Happy mid-week everyone! For this blog post I simply wanted to share another contribution I recently made to a Livestrong.com article. Hopefully this information can help you or someone you know. As always, I look forward to hearing from you...please contact me with questions or comments.
2. Stop Shoulder and Elbow Pain
Tightness in your shoulder or a twinge of pain in your elbow? “When a person’s back becomes rounded, the shoulder blades roll forward, causing the shoulder joint to become stuck,” says Erik Korzen
, a chiropractic physician and educator. “[This] leads to the lengthening of certain muscles and shortening of other muscles. [And] this muscular imbalance will eventually lead to abnormal joint position and lack of range of motion.”
Potential Causes: poor arm support, incorrect arm position, repetitive-use strain, keyboard is too high or too low, chair is too low
How to Fix It
1. Check Your Posture. Help keep your shoulders relaxed by choosing a chair with adequate back support and adjustable height and arm rests. “Ensure the arm rests and keyboard are placed at appropriate heights so that the shoulders are not shrugged while keying and the arms are not extended,” says D’Epagnier. You may need to place the keyboard on a tray or adjust the height of the chair.
2. Get the Right Angle. “Repetitive strain of the shoulder or elbow is usually related to poor mouse or keyboard placement,” says Korzen. To ensure that your keyboard isn’t too close or too far away, too high or too low, adjust your chair height, arm rests and keyboard position to ensure your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, says D’Epagnier.
3. Stretch It Out. Counteract shoulder tightness with an easy stretch you can do at your desk: the seated scapular retraction with external rotation, says Korzen. To do it, squeeze your shoulder blades together and draw them downward, holding and releasing 15 times.
ALL proceeds go directly to the McElroy family.
The McElroy Family pictured above. Eric was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and a benefit is being held on August 13th at Anatomy Physical Fitness.
Eric is a beloved trainer and friend of ours at Anatomy Physical Fitness who has been recently diagnosed with Stage 1 CML Leukemia.
He's not only loved by all of his clients & co-workers but has an amazing wife & 3 children.
Let's show Eric some love & come help him pay his medical bills that are quickly accumulating! Come train with any of the Anatomy Physical Fitness trainers for FREE all day! All we ask is that you find it in your heart to donate something for the hour(s) that you workout at the benefit to Eric McElroy's family.
Be sure to bring cash in order to compete in some of our strength (and silly) competitions, too! You won't want to miss them!
ALL proceeds go directly to the McElroy family.
The event is being held on Saturday, August 13th!!
Message me to schedule a 1-1 or small group personal training session with any of our kick ass trainers OR come attend any of the following classes:6:45-7:30am Beginner Yoga
Taught by Mary Jo7:00-7:45am Fitness Kickboxing
Taught by Andrea Longtin8:00-8:30am Total Body Bootcamp
Taught by Teresa Udovich 8:00-9:00am Krav Maga
Taught by Andrea Longtin9-10am Mobility Class
Taught by Dr. Korzen 10:00am-2:00pm Kettlebell Competition
Run by Rock Cox
follow link to sign up for competition: https://www.facebook.com/events/236371390085236/?ti=icl3-4pm Kids Speed & Agility
Taught by Kevin Laird
Come help us kick Cancer's Ass, one workout at a time!
Feel free to contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-821-8104
If you are unable to attend but still want to make a difference please visit Eric's go fund me page;https://www.gofundme.com/lightsoutleukemia
Check out Livestrong.com
for information on health, fitness, wellness and nutrition. I recently contributed (although only a small portion) to a Livestrong.com article and wanted to share it with you. Click this link
or the image above to go directly to the site. My contribution is pasted below:6. Cradling a PhoneCradling a phone to your ear may be an easy way to stay hands-free on a call, but it could also be causing your headaches. “If a person is cradling a phone, the two most common muscles that become shortened, tight and irritated are the upper trapezius and levator scapulae,” says chiropractor Erik Korzen. “And tightness in both of these muscles can lead to tension headaches.” Switching sides, using a headset and integrating stretching and massage can help to prevent this upper-shoulder tension.
Tightness and Pain in the upper back, neck and shoulder areas are very common. So how do we fix it? Here a few general tips that I routinely recommend to my patients.
