Happy Marathon-ing Boston Runners!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dynamic Stretching, the “Pre-workout”

If you look up Wikipedia’s definition of dynamic stretching, this is what comes up, “Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching beneficial in sports utilizing momentum from form, and the momentum from static-active stretching strength, in an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of motion not exceeding one’s static passive stretching ability”.

Performing dynamic stretches in a “pre-workout” or warmup are a series of active stretches that move the muscles through their range of motion, helps to improve range of motion surrounding the joints, helps to elevate core body temperature, and stimulate the nervous system.

Dynamic stretching primes the muscle to be ready to contract and relax, just as they would need to be ready to function during a sprint, run or jumping motion etc.  Being dynamic stretching is an active movement, it helps to prevent over-stretching, which can also fatigue the muscles.  Fatiguing the muscles prior to a workout can provoke injury or unfavorable symptoms to the area.  That is one of the main reasons coaching have gotten away from prescribing static stretching before a workout.  In fact, many coaches suggest athletes do a dynamic warm up every day to help keep muscles limber and ready to move at all times.

Dynamic stretching also helps to mentally prepare the athlete before the workout or competition.  Static stretching can be more relaxing, and while there is definitely a place for it, static stretching can almost trick one’s body into relaxation mode and make it more difficult to transition to “competitor” or “beast mode”.

Dynamic stretches target major muscle groups when warming up.  For example, when running, dynamic stretches target hamstrings, quads, glutes, hip flexors and calves to help prime these areas for movement.  Usually a couple of minutes of light jogging is recommended first to get the blood flowing before getting into a 5-10 minutes of dynamic stretching.  Walking butt kicks (heel to butt), knee hugs (walking knee the chest), walking toe touches, walking lunges with an overhead reach, glute bridges, heel and toe walks, are just a handful of great dynamic stretches to get one warmed up and the muscle groups prepared for the intensity of the workout that follows.   It really is something so easy to work into a warm up, and would most likely replace a more static routine one is doing, so it would not add much time on to one’s routine either.  Some of you reading this may find that you are already doing some type of dynamic stretching prior to a workout without even knowing it!

Should anyone reading this have any questions in regarding dynamic stretching and incorporating this into their pre-workout routine, please feel free to contact me at: drv@performanacehealthcenter.com

 

 

 

Did You Know ALL This About Magnesium???

Magnesium seems to be a hot topic today in the supplement field, so I wanted to dig around a little and present some information to you all about what exactly Magnesium is, what is does, where you can find sources of this mineral, who is at risk to be deficient, and what some of the signs or symptoms are.

Did most of you know that magnesium is a mineral?  Magnesium is also a co-factor in relation to over 300 enzyme systems that control complex biochemical reactions throughout the body.   Muscle and nerve function, regulation of blood pressure, blood glucose control, energy production, protein synthesis, transporting calcium and potassium across cell membranes, bone structural development, and synthesis of DNA/RNA, are some of the most important reactions Magnesium helps to regulate.  I honestly didn’t realize that Magnesium contributed to ALL of these things plus more.

The balance of Magnesium in greatly controlled by the kidneys.  The kidney excretes around 120mg of magnesium into the urine each day. There is about 25g of magnesium in the adult body, and over have of it resides in the bones and the rest in the soft tissue.  There is only a very small amount of magnesium that resides in the actual blood serum.  With that being said, it can be a little more difficult to test, and usually a combination of blood tests, urinalysis, saliva tests, and a thorough consultation are performed to be sure one could be deficient.

There are a wide variety of beverages, animal and plant foods that have magnesium in them.  Tap, mineral and bottled water contain certain levels of magnesium in them.  Nuts, seeds, spinach, legumes, and whole grains contain a good level of magnesium as well.  Fortified foods and cereals may contain added amounts of magnesium, but some types of food processing actually lower the content of magnesium.  Personally, I recommend trying to find magnesium through more natural food sources, not cereal or processed foods if can be helped.  And though you may think you are taking in a fair amount of magnesium through your diet, about 30-40% of dietary magnesium is actually absorbed by the body.

