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Want to play sports like a pro? It’s simple…just stretch

Welcome to another episode of Dr. Backs! Sports injuries are very common, and today, we are here to talk to you about the ways to avoid injuries when playing sports.

Athletes tend to under estimate their muscular system. It is very important to stretch before and after any sporting event; whether playing competitively or not, stretching is a key element that should be incorporated into all sports.

First, stretch those hamstring and quadriceps. These are muscle groups located in the back and front of the upper leg, respectively. Second, stretch the internal and external hip rotators. Stretch the achilles tendon and plantar flexors.

Second, stretch the lower back with hyperextension and flexion exercises. This exercise can be done on your own or if you choose, with a partner for stabilization.

Perform some abdominal crunches and sit-ups to help prevent stomach cramps. Remember that a strong abdomen is necessary to prevent lower back injuries.

Last, stretch your upper back and arms by reaching for the sky either with a broom over your head or if you feel comfortable enough, with some light weights.

Seek Chiropractic Manipulation before and after any sporting event. Adjustments will assure spinal alignment and proper functioning of muscles. It will allow the normal positioning of joints and correct any subluxations.

After or before a long day of competition, look for a good massage to soothe sore muscles. Try a deep therapeutic or sweedish massage to help lymphatic flow and to reduce muscular inflammation.

Remember to use ice if you believe you have injured a muscle or joint, switching to heat 48 hours post-injury. Dr. Backs also recommends you get checked out right away to avoid any permanency.

Again, we urge you to read our blog every week, follow us on twitter and visit us on facebook. Over the next few weeks, episodes of Dr. Backs will include detoxification, special guest speakers and live patient interviews. Get excited people…we are here to deliver to you the best in healthcare!

5 Resolutions for a Healthier New Year

Welcome to 2010. It’s a brand new year filled with 365 days of great promise. But for many, the New Year can also bring about new stress. Many of us make the mistake of creating a huge list of resolutions that we want to accomplish, but ultimately the challenge of meeting those goals becomes overwhelming and we give up.

Dr. Backs recommends that you keep it simple. Make resolutions that all lead to one simple goal for the year ahead -- “living a healthy lifestyle”. Though healthy living, you will discover new opportunities to achieve many of the things you want in life. And with that in mind, I offer the following five resolutions designed to enhance your life and health this year.
Check out your health. Start the year off with an annual physical, no matter how healthy you think you are. It’s a great time to talk with your medical professional about fitness goals, medications you may be taking, steps you can take to minimize seasonal illness, and also conduct annual screenings for a variety of issues based upon your age, sex, and family history.

Stretch daily. Before you venture out for the day, take time to warm up your muscles. Starting the day by stretching can help prevent injuries and increase performance. Begin with gradual mobility exercises for all the joints: rotate your wrists, bend your arms and roll your shoulders. This will allow the body's natural lubrication (synovial fluid) to protect the surface of your bones at these joints. Then move into your stretching exercises. Remember to hold the stretch until you feel the muscle loosen off, then repeat for a further 15 seconds. You may feel some slight discomfort when stretching, but always stop your stretch immediately if you feel any severe pain.

Keep moving. In mid-winter, many of us tend to be less active. This can lead to a variety of problems as the year progresses, ranging from increased stress to weight gain. But you don’t need a gym membership to stay fit. Adding more movement to your day, even in small ways, can help you stay healthy. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a couple of blocks away from your destination and walk the extra distance. When it’s too cold to venture out, do some calisthenics, or even just dance to a favorite song at home. But before starting any new fitness routine, especially if you have not exercised in a while, discuss it with your doctor while getting that physical.

Get a good night’s sleep. A restful night’s sleep is vital to a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you give sleep time the same priority you give to other activities during the day. Proper diet is important for ensuring healthy sleep. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol in the evening. Stay away from heavy carbohydrates at dinnertime, choosing instead a lighter meal consisting of proteins and fruits.

Finally, read my blog each week. Okay, so it may be a shameful plug, but Dr. Backs wants to guide you through the New Year with tips to help you stay healthy and enjoy life. Check back each week as we explore a variety of health and wellness topics that can help you make the most of the year ahead.

