SIT UP Young Man

May 8th, 2013

Here at BCC we have to drill in the importance of posture all day to our patients.  Its not just about how you sit, its about how you are effecting the biological, chemical and physiological structure and composition of the tissues inside of you. THIS ARTICLE FROM THE WALLSTREET JOURNAL begins to touch on some of the big points that we try and knock home.  There have been multiple studies in the past year that there is a direct correlation between how much you sit and how soon you will DIE.  Posture is where you will spend the greater part of your day so do yourself a favor and help yourself as much as you can.  If you need any help with creating this posture (many of us have tissues that need some love in order to function optimally) come talk to your BCC Doc about what they can help you to do!

To Stretch or Not to Stretch, That is the Question

May 6th, 2013

Here at BCC we frequently get the common concerns of “should I stretch?” or “I’m stretching, is that OK?”.  This question is actually complex to answer.  There are many benefits to stretching, but there are also very counter-productive means of stretching, especially if you are currently in pain. THE NEW YORK TIMES RECENTLY POSTED ANOTHER ARTICLE that had a good overview of this concern. Here are the BCC “nuts and bolts” generalities about stretching:

  • BEFORE exercise static stretching is NOT your best means for creating motion.  A more dynamic warm-up is a better way to create motion that will not weaken the joint stability and put you in a place where it is easier to become injured. (If you need help with creating a good warm-up, seeing your BCC Doc or even scheduling time with Nicki, our exercise physiologist, would be worth your while).
  • AFTER exercise static stretching has been shown to decrease soreness for prolonged periods.
  • There are “better” ways to stretch. For example, people are frequently doing hamstring stretches where they do a large forward fold and create significant lumbar spine flexion.  Not only is this not the most efficient stretch but it also can be a more dangerous stretch for people with certain histories of back pain.  Forward folding can also load the neurological structures more than efficient hamstring stretches.  (Check out this article about why people are always wanting to stretch their hamstrings). If you have questions about what stretches are good or bad, please ask.
  • There are some stretches that you should probably be doing MORE of, but not doing nearly enough.  These include stretching your ankles, anterior hips, thoracic spine, chest and shoulders.  ESPECIALLY if you sit at a desk for your work or schooling most of the day we’re willing to bet that you’re neglecting these areas.  MOST of the things that come into our office have to deal with stiffness in these areas. They are the by-product of poor posture and need to be actively combated.
  • Stretching itself is not the only answer.  Muscles also need to be turned on and USED.  Doing this in a good, stable pattern is what keeps us healthy.  Correct bending, squatting, lifting, walking, etc are imperative to good health.

At BCC we do not like to give out “cookie-cutter” solutions to fix everyone.  If you have questions regarding the above advice it is much easier to answer on a case-by-case basis.  For this reason, if you have questions feel free to come in and consult with one of the BCC Doc’s and see what movements are indicated for your current problems or exercise schedule.  Our goal is to make you good at taking care of yourself, so let us try and help you!!

Whistle, But Don’t Sit, While You Work

December 5th, 2012

There have been many studies done in the past few years regarding sitting and its harms.  We have even linked them on this blog.  THIS ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES has links to many of these articles.

The long and the short of it is that our human body is not meant to sit.  We are upright beings and we are made to live as such.  Being chained to a chair for 6+ hours a day not only has many musculoskeletal issues that will bring you into see one of the Doc’s here at BCC but also other physiological changes that will send you to your Primary care doctor, your cardiologist or worst case scenario your mortician.  Sitting with good posture is one thing we can do to help,  but everyone needs to get up frequently throughout the day to help reset your tissues and keep your body in a more healthy place.  Learning correct diaphragmatic breathing, which is very challenging when sitting with bad posture, is something that here at BCC we think we can help you with.

Use your body and stand up! If you have any questions whatsoever please contact your BCC Doc or set up a time to meet one of us so we can help you to create a better you!

Dealing with Running Issues

August 22nd, 2012

As the summer winds down we see a few things in the office but one in particular is Marathon Training hitting its fuller swing and the injuries that go along with it.  The trouble in, our eyes, with most marathon training is that most of us suffer from muscle imbalances.  These imbalances are amplified by sitting at a desk for work, and then compounded by putting many miles of training in. Marathoners aren’t known for wanting to do a lot of weight, or even bodyweight training, to compliment their running cycles.

