Ever wondered exactly what’s happening when you hear that popping sound when you get adjusted by your chiropractor? Or if pop or no pop makes a difference when getting adjusted? Watch this video to find out.
Runner’s knee is a general term that covers several conditions that cause pain at the knee. These conditions include:
Patellofemoral pain syndrome – generalised pain at the front of the knee that can be caused by many different issues.
Patellar malalignment – misalignment of the patella (kneecap), usually causing pain.
Chondromalacia patella – abnormal softening of the cartilage beneath the patella due to improper alignment. This is one of the most common causes of chronic knee pain.
Iliotibial band syndrome – irritation of the iliotibial band, usually due to overuse of the knees, causing pain at the lateral part of the knee.
There is a lot of overlap between these conditions, as they all present very similarly and similar things cause them. Therefore, they can be managed similarly, hence why they are all under the umbrella title of runner’s knee.
Cause and traditional treatment
Runner’s knee can occur by a number of things such as:
Trauma to the knee
Misalignment of the knee joint
Overuse of the knee
Repetitive stresses from activities such as running, walking, biking, jumping, or sports like football.
It tends to be more common in women than men and is more common in middle age. People who are overweight are more prone to runner’s knee as the extra weight places extra stress on the knee joints.
With runner’s knee pain appears around or behind the patella. Pain is also usually worse by activities such as walking, climbing up or downstairs, squatting, kneeling, running, sitting down, or standing up. The knee can also sometimes pop or grind and can swell in some cases. The normal treatment for a runner’s knee includes rest, ice, compression, and anti-inflammatory pain killers. Medical professionals often recommend physical therapy and exercises, and in serious cases, surgery.
How can chiropractic help with a runner’s knee?
A large cause of the runner’s knee is a misalignment of the knee joint, causing extra stress to be placed on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage in and around the knee. This results in inflammation and pain. Chiropractors can adjust extremities and have a lot of knowledge around how the knee works. They know how best to adjust it, to keep it strong and stable so that it does not get worse during movement. This helps in preventing the runner’s knee from happening or helping it recover if it does happen. Not only does adjusting the knee help prevent and treat runner’s knee, but chiropractors can also adjust the pelvis and the ankle. Runner’s knee doesn’t always have to occur due to dysfunction at the knee. Our bodies are one big system so if there is dysfunction above or below the knee, this too can place extra stress. On the muscle, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage in and around the knee, causing the inflammation to happen.
By making sure everything in the leg is aligned, strong, and stable, this allows the knee to be able to do it’s job without excess stress being placed on it. This can prevent not only runner’s knee from happening but other conditions of the knee, ankle, and pelvis, as there is no excess stress in the system, and allows for fast, efficient healing if these conditions ever do come about. As chiropractors are knowledgeable about all parts of the body and how they can work at their best, chiropractors can give lifestyle advice, stretches, and exercises to increase strength and stability in the knee to prevent injuries, or to help them recover if they do occur6.
High cholesterol levels is something that effects around 31% of the human population. Having a cholesterol levels can lead to high blood pressure, angina and kidney diseases. In more serious cases it can lead to strokes and heart attacks. This is because cholesterol builds up in our arteries and blood vessels. Due to this build up, it leads to a narrower vessel hence the increase in blood pressure and the increase likelihood of blockages. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, today let’s discuss 4 ways for you to lower your cholesterol.
Reduce the amount of saturated fats in your diet. This is because it contains high amounts of LDL. This is a type of cholesterol that is harmful for the body as it leaves build ups and is easily solidified in room temperature. Thus leading to narrower blood vessels in the body. We find saturated fats in many unhealthy foods such as pies, cakes and different types of pastries. This is because they are all made from some sort of animal products like butter and margarine. Another way to avoid food that contains high amount of saturated fats is to consume less processed meats. This is because it is often mixed with cuts of meat that contains high amount of animal fat.
Consume food that is high in omega-3. Even though omega-3 is a fat it does not build up in the body as it is classified as an HDL. Think of it like this, omega-3 is the oil that keeps the mechanics well oiled. If everything in your body is well oiled, it’ll function smoothly and be kept in a better state. By keeping the arteries better oiled, it decreases the amount of plaque and fatty builds up from the LDL. As a result, even if you do have high cholesterol, it’ll lower your blood pressure. Leading to a lower likelihood of heart diseases.
