Longer Telomeres = Healthier & Longer Life!

Guest Blog:

We are delighted to introduce the Performance Health Center community to CellRegenX, a unique specially formulated nutraceutical developed by two local area physician researchers, to maximize cellular longevity, overall well-being, and athletic performance.

The scientific thesis behind CellRegenX is that as cells age, metabolic byproducts accumulate within the cell, which results in a gradual acidification of the intracellular pH (pHi). Older cells have a more acidic pH than younger, healthier cells. Most cellular functions are highly dependent on intracellular pH.  This pHi should not be confused with extracellular pH (the acidic or alkaline environment outside of the cell).

After testing numerous natural elements and compounds, we arrived upon a unique combination of natural ingredients, that alkalinizes the pHi just enough to mimic the pHi of younger, healthier cells.

These two components are lithium orotate and glycerrhizic acid. Together, in specific dosage, they are synergistic, producing results not seen with either ingredient alone.

The lithium concentration in CellRegenX is approximately 0.1% of the FDA approved dose of lithium carbonate used to treat mental diseases such as bipolar disorder. Li is found in low concentrations in drinking water, and in one epidemiological study, low levels of lithium in Japan’s drinking water were found to correlate with increased longevity. Glycerrhizic acid, is derived from licorice root, and has  been used medicinally for hundreds of years in many cultures.

To test our hypothesis, we conducted numerous scientific studies to determine just how CellRegenX would affect the commonly accepted biochemical markers of aging.

Remarkably, CellRegenX treated individuals showed a dramatic reduction in inflammation markers (which typically increase with age and degenerative diseases), an increase in mitochondrial activity (the engines of cellular energy), an increase in Collagen Type 3 (important for healthy looking skin) and elongation of telomeres (which normally shorten with aging).

Next we tested CellRegenX in a species of worms, C. Elegans which has a short lifespan rendering it a good model for longevity products. Those worms receiving CellRegenX had on average a 40% lengthening of their lifespan.

We are now into month 9 in our animal (mice) studies, and expect it will be another  2 plus years before this animal data is available, since a mouse’s life span is between two and three years.

CellRegenX has been clinically used now by humans for well over a year.

We have seen fairly consistent reports of increased energy and exercise performance, decreased need for sleep, decrease in appetite, increase in sexual  desire, increased ability to focus, improved dream state, improved bowel function, and overall favorable mood.

We do not recommend CellRegenX be taken by children under the age of 18, adults with underlying physical or mental illness, those with known allergies to its ingredients, or pregnant or nursing mothers. It is also recommended that one consult their physician or health care provider before consuming nutraceutical products in general.

Please the CellRegenX website for more information: https://www.prescienthealthsolutions.com/


Cracking the Weather Code

OK so I just got caught in a driving downpour, yet the forecast said there was only 25% chance of rain through midday, how does that always happen?… and what does a 25% chance of rain really mean?

The “Chance of Rain” It’s one of the most misunderstood terms in all of weather.  We hear and see the probability of rain usually written as a % chance of precipitation either hourly or for the whole day.  Few people understand exactly what it means.

Whenever people hear there is 25% chance of rain some people think that’s means 25% of the area will see rain. Some people think it means it will rain 25% of the time. Some people just think it’s the odds of seeing rain for the entire day. The 3rd option is closest to the truth, but it’s not the whole story.

What it is supposed to mean:

You have to start with the real terminology which is Probability of Precipitation or POPS for short. In the purest meaning of the term “chance of rain” used by most forecasters and The National Weather Service.  It is a mathematical calculation. It’s an equation using the forecasted coverage of the rain multiplied by the confidence in the forecast.


A Meteorologist in Boston might say that there is a 50% chance of rain. That forecaster has 100% confidence that 50% of that area will see measurable rain of 0.01” or more. 50% (Coverage) x 100% (Confidence) = 50%

What if they think that 50% of that area will have rain, but they are only 50% confident in that forecast?  50% (Coverage) x 50% (Confidence) = 25% You can see here even though they think the same area will be covered they are not as confident in their forecast.