And remember, no matter what goals you set for the year ahead, always reward yourself as you make progress. That way, you have something to look forward to each step of the way. Here’s to a great new year for us all!

Spinal Decompression for Back Pain Relief

Traction decompression (or spinal decompression) is becoming widely used for back pain relief and proper posturing. However, in spite of presence of strong evidence that range of motion therapy is beneficial to improving connective tissue health and relieving pain, there are only few well-designed studies of the technique. Back in 2008, Dr. Rosenthal and Dr. Russo of Chicago's and Oak Park's Advanced Physical Medicine Clinics carried out a robust study on spinal decompression therapy. The study is presented below.
To evaluate the effectiveness of traction decompression combined with range of motion therapy.
100 patients with acute and chronic low back pain or neck pain, with or without a radicular component, were treated using the Antalgic-Trak. KDM (Kinetic Decompression Mobilization) was utilized, allowing the patient’s spine to be locked into specific postures. Each case received a total of 20, 30-minute treatment sessions over a 6-week period. Scheduling consisted of 5 times a week for the first 2 weeks, 3 times a week for the next 2 weeks, and 2 times a week for the final 2 two weeks. Each Antalgic-Trak treatment was followed by supportive adjunctive therapies. Pain relief was measured using the visual analog scale (VAS).
The outcomes indicated 95% success in eliminating pain, or reducing the pain to minimal levels for a variety of spinal conditions. 55 patients experienced complete pain relief with their treatment and 40 patients reported mild pain or a VAS score of 1-3. 5 patients reported a VAS score higher than 4 after the treatment program. No patients reported worsening of their pain as a result of treatment, and 2 subjects went on to have spine surgery.
Traction decompression is superior to ordinary traction for pain reduction and restoration of spinal integrity. Because of the Antalgic-Trak’s positioning capabilities (KDM) and its "range of motion" technique, clinicians can position the patient’s spine in a manner to reduce the stress on tissues and combine these features with traction decompression. The multi-axis feature allows for coupled movements, simulating “ball and socket” motion allowing for a variety of postural combinations.
Analysis of the 100 subjects Pre Treatment:
• 24 subjects (24% of the total) reported severe pain or a VAS of 10 prior to care.
• 39 subjects (39% of the total) reported severe pain or a VAS of 9 prior to care.
• 23 subjects (23% of the total) reported severe pain or a VAS of 8 prior to care.
• 10 subjects (10% of the total) reported severe pain or a VAS of 7 prior to care.
• 4 subject (4% of the total) reported moderate pain or a VAS of 6 prior to care.
• 0 subject (0% of the total) reported moderate pain or a VAS of 5 or less prior to care

Analysis of the 100 subjects Post Treatment:
• 55 subjects (55% of the total) experienced complete pain relief with their treatment.
• 40 subjects (40% of the total) reported mild pain or a VAS of 1 - 3 following the course of care.
• 1 subject (1% of the total) reported moderate pain or a VAS of 4 following the course of care.
• 1 subject (1% of the total) reported moderate pain or a VAS of 5 following the course of care.
• 1 subject (1% of the total) reported moderate pain or a VAS of 6 following the course of care.
• 1 subject (1% of the total) reported severe pain or a VAS of 7 following the course of care.
(NOTE: Case 54 had a starting VAS of 10 and went onto surgery)
• 1 subject (1% of the total) reported severe pain or a VAS of 8 following the course of care.
(NOTE: Case 53 had a starting VAS of 10 and went onto surgery)
If you are suffering from back pain or just looking to maintain a healthy spine, call Advanced Physical Medicine today at 1-877-DR-BACKS (1-877-372-2257) or visit to schedule an appointment.

Pain Releif, Weight Management, and More…

The specialists of Advanced Physical Medicine believe wholeheartedly in gentle approach to Chiropractic Medicine and Physical Therapy coupled with honest information, in order to give their patients the very best care. We invite you to use this blog to discover how to lead a healthy, pain-free life. On this blog we will post a wealth of articles about pain relief, weight management, alternative medicine, and more. And if you live in Chicago area and if you are ready to see a specialist to help you achieve your health goals, contact us by either visiting our site at or calling us at 1-877-DR-BACKS (1-877-372-2257). We are here to help!

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