Is yoga right for you?

Did you know that more than 30 million people do yoga around the world?  14 million are in the United States who have a prescription from their doctor.   Yoga has been known to help with back pain, better posture and cardio health.  

With any exercise there come risks of injury.  There have been back injuries, ribs that come out of place, neck strains, elbow tendonitis and many other injuries if not done correctly.  

There are many poses that are difficult and starting such poses before you are ready can lead to an injury.

Handstands, bending backward and inversions require strong core and body mechanics so if you are not ready to do these poses, you can pay the price and spend a while rehabilitating injuries and not being able to engage in yoga for a time period.  

The New York Times did an investigation to find out how common yoga related injuries occur.  Pulling, tearing and sprained muscles are becoming more common with yoga participants.  So why are injuries becoming more common with yoga?   There are a lot of people who go for exercise but there are many people that go because they are trying to work on a injury that is why they got a prescription from their doctor.  

With the increase in technology and jobs in High Tech and gaming, sedentary lifestyles are increasing as well.  There are many people who sit for hours at a time and are taking yoga to improve the function of muscles that are tight or weak.  

Yoga is great but new students who sit for long hours per day may need a lot more instruction.  Instructors need to guide these individuals differently because of shortened and tight muscles and long periods of inactivity. Pushing through these exercises even if the student really persists may be a big mistake.  Don’t allow students who have not been practicing to push past comfortable stretching and make sure they get the attention that they need which can be hard when there are several people in a class.  

How often do people sustain yoga injuries?

Australia’s International Journal “Yogafound” stated that 20 percent of all yoga instructors have experienced a yoga based injury.  Opposing views in a survey from Ashtanga Vinyasa which is a bit more intense than beginners yoga stated that 62% of instructors have having at least one injury which lasted more than 30 days.  

In a 2013 published review in PLOSone they investigated cases related to adverse effects of doing yoga and discovered the most common types of yoga injuries.

Here is the data:  About 35% were the musculoskeletal system, 18% related to the nerves and 9% were optical.  Around 20% of all of these percentages became fully recovered with 1% who reported a chronic long term injury.  They also stated that there was one death that was coorelated with yoga practice.  

On the positive side, in this 2013 after this study another published study by the International Journal of Yoga found that only around 1 percent of yoga instructors reported any side effects from performing regular yoga classes and poses.

Most common injuries were back pain, joint pains in the hips, ankles and wrists.  Only around 33% sought out medical intervention.  So, if done right, injuries should be rare.  Just make sure you are ready to get into such poses.  

Here are the poses that should be prevented unless you are ready: If you don’t know what these are then you are probably not ready….

  1. Shoulder Stand or Plow Pose
  2. Headstand
  3. Back Bends (Updog, Lotus, Bridge, Wheel, Cobra, Camel)
  4. Any pose that pulls or tugs at the sciatic nerve in the lower back

How can you avoid injuries during your yoga workouts?

  1. A great way to avoid injuries with yoga and basically any exercise is to stretch or massage out any tight or restricted areas.  Get to class early and do some stretching even before the warm up stretches to make sure you are addressing any unique areas that may not be addressed for the workout to come.  
  2. Again, don’t do any poses that are too hard and if you try a new pose let the instructor know so they can help you.
  3. Use the gadgets the yoga studios put out for you for support of moves that you may need a little bit of help with.  

If you do get injured, chiropractic is a great way to get the joints moving properly again, reduce pain and inflammation and discuss what needs to be done to rehab your injury.  Waiting will only tighten up the body more and keep you immobile which is not going to help the situation.  

Our Redwood City Chiropractic office is located in downtown Redwood City and we are experts on body mechanics, sports injury and all around wellness care.  

Is Artificial Turf Safe To Have Kids Play On?

As you know, California is in a drought.  During this drought a lot of people are opting for artificial turfs to keep the watering low.

Every day, we let our kids play on these turfs and a lot of people don’t realize that it could be a health hazard.

What is being debated about artificial turf are particles in the turf called butadiene rubber or for slang… “crumb rubber.”  These particles are made synthetically from the rubber from old tires.

