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.
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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

 

Do you suffer from ‘Big Boob’ Problems?

Here at the Bedford Chiropractic Clinic I see a lot of women with neck, shoulder problems, back pain and headaches who’s poor posture and in many circumstances breast size is a significant contributing factor to these symptoms. Research by the British Chiropractic Association in 2008 actually showed that 25% of UK women would like their breasts to be smaller with the main reason being back pain. 70% of the women in the survey reported to having suffered from back pain at some point in their lives and 47% believed their breast size affected their posture.

The most common postural change large breasts can cause are an increased kyphosis (curve in the upper back) and rounded shoulders. This is due to the weight of the breast but also to tight pectoral muscles and women trying to hide themselves. The resulting posture is known to predispose people to suffer from neck and back pain, and can even lead to shoulder problems such as impingement syndromes.

 Your body is designed in a particular way to carry itself. You have a spinal curve that acts like a shock absorber, and the curves are set at an angle to create maximal effect. If these curves change stress is placed on your spine and back pain can develop.

In fact back, neck and shoulder pain is created by three main issues:

 Muscle Imbalance – this is where certain muscles tighten and others lose strength. The loss of strength may not just be physical strength but a loss in blood or nerve supply.

 Joint Imbalance – this is mainly centred around the pelvis which is like a foundation to a house. If the pelvis is out of balance then the entire spine will distort and lead to back pain and muscle imbalance. You can also have individual joint imbalances which relate to the small intrinsic muscles around the joint and the joint itself.

 Trigger Points – these are small nodules of muscle spasm which can develop after trauma to a muscle, whether this is chronic strain or an acute trauma situation. Trigger points can commonly refer pain remotely to their location.

The point is: when your cup size is too large for your actual frame, you place stress on the muscles and joints in your spine. The curvature of your spine fails to be balanced and back, neck and shoulder pain is likely.

Often these problems are not felt when younger, but can gradually develop over the years. Over time these postural changes set in but it doesn’t mean that something can’t be done to help reduce the pain and to improve posture. Chiropractic treatment focuses on correcting joint restriction and muscle tension and involves home exercises too which can all help to reduce pain and improve function. Along with treatment it is often worth looking at how well your bra fits, especially if you have larger breasts. It is important to get the right size and style of bra to suit you.

According to a recent study done by Swiss lingerie company Triumph, a startling number of women are choosing their bras incorrectly. The international survey of 10,000 women found that 64 percent are wearing the wrong size bra, reports Women’s wear daily Out of that 64 percent, “29 percent know they are wearing the wrong size.”

What’s worse is that those women are admittedly unhappy about it. 73 percent of women agreed that badly-fitting undergarments can make or break their day, writes WWD.

Despite it being the 100th anniversary of the brassiere this year, eighty per cent of women in the UK are still wearing an ill-fitting bra, usually as a result of never having been measured properly.

Even if you are not in pain getting the right sized bra when young can help prevent problems in the future.

When checking your bras at home the British Chiropractic Association recommends that you check the following key areas;

  1. The under band/wire,
  2. The shoulder straps,
  3. The back strap and the centre fold.

When you raise your arms up in the air your underwire should stay next to your body and not come away.

It may be surprising to hear but the underwire should take 80% of the support whereas the shoulder straps should only take 20%. If the shoulder straps dig in, the under strap may be too loose.

The most common thing I see with patients is the bra strap at the back if not fitted properly will creep up the back and can even rise as high as the top of the shoulder blades. This will certainly increase the stress on the upper back and allow the shoulders to roll forwards. Again this can occur if the shoulder straps are too tight or if the under band is too loose.

The final most important thing to check is the centre fold; if this is lifting away from the body the cup size may be too small. Following these simple steps will allow you to see if you could do with a fitting and many shops now provide this as a free service.

The important thing to know is that if you are suffering with neck, shoulder or upper back pain then a chiropractic consultation will help you find the cause of the problem. If this is something you or someone you know could benefit from then just give the clinic a call on 01234 353 937 to book your consultation today.

Check out our Website: http://bedford-chiropractor.co.uk/

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Exercise for Your Bone Health

Why Exercise?

Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mas20100528-swimsuit-workout-push-press-600x411s (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not. For most people, bone mass peaks during the third decade of life. After that time, we can begin to lose bone. Women and men older than age 20 can help prevent bone loss with regular exercise. Exercising allows us to maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn helps to prevent falls and related fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

  The Best Bone Building Exercise

The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind, which forces you to work against gravity. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises include weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing. Examples of exercises that are not weight-bdownload (7)earing include swimming and bicycling. Although these activities help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, they are not the best way to exercise your bones.

Exercise Tips

If you have health problems—such as heart trouble, high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity—or if you are age 40 or older, check with your doctor before you begin a regular exercise program.

According to the Surgeon General, the optimal goal is at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days, preferably daily.

Listen to your boimages (3)dy. When starting an exercise routine, you may have some muscle soreness and discomfort at the beginning, but this should not be painful or last more than 48 hours. If it does, you may be working too hard and need to ease up. Stop exercising if you have any chest pain or discomfort, and see your doctor before your next exercise session.

If you have osteoporosis, ask your doctor which activities are safe for you. If you have low bone mass, experts recommend that you protect your spine by avoiding exercises or activities that flex, bend, or twist it. Furthermore, you should avoid high-impact exercise to lower the risk of breaking a bone. You also might want to consult with an exercise specialist to learn the proper progression of activity, how to stretch and strengthen muscles safely, and how to correct poor posture habits. An exercise specialist should have a degree in exercise physiology, physical education, physical therapy, or a similar specialty. Be sure to ask if he or she is familiar with the special needs of people with osteoporosis.

A Complete Osteoporosis Program

Remember, exercise is only one part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program. Like a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise helps strengthen bones at any age. But proper exercise and diet may not be enough to stop bone loss caused by medical conditions, menopause, or lifestyle choices such as tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. It is important to speak with your doctor about your bone health. Discuss whether you might be a candidate for a bone mineral density test. If you are diagnosed with low bone mass, ask what medications might help keep your bones strong.

This Halloween Take Care of Your Skeleton!

halloweenHappy Halloween!  This year, while ghosts and goblins lurk outside, look within – to your own skeleton.  Bone health is an essential, yet often ignored, component of a winning wellness plan.  Taking care of your bones can scare off a host of frightening conditions such as osteoporosis, back pain, fractures and arthritis.

This Halloween, join Dr. Surinder Sandhu here at our Bedford chiropractic clinic in focusing on bone health.  Read on to learn about the revolutionary chiropractic formula for making your skeleton smile.

Spooky Subluxations

The foundation of the chiropractic approach to bone health is the correction of dysfunctional areas in the spine.  These areas, called vertebral subluxations, arise when movement is restricted or bones (vertebrae) are misaligned.

Vertebral subluxations are linked with a myriad of conditions including back pain, neck pain, headache and carpal tunnel syndrome.  One study found that 84% of patients with migraine or tension headache had at least 2 major vertebral subluxations in their upper neck (Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 1992;15;418-29).  Another investigation tracked 59 people with sciatic pain.  When doctors of chiropractic just like Dr. Surinder Sandhu here at our Bedford chiropractic clinic evaluated these patients, they showed signs of vertebral subluxation in their low-backs.

Additional reports suggest a possible link between vertebral subluxations and premenstrual syndrome, asthma, ear infection, bedwetting, high blood pressure and sinusitis.

Chiropractors like Dr. Surinder Sandhu aour Bedford chiropractor, correct vertebral subluxations with gentle manoeuvres called chiropractic adjustments.  A wealth of scientific studies show that chiropractic adjustments safely and effectively correct spinal dysfunction – and the disorders associated with it.

How Scary Is Your Posture?

Posture is the key to a sound skeleton. Poor posture spurs structural imbalances, inciting bone disease.  When the spine is out of alignment, a straightening or reversal of the back’s natural curves occurs.  This leads to conditions such as “military neck” “hunch back” and “sway back.”

Structural imbalances like these alter the natural motion of the spine, leading to degeneration and osteoarthritis.  Imbalance spines are also predisposed to injury from repetitive work or sports activities.  In fact, many “injury-prone” individuals aren’t mepoor-posture-exercises-to-improverely unlucky – they have postural discrepancies.

Poor posture doesn’t just affect the spine, it influences the entire skeleton.  For instance, imbalances in the spine often cause one hip to rise slightly, raising up the adjoining leg.  During walking or running, the legs receive a disproportionate amount of force – triggering injury.

