The University of Wisconsin – La Crosse is a great school with consistently successful athletics programs. The Athletic Training program is highly competitive and is one of the best in the country. Coulee Health is proud to be a part of the UWL team, as Dr. Kyle has been working with the Athletic Training Department on a weekly basis to help keep the athletes performing at their optimum potential. This partnership has been extremely beneficial for the athletes. They receive exceptional care from the Athletic Training staff and Dr. Kyle is able to provide his insight and expertise from a chiropractic and rehabilitative perspective. Together, they are able to provide a functional treatment model that minimizes symptoms and optimizes performance for members of the football, track and field, volleyball, baseball, gymnastics, swimming, diving, wrestling, and soccer teams, among others. From soft-tissue treatments such as Graston and ART, joint mobilizations and functional chiropractic care, treatment based on DNS principles, and corrective exercise recommendations, Dr. Kyle provides a comprehensive array of treatment tools that maximize results. What does that mean to you? Whether you are a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior, or a novice whose athletic events solely consist of getting through the daily grind, you can be assured that you will receive the same top-level of care right here at our office. It’s game time!
We all know that exercise is good for us, yet we lead busy lives. For many, it is difficult to make time for physical activity on top of our already hectic schedule. Well, there is good news (maybe this information will help move physical activity higher on your priority list): a recent study has shown that strength training can help boost our memory, in addition to the other health benefits it provides.
The study, published in the October issue of Acta Psychologica, showed that a resistance workout lasting as little as 20 minutes improved the participant’s recall of a series of photos shown to them 2 days earlier. “Our study indicates that people don’t have to dedicate large amounts of time to give their brain a boost,” the researcher stated.
This is great news for everyone!
This doesn’t mean that longer duration activity or aerobic exercise is not beneficial. There are obvious benefits to other types and durations of exercise as well. It is, however, comforting to know that positive effects can be enjoyed without having to devote an extremely large portion of our day. If you have access to a gym, that’s great. There are also many activities that can be performed from the comfort of your own home with minimal to no equipment. Simple home workouts can be found quite easily online; check out our website or YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbYtN7Q9cdrzSvuWDynpKGA/videos) for ideas. You can be comforted in knowing these are focused on back-friendly, functional movements that we recommend for all fitness and ability levels. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need modifications. Keep checking back as we will update periodically! Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be sent automatic updates as more videos are added. Now block off 20 minutes and get started moving today!
Pregnancy is not a “Condition”
Even if you aren’t pregnant, you have probably been exposed to pregnancy being treated as a “condition.” If you are pregnant, you excitedly choose the best time to tell everyone your special news and BAM!, just like that you are placed in a bubble. Don’t get me wrong, you need to do what is best for you and baby, but what does that really mean?
There has been a lot of talk in the news lately in regard to pregnancy and exercise. You have probably seen pictures of Alysia Montaño, 5 Time USATF Champion, competing in the 800m race while 8 months pregnant. She is inspirational and a symbol of the strength that women can gain and maintain during pregnancy.
Remaining active during pregnancy is important for you and your baby. It helps increase blood flow and therefore oxygen to your placenta, which coincidentally feeds your child!
What is most important is to listen to your body. Some days you are going to feel amazing and have an energy you didn’t know existed, and other days you may feel too tired to do much more than what is absolutely necessary. So listen. Listen to what your body is telling you because you know your body best. Birth is the ultimate event at the end of your nine month training period. You deserve to feel your best throughout and have the birth you desire!
Erica Boland, DC
Do you know what a doula does? Dr. Erica has already started booking her 2015 doula patients and has a few openings this fall/winter! She would love to help you with your pregnancy and birth experience!
Please call the office @ 608-498-4669 with any questions you may have or to set up a meeting to talk with her and learn exactly what a doula does!
It is the perfect time of year to create new recipes with everything fresh from your garden! Over the next several months we will be posting different and new recipes we try, straight from the garden.
This morning we enjoyed our version of the “Green Machine Smoothie!” See the recipe below:
10-12 leaves Swiss Chard
4 large leaves Kale
3/4 c. Coconut milk
3/4 c. Applesauce
Cinnamon to taste
Vanilla to taste
Ingredients are listed with largest quantity first and approximate measurements. Mix to your desired taste/consistency and enjoy!!!
One year ago today we opened Coulee Health! Thank you to all of our patients, family, friends and community members for your love and support during our first year in business!
We are excited to announce we will be providing soft tissue treatments for participants of the Festival Foods Grandad Half Marathon post-race. We will be giving away ONE FREE ENTRY to either the Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, 5k run/walk, or Bike Tour. Like our page, Coulee Health, on Facebook and Like and Share our status about the event to be entered! Visit lacrossefitnessfestival.com for more information on the events!
Whether this be your first or 100th event it is a great way to get motivated and reach your goals. We would be more than happy to help you with training advice and any questions you may have along the way!
