WE ARE MOVING TO:
673 Temple St.
Dr. Larry Smith D. C.
Dr. Olena Gill N.D.
WE ARE MOVING TO:
673 Temple St.
Dr. Larry Smith D. C.
Dr. Olena Gill N.D.
I hope you enjoy this great special report to The Globe and Mail authored by Alex Hutchinson published on June 10, 2018
Maybe it’s not the pounding after all.
Since the 1970s, biomechanics researchers have been searching for the telltale traits that predict which runners will get injured and which won’t. Most of their attention, understandably, has focused on the vertical forces that radiate up through the legs each time your foot hits the ground.
But a new study from researchers at the University of British Columbia explores the question from a new angle, linking horizontal braking forces to injury risk. The findings, which were presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Minneapolis last month and now appear in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, bolster the controversial claim that running form is linked to injury risk, and offer some tentative hints on how to run better.
In the study, 65 female runners visited the Fortius Institute in Burnaby for a detailed three-dimensional gait analysis, which involved running on a treadmill with 42 reflective markers pasted to their head, trunk, and limbs while being filmed from six angles. This allowed the researchers to calculate the various forces experienced by the body at each stage of the running cycle.
The runners then completed a 15-week half-marathon training program, with injuries monitored by a sport physiotherapist.
The researchers suspected that the best predictor of injury would be the “average vertical loading rate,” which is a measure of how jarringly your foot hits the ground. This is a widely studied hypothesis, although studies have produced mixed results on whether high vertical loading rates really predict injuries. As a secondary hypothesis, they looked at a less heralded variable called “peak braking force,” which is the amount your front foot pushes backward horizontally as you land, slowing you down briefly.
During the training program, 22 of the runners suffered injuries – and surprisingly, braking force turned out to be by far the best predictor. When the runners were split into three equal groups based on their braking force, those in the group with the highest force were eight times more likely to sustain an injury compared with the lowest group, and five times more likely than the middle group. None of the other biomechanical measurements, including vertical loading rate, had any significant links to injury risk.
These results are seemingly unexpected, since the vertical forces during running are about ten times greater than the horizontal forces, says Chris Napier, a physical therapist and UBC doctoral candidate who is the study’s lead author. But our bones and other tissues are designed to withstand vertical forces, leaving them more vulnerable to forces acting in other directions.
The findings raise two key questions: First, how do you know if you have excessive braking force? And second, how do you change it?
Coaches often assume that runners who “overstride” – that is, whose feet land far in front of their bodies – will have the highest braking force, especially if they land on their heels. But that’s not necessarily the case, Napier says. In follow-up studies that haven’t yet been published, he and his colleagues have found that the two best predictors of high braking force are running speed and stride length, regardless of where or how your feet land.
That means slowing down is a simple option to reduce braking force – although not one that most runners are interested in trying, Napier acknowledges. Luckily, taking shorter, more frequent steps – for example, increasing your cadence from 165 to 170 steps a minute, without reducing speed – will also likely reduce braking force. In addition, they found that runners who tried to run “softly” successfully reduced their braking force.
There are already wearable gadgets, such as the Lumo Run, that measure a version of braking force, and tell runners whether it’s higher or lower than normal. Such insights won’t be a magic bullet that prevents all running injuries – “but it’s another piece of the puzzle,” Napier says, alongside other risk factors like how quickly you increase your training from week to week.
The new findings are a reminder that the long-debated links between running form and injuries are more complex than expected – but they do exist. “In running, just like in any task,” Napier says, “how you do it matters.”
Alex Hutchinson is the author of Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance. Follow him on Twitter @sweatscience.
Hope you enjoy the following article from Runners World!
You’ve no doubt heard the news by now: A car-commuting, desk-bound, TV-watching lifestyle can be harmful to your health. All the time we spend parked behind a steering wheel, slumped over a keyboard, or kicked back in front of the tube is linked to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even depression—to the point where experts have labeled this modern-day health epidemic the “sitting disease.”
But wait, you’re a runner. You needn’t worry about the harms of sedentary living because you’re active, right? Well, not so fast. A growing body of research shows that people who spend many hours of the day glued to a seat die at an earlier age than those who sit less—even if those sitters exercise.
