We’ve all been there. You’ve been crushing your workout goals, your skinny jeans are back in full force and you want to break out the American flag tank top in the middle of March. You feel healthy, but you ache all over. How can you treat your body so well, and it turns it’s back on you? You foam roll, use a lacrosse ball, Thera cane, do yoga and roll around in a tub of Biofreeze, but nothing works! Finally you decide to come see me and after a few treatments you’ve only made a slight improvement. At Turning Point Chiropractic I get asked (more than once a day), “Why do I still hurt”?
The answer is relatively simple: You’ve trained your body to hurt and now we have to un-train it.
That’s right. It wasn’t your intention, but as we start to work out and train, our muscles bleed on a microscopic level and produce lactic acid. Blood has the ingredients for scar tissue (fibroblast) and lactic acid is a byproduct of contraction (like exhaust in a car). When these two processes take place the body starts to move differently (altered biomechanics) and you created a poor workout pattern. The real issue is you don’t feel it right away. Even if you do, you can stretch and make it go away. Or so you think.
I’ll Work Through it
The old adage of, “I’ll just work through it.” only works zero percent of the time. Fibroblasts and lactic acid keep building up until… TRIGGER POINT. I’m sure you’ve heard of this buzz word around us hands-on practitioners. Trigger points are very small spasms that can cause very large problems. They can be in one spot and cause pain somewhere completely different. They can change the way you move and even your emotional state. That is why finding them takes a highly trained professional.
So what do we do?
The biggest problem with a trigger point is identifying why it is there. If the patient (you) can tell the
doctor (me) what you were doing, we have a good chance of taking care of it. There are many techniques I use in my office to find and get rid of trigger points. Some of them being interferential muscle stimulation, Active Release Techniques®, therapeutic ultrasound, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (Graston®) and much more.
Treatment started and you still hurt
This is the real reason I wanted to write this article. I get patients who constantly ask me why they still have pain. Why does it keep coming back? The answer is you have trained your muscles to act like that. In the same way you train for a marathon, train to do pushups or train to sit at a desk all day. You have trained that muscle to think it has to be constantly contracting. It feels it has a job to do and does it proudly. Therefore, it will take some time to un-train it and re-train it to act like that powerful machine it wants to be. For some people that can be three treatments, for others it may be longer.
The bottom line is, don’t wait to get treated and be patient. Your pain didn’t happen overnight and fixing it won’t happen overnight either.
-Dr. Adam N. Favro, chiropractor
Some of you may be shocked to hear this news, but Saratoga has a bum problem. You can walk down Broadway on any given day and see bums everywhere. Turning Point Chiropractic is doing it’s part to help this crisis and the Spa State Park may be the missing link.
Wait a minute! You thought this was about the homeless issue didn’t you? I am talking about all the gluteus and piriformis pain people suffer from.
Saratoga is the epicenter of running in the capital district and possibly the state. The high school cross country teams are consistently at the top of state polls, there are road races every week and the Firecracker 4 is the largest road race in NY on the Fourth of July. There is no question how active of a community we are. So why the bum problems?
Most runners, whether training for the Lion’s Club Duathlon, Run for the Horses 5K, or the Saratoga Half Marathon are running on public roads. These roads are paved with a “crown” that helps water drain away.
As a seasoned runner, you already know you are supposed to run against traffic. Running against traffic, on the crown, prevents the right and left leg from hitting the ground evenly. This makes the glutes, piriformis (a muscle that stabilizes leg rotation) and iliotibial tract (IT Band) contract unevenly and cause pain.
Don’t be alarmed. There is an answer. The secret to Saratoga’s bum problem is the Spa State Park. The state park’s road were paved with less of a crown and the running trails have no crown at all. This allows runners to hit the ground with even force through both legs, reducing strain on the hips.
What if you’ve tried this already? Don’t worry, there is still hope. At Turning Point Chiropractic, Dr. Favro will assess running mechanics, muscle strength, range of motion and overall mobility. These tests will help diagnose a problem so a treatment plan can be created. Treatments often incorporate electric muscle stimulation, Active Release Techniques, exercises, chiropractic adjustments and other high-tech things to get you back on the road fast.
Saratoga does have a bum problem, but it is easily corrected and maintained. Call our office to set up a free consult with Dr. Favro. We’d love to hear about your bum!
That’s right! If you are suffering from back pain, hopping on the back of a 1,200 pound animal may be just what you need.
In Saratoga Springs, we are most familiar with thoroughbred racing, but horses are found in much more of our society than you may realize. For example, the hunter/jumper world is considered by some to be the official kick-off to summer in Saratoga with shows starting in April across the street from the Main Track. These horse shows attract hundreds of rider and horses from around the world.
So why should you throw on some tight pants and tack up a pony?
Posture: Riding a horse requires the rider to be in a very specific position in order to stay on the horse. This position just happens to be one that requires the lumbar spine to be in a good neutral position. Remember: too much bending forward or backward is what causes disc problems and inflammation. Staying in this position for long periods of time reinforces good posture.
Core Strength: Unless your goal is to fall off the horse, you have to contract your core. Because you aren’t doing crunches or moving, this type of contraction is called isometric. Isometric contraction protects the lumbar spine and discs from moving too much or potentially causing harm.
Core Stability: Training with your feet firmly planted on the ground doesn’t do a whole lot unless your training to water your lawn or hold down the couch on a Saturday night. For those wild and crazy people who like to run or break a sweat, we train them in an unstable environment. This challenges the core and coordination so your back is protected when the footing isn’t optimal. Nothing gets more unbalanced than sitting on top of another living creature while they are trotting along.
Strength: Riding builds muscles you never knew you had and others that are seriously in need of attention. For example, holding the reins helps build shoulder re-tractors or upper back muscles (the ones that fight the shoulder protractors your building while your slouched and reading this post). This will help open the chest, increase lung volume and reduce the potential for headaches.
In summary, horseback riding can help with posture, strength, coordination and balance among other things.
The benefits of riding a horse are endless. We didn’t even touch upon the emotional aspects of being around these majestic creatures. Horses are used in prison systems and psychology programs for people dealing with anxiety and depression, among other things. If you get a chance, head to the Oklahoma Track some morning and watch the horses train while the sun is rising. You can also check out some of the area horse shows from April through June.
Now you’re probably wondering, “What’s the number one injury we see in our office related to horses?” Right shoulder pain! To know why, ask Dr. Favro.
For more information about core stability, proper movement and preventing back pain, give us a call and set up a free consult. Until then, try to get yourself on the back of a horse so you can see what all the excitement is about!