Mar 2014
If you think chiropractors simply “crack” backs, you’re not alone. There are actually many types of chiropractors who are trained in muscle work, such as Active Release Technique (ART) and Graston, are probably the best manual therapists for preventing injury and optimizing performance, that’s why there’s always a sports chiropractor on Olympic and professional sports teams. For runners, chiropractic can be used for injury prevention because it emphasizes proper alignment of the spine, pelvis and lower extremity. The most common running-related injuries seen in our patients, which range from recreational runners to Olympians and New York City Marathon winners, are planar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, IT band syndrome, patella (knee) tracking problems and hip bursitis. Our first step in treating these injuries: Search for misalignment. Malalignment of the spine can cause unnecessary tension on one particular body part versus an equal distribution of pressure. We can’t resolve anyone’s chronic IT band problem without making sure their pelvis is in optimal alignment. Otherwise, it’ll continue to wear, tear, and put strain on that one particular body part. WHAT CAUSES IMPROPER ALIGNMENT? Major causes of improper alignment include running in the same direction on the same course or track every day; running often on slanted surfaces, such as a beach; and not replacing shoes every few hundred miles. Fix these training errors that cause misalignment with a few simple tweaks:
  • Vary your running surface—pavement, track, asphalt, grass, dirt, wood chips—a few times a week, and you’ll naturally run on different courses.
  • Run as close to the water as possible when on the beach, as the sand tends to be more flat there.
  • Buy two of the same type of running shoes, and switch between the pairs.
There’s a lot that contributes to improper spine or pelvic alignment, and sometimes it has nothing to do with running. It has to do with a day job, where you sit in one particular position all day and then go for a run. The muscles are in a state of tightness on one side and are lengthened on the other, and then you go for a run and your pelvis shifts. Switch positions and seats, if possible, every 30 minutes during the day. Varied posture remains the best posture, so cross your left leg, then a half-hour later, cross your right leg; sit on top of your ankle, sit straight, and even slouch. Try sitting on a stability ball—it challenges your abdominal muscles and allows you to rock your pelvis, which lubricates your joints. Switch between a chair and stability ball, stand, and take short walk breaks if you work in an office. One position for extended periods of time is disastrous for the spine. Whether you run in the morning soon after rising, or in the afternoon/evening after sitting all day at work, a proper warm-up also helps prevent injury. You need to warm up the hip in circular patterns, and you need to warm up the spine in rotary movements. You need to wake up the outer buttock muscles, called the glute medius, in order to keep your pelvis stable when you go for a run. The best injury-preventing warm-up for runners includes exercises that support the spine, get you mobile, lubricate the joints, and break up the intra-articular adhesions that get stuck in the joint and prevent it from having fluidity  Your hip socket is a great example—you need to warm up your hips so they can move as freely as possible to respond to slips, quick changes in stride and uneven terrain. A warm-up takes two minutes to complete; do 10 or so reps of each exercise and move to the next. Start each exercise in a standing position.
  • Diagonal leg swings: Hold on to the wall or a chair for balance. Extend your left leg straight to the side and swing it from side to side in front of your body. Repeat on right leg.
  • Hip gyros: Hold on to the wall or a chair for balance. Raise the left leg and, keeping the knee bent, circle the leg inward for 10, then outward for 10. Repeat on the other leg.
  • Side lunges: Start with feet together. Lunge to the left, keeping your right leg straight and extended and your left knee bent. Let your weight shift a bit back to keep pressure off your knee. Repeat, and then complete on right leg. This wakes up the glute medius, which helps keep your pelvis level while running.
  • Pelvic rocks: Rock the pelvis from front to back and side to side. This lubricates the joints of your lower back.
  • Backstroke arm swings: Swing your straightened arms behind you in a backstroke swimming motion. There’s a slight rotation that occurs in the shoulders when running.
  • Thoracic twists: Twist your torso to the left, twist to the right, and repeat. This movement opens your rib cage.
Move dynamically before running to prepare the body, and stretch before or after to ward off injury. Stretch the following muscle groups: hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, hip flexors, quadratus lumborum (“hip hikers”), piriformis and low back, and make sure to do so every day that you run. Stretch for about 30 seconds on each side for each exercise. A complete stretching routine should take about five minutes. Combined, the warm-up and stretches occupy seven minutes—not a lot of time compared to the hours you could spend on injury rehabilitation.

