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's focus is to improve the movement-based care of Wichita, Kansas via a comprehensive, hands-on approach utilizing the best of chiropractic, rehabilitation, and soft tissue therapeutic services to produce the best outcomes in regard to health and performance. Dr. Keith is often seen in the Wichita community speaking at business events and teaching health and performance classes.

Dr. Keith received his Bachelors degree in Health Science from the University of Missouri during which time he focused on athletic training. Following his undergraduate studies, he received his Doctorate in Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College-Kansas City (CCC-KC).

During his time at CCC-KC, he served as the vice president of the Motion Palpation Institute Club, TA for the Motion Palpation Course, and guest speaker for the Rehab-2-Performance Club. Following graduation, he worked for F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic, in the Kansas City area, successfully treating all ages and ranges of athleticism from young children, to professional athletes to senior citizens.

Credentials and Certifications:
DC - Doctorate of Chiropractic from Cleveland Chiropractic College-Kansas City
BHS – Bachelor of Health Science
NBCE - National Board of Chiropractic Examiners Part I-IV and Physical Therapy
MPI – Motion Palpation Institute Referral List Certified
ART - Active Release Techniques full body certified, Elite Provider Network
FMS - Functional Movement Systems Certified
SFMA - Selective Functional Movement Assessment Certified
MDT - Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy: McKenzie Methods A , Lumbar Spine (Low Back)
DNS Part A, B – Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization Technique
FAKTR - Functional Taping for Musculoskeletal Injuries Certified
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. 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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Dr. Keith Sparks

Foam Rolling Friday: Pec. Major & Pec. Minor

Foam Rolling Friday: Pec. Major & Pec. Minor

Short blog this week. The video below discusses the referral patterns for the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. The pain patterns are similar, but how to get the most out of foam rolling these two muscles is slightly different. It's about working smarter, not harder. 

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Top 5 Foam Rollers: Equipment, Style, Brand

Top 5 Foam Rollers: Equipment, Style, Brand

Here is a list of my 5 favorite types, of foam rollers or accessory rollers, in no particular order. Each one has its own unique advantage. 

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Squats & Knee Position: A Deeper Appreciation Part 1

Squats & Knee Position: A Deeper Appreciation  Part 1

Everyone has heard the phrase repeatedly, over the past 5 years or so, while squatting, “drive your knees out.” This can be a great cue when used appropriately, however, it has almost become obnoxious with everyone and their mothers yelling this phrase. Don’t get me wrong, I apply the cue myself, but it is highly overused. The cue should NOT be said every single time someone squats, if so, find a new gym.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Myths of Foam Rolling

Myths of Foam Rolling
Foam rolling has become an increasingly popular solution for self-myofascial release to decrease pain and to increase performance. Dr. Rachel and I have taught at several locations "The ART of Foam Rolling," to help everyone from individuals to large groups of people wanting to empower their health and performance in Wichita, Kansas. While teaching, we hear several different excuses, if you would, as to why an individual may choose not to foam roll. We hear everything from “I don’t have enough time,” to “it hurts too much.” Let’s be real for a second, to foam roll might take 10 minutes out of your day, tops, that equates to 0.007%. Yes, it might take some time in learning how to get the most out of foam rolling when performing it, but still it is not rocket science. With this blog, I want to address an easy concept to help you incorporate foam rolling into your daily routine, while also dispelling a couple myths.  

Interval Foam Rolling 

Before anyone gets some crazy idea that “interval rolling” means you have to foam roll as if it’s a HIIT workout, let me make it clear what I mean. For those of you who do not know what HIIT stands for it is High Intensity Interval Training. The phrase HIIT is way more fun to say, less words, and sounds a little badass.  
 
“Interval Rolling” simply means breaking up your foam rolling session into several sets, performed throughout a given time period. It can be broken up into sets performed throughout an entire day, or into small chunks such as: a visit to the gym, lunch break, after waking up in the morning, or before bed. Interval rolling does not have to be time consuming; everyone can find multiple times a day where you can spend 30 seconds to foam roll. Do you have time to go to the bathroom? It's about prioritizing your needs. So the excuse, “I don't have enough time” is out. If you tell yourself any different then it means you are lying to yourself or you are not in enough pain to give it a shot. This is the truth, and that is perfectly okay! Let's just be honest about it.  

Types of Foam Rollers 

There is a broad range of foam rollers out in the marketplace these days. Some are hard as rocks, others so soft you can barely feel anything. There are foam rollers that have crazy aggressive knobs, others are completely flat, while some are hollow and these are especially great for traveling purposes. There is a foam roller out there for every desire and occasion you can think of. Each has pros and cons. Dr. Rachel and I have clients that keep a foam roller at work, one at home, and some even have an extremely small, travel-size foam roller. You can find these super small rollers at most local running stores. 
 