There are times when a meteorologist is 100% confident in their forecast, that 25% of the coverage area is expected to see rain. So even in this case the chance of rain is 25%. So only when they are 100% confident in their forecast does the rain chance equal the coverage area of rain.

Increasing the odds & how Meteorologists use POPS:

Meteorologists often say there is a 25% chance of rain and that means for any given point on the map. So, if you stay in one spot all day your chance of rain remains 25%. The problem is people rarely stay in one spot on the map all day. So, if you travel from home to work, school, the gym, the park, the grocery store or anywhere else you will be increased your chance of seeing rain. It’s like buying more raffle tickets each one you buy increases your chances of winning.

Chance doesn’t equal intensity or amounts:

Can you have flooding if you only have a 25% chance of rain? Yes! The chance of rain is just that, the chance of seeing measurable rainfall which is 0.01” or more. There is nothing calculated into the chance of rain for how fast it falls or for how long. So, yes if you are the 25% that get rain it most certainly could be a flash flood, especially in summer. Then again, the chance of rain can be 100% and it could just be a few hours of drizzle everywhere. Just because it’s raining where you are, doesn’t mean that chance of rain should be 100%.

So how do Meteorologists use it on TV?

For the most part, they use the chance of rain as the odds of seeing rain during the forecasted times periods throughout the day at any given point on the map. For the most part, they use the chance of rain as their confidence in the possibility of rain. It is a safe bet to just use it as a scale. The higher the number, the better the chance is you will see rain on that day.

So, the next time someone says… “I can’t believe it is raining… the weather man said there was only a 25% chance of rain today!”- you can explain to them exactly what that means. : )

Whatever the chance of rain is today or tomorrow please do get out and enjoy the summer weather.  If you have any questions about this blog or your health in general please feel free to contact me at: drthomascball@gmail.com

It’s Summer and I’m Back on the Courts!

For several months in a row last spring I wrote about my experiences post-knee surgery and the grueling rehab process I was going through.  It’s hard to believe that is now over one year post-surgery.  The good news is that I am back doing all the activities I was able to do prior to my ACL tear and surgical replacement!

I’ve never had a serious injury before and never had to be a committed and compliant patient.  I worked hard and followed the advice of the skilled professional that I put my trust in.  I was able to ski by mid- winter and since the spring have been playing tennis several times a week.  My knee is strong and pain-free.  I have no limitations.  At times I do get swelling, but regular icing keeps it to a minimum (and feels good on these hot summer days we are experiencing).  I know I am not 100% rehabbed, but am getting closer every day!

This has been a learning experience on many levels.  Most importantly, I have a much better appreciation for the trust and confidence my patients put in me.  It is not easy being compliant with appointments and the homework I prescribe to get out of pain and optimizing function.  Between family and work responsibilities we all have busy lives.  Squeezing in one more appointment is not always easy.  I always remind my patients that it is not easy and there is never the right time to do this, but if they do the work now, they will be glad they did short term, and more importantly long term.

George Burns when he turned 90 said, “If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself”.  I want all my patients to say when they turn 90, “I knew I was going to live this long so I took great care of myself”.   Of course there are bumps in the road, like my knee injury, and when that happens extra care is needed.  That’s how I live my life and I hope I inspire my patients to do the same.

