1. Frame size
2. Saddle (seat) height
3. Saddle position
4. Saddle tilt
5. Handlebar position
Frame Size size is perhaps the most important of all measurements because once you purchase the bike, there are very few—if any—minor adjustments that can affect the overall frame. Frame size is not necessarily dependent on your height; rather, it is more a matter of leg length. Simply, the frame should be easily straddled with both feet flat on the ground, and with perhaps an inch or two of clearance. • For a road or hybrid bike, you should have an inch or two of clearance between your crotch and the top tube. • For a mountain bike, clearance should be about four inches—especially if you plan to ride in rugged terrain where an unplanned dismount is likely. Saddle Height A saddle (seat) set too high or too low can cause pain and lead to injuries of the back and knees, and it will also affect the efficiency of each pedal stroke. As a starting point, set the saddle height so that your knee is slightly bent when the pedal is at its lowest position and the ball of your foot is on the pedal. It is recommended to make adjustments in very small increments and, if applicable, to wear your cycling shoes (if you wear them) during the adjustment process. Saddle Position To check the saddle position, sit on your bicycle—using a friend or a stationary object to keep yourself balanced— and rotate your pedals until they are horizontal (at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions). If your saddle is positioned properly, your forward knee should be directly over the respective pedal axle (with the ball of your foot on the pedal). For precise measurement, use a plumb-bob to help you visualize the alignment. If adjustments are needed, loosen the seat post and slide the saddle forward or backward, keeping the seat level. Saddle Tilt and Design Generally speaking, your saddle should be level. Check this adjustment by using a carpenter’s level balanced on the saddle while the bike is on level ground. If your saddle tips too much in either direction, pressure will be placed on your arms, shoulders, and lower back. Handlebar Position and Distance Handlebar setup is a matter of personal preference because it will affect shoulder, neck, and back comfort. Generally, handlebars are positioned higher for comfort (a more upright riding position) and lower for improved aerodynamics. Always Wear a Helmet! A bicycle crash can happen at any time; however, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, a properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent. The following are tips to help ensure the correct helmet fit: • The helmet should be level on the head, and it must cover the forehead. • The Y of the side straps should meet just below the ear. • The chin strap should be snug against the chin so that when you open the mouth very wide, the helmet pulls down a little. • Put your palm on the front of the helmet, and push up and back. If it moves more than an inch, more fitting is required. • Shake your head around. If the helmet dislodges, work on the strap adjustments. • Do not wear a hat under the helmet. There you have it! Happy riding everyone. Have a question/comment? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Until next time, remember… It’s your Health, make it YOUR Priority!
Conventional medicine has yet to figure out the cause. Many people with fibromyalgia also experience allergies, dizziness, loss of balance, extreme fatigue, headaches, IBS, jaw pain, memory loss an other symptoms as well indicating that there’s a lot more to fibromyalgia than simply pain. It is often misdiagnosed because even the diagnostic criteria are unclear.
It may seem odd to think that chiropractic care can relieve fibromyalgia because you simply don’t consider fibromyalgia to be a spinal alignment issue, but chiropractors consider spinal alignment to contribute to a vast wealth of health problems. The spine is a center of communication between the organs and muscles to the brain. When spinal misalignment prohibits or interrupts signaling, health conditions can develop in any number of areas.
Through proper manipulation, spinal alignment can be restored and thus the signaling and blood flow to the organs and other tissues of the body. Painful inflammation is also relieved through proper chiropractic manipulation.
Anti-depressants are often prescribed in conventional practice to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms through the increased production of serotonin (pleasure hormone) in the brain. Chiropractic care can accomplish an increase in serotonin levels without the need for potentially harmful, expensive pharmaceuticals.
As well, modern chiropractors often incorporate other alternative aspects to health in their care. Advice and support can be given on other important factors in managing fibromyalgia such as pain management, supplementation, proper diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
The painful symptoms of fibromyalgia often interfere with the patient’s ability to live a quality life. It’s important to seek treatment and chiropractic care may be of extreme benefit to those that suffer.
