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

Getting the Most Out of Your Shoes

Getting the Most Out of Your Shoes
Shoe Lacing Start
Shoe Lacing Middle
Shoe Lacing Final
IMG 0096
Lacing for Performance

When looking at your shoes, have you ever wondered what the purpose of the nearest eyelet to your ankle is? Many individuals, using this eyelet, state they feel added support. In order to get the maximum amount of support, utilizing this eyelet, there is a specific lacing pattern called the “high 7-eyelet lacing pattern.” According to Hagen and Hennig (1), this pattern for tying your shoes, with a moderate amount of tension, significantly reduces pressure underneath the heel and outer forefoot, as well as reducing the loading rate and the velocity of pronation associated with walking and running. Depending on the running mechanics and strain experienced with walking or running, this technique may reduce the risk of related injuries. Below is a picture series to help guide you through lacing with the high 7-eyelet. 

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Dr. Keith Sparks

3 Strategies to Improve the Deep Squat

3 Strategies to Improve the Deep Squat
90 90 Belly Breathing Start
90 90 Belly Breathing Finish
Goblet Squat 2
DNS Starting Top Ipsi. to Contra
DNS Starting Ipsi. to Contra
DNS Ipsi. to Contra

Lately, I have overheard several individuals at the gym discussing their troubles with deep squatting: ranging from anterior hip pain, to knees caving in. Yes, I was eavesdropping, but kept my two cents to myself and decided to share it in this blog instead! There are 3 things I have found to hinder one’s deep squat potential: improper breathing strategies, not spending enough time in the “hole,” and lack of bodyweight exercises with the hips flexed greater than 90 degrees.

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Dr. Keith Sparks

The Short Leg

The Short Leg
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Have you ever been told you have a short leg? Has a family member or friend ever mentioned having a short leg? Chances are, the answer is yes. What does this really mean? Is there truly a “short leg”, commonly referred as a LLD or leg length discrepancy? What is considered a significant difference?

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Dr. Rachel Sparks

Whole30 Follow-Up

Whole30 Follow-Up


     While on the Whole 30, we were not allowed to eat dairy products, grains (not even pseudo-ones), legumes, alcohol, or added sugar. The first time Keith & I visited the grocery store came as a bit of a shocker. It seems EVERYTHING has some form of sugar added to it, especially: milk, yogurt, bbq sauce, salad dressings, and all things “fat-free”. However, subsequent trips have gotten much easier by staying on the perimeter of the store; do not even tempt yourself with the products in the middle aisles. Confession: we should buy stock in the chicken they sell at Costco; that, along with eggs, onions, garlic, & herbs are pantry must-haves!     The biggest adjustment for me was setting aside time to assemble a menu of meals for the week. After I made those decisions, food preparation involved cutting up vegetables along with a protein, and then throwing them on the stove or in the oven. I must say, I did not cut myself while meal prepping, but I could not wash sharp objects without letting them slice a finger! And speaking of dishes, currently, my biggest sense of accomplishment is having them washed before going to bed.     My expectations were surpassed with our frequency of eating out. During the 30 days, we went out a total of one time; that’s right, ONCE. We had family in town and after working on business tasks, my appetite set in pretty hard. This meal was the hardest couple hours of the whole month; every dish in the restaurant smelled delicious! I ordered a salad and was pleasantly surprised with how much I like balsamic vinegar and the feeling of victory for choosing to stick with the program!     Overall, I am impressed with how well The Whole30 Program went for us. I do not mean to downplay the effort and time we put into our diets, but the return on our investment was so far over and above that. Something I unintentionally gained from this, is an obsession with mixed nuts. I was upset to find out that the nut mix we had contains peanut oil and was a no-go during the program, so we made our own instead. I was excited to see that my new craving was not all bad for me, even though it might not be completely 'in line' with the preferences of the program. According to Science Daily, ‘nut consumption is associated with a decreased risk of certain types of cancer’.​* Who does not want to hear that?!     Below, I have listed a few of Keith and my favorite recipes, along with a handful of our non-scale victories. Also, I have linked The Whole30 Program website and also places you can buy the The Whole30 book or It Starts With Food, which contains the details of the science upon which the program is based. I could blab for much longer about the ins and outs of what we have experienced throughout the last 30 days, but I will refrain. My hope is that you have caught some of the excitement I have displayed because of the new diet that will enhance my daily life and my ability to give 100% to my patients!

