Flat feet – sounds funny, but it’s no joke. In the US military it used to be that having flat feet would routinely excuse potential recruits from military service. Today, that rule is no longer strictly enforced, but if it were, the country would cease to be a world power! Seriously, modern living has produced a virtual epidemic of fallen arches. The good news is there are many practical solutions to fix flat feet.
When the arches of the feet collapse, a lot of bad things happen. First, consider that the arch of the foot is supposed to flex and absorb shock. If the arch is flat, the foot lacks shock absorbency, and stress is transferred to the knees, hips, and lower back. This is why many of the advertisements for orthotics claim that they can resolve back pain. With fallen arches, the bones of the ankle are not optimally aligned with the foot, increasing the risk of ankle injuries. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, approximately one million people in the US are treated for ankle injuries every year.
It’s also estimated that athletes who injure an ankle are five times more likely to injure that ankle again.
Fallen arches also cause the bones of both the upper legs and lower legs to internally rotate. This rotation increases stress on the ACL. The ACL is a ligament that connects the upper and lower leg bones and provides stability to the knee, making the ACL critical for dynamic movements. Approximately 300,000 ACL injuries occur annually in the US, and the risk of injury is greater to athletes and women. Also consider that only 30 percent of ACL injuries are a result of direct contact, which suggests that an important step to preventing ACL injuries is to address the structure and function of the foot.
Another consequence of fallen arches is that the inward rotation of the upper legs increases the arch in the lower back, a condition technically referred to as lumbar hyperlordosis. Lumber hyperlordosis reduces the ability of the spine to absorb shock. The result is an increased risk of back injury and pain.
The most common method of correcting flat feet is orthotics. Orthotics don’t permanently correct fallen arches – they only work while the user is wearing them. Also, the pressure of the orthotic on the arch can also cause the arch to become weaker.
Solutions include corrective exercises to strengthen muscles that support the arch. One such muscle is the extensor halluces longus, which creates lateral tension on the foot and also strengthens and stretches the two major calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus).
Another solution to fixing flat feet is the practice of Posturology with the use of very thin insoles. The postural insoles stimulate the skin of the foot and create postural reflexes that create alignment of the feet and of the joints above. If you suffer from fallen arches, take a proactive approach to good health by seeking the help of a Posturologist. Good posture begins from the ground up!To protect the ankles, many athletes are prescribed orthotics. Although these supports will adjust the arch so that the ankles are positioned directly over the feet, they do not permanently correct the foot condition and over time, weaken the ligaments and muscles of the foot. A more permanent, and faster, solution is to seek the help of a Posturologist. One treatment method a Posturologist will use to correct valgus feet is the use of postural insoles that stimulate the mechanoreceptors in the skin of the feet, thus triggering a stimulating effect of the flexor chains through reflex pathways. Because this information is processed by the nervous system, the speed at which the changes occur are very quick.
In conclusion, to reduce your risk of becoming an injury statistic and seek out the help of a Posturologist to develop a strong foundation of healthy living.
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Be it because of the toxicity which surrounds us or because of bodies cannot handle properly the estrogens we produce. Whichever is the case, it can lead to an estrogen overload called estrogen dominance. And aside from the male issues you might think it leads to, it can cause serious health complications for both men and women. Thinking of shedding some body fat? Want to increase strength? Stave off cancer? Have better cognition? Conceive a child? Conquer depression? Estrogen dominance can disrupt all of those.
This article is not about how macho we have to be by driving down estrogen as much as possible. In fact, be it in male or female, estrogen is necessary for normal body function. It regulates a lot of body functions in both females and males, however a dysfunctional management of estrogen can spell disaster for your health.
This usually translates to too much estrogen and too much of the wrong form of the hormone in the body.
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How to Fix Rounded Shoulders…
If you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance that you have round shoulders. And if you’ve had rounded shoulders for a long time, chances are you want to find a quick, permanent way to resolve the problem. There is such a way, one that often doesn’t involve any exercises or uncomfortable soft tissue work. Let’s take a closer look.
Poor posture is the culprit behind a variety of conditions including, ankle, knee, shoulder, hip, back pain, cervical pain, and headaches.
Poor posture is the culprit behind a variety of conditions including, ankle, knee, shoulder pain.
Ankle injuries are among the single most common type of injury that occurs to athletes, but you don’t have to be a jock to find yourself suffering from ankle sprains and strains.
First, consider that the difference between a sprain and strain is that a sprain occurs to a ligament, and a strain is an injury to a tendon or a muscle. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports that about 850,000 Americans injure their ankles each year. Of these, 85 percent are sprains.
Have you ever had a side that was weaker than the other on a particular movement or exercise?
When the body is out of alignment, even if only slightly, this causes muscular compensation. This phenomenon can cause the muscles that cross that joint to contract with less force. If you are weaker on one side, this can be a sign that the joints are misaligned.
The mechanoreceptors surrounding the joints send inhibitory signals to the brain, who in return prevents the muscles from firingas many motor units in an effort the prevent injury from happening because it senses that the joint is not functioning properly and could thus be unstable or unable to handle large loads.
So a very strong individual like a strongman competitor or powerlifter can lift incredible loads and yet still be imbalanced and prone to injury.
In conclusion, a very small discrepancy in the symmetry of the body can thus affect function of all joints and their surrounding muscles. This has important impact on performance, and can have profound consequences in the long run, in just about anyone.