Listed below from The National Institute of Health are some food sources and the levels of magnesium found in them:

Table 2: Selected Food Sources of Magnesium [10]
Food Milligrams
(mg) per
serving
Percent
DV*
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 80 20
Spinach, boiled, ½ cup 78 20
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce 74 19
Peanuts, oil roasted, ¼ cup 63 16
Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 large biscuits 61 15
Soymilk, plain or vanilla, 1 cup 61 15
Black beans, cooked, ½ cup 60 15
Edamame, shelled, cooked, ½ cup 50 13
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 tablespoons 49 12
Bread, whole wheat, 2 slices 46 12
Avocado, cubed, 1 cup 44 11
Potato, baked with skin, 3.5 ounces 43 11
Rice, brown, cooked, ½ cup 42 11
Yogurt, plain, low fat, 8 ounces 42 11
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 10% of the DV for magnesium 40 10
Oatmeal, instant, 1 packet 36 9
Kidney beans, canned, ½ cup 35 9
Banana, 1 medium 32 8
Salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked, 3 ounces 26 7
Milk, 1 cup 24–27 6–7
Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces 24 6
Raisins, ½ cup 23 6
Chicken breast, roasted, 3 ounces 22 6
Beef, ground, 90% lean, pan broiled, 3 ounces 20 5
Broccoli, chopped and cooked, ½ cup 12 3
Rice, white, cooked, ½ cup 10 3
Apple, 1 medium 9 2
Carrot, raw, 1 medium 7 2

The National Institute of Health also states that the daily recommended amount of magnesium consumed by an adult be between 310-420 mg per female and male, respectively.  Now this may vary between each individual based on their health history and daily life.  It is always recommended that if one is concerned to please consult a qualified health care professional.

Some groups that are more subject than others to have inadequate levels of magnesium are people with gastrointestinal diseases, people with migraines, people with Type II Diabetes, people with alcohol dependencies, older adults, especially those dealing with osteoporosis, and people with hypertension and/or cardiovascular disease.  These groups are more likely to consume insufficient quantities of magnesium, or have a medical condition or take medications that affect the absorption of magnesium in the gut.

Some signs that you are someone may be deficient in magnesium include, but are not subject to: reduced urinary excretion, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite.  If the deficiency continues to get worse, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions, cramps, personality changes, seizures, irregular heart rhythms or coronary spasms can take place.  Severe issues can involve low blood calcium and potassium levels as well.

I hope that this has been informative to all of you reading this.  Should you have any questions or concerns in regards to magnesium, please feel free to contact any of the doctor’s at PHC or your PCP for further questions or concerns.  If you are someone that takes a magnesium supplement, or is looking too, Metagenics carries very high quality magnesium supplements, some of which we carry at our office.  Metagenics brand is very well known in the medical field, and may also be something your PCP may carry in their office as well.

 

 

 

That Time of Year Again!

Alright everyone, it’s that time of year again where everyone starts mapping out the new year…what to do, what not to do, what could I have been done better last year, did I achieve all of my resolutions, if I didn’t, is it possible I could achieve them this year coming?  I feel for too many people this can be very stressful, and can almost set them up for failure in the new year, and be ever more depressing.  This whole downward spiral can occur in the blink of a second, so many people just decide not to set ANY goals for themselves in the upcoming year.  Notice how I said “goals”, as I did last year too!  Maybe it is because I have an athletic background, but I really feel the word “goal” sets better with me than the word “resolution”.  So, call it whatever you want, but for the remainder of my topic today, GOALS it will be!

I feel that last year I was able to attain many of my goals, but there were a few that did trail off and that got away from me…my weekly stretching, weekly yoga, monthly maintenance in regards to acupuncture, and lack of sleep.  The other 7-8 goals were achieved in 2016, which I was proud of myself for, but I really want to focus this year on these few that got away from me.