Now that the hard part of my rehab is over, I will continue with my “extra” exercises to make sure my knee serves me well for the many years I plan to work as a chiropractor and play hard.  Many thanks go to my team of professionals who helped me get to this place.  Dr. Brian McKeon has been my go to orthopedist for 14+ years.  I’ve always told my patients when I made a referral, if it was me, Dr. McKeon is who I would go to.  When it was me that is exactly what I did.  Steve Crowell and his amazing team of physical therapists at Rebound Physical Therapy got me moving.  Rebound Physical Therapy is my “outsourced” physical therapy department and they always make me look good when I refer my patients there.  Drs. VanNederynen and Ball, were instrumental in keeping me functional and relieved the physical stress I was putting on my body from walking funny- 1st with crutches, then with my brace, and then from limp that lasted longer than I expected.  Bernadette, Performance Health Center’s amazing massage therapist accelerated my healing with incredible massages and cupping.  Lastly, Anita Luck, my Functional Movement Therapist, has taught me how to use my body in 3-D so my body can handle the demands I put on it, even when the unexpected happens.

I have and will continue to refer my patients to these exceptional providers I have now experienced firsthand, and have even more confidence in them than ever.

I hope you all have an enjoyable, safe and healthy summer!  Now get out there and have fun!

Brad Weiss, D.C.




Postural Awareness, Part 2

Hello All!!! As promised, I am following up in regards to the last article I wrote about posture…

First and foremost, it can be difficult to know if you have good or bad posture sometimes.  I highly suggest consulting with a reputable and well educated Massage Therapist, Physical Therapist, Chiropractor, Structural Therapist, Functional Movement Specialist, or Physiatrist if you are unsure of your posture, or more importantly, concerned about your posture.

There is a lot more that goes into maintaining proper posture then you think.  You need to have sufficient muscle strength and flexibility.  There also needs to be normal or adequate joint motion in the spine and extremity joints, as well as efficient and balanced postural muscles along both sides of the spine and the core region.  To make corrections working towards better posture, you must recognize your own postural habits, both at home, the work place, and any other time for that matter.

Bad postural habits can lead to an excessive amount of strain on the postural muscles.  The bad habits can even cause these muscles to stretch and weaken over time.  These postural muscles then become more prone to injury and back pain.  There are many factors that contribute to bad posture; stress, obesity, weak core stabilizing muscles, pregnancy, and overly tight musculature just to name a handful.  Lack of flexibility, poor working conditions, incorrect working posture, or unhealthy amounts of sitting and standing also contribute to bad posture.

A good question frequently asked, or a good question to ask yourself is, can I correct my posture?  The answer is yes, BUT it isn’t always an easy task.  The longer standing bad posture is, the longer it can take to correct due to the joints adjusting to bad postural habits over time.  There has to be a conscious effect on your own, and understanding what correct posture is, and much practice to gradually replace your old and bad postural habits. Focusing on the way you sit, stand, and lay down will only help you move towards a better and healthier you.

Before wrapping up this little lecture about posture, I will leave you all with a few tips in regards to sitting, standing, and proper lying position.

When sitting, don’t cross your legs.  Your ankles should be below or slightly in front of your knees.  Keep your feet on the floor or a footrest.  Your knees should be at the height or level of your hips, or just slightly below.  The back rest of your chair should set between the low and mid back.  There should be a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.  Keep your shoulders relaxed.  Forearms should be parallel to the ground.  Try to avoid sitting in one position too long.  I tell my patients this all the time!  They must think I am the “nagging mom”, LOL.

When standing, try and bear your weight evenly on the balls of your feet.  Your knees should be ever so slightly bent, and your feel should be about shoulder width apart.  Try and stand straight and tall, with your shoulders pulled back, but letting your arms hang naturally along the sides of your body.  Engage or tuck your stomach muscles in slightly.  Also try to keep your head level.  Focus on your earlobes being in align with your shoulders.  And, when standing for periods of time, try and shift your weight from side to side or toes to heels.

Finally, when lying down, find the mattress and pillow that is right for you! Do NOT sleep on your stomach, I mean it!  Sleeping on your back is the best, on your side is second best.  If you are trying to transition to sleeping in one of these two positions, try sleeping with a pillow underneath your knees or in between your knees.

