Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance is happy to announce that we have successfully launched our first newsletter this month! Here at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we believe that one of the most important factors in successful care of our patients is providing education. We are not interested in band-aid care or care that is only focused on the presence of pain. Instead we want to find the causing factors of dysfunction and compensation in the body and arm our patients with knowledge to help reduce or prevent future injury. Our hope is that this newsletter will serve as yet another outlet to provide education and awareness to our past, current, and future patients to further accomplish the mission (Prepare. Perform. Prevent.) for which this clinic was founded upon. To view this month’s newsletter, click here!
If you would like to stay up to date with the latest services, articles, events, health care news, and patient success stories to help keep you and your family at the peak of health and performance, click here to join our newsletter and like us on Facebook!
Last week I released a publication on EliteFTS.com, Back to Recovery Basics: Foundations of Recovery. Since the release, I have received a lot of responses from the article, a few of which I would like to address quickly. The first response was from a Division I strength coach, who affirmed with me the importance of recovery in his job as a strength coach and the difficulties of how to implement those strategies into a program as well hammer home the value of recovery to these players. The second is a group of current Memphis athletes who follow some of my content through their athletic trainers reposting or sharing it. These athletes’ feedback was that they enjoyed the read and learned from it and wanted to hear more.
So what is the takeaway from this? First, my goal in this series is to get realistic, understandable, and useable information out to those who can benefit from it the most: the athletes. I wanted this article series to cover information that a typical high school, college athlete or beginner strength athlete could relate to and implement on their own or with help from available staff and facilities. It is very important that these athlete’s benefit the most from this series as the earlier these recovery habits are implemented, the more resistant to injury the athlete is and their career will be longer because of it.
The second point is that we need to have an all inclusive approach to teaching proper habits to athletes to allow them to perform at their best and remain injury free. Including me, there were three different professionals that were just listed that have access to these athletes and a role in the implementation of recovery. The athletic training staff, strength staff, and medical staff all have a direct impact on the athlete and can all have a role in helping teach and develop the athlete. As multiple coaches in my athletic career have said eluded to, “If by the time you are done here all I have done is taught you how to play “insert any sport,” then I have failed as a coach. It is our responsibility to do more than just teach a game, a lift, or look at a body part when it is hurt. We all have a responsibility in the athletic and performance industry to provide the resources possible for the growth of the athlete.
I want to add coaches and parents into this equation as well, specifically for the younger athletes, as these are the most moldable athletes and the ones who are most dependent on our guidance. So if you are involved with an athlete as a coach, trainer, medical professional, or parent, please read and teach the information in this series to your athlete(s). If you have any questions, please also reach out and I would be happy to help.
Spoiler Alert: This article exposes some of your most common and favorite ab exercises
Abdominal exercises are a key component of any good training program. Functionally, they are crucial in providing stability throughout the spine as well as connecting the upper and lower extremity during almost every exercise in the gym and during sport specific movement. Aesthetically, being able to see your own abs is a prized possession owned few and strived for by many. Whether you are on the side of the spectrum concerned about the functional benefits, the side that wants to look good with a shirt off, or somewhere in-between, there are plenty of reasons to be targeting the abdominal region during your training.
As far as selling is concerned in the fitness industry, there is no bigger demand than a six pack. This is evident by hundreds if not thousands of products, programs, and diets that promise a six pack as part their selling hook. There is neither a shortage of exercises to target the abs, and while there are great reasons to build a strong core, science says you may not be doing yourself as much good as you’d think. Some may even be experiencing detrimental effects from their abdominal training without even knowing.
To understand why the spine can experience trauma or degeneration from abdominal exercises, we must first understand the purpose of the abdominal muscles and their role in spinal stabilization. Muscles, in general, play one of two roles in the joints of the body. A muscle moves or stabilizes and protects a joint. In the abdomen, the muscles that attach to the spine are first and foremost present for the purpose of stabilizing and protecting the joints of the spine. Although it is true that specific abdominal muscles can rotate, laterally flex, or flex the spine individually, this is NOT their purpose. The abdominal muscles stabilize the spine by working together in their opposing directions of movement to create rigidity to the spine. This is what helps transfer forces between the upper and lower body during movement and keeps the spine from buckling under load. These forces in the front are matched with muscles in the back of the spine to create circumferential (360 degrees) of spinal stability. These muscles must all work together not only to align the pelvis and maintain neutrality of the spine. Without this, or when there is an imbalance, there is a loss of stability and an increase in abnormal forces being placed upon the joints of the spine.
Research shows that a large amount of disc injuries are caused by movements which utilize repetitive flexion and or rotation of the spine. These movements can occur during daily activities, work, or in the case of this article, at the gym. These types of cumulative injuries occur with improper movement at a sub-maximal rate of force. These movements cause micro-trauma to the joint which is capable of healing if given enough time. The typical result, however, is that these movements are not allowed necessary recovery and the mirror-trauma from each repetition compounds until reaching the threshold that is necessary to cause macro-trauma.
Now that we have defined what the body needs to create stability and what movements cause injury, how does this relate to abdominal exercises? Unfortunately, the movements that create positional instability by putting you in a compromised lumbar flexion or rotational position AND also produce high amounts of strain into the lower back are the most common abdominal exercises seen in the gym. These movements include sit-ups, crunches, russian twists, and any other movement that focuses on flexion or unilateral rotation. Furthermore, these movements are often done at high reps, for time, and to fatigue, which furthers the risk of instability and lower back injury. Research done by Stuart McGill says of all of these exercises, sit-ups and crunches or spinal flexion abdominal exercises are the worst and produce the most force in the lower back. Now you may make the argument that “I’ve been doing those kinds of ab exercises for years and haven’t had a back injury.” Awesome! But there are many other equally beneficial abdominal exercises out there that spare the spine and teach your spine to resist motion. Does it really make sense to put unnecessary forces into your spine with a crunch or sit-up? The answer is no.
Furthermore, if you are an individual who happens to have a back injury, some healthcare and fitness professionals may be rightfully identifying your weak core to be an issue. But, if their answer to that is doing a bunch of sit-ups and crunches in your already inflamed and injured spine, don’t be surprised when you don’t see improvement or the condition even worsens.
So what are some good options for training the abdomen? McGill’s variation of the sit-up, the McGill sit-up is a great option for singling out the rectus abdominis. Since the goal again is to create stability in the spine and torso, other exercises such as front and side planks, dead bugs, wall bugs, bird dogs, and any other exercise in which movement is created from the extremities and absorbed or resisted by the abdomen are a great option for developing core strength. This could include medicine ball throws against a wall in which the shoulder and hips are creating forces to accelerate the med ball and then decelerate it as it comes back to them.
I would also recommend to those who like to read and learn to purchase Stuart McGill’s book, Back Mechanic. This book is specifically geared towards educating the general population on proper spinal health and provide ways that you, yourself can help manage a back injury. Some of which we just covered.
Overcoming Injury is something that has always been a part of sports and always will be. General health and injury are also the most common reason that people have to hang the pads, weights, glove, or whatever other metaphorical sport specific equipment up. So when it comes to competing and training, having to overcome injury is not the result of drawing some sort of unlucky card, they are going to be a part of anyone’s experiences and must be handled just like nutrition, programming, or any other factor that effects performance. The issue is that many people do not approach overcoming injury in the same way that they approach nutrition, programming, etc. It takes personal responsibility, patience, troubleshooting, and reaching out to professionals to help devise a treatment plan to fix dysfunction and pain from injury. Overcoming injury is often not a quick recovery and may be frustrating, but you must trust the process and always keep moving forward.
It’s also incredibly important to not be stubborn and to listen to and learn from others who have come before you and their experiences. This Table Talk with Dave Tate goes through ways to troubleshoot two very common injuries in powerlifting. There are many things you can do on your own, but one of the most important things you can do is to get PROFESSIONAL HELP. Watch the video below to hear Dave Tate’s take on overcoming injury:
1) Getting Out of Bed
If you were hoping this means that you should hit snooze until 10am, sorry sleepy head. This is referring to HOW you get yourself out of bed. Luckily, this is an easy fix, and one you may be doing correctly already. There are a few reason that getting bed out of correctly is important. The first reason is that the intervertebral discs in your spine, which are primarily water filled, rehydrate while you sleep. Therefor when you wake up, they are as thick as they will be all day. If we consider this in terms of fluid pressure, this means that since your discs are full of water, they are under the most pressure during this time. As you will learn a bit later in activity number 4, the movement that puts the spine in the least advantagous position and creates the most force into the low back is flexion or a crunch/sit up motion.
Judging from the information above, it should not be a surprise that the position your back hates you for in the morning is getting up using a sit-up like movement. This couples the pressure of flexed position with highly pressurized discs and comes at a time when the muscles of the spine have not gone through movement for an extended period of time. So what’s the solution? In order to keep the spine in a neutral position while also slowly accumulating the muscles back to movement from its dormancy.
Sitting is one of the activities that we do the most frequently every single day. It is also one of the most strenuous positions for your lower back. Normally while standing, we distribute forces through the body into the ground by way of the feet. Through Newton’s Third law, an equal amount of force is transmitted from the ground back into the body. When seated, these forces are now transmitted through the low back rather than the feet. This means more strain is placed onto low back. Furthermore while sitting for long period of time many people have a tendency to slouch which can lead to higher amounts of strain in the muscles of the spine to try to keep the body upright. Because this posture causes long periods of loading and subsequently a process called hysteresis can occur. This causes elongation of the ligaments which stabilize the spine, leading to more instability in the ligaments and stress on the muscles of the spine.
So what is the solution? Since most of our population is sitting while at work, we will address solutions for workplace sitting. Solutions include utilizing ergonomic seats/chairs that create support for the lumbar spine, maintaining a good, neutral posture without rounding at the shoulders while siting, and taking frequent breaks from sitting. Stand up desks are another great way to take breaks during work while still staying productive as well. Alternating between sitting and standing is a great way to avoid the long term consequences of both activities. Because a lot of the affects of sitting come from static loading over an extended amount of time, the goal of our changes are to change the way the joints are loaded even if for a short period of time.
Breathing is the single most important activity you do. Without air, we die, but breathing has more affects on the body than just providing oxygen. Proper breathing creates a cascade of events that can affect mood, stress, hormonal balance, and for the sake of this conversation, stability in the low back.
You may not realize it, but a very large amount of people breathe incorrectly. The correct mechanism of breathing involves contraction and lowering of the diaphragm to create passive filling of the airways. This diaphragmatic or normal breathing pattern is characterized by an expansion of the belly during inspiration. Abnormal breathing patterns are often a result of what is called chest or “labored” breathing. This type of breathing occurs when an individual forcefully contracts through the scalenes, pec, and other accessory breathing muscles to expand through the chest. One of the common reasons for developing this type of breathing is the fact that our societal norm loves the look of a flat stomach and puffed out chest. Unfortunately, this is the exact mechanism that mimics and stimulates labored breathing and can severely compromise your low back stability.
So how do we fix this? Unfortunately, many times we have developed this pattern over years and years of improper breathing, so this one is often difficult to accomplish in a short period of time. The best way to address this properly is to get help from a health care or fitness professional who is competent recognizing and fixing dysfunctional breathing patterns. Because this is a pattern that has been going on for a very long time, it is often hard for an individual to not only realize that they are breathing incorrectly, but equally as hard to understand how to change that pattern. One of the tools we use at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance to address this issue is Reflexive Performance Reset or RPR. This method is geared towards addressing the neurology behind your improper breathing patterns and helps fix compensations that might be causing dysfunctional breathing.
4) Ab Exercises
This is for all of you who are concerned about getting that summer six pack to finally show this year. Core strength is an important necessity for athletic movements and spinal health, but there is a right and a wrong way to train the core, and unfortunately many people are doing it improperly.
To understand why, we need to take a look at the function of the core during movement. In the execution of any coordinated movement whether it be in athletics, at home, or while on the clock at work, the function of the core is always to produce stability and serve as a connecting link to transmit forces between the upper and lower extremities. The production of a stable core allows us to utilize our entire body to perform movement and without it, not only will we have disruption in the kinetic chain but likely many low and middle back problems as well. Again, the function of the core is to stabilize the spine and as a unit, RESIST movement.
So what movements do we not want to do with the spine and core? Flexion and rotation. Oh shit, all I do is crunches and russian twists. Sadly, we have to learn once again that another common perception in the fitness industry is wrong. Even worse, this is one of the most common ones. Meaning most people’s spines think they are an asshole.
Still want that six pack? First, go back to the last section on breathing and remember that going around with your belly sucked in is not the answer, then incorporate these abdominal movements into your training: Planks, dead bugs, wall-bugs, McGill sit-ups, bird dogs, medicine ball plyometrics, and anti-rotational movements that force control of rotation.
5) Weight lifting
Weight lifting has always taken heat for its negative effects on the spine. It’s hard to say that there are no examples of weightlifting causing low back injuries, as there are plenty, so I will not jump on that train that all weightlifting is good or all weightlifting is bad. The reason I say this is because although everyone should undergo weight bearing activity, not everyone is prepared to do it at the same degree. Therefor what is good for one person may not necessarily be good for another person. The key here is preparedness and using correct form and leverages to accomplish the movement.
So what part of weightlifting does your back hate you so much for? It hates those of you who do not respect the necessity of good form, a good program, and a good coach. This section is a wake up call to those of you who think you can just watch a few youtube videos and pick up weightlifting like you would a new hobby or any DIY project around the house and be able to do so safely. Unfortunately, you are wrong and your back may pay for it.
If you are one of these people that approach weightlifting in such a nonsensical manner, you are either setting yourself up to be weak and experience no results, or worse, an injury. Most injuries occur in weightlifting typically because of one of three factors 1) Accidents (either legitimately by chance or subsequently because you don’t know what you’re doing) 2) You don’t understand how the body responds and recovers to training and you over stress your body 3) You don’t know how to correctly perform movements and then chose to couple that with the poor choice of adding more weight.
So how do you stop your spine from getting pissed off at you? Understand that weigh lifting is a learning process, take it seriously, and then hire a trainer. A trainer will be able to analyze and give feed back on your form as well as program in a safe and structured program that will not only get you results, it will get you results safely. Any time you are embarking on the path to wellness or physical betterment it is also smart to seek the help of a qualified health care professional who understands the needs and processes that weight lifters go through and provide services to help lifters recover and progress to accomplish their goals.
Here at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we operate at a three season a year pace. We have Spring, Summer and FALL FOOTBALL SEASON! In preparation for the upcoming Fall Sports season, we would like to outline some basic fall reminders as well as cover a few big announcements.
1) Dr. Detweiler will be present for ALL Home Memphis Football Games
As the Team Chiropractor, I am present for all home football games and any away games that become scheduled by the football program. This means that for any early Saturday games, office hours may be closed or shortened to accommodate the Memphis Football team’s needs. As most games are either night games this DOES NOT mean that every home Saturday game will result in a closing of the office. I promise to do my best to continue to post and block out scheduling for conflicting dates as needed.
2) Office hours will be changing in September
Along with above changes in office hours due to gamedays, there will be a PERMANENT change in office hours starting in September. Current Thursday morning hours (9am – 1:30pm) will move to the evening to 1pm – 7pm. This change was in two part to provide better access to care for both University of Memphis Athletics AND the patients at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance. As most of you patients are more active in the evenings, we have decided that this will allow you to take advantage of later hours that better surround your work schedule. This will be the first of many reminders of our new hours.
3) We will be holding special drawings for FREE Football Tickets!
You heard it, FREE TICKETS. Stop by at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance for a chiropractic visit or RPR visit and instantly be entered to win a pair of tickets! Entries will be drawn for the next game a week beforehand. One entry will be given per visit.
Be sure to stay tuned for more updates and news at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance!
With the rising costs of today’s healthcare, more and more people are turning to alternative medicine options for their ailments. My profession has often declared chiropractic cost effective. But is it really? Let say it is. How do you know whether or not it would actually apply to you?
Back pain is in the top 5 most common ailments experienced and diagnosed in today’s medical system. Having said this, there is a high likelihood that you will experience back pain in your life and is something you should be concerned about. Want any other reasons to pay attention to the cost effectiveness of chiropractic vs medical care? Here is a study specifically tailored towards Tennessee residents of Blue Cross Blue Shield who sought care for low back pain between a two year period from 2004 – 2006 and their costs relative to whether they saw a chiropractor or a medical doctor:
As copied from its original source:
The primary aim of this study was to determine if there are differences in the cost of low back pain care when a patient is able to choose a course of treatment with a medical doctor (MD) versus a doctor of chiropractic (DC), given that his/her insurance provides equal access to both provider types.
A retrospective claims analysis was performed on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee’s intermediate and large group fully insured population between October 1, 2004 and September 30, 2006. The insured study population had open access to MDs and DCs through self-referral without any limit to the number of visits or differences in co-pays to these 2 provider types. Our analysis was based on episodes of care for low back pain. An episode was defined as all reimbursed care delivered between the first and the last encounter with a health care provider for low back pain. A 60 day window without an encounter was treated as a new episode. We compared paid claims and risk adjusted costs between episodes of care initiated with an MD with those initiated with a DC.
Paid costs for episodes of care initiated with a DC were almost 40% less than episodes initiated with an MD. Even after risk adjusting each patient’s costs, we found that episodes of care initiated with a DC were 20% less expensive than episodes initiated with an MD.
Beneficiaries in our sampling frame had lower overall episode costs for treatment of low back pain if they initiated care with a DC, when compared to those who initiated care with an MD.
The answer is clear. If you have back pain in Tennessee, you should be taking the chiropractic cost effective option over medical treatment.
Sports Performance is a buzzword that holds a high amount of value in competitive athletics. When most people think about performance in sports, they think about training, lifting, agility drills, or other activities that increase the athlete’s abilities. Athletes invest a large amount of time pushing their bodies through extremely high levels of physical stress in their training year round to allow themselves to succeed in their respective sports, so it is understandable that this is the primary method through which most athletes look to increase performance. There is another method, however, that has a larger impact on performance and is often overlooked by those athletes, coaches, and trainers in the early levels of competitive athletics. This method is recovery.
So why is recovery more important that training itself? In order for increases in performance to occur, the body must be exposed to a stimulus strong enough to cause a break down of tissue. The body then responds to this stimulus by rebuilding and adapting itself to better handle this sort of stimulus. In every sport, training and competition serves is a stimulus to the body that demands explosive power production for agility, jumping, running, etc. These activities effectively damage and destroys tissue. Athletes are also often subject to violent collisions and challenging postures or positions that put added demands on their physical structure. The body’s reaction to these stimuli is to grow and adapt to prepare the body to handle the stress of future workouts and competition. This is probably not very ground breaking to many athletes, coaches, or professionals involved in athletics, but it is the key applications and focuses of this principle that can often be overlooked.
Although the destructive nature of training and competition is important to provide the necessary stress to result in growth of new tissue, it is the actual REBUILDING of tissue that is responsible for performance gains. Performance enhancement is solely reliant on the body’s ability to rebuild faster than it breaks down. This creates a surplus of newly made, more adaptable tissue over older tissue that is destroyed during training. In other words, if you are not recovering properly or are training too much without recovering enough, you are losing performance.
So how do you obtain optimal recovery? What can you do as an athlete to insure you are recovering enough? Simply put, the best method to increase performance is to build a well rounded plan. A good recovery plan starts out foundational with solid diet, hydration, and sleep. From this point we can fine tune a recovery plan with regular preventative wellness care through stretching, prehabilitation exercises, and care from a health care professional such as a sports chiropractor.
Chiropractic is uniquely suited to address the needs of the athlete because it is focused on maintaining proper joint movement and biomechanics as well as supporting healthy muscle, tendon and ligamentous tissue growth. Through chiropractic and other performance enhancement methods such as manual therapy, kinesiotaping, therapeutic exercises, and Reflexive Performance Reset chiropractic care will keep your body recovering and performing at its peak potential. Whether you are a football player, wrestler, CrossFitter, golfer, weightlifter, runner, or a weekend warrior, take it from elite athletes around the world who attest that chiropractic care is absolutely essential to your performance.
At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, injury prevention follows as a resulting effect of maximizing recovery and sports performance. Dr. Detweiler’s approach to injury prevention involves creating a personalized plan for each individual athlete or everyday patient seeking this care. Whether you are an ultra-marathon runner, a high school baseball player, or a patient who sits at a desk all day at work and then takes a CrossFit class at night, each athlete has an predisposition to injury based on their sport or activity. If the body is pushed too far without being afforded the necessary nutrition, rest, and attention to recover, an athlete is unable to build new tissue faster than it is being broken down. This causes weak and frail muscle tissue, joint immobility, and ultimately sets the athlete up for overuse pain and injury. An example of this occurrence, is the large proportion of long distance runners that develop tendonitis or pain over the extent of their running careers in the muscles and joints of the legs such as the ankles, knees and hips. Many experienced runners identify the need and importance of proper footwear, stretching, nutrition and other recovery habits such as regular chiropractic care to improve their function and allow them to continue to push their bodies.
In order to provide the best possible preventative care, we start with a thorough evaluation of your current recovery and injury prevention habits and then expands to a full analysis of the movement and function of your body to identify possible predispositions to injury. Through Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance and NBS Fitness’ network of health and fitness professionals such as massage therapists, nutritional coaches, and personal trainers, to help develop a proper plan formulated to keep your body moving, functioning, and recovering at an optimal rate to prevent injury.
When Should an Athlete See a Chiropractor?
Just as people get a flu shot at the beginning of the year to try to prevent future illness, athletes of all ranks should approach their health in a regular preventative manner. This means regular chiropractic care instead of waiting until after an injury has occurred. While chiropractic is proven to be an excellent source for injury rehabilitation and healing, it is an even better resource for preventing or reducing injury and damage in the body. Chiropractors view the body as a whole, taking into account all aspects of health to improve performance and wellness including factors like nutrition, sleep, recovery, and prehabilitation. Dr. Detweiler has the resources to provide adjustive procedures, rehabilitative/exercise therapy, and soft tissue therapies such as ART, Graston, kinesiotaping, and myofascial release to address the nervous, skeletal, muscular, and ligamentous systems. Through this approach, the body is allowed to recover and function at its optimal level, keeping you from being sidelined with injuries.
If you or someone you know could benefit from sports performance, contact Dr. Detweiler at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance today using our online scheduling to set up your very own individualized performance and injury prevention plan. Don’t have time to make it into the office? Check out our NEW and more convenient Chiropractic Home Visit options!
The first half of 2017 has been extremely busy at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance. Between the addition of spring coverage of Memphis athletics, continuing education seminars, and the growing population here at Mid-South SSP, we are set up for our best year yet. We are hoping to be able to end the summer with some great news about new options for care that will help our patients save money, as well as news on bringing an RPR seminar to Memphis late this year or early 2018!
With the start of fall sports right around the corner and a busy July ahead, I will be taking some time to enjoy the week of the Fourth of July in Ouray, CO. For me, personally, there is nothing more enjoyable than time spent out in a secluded area enjoying nature, and the Rocky Mountains are some of the best that nature has to offer in the United States. Furthermore, as an avid Jeeper, this area in Southwest Colorado is proclaimed to be the “Jeeping Capital of the World,” so this is also a bit of a bucket list trip for me. I’ve been planning this trip since January and have added some modifications to my Jeep since then in order to handle some of the terrain that the San Juan Mountains will throw at us. I lifted it 2.5 inches, upgraded the suspension, armored up some of the more vulnerable parts of the underbody, added some off-road lighting, and swapped for an aftermarket bumper for better clearance. To me, a week long road trip exploring the Rocky Mountains with the only production vehicle in the world to have won a war sounds like the perfect way to celebrate America and some freedom.
I want to wish all our patients at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance and members of NBS Fitness a happy 4th of July, safe travels, and hope that everyone gets a chance to appreciate the privilege that we have to live in the most unique and free country in the world. Things may sometimes seem less than ideal in America, but some of the most seemingly trivial opportunities and rights we have as citizens of this country are not equal opportunities and rights that not every other country gets to celebrate or even complain about. So whether you’re staying at home or planning a grand American celebration trip, please take the time to reflect on how awesome our country is.
So as a reminder, I will be taking an entire week off and will likely not be back for regular office hours until Tuesday July 11th. I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running with the second half of the year and continuing to serve the patients of Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance to help them achieve their goals in 2017. Catch you in a week!
P.S. Please try not to jack yourselves up too much while I’m gone, Y’all.
As I mentioned my recent article on online training, one of the best parts about having a coach to program for you is that sometimes you get to do cool shit that you’ve never done before. Sometimes, however, this concept can backfire on you. As I am currently training hypertrophy with the goal of putting on quality size, my last phase had me questioning the sanity of David. For the entire last 3 and a half weeks, I’ve been training three to four sets of movements per training day. Sounds easy, right? From just that information you would think so, and at first glance, I thought the same. Then I realized those three movements were actually three sets of movements, and that those movements were all to be done as a superset… So what seems like 3 movements is really 9-12 movements with minimal rest. My only conclusion is that David must have just watched Bro Science video on supersets and decided to one up him with the creation of what I can only describe as the Super-Duper Set.
I will be entirely honest that doing 30 plus reps across three different movements that tax the same body part on every set may definitely be the most taxing thing I’ve done since beginning with David in 2015. Out of 4 total cycles of this hypertrophy phase, I cramped at some point in time from the leg day for the first 3 cycles. In fact, the first cycle was literally after the my first set.
Having discussed the above experiences, one of the other points that I’ve pointed out about the advantages of having a coach programming for you is that right when you’re about to run yourself into the ground and question whether you can do another cycle of the never ending Super-Duper Set, you are thrown into the next phase with a completely different stressor. This is something not to be ignored as your typical gym bro may think up a similar formula and “go HAM” for 12 weeks on this same shit and then be surprised when he is not recovering or is injured by the end of it. I can’t quite say I loved the training, but I am definitely one more step in the right direction because of it. You win this cycle, David.
