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Listen To Dr. Stoxen’s Interview On Afternoons With Richard Stubbs 774 ABC Radio Melbourne, Australia

  Listen to the Podcast below: Dr. James Stoxen DC Radio Interview  On Afternoons With Richard Stubbs 774 ABC Radio, Melbourne Dr James Stoxen is visiting Australia to lecture about The Inflammation-Depression Connection as well as Run For Life! Barefoot Or Shod?   at The 6th Annual A5M Conference in Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine in Melbourne, Australia […]

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Listen to the Podcast below:

Dr. James Stoxen DC Radio Interview 
On Afternoons With Richard Stubbs
774 ABC Radio, Melbourne

Dr James Stoxen is visiting Australia to lecture about The Inflammation-Depression Connection as well as Run For Life! Barefoot Or Shod?   at The 6th Annual A5M Conference in Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine in Melbourne, Australia which takes place Sunday August 19th.

He speaks to Richard Stubbs about barefoot running and the human spring. Both of these concepts are explained further in Anthony Field’s (the blue wiggle) memoir of healing book, How I got my Wiggle Back. for more information on  how to get the book, click here

Listen to Dr. Stoxen on More Radio Interviews below:

Listen To Dr. James Stoxen DC Interview with Bernadette Young ABC Gold Coast Radio 91.7 Sydney Australia

Listen To Dr. Stoxen’s Interview On Luke Grant Afternoons show 873 AM 2GB Radio, Sydney, Australia

Video Tutorial #14 My 8 Secrets To Improving Walking and Running Efficiency Through Maximizing The Human Spring

My 8 Secrets To Improving Walking and Running Efficiency Through Maximizing The Human Spring Tips For Better Health Ask the doctor, Dr James Stoxen DC There are many causes of fatigue symptoms and reduced walking and running efficiency… During walking and running we burn most of our energy from muscle fatigue. So, if inefficiency in walking […]

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My 8 Secrets To Improving Walking and Running Efficiency Through Maximizing The Human Spring

Tips For Better Health

Ask the doctor, Dr James Stoxen DC

There are many causes of fatigue symptoms and reduced walking and running efficiency…

During walking and running we burn most of our energy from muscle fatigue.

So, if inefficiency in walking and running is an important cause of fatigue, then a logical first step to diagnosis fatigue would be to evaluate the reason why we could be burning too much energy so that we could arrive at a more precise fatigue diagnosis.

When you go to the doctor complaining that you are always tired with muscle pain, fatigue and body aches, most doctors just do blood tests as the only fatigue test. When they come out negative, they wonder why they cannot find the cause of your fatigue and exhaustion.

This article is important for you if you seem to be always tired but:

  • want to increase your fatigue limit and have more natural energy.
  • want more energy in the performance of activities of daily living such as simple walking.
  • want improved efficiency and to reduce weakness and fatigue in distance running and other sports.
  • want to reduce the fatigue weakness that causes fatigue failure during impacts called overuse injuries like plantar fasciists, shin splints, leg, hip and back spasms or herniated discs.

This is the key!

Muscles fatigue faster when you use your body as a lever mechanism instead of the more efficient spring mechanism.

By releasing and strengthening your human spring as well as learning how to best use your spring mechanism,  you may be able to increase your fatigue limit.  

In this post I will answer questions such as:

  1. How do I improve walking and running efficiency?
  2. How do I protect myself from impacts that lead to fatigue strain and overuse injuries?
  3. Why am I so tired and how do I prevent extreme fatigue like chronic fatigue syndrome?

In the walking or running game, many athletes, coaches and trainers site muscle fatigue as one of the leading causes of poor performance.

Muscle fatigue will leave the joints to fall out of the most efficient alignment leading to fatigue strain that increases the risk of painful walking conditions and running related injuries.

Muscle fatigue and connective tissue weakness of the spring suspension system muscles or locking of the human spring, effects proper walking form, running technique and fatigue in sports, leading to poor performance in competitions that are chalked up to having a “bad day”.

With extreme or chronic fatigue, those battling fatigue every day without relief in sight can slide into fatigue depression, which will serve to exacerbate the problem, immensely.

Understanding how your human spring uses FREE elastic spring energy from the elastic tissues instead of muscle will allow you to improve efficiency of movement.

This article will teach you my 8 secrets to improving walking and running efficiency through maximizing human spring as a fatigue fighter…

What is muscle fatigue and what are the causes of muscle fatigue?

You will definitely fatigue faster if your body relies on muscles to push you as a lever mechanism during walking and running instead of of your human spring mechanism, springing you.

The two main functions of your human spring mechanism are:

ENERGY RECYCLING – Whether you run, jog, walk, use running for weight loss, barefoot run or running for your life, the spring suspension system muscle group recycles energy, making ambulation more efficient. If left undetected, a weakness in the suspension system can lead to acute or chronic fatigue.   The Human Spring Model and Approach is a very simple, common sense model to study how the body stores, releases, and recycles energy for maximum efficiency.

PROTECTION FROM IMPACTS – The spring suspension system muscles (AKA landing muscles) protect you from the impacts of walking, running and sports.  So, any amount of muscle fatigue or preload tension on the spring suspension system can cause a potential injury.

Muscle fatigue can contribute to low energy levels and even extreme fatigue.  This can lead to pain and fatigue which can cause reduced performance and sport related injuries.

Chronically exhausted muscles fail to maintain the spring in the optimum alignment leaving the connective tissue in constant fatigue strain during simple movement causing constant daily damage to the bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

Because we impact the earth 200,000 times by our 60th birthday this constant fatigue strain on the joints is what I feel is the primary cause of Degenerative Joint Disease (D.J.D) of the knee and hip that leads to preventable knee and hip replacements.

Sports related, overuse, impact injuries such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, stress fractures,  knee injuries, hip injuries and of course herniated discs could be attributed to this breakdown in the spring mechanism.

If you have unexplained poor performance in sports and leisure activities and any of these conditions above, odds are you MAY have an inefficient spring mechanism.

In this article I am going to focus on improving your walking and running efficiency

WALKING EFFICIENCY – We will review what walking form and technique will allow you to walk with natural spring in your step.

