Performance Health Center’s doctors have been published and quoted in the news and in on-line reviews several times in the past few years. Read all about it…
by Dr. Bradley Weiss in boston globe, november 2, 2012
by Dr. Bradley Weiss in metrowest daily news, June 15, 2012
by Dr. Bradley Weiss in National Senior Women’s Tennis Association Magazine, 2012
Interview with Dr. Bradley Weiss
Dr. Bradley Weiss interviewed by The Metrowest Daly News
Dr. Victoria VanNederynen featured in The Improper Bostonian
Gatehouse News Service by Charlie Breitrose
Gatehouse Media by Kathy Uek
The MetroWest Daily News by Jennifer Kavanaugh
Consumer Reports; May, 2009
Relief for aching backs
Hands-on therapies were top-reated by 14,000 consumers
Last reviewed: May 2009
This article is the archived version of a report that appeared in May 2009 Consumer Reports Magazine.
About 80 percent of U.S. adults have at some point been bothered by back pain. The Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center recently surveyed more than 14,000 subscribers who had lower-back pain in the past year but had never had back surgery. More than half said pain severely limited their daily routine for a week or longer, and 88 percent said it recurred through the year. Many said the pain interfered with sleep, sex, and efforts to maintain a healthy weight.
Back pain can be tough to treat. Most of our respondents tried five or six different treatments. They rated the helpfulness of the treatments tried and their satisfaction with the health-care professionals visited.
Hands-on therapies were among the top-rated. Fifty-eight percent of those who tried chiropractic manipulation said it helped a lot, and 59 percent were “completely” or “very” satisfied with their chiropractor. Massage and physical therapy were close runners-up.
Many of those who tried spinal injections found them to be very helpful, although the techniques their doctors used varied. Most respondents had used some type of medication. Forty-five percent of those who took prescription drugs said they helped a lot, double the percentage of those who said they were helped by over-the-counter medications.
Who helped the most?
The percent of people highly (completely or very) satisfied with their back-pain treatments and advice varied by practitioner visited.
Professional Highly satisfied
Physical therapist 55
Physician, specialist 44
Physician, primary care 34
Differences in Ratings for physical therapists and acupuncturists were not statistically significant.
“Everyone seems to be selling some kind of gimmick, treatment, or pill for low-back pain,” says neurologist Scott Haldeman, M.D., who co-edited the January/February 2008 issue of The Spine Journal, which reviewed ways of treating low-back pain. But when treatments abound, it’s usually because there’s no clear winner.
A visit to a primary-care doctor is a smart first step when back pain is severe. A doctor can help rule out disease, such as infection or cancer. Although many of our respondents who saw a primary-care doctor left dissatisfied, doctors can write referrals for hands-on treatments that might be covered by health insurance.
Enduring the pain or seeing a chiropractor or physical therapist as a first step might be OK for a recurrent, familiar back problem. Most of the 35 percent of our respondents who didn’t see a health professional had severely limiting pain for less than a week. Many of those with more prolonged pain who didn’t see a healthcare professional said it was because of cost concerns or because they did not believe professional care could help.
Research suggests that chiropractic manipulation can reduce acute low-back pain, and many, though certainly not all, of the respondents who tried it said it helped. Albert McCann, 54, a respondent from Lakeland, Fla., has kept working as a petroleum transport engineer, driving a semi truck and using 20-foot-long hoses several times a day. By following a chiropractor’s recommendations and getting treatment every few weeks—including manual adjustments, electric stimulation, and a spinalator (roller-massage table)—he is able to keep his back pain to a minimum.
By John Hilliard
Fri Jan 30, 2009, 01:15 PM EST
As you shovel through mounds of driven snow this winter — or at least, the piles left in driveways by passing plows — some area chiropractors are asking that locals pace themselves to avoid serious injury.
“They have to be heart smart. If there’s any pain, they should stop immediately and seek (medical) assistance,” said Bradley Weiss, a chiropractor with Performance Health Center in Natick.
Across the country, about 118,000 people were injured while shoveling snow in 2007, said Weiss. He said his office gets calls from locals after they get hurt when they over exert themselves clearing snow.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, in 2006, more than 31,000 people treated after falling while they shoveled snow.
Weiss said he recommends a smaller plastic blade and preferably an ergonomically-designed shovel for snow clearing. The small, light blade limits the amount of snow that can be moved, and by pushing it around instead of lifting, the movements can reduce the strain on a person’s body, he said.