This good article from “The Greatist” points out many issues that runners may come across.  In the article you will see that even the author points out that seeing your Doctor will help to manage any common running issues.  Since your BCC Doc deals with movement all day and that is what they love to fix, they are a great window into how you can help yourself into becoming the most efficient runner you can.  A simple evaluation and analysis can be beneficial in creating a short program for any runner so that they may prevent any of the common, nagging running issues (or more importantly keep issues that may keep you from training from ever showing up).

If running a race is something that you are interested in, let one of the BCC Doctors take a look and see how you can best help yourself to make the experience the most enjoyable and additive to your health!

Flexible or Flex-ABLE

May 11th, 2012

Many people come into the office when they are not in pain and are concerned with “how far” they can bend in a certain direction, i.e. touching their toes.  What they don’t understand is that bending to touch your toes is a multi-joint movement where many different  tissues are stressed.  Proper foot, ankle, knee, and hip range of motion are what should be evaluated BEFORE the movement happens in one’s lumbar spine.  These “greater than average flexibility” movements do not make an individual any less at risk for injury, and it is our opinion that this hypermobility will often lead to injury.  Creating good, safe, healthy for you ranges of each of these joint complexes makes for ideal, proper movement. Using the same example, if you don’t have ample hip motion, but still can reach down and put your palms on the floor, your knee and low back are most likely moving TOO MUCH which can be dangerous.  Check out THIS ARTICLE about flexibility and gain a better understanding of what your body needs to be best!

If you have any questions about how well you move, there is no better source than your BCC Doc!

Needle No More

April 30th, 2012

The number one reason that the greatest percentage of people first venture to a Chiropractor’s office is because of pain in their back.  At BCC we KNOW the positive results that one can see with the correct combination of Chiropractic Adjustments/stretches/exercises we can help our patients to increase not only their primary presenting complaint, but also to increase their quality of movement and vitality in all arenas.  That being said, there are sometimes presentations where we need interventional therapy such as MRI (or other advanced imaging prodedures), Epidural Steroid Injections (commonly just referred to as an “epidural” or “ESI”), more aggressive Physical Therapy or even a neurosurgical consult.  This is something no conservative doctor loves to see, but we will always do what is right for the patient.  In THIS ARTICLE in the New York Times they discuss a recent study focusing on the validity of epidurals as a treatment for low back pain.  The results showed NO DIFFERENCE in pain with and epidural, or with NO treatment whatsoever.  We want to note, all groups did feel improvement in symptoms, but epidurals did not help the back pain any more than DOING NOTHING.

Your BCC Doctors do not think that we are against Epidural Steroid Injections, and in fact we send patients to get them very regularly.  The difference is that the patients that we send for the ESI are in SIGNIFICANT LEG PAIN with possible neurological complications, and almost 100% of the time with a recent MRI showing a significant Herniated Nucleus Pulposis (disc herniation).  In these cases the injection can help to decrease the focal inflammatory response that the injured disc can cause.  With the leg pain under control the adjusment/specific exercise program of treatment will continue to help create a more stable back pain environment.

It is movement that causes back injuries, either too much or too little, and gaining control and stability of that movement is the long term goal.  This is why drugs have so far proven mostly ineffective at “fixing” back pain- the problem isn’t a lack of drugs, it is instead a lack of proper movement control.

If you’re currently or have a history or back or leg pain, please come in and talk to one of our BCC Doc’s so we can help you to be the best you that you can be!

CORE: The Missing Link

March 21st, 2012

If you have been in to BCC, especially in the past year since we’ve added Brad Kegebein to our team, you’ve most likely seen some sort of “core” exercise added to your treatment prescription.  We are firm believers that stability is necessary for proper movement and activity.  In THIS ARTICLE from the New York Times two of the big guns in spinal stabilization, rehab, and research, Stu McGill and Craig Liebenson place their arguments for having a strong middle and what it can do to help/prevent/manage low back pain in particular.

