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An Even Stronger Core

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Mountain Climbers

How would you rate your core game? If you have ever done an online workout chances are that you have done a lot of mountain climbers, but not everyone even knows it’s  primarily a core exercise. So are you getting that fantastic core engagement you have always wanted or do you just run out of air? Done right, mountain climbers primarily focus the core and shoulders and create the much needed strength for rock climbing, weightlifting just to name a few.

Now if you just want to flail around by no means am I here to stop you (especially since I make my living off sports injuries), but since we can all use a stronger core here are the common mistakes to watch out for:

  1. Start your climbers off with a solid plank. Sticking your butt up is a big mistake, so if you forget everything else int he heat of the moment, just remember: You are a straight line from feet to head.
  2. Keep that core tight, but don’t hold your breath. Using your diaphragm to breath is core 101, so check out our Deadbug post if you are unsure how to do this.
  3. Pay attention to your shoulders by keeping them tight and over your hands. This can be the hardest bit for some, so try to minimize shoulder movement. 

If you do these regularly you will be creating a healthy, functional base that will take your core game to a whole different level, not to mention create much needed shoulder stability. If you still feel that you aren’t engaging, try going back to basics with a plank and slowly challenge it with movement. 

The Complete Deadbug Guide

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Most of the people coming through the office get this wonderful exercise yet so often I see it done wrong at gyms and fitness studios.  The dead bug is one of the best core exercises because it teaches the most important lesson about proper core engagement:  how to keep your spine stable as your limbs are moving. In other words, if you want to be able to transfer the energy from your feet into your hands when throwing a punch or a ball or swinging a bat, then proper core exercises are for you.

Before I go into any details about the exercise I need to say something you are inevitably going to ignore: Don’t stop breathing! If you’re holding your diaphragm tight while doing this exercise guess what you’re using… your diaphragm, silly! And that’s not even the best way to train the diaphragm so don’t do it.

The Technique

Alright let’s get into it. Start by lying down on your back and bracing your core tight. Really tight. Really, really tight because that’s the whole point of the exercise. Now check in with yourself and see if you’re still breathing from the diaphragm, if you are – good, you’re ready for the next step. Lift your arms in front of your shoulders and your knees in front of your hips. Is that belly still tight? Good.  Now as you gently exhale send your opposite arm away from your body and on your inhale bring them back to where they were. You  should be back at the dead bug position before you do the other side. Now send the other arm and leg away from the body and repeat about 6 times, take a 1 second break and gently building up to more reps.

The Theory Behind it

The reason this exercise is so wonderful is that it teaches you how to control that bubble inside you. What bubble you ask? If you look at the picture of the skeleton you can clearly see how the core is a bubble. It has the side walls which are formed by your abs and back muscles and the tip and bottom are your diaphragm and pelvic floor respectively. Actions like arching our back (second image from the left) too much can “distort” the bubble preventing us from engaging our core properly, so always keep that bubble tight.

To properly maintain that  bubble, you have to keep your pelvis neutral and your low back flat on the floor when you do this exercise. I put together a few pictures to help illustrate this point and show some common mistakes people do when they think they’re getting their best core engagement, but in fact are leaking tons of energy out of their system. You must feel in control of your movement and not just tagging along for the ride. Notice that my belly is flat and not bunched up, which is the other very common mistake and means that you are not using your deeper muscles.

Alright, feeling like you learned a bunch? Good! While there is more to a good, healthy and efficient core, this is everything we at Onsight feel you need to know to get the most out of your deadbug exercise. Still feel like you are missing that feeling of a strong and stable center, why not sign up for an exam with one of our doctors to see what you may be missing. 

 

Say No! to Tech Neck

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Click to View this Video

Spending a lot of time in front of the computer? Aren’t we all and chances are you take small breaks like me just to look at your phone. Well there is a realistic chance that just like many of us you have begun to develop forward head posture or as we call it in the industry – tech neck. 

Tech neck is horrible for so many reasons: It can create headaches, makes you look unattractive (don’t believe me stick your chin out and look in the mirror) and can even result in jaw pain. Fret not because Onsight has a couple of exercises to help you out on YouTube.

  1. Chin retractions: This one is as simple as pulling in your chin as far back as you can while looking straight forward. Do these while driving your car by pushing back against the headrest and do as many as you can. 
  2. Deep neck flexor training: Lying on your back, bring your chin in and pretend like you are scraping your chest with your chin. Make sure your shoulders stay down for the entire duration of the exercise. This one is more advanced and can leave you sore so stick to about 10 reps.