RUNNING EFFICIENCY – Which conditioning or running program will allow you to maximize human spring potential so you can run fast, run faster and with improved running efficiency.

The best way to maximize walking and running efficiency is to learn how your human spring mechanism works and maximize its potential!  Understanding the engineering of the spring impact resistance mechanism can give you more detailed answers for your acute or chronic fatigue diagnosis. Dr James Stoxen DC

How does the human spring work to improve efficiency?

When you walk or run, the most efficient way to move is to load the forces of impacts into the elastic deforming tissues such as tendons and connective tissue structures and the least amount of loading forces into the muscles.

The way to understand how the human spring  functions best, is to first look at the laws of physics and second to look at the scientific studies. 

The key to understating how the body resists impacts and recycles energy is to apply the accepted laws of physics to the human body.  I believe that when there are discrepancies between what is predicted by the laws of physics and the results of studies, then the laws of physics trumps the results of studies. If the variances cannot be explained by these laws then I assume there is a flaw in the study or the results and or conclusions are misinterpreted.

Hooke’s Law of Spring Mechanics 

Hooke’s Law applies to spring mechanics.

It does not apply to lever mechanics.

Does a lever ever completely spring back to its original shape?

The body is not a lever. It is a spring

Hooke’s law of elasticity is an approximation that states that the extension of a spring is in direct proportion with the forces added to it as long as this load does not exceed the elastic limit or yield point.

The bottom line is that the more deformable or elastic your body becomes the more it can dissipate shocks as well as store, release and therefore recycle free elastic energy.

This is the key to improving the efficiency of your performance.  

In other words the more the body spring is stretched (extension springs) or compressed (compression springs) the more energy we get from the spring.

For more information on how Hooke’s Law applies to the human spring read these articles:

  • Video Tutorial #9  Hooke’s Law Of Physics, click here
  • Video Tutorial# 143 What I Learned From Javier Sotomeyer , click here
  • Video Tutorial #28 Reduce Over Pronation and Over Supination, click here
  • Video Tutorial #12 Does The Body Spring Back Safely From Impacts?, click here

Force Of Impact/Energy Stored And Released

The human body abides by the ‘Hooke’s Law of Physics’

This loading of spring energy into the elastic components saves or recycles energy and therefore it increases muscle efficiency and overall efficiency of movement. For a clearer understanding, see picture above.

The muscles that power vertebrate locomotion are associated with springy tissues, both within muscle and in connective tissue elements such as tendons. These springs share in common the same simple action: they stretch and store elastic strain energy when force is applied to them and recoil to release energy when force decays. Although this elastic action is simple, it serves a diverse set of functions, including metabolic energy conservation, amplification of muscle power output, attenuation of muscle power input, and rapid mechanical feedback that may aid in stability. Flexible mechanisms: the diverse roles of biological springs in vertebrate movement, Thomas J. Roberts and Emanuel Azizi 

This tensioning or rewinding of the tendon fibers burned largely isometric muscle contractions is achieved with very little change in the length of the muscle fibers themselves. Supertraining Yuri Verkhoshansky Mel C. Siff

The muscles contract to one length.  The tendons stretch to allow the movement of the joints. This elastic recoil of your elastic tissue is the most efficient method of ambulation. This is spring action and not lever action.  Therefore developing better spring strength is the key to maximum efficiency.  Dr James Stoxen DC

Essentially what this research found was that muscle contraction was not the primary mode of propulsion during running.  This explains the efficiency in running long-distance through the spring action or elastic recoil action of tendons and connective tissue fibers versus muscle contractions.

So how can you increase walking and running efficiency to reduce fatigue?

Here ya go….

Increase maximal “safe” loading of the force of impact into the elastic tissues by:

  • Maximize Spring Loading by Releasing the Protective Reflex Muscle Spasms that Preload and Compress the Human Spring.
  • Maximize Spring Loading by Increasing Flexibility of the Elastic Tissues. 
  • Maximize Spring Loading by Maximizing Joint Play of all joints of the Human Spring.
  • Maximize Lever Strength of Spring Suspension System Muscles and Tendons.
  • Maximize Spring Strength of the Spring Suspension Muscles and Tendons. 
  • Increase the Aerobic Endurance Strength of the Spring Suspension. 
  • Reduce Mental Stress that may cause a Preload Compressive Force on the Human Spring.

The first important step is to understand the anatomy and function of the human spring.

supportive cuff muscles

This is what I call the spring suspension system also known as the landing muscles or the pronator supinator cuff muscles (pictured above)

When you look at the structure of these muscles (above) they are primarily tendons with some muscle structure closer to the origin. The obvious long tendon length engineering tells you these muscles are more suited for elastic recoil or spring rather than muscle contraction or lever push activities as opposed to the gluteus maximus which is mostly muscle and less tendon.

My 8 Secrets To Improving Walking and Running Efficiency through Maximizing Human Spring

1.  Maximize spring loading by releasing the tonic protective reflex spasms that preload the spring

If you don’t do this before every walk or run, you could develop a locked spring.  What I’m finding during clinical diagnosis of patients who walk or run with a locked spring and have impact related injuries such as;

  • an inefficient or defective spring
  • plantar fasciitis
  • heal pain
  • shin splints
  • knee pain
  • hip pain and
  • low back pain
  • herniated discs that don’t heal  (they do heal you know)

How To Release Spasms from your Human Spring

2.  Maximize spring loading by increasing flexibility of the Elastic Tissues 

Sometimes when I see runners warm-up I see them stretching their foot while standing in an attempt to flex the knee until the heel approximates the gluteal muscles. Have you ever kicked your own ass with your heel when running?  NOOOOOO Why would you think you need to stretch your quad this far?

Meanwhile your foot takes up the majority of the impact forces and it is the only body part that is locked in a binding device all day.  You MUST stretch your bare foot in all directions AND separate the toes with the scissors stretch and my Mortons neuroma stretch.(see lower in this post for links)

The main impact force is primarily absorbed and stored and recycled through the connective tissue structures of the arch of the foot and the suspension system that is represented by the tibialis posterior, tibialis anterior, peroneus longus and peroneus brevis muscles.  Along with all the other muscles you stretch you must stretch the foot and ankle in the directions of inversion, eversion, adduction abduction, pronation, supination,

How to Stretch your Human Spring

I have evaluated a lot of top athletes and celebrities feet, as a doctor who has worked with Dancing With The Stars Tour, So You Think You Can Dance Tour, Michael Flatley’s Celtic Tiger Tour along with many more.  I have found that the elite level professional dancers’ feet, have had some of the strongest impact resistant and lower extremities of any athlete that I’ve ever examined!