While we are sticking to recommended foods, it is highly recommended for people with high cholesterol to consume soluble fibres like beans, oats, citrus fruits and barley. This is because our body is not able to digest these foods. This create a small barrier where these soluble fibres are then attached to the cholesterol, preventing it from getting into the blood stream. In addition, soluble fibres helps your gut bacteria (probiotics) function better. So start consuming more fibre right now!
Do some exercises. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between exercise and lower cholesterol levels. This is because exercise stimulates a higher production of HDL levels. As we have mentioned it above, HDKL decreases the amount of plaque and fatty build ups in the arteries. As a recommendation, exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It can be anything from brisk walking to playing a sport that you enjoy.
Here are 4 tips on how to reduce cholesterol. Remember, it won’t be decreased overtime. Try these tips for a couple of months and retest your levels after. Sometimes it may take even longer. But I guarantee that if you stick to it, results will show over time!
We have mentioned many times about the importance of consistent exercise. However, most of us just exercise whenever we want and do not have a set routine. But for results to show, it is best to be consistent. So is it better to work out in the morning or the evening?
Well in this first part, I would like to discuss the pros and cons of working out in the morning.
Working out in the morning can give your day a kick start. Most of us are a bit slow in the morning. However, if we exercise first thing when we wake up, it’s a natural way to boost metabolism. It can be even more effective than coffee and it will provide you long lasting energy for the rest of the day.
You are more concentrated during the workout. When we exercise the first thing in the morning, we have no thoughts in our minds. Additionally, most people may not even be up by then so it is less likely that you will have distractions going on. This could be emails that you need to reply, text messages and phone calls. You will be more in the zone as many people are still asleep at that time during the day
Morning workouts have shown to improve the quality of your sleep. This is because your body will have had the whole day to settle down from the adrenaline and the endorphins. Additionally, it’ll help the body to release melatonin (a hormone that helps sleep cycle) earlier in the evening. Thus it will allow you to go to bed early and wake up early.
It burns more body fat than working out in the evening. This is because you are working out on an empty stomach. Our muscles need fuel for it to function. If we don’t have food in our stomach, our bodies will feed off what we have stored first. That first fuel source is fat.
Increase likelihood of injury. In the morning, your muscles and ligament are at its stiffest point. This is because while you were asleep, everything in your body would have been still for at least 6 hours. The best way to counter this is to do a thorough warm up before you start your work out. This way, you muscles will be able to function at its best.
You might to be able to perform as well as you would like. Again this relates to the point above being that your body is still in a rested states and joints aren’t functioning properly. Research has shown that the optimal muscle output is during the evening or late afternoon. This is due to the fact that your body has had the entire day to acclimatise to proper tension and movement. Again, to counter this problem is to do a very good workout to get everything functioning as well as it can in the morning.
Burnout may happen if we push ourselves way too hard. This is because the body is functioning at a high intensity on an empty stomach. I know it can be more effective at burning fat but pushing it over the line may be harmful. Your body may not be able to take it. So the best way to counter it, is to work out at 80% rather than 100%. This way, your body will avoid burnout but it is still effective.
This blog talked about the positives of doing an early workout. There are many great things about it such as more energy throughout the day, less distractions, improve sleeping quality and more effective in fat burning. However, if we don’t warm up properly working out in the morning can lead to more injuries and a decrease performance during the work out. Additionally, it may even cause fatigue and burn out if pushed too far. Next blog will be about the benefits of working out in the evening. Hopefully by then you’ll find the most suitable time for you to do your exercise.
Whether exercise is done first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day or late in the evening, it should be a staple in your daily routine. We have previously discussed about the positives and the negatives of working out in the morning. So I thought I should do the same but later in the evening.
Your muscles are already at prime function. During the day your body would’ve had time to warm up and lengthen the muscles to optimal tension. Once we prep the muscles , the output would be much more. As a result, you will be able to lift heavier, sprint faster and jumper higher. In another word, you will be at your physical peak in the late afternoon/evenings.
Exercising in the evening can help you build muscle faster than working out in the morning. Firstly, this is because you are getting the most out of your workout as mentioned in the point above. Secondly, research has shown that working out in the evening stimulates more testosterone production compared to working out in the morning. Testosterone is one of the key hormones for building muscles.
