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Back in the office Feb 13, 2017

After taking a few days off last week to help my wife through her ACL (knee) reconstruction surgery – it went very well – I am back in the office today. Thanks for your patience. We have just one spot open today so if you need us, please call asap 303.300.0424.

Feb 6, 2017- Short week alert

I’ll be in just Monday-Wednesday this week as I’m taking Thursday and Friday off for my wife’s ACL reconstruction surgery. So call us ASAP if you want to see us. 303.300.0424

Who would you call? And This Week’s 1-Page Health News.

By now most of you who read these posts know that my wife blew out her ACL a couple of weeks ago and is having knee surgery soon to reconstruct it. But there’s a part of the story I haven’t shared yet.

When she went down on the slopes of Winter Park, I had a wife yelling in pain, 3 kids kind of freaking out, and I had no idea how to get a hold of the ski patrol. I sat there kind of dumbly watching other skiers and boarders going by hoping that maybe a ski school instructor would appear.

Luckily a good Samaritan stopped and had the ski patrol phone number on a laminated piece of paper in his pocket. I called from my phone and they were there in minutes. 

The moral of the story- know the number for the ski patrol where you are skiing or riding. We’re in the process of putting a card together for you all with the popular ski resorts’ patrol numbers on it. (Winter Park’s is 970.726.1480.)

 

Here is this week’s 1-Page Health News.

 

Diet: Are Low-Carb Diets Better for Weight Loss Than Low-Fat Diets?
Physicians at Mayo Clinic say that low-carb diets are slightly better than low-fat diets for weight loss, at least in the short term. An analysis of 41 trials that evaluated the effects of low-carb diets on weight loss showed that participants lost between 2.5-9 more pounds (1.13-4.08 kg) than those who followed a low-fat diet. Lead researcher Dr. Heather Fields adds, “The best conclusion to draw is that adhering to a short-term low-carb diet appears to be safe and may be associated with weight reduction.” However, she recommends that people who follow a low-carb diet should avoid highly processed foods, especially processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, deli meats, hot dogs, and ham.
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, December 2016

Exercise: Serious Yoga Injuries Are on the Rise, But Rare.
Yoga has become increasingly more popular in recent years and so have yoga-related injuries. According to a new report, nearly 30,000 Americans visited the emergency room for yoga-related sprains, fractures, or other injuries between 2001 and 2014. Despite rising injuries, experts say that overall, yoga appears relatively safe. They add that the potential gains from performing yoga, such as lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower heart rate, and improvements in depression, anxiety, and sleep problems outweigh the risk of injury. Dr. Joshua Harris from the Houston Methodist Hospital comments, “My advice to people is to start slow, don’t push too hard, and find a good instructor who emphasizes proper form and technique.”
Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, December 2016

Chiropractic: You Can’t Blame Acute Low Back Pain on the Weather.
A recent study investigated the influence of various weather parameters on the risk of developing an episode of low back pain. Among a group of 981 patients with an acute episode of low back pain, researchers found that precipitation, humidity, wind speed, wind gust, wind direction, and air pressure did not increase the risk of onset for acute low back pain.
Pain Medicine, December 2016

Wellness/Prevention: Depression Hurts Smoking Cessation Efforts.
An analysis of data from a Czech smoking cessation clinic reveals that smokers with depression have a harder time quitting. The study included 3,775 patients and found that those with mild depression were 32% less likely to abstain from smoking for one year than those without depressive symptoms, while patients with severe depression were 43% less likely to quit.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine, December 2016

Our Denver Chiropractors are now in network with Cigna and Greatwest.

We are happy to announce that we have added Cigna to the long list of insurures with whom we are in-network. After years of patients sending letters asking that Cigna add us to the network, they listened. For those of you with Cigna policies, we will need to verfiy your coverage the next time you’re in the office. We are also now in-network with Great West.
Here are the other major insurers for whom we are in-network providers:
Anthem / Blue Cross
United Healthcare
Aetna
Federal Employee Benefits Program
Kaiser PPO
Mail Handlers Benefits Program
PHCS
Humana
MedPay for auto injuries and ALL auto insurance policies
Workers’ Compensation (Level 1 Accredited)

Why pay more for out-of-network providers? We do all the paperwork and file insurance claims on your behalf! We will continue to do all that we can to better serve our patients now and in the future in this changing health care world.

