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Newsletter: Spring 2009

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In this spring issue:

  Graston Technique in our office
  Graston Technique for golf injuries
  Dr. Larry's book review of "Brain Fit"



The Graston Technique in Our Office

A NEW WAY TO DECREASE
PAIN AND IMPROVE FUNCTION


Graston Technique on the shoulders


In March, 2005, Dr. Larry completed his certification training in the Graston Technique® (GT) and has successfully treated patients utilizing this soft-tissue therapy. The GT is an advanced form of instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization that is substantiated by research, used at leading universities and healthcare institutions as well as professional sports teams. (Washington Redskins, Seattle SuperSonics, New York Knicks) It prevents acute conditions from becoming chronic and reverses the outcome for conditions once thought to be permanent.

GT successfully treats acute or chronic neck pain, back pain, wrist pain, foot pain, tennis elbow, gofer's elbow, shoulder pain, knee pain, ankle pain, TMJ (jaw) pain, fibromyalgia, scar tissue, shin splints. The result…decreased pain and increased function.

Dr. Larry received his GT certification in 2005 and is furthering his training in June of 2009. This remarkable procedure allows him to detect and treat areas of scar tissue or adhesions in muscles, tendons and ligaments that can lead to pain and dysfunction.

In the healing process our bodies attempt to repair muscles, tendons and ligaments with scar tissue much like the scar that forms on the skin when you have scraped or banged your knee. As you can imagine, that scar tissue is not as strong and flexible as normal, healthy, undamaged tissue. Over time we can have a buildup of this fibrous scar tissue, particularly in the muscles, tendons and ligaments that get a lot of use. This can lead to pain and dysfunction because this replacement tissue lacks the strength and flexibility of healthy tissue (in some areas it may even mat down and entrap a nerve.)

The Graston Technique allows us to better detect and treat these areas because it uses a stainless steel instrument that glides along a patient's muscles, tendons or ligaments and acts like a scar tissue stethoscope. When knots or bands of scar tissue are encountered, both the doctor and the patient sense a restriction or a granular feeling. The instrument can then be used to "break up" this restriction or adhesion. Stretching exercises are then used to promote realignment of the fibers so that they behave more like normal, healthy tissue.

The benefit of the Graston Technique is not only in detection of restrictions or adhesions, but also in the amount of improvement that takes place in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, the unaided hand is hard pressed to detect and break up as much scar tissue as the stainless steel instruments can.

When the Graston Technique is coupled with the necessary strengthening and stretching exercises, it provides a great aid to the chiropractic adjustment and the patient gets better much quicker and more completely.

The Graston Technique is not appropriate for every patient condition. It is, however, very helpful for people with the most common conditions we treat in this office. If you have not experienced the Graston Technique and you still have lingering discomfort or stiffness, please ask us whether you may be helped by this effective new treatment.




GOLFERS CAN GET BACK IN THE SWING SOONER

WITH THE GRASTON TECHNIQUE

Golders can get in the swing sooner with the Graston Technique


Two Spokane specialists, a podiatrist and a chiropractor, who form a collaborative team in the treatment of amateur golfers, have concluded that The Graston Technique is more effective than massage at reducing fascial (ligament) restrictions and tendonitis of the foot -- resulting in pain relief as well as improved range-of-motion in the foot.

They were quick to point out the importance of having the Graston Technique available for golf related injuries since musculoskeletal problems sustained on the links occur at a rate of approximately 1.25 times a year per golfer.

Other injuries golfers are prone to experience can also be treated successfully without drugs or surgery using the Graston Technique include: shoulder and/or elbow tendonitis (sometimes referred to as golfer's elbow, or tennis elbow), knee problems, Achilles' tendonitis and others.


Brain Fit for Life
by Dr. Larry Smith (D.C., B.P.E.)

In Brain Fit for Life, Dr. Simon Evans, PhD and Dr. Paul Burghardt, PhD tackle a very contemporary and timely issue. Is it possible to achieve lifelong brain health and fitness? Is there anything we can do to prevent the inevitable decline of cognitive function? The answer to both questions is a resounding yes!

The coauthors are research scientists from the University of Michigan with a wealth of public speaking experience. The strength of their book is that they break down a highly complex subject matter into an easy to read and entertaining format.

According to the authors, "your brain responds and adapts to the environment you live in and the experiences you have. … Just like the rest of your body, your brain can be fit or in shape or unfit and out of shape." The authors state that the brain fitness industry is feverishly producing intellectually challenging software games in an attempt to keep the mind young. However, they are adamant that their book is about boosting total brain fitness. It is definitely possible to exercise your brain to improve your level of brain fitness. However it takes a variety of exercise routines to really get your brain "in shape."

The foundation of the book is laid down very strategically in the first chapter. Total brain fitness is broken down into three main cognitive systems: 1) Emotional Intelligence (EQ); 2) Physical Intelligence (PQ); and 3) Intellectual Cognition (IQ).

Evans and Burghardt present the four cornerstones of brain fitness as quality nutrition, physical activity, mental activity and sleep. If only one of these cornerstones is weak, your brain health can be drastically compromised. The reader will discover what nutrients are the best raw materials to boost brain power and how to utilize exercise and physical activity to improve learning and memory. The reader will also learn what mental activities and exercise will help sharpen his mind and cognitive function. "Most researchers believe there is no harm in using the cognitive training games but realize that it's only a small piece of the overall puzzle."

And finally the reader will learn why sleep is so important for learning. One fascinating concept describes plasticity and the brain's ability to rewire itself. "You'll need it to continue to learn, adapt to and successfully conquer the challenges that life throws at you." Sleep deprivation decreases the brain's ability to strengthen connection between brain cells and consolidate what one has just learned. In particular it gives great insight into the reason why some sleep deprived students have difficulty passing some of their exams!

If you are looking for an excellent guide to lifelong brain health and fitness, Brain Fit for Life is for you. Through their insightful analysis, practical illustrations, and amusing cartoons, the authors absolutely inspire you to improve your level of brain fitness. Brain fitness is a lifelong journey. However, if you follow the directions, integrate the four cornerstones and take action, you are going to enjoy the ride.




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Dr. Larry Smith's Chiropractic Newsletter

Contact the office:
Dr. Larry Smith D.C., B.P.E.
Chiropractor

    P.O. Box 307
    255 Island Highway
    Parksville, British Columbia
    Canada V9P 2G5

Phone: (250) 248-6333
Fax: (250) 248-6390
e-mail: info@drlarrysmith.com

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