Shaw Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center Blog

The Biomechanics of a Runner

The popularity of running has grown over the years and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon.  According to the Annual Running Report conducted by Running USA, the number of marathon finishers has grown tremendously over past two decades.  In 2010 there were over a half a million reported marathon finishers.  One of the reasons running has become so popular is because of its accessibility.  All you need is a pair of running shoes and you’re out the door.  No coaching needed, right?  Or is there more to it?  Can poor running form and mechanics put someone at a greater risk for injury?  There are two main causes of overuse injuries related to running; over-training and faulty biomechanics.
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Should You Use Ice or Heat?

Using heat or ice as a form of treatment is easy, inexpensive, and can be very effective if done correctly.  These forms of therapy, more or less, help control blood flow.  Generally speaking, ice is used to constrict blood vessels with a goal of decreasing inflammation, while heat will increase blood flow and ultimately bring more oxygen to tissues.  Although there are many specific conditions that may require one versus the other, the timing of when each are applied is important.
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Sitting Too Much? Take a Microbreak

It’s no secret that sitting too much can cause musculoskeletal problems or aggravate existing ones.  Prolonged sitting causes stretching of our joint’s passive stabilizers, which are ligaments. The job of our ligaments are to support our joints, but when those ligaments begin to lengthen and stretch for an extended period of time, symptoms will develop.  It has been shown that it can take several hours for your joints to recover and for normal tissue properties to be restored.  Although quality chairs and supports may help, taking microbreaks from sitting are necessary.
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Is It Safe to Exercise If You Have Back Pain?

kettle-bellWhen you have back pain, whether or not to exercise may become a concern?  Not only is exercise safe, but it is recommended.  A typical response to experiencing back pain is to take it easy, either staying in bed or at least stopping any activity that is strenuous. While this approach is understandable and may even be recommended in the short term, when done for more than a day or two it can actually have a negative impact on how you heal.  Instead, exercise is almost always necessary to alleviate pain and speed recovery.
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Acute vs. Chronic Pain

We can think of pain occurring in two different ways, acute and chronic. Pain can be categorized as acute if it’s related to a specific episode. That could include a trip or a fall, an injury on the field during a game or practice, or a car accident. These may result in pain right away or after several hours. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is pain or symptoms that have lasted over a longer period of time.  Continue reading “Acute vs. Chronic Pain” »

If You Clench Your Jaw…

When someone complains of jaw pain, we obviously look at the jaw itself, but when do we consider problems in the jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as a source of pain somewhere else?  If pain is present in the neck or upper back, the muscles that control the jaw and the joint itself must be evaluated.  We also consider jaw dysfunction with headache sufferers as well.  It is well researched that those with jaw pain or increased jaw muscle tone will have increased activity of the muscles that support the head and neck.
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