An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a pound of Cure – Part 2: Stages of Recovery

In my previous blog An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure – Part 1, I discussed my journey with my injury and how I struggled with leaving the sport I loved.

In Part 2, I am going to discuss the stages I believe we go through when we get injured and the science behind the injury and the healing process.

STAGE 1. DENIAL: I told myself it’s not that bad and even though the health care professionals told me it would take 6-8 weeks, in my mind, it would only take two. They don’t know how strong and skilled I am, I thought.

 

The Science

Acute phase (Inflammatory):

  • Lasts approximately 7-10 days after the initial injury.
  • The tissue is swollen, red, warm and/or all of the above.
  • At this stage, the body needs to heal.
  • Rest, gentle range of motion and/or protection of the injured area is important.

 

When the first two weeks passed and my knee was still very sore and I couldn’t bend it let alone run on it, I started to wonder what went wrong. “I should be healing faster than this; I should be back to at least straight line sprints,” I thought.

STAGE 2. TESTING IT: So I tested it – and before I knew it I was trying to convince myself that the sharp pain with every step is normal and it probably did that before.

STAGE 3. IMPATIENCE: I felt I was losing muscle strength and my skills were fading away while everyone else around me was progressing in their skills. So then I started to wonder what the therapist wasn’t doing to boost my healing process. How will I ever catch up?

STAGE 4. RESEARCH: I started researching all the options including consulting Dr. Google. Maybe they misdiagnosed it? Maybe they aren’t even providing the right treatment? I approached my Physiotherapist with my “research” and the therapist reminded me that it has only been three weeks since my injury.  

(Three weeks can feel like an eternity when you’re 19 and itching to get back at the sport you love.) I started to feel myself get lazy. However, remember in stage two when I tested my knee? Well, this caused more damage. BAM! my first setback placing my recovery back to week one.  

 

The Science

Subacute Phase (Repair and Healing):

  • This phase lasts approximately 1- 6 weeks depending on the tissue that is healing and if there is good blood supply to those tissues.
  • During this phase, you want to promote healing, oxygen and blood flow to the injured tissues. It is important to maintain mobility, strength and endurance through guided progressive exercises with your friendly healthcare practitioner.

Note: Stages1-4 can continue until you realize that everything has a process and that you need to trust that process.  It isn’t until you realize that things take time, that you start to heal.

 

STAGE 5. ACCEPTANCE: It isn’t until this stage that you actually start to make gains by leaps and bounds – maybe because the required healing time has elapsed or maybe it’s because you are mentally ready to recover and go through the process.  Whatever the case may be, you’re finally listening to the advice provided to you and you’re listening to what your body is telling you. You start celebrating and focusing on the little improvements and you build on them. Then over time you look back and think “wow” I’ve come a long way.  

You then realize that you can modify your workouts and your training to fit what you can do and you stop focusing on what you can’t, plus you know that at https://healthyusa.co/shred-fx-review-best-performance-enhancing-formula/ you will always find the best supplements to fulfill your workouts. Having an injury is frustrating and can throw a wrench in your plans — whether it’s leaving the sport you love, changing positions or careers, or how you play with your kids. But the process can never go fast enough.

The Science

Remodeling Phase (Maturation):

  • It lasts two months to one year depending on the tissues involved and the damage.
  • This phase encompasses a long period starting when the subacute phase is complete and continuing into a progressive return to sport/ function/life. In the beginning of this phase, around the 6-8 week mark, scar tissue is still forming and can still be remodelled up to 10 weeks.

 

The Equation for Recovery Time

Those stages are very familiar to me, both as a physiotherapist and as a patient. After having three knee surgeries and countless other injuries, I place a lot of importance on proper and careful recovery.

There really is no equation to determine the length of time it will take someone to recover (although I wish there were). It is a question I am asked all the time and even a question I ask when I’m the one lying on the physio table.

As a physiotherapist, I hope I can help others go through this only once or perhaps, with prevention, never really have to consider any of those stages. It is easy to look back and say, I wish I could have prevented that injury. But it shapes you, makes you stronger and teaches you patience. You learn more about your body and you learn the amazing things you can endure — physically and mentally.

We are humans, not robots, and there are many variables to consider when determining our recovery period. Including nutrition, sleep, stress (physical or emotional), and environment.