It is a great time to relieve stress. At the end of the day, we are often very tired from our daily chores such as work and tasks. Most of us will have a lot of stress built up, a great way to release stress is to work out. Studies have shown that exercise is great for mental health because it releases endorphins and dopamine. Both hormones are responsible for metal positivity.
Although it is a great way of releasing stress, it is also very tempting to skip evening workouts. This is because by the end of the day most of us are very tired and we would just rather go home, curl up and watch Netflix. The best way to get past this hurdle is to force yourself to go to the gym before you enter the house and once you enter, you can treat yourself with something good.
Intense exercise late in the evening can cause a spike in heart rate and adrenalin. This may alter your sleep quality in the evening. We can see this in competitive sports or any high intensity work out. This is because your body will be in a fight or flight response and it has not settled down yet. To counter this problem, the best way is to try do something relaxing before you sleep to allow your body to calm down. Stretching is one of the best ways to calm your nervous system down and it is a great way to warm down your body.
Distractions may occur. This is because it is during this time when people are usually free. This means there will be plenty of gatherings, hangout sessions or some recreational activities. Due to these social aspects, we may forget or prioritise those events before exercising. To work around this issue, try set specific days and time dedicated to your exercise program. Those days will not be altered against most events. This will help you to create a healthy habit for you to get into.
There are many positive and negatives when it comes to working out in the evening or morning. Personally, I’ve always been an early bird, so I like to exercise in the morning leaving the rest of the day free. I understand that not everyone is like me so I would say as long as you set yourself a specific time to exercise and stick to it, it is the most important thing.
There two different forms of stretching; Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching. Both of them have their benefits but which one is for you? Check out the advice from Dr Samineh Baktash at Revolution Chiropractic in Auckland.
Static vs Dynamic Stretching – What’s the difference?
Dynamic stretches involve motion. These are active movements where joints and muscles go through a full range of motion. Whilst static stretching involve no motion. This is when a joint is at the end of it’s range of motion, and held there for a certain period. Both forms of stretching are beneficial to you and depend on the goals or needs of the body.
Benefits of dynamic stretching:
Performance temperature – Dynamic stretching work the muscles up to their functioning temperature gradually. Muscles in the body require a certain temperature in the body to function at optimal state. To illustrate, take a like a glass, if it’s suddenly filled with boiling water the glass will crack and shatter, however if it’s warmed up gradually, it does not break. This example correlates well with the human body. If the muscles are suddenly worked without warming up, they are more likely to suffer from injuries. It is important to raise the muscles to working temperature through dynamic stretching.
Sports Preparation – Dynamic stretching prepares the muscles and joints by going through movements that will be required. This equates to the body being engaged and ready for sports-specific response. Research has shown that combining dynamic stretching and plyometric training during warm-ups increases performance. This was noticeably seen in the vertical jump height in basketball players.
Improves flexibility – Varying flexibility is needed for specific sports. This is very important for athletes as the range of motion around the joint will increase gradually over time. For example, sprinters will increase the length of each stride gradually, which will allow them to travel for a greater distance for every cycle of their legs. This is important for development in becoming a more successful athlete.
Benefits of Static Stretching
Reducing stiffness – This is great for the body, especially which can be very tight after being idle for long periods, an intense workout, or sports game. During any intense sports or workout sessions, micro-tears are formed in the muscle. When recovering from these micro tears, the body lays down new muscle fibre which will result in growth. However, not all the new muscles are healthy new muscles, some are of the new tissue laid down is scar tissue. It is this scar tissue that causes muscle stiffness. Static stretching can mobilise the restriction caused by scar tissue and lengthen tight muscles. This is critical to improving the range of motion and performance.
Increasing blood circulation – Blood flow is important for healing, the higher the blood circulation, the faster the body heals as the muscles can receive more oxygen and nutrients. It also helps the body recover faster by removing waste products in the muscles. These waste products are often inflammatory residue left in the body after an intense workout.
Mindfulness – Static stretching is excellent for calming the mind. This can lead to less stress in both mind and body. This is because when you are stretching, your nervous system triggers the release of a hormone known as ‘endorphin’ and slows down the production of stress-inducing hormones. Endorphins help relieve the body from stress and pain.