Tyrosine, an important amino acid you may not know about
Like almost any nutrient, be it a vitamin, mineral, or botanical extract, amino acids are best introduced to the body via whole foods. In this way, they typically come packaged along with complementary and accessory nutrients that facilitate their absorption and fulfillment of their biochemical destinies. (It’s so nice of nature to do that for us, isn’t it?) But in just the same way that certain disease states, both acute and chronic, can increase the body’s need for particular vitamins and minerals above the levels someone would reasonably get from food alone, certain conditions may warrant supplemental amounts of amino acids.
There’s branched chain amino acids for potential skeletal muscle growth, tryptophan (and its metabolite, 5-HTP) for lifting a low mood or helping to promote sleep, and glutamine for gut health and tissue healing and repair after trauma.
What about tyrosine?
Like its aromatic amino acid brethren (phenylalanine and tryptophan), tyrosine is a building block for neurotransmitter synthesis. Unlike phenylalanine and tryptophan, however, it is not technically an essential amino acid, since it can be synthesized from phenylalanine. (For individuals with phenylketonuria [PKU], tyrosine is essential, as they lack the enzyme that facilitates this conversion.)
Tyrosine readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and is the starting point for producing L-DOPA, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It is also the building block for thyroxine (a.k.a. T4, or thyroid hormone), but inadequate tyrosine is usually not the limiting factor in thyroxine synthesis. Individuals with suboptimal thyroid function might benefit from supplemental tyrosine, but likely only if hypothyroid symptoms are due primarily to insufficient tyrosine availability. Owing to its role in neurotransmitter and catecholamine synthesis, it has shown benefit for alleviating depression, acute stress, narcolepsy, and cocaine addiction. (With regard to cocaine addiction, tyrosine and tryptophan may be an effective combination, with these amino acids blunting the cocaine “high,” and reducing the depression that may result from drug withdrawal.)
Tyrosine competes with other large, neutral amino acids (phenylalanine, tryptophan, leucine, isoleucine, valine, and methionine) for transport across the blood-brain barrier, so for optimal efficacy supplemental tyrosine is best taken on an empty stomach, or perhaps with a carbohydrate-containing meal or snack that is low in protein. Taking vitamin B6 along with it may facilitate the conversion of tyrosine to dopamine, as the vitamin is a cofactor for the aromatic amino acid decarboxylase enzyme that catalyzes the reaction.
The Brain and Mood Link
Considering tyrosine’s role as a precursor to dopamine and thyroid hormone, it would seem that tyrosine supplementation would be a slam dunk for improving depression. Yet, results are mixed . Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have failed to show efficacy for tyrosine with regard to depression ; nevertheless, anecdotal evidence indicates there may be a role, so it’s possible it depends on an individual patient’s presentation. Depression is multifactorial, so there may be cases where supplemental tyrosine will help alleviate symptoms, and others where the issue is unrelated to inadequate levels.
On the other hand, tyrosine may be helpful for supporting cognitive function in acutely stressful situations. A review looking at the effects of tyrosine on behavior and cognition found that “tyrosine loading acutely counteracts decrements in working memory and information processing that are induced by demanding situational conditions such as extreme weather or cognitive load.” Most likely this is due to the influence of tyrosine on restoring healthy brain catecholamine levels. Other researchers had similar findings—that it does enhance cognitive performance, particularly in short-term stressful and cognitively demanding situations. One study’s authors caveated this by saying that it “is an effective enhancer of cognition, but only when neurotransmitter function is intact and DA [dopamine] and/or NE [norepinephrine] is temporarily depleted.”
Fortunately, it is an inexpensive compound to supplement with, so patients may be inclined to give it a try if their health care professionals suspect some of the symptoms they present with may be related to suboptimal tyrosine and/or reduced levels of hormones and neurotransmitters that come from tyrosine.
Note that tyrosine should not be supplemented in pregnant or lactating women, nor in individuals taking MAOIs for depression. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease may benefit from supplemental tyrosine, for the production of dopamine, but it should not be taken at the same time as levodopa, due to possible reduction in the drug’s efficacy.
Weight lifting is important to begin to building muscle mass and size, however it isn’t the only key element of shoulder training.
Posture is essential if you want to be injury free and want to start adding serious size to your shoulders.
Visual feedback and equal weight distribution are important to ensure that your muscles contract accurately.
New study demonstrates omega-3 fatty acids increase blood flow to regions of the brain associated with cognition
According to a new study published last Thursday in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, by using neuroimaging, researchers were able to demonstrate increased blood flow in regions of the brain associated with memory and learning in individuals with higher omega-3 levels.
Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) are a group of conditions that cause mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These conditions affect one’s ability to function socially, personally, and professionally. It’s important to recognize that Alzheimer’s disease begins long before symptoms start , just like many other conditions. There is evidence that simple prevention strategies can reduce the risk of ADRD by as much as 50%.
This new study included 166 individuals from a psychiatric clinic in which Omega-3 Index results were available. These patients were categorized into two groups: higher EPA and DHA concentrations (>50th percentile) and lower concentrations (<50th percentile). Quantitative brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 128 regions of their brains and each individual completed computerized testing of their neurocognitive status.
SPECT can measure blood perfusion in the brain. In addition, performing various mentally stimulating cognitive tasks will show increased blood flow to specific brain regions. (Previous research has demonstrated that mentally stimulating activities reduce the risk of new-onset mild cognitive impairment even when performed later in life.) As a result, researchers identified significant relationships between the Omega-3 Index and regional perfusion on brain SPECT in areas that are involved with memory and neurocognitive testing.
This study demonstrated the positive relationships between omega-3 EPA and DHA status, brain perfusion, and cognition. This is significant because it shows a correlation between lower omega-3 fatty acid levels and reduced brain blood flow to regions important for learning, memory, depression and dementia.
By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS
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