Friday, December 30, 2011

Feed Your Brain and Your Mitochondria

Big thanks to Brian owner at CrossFit 616 here in Grand Rapids for sharing this with me on facebook.  Take the time to listen to this video.  Pretty awesome!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Magnesium Deficiency with Prilosec and Other Medications

Magnesium is an essential vitamin for over 300 functions in the human body.  300!  It has been estimated that up to 70% of people are magnesium deficient.

GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease)  heart burn, ulcers or anything involving excessive acid in the stomach is also a frequent problem in today's society.  The treatment for choice of many doctors is to prescribe something like Prilosec.  These heart burn medications cause a magnesium deficiency.  If you were already low, this can really cause some issues.  Everything from severe leg cramps, to not being able to convert the food you eat into energy, can be a symptom of this deficiency.

Make sure the magnesium supplement you chose is high quality.  There is always a second word behind the magnesium, such as Magnesium Glycinate or Citrate.  They should always end in -ate.  I recommend THIS to my patients.

Some common foods that can be added to the diets are dark leafy green vegetables and nuts.  But, I recommend up to 400mg a day.  That would be hard to get through diet alone.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday Motivation: PAIN IS TEMPORARY

I could listen to the "Hip Hop Preacher," speak often. Get ready for the last week of 2011.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Understanding the High Ankle Sprain

If you watched Monday Night Football, you saw the repercussions of a high ankle sprain on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Almost everyone at one point or another has suffered from a "normal" ankle sprain.  This injury is typically an inversion sprain where the outside of the ankle bends towards the ground.  The anterior talofibular ligament is the ligament often injured.  The pain will be right around the actual ankle joint.

A high ankle sprain is often called a syndesmotic ankle sprain as the injury is to structures that are much higher up, the syndesmotic ligament.  This is the ligament between the tibia and fibula and is often painful higher up then just the actual ankle mortise joint.

A good test with this type of injury is to squeeze the calf muscles.  If this ligament is injured there will often be pain with this.  Passive dorsiflexion and passive external rotation of the foot will also often be painful.  While an athlete with an inversion ankle sprain may return in a week or two, because the high ankle sprain is much deeper, it may require twice as long for this to heal enough to play on.

This year in the NFL, there have been a few high profile cases.  Adrian Peterson, a very talented running back, missed 2-3 weeks.  This past Monday night Ben Roethlisberger, QB for Pittsburgh, was hobbling pretty badly with a high ankle sprain.

Conservative treatment is usually the wrought taken.  Immobilization in a boot, ice, and rest are the required ingredients.  While soft tissue work may be helpful to the peroneal muscles, because the syndesomotic ligament is inside, manual therapy is marginally effective.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Adrenal Fatigue and Knee Pain

One of the things I have always checked, but have been finding more and more recently, is bilateral tender points on the inside knee.  Find your Pes Anserine insertion.  This is on the inside tibia.  This is the common insertion for your Sartorious, Gracillis and Semitendinosis.  Follow the muscles up about two inches and press in.  If both sides are painful, it may be a clue that you have stressed adrenal glands.

How have you been sleeping?  Has your sugar or caffeine intake been higher then normal?  Have you had a craving for more high starch type carbohydrates.  These questions will all be clues for potential adrenal fatigue or stress.

A few things to eliminate to help with an Adrenal Stressed Diagnosis.  Make sure both arches are not collapsing, so both tibia's are not internally rotating.  I usually check to make sure both Tibialis Posterior muscles aren't tight and painful as well.  This will help eliminate a biomechanical cause.

What I have found as effective treatment is supplementing with Vitamin C, 3000mg for 10-14 days.  If they are open to taking it, Rhodeola Rhosea as well.  Eliminating the sugar for the same two week time period and trying for naps and earlier bed time if possible.  Usually in two weeks time, the knee pain is gone.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Inverted Row with Miniband

A nice addition to the inverted row is to use a small mini band around your wrists. As you pull up, pull out. You will get more external rotator activity and post. deltoid.

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Drink Water or Don't Lift Those Weights

I am always harping about hydration.  In fact, 2011, if it had a theme, was hydrate.  One of my goals for people in pain, is to bring hydration levels up.  Dehydrated tissue carries inflammation more and in my experience more prone to adhesion's from repetitive activity.

I recently came across a STUDY, that showed that when you lift weights in a dehydrated state, the catabolic hormones cortisol and noradrenaline go up and ability to do work goes down.  Testosterone levels are also lower.  Catabolic hormones break down tissue, usually anabolic (build up) hormones are the result of weight lifting.

So you break down tissue and can't do as much work in a dehydrated state.   DRINK UP!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Health Benefits of Donating Blood

I had been contemplating becoming a blood donor for some time.  Some positives about giving include the altruistic component.  It feels good to do something so simple that may indeed save a life.  You also get your blood pressure checked, another health preventative strategy.  It got me wondering if there are any other health benefits.

Going back in history, blood letting was a common "remedy" for all kinds of maladies.  It was used for over 3000 years.  This is just me guessing, it probably helped someone and that is why it persisted.

Excess Iron can actually be a health problem for men, why you see multivitamins for men without Iron. Women menstruate so they usually don't have the problem of excess iron. (they may in fact have the opposite)

Excess Iron can be a contributor to premature aging, cancer, heart disease and perhaps most problematic, inflammation.  When there is preexisting inflammation in the body, free iron in the blood accumulate there and accelerates the inflammation.   Excess Iron has been shown to be a problem with heart disease and for increasing LDL cholesterol (the bad).  The aging process of skin has a correlation related to the amount of iron in the body.