Do you have some or all of the symptoms mentioned above? Why don't you schedule a new patient appointment and let's see if Chiropractic can help you!
Dr. Mercer, a professor of biomechanics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was talking with a friend who runs an athletic shoe store. The friend told him that customers were coming in and requesting toning shoes, which are soft sneakers, often with a rocker-shaped sole, that promise to exercise and tighten muscles in the calves, thighs and buttocks. (“Your boobs will be jealous,” a refined advertising campaign for one of the shoes declared.) Many manufacturers make them: Reebok, New Balance, MBT, FitFlops and Crocs, among others.
The store owner carried various models of the toning shoes. But, he told Dr. Mercer, he was uncomfortable recommending them to his customers, because he didn’t know if they actually functioned as claimed.
Dr. Mercer didn’t know, either. So he recruited a group of healthy young female students (toning shoes are marketed almost exclusively to women) and had them walk on a treadmill for 10 minutes at a time while wearing, alternately, a walking shoe or a toning shoe — in this case, the Skechers Shape-ups. He and his colleagues attached sensors to the women’s legs to measure the electrical impulses generated as their muscles contracted. They also determined the women’s oxygen consumption, to see if they worked harder and burned more calories with one shoe rather than the other.
But as it turned out, according to results presented in June at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, muscle activation and oxygen consumption were almost identical whether the women wore walking shoes or Shape-ups. The finding “was a little surprising,” Dr. Mercer said, since his volunteers commented that the toning shoes, with their bowed, unstable bottoms, felt different underfoot from the walking shoes. But that difference didn’t change how they moved in the various models, he said.
Dr. Mercer’s study joins a small but growing body of science about toning shoes, much of which does not support the makers’ claims. A study conducted last year by exercise physiologists at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, for instance, found that muscle activation and calorie burning did not change whether people wore ordinary athletic shoes or any of three different models of toning shoes. “There is simply no evidence to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength and tone,” the authors concluded.
Other results have been a bit more equivocal. A 2009 study showed greater muscle activation when women wore the Reebok toning shoe, but it involved only five women and was financed by the shoe company, as my colleague Tara Parker-Pope reported at the time. A newer experiment presented in June at the sports medicine meeting showed that when someone walks in a rocker-style toning shoe, forces generated by the foot striking the ground move up the leg differently than if that person wears a walking shoe. But this shifting of forces had little discernible effect on muscle activation.
“We know that the force value changed,” said Heidi A. Orloff, a professor at the University of Puget Sound who oversaw the study. “We can’t say whether there are benefits to that or not.”
Meanwhile, in perhaps the most telling and longest-term study of the shoes, Canadian researchers at the University of Calgary last year had volunteers wear a rocker shoe throughout the day for six weeks. In the beginning, the volunteers wobbled in the unstable shoes, activating and strengthening small, underused muscles in the feet and ankles that stabilize balance. But after six weeks, the swaying had diminished and those stabilizing muscles were not being exercised to the same extent. The toning shoes, in other words, had provided benefits, but for a limited time and not to the big, showy muscles in the wearers’ calves and buttocks.
(Both the University of Puget Sound and the University of Calgary studies were financed in part by shoe companies.)
Disappointment with the performance of toning shoes has begun to percolate into the wider world. This year lawsuits were filed against several makers of toning shoes, claiming that the shoes had not fulfilled their promises or had caused injury.
Little scientific evidence exists yet about injury risk from the shoes, and Dr. Mercer said there was no obvious biomechanical reason why the design of the shoes would contribute to such problems. (His work was not financed by shoe companies.)
Meanwhile, those finding fault with the shoes may be missing a broader lesson, he continued. The subtext of his and other studies, he said, is that the human body is endlessly ingenious and utterly indolent. “Humans are quite lazy, from a physiological standpoint,” he said. “Our bodies will try to do the least work possible in any situation.” So in even as short a time as the 10-minute walks that his subjects completed, people’s large leg muscles adjusted to the rounded soles of the toning shoes and expended no more energy than in everyday shoes.