We as chiropractors are here to assist you, and recommend exercises, stretches, and give you tips to improve your posture and strengthen these core muscles.  We can also help recommend proper postural techniques during activity, as well as help reduce your chance of injury.

Well, there you have it folks!  If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at, drv@performancehealthcenter.com.  Always happy to try and help you and your family lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.



What is Posture?

What is Posture?  This sounds like such a simple question, but so many people actually do not know how to simply state the definition of posture.  I was teaching a couple of classes last week during Wellness Week at Wayland Middle School, and Posture was the primary topic, aside from what is health, and what is chiropractic etc.  I was surprised, well…not really, at how many students in the one class could not give a good definition of what posture is.  Now, this may have also been some of the 8th graders being too cool for school just not wanting to participate, but none the less, it got me thinking.  When in the office the following day I started asking patients of all ages what the word posture means, and come to find out, many of them couldn’t answer the question much better than some of the 8th graders that week.  Hence, why I am writing this month about Posture, and next month as well (no surprises in June people, sorry)!

I cringe daily looking around at people and their postural habits, mostly bad habits that is.  I am also talking all ages here, not just the younger population that has become technologically challenged in regards to posture with the overstimulation of IPADS, SMART PHONES, and COMPUTERS.  Never mind the inability to have an actual conversation with another person face to face without one of these devices attached at their hip, or hands, but how about what it is doing their posture?

Okay, now that I have gotten that off my chest, I am sure you are all clenching at your seats wanting to know what Posture actually means…are you sitting down for this?  Well, maybe you should be standing instead, lol.  Drum roll please…straight out of the dictionary…Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down.  This isn’t rocket science folks, but sometimes the simplest definitions can be the hardest ones to grasp.  More importantly regarding the definition of Posture, it is important to maintain good posture for good health. So, the more important definition then Posture, is “Good Posture”.

Good Posture is the correct alignment of the body parts by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity.  If we did not have posture and the muscles that control it, we would just fall down.  Usually, normal posture is a subconscious thing, and we do not even realize we are doing it, which is pretty cool actually.  When our postural muscles are working properly, they help prevent the forces of gravity from pushing us over, or too far forward, or too far backward.  Postural muscles also help us maintain our balance and posture during movement, not just sitting, standing, or lying down.  Good posture helps us to do all of these things and place the least amount of strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight bearing exercises.

Good or Correct Posture helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing abnormal wear and tear of joint surfaces, that guess what, result in ARTHRITIS over time!  For some (BUT NOT ALL) of those people and patients out there that cannot figure out why they have arthritic changes in their body and don’t remember ever doing anything to cause it, bingo! Correct Posture also reduces stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, hopefully minimizing injury to happen.  Correct Posture also allows the muscles to work more efficiently, helping to allow the body to use less energy, and prevent muscle fatigue.  This also helps to prevent muscle strain, overuse conditions, and even back and muscular pain.

For all of my more active patients out there and athletes, posture plays a VERY crucial role in how one moves during daily life and activities, performs or competes.  I bet you don’t see someone with the worst rounded middle and upper back, and rolled forward shoulders snatching (snatch, a very technical Olympic lift for those of you that do not know) more than someone with good posture that is of equal strength or capabilities.

This is a lot of information to take in that I have written in this article here.  I want all of you to really take the time to think about what I have written, and how does having better posture pertain to you and your life, and what you do.  Maybe it means having better posture so you are less likely to have pain as you get older.  That way you can spend more time with your kids playing in the backyard and playing sports with them.  Maybe you are training for a 5k, 10K, ½ marathon, marathon, triathlon, IronMan, or CrossFit competition, and good posture is absolutely a necessity for these types of things, during training, competing at your best, and preventing injury.

Next month I will be discussing how to know if you have good or bad posture, maintaining good posture, consequences of poor posture, correcting posture sitting, standing and lying down, and who can help you to have better postural habits.  So, stay tuned! If you have any questions in the meantime, contact me at, drv@performancehealthcenter.com, or your own chiropractor, massage therapist, or physical therapist for help or advice in regards to your postural habits.  Happy May everyone!



