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Posture & Movement Require Brain Education

Our brain controls our posture and our muscles. Therefore posture and muscle tone (i.e. how tight or relaxed a muscle is) is an expression of the brain. We must pay attention to this expression and how it relates to movement.

A frequent cause of disturbance in our movement quality, why muscles get tight, why we display poor posture, and why we may have trigger points or pain is due to insufficient muscular stabilization of our spine.

Insufficiency is our stabilization system is exactly the reason why patients and athletes who have poor body awareness demonstrate poor ability to simply relaxation. Believe it or not, relaxation is easier said than done. If the brain doesn't know how to relax fully certain muscles, the low-grade state of contraction will keep muscles and surrounding joints under constant stress. This constant stress will ultimately lead to trigger points in muscles, dysfunctional movement patterns, and altered posture.

This is why specific exercise progressions that respect the developmental aspects of posture and movement are so critical. Exercise should not only address muscle function, but it must also address brain control to change how our body functions.

"Brain Education" focuses on the efficiency of our postural and movement control to avoid overloading of specific tissues and joints while promoting muscular balance.

Movement and relaxation is a skill. It must be practice daily through purposeful exercise with complete awareness to the feeling of the movement. This is the gateway to change in the body. These changes are valuable to anyone who is simply looking to get out of pain or improve their athletic ability.

However, there are still those that challenge the notion that there is an “ideal” or “good” posture. They will have you believe that there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” posture. The reality is, when it comes down to determining what is “good” or “bad” posture can be simply summed up by saying….”It depends.”

What will dictate “good” or “bad” when it comes to form or posture will depend upon a number of variables specific to the individual. We can find efficient form and ideal posture that someone should respect and when they don’t, the result is excessive wear and tear on their joints and tissues, leading to pain and progression of degenerative changes.

Yes we need to be efficient in movement and have a vast movement capacity. Yes there is no single posture that we should maintain for an extended period of time, no matter how “good” it is.

But those notions go out the window when our body meets increasing external resistance to our movement or we are performing movement at increasing speeds.

What does that mean?

Yes, we should be able to flex our spines and perform a body weight squat with posterior pelvic tilt (aka the dreaded “butt wink”) and resultant lumbar spine flexion. Yes this would be considered normal healthy human motion. But that doesn’t mean that one should perform a loaded barbell squat with the same intent or form. This could be an injury waiting to happen. When increased load or speed of movement comes into the picture (ex. barbell squat), very specific considerations must be made to that individual on the form and posture they express during the squat pattern to maximize their muscular efficiency and minimize stress placed on the joints.

These are the same considerations that must be respected when it comes to rehab and the subsequent development of fitness/physical ability. According to McGill, this breaks down into two stages:

  • Stabilization of the injury and reduction of pain by approaches that follow desensitization and healing.
  • Development of strength and physical ability only begins when the first stage has been achieved.
In order to desensitize the patient, we must promote postures and movement that minimize stress on the joints and injured tissues. Otherwise, as stated by Mosley, most people will “wind up” their nervous system as a way to over-protect because they are aren’t prepared for what they are asking their body to do. Desensitization and reducing perceived threat is critical in the first stage of healing.

Once pain is reduced, the development of specific fitness qualities can take center stage. This is when we address the complexity of the movement system. Panjabi established the importance of the passive, active, and neural systems for trunk/core stability and movement. Jull and Richardson found in voluntary movement, activity of the deep spinal muscles precedes activations of the superficial muscles (aka feed forward mechanism).

The integrated spinal stabilization system (ISSS) serves as the “feed forward stabilization mechanism”. The ISSS consists of the diaphragm, pelvic floor, all parts of the abdominal wall, short intersegmental spinal muscles, deep neck flexors, and serratus anterior. We know that these muscles essentially form the “deep core” that is so important to train for efficiency of posture and movement.

The ISSS required “Brain Education” to work optimally. There is no way around it. We must focus our attention and efforts to ensuring that no matter the task, we must rely of the ISSS if we are going to realize our movement potential, maintain healthy posture, and minimize joint pain.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing someone who says “good” or “bad” posture doesn’t exist. Again the answer is it all depends. Posture and the considerations we make regarding it are always specific to the individual and task at hand. Posture shouldn’t handled in a general approach. Most rehab, training programs and online instruction is handled in an over-generalized fashion. When people need specific, when they need individualized considerations. And that’s the best approach when it comes to helping one learn how to educate their body in regards to what’s best for their posture and movement.

 
For more related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/movement-that-enhances-performance-reduces-injury/

https://gallagherperformance.com/a-movement-screen-will-never-show-movement-habits/

https://gallagherperformance.com/low_back_pain_causes_and_treatment_recommendations/

https://gallagherperformance.com/chiropractic-rehab-dns-treatment/

https://gallagherperformance.com/a-solution-to-headaches/

https://gallagherperformance.com/finding-a-solution-to-your-shoulder-pain/

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Site of Pain Is Rarely The Source of Pain

A testimonial worth sharing:

When I first visited Gallagher Performance 6 months ago, I went for a nagging discomfort around my shoulder on the right side of my back that had stuck with me for the past 7 years. Not only was this uncomfortable, but it was also a major limiting factor in my physical performance. For years on my own, I tried various types of stretches, mobility exercises, and strengthening exercises, all to no avail. Due to its chronic nature, I continued to research the potential issue, and was convinced it was fascial adhesions in that area causing the discomfort and limited mobility. From there, I went to a number of deep tissue massages from various professionals, but those only resulted in short-term relief, not the long-term fix I was looking for. I continued my journey by going to various physical therapists in the area. I would tell them I thought facial adhesions were causing this issue. They would listen, target that area with facial release methods, give me various stretches and mobility exercises, but still no results.

Finally, I found Gallagher Performance one day as I searched for a fix for my shoulder and decided to give them a shot. Since I was still convinced that fascial adhesions were my issue, I went for a deep tissue massage for my first session with Ryan. Ryan listened attentively as I told him about my symptoms and the fascial adhesions that I believed were causing my discomfort and limited mobility in that area. Once the session started, he went to work on those fascial adhesions that I so strongly believed were the culprit. But this is where Gallagher Performance separated themselves from all of the other practitioners that I visited. Even though Ryan started on the facial adhesions, through his extensive knowledge and expertise, he quickly identified that fascial adhesions were not the issue. In fact, I unknowingly had issues in other areas in my body that were the root causes of my discomfort in that area. From there, through Ryan’s genuine desire to help his clients, he introduced me to Sean in order to work through the multitude of issues that caused this chronic discomfort and limited mobility for the past 7 years. Since that first visit, I’ve continuously worked with Sean and have practically eliminated the issue that had limited me for so many years.

Ryan and Sean were the first professionals to take an honest and objective approach to my issue. Instead of allowing my unprofessional diagnosis of my issue dictate their actions and approach, they independently applied their experience and knowledge to diagnose my issue and set me on the correct path for a long-term fix. Sean’s expertise in his field, specifically his knowledge of DNS (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization), gave me the tools I needed to fix the root causes of my issue. His unique knowledge of DNS was imperative to my early success, but as we continued to work together on my path to maximizing functionality and physical performance, his experience and expertise in every area physical therapy allowed him to effectively diagnosis and treat any issue that would arise. Even though my discomfort has subsided greatly, I continue to work with Sean on correcting other problem areas that are limiting the full functionality of my body that I require to perform at a high level as an ice hockey goaltender. Only when I began my work with Sean was I not only able correct a lingering issue, but was also able to (and continue to) maximize my physical performance and functionality in ways I’ve never experienced before.

In addition to my periodic visits with Sean, I have been working with Ryan on the nutrition and training side for three months now, and as with my work with Sean, experiencing results that I have never experienced in those areas. For years, I have tried various exercise and nutrition programs, but the results that I experienced (if any) were short-term. I was never able to stick to a nutrition plan for very long or have a training program that was designed specifically to my needs. Ryan met those needs by developing a nutrition and training program built on a very simple yet powerful concept – sustainability. No longer was I burning out of my nutrition program because it was to strict and unsustainable, nor was I giving up on my training program because I wasn’t seeing any progress. Through the scope of sustainability, Ryan develops programs that not only brings incredible results, but also have the ability to be adhered to for the long-term. In addition, since Ryan and Sean work closely together, Ryan is able to take the feedback from my work with Sean and adjust my nutrition and training plans accordingly. I never had success in the past using various cookie-cutter nutrition and training programs. But once I started working with Ryan, I began to see great results on a consistent basic through the plans that he developed specifically for me.

My experience with Ryan and Sean has been, and continues to be, exceptional. Not only is their knowledge and expertise high-level, but they are truly tremendous people. They genuinely want their clients to succeed and will do whatever it takes to make that happen. The level of support and professional expertise that I have received from both Sean and Ryan is unparalleled, and I can’t thank them enough for success they helped bring into my life.

I would not hesitate to recommend anyone to see Sean and Ryan. Whether you are an athlete or non-athlete, young or old, I have no doubt in my mind that Ryan and Sean will be able to provide the level of support you are looking for. Gallagher Performance is much more than just a chiropractor, a personal trainer, or a massage therapist – they offer a multitude of services that restore health, functionality, and maximize physical performance. If you are looking for a high level of expertise and support in any of these areas, I urge you to give Gallagher Performance a try. They are hand-down some of the best in the business.

-Zaid Alzaid

 
For more related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/dns-solves-pain-improves-performance/

https://gallagherperformance.com/powerful-innovative-approach-improving-body-functions/

https://gallagherperformance.com/before-you-go-to-a-chiropractor-read-this-first/

A Movement Screen Will Never Show Movement Habits

Movement screens or testing can offer valuable insight into why you have pain or limited function.

However what tends to be more valuable is when someone help you understand your movement habits.

By observing how someone moves and the postures they assume during daily activities - walking, bending, twisting, reaching, pushing, or pulling - we can tell you more about the chronic stresses that may be the major contributors to your current problem.



Without understanding your movement habits, we are missing a big part of the healing process or why you experience plateaus in your training/exercise program.

Once you understand movement habits the focus becomes finding what provokes your pain and discovering your weaknesses. By identifying pain triggers, we can build a plan that enables you to control your pain and improve function while your body heals.

Systems and screens for movement are a useful tool, but they tend to be general in nature. They aren't highly specific to the individual all the time. They might work, but often times you must dig deeper and be more accurate in observation, evaluation, treatment, and self-management to help someone achieve their goals.

 
For more related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/3-common-reasons-low-back-pain/

https://gallagherperformance.com/dynamic-duo-chiropractic-dns/

https://gallagherperformance.com/resetting-bodys-function-post-injury/

https://gallagherperformance.com/powerful-innovative-approach-improving-body-functions/

https://gallagherperformance.com/tendinitis-changing-treatment-and-improving-recovery/

5 Reasons Not to Be Skeptical of Chiropractors

You've thought about seeing a chiropractor before, but have hesitated because you:

  • Heard it was "BS" or "quackery"
  • Thought that once you start going, you'll have to go for life
  • Were afraid of being adjusted
  • Thought they just won't be able to help
Let's first address the reality that all chiropractors are not the same. While "chiropractic" refers to the profession as a whole, what many people experience - from one chiropractor to the next - can be quite different. There are numerous techniques and specialization within chiropractic that enable chiropractors to do more than "just crack necks and backs".

In fact, chiropractors have the ability to successfully treat a number of common musculoskeletal problems. Below you will find five reasons why you shouldn't be so skeptical of chiropractors and why finding a great chiropractor can prove to be a priceless investment to your health and well being.

1. Solve joint and muscle pain without unnecessary medication or surgery

Let's illustrate the significance of this point with an all-too-common experience for many of us. You begin to experience joint (neck, back, shoulder, knee, etc.) pain seemingly for no reason at all. Your pain has just appeared and you are puzzled as to why.

What do must people do first?

Most commonly, they start in the medicine cabinet with common over-the-counter (OTC) medications like Tylenol, Motrin, Advil, or Aleve. They may ice the area or apply pain-relieving gels. Others may just give it time and play the waiting game to see if the pain goes away on its own. If OTCs, ice, pain-relieving gels or time don’t do the trick, then they pay a visit their primary care physician only to receive a script for either anti-inflamatories or muscle relaxers and a referral for an orthopedic consult. The orthopedist will likely perform a physical examination along with possibly ordering imaging studies such X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Based on your examination and imaging results, one of two recommendations is often made - physical therapy or surgery.

Too often surgery can be recommended before more conservative approaches are given a chance. Disregarding the risks associated with surgery, what happens when the procedure fails? Surgery is not a great choice when pain is associated with a positive — often incidental — finding on an MRI. These incidental findings are well document and often times structural adaptations to functional problems.

When assessed properly by a trusted conservative musculoskeletal care specialist, whether a chiropractor or physical therapist, many muscle and joint problems can be resolved without the need for surgery.

Seek conservative care first. If you don't respond to care within 6 weeks, then it wish to consider more invasive procedures if they are indicated.

2. Manage complicated disorders

Remember when I said all chiropractors are different? It's true.

Just like the medical profession, there are many areas of specialty in chiropractic. Those who specialize as a sports injury & rehabilitation chiropractor (such as Dr. Gallagher) have undergone the traditional education on joint manipulation or adjustments. However, in addition to their core curriculum, sports injury & rehabilitation complete hundreds of hours in continuing education learning about exercise and sport-related injuries, manual therapy, and functional rehabilitation methods.

Chiropractors who utilize a sports injury & rehabilitation approach incorporate joint mobilization/manipulation, soft-tissue treatments, various manual therapies, and functional rehabilitation techniques to provide a gold standard of care in treatment for individuals with exercise and sport-related injuries. This combination of complementary approaches uniquely positions sports injury & rehabilitation chiropractors to manage complicated disorders that other specialists may have difficulty in treating.

3. Prevent future episodes of pain by changing function

Imagine a world where patients get the advise, education, and treatment they need. Imagine doctors who:
  • Make sense of what a patients says
  • Know exactly what a patient needs
  • Confidently provide gold standard advice and treatment interventions
This world is obtainable, but it must first begin with better quality, order and structure to our thinking patterns. One of the fundamental challenges with healthcare is that the human body is amazingly complex and adaptive. In response to the complex nature of dealing with the human body, doctors and therapists may have the tendency to routinely provide services that serve their own skill set better than appropriately addressing the patient’s needs. Often times this leaves both the patient frustrated with lack of response to care.

As ac chiropractor it's my job to educate my patients and help them problem solve. I have to help them understand not just what their problem is, but more importantly why it started.

In understanding why their problem started, we aim to change the function of their body. If patients don't commit to changing their behaviors and habits that got them into pain in the first place, then how can they expect to find a solution to their problem?

4. Enjoy a healthier lifestyle

As stated in the point above, chiropractors should be educators. As educators, we teach individuals how to live their best life and do so in a model that promotes our patients's have a sense of independence, capable of making informed, intelligent lifestyle choices.

Regardless of specialization, a universal truth to chiropractors is that they generally practice a “holistic” approach to patient treatment. Meaning chiropractors view the individual as a whole, identifying and focusing on more than just physical symptoms such as pain. By employing a combination of manual treatments, ergonomics, postural education, exercise prescription, nutritional interventions, lifestyle advice, and other strategies (practitioner dependent), chiropractic is more than just cracking backs to reduce pain. Chiropractors want their patients to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

5. Enhanced performance

We put our bodies through the ringer daily (some more intensely then others). Periodic treatment from a qualified chiropractor will help keep your body running like a fine-tuned machine, improving your ability to perform and progress in your training programs by optimizing the body’s ability to function at it’s best.

How?

By combining chiropractic with functional rehabilitation and strength and conditioning principles.

It's exactly why we do what we do at Gallagher Performance.

Almost every case involving muscle or joint pain requires some level of strengthening exercise progression and education. We will make sure you are doing the most appropriate exercises for your situation and your level of ability. By clearly educating each patient on why they are performing their prescribed exercises or stretches, the focus becomes about patient empowerment and providing them with a sense of what they can do for themselves to keep pain from returning.

Regardless of the number of treatments you receive, the goal remains the same – to make a lasting change in your body through posture and movement re-education.

Wrapping Up

There are many great reasons to visit a chiropractor. Every chiropractor is different, so just because one didn’t work for you it doesn't mean that all chiropractors are useless. You just haven't found the right one for the job and that can prove to be a difficult task. Yes there are some bad ones out there (like any profession), but there are plenty of good ones that can be trusted.

No matter who you see, keep in mind that it is critically important that you understand your problem, your treatment plan, your expectations for recovery, and how to manage your problem during as well as after treatment.

At Gallagher Performance it is our intent to get you back to what you love doing and as quickly as possible. We create clarity by helping you understand your problem, why it behaves they way it does, and apply the right tool to make a lasting change in the way your body functions.

 
More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/dynamic-duo-chiropractic-dns/

https://gallagherperformance.com/busting-chiropractic-myths-misconceptions/

https://gallagherperformance.com/are-you-promoting-independence/

 
https://gallagherperformance.com/before-you-go-to-a-chiropractor-read-this-first/

https://gallagherperformance.com/when-should-i-see-chiropractor/

Exercise Hacks Ep. 8 - Breathing and Bracing

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHRCCRmeznQ[/embed]

Ideal movement and optimal strength development first begins with using the diaphragm as the primary muscle for respiration and for Intra-abdominal Pressure (IAP) or what is also known as the abdominal brace.

A frequent piece of feedback we receive at GP is that much of what we coach is the opposite of what most people have always heard. In regards to breathing and bracing, too many people have either heard or been coached to 'draw' or 'suck' in their abdominal wall. These tips only serve to rob people of stability and strength and play a role in low back pain.



In this video series we discuss how to test IAP for yourself. This is much more challenging that it seems. Insufficient IAP is many times due to poor diaphragm activity and its functional relationship with the abdominal muscles. Poor IAP indicates an underperforming core.

If you're dealing with acute/chronic pain, frustration with progress in the gym, or plateaus in athletic performance and haven't had your breathing and IAP assessed - you're missing out! Learning to properly breathe with the diaphragm can be the stepping stone to the realizing the potential you have when it comes to physical ability. Since breathing is foundational to correct IAP, the core cannot function as it is intended until breathing is normalized. The core is our body's powerhouse and it starts with breathing. It sounds too simple to be true, but improving your breathing can have profound impacts on pain and performance.

Re-training the breathing pattern and creating sufficient IAP cannot be fully covered in a series of 60 second videos. Want to learn more? Set up a consult with us. Assessing, coaching, and learning is very individual. When it comes to getting rid of pain and improving how your body works, GP's level of care, attention, and progressive instruction with our personalized training, chiropractic, and rehab will get you to your goals.

 
More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/3-common-reasons-low-back-pain/

https://gallagherperformance.com/3-ways-breathing-impacts-health-performance/

 
https://gallagherperformance.com/solution-long-term-improvement-back-pain/

https://gallagherperformance.com/dns-solves-pain-improves-performance/

 

3 Common Reasons for Low Back Pain

According to research conducted by Dr. Stuart McGill, "People with back pain actually have stronger backs than people without back pain, so weakness is not the culprit." In our experience in both treating and training individuals suffering from low back pain, there are three common factors that seems to play a central role:

1) Breathing Pattern - of all the factors that play a role in back pain, breathing is the one that gets dismissed the easiest or patient's are quick to write-off as irrelevant. Truth of the matter is breathing plays a HUGE role. The diaphragm is our primary muscle for respiration AND serves as a deep stabilizer to the lumbar spine. If breathing is not normalized, no other movement in the human body can be. Breathing is that critical. Learning to properly breathing and integrate proper breathing into movement must be learned or else the rest of the stabilizing system of the spine will remain dysfunctional, continuing to contribute to pain.

2) Core Stability & Endurance - in order to build a resilient spine, the core must be stable and conditioned well enough to handle the demands of either daily living, exercise, or sport. The core does require higher levels of muscular endurance which must first be established before more specific qualities of strength or power can be trained. While training for endurance or strength, it's critical that one is aware of their core as it relates to static and dynamic postures in order to maintain stability that spares the joints and discs of the low back.

3) Hip Mobility - stiffness or tightness in the hips will ultimately result in more motion and stress being placed on the low back. The hips are designed for movement and when they get tight this will cause one to bend or twist too often in the low back region. Repetitive motions such as bending and twisting are commonly associated with low back pain. Simply put, the lower back is not designed for repetitive, excessive motion. Improving hip mobility will begin with proper breathing and the learned skill of proper core stability in posture and movement (do you see the theme here?) Then from there, specialized attention must be given to the musculature of the hips and core to correct imbalances and improve overall function.

To sum up - learn to breathe properly, stabilize the core, develop mobile/athletic hips.


More related reading:

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/how-dns-solves-pain-and-improves-performance

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/when-should-i-see-a-chiropractor

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/3-ways-breathing-impacts-health-and-movement

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/3-exercises-for-athletic-mobile-hips

Dynamic Duo - Chiropractic and DNS

When it comes to Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), those that are familiar with the method will often ask me, "How do I find the time to treat my patients with chiropractic, rehab methods, and DNS?"
The reasons for the question is simple - DNS is seen as very time consuming. The challenge with DNS is incorporating the method into a busy practice while remaining efficient and delivering a high level of quality care to your patients.

It's a difficult scenario for me to connect with since I have always maintained a schedule which enables me to spend 30-60 minutes with each patient. However, I realize this is not the norm for the overwhelming majority of chiropractors and they are under more of a time crunch to deliver the most they can in a shorter period of time. Even most physical therapists I know do not have that time to spend with a patient 1-on-1 as they normally have a number of patients blocked together for appointments and rely upon help from their assistants.

That said, the reality is until one has been properly trained in DNS, they will continue to assume that the amount of assessments, patient education, instruction, and exercise-based interventions will all add up to extra time with patients they simple don't have.

In my opinion, the time I have taken to study, learn, and implement DNS concepts into my patient care has only been a compliment to what I do as a chiropractor. Chiropractic, in a very traditional sense, is the healing art based on the science of the nervous system and it's relationship to altered spinal joint mechanics. At its very root, chiropractic aims to improve the functional of the nervous system through manual methods or manipulative therapy of the spinal joints. There is a tremendous focus on the musculoskeletal system and its relationship to the health of the nervous system. Chiropractors evaluate for postural, structural, functional, and movement-based imbalances that play a role in either pain, dysfunction, or reduced expression of overall health.

As a chiropractor, we routinely treat patients to get them out of pain, but we also work with them to restore health and a quality of life they want to maintain. And that's what makes chiropractic and DNS such an awesome combination. They both produce results that enable patients to get out of pain, improve function, restore health and get back to enjoying their life.
As a chiropractor, I use DNS assessments to identify movement patterns that are non-ideal in regard to stability and mobility. DNS is not merely a technique, but rather an overall strategy to better understand the principles of movement. It includes both a knowledge and theoretical base that forms the foundation for assessment, treatment, exercise and functional strategies.

We aren't simply just looking for joints that don't move well or muscles that are too tight or weak. The focus of DNS is correcting faulty movement patterns that ultimately cause tight or weak muscles and joint fixations. By performing basic assessments it is possible to identify what the problems are and what exercise interventions would successfully achieve the desired correction - and this can all be done quickly. This biggest misconception is that providers need to instruct their patients in a large number of exercises in order to correct dysfunction in movement stability or mobility. This couldn't be further from the truth. My patients only perform the most challenging exercises with the proper stabilization and movement control. This means that most patients are leaving with 2-3 home exercises and there are those that will leave with only one exercise.
These exercises are intend to improve the sensory messages our brain receives from movement. We can thank the modern sedentary lifestyle and simply not moving with enough variety for the decline we see in maintaining a healthy brain and nervous system. This decline presents itself in postural abnormalities and altered movement patterns And both can be addressed through exercises and improved proprioceptive control of our joints and movement.

