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Keep On Running

gump running

The most important thing I’ve learned in my chiropractic practice when taking care of running athletes is that when injured, a serious runner doesn’t want to stop even after their body forces them to put their running on the shelf. My professional advice to all running athletes is to set the time aside to take care of the body, legs, and feet with an injury prevention program and smart training techniques before injury occurs.

Avoid chronic overuse problems that develop over time from poor running mechanics, worn-out or improper footwear, inconsistent preventative measures such as stretching, warming up, corrective exercise, massage, and chiropractic. Incorporating all of these into your injury prevention program can be helpful to make you a healthy and capable runner.

Here are the 3 most common overuse injuries that I see in my office.

1. Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs

    Causes:

  • Excessive training
  • Poor shoe selection
  • Excessive shoe mileage
  • Heel strike or overstriding
  • Flat feet with no arch supports

     Treatment and Prevention:

  • Correcting Running Posture
  • Correction of any abnormal pelvic tilt with Chiropractic
  • Fixing muscle imbalances through corrective exercise
  • Diligent and consistent stretching, foam rolling, Chiropractic Care, and Massage Therapy
  • Myofascial Release Technique or Active Release Technique
  • Mid-foot strike running gait pattern
  • Tall relaxed posture while running
  • Arch supports or Orthotics

2. Leg Pain or IT Band Syndrome

     Causes:

  • Poor running posture, heel strike, and excessive bending at the waist
  • Inward drawn knees (Genu Valgum) or knocked knee running
  • Fallen foot arches
  • Foot pronation
  • Unaddressed pelvic issues

      Treatment and Prevention:

  • Correction of any joint misalignment occurring in the lower back, pelvis, knees, ankles or feet with Chiropractic
  • Massage, Myofascial Release Technique, and Active Release Technique
  • Stretching and foam rolling
  • Corrective exercise
  • Arch supports or Orthotics

3. Runner’s Knee or Patellar Tendinitis

      Causes: 

  • Poor running mechanics such as over-striding and heel strike
  • Poor shoe selection
  • Flat feet with no arch support
  • Weak quads and hip flexors
  • Tight hamstrings and calves

      Treatment and Prevention:

  • Rest
  • Ice to reduce inflammation
  • Cryotherapy
  • Address mechanical issues and running gait problems with corrective exercise and stretching
  • Address muscle weakness and stretch the tight muscles

The very best tip I can tell the runner’s out there is to get properly assessed by a healthcare professional and set the time aside to maintain your body before injury occurs because running is a very demanding sport or form of exercise. If your car needs it’s oil changed and tires rotated every 3000 to 5000 miles, what will your body require to keep going? Take care of your body because you only get one.

 

Keep on Running,

Dr. Joseph J. Thomas

Chiropractic, Massage, Corrective Exercise, and Nutritional Support

Chiropractic, Massage, Corrective Exercise, and Nutritional Support

 

 

 

 

 

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Health Community: Supporting Natural Immune Function

Healthier Families

Healthier Families

With the recent reports of measles state by state across the United States a question comes to my mind. No, I’m not going to ask if everyone in your family has gotten or is going get their measles vaccine. My question is, what are you doing to support you and your family’s natural immunity?

Recently, whether to vaccinate or not has be a controversial topic with the measles outbreaks at Disneyland and more recently across several states including my own state of Texas. Even politicians that once spoke out against vaccines and their adverse reactions are eating their words and are seen on national television receiving, the once again ineffective, flu vaccine to make the main stream media educated masses happy. Maybe it’s not about losing voters but maybe it’s losing the big pharmaceutical company’s campaign money that they’re worried about losing.  Pharmaceutical companies are some of the richest companies in the world with 70% of the U.S. population taking some kind of prescription drug and spending loads of money in Washington with all their lobbyists. After all, how educated is the average voter on the pros and cons of immunizations anyway? More than half the people that come in my office on their first visit don’t even know what prescription drugs they’re taking and why. So, I’m sure the average voter isn’t researching the dangers or effectiveness of vaccines at the library but they are probably seeing a nightly 30 second report on the evening news scaring them that we’re all going to get measles and die. I’m not writing this blog to tell you whether or not to vaccinate your children. I’m writing to help you find natural ways to support your body’s inborn natural immunity. I do encourage one and all to do the research before making the crucial decision of whether to receive vaccinations or not. Don’t let the media scare you but find out for yourself and make the best decision you can for your family. There will be some references at the bottom to help you start your search.

