Articles in NZ Fitness magazine by Dr. Theresa Dobson
Fit Joints Article #1
YOUR BODY NEVER LIES - so pay attention
*joint of the month: C1 Atlas vertebra “The Master control centre”
Lets have a look under your skin. OOOUCH !!! No doubt you have spoken that profound word (amongst others) when you have engaged in the journey of a joint injury. Most of us have and this is not surprising considering life in the 2011’s requires most of us to be endurance athletes of some sort. We wake to an alarm, toes to carpet and we’re off rushing in to the new day . Combine that with the fact that most sports, jobs and hobbies both recreational and professional require we use our bodies in very imbalanced repetitive movement patterns . Our bodies are sure to remind us of that at the end of each day .Years of experience as a Chiropractor / sports practitioner, having the delightful challenge of working with professional athletes, coaches and trainers in the full spectrum of sports has taught me most joint injuries occur within a very small range within the joint – generally when a joint is taken past its normal end range of motion to the minute amount of 0-4 degrees! Indeed this sounds quite ridiculous. However, when you understand the intimate relationship of the body’s “playful threesome‘: tendons + ligaments + muscle, which make up the basic foundation for joint movement, you too will become intrigued at the intimacy of this relationship . Lets take a peak beneath our skin!FACT: There are 206 bones in the human body. (This number will vary slightly for those special genetic off throws ) In order for these eager bones to move and perform for us, they require the assistance of the “playful threesome”. This threesome literally become the pulley and lever system for the bones. Quite honestly its like a game of puppetry. Without this pulley and lever system we wouldn’t be much more mobile or interesting than a sea slug!Here is a user friendly version of the threesome:
* Ligaments are strong fibres (like thick fishing lines) binding bone to bone, allowing and limiting motion and providing attachment sites for muscle tendons.
* Tendons are fibrous tissue (again like fishing lines) connecting muscles to bones.
* Muscles are tissue made up of contractile fibres ( like elastic bands) that effect and create movement of bones.
So in short, as the muscle contracts, it shortens. With support of the tendon attachment to the bone it levers the bones in different directions depending on the joint type and shape. Ligaments secure, protect and hold bones together. This “threesome” allow our body’s the joy of movement! To keep a joint fit and healthy, we must keep it within the range of motion dictated by the joint shape and function as well as the ligament’s protective grip.
SPORTS HAVE THEIR ISSUES:
Most sports force imbalanced muscle demands, demands which twist us one direction, loading one side of our joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. This creates uneven contracted strong muscles on one side and weak loose muscles on the other, inturn, putting tremendous stress across the joint which ripens it for injury. Then an athlete takes this stressed joint out to play and the slightest 0-4 degrees of unfamiliar movement or impact punishes the joint or muscle. In turn this angry joint punishes you! A postural / length tension assessment can reveal and correct imbalances, but should be done by a qualified practitioner.
JOINT OF THE MONTH:
C1 (Atlas vertebra) The top of the spine is top on my list. Located just behind your earlobe, your atlas houses over three trillion of your nerve fibres that live feed ingoing/outgoing data from your brain to your whole body. This is critical for an athlete as it effects reaction time, balance, speed, recovery, sleep, immune system, and peripheral vision to name a few. Your atlas can be misaligned via impact, muscle imbalance, repetitive movements and stress. Atlas correction is a passive avenue to gain huge sporting advantages. It is a specialized field, so go to a specialist in this area.
Not So FAQ’S… But on the need to know list:
Muscles heal quicker than tendons/ ligaments as they hog large amounts of blood (which contains the jewels of healing ), whereas ligaments/tendons get very little blood and heal slowly ( Zen patience required!)
The key to mastery of sport is: focus, mental recovery, physical ability, and playfulness of spirit. Let your body guide you into this awareness and keep your heart plugged in.
