ICT Muscle & Joint Clinic Blog

Our blog is dedicated to providing helpful information to our customers in the areas of health, nutrition, rehabilitation, and chiropractic care.
Dr. Keith Sparks

Air Compression Sleeves: Our Rambling Thoughts

Air Compression Sleeves: Our Rambling Thoughts

There are so many options available today when it comes to improving recovery speed, that it makes it difficult to comprehend which methods or which pieces of equipment are worth your time and (monetary) investment. Recently we purchased a lower body set of compression sleeves. After a few months of using them, here are our thoughts.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Local Elbow Pain

Local Elbow Pain

Reading this title, you might have considered "local" as a geographical location such as Wichita, KS; however, I am referring to pain that is arising in tissues (muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments) local to the elbow. There are many causes to elbow pain. Elbow pain can originate from simple issues such as: muscular tension surrounding the elbow, or more complex scenarios arising from the shoulder blade and neck. When the source of the pain is close to the elbow, it is considered local pain. Elbow pain arising from the shoulder or hand is considered regional pain, and when pain is a full body experience, it is considered a global pain mechanism. Whatever the cause may be, taking the time to identify if the pain source is local, regional, or global is the only way to decrease and eliminate the pain as fast as possible.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Recovery

Recovery
The old adage "no pain no gain" is a fool's philosophy. There are times in training you may feel fatigued, tired or outside of your comfort zone and this is fine.  I am referring to the difference between "it hurts so good," and "it flat out hurts." If you are in the latter group, then you have missed out hugely on progress and performance.  
 

Why Recovery is Important 

Spending time on recovery helps to prevent "flat out hurt" by keeping the tissue within your body healthy and closer to 100% optimal quality. If your focus is on leaving the gym, court, field, etc., completely drained and weak, then your body has to spend time recovering. This will happen naturally, with or without your approval. Sometimes this can be felt over the next few days as DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. Also, some individuals can recover from this faster than others – simple fact of life.
 
If not enough time is spent in a state of recovery between training episodes, you increase the chance of developing overuse syndromes (i.e. IT Band Syndrome, strains/sprains, jumpers knee, rotator cuff tear). Think about your body as a car, you get oil changes and maintenance care on it to prevent it from falling apart faster. Without doing so, you would be buying a new car quite often. You only get one body, which makes taking care of it all that more important.  
 
Pushing your body's limit and physical capabilities is important for a plethora of health conditions; it is beneficial to create adaptation and challenge the body physically. However, each person has a different limit to how much stress their body can withstand without having a negative impact upon it. This is why recovery is important. Recovery allows you to heal faster in order to train harder; this is training smarter. By incorporating recovery, you help to compliment and further progress the main focus of your goals – to continue training. Recovery creates a checks and balance system for your body, for continual growth while staying as optimally healthy as possible. 
 

What Recovery Is and What It Is Not 

Recovery is being pro-active and taking care of your body when you feel at the top of your game; it allows you to repeatedly do the things in life you love and enjoy. Recovery is not re-active care, or integrating various mobility drills and stretches when "flat out pain" is present. There are times in training and competing when you might have to participate hurt (depending on the severity), but attempting to eliminate pain through recovery alone will be an extremely long process, if beneficial at all. There is time for recovery and there is time to seek further, more-advanced care via: chiropractic, massage therapy, and physical therapy services.   
 
The amount of time a person may spend on recovery is different from individual to individual. Someone who likes to lift weights for an hour a week may not need to spend any time in recovery, yet someone who spends 1-2 hours every day working out will need to spend time recovering. Below are two general rules to help you identify where you may be at on the spectrum.  
 