1. Find an aggravating factor (like cradling a phone) and REMOVE or REDUCE it (stop cradling the phone as much)
2. Perform regular POSTURAL corrections, 10x every hour, like this:http://nmrnj.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Picture1.png
3. Exercise regularly, at least 2-3 days per week. My mantra with patients: KEEP THINGS MOVING.
4. Increase your water intake to approximately your 1/2 of your bodyweight in ounces per day. EXAMPLE: you weigh 200 lbs then drink 100 oz of water per day (hydration keeps your joints and muscles moving more smoothly)
5. Clean-up your diet. Reduce or eliminate processed carbohydrates and really any/all processed foods. Focus on eating FRUITS and VEGETABLES every day. Include a good amount of healthy fats and proteins every morning.
6. Find a healthcare professional that is able to GUIDE you in the right direction. You should fix your problem, with the help of someone that is knowledgable.
Thanks for reading this post and I'm glad I was able to share the Livestrong.com article
with you. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Recently I have been spending a good amount of time working on this project (I'm about to share with you) for the Brookbush Institute.
My projects involve taking a published research article and writing a review for the members of the Brookbush Institute
site. The latest article is centered around the thoracolumbar fascia
(faSHe) and uses various anatomic and physiologic aspects to provide a very extensive review of the literature. What I want to give YOU is the APPLICATION aspect of such a thorough article, because filtering-out the nitty gritty embryologic, anatomic, histologic and biomechanics can be rather daunting (I know, I did just that).
Feel free to click on the photo above, which is from the original article, or click this link http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22630613
for the roughly 30 page article....
Here it is, the article's "take-home" message:
1: Thoraco-lumbar fascia (T/L fascia) exists as a piece of connective tissue between the torso and the extremities
2: This piece of fascia can transmit forces (caused by various muscle contractions) to create trunk/spinal stability
3: Due to elaborate connections, the sacroiliac joints can be stabilized by contralateral contraction of gluteus maximus (your big butt muscle) and the latissimus dorsi (what I refer to as the handcuff or swimmer muscle)
4: T/L fascia contains nerve endings that allow us to perceive pain from this tissue
5: T/L fascia contains nerve endings that allow us to perceive joint motions (i.e. close your eyes and move your torso, your brain is able to sense and interpret the magnitude and direction of the way you move)
6: Frequently implicated in movement dysfunctions involving arms, legs or trunk (perform a squat with your arms overhead and you'll see what I'm talking about)
Of the 6 items mentioned above, please take away something from this research. Whether that is to question someone who knows about human movement or to question Google on the topic, do something with this information.
Hopefully you enjoy whatever it is you learn. Never stop learning.
Thanks for reading and I always look forward to hearing from you.
LET'S GET HEALTHIER AND EDUCATE PEOPLE ON HOW CARE SHOULD BE PROVIDED. Keep it simple. Find a trusted and knowledgable clinician.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN YOUR HEALTH? ARE YOU INTERESTED IN TAKING CARE OF YOUR OWN PAIN? Click the photo or the link to listen to my recent podcast interview with Jason Benavides at Octane Athletic Performance.http://octaneathleticperformance.com/erik-korzen/
Thanks for following and I look forward to hearing from you. Be blessed!
FIND A TRUSTED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE CLINICIAN TO EVALUATE (AND POSSIBLY TREAT) YOUR MOVEMENT SYSTEM.
As I sit in my office drinking coffee and listening to The Movement Fix podcast
, it became evident that Physical Therapists (PTs) and Chiropractors (DCs) alike are in a strange position in our healthcare system. We are both viewed by many as secondary providers focusing on the movement of joints and muscles which are relatively unimportant when compared to vital structures such as the heart or the lungs. Additionally, our scope of practice (what we are legally allowed to perform under a license) varies greatly across the country which contributes to a convoluted image of our professions. Dr. Sahrmann
plainly explains that physicians have become specialists in certain human systems: you can see an endocrinologist, a neurologist, a cardiologist, an orthopedist, a pulmonologist and the list goes on. All of these physicians have become "specialists" or "experts" in that anatomic and/or physiologic system. The problem for PTs, as well as many DCs, is that we need to establish ourselves as specialists in the musculoskeletal system. Actually the problem is not establishing ourselves as experts in that system, because many of us have. The issue arises from the general public's perception of the musculoskeletal system as a non-essential and sometimes simply annoying aspect of health. Most people feel as if they are low back pain is happening to them as opposed to having some form of input or control over the how and why the low back pain exists.
