Running Tips that Will Save Your Back

Patients with back issues often get their problems as a result from either being active or not being active enough. Though the patients we see are a little more likely due to sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time, we also see many runners who experience lower back and joint pain.

Studies on former elite athletes from various sports discovered that lower back pain tended to be less of a problem for top-notch athletes (with higher-intensity training methods) than the general population. When research has honed in on running in particular, there’s been little evidence linking running to lower back pain any more than other strenuous sports.

It’s All About Form

One area to focus on is to improve running technique and range of motion. Many runners out there skimp on form and just focus on getting the mileage in by any means necessary, sacrificing their form, which can add undue pressure to your joints. Just like walking with good posture, running with your back straight is also necessary. Try to incorporate your leg muscles as much as possible and try to land on your feet evenly on the ball of your foot and your heel, in an arc-like fashion.

Working on mobility and flexibility will help, not to mention incorporating a stretch routine (more importantly after you run). Before you run, try to work on your range of motion with leg swings, mule kicks, warm-up routines like this. Save the stretching for after your run and a cool down walk.

Work on Your Core and Leg Strength

Strengthening your core and strengthening your legs will help you incorporate these muscles into your running, so you’re more in control, which will also help you avoid injury, especially if you’re running on uneven terrain — which, even city streets can often throw these a runner’s way.

Contact Your Neighborhood Chiropractor

Optimal Health & Wellness Center specializes in chiropractic services both for those who experience injury and those who would like to avoid injury. Chiropractic care is a great way to adjust after daily wear and tear, including your training routine. We’re here to keep you active. Schedule your consultation today!

Quick, Easy Rundown on Proper Lifting Technique

Optimal Health & Wellness Center would like to take a timeout to talk about proper lifting technique. It’s that time of year when some of us may be springing for some sizeable gifts that, when lifting, might put undue stress on the back. Please read on to learn the proper ways to lift so you don’t end up becoming a real Scrooge this holiday season.

Remember Your Base

You always want to keep a wide support base. Feet should always be no less than shoulder-width apart. You can leave one foot slightly ahead of the other (think MMA stance).

Lift with Your Legs

Don’t make the mistake of bending down and lifting with your back. Instead, squat down and let your legs do most of the work. Make sure to bend at your hips and knees — not at your back.

Keep Good Posture

Maintaining good posture is crucial when displaying proper lifting technique. Make sure that you’re looking ahead and that your back is straight. Push your chest out and push your shoulders back. Make sure that you maintain a slight arch in your lower back.

When you get the lift done, make sure that you hold whatever you’re lifting as close to your body as humanly possible. Hold it at belly button level. Make sure that you take small steps when transporting whatever you’re lifting.

If you end up getting your back, neck, or spine out of whack due to some improper lifting technique, we’re always here to help. Contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today to schedule your consultation.

3 Keto Christmas Dish Ideas

Ketogenic diets and low carb diets notoriously fall by the wayside during the holiday season, but at these times it is most important to stick to our convictions. Practicing restraint and self-control over the holiday season is a worthy endeavor that will help you carry momentum into the coming year, too.

Below we go over a few dishes you can bring to any holiday party and nosh on while staying true to your diet, that way you can continue to enjoy optimum results. That’s what Optimal Health & Wellness Center is all about: educating our patients and readership about ways they can optimize their health and wellness.

Indonesian Chicken Drumsticks

 Bring something cultural to the holiday table. Indonesian drumsticks will give you the protein you need and will provide an interesting distraction to your diet.

Roast Pork or Corned Beef

Since you need higher fat, lower carb Christmas recipes, these two options will serve as an alternative centerpiece to the traditional turkey and ham.

Side Option: Lemon Cream Artichokes or Deviled Eggs

Artichokes with mayonnaise or grass-fed butter are fine for your keto diet, not to mention deviled eggs, which have the protein you need. Add anchovies and rosemary to your deviled eggs for a nice kick.

If you’d like to learn more about the health benefits of the keto diet, contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today. We specialize in keep your health at the optimum level.