I am not sure why stretching more regularly got away from me this year.  Being a chiropractor and all, and preaching mobility exercises to my patients’ day in and day out, you would think this wouldn’t be an issue for me, lol.  Maybe it is like the story of the shoe maker’s children…one would think that their children would go to school with the best shoes, but they were usually the one’s wearing the beat up falling apart shoes.  So, maybe after preaching mobility day in and day out, I just grew tired of it and didn’t want to stretch.  That being said, I do my foam rolling pretty regularly, and shoulder and upper back activation exercises, but that darn stretching was not at the top of my list this past year!  So, in 2017, STRETCHING is going to be at the top of my list.  With our busy lifestyles, and many of us driving multiple hours a week, sitting behind our computers doing work day in and day out, hovering over our phones rounding our shoulders texting, sending emails, and scrolling through FB and Instagram, it is more important than ever that we are be better about stretching.

That being said and leading to my next goal, yoga, more yoga!  Talking about stretching and really helping to open up the body, why did I get off track from that in 2016?  The only thing I can think of is when summer hit, I did not want to be inside any more than I had too, and towards the end of the summer when I was trying to get back into yoga, I did have a series of family events come into play that altered a lot of the free time I would have had.  I know, I know, still not a good excuse, but it is an excuse, and I am using it based on the circumstances.  I have recognized it, and now have to move forward to achieve this goal in 2017!  I even spoke with the owner of Spirit Bear Power Yoga, Christy, in downtown Natick, and she has welcomed me to return and get back on track.  It is a wonderful quaint studio, and for me, the location is key, so NO excuses to not get back on track.  I really felt an incredible difference attending yoga once a week in regards to my posture.  Though I am not behind a computer as often as many people are with their jobs, I still spend a fair amount of time doing office work on the computer, plus bending over patients all day long.

Acupuncture…I see a wonderful practitioner, Kim Griffin, and a colleague of hers from time to time, Betty Woo, at Darcy’s Wellness Clinic, in downtown Natick as well.  Now, I haven’t completely fallen off the wagon this past year, and have probably managed to go every couple of months or so, where normally I would go monthly.  I have no excuse for this one, other than just not making the time.  I have made the time monthly for my chiropractic adjustments and massage, but not for acupuncture.  So, enough is enough, this needs to be much of a priority as anything, and I always feel so much better when I leave the clinic.

Lastly, sleep.  Ugh.  I don’t know where to begin, other then I run out of time to get everything done in a day.  I need to be better about getting more sleep, I really do, and most of us probably do.  This goal is going to have to come in baby steps I am afraid.  At least I am being honest in recognizing this, so that is half the battle I think.  I made a goal in the month of December to minimize being on my phone in bed or right before bed.  I must say, I was able to hold myself accountable most of December.  I am going to challenge myself to continue to do this throughout 2017 as well.  My other goal is to and get to bed 15 minutes or a half hour earlier then I normally do most nights.  I figure if I start small and can attain this, I can then start taking bigger strides.  Sleep really is so important, and so underestimated with everything.  From being able to focus better throughout the day, helping the body heal from injuries and sickness, I could go on and on about the importance of sleep, another time…

So, there you all have it, I guess this is a list of four goals I challenge myself to improve upon in 2017, and are all so important in regards to my overall health and wellbeing.  I challenge you all to sit down and really think about what you want your goals to be in the upcoming year.  Remember, start small and stay positive!  You can achieve anything you set your mind to (isn’t that a famous quote or something?).  Cheers to 2017!

 

 

National Backpack Safety Day

So…some of you may or may not know that September 21, 2016, was National Backpack Safety Day.  I didn’t even know until it popped up on my news feed the night before.  I did however know that a few weeks prior to this that Dr. Ball and I were going to be giving presentations to the 6th graders at Wayland Middle school that week discussing Backpack Safety, what a coincidence!

I must say it worked out rather perfectly.  Pam, a patient of mine, and Wellness Teacher at Wayland Middle School, had contacted me a while back asking if I or our office would be interested in putting together a presentation to help teach the students about wearing their backpacks safely.  How could we say no to such a great opportunity?  I will get into the details of what Dr. Ball and I discussed at Wayland Middle School with the 6th graders in just a little bit.

