Category Exercise & Fitness

Activating your Hip Flexors to prevent Low Back Pain

Activating your Hip Flexors to prevent Low Back Pain

In this video, Dr. Todd discusses several tips on how to activate your hip flexors. More commonly than not, we hardly use our hip flexors. This is due to our lifestyle. We sit, we drive, we sleep in certain positions that leave these muscles unused. This leads to common back pain and compensation of other muscles. Dr. Todd shows several activation exercises you can perform before your workout to help utilize these muscles and achieve a better workout

Mobility and Foam Roller Workshops and Food Drive: Mob-Vember!

This November I will be putting on a series of Mobility and Foam Roller Workshops in conjunction with canned food drives. Most Doctors preach prevention from within their office, I’m going outside to teach it!

Come learn how to treat and prevent aches and pains from the bottoms of your feet, you legs, lower back, and all the way up to the neck with myofascial tools like foam rollers, mobility wraps, and various tools (golf balls, lacrosse balls, myofascial sticks). Foam rollers and mobility is to your muscles and joints like a toothbrush is to your teeth and gums.
MobilityClass1

These workshops are always well attended and get tremendous positive feedback. So, here is a list of the dates and locations. More Classes should be added soon, call to signup and reserve a roller or bring your own!

These workshops are free, we just ask for a canned or packaged food donation that will be passed to the San Diego Food Bank, thank you!

November 7th Saturday, 10:00-10:45 am
Mobility and Foam Roller – Full Body Tune-Up
Lift Life Results

2710 Garnet Ave, Ste 206
San Diego, California
(619) 408-6351

November 11th Wednesday 6:30-7:15 pm
Golf Mobility- Mobility for Golf Swing
GolfTec Golden Triangle

8935 Towne Centre Dr, San Diego, CA 92122
Phone:(858) 228-5228

November 21st Saturday 11:00-11:45 am
Mobility and Foam Roller -Full Body Tune-Up
Versatile Fitness

4340 Genesee Ave, #107
San Diego CA
(845) 558-1667

November 21st Saturday, 1:00-1:45 pm
Mobility and Foam Roller – Full body with Upper Body focus
The Boxing Club -UTC Costa Verde Center

8650 Genesse Ave
Ste 206
San Diego, CA 92122
(858) 622-1903

If you are one of my clients, or belong to a gym or group you feel would like to host a workshop and food drive, I would be happy to discuss getting more people healthy and generating a laregr donation to the San Diego Food Bank, please email me Chiroplu@gmail.com.

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

Dr. Todd’s Top 5 Health App’s

Technology is growing at a faster rate and programs and applications that used to cost thousands of dollars in the healthcare field are now easily accessible, accurate, and inexpensive (sometimes even free). Now you have free access to formerly fancy expensive exercise and nutrition software & programs that were only accessible by Nutritionist and Exercise Scientist. Simple programs now replace high priced GPS watches would calculate your pace, and fancy timers and stop watches would assist your workouts. Below are my favorite applications (mostly iphone/ipod users….I’m an apple guy, but some can be found online and for android apps too).

So be smart with your smart phone, be more healthy!

My FitnessPal Calorie Counter
-Awesome application that allows you to count and track calories. Studies showed that people that kept a food journal lost more weight and kept it off. This tool is great, and its free. My favorite features is the bar-code scanner, saving meals, and tracking exercises. You can also connect with friends to help hold each other accountable.

Nike+Running Application
Turn your phone into a gps watch. Track your pace, distance, and workouts on this great app. Very cool interactive website that goes with it. Also plays music to help with pace.

Fooducate App
This application track calories, but offers a more education tool to help you make smart healthy decisions shopping and ordering.

Map My Run GPS
-This is a great application to not only track your runs or hikes, but to discover others. If you are traveling and wanted to find a 4 miler run near your location, search for routes that other users have submitted and published and learn their routes, terrain, distance, etc. Fun to track, log, and share.

Tabata Timer
-High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to get in shape, get more bang for your buck with cardiovascular training. Make a 12 minute cardio session feel and act like a 60 minute. The Tabata method has clinical studies showing the benefit of this specific interval training of cycles of 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. Turn boring eliptical or recumbent bicycle sessions into intense heart pounding intervals. Can be used with burpees, pushups, running in place, stairs, jogging, and all of the cardio equipment. I prefer spin bikes.

Post Race Recovery Foods

Recovery is as important as training when it comes to performance. During a long endurance event, you break your body down and deplete your body of nutrients and reserves. To avoid deficits, and sub-optimal performance, follow the following recovery food list to help rebuild your body, detox from oxidation, boost your immunity, lubricate your joints, and extinguish inflammation.