I see a lot of people stretching and holding the stretch for long durations thinking that this provides better flexibility. It certainly seems like you’ll get increased flexibility by taking your time to stretch the structures, however this is definitely not the case when performing the drills to increase dynamic flexibility and strength within the ranges.

Where did I learn a lot about flexibility and strength?

My close friend and former girlfriend, Irena Vdovets, USA National Team Coach USA Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastics Team, taught me a lot about flexibility and strength.

Irina Vdovets is Founder and Owner of  Illinois Rhythmic Gymnastics Training Center.

Irina Vdovets

Irina Vdovets, the only two-time U.S. Olympic rhythmic gymnastics coach (1988, 1992), was the coach for Olympians Michele Berube, Jenifer Lovell and Diane Simpson-Bundy. She coached the U.S. World Championships Team four times (1985, 1987, 1989 and 1991) and was a U.S. national team coach from 1985-95. In 1986-87, Vdovets was honored as the U.S. Rhythmic Coach of the Year. Vdovets currently lives in Chicago and is the program director at Illinois Rhythmics.

Right to left, Edwin Vdovets, Irina Vdovets, Dr. James Stoxen DC and dancers from the Ricky Martin Tour

Being educated in achieving the level of master of sports and of course the incidental fact that she was the national team coach for the US Olympic team in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, she understood how strength training should be performed at maximum flexibility ranges of motion.

I remember how she had long elastic bands attached to the feet, specifically the arches of the feet of the gymnasts and had them go through incredibly flexible positions where the band was fully stretched at this maximum flexibility point, adding maximum strength at maximum ranges of motion.

Irina Vdovets two-time U.S. Olympic rhythmic gymnastics coach (1988, 1992)

This kind of strength training at the maximum range of motion is something usually only seen at the Olympic level. That is why they become champions and others do not.

Not only must you have maximum flexibility within the range of motion you are training at, but you must have maximum impact spring strength in the end range. You will also need maximum impact training at end ranges of motion of inversion, eversion, adduction, abduction, pronation, supination, dorsiflexion and plantar flexion within the spring suspension system to insure you:

  1. have maximum protection from impact forces in all ranges these muscles work.
  2. have maximum recycling of energy and efficiency from impact forces in all ranges these muscles work.

I do the same release stretch and dynamic flexibility training that I am recommending to you in this article.

Is there a difference between how long muscles take to strengthen vs tendons?

Before I run barefoot and before my athletes run, I spend 20 minutes stretching these muscles with these techniques:

3.  Maximize Elastic Spring Loading by Maximizing Joint Play of all the Joints of the Human Spring 

The spring loading happens in the foot. You must make sure all the 33 joints of the foot are released so the spring energy can be loaded and unloaded into the arch of the foot to maximize the slingshot effect of the suspension system muscle “snap” at toe off. So this could be considered a treatment of fatigue.

Muscles and tendons that connect to the 33 joints of the foot such as the tibialis posterior, attached to bones that must be able to move in the full range of motion of their design. If the muscle–tended complex can’t move the bones in the full ranges of motion of plantar flexion, dorsi flexion, eversion, inversion, abduction, adduction, pronation and supination than it’s impossible for the muscle–tendon to get maximum strength.

How does a locked spring feel?  

In some cases the foot feels like a piece of frozen steak that you just took out of the freezer. It’s not cold it’s just a rigid lever versus a springy wiggly spring mechanism.

The primary joints that I find that lock are the metatarsal cuneiform joints of the second and third digits (toes). It’s also interesting that these tendons of your spring suspension system muscles attach directly in these areas.  The area is around the blue tendon click here

4. & 5. Maximize Lever Strength and Spring Strength of the Spring Suspension Muscles.

In order to get maximum strength of the spring suspension system connective tissue structures, the ultimate training to:

  1. MUSCLE CONTRACTILE TISSUE STRENGTH –  This can happen in as early as 2 to 3 weeks - do resistance training which I call lever training of all the muscles of the spring suspension system.
  2. TENDON AND ELASTIC CONNECTIVE TISSUE STRENGTH – It takes approximately 20 weeks to strengthen tendons and ligaments. More importantly, do impact or spring training of of all the muscles of the spring suspension system to strengthen these elastic structures.

Over pronation and over supination are a result of a weakness in the muscles and tendons that maintain the foot within the safe range.

The majority of injuries are related to some inability to absorb the impact forces of the landings.

What that means is that when the impact force becomes absorbed into this pre-loaded structure there is no place for the impact force to go because it’s at maximum capacity. Therefore there is no other place but into the connective tissues or joint structures.

The result is, plantar fasciitis, heel pain injuries, shin splints, knee pain, hip pain and of course the most common pre-load force overload on the compression springs of the spine called the herniated, bulged or slipped vertebral discs.

Science has determined the optimum way to build tendon and connective tissue strength and muscle power is by minimum contact time on the ground during plyometric jumps etc

The ability to store elastic energy depends on the magnitude of the stretching, the loading of the mechanism and the transition time between the termination of the eccentric component which is the loading of the spring at foot plant and the concentric component or the unloading of the spring at toe off.  

If there is a delay between the loading and the unloading then there is less stored elastic energy because a more prolonged delay will allow fewer cross bridges to remain attached after the stretch (Edman Et Al 1976).

The ability to store elastic energy depends on the magnitude of the stretching, the loading of the mechanism and the transition time between the termination of the loading or the eccentric component and the toe off or the concentric phase of the movement.

This means that the longer the contact time the more plastic deformity happens.  

It has been noted that the greater the velocity of stretching during the eccentric loading of the force of the impact into the mechanism the greater the storage of elastic energy (Rack & Westbury 1974)

This means that movements must be quick to develop maximum spring strength.