But first, I want to thank Pam, Brian, and Coach Arkansas for letting us be apart of their school event.  The presentations themselves went very well, (please read the testimonial at the bottom).  We tried to provide a good balance between proper education at a level the students could all relate to, and group activity for each class to take part in.  We all know that presentations about good posture, backpack safety, facts and statistics and such things can become quite boring, so the more interactive and hands on each class could be the better!

I bet many parents don’t even know how to wear a backpack correctly or instruct their children how to do so.  It has become an epidemic with the amount of students that are presenting to our office with neck, mid back or low back pain due to wearing back packs that are WAY too heavy for them, or worn incorrectly.

Did you know that a backpack is not supposed to weigh more then 10% of your body weight?  Did you know that there is a proper way to load a backpack before wearing it?  Load the heaviest items closest to the child’s back, and make sure the materials are arranged so they do not slide around.  Did you know that you are supposed to wear a backpack on both shoulders so the weight is evenly distributed?  Did you know that a backpack is supposed to sit at waist level, or not more then a couple of inches below the waist?  Did you know that you should also go through your child’s backpack weekly together to see what is in there, and to remove items that they don’t need?  These are just a handful of helpful facts and tips we discussed and demonstrated with each class how to do correctly.

I hope you all will find the information above helpful this month in regards to helping your children, and yourselves to lead a more healthy pain free lifestyle.  The classes that I taught that Thursday were a blast, and I look forward to attending next year to work with Wayland Middle School and a new group of 6th graders!

If any parents or students are interested in a Backpack Safety Presentation at your school, please feel free to contact me.  And, as always, should you or your child have pain or symptoms in regards to what was discussed above that has not subsided or improved with these recommendations, please feel free to contact me in regards as to what to do: DrVanNederynen@performancehealthcenter.com

 

Backpack Safety Testimonial:

The Wayland Middle School Wellness Department would to say thank you to Dr. Van Nederynan & Dr. Ball for graciously donating their time to our program during National Backpack Awareness Day. Over the course of two days, more than 200 6th graders were taught not only how to wear a backpack properly, but how to pack it properly, and how to avoid injury while wearing a backpack. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on learning that look place as they weighed their backpacks and did some simple math to calculate the percentage that their backpack weighs in relation to their own body weight. When polled, more than half of all 6th graders have experienced some form of back and neck pain in their life. It is our hope that by partnering with the Doctors at Performance Health, that we can prevent injuries from occurring.

Sincerely,

Pam Riddle, MEd, ATC, CMT

 

 

 

ART, A.K.A…Active Release Techniques

Having just done my annual recertification with ART two weekends ago, I wanted to take the time to write about it in this month’s news letter.  I will try and keep this somewhat short, and sweet, as I know ART has been discussed in previous news letters.

What sparked me to write about ART and remind everyone of what it is AND why we perform it at our office is all because of a black professional polo shirt with the ART logo on it that I bought at the re-cert this year.  Needless to say, it is just one of the many ART shirts I have in my wardrobe, and may provoke me to wear those more often then just at athletic events, which we are usually wearing our PHC polo shirts at anyway.

So…I wore the shirt one day last week and it actually sparked a lot of conversation – good conversation I think!  Many people commented on the shirt, and said how sharp and professional it was, and many just commented and started talking about ART during our treatment sessions and how great it is, and how it has helped them.  I was surprised however at the amount of people, whether my patients or other people/patients in the office passing by whom I did not know personally asking me what the logo on my shirt stood for?

Now, I really do think Dr. Ball, Dr. Weiss, and I do a good job explaining and educating people what ART is.  But…there is always room for improvement, I guess and that is why they call it “practice”.  I feel that sometimes patients don’t hear all of what we are saying on the first few visits because we are trying to educate them on chiropractic care, why it is important, what makes our office different then other chiropractic offices (hint, hint…ART), making them feel comfortable and assuring them they are in the right place for their care, not to mention ALL of the paper work that needs to be filled out before the visit and at the front desk before the patient even gets to see us!  JEEZ Louise, I don’t know about you, but I am getting tired just re-reading what I just typed.