Like any exercise, snow shoveling can be made less strenuous if you’re already in shape and get warmed-up before hitting the snow. Injuries can occur from lifting too much weight, repeatedly twisting your body and slipping on ice.
“It’s definitely very similar to a sports injury,” said Chris Hauck, with Chiropractic Solutions in Framingham. He said a simple warm-up before shoveling snow could be performing jumping jacks.
“I’d treat it like any other exercise,” said Hauck of snow shoveling. “It’s a lot different than raking.”
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that shovelers also try to clear snow early, when it generally is lighter and has yet to get compacted. Also, take frequent breaks and prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids, the academy recommends.
If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other signs of a heart attack, stop shoveling/blowing and seek emergency care.
Hauck recommends eating a regular diet of celery, garlic, onion, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes, which contain nutrients like gamma-ammino butyric acid, which is critical for blood pressure regulation, he said.
SNOW SHOVELING SAFETY
· Check with your doctor. Because this activity places high stress on the heart, you should always speak with your doctor before shoveling or snow blowing. If you have a medical condition or do not exercise regularly, consider hiring someone to remove the snow.
· Dress appropriately. Light, layered, water-repellent clothing provides both ventilation and insulation. It is also important to wear the appropriate head coverings, as well as mittens or gloves and thick, warm socks. Avoid falls by wearing shoes or boots that have slip-resistant soles.
· Try to clear snow early and often. Begin shoveling/blowing when a light covering of snow is on the ground to avoid dealing with packed, heavy snow.
· Be sure you can see what you are shoveling/blowing. Do not let a hat or scarf block your vision. Watch for ice patches and uneven surfaces.
· Warm-up your muscles. Shoveling can be a vigorous activity. Before you begin this physical workout, warm-up your muscles for 10 minutes with light exercise.
· Pace yourself. Snow shoveling and blowing are aerobic activities. Take frequent breaks and prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other signs of a heart attack, stop shoveling/blowing and seek emergency care.
· Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength. Do not use a shovel that is too heavy or too long for you. Space your hands on the tool grip to increase your leverage.
· Try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, do it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent, and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it. Holding a shovel full of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine. Never remove deep snow all at once. Do it in pieces.
· Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. This requires a twisting motion that stresses your back.
SOURCE: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
titled Competitor University, for Competitor Magazine, formerly New England Sports Magazine.
Alternative medicine is gaining acceptance
By Kathy Uek
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Natick Bulletin & Tab
Bradley Weiss, a doctor of chiropractic in Natick has seen many changes in the 22 years he has been practicing. “When I first started practicing I was the last case resort doctor patients would call,” said Weiss. “Now we are being called first. Twenty years ago there was a chasm between medical doctors and every other health care provider. They were the white coat doctors up on the hill.”Weiss has seen the practice of medicine change over two decades. In 1998, he enjoyed staff privileges at Fletcher Allen Health Care, a teaching hospital in Burlington, Vermont.
After moving his practice to Natick four years ago, he worked with Tufts Family Practice Residency Program in Medford and residents from the medical school did rotations in his office.”Medical schools are trying to expand their knowledge base and introduce future doctors to what is available in the field to help them make an appropriate referral,” said Weiss.
Weiss has also noticed more patients looking for other ways to take care of their health, stay healthier than their parents and minimize their intake of medication.”As baby boomers watch their parents grow older not so easily, their children are more interested in maintaining good health,” said Weiss. “They want to learn more about what other practitioners are doing.”With the changing trends, Weiss added a physical therapist, an acupuncturist and also offers yoga classes at his practice. To support this change at his multidisciplinary healthcare facility, he will change its name from Chiropractic Healthcare to Performance Health Center for Pain Free Active Living.Another indication of changes in medicine is more patients are expressing concern over the need to not always use prescriptions.”Prescriptions when needed are beneficial,” said Geoff D’Arcy at the D’Arcy Wellness Clinic & Store in Natick, which he and his wife Po founded in 1998. “If you use herbs rather than a drug, it saves the ecology of the body and prevents damage to the lining of the stomach, especially for things like anti-inflammatory drugs. Where possible the herbs are organic. The herbs are a natural medicine and provide holistic options.”The clinic fills all three floors of its location on South Main Street. Upon entering, its store offers an herb line called Darcy Naturals. Some have a single ingredient while others are more symptom-specific for cancer support and building men’s stamina, for example.