Before we go on, it’s important to know that our body has it’s own GOD given inborn innate ability to heal itself and defend itself from disease and illness. This “innate intelligence” is the same inborn ability that tells your body to carry functions such as cell division, all the way to digestion of what you ate for dinner. Your body’s ability to function is why some people get sick while others stay healthy even when exposed to the same germs or viruses. You see, when your body functions at it’s fullest potential it has the ability to stay in a state of good health. So, when your body functions at 100% your body stays 100% healthy. This is a fact and stated in the definition of what health is by the World Health Organization. So again,

100% FUNCTION = 100% HEALTH

Here’s question number one for you. How can we support our body’s natural immunity so we don’t get sick? Support proper FUNCTION! Now, let’s think deeper. How can we support the proper function of our bodies? If you’re not sure, then think even further. What controls all functions in your body? THE BRAIN and Nervous System! Our brain controls every single organ, tissue, and cell in our bodies and how they all function. Without the vital energy that our brain sends in the form of mental impulses down the spinal cord and through the nerves to our organs, tissues, and cells our body will cease to be healthy due to their own dysfunction. Knowing this law about our body, we can now answer the question of how to support our natural immunity.

Here’s 5 things you can do to support your natural immunity against illness and disease.

  1. Support the Brain/Body Connection with Chiropractic Care. Chiropractors correct misalignment in the spine called subluxations that put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves blocking mental impulses from the brain to the organs, tissues, and cells of the body. (A subluxation is like a kink in a hose that would block the water to your garden killing your plants). When your spine is subluxation free your brain is connected to your body thus allowing the mental impulses to travel freely supporting proper function of the organs, tissues, and cells of the body.
  2. Proper Nutrition. Getting the right amount of nutrients for your body we build a strong immune system. This includes the protein to regenerate and build tissues, carbohydrates to fuel your muscles and organs, fats to support cell membranes and brain health as well as vitamins and minerals. Try to get the most natural and organic foods possible. Organic fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, wild caught fish, healthy fats like coconut oil and organic virgin olive oil are some examples. Locally grown foods are always better choices. Avoid processed foods!
  3. Drink more WATER! The most abundant nutrient in our bodies and on our planet has never been harder for us to get. First, drink enough to provide your body with the necessary amount it needs to thrive and not just survive.  Avoid caffeine, soft drinks, and alcohol that can dehydrate your body. Make sure your water isn’t contaminated with unhealthy toxins, pollutants, and additives.  Sometimes even filtered water isn’t filtered enough to remove all the toxins that can reduce our health. I will be writing more on water in the future so keep following our blog to get more info on our water in the future.  Alkaline Water is great to support a balanced pH in the body.
  4. Sleep: Rest for Recovery. Most of us aren’t getting nearly enough of the sleep we require. Recent studies say that we need 8-10 hours of sleep per night. If you’re not getting at least 8 hours your body isn’t going to recover from the craziness that our busy days have become in recent years.  Proper pillows, a firm mattress, a cool, dark room with no electronic disturbances is best.  Get rid of the digital alarm clock and replace it with an old wind-up clock. Get out of the habit of sleeping with the television on.  Either get your T.V. out of the bedroom or set the sleep timer to get the REM sleep that your body needs.
  5. Free your mind. Bad thoughts are a major factor in your health. These include negative thoughts, depression, anxiety and worrying about things that are out of our control. Try yoga, exercising, breathing techniques, or get a constructive hobby.  Use meditation techniques in the mornings or before bed. Set some time aside to read the Bible and get spiritually connected with your mind, body, and soul.

 

Thank you for reading my professional opinions on health. I hoped you enjoyed my thoughts and learned a little bit to think about what you do to and put in your body. For more information about the pros and cons of vaccines visit NVIC.org

Professionally and Responsibly Yours,

Joseph Thomas, D.C., C.C.S.P.

 

Joshua Spine and Health Center: Because healthier is happier.

Joshua Spine and Health Center: Because healthier is happier.