Feb 2014
Whether you run for performance or run for enjoyment, you should always run injury free! It’s estimated that greater than 70% of all runners will experience an injury severe enough to limit their training for greater than one week during their careers. Fix Body Group’s new running performance clinic is aimed at runners who want to learn more about their running style and how to improve it. We believe a good running style can contribute to a speedier recovery time for running related injuries, to a reduction in the risk of future running-related injuries and to improved running performance. Some of what you will get during the camp is as follows:
  • Physiotherapy assessment of strength, flexibility and muscle balance
  • Comparison of your running style against the gait characteristics of the elite runners
  • Drills for running form and improvement
  • Strength exercises related to form
  • Discussion of shoes, gait and foot contact.
WHEN: Sunday March 2, 2014. WHERE: Balboa Park beginning at 9 am and go to 11 am. COST: $40. Space is limited and is available on a first come first serve basis. To sign up please call the reception team at 619 295 9791 or stop in.

Jan 2014
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Jan 2014
As many of us are gearing up for a new year of running goals and training groups the shoe conversations are also increasing.  How do I know what shoe to wear? Do these shoes prevent injury or are they causing my problem? What do you think about minimalist shoes and should I be wearing them? I hear these concerns and questions every day in our clinic and while they are important, the beginning of the discussion on running shoes needs to back up for a moment.  It is my belief that what shoe choices you make are of secondary importance to how your biomechanics are, how strong you are, what surfaces you train on and the volume that you do.  Don’t get me wrong, finding a good shoe that fits well, functions properly, aides in injury prevention, and sometimes even, looks good, is important.  But, if you have the perfect shoe selected, and still have weak, underactive feet or really tight hips, or run on hilly concrete surfaces, injury likely awaits you. Running is a very difficult activity, and we need to ensure that all runners have strong stabilizing muscles, proper function of the gluteal muscles, hamstrings, and flexibility in their hip flexors and quadriceps.  Once you have this and are running at least half your volume on soft surfaces and working on proper biomechanics the shoe issue can be addressed. For the majority of runners out there, wearing a relatively simple, neutral, cushioned trainer will be appropriate.  That’s why standard models like the ASICS Cumulus, Nike Pegasus and Adidas Boston are popular sellers year in and year out.  A cushioned shoe allows for normal foot movement, but does provide some support.  Minimalist shoes especially ones that are very light (less than 7, 9 oz for women and men respectively) are not recommended unless you are a fast runner, run exclusively on soft surface, and/or are very efficient.  We see many runners jumping into minimalist shoes without knowing how to strengthen their bodies, or how really to use these shoes.  Minimalist shoes can be a tool to improve running mechanics and foot strength, but rarely are used correctly in our experience and often cause as many problems as they alleviate. To make good shoe choices I recommend working with someone who specializes in running biomechanics, a sports therapist, and your local running specialty store.  Stay away from extremes and fad movements if you can spot them, no matter how well intentioned.  Get multiple opinions if you need to and come to Fix Body Group for a biomechanical assessment if you can! All the best in running for 2014!

Dec 2013

What is Kinesio Tape?

First used by acupuncturists and chiropractors in Japan, today kinesio tape is used by practitioners throughout the world to treat injuries and improve sports performance. While the use of kinesio tape is often associated with athletes such as Serena Williams, Kerri Walsh and Lance Armstrong, the reality is that Kinesio Tape is effective for the treatment of a wide variety of problems, not just sports injuries.

What is Kinesio Tape used for?

• Achilles tendonitis • Plantar fasciitis • Jumpers knee (PFS) • ACL/MCL issues • Rotator cuff • Groin and hamstring pulls • Lower back issues • Shin splints • Tennis and golf elbow • Pain associated with pregnancy • Postural correction

Improving Sports Performance

While we can’t turn a 5 hour marathoner into a 3 hour runner, we do have methods to help you break the 3 hour barrier if you’re already close. When applied properly, Kinesio Tape can help athletes improve form and decrease fatigue through better blood flow. These are the two most critical aspects of increasing performance in almost any sport.

How does Kinesio Tape work?

When they manufacture Kinesio Tape, they introduce a bias into the weave of the fabric so it stretches in one direction and not the other. This creates a bio-mechanical lifting mechanism that lifts the skin away from the soft tissue underneath, which allows more blood to move into an injured area to accelerate healing and recovery.

What is Kinesio Tape made of?

