Doctor or Ice?

Doctor or Ice?

Each month I will take a case study from a personal account determine if I should have seen the doctor or just did a natural remedy such as ice.

This Month:

The issue started with the lower half of my calf. I had been feeling sluggish and tightness if my leg for the past 3 days and finally there was a sharp nerve-like pain. I could no longer walk more than 3 steps without a sharp pain going up my leg. Running home to get some ibuprofen and stretch made a world of difference.

The next day I then went to gym and started with little movement and exercises. To remove and isolate that part of my leg and hamstring to release the pain. After about 45 minutes and a whole lot of sweat the pain was gone. Was it healed or was this just a temp fix to the larger issue. I had to find out.

Fixed?

After spending about 3 hours on the computer I came to the conclusion that my hamstrings were no strong and my hips were exceptionally weak. There is was – my solution to my pain. Now the question is do i see a doctor or fix on my own?

In this instance I decided to go see a specialist that was able to diagnose my condition almost immediately. After a few tests and a few stretches he saw that my body was over compensating on my opposite side of the pain. Isn’t that wild? The pain was a reaction to the other side not being strong enough to support my movements.

Next Steps

The doctor set me up with a list of exercises and goals for the next two weeks. I was to perform a series of movements 2x a day – once in the morning and once before bed to allow the muscles to always be in a relaxed state. Alternatively, I was supposed to go to the gym 3x a week for the next two weeks. That’s right – the stretches to relax and the gym to pump and get better.

So my schedule was set. The next day I went to the gym for my first doctor-approved session. He noted that an issue will men like myself, was that I was tall and had been bending over my entire life. So this resulted in a weak system. He also noted that my core and posterior chain was extremely fragile and that a lot of work was in my future.

dead lift for strong back
doctor or own fixes

Results

After working out hard for the last two weeks – this was routine. Mondays I spent the whole time working on lower body stretching and deadlifts. If you didn’t know, the deadlift is by far the best exercise for your entire body. It’s simple. Take something heavy on the ground and lift it up. Sounds easy enough, but their is a special technique that should be used. it emphasizes the back part of your body from your back to your lower back then your hamstrings. Driving up from the ground then past the knees. This is a killer exercise and really brings out the strenth in your system.

Be careful, because if you were like me you could be prone to pain in the beginning. I spent the first month working on light weight until I could really feel the work in my hamstrings – not my lower back. Then when you are ready, take the time to work on the technique either via personal trainer or youtube here.

 

 

Spine Health For Great Posture Part 4

Spine Health is Good For Everyone

Congratulations – you made it to the fourth part of our journey. Today we are going to focus on the upper body and how we set ourselves for success. When we discuss the upper body and the posture – we are really talking about spine health. What sets apart the someone who is a novice, like myself, versus someone who deals with this everyday such as the people over at Gray Hawk Chiropractors in Scottsdale Arizona, it makes a difference. Check them out here at their website, http://grayhawkchiro.com/.

After my first evaluation, they drilled into me the importance of having a healthy and strong bone structure. And what was the king of the bones…the spine. Although they are a collection of bones that work together, they really are one entity.

The spine is the most important set of bones in the entire body. They need to be kept together and safe from all outside sources. We discussed earlier how the core is a strong factor in that.

Moving forward, we will wrap up the upper body: arms and shoulders.

Arms

The key to this is having active and fluid arms. We do not want to walk and be viewed as the robot male or female walking down the street. It is our time now to take forth the feeling of having a string attached from the top of the shoulder to the end of the fingers. This will be going back and forth.

Each time you take a step with your left foot, I want you to swing forward the arms to generate momentum. Walking should be easy and so should it be easy to walk with great posture. The tighter the arms are to your body, the better

Can you imagine trying to walk with your arms straight out like a bird? No Way! The elbows will be bent slightly and not move too fast. We aren’t going to whip the motion back and forth. The key is to feel relaxed but strong.

Hands

Your arms should not get tired first if you are walking, yet they will be supportive in all movements. The hands play an important role in everything as well. They are the windows to the tension in the arm. If you are walking with closed fists – the muscles will tire sooner and your forearms will swell with blood.

