmill can serve to provide good cardiovascular exercise to get in shape. Make sure to ease into exercises and to back off if you feel discomfort. If you have any current or previous injuries, consult your physician to see what is safest for you.


  1. What causes Vitamin D deficiency?

Lizzie S., Rosemont

Vitamin D deficiency can be caused due to varying medical conditions. It can also be the result of diet deficiency or lack of sunlight. Supplements can be taken to replace your vitamin D. Consult your physician prior to taking supplementation and for further investigation of any vitamin D deficiency.