My Own Marathon Journey

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My Own Marathon Journey

So I’ve just got back from New York where I did the TCS New York City marathon with a group of 45 amazing everyday athletes. 

It was an incredible experience.  It felt like half of New York showed up on the day to help get us over the line.  Yet, for me, getting there was definitely not a smooth journey.

My training was interrupted majorly back in June when I fractured my foot- a left second metatarsal fracture.  It’s something as practitioners we don’t talk enough about, but yes, we also get injured.     

The healing process was slow going.  I hobbled around on it for 2 weeks in denial, even though I KNEW it was broken.  Talk about human nature at it’s finest.  Eventually I admitted I had to face the fact and get an x-ray, which confirmed my suspicion.

The moon boot felt incredibly restrictive, particularly for someone like myself who spends the majority of my time in a no drop, minimal sole lift, flexible barefoot shoe.  There was definitely a lesson in there on the effects of a functional long leg on the rest of the body (yes, those extra few centimetres on one side of the body can give you low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain). 

Even in the boot, it was painful for another 3-4 weeks and being on my feet all day meant that it was probably getting way more loading than it should have.  After one month I decided that it wasn’t healing as fast as it should, and so I regressed onto crutches when not at work.  Two weeks of that and it finally felt like it was beginning to make progress.

All in all, it took over 9 weeks to get out of the boot.  I would play in and out of my barefoot shoes, even though at the end of a long day my foot would be painful.  It infuriated me- I was the barefoot guy, I had to wear barefoot shoes! I didn’t want to drive more compensation into the system by wearing regular shoes aka foot coffins.  I didn’t “identify” with them anymore.  It took 9 weeks to let go of my barefoot shoes for a time and move into something with a bit more cushioning. They felt more comfortable (read: I felt less vulnerable) in them, and that was as good a reason as any.

It took me 10 weeks to ask for help.  To let go of my ego enough to admit that I couldn’t do this on my own, that I needed someone to keep me accountable.  I felt like I could go for a run, but I also knew I wasn’t ready.  I hadn’t earnt the right to return to running just yet.  I had my shit to work on.   

Seeking help was a HUGE turning point in my recovery, both physiologically and psychologically.  I was able to begin loading it again.  It finally felt like I was making progress, that New York was back on track.

Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing from there.  There was the rehab, the daily exercises, working on my breathing, my pelvic control, my hip control, my foot control.  And then the gradual reloading of the foot and ankle.  I had only four long runs before New York and the furthest I’d ran was 26km.  I boarded that plane not really knowing 100% how I would fare on the day.  Yet I did it.  And not only did I finish, but I ran a 20 minute personal best.

I have learnt a lot about myself on this journey.  Not just about the training errors that I made, but more so throughout the process of rehabilitation.

Firstly, healing is not served by the ego: it is hindered by it.  My healing was massively slowed down by my ego.  My ego that denied I was injured in the first place.  My ego that I didn’t need to ask anyone for help.  My ego that I only wore minimalist shoes, even when I could FEEL they weren’t appropriate at that time (thankfully, I’m back in them now!).  My ego that I’m a runner, always been a runner, and running a marathon is a piece of cake.

I remember experiencing this weird dichotomy between practitioner me and patient me.  It was so easy to objectify my injury and my experience, to turn it into just another clinical scenario.  Talking with colleagues, that is exactly what it would become: we would discuss healing time frames, bone remodeling, loading rates, biomechanics and nutritional supplementation.  On one hand, this was extremely helpful, as it allowed me to get spaciousness from my injuries and know that they were only temporary, that there was a natural healing progression that would occur.

Yet, on the other hand, on some level, it fell short.  It didn’t capture how angry I felt that I was injured.  I was pissed!

But I think there was a lesson in that I needed to learn: caring too much is not a problem.  It’s a sign of your aliveness.  You ARE supposed to care A LOT when you have an injury.  It’s about caring A LOT, but not drowning in it.  If I could say one thing to people who are looking for a health practitioner to help them on their journey, it would be to choose one that isn’t afraid to speak clinical truths but who can do that from a place of compassion and empathy that does not dismiss your experience.  I for one am extremely grateful to be surrounded by such intelligent and caring healthcare practitioners.   

