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Preparation For Snow Shoveling Prevents Injury

Brad Farra - Wednesday, December 09, 2009

When snow, ice and frigid winds blast into town, watch out. If your body is not in condition, the common winter chore of snow shoveling can present the potential for spasms, strains, sprains and other health problems, warns the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

Bending and twisting when tossing a shovel of heavy snow can aggravate lower back discs, according to the ACA. In addition, the overall physical exertion required for snow shoveling, without proper conditioning, often results in painful injuries.

The ACA advises you to be prepared and follow these tips for exercise of the snow shoveling variety:

  • Be prepared. Maintain your exercise program year-round.
  • Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work; rushing the job can lead to injury.
  • Wear layers of clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.
  • Do some stretching before you grab the shovel.
  • For big jobs, use a motorized snow blower. If you shovel by hand, use a lightweight, ergonomically designed shovel to reduce back strain.
  • When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Don't try to throw it; walk it to the snow bank. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.
  • Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.
  • Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.
  • Stop if you feel chest pain, or get excessively tired or have shortness of breath. You may need immediate professional care.
  • If you feel sore after shoveling, apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeat a couple of times each day over the next day or two.

Warm Up & Stretching

Brad Farra - Monday, November 09, 2009

If you have ever been a patient of mine you know that I think a warm up before any athletic performance is important. Equally important is the post exercise stretching.

A good warm up should increase muscle and core temperature, increase blood flow, and prepare your soft tissues for work. No one really argues the point that a warm up is important. Warm up allows for a faster muscle contraction and relaxation, improves strength and power, increases blood flow to working muscles, enhances metabolic reactions, and even improves oxygen delivery. Improved injury prevention is probably the most important benefit of a good warm up.

While the importance of a good warm up is not disputed, it seems that we will be arguing about when to stretch and when not to until robots have taken over the planet and there are no more muscles to stretch. Until the humans are dead I'll try to sort through the research to give you some guidelines.

With sports that require an increased range of motion pre-exercise stretching should be performed after warming up. An examples of a sport requiring a maximum range of motion is gymnastics. In other sports static stretching can reduce muscle performance, but the evidence is somewhat conflicting. The most important time to stretch is after your activity. Post exercise stretching facilitates improvements in flexibility and helps prevent injury. I often tell my patients that are runners that if they don't have time to stretch after their run, then they don't have time to run. Stretch after your exercise, you'll thank me and you won't be in my office with an injury that needs treatment.

The Body is the Hero!

Brad Farra - Sunday, November 08, 2009

"It is the body that is the hero, not science, not antibiotics...not machines or new devices...The task of the physician today is what it has always been, to help the body do what it has learned so well to do on its own during its unending struggle for survival - to heal itself".


-Ron J. Glasser MD

Experience what Chiropractic can do to help your body heal itself.

Graston Technique

Brad Farra - Thursday, November 05, 2009

More than 115 professional and amateur sports organizations, some 600 out-patient facilities and more than 6,000 clinicians around the country offer not only the original, but the finest instrument-assisted soft tissue treatment technology available. GT is part of the curriculum in 29 university and collegiate institutions.

I use Graston Technique in my practice for many different types of soft tissue injuries, it's an amazing and effective therapy.

Graston Technique is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The Technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.

Research has found that the controlled micro trauma induced through Graston Technique protocol, increased the amount of fibroblasts to the treated area. That amount of inflammation to the scar tissue helps initiate the healing cascade. The structure of the tissue is rearranged, and damaged tissue is replaced by new tissue. Ice is then applied to reduce the pain and exercise is implemented to increase function and range of motion.

Other clinical studies continue to document the success of Graston Technique®, generally achieving better outcomes when compared to traditional therapies, and resolving injuries that have failed to respond to other therapies.

Graston Technique decreases overall treatment time, fosters faster rehabilitation, reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication, resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent, and allows the patient to engage in normal everyday activity or sport.

Gary Null Speaking Out at the NYS Assembly Hearing

Brad Farra - Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I am encouraging people to make informed decisions about whether to get a vaccine or not.

Here is some information to help with your decision making. There are some disturbing facts brought to light by Dr. Null.

Car Accident

Brad Farra - Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I occasionally get a question asking me about how Chiropractic can help after you have been in a car accident:

Chiropractic can help in many ways. Initially the goal of treatment will be to reduce pain and swelling. After the acute phase of healing has passed, the main goal is to get the body moving properly with Chiropractic adjusting (also called manipulation), soft tissue therapies (massage), and rehabilitation. Chiropractic manipulation enables the joints and muscles to move in the correct manner. After a car accident, or any other trauma in which your body is jerked around, soft tissues including muscles, ligaments, tendons, and even joint capsules are injured. The body repairs these soft tissues with scar tissue, which can restrict joint movement and even cause pain. One goal of treatment after this type of injury is to rehabilitate the joints and soft tissues surrounding the joints. Over time, untreated muscle spasms or contracture/tightening of soft tissues can lead to abnormal joint motion and osteoarthritis or degenerative changes in the spine (which is irreversible). I have treated many car accident victims and even snowboarders and skiers with the same types of injuries. Chiropractic care has a lot to offer when it comes to getting you better from these types of injuries.


