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I have often said, both in the blog and office, that I have the best job on earth.

Recently I had a patient in the office that was hurting. Not only was their low back hurting, he looked like a pretzel as he was all twisted up.

After a thorough history and examination, I determined that he had a significant structural shift that was causing a whole host of secondary conditions. While the low back pain and leg pain were bothering him, it was the problem moving his bowels that was bothering him the most.

After the patient’s first visit, he walked out a little straighter than the when he walked in. While there was not an immediate decrease in pain, not unexpected, the patient was moving a little better.

The cool part is what happened two hours later.

The patient reported he had a bowel movement that, well let’s not get too graphic here, was slightly bigger than usual.

The bodies ability to heal itself never ceases to amaze me.

If we get the structure lined up and allow the body to do what it knows how to do, amazing things can and do happen.

 

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Monthly Contest

Congrats to Karen from Waltham for winning last months contest. Last month’s questions and answers are below.

This month we are playing for a $25 gift card to Marshall Farm on Harrington Ave in West Concord.

The Questions

1. Which fruit has more anti oxidants than any other fruit or vegetable for that matter?

2. What are 12 or more cows known as?

3. I am an odd number, take away a letter and I become even. What number am I?

Click here to email us, or comment below to enter. Good Luck!

Last Month’s Questions and Answers

Let’s start with a math question… Use 4 9’s in a math equation that equals 100. (99+(9/9) =100!

What four letter sport is played all around the world and begins with a T? Golf, get it a tee!

What is the strongest muscle in the body? (Think small!) The jaw muscle.

 

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Bending in a fieldHere in the Northeast, halfway through January we thought we were going to have a mild and easy winter.

Mother Nature had other ideas.

In a short period of time, we got a record amount of snow. Truly a crazy amount.

With all of this snow came the inevitable shoveling, an activity that is not the best for your low back to say the least.

Now that the snow has cleared, people are starting to think about gardening and once again shoveling may come into play.

Here is my issue with shoveling…the worst position that you can put your back in is bending forward and twisting or side bending.

Please allow for a brief anatomy lesson.

As a chiropractor, I work with peoples’ structure to maintain proper weight distribution within their spine. We strive for 50/50 weight distribution between the right and left with 50/50 distribution from front to back.

When we bend forward, the weight shifts to the front of the spine. When we bend to a side, the weight shifts to that side. The body is designed to handle those singular movements.

The problem comes in when we combine the two.

When we bend forward and twist or side bend, all of the weight goes onto 25% of the spine. This creates tremendous pressure within the discs of the low back.

Eventually that pressure has to go somewhere and more often than not it results in a shifting of the structure which then leads to a whole host of secondary conditions, with back pain being at the top of the list.

It may also lead to the disc breaking open, also called a herniation, and that has another whole host of secondary conditions, with sciatica being at the top of that list.

As you get older, you must limit the amount of time you spend bending and twisting. The sad reality is as we age our discs dry out and can handle less pressure. The more we bend and twist/side bend, the higher our chances are of shifting our structure or worse, blowing out a disc.

If you have been spending a lot of time in less than ideal positions, email or call us and we can discuss strategies to help you stay upright and pain free.

 

 

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Runner crossing a metal bridge at sunrise during morning traininIn a quest to stay or get slimmer, many people will take a weight loss supplement.

Do you really know what you are taking? What if I told you that one of the substances could me a close cousin to amphetamines?

Take a look at the ingredient list of a weight loss supplement like Jet Fuel t300, a weight loss supplement easily found on Amazon or in places like the Vitamin Shop. If you read the ingredients list you will see lots of really big words. Two of the words you may see are Acacia Rigidula.

More than a year ago, the FDA concluded that products labeled as having Acacia Rigidula, a perennial shrub found in south Texas and Mexico, instead contained a synthetic chemical cousin to amphetamines called BMPEA.

Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and lead author on this study states, “Acacia Rigidula is code in the industry for a potent synthetic stimulant, they are using the name as a cover.”

BMPEA has not been studied in humans, however, in dogs and cats it has been shown to raise blood pressure and heart rates. The World Anti Doping Agency classifies it as a doping agent due to its close relation to amphetamines.

Amphetamine use has been shown to trigger stroke, heart attack or even death according to Dr. Cohen.

While the American government has not taken formal action yet, Britain and Canada have both spoken out about the product, with the Canadian government recalling products like Jet Fuel Superburn.