Then… there are also the questions from our patients of how much is it going to cost?  Does insurance cover it?  More importantly, does MY insurance cover it?  What do I have, what is my diagnosis?  Can this office help me?  What is my treatment plan?  How long is it going to take?  What happens if this doesn’t work?  My other doctor said I shouldn’t come to a chiropractic office, should I? I am nervous about seeing a chiropractor; I have heard bad rumors, are they true? What is the difference between chiropractic and physical therapy? What is ART (my friend said I should come here because this stuff is the best)?

Reading the above two paragraphs, could one see why maybe someone in our office may not “quite” remember what exactly ART is at the beginning?  With that being said, it is our job as practitioners to be there for our patients and constantly guide them and remind them why they are in our office and what it is that we do, and how it can help them.  This doesn’t have be a long drawn out engaging conversation each visit, but it can easily and simply be discussed and talked about while treating the patient during the visit.  Though ART can be a little uncomfortable (but worth it) sometimes, as a practitioner it would probably be a good time to remind a patient of what we are doing in regards to ART when the patient isn’t grimacing and making the “ART face”.  Those of you that have been treated in the office by me know exactly what I am talking about 😉 ;).

Real quick, I am taking a paragraph right from the ART website, www.activerelease.com, explaining briefly and precisely what ART is:

“ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles”.

There is further definition of ART on the website as well, but it also helps to break up scar tissue and adhesions from new or chronic injuries and various surgical procedures as well.

I am not sure the exact number of ART providers in MA to this date, as more doctors may have become certified at this previous course held in Boston.  Just over a few years ago there were only a handful of practitioners certified in ART in MA, and two of them were in our office, now three in our office in total.

If you are looking to find an ART provider in your area, go to www.activerelease.com, and click on “provider search”.  When looking for a provider, try looking for a practitioner that has as many “badges” next to their name as possible.  If you are just looking for someone closest to you, then the provider closest to your address will usually pop up first.  If all else fails, you can message ART directly or ask around at your local CrossFit Box, local running, cycling or triathlon club, and one of these crazy folks will have most likely heard of ART or see a practitioner themselves!

If any of you or your friends and family have more questions in regards to ART and what it is, and if it could help you or them, feel free to reach out to me at drv@performancehealthcenter.com, or call the office and leave a message for me, and I will get back to you and help guide you in the right direction that is best for you!  Until next month all, salude!

Bittersweet…

Seeing how I took last month to write about a man, Rich Busa, that I hold very dear to my heart, I am on a roll and want to take the time this month to talk about a family that I hold very dear to my heart.  For the sake of HIPAA, I will just use their first names during this article (Rich gave us permission years ago to use his full name in regards to helping our practice build its brand).

Just recently, two of my patients, Karen and Marco (and their husband/dad respectively), picked up and moved to Georgia.  I was so sad to hear the news when Karen gave me the heads up months prior, but none the less, the time crept up so quickly.

Karen first started coming to see me years back, not sure of the exact date, but we seemed to hit it off.  We both have similar views on lot of things as we came to know each other over the years, and it was only a matter of time before she started bringing her son, Marco, in for chiropractic care and Active Release Techniques (ART) as well.

When Karen was in one visit, prior to Marco being a patient at my office, we started talking about him and how active he is.  Karen started telling me about Marco being a tennis player, and how competitive he was.  Little did I know back then that he wasn’t just a competitive tennis player, he really has the potential to go big and go far!

Marco was a little shy the first visit or two in my office, but after we got talking about sports, school, our competitive natures, and fun stuff too, he warmed right up.  I am sure when his Mom was bringing him to his first appointment to see me, he probably thought he was going to some stuffy doctor’s office, and being young boy, wouldn’t that be the last place you would want to go?