Slow Rise Bread, Easier to Digest

If you are like Millions of Americans that are avoiding eating bread for one reason or another, maybe after reading this blog you might give bread a second chance.  I think most people love bread in one form or another, yet the current media perception is that most people should not include it in their diet.  I personally ate tons of bread in the form of bagels, muffins, pasta, etc… growing up with no ill effects.  As I got older I started to notice that many forms of “bread” caused me to feel really bloated.  Many people develop gluten intolerance as they get older and that could be what my problem was.

In March,2017 I wrote a blog about including fermented food in your diet: http://www.performancehealthcenter.com/time-get-pickled/

Recently a good friend of mine suggested I try some “slow rise” bread.  He told me that it was much easier for him to digest.  I have now become a happy bread eater again. This time I’m sticking to bread that has been made the “old fashioned” way.  This “old way” actually allows the bread to ferment some, which for many people makes all the difference in the world as to how their body digests it.

This article below explains some of the health benefits of eating slow rise bread.


In the long slow fermentation that produces sourdough bread, important nutrients such as iron, zinc and magnesium, antioxidants, folic acid and other B vitamins become easier for our bodies to absorb. Diabetics should note that sourdough produces a lower surge in blood sugar than any other bread: in a 2008 study published in Acta Diabetologica, subjects with impaired glucose tolerance were fed either sourdough or ordinary bread: the sourdough bread produced a significantly lower glucose and insulin response. In the sourdough process, moreover, gluten is broken down and rendered virtually harmless. In one small Italian study, published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, in January 2011, coeliac patients fed sourdough bread for 60 days had no clinical complaints, and their biopsies showed no changes in the intestinal lining.

And what’s beyond doubt is that when people switch from supermarket to sourdough bread, they’re often delighted to find they can eat it without bloated belly discomfort. “We get people coming in who say ‘we can eat your bread without any problem unlike ordinary bread which just blows us up”, says Alastair Ferguson, of Brighton’s Real Patisserie, who sells his own sourdough all over the city.

You may ask why isn’t all bread made this way?  The answer is in the word “slow”, slow rise bread takes longer to make. In our fast-paced world… who has time to wait for bread to rise all night? That is where quick-acting yeast came in – oh yes, the big companies are always looking for short cuts. Mass production is more important to them than how your belly feels after eating their bread. They can make a lot more bread in the same amount of time, and sell it cheaper- since it is less labor intensive.

Personally, I think it is worth a few more pennies to eat something that I can digest more easily, and I also think it tastes better.  Where can you get some?  Well, there is a terrific bakery in West Concord Massachusetts called Nashoba Brook Bakery on the shores of the Nashoba Brook.  Don’t want to drive out there?  Well, Whole Foods in Framingham sells Nashoba Brook Bakery slow rise bread. Just look for it adjacent to the instore bakery.

Here is a link to Nashoba Brook Bakery’s web site:  http://slowrise.com/

Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised at how good it tastes, and more importantly, how good you feel after eating it.

If you have any questions about this blog or your health in general, please feel free to contact me at: drthomascball@gmail.com


Do This and Live Longer!

When asked how long do you want to live, the answer should include not only a number but a statement on quality of life.  So how do we live longer with quality?  New data is being published monthly confirming that longevity is 25% genetic and 75% lifestyle.  Here’s a fact.  Sitting is killing us.  Computers were supposed to give us more leisure time, but instead we as a society are sitting more and spending more time at work and home in front of a computer.  Standing desks are becoming popular, but in my opinion only a little better than sitting.  We are meant to move.  Life is motion. Standing in 1 place for hours at a time is not much better than sitting for hours at a time.  I am more a fan of shaking it up. Sit for 20-30 minutes, get up and move/stretch, then stand for 20-30 minutes and then move/stretch again.

