Weekly News & Insights

Dynamic Generalized Warm-Up

on February 15, 2018

Warm-up is extremely crucial. A dynamic, generalized warm up is non-sport/ activity specific. These basic exercises that loosen up the entire body, increase overall blood circulation and lymphatic drainage and increase respiration. Examples of such exercises, include but are not limited to:

  • High Knee Walking
  • Leg Swings Squats: Lateral and Vertical
  • Lunges
  • Chin Tucks with Scapular Tightening
  • Calf Raises and Toe Raises
  • Wall Angels


Don’t cut corners. Be sure to stretch. The purpose of stretching is to literally lengthen the muscle. Chronically shortened muscles don’t have the same amount of contractile force and don’t perform as well as muscles that are lengthened and provide full range of motion to joints. Stretching is performed after the muscles have been significantly warmed-up. Stretching should be a combination of static and dynamic activities.

Stretching in general helps to minimize injury, increases joint range of motion, creates flexibility in the muscles and increases muscular performance. Remember that your body has to be properly hydrated (at least 2 liters of purified water a day) to be flexible.


Don’t jump from stretching to sprinting. Warm-up in the activity you are about to perform and take the time to do it properly and thoroughly. This allows your nervous system to adjust the muscles’ firing patterns for the activity. This also allows your body to increase blood flow to the area in demand.

Cold muscles don’t perform well and must be warmed up with increased blood circulation. With increased blood flow, comes the necessary nutrients and oxygen needed for performance. Cold muscles are less pliable and at high risk of injury. To maximize prevention and performance, warm up your muscles!

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Cheerleading –Common Injuries

on February 8, 2018

Cheerleading is definitely a sport and is closely associated to many other sports. It is a strenuous physical activity that combines acrobatics and gymnastic moves, which stresses the body.

There was a sad incident that happened to a cheerleader in March, 2006. A young girl named Kristi Yamaoka, a student of Southern Illinois University, had a near-fatal fall from atop a human pyramid and sustained multiple vertebral fractures and internal damage in major organs. Fortunately, Kristi had a good recovery; it was a relief for everyone whose attention was focused on her during her treatment.


Cheerleading involves potentially dangerous performances that are akin to stunts, i.e. forming multi-level human pyramids, somersaults, etc. Hence, the chances of injuring joints, bones, skin, etc. are very high, and Kristi’s incident shows that internal organs can suffer damage as well. Head, neck, vertebra, disk, and lower body injuries are all quite common in cheerleading.


For school age cheerleaders and sports players, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines to prevent cheerleading injuries. Now, coaches, school authorities, cheerleaders, and their parents, as well as youthful players must adhere to these guidelines. Below are the main preventive measures suggested by AAP.

  • Cheerleaders must be provided with qualified coaches and medical staff.
  • They must undergo pre-season physical and stamina building exercises conducted by qualified staff.
  • Stunts and pyramids must be formed on a soft floor like foam, spring or grass.
  • Pyramids must not be formed more than two floor levels, i.e. over two persons’ height.
  • If any cheerleader is exposed to an injury, he or she can only be allowed back into the cheerleading activity with a clearance certificate from a medical expert.

There are specific and detailed guidelines for pyramid formations: the base supporter should stand still in direct contact with the floor, and the suspended cheerleaders should never rotate, invert or dismount from their positions carelessly. Similarly, when a cheerleader is tossed up in the air (flyer), at least four players should be attending to the flyer. The flyer is advised not to drop his/her head lower than the horizontal plane with his/her torso.

Overall, it is important to follow proper technique and focus on prevention. You must bear in mind that these and other preventative measures should never be ignored as they are meant to protect you from many negative effects. So, follow appropriate protocol and protect yourself.

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Soccer- Common Injuries

on February 1, 2018

Historical evidence shows that a game very similar to our present day version of soccer has been played in various cultures, from China to ancient Greece, for over 3000 years. With over 3.5 billion fans worldwide, soccer is the most popular sport on the planet. This international popularity has also made soccer the fastest growing team sport in the United States. This sport provides a great aerobic workout; helps develop balance, agility, coordination, and teamwork. Soccer players of all ages must be aware of the risks for injury. Injury prevention, early detection, and proper treatment can keep kids and adults on the field for many years.

Due to the tremendous amount of running, twisting and turning on foot, injuries to the lower extremities are the most common in soccer. These injuries may be traumatic, such as a kick to the leg or a twist to the knee, or result from overuse of a muscle, tendon, or bone.

