Active Care Rehab

Suffering From Shin Splints?

thSuffering From Shin Splints?

If you are suffering from shin splints try this exercise (link above). This will help strengthen your Tibialis Anterior the main muscle on the front of your shin and the muscle responsible for flexing your foot (opposite of pointing your toes). For more info on shin splints see my article here.

Active Care Rehab

Respiration

http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55399
http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55399

Respiration or breathing is not just important to maintain life and function of the organs but plays a role in the development of pain and pain syndromes. When breathing is not ideal one must use many other muscles to aid the body in expanding the lungs so sufficient amount of oxygen is taken into the lungs. It is estimated that 75% of individuals with pain or anxiety do not use proper respiration.

Ideal breathing is not as easy as taking a breath in through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. It consists of lung andlower rib cage expansion with 360 degree core expansion. The neck and shoulders should not be involved in proper breathing. Breathe Strong, Perform Better

Ideal proper breathing starts with proper core expansion and use of the diaphragm. When one inhales through the nose theentire core (belly, sides, and back) should expand due to dropping of the diaphragm. The air should be pushed downward towards the pelvis. The ribs should move downward and out while they expand. Exhaling should be performed slowly and naturally. You should not force air out of your lungs and exhalation should be twice as long as inhalation.

Proper respiration helps restore alignment of trunk and spine, decreases stress and over activity of muscles in the shoulder, neck and hips, improves oxygen consumption, and improves many more organ and nervous system functions. The most efficient way to stabilize the core is to breathe properly.

Improper respiration can aid in many dysfunctions and the development in pain. Many of us hold our stomachs tight to appear to be smaller than we are. Doing this blocks the diaphragm and does not let it push downward when we inhale. This decreases the strength of the protective muscles of the spine and hips.

When the diaphragm can not fall properly, other muscles have to assist in rib expansion. The neck and shoulder muscles pull the ribs upward, instead of them moving downward and out. This type of respiration can lead to shoulder and neck pain along with headaches.

Long term improper breathing can lead to overuse injuries and syndromes in the spine and extremities. Over using the neck and shoulder muscles can cause tendinitis in the shoulder and below, nerve entrapments that mimic carpal tunnel, and disc injuries in the spine. See the exercises to help correct your breathing.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Nutrition

Good Carbs Bad Carbs

Good carbs bad carbs is a debate that can go on and on with neither party wanting to give up. But with people getting desperate on the means of losing weight, the message been sent around may be that carbs are bad. However with science telling us to balance our intake of carbohydrates, it may then leave many wondering what the right way to go is. This article will educate you on what you need to know about carbs. To read on click below.

Good Carbs Bad Carbs

Active Care Rehab

Cervical Disc and Neck Pain

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

This week we are going to discuss the cervical (neck) disc herniations. The cervical spine or neck consists of seven vertebrae and five disc which allow the spine to be flexible.

When the discs (much like the Lumbar Spine) become irritated they can begin to migrate posterior or backwards and cause pain. When the disc migrates it can become a bulge or herniation.

A herniated disc usually is caused by wear and tear of the disc. Today, we speed this process up due to postures such as rolled shoulders and forward head posture. These positions place a large load on the lower neck and place the disc under increased pressure.  Herniated discs are much more common in people who smoke, Cervical or Lumbar.

Herniated discs in the neck can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, chest, arms, and hands. Early signs are pain in…

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Nutrition

Dietary Crackhead

I recently read an article about “Dietary Crackheads and Obesity” and was very interested.  Although the term “crackhead” maybe extreme, I believe the effects of sugar, flour, and refined grains have on the brain maybe surprising to you.  The problem with these carbohydrates is that when we eat them they induce addiction cgrainschemistry in the brain, which makes us want them more.

Through the fall and winter we indulge ourselves with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter treats and foods. These extremely pleasant, grand meals and treats may fill us with great memories and happiness but they also trigger the reward system of our brains limbic system.  Fulfilling the reward gives us pleasure so we continuously seek this pleasure with sugar and refined grains.

How many of us have to have bread with a meal, a sugary drink throughout the day, or something sweet in the evening? These cravings are not just your specific taste in foods but your brain seeking its daily or hourly fix.  Whenever we are craving for these foods the addiction chemistry is working overtime in the brain.

Trust me, you are not alone when it comes to eating with your brain. After long days at work or stressful weeks, I feel my limbic system craving brainchocolate and sweets. Many nights I sit and eat M&M after M&M without contempt. When this happens to you there are a few tricks that can calm our cravings.