3 Ways to Engage in Active Recovery

Taking a day off from fitness or training is A-okay when it comes down to it. But, in today’s fast-paced world, some people might be looking to maximize their recovery days a little more than staying sedentary. Taking a complete day off always sounds like a novel idea, but there is still a lot you can do in the realm of staying active on your non-workout days.

Read on for a few creative ways to make your rest days a little more active. You’ll be surprised what you can get done!

1.) Do Yoga!

Yoga is a fantastic activity which can be done every day, not to mention on your rest days. If you’re not doing cardio or lifting weights, yoga is a fantastic way to give your body the routine maintenance it needs to perform at a high level moving forward. Yoga also increases your range of motion, which can boost your mile time while running or on the bike, benefit weight lifting, or enhance your ability to engage in physical activities.

2.) Take a Hike!

Even if you’re sore from the day before, hiking is a great way to get fresh air and get your heart rate up. Just make sure that you’re not hiking during the hottest part of the day and make sure you’re not overdoing it. You should be going for a more leisure experience than anything.

3.) Swimming!

If you’re resting your joints and muscles from a tough run or workout session the day before, swimming is a great activity to get your heart rate up without experiencing any impact whatsoever!

If you have any additional questions about how to maximize your off days, contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today. We provide our patients with chiropractic care services in addition to education that will help patients stay active.

Foam Rollers: A Fantastic Gift Idea and Supplement to Chiropractic Care

Today we’d like to go over a common health and wellness accessory that might make an amazing Christmas gift that will actually get used, instead of ending up in the rubbish pile after the holiday season. Foam Rollers are excellent for supporting your health and wellness plan and, also, when used correctly, beneficial to your back!

Make Sure that Foam Roller Gets Used Correctly

If you give a foam roller as a gift, make sure you let your gift recipient know how to use it correctly. Tell that special someone not to use their foam roller directly on their lower back, since there isn’t a whole lot of protection down there. Instead, use the foam roller on the upper back, which has shoulder blades and larger muscles protecting the spine. Using a foam roller on the lower back might put pressure on the spinal muscles, causing them to contract and cause damage, especially if the back pain is coming from a lumbar spine condition.

Stop using the foam roller at the end of the ribcage. If you feel pain in your lower back, it might be relieved by using the foam roller on the glutes and the hip flexors, areas where tightness can contribute to lower back pain.

Roll it Out Slow

It’s easy to be tempted to roll quickly to get the therapy out of the way. This technique may feel good, but it won’t alleviate tightness. To alleviate tightness roll no more than an inch each second. This allows your muscles the requisite time to relax and adapt to the foam roller pressure.

If you have questions about using foam rollers, contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today. Happy holiday season and happy shopping from us to you!

3 Christmas Gift Ideas that Promote Back and Spine Health

It’s that time of year again when we think of others more than we think of ourselves: the holiday season!

In honor of the gift-giving season, we thought we’d go over a few spine-friendly gift ideas that will help a loved one stay on top of their health and wellness. Somebody has to think of that, right? Read on for a few gift ideas that your gift recipient will appreciate in the long run.

1.) An Ergonomic Chair

It doesn’t matter who you are these days, chances are, you end up sitting in front of a computer, or sitting at a desk, or sitting in a chair for some reason. Having an ergonomic chair benefits the home PC user as well as the office worker alike. They’re good for the gamer and the TV watcher as well.

2.) Chiropractic Shoes

Getting shoes for a friend or family member might prove more difficult. There are different types of feet, of course. arch — attention should be paid to the arch of the foot when choosing footwear that benefits your back. There are 3 different types of arch shapes

  • Over-Pronation (Low)
  • Neutral
  • Excessive Supination (High)

Minimalist shoes might also benefit back pain as well. There are options available as far as inserts, insoles, and gel soles which have also been shown to reduce and relieve back pain.

Back/Neck Massager

There are some pretty sophisticated massagers that are available and they can help boost the benefits experienced after a session with Dr. Barton, not to mention help you relieve the wear and tear that is experienced day to day.

Bonus Gift Idea: The Gift of Chiropractic Care from Optimal Health & Wellness Center!

Contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center if you’re interested in chiropractic care for yourself or you’d like to give the gift of chiropractic care to a friend or family member.