Play More Tennis and Live Longer!

That’s right.  Yet another new study has come out showing the health benefits of being active, this time as it relates to longevity.  The December 2018 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings has a research study titled: Various Leisure-Time Physical Activities Associated with Widely Divergent Life Expectancies: The Copenhagen City Heart Study.  This study following 8577 participants for up to 25 years looking at various forms of physical activities to see which gave the most benefit in adding years to life. 

Playing tennis was the most beneficial extending life expectancy by 9.7 years relative to the sedentary control group.  Seven other leisure activities also increased life expectancy, but not as much! 

Here is the list:

Tennis-        9.7 years

Badminton- 6.2 years

Soccer-         4.7 years

Cycling-       3.7 years

Swimming-  3.4 years

Jogging-       3.2 years

Calisthenics-3.1 years

Health Club Activities- 1.5 years

The study tried to analyze what makes tennis and the other top life extending activities more beneficial than the later activities on the list.   One big difference is that tennis, badminton and soccer tend to be social sports that depend on interactions with others. According to the authors, “Belonging to a group that meets regularly promotes a sense of support, trust, and commonality, which has been shown to contribute to a sense of well-being and improved long term health”.   They also state, “A scientifically rigorous and widely cited meta-analysis on the topic found that social support had a stronger effect on long-term survival than any other factor, including being a nonsmoker, staying lean, or having normal blood pressure”

Another possible reason that tennis, badminton and soccer participants have increase longevity is that these sports require quick interval bursts of full body motions compared to the other sports studied which have more continuous repetitive body motions.  The jury is not out, but according to the study, “a growing body of evidence indicates that short repeated intervals of high intensity exercise appear to be superior to continuous moderate intensity PA (physical activity) for improving health outcomes”. 

It’s a New Year and no better time to make a commitment to being active.  Exercising in a health club may not increase longevity as much as playing tennis or even cycling, but it does have significant benefits which include reducing the risk of many types of cancer, developing Type 2 Diabetes, decreases cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of heart disease and increased the natural protection of cold and flu viruses to name a few.

I’m an avid tennis player so was very happy to see these benefits in longevity.  The moral of this study is that you need to be active to live longer. Of the 8577 participants in this study, 12% reported being sedentary and 66% engaged in at least 1 activity.  The weekly average was almost 7 hours of activity a week.  That’s about 1 hour a day which is the minimum recommended by many different studies.

A study in Lancet in 2016, concludes that it takes 1 hour of exercise a day to reverse the negative mortality effects of sitting 8 hours on the job.  Less than 25% of us meet this minimum requirement. More and more studies are demonstrating the importance of motion.  My favorite mantra to my patients is, “life is motion”.  The Mayo Clinic study is just the latest.  It also give hints on which activities you might want to focus on if you want to live longer. It really doesn’t matter what you do, just do something for at least one hour a day.  It doesn’t have to be continuous.  In fact, the Lancet article suggests you move at least 5 minutes every hour, making the 1 hour of exercise cumulative rather can consecutive!  Just walking is an excellent exercise. The social interaction of walking with a friend probably increases the benefit exponentially!

Before you start any new activity you should have a functional musculoskeletal examination to determine if you are capable.  At Performance Health Center we specialize in getting our patients out of pain and in optimum functional health so they can enjoy pain-free active living!  Wishing all our friends and patients a Healthy, Active and Happy New Year!  For more info email me at: drbradweiss@peformancehealthcenter.com

Share This With Your PCP!

Unfortunately the following saga is way too typical in our office. Last month I saw a new patient who had severe low back pain (LBP) for over 2 years. The pain was so severe she was living on pain meds, going right home from work and going to bed. She was not participating in life and was extremely frustrated. She had seen her Primary Care Physician (PCP) from the onset of her pain. She was referred to multiple specialists for advanced testing, injections and more medications, none of which gave her any real relief or hope.

Finally after two (2) years, at the repeated encouragement of Lyn Rome, her hair stylist, she came into my office, explained in detail all she had been through and the frustration of living with pain. My exam ruled out all the “red flags” or pathological causes of her pain. My diagnosis was dysfunction of her left Sacro-iliac joint and sciatic nerve entrapment. Simply put, the largest joint in her body (in the butt area) was stuck and the longest and thickest nerve in the body which goes from the low back to the toes was not gliding properly. Of course she also had muscles spasms because her muscles were short and tight to protect the joint that was not moving, setting up a visors cycle of pain that kept perpetuating itself.