Now stating this, there is not a right or wrong foam roller, there is only a preference. This is a great and bad thing. Great because you now have options in purchasing a foam roller when 8 years ago you would have never even heard of a foam roller. Bad because there are so many options making it hard to decide which one is right for you. My best advice is to ask a friend if you can use theirs and see what you like and don't like about it. Most gyms have foam rollers; try them. I have not come across a single foam roller that was right for every situation and region of the body. A little experimenting (for this context) is a good thing.  

Foam Rolling Hurts Too Much 

If you find yourself often stating that foam rolling hurts too much, then you just might have too aggressive of a foam roller for your preference or pain tolerance. Maybe you’re just doing it wrong, which can be a tough thing to accept. Have you ever heard the lifting phrase, “squats aren’t bad for you, the way you squat is bad for you?” Same holds true for foam rolling. Rachel and I love teaching foam rolling classes here around Wichita, KS! I know there are other healthcare practitioners in other cities that do as well; I know because I help put the programming together. Yes, you might have to travel a little to take a class, but often they’re free. With a purchase of a foam roller and gas you might be at a whopping $75 by the end of the event (often way less). To me, that's pretty cheap to be able to take care of yourself. My advice on foam rolling hurting you too much is to take a class, watch some good YouTube videos, and look at buying a softer or less aggressive foam roller. Remember, just because it worked for someone else does not mean it will work for you. 

In Summary 

Foam rolling is what you make of it. Much like everything else in life. If you find yourself still stating that you don't have enough time to foam roll, check out our videos. We continue to add to this list of videos, addressing foam rolling all areas of the body and different types of tools to help besides a traditional foam roller. There really are no excuses other than lack of execution. So get up, grab your foam roller and roll on! 
Dr. Keith Sparks

Foam Rolling Friday: Hip Flexors

Foam Rolling Friday: Hip Flexors

Hip extension is an important component for creating a tall and healthy physique. When the hip flexors become tight, due to overuse or lack of use, they prevent healthy hip extension. Healthy hip extension enables the body to generate more forward or upward momentum by driving the foot and leg into the ground, or backwards. Keeping the hip flexors supple is vital for musculoskeletal health in the lower back, hip, and knee regions.

The Functional Anatomy: Hip Flexors 

When discussing the hip flexors, many individuals think of the iliopsoas complex. This is great, but severely lacking a well-rounded view of the hip flexors as a collective unit. The psoas gets blamed for a lot of issues; sometimes correctly and sometimes incorrectly. Remember, the body is an intricate system and blaming a single muscle or viewing a problem as caused by a single muscle will leave you lost and frustrated with results.  
 
The hip flexors collectively consist of several muscles when analyzed in a basic standing position, including: Psoas major, Psoas minor, Sartorius, Iliacus, Rectus Femoris, TFL (Tensor fascia lata), Pectineus, Adductor longus, Adductor brevis, and Gracilis. You might recognize the last few muscles from last week's blog. Functionally, when discussing the process of hip flexion, there are other muscles that help drive hip flexion, including: the Gluteus Medius & Minimus, and the Gastroc / Soleus Complex. 
 
When any one of these muscles above are lacking in performance, it requires other muscles to compensate to create the desired task (i.e. hip flexion). If left unaddressed, the brain will lay down trigger points in an attempt to improve an improper system. A few of the referral patterns are shown below. The first picture on the left highlights the rectus femoris referral pattern, while the picture on the right highlights the iliopsoas refferal pattern. These charts help visualize why treating local to pain does not always result in improvement; often times the problem is somewhere else. 
 
       rectus femoris referral pattern                    Iliopsoas Referral Pattern

The Why: Hip Flexors  

Foam rolling the hip flexors is an easy way to work on the anterior hip compartment, improving pain and performance within the lower back, hip, and knee regions. This area becomes a dense network of adhesions, from prolonged sitting and lack of hip activity in general, pushing the femur head forward in the hip socket.  
 
Addressing these trigger points via foam rolling can help awaken the brain awareness to these areas reducing pain, improving range of motion (ROM), and performance. If you are experiencing lower back pain, hip pain, or knee pain, it is important to understand that there will never be normal joint function within these areas if there are myofascial dysfunctions surrounding the hip.¹ Normal joint function and normal muscle length/flexibility have to go hand-in-hand. One cannot exist without the other. And this is why you should foam roll the anterior hip.  
 
 

References 

Ferguson LW, Gerwin R. Clinical Mastery in the Treatment of Myofascial Pain. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2005.
Dr. Keith Sparks

Foam Rolling Friday: Glute Medius & Minimus

Foam Rolling Friday: Glute Medius & Minimus

Improper hip motion is oftentimes a culprit to low back pain and knee pain. Interestingly, the area where we experience pain is regularly not the source of pain. When the glute medius and glute minimus become problematic they can refer pain down the leg (mimicking a disc herniation), and to the SI joint. These muscles become dysfunctional due to lack of use. Stating this, you would think working on activating these muscles alone would be sufficient, but recent research indicates that combining soft tissue therapy with rehab/exercise training, adds greater benefit then either alone.¹

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