By now most everyone has heard the latest mantra, ”sitting is the new smoking”.  The good news is that there is now an antidote for sitting.  Its call exercise!  That’s right.  A new study, published in Lancet in September 2016 looked at the effects of mortality of people who sit 8 hours a day.  The bottom line, after looking at one million people, following them from 2-18 years, it take 1 hour of moderate exercise to negate 8 hours of sitting as it relates to mortality.  To quote the authors:  “High levels of moderate intensity physical activity (ie, about 60–75 min per day) seem to eliminate the increased risk of death associated with high sitting time.”

Do you run? Maybe you should.  A new study in Progress in Cardiovascular Disease from March 2017, concluded, “runners have a 25%-40% reduced risk of premature mortality and live approximately 3 years longer than non-runners”.  It doesn’t matter if you run slowly or sporadically and smoke, drink or are overweight. This study compared running to other exercises, including cycling and swimming, and no other exercise was comparable running for the impact on life span.

What’s the best type of exercise? Another new study from Cell Metabolism, March 2017, compared exercise types in 2 different age groups; younger than 30 and older than 64. They were broken into 4 groups: 1) vigorous weight lifting only; 2) high intensity interval training; 3) moderate biking for 30 minute alternating days with light weight lifting; 4) and of course a control group.

Of course all of the 3 groups who exercised showed improvement in fitness and blood regulation.  What they didn’t expect was how on a cellular level, the mitochondria of the High Intensity Interval Training group improved their ability to generate energy. Mitochondria are the power plants of our cells. Not only did the Mitochondria generate more energy, they were more of them and they were healthier than in every other group.  This benefit was larger in the greater than 64 age group.  The authors conclude that older people’s cells respond best to robust exercise.

What is the take away?  If you sit, you need to exercise to live a long healthy life.  If you have a full time job that requires sitting, you need to exercise 1 hour a day to negate the potentially detrimental effects of sitting on your body.  Running prolongs life, up to 3 years that of none-runners!  Any exercise is better than no exercise.  High Intensity Interval Training helps you energy cells work better and should be part of your exercise regime.  So the answer to the headline is to EXERCISE.  Exercise is the key factor to living longer and healthier!

Spring has finally sprung!  Now’s a great time to start exercising!  Start slow and build up your endurance and strength.  If you need advice on how to get started or if your body is physically fit to exercise, give us a call at 508-655-9008, or email me at: drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.comNaticN

Strengthen Your Brain With Exercise

Regular Exercise can strengthen your brain.  We all know regular exercise is great for our cardiovascular system, and that it will strengthen our muscles and even increase our bone density, but a lesser known benefit is that regular exercise can make you smarter and protect your brain from shrinkage as it ages.

Research has even revealed that exercise can increase neurogenesis, or the formation of new brain cells, in the brain’s hippocampus.

Research has time and time again shown that people who engage in healthy behaviors such as exercise and proper nutrition are less susceptible to the cognitive declines associated with the aging process.

One study published in 2013 looked at healthy behaviors in nearly 2,300 men over the course of thirty years. Researchers looked at the participants’ behaviors and cognitive abilities starting in middle age tracked their progress throughout old age.

The researchers found that men who practiced certain healthy behaviors were around 60 percent less likely to experience cognitive impairment and dementia as they aged. These healthy behaviors included not smoking, maintaining a healthy BMI, regularly exercising, consuming lots of vegetables and fruits and consuming a low to moderate amount of alcohol.