Kinesio Tape is a natural-hybrid product and consists of 97% cotton, 3% nylon and uses no drugs. The adhesive is a hypo-allergenic acrylic based adhesive and contains no latex.

Can I purchase Kinesio Tape at Fix Body Group?

Yes you can! We sell Kinesio Tape in a variety of colors and styles

Can you tape me?

Yes we can! You don’t need to be an existing patient. Call the office at 619 295 9791 to schedule an appointment or just walk ins.

Dec 2013
Spark Advanced Natural Medicine is now at Fix Body Group on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Aside from doing in depth lab work, Spark offers a wide array of shots. Their top five shots are as follows: B-Well Energy: Super energy boost with a combination of B vitamins producing long lasting natural energy, vitality. Super immune: Cell level defense against illness plus suppresses inflammation Belly Fat Blaster: Increase metabolism, and energy to help shed pounds Muscle Endurance: Increase performance and function, lubricate joints, increase lung function and cell oxygen Tissue Repair: Repair and renew muscle tissue, and increases blood flow and circulation. Call the desk to get scheduled in!

Nov 2013
The human foot is a complex and dynamic structure and the proper function of the foot is crucial for optimal health of the entire body. The foot has 26 bones and 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. To say that there is a lot going on down there is an understatement. Additionally we rely on the foot to be a shock absorber, and also our platform of stability for the other joints in the body above. So why do many of us ignore the strength and health of our feet when we need them so much? Many injuries that I encounter, athletic or otherwise are caused or affected by improper foot function. Two common examples are improper mobility in joints of the mid foot or great toe, and weakness in the muscles and plantar tissues (the arch). When the joints of the mid foot or the first toe are restricted, it causes either excessive supination or pronation (rolling inward or outward of the foot) and this leads to many other injuries as well as aches and pains. Injuries like bunions, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, Illiotibial band syndrome, patellar tendinitis, hip and low back pain can all begin with improper foot and ankle function. Having weak feet is something that many of us should be concerned with. Especially this time of year as the weather cools and we spend less time in sandals, barefoot, and light shoes the feet become less active. When the muscles in the feet are dysfunctional or weak the spring-like effect of the plantar fascia is lost. It is also harder to “work through” the foot, rolling from heel to toe and springing off. This reduction in roll through can also impact how the glute and posterior chain function, and our stride becomes less efficient. Foot strength and mobility can be easily developed through specific soft tissue treatment protocols and chiropractic adjustments of the joints. The other components are numerous rehabilitation exercises. For example, towel curls, balance and proprioceptive drills, stretches and simply spending time walking barefoot, especially in grass and sand are a few of the effective techniques that we use.

Nov 2013
Why Cold Water Therapy? Ice baths and cold water therapy are proving to be a neccessary part of serious athletic training and rehab programs. Faster Exercise Recovery: Recovery is an important aspect of any intense sport or physical conditioning program. However, many athletes train extremely hard without giving their body time to recover properly, which can lead to burnout and poor performances. Shortening recovery time results in a competitive advantage. The ability of the body to clear or remove lactic acid (aka Lactate or H+) from the tissues is one of the limiting factors in exercise recovery. Cold therapy speeds this process up by causing superficial blood vessels to constrict, effectively “squeezing” these metabolites out of the muscles and tissues into the deeper blood vessels where they are diluted and neutralized by the body. The reduction of swelling (aka inflammation or oedema) caused by intense exercise is also a limiting factor in recovery time. Swelling is controlled by the lymphatic system rather than the circulatory system and relies on mechanical forces such as gravity and external pressure to move its contents. The buoyant water pressure and massage delivered by the coldtub provide these external forces, speeding up recovery time. Reducing sympathetic nervous system activity is another important factor in exercise recovery. Intense exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system to increase adrenaline production, which if left unchecked can cause the athlete to ignore the signs of fatigue, causing them to burn out or get injured. Put simply, cold therapy dampens the adrenaline rush so the athlete feels like taking a needed break from activity. Cold Water Pain relief and Injury Treatment:Intensive exercise causes Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which peaks between 24 and 72 hours after the event. Cold water therapy reduces DOMS pain by reducing the muscle inflammation and spasm that cause it. The principle is the same for treatment of acute injuries. Cold therapy is used in both cases with proven benefits because the cause in both cases is tissue damage. Small micro-tears in muscle causes DOMS and large-scale tissue damage causes acute injuries. In fact, cold therapy delivered by a Coldtub is also an excellent treatment for acute injuries, even better than an ice pack or cold compress in many ways. Faster Injury Recovery: Using a cold tub or ice bath reduces injury recovery time. Cold therapy is already used to treat acute sport injuries. More training – Less Downtime – More Playing – More Winning!