People get obsessed with a particular movement practice.  On one hand, that’s great, but when you have an injury, you realize that a movement practice is also only human (by the way, so is programming; the perfect training program doesn’t exist- it needs to be adaptable to the athlete).  No singular practice is the answer to all your problems forevermore.  When you’re injured, you either realize that or you go crazy with pent up energy you do not have alternate means to expel.  

We are born to run.  It is innate to all of us and for that it is as human as it gets.  On one hand, it is the perfect movement practice, on the other, it is as flawed as all of us.  It was a powerful acceptance for me that running wasn’t the answer to all my problems.  I had shit to work on- places to explore physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Most importantly, I had to realize that I needed to slow myself down and give myself permission to heal.  I had to let go of the rigidity that I wore as a sort of dysfunctional, brittle armour and soften; let go of Yang and rediscover Yin.  Everyone just sees the glory of crossing the finish line, but that is not the home of healing and repair.  Healing originates from a place of stillness, quiet and isolation.

It’s even trickier training with a group.  For me, the training FOMO became very real, and it began to feel like I was falling behind the others in the progress I was making.  It was important for me to remember everyone was on their own journey.  I was putting so much pressure on myself to just get better as quickly as possible without fully accepting my current situation.  There was a lot of anxiety.  Yet, I realized, my job was actually quite simple: all I had to do was to ask myself, every single day, what it was I could do for my body in that moment to maximize its capacity to heal.  In my opinion, I don’t believe most people slow down enough, even when they’re injured, to fully realize their healing potential.  It’s about acceptance of the situation whilst rejecting notions of helplessness and permanency.          

I always thought that the idea was to end suffering as quickly as possible.  Now, I realize, any injury is an opportunity, a lesson.  It’s there to teach you something about your self.  I do not promote pointless suffering (usually the suffering that we layer on top of the suffering because of our conditioning- the “Everyone will be so disappointed in me if I am not performing at my peak”; “I’m a failure because I have this injury”; “There must be something deeply wrong with me because no one else seems to be struggling with their training” kind of self-talk) but at the very least I encourage people to explore it enough, walk up stream with it enough, to investigate from where its flow originates.  .  At the very least, it’s a lesson in getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.  That, to me, is the role of a healthcare practitioner: not to take your suffering away, but to help you navigate through it.

People who do TED talks make it sound like they were broken but now they’re fixed- that they’re fully realized and that they have the answer.  What a load of crap.  I’ve injured so many things.  But in many ways, each one has taught me something that has made me a better practitioner and a more empathetic human.  They are part of the process.  When it comes to health, there is no ‘end point’, no magic finish line.  The patients who get the most out of care are the ones who realize that it’s an ongoing exploration.  Injuries will come and go and with each day you are a different person to the person you were the day before based on the choices you’ve made up to that point.     

Everyone is on their own journey, myself included.  All I can do is love each and everyone for the journey that they are on; love them as subjects of their OWN lives.  And they don’t need to be on board with any kind of agenda, including the ones I set for them.  There’s not much more really I can offer than to walk with them as little or as much as they want me to.  To wear my mistakes and give them hope that we can all still kick ass not in spite of but BECAUSE of these messes. 

I’m not the same runner I was 6 months ago.But I now know why it is I run: that feeling of flight.I just need to remember to come ground myself occasionally too.

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6 Tips to Fix Your Running Issues

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6 Tips to Fix Your Running Issues

Running season is upon us.  For most of us, that means getting those running shoes back on our feet and battling the cold, dark mornings to get outside and get those legs pumping.

But, for a lot of us, it also means those old aches and pains may begin to get a bit niggly again.

Running injuries are EXTREMELY common- far more common than we would like.  Research suggests that up to 90% of recreational runners will get an injury at some stage.

If you do get injured, it’s not the end of the world.  Follow these 6 simple steps to get back on track quick-smart and then perform at your peak.

1.      Get professionally assessed!

Pain should never be ignored.  It is the body’s way of telling you something is up: that if you continue doing what you’re doing you may hurt yourself. 

Pain is an opportunity.  It is a chance to understand your body better and then improve how you move and function.  We have never had a patient who didn’t learn something about themselves from their experience with us.  True injury prevention is about understanding why it occurred in the first place.  Very often most people simply don’t know what they don’t know. 