Each injury has been a different experience. Sometimes I recover quickly and sometimes it can nag me for years. But like I said in my last blog post, recovery from an injury is a lifelong journey, as is maintaining and improving our health, performance and longevity.

Learning my why: Answers, Questions, and Truths

Hi Folks,

Kristins post about part of her story (stay tuned for the rest!) inspired me to think about my own story, and why I’m here, doing what I do.  Here is what I’ve come up with (though I reserve the right to update this as time passes, haha).

Why do I do it?

To be a source of trustworthy knowledge and actionable steps that people need so that they can improve their lives exactly how they want to and maybe even more.

  • I’ve always wanted to be the person people went to for help.
  • I’ve seen how valuable being that person can be, and being able to provide that to someone fills my soul up.

That was the TLDR version.  Read on for how I got there.  Starting with story time…

When I was young, I was being foolish around a pool table and ended up hitting my face on the side of it, cutting up my gums pretty good/bad.  It was during a family function and one of my uncles, a firefighter, was there to help.  At the moment I was afraid and worried that I had done something that would, a: be a problem permanently (in an aesthetic/health respect), and b: get me in trouble with my parents (I told you I was young, though I think that fear never goes away haha).  Immediately, my uncle took calm control of the situation and helped make a plan that assessed where I was between serious injury, and a bump/bruise (it ended up just being a gnarly flap of skin that tore off my gums with a lot of blood that made it look bad) while he also made it all seem like a team effort to help save me and the evening.  It was inspiring to say the least (and I was fine… just being a wimp).  Onto the next story…

Both times I injured my shoulders (one, a clavicular fracture while snowboarding, the other a dislocated shoulder while playing football.  Different shoulders, years apart), I went to the walk-in clinic/hospital and saw a doctor.  While I didn’t enjoy the wait time (none of us does, but it’s a necessary part of having a non-life threatening injury), I appreciated the focus and methodical approach the doctors that ultimately saw me had, as well as their conclusions and reassurance that in time, I’d be just fine.  

I’ve always wanted to be like those people.  I’ve always wanted to be the person that people felt comfortable asking for answers (at least the ones related to health/wellness).  I always wanted to be able to provide measured, calm answers to questions that innately inspire a certain level of fear in people.  Taking away fear, I think, is a pretty valuable skill.  

So, my goal from a young age was to be involved in healthcare.  I originally thought I would go “be a doctor”, but as I got into my third and fourth years of university, I learned that for me, being a medical doctor wasn’t going to provide me with the tools I needed to answer the questions I wanted to answer.  So I explored other options (Physiotherapy, Speech and Language pathology, Audiology, Population and Community Ecology, Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Naturopathy) for school, and even looked into applying to the fire department (they wouldn’t hire colour-blind folks back then).  It eventually took me to Chiropractic college, where I enrolled in their doctor of chiropractic program, as well as their masters of science in applied clinical nutrition programs.  I attended a lot of lectures and labs, and read and studied a LOT.  I learned a lot.  It was such a great thing to think that if I just read and learned as much as I could – if I read all the literature about all the things within my scope of practice (where I could help people), I would finally have all the answers.

Throughout my quest to learn the answers, I learned some hard truths:

First, the textbooks, and some of the information from lectures, labs and skill work would that I was learning, would be obsolete by the time I was allowed to use it.  Not surprising and somewhat easy to mitigate by always working to continue learning.  

Lesson Learned:  You never get to stop learning if you want to be the one providing the answers.

Second, the scientific literature (what I always thought was like gospel, untouchable and un-taintable) was/is biased, unpredictable, and in some cases purposely falsified to serve the needs of those who might benefit from it (sometimes, honestly, as the author wants to see their hypothesis come true, and sometimes in more sinister ways).

Lesson learned:  Scrutinize what you read.  Does it make sense?  Does it fit with everything else we know?  If it doesn’t, WHY?  

Third, most people that DO come to you with questions, will have a somewhat unique and different question than everyone else that has, which makes their answers also unique and different.  It will be very rare that a person presents like they do in the textbooks/classes/exams.  

Lesson Learned:  Providing solutions isn’t, and will never be a “recipe book” or “menu”.  You can’t just file people into tidy and neat categories and each and every case needs to be addressed individually, which requires a lot of patience, willpower, and open-mindedness.