Most frequently, we see:

  • Sprains and strains of the knee and ankle
  • Cartilage tears and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament)
  • Over-use injuries (Shin splints, patellar tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis)
  • Stress fractures (occur when the bone becomes weak from overuse. It is often difficult to distinguish stress fractures from soft tissue injury.)
  • Wrist sprains, wrist fractures, and shoulder dislocations (especially in the position of goalie, from reaching and falling on the ball)
  • Injuries to the head, neck, and face (cuts and bruises, fractures and neck sprains from collisions with other players)
  • Concussions

Tips on Preventing Soccer Injuries

  1. Have a pre-season physical examination and follow your doctor’s recommendations.
  2. Use well-fitting cleats and shin guards.
  3. Be aware of poor field conditions that can increase injury rates.
  4. Use properly sized synthetic balls — leather balls that can become waterlogged and heavy and are more dangerous, especially when heading
  5. Inspect and secure mobile goals that can fall on players (request fixed goals whenever possible)
  6. Drink plenty of fluids to replace those lost through perspiration and intense exertion (see May issue of Weekly News & Insights for more resources on proper fluid intake).
  7. Pay attention to environmental/weather conditions, especially in relation to excessively hot and humid weather, to help avoid heat exhaustion.
  8. Maintain proper fitness (including the off-season) through activities such as aerobic conditioning, strength training, and agility training.
  9. Avoid overuse and over-training injuries. Listen to your body and decrease training time and intensity if pain or discomfort develops.
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Structural Issues, An Integrated Approach

on January 25, 2018

When treating structural conditions, my first goal is the elimination of the patient’s pain; however, just getting the patient out of pain is not the end goal. The end goal is for the patient to be fully functional, long term. To achieve this, an integrated approach is absolutely necessary. I recommend the following steps when developing a personalized treatment plan for structural and non-structural issues:

  • A Non-Invasive Comprehensive History & Examination
  • Progressive Objective Testing
  • An Individualized Structural Health Care Program

Treatment may include any or all the following strategies in various combinations:

  • Chiropractic Care
  • Functional Neurology
  • Health Coaching
  • Physical Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Functional Exercise Therapy
  • Physiologic Modalities

The goal of implementing these strategies is the reversal or elimination of problematic structural and functional conditions.

A Structural Case Study

A 44-year-old gentleman, who had knee surgery about three months earlier was still suffering from chronic knee issues. He went to physical therapy, had his normal strengthening and stretching routines, but appropriate proprioceptive rehab was never established for him. During this time the gentleman was wearing orthotic devices.

Orthotics are customized foot devices that slip into the shoe allowing the foot to function and transfer energy throughout the system. There is something called the kinetic chain, which starts at the base of the heel, or the back of the heel during heel strike and ends at the opposite base of the skull. That is why we “cross-crawl” or when we walk. It’s the way energy transfers through our bodies as we walk or run.

When an orthotic is necessary, it allows the individual to transfer that energy correctly, so there’s no abnormal stress on the joints as they walk, run or stand. This patient’s orthotics were never reassessed after the knee surgery. The first step was to bring him in, reassess him, rebuild orthotics and give him an appropriate rehabilitation protocol.

After evaluation and treatment he was pain free in just two weeks, with no additional complications from surgery. The moral of this story is to make certain you reset the neurological control around an injured area after surgery, and make sure it’s solidified through appropriate training and treatment.

by Dr. Thomas M. Mitchell, D.C., CCSP | Owner, Clinic Director Chicago Institute for Health and Wellness Copyright ©read more

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B.E. H.E.A.L.T.H.Y. – Simple Steps to a Healthier You!

on January 18, 2018

Be Engaged: Pay attention to your body and to the world around you.

Eating: Certain Foods are inflammatory: Stay away from Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Corn, Sugar, Sugar Substitutes, processed foods, caffeine, NO SODA Try this for a two weeks and see how you feel. You may not notice in the first couple of days but you would be amazed at the difference in the way you feel in two weeks. Give it time and you will feel a night and day difference.

Habits: Set your routine: We are creatures of habit, so make them good ones.

Elimination: This pertains to metabolic waste as well as toxic aspects of your life, such as relationships, work environments, and excuses: There are a million excuses for why we can’t do something, but none of them are as good as the reason to do it.

Activity: Stay in motion: We are not meant to be sedentary so get your butt moving! It doesn’t have to be 30 min 3X per week but it is about the discipline to stay in motion; conditioning will come with this habit.