Fit Joints Article #2
Dr Theresa Dobson
Dr. Theresa Dobson
Doctor of Chiropractic, Neuromuscular therapist, Bio-kinetics practitioner, Chek HLC ll, Sports specific practitioner. Dr. Theresa Dobson is practitioner to several professional and elite athletes in a variety of sports fields.
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YOUR BODY NEVER LIES - so pay attention
*Joint of the Month: Knees* Take Me to the River.
You wouldn’t typically think of your body as a river, though you probably should! Your human vessel is composed of 70-80% water. Every cellular function awaits the arrival of this liquid gold to perform the alchemy of generating life, energy and repairs that you body requires to stay alive. Millions of chemical reactions occur every minute that require water. The joints of your body depend on water so blood can deliver much needed nutrients and escort ugly toxins and waste away. Decreased water supply to your body is particularly vicious to your joints due to the fact that if toxins are milling around your organ system and there is not enough water to transport them to your bladder via the kidney, your body will use your joints as a garbage can for these toxins, thus detouring them away from your vital organs. This trade off seems such a logical and smart compromise, but comes with a high cost. Toxins stored in joints however, cause early degeneration with pain and breakdown close behind. Your luscious clear river has now become a swamp… Yikes!!
Hydration is one of the easiest economical ways to acquire healthy joints and a happy body overall. Grab that liquid gold and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Each of you require different amounts of water based on how many cells you have, so here is an easy formula to know the right daily amount for you: Take your body weight in kilos and multiply by .033, this is your personal perfect water intake amount.
Joint of the Month: Your precious knees
The largest joint in your body is your knees. Classified as a hinge joint, your knee is the meeting point for your shin (tibia and fibula) and your upper leg ( femur) which are all joined together via a barrage of ligaments to secure this precious joint. Without this joint we could be walking on stilt legs (very unattractive), and most sports as we know them would be impossible! The function and health of this joint is dependent on the balance of the pulleys and levers (muscles/tendons) that attach to it. For instance, weak hamstrings and strong quads create excessive load to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament): the most commonly injured ligament in the knee. Balanced muscles, healthy ligaments and good posture are critical to this joint. So get yourself assessed via a length / tension assessment by a qualified professional, physiotherapist or Chek practitioner.
The most complicated joint in your body is your knees. Classified as a pivotal hinge joint that allows flexion (bending), extension (straightening) and small amounts of rotation, it is a ligament filled joint. Those of you who have endured knee injuries and surgeries know these three lettered ligaments well: ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL. Injury to this joint is the reason most people visit orthopaedic physicians. It is also the joint most vulnerable to acute injury and osteoarthritis with the ACL is the most commonly injured ligament.
On Bended Knee
Most of our available leg movements and virtually all sports activities are dependent on your knees. They also support the whole upper body – so many thanks required! Because your knees are in such high demand, they are also subject to a variety of injuries. In fact, knees keep most orthopaedic surgeons as busy as bees. Unfortunately many knee pre or post injuries are not rehabilitated properly and leave many of you with the inability to fully extend (straighten) or flex (bend) your knees. This can not only be very frustrating but also compromises the rest of the body which has to compensate for your weakened knee. Bless rather than curse your knees and prepare them for the demands you ask of them. Your knees are composed of ligaments not muscles, so you must train and prepare them quite differently. The flat surfaces of our contemporary lifestyles provide no challenge to these ligaments and they become weak and prone to injury. The knee should be trained in multiple movement patterns with slow held motions to excite and engage the ligaments, otherwise they become unstable. This joint is seriously challenged if your sport involves quick stopping or starting, changing directions or repetitive impact such as running, rugby, soccer netball, basketball, skiing, tennis or squash to name a few. Those of you with flexible joints and hyperextension tendencies are especially vulnerable to knee problems so seek professional advise before engaging in a sporting activity.
Key Points to Remember:
* Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
* Train and rehabilitate to address the ligaments not just the muscles.
* Seek professional advise and have a length tension assessment.
* Get your spine checked to ensure postural imbalances are addressed.