Chiropractic is a very unique profession. As such, there are a good amount of questions concerning the perception of chiropractic education. Unfortunately some of the reasons for these questions is the lack of a common and unified voice from my profession in educating the public. One of these lulls in public education and of the most common questions I get is the education required to become a chiropractor. According to a recent Gallup poll, there is a reason I get that common question as a majority of Americans are unaware of the education of a chiropractor. Of the 5442 people polled 67% underestimated the education of a chiropractor (49% answered 4-6 years, 18% answered 2 years or less) and another 19% stated that they did not know. Only 15% of those polled correctly identified the 7 or more years required to become a chiropractor. These answers represent a wide amount of individuals who have seen a chiropractor within the last 12 months, within 5 years, more than five years ago, or those who have never seen a chiropractor. Interestingly enough, although individuals who have recently been to the chiropractor had a higher likelihood of correctly guessing the education requirements, a significantly large amount did not. This means that there are individuals currently receiving care that are asking this exact question. So in an effort to help educate and inform past, current, and prospective patients of chiropractic, here is both a summary of the educational requirements of chiropractors vs other common health professionals as well as a few takeaways from these statistics.
Comparison in Education
In order to earn a Doctorate of Chiropractic, a chiropractor must first achieve a bachelors degree and apply for chiropractic school. Much like the prerequisites for medical school, chiropractic school requires a large amount of education in basic and biological sciences and require a proficient passage of these courses with at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Although many chiropractic schools have a different breakdown in the academic calendar (some use semesters, others, trimesters, and even others quarters) all chiropractic programs are essentially a 5 year degree condensed into just over 3 years. This means that per academic term, chiropractic students will have between 26 – 35 credit hours per term. In my school we used trimesters and the average number of hours was 30+ per trimester. That accounts for class schedules that start as early as 7am and go until 4 or 5pm (sometimes even later). Chiropractic education is also year round schooling and there is no break from start to finish in the curriculum. Medical and Osteopathic schooling is 4 years of schooling which is typically back loaded in terms of hours. Initially, med students get summer breaks and only operate at about 24-28 hours a semester. This cranks up after their second year into pretty much year round training. As you may notice below, the educational hours that chiropractors go through is very similar to the educational hours of an M.D. and D.O. during medical school. There are, however some very important differences between medical school and chiropractic school, as well as the extended training required after schooling is completed. These are the things that I wish to explore, and explain the reasons for these differences in training.
So what constitutes the difference in hours between doctors of Medicine, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, or even Physical Therapy. First and foremost, it should be said that Doctors of Osteopathy and Doctors of Medicine are, for the sake of simplicity, one in the same when it comes to their schooling. There will be minor differences in curriculum but it will be essentially the same education. This is what accounts for the small difference in hours which only really accounts to a handful of classes. Medical/Osteopathic school is essentially a foundational education in medicine. Classes are heavily weighted in cover chemistry, microbiology, physiology, pharmacology and toxicology, immunology, and pharmacology.
Chiropractic education contains all focus subjects listed above, however its roots are more embedded in musculoskeletal diagnosis, neurology, physiologic and rehabilitative therapy, anatomy (most specifically spinal and musculoskeletal anatomy), and hands on assessment and treatment techniques specific to the skills of a chiropractor.
Physical therapy will lend itself to a similar schooling as chiropractic, but has traditionally been less in depth and less rigorous. A DPT program encompasses 3 years or less of education. This involves a heavy dosage of physical rehabilitation, physiological therapy, musculoskeletal diagnosis, and some anatomy. Some schools spread their hours out over the entire year, whereas others still are able to enjoy a summer break. Overall, the class loads of Physical Therapy are much lower per term than Chiropractic or Medical school, which accounts for the difference in overall hours shown.
The reason for these differences in focus? The differences in profession of course! Medical, osteopathic, and chiropractic education are all focused on having a broad knowledge portal of entry level knowledge of many different conditions across all systems of the body. They branch off from here due to their scope of practice, treatment strategies, and management duties. In the medical and osteopathic professions most treatment surrounds drugs and surgery and less around physical treatment and rehabilitation. Therefore, these schools are going to be much more heavily weighted towards chemistry, biology, pharmacology in toxicology, and immunology, and less on physical rehabilitation and physiological therapeutics and musculoskeletal anatomy. Furthermore, because medical and osteopathic doctors directly handle more systemic and disease conditions than chiropractic or physical therapy, they will focus less on specifics of musculoskeletal diagnosis and anatomy.
Chiropractic education requires well-rounded knowledge of each body system and pathology in order to properly refer to the correct medical specialist. The vast majority of services that chiropractic provides will be physical in nature and less invasive. They’re also, by professional nature, more specialized to musculoskeletal conditions and many also take their own x-rays. This is why chiropractic school must be so heavily weighted in subjects such as anatomy (specifically spinal and musculoskeletal anatomy), physiology, radiology, rehabilitation, and physical treatment of the musculoskeletal system.
It is important to note that these comparisons are made on the basis of schooling only. On one hand we can look at this and see that for musculoskeletal conditions chiropractors are the most educated profession. On the other hand it is very important to understand that one’s education is only a small indicator of the clinical skills and abilities of a practitioner. The letters behind a given health practitioners name are merely an indicator on their educational background. It is very important to understand that just like in any other profession there are good and bad practitioners in each profession, and even though all these professionals are doctors there is still a spectrum of skill in each profession. There are some physical therapists that are better skilled and produce better results than chiropractors and vice versa. The reason for this is not because of the base level of education, but rather the application of that education and the focus on improvement of that education following graduation. There is also a case to be made about the level of specialization that occurs across these professions as well. Medical and osteopathic doctors complete many more years of education following graduation of medical school than chiropractic doctors or doctors of physical therapy. In part two of this series we will explain why these two points should be taken into account by the patient when seeking healthcare for various conditions. The goal here is not to put down or prop up one profession over the other, but to understand each profession (specifically chiropractic education) and when you should seek one professional over the other.
Want to stay updated on the latest at Mid-South SSP? Not sure what days the office is open during the summer? Want to learn some new things about the chiropractic profession that you probably didn’t know? Then be sure to check out the office double doors for the latest information. Have you not paid attention to the content on the doors before? Well, here’s what you’re missing:
1) T-Shirts Are Still For Sale!
Want to get your hands on some awesome Mid-South SSP gear? You still can! We still have some Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance T-shirts left for purchase. Want to know what the shirts look like? check out the one hanging on our office door! We will be selling the shirts on sale for $20 in order to try and make room for summer tank tops!
2) Summer Hours
Summer is a busy time for everyone, and at Mid-South SSP we are no different. Moving into the June and July, there will be multiple weekends in which the office will be closed so I can pursue opportunities in continuing education. One of the greatest parts about being in t
he health care profession is the constant push to gain more knowledge. The unfortunate part is that means clo
sing the office sometimes. On top of participating in continuing education, I will also begin teaching seminars for Reflexive Performance Reset throughout the month of July. In order to avoid any kind of confusion with the summer office hours, I’ve posted the hours month by month on the door. I appreciate your understanding and for working around the busyness of the summer.
3) Did YOU Know?
One of our biggest focuses this summer is to provide more and more chiropractic specific content to help educate our current and future patients on little known facts of chiropractic. I realize that there are often a lot of questions and confusion about the chiropractic profession as a whole, and hope to help shed some light on a few of those subjects. So how can you learn more about chiropractic? Take a few seconds during a rest period to check out some of the infographics on our door about chiropractic. Everything about chiropractic from schooling, to risks and benefits of care, to public perceptions of chiropractic can be found here! Keep paying attention as we add more and more infographics over the summer!
As the 2016-2017 Memphis Track and Field season starts to wind down, many personal bests were broken at the American Athletic Conference Championships. Both women and men’s teams showed up well and performed above expectations with the men’s taking 3rd and women’s taking 6th. For a full overview of the meet results, click here! It has been a fun spring working with the athletes and staff of University of Memphis Track and Field. Every season has ups and downs, and luckily we were able to keep most of the team in one piece for when it matters most down the stretch to keep our athletes performing well at conference, regionals, and hopefully even nationals.
Track and Field has been a challenging and interesting sport to work with. Most people may not realize the complexities that are involved with each individual position unless you have been involved with the sport. Each event dictates a unique body type, movement, and stress on the body. Some athletes require straight line acceleration, others rotational strength and stability. Some require a large amount of demand from the lower extremity, whereas others are practically gymnasts in regard to their requirements for upper body strength.
Based on my experience with track and field as a provider over the last two and a half years, my opinion, albeit biased, is that every track athlete should be receiving some sort of preventative and wellness type care to keep them in one piece over the length of a track and field season. What many people do not realize about the sport, even young athletes themselves, is that similar to a drag car, most track and field athletes must rely on an all out effort in order to perform. This is different than the demands of sports like football, basketball, baseball, etc and a track and field athlete who is not firing on all cylinders or does not transfer forces correctly through their body and apply it to their external environment is going to have significant decreases in performance. A perfect throw, vault, jump, or sprint relies on so many technical factors that it is ESSENTIAL that the body be performing as optimally as possible. Any alteration in range of motion, tightness, fatigue, or imbalance in the kinetic chain will effect the end performance.
I have very much enjoyed working with the Memphis Track and Field team this year, and am looking forward to continuing to contribute and do my part to ensure the success of the program. For more information on how track athletes can benefit from chiropractic care or if you are a track athlete looking to improve your performance and prevent future injury, contact our office, visit Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance’s website, or schedule a visit! Go Tigers, Go!
Seriously. One easy trick allowed me to have the most productive year of training I’ve ever had. I am now in the best shape of my life, the leanest I have ever been, and the least injured I have ever been. And the greatest part is you can do it too! Whats the secret? I hired a knowledgable professional (not a stupid guru or random gym bro) to do my nutrition and programming and did what he told me to. That’s it. It’s so simple that ANYONE can do it, even you. And this is why:
1) Objectivity vs Subjectivity
As a health care professional, one of the most common phrases that you hear is that the worst patient you will ever encounter is yourself. This is equally true in the fitness world and athletics along with many other industries. The main reason for this is the lack of objectivity. By definition, your interpretation and explanation of how your body is operating will be almost completely subjective. You can use objective measures, but it is incredibly difficult to have an objective outlook on yourself.
Let’s face it, everyone is crazy when it comes to their own body. I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten into a rut in my training and nutrition and have had a mental breakdown with no idea of what to do next. Getting into a funk in your training is going to happen. It’s your response that will affect which direction things go. In this situation, deciding what to do on your own is the equivalent to using WebMD instead of a doctor every time you have an ailment. It will freak you out, and chances are you will take the most severe and irrational action possible. If you go to the doctor, he will OBJECTIVELY analyze your situation and likely reassure you that your are just fine (AKA crazy) and find a simple solution to your problem. There were many times in this year (60 week) process where had I not given the reigns over to my coach, David Allen, that I would have taken drastic measures like severely cutting calories or macronutrients or choosing a different program or movement. I know this, because these situations have come up in the past and his solutions to these situations were often completely different than what I had done in the past.
2) Everyone Has Coaches
Unless you are Louie Simmons or one of the other expert 99.9th percentile of athletes in the world and have decades of experience in what you do, chances are you have a coach. Even if you are one of those individuals, you had coaches that got you there and now instead of coaches, those people are probably just mentors now that you look to for guidance. Every athlete that has been worth a shit has had a coach. Michael Jordan didn’t just stand in a gym and shoot baskets his entire life, he had one of the greatest coaches of all time in Phil Jackson. Chances are if you are a regular joe or tired of spending another year being weak and want to actually see some results for a change, you can benefit from a good coach too. Good coaches make you accountable. They call you out on your bullshit and they don’t feed you any bullshit either. This makes sense if you think about it, because when there is an exchange of money for services, both parties make out better if there are successful results. Your coach will be your best advocate and biggest helper in this process because it is in their benefit to see you succeed. The best test of a good coach is how many clients they have with good success, because your are a walking advertisement for their skills or lack thereof. Have you ever heard the saying “Well judging by how fat the cook is, the food here must be great”? Well its the same with a coach or personal trainer and their clients (only the opposite). Finally, when you have skin in the game, you are more likely to think twice about going out and binge drinking and then eating five cheeseburgers at 1am afterwards. Not because you know that you are going to have to face the music when you weigh in and do your progress that weekend, but simply because when you’re investing money into something, you become that much more dedicated to the result.
3) You Will Learn
Not only was this one of the best years of training I had ever had physically, I also learned a shit ton about training and nutrition. Previous to 2016, I thought that hypertrophy/bodybuilding training had no place in strength training for me, and had never done this type of training. I also never understood how to control and strain through a range of motion with weight and actually develop a mind-muscle connection. I had also spent the last 3-4 years in random “gyms” and community recreation centers with almost no access to real, knowledgable help. The result from a coach? Now when I bench press and hear a “LATS!” command, not only do I understand the command, but I also know how to get the muscle to contract as well. I have never had to focus solely on my lats before in training because I had never done hypertrophy. I also had tons of help from my coach as well as the rest of the staff at NBS Fitness to help critique my form. Neither of these, were something I would have obtained on my own.
So how did my best year (and a half) of training go? The proof is in the pudding. Here are the results via DXA scan (the gold standard of body fat and bone density measurement). I was able to gain over 25 lbs of lean mass and lose 6 total lbs of fat since beginning online training and nutrition with David Allen at NBS Fitness. As you can see, the 6 TOTAL lbs of fat loss accounts for a period of one year in which I dropped 28lbs of fat from April 2016 – April 2017. Unfortunately I was unable to set up a DXA scan at my lowest weight in 2017 of 233.8 to correlate with the before and after pictures, but this is still a fair representation of the progress.
In summary, if you are tired of your failed efforts to improve your health and fitness or want to realize your body’s true potential, you need a strength and nutrition coach. All it takes is one easy trick. Hire a coach and give them the effort they need to be effective and you will be successful.
Summer is upon us in the Mid-South! We at Mid-South SSP are preparing for a lot of changes coming this summer, and are excited to share a few of them with you! Summer is a typically a transitional time for us between spring and fall sports and we typically use this period to help improve and add new services to the office. This year is no different, and you can expect some new and improved looks from Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance. Here are just a few of these improvements:
1) Summer Tanks!
For those who have been living under a rock, we all know that summer the heat means leave the sleeves at home. And for those of you can’t have enough tanks, we will soon be designing and taking orders of special edition Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance tanks just in time for the summer!
2) Improved Posting of Office Hour Changes
As for most people, summer means vacations, weddings, conferences, etc. Typically summer is pretty calm for us, but due to new opportunities and new chances to learn and expand our services, there will be a good number of weekends throughout the summer which will require us to be out of the office. We look to address this and any possible confusion by regularly updating our schedule outside our office doors, on our new online scheduling portal on our website as well as on our social media outlets at Facebook and Instagram. Please refer to these outlets for all updated information concerning office ours and availability! The first of these schedule changes will occur in the second week of May as Dr. Detweiler will be traveling to help support Memphis Track and Field at the American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in Houston from May 11-15th!
3) New Opportunities for Improved Patient Education!
As many of you have experienced what is possible with RPR over the last year, we are working to expand the availability to RPR to also include educational opportunities by bringing an RPR seminar here to Memphis by the end of summer or early fall. For those who have been interested in experiencing RPR this could be a great opportunity to learn with hands on detail, especially for those patients of ours who are in the fitness or health industry. We also look forward to helping further educate our patients on some of the most common questions and concerns related to the chiropractic profession including education, dangers, and overviews on common conditions like disc pain. It is never enough to simply fix our patient’s ailments. We want all of our patients to have all the information necessary to make sound, educated decisions on their health.
Last weekend NBS Fitness held their second annual King and Queen of Spring powerlifting meet. The meet went extremely well and we had some very impressive performances and multiple elite totals. Unfortunately not everything went according to plan as everyone’s beloved Jim Sadler tore his right pectoral muscle on the bench press. After a few days of evaluations and diagnostic films, Jim has a good prognosis and must undergo surgery to repair the torn pec. Jim has also been kind enough to allow me to use his case as an educational resource as to how to reduce swelling in such a traumatic case.
Although Jim’s surgery is already scheduled, there is still work to be done, and we have been extensively working to help prepare Jim for surgery and a successful rehab. One of Jim’s biggest problems following the tear was not pain, but rather swelling. Our focus during this week of surgical preparation has been to decrease that swelling. We wanted to maintain range of motion, ice to reduce future swelling, and flush and remove the current swelling using some neat kinesiology taping methods to accelerate lymphatic drainage. Here are pictures showing Jim’s progression throughout the week using the Dark Wizard’s “Magic Tape.” Notice the changes in discoloration as the swelling is decreasing as well as the lines created by the kinesiotape pulling the swelling out of the area and towards Jim’s lymph nodes:
For more information on the uses and applications of kinesiotaping, stay tuned for a further write up or visit a brief overview of the benefits of kinesiotaping on our website.
At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, our motto is Prepare. Perform. Prevent. We truly believe that the services and content that we push for at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance are a direct reflection of this motto. If a service does not reflect at least one aspects of this motto, then it is not one that you will find at this office. This statement serves as an important driver for the mission and vision statement set forth by Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance of athletic and spinal healthcare. As such, I believe that it is necessary to address each one of these individually. Given NBS Fitness’ King and Queen of Spring meet is only a week away, it is a perfect time for us to look at how our motto fits into supporting the competitive athlete and individual to improve their performance.
In athletics, the amount of time spent in preparation to compete far out numbers the time actually spent competing. However, preparation for competition is the number one predicting factor of success and failure. For most athletes, this preparation process includes practice, weight training, mobility, drills, film, nutrition, and recovery. At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, preparation involves setting up a recovery and wellness plan that is individualized to help the athlete recover and address ailments before they arise. This could be as simple as a chiropractic wellness and maintenance plan, or as involved as a full scale (p)rehabilitation plan for a specific injury to keep the athlete pushing forward and improving.
The biggest game changing factor that we provide is full-body care that is specific to the athlete’s level of training or practice intensity. There are a large variety of athletes that seek care from our office which means that no one plan is going to cover each and every athlete and their needs. For our strength athletes, we recommend regular chiropractic care based upon the intensity level in their training program.
In the weeks leading up to a big meet, intensity ramps up and our athletes are consistently straining under heavier and heavier loads. This makes it more difficult for them to recover, specifically from a standpoint of the central nervous system, but also in regards to the tissues under load. This is a specific time where chiropractic, manual therapy, and neurologically driven methodologies like RPR are crucial in helping the body recover between training sessions. Chiropractic not only restores proper local and global joint motion in the kinetic chain, adjusting also delivers massive amounts of sensory information to the nervous system which act as a reboot button for the musculoskeletal system.
As the late Muhammed Ali said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” In order to perform at your best, you must prepare first.
When it comes time to compete, whether it be on gameday or meet day, Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance is here to help you perform at your best. Numerous athletes from football, to track and field, to powerlifting, strongman, and CrossFit have trusted us to keep them performing at their best when it counts the most. In most scenarios, if we have accomplished proper prevention and preparation techniques, the brunt of the work has been done and the athlete only requires fine tuning to perform at their peak potential. This may include top-down stretching to loosen fascial planes and provide a flushing effect of new blood and hyaluronic acid to tissues before warming up, RPR Wake-Up Drills to wake the nervous system up to perform at its peak capacity, or a final touch up adjustment.
On meet day, Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance will be there to assist our athletes in whatever ways necessary. When the body is pushed to its limits, sometimes the wheels begin to fall off. It is our job to make sure we are available to assist in soft tissue, adjusting, stretching, or neurologic stimulation as needed to ensure that the months, sometimes years,of hard work of our strength athletes do not go to the wayside on meet day.
It is important to note, however, that this is dependent on the athlete spending the necessary time in preparation and prevention leading up to competition. In any facet of competition, an athlete sews his own oats prior to ever stepping on the court, stage, or field. Although all the glory of success shines on you on competition day, it can never be stressed enough that the biggest investments in improving performance are preparation and prevention.
Even if you are doing the right things in recovery, nutrition, and preparation in order to perform at your best, do not stop there. Invest in yourself and look to prevent injury before it happens. The biggest factor in life is and will always be time. Time is the one thing we wish we had more of and the one thing we cannot buy back. It is the compounding forces of time that turn minor defects into gaping holes and constant progress into giant conquests.
In athletics, time is a factor that will also work with or against you regardless of your level of acknowledgement. Regardless of whether you like it or not, the habits and time spent over and over again to prevent injury do matter. It is the athlete’s choice to recognize the importance of prevention of injury and address it before it becomes a problem. Unlike all other forms of health care, the benefits or penalties of focusing on prevention are not realized until it is too late to change the affect.
At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we provide multiple options for comprehensive evaluation in an effort to identify and address a risk factors for future injury and compensation patterns that our athletes may have. These evaluations range from movement assessment, to full body chiropractic assessment, to a Reflexive Performance Reset evaluation to identify compensations in the nervous system that may be hindering performance or predisposing the athlete to injury. From there, we provide education and a personal plan of action.
At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we spend the time necessary to establish our goal to “Prepare. Perform. Prevent.” in order to improve the health and performance of our athletes. Are you an athlete or individual that is serious about your health, fitness, or performance? Become a new patient and let us help you achieve your goals.
Join us in celebrating our Arch Madness promotion on Foot Levelers custom made orthotics at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance! If you’ve read any of our past publications on the importance of a quality custom foot orthotic, and have been wondering if Foot Levelers are right for you, now is a great chance to find out! Now until the end of April our entire line of Foot Levelers orthotics are being discounted 15, even 20% off!
If you have joint or back pain, problems in your feet could be to blame. A team is only as strong as its weakest member. Feet are the body’s foundation—if they can’t pull their weight, the rest of the body suffers.
Foot Levelers’ 3 Arch Advantage to help shift the body into proper alignment—reducing pain, improving physical performance, and enhancing healing.
Are you curious about the biomechanics of your feet, or if your feet could be affecting the rest of your body? We offer a free consult and diagnostic foot scan to help you determine your need for orthotics.
Be sure to check out our website for more information about Foot Levelers, or to schedule a visit with Dr. Detweiler!
As RPR continue to have more with athletes, lifters, and general population at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, a lot of questions seem to come up concerning whether or not an individual is a candidate to try RPR. This conversation typically starts out with, “well I’m not really hurting right now,” “I’m getting close to a competition,” or “I’ve been gaining (strength, speed, etc.) lately, anyways.” This will then be followed up by, “Do I really need to be worried about trying RPR?” The answer to this is absolutely, yes.
Although RPR has a ton of great applications for individual athletes, group athletes, and general population alike, RPR’s main application is for performance and injury prevention. If you are serious about your performance, I’d imagine the best time to get better is always going to be now (or if you’re a smart ass, yesterday). Furthermore, why would you want to wait to prevent an injury until AFTER you start hurting? Asking whether or not to try RPR is something you should be worried about has no regard on whether you are hurt or not. The answer is, those who are concerned about their performance and their health are not waiting. That’s why dozens of collegiate and professional strength staffs have been getting certified at RPR seminars and have been implementing it into their strength programs over the last 8 months. These coaches are at the head of performance enhancement and injury prevention and either recognize the need to improve at all costs, or have been noticing the massive amount of praise and results that others around them in the strength and fitness community have been attributing to RPR. You don’t even have to listen to me rant about the benefits of RPR. You can read about other peoples’ experiences too. Here are just three more of the dozens of testimonies of what RPR can do for you…
With all the performance and injury prevention benefits that are coming as a result of RPR, the question you should really be asking yourself is, “Do I really want to get BETTER?”
For More information on RPR, or to schedule an RPR session, visit www.drtyreldetweiler.com
Concussions are a commonly seen condition, especially in sports care. Chances are if you have played a significant amount of competitive sports, regardless of the level, you or one of your teammates has experienced a concussion. Concussion management has taken some large steps forward over the last decade in sports medicine to help provide better assessment, diagnosis, and return to play guidelines for the concussed athlete. This approach assures that a player is safely evaluated and removed from competition in the event of a concussion and then able to safely return to play without risk of further insult.
Along with this approach to management of concussions, many colleges and professional organizations have also realized the benefits of co-managing concussions across multiple healthcare disciplines, including chiropractic. Many programs that utilize this approach of co-managing these types of conditions reap the benefits of faster return to play as well as healthier recovery from a concussion.
A concussion is simply trauma or injury to the brain. This typically occurs either through a direct impact with the head or indirect impact to the head elsewhere in the body which still causes violent motion in the head or neck. These traumas usually provide forces that cause an acceleration/deceleration motion of the head . and neck. The brain is essentially free floating inside the skull in a liquid solution known as cerebrospinal fluid. Abrupt changes or forces to the head can cause a displacement of the brain in this fluid and results in it impacting its protective skull, thus causing injury and bruising. What is often forgotten is that many concussions are essentially whiplash injuries, due to the acceleration and deceleration nature of most concussions. Because of this, once major neurological impairment, spinal fractures, and other life-threatening injuries are ruled out, some symptoms of a concussion also relate to dysfunction in the neck. For further illustration of this phenomenon, watch this video.
Many patients are surprised to hear that chiropractic can have such a profound affect in supporting concussions. To be absolutely clear, if a concussion in an athlete is suspected, it is vital that an athlete be evaluated by a properly trained health care professional, preferably one that specializes in sports. This could be a neurosurgeon, sports orthopaedic surgeon, sports chiropractor or trained athletic trainer. Once those factors are ruled out, chiropractic care should be sought to help manage residual symptoms and affects. At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we have multiple ways to address concussions that can improve athlete outcomes as well as return to play. To better educate the importance of chiropractic care in concussion management, here are three approaches Dr. Detweiler uses to effectively manage concussions in athletes.