Liquids: This means water: Caffeine, juice, soda, alcohol do not count. Stay Hydrated:

Thinking: Link your thinking to your actions and your actions to your thinking:

  • a. Your body’s patterns of behavior are linked to the way you think and the opposite is also true.
  • b. If you’re not feeling great that day, go do something that makes you feel great, i.e.: hobbies, exercise or reading read a fun book

Heal: Let your body heal and rest. Take the necessary time off and take the time to rehab an injury correctly. Jumping back in too soon only leads to further injuries and less productive performance. Don't forget to get enough sleep: Sleep is the time when your body heals

Y: “Why” & Comply

1. Don’t just accept that you have an issue; ask yourself and your doctor why is this happening and what are we doing that is causing/has caused health issues to occur.

2. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, fire your doctor! “Satisfactory” does not mean the answer you want to hear, by the way.

3. Comply! Once you have received your answers, follow through with the prescribed treatment plan. That is your obligation as the patient.


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Injury Prevention: Don't neglect your nutrition

on January 11, 2018

INJURY PREVENTION: Don't neglect your nutrition

In general, food is often neglected or overlooked when, in fact, it should be the cornerstone of your routine. As an athlete, your body requires certain nutrients so that it can be prepared to perform at its best. That being said, don’t ever go out and grab the first diet/nutrition plan you see.

Everybody is different and so are athletes. What works for one may not work for another. I believe that having a customized nutritional program is your best bet to ensure that it’s tailored to your specific needs and your particular sport involvement.

Often poor nutrition is the cause of injury, and this type of injury doesn’t go away all by itself. These are the injuries that linger and you may never feel the same again if you don’t take proper action. Injury can also lead to chronic inflammation, which results in further injuries that your body can’t repair properly.

Its far more critical than you know

In short - make sure that you eat the right foods. It’s far more critical than you know. If you don’t have the right nutrients to perform your energy levels will be low, and you may sustain an injury. If you don’t have the proper nutrition, it will be more difficult for you to recover after exercise or injury. If you get hurt and your nutrition doesn’t feed your cellular structure, the tissue can’t be repaired and that may lead to a whole slew of other problems. If the tissue doesn’t heal properly, it can’t perform at its optimum, and optimum performance is what you strive for in your sports involvement.

Then, when you try to push yourself through your routine exercises, like you always would, you might end up hurting yourself. Damaged tissue is an injury. When it comes to food, getting what you need, and getting it at the right time, in the right form, can help you avoid injury. If you do get hurt, the right food can help in the reparation of damaged tissues.

by Dr. Thomas M. Mitchell, D.C., CCSP | Owner, Clinic Director Chicago Institute for Health and Wellness Copyright © 2013read more

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Injury Prevention

on January 4, 2018

From my viewpoint as a Chiropractic Physician who sees injuries daily, I think that statement is extraordinarily accurate. Wouldn’t you rather know how to prevent an injury than to deal with one after the fact, when you are in pain and suffering?

Whatever your answer is, do not worry. This book will take care of both situations. Here we’ll consider it all; from food to form and function. We’ll help you in every way, to put it all together for both the athletically inclined and for those who just want to get healthier.

Let’s analyze what’s required to prevent injuries in different situations.

The risk of injury will be significantly reduced by completing an effective warm up consisting of exercises that increase your heart rate and get your pulse up, followed by sport-specific, dynamic stretches (stretches while moving).

To further reduce the risk of injury:

  • Eat correctly for your body and your sport!
  • Apply Neuro-Stabilization Training.
  • Receive proper coaching.
  • Take at least 1 day off per week from your particular sport activity to permit the body to recover from the stresses.
  • Use the right gear. You need to wear proper protective equipment such as pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, shin), helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and/or eyewear. This is basic, and younger athletes shouldn’t believe that protective gear protects them from performing dangerous or unwise activities. Nothing protects us from our own stupidity when we show off to others
  • Build your muscles. Performing conditioning exercises before games and during practice strengthens your muscles that get stressed during the game.
  • Improve your overall flexibility. Stretches before and after games or practices tend to benefit your body by increasing flexibility.
  • Use proper playing technique. This must be reinforced during the playing season and coaches must enforce this for player longevity.
  • Take breaks. Your body needs rest periods during practice and during games. These will reduce injuries and prevent heat illnesses.
  • Follow safety rules. Certain sports have ‘rules’ for safety including no headfirst sliding (softball and baseball), spearing (football), and body checking (ice hockey).
  • Avoid injuries from heat by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or games.
  • Decrease or stop practices or competitions during high heat/ humidity periods.
  • Wear light clothing during brutally hot weather.
  • And, above all, stop the activity if there is pain.

