Archives for : health

Chiropractic & Sports Injury Prevention

How many of you have a nagging injury that seems to flare-up from time to time but has not been bad enough to actually do something about it?

Statistically, many people are injured being active every year. Many of you likely have desk jobs, or jobs that cause you to be seated most of the day. You may of even noticed that after you began your post-college career you began to experience discomfort in your neck, back, or shoulders. If you thought there might be a correlation you are most likely correct, your job could actually be bad for your health!

It turns out, many people have postural issues that predispose them to sports injuries. In fact, while sports are often blamed for injuries, many times it is something that we are doing everyday that has likely triggered a problem allowing the injury to happen. If all of the muscles and joints were functioning properly this injury would of been much less likely to occur.

Chiropractic Physicians are experts of the musculoskeletal system. Much of what we do is try to restore “normalcy” to the body. With chronic postural changes impingments, tendonitis, and tears are more likely to occur. The longer these muscle and joint imbalances are left untreated, the more likely they are to lead to injury. If you are experiencing discomfort, don’t wait. Make the change now, prevent the likelihood of an injury. Your body will thank you!

Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

(781) 460-0939

Fix Your Posture- Part 4

If you have not been following a long I have been discussing the beginning stages of what some may consider as an epidemic; “postural syndrome.” I have now  addressed three very important groups of muscles that are necessary for proper postural alignment.  If you missed these posts simply click on the links to catch up (click here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

Continuing in our quest for great posture, today I will talk about an often over-looked sourced of rounded shoulders; the pectorals. The pectoral muscles are better known as the bench press muscles as they are responsible for adduction of the arms, and humerus. The pectoral group (composed of a major and a minor) also help to move the scapula anteriorly and inferiorly against the thoracic wall allowing for smooth motion. The pectoralis minor is of most concern as it directly attached to the scapula (shoulder) and ribs. This will serve as a perfect lever to pull those shoulder into a rounded position distorting the curves of your spine and placing abnormal stress on the muscles of the back, shoulder, and neck.

The pectoralis minor serves as a secondary breathing muscle that may be recruited in those that are deconditioned. The muscle lies in close proximity to the Thoracic Outlet, which is a small opening in your neck and shoulder where the nerves of your spine exit to innervate your limbs. When shortened this muscle may serve to close down that space creating an impingement on the nerves exiting the spine. This is commonly marked by tingling, numbness, discoloration, or coldness in the hands.  It is in your best interest in other words to be sure that this muscle is of adequate length and not causing any impingements!

Click Here to learn the #1 stretch for short, tight, pectorals!


Keep Moving.

Dr. James Ellis

Fix Your Posture- Part 2

In last week’s post I discussed the beginning stages of a “postural syndrome” that occurs due to many of our sedentary lifestyles. I addressed the upper trapezius, and levator scapulae muscles which become increasingly tight in many of us pulling our shoulders forward creating that “slumped” postural appearance and forward head carriage.

It is important to begin stretching these tight muscles immediately if you are experiencing back or neck pain. If these muscles stay in this abnormal strained position no matter how many times we mobilize the joints the muscles will be pulling everything right back.


Be patient! These postural distortions did not happen over-night and will not be fixed over night. Much like your muscles make the necessary connections to learn to ride a bicycle or a skateboard, your body will also adapt to abnormal postural stress’s creating a “postural syndrome” seen above.

Now that we have began stretching the tight, over-active, muscles, we must also address the muscles which have become under-active due to these compensations. The group of muscles that we will address today are known as the Deep Neck Flexors. Due to the forward head carriage (see above) these muscles become increasingly under-active due the over-activity of the upper trapezius and levator muscles, among others we will discuss.

The deep neck flexors are a group of muscles consisting of the Longus Colli, Longus Capitis,  Rectus Capitis Anterior, and Rectus Capitis Lateralis. This group of muscles is responsible for forward and side bending of the head and neck. They serve to support the weight of the head, and stabilize the head and neck; similar to the abdominal core making them essential for proper posture.

Click Here to read he full article!

Dr. James Ellis

A Healthy Diet for a Busy Lifestyle

“I don’t have the time” is one of the most common excuses people make when trying to lose weight and/or improve their over-all health. It’s no secret, dieting can become very tedious; but it doesn’t have too. When it comes to weight-loss planning is key. Often times, people are not sure where to start. I covered some basics in another post so if you missed it click here.

In order to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you are taking in, it’s no secret. In order to determine the optimal amount of calories to take in we will look at the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This is how many calories per day your body burns doing your normal activities, sleeping, working, exercising, etc. This is a more specific number than the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which tells us how many calories our bodies burn just being alive, not accounting for lifestyle. To lose weight, you can begin by subtracting 15% of your TDEE, this will be sufficient enough to put you in a caloric deficit for weight-loss. Once we have determined this number, we can then begin to talk about manipulating the macronutrients: proteins, carbs, and fat. I recommend figuring out protein consumption first, this is going to require the most calories to digest and keep you satiated; stick to lean sources such as chicken, eggs, turkey, etc. We will next figure out your fat intake, I recommended around 30% of your total calories come from fat. Fat is essential to life and is needed for nervous system health. Finally, we will figure out our carbohydrate intake by looking at what calories you have left. This will also be the macronutrient that I will manipulate first (increase or decrease) in order to continue progression of weight loss.

Figuring out these figures (TDEE and BMR) is essential to your success. Once you have determined you’re caloric needs you can then come up with an appropriate plan that will fit your lifestyle. I have touched on intermittent fasting in past posts (click here.) This is a great option, but as I stated not for everyone. Everyone’s body is different and there really is no such thing as a “cookie cutter diet.” Once the macros have been figured out, you are already on your way to results. In order to monitor your weight loss you have to track your calories. Fortunately, technology makes this easy for us! There are many great free apps that allow you to enter your food choices for the day and keep track for you. Most people will find that they eat the same foods most days, which is fine as long as they fit your macros.

Finding Balance

Everyone tends to get sick of eating the same “diet foods” day in and day out. The great thing about tracking macros is you can essentially eat what you enjoy, as long as you stay within your calorie goals. I recommend incorporating some foods that you enjoy each day. This will give you some satisfaction and something to keep you on track throughout the week. If it is something sweet such as a piece of fruit, position it pre-workout for example so that you can put those calories to good use! I recommend that people also give themselves a “free meal” once or twice a week. This will be a meal that they will not count towards their daily goals (Tip: position this meal the night before a big workout such as a back or legs day; something that requires a lot of energy.

Tips For Success:

1.) Plan for your success! Preparation is key. I recommend picking two days a week to cook. I like Sundays and Wednesdays. This will supply your food for the week so you aren’t always worried about cooking. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail!

2.) Download a food journal app to help you keep track of your calories and goals

3.) Exercise! Plan for an hour every day to exercise. . The goal is to get your heart rate up to assist in weight-loss.

4.) Consider hiring a coach or nutrition expert to help you plan. Most people find this much less stressful as it eliminates the guess work.

Keep Moving


Dr. James Ellis