The herbs, customized when necessary for treating patients, are used by medical practitioners, patients and local shoppers. The clinic also offers wellness products such as vitamins as well as classes in yoga, Qi Gong and diet detox.”The clinic brings the best of eastern and western together using herbs from around the world including China, northern Europe, America, South America and Polynesia.
“We share in the caring and treatment of the person as a whole,” said Darcy.
While the use of acupuncture and herbal treatments is gaining acceptance among patients, it still hasn’t completely won over medical insurance providers.
“For insurance, the business case has not yet been made for a lot of integrative therapies,” said David S. Rosenthal, M.D., medical director of Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and director of Health Services for Harvard University. “We are getting there,” he said. “In some states, acupuncture is paid for. In other states there are co-pays or reduced rates. When Leonard Zakim was a patient at Dana-Faber he was getting acupuncture outside and he didn’t think he should have. We brought these things inside.”But the worlds of conventional medicine and alternative medicine seem to be growing closer.D’Arcy Wellness Clinic in Natick has two medical doctors on staff along with a complement of acupuncturists, chiropractors, herbalists and a psychotherapist, are indicative of the blending of eastern and western philosophies in medicine.
Arthur Gertler, M.D. a board certified internist and gastroenterologist with 30 years clinical practice experience on staff at D’Arcy Wellness Clinic, specializes in helping clients with holistic pain management and detoxification.Eva Selhub, M.D., on staff at the clinic, is also on staff at Harvard and Tufts Medical schools and is a board certified internist with extensive training in eastern and western healing modalities. She is also medical director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute, part of Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.Selhub found the world of treating the patient symptomatically rather than as a whole stressful. She studied Chinese medicine and changed the modality of how she treats patients.Selhub believes changes in medicine have been brought about by doctors seeking ways to be happier in their practice and patients frustrated with the way the medical system works.”Medicine has evolved,” said D’Arcy.
“Patients and consumers were looking for a lot of self help with respect to dealing with prevention and helping with disease and illness at the same time,” said Rosenthal.
“But complementary and alternative don’t go together,” said Rosenthal. “They are misnomers. They are not the same.”
At the Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies, patients who get nauseous from chemotherapy, find acupuncture helps. “It’s integrated along side the chemotherapy treatment,” said Rosenthal.”
Before patients did not tell their physicians they were taking complementary and alternative medicine such as herbs, but it’s very important they share with doctors what they are doing, said Rosenthal. “Just as there can be an interaction with drugs, there can be an interaction with herbs.”
Judy Fiatarone, a registered nurse and massage therapist on staff at the D’Arcy Wellness Clinic remembers when she graduated from Framingham Union Hospital School of Nursing in 1973. Patient care included a three-minute back rub.
But today with the advent of technology and patients staying overnight rather than for 10 days, back rubs are not part of their treatment.
Now she gives patients massages for injuries such as tennis elbow, golfers elbow and frozen shoulders as well as clients who want to relax.
“When HMOs realize other options are less expensive, there will a big change,” said D’Arcy. “I can see within 20 to 30 years integrative medicine will be a standard.”
(Kathy Uek can be reached at 508-626-4419 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Get Rid of Pain with ART
Tailored Fitness News Issue #8
Fitness news you can use right away.
Interview — Dr. Brad Weiss:
This is a special edition of Tailored Fitness News.I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Brad Weiss owner of Performance Health Center of Natick, MA. Besides being a chiropractic physician, Dr. Weiss is also Active Release Techniques (ART) certified. He also happens to be my chiropractor. We are going to learn what ART is and how it can help fitness enthusiasts reach their goals.TF: Dr Weiss why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
BW: I am a chiropractic physician and have been practicing for about 21 years. Most of those in Vermont and for the past 3 years in Natick, Massachusetts. I have always had a strong emphasis in my practice for pain relief and enhancing performance. I have been ART certified for 5 years now. I am certified in all 4 levels, upper extremities, lower extremities, the spine, and in biomechanics.TF: What is ART exactly and what can it do?
BW: ART is excellent at enhancing performance and relieving pain, whether it’s acute pain or chronic pain.
