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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Popping Is For Corn Kernels, Not Knuckles!

Life in Motion Chiropractic and Wellness, Ridgway, PA

Have you ever wondered what's actually happening when you pop your knuckles? Is it bad to do so? What makes that loud cracking sound?

The knuckle is a joint where two finger bones meet. This joint is encased by ligaments known as the joint capsule. The capsule is an enclosed space around the joint, filled with a lubricating substance called synovial fluid.

Synovial fluid contains tiny gas bubbles, which escape the joint capsule when you pop your knuckles. This is what produces the popping sound.

If you are a chronic popper you are constantly placing higher than normal stress on these tiny ligaments and capsules, and over time they may become more lax.
Hand and Foot Chiropractor

This can cause the joints to become “hyper- mobile”, where the finger joints become slightly unstable. The abnormal motion in the finger joints can lead to irritation and increased discomfort.

The act of popping your knuckles may provide instantaneous relief, but it’s only temporary. Poppers find the urge and need to continue popping their knuckles in order to experience another dose of temporary relief. Habitual poppers often complain of stiff, painful and uncomfortable finger joints that become progressively worse over time.

Why is it okay to receive a chiropractic hand adjustment, but not pop your own knuckles?

When you self-pop your joints you’re inflicting a random stress to the ligaments and capsule, which may eventually cause the joints to become hypermobile and misaligned. On the other hand, a chiropractic adjustment is a specific procedure where we strategically, gently realign the misaligned bones and joints. Through gentle adjustments the finger and hand joints will regain their healthy alignment. The chiropractic adjustment is a specific movement in a precise direction, versus a generalized, random movement when you pop your own knuckles.

If you are a long-time knuckle popper or suffer with hand or finger stiffness and often feel the urge to pop your knuckles, you are in luck! Most chiropractors focus primarily on treating the spine; however our clinic is one of the few in your area which also adjusts the hands. If you suffer with a hand problem, be sure to schedule a chiropractic evaluation with us to see if we can improve your condition.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Simple Exercise to Strengthen Foot Arches

Life in Motion Chiropractic and Wellness, Ridgway

Some flat footed people have experienced a dropping of their arches over a period of time, whereas others may have grown up from a young age, never having developed an arch.

In either case it’s important to understand that a reduction in the arches of the feet is not due to a malformation of the feet, rather it’s due to a misalignment of the 26 bones in each foot.

That’s why chiropractic adjustments to the bones and joints of the feet can lead to an improvement and increased height of the arches. Better foot bone and joint alignment is consistent with better foot function and arch support.

In addition to chiropractic foot adjustments, patients with reduced arches should adopt a regular routine of rehabilitative exercises to help improve arch function and strength.
One of the most effective, and yet a very simple foot exercise to perform is known as toe curls. You can do this exercise with ease and in the comfort of your home.

The toe curl exercise will require a couple common pieces of household equipment. You’ll need a chair and a bath towel. You can do this exercise pretty much anywhere, however it’s best to find a location with a smooth, hard floor.
Corrective Exercise for arch of foot
Toe Scrunches

Place the towel on the floor and smooth it out in front of the chair. Sit and rest one foot on top of the towel with your heel near the edge and your toes pointing toward the center. While your foot is resting comfortably on the towel, flex (curl) all five toes pulling the towel toward your heel.

With each toe curl you’ll only move the towel an inch or two toward your heel. Repeat the process again and again until you’ve successfully pulled the entire length of the towel toward your heel. Continue to flatten the towel out across the floor and repeat the process several times for both feet.

This toe curl exercise will strengthen the tiny muscles that work to lift and support the arches.

Flat footed patients who have had their feet adjusted for a period of time will experience better results from arch strengthening foot exercises. The process of having your foot bones and joints realigned  through chiropractic will better prepare your feet for arch strengthening exercises.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Chiropractors - Primary Care Professionals for Spinal Health and Well-being

Primary Care Professionals for Spinal Health

In an age of increasing specialization, decreasing availability of primary care providers, and increasing bureaucracy in accessing care, patients need to interact with care providers who can assess and treat their musculoskeletal complaints. However, what is even more necessary is a focus on wellness and health optimization. This is the wheelhouse of a chiropractor.

As primary care professionals for spinal health and well-being, doctors of chiropractic provide qualified, effective care that promotes health, alleviates pain and improves quality of life. Doctors of chiropractic are extensively educated in the assessment and management of conditions affecting the spinal and extremity joints and associated neurology, and based on examination findings and indication for care, the chiropractor will recommend a short course of care to help relieve pain and improve function.

Chiropractic patient management includes manual techniques with particular competency in joint adjustment and/or manipulation, myofascial/trigger point therapy, rehabilitation exercises, patient education in lifestyle and nutritional modification, and the use of adjunctive therapeutic modalities, orthotics and other supports.

The benefits of chiropractic care include:

- Relief from pregnancy-related backache []

- Correction of hip, gait, and foot problems []

- Improved flexibility, stability, balance and coordination []

- Prevention of work-related muscle and joint injuries

- Treatment of sports related injury []

- Improved function and ability to better perform the activities of daily living []


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Importance of Posture as It Relates to Injury


How a person physically presents themself in an upright standing position is considered the base from which an individual moves and reflects the alignment of the body. Posture provides the foundation from which the arms and legs function. As with any structure, a weak foundation leads to secondary problems elsewhere in the system. For example, if the foundation of your house has shifted it will not become noticeable until cracks appear in the walls or problems occur at the roof.

