Weekly News & Insights

Acute Injuries

on March 21, 2019

Acute injuries are caused by a sudden trauma.

Examples of trauma include collisions with obstacles on the field or between players.
Common acute injuries among young athletes include contusions (bruises), sprains (a partial or complete tear of a ligament), strains (a partial or complete tear of a muscle or tendon), and fractures.
A twisting force to the lower leg or foot is a common cause of ankle fractures, as well as ligament injuries (sprains).
Reproduced and modified with permission from The Body Almanac. © American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2003.
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Overuse Injuries

on March 14, 2019
Not all injuries are caused by a single, sudden twist, fall, or collision. Overuse injuries occur gradually over time, when an athletic activity is repeated so often, parts of the body do not have enough time to heal between playing.


Overuse injuries can affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and growth plates. For example, overhand pitching in baseball can be associated with injuries to the elbow. Swimming is often associated with injuries to the shoulder. Gymnastics and cheerleading are two common activities associated with injuries to the wrist and elbow.

Stress fractures are another common overuse injury in young athletes. Bone is in a constant state of turnover—a process called remodeling. New bone develops and replaces older bone. If an athlete's activity is too great, the breakdown of older bone occurs rapidly, and the body cannot make new bone fast enough to replace it. As a result, the bone is weakened and stress fractures can occur—most often in the shinbone and bones of the feet.

Source: Dr. Thomas M. Mitchell DC, CCSP - Chicago Institute for Health and Wellness

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Tissue Injury to the Body

on March 7, 2019

Tissue injury to the body is a common issue we see in our patients. It can be from a sports injury, such as improper lifting of weights, or one that occurs through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture while performing work duties or by improperly going through a sports training.

In any case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain and diminished function for the sufferer, all in a short period of time, and can last indefinitely if not properly treated. Spinal manipulation, or chiropractic adjustment, of the affected joint and tissues, begins the process of restoring mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness. This process permits tissues to heal naturally.

Evaluating the Patient

I find the most effective method to begin a treatment protocol is to evaluate patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, and other diagnostic interventions to determine whether chiropractic treatment is right for the patient’s condition. Sometimes, I refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when I determine that chiropractic care is not suitable for their condition. Other times, the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other members of our health care team and we manage all necessary services within our clinic.

The primary focus of my chiropractic treatment, and any other procedures that we perform in our clinic, is to use the right approach to alleviate the health issue. That’s it!

Getting healthier is definitely about lifestyle improvement and the chiropractic adjustment is a powerful tool, but just one of many. The practice of chiropractic manipulative therapy is the most powerful tool that can be applied to physical conditions and does a lot of great things. However, it is not the end all/be all of healthcare. It has to be incorporated and used appropriately when needed, the same way nutrition, rehabilitation and anything else must be used to help a patient improve their health and well- being.

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

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The Benefits of Kinesio® Taping

on February 28, 2019

You’ve seen it used with professional football players and Olympic athletes, so what is it?

Kinesio® Taping gives strength and stability to your joints and muscles without affecting circulation and range of motion. It is also used for preventive maintenance, edema, and to treat pain.

We use Kinesio® tape to stimulate muscle spindles and Golgi tendons to promote and inhibit muscular function. I call it the Neuro-tape.

Kinesio® Taping is a technique based on the body’s own natural healing process. This Kinesio® Taping exhibits its efficiency through the activation of neurological and circulatory systems. The method stems from the science of Kinesiology (def.: the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement), hence the name “Kinesio.”

Muscles are not only responsible for body movements but also control the circulation of venous and lymph flows, body temperature, etc. Therefore, if the muscles don’t function properly, it causes a myriad of symptoms. Kinesio® Taping creates a different treatment approach for nerves, muscles, and organs.

The first documented use of Kinesio® Taping was for a patient with articular disorders. For the first 10 years, orthopedists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and other medical practitioners were the primary users of Kinesio® Taping. Kinesio® Taping was used by the Japanese Olympic volleyball team and word of its benefits quickly spread to other athletes. Today, Kinesio® Taping is used by medical practitioners and athletes around the world.

Kinesio® Tape is used for anything from headaches to foot problems and everything in between. Examples include: muscular facilitation or inhibition in pediatric patients, carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, alleviation of lower back strain/pain (subluxations, herniated discs). It’s also highly effective in treating knee conditions, shoulder conditions, hamstring, groin injury, rotator cuff injury, whiplash, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, patella tracking, pre- and post-surgical edema, ankle sprains and athletic preventative injury method, and is also used as a support method.

Conventional athletic tape was originally designed to restrict the movement of affected muscles and joints. For this purpose, several layers of tape were rolled around and/or over the afflicted area, while applying significant pressure, resulting in the obstruction of the flow of bodily fluids as an undesirable side-effect.

This is also the reason. Kinesio® athletic tape is usually applied immediately before the sports activity, and removed immediately after the activity is finished. Kinesio® Taping is NOT a supportive tape job, so the tape is highly flexible. It doesn’t prevent movement; it allows the muscles to go through their full range of motion.

It also allows the joints to bend and move, so it’s not supportive like an athletic training taping job. Kinesio® Taping is a neurologic taping technique that allows the muscles to function and over a course of one to three days, depending on how long the tape adheres, it helps train the human mind to understand what the body needs to do, and how it should be doing it.

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Dynamic Generalized Warm-Up

on February 21, 2019

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 14, 2019

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 7, 2019

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 24, 2019

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 17, 2019


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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Nutrient Demands On The Body If It Gets Injured

on January 10, 2019

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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