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 15 months 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.

drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.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.

drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

 

 

Ouch! Yes it is your phone!

Text Neck and other synonyms used to explain the neck pain and headaches you are experiencing are real and directly related to how you are using your smart phone.  In fact anytime your crank your neck forward, whether on your phone, using your laptop, or any other time you neck is forward of your shoulders there is extreme stress on your neck.

Your head weighs about 10-12 pounds.  A new study, from spinal surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, quantifies the actual pressure on your neck from bending your neck forwards.  When your ears are directly over your shoulder the apparent pressure on your neck is 0 pounds. As you neck flexes forward the stress on your neck increased.  With your neck flexed forward 15 degrees your head feels like 27 pounds on your neck, at 30 degrees it is 40 pounds.   From 40 degrees upward it is almost 1 pound per angle degree.

text-neck

Why should this matter?  Well there are reasons- one short term and the other long term.

Short term is pain and headaches.   The long term is that the more forward you shoulders are to your sacrum, (or butt), the greater the chance of you ending up in a nursing home….really!

Your neck is made up of 7 small vertebrae, or bones, which have responsibility of holding your head up.  The vertebrae are connected with ligaments and moved by muscles.  In addition to supporting your head, the vertebrae protect the spinal cord which connects your brain to all the cells in your body.  The spinal cord needs to pass through the neck before it gets to the rest of the body.  8 pair of nerves exits your neck.  As the nerves exit your neck vertebra, some nerves travel up the back of the head, others control the muscles of your neck, travel down your arms, or control your diaphragm (for breathing) to name a few.

As your head goes forward gravity tries to force your head towards the ground. The muscles of your neck have to work harder to counterbalance the forces of gravity.  A tug-of-war ensues, which gravity eventually wins and your posture degrades.

Your body has an incredible ability to adapt, so this doesn’t happen overnight.  Overtime, your neck muscles get tight, the small joints in your neck get overwhelmed and inflamed, which can lead to irritation of your spinal nerves, and in time the pain sensors of the joints and muscles get activated.   First you might just feel a little tightness or tension in your neck, but if ignored and you do not correct your poor neck mechanics pain can start.  The pain could be manifested as headaches, neck pain or tingling in your arm(s).   You might find yourself a dangerous driver as your range of motion slowly decreases.  All this usually happens very slowly, until one day the pain starts to really scream.  Pain is your body’s way of saying something is wrong.  In these overuse scenarios you get a lot of warning signs before the severe pain.  The longer you ignore the symptoms, or mask them with NSAIDs, or pain killers, the more damage you are probably doing.

Most of my patients who present with neck pain, unless they were in a car accident, or injury, will say, “I don’t know what happened, why I am in pain?”   We do a thorough examination and note the tight muscles, restricted motion, nerve irritation, poor posture, and loss of joint motion in the neck. From the exam, I can usually tell them that their neck pain was most likely caused my micro-trauma from faulty ergonomics.  Often with these patients I find arthritic changes as well, which can occur in patents as early as their 20s.  I am seeing this more and more over the last 10 years as people of all age are spending  way too much time with their heads cranked forward looking at their phones.

Your posture adapts to the stresses on it. Like braces on teeth, over time your body will adapt.  Keep your head flexed forward long enough and gravity wins the tug of war.  You get very tight muscles and your upper body starts to looks like a big C.  Yes it looks bad,  but more importantly, a recent study has shown that the further you head goes forward the more likely you are going to need assistance as you age, and the greater chance you have to end up in a nursing home!  Yes, that was the conclusion of a study published in 2013. The further forward you neck/upper back junction was relative to your 1st sacral segment (just below your belt line), statistically the more dependent  one becomes on assistance doing their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which include: bathing; feeding; dressing; getting in and out of bed; and toileting.  The author concludes in this study, “Spinal posture changes with age, but accumulated evidence shows that good spinal posture is important in allowed the aged to maintain independent lives”.