So.  Learning that having the answers to the questions people were asking was going to be very difficult, and in most cases, fairly disappointing, has been hard to accept.  But, as difficult as it is to accept it, it’s the truth.  And one of the most important things I’ve learned is that there is something more important than being the person with the answers; and that is working tirelessly to be someone who provides the truth – even if it means revealing that those we would expect to have solid answers on, still don’t.  

So why do this?  Why put in thousands upon thousands of hours reading, attending seminars, and learning about manual therapy, modalities, food production, different diets, food allergies, intolerances, dyskinesias, program design, rehabilitative exercises, barbell strength, weightlifting, gymnastics, energy systems, fueling systems, fasting, ketogenic dieting, sleep and recovery, stress relief, belief systems, habit building, time management, and a list of other things, some known and some unknown, that will NEVER end?

 

To be a source of trustworthy knowledge and actionable steps that people want and/or need so that they can improve their lives exactly how they want to and maybe even more.

 

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for providing me with the opportunity to do so.  

Your friend,

Adam

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure – PART 1

Injury prevention is something that I value greatly. As a Physiotherapist, I see many athletes struggling to return to sport and, in some cases, making the life-changing decision to stop playing the sport altogether. This is a very challenging journey and one that I, too, understand

MY INJURY STORY

I would like to share my experience with you so that you can understand it may be a long road, and that injuries force you to make a lot of decisions.

I was 19 years old and I had worked my butt off to gain a starting position, as the goalkeeper on a varsity team in my rookie year. I was on Cloud 9 and stayed there until the day of my injury.

I remember it like it was yesterday. When it happened, I told my coach not to worry, I’d rest up and I’d be at practice on Monday. However, I never made it to practice — instead, for the months that followed I spent countless hours in rehab, endured multiple flare ups and began to experience a loss in muscle strength and an emotional roller coaster. My heart was broken: I knew I was facing a hiatus from the sport I loved.

After many attempts to strengthen my knee without surgery – it came to a point where my knee would give out while simply running in a straight line. We have tried researching on how does organ donation work to replace my knee but I knew that the surgery for ACL reconstruction would be the best route to take.

After 12 months of rehab, I was finally getting back into the swing of things when I tore my meniscus in the same knee. Back to the operating room I went; the rehab cycle started again.

I was hopeful and determined. I was making strides, slowly but surely. As I worked hard to regain my physical strength I kept my mental game strong by attending all practices, games and cheering on my teammates. I wasn’t ready to let go, playing soccer was all I ever really knew. I started training again for my sport and noticed I was timid on challenges and hesitated on plays.

That’s when the worst pain set in. The pain of knowing in the back of my mind that I had lost my edge. I knew in my heart that it was time to call it in but making that decision felt impossible.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR ME?

Physical injury quite often pays a toll on your mental state. Many questions plagued my mind as I tried to decide my fate in this sport.

  • What will I do if I am not playing soccer?
  • What will happen to my knee if I continue to play at this level?
  • Am I susceptible to more injury?
  • What will happen to the relationships I built with my teammates?
  • How will my parents feel (they are part of this community too)?
  • Am I a failure?
  • Will I get lazy?
  • How does this affect my life in 10 – 20 years from now?
  • Will I be active as I age?

Only I could determine the answers to these questions. I couldn’t go back; I couldn’t blame my parents, coach, teammates, doctors or therapists. Only I could decide what was best for me.

Like many athletes who suffer from injuries, this decision is life-changing. How do you make the decision to stop playing the sport that defined you for the majority of your life? It’s not an easy one.

THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD

 

Don’t get me wrong, I have witnessed countless athletes return to playing high-level sports after similar or even more serious injuries. My story is about my personal journey and meant to help those see that sometimes a change in direction is ok; it’s not meant to discourage those that are going down the path of returning to their sport.

This injury turned out to be a very positive thing for me (as they say, “every cloud has a silver lining”), however, understand that at 19-years-old, wasn’t easy.  Looking back, it has shaped me and obviously led me into a career dedicated to injury rehabilitation and prevention.

August 16, 2017 marked 13 years since I had ACL reconstruction surgery. How fitting that it was also the first day that the Physiotherapy staff at Real Life Health initiated The FIFA 11+ ACL injury prevention program with the Laurentian Women’s and Men’s soccer teams.

