Our Chiropractic Clinic Blog

Interested in reducing pain and improving fitness? Our chiropractors give tips on building a healthier lifestyle through chiropractic care, nutrition, and more!
Dr. Keith Sparks

Foam Rolling Friday: The Thoracic Spine

Foam Rolling Friday: The Thoracic Spine

I call this one the Chiro-killa! Now I say this jokingly, but foaming the Thoracic spine, commonly referred to as the Tsp, is a great way to help mobilize the mid back. With many occupations becoming desk bound the Tsp becomes excessively rounded. Foam rolling this area can help “straighten” the spine out adding to improved health in many areas throughout the body.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Foam Rolling Friday: The Inner Thigh

Foam Rolling Friday: The Inner Thigh

hip adductors trp

In the medical world, the inner thigh is referred to as the adductor muscles. This group of muscles “add”uct or bring the legs back toward the midline of the body. When it comes to lower body dysfunctions and pain, this group of muscles can reign king in stirring up problems.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Foam Rolling Friday: The Calves

Foam Rolling Friday: The Calves

Stop whatever you’re doing right now and take a second to feel your calves. Sit in a chair and cross one leg over the other. To do this correctly your calf muscles have to be on slack. Take your fingers and roll across your calf toward your shin. I can almost guarantee every single one of you will feel tension in the inside or outside of the calf, if performed correctly. If you throw your leg on a foam roller and try to foam roll your calf with the shin facing the ceiling, you will feel almost nothing and dismiss the idea that foam rolling your calves can be beneficial for you. You need to foam roll where the tension is present. If you skip this step I politely, and with all my love and sincerity, tell you that you're most likely missing out on huge benefits. End rant. Yes, I know that was a pointless rant but I do feel better getting it off my chest.  
 
The Functional Anatomy  
 
When talking about the function of the calf muscles, it helps to separate them into two categories: Calf muscles that cross the knee and calf muscles that don’t cross the knee. Both categories will cross the ankle so don’t worry about that. Also, we could get fancy and name every single muscle at play here, but this is a short blog, not a textbook.  
 
There are two main calf muscles that people think of when discussing the calves: the big meaty cannon, called the gastrocnemius (aka gastroc) and the wider, deeper, soleus muscle.  The gastroc crosses the knee, while the deeper soleus muscle does not. However, both join together to form the achilles tendon. Whenever you experience achilles tendonitis, there is a disturbance in how these muscles are firing and holding tension compared to one another. A third sensory muscle lays in between these muscles called the Plantaris. It's main role is to perform as a relay sensor to help control how the soleus and gastroc fire in relation to each other. 
 
The gastroc’s and soleus’s main roles are to create and maintain relative isometric tension in the muscles so the achilles tendon can lengthen throughout the gait cycle. Isometric tension means the muscles fire only to maintain position, they will not shorten and they will not lengthen. There are calf muscles that activate by pushing the foot and toes into the ground, however, these 2 muscles primarily hold position and length to allow the achilles tendon to stretch and return energy back into the gait cycle. 
 
   
The Why  
 
The why is roughly always the same: To get out of pain and improve performance. Keep it simple. Foam rolling the calves can have huge benefits in relieving foot pain, calf pain, achilles tendinitis, knee pain, and even low back pain. This area of the body tends to hold a lot of tension and is often ignored in regards to tissue health. When trigger points and fascial adhesions are present, performance can hinder everyone from desk jockeys, runners, Crossfit athletes, figure skaters, to the weekend warrior.  
 