I felt confident I could help her, but since she was skeptical and nervous from her prior medical treatments I recommended a 2 week trial of chiropractic care to see how she would respond. I wish all of my patients responded so quickly, but after 2 treatments she had significant decrease in pain, stopped the pain meds and didn’t have to go right to bed after work. Obviously the trial of care was successful and she is on the road to recovery.

Two (2) years of her life was wasted because of ignorance (or bias) on the part of her PCP. Unfortunately this is a scenario I see all the time at our office, but it shouldn’t be that way. Any competent medical doctor who keeps up with the literature should know that chiropractic care has been well documented as an effective treatment for LBP. (It is not the only condition we treat, but the most researched). There really is no excuse for collaboration between your PCP and the chiropractic profession for the best interest of the patient, especially for the treatment of LBP.

Now there is even more proof! In the May 2018, on-line edition of the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), a new studies found that “usual medical care plus chiropractic care reported a statistically significant improvement in low back pain intensity and disability at 6 weeks compared with those who received usual care alone.” In a study of 750 people, from the ages of 18-50, the addition of including chiropractic care documented statistically significant improvement included less reported pain, less disability, more patient satisfaction and less pain medications used. Across the board including chiropractic care reduced pain and suffering.The conclusion of this study states, “this trial provides additional support for the inclusion of chiropractic care as a component of multidisciplinary health care for low back pain, as currently recommended in existing guidelines”. Note the words…as currently recommended in existing guidelines.

The number one cause of disability worldwide is LBP! At least 20% of Americans will have LBP lasting at least 1 day over the next 3 months. LBP is the 2nd reason why patients visit their PCP. The direct cost of LBP in 2010 was $34 billion, and adding in lost work and productivity costs the US economy up to $200 Billion. At the present time only 8-14% of the US population receives chiropractic care annually. So why aren’t PCPs referring to chiropractors. Getting historical, there have been excellent studies validating chiropractic care and multiple government reports recommend a greater utilization of chiropractic care.

As far back as 1993 the Ontario Ministry of Health published what is called the Manga Report. The Manga Report’s conclusion was to make chiropractors the gatekeepers for treating LBP for many reasons concluding: “On the evidence, particularly the most scientifically valid clinical studies, spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low back pain. Many medical therapies are of questionable validity or are clearly inadequate; there is no clinical or case-control study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe in the treatment of low back pain. Some medical treatments are equally safe, but others are unsafe and generate iatrogenic (doctor-induced) complications for low back pain patients. Our reading of the literature suggests that chiropractic manipulation is safer than medical management of low back pain; and there is an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that chiropractic management of low back pain is more cost-effective than medical management.”

Then in 1994, the US Agency on Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) released Clinical Guidelines for Management of Acute Low Back Pain. These Guidelines were created an expert panel to provide PCPs with recommendations on the assessment and treatment of LBP. Again the conclusions included:
• Conservative treatment such as spinal manipulation should be pursued in most before cases considering surgical intervention;
• Prescription drugs such as oral steroids, antidepressant medications and colchicine are not recommended for acute low back problems.

The benefits of chiropractic care both in human suffering level and economic savings is well documented and recommended by multiple government agencies. I still don’t understand why the chiropractic profession is not getting more referrals from the medical profession. Going back to the patient in the first paragraph, in her words she lost 2 years of her life and had lost hope of ever being able to function and doing the most basic activities like walking with her husband or sitting in a restaurant. My bias is that she should have been referred for chiropractic care after the pain lasted for 2 weeks while following her PCPs advice. When the pain persisted and multiple therapies failed, at the very least her PCP could have said I don’t know much about chiropractic health care, but since you are not feeling better why don’t you give it a try.

I don’t fault the present generation of medical doctors. Chiropractic care is not part of their educational curriculum. I have seen this first hand. For eight (8) years family practice residents first at University of Vermont and then Tufts had a one (1) day rotation at my office. I asked each resident in all your years of medical school and residency how much did they learn about chiropractic health care. The answer across the board was “nothing”. Then I’d ask how much did they learn about the musculoskeletal system? The answer across the board this time was “not much”. Then I’d ask my final question which was how many vertebrae are in the spine? In 8 years only 1 Family Practice Resident was able to rattle off the correct answer which is 24.

Then the medical resident spent the day with me watching me interact and treat my patients. At the end of the day across the residents would say how impressed they were. They didn’t realize the scope of chiropractic practice and the benefits of manipulation. My advice was always the same. When you finish your residencies and hang up your shingle to practice, meet a few chiropractors in your community, find one or two that you feel comfortable with and refer your patients to them. Unfortunately this type of rotation at a chiropractic office was and still is a rare event in the training of medical residents.