Through my journey, I vowed to return to Laurentian to implement an ACL injury prevention program. I wanted to help others prevent the injury that devastated me and ended my soccer career. I am so thankful to have this opportunity with Laurentian’s Soccer programs and I am proud to be able to offer an injury prevention program that will help athletes achieve their goals by insulating them from injury, and improving their performance.

I don’t regret my decision to stop pursuing and playing soccer. I had many opportunities to learn new things about new sports. I found new interests and redirected my priorities to a lifetime of health and wellness.

People often ask, “Do you have pain in your knee?”, to which the answer is yes, sometimes I do. I know it will be a lifelong journey to maintain the strength and health of my joints (especially my knee).  The scars on my knee remind me of my journey and they welcome me to a club of many others who have gone down a similar path.  A path that, though different than the one a younger me expected, continues to get better.  See you shortly for Part 2!

Making Changes – Strategy Hack #1

Hey Folks!

It's been a long time since I've written anything in here - though if you've been keeping your eyes peeled, our Physiotherapists have been putting out some awesome videos going over important topics like shoulder issues and core strengthening.  Head over here to check them out, if you'd lke.

We're already 23 days into January and I've been meaning to write more about making sustainable changes since the new year, so we're going to just stop "planning" to do it and do it.  Today we're going to talk about the first and easiest "hack" to create change.  

Add first.

Seems simple enough, but a large majority of people think first about something they want to STOP doing or REMOVE from their lives when we speak about change. 

I just want to lose 15 pounds
I need to stop drinking during the week
I want to stop arguing with my spouse

You get the picture.  Always based on removing things.  The problem, is that these things are providing us pleasure, whether obvious (cracking into a cold beer) or not so obvious (raised adrenalin levels during a fight with a spouse, the instant pleasure of giving in to treats - a desire of the fat, not you).  

In comes ADDING an activity.  And this is where some eloquence and precision comes in.  

I'm going to add a 30 minute walk in each morning!

Ugh... 30 minutes is a long time and it's cold.  Plus, I need to get ready for that thing soon, and I need to answer Blah Blah on facebook before I forget.  That's a subtle exaggeration, but probably not too far off from some of the defeating mental chatter that goes on in some of our heads, right?  Well then for this person, They need a smaller goal that is still adding.  We're going to ask them to strap on their boots, get bundled up, and just open the door and stand on the otherside of it, looking out into the driveway/street.  Just stand there for 1-5 minutes, and then go back inside.  The mental relaxation alone is going to make huge changes in that persons life.  That's a success.  And success is easy to build on.  Seth Godin has a rule where he does 1 push up, every night.  Just 1.  Unless, of course, he feels like doing a few more that night.  But the threshold for success is set at 1. 

Maybe I'll do one of those cleanses - I heard you can lose 10 pounds in a week!

You can force yourself to do just about anything for a week, maybe even longer, but it's only a matter of time before the old habits start creeping back in.  Because you've been denying ALL those sources of pleasure in your life, and no cleanse that I know of is going to fix that.  

Or maybe there is a way to get us to do things we don't currently enjoy, and to receive pleasure from it... more on this idea in a future blog post 🙂

In the meantime.  Try adding in 1 of the following in your life (whichever seems easiest!):

  • ​a 30 minute walk, every day
  • Start taking Omega 3 fats (we have the best there is at the clinic)
  • Get 10 minutes of solid mobility work/stretching in, every day
  • Try to include a veggie or fruit with each meal
  • Take 3, deep, mindful breaths, every day.

Stay healthy, Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball​

     
     
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    The Sleeper Stretch with Sarah Tessier PT Res

    Sarah Tessier goes over the Sleeper Stretch to help with Internal Rotation and tight posterior shoulders.

    Only when you know the question, will you know what the answer means

    42.

    The answer to life, the universe, and everything.

    I’ve used this joke a lot, but I’m about to be a Dad, so get used to me re-using jokes.  I think that’s part of becoming a Dad.  That, and I can rarely think of a better way to exemplify what I’m trying to say when I come across broad, over-arching answers.

