Dr. Glenn Hyman’s Blog

Clinic newsletters now on the Denver Chiropractic Center site!

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

http://www.denverback.com/pdf/2010_Jan.pdf

How to avoid foot pain, calf pain, and knee pain

Today we’re going to discuss feet. I know, you have better things to do than think about feet but this is important.
 
Weakness in the feet can lead a wide range of problems up the line – shin splints, calf pain, knee pain, hip pain, back pain, etc. Strengthening your feet can reduce these injuries (and prevent them from coming back).
 
Sports like skiing, boarding, running, cycling and snowshoeing require strong feet to maintain good balance. Strengthening your feet will improve your performance in these sports.
 
Most people think that using the tired old calf-raise machine at the gym is all the foot strengthening they need, but that’s wrong. First of all, you’re locked into a machine. Unless there’s an earthquake, you don’t need to do any balancing at all. Secondly, your shoes essentially turn your feet into a block, cheating the your muscles of work. (Yes, there are many, many muscles in your foot).
 
So step one is to lose the shoes. If you’re in a gym I wouldn’t, but at home you can. This home exercise is a simple way to start strengthening your feet and lower legs in the comfort and provacy of your own home. I’ll have more exercises for you in the January paper newsletter coming soon to a mailbox near you, but for now get started with this one.
 
First you’re going to need someting called a balance pad. You can get this one on Amazon.com for about 20 bucks. Just go there and search for “Harbinger Core Trainer” and this will appear. Buy it. It’s inflatable so you can adjust it to your weight.
 
balance pad
 
There’s lots of research that shows that using these balance pads can strengthen your feet and prevent lower leg injuries. I’ve had patients buy these to use in conjunction with the Primary Pattern Rehab Protocols that I’ve developed and they get great results.
 
This exercise is called foot circles. It’s surprisingly simple, but it isn’t easy. And it is very effective. First try this on the ground to make sure that you have the stability to do this on a flat surface. Remember -no shoes!
 
Basically, you stand on one foot (the working foot) and make large sweeping circles with the other foot.
 
foot1
 
Make clockwise circles for 30 seconds and then counter clockwise circles for 30 seconds. If you need to keep tapping the circling foot on the ground to maintain your balance, that’s OK. But try to work up to not needing a foot tap.
 
foot2
 
If you can do this on flat ground, move to the balance trainer. Do 3 sets of one minute with each foot about 3 times each week. You’ll start to notice a difference pretty quickly.
 
Again, this is a great foot / calf strengthening exercise, but it’s also a great rehab exercise. If you or someone you know has foot pain, calf pain, shin splints, knee problems, hip pain or low back pain, I can help. Give us a call at 303.300.0424. Don’t put up with pain. 

 
 
 
 
 

How you sit says a lot

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).

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).

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).

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.

Glenn Hyman

Insurance we accept
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We are in-network providers for the following plans:

Aetna
Anthem – Blue Cross / Blue Shield

Cigna
Great West
Humana
United Healthcare and its subsidiaries
Kaiser PPO

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.

Office Hours
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Monday – 9-5
Tuesday – 9 -5
Wednesday – 9-5
Thursday – 9-5
Friday 9-4

Quick Links…
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Our Website

Contact Information
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phone: 303.300.0424
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Denver Chiropractic Center sponsors Denver Athletic Club Tri!

We’re proud to be on boards as sponsors for this years Denver Athletic Club Tri the Creek Sprint Tri. Check it out here.

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Steve Larsen dies of a heart attack

As many of you know, I strongly encourage training for shorter distance endurance events, like 10K’s and sprint or Olympic distance tri’s. Why is this?

Frankly, because I – along with many other experts – feel that too much long distance training puts too much stress on a body. The fact that an accomplished long-distance athlete just dropped dead at age 39 is further example of this.

My thoughts and condolonces go out to his wife and 5 kids.

From velonews.com:

Steve Larsen, probably the only professional who competed and won major races as a mountain biker, road biker and triathlete, died Tuesday evening after collapsing during a running workout, his friend Michael Nyberg told VeloNews.

Larsen was 39 and he and his wife Carrie Larsen have five children.

“He was doing a track workout and he collapsed. They did CPR immediately and an ambulance arrived quickly, but they weren’t able to save him,” Nyberg said.

