National Stress Awareness Month

 

If I’m feeling stressed I can take a bath or write my diary to get rid of any pent up feelings!  But it’s always good to accept a bit of outside help from time to time.

How can stress affect my spine?

Think of your spinal cord as a guitar string. The greater the tension, the higher the note. Your nervous system has “tone” as well. With each stressor, your body tightens up, like bracing yourself for a tight curve on a roller coaster. The weakest joints of your spine are forced out of their normal position. Like the shrill notes from an over-tightened string, your body loses its capacity to respond to the full range of human experience. And ill health can result.

Can chiropractic care solve all my stress?

Of course not. Much of the emotional stress we experience is largely self-induced. Imagine how much pain and suffering result from attaching inappropriate meanings to events in our lives. Or the constant burden we experience by not forgiving others. Stress is a natural part of life. Chiropractic care can’t eliminate stress, but it can help increase your capacity to accommodate it.

Safe and Natural

Chiropractic is a team approach to better health. As you enjoy results, tell those you love. Explain how millions enjoy relief and better health by restoring the integrity of their spines and nervous systems with safe and natural chiropractic care.

 

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The TRUTH about Potatoes, Glycemic Index, and “White Foods” — Do they help or hurt Fat Loss?

The TRUTH about Potatoes, Glycemic Index, and “White Foods” — Do they help or hurt Fat Loss?

potatoes and glycemic indexby Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer
Author of best-sellers:  
The Fat Burning Kitchen & The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging
I’d like to start a little discussion today about carbohydrates… and in particular, “white foods” as well as potatoes. One reason I wanted to mention this is because so many health and fitness professionals trash talk potatoes about being a bad carbohydrate choice because of the high glycemic index. Some even say such ridiculous things as “avoid any and all white carbohydrates”.

Ok, now while I certainly agree that white bread and refined white sugar are two of the worst things we can be feeding our bodies, I definitely don’t agree with avoiding any and all “white carbohydrates”. Now I know all of the buzz lately has been about colorful foods and the protective antioxidants that they contain. They tell you to focus on colors and stay away from white.

“White Foods” aren’t necessarily always the enemy

It’s true that colorful foods are great, but it is a big mistake to specifically avoid white foods! There are plenty of white foods that have specific nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere. Let’s look at a few examples…

Onions & Garlic

What about onions and garlic? They are both white and they are chock full of protective phytonutrients, vitamins, and trace minerals that aren’t easy to find elsewhere in a normal diet… such nutrients as allicin, quercetin (an important flavonoid), chromium, and other unique anti-inflammatory nutrients.

In fact, onions are so powerful for our health, that one study of centenarians (people that live to over 100 years old) identified that a common thread of these amazingly healthy individuals was that they ate a lot of onions throughout their lives.   And we also know that garlic is one of the most powerful substances for a strong immune system, among other qualities.

Cauliflower

Another example of something white that is great for you is cauliflower. Cauliflower is loaded with vitamin C, fiber, minerals, and special compounds such as glucosinolates and thiocyanates, which are specifically abundant in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.  And a little-known fact is that some of the compounds in cruciferous vegetables help to combat other estrogenic compounds in our food supply and environment and can help prevent excess belly fat.  So eat up on that cauliflower!

Mushrooms

Not many people realize this, but surprisingly, even white mushrooms have high levels of unique nutrients and antioxidants. White mushrooms are high in a couple types of antioxidants called polyphenols and ergothioneine.  And some types of mushrooms, such as portobella mushrooms, are surprisingly good sources of Vitamin D.

Potatoes

Now that also leads us to another example – white potatoes (which by the way, can also be found in red, yellow, purple varieties, etc). Many health professionals claim that potatoes are a bad carbohydrate because they are thought to have a high glycemic index. First of all, if you’ve read my Fat Burning Kitchen ebook, then you understand that glycemic index is not necessarily the most important factor in choosing your carbohydrates.

While a generalization can be made that most low glycemic index carbohydrate choices will help you lose body fat easier than high glycemic index choices, it is not all that it’s cracked up to be. There are many other factors that determine how your body will react-to and process the carbohydrates you ingest, such as glycemic load and also how you combine the high GI food with other foods such as protein, fiber, and fats, which all slow down absorption of the ingested carbs.

For example, using glycemic load as an example… it is known that watermelon has a high glycemic index. However, the glycemic load of a normal serving of watermelon is just way too low for your body to start packing on body fat just because you ate a high glycemic index fruit. You would have to eat such an enormous quantity of watermelon just to get enough grams of carbohydrates to have any negative glycemic effect, that it is just non-sensical.

Not to mention that watermelon is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and lycopene. There’s just no reason to avoid it simply because it has a high GI.  My point is… candy bars, cupcakes, and donuts make you fat… NOT watermelons, carrots or potatoes… French fries excluded of course, since those are typically fried in highly inflammatory cooking oils.

Also, as i mentioned, food combinations are important in how your body processes the carbohydrates and the associated blood sugar and insulin response you receive. For example, if you mix a high glycemic index carbohydrate with an extra source of fiber,healthy fats, or even certain proteins, many times the blood sugar and glycemic response will be slowed down considerably by the way you combined the food.