So don’t just push through pain.  Enroll into pain school at Kinetic Healthcare and embark on a journey of self-improvement.

Call 9232 5277 or book online at www.kinetichealthcare.com.au

2.      Fix your running technique

If running is the cause of your injuries, it only makes sense to get your running technique assessed. 

Something we see a lot at Kinetic is people who over-stride.  Over-striding is when you land with your foot too far away from your centre of mass.  This is commonly associated with heel striking, increased tibial angle and knee locking, which are associated with injuries throughout the body, as well as decreased energy efficiency. 

At Kinetic, we use motion capture video analysis to film and assess our runners’ technique, breaking it down from foot strike through to mid-stance and toe off.  This allows us to identify key running technique issues that may be predisposing someone to injury.  We pride ourselves on treating not just pain, but the CAUSE of pain.  If you’re not looking at HOW you are running, you are missing half the picture.

Call 9232 5277 or book a running technique assessment at www.kinetichealthcare.com.au

3.      Back off the training load

Up to 85% of running injuries are due to training errors.  These most commonly occur because people have increased their running intensity or duration too quickly for their body to accommodate.  Remember the 10-30% rule!

At Kinetic, we will ALWAYS ask you about your training load because it is an integral part of getting you back to running pain-free as well as understanding why you got injured in the first place.

4.      Avoid running down hill

When you run down hill, you are more likely to over-stride.  This causes increased forces to be attenuated by your body when you run.  Thus, if you are managing an injury, avoid running down hill for some time.

5.      Vary the terrain

The body is adaptable and resilient.  It loves variation.  Varying the terrains you are running on may help better manage the loads from the ground up when you run.  Therefore, get off the concrete for a bit and try running on the grass.

6.      Mix up your training

You don’t become a great runner from ONLY running.  You become a great runner from having a well-structured, specific training program, of which running training is one part. 

All runners should be doing strength and conditioning.  It is associated with injury prevention as well as improved performance.  From our perspective, we have never rehabilitated an injury without some form of exercise prescription. 

If running training is more of what you want, try running in the pool.  It is just like running on the ground, but the idea is to run through the water, focusing on keeping your shoulders above the level of water.  This is a great way to still get all the training benefits of running training without the impact of running on solid ground.

So there you have it.  Here are lots of practical ways you can get out of injury quick-smart and remain that way.  After all, it is the smart runner who stays injury-free.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with us! Email mike@kinetichealthcare.com.au or book in for a consultation at www.kinetichealthcare.com.au or by phoning 9232 5277. 

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Runners knee. What is it? How to go about fixing it!

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Runners knee. What is it? How to go about fixing it!

Considered by many as a great recreational activity with the added health benefits, running is a common activity that is performed by many different individuals from all walks of life. However it is not as simple as putting one foot in front of the other at a quickened pace.

Different mechanics of your body need to work in conjunction, if not it can lead to injury, a prime example being your knee.

Runners knee (patellar femoral pain syndrome) is a pain that is commonly found around one’s kneecap. Often it is attributed to an over use injury and as mentioned previously, the inability for the body to perform a specific task at a specific moment. The common culprit is an inability for the quadriceps muscle (rectus femoris) to activate when it need to. This then leads to overuse of the tendon that attaches to the top of the kneecap, resulting in pain. Other signs that you have runners knee is pain going up or down stairs and the inability to weight bare on the affected side.

So what can you do about it? Rest is not best nor is avoiding the issue as you are only avoiding the movement that is not working correctly in the first place. A strengthening program focused on improving quadriceps strength would be recommended. Getting an accurate diagnosis but most importantly, working out where in your biomechanics is not performing optimally would be high on the priority list.

At Kinetic Healthcare our team of sports chiropractors constantly see individuals with runners knee and affiliated knee pain issues. With many misconceptions out there on knee pain, both in the assessment and treatment of it, we wanted to bring out a product that was informative, accurate and to the point.

‘The 5 Steps to annihilating knee pain’ e-book is a step by guide on how to help you with your road to recovery from knee pain.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did putting together

Yours in health 

The Kinetic Healthcare Team

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A shoulder to cry on or a shoulder that cries? Understanding and overcoming shoulder pain.