That finding does not mean that toning shoes have no utility, he added, which is the message that he ultimately passed along to his store-owning friend. Toning shoes, in his study, might not have functioned as advertised, but “some people love how they feel,” Dr. Mercer said, “and if that’s enough to get those people out and moving, then, in my opinion, the shoes are working fine.”
If you live with CTS, you know that the tingling, burning, numbness, and loss of strength can have a profound effect on every aspect of your life. Chiropractic care can offer a drug-free, non-invasive way to treat your carpal tunnel syndrome.
Chiropractic care for CTS is drug free.
For many CTS sufferers, conventional treatment includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. Like many drugs, however, NSAIDs have side effects and can interfere with other medications. Medical doctors often administer cortisone injections to relieve pain and inflammation around the compressed nerve. These shots aren’t long lasting, so they require repeated injections—a scary prospect for the needle wary.
In contrast, a chiropractic professional will use his or her hands to adjust the joints and manipulate the surrounding tissue to take pressure off the nerve. A chiropractor also can treat nerve pressure that stems from misalignments in the back or neck. No drugs. No side effects.
Chiropractic care for CTS is non-invasive.
Typically, patients who don’t respond well to drug therapies are subjected to surgery. During the procedure, the doctor will relieve pressure on the nerve by cutting the ligament that runs through the carpal tunnel. Unfortunately, this surgery can be expensive—as much as $10,000 per hand. Even worse, it isn’t effective for everyone.
Chiropractors can deliver effective carpal tunnel treatment without making a single slice. In one study, sufferers who received nine weeks of chiropractic treatment reported significant improvements in function, comfort, and finger sensation. No scalpels. No downtime.
Davis PT, Hulbert JR, Kassak KM, Meyer JJ. Comparative efficacy of conservative medical and chiropractic treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized clinical trail. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics. 1998 June;21(5):317-26.
Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.1
A few interesting facts about back pain:
- One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.2
- Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
- Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
- Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.3
- Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.4
What Causes Back Pain?
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.
Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems
Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today's growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.
Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.5
In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.6
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges you to make an informed choice about your back care. To learn more about how chiropractic manipulation may help you, contact a Doctor of Chiropractic in your area. Search our online database of ACA members to find a doctor of chiropractic near you.
Tips to Prevent Back Pain
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
- Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
- Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
- Maintain proper posture.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
- Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
- Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
- Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
- Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.
1. Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 69-116.
2. Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985; 11: 1-98.
3. This total represents only the more readily identifiable costs for medical care, workers compensation payments and time lost from work. It does not include costs associated with lost personal income due to acquired physical limitation resulting from a back problem and lost employer productivity due to employee medical absence. In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville,
4. In Vallfors B, previously cited.
5. Time to recognize value of chiropractic care? Science and patient satisfaction surveys cite usefulness of spinal manipulation. Orthopedics Today 2003 Feb; 23(2):14-15.
6. Bigos S, Bowyer O, Braen G, et al. Acute Low Back Problems in Adults. Clinical Practice Guideline No.14. AHCPR Publication No. 95-0642. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human
A recently published study conducted by a team of researchers from Cornell University found that 40% of the elementary school children they studied used computer workstations that put them at postural risk. The remaining 60 % scored in a range indicating "some concern."
"Emphasis needs to be placed on teaching children how to properly use computer workstations," stated Dr. Scott Bautch, a member of the American Chiropractic Association's Council on Occupational Health. "Poor work habits and computer workstations that don't fit a child's body during the developing years can have harmful physical effects that can last a lifetime. Parents need to be just as concerned about their children's interaction with their computer workstations as they are with any activities that may affect their children's long-term health," added Dr. Bautch.
What can you do?
To reduce the possibility of your child suffering painful and possibly disabling injuries, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and its Council on Occupational Health offer the following tips:
• If children and adults in your home share the same computer workstation, make certain that the workstation can be modified for each child's use.
• Position the computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below the child's eye level. This can be accomplished by taking the computer off its base or stand, or having the child sit on firm pillows or phone books to reach the desired height.