If you have talked with me about routine or follow-up care, you know that I frequently relate asymptomatic visits or well visits to the dental world. If you are not in any pain or discomfort, have someone like myself, evaluate you on a periodic basis. If you are in pain, that changes everything. But just as you schedule 2 dental visits per year to get a check-up and cleaning, as a PREVENTATIVE, you should schedule 2 movement visits per year to get a check-up and lifestyle modifications.
My opinion is obviously just that. It has been influenced by many factors, both seen and unseen. But I want every one of you to re-consider your daily movements. Unless you are completely immobilized from head to toe, ALL of us move everyday. These movements effect your bodily systems in a variety of ways and one of the most obvious is through altered biomechanics and eventually pain. You don't even need to exercise regularly to realize how much movement impacts your life.
You walk to the bathroom. You bend forward to look into the refrigerator. You stoop over the kitchen sink to wash dishes. You turn to get into your car. You walk up and down stairs. You pick-up children. You sit at a desk. You walk around the office or your home. You sit on the couch. You run on the treadmill. You perform a deadlift at the gym. Many of these movements happen without our conscious awareness, until pain occurs. Prior to that pain, we do not realize how much we must move. Same situation occurs with regards to dental care...you eat food everyday without consciously considering your dental hygiene (except for brushing, flossing, etc), until pain occurs. Prior to that pain, we do not realize how much stress our oral health battles. Hopefully this analogy lessens the muddiness of the water.
The most important take home message from this is: FIND A TRUSTED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE CLINICIAN TO EVALUATE (AND POSSIBLY TREAT) YOUR MOVEMENT SYSTEM.
Included here are links to Dr. Sahrmann's profile
, and The Movement Fix podcast
MAINTENANCE CARE IS APPROPRIATE FOR CERTAIN PATIENTS AND COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE FOR OTHERS.
Maintenance Care is a term frequently used in healthcare, but is especially prevalent in the chiropractic field. This seems like a relatively neutral term, right? Unfortunately it can initiate a rather "charged" conversation between 2 chiropractors and even more so between a chiropractor and a clinician from another discipline. To be clear, maintenance care is sometimes referred to as supportive care or even preventative care by some. Since some of you reading this are not clinicians and not directly aware of some of the internal struggles in chiropractic profession, let me fill-in the blanks.
Years ago chiropractors, in general, would recommend "maintenance care" to their patients to accomplish just that...maintenance of their health. For the most part what I am referring to is receiving chiropractic manipulations, although other therapies are used as well. As our knowledge of chiropractic through research increased and managed care organizations took over healthcare in the USA, "maintenance care" became a touchy subject. There were some chiropractors supporting "maintenance care" and some chiropractors supporting "incident care" and some chiropractors confused on which direction to turn. The problem for either camp is GENERALIZATION. For clinicians to simply group ALL patients in their practice into 1 treatment plan results in low-quality care and a negative public image. This is true for chiropractors, neurologists, pediatricians, surgeons, oncologists and the list goes on...because no 2 patients are the exact same. Do you want your pediatrician prescribing the same medication for patients regardless of the infection? The same concept applies to chiropractic care. Now let's get into how this concept applies realistically.
To be honest, all clinicians see patterns in their patients. This is very different than generalizing treatment though. Many patients with acute low back pain (LBP) experience some condition related to their intervertebral disc which responds well to extension-based movements and exercises. However, not EVERY patient with acute low back pain will have an issue with their intervertebral disc, there is an entire list of other possibilities. Meaning that extension-based movements and exercises may not be included in their treatment and could even be detrimental to their condition. Patterns help both clinicians and patients attain a more realistic picture of the prognosis. However, patterns can also negatively impact the patient's condition if the clinician fails to think beyond generalizations.
Here's my opinion on "maintenance care":
There are patients who may greatly benefit from continual, routine care. There are patients who may have detrimental effects from continual, routine care. I have this opinion for a few reasons.
