Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!  Getting ready to put the finishing touches on the first week in Germany with the US bobsled teams.  We have a rest day tomorrow and the men and women will race on Saturday and Sunday for the first FIBT race of the season.  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Joy of Travel

I left friday afternoon to begin my 3 months with the U.S. bobsled team this past weekend.  Our plane was delayed in Washington D.C.'s Dulles airport for an extra 4 and 1/2 hours while we were on the plane.  Needless to say there was a bit of frustration at being on the plane an extra 4.5 hours in addition to the 9 we were about to endure.  On landing my portable chiropractic table managed to get lost as well.  We hit a bit of a snowstorm on the way to Winterberg Germany, site of the first FIBT world cup race and it took an extra hour to get in.  But we arrived safe and sound and ready to start the 2008-2009 race season.  You have to love international travel!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tissue Quality

Regeneration work has been the word on the street for awhile now.  What is it?  It's basically putting into regular practice time invested in your health and recovery.  It's working on tissue quality.  Static stretching has been getting a bad rap in the past few years.  Studies showing that it doesn't help or even benefit when it comes to injury prevention, some actually show a decrease in power.  But lets get real, 10 minutes of static stretching at the end of the workout isn't going to fact it will probably play a bit role in keeping you moving well.  But stretching works on the length of the muscle tissue, lets talk about the quality of the muscle tissue.  
Whats the difference?  Muscles can be tight for a variety of reasons.  That will be a different post unto itself.  But often times the quality is junk.  Knotted, tight, tender are words that may describe it.  When the muscle is like this it won't have the same contractile properties as healthy tissue.  It won't act optimally when you need it to.  It may actually be the source of your pain.  Stretching won't work.  Here's an analogy.  Imagine a knot in a rubbber band.  It's not at its optimal length.  If you stretch it the knot won't come out.  In fact it will get tighter!  So you have to get the knot out if you want full function of the rubber band (the muscle).
How do you get it out?  Foam rolling is a great inexpensive option. Rolling on a tennis or lacrosse ball is another great tool to get the smaller more precise muscles.  Active Release Technique from a trained practitioner is a great option as well.  So spend at least 10 minutes after each workout training regeneration.  If you don't have time to warm up before the workout and time to recover from it afterwards, you don't have time to workout.  I often have athletes just do the regeneration work if time is an issue or it is an off day.   I know if the tissue quality is there, the next workouts will be tremendous.  So get to work.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Media Hype

I can remember being in my introductory neuro diagnostic class in chiropractic school and hearing my professor say a line I've always remembered.  "Follow the money!"  What does that mean?  It means if your looking at a product, information, research, review or action.....follow the money!  Who benefits from the result, the consequence, the information your reading?  Why is it being presented this way?  The information your being told, why is it being told that way and who benefits from it?  Recently I read another great post by Dr. Michael Eades, . In it he goes over how the media distorts studies and their findings in the Jupiter study involving statin drugs. It often seems like the media plays off fear (to get your attention, buy my paper, watch my network) and spins any and all information. This is another great reason to question drug studies, especially when it comes ones health. In this day an age it's up to the consumer to cut through the B.S. and hype and take their health into their own hands, because you won't be getting much help from the evening news.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Front Foot Elevated Cable Split Squat

A great exercise to add in your tool bag. Really targets the VMO, a muscle notoriously weak on many individuals. For knee health it's imperative to keep this muscle strong and firing. This muscle along with keeping the glute med. strong will keep cyclist and runners from developing IT band problems.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I'm going to get a little philosophical on you, so bare with me.  I was recently doing some reading this last week and came across a simple concept on time management.  How many times have you heard you need to manage your time better.  To many to count.  This time for some reason it stuck by simply replacing the word manage with invest.  Time management to Time investment.  Does that make you change the way you look at the activity your about to undertake or for that fact change what you do?  
Time investment.  Going to the gym and working is investment in your health, maybe even your sanity.  Reading is an investment in your knowledge.  Watching t.v.,  that's an investment to.  Time investment can relate to other things as well.  Hiring a trainer to teach you the right things to do at the right time with the right progressions, may in the long run save you time from the therapists office.  So this next week, change your mindset, think of how each and every hour your going to invest that precious 60 minutes and see how your life and choices change.     

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Plantar Fascia Pain in Grand Rapids

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful, sometimes debilitating condition involving the arches of your feet.  Each step can feel like a someone is jabbing a knife into your heel and arch.  It usually results as an inflammation in the fascia and sometimes in the smaller muscles such as quadratus plantae.  It generally has the signs of painful first steps in the morning and gets a bit better as the day goes on and the muscles and ligament loosen up. It often occurs when there is overpronation and/or collapsed arches.  Another reason is that the flexor digiti brevis is weak.  I have had a personal interest in this subject.  The summer before I went off to play football at Hillsdale College, I got bilateral plantar fascia pain.  My summer training was gone.

Looking back with the knowledge base I've built up.  I know bilateral pain often comes from SI Joint/lumbar spine being misaligned.  If it's just one foot, often times the medial plantar nerve is adhesed.  You will need a trained manual therapist to find this.  I use Active Release Technique.  But first start with the simple steps.
 So here are a few treatment strategies.  Roll your arch on a golf ball.  This will help break up any adhesion's that may have developed in the muscle and ligament.  Your body is all connected.  Rolling the arch will actually even increase your hamstring flexibility!  Do towel crunches with your toes.  Pull the towel towards you using only your toes.  This will strengthen your toe flexors.  Stretch the calves religiously and roll your calves on a lacrosse or tennis ball.  Remember your body is all connected.  Try these strategies for 2 weeks.  If your pain hasn't decreased substantially, find a soft tissue specialist.  I see plantar foot pain all the time at our practice in downtown Grand Rapids.  There is a lot of relief out there, go find it!