Footwear with cushions slows the loading time.

What this also means is that your landing with no binding devices or cushions on the foot ie; barefoot during dynamic stretching drills may be optimum for developing maximum spring strengthen and optimum efficiency.

What is interesting is that scientists have found that the longer the contact time the more plastic deformity happens.  This allows for maximum elastic deformity with minimal plastic deformities.  

It also means that a job where an athlete is standing on his feet for a sustained period of time is not the optimum job if you want to maximize performance efficiency and reduce risk of injuries from a locked spring.  

I stand on my feet 12 – 16 hours a day sometimes 7 days a week for weeks on end doing pain exorcisms to release chronically ill patients from physical lockdown of the spring mechanisms.  You would think that I should always be tired or in some myalgic state from fatigue of connective tissue structures or in a state of exhaustion, but Im not.

So how do I accomplish barefoot running 5-6 miles on solid concrete 3 days a week without injuries or conditions?

I prepare all my athletes and myself for barefoot training with the steps listed in this article. 

We cannot just do high impact, quick spring movements on a cold, stiff, or locked human spring.  

What has been recommended by many top strength coaches is that we do a combination of tendons stretching during the dynamic movements of the warm-up before this high impact spring training (plyometrics).

Dynamic Stretching – Performing the movements of running while stretching at the same time.

This points to a training or running style that is common amongst barefoot runners. The stride length is shorter and the foot, ankle, and the rest of the lower extremities remains completely relaxed at impact. This achieves maximum depth of the loading of the force of the impact into the spring and allowing the momentum and the force of gravity pulling the athlete to fall forward to create the SnapBack or elastic recoil release of energy in the toe off.

Essentially what the theory says is that by getting maximum eccentric loading of energy into the elastic recoil mechanism of the muscle tendon unit you are also developing a stronger muscle tendon unit with primary action occurring in the elastic components versus the muscular components. The more a runner relies on the elastic recoil or spring energy the more efficient the runner will become.

 Examples of this connective tissue strengthening drills are:

  1. zigzag runs
  2. side shuffles
  3. carioca drills and
  4. one other interesting training method is freestyle or structured barefoot dance activities.

Watch above as Dr. James Stoxen DC trains 2 time USA Taekwondo Champion Christian Medina Barefoot Running with Zig Zag  Drills

For more articles on Human Spring Strengthening drills,

To better understand how the body springs your body off the ground and how to improve your ability to do this efficiently I highly recommend you read these two posts:

6. Increase the Aerobic Endurance Strength of the Spring Suspension 

I find clinically that patients with a chronically locked spring are always tired.

You can have a stiff or released aerobically weak human spring and still have injuries.  The injuries happen after the spring suspension system muscles get tired through overuse or great strain or stress over distances leading to muscle pain fatigue and a high risk for injuries.

The other reason why we have injuries during impacts especially when adding miles is from the fatigue weakness of the elastic recoil mechanisms of the spring suspension system muscles.

When the spring suspension system muscles are over worked, fatigued during long runs or extended runs, the muscles fatigue faster and are more apt to lose control of the loading forces causing injury to the tissues.

This could manifest itself as foot pain from long walks or running.  This body fatigue might feel like pain in the bottom of the foot, pain in the calf muscle, tendinitis of the foot, sprained foot, tenderness in the foot tendons, a bruised heel, bone spurs in the foot or calcaneus spurs and general foot pain and swelling.

By training in zig zag patterns during long walks and runs you can can increase the fatigue scale therefore reducing the time when you experience muscle weakness and fatigue of the spring suspension system muscles.
This could help to reduce the fatigue strain that makes your muscles tired leading to some kind of myalgic state that lead to injuries.

7.  Increased Mental Stress Reduces Efficiency By Locking The Spring

One of the effects of fatigue related to mental stress that leads to poor performance in activities of daily life and even injuries is what I call stress fatigue, brain fatigue, anxiety fatigue and the worst one, fatigue depression.

The bottom line is that people walk and run differently when they are tired, anxious, depressed or angry.  You can see they are not themselves in their walk.

This is when we are stressed or angry during our running program, leading to a tension of the lower extremities that puts a pre-load tension on the spring suspension system mechanism that causes our spring suspension system to reach a fatigue limit causing muscle aches and fatigue and what I call arthritis fatigue.

When you have stress and fatigue combined this can make you wonder, why am I so tired?

The body is moving in an inefficient way as your mental state overrides the spring mechanisms ability to maintain efficient impact spring action thus switching to more of a muscle lever action, which is ineffectual causing you to become fatigued to0 quickly.

8. Remove The Binding Device. SHOES!

When we bind the foot with shoes all day it inhibits maximum foot movements such as abduction, adduction, inversion, eversion, supination and pronation.  (see illustration above) That is why we cannot wait to get our shoes off at night.

Conclusion!! 

The bottom line is that the more deformable or elastic your body becomes the more it can dissipate shocks and in addition to that the more it can store elastic energy to improve efficiency of your performance.  Dr James Stoxen DC

So, as you can see, the spring is the thing when it comes to improving walking and running efficiency.

 If there was an owners manual that taught you that:

  • your body was a lever and a spring.
  • using the body as a spring vs a lever would allow you to improve performance, be more efficient and reduce risk of injuries
  • how to use your body as a spring vs a lever
  • how to fine tune your human spring so it doesn’t get broken or reduce performance over time
  • how to maintain your human spring so you can have it for a lifetime

This would be an important chapter in that human spring owners manual.

This video tutorial was taken from the lecture:

Title: Run For Life! Barefoot
Presented by Dr. James Stoxen DC
The Second World Anti-Aging Medical Conference
February 4th-6th 2011
Mexico City, Mexico

Thank you for your interest in my article!

Check out the Barefoot Runners Society and find a chapter near you. Here.. 

 

Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, Burning Feet in Warped Heat!

Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, Burning Feet in Warped Heat? I woke up Wednesday morning July 4th, 2012 with a day off ……. It was a sweltering 103° degrees today after adding the heat index it was over 110° degrees!!! I got up at 11 a.m, did some errands and ventured out for my barefoot run. […]

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Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, Burning Feet in Warped Heat?