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A shoulder to cry on or a shoulder that cries? Understanding and overcoming shoulder pain.

While the proverbial ‘pain in the neck’ gets plenty of publicity, our experience here at Kinetic Healthcare is that pain in the shoulder is just as hard to bear. When youv’e hurt your shoulder,  so many of life’s daily activities become painful: getting dressed, picking up a bag or your children, gardening, driving,  even lying in bed.

The shoulder is a jointwhich is made up of thecollarbone (clavicle),  the shoulder blade (scapula) and the arm bone (humerus). Held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons, the shoulder must be both mobile enough to undertake a large range of movements while also being stable enough to enable you to push, pull and lift. And here’s the rub: because achievinga balance between movement and stability is a delicate business, the shoulder experiencesa high incidence of problems.

The majority of shoulder injuries arise from damage to the soft tissue surrounding the joint.  Many individuals experience problems with tears and inflammation of the shoulder muscles (rotator cuff), caused by ageing, sports injuries,  trauma or repeated use.  Pain surrounding the shoulder blade is often linked to long periods of sitting at a computer, where poor posture puts additional strain on the shoulder and shoulder blade muscles. Other issue include dislocations, ‘frozen shoulder’ and complications arising from arthritis. Tendonitisand inflammation of the bursa – fluid filled sac that protects the shoulder -  are also responsible for the debilitating pain and loss of movement associated with shoulder injury.


If you are one of the many individuals who suffer from shoulder problems,  here are four vital steps to help heal your shoulder:

1. Avoid aggravating the problem : If there are activitiesthat make your shoulder hurt,  like working at the computer,  lifting weights or raising your arms,  then try to reduce these actions as much as possible.

2.  Take action against inflammation :  In addition to resting the region,  it may help to regularly ice the affected shoulder regionfor 20 minutes at a time. Anti-inflammatory medication may also help as a short term optionfor reducing the swelling.


3. Work on flexibility and strength. If you have reduced flexibility in your shoulder area, your shoulder capsule is placed under extra pressure. Consult your healthcare practitioner about ways in which you can increase flexibility and strength in your shoulder. It’s important that you balance any resistance training with a thorough mobility routine, focusing on your neck, chest and muscles in your back.

4. Care for your shoulders There are lots of ways you can reduce the load your shoulders bear on a daily basis. Try to carry only the bare essentials and practice good posture when you sit at the computer. Consider whether the pillow you are using offers enough support to your neck and shoulder region. Lastly, avoid long drives where possible, as extensive periods with arms outstretched on the steering wheel can be a source of strain.

 

Shoulder pain can take a long time to heal but the good news is you are not alone.  Here at Kinetic Healthcare, we are serious about sharing the load, and our team of health professionals are qualified to diagnose and developa personalised recovery plan for your specific shoulder injury.

Call us on (02)9262 6473 or click the link below today!

The team at Kinetic Healthcare

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Do you have Tech neck?

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Do you have Tech neck?

I've got a really important question for you - how much time do you spend texting, emailing from your phone or smart device, flicking through social media, or just generally looking down at your smart devices?

If your answer was a lot, or more than you should and you are suffering from acute neck pain you may be experiencing Tech Neck. Tech Neck is a repetitive strain injury and one that is seen in a growing number of patients.

An increasing number of teens and adolescents are experiencing aggravating muscle pain in their necks, shoulders and occasionally their lower backs. This causes them to be in a lot of pain and they often experience headaches as a result of hunching over their smart devices.

Keep reading…

I'm going to tell you how to reduce the risk of Tech Neck so you can be pain free, whilst enjoying your smart devices and correcting your posture – all at the same time!

So why does it happen?
 

Looking down and dropping your head forward changes the natural curve of your spine and neck. Repetitive misalignment causes muscles to strain and cause wear and tear on the structures of your neck.
 

What can you do if you are already showing the signs and symptoms of Tech Neck?
 