I must say, Marco was the “posture child” for chiropractic and ART, or at least in my office he was.  He made me look REALLY good.  I honestly don’t think or remember there being one issue of his that I couldn’t help treat or fix.  I am reading that last sentence I just wrote, and hoping it doesn’t sound too arrogant, but his mom and I would joke about how well he responded to my treatments.

I remember Karen saying awhile back, that if Marco had an issue with something, as long as it wasn’t blood or guts, she would check with me first before going to his PCP, an orthopedist or other medical professional.  I felt so flattered that she thought/thinks that highly of me, and trusted me with her son that much, her aliments too, and especially her being an impressive and knowledgeable medical professional herself.  We still half joke half seriously talk about when Marco goes pro and is making the big bucks, I will go on tour with him as his personal chiropractor and ART practitioner.  I am going to hold Marco to that, lol!

I also think it is great that Marco has parents that understand the importance of health and well being, and taking care of one’s body, especially after what Marco demands of his.  This will only help Marco as he continues to grow and increase the demands he asks of his body as and athlete, and his tennis career continues to blossom.  If he continues to take care of the little aches and pains as they arise, the chances of bigger or more serious injuries as he gets older will be much less likely to occur.  I always say, “Focus on what you can control,” and this is one sure thing Marco has control over, taking care of his body.

But, on a more personal note, I am so happy that I have had the opportunity to get to know their family.  My step-son and I were even lucky enough to attend one of his last matches here in Natick, MA, before they moved south.  Marco was having a little trouble settling into the match from what Karen was saying, but he was focused and stayed strong, and won!  Never mind the fact of winning that set/match we got to see, I was more impressed with how Marco kept his composure and his mental game.  I watched his opponent mentally deteriorate on the court in front of him, and Marco knew it.  From what I could tell, Marco’s opponent went in fairly confident that he could beat Marco at the end of the day, and that wasn’t the case at all!  It was amazing to see something like that occur on the court right in front of me, live!  I felt like a proud older sister.

I really feel that Marco has a special gift, whether it is to play very competitively at the college level and hopefully receive lot of grants and scholarships to pay for his education, or to go as far as being on a pro tour, who knows!  The world is his oyster, and I think that Marco has the mental focus and toughness, skill, determination, athleticism and intelligence to be what ever he wants to be and his heart desires.  I told him whatever he does, just make sure he loves it, and to have fun doing it!

Karen, Dad, and Marco… It was bittersweet to see you go.  Sad that I will not be seeing you as often (I promise to visit), but so excited to see where this next chapter in life will take you all.  Thinking of you all often and wishing you all the best!

 

The Man, the Myth, the Legend

Now that my saga in regards to writing about all the various types of headaches that are out there has finally come to a rest, I wanted to take this month, being the month of Independence, to write about someone who holds a very special place in my heart, someone who very much reminds me of my grandfather.  As a patient, an amazing athlete, and a dear friend to me, it is no wonder I would like to take the time to write about him in this month’s newsletter, and brag that I have the honor of knowing him.

Many of you know Rich Busa through the Greater Framingham Running Club in Framingham, MA.  Some may also know of Rich from the famous race named after him, Busa Bushwhack Trail Race, held every year in Callahan State Park, in Framingham, MA.

Rich Busa was born October 30, 1929, also the day after the stock market crashed.  If you do the math that means Rich is a young 86 years old and going strong.  Not only is he a decorated athlete, which we will talk more about in just a bit, but a war veteran as well.  He served during the Korean War, 1951-1953.  He did his basic training at Ft. Bragg, NC, followed by Jump School at Ft. Benning, GA.  He volunteered to go Korea, arriving there the fall of 1952, being assigned to the Fox CO, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.  There he was awarded the Silver Star during the battle of Boomerang above the 38th parallel on June 14-15 of 1953.  Rich was also there doing the signing of the truce that took place August of 1953.  He returned home within a few months time, and was discharged November 30th, 1953.  Now, this is just a brief description of this part of Rich’s life, and as I sit here writing this, I still don’t feel it does him justice with all that he endured to this point and time in his life.