I woke up Wednesday morning July 4th, 2012 with a day off …….

It was a sweltering 103° degrees today after adding the heat index it was over 110° degrees!!!

I got up at 11 a.m, did some errands and ventured out for my barefoot run.

After 10 steps on that sizzling concrete I felt shots of burning pain into my soles like I stepped into a heavy metal sizzling skillet!

Now I know what my friend Jaya J means when she says its tough to run barefoot in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

I decided to swim at the pool until it cooled down.

At 5:30pm I thought it had cooled down just enough.

Lake Shore Drive running path

It was 95° degrees, a good start to a barefoot run, the Chicago skyscrapers were casting a shadow on the concrete.  I was on the Lake Shore Drive running path.

There I was off for my barefoot run…..

I decided to extend the mileage this time to 5 ½ – 6 miles.

By the time I got through the first mile I felt like I was breathing fire.

Fire like a breathing dragon from my parched mouth that I had. The weather was sapping all my fluids but I wasn’t sweating.  That will throw you off!

So by the time I got to the fifth mile my barefoot running turned into barefoot walking because the heat was causing extreme fatigue.

I was experiencing weakness and fatigue which turned into pain and fatigue.

Here is a great article which documents Effects of Heat on Performance in running by Brian Beatty that is very interesting.

He says:

If you run in some serious summer heat and are disappointed with your time or pace relative to your effort, check out the Tinman’s Heat Index and Running Performance chart by Tim Schwartz (2009).  This handy chart, posted below, will give you a rough estimate of how your race or training pace in the high heat equates to what your pace would have been, roughly, at the ideal 50-53° F range.

One of the reasons being that the heat from the concrete was apparently burning my feet.

There is no chart for that except the feeling you get in your feet when you run.

Thursday Morning, July 5, when I woke up I have to admit I was extremely tired.

I was doing a fatigue analysis to figure out whether it was the barefoot run, the heat, or something else.

I thought that today was a good test for extreme fatigue or what I call, body fatigue!

It was time to do pain exorcisms at the office all day until 9:00 p.m.

I went out for lunch asked for my glass of water and remembered drinking it down.

I ended up drinking 5 glasses of water at lunch.

I figured out why I was so exhausted.  It was severe dehydration.

By 4:00 p.m. I felt myself again but asked my staff if it was possible that I go home early, have a healthy dinner and rest.

They said we wrap it up at 5:30pm.

I headed home and the first thing that was on my mind was parking the car, going up the elevator to the 70thfloor to ‘Citi Restaurant’ for a cool glass of water and a plate of salmon.

I placed my order looked out the window at the beautiful city view listening to Michael Buble’, sighed with bliss when the phone rang.

It was a number I had not seen before and that meant it was probably going to be a tour manager for some artist, a Broadway actor or some athlete having an emergency.

Sure enough it was ‘Live Nation‘ calling,  they needed me to come to the ‘First Midwest Bank Amphitheater’ and work with Iron Maiden.

The organizers said that if I could get there by 7:00 pm. there would be a big bonus for me. It was 10 minutes after six and I was 70 stories up, my car was in valet parking, then there was rush-hour traffic on Lake Shore Drive. Even on a good day, it would take me 45 minutes to get to that theater in the boonies (Tinley Park).

I am happy to say that I did manage to get there by 7:20 pm. I set up my treatment table and met with some of the crew from Iron Maiden that I had worked with before in 2006. It was so good to see them.

Dr. James Stoxen DC Warped Tour 2009

The assignment was a success, all were really happy so I thanked Chris for the call and headed out.

If you’re going to be at the ‘Warped Tour‘ on Saturday you’ll see me, working. I hope its not too hot!

The ‘Warped Tour’ production usually gets me an air-conditioned trailer to work with them but sometimes I’m on the porch outside backstage.

This will be the eighth year I have worked for those guys, Kerry, Kevin, Lisa and everyone else!!!

Im looking forward to seeing you there!!!

For ticket information click here

Press Release: ABC local.com, ‘How I Got My Wiggle Back:’ A Memoir of Healing by Anthony Field

original article from abclocal.com April 9, 2012 (RELEASE) — With their distinctive look, catchy music, and upbeat message, The Wiggles have performed their way into the hearts and homes of millions of children and their parents around the world. Their extraordinary success over the last twenty years includes TV shows, the sale of tens of millions […]

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original article from abclocal.com


April 9, 2012 (RELEASE) — With their distinctive look, catchy music, and upbeat message, The Wiggles have performed their way into the hearts and homes of millions of children and their parents around the world. Their extraordinary success over the last twenty years includes TV shows, the sale of tens of millions of CDs and DVDs, and sell-out live performances for a million people annually as well as honors including being named UNICEF goodwill ambassadors.

In HOW I GOT MY WIGGLE BACK: A Memoir of Healing (Wiley; February 2012; $25.95; Cloth; ISBN: 978-1-118-01933-7), Anthony Field, the “blue Wiggle,” tells his inspiring, behind-the-scenes story of how he overcame depression, life-threatening illness, and chronic pain to get his life back. During his interview, Anthony will share with your viewers:

Two of his favorite exercises that can easily be done anywhere and anytime!

- How his depression and chronic pain affected his work with The Wiggles.

- The key steps he took to overcome depression, life-threatening illness and chronic pain to get his life back!

- How he feels now and what he does every day to manage his health/chronic pain and his positive attitude.

- What’s up next for The Wiggles! Guess what? They’ll be back stateside this summer!!!

HOW I GOT MY WIGGLE BACK includes a prescriptive self-care health program of exercise advice and nutritional information with practical action steps that readers can follow to relieve pain and prevent and heal disease. Mostly, this is the inspiring story of how a global superstar overcame his secret anguish and got his life back. HOW I GOT MY WIGGLE BACK includes amazing photos from Anthony’s private life as well as photos illustrating Anthony’s fitness regimen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anthony Field is one of the founders and stars of The Wiggles, one of the top children’s entertainment groups of the last 20 years. Based in Sydney, Australia, he tours globally for most of the year. Greg Truman is an award-winning New York-based journalist and a cousin of Anthony Field.

please note:

Anthony Field and Dr James Stoxen DC training backstage

I am very proud to say, I was able to assist him. It has been an honor to have my efforts to help Anthony Field be the focus of his new book, How I Got My Wiggle Back. The book covers our consultation in detail and provides a comprehensive, plain-English explanation of my drug free approach and the results, that changed his life.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you or anyone you care about needs help, anytime, anywhere as I am here to serve your needs!

