Thursday, August 25, 2016

New Chiropractor Joins Santa Cruz Spine & Sport

Introducing Dr. Aaron Van Brunt to Santa Cruz Spine & Sport

Dr. Justin McLeod's update with MCL Tear and Fall schedule change.  Dr. Aarron will be seeing patients on Tuesday and Thursdays after our 10-11am Yoga class

Intermitant fasting


There has been a lot of talk lately about the role that intermittent fasting and Ketogenic diets play in order for the body to be in a fat burning state. Let me tell you my experience with it. I have messed around with my macros percentage (fats, proteins, carb), increasing the my good fats up into the 80-90% while limiting my protein to 10-15% and my carbs to some greens at every meal.

It was really fun to see the effects that the ketogenic diet had on my body, especially in my brain functions. For the most part, my energy levels seemed to stay more even keeled while my brain was able to focus better. If you want to learn more about this specific diet, I would also suggest starting with this podcast that features Dr. Dom D'Agostino on the Tim Ferris Show.  You can also check out website, which has a lot of information on this topic.

Although I think the Ketogentic diet may have a place in someone's life, for many of our clients it can be confusing and difficult. One of these complications is the commitment. One must have consistency of measuring out the macros throughout the day. Another aspect of this diet is contingent upon monitoring your blood glucose and ketone levels which is done with the 'finger pricking' and therefore allowing you to know if you are in ketosis. I personally used the Precision Xtra monitoring System, which does both Ketones and blood glucose monitoring.  You will also need Xtra Blood Ketone Test Strips which can be costly.

If you're not happy with how your body and brain are feeling, and this Ketogenic Diet seems enticing to you, by all means, go for it. But getting huge benefits on lowering cancer recurrences, increase longevity, reduce inflammation, there are simpler and easy ways available. Take a listen to the Dr. Rhonda Patrick Ph.D. talking with Dr. Ruth Patterson Ph.D.  (TIP: Start at the 8 minute mark to here about time-resticted Eating in Humans.) Then come back to the blog so we can talk about the main points!

In her discussion, Dr. Patterson brought up many key points. The fact that many people like to do the intermittent fasting - where they skip breakfast - because they are eating late into the evening and night.  We all know someone like this. Maybe it's you. But let me tell you a little about what your body goes through when we skip such an important meal. Her clinical researched showed that your last meal should be in the early evening around 6-8. This way you're allowing your digestion a 13 hour break until the next meal. Use this as a calculation -If your last meal is at 6pm, then your next meal should be no earlier than 7am.

This is why breakfast is called breakfast.  You are breaking your fast in the morning after 13 hours of  no food.  Drinking water in those 13 hours is fine.  You can play around with the time frame and do it longer and see how your body feels.  Some people do a 16/8 or  a 15/7.  However most people are going to find it difficult to skip breakfast if they haven't eaten in 13 hours.

Here are some of the benefits that they saw: 40% decrease in recurrance of breast cancer, better Metabolic function (glucose regulation), less inflammation, and better sleep.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Common Reason for Surfers having Low Back Pain and Neck Pain

Congrats to Santa Cruzian Nic Lamb for winning Titans of Maverick last week.

Quick Tips and Tricks for while you are surfing to prevent low back pain neck pain

  1. )  Cross your feet.  Once crossed, push them against each other and you should be able to feel more core engagement.  This can should be a light engagement otherwise you will fatigue them out.
  2. )  while laying on your board a few cat/cow or pelvic tilt exercise get a sense of what your end-range is in extension, and how far you can tuck your pelvis posteriorly. Do this should straighten the lumbar curve.  Listen to a point where it feels like you have taken pressure off of the facets, but still has a lordosis in the lumbar spine.
  3. )  If you are having trouble engaging those muscles then pressure your knees into your board.  This will hlep you engage your lower abs pelvic floor and hips flexors,
For the most part surfing is really great for your back.  All day long we are usually in a flexion position ie sitting at a desk, sitting in the car, sitting on the couch.  

Everyone could benefit from incorporating a type of extension exercise regime into their life.  Yoga, swimming, or surfing are a great way to make sure you are getting enough extension and opening up your heart.

A common cause in the surfers that I treat for low back pain and neck pain is that have lost mobility in the thoracic spine.   They try to make up for it in the lumbar spine, especial at the lowest vertebral joint L5/S1. Usually the lower abdominal core is not also not engaging either which allows the person while surfing to repetitively hyper-extend at the L5/S1 area.  Over time this will cause irritation, inflammation, and pain and can lead to earlier degeneration of the facet joints.