The first and best thing you can do is improve your posture. What we recommend is using these two simple prevention rules:

  1. Look forward! Don't tilt your chin down to look at your smart devices, try moving the device up towards eye level, just like your desktop screen should be.
  2. Straighten on up! If your posture isn't perfect, try doing shoulder extensions. Arch your neck and upper back backward, pulling your shoulders into alignment under your ears. This simple stretch can alleviate stress and muscle pain

If you are experiencing any symptoms of Tech Neck, the next step is to book in for an assessment to really get to the root of the problem.  We can recommend a series of exercises to help strengthen both your neck and back muscles and devise a treatment plan if needed.

If Tech Neck is preventing you from performing the activities you enjoy or if you believe the way you are using your phone places you at risk of developing neck pain in the future, please call Kinetic Healthcare on (02) 9262 6473 for an appointment.
 

Speak Soon

The team at Kinetic Healthcare

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Debunking the top 5 Chiropractic myths

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Debunking the top 5 Chiropractic myths

The most common statement I hear from patients is “I never knew that chiropractors do this”. Unfortunately, for the most part, the perception of Chiropractic is not well understood and because of this it causes many misconceptions, fears and ill-informed advice. As a proud sports chiropractor I believe the best way to dispel these fears is via education.

 

1.  Chiropractors only treat the spine – While we specialize in treating back and neck pain, we have a thorough understanding of the whole mechanics of how the human bodies works. Treating injuries involving the upper body, lower body and even jaw is one of the many things we do.

 

2.  Chiropractic is unsafe – Like any medical intervention has its own risks, adjustments/manipulations/western acupuncture also have their risks albeit small. The key is in making sure your chiropractor takes a thorough history to fully appreciate what is going on with you. Then they can make a sound decision which technique (soft tissue, manipulation, acupuncture) will be the most safe and effective or if you need to be referred to another practitioner.

 

3.  Once you see a chiropractor you have to see them forever – Absolutely not. Our primary objective is to get you back doing what you love to do – fast. If people wish to continue treatment to allow their bodies perform at their best that is totally up to them.

 

4.  I have been told by previous chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopaths to stop my training or exercise - The question I always ask these people is why? Squats, deadlifts or running did not cause your pain although it may hurt when doing it. More so, it is your body telling you something, somewhere is not working correctly and it is your practitioner’s job to fix it. The only way to do that is to test the waters.

 

5.  Chiropractors only use ‘adjustments/manipulations’ as treatment’- Traditionally this is how Chiropractic was first founded, nowadays many Chiropractors utilize many varied treatment approaches. At Kinetic Healthcare we utilize Active release technique A.R.T (soft tissue technique), dry needling/western acupuncture, exercise rehabilitation, and many others to deal with your bodily complaints.

 

 

If you would like to finally resolve your body pain we would love to help you.

We at Kinetic Healthcare are offering all Alternative foot solution clients a free movement assessment for the next month. Bookings are strictly limited to the first 10 people (Please mention at the time of booking).

To make an appointment contact the clinic on (02)9262-6473 or www.kinetichealthcare.com.au 

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Diagnosed with a slipped disc?

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Diagnosed with a slipped disc?

Most people have had or know someone that has been told that they have a ‘Slipped Disc’. 

Lots of  health and medical professionals explain to patients that this has happened but actually don’t explain that its just old terminology. That is,  you physically CANNOT slip the disc in your back. The main two reasons for this are:

1. There is a ligament in the front of your spine (anterior longitudinal ligament) that helps to maintain the structural integrity of your spine. 

2. Another ligament is positioned at the back of your spine (posterior longitudinal ligament) that also maintains the structural integrity of your spin, therefor you disc will never actually slip. 

These two ligaments work with each other to support the spine in forward and backward movements, they prevent the disc slipping out of their positions and popping out. 

What actually can happen is that your disc can get inflamed and in more severe cases get a bulge or even rupture. This  can affect the nerve associated with the disc and cause pain - but remember your disc isn’t slipped!

The key is to work out if it is a disc issue and what caused the the disc issue in the first place. 

It could be because some part of your body is trying to do the job that your unstable back is not doing,  creating an imbalance and compensation. 

Treating the site of pain will work initially however having someone take a 'whole body approach’ will in work out your underlying problem. 

Have been told you have a ‘Slipped Disc'? Book online below and we would be more than happy in checking it out.