Dr. Sandhu our Bedford chiropractor teaches patients simple “posture checks” to monitor their spinal alignment.  When posture is askew, patients learn to regain alignment – and prevent future posture problems – through chiropractic adjustments, ergonomic modifications and exercise.  Patients enjoy more attractive stances, warding off bone disorders while enhancing self-confidence.

Things That Go Creak in the Night

Are your joints haunted by lack of motion?  Restricted joints are starved of the fluids and nutrients that keep joints healthy – putting them on a collision course with a number of agonizing conditions, such as chronic back or neck pain.  What’s worse, long-term restricted range of motion, due to injury or a sedentary lifestyle, magnifies the risk of osteoarthritis

Chiropractic cdownload (5)are can help you steer clear of this collision course.  Range of motion (ROM) problems are associated with vertebral subluxations.  Chiropractic adjustments effectively correct vertebral subluxations, promoting optimal ROM.  In one study, investigators measured neck ROM prior to chiropractic adjustment, and then again 30 to 45 minutes following the procedure.  Chiropractic adjustments to the side of the neck, where motion was restricted, produced a “dramatic reduction” in ROM restriction (Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics;1989;126:419-27).  Over time, chiropractic adjustments stimulate long-term ROM corrections.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors recommend custom-tailored exercises;  designed to encourage optimal ROM.  Regular workouts are an integral part of the chiropractic approach to bone health.  Exercise has been shown to boost skeletal integrity by increasing bone density.  Especially helpful are “impact” or “weight-bearing” sports such as power-walking, running, volleyball, soccer, kickboxing and weightlifting.  These activities subject the skeleton to mild trauma.  Bones respond to this trauma by becoming stronger.

People who suffer from joint pain and other skeletal problems often turn to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as asprin, ketoprofen (Orudis) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and Nuprin).  However, research indicates that these medications can actually aggravate joint de-generation and cause other health problems.  According to one study, “Given the detrimental effects of NSAIDs on joints and other organs, their use should be discouraged and their classification as a first-choice conservative treatment should be abolished.”  (Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 1997;20:400-14.)

 Frighten Away 

Scientific studies show that certain foods, including sugar, hasten bone degeneration – while other foods boost bone health.  Bone-eroding foods include refined sugar, grains and flour, processed foodimages (2)s, foods containing additives like EDTA, caffeine, soda, sodium-rich foods and meat.

On the other hand, bone-building foods include fruits and vegetables; whole grains and high-fiber foods; fish with edible bones, soy products, low-fat dairy products, raw nuts and seeds.  When it comes to dietary supplements, calcium is the most well known bone-boosting supplement.  However, simply choosing a calcium supplement off the drugstore shelf – without doing your homework – may give you nothing but a false sense of security.

First, look for a calcium citrate formulation.  According to scientific research, calcium citrate is more potent than other forms of the mineral.  For example, one study compared subjects who took calcium carbonate.  Findings revealed that the blood calcium levels of participants taking calcium citrate were 2.5 times higher than those taking calcium carbonate.  These findings indicate that the body is better able to use calcium citrate than calcium carbonate.  Many experts also caution that calcium be taken in conjunction with magnesium for optimal effectiveness.  In addition to calcium, other bone boosting supplements include vitamin D, potassium, vitamin K, manganese, zinc and antioxidant vitamins.

While calcium is the most popular supplement used to prevent osteoporosis, glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates are the most celebrated anti-osteoarthritis remedies.  These supplements prompt the growth and repair of damaged joint cartilage by stimulating the production of two connective tissue building blocks – glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid (Alternative Medicine Review 1998;3:27-39).  By keeping joints healthy, glucosamine and chondroitin protect surrounding bones from degeneration.  Other potent all-natural, anti-inflammatory, agents include the pineapple enzyme bromelain, flavonoids, curcumin (the active ingredient in the spice turmeric), and thyme and fish oil.

Skip the Tricks and Treat Yourself to A Chiropractic Check-up

This Halloween, don’t get spooked by thoughts of future bone disease.  Turn to your doctor of chiropractic for sound advice on how to prevent skeletal disorders.  Don’t delay – schedule an appointment with Dr. Surinder Sandhu here at our Bedford Chiropractic clinic for a Consultation today.  It’s just the treat that will keep the trick knees, trick backs and other trick skeletal flaws away. Halloween!

Have a look at our WEBSITE and FACEBOOK!

Goodness of Coconut Water- Replenishment & Weight Loss.

