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Healthy Holiday Travel

Brad Farra - Friday, October 29, 2010

Don't Let Muscle Pains and Strains Affect Your Holiday Travel.

Holiday travel can be tough on your body. Whether driving a few hours to visit the in-laws or flying cross-country for a week-long holiday excursion, you can hardly make the most of your time if the trip leaves you tired, stressed, stiff and sore.

“Long periods of sitting can take a toll on your body,” says Dr. Scott Donkin, a chiropractor, ergonomics expert and author of the book, Sitting on the Job. “Research shows that sitting in place for prolonged periods of time can decrease blood circulation, stiffen muscles, induce fatigue and, in rare cases, cause blood clots that can lead to life-threatening conditions, like deep vein thrombosis.”

The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following in-flight exercises to help travelers avoid muscle tension and stiffness:

Foot Pumps

Start with both heels on the floor and point your feet upward as high as you can. Return both feet flat on the floor. Then, lift your heels high, keeping balls of feet on the floor. Repeat the three stages in a continuous motion and in 30-second intervals.

Ankle Circles

Lift one foot off the floor. Draw a circle with your toes 10 times in a clockwise rotation, then 10 times counter-clockwise. Relax. Repeat with the other foot.

Knee Lifts

While in a seated position –with your back straight and feet flat on the floor –lift the right foot a few inches off the floor while keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees. Alternate legs. Repeat 20 to 30 times for each leg.

Shoulder Rolls

Gently roll your shoulders forward, up, back and down. Repeat in the reverse direction. Repeat several times.

Neck Rolls

With your shoulders relaxed, drop one ear to your shoulder and gently roll your neck forward and back, holding each position about five seconds. Repeat five times.

In addition, keep your blood flowing by walking up and down the aisle periodically, when permitted by aircraft personnel; keep your legs uncrossed; wear comfortable clothing; and drink plenty of water.

“Because travel can completely change your regular routine, it can be very tough on your body and stressful, too. See your chiropractor to help assure healthy travel,” says Dr. Donkin. “He or she is trained to diagnose and relieve problems of the spine and nervous system.”

This article provided by the American Chiropractic Association.

Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician

Brad Farra - Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Press Release:

Dr. Brad Farra has obtained the postgraduate designation of Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (ACBSP). The CCSP certification requires the doctor to attend a minimum of 100 hours of a 120 hour postgraduate program. This instruction is specific to physical fitness and the evaluation and treatment of injuries encountered in sports. Following completion of these hours, the doctor must then take and successfully pass a comprehensive written examination.

This training will aid the doctor in the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries by enhancing his diagnostic skills and patient care. The CCSP accreditation exists to provide a uniform standard of education that assures teams and athletes that the doctor has met a minimum level of competency in chiropractic sports medicine. Dr. Farra joins 4000 others internationally who hold this designation.

If you are interested in having your sports event covered please contact Dr. Farra.

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.


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.

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

Sneezing technique

Brad Farra - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Most people have not been taught the proper way to sneeze. Here is Elmo showing us the proper technique.

Hip Joint Arthritis

Brad Farra - Monday, October 19, 2009

I had a patient tell me the other day that they had hip joint arthritis and their MD told them to be careful with the hip. Yes, of course be careful with the hip. A little further explanation needs to be made here because this patient took these instructions as an order to not use the hip. One of the factors in the onset of arthritis in any joint is immobility or abnormal motion. Getting an order to not use the hip is a recipe to make the arthritis worse. I'm sure the MD's intention was to have the patient not fall on the hip and protect the hip from trauma. What should be done to treat an arthritic hip is to move the joint. Exercise, strength training, and some regular Chiropractic adjusting. There are some amazing studies that show chiropractic adjusting procedures, which essentially remove joint restrictions from the hip, reduce pain and halt the progression of hip arthritis. This makes perfect sense; if you stop moving the hip and motion is restricted you are vulnerable to developing arthritis, but if you keep it moving and there are no restrictions to movement the hip is resistant to arthritis. In my practice I treat a great deal of athletes. Cyclists and runners have a lot of hip problems with muscle imbalance and tension being the top causes for hip trouble. Many of the stretches and exercises I give to athletes would benefit the non-athlete as well.

If you have any questions about hip arthritis and how I can help you don't hesitate to contact me.

Exercise to Improve Immunity

Brad Farra - Saturday, October 17, 2009

This is the time of year when everyone wants to do everything they can to boost their immune system. Moderate exercise is a great way to not only increase your immune system function, but also improve your overall health. There have been numerous studies showing the benefit of exercise on the immune system. Get out there an exercise every day. If you are new to exercise start with 10-20 minutes per day and work your way up to 45 minutes to an hour of exercise per day. The intensity level should be enough to get your heart rate up to a level where you can barely hold a conversation because you are breathing so hard. Consult your sports chiropractor if you have any injuries that might bother you during your choice exercise activity.

Here is an interesting article from the New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/phys-ed-does-exercise-boost-immunity/

Knee Strengthening

Brad Farra - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Many of my patients with knee pain have been prescribed knee strengthening exercises. Here is a Great video from the New York Times that shows a demonstration of a few of the exercises I give for knee strengthening.

Running is NOT Bad for Your Knees!

Brad Farra - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's never my running patients that wonder if running is bad for their knees, it's the non-running folks that tell me running is bad for their knees. Running is not bad for your knees. It's been proven time and again with solid research that running can actually be good for your knees. This doesn't mean it's good for everyone or that there aren't reasons you shouldn't run. If you have specific questions about whether you should run or not, then speak with a Chiropractic sports physician or another physician that treats sports and extremity injuries. Below is a link to an article from the New York Times that references some current research highlighting the positive influence of running on your body. I think the most important thing for runners to keep in mind is that you must prepare your body for running and if you don't run regularly you must ease into the sport. Specific stretching and strengthening should be done before and after running to reduce the chance of injury.