So…with that being said, we are going to fast forward to the 2000’s now, otherwise this entire newsletter, and the next 3 months of newsletters may not be enough to cover all this guy’s accomplishments.  The picture at the bottom is what actually sparked me to write this article.  His race report will be attached as well from February of 2016.

One morning a few months ago, Rich was waiting for me in treatment room 2, and as I walked in, he sat there with TWELVE gold medals around his neck (we later learned that were most likely not “real gold”).  The gold medals have been accrued over the years, 2005-2016, at the U.S. Snowshoe 10K National Championships.  In 2016 the race took place in Ogden, Utah.  If you read in his last race report covering this particular race, and the challenges he has worked through since 2013. He talks about this awesome race, Stonecat Trail Marathon, which he completed November of 2013.  He went on the state that it wasn’t his best race by far, but at least he didn’t finish last.  Lets just back up for a second now, he would have 83 at that time I believe, and the man finished a trail marathon!  I haven’t even done a trail marathon yet!  Since then Rich has battled a misdiagnosed inguinal hernia,  surgical repair of the hernia, a random parasite affecting his gut, and chest pain (which turned out to be nothing, thank god).  These are just a few of the issues that he has over come and not let slow him down too much anyway.

Rich never seizes to amaze me when he comes into my office every month for his “tune up”.  This time was a little different, I just stood there for a second and realized how lucky I am to know this man, and that he actually picked me and trusts me enough to help take care of his body through out each year, well, at least the musculoskeletal issues.

Rich and I discuss many other things in regards to training plans, dietary issues and nutrition, natural health care remedies he is constantly reading about and self educating, solutions for certain issues, and regular health care issues that he deals with as well.  What amazes me is his ability to “keep moving forward”, hell, about to just “keep moving”.  I live by this mantra in all aspects of my life, and here he is doing it at 86 years old!  I am so inspired by him, and he is my motivation to lead a life style like his as I continue to get older.  Rich comes to see me monthly to help mitigate those aches and pains that do pop up.  He has done massage, he has done physical therapy (PT), and does his PT exercises daily for his neck and low back.  We have been discussing the possibility of acupuncture as well at this time for a nagging health issue he is dealing with as of late.

Rich is willing to try anything to help preserve his ability to stay strong and compete as an athlete.  This is just one of the many reasons I get adjusted at least once a month, massage twice a month, and acupuncture once a month.  I see him at 86 going strong, and I know I started this process of taking care of my body years before he did.  With that being said, I should be going this strong at 106, or at least that is the goal!

Click Here to Read Rich’s Race Report Titled: The Impossible Dream

Sinus Headaches, Ugh…

As the saga continues about headaches, I figured Sinus Headaches would be appropriate to discuss this month based on the amount of patients that are coming into my office with these infections lately, and due to people battling allergies and sinus problems this time of year.

sinus ha

I am borrowing this diagram from WebMD to show you all.  This may help many to understand where the different sinuses are located.  Sinuses are spaces that are filled with air, and are located in these various areas showed in the above diagram.  There are channels in the nose where the sinuses drain.  Inflammation of a sinus is usually caused by an allergic reaction, infection, or worst case, a tumor.  The inflammation can cause swelling, and increases mucus production that causes the channels to become blocked.  When the channels become blocked pressure forms around the areas and can create pain that is similar to that of a headache.

“Sinus Headaches” can cause deep constant pain in the areas shown in the diagram above.  Symptoms such as nasal discharge, fever, puffiness or swelling in the face, or pressure in the ears can also be some of the symptoms associated with this type of headache as well.

Sinus headaches can be treated with antibiotics, antihistamines, decongestants, pain relievers, or even corticosteriods.  It is very important for your doctor to be able to distinguish which type of headache you are dealing with so it can best be treated.  For example, many times chronic headaches are said to be sinus headaches when most chronic headaches are most likely a migraine or tension headache).  There will most likely be a fever if one is dealing with a headache from a sinus infection.