Drawing will take place February 25th
We hope to see you there!
By Erica Boland, DC
Time and time again you hear people telling you to “use good form” or “keep your core tight.” What does that even mean? Have you even been shown what good form is? When is it necessary to use good form? Would you be surprised to hear that you can witness good form by simply watching the movements of a toddler?
We often think of ourselves as far removed from the time in our lives when we were toddling around in diapers. On some levels this is certainly (and thankfully) true. However, as far as form is concerned, it should actually be quite similar.
We are born, hardly able to move, with our arms, fists, and legs preferably tucked close to our bodies. Amazingly, pending there are no complications, we go through a series of developmental changes all while using proper form. We support ourselves on our back with our feet up, support ourselves on our bellies and bring our head up, roll over, sit upright, crawl, and walk, even breathe correctly. These movements are all a physiological process, not something we are taught to do.
Now, our bodies are extremely smart and even if we are using improper patterns or “poor form” we are most likely going to find a way to carry out the task at hand. The same goes for babies. We have all heard how much this little one “just loves to stand up” or “just loves to be walked around.” If a child is helped into a posture he or she cannot achieve by itself, the child is using some sort of compensatory movement. This means the proper muscles may not be firing and poor, instead of proper form is being trained. The same scenario is seen on adults at the gym. We all want visible changes and we want them fast.
Let’s be honest, we are an instant gratification society and this is often where proper form gets thrown out the window. You push yourself to the max to get those last couple of reps in and often do not even pay attention to the quality of the movement. In an opposite scenario, you don’t give the extra effort to bend at the knees and hips to pick something up off the floor and create a vulnerable state in your low back by stooping over. Either way your body suffers.
While we cannot delve into the proper form of each and every movement, we can cover a few basics. Honestly, observe a toddler.
- Squat low to pick something up bending at the hips and knees without bend in the spine and move to the object instead of reaching or stooping.
- When using upper body strength keep your shoulders dropped down and back and not shrugged towards your ears.
- Proper form when sitting up straight does not mean sticking your chest out. Act as if there is a string from your head to the ceiling and someone is gently pulling to upright your spine.
- In regards to proper form for your core, it has long been disproven that sucking your belly to your spine is beneficial. In fact, it actually increases the load on your low back. Instead breath outward as if you were expanding your favorite sweat pants 360 degrees to create stability in your core.
As for when it is necessary to use proper form? Always.
As chiropractors, most of the cases we see are in some way related to lack of proper form. This can have a large impact on your daily life and while it may take time to make these changes, if you are persistent proper form will become habit instead of work.
Dr. Erica and her husband Kyle are owners of, and chiropractors at Coulee Health in West Salem, WI. In her free time she enjoys exercising and spending time outdoors with her husband and their three energetic boys.
By Zach Shiels, DC
If you have ever trained for an athletic event or worked hard to get back into shape (perhaps as part of a New Year’s resolution), you have probably experienced the dreaded “injury cycle.” The cycle of many exercise-related injuries frequently goes something like this: After finally admitting to yourself that the pain was more than just soreness, you go to your medical doctor and are either prescribed pain medication, told to rest until you lose all the fitness you just worked so hard to gain, or given the option of rehabilitation with a physical therapist. While physical therapy (PT) is often the first choice for many medical doctor referrals in rehabbing an exercise-related injury, many serious and recreational athletes alike have started to rely on sports chiropractors.
While PT usually focuses on coordination drills and strengthening exercises, sports chiropractors are trained in these areas as well as improving joint function throughout the body. You may be thinking, “Timeout. I thought chiropractors only treated back and neck pain.” Just like the medical profession, there are many areas of specialty in chiropractic. Those who specialize as a sports chiropractor have undergone the traditional education on spinal joint manipulation or adjustments, as well as spending hundreds of hours in additional education learning about exercise-related injuries, extremities (arms and legs), soft tissue treatments, and functional rehabilitation techniques.
Over the past few decades, the sports chiropractor’s approach has evolved and expanded to incorporate joint mobilization and manipulation techniques, soft tissue treatments, and functional rehabilitation techniques to create a new gold standard of care in treatment for patients with exercise-related injuries.
If you choose to visit a sports chiropractor, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation and exam before treatment begins. There are several areas of interest for a sports chiropractor, including:
• An orthopedic and neurologic exam to assist in diagnosing the injury and determining if a referral to an orthopedic or neurologic specialist is necessary
• Gait analysis to see how you move when you walk or run
• An evaluation of the foot because it is the foundation of the kinetic chain
• Functional movement screens
• Joint palpation to assess the movement quality of your joints
Once the evaluation is completed and your specific needs and goals have been discussed, the sports chiropractor will create an individualized treatment plan for your road to recovery. The diagnosis and your treatment goals will assist your sports chiropractor in deciding between a variety of techniques, each designed to help you get back to the activities you enjoy.