For me, my why is to not become a couch potato looking back in 5 years asking myself how I got here. The deeper, and harder questions are: What do you want out of your life and what are you going to do to achieve that life? Foam rolling might be an answer, it might not be. That's for you to decide and you alone, not me, or anyone else. Being honest with yourself in who you are and what you want out of life are always the hardest things to truly identify. I believe you can do this. Find what you want and execute.  
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Dr. Rachel Sparks

Knees & Disney©

Knees & Disney©
Poor Foot Alignment
NOT Knees In

Think of the knee as Cinderella. She was a victim of unfortunate circumstances and left to bear the burden put on her by her stepmother and step sisters. Cinderella does not deserve the grunt work, but as she has no other option, she miserably trudges on. Similarly, the knee is stuck between the hip, ankle and foot; picking up slack where they have left off. Think of this as the fairy godmother blog to save you from present or future knee dysfunction and pain.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Foam Rolling Friday: The Lats

Foam Rolling Friday: The Lats

With this blog we will be covering foam rolling the Latissimus Dorsi (a.k.a. Lat). I know, as if that wasn’t obvious by the title. Foam rolling the lats can definitely be a game changer in improving your physical health when performed correctly. Key word here is correctly. It's not enough just to lay on the foam roller and then pat yourself on the back for laying on the foam roller. Would you pat yourself on the back for thinking about putting money in your 401K then go blow it all at Best Buy? I don’t think so.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Heel Pain?

Heel Pain?

Heel pain is a common occurrence for everyday individuals to elite long distance runners. There are many reasons for this, such as: landing positions, foot strike patterns, shoe types, or lack of strength/mobility/endurance. The list of associated causes for heel pain is broad. This blog will cover some import factors and shopping tips that you can take advantage of the next time you experience heel pain.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Foam Rolling Friday

Foam Rolling Friday


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Dr. Rachel Sparks

Ugh, Seasonal Allergies.

Ugh, Seasonal Allergies.
Wichita, KS Seasonal Allergy

As you can see below, if you suffer from seasonal allergies and live in the Wichita, KS area, you probably aren’t feeling 100%. Unfortunately, this area can be a hot zone for all different types of allergens and if that wasn’t bad enough, they can reappear more than once a year. Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, affects all age groups. (Fun fact: rhinitis is irritation of the nose and rhinoceros means “nose horn;” in case you were curious!) Anyway, common symptoms include sneezing, congestion, itchy/watery eyes, and coughing. Typical treatment includes antihistamines, decongestants, and steroids.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Wichita Pride: Old Town 10K

Wichita Pride: Old Town 10K

It was an incredible morning this past Sunday. Wichita Running Company partnered with the Midian Shriners Charity to host the Old Town 10K, here in the heart of Kansas. The morning was perfect! If you’re a runner, you know what I’m talking about. This time of year feels incredible to rise out of bed, throw the sneakers on, and hit the pavement. It hasn’t been one of the hottest summers on record, but the changes in temperature are happening; it makes this time of year fun. Every morning is a new morning; you're not quite sure what it's going to feel like until you step out the door.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Treating Plantar Fasciitis



Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot complaint we see here at ICT Muscle & Joint Clinic in Wichita, Kansas. The classical symptom associated with plantar fasciitis is pain that occurs with walking, after prolonged periods of non-weight bearing. If this describes you, than you very likely have a true case of plantar fasciitis.

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Dr. Rachel Sparks

Pregnancy, Birth, and Life Thereafter

Pregnancy, Birth, and Life Thereafter

One of my favorite rehabilitation approaches to practice and learn more about is DNS, or Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization. Pavel Kolar of the Prague School, organized the DNS clinical protocols and has also recently published a book, Clinical Rehabilitation. I swear, every time I open this book my mind is exposed to something new, or a correlation is drawn between two things I never placed together. There is a chapter specifically dedicated to treatment rehab in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, from which this blog is sourced. Get ready for a crash course in all things childbirth!

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Dr. Rachel Sparks

Sports-Related Injury Prevention

Sports-Related Injury Prevention

School is back in session! All the youngsters in Wichita and surrounding areas have made the trek back into the classroom, with their school supplies in hand. The start of the school year also signifies the start of fall sports: basketball, cross country, baseball, football, and many others. Often, increased sport activity leads to increased sports-related injury rates, but this does not have to be the case!