Vitamin C increases the absorption of Iron.  Orange Juice has been shown to really skyrocket your iron levels.  Tim Ferris in his book, The Four Hour Body, talks about this.  This is one reason they give you OJ after donating blood.  It is also easier to absorb the iron in meat then in plants.  Some things that block absorption are coffee, milk and eggs.

This brings us back to donating blood.  I went down to the Red Cross Donor Center here in Grand Rapids, MI and went through the screening process.  I was denied.  A trip to Brazil earlier this year to work with a sprinter, disqualified me, as it was a hot zone for Malaria.  I later found out that only 37% of Americans are currently estimated to be eligible to donate.

Donating blood is a good way to get rid of excess Iron and there is enough evidence that excess Iron is not a good thing.  I haven't been able to give any first hand (n=1) knowledge of the donation process, but don't let that stop you.  As their ad says, Be a Hero, Donate Blood.....and reap some health benefits as well.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seven Principles for a Healthy Life

I just signed up for a seminar in January to learn from Dr. Bob Rakowski.  I'm pretty excited to hear this guy talk as I've heard some pretty awesome things about him from a mentor of mine.  Dr. Rakowski works a lot with nutrition and athletes and muscle recovery.  I've included an audio interview that he gave that gives some pretty eye opening information.  He also goes over his Magnificent 7 tips for a healthy life.

1.  Eat Right
2.  Drink Right
3.  Think Right
4.  Move Right
5.  Sleep Right
6.  Poop Right
7.  Talk Right

If you don't have the seven down, find help, get help.  Here is the audio interview.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Best Lower Ab Exercise You Are Not Doing: Pulsed Goblet Squat

The best way to train the abs in my opinion is by forcing them to work.  Reflexive training is nothing new, but in my opinion, not used enough.  I have many patients that are constantly asking me on how to get their lower abs stronger.

One of the many dysfunctions I see is the psoas muscle substituting for the lower abs.  This is really common in people that pursue Pilate's and gym goers that do lots of hanging leg raises.

Enter the Pulsed Goblet Squat.  The Goblet Squat itself is a great gem.  Gets back to a clean basic squat pattern.  Dan John I give credit for bringing this to the masses.

Goblet Squat.  Hold a dumbell or kettlebell close to your chest.  This forces you to keep your chest up.  Now as you squat down, drive the knees open.  Weight is on your heels.  At the bottom position, press the weight out, so your arms finish fully extended in front of you.  You will feel the lower abs kick in big time.  Bring the weight back in and drive through the heels, stand up and squeeze the glutes together.  You just have done a tremendous exercise.  You are learning to engage the glutes with the lower abs and providing mobility to the hips.  In addition grooving a clean squat pattern that will have carryover to real life situations.  How's that bang for your buck?

Friday, December 2, 2011

What is rBST and Should You Care if You Drink It?

I was drinking chocolate milk the other day after a workout and turned to look at the label.  As you can see from the picture, it states rBST free.   Not shown, the other side states, "No difference has been found between milk that is rBST free.

So obviously they think it's a big deal to not have it in there and equally obvious, there is a law that states you have to put the disclaimer on the bottle as well.

So that got me thinking, what is rBST?   

From an organic website,  "Recombinant bovine growth hormone (also known as rBGH or rBST) is a genetically engineered drug produced by the Monsanto Corporation. It is injected into dairy cows to induce them to increase milk production, typically by 5-15%. It's estimated that 15-20% of the cows in the United States are injected with this hormone. It was approved by the FDA in 1993."

The reading from this website suggest that the use of rBST increases the IGF-1 hormone in the milk.  We then ingest it.  This brings about increases in cancer risk.  

rBST also requires the use of more antibiotics.  The antibiotics make their way into our soil and water and increases human resistance to antibiotics.  Not cool by any means.

It's actually hard on the cow.  This is the more humane aspect.  The cow has more health problems.  They range from birth problems, hoove disorders and gastrointestinal disorders to name a few, but they list up to 15.  

The original reason for using rBST was to increase milk production.  This right there raises a red flag to me.  Messing with Mother Nature never seems like a healthy idea.  Are cows really designed to produce that much?  They actually list a study that was done to show that it isn't more profitable for the farm to us rBST.  

This is a website where you will find the benefits of the use of rBST.  They state the use of the drug enables one cow can give milk to 145 kids, as opposed to the cow producing enough milk for only 125 kids without it.  

They list when things were approved, but not much else.  Monsanto Corporation is either viewed as evil incarnate or a great savior.  If you want to hear more on that, I suggest the documentary Food INC.  I think like all things, moderation is needed.  The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.  

I don't think you're going to increase your risk of cancer from drinking milk.  But I would rather have less "stuff" added to anything I drink or eat.  Less is always more.  I think the antibiotic resistance is a real thing.  The ethical treatment of the cow will be a major issue for some people. The humane society of the US and Animal protection are against the the use of rBST.  

I'm lucky in the fact that I get raw milk from a local farm.  The stuff is amazing.  Doesn't even taste like the stuff you buy in grocery stores.  Hopefully this gives you an idea of what it is and what people are saying about it.  

The two websites are completely different.  Read between the lines on both.  Make up your mind and vote with your dollar.