Five types of treatment used by sports chiropractors for exercise-related injuries:
1. Joint Mobilization/Manipulation is used by sports chiropractors to restore proper motion and function to joints that are restricted, or not moving properly.
2. Graston Technique is a treatment designed to restore proper function to soft tissue by breaking up adhesions or scar tissue using small, hand-held stainless steel instruments.
3. Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) is a technique that restores proper muscle balance and joint function. Many professional and Olympic teams have begun to utilize this technique for injury rehabilitation, injury prevention and in some cases to enhance performance.
4. Myofascial Release is a combination of massage and stretching where sports chiropractors apply deep tension while they move a muscle through a range of motion from a shortened to an elongated position. Myofascial release is used primarily for adhesions deep in the muscle.
5. McKenzie Method (MDT) is a specialized technique for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of muscle and joint pain using repeated movements and postural changes.
Dr. Shiels is the owner and chiropractic physician at Elite Sport & Spine in Brookfield, Wisconsin. He lives there with his wife and two children and enjoys spending time with his family, running, and camping.
By Blake Meyer, DC
Pain is a frustrating thing. One day you feel great, ready to tackle the world, then the next you can barely sit, walk, lift your arm etc without excruciating pain. Why does this happen? Was it an injury that you can point a finger directly to or did it ‘just come on over time?’ Most of us tend to deal with our pain and hope it will eventually just go away. And oftentimes it does. Our bodies are impressive healers that typically correct over time. But when pain becomes too severe, interferes with what we love, or has simply gone on too long is when most seek help.
Many people self-treat their pain with the use of over-the-counter medications paired with heat, ice, rest or other home remedies, and that’s not a bad approach. Many occurrences of pain will resolve on their own by simply remaining active but being conscious of not overdoing-it. The key for recovering the quickest is to figure out the origin of your pain, which can be broken down into three main categories:
- Mechanical Pain
- Chemical Pain
- Psychosocial Pain (this doesn’t mean you’re crazy)
In most cases these categories are not mutually exclusive, but figuring out which is playing the largest role allows the most effective treatment to be implemented. This classification can be applied to pain at any location in the body.
Let’s look at the first: Mechanical pain implies the origin has something to do with the physical parts of your body, such as the bones, joints or muscles. Maybe you injured one of the discs in your back by lifting a heavy load, pulled a muscle by overexertion, or have a genetic anomaly such as scoliosis. These are all examples of mechanical problems, something ‘wrong with the parts.’ Mechanical problems typically respond best to manual therapies such as chiropractic, physical therapy, or massage therapy. By directly addressing the structure that is injured (or the one causing the pain), that patient typically experiences the greatest outcome. If someone has told you, “You have to go see my chiropractor! He adjusts me then I feel great!” then they are usually someone with mechanical related pain.
The second type of pain, chemical, can be a bit trickier because it’s typically present alongside the other two forms. This type of pain is due to the natural responses your body creates, most namely inflammation. Inflammation is an important process our body creates in response to injury (redness, swelling, heat), but we want to limit its extent. Ongoing inflammation can wreak havoc on our muscles and joints, increasing the pain we perceive and create further damage. An ankle sprain and various forms of arthritis are classic examples of acute and chronic inflammation, respectively. Chemically driven pain is most commonly treated with anti-inflammatory medication and is why ibuprofen works so effectively for acute aches and pains. Your medical doctor can prescribe many types of anti-inflammatory drugs that are most appropriate for your individual case. More holistic approaches include ice and anti-inflammatory foods, found here –> http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/anti-inflammatory-diet-road-to-good-health. The latter approach is more effective for long-term results, as the classic drawback to medication is it typically acts as a band-aid. If your pain is chemically driven, a chemical approach is right for you.
The final type of pain is driven by psychosocial factors. As mentioned above, this doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Many people say their pain comes on when they’re stressed or a unfortunate life event happens. Our body can express stress in countless ways, including physical. These are typically paired with chemical pain, so medications often-time are short-term ‘fixes’ that cover up the real problem. However you de-stress best will commonly alleviate the pain. Keep to healthy approaches such as reading, watching a favorite movie, spending time with family etc. But don’t confuse these tactic as distractions. Failing to ‘take-on’ and/or accept the stressful event prolongs its effects on the body.
Chiropractors are a great place to start in classifying what type of pain you have. We can quickly determine if your pain is mechanical in nature and offer a whole host of treatments to effectively address it. If your pain doesn’t appear that it will respond appropriately to a mechanical approach, other holistic methods can be introduced, or we can refer you to the appropriate health care provider. Don’t let pain prevent you from doing what you love!
– Blake Meyer, DC
Dr. Meyer is the owner of, and chiropractor at Colorado Chiropractic and Sports Injury Center in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He lives there with his fiance Rachel where they enjoy hiking, skiing, and spending time outdoors.