The Caffeine Debate

Comment

The Caffeine Debate

But one important tip for morning coffee drinkers.  Don’t drink your coffee within one hour of waking.  This is because your body’s natural circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle) needs time to adjust.  The hormones being release in this first hour will drastically decrease the caffeine’s effect, and you’ll need more of it.  Instead of reaching for coffee first thing, try these tips:

Comment

The Casts of Convenience

1 Comment

The Casts of Convenience

The Importance of Being Comfortably Uncomfortable

Technology is Making You Weak And Sick

I don’t know if you’ve ever broken anything and been in a cast, but it’s not a fun time.  It’s itchy, if it’s on your dominant arm you dread everything about bathroom experiences, and the skin begins to spell oddly like a foot even if it’s your arm.  Like mine.  Three separate times....

The crazy thing was I adapted so quickly!  Honestly, removing the cast was one of the more uncomfortable parts because reintroducing the skin and joints to my environment was a struggle.  Thankfully, after a couple of weeks, the body bounced back and now I have a normal right arm after being broken three times.

This is a great analogy for what is happening in our everyday life.  We like to call them conveniences, but they have hindered our natural movement to the point where they have become casts, both for our physiology and physical health.  I could mention many casts hindering our daily life, but let’s look at some of the most common ones.

Electronic Devices

Smart phones have completely changed the gait of many people. When you walk, there should some degree of arm swing and torso rotation, and when this rotation isn’t present, you lose the function of your obliques.  This is detrimental because, along with the lat, these muscles bridge forces being transferred from the hips to the shoulders.  Therefore, when we lose function of them, it destabilizes the entire spine, including the shoulders and hips.  Additionally, your eyes should be on the horizon instead of looking down at your feet.  For every inch your head is pushed forward over your shoulders, it essentially weighs an additional 10bs in respect to the force needed to hold it up by the neck.  And lastly, the hours a day we spend looking at a screen fixes our eyes in one position resulting in myopia (nearsightedness). 

Shoes and flat surfaces

With every other muscle of the body, if we want to improve the function or strength of it, we stress it via movement or exercise.  But in the case of feet, we throw in the towel and say, “Here is this support so you don’t have to do anything.  Good bye forever!”.  Then we wonder why we have tension in our calves, hamstrings and IT band.  True, if you run on pavement for miles and miles, you want some support, but this is similar to a powerlifter using a weight belt during his max lift.  Yet, if said powerlifter always wore that weight belt, he would never strengthen his core due to his reliance on an outside support, or cast.  Getting the feet out of shoes, on some natural surfaces, and waking up the muscles of the feet are more important for the 33 joints in the foot and ankle than the most comfy shoes and inserts.  Or, you know, you could always go for the Jake “The Berminator” Berman route if you want to play it safe.

 "Don't you be talkin' about my momma!" 

"Don't you be talkin' about my momma!" 

Temperature Control

Controlling temperature is a pretty complex reality in the body.  Considering thyroid function, cardiac function, and heat shock proteins are just a part of the thermoregulation system of the body, let’s keep this simple.  Keeping your comfort zone between 68 – 72 degrees year around makes you very vulnerable to illness when you get outside that environment.  Your body and mind need the fluctuating temperatures so it can adapt and become resilient with these changes. For a more in depth talk about this check out my other blog on cold thermogenesis.

The body is an amazing adaptive organism.  As I’ve seen with my broken arm, the body can also get really good at doing nothing, being comfortable, and moving poorly.  Unfortunately, no one will be getting a gold medal for sitting anytime soon, so let’s make a commitment right now to change something about our day that gets us a little uncomfortable, and remove these casts from your life one by one. Your body will thank you for it!

For more information on treatment or online coaching for sustainable exercise and pain relief, visit www.ChiroStrength.com or call the office 931-321-1414 to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Dunaway.

1 Comment

Unleash The Healing Power of the Breath

3 Comments

Unleash The Healing Power of the Breath

While these are specific drills aimed at gaining control of your breath, simply taking several large inhales through the nose to expand the lungs as much as possible is a good way to wake up in the morning and is analogous to stretching before activity. 

3 Comments

Understanding Groin Strains

3 Comments

Understanding Groin Strains

What's the take away here? Simply resting a groin strain until the pain is gone is not an adequate recovery protocol.  Without addressing the important factors described in this blog, you will likely suffer from future ailments, such as hip impingement or hernias, due to the poor hip mechanics adopted by the body during the healing process.

3 Comments

Deadlifts and Back Pain

Comment

Deadlifts and Back Pain

The fact is, deadlifts can help back pain patients recover faster and become more injury resistant in the process by strengthening a natural human movement pattern.

Comment

Re-Posturing: Relief From Repetitive Stress Pain

Comment

Re-Posturing: Relief From Repetitive Stress Pain

Drills To Desensitize Your Painful Tissues

A Lesson From Boiling Water

Stress to your body can come in many different mechanisms.  It may seem odd, but doing nothing and doing too much can cause similar pain syndromes because each of those scenarios have a common thread; they are performed with a certain posture for a prolonged time with no rest.  Re-posturing is a way of relieving that pain from the repetition of daily life.

