Archive for the 'Articles' Category

Back and Neck Pain Are Serious Problems

September 28, 2017
posted by Admin

Back and neck pain are serious problems for 80% of Americans. See a chiropractor first for pain management: www.f4cp.com/findadoctor. #ThinkChiropractic

How to Be Healthy as a Horse

September 26, 2017
posted by Admin

by Rebecca Moore

The Ultimate Heat Illness Prevention Guideline is Here

When summer rolls around, everyone praises the return of longer days filled with sun, heat and humidity. This is all great if you’re sitting on the beach with a cold beverage in hand… but not so great if you’re in full athletic gear, running around a field.

Exertional heat illnesses have become a top-of-mind condition across sports medicine as we step into the muggy months of outdoor sporting events. These don’t just include elite or collegiate athletes either; think of all of the kids playing Little League Baseball or participating in soccer camps. Everyone needs to be taken care of in the hot summer sun, and getting a grasp on how you can best advocate for your athletes’ health and wellbeing during this time is critical now more than ever.

In 2015, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) published a Position Statement on Exertional Heat Illnesses to present best-practice recommendations for the prevention, recognition and treatment of exertional heat illnesses and to describe the relevant physiology of thermoregulation. This document outlines years of research and data that give athletic trainers a solid foundation to understand and prevent heat illness. Drink it all in (pun intended).
 

5 Types of Heat Illnesses

According to the NATA’s Position Statement, there are five distinct heat illnesses that an athlete can suffer:

  1. Exercise-associated muscle cramps: Involuntary, painful contractions of muscle during or after exercise.
  2. Heat syncope: Dizziness that often occurs in unfit or heat-unacclimatized persons who stand for a long period of time in the heat or during sudden changes in posture in the heat.
  3. Heat exhaustion: The inability to effectively exercise in the heat, secondary to a combination of factors, including cardiovascular insufficiency, hypotension, energy depletion, and central fatigue.
  4. Heat injury: Moderate to severe heat illness characterized by organ and tissue injury resulting from strenuous exercise and environmental heat exposure.
  5. Exertional heat stroke: The most severe heat illness, characterized by neuropsychiatric impairment and a high core body temperature.

 
Unfortunately, the variety of causes of exertional heat illness has made it difficult to produce experimental evidence of exactly what it takes to prevent them. Regardless, the NATA and its panel of qualified professionals have pulled together their top recommendations to stop all five of these conditions before they start. These tips can be broken down into three categories: acclimation, hydration and education.

Heat Illness Prevention Strategy #1: Acclimation

Just like you wouldn’t ask an athlete to enter a practice or game without warming up, you shouldn’t expect them to start practicing in warm temperatures without adjusting to the heat first. The NATA suggests that developing a pre-season heat acclimation policy should be your first step in heat illness prevention.

“Individuals should be acclimatized to the heat gradually over 7 to 14 days…The first 2–3 weeks of preseason practice typically present the greatest risk of exertional heat illness, particularly in equipment-intensive sports. All possible preventive measures should be used during this time to address this high-risk period” (Casa et al. 2015).

Alongside this policy, a careful medical screening should be administered during pre-season to identify athletes with risk factors. Some of these risk factors include history of heat injuries, and a prior muscle, tendon or ligament injury (Casa et al. 2015).
 

Heat Illness Prevention Strategy #2: Hydration

According to the NATA’s Position Statement covering Fluid Replacement for Athletes, establishing a pre-exercise hydration, hydration and rehydration protocol for athletes is another key staple in preventing heat illness. Here are the NATA’s recommended considerations when building an efficient hydration strategy:

  • Athlete’s sweat rate
  • Sport dynamics
  • Environmental factors
  • Acclimatization state
  • Exercise duration
  • Exercise intensity
  • Individual preferences (Casa et al. 2000).

 

Pre-Hydration

Getting ahead of hydration issues can prevent them from happening in the first place. “To ensure proper pre-exercise hydration, the athlete should consume approximately 17 to 20 fl oz of water or a sports drink two to three hours before exercise, and 7 to 10 fl oz of water or a sports drink ten to twenty minutes before exercise” (Casa et al. 2000).
 

Hydration During Activity

It’s easy for both coaches and athletes to get carried away during practices and games; everyone wants to compete, keep up a strong pace and get the most out of every minute. However, not taking breaks to maintain proper hydration levels is extremely detrimental to the health of each athlete; no matter how much of the event they’ve participated in or the environment in which the event is taking place. Just how much should athletes be hydrating? According to the professionals at the NATA, it depends on the sport.

“A proper hydration protocol considers each sport’s unique features. If rehydration opportunities are frequent (e.g., baseball, football, track and field), the athlete can consume smaller volumes at a convenient pace based on sweat rate and environmental conditions. If rehydration must occur at specific times (e.g., soccer, lacrosse, distance running), the athlete must consume fluids to maximize hydration within the sport’s confines and rules” (Casa et al. 2000).

Risk can also depend on the venue or environment that the athletic event is taking place in. If the game is being held indoors, do the facilities have proper climate controls like air conditioning? If outdoors, what’s the weather going to be like? Some athletic programs might brush this consideration to the side because they live in predominantly colder climates, but Tim Kelly ATC, Head Athletic Trainer and Associate Athletic Director at West Point United States Military Academy, suggests that everyone treat hydration protocol like they’ll be playing in the hottest environment imaginable.

“We prepare just like we live in the deep south during preseason for any of the teams that are working out all summer at West Point,” said Kelly. “We do have a heat plan for all of our athletes, we’re fortunate at West Point that our athletes are in the field a great deal of the time doing military stuff and it’s drilled into them that hydration is an important part of keeping them healthy and maximizing their training opportunities.”

Kelly’s hydration plan involves many factors, but he most notably expresses the importance of having unlimited beverages available to athletes at all time. To check this off your hydration plan checklist, purchasing gear like the Cramer PowerFlo Pro Hydration Unit gives everyone access to safe hydration on the field. Especially convenient when working in multiple locations and changing fields regularly, this unit has a rechargeable battery and zero-maintenance wheels that never go flat. Portability and stability that can’t be beat!

Lastly, closely monitoring potential dehydration symptoms during activity decreases the incidence and severity of heat illness. These signs include:

  • Thirst
  • Irritability and general discomfort
  • Headache
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Cramps
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Head or neck heat sensations
  • Decreased performance (Casa et al. 2000).

 

Re-Hydration

Post-exercise rehydration restores any fluid loss accumulated during a game or practice. Ideally completed within two hours, rehydration should contain water to restore hydration, carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores and electrolytes to speed rehydration (Casa et al. 2000).

Many athletic trainers or team physicians measure hydration with urine color against a color scale. But, an easier (and less invasive) method of hydration measurement is monitoring body weight; athletes should see less than 2% body weight reduction post-activity. Sound complicated? Don’t worry. Mike Harrison ATC, LAT, Sports Medicine Coordinator and Head Athletic Trainer at Allen High School, has gotten his athletes to buy into this method: and it works.

“I think it all starts with educating our athletes,” said Harrison. “I meet with them at the beginning of the year and I use a race car analogy or a truck analogy; my offensive linemen are big-rig trucks and my skill guys are race cars. Both of them burn fuel, and I use the gas tank analogy with them. They may come in here on a full tank, but come the next day you might have only replaced ¾ of a tank. If they finish that day up and have only replaced half a tank then you haven’t been hydrating correctly. So we weigh out athletes in and out everyday in the hot months, and for every pound that they lose they have to make that up with 20-24 ounces of fluid. It’s really all about the education.”

He’s right. For your hydration plans to really succeed, you need complete buy-in from the coaching staff and the athletes themselves. Educate your athletes on the effects of dehydration, how to monitor their hydration levels, and encourage coaches to help regulate these strategies to cover all of your bases (no pun intended this time). Which leads us to the last strategy…

Heat Illness Prevention Strategy #3: Education

You can’t prevent what you don’t understand or aren’t anticipating. As healthcare professionals, it’s essential that athletic trainers take control of their athletic environments and properly inform coaches, athletes, administrators, parents on the signs and dangers of heat illness.

“Down in Florida we do get some heat cramping scenarios, and we do a pretty good job; it’s a team effort,” said Paul Silvestri MS, LAT, ATC, Head Football Athletic Trainer at the University of Florida. “Our nutritional staff does a phenomenal job of staying on top of the guys to get them ready to be out there on the field. Our coaching staff does a good job as well of planning their practices, especially in training camp while we’re not out there in the heat of the day. It’s a collaborative effort.”

Need help getting started? Here are some potential topics that you can cover:

  • Preventing heat illness
  • Recognizing heat illness
  • Treating heat illness
  • Best drinks for hydration
  • Sleep regulations
  • Proper diet
  • How to rest the body effectively

 
To find data to support these topics, expert advice on heat illness and return to play recommendations, read through theNATA’s Position Statement on Exertional Heat Illnesses. Together, we can all play a huge role in reducing or eliminating these conditions and keep the athletes where they belong; on the field.
 
 

Sources:
Casa, Douglas J., et al. 2015. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Exertional Heat Illnesses. Journal of Athletic Training 50.9: 986-1000.
Casa, Douglas J., et al. 2000. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for Athletes.Journal of Athletic Training. 2000;35(2):212-224.

Chiropractic care helps back-related leg pain

October 13, 2016
posted by Admin

Chiropractic Care Helps Back-Related Leg Pain

 

chiropracticBack-related leg pain is often disabling and costly. In people with back-related leg pain, spinal
manipulation therapy (SMT) plus home exercise and advice (HEA) provided more short-term
improvement in pain and ability than HEA alone, according to a study.
.
The trial consisted of 192 adults with subacute or chronic back-related leg pain who were randomized into two groups. Over the course of twelve weeks, one group received SMT along
with HEA and the other group received only HEA. During this time, patients worked with chiropractors, exercise therapists, and a personal trainer to receive efficient instruction and treatment to relieve back-related leg pain.
Chiropractic care including the use of spinal manipulation therapy in conjunction with home exercise and advice offers a safe and conservative approach to effectively reduce hindering and costly back-related leg pain.

THE WORLD’S ELITE CHOOSE NORMATEC

August 21, 2016
posted by Admin

chiropractic

Plastic Is Forever

April 29, 2016
posted by Admin

The Disastrous Effects of Single-use Water Bottles On The Environment

How often do you drink bottled water? Once in a blue moon? Once a week? Several times a day?

Bottled water has become so prevalent in our society, a lot of us don’t give it a second thought. But it was not that long ago that bottled water seemed, well, irrational. I mean… it’s water. Why would we pay 10,000 times more per gallon for it to come in a plastic container?

The idea that bottled water is cleaner, safer and better-tasting than tap water has fueled explosive sales in the United States. In 1976, the average person only drank about a gallon of bottled water per year, but by 2017, the Pacific Institute estimates that each person will consume more than 300 gallons of it annually.

For the bottled industry, that massive growth is clearly welcome news. But for everyone else, and especially for the environment — not so much. Because along with the upward trend in sales comes a number of serious issues that are becoming harder and harder to ignore. Not only is bottled water taking a toll on our pocketbooks, it’s become one of the biggest threats to our planet — adding significantly to carbon emissions, overflowing our landfills, and destroying our marine environment — leaving it up to us to answer, is it really worth the cost?

