Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Choose Your Athletic Shoes

How to Select Athletic Shoes:
Too many people choose fashion over function when purchasing athletic shoes, not realizing that poor-fitting shoes can lead to pain throughout the body. Because footwear plays such an important role in the function of bones and joints—especially for runners and other athletes—choosing the right shoe can help prevent pain in your back, hips, knees, and feet.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the very best athletic shoe—every pair of feet is different, every shoe has different features, and overall comfort is a very personal decision. For this reason, it is recommended that you first determine your foot type: normal, flat, or high-arched.
The Normal FootNormal feet have a normal-sized arch and will leave a wet footprint that has a flare, but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a broad band. A normal foot lands on the outside of the heel and rolls slightly inward to absorb shock.
Best shoes: Stability shoes with a slightly curved shape.
The Flat Foot
This type of foot has a low arch and leaves a print that looks like the whole sole of the foot. It usually indicates an over-pronated foot—one that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls excessively inward (pronates). Over time, this can cause overuse injuries.
Best shoes: Motion-control shoes or high-stability shoes with firm midsoles. These shoes should be fairly resistant to twisting or bending. Stay away from highly cushioned, highly curved shoes, which lack stability features.
The High-Arched Foot
The high-arched foot leaves a print showing a very narrow band—or no band at all—between the forefoot and the heel. A curved, highly arched foot is generally supinated or under-pronated. Because the foot doesn’t pronate enough, usually it’s not an effective shock absorber.
Best shoes: Cushioned shoes with plenty of flexibility to encourage foot motion. Stay away from motion-control or stability shoes, which reduce foot mobility.
When determining your foot type, consult with your doctor of chiropractic. He or she can help determine your specific foot type, assess your gait, and then suggest the best shoe match.
Shoe Purchasing Tips
Consider the following tips before you purchase your next pair of athletic shoes:

• Match the shoe to the activity. Select a shoe specific for the sport in which you will participate. Running shoes are primarily made to absorb shock as the heel strikes the ground. In contrast, tennis shoes provide more side-to-side stability. Walking shoes allow the foot to roll and push off naturally during walking, and they usually have a fairly rigid arch, a well-cushioned sole, and a stiff heel support for stability.
• If possible, shop at a specialty store. It’s best to shop at a store that specializes in athletic shoes. Employees at these stores are often trained to recommend a shoe that best matches your foot type (shown above) and stride pattern.
• Shop late in the day. If possible, shop for shoes at the end of the day or after a workout when your feet are generally at their largest. Wear the type of socks you usually wear during exercise, and if you use orthotic devices for postural support, make sure you wear them when trying on shoes.
• Have your feet measured every time. It’s important to have the length and width of both feet measured every time you shop for shoes, since foot size often changes with age and most people have 1 foot that is larger than the other. Also, many podiatrists suggest that you measure your foot while standing in a weight bearing position because the foot elongates and flattens when you stand, affecting the measurement and the fit of the shoe.
• Make sure the shoe fits correctly. Choose shoes for their fit, not by the size you’ve worn in the past. The shoe should fit with an index finger’s width between the end of the shoe and the longest toe. The toe box should have adequate room and not feel tight. The heel of your foot should fit snugly against the back of the shoe without sliding up or down as you walk or run. If possible, keep the shoe on for 10 minutes to make sure it remains comfortable.
How Long Do Shoes Last?
Once you have purchased a pair of athletic shoes, don’t run them into the ground. While estimates vary as to when the best time to replace old shoes is, most experts agree that between 300 and 500 miles is optimal. In fact, most shoes should be replaced even before they begin to show signs of moderate wear. Once shoes show wear, especially in the cushioning layer called the midsole, they also begin to lose their shock absorption. Failure to replace worn shoes is a common cause of injuries like shin splints, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis.
If you have any questions about your foot pain, or would like to schedule an appointment, contact your Woodbridge ChiropractorDr. Nick Andolina, at 703-490-8383.
- Chiropractor , Physiotherapist
  Woodbridge, VA 22192

1455 Old Bridge Road, Suite 202
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Heavy purses are the pathway to pain!