Contact Dr. Nick Predtechensky if you have questions or comments: DrNick@onsightchiro.com

21-Day Purification Cleanse

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20% off during February from Onsight, guidance from Dr. Johanna Lelke

Learn about the Standard Process 21-day Purification Cleanse

What people say about THIS 21-day cleanse:           

“I feel awesome. I have so much energy and I am the leanest I’ve been in 5 years; at least strongest and body fat percentage. This is a BIG deal. I don’t have the healthiest genes coming into 25 years of type 1 diabetes and just over 2 years with a low thyroid. Weight comes off like molasses, and after doing this program, it seems easy. I better be careful, I am going to be jinxed for saying that!” -Kelly Schmidt, RD (read her blog)

“I quite honestly didn’t know how I was going to be able to survive 11 days without protein, but I did it. The protein that was found in the powder was enough to get me through my 6+ hour college classes, work days, and workouts daily. With setting my mentality  was able to get through the program with no problems or complaints, just some willpower.” -Dr. John Beretta

“My husband, an endurance athlete, and I have done this cleanse three times together. It helps when you’re on the same meal routine as your spouse! Confession, we’ve given ourselves small leniencies like allowing for a daily tea or coffee. We’ve always felt enormously lighter (shedding a few pounds each) and more energetic during the cleanse. Afterward, we’re primed to eat even more mindfully. It takes 3 weeks to form a habit, right?!” – Dr. Johanna Lelke

“The 21-day Standard Process Purification Program isn’t just a cleanse diet. It’s a structured program that brings healthy lifestyle habits into focus. It’s designed to purify, nourish and help patients maintain a healthy body weight by eating whole foods, exercising, drinking nutritious shakes and taking supplements made with whole food and other ingredients. The menu includes a varied abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits for the first 10 days, with select proteins added on day 11. The supplements support the body’s ability to remove naturally occurring toxins. This promotes a state that allows for toxin release.” -Standard Process

Want to get started? Email Health@Onsightchiro.com to purchase.

Explicit cleanse directions will be sent to each customer, or upon request, by Dr. Johanna. Guidelines and recipes are also found in the purification guide, and when you sign up for the online challenge at www.standardprocess.com/challenge. Please email DrJohanna@Onsightchiro.com with any questions or concerns before deciding to do the cleanse yourself this winter.

Standard Process (SP) items to purchase per person (all are vegetarian and gluten-free):

1. SP 21-day purification program guide
2. 2 containers of SP Complete Vanilla or SP Complete Dairy Free protein powder
3. 1 bottle SP Cleanse capsule supplements (150 caps)
4. 2 bottles Whole Food Fiber (7oz bottles)
5. 1 bottle SP Green Food (150 caps)

For our February sale, Onsight customers receive a 20% promotional discount* on the SP 21-day cleanse: $210 per person [instead of $262.50] + tax and $13 shipping or free in-office pick-up.

*Our rates are much lower than on Amazon because Dr. Johanna is a medical professional distributor with SP. Standard Process’ and MediHerb’s entire line of 360+ supplements are always discounted by 10% for Onsight customers.

Eddie’s top 3 movements for stopping back pain

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click to visit our instagram page for the video!

McKenzie Press up for pain:

-Place arms under shoulders and press up to your level of comfort
– Aim to fully straighten arms but only press up to your comfort level, propping up to forearms is a safer alternative
– 10-20 reps or 2 minute hold
– Breathe out completely before coming back down 
*** It is okay to feel some discomfort while you are performing this but it should decrease the more you hold or perform this movement.  

Bird-Dog for stability: 

– Hands and knees are directly under shoulders / hips
– Perform a “cat/camel” to find neutral spine 
– Start with raising one limb at a time, progress to opposite arm/leg
– Spine should not move, only limbs 
– Attempt to hold each pose for 5 seconds/ 10 reps

Hip hinge to restore motion: 

– Therapeutic when repeated
– Use a golf club, broom, or dowel to ensure neutral spine 
– After 8-12 reps, switch to picking something up to load the spine
– Perform another 8-12 reps w/ weight remember to brace the core by holding a big breath (back pack, laundry detergent, car battery are great alternatives to a kettle bell) 

Tinnitus, Teeth Grinding, and Jaw Pain

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Tinnitus, Teeth Grinding, and Jaw Pain
Getting in the way of sleep, focus and energy?

Over the years, we’ve met lots of patients who’ve experienced the terrible trio of tinnitus (ringing in the ears), teeth grinding, and jaw or head pain. As they know too well, these are usually chronic and debilitating conditions. Most of them didn’t know that we could help them until they asked.

Muscle tensions in these patients get “stuck” because the brain is reinforcing a signal to contract, contract, contract, contract. The pattern that we want is contract, relax, contract, relax, correlating with use and rest. For example, we need our jaw muscles to contract when we’re chewing or speaking, and to relax when we’re not.

The intervention that has worked for so many people entails a complete neuromusculoskeletal approach. Put simply, we use exercises to help regulate your nervous system, hands-on myofascial release to relax muscle spasms, and chiropractic adjustments or mobilizations to regain joint ranges of motion in your neck, head and jaw.

If you’re afflicted by any part of this terrible trio, then I imagine you’re waiting for the day when your concentration, focus, ease of sleep, and energy return to normal! Let’s give you a little more detail on how our approach results in alleviation of headaches, jaw and neck pain, ear ringing, and even reduction of teeth grinding.