BOTTLES, BOTTLES EVERYWHERE


Every single second, Americans go through about 1500 plastic water bottles. That’s a staggering 50 billion water bottles a year. And out of the 50 billion bottles of water being bought each year, the vast majority still end up in a landfill — where they take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade, and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes.

plastic bottles

RESOURCES WASTED


Bottled water requires a number of resources throughout its life cycle. Energy is required to make the plastic and turn it into bottles, to obtain and treat the water, to fill and cap the bottles, and to transport it to market. For example, it’s estimated that producing plastic bottles consumes the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil a year in the U.S. alone. That’s enough to fuel more than one million cars for an entire year.plastic

CARBON DIOXIDE


As you know, burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The 17 million barrels of oil used to produce the PET for plastic water bottles emitted 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the environment — or approximately the same as 400,000 cars produce in a year. And that’s just from the production of the water bottles.

As for the total energy output of bringing this water to market? The Pacific Institute calculates that the energy output involved in the entire lifecycle of bottled water in the U.S. is between 32 and 52 million barrels of oil.

plas

THE PROBLEM WITH RECYCLING


Though the average recycling rate of PET bottles has been growing steadily, roughly 70% of all plastic bottles still get thrown into the trash — often making its way into our waterways. As for the bottles that do get recycled, almost half are actually exported to other countries for recycling. This means even greater amounts of transportation-related carbon emissions.

plast

THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT


Bottles that aren’t recycled and are improperly disposed of often end up in the ocean, taking a massive toll on the marine environment: killing animals, poisoning the food chain and smothering the ecosystem. Today, there is an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. And by 2050, the World Economic Forum predicts there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.

plasti

GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH


Most of the garbage in the ocean accumulates in five relatively unexplored gyres found in the doldrums of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It’s twice the size of Texas and is floating in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.

The Garbage Patch is 80% plastic and weighs about 3.5 million tons — and it’s not just floating there, doing nothing. Rather, the patch is constantly leeching chemicals and toxins into the water, and it is also decomposing into smaller bits of plastic that are then consumed by animals.

The floating landfill also happens to be located along the migration route for populations of humpback whales, who are literally forced to swim through a sea of plastic.

plastic b

HARMING WILDLIFE


Though PET does not biodegrade, it does start to break down after prolonged exposure to sunlight and water. And these tiny pieces of plastic are ending up in the stomachs of countless marine animals and shorebirds, who can’t distinguish plastic from food. Once in their system, the plastic can block or even lacerate the digestive tract, weakening and eventually starving the animal. Plastic consumed by marine life has also been shown to leech genetic-altering chemicals that impede the ability of the animal to reproduce.

Just how serious is this problem? Studies have shown that plastic pollution affects at least 700 different marine species, and at least 100 million marine mammals are killed each year from plastic pollution.

plastic bo

BOTTLE CAPS


Plastic bottle tops are particularly problematic. Currently, they are not recyclable, and more and more often, they are ending up at the bottom of the ocean and in the stomachs of a variety of animal species that mistake them for food. You may have heard about the albatross found on a Hawaiian island with a stomach full of 119 plastic bottle caps. Or the sperm whale that was found on a beach with a plastic gallon bottle that had destroyed his small intestine, and a stomach full of plastic bottles and bottle caps.

plastic bot

YOUR HEALTH


Plastic has been shown to leach toxins into the bottled water. And research has shown that this is linked to health problems as severe as reproductive issues and cancer.

There are also other health concerns that result from consuming fish that have eaten plastic. Ongoing research explores how these toxic particles pass on to us when we eat seafood, as trace amounts then build up in our bodies over time.

WHAT YOU CAN DO


Despite these alarming facts, plastic continues to be one of the world’s most popular materials. In fact, plastic use is expected to double in the next 20 years, with the World Economic Forum estimating that by 2050, the amount of plastics produced globally will reach a staggering 1,124 million tons.

And when you do the math on the amount that will end up in landfills, the total amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere, and the plastic packaging that escapes collection systems and makes its way to our oceans — the future becomes deathly frightening.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Consumer demand is what drives plastic sales, and plastic production for that matter. By making small shifts in your lifestyle, you can take a powerful stand against plastic pollution.

With a reusable drink container, the average person can eliminate the need for 100 disposable bottles per year. This is the exact reason that San Francisco recently made the move to become the first city in America to ban the sale of plastic water bottles. And why San Francisco and Chicago airports, among others, introduced water filtration stations, where you can see the ticker account for how many plastic water bottles you “saved.”

Apart from reducing your use of plastic bottles:

• Say no to plastic straws, and make every effort you can to swap out plastic bags for reusable shopping and produce bags
• Purchase items like laundry detergent in cardboard boxes rather than plastic jugs
• Opt for cloth diapers over disposable ones
• Choose matches over lighters
• Don’t use plasticware when you can use silverware
• Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags
• And, as if this needs to be said, recycle every item you possibly can

The rate at which we go through plastic is simply not sustainable — especially for the environment. But if we start making the changes now, transcending the boundaries that we have imposed upon ourselves, we can shift the trend and preserve the world we live in for future generations to come.

 

Source: Tony Robbins

gettyimages-476638456-chiropractor-dean-mitchell-opener

It’s no surprise that your chiropractor might suspect you have back pain just by watching you move. But identify the way you sleep, or what you do for a living? Yes, it’s possible—and no, your chiropractor isn’t psychic. It’s just that your posture can reveal a lot more about your overall health and lifestyle than you might realize…

 

  • You’re addicted to your phone.

One of the most common things chiropractors notice in their patients is a rounding of the spine along the neck and down toward the shoulder blades. “There’s a new diagnosis for this—it’s called ‘text neck,'” says Adam Nachmias, DC, a chiropractor in New York City. Technically it’s called “loss of cervical lordis,” which describes the flattening out—or even reversing—of the upper spine’s natural c-shaped curve that happens when you’re hunched over looking at your phone or working on your computer, explains Karen Erickson, DC, FAAC, a chiropractor in New York City. “We used to see this kind of condition in people who’d been in car wrecks. Now we see it in 8-year-olds.” (That’s just one weird thing that happens when you text.)

The average head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds, and, according to a study published in the journal Surgical Technology International, it creates increasing pressure on the spine the further you tip it forward. Tilt it 15 degrees and it puts 27 pounds of pressure on your spine, researchers found; 30 degrees, 40 pounds of pressure; 60 degrees, 60 pounds of pressure. Perhaps not surprisingly, all of this hunching can lead to migraines, arthritis, and neck pain.

Habitual changes like training yourself to hold your phone at eye level while looking at it and working at a stand-up desk can help, says Erickson.

 

  • You’re a writer.

Or an accountant. Or a truck driver. Basically, you spend most of your day sitting. “The human body is not constructed for long periods of sitting. It’s designed to move and redistribute weight periodically,” says Robert Hayden, DC, PHD, FICC, a chiropractor in Georgia. When you sit for long periods, your psoas muscles, the ones that connect the torso and leg, get tight, and your hamstrings shorten. And that can show up as a tilted-forward-at-the-hips posture. Doing lunges as well as yoga poses, like sphinx, updog, and bridge, will help elongate these muscles, says Erickson, which in turn will help straighten out your posture. (Try these 6 stretches if you sit all day.) And get moving. “Going to the gym for an hour doesn’t negate the health consequences of sitting all day,” she says. So make it a habit to get up and go for a stroll several times a day and resist the impulse to jump in the car to run errands that you could easily walk to.

 

  • You have stomach issues.

That hunched-forward position can also have implications for digestion: When your upper back is curved, it can compress your organs, leading to reflux or GERD. (Hack your gut bacteria for easier-than-ever weight loss.) “Once we work to release the muscles near the diaphragm and under the rib cage, my patients tell me that their reflux is much better,” says Erickson. “Your body is designed to use those big trunk muscles. When in use, they actually move blood through your organs and help them get the motility they’re supposed to have.”

 

  • You sleep on your stomach.

“While you’re asleep, the full weight of your head pulls on the flaccid muscles and ligaments that hold the cervical spine together,” explains Hayden. “That amount of weight on the delicate structures of the neck will eventually cause joint damage.” This presents itself as a head that tilts downward, as well as pain, numbness, or tingling sensations in the upper extremities.

The fix: a DIY body pillow. Nachmias suggests placing one regular pillow between your knees to keep them and your shoulders the same distance apart, which will ensure that your lumbar spine stays in a natural position, and hugging another regular pillow, which will keep you from rolling onto your stomach.

 

  • You’re out of breath.

Yet another side effect of that hunched posture? It can compress your organs, says Erickson, and cause your lungs to take in up to 30% less oxygen. Depending on your overall fitness level, she explains, this might make you feel tired or out of breath on a day-to-day basis.

 

  • Your lug your laptop around all day.

When you carry something heavy, you tend to hike up the shoulder that’s supporting the load. The habit can lead to misaligned shoulders, which will be visibly obvious, as well as changes to the curvature of your spine, says Nachmias. “Alternating the side of the bag will help keep one side from carrying all the weight and prevent a drooping shoulder or curving of the spine,” says Hayden.

  • You’re feeling down.

“When I look at someone walk, if they avoid eye contact and their shoulders are rounded and stooped, it tells me something about their self-image. It tells me how they feel about themselves,” says Hayden. “Your emotions can control your musculoketal structure.” (Instantly boost your self-image with these 5 tips.)

Being in the habit of looking down as you walk will also mess with your balance. “Walk like royalty,” says Erickson, who suggests keeping your head upright and gazing 50 yards in front of you. “It actually helps train your nervous system to use innate neurological balance, rather than relying on your eyes to balance.”

Source: Prevention

6 Things Chiropractors Help With | Prevention

March 30, 2016
posted by Admin

gettyimages-133631572-heartburn-melodija_opener

Most people assume that chiropractors are good only for neck and back pain. And while they do treat a lot of that, there’s plenty else they can do. Chiropractic medicine focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and how they affect the rest of the body. “Many people don’t know that most chiropractors have postgraduate training and board certification in areas such as pediatrics, clinical nutrition, neurology, orthopedics, physical rehabilitation, sports/athletic injury, and acupuncture,” says Gregory D. Fox, a chiropractor and president of Maine Chiropractic Association and director and founder of Heritage Integrative Healthcare, based in Maine.

That said, while chiropractors can help with a variety of symptoms and problems, there are many things best left to the MDs. “Medical doctors are better at treating acute emergencies, infections, chronic diseases, fractures, injuries that require surgeries, tumors, and broken bones,” says Gabrielle Francis, a naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, and acupuncturist in New York City. Although chiropractors learn about the whole body, they are mainly specialists in musculoskeletal injuries. “Anything outside of this realm is better left for medical doctors,” notes Sunil Pullukat, a chiropractor at Chicago Sport and Wellness.

Here are a few reasons you might want to see a chiropractor.

Lower-back pain

This is, of course, the cornerstone of what many chiropractors do. “Chiropractors are able to do a manipulation to the sacroiliac joint—which links the pelvis to the lowest part of the spine—to relieve back pain,” says Pullukat. Some chiropractors are certified in the Active Release Technique, which removes scar tissue from muscles and relieves pain. “A combination of ART and spinal manipulation is a great option for relieving lower-back pain,” says Pullukat. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) notes that while the cause of lower-back pain is often unknown, some people do benefit from chiropractic therapy.