Up until very recently, if you exercised for 60 minutes or more a day, you were considered physically active, case closed,” says Travis Saunders, a Ph.D. student and certified exercise physiologist at the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. “Now a consistent body of emerging research suggests it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary, and that sitting increases your risk of death and disease, even if you are getting plenty of physical activity. It’s a bit like smoking. Smoking is bad for you even if you get lots of exercise. So is sitting too much.”
Unfortunately, outside of regularly scheduled exercise sessions, active people sit just as much as their couch-potato peers. In a 2012 study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, researchers reported that people spent an average of 64 hours a week sitting, 28 hours standing, and 11 hours milling about (non-exercise walking), whether or not they exercised the recommended 150 minutes a week. That’s more than nine hours a day of sitting, no matter how active they otherwise were. “We were very surprised that even the highest level of exercise did not matter squat for reducing the time spent sitting,” says study author Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., professor and director of the inactivity physiology department at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. In fact, regular exercisers may make less of an effort to move outside their designated workout time. Research presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine from Illinois State University reports that people are about 30 percent less active overall on days when they exercise versus days they don’t hit the road or the gym. Maybe they think they’ve worked out enough for one day. But experts say most people simply aren’t running or walking or even just standing enough to counteract all the harm that can result from sitting eight or nine or 10 hours a day.
Spuds on the Run.
Unless you have a job that keeps you moving, most of your non-running time is likely spent sitting. And that would make you an “active couch potato”—a term coined by Australian researcher Genevieve Healy, Ph.D., of the University of Queensland to describe exercisers who sit most of their day. If they aren’t careful, she says, active couch potatoes face the same health risks as their completely inactive counterparts.
“Your body is designed to move,” Hamilton says. “Sitting for an extended period of time causes your body to shut down at the metabolic level.” When your muscles, especially certain leg muscles, are immobile, your circulation slows. So you use less of your blood sugar and you burn less fat, which increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Indeed, a study of 3,757 women found that for every two hours they sat in a given work day, their risk for developing diabetes went up seven percent, which means their risk is 56 percent higher on days they sit for eight hours. And a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reports that a man who sits more than six hours a day has an 18 percent increased risk of dying from heart disease and a 7.8 percent increased chance of dying from diabetes compared with someone who sits for three hours or less a day. Although running does much good for you, Healy says, if you spend the rest of your waking hours sitting, those health benefits depreciate. In a 12-year study of more than 17,000 Canadians, researchers found that the more time people spent sitting, the earlier they died—regardless of age, body weight, or how much they exercised.
Adding to the mounting evidence, Hamilton recently discovered that a key gene (called lipid phosphate phosphatase-1 or LPP1) that helps prevent blood clotting and inflammation to keep your cardiovascular system healthy is significantly suppressed when you sit for a few hours. “The shocker was that LPP1 was not impacted by exercise if the muscles were inactive most of the day,” Hamilton says. “Pretty scary to say that LPP1 is sensitive to sitting but resistant to exercise.”
Heart disease and diabetes aren’t the only health hazards active couch potatoes face. The American Institute for Cancer Research now links prolonged sitting with increased risk of both breast and colon cancers. “Sitting time is emerging as a strong candidate for being a cancer risk factor in its own right,” says Neville Owen, Ph.D., head of the Behavioral Epidemiology Laboratory at Australia’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. “Emerging evidence suggests that the longer you sit, the higher your risk. It also seems that exercising won’t compensate for too much sitting.” According to Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada, inactivity is linked to 49,000 cases of breast cancer, 43,000 cases of colon cancer, 37,200 cases of lung cancer, and 30,600 cases of prostate cancer a year.
As if that weren’t enough to put you in a sad state, a 2013 survey of nearly 30,000 women found that those who sat nine or more hours a day were more likely to be depressed than those who sat fewer than six hours a day because prolonged sitting reduces circulation, causing fewer feel-good hormones to reach your brain.
Scared straight out of your chair? Good. Because the remedy is as simple as standing up and taking activity breaks. Stuart McGill, Ph.D., director of the Spine Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Waterloo says that interrupting your sedentary time as often as possible and making frequent posture changes is important. “Even breaks as short as one minute can improve your health,” he says. Developing healthier habits will also improve your running performance, says Nikki Reiter, biomechanist with The Run S.M.A.R.T. Project. The combination of going for a run and then parking your butt for the rest of the day (or vice versa) could be a recipe for injury. “The static sitting position can cause certain muscles to become tight or overstretched, neither of which is good for your running,” she says. Even if you went for a really intense or long run, regular activity throughout the day will help your recovery. So stand up now: It’s good for your body and mind.
