7 Things you Need to do to Get Ready for Winter

There is no way around it. The days are getting shorter and the temperature is falling. Winter is on it’s way.

While the shorter days are a bummer, no one says you cannot have fun in the winter.

Skiing, snow shoeing and outdoor paddle tennis are just a few of the fantastic winter activities available to us around here.

With that said, here are 7 things you can do to get yourself ready for some winter fun.

  1. Get your butt in gear. Most winter activities require a base of cardiovascular fitness. If you have let yourself go, get moving. Running, walking, elliptical are all great choices.
  2. Strength train your legs. Most winter sports require tremendous leg strength. See your personal trainer or ask me for advice on good leg exercises.
  3. Stretch. Let’s get some length into those muscles. Especially leg, butt and back muscles.
  4. Hydrate. One of the leading issues in my office is dehydration. Dehydration leads to tight muscles, tight muscles lead to injuries.
  5. Work on your core. The better condition your core is in, the better you can handle all that winter throws at you. Not sure where to start? See your personal trainer or ask me when you come into the office.
  6. Take a look at your equipment. Properly maintained equipment is huge in terms of injury prevention. Please do not wait until you get to the slopes to find out your binding is broken on your ski.
  7. Visit your favorite chiropractor! Honestly, what did you think I was going to say! In all seriousness, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The first few weeks of the winter season always brings a rash of patients that have hurt themselves doing activities they haven’t done in 8+ months. Keep these 7 tips in mind to give yourself the best shot at staying injury free.

See you outside!


Case of the Month April 2015

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.


Case of the Month March 2014

We had an interesting case here last month. As always the names are changed for privacy.

Have you ever been upclose with a really good dancer and watched the move? I can’t describe it any other way than this…they just move differently than the rest of us.

Beth is a 15 year old dancer that hurt her hip while getting ready for a dance show.

Now, like most kids, Beth didn’t say much about it to anyone and tried to dance through the pain and as the pain got worse Beth’s dancing got worse.

After consulting with her trainer, the trainer recommended she come and see us.

Upon exam I noted that Beth had very little range of motion without pain in her lowback and her SI joint was locked on the right side. Beth rated her pain a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being unbearable.

I adjusted Beth’s SI joint and lower midback. After the first visit, Beth reported her pain was significantly better, now rating it a 4. What excited me was how much more fluidly she was moving.

Within 4 visits Beth reported she was completely pain free and more importantly, was moving with a grace that I could only dream of being able to move with.

What makes my job the coolest one on earth is seeing the smile on a young patient’s face as they get to go back to doing what they love the most.

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Keeping Your Balance

Balance through movementLet’s be honest, how often have you given your sense of balance any thought? If you are like most of us, never right?

Did you know that falling is the number one source of injuries for people over 65? Every 17 seconds someone is seen in the ER for a fall. Every 30 minutes, someone will die from injuries caused by a fall.

I have to be honest, I didn’t know that until a doctor I know brought it up.

Want to know the good news? Chiropractic helps with balance. Please let me explain.

A region of the brain, called the cerebellum, controls balance by coordinating three systems: vision, inner ear and where you sense your body is, also called propriocepetion.

It also works with the spinal cord, for as we know, the nerves control the whole body and spinal cord is where the nerves for the body originate.

What does Chiropractic influence? That’s right the spinal nerves.

If you would be interested in a case of vertigo that we helped please read our January 2014 Case of the Month.

Let’s discuss some other things you can do to improve your sense of balance.

Get Moving
As you perceive that you are getting a little shaky, people start to get nervous and become sedentary. That is the worst thing you can do.

Go for a walk in a park. Alternate between pavement, trails and grass as the different surfaces will force your muscles to work harder.

Create Unstable Surfaces
Try standing on a couple of pillows at home. Once comfortable, stand on one leg while swinging the other leg in the air.

Once that gets easy, try closing your eyes. Add in upper body in by swinging your right arm and your left leg for 15 seconds, then switch to your left arm and right leg for 15 seconds. Repeat this cycle 3 times.

Strengthen Your Core
People often mistake the core for being your abs only. Your core actually consists of you abdominal muscles, your legs, both front and back, and your low back.

If you are looking for core work a quick Google search will give you more than you could ever want. Hiring a personal trainer is never wasted money!

It is well known that yoga can boost balance ability as it increases flexibility as well as strengthening tons of different muscles.

The key to yoga, however, is the emotional component. Studies have shown that people are more confident in their body when they have done yoga.

If you or someone you know is having a hard time with their balance, have them give me a call. We may be able to help them more than they realized.

Case Study January 2014

Picture you are walking down the street and all of a sudden what’s up is down and what’s down is up.

This is what it is like for people with Vertigo.