    POST RACE RECOVERY FOODS

Increase Protein
Greek Yogurt
Grass Fed Beef
Omega-3 Eggs

Increase Fats
Almond Butter
Fish Oil (Omega-3) Flax if your vegetarian
Macadamia Nuts

Increase Anti-oxidants
Frozen Berries-Blueberries
Greens Supplements, Tart Cherry Juice, and Non Alcoholic Beer???
Kale & Chard
Sweet Potatoes & Yams
Dark Chocolate

Increase Electrolytes
Coconut Water
Electrolyte Drinks

Increase Immune System
Pro-biotics (Whole Foods/Henrys) **Multiple strains
Whey Protein

Muscle Soreness
Magnesium Supplement (Calm is a good one)
Arnica
Tumeric Capsule or Yellow Curry

Dr. Todd’s Recovery Drink
Coconut Water-Whey Protein-Blueberry-Banana-Flax-Dark Chocolate-Ice-Greek Yogurt

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

How to Get the Sleep You Need

As some of you may now know, I am a new uncle. Watching my nephew Alexandro learn and experience life is fascinating and there is a lot we can learn from the little guy. Sleeping, he does a lot of, and my sister and brother in law don’t get as much of. Sleep patterns are crucial for health. For thousands of years, our sleep patterns were dictated by the time of the day the sun would set, and darkness and exhaustion from a day of physical labor would sit in. Times have changed and our sleeping patterns are suffering this sudden shift. “We’re shifting to a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week society, and as a result we’re increasingly not sleeping like we used to”

Sleeping Like a Baby

Sleeping Like a Baby!



Lack of sleep disrupts every physiologic function in the body

-An analysis of a nationally representative sample of nearly 10,000 adults found that those between the ages of 32 and 49 who sleep less than seven hours a night are significantly more likely to be obese.
-Reports from the Harvard-run Nurses’ Health Study that has linked insufficient or irregular sleep to increased risk for colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
-Physiologic studies suggest that a sleep deficit may put the body into a state of high alert, increasing the production of stress hormones and driving up blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
-In addition, studies show sleep-deprived people tend to develop problems regulating their blood sugar, which may put them at increased risk for diabetes.

Lets Discuss Solutions

Calm yourself with meditation and other relaxation techniques.

When done effectively, as little as 10 minutes of daily meditation can help your clear a cluttered. There are many different types of meditation, including tai chi, and yoga for those active, and guided muscle relaxation and guided meditation.
Click here to learn Guided Muscle Relaxation
Click here for a link to my favorite Free Podcast for Guided Meditation.

Massage
Gentle massage is also beneficial for both insomnia and chronic pain. In a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, participants who had two 30-minute massages a week for five weeks experienced better sleep and less lower back pain. Don’t have time or money for massage, try self myofascial release using a foam roller. Click here for instruction and for a free “
Foam Roll Handout

Sufficient Exercise

Regular exercise can improve both pain and sleep issues. However, activity within three hours of bedtime can keep you up, so the earlier in the day you work out, the better. For pain, the best exercise is moderate and low-impact. Try walking, yoga, or swimming, cycling, etc.

Additional tips for improving sleep include:

-Forgo long daytime naps or limit yourself to a brief 10- to 20-minute nap in the afternoon.
-Take a warm bath or shower before bed to wind down.
-Lull yourself to sleep with relaxation CDs that play a babbling brook, gentle waves, or other soothing sounds.
-Remove all light-producing appliances from your bedroom, including the TV; if you must have them, choose ones that emit red rather than blue light.
-Abstain from alcohol in the evening; it may help you fall asleep, but the effects of a cocktail quickly backfire, disrupting sleep cycles a few hours into the night.
-Run a fan or other non-specific white noise machine in your bedroom to dampen street or other sounds.
-Avoid caffeine, which disrupts sleep patterns; if you must have a caffeine boost, enjoy it before noon.
-Do not exercise or eat within three hours of going to bed.
-Avoid utilizing any light producing electronics 2 hours before bed (TV, computer, cell phone)
-Journal, write down your day and your thoughts
-Get healthy fats in your diets, omega 3’s
-Try and watch the sun go down

There are a number of treatments available, including chiropractic, physical therapy, and talk therapy. Consider tracking your sleep habits in a sleep journal. This simple tool can give your doctor valuable information about your quality of sleep and how many hours you log each night.

Dr. Todd

Guided Muscle Relaxation

Practicing progressive muscle relaxation

Guided Muscle Relaxation


Before practicing Progressive Muscle Relaxation, consult with your doctor if you have a history of muscle spasms, back problems, or other serious injuries that may be aggravated by tensing muscles.

Most progressive muscle relaxation practitioners start at the feet and work their way up to the face. For a sequence of muscle groups to follow, see the box below.

* Loosen your clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
* (You can lay on top of a foam roller along your spine and make sure to support your head
* Take a few minutes to relax, breathing in and out in slow, deep breaths from the diaphragm (belly button)
* When you’re relaxed and ready to start, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
* Lay on your back with arms out to your side and palms up, with a slight bend to your knees (or pillow below them)
* Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Take a deep breath and Hold for a count of 10.
* Exhale and relax your right foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and the way your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
* Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
* When you’re ready, shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
* Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the muscle groups as you go.
* It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Sequence

The most popular sequence runs as follows:

1. Right foot
2. Left foot
3. Right calf
4. Left calf
5. Right thigh
6. Left thigh
7. Hips and buttocks
8. Stomach
9. Chest
10. Back
11. Right arm and hand
12. Left arm and hand
13. Neck and shoulders
14. Face

Sitting…the hidden dangers of a common action

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, there is one thing nearly all modern Americans have in common: we sit all the time. Though our great shift towards computer-based work has done great things for productivity, it has, unfortunately, done terrible things for our health. From increased risk of heart disease and obesity in the long term, to sharply hampered cholesterol maintenance in the short term, the negative health effects of sitting are starting to weigh heavily against the benefits. Even the medical field – the greatest advocates of reducing sitting time – is plagued by this new health issue. Though doctors and nurses get plenty of walking time, it usually falls to engineers, attorneys, executives, programmers, and office workers.  And, as we can see, something has to change.

Sitting Infographic

 


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