There Is a Hole in My Sidewalk
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in…it’s a habit…but,
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault.
I get out immediately,
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
In Brain Fit for Life, Dr. Simon Evans, PhD and Dr. Paul Burghardt, PhD tackle a very contemporary and timely issue. Is it possible to achieve lifelong brain health and fitness? Is there anything we can do to prevent the inevitable decline of cognitive function? The answer to both questions is a resounding yes!
The coauthors are research scientists from the University of Michigan with a wealth of public speaking experience. The strength of their book is that they break down a highly complex subject matter into an easy to read and entertaining format.
According to the authors, “your brain responds and adapts to the environment you live in and the experiences you have. … Just like the rest of your body, your brain can be fit or in shape or unfit and out of shape.” The authors state that the brain fitness industry is feverishly producing intellectually challenging software games in an attempt to keep the mind young. However, they are adamant that their book is about boosting total brain fitness. It is definitely possible to exercise your brain to improve your level of brain fitness. However it takes a variety of exercise routines to really get your brain “in shape.”
The foundation of the book is laid down very strategically in the first chapter. Total brain fitness is broken down into three main cognitive systems: 1) Emotional Intelligence (EQ); 2) Physical Intelligence (PQ); and 3) Intellectual Cognition (IQ).
Evans and Burghardt present the four cornerstones of brain fitness as quality nutrition, physical activity, mental activity and sleep. If only one of these cornerstones is weak, your brain health can be drastically compromised. The reader will discover what nutrients are the best raw materials to boost brain power and how to utilize exercise and physical activity to improve learning and memory. The reader will also learn what mental activities and exercise will help sharpen his mind and cognitive function. “Most researchers believe there is no harm in using the cognitive training games but realize that it’s only a small piece of the overall puzzle.”
And finally the reader will learn why sleep is so important for learning. One fascinating concept describes plasticity and the brain’s ability to rewire itself. “You’ll need it to continue to learn, adapt to and successfully conquer the challenges that life throws at you.” Sleep deprivation decreases the brain’s ability to strengthen connection between brain cells and consolidate what one has just learned. In particular it gives great insight into the reason why some sleep deprived students have difficulty passing some of their exams!
If you are looking for an excellent guide to lifelong brain health and fitness, Brain Fit for Life is for you. Through their insightful analysis, practical illustrations, and amusing cartoons, the authors absolutely inspire you to improve your level of brain fitness. Brain fitness is a lifelong journey. However, if you follow the directions, integrate the four cornerstones and take action, you are going to enjoy the ride.
Many thanks to my colleague Dr. Chris Enns from Winnipeg for his article about the importance of sleeping posture. Let me know if you have any questions.
As a chiropractor, I often discuss with my patients the importance of good sleeping posture. When we think about posture, we usually think of how we hold our bodies while standing, lifting or sitting and not necessarily our posture at rest. After all, it is a body position that occupies the greatest proportion of our time. Normally it should be a time for rest and recuperation. It should be when our body renews energy, replenishes cells, and recovers from the normal stresses and strains of life. Unfortunately, your sleeping position can not only result in sleep deprivation, but it can be a cause for shoulder, neck and back pain . It is well known that when we don’t sleep well, it can contribute to a variety of health conditions, some of which pose significant risk to both quality of life and longevity. In this article, I will discuss some general guidelines. Every individual presents unique challenges with finding the right position, so this discussion will not apply to everyone. The best sleeping position is a balance between the ideal posture and the most comfortable position.
1. Don’t Sleep On Your Stomach.
It is tough to control what your body does when you are sleeping, but avoid sleeping on your front. Sleeping face down always forces your neck into extension with significant rotation. This position places significant loading to your spinal joints. Typically, stomach sleepers don’t alternate which side they rotate their head, so it becomes an asymmetrical strain to their neck, upper back, and even low back.
2. If You Sleep On Your Back, Don’t Use Two Pillows.
Sleeping on your back can be an excellent way to ensure a neutral posture. When you lay flat without a pillow, on a firm mattress, most people are in an almost perfect posture. This may not be comfortable, however. Regardless of how ideal the posture, your sleeping position must be comfortable or you’ll end up falling asleep in a poor sleeping posture. If you are a back sleeper, try using only one comfortable pillow at the head to reduce the forward head posture and perhaps a pillow or two under the knees to reduce strain to your low back. Contoured pillows may help preserve the normal curve in your neck and keep your head from flexing forward and causing excess strain.