Don’t do that! Let your hands slice the air as they are open. However, don’t have them tensed outward either. Open your hands to the point where they don’t need tension to keep them open. That is the sweet spot.

A tip is to imagine you are holding a fragile egg in your four fingers. You would want to grip it ever so slightly.

Shoulders

Shoulders back, head held high. This is the classic phrase given to models before they walk down the runway for the latest and greatest. We may not be models walking down the carpet, but we do want to mirror their ideal form.

Bad thoughts leads to bad feelings and that leads to tension in the neck and shoulders. WE do not want that. No life is not pretty and perfect all the time, but you should never sacrifice your walking posture for it. It will put unwarranted intense pressure on your and can lead to muscles affecting the spine health.

The cool thing about having your shoulders back is that the body will automatically assume the chest to be held a little higher and the head to be set at a level plain – exuding confidence.

relaxed shoulders for great spine health
shrug up, pause and then back down

To give yourself a test on what the relaxed shoulders should feel and look like. Do this:

-Take a deep breath in through the nose and hold for 1 second

-Then release blowing out through the mouth

-Now shrug your shoulders all the way up

-Hold for 1 second

-Nod drop – that is a relaxed set of shoulder.

We are almost done with this series – stick with it and practice.

-Alan

 

Strong Posture Needs Strong Core Part 3

Strong Posture Starts Here

Strong Posture requires you to have a strong core. Alright then…any Jim Carey fans?

Having a strong posture and a strong core is like having a solid base that can’t be dented, penetrated or destroyed. People for thousands of years walk upright and without fail. Some have been better than others. Now why is that.

Strong posture leads to no chiropractic services
Strong Posture has been the goal of evolution

Review Time

In the first part of the series we spoke about how a rolling fluid foot step is the foundation for a positive posture.

We took an even further look as we worked our way up the body and found ourselves reviewing. What makes a good leg movement from a bad one. We dig in that having an even hip and even knee alignment allowed for the leg to come through swiftly without fail. Then have knee joint take the brunt of the force as it comes down.

At this point the muscles fire off and make sure that the knee if bent and slides back getting ready for lift off once more. The perfect stride so to speak.

Now for the main event!

Get That Core in Check

The core is not the name of a muscle but a section of muscles that wrap around your entire midsection. When you or i think of core – we mostly think of abs. That is slightly correct, but we are missing the other half of the equation.

Muscles in the core:

-Abs

-Pelvis Floor

-Obliques

-Erector Sinae

-Diaphram

And some of the minor muscles include traps and even the gluteous maximus. So when you have back pain or your hip feels tight this could be a sign of a stress of the traps or butt. Now that has to blow your noggin quite a bit.

Now all these muscles work together and here for support – not emotional like your best friend Tina or Steve, but spinal support. The most important set of bones in your body are your spine and your body will do whatever it needs to protect it.

Have you ever had a life changing come to Jesus back spasm before? If you haven’t you aren’t missing anything fun. But if you have you know you are completely incapacitated and can barely move. What is happening is the body is sending a RED ALERT to you muscles that it thinks the spine is under attack. I’ll cover this more later.

Keep the Spine Happy

The core’s #1 job is to the keep the spine happy. To activate your spinal support system – simply take deep breath and blow it out. When blowing out – brace and squeeze you stomach. The stronger the core the tighter you can brace. You want to be able to brace so that when you lift something up or need to balance, your body and quickly and safely rely on those muscles.

Some good ways for a beginner is simply breathe in and out – on the exhale hold and try to isolate the abs. Hold for 10-20 seconds and squeeze as hard as you can.

Another method is to take just the squat bar – no weight and drive that really into you traps. Now pretend there is weight and slowly think about each part of your body. In a checklist fashion start activating and squeezing until your body is rock solid. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Then release. Take a few breaths and repeat.

Last is your typical plank position. Get in the push up position but place your forearms on the ground instead. Now keep a flat back and squeeze and hold.

