Running Without Hip Pain

The most common complaint we hear from a tri-athlete after their event is, “I have extreme pain in my groin.”  By the time an athlete jumps off their bike to enter the run their legs are usually extremely heavy because their hip flexors cannot loosen nor can they stop firing.  If an athlete chooses to ignore the discomfort or the pain that has been created after the race and continues to run an overuse injury will set in. To see that this doesn’t happen to you contact Dr. Heather Gansel at 203-979-3142.


Fitness Tips for 2013

Fitness Tip #101




Did you know that jumping rope is one of the most strenuous cardiovascular workout you can give yourself?  Since it’s impossible to sustain a 30min workout with a jump rope try this instead:




·  Skip rope for three minutes. (A round in boxing is three minutes long.)


·  Take a minute off, and do as many crunches as you can.


·  Skip rope for another three minutes.


·  During the next minute between rounds, do as many push-ups as you can.


·  Back to skipping for three minutes


·  Do crunches for another minute. Repeat






Fitness Tip #102




Strong abs will improve your form, reduce injuries, and make you faster. Check out this video short video clip from Runner’s World. 









Fitness Tip #103




Strengthen your cross-body core vector to enhance performance with a medicine-ball twist exercise.  Stand erect, take a hip-width stance and hold a medicine ball between waist and shoulder level with your arms extended in front of you.  Forcefully rotate your torso to move the ball from one side to the other, keeping your core erect and your glutes engaged to help initiate and resist the rotational forces. 






Fitness Tip #104



For all you hardcore exercisers out there, did you know that chocolate milk is the best post-workout drink because it provides the perfect balance of protein and carbs to your body after a hard workout.





Fitness Tip #105


Did you know….that performing an intense weight workout before doing cardio can burn more fat during the cardio session you have after the weight workout? According to scientists weight training may trigger fat-burning hormones




Fitness Tip #106


Here are some great gym friendly proteins – 3oz of Chicken, Turkey or Tuna; 3 eggs (contains 19 grams of protein); 2% Chocolate milk (16 oz); Whey powder (30g scoop); or Greek yogurt (5.3 oz container). Reminder the muscle building ideal is 20 grams, half before and half after your workout!


Fitness Tip #107


Check out this very cool Plyo Side Plank featured on Men Health’s TV




For more fitness tips contact Dr. Heather Gansel, owner of Head-To-Toe Chiropractic.  

Common Injuries in Tri-Athletes

During the Triathlon season there are two injuries that can occur, one is rotator cuff and the other is hip flexors.  They are the most common injuries we treat at Head-to-Toe Chiropractic.  A tri-athlete’s body is under tremendous stress from the point they begin their training program in the early spring through the late fall when their bodies can be prone to injuries.
Rotator Cuff
The shoulder is a ball-n-socket joint that allows for the arm to have complete circumduction.  When swimming, whether it be in a pool, a lake or the ocean; a majority of the athlete’s strength is coming from the rotator cuff muscles.  The four rotator cuff muscles , which hold the ball part of the shoulder to the socket are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and the subscapularis. If one of these muscles is injured, a swimmer will have great difficulty in completing a full stroke and will begin to create an overuse injury due to other muscles stepping in to take over in order for the swimmer to complete their distance.  The two most common rotator cuff muscles to be injured are the supraspinatus and the subscapluaris.  Both muscles suffer the most wear and tear when training for long distance swims because they are used the most during the pulling stage of doing the freestyle stroke (also known as the crawl).  If an overuse injury should occur from either one of these muscles, a swimmer can experience pain (as much as radiating pain) up into the neck into the front part of the shoulder and down the arm all on the same side, sometimes into the fingers.
Rotator Cuff – The treatment protocol
The treatment protocol for both of these rotator cuff muscles involves a combination of electric stimulation, soft tissue massage, ice, active release technique, chiropractic adjustments to the thoracic spine (upper back)/shoulder/scapula/lower cervical (neck), corrective and rehabilitative exercises.
Hip Flexors
The two most common hip muscles that can limit range of motion are the iliopsoas and the psoas muscles (also known as your hip flexors).  Both muscles are responsible for hip flexion, bringing the knee to the chest. It begins with the bike race. Depending on how long an athlete is on the bike, the more the iliopsoas and psoas begin to tighten.  By the time an athlete jumps off their bike to enter the run their legs are usually extremely heavy because their hip flexors cannot loosen nor can they stop firing.  If an athlete chooses to ignore the discomfort or the pain that has been created after the race and continues to run an overuse injury will set in.  The most common complaint we hear from a tri-athlete after their event, “I have extreme pain in my groin”.  Then, they point and press deep into their hip. What typically has happened their hip flexors take over instead of their quad (primarily their rectus femoris) and their gluteus medius.
Hip Flexors – The treatment protocol
The treatment protocol for this injury involves a combination of electric stimulation to the ITB and Medial Mencius; soft tissue massage; active release technique; chiropractic adjustments to the lumbar spine (low back)/pelvis/hip/ knee; corrective and rehabilitative exercises.
For more information contact the Head-to-Toe Chiropractic office at 203-979-3142.

A Workout for Everyone!

The recent fitness craze has been over this little device called the TRX.  It has been featured in Men’s Health magazine, has been on the “Biggest Loser” and most recently has been mentioned in the Wall Street as a workout that’s easy on the joints.  It has been referred to “gym in a bag” because it is portable and you can attach it to almost anything (that’s stable and structurally sound).  The TRX was invented by Randy Hetrick (a former US navy seal and founder/CEO of Fitness Anywhere) where he saw the need to make a portable small light weight fitness tool that could enable you to work out your entire body in a tight space and virtually anywhere.

As a sports Chiropractor and owner of Head-To-Toe Chiropractic, the TRX has enabled us to take functional training to a whole other level.   The TRX hangs from a singular point in the ceiling approximately 6-8 feet off the ground where movement becomes challenging thanks to a pendulum effect meaning your core (your deep abdominal and spinal stabilizer muscles) have to be engaged constantly while you are using the TRX suspension training system.  For athletes the TRX allows us to re-create multi-planar movement that an athlete would normally do for their sport while enhancing over-all sports performance.

As a chiropractor I love the fact that the TRX system engages the core the minute you put either your hands or feet into the cradles.  Our core is such an essential part of our body that I think people forget how important it to have a strong core verses “six pack” abdominals.  This is what makes the TRX a great workout for anyone at any age because everyone could use a stronger more stable core.  And with a stronger core conditions like low back pain/discomfort disappear quicker and our bodies begin to understand what it means to engage the core in either the conscious or subconscious state.

Here at Head-To-Toe Chiropractic we use the TRX when designing personal training programs for clients as well as to re-correct muscle imbalances in athletes.  Contact Dr. Heather Gansel  @ 203-979-3142 to learn more about the TRX and ask how it can help you this winter season.