Brad Farra - Monday, November 02, 2009

As a Chiropractic Physician I have a lot of people that come to me for help with headache pain. There are many causes for headache pain; most of them are benign, but it's important to speak to a physician about your headaches to be sure there is no life threatening cause. There are several types of headaches that have a link to the musculo-skeletal system, which is to say that there are problems with joints and muscles causing your headache. There can also be link between your headache and your daily activity or posture. Sometimes headaches are hormonally triggered or are brought on by foods and/or environmental triggers.

This video is a good review of some headache types.

New Chiropractic Research

Brad Farra - Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A brand new evidence-based study found that Chiropractic care for low back and neck pain is more effective and less costly than care by a medical physician. The study came out October 12, 2009 and was conducted by a couple of medical physicians, one from Harvard medical school and one from Mercer Health and Benefits of San Fransisco. One of the objectives of this study was to determine if the availability of Chiropractic care improves the value of a health benefit plan. The overall results of this study found that "Chiropractic care is more effective than other modalities for treating low back and neck pain". This study also evaluated the cost effectiveness of Chiropractic care and found that "Chiropractic physician care for low back and neck pain is highly cost effective". Patients that seek Chiropractic care for their low back and neck pain get better without drugs and surgery. This study did not take into account the prescription drug savings that is associated with Chiropractic treatment and estimates that the "cost effectiveness is likely to be understated".

The overall lifetime prevalence of back pain is 85%. This means that 85% of the population will experience back pain in their life. Low back pain accounts for 2% of office visits to medical physicians. The good news is that with studies like this one the Chiropractic benefits included in health insurance plans will only improve.

6 Tests School Cafeterias Fail

Brad Farra - Monday, October 26, 2009

Take the time to pack your child's lunch.

The National Institute of Medicine (IOM) takes issue with 16-year-old rules that dictate nutrition in your kid's school lunch.

How old are federal school lunch guidelines?

So old that there is no requirement to include whole grains. So old that there is no standard at all for sodium content. So old that -- get this -- school lunches must deliver a minimum number of calories, with no upper limit.

It's been at least 16 years since the federal government last updated the guidelines school cafeterias must follow when preparing school lunches and breakfasts (30 years by some counts); since the programs began, 219 billion lunches have been served -- with few of them meeting nutritional requirements many parents consider healthy. The National Institute of Medicine has distilled the problems with the outdated system into six basic recommendations:

  1. Fruits: Whereas schools can now make fruit available to qualify for funding, the IOM recommends fruit be made a required part of every breakfast served.
  2. Vegetables: Whereas schools can now offer fruits or vegetables to meet federal guidelines, the IOM recommends that schools provide two servings of vegetables daily, and that the offerings must include dark green and bright orange vegetables and legumes -- presumably to counteract the tendency to offer America's favorite vegetable, the potato, too often.
  3. Grains and Breads: Whereas schools can now offer any kind of grains, the IOM recommends that at least half of grains served be whole grains.
  4. Milk: Whereas milk is now available with a variety of fat-contents and in a variety of flavors, the IOM recommends that only fat-free and low-fat milks be served, and that the only flavored varieties be fat-free.
  5. Calories: Whereas now school lunches and breakfasts must meet a minimum calorie level, the IOM recommends that offerings deliver calories within a range that includes both a minimum and a maximum level. Saturated fat content should also be minimized.
  6. Sodium: Whereas there is now no specific recommendation about sodium content, the IOM recommends that school cafeterias dramatically decrease sodium content to a new low level by 2020.

These guidelines spell out how low-income children should be fed, because the federal government subsidizes the lunches for 30.5 million children and breakfasts for 10.5 million. But these guidelines also set the benchmark for all food served in school lunch cafeterias, so the guidelines affect the nutrition available to children of all income levels.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers these school meal nutrition programs, seems to have endorsed the IOM's findings, noting that "this trend unfortunately puts children at increased risk for a variety of obesity-related conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure." The nutritional guidelines are up for Congressional review.

By Dan Shapley of the Daily Green

Mercury Preservative Thimerosal in Vaccines is Harmful

Brad Farra - Saturday, October 24, 2009

A brand new study published this month found a neurological impairment in primates given just one dose of thimerosal containing vaccine. This is a study that lends evidence to what we already know. Every year there are examples of serious and non-serious side effects from administration of mercury containing vaccines, and this year is no different. Mercury is a well known toxin in the human body; it primarily has ill effect on our nervous system. Remember that we avoid consuming too much fish with mercury for this reason. It would make sense to me that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would not want to approve any product containing a well known toxin such as mercury. The FDA approves many vaccines with a known toxin as a preservative ingredient. Thimerosal is the mercury containing preservative in these vaccines. I will not get into the conspiracy theories surrounding the drug companies and our government. I will, however, urge you to seek out vaccinations that are mercury-FREE. If you are in a high risk group that is being advised to get vaccinated for H1N1 or any other vaccine ask your doctor about mercury-free alternatives. If you are in the group of people that the CDC has recommended receive the vaccine the benefits probably outweigh the risks. There are so called "preservative free" vaccines that contain less than 1 mcg of mercury; these are: FluMist (intranasal), and single-dose injections of Fluarix, Fluvirin, and Fluzone. If you chose not to receive the vaccine then it is up to you to do everything you can to keep a healthy immune system. Eat healthy, exercise, wash your hands multiple times a day, don't touch your face, and take supplements such as a multi-vitamin and garlic to improve immune system function.

Reference: http://tiny.cc/U1Fek