Pregnancy pain

Aches and pains go hand-in-hand with pregnancy, and often, improper pelvic alignment is to blame for lower-back pain and sciatica—the top reasons pregnant women see a chiropractor (see more treatments for sciatic nerve pain here). “The options expecting mothers have to alleviate pain are extremely limited. Many treatments, such as pain medications or surgery, have the potential to affect the fetus, so pregnant women often turn to chiropractic care,” says Jeffrey Langmaid, a chiropractor at Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, FL. Specifically, “the Webster Technique addresses the sacrum and sacroiliac joint, which assists with balancing the pelvis.” While there hasn’t been a lot of research done on pregnancy and chiropractic care, one study showed that chiropractic care can decrease the incidence of back labor (intense back pain during labor, often due to the baby’s position), while another study showed that 75% of women who received chiropractic care during pregnancy reported relief from pain.

Digestive issues
The nerves in the thoracic (chest and abdominal) region of the spine are linked with digestion. One study published in the journal International Surgery looked at a group of 27 people who had chronic abdominal pain and found that 66% of them showed evidence of a thoracic disc herniation—a problem in the area between the spinal bones. And two-thirds of those patients who did have a herniated disc had been previously diagnosed with IBS.

Herniated discs aren’t the only spinal issues that can cause stomach problems. “If the thoracic vertebrae are out of alignment, these nerves begin sending erratic impulses to the stomach and intestines, which may lead to digestive problems such as heartburn, bloating, and gas,” says Erik Schutt, a chiropractor and physiotherapist in Tempe, AZ. “Keeping the thoracic spine free from nerve interference promotes digestive healing and optimal function.”

gettyimages-155378284-tennis-oxford_inset2

Neck pain

Spinal manipulations can ease aches and pains that are felt in the neck. One study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that this method was more effective at easing neck pain than medications—though trial participants found equal relief doing home exercise.

Chiropractors can also do movement assessments to see if the neck pain is truly coming from the neck or if it’s actually stemming from the shoulders, says Pullukat. Correcting the root cause of the problem will then relieve symptoms. One study from Korea Nazarene University found that patients receiving chiropractic treatment for neck pain showed significant improvements in flexibility and range of motion.

One thing to know: Some studies have found an association between neck manipulations and stroke risk in older adults…but other research says there’s no connection. Because of the conflicting evidence, it’s a difficult situation to evaluate, but if you have any stroke risk factors be sure that your chiropractor knows about them.

 

gettyimages-137993590-ice-pack-winterling_inset3

Headaches

When neck and upper back pain are to blame for headaches, chiropractors can help. They’re able to use “manipulation with massage to loosen up muscles, thereby relieving the headache,” says Pullukat. While more research needs to be done, some individual case studies have shown that chiropractic care can eliminate headaches in chronic sufferers.

Blood pressure
We’re not suggesting you ditch your meds or give up your healthy lifestyle habits for lowering blood pressure, but some research suggests that having a conversation with your doctor about trying out chiropractic may be worthwhile. A University of Chicago study that looked at 50 people with high blood pressure and misaligned vertebra in their neck found that after one chiropractic session, their blood pressure dropped significantly—and the drop was equal to taking two blood pressure meds at once.

Source: Prevention.com

By Laura G. Brown and William Corbett

aprcnjThe importance of getting a good night’s sleep has been supported by countless studies. However, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s inaugural Sleep Health Index, 45% of Americans suffer from a lack of sleep. Impaired sleep can aggravate medical problems and interfere with the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Although there are many factors that facilitate restful sleep, including room environment, mattress and pillow, body position is often overlooked and is a key contributor to a good night’s sleep.

 

Sleep Positions

There are three main sleep positions – back, side, and stomach. Although back and side sleeping positions are recommended by most sleep experts, doctors also stress that sleep position should be an individual decision based on each person’s specific needs and comfort preferences. Here are the benefits and potential issues associated with each sleep position:

Tips for Good Posture

February 24, 2016
posted by Admin

The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) and the Doctors at Advanced Performance & Rehabilitation Center (APRC) recognize the importance of good posture and its effects on overall health and well-being.

In addition to counseling patients about healthy postural habits, doctors of chiropractic (DCs) – who receive a minimum of seven years of education – provide hands on care that helps to naturally align and strengthen the spine, which subsequently builds core postural muscles. Good posture offers one a better opportunity to prevent injuries, muscle fatigue and pain, degenerative arthritis and joint pain.

Tips for implementing good posture can be found in the image below:

 

Posture Basics

 

Stretching: The Truth

February 1, 2016
posted by Admin

WHEN DUANE KNUDSON, a professor of kinesiology at California State University, Chico, looks around campus at athletes warming up before practice, he sees one dangerous mistake after another. “They’re stretching, touching their toes. . . . ” He sighs. “It’s discouraging.”

If you’re like most of us, you were taught the importance of warm-up exercises back in grade school, and you’ve likely continued with pretty much the same routine ever since. Science, however, has moved on. Researchers now believe that some of the more entrenched elements of many athletes’ warm-up regimens are not only a waste of time but actually bad for you. The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them. In a recent study conducted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have found that this stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Also, stretching one leg’s muscles can reduce strength in the other leg as well, probably because the central nervous system rebels against the movements.
aprcnj

“There is a neuromuscular inhibitory response to static stretching,” says Malachy McHugh, the director of research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The straining muscle becomes less responsive and stays weakened for up to 30 minutes after stretching, which is not how an athlete wants to begin a workout.

THE RIGHT WARM-UP should do two things: loosen muscles and tendons to increase the range of motion of various joints, and literally warm up the body. When you’re at rest, there’s less blood flow to muscles and tendons, and they stiffen. “You need to make tissues and tendons compliant before beginning exercise,” Knudson says.

A well-designed warm-up starts by increasing body heat and blood flow. Warm muscles and dilated blood vessels pull oxygen from the bloodstream more efficiently and use stored muscle fuel more effectively. They also withstand loads better. One significant if gruesome study found that the leg-muscle tissue of laboratory rabbits could be stretched farther before ripping if it had been electronically stimulated — that is, warmed up.

To raise the body’s temperature, a warm-up must begin with aerobic activity, usually light jogging. Most coaches and athletes have known this for years. That’s why tennis players run around the court four or five times before a match and marathoners stride in front of the starting line. But many athletes do this portion of their warm-up too intensely or too early. A 2002 study of collegiate volleyball players found that those who’d warmed up and then sat on the bench for 30 minutes had lower backs that were stiffer than they had been before the warm-up. And a number of recent studies have demonstrated that an overly vigorous aerobic warm-up simply makes you tired. Most experts advise starting your warm-up jog at about 40 percent of your maximum heart rate (a very easy pace) and progressing to about 60 percent. The aerobic warm-up should take only 5 to 10 minutes, with a 5-minute recovery. (Sprinters require longer warm-ups, because the loads exerted on their muscles are so extreme.) Then it’s time for the most important and unorthodox part of a proper warm-up regimen, the Spider-Man and its counterparts.

“TOWARDS THE end of my playing career, in about 2000, I started seeing some of the other guys out on the court doing these strange things before a match and thinking, What in the world is that?” says Mark Merklein, 36, once a highly ranked tennis player and now a national coach for the United States Tennis Association. The players were lunging, kicking and occasionally skittering, spider-like, along the sidelines. They were early adopters of a new approach to stretching.

aprcnj 2STRAIGHT-LEG MARCH (for the hamstrings and gluteus muscles)Kick one leg straight out in front of you, with your toes flexed toward the sky. Reach your opposite arm to the upturned toes. Drop the leg and repeat with the opposite limbs. Continue the sequence for at least six or seven repetitions. Credit Illustration by Emily Cooper

While static stretching is still almost universally practiced among amateur athletes — watch your child’s soccer team next weekend — it doesn’t improve the muscles’ ability to perform with more power, physiologists now agree. “You may feel as if you’re able to stretch farther after holding a stretch for 30 seconds,” McHugh says, “so you think you’ve increased that muscle’s readiness.” But typically you’ve increased only your mental tolerance for the discomfort of the stretch. The muscle is actually weaker.

Stretching muscles while moving, on the other hand, a technique known as dynamic stretching or dynamic warm-ups, increases power, flexibility and range of motion. Muscles in motion don’t experience that insidious inhibitory response. They instead get what McHugh calls “an excitatory message” to perform.

Dynamic stretching is at its most effective when it’s relatively sports specific. “You need range-of-motion exercises that activate all of the joints and connective tissue that will be needed for the task ahead,” says Terrence Mahon, a coach with Team Running USA, home to the Olympic marathoners Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor. For runners, an ideal warm-up might include squats, lunges and “form drills” like kicking your buttocks with your heels. Athletes who need to move rapidly in different directions, like soccer, tennis or basketball players, should do dynamic stretches that involve many parts of the body. “Spider-Man” is a particularly good drill: drop onto all fours and crawl the width of the court, as if you were climbing a wall. (For other dynamic stretches, see the sidebar below.)

Even golfers, notoriously nonchalant about warming up (a recent survey of 304 recreational golfers found that two-thirds seldom or never bother), would benefit from exerting themselves a bit before teeing off. In one 2004 study, golfers who did dynamic warm- up exercises and practice swings increased their clubhead speed and were projected to have dropped their handicaps by seven strokes over seven weeks.

Controversy remains about the extent to which dynamic warm-ups prevent injury. But studies have been increasingly clear that static stretching alone before exercise does little or nothing to help. The largest study has been done on military recruits; results showed that an almost equal number of subjects developed lower-limb injuries (shin splints, stress fractures, etc.), regardless of whether they had performed static stretches before training sessions. A major study published earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control, on the other hand, found that knee injuries were cut nearly in half among female collegiate soccer players who followed a warm-up program that included both dynamic warm-up exercises and static stretching. (For a sample routine, visit www.aclprevent.com/pepprogram.htm.) And in golf, new research by Andrea Fradkin, an assistant professor of exercise science at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, suggests that those who warm up are nine times less likely to be injured.

aprcnj 3
SCORPION (for the lower back, hip flexors and gluteus muscles) Lie on your stomach, with your arms outstretched and your feet flexed so that only your toes are touching the ground. Kick your right foot toward your left arm, then kick your left foot toward your right arm. Since this is an advanced exercise, begin slowly, and repeat up to 12 times. Credit Illustration by Emily Cooper

“It was eye-opening,” says Fradkin, formerly a feckless golfer herself. “I used to not really warm up. I do now.”

You’re Getting Warmer: The Best Dynamic Stretches

These exercises- as taught by the United States Tennis Association’s player-development program – are good for many athletes, even golfers. Do them immediately after your aerobic warm-up and as soon as possible before your workout.

STRAIGHT-LEG MARCH

(for the hamstrings and gluteus muscles)

aprcnj 4

 

HANDWALKS (for the shoulders, core muscles and hamstrings) Stand straight, with your legs together. Bend over until both hands are flat on the ground. ‘‘Walk’’ your hands forward until your back is almost extended. Keeping your legs straight, inch your feet toward your hands, then walk your hands forward again. Repeat five or six times. Credit Illustration by Emily Cooper

Kick one leg straight out in front of you, with your toes flexed toward the sky. Reach your opposite arm to the upturned toes. Drop the leg and repeat with the opposite limbs. Continue the sequence for at least six or seven repetitions.

