Welcome to the Kos Chiropractic Centre blog

Winnipeg Chiropractor, Drs. Kos and Stevens use the best of spinal and soft tissue manipulation, physical therapeutics, acupuncture, nutritional supplements, functional rehabilitation, exercise, and behavioural advice.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chiropractic and neck pain

Seeing a chiropractor or engaging in light exercise relieves neck pain more effectively than relying on pain medication, new research shows.
Click here to go to article

Monday, July 4, 2011

Interesting facts you might not know about stretching

Stretching and flexibility are important but when is it best to stretch and how much?

If you are an occasional runner or exercise a few times per week the research indicates some fascinating facts about stretching and injury risk.

Here is what the latest research is telling us about stretching:
  • Stretching before or after exercising does not confer protection from muscle soreness.
  • Stretching before exercising does not seem to confer a practically useful reduction in the risk of injury. 
  • Data from two studies on army recruits in military training show that muscle stretching before exercising does not produce useful reductions in injury risk.

The basic science literature supports the epidemiologic evidence that stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of injury.

The literature suggests and our clinical experience tells us:
  •  A warm up should consist of an activity that raises the pulse such as fast walking, cycling or skipping for 5 to 10 minutes.
  •  The cool down (~5min) portion may consist of light cycling and or walking followed by light stretching.
  •  If you are running or walking the most important areas to stretch are the calf, quadriceps, hamstrings, groin (psoas) and buttocks. Stretching the trunk is also important as well.

Studies show that stretching before exercise neither prevents nor causes injury. Some of the most significant contributors to injury risk are:

  • Having a history of chronic injury or injury in the past four months
  • Higher body mass index (BMI)
  • Switching pre-run stretching routines (i.e. runners who normally stretch stop stretching and a visa versa).
If you want to decrease the risk of injury and increase your flexibility it is more beneficial to stretch on a regular basis (everyday), not just before exercise. I recommend stretching when you are warmed up (e.g. mid day, after a hot shower, later in the evening). Yoga can be a great way to increase flexibility as well as core strength.

It is important to get one on one instruction in order to make sure you are performing the stretches correctly to reduce the chances of injury. Our mandate at the Kos Chiropractic Centre is to provide exceptional care as well as useful and up to date information regarding health for your benefit.
Email us if you have any questions.

Dr. Jason Stevens B.Sc., D.C.
Herbert RD, Gabriel M. Effects of stretching before and after exercising on muscle soreness and risk of injury: systematic review. BMJ. 2002 Aug 31;325 (7362):468.

Fradkin AJ, Gabbe BJ, Cameron PA. Does warming up prevent injury in sport? The evidence from randomized controlled trials? J Sci Med Sport. 2006 Jun;9(3):214-20.

Shrier I. Stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of local muscle injury: a critical review of the clinical and basic science literature. Clin J Sport Med. 1999 Oct;9(4):221-7

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Stretching before a run does not necessarily prevent injury, study finds.” ScienceDaily, 20 Feb. 2011. Web, 4 Jul. 2011.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tips for Runners

As spring/summer approaches in Winnipeg the weather allows for us to get out and stretch our legs. One of the best and most common ways of doing that is running.

Injuries associated with running are an unfortunate but all too common occurrence.

Understanding a running injury is the key to effective treatment.

Running involves maintenance of a specific posture with tremendous muscle exertion over a long period of time. This can lead to muscular imbalances within the body. Over time pain can develop in the foot, ankle, knee, hips, lower and upper back. Imbalances are also often noted between flexor (e.g. psoas muscle – hip flexor) and extensor muscles (e.g. gluteal muscle – hip extensor), not only in the legs but also higher up in the trunk.

* The key to good running posture is good trunk strength, (particularly the abdominal muscles) holding the body in an upright chest out position. Runners have a natural tendency to develop abdominal weakness.

If there is a biomechanical abnormality anywhere along the chain from the feet up then injures are more likely to occur. For example, overpronation is where the arch of the foot collapses, or the ankle rolls inwards as you walk. This can cause added stress on the Achilles tendon, medial (inner) side of the knee and the lower back resulting in pain and disability.