Don't let this kill your Stoke.  Its all about Prevention

If this is an issue for you, there are a lot of things you can do proactively.  If I were you, I would go to your trusted movement specialist weather that is a physical therapist, chiropractic, personal trainer ectera. Have them see what your score is on the functional movement screen (FMS), or if you are in pain, see what shows up on the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA).  These assessments will really help to find the underlying causes and not just treat the pain symptoms.

Usually the underlining cause is a Combination of a mobility issue and a motor control issue.

Typically we have have to address the restrictions and pains in the muscles and joint complexes.  We find that HMT, a acupressure technique is usually the fastest and most effective for releasing these restrictions, but often we incorporate Active Release Technique (ART) and Graston Technique as well.

Commonly we will prescribe daily home mobilization of the Thoracic spine for long term success.  In our office we show people how to this with a combination of; miracle balls, Yoga tune up balls, foam rollers,

The Pain from the Facets joints can be relieved with some an side posture chiropractic adjustment.  This not only will increase blood flow to joint, and help to increase synovial fluid, it will help break up the fibrosis laid down by the inflammation.  This fibrosis over time will thicken causing restriction and decreased range of motion of the spine. 

For those that aren't ready for an adjustment a series of body work treatments to the muscle and fascia is essential to maintaining elastic and strong tissues fibers.

I hope this helps you get back in the water

In Health,

Dr Justin Mcleod - Santa Cruz Spine & Sport 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Pro-Football Player Andy Leivitate at Spine and Sport

Pro-Football player and local boy Andy Levitre knows how important getting a tune up is and some deep tissue work.  Posing here in our new office with Tiffany Logan CMT, his go to deep tissue massage therapist when he is home on the off-season. 

Text us at 831-713-8400 to schedule your tune up with Tiff.

What I love about Tiffany is she get in there and makes a real change.  Being a beach volley ball player, rock climbing, surfer, crossfitter, and mountain biker she has had her fair shares of sports injuries and know from personal experience what it feels like not being able to do the things you love.  She is amazing at dealing with sports injuries in the shoulder, low back, neck, hips and knees.

If you have want to thank Tiffany her work on you go to our Yelp page or Facebook page to let her know with a review.  

In Health,

Dr. Justin McLeod

Follow Dr. McLeod on Instagram at scspineandsport

Monday, February 8, 2016

Santa Cruz Spine and Sport's Grand Opening


Thank you everyone for coming out and supporting us at our Grand Opening party in our beautiful new location on River St.  We had a great turn out of about 150 people.  It was really fun giving away some of my favorite health and wellness products at the raffle, and that taco bar was insane.

With this bigger space we announced that we not only will have Chiropractic and Massage, but will be a introducing Yoga and Personal Training as well.

Amie O'Donovan, yoga teacher will be here Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am.  We are going to also start opening up chiropractic hours on Tuesday and Thursdays sandwiching the Yoga class at 10 a.m. so that following your chiropractic visit you can step into a yoga class, or after the yoga classes you can do a Chiropractic Adjustment add-on for $20.

We also have brought on two amazing personal trainers.  Tammy is a fitness consultant certified as a personal trainer for general athletic, & pre/post natal conditioning.  She is also a corrective exercise specialist which through assessments, designs programs to address muscle imbalances and movement deficiencies to improve function and decrease risk of injury & chronic pain. On Wednesday afternoons she will be co-managing patients with me and on Thursdays from 2-6 she will be doing privates or semi-privates.  When she not training with us she can be found training at Rocky's.

 Niki Pettel is certified personal trainer that works along side me Monday, Wednesday, and Friday  mornings.  Her back ground is in gymnastics and power lifting.  She is has a her AA in Kinesiology and is currently finishing up her BS at San Jose University. She also trains at NorCal in Scotts Valley, and teaches gymnastics at Vargas
Tiffany Logan, Certified Massage Therapist came with me to the new location and is giving deep tissue massages Monday thru Friday.  Her schedule is usually booked out 2 weeks, so make sure you schedule well in-advanced.
Our mission at Santa Cruz Spine & Sport is to help you Move better so that you can feel better so that you can live better.  We do this through Chiropractic, Massage, and Personal Training.

In Health,

Dr. Justin McLeod

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nourishing your Disc through Movement

Understanding how the discs work to gain nourishment
Discs are gel-like bodies which perform a very important role in helping your back work efficiently. One of their principal functions is to act like shock absorbers and insulators between the blocks of bone (or vertebrae) which go to make up your spine. Not only do your discs have to cope with constant pressure, they also absorb shocks, compression and twisting stresses and have to allow

backpain & posture - 2 discs pic
backpain & posture - discs pic F & B
Each disc consists of a semi-fluid centre or  nucleus surrounded by semi-elastic rings of cartilage. These rings of cartilage are made up of collagen fibres - the tough substance that ties all your tissues together. Because of its elasticity and semi-fluid nature, the nucleus (central core) of your disc allows any compression forces on the spine to move evenly in all directions thus spreading the load.        

Bending forward the nucleus pushes the nucleus backwards (i.e. Disc bulge) and as you bend backwards it moves forward. That is why for Discogenic pain extension exercises like Cobra are beneficial.  Your discs are always under constant pressure. In the early 1970's Professor Nachemson of Sweden measured the pressure in the lumbar discs of a group of "volunteer?" students. It was found that even when you are lying down there is still considerable internal pressure. When sitting and particularly when sitting and leaning forward without back support, the pressure increases markedly. In other words more muscles are working and further compressing your spine when sitting than when you are standing upright.

backpain & posture- Body Position Chart
White areas of the graph above the broken line show body positions in which fluid is squeezed out of your disc. The shaded areas (below) are ones in which fluid is sucked in.

The reasons why there is constant, internal disc pressure are as follows:-
A column of blocks of bone separated by elastic mobile joints would tend to be unstable and flop about. To add the necessary stability these blocks of bone (vertebrae) are joined to each other by strong semi-elastic ligaments.
Because these ligaments are under constant tension they impose a compression force on your discs.

To balance this force there must be some way of maintaining pressure inside your disc otherwise it would collapse. To understand the source of this internal pressure it helps to know something about -

How your discs get nourishment

- Chemical structure of your discs are about 85% water and contain mainly in the central core or nucleus. Within this fluid there are the specialized cells called 'chondrocytes'. Their function is to manufacture a chemical compound known as proteoglycan - the principal ingredient of the 'lubricant' that allows our joints to move freely. Chondrocytes are living cells and, like all other living cells in your body, require regular nourishment and a means of ridding themselves of waste products.

Unlike the majority of other cells, however, your chondrocytes cannot receive nourishment from the blood supply because of the extreme pressures under which they operate. They use instead a unique system of movement which helps maintain the different electrical potentials - drawing in oxygen and pushing out waste products.

The outer walls of the disc and cartilage end plate act as a sort of selective semi-permeable membrane. This allows water and chemicals to pass through, including those chemicals necessary for your chondrocytes to function. At the same time waste products of this process pass out.

At the center of the disc the concentration of essential nutrients is only just great enough to maintain your chondrocytes in reasonable health and the waste disposal action is only just coping. Without adequate diffusion, assisted by movement, the chondrocytes can easily become starved.

Movement is the best aid to this diffusion. Your discs were designed for this modern day sedentary lifestyle. One position for too long, whether sitting, standing or lying down is no bueno. Take micro-breaks every 15 minutes and nourish your chondrocytes. You back will thank you. 
In Health,

Clinical Update: The best Form of B12 is......

Vitamin B12? Are you taking the best form?'
The best form of Vitamin B12 has two active co-enzyme forms: methylcobalaminUsed in folate metabolism and brain development, and adenosylcobalaminPlays a role in energy metabolism and the formation of myelin around nerve cells

According to this review suggests vitamin B12 deficiency should be treated with a combination of these two forms to achieve the best clinical results, stating also that oral versus intramuscular routes can be equally effective.

Regarding the route, it has been proved that the oral route is comparable to the intramuscular route for rectifying vitamin B12 deficiency.

(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2015)
LINK to ABSTRACT Treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency - Methylcobalamin? Cyancobalamin? Hydroxocobalamin?-clearing the confusion.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms  are both Hematological (pernicious anemia and neurological.  Megaloblastic anemia may result because of the effects of the B12.

Clinical signs of folate metabolism deficiency: shortness of breath, fatique, weakness, irritability, ore tongu, decrease in blood cell counts (red, white and platelets).

Neurological symptoms are seen as a progressive neuropathy with loss of position sense and ataxia. If repletion of B12 is not performed then permanent neurological damage, including degeneration of nerves and spinal cord can result.

Recent evidence suggests that mental symtoms of depression and fatique are detectable before anemia develops.  

B12 is vital to prevent of homocystine accumulation (toxic metabolic byprodduct linked to cardiovascular disease connective tissue abnormailities.  

Dietary Sources:

Cobalamins are strictly from animal food, not in plant food.

RDA:for B12 as of 1989  is 2.0 μg daily (micron, or microgram 1x10−6 )

No toxic effects of oral Vit 12 have been shown, even in doses over 1000 μg a day

Here as Santa Cruz Spine and Sport we like using SpectraCell for intracellular micro-nutrient testing

In Health,

Dr. Justin McLeod