Alright, so back to my point that white potatoes are actually a healthy carbohydrate as long as you eat them in the right form… and please don’t ruin them by deep frying them into french fries either! French fries are one of the most evil things ever invented for your health, but only because we ruin them by soaking them in a scorching bath of trans fats in the deep fryer from the refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils that are typically used.

Keep in mind that potatoes contain so many vitamins and minerals that the list is way too long to even try.

One Warning though about potatoes:  Please note that potatoes do contain low level toxins called glycoalkaloids (it’s the plant’s protection mechanism) that are concentrated in the skin, so it is a good idea to always peel potatoes before making any dishes with them.  This article explains about the toxins in potatoes and how to still enjoy potatoes while minimizing the toxins.

Will 7-9 potatoes per day make you fatter?

On the topic of potatoes not being so bad after all, I don’t remember where I saw this referenced, but I recently saw a particular study that had participants eat about 7-9 whole potatoes per day for several weeks.

At the conclusion of the study, the potato eaters had actually consistently lost weight!  I’d venture a guess that the reason the people lost weight is that they were probably so full from eating all of those damn potatoes, that they actually consumed less calories than normal! An average sized potato only has about 100-120 calories, and I can surely imagine you’d be full constantly from eating 7-9 potatoes each day.

Of course, this does NOT mean that french fries are okay to eat!  Those will only make you fat, and the inflammatory trans fats will lead to an early death.  Seriously… fries are one of the most deadly foods in our food supply.  Plus, deep fried potatoes build up dangerous acrylamides from the frying oil reacting with the starch, and these compounds are carcinogenic.

Anyway, back to the 7-9 whole potatoes per day… Now I would never recommend going to those extremes, but my point is that an occasional potato a couple times a week is not going to hurt your efforts to get lean, especially if you combine it with some other fibrous vegetables and maybe a healthy fat and some protein. On that note, I have one of my favorite recipes for you, using potatoes.

Geary’s Lean-Body Potato Side Dish:

  • Desired quantity of baby potatoes (I like to use this mixture I found recently at a health food store… it is a mixture of white, red, yellow, and purple baby potatoes)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 or 2 onions
  • a couple cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or mashed garlic from a jar, organic preferably)
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter, and/or virgin coconut oil (sometimes I mix a bit of all 3)
  • a little salt and pepper to taste (I like using a sea salt instead of normal commercial salt)

Cut the baby potatoes into slightly smaller pieces and place in a steamer until soft all the way through. Slice up the peppers and onions into strips and add with the chopped garlic into a pan with the olive oil and/or butter and/or coconut oil. Cook the peppers, onions, and garlic until tender, and then add the steamed baby potatoes. Stir it all together and serve. This is a delicious and healthy side dish that goes great with chicken or grass-fed red meat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little topic today about potatoes, healthy carbohydrates, glycemic index, and my awesome healthy potato recipe idea!

If you enjoyed this article today, feel free to share this page with your potato-loving friends and family.

Back to school Chiropractic Tips

This article is written by Dr. Steven Cannon, Chiropractor – Neurohealth Chiropractic

The kids are already back to school. For most people this means pencils, notebook paper an mountains of textbooks.

But sending your child to start, or return to school requires some homework from the parents. Here at Neurohealth Chiropractic, we endeavor to be both your chiropractor and educator.

So here are some tips for a healthy start Back-To-School:

BACK CARE 101

Ergonomics: yes ergonomics are just as important for kids as they are at the office. Slumping over a school classroom desk, just like slumping over a work desk, can lead to a lifetime of poor postural habits. Which then in turn will lead to musculoskeletal disorders, spinal joint restrictions (vertebral subluxations) and an increased likelihood of adult onset osteoarthritis.

Students are spending more and more time at computers these days. The following are guidelines that we all should be taking note of:

 

  • Sit up straight with feet flat on the floor or on a footrest;
  • Keep lower arms level with the table and wrists straight;
  • Sit close enough to the keyboard to eliminate stretching but far enough away to avoid leaning;
  • Tap the keyboard lightly. Don’t pound away;
  • Place the mouse within easy reach of the dominant hand;
  • Try and hold the mouse loosely. Don’t squeeze;
  • The monitor should be at eye level, 40-60 centimeters away;
  • If using a laptop, a docking station should be used with a detachable keyboard, separate mouse (instead of finger pad) and the middle of the screen should be at eye level;
  • Take short breaks every 20 minutes. Get up and move around. Go and get a drink of water;
  • Exercise your eyes frequently. Look away from the monitor and focus on distant objects, which will help your eyes blink.

 

Backpacks: An over-stuffed, incorrectly packed or worn backpack can result in a serious injury and affect young developing spines.

How heavy is heavy? Even a backpack weighing 15 percent of a student’s body weight is too heavy to maintain a standing posture. This will cause undue stress on their young spines and can cause vertebral subluxations leading to postural changes and even scoliosis.

The current recommended guidelines is a maximum of 10 percent of your body weight should go into the backpack. This means if you weigh 30 kilograms, then 3 kilograms is the maximum. So with today’s primary school kids, after you put the lunch box and water bottle in you are already at the maximum weight.