* Visit my webpage for more information or inquiries: www.activecare.co.nz
Create your perfect sporting moment…where your body, mind and soul smile. Breath into that moment and feel the magic. Then do it again… and again!
Fit Joints Article #3
YOUR BODY NEVER LIES - so pay attention
*Joint of the month: The Foot/Ankle*
Lets start with your posture STAND YOUR GROUND!
I literally and figuratively mean that. Posture is everything how you stand, each step you take effects every joint in your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes and all that lies in between, here is why. Gravity rules, the minute we become bi-ped gravity begins its journey of push and pull down every joint in your body. Your platform for balance is your feet, they have the task of balancing your whole body upward against gravity keeping you from toppling over, this alone seems an amazing feat not to mention the demands that occur when you decide to engage in multiple movements that sports and life require. Your body has built in mechanisms via the nerve system and joint system to accommodate your multi-directional demands quite gracefully if your posture is in tact. When your posture breaks down, uneven loading to your joints and spine begin – injury and pain follow close behind. Lets explore the mechanisms of posture.
Years of experience and 1000’s of postural assessments lead me to your feet , they reveal the secrets to how you stack upwards! Posture begins from the ground up, but can confront major challenges in today lifestyle which continually contract you down and forward such as computers, driving, cell phones, reading etc… These all force you into a forward contracted posture giving gravity momentum creating excessive loading and compensation through and including your organ systems all the way down to your toes. Example; a minimal forward drop of the chin 2 centimetres equates to your normal 10 -12 kilo head weight becoming 17+ kilos (this commonly occurs while sitting at a computer), so you don’t fall over with this additional load the neck, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and feet all compensate and counter balance this extra load. The longer the head maintains forward load the harder the muscles and joints have to strain to maintain. A waste of energy! Most jobs and sports require imbalanced loading to one side of your body making proper posture complicated and stressful to your whole system. Simple postural exercises can prepare your body to deal with these stresses and restack you evenly. Get your postural assessments from a professional the rewards and benefits last a lifetime.
The foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles. WOW that is impressive! The toughest strongest and largest tendon in the foot is the Achilles, making it the longest and toughest to heal after injury. Those who have experienced this know it’s a big Boo Hoo ! There are 125,000 sweat glands in each foot so let those puppies breath – yikes!
Joint of The Month:
The Foot! (ankle included) The most frequently injured joint from sport is the ankle, most common ankle injury occurs as the outside edge of the foot rolls over itself lifting the arch of the foot inturn tearing and damaging the outer ligaments. Reoccurrence of foot and ankle injury is very high! Your feet must be rehabilitated properly to prevent this. Create happy feet and prevent or rehab injury by training and stretching your feet in multiple directions and movement patterns, Yoga is great for this. Pick tramps with undulating terrain which challenge all angles. The beach is ideal, kick off those boring shoes do the ABC’s in the sand (alternating heels and toes) twirl and twist them in the sand , a natural foot massage! Dropped arches are a red flag to get yourself to a podiatrist where shoe inserts will assist.
On The Need to Know List:
“The World is Flat” at least that is how your feet would interpret the western world of today “A Flat Concrete Jungle! The amazing blueprint of your feet is designed for the ability to traverse across uneven terrain, stones, boulders and steep hills whilst keeping you stable and mobile. Today’s flat shoes and flat concrete jungle offer no challenge to the unique abilities of the feet and their intricate design . The once “happy to meet a challenge” feet have now become lazy collapsed sore feet. When you take them for a walk, run or sporting event that slightly veers from flat you quickly find yourself with an injury.
So be kind to your feet, be playful with your feet , they have the big journey called “Your Life” to carry you through.
Sport offers you the gift of “complete presence” therein lies its sweet addiction and soul satisfaction. Your body gets to engage in the timeless space called “The Now” free of life’s tangles. Don’t let your busy calculating mind impose itself!. Direct your mind as the tool in your sport, and let your body becomes the sport.