Dust will raise above the fields and smell like, old tires.   Now that these fields are becoming more prominent for athletics,  a number of people are questioning the safety of fields made of artificial turf.  Especially when it comes to soccer goalies.

There is not a lot of research on it yet but it is worth exploring.

In 2009, Amy Griffin, an associate head soccer coach at the University of Washington, was visiting to women goalies who were young but diagnosed with  non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After speaking with one of the nurses, she said “Don’t tell me you guys are goalkeepers. You’re the fourth goalkeeper I’ve hooked up this week.”

Later, one of the women at the hospital while undergoing chemotherapy said that she had a feeling the cancer was associated with what she said were “black dots.”

Artificial turf fields are now everywhere in the United States, from high schools to professional soccer fields and NFL stadiums.  Anyone who has played on these turfs will testify that the tiny black rubber crumbs (old tires), get everywhere.  Inside a uniform, in hair, cleats and sometimes swallowed.

Goalkeepers, are constantly in contact with the turf.  During practices and games, they make hundreds of dives, and each time, a black cloud of tire pellets into the air.  These particles can get into cuts, scrapes and into their mouths.  Coach Griffin wondered if those crumbs which are now known to contain carcinogens and chemicals – were making players sick.

She stated “I’ve coached for 26, 27 years.”  “My first 15 years, I never heard anything about this. All of a sudden it seems to be a stream of kids.” Since that hospital visit, Griffin has compiled a list of 38 American soccer players who have been diagnosed with cancer.   34 of them are goalies.  Nationwide, blood cancers like lymphoma and leukemia dominate the list.

While more testing is needed, New York City has stopped installing crumb rubber fields in its parks in 2008 and the Los Angeles Unified School District did the same in 2009. In Maryland, the Safe Healthy Playing Fields Coalition supports legislation to require warning signs at artificial turf fields and opposes a bill to use state funds to construct artificial turf fields.

Griffin still continues to do her own research on the topic and that she sends crumbs from each field her team plays on to a lab for testing.

“I’m looking for answers, because I’m not smart enough to come up with them on my own,” Griffin said. “I would love someone to say, ‘We’ve done some tests and we’ve covered all of our bases — and, yes, it’s safe.’ That would be awesome. I would love to be proved wrong.”

The jury is still out on this one but to be safe, play on a natural playing field just to be safe

Runners May Be In Great Shape, But They Are Prone To Injuries

By most estimates, nearly 70 percent of runners will become injured. While many of their injuries will appear minor, they can become more serious over time if not properly treated.

Running injuries may impact other areas of the body as well. Because I am an extremity expert as well as a chiropractor, I am trained to look at the body.   I want to identify the true source of the problem treat any malfunction in the body and develop a training or rehabilitation program to solve it.

Among the most common running-elated injuries are:

  • Runner’s Knee – This is the most common running-related injury. Known as patello-femoral pain, and sometimes diagnosed as chondromalacia of the patella, runner’s knee is essentially irritation of the cartilage of the kneecap. The condition results in pitting or fissuring of the cartilage to varying degrees. While running, various mechanical conditions may predispose runners to a poorly tracking kneecap. This can result in irritation and/or damage to the kneecap. Runners will notice pain near the kneecap, especially after sitting for extended periods of time with knees bent or while walking down stairs or downhill. Appropriate treatment involves eliminating or modifying activities that cause the pain; correcting improper biomechanics that allow the injury to arise; and avoiding positions that further irritate the condition, such as sitting for prolonged periods of time.
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome – Symptoms of this syndrome include pain or aching on the outside of the knee, usually occurring in the middle or at the end of a run. When you flex and extend your knee, the iliotibial band, which runs along the outside of the thigh, can become irritated from repetitive rubbing over the outside of the knee. There are several causes of this syndrome, including weak gluteal muscles, bowed legs, over-pronation of the foot, leg length discrepancy, and running on uneven surfaces. Running on a circular track may also contribute to the problem. As with other running injuries, athletes should decrease their training regimen. In addition, they should also add stretches for the ouside of their thigh to their warm-up program, avoid running on uneven or circular track surfaces, and some should wear motion control running shoes.
  • Shin Splints – Also called medial tibial stress syndrome, “shin splints” refers to pain occurring in either the front or inside portions of the lower leg. Tenderness extends along the length of the lower leg at either of the surfaces. Those most at risk for shin splints are beginning runners who are not yet used to the stresses of running or who have not stretched or strengthened properly. To care for shin splints, runners should decrease their training, and begin with ice and rest, later adding strengthening of their lower leg muscles. They may use swimming and biking as alternative forms of exercise. If symptoms persist, runners should consult their physicians.
  • Achilles Tendinitis – The Achilles tendon is the connection between the heel and the muscles of the lower leg. Several factors contribute to the development of Achilles tendinitis, including excessive hill running, sudden increases in training, and improper shoes. One of the major factors is excessive tightness of the posterior muscles of the leg, including the calf muscles and the hamstrings. Runners with this condition should reduce their running. They can use ice and gentle stretching to reduce pain and tightness. If not treated properly, Achilles tendinitis can develop into a chronic problem.
  • Heel Pain (Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis) – The most common heel problems are caused by strain of the plantar fascia, which extends from the heel to the toes. Strain in this tissue can become very painful, especially with the first steps of the day. The condition can cause swelling at the origin of the plantar fascia at the heel. The pain is most noticeable when the foot flattens during weightbearing or when pushing off with the toes during walking or running, and it is usually located near the heel. The problems tend to occur in flat, flexible feet and in high arched, stiff feet. Left untreated, the pain can spread around the heel. Treatment should include a decrease in the intensity and duration of running workouts. Runners should also evaluate their running shoes for excessive wear and for proper fit. The wrong shoe for a foot type can worsen biomechanical flaws and cause plantar fasciitis.

Runners can take several precautions to prevent being sidelined because of an injury. While some of these steps might seem time-consuming or expensive, they are a good way to keep you on the right track.

  • Prepare for exercise/activities – Understand what muscle groups will be used and slowly start conditioning them by strengthening them. Talk with a PM&R physician to determine the appropriate type of exercises.
  • Properly stretch muscles before running – Muscles and joints need to warm up before beginning a run. Also be sure to allow for a “cooling down” period afterward.
  • Use an appropriate running shoe – There are several brands and models of running shoes. Make sure you are using the type best suited for your feet and your running style. Running shoes should also be replaced regularly. Consult a specialty running store to choose an appropriate shoe.
  • Incorporate hard days and easy days into your training program – Mileage should only be increased approximately 10 percent each week. Runners should make sure to decrease their mileage slightly every third week as a way to allow for recovery prior to additional mileage increases. Runners should also be patient with their development, being careful not to push themselves too far or too fast.
Some information provided by the 2012 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: http://www.aapmr.org/patients/conditions/msk/Pages/runfact.aspx

YIPS Makes Putting Hard To Do

Yips are involuntary wrist spasms that occur most commonly when golfers are trying to putt. However, the yips can also affect people who play other sports — such as cricket, darts and baseball.

It was once thought that the yips were always associated with performance anxiety. However, it now appears that some people have yips that are caused by a focal dystonia, which is a neurological dysfunction affecting specific muscles.

Some people have found relief from the yips by changing the way they perform the affected task. For example, a right-handed golfer might try putting left-handed.

The involuntary movement associated with the yips may:

  • Occur at the beginning or middle of your stroke
  • Come and go
  • Worsen during high-pressure situtations
  • The yips may result from neurological factors, psychological factors or a combination of both.

Neurological factors
In some people, the yips are a type of focal dystonia, a condition that causes involuntary muscle contractions during a specific task. It’s most likely related to overuse of a certain set of muscles, similar to writer’s cramp. Anxiety worsens the effect.

Psychological factors
In a pressure situation, some athletes become so anxious and self-focused — over-thinking to the point of distraction — that their ability to execute a skill, like putting, is impaired. Choking is an extreme form of performance anxiety that may compromise a golfer’s game.

A combination of factors
For some people who have a mild degree of focal dystonia, stress, anxiety or high-pressure situations can worsen the condition.

Neurological yips are associated with:

  • Older age
  • More experience playing golf
  • Lower handicap

Psychological yips can be a problem at any age and experience level. When you start to have episodes of the yips, you lose confidence, worry about recurrence and feel anxious whenever you have to putt. These reactions can perpetuate the cycle — your increased yips-related anxiety makes your symptoms worse.