3. Side sleepers Need To Find Neutral.
A common sleeping position is laying on your side. This may be comfortable, but there is plenty of room for error when trying to find a neutral posture. Remember, the goal is a neutral posture that is comfortable for restful sleep. The head should be in between the shoulders and not bent towards or away from the pillow. You should avoid twisting into various body contortions or this will cause rotational strain to the spinal discs. A body pillow, or using multiple pillows, for supporting the body can be a solution to this problem. Placing a pillow between the knees and the elbows is an effective way to find a neutral body position. For the head, there is no rule that is applicable to everyone. Because of varying shoulder width, some will only need one pillow to keep their head level. Others will require two pillows if they have large shoulders. Or, a contoured pillow that has multiple depths can help with finding the right pillow height. Another suggestion, if these are uncomfortable, would be to pull your pillow down towards the shoulder and prop up to support the neck.
4. Choose A Mattress That Is Firm And Comfortable
Choosing a mattress can be very difficult. There is so much variety with the materials used and how soft or hard the mattress can be. There are plenty of claims by manufacturers and retailers that may not have any scientific validation. The best recommendation that I can make is to choose a mattress that is firm enough to keep you in a neutral sleeping posture but without compromising on comfort. Sleeping face up on the floor will accomplish neutral, but few will wake up re-energized. Too hard and you will develop pain from the pressure points on your hips or shoulders. Too soft, and your hips will depress further into the bed than your head and will take your body far from neutral. So, choose a mattress that you feel will offer enough support for your body and sleep-position, but is going to be as comfortable as possible.
Remember, these are only general recommendations. We are all individuals and need to find what works right for us!
Dr. Chris Enns, B.Sc., D.C. has been a Winnipeg chiropractor since 2005. He is the owner of Balance Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, located at 121 St. Anne’s Rd in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Services include: chiropractic, massage therapy, athletic therapy, orthotics, spinal decompression therapy, laser therapy, x-ray services, and health and fitness consulting.
AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY
“My doctors told me I would never walk again. My mother told me I would. I believed my mother.”
When Wilma Rudolph was four years old, she had a disease called polio which causes people to be crippled and often unable to walk. To make matters worse, her family was poor and could not afford good medical care. She was from a large family – she was the 20th of 22 children! Her father was a railroad porter and her mother was a maid.
Her mother decided she would do everything she could to help Wilma walk again.
The doctors had said that she would not be able to walk… but every week she took her daughter on a long bus trip to a hospital to receive therapy. It didn’t help, but the doctors said she should massage Wilma’s legs every day. She taught the brothers and sisters how to do it, and they also rubbed their sister’s legs four times a day.
By the time she was eight, she could walk with a leg brace. After that, she used a high-topped shoe to support her foot. She played basketball with her brothers every day.
Three years later, her mother came home one day to find Wilma playing basketball by herself — barefooted. She didn’t even have to use the special shoe.
A track coach encouraged her to start running. She ran so well that during her senior year in high school, she qualified for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. She won a bronze medal in the women’s 400 meter relay.
In 1959, she qualified for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome by setting a world’s record in the 200 meter race. At the Olympics that year, she won two gold medals; one for the 100 meter race and one for the 200 meter race.
Then she sprained her ankle, but she ignored the pain and helped her team to win another gold medal for the 400 meter relay! She retired from running when she was 22 years old, but she went on to coach women’s track teams and encourage young people.
Wilma thought that God had a greater purpose for her than to win three gold medals. She started the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to help children learn about discipline and hard work.
She died of brain cancer in 1994. Even though she is no longer alive, her influence still lives on in the lives of many young people who look up to her.
I am often asked by patients: How can I be getting better when I still have pain? Pain is a sign that the body is healing. It is normal to feel pain while you are recovering. Did you ever wonder why things sometimes hurt more before they get better? Why do we have to feel it to heal it? Why “No Pain, No Gain”? We have all been brainwashed from day-one by the pharmaceutical companies to believe that pain in any shape or form is unacceptable.
Do you remember these television commercials?