So there you have it! Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching. Which type of stretching is more suitable for you? Dynamic or static stretching? In summary, dynamic
stretching helps increase body temperature gradually, prepares the body for specific movements
and improves flexibility. Static stretching has many advantages for the body too; reducing stiffness, improving blood circulation and calming the mind, to name just a few. As a professional NZ Chiropractor and health care advocate, I would say a combination of both is important if you are constantly working out, or a high-performance athlete. However, if your excercise is light, static stretching would be enough. I hope this brings clarity as to which type of stretch you should do. Both are amazing and both should be included in your routine.
When to see a chiropractor?
It is often worthwhile to schedule an appointment with your Chiroprator before beginning any stretching routine, especially if you have strained muscles or existing injuries. A good Chiropractor is uniquely qualified to assess which form of stretching should be used and when. It is our job to both prevent injury to the muscles as well improve range of motion. When combined with a regular routine of care, stretching can be one of the body’s best defenses to maintaining proper function.
If you are searching to optimise your bodies health and functionality, consider chiropractic care to get and keep you in the best possible shape.
Warming up before a workout is even more important than you think!
How many times have we just jumped into exercising without warming up properly? How many times have we got injured? Well, the two things mentioned above, warming up and getting hurt, go hand in hand. Warming up is extremely important due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, it can help loosen up our joints, muscles, and ligaments. Secondly, it can raise the body temperature and increase blood flow to muscles. Finally, it can help improve our performance in whatever form of exercise.
Warming up is extremely important for the body to prevent injury. Having a good warm-up can help loosen the joints, muscles, and ligaments in our body and stimulate our nervous system. Before we start exercising, our body is stiff, and we cannot move as smoothly as we would like. This puts us in a state which is more fragile. As we warm up, our joints, muscles and ligaments begin to have more laxity gradually. This is because warming up can stimulate the body to create more synovial fluids around the joint, which means we will not be suddenly overstressing any part of the body.
Additionally, it will also increase the speed that nerve impulses travel, leading to improved balance, motor control, coordination, and proprioception. All those components are crucial for doing any sports as it helps with performance and avoiding injuries. As a result, warming up can decrease the likelihood of overstressing your body and minimize any falls or accidents.
Functions of Temperature
Warming up our bodies before we exercise can also raise the core body temperature and increase blood flow to muscles. When the body transitions from everyday life to high-intensity physical workout, a host of biological changes happens to our body. That’s why it’s good to ease into it. During our warm-up, breathing and heart rate gradually rise, leading to an increase of energy increase. Due to the increase in energy exertion, the body gradually warms up. Additionally, with heart rate rising, the muscles will be supplied with more oxygen. This results in a higher metabolism as the body will need more energy to function at its capacity. Having a warmer body temperature for our muscles can lead to increase elasticity in the muscles again, this can result in decreasing the chances of any injuries
Effects on workout
Finally, warming up can increase our performance. This is due to two reasons; the alterations in the body and the change in mentality. As mentioned in the paragraph above, a good warm-up can increase our metabolism, helping reach one’s performance potential. A thorough warm-up can change our mindset and mentally prepare for the upcoming task. With most sports and workout, it requires high levels of alertness and concentration. This adjustment in mindset can enhance the concentration on technique. With better technique again, it can lead to a decrease in injury. Andrea Pirlo, a famous footballer once said, “We play football with the head. Your feet are just tools.” This quote cannot more relatable with any sports or workout. The first change that occurs should be in your mind before you start performing. This is where an excellent warm-up comes into play.
Warming up is often overlooked by many amateurs or people who have just started to exercise. It can be argued it may be one of the most important aspects of the workout. Warming up properly can help loosen the muscles, ligament, and joints in the body, and it can help raise our core body temperature. Both of these can diminish the chances of injury. Most importantly, though, it can help mentally prepare us for the workout, exercise, and game that’s coming up. So before jumping straight into it next time, arrive 15 minutes earlier to prepare and get a good quality warm-up.
The weather’s getting nicer and you look outside and think “why not take my running to the next level and hit the great outdoors?”
Great idea. Outdoor running is a great way to get some fresh air, enjoy your surroundings and work some stabilizing muscles that don’t necessarily get worked on as much when running on a treadmill.
However, running can be quite taxing on the body and can be even more so when running on uneven surfaces outside. So we’ve got some tips for you to make sure you’re ready for the transition.