Your butt, quads, abs, back, chest and every muscle in your body should be tight – a good way is to push all the weight directly towards your belly button. Hold for 10 and release.

I really can’t say enough of the importance of a strong and healthy core, because this may the number 1 thing you can do to have a healthy and strong posture.

Thanks

-Alan

Walking With Good Posture Part 2

Think Legs for Perfect Posture

Alright, quick recap, we are going to go through what elements need to be addressed to have the perfect walking posture. Something a doctor would be proud of!

Part 1 we looked at the feet and how each step needs to be fluid. It goes from heel to toe. We aren’t out there running sprints like Usain Bolt, we want our weight evenly distributed throughout the step.

In part two we will cover how the legs are important to gliding across the room or runway.

Think Strut – Not Pitter-Patter

You must keep you legs long and loose as you cross the room. Okay so how long should I walk – should I reach? Should I take 3 steps for everyone of there’s?

The perfect stride is different for each person. I am a 6 foot tall male, so my legs are going to be longer than my 5 foot 5 inch wife who happens to have short legs. However, we both need to be aware of he right “reach” of the leg on each step.

So before you take that step, make sure you weight is not behind you, but ever so slightly in front of you. This will cause the momentum to bring your body forward and have you leg to lead the way.

Once that first leg has shot out, put that weight on the leg and then get your hips ready to react with the second leg trailing behind. This again should be a fluid motion. You aren’t walking on crutches or in a leg cast, the knee must bend.

Now that the second is ready to move ahead remember to keep that weight forward AND always have your trailing leg bent and ready to react to the next step.

Key Points:

perfect posture for a life of pain free muscles
Walking with perfect posture and authority

-Make sure to have you weight forward slightly to guide your lead leg

-Once the leg makes contact with the ground, have the knee absorb most of the weight – that is there job.

-The knee must be bent when walking – no Frankenstein

walk so that your back and muscles feel great
Frankenstein does not have perfect walking posture

-Now the trailing leg can be used to bring forward momentum and make the next step easier.

-The hips should be level – don’t lean back and and don’t hunch forward

-Bring the leg from under your hips up and forward – NOT around and in

-Knees must be in align with the upper and lower legs

-We do not want the knees to roll out or in – this will cause the hips to follow and cause lower back and hip pain

Wonderful!

Alright we have covered the first two and the bottom two parts of walking with a good posture. Now it’s time to hit the upper body. I want you to try out what we have learned so far and see if you can match the perfect rounding foot step and see if the weight forward and level helps helps.

We have, well most of of have been walking since we were age 4 but over time we develop bad habits. Its okay because you have the internet and me specifically to help you find out what is wrong and what to fix.

Thanks

-Alan Boggs

 

Walking With Good Posture Part 1

This should be in the forefront of your mind everyday for the next 30 days as you walk along the street. Walk better, walk stronger, walk for better posture. Good posture is something that is often undervalued, but we commend someone who has it. Is that weird. We ALL know that we should be doing it, yet we don’t. Why is that? I don’t have that answer and this is not a psychology blog, but what I can help with is helping you save a trip to the back doctor. Time to learn how to walk the right way to help you live the best way.

Why Good Posture is Important

Let’s get this simple fact out of the way…your body is lazy. That’s right – your muscles and brain work only as hard as they have to. This then causes us to be lazy in nature. There is nothing morally or ethically wrong with that, but it does create issues for us physically. This can result in:

-Injury

-Sore Muscles

Back Aches

-Become Tired

-Discomfort

-Look and Feel Less confident

These are GIANT factors for a person who wants to try and live the best life possible every single day. How do we fix this and when can we start? The first answer is coming up. The second answer is right now!

We will work our way from the bottom to the top and give insight on what to do better. This is not some “walk with confidence” post or even “how to pick up girls” post. This is the way that your body gain gain confidence internally that everything is firing and working when it needs to. Let’s begin.

Feet

We are going to start from the ground up as this is the best way to ensure that the mechanics of good posture. So the question is how do you walk if I’m not already doing it correctly.