    This topic tends to come up with me one of two ways:

    • I’m making fun of something that is being touted as the new answer to everything (or is being advertised that way to do one thing… get you to buy and consume whatever it is).
      • My call for this year is tea.  No one particular tea, but ones with cool names in general, not the “normal” teas we’re used to seeing (like orange pekoe, earl grey or english breakfast), but the exotic sounding ones, like matcha, yerba maté, and other crazy stuff that might not even be tea but is being sold that way because we don’t know how else to conceptualize it otherwise.
    • I’m trying to explain the “Wellness and Lifestyle” model of healthcare.  Which, if we’re watching the slow decline of society into chronic illness, and chronic illness management, we desperately need.

    Todays post is the latter of those two options.  Reading through research lately has been fun/tedious, but every once in a while you come across something seriously awesome.  I’m embarrassed I haven’t come across this sooner, to be honest.  but here it is:

    Is it possible to have TOO much Nrf2? Stay Tuned... (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Cushman/Released)

    Is it possible to have TOO much Nrf2? Stay Tuned… (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Cushman/Released)

    Nrf2, a master regulator of detoxification and also antioxidant, antiinflammatory and other cytoprotective mechanisms, is raised by health promoting factors

    This article is simply awesome.  Here is laypersons summary of their abstract:

    • Nrf2 is short for nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (yeah… Nerf 2 is a little easier to say/reference)
    • It’s a “transcription factor”, meaning it leads cells to “read” certain parts of our DNA and causes certain physiological cascades afterwards.
      • And this one activates the transcription of over 500 genes!
    • Things that it does:
      • detoxifies the body of molecules that can be toxic when accumulated to unhealthy levels as well as toxic metals
      • Anti-oxidant activities (reduces “bad” oxidation of molecules that can lead to mutations, aging, or unnecessary waste)
      • Produces anti-inflammatory changes (think, Advil, or fish oil)
      • Stimulates the creation of new mitochondria, and improves the function of already existing mitochondria (think, more energy, easier)
      • Stimulates autophagy – a cleaner for your cells, that gets rid of “trash” that can be problematic if not kept under control
    • Things that increase our amount of Nrf2:
      • Phenolic antioxidants, like plants, herbs and (wait for it…) tea
      • gamma and delta-tocopherols, tocotrienols.  Vitamin E – healthy fats, olive oil, avocado, etc.
      • Long chain Omega 3 fats EPA and DHA – from fish, krill, squid, grass-fed meats, etc.
      • Carotenoids like lycopene (in tomatoes and grapes)
      • isothiacynates from cruciferous vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, etc.)
      • Sulphur compounds from allium vegetables (garlic, onions, shallots, etc.)
      • Terpenoids (herbs like cinnamon and ginger)
      • Low level oxidative stress (low intensity exercise, like walking)
      • More intense exercise
      • Fasting/Caloric restriction
    • Chronic Inflammatory Diseases that are prevented/treated by increasing Nrf2?
      • cardiovascular diseases
      • kidney diseases
      • lung diseases
      • Diseases of toxic liver damage
      • Cancer [prevention]
      • Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome/Obesity
      • Sepsis
      • Autoimmune diseases
      • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
      • HIV/AIDS
      • Epilepsy
      • lesser evidence also points to the improvement of 16 other diseases

    Sounds pretty impressive eh?  I like part of the conclusion, “Nrf2 is argued to be both lifespan and health span extending.” [emphasis mine]  FINALLY a focus on not just increasing the length of our lives, but also the quality of those years.

    Get out for a hike for some low intensity restorative exercise!

    Get out for a hike for some low intensity restorative exercise!

    The authors also speak to the potential of having TOO much Nrf2 (which is smart to hopefully nip the “if some is good, let’s crank the knob up to 11!” bud), as it can cause a type of acne in certain cases, and more life-threatening risks in very extreme situations (in mice with a gene removed from their body that would regulate Nrf2, so it just continues to accumulate).  So it DOES NOT follow a, “if some is good, more is better” model either.  Very interesting… Almost like all those things that improve it should be employed, but not to excess.

    News Flash – Being reasonable is healthy.

    So if we want to improve our bodies detoxification pathways (which are a real thing, that your liver and kidneys help with), tidy up our cells, improve our mitochondrial health and generally improve our lives doing the things that help improve this particular transcription factor is not a bad idea.  What are those things?

    • Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit (of various colours and textures) and quality meats and fats
    • Use some herbs and spices to make your food a bit more interesting
    • Consider long term side effects of steroids supplementing a modest amount of Omega 3 fats from high quality sources
    • Move your body at a low, steady pace, most of the time.  Then at a hard pace every once in a while.
    • Avoid overeating, and maybe consider fasting or taking on the mindset from Okinawa of “Hara Hachi Bu” – meaning to eat only until you’re 80% full

    Stay Healthy Friends!

    Dr. Adam Ball

    What You Need to Know to Get and Stay Healthy

    Hey Folks!

    It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted!  Apologies for that.  So I’ve been thinking about what sets Chiropractic apart from other professions, and why we’re crucial when we DO share so much of our scope and skills with many other professionals (physics, massage therapists, osteos, athletic therapists, etc.) and it ultimately comes down to our philosophy.

    But I’ve spoken about that numerous times before like what do proteins do for the body

    .  So while I may hint at it throughout the rest of my life (and this post), I’ll attempt to tackle a different topic today.

    Today I’d like to speak about how the truth isn’t sexy.  The true, and ultimate answers with regards to health (and fitness, really) isn’t particularly sexy.  I’ve mentioned that there are no shortcuts before, but that truth continues to shine through time after time throughout the years. There is exceptions like if you smoke and switch over to vaping and try out box mods then you can see the difference quickly. A great brand is the trademark of glass blunts by smoke cartel on this market.

    Chiro’s are different because we’re the only profession that is based on the idea that there’s nothing wrong with you.  Intrinsically, you likely have the genetic blueprint to live a long, healthy, happy life.  Some folks (a small percentage… though it seems to be growing) have gene-based alterations in their set point, but, luckily for us, the overarching treatment plan is largely the same.  Assuming you’re physiology is good, and providing the necessary ingredients to provide health to your body isn’t nearly as sexy as rushing you into an Operating Room to cut you open and pull out your ruptured appendix, preventing the immediate risk to your life.

    Medical doctors do AMAZING things.  They literally SAVE peoples lives and prevent deaths that would be imminent without them.  We should be grateful for it (and in those situations, people typically are).  The problem, is that nowadays lifestyle illnesses are responsible for most deaths.  So while Emergency interventions with Medicine can save your life (in the right situation, unfortunately not everyone lives) in the event of a heart attack or stroke, the cause of those issues didn’t happen suddenly. One thing I highlight here is to take care of your teeth as early as possible, many people don’t have money when things get out of control, check out must read for clean teeth and stay healthy.

    I’m totally borrowing this analogy from James Chestnut, but you can think of the Medical Community as the “fire department”.  In this analogy your body is your house.  When your house is on FIRE, you call the fire department.  Given good timing and adequate staffing, the fire department saves your house from burning to the ground, but there is likely damage that will need to be repaired to make it “new” again.  When that time comes, does it make sense to call the fire department to come fix your house up?  Would the fire department become frustrated with your calls to them to help fix your house?  Absolutely.

    This is where we are right now.  The medical community is overwhelmed and frustrated with the number of people who are “pre-diabetic”, “at risk” for heart attack and stroke or cancer, but don’t actually HAVE those problems.  Makes sense, right?  You have the tool that helps when that situation arises, but it isn’t quite there yet, and you can tell that by the way the person is headed, that they’ll likely get there over time.  If only there was a way to help turn those people around.

    Well there is.  The PROBLEM, is that it isn’t very sexy – so it doesn’t appear like it could be the answer.

    And thennnnn…

    You want to get fit.  You want to pack on some muscle, but you enjoy being able to go for a run, play volleyball on the beach and you don’t want to put on any fat while you get stronger.  Welcome to the goal of everyone.  Some people get past this issue and reorient their goals.  That’s what leads to elite performances in sport.  Strongmen, Throwers and Powerlifters don’t CARE how fast they can run 800m, unless it makes them better at their sport/tasks at hand, which it doesn’t.  Sprinters don’t care if their shoulders lack range of motion and that gymnastics would help make their shoulders stronger and healthier… because it doesn’t help them sprint faster.  One goal – be the best in the world at ONE thing.  For most of us, this isn’t the goal.  And to be honest, it isn’t particularly healthy – but when the stakes are olympic gold, or high salary contracts, I can understand when it’d be worth it.