The basis behind ART is that adhesions and scar tissue develops in muscles, between muscles and along nerve pathways. If we can find and isolate that scar tissue and break it down we can relieve pain and we can help people feel and function better.Whenever a soft issue (including muscle, ligaments, nerves) get injured the body’s response is to form adhesions, or scar tissue. When this happens the tissue can no longer move like it is supposed to. One looses either speed or accuracy in a movement, and eventually both. Then the body starts to recruit other muscles (or soft tissues) to do that motion. This sets up a downward spiral of function and more adhesions. The goal of ART is to uncover and break down these adhesions and restore proper function. Sometimes it is easy and only one muscl! e is invol ved and the response is quick and easy. Other times it is like an onion with many layers to go through before you find the primary adhesion.TF: I know it’s worked for me. I have been getting ART treatments now for the past few weeks and the difference has been remarkable. I noticed a restriction in the range of motion in my neck and some chronic L4 L5 disk issues were acting up. After just a few treatments I felt entirely different. My range of motion had improved and the nagging aches and pains had either disappeared or significantly lessened.BW: That’s great, you’ve responded really well to the treatments. I find that athletes and people in “good” shape tend to respond faster because they are more aware of their bodies. Some people just think they are healthy, but are not functioning to their potential.I did a training session a few days ago to fitness trainers in a large health club in my community. None had received chiropractic care ! or ART. I offered to demonstrate ART on a few people. One trainer said he dislocated his right shoulder 5 years ago and ever since has pain when he raises (abducts) his arm. I did ART on a rotator cuff muscle which does this motion. The treatment lasted 20 seconds. When he tested his shoulder immediately afterwards he could raise it with minimal pain. Then there was a body builder who had “muscles on his muscles”. He said he had no problems. I told him he might not have pain, but his posture was poor. His knuckles pointed forward while standing (like an ape), and I could see how tight his chest muscles (pectorals) were.I asked if I could perform ART on these muscles. I spent about 1 minute (30 seconds on a side). He got up and his hands were in a more neutral position, he could breath deeper, he felt more relaxed and could move his arms back easier. He was impressed. He thought he was healthy, and strong. He’s in good shape, but not in optimum shape.Many people with chronic ! pain often say after treatment that they feel as if they had been driving around for with their emergency brake on for years and did not realize it.TF: Is it unfair to say that traditional chiropractic couldn’t achieve the same thing?
BW: It’s not unfair but I think the benefits of the two combined are so much greater. Adding ART to chiropractic care is an incredible bonus.I’ve worked with bodybuilders, tri-athletes, marathoners, and what I find is that usually athletes often get stuck. They can’t develop the muscles they want or improve their time. My job is to find the structural imbalances, improve function, and get them to where they want to be.TF: How would someone know that they should get this technique done?
BW: Personally I think everyone should receive chiropractic care on a regular basis, just as one sees an MD, a dentist and an optometrist. Prevention is the key to a long, healthy and active life. Too many people take! better care of their cars than their bodies. The body is mechanical and chiropractors are experts in body mechanics. I have done a study that shows that regular chiropractic care stops the progression of arthritis.For pain relief, I advise people that unless there are visible blood or guts, chiropractic care is a great place to start. After consultation and examination, if I can help someone I tell them. If I cannot help them I tell them as well and refer to the appropriate provider.
TF: What’s a really dramatic example of the ART technique solving somebody’s problem?
The night before the race I saw someone limping severely. The athlete injured his calf 2 weeks prior and tried PT and other treatments without benefit. He hoped to start the ra! ce only because he had trained for almost a year, but doubted if he would even be able to finish the swim. I asked if he wanted me to look at his calf and he declined saying since the start was 15 hours away and what could I do. I told him he had nothing to lose and maybe something to gain. He consented. I spent about 5 minutes performing ART breaking down a huge knot in his calf. He got off the table and to everyone’s amazement was able to walk without pain or a limp. I then watched him run and noticed he was flexed over at the hip, putting stress on the calf (which probably caused the injury). I then did ART on his hip flexors (psoas) and re-checked his running gait. He noticed being straighter and more fluid. Much to his amazement, he started and finished the Ironman the next day.
TF: How would someone go about finding an ART practioner?
TF: How can someone get in touch with you to learn more about ART or schedule an appointment?
