I had a patient call the office in a panic today.
She’s been training for her first marathon – the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon. Today, during a 15-mile run she felt some calf and ankle pain.
“I found Dr. Hyman after doing a google search. Can he help?”
Well of course, the answer is yes. Using Active Release Technique here at Denver Chiropractic Center, I treat ankle and calf pain all of the time.
These issues usually arise from cumulative trauma – the normal damage that occurs from training. Basically, if an ankle and/or calf is unstable, forces are not properly absorbed. This causes damage to soft tissues,scar tissue formation, and eventually painful dysfunction.
There are two ways to deal with this. 1. Call 303.300.0424 and make an appointment as soon as you notice symptoms. I have saved many a race at the last minute. Don’t let calf pain ruin your race.
2. Do some preventative stability work and prevent this from happening in the first place. I covered this in detail in my January 2010 patient newsletter. You can download it here:
(If Brett Favre had this information, he wouldn’t be dealing with ankle problems right now. If you know him, go ahead and forward. I like to see guys (almost) as old as me do well in the NFL!)
Anyway, we have plenty of time to get this racer to the start line. No worries.
Well, it’s 14 weeks and counting until Xterra Beaver Creek (triathlon). My official training starts today.
Today’s workout: Full body strength training
Kettlebell workout, including the following:
The above in giant set fashion (one exercise after another with minimal rest), 3 times through.
Followed by p90x+ cpre training
Yes, the March issue of the Dr. Glenn Report will focus on my month-long experiment with barefoot running. No, it’s not because I read the book Born To Run. I’ve been talking about barefoot bodyweight training for a long time.
For those of you (and there are many) who’ve asked for copies of the paper and ink newsletters, we’ve decided to post the pdf files on the site. http://www.denverback.com/articles.html
The January issue is up, and February is coming soon.
Inside the January 2010 issue:
My New Year’s Resolution – to take time off!
Strengthening your feet with bodyweight exercises.
Mastering the Pushup for strength
The Top 10 problems that I treat in my office
Insurance we accpet / office hours
I just got the Denver Chiropractic Center Primary Pattern Rehab Protocols back from the printer. After all of these years, I finally put those protocols to paper and you’ll start getting them now at your appointments. Thanks to Otto the Hungarian Typesetter for doing the layout (really, he lives near Budapest).
Did you know that I can pretty much tell if you’re at risk for back problems based on how you sit down into a chair? It’s true. Since the glutes and back extensors, if properly firing and properly patterned, control your descent into a chair, I can tell if yours are working or not. If you tend to put a hand on your knee or an armrest when getting into a chair, you’re in trouble.
Using the arm to ‘build a bridge’ tells me that your glutes are not firing effectively. This means that you’re probably not using your glutes for other tasks, like picking objects up from the floor. Failing to use these muscles is a recipe for future back problems.
A typical patient with a back crisis thinks that it was caused by the bag of dog food he stooped over to grab. Or perhaps that patient was trying to get that squirming child into her car seat.
The reality is, almost all back problems are cumulative. Bad motor habits cause important muscles, like the glutes and spine extensors, to work less and less. If you’re not firing these muscles, you’re using other muscles, probably smaller spinal muscles, to take up the slack. This is what wears out spines and causes big back problems. The dog food and squirming kid are just the straws that break the camel’s back.
A great way to protect yourself is to start working on the squat pattern and getting it right. The Chair Squat Protocol is a Phase 1 Primary Pattern exercise that will help you. Remember of course to check with your doctor first.
Start with a sturdy chair, ideally with its back against a wall (1).
With your calves barely touching the chair, maintain a slight arch in your back and move your rear down and backwards into the chair(2).
Without shifting all of your weight onto the chair, use your glute muscles (by pushing your heels into the floor) to come back up (3).
My arms are extended in the pics as a counter-balance, but you don’t need to do that. Using this little exercise, every time you sit into a chair, you can work on protecting your back over the long run by using your glutes and spinal extensors.
This will help ensure that you continue using these important muscles and supporting your spine functionally. Yes, there are even more aggressive ways to work these muscles (that’s Phase 2 and Phase 3).
If you’re putting up with pain, whether it’s back pain, shoulder pain, headaches, shin splints or anything else, give us a call 303.300.0424. We’re here to help you.
Insurance we accept
We are in-network providers for the following plans:
Anthem – Blue Cross / Blue Shield
United Healthcare and its subsidiaries
We process all insurance paperwork for you!
If you don’t see your plan on this list, call us 303.300.0424, and Robyn will help you figure out if you have coverage in our office. Discount packages are available for those without insurance coverage.
Monday – 9-5
Tuesday – 9 -5
Wednesday – 9-5
Thursday – 9-5
OK, so all of the staffing chaos is behind me. The new
office manager, Amy, is on board and doing a great job.
Massage therapist Erin has been seeing clients and
getting rave reviews. So, on to this week’s question.
Once again, the person is real, and the question is
“I was in a car accident 16 years ago, and I’ve
had hip pain ever since. I’ve had X-rays, and the
bone is fine. I have trouble lifting my leg to
climb in and out of the bathtub. Is this something
that you can help me with?”
“Yes, I can probably help you. When muscle gets
injured, whether it’s a car crash, sports injury,
or repetitive motion, the healing process creates
scar tissue. This scar tissue changes the way that
muscle works – it doesn’t contract and relax as
efficiently as it used to. This leads to pain,
tightness, weakness, and other problems.
This condition can linger on for years, even decades.
Since nothing breaks up scar tissue as effectively as
Active Release, patients with long term problems
start to finally get relief. I have actually treated
injuries that were 20 years old and made dramatic
In this case, I treated the lumbar muscles, hip flexors,
glutes, and the piriformis. They were heavily scarred,
and the patient started noticing improvement after
the first visit. I’m still treating her (3 times as
of this wiriting) so I can’t yet claim success, but
I’m confident this patient will feel about 90% better
when we’re done.