Monday, October 26, 2009

Gait and Posture Analysis

Last week went went to the Embarcadero YMCA for our monthly visit. Every other month we offer and Ask the Doctor day and every other other month we offer video taped gait analysis and posture evaluations. This month was gait and posture, so we packed up our video camera and our spinal analysis machine and headed over there. We had a great time! Some months we don't see many people but this month was great. We had a lot of people interested in learning more about their health and in talking to us about their posture or their running or walking. It was a great chance to get out into the community and educate people about chiropractic and what we do. A lot of people think chiropractors only work on the spine and only perform adjustments. But we do so much more! As musculoskeletal specialists, there is a lot we can offer, especially to the average athlete.

Gait analysis, especially, is helpful for runners or those who want to become runners. We have the person walk and run on a treadmill while videotaping their ankles. Then we talk with the person about what healthy gait looks like (straight ankles, good heel strike, no toe-out, etc) and we show them their video. We often stop the tape at intervals to help them see any inconsistencies in their own gait. When we are done explain to them any problems we see in their gait, we talk with them about footwear choices that will be best for them. If it looks like they need further evaluation, they are of course welcome to come see us at the office. It's a great service for the people who participate because this kind of gait analysis usually costs about $100. We provide it free of charge, and only ask that they make a donation of $20 to the YMCA.

A lot of people are running with poor biomechanics or with the wrong shoes and they end up injured as a result. It's an easy thing for us to point out where they are going wrong and help prevent injury. If it's too late and they are already having pain with running, we can help them with chiropractic and physical therapy to get them back in shape and into the right shoes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Massage Special

Happy October Everyone!

We've got a lot of exciting things going on in our office this month.

First, let's talk about massage! Who doesn't like a good massage? Our massage therapist, Sawanee, does an excellent job. She specializes in sports and deep tissue therapeutic massage techniques that will leave you feeling loose and limber and ready to take on the world. An this month, we're having a special: purchase two one-hour massages in October and receive a FREE bottle of Life Extension Multivitamins! Life Extension is a great company that has been providing high-quality supplements to chiropractors for many years. Their multivitamin will fill in the gaps when your diet isn't as complete as it should be.

Also, be sure to read the post about flu vaccines. I know a lot of you out there are on the fence about whether you should get one or not, and I hope the post is helpful.

We're also going to be visiting the Embarcadero YMCA near the end of the month for a gait and posture analysis event. Be sure to check our events schedule for details.

Also this month is Halloween, which we are very excited about. Send us some pictures of your costumes for our bulletin board!

Flu Shots

Let's talk about flu season. It's here and our patients are asking us the annual question: "Should I get a flu shot?" Here's what we have to say:

1) As chiropractors, we are not legally allowed to give any advice on medications, including vaccinations like the flu shot. With that in mind, there is some information we feel you should have.

2) Vaccinations are supposed to work by showing your immune system a small piece of a virus, thereby allowing your immune system to recognize and fight off the virus if you are ever exposed to it. This is a great idea, and it usually works very well. Unfortunately, there is no way to isolate a little bit of the flu virus without using a lot of chemicals that are NOT necessary to the immune response.

3) Medication should be prescribed when the risk of not taking it outweighs to possible side effects of taking the medication. In the case of the flu vaccine, many people report feeling flu-like symptoms after receiving the shot. One wonders, then, how the vaccination was helpful to those people.

4) In the case of people with depressed immune systems, such as people with HIV, AIDs, small children and the elderly, the risk of getting the flu is serious. In these people, a vaccination is potentially life-saving. In the general population, the flu is mainly an inconvenience and not a life-threatening infection. One wonders why someone in the general population would choose to inject themselves with unnecessary chemicals to prevent something that may or may not even happen and, if it does happen, will most likely not be that bad.

5) There are a lot of ways to help boost your immune system naturally so that you can fight off infection on your own: getting plenty of rest, exercise and healthy foods is a good start. Limit your exposure to infected people, wash your hands often and make sure you maintain your over-all health to the best of your ability. This includes having regular chiropractic treatments to ensure that your body is not using up energy on muscle spasms and joint dysfunction.

Finally, we'd like to say that our main goal is to educate our patients. We cannot recommend for or against flu shots and it is something you should discuss with your primary medical doctor before you make a decision. When you have that discussion, however, be sure to ask them about your personal risk for contracting the flu and the chances of you having life-altering side effects from both the infection and the vaccine. Once you have all the facts, make your own informed decision.