Backpack Safety

Backpack Safety

Yes, it’s true.  It’s the end of summer and back to school for our children. Soon our children will be hoisting heavy backpacks over their shoulders filled with important tools for learning such as books, laptops, school supplies, and loads of homework. All of these things are important for learning but when loaded into a backpack the weight of making the grade can add up. Making good grades is very important but will your child continue to make “A’s” if they have the stress of an overloaded book bag weighing down the spines destroying their posture over time even leading to stress on their brains?? What?!? Yes, I said stress on their brains! An overloaded backpack pulling down the shoulders can cause structural changes to your child’s spine leading to a forward head carriage posture thus stretching and irritating the spinal cord and brain stem. An irritated and inflamed spinal cord and brain stem leads to an irritated and unruly student. So, an overloaded backpack can not only result in lower back, neck and shoulder pain, but also regular headaches, ADD, and ADHD when this kind of physical stress is endured for a long period of time. Add it all up and that’s why backpack safety is so important for our children’s health and well-being. Here are some tips that can help parents and teachers make sure that school children aren’t carrying the wrong amount of weight so they can avoid ruining their key to maintaining good health, their spines and central nervous system.

Backpack Safety Tips:

  1. Your child should carry no more than 10% of his or her body weight. This means that a child that weighs 100 pounds shouldn’t carry a backpack heavier than 10 pounds.
  2. Make sure the backpack is the correct size for your child. A backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso. A backpack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that passes the the 4 inch mark hanging lower than acceptable will cause a child’s head to lean forward when walking causing structural changes to the normal cervical curve over time.
  3. Make sure your child carries their backpack wearing both straps. It is important to have an equal distribution of weight by using both straps. Using a single strap will lead to uneven shoulders, mid-back problems, and lower back spasms.
  4. Make sure the backpack as two wide padded straps. Backpack straps without padding can place unnecessary pressure on the neck and shoulders and can be very uncomfortable in general.
  5. Make sure the shoulder straps can be and are adjusted properly. Uneven straps will cause a shift in the weight of the backpack and distort a child’s posture. Straps that are too long will cause the backpack to hang lower than acceptable resulting in forward head carriage.
  6. Get a backpack with multiple compartments. Having many compartments can help distribute the weight of the backpack better and allow it to be carried with greater ease.
  7. Having your child under chiropractic care is also a great way to make sure that their spine is in proper alignment to prevent problems and symptoms from arising.

 

 

 

 

Proper Hydration and Healthier Discs

Are you drinking enough water to properly hydrate the intervertebral discs in you spinal column? Okay, maybe you’re getting your recommended  6-8 glasses of water a day but can I ask you this question. Is that enough water to replenish the water you lose in your intervertebral discs on a daily basis? This may not be enough.

Our adult bodies are 60% water at best and an infant’s body is approximately 78%. Water is a vital nutrient to the life of every cell and has many important properties. Water acts as the body’s first building material, it regulates our internal body temperature, helps metabolize our foods, is an important component for our blood, helps deliver oxygen throughout our body, and helps flush waste from our body. Water also acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord and helps lubricate all our joints.
CLEAR2GO SPLASH WOMAN ILLUSTRATION_small

At my chiropractic office in Joshua, Texas I commonly see patients with disc injuries and herniations. The intervertebral disc is a fibrous pad between the vertebrae in our spines. Intervertebral discs have an outer annulus that is made of of rings of collagen fibers and a liquid gel-like central nucleus that acts like a ball bearing allowing for better movement of the spine. The disc separates the vertebrae and allows our body a greater range of motion and also acts to absorb a small amount of mechanical stress on the spine. Our discs require water such as every cell in the body does and when our bodies are dehydrated so are our discs. Being dehydrated is not good for the health of our discs and can lead to injury when stresses are applied to our spinal column. A disc that is poorly hydrated has a much greater risk for injury than one that is adequately hydrated. Staying properly hydrated can help avoid injury to the intervertebral disc. Below are some things you should know about your intervertebral discs, risks of injury, and how to stay hydrated.