SCORPION

(for the lower back, hip flexors and gluteus muscles)

Lie on your stomach, with your arms outstretched and your feet flexed so that only your toes are touching the ground. Kick your right foot toward your left arm, then kick your leftfoot toward your right arm. Since this is an advanced exercise, begin slowly, and repeat up to 12 times.

HANDWALKS

(for the shoulders, core muscles, and hamstrings)

Stand straight, with your legs together. Bend over until both hands are flat on the ground. “Walk” with your hands forward until your back is almost extended. Keeping your legs straight, inch your feet toward your hands, then walk your hands forward again. Repeat five or six times. G.R.

 

Source: nytimes.com

Although it has been ingrained for years that bacteria is a bad thing, more and more studies each day show that the Microbiome – a collection of all the bacteria and fungi in our bodies – is actually a necessary tool for health. There are roughly 10X more bacteria and fungi cells than human cells on our bodies! These GOOD bacteria have specific tasks to protect the body from birth by recognizing and setting off the proper immune response. In addition, these bacteria help with digestion, colon health, and overall health. A good way to grow and maintain your good bacteria is to eat a diet high in probiotics and prebiotics (the fuel for probiotics). You can get probiotics naturally from fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi as well as Kombucha drinks. Prebiotics are high in root vegetables like Jerusalem artichoke, onions, and garlic! In addition you can find high quality supplements that contain the beneficial bacteria as well.

Below is a fun, animated video showing your Microbiome at work!

 

Source: NPR.ORG

APRC’s Dr. Mike Teytelbaum in Action

January 8, 2016
posted by Admin


 
Dr. Mike Teytelbaum is a Doctor of Chiropractic with a Diplomate in Chiropractic Neurology. There are only about 800 chiropractors world-wide who hold the distinction of “Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist”. This credential allows Mike to treat patients who suffer from post concussion symptoms and other neurologic disorders without the use of surgery or medications. Mike treats patients at the Advanced Performance & Rehabilitation Center in Short Hills, NJ.

Chiropractic neurologists often have great success treating patients for whom all other treatment methods have failed. In addition to evaluating for pathologies as medical doctors do; a chiropractic neurologist evaluates for subtle changes in the function of the nervous system. It is this expertise in detecting subtle changes in function that sets a chiropractic neurologist apart from other specialists (Keystone Chiropractic Neurology).

Chiropractic Neurologists treat the following symptoms:

  • Headaches and chronic pain
  • Learning and attention disorders
  • Vertigo
  • Developmental disorders
  • Head injury or stroke
  • Spinal cord and nerve injuries
  • Movement disorders
  • Balance Disorders
  • Dystonia
  • Autism
  • Dyslexia
  • Thyroid Conditions
  • Diabetic Neuropathy

 
 
 
 

How To Destroy Your Child's Athletic Future In 3 Easy StepsIn over two decades of coaching athletes I have had the pleasure of seeing some of my junior athletes make it all the way to the professional level.  Along the way I have developed a somewhat global perspective on what it takes to go from this point A to the very distant point B.  I worked with some wonderful parents that contributed greatly to their child’s successes.  But I unfortunately witnessed more parents, sometime unwittingly and always with the best intentions, sabotage their child’s athletic future.  If they had just heeded a few simple rules, or examined a few of their motives, not only would their child been a better athlete, they would have been a better competitor, happier, and healthier child.

If you are find yourself excited at the potential of your child’s athletic career, I invite you take an objective look within.  And if you catch yourself doing any of the three following things, I can all but guarantee your child will not end up where you believe they will.

1.  Imposing your own ambitions upon your child.  I find it interesting that some of the most accomplished athletes I have known are not the overbearing parents you might expect when it comes to athletics.  In fact they may take a somewhat laisez faire attitude towards their young children’s athleticism.  My personal opinion is that these parents have a greater understanding of the developmental process.  Laying the foundation, learning the skill sets, and graciously handling the pitfalls competition are put above awards and accolades.  They are intimately familiar with the long timeline and sacrifices required to get to the top of a sport, and even the odds of getting there.  They tend to be more respectful towards the coaches and patient with the coaching process.  They in short have gained a perspective most of us do not possess.

Parents that have not experienced competition simply never developed the mental skills sets required of an athlete.  They may be experiencing athletic competition for the first time through the prism of their child; which can be a very slippery slope.  Others believe their child represents a “second chance” at righting the wrongs of their not so illustrious athletic past.  At any rate the most important thing to understand is that a pre-adolescent child has three basic motivations for participating in a sport: to have fun, to socialize, and to please their parents.  Too many children end up just doing the later, and that almost never works for long.  These kids seldom last in a sport to high level competition, and may even end up quitting their sport, after years of development, because it is an convenient way to rebel against a parent.  Post- competition, often the first words I hear from parents are evaluative or criticizing when they should be simply “did you have fun today?”

2.  Over-specializing too early.  I once consulted with a somewhat anxious dad regarding his injured daughters training. The doctor had advised three weeks off of training to allow her injury to heal, but he felt this was too conservative and that his daughter would give up too much ground by taking this time off. She was NINE years old by the way. Obviously he had his own agenda in mind and not his daughters best interest. I seriously doubted that she would still be competing in her sport at twelve.

There has been an astounding rise in orthopedic injuries among children in the last decade.  This corresponds with the rise in early single sport specialization.  Kids are training too hard, too often, too repetitively and way too early without a proper foundation.  Training and coaching programs have capitalized on this, often ignoring orthopedic guidelines for training children in favor or showing early results to the parents.  Children do not have a stable enough platform to put high volume training upon, especially during growth phases.  Injuries to growth plates, vertebral discs, meniscus tears, and tendon/ligament strain can leave a child with permanent damage.  The body is not designed to repeat specific movements over and over, especially at an early age.  We are designed for multi-planer movements which is more akin to “going outside and playing” vs. training.  If you really want to develop an athlete from a young age you do just that- develop them.  You develop skill sets and general coordination, strength, and agility that is age appropriate.  A good coach/parent should be charting growth phases and adjusting training load accordingly, monitoring rest and recovery, teaching and imposing proper nutrition, and developing mental skill sets. Yet these equally important areas of opportunity are often neglected.  The bottom line is that if your child is getting chronically injured, or even if their team mates are sustaining a high level of overuse injuries, the coaching and training system is failing your child no matter how well their top athletes are performing.

3.  Focusing on a Single Sport.  It is somewhat logical to believe that the more time spent training a sport the better an athlete will become over time.  And no doubt the occasional Tiger Woods comes along.  But this mentality more often leaves multiples of young athletes broken down on the side of the road.  Developing an athlete is like unlocking a door.  You must have exactly the right key, that engages all the tumblers of the lock, to open the door.  Training is just one of the tumblers- not the key.

A child will not self-actualize in a sport until adolescence as I mentioned above.  In order to find out what they are really good at, really enjoy, and really want to succeed at they must try a number of things.  This is good, this is healthy, and it keeps them from burning out in a single sport.  But too many parents see a bit of talent of aptitude and want to call it their child’s “sport.”  Participating in multiple sports or activities may even help prevent the injuries associated with over-specialization.  You should be asking your child if they want to try different sports, or even gently prodding them to do so.  Over time they can narrow their focus.  Joining the traveling soccer team at an early age may keep your child from finding out that they were more talented at (and passionate about) baseball.

If your child is under the age of twelve, and you find yourself on the sideline with the words “champion,” “scholarship,” and “phenom” swirling around your head you likely need a perspective check.  One of the hardest lessons you will have to learn is that at some point they will get to decide if they want to continue in a sport.  And there will be nothing you can do to make them compete if they no longer have the will or desire. It is a simple fact that all your hours in the car, thousands paid out for coaching, and years spent attending games and practices will likely, statistically, lead- nowhere.  But that is not to say that they will get value out of the experience of competition.  Sport can bring out the best (and sometimes the worst) in both athlete and parent alike.  The values taught and gained on the athletic field will be far more valuable than any award; values such as sportsmanship, honor, integrity, fitness, hard work, and team work.  Your relationship that you develop around your child’s competition will have a huge impact on their future. The decisions you make as a parent will have a tremendous effect not only on your child’s athletic development, but their health, well being, and ethics.  Choose wisely.

Matt Russ has coached and trained athletes up to the professional level, domestically and internationally, for over 20 years. He has achieved the highest level of licensing by both USA Triathlon and USA Cycling, and is a licensed USA Track and Field coach. Matt is head coach and owner of The Sport Factory, and coaches athletes of all levels full time. He is also freelance author and his articles are regularly featured in a variety of magazines and websites. Visit www.thesportfactory.com for more information or email him at coachmatt@thesportfactory.com

Reference: The Sport Factory

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

December 17, 2015
posted by Admin

Moms report positive labor and delivery experiences with massage therapy and chiropractic.

Chiropractic during pregnancyHormonal fluctuations during pregnancy are responsible for a number of emotional and physical changes, including mood and eating habits, according to Eric L. Mitz, DC, LAc, DAAPM, in Evansville, Indiana. In addition, he says chemical changes can be an underlying cause for soft tissue dysfunction, which could negatively impact labor and delivery.

Chiropractic during pregnancy

Research reports indicate that women who receive prenatal chiropractic care experience improved outcomes, from pregnancy through delivery.1

For the most part, contraindications for chiropractic are the same for those who are pregnant and those who are not. Mitz does not do spinal manipulation for his pregnant clients, however. “It could cause placental disruptions,” he says. “There are also some contraindications if a woman is having vascular issues, such as hypertension. You have to be careful in this case.”

Expectant mothers who present with problems unrelated to their pregnancy may also benefit from chiropractic. For instance, a patient with chronic headaches may opt for a more natural way to control symptoms. “We have a fair amount of patients with no problems with their abdomen or back, but who no longer want to take medications,” Mitz says.

Pregnancy problems improved

The majority of women with sacroiliac joint asymmetry report both pregnancy-related pain and postpartum complaints.1

Mitz notes that most pregnant women also develop mid- to low-back pain or pelvic pain, as well as pain in the hips and feet. “We pay particular attention to the pelvis and sacroiliac joint,” he says. “There’s an intimate relationship between the pelvic muscles, ligaments, uterus, and sacrum. If they are all working optimally, the woman will have a good delivery.”

Webster Technique

Mitz uses the Webster Technique, which was created by Larry Webster, DC, as a safe way to restore proper pelvic balance and function. Based on a theoretical and clinical framework, this technique has also been successful in treating breech presentation, Mitz says.

“Pelvic biomechanics may not allow the baby to rotate in the womb,” he explains. “By changing the neuromechanical environment of the patient’s lower back and pelvis, you give the best opportunity for the baby to turn. [Webster’s] internal case study data shows an 85 to 90 percent success rate.”

Combination therapy for pregnancy

Some women are turning to therapy that combines massage and chiropractic to help prepare the body for childbirth.

Massage therapists work side-by-side with Mitz to address the overall health of their pregnant patients. “Virtually all our patients receive both massage therapy and chiropractic,” he says. “The patient sees the massage therapist in the clinic first for between 30 and 60 minutes before they see me. This helps me make adjustments.”