Weekly Health Update
Week of: Monday, August 19, 2013

“Healing is a matter of time,
but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”
~ Hippocrates

Mental Attitude: Optimism and Stress.
A six-year study of 135 older adults (>60 years old) found that pessimistic people have a higher baseline level of stress and have a more difficult time handling stress than their more optimistic peers.
Health Psychology, May 2013

Health Alert: Decrease Your Heart Disease Risk. A 16-year study of nearly 27,000 male health care professionals found that those who skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease.
Circulation, May 2013

Diet: Eat More Nuts To Decrease Risk Of Death From Cancer & Cardiovascular Disease.
Individuals who eat more than three servings of nuts a week had a 55% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 40% reduced risk of death from cancer. (But, of course, if you’re allergic like my son is, stay away from nuts.)
BMC Medicine, July 2013

Exercise: Moderate-Intensity Walking Timed Correctly May Help Protect Against Diabetes.
A moderate paced fifteen minute walk after each meal appears to help older individuals regulate their blood sugar levels and could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Care, June 2013

Chiropractic: Chronic Pain in the Neck Relieved With Chiropractic. Patients with chronic neck pain showed significant improvements in pain levels following spinal manipulation and showed positive changes up to 12 weeks post-treatment.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, March 2007

Wellness/Prevention: Retire Later In Life To Lower Dementia Risk. A very large study of self-employed people living in France found that individuals who retired at a later age had a lower risk of developing dementia. The study appears to confirm other research that suggests lifelong mental activity and challenge may protect against several forms of dementia.
International Longevity Center-France, July 2013

Video link- How to foam-roll your hips.

Dr. Jeff Stripling from Denver Chiropractic Center demonstrates a hip flexor stretch for Office workers, crossfitters, and everyone in between

Using the ASLR to prevent back pain, hip pain, knee pain and more

I spent a recent December weekend hanging out once again with some very smart physical therapists in Brighton. We were becoming certified practitioners of the Functional Movement Screen. (Many of you may recall that this past August I went to Brighton to learn about the Selective Functional Movement Assessment. Despite their seemingly similar names, the two are different. End digression.)

I’ve been using the Functional Movement Screen for years, but decided to get officially certified because it’s becoming a key part of my practice- finding the underlying dysfunctions that end up producing pain. It’s about fixing the problem, not just getting rid of the symptoms.

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a system of 7 movements that are scored on a 3-point scale. 3 is good, 1 stinks, and 2 is somewhere in between. A total of 21 is perfection. Research shows that athletes (of any level) who score 14 or less are three times more likely to get injured than athletes who score a 15 or more.

The idea is that you identify your worst functional movement and then work to correct it, thus improving your score. You then do follow up screens to determine what you need to work on next.

So I’m going to have you check yourself on the movement test considered most important – the Active Straight Leg Raise.

At first glance, this may seem like a test of hamstring flexibility. It is, and more. It also assesses your active hip flexion, and your ability to maintain hip extension on the other side. These are three very important fundamental ranges of motion.

Your hamstrings start at the knee, run up to the “Sit Bone” and then send fibers into the SI joint. This joint is continuous with the spinal muscles.

Poor performance on this test means you’re more likely to experience one or more of The Big Five- back pain, hip pain, sciatica, IT band problems, and knee pain. So scoring your Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR) is a good place to start if you want to prevent or improve any or all of these.

The ASLR requires a stick, an optional tape measure, and a buddy. For purposes of the description here, you are the one who’s evaluating the test and your buddy is the one performing the test.

Have your buddy lie down on his back. You need to identify two points on your buddy, the kneecap and the ASIS, or point of the hip. (Start on the left side.) The hip point is that bony thing at the waistline right above where the hip flexes. Measure the distance between the two points to find the middle of the thigh. The middle of the thigh is the reference point for this test.

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Once you’ve found the middle of the thigh. Stand the stick up to mark the spot.

x

Your buddy is still on his back. (If you are a woman and your buddy is a guy, he’s probably making smart-ass remarks at this point because he knows he’s about to do a really bad job on this thing. Try to take pity on him.) Your buddy’s head must stay on the ground, his arms at his sides, and his palms UP, to avoid cheating.

So, your stick is at mid thigh on the outside of the left leg. Have your buddy raise the left leg – with the knee straight – as high as he can. The right leg MUST stay flat on the ground. If your buddy can get his left ankle (the bumpy bone on the outside of the ankle) above the stick, he gets a 3. If he can get his ankle between the stick and the left kneecap, he gets a 2. If he can’t raise the ankle past the level of the left kneecap, that’s 1.  (3 pics)

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Erin gets a 3 for this effort, her heel is above her mid-thigh

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With her heel between the stick and her right knee, Erin gets a 2.

x

Erin couldn’t raise her foot past her right knee, so she gets a 1. Boo.

Now test the other side. When scoring, a 3 on each side is ideal. 2 on each side is OK. 1 on each side is bad. Different scores on each side is considered an asymmetry, and that’s bad.

If you’re interested in getting a baseline score for how your body is functioning, call up and make an appointment. We don’t charge any extra fees in conjunction with a treatment. The idea is to figure out which Functional Movement you score lowest on and take steps to improve it. We’ve developed rehab protocols to improve each pattern and improve your overall score. This reduces your likelihood of getting injured.

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.