To further minimise impact of the backpack, it is also recommended that both shoulder straps be used to help distribute the backpack’s weight evenly between the shoulders. And then the waist strap should also be used, to help distribute the weight onto the hips away from the shoulders.

In addition to creating chronic backache for years to come, improper use of the backpack will trigger neck and shoulder disorders. A study from the University of Sydney showed that the backpack’s weight and length of time had a direct correlation with neck and shoulder posture. The study concluded with that forward head posture increases when carrying a backpack with a heavy load. When we adopt forward head posture, it leads to straightening of the normal curve of the neck, a condition linked with osteoarthritis, headaches and neck pain.

Many schools these days have their own backpacks, with their own logo on the bag. Good news is that all these backpacks are approved for developing spines. They just need to be used correctly i.e. wearing, packing, and weight.

Footwear: Skimpy footwear and platform shoes may be fashionable, but they are certainly not what your feet need! Shoes that cannot provide adequate support can throw your whole skeleton out of alignment. If the foot is excessively pronating (rolling in), this will cause torsion at the knee when walking, running, or standing. This will then cause a shift in body weight into the pelvis, causing hip and low back problems. It can also lead up the whole entire chain causing the shoulders to not be level and to tilt.

Therefore correct footwear from an early age is very important.
Here are a few tips to remember when buying new school shoes

  • Make sure there is plenty of wiggle room in the toe box;
  • Never buy a show for your child to grow into;
  • Avoid hand-me-down shoes if at all possible;
  • Check the length of the foot, from the longest toe. Caution: this is not always the big toe, as 10% of the population has the second toe as the longest;
  • Make sure the shoe bends in the toe box;
  • Check the heel counter and make sure the shoe is supportive around the heel as this controls the foot, and helpt pronation.

Nutrition: Studies have shown a direct link with nutrition and the child’s ability to learn.

Skipping breakfast is not be an option. If you don’t give the body fuel in the way of good nutrition, especially first thing in the morning, it will not function and be able to retain simple instructions and directions.

An easy option, is to use whole ingredients, and mix them in a blender to make a smoothie for people on the go. Adding fresh berries, coconut water, raw egg, LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond meal) together can be one way to get started. Check out our book in reception on different juicing and smoothie ideas.

Parents should focus on natural, whole foods, such as whole grain cereals and fresh seasonal fruits. ‘White’ sugar and flour should be avoided. These give a sudden spike in energy, but what goes up quickly will come down just as quickly and crash and burn.

You should also avoid heavily processed items that are laden with chemical additives.

Pack water instead of soda and juice poppers. And choose raw, organic nuts over candy. Research shows that excessive sugar consumption weakens the immune system and impairs cognitive function.

Sleep: To be able to thrive, we must sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep each night, your body is not recovering and the brain cannot switch off and restore itself.

Lack of sleep not only leads to poor cognitive function but also leads to hallucinations and personality changes.

We are well aware how fatigued we are after spending the whole night awake, and lacking sleep. Lack of sleep has been shown to be linked with increased motor vehicle accidents, increase in body mass index (BMI) and greater likelihood of obesity. It also has links with increase risk of diabetes, heart conditions and psychiatric disorders such as depression and substance abuse. It also decreases one’s ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information. This point is particular important to note for children.

So with our children, to thrive academically, they need sleep – and lots of it. According the National Sleep Foundation the average school age child (5-10years) should be achieving 10-11 hours of sleep per night.

Children with fragmented sleep were characterised by lower performance on (neurobehavioural functioning) measures, particularly those that were associated with more complex tasks such as a continuous performance test or symbol-digit substitution. These children have also been shown to have higher rates of behavioural problems reported by their parents.

Over-scheduling, non-enforced bedtimes, sharing a bed with a sibling and breathing problems – such as sleep apnea, and snoring – can rob a child their night’s rest. It is also essential to keep televisions, video games, radios, and telephones out of your child’s bedroom during sleeping hours as these only serve as distractions and will disturbed their sleep.

Checkup: Between the endless trips to the shopping mall for new shoes, new clothes and new school supplies, take a few moments to schedule a back-to-school chiropractic check up for your child. This will help their nervous system to start the scholastic year free of interference and flourish their learning.

And also don’t forget to bring in your child’s school backpack, so that we can check the bag and instruct on proper use of the backpack.

Chiropractic for Olympic Champions!

William Moreau, DC, serves as chief medical officer for Team USA at Rio 2016 Olympic Games

July 18, 2016—The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), the voice of the chiropractic profession, highlights the role of doctors of chiropractic (DCs) in the care of amateur and professional athletes, citing the continued leadership of William Moreau, DC, DACBSP as managing director of sports medicine for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and chief medical officer for Team USA at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

With chiropractic care now established as a key component of the health services available to Olympic and Paralympic athletes, experts at the F4CP note that the care provided by a DC helps to maximize overall health and maintain peak performance among athletes.

“Olympic and Paralympic athletes access care from a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals, including DCs who hold additional ACBSP certifications in sports chiropractic (an active Diplomate American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (DACBSP) or Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician certification is necessary), as well as advanced techniques in soft tissue cares, joint mobility, active care and others,” said Moreau. “Chiropractic plays an important role in preventive, maintenance or injury specific care, and contributes to enhanced clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction levels among all athletes.”