• Make sure the chair at the workstation fits the child correctly. An ergonomic back cushion, pillow or a rolled-up towel can be placed in the small of the child's back for added back support. There should be two inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of the knees. The chair should have arm supports so that elbows are resting within a 70- to 135-degree angle to the computer keyboard.
• Wrists should be held in a neutral position while typing - NOT angled up or down. The mouse surface should be close to the keyboard so your child doesn't have to reach or hold the arm away from the body.
• The child's knees should be positioned at an approximate 90-to-120 degree angle. To accomplish this angle, feet can be placed on a foot rest, box, stool or similar object. The legs should not be outstretched under the workstation.
• Reduce eyestrain by making sure there is adequate lighting and that there is no glare on the monitor screen. Use an antiglare screen if necessary.
• Limit your child's time at the computer and make sure he or she takes periodic stretch breaks during computing time. Stretches can include: clenching hands into fists and moving them in 10 circles inward and 10 circles outward; placing hands in a praying position and squeezing them together for 10 seconds and then pointing them downward and squeezing them together for 10 seconds; spreading fingers apart and then closing them one by one; standing and wrapping arms around the body and turning all the way to the left and then all the way to the right.
• Your child's muscles need adequate hydration to work properly and avoid injury. Encourage your child to drink four 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Carbonated beverages, juices and other sweet drinks are not a substitute.
• Urge your child's school or PTA officials to provide education on correct computer ergonomics and to install ergonomically correct workstations.
"If your child continues to complain of pain and strain from sitting at a computer, see a doctor of chiropractic," urges Dr. Bautch. "A chiropractor can help alleviate your child's pain and help prevent further injury."
I hope this helps you as our children begin to prepare for the all-important “testing” this Spring. I welcome questions and comments always. I can be reached at: email@example.com
Remember, it’s your Health, make it YOUR Priority!
Dr. Chris Rapoff
While many may eventually ditch their resolutions, statistics show that setting goals is valuable.
Mark Twain put it succinctly: “New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, friendly calls and humbug resolutions.'' The tradition of New Year's Day resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians. They believed that what a person does on the first day of the New Year will affect what they do throughout the year.
Oscar Wilde wrote: “A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.'' It's true; statistics confirm that almost 97 percent of New Year's resolutions are never fulfilled. Even so, some 40 to 45 percent do use New Year's Day to make resolutions and set goals. While many may eventually ditch their resolutions, statistics show that setting goals is valuable. Research shows that 75 percent do make it past the first week; 46 percent make it past the six-month mark.
HUMBUG? MAYBE NOT
Fact: Those who make a meaningful resolution are more likely to achieve their goal than those who make no commitment at all.
Goals expert Michael York offers his explanation of failure: “The reasons are simple. Most people don't expect to keep a resolution while others don't know how to set and keep goals.''
Success is too important to be left to chance. It begins with a well-conceived plan. You will achieve more working towards goals with a simple but disciplined plan of action. By investing your efforts into a New Year’s resolution, you give yourself a launch pad for creating change in the New Year. So start your resolutions with a list; it's not too late.
When you review your list, be realistic and select just one resolution. Make sure it's the most important, because selecting more than one will just sidetrack you.
Now, focus on fulfillment. Convert your resolution into a plan for the entire year. Determine and accept its cost, and then decide how to pay it. Recognize the risk, effort and perseverance required. Make yourself accountable to someone just in case your determination weakens.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to make a resolution. Let’s see… what will be at the top of my New Year’s resolution list for 2011? Stay tuned!
Information taken from an article by Jack G. Hardy appearing in the MiamiHerald.
In fact, surveys have shown that between 40 and 60 percent of the general population has trouble sleeping. Daily stress and worries, pressures from job and family, body aches and pains caused by uncomfortable beds or pillows, and a host of other issues can keep a person from getting enough quality sleep. Sleep is critical to good health and functioning, so lack of it is a serious matter. Through it, our bodies recharge and renew for the next day's challenges.
Creating a comfortable place to sleep by choosing the correct mattress and pillow is also essential to getting the quality sleep that your body needs to function at its best. A mattress, for instance, should support the body’s weight evenly and allow the spine to stay in its natural alignment. Choosing the right one is a personal matter.