If you are like me, I do my cleaning, housework, and chores on the weekend.  I also do not indulge in sweet delights as frequently on my days off as I do during the fast passed, stressful week days. Our brain and  also responds to physical activity and completing goals. Doing yard work or housework has an appetite suppressing quality and produces a reward much like snacking on high carbohydrate foods.

Next time you feel your reward center telling you to eat that candy bar or have another piece of bread try going for a walk or performing a small task that you are putting off until the weekend.  Also, remember you are not alone nor should you feel guilty for giving in to your cravings. The first step is admitting and then working towards replacing the cravings with activity.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab

Shin Splints and Ankle Injury Prevention

http://www.mdguidelines.com/shin-splints
http://www.mdguidelines.com/shin-splints

With the the new year approaching and many new years resolutions to be active, injury prevention should be on everyone’s mind. Many lower extremity conditions can develop through training, competition and overuse. Some common lower extremity conditions that plague the weekend warrior and even the avid runner are shin splints, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, and various bursitis’.

These conditions commonly share biomechanical dysfunctions: weak foot intrinsic muscles, ankle instability, overactive calves, and weak glutes are just a few. Shin Splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, result from too much force being placed on the shin and connective tissues that attach the muscles to the bone.  Symptoms are pain and tenderness along the inside of the shin during activity and at first generally calms down after exercise.  In chronic or long-standing cases, pain may persist after the activity.

Risk-factors for shin splints are tight calves, unstable ankles, weak anterior tibialis and having flat feet. Running on hard surfaces and participating in activities with sudden starts and stops may increase your risk for developing shin splints. Treatments for shin splints consist of stretching, Active Release and/or Graston, and functional rehabilitation of the feet, ankles and leg muscles. One can prevent this leg pain by choosing the correct shoe wear for their feet, cross training and varying their running surface. Strengthening insoles  can be helpful.

The ankle is a joint primarily made up of 3 bones and many ligaments. The muscles of the lower leg and feet act to stabilize the ankle along with their primary functions. When imbalances occur in these muscles ankle stability is lost and the chance of injury greatly increases. Commonly, the calf becomes overactive, weakening the anterior tibalis and changing the arches of the foot. Dorsiflexion or foot rising is lost causing the toe raising muscles to be recruited. These overactive muscles begin to produce extra stress on the shin. Over time stress pulls on the tibia leading to pain.

As the muscle imbalance grows the ankle becomes more unstable. The ankle ligaments are continuously stretched and pushed to their limits. At this point, ankle sprains and strains can occur. So if you are dealing with shin splints or “weak ankles,” click here to see exercises that maybe beneficial to you.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab

Cervical Disc and Neck Pain

This week we are going to discuss the cervical (neck) disc herniations. The cervical spine or neck consists of seven vertebrae and five disc which allow the spine to be flexible.

http://livefit.net.au/tag/c7/
http://livefit.net.au/tag/c7/

When the discs (much like the Lumbar Spine) become irritated they can begin to migrate posterior or backwards and cause pain. When the disc migrates it can become a bulge or herniation.

A herniated disc usually is caused by wear and tear of the disc. Today, we speed this process up due to postures such as rolled shoulders and forward head posture. These positions place a large load on the lower neck and place the disc under increased pressure.  Herniated discs are much more common in people who smoke, Cervical or Lumbar.

Herniated discs in the neck can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the neck, shoulders, chest, arms, and hands. Early signs are pain in the neck, shoulder and shoulder blade. It is often described as sharp, deep pain that massage can not get to. On the other hand, many people experience no symptoms from a herniated disk. Most people who have a herniated disk don’t need surgery to correct the problem. According to Mayo Clinic, 90% of disc injuries resolve with conservative treatment.

Conservative Treatment for cervical disc injury or irritation consists of a combination of corrective exercise, posture restoration, and myofascial release. Releasing the tissues in the neck with Active Release or Graston can take strain off of the disc and allow the rehab exercises to be more effective. Since a disc injury involves inflammation, anti-inflammatory nutrition may help reduce the pain while undergoing treatment. Cervical Neck Traction and Treat Your Own Neck 5th Ed (803-5) can be helpful as well.

Classic Seated Posture
Classic Seated Posture

Forward head posture (FHP) has almost become the norm in society today. This occurs when sitting with poor posture for long periods of time. FHP leads to a reduction in the normal curve of the neck and muscle imbalance. When these changes occur the posture is visible when standing or walking as well.