Special treatment isn’t just for the professionals anymore
July 23, 2004
Natick Bulletin & Tab
John McNamara, who will be taking part in the Lake Placid Ironman in Lake Placid, N.Y. this Sunday, occasionally wonders why he puts his body through the rigors of a day-long event that requires a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.But he knows exactly why he has been visiting the Natick office of chiropractor Dr. Bradley Weiss two times a week since last August.”Compared to how I felt last August, it’s night and day,” said the 40-year-old lawyer, who lives in Medway.McNamara said the results of his treatments with Weiss have been remarkable. The severe hip pain that had hindered his workout schedule has disappeared. He feels much fresher after lengthy training sessions. He has a greater range of motion in his muscles and joints, and because of that more fluid motion, his training performance has improved.”It really does make a difference,” he said.It’s what hasn’t happened to her that has impressed Melissa Seastead.”I have been training for this for six and a half months and I’ve been injury free,” said the Sudbury resident, who is also receiving treatment from Weiss and taking part in the Lake Placid Ironman.Of her treatment, Seastead, a 30-year-old social worker said, “I think of it as injury prevention.”McNamara and Seastead, whose triathlon preparation requires thousands of miles of running, biking and swimming, are uncommonly dedicated amateur athletes. But their decision to seek out specialized treatment for injuries and for improved performance from a chiropractor is becoming far more common among a population that is both aging and becoming more active.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 49,000 working chiropractors in the U.S. in 2002 and “employment of chiropractors is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through the year 2012 as consumer demand for alternative healthcare grows.”According to the National Sporting Goods Association, 256,200,000 Americans took part at least once in a leisure sporting activity in 2003. That’s an increase of more than 13 million participants since 1998, according to the NSGA’s research.And according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), sports-related injuries to adults ages 35 to 54, today’s baby boomers, increased by 33 percent from 1991 to 1998, with an estimated 1 million suffering medically attended sports-related injuries in 1998.
Weiss, who will join 14 other chiropractors at the Lake Placid Ironman who are offering free treatment to the participants, said he is seeing more patients like McNamara and Seastead, who continue coming to him even after their ailment has gone away, in an effort to prevent other injuries and to better their performance.
Weiss likens routine visits to the chiropractor to regular dental checkups. Both, he said, can help prevent the onset of trouble.
Not every ache or pain requires outside treatment, he said. Some go away on their own. But Weiss said persistent discomfort is usually a signal that something is amiss in the body.
“One thing I do is teach my patients how to listen to their body,” he said.
Weiss, who lives in Newton and moved his business to Natick from Burlington, Vt. two years ago, said the medical community is gradually accepting chiropractic treatment as a viable alternative. He currently works with students at Tufts University’s Family Practice Residency program, who visit his office as part of their course work.
Chiropractors must be licensed in the state in which they practice. According to the Board of Registration of Chiropractors in Massachusetts, an applicant must have completed two years in an undergraduate program, graduated from a four-year chiropractic school or college approved by the board, and have passed a state administered test in order to be licensed in Massachusetts.
In addition, licensees must obtain at least 12 hours of continuing education credits prior to each annual renewal period in order to renew their license.
According to the board’s Web site, there are about 1,930 licensed chiropractors in Massachusetts.
Alternative, non-surgical treatments have become increasingly popular. One trend that has helped raise the profile of chiropractic care is the growing number of professional athletes that have turned to it as way of treating particular injuries.
One of those treatments – Active Release Techniques – is a specialty of Weiss. He is one of 10 certified providers in the Boston area. Active Release Techniques, often referred to as ART, is based on the theory that injured or chronically tight soft tissue is frequently the cause of muscle, nerve, and joint problems. The technique, according to the ART Web site, uses “precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements” to treat the troubled areas.
The Web site has numerous testimonials from high profile athletes, including National Hockey League forward Gary Roberts, Olympic gold medal figure skater Jamie Sale,.1989 Mr. Universe Milos Sarcev, U.S. 5,000 meter champion Marla Runyan, and Oakland Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski.
Weiss said the technique generally offers patients in discomfort immediate relief, and athletes in search of improved performance measurable results.
He uses input from his patient, an initial examination, and observations about their movement, which he studies while they run down a long hallway in his office, to help locate the source or sources of their discomfort..
The movements used to treat injured soft tissue and maintain the full range of motion seem to employ varying degrees of pressure and motion, judging by a brief demonstration Weiss gave on McNamara and Seastead.
Sometimes the movements the doctor initiated were slow, almost languid. At other times they were forceful and abrupt. When it was over, both triathletes bounded from the table claiming to feel refreshed.
