Comox Valley Chiropractor – Tips for your Health

Health tips from your Comox Valley Chiropractor

Gluteal Muscle Activation Exercises October 31, 2009

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It has been mentioned before in this Comox Valley Chiropractor Blog that improper activation of the gluteal muscle can lead to many lower limb issues such as knee pain (patello-femoral syndrome) or IT Band problems. A research study was recently published which sought to establish a group of exercises that were the most effective at activating the gluteal muscles.

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The study, published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, measured the EMG (muscle electrical activation) of the gluteus maximus and medius during various exercises. They came up with a group of 5 exercises which are the most effective.

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1. Side lying hip abductions – abducting the top leg to 30 degrees.
2. Single leg squats – ensuring the knee stays above the second toe, and start with knee and hip at 30 degrees of flexion.
3. Single leg dead lifts – keep knee bent at 30 degrees to maximize hip and trunk flexion.
4. Lateral band walk – side-stepping against the resistance of a band tied around the ankles.
5. Side-hops – hopping sideways off the non-dominant leg to land on the dominant leg.

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These exercises may not be appropriate for all patients and all conditions. Consult a professional in order to determine your diagnosis and any other issues you may have. A good home program lets you achieve the results you desire in terms of stability, with exercises that are easy to do and won’t result in further injury.

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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Courtenay Chiropractor.

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Exercises for Knee Arthritis May 29, 2009

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of joint problem worldwide, with knee arthritis being the most prevalent. The chances of getting knee arthritis increase with age, weight, previous injury or heredity. There is mixed evidence to support various types of knee rehabilitation for osteoarthritis sufferers. A study in the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation set out to compare strength training to balance training in managing knee arthritis.

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At the beginning of the study, there were no differences between the 2 groups of participants. One group performed only strength training exercises, while the other group performed a combination of strength and balance exercises. Based on various outcome measures such as pain, disability, stiffness, depression and physical function; the balance group performed significantly better after one year.

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This study suggests that it is important to ensure that any rehabilitation program for knee arthritis should include simple balance exercises. Some of the exercises used in the study are as follows:

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  • 25 m backwards walk
  • 25 m heel walk
  • 25 m toe walk
  • 25 m eyes closed walk
  • 30-second one-legged stand (with leaning in all directions with eyes open and closed)
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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

 

Knee Pain Kinesiotaping January 11, 2009

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Ever since I started using kinesiotape in my office, I seem to be using it more and more for knee conditions. There are so many different ways to apply the tape, but I find sometimes that the most simple applications make the most difference. Here are some quick and easy applications of kinesiotape for knee pain. They are modifications of the listed technique that can be found in the kinesiotaping manual:

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1. ACL instability

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2. MCL strain (inner knee strain)

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3. Patello-femoral syndrome (kneecap pain)

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Its best to seek out an accurate diagnosis first for your knee pain. If you find that kinesiotape works, it is a safe and effective way to control your symptoms and allow you to ultimately rehabilitate the knee.

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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

 

Summer Sports = Knee Sprains! August 5, 2008

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I recently read somewhere that ultimate frisbee has one of the highest injury rates of all sports. Some say it is due to the fast pace and uneven fields, but I suspect it also has something to do with improper warm-up and conditioning. One of the most common injuries is that of knee sprains, which I managed to bestow upon myself last week.

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Most ultimate frisbee knee sprains can be divided into two categories: MCL or LCL sprains (medial and lateral collateral ligament) or meniscus/ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) sprains. MCL/LCL are usually less severe (this is what I managed to do to myself) and affect the inside or outside of the knee. Meniscal or ACL sprains are more severe as they affect the overall stability of the knee and often take much more time (and sometimes surgery) to heal.

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Thankfully, I have almost unrestricted access to low intensity laser therapy (given that I own the machine), and have been treating the injury daily since it happened. Laser therapy is a great option for injuries such as this, as ligaments are considered a tissue that does not heal as quickly as others (such as skin or muscle). Laser therapy can boost the ligament’s healing rate, and get me back on the field a lot faster.

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It is important to remember, however, that after the swelling and pain have reduced the knee needs to be strengthened in order to prevent re-occurrence and get you sport-ready. The most important amongst these exercises is medial (inside) quad strength, as this muscle will begin to weaken immediately upon injury, especially if you are on crutches or limping around.

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If you have any questions about knee sprains or rehab, feel free to contact your Comox Valley Chiropractor.

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