Oct 2013
At Fix Body Group we are bombarded weekly by injuries and trauma to the shoulder, especially the rotator cuff muscles. Most people have heard of injuries and tears to the rotator cuff. Whether you are a Crossfit athlete, baseball fan, desk jockey or weekend warrior in a local gym, everyone fears the rotator cuff and the pain and suffering an injury there is supposed to coincide with. However, as we will describe below, often these injuries are extremely treatable and have a very high success rate, if the proper approach is taken. While by nature, especially compared to the hip or other joints, the shoulder in naturally less stable, these type of injuries are often very preventable and can also be healed very successfully with conservative physical and manual therapy methods. We employ a mix of sports therapies, A.R.T. , massage, and chiropractic work to help re-balance the shoulder by strengthening weak muscles and relieving tightness and scar tissue buildup in tight muscles, ligaments and tendons. Lately, we’ve encountered a number of problems that have to do with one rotator cuff muscle in particular, the subscapularis. The subscapularis, or “subscap” as it’s often called in short, is extremely important for both normal function of the shoulder joint, and also the healing of an injured shoulder. Because it lies beneath the scapula (and thus derives it’s name), and posterior to the rib cage it is very hard to access and treat, except by the most skilled and knowledgeable of therapists. Many doctors, massage therapists and PT’s don’t really know how to access it for manual therapy, and there are few ways to really create a positive response in this muscle otherwise. The subscapularis will become very tight in swimmers, ballplayers, surfers, boxers, Crossfit athletes, and anyone who uses a mouse, keyboard, or steering wheel for long duration. You might know this muscle is affected if you have trouble bringing your arm up overhead and rotating externally, as if winding up to throw a baseball. If you have trouble with these motions please consider getting an assessment to find out if this muscle, or another rotator are compromised. This muscle is not easily stretched or lengthened at home, and is best treated using an advanced manual therapy technique such as Active Release Technique as we do here at Fix Body Group. Many of our desk jockies, Crossfitters, and professional fighters can attest to the powerful change that can be made on this muscle, and ultimately the entire shoulder joint.

Oct 2013
A recent review on research of shin splints (or medial tibial stress syndrome) in the journal Sports Medicine has given many athletes suffering from the condition little hope. Dutch researchers concluded that, “no intervention has been proven to be effective for medial tibial stress syndrome.” In the study, groups of people received various common treatments for the injury in contrast with those who did not. Examples of the treatments used were leg braces, ice massage, ultrasound, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and iontophoresis. The study concluded by recommending short periods of rest from weight bearing activity to allow the bone to heal. This is standard advice in the medical community, and the treatments studied in the article are also typical, if conservative methods for sports medicine practitioners. The problem with approaching this sort of injury with conservative, standard treatments and rest, is that it fails to decipher how the injury occurred, and if it will return once the activity is resumed. Most injuries don’t just come about in one location independent of everything else going on in the body. An injury like shin splints is the final product, which is the painful conclusion, but usually a progressive buildup of other developments in the body lead to it. This project also neglected to study whether other treatments such as A.R.T., Myofascial release techniques, massage, and changing of running mechanics, and corrective exercise would help heal the injury quicker. In my experience, this sort of injury when treated holistically and by addressing biomechanics, can be resolved very quickly. Weekly, we see runners in our clinic with shin splints that are resolved in a few treatments, and often can continue to train through the injury and treatment process. Here’s my standard approach to treating shin splints: 1. Look at the patient’s biomechanics: Often there is too much pronation, or external rotation of the legs. At what angle does their lower leg contact the ground? Often it will be an angle greater than 90 degrees. Often there is glute weakness and some tightness in the anterior hip. 2. Corrective exercises and strength training for the weak muscles done daily at home. Stretching and foam rolling for the tibialis anterior and posterior, soleus, and peroneals and quadriceps. 3. Myofascial release and A.R.T. for the lower leg and quadriceps, TFL, and psoas. 4. Running on soft surfaces only, depending on severity and treatment frequency 5. Address shoe choices and recommend changes depending on the type of runner, mileage, training surface, and biomechanics 6. Ice cup massage for the shin, compression socks if travelling or sitting a lot.