The exercises are intended to be functionally-based and proprioceptively-rich. This enables the patient to create a lot change from just from a few exercises - training economy at it's finest. When it comes to DNS exercises, patients get a great deal of results without having to invest a lot of time.
Furthermore, chiropractic adjustments improve sensory inputs from the spine to the brain and this proprioceptive stimulus opens a window by which we can use DNS to improve our body's control of posture and movement. DNS exercises enable us to provide a regular proprioceptive stimulus that will create change in the body.
And isn't that why patients seek out chiropractors in the first place? They are coming to us hoping we will make a change in their body that not only provides relief, but also results in lasting changes they can maintain.

 
For more reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/do-you-really-need-more-mobility/

https://gallagherperformance.com/dns-solves-pain-improves-performance/

https://gallagherperformance.com/solving-pain-influence-czech-rehabilitation-techniques/

https://gallagherperformance.com/chiropractic-rehab-dns-treatment/

 
https://gallagherperformance.com/powerful-innovative-approach-improving-body-functions/

12 Week Distance Training Client Results

This training client sought out our services for three primary reasons:

1) Rehabilitate a chronic recurrent low back condition that has prevented him from training with any type of intensity or frequency for over two years AND get back to training while staying healthy in the process

2) Get stronger while packing on some quality size, and

3) Regain the feeling of athleticism from when he played college football.

We recently concluded 12 weeks and during that time he had three BOD POD evaluations. Debate on the accuracy of the BOD POD aside, impressive changes were made in only 8 weeks. These evaluations occurred on 11/21/17, 12/19/17, and 01/16/18.

Some of the BOD POD highlights include:

  • Fat Weight lose of 3.786lbs
  • Body Fat % decrease from 12.6 to 10.3
  • Fate Free Weight gain of 6.745lbs
  • Body Weight increase from 182.9 to 185.9

Images 1-3. BOD POD results from 1/16/18. This was the third, and most recent, analysis during an 8-week period.

Included below are photos of a few of his training weeks to give you a glimpse of how his training was structured. Along with the changes seen in his body composition, his strength continues to progress and he is training with weights and a frequency that he has not seen in over two years while maintaining a healthy feeling body.

Continue reading

Exercise Hacks Ep. 6 - Deadlift Variations for a Functional Core

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6qNeTnJdyU[/embed]

In this video we discuss two deadlift variations that will build rock solid functional core strength - the suitcase deadlift and pitchfork deadlift.

The suitcase deadlift and pitchfork deadlift are two deadlift variations that will expose energy leaks and strength imbalances real quick. Building a functional core often requires unconventional methods that go beyond aesthetically driven exercises. While unconventional these exercises force the lifter to generate total body tension to complete the lift - which makes them an awesome tool to teach lifters how to generate and maintain tension during squats, deadlifts or heavier training.
Each variation offers something unique.
1) The Suitcase Deadlift - targets the lateral stabilization system or lateral line in the body as detailed in Anatomy Trains. The lateral line will create or resist lateral bend in the body and serves as a 'brake' for lateral and rotational movements of the trunk. The lateral line runs in balance on both the right and left side of the body from the skull down to the trunk and lateral aspect of the hips, thighs, calves and mid-point of the foot.
2) The Pitchfork Deadlift - this variation of the pitchfork deadlift also targets the lateral stabilization system while forcing the lifter to resist rotation. It really hammers the spiral line detailed by Thomas Myers in Anatomy Trains. The spiral line is responsible creating or resisting rotations in the body. The spiral line is a myofascial sling that includes musculature that begins in the neck down to the opposite shoulder and then to the same side hip, knee, and foot arch, then up the back of the body to rejoin the fascia on the skull.
The bonus is both these exercises will reinforce patterns of stabilization in the body that are essential to movement.
These exercises are advanced and it is not recommended to go try them just to see if you can do them. They require a certain level of stability, coordination and strength to be able to do. Respect the process needed to progress to these exercises.
 
More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/movement-improves-brain-function/

https://gallagherperformance.com/athletes-do-not-need-balance-to-be-successful/

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-essentials-of-speed-training/

https://gallagherperformance.com/fascia_muscular-adhesions_how_they_relate-_to_pain_and_overuse_injuries/

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-best-exercise/

 
 

Exercise Hacks Ep. 4 - The Dumbbell Press

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In this video, we discuss the dumbbell press and how the position of the wrist impacts pressing strength and shoulder stability.

Wrist position is often overlooked during the dumbbell press but is a critical part of ideal mechanics. The wrist should maintain a neutral position during the entirety of the lift. Often you'll see wrist extension and/or ulnar deviation as a compensation when the wrist falls out of neutral position. We discuss ulnar deviation and making sure to avoid this position as it can place too much stress on the wrist and feed into reducing pressing power.

As usual, the key is finding and maintaining optimal stabilization of the shoulder and upper extremity. Avoiding wrist extension and ulnar deviation will keep the wrist and shoulders more stable, healthier and stronger. The goal is to improve performance while reducing the risk of injury and pain developing in the shoulders, elbows or wrists.

Some key points discussed in this video:

  • What ulnar deviation looks like and how to avoid it while holding dumbbells.
  • How to press through the dumbbell with correct hand and wrist position.
  • How ulnar deviation will cause the shoulder to destabilize and fall into internal rotation. This isn't ideal for shoulder health and pressing mechanics.
Thanks for watching and as always, let us know your questions or comments.

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/dns-solves-pain-improves-performance/

https://gallagherperformance.com/exercise-hacks-ep-1-dumbbell-row/

https://gallagherperformance.com/exercise-hacks-ep-2-scapular-upward-rotation/

https://gallagherperformance.com/exercise-hacks-ep-3-hand-support/

Exercise Hacks Ep. 2 - Scapular Upward Rotation

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In this video, we build off our previous video on the dumbbell row and discuss scapular upward rotation. Scapular upward rotation is a critical component in overhead activities performed regularly in daily life, the gym or sport.

If your scapula cannot rotate properly as you reached overhead, it will play a role in shoulder pain and problems such as tendinitis, bursitis, or impingement syndromes. This exercise variation would be a great inclusion in the strengthening of the rotator cuff musculature and scapular stabilizers.

Some key points discussed in this video:

  • Most rehab exercises for scapular upward rotation will address bilateral movement at the same time. Training support on one limb while training movement on the other will enhance the quality expressed in stabilization.
  • Performed correctly, this exercise targets scapular stability on the support side and scapular upward rotation on the movement side while training proper core stabilization.
  • To heighten the global effect on the body, focus on creating a tripod with the support foot as well as hip external rotation to get the glutes involved.
  • This variation respects reflexive patterns of stabilization in order to improve movement quality and performance.
Thanks for watching and as always, let us know your questions or comments.

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/exercise-hacks-ep-1-dumbbell-row/

https://gallagherperformance.com/beginners-guide-injury-recovery/

https://gallagherperformance.com/3-exercises-athletic-mobile-hips/

https://gallagherperformance.com/improved-approach-chronic-pain-management/

 

Exercise Hacks Ep. 1 - The Dumbbell Row

[embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/BcSuHV9jXz4/?taken-by=gallagherperformance[/embed]

In this video, we discuss the dumbbell row and how to improve both scapular stabilization and thoracic spine rotation during the exercise.

The dumbbell row is a fantastic exercise for building mass and strength in the upper back and arms. When done for reps (and no straps), it will build a solid grip. However, an often overlooked and undervalued aspect of the exercise is how awesome it can be in developing scapular, core and hip stability in the supporting limbs.