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Dr. Keith Sparks

GoTime with Foam Rolling

GoTime with Foam Rolling
GoTime Foam Rolling Optimized

It was GoTime with Foam Rolling

This weekend we had the privilege of teaching our 5 most important foam rolling areas to GoTime Training family. It was a gorgeous morning with their huge, glass-style garage doors (seen below) opened overlooking the Stryker Soccer Complex. The weather was perfect and so was the class engagement! GoTime training is over 10,000 square feet, offering bootcamp classes, semi-private classes, and nutritional consultations.

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Dr. Rachel Sparks

Protect Your Mental Health in the Childbearing Year

Protect Your Mental Health in the Childbearing Year
Profession birth / postpartum doula provides education and support
Sara Skiles - Owner, Wichita Doula

Guest blog by Sara Skiles, owner of Wichita Doula:

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Rolling Patterns and Cartwheels

Rolling Patterns and Cartwheels

Many individuals lose awareness of how to move their bodies properly. I was one of them. A couple years ago during chiropractic school, I was goofing around on a buddy’s longboard trying tricks I had no business trying. This buddy is now owner of High Country Muscle & Joint Clinic in Golden, Colorado. He is a functional chiro trying to spread a similar message about proper movement strategies. But long story short, I ended up falling off and dislocating my elbow. I find myself very fortunate to not have broken anything. During the rehab phase, I spent time thinking through my fitness goals and expectations. I was a very active individual going to the gym lifting weights and focused on programming “functional” exercises; it was therapy for all the school work. But this incident changed me. Thinking about my programming after the accident, I realized I had no idea how to fall properly; such a silly thing. How does someone not know how to fall properly? Especially someone who viewed themself as “functionally” fit. 

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Dr. Rachel Sparks

Stars & Stripes 5K

Stars & Stripes 5K


July 4th, 2016

The holiday weekend was a rainy one, to put it lightly. Some of that humidity hung around Monday morning, but that did not stop over 530 runners from participating in the 5K race. The course began inside Cessna Stadium and then ventured out around the Wichita State Campus. Many were festive in red, white and blue and everyone received a t-shirt and a finishers' medal.

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Dr. Rachel Sparks

Tummy Time: Part Two

Tummy Time: Part Two
Poor Scapular Stability
Good Scapular Control

The Neck

Benefits

Humans are most comfortable with their eyes level with and on the horizon. When babies are lying on their tummies, they do not leave their foreheads on the ground to stare at the floor! Instead, each will upright the head in order to take in the world around him or her; this is precisely how the spinal curve of the neck begins to develop. Of course, infants will not be able to achieve full head uprighting at first, as this in itself is a 'skill' to develop. But even from a young age, the baby will look from side to side. Once a baby masters the ability to support the head, he or she easily will progress to a more difficult movement pattern - requiring head control - such as crawling or walking.

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Dr. Rachel Sparks

Tummy Time

Tummy Time

Milestones

Many parents feel pressure from outside sources to rush their child through stages of development. They hear stories of how a friend’s kid walked at only 10 months old and wonder if their own baby is behind because they are not reaching the same milestones as quickly.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Can you Wiggle your Toes Correctly?

Can you Wiggle your Toes Correctly?

Becoming a Runner

Toe functionality can be a powerful insight into how the body is stabilizing itself through different tasks such as: walking, long distance running, sprinting, and even weight lifting. Imagine yourself getting up on a nice cool morning and deciding to go for a run. You put on your new sneakers you bought at the local running store. This local store did a fanstatic job identifying your foot structure (supinator, pronator, neutral), gave you the jist of trends in heel-toe drops, and helped pick the right running shoe for you.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Is Your Big Toe Limiting Your Running Speed?

Is Your Big Toe Limiting Your Running Speed?

Whole Body Influence

The big toe is often a forgotten and neglected component of the human body. Proper range of motion in the big toe is vital to creating stability as running speeds increase. Ideally, the big toe needs to dorsiflex (i.e. the toe bends toward the face) at least 45 degrees. However, as speeds increase from walking to running, 65 or more degrees of dorsiflexion is ideal. Lack of big toe range of motion can cause problems local to the foot such as plantar fasciitis,¹ and is even noted with over head athletes such as baseball pitchers and cricket bowlers.²

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Have a Question?

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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