Hopefully you have read down this far. The only way your PCP is going to know about this new study (and historical guidelines) is if you share this article with them. Please email your PCP and attach this article. Ask if he/she has read the new JAMA study on the significant benefits of including chiropractic care in collaboration with “usual medical care” for patients with low back pain? If not the link is here: Effect of Usual Medical Care Plus Chiropractic Care vs Usual Medical Care Alone on Pain and Disability Among US Service Members With Low Back Pain: A Comparative Effectiveness Clinical Trial

Sharing this article with your PCP this will help build bridges between the two professions and the winner is you, the consumer of health care.

For more information please contact me at drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

The Concussion Muscle

Concussions are awful. There are close to 4 million sports related concussions in the U.S. every year. Your brain gets shaken up like an egg inside its shell. The skull doesn’t crack but the brain gets rattle around. You might lose consciousness, balance, ability to talk, have a headache and the world appears fuzzy. You go through concussion protocol testing and spend anywhere from a few days to weeks resting.
Slowly you start to feel better and eventually get on with life. 15% of concussion suffers have lingering effects which last beyond 3 months which is labeled “post-concussion syndrome. Persistent symptoms include inability to concentrate, memory issues, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, anxiousness, insomnia, blurry vision, noise and light sensitivity, and headache.

A recent study from the American Journal of Neuroradiology (AJNR) tried to determine if there was correlation between the suboccipital muscles and recovery time from post-concussion syndrome. The suboccipital muscles connect the upper neck vertebrae to the back part of the skull called the occiput. There are seven (7) muscles that make up the suboccipital muscles. An MRI of sixty-four consecutive patients with post-concussion syndrome was performed and symptoms were tested using standard concussion protocols.

Of the seven (7) suboccipital muscles only one (1) muscle’s cross-sectional diameter proved to have a direct association with post-concussion symptoms. That muscle is the Rectus Capitus Posterior Minor. (RCPMinor). There was a direct correlation with the RCPMinor and “greater symptom severity, longer recovery time, poor verbal memory performance and headache”. None of the other suboccipital muscles had a direct correlation.
What is so special about the RCPMinor muscles that it effects the recovery time ofpost-concussion syndrome? The RCPMinor is the only suboccipital muscle that has a ligament bridge that connects to the dura mater of your spinal cord right where your brain and spinal cord join. The dura mater is the outer protective membrane of the spinal cord. The theory is that the RCPMinor tugs on the spinal cord covering contributing to post-concussion symptoms.

I am only aware of one soft tissue technique that can isolate, evaluate and treat the RCPMinor muscle. That technique is called Active Release Techniques® or (ART). ART is patented and consists of over 500 specific protocols which differentiate, isolate, evaluate and treat the individual muscles in the body. The goal of ART is to release adhesions or scar tissue in muscles, ligament and nerve pathways in the body, in essence the soft tissues of the body. ART is cutting edge and is becoming the gold standard in treating soft tissue injuries. ART is done by hand. In order to become certified in ART you need to go through a certification course. Certification needs to be renewed every year. There are only 40 +/- certified ART providers in Massachusetts.

In the suboccipital region it is possible to isolate and evaluate the RCPMinor muscle using ART. If the RCPMinor is found to be short & tight, a specific tension is applied to the muscle which can normalize the tone and function. I have been an ART provider for 20 years. I have helped many patients suffering from whiplash injuries, headaches and post-concussion symptoms. Even before this study was published I have found that clinically the RCPMinor is a key muscle to treat to resolving post-concussion symptoms. As a side note, if you are suffering from whiplash injuries due to a car accident then it might be a good idea to get a lawyer involved, particularly if the accident wasn’t your fault. A lot of law firms will have a contact us page and this will help you to find the best lawyer for you and your case.

It’s not important to remember the name of the Rectus Capitus Posterior Minor muscle, but it is important to know that ART is one technique that is very effective in finding, evaluating and treating this muscle. If you, a family member or friend has been frustrated due to post-concussion syndrome, chronic headaches or whiplash injury, please get evaluated by an ART certified provider.
To find a certified ART provider anywhere in the world clink this link: http://activerelease.com/find-a-provider.asp

If you would like more information please contact me at: drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

Your Mind is Powerful; Use it Wisely!

More and more evidence is proving what we’ve been told our whole lives is true; “You are what you think.”   Hopefully, after you read this you’ll be more careful about what you think about because it can fundamentally affect you and your health!