Some key points discussed in this video:

  • The traditional bench supported DB row utilizes hand support on the bench, which can be problematic for those with poor scapular stabilization.
  • Scapular stabilization on the support arm and be improved by elevating the bench to an incline position and supporting from the elbow instead of the hand.
  • With proper attention to posture during the support from the elbow will also improve thoracic spine rotation and mobilize the rib articulations during the exercise because of the increased spinal musculature involvement.
  • This can be a great variation of the DB row for those with shoulder pain, poor scapular stability or stiff upper back.
Thanks for watching and as always, let us know your questions or comments.

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/why-therapists-should-understand-strength/

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-truth-about-functional-exercise/

https://gallagherperformance.com/dns-solves-pain-improves-performance/

 

The Beginner's Guide to Injury Recovery

Although we’ve worked with a broad spectrum of athletes - high school, collegiate, professional, former World’s Strongest Man, and elite triathletes - we work with just as many weekend warriors and those who simply love to be active. Whether it’s improving your running distance, increasing strength in the gym, or swinging a golf club without pain, we want to help you achieve your goals.

We also successfully treat those with overuse injuries, enabling them to return to the highly active lifestyle they enjoy.

Being active is an essential part to a healthy lifestyle. The many benefits of movement and exercise are well documented. Unfortunately, injury can become a reality for those that live an active lifestyle. When injury occurs, the effects are not only physical, but psychological as well. It is easy to become frustrated when your active lifestyle has been interrupted and concerned when you aren’t healing or turning around as quickly as you had hoped. Recovery from injury is a process that must be understood, appreciated and respected.

To help you better understand how to manage your own recovery from injury, here is a short list of items to be aware of so that you can respect the healing process and set yourself up for a timely and safe return to sport or activity.

Avoid Complete Rest

When injury occurs, it is often advocated to rest. Rest is a critical part of healing and the amount of rest one needs will be determined by the severity of the injury. Injury is a balance of load and capacity of tissues within the body. Once we exceed the capacity of a tissue (bone, ligament, muscle, tendon, disc, etc.) with a certain load, injury occurs. Rest helps restore the capacity of tissues by minimizing or removing load and thus allowing healing to occur.

As critical as rest is to the healing process, movement is equally, if not more, critical. In the absence of severe injury and conditions where movement would be contraindicated (i.e. fracture, dislocation), movement serves to facilitate healing. The majority of musculoskeletal injuries heal best when we don’t avoid activity, but rather when we modify activity. The important factor here being that one finds activities they can perform without pain and that will facilitate healing through movement. This may be as simple as walking or gentle range of motion exercises. However knowing exactly what you should do for your specific injury can be a complicated answer. This brings me to my next point.

Don’t Rely on Social Media Gurus to Solve Your Injury

When injury occurs, people want a definitive answer when it comes to what they injured and how to manage it. And there are growing numbers that are seeking this information out online without ever consulting a licensed healthcare specialist. This could be due to frustrations with the medical model, a growing consciousness to seek out “non-traditional” or “alternative” therapies, or simply wanting to avoid paying out of pocket when there is free information available online. There can be the mentality of, “Why pay someone to fix me when I can learn to fix myself?” Not that this is wrong, but please understand that there are limitations when it comes to purely trying to self-manage your injury.

Let me illustrate this point with an example of someone who may go onto an internet forum or social media page and state, “If have an L4-L5 disc bulge with sciatica, what exercises should I do to help me get out of pain?”

If you are seeking an answer out online, keep in mind the most appropriate answer you should receive is, “It depends”.

Any advice you receive from someone who hasn’t evaluated you is truly just throwing darts in the dark and hoping something sticks. Most people on the internet and social media who are offering up advice when it comes to injury rehabilitation are not licensed to do so, thus you should be skeptical. Many of these same people try to position themselves as an expert for one reason or another, but reality remains they are not a licensed professional and thus you should be skeptical. Skeptical because how can someone tell you what to do when they haven’t evaluated you – in person.

When it comes to injury rehabilitation, the evaluation process is the most critical step to ensure no time is wasted in the early phases of rehab and to minimize complications. Evaluations should consist of orthopedic and neurological testing as well as biomechanical/functional testing to evaluate for structural pathology, movement sensitivities and functional deficits.

The sharing of symptoms through some online medium is extremely limited in its value and it inherently creates bias. It will bias the feedback and direction you receive from who you are seeking advice from since all they have to operate off of is what you tell them. But when you are evaluated live, in person, by a licensed professional, bias can fall by the wayside when things are discovered that you may not feel are all that important or relevant to your present injury. Yes, history and understanding your problem is important, but it’s only a part of the puzzle.

This is because as professionals, we are trained to evaluate with our eyes and hands to assist in the diagnosis of your condition.

Seek Out Professional Evaluation and Treatment

There are numerous products and programs currently online that essentially attempt to remove the need for someone to see a licensed professional for an injury or ailment. These products or programs will draw people in as they hope to learn what they can do to fix themselves. There is nothing wrong with that, as self-management strategies are important for anyone to learn. People who are dealing with pain or injury must learn why their pain or injury developed in the first place and what they can do to help prevent it from returning.

However the limitation to these products or programs is that they are mass marketed, attempting to appeal to a large audience and, therefore, are very general in nature. They are incapable of being highly specific to the individual. These programs or products may work for some, but when someone needs more individualized solutions they need to turn to a licensed professional such as a chiropractic rehabilitation specialist or physical therapist who approaches injuries and ailments from a functional perspective, not solely based on structural pathology.

Specialists exist for a reason. When your in-home or self-management strategies fail or if you are having persistent or worsening symptoms, you should seek out professional consultation. Specialist such as sports medicine physicians, rehabilitation chiropractors and physical therapists are capable of providing solutions to pain and injury through either diagnosing your condition, devising a rehab plan, and providing treatment. Massage therapists are another specialist to consider as many ailments and injuries have soft-tissue components that respond favorably to massage therapy by reducing pain and restoring muscle function.

Recognize the Gift of Injury

The recovery from injury is as much mental as it is physical. Believe it or not, there is a gift of injury – forced discipline.

What do I mean by forced discipline?

Injury often times forces us to confront the very reasons why we got injured in the first place. The reason could be faulty mechanics, sharp increases in workout or training volume, or ignoring warning signs our brain was sending us.

Professional specialists mentioned above should assist in the process of helping you recognize the reason(s) for your injury and given you the direction needed in your recovery. But it's upon you to be disciplined and mindful during your recovery process and beyond. This new sense of discipline can apply to making better decisions when it comes to your rehab program, your posture, your movement, and the amount of stress or work you place upon your body.

Failure to do so can often lead to someone rushing his or her own recovery, returning too soon to sport or activity or frequent relapses. Be disciplined and regain control of your body.

Understand the Science of Pain

Failure to apply discipline in your recovery can also result in the feeling that your injury will never heal. The reality is all injuries heal. But long after the site of injury has healed, pain can still persist. Pain becomes a reminder to some that they aren’t healed. They will believe they are still injured.

“So if my injury is healed, then why am I still in pain?”

Pain is a message from our brain that is meant to protect us. Even though pain is meant to protect us, pain is not a reliable source of indicating the extent of an injury or even where the injury is located. The classic example here is phantom limb pain. Amputees regularly will experience this phenomenon. One may experience left leg pain, yet they do not have a left leg. If pain is purely related to damage or injury, how would one experience pain in a limb that doesn’t exist?

The reality of pain perception can be a difficult education point as this is typically a new concept for the majority of patients and one they may need some time to understand. But it’s critical as their beliefs about pain can complicate the recovery process. It’s extremely beneficial for patients to learn about pain and address fear-avoidance behaviors and other factors that will interfere with reactivation into normal movement, activities of daily living and sport.

Gradual exposure to correct movement which takes stress of tissues can help to desensitize the brain to pain signals. Movement re-education serves to reduce pain signaling in the brain. As one learns to move better, pain goes down. You need to break your pain cycle with a better movement solution. It’s that simple.

Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading. We hope this post was helpful. Please leave any comments or questions you may have. Share this post with those who you feel can benefit from understanding how to better approach recovering from injury or pain.

 
More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/resetting-bodys-function-post-injury/

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-hidden-causes-of-sports-injury/

https://gallagherperformance.com/technique_and_performance/

https://gallagherperformance.com/nutrition-for-faster-recovery-from-injury/

https://gallagherperformance.com/improved-approach-chronic-pain-management/

https://gallagherperformance.com/effective-treatment-shoulder-pain/

 

What Makes a Sports Rehabilitation Chiropractor?

Chiropractors have traditionally been known for treating patients suffering from acute or chronic pain related to the neck and back. Chiropractic treatment that involves spinal manipulation is regarded as a standard for treatment of cervical spine (neck) pain and acute lower back pain. Not only is it safe, but it has also shown tremendous health benefits for improving range of motion and reducing pain in patients during the rehabilitation process.

However, chiropractors are also capable of helping patients rehab and recover from injuries suffered in an accident or sports. The role chiropractors play in rehabilitation and sports medicine has grown substantially in the last 10 years. Almost all professional sports teams in North America utilize chiropractic services because of the recognition chiropractors has received in their ability to help athletes perform at their highest possible level. Apart from this, many rehabilitation clinics include chiropractic care as part of the services offered to patients.

Consider for a moment that the Managing Director for Sports Medicine for the United States Olympic Committee is Dr. Bill Moreau....a chiropractor!

Holding a position as a sports rehabilitation chiropractor is growing in popularity and, just like an athlete, a sports rehabilitation chiropractor must possess many tools or skills to be both effective and efficient in treating patients who are active and athletic.

Below is a list out 5 critical elements you should find when looking for a chiropractor who will be capable of treating you from a rehabilitation or sports injury perspective. Consider that these are not simply just my opinion, but rather this list has been compiled based on the insight of several of my colleagues and mentors, their clinical experience, as well as my own clinical experience.

  1. Palpation & Adjusting Skills. The heart of chiropractic is the ability to assess, diagnose and treat (heal) with our hands. Our hands truly are the greatest diagnostic tool available to us. I've had people say to me that what I do as a chiropractor is "easy" and that "anyone can adjust". There is some truth to that. Adjusting is easy. You can make a joint "pop" real easy. The challenging part is palpation and finding exactly what joint needs corrected, what motions are limited, and determine exactly how you will adjust the dysfunctional joint(s). Palpation is a skill and takes years to refine. You would be wise to find a sports rehabilitation chiropractor who is very skilled with their hands and capable of determining appropriate application of chiropractic adjustments.
  2. Functional Approach to Evaluation and Treatment. The use of functional evaluations is another critical skill of the sports rehabilitation chiropractor. The ability to assess movement and identify hidden causes to injury and pain become invaluable to helping patients find relief and optimize performance. If your chiropractor isn't taking time to assess your movement and helping identify how it may be playing a role in your pain or injury, you may be miss reasons why your pain is recurrent or why you just can't seem to get better.
  3. Functional Rehabilitation. A sports rehabilitation chiropractor should incorporate rehabilitation and active care into your treatment plan. Almost every case involving muscle or joint pain requires some level of strengthening exercise progression and education. The functional approach to rehabilitation includes identifying joint dysfunction, muscular imbalances, trigger points, and faulty movement patterns. These are often the hidden causes of injury. Observing how a patient moves and functions allows us to identify improper movement patterns that become contributors to pain and poor sport performance. By placing an emphasis on strategies to improve movement and function, functional rehabilitation is effective in improving qualities of endurance, strength, stability, balance, agility, coordination, and body awareness.
  4. Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) and Vojta Therapy. DNS and Vojta Therapy are advanced approaches used to not only treat a variety of neuromuscular conditions but also used by athletes worldwide to elevate performance. By applying principles and techniques rooted in the study of child development, DNS and Vojta Therapy aim to improve and restore the activation ideal movement patterns. These techniques are used to promote the ideal postures, movements, and degree of body awareness that is essential not only to athleticism, but to also treating the underlying causes of several pain syndromes that are commonly treated by sports rehabilitation chiropractors.
  5. Myofascial Release & Manual Therapy Techniques. Myofascial release targets adhesions that develop either within a single muscle or between adjacent muscles and other forms of connective tissue such as fascia, tendons and ligaments. Sports rehabilitation chiropractors commonly use myofascial release & manual therapy techniques such as cross friction massage, active release, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, muscle activation, PIR, and PNF. Many athletes and patients experience accumulative or overuse trauma (ex: plantar fasciitis due to running or carpal tunnel syndrome due to prolonged computer/desk work). The goal becomes to work a muscle to remove adhesions and restore neuromuscular function to decrease pain while increasing range of motion, strength, and coordination of movement.
 
More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/prevent-re-injury-integrated-training-rehabilitation/

https://gallagherperformance.com/before-you-go-to-a-chiropractor-read-this-first/

https://gallagherperformance.com/fascia_muscular-adhesions_how_they_relate-_to_pain_and_overuse_injuries/

Scoliosis Treatment for Children & Teenagers

Scoliosis.

The diagnosis can make anyone uneasy and it can become even more unnerving for parents when they hear that diagnosis for a child. Scoliosis in children between the ages of 10-18 years of age is termed adolescent scoliosis and can be due to many causes. But the most common type of scoliosis in the adolescent period is one in which the cause is unknown and is called adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). The reason why it is called idiopathic scoliosis is because there are currently no identifiable reasons as to why scoliosis develops in these children.

When we consider the current limited understanding of scoliosis in a traditional medical sense and the limitations in medically accepted treatment of AIS, it makes one wonder if there is a model of evaluation, treatment and management of scoliosis that may provide the potential for deeper understanding of the condition and reasons why it develops. Possibly bringing to light conservative treatment measures that have the ability to stop it's progression - or even reverse it.

Before we get to more detail on these discussion points, lets review what is currently known about AIS, from symptoms to treatment.

Symptoms
AIS generally does not result in pain or neurologic symptoms in children and teenagers. I can't stress this enough as often times this is the reason why the diagnosis of scoliosis can blindside many. Again, your child or teenager often times has no pain and no complaints. They seem to be perfectly healthy, active kids. This is a big reason why often times, scoliosis is either identified by primary care physicians during routine annual exams or during school exams.

While there may be no pain present and the child seems to be otherwise healthy despite curvature changes in the spine, how serious can the condition really be if it isn't that limiting?

While pain and neurologic symptoms may not be present, there can be disturbances within the nervous system on the cerebellar and sensory-motor integration level (1). Often there can be altered reflexes as identified by Janda, hypermobility, and muscular imbalances which create functional changes within the body (1). These functional changes have a direct effect on movement, thus having a direct effect on structure. In this case, the curvature of our spine (structure) is directly related to the function of our musculature and movement system.

Disturbances within our muscular/movement system can be identified by functional evaluation, however these evaluations are not typically part of the traditional medical evaluation process.

Does this lack of functional evaluation potentially leave pieces of the scoliosis puzzle unsolved? Pieces that would aid in determining the most appropriate course of treatment and management - and potentially a patient-specific reason for the development of the condition?

Evaluation & Physical Exam Findings
Classically, the physical evaluation and physical exam of a child diagnosed with AIS has a few key findings:

  • Visible signs of lateral spine curvature along with asymmetries seen in the shoulders or hips, in which one side appears higher than the other.
  • Adam's Forward Bending Test revealing either structural or nonstructural (aka functional) scoliosis. Adam's Test is consider the most sensitive test for scoliosis and the most common test used in the diagnosis of scoliosis.
  • Radiographs or x-ray indicating positive findings for scoliosis. The curves are often measured for angles of the curves to determine severity.
While the physical findings from these objective exams are valuable and necessary to consider, there remains a lack of evaluation into how one's body is functioning. Functional evaluations are extremely valuable in determining possible underlying reasons for the structural changes seen in AIS.

