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Should You Change an Athlete's Natural Running Form?
Once past the ankle, impact forces travel at about 200 mph into the knee. In addition to allowing the quad to absorb force, bending the knee (E) prevents the hip and pelvis from moving up and down too much (F), which is important for injury prevention and efficiency.
News in Brief
Investigating the Cellular Impact of Mechanical Force; National Board Seats (Not-So) New Officers at Annual Meeting.
The Three Heater Official
This Official, belonging to the element Fire, is responsible for maintaining and regulating the heating system of the body, mind, and spirit. It is named for its function. The trunk is divided into three "burning spaces" or "jiaos."
The Risks I Took
We all take risks when we choose this profession. For some, it is not knowing if you can make a living practicing TCM. For others, it is parental or cultural disapproval.
Chinese Doctors Poke Holes in Australian Study
A recent Australian clinical trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014 by Rana Hinman, et el., evaluating the effectiveness of both needle and laser acupuncture for chronic knee pain.
Integrative Medicine for the Underserved: A Seat at the Table
Numerous organizations have risen to the challenge of providing care to medically-underserved populations and here we feature one such group.
An International Life: An Interview with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield
I met Mary Elizabeth Wakefield during her class last summer in Seneca Falls, New York at the Finger Lakes School of Chinese Medicine.
Going On-Site With Chiropractic Care
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has released a position paper highlighting the financial, clinical and patient-satisfaction benefits of providing chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics.
Desert: A Metaphor from the Study of Genetics
In most of the human lives I know about, there are stretches of time which feel stagnant, or worse. We can feel adrift, or wounded and sidelined, and these times don't seem to carry much usefulness while they are unfolding.
Meet Cheyenne: Your Future Colleague
Allow me to introduce you to Cheyenne (Chey), the daughter of some of our family's closest friends. We attend and serve at the same church together, and have known each other for many years.
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 2
The Da Cheng includes symptoms for the source-luo points that indicate when to use them for treatment. Yang defines the method as the guest-host (it is one of a variety of acupuncture point combinations called guest-host).
I was sitting in a Pizza Hut in Peoria, Ill., with my friend Reggie, sometime in the spring of my senior year in college, when he started doodling on his paper placemat. In those days, the company had a picture of U.S. on the mats, showing all the locations of the "Huts" in the country.
Creating Relationships at Southwest Symposium
The month of May brought many interesting activities. As I have said in many previous columns this year, this profession is moving in a very exciting direction. Make sure you are getting involved. If you're not, you just might get left behind.
Sports Medicine 101: Surgery or No Surgery?
In the world of sports medicine, many careers are saved by surgeries that correct traumatic damage to the body. Muscle tears, ligament damage, fractures, spinal disc herniations, and joint instabilities are a few of the issues frequently addressed with surgical intervention.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 3)
A patient with sacroiliac fixation and dysfunction ordinarily demonstrates a noticeable leg-length inequality when placed in the prone position on the adjusting table.
Key Changes and Updates to the 7th Edition CNT Manual
Acupuncture Today recently interviewed Jennifer Brett, ND, L.Ac. regarding the updates to the CNT manaul.
Free Yourself From the Pocketbook Practice
Let's take a journey together; there's an important lesson to be learned. Imagine a town or city just like yours.
Treatment of PTSD: An Opportunity for the Practice of Integrated Medicine
PTSD is widespread across America today. Not only do many of our honored men and women in uniform bring it home with them from the war zones they have been active in, but it often follows any life-threatening event people go through when their lives have been in danger.
NCCAOM Video Contest
The NCCAOM is excited to announce the launch of the second annual video contest "Because it Works!" 2015.
Q&A With the First VA Chiropractic Residents
As you may have read previously, a major step forward for the profession occurred in July 2014 when the Department of Veterans Affairs began piloting a chiropractic residency program at five locations.
Marketing with a Microphone
When given an option, it stands to reason that people prefer to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology: Version 2.0
The Nomenclature and Classification of Lumbar Disc Pathology consensus, published in 2001 by the collaborative efforts of the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spine Radiology and the American Society of Neuroradiology, has guided radiologists, clinicians and the public for more than a decade.
September, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 09
Early Hours and Shortened Muscles
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
Getting up too early is a vice habitual in horned owls, stars, geese and freight trains. Some hunters acquire it from geese and some coffee pots from hunters. It is strange that of all the multitude of creatures who must rise in the morning at some time, only these few should have discovered the most pleasant and least useful time for doing it.Orion must have been the original mentor of the too-early company, for it is he who signals for too-early rising. It is time when Orion has passed west of the zenith about as far as one should lead a teal.6
- Aldo Leopold
Back in my college days, I managed to fulfill my biology requirement while escaping hours looking through a microscope by taking a couple of university-sponsored field trips: one to Death Valley, Calif., and the other to Sequoia National Park. During the day, we students would follow professors around listening to them talk about the local mammals, insects and minerals. In the evening hours, among other activities, were some readings from different naturalists. Thus, I became acquainted with Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac and his paragraphs on getting up "too early." Although Leopold was a few decades too early to note it, the quiet, semi-dark hours of the early morning also is a time many runners, including myself, prefer. Runner and writer Joe Henderson expresses well the draw and the disadvantages of rolling out of bed for a run:
After some hours of sleeping and not using our muscles, they often are shortened and unprepared for full exertion or full range of motion. The exertions of the previous several days find their revenge in those first minutes of active wakefulness. This leads us to warming up, cooling down and stretching, which often is an anything but simple discussion. The complexity is exemplified by a "debate" on passive stretching and injury prevention that was hosted in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies a few years ago.3 Having a dozen authors and an editor involved is, in itself, an indication of the ranges of opinion. A thorough review of stretching is beyond the scope of a short column. For this, I'll refer you to the works of Brad Appleton2 and Michael Alter.1
Some of the complexity around stretching can be at least narrowed, I believe, by looking at contexts and immediate goals. The goal upon getting out of bed for a run, for example, is not to extend one's long-term flexibility but to regain the short-term range of motion (ROM) necessary to begin running without immediate injury. Assuming you possessed this ROM before sleeping, the shortness is going to be an issue of muscle hypertonicity rather than one of actual tissue length. The immediate cure is controlled movement through an increasing ROM, until you reach your homeostatic ROM. The movements both relax the shortened muscles and, by stimulating release of synovial fluid, prepare the involved joints for movement. Essentially, the same goals would apply for pre-event sports massage. It's about facilitating movement within the athlete's normal ROM.
What remains are the effects and benefits of longer-term stretch programs. Michael Alter comments that the most important component of muscle related to ROM is the connective tissues that develop and surround the muscle at its various levels of organization.1 He presents an "overstretching principle" as an analog to the overtraining principle:
By the "overstretching principle," Alter is noting that the tissue both accommodates in length to the regular stretching and in its patterns of neural response. In response to stretching, the muscle-tendon unit becomes more "compliant" (i.e., easier to stretch). Witvrouw, et al., comment that some of the literature disagreements on stretching may result from not considering the types of sports activities.7 They note that sports involving bouncing and jumping, with a high intensity of stretch-shortening cycles (SSCs), require a muscle-tendon unit that is compliant (stretchable) enough to store and release the high amount of elastic energy that benefits performance in such sports. Sports that contain low-intensity of limited SSCs don't require the same compliance, making stretching to increase compliance less beneficial.
Another useful clue comes from Ingraham, who concludes stretching to increase flexibility beyond that needed for sport-specific movements might cause or augment the chance of injury, particularly if time spent in such stretching reduces time spent in general conditioning exercises.5
The pattern that emerges is that we need enough ROM to freely complete the movement a sport requires, but more flexibility than needed may only add instability. We need our muscles to be able to elastically respond to the stress placed on them, which is sport specific. Too little ROM or too little elasticity and we ask for trouble. Balancing strength, flexibility and our activities leaves us free to move - whether "too early" or when the sun is high.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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