If you have any questions about supplements you are taking please feel free to contact us and we will work with you to look at all the ingredients.

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Monthly Contest

It is contest time!

Answer the following questions correctly and you will be entered into our contest to win a $25 gift certificate to Brine’s Sporting Goods in Concord center.

1. Let’s start with a math question… Use 4 9’s in a math equation that equals 100.

2. What four letter sport is played all around the world and begins with a T?

3. What is the strongest muscle in the body? (Think small!)

Click here to email us, or comment below to enter the contest and Good Luck!

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Crossfit

As a health care provider, I constantly stress the need for exercise.

The benefits of exercise, if being done correctly, are unquestioned. If being done correctly!

In the last couple of years, a new Gym has burst on the scene called Crossfit. As Crossfit grew, news, both positive and negative, flooded the airwaves. People were loving their results, while other people were saying they were getting hurt.

I decided to visit a local Crossfit gym to learn first hand what it was all about.

I met with Robby Blanchard the owner of Crossfit Reach on Route 27 in Acton Ma. I found Robby to be knowledgeable, passionate and excited about helping people reach their fitness goals. The gym is beautiful and I was impressed at how much care Robby took in regards to teaching people about exercising the proper way.

I asked him if he write a guest post for the blog. His article is below.

____________________________________________________________________

How to use CrossFit to achieve your fitness goals…in a safe and effective way. 
When it comes to fitness programs, there is no more popular and controversial program than CrossFit.  In just a few short years, CrossFit has gone from being just one small gym in California to now being a worldwide phenomenon with over 10,000 gyms.
The success of CrossFit stems from the results people see from doing the workouts.
CrossFit workouts are functional meaning they use movements that mimic things you may see in everyday life.  Sitting down in a chair? That’s a squat.  Looking to pick something heavy off of the floor? That is a deadlift. CrossFit utilizes functional training to prepare the body for everyday life. By combining these functional movements with other movements such as
With all of the success and results that people are seeing from CrossFit, there are still many concerns about injuries and getting seriously hurt from this type of training.
As the owner of CrossFit Reach in Acton, MA, I see hundreds of clients each and every day. We see clients with various backgrounds and abilities; from the world class athlete to the everyday Joe starting from scratch. Regardless of the background, our gym treats every client the same when it comes to performing CrossFit movements safely.
I firmly believe in the concept of M.C.I., or Mechanics, Consistency and Intensity.
Mechanics can be defined as how well you are performing a certain movement in CrossFit.  Mechanics or form, is by far the most important aspect of preventing injury.  If your form is incorrect, you greatly increase the chances of getting hurt.  When you first start to CrossFit, it is best to forget about how much weight you are lifting, leave your ego at the door and work towards perfecting your form.
Consistency builds on the Mechanics.  Now that you have proper form down, now you need to be able to do this consistently.  Consistency also refers to attending classes and working out regularly as well.  Here at CrossFit Reach we recommend a minimum of 3 days per week to start. If you are coming just once or twice a week, this increases the chances of getting injured. Start on a 3 day per week regiment and gradually build from there.
Intensity is the last step on the journey. Your mechanics are good and you are able to be consistent in both your form and your workout routine.  Once the first two are mastered then we can add in the Intensity. This can be in several different shapes such as how much weight you are lifting or how fast your are doing a movement.  It is important to increase intensity to continue to see results, just as long as you are not sacrificing the mechanics and consistency.
When done properly, CrossFit can be one of the most effective workout routines that you can do at any age.  Above all it is important to leave your ego at the door and do not be a hero. Start small, be consistent and progress at your own pace.  Fitness is a journey and not a destination, a marathon and not a sprint. If you follow these principles, you will be very satisfied with the results!
Robby Blanchard, BS, MBA, CPT
Owner/CrossFit Reach

 

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RemembeEarly Youth Specialization in Sportsr when you were growing up and you went outside to play, relatively unsupervised (Gasp!)?

In the spring you played baseball, the summer you swam, the fall you’d play two hand touch/tackle football and in the winter you would skate when the ponds froze. There were no adults, refs or scoreboards. There was trash talking, competition, and most of all fun. I still remember fondly the touchdown catch I had on Kimball St. in Quincy to beat the kids from White St.

Let’s just say it is not like that anymore.

The Boston Globe ran an article in which they covered a gym that specializes in training young athletes for the sport(s) of their choice. At first I thought they were talking about teens, however, as I read on I discovered they were talking about kids as young as ten. Ten!