Chiropractic sessions for an uncomplicated case last approximately ten minutes. “If you add acupuncture or manipulation of soft tissue, it might take twenty or thirty minutes,” Mitz says.

Mitz cites massage as an integral part his practice. “I can’t imagine not having a licensed massage therapist by my side,” he says. “The experiential and clinical outcomes would be inferior if we didn’t work together.”

Interest in chiropractic during pregnancy

Mitz reports that the skepticism with which some medical practitioners viewed chiropractic is starting to change. “Most of our referrals come from obstetricians, midwives and doulas,” he says.

In helping women find increased comfort during pregnancy and delivery, the chiropractic-massage therapy combination can offer a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

As more people experience the benefits of this powerful, natural treatment firsthand, the professions have an opportunity to move from the periphery of prenatal care to a mainstream position.

 

References: chiroeco.com

1 Borggren CL. Pregnancy and chiropractic: a narrative review of the literature. J Chiropr Med. 2007;6(2):70–74.

ACA’s Backpack Safety Checklist

October 30, 2015
posted by Admin

One of the fundamental pieces of any back to school ensemble is, of course, the backpack.  Although they’re practical, backpacks are a leading cause of back and shoulder pain for millions of children and adolescents.  As students head back to school, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers parents advice on preventing unnecessary backpack pain and injuries.

The ACA offers the following checklist to help parents select the best possible backpack for their children:

  • Is the backpack the correct size for your child?  The backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso, and the pack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  • Does the backpack have two wide, padded shoulder straps?  Non-padded straps are not only uncomfortable, but also they can place unnecessary pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Does your child use both straps? Lugging a heavy backpack by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, low-back pain, and poor posture.
  • Are the shoulder straps adjustable?  The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. The backpack should be evenly centered in the middle of your child’s back.
  • Does the backpack have a padded back?  A padded back not only provides increased comfort, but also protects your child from being poked by sharp edges on school supplies (pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.
  • Does the pack have several compartments?  A backpack with individualized compartments helps position the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back, and try to place the heaviest items closet to the body.

The ACA recommends that parents or guardians help children pack their backpacks properly, and they should make sure children never carry more than 10 percent of their body weight.  For example, a child who weighs 100 pounds shouldn’t carry a backpack heavier than 10 pounds, and a 50-pound child shouldn’t carry more than 5 pounds.

In addition, parents should ask their children to report any pain or other problems resulting from carrying a backpack. If the pain is severe or persistent, seek care from a doctor of chiropractic or other health care professional.

To find a doctor of chiropractic near you, visit ACA’s “Find a Doctor” Search Engine.”

 

Source: acatoday.org

By Dr. Mercola

Your emotional health is at the crux of your quality of life. Without happiness, hopefulness and well-being, it’s difficult to reach your full potential and embrace each day as it comes.

Your emotional health is also intricately tied to your physical health, such that an emotionally imbalanced person will be at a greater risk of chronic diseases and acute illnesses like colds and flu.

One study found, for instance, that happiness, optimism, life satisfaction, and other positive psychological attributes are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.1

It’s even been scientifically shown that happiness can alter your genes. A team of researchers at UCLA showed that people with a deep sense of happiness and well-being had lower levels of inflammatory gene expression and stronger antiviral and antibody responses.2

There is some research to suggest that some people are born naturally happier than others. In one study of nearly 1,000 pairs of adult twins, researchers at the University of Edinburgh suggested that genes account for about 50 percent of the variation in people’s levels of happiness.

The underlying determinant was genetically caused personality traits, such as being sociable, active, stable, hardworking, or conscientious.3 But this does not at all suggest that you’re born with a certain emotional “personality” and powerless to change it.

Anyone can improve their level of “emotional success,” and your environment and life circumstances also play a role, as there are many other indicators of emotional well-being outside of your genes (or your age).

7 Habits of Emotionally Successful People

In many ways, your level of emotional success is based on your own choices and attitudes. While some people are able to roll with the punches, others get easily sidelined by challenges along the way.

In order to “toughen up” emotionally, such that you’re able to live your life feeling naturally strong and confident in your choices (and in yourself), try some of these 7 habits of emotionally successful people.4

1. Take Control

Rather than sitting back and letting life happen to you, take control and decide to make things happen for you. Become the ruler of your own destiny, so to speak, and take calculated steps to achieve your goals and desires.

2. Be Flexible

Life is likely to throw you a few curveballs. When that happens, will they throw you off course or will you be able to pivot when you need to? Being flexible means you have an open mind and will adjust to whatever life throws your way.

3. Learn from Your Mistakes

Mistakes often offer valuable lessons that you can use to improve yourself in the future. Treat them as tools for improvement rather than letting them define you.

4. Create Specific Goals

Students who set goals earn twice as much money as those who do not. Further, those who set clear, written goals were earning 10 times as much.5 Setting and writing out your goals helps you to have a clear direction and plan for achieving your dreams.

5. Accept Yourself

Strength comes from within, so learning to accept yourself is crucial to being happy. Resist the urge to look for acceptance from others. Once you’re comfortable and strong in your own sense of self, relationships and success come naturally.

6. Keep Your Stress in Check

If you’re under stress, it’s harder to control your emotions. Figure out what works for you to keep your stress levels under control (exercise, talking with a friend, alone time, etc.), and be sure to engage in it regularly.

7. Let the Little Things Slide

Stressing and fretting over circumstances you can’t control or which don’t really matter in the big picture will drain your mental reserves and wear you down. Resist the urge to become a control freak and instead let go of the little inconveniences, upsets, and disappointments that come along the way.

Choosing to Be Happy

What you’ll notice about the habits above is that these are primarily choices you can make for yourself. It’s thought that genetics account for about 50 percent of your “innate” happiness while life circumstances make up another 10. The rest is under your control, and the first step to harnessing it is to choose it and believe you can be happy.

Research shows, for instance, that when people were told to attempt to feel happier when listing to music, they were (as opposed to those who were told to simply relax).6 It was the intention to become happier that made a difference.

It might help to consider your emotions as a form of energy. According to Dr. Bradley Nelson, when you feel an emotion, what you’re really sensing is the vibration of a particular energy. Each emotion has its own vibratory signature, and when intense emotions are felt, they can become trapped in your body, much like a ball of energy.

These “balls of energy” can become lodged just about anywhere in your body, where they can then cause disruptions in your body’s energy system, which underlies your physical system much like an invisible matrix.

Your body cannot tell the difference between an actual experience that triggers an emotional response and an emotion fabricated through thought process alone—such as when worrying about something negative that might occur but has not actually happened, or conversely, thinking about something positive and pleasant.

The latter, of course, will help your body to express many of the health benefits associated with happiness, while ruminating or focusing on negativity can literally manifest disease.

The Health Benefits of Happiness

Happiness not only feels good… it’s physically good for your body, too. For instance, past research has found that positive emotions –including being happy, lively and calm — appear to play a role in immune function. One study found that when happy people are exposed to cold and flu viruses, they’re less likely to get sick and, if they do, exhibit fewer symptoms.7

The association held true regardless of the participants’ levels of self-esteem, purpose, extraversion, age, education, body mass or pre-study immunity to the virus, leading the lead researcher to say:8

“We need to take more seriously the possibility that positive emotional style is a major player in disease risk.”

Further, in a study of nearly 200 heart failure patients, those with higher levels of gratitude had better mood, better sleep, less fatigue, and less inflammation, which can worsen heart failure, than those with lower levels.9

What this means is that investing in your own happiness should not be viewed as a self-indulgent luxury. It represents an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to piecing together your overall health.

Your mind can only take so much stress before it breaks down, yet many neglect to tend to their emotional health with the same devotion they give to their physical well-being. This is a surefire recipe for emotional breakdown.

Happiness is associated with a smile, sadness with a frown, but researchers have recently been able to use technology to visualize how your emotions manifest inside your body. Researchers in Finland asked 700 volunteers from Finland, Sweden, and Taiwan to think about one of 14 predetermined emotions, and then paint the areas of a blank silhouette that felt stimulated by that particular emotion.

Using a second blank silhouette, they were asked to paint in the areas that felt “deactivated” during that emotion.10 (If you want to try this experiment yourself, you can do so here.) The experiment showed that emotions tend to be felt in ways that are generally consistent from one person to the next, irrespective of age, sex or nationality. As reported by The Atlantic:11

“The mapping exercise produced what you might expect: an angry hot-head… a depressed figurine that was literally blue (meaning they felt little sensation in their limbs). Almost all of the emotions generated changes in the head area, suggesting smiling, frowning, or skin temperature changes, while feelings like joy and anger saw upticks in the limbs—perhaps because you’re ready to hug, or punch, your interlocutor.

Meanwhile, ‘sensations in the digestive system and around the throat region were mainly found in disgust,’ the authors wrote. It’s worth noting that the bodily sensations weren’t blood flow, heat, or anything else that could be measured objectively—they were based solely on physical twinges subjects said they experienced… [T]he results likely reveal subjective perceptions about the impact of our mental states on the body, a combination of muscle and visceral reactions and nervous system responses that we can’t easily differentiate.”

9 More Strategies to Stay Emotionally Healthy

It’s clear that your emotional state is intricately tied to your physical and mental states. So what can you do to stay emotionally healthy? Like achieving physical fitness or a healthy weight, this is an ongoing process… something that must be tended to each and every day. The good news is that small steps add up and can make a major different for your emotional health. Tips for emotional nurturing include:

1. Be an Optimist

Looking on the bright side increases your ability to experience happiness in your day-to-day life while helping you cope more effectively with stress.

2. Have Hope

Having hope allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel, helping you push through even dark, challenging times. Accomplishing goals, even small ones, can help you to build your level of hope.

3. Embrace Your Quirks

Self-deprecating remarks and thoughts will shroud your mind with negativity and foster increased levels of stress. Seek out and embrace the positive traits of yourself and your life, and avoid measuring your own worth by comparing yourself to those around you.

4. Stay Connected

Having loving and supportive relationships helps you feel connected and accepted, and promote a more positive mood. Intimate relationships help meet your emotional needs, so make it a point to reach out to others to develop and nurture these relationships in your life.

5. Express Gratitude

People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. The best way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or list, where you actively write down exactly what you’re grateful for each day. Doing so has been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health.

6. Find Your Purpose and Meaning

When you have a purpose or goal that you’re striving for, your life will take on a new meaning that supports your mental well-being. If you’re not sure what your purpose is, explore your natural talents and interests to help find it, and also consider your role in intimate relationships and ability to grow spiritually.

7. Master Your Environment

When you have mastery over your environment, you’ve learned how to best modify your unique circumstances for the most emotional balance, which leads to feelings of pride and success. Mastery entails using skills such as time management and prioritization along with believing in your ability to handle whatever life throws your way.

8. Exercise Regularly

Exercise boosts levels of health-promoting neurochemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression. Rather than viewing exercise as a medical tool to lose weight, prevent disease, and live longer – all benefits that occur in the future – try viewing exercise as a daily tool to immediately enhance your frame of mind, reduce stress and feel happier.

