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Back to School: Back Pack Safety Tips

It’s that time of the year again. Many kids and teens are gearing up to go back to school. For many people that will mean a decrease in activity compared to their summer schedule. This decrease in activity level and increase in time sitting can cause problems with the muscles and joints of the back and neck, throw in a back pack that is too heavy and not properly fitted and you will have one unhappy back! Follow these tips below and stay healthy and pain-free this school year.

1.) Do not buy a backpack that is too large. A medium sized back pack is recommended. This will help to avoid over-loading.

2.) Be sure that the your back pack is tight to the back. It should not hang more than a few inches below the waist line.

3.) Be sure to wear both shoulder straps. This will evenly distribute the weight throughout your body lessening the load on your back.

4.) Load the heaviest books into your backpack first, keeping them closest to your back.

5.) Have your posture checked by a Chiropractic Physician to ensure that your muscles and joints are functioning appropriately.

 

backpack

Have you had your posture checked? Call or schedule online today: (781) 460-0939

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

Shoulder Pain? Skip the Bench Press

The bench press is a great way to build strength and power. The problem is, even when done correctly a serious injury is possible and some in some cases likely. Read below to find out why.

The shoulder is one of two ball and socket joints in your body (your hip being the other). This means that the joint is capable of going through 360 degrees of motion (think of a golf ball sitting on a golf tee, that’s your shoulder.) If you can picture that analogy, you can see how the shoulder is an inherently unstable joint.

What does all this have to do with the bench press? Theoretically, If you have balanced, symmetrical shoulders you are less likely to have a serious injury. This does not include the majority, however. If you look around the room right now you will likely see many people slumped over their phones, shoulders and head forward. This rounded shoulder posture unfortunately represents many of us to some degree. With the shoulders pulled forward there is insufficient room for the rotator cuff muscles to pass under the acromion, leading to an impingment, or possible tear. Bio-mechanically, the barbell bench press fails from the get go. In a barbell bench press your shoulders are fixed in one plane (due to the bar), this means that your body cannot even compensate to avoid impingement. That pain you feel in your shoulder during the movement, don’t ignore it!

If you love to bench here are a few recommendations that will help you avoid injury, and actually get stronger!

  • Get adjusted! majority of us lack extension in our back, this motion is necessary to avoid shoulder impingement.
    Try starting out with some light, high repetition pectoral fly’s. This will allow for a more dynamic warm-up, stretching and activating the muscles.
    Stretch your pecs regularly
    Strengthen your back using exercises like the seated row.
    Avoid barbell shrugs

If you are experiencing shoulder pain don’t wait, call or schedule online now: (781) 460-0939

Keep Moving.

Effective Relief for Golfer’s Elbow

Summer is upon us and that means a lot of Golf for many people. The problem is, many people have done little all winter in terms of exercise. This leads to deconditioning, and often times injury.

Tendinitis is one of the most common musculoskeletal ailments. I am sure many of you have experienced tendinitis at some point, many of you are probably dealing with it as you read this. Medial (Golfer’s Elbow), and lateral (Tennis Elbow) account for many tendinitis injuries. Medial epicondylitis also known as “Golfer’s Elbow” results when the muscles that flex the forearm and wrist (inside of the elbow) become irritate and inflamed due to over-use or repetitive motions such as swinging a golf club. Even simple activities such as typing or yard work can contribute to the condition. In many cases, the condition is caused by lifestyle (exercise, yard work, computer work, etc.) Repetitive motions can cause the muscles to continue to be inflamed and irritated. Without treatment this could lead to a more serious injury such as a tear.

What are the symptoms? Characteristically, most patients present with pain on the inside of the elbow and forearm. This pain may be sharp at times, patients often report burning, numbness, or tingling around the area as well. Grip strength weakness, swelling, or elbow stiffness may also be noted.

