The prescription and the dose most doctors aren’t prescribing correctly!

What if your Doctor prescribed you a therapy that would decrease your chance of dying by 70% and your chance of cardiovascular disease by 60%, would you be interested?

Studies have claimed that between 75-85 percent of death and disease can be related to lifestyle. You do not need a doctorate to understand that proper exercise, healthy diet, and mindfulness are they key ingredients to allow your genetics to present the best “you” that you can. There was a great study that tackled part of the equation above in terms of how much exercise in the form of running (one of our more organic and natural forms) is beneficial for health purposes.

woman runner

Here is the summary and take-aways from the study, attached is the link below for a full copy of the study.
“what’s the proper dose of running?”
-Maximal benefits of running occur at low levels, around 40 minutes or less.
Optimal frequency of jogging was 2-3 time per week, a combined 1 to 2.4 hours per week.

“What does running help protect you against?”
-People who ran at the dose listed above had a 68% reduction in mortality (less chance in dying)
-Runners had a reduction in all-cause and Cardiovascular disease mortality of 30% and 45% compared to non-runners
-People who ran a combined 1-2.4 hours per week was associated with the lowest mortality (71% reduction in death)
-Running and walking, but not other exercise, produces and equal “reduction” in Osteoarthritis and hip replacement risk
running heart

“Is it better to walk or run?”
Running vs. Walking: You have to walk 3 to 4 times as much as running for the same health benefit. 5 min running = 15 min walking, 25 minutes of running = 105 minutes of walking

For references and the full Proceedings from the Mayo Clinic, click here for the journal

“If I wanted to start running, what should I do to avoid injury?”

In my opinion, there are 5 components of running injuries and several training components that help minimize your risk for injury

1) Biomechanics, most running injuries stem from restricted range of motion in the feet or hips/pelvis. Professionally we help with treatment of the feet with our Functional Hallux Rehabilitation work, and chiropractic approach to the pelvis. Self care, you can work on mobility protocols for ankles and pelvis

2) Soft Tissue – Asymmetry (one side stronger than the other), trauma, and overuse can cause a thickening of the fascia, causing a restriction of the muscle, and friction between muscles, tendons, and joints. Professionally we use cutting edge techniques to restore and normalize tissue like Fascial Distortion Model, Active Release Technique, and Rapid Release Technology. Self care, you should employ mysofascial release tools like the foam roller, mobility bands, and tools like lacrosse balls and tigertails/sticks to keep the fasical system free

3) Neuromuscular Balance – Tight hamstrings and shortened hip flexors is a great example. Activities such as sitting or driving may alter our neuromuscular system which can affect performance. Chronic tight hamstrings, weak and sore lower back, sore shins may be a result of movement patterns of the muscles, not necessarily the muscles or joints. We employ neuro activation with several tools and approaches, self care is best done through cross training and body weight movements to address the imbalances

4) Footwear- There are many opinions and a lot of marketing in footwear. Find a good running shoe store and get fit correctly. If you go the minimalist route (barefoot) please slowly scale your distance and intensity. If you go the stability shoe and orthotic route, please don’t neglect to strengthen your feet with exercises and sensory input so you don’t become dependent on the support as much.

5) Running Form and Training-
Most beginners just run, and never consider there form. Although their is not one ideal form, there are techniques that can help minimize the impact on your body, and make you more efficient. Here are some tips and links below to help with form.

-Don’t run consecutive days, give your body a chance to rebuild and repair. maximum 4 days a week, with days in between.

-Don’t Increase your mileage or time too fast, experts say between 10-20% per week increase.

-Running speed and running down hills increases the pounding on your body

-Read the books or watch the videos on Chi-Running or Pose Method, great resource on posture and running.

-Attend a running clinic or get a running coach. We have some gems in San Diego, one of my favorites is a wizard of running, Ozzie Gontang…checkout his clinic on Sundays at mission bay, I’ve sent over 50+ runners and they have all had amazing results.

-Experienced runners should find a good coach locally, and even get online or phone training schedules. Below are a few friends and clients I’d highly recommend:

Bernie Sydney- Both One on One Running, triathlon, and pilates. Online and phone programs. Click for contact

Sheri Mathews- One on One running Sessions, Spin, womens group run, and training programs. -Sheri Mathews Fitness Wellness Health” target=”_blank”>Click for Contact

Speed Training Coaching by James Sheremeta- Great coach for new and experienced runners. contact here

Get out there and move, have fun and stay healthy

PNF/Fascilitated Stretching – Simple Solution to Chronic Tight Hamstrings!

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching techniques are commonly used in the athletic and clinical environments to enhance both active and passive range of motion (ROM) with a view to optimizing motor performance and rehabilitation. PNF stretching is positioned in the literature as the most effective stretching technique when the aim is to increase ROM, particularly in respect to short-term changes in ROM.
McCarthy et al.[39] demonstrated that ROM gains last for approximately 7 days after 1 week of twice-daily stretching
12-week period in the direction of long-lever hip flexion when conducting one repetition of PNF stretching 2 times per week


Video of PNF Stretch on your own!