9. Practice Mindfulness

Practicing “mindfulness” means you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. Rather than letting your mind wander, when you’re mindful you’re living in the moment and letting distracting or negative thoughts pass through your mind without getting caught up in their emotional implications. Mindfulness can help you reduce stress for increased well-being as well as achieve undistracted focus.

Source: Mercola.com

Any serious runner knows that their legs take a serious beating. From joint pain to soft tissue damage, these athletes often see it all. While many seek care from an orthopedic practice, many others look to alternative rehabilitation such as soft tissue repair or joint mobilization to ease their pain and get them running again. Writer and runner Elena Sonnino of U.S. News & World Report shares her experience.

fmst-banner-image
The lifecycle of a running injury is not always linear.

The cycle of many running injuries goes something like this: After admitting that the pain was more than just soreness, you listened to your orthopedic surgeon talk about options ranging from surgery to rehabilitation. You spent months in physical therapy trying to rebuild strength and repair soft tissue damage, eventually hitting a plateau, only to wonder if you’ll ever go out for a run again.

The desire to get back out to run is why many runners seek alternative rehabilitation plans that include seeing a sports chiropractor for targeted treatments for their injuries. In my case, after two months in physical therapy, my pain was shifting from my hip to my iliotibial band and psoas muscle, and I knew that it was time to try something new if I ever wanted to run again (or even sit for any length of time).

Why see a sports chiropractor for a running injury?

Although physical therapy is often the first line of defense in rehabbing a running injury, many athletes and runners have started to rely on sports medicine-trained chiropractors. While physical therapy can focus on strengthening and coordination, chiropractic care is designed to improve joint mobilization, making sure that all the joints in the body are moving correctly. Hirad Bagy, founder of the United Wellness Center in Herndon, Va., and team chiropractor for the Washington Redskins, Washington Nationals and DC United, believes that sports chiropractic care has evolved to incorporate the best of both worlds of joint mobilization techniques and soft tissue repair, creating a new gold standard of best practices in treatment plans for patients.

Bagy emphasizes that not only do all the joints in the body need to move correctly, but they also need to move in coordination with the soft tissue – a healthy body is one where all the factors are working well together. Runners who decide to visit a sports chiropractor should expect, according to Bagy, a thorough evaluation of bio-mechanics by their practitioner, including:

• How they are moving.

• How they are standing.

• What the arch of the foot looks like.

• How the knees are aligned.

• How the hips are aligned.

Once an evaluation is completed, sports chiropractors will, as Bagy explains, create the “recipe for the treatment stew” – taking into account the needs of each specific patient to decide between a variety of techniques, each designed to help the body regenerate healthy cells to “activate healing mechanisms.”

Four types of chiropractic treatment for running injuries

1. Active Release Technique (ART) is a combination of massage and stretching where trained therapists apply deep tension while they move a joint through a range of motion. ART is used primarily for adhesions deep in the muscle.

2. Fluid Motion Soft Tissue Tools employ a technique that uses handheld stainless steel tools to break down scar tissue-releasing adhesions.

3. Functional dry needling is used for very deep trigger points to release tension in the muscles through deep muscle stimulation provided by the needles. Dry needling can be helpful for injuries involving the psoas muscle, which is a critical hip flexor muscle for runners.

4. Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) stimulates surface muscles to contract releasing tension as a complement to other techniques.

Active Release Technique for runners

After three months of not being able to run, in almost constant pain ranging from my iliotibial band to the back of my hip and then into my psoas muscle, I was admittedly ready for anything when my orthopedist suggested trying Active Release Technique. According to Bagy, the reason that Active Release Technique can be beneficial – especially for iliotibial band and hip injuries – is that it combines different muscle work that breaks down scar tissue while also emphasizing correct flexibility. Through Active Release, as Bagy explains, you can actually “elongate some of the muscle fibers making those muscles more pliable and therefore healthier.”

Anyone preparing for ART should know that this is not a particularly gentle treatment. I tried telling myself that it would be like a deep tissue massage, which I enjoy, although I quickly learned that while highly effective (after three weeks my pain, though still there, was incrementally improving), the pressure and work on the muscles is deep and sometimes painful.

How to stay healthy for the long term

Staying healthy is a constant concern for professional athletes who get constant care from stretching to active release to heat or ice. Most adults or mature athletes, on the other hand, do not make the time every day to use a foam roller, apply ice or heat or keep up with stretching. Runners who have overcome an injury should consider ongoing preventive care, ranging from every two weeks to every six weeks to maintain progress and reduce future injuries.

Dr. Pearsall received his Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and a Minor in Human Sciences from James Madison.

He attended Parker University in Dallas, Tx where he graduated with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

Dr. Pearsall has a passion for helping people and is certified in Active Release Techniques (ART), Graston, Selective Functional Movement Analysis (SFMA), and Kinesiotaping.  He is also certified by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) as a golf biomechanics specialist, and has worked with many of the golf pros at the Golf Academy of America in Dallas. In an effort to stay up to date on the latest techniques.

Dr. Pearsall will be continuing his post-graduate training in the Fascial Distortion Model (FDM), and Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP); a technique which assists with developing and maintaining ideal posture from head to toe. In addition to this, Dr. Pearsall has had a lot of experience helping people suffering from headaches and neck pain, as well as an assortment of sports injuries/strains/sprains, and much more.

Click the link to find out more about Dr. Brett Pearsall.

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

June 9, 2015
posted by Admin

Two minutes of walking each hour drastically improves health, study say.

By Dr. Mercola

Sitting for too long has been found to increase your risk of death from virtually all health problems, from type 2 diabetes and heart disease to cancer and all-cause mortality.

For example, sitting for more than eight hours a day is associated with a 90 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.1 The average American actually spends nine to 10 hours of their day sitting, and certain occupations, such as telecommunications employees, spend an average of 12 hours sitting each day.2

For many years, exercise was promoted as the solution to this largely sedentary lifestyle. But while exercise, especially short bursts of high-intensity activity, is crucial to optimal health, research suggests it can’t counteract the effects of too much sitting.

In fact, chronic sitting has a mortality rate similar to smoking.3 This should be powerful motivation to sit only when necessary, as reducing your hours spent sitting is the best way to avoid the associated health risks.

Researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine have uncovered another trick that may help reduce the risks for the times when sitting is unavoidable.

Walking for Two Minutes Each Hour May Improve Your Health

For times when you must sit, make a point to get up and walk around for two minutes out of every hour. Those who engaged in such low-intensity activities increased their lifespan by 33 percent, compared to those who did not.4

This is a simple trick that virtually everyone can use to cut back on the ill health effects of sitting. Think of it this way: if you’ve been sitting down for a full hour, you’ve sat too long, and the cellular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of your body and health are shutting down.

Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, and author of the book Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, has dedicated a good part of his career to investigating the health effects of sitting.

His investigations show that when you’ve been sitting for a long period of time and then get up, a number of molecular cascades occur. For example, within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol—which are mediated by insulin—are activated.

All of these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your own bodyweight. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuel into your cells and, if done regularly, will radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity. In short, at the molecular level, your body was designed to be active and on the move all day long.

When you stop moving for extended periods of time, it’s like telling your body it’s time to shut down and prepare for death… Dr. Levine actually recommends that you be up and moving for at least 10 minutes out of every hour.

Strive to Sit for Less Than Three Hours a Day

Over the last year, I’ve been able to reduce my normal 12 to 14 hours of daily sitting to under one hour. And I noticed one amazing thing: the back pain I’ve struggled with for many years simply disappeared. It would normally start after I’d walk or stand for more than 30 minutes, but since I reduced my sitting the pain disappeared.

I had previously tried four different chiropractors, posture exercises, Foundation Training, ab work, inversion tables, standing up every 15 minutes to stretch, and strength training. But nothing would touch it, other than to radically reduce my sitting.

I believe this is a more powerful strategy than simply trying to walk for a few minutes each hour, as research shows that reducing the average time you spend sitting down to less than three hours a day could increase your life expectancy by two years.5

On the other hand, each hour spent sitting and watching television after the age of 25 reduces your life expectancy by nearly 22 minutes.6 Remember, research shows excessive sitting is associated with an increased risk of dying from any cause as well as an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. And this is regardless of physical activity.7 As reported by CNN:8

“Researchers from Toronto came to this conclusion after analyzing 47 studies of sedentary behavior. They adjusted their data to incorporate the amount someone exercises and found that the sitting we typically do in a day still outweighs the benefit we get from exercise.”

A Standing Desk Can Drastically Cut Back on Hours Spent Sitting

You can’t avoid sitting during your commute, but if you work in an office you can slash your time spent sitting by using a standing workstation. We are in the process of providing all our employees at Mercola.com standing desk options. If you have a sit-down job I would strongly encourage you to present this information to your employer and get a stand-up desk.

A new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine analyzed 23 active desk studies (which includes both stand-up desks and treadmill desks) and found both reduced sedentary time and improved mood.9 I believe standing workstations are preferable to treadmill desks, however, as more than 24,000 people are treated for treadmill-related injuries each year.10 SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg passed away tragically recently from a severe head trauma sustained after slipping from a treadmil… so using one while being distracted with work isn’t ideal.

A far better option is to use a standing workstation while at the office, and then use a pedometer to be sure you’re walking for 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day. That being said, the study revealed the following physical benefits from standing desks:11

  • Standing desks boosted heart rate by about eight beats per minute, while treadmill desks increased it by 12 beats per minute
  • Standing desks may boost HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Using a standing desk for three months led to weight loss

Standing Desks Boost Performance and Cognitive Functioning

The benefits of switching to a standing desk are not only physical in nature. Some of the best benefits are actually related to your psychological health. As Fast Company reported:12

“In one seven-week study of standing desk use, participants reported less fatigue, tension, confusion, and depression, and more vigor, energy, focus, and happiness—and when they went back to their old desks, their overall mood returned to baseline levels.”

Even better, the standing workstations appeared to have little negative impact on employees’ ability to carry out their jobs. For instance, a sit-stand workstation lead to no difference in characters typed per minute or typing errors.13

Are You Ready to Give Up Being Sedentary?

Committing to sitting less is more of a mindset than a physical feat. It will take some getting used to, but you’ll find standing and moving around feels every bit as natural, and, really, even more so, than sitting.

If you work in an office, converting to a standing workstation will be important, but you should also strive to stand or move around while you watch TV, talk on the phone, and any other time possible.

In addition, moving is important too, not just standing still. In the featured study, for instance, those who stood up for two minutes an hour did not reap the benefits that those who walked for two minutes did.

I recommend using a pedometer, or better yet, one of the newer wearable fitness trackers that can also give you feedback on your sleeping patterns, which is another important aspect of good health. At first, you may be surprised to realize just how little you move each day.

Setting a goal of 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day (which is just over three to five miles, or 6-9 kilometers) can go a long way toward getting more movement and less sitting into your life. This should be over and above any exercise regimen you may have.