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Dr. Rachel Sparks

30 Whole Days

30 Whole Days

     30 Whole Days of eating food, doesn’t sound too difficult does it? Well, Keith and I decided to take on this challenge last month. Up to this point, we had made an effort to eat well (most days) and keep up with the latest in food education. Through that research, we came across this diet,“The Whole30 Program,” mentioned by many different authors whom we greatly respect.      Now, diet may seem like a scary word, but do not let it be. Diet commonly comes with a negative connotation, involving words such as: counting calories and restriction; not to mention, all those gimmicky pills. With this shoved in our faces daily, why would anyone ever want to start a diet? Certainly doesn’t sound enjoyable to me! Instead, diet should be associated with the habits & choices we make regarding the food we consume, throughout our daily lives. Diet is what you & I decide to sustain or nourish our bodies with and it is life-long! It illustrates a good and necessary aspect of life.     There are countless plans and recipes to choose from when looking to change your eating habits. We chose The Whole30 because it is an elimination diet (there is that scary word again); but let me explain. We probably know someone who is lactose-intolerant, allergic to peanuts, or has Celiac disease right? These individuals are unable to process certain food ingredients. If they do ingest that component, the body reacts, usually by means of inflammation, and the person is made aware by means of an upset stomach, skin rash, or even trouble breathing. But, tangible reactions are not always felt, and seemingly healthy people may be unaware of the damage being done beneath the surface. For instance, generalized joint pain seems to have become a more frequent complaint among patients recently. People may chalk this up to a consequence of aging, but at 40 years old, you should not be limited in your daily life because all of your joints ache with no obvious cause. This system-wide pain is a 'hidden' symptom of that person’s dietary choices because it is not something directly associated with the food they eat.     Remember the word 'elimination' from earlier? Well, in the case of The Whole30, this word is good because it aims to cleanse your system of all the potential irritants you consume and then allow you to be made aware of which particular foods may be causing those undesirable symptoms. The daily headaches you experience, difficulty sleeping at night, or the constipation you’ve always dealt with are not things you just have to accept.     This diet has had difficult days, yes, but the difficulty level depends on your mental outlook too. That is why you are encouraged to create goals before beginning the program. My goals going into the 30 days were: 1) to have more energy, 2) to learn new recipes, and 3) to eat out less frequently. Stay tuned for results, favorite recipes and the advice I have upon finishing!

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Dr. Keith Sparks

Decreasing Running Pain: 3 Key Factors

Decreasing Running Pain: 3 Key Factors

With many New Years’ resolutions geared toward improving one’s overall health, many individuals will turn toward a classic fitness activity, running. Achieving higher levels of health and fitness can be fun, while also providing a sense of achievement for all ages and skill levels. However, pain and dysfunction may occur due to several factors including: poor mechanics, deconditioning, and foot structure.

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Dr. Rachel Sparks

ICT Muscle & Joint Clinic’s Grand Opening!

ICT Muscle & Joint Clinic’s Grand Opening!
Doctors Keith and Rachel
We are proud, honored, and excited to announce ICT Muscle & Joint Clinic will officially be open Monday, February 1st 2016! ABOUT US

Our mission is to empower our patients and community by maximizing their quality of life through: education, corrective exercises, nutritional advice, and soft tissue therapies. We take an active, hands-on approach focusing on the treatment and elimination of the root cause of your pain and/or physical limitations. We specialize in musculoskeletal and sports-related injuries including all forms of: back, foot, knee, hip, shoulder, and neck pain.

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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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