Nature’s Super Drink

Just like its oil, coconut water has many health benefits including electrolyte replenishment and weight loss. This ‘nut’ is packed with anti-aging properties and has the right number of calories to keep you going.

The water inside green coconuts is a hydrating super liquid. One cup of has around ten times less calories compared to that of coconut milk. It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.

Hydrating and Replenishing Drink:

Coconut water was actually given to soldiers during the World War when saline was not obtainable. The water contains no fat and consists mostly of natural sugars and minerals. It is very rich in magnesium and potassium, as well as being very high in fibre.

Pure coconut water is just as effective as a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink at rehydrating exercise-trained men after a 60-minute bout of dehydrating exercise, according to findings published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Coconut water has garnered a lot of consumer interest over the last two years or so. A 2010 report by New Nutrition Business hailed coconut water as “the fast-growing new category” in sports beverages with retail sales already above $450m worldwide.
What makes coconut water interesting for brand owners is that it offers many of the same isotonic benefits as formulated sports drinks but in an all-natural form. No additions are necessary, not even a sweetener.

Nutrient Rich

Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.

Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. In effect, these enzymes help in the digestion and metabolism.

Its water is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish.

Why it should be part of your Weight Loss diet:

It is so hydrating because of the electrolyte composition, which is very similar to human plasma. Staying hydrated will help you feel full for longer, which in turn will reduce hunger and sugar cravings. This will effectively lead to you eating less, which means your total calorie consumption will go down. Drinking coconut water also flushes out toxins which will help you lose weight faster and also reduce thosecravings and hunger pangs.

Overall coconut water is  nutritious and relatively low-calorie way to add potassium to your diet and keep you well-hydrated.

Your Double Helix

Not everyone will admit this, but there’s something magical about exercise. Your brain produces endorphins in response to vigorous exercise and you feel energized, alert, and alive. You derive tremendous satisfaction from doing something you said you’d do. You feel good about yourself all day long. Beyond these benefits related to personal fulfillment, regular vigorous exercise builds strong muscles and bones and strengthens your cardiopulmonary system. Your heart and lungs become substantially more efficient. Your heart pumps more blood with every beat and your lungs take in more air with every breath. Your entire physiology, that is, every one of your cells, tissues, and organs, benefits from a consistent program of regular exercise.

Yet, remarkably, there’s more. Medical researchers and public health policy makers have long known that regular vigorous exercise helps improve the health of people with diabetes, heart disease, many types of arthritis, and even cancer. But more recently, within the last couple of years, scientists have been finding that exercise causes lasting changes in the configuration and functioning of human genes.

As we all know, our genetic inheritance is encoded in complex, tightly wound strands of DNA. Our genetic code comprises only four nucleotides – adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine – biochemical structures whose precise sequence contains all the information required to produce a living human being. (Some fun facts: There are approximately 3 billion “base pairs” of DNA in a human cell. A single uncoiled strand of DNA is approximately 3 feet (1 meter) in length. In contrast, human cells average 25 millionths of a meter in diameter.). Up until 10 or so years ago, it was generally accepted that genes (specific sequences of base pairs) controlled all protein formation and all physiologic functioning. But within the last 10 years, numerous discoveries have demonstrated a variety of additional factors that contribute to individual genetic expression. One such mechanism involves “epigenetics”, the process of “tagging” genes with small “side groups” or “markers”. The attachment of a methyl side group (—CH3), an action known as methylation, modifies a gene’s expression, boosting its output or turning it off completely. Researchers have now consistently demonstrated that regular exercise influences and even reprograms the epigenetic pattern of methylation.1,2

One study has demonstrated that exercise-associated methylation patterns impact genes associated with energy metabolism and insulin response in muscles.3 These findings, if reproduced by follow-up studies, would go far toward clarifying the role of exercise in relieving the symptoms of many chronic diseases.

The conclusion is that not only does exercise make you look good and feel good, it also exerts a profound effect on the most basic components of human physiology. Our long-ago high school gym teachers who exhorted us in seemingly endless rounds of sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and squat thrusts knew what they were doing. It’s up to us to continue the program.

Here at Bedford Chiropractic Clinic we are here to help and advise you as much as you need. But please remember the key to getting the maximum out of any exercise is to ensure that your nervous system is actually activating the muscles that you are training.

http://hallchiropracticwellnesscenter.com/

Mens Health Month

Middle age men don’t experience rapid loss of bone mass that women experience following menopause. But by 65 or 70, men and women are losing bone mass equally. And the ability to process calcium, an essential nutrient for bone health, decreases in both sexes. Excessive loss of bone mass causes bone to become fragile and prone to fracture. Fractures resulting from osteoporosis most commonly occur in the hip, spine, and wrist, and may cause permanent disability.

