Category Archives for "Fitness"

MOST IMPORTANT MOVEMENTS FOR HEALTH, FITNESS, and PERFORMANCE

As we talked about in last weeks post, being able to move without pain is critical to staying healthy, active and pain free.  And exercise is the best tool for maintaining and improving your ability to move.

So what exercises should people do to best maintain their ability to move?

While there are millions of exercises and forms of exercise you can do the truth is there are only a handful of basic exercises you need to be able to do to maximize your health and performance.

These exercises work on fundamental movements and movement skills that are repeated again and again throughout life.  The same basic movements and movement skills are also found in nearly every sport and recreational activity.

Below is a list of the basic movement skills needed for life, health, fitness, and performance

CORE STABILITY:  Nearly every movement in life (walking, standing, sitting, running, jumping, bending, lifting etc) requires you to be able to keep your spine stable.  Keeping your spine stable protects your low back and allows for efficient movement in the hips and trunk.

POSTURAL STABILITY:  This refers to maintaining the correct position of your head, neck, upper back, and shoulders.  Maintaining good posture prevents neck, shoulder, and upper back pain and allows the upper body to function properly

PUSHING, PULLING, and LIFTING:  These are essential functions of the upper body.  Weather you are required to push or pull a door open, reach up to grab something from a high shelf, start a lawn mower, push an offensive linemen in football etc you need to have the strength and ability to perform pushing, pulling, and lifting movements.

HINGING:  This refers to bending at the hips and leaning forward in the trunk.  We perform hinging movements all throughout the day. Every time you lean forward to do something, bend down to pick something up, or get up and down from a chair you hinge in your hips.  Poor hinging mechanics puts added stress on the low back and other areas of the body

SQUATTING:  Squatting is used to get up and down from a chair and to bend down and pick something up from the floor.  It is also important for many recreational and sporting activities. If squat mechanics are poor you put added stress on your knees, hips, and low back

LUNGING:  The lunge movement is used to go up and down steps and get up and down from the floor along with several sporting activities including running and cutting.

Working on these movements with specific exercises will help you stay healthy, active, and pain free. Once these basic movements are learned they can be progressed and applied in different ways to reach any health, fitness, or performance goal.  

In the upcoming posts I will show you specific exercises and progressions you can do to work on each of the above movement skills. 

How Chiropractic Benefits Cyclists

Now that summer is upon us and the chilly winds of winter are gone for at least a few months, more people are taking their fitness and recreational activities outside. Cycling is popular activity that fits both bills. It is a great way to unwind and enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also an excellent form of exercise. 

Chiropractic provides excellent benefits for the cycler, whether you hit the trails on the weekend, incorporate cycling as part of your fitness regimen, or commute to work on your bike every day.

  • Relief from Pain
  • Faster Healing from Injuries
  • Better Muscle Tone and Balance
  • Improved Range of Motion
  • Enriched Cycling Biomechanics

In short, chiropractic and help make you a better cyclist and help you get the most out of your cycling. It will help keep your body aligned and balanced physically, but it also treats the whole body.

That means that your chiropractor will also make nutritional recommendations and even recommend various supplements if necessary. This will give your energy a boost and improve your performance, while helping you stay healthy and fit. This is how chiropractic helps you have more stamina and endurance.

Chiropractic for Cycling Injuries

As with any type of physical activity, there is always a chance that injuries will occur. Chiropractic helps keep your body balanced and improves your flexibility. This, in turn, decreases your chance for injury.

However, if you are injured, chiropractic can help you recover and heal much faster. You start with a healthy, balanced body through regular chiropractic care, and that helps you bounce back faster if you sustain an injury.

Chiropractic care can also be used to treat injuries. Cycling can cause pain and injury in the ligaments, muscles, knees, ankles, hips, hands, wrists, feet, neck, back, and shoulders.

Regular adjustments can help decrease the likelihood of pain in these areas, but sometimes the soreness can creep in anyway. When that happens, chiropractic treatments have been shown to be very effective in treating pain without pain medication and associated harmful side effects.

Spinal alignment is one of the most common chiropractic techniques, but it goes much farther than that. Adjustments to the legs and feet can help with ankle, knee, hip, and foot pain. Adjustments to the arms and shoulders can help relieve pain in those areas. Special attention to the joints help keep them flexible and functioning as they should.

Chiropractic allows the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal

Chiropractic is completely natural and does not rely on invasive treatments or surgeries. It does not use medications of any kind. It uses nutrition and supplements that rely on the body’s natural ability to heal. It simply realigns the body so that the neural pathways are unobstructed. This allows blood flow to be more efficient and reach the organs much easier.

Chiropractic involves gentle spinal manipulations that realign the body and restore movement in the joints as well as muscle trigger points and soft tissue. It may include electrical muscular current therapies, massage, cold laser therapy, ultrasonic waves, and other therapies in addition to the spinal manipulations.

A chiropractic patient may be advised to rest, ice an area, elevate it, or be given specific exercises to work that area. Chiropractic is not a rote therapy as many traditional medical practices tend to be. It adjusts to each patient, taking into account their unique lifestyle, activity level, nutritional needs, and other elements that influence that particular patient’s healing process.

Chiropractic sees each patient as individual and treat them as such. This is what makes it such an effective treatment for cyclists. The benefits it offers them can not only keep them pain free and participating in their activity; it can also make them better at it.

5 Benefits of Walking That Every Chiropractic Patient Should Know

The case for walking in order to achieve better health is not new. Doctors and fitness experts have been touting its benefits for decades. When you walk, you engage more than 200 muscles – this includes your pelvis and spine. This makes it an exceptional complement to chiropractic treatment. However, if you aren’t convinced, these five compelling reasons that chiropractic patients should walk are sure to win you over. 