So what do you need to start doing today?  Use good body mechanics.  Limit the time you spend on your smart phone, or any device that requires you to flex your neck forward including your laptop.  Keep your head straight and hold your smart phone at eye level with your hands.  When you do find yourself doing activities which require you to flex your neck, take breaks at least every 15 minutes. There is an amazing stretch called the Bruegger’s Position. To watch how to do this click this link: https://performancehealthcenter.wistia.com/medias/e35vhg2ehd

If you are already having neck pain or your posture has started to move forward, you may need help to release the muscle spasms, improve spinal motion and correct your posture.  Chiropractic care is a great option.  At Performance Health Center we specialize in helping people get out of pain and optimize function.  If you already have arthritis in your spine, there is bad news and good news.  The bad news is that the arthritis cannot be reversed.  The good from 32 years of clinical experience is that you are not doomed and if you follow your recommended course of treatment your arthritis may be arrested, or at least be slowed as you age.  We have many before and after x-rays that document this.

The take away from this blog is that you can use technology and there are strategies you can use to prevent injury.  Keep your head up!  Maintain good posture and flexibility!  If you are starting to get symptoms, or notice your posture is not looking good, GET HELP!  At Performance Health Center we are here to help you enjoy pain-free healthy living!  Why wait!  Get started today.  You’ll be glad short term and long term.

For more information, email me at drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com , or call the office at 508-655-9008.

The Glue that Keeps Our International Tennis Athletics Competing

Loving the game of Tennis and understanding the sport as a competitor is a perfect professional fit. I was invited as a Board Certified Massage Therapist to travel to Umag Croatia to work with our Senior USA tennis teams in September.

The venue was named the International Tennis Federation World Super -Senior Team Championships.

The championships is the largest and most important competition of tennis seniors over 65 to 80 plus years in the world. There were 107 teams representing 26 different countries.

I was introduced to both men and women players from our USA Teams, letting them know I was available pre and post event for Kenesio taping, active isolated stretching, spot massage treatment and full body treatment.

As veteran senior athletics they knew the value of massage for maintaining-their competitive edge.

I’m always amazed at untypical 80’s women and they continue to give me inspiration. One of the team of four has been doing yoga for thirty years and loves to show off her stretching routine doing the splits. Another puts her kinesiology tape on her knees and runs for shots with little effort.

Every day at four I had an appointment with Dave, a 65 USA team player from Dallas He was playing  number 1 singles . The surface was red clay which is easier on the body but a slower surface to play on. As a result his legs were fatigued, hamstrings tight and his low back was talking to him The massage focus was bring about an awareness and facilitate more  blood-flow while decreasing tension in those tight muscles  .After a 1 1/2 hour treatment my goals were achieved and he was ready to go back on the courts the next day.

Our USA teams did well.  The US 80’s Men and Woman and  75 men and woman came in first place, Our 65 men and woman came in 3rd place My experience was professionally rich.

Never stop moving! Life is Motion!  I’m always proud to represent our country.

To schedule your next massage, call the office at 508-655-9008

What’s Cupping?

I am thrilled that the Olympics have sparked a curiosity regarding the art of cupping.  Cupping was developed thousands of years ago by the Romans, and the first cups were made from the horns of animals. Today cupping tools have been modernized but the philosophy remains the same.

In modern practice, Cupping involves placing various size plastic or glass cups on the tissue treatment site.  A vacuum is created in the cup by a tool, lifting the tissue. As a Massage therapist the placement of cups on the tissue lasts 1 to 3 minutes. I think of cupping as the inverse of massage because it lifts the soft tissues. I have been using Massage cupping for many years and incorporate it during my treatments  with excellent results.  The benefits my patient’s notice includes less pain and improved range of motion.

Massage cupping glides on fascia lifting the restricted tissue which increases blood flow.  As the tissue is lifted some techniques include “parking” the cup, vibration, rotation and gliding. The use of suction is invaluable for restricted soft tissue and fascia.  Olympic athletes have seen the benefit, so why shouldn’t you? Curious?  Ready to try Massage Cupping? Please call our office @ 508-655-9008 and schedule an appointment.

FYI- I will not be in the office from September  9 -20 where I will be the providing massage therapy and cupping to the USA Senior Tennis Team (ages 65-85) at the Federation Cup in Umog, Croatia.

Bernadette Lehmann

Board Certified Licensed Massage Therapist

bernadette@performancehealthcenter.com