From the monthly archives: "April 2010"

Ever hear of the ol’ bait and switch? That’s where a company advertises an amazing deal–let’s say top of the line laptop computers–and when customers come in looking for the item, they are told they’ve been sold out…we do, however, have these lesser brand laptops at a comparable price. Doh!

Well, bait and switch is exactly what I think of when I see the latest report on seasonal flu vaccine. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seasonal flu vaccine was doled out in record numbers this past season, with 40% of the population getting inoculated. Suckers! The jump was most dramatic in children but increased in healthy adults under 50 as well.

What led to this massive increase following a year (2008) of record low seasonal flu shot inoculations? Experts believe the jump was attributable to fears over the swine flu. Gary Euler, one of the authors of the study looking at last years flu vaccination numbers, said, “We do have a pandemic driving that.” Uh huh. No kidding.

Let’s see…what’s the best way to revamp a flaccid flu vaccination program? Let’s scare the s#!t out of the public with news of a “new” form of flu. Let’s remind them of former flu pandemics that claimed thousands of lives. Let’s show a real concern for the safety of people by recommending mass inoculations for the public. If it fails, at the very least a renewed vigor in seasonal flu might be stimulated. Hmmmm.

Now do I think there is some conspiracy of old white men sitting in their arctic fortress plotting world domination through dissemination of bio-warfare? No. But I do think it is too easy to overreact to a situation that is probably harmless. But how can you be sure? Because hordes of people get regular flu every year; they rest, drink fluids, moan and groan, and eventually get better–every year, without exception. I think inoculating for flu is necessary only under extreme circumstances. I believe it is much more important to build natural immunity, that way, we evolve along with the microorganism.

But there is certainly benefit to spreading panic–governments look like they care (there’ll be no Katrina for this administration), pharmaceutical companies turn massive profit, doctors/public health officials are needed, and other waning fears get a recycle. With that much to gain in spreading fear, why wouldn’t several groups participate, even if unintentionally?

Why it matters is because this type of sickness/fear agenda is precisely what is wrong with the health paradigm in the western world. Pushing the notion that we need outside elements–drugs, vaccinations, the government–to experience health and well being, and not our own Innate Intelligence, is absurd. And using tactics like fear, or bait and switch, doesn’t muster any more trust in Big Brother for me.

At least this is how I feel with regard to flu and swine flu. Come the day we see swine malaria…well, maybe then I’ll be a little scared.

As important as practicing healthy habits is, discontinuing (or better yet never starting) poor health habits can add years to your life–twelve to be exact; this according to the findings of a recent study. Let’s see, twelve years ago I was…DANG that’s a long time! Check it:

The study tracked nearly 5,000 British adults for 20 years, and looked at the following four bad health habits:

  • smoking
  • drinking too much
  • inactivity
  • poor diet

Researchers found that people partaking in these habits had a substantially increased risk of death, and they seemed 12 years older than people in the healthiest group. Doh!

Of the research subjects having all four habits (314 people), 29% died through the study period. The subjects having none of the habits (394), only 8% had died. The people involved in the study were adults aged 18 and older, but 44 years old on average. The most common cause of death among subjects was heart disease and cancer, both caused by the unhealthy habits studied.

The healthiest group included never-smokers and those who had quit; teetotalers, women who had fewer than two drinks daily and men who had fewer than three; those who got at least two hours of physical activity weekly; and those who ate fruits and vegetables at least three times per day.

“You don’t need to be extreme” to be in the healthy category, said lead researcher Elisabeth Kvaavik of the University of Oslo. “These behaviors add up, so together it’s quite good. It should be possible for most people to manage to do it.”

Tis true. It is one of the major premises in my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health. Healthy habits are cumulative. Start slowly and add habits one by one. For example, start with bodywork, like chiropractic care, and get out of pain. Once pain starts to subside, start exercising. Cut out sodas next. Then start eating more fruits and vegetables, and so on. It doesn’t have to all be done at once. Pick up a few healthy habits, then go for the more challenging ones, like quitting smoking or drinking or mainlining speed. Having a foundation of a handful of healthy habits will get you through a lot easier than trying to kick a habit cold turkey with nothing to fill the void.

By reducing faulty health habits you could add twelve years to your life–no small amount once you start getting up there. Add to that a few healthy habits and woo-boy you might even tack on another twelve. Think of that. What will you do with the time?


Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is pain experienced on the outer part of the elbow and forearm. It is common in tennis players, usually from poor form or faulty equipment, but really anybody that uses their hands regularly, in work or in play, can develop tennis elbow.

Tennis elbow is a muscular issue where micro-tears of the muscles of the forearm are causing elbow pain and discomfort on gripping or carrying items. Even shaking hands can be an excruciating endeavor when tennis elbow is present–not a good thing. So having this condition warrants a trip to your local sports chiropractor for evaluation and treatment.

To find out how you’ll be treated for tennis elbow, especially in my Beverly Hills chiropractic office, please watch the video above; and you can get even more information on the causes and symptoms of tennis elbow by reading the article at this link.

If you are experiencing outer elbow and forearm pain and difficulty gripping or carrying items, don’t hesitate–call your local sports chiropractor today.

Hung out today at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books held on the UCLA campus. What a great event! Got to listen to Holly Robinson and Rodney Peete talk about their autistic son, RJ. What a treat!

This post is not about autism, or the Peetes; it’s about something they said that stirred some thought in me. As they discussed RJ’s growth and battle through autism, they said they were able to, “check off all the things the doctor had said he’d never be able to do.”

Now that got me to thinking about how so many doctors tend to absorb themselves in the diagnosis—got to call it something, give it a label. Then all these preset parameters come along with the diagnosis, and the one being diagnosed becomes exactly that, the diagnosis itself. That has never been my method in my Beverly Hills chiropractic practice, although I do get a handful of people insisting on having a diagnosis (conditioning, I guess). For these people, I play the game, but I always tell them I prefer not to get caught up in labels. There’s a real danger there; people start to identify too heavily with their labels. They start to become their condition (illness, disease, disorder, etc). I am very pleased the Peetes didn’t follow this path.

Medical diagnosis serves a purpose: it’s a way of organizing information common among a group of people experiencing a particular set of symptoms. But I think doctors would be wise to see the bigger picture–the possibilities that exist in treatment and healing. I know, I know…sometimes all they have is a hammer…but there is more than what medical science pushes. It takes a healer to know the difference. Not all doctors are healers; many, if not most, are technicians. The doctor that gave the Peetes RJ’s diagnosis was likely a technician. Safe in his diagnosis, covering all bases to avoid liability. Bravo! Well done; a perfect display of modern medicine—think science and law all wrapped into one. But healing? Not by my definition.

Perhaps it’s peoples’ responsibility to take charge of their own health? That’s certainly the message I promote, since health comes from within. But doctors are facilitators—they assist in the healing process, and as such, I think giving the patient a dose of hope helps the prognosis. No doctor knows whether any one individual will be just another statistic in a particular condition. Doesn’t every person deserve to be considered one of the odds beaters until proven otherwise?

Anyway, I went up and talked to Rodney Peete during the book signing (Not My Boy!), and commended his and his wife’s decision to “think outside of the box.” I’ll let you read the book on your own to find out how the Peetes did this. He was gracious toward my praise and said that it is “amazing how things open up for you,” when you think outside of the box. I asked him what his thoughts were on receiving the diagnosis and daunting checklist of things his son would never be able to do. He said that some doctors are all too willing to nail that type of diagnosis without even blinking an eye.

Yes, I know—not thinking outside the box. Bless the Peetes for finding another way.

I’d also like to plug Holly Robinson Peete’s book, My Brother Charlie, written with her daughter Ryan Elizabeth (who read the book onstage today—very well done!)

Former Poison frontman, Bret Michaels has been hospitalized with a brain (subarachnoid) hemorrhage; he was in critical condition, but is now stable. Michaels’ publicist reported to People magazine’s website that the 47-year-old rocker was hospitalized Thursday with a severe headache. Doctors discovered bleeding at the base of his brain stem.

Michaels was currently a contestant on the third season of Donald Trump’s NBC competitive reality show, “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Trump said in a statement today that he was “deeply saddened” to hear of Michaels’ condition.

Michaels had an emergency appendectomy last week at a private care facility for diabetics after complaining of stomach pains before he was scheduled to perform at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. He later wrote on his website that though the surgery “has taken its toll,” doctors expected him to make a full recovery.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Bret Michaels and his loved ones. Hoping he makes a speedy and full recovery.

Here’s something to get freaked out about: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to step up oversight of infusion drug pumps, those commonly used medical devices that deliver fluids—liquid nutrients and medicines like insulin, morphine, chemotherapy or anesthesia—into a patient’s body. These devices are used in both hospitals and homes.Over the past five years, the FDA has received reports linking 710 deaths to infusion pumps and more than 56,000 reports of problems in total. Not good for the average trusting medical patient. The number of deaths is likely an underestimate according to officials at the FDA.

In the past, problems with the pump were attributed to human error–like a mistyping of info by a doctor or nurse. However, now FDA officials believe that software and design issues are actually at the root of many of them. Whoops!

This is a scary notion considering the widespread use of infusion pumps. The mother of my children had one hooked up during both child births. And to think, we are just now hearing of the dangers. I guess we are all human guinea pigs of sorts when it comes to advancing medicine. Pumps are also given to failed back surgery patientsyikes! Sorry, we can’t fix you–let’s pump drugs into you 24/7. Yeah, that’s my kind of health care.

The FDA is essentially asking manufacturers to provide more detailed design and engineering information to FDA for new pumps. The FDA also wants manufacturers to try out the devices in settings where they are commonly used, and when necessary, it wants to be able to inspect the manufacturing plant before approving the device.

In the meantime, take care of your health and stay out of the hospital–those places can be dangerous.

Knee pain is a common injury in athletes, especially tennis and basketball players, as well as dancers. Knee pain comes in many forms, but if it is along the perimeter of the knee and feels sore or burning, then it is possible that a patellar tendonitis is the cause (also known as Jumper’s Knee).

Tendinitis is rarely a primary condition–it is usually secondary to something else. In the case of patellar tendonitis, the primary cause could be either tight muscles or foot dysfunction. To find out what is causing your knee pain, it is important to get evaluated by a doctor, preferably a sports chiropractor.

Watch the video above to see how we treat patellar tendinitis in my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood sports chiropractic clinic.

Watch out, Snooki–tanning beds can be addictive. You heard right, guidos and guidettes–if you gotta GTL*, just know you might be a junkie. This from a recent study showing that “tanning addiction” is a real phenomenon; and heavy users…Mike “The Situation”…are more likely to suffer from anxiety symptoms and substance abuse.

The research, carried out by professors from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the University at Albany, State University of New York, examined 421 students, including 229 who had used tanning beds in the last year. Of those, 70% showed signs of tanning addiction. Further, regular tanning salon users had a higher likelihood of drug and alcohol use.

Pump your fists in the ai-yair!

Much has been said about the dangers of tanning salons, particularly the heightened risk of developing skin cancer. Despite this, however, recreational tanning continues to grow among young adults. Why? Addiction, say experts.

According to the authors of the study, interventions similar to those of drug addiction may be necessary. “Treating an underlying mood disorder may be a necessary step in reducing skin cancer risk among those who frequently tan indoors,” Catherine Mosher and Sharon Danoff-Burg, lead researchers of the study, said in the Archives of Dermatology journal.

All I can say is I’m not surprised. Anything that perceptually enhances looks–tanning, Botox, plastic surgery–has the propensity to lead to addiction. Many people get addicted to working out. Oh well. Hey, you gotta look good on The Shore…in December! Whatever. I think people should do what the hell they want–suffer the consequences like the rest of us idiots before you. If it don’t kill ya, Juice Box…it’ll certainly make you bronzer.

*GTL=gym, tanning, laundry–the guido credo.

Get ready to say, “Ewwwww….” Ringworm is making a big comeback in urban elementary schools. Worse yet, this new and improved fungal infection is treatment-resistant. Eeeewwwww!

According to a recent study that looked at 10,514 children in kindergarten through Grade 5 at 44 schools across the bi-state Kansas City metropolitan area, 6.6% of them were infected with the fungus (T. tonsurans) that causes ringworm. Researchers also found that the oral antifungal medicine used to treat ringworm does not completely eliminate the fungus in many children, which means they can spread the infection to others even after treatment.

“The organism T. tonsurans has become the leading cause of scalp infection in the U.S., and we believe it is on the rise in inner city areas,” said study author Susan Abdel-Rahman, a professor of pediatrics at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. “This study supports what I and many of my peers are seeing, children with scaly, itchy scalps and hair loss are prevalent in metropolitan areas. If not treated, ringworm can lead to permanent hair loss, which can damage a child’s self-image. There is also some evidence that it may worsen seemingly unrelated problems such as asthma and allergic rhinitis.”

The fungus seems to have racial preferences. More than 18% of black children in kindergarten and the first grade were infected. That rate dropped to 7% by fifth grade. Infection rates were 1.6% for Hispanic children and 1.1% for white children. The reasons for the higher rate among black children aren’t clear.

Here’s what doctor Abdel-Rahman advises: Parents should “limit the sharing of items that come into contact with the scalp, such as hats, combs, brushes and pillows. Watch closely for signs of infection, such as flaking that looks like dandruff, white patchy scaling, itching, hair thinning or loss, and small pus-filled bumps, especially when your child has come in contact with another infected child. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you suspect that your child is infected and make sure to take the prescribed medicine as directed along with the application of a medicated shampoo two to three times a week.”

May I repeat, “Yuck!” If your child is in elementary school in an urban area, keep on the lookout. Kids are passing this funk between each other like wildfire. They can also get ringworm from pets, so check your critters often, and get them treated if you see a problem. Ringworm can cause permanent hair loss, so rapid treatment is of the utmost importance.

Yes, this new, improved ringworm is resilient; just keep hitting it like Manny Pacquiao–bing, bang, boom! Don’t give that fungus a chance to breathe. Oh yeah, and keep your kid away from my kids.

It doesn’t get any weirder than this: Drug addicts are being paid by a North Carolina charity to be sterilized or go on long-term birth control. The payout: $300.

Project Prevention, based in North Carolina, is paying addicts $100 in three installments over eighteen months to insert IUDs or have their tubes tied (vasectomies for men). The idea, according to founder Barbara Harris, is to reduce the number of drug addicted babies being born to parents that can’t care for them. Harris has first-hand experience with the issue: she has adopted four children born to the same crack-addicted woman in Los Angeles.

“Even if their babies are fortunate enough not to have mental or physical disabilities, they’re placed in the foster care system and moved from home to home,” Harris says. “What makes a woman’s right to procreate more important than the right of a child to have a normal life?”

Project prevention has worked with 3,371 addicts in the U.S. since 1997, and of those, 1,253 have opted for tubal ligations or vasectomies. The organization relies on donations to keep the operation going, and clients usually here of the program through word of mouth. However, Harris also advertises the program by driving around the U.S. in a 30-foot motor home plastered with photos of a dead infant, a razor blade, a line of crack and a pacifier, along with the message: “Some things just don’t belong together.”

The program has some health professional up in arms about the practice. Some liken it to Nazi-style social engineering and criticize Harris for implying that all addicts will become unfit parents. Many believe that the money would be better spent on educational and drug treatment programs. The most common criticism is that drug addicts aren’t in the right frame of mind to make this massive type of decision. Without a doubt, many of the addicts just spend the money on more drugs.

Harris’ reply, “If you don’t think an addict is capable of making a decision then I guess you’d agree they aren’t capable of raising a child they’ll conceive either. They’re going to do drugs with or without our money. But maybe our money means they won’t rob someone tomorrow, or maybe it means they won’t have to turn as many tricks the day after.”

I don’t know about you, but I find this type of practice right up there with selling one’s organs. With the rapid advancement of medical technology, people have come to think of their body parts as expendable. A very sad state of understanding of the human body. I would think that to violate your body in such a way would be worth well more than 300 bucks. Anybody who has ever been hooked on drugs will attest that some foolish decisions were made in the throes of their addiction. But body alteration often has no turn back.

I know in my own life I feel absolutely blessed to have my beautiful children with me now, despite what my life was like in the past. I don’t applaud this practice because I feel that every child has the chance to live a valuable life, regardless of their incoming circumstances. I’ll bet Ms. Harris four children are happy to be alive. Just a guess, anyway.

Baby boomers are being nagged by injuries–more than the generation before them. In fact, baby boomers have more disabilities than people over age 65. What the heck is going on here?According to data from the National Health Interview Survey, conducted annually from 1997 to 2007 and including up to 15,000 individuals each year, more than 40 percent of people aged 50 to 64 reported having problems with at least one of nine physical functions, and many reported difficulty with more than one. Although health problems as a whole did not increase for this age group, physical disabilities, like trouble climbing ten stairs, did. The number of baby boomers using special equipment to get around, such as a cane or wheelchair, also increased. Hmmm…. Here’s the breakdown of the number of adults per 10,000, ages 50 to 64, who reported difficulty with various actions in the 2005-2007period and from 1997-1999 (in parentheses).

  • Stooping, bending, kneeling: 3,129 (2,875)
  • Standing two hours: 2,491 (2,321)
  • Pushing or pulling large object: 2,010 (2,024)
  • Walking a quarter-mile: 2,146 (1,954)
  • Climbing 10 steps: 1,749 (1,537)
  • Sitting two hours: 1,491 (1,445)
  • Lifting and carrying 10 pounds: 1,410 (1,387)
  • Reaching over head: 1,186 (1,149)
  • Grasping small objects: 1,128 (1,109

Experts are unclear about the cause of this trend. What’s enjoyable to read, however, are the comments posted to the yahoo news page of this report (link no longer available). Some people blame obesity, although the study makes very clear that obesity is not an important cause of the disabilities. Some think it might be processed foods, some exposure to DDT and other chemicals, while others yet to excessive television viewing by boomers. I love to see people thinking and trying to find a cause, but I have to say none of these guesses make complete sense. Here is my shot at it: Baby boomers are the first generation to really believe they can have it all–career, family, and endless health. They were the generation that pushed themselves physically, if not from day one, then by jumping on the fitness bandwagon when jogging, Tae Bo and Richard Simmons came onto the scene. Many boomers followed the trend rather than taking time to learn the proper form. This leads to injuries. Boomers also saw the greatest advances in medical technology. Hurt yourself Lambada-ing? No problem–medical science will fix it. Additionally, boomers as a whole tended to trust their medical doctors unquestionably. If Dr. Welby says to take Vioxx, then by golly I’ll do it. Um hm. So my take is that boomers pushed themselves harder physically than any generation before them (graceful agers); to that I applaud. But they relied on medical advice for their musculoskeletal issues, and as I pointed out last post, big mistake. Medical doctors are coming out of school poorly prepared to deal with musculoskeletal problems–this by their own analysis. As such, there have been oodles of surgeries–routine ones, routine ones, that’s what we’ve been told–and here we are witnessing the end result: increased disabilities. Sure one could argue that perhaps medical science saved many a crippling by this daring, if not reckless, generation. But I don’t think so. I am certain that you can have excellent function to live the life you love well into old age–I see it in my chiropractic practice every single day. So take heed Gen Xers and Millennials, take care of your bodies today–exercise, eat well, get regular chiropractic care, rest up, and minimize your intake of toxins. Learn proper form of the exercise or sport you wish to do–and learn to rehabilitate and recuperate yourself from injuries. Your physical body isn’t indestructible; it needs to be cared for like a fine-tuned machine–better than a fined-tuned machine. Educate yourself on injury prevention and proper care when you get hurt. And don’t take any one practitioner’s word as gospel. Get a few opinions and do what feels right. Lastly, don’t just choose a risky surgery because it’s sold to you as routine, even if seems like an easy way out. Conservative care can restore and preserve proper function for years to come if done right and to completion. Thank you baby boomers for paving the way through yet another uncharted territory. Younger generations listen up…and learn.

Well no doubt that all this talk about health care reform has brought some long overdue can-o-worm opening. Take, for instance, unnecessary surgeries: a medical nuisance of the worst magnitude, and common practice for decades. A recent report discloses that riskier surgeries for low back pain have risen in number and in cost, yet many are unwarranted. Well n-o-o-o chit! You know what they say, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Data on more than 32,000 Medicare patients with low back pain stemming from spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal causing a squeezing low back pressure) showed that costlier, more complex spinal fusion surgeries were recommended and performed over a six year period. Less expensive decompression surgeries, costing roughly $20K, were often bypassed for $60-90K spinal fusions, despite the more expensive surgeries having greater complications and even leading to death.

Worse yet, many a spinal fusion was lacking in evidence for appropriateness of care. You don’t say? Our doctors doing the unnecessary? Nah, not McReamy. You bet your assets they are. And I love it, because we chiropractors have known about it for years, and we haven’t been quiet about it, either. We have tried to sway the public toward more natural and highly effective treatment options, but noooo, stay away from them chiropractors, they can hurt you.

Yeah? Listen to these number:

  • Risk of stroke in a $20Kspinal decompression (part of vertebrae hacked out to take pressure off nerve): 1 in 50
  • Risk of stroke in a $80K complex spinal fusion (vertebrae connected and joint removed): 1 in 20
  • Risk of stroke in a $3K round of chiropractic care: 1 in 5.85 million

Frickin’ duh!

According to the study, more than half the patients who had complex fusions had a simple stenosis, which usually calls for decompression alone. Rates of complex fusions in Medicare patients rose 15-fold from 2002-2007, while decompressions declined, and hospital charges grew 40 percent. There have been allegations of kickbacks to spine surgeons for using products of a particular hardware manufacturer. Hey Izzy, them screws you got in ya back sent me and the missus to Reno

Listen, I don’t really think there’s some big conspiracy here: It ain’t rocket science. The medicos are admittedly deficient in their training in treating musculoskeletal issues. Surgery is also notoriously ineffective at relieving low back pain for any significant stretch of time. So why are drugs (equally ineffective) and surgery still the treatments of choice by the cultural health authority? Simple. When all you have is a hammer…

Are you ready for some football? Well, the NFL is ready for some hits–chiropractically speaking. According to a recent report by the Professional Football Chiropractic Society (PFCS), every NFL team currently uses chiropractic as a a form of treatment, game-day prep, and an overall health regimen. Booyah!!!

That’s right, the NFL is SMART! Professional football players know how much chiropractic can help them recover from injury, but more important they know that chiropractic helps on-field performance as well as extends careers. Think about it: Which body will handle more hits over the long run–the subluxated, beat-up, bashed in one, or the body that’s tuned up, turned on and subluxation free? Don’t worry, NFL players have already answered the question.

No doubt the NFL is leading the charge in this arena with every team carrying a chiropractor on their roster. “The robust need for chiropractic care in the NFL has been deeply driven by the players’ desire for peak physical conditioning and not simply for injuries,” states Spencer H. Baron, DC, DACBSP, immediate past president of the PFCS and Miami Dolphins team chiropractor for the past 14 years. “From the earliest years of full contact football, their bodies are subject to structural stress that doctors of chiropractic … are specially trained to care for.

Chiropractic has had a hand in the careers of many NFL legends. Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Emmit Smith to name a few that have been outspoken chiropractic proponents. But some of today’s star players also have been singing the praises of chiropractic–Tom Brady and Maurice Jones-Drew (see video below) are just two the many. It’s the use of chiropractic by players like these that was important in the inception of chiropractic league-wide.