The purse of today has passed by the tasteful clutch of Audrey Hepburn, skipped past the utilitarian hand bag of your mom and stomped into the realm of back-pack carry all of GI Joe.  
Stuffed full with mobile phone, iPad, umbrella, diary, make-up, book, water bottle and – yes, it is true – often another purse. It is not uncommon to find women toting around bags weighing more than 15 pounds. 
Is this a bad thing? When has being prepared ever been bad? Plus, imagine all the extra exercise achieved by lugging around a heavy bag.  
The problem centres around the compensations we make in posture to carry these bags and the injuries that develop over time. 

Head and neck 
The first compensation is at the top. When carrying a bag, the head and neck naturally leans in the opposite direction to help offset the weight. This creates tension on the side of the neck with the load and compression of the joints on the other side. Unfortunately, the brachial plexus (the bundle of nerves that travel from the neck down the arm) is also where all this stress is being placed. Aside from compressing this bundle of nerves we can also cause neck pain and muscle inflammation.  
This problem can manifest itself as chronic neck pain or blow up into an acute episode of neck spasm. Usually there is the complaint of a nagging ache that runs down the neck, across the top of the shoulder blade, and over to the arm. This curved crescent of discomfort frequently gets worse and worse until one day a trivial movement causes sudden agony with muscle spasm, pinched joints and irritated nerves.  

Shoulders and back 
The shoulder carrying the purse is elevated and rotated either forward or backwards. The muscles supporting the spine, shoulder and upper back will eventually tire and spasm. Fatigued muscles don’t hold the spine correctly, creating poor posture and overloading of the spine joints.  
Over time, the joints of the spine wear and this can lead to premature arthritis. Even the discs, the cartilage cushions between the vertebrae, can start to degenerate. If the disc structure deteriorates enough, a painful herniation of the inner disc pulp can develop. 

Our arms are meant to swing while walking to create a natural balancing mechanism. When carrying a bag, that arm remains relatively motionless to keep the load under control. 
Disrupting the normal walking mechanism creates an unbalanced walk, which creates a greater physical toll on the rest of the body. Carrying a bag in the crook of the arm rather than the shoulder can lead to overloading the bicep causing fatigue and tendonitis.  

Hips and legs 
The body compensates for the altered balance of the gait by taking shorter steps. Couple this altered gait with the extra load placed on the hip and knee joints from the overloaded purse and the legs are working much harder to walk than necessary.  
These compensations are even more pronounced when you throw high heels into the mix.  

How to shoulder the load 
The sad truth is that the fanny pack of yesteryear was the best way to carry a purse. Assuming that isn’t much of a solution for you, then there are other strategies that can be employed. 
Limit the load: Do you really need to carry a water bottle with you? Are you travelling that far from civilization? 
Switch it up: Move the bag from side to side at regular intervals; give the muscles a chance to rest. 
Wide straps will better distribute the pressure of the bag across the shoulder. 
Keep it close: The mass of the bag should be kept close to your centre of mass – like a fanny pack. 
Remember the mailman: A satchel bag with the strap across the body can better balance the weight. 
Strap it short: Long straps lead to the bag bumping into your hips and the momentum of a swinging bag leads to imbalance.  
The American Chiropractic Association recommends a bag weighs no more than 10 per cent of a person’s total body weight (between 12 to 15 pounds for the average woman). 
Get military: Throw the shoulders back and the chest forward; avoid the slouching posture that shoulder straps encourage. 
Balance it out: Try carrying a bag on one shoulder and a short-handled tote in the other hand, so you’re balanced. 
Warning signs 
Warning signs that you may be on your way to a big-bag injury include an ache in the shoulder blade area and frequent neck stiffness. Headaches and pain radiating 
down the arm are also symptoms.  
If you’re noticing these signs and they don’t improve with rest and stretching, it is time to visit your chiropractor – take the small purse.                                                - Dr. Jemal Khan

At Andolina Chiropractic & Rehab of Woodbridge, it is far too common to see women carrying purses up to 20 lbs.  For some reason, women think it is necessary to carry all of their belongings in their purse.  Men don't have an issue with just carrying a wallet.  I know that there are certain products that women must carry that men do not, but try not to get carried away and think that just because there is room, you should fill the space.  The heavier the bag, the higher probability of muscular/postural imbalances and an increase in pain.  Keep it simple, and keep it light!