1. Certain patients have chronic, degenerative or progressive conditions that cannot be "cured" OR they can ONLY be "cured" through extensive means like surgery.
2. Certain patients have acute conditions that required a minimal number of visits to return them to pre-injury status
3. Excessive and repetitive chiropractic manipulations of the same joints may lead to joints that are unstable (Yes, I said it and I know some of you will think this is blasphemous)
4. Repetitive chiropractic manipulations generates a doctor-centered treatment plan which allows the patient to become completely dependent and lack any accountability for their condition (again, this does not apply to every patient)
5. Maintenance care can create a lucrative business for chiropractors, an unethical aspect of healthcare.
MAINTENANCE CARE IS APPROPRIATE FOR CERTAIN PATIENTS AND COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE FOR OTHERS.
CLINICAL INTUITION. That is the term I have recently used to describe this approach to patient care. A video recently posted on Facebook by a colleague of mine essentially describes this thought process. He focused more on the terms 'research' and 'experience' which is clearly applicable to clinicians, as this is where we draw our decisions from. He likened clinicians using concepts from both terms to a pendulum. We must swing between research and experiences to provide the best possible care. If clinicians pigeon-hole themselves into either extreme, we do a terrible dis-service to our patients.
I want to create patient-centered treatment plans. I want patients to have accountability and independence. I want patients to simply live healthy, happy lives. If that means that you need maintenance care, then so be it. If that means we can get you back to your life without constantly needing care, then let's do that. Individualized, high-quality care, that's what healthcare should be about. (Stepping down from my soap box now)
My wife and I were blessed with a daughter last week, hence my absence from the blog. Lydia is the name of my beautiful baby girl and here is a picture (she's adorable, so get over it). This week's blog post actually originates from our birthing experience with Lydia.
The chaos of childbirth can be rather daunting, regardless if you have experienced it firsthand before or not, there is an anxiety that swells as the labor progresses. The room itself seems to change as everyone involved begins to move a little faster and talk a little quicker. After my wife delivered our daughter and both were deemed healthy, the chaos settled. The delivery room staff reduced from 7 to only 1, the elevated emotions from ourselves and the staff were gone...the peaceful moments that followed were unforgettable. Myself, my wife and our newborn daughter all embracing the amazing experience that just unfolded (Lydia was part of this regardless if she knew it).
Once we were transitioned from the labor and delivery room into the post-partum room, the mood seemed to change again as my wife and I were watching Lydia sleep peacefully. We began to replay some of the moments throughout labor and delivery, recalling things that were said and actions of the staff.
For this birth, we decided to utilize a midwife. Yes, I said it...a midwife. No we did not deliver in a bath tub with rags, as so many people have associated midwifery with barbaric practices I just had to clarify that. We delivered in a hospital with a midwife which was an incredible experience, the natural birthing experience with the safety of a hospital setting as a precaution.
Ok, so back to my wife and I in the post-partum room recalling the labor and delivery process... One of the comments my wife had was "It wasn't about the doctor. It was about me. That was a great feeling and different than our first child's birth." As we continued to discuss the whole experience, it hit me! Please don't get upset when I say this:
ALL HEALTHCARE SHOULD BE ABOUT THE PATIENT, NOT THE STAFF.
I know most healthcare organizations claim to be in existence for patients, but rarely does this notion actually get put into action. Then I asked myself an introspective question, "Do MY patients feel as though their time with me is about them, or about me?" After all, the foundation of my practice is 'getting back to the basics', which means focusing on the patient. I have created a simplified, no-nonsense, patient-centered practice that provides high-quality and individualized care for patients in pain.
MY CONCLUSION: The vast majority of my patients feel as though I do provide care that is about them, not me.
Listen, no one is perfect. I am sure there have been patient visits that the opposite has occurred but I constantly remind myself why I opened this practice...FOR THE PATIENTS. Patients in pain deserve to be heard, they deserve an appropriate exam and they deserve truth regarding their condition. Patients in pain do NOT deserve to be sold a treatment plan, they do NOT deserve a patient-mill experience and they do NOT deserve a monetary basis for care.