As noted before, almost every concussion will have some sort of neck involvement. If I were to ask you to describe a the typical concussion, most would describe a hit or collision that involves the head coming into contact with an object or person and then the neck and head snapping back in the opposite direction. It is important to remember that since the body is not individually separated into different parts but rather connected, it is very difficult to separate trauma like this to the head from trauma to the neck. Therefore the patient is likely to have other injuries aside from the concussion. On top of that, many symptoms of concussions seen on the SCAT-3 assessment (this is the accepted standard for concussion assessment) are symptoms that are found also in neck pain patients. In the SCAT-3 some of the listed “symptoms” specifically ask for the presence of neck pain, headaches, dizziness, and pressure in the head. Furthermore, according to return to play standards, an athlete who is not symptom free cannot progress past the first stage of return to play. This means an athlete who continues to have neck pain or headaches following a concussion cannot progress forward. So what if the patient has both a concussion and fixations or myofascial pain in neck from the trauma which caused the injury in the first place? Would it not make sense to examine and treat the neck as well? Adjustments of the neck and upper back have a long track record of resolving neck pain and headaches, and many people and research attributes chiropractic as being one of the most successful treatments for neck pain and headaches. This is why many athletic trainers and physicians prefer their athletes see a chiropractor following a concussion. If you or your child has had a concussion, you absolutely need to be evaluated by a sports chiropractor.
2) Myofascial Release
Piggybacking off the same reasoning behind the importance of adjustments from a chiropractor, any condition involving the neck will also involve the muscles and fascia of the neck as well. Myofascial release, is another service that Dr. Detweiler provides to all of his chiropractic concussion patients after they are properly evaluated. In severe trauma to the head or neck such as a concussion, often joints are subject to high amounts of forces in a very short time frame. This unexpected and quick spike in forces is too quick for muscular contraction to stabilize the joints of the neck, leaving them vulnerable to movement beyond their normal range of motion. This can in turn strain these muscles, or even sprain the ligaments holding the joint together. The body will respond to this type of trauma by entering into a protective state and locking down joint motion. This can cause severe pain, limited motion, and leads to a reinforcement of improper movement. It can also condition the body to believe that it is in danger and pain for long periods of time after the initial forces were experienced. Myofascial release is safe and effective method in reducing tension in the muscles and ligaments of the body by applying specific stretch to an affected area while also allowing the patient to fully relax and move through a range of motion without spasm. Patient’s who receive this treatment often experience an immediate increase in range of motion and decrease in muscular spasm.
3) Reflexive Performance Reset
Among the many performance benefits, injury prevention, and supportive benefits of Reflexive Performance Reset are improvements in reducing rigidity of the anterior chain and restoring proper movement such as torso flexion and neck flexion. One of the strategies used in sports such as football or hockey to reduce risk and severity of concussions is to strengthen the neck muscles to create a more solid base in which to protect the head and neck. Unfortunately as the body continually undergoes stress and trauma, especially in higher concussion risk sports such as football, lacrosse, MMA, etc., the body begins to create compensations to accomplish movement. One of these compensations in movement are in the sagittal plane during flexion of the torso. As a system of priority, if the abdomen is not strong enough or has undergone trauma and stress, to create any athletes will begin to compensate up the kinetic chain and utilize neck flexion to help provide tension to flex the torso. This is often seen by people who dip their chin to the check while doing abdominal work, or other movements that require stability in the torso such as benching or squatting. You may also see this in people who protrude the chin while doing abdominal exercises as well. This causes a dilemma as the neck flexors are now being trained to help with abdominal flexion and cannot stabilize the neck as well. This compensation pattern leaves the athlete to an increased risk for concussion as they are now less able to withstand forces to the head in the sagittal plane and keep the head from violently snapping back in a head on collision.
RPR helps address this problem by restoring proper balance in the nervous system and resetting normal motor patterns and compensations. By doing this, RPR is able to return the body to a state in which flexion of the abdomen is accomplished primarily by the abdominal musculature, allowing the neck to provide a primary action of neck stability instead of torso flexion. To learn more about the other benefits of RPR, please feel free to check out some other publications on NBSFitness, EliteFTS, or Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance’s webpages.
If you or your child has had a recent concussion and requires care, or for any other complaints or performance care needs, please check out our NEW Mid-South SSP website!
As modern technology continues to evolve it seems that people are sitting more and more. With smart phones and tablets such a big part of everyday life many of the activities that used to be physical are now played out without having to move much at all. It’s not uncommon for someone to get out of bed, sit in a car on the way to work, sit all day at a desk, sit in the car on the way home, and then sit all evening watching television or playing with their smart phone.
The Sitting Epidemic
Now clearly starting a crusade against sitting is not the correct answer. Even in my profession where I’m up and moving around while working with patients, I still have the same 40 minute commute to work, and I still have to sit at the computer to get things done such as notes and ranting about how bad sitting is for you. The answer is not as simple as refusing to sit, as for some people it is an inevitable part of their lives, and to be honest, those who stand all day have many just as many issues as those who sit. Many visits in my office relate to back pain in which work place stresses are the main cause. Although there are many different causes of work related back pain, sitting is by far the most common cause and risk factor.
Even if your chair feels comfortable and has been deemed “ergonomically sound”, it is still a bad idea to maintain a prolonged static posture. Even the most advanced office chairs can’t reverse the force of gravity. Aside from back pain, prolonged sitting can tighten your hip flexors and hamstrings, leaving you prone to injury when you exercise.
What to Do If You Have a Sedentary Job
The reason sitting so much is damaging to the spine is because sitting places almost twice the stress on your spine as it does when simply standing. This is because instead of forces moving through the hips and down to the feet to make contact with the ground, these forces stop at the pelvis which is contacting the ground through your chair. Furthermore, If you’re the are hunched forward in your chair, let’s say because you are tired or can’t read the screen, the problem gets even worse. When the shoulders round forward the spine makes a “C” shape, removing the natural curve in the lower back. This causes added stress and forces on the intervertebral discs of the low back, and can wear down this joint and lead to early degeneration. Does this sound like you? If so, here are some tips to help you combat the stresses of work and ward off future ailments associated with sitting.
1) Sit more forward on your chair and keep a slight arch in your back to remove that “C” posture. You can also retract the shoulders and maintain better upright posture by first shrugging the shoulders, rolling them back by pinching the shoulder blades together, and then letting the shoulders drop from the shrugged position.
2) Force yourself to get up and get out of your chair at least once every 30 minutes. Take 2 minutes to walk around the office, do some light stretches or just stand, but make sure you get up. If you have access to a standing desk use it for a portion of each day. The key is to take short movement breaks everyday so your muscles, tendons, and ligaments stay loose and flexible.
3) Make sure to keep a healthy and consistent wellness visit scheduled with your chiropractor. If you are asymptomatic and free from any significant ailments, typically a standing visit every 4-6 weeks is all you need to keep your body from tightening up and breaking down from your workplace stresses. All too often, we see patients who wait months, even years to until their pain is so bad that they cannot function before coming into the office to seek help. By keeping a regularly scheduled maintenance visit, these scenarios are very often avoided. On top of that, it just makes sense to get a maintenance visit in to ensure your body is working properly. You wouldn’t hold of 12,000 miles to change the oil in your car until it overheats and fuses a cylinder would you?
For more information on workplace related stresses, or have your workplace evaluated, schedule a visit with Dr. Detweiler.
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At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we are always looking for ways to adapt and improve the experience of all our patients. Since officially opening in mid-April of last year, Mid-South SSP has grown from just a table in the middle of a gym. to a true office. We have gone from word of mouth referrals between NBS Fitness members to an open provider for all athletes and active individuals looking to capitalize on the performance gains of chiropractic, including the official chiropractic provider for the University of Memphis. It is my goal to consistently improve bring new and engaging ways for our patients at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance to interact and improve their health. Because of this, we are rolling out some new features and services for you, the patient, that are geared to create better and more convenient options for care. This begins with the completion of our new website, www.drtyreldetweiler.com. It allows for a central hub for the patient to keep you informed on the latest and greatest at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance. Although, we will introduce and explain each new feature individually, here are the highlights of the new face of Mid-South SSP:
- Online scheduling for new and existing patients
- NEW! – Chiropractic Home Visit scheduling
- Information on all services available at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance
- Links to our social media outlets so you can keep up to date on the latest news and article write-ups .
Are you a runner who needs help getting back up to speed? Running injuries are seen in everyone from the recreational runner to the most advanced ironman athletes. As a provider for all athletics at the University of Memphis, one of the most challenging sports to tackle is track and field. It is a well acknowledged fact that track and field is the quintessential environment for keeping a sports doctor’s skills sharpened, as conditions seen in this sport span the entire length of the injury spectrum. From shoulder impingement and labrum tears all the way down to shin splints and stress fractures of the foot, track and field is an every day challenge.
Very often, running injuries are a result of a wear-and-tear like breakdown in the body. Over time, these micro-traumas accumulate until reaching a point where the body can no longer adapt and heal fast enough. This is when pain is finally experienced. Common causes of this running trauma include improper running surface, poor running shoes, inadequate training or preparation, joint immobility or fixation, and muscular imbalances or compensations. Importance must be placed in these factors in order to properly address these injuries.
Running produces added and abnormal stress to many joints in the body including; the feet, knees, hips, and back. It has been found through numerous studies and surveys that approximately 72% of people involved in running will incur some sort of injury throughout their career. To emphasize how important proper joint biomechanics are, Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance would like to educate you on some of the most common injuries in running athletes, their association to improper biomechanics, and the best line of treatment for these injuries. Each of these following six injuries are also some of the most common running injuries that we have had great success with at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance.
1. Stress Fractures:
Stress fractures are a common cause of pain in running and typically occur in the foot and lower leg. In fact, it is estimated that stress fractures are responsible for up to as much as 15% of pain in runners. Stress fractures typically begin from either over-use or imbalances in muscles or both. In an over-use instance, added intensity or distance without proper acclimation can lead to muscles that are unable to handle the added stress causing the bony structures in the involved joints to absorb most of these forces. On the other hand, a muscle may be overworking and cause excess stress on the same bony tissues with the same result. This could be due to an imbalance in particular muscles during the athlete’s stride or a malposition in the foot or ankle leading to changes in joint mechanics causing added stress the bone. These changes in biomechanics could also be due to a chronic or acute compensation in the body, which causes the nervous system to produce alterations in muscle contraction. Proper treatment must result in either case as both the athlete’s volume and intensity need to be reduced. Proper evaluation and treatment of the causes must be addressed as well in order to ensure the athlete is able to handle these stresses once they are back to full participation.
2. Achilles Tendonitis:
To understand achilles tendonitis, it is first important to understand what the achilles tendon is. The achilles tendon is one of the strongest structures in the body, connecting the calf musculature to the calcaneus or heel of the foot. Through this design, a person is able to lift and move the foot during activities such as running. Tendonitis is a term that means inflammation, but inflammation really only identifies a symptom. What we are concerned about is the cause of that inflammation. If the calf muscles are weakened or not functioning properly, activities such as jogging and running can cause stresses that normally spread across the muscle to localize in the tendon resulting in overuse, pain, and swelling. When this occurs, people typically experience pain near the heel, swelling around the ankle, and limited flexibility of the joint. Typically, the pain is worse at the beginning of exercise and lessens throughout the workout. Achilles tendinitis has many of the same causes as stress fractures. This is why proper evaluation is needed to identify not only the correct diagnosis and cause, but to also identify predispositions to other injuries which have similar risk factors.
3. Shin Splints:
If you are experiencing pain throughout your lower leg, specifically the shin region, and have just begun an intense workout following a long period of rest, there’s a good chance your suffering from shin splints. Shin splints typically begin at any age and are most commonly associated with individuals who overdo it during their initial training phase. Shin splints are better explained as over-use stress in the muscles of the lower leg. Typically, shin splints are first noticed as a dull/achy sensation throughout the front of the lower leg. Overtime, swelling and tenderness below the knee and into the shin will occur. Large increases in exercise volume or intensity, poor shoes, and flat feet can contribute to its development, as can imbalance in the neuromusculoskeletal system. If not properly treated, shin splints can quickly develop into stress fractures, which is why proper treatment is required. This could range from biomechanical assessment of the foot, ankle, or surrounding muscles that control these joints to supporting the foot with Foot Levelers orthotics, to incorporating proper training and peaking methods in running. Dr. Detweiler’s “track record” with running athletes will ensure you are moving down the right path to return to activity.
4. Runners Knee:
As the name implies, runners knee is most common to runners. However, the term is more general than you would think and the condition can develop in anyone who overworks the knee joint. The most common initial symptom of runners knee is a dull/achy sensation that develops around the knee. Typically, pain is most severe during activities that require stabilization or bending of the knee. There are many causes that contribute to its development in runners, but direct trauma, overuse, improper function of the thigh musculature, and improper biomechanics of the knee joint are the most common. There is a widely held misconception that chiropractors only deal with treating the spine. The spine becomes a primary focus by nature, because not only are there more joints in the spine than any other region in the body, but the spine has the biggest impact on biomechanical function. Proper treatment of conditions in the knee joint are heavily reliant on an understanding of both neurology and biomechanics in order to properly diagnose and treat this condition. Because of this, Reflexive Performance Reset offers the best solution to assessing and fixing compensations in the body. RPR is a methodology that deals with evaluating and resetting the motor patterns of the nervous system. RPR has been shown to significantly reduce return to play times and prevent future injury, and is a prime choice for any performance based athlete.
5. Plantar Fasciitis:
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions of the foot for all patients, runners or not. In order to better understand this condition, it is important to review what the plantar fascia is. The plantar fascia is one of the strongest structures in the body and is fastened from the heel to the pads of your feet. This structure adds stability to your foot and helps you maintain the proper arch. Because of this, people who commonly have been described as having “flat feet” are more predisposed to this condition, as a flattening of the feet further stretches and stresses the plantar fascia. Running produces an increased stress to the plantar fascia, and if it is subject to EXCESSIVE forces or stress, can produce the pain that is attributed to plantar fasciitis. Overuse injury is the most common causes of plantar fasciitis. This includes sudden increases in activity, such as increasing running volume over too short a period of time, wearing poor running shoes, running on particularly hard surfaces, and misalignments or biomechanical changes in the joints of the foot. The pain associated with plantar fasciitis is often described as sharp and intense and is often the worst during the first few steps after awakening in the morning. It’s important to understand that the sooner proper treatment is obtained, the better. Anti-inflammatories, cortisone shots, and braces have been found to be effective for short-term symptomatic relief. However, long term success is highly dependent on proper analysis and treatment of the biomechanics and function of the lower extremity. This may include physiotherapy such as ice massages or stretching, chiropractic therapy such as adjustments of the foot and myofascial release of the plantar fascia itself.
6. Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome:
Ilio-tibial band syndrome or IT band syndrome for short, is a common condition that arises as a result from imbalances in the hip and knee during running. The IT band is a long connective tissue structure that extends from the hip to the knee. Therefore, pain and other related symptoms can present anywhere along its path. The IT band is extremely important for the stabilization of the knee joint, and abnormalities of this structure along other supporting structures of the knee have been known to contribute to knee injuries. The most common symptoms of ilio-tibial band syndrome are pain and inflammation along the outside of the leg. These symptoms may be felt during and even after running, and usually affects more experience runners, as it is a result of a long accrual of forces at the IT band and knee. Since this structure involves everything from the hip to the knee, a complete study and examination of the leg is necessary. An IT band injury can also be the result of overworking the IT band due to a compensation in a runner’s motor patterns that cause the glutes to shut down. This scenario is typically observed in runners with poor glute and low back stability. Proper care involves a full spectrum of services including kinesiotaping, adjustments of the spine, hips, and feet, active rehabilitation and Reflexive Performance Reset.
Clearly, many injures and their resulting symptoms are associated with underlying causes that require a proper evaluation and set of tools to. A sports chiropractor is uniquely positioned to provide a great mix of conservative and effective treatment options for common non-surgical conditions such as these. Since running places additional mechanical stress on the body’s structure, it is also important for an athlete to see a chiropractor before these conditions occur as part of a preventative-wellness approach. A rule of thumb in many sports such as running is its not a matter of if, but when you get hurt. But this neglects a proactive approach to healthcare in which attention to alterations in mechanics and structure can identify and help prevent these common wear and tear injuries.
If you believe you are developing any of the previously stated conditions contact Dr. Detweiler and Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance at (901)-573-2526 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a complete evaluation. For more information how you can reduce your risks of injury, check out our website at www.drtyreldetweiler.com
There is no better time to live in than right now in 2017, right now in America. I’m not saying this because of some political, personal, or random bias. I’m simply saying this because never before have we been able to do the vast amount of incredible things we are able to do today in our lives either: A) cheaply B) without much effort C) that we couldn’t do even 5-10 years ago D) All of the above. 10 years ago we had dial up internet with maybe 1mbps of download speed. Now, just in case my ego isn’t good enough with the affordable, standard 100mbps, I can choose to pay for 1gbps, just because. In the early 2000s when you wanted to read a book, you probably went to your library and spent 20 minutes looking through a catalog to find where a book was located so you could check it out for two weeks. Now you can go onto Amazon and download a book in seconds to your phone. Speaking of, remember ten years ago all you could do was call and text on your phone and texting? The point is, never in history have we as a society had a better opportunity to improve not only our quality of life, but the quality of life of the people around us. The unfortunate reality, however, is that often these incredible outlets for technology lead us to live a more introverted and negative life. The best example of this, is in social media.
A lot of the activity today on social media is based upon habit, reaction, and cognitive conditioning. After numerous years of accessibility to Facebook on your phone and computer, you have no doubt built up habits in your brain that urge you to check your newsfeed, or open your instagram. I know each and every one of you has taken “two seconds” to check your email, and then all of a sudden come to the realization that you have somehow ended up on Facebook. Don’t act like you haven’t. The same kind of urge unfortunately has developed with negativity on social media. With all the things that we have to be happy about and enjoy and improve our lives technologically, never have there been so much bickering, name calling, and labeling of other people . Please find me one single post on Facebook aside from someone having a baby or getting married in the last 5 years that has a significant amount of comments and not one completely fruitless argument in it. These trends from the millions of users on these platforms dictate what kind of content is fed through the system by advertisers and companies. Why do ads and titles to articles or posts always over exaggerated with phrases like “the results will shock you,” “what happens next will stun you,” etc? Because society only wants to hear about conflict and looks to be angered, negative, and appalled instead of positive and inspired.
So instead of feeding into the negativity on social media, instead try to condition yourself to do something positive or good when you see something negative. It is insane to me how people will spend HOURS arguing over opinions with a person they don’t even know over the most random crap. The end result? Two people that feel enraged and will never see each other eye to eye both literally and figuratively. It’s a complete waste of all that spare time your technology gave you in the first place. So here’s a tip. Next time you feel the hook of social media to try and engage negatively in a post or comment in argument, don’t. Instead of wasting your time typing on a phone to be just another internet asshole, spend it where it can be used positively. Switch to a post or feed you just saw of a company or small business you value, rate them, and write a review. I guarantee you, this action will have a much higher impact on your life than setting some guy from God knows where straight. That 5 minutes will have a positive impact on a business that you care about by sharing your positive experience with others, you’ll also be reminded of the positive experiences associated with that business. Positivity and negativity have a way of snowballing on themselves. If you spend less time trying to find all the negative things about people and situations on social media, and instead focus on positives, chances are that’s going to carry over throughout your day. People who do nothing but look for negative things in others to bitch about rarely see anything through a positive sense in their own life.
So next time you feel the grasp of social media sucking you into the oblivion of negativity, fight your way out. Help a business out that you value by writing a review or at the very least take TWO SECONDS to rate them 5 stars. In fact, since there’s a good chance you are reading this on social media RIGHT NOW, you can start by rating or reviewing Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance and NBSFitness’s social media outlets. Stop writing 500 word essays that at best fall on deaf ears. Stop being part of the problem and actually use social media for good.
Typically on my commute in the mornings to work, I listen to some sort of publication, podcast, or lecture on either business, sports, or politics. Specifically a few podcasts and publications are particularly applicable to either training, business, or both. I also like branching out a bit from the medical/chiropractic side of healthcare a bit as well, as I think it keeps me sane and constantly humbled by the wealth of information in different specialties of the health care sector that have a direct affect on conditions or people I deal with on a daily basis. One of my favorite podcasts is the Mind Side podcast with Dr. Bhrett McCabe, which deals with more psychology.
Dr. McCabe is a sports psychologist and former athlete who works more specifically with the mental struggles that athletes have to handle on a daily basis. Although I have dabbled into sports psych a small bit in my schooling, it is always interesting to me how big of an impact the brain has on any given situation. This particular podcast has to deal specifically your mind’s ability to affect your performance if you allow it to condition your thoughts. The podcast discusses that you, yourself can be your own worst enemy if you allow yourself to be consumed by negativity and mental barriers. This is definitely applicable in business as well as training, as the mind is crucial in how you approach a meeting, new patient, a max effort lift, etc. If you’ve got 20 minutes laying around, I definitely recommend checking it out: http://themindside.libsyn.com/rss
With health care being one of the most important topics of the 2016, people are clearly concerned with where health care is going and how it affects them. Ironically, however, one of the most common trends I have notices in 2016 is that few individuals actually know what their health care coverage is. The most common phrase that I have learned to shrug off and give little attention to this last year has been “My insurance is really good.” Although it feels good to say you have good insurance, a look at the actual plan usually reveals that in reality, you have very typical insurance, which in today’s health care, is not very good at all. This person is soon surprised to hear that not only is their insurance not as good as they thought, but they will be paying for more out of pocket than they expected as well. Having said that, there are good insurance plans out there, and that my position is only in respect to chiropractic care and not all health care. However, as I have noted in previous articles, your health care is your responsibility, which means in order to maximize your dollars, you should know the details of your insurance. This will allow you to understand what is and isn’t covered, how much is covered, and how much you should budget to cover your known health care expenditures. So to start out, here are a few details about your health insurance you should know.
A premium is like a payment on a car. It is the fixed cost (typically monthly) that is paid to actually own insurance. This is probably the most familiar term to consumers because its the term they directly pay to the insurance company. Premiums are the primary means by which your insurance company makes money. This also means the more you pay to the insurance company, the more they are willing to give back in terms of coverage. This may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your state of health, but thats for another discussion. There big takeaway with premiums as they relate to your health care costs, is that it is a fixed cost. This means it will be paid regardless of how little or how much you actually use your insurance. So if your premium is one thousand dollars a month, your fixed cost for the year regardless of how much you use the insurance is already up to $12,000.
The deductible is one of the most variable characteristics of a health care plan. This is the amount of money that must be spent by the consumer before an insurance plan begins to cover for services. So taking the $1000 monthly premium from before, if that plan also has a $3000 dollar deductible, then your known cost for health care will reach $15000 for the year to receive any benefits from your plan. Minimizing health care costs used to be as simple as finding the smallest deductible plan you could in order to limit out of pocket costs. However, with the onset of larger co-pays and co-insurance and substantial increases in premiums, some may actually benefit from having a larger deductible if properly matched with some of these other variables.
The biggest note to be made about the deductible is that although it is a set amount that you must pay before your insurance plan begins to cover services, it is still a theoretical amount. That means that if you are completely healthy throughout the year and only go to the doctor once, you will probably not pay the full deductible that year. So if an individual is actually quite healthy, and does not have a large amount of visits, medications, or procedures that he or she anticipates for the year, choosing a plan with a higher deductible plan may actually be cheaper. Higher deductible plans typically have a lower premium, which will decrease an individual’s fixed insurance costs. Therefor, reducing the definitive costs of a premium by enlarging a deductible you are not going to meet anyways is a cheaper option for a healthy individual.
3) Visit Limits
This is a big subject for those who see chiropractors, physical therapists, or any other rehabilitative, manual, or alternative medicine health care professionals. MANY insurances lump these providers into one group (specifically physical therapists and chiropractors) and apply an “allowed visit” amount to them. Typically this is around 30 visits and sets a guideline to how many visits for this type of care that insurance will pay for.
In an individual who happens to be in great health this may not be an issue, but there are few that meet this criteria, and often, many need more visits. Many times we will get a patient that has received previous care before presenting to our office, and often are only left with a few covered visits for the year. Another situation that comes into play with visit limits is that sometimes, insurance never ends up actually paying the bill. How is this possible? I thought the allowed visits was to outline the number of visits insurance would pay for? Well, remember our Debbie Downer deductible? If you are an individual who has a large deductible or are very healthy, your deductible may render your visit limit pointless. This is because this visit limit counts on each visit even if you are footing the bill. For a lot of people, this means they blow straight through their 30 visits without even coming close to meeting their deductible. Now it is possible to lobby for more visits, but in this scenario, you are often at the mercy of an insurance company being the one who approves whether or not they pay for more visits.
The age excuse is a topic that I encounter on a regular basis in my personal and professional life. “I am to old for ‘X’ activity.” “Getting old sucks.” “Back when I was younger…” People talk about age like its an unescapable, constricting prison. It’s as if age simply deteriorates you and keeps you from being active, regardless of what you do to try and stop it. Sometimes I will hear those who are as young as mid 30’s or early 40’s someone use the age excuse as the causative factor for their bad health.
Aging is a part of life. This is true. It does happen whether you like it or not, but it occurs with a fairly predictable physiological response. Yes you will deteriorate to some extent, your ability to recover will slightly diminish, and there will be changes in almost every system of the body. But to speak of it as some sort of unstoppable force that we shouldn’t try to work through is ridiculous. Speaking of age, do you know what else is getting old? Your excuses. So here are three reasons why your age excuse is irrelevant.
1) Mid-life Gains
How many people between 30 and 40 do you hear reminisce of their teens and early twenties like it was 4 decades ago? Back to the days in high school training for football or their college years when they were always at the gym and “benched a freaking house?” Or when they were younger and played multiple sports, ate whatever they wanted without gaining a pound, and made fun of all the boys because they had bigger arms than they did? Some people will talk about this period of time (literally 5-8 years) like it was the golden age of their physical form and now that they’re in their late 20’s, 30’s or 40’s, the good years are behind them. Do me a favor and slap them.