Above you see the X-Ray of a person carrying a large purse.  You can see how much your body has to compensate for the weight.  Over time this can cause injury and chronic pain.  If you notice that you are starting to have pain in areas noted in the article above, schedule treatment at Andolina Chiropractic & Rehab of Woodbridge at 703-490-8383 or online at
- Chiropractor , Physiotherapist
  Woodbridge, VA 22192

1455 Old Bridge Road, Suite 202
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Monday, November 19, 2012

Woodbridge Laser Therapy for Back Pain

The healing potential and mechanism of action of low level laser therapy: a brief overview

October 8, 2012 – The chiropractic profession has always been in the habit of setting new standards for natural approaches to patients’ health, not following them. Low level laser therapy fits extremely well into the chiropractic model of using various safe, effective, and natural methods to help our patients achieve their optimum function.

A key feature of low level laser therapy that aids well for chiropractors and other natural medicine practitioners is low level laser therapy’s proven ability to help decrease pain and speed the healing of tissue.  A study from the Australian Journal of Physiotherapy of 61 patients presenting with chronic low-back pain concluded that low level laser therapy combined with exercise was more effective long term than exercise alone. The amazing thing about this study is that the patients who had laser therapy were still experiencing significant pain relief 6 weeks after therapy was provided (1).

Decreasing pain is a great benefit for our patients; however, pain is a symptom, and as chiropractors, we pride ourselves at addressing the cause of our patients’ complaints.  It is thought that the low level laser stimulates the targeted cells to increase mitochondrial production of ATP, which speeds healing through increased cellular efficiency and energy (2).  In summary, if the mitochondria in your cells are little power plants, low level laser therapy helps increase the output of the power plant. In a paper on PubMed from Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, the authors observed accelerated healing of cutaneous wounds and burns, as well as increased action potential of crushed sciatic nerves on the rats that received low level laser therapy (3).  In another study from Laser in Surgery in Medicine, a low level laser was looked at from a microscopic level, and the authors concluded that, “5 J/cm [632.8 nm low level laser] stimulates mitochondrial activity, which leads to normalization of cell function and ultimately stimulates cell proliferation and migration of wonded fibroblasts to accelerate wound closure.” (4)

Increasing our patients’ cellular efficiency and, in turn, healing ability through use of low level laser therapy marriages perfectly with chiropractic care, which aims to do the same through restoring proper posture, biomechanics, and neurological function. If you are considering purchasing a laser, I recommend assessing each company before making a decision, as lasers are a relatively expensive addition to your practice.  If you are considering low level laser therapy for a current complaint or just want to try it, I encourage you to do so, because after seeing and feeling the effects, you will start to realize that low level laser is here to stay.

- Sean Miller, DC

At Andolina Chiropractic & Rehab of Woodbridge, we utilize chiropractic cold or low level laser therapy with much success.  If you have questions or would like to be treated with laser therapy, contact your Woodbridge Chiropractor at 703-490-8383 or schedule online at!

- Chiropractor , Physiotherapist
  Woodbridge, VA 22192

1455 Old Bridge Road, Suite 202
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stretch at your Desk! Chiropractic Ergonomics!

Stay active at work!  
It is very important to stay loose while sitting at your desk and it's very easy to become comfortable at that expensive chair, not knowing that you could be creating serious muscular imbalances.  Don't underestimate importance of stretching and strengthening muscles that affect your posture at the workplace.  Attached is a photo with some stretches and exercises that are easy to do right at your desk.  Along with these, try to get up and move around for 5 minutes after sitting for a half hour.  Doing anything is better than doing nothing.  If you have pain due to poor ergonomics or prolonged sitting, call us at Andolina Chiropractic & Rehab of Woodbridge at 703.490.8383!
- Chiropractor , Physiotherapist
  Woodbridge, VA 22192

1455 Old Bridge Road, Suite 202
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A special thank you to Mike Duncan of Lettercraft Signs for designing, creating, and installing th new 2 x 10 foot brightly lit sign for Andolina Chiropractic & Rehab of Woodbridge.  Great job Mike!  If anyone out there needs help with any signage job; big or small, give him a call at 703-625-6362 or visit his website at  A great guy that does the best work in the area!
Thanks again, Mike!
- Chiropractor , Physiotherapist
  Woodbridge, VA 22192

1455 Old Bridge Road, Suite 202
Woodbridge, VA 22192