When the normal curve of the neck straightens, the upper back compensates by rounding and becoming stiff. This places increased stress and load on the lower cervical spine. The disc and ligaments can become overworked and leads to pain. Increased stress on these ligaments and disc can start to weaken their collagen fibers and allow the posterior or backwards migration of the disc material.

When the head protrudes forward the muscles in the back of the neck become tight and when this condition is chronic scar tissue can develop. The muscles in the front become stretched and start to weaken. This is why most individuals with FHP can not touch their chin to their chest. So if you are dealing with disc-like symptoms or FHP the exercises here may be beneficial to you.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab

Lumbar Disc Injury Prevention

The low back consist of five lumbar vertebrae and the sacrum or “tail” bone. Between these vertebrae are discs that act as ligaments and allow the spine to be flexible. A disc is a little like a jelly donut, with a softer center encased within a tougher exterior. When the discs become irritate they can begin to migrate posterior or backwards and cause pain. When the disc migrates it can become a bulge or herniation.

Many factors play a role in disc herniation. The most common are flat-back posture (plumber’s crack), prolonged sitting, working in a slumped position, and incorrect lifting/bending posture. All of these factors place increased pressure on the disc and can lead to irritation and possible herniation.

The symptoms of disc irritation or herniation are pain in the low back, buttock or hip (most common) and radiating pain down one leg. Pain is generally worse in the morning and subsides with movement, increases with sitting or driving, and is irritated with changing of position such as sitting to a standing and rolling over in bed.

According to the Mayo Clinic “Conservative treatment… relieves symptoms in nine out of 10 people with a herniated disk. Many people get better in a mo

http://www.jandacrossedsyndromes.com/
http://www.jandacrossedsyndromes.com/

nth or two with conservative treatment.” Treatments consist of correcting seated posture, adjusting activities of daily living, corrective exercise, and treating dysfunctions with manipulation, Active Release, and anti-inflammatory nutrition.

The classic disc presents with the symptoms: pain in the low back and/or buttocks area that may or may not travel down one leg. The pain is generally in the SI joint or back of the hip. It will increase with sitting or being slumped over.

The disc patient generally has a flat low back and tight posterior muscles. The hamstrings are tight so the patient can not generally bend down and touch their toes easily and the “piriformis” muscles are tight so sitting in a cross legged position is not comfortable. This presentation generally looks as if the back is rounded and the buttocks is clinched while standing.

Most disc presentations state “I just bent over to pick something up and had pain in my back.” Repetitive flexion (bending) or rotation movements set up the low back for injury.

So if you are dealing with disc-like symptoms click here to see rehab exercises.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab

Winter Conditioning and Proper Breathing

tredmillWith Midwest winter weather upon us, many people will be transitioning to more indoor workouts and training. One downfall to being active is that the weather does not always allow us to get our activity in year round. If you are a competitive runner, a weekend warrior or a person that enjoys a nice walk or bike ride through the neighborhood the snow and cold can keep you inside and bundled up.

Although a nice warm cup of hot chocolate or hard cider sounds cozy on a frigid winter day, we still have to find ways to keep our bodies healthy and in shape. Many choose alternatives to being outside and exercising such as running or walking on a treadmill and riding a stationary bike. These great pieces of exercise equipment help keep ones cardiovascular system in shape but can lead to injuries when heading back to the road or trail when the weather allows.

Using a treadmill or stationary bike does not engage the glute and ankle muscles like their road counterparts. While your endurance may not decline during the winter months, one’s hip and ankle stability generally does. It becomes more important to start a core/glute and ankle strengthening program and working on generally flexibility so that when your competitive season begins or take to the outdoors again you are ready for action.

When working on core strengthening it is important to also include breathing techniques. Improper respiration can aid in many dysfunctions and the development in pain. Many of us hold our stomachs tight to appear to be smaller than we are. Doing this blocks the diaphragm and does not let it push downward when we inhale. This decreases the strength of the protective muscles of the spine and hips.

When the diaphragm can not fall properly, other muscles have to assist in rib expansion. The neck and shoulder muscles pull the ribs upward, instead of them moving downward and out. This type of respiration can lead to shoulder and neck pain along with headaches. The lower extremity muscles than have too help stabilize the spine instead of the hips or pelvis. This shift in stability can increase to the risk to many injuries.

http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55399
http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=55399

Long term improper breathing can lead to overuse injuries and syndromes in the spine and extremities. Over using the neck and shoulder muscles can cause tendinitis in the shoulder and below, nerve entrapments that mimic carpal tunnel, and disc injuries in the spine.

Click here see exercises that help correct your breathing.

Your in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand