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A common misconception people have about stretching is that it is a passive activity–that is, the muscles should be stretched by using of gravity to pull the muscles. Wrong! In fact, over time passive stretching is the best way to injure yourself.

Active stretching is really the proper way to stretch. An active stretch is contracting the muscles as you stretch, both the muscle being stretched and its antagonist–the muscle doing the opposite action. As an example let’s take the hamstrings: most people, when doing a hamstring stretch, will just bend forward at the waist, passively, letting everything–head, neck and arms included–just hang down.

An active version of the same stretch would be bending forward at the waist, but now maintaining an arch in the back to preserve the discs of the lumbar spine (a common source of severe low back injury). Then while pushing the heels down into the ground and the knees back (which contracts the quadriceps, the antagonists to the hamstrings), the butt is actively lifted upward toward the ceiling, literally pulling the hamstrings from one end (the knees) and oppositely from the other (buttocks). That, my friends, is an active stretch.

Watch the video below to see a demonstration of active stretching. Passive stretching is sometimes warranted, particularly if you have never stretched, or it’s been so long it may as well be considered never…in these cases, a passive stretch will be just fine. But over the long haul, if you want to prevent injury and get the best stretch you can, that comes from active stretching.



One of the most common precursors to injury of the neck, shoulders, chest or upper back are poor shoulder biomechanics during exercise. Biomechanics are related to structure and function; in other words, how the body moves. Therefore, the positioning of the shoulders is extremely important during upper body movements.

Additionally, how the upper body parts move during an exercise will also effect the overall health of that structure. Think of a sliding closet door that no longer moves freely on its tracks–it sticks. You’ll agree that opening and closing said door will be difficult, and ultimately it’ll break down. That’s exactly what happens to the shoulder joints when the biomechanics are altered in any way. But worse, because the neck and chest are so intimately tied to the shoulder girdle, they can also be affected by poor shoulder biomechanics, sometimes earlier than the actual shoulders.

There are two main causes of poor biomechanics: posture (and we’ll include any adapted dysfunction) and poor form. The former is often a result of the latter, and they consequently worsen concurrently over time. Primary proper shoulder positioning is in the retracted state–or pulled back onto the upper back. This position allows the shoulders to move freely in the socket–thus, resolving the stuck sliding door aspect that can occur when the shoulders are allowed to round forward in the protracted position.

Whether lifting weights or doing yoga, form is everything. Watch the video below to see how to maintain proper shoulder positioning during upper body exercises. Guaranteed you’ll preserve your shoulders that way, and you’ll likely prevent much neck and chest discomfort too. And frankly, you’ll look better, because you’ll develop the way you are supposed to. Give it a try.


Caught a great piece on Prime Time News L.A. tonight regarding local farmers markets in Southern California (see video below).  Get this: A number of vendors at the farmers markets are selling non-local, mass produced fruits and vegetables that they pick up at large wholesale produce warehouses in downtown L.A.  And some have been found to be pushing pesticide-laden produce despite advertising their products as pesticide-free.  Ah ha ha ha ha…that’s a gas.  Is anybody surprised?

To sell at farmers markets vendors are supposed to provide locally grown produce.  To be licensed, the farms must be registered with the farmers markets, and their location registered on the permit.  Guess what?  Many are lying and registering their dirt lots as farms.  NBC Prime Time News L.A. did an investigative report, visiting several falsely registered farms and finding something interesting.

Jesse Frutos, owner and operator of Frutos Farms, which sells produce at seven different farmers markets in LA and Orange counties, including Century City farmers market, the Larchmont market and the Buena Park market was busted at his dirt lot in Cypress.  When questioned at one of the markets, he claimed that all his produce was grown at his farm in Cypress, the one registered with the State of California.  NBC paid him a visit and he was forced to admit that none of the produce he sells is actually grown on the dirt lot.  Way to go, Jesse.  The news crew followed his truck on market days and caught him buying the produce at a big downtown warehouse, where they sold produce coming from as far away as Mexico.  Local, you know?

“You are selling some things at farmers markets that you didn’t grow, that you got at wholesale produce markets?”

Jesse admitted, “Yes.”
Another vendor, Juan Uriostegui, who sells produce at the West Hollywood farmers market on Mondays, claims to grow his produce at his farm in Redlands, in San Bernardino County.  NBC paid him a visit with officer Allan Lampman of the San Bernardino Department of Agriculture in tow.  Guess what? Lampman asked Uriostegui to show him where he was growing broccoli, but all the farmer could show him was a patch of dry dirt. ”I’m looking at the fields, saying, ‘I don’t think you grew that broccoli,’” Lampman said.

Uriostegui has been busted and fined before for selling produce he hasn’t grown.  But hey, farmers markets are great places to flip produce and turn a profit.  Call Frutos and Uriostegui brokers.  Unfortunately, they are misleading their customers.

NBC also purchased strawberries from five different vendors claiming to carry pesticide-free goods.  When tested, three of the five actually contained pesticides.  One vendor called “The Berry Best,” owned by Mary Ellen Martinez, which sells at the Torrance farmers market was questioned and told that her pesticide-free strawberries were found to have four different pesticides on them, said she didn’t know how that might have happened.  She thought perhaps that pesticides used at a neighboring farm drifted over to her produce, but according to the testing lab that would be impossible due to the concentrations found on her best berries.