Help with Weight Management and Weight Loss

When you are carrying around excess weight it can lead to back pain and impaired mobility. Fat around your middle, especially in the stomach area, throws your body off balance. There is extra weight in front and it pulls that portion of your body forward, causing a swayback effect.

The pain in the lower back that is caused by this pressure can be excruciating. Over the long term this can cause damage to your spine and cause misalignment. While girdles or slings may help, the permanent remedy is to lose the weight. Walking is an excellent, low impact exercise that helps you lose weight, stay active, and stay healthy.

Better Mobility and Flexibility

As we age we become less flexible and we don’t have the mobility of youth. As you walk, your circulation increases and that helps improve flexibility and mobility.

Add a little light stretching to the mix, along with regular chiropractic treatments and you will have a much better range of motion. Your posture will improve and you will reduce your chance of injury during physical activity. All this greatly enhances your spinal health making walking a great complement to chiropractic care.

Relief of Back Pain

Back pain is one of the top reasons that Americans miss work and worldwide it is the number one cause of disability. It is also expensive. Each year, Americans spend upwards of $50 billion trying to escape back pain.

Walking is recommended by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) to help ease back pain. It is a very good, low impact exercise that helps you manage your weight and stay active – excess weight can cause your back to hurt. Walking helps relieve back pain, but it can help to prevent it as well. Even walking for just 30 minutes a day 3 to 5 times a week is beneficial.

Spinal Disk Rehydration

There are small, fluid filled disks that lie between each vertebrae, acting as a cushion. As you move about during the day, gravity and certain movements cause your spinal disks to compress, squeezing the water out of them. This can lead to back pain and mobility issues.

The increased circulation from walking helps to force water into this area and the disks absorb that water and are rehydrated. This allows them to continue doing what they are supposed to – act as shock absorbers for your spine. It also helps if you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Improved Circulation

Good circulation is integral to spinal health as well as a properly functioning central nervous system. When you walk it increases your circulation allowing your blood to carry vital nutrients to your spine, organs, and your entire body. The soft tissues are enriched and nourished as toxins are flushed out.

Another benefit of this increased circulation is a decrease in blood pressure. It brings your body into balance so your muscles, ligaments, and joints are nourished. This, in turn, helps to make your chiropractic treatments more productive and beneficial.

Walking is beneficial for whole body wellness. It can help you reduce your risk of many serious health conditions including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. It is also great for giving you a mental health boost and make you less prone to osteoporosis. So commit to walking just 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week. You will be astounded at the difference it will make.

How Chiropractic Helps Those That Suffer from Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome is a very common injury among runners. If it is diagnosed early and treatment commences immediately the chances of it becoming a chronic condition are reduced. It responds very well to chiropractic since it involves the pelvis and related muscles. When pelvic mechanics are not functioning properly the muscle don’t work efficiently which hinders flexibility and mobility. This can lead to tight muscles which may inhibit motion and cause pain. Chiropractic adjustments have been proven to help with the condition. 

What is the Iliotibial Band?

The Iliotibial Band, or fasciae latae, is the outer casing of muscle that extends along the outer thigh, from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee. Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when that casing becomes thickened. It is flexed or tight when you stand; it is what keeps your let straight, allowing the larger thigh muscle to rest.

There are two primary muscles that are involved in iliotibial band syndrome, the buttock muscle, or gluteus maximus, and the tensor fasciae latae muscles. Sometimes Iliotibial Band Syndrome is referred to Tensor Fasciae Latae Syndrome and the two terms can be used interchangeably.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Defined

As the iliotibial band thickens it pulls in the area where it connects to the knee. This results in knee pain due to the application of too much pressure on the bursa. The bursa then becomes swollen, inflamed, and painful. During activity, such as running on an incline, the glutes are heavily involved.

The other end of the iliotibial band is inserted at the glutes so as the band tightens from this activity, it can trigger iliotibial band syndrome pain. Repeated activity further aggravates it, as does running on tight indoor tracks or uneven roads as well as having collapsed arches or running it inferior or worn out running shoes.

Symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

There are several symptoms that can be used to diagnose iliotibial band syndrome. Lateral knee pain (pain on the outside of the knee) is a primary symptom and often used as a key diagnostic tool. Few conditions involve lateral knee pain. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain that worsens after running, particularly after running on an incline, climbing stairs, or climbing hills
  • There may not be any pain until you do something that aggravates it like climbing a hill.
  • The pain may not begin until you are mid-way through a run.
  • The pain can be intense and debilitating.
  • It can accompany a snapping hip, which occurs when the muscles that cross the outer hip may click or snap while running or walking.
  • The pain may be present along the lateral thigh without incorporating the knee, but it is only in very rare instances that it is concentrated on the gluteal or hip muscles.

Iliotibial band syndrome is often attributed to over training. This can mean suddenly increasing hill repeats or doubling your mileage.

Treatments for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

If your iliotibial band syndrome is caused by a problem with pelvic function, relieving the pain from the condition can be difficult. Stretching is not likely to bring relief – and if it does it won’t last long. If the pain from iliotibial band syndrome lasts for more than two weeks even if you are only stretching, your regular exercise routine, and ice and you don’t see much improvement, a chiropractor can help.

Even if the pain is located in the knee, the problem could originate in the pelvis. A chiropractor can assess your condition, check to see that your pelvis is functioning properly. If it isn’t, spinal adjustments and other chiropractic treatments can bring the body back into alignment and make the pelvis more functional.

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