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Is Your Big Toe Getting Too Big For It's Boots?

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Is Your Big Toe Getting Too Big For It's Boots?

How the Big Toe May Contribute To YOUR Back Pain

 

If you have been following our blogs, you know that is not all about treating the site of pain – it is always about look for the underlying cause.

 

The Role Of Our Toes 

Our foot and toes plays a major part in getting us walking correctly. Your heel hits the ground and transfers your body weight to your pinky toe, your midfoot unlocks and your foot goes flat, extending your big toe to make contact with the ground – and off you go taking you taking a big steps into the world!

Sometimes your big toe doesn’t have a good extension and your body uses the incorrect parts of your body to help get you walking. For example instead of using your big toe extension it uses your knee, pushing it inwards to help your foot make contact with the ground. Your hip then turns inwards – making your back favour one side of your hip, causing muscle shortening, joint restrictions, wear and tear etc.

After months and years of walking like this the end result, you guessed it, is back pain!

 

Why Your Big Toe Can Get Too Big For It’s Boots?

Lot of things can cause poor extension in your big toe - old injuries, poor footwear, those expensive high heels. Majority of the time its two particular foot muscles that have become weakened and limit big toe extension - The Flexor Digitorum longus (FHL). if the FHL is tight say goodbye to your big toe able to lift off. The other is the Peroneus Longus (your outer calf muscle), this guy is super important in transferring weight from your pinky toe to your big toe when walking. If it is weak, it will have trouble pushing off your big toe causing changes upstream.

If you are having back pain that is not resolving with conservative treatment, stretching, releasing, activating your glutes it might be a good idea to see what your big toe is doing.

Still not sure if this is the problem or how to check? Ask us. We would love to help any way we can. Send us an email on the link below and we will get back to you pronto.

 

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Plagued by plantar fasciitis? Stop releasing your foot...

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Plagued by plantar fasciitis? Stop releasing your foot...

Are you waking up in the morning and finding your first few steps to be agonizing? Or dread having to get out of your chairdue to the pain in the sole of your foot? If you have some of these signs/symptoms then you may have what clinicians commonly refer to as ‘ Plantar fasciitis’ or pain in the sole of the foot.

 

Now before you jump on to whatever apparatus you use to release your foot, because you have been told it is tight, were you ever told why it was tight in the first place?

 

Your body normally takes the path of least resistance and more often if it loses stability in your mid-section (Your core), your brain will put the brakes else where to get support, such as your calves. Due to your calves now being short and tight, your plantar fascia (tendon/tissue under the sole of your feet) consequently gets tight and overworked.

 

 

Instead of releasing it, why not look at strengthening it instead. It is opposite to what you have been told, but doing the same thing as everyone is getting you the same results over and over.

 

Bear in mind, that this does not hold true for everyone as we are all unique and each person will present with a different biomechanical model. The purpose of this post is to have you challenge the status quo and try something different to get different results. As Michallengello once said “To do the same thing over and over and get different results is madness”.

 

If you think you have plantar fasciitis or a foot problem for that matter, don’t guess, get assessed.

 

Go from hobbling to jumping by clicking the link below to book online. 

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Should I crack my own back?

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Should I crack my own back?

The reasons for cracking one’s own back are many. Some do it for pain relief, others cause they simply like it. However the question we really must answer is should you really be doing it yourself?

Mobility or an increase in ones movement is an essential aspect in maintaining a healthy functioning body. However, what if the joint that you are moving is already too mobile otherwise known as ‘unstable’? Well, continually ‘cracking that segment will make it more loose.

Imagine a hinge on a door that is a bit wobbly, you go tighten the screws that are already tight but ignore the loose ones. Over time that hinge, like your back will become unstable and come of from the frame. Our bodies on the other hand, will develop wear and tear such joint arthritis, disc degeneration or look for stability further up or down the chain in our bodies.

While it is important to get the ‘right’ joint moving by a qualified health profession, it is also important to work out why the joint was tightening up or compensating in the first place.

Getting a thorugh history and finding a health professional with an appreciation of how the body functions is always crucial.

Take home message.

Stop cracking your back. Find out the real reason why it got stiff in the first place. 

Click the below link to book and online appointment today to get your body sorted. 

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