Then you are given the easy solution. By taking this pill or potion your pain will be taken away instantly and you will live happily ever after.
Aside: Along with, “Your cheque is in the mail,” another one of the biggest lies in history would have to be; “These new pills have no major side effects.” Remember the famous line from movie producer Michael Moore, “Give a lie a 24-hour head start and the truth will never catch up with it.”
What Is Pain?
According to chiropractor, Dr. Barry Weinberg, pain is nothing more than the experience of separation. If you cut your finger with a knife, the separation of the skin causes pain. If you break a bone, the separation of the bone tissue causes pain. If you break up a relationship or a loved one dies, the separation from that person causes emotional pain. All pain is separation.
If the separation continues and becomes great enough, the pain begins to diminish until it is no longer felt. In these circumstances we may feel as if the injury or trauma is “healing” because the pain is going away. In fact, the pain is diminishing because the separation is becoming so great that it grows beyond our level of awareness. Rather than healing (becoming whole) we are merely becoming numb.
We may think, “I’m better! The pain is gone!” Only to find a few weeks, months, or years later, that we re-experience the same pain…only stronger. We take a few aspirin or go for a cortisone injection…enhancing our separation. Once again, the pain is gone…for a while. It is like the gas light in the car. Have you ever been driving when suddenly the gas light comes on? You keep driving and the gas light goes off. A few minutes later it comes on a little longer…and again it turns off. Even quicker, the light comes on again — and stays on. If you don’t get gas now, you’ll probably come to a sudden halt. Our bodies, and our pain, function in a similar way. Eventually, if we don’t listen to the signal, all will come to a stop.
When we understand that pain is not the problem, but the signal of a problem, we are more equipped and more responsible to take action and find a solution to the problem rather than just attacking the signal through a pain reliever, muscle relaxant, anti-depressant or anti-inflammatory drug. If the fire alarm went off in your house, would you not be annoyed if the fire department came and merely removed the alarm? What about the fire?
So why do things begin to hurt more when you begin to heal?
There are two reasons. One, as you heal, or become more whole, you become more aware of your body and yourself. With this increased awareness, the pain signals are experienced more. It is not that the pain is getting “worse”… you are feeling more. Healing is not about feeling better; it is about being better able to feel.
The more aware we are of the subtle signals of our bodies, minds and spirits, the more able we are to adapt to the changes in our environment. Would you rather hear the lion’s roar miles away…or feel its breath on your neck? When we are more aware of the subtle, we have more room to make decisions. Our bodies give us such signals, but often they are ignored. Over time, the body must get our attention or more severe circumstances will ensue.
We begin to experience pain…if we don’t listen to this more advanced signal, the pain will increase to a point, but then suddenly stop. We have become numb. This part of us will surely die, unless immediate and critical action is taken. As the part, which has become so separate that it is unfelt, begins to become more whole with the body, the pain will return. Often it will be very intense, but as the healing continues it reduces and we begin to enjoy a finer quality of life. In order to heal, that part must be felt. We must be aware of it.
When Dr. Barry first began Chiropractic College, he met a woman who was paralyzed from the waist down, with no feeling or movement in the legs. She told him that a heavy box fell on her when she was five years old, and she had been crippled ever since. Four years later, he ran into her again…literally. She was walking. He was astounded and asked what had happened. She explained that she was under intensive treatment and that over the course of four years; she got her legs back. He asked her what that was like. She said that it was the most painful experience of her life. First her legs began to tingle for about three months…then they began to throb for about six months…for almost ten months after that, she felt constant excruciating pain. Finally, the pain began to subside and she was able to feel her legs pleasantly and walk. He asked her if it was worth all that to get her legs back. She said she would have experienced it twice over to get her legs back.
What are you willing to feel in order to heal?
In closing, I would like to share a technique I learned from Dr. Barry that I use with my clients when they are feeling pain. Rather than trying to make the pain go away (through drugs, therapies or any other means), I recommend feeling it completely. Not just the pain, but the part that is hurting. Sit in a chair or lie down, take nice deep breaths, and just allow yourself to feel the hurt part. Just be aware of it…no judgment…no complaints…no worries…just be aware. As you stay aware of it, realize that the pain is not you. The pain is a signal from you to you alerting you that something is separate. As you stay aware, the pain will become more separate from your experience, but the part of you that is separate will begin to re-unite with yourself and heal.