Another friend of the family confirmed Larsen’s death, saying that an autopsy is pending, but that he apparently suffered a heart attack.

Larsen began racing in the 1980s and was on the Motorola team for three years in the early 1990s, racing the Giro d’Italia and other major European events. He then moved into mountain biking, winning the NORBA National Cross-Country title in 1998 and 2000.

In 2001, he switched to triathlon, qualifying for the Ironman in his first year in the sport, and finishing ninth at the Hawaii event. He also competed in XTerra offroad triathlons. He was reportedly the only American to compete in the world championships for road, mountain bike, track and cyclocross.

Larsen grew up near Davis, California. For several years he operated a bike and triathlon shop there, called Steve Larsen’s Wheelworks. He retired from professional racing in 2003 and opened a real estate agency in Bend, Oregon.

He still competed in triathlons for fun, finishing 70th at the 2008 Ironman World Championships with a time of 9:19:25.

Denver Chiropractic’s Top 3 Hips Stretches

‘Tis the season to get outside and start running, riding, hiking, climbing, etc. Here are 3 critical stretches that, if performed daily (or almost daily), will keep your hips happy all summer long. Tight hips can evolve into hip problems, knee pain, and plantar fasciitis.

For more info, look for the May-June issue of the newsletter coming soon to a mailbox near you.

 

Glute Stretch
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glute stretch

The glutes are the biggest muscles in your body. They propel you forward in all athletic endeavors. If they start to scar up, they lose power, and other muscles start to take up the slack, particularly the hammies and the hip rotators. Back pain and hamstring problems usually follow.

To stretch: Just lay on your back and flex your hip to around 90 degrees. Use your left hand to pull your right leg across your body. Reach that right arm away to maximize the pull on the fascia. Hold for about 20 seconds and switch sides.

 

Hip Rotators
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Hip ro 1

The hip rotators include muscles like the piriformis. Problems in these muscles lead to sciatica and lateral knee pain.

To stretch: Lay on your side, preferably on a bench or the edge of a bed. Flex your hip to 90 degrees, grab your left knee with your left hand, and rotate your shin with your right hand. Make sure that your knee doesn’t move up towards the sky/ ceiling. Hold for 20 seconds, then flip over and do the other side.

hip ro 2

 

Hip flexors ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The hip flexors oppose the glutes. They bring your leg forward in running, are obviously important in climbing, contribute to 360 degree pedaling, and more.

As they are overused, they totally screw up mechanics, leading to hip pain, knee pain, and back pain.

To stretch: get down on one knee, keep your torso upright, and move forward. See how  I maintain that arch in my back instead of rounding forward? That’s how you get the hip flexors to stretch.

Hip flex 1Hip flex 2

 

 
Remember- a tight muscle will become a scarred muscle. And noting breaks up scar tissue like Active Release Technique. So, you if need help, come on in. I can help you.

This Denver Chiropractor’s son is allergic to peanuts

We found this amazing peanut butter stand-in for Andrew, our oldest son, who is allergic to peanuts (so sayeth the lab test, he’s never had them). Anyway, this stuff is awesome:

http://www.sunbutter.com/

Did a rib pop out?

Another Denver Chiropractic Center blog:

Today I had another new patient who came to me thinking she had
popped a rib out of place. She had severe mid back pain that traveled
under her shoulder blade. It started on Saturday while she was
shoveling snow.  She called first thing in the morning today (Monday)
and of course we got her in as soon as we could.

Here’s an article on the site:

http://www.denverback.com/q_midscapulae.html

Ribs rarely actually move out of place unless there is a severe
trauma, like a car accident. For some reason, people with mid
back pain almost always thing that a rib is out place.

Think about it for a second. Those ribs are there to protect
your heart and lungs. They’re strongly attached to both your
spine and sternum, and are very difficult to move ‘out of place.’

There are several layers of muscle between the shoulder blades,
also known as the scapulae. These muscles include the traps,
rhomboids, and spinal muscles.

Sharp mid back pain is almost always muscular, and usually is
dramatically better with just one Active Release treatment, and it’s
almost always gone after two or three sessions.

Chronic mid back pain can frequently be traced back to those
same muscles. I regularly see patients who’ve had pain between
the shoulder blades for years. These cases require a few more
treatments, but they also resolve nicely with Active Release. And
yes, these people also think that they have a rib that’s out.