New research published in Frontiers of Pediatrics found that children and adolescents who spend most of their time barefoot develop motor skills differently from those who habitually wear shoes. 👟 Further, they found the habitually barefoot children had noticeably better jumping and balancing skills compared to those who wore shoes habitually.
Walking barefoot not only has influences on developing proper biomechanics, but also has great influences on the brain 🧠. Walking barefoot allows for greater sensory afferentation to the brain, from the feeling of grass between their toes to balancing on pebbled sidewalks.
Try to give your young children enough time without shoes!
Determining the right pillow is a personal choice that a person will make every so often. When it comes to thinking about sleep equipment, most people solely focus on the mattress. The mattress is one of the most important sleep equipment you will buy, but when it comes to sleep quality pillows are just as important. How you lay your head when sleeping plays a huge role in determining the type of support you need. Pillows not only impact the quality of sleep but can prevent any neck discomfort.
Why Does Your Pillow Matter?
A proper pillow will facilitate a good night’s sleep without you waking up at night or waking up with pain or a stiff neck. Having the wrong pillow over time can exacerbate unnecessary neck pain. There are a few factors that go into making a guide for yourself to determine the proper pillow for you.
Sleeping on your back might appear to be comfy, but will highlight the underlying issue of snoring if you have a pillow that allows your head to sink. As you lay your head back, gravity will push the tongue back and block your throat. A better alternative will be a pillow that offers height, neck support and keeps the throat at a comfortable level.
One of the most common positions to sleep in is on the side. You will need more support to keep the neck at a neutral angle.
Sleeping on your stomach might be comfortable for a few nights, but after a while can become taxing on your back and neck. However, having the right pillow can negate some of these issues. A firm/plump pillow will force your neck into an odd angle that might lead to some discomfort. A better alternative would be a softer option.
When Is It Time To Replace Your Pillow?
On average, a pillow should be replaced every 18 months. The old age rule “ you pay for what you get” applies to this transaction. A higher quality pillow will last longer than an inexpensive option. Something you can do to your pillow to see if you need a new one is, take it out of the pillowcase to see if there are any stains or fold it in half and see if the pillow stays folded. If either of these are a yes then it is time to replace your pillow.
People that come into our chiropractic clinic for treatment after lumbar disc herniation or disc bulging frequently have a history of pain which is worse in the morning and then improves after they’ve been up moving around for a bit.
Often they have some questions about what exercises and stretches they can do in the morning to make them feel better. We learned more about morning back pain in a disc – injured patient after the research of Michael Adams in the 1980s.(1,2) Adams referred to the “diurnal behavior of the disc” which mostly refers to the tendency for the discs to absorb moisture from the tissues around them overnight.
The discs soak up the fluids from the tissues around them while a person is recumbent in bed overnight. So in the morning when they wake up the outer layers of the disc are under a bit more tension, which we refer to as hydrostatic pressure.
In turn, the disc becomes a bit more plump, adding pressure to nerves and surroundingstructors.
So what should you do? Once you get out of bed you should not bend over right away. Try to keep your back straight or try stretching backward .
Next, use your hips to bend over the sink to brush your teeth.
The above picture is a great way to cause sharp shooting pain in the morning.
Sitting with a more normal curve in the lumbar spine helps take the pressure off of the lumbar discs and helps decrease pain.
Sitting like this cause more disc pressure causing disc irritation. It can cause the disc to bulge more.
Discs are fatter in the morning because the absorb fluid overnight. So think of a jelly doughnut if the doughnut has more jelly its more likely to shoot out if you put pressure on it.
So remember back straight, stomach tight will help prevent lower back pain and help you heal if you have pain.
A weak core can increase your chances for lower extremity injury during exercise!
The core is important for your lower back and neck health for sure. It’s also very important for extremity health. If you have been dealing with an arm or leg injury (extremity) that has not been getting better with treatment, it might be good to add in some core exercise to improve outcomes.
Take Home Message from the study: A college freshman with dynamic postural control limb imbalances, decreased hip extension strength, or decreased core muscle endurance during bridging exercises is more likely to develop a lower extremity overuse injury.
This is a pretty cool picture. Can you believe the detail? The red in the picture is the muscle and the white stuff is the connective tissue is called fascia. A painful area in a muscle can be caused by damage to one or both of theses structures!
Ok, we’ve worked on any muscle imbalances, fixed any joints that needed fixing and now we’re working on running form. What’s next is everyone’s favorite: running shoes
Let’s talk about running shoes!
When I’m looking for a running shoe these are the things I look for:
Heel to toe drop:
This a zero drop shoe. That means the heel and toe are at the same level.
Here’s a large heel drop.
Now which one to choose?
You can not use a zero drop shoe if you were using a running shoe (with a large heel drop) like the one above your whole life. Doing that you would destroy your Achilles tendon and calves.
I would suggest using the lowest heel to toe drop you can tolerate. better to error on a bigger drop then lesser drop. You can always go lower the next shoe. This will lower your chance of soreness. Remember change can take time, don’t rush things
2. Where the shoe bends:
I like the shoe to bend where my big toe bends which is the “knuckle” part of the big toe. It only makes sense that the shoe bends where the body bends.
3. The toe box:
The toe box is the space around the toes. Take your foot out of the shoe or sneaker and take a look. I bet it does not look like your shoe. Most people don’t have elf shaped feet.
A big toe box gives more room for your foot and toes. The second picture is an insert( black one) from a shoe with a big toe box. My foot does not spill over the insert(green one) like the first picture.
If you have any question please call the office! Or you could bring your shoe in and we can go over it in person.
I’m going to do a multi-part blog on running and running shoes! Running and advice on the proper shoe are topics often brought up in my clinic so why not share for easy reference?
Starting with part one:
Here one question I get often: I’m going to start to run to get in shape, so what brand (x) of running shoe?
There so many variables that go into the question. Your biomechanic faults/deficiencies, anatomical variants, the current level of your strength, the current level of fitness, what is your running form/style. Plus add in what you do for a living. A construction worker has different stress on the body then a person who sits at a desk all day.
In my opinion, it’s better to start with yourself. First, improve your body and then work on your running mechanics. After, try to find the best style of running shoe based on comfort.
I like to take a “ground-up” approach. The first thing to do is to make your foot and lower extremity better. Fixing any joint dysfunction and then working on making your body stronger and more flexible is a great start.
Next is to improve your running form. I would video record the person running and make any necessary correction. RUNNING is a SKILL and will need to be practiced.
After doing all of the above, the patient will be less likely to get injured. Plus it will be easy to find the right running shoe.
Another reason to see a chiropractor! Chiropractic is the safest non-drug treatment for your pain. A recent study links the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) with increased risk of heart attack.
All NSAIDs, including naproxen, were found to be associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction. Risk of myocardial infarction with celecoxib was comparable to that of traditional NSAIDS and was lower than for rofecoxib. Risk was greatest during the first month of NSAID use and with higher doses.