Again from Baron, “War stories whispered throughout our profession indicated that in the past, players who wanted chiropractic adjustments had to meet with a chiropractor in hotel bathrooms, parking lots, or back alleys.” But players get what players demand–and the players LOVE chiropractic. Who can blame them?

To see a list of NFL team chiropractors click here.

Bravo NFL!–no surprise the National Football League is the premier sports institution in the world. It takes forward thinking to be the best, and nothing beats chiropractic in aligning athletics with optimal health!

Finally, and probably the biggest exercise mistake of all, is using workout equipment outside of its intended use. While some off-use applications are not so bad, some are downright atrocious…and foolish most of the time, as they can lead to serious injury (or ridicule if somebody in the gym has camera):

worst exercise mistakes

Wrong! Flat out stupid…on so many levels. What next, stilts?

worst exercise mistakes

Well what can I say about this…?

Lunges, squats and many yoga poses (asanas) require a deep bend of the hips and legs. It is important to maintain the knee over the foot for maximum strength and stability. Allowing the knee to go farther forward than the toes can stress knee ligaments:

lunges poor form

Wrong! While the knee going beyond the toes occasionally won’t hurt you, doing so repeatedly can stress the ligaments and menisci. 

How-To-Do-Lunges Perfect Form

Booyah! Perfect…

Lunges Good Form

Right! Even if you don’t have the strength or flexibility to take a long step, a moderate step forward is sufficient, just keep the knee in line with the ankle.


If you punch a heavy bag or do any kind of mixed martial arts (MMA) training, you’ll want to throw a punch correctly. Improper punching technique is the quickest way to a hand, wrist or shoulder injury. And would you like to break your hand (boxers fracture)? Punch something incorrectly and you’ll see:

poor punching form

Wrong! You can always tell an amateur fighter when you see the shoulder coming out and away from the body. This leads to stress/strain on the shoulder, and the last two digits become the main contact on the target—a high risk for boxers fracture.

perfect straight punch

Right! A perfect punch—arm straight out, leading with first two digits. That should do some damage and avoid common amateur-sustained injuries.

Proper straight punch

You want power? Twist at your hips and throw your body into the punch; keep your arm in close to the body, leading with first two digits. Knock out!


One of the most common injuries I see in my sports chiropractic practice is sharp neck pain caused by doing a yoga pose called “plow”. Like all other poses and exercises, a proper plow pose requires retracted (pulled back) shoulders:

plow pose injuries

Wrong! Enjoy yer neck pain buddy.

good plow pose

Right! Shoulders pinned back and flat on mat, neck straight…bravo!


Not only with weight lifting, but with yoga too, shoulders need to be retracted at all times—that is proper shoulder biomechanics. Rolling the shoulders forward can cause injury:

cobra pose poor form

Wrong! Lady pull those shoulders back…you’re going to hurt yourself.

perfect yoga posture

Right! Can you see the difference? Strength, openness, freedom…and just looks darn good.


Proper shoulder biomechanics requires retracted shoulders. Allowing the shoulders to roll forward is a recipe for injury. Pull those shoulders back when doing any upper body exercise:

barbell curl poor form

Wrong! Protracted, or rolled-forward, shoulders are poor form which can lead to a number of injuries. Note how the head moves forward (B) increasing risk for neck pain

biceps curls poor form

Wrong! Shoulders rolled forward might be perfect for a hunchback, but if you want look powerful…

biceps curls good form

Right! Pull those shoulders back (retraction), and not only will you look powerful you’ll decrease the risk of injury too.


Abs are endurance muscles, not muscles of mass like gluts or pecs—adding weight for resistance can lead to injury. Think reps not plates:

Weighted Crunch

Wrong! Adding weight for resistance during crunches can lead to injury.

perfect crunches

Right! As endurance muscles, reps will get you farther than weight when it comes to abs. Burn ’em baby! 


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