-Start by taking a step and having the heel of your foot land first – always first.

-The foot should then roll across until the pad and the toes of the foot meet the ground.

-Then use that momentum and push off with the pad and the biggest toes doing the work.

-The motion should be fluid and never directly down. Now this can only be achieved if the shoes match the stride.

Shoes

The best shoe for any foot includes a firm but comforting heel. There should be enough room around the whole foot – above and the side – so that the foot can move around in there a bit.

As my uncle always used to advise me to do – it’s better to have 1 pair of great shoes, then 3 pairs of okay shoes.

He was dead right. In the long run the shoes that are made the best , not by looks, but by feel, will last much much longer and provide the comfort that is needed to enjoy a happy and fun day of walking.

Great posture is important to chiropractors
Walking with great posture

Now to end the first part of walking with good posture, I want to assure you that this series will guide you through every part of a correct walking form. Now you may be asking yourself and telling me – “I have been walking my entire life, what do you know.” You are correct you have! However, now that you are older and the bad habits have formed – you don’t want to spend you days lying face down on a massage table to getting worked on by a chiropractor.

The best way is start now and that what we will do. Take it step by step and now that we know – the place to start is right at the edge of your foot.

Thanks

-Alan

Back Doctor Suggested Exercises For a Strong Body

What Do Back Doctors Look For in a Great Body?

Have you guessed yet? Well it’s a trick question because the answer is a collection of strong movements to strengthen the body. Based on my search for chiropractors in scottsdale Arizona, I was able to find someone who help me. He was able to really isolate the faults in my body and expand. I am speaking first hand that with the right regime of exercise and the back doctor known as a chiropractor – your body will feel like it’s never felt before – STRONG.

Now how did I get here?

I have spent the last 40 years trying to find my happy place for poor aching body. And for you, based on your interest, you are too. I will take a brief journey into my search for the perfect feeling deep in the body. Body aches, body pain, stiffness, being sore, on and on. No more!

Chiropractors Says Don’t Be Lazy

Back doctors suggest that it is best to spend at least 1 hour a day being active and have the sweat drip from your brow. Now does that mean you should run around in place? No. I want you to start slow. Take the first step and find a personal trainer or chiropractor that specializes in overall body strengthening improvement. We aren’t looking for a beach body…yet We are looking to improve the connection from that baby toe up to the top of your head.

Let’s take the first exercise today that will do wonders for your entire body.

Squats – Squats – Squats

Did I mention that it’s squats? Yes this is the ultimate king of the jungle weight room exercise. The reason you are in pain is because your body is too weak. You are probably thinking- i’m not weak – I played sports in high school. Well those days are long gone. You are now weak and to dive in further – your body’s connections are weak.

So what do we do?

You go sign up for the gym tomorrow – 24 hour – is extremely cheap and ask them for a beginner personal trainer package. Yes, spend the money.

That first session – tell the guy – even though he will soon find out for himself – that you want to gain muscle and power in your legs by doing squats. And BOOM! You will be on your way.

ABs – Lose the Keg, Buy a 6 Pack

Legs – Check

Now we slide up the body we hit that soft little spot in the middle. Some people have bumps in this area called abs or muscles. We don’t. We are sore, stiff and weak. But our chiropractor wants us to be better.

Abs and your core are THE MOST important muscles in your body to maintain excellent spine health. We want you to be able to hold your head and chest held high. This is how you do it.

Make sure to train your abs at least 3x a week directly. You will always be training the abs indirectly with the other muscles because maintaining a strong core is very important for all lifts like Squats.

I like to work on muscle and strength building workouts on 1 day and then hold and contraction exercises like planks on the other day. Rotate and repeat. Don’t only do one type because both mass and connection are important.

Now before I go, here is a picture of a giant built muscle guy with no skin. Gross? No way – this is where we can see each  muscles on the back side of out bodies. We want these muscles to be strong active and ready for the life we want to live. Our chiropractor is the guy that will not sugar coat it – truth hurts.

An Arizona Chiropractor's Guide to Muscles of the Back
The backside of the body – no skin – muscles only