T Nation

Thurs - Wilford Brimley Any ?'s

I’m here for a couple hours. Any questions?

Hey Dr. Ryan,

What particular area is your expertise in? I see the Dr. tag in front of the name, what are your specialties?

poper,

I will repost this from last week:

Credentialize myself huh. That’s always fun.

Well I’m not really a doctor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night…

Seriously, I have a BS degree in Exercise Science from The Ohio State University and did an internship in the Exercise Physiology/Fitness program at NASA’s LBJ Space Center in Houston.

I graduated Summa Cum Laude and received my Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Texas Chiropractic College in 2000. I did an orthopedic surgery rotation through the Baylor Sports Medicine Institute with Dr. Bill Bryan, one of the Houston Astros physicians.

I’ve taken 1 year of diplomate level Clinical Nutrition coursework.

I’ve served as an on-site doctor as well as sports nutrition/medicine advisor for the USA Fit marathon training programs (I know marathons, ugh)

I am currently practicing in Kingwood, TX a suburb of Houston.

That is my background, please feel free to ask me any questions, particularly regarding injuries, rehab, clinical nutrition.

I have been training for about 14 years now. I am 5’ 10" weigh 195 at about 8-9% bodyfat.

Alright, cool

I recently sprained my right wrist pretty badly. It’s in a cast. Any recommendations to keep strength in my right arm while in the cast?

-poper

Dr. R

I’ve seen Chiropractics (Chiropracticology?) get a bad rap in the media. Have you ever seen any such reports. I wish I could remember more but something about they hold that all illness are caused by a bad alignment of the spine. And that some of the twisting and adjustment can actually be bad for the joints. I was wondering what you thought of this.

Mr. Brimley -

I am 40. I train hard. I need a full time massuese (I hope you don’t count off for misspelling) on staff. Trouble is, I live about 100 miles from anyone that even knows what a massage table looks like.

My question is, is there a self-massage procedure that I can perform on myself that would help aid in recovery?

That question sounds way perverted, but in all honesty I really need some sort of protocol that will help.

I hope that makes sense.

poper,

A couple things that come to mind are isometric contractions and bicep/tricep posing (Check out Christian’s Cool Tip regarding posing).

If you have access to an electric muscle stim. unit, that could help as well.

Take care,

Ryan

Dr. Ryan, few questions(if you got the time):

  1. Any reccomendations to speed recovery after WO’s? Specifically when you are getting DOMS.

  2. What type of warmup do you reccomend before a general fullbody workout?

  3. Just curious about your opinion on using machines. I am NOT talking about smith machine squats or something silly like that. Specifically speaking, hamstring(leg) curls and some of the hammer strength upperbody machines(bench, et al) seem to have a fairly natural feeling ROM. What is the major downside to these machines in your opinion?

  4. Any general health or training supplements that you think most people usually ignore? The Protein debate brought up Folic Acid which I have never thought about supplementing with.

sam747,

I think every profession takes a turn with biased media coverage from time to time.

An underlying principle/philosophy is that since the nervous system (along with endocrine etc) has control over all the muscles/organs etc. that any interference with it, whether it creates increased or decreased function, can potentially lead to a problem. While some chiropractors may believe that minor spinal misalignments can result in sign. altered nerve function that is responsible for all diseases, I think that the majority take more holistic approach.

While I have certainly had people that relate improved function in a body system (as a result of treatment), other than musculoskeletal, I certainly do not suggest to them that they should expect anything like that. Usually they will mention it to me and I will explain how it could have effected it blah blah.

Regarding it being bad or dangerous to adjust the joints, there really is minimal risk. Obviously you have to know what you are doing and when you should/n’t adjust. The biggest thing that you hear about is stroke from neck adjusting. While it has happened, you are more likely to get struck by lightening. Also, in many of the reported cases, the adjustment wasn’t performed by a chiro.

Chiro’s also do more than just adjust the spine. We do physical modalities,
myofascial treatment, RH etc.

There is a lot of misinformation out there. The funny thing is that adverse drug reactions were responsible for over 100,000 deaths last year (AMA’s stats) yet people are worried about getting adjusted. Classic. No I am not anti-MD, actually I work real well with them. I get referrals from ortho’s, neuro’s, GP’s, you name it.

Now, there are some chiropractors that I would love to do away with. My collegues and I refer to them as the Dark Side. If you go to a chiro and they take x-rays of you that shows a minor “subluxation” and then try to sign you up for 3x/wk for 6 mo type of treatment plan, politely tell them you are not interested.

If you ever have any questions on whether something sounds kosher or not, please PM, etc.

Well that took up entirely too much time.

Feel free to ask any other questions you might have.

Ryan

rainjack,

How did your Grow!/SYNO powder turn out? lol

Self massage? Don’t you do that three times a day anyway?

Actually there are some areas that you can work on easily, i.e. forearms, chest, areas that you can reach.

Eric and Mike did that article on the foam roll that would help. You can also put a couple tennis balls in a sock and put a small knot in the sock to keep them separated. Then you can either lay on the floor, face up, with the sock behind your back and work some trigger points, or stand against the wall with the sock behind you and work the areas.

You should send your wife to massage school, after all since she almost killed you, she owes you one.

Take care,

Ryan

Dr. Ryan,

Great to catch you online, was gonna post this question in a general forum, but I hope it’s something you could help me with. I was getting excited to finally start training my legs again, haven’t been able to do much for them in nearly a year, after breaking an ankle and then getting bone spurs on the area where the break happened. Then, about six or seven weeks ago, I was on the phone in bed one night, and suddenly my back tensed up. I had trouble even standing up, had to sort of push myself up. The pain wasn’t crippling or anything, but I felt it, and attempting to bend over was out of the question. Was this back spasms?