It’s now a few years old, but in 2011 the “milkshake study” was published.  The same exact milkshake was given to the subjects on 2 separate occasions, except the labels were different each time. One label was “indulgent” and stated the milkshake was high calorie and fat.  The other label on the exact same milkshake was “sensible” and was described as low calorie and low fat.  Amazingly enough, the milkshake was metabolized differently in the subjects even though the ingredients were exactly the same.  The Indulgent labeled shake produced a significant decrease in the levels of Grehlin, one of our body’s “hunger hormones”. The drop in the hunger hormone was 3 times greater than in the sensible labeled milkshake.  When drinking what was believed to be a high fat, high calorie shake the body was fooled by the mind and was made to feel fuller, or more satiated.  The difference in how the milkshake was metabolized in the body was physiological.  The bottom line is what the body believed it was consuming affected how it was metabolized in the digestive system.

Additional studies have shown that the placebo effect in medications can be as high as 50%.  When a patient’s medical doctor says that medication is effective for their ailment, the mind believes it and feels better even though they are only consuming a sugar pill.  What is even more amazing is that the placebo effect exists even when the patient is told they are getting a placebo. This is called an open-label placebo.   Sounds crazy, that even when they are told they are taking a sugar pill, many patients feel better.

These are just a few examples of research documenting that your mind is pretty powerful and what you say, think and hear can influence you in ways that you never thought possible.  To read more about how your mind and body are affected by your thoughts, actions and beliefs all you need to do is Goggle positive thinking studies.  I got over 9 million results in less than half a second.  The take away is that the brain is more powerful than we realize. You need to be careful about what you say, especially your “self-speak” and you should focus on positive and empowering thoughts.  It’s not always easy to be positive.  You may have developed bad thought habits over the years and will need to make a conscious effort to be positive.

I try to be positive in both my personal and professional life. Chiropractic care is not a placebo, but I have found during my 34 years in practice what I say and how I say it can influence and improve how my patient’s respond to treatment.  For those patient’s I feel I can help, I focus my explanations in realistic terms, but always try to focus on the positive changes that will happen in their bodies as they receive their chiropractic treatments.  I remind my patient that it takes time to get healthy especially with chronic pain syndromes causes by joint dysfunctions, muscles imbalances and degenerative changes.  I also know that when my patient’s stick with their treatment recommendations they are usually glad they did both short term and long term.

You might have already forgotten many of the New Year’s resolutions you made just two months ago, but being positive it not as difficult as it may seem. If you need more motivation-Positive people live longer and are healthier!  Yes, there is research on that too!

DrBradWeiss@PerformanceHealthCenter.com

Bioelectric Medicine or Electroceuticals : The Future of Modern Medicine?

The future of medicine maybe closer than you think!  Bioelectric Medicine and Electroceuticals are top name contenders for this new branch of medicine.  As researcher’s better understand and learn how to manipulate the electrical impulses of the nervous system we will have more targeted and safer ways to treat disease and stay healthy.  Last year clinical trial was published demonstrating a small electrical device  implanted in the neck near the vagus nerve to eliminate the cause of inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis showed positive results in 12 out of 17 patients.   Medicare already pays for electrical treatments of Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.  A well known example of Bioelectric Medicine are Pacemakers which have been used to electrically regulate heart rhythms for decades.

Venture capitalists have already invested $100 million in Biomedical Medicine.  Imran Eba of Action Potential Venture Capital located in Cambridge said, “If we can understand how…electric signals travel through the nervous system…then we can start treating disease in a totally different way.”   New advances in medicine are always exciting.  Influencing the nervous system is fascinating.  Influencing the nervous system to restore and maintain health is not new news to the chiropractic profession!  Chiropractors have been influencing the optimizing nerve energy in the body since its founding in 1895!

In 1895, chiropractic care began in Davenport, Iowa.  The founder, D.D. Palmer‘s first adjustment did not relieve low back pain, it restored deafness! The story goes; D.D. Palmer was a self -taught healer.  (Prior to the Flexner Report in 1910 medical training was not standardized and many healers were self-taught.  D.D. Palmer was on those self-taught healers).  Harvey Lillard was a janitor in the building D.D. Palmer had his practice in.    Harvey was almost completely deaf.  Seventeen years earlier while in a cramped, stooped position, he felt a pop in his spine and went deaf.

After hearing Harvey’s history and feeling his spine, D.D. Palmer postulated that there was a bone out of place interfering with the flow of energy in the nervous system.  He got permission from Harvey to push the vertebrae back into place.  Immediately after Harvey’s hearing was restored.  D.D. Palmer proclaimed that he corrected the flow of nerve energy which restored his hearing.

I was deaf 17 years and I expected to always remain so, for I had doctored a great deal without    any benefit. I had long ago made up my mind to not take any more ear treatments, for it did me no good. Last January Dr. Palmer told me that my deafness came from an injury in my spine. This was new to me; but it is a fact that my back was injured at the time I went deaf. Dr. Palmer treated me on the spine; in two treatments I could hear quite well. That was eight months ago. My hearing remains good. HARVEY LILLARD,

D.D. Palmer named this new healing art that restores nerve energy flow chiropractic, which comes from a Greek work which means “done by hand”.  D.D. Palmer in his voluminous writings preferred to use the term “dis-ease” rather than disease to explain many human ailments.  He defined dis-ease as “too much or not enough nerve energy”.   Today research continues to prove D.D. Palmer’s theory’s correct on many levels.  Your body can not be healthy unless the brain can communicate properly to all the cells of the body, and this communication is electric.  Conventional wisdom now points to the fact that nerves can get pinched by herniated discs, but probably more often spinal joints don’t move correctly and get stuck which irritates the nerves.  The original premise of Chiropractic is that adjustments, or spinal manipulation, puts motion back into the spine which corrects the electrical impulses of the nervous system which control all the systems in the body.

Chiropractic care for those who keep up with the literature is the most effective, safest and most cost-effective treatment for musculoskeletal problems. Ninety-Five percent (95%) or more of my patients present for pain syndromes associated with the spine.  Sitting, computers, cell phones and just standing on 2 legs can be challenging to the spine and the delicate nervous system.  Maybe it’s time for all of us to stay healthy by keeping nerve energy flowing optimally to present dis-ease.

Medical advances are amazing and as a result we are living longer and more productive lives.  Maybe Bioelectric Medicine is the future of healthcare since there is promise that it can target cells and malfunctions in the body without the side-effects and cost of modern medicine.  Still, we should always start first with the body’s ability to heal itself naturally.  Chiropractic care has always been a big part of natural healing because it optimizes the function of the nervous system and optimizes nerve energy so the brain communicates properly to the various organ systems in the body.  In 34 years of practice it is amazing how many patients who came to see me because of back pain comment on how their digestive issues or allergies have improved or cleared up. How is your nervous system energy functioning?  If you are not sure, start the New Year with a nervous system function check-up at Performance Health Center.

For more information please email me at drbradweiss@performancehealthcenter.com

Do You Know How Much Your Child’s Backpack Weighs?

Your child’s backpack should never weigh more than 15% of their body weight. Every years we give a series of Backpack Safety Workshops at a local Middle School. A random sampling of the student’s backpacks found the majority were 25-30% of their body weight. Only one student’s backpack was below 15%.

Heavy backpacks are one of the major causes of back pain in school age students. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics 6% of 10 year olds and 18% of 14-16 year olds have low back pain. Only 7% of those children with low back pain seek medical treatment.

There are many causes of low back pain in children including laptops, sitting, smart phones and poor posture. Here we will focus on backpacks. Below are important tips to make backpacks less dangerous to your school aged children:

  • Make sure your backpack weighs no more than 10 – 15% of your body weight
  • Empty your backpack periodically to insure it contains no unnecessary items
  • Make sure your backpack hangs no more than 4 inches below your waist
  • Use both straps!
  • Use thickly padded straps
  • If your backpack has a waist strap, use it!
  • Always place the heaviest items closed to your back (your center of gravity)
  • Always lift with your legs, without twisting

Now is a great time to weigh your child’s backpack. If it weighs more than 15% of their body weight, go through it and make sure it only contains what they need for school. If you child complains of back pain take it seriously and seek chiropractic care ASAP. If your school would be interested in our Backpack Safety Workshop please contact me. We do these as a public service. It is also important to measure torso length first in order to choose the right backpack.

DrBradWeiss@PerformanceHealthCenter.com

“The Wayland Middle School Wellness department is so thankful to have partnered with the amazing chiropractors at Performance Health Center for a second year. Through their generous donation of time, we were able to teach over 200 6th graders about proper posture, how to properly pack a backpack, and how to prevent injuries by teaching them the guidelines on how to wear a backpack properly.”

Pam Riddle, M.Ed., ATC, CMT

Wellness & Health Teacher

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

 

 

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

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