Because the yips may be related to overuse of specific muscles, a change of technique or equipment may help. Possible strategies include:

  • Change your grip. This technique works for many golfers, because it changes the muscles you use to make your putting stroke. However, if you have the type of yips related to performance anxiety, changing your grip likely won’t make much difference.
  • Use a different putter. A longer putter allows you to use more of your arms and shoulders and less of your hands and wrists while putting. Other putters are designed with a special grip to help stabilize the hands and wrists.
  • Mental skills training. Techniques such as relaxation, visualization or positive thinking can help reduce anxiety, increase concentration and ease fear of the yips.

What is Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome?

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is an uncommon, exercise-induced neuromuscular condition that causes pain, swelling and sometimes even disability in affected muscles of your legs or arms.

Anyone can develop chronic exertional compartment syndrome, but it’s more common in athletes who participate in sports that involve repetitive movements, such as running, fast walking, biking and swimming. Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is sometimes called chronic compartment syndrome or exercise-induced compartment syndrome.

Symptoms:

The pain and other symptoms associated with chronic exertional compartment syndrome may be characterized by:

1. Aching, burning or cramping pain in the affected limb — usually the lower leg, but sometimes the thigh, upper arm, forearm or hand

2. Tightness in the affected limb

3. Numbness or tingling in the affected limb

4. Weakness of the affected limb

5. Foot drop, in severe cases, if nerves in your legs are affected

6. Occasionally, swelling or bulging as a result of a muscle hernia

Pain typically happens soon after you start exercising the affected limb, gets progressively worse for as long as you exercise, stops 15 to 30 minutes after the affected limb comes to rest and over time, may begin to persist longer after exercise, possibly lingering for a day or two.

Taking a complete break from exercise may relieve your symptoms, but usually once you take up running again, your symptoms usually come back unless you continue to stretch and do keep up to date with your rehabilitative exercises.

If you experience unusual pain, swelling, weakness, loss of sensation, or soreness related to exercise or sports activities, talk to your doctor because these symptoms may be associated with conditions that require emergency medical treatment. Don’t try to exercise through the pain, as that may lead to permanent muscle or nerve damage — and jeopardize continued participation in your favorite sports.

Sometimes chronic exertional compartment syndrome is mistaken for shin splints. If you think you have shin splints but they don’t get better with self-care, talk to your doctor.

What are the causes?

Your arms and legs have several groupings, or compartments, of muscles, blood vessels and nerves. Each of these compartments is encased by a thick layer of connective tissue called fascia (FASH-ee-uh), which supports the compartments and holds the tissues within each compartment in place. The fascia is inelastic, which means it has little ability to stretch.

In chronic exertional compartment syndrome, exercise or even repetitive muscle contraction causes the tissue pressure within a compartment to increase to an abnormally high level. But because the fascia can’t stretch, the tissues in that compartment aren’t able to expand sufficiently under the increased pressure. Imagine shaking up a soda bottle but leaving the cap on — an enormous amount of pressure builds up.

As the pressure builds up within one of your muscle compartments, with no outlet for release, nerves and blood vessels are compressed. Blood flow may then decrease, causing tissues to get inadequate amounts of oxygen-rich blood, a condition known as ischemia (is-KE-me-uh). Nerves and muscles may sustain damage.

Experts aren’t sure why exercise or muscle contraction creates this excessive pressure in some people, leading to chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Some experts suggest that biomechanics — how you move, such as landing styles when you jog — may have a role. Other causes may include having enlarged muscles, an especially thick or inelastic fascia, or high pressure within your veins (venous hypertension).

In chronic exertional compartment syndrome, exercise or even repetitive muscle contraction causes the tissue pressure within a compartment to increase to an abnormally high level. But because the fascia can’t stretch, the tissues in that compartment aren’t able to expand sufficiently under the increased pressure. Imagine shaking up a soda bottle but leaving the cap on — an enormous amount of pressure builds up.