What is the recommended treatment? At initial onset, if swelling and heat are noted ice may be advised to reduce swelling. I typically recommend making the switch to moist heat after the first 24-48 hours. For chronic cases, heat is recommended. The first goal of treatment is to decrease pain and increase range of motion. Secondly, we want to strengthen and balance the muscles. This is accomplished by a combination of manual therapies including electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and manual therapy. Instrument Assisted Soft-Tissue Manipulation (IASTM) is a highly effective, specialized treatment for tendinitis. This procedure works by stimulating local inflammation triggering a healing response on a cellular level, to produce normal, healthy collagen and promote healing.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort don’t wait, call or schedule online today: (781) 460-0939

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

Eat These 3 Foods and Burn More Fat

Now that summer is approaching many of us are trying to slim down the waist line. The task of taking on a diet can be quite daunting. Who to listen to? Where to start? While there are many diet strategies (all of which are effective for someone but not everyone), sustainability has to be a priority. Consuming certain foods can increase your metabolism and burn more body fat, naturally.
So keep it simple, eat these 3 foods regularly to boost metabolism, burn fat, and eliminate harmful toxins!
1.) Broccoli Rabe- Broccoli Rabe is very high in phytonutrients which attack and eliminate free radicals in your body. This vegetable contains Sulforaphane which stimulates your fat cells and prevents conversion to adipose tissue!
2.) Wild Salmon- The key hear is wild caught. Wild caught salmon have the optimal ratio of Omega-3 fatty acids which improve insulin sensitivity and metabolism shrinking your waist line over-time.
3.) Coconut Oil- Coconut Oil contains a special type of fatty acid known as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). MCT’s have been shown to be beneficial in brain health and weight loss. Unlike other types of fats, MCT’s are absorbed into the liver and not broken down in the intestines so can be used directly for energy. Additionally, unlike olive oil, MCT’s can withstand higher temperatures without denaturing. Stick to Coconut Oil for cooking and Olive Oil for dressing.
Looking for some extra help with your own personal weight-loss plan? Click Here
Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

3 Exercises Every CrossFit Athlete Should Be Doing

CrossFit has certainly become very popular in the recent years, and for good reason, it is a very time efficient way to build muscle and burn body fat! With fatigue however comes laxity in form. This can be a recipe for injury, but it doesn’t have to be.

The amount of mobility required to complete many of the movements is lacking in many athletes; especially beginners. These problems stem mainly from lifestyle. Many of us sit at a desk all day, or have jobs that have altered our posture. This rounded posture that many of us develop may lead to shoulder, hip, or lower back issues.

Though CrossFit does a fantastic job of targeting your “functional fitness” goals, muscle activation is lacking in many athletes which will lead to compensation, and eventually injury. Try these 3 exercises below that target key areas in the shoulders, back, and hips and stay injury free.

1.) Seated Rows- Due to the explosiveness of many moves, and the focus on the entire kinetic system, the rhomboids are one muscle that is often forgotten about. This muscle group in particular is responsible for scapular retraction. Scapular retraction must occur in over-head movements in order for the shoulder to move impingement free. An extremely affective way to strengthen and activate the rhomboids is through the seated row, with a focus on pinching the shoulder blades together.
2.) Face-Pulls– The rear-deltoids are another group that is responsible for good posture, pulling your shoulder blades back. These are often inhibited by over-active or tight upper traps.  Likewise, in order for the shoulder to stay healthy these must be firing and functioning appropriately.
3.) Planks- Do your knees cave or does your lower back round during your squat? Contrary to popular belief, just because you squat and deadlift does not mean you have a strong core. Planks are a fantastic core activation exercise that address’s the entire circumference of the core (abs, oblique’s, glutes, and lower back).
Give these exercises a try and keep the PR’s rolling!

 

 

Keep Moving.

 

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939

Find Relief From Back Pain While Building a Killer 6-Pack

Spring has finally sprung, and that means that bathing suit season is just around the corner. By this time many of you are second guessing that 2nd piece of pie on Christmas Day. With warmer weather, we also tend to become more active (many of us for the first time since fall). Not only does the extra body fat look bad, it wreaks havoc on your spine and muscles making you more susceptible to an injury.

The extra body weight tends to pulls your body forward, changing the curves in your spine and position of your muscles. With this change in posture it puts your spine in a “loaded” position (think of a car that is not aligned properly) adding unnecessary wear and tear to your body. A strong core is important for more than just aesthetics, it is responsible for supporting our upright posture, and providing us with flexibility and stability. When discussing effective core strengthing techniques it is important to note that we want to activate the entire core (abs, oblique’s, lower back muscles, pelvic floor, and the diaphragm). Try these exercises below and enjoy stronger, more appealing core!