-Your warm-up and cool-down is important to prevent injury and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your run.
-Make sure to get a good dynamic warm-up in before you set off for your run. This can include lunges, squats and leg swings. This is important to warm your muscles and prep them for the run.
-After the run is over, be sure to cool-down and lower your heart rate with some static stretching.
Set your running route
-When you’re running, the last thing you want to think about is whether you’re going in the right direction or wondering where you are.
-Before embarking on a new route, be sure to map it out. Know how to navigate it by walking the route beforehand.
-You can also buddy up with someone who has done the route before and is familiar with it.
-For ideas on what routes to run, you can check out running forums to inform yourself on popular trails and parks that people recommend.
-When running, footwear is key.
-Your everyday running shoes are fine for running on the treadmill, but when you’re hitting dirt, gravel or slippery slopes, it’s crucial that your shoes have the appropriate tread to avoid any falls and injuries.
-Supports may also be necessary depending on your particular case so it’s always helpful to consult with a professional about this.
-Outdoor running can be more demanding on your muscles, joints and bones, which can lead to injuries like shin splints and knee pain.
-Start with shorter distances on flatter terrain and work your way up to longer distances, uneven terrain and hills if you’re up for it.
-Don’t push yourself to run at the same pace you would on a treadmill – it’s not the same terrain.
-Start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase it as your body gets used to the conditions.
There are many additional benefits of outdoor running, but the risks also increase. To ensure that you understand how to do it safely and effectively, consult with your structural chiropractor or other health professional.
At Revolution Chiropractic, we equip our structural chiropractors with the tools necessary to help you run better. And in addition, to recover from your running injuries faster, and prevent running injuries before they even start!
During the assessment, the structural chiropractor will obtain information about your running habits. They’ll look at your gait, biomechanics, footwear, strength, mobility, and spinal health. Since the tissues in your body interconnect and depend on each other for a function like gears in a machine. The structural chiropractor must look at all of these components to address your body as a whole.
They will take all this information to develop a care plan. As a result, that will help you recover and provide you with the necessary education and tools to prevent re-injury.
Your care plan may include adjustments, active rehabilitation, and exercises. You may also receive nutritional advice to reduce inflammation in your body and facilitate tissue healing.
If required, your Structural Chiropractor may advise on footwear and other external factors. Such as running surfaces and frequency. They will teach you exercises to address muscle imbalances and improve your technique.
If necessary, they will refer you to other professionals that will complement your care and get you better faster.
If you’re a runner, then you know that going through an injury can be a huge nuisance. It can also interfere with your regular running routine. That’s why we recommend strategies that promote prevention and optimization.
Call us today to book your complimentary consultation with one of our experienced practitioners who will assess your mechanics, analyze your running habits and provide you with an individualized care plan to prevent injuries.
Shin splints present as a dull ache along the inner shin. There can be some possible swelling in the area. Although it’s usually nothing to worry about, they may lead to stress fractures in the tibia if not addressed properly.
Shin splints often present when runners (especially beginners) try to run too much too quickly. Running causes a lot of repetitive impact on the body. The muscles and bones need time to sense the demand being placed on them and rebuild accordingly to better handle that load/demand. Therefore, if a runner tries to increase the volume and/or intensity of their training too quickly it can overstress those tissues.
It’s also not just found in runners. It’s common in any sports that require jumping or sharp cutting, such as basketball and tennis.
The best way to avoid shin splints altogether is to increase the intensity, frequency and duration of your training sessions GRADUALLY. However, it’s hard to quantify how to go about gradually increasing these factors as every human body is different and some are more resilient than others.
So if you do end up with shin splints you can do any or all of the following to treat it.
Strengthen your glutes (shown below)
Stretch your calves/feet (shown below)
Foam roll your legs (shown below)
Visit a Structural Chiropractor for individualized assessment and program
EXERCISES FOR SHIN SPLINTS: PERFORM 3 SETS OF 10 OF THE FOLLOWING ON EACH SIDE.
PERFORM THESE STRETCHES FOR 1-2 MINUTES ON EACH SIDE.
FOAM ROLL FOR 1-2 MINUTES EACH.
Shin splints can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months to heal. So you’ll have to be patient and be sure to stop any activities that trigger it. The faster you begin treating it, the faster it heals.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have!