Doctors of chiropractic – who receive a minimum of seven years of higher level education – are primary care professionals for spinal health and well-being, and are qualified to diagnose, treat and manage a broad spectrum of health conditions.

For athletes, chiropractic care can help to reduce the risk of injuries, accelerate recovery time and improve health and performance through enhancements in range of motion, flexibility, balance, muscle strength and other key factors.

 

(Usain Bolt receiving Chiropractic Care before his race) 

Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president, F4CP, states, “It is gratifying to witness the demand for and growing utilization of chiropractic care among professional athletes. The evidence-based, hands-on chiropractic approach utilizes a variety of techniques, including spinal manipulation, to help restore functionality of the spine and nervous system to ensure optimal well-being, and inevitably fuel competitive athletic performance.”

Are Toxins in Potatoes Possibly Harming your Body?

Are Toxins in Potatoes Possibly Harming your Body?

What you need to know about natural toxins found in potatoes and potato skins and the effects on your body

Guest Article by Nate Miyaki – Nutritionist, Author of Feast Your Fat Away
Try to eat a bird in the wild, and it will try to peck off your hand.

Try to reel in a Marlin without being prepared for battle, and it will take you for a swim and then stab you in the heart.

The point is that all animals have defense mechanisms against potential predators.

Guess what?  So do plants, but they are just not as obvious as claws or teeth.  They have more innovative ways of trying to NOT get eaten.

Most plants produce some sort of toxic compounds that they use to ward off insects and animals.  Who cares right?  Well, those same compounds can be problematic for both human digestion and overall health.

Now don’t panic… eating that salad is not going kill you.

As you know, it’s the dose that makes the poison with any natural toxin.  Small exposure to a toxin – such as the alcohol in a glass of red wine or a dark beer – has an antioxidant effect and can actually improve your health.  But large and frequent exposure – like a daily Jack Daniels Attack – can cause alcohol poisoning and liver disease.

Today I want to talk to you about the toxic compounds in a food that’s near and dear to my heart – POTATOES, aka – taters.

TATERS AND TOXINS

First, lets establish I believe in a relatively moderate carbohydrate approach for those who perform anaerobic training on a regular basis… Not too low, not too high, and eaten at the right times of day.

While sedentary populations generally do better with a lower carbohydrate approach, some controlled and well-timed carbs can help an athlete properly fuel and recover from intense strength or cross-training sessions.

Yet we know the many problems associated with concentrated sources of refined sugar, gluten, cereal grains, and other foods in a typical Y2K diet.  That’s the value of a Paleolithic approach to nutrition – eliminate the crap without the complexity.

So where can we turn to for anaerobic carb fuel?  Many Paleo proponents who exercise intensely regularly recommend potatoes and/or sweet potatoes as their primary carb source.

I agree, with a subtle caveat — the preparation of those potatoes matter, especially if you’re eating them on a near daily basis.

Remember, the frequency of exposure to a toxin, and the dose, makes the difference.

I’ve worked with athletes that tried regular potatoes as their primary starch fuel and complained of side effects such as inflammation and joint pain.

Others have tried sweet potatoes and complained of bloating and other gastrointestinal distress.

In both cases, the fact that they were eating “carbs” in general was blamed.  But the reality was it wasn’t the glucose/starch that was the problem.  It was the natural toxic compounds coming along with, and protecting that starch… the plant’s natural defense system.

PEEL TO FEEL BETTER

Lets start with the bad news first.  In addition to starch, potatoes contain toxic compounds called glycoalkaloids.  This is their own little toxic compound they use to ward off predators (like us humans) from eating the potato and thereby killing it.

The good news?  The majority of these glycoalkaloids are located in the skins of potatoes.

Thus, if you eat potatoes on a regular basis, I suggest you peel, boil, and eat them without the skins.  Why? You end up with good starch that you can use as anaerobic fuel (if you workout intensely), along with a decent variety of vitamins and minerals that are found in potatoes, but WITHOUT the potential drawbacks of overexposure to the toxic compounds found mostly in the skins.

Sure, that means you’re throwing away a little bit of the fiber of the potato, but I think you’ll agree it’s best to pass on a couple grams of fiber if it means you eliminate most of the TOXINS too!

What about sweet potatoes?

Now, the science is not so clear when it comes to sweet potatoes, as they are a completely different classification of plant from regular potatoes, and don’t contain these particular toxins we’ve identified in potatoes.  But my personal anecdotal evidence as an athlete and coach is clear.

I’ve worked with many strength trainers that complained of GI distress when emphasizing sweet potatoes as their primary carbohydrate source.  I experienced this personally.  My suspicion was that some compound located in the skins caused it.

It makes sense logically right?  The skin is that outer layer that wards off predators, especially those that don’t walk around with a handy-dandy peeler.   So we tested this theory…

And sure enough, when the same peeling method was applied, removing the skins of sweet pototoes, the GI distress went away for the majority of my clients.  The consistency was too much to just be coincidence.

RICE CAN ALSO BE NICE

I look at the skins of potatoes and sweet potatoes much in the same way I look at the bran of rice.

If you are a Paleo geek, you already know the problem with most cereal grains – “anti-nutrients” such as phytic acid can inhibit mineral absorption and cause GI distress.  Brown rice is no different.