McNamara, who will be competing in his second Lake Placid Ironman, said he began swimming and biking “to take pressure off his knees,” which were hurting because of kneecaps that were riding “somewhat off track.”
His hip, which was “binding up,” became an ongoing concern a little over a year ago. McNamara said he turned to the ART treatments, which he heard about through the Lake Placid Ironman, when other measures failed to eliminate his hip discomfort.
McNamara, who works in Framingham, began receiving ART treatments at a facility in Boston. He switched to Dr. Weiss in August because of the more convenient location of Weiss’ Natick location.
McNamara said he had had some massage work done on him, but before last year he hadn’t sought out chiropractic treatment. Now it is a regular part of his regimen, and, he says, it isn’t at all unusual for him to run across others in training who have had ART treatments.
Seastead, turned to biking and swimming after suffering a stress fracture while training for the Boston Marathon four years ago.
She said the injury prompted her to seek help with her training and nutrition. It also sparked her interest in triathlons.
Seastead learned about Weiss from a massage therapist whom Seastead knew from The Longfellow Club. She said the ART treatments have made a big difference in the response and recovery of her muscles, and, like McNamara, she believes its use as a preventive measure is becoming more common among active adults.
Weiss, who has been practicing more than 20 years, said practitioners of traditional medical treatment are becoming more receptive to chiropractic approaches as well.
As for the athletes, Weiss said there are still ingrained cultural biases that tend to encourage the acceptance of pain as part of the exercising process.
“We were all taught in school, no pain, no gain,” he said.
That mantra may rapidly be losing its toehold on current athletic thinking, but the occasional pain is probably here to stay.
Said Weiss, “We’re still adapting to being on two legs.”
Chiropractor gives advice to runners
Friday, April 16, 2004
Natick Bulletin & Tab
Byline: By Philip Maddocks
Dr. Bradley Weiss knows what ails runners.
It is part of his business as a chiropractor. And these days more and more runners are making it their business to find Dr. Weiss.Weiss, who moved to Natick with his wife and two daughters, 5 and 7, in 2003, after practicing for 18 years in Vermont, has been working with about a dozen patients who will be running the Boston Marathon Monday. And he has four other patients who will be competing in the Iron Man competition in Lake Placid on July 25.”More and more people are looking at [chiropractic healthcare] as performance enhancing,” he said, adding that a growing number of professional sports teams now have a chiropractor on staff.Chiropractic care is geared toward treating a body ailment without the use of surgery. The main focus, said Weiss, is on the relationship of the nervous system to the various parts of the body. The main premise is the body’s framework, particularly the spine, needs to be properly aligned for optimum performance and health for the nervous system and the body as a whole.Weiss has no reservations about the results chiropractic treatment can offer marathon runners.”You will increase your performance and you will reduce the stress on your body,” he said. In fact, about 40 percent of the runners that visit his office have no injury but come there strictly to improve their performance, according to Weiss.He said a number of runners have also come to his office seeking a relatively new soft tissue treatment known as Active Release Techniques, patented procedure that uses specific body motions to free up scar tissue that is restricting movement.Active Release Techniques, or ART, has been the subject of articles in a number of popular running publications and Weiss is a Biomechanics Certified ART provider.
Weiss said the most common ailments he treats in runners, from bottom to top, are heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, knee pain, inflammation of the iliotibial band (a ligament-like structure that runs down the side of the thigh from the side of the hip to the lateral part of the bone just below the knee and is commonly referred to as ITB), and back pain.”A lot of what we do is work on prevention,” he said. A visit to Weiss begins with a series of tests to assess the range of motion of the 135 joints and 24 vertebrae in the patient’s body and the integrity of their muscles. He also has runners trot down a long hallway just outside the office’s reception area in order “to assess their gait.””The big thing is the foot strike,” he said. He watches to see if the runner’s foot goes through the proper rolling motion. He looks at whether the runner is swiveling or has a stride that seems to be compensating in some way for particular muscle groups.His first advice to all runners is make sure to get the necessary nutrition and buy a good pair of sneakers that offers good shock absorption. Another relatively low-tech and low-cost measure that can help correct problems are orthotics, shoe inserts that are designed to make standing, walking, and running more comfortable and efficient, by altering slightly the angles at which the foot strikes the ground.Weiss also stresses the importance of stretching for at least 15 minutes before and after running and for an hour once or twice a week. The stretching gets the blood flowing to muscle tissue and helps prepare it for the stretching it will go through during the run.