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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Knee Pain? Look to the Hip! September 18, 2009

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Anytime someone comes into my Comox Valley Chiropractic office with knee pain, I always will look at their hips and pelvis for dysfunction. It is a logical step that most chiropractors will take.

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Now, new research is emerging which is showing that a measurable relationship does exist between patellofemoral joint (kneecap) pain and altered hip mechanics.

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This study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy found a link between women with kneecap pain, increased internal hip rotation and weakness with hip extension. These subjects consistently showed weaker single leg squatting and jumping abilities, and had improper hip mechanics when running.

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A comprehensive treatment strategy would involve normalizing the hip and pelvic function with chiropractic adjustments, working on the muscular tension with soft tissue therapy, and addressing the hip weakness with a gluteus medius and maximus rehab program.

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The incidence of knee pain is very high in our society, especially in younger women. There are ways to help this condition, and it is not necessarily something you have to live with!

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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Courtenay Chiropractor.

 

Stretching For Runners February 22, 2009

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Running is a great form of exercise – easy, cheap and great for your cardiovascular system. However, running can also be very hard on your joints. Your joints are subjected to higher than normal forces with each stride, and this can compound any minor flaw in your biomechanics or your body. A tight hip or strained hamstring can alter your running position enough to cause significant pain.

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As I have said before, prevention is the key. Its way easier to prevent something than to fix it once its happened. Apart from ensuring you have a good pair of running shoes, the second most important preventative step is to stretch out your body at the end of your run. This will help to loosen up any muscles that have tightened up, and will help your body recover faster.

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The Canadian Chiropractic Association has created a brochure outlining some easy and effective running stretches. Again, these are to be done at the end of your run. The brochure can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:

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Running Stretches

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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

 

Choosing Good Running Shoes June 3, 2008

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The function of a running shoe is to protect the foot from the stress of running, while permitting the athlete to achieve his/her maximum potential.  With so many different types and styles of running shoes today, it can be very confusing to know which one to choose. First, you need to know your feet.

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For example, people with low arches, called pronators, will need a shoe that provides some degree of stability.  A shoe with good cushioning is important for people with high arches, called supinators. There are three main features of a shoe that you need to consider when selecting a running shoe: shape, type of construction, and midsole.

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Shape

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To determine the shape of the shoe, look at the sole.  Draw a straight line from the middle of the heel to the top of the shoe.  In a curve-shaped shoe, most comfortable for supinators, the line will pass through the outer half of the toe.  A straight-shaped shoe will have a line that passes through the middle of the toe.  These shoes are built to give pronators added stability.

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Construction

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There are three types of shoe construction.  To evaluate this, take the insole out and look at what type of stitching is used on the bottom.  In board construction shoes, built specifically for pronators, the bottom of the shoe will not have any visible stitching.  Combination shoes, appropriate for mild pronators or supinators, will have stitching that begins halfway.  On slip-constructed shoes, you will see stitching running the entire length of the shoe providing the flexibility supinators need.

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Midsole

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Most of the cushioning and stability of a running shoe is determined by the
midsole.  A dual-density midsole provides shock absorption as well as some stability, perfect for pronators.  Single density midsoles offer good cushioning but are not great at providing stability, making them better for supinators.

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Other Shoe Shopping Tips

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• Shop in the afternoon or evening, as your feet tend to accumulate fluid and swell throughout the day.

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• Not all shoes are created equally.  The same shoe sizes can have different fits depending on the maker.  Make sure to try several sizes to find the most comfortable shoe.

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• Avoid buying shoes that you feel need a break-in period.  Shoes should be comfortable from the first time you put them on.

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• Select a running shoe store with knowledgeable staff who can provide advice on the shoe that best suits your activity, body structure and type of foot.

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• Running shoes are an investment in your health.  Better quality shoes may cost more but will pay off in terms of support and sturdiness.  A mid-priced shoe may offer the best value.

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• Most importantly, your running shoes must be comfortable – go for a short jog inside the store to test them out!

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• And lastly, to prevent injury, don’t forget to replace your runners every 400 to 600 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first.

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Your Comox Valley Chiropractor is here to help. Chiropractors can help you prevent running-related problems by assessing your gait, as well as the mobility of the joints in your feet, legs, pelvis and spine.  Should you suffer stress and strain from running, your Comox Valley Chiropractor can also provide treatment for your pain.

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The information above was originally generated by the Canadian Chiropractic Association for patient education.

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