Things such as using a humidifier, drinking more fluids, using a mixture of salt and water spray can also be helpful, and a more natural solution.   And speaking of a more natural remedy, we also do a specific adjustment at our office that can help the sinuses to drain.  Just check with your primary chiropractic physician at PHC (www.performancehealthcenter.com) to see if this is something that could be helpful. Also, just as an FYI, it is also commonly mistaken that allergies cause sinus headaches.  Allergies can definitely cause sinus congestion, which can lead to “headache pain”.  However, headache pain will not subside with treatment of the allergy.  Generally, the two conditions need to be treated separately.  To be absolutely sure, be sure to check with your physician regards to any symptoms you may be having.

 

 

 

Cluster Headaches…Yet Another Type of Headache!

The term cluster headache refers to a headache that recurs over a period of time. This sounds like a very vague definition, but I will explain in more detail in the next few paragraphs.

Many people have not heard of cluster headaches, as they are among the most uncommon of the headaches, occurring in 1 in a 1,000 people, usually starting under the ago of 30, and more common in men then women (finally we get a break ladies, something more common in men then women).

Cluster headaches occur in cycles and do recur as I stated above.  The headaches can appear suddenly, can be debilitating and severe.  They usually occur on one side of the head, and the person can have a runny nose or watery eye on that side of the face as well.  The episode may be experienced 1-3 times over a period of time through out the day, and can last up to two weeks to a few months.  Cluster headaches also occur the around the same time each year.  These headaches can be more aggressive than a migraine, but they do not last as long.  The weird thing is that these headaches may go into remission for months or years, and reappear with no warning either.

There is no known cause of cluster headaches.  Doctors do know that the trigeminal nerve, the main nerve that is responsible for sensations in the face, is activated when a cluster headache occurs.  There is usually eye pain when a cluster headache occurs, and that nerve also helps to control another group of nerves that causes a watery eye or a runny nose.  There are also more recent studies showing that the hypothalamus (a deeper part of the brain that regulates sleep cycles, our internal biological clock) is stimulated during a “cluster attack”. Cluster headaches are not caused by tumors or aneurysms either.

Cluster headaches are commonly mistaken with allergies as well, because they often occur in the spring or fall.  Again, cluster headaches are most likely seasonal due to stimulation/activation of the hypothalamus as stated above.  These headaches are also more common in people who drink and/or smoke.  Cluster headaches generally reach their “full capacity” within 5-10 minutes. The pain can be so intense that most people suffering from a cluster headache cannot sit still.  These headaches usually last somewhere between 30-90 minutes, but can last longer, and usually the person gets 1-3 per day during the attack.  About 20% of people with cluster headaches have what are chronic attacks, meaning there are less than 14 headache-free days per year.

Though cluster headaches come on suddenly, some subtle signs such as discomfort, one sided burning sensation, swollen eye or droop of the eye on same side, nasal discharge, flushing of the face, and sweating are all indications a cluster headache can be coming on.

Medications such as Imitrex or other triptans, breathing oxygen can help with symptoms. There are preventative medications that can be prescribed based on the paragraph above to help shorten the length and severity of the headaches.  Depending on the chronic nature of the headaches, measures as far as surgery have been taken to help block the trigeminal nerve.

Of course, all these treatments need to be observed under the care of a doctor with experience treating these types of headaches.  The past couple of

e-articles I have written for our newsletter in regards to headaches, I have usually been able to recommend chiropractic care, acupuncture, or massage very highly or specifically, but there have not been as many studies in regards to these headaches.  I can tell you that we work with patients using chiropractic and ART skills in regards to trigeminal neuralgia, tension and migraine headaches and have great success.  I would like to think that chiropractic care could potentially help to treat, or at the very least minimize symptoms in regards to cluster headaches.  None the less, I feel a more natural or non-invasive path is always warranted and worth trying, especially if the more traditional avenues are not helping.  And, at the very least, I hope these articles thus far have helped to distinguish between the different headaches out there.