Recently I had a woman come in, let’s call her Gertrude. Gertrude was incapacitated to the point where walking down the street was a chore, forget about driving.

Gertrude had been to every doctor under the sun, had every exam done, and felt she was at wits end.

Upon exam I noted that Gertrude had significant restrictions in her upper neck. The muscles were very tight and the spine was not moving near the way it should. In addition when I looked at Gertrude’s posture I noted that she was carrying her head quite far in front of her shoulders.

After explaining why I thought chiropractic care might, and the key word here is might, help her, we set out a plan of care. Give it a one week trial and if we both don’t agree there is progress then we would refer her out for further testing., although to be quite honest, I didn’t know what else she could have done.

After the first visit, Gertrude reported that her neck moved better than it had in years….good start!

After the second visit, Gertrude reported that not only was her neck better but she also went for a walk today with no dizzyness! I’m starting to like this as I am also feeling her neck loosen up.

After the third visit, Gertrude, came into the office with a big smile on her face. As she sees I am puzzled she brings me over to the window and points out into the parking lot. Sitting in her car was her husband….in the passenger seat! Her dizzyness was so much better that she was driving again.

How cool is that!!!

Did we fix her dizzyness? No. Important point here. Her dizzyness got better when we got the neck moving and allowed the body to express itself the way that it knew how. See she got herself all twisted up in the neck and we simply removed the interference and allowed the body to function at the highest level it could.

Needless to say Gertrude and I are thrilled!

Shameless plug here…if you know someone that needs help, please let us know. We don’t care if they are next door or across the country. Heck, I was on the phone with a woman from Canada last week helping her pick a chiropractor in her hometown.

We will work hard to help them, or get them someone that can help them.

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6 Things You Must Do During a Snow Storm

Winter wonderlandAs crazy as this sounds, I love the winter. I just don’t like what the winter can do to our bodies.

The naturist in me, loves the snow, it blankets everything in white and is beautiful to look at. The chiropractor in me sees a lot of opportunity for people to hurt themselves.

Here are the six things you need to do to not spend the next 3 days in my office

1. Stretch. Make sure that your back, legs shoulders and arms are warmed up before heading outside.

2. Layers. You are going to work up a sweat, dress in layers to keep yourself warm without overheating.

3. Take your time. Their is no prize for first place. Going zero to 100 in terms of exertion is very dangerous for most people

4. Practice good technique. Remember that bending and twisting is the worst position you can put your spine in. Push snow whenever possible, use a snow blower or better yet, hire a plow guy

5. Hydrate. Yes I know it is cold out, however, shoveling can work up a sweat. Get dehydrated and the chance you hurt you back goes way up.

6. Build an outdoor rink and skate or play hockey! One of the best things about living in the Northeast. Outdoor skating and hockey!

If you do something crazy and ending up hurting yourself, call, text, or email me, I will be happy to help you through what you have done

Enjoy being outside, we don’t do it enough!






For those of you that may not know, when I am not chiropracting (new word!) I am a hockey coach in my spare time. I coach the Concord Carlisle High School boys team and a girls team out of Bedford, called the East Coast Wizards.

One of the main points that I am constantly stressing to my teams is the concept of momentum. Either we have it and are trying to keep it or the other team has it and we are trying to take it from them.

Wait, this isn’t a hockey blog!

Believe it or not, momentum is huge when it comes to health. Have you ever noticed that one good decision tends to lead to another good decision? We work out on Monday, work out on Tuesday and boom next thing we know we have worked out 4 days in a row…momentum!

Conversely, bad decisions tend to lead to more bad decisions. The first person that hasn’t taken a couple of days off that morphed into 4 months off can go ahead and sit down.

Momentum is very powerful and very real.

Let’s take a look at back pain, a common symptom that leads people into my office.

In the first couple of visits, a person is hurting and will literally do almost anything to get out of the pain they are in. I tell them to drink water, stay active and ice a couple of times a day and it gets done like clockwork.

Then a funny thing happens…they start to feel better. That is great news right? Well, mostly yes, however, this is where I see people lose all the momentum that they had.

See when people start to feel better they think the problem is gone and more often than not they go back to doing the bad things that got them so out of whack in the first place.

While someone wouldn’t dream of scrubbing the floor when their back hurt, the second they feel better they are carrying a double load of laundry up the stairs while balancing a baby on their hip!

I have said a million times, “it is easier to stay well than to get well.” For reasons that I cannot explain, the message has fallen on deaf ears. People will wait until they are in unbearable pain before they will do something about it.

Well going forward my new message is one of momentum.

Whether it be exercise, diet, mental attitude or taking care of yourself through chiropractic, once you get momentum going, do everything you can to keep it.

Your body will not just thank you for it…it will reward you with energy, vitality and radiance and I think that is pretty cool.