716_Intervertebral_Disk

THINGS TO KNOW: DISC HYDRATION

  • During the day our discs lose water due to stress and the weight of gravity
  • At night while lying asleep gives disc the chance to reabsorb water (We are taller in the mornings and shorter as the day goes by due to compression on the spine and discs causing them to lose water)
  • As we age our discs lose their ability to absorb as much water
  • Avoid sodas, teas, coffee, and alcohol that can dehydrate your body
  • Avoid nicotine and other diuretics that can dehydrate your body
  • Drink more water, double the amount recommended during the hot summer days in Texas heat
  • Athletes playing summer sports or subjected to heat should drink water before, during, and after competition and practice

Written by Joseph J. Thomas, D.C., CCSP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Posture = Good Health

 

Leaning Tower

The month of May is “Posture Awareness Month”.  At Joshua Spine and Health Center our staff is challenging our patients to improve their posture and encourage their families and friends to improve their posture too. Do you have good posture? When you look at a person with slouched shoulders, head tilted towards the ground, and a rounded back, do you think they appear healthy? I don’t. When I see a person with poor posture I see a lack of muscular strength, weak structure, low energy – a defeated person with poor health. When you see a person with good posture what do you think of them? When I see a person with good upright posture I picture them as confident, youthful, full of energy, and healthy.

As you can imagine, not many people start off coming into our office with good posture. As a chiropractor it’s one of my first duties to improve this problem as it has many detrimental effects on a person’s overall health.  Poor posture can result in more than just back and neck pain. As a Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner I know the importance of balance and symmetry for the body to function at it’s fullest potential.  Poor posture can be even more serious than you think as it progresses.  It can lead to severe problems such as headaches, breathing problems due to the compression of the lungs, mood problems, depression, blood pressure problems, degenerative joint or disc disease, and it can even cause problems with the body’s hormone production.

How can you tell if you have poor posture? Remember that your body is symmetrical from side to side. If a line is drawn down your center, everything on the right should match everything on the left.  Signs of structural and postural problems will be seen in uneven shoulders, uneven pelvic bones, inward pointing or uneven knees, or feet that show inward or outward pressure instead of an even stance.  When assessing posture from the side view of a person, you should be able to drop a line straight down from your ear that should pass through your shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle. If any one of these structures is offline than you have structural issues that should be assessed by a healthcare professional. For example, forward head posture can add up to thirty pounds of abnormal weight to the spine. It can then lead to neck and upper back pain, headaches, arm and hand tingling and weakness, and sometimes carpal tunnel syndrome-like symptoms.

During Posture Awareness Month we are asking our Joshua Spine and Health Center friends to check the posture of their family members at home by using our postural grading chart. Be aware that poor posture leads to poor function and then poor health. If you should find a problem in a family member or yourself you should be scheduled for a complete postural and spinal evaluation. Here are some helpful tips to promote good posture:

  • Keep your shoulders in line with your ears and chest up at all times including sitting in front of your computer, couch, or in your car driving
  • Make sure your workspace is set up properly to prevent any forward head tilt down or excessive reaching
  • Do NOT sit on a wallet, sit on your leg, or cross your legs at the knees (crossing your legs at the ankles is permitted)
  • Do NOT spend hours looking down at your cell phone texting or reading your kindle (Hold your device up higher and maintain a chin that is level)
  • See your Chiropractor for preventive or wellness care adjustments to maintain proper spinal and pelvic alignment

If good posture feels bad and bad posture feels good, then you definitely have a problem and should seek out a qualified health care professional’s help.

Thank you,

Joseph J. Thomas, DC, CCSP

Joshua Spine and Health Center

 

 

Hello, Natural Health Blogging World!

Hello, to everyone out there who is eager to learn about leading a healthier lifestyle.  Our new blog here at wordpress.com will focus on giving you up-to-date information about Chiropractic, nutrition, healthy living habits, and a broad scope of NATURAL health-related topics. Stop by to learn more about a healthier you every month for a new blog about Chiropractic and better healthier living. Thank you for reading and please come again.

Contact us or like us on facebook at Joshua Spine and Health Center or visit our website at joshuaspinehealth.com and joshuahealthcenter.com

Our Chiropractic office is located in Joshua, Texas, only 20 minutes south of Fort Worth.  Our clinic serves the surrounding communities of Burleson, Crowley, and Cleburne as well as the people of Joshua.

Contact us for your Chiropractic needs at (817) 641-1313.