Help With Running Pain & Arthritic Knees

With the chillier weather, along with the rugby and soccer seasons starting up again, those arthritic joints start playing up too. Research has shown that running or walking backwards can help. It reduces the amount of pressure your knee cap places on your knee joint, therefore decreasing arthritic pain. The reduced load on the lower body from running/walking backwards is great for those who have arthritis and especially for adolescents due to their hormonal changes and increased growth.

It takes less backwards compared to forwards running to create changes in the muscle tissue, so it is more efficient. It also creates less muscle damage and inflammation.

If you would like to know how to incorporate it into your training schedule, please refer to point 4 in the graphic.

Just make sure to watch out for trees and other people! 

If you would suffer from pain whilst running or arthritis, we can help. To make a booking, please contact us or book in online.

Turmeric and Vascular Health

You may have heard that turmeric is great for helping to reduce musculoskeletal pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. These also aid your vascular system by helping to prevent and reduce arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries, which can cause a heart attack). It does this by reducing oxidative stress by improving the balance between free radicals and the ability to rid oneself of them. Heart disease can progress silently, so watching your diet and exercising at any age helps to reduce the likelihood of its onset.

If you have any questions regarding this or would like help with your back pain, please contact us so one of our chiropractors can help you to start feeling better today. To do so, please contact us or book online.

Golf and Back Pain

Playing golf can cause injury primarily to the back, shoulder, elbow, hand, and wrist. Golfers are especially prone to low back pain because it uses muscles that aren't usually worked in everyday activities of life, as well as from the impact of hitting the ball and incorrect form. This alters ones joint alignment and posture which in turn alters performance.

Factors affecting injuries experienced during golf include weakened muscles (causes incorrect spinal joint movement and muscular contraction), reduced flexibility, excessive exercise, insufficient warm-up and an incorrect swing form.  

Due to the asymmetrical nature of golf, the uneven development of muscles can cause spinal and pelvic imbalances making it harder to maintain normal spinal curves, reduced movement range, weakened abdominal muscles and back pain. This research showed that chiropractic care in conjunction with a tailored stretching and flexibility program had a positive result on low back pain in golfers. This is something we can help you out with.

If you experience back pain either during or after golf, please see one of our North Ryde chiropractors. To do so please either email us or book online, to start feeling better today.

Alcohol and Sleep

Ever felt sleepy after consuming alcohol? Alcohol doesn't help you to sleep, it actually sedates you. Similar to a light anaesthesia. It breaks up your sleep because it causes you to wake up many times for a short period, you just don't remember it.

It also suppresses REM sleep. This is when we dream and if we suffer from lack of REM sleep it impairs our ability to learn complex tasks. (1) Even moderate consumption of alcohol in the afternoon and evening can impair this.

Consuming alcohol before bed can affect your ability to form new memories, not only for any that day but for several days prior as well. This is from research where test subjects were given 2-3 shots of vodka (This is the equivalent to 2-3 standard glasses of wine or beer)
after learning new information. Those that drank alcohol retained the least amount of information when retested 7 days later, followed by those who drank 2-3 days after learning the new material and those who didn't drink at all remembered all of the new information. (2)

Any amount of alcohol appears to affect one's sleep quality. Sounds like a couple of alcohol free days per week is good advice.

If you have any questions regarding this or would like help with your back pain. Please contact us as our chiropractors would love to help you out.

(1) https://www.howsleepworks.com/types_rem.html

(2) 'Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams', Matthew Walker

Thrills, Spills, Pills 2

Welcome to ‘Thrills, Spills and Pills 2’.  It is an article containing three tips which reflect the three different types of stressors we typically experience in our lives.

Thrills: Mental and Emotional Stress – relationships, work, finances etc
Spills: Physical Stress – Sitting, sports injuries, training, car accidents etc
Pills: Chemical Stress – Diet, alcohol, cigarettes, pollution, supplements, medication etc

Thrill Tip: The 10 Min Practice: this is an exercise to help purge yourself of a negative self-image. If you are constantly beating yourself up, this exercise is great to reset your thinking. Here’s how it works: every morning, before you do anything else, write down every negative thought about yourself that you have. Try to aim for at least 20 things. Really be brutal with yourself. Then turn around each statement and write down the list again, this time writing the opposite of each thought.  This is another one that only seems to work if you hand write it out.

Spill Tip: Ever wanted to increase your low back mobility? Probably the best exercise for this is the full squat. Here’s how to do it: stand with your feet roughly shoulder width apart and with straight arms held out in front (this helps with balance but is not essential). Slowly squat down into a full squat position. Your buttocks should almost be touching the floor and your heels should be flat on the floor. Let your tailbone sink down and under. If you’re having difficulty balancing, use a pole, table, doorframe etc to hang onto and lean back until your heels are flat. Aim for 10 minutes cumulatively per day.