Some functional evaluation considerations that are made from the world of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) include:
  • Functional tests to assess movement control and coordination of the musculature surrounding the shoulders, spine, and hips.
  • The central role proper neuromuscular function plays in spinal stabilization and optimal spinal posture.
  • Sensory-motor integration and cerebellar function in the patient's ability to sense their body awareness, posture, and joint position in space.
  • Hypermobility and other present musculoskeletal compensations in response to poor function of the integrated stability stabilization system (ISSS).
The more accurate the evaluation, the more accurately treatment can be applied. Functional evaluation only compliments orthopedic and neurological evaluation. Ideally, functional evaluation such as that provided by DNS would be consider as a necessary component for it's ability to bring to light issues that more traditional orthopedic and neurologic testing are unable to identify.

Treatment
Traditional medical treatment of AIS falls into three main categories:
  1. Observation
  2. Bracing
  3. Surgery
These traditional treatment and management strategies are used in accordance with guidelines based on severity and/or progression of AIS.

But are there other treatment options? Ones that may be considered more "alternative" yet may possess the potential to yield positive results in the treatment and management of children and teens with AIS?

Often interventions such as chiropractic, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and exercise therapy can be considered by some as alternative treatments to prevent progression of AIS. However, when applied appropriately in the treatment of AIS, these "alternative" treatments can offer something that observation, bracing, or surgery cannot - truly addressing the underlying functional causes in the development of structural asymmetries.

Improving the way one moves and functions - through targeted therapeutic exercise, joint mobilizations, and/or spinal manipulation - can have huge impact on preventing the progression of AIS. Coming from the Prague School of Rehabilitation, the pioneers of DNS therapy, they not only have success in treating AIS, they even have cases of reversal. Clearly there is something we can learn from the model utilized by DNS practicioners in improving our model of scoliosis evaluation, treatment, and management.

The hope is that this article has brought to light some reasons why we should reconsider how scoliosis is evaluated and treated as well as treatment options that exist, but can be rather difficult to find.

References:
  1. Cerebellar function and hypermobility in patients with idiopathic scoliosis, Kobesova A, Drdakova L, Andel R, Kolar P. International Musculoskeletal Medicine. , 2013, 35(3): 99-105.
 
For further reading on DNS and the importance of functional evaluation, please check out the links below:

 
https://gallagherperformance.com/dynamic-neuromuscular-stabilization-advancing-therapy-performance/

https://gallagherperformance.com/solving-pain-influence-czech-rehabilitation-techniques/

https://gallagherperformance.com/resetting-bodys-function-post-injury/

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-importance-of-functional-evaluation/

https://gallagherperformance.com/chiropractic-rehab-dns-treatment/

3 Exercises for Athletic & Mobile Hips

Please watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRZL6Y6gtZI

In this video, we discuss exercises aimed at training proper hip dissociation - an often overlooked and undertrained function of the hips. Poor hip dissociation is commonly a reason for pain and poor performance.

Some key points discussed in this video:

  • What hip dissociation means. Hip dissociation is the ability to independently move the hips without compensations from the rest of the body.
  • Why poor hip dissociation and compensations are often a reason for low back pain, hip pain, and even pain within the knees and feet/ankles.
  • How poor hip dissociation is related to increased risk of injury.
  • Why the inability to move properly though the hips limits athletic potential and will negatively impact your performance.
  • And most importantly - what to do to improve your ability to move your hips independently with simple exercises that you can perform at home, at the gym, or basically anywhere with just a few simple tools.

Thanks for watching and as always, let us know your questions or comments.

More related reading:

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/advanced-training-for-elite-athletes

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/2-exercises-for-groin-and-knee-pain

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/the-solution-to-long-term-improvement-of-back-pain

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/pistol-squat-or-skater-squat-which-is-better

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/how-dns-solves-pain-and-improves-performance

https://www.gallagherperformance.com/blog/a-powerful-innovative-approach-to-improving-how-the-body-functions

When Should I See A Chiropractor?

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aaE3CIouTU[/embed]

In this video we discuss some important points to consider when to see chiropractor or why to see a chiropractor, especially one that has a sports injury and rehab specialization and practices in a functional movement model.

Some points to consider:

  • How important is your health to you? Health is an investment and requires a proactive approach rather than be reactive.
  • Do you want to get out in front of rather muscle tightness and joint range of motion/mobility restrictions before they get more serious or painful?
  • Most people are unsure of who to see for back pain and joint pain, even muscle tightness. They may see their PCP, but not receive the answers or solutions they were hoping for. They are looking for a provider they can trust.
  • Those that have a positive experience with a chiropractor or have one they trust, turn to them when they start to "feel off" or they feel their body is moving as it normally does or they start to feel pain.
  • Ideally, chiropractors who have a specialization in functional rehab, sports injury, and movement are the experts you should see for the most musculoskeletal conditions that we commonly deal with.
  • When, or if, you see a chiropractor is ultimately your choice and one that can prove to be beneficial and a worth while investment.
 
More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-importance-of-functional-evaluation/

https://gallagherperformance.com/low_back_pain_treatments_that_just_wont_help/

https://gallagherperformance.com/solving-pain-influence-czech-rehabilitation-techniques/

https://gallagherperformance.com/powerful-innovative-approach-improving-body-functions/

https://gallagherperformance.com/effective-treatment-shoulder-pain/

https://gallagherperformance.com/solving-movement-problems-entertainment-vs-effective/

Chiropractic, Rehab & DNS Treatment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceIcoreYu8o&t=4s

This video illustrates how we integrate chiropractic, rehabilitation and dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) into patient treatment. For the purposes of this video, these techniques were used to speed up post-workout recovery, ensure structural balance and improve how the body functions. Similar to fine-tuning a race car, the human body can benefit tremendously from fine-tuning to keep body prepared for high performance.

Key take home points:

  • Treatment is directed at patient-specific goals and outcomes. There are different levels of care that may need, ranging from symptomatic (i.e. painful conditions) to more performance-based therapy or fine-tuning.
  • Chiropractic manipulative therapy (i.e. adjusting) was not filmed but utilized for the spine and hips.
  • Soft-tissue work was done manually and instrument-assisted to mobilize muscle and connective tissue to improve recovery.
  • Dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) was used to fine-tune motor patterns and muscular activation. Proper muscular activation and stabilization function of muscles helps to ensure proper muscular coordination while minimizing stress on the joints.
  • This all adds up to optimizing performance while keeping the body as healthy as possible.
More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/fascia_muscular-adhesions_how_they_relate-_to_pain_and_overuse_injuries/

https://gallagherperformance.com/dynamic-neuromuscular-stabilization-advancing-therapy-performance/

https://gallagherperformance.com/powerful-innovative-approach-improving-body-functions/

https://gallagherperformance.com/solving-pain-influence-czech-rehabilitation-techniques/

Resetting the Body's Function Post-Injury

"After an injury tissues heal, but muscles learn. They readily develop habits of guarding that outlast the injury" - Janet Travell, MD
Guarding after an injury is normal and it is to be expected. However, when left unidentified and untreated, guarding or protective patterns can become common reasons for chronicity and why someone "hasn't got better". This is why we must go beyond structural injury and think function in treatment rehabilitation.

From the functional viewpoint, we must evaluate for these guarding patterns that patients readily default to due to injury/pain. Identifying and treating these guarding patterns appropriately will often times enable patients to feel better almost immediately.

While yes it is important to evaluate for structural injury (fracture, dislocation, ligament sprains, tendinopathies, disc herniations, etc.) and manage them accordingly, the reality is these tissues will heal in time. However, after these injuries heal, there can be presentations within the body that create complications in achieving full recovery or become reasons for relapse.

Often times patients will complain about tight calves and hamstrings after spraining an ankle or tightness in their low back and hips after a disc rupture. Or they may have developed pain and/or sensitivities in other areas of their body seemingly unrelated to their initial site of injury.