I personally am doing about 14,000-15,000 steps a day. The only way I can get this many steps in is to walk for 90 minutes. Tracking your steps can also show you how simple and seemingly minor changes to the way you move around at work can add up. Other simple ways to increase your physical movement and avoid sitting down at work and elsewhere include:

  • Organize the layout of your office space in such a way that you have to stand up to reach oft-used files, the telephone, or your printer, rather than having everything within easy reach.
  • Use an exercise ball for a chair. Unlike sitting in a chair, sitting on an exercise ball engages your core muscles and helps improve balance and flexibility. Occasional bouncing can also help your body interact with gravity to a greater degree than sitting on a stationary chair. But this is a concession and it is still sitting, so standing would be a better option.
  • Alternatively, use an upright wooden chair with no armrest, which will force you to sit up straight, and encourage shifting your body more frequently than a cushy office chair.
  • Set a timer to remind you to stand up and move about for at least two to 10 minutes each hour. You can either walk, stand, or take the opportunity to do a few simple exercises by your desk. For an extensive list of videos demonstrating such exercises, please see my previous article, “Intermittent Movement Benefits Your Health. Here’s How to Get More of It into Your Work Day.”

imrs

(Courtesy of Dr. Ken Hansraj M.D.)

The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.

That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day, according to research published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. The study will appear next month in Surgical Technology International. Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.

“It is an epidemic or, at least, it’s very common,” Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, told The Washington Post. “Just look around you, everyone has their heads down.”

Can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research. And high-schoolers might be the worst. They could conceivably spend an additional 5,000 hours in this position, Hansraj said.

“The problem is really profound in young people,” he said. “With this excessive stress in the neck, we might start seeing young people needing spine care. I would really like to see parents showing more guidance.”

Medical experts have been warning people for years. Some say for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles.

Tom DiAngelis, president of the American Physical Therapy Association‘s Private Practice Section, told CNN last year the effect is similar to bending a finger all the way back and holding it there for about an hour.

“As you stretch the tissue for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed,” he said. It can also cause muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks and, over time, it can even remove the neck’s natural curve.

NECK_LONG_VERSION

 

It’s a risk for some 58 percent of American adults who own smartphones.

Michelle Collie, a doctor who heads Performance Physical Therapy in Rhode Island, told CNN last year she started seeing patients with mobile technology-induced head, neck and back pain some six or seven years ago.

Poor posture can cause other problems as well. Experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent. It has also been linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease.

“While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over,” according to the research.

Speaking to TODAY, Hansraj gave smartphone users tips to avoid pain:

  • Look down at your device with your eyes. No need to bend your neck.
  • Exercise: Move your head from left to right several times. Use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward and then backward. Stand in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to strengthen “the muscles of good posture,” Hansraj said.

“I love technology. I’m not bashing technology in any way,” Hansraj told The Post. “My message is: Just be cognizant of where your head is in space. Continue to enjoy your smartphones and continue to enjoy this technology — just make sure your head is up.”

 

Source:
The Washington Post

 

 

Alternative medical options now sought throughout NFL

December 12, 2014
posted by Admin

1

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Captain Munnerlyn is a believer.

The Minnesota Vikings’ veteran cornerback thought he’d miss up to a month after injuring a hamstring in training camp this year. Then he visited “Dr. Josh”, who worked on the injury once and left Munnerlyn thinking he’d just witnessed a miracle.

“It was crazy. I’d never had it done before, but it got me back on the field in a week,” Munnerlyn told USA TODAY Sports recently. “Didn’t use nothing. No machine. All hands. ‘Wow. Is this the Son of God?'”

Josh Sandell is not a medical doctor. He’s a licensed chiropractor who describes his area of expertise as the functional aspect of sports medicine, and the response to his techniques had enough players talking that the Vikings hired him this past spring.

More and more, NFL teams are looking outside the usual structure of doctors and athletic trainers, hiring chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists and other specialists to help keep players healthy, in part because players were seeking such treatments on their own.

In a league where most contracts aren’t guaranteed, there’s incentive for players to try anything and everything to stay on the field. The more teams know about who’s working on them, the better, even if not everyone is sold on the medical value of every nontraditional treatment option.

“Quite frankly, if there’s a placebo effect, I don’t really care,” said Dr. Matthew Matava, the St. Louis Rams’ head team physician and president of the NFL Physicians Society.

“As long as it’s not harmful to the patient and as long as it makes him feel better within the rules of the game and it’s legal and there’s no long-term or short-term side effects, then certainly, the mind is a powerful contributor to a player’s overall health and well-being.”

ALTERNATIVES NOT NEW

It makes sense NFL teams would be open to non-pharmaceutical solutions at a time hundreds of former players are suing the league over alleged painkiller abuse, triggering a Drug Enforcement Administration inquiry. But Matava said the shift has been occurring for five to 10 years.

Matava said he’d guess every team now has a chiropractor as part of their medical staff, among other specialists with traditional degrees and training who have been vetted by team physicians.

“They’re seeing the limitations and the constraints that are being put on them: ‘OK, it’s not just enough to dull your pain anymore,'” Sandell said. “If you take away the numbing ability, you’re kind of forced to find alternatives to get that player better.”

The issues arise, Matava said, when players visit “gurus” who operate outside the team premises, aren’t subject to the same laws as physicians and are willing to experiment with injectable medications, nutraceuticals and alternative treatments that haven’t been fully researched.

“Unfortunately, it takes one athlete in one sport who then touts it in the media, and now everyone has to have it for their use,” Matava said.

Sandell said he has referred more than 200 professional athletes for mesenchymal stem cell therapy through Orthology, the wellness center where he is chief clinical officer. He also believes in Prolozone (a form of oxygen injection used to reduce pain) and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, among other less conventional treatments.

But Sandell’s main tools are his hands, which help him find the broken link in the chain – the injured or abnormal tissue that is causing pain. He says he remodels the tissue, uses the nervous system to coordinate muscle activation patterns and restores proper mobility to the joints.

In essence, he’s manipulating body systems to affect other body systems. Players receive the type of rehabilitation they’d get if they’d had a stroke, Sandell said, only instead of learning to walk again, they’re learning to move like athletes again.

“You would never make that correlation, but I’m telling you, it’s a game-changer,” Sandell said. “And all these procedures potentiate one another – more effective when used together than they are by the individual cells.”

The Vikings don’t allow Sandell to refer players or use advanced treatment options at their facility, he said. But he works on players there multiple times weekly, travels on the road and has a full house at his office down the street on players’ off day as well.

Word has spread around the league. Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts, who met Sandell through Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, credited him with a rapid return to play from hamstring injuries. Sandell said other NFL teams have released players to his care, too.

“In my mind,” Shorts told the Florida Times-Union in October, “he’s a genius.”

NO MIRACLES

Cardinals tight end John Carlson is a believer, too, in a lot of things.

He has worked with Sandell since college. This offseason, with his career in doubt because of concussions and other injuries, Carlson also visited doctors and underwent food sensitivity testing, leading to dietary changes he believes have reduced inflammation and kept him healthy.

“I don’t have a concussion problem,” Carlson told USA TODAY Sports in October. “The times that I’ve gotten concussions, I’ve been hit really hard in the head. And that happens occasionally in football. I’ve been hit really hard in the head a few times this year and I bounced up and felt great.”

Matava cautioned against reading too much into what amounts in medical research terms to a case report, though he understands why players who fear for their jobs are apt to buy into whatever keeps them on the field.

“Physicians that are careful in this area are slow to jump on any sort of bandwagon,” Matava said, “because there’s always a new treatment, always a new technique, a therapy that unfortunately can make a lot of money for somebody.”

Respected physicians and researchers are studying a variety of alternative treatments and injectable medications, Matava said – one NFL doctor will present on stem cells at February’s scouting combine – but there are too many unanswered questions to implement them now.

So, teams are leaning on treatments that have more data and research to support their efficacy. Matava said the Rams’ chiropractor is “probably the busiest member of the medical team before the game” and the team employs an acupuncturist and nutritionist as well.

Because there are no miracles for players – only treatment, both to prevent and respond to injuries. Teams simply are providing more options now, since players would find them anyway.

“We’re just trying to get back out there as soon as possible. But at the same time, you want to be healthy,” Munnerlyn said. “I told (Sandell) his hands are a blessing. It seems like when he touch you, man, he’s healing you. I always joke with him like, ‘Man, I need those hands.'”

Source: www.usatoday.com

When It Comes to Aging Well, It’s Mind Over Matter

November 18, 2014
posted by Admin

By Dr. Mercola (November 14, 2014 – Peak Fitness Newsletter)

For many, “aging” is synonymous with aches and pains, forgetfulness, loneliness, and ultimately death. Aging is inevitable, but research actually shows that how you think about it can make a big difference in how gracefully you age.

As it turns out, holding on to negative stereotypes about aging may have a significant impact on your quality of life, preventing you from living to full capacity as you age.

In one study,1 psychological intervention designed to strengthen positive age stereotypes actually resulted in increased mobility and strength. As reported by the New York Times:2

“Over and over, they’ve found that those who hold more positive age stereotypes behave differently as they age from those with more negative stereotypes, even when the groups are similar in other ways, including health status…

Older people with more positive views of aging do better on memory tests. They have better handwriting. They can walk faster. They’re more likely to recover fully from severe disability.Those with more positive self-perceptions of aging actually live longer, by an average of 7.5 years.”

Mind Over Matter—Your Mental Outlook Affects Your Fitness

The study in question, published in Psychological Science,3 investigated ways to uplift people’s views on aging, and then looked at how this new mindset affected their physical strength.

Proving the mind-body connection yet again, the results showed that taking a more positive view actually led to stronger physical functioning, even without added exercise.

One hundred seniors living in New Haven, Connecticut participated in the study. The average age was 81. Once a week for one month, some of the participants were exposed to what the researchers refer to as an “implicit association” exercise, while others engaged in an “explicit association” exercise.

  • Implicit association exercise: For about 15 minutes, words such as “creative,” “spry,” and “fit” were flashed on a computer screen in combination with words like “old” and “senior.”

The words were flashed so quickly that they couldn’t be consciously read—a technique used in subliminal programming. Lead researcher Dr. Becca Levy refers to it as “perception without awareness.”

  • Explicit association exercise: Those engaging in the explicit exercise were asked to write brief essays about older people engaging in some type of activity.

Follow-up tests revealed that the implicit (subliminal) intervention had a significant impact, strengthening positive age stereotypes and self-perceptions of age over a longer term.

At one week, and again three weeks after the final association exercise, the participants were asked to perform a variety of physical tasks, such as repeatedly standing up and sitting down, walking across a room, and holding challenging poses to test for balance. As reported in the featured article:

“The group exposed to implicit positive messages showed significant improvement in physical function, compared to their status before the experiment began. Those who participated in the explicit intervention and wrote essays showed no improvement.

In fact, the people who underwent four brief exposures to implicit positive messages showed greater physical improvement than a group of a similar aged, enrolled in a different study, that actually exercised for six months.

…The implicit approach may have more impact than explicitly positive messages, Dr. Levy said, because it thwarts resistance. ‘People have encountered negative stereotypes for so long, in media and marketing and everyday conversations, that people build up ways to hold onto them,’ she said. ‘Implicit interventions can bypass that.’” [Emphasis mine]

Real Age versus Perceived Age—A Matter of Choice

When thinking about aging, it’s important to remember that your age in years is only a number. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s very true, especially if you begin to apply foundational health principles in your life that allow your body to function at its peak. Recently Norwegian researchers created an online calculator for determining fitness age.4 You can take the online test for free.5 This year, I turned 60 but my fitness age according to this calculator is half that—30 years old.