Perform this routine 3x/week, 3 sets of 10 repetitions per exercise.

1.) Diaphragmatic Breathing– Lying on your back, knees bent, place on hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen. Take a deep breathe in through your nose and focus on making the hand on you abdomen rise while limiting the rise in your chest (avoid chest breathing.)

2.) Pelvic Tilts- Begin lying on your back, knees bent. Place your hands under your lower back. Focus on pushing your back into your hands by contracting your abdomen, rocking your pelvis posteriorly.

3.) Planks- Begin face down, resting on elbows and toes (knees for beginners) maintain a level “neutral spine” by contracting your abdomen. Careful more to arch your back.

4.) Supine Leg Lifts- Lying on your back, legs straight, arms at side, slowly raise and lower legs careful not to allow your legs to touch the floor.

5.) Stability Ball Pull-In- Begin by lying on top of a stability ball, belly facing down. Slowly begin to walk your hands out until just your feet are on top of the stability ball. This will look like a push-up position with your legs resting on the ball. Slowly pull your feet toward your chest by contracting your abdomen.

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939

3 Exercises that Every Runner Should be Doing

Any avid runner will tell you they are always pushing themselves to hit a PR. The problem is, over-time the harder we push our bodies the more likely that they are to break down!

Since running is very linear some of the more common injuries that prevail are those of over-activity, or tendonitis. If you are not already doing so, you should and will need to include cross-training or weight training days if wish to continue to improve at a healthy pace. By working a few key problem areas you will not only increase your PR, you will decrease the likelihood of an injury. Try these 3 exercises below on your next cross-training day and enjoy a faster, healthier run.

1.The Scapular Retraction- Have you ever had anyone film you running a race or an event? If so, you undoubtedly noticed the change in posture from the begging of the race to the end. In the beginning you were likely chest up, head-up, torso engaged. As our bodies wear and our muscles get tired your shoulders will slowly begin to round forward pulling your head forward. This will not only increase the pressure in your spine, it will decrease the amount of blood and oxygen your body is able to transport to your lungs and brain. Posture is very important to running and gait! by engaging your rhomboids it will ensure better posture even when you are fatigued.

2. The Plank- Like upper body posture, lower body posture is equally important. Many runners tend to have over active hip-flexors and lower backs. This is usually always a compensation pattern for a weak core. The core muscles must contract during all phases of gait and running, ensuring a stable lower back and pelvis. Stability= healthy hips and lower back. Lumbopelvic instability in runners leads to injuires such as: runners knee, piriformis syndrome, and hip bursitis.  The plank is very effective at circumferential activation of the core (it works all of the muscles).

3. Foot Drills– It is our feet that take the brunt of the force when we are running. Even with proper fitting shoes, muscles become tight and often times inhibited leading to issues such as pronation. This will cause issues such as Achilles Tendonitis, or Plantar Fasciitis. Try these drills below to target the key muscles in your feet involved in running and gait.

Interested in learning more? Click Here for instructions on how to complete these exercises!

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939

Chiropractic Care: A Non-Invasive Treatment for Disc Herniations

Each year many people will undergo back or neck surgery to repair a herniated disc. Majority of these surgeries will be a Microdissectomy due to a disc herniation. While some cases of herniated discs may require surgery, many cases will respond to less-invasive treatments such as chiropractic care.

What is a disc herniation? Between each vertebrae in your spine there is an Intervertebral Disc (with the exception of the first 2 cervical vertebrae.) These discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, providing cushioning and flexibility during your daily activities. Think of your discs as shocks on your car, without them your spine would have no give or flexibility feeling every bump.