The same can be said from the top down. A gluteal (butt muscle) contraction on one side compared to the opposing side can cause relative external rotation of the leg (foot points outward) resulting in added stress on the hip joint, medial (inner) side of the knee and the inner side of the foot.

Saco-iliac joint problems in the lower back can also limit normal motion needed for biomechanics when running resulting in lower back pain and an altered running stride.

Tips for reducing running related injuries and maintaining good biomechanical function:
·         Good motion in ankle, knee and low back joints as well as the upper back joints
·         Have good arch support and comfortable shoes especially if you are running on concrete surfaces
·         Balanced strength between your quadriceps (front of thigh) and hamstring (back of thigh) muscles
·         Good gluteal (butt muscle) pliability
·         Good abdominal strength
·         Postural training exercises

If you are having any pain before, during or after running make sure you have it checked out before it becomes a bigger problem.

Stay tuned for the next blog update: Does stretching before exercise reduce the risk of injury?

Dr. Jason Stevens B.Sc. D.C

Sandell J, Palmgren PJ, Björndahl L. Effect of chiropractic treatment on hip
extension ability and running velocity among young male running athletes. J Chiropr Med. 2008 Jun;7(2):39-47.

Willson JD, Kernozek TW, Arndt RL, Reznichek DA, Scott Straker J. Gluteal
muscle activation during running in females with and without patellofemoral pain syndrome. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2011 Mar 7.

Kvist M. Achilles tendon injuries in athletes. Sports Med. 1994 Sep;18(3):173-201

Monday, December 20, 2010

Welcome to the Kos Chiropractic Blog

The physicians at the Kos Chiropractic Centre pride themselves on discovering and utilizing the best ideas for improving and maintaining your health. 

The ideas you read about on our blog will be the distillation of years of clinical experience, observation, research and experimentation. 

We are Drs. Gregory Kos, B.A., B.Sc., D.C., FCCRS(C), Dr. Jason Stevens, B.Sc., D.C., Dr. Natalie Carriere, B.PE., D.C., and Dr. Sara Korsunsky, B.Sc., N.D.

You can read about us and our mission at http://www.koschiropractic.com/

The Importance of Magnesium to Muscular Health

In our culture one of the most overlooked problems of physical medicine is the underlying muscular pain and difficulties that take place as a result of magnesium (Mg) deficiency. 

Deficiency of any nutrient takes place for two principle reasons:
  1. Lack of uptake
  2. Increased loss
To speak to the first issue there are a number of variables that affect the absorption/uptake of Mg:
  • Vitamin D deficiency... which is important for the uptake of many ions which are important for neurological function, muscular function, tissue function etc...
  • Poor gastrointestinal absorption (age, poor eating habits, etc…)
  • Excess saturated fat in the diet
The second issue occurs due to an increased excretion of Mg from the body:
  • Increased Elimination...Excess Coffee, Tea, Alcohol, Phosphoric acid (soda), tannins and tannic acid (red wine and tea), distilled water, excess estrogen/low progesterone, protein/purines etc…
  • Increased demand such as; prolonged intense sweating, pregnancy, tissue damage etc…
  • Intense prolonged stress
Mg is less abundant in the body than Na (sodium), Ca (calcium) or K (potassium) and yet it plays a myriad of crucial roles in electrolyte, hormonal and enzymatic balance with an extremely wide range of repercussions throughout the body, if indeed, it is out of balance.

One of the most important actions of magnesium deals directly with the release of chemicals at the muscular junction. The muscular junction receives input from the nervous system which causes our muscles to fire or relax. Acetylcholine, a chemical found in this junction is released for muscular contraction. Interestingly enough, it is also inhibited by Magnesium allowing muscular relaxation. Thus if there is a widespread Mg deficiency throughout the body tissues, muscles will fire, but because they can not easily relax and become over facilitated or “over tight” over time and will develop the tendency to become achy and easily aggravated.

In addition, proper muscle relaxation and function results in good or better biomechanical function and pliability. 

Over the last 50 years of clinical experience at the Kos Chiropractic Centre we have developed the best “recipes” for magnesium supplementation; we offer the best supplements at very good price points, and will give you excellent clinical advice to facilitate your muscular function, muscular pliability, and functional recovery.

For those who are more scientifically inclined the following paper captures the benefits of magnesium.