 

MEDIA ALERT: Anthony Field On WLS Chicago ABC 7 Morning News At 4:30am Monday April 9!

Depression ICD-9 296.3 We Hope You Tuned in to see Anthony Field, Founder of the Wiggles, On WLS Chicago ABC 7 Morning News At 4:30am On Monday April 9! Anthony discussed his health struggles and his book, ‘How I Got my Wiggle Back’: A Memoir of Healing. Learn how you can get your wiggle back too!! […]

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Depression ICD-9 296.3

We Hope You Tuned in to see Anthony Field, Founder of the Wiggles, On WLS Chicago ABC 7 Morning News At 4:30am On Monday April 9!

Anthony discussed his health struggles and his book, ‘How I Got my Wiggle Back’: A Memoir of Healing.

Learn how you can get your wiggle back too!!

If you missed the interview you can watch it below:

Field, the creator and a founding member of the world’s most successful musical groups for young children, The Wiggles, was handicapped by chronic pain, chronic, chronic fatigue, misdiagnosed fibromyalgia and depression during his 20 years on the road.

Dr. James Stoxen DC trains Anthony Field backstage

I am very proud to say, I was able to assist him. It has been an honor to have my efforts to help Anthony Field be the focus of his new book, How I Got My Wiggle Back. The book covers our consultation in detail and provides a comprehensive, plain-English explanation of my drug free approach and the results, that changed his life.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you or anyone you care about needs help, anytime, anywhere as I am here to serve your needs!

 

 

 

 

The Human Spring, A Logical Way to Look At the Way The Body Works?

The Human Spring A unique approach to examining, treating, training and maintaining healthy mechanics By Dr. James Stoxen DC Chiropractic Economics Magazine Issue #6 Apring 17, 2012 chiroeco.com The Human Spring An approach to examining, treating, training and maintaining healthy mechanics There is a large gap beween what coaches recommend for elite-level athletes and what […]

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The Human Spring
A unique approach to examining, treating, training and maintaining healthy mechanics
By Dr. James Stoxen DC
Chiropractic Economics Magazine
Issue #6 Apring 17, 2012
chiroeco.com

The Human Spring

An approach to examining, treating, training and maintaining healthy mechanics

There is a large gap beween what coaches recommend for elite-level athletes and what most doctors recommend.

for example: Many doctors will say that impacts are bad for you and that running is bad for your knees. They usually recommend cushioned shoes for such exercises.

Yet, when we want to develop the most injury-resistant body-a body that has quickness, speed, coordination and agility- we recommend plyometrics, which involve high-impact drills. So who is correct:

Misunderstanding human engineering

The current mechanical model being used for the study of biomechanics (the lever system) is not correct.

Assuming the human body ambulates, protects itself from impacts and recycles energy through a lever system is illogical and actually defies the laws of physics. A lever cannot protect an object from a lifetime minimum of 250,000,000 collisions with the earth. The body must be a spring mechanism.

Internal and External Forces and Conditions

The Spring Approach

Elastic deformity: 

When a spring mechanism is working correctly, it goes through what’s called elastic deformity upon impact.

The word “deformity” means a change in the shape of the human body. So when you walk or run, your spring mechanism deforms its physical shape just as when you press down on a spring. It loads and stores energy into the deformation process and releases the energy in returning back to its exact original shape.

Plastic deformity:

This occurs when your spring deforms its physical shape. It loads and stores energy into the deformation process, but does not return back to its exact original shape.

That means its shape is permanently deformed and the structure of the spring is not functioning the way it was designed. Therefore, it cannot store as much force on the loading or impact, and it cannot recycle as much energy.

This turns into a permanent deformity, which can also be a herniated disc , arthritis, a bunion, or some kind of abnormal shape of the foot. This keeps the body from functioning to absorb the impact like it did before and prevents it from recycling the energy through the spring mechanism as well as it should. This is an explanation for chronic pain and chronic fatigue and the overall loss of human performance as we age.

All human spring mechanisms age somewhat. However, permanent deformities of the human spring can cause more-rapid aging of the human body.

Another law of physics related to springs is Hooke’s law. Hooke’s law of elasticity is an approximation that states that the extension of a spring is in direct proportion with the load applied to it.

It implies that the deeper you depress a compression spring or the more you can extend an extension spring, the more energy it will recycle and the more protection it will provide.

This simple law explains why a chiropractic adjustment often provides instand relief, more natural energy and improvement in the performance of sports and leisure activities, It’s because it releases the human spring.

Obesity, sedentary lifestyle and even active exercise with improper footwear can cause weakness (or overload) in the spring suspension system, plastic deformity and an inability to effectively recycle energy through the body.

More importantly, a weakened spring system cannot protect the body from the impact forces of millions of landings. That’s why it’s important to evaluate every patient for this if they have a chronic pain condition anywhere in the weight-bearing joints, especially in the back.

If you have abnormal mechanics in the right foot, you have 1.8 million abnormal motions on that side and 1.8 million on the other. That means there will be double the amount in the back.

When examining a patient, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the body spring off the ground or does it bang into the ground? Is it a springing landing?
  • Does the foot project with the second toe pointing towards the target?
  • Deos the heel, midfoot, or the forefoot strike first?
  • Does the foot stay in the safe range between supination and pronation?
  • Is there any twisting of the foot or lower limb on the toe off?

Next examine how the human spring mechanism reacts to increasingly greater forces of impacts, starting with simple standing to normal walking speeds, fast walking, jogging, running, and sprinting.

As the speed increases, the force of the impact is greater. Therefore, we are checking the integrity of the human spring support mechanism to be able to handle variable force landings.

The last thing to check is the endurance of the spring suspension system. How many impacts can it take before it fatigues and fails?