Here are 5 ways that exercise impacts your brain- (from the December 2016 Team HOTSHOT web site): http://www.teamhotshot.com/blog/5-ways-exercise-impacts-brain/

  • Exercise helps the brain learn and retain – In various human and animal studies, results show that exercise not only helps the brain retain information (i.e., support/improve memory), but also helps the brain acquire new information. While some variances in research findings exists, much of this discrepancy is attributed to the type and duration of exercise prescribed to the study participants.
  • Consistent exercise helps avoid dementia – There is still a great deal we do not know about dementia. However, scientists and doctors are confident in a few preventative measures. Chief among them is healthy living: eat right, don’t smoke, and exercise. Exercise has been shown to slow the effects and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s diseases. Even once these terrible diseases strike, exercise has been shown to slow the debilitating functional decline they bring about.
  • Exercise can help ease and prevent depression – Exercise has been shown effective in treating depression and, interestingly, seems to work in a dose-dependent manner much like anti-depressants. The more exercise, the greater the impact. While more research is needed, early studies also point to exercise as a mechanism to avoid the onset or development of depression.
  • Exercise mixed through your day helps concentration – Breaking up tasks such as working on a project or preparing a presentation with some aerobic-style exercise helps improve executive functions like tuning out distractions. Don’t worry, you don’t have to run a marathon over the course of your work day. Just 15-20 minutes of moderate engagement every few hours seems to make a measurable difference.
  • Reduce stress, improve life – While many people self-report a stress reduction after exercise, some scans seem to show an actual, physical shrinking in the amygdala—a part of the brain strongly implicated in processing stress, anxiety, and fear. As nice as stress-free living can be in general, it turns out less stress leads to living longer! That’s right, increased stress is strongly linked to increased occurrence of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and memory loss.

If you want to build a better mind, start by working on your physical health first. Go for a walk, start incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet and try to give up any bad habits like tobacco use or excessive alcohol consumption. Some of these might be more difficult than others, but your brain will thank you for years to come.

If you have any questions about this blog or about your health in general, please feel free to contact me at:  drtomball@performancehealthcenter.com

Happy Marathon-ing Boston Runners!

It is that time of year!  Spring is in the air… Easter, Passover, April Vacation, and of course, the Boston Marathon are all too quickly approaching.  Woo-Hoo!!!

I wouldn’t be doing my job as a Chiropractor if I didn’t write something this month in regards to the marathon, and offering advice to my patients and friends how they can better take care of themselves during this exciting time of year.

In previous years I have chatted about how runners can be more proactive and take care better care of themselves leading up to the marathon. I want to switch gears and talk a little more about recovery and what runners can do “post-marathon” to help speed up their recovery and get back on the road to training afterwards.  There are so many words of advice, tips, recommendations etc., I am going to just focus on a couple of things that I find to be VERY true and that have worked for me in the past.

Usually the biggest or most commonly asked question by a runner is, “How long should I wait to run again after the marathon?”   Well this was one of the questions I did ask after my first marathon in 2008, it certainly wasn’t the first question I asked.  I am not sure about all of you, but I wasn’t sure I would run again after getting through all of that for the first time, and having no clue what I was doing, lol.  But, for all of those who are inquiring, general rule of thumb seems to be 1-2 weeks depending on how one feels.

Many articles say 5-7 days of rest post marathon, which I am totally fine with. BUT, those articles that people fail to read the entirety of, also state that after 5-7 days off, the next few weeks after that initial week should be taken lightly with training as the body is trying to recover.  Usually within 3-4 weeks a runner can return to regular training, or harder workouts, providing there are no subsequent injuries those runners is dealing with from before the marathon, or an injury resulting from the marathon.

Another hot topic, or should I say “cool” topic, are ice baths for recovery post marathon.  Most runners inquire about the effectiveness of ice baths and when or how long to soak in the tub of ice for.  The general idea in regards to this type of cryotherapy treatment is that the exposure to cold helps the body fight the micro trauma (tiny little tears) in the muscle fibers causing soreness by the repetitive exercise that just took place.  Constricting the blood vessels for a short period of time can help to flush toxins released by the body during the event, and intern, help to decrease or reduce inflammation, swelling, and breakdown of tissue in the body.