Yet in more informed Paleo circles, especially those that include regular intense exercisers, white rice is often included as what is referred to as a “safe starch” option.  I agree 100%.

The “anti-nutrient” or phytic acid that is problematic for digestion and nutrient absorption is located in the bran of the grain. This is removed in the milling process that essentially changes brown rice to white rice.

That’s why cultures that eat a lot of rice generally eat white rice.  It’s probably due more to natural intuition than scientific method.

CAVEMAN AND CULTURAL CONCLUSIONS

I believe evolutionary history teaches us valuable lessons about optimum nutrition for health, without information overload, or waiting for science to “catch” up to what nature has been trying to teach us for centuries.

I also believe some cultural approaches to nutrition can do the same for merging health with modern performance and physique goals.

As I wrap this thing up, I’m looking down at my Japanese-style dinner. The side of rice is white, and the sweet potato next to it is peeled, boiled, and mashed.  In a cultural diet that includes these foods on a regular basis, that’s for a reason!

-Nate


Hey, it’s Mike here… Thanks Nate for a great article!  I recently met Nate and have found him to be one of the most knowledgeable guys I’ve talked to about nutrition in a long time.

4 YOGA POSES TO MASTER THIS SUMMER

During the summer, it feels like plans are never ending and a new invite pops up on your calendar every day! Although we usually think of summer as a season of relaxation, these months can get pretty busy – sometimes to the point where you actually have to set aside time for yourself. We love a good Netflix binge as much as the next person, but we’ve also discovered that there are more productive options if you need to de-stress… and, surprise!, you won’t end up feeling like a couch potato after. One of our favorite ways to unwind is by getting active, whether that means taking a walk outside, lifting weights in the gym or hitting the mat for some yoga. Active movement helps to clear your mind and strengthen your body. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your athleisure #AEOSTYLE! Today, we’re grabbing our yoga mats and breaking down four yoga poses to master this summer.

CRESCENT LUNGE (Anjaneyasana):
Alignment Tips: Make sure you’re on the ball of your back foot and that your hips are square. Sometimes it helps to put your hands on your hips and psychically align them so that they’re facing the front wall. Keep your back heel firm on the floor and the back leg strong as if you were trying to touch the back of your knee to the ceiling. To your own degree, bend your front knee as close to 90 degrees as possible. Reach your arms overheard and breath deep.

Benefits: Stretches hip flexors & legs; strengthens thighs and glutes; opens chest; improves balance

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

DANCER (Natarajasana):
Alignment Tips: Keep a slight bend in your standing leg & shift weight on to this leg. Bend your back leg up to your degree slowly, simultaneously catching your foot or ankle with one or both hands if possible. You can reach one arm in front to help your balance. Keep your neck long and head high.

Benefits: Improves balance; strengthens legs and core; stretches shoulders and chest

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

ONE LEGGED KING PIGEON (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana):
Alignment Tips: Keep your shin on the ground parallel to your mat to protect the knee. Slightly angle your back hip and from a straight leg, bend the back leg up. Catch the ankle or foot with one or both hands, or rest it in your arm as seen below. If you cannot reach back or bend the leg up, that’s fine! support yourself upright using both arms in front.

Benefits: Stretches thighs, chest and shoulders; stimulates abdomen & internal organs

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

ONE LEGGED KING PIGEON II (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II):
Alignment Tips: Start with shins on the floor and core reaching high. Slowly backbend to your degree and catch one leg within your arm as your raise it. Reach the other arm toward the ceiling and breathe. If you need back support, bring your lower hand to your lower back and breathe.

Benefits: Stretches torso and deep hip flexors; improves posture; strengthens back; stimulates abdominal organs

Master these 4 yoga poses by the end of summer!

Heel Pain – Plantar Fasciitis

footpainPlantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thin, ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot.
It supports the arch of your foot and helps you walk.

Signs & Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:

  • Pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel 
  • It can affect one foot or both feet.
  • It can be a dull pain, sharp pain, some feel a burning or ache on the bottom of the foot extending outward from the heel.
  • The pain is usually worse in the morning when you take your first steps out of bed, or if you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while.
  • Climbing stairs can be very difficult due to heel stiffness.
  • After prolonged activity, the pain can flare up due to increased inflammation. Pain isn’t usually felt during the activity but rather just after stopping.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic complaints. Your plantar fascia ligaments experience a lot of wear and tear in your daily life. Normally, these ligaments support the arch of the foot. Too much pressure on your feet can damage or tear the ligaments. The plantar fascia becomes inflamed and the inflammation causes heel pain and stiffness.

Treatment Options for Plantar Faciitis:

At Bedford Chiropractic clinic, Our expert Dr Sandu will evaluate the strength of your muscles and the health of your nerves by checking your:

  • reflexes
  • muscle tone
  • sense of touch and sight
  • coordination
  • balance

Using the latest technology our Laser Foot Scanner will show the areas on on the foot which are experiencing the greatest pressure, helping Dr Sandu to adapt your treatment to get the best from your body, to aid your recovery and Special orthotics, or arch supports, for your shoes may help alleviate some of the pain by distributing pressure, and they can prevent further damage to the plantar fascia.