Many people have many misconceptions as to what GOOD core exercises are, and it is our goal here at BCC to keep you as informed as possible to the most effective and safe methods to create a healthy environment for whatever activities that you’ll like to participate in!

If you have any questions please come in and ask your BCC Doc and we’ll find you the best possible answer for your individual issue!

YOGA- NOT FOR EVERYONE!!!!

January 6th, 2012

The New York Times published a very true to life article on yoga (here).  Many people, especially many of our patients, may be offended by this article as seeing it as very “negative” towards yoga or “anti-yoga”.  We at BCC do NOT agree.  What yoga has become in our country, especially in the metro-Detroit area, for a great part has strayed from its roots in self exploration and respect.  Here is our take on the article and yoga in general:

  • Yoga, just like any exercise is NOT for everyone.
  • Some poses of yoga are very restorative to INDIVIDUALS, but this again is dependent on each person’s needs. No two people are the same, so their yoga will most likely not be either.
  • “It’s ego,” he said. “The whole point of yoga is to get rid of ego.” – We very much like this quote from the article.  Yoga is not about how far you can get into any pose, but how you can understand what your body needs, and most of us need the help of a skilled, safe practitioner to help us with this understanding.
  • People need to understand who developed yoga- Indian people who were adept at squatting deeply and moving differently than our “modern American posture” which includes hours a day (for most of us) sitting at a desk/working on computer/driving. Postures that these people found easy and restorative will most certainly need to be modified for our more sedentary people.
  • One of the most important aspects of yoga (not mentioned in the article) is the focus on breath at the center of movement. Not just any breath either, but instead diaphragmatic, abdominal breath in all planes of motion.

Just to clarify, we do often prescribe yoga positions as therapeutic movements for our patients, but not until we have evaluated the patient and seen their specific needs.  Your BCC Doc would love to help show you what postures can be good for you individually.  Dr. Stuart McGill sums it up very well: “There is no perfect exercise.  Only the right exercise, for the right person at the right time”

NOT Drugs- CHIROPRACTIC and EXERCISE for Neck Pain

January 5th, 2012

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times both reported on a recent research article.  The article showed results that many, except your BCC Doctors,  may find surprising.  The article cites a study performed by Blue Cross/Blue Shield compared the effectiveness of treatments including: medication, chiropractic and neck strengthening exercises.  The results of the study were broken up across patients that had various levels of improvement in symptoms, 50, 70 and 100% improved.  In ALL of these treatment groups, Chiropractic and Cervical Retraction Strengthening Exercise both scored SIGNIFICANTLY higher than medication.  Best of all, the biggest disparity in results was in patients who felt 100% improved, the number for each chiropractic and exercises was around 30 percent, while drugs only about 13 percent.

We at BCC know that BOTH chiropractic and proper restorative exercise programs are necessary to a full picture of health.  We believe that a combination of the INDIVIDUALIZED manipulation and rehabilitative exercise protocols for each patient will yield the highest result.  We also believe that what the study neglected to show was how much wellness one can create by using these two modalities in combination.  It is for this reason that our Dr’s have done the continuing manipulative and exercise instruction that they do- they want you to know just how dedicated to giving you the absolute highest quality of care that is available.  (Please note, that we also believe that we CANNOT say that there is not the need for medication in certain cases.  Medicine has its place in pain management, and your BCC Dr.’s recognize this and if need be will recommend them.)

So, studies say, if your neck is hurting, come in and let your BCC Doc take a look at you and help out!

The Back Pain Expert

November 2nd, 2011

The Doc’s at BCC strive to be a well-informed resource for the patients that they have the pleasure of seeing.  This drive leads to follow many different Chiropractic and Rehabilitative experts.  One of the most well known of all of these experts is Dr. Stuart McGill from the University of Waterloo.  Dr. McGill is at the forefront of spinal biomechanics and rehabilitation from a therapeutic and functional perspective.  Check out THIS VIDEO to see Dr. McGill dispell many common “low back myths” as well as demonstrates good versions/substitutes for many poor exercises.

If you want a better “core” than you NEED to know Dr. Stuart McGill, and if you need any extra help getting familiar with his methods/research please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your BCC Doc!