Some post-race and post-competition festivities have ice baths at the finish waiting for the competitors after they have cooled down a bit.  If that isn’t all that enticing to you, upon returning home or back to your hotel that day, and before you hop into the shower would be a good time to do so.  I recommend getting into the tub and filling it with cold water around you first (up to your waste), and then dumping the bags of ice into the water after you are submerged.  Or just hop in the tub in your race shorts, and sports bra ladies, and let someone else have the pleasure of dumping the ice in all around you.  It is best to stay submerged in the ice bath for about 10 minutes.  More time is not necessary, and I am sure no one will be jumping at the idea of soaking in a bath of ice any longer then they have to.

I really hope these tips helps you all in your road to recovery post Boston Marathon this year.  If you have any questions about post marathon recovery, please feel free and contact me at drv@performancehealthcenter.com.  And as always, I am a big fan of a post marathon chiropractic adjustment and ART to help realign your body, and a post-race massage within a few days’ post-marathon.  Happy Marathon-ing everyone, think positive thoughts to carry you through that day, and I will be there with you all in spirit!

New Study- Placebo as Good as Meds for Back Pain

Two important studies were published in February 2017 for the treatment of back pain.

The 1st was published on-line (e-publish ahead of print) in the Annals of Rheumatoid Disease.  The 2nd was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

For years I have advised my patients that pain medicine mask symptoms and have side effects.  What I should have advised my patients is that they would have had a similar benefit if they took a placebo instead of medication.  The 1st study was a meta-analysis of 35 studies comparing NSAIDs to placebo for pain and disability from spinal pain.  The findings conclude that, “NSAIDs reduced pain and disability, but provided clinically unimportant effects over placebo”.   In addition, “NSAIDs were associated with a higher number of patients reporting gastrointestinal adverse effects in the short-term follow-up.”  This study also looked at other recent studies looking at the clinical value of paracetamol (Tylenol) and opioids for treating spinal pain.  The study conclusion states, “it is now clear that the three most widely used, and guideline-recommended medicines for spinal pain do not provide clinically important effects over placebo.”

The 2nd study updated the clinical practice guidelines for low back pain from the American College of Physicians (ACP).  It recommends spinal manipulation and other non-invasive non-drug therapies, including massage and acupuncture, as a first option for treating acute, subacute and chronic low back pain rather than medication!

So, how long will it take mainstream medicine to adapt these new ACP guidelines for treating low back pain?  How long will it take mainstream medicine to tell their patients that pain meds are as good as placebo for spinal pain?  In the 33 years I have been in practice it hasn’t happened yet, even with multiple valid studies documenting the benefits of chiropractic care in relieving pain and optimizing function.

The good news is that there are a handful of MDs who refer their patients to Performance Health Center.  Unfortunately this still tends to be the exception.  It still amazes me how many new patients tell me during their initial consultation that their MD said they would have to live with the pain.  Part of the problem is that MDs don’t learn about chiropractic health care, or other alternatives to drugs and surgery, during their training.  I know this first hand.  For 8 years, (4 in Vermont and 4 in Massachusetts), Family Practice Residents spent a one day rotation in my office.    I would always ask these residents three questions when I first met them:

1-In all you years in medical school and residency what did you learn                          about chiropractic health care?    Nothing

2-In all you years in medical school and residency what did you learn                          about the musculoskeletal system?   Very little

3-How many vertebrae are in the spine?   Only 1 resident in 8 years knew                     the answer is 24.

After spending one day observing me most of these residents were impressed on the variety of conditions chiropractors treat in our offices every day, and patient satisfaction with their care and results.  If every family practice and internal medicine resident could have the same experience there would be a lot less medicine prescribed for pain and less people suffering with spinal pain.

So what is the moral of this?  Next time your PCP prescribes pain meds for your spinal pain, you’d be better off popping a sugar pill, and making an appointment with your favorite chiropractor at Performance Health Center!  For more information about how to get out of pain without drugs or surgery please call 508-655-9008, or email me at drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com