10 Simple Exercises to Restore Balance and Eliminate Neck and Back Pain

You do your best to get results from your workouts… you eat well, you train hard and yet you still feel like you’re falling short of hitting your peak.

Low energy, grogginess, shortage of breath and neck and back pain are just some of the problems you may be suffering from. But why? How does a perfectly healthy, athletic individual who eats well and trains hard STILL suffer?

Let me explain… there’s a problem which no less than 90% of the US population suffers from.

It’s a problem that nobody is tackling, that doctors are failing to diagnose and which poses just as many health risks as obesity…

… and you’re probably suffering from it, too.

It affects nearly everyone, no matter what your age or level of fitness. It’s a problem that originates in just one area of your body but affects your overall health, including your mental as well as your physical state.

And the craziest thing is, you probably see
this problem EVERY SINGLE DAY.

It’s forward head posture… also known as texting neck.

You’ve probably seen it yourself, in those guys and girls who are physically active but walk around with a chicken head or giraffe neck.

Instead of a powerful, strong chest, their shoulders are hunched forward, their head droops down and their curved back almost gives them a hump.

It looks weak, unhealthy and unsightly. And it undoes all their hard work.

Your neck is designed to remain vertical, supporting the weight of your skull in a perfect line from the top of your head straight down through your body to your feet.

When you look at yourself in the mirror from the side, your ear, your shoulder and your hips should all be in a straight line down to the floor. If it is unaligned and your ear is in front of your shoulders, it’s a sure sign of forward head posture.

You see, the average head weighs 10-12lbs. When your head sits perfectly upon your neck and shoulders, the body naturally adapts to holding this weight.

But if your head is constantly pulled forward, the weight of your head pulls on your neck and puts pressure on your spine.

When your head is pulled forward the additional pressure on your neck, shoulders and back rises dramatically causing serious tissue damage. In fact, every inch your head is thrust forward from its natural position adds another 10 lbs of stress on the neck, shoulders, back and spine.

It’s why you may have developed that ugly ‘hump’ below your neck; to combat the stress of holding your head up, the body’s reaction has been to build-up bone and fat tissue to compensate and protect the spine at the C7 vertebrae.

Forward head posture doesn’t just leave you looking awkward… No matter how hard you train or how well you eat, unless you start fixing your head posture right now, it may not be possible to reverse the damage already done.

Before I explain why your posture could be killing you, let me introduce myself.

Coach Mike WesterdalMy name is Mike Westerdal and I’m a national best-selling fitness author, sports nutrition specialist, personal trainer, Iron Man magazine contributor and founder of the internet’s longest-standing strength site, CriticalBench.com

Shortly, I’ll explain to you how it’s possible to fix your forward head posture using just 10 really simple movements that instantly improve your posture and increase your strength, energy and vitality.

But first, let me show you the many ways forward head posture is damaging your health and holding you back.

Although few realize they have a posture problem, fewer still realize how many problems are caused by Forward Head Posture.

The most obvious concern is the physical appearance….

YOUR POOR HEAD POSTURE IS MAKING YOU LOOK 10 LBS HEAVIER AND 2 INCHES SHORTER THAN YOU ACTUALLY ARE

As the main connector between your upper torso and skull, the neck has the crucial task of cradling the body’s computer — the brain.

When I personally discovered that I suffered from Forward Head Posture, I was shocked at the impact it had on my health. The number of symptoms I could directly trace back to poor posture was just as shocking.

Not only does Forward Head Posture give your back that ugly hunch and crouched-over look… it also causes much deeper, serious problems including:

  • Constant fatigue and lack of energy
  • Pain in your neck, shoulders or upper, lower and middle back
  • Permanent damage to your joints, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels & nerves
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Poor sleep or insomnia
  • Arthritis
  • Impaired athletic performance
  • Loss of height by 2 inches
  • Looking 10 lbs fatter than you actually are
  • Affects your hormonal health
  • Noisy mouth breathing, snoring & sleep apnea
  • Early degeneration of your spine
  • Pinched and trapped nerves
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Lack of confidence
  • Blood Flow to the Brain
  • Asthma
  • Decreased lung capacity by up to 30%
  • Harmful affects to vision and hearing
  • Jaw pain and sinus issues
  • Dizziness, vertigo and balance issues
  • Burdens your digestive system

If you’ve suffered any of these without realizing the root problem was Forward Head Posture, you’re not alone.

Forward Head Posture or FHP affects nearly everybody, yet hardly anyone understands the serious long-term physical and mental damage it can cause.

And it’s the most important muscle in your neck that dictates just how strong and healthy our posture and well-being is.

Tennis and Chiropractic

To become as good a tennis player as Andy Murray take many years of dedicated practice and with years and years of practice increases the risk of accumulated injuries.

With Wimbledon comes an upsurge of interest in tennis,we offer some invaluable advice on staying injury free this tennis season.

For two weeks at the end of June, a certain ‘fever’ tends to sweep the country, this being ‘tennis fever’. Tennis is the second most played racket sport in the UK, close to overtaking badminton in popularity, with an estimated 860,000 people playing.

Bedford Chiropractic Clinic will  see an increase in tennis related injuries. Just the same thing happens every year  in the tennis season but with Andy Murray winning even more people will try tennis for the first time.