This is no surprise to me since I know that the more popular a trend becomes, the more likely it will be infiltrated by shysters–a lesson for everybody to do their homework.  I can say if this is happening in Los Angeles, it is most definitely happening in farmers markets across the country.  So it’s a good idea to practice diligence and do one’s own research.  It would probably be a good idea for the farmers markets themselves to conduct periodic investigations.

One farm that came out glowing—and my wife confirms its legitimacy too, as she takes our children there to pick fresh berries—was Underwood Farms in Moorpark.  They sell produce at 14 local Los Angeles markets, all grown on their family farm.

So get smart—ask questions and take no vendor’s mere presence at a local farmers market for granted.  They might be selling you something you can get a your local supermarket for much less, and pulling the wool over your eyes with regard to their pesticide-free status.  Thank you Prime Time News L.A. for some top-notch investigative reporting.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.

Are you a runner suffering from shin splints? Are shin splints keeping you from hitting the road or the track? Here’s your solution:

Check out this video showing how I treat leg pain and shin splints in my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood chiropractic office.

Shin splints are a painful condition causing pain in the front of the leg, usually in runners or jumpers. If left untreated, chronic shin splints can eventually lead to a stress fracture.

If you are experiencing pain in the front leg or calf, watch this video, and see your local chiropractor today. If you are looking for a Los Angeles, Beverly Hills or West Hollywood chiropractor, this video will show you how to find me.


Do you wear orthotics? Do you have back pain, hip pain, knee pain; do your feet hurt? Has anybody checked your feet? If you wear orthotics, then you know how much they help your particular condition. But did you know they need to be repaired periodically?

Orthotics are devices inserted into the shoes that support the feet. They are customized to each individual, so they may provide an arch for one whose arches collapse; or they might provide cushion for people that come down hard on their feet. Each foot dysfunction and gait abnormality has its own particular correction in custom-made orthotics.

We take approximately ten million steps a week. By the shear volume of it all, orthotics wearers have to be aware of one thing–orthotics eventually break down. Once the device expires, symptoms slowly return. Hello sciatica–long time no burn. Shin splints–thought you’d never come back. Oh, and low back pain–fuggedaboutit–that’ll come back with a vengeance. Sometimes symptoms return slowly; other times–BAM!–hello again.

The approximate time frame to repair or replace your orthotics is 1-2 years. For runners or heavy tennis players that only have one pair, your looking at closer to a year. But for the average weekend warrior, or for the person with two or more pairs, it’ll be closer to a year and a half, two years. Once you get them repaired, your orthotics will be like brand new.

Just ask my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood chiropractic client Eddie Pence. He’s been running around in his pair for a couple of years–he’s taken them up Runyon Canyon in Hollywood, trudged them through the Los Angeles flag football gridiron, and slugged mud in them with his dog at the most popular of West Hollywood dog parks. And although the Biomechanical orthotics we fit him for could take a serious licking, Ed knows that to keep them ticking, it’s time for a repair.

If you need orthotics, or you would like to have your low back, hip, groin, knee, calf, shin or foot pain evaluated by a sports chiropractor, and you live in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, or West Hollywood, come see Dr. Nick Campos and get your foot problems squared away.


Driving under the influence is a crime, but some researchers think we should make an exception…for the ADHD driver. Doh! According to research recently present to the American Psychiatric Association, adults with ADHD are more prone to auto accidents. So to combat this phenomenon, researcher recommend ADHD drivers to be cranked out on speed. Nice.

The study showed that adult ADHD drivers had significantly more auto collisions than the general public and received more citations. ADHD teens and adults have also been shown to be nearly twice as likely to having their licenses suspended. According to UC Berkeley psychologist Nadine Lambert, Ph.D., “People with ADHD have serious difficulties planning ahead, following through, and staying on task—things you need to do to drive safely.”

Apparently ADHD drivers are more likely to be convicted of speeding, not obeying signs and signals, following too closely, improper passing, and not following road markings. Additionally they’re somewhat more likely than non-ADHDers to participate in reckless driving, drunk driving, and poor lane placement.

So what’s the solution? Give ‘em speed. Now that’s responsibility in the psychiatric research profession–recommend drugging our drivers, yeah! I’m never for the drugging solution, especially when it comes to mental health. Instead of encouraging our unfocused fellow citizens to develop good driving skills, we resort to the simple solution—drugs. I’m not anti-drug, but giving legalized speed, and that’s essentially what these ADHD drugs like Ritalin are, is foolish. It’s not going to make one a more attentive driver. Why don’t we just put a kilo of coke in their trunk—that’ll make them pay attention–guaranteed. But no one would seriously suggest that because it’s nonsensical. And so is drugging our drivers.

I deal with a lot of auto accident victims in my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood chiropractic office. Accidents caused by people under the influence are some of the worst I see. If the general public is considered impaired even under the influence of cold medications, why recommend speed for ADHDers? The use of drugs to treat mental “disorders” will remain somewhat controversial for years to come; but let’s hope cranking out our ADHD drivers won’t cause more problems than they fix.

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