Things you can do to delay bone loss are:

Eat lots of calcium and vitamin D to help keep your bones and joints healthy. Dairy foods, calcium-set tofu, green leafy vegetables, and small canned fish with soft bones (e.g. sardines) provide the most readily available sources of dietary calcium.

  • Older adults should eat at least three servings of calcium and vitamin D every day.
  • If you take a calcium supplement or multivitamin, be sure to choose one that contains vitamin D.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Regular exercise is good for your health, no matter how old you are.
  • Exercising regularly reduces your risk of osteoporosis…and
  • Reduces your overall functional decline caused by aging
  • Helps to maintain or lose weight by burning calories
  • Strengthens your heart and lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol therefore reducing your risk of coronary heart disease and strokes.
  • Keeps your joints moving and reduces joint aches and pains caused by arthritis
  • Reduces the risk of bone fractures and other injuries, or recover faster if you are injured
  • May reduce your need for a cane
  • Helps to relieve stress, gives you energy and generally improves your mood
  • Increases your strength and independence

Aim to exercise for at least 30-60 minutes/ 4-5 days per week. To get started, pick an activity you like; walking, jogging, tennis etc. Then set goals for yourself such as, “this week I will jog for 15 minutes for 3 days”. Once you are comfortable at that level, slowly increase the duration and number of days.

Whatever activity you decide to do remember to do the following:

  • Consult your healthcare provider about ways to increase your physical activity without injuring yourself
  • Stop immediately and consult your healthcare provider if you experience pain, nausea, dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Warm up before all your exercises and stretch before and after
  • Wear light clothing and the correct shoes for your exercise
  • You can also count your daily chores as exercise such as, vacuuming your house, cleaning your car or walking your dog

By reading this you are probably one of few men that have a pro-active approach to health. Here’s how chiropractic can fix what you can’t.

Structure determines function.  It is common for men to come to the clinic with acute low back pain from all the hard work, or the physical activities they have been part of. Guess what?  Unless there is a significant injury, strong backs don’t tend to just blow out.

What happens is your back structures tighten-up with time,  an accumulation of stress,  and then the core back muscles get weak – and “fragile back” syndrome makes it’s appearance again! The next thing you know, the weakened muscles can’t perform and hold it together, and then, you bend over to pick up a hammer or your kid, or do one little thing, and your back gives in and the pain becomes intolerable.

IT ISN’T MACHO TO IGNORE YOUR HEALTH. Most men work under the old adage “If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.” Many times they wait too long when the problem could have easily been prevented. One-third of untreated lower back problems will eventually escalate to become persistent and disabling.

Our Chiropractor will give you a comprehensive assessment of your problem, before embarking on a mutually agreed course of treatment. It’s about far more than just taking away the pain: it’s a strategy for improving movement and preventing recurrence of the injury, while allowing the back to heal and strengthen.

Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency may be compromised. Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems (such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments), a person who has poor posture may often be tired or unable to work efficiently or move properly .Even for children or  younger adults, how you carry yourself when working, relaxing or playing can have big effects

Poor Posture – How Does it Happen?

In most cases, poor posture results from a combination of several factors, which can include:

Arthirtis

  1. Accidents, injuries and falls
  2. Poor sleep support (habits or mattress)
  3. Excessive weight
  4. Visual difficulties
  5. Foot problems or improper shoes
  6. Weak muscles, muscle imbalance
  7. Careless sitting, standing
  8. Negative self image
  9. Work stress or poorly designed work space

Poor Posture & Pain

A lifetime of poor posture can start a progression of symptoms in the average adult. Fatigue – your muscles have to work hard just to hold you up if you have poor posture. You waste energy just moving, leaving you without the extra energy you need to feel good. Tight, achy muscles in the neck, back, arms and legs – by this stage, there may be a change in your muscles and ligaments and you may have a stiff, tight painful feeling. More than 80% of the neck and back problems are the result of tight, achy muscles brought on by years of bad posture. Joint stiffness and pain puts you at risk for “wear and tear” arthritis (degenerative osteoarthritis). Poor posture and limited mobility increase the likelihood of this condition in later years.