If might be beneficial to do a gait evaluation on every patient and an extensive (five-to-20-hour) deep-tissue massage on the patient’s feet and lower extremities to release the spring mechanism.

According to Hooke’s law, you can safely load greater impact forces into the body without plastic deformity.

Ask yourself this:

Does the lever model of the human body obey the laws of nature, physics and common sense, and better apply to  the way the body interacts with the earth and gravity? If it doesn’t , then examination, treatment, training and preventive approaches should be reevaluated with the human spring model as the new metaphor.

Top athletes, coaches, and sports scientists are already training the body as a human spring. It’s about time the healthcare industry began to examine, treat and rehabilitate it like a human spring, too.


 Disclaimer

Video Tutorial # 159 – Foot Lock! What You Get From Standing Too Long And How To Prevent It

I have been standing in these shoes all day! My Feet Hurt! Maybe the pain will go away……. Those are six very dangerous words, maybe the pain will go away…. An activity as simple as standing all day can lead to pain in your feet. So you need to know how to protect your feet when you’re stuck […]

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I have been standing in these shoes all day! My Feet Hurt! Maybe the pain will go away…….

Those are six very dangerous words, maybe the pain will go away….

An activity as simple as standing all day can lead to pain in your feet. So you need to know how to protect your feet when you’re stuck standing for hours on end, especially on a hard surface.

Besides the stress of prolonged standing, the architecture of the foot can also increase the symptoms from pre-existing conditions: Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the fascia under the heel. Flat or tilted feet (from heel pronation) and bony spurs in the base of the ankle may make the condition worse. Achilles tendonitis results from over stretching of the Achilles tendon. Bunions at the side of the big toe may arise because of heel pronation and may be aggravated by narrow shoe boxes (the area in front of the shoe) and prolonged standing. Corns on top of the toes may be aggravated by scraping against the inside of your shoe.

WHAT ARE POSSIBLE HEALTH SYMPTOMS FROM STANDING ON YOUR FEET TOO LONG?

The most common symptom from prolonged standing on your feet, and usually the first to occur, is discomfort and fatigue in the legs.

The closer the body part is to the ground, the more likely it will be affected by prolonged standing (i.e. the feet are most often affected, followed by the shins and calves, followed by the knees, thighs, hips and low back). However, symptoms from working on your feet may reach to the top of your body. In some studies neck pain symptoms have been related to prolonged standing at work!

Beyond simple fatigue and discomfort, more serious health effects can result from working on your feet for long hours.

In lab experiments people could not distinguish fatigue in their legs from whole-body fatigue. Therefore, that whole-body fatigue feeling could be related to working on your feet.

Some of these are: Low Back Pain, Painful feet and other foot problems, Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs, Orthopedic changes in the feet (e.g. flat feet), Restricted blood flow, Swelling in the feet and legs, Varicose veins, Increased chance of arthritis in the knees and hips

WHAT CAUSES THESE PROBLEMS?

Joint compression: Gravity squeezes your joints under the weight of your body. Each body part is compressed by all of the sections of the body above it. (For example, your hips are compressed by your head, arms and torso, but your feet are compressed by the weight of your whole body!)

Compressing a joint is like squeezing a sponge – body fluids are squeezed out of the space in the joint. Without body fluids and circulation, your joints become malnourished, and cannot continue to support the weight of your body. Wear and tear of body parts occurs.

Postural muscle fatigue: Postural muscles keep your body from falling over while you’re standing. Standing for a long time forces these muscles to work without a rest. Without rest these muscles become exhausted, resulting in pain.

These effects are like working without lunch. Joints and muscles get their “lunch” from circulation, and need rest breaks to recoup from bouts of work. Think how you would feel without lunch!

Insufficient venous blood return in the legs: Gravity pulls blood down into your feet. One way that blood is pushed back up to your heart is through cyclic muscle contractions, often called a “muscle pump“. If the muscles are engaged in one long contraction (sustained contraction) to keep you standing, they cannot produce a ‘muscle pump” effect. Continuous muscle contractions also hinder circulation of body fluids.

Keeping the body in an upright position requires considerable muscular effort that is particularly unhealthy even while standing motionless. It effectively reduces the blood supply to the loaded muscles. Insufficient blood flow accelerates the onset of fatigue and causes pain in the muscles of the legs, back and neck (these are the muscles used to maintain an upright position).

Standing too long not only produces muscular strain but other discomforts also. Prolonged and frequent standing, without some relief by walking, causes blood pooling in the legs and feet. When standing occurs continually over prolonged periods, it can result in inflammation of the veins. This inflammation may progress over time to chronic and painful varicose veins. Excessive standing also causes the joints in the spine, hips, knees and feet to become temporarily immobilized or locked. This immobility can later lead to rheumatic diseases due to degenerative damage to the tendons and ligaments (the structures that bind muscles to bones)

In my practice, I work 90 hours a week on average.  What is worse is that I am standing on my feet the entire time.

How do I do that and still run barefoot?

Dr James Stoxen DC at Team Doctors

If someone should have an excuse for why they can’t run or run barefoot it should be me.

This is my typical week:

I practice about 12 hours a day from 9:00am in the morning to 9:00pm at night, minimum five days a week.  At least 3 nights a week I am working on my feet until midnight on a VIP client.  I work at least one full day if not two on my feet on the weekends.

When you’re on your feet for an extended period of time, the muscles that suspend your feet or the spring suspension system muscles are in a sustained contraction that has to be maintained for a certain amount time.

What is sustained contraction and how does it lock your joints and specifically the human spring?

An example would be holding a glass of water in my hand. Although I can do this easily.

If I hold it for too long in a sustained contraction I am going to get tired.  My arms will have an inflammatory reaction and be stiff.  The stiffness can even lock up your joints.

What is foot lock?

The foot and ankle has 33 movable joints to allow the force of the landings to be spread out over these joints for a smoother landing.

When the foot locks in any one of the 33 joints this causes a less smooth landing and a compensation for the normal motion.  Any abnormal motion in the foot will cause an abnormal motion in the entire flooring system of the 7 floors of human spring which eventually locks.

Do we see this clinically?  Of course!

To think any different defies the laws of gravity, engineering and physics.

Can weakness in the suspension system muscles lead to a locked human spring?