2 General Rules to Follow with Recovery 

  1. The older you are, the more time you should spend implementing recovery strategies.
    • At some point in life, you need to face the music and understand you are not a young buck anymore. That does not mean training or working out has to suffer or be limited. It simply means, in order to keep your tissues healthy, you need to spend more time focused on activities or modalities that help you recover better and recover faster.  
  2. The more you train, the more you need to spend time on recovery. 
    • I have talked with numerous high-level athletes and the ones who win understand concept #2; unfortunately, it is not often talked about. D1 and NFL football players may get treated multiple times in a single day, by a wide range of health professionals. Whether you are trying to get to this type of level (professional athlete), maximize your potential or prevent the loss of your current potential, then spending time in recovery is needed. You cannot outrun or outwork an overused muscle. 
Dr. Keith Sparks

Wichita Pride: Road to Regionals

Wichita Pride: Road to Regionals

Get excited! CrossFit Regionals are here. The six events have been revealed and competitors across the world will compete on three separate weekends. Soon there will be countless of individuals across the world tuning in to watch these competitions. Rachel and I both have enjoyed past competitions, but this year is special and it should be to everyone with Wichita pride.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Understanding Chiropractic: Physical Therapy

Understanding Chiropractic: Physical Therapy

The concept that chiropractors can perform physical therapy is almost unknown; chiropractors can perform and bill for physical therapy depending on passing of the appropriate board examination. Some chiropractic schools do not focus on physical therapy as part of their curriculum, and in doing so, those students and graduate doctors are not capable of billing for physical therapy. A state's allowed scope of practice can often influence a school's opinion on providing this type of education. Some chiropractic schools do not offer education in physical therapy because surrounding states' scopes of practice do not allow chiropractors to bill physical therapy to insurance companies and therefore that school unfortunately does not teach physical therapy.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Healthcare: A Broken System

Healthcare: A Broken System

Healthcare is broken – period.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Understanding Chiropractic: The Joint-by-Joint Approach

Understanding Chiropractic: The Joint-by-Joint Approach

As stated in previous blogs, defining and understanding chiropractic can be vague. There are many techniques offered by chiropractors in an attempt to address a variety of health issues - not always musculoskeletal in nature. However, when considering chiropractic, most individuals think of some form of manipulation or adjusting. To better understand how chiropractic adjustments are beneficial, a concept known as the "Joint-by-Joint Approach," established by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook, needs to be acknowledged.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Wichita's Drive Time

Wichita's Drive Time

There is a common lie Wichitans tell ourselves: you can get everything you want on one side of Wichita. If you live on the west side of Wichita, then there is no need to go east and vice versa. This idea that you can get everything you need in one specific location in Wichita is highly flawed. If this were true, why would you ever travelto Colorado, Kansas City, Tulsa? Here is a fun topic that everyone in Wichita likes to talk about - the possibility of Cheesecake Factory. You are lying to yourself if you think you would not drive across Wichita to go to the Cheesecake Factory, regardless of where it opened. So I ask you – why isn't an extra 10 minute drive time to get the quality service or product you are wanting worth the extra drive time?

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Our Chiropractic Payment Style

Our Chiropractic Payment Style

There are many approaches when it comes to payment for services from a healthcare provider. This is true across all disciplines (i.e. DC, OBGYN, DO, MD). Many times this is dictated by in-network or out-of-network status between the specific insurance plan or company and the provider. With chiropractic, most of the time, chiropractors fall on two ends of the spectrum. One side being in-network with as many insurance plans as possible and the other side being in-network with absolutely none. There are definitively pros and cons to each side, which is discussed in more detail in a previous blog "Understanding Chiropractic: The Pros and Cons of Insurance and Chiropractic Care." Our approach, in regards to payment, is simple: pay-as-you-go.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Understanding Chiropractic: The Pros and Cons of Insurance and Chiropractic Care

Understanding Chiropractic: The Pros and Cons of Insurance and Chiropractic Care

Insurance is constantly changing with Obamacare and it appears this is going to be no different under the Trump administration. Things used to be simple; it wasn't too long ago that a co-pay meant a co-pay. Now things are not always as they appear. As a result, many chiropractic clinics and other health professionals are leaving insurance plans and companies altogether, or sticking only with the larger groups such as: United Healthcare, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Understanding Chiropractic: Adjusting Approaches

Understanding Chiropractic: Adjusting Approaches

Defining what chiropractic is to the public is just as confusing to the profession itself. Throughout graduate school, chiropractic is taught as a "Science, Philosophy, and Art." Depending on the personality of the future chiropractor, they may lean toward one of these pillars more so than the others. For both Rachel and me, we found our salvation through a group called Motion Palpation Institute (MPI). It was the first group that clicked with us; MPI laid the foundation upon which we stand. To understand the turmoil in the profession, it helps to understand the "camps", in regard to the adjustment. In chiropractic, you will typically find two camps: a static model and a movement-based model.