As my test shows, it is possible for a 60-year-old to be just as fit, biologically speaking, as a 30-year-old, or even more fit, depending largely on lifestyle. So your age in years is just a numerical measurement, but your real age is your biological age as dictated by your choices and habits.

Your lifestyle has far more influence on your health at any age, and this includes not only the obvious like healthy eating and effective exercise, but also tending to your emotional needs by deciding to be happy, thinking positively, socializing and seeking out new and exciting experiences, and yes, associating aging with positive stereotypes instead of negative ones.

While society now programs us to think of the elderly as hopelessly incapable in just about every way, you can choose to take a different view. It really wasn’t all that long ago that people revered their elders for their accumulated wisdom and life experience. Barring access to positive subliminal programming, such as that used in this test, you can choose to think of aging as having benefits—regardless of your current age today.

Tips from Centenarians

The way you think about aging may in fact play a role in how old you “allow” yourself to get. The majority of centenarians—people who live to be 100 years old or older—report feeling about 20 years younger than their chronological age, and their mindset has a lot to do with this self-perception. Most centenarians, regardless of their health status, tend to have positive attitudes, optimism, and a zest for life. Could it be that personality characteristics and worldviews play a more significant role than genetics, diet, or exercise? Perhaps!

One way to determine this is to ask centenarians questions about how they see the world, what they value, and to what they attribute their own longevity. What are their secrets to aging well? These individuals represent centuries of wisdom that should not be overlooked. Mining the minds of centenarians for nuggets of wisdom, researchers have been able to detect a definitive pattern of thinking and behavior among the eldest among us. Centenarians overwhelmingly cite stress as the most important thing to avoid.

Those who have lived 100 years or more on this earth have undoubtedly experienced a number of stressful events, but as a general rule, they manage their stress really well. Rather than dwelling on it, they let it go. And most often, they choose to be happy—despite everything.  In interviews and surveys with centenarians, the following themes also come up time and time again when asked to explain “why they’ve lived so long:”6

  • Keeping a positive attitude; living with passion
  • Eating good food
  • Exercising moderately (most report basic activities, like walking, biking, gardening, swimming, etc.)
  • Clean living (not smoking or drinking excessively, etc.)
  • Living independently
  • Family and friends
  • Staying mentally active and always learning something new
  • Faith/spirituality; being able to forgive and let go of stress

Eating Well for Graceful Aging

For a comprehensive guide on healthy eating, please see my optimized nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you’ll want to focus your diet on whole, unprocessed, ideally organic foods (vegetables, grass-fed meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth). In terms of foods to avoid, processed foods and beverages of all kinds top the list, as they’re chockfull of sugar, refined fructose, and grains—all of which promote insulin and leptin resistance when eaten in excess. Insulin/leptin resistance in turn is at the heart of most chronic disease, from obesity to arthritis, cancer, and dementia. A sugar-rich diet is also a major cause of accelerated cellular aging, breaking down your body well before its time.

According to Professor Cynthia Kenyon, whom many experts believe should win the Nobel Prize for her research into aging, carbohydrates (glucose) directly affect the genes that govern youthfulness and longevity. Her research suggests you may actually be able to extend your life and stay fit throughout your old age with a simple dietary change that switches on your “youth” gene.

Kenyon’s research with C. elegans roundworms showed that decreased carb intake can lead to significant life extension and improved long-term health. One of the most interesting details of her findings is that not only did the roundworms live up to SIX TIMES longer than normal, but they kept their health and youthful vigor until the end—and isn’t that what “healthy aging” is really all about? Besides being high in sugar/fructose, processed foods also contain a wide variety of other harmful substances that can wear down your health, including synthetic chemicals (colors, flavors, preservatives, stabilizers, etc), genetically engineered ingredients, and pesticides, just to name a few.

Exercise Is an Excellent ‘Anti-Aging’ Tool

Besides diet and maintaining a positive mindset, exercise is perhaps one of the best “anti-aging” interventions available. It’s worth noting that exercise has also been shown to have a positive effect on depression, and may in fact help you see the sunnier side of life. Staying active is particularly important for the elderly. I recommend incorporating a variety of exercises into your regimen, but strength training may be particularly beneficial if you’re older. A 2010 study published in the journal Mechanisms of Aging and Development7 confirmed the “anti-aging” effect of high-intensity training, which forms the foundation of my Peak Fitness regimen.

Strength training can be turned into a high intensity exercise by slowing down your movements, and it also tends to be safer than conventional weight lifting or sprinting exercises. One of the key benefits of high-intensity exercises is that it boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is important for optimal health, strength, and longevity. To boost the “anti-aging” benefits of high intensity exercise even further, consider combining it with intermittent fasting. This may in fact be a revolutionary way to keep your body biologically young. The combined effect of intermittent fasting and short intense exercise may help you to:

  • Turn back the biological clock in your muscle and brain
  • Boost growth hormone
  • Improve body composition
  • Boost cognitive function
  • Boost testosterone
  • Prevent depression

To Live Longer, Learn to Manage Your Stress and Think Positively

Interviews with centenarians across the world reveal that having a positive world view is part and parcel of enjoying a longer-than-normal life. This makes sense when you consider how potent a component your emotions are for your health. Your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. And as demonstrated in the featured research, just associating aging with positive stereotypes instead of negative ones has the power to affect your ability to perform physical tasks.

7 Myths About The Brain You Thought Were True

August 7, 2014
posted by Admin

You think you know the brain? Think again!

Layout 1

Reprinted from the Thera-Band Academy Blog (February 24, 2014)

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to our email updates for new blog posts. Thanks for visiting!

Myofascial foam rolling has become a popular tool as part of both warm-up and cool down prior to activity. Despite its popularity, little research has been performed on the mechanisms or efficacy of foam rolling.

Researchers at Memorial University in Canada have led the way with the first published studies on the effectiveness of foam rolling.  In 2013, they published a paper in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that found as little as 2 minutes of foam rolling on the quadriceps muscle increased knee range of motion by 10%, which was significantly more than a control group. In addition, they showed the immediate increase in flexibility did not affect muscle performance. These findings suggest foam rolling can increase range of motion as effectively as muscle stretching without the immediate decrease in performance seen with static stretching as part of a warm-up.

More recently, the Memorial University researchers published a paper in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise on the effects of foam rolling after intense physical activity as a recovery tool. The researchers wanted to investigate the effectiveness of foam rolling on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and identify potential mechanisms of action.

They randomly assigned 20 healthy males with strength training experience to either a foam-rolling group or to a control group. Both groups performed squats to induce DOMS in their legs. The foam-rolling group then performed 5 different rolling techniques on their anterior, lateral, posterior, medial thigh, and gluteal muscles. They performed each of the 5 exercises on both legs for 60 seconds each, for a total of about 20 minutes.

Foam rolling substantially reduced muscle soreness while also increasing range of motion compared to the control group. In addition, the foam-rolling subjects had improved vertical jump and muscle activation levels compared to the controls. In contrast, the control group suffered substantial deficits in muscle performance.

Because there were no effects on isolated muscle function with the foam rolling, the researchers suggested that foam rolling might affect the neurological system and connective tissue more than the muscle itself. DOMS is thought to result from damage to connective tissue with resultant inflammation.

In conclusion, the researchers stated, “The improved recovery rate in muscle soreness in the foam rolling group signifies that foam rolling is an effective tool to treat DOMS.”

REFERENCE: Macdonald GZ, et al. Foam rolling as a recovery tool after an intense bout of physical activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Jan;46(1):131-42.

 

If you have been watching Dr. Oz or just perusing through the internet you may have stumbled upon the term “functional medicine.”  Functional medicine is concerned with helping an individual with their symptoms in a natural, holistic manner first prior to integrating conventional medications.  Many of the illnesses today are based on lifestyle factors – not enough sleep, eating processed food devoid of nutrients, not exercising, too much work/school/family stress, etc.  These lifestyle patterns can cause many conditions that range from autoimmune diseases (celiac, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, etc.) to mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, dementia, etc.) to cardiovascular issues (high cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides) to even pain syndromes (migraines, joint pain, etc.)!

A functional medicine practitioner takes all the lifestyle factors into account and seeks to find ways to help a person naturally through diet modifications, exercise routines, and stress reduction strategies.  They may run blood tests to see if you are reacting to any foods that may be causing inflammatory damage in your body and subsequent autoimmune disease states.  Furthermore, they may recommend certain natural supplements or suggest certain cleanses to help heal the gut and body.

Just as important, however, is that they recognize when a patient needs conventional medicine intervention.  For example, a strep infection requires antibiotics and if a person is in dire depressive state, they may need that anti-depressant initially to get them on the right track while you change lifestyle changes slowly.

Dr. Michael Teytelbaum, board-certified in Chiropractic Functional Neurology, incorporates functional medicine in practice as well.  For more information, you can schedule a phone consultation at 973-467-9011 or Email Dr. Teytelbaum directly at ChiroMikeT@gmail.com

Boots: A Perfect Fit Please

February 14, 2014
posted by Admin

Please click here for a PDF version of the article.

FootPrints-1 FootPrints-2

 

Are you being “Diss-functional?”

February 3, 2014
posted by Admin

When people are called dysfunctional, they may feel “diss-ed.”  However, the reality is that most people are either born with some imbalances or acquire dysfunctions through the different stressors of life like physical trauma, chemical/diet stress, and emotional dis-tress.  What many people fail to realize is that pain is the last symptom to appear and that there was some form of dysfunction present days to years prior.  Prevention is a hot topic nowadays in the media, but it usually only focuses on mammograms/prostate screenings and making sure you get your annual physical.  These steps are highly necessary but what about preventing debilitating sciatica/low back pain or shin splints and knee pain before it starts?

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to be proactive and preventative! Here is a simple list to follow:

1)      Sleep – 7-8 hours/night, getting enough sleep will not make your muscles less tense throughout your day

2)      Diet – eat regularly throughout the day (every 2-3 hours) as to maintain consistent blood sugar. Avoid processed and sugary foods as much as possible, concentrate on your veggies/proteins/fruits.  Stay hydrated, drinking 8 cups of 8 ounces of water is the average, drink more if working out.  You will be more likely to avoid “crashing” this way and be able to have better workouts

3)      Foam Roll/stretch – Roll on a foam roller/tennis/lacrosse ball starting from your calves to your mid/upper back.  Any area that is tight, concentrate more on. Don’t forget about the quadriceps, it band and groin muscles! Roll for 1-2mins/area.  Rolling is like a self-massage and can help avoid many work and sport related injuries!  Stretching your calves/hamstrings/quads is great first thing in the morning and after a workout. You want to hold the stretch for 30 seconds and do 3 sets.

4)      Rest – Your body, just like any other machine, wears down at a certain point and needs to reset and rest.  It is never a bad idea to take a week off from working out if you have been going for many weeks or to work out every other day in general.  You never want to feel worn out all the time, just during the workout itself!

5)      Get your spine and body checked by a professional – Chiropractors are trained to find spinal misalignments and to align the spine as well as possible.  This, along with muscle work like Active Release Techniques, can balance your body more and be preventative for future injuries!

Following these steps can curtail many injuries and pains in your future!  With the Winter Olympics coming up, you can bet that the hockey players, skaters, skiers, and others are following all these steps as to prevent injury and to optimize their performance!  You can do the same!