Pill Tip: Ever tried to start the day with a smoothie but found it unfulfilling? Were you hungry only an hour later? Try the following to supercharge your smoothies: ensure that you add plenty of fat and protein. Do this by adding two raw eggs and a whole scoopful of high quality protein powder. You may also wish to add a tablespoon of coconut oil or a some full-fat, pot-set, organic, biodynamic yoghurt. The extra fat and protein from these additions will bring your smoothie to a much more satisfying level.

Thrills, Spills, Pills 1

Welcome to part 1 of ‘Thrills, Spills and Pills’.  This will include tips covering the 3 different stressors that affect one's health.  We will regularly post more tips to help you achieve better health.

Thrills: Mental and Emotional Stress – relationships, work, finances etc
Spills: Physical Stress – Sitting, sports injuries, training, car accidents etc
Pills: Chemical Stress – Diet, alcohol, cigarettes, pollution, supplements, medication etc

Thrill Tip: Can’t sleep because your mind is too active?  Try getting out of bed and writing down your thoughts.  Spend ten minutes jotting down what you are thinking, how you are feeling and any relevant action steps that you can take over the next few days and weeks.  This will help to still the mind and return you to a calmer state. Sleep should come more easily after this.  It is important to hand write it out, typing it or just thinking it doesn’t seem to have the same effect.

Spill Tip: When working out at the gym a lot of people isolate individual muscles and train until failure e.g. bicep curls with a dumbbell.  This is not a great idea as it can and often does create imbalances with your body. Instead aim for composite movements that incorporate multiple body parts: squats, push ups, pull ups, burpees etc.  I know a couple of awesome personal trainers who can help with this if you need some support.

Pill Tip: The standard western diet has a ratio of 26:1 of Omega 6 to Omega 3. This is far from the ideal.  Instead the recommended ratio should be something like 3:1 or even 2:1.  There are two ways to improve this ratio.  The first is to reduce your intake of Omega 6.  The best way to do this is reduce your intake of vegetable oils and the processed foods that contain them.  The second is to increase your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA.  Eat small wild fish (farmed fish are feed grain and corn which changes their Omega 3 content to Omega 6) and/or supplement with a high quality Omega 3 product. We sell the best available if you’re after it.

Microwaves: Are They Bad For Our Health?

Let’s take a look at whether microwaves are really something to be scared of.  There are 2 main points that I shall be discussing which can affect our health:

1. Does it destroy the nutrients in food
2. Are they dangerous?
 
Cooking food by any method starts to break down vitamins and other nutrients.  There are 3 factors that impact this process: time, contact with water (the most important factor) and intensity of the heat.  So, boiling food actually has the most impact on its nutrient content as they are lost in the water unless you plan to consume the cooking liquid as well.  The advantage of a microwave is that in most instances very little water is added and the cooking time is quite short. (1)
 
To help reduce the cooking time further, cover the food so that it steams as well.  According to the CSIRO, proteins, fats and carbohydrates are not greatly affected by cooking unless they have been slow cooked.  Personally, I am quite a fan of slow cooked lamb and food is to enjoy as well as nourish. (2)
 
Interestingly, cooking increases the lycopene content, which is an antioxidant, in tomatoes, it does reduce the amount of Vitamin C which is also an antioxidant. (3)  Lycopene may be beneficial in helping to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. (4)
 
Whilst eating raw food is great because the nutritional content hasn’t been compromised by cooking, it is harder to digest the nutrients.  Cooking starts to weaken the cell wall and break down proteins making them easier to digest. (5) Eating a variety of cooked and raw vegetables is probably the best way to go and summer is a great time to eat a delicious salad!

In terms of safety, if you are going to use a microwave,

then make sure you use a glass or ceramic container to reduce the likelihood of chemicals leaching out into the food.  Also, if you cover it with cling wrap make sure it doesn’t touch the food for the same reason.  Another common misbelief with microwaves is that its radiation can damage human cells, unlike X-rays which can. Microwave radiation is not energetic enough to break molecular bonds. It is considered non-ionizing radiation. Microwaves can heat water, including water in your body, and this can have biological effects. That’s why microwave ovens are shielded. The best advice is not to use a really old microwave that may not be functioning well. Also, don’t stand directly in front of the microwave when it is operating. Radiation falls off quickly with distance, so stand a metre away and any minimal radiation leakage will be harmless. (6)

1, 5, 6: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/microwaves-and-nutrition/ 
2: http://www.livestrong.com/article/368262-do-microwave-ovens-destroy-food-nutrients/#page=1
3: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0115589?prevSearch=rui+hai+liu&searchHistoryKey=&
4: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/13/3/340.short
 
So, I hope this has shed some light on the issue as I hear a lot of people comment on how bad they are for us but really that is just a misconception.