Monthly archives

February 2009

Stretching For Runners

Running is a great form of exercise – easy, cheap and great for your cardiovascular system. However, running can also be very hard on your joints. Your joints are subjected to higher than normal forces with each stride, and this can compound any minor flaw in your biomechanics or your body. A tight hip or strained hamstring can alter your running position enough to cause significant pain.

As I have said before, prevention is the key. Its way easier to prevent something than to fix it once its happened. Apart from ensuring you have a good pair of running shoes, the second most important preventative step is to stretch out your body at the end of your run. This will help to loosen up any muscles that have tightened up, and will help your body recover faster.

The Canadian Chiropractic Association has created a brochure outlining some easy and effective running stretches. Again, these are to be done at the end of your run. The brochure can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:

Running Stretches

Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy

Pelvic Pregnancy Pain
Pelvic Pregnancy Pain

Pelvic pain is one of the most common conditions to accompany pregnancy. This problem can range from some soreness in the hips and back to debilitating pain which prevents someone from standing or walking for any length of time.

In pregnancy, your body will produce a hormone called “relaxin” which loosens your ligaments and makes your joints less stable. This is done in order to ensure that the baby can pass through the pelvis easily.

This decrease in stability of the pelvis and hips can lead to stresses on the joints that cause pain and disability. This is especially likely when your belly begins to grow and your posture changes. Having an unstable pelvis makes you less able to deal with these changes.

Pelvic pain can begin anywhere from 8-12 weeks and last until delivery. Depending on the nature, location and severity of the problem, chiropractic can be an effective solution for this condition. Muscle work, taping, and adjustments to the restricted joints of the spine (NOT the loose ones) can help to take pressure off the pelvis and reduce pain.

Another option which is highly recommended is a trochanteric belt.  This belt helps to stabilize the pelvis and relieve the symptoms. An example of a trochanteric belt can be found here, and you can find them in your local sports medicine/rehabilitation supply store.

Pelvic pain may linger after delivery, and its important to continue treatment until the symptoms subside. In addition, you should be given home exercises which will help during and after pregnancy, and will help to restore stability after your delivery.

Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

Alexander Technique Can Help

As a Comox Valley Chiropractor who’s practice is mainly comprised of back pain, neck pain, headaches and other limb pain, I often hear of people’s adventures with other forms of treatment.  Many of these techniques are “named techniques”, or in other words they are named after the person who invented them. One of the techniques I hear about from time to time is the Alexander technique, and I dind’t give it much thought until this article appeared in the British Medical Journal.

In this study, 579 patients were randomly assigned into 4 different groups, and each intervention was applied with and without general exercise prescription:

  1. Normal care from a GP
  2. 6 massage therapy treatments
  3. 6 lessons of Alexander technique
  4. 24 lessons of Alexander technique

Questionnaires were completed at 3 and 12 months. Overall, there was little improvement in the control group, while at 3 months significant improvements were found in the other 3 intervention groups. The massage benefits did not last through 12 months, while both the  Alexander technique lesson groups maintained their benefits. In fact, the group which received 24 lessons acutally showed a better result at 12 months than at 3 months. When exercise was added to the interventions, it significantly improved the outcome of the 6 lesson group, but not the 24 lesson group.

This is a very large and well-structured study showing the potential benefits of the Alexander Technique in improving pain and disability levels for chronic back pain patients. Obviously this is just one study, but the fact that this study involved many clinics and many different practitioners gives it more validity. Below you will find a video produced by the BMJ demonstrating the Alexander Technique and describing their research.

Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

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Vitamin Water? No Thanks.

Thanks to Dr. Kinsler for reminding me that I haven’t yet ranted about this inane product.

About 6 months ago a sales rep came around to our office and dropped off 2 massive cases of a brand of vitamin water. We usually carry some bottles of water for patients since we don’t have room for a water cooler in our waiting room (some people will actually look at us with scorn if we offer them tap water, even though Vancouver tap water continually beats bottled water on testing). We figured we’d hit the jackpot and didn’t have to shop for a while.

Then I read the label. The amount of sugar is staggering, and even though it makes reference to fruit juice in the name of the product, there is nothing of the sort inside. What ever happened to getting your vitamins in your food? What ever happened to being happy with simple water to drink?

This is just another example of misleading marketing to latch onto the health and wellness craze. You can read Rochester Chiro’s blog post to find out more about the class action lawsuit that is currently being filed against one brand of this product. Just goes to show you when it comes to health, don’t believe everything you read (especially if its advertising!).

Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.