Is Chiropractic More Than Just Back Pain Relief?

Back Pain Concord Ma

Most of the people that I talk to consider going to the chiropractor for back pain, neck pain and headaches. Considering in 1970 it wasn’t even legal to practice chiropractic, I would say we have come a long way in the public’s eye.

But have we? Is there more to chiropractic than just pain relief?

I’ll never forget the time a mom was coming to see me. She brought her son along for the ride and I happened to notice that he had a severe tic. He would shake his head, sometimes up to 30 times a minute!

I asked Mom about it and she told me she had done everything under the sun, every drug, test, scan, etc. No one could figure out why this was happening and told her that he would have to live with it.

I took a few moments and explained how I thought a chiropractic adjustment might be able to help. She agreed and after an exam, I adjusted him.

Shame on me for being surprised. Immediately his tic went from 20-30 a minute to 4-6. It stayed like this for several days. When it started to come back, Mom brought him back and we once again got the tic down to 4-6 per minute. Mom was thrilled, and I was ecstatic that we had made a real difference in a young man’s life. This was real world evidence that the nerves coming out of the spine influence everything in the body, not just your back or neck pain.

As an aside, Mom ultimately gave up on chiropractic after a couple of weeks because we couldn’t make them go away completely…sometimes you can’t win for trying!

This got me to thinking. How important is it for us to have clear communication between the body and the brain? Can we live a healthy fulfilling life if the nerves coming out of the spine are compromised?

Should we wait until it hurts? Maybe for the low back and neck that is not a terrible indicator, however, what about the organs that don’t feel pain? Should we wait until an organ has problems before we address it?

Could we head off problems by keeping the nerve flow to these areas as optimal as possible?

Will our energy be greater if the nervous system is running at peak performance?

After 16 years I can consistently say yes that we should keep our nerve flow as optimal as possible and we will have greater energy when our nervous system is running at it’s peak. Does this mean that we will be healthier? How can it not!

I think this is the most exciting time in chiropractic. For analytically minded people, like myself, we are just starting to scratch the surface in our scientific understanding of the brain body connection.

I couldn’t be more excited.


Vegetables and Quitting Smoking!

Well color me surprised.

There is a study in Nicotine & Tobacco Research that surveyed smokers whom had recently quit smoking. It turns out that those who consumed the most fruits and vegetables were significantly more likely to have quit smoking for at least 30 days at a 14 month follow-up. 3.05 times more likely!

As I was looking into this, it turns out that fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC) is inversely related to how much one will smoke. The higher the FVC, the fewer the cigarettes were smoked per day and the longer time it was to first cigarette of the day (TTFC).

While most of us know that fewer cigarettes is good, I was intrigued by time to first cigarette measurement. According to researchers, the longer you can go before having your first cigarette the less dependent you are on nicotine.

I must admit I never even considered there would be a relationship between vegetables and nicotine.

There is not a single person I know smoking that does not wish they could quit. If you are trying to quit or know someone that is trying to quit, contact me and I will get this study to them. Quitting smoking is a total lifestyle change and people will need all the support they can get.


Motorcycle Helmets

I have always wanted a motorcycle. There is something alluring about cruising around with the wind in your hair and the open road in front of you. What has stopped me from getting said motorcycle is fear. Fear of crashing and the subsequent injuries that come along with it.

Inexplicably not every state in the US requires helmets to be worn while riding a motorcycle. Currently only 19 states require helmets. 19!!!! What on earth are the other 31 waiting for? Is it even arguable that wearing helmets makes a difference?

The government estimates that the US could have saved $1.5 billion if people were wearing helmets when they were in an accident. The CDC has noted that in states where there is an option on helmets, helmet use goes down and deaths go up. 2012 saw close to 5,000 motorcycle deaths, a 9% increase from 2011.

With all of this being said Michigan decided to repeal their helmet law last year, requiring only those under 21 to wear one. Want to guess what happened?

For the two years prior to the change the average medical claim for a motorcycle injury was $5140. After the change…$7,257, a 34% increase.

Now look I am sure that the vice president of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is a really nice guy but what he says here is just ridiculous. The vice president dismissed the study, saying the insurance industry views helmets as ‘‘the silver bullet that’s going to change the landscape of motorcycle safety.’’ He said insurers are upset because ‘‘ life has gotten more expensive for them and they have to pay out more.’’

First off if I was an insurance company and I had to pay out more because you didn’t want to wear a helmet, I would be ripped…never mind upset!

As a chiropractor, I have seen the devastating effects that closed head injuries cause. These injuries could have been avoided or at the very least a lot less severe if the people had been wearing helmets.

If you are riding a motorcycle this summer or thinking of getting one, please, please, please wear a helmet. Your loved ones and even your insurance company will thank you for it!