As the pressure builds up within one of your muscle compartments, with no outlet for release, nerves and blood vessels are compressed. Blood flow may then decrease, causing tissues to get inadequate amounts of oxygen-rich blood, a condition known as ischemia (is-KE-me-uh). Nerves and muscles may sustain damage.

Experts aren’t sure why exercise or muscle contraction creates this excessive pressure in some people, leading to chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Some experts suggest that biomechanics — how you move, such as landing styles when you jog — may have a role. Other causes may include having enlarged muscles, an especially thick or inelastic fascia, or high presse within your veins (venous hypertension).

What are the risk factors?

The condition is most common in athletes under 40, although people of any age can develop chronic exertional compartment syndrome.

People most at risk of developing chronic exertional compartment syndrome are those who engage in exercise that involves repetitive motions or activity. Young female athletes may be at particular risk, for reasons unknown.

Risk factors include engaging in such sports, exercises and activities as:

  • Running
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Biking
  • Tennis
  • Gymnastics

Overuse of your muscles or overtraining — that is, working out too intensely or too frequently — also can raise your risk of chronic exertional compartment syndrome.

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome isn’t a life-threatening condition and usually doesn’t cause any lasting or permanent damage if you seek appropriate treatment. However, if you continue to exercise despite pain, the repeated increases in compartment pressure can lead to muscle, nerve and blood vessel damage. As a result, you may develop permanent numbness or weakness in affected muscles.

Perhaps the biggest complication of untreated chronic exertional compartment syndrome is its impact on participation in your favorite sports — the pain may prevent you from being active.


Don’t try to exercise through your pain. Limit your physical activities to those that don’t cause pain. For example, if running bothers your legs, you may be able to swim. Use ice or take omega 3s until you can see your doctor and make sure this is NOT an emergency.

The following basic sports and fitness guidelines can help protect your health and safety during exercise:

  • Warm up before starting exercise.
  • Cool down when you’re done exercising.
  • Stop if you’re in pain.
  • Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program if you have any health issues.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Engage in a variety of physical activities.

Sections of this article are published on http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-exertional-compartment-syndrome/DS00789

Snowboarders More Injury Prone Than Skiers, Especially Women

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) By Genevra Pittman.  A new study from a Vermont ski resort found that snowboarders get injured slightly more often than skiers, with the most injuries happening in young, inexperienced female snowboarders.

The types of injuries in the study also varied by sport, with snowboarders most likely to be taken out by a hurt wrist or shoulder, and skiers more commonly injuring a knee ligament.

During 18 winter seasons with 4.6 million visitors, researchers counted a total of close to 12,000 injuries severe enough to bring skiers and snowboarders to the resort clinic.

“It’s true, these things do happen,” said Dr. David Salonen, a radiologist who has studied ski injuries at Toronto Western Hospital — and there’s probably no way to avoid them completely.

But, “For how many people are out there skiing (and snowboarding), injuries are relatively rare,” added Salonen, who wasn’t involved in the new study.

Salonen told Reuters Health that as with any sport, if you use the equipment properly and don’t push the boundaries of your experience or fitness, your chance of injury drops.

For the new study, Dr. Robert Johnson from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington and colleagues analyzed injury reports from Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont, from 1988 through 2006.

Snowboarders accounted for 17 percent of the resort’s visitors during that time, but slightly more of its injuries — about 19 percent. Since 2001, the research team reported, injury rates have been consistently higher in snowboarders than skiers.

On average, both skiers and snowboarders who got injured were younger and less experienced than a group of uninjured athletes who were surveyed for comparison.

“If you’ve got a whole bunch of people that are young and trying to learn how to do something that is like an extreme sport, there’s going to be a higher incidence of injury,” Salonen told Reuters Health.

“In any sport — and skiing and snowboarding is one of them — there are areas that will be more threatening and challenging to the athlete but also more intriguing. As you’re younger in age, you have a tendency to want to push your limits greater in any sport.”

Johnson’s team did not find that injuries were more common in athletes who used so-called terrain parks at the resort, which include half-pipes and jumps, even though researchers had been afraid that would be the case when they were installed.

One in five of all snowboarding injuries in adults and close to two in five in kids were wrist sprains and breaks, which are generally the result of a fall forward on to the snow, according to Salonen. Fractured collar bones and concussions each accounted for about four percent of the injuries in adults and five percent in kid snowboarders.