If you or someone you know is in pain, please pass along my contact information. Advise them to call me, I will gladly provide a free phone consultation. I can help many people in pain, others I cannot. But how will we ever know if you don't talk to me? The difference in my practice and many others is that I am willing to admit when someone is beyond my scope. Because it is about the patient, NOT about monetary gain. Amazing things can happen when we turn healthcare back to the basics.
My sincere gratitude goes to the midwife and medical staff that provided such unbelievable care and compassion to us through the entire labor and delivery process. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
IN THE MEDICAL FIELD, WE PEDESTALIZE CLINICAL KNOWLEDGE AND REASONING...AND RIGHTFULLY SO, TO A CERTAIN EXTENT.
What is your definition of healthcare? Is it doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals working to keep you free of illness? Is it these same individuals working to keep your life as independent as possible? Is it being able to at least cognitively make a decision, good or bad? Is it simply living your life as you want?
Caring for individuals with an illness, injury or condition is what health professionals, like myself, actually do on a daily basis. However, there is much more to healthcare than the visible or physical job requirements. Moving between patient rooms, working extended hours to serve more people, devoting time to educating patients on their condition and continuing your own learning for the betterment of your patients, rather than just fulfilling licensure requirements, is much more of an intellectual and emotional process than most would think.
As I sit across from a 73 year old man in my office, whom we will call Mitch, I quickly realize that his expectations are very different from other patients. Why? Because Mitch is 73 and for lack of better words, de-conditioned. He is a 6 foot tall, white-haired man with terribly poor posture, a somewhat shuffled gait and a quirky sense of humor. His main complaint is that his low back feels achy when he wakes in the morning and that his neck feels tight when turning his head to back up his vehicle. At his age, Mitch is seeking care for chronic, dull low back pain and neck stiffness. He experienced a stroke last year which left him with only one fully functioning eye and has more recently began taking medication for dementia-like symptoms.
The physical ability to care for Mitch is not that difficult. I must be able to perform some basic soft tissue techniques, joint mobilizations, stretches and chiropractic adjustments. When I initially saw Mitch we agreed on performing corrective exercises on a regular basis, but after a few visits he quickly lost interest in taking responsibility for his own health. This is completely acceptable and rather common. Mitch is part of the generation of people who believe doctors should be able to fix their problems, whether via medication, surgery or manual therapy. And really, who can blame him? You go to a mechanic to get your car fixed, you have the AC technician fix your AC unit, and your doctor should be able to fix your body, right? Unfortunately, Mitch has degenerative conditions that I cannot cure. I can simply manage them, and he is definitely not the only one in this position. From a treatment standpoint, I can absolutely provide Mitch with reduced pain and increased range of motion. I cannot, however, provide these indefinitely. His symptoms, if not treated, will slowly creep back into a more noticeable and possibly painful existence.
Compare Mitch to another patient, whom we will call Cecilia, a 55 year old female with Right shoulder pain. As a fairly active adult with 2 grandchildren, a small business owner, avid gardener and landscaper, Cecilia uses her Right arm quite regularly as you can imagine. She is a petite, soft-spoken woman with a caring look; one of those people that would absolutely do anything for anyone in need and if she’s reading this, she knows this is about her. When I first evaluated Cecilia, it was apparent that she had a condition involving her rotator cuff that was of gradual onset, in medical jargon - there was no trauma. Because of other symptoms in addition to Right shoulder pain, I ordered an MRI that confirmed she had tears and evidence of inflammation in the tendons of the rotator cuff. After reviewing the specifics of these results and talking with others that experienced similar conditions, Cecilia decided she would like to avoid surgery as much as possible.
This is where my work began. I was now charged with the task of developing a logical treatment plan for this patient, with the hopes of returning her to her normal life activities pain-free. Her garden, her grandchildren, her home and her business all awaited her functional return. As clinicians, we obviously present some of the statistics on length of resolution, re-occurrence and complications. So as we started down the path of rehabilitation, it became apparent that resolution of her condition may require longer or more intense treatment than what is considered normal. The goal, obviously, was “return to competition” (borrowing terms from concussion protocols).