There are a wide variety of sleep preferences and no “one” single mattress is the best. But regardless of whether you like your mattress firm or soft, give it a good trial run before you buy. How can one sit on a bed for 1-2 minutes in a store and decide if they will be comfortable spending one- third of your life for the next ten years on that mattress? I recommend that you take advantage of the trial period if it is offered by the seller. Take it home and use it! At the very least, you should lie on the mattress for up to 10 minutes to get an idea if it is for you.
Here are a few useful facts about your mattress:
- A mattress should provide uniform support from head to toe. If there are gaps between your body and your mattress (such as at the waist), you're not getting the full support that you need.
- If you do have back pain and your mattress is too soft, you might want to firm up the support of your mattress by placing a board underneath it. But do this just until the pain goes away; such firmness is not good for "routine" sleeping.
- Every few months, turn your mattress clockwise, or upside down, so that body indentations are kept to a minimum. It's also good to rotate the mattress frame every so often to reduce wear and tear.
- If you're waking up uncomfortable, it may be time for a new mattress. There is no standard life span for a mattress; it all depends on the kind of usage it gets.
- Be aware that changes in your life can signal the need for a new mattress. For example, if you've lost or gained a lot of weight, if a medical condition has changed the way you sleep, or even if you have changed partners, it could mean that it's time to find a new mattress that will accommodate those changes and help you sleep more soundly.
- If you're not in the market for a new mattress, and your current mattress is too firm, you can soften it up by putting a 1- to 2-inch-thick padding on top of it - usually available at mattress and bedding stores.
Next, pillow talk...
After investing in a quality mattress, don't forget to choose an equally supportive pillow, advises Peter Mckay, DC, who is in private practice in San Diego and also works as a consultant for Innovative Choices, the maker of the Therapeutica Pillow, "People will spend thousands of dollars on a mattress and then skimp on a pillow that doesn't support their head and neck properly," he observes. A good pillow will keep the cervical (neck) section of the spine aligned with the thoracic and lumbar (chest and lower back) sections. "[The sections] move together and should be supported together."
- When choosing a pillow, be selective. When lying on your side, your head and neck should remain level with your mid and lower spine. When lying on your back, your head and neck should remain level with your upper back and spine. In other words, your pillow should not be so thick that it causes your head and neck to be propped up or angled sharply away from your body.
- Be wary of pillows that are made out of mushy foam materials. The weight of your head can displace this kind of foam, leaving little support. Choose firmer foam and materials that press back and support the head.
- If you find yourself sleeping on your side with one hand propped under your pillow, that's a clue that you're not getting the support you need from that pillow.
- There is no such thing as a universal fit when it comes to pillows. Find one that is consistent with the shape and size of your body.
(Information for this article was provided by the American Chiropractic Association)
Well, I hope this answers questions that I have patients ask me about regularly. I encourage your questions and comments and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org Remember, it’s your life, make it YOUR priority!
Dr. Rapoff began his education at St. Louis University where he attained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in 1981. In April of 1984, he received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree by graduating from Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, MO. Dr. Rapoff has been in private practice since 1984 and moved to his current location in Palm Springs, CA to open ‘Chiropractic Works’ in January, 2006. With more than 29 years of Chiropractic experience, Dr. Rapoff constantly strives to improve and update his knowledge in the field of Chiropractic. In 2003, he attained Diplomate status from the American Board of Forensic Professionals (ABFP).
Since opening the Palm Springs office, Dr. Rapoff completed coursework and was accredited as a Certified Personal Trainer through American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA.) This accreditation has been invaluable as Dr. Rapoff works to help his patients achieve their fitness/rehabilitation goals.
In 2012, Dr. Rapoff completed coursework and successfully passed and examination and was appointed as a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) by the State of California's Division of Industrial Relations, Department of Worker's Compensation Medical Unit. His capacity as a QME is to examine injured workers to evaluate disability and write medical-legal reports. The reports are used to determine an injured worker’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.