Going Shoeless: The Pros & Cons of Barefoot Running

Barefoot running has become quite popular these days, and the theories behind it’s effects make sense. This is a great article looking at both sides when it comes to choosing to go barefoot running.barefoot-runner-five-finger-166s80v

There main message from these studies is:

– When it comes to injury prevention and running efficiency, it’s much more important how you run than what you run in. Heel strikers, regardless of shoe, will sustain more impact injuries than those who land on their mid or forefoot and allow their arches to act as natural shock-absorbers. The most efficient and least-injury-prone runners shorten their stride, land on the forefoot, and keep the running motion smooth, light and flowing.

Read more here: Going Shoeless The Pros & Cons of Barefoot Running

New study links chiropractic with better strength & less muscle fatigue

strongbrain-300x253Groundbreaking results of a recent research study suggest these positive outcomes are due to changes in brain function. This study found that subjects’ ability to flex their lower limb muscles increased by over 70% following just one full-spine chiropractic adjustment session. The results also indicate that the adjustment session resulted in greater input from the brain to the muscle & prevented muscles becoming fatigued.

The take home message: this study suggests that that the nervous system is able to produce greater muscle contractions following an adjustment, which may mean muscles become stronger.

Perhaps the most interesting finding was that results recorded from the research subjects occurred after just one session of chiropractic care, yet were similar to what has been shown to occur in the body after 3 weeks of strength training (http://jap.physiology.org/content/112/1/54.full).

This research conducted by Dr. Heidi Haavik and Professor Kemal Turker is pending publication and will be available soon.

Static vs. Dynamic stretching

Static stretching is when you stretch and hold that stretch. An example is the thigh stretch pictured here. Quad stretch

Did you know that static stretches have long been found to be ineffective in preventing injuries? A far better way is to do the following:

  1. Dynamic stretching
  2. Warming up movements that mimic the sport you will be playing

Dynamic stretching involves stretching while you are moving.

Examples are: Dynamic leg swings & Knee-to-chest jumps (pictured below).

Leg swings Knee to chest

Static stretching is useful following sport or as a general stretch, but before sport it’s best to perform dynamic stretches & a warm up that mimics the sport movement you’ll be performing. If you would like to know which stretches you could be doing before your sport, simply ask Dr. Tass.

Winter sports & Alignment

Winter sports such as football, soccer & snow sports bring a lot of excitement and unfortunately the occasional injury. Whether it’s a serious knee injury, muscle strain or even concussion, one has to be prepared for what lies ahead each week. This means getting your body into the best possible shape by taking an active role with things like preparation & recovery. Winter sports

One way many people do this is by having their spine and extremity joints assessed by Dr. Tass for any joint misalignments. Misalignments will generally cause a negative reaction from other areas of the body (like muscles, joints & ligaments), which places extra strain on these areas. Common examples are a rotated pelvis or low back causing certain muscles to react, become stiff and work harder to carry the load. This is what happens in the case of “back-related hamstrings”. This may then lead to a dreaded sporting injury.

So look after yourself today, to avoid a potential injury tomorrow!

Alignment puzzle

Inside AC’s MilanLab

This article looks at the successful sports injury prevention, rehabilitation & conditioning program that has been in place at AC Milan soccer club, one of the world’s most successful soccer teams. Dr. Jean-Pierre Meersseman, a sports chiropractor, co-founded this program in 1986.

Read more here.