There is some kind of status quo in our society that seems to dictate that all your fun is in your high school and early college years. That it doesn’t get any better, and that once you are done with college you get married, have kids and grow fat and old with your spouse. If you are buying into the idea that getting old sucks or are saying at any point that “you’re too old for this shit” and are also under your 4th decade of life, you are selling yourself short. Way short. There are tons of studies that show that males and even females can experience a multitude of strength and performance improvements during their 30’s and 40’s. This will not only keep active and energetic, but also extremely healthy and strong.
Even for many athletes the 30’s are the realization period and peak of their careers. Very few high level athletes peak when they are 21 and a junior in college. This is the time when an individual who has been consistently training or competing can finally merge hormonal and physical attributes with the experience of over a decade worth of competition to perform at their highest. So if a professional athlete needs three or four years in the pros to flourish into a superstar and then go on to become a 15 plus year veteran, why would your body be any different for general health and wellness?
2) Training to Be a Senior
Don’t feel like training because you have no ambition to work for something specific? How about your future? Do you have kids? Grandkids? Do you have ambitions that you would like to pursue down the road when you retire? Most people would say yes to a few of those. The number one predictor of quality of life during the latter stages of life is activity level. At this point in my career, I have seen some insanely healthy and energetic people who are 60, 70, or even 80+ years old. I’ve also seen some ridiculously sick, immobile, and frustrated people who are barely into their 50’s. The difference? Activity level and diet. Not only does exercising and eating correctly help you body, it improves your mood. The body is directly reliant on proper nutrition and movement to prosper. Take either of those away for a long period of time, and it begins to shut down. Ever wonder why breaking a hip is such a serious problem in the elderly? It’s not the hip injury itself that typically kills you. It’s the inability to heal from a broken hip and the subsequent sedentary lifestyle that makes it such a threat to the longevity of an elderly individual’s life.
So how do you train to be a Senior? Never stop moving. Find a hobby that keeps you active and do it. Exercise and lift weights all the way through your 40’s and 50’s. This will build your bone density, immune system, and cardiovascular health, which will make you a real tough S.O.B. for Darwin to take down in your latter years. At NBS Fitness and Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance we have MANY members over 50 who are active gym goers and put some of our younger member to shame. Scared of a few aches and pains? These individuals have learned to train AROUND their injuries and are in much better shape than the average 50+ year old in our nation. Some sore muscles and a bit of wobbliness after leg day is a heck of a lot more manageable than the dozens of prescription pain medications, obesity, and overall weakness that most in that age population have to deal with. Health is no different than anything else in life. You reap what you sow.
3) Age Isn’t the problem
Regardless of your age level, for most people, at the end of the day the age excuse is simply that. An excuse. It’s a self-imposed reason to help justify why you won’t or can’t do something. There will be some factual reasoning behind it, but the lack of will to adapt to those reasons are what make it an excuse. You will not heal or recover as quickly, your hormonal levels will start to taper off and diminish, and you may not be able to eat everything in sight without any consequences, but that doesn’t mean that the problem is age. The problem is you need to be more adaptable. Maybe you don’t know how, and that’s okay. There are qualified professionals that are able to help. Maybe you need a nutrition coach to help you establish better dietary guidelines specific to your goals. Maybe you need a health care professional that set up a wellness or preventative plan of action to help you recover better between training sessions. Maybe it’s time to put to rest the trusty 3 day bodybuilding split you’ve been doing since college and seek a trainer. A good trainer can not only custom tailor a program that fits your needs, but also make sure your technique and programming aren’t beating you into the ground and damaging your body. Either way, there are plenty of options you can utilize to make sure you don’t become another victim to the age excuse. Why spend the last half of your life talking about all the things you CAN’T do, when with a little more effort and a proper team, you put people half your age to shame with the things you CAN do. Ditch the age excuse, and be awesome.
Just in time for the Christmas and holidays, Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance is proud to announce our new T-Shirt line! We have kept the first run of apparel simple and will be offering a limited supply of this black version featuring the clinic logo on the front as well as our alternative logo and motto on the back. This is a very soft and light weight T-shirt made of 100% cotton. We have sizes S-XXL.
T-Shirts can be purchased during office hours, by emailing email@example.com, or by filling out a form at the front desk at NBS Fitness. Supplies are limited, so get your Mid-South SSP T-Shirt while they are still available!
Let’s be honest. A large percentage of our nation is either unhealthy or out of shape due to lifestyle habits. The typical American lifestyle is not conducive to anything even remotely healthy. Crappy nutrition habits, excessive and unrelieved stress, lack of exercise and sleep, a reactive outlook on health, etc. This is why it always makes me shake my head when an athlete or individual says they want to push themselves to be the best they can be, but is shocked to hear that doing such may require some sacrifice in their social or personal life. By definition for something to be considered extraordinary, remarkable, phenomenal, etc it must have the characteristics of something that is greater than normal. Usually much more so.
This is something that I had struggled with as a college athlete, and did not completely figure out until later during graduate school. In order to push yourself to become the best version of yourself, you must be better than average or normal. You must do things that are not normal. You must prepare, eat, sleep and engage yourself in a way that is above the normal habits of the average person. We’ve all heard the saying hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. This is a simple concept that but goes completely over people’s heads and leaves them stumped as to why their progress stalls. So here are 3 normal habits you need to throw out the window in the pursuit of being the best athlete/person you can be.
1) Sleep Deprivation
The nights of going to bed late after a netflix binge, long night out with your friends, or playing X box until 3 am need to stop. Ask any strength coach in the nation what the top three key points they hammer home into their players are and I guarantee this will be number one for a good number of them.
An athlete or any individual’s performance is determined directly by their ability to recover. This could be from a single training session, a block of intense training or increase in volume in training, or even just the wear and tear of a long season. When you train, your body breaks down and needs to recover in order to build and adapt to increase its ability to perform. There are numerous benefits to sleep in all aspects of maintaining proper bodily function. So knowing all of this, why the hell would you take away the biggest factor in recovery?
Again, this is something I learned the hard way in college and afterwards. As a college athlete, or someone who is dedicating yourself to improving your performance, chances are not everyone around you is doing the same. If you again revisit the concept of normal vs extraordinary, this is abundantly clear. For me it was some of my friends in college who weren’t student-athletes. They didn’t have to get up at 5 in the morning to walk over to the football complex to make a 6am lift. They had the same amount of credit hours as I did, but they never had mandatory study tables practices that once meetings were considered took 3-4 hours at the end of the day on top of the 6am lift and classes you already had before. So why would they care? The answer is they shouldn’t. That’s not their problem. They will be fine staying up late, but you will be worthless in your morning training. It’s your responsibility to get enough sleep. Thats the sacrifice of putting the work in to be better. Not a college athlete? This can still apply to you. If you really want to achieve the goals you have set forth, sleep needs to be a number one priority.
2) Unscheduled Diet Cheats
There are so many people that hard enough time conforming to a decent diet, but once they are on them, fall victim to all the little excuses or cheats that tempt them in everyday life. Compliance is the number one predictor of diet success and as such, you can’t just go off the wagon because you were able to finally string a few days of disciplined eating together. This is what programmed cheat meals are for and their timing is very important. You don’t get to treat yourself to wing night with your buddies on Wednesday because you ate well on Monday and Tuesday.
This goes for small celebrations. Hopefully for larger celebrations you will have stayed consistent enough that your metabolism and progress will allow for a bump in the road such as a wedding night, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. But if you work in an office with 150 other people, chances are there will be a birthday every other week. There will also always be a “international holiday” to celebrate a certain food that some random unknown person arbitrarily decided to conjure up as well. These are not reasons to go off the wagon. No one cares whether you ordered a dozen tacos or not because your iPhone told you it was universal taco day. The only one that will care will be you when your diet isn’t going as planned. Do yourself a favor and make these little sacrifices. Over the long term, those who couldn’t maintain a proper diet or never even tried because of petty little things like someone bringing in a box of donuts at work will be complimenting you on how good you look.
3) Social Life With Friends
Now no one is asking you to be a hermit and live your life in the purist form possible. But when you are an athlete or an individual who is working towards bettering yourself, there is a time and place when the long partying and drinking is acceptable. As an athlete, this could be during the off-season, during holiday breaks, or on one or two nights of the month. What it is not, is the all too common practice of going out drinking on Friday and Saturday night each week, then sitting around watching football in between.
Does this mean you can’t ever catch a game with your buddies or make a poker night? Absolutely not, but you have to make the time for training and keeping consistent as we talked about earlier. Maybe all that means is only staying out until 10pm before heading home instead of 1am. Maybe that means going to poker night but not having a beer or twelve, or honestly, if what you want in your athletic career or personal is so important to you and your buddies cannot respect that, maybe you need new friends. If you are a college athlete and need to be in meetings, workouts, practice, and then watching 20 hours of film on top of all of that, chances are your friends from high school who aren’t on the team are not going to understand that. Maybe you’re a powerlifter trying to achieve a PR total, or have paid a personal trainer to help reach your fitness goals. Shouldn’t your training be more important than the next excuse to hang out with those who aren’t going through the same struggles as you are? This may sound rude or a bit over the top, but if you are truly focused on pushing yourself further and further, you better not just be a bit over the top, you better clear it by a few feet.
At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, we are humbled to have such an active and driven population of patients. These individuals understand the importance of investing in their own health and dedicate hours of their time pursing their fitness goals and ultimately their health and quality of life. It is great that active (and even some inactive) groups of people are able to understand the concept that fitness correlates to better health. That being leaner, stronger, or performing better will subsequently improve your state of health and prevent chronic diseases caused by obesity, inactivity, etc. Whats interesting, however, is that all too often people forget that this is not a one way street. They forget that being healthy can actually make you bigger, leaner and even stronger. Yes, you heard me. Being healthy makes you more likely to accomplish your fitness goals.
This is not the first time I have discussed this topic, but it is so important to reiterate again and again in as many ways as possible. In almost every sport if you are good enough to play for a significant amount of time, health becomes one of the most important factors that correlates to performance. When speaking directly about those involved in fitness and strength sports, this is the absolute number one determining factor in one’s performance. For the athletes involved in this sport, the biggest battle has always been longevity and countless times it takes 5, 10, or 15+ years of beating their body into the ground to understand that when you are constantly unhealthy, your progress grinds to a halt. Everyone has heard that you can’t outwork a bad diet, which speaks to the importance of nutrition, but I would argue that this should be expanded to all preventative and wellness avenues in health.
So in an effort to continually pound this concept home, I want you to shut out the B.S. societal notions that the way to get big and strong will be accomplished through the “I want everything now” scheme. Forget the notion that “no pain, no gain” will have you on a clear path to the strength goals you’ve always wanted. Specifically speaking as a chiropractor and health care provider, this is one of the worst mottos to ever live by. This is such a short minded solution that will end up causing long term problems across the board. When you start talking to those who have been lifting or playing a sport for a significant amount of time and have finally made it out of the beginner phase, you see a trend that shit starts to hit the fan, everyone’s back and joints hurt, and progress seems to slow.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are prices to pay in all sports. It is not possible to participate in any sport without facing the adversity of injury. This discussion pertains to the injuries that are the equivalent of beating your head against a wall. These are the injuries that are a direct result of the utterly stupid decision to not value and invest in your own health until things start hurting, or to try and tough out a problem and put your head down instead of facing some glaring issues. Often it takes numerous injuries for it the “health = performance” concept to kick in. These individuals could be banged up and injured for over half the year or may have a serious injury that requires months to heal and years to recover from. It’s during these times, that a majority of people begin to wise up to the fact that the biggest “secret” in sports and fitness has been essentially, literally right under their nose the entire time, their own health. Don’t believe me? Tired of me beating a dead horse? Take a look, here, at some other ways this wellness perk can allow you to reach your fitness goals.
In the wake of yet another report of insurance hikes set for 2017, more and more people will find themselves asking one question: Why are health care costs SO HIGH? Now I know “tis the season” to start getting all political. I know everyone wants to begin blaming the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) or the top 1% for all of our problems right now, but let’s take a step back. If you really want to buy into either of these motives that is fine. There are always external factors at hand affecting our environment, but before you start to blame someone else about YOUR health care, just remember that this is YOUR health we are talking about.
Again, without getting into the politics of everything, we as a nation have now become a place where we expect someone else to be responsible both financially and therapeutically for OUR OWN health. Out of the top 10 causes of death in the United States, 5 of them are widely preventable (and arguably a few others). This means that some of the most costly diseases to our health care system are diseases that we could help avoid. I do understand that this is America. We are free to do what we want, and that is great. But when it comes to our health, we need to accept more responsibility for the way we treat our bodies instead of crying poor me when it goes downhill in cases where we could have prevented it. So for those looking to take a little more responsibility and actually do something about the mess that is our health care system, here are 5 things that will save you (and the nation) money on (your) health care.
1) Eat Better
Investing time in well balanced, home cooked meals will have a positive impact on your health and your wallet. Even a bottom of the line restaurant meal will cost you at around $15 per meal including the tip. Going somewhere more upscale? Your meal could cost you an upwards of $35. Want a few drinks with that? Bump it to $50. For that price you could buy almost week’s worth of groceries. Even a professional bodybuilder can eat for $50 a week. Maybe you spend a bit more if you need to season your food a little or add a few fruits to the mix, but the point is that you are getting much better food for much cheaper.
So why not just use processed foods? They are cheap right? Well not so fast. The point is to make an impact on your health too. Processed food, junk food, and sugary foods may be findable at a comparable price, but their impact on your health will eventually catch up to you. Heart disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer are all preventable through a good diet. And regardless of how good your insurance may be, the less we as a community go to the doctor for systemic, preventable diseases such as those, the less burden there will be on the health care system. Remember, even if you aren’t directly paying for the entire bill on a given visit, someone is. Insurance companies aren’t in this business for charity. When we put smaller burden on them as payers, the result is more affordable plan options. By investing in your long term health by making proper dietary choices, you are not only saving in the short term on your groceries, but in the long term.
2. Exercise More/Be More Active
You should know this already. No, I KNOW you already know this. Exercise, aside from a proper diet, is the most important and effective way to positively influence your health and even your health care costs. It is also the other piece of the puzzle to solve our nation’s biggest health concerns. Ever actually looked at a person’s family when they have a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease? Do you typically see a group of people who eat well, exercise routinely, and are active instead of sitting around all the time? You know, the ones that do all they can but just can’t get over those bad family genetics? No. You typically see people who make horrible lifestyle choices. Do you REALLY think 1/3 of the U.S. population is obese, because our genetics over the last few generations have evolved us to that point? Of course, that’s textbook survival of the fittest… Thanks, Darwin.
My point is, that the real problem is you and your influences in society. We have become extremely lazy and excuse oriented in our society, and nothing is ever our fault. I know you know that exercising is important. Good job, here’s your gold star, but that doesn’t mean anything unless you actually exercise. Need more of an incentive? Lets look at just one condition in which exercising helps reduce or prevent, high blood pressure.
The average cost of having high blood pressure per year is anywhere between $750-$1200 per year. That is simply just your doctors visits and medication. Because it is a chronic disease and the only real treatment you get through mainstream medical is to just give medication for the rest of your life, you could be spending $30,000+ over a lifetime of having this condition. That doesn’t even account for the fact that high blood pressure is often accompanied by heart disease, high cholesterol, and many other conditions that require medication. On top of that, these medications are well known to ruin your kidneys, so after 20 or 3o years of medications, get ready for dialysis and kidney failure costs as well. All because you can’t face the music, get a $45 dollar a month gym membership and then ACTUALLY go and ACTUALLY work out 4 or 5 times in a week.
Let’s take the exercise argument even further. With all the mental health problems we are having in our nation, did you know that exercise has been proven to be more effective at affecting a positive mood and releasing endorphins than SSRI inhibitors? We could go on and on about the cost saving effects of something as simple as exercise, but the real horse to beat is the one you’re sitting on. Exercise. Do it.
3. Stop going to the doctor/ER for EVERYTHING
The emergency room is not your personal 24/7 doctors office. Yet it is an extremely abused outlet to health care. So in case there is some confusing, here’s a few reasons why you should admit yourself into the ER:
- You’ve been physically dismembered
- You were in a severe accident
- You’ve been shot (should have shot back, John Wayne)
- You have a severe infection
- You cannot move you limbs
Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t admit yourself into the ER for:
- You don’t feel good and think you may have ebola, the zika virus, the flu, etc.
- Your child is crying and you think something is wrong
- Your back/knee/shoulder hurts
- You have a headache
- Non-complicated musculoskeletal injuries: (Most) broken bones, ligament tears, sprains and strains
Those aren’t even ridiculous compared to some of the stupid excuses I’ve heard from those I know in that division of health care. The ER is the MOST expensive doctors visit you could possibly choose. I don’t care if receive medicare/medicaid and think its a free visit or if you are insured and you see $25 written next to the ER visits on your insurance card, it is. The bill at some point must be paid, and just because you may not pay all of it does not mean that you’re not paying for this service at some level. Inappropriate usage of the ER is one of the main drivers of increased health care costs and why your deductible and premiums have soared. On top of that, because the job of an ER is to rule out that you may die in the next hour, if the condition is not serious, you will end up getting an uncharged prescription or being advised to see your primary physician. So not only will you be in the emergency room for a while, but if your problem is not at a certain level of severity, you will not even get it fixed. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and go to a local urgent care center. OR… and this may be a stretch to ask for, honestly ask yourself: “Is this REALLY an emergency?”
4. Stop Using Pain Medications to Mask the Problem
Before we begin, I think it’s important to illustrate that I am not 100% against drugs and medications. I recognize that they are a very important part of our health care system and have a purpose. What I am against is abuse of drugs and medication in a chronic setting without acknowledging or addressing the actual cause. Not only does this lead to higher health care costs, it also causes drug addiction and mental health issues. Lately, there has been a movement towards actually recognizing that there’s a problem with pain medication abuse, but you can google that topic on your own. I simply want to stick with why there are better solutions and why you will save money by not accepting the easy route of pain medication.
In its essence, pain medication and anti-inflammatories were developed for one reason: to block the inflammatory phase of healing, and to block pain receptors from sensing pain. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at WHY we actually feel pain or develop inflammation. In most cases of musculoskeletal injury (the main reasons for prescribed anti-inflammatories and opioids), the cause is chronic wear and tear. At the physiological level, unless there is a development of an actual disease, the body undergoes a certain level of breakdown and repair. A “breakdown” in tissue is essentially micro trauma and tears. They occur all day everyday, but as long as there is equilibrium with the rate of repair, these micro tears will not lead to injury, spasm, or macro tears.
When we begin to overwork our body, there is a shift in this process in which breakdown exceeds repair. This can be through bad habits in posture, not exercising enough (or too much, without enough rest), compensations in movement, or repetitive stress from work or other daily activities, etc. The breakdown of tissue causes an inflammatory environment and must be removed and repaired, so if we begin to exceed the body’s capacity to repair, inflammation will increase. Eventually the body becomes so overstressed and inflamed that it will cause injury, spasm, strains, etc. When this happens, our body begins to perceive pain and we start to hurt. This is why often times people can’t figure out what it is that they did to hurt themselves, because it is a build up in trauma and not a one time injury.
In order to treat this, there needs to be a focus on the actual WHY, and this is where only taking pain medications is the wrong approach. Yes you hurt. Yes inflammation causes pain, but the problem is not a dysfunction in your pain receptors or in your inflammatory process of healing. If that was the actual problem, then the correct and only treatment needed would be medication to fix that dysfunction. Since the problem is you are beating your body down and aren’t healing fast enough, taking these medications alone will only alter the perception that there is a problem, not actually address it. This would be the equivalent to having your check engine light go off while you’re driving down the road. Maybe you ignore it for a while and then finally get annoyed or inconvenienced enough by it to take it in to the shop to get looked at. You come into the shop you may say “hey my check engine light is on, can you look and find out what the problem is.” If you want an easy and quick way out, the mechanic can just shut off the sensors for you car, and you can go on your way with no more light. This works well until all of a sudden you find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a completely broken car. What may have been a small, fixable defect, alignment, or tune up that set off the light to begin with turned into a debilitating problem that stranded you on the side of the road. And as we all know, getting a new seal or alignment is much cheaper than buying a new tire after a blowout or replacing and entire cooling system. Therefore, when you feel pain and reach for the pain medication bottle without trying to find out why it is you hurt, all you are doing is ignoring a small issue and allowing it to fester into a big one.
5. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
One of the biggest problems that we have in our health care system is sitting around waiting for our health to diminish before we actually start to care about it. In a cost stand point, this is the simple case of being short-term minded vs long-term minded. For example, in my practice, I will basically see two types of patients: Those who are motivated by their health, and those who are motivated by their pain.
Those who are motivated by their health understand that regular maintenance care keeps them from having severe flare ups while also preventing early degeneration and performance loss. This may mean that they see me once a month to “get their engine checked” or “change their oil,”
Then there are those who are motivated by pain. These are the people who you don’t see for months on end until suddenly they are in a world of hurt and can barely move. Because this type of person typically doesn’t take care of themselves outside of the office either, it means that when they finally do come back, they have dug themselves quite a hole. It takes me longer to restore the progress from earlier on these patients because they waited too long. The body does not just fall apart in one day. The interesting thing is if you break down the amount of visits spent in my office between this group and the group motivated by health, they come out to be about the same number. Those who come regularly to maintain their health are much less likely to beat themselves up to the point where they are in my office for 8 or 10 visits like those motivated by pain. And when you are only coming once or twice a month, those same 8 visits last you a long time.
For more information on how you can improve your health, questions, or to make an appointment with Dr. Detweiler, call 901-573-2526 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently I had the opportunity to work with Zach Gallmann, founder and producer of the popular strongman series, Finding Strength, at EliteFTS. Zach had heard a lot about the new RPR method for improving performance and fixing compensations. He had a lot of interest in finding out if RPR could help him, so we got him in during his trip to Memphis for NBS Fitness’ strongman competition on Beale Street and worked him through a session. Zach had been dealing with a left hip issue that were severely limiting his performance as well as causing a good amount of pain. He performed well and improved dramatically after just one visit, but was definitely in need of a second go around. Fortunately I was able to visit him this time in Columbus and set aside some time to work on him.
By now, many of you have been keeping up on some of the content we have been putting out about Reflexive Performance Reset. If you are one of those who have been reading the latest blogs and articles or are an NBS Fitness member and have seen others doing “those weird RPR’s wake-up drills,” you may be curious as to what an actual session of RPR would be like. Maybe you’ve thought about getting in for a session but don’t know what to expect or don’t know if you are one of those people who really need it. Maybe you have heard how it has helped dozens of people over the last couple of months when nothing else worked, but don’t think you are quite “messed up enough” to benefit from RPR. In an effort to continue to educate those following RPR, we decided to do a video segment to give a face to the name and show you what an RPR session looks like and cover some of its implications and questions on who can benefit from this technique. Along with that, you can read Zach’s full write up on EliteFTS of his experience and perspective with RPR as a strength athlete.
*In case you get done watching and wonder how Zach’s training went that day, he went on to hit a 640 squat without pain after not being able to even touch 600 due to pain*
For any questions concerning Dr. Detweiler or RPR, or to schedule a session of RPR, feel free to contact us at 901-573-2526 or email email@example.com.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a very consistent trend that I feel is plaguing our society. In our media, advertising, social life, and even our health and fitness. The trend is that everything we want or do in life is going to be accomplished via some sort of paradox. That we deserve to accomplish whatever we set out to do while at the same time not having to apply to a basic standard or sacrifice to do so. As insane all the examples I gave above are, in my opinion, it is the most ridiculous in the mindset of health and fitness. No matter what you want to believe, you DON’T deserve fitness.
We are constantly being bombarded with bad information about health and fitness in todays internet world. Because health and fitness is such a huge industry, there is also plenty of competition between providers and producers to the buyer. This means that effective marketing will allow for the separation of these sellers to a market. These are simple business concepts. So how do these businesses effectively market themselves to society as a whole? By listening to and giving the buyer what they want. This is, again, very basic business concepts, so what’s the problem here?
The problem is that in today’s society, we, as a buyer, are attracted to convenience over results. We are mentally weak as a society and would rather our media reinforce the belief that we deserve the world, without really giving up much in return. Instead of becoming passionate about what we want in life and being willing give effort or sacrifice and break out of a comfort zone to accomplish what we want, we would rather someone tell us a lie that our health and fitness is as simple as a “magic pill” or easy, no hassle diet in which we can still eat all the foods we love. If you were to ask the majority of people what is responsible for our country being so obese and unhealthy, you would probably hear answers such as eating too and not exercising enough. I don’t know how many times personally or professionally I have heard someone admit this. They understand that they should eat better and exercise more, but they will also admit to something else.
The vast majority of people know exactly what is making them unhealthy, yet they are unwilling to accept or understand that those are then the factors that must change to achieve their goals. Instead the majority of people are attracted to the lie that we can have our cake and still eat it too. That we can be shredded and strong, but by doing exercises that are easy and don’t take very long. Here’s the reality though. You don’t deserve fitness. You earn it. The idea that you deserve a donut just because you went and did a couple sets of deadlifts is ridiculous. That’s like saying you’ve been sober for a week so you deserve a beer. If the goal is to clean up your diet, the first thing you should do once you start accomplishing that goal is not to go off eating random crap. The keyword is randomly. If you have your diet nailed down, are training on an appropriate intensity, and have the guidance of an actual coach or are following the plan of a results driven nutritionalist, there are definitely times when you will be able to enjoy a donut. But unlike your BS celebrity diet, you will have actually earned that donut. So if you are actually trying to find your way and accomplish your goals in fitness, do yourself a favor. Get a reputable, results driven fitness professional to help guide you. Get into a consistent habit of diet and exercise, and put down the donut. You haven’t earned it yet.