One of the functional methods utilized by the doctors at Life in Motion Chiropractic and Wellness is a postural assessment which helps to identify muscle imbalances. Postural assessment is an excellent evaluation tool that can help to clarify a person’s musculoskeletal complaint(s) and assists with the development of a treatment plan that will address the causative factors of the complaint  rather than simply treating the symptoms.

As with the house example mentioned earlier, it is easy to add a bit more plaster to a crack in the wall, sand it out, and paint over it. However, if the weakened and shifted foundation of the house is left as is, the visible cracks in the wall will return, or perhaps become larger and be accompanied by problems with the ceiling. Eventually simply patching the structure will no longer work and will lead to an overall renovation or quite possibly reconstruction. The same is true within the body.

Treating musculoskeletal symptoms with over the counter or prescription medications, modification of activities, or simply pushing through the pain, all lead to further dysfunction and cumulative layers of structural and neuromuscular adaptations. By identifying the causative factors of the inflammation, discomfort, or poor performance, our chiropractors can implement the most effective intervention to assist you in alleviating the dysfunction and provide the pain-free functional outcomes you are trying to achieve.

To learn more about how our Doctors of Chiropractic can assist you, visit us at

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Joint Dysfunction - #ThinkChiropractic

Over time the human body can and will experience static malalignments that alter the optimal resting length and tension of the muscles within the musculoskeletal system. Common static malalignments include joint fixation and myofascial adhesions that lead to or can be caused by poor posture.

Joint dysfunction (a.k.a. hypomobility) is one of the most common causes of pain in the human body.[1] [2] Once a joint has lost its normal range of motion, the muscles around that joint may tighten to minimize the stress at the involved segment (altering the length-tension relationship) or become overactive to prevent movement and further injury (altering the force-couple relationships).[1] [2] This process initiates the cumulative injury cycle which subsequently alters normal movement patterns and leads to structural and functional inefficiency.[3] [4] [5]
Chiropractors Treat Joint Dysfunction
Joint Dysfunction

The doctors at Life in Motion Chiropractic & Wellness have been specifically trained to assess and treat joint dysfunction, myofascial adhesions, as well as a variety of other musculoskeletal disorders. The goal of treatment at Life in Motion Chiropractic and Wellness is to restore balance, flexibility, and control which instills self-efficacy and helps to keep your body moving naturally, feeling good, and aging well.

To learn more visit us at

[1] Janda V. Muscles and Motor Control in Cervicogenic Disorders. In: Grant G, ed. Physical Therapy of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine . New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2002:182-199.
[2] Lewit K. Muscular and articular factors in movement restriction. Man Med . 1985;1:83-85.
[3] Sahrmann SA. Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes . St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2002.
[4] Chaitow L. Muscle Energy Techniques . New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 1997.
[5] Sahrmann SA. Does postural assessment contribute to patient care? J Orthop Sports Phys Th er . 2002;32:376-379.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Keeping You Moving Well so that You Can Age Well


Your body’s motion is controlled by the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. This motion system is broken down into three groups based upon the function of the various tissues within your body. The first group is known as the Active Subsystem which consists of the muscles that create motion. The second group is known as the Passive Subsystem which consists of the skeleton, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and other connective tissue that hold your body together. The third group is the Control Subsystem which consists of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and mechanoreceptors that control the motion of your body.

These three subsystems must work together for normal, healthy motion. Even if you have strong healthy muscles you cannot maintain overall wellness if your Passive and Control subsystems are not as equally strong. Therefore if you are trying to lift something without integration of these subsystems you will unable to move any more weight than your muscles, joints, or nerves will allow.  Balanced and full motion allows joints and muscles to move smoothly and keep you moving well as you age.

The doctors at Life in Motion Chiropractic and Wellness approach treatment with three principles in mind. The first is motion; problems with this affect all three of the body’s subsystems. To effectively help a motion problem treatment solutions must address the mechanical and neurological issues involved and our doctor’s approach to this threefold:

- Chiropractic manipulative therapy unlocks, restores, and maintains joint motion. Joint mobilization reduces restrictions and other posture and motion distortions. In fact, freeing a compressed nerve or restoring motion can affect other parts of the body via the Control Subsystem.

- Myofascial therapy lengthens tight muscles and breaks up ligamentous and fascial adhesions. Other benefits of this form of therapy can be pain relief, which also affects the Control Subsystem, improved circulation, and general stress reduction.

- Therapeutic exercise, during which we teach you how to properly stretch tight/facilitated muscles and strengthen weak/inhibited muscles.

Secondly, we look for compensatory movement patterns in the body’s chain of motion. Your body type, injuries, and lifestyle habits train you, over time, to involuntarily and without thinking move your body in a unique pattern of motion using your stronger muscles. Your joints and ligaments stretch in the direction they are used and subsequently adhesions form along unused paths of motion. Therefore, you begin to move along the path of least resistance, just as a piece of paper bends along a crease the tissues of the body literally groove and fold in the way they are being used. As these mechanically inefficient patterns of poor posture and unbalanced motion progress, a “pain cycle” is created, the result of which is a continuous loop of increased body stress, joint degeneration, chronic pain, and recurring injury.

The solution, which is the third principle of treatment at Life in Motion Chiropractic and Wellness, is the implementation of “the motion cycle” through the use of postural retraining which helps to form new “life habits” and trains the body to move with conscious, full range of motion. Free, balanced motion reduces joint stress, relieves pain, and restores flexibility subsequently breaking the “pain cycle”.

The goal of treatment at Life in Motion Chiropractic and Wellness is to restore balance, flexibility, and control which instills self-efficacy and helps to keep your body moving naturally, feeling good, and aging well.