Prevention is something that all athletes can grasp. No one wants to get hurt: of course not. But no one can guarantee that reading this book will ever stop you from getting hurt. What will happen (hopefully) is that you will learn how to take care of yourself if you do get hurt and maybe how to make sure it doesn’t ever happen again. No matter what sport, activity or walk of life you work in, I think we can all agree on preparedness and care as beneficial toward prevention.

by Dr. Thomas M. Mitchell, D.C., CCSP | Owner, Clinic Director Chicago Institute for Health and Wellness Copyright © 2013read more

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Nutrient Demands On The Body If It Gets Injured

on December 28, 2017

The nutrient demand on a simple musculoskeletal injury increases by at least 20 to 25 percent. An injured person will need to increase their proteins as they synthesize proteins to make immunoglobulins. With the correct type and quantity of nutrients, your immune system can actually work properly to break down the damaged tissue and/or repair tissue to a normal, healthy state.

Improper healing and remodeling of tissue would be considered scar tissue. Scar tissue does not have the same physical properties as normal tissue and, therefore, does not let the body perform in the same manner.

Trauma, whether it’s skeletal or otherwise, such as a sprained ankle, an injured back, a broken arm, or whatever it may be, imposes one of the highest load demands on energy utilization. So, without a doubt, you must increase energy production in all ways possible when you are injured.

During times of injury or trauma, our energy demands go up, and our need for cellular synthesis goes up as well. We must remove damaged tissue through waste elimination and replace it with new, healthy tissue.


There is a two to four-week window, known as the acute/sub-acute phases. The acute phase (1st and 2nd week) is critical for removal of some injured tissue and for beginning of repair work for damaged tissue. During the sub- acute phase (3rd and 4th week), the body is repairing and remodeling new tissue that is to be used by the body for healing. If the injury is muscular in nature, the body remodels muscle tissue in this phase.

These first four weeks are clearly the most critical to the long-term injury outcome. This is why you should seek treatment immediately if you are injured. If you start to remodel muscle using scar tissue, your performance will decrease.

We’ve mentioned this earlier; scar tissue doesn’t have the same contractile force as muscle tissue. It doesn’t have the same stretch-ability or pliability, and you are liable to experience another injury while your performance continues to decline. This is why it is so important to address nutritional demands directly after injury. This acute/sub-acute phase is a critical time when the immune system clearly needs to be supported. The injury also needs to be treated properly and promptly to reduce the risk of the acute injury becoming chronic.

by Dr. Thomas M. Mitchell, D.C., CCSP | Owner, Clinic Director Chicago Institute for Health and Wellness Copyright ©read more

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Successful Athletes Feed Their Brains Well

on December 21, 2017

The brain is the organ in the body that is most nutrient and energy dependent; it is also the organ most vulnerable to toxins in our system. The higher the quality of fuel you give it to work the greater capacity the brain has to perform at its best. Considering your brain controls all voluntary and involuntary coordination throughout your entire body processes, your body can’t be at peak performance if your brain is in a nutrient-poor environment.

Because the brain is so energy-dependent (or glucose-dependent, as I mentioned earlier), it’s also vulnerable to the poisons in our body’s waste elimination system. This is related to the toxic overload previously discussed.

Most athletes have the drive to succeed because they feed their brains well. If you give your brain high- quality fuel it can better control and coordinate the body’s movement at a much higher capacity than if you’re feeding it junk.

You want your brain to consume the highest quality fuel possible, so the higher quality nutrition you eat the better you perform.

What follows next are two lists of foods – the do’s and don’ts. These are very important to understand and follow as you build your strength and vitality through proper nutrition.

Do Not Eat


Artificial Colors

Artificial Flavorings

Artificial Sweeteners: YES, I mean all of them!!!!!!!!

Benzoate Preservatives (BHT, BHA, TBHQ)

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)


Enriched Flours

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)


MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)


Polysorbate 60

Propylene Glycol Alginate

Shortening, Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils: (Palm, Soy bean and others)

Textured Soy Protein

These ingredients in their own way have been linked to dysfunction Some examples are:

Allergies, Asthma, Dermatitis, Eczema, Hyperactivity, Headaches, Cancer, Autoimmune Disorders, Digestive Disorders, Inflammatory Disorders, Liver Disease, Kidney Disease, Fatigue, Obesity, Heart Disease, Stroke, and many, many more.

Good To Eat


by Dr. Thomas M. Mitchell, D.C., CCSP | Owner, Clinic Director Chicago Institute for Health and Wellness Copyright ©

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