The next day it felt a bit better, but it was still noticeable, tightness/soreness in the lower back. Squats were suddenly out of the question, and so were deadlifts. I tried working around it, took some ibuprofen, and evetually made plans to see a doctor. He was no help though, just had me try to touch my toes, which I can barely do now, and sort of twist my trunk, and said I should just rest it. Not a big fan of the NHS (I’m studying over in Britain).

I figured I’d found a way out by doing front squats, but then yesterday, in my third week of them, I felt my back start getting it on my third set (not heavy weight at all, just doing sets of eight with 70 kilos). Now today, it’s worse than it was before, not quite as bad as the first day, but I’m stiff as hell, even sitting in a chair for a long time ain’t fun.

So, with my lifting seriously curtailed (no squats, deads, ab stuff, bent-over rows, the list goes on), what should I do? I can still do most upper body stuff with no pain, and I though I notice it a tad more when benching, it doesn’t seem to get any worse there. Should I see a chiro? If I were back home, I would in a heartbeat (I’ve had great experiences with ART for bad shoulders), but over here it’s gonna cost me some money. Should I be resting it, applying heat, ibuprofen (unfortunately, I can’t ice, no freezer, as weird as that is)? Thanks for any advice.

Thanks for the in depth reply, Doc.

Helix,

  1. Do a search of CT’s articles. He did one a couple months ago about recovery methods. Proper peri-workout nutrition, post-workout ice, and active recovery have worked well for me.

2)5-10 minutes of full-body cardio type exercise, mild stretching and light warm-up sets of the exercise. Basic but usually effective. If you have an injury or other problem, you may need additional warm-up.

  1. Machines have their place and some are obviously better than others. Two things come to mind when talking about problems with machines. One is the lack of having to stabilize the weight throughout the movement. Second is that the movement patten is fixed.

  2. Most people leave out tons of things, but then again T-Nation readers aren’t most people. I think that JB/LL, et al.have done a great job bringing most issues to light.

I mean T-Nation has been talking about esential fats and fish oils for years now. Same thing with fiber, greens products,etc. Mg and Zn are two minerals that are often defic. and Biotest’s ZMA should take care of that.

A lot is dependent on your diet. I know JB and LL preach variety, which is important not only for vitamins and minerals, but also phytonutrients and other cofactors.

If anything else pops top mind I’ll post it.

Take care,

Ryan

GDollars,

Check back tomorrow, I will reply to your question then. Unfortunately I have to do patient notes.

Take care,

Ryan

Hey Doc, I’ve asked a few other T-Nation contributors about this but it sounds like you might be the one with the appropriate background.

I’m looking for a strengthening and stabilization program for my lower back, as I’ve got three herniated discs in the lumbar area. I’m searching for something that I can use in addition to my current lifting and cardio program. I did some therapy a few years ago, but since then I’ve had pretty much constant tightness and weakness in the lower back and legs. Thanks for your help.

Dr. Ryan,

Do you have any opinions on the use of gravity inversion to release spinal stress? It seems beneficial, but I recall some negative press at one point due to the possible development of pathological levels of intraocular pressure from having the body in an inverted state.

Thanks.

Dr. Ryan,

I was doing wide grip chins and felt a “pop” in my shoulder, unbelievably painful. When I would use my shoulder just doing normal everyday activities it did not hurt unless my arm was low, like rolling down a car window or something like that where my palm was up.

I slowly but surely have started doing pull-ups again, and not every set but sometimes I will feel some deep pain on the way down of a rep. It is not just a quick twinge of pain, kind of like a slow burn type of deal.

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

[quote]Dr. Ryan wrote:
rainjack,

How did your Grow!/SYNO powder turn out? lol

Self massage? Don’t you do that three times a day anyway?

Actually there are some areas that you can work on easily, i.e. forearms, chest, areas that you can reach.

Eric and Mike did that article on the foam roll that would help. You can also put a couple tennis balls in a sock and put a small knot in the sock to keep them separated. Then you can either lay on the floor, face up, with the sock behind your back and work some trigger points, or stand against the wall with the sock behind you and work the areas.

You should send your wife to massage school, after all since she almost killed you, she owes you one.

Take care,

Ryan[/quote]

Thanks Doc.

I had to start my syno conversion over, and it’s Chocolate Grow! from here on out for me.

Send my wife to massage school? So she can lull me to sleep with a massage, then snap my neck like a thanksgiving turkey? No thanks, I want to see her coming next time (I’ve been practicing some secret ninja moves from the government).

Seriously, though -

I’ll definitely read up on Mike & Eric’s massage ideas.

But more specifically, I was thinking about my mid-lower back region. I don’t know if you remember, or not - but you advised me wrt micro-tear trauma in my lower back last year. My thinking is that if I can keep the area loose - maybe I can avoid another incident this year.

When I train back - heavy rows, or DL’s I get extremely tight - not hurt-tight, but huge pump-tight. When I do pull ups, or pull downs - I get the same ungodly pump around the insertion point of the lats in my middle back.

Any ideas to help keep those loosened up?

T-bone 2,

I really don’t have much experience with patient’s using inversion boots. I really don’t like the idea of hanging completely upside down with the full weight of your body providing the forces.

Inversion tables where you can set the table at diff. degrees, could be beneficial for certain conditions.

We use traction tables for certain conditions.

Some people find that hanging from a chin-up bar for a several reps helps to decompress the joints.

Even stretching backwards over a swiss ball helps some people.

Take care,

Ryan

CDM,

I think that you should get it checked out by a sports med chiro/pt/ortho in order to get a diagnosis and treatment rec. Pending the findings, I could suggest some exercise modification etc.

Take care,

Ryan