This case involves a female in her early 30s. She is active, physically fit, and exercises regularly at NBS Fitness. Her complaint is severe pain in the front of the left hip (7/10 on a 0-10 scale). This pain is most notable during active flexion of the hip during exercise or getting up from a seated or lying position. Her pain has been present for over a month, keeping her from performing any lower body workouts involving hip flexion. She has been consistently receiving physical therapy for her hip for the last 3 or 4 weeks. She has not had any improvement with this care. Her history also includes a right shoulder dislocation approximately 6-8 weeks prior. She successively completed physical therapy for her shoulder condition and does not have any complaints with the shoulder. She is suspected to have developed a hip compensation pattern and will be evaluated using Reflexive Performance Reset.
As noted in my previous article, Reflexive Performance Reset involves manual muscle testing to assess the motor recruitment level and sequence of a particular movement. This assessment allows for the isolation of specific primary and accessory movers in an attempt to determine their level of contractile strength when placed under load. This assessment also allows for the identification of “drivers” which are neurological compensation patterns that have developed to accomplish a given movement or task. Since the muscular system is neurologically driven and controlled, excessive stimulus in the internal (an injury, overuse, etc) or external environment (stress, abnormal forces, etc) will be the cause of these compensations. This is why our approach is an attempt to influence the nervous system using reflex points and “wake-up drills” to help reset the nervous system and push it back towards a normal state. By doing this, RPR restores normal neurological function. Thusly, any abnormal forces from a hip compensation causing pain will dissipate.
Utilizing the diagnostic protocol above, the individual was identified as being an arm driver. This means that in order to stabilize and produce hip flexion and extension forces, her motor pattern that has been created as a compensation is to first produce stability to the opposite hip.
A full session of RPR was performed with the goal of restoring proper breathing, motor function, and parasympathetic tone. This was accomplished through stimulation of various reflex points throughout the body to restore individual muscle motor function. The response of this stimulation was measured using manual muscle testing to gauge strength. Sessions are to be repeated until patient returns to normal function. Individual will also be given a set of “wake-up drills” to perform at least once a day, specifically before any sort of exercise or physical activity.
After the two visits, the subject was experiencing mild discomfort during active hip flexion. In 2 weeks and three sessions of RPR, the individual was fully contracting, experiencing 0 pain on a 0-10 scale, and had begun training lower body movements again. She continues to maintain function 8 weeks later.
Discussion of Hip Compensation
Since the individual experienced trauma to the right shoulder, the hip compensation that she had already developed for producing hip flexion, identified according to RPR evaluation, was disrupted. She was no longer able to utilize her right shoulder during her time of rehabilitation in everyday movement. In this scenario she no longer has any source of stability (compensatory or not) for the left hip, and is absorbing even more joint forces and wear from everyday movement. This could be thought of as taking the training wheels off of a bike before teaching a child how to properly pedal and balance. Chances are, they will fall over.
After 4-6 weeks of repeated insult to the unstable hip, she begins to develop pain and irritation during active hip flexion. This is due to the fact that she is forcing herself to flex the hip without being able to maintain proper hip stability.
After restoring her to a parasympathetic state, restoring proper breathing techniques, and stimulating the nervous system, her hip compensation is eliminated and she is able to drive movement in a proper pattern. This pattern is utilizing the hip flexor as a prime mover with its long lever arm, and the accessory muscles to stabilize the hip joint in the acetabulum. Because motor learning and motor firing are at a subconscious level, it is not enough to consciously “will” a prime mover to drive proper movement in an individual with a compensatory motor pattern. This is why generic rehabilitation exercises focused on the glute, hamstring, psoas, etc. fail, because these exercises are still running off of the same dysfunctional motor pattern.
Stay tuned for more cases of RPR. To schedule a consult or session of RPR, feel free to contact us at 901-573-2526 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I recently ran across a great article at EliteFTS on joint maintenance and it was spot on awesome that I decided to share it. With joint and musculoskeletal pain being one of the most prevalent conditions in today’s society, there are a lot of poor resources full of articles and experts trying to sell you on the latest and greatest tool or supplement out there to magically fix all of your pain. This write-up gives a clear and concise outline of four great methods to maintain joint health.
Specifically for the target population of those who train on a regular basis, this article outlines a few very important solutions for proactively addressing some of the long term problems that face today’s lifter. By implementing these 4 steps, you will be well on your way to effectively addressing these wear and tear-type injuries. Hydration, soft tissue therapy, joint health supplementation, and proper joint loading are all factors that affect lifters in such small increments at a time that by the time they begin to become a nuisance, damage has already been done. Whether you are noticing the affects of deficits in these categories or are looking for a way to proactively work on preventing injury, this is a great start.
An Introduction to RPR:
For those who are unfamiliar, over the last two or three months, I have added a new and powerful service to the line of performance and results based services at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance. The vision of Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance from the beginning has been to provide the best services to yield the best results for athletes and those who live athletic and performance-based lifestyles. I can confidently say that the addition of Reflexive Performance Reset™ remains exactly in line with that vision. After three months of implementation, Reflexive Performance Reset has been a game changer for a wide variety of athletes, coaches, patients, and even myself. It is without a doubt the most effective method I have encountered for resetting compensatory motor patterns, and restoring proper motion for enhanced performance.
Over a series of articles and blogs, I would like to begin talking about some of the causes and effects of compensatory motor patterns and some of the goals to correct these compensations. I will also include some specific case overviews and testimonials of some of those who have seen the benefits of this new evaluation. We’ve seen some extraordinary experiences when the nervous system is returned to a parasympathetic state and the body is able to perform the way it was intended to perform.
The Importance of the Nervous System:
Reflexive Performance Reset (RPR™) involves manual muscle testing to assess the recruitment level and sequence of individual muscles that drive movement. This assessment allows for the identification of compensations that develop due to chronic stress and act to accomplish a given movement or task. Since the muscular system is neurologically driven and controlled, compensations are neurological in nature and are the result of excessive stimulus from the internal (excessive joint forces and instability, etc) or external environment (work, social life, etc) causing chronic excitement of the sympathetic or “fight or flight” response.
The fight or flight response is a normal adaptation that occurs in the body. When subjected to stressors or threats, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, resulting in increased blood pressure, respiration, cortisol release, etc., in order to handle this stressor. This reaction to stress is normal, and is meant to allow for a short term “boost” in order to adapt to a stressor and survive. Think of a sympathetic response as the gas pedal when you are trying to pass another vehicle. Once the stressor is passed, the body’s parasympathetic nervous system increases in tone, which returns it to a normal, rested state. Think of the parasympathetic response as a “brake.”
Under normal circumstances, this adaptation can be quite beneficial. Let’s say you are walking through the forrest and you cross paths with a bear. A stimulus occurs, the body temporarily hits the gas pedal, causing an increase in heart rate, breathing, and resting membrane potentials in nerve cells. The body is primed for an all or nothing sprint away from the bear. At this point, nothing matters besides getting away from this stressor. Once the threat of the bear is over and the stimulus is clear, the body returns to its normal state without much alteration normal function. Because its origin comes from the need to survive during life-threatening situations, the sympathetic response is only beneficial when short-lived.
Fortunately for our species, we have evolved to a position where these life-threatening situations are few and far between. Unfortunately, this same stimulus from the bear encounter can be mimicked in our everyday stresses from work, social life, athletics, etc. This means that the average human living in the 21st century is stimulated to enter this “fight or flight” response on a regular basis.
This chronic sympathetic state is much less favorable than the acute spike and return to baseline example with the bear. Keep in mind these stressors occur on a regular basis in our daily lives. Because of its constant bombardment, the body is unaware of when the stressful stimuli will subside. This makes it impossible to to return to normal, and causes the neuromusculoskeletal system to look at long term solutions to survive. There is an increase in resting heart rate, labored (chest) breathing, and the development of compensations.
Not surprising, long term survival priorities for the neuromusculoskeletal system include energy prioritization and efficiency. Adaptations favor energy efficiency over force output and stability and often chose to use accessory muscles over prime movers to accomplish joint movement and stability. The compensatory patterns or “drivers” that are identified using RPR are a direct result of this chronic stimulation of the fight or flight response.
RPR and Sports Performance:
For an athlete, performance improvement through RPR is accomplished through enhanced neuromusculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory function. The goal of RPR is to prime the athlete to be as stable and explosive as possible. This is accomplished through identification of each individual’s “driver” and stimulation of specific “wake-up points.” By utilizing the RPR wake-up points, we are hitting the brakes on the sympathetic nervous system and restoring the body to state of parasympathetic drive. This return to parasympathetic drive leads to a few changes that affect the bottom line of performance.
The first change, is an increase in cardiorespiratory efficiency by restoring proper diaphragmatic breathing. As noted before, a chronic compensatory pattern often seen in today’s society is labored or “chest” breathing. This is is a method of breathing in which inspiration is mainly driven by contraction of muscles in the neck and chest in order to draw air in at the apex of the lungs. This is inefficient as energy must be spent on each breath to inspire and the volume of air taken in is decreased.
Diaphragmatic or normal breathing, allows for the lungs to expand and inspire passively without wasted energy. Diaphragmatic breathing is characterized by breathing through expansion of the stomach. This allows the diaphragm to lower, causing a significant increase in lung volume and surface area compared to chest breathing. For a detailed break down of the before and after benefits of RPR on the cardiovascular system, click here.
Furthermore, diaphragmatic breathing is also known to stimulate the vagus nerve, which is a major driver of the parasympathetic nervous system. Because of this positive feedback loop with the vagus nerve, proper breathing is the single most important drill to practice, and is encouraged throughout each session as well as in everyday function. Finally, diaphragmatic breathing leads to increased stability of the lower back which subsequently allows for improved hip mobility. This helps break the cycle of lower-crossed syndrome that is seen in a large amount of the population.
Performance maximization with RPR in the neuromusculoskeletal system is accomplished by emphasizing the restoration of normal movement and proper motor patterns. In a state of compensation, accessory muscles are utilized to produce forces rather than the prime movers. This decreases the amount of force the body can produce as it is not effectively using its biggest muscles to create movement. The body’s joints are also less stable when accessory muscles are used.
As energy is created and transferred through the kinetic chain, a percentage of it is lost in each joint that is unstable. This means that the joint is constantly absorbing more and more wear during movement, which sets the stage for future injury. A normally functioning body will create force with the prime movers of hip flexion or extension and disperse these forces outward to the external environment away from its center of mass. This pattern resembles an explosion and serves as the most efficient and powerful means of creating and applying force. This is the pattern that RPR looks to restore in order to facilitate a better, healthier athlete.
For more information on Reflexive Performance Reset, check out their website at reflexive performance.com or check out their Facebook. If you would like to schedule a session of RPR with Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, call 901-573-2526 or email email@example.com.
In this edition of “Ask the Chiro,” we will take a look at another common question that comes up a lot i the everyday patient, Heat vs Ice. Both are modalities used to reduce pain and increase function, yet many questions come up when discussing the two. Specifically, should I heat or should I ice an injury? Which is the best? How long should I heat vs ice? When should I heat vs ice an injury? The battle between heat and ice, fire and water, has been one of the most epic debates in modern day history. We will attempt to sort this out once and for all.
The Affects of Heat vs Ice:
The affects of heat vs ice are fairly simple. Heat is a modality that when applied to the body causes blood vessels to dilate or open, which INCREASES the flow of blood to the areas applied. This has many influences for the area and as we will talk about later, determines when to apply. For the most part, the increase in blood flow will warm up a sore or stiff joint and will increase nutrition and supply to the affected areas. Heat can also increase inflammation and edema to an injured area. Vasodilation and an increase in blood carries pro-inflammatory white blood cells to the area. The distribution of blood to the area can also lead to edema, which is the collection of fluid outside of the vessels also known as swelling. Although these factors are needed for healing, excessive amounts from improper application of heat can increase the severity of certain conditions.
On the other hand, Ice is a modality that when applied to the body causes vessels to constrict or close. This DECREASES the flow of blood to the areas applied which subsequently decreases both swelling and the inflammatory response in the body. It also has the ability to decrease pain by numbing the area when applied correctly.
What Types of Injuries to Heat vs Ice
So when do we apply heat vs ice? This is a very commonly confused concept, so for this article we will attempt to make this as simple as possible by splitting the two into two scenarios. The first scenario is chronic vs acute conditions. The second will be muscle soreness vs spasm.
For acute vs chronic conditions, we are separating long term injuries caused by wear and tear such as arthritis and short term injuries often caused by trauma like a sprained ankle. For chronic conditions, heat is a more beneficial application as the increase in blood flow supplies nutrients to stiff muscles and joints. This helps warm the joint up which allows for increased motion. Ice is best for for these acute conditions where the goal is to control inflammation and swelling. Remember that heat will INCREASE inflammation and swelling in these acute conditions.
In cases of muscle and joint soreness vs muscle spasm, heat is best for soreness and ice is best for spasms. Icing, however, can be used for either. The real issue is during an ACUTE spasm, heat can cause a large amount of inflammation, and subsequently more contraction of the spasm. I have seen many patients who tell me they woke up with an extremely tight and spasmed back and though a hot shower would help. The result is them barely being able to bend over afterwards, as the inflammation and swelling rushes into the area as blood flow is increased.
Proper Timing and Utilization of Heat vs Ice
As you may have noticed, there are number of times when heat can be just as detrimental to a condition as it can be helpful, but that I haven’t really talked bad on ice at all. This is because, for the sake of simplicity, ice can’t really hurt you. The worst ice can do is not work. Heat on the other hand can be the trickier modality in its application, and in some cases (like a spasm) could either help or hurt you. So here are a few “timing tips” for when to use or not use heat.
First, the 72 hour tip. Heat should not be used on spasms, sprains, strains, or other inflammatory or swelling prone conditions within the acute window of injury. Basically, within the first 3 (or even 4) days no heat should be applied to an injury that is undergoing spasm or is prone to inflammation or swelling. After this window of time, it is less likely that increasing blood flow at the rate that heat allows will will result in excessive inflammation and edema, as the condition is likely past the inflammatory phase of healing.
Second, and most important tip: “When in doubt, ice first.” As I noted before, ice is least likely to hurt you. So if you are confused as to which modality to use and do not have the guidance of a physician to decide for you, this is always the safest bet. If you have iced for a significant amount of time with no results and you are out of the 72 hour window, go ahead and heat.
Finally, the last tip is about timing and application. First, with application to either modality, ALWAYS provide a barrier between the modality and skin to avoid burning. This could be your clothing, or a towel Timing for ice should be about 20 minutes, but it is important to focus on moving through certain “stages” in order to ensure proper icing. Icing should take you through a cold, burning, and finally numbness stage. It is important to get to the numbing stage, as this is where we get the most pain relief. So if you get to 20 minutes and don’t feel numb, keep going. For heat, 10 minutes is fine, and the goal is to loosen the body up. Finally, timing. Heat is best used before activity, and ice is best used following activity. There is not much benefit in icing before a practice or workout, but will help recovery by cutting inflammation and thusly soreness at the end of a hard training session, or while pushing through an injury and still maintaining full participation.
For any further questions, or to schedule a visit at Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, feel free to call 901-573-2526 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
One week around the corner, the Clash for Cash on Beale Street is shaping up to be one of the biggest NBS Fitness events of the year. With the weather changing for the better, college football season getting more and more heated by the week, and all the other great attractions in Memphis during this time, some may be considering not checking out the event. Not so fast, Memphians. Here are three reasons you need to be at the Clash for Cash on Beale.
Obviously, the location has been made abundantly clear, but having a strongman on Beale street is a great idea for many reasons. Not only is it a high traffic area, but historically a great venue for any event. Those who are active and appreciate the strength sports and competition will really enjoy this combination of strength and showmanship. On top of that, the competition as noted in the name, will feature cash payouts. This means that the competition will be fierce as the stakes are high. We have many national level athletes from all around the U.S. attending the event. Adding in a large crowd will definitely make this a unique and intriguing event. Hell if you, yourself, decide you’re feeling hyped up enough by the spirit of strongman competition, you could even enter the open car deadlift demo at the end of the day!
This event truly is not only unique in its location and prize money, but will also feature some great vendors from the Memphis area. There will be plenty of opportunities to taste some great beers, food, and enjoy the products of local Memphis businesses. There has been an outstanding amount of support from the local Memphis businesses and we would all love if you came down to enjoy a great day and support them as well. Oh… and did I mention free beer tasting at the awards ceremony?
In August, I had the pleasure of judging at U.S.S. Nationals in Louisville, KY. It was a long day, but was one of the best experiences I have had in strongman. This was for many reasons such as meeting up with good friends, enjoying the unique venue that is Louisville’s Fourth Street Live, and experiencing the atmosphere of competition that strongman is known for. There was a huge crowd and a great showing from the athletes, as well as great vendors and perfect weather for an outdoor show. Strongman is known at the highest level for World’s Strongest Man, but remains a sport that is little well known or followed by those who do not compete in it. However, with all people that took time to stop by that day and expressed interest and awe in the unique competition that was taking place, the people in charge of Fourth Street Live were dying to have U.S.S. hold another competition. The cool thing is all these factors are set to be at next week’s Clash for Cash. We hope to make this one of the coolest events on Beale this year and would love to see you there to support the growth of strongman, our vendors, and Memphis itself.
In the last article, Why High School Athletes Should Build Recovery Habits Now, we explored some of the reasons why high school athletes should be building a foundation of proper recovery habits with the goal of promoting longevity and injury prevention. Now that the why has been identified, it’s time to address the how.
Injury prevention is always a topic of interest and a driver for constant improvement in the sports performance industry. The biggest concern for team and staff during the season is never how well the team can perform or improve. New developments in injury prevention are an industry of constant turnover and those who want to stay competitive are in a constant race to be up to date with the latest and greatest. Unfortunately the latest GPS athlete tracking system is not feasible at the high school level, and often coaches are too busy to fully address the importance of proper recovery and injury prevention. So to follow up on the why, here are three easy injury prevention how-to’s for high school athletes to recover like a division I athlete. Keep in mind, this is presented as being used within 24 hours after competition. You can use these methods in the 24 hours immediately following a workout as well.
Just because your high school doesn’t have the state of the art, $100,000 hot and cold pool setup that the bigger D1 schools do, doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the recovery benefits of utilizing manipulation of blood flow for recovery benefits. The basis of alternating between a hot and cold water is to cause dilation and constriction of the blood vessels to speed up recovery. Hot water causes dilation of vessels and speeds up the heart. This makes the heart pump a ton of blood out to the body. Blood is the source of nutrition, oxygen, hydration, and the cells that respond to muscle cell damage from the breakdown of training and competition. So with heat, we are feeding and repairing muscle and joints. Cold water causes constriction of blood vessels and slowing of the heart. This causes the blood vessels to squeeze all the blood in the area back towards the heart. This is important because just as the blood carries nutrients and cells to sites of damage, it also needs to carry waste away and return back to the heart and stomach to replenish their nutrients for another round. It also carries any inflammation in the area away, leading to less pain and soreness afterwards.
Contrast showers area great way to get the same effect of the hot/cold pool in your very own bathroom. First start by turning the shower up to as hot as you can stand for three minutes. Once the three minutes is up, immediately switch the water to as cold as you can stand it. Alternate between the two for three cycles, ending on cold. Let the shower spray down on you so it covers your body as it drains. If you have specific areas that are really sore, or hit a specific area in training that you want to recover, focus on those. Bottom line, contrast showers will leave you feeling like a million bucks, increase your recovery, allow you to handle increased training stresses, and help prevent future overuse injury. Set up a few speakers in the bathroom and blast some music to help pass the time. If mom and dad complain about the water bill or noise, just tell them you need to recover so you can be a total bad ass on gameday. Doctors orders.
Steady State Cardio/Walking
Building on some of the concepts from the contrast showers, steady state cardio is another great activity to boost recovery and prevent injury. Cardiovascular health is usually not a problem for athletes in this age group, so the main goal of this is two part: Get blood to the places that need it by moderately increasing heart rate, and to get the muscles contracting and pumping. We want blood flow out away from the heart to the rest of the body for the same reason as the contrast showers. Utilizing the movement from steady state cardio allows us to address a few other things as well.
In order for the body to heal correctly, it utilizes information it gets from the muscles while they are moving to tell it where to grow and direct the most new tissue. To get that information, we need the body to be moving, even if it is something simple. The stretching and contracting of the muscles in the body during steady state cardio allow for the body to direct new tissue production. This information is very essential as it also tells the body what type of tissue to produce and how much.
So how do you implement steady state cardio? A quick stretch and shake out jog is a great way start. Make sure you do enough mobility and stretching to warm up, and then go on a 20 minute jog of low intensity. Walking is also an easy way to get some neurological input into the body as well as provide just enough increase in heart rate. You could simply wake up the morning after competition or a heavy lift and take a 20-30 minute walk around your neighborhood. What if you’re a football player and just played Friday night but don’t have time because you are going to your favorite college football game bright and early? Perfect! Walk around with your friends or family for 20 or 30 minutes and take in all the great scenery of college football tailgating. You’ll be having fun while also building solid recovery habits to keep you healthy and pushing yourself forward towards your goal of playing on Saturday’s one day too.
Here it is. The S-word. The thing that no one wants to ever do and even less value. The most boring thing possible in the athletic world. Stretching. There’s nothing sexy about it and nothing entertaining about it, but guess what. You absolutely need to do it. Do you want to be the best athlete you can be? Do you want to push yourself to the limit to find out just how good you can perform? I can tell you with out a doubt that if you never spend any time on your mobility you will fall incredibly short of this and eventually end up hurting. Guaranteed. If you enjoy stretching and mobility work, then great. Good for you. But if you are like the majority of athletes in the world, you don’t enjoy it, and no one cares. Do it anyways. No one ever said everything you will do in athletics will be fun, but this is absolutely essential.
Mobility and stretching allows for some of the same things that walking does. It provides the right type of stimulus to the body to help direct healing and make sure that your body does not become a giant knot. There are many different mobility exercises available that improve movement of the hips, ankles, shoulders, etc at a basic level. The Essential 8 by Mike Boyle and the Limber 11 by Joe DeFranco are great starters for basic mobility drills. NBS Fitness’ Youtube channel also has a variety of mobility and warm up drills available as well. The key here is consistency over time.
Stay tuned for more information for high school athletes. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to direct them to email@example.com.
This fall marks my 7th year as either a competitor or provider in collegiate athletics. During these seven years, I’ve been fortunate to do my part in 4 different programs at the Division I level. These experiences have been as narrow as a football only focus to as broad as encompassing all varsity collegiate sports. Being in college athletics long enough, you encounter both consistencies and diversities from school to school. I’ve seen a range of skill sets, coaching styles, training atmospheres, etc.
As different as one school may be from another there are always constants to collegiate athletics. There are right ways, and wrong ways to do things. This applies to all aspects of the athletics department. Leadership, work ethics, strength training, you name it. The bottom line is just as in a business, there are many things that successful athletic programs do across the board. When a high enough majority of athletes do more right than wrong things, it translates to success on the field. As a provider over the last few years and looking back to years when I was in competition, these same principles apply to athlete rehabilitation and recovery.
The Basis of Recovery
It is inevitable for an athlete to undergo a certain degree of wear. Eventually every athlete will begin to break down from activity in their sport. Each person is different, and will break down at a different rate or handle stress from training differently. This means that time plays a huge factor in the development of injury, dysfunction, and compensation.
When the body is being pushed to perform, it will in turn encounter an amount of breakdown and wear. This can be from workouts, practice, competition, etc. In its essence, recovery is based around supporting the healing response that naturally occurs to overcome and build from this training breakdown. The better an athlete can recover, the more they will build, perform, and avoid injury. Injury avoidance is often the least recognized in collegiate athletes, as it usually isn’t realized until AFTER injury occurs. True to form, the longer an athlete competes, the better chance of injury caused from this general wear and tear. The most common cause of muscle strains and non-contact injuries are by far excessive, repetitive stress, compensations, and chronic dysfunctional motor patterns.
Why Start at High School?
So why should you as a high school athlete care about this? You never feel very sore after competition or training, can get 5 hours of sleep a night and feel great in the morning, and can eat whatever you want without seeing much performance drop? Really, statistics tell us that only a fraction of high school athletes make it to the collegiate level (especially Division I). On top of that, only a certain amount actually PLAY in college. Of those who play significant time in college, few make it to the professional level. So does building recovery habits now really matter? If you’re a high school athlete who is serious about playing at a high level, yes, it absolutely does.
Eventually, everyone reaches a breaking point. A high school athlete can get away with 5 hours of sleep now, but what happens when he steps into a college arena, where being an athlete is literally a full time job while also having school? And as a former athlete, I can tell you that you won’t have to worry about the soreness argument. NOTHING you do at a high school level is remotely close to the challenges of workouts and practices at the higher levels of collegiate athletics. A normal practice in college is the equivalent of the hardest game you played in high school. And no training session in high school can prepare you for the demands of training at this level either. How about nutrition? I will honestly say that my one regret of collegiate athletics is not taking nutrition as seriously as I do now. I absolutely regret that I didn’t spend more time picking the brain of my strength coach on proper nutrition habits. It is a FACT that the performance you get out is a direct result from the fuel you put into it. If you are a hot rod on the drag strip, would you choose to fill your tank with a shitty, low grade 87 octane? Or would you pick a 100+ octane racing fuel? These are all recovery habits that could be changed now. Think of it this way: you are performing well now with a half-assed effort towards your body. Imagine how much better you could perform if you actually able to build a few good recovery habits now?
Investing in Your Body
I have seen far too many talented and determined athletes have their careers taken away from them because of injuries which could have been prevented or prolonged. This should be the single biggest point a high school athlete gets through their head. You never know when your career is going to be up, and very few people get to leave their sport of choice on their own terms. For every Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning that goes out guns blazing atop of the world as a champion, there are countless of other athletes (Derrick Rose, Bo Jackson, etc) that see their careers changed in the blink of an eye forever. And what about the athlete that somehow seems to stand the test of time? I guarantee you they spend just as much time investing in their body and its recovery as they do preparing or practicing, if not more. Two years ago, Sports Illustrated released an article about Tom Brady’s attention to his health. From diet, to sleep, to time off, and prehabilitation, there is an insane detail to the methods that Tom Brady uses to keep himself healthy.