Now the intellectual and emotional aspect of healthcare comes into play. Consider both patients, Mitch and Cecilia. These are patients with differing backgrounds, experiences and expectations, not to mention a nearly 20 year span in age. Not only are my diagnostic and clinical skills necessary, but there is a human-ness to our interactions. I must be able to provide accurate diagnoses, treatment options and prognoses. Still, I am human. I must, at the very least, attempt to have empathy and understand a patient’s outlook.
Although I graduated with above average grades in chiropractic school, these objective grades prove nothing when it comes to patient care or the doctor-patient relationship. In the medical field, we pedestalize clinical knowledge and reasoning…and rightfully so, to a certain extent. These skills are what allow us to make sound judgments and offer advice to our patients. One of the most difficult concepts in healthcare is to involve the patient in the decision-making process surrounding their care. Obviously, there is a necessity for objectiveness in certain situations, hence a doctor providing care instead of your spouse - the emotional bonds can create a predicament. However, at the same time, empathy can be an extremely valuable asset in healthcare and I believe it is one that is frequently lacking.
There is a reason for this phenomenon in the U.S. and it is likely related to our broken healthcare system. We are all so far removed from the true nature of healthcare, the foundational aspect of a trained clinician providing care to a person in need rarely exists. Hence the “play on words” I used for the title of this post…The Patient Doctor. As a healthcare provider it is difficult to slow down and devote adequate time to each patient. This is due to many apparent, and some not-so-apparent factors. But it must begin to change. Clinicians need to change their own outlook to change the outlook of their patients. In doing so, we can advance the doctor-patient relationship for the better.
We ought to be more patient and empathetic, patients will notice. If you are a clinician reading this, try to be more patient. If you are a patient reading this, try to question your clinician and assist them in becoming more patient. Healthcare can and will change, let’s ensure it does so positively.
As always, I appreciate your feedback. Be Blessed!
"THERE IS A HUMBLING MIX OF COMPLEXITY AND SIMPLICITY WHEN YOU STAND NEXT TO A DISSECTED CADAVER."
When I tell people I teach anatomy
"Oh, that's cool. You get to stay up-to-date on material."
When I tell people I study cadavers
"Oh...And you're OK working with dead people?"
The above are common responses I receive when talking with patients, friends or family about other aspects of my career. From an outsider's perspective, I understand that working on cadavers seems strange. For me, it's thrilling.
The human body is an amazing creation that has bewildered many for years, including myself. There is a humbling mix of complexity and simplicity when you stand next to a dissected cadaver. At first, it seems like an objective science experiment involving this specimen's skin, nerves, blood vessels, internal organs, muscles, ligaments, bones and more.Take a step back (mentally, not physically) and you quickly begin to realize that this cadaver in front of you is the remnant of someone that was a war veteran, a teacher, an accountant, a sister, a child, a spouse, a musician, a fisherman, a motorcyclist or any number of other possibilities. This cadaver is so much more than a science project. This is where RESPECT lives.
As a student, and even an instructor, of human anatomy you must treat cadavers with RESPECT. This goes beyond careful dissection techniques and keeping anatomical structures intact, which is a fundamental aspect of studying anatomy. True RESPECT involves maturity. Avoiding inappropriate comments, gestures or ill-treatment of the specimen is just as important. After all...this was a living person not too long ago.
While I understand the comments I receive from the public regarding my work with cadavers, we must all understand the great reward of studying the human body in a realistic state
. The cadaver lab
is much more than the stainless steel lab portrayed in the media, it is a place where academics and students share in the exploration of knowledge.
Many of you have probably heard of or even seen the Bodyworlds Exhibit
. It is an amazing exhibit that puts real human cadavers on display in a variety of poses. This is possible through a process known as plastination
. I bring this up because it is one of the most popular ways that the general public is exposed to human cadavers...and I could spend days looking at just that exhibit. Next time you have the chance, go to Bodyworlds. It will open your mind to the fascinating world of human anatomy and cadavers.
Please know this...you will not offend me if you think I'm weird. I enjoy working with cadavers. I understand that many of you have not spent years in a cadaver lab as I have. I understand there are societal separations of the living and the dead for the general public, and rightfully so.
Next time you hear of someone working with cadavers...maybe this post will cause you to truly consider what that means. As always, I value your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.