    To prepare for true fitness, you’ll get a million different opinions.  it is likely impossible to be the best at absolutely everything.  Who knows, maybe that will be proven wrong one day, but until then it seems like it’d be true.  So to improve your level of fitness, you need to lift heavy things, move your body in progressively more complex ways, sprint every so often and otherwise move about with a good amount of frequency.  You need to eat well, too, but we’ll cover that next.  There’s no “This ONE move you AREN’T doing and your trainer WON’T tell you about!”  It doesn’t exist.  There’s hard work at intelligent tasks and that’s it.  Work the short time domain and the long one.  Work the heavy stuff, the fast stuff AND the slow stuff.  Use gymnastics, kettlebells, medicine balls, barbells, rings,  and as many other implements as you can.  Give EVERYTHING you have sometimes.  Other times focus on quality and perfection in movement (though that should be the goal for ALL movement).  Work on moving hard and fast when you’re moving, and resting when you need to.  THAT, creates fitness.  No BS, no secrets.

    And thennnn…

    You want to know what to eat.  We were told fat was bad, and then that maybe it isn’t.  But what about vegetable oils, omega 3 oils, saturated fat and so on?  We are CONSTANTLY barraged with recommendations for supplements to take.  Whether it’s a commercial, a multi-level addiction marketing agency, we never know what to take seriously and what not to.  There is SO much information and contradictory claims out there with regard to nutrition that it has been the topic of hundreds of books.  And it will continue to be.

    BUT, this is where that Chirpractic view of HEALTH comes in.  This is where we develop our BS filter.

    Most Chiropractors are of the opinion that we don’t need more people trying to put out fires on their own with a garden hose and store-bought fire extinguisher (still speaking in metaphor here… those are actually good things to have around in the event of a real fire).  We don’t want to be responsible for putting out uncomplicated low back pain fires.  We want to increase your health.

    Improve movement, mobility and stability in the spine and extremities, and you get healthier people.  Fine tune peoples nutrition to help them provide their body with what it NEEDS, and you get healthier people.  Teach people about the value of friendship, family values, being grateful, and positive thinking and you get healthier people.  THAT is what chiropractors like myself specialize in.  Your back/neck/shoulder/hip/knee/whatever pain will “magically” go away when you cover all these bases most of the time. Just search and read, the delfogo review. You can get some tips and advice there.

    Devote yourself to getting HEALTHY, not just avoiding disease.  Be the healthiest, happiest person you know.

    Stay Healthy friends,

    Dr. Adam Ball

    Whole Life Challenge – January 2016

    Hey Friends!

    So the gym/clinic has signed up for the “Whole Life Challenge”.  It’s a lifestyle challenge/game that is meant to help catalyze some changes to lifestyle habits through Nutrition, Exercise, Mobility work, Hydration, Sleep, Lifestyle (changes weekly), and Reflection/Journaling.  It’s something I toyed with created WAY back when I was still in Chiro school, but it’s a LOT of work – and I like that Andy (the creator of the whole life challenge) has made it into a bit of game.  The ultimate goal is to install some new habits and hopefully live life a little healthier afterwards from then on until FOREVER 🙂

    I’m going to dig a little deeper into each facet of the game to hopefully give some context and background info for everyone.  SO, that being said… let’s tackle “nutrition” – Click here to see the chart of the various levels of the challenge.

    Kickstart:

    • If you’re pretty new to the whole health & wellness game, then this is a great place to start.  For people who constantly eat out, or eat a lot of what our parents would call, “junk”, switching to cooking your own meals is a big (and VERY effective) way to install positive changes in your life and on your health.  Seeing these small, but very important positive steps successfully, is more important than worrying you might have eaten too many bananas.

    Lifestyle:

    • Not quite the strict-ness of the “Performance” level, and as such, is more inclined to develop lifelong lifestyle changes.  Knowing you will occasionally kick your heels up, or that your time is limited for adding in new activities/practices.  This is good if you’ve been contemplating tidying up your diet, and eliminating many less nutritious choices (grains, sugar, dairy, bad beverage choices, and artificial ingredients), in addition to dialling in your other lifestyle habits.