At the college level, specifically, a usual tell tale sign of how to tell the upperclassmen from the lowerclassmen simply by how much time they spend in the training room. Unfortunately, a good portion of them end up doing this because they are constantly beat up and now understand that the only way they will make it through the next game is by doing everything possible to heal. It’s not that they aren’t talented enough. It’s not that they can’t figure out the plays or don’t understand the game. It’s literally because their bodies are fatigued and worn to the point that they cannot perform at the level they wish to perform.
The younger players are mostly healthy and still getting away with their crappy habits and are nowhere to be seen in the building up until practice or workouts. Now that being said, some of the players do actually get it. Some have figured out that they feel better and need to be investing time to keep them from breaking down. They realize that when pro teams come calling, there are just as many factors riding on their health as there is their ability to play the game. When an NFL team signs a player, they are doing so as a business who is making an investment. No one would buy a product which is used and in bad shape.
So for the high schooler, what can be learned from this? If you are serious about wanting to play at the next level, think of it as an investment. An investment in building recovery habits is an investment in a future career. Just like in actual investing, the earlier you can begin, the more you can get out of the investment over time. Your body will not break down all at once today, tomorrow, next week, etc. It will break down slowly over time and by the time you realize you need to invest, you have run out of time to get much return out of it. Learning to spend the time building proper recovery habits and seeking out professional help to identify your weaknesses will allow you to better achieve what all athletes eventually lust for, longevity. I know as a provider, that if I get a young athlete in who is injured, I have a chance to make an impact on their recovery habits. Pain is a huge motivator, and in athletes, losing the chance to compete is an even bigger one. So I know I have a window of time in which I can persuade them of the importance of proper recovery habits. On the other hand, I know if I get a veteran player who is injured and has not spent much time in the training room, I have a limited chance of instilling any good habits into him, and thusly protecting his career. It’s simply a case of the amount of time an athlete has spent towards investing in their body’s longevity. So imagine if high school athletes, along with guidance from their coaches and parents, started investing in those habits now. They would already have a head start on doing things right. Once again, there are right ways and wrong ways to do things, and the right way to ensure a long career is to build recovery habits now.
The most common of all chiropractic stigmas is “Once you start, you have to keep going forever.” Just as with any stigma, there are two sides to this story. I will address some of the truths this stigma is based on, but will focus more on the misconceptions of chiropractic treatment, its goals, today’s societal outlook on health care, and more.
The truths from this chiropractic stigma surround chiropractic treatment and individual practice models. In most chiropractic offices you will be confronted with an option for maintenance or preventative care. This happens typically towards the end of a treatment plan. As with any health care decision, the decision of what and how to approach your health is completely yours. This maintenance or preventative plan is the “coming back forever” option.
The amount that an office tries to push an extended treatment plan on a patient is likely where most of the negativity comes from in that the patient feels pressured to make the decision to continue extended care. As a quick disclaimer, just because I am a Doctor of Chiropractic, does not mean I will defend each and every other chiropractor and their practice decisions. My opinion is a well informed patient should be allowed to make his or her decision on their own health. I do, however, refuse to neglect the fact that there are many patients who are not well informed. The following are the misconceptions and social health factors that surround this stigma.
1) You Don’t HAVE to Do Anything
For the general public, maintenance care will typically be a return every month to 6 weeks. The goal here is to maintain the state of function accomplished by the original treatment plan. It can also be used as a preventative approach to decrease the chances of re-aggravation of the original injury. Again, those who try to scare their patients into this plan suck and I will not defend them. But the notion that chiropractic is some sort of trap that keeps you coming again and again is ridiculous.
At the end of the day, you always have control over your health. Our job (ALL health care professionals) is to identify the problem of your health concerns, come up with a plan to solve it and help the patient make an educated decision. If you don’t feel as if that is the case with you currently, find health care professionals that will allow that decision making to occur.
2) You May Actually WANT to Keep Coming Back
The funny thing about this stigma is it usually comes from those who have received little or no chiropractic care. For those who have never had chiropractic care, they have also never had any reference to what the body feels like when it is moving and operating at an optimal level. Once they have been under care long enough to finally understand that feeling, they start to understand how crappy they really felt BEFORE seeking out care.
Most patients that I see that return on a regular basis don’t need me to explain why they need to receive maintenance care. They understand, because they’ve experienced the difference. Some will choose not to elect for this type of continual care, and that’s fine. What often happens is they will go about their lives for 6-8 months and then have a bad experience that flares up their previous condition. When that happens, I end up seeing them again, and unfortunately, instead of being a check-up and see you in 6 weeks visit, they need to be seen for 3-4 weeks again in order to get them better.
After two or three instances of this happening, sometimes the patient decides they want to try and prevent further problems. If an educated patient chooses the “it’s not broken, so don’t fix it” method to their health, that’s okay. But the vast majority of my patients that return on a regular basis are there because they WANT to be there.
3) An Uninformed View of Pain and Chronic Conditions.
Today’s society has quite a skewed image of their health when it comes to musculoskeletal conditions, pain, or chronic disease. Pain and chronic conditions do not usually pop up out of nowhere. and there is usually an underlying factor that causes this. The majority of patients do not understand that their body degenerates and wear in a chronic nature. Chiropractic uniquely identifies the functional factors that cause this wear and tries to treat and prevent it from occurring. Many other health care professions look to visualize the location or tissue that is hurting using. Until there is an structural identifier of pain, many neglect it as an issue. For a more in depth look at these schools of thought, check out this past article on compensation and injury.
4) Nearly Every Health Care Profession Involves Maintenance or Returning Care
We aren’t the only profession pushing for maintenance or returning care. As much as we probably don’t want to admit it, we aren’t even the only ones that push wellness care. Ever been to a dentist? An ophthalmologist? Do you have diabetes? How about high blood pressure? Do you take any medications? All those have some sort of maintenance component to them.
Dentists have done the best job of promoting wellness care. Most don’t wait until a tooth hurts to go to a dentist, they go to try and PREVENT tooth decay and cavities and to have healthy teeth. How many people don’t know that you should receive preventative chiropractic care every 4-6 weeks, but know that they need a dental check up and cleaning every 6 months? Do you want a healthy spine free of decay? Well then you probably better not wait until you can’t walk to receive chiropractic care.
The medical profession constantly practices the maintenance care. In the medical profession high blood pressure, diabetes, or another chronic diseases, are typically treated with medication. Your treatment plan will then consist of taking “x” pills every day. Let’s ignore the holistic methods of controlling or preventing diabetes and high blood pressure such as proper diet and exercise. What happens when you stop taking that prescription? Your blood pressure or blood sugar sky rockets back up. At a chiropractic office, the “pill” is actually our ability to manipulate and affect the body physically with our hands.
Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance is invested in the continual process of providing the best in sports performance care for our athletes and patients. One of these products have been our recent addition of Foot Levelers functional orthotics. These orthotics are providing a much needed support system for an often neglected are in many athletes, the feet. In an effort to continue this investment towards optimal performance care, we are now offering $100 off the next 6 orders for two pairs of orthotics. This is a limited promotion on Foot Levelers, which will last through October.
Since announcing their availability, I’ve received a lot of questions about Foot Levelers, and the different options, recommendations, and applications for their use. Currently there are almost a dozen different sizes and functions of orthotics that are available through Foot Levelers. The typical question I receive because of this is, what orthotic should I get, or what is the difference between one orthotic and another? In most people looking to buy orthotics, we typically recommend they buy two pairs. Just as most people have multiple pairs of shoes for different functions, the same is needed from an orthotic. With all the different combinations, it may get a little confusing and needs some clarification. For this reason, I’ve separated these orthotics into 4 groups: Athletic, Casual/Everyday, Business/Dress, and Work. Each group has its own specific need which narrows the field down to only a few options and also helps determine which two pairs you need the most.
In athletics, the number one identifier and measuring stick is performance. No matter the sport, performance at the end of the day comes down to the production and application of force. Whether you’re cutting, jumping, squatting, etc., performance is directly dependent on the body’s ability to resist, produce, and withstand forces. In most cases, the common denominator where force exchanges between the internal environment (the body) and the external environment is the foot. Even in throwing or hitting, a large amount of force must be transmitted from this location. Because of this, the athletic group needs an orthotic that improves transmission of intense forces in the three arches of the foot. Additionally, this orthotic needs to have a high amount of support to keep forces from being absorbed, which can cause wear and even injury in the foot and lower extremity.
This orthotic is all about comfort and support. An everyday orthotic doesn’t need to meet the rigorous force transmission standards as an athletic orthotic. It’s function is to maintain proper propulsion and force transmission through a mild to moderate amount of forces required for walking and standing. This orthotic will also be designed to allow more airflow and reduce sweating to keep it fresh over its lifetime.
This category of orthotics has the most variety, as it is geared towards addressing the different shapes and structures of dress shoes for both men and women. Men’s dress shoes come in many different shapes, especially in the toe box area, and many women’s dress shoes have very little room available for a typical orthotic. Most dress shoes are made for looks and not for comfort. Traditional men’s dress shoes have a very solid sole which can cause the heel and ankle to jam after walking or standing for long amounts of time. In general a more solid shoe will cause more rigidity in the foot and limits the foot’s ability to unlock during normal motion. Women’s dress shoes can be on either end of the spectrum, either too flexible or too rigid. For women, a foot levelers orthotic specific to this group comes in full and partial length to accommodate for the space factors while still providing the right amount of comfort and support for proper movement.
This group of orthotics are designed specifically to resist heavy wear and keep forces from being absorbed in the foot. There is no such thing as a light weight work boot, and for those who wear them every day for 40+ hours a week, it’s a weight that is felt in the foot. Most work boots are designed to be rigid and tough in order to withstand an everyday beating that most shoes cannot take. Now compound that boot design with the hard and unforgiving surfaces like concrete, metal, and support platforms that this group usually stand or walks on, and its impossible to ignore the amount of force going into the foot. This causes a multitude of issues as the foot absorbs the brunt of these forces as it is not able to properly move through its normal motion to transmit these forces in the the rest of the body or out to the external environment. For this group of orthotics, a huge emphasis is placed on durability and support.
How Do I Pick the Correct Two Pairs?
For most patients that we see, the most common first orthotic is the athletic one. As most of our patients live an active lifestyle, they need an orthotic that provides the right support, regardless of their activity. From there, we typically recommend an orthotic that fits your next most common activity, work. If you are an execute who travels a lot for important business, pick the business category. A trainer at the gym, or at a desk job with a laid back attire? Go for the casual orthotic. How about electricians, plumbers, construction workers? They need a work orthotic that will handle their high loads of stress. Remember, if you’re not sure, you can always ask and we will make sure to find the orthotic that best fits your scenario. Just remember, this limited promotion is good for the first 6 orders and lasts until October, so don’t wait too long!
As always, for further information on how Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance can assist your needs, contact our office by phone: (901) 573-2526, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting NBSFitness.net.
A month ago, I attended the Reflexive Performance Reset™ (RPR™) seminar at The Spot Athletics Columbus, OH. If you didn’t read about my expectations and review on RPR’s benefits, feel free to do so. Since returning, we’ve hit the ground running with some of our more difficult cases at NBS Fitness. Over the last month we have seen nothing short of awesome results utilizing this technique for correcting compensation patterns. Patients who have received the treatment have seen significant improvements with complicated injuries (new and old) as well as performance gains with RPR.
As Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance is opening up appointments in September to those looking to increase performance and address motor pattern imbalances, I want to continue producing more content in the next few months on Reflexive Performance Reset. The goal is to expose the method to educate current and future patients of its applications. It will allow patients to understand what to expect and when to utilize RPR. To do this, I will release a bonus article/blog this upcoming month explaining the basics of the technique. Following that we will begin reviewing actual cases seen already at NBS.
If you are a regular member at NBS Fitness you may have seen some strange warm up techniques going on with the powerlifting team and staff. Some may be grinding the back of their head, others sticking their thumb into their side or vigorously scratching their ribs. Fear not, the state asylum did not have a recent breakout, these members are actually priming their nervous system to perform efficiently. With any new methodology will come a lot of eyebrow raising and questions. If you have talked to anyone who has gone through RPR, there is a bit of a love/hate involvement with it, especially the first time. However, the performance benefits are too great to not at least give it a shot. Waking the body up is not the most comfortable activity ever, so a lot of comments come out before, during, and after that provide a comic relief. So for those who have been the early adopters for this technique, I would like to give back today with an RPR spin of the classic “Quotes Heard at NBS Fitness”.
Top 10 Quotes Heard While Activating:
10) “I hope you know that no matter what I say to you while we are in here, I do actually like you.” – Richard Brose.
9) “You didn’t tell me this was going to be violent tickling” – Porter Wood
8) “I’m gonna need some time away from you…” – Jim Sadler
7) (After failing a muscle test) “Damn it… I was hoping you didn’t have to beat on me again.” – David Allen, Garrett Blatnik, Jim Sadler.
6) “What?! I don’t even get a break?” -Christian Anto.
5) “You are no longer Dr. Tyrel, you are Dr. Black Magic.” – Jim Sadler
4) “I don’t care what I am doing… when you reset Christian, come and get me.” – David Allen
3) “I think you are actually touching my soul right now.” – Jim Sadler
2) “I’m not sure how I feel about you slapping me in the jaw.” – Annie Gunshow
Recently, I stumbled across a social media shout out to my strength coach from the University of Iowa, Chris Doyle. The post was meant to congratulate him on a story about a recent pay raise that he had received after an undefeated regular season last year. Basically showing respect to his success and hard work. This raise made him the highest paid strength coach in the nation (you can read it here) and thusly also implied a progression in the strength and conditioning profession’s value. As with any media coverage, this story has remained relevant for a few days so airtime can be filled. In typical fashion multiple people have weighed in on a debate of whether or not he actually “deserves” this kind of money.
Normally I pay the coverage on these stories no attention for multiple reasons. First, I’ve learned a long time ago that the talking heads on ESPN and announcers on game day almost never have a single clue as to what they are talking about, or are just filling a narrative. Secondly, without getting political, I its become the norm of society to scrutinize and envy those who are successful. This time, however, since I had the privilege of having him as a coach and care about him as an individual, I did actually pay more attention. To some level I honestly don’t care what kind of scrutiny a person is taking from being successful. Usually an indicator of success is a certain amount of scrutiny from others. S0 what do I think? I think a very important lesson can be learned from this story. Ironically as is common of lessons learned from Chris, it applies to life more than football or training. The best way to build success is to work towards building value.
The coolest thing about capitalism is unless outside forces intervene (usually government regulations), the almighty dollar always flows towards value. A crappy product or service receives less value than one that is of high quality and works to provide what is desired by those who seek it out. Without getting in the discussion of the perception of value, an item that does more, lasts longer, or improves quality of life better will always bring more money. In Coach Doyle’s case, his value is that he develops good players into great players, unites individuals to form a team mentality, and helps set the course for this team to accomplish a goal as a unified group. He has consistently done this and the methods that he uses to accomplish this are an exact fit for what is needed at the University of Iowa. End of story. And since we are in a capitalistic world, the University of Iowa is well within its rights to offer to pay him whatever they want for his services.
This is exactly what happens every single day whenever goods or services are exchanged. The laws of a free market are like gravity. They have worked and will continue to work regardless of the opinions of others. These laws are a result of how things are, not someone’s perception of how things ought to be. So instead of complaining or playing the fairness card or trying to find social justice in someone being rewarded for their efforts, why not instead try to learn from this. Chris Doyle has worked his entire career to be the best strength coach in the nation. So perhaps instead of buying into a false narrative we should stand up and applaud the people who progress and improve their industry. Maybe instead stories like these should excite and motivate you to find out what you can do to build value in your own relationships, your profession, or even your health. Work hard to be productive and more valuable at work, in your training, with your spouse, whatever, and you will be rewarded. Successful people don’t just stumble upon their success. At the end of the day, whether you like it or not, the simple law applies: If you build value, you will be rewarded.
“Want to get paid well? Offer something money can’t buy” – Chris Doyle
Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance is happy to announce the first of a new line of services and products available for patients. Staying true to our vision of providing the best services and products for increasing performance and injury prevention, we will be adding Foot Levelers customized orthotics to our product line. This offers a higher end orthotic for a much needed solution to preventative and performance care for the foot and lower extremity. Here are three reasons Foot Levelers are being added to our available products and services.
True, Customized Fit for Maximal Support
One of the biggest issues with over the counter orthotics is they are basic cookie cutter molds which are made of cheaper, less durable material. These orthotics merely cushion the foot and often times only focus on one of the arches of the foot. The lack of quality material also means that you are sacrificing a lot of lifespan in your orthotic as well.
As any avid runner knows, regardless of what the shoe may LOOK like, there is actually a general lifespan on running shoes. The typical running shoe will last about 500 miles. This means the forces put on the shoe will eventually wear down the supportive effects of this shoe at this point. This means that your shoe is either no longer supporting you, or even worse, may be harming you. Because this support is so important, an avid runner also knows that the best shoe is almost never the cheapest one. Cheap means low quality. The same rule can be applied for orthotics. An over the counter orthotic will fail to support you AND will wear out quicker.
Foot Levelers address all three arches of the foot by utilizing a 3D scanner to create a truly customized orthotic. If your foot is well balanced, your fit will simply support your current arches and prevent future wear. If you have an abnormal arch or mechanics, your fit provides additional support to help correct and restore normal motion.
The Needs of Our Patients
Without sounding too bravado about the patients at Mid-South SSP, most patients that we help are focused on performance, results, and prevention of injury. Each individual typically puts a lot of wear on their body while at the same time expecting it to maintain a high level of output. This need is compounded upon by the fact that many of these patients also work strenuous jobs on top of their training. It is not uncommon for a patient to work a job requiring a high level of physical activity and then head to the gym afterwards for a heavy squat day. These individuals must recovery from not only the stress of their training, but from their jobs as well.
Foot Levelers come in a multitude of different textures, styles, and support levels, to fit these different needs. Just as the shoe you train in is different from the shoe you work in, so are Foot Levelers. Orthotics are available for shoes and activities of all types: from athletic shoes, to casual and dress shoes, to work boots. The quality of materials used also gives this orthotic a lifespan of around two years depending on the amount of abuse it undergoes and is guaranteed by the manufacturer to last at least a year.
Better Holding Adjustments
Before even scanning the foot, we adjust the foot at least three times. Pre-scan adjustments ensure a patient’s orthotic won’t be based on a fixated foot. Wearing an orthotic formed upon a properly moving foot also allows our patients the initial adjustments longer. Furthermore, just as a house needs a solid foundation to sit on, so does the body. A properly moving foot and ankle provides a solid foundation for all other movements in the body. It also allows for spinal adjustments to hold better as well. This results in prevention, less re-exacerbation and less injury, which means less overall visits to the chiropractor.
Are you a visually educated person? Here’s a quick breakdown on why Foot Levelers are different than your average orthotic:
As always to get your own pair of orthotics or for further information on how Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance can assist your needs, contact our office!
The foot and ankle region is one of the most common areas neglected in corrective and performance care of athletes. 26 bones make up each foot and ankle of the 206 bones in the body This accounts for almost one quarter of the bones in the body. There are also 32 joints and over 100 soft tissue structures (muscles, tendons, ligaments) in this region, making it an important location for performance optimization in athletes. At Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance, chiropractic foot care is an important tool that keeps our patients performing better, longer. Here are three goals of chiropractic foot care.
1) Maintaining Proper Joint Mechanics
There are a few reasons that proper motion in the foot is so vital to those looking to maintain or improve performance. The foot and ankle work as a team to accomplish two major tasks. During the initial stance phase of walking or running, the foot must become flexible. This allows absorption of loads being placed on it from the rest of the body. Load is absorbed by these joints’ flexible motion, by the eccentric contraction of muscles and by the passive resistance of ligaments that attach to these joints. Once the second portion of the stance phase begins, the foot and ankle must become rigid. This allows the foot and ankle to release and transfer forces created while toeing off to the rest of the body. In order for these two tasks to occur, each joint must work properly and at the right time.
The biggest goal of a chiropractic foot care, is determining proper joint motion. Proper evaluation involves the joints of the hind, mid, and fore-foot. Any improper motion at any of these joints can be restored by a manipulation (adjustment) of the foot or ankle. This is by far the best way to restore proper foot and ankle joint mechanics and the patient usually notices an immediately springier or looser foot. Other proven methods of restoring proper joint motion include active release and myofascial release of involved muscles and ligaments.
2) Injury Prevention
The vast majority of conditions in the foot and ankle are ones that develop over time with wear and tear. A foot which is not moving properly may not cause a noticeable problem right away. Over time, however, the stress from these subtle abnormalities begin to compound and can cause a wide variety of injuries. Plantar fasciitis, turf toe, calf strains, knee injuries, and shin splints can all contain this common factor of excessive wear. In order to combat this wear, regular attention needs to devoted to injury prevention in the feet and lower extremity. Ever decided to not rotate your tires? Get ready for a blow out. The same principle applies here with your own two “wheels.”
So how does chiropractic foot care prevent injury? Earlier we established that each joint in the foot serves a purpose or has a certain “job”. When each joint does its “job” correctly, it allows for efficient and proper motion of the entire foot. This concept applies to the foot and ankle’s role in movement of the entire body. If the foot is not operating correctly, movement becomes inefficient and other joints begin to wear down. The foot is especially unique as it is the link between the body and external environment for almost every movement. Whether forces are being transferred to or from the body, problems in the foot produces significant wear on the body. Chiropractic foot care reduces injury when used regularly for maintenance and performance purposes.
3) Combating the Negative Impact of Today’s Footwear
Shoes can have a negative impact on the foot for a few reasons. First, shoes reduce the amount of proprioceptive information received by the foot. Proprioception is the ability of your body to recognize its position in space. This is why you can walk around in the dark or complete a sobriety test (when you’re sober). Because these receptors for proprioception are in the skin and surface of the foot, shoes dampen this ability. This is why some strength coaches have their players warm up without shoes on.
Believe it or not, there is more to what goes on your feet than its color or design. The decision to buy a shoe rarely places emphasis on support or quality. Just like the wear and tear examples from before, any lack of support from your shoe will compound over time. Ever had a shoe that you thought fit at the store, only to wear it for a few days and realize how uncomfortable it is? And why after a long day on your feet does it feel so good to take your shoes off? The answer is that many shoes are not helping your feet, they are hurting them. Yes, steel-toed boots are rugged and protect from hard objects, but they also keep the foot from going through proper motion.
Just as balancing on a teeter totter, positive impacts on the foot will nullify negative ones. So how does one restore proper motion of the foot and nullify the negative effects of footwear? How about restoring proper motion and muscular function through chiropractic foot care? Take it a step further and utilize customized orthotic in your shoes. Foot orthotics are shoe equivalent to an aftermarket add-on in a car. Designed specifically for the individual foot for maximal support, they will replace a current “stock” insole, and provide individualized support. Custom orthotics keep excessive joint forces on the foot down, reducing the wear and tear on the foot. Because of this, less damage accrues over time and foot adjustments hold better.
As always, for any questions about how chiropractic care can help you or to set up an appointment, contact Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance via phone: 901-573-2526 or email: email@example.com.
As you may remember, my last blog talked about my expectations and excitement for the Reflexive Performance Reset™ (RPR™) seminar being held at The Spot Athletics in Columbus, OH. I was looking forward to this seminar for personal and professional reasons. First, I’m familiar with the challenge of getting a muscle to fire in a specific pattern to accomplish a movement. This issue plagues me on a clinical and personal level in my training. The ability to correct this lack of activation opens doors to a lot of performance possibilites for the athlete.
The second reason is the recognition that it has gotten so far with those that have utilized it. As RPR is fairly new, it is not utilized as much as other methods. This is fine, as I don’t consider a method legitimized by broad popularity but rather WHO utilizes it or is at the forefront of promoting it. RPR’s methodology gained popularity in the strength community lately, specifically from individuals whose opinions are well respected. These two reasons alone made me especially excited for the Reflexive Performance Reset seminar. I will save any of my results and treatments that I have done since returning from this seminar for a more in depth article. I want to focus this blog on just the seminar experience, how it was run, and its applications to performance enhancement.
First of all, I cannot say enough about the environment for this seminar. The attendees and instructors in attendance all shared an important common denominator. All attendees were intelligent individuals across various roles in the strength and performance community who recognized the implications of this method, and the blatant need for a way to effectively and properly repattern and FIX the faulty movements and compensations that we see each and every day in the athletic population. Passion for helping others perform, impatience with the failures of more common and popular methods of treatment and activation, and a willingness to learn and absorb new information. These would be my best descriptors of those in attendance. No one was there to punch the clock, take long lunch, get their CEUs and jet out. Everyone was there to learn, ask questions, and add a new skill to their trade in order to help others. This was every bit of a “networking” experience as it was a learning experience. Whenever you have so many successful and intelligent individuals in room at once, the last thing you do is turn into an introvert. The chance to learn and grow is always there, and there was plenty of both between sessions, at lunch, and after the day finished. From talking training, business, philosophy, values, or troubles shooting cases, the interactions that I was able to have during this trip alone was worth the price of admission.
The seminar instruction flowed well. Effective application of Reflexive Performance Reset comes from two different days. The goal of day one is to get hands on experience and give, the attendees, the tools needed to effectively apply its methodology. The pace is appropriate and gives tons of time for hands on learning for each test and activation, along with time to ask questions as well.
Day two focuses on the diagnosis and application of the tools learned. Chris, Cal, and J.L. did this very well, and this made for one of the most engaging seminars I have ever been to. This can’t be stressed enough, as seminars can be more of a follow the leader tune and don’t allow for involved learning. The ability to be able to work through scenarios and be have a game plan to hit the ground running after the seminar individually allows for inevitable problems to be troubleshooted once you are on your own. That takes more than just learning a couple tests and soft tissue techniques. It takes quality instruction and an understanding of WHY and HOW.