Among skiers, on the other hand, torn and otherwise injured knee ligaments sidelined one-third of the adult skiers, with leg muscle bruises being most common in kids, Johnson and his colleagues reported in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Salonen said that it’s hard to tell how bad those different injuries were, and one snow sport isn’t typically associated with worse injuries than the other.

He said that in both skiing and snowboarding, recreational athletes need to make sure their equipment fits correctly for their body size, ability and technique, and newcomers should start out with lessons and know their limits on the slopes.

“It’s like any sport,” Salonen said, “if you’re physically not in any position to be able to do what you’re about to do, it’s probably going to be a bad outcome.”

Johnson said that injury prevention is about “common sense, which is a bit difficult to conjure up with the young males… who imitate what they see on the X Games.”

While wearing a helmet and some kinds of wrist guards might be helpful, he told Reuters Health, making safe decisions is what’s most important.

“You have to modify your behavior and not go out hitting your head on trees, whether you’re wearing a helmet or not.”

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/yUR70M American Journal of Sports Medicine, online January 20, 2012.

 

Heading Soccer Balls Could Cause Brain Injury or concussion

I have always wondered about this and knew that brain bruising and damage can sometimes happen with sports and wondered if there were any studies on soccer with heading or passing the ball.

In this article published on January 15, 2012 in the HealthDay News, it states that soccer players need to use the correct techniques when “heading” the ball.  My thoughts are even with proper technique, the brain takes a bit of a beating with repetitive heading.

Although researchers have not yet proven a link between the sport and brain damage, Dr. Alejandro Spiotta and other experts from the Cleveland Clinic said soccer balls are moving at high speeds when they come into contact with players’ heads, putting athletes at risk for a possible traumatic brain injury.

“Even if the cognitive impairment were to be mild, it would still present a major medical and public health concern because of the massive volume of soccer players worldwide,” Spiotta and colleagues wrote. “Any possible detrimental effect may only become clinically evident decades in the future.”

In their review of existing research, published in the January issue of Neurosurgery, the researchers said caution about heading must be used at all levels of soccer. They advised that children use age-appropriate balls until they develop the neck strength and body control necessary for correct heading technique.

English soccer player Jeffrey Astle, who had a reputation as a fierce header, died with degenerative brain disease in 2002. The brain damage he sustained was similar to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease seen in football players and other athletes, the researchers said in a journal news release.

The researchers noted that soccer balls are no longer made of leather and do not absorb moisture, which may make them safer for heading. Also, a debate about the use of soft headgear to help protect players’ heads is ongoing.

The review concluded that more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of heading on soccer players’ brains.

References: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_120832.html

Is Jumper’s Knee (AKA: Patellar Tendonitis) Serious?

This problem occurs when there is an inflammation or injury of the patellar tendon, right underneath the kneecap. Jumper’s knee is an overuse or repetitive injury that occurs over time.

This injury can happen with any sport that requires constant jumping, landing, and changing direction.  This can cause strains, tears, and damage to the patellar tendon.

Jumper’s knee can seem like a minor injury and a lot of people ignore it until they can’t stand it anymore. Because of this, many athletes keep training and competing and tend to ignore the injury or attempt to treat it themselves. However, this strain can lead to a serious condition.

Bones, joints and muscles in the knee work together to flex and extend the knee.  When the knee is extended, the quadriceps muscle pulls on the quadriceps tendon, which in turn pulls on the patella. Then, the patella pulls on the patellar tendon and the tibia and allows the knee to straighten. In contrast, when bending the knee, the hamstring muscle pulls on the tibia, which causes the knee to flex.

In jumper’s knee, the patellar tendon is damaged. Since this tendon is crucial to straightening the knee, damage to it causes the patella to lose any support or anchoring. This causes pain and weakness in the knee, and leads to difficulty in straightening the leg.