For the longest time, the thought was exercising before puberty would stunt growth by closing the growth plates earlier than they should. New research suggests that exercising at a young age, if done responsibly, is actually good for bone growth.

Now look, we are not talking about having kids bench press 200 pounds or squat 300 pounds.

We are talking about having kids exercise with body weight. If they do graduate to using weights, then the weight is kept low while the reps are high.

Now with all of this comes the one worry: Further specialization in sports at a younger and younger age.

Recently there was an excellent graphic that showed the breakdown of Ohio State’s football recruits. Of the 47 recruits 5 played only football in high school. 42 were multi-sport athletes!

Why am I writing about this?

Overuse injuries.

Every day I am seeing more and more kids with spines and complaints similar to those of someone 20-30 years their superior. It is not unusual for kids to come and see me with back pain, neck pain, headaches, or various joint pains. Many of these kids are playing one sport sometimes up to 6 days per week for 40-50 weeks a year.

Each year 3.5 million kids under the age of 14 are treated for sports injuries with more than half being treated for overuse. The sad part is that the number of overuse injuries is on the rise, while the average age is on the decline. In the past 10 years there has been a 5 fold increase in shoulder and elbow injuries in youth softball and baseball players alone.

As a long time hockey coach, trust me when I tell you this. Early specialization almost never pans out. The amount of burnout that I see is staggering. Latest stats claim that 70% of kids by will quit sports by the time they are 13.

As a long time chiropractor, trust me when I tell you, early specialization will age your child’s body way before it’s time.

 

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Car Crash Dr HarringtonFor most of us, an auto accident is one of the worst things that you can put your spine through.

Picture you are traveling along at 35 mph and a car pulls out in front of you and you hit it. You have gone from 35 mph to 0 mph very quickly, much more quickly than your body can handle.

As a result of this sudden change in speed, force is generated and that force goes through your spine. The force starts in the low back, travels up the mid back and eventually gets to your neck.

Here is where you can help yourself.

If you are sitting in an upright posture and have the headrest positioned properly, you can save yourself a lot of pain and suffering.

When you decelerate, think slow down, very rapidly, your head will move slightly forward and then with great force it will bend backwards as if you were looking up at the ceiling.

If you have the seat back up properly and have the headrest positioned properly, the bending of the neck will be limited, thereby putting the force into the headrest as opposed to your neck and that is a VERY good thing.

Allowing your headrest to work properly require two factors:

  1. The back of your head must be within one inch of the headrest. Any more than that and your head will not touch the headrest immediately after the collision, negating it’s effectiveness.
  2. The top of your headrest must be equal to the top of your head. If the head rest is too low, there will be insufficient support to prevent a whiplash injury.

If you have been in an auto accident, call your trusted chiropractor, me!, or your medical doctor.

The last thing you want to do is ignore car accident injuries. The longer that you wait, the much longer it will take to get you back to your pre-accident state.

 

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VegetablesHave you heard of the Mediterranean diet?

If not, please allow me to give a quick synopsis.

The Mediterranean diet consists of eating mostly fruits, vegetable, poultry, whole grains and select fats. If you picture the typical food pyramid, red meats and sweets are at the top, meaning you should limit those. The base of the pyramid is fruits, veggies, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. The base of the pyramid represents what you should eat the most.

Red wine is also allowed in small amounts, 5oz for women and 10oz for men, per day.

A common misconception in the Mediterranean diet is that bread is not allowed. That is not true. Whole grain bread eaten either plain or dipped in olive oil is definitely included.

Now how does this link to aging?

In a study that followed 4,600 women, women who stuck more closely to a Mediterranean diet were found to have longer telomeres. Telomeres are a biomarker of aging found at the end of each chromosome in the body. Think plastic tip on shoelaces.

The longer the telomere, the longer the longevity. Shorter telomeres are associated with chronic age related diseases and early death.

Are the researchers on to something? Only time will tell, however, there is no doubt that a healthier diet will leave you feeling better.

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Monthly Contest

It is contest time!

Answer these three questions correctly and get entered in our drawing for a $25 gift card to Marshall’s Farm on Harrington Ave in West Concord Ma.

Question 1. What 5 letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

Question 2. How do you write 23 using only 2’s?

Question 3. Which of Santa’s reindeer are named after an animal.

 

In order for you to get your gift card before the holiday season is over, we will close the drawing on December 20th.

 

Please leave your answers below or email them to us here.

 

Good Luck!!!

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