The terms ‘contract relax’, ‘hold relax’ and ‘con- tract relax agonist contract’ are commonly referred to in PNF stretching literature

For more info, or a book, checkout the website at The Stretching Institute.

Chi Running

If you were to spend 4 hours a week golfing, you would probably take a lesson or a tip or two to learn to golf. If you were to fish 4 hours a week, you may ask the Bait shop which rod to use and what the fish were biting on. If you were to start sailing, entering tennis tournament, or skydive…you might want to learn how to do it before investing your time and health.

For some reason people begin to run and assume they do everything naturally. There is a huge gap in human movement in our society. If you are an elite super athlete, then you get instruction and training. If you are injured and in Rehab or Physical Therapy, you get instruction and training. If you are not an super athlete, or not injured, many people still need and Movement Instruction due to improper posture, poor coordination, or old injuries.

Chi Running is great for people looking to learn a system of running form. Pose method is also a similar and very good technique and form.

Chi Running blends the powerful movement principles from T’ai Chi, with running, to create a revolutionary approach to effortless and injury-free running.

The cornerstones of Chi Running are postural alignment and relaxation because the combination of the two is the best way to run faster, farther and injury-free. Chi Running includes: landing with a midfoot strike, using a “gravity-assisted” forward lean and engaging core strength for propulsion rather than leg strength. This approach makes your running easier and healthier for your whole body.

Below are some great videos

Upper Cross Syndrome & Tennis Injuries-Avoiding injury off the courts

Avoiding Tennis Injuries Off the courts-Upper Cross Syndrome

By Dr. Todd Plutchok, DC ART Provider

Let’s treat the cause and not just the symptom.  Many times when tennis players are experiencing pain they flip their tennis game upside down trying to alter their swing, change their racket, decrease the volume of play, and strap on the latest and greatest gizmo/support to their arm, shoulder, or wrist.

What most of today’s athletes, especially the recreational and weekend warriors fail to acknowledge is how their everyday body mechanics play a role into their tennis game.  “We are what we repeat”, and that holds true with our posture and the role it plays on performance.

Those of you who are not professional tennis players, often have an obligation to make a living off the courts.  The majority of the clients I see spend their time in an office and desk setting, or performing a repetitive task such as typing, computing, driving, reading, studying etc.  The activities listed above can lead to a postural pattern known as “upper cross syndrome”, which can negatively effect your tennis game.

Upper Cross Syndrome is a pattern of tight and weak muscles, which will leaded to a hunched position with the shoulders rolled forward and head over the chest instead of the shoulders.  The constant tight trapezius muscles, tight chest and weak back muscles are a pattern.

Rolled shoulders and forward head posture will limit how far you can lift your arms, which in turn will limit your range of motion and power of your serve.  Tight pectoralis (chest) muscles and week rhomboids (back muscles) can limit your ability to reach back for a ball down the line.  When the shoulder roll forward it alters the angle of the elbow and wrist which will change the angle at which the impact and energy travels through the arm.  These altered angles many times distribute repetitive impact into a joint, muscle, or tendon instead of through it, resulting in inflammation.  Repetitive bouts of inflammation result in an “..itis”.  Tendonitis, bursitis, myofasciitis…you name it.

What appears on the surface to be just an elbow injury could be a symptom of a much larger problem. Even if you are not aware of imbalances or restrictions they are affecting you.  There is bad news, and their is good news.  The bad news is most of you will still have to continue to work, and sit at desk after reading this article.  The demands of societies and our obligations ofter require us to endure these postures to make a living.  The good news is there are ways for you to combat and minimize these challenges.  Their are professional services such as chiropractic and Active Release Technique that can help restore posture, and free up tight restricted muscles.  To regain and maintain that restoration, exercise is important.  Below are some strengthening and stretching exercises.

Stretch the tight muscles, Strengthen the weak muscles, and Release the inflammation and adhesions.  Below is a list of the items to stretch, ask your doctor, coach, or personal trainer for instruction, or you can always setup an appointment.

Stretch the following tight muscles

  • Upper trapezius
  • Sub occipital
  • Deep neck extensors
  • Pectoralis major/minor muscles
  • Levator scapuli muscles
  • Subscapularis muscle

The muscles that tend to be weak or lengthened include and need to be strengthened:

  • Rhomboids
  • Middle and lower trapezius
  • Deep neck flexors
  • Serratus anterio

Miscellaneous Work Activities to minimize effect

  • Sit on a balance disc or physio/swiss  ball at work,
  • Drink a lot of water to make yourself take frequent breaks.  Bathroom breaks=stretching & strengthening opportunity
  • Interchange a stool with your office chair every 2 hours
  • Make sure your monitor is at eye level
  • Push the back of your head back on the head rest of your care and hold for 10 seconds as you commute.