Symptoms:

1. Pain directly over the patellar tendon (or below the kneecap)

2. Stiffness of the knee, particularly while jumping, kneeling, squatting, sitting, or climbing stairs

3. Pain when bending the knee

4. Pain in the quadriceps muscle

5. Leg or calf weakness

6.Warmth, tenderness, or swelling around the lower knee

7. Balance problems

For mild to moderate jumper’s knee, treatment includes:

1. Resting from activity or adapting a training regimen that greatly reduces any jumping or impact

2. Icing the knee to reduce pain and inflammation

3. Wearing a knee support or strap (called an intrapatellar strap or a Chopat strap) to help support the knee and patella. The strap is worn over the patellar tendon, just beneath the kneecap. A knee support or strap can help minimize pain and relieve strain on the patellar tendon.

4. Elevating the knee when it hurts (for example, placing a pillow under the leg)

5. Anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, to minimize pain and swelling

6. Massage therapy

7. Minimum-impact exercises to help strengthen the knee

8. Rehabilitation programs that include muscle strengthening, concentrating on weight-bearing muscle groups like the quadriceps and calf muscles.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery can take a few weeks to several months. It’s best to stay away from any sport or activity that can aggravate the knee and make conditions worse. However, recovering from jumper’s knee doesn’t mean that someone can’t participate in any sports or activities. Depending on the extent of the injury, you can still play the sport you love, you just need to maintain stretching and maintenance to the joint.

How can we prevent Jumper’s Knee?

The most important factor in preventing jumper’s knee is stretching. A good warm-up regimen that involves stretching the quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles can help prevent jumper’s knee. Sometimes applying heat to the area helps as well before a work out.  It’s always a good idea to stretch after exercising, too.

Life Changing Success Stories Of Chiropractic

Chiropractic Life-Changing Success Story Documented

Appearing in the March 2004 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, was a documented case study of a life changing case. The subject of the study was a previously healthy 17 year old who was involved in high school sports.

On one particular occasion he was competing as a pole vaulter in a high school track meet when he had an accident in which he landed on his head from a height of 10 feet.

Immediately following the accident, the young man noticed the onset of neck pain focused at the base of his skull. In addition he started suffering from back pain, daily headaches, and migraine headaches approximately 3 times per week. He described his pain as an “unbearable everyday occurrence.” Additionally, several days after the accident he began experiencing “blackouts,” which were later diagnosed as petit mal seizures. These seizures continued to increase until he was experiencing them 4 times per day.

Things continued to get worse for the young man as during the first 6 months following the accident, he started experiencing the onset of depression. He described a complete loss of appetite, extreme lethargy, a lack of concern for himself, and an extremely erratic sleep cycle that often left him awake for several days followed by periods of 14 to 18 hours of sleep.

The patient and his mother reported that he consulted with approximately 24 practitioners during this time. Prescribed medications and therapies did not alleviate or reduce symptoms. To alleviate his pain and depression, he started using illegal drugs in an attempt to “make himself feel better.” After becoming addicted, his parents checked him into a drug rehabilitation program, which he completed.

It was after this long and horrifying 6 year period, that this young man sought chiropractic care from the chiropractor who authored the published study. An examination was performed and it was determined that the young man was suffering due to a subluxation in the upper neck. A course of corrective adjustments was begun to correct the subluxation and reduce nerve pressure.

The results as reported in the Journal was nothing short of life changing for the young man. After 1 month of care, the patient reported an absence of seizures and manic episodes and improved sleep patterns. After 4 months of care, seizures and manic episodes remained absent and migraine headaches were reduced from 3 per week to 2 per month. After 7 months of care, the patient reported the complete absence of symptoms. And eighteen months later, the patient remains asymptomatic. This has changed his life tremendously.

http://www.chiropracticresearch.org/search-result.php?aid=1092

What turraine is best for running?

Soft or hard surfaces while running?  That is what people ask me all of the time.  I normally like to tell them to run on the beach barefoot since this is the best for shock absorption of the foot.  But….if someone is getting over a sprain, it is not good to have them run on uneven soft surfaces because the ankle or leg can’t handle the bumps and it may irritate old chronic injuries.

Running on hard surfaces is hard on the body and does add shock to the foot and kinetic chain.  I guess the answer to the question of running on soft surfaces versus hard ones depends on the individual and what is going on with them.  Here is a great article discussing the differences between each option.