Playing tennis is a great way to stay physically fit but it requires a variety of physical attributes, including power, endurance, speed, strength, balance, and of course specific playing skills. Compared to other sports, the risk of injury from playing tennis is relatively low, but there are certain factors that increase the risk of an injury that apply to both competitive and social players:

  • Incorrect technique – poor serve and swing technique will increase the chance of injury, particularly to the elbow and wrist. Relying on only the arm to hit the ball, as opposed to the body’s full strength, leads to an incorrect swinging action. A healthy spine able to flex and absorb these heavy twisting loads the discs in the spine can suffer serious injury that can impact everyday life not just sporting ability.
  • Failure to warm up and cool down – warming up / cooling down reduces the risk of muscle and joint injuries, and improves performance.
  • Time spent playing – overexertion is one of the most common causes of injury, and with insufficient rest and recovery time for the body, overuse injuries are more likely to occur.
  • Previous injury – previous injury can lead to similar injuries in the future, especially if you hadn’t taken enough time to fully recover.

When it comes to tennis injuries, they fall into one of two categories; two-thirds of tennis injuries are due to overuse, and the other one-third due to trauma or an acute event such as sudden force or impact. Cumulative, or overuse, injuries most often affect the shoulders, elbows and wrists, with acute injuries affecting the low back, knee or ankle.

Tennis Elbow – the most well-known of all tennis injuries, it is estimated that over 50% of players will suffer with it at some point in their career. It is an overuse injury of the muscles that bend the wrist backwards, from repeated contraction, and can also be caused by improper technique, such as using too much wrist and not enough arm when you hit a backhand shot (faulty backhand follow-through).

Tennis Shoulder – shoulder overuse injuries are usually a result of poor conditioning and strength of the rotatory cuff muscles, a group of muscles at the back of the shoulder. These muscles help to position the shoulder correctly in the socket, and a weakness can cause an increase in ‘play’ of the ball in the socket, irritating the tissues. Tennis shoulder injuries often appear after over-loading the rotator cuff when the muscles are contracting, and are usually caused during the follow-through phase of the serve. These injuries cause pain when the ball makes contact with the racquet during the serve, and cause a decrease in serve velocity.

Tennis Ankle – these injuries fall into the traumatic/acute bracket and are caused by a sudden sideways movement, such as pivoting while making a subtle but rapid change in direction, resulting in twisting or turning the ankle inwards. Playing on a slippery wet surface increases the risk of these types of injuries, as does continuing to play, even when fatigue is overwhelming you.

Low back pain – many tennis players will suffer with low back pain at one time or another. It can be caused by the twisting/rotating movement when trying to hit the ball, the sudden deceleration and changes in direction during a game, or over-extending the back during the serve; this repetitive action places considerable stress on the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the spine, and on the spinal joints themselves. Any accumulation of injury to the discs must be avoided at all times as the discs do not have a blood supply and cannot heal very well. All too often this fact is ignored and the damage accumulated becomes too extensive and permanent disability is the result. Just taking painkillers and waiting for such injuries to heal is a recipe for disaster.

What is a Stress Fracture of the Back?

A stress fracture of the back, or lumbar spine, is one of the more common bone injuries in young tennis players. Lower back stress fractures are usually characterized by an ache in the lower back which is exacerbated by sporting activities and eased by rest, although a small percentage of people with a stress fracture can be pain free. Typically it is sore when the patient bends backwards, particularly if standing on one leg. If a lower back stress fracture is suspected, a chiropractor may decide to refer the patient for a MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis.

What can you do to prevent a Stress Fracture?

Serving in tennis requires a combination of spinal hyper extension (bending back) together with rotation and side bending of the trunk. This puts a lot of stress on an area of the vertebra called the Pars Interarticularis and this is where stress fracture develops.

Practicing the service should be carefully monitored by the coach to ensure the lower back is not being overloaded. This is particulary important in adolescent players who have just experienced a growth spurt as they are known to be more at risk from this injury.

core stability exercises can help prevent back problems in tennis players.

What should you do if you suffer a Stress Fracture of the Back?

In most cases, complete rest from tennis is the treatment of choice. This would usually be for a period of 6 weeks to allow the bone to heal. In the early stages, a soothing ice pack can reduce back pain and alleviate back pain. During this period, a progressive exercise programme may commence, under the supervision of a qualified chiropractor. This usually starts with exercises to increase the muscular stability in the lower back.

Research has shown that a lack of muscular stability in the lumbar and pelvic regions can lead to low back pain and stress fractures. The principle behind this is that if certain specific muscles can be recruited or contracted, the spine will have much better support. This prevents postural faults which can predispose a person to back pain.

Spine injuries common in young tennis players

Elite tennis players in their teens appear to have a very high rate of lower spine injury, a 2007  study suggests. Although the subjects in this study did not have symptoms, the researchers point out that these injuries will probably progress to more serious conditions if training techniques are not modified. As with common back problems because it doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean that a problem doesn’t exit.

The British researchers found that of 33 elite-level tennis players they examined, 85 percent had some sort of abnormality in the lower spine. Damage to the joints at the back of the spine, stress fractures and herniated discs were among the problems seen on MRI scans.