Fit Joints Article #4
YOUR BODY NEVER LIES - so pay attention
*Joint of the Month: Hips* Feed Your Bones and Joints: Calcium
One of the main building blocks for bones is calcium. In fact ninety eight percent of your body’s calcium is found in your bones. And where would we be without our bones? Ask a slug! Low levels of calcium can lead to osteoporosis (affecting 25-35% women), joint pain, muscle spasm and arthritis. Now that’s just the role it plays on your joints. Calcium is also a key mineral in your nervous system, heart and teeth and is essential for our internal detoxification process. If there is not enough calcium present to escort toxins our of your system, it will rob calcium for your bones, not a healthy compromise!
Calcium maintains bone density as well as strength and is needed for bone repair from injury. It also aids your body’s ability to deal with stress. High levels of stress increase your need for calcium, yet diminish absorption ability. Speaking of absorption, iron would be useless in your body without the partnership of calcium. This is a critically important mineral!
Drinks containing caffeine and alcohol leach calcium directly from your bones, and dehydrates you so keep coffee, coke and teas to a minimum. By that I mean one coffee/tea daily, two to three alcoholic drinks a week and one or two sodas a month. Deep leafy greens are a great source of calcium and are better in quality than milk.
This is serious business as we are seeing bone weakening diseases sore into high numbers in our younger generations!
Joint of the Month: Your Hips
The hip is one of two joints in your body that provide us with 360 degree motion. Now that sounds impossible as most of you cringe at a simple hamstring stretch. The technology lifestyle of the 2000’s have left your hips stiff immobile and susceptible to early degeneration and injury. Immobility in the hips creates and interrelates to most of the back and knee pain I treat daily. Management of this joint is fundamental when considering the fact that 70% of you out there work in an office job, this compromises your posture for up to eight hours a day in a forward collapsing position . This collapsed posture creates a high load zone for the neck, shoulders and low back as well as compressing our organ system and immobilizing your hips.
The hip is a ball and socket joint, which, due to four major muscles, gives us the mobility to walk, jump, run and sit those are just the basic movements. Four muscles attach to the hip – extensors, hip flexors, adductors and external rotators. They work together to create the amazing lower body movements you see in all sports and the simple miracle I call “walking”.
The hip is the junction of the femur (upper leg bone) and pelvis. The top of the leg bone literally has a ball shaped bone (acetabulum) that fits snugly into the pelvis, simular to that of a tow bar . Separating the two bones is smooth fibrous cartilage that lubricates the joint and creates swivel in the joint. Compromise to this cartilage can result in degeneration of the joint, arthritis being the most common cause of hip pain. We are now seeing this at very young ages !
Common injury of the hip is muscle strain of the hamstring/groin seen often in rugby, soccer and runners. Endurance athletes can be susceptible to stress fractures due to repetitive load to the hip especially if calcium is deficient in the diet.
Get hip to your hips:
Your hip health is determined largely by posture and movement and diet. The design of the pelvis is to evenly distribute the weight of your upper body to your hips, then to both legs. This is an easy task if you have balanced posture and gravity travels evenly through your spine. Most sports and jobs create gross imbalances. My clinical experience in postural analysis reveals most of you are challenged by a forward collapsed posture, uneven weight distribution and torsion patterns that match the way you sit and twist at your desks or dominant sports movements.
If you work in an office or you participate in any sport, you desperately need to unravel and refuel your joints in a rebalancing exercise program or your body will not survive your sport or job in any graceful way.
Key Points to Remember:
* Your hips are strong bones that depend on calcium supply. Make sure you eat loads of deep leafy greens and take supplements.
* Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
* Hips are designed to move in multiple directions, so strengthen and stretch in that 360 degree pattern. Yoga is very effective for hip mobility and strength
* Seek professional advice regarding posture and exercise programs.
* Get your spine checked to ensure spinal/postural imbalances are addressed.
* Visit my webpage for inquiries or further information www.activecare.co.nz
Fusion: Passion fires in body when the mind becomes a tool for the body, unlike ordinary moments when the body is a tool for the mind.
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