    Performance:

    • If you are a, “ALL OR NONE” kind of person, if you’re helping to make some more profound changes with regards to your health or performance, than this is where you want to be.  That makes it sound somewhat attractive, but it means less room for error, and in some ways this is where there is more risk of “failing”.  Many of us fall into the “darn it, I messed up and had oatmeal for my breakfast…. I guess I’ll have pizza for lunch!” – Queue complete tailspin into crushing snickers bars and rockstar drinks.  So this is like a big risk/big gain situation.  If you feel ready, or you’re that all or none person, then this might be the challenge you need to bump you up a bit.  Keep in mind, this isn’t meant to be a permanent change (unless you just really love it), it’s meant to be a “reset” or a “boost”, so you can push into those edges and develop some healthy, long-term habits.
    • I would suggest keeping legumes out of your diet for this level, and consider adding in Potatoes if that is a deal breaker (with an upper carbs/day limit of 150g).

    You can also always dig into some of my older posts for more info:

    Navigating the Paleo World

    Ok… So I’m ready to start eating paleo

    Alright – That’s it for this post – on to the next piece!  Stay Healthy Friends!
    Dr. Adam Ball

    OK… So, I’m ready to start eating Paleo…

    Awesome! I’m glad you’re willing to make the changes necessary to improve your health and prevent (or help heal from) a myriad of chronic diseases. Depending on where you’re coming from, you will face some cravings, some questioning, and possibly even some detox style symptoms (headache, constipation/diarrhea, etc.) Take that as the disclaimer it is. You may also experience even-keeled energy levels all day long, better sleep, less sinus congestion, less headaches, loss of fat and water weight, less bloating and gas, and the list goes on.

    So… here are the steps you need to take.

    1. Empty out your fridge, freezer and pantry of all the items that are not fit for human consumption.
    a. This includes: Bread, pasta, rice, beans, milk, cheese, candy, chocolate bars, quinoa, cous cous, and pretty much anything that involves a package, or a list of ingredients.

    2. Find some recipes you already know/want to try that happen to be Paleo:
    a. These meals will consist of Meat, Vegetables, Fruit, nuts and seeds.
    b. Add some spices for flavour.

    3. Write down what you need in a list and head to the grocery store:
    a. You’ll generally stay along the periphery of the store to pick up your produce and meat. Some of the items (spices, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.) will be in the middle aisles.
    b. Avoid the aisles with the junk previously considered, “food”.
    c. Make sure you bring a list of sriracha recipe and eat before you go – don’t buy anything not on the list!

    Tips:

    • Buy meat in bulk – Buying directly from a farm is ideal (Eat Local Sudbury has some great resources) but when that isn’t realistic for you, Costco has pretty good quality meat and it can be more economical – and then portion the meat into 1 pound increments, put them in ziplocks and freeze them

    • Wash and chop your veggies that need it when you get home. Ziplocks/tupperwares are good for storage for these as well.

    • Make what you can ahead of time; breakfasts are nice to have ahead of time for a quick warm up in the morning – the slow cooker will become a good friend.

    The variety of meals you can make is mind-boggling. You’ll find a few you love and generally stick with them, maybe even a dozen different meals. Making changes and tinkering with meals is easy once you get the hang of it as it’s fairly simple to cook up some meat and veggies at each meal. You’ll find the list of ingredients you need is fewer (depending on how complex you get with the spices).

    If you can follow the above guidelines, a majority of you will be set for a life of health and happiness.
    But what if, despite the simple guidelines, you still don’t know where to start? I understand completely; It’s nice to have someone tell you what to eat and when to eat it. It takes the guesswork out of it, and it makes adhering to the diet and lifestyle just a little easier, which is important when making these changes as they can be challenging.

    Do you have an auto-immune disease? Are you still experiencing odd symptoms that won’t seem to go away? Are you pre-diabetic, completely diabetic, or “at risk” for diabetes? Are you concerned with preventing cancer or getting ready for a surgery? Do you want to improve your athletic performances? We can fine tune and personalize the paleo diet to your specific needs and situation. It can be for an acute situation (like an upcoming surgery or race day) or for the rest of your life (like preventing cancer or supporting high activity levels). I can work with your specific needs and wants to help build your specific plan, if you’d like.

    There can be a lot of questions to consider, are you an athlete or are you gearing up for a surgery (or both)? Do you need to eat high/low carb, moderate or lower protein? Which are the healthy fats? Do you play with fasting? When would be appropriate to do that?  Let me know if you want to dig in deeper, and we’ll work on a plan for you.  Click “Book appointment” at the top of the page – or click here

    Stay Healthy Friends!
    Dr. Adam Ball