Neurologic Approach

Factors like stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and generally being overworked all contribute to a sympathetic nervous system dominance. The fight-flight mode becomes too pervasive and overrides our body’s ability to move back into the normal state of a parasympathetic (relaxed) nervous system. Our doctors train our patients in a number of appropriate exercises that incorporate eye movements, balance, and breathing techniques.

Muscular Approach

In order to break the cycle of muscle spasm, your body needs to receive the appropriate therapeutic contact. AMR (a technique called Advanced Muscle Reconditioning) works extremely well for these patients. It’s a hands-on therapy technique that relaxes the muscle trigger points that are commonly found around your head, neck and jaw. Sometimes, thickened adhesions build up in the muscles which renders them both tight and weak. For this problem, we often use a light scraping technique with Graston instruments.

Skeletal or Joint Approach

Chiropractic adjustments, or slower mobilizations, are usually the final step in a typical treatment session. In order to improve and render pain-free neck and jaw ranges of motion, our docs use their hands to apply the right amount of torque into a neck and/or head joint. Decades of academic research supports the observation that patients who receive chiropractic adjustments experience a calming input to their nervous systems and a relaxation of guarding muscle spasms around those joints.

Just as the debilitating aspects of these conditions arose gradually over time, the healing is also expected to take time to resolve completely. As doctors, we evaluate and offer a treatment plan that we believe, based on clinical experience, will resolve your problem as swiftly as possible. Patients respond at a rate that is dependent upon many health factors. Whereas some patients experience dramatic shifts early on in their care, others may shift more slowly over the course of treatment.

If I can answer any further questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to reach me, Dr. Johanna Lelke, at DrJohanna@onsightchiro.com.

Achieve Balance

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Your Vestibular System

Did you know we spend 80% of our time walking on one leg and practically all of our time running on just one support. This is why it’s very important to develop a good balance system to keep all of our joints in alignment during these task, whether you are a runner or a fighting athlete. Before I give you some exercises here is a little something about the system that keeps us balanced: the vestibular system. Arguably the first nervous system to develop in the evolutionary process, it served the purpose of keeping us oriented in space as cute little jellyfish. The vestibular system takes input from three separate senses. The eyes, joints and inner ear. With that in mind, we want to strengthen and challenge the inner ear by removing the other two senses.

IF YOU FEEL WOBBLY PLEASE STAND CLOSE TO A WALL DURING THESE TO HAVE SOMETHING TO GRAB ON TO

Exercise 1: Single Leg Balance. Simply stand on one leg by bending the knee of the other leg backwards. That alone should be enough to make some of us wobble and if it does, you have to seriously consider doing these balancing exercises or at least getting tested for gluten sensitivity.

Exercise 2: Same as exercise 1, but this time close your eyes. This takes out our most dominant balance system, the eyes. We tend to overly rely on eyes to keep us balanced, but true balance should come from the inside.

Exercise 3: Finally do the same thing as in exercise 2, only on a soft uneven surface. I recommend an Airex pad for best results, but a pillow will do just as well. This takes out the steady input from your ankle joint and makes the exercise progressively harder. If you can hold for 30 seconds in this position your vestibular system is in great shape!

This article was written by Dr. Nick Predtechensky. He may be reached via email at DrNick@onsightchiro.com.

Knee Pain Solutions for Runners

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Having to Limit your Runs due to Knee Pain?

I may have the solution to your problem, but it will take a little work.

If you have been having pain on the outside of the knee or close to the knee cap after long runs, then chances are your muscles (gluteus max, mid, min and the TFL) are not doing the best job of stabilizing your hips. Same thing goes to all you lifters out there, if your hips are not stable, it’s the knee and ankle that end up paying the price.

Here is a quick and dirty rehab program:

  1. Hip Abductions: Start by lying down on your side and bending your bottom leg for stability. Make sure your hips are perpendicular to the floor and your pelvis is in neutral. While keeping your spine and leg straight start lifting the top leg to about 45 deg. You should feel a burn on the outside of your butt. Progress to an elastic band and then to standing.
  2. Hip Hikes: Find something to hold on to like a wall and stand next to it. If you have a platform use it like in the picture, but these work just as well on a flat surface. Stand on one leg and bring your opposite hip up to the ceiling. You should feel the burn in the exact same spot on the standing leg. Train until you can do 50 on each side, at that point you should be stable enough for even the most gruesome runs.
    Notes: It takes a while to build up the endurance in your glut muscles. The hip abduction must be in proper form to reap the benefits, which means the pelvis remains immobile during the exercise. Once you can do 30 good ones standing with an elastic band on both sides, then progress to the hip hikes. Don’t exercise this muscle every day and give it 24-48 hours rest for best progress.

    Your glutes make bodybuilders jealous, but you are still having knee pain? There is a number of other factors that could be contributing, such as ankle stability. Why not come into the clinic and we would be more than happy to figure out how to help you.

    Dr. Nick Predtechensky is the author of this blog. He may be reached at DrNick@onsightchiro.com.