For better understanding, let’s compare our perception of pain to a pot of boiling water.  If we take a pot of water and heat it up (stress it) we expect the water to boil at a certain point, it’s just a matter of time.  Once reaching that threshold we can do 2 things to stop the boiling; add cold water or remove it from the heat (stressor). 

Adding cold water without removing the heating source will keep the water from boiling for a period of time, but eventually the water will continue to boil.  The amount and the frequency with which you add water will alter how long the boiling stops.

Removing the heating source will also keep the water from boiling, but the temperature of the water remains high so it takes less time to reach boiling point if the heat is introduced again.

Cold water in this analogy includes any treatment including massage therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic, stretching, etc. All of these options are great and necessary for certain conditions.

The trick comes in removing the heating source (pain mechanism) for long enough to decrease the water temperature (pain threshold) so it’s not as easy to boil the water, or elicit a pain response.   The problem with repetitive stress is it’s often associated with a job description, and quitting your job isn’t a viable option for most.  So enter the concept of Re-Posturing.

Essentially, with one exercise we are trying to take our joints through ranges of motion they would otherwise not be taken through in our normal posture.  This exercise will be performed for 10-30 seconds every 30 min. This “micro break” done repeatedly throughout the day will alter the stresses in the body enough to allow the overloaded tissues to heal and decrease their pain threshold. This desensitizes the tissue so it won’t be so easy to aggravate your painful condition and any therapy performed will have a more long lasting effect on the pain.

Here is an example of Re-Posturing for someone who sits/drives every day: (Video Here For further Description)

Hands: fingers spread apart as far as possible and palms turned towards the ceiling.

Elbows: Tucked to your sides

Shoulders: External rotation with slight extension

Spine: Stand/sit tall, Chin retracted, breath from belly

Hips: Extended or flexed beyond 90 degrees

Knees: End range extension and flexion

This is just one example but is very common.  The more important key is the concept of performing the drill frequently 1-3 times/hr and within your comfort zone while in the stressful posture. 

Keep the reposturing principle in mind when attempting to resolve pain which has not been caused by obvious trauma.  It may be just the tip you need to recover and enjoy a pain free, mobile life!

For more information on Chiropractic treatment, education on Body Maintenance techniques, or coaching for sustainable exercise programs visit www.ChiroStrength.com or call the office 931-321-1414 to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Dunaway.

Comment

Swiss Cheese: The Movement Fix

Comment

Swiss Cheese: The Movement Fix

“If Football Players and Power Lifters would do more yoga, and yogis would pull more heavy dead lifts, there would be a lot less injury and a lot more athleticism in the world.”

Comment

The Skill Of Being Pain Free

Comment

The Skill Of Being Pain Free

With this better body awareness, you can manifest that literacy in any fitness arena you wish with a much lower risk of injury.  However, without this literacy, simple every day activity is an injury risk, and stepping into a gym with poor movement literacy is a recipe for injury.

Comment

Shoulder Pain?  Check The Neck!

Comment

Shoulder Pain? Check The Neck!

The drill that is described in this blog is fantastic for a number of reasons.  First, when performing this drill, you’ll get immediate feedback to whether or not you are using the correct muscles when performing a push or pull.  This is maybe the most important step because you’ll never fully recover from a shoulder injury if you continue to use poor mechanics in your everyday activities.  

Comment

30 Day Back Pain Challenge

Comment

30 Day Back Pain Challenge

Jumping into a program like this is recipe for disaster and pain.  If you don’t consider yourself a beginner in your fitness goals, there are better, more advanced exercises to be doing anyway for both performance or aesthetic purposes. 

Comment

Post Workout: Are You Doing It Right?

Comment

Post Workout: Are You Doing It Right?

So when you ingest that sugary post workout drink right after your workout, your body will immediately dump insulin into the blood stream to manage the increase in blood glucose, and in the process, circulating levels of testosterone decrease.

Comment

On The Topic Of Shoulder Pain

Comment

On The Topic Of Shoulder Pain

Due to poor breathing patterns and the western culture’s comically convenient lifestyle which robs the human system of even the slightest amount of movement on a daily basis, it’s safe to say the majority of us lack thoracic spine extension and rotation.

Comment

Step 1 to Preventing or Relieving Back Pain

Comment

Step 1 to Preventing or Relieving Back Pain

When spinal hygiene is neglected you find yourself saying, “All I did was bend down to put my socks on and my back went out!”.  Indeed, you did, but it wasn’t just one time, it was 5,000 times and it was done with a flexed low back and no core activation.

Comment

Women And The Weight Room

Comment

Women And The Weight Room

To age gracefully you must learn how to hinge from this hips, squat, lunge, push, pull, and carry with adequate movement competency.  There is no better way to learn this competency than to earn it with resistance training

Comment