The ankle ligaments will heal. The disc will heal. But the body will guard and protect and this becomes programmed within the nervous system. This is exactly what we need to treat for patients to get better and this new reality becomes very liberating for patients.

When patients come to understand that their injury has healed, but it's their brain and muscles that must re-learn how to work as they did before the injury, they become less fearful and more confident in a positive outcome. Essentially, they come to understand that we must reset their body so their neuromuscular function returns to pre-injury status.

To reset the right things in the body, we must assess and analyze the problem then utilize corrective measures in treatment and/or training. This system helps us develop efficiency in treatment and enables us to expect results.

What type of corrective measures? The gold standard becomes manual therapy and therapeutic exercise. When combined, these serve to get patients out of pain and improve the function in their body.

Yes these results can often times be rather immediate, however in some cases recovery can test a patient's patience as the process may be slower than they aniticipated.

When progress is slow, it is important to remember the following:
  1. Therapeutic exercise is the most evidence-based treatment.
  2. Passive treatments (tape, modalities,etc.) may offer temporary relief but are not helpful in medium and long term recovery.
  3. Injections and surgery have been not shown any greater effectiveness in outcomes than exercise.
  4. Seek advice and treatment from a licensed professional who specializes in functional movement. Ideally this would be a rehabilitation chiropractor or physical therapist with movement specializations are the gold standard here. These practitioners focus on the functional paradigm of manual/physical medicine. And no, your "functional trainer" at the gym doesn't count.
  5. Self-management is key. Reduce activities that provoke pain, apply gradual exposure to activities to build confidence and tissue capacity through exercise. Exercise must be tailored to you to reduce pain and improve strength and function throughout your entire body.
  6. Progress load and exposure gradually. The key is to be consistent with your exercise therapy. Forget about how much you were doing before the injury and what others are able to do. Everyone responds differently. Focus on your recovery and what works to get you back on track.
  7. Getting back on track can take a long time. In some cases, upwards of 3 to 12 months depending on a number of factors including duration of symptoms, functional deficits and patient compliance during their exercise program. Keep in mind, other treatments can offer faster recovery but nothing has demonstrated better long-term results than progressive exercise.
When patients understand that guarding is normal, that we must reset and improve their body's function and they understand the process, they in turn are very likely to experience a positive outcome.

More related reading:

https://gallagherperformance.com/the-importance-of-functional-evaluation/

Ultimate Runner's Guide to Injury Prevention

Running season is fast approaching. Spring and summer have a host of events from marathons, to half marathons, to triathlons, to various course races. Many have likely already started their training. And then of course we can’t forget those who will simply take up running in hopes of shedding unwanted body weight for the summer.

Whether you are taking up running to become healthier and lose weight, to qualify for Boston, or if you have your eyes set on crossing a race off your bucket list, your routine training will either build you toward your goal or you will be bogged down with nagging injury after nagging injury.

When you consider that 65-80% of runners will sustain an injury during the running season, clearly there is something that needs addressed to help runners cut down their chances of being sidelined or having recurrent issues during their training.

If there is one thing that most people know about me is that I’m not a distance runner. I’ll make that disclaimer up front. Never been a distance or endurance athlete and never will be. I live in the power-speed world of athletics. However, as a former hockey player and strength athlete, one of favorite past times and off-season training methods was (and still is) sprints.

Between my background as a chiropractic rehabilitation specialist as well as personal and professional experience in speed development, I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to build a body that is resilient to the demands of running/sprinting rather than breaking down. And at Gallagher Performance we have developed a reputation for not only building speed demons, but keeping their body healthy and ready in the process.

So what gives? Why is someone like me writing an article about running?

The name of the game in athletics is physical preparation and the same can be said of distance running. Unfortunately there seems to be a misunderstanding in that one only needs to run to be successful at running. While this may be true for some, there are numerous others who simply cannot solely rely on running in order to be prepared to run. Simply just running to be ready to run is an oversimplification of arguably the most complex human movement.

If that sounds ridiculous or confusing, let me explain my logic.

Most runners will eventually encounter their fair share of aches, pains, strains and overuse injuries. Plantar fasciitis, shin splints, tendonitis, stress fractures, runner’s knee, IT band syndrome and joint pain are common to the running community. Once training demands exceed what is one physically prepared for, this is where things start to go south.
These conditions may be present for a number of reasons, including any of the following:

  • Sharp increases in training volume
  • Foot wear
  • Gait mechanics
  • Strength deficits
  • Joint dysfunction or fixations
  • Improper motor control of lower extremities and/or torso
  • Overtraining
  • Inadequate physical preparation
This article is not intended to address training theory or programming as it relates to preparation for an endurance event, foot wear or gait mechanics. What I want to address is the reality that one must be physically prepared for a specific event and this requires that a runner must possess the necessary prerequisites in movement as it relates to running.
And no, being physically prepared doesn’t mean being fit or having a certain level of fitness. Being physically prepared for a distance running event goes far beyond one’s aerobic fitness.

To get my point across, allow me to use the analogy of intelligence. One can be intelligent yet being prepared for an exam in Civil War History is another issue. Now one may take that exam and it could go very well or horribly bad, but it doesn’t change the fact that the individual is still intelligent. What it means is they were either prepared or unprepared for that specific exam.

So while one may be “fit”, it does not mean they are physically prepared for a specific physical event. Even if one lifts weights, bikes, and jogs on a regular basis it doesn’t mean they are ready for a marathon. And most understand this, as they will specifically prepare for a marathon by training for it over a number of weeks.

But what is one to do to make sure their body is ready for the demands of running other than simply running? I mean that’s all one needs to do right? Just get out there and put in the miles right?

Yes, you will have to put your time in on the road or track. That’s a given. But there are also other considerations to make beyond the traditional means of endurance training (see this article here - 2 Common Misconceptions in Endurance Training).

The reality is running is tremendously demanding on the body and it’s even more so from a distance standpoint because of the need for far greater precision in running form, mechanics and motor control of the feet, ankles, hips and torso.

The need for strength and precision in movement control for the distance runner should make training strength and precision in movement control a high priority. This skill of awareness or proprioceptive ability can be trained through exercise. And this brings us to the heart of the article – ensuring you are physically prepared for running. Ensuring that your feet/ankles, hips and torso are more resilient against the cumulative physical demands of running.

Understand that I realize, like any competitive athlete, the cumulative trauma of the competitive season adds up and it is a challenge to stay 100% healthy. There are a number of variables that go into keeping one healthy. The hope is that through this article you gain an understanding of how training and maintaining certain physical abilities through specific exercises will not only help to offset what your body endures on the road, but make it more resilient as well.

The following exercises will serve to build the physical foundation that will help one stay healthier during training and the competitive running season, thus making sure your physical preparation meets or exceeds training demands.

1. Respiration with Trunk Stabilization
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxONX_8ZGkI[/embed]

2. McGill Side Bridge
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJhqDATf5_k[/embed]

3. Low Oblique Bridge with Hip Differentiation
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXc7wr3oBkY[/embed]

4. Single Leg Balance & Swaps
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Exz8f-ngKPM[/embed]

5. Pallof Press
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-0HIVP5ZQA[/embed]

6. Plank Progressions
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKWc4XJ9xKI[/embed]

7. Box Squat
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJh3xyMWj7g[/embed]

8. Romanian Deadlift
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4Mk6OEE2RQ[/embed]

9. Lunge Matrix
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGdmImUcQFw[/embed]

10. Power-Speed Drills
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti5-hTsOC-8[/embed]

That's a Wrap
While this list is far from comprehensive, it will serve as a general template to help runners to address basic physical prerequisites needed to stay healthy and train with minimal risk of setbacks. This is general template for physical preparation of a runner. Remember, like any athlete, physical preparation serves as your foundation as a runner. Take time to develop your physical preparation. Take time to develop your strength and movement control as it will allow you to get more out of training and keep your body healthy in the process.

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