Finally, the application of RPR was mostly presented in the second day. This was an important day, and likely the most vital part of the seminar. In its essence, Reflexive Performance Reset applies for a wide population. In reality, RPR suits athletes and those who rely completely on performance to be at their best. I say this because there is a lot of trust, discomfort, and time that must be put into getting the body to operate in its proper and natural state. Lay people tend to resist these areas even if they know the outcome of something else will yield lesser results. Usually a driven athlete prioritizes results over themselves or the prospect of short term sacrifice. On top of that, almost every attendee’s target market, client, or patient is an athlete who is performance driven. For these reasons, the applications best point to this performance driven athlete demographic. The intriguing thing about RPR is that it’s a growth phase as a methodology. This potential along with the amount of intelligent and primarily type A personalities learning the technique, mean a lot of potential for growth and expansion. This makes for an exciting future for Reflexive Performance Reset.
As I noted in my last article, the pursuit of knowledge involves constant focus on improvement, bringing up weaknesses, and meshing critical thinking with an open mind to new information. It also has a lot to do with finding the right mentors, role models, or experts in the fields you wish to better yourself in, and utilizing their experiences to help guide your further learning.
Critiquing one’s self in order to identify and bring up a weakness is not necessarily the easiest thing to do. For me, I have identified that long term activation and correction of a movement pattern has been by far my largest struggle as a practitioner. As any athlete involved in increasing performance will understand, the biggest factor in continually improving over time is whether or not you remain healthy. In this paradigm, a competitive athlete quickly understands that its not so much how quickly you can get back from an injury, but how you can prevent future injury. This is a much harder process than simply rehabbing or treating an already occurred injury.
The best area for my improvement, to me, is the ability to provide the athletes that I work with, with means of activating the areas in which I see a deficit. As you may also remember from my previous articles, I also talk a lot about muscle imbalances. A typical muscle imbalance involves a hyper and hypo-facilitated muscle neurologically, giving it either a tonic (increased) or phasic (decreased) tone. The typical treatment plan for this is to stretch the tight muscles and try to strengthen the weakened ones. This does leave a gap for activation, and its that gap which I’ve identified a need to continue to try and fill.
This weekend, I will be traveling up to Columbus, OH to learn some of the new therapies and activation methods that have been all the talk at EliteFTS. The main concepts that I can pull from what I’ve gathered of what to expect from this seminar is that it is deeply involved with the nervous system in order to reactivate and change motor patterns in the body. So far it has been very well spoken of by many in the strength world who have utilized it. It also seems to involve a reproducible pattern of identification for these changes in motor function. I have been looking for a technique that identifies and addresses these types of issues for a while now, and have contemplated another technique before hearing about this specific one. After talking to David Allen about the seminar and then reading the results that those at EliteFTS have been having, I easily decided that this checked off all the boxes to entice me to check it out. I am excited to explore what this seminar has to offer, and will look to do a special write up about it when I get back. So stay tuned! And for those who are already my patients, I hope you are ready to be guinea pigs!
A few weeks ago, me and another member were having a conversation that I have long had with myself about knowledge and learning. This conversation was particularly about nutrition and human performance, but I would argue that it can be applicable to becoming better at your craft, regardless of what it may be. The conversation at hand was essentially the struggle of how to learn and grow with the goal of becoming one of the best in your field. I think this is definitely a struggle that is appreciated by many and understood by few. HOW do you become the best? HOW can I be like (insert expert)? HOW did they become so knowledgable? It’s as if they have an answer for everything… I won’t claim to know the answer, but personally for me, I feel as if I have been able to formulate at least a few strategies to filter through some of the confusion and bullshit which have at least helped to some level. As we discussed this struggle, I found that my findings and strategies were similar to his. Without scripting the entire conversation, albeit it was a good one, these are the take-away points from that conversation. 3 Things to Help You Evolve in Your Field.
1. Surround Yourself With/Learn From Quality Individuals.
This is not necessarily meaning that you should move hundreds of miles away to intern with or train with the experts of your field (although its not a horrible idea if you can make it happen). This is simply meaning that you need to have a group of mentors or trustworthy individuals to either follow their work, learn from, or bounce your ideas and concerns off of. The issue here being that since we have entered the age of (mis)information, anyone and everyone has now became an expert. Everyone has a channel on youtube and everyone is a kinesiology, nutrition, rehab AND strength training expert all in one (and each of them have an amazing secret that no one else knows). How the hell do you sift through all this and actually find the true experts? The answer: You look at their body of work. For health care professionals who have they worked with? Where have they done their training? Who trusts them as providers? Are they involved in research and do they have any published work?
In strength training or nutrition, what have they done personally? Who have they trained under or who were their mentors? Who are the products of their training programs? Start paying attention to those things and you will realize pretty quickly that the duds are typically going to follow a “me, me, me” call, as this is the only validation or credibility they have. For example: If you see a youtube channel talking about how easy it is to get cut and have abs by doing 30 minutes of work a day at home, question why it is that there are no examples success to show for it besides himself/herself. And while we are on that note of social media, for the love of God do not ever look at the amount of followers someones has. Just because someone has followers, has no merit whatsoever in how knowledgeable they are. I would even argue that this is an inverse relationship. The current world’s strongest man has around 50,000 followers on youtube. Pick any random channel under the category of “six pack” and you have multiple groups or channels with millions of followers. Who do you think ACTUALLY knows anything about strength? Have I made my point?
Once you do find these individuals though, let them guide your journey for growth in the right direction. If you wish to seek knowledge, find out what sources those individuals obtained their knowledge. Chances are, if you are trying to learn about rehabilitation techniques, if you start with scholarly articles published by a reputable individual, you will already be on the right path. Every research article is usually based off of 20-40 or even 100 other articles which are cited at the end. Pick a few that are relative to what you want to learn and go from there. Not only are you learning something relevant to your interests, but you are also learning from sources who’s information were valuable to the individual who’s opinion you value. One starting article could lead to 30 or more which are worthwhile.
2. Learn to Be Critical.
One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen from those who are on the path to betterment and “becoming the best” in their field is an almost blind following or gullibility to information. I will admit that I see this a lot in my field, but that it is not exclusive to chiropractic or health care in general. I’m not advocating the need to question everything, but it is critical to be able to step back and make sure that information being fed to you still aligns with the knowledge you have worked so hard to develop. Even in scientific literature, there does exist biased research and information does need to be critically evaluated to determine its validity. This happens as well with any marketing scheme in which a successful person is placed in front of the camera or microphone and starts promising all of the money and success that he or she has and all you have to do is follow what they do, buy “x” book or do a certain technique. Some individuals will see that as a fast lane to the promised land and buy into whatever dogma comes next. In this mindset, they are essentially relying on “if this person is successful, then if i do exactly what they do, I will be successful too.” I will argue that no one technique or certification has ever made someone successful or an expert in their field. To me, certifications can be helpful, but only few can be seen as a true indicator of one’s abilities. Knowledge still needs to be applied, and its the application and thought process of how to apply that knowledge that will make an individual stand apart.
3. Realize There is No Finish Line.
Whether you like it or not, this is the reality. For those looking to evolve as one of the top members of their field, beware: you are not running a race. I personally avoid looking at this process as a race with a finish. There is no finish line. There is no point in which you just stop because you have “arrived”. Name an athlete, profession, company, etc. that does not constantly focus on improvement and development in order to stay at the top of their trade. I promise you they do not exist. This is probably the biggest reason why there is a spectrum of people in every profession. Not everyone will be the top in their field or a world record holder, etc. It’s just not realistic. Those positions, records, and levels of expertise are unique because of the fact that they are difficult to obtain. So what makes those people stand apart? What do you do if there is no finish line? To me I think it’s passion and consistency. First, you need to have a certain level of passion towards your field. It doesn’t mean that you have to love every second of it, but it does mean that you have to feel strongly about what it is you do and how you do it. Passion is what will push you through hardships, guide your decision making, and entice and excite you and others to your cause.
Consistency is also a huge factor in building success over time. You can only go nose to the grindstone for so long before you burn out. So if you absolutely have to think of this process as a race, think of it as a life long race. If you really want to last, you better not sprint the first leg, otherwise you will burn out. Sometimes, you just need to trust that consistency of chipping away for a few hours a day is going to yield results in the long run over devoting huge chunks of time and effort towards a short term goal. I had an instructor in my schooling who was an incredibly intelligent radiologist and pathologist. I remembered him talking about his career and noting that at a certain period in his pursuit of education that he spent 2 years studying pathologies of the hand. From how to properly diagnose and identify on imaging, to cause (etiology) and treatment of these pathologies. TWO YEARS! Most people have a hard time changing their diet and exercise regimen even when their life is at stake for this kind of time. Even in fitness, you will only find a certain percentage of individuals who have devoted two years to bring up their weaknesses in the pursuit of furthering themselves. Consistency is the ability for you to constantly push forward and improve. Having routines, methods, and goals built into each day, week, month, etc. will allow you to maintain constant growth. Time can be a positive or negative factor. If you allow time to slip by without accomplishing certain tasks because you will “do it tomorrow”, it can be your worst enemy. But if you are able to utilize consistency and accomplish tasks and improve each day, time will compound and multiply this growth over a long period. The big takeaway is that when you look at the process of becoming great over a career 2 years out of 20 or 30 is not a lot of time. Time alone will be a huge factor in growing as an individual. If you use it wisely, it will pay dividends.
The other cool thing about consistency and passion is they eventually become habitual. After a while, you don’t so much force yourself to devote time to learning, growing the business, or building your strength because you HAVE to, but simply because it’s a part of what you do and value the most.
NBS Fitness will be putting its members on display this weekend during its media day on Saturday. We will be showcasing the many iron sports offered at the facilities including powerlifting, strongman, bodybuilding, and olympic lifting. It will be an intense and fun day with individuals who are passionate about the iron sports, strength, and personal improvement.
Since being at NBS Fitness, I’ve moved away from strongman despite the vast amount of success the strongman group here has been having in order to improve and build for strongman myself. In the past I had competed in the 275 class. In this class, I had concluded that my strength was my athleticism, and my weakness was my top end strength. Athleticism, I felt gave me an edge in moving, loading, and pushing/pulling events, whereas my lack of top end strength made it difficult to stick with the pack in most of the static events such as pressing or deadlifting. After my last competition, I decided that in order to improve as a strongman, I needed to drop down a weight class, recomp my body, and build my strength from there. From early 2015, I dropped from about 275 to 233 before looking to David Allen for a switch in training and nutrition in November 2015. The goal was set to move to hypertrophy based programming to build size, technique, and strength to eventually even out at the 242 class. During this time, I have still remained involved in strongman administratively, but not as a competitor.
This week, however, I’m excited to get to put my training to the side and jump back into strongman for a day to hit some heavy events with fellow team members for the benefit of NBS Fitness. The strongman group will try to cover a majority of the many different events in strongman, and along with the rest of the iron sports here at NBS, provide some awesome footage of why NBS Fitness and its members are the absolute sh*t.
As we continue to roll through the summer, here is yet another change at Mid-South SSP: We have a new logo and a new Facebook page for you to stay connected with future activities, announcements, and write-ups with NBS Fitness. This page will allow for further connection with patients and the public to increase availability for Q&A, access to information, and outlets for patients to find scheduling opportunities with the clinic.
Moving forward, Mid-South SSP’s Facebook page will also be an outlet for any testimonials, videos, and sporting events that I am involved with. So go check it out, give us a like, and as always, stay tuned for new updates and information as it is develops!
This last weekend, I finally found some time to take trip back to Iowa over the Fourth of July. And I can definitely say that to me, the worst part about moving 9 hours away from where you grew up is not that you can’t go back as much as you want, it’s finding a way to see and squeeze in as many people as you can into your vacation because you know you won’t be back for an extended amount of time. So having said that, if I were to describe this trip in one word, it would be BUSY!
Although most people’s perception of Iowa being nothing but farmland is somewhat correct, there is still plenty to do if you are an outdoorsman like myself. One of my biggest complaints about living in a larger populated area is that there is almost no room to get out and do what you want, so I was very much looking forward to some of the isolation of Iowa. My family owns a few hundred acres of farm land and also raises horses. For me, that means plenty of room to spread out and do whatever I please. The very first thing on the agenda for my first day back was to get some shooting and fishing in. Although the fishing had to wait on day one, there were plenty of rounds thrown through my H&K. All you gotta do is pack up and head back into the field, set up some targets, and let the lead fly. Probably the most American thing to do to start out its birthday weekend. After that, we proceeded to bounce around a few early Fourth of July celebrations with some high school friends. The weather was definitely not as ideal as I had hoped early on, and it had rained before I arrived in Iowa. So instead of clear skies and sun for the Jeep, we ended up finding some mud instead early on.
No matter when or how long I come back to Iowa, there are a certain group of friends that I always make sure I find time for. Last year for the third of July we got together in Dubuque, IA (about 2 hours away from where I grew up) to grill, play outdoor games and watch the evening air show and fireworks. The air show was pretty impressive last year, and is primarily skydivers and a load of different military aircraft from WWII to present day. It was a good enough time that we decided to do it again. My girlfriend also decided to make the trip from a wedding the previous night in Indianapolis, so it was also a plus for her to meet up with my long time friends as well. It was supposed to be gloomy, but instead ended up being upper 70s and sunny all day. Although the air show had more skydivers and WWII planes than it had modern aircraft, it was still a pretty awesome show, and no one can complain about grilling and playing cornhole and beersby all day.
Once we finally got up and made the trek back to my parents from Dubuque, we had quite the busy day ahead of us for the 4th. Since my family is so involved with riding and breeding horses as a hobby, and Margaret had never really spent any time on a farm before, riding horses and spending time around the farm was at the top of her to do list for the trip. Personally, I don’t care for riding horses, but since we were able to ride around one of my family’s farms and in a few of our fields, it was like knocking out two birds with one stone. My parents came along with, as I have absolutely no idea how to saddle and bridle a horse. We rode and talked for about an hour and a half. It seemed like everyone had fun. All I know is that my ass hurt from being in the saddle for a few days afterwards.
Family was by far my biggest reason to head back for the holiday break. Specifically for a few reasons. My sister and brother-in-law recently welcomed a baby girl into their family about a week before I visited, so clearly the biggest thing on my to-do list was to meet my new niece, Cora. I also have quite a large and close extended family (approximately 30 or 35 people). Between all the cousins, there were two other kids born within the last year that I had either never seen, or saw very little of. Every year the family gets together on the 4th, which made for an entire day of visiting and catching up. It was also nice bringing someone new into the family myself. Normally when I come back, I am pretty engaged in updating everyone on how life is going and what is new. This time I was able to use Margaret as a shield to absorb a good amount of the attention and questions I normally get. It was a pretty successful strategy, so I may have to bring her along the next time I go to Iowa and do it again.
After the busyness of the first three days, I had still not been able to go fishing. The night before we ended up staying up about 3 hours later than I wanted. Today was supposed to be the last day of the trip, and I had wanted to get back at a decent time. My plan was to get up early. Get a few hours of fishing in and then hit the road. Unfortunately I slept in and by the time we were ready to get fishing, we only had about 45 minutes to get there and get back to stay on schedule. To make matters worst, this was finally the first day on the trip that it got into the 80s and was warm enough and sunny enough to take the top and doors off of the jeep. This was something that I was really looking forward to, as for space reasons, I have not been able to do so far in Tennessee. What a great day to waste spending on the road for 9 hours…
We have a pretty good fishing spot, which is usually stocked with bass. It’s also something my brother and I like to get out and do when we are both back, so instead of trying to rush something I haven’t been able to do in an entire year, I decided to postpone our departure from Iowa until Wednesday. After about an hour and a half of fishing between me, my brother and Margaret, we pulled in about 13 fish. Even though I could have spent another 3 hours on that pond, we had a few extra things to do with the newly appointed bonus day in Iowa.
This was probably the best day of the trip, as we had zero plans besides the morning fishing. All I knew is that I wanted to spend some cruising around in the sun with the Jeep. So we took a tour of Iowa all day. This included a lunch date with my brother and his girlfriend and then some sight seeing of the countryside in Iowa during the summer. As a fellow Big Ten graduate from Ohio State, Margaret also also had some interest in seeing the facilities and campus of the University of Iowa and the Iowa City area. Iowa City and the University of Iowa had actually changed a lot since I had been in school as well, so a lot of the buildings we ended up exploring were new to me as well. After a day of exploring (and in somebody’s case defacing) the University of Iowa and Iowa City, it was time to actually get back to Tennessee in the morning.
Unlike what some may think, it’s never really a dull moment in Iowa during the summer as long as you have friends and family, a little bit of creativity and maybe some open farmland and ponds to mess around with.
There have been a lot of changes this summer, and Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance has been no exception. Since moving to the new location in May, we have added multiple services and extended times out for members and public to provide more access to more types of care, more efficiently. Along with these changes has come some confusion and hang ups, so I would like to address some of the measures I, along with NBS Fitness have made to further smooth out the process. Here are three thing you may not know about Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance:
1. We Are Now Completely Online
For new patients, becoming a patient has never been easier. In a short process, you can get set your own online account with Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance. NBS Fitness has added a New Patient Registration Form on its website in the “Dr. Detweiler” tab underneath Team NBS. Once this form is filled out and received, we will create an online patient profile using the information you provided and a confirmation email will be sent to you to finalize the account. Once the account is finalized, you will have access to online appointment scheduling, personal messaging for any needs you may have, as well as access to online documentation to fill out for your initial visit. These processes are geared towards increasing efficiency and making sure that your visit is not tediously tied down with red tape.
2. We Have Expanded Our Hours
Since the move, Mid-South SSP’s hours have changed and also expanded. Hours are now geared towards availabilities both in the morning and afternoon throughout the week, as well as access to care on the weekend. These hours are:
Tuesday: 1pm – 7pm
Thursday: 9am – 1:30pm
Saturday 9am – 1:30pm
This is double the amount of hours offered at NBS Fitness’ previous location, and we feel it will allow for access to care at all times during the week.
3. We Now Offer Foot Levelers Custom Orthotics.
Almost as important as the spine are the feet. The feet are the main connection of our body to the external environment and must manage and support intense amounts of forces from our body to this external environment. Foot Levelers is an orthotic brand that allows for a custom made orthotic to be fit to you and helps support the three arches of the foot. They can be used to support abnormalities in the foot or preventatively to ensure that abnormalities do not develop. Stay tuned for future articles outlining why the feet are such a vital part of human performance and normal activity.
In practice (private or team sports), there are a wide spectrum of injuries that can occur in many different places. Today’s world of information undoubtably arms patients with more knowledge of their body. It is not uncommon for a patient to beat me to the punch and ask whether or not their problem is a compensation for something else. I find this to be a good thing as the patient is aware that there is a possibility that this is occurring and that it may be more complicated than just having pain (right here) or that it may be relative to a previous condition or trauma they had experienced. When dealing with a problem, the single best indicator for a positive outcome is identifying WHY or HOW said problem occurred (AKA, the cause). I know this seems like kind of a no-brainer, “Wow, Doc, that was a really riveting piece you wrote that an injury gets better when you find out whats wrong,” but let’s hold back on the sarcastic praise until the end. Some of the most simple concepts are the most important and I want to use this framework to set a good foundation to build on moving forward. So here is why that opening statement is so important.
The foundation I would like to build for future discussion and expansion are based on the work of Dr. Vladimir Janda (Pronounced with a soft J – think jogging). He is most famous for his identification of upper and lower-crossed syndrome, but much of his work is overlooked and less studied. His work was revolutionary for his time and provides an understanding for some of the faults of western medicine, and provides an insight in understanding compensation.
According to Janda, there are two main schools of thought when it comes to pathology of the neuromusculoskeletal system. This is the system which concerns all muscles, tendons, bones, etc and the nervous system which controls it. These two schools of thought are structural and functional. A structural school of thought concerns lesions that can be assessed with orthopedic testing and visualized on imaging (X-Ray, MRI, CT Scan, etc). A functional injury is described as “an impairment in the ability of a structure or physiological system to perform its job.” This is our first introduction to a compensation. When a structure (muscle, ligament, joint, etc.) is unable to perform its job, it will adapt a new pattern, movement, or action which is inferior to normal. This new adaptation MAY OR MAY NOT result in immediate pain. That statement cannot be stressed enough as all too often, the focus on personal health is “if I don’t have pain, then I don’t have a problem.” If there is a functional cause, it is much more likely for the compensation from normal to develop and progress without pain until these compensations cause enough damage and stress to overcome the body’s pain threshold.
So let’s expand on this with two injury examples. First is a common football injury. A running back attempts an open field cut to the left, planting his outside right foot. During the cut, his foot catches and his knee hyperextends and rotates. He hears a pop and drops to the turf in pain. Orthopaedic tests are performed on the field and indicate a suspected ACL tear. The tear is confirmed with an MRI that evening. This lesion is a structural lesion. Orthopaedic testing and imaging modalities are able to identify the damaged structure. There is a very well defined and proven treatment for this condition. This type of condition is very well managed by most medical professionals.
The second example is a weight lifter. She has been lifting for three years, has competed in bodybuilding, and is now training for her first powerlifting meet. She started having pain in the front of her right knee in the middle of her training cycle and is now having pain in her low back that favors the right side when she squats. She decides to see an orthopaedic surgeon. There are no orthopeadic tests that can provoke her complaint. Her x-rays and MRI are negative and show no sign of STRUCTURAL damage to the knee. No trauma is involved in this injury, and the subject does not recall a certain action that began this pain. There is no indicator as to WHY the pain is occurring besides the fact that it is occurring in the right knee and low back. She is diagnosed with patellar tendinitis and a strain in her low back. She is given prescription pain medication and told to back off on squatting.
This lesion is likely a functional lesion, and presents only in specific situations such as squatting. In a condition like this, without being able to visually identify which structure is injured, a common practice is to slap a generic diagnosis such as tendinitis, strain, or sprain and to throw medication at it based on the presentation of pain as it is not a surgical case. Let’s imagine this woman had begun weight lifting three years ago on her own. She was not taught proper mechanics and developed an improper squat form with a weak posterior chain. During this time, she saw moderate improvements (as most beginners do), began to get passionate about lifting, and was also told by a trainer at her gym that she should do a bodybuilding show. She hires the trainer who puts her on a program but neglects to correct her form. Now three years later when she begins to increase weight loads on her squat in preparation for a powerlifting meet, she begins to increase the abnormal stress in her joints caused by improper form and compensation of motor patterns. She is quad dominant and unable to activate her posterior chain and begins to have knee pain. This pain is tolerable but causes her to offload the knee and compensate even more by utilizing the lateral stabilizers of her spine. A few weeks later she begins to develop back pain. Looking at this lesion in a functional school of thought, the pain may allow for a starting point with the understanding that there are likely underlying factors that occurred to develop this pain, especially when it is non-traumatic. A structural school of thought cannot comprehend this sequence of events, as it is focused on where the pain is and visualizing a damaged structure or finding a positive orthopaedic test to single out the lesion.
SO… what should we take away from this?
1) Many pain conditions are the result of functional lesions and compensatory patterns. These common patterns have been well established in Dr. Janda’s work and are grouped into what is known as lower and upper-crossed syndrome.
A vast majority of patients that I see will fall into this category and type of lesion. Functional lesions are much more common than structural lesions. This is ESPECIALLY the case if they are chronic in nature and do not involve a single incident of trauma (although there are exceptions to this).
2) IF not properly treated, these conditions will not improve.
If a functional lesion exists that is not properly managed, the conditions will not improve and is likely to cause worse injury down the road. Pharmaceutical or surgical intervention for a functional lesion leads to poor outcomes. This has been shown in cases like patellofemoral pain, plantar fasciitis, and tendinitis to name a few.
3) Functional lesions/compensatory patterns develop over time due to repetitive stress.
Just as in the example, the development of a functional lesion takes time under stress. The basis of the upper and lower-crossed syndromes are rooted in the fact that the body is predisposed to adapt in a predictable pattern due to the repetitive stresses in our jobs, daily activities, and social life.
-Stay tuned for part II, as we will discuss how a functional lesion or compensation occurs.
As the big highlight of my summer so far, I was able to help once again with United States Strongman’s National Championships in Louisville, KY. This year I was unable to treat at the event due to the Kentucky Chiropractic laws not allowing the purchase of temporary licenses from chiropractors licensed outside of Kentucky. Instead I was brought on as one of the judges of the event as I am a state rep for United States Strongman.
First of all, If you have never promoted a show, you should know that no matter what you do and how much you plan, there will be hiccups. There was no exception to this show, but within the duration of the first two events things were running smoothly (who’d have thought organizing and ordering 314 competitors over two events using 8 total lanes would be a bit of challenge?).
As with working any event, whether as the promoter, MC, judge, or providing athlete care, you are going to be the busiest people at the show. 4th Street Live was easily one of the most impressive venues I have been involved with in strongman and is the one regret I have from the weekend as I was unable to explore and experience it throughout the day. I did have some opportunities to sit back and take in the venue, and it was just so impressive to me how many spectators were packed into the place to watch. Although strongman athletes usually bring a built in amount of spectators, I would be very surprised if a good portion of these people were not locals who stopped to watch.
I think the thing that impressed me the most about the weekend, though, were the competitors. With how much the sport has grown over the last year, there were so many new faces at this year’s event, and everyone that I interacted with were competitive as hell. If you are unfamiliar to strongman, unlike a large majority of other sports, most competitors are actually very supportive of each other. Even individuals who are neck and neck for points will often cheer and push each other simply for the benefit of that person. To me it just adds to the experience of strongman. Even though the venue was able to block away a lot of the sun and heat that was expected for Saturday’s competition, it was still hot as hell. I would argue strong men and women to be some of the toughest athletes around. I can’t even count how many competitors I saw pass out from pushing themselves to the limit, and I’m convinced that strongman is one of the few sports in which an athlete will pass out and then attempt to finish the event. There was one particular competitor whom I’m fairly certain probably passed out on every event. Having said all of that, I’m happy that (from what I could tell) no one was seriously injured or had to pull out of the competition due to injury. To all the competitors from Saturday, you made such an awesome impression on me and were all great representatives of the sport for those spectating who had never seen a competition before.