Article:

Hirofumi Tanaka, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas at Austin, bristles when he sees dirt paths carved out of the grass along paved bicycling or running routes. The paths are created by runners who think softer ground protects them from injuries.

Dr. Tanaka, a runner, once tried it himself. He was recovering from a knee injury and an orthopedist told him to stay away from hard surfaces, like asphalt roads, and run instead on softer surfaces, like grass or dirt. So he ran on a dirt path runners had beaten into the grass along an asphalt bike path.

The result? “I twisted my ankle and aggravated my injury while running on the softer and irregular surface,” he said.

In the aftermath of his accident, Dr. Tanaka said he could not find any scientific evidence that a softer surface is beneficial to runners, nor could other experts he asked. In fact, it makes just as much sense to reason that runners are more likely to get injured on soft surfaces, which often are irregular, than on smooth, hard ones, he said.

His experience makes me wonder. Is there a good reason why many runners think a soft surface is gentler on their feet and limbs? Or is this another example of a frequent error we all make, trusting what seems like common sense and never asking if the conventional wisdom is correct?

Perhaps a runner who, like me, strikes the ground with her forefoot instead of her heel, might risk more injuries on softer ground. After all, every time I push off on a soft surface, I twist my foot.

Exercise researchers say there are no rigorous gold-standard studies in which large numbers of people were assigned to run on soft or hard surfaces, then followed to compare injury rates.

There’s a good reason for that, said Stuart J. Warden, director of the Indiana Center for Translational Musculoskeletal Research at Indiana University. It’s too hard to recruit large numbers of people willing to be randomly assigned to one surface or another for their runs.

“I think the reason people haven’t answered that question is that it is not an easy question to answer,” Dr. Warden said.

When Dr. Willem van Mechelen, head of public and occupational health at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, searched for published studies on running injuries and how to prevent them, he, too, concluded that there were no good studies that directly support running on softer ground. “Significantly not associated with running injuries seem age, gender, body mass index, running hills, running on hard surfaces, participation in other sports, time of the year and time of the day,” Dr. van Mechelen concluded.

So what is going on? It seems obvious that the forces on your legs and feet are different depending on whether you run on soft packed dirt or on hard concrete. Why aren’t injury rates affected?

An answer that many accept comes from studies that addressed the question indirectly. In several of them, study subjects ran on plates that measured the force with which they struck the ground. Instead of varying the hardness of the ground, the researchers varied the cushioning of the shoes. More cushioning approximated running on softer ground.

Over and over again, studies like these found that the body automatically adjusts to different surfaces — at least, as mimicked by cushioning in shoes — to keep forces constant when foot strikes plate.

That finding makes sense, Dr. Warden said. If you jump from a table to the floor, you automatically bend your knees when you land. If you jump on a trampoline, you can keep your knees stiff when you land. Something similar happens when you run on different surfaces.

“If you run on a hard surface, your body decreases its stiffness,” Dr. Warden said. “Your knees and hips flex more. On a soft surface, your legs stiffen.” Running on a soft surface “is basically a different activity,” he said.

But those studies did not actually measure forces inside the body, Dr. van Mechelen noted. Instead, they used biomechanical modeling to estimate those forces.

“It is models, so God knows whether it is true,” Dr. van Mechelen said. “But to me it doesn’t seem far-fetched.”

Dr. Warden said some people adapt quicker than others to running surfaces, and he advised that anyone wanting to change from a soft to a hard surface, or vice versa, play it safe and make the change gradually.

Changing your running surface, Dr. Warden said, “is much like increasing your mileage, changing your shoes or some other aspect of your training program.” Abrupt changes can be risky.

But with no evidence that softer surfaces prevent injuries, there is no reason to run on softer ground unless you like to, Dr. Warden and other experts said. Dr. van Mechelen tells runners to get a pair of comfortable shoes and run on whatever surface they prefer.

Dr. van Mechelen, a runner himself, says his favorite surface is asphalt. Mine is too.

My coach, Tom Fleming, never suggested soft surfaces and never thought they prevented injuries. And, he said, there’s a good reason to run on asphalt, at least if you want to compete.

“Most road races are on hard roadways,” he told me. “So let’s get used to them.”

References: Gina Kolata NY Times