As chiropractors, we can help you minimize those effects by removing any spinal dysfunctions which contribute to bad posture and often first cause it to occur.

One, Two, or Three Miles?

Even experienced exercisers sometimes find it difficult to know how much to do. For the beginner this uncertainty represents a significant stumbling block. Fortunately well-established guidelines and protocols exist to provide assistance to all exercisers, regardless of your skill level.

In general, the beginning exerciser requires the most instruction. The key is to build up strength and endurance slowly and not do too much too soon. In terms of strength training, the best plan is to determine at what weight you can comfortably perform three sets of eight repetitions. If you can’t do three sets of eight reps at the weight you’ve selected, it’s too heavy. If doing three sets of eight reps with the weight you’ve chosen doesn’t feel like anything at all, then the weight is too light. Overall, of course, too light is better than too heavy. The majority of strength training injuries occur when you’re attempting to train with an inappropriately heavy weight.

For example, you’ve selected 15-pound dumbbells with which to perform your bench press routine. You can comfortably do three sets of eight reps. Fifteen pounds is not too light and not too heavy. During the course of your next several weight training sessions, build up to three sets of 12 reps using the 15-pound dumbbells. When you can do three sets of 12 reps successfully, the next time you do your bench press routine you’ll increase the weight by approximately 10%. In other words, you’ll use the next heaviest weight, which is usually 17.5 pounds in a well-equipped gym. Begin with three sets of eight reps with the 17.5-pound dumbbells, and progress over the next several sessions to three sets of 12 reps. Then you’ll repeat the sequence with 20-pound dumbbells, starting at three sets of eight reps and building up to three sets of 12 reps. You’ll follow this formula with all of your strength training exercises. In this way, using a safe, smart, and graduated program, you’ll consistently build lean muscle mass, gain improved strength and efficiency of your cardiovascular system, and most likely lose several pounds as stored fat is converted to muscle.1

The same principles apply to cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, biking, and swimming. If you haven’t exercised in a very long time, walking is a good method with which to begin.2,3 On your first day, go for a normally paced 10- or 15-minute walk. Don’t be concerned that your walk feels like it’s over only a few minutes after it’s begun. Your main focus should be on getting started, not on how much or how little you’re doing in the first few sessions. Over the course of four to six weeks, build up a minute or two each session until you’re able to comfortably walk for 30 minutes at a moderate pace. At this point you can begin to increase your pace gradually, building up to a 30- or 40-minute walk at a brisk pace. At this level, you’re going a very good, vigorous cardiovascular workout and your heart, lungs, and other components of your cardiorespiratory system are becoming stronger, healthier, and more efficient.

In this gradual, steady, measured way, all exercisers, of whatever age, prior experience, and skill level, can gain a lifetime of benefit from their fitness programs and minimize the likelihood of setbacks or injure.

Here at Bedford Chiropractic Clinic we are here to help and advise you as much as you need. But please remember the key to getting the maximum out of any exercise is to ensure that your nervous system is actually activating the muscles that you are training.

For more info take a look at our videos HERE!

http://hallchiropracticwellnesscenter.com/

Chiropractic Helps Athletes recovery and can improve performance – Case study 1 of 14

Weekly we will be bring you case studies and on how Chiropractic services can help you in every day and life.

“Importantly we practice prevention not cure, don’t wait until pain strikes. “Sports pain

Case Study 1

Chiropractic Helps Athletes Recover from Ankle Injury

Prescott AZ ChiropractorMany professional and amateur athletes depend on chiropractic care to improve performance and assist in recovery. For instance, Usan Bolt never travels without his Chiropractor on toe to assist and get him ready to race and over 100 chiropractors were at the London Olympic games to work with GB athletes. Professionals know that chiropractic works, and we see that everyday in our Bedford Clinic

A small trial study from Sweden confirms this by working with 19 female handball players who were recovering from an ankle injury. The athletes were randomly assigned to receive either chiropractic adjustments or a sham treatment for three weeks. By the end of treatment, the chiropractic patients had significantly better improvements in vertical jumping height.

Although further research is warranted to expand on these findings, the preliminary results show that chiropractic plays a role in recovering from ankle injuries, which is the source of most sports injuries.

If you’re suffering from a nagging sports injury or you just want to perform better, try chiropractic care. Give our Clinic in Bedford a call today at 01234 353937 for an appointment.