It was great to get back to my strongman roots and see the many friends that I’ve made over the years in the sport compete and perform. I do wish that I could have had more time to visit with those I hadn’t seen for awhile, (specifically the entire Team Anvil Gym who performed VERY well) but it is part of the job. I look forward to next June and hope to see the sport continue to grow.
First off, as a disclaimer, I’m not going to sit here on my high horse and talk about all the things I know or do that you should know and do too. I’m a pretty big on the concept that one of the best ways in invoking a change is to go ahead and own the problems that you have. So this periodic blog is going to kind of be my way of owning and sharing some of my current struggles and problems in my personal or professional life, and solutions that I feel I need to be more accountable for. Selfishly, I hope that at the least this will help me progress forward, but I do hope that if you find yourself struggling with some of these issues that it may help you as well.
Time management is one of my biggest problems, as I’m sure many others can relate to. If you ask anyone that is close to me right now, I’m sure they will tell you that they’ve heard me mention not having enough time. Between my professional life, personal life with friends, family, and a significant other, my training, and just my own personal time to keep myself sane, I often feel like I have a big task(s) lingering over me. I have specifically recognized over the last few months with the move into the new NBS Fitness facilities and the expansion of my business that my prioritization skills and training frequency have not been on point like they could be. It is not the first time my training has been sacrificed due to increased workload, but it drives me absolutely insane. These frustrations brought me to think of the analogy of the “Big Rocks” of life, introduced by Dr. Stephen Covey which I had learned back in my undergraduate days. It’s a great reminder of how important prioritization is, and is something that I recognize that I need to get back to. I liked the visual impression this analogy utilizes, so I youtube’d it and found this video, among many others. I will admit it is a bit long and the music sucks, but it does get the point across (and that’s why you have a mute button).
College is a time of experiences, and these experiences will shape you as an individual. For athletes, I think this is doubly true. Not only are you experiencing living on your own, meeting new people, etc., but you’re also influenced by the values, lessons, and demands of being a competitive athlete at the same time. Let’s face it, high school is not the same as college. The demands during and out of season are drastically greater in all aspects. Intensity AND frequency is greatly increased in everything that you do and if you are in one of the bigger flagship sports, there is a slew of other pressures involved as well. A team (and individually each player) and it’s coaching staff are much like a child and their parents in the sense that often times the team or individual’s attitude, character, and morals are a direct product of those values held by their coaching staff. These ethical standards and what importance they are emphasized in the program will be evident as a team or individually in each player.
During my time at the University of Iowa, there was a sleeve on the inside of our lockers in which we would get notices, reminders, and motivational quotes from our coaching staff on a consistent basis. These could be announcements about practice schedules, important stories in the media that related to subjects relevant to the program, or even motivational quotes. Often, after a few days you would throw these away, but some were impactful enough that they made it into your binder or personal folder for reflection later on. A select few made a big impression on me and represented something or someone that I truly found to be unique. As I am currently preparing the new office in our NBS facilities, I brought out this particular document from 2010. It will be the centerpiece for Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance’s Wall of Champions (more on that later). It is a quote which also reflect and match my view on the values of a champion that I credit to the University of Iowa football program and others such as the story of Coach Ed Thomas for instilling in me during this period of growth. Though the quote is directed towards football, I’ve been able to apply it to many different situations in life, and believe it to be interchangeable across all applications; sports or otherwise:
For those who do not know who Coach Ed Thomas was, he was a legendary football coach and even greater role model in the state of Iowa. My high school was lucky enough to share ties with his program at Applington-Parkersburg, specifically the offensive line camp that our two schools participated in each summer in high school. He built a monster program out of a town of less than 2000 people that produced multiple standout college and professional football players. He was even more well known for the lessons, work ethic, and moral fortitude that he instilled on his players and that town. He was nationally recognized for these attributes and at the time of his tragic death in 2009.
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition of the bottom or plantar surface of the foot in which primarily the plantar fascia, a supportive structure in proper foot biomechanics, is irritated and stressed to the point that it becomes painful. In many cases, the pain can be severe enough to alter or even disallow walking.
For clarification, in order to establish the correct line of treatment it is best to be diagnosed and managment by a health care professional (MD, DC, DPT, DO, etc). Depending on the health care professional you seek out, you will have different strategies of treatment. For those that are specifically looking for more non-invasive, conservative options and are willing to invest some extra effort in order to maintain function, there are multiple approaches to consider. Here are three of them.
1. Address Muscle Imbalances
Since your body does not exists as a bunch of structures that are independent of each other, in any injury it is always wise to to consider causative factors within the region. In the case of plantar fasciitis, this is often going to be calf and achilles tendon tightness. As you may be able to tell from the above picture, the achilles tendon is practically a continuation of the plantar fascia structurally. Biomechanically, stress is absolutely transferred from the achilles tendon and plantar fascia. In plantar fasciitis, there is an all to common correlative cause between tight calves and achilles, which is backed up with increased success when therapy extends to the calf muscles. Work your calf muscles out either by stretching or by utilizing eccentric training to help better adapt the achilles to stress. An example of this would be standing calf raises with a 3 or 5 second eccentric or down phase followed by a one second hold and stretch on the bottom of the movement.
2. DIY Therapy: Ice Massages and Foot Rolling
In plantar fasciitis, the most painful times for those with plantar fasciitis are typically in the morning as soon as you get up from bed, and after long periods of sitting or relaxing (i.e. not up and walking). This is because during sleep and periods of non-usage, the plantar fascia, calves, etc begin to tighten up again as they are no longer being stretched by walking and are subject to less blood flow during this time. Once an individual has tightened up again, they often experience increased pain, as this tissue is essentially re-tearing from the stress of walking. Ice massages and foot rolling are great DIY therapies in addition to other therapies you may be receiving because they are effective, and allow you to address the condition when it is at its worst. This improves your ability to function throughout the day in turn gives you a role in your own care. They are also SUPER EASY.
- Freeze water in a cup.
- Peel off the outer layer.
- Massage your foot to decrease pain and loosen up the plantar tissue.
Foot Rolling (this is great to do as soon as you wake up):
- Pick a small ball with a tolerable size and stiffness (tennis ball, golf ball, bumpy ball, etc.)
- Roll the bottom of your foot from the heel all the way through the arch near the toes.
- Increase the weight you place on the foot as you work through the exercise to toleration.
*Side note* – DO expect to be tender initially until you have loosened up the plantar fascia.
3. Biomechanical Assessment and Treatment:
There are multiple bones and joints in the foot, and like all other bones and joints they are there to move and transfer forces in order to allow proper function. In the case of the foot and ankle, we are talking about the joints that are the beginning of a huge majority of our interaction with our external environment. Patterns of walking, running, squatting, and balance can be drastically affected at the foot due to the movement and transmission of forces which are unique in this area. This is why a biomechanical assessment of the foot by a health care professional is important. This type of assessment is necessary to ensure joint motion of the foot, specifically in the hind and mid foot when dealing with plantar fasciitis. If these joints are fixated or the foot is collapsing excessively, excessive stress will be dealt to the foot. As joint assessment and manipulation is a staple of chiropractic treatments, a chiropractic evaluation would be a wise choice. All too often in plantar fasciitis, the joints in the foot are not evaluated for proper motion. Restoration of this motion may be the last missing piece of the puzzle for a case which will not completely heal.
Change is a good thing, and for those who have been following NBS Fitness, you know that there has been PLENTY of change going on. Recently, the gym hosted a big powerlifting competition along with the move into a new facility with new equipment. Things are moving at lightning speeds as we put the final details together to improve the best gym in Memphis. I will be going through some changes as well at NBS Fitness, so I wanted to take some time to give preview of these changes as well as give a little teaser to the NBS blog and article audience as to what kind of material I will be presenting over the next month or two.
Office Space Changes
A much anticipated change for myself and many members will be the addition of treatment rooms to our new facilities. I will be operating out of one of these spaces and expanding my hours to better suit the needs of our members and public. I’m excited about these changes as they will allow me to go public as Mid-South Spine and Sports Performance inside NBS Fitness. My hours will remain familiar to many of the members in the gym and will add an increased amount of options for access to care for both NBS members and the public. In an effort to put NBS members first and promote the gym, I will have member and non-member pricing. NBS members and their immediate family’s costs will not change from my current pricing,and non-member fees will be increased slightly.
Along with the new location, I will be implementing a new electronic health record system which will allow current and future patients to utilize an online patient portal to view and create appointments online, share and fill out documents and information, and personally message me all while utilizing a secure site. We will also be integrating my operations with the NBS Fitness website to provide further ease of access to this portal as well as links to new patient paper work for those looking to begin receiving care.
For more information on any of these services, do not hesitate to email me or ask me about getting a patient profile set up to take advantage of these new perks.
Future Web Content
Moving forward with my web content, I wanted to focus a little bit more on some of the subjects that I have been really hammering in the office with my treatments of NBS members, U of M athletes, and general public. This will give me a chance to lay the foundation for what I’m trying to accomplish (the why) with my treatments, and then begin to go more in depth once these fundamentals are established. I’m a firm believer that you do not truly understand a concept until you are able to explain and teach a it to someone else, so I want to hold my end of the bargain there as well. I will also jump into a little bit of sports psychology/my opinions on characteristics that separate good from great athletes. So in no particular order, here are the subjects I will be covering.
- Athletes: Those Who Have “It” and Those Who Don’t
- A Structural vs. Functional Outlook on Injury
- The Basics of Muscle Dysfunction
- Reasons to See a Chiropractor Even if You Aren’t in Pain.
- The Importance of Proactive Rehab in Sports.
- The Sacrifices of Being Abnormal
The shoulder is by far the most common extremity I deal with in sports and private practice and is a very prevalent problem in today’s fitness and general population. Most shoulder cases are not tears or dislocations that warrant surgical repair. Rather they are the result of biomechanical or neurological abnormalities in shoulder activation, mechanics, and movement patterns.
This probably sounds complicated, and absolutely can be. But a vast majority of these shoulder issues fall into similar patterns and causes. Because of this, most shoulder conditions are preventable if proper attention and effort are devoted to the shoulder and keeping it healthy. So for those who are having issues and want to fix shoulder pain, or want to be proactive and keep their shoulders healthy, here are three quick tips to fix shoulder pain. You may notice all three of these tips are actually tied into each other and follow a familiar theme: Imbalances in the shoulder.
1) Fix your posture, Quasimodo.
Due to electronic device usage, office jobs, and sitting in general being so dominant in today’s society, the typical person is more and more predisposed to having bad posture. Why does this matter, you ask? It matters because it leads to the development of an abnormal motor pattern called upper cross syndrome. This occurs when muscles such as the pecs, traps, and neck flexors dominate and pull the shoulders and head forward. This in turn shuts off the muscles in the back who’s main job is stabilizing the shoulder blade. Since the shoulder blade is THE major connector of the shoulder to the rest of the body, an unstable shoulder blade will certainly mean bad news for the shoulder. Bad posture is also well known to be a submissive position and a slumped or stooped over posture has been shown to have negative mental impacts on mood and confidence. Guess you weren’t as alpha as you thought, bro.
The solution? Sit and stand with better posture. Drop the shoulders down and back and stick the chest out while pinching your shoulder blades together. When you sit, actually sit on the seat of your pelvis to create a good arch instead of rounding the low back and slumping over with the rest of your body. Your shoulders will thank you.
2) Stop pressing so much.
This isn’t even about you skipping leg day. That’s another topic for another day. This is about training way too many pushing and pressing movement, (bench, push-ups, overhead presses, dumbbell presses, etc) without balancing these movements out. Stereotypes exist for a reason, and the gym bro stereotype is well deserving of trap, chest and shoulder dominance over what is essentially the entire posterior chain. For the sake of this write up, we are only concerned about the upper back and rear stabilizers of the shoulder. This is by far the most common cause of shoulder pain in the beginner lifter. Trying to hit a new bench PR followed by dumbbell flys, pec deck and some tricep work twice a week is not going to cut it.
Proper training needs balance. In the case of the shoulder, this means pulling, shoulder retraction, and upper back extension movements. Pull-ups, pull-downs, seated pulls, face pulls, rounded back extensions and good mornings, etc. The key here is to activate and strengthen the foundations of the shoulder and upper back.
3) Invest shoulder prehab work into your training.
One of the best ways to fix shoulder pain and keep it from reoccurring is consistency over time. Whether you are hurt or not, prehab is something you need to be doing. As tip 2 constantly plagues the beginner lifter, this section often involves intermediate and advanced lifters. These athletes may have their programming figured out, but neglect to invest the extra time in promoting their longevity in strength training. Unless you have structurally damaged the shoulder (torn labrum, pec, bicep, etc.) the cause of shoulder pain will be functional. This means constant repetitive strain is being placed on joints and muscles, causing abnormal movement or stress to accumulate to a level which surpasses the threshold of pain. This can be due to chronic imbalances as noted before, the wear and tear of training, or other everyday activities. Strength training by definition involves breaking down the body, so it should not be a surprise that if proper attention is not given to areas which are constantly being broken down, it will eventually catch up to you. Because of this, prehab should be a constantly ongoing process. Whether it is for correcting a current problem before it begins causing pain, or focusing ones attention on an area predisposed to future injury or excessive stress based on ones sport. This is a concept that young college athletes REALLY have issues accepting or comprehending. They can figure out that they need to spend time rebuilding their army in Clash of Clans, but can’t figure out that they need to rebuild their own body on a daily basis too. When I’m asked by an athlete when they can stop doing prehab work, the answer is “When you are done training and competing.” Otherwise, get it in.
For the non-complicated shoulder condition, prehab can include stretching, activation work, and reinforcing correct movement patterns. The less an athlete is willing to do on their own, the more I need them in my office. A good start with stretching is to focus on the pecs, lats, and traps. These are the locations I find to have the most trigger points that need to be released. Stretching should be done on off days, after training, or before training days that do not involve the shoulder or upper body.
Activation work is best accomplished with light band work before training shoulder and upper body movements or on off days. This should include the rotor cuff, upper back, and posterior shoulder stabilizers. For a good base program of band work for the upper back and shoulder check out David’s Band Pullapart Super Series. (Bonus points if you can correctly identify which other NBS member is in the video).
Movement pattern reinforcement is essentially the constant analysis, critique, and focus on obtaining and maintaining correct form. In order to fix shoulder pain, you may need to analyze include bench pressing, overhead pressing, and any other chest, arm, or shoulder isolation movement you are currently using in your training. This may seem like something you are already doing, so don’t skip this part of the write-up. Even if you are able to activate and pinch your scapulas together and have always stretched your pecs, you must be able to complete a proper range of motion. This allows you to move the most weight, place stress on the correct muscles, AND avoid excessive wear and strain on the shoulder joint. Any healthy joint can be susceptible to damage when you put it in an improper position or movement. Make sure you are constantly addressing proper form with subjective input from yourself and your training partners or coach. Finally, if a shoulder condition seems to be progressively causing problems, get checked out by a professional who is trained to address functional issues to put you on the right track.
Today I wanted to step away from science for a bit and address a topic that some of us at the gym were talking about a few weeks ago: Gym atmosphere.
As an athlete, I would consider myself very fortunate. In high school, I trained under a legitimate trainer. He was the main reason I excelled at the high school level and had the opportunity that few high school football players have of playing at the D1 level. During my career at the University of Iowa, I trained under hands down one of the best strength coaches in the nation, Chris Doyle. To me, the atmosphere of intensity, camaraderie, and teamwork had been a commonplace. Music was always blasting, everyone in the room was trying to get better, and when you stepped up to do your max set, you could BET that your teammates stopped what they were doing to spot, watch, or support you. I was lucky to have the proper atmosphere as the norm.
Little did I know until I began moving from place to place over the last four years, that the atmosphere I had always experienced is not the normal atmosphere that a person experiences in the typical gym. During this time frame, I probably switched gyms about 5 times. I would end up quitting one gym and joining another before finding a gym I could actually train at. Some of the reasons for quitting may have been equipment based, or time based, or maybe because their hours weren’t cooperating with my gigantic class load. But mainly it was because of the atmosphere. Instead of camaraderie, support, and intensity, I constantly stepped into gyms that were filled with isolationism, judgement, way more Keisha than AC/DC, and how dare you deadlift heavy weights without setting them down nicely. I had now experienced the true norm.
Each and every time I moved, I constantly searched for that atmosphere. Very few things matter when searching for a gym more than having likeminded people who are there to support you, inspire you, guide you, or just get along with you. As a general rule of thumb, if I found that atmosphere, I had at least found a place I could train at. Since moving down to Memphis and joining the team here at NBS Fitness, I can say that this place has the best atmosphere of any gym I’ve ever been in. EVER. Even if you are not looking for the best personal trainers with the most knowledge that can turn you into a total badass, you absolutely have to value the atmosphere that is at NBS Fitness. I would like to think that since I’ve experienced both atmospheres, I can be a good testimony that the atmosphere of community togetherness, teamwork, and support at NBS Fitness is far better than the normal that most people experience at their crappy gym. But just incase you think this is biased, let me give you a few examples of things you may be missing out on at your current gym.
As a caregiver at NBS and since a lot of what I do in my profession is observational and objective, I often find myself observing this one firsts hand. At any given time during a normal day at NBS you can see at least two or three different groups of people interacting, whether it be training, conversing, or teaching. You will also meet more people in one month at NBS than you will in 6 months at the normal gym. I guarantee it, because social and positive environments lead to social and positive interaction. Good luck getting that at your crappy gym where people avoid each other like the plaque. If the norm of getting in and getting out of the gym without interaction because of the judgment, insecurity, and negativity is your thing, we can’t help you here.
No matter who you are, what you are doing, or what weight. Need a lift off? A back spot? Side spotters? Press command? Depth check? Video? Ask anyone. Seriously. Do it. I guarantee you will get help by staff or a member. Its not uncommon for members and staff to stick around after their training or shift is over to help other members. Some even make a special trip to the gym just to help out others.
This last one is essentially building upon the points made above. People here actually care about YOU. If you are willing to come in, put work in and get things done, and strive to do it correctly, you will have support. Even the strongest people in the gym are willing to shed a quick tip or two. Don’t know how to do things correctly? That’s fine. Hire one of our personal trainers. We have THE BEST trainers in Memphis. As long as you are willing to work, you will get the support you need. No BS stability ball movements that look exotic but are masking the fact that you aren’t actually getting any work done. Real instruction on how to do things correctly and proven training and nutrition programs that are designed to give you real, measurable results. Not the newest line of crap that doesn’t work that your trainer has jumped on the bandwagon of.
Oh… and the best part: NBS Fitness is about to expand to an even bigger, better, and way more badass facility with more equipment. Sorry other gyms, but thats strikes two and three right there. So if you are looking to get away from “the norm,” invest your efforts into getting actual results, and train in an atmosphere that supports these results instead of holding you back, there’s never been a better time to join Memphis’ best gym.
As one of the blog series I want to begin, I will be opening up a Q&A for the services I provide and the thoughts and reasoning behind them. To begin we will start off with some of the most common questions I am asked. I hope to spark conversation and look forward to answering each of your questions.
I pop myself all the time. Why do I need you?
Most everyone self-adjusts themselves. Depending on the location you are self-adjusting, there may not be an issue with it at all. Many are familiar with laying on a foam roller and having a few “freebies” cavitate. Personally, I’m all for that. For one, this affirms to the person that adjustments of the spine are beneficial to them. This is also the easiest location for most people to self-adjust safely and find relief in certain cases. Sometimes a problem is as simple as needing a little pressure and then getting a release. That being said, there are vast differences between adjusting yourself and being adjusted by a properly trained physician that may make you reconsider the next time you go to push on your chin until something goes.
1. You are not able to relax while self-adjusting.
One of the biggest factors in the success of trying to restore proper motion to a specific segment is that an adjustment requires you to be completely relaxed. Contrary to popular belief from the hundreds of times we have seen our favorite hollywood hero snap someone’s neck, the amount of guarding that muscle is capable of to keep the joints it controls from dislocating or fracturing are only surmountable by a handful of situations (car wrecks, falls, diving into a pool, etc). In the same context, a patient who is not relaxed makes it challenging, if not impossible to adjust the segments involved. To make matters worse, a fixated segment is almost always accompanied with increased muscle spasm and tension. This is a protective mechanism, as just mentioned, and is usually involuntary. So imagine someone trying to relax while at the same time inducing movement with either their hands or body to get themselves to adjust. It would be very difficult for the muscles guarding at the fixated segment to relax enough to restore proper motion.
2. You may not be adjusting the segment that needs to move.
The human body is essentially a multi-operational system with a Type A personality. By that I mean that it is so focused on maintaining the ability to perform particular tasks that it will adapt (or more accurately sacrifice) a function of lesser importance for one of greater importance. Let’s take muscle and joint interactions in the spine for an example of this sacrifice.
The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae. Each vertebra in the spine articulates with the one above and below it to form a joint. Each joint has a specific range of motion that it accomplishes at an individual or segmental level that is dependent on its region in the spine. Each of these individual joints work together to achieve a global range of motion. This global range of motion allows us to stabilize and move to accomplish a given task. In the discussion of global vs. local movement, the body is more focused on global range of motion in the spine as opposed to specific segmental range of motion. If there is an instance in which one joint becomes over irritated or fixated (this could be from bad posture, sleeping wrong, incorrectly stabilizing on a squat in the gym, etc.), the body will adapt by changing its motor patterns to lock down the segment that is not moving correctly and inducing increased motion at a segment above or below the fixated one. This leads to a state of local increased motion (hyper-mobile) in this segment and decreased motion (hypo-mobility) in the fixated segment.
IF this fixation is present long enough, the ensuing increase in muscle spasm and inflammation can cause the person to experience pain and look towards self-adjusting to fix the problem. Self-adjusting, which is typically twisting or applying pressure globally to the spine, is more likely to cause the hyper-mobile segment to move rather than the fixated one because it is again a globally applied force and is not specific to one segment vs. another. This means that the cavitation or popping felt when self-adjusting is probably going to be the hyper-mobile segment(s) rather than the one which is fixated as it again is being programmed in this dysfunctional state to accept more motion anyways.
3. You are reinforcing a faulty movement pattern
Building on the point made above, when an adjustment is made on the incorrect joint (i.e. the hyper-mobile joint vs. the fixated joint), the result will be that the hyper-mobile joint becomes more hyper-mobile, while the fixated joint continues to move incorrectly. A good sign that this is occurring is the sensation of relief after self-adjusting that is only temporary. This is followed by the return of the same tightness and pain from before and is why some feel to the need to self-adjust themselves multiple times a day. The trade off for short term relief is that as a person continually reinforces these patterns, more and more abnormal stress will be placed on the involved joints. This can lead to early wear on the joints (osteoarthritis), disc related injury, or soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) related injury. Also, when a dysfunctional pattern is reinforced over a long enough period of time, the body begins to accept it as the new “normal” way of moving. When the problem is actually addressed, this faulty motor pattern must be overridden to avoid a relapse. This is why addressing the problem early on will lead to a better, less complicated outcome.
The concept to be learned here is not necessarily that you are causing direct harm by the act of self-adjusting, but that you are more likely reinforcing an improper compensatory pattern without addressing the root cause. By having a chiropractor who is trained to identify these signs of a fixated segment (pain, inflammation, local muscle spasm, lack of motion, etc.) adjust you, the cycle of hyper- and hypo-mobility can be broken and you can return to a more normal, pain-free movement pattern.
As I said, please feel free to comment and send me any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try to address each question in this blog in the order they are received.
Now that I’ve got a title written its all downhill from here right? In all seriousness, I’m ecstatic to start up writing with NBS Fitness and begin sharing some of my ideas and experiences.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with me or haven’t checked out my bio, I am the provider of on-site chiropractic and a part of the three headed monster that keeps our athletes and members at NBS Fitness in one piece. I joined the team in September of last year and I also practice in Southaven, MS. I am the Mississippi State Rep for United States Strongman, and I’m passionate about all strength sports.
The story of how I ended up here at NBS is definitely unique, but shows just how important and special relationships in the strength sports community are. I like to joke that the real reason I made the move from Iowa to here was because of NBS Fitness, but honestly, its really not that far of a stretch. Let’s say 50/50.
During my time in graduate school in St. Louis I built some ties with the strongman community, specifically the president of United States Strongman, Willie Wessels. I had previously been a powerlifter, and was looking to do something more functional. During this time, a few of my buddies from Iowa had gotten into strongman and happened to know a few strongman athletes in the St. Louis area that trained at Willie’s gym. One weekend they made a day trip to train events and I decided to meet them at the gym to see what strongman was all about. The event work was challenging but fun and peaked my interest. After that day, I continued to come back a few Saturdays a month to train events and soon started gravitating more and more towards strongman.
By the time I graduated I had competed twice in strongman, treated at one of Willie’s shows, and promoted two other strongman events as well. In the summer of 2015, I asked to help provide chiropractic care at United States Strongman Nationals in Indianapolis, and was able to do just that. Treating at USS Nationals was a great experience. As the first ever USS Nationals, the atmosphere was electric and a lot of the athletes put on impressive performances. I also met and treated a lot of people in the strongman community including a few members from NBS Fitness.
As luck would have it, a month later my search to further my career sent me on a trip to Memphis, and because of USS Nationals, I remembered NBS Fitness was there and decided to stop by and check it out as well. I was instantly greeted, and slightly attacked by an overzealous member of the staff I had met at USS Nats, whose name I will not disclose (but it rhymes with Schmunshow). As I met the rest of the staff, viewed the rest of the facilities and basked in the atmosphere of badassery that is NBS Fitness, I knew I had found a home in Memphis. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now that we have the introductions out of the way, you can look forward to most of my blog being personal thoughts, updates on my training, new news in the strongman community, or quick tips to keeping your body healthy and recovery up. I encourage discussion and questions, as well as particular topics you would like to hear as well!