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Dr. Rachel Girrens

What ICTMJC Has Been Up to Lately

What ICTMJC Has Been Up to Lately

Startup Grind, Thursday @The Lux

If you haven’t heard, with the start of 2017, Wichita now has its own edition of Startup Grind,
powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. Startup Grind is another Wichita community event, held
monthly, by and for the entrepreneurs of our city. January’s event was a huge success, with a turnout of
225 people! This month featured Brian Williamson, an entrepreneur in the world of pharmacy. The informal
format of the event was set up to resemble a fireside chat between two people. The audience
learned the process of Brian coming to be where he is now, including the many challenges and triumphs along
the way.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Top 5 Areas to Foam Roll for General Mobility


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Dr. Keith Sparks

Defining "New Age" Chiropractic

Defining "New Age" Chiropractic

With the ever-evolving healthcare situation, it is hard as a consumer to find quality care at an affordable rate. This has driven many healthcare practitioners and practices, from a broad range of disciplines, to ditch insurance all together and go "cash only". In addition, this is causing a surge in differing healthcare models. For chiropractic, you may see practices that stick to adjustments only, practices that incorporate electrical stimulation or ultrasound, and others that open the technique box much wider.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Understanding Chiropractic: To the People

Understanding Chiropractic: To the People

When someone mentions chiropractic and its role within healthcare, you are most likely going to hear a broad range of opinions. This is largely due to the wide diversity in styles of chiropractors. There are chiropractors that adjust based solely on imaging, there are chiropractors that do not utilize any imaging, there are chiropractors that focus on nutrition alone, and then there are a variety of options in-between. Vast options exist to best suit your personality, needs, health, wellness, and fitness goals. Chiropractic is a wonderful and amazing profession for its diversity, however, its unclarity in regards to scope of practice creates a major problem.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Unifying DNS and Chiropractic

Unifying DNS and Chiropractic

Last weekend, Dr. Rachel and I traveled to the ‘burbs of Chicago, Illinois, to better our skills and knowledge of Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation (DNS). We decided to drive the 10+ hours with a future college of ours, and as any chiro-nerd will do, we talked about topics related to our profession the entire time including: our shortcomings, our successes, expectations for this specific DNS course, and how to better integrate DNS into our chiropractic approaches. Like many things in life, it helps to put thoughts into words, so, this blog is a way for us to express what DNS and chiropractic is in our eyes, and also our goals to help better our Wichita community through combining them together.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Foam Rolling: Suboccipital Muscles

Foam Rolling: Suboccipital Muscles

The Functional Anatomy

Suboccipital muscles

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Squats & Knee Position: A Deeper Appreciation Part 2

Squats & Knee Position: A Deeper Appreciation Part 2

Squatting is great for recruiting maximum neural activity to challenge the body. If you have not read Part 1 and watched the associated videos, I highly recommend it. It will give you a highlighted viewpoint as to where this blog is directed. To better understand squatting and knee position as an adult, we need to strip away everything and go to back to the basics.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

FRF: The Rhomboid Muscles

FRF: The Rhomboid Muscles

Back pain is a common occurrence for many Americans with our daily cubicle-esk lifestyle. Overtime, rounding the back can lead to trigger point formations in the rhomboids, which may produce pain. Rolling out the rhomboid muscles with a lacrosse ball, can help decrease pain within the middle back, improve scapulothoracic range of motion, and improve power output. 

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Dr. Keith Sparks

FRF: Part 1 - Rotator Cuff Muscles

FRF: Part 1 - Rotator Cuff Muscles

The shoulder girdle is a dynamic structure. Keeping the rotator cuff muscles healthy can help improve pain free shoulder range of motion. 

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Do you have a question about chiropractic care, fitness or nutrition?  We would love to hear from you, and we might even turn your question into our next blog post!

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