Tennis players’ careers depend largely on how well they perform at the junior level, the study authors note in their report, published online by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

This means that during their growth spurt years, young athletes are going through frequent and intense training that can raise their risk of injury.

Tennis involves constant spinal movements — like quick twists and backward arching — that can account for the injuries seen in this study, according to the authors, led by Dr. David Connell of the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital.

The findings are based on 18 male and 15 female athletes training at a UK national tennis center. None complained of any back pain, but using MRI scans, Connell’s team found that only five players had normal exam results.

The most common abnormality was facet joint arthropathy, damage to joints at the back of the spine that are involved in backward arching. A full 70 percent of the players showed this problem; in contrast, studies of middle-aged adults in the general population have found that 8 percent to 21 percent of symptom-free people have facet joint arthropathy, demonstrating that spinal wear and tear is not painful until we then overload already weakened joints.

In addition, the researchers found, more than one quarter of the players had sustained stress fractures in bone structures at the back of the spine, while nearly 40 percent had herniated spinal discs.

It’s important to spot such abnormalities, they conclude, so that training can be modified to prevent the problem from worsening.

SOURCE: British Journal of Sports Medicine, July 19, 2007 online.

When looking at ways to help avoid tennis injuries, we can split it into 5 key areas:

Environment:

  • avoid playing on hard surface courts with no ‘give’, such as cement, asphalt or synthetic courts.
  • inspect the court for holes/cracks that may trip you up.
  • ensure the court is well lit if playing at night.
  • avoid playing in extreme weather conditions.
  • never play on a wet court.
  • clean off leaves, debris, loose balls etc. from the court.

Dress:

  • wear shoes specifically designed for tennis that support the heel and prevent ankle rolling, choose tennis shoes with skid-resistant soles and high arch supports.
  • consider wearing heel inserts or specially padded tennis socks to absorb the shock when playing on hard services to protect the lower back.

Equipment:

  • see a professional to select a racquet that is the appropriate size and weight, and one that suits your skill level; too light or heavy will increase the risk of shoulder/elbow injuries.
  • a flexible racquet with a larger head is gentler on the arm as the flexion absorbs some of the shock, spreading it over a longer period; this helps to prevent a tennis elbow injury.
  • low string tension is better on the arm as it increases the dwell time of the ball on the strings.
  • thinner strings are more elastic and have better shock-absorbing capacities, making them better for the arm.
  • a grip that is too small or large will increase the risk of an elbow injury as the player has to grip the racquet too tightly to prevent it from twisting.
  • never play with wet tennis balls, especially if you have had a previous shoulder/arm injury.
  • avoid old or low-pressure balls; aim to replace them as soon as they start to lose their bounce.

Preparation:

  • working on stretching and toning your arm muscles off the court will guard against injury; swimming is a good way to achieve this.
  • warm up gently, increase your heart rate with a slow jog or jumping jacks.
  • slowly stretch muscles to improve joint range of motion, and promote elasticity in the ligaments and tendons; hold stretches for 30 seconds.
  • start slowly, hitting a few balls to your opponent; serve several times until the shoulder feels looser.
  • be sure to cool down with stretches after playing to prevent stiff and sore muscles and joints.

Technique:

  • take lessons from a qualified coach to develop skills and technique.
  • when serving/hitting overhead, avoid over-arching the lower back; bend your knees and raise your heels instead, so the upper body weight is evenly balanced.
  • avoid landing on the ball of the foot as this can lead to an Achilles’ tendon injury.
  • hitting the ball in front of the body makes it easier to fully use the shoulder and trunk.
  • forearm muscles are better able to handle the shock if the wrist is held straight when the ball impacts the racquet.
  • use the forearm for control, and the shoulder/trunk for strength.
  • use the other arm for balance with one-handed backhand.
  • in the event of a previous injury or weakness to the elbow, try a two-handed backhand. If you sustain an injury on the tennis court, the best plan of action is to stop playing and seek the appropriate advice and treatment.
  • Chiropractors, whilst best known for treating spinal injuries, are also trained in treating all of the other joints of the body, including the shoulder, elbow and wrist. If you get gripped with tennis fever, and even with following these hints and tips, you still sustain an injury of your muscles, bones or joints, chiropractic may have the answer.

Our New Activator 5!

Hi! Dr Sandhu here, hope you have all recovered from the excitement from last night, what an incredible display of the power of our weather. I must say I’m really excited as I have just received my brand new Activator 5! Another example of our continual drive to give the best chiropractic adjust possible to our patients!

The Activator Method is one of the most widely-researched chiropractic techniques and the only instrument adjusting technique with clinical trials to support its efficacy. Activator Methods has published hundreds of clinical and scientific peer-reviewed papers, worked with major academic research institutions, and received grants from recognized entities like the National Institutes of Health.

Activator 5

  • Utilizes a force wave that allows deeper penetration of the force without discomfort to the patient.
  • Recognized for superior control of speed, force, and direction of thrust.
  • Perfect for use on the more tender areas of the body, due to the light, pre-load spring.
  • Ideal for treating Cervicals, TMJ, Children, Geriatrics, and small body frames utilizing the #1 setting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out our website http://www.thebedfordchiropractor.co.uk