Statistically, many people have disc herniation’s but not all show symptoms. Typically, the pain will begin locally in the back or neck. If the herniation becomes bad enough to compress a nerve, the pain may progress to the leg or arm. Statistically, many cases will begin locally and progress slowly over-time. There are many different causes for a disc herniation. Contrary to popular belief, many people cannot pin point the exact mechanism of the injury. This is because much of the issue is often related to lifestyle, allowing symptoms to build slowly over-time. It is often poor posture, weight gain, or in-activity that allows the injury to progress. For example, when you have poor posture it places abnormal stress on the muscles which clamp down on the discs limiting motion in the joints. The intervertebral discs rely on motion for nutrition. It is important to note that since they are made mostly of cartilage there is no blood supply. This makes prevention key! Chiropractic helps by addressing the cause of the problem: Immobile joints and tight muscles compressing the disc. By releasing the pressure through gentle, non-invasive adjustments, therapeutic exercise, myofascial release we can serve to relieve the pressure in the disc and establish more normal range of motion reducing inflammation and nerve irritation.

If you are experiencing back or neck pain don’t wait, Click Here and make an appointment today and start healing!

 

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

(781) 460-0939

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome and Chiropractic

It has been estimated that 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life time. At initial onset, people will often consult their PCP for this problem which will likely prescribe a muscle relaxer and rest. When this does not help many people feel that their only option is surgery.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome is not a syndrome but rather a term that’s used to describe individuals that have had a less than favorable outcome with surgery. While surgery is occasionally necessary it is advised that other, less invasive treatment forms are tried first, Chiropractic care meets that description.

Many people find that 5 or more years post surgery they begin to again experience symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness in the leg, etc. The question I often get is, “But I have been symptom free for 5 years, why is this happening again now?” The answer is, like when we get a cut on our skin our bodies response is to heal that area via a scab and occasionally a scar. It is important to keep in mind that even though the surgery maybe minimally invasive  there is much tissue that must dissected through just to get to the spine. Over time our bodies healing response is to lay down collagen, since this collagen will not be as strong as the original it usually heals in a scar like fashion. With this healing response over time this may lead to scar tissue build-up around the spinal nerve which will cause similar pre-surgery symptoms.

As a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician I am trained to restore normal biomechanics to the body. Spinal manipulation along with Instrument Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is an effective treatment for the build-up of post surgical scar tissue. By breaking the adhesions in the joints and muscles we can restore normal function.

Does this sound like you? Don’t wait, call today and start healing.

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939

Chiropractic Treatment of Tendonitis

Tendonitis is defined as irritation and resulting inflammation of a muscle tendon; typically resulting from over-use. Some of the more common types of tendonitis experienced include: Tennis Elbow (pain in the later part of the elbow), Golfers Elbow (pain in medial portion of elbow), Supraspinatus or Rotator Cuff Tendonitis (pain on the top of the shoulder or neck), and Plantar Fasciitis (Most commonly characterized by heel pain.) Statistically, many people will experience tendonitis at some point in their life. Many physicians still advise “waiting it out”, and report that many cases pass. While this is partly true, what happens in chronic cases that do not seem to remit, or seem to flare-up more often? Many people are left with little to no solution to their problem.

A better approach to treatment of Tendonitis:

While many people seem to recover rather quickly with little to no intervention, if you find that you are someone who has been dealing with tendonitis off and on for quite some time there is a good chance your problem can become chronic. What does this mean exactly? Chronic inflammation of a tendon is characterized as Tendonosis; or chronic tendonitis that has lead to damage at a cellular level. When you have chronic inflammation in a tendon over-time it leads to micro-tears in the muscle. These micro-tears cause the body to trigger a healing response. In an effort to quickly heal the body will produce Type III collagen fibers to “patch” the irritated muscle. Type III collagen is lacking the tensile strength of healthy tissue; making the tendon weaker, and more likely to rupture. Additionally, cases where tendonitis seems to “come and go”  are more likely to become chronic and lead to a greater chance of a more serious injury.

IASTM (Instrument Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization) has been shown to promote healing and increase tensile strength of injured tendons and ligaments by promoting a healing response on a cellular level. By inceasing blood flow and fibroblast activity we can activate a healing response. Many people have even reported resolution of their tendonitis. IASTM in addition to stretching, spinal or extra-spinal manipulation, and specific rehabilitative exercise is an extremely effect, and cost-efficient solution.

Wondering if IASTM is right for you?  Click Here to schedule an appointment and start healing!

 

Keep Moving.

 

Dr. James Ellis

www.evolvedhealthchiropractic.com

(781) 460-0939