  • Standing on your feet all day leads to fatigue of the spring suspension system muscles which determines your ability to resist impacts of walking, recycle energy through the spring and provides for healthy movement.
  • Stiffness in the spring suspension system muscles eventually leads to stiffness or locking of some of the 33 joints of the foot and ankle.
  • When the human spring is locked at the foundation, the body compensates with abnormal motion through the entire seven floor human spring.
  • Abnormal motion in moving parts leads to stress and strain of the muscles, ligaments and tendons that guide the movement of the bones and joints.
  • Abnormal stress and strain leads to wear and tear of the joints.
  • Wear and tear leads to the release of inflammation.
  • The release of inflammation leads to pain, fatigue and accelerated aging of the musculoskeletal system and other systems of the body.
  • High levels of inflammation (cytokines) have also been strongly linked to feelings of depression. 

This is true when YOU stand too long.

The sustained contraction can lock the spring mechanism.  The spring mechanism loses spring mobility and may not be as effective in springing our bodies off the ground upon impact from the forces of the landings.

We were designed to function optimally if we keep moving so that the spring suspension doesn’t settle, drop and lock.

The theory states that once your foot and kinematic spring chain lock then the body bangs into the ground instead of springing off the ground. The landing becomes a bang and twist instead of a spring and roll. (see below)

 

Locked Spring and Spring Walking

When you stand too long your muscles have a sustained contraction similar to what happens when you hold anything in one position with your muscles contracted continuously.

What happens next is your arch linkage drops and eventually can lock. What I have found is that the arch drops and locks primarily at the second metatarsal cuneiform joint and the third. For those of you who are not doctors that is around the middle of the foot.

People know me as the “anti-shoe” doctor and the “barefoot running” doctor.

Ideally we should be shoeless and constantly moving like our ancestors were.

Click here to read Was My Chronic Pain, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia Cured with a Pair Of Shoes? NO! 

So why does a barefoot running doctor recommend shoes in some instances?

That’s because we are supposed to keep moving for optimal use of our spring mechanism. When we keep moving we keep springing.

Some of us might think that healthy movement for the human spring mechanism is in the direction that stimulates development of the spring muscles that spring you forward as in running straight. This would be similar to someone doing the bench press and curls in weightlifting.

We used to see athletes only doing bench press and curls in the gym and we know what happened to those athletes.  They got shoulder, back and neck conditions as well as injuries.

Then someone came up with the bright idea that we had to exercise muscles that control the movements of all the joints in all ranges of motion. That way we could develop a more balanced joint motion and strength.

Running training in my opinion is still in the dark ages of development. Many of us still run straight ahead with little to no directional changes. That is, in my opinion, why many of you have conditions related to imbalances of strength in the spring suspension system.

Experts throw the concept of over pronation (over rolling of the foot into the unsafe range inward) and over supination (over rolling of the foot into the unsafe range outward) What is actually being described is the position of the foot at the impact point and through the point when it pushes off.

For those who understand training bone and joint position is controlled by muscle strength.

muscle strength is important to maintain the bones in the position during standing, walking impact forces, running impact forces and endurance strength for many impacts.

If you are running you must run drills in all directions the foot and body moves for a balanced spring mechanism to withstand the impact forces.

This comes directly from the book Supertraining by Siff and Verhkoshansky:

MECHANICAL LOADING OF COLLAGENOUS TISSUE:

(page 41)Since stretching is a particular type of mechanical loading, application of stretching can be more effectively applied if the effects of the loading on collagen are studied carefully.  In fact physiological stretch of this possible because collagen and is a viscoelastic material that is, under rapid loading it behaves elastically while under gradual loading it is viscous and can deform plasticity.

(page 42) Since tendons and ligaments are viscoelastic, they also exhibit sensitivity to loading rate, and undergoes stress relaxation, creep and hysteresis.   Prolonged and excessive stretching of this type encourages joint mobility at the expense of its stability sold at a joint then has to rely more on its muscles for stability. Despite the widespread opinion that the muscles act as efficient synergistic stabilizers, it should be remembered that the musculature cannot respond quickly enough to protect a joint against injury if large impacts are applied rapidly, particularly Lee if they are torsional since joint stability involves three-dimensional actions over several degrees of freedom, the necessity for appropriately conditioned in all the interacting soft tissues becomes obvious.

 

Plasticity defined in physics from Wikipedia below:

In physics and materials science plasticity describes the deformation of a material undergoing non-reversible changes of shape in response to applied forces.[1] For example, a solid piece of metal being bent or pounded into a new shape displays plasticity as permanent changes occur within the material itself. In engineering, the transition from elastic behavior to plastic behavior is called yield.

Plastic deformation is observed in most materials including metals, soils, rocks, concrete, foams, bone and skin. However, the physical mechanisms that cause plastic deformation can vary widely. At the crystal scale, plasticity in metals is usually a consequence of dislocations. In most crystalline materials such defects are relatively rare. In brittle materials such as rock, concrete, and bone, plasticity is caused predominantly by slip at microcracks.

For many ductile metals tensile loading applied to a sample will cause it to behave in an elastic manner. Each increment of load is accompanied by a proportional increment in extension, and when the load is removed, the piece returns exactly to its original size. However, once the load exceeds some threshold (the yield strength), the extension increases more rapidly than in the elastic region, and when the load is removed, some amount of the extension remains.

However, elastic deformation is an approximation and its quality depends on the considered time frame and loading speed. If the deformation behavior includes elastic deformation as indicated in the adjacent graph it is also often referred to as elastic-plastic or elasto-plastic deformation.

Perfect plasticity is a property of materials to undergo irreversible deformation without any increase in stresses or loads. Plastic materials with hardening necessitate increasingly higher stresses to result in further plastic deformation. Generally plastic deformation is also dependent on the deformation speed, i.e. usually higher stresses have to be applied to increase the rate of deformation and such materials are said to deform visco-plasticity.

Flow Plasticity theory, uses a set of non-linear, non-integrable equations to describe the set of changes on strain and stress with respect to a previous state and a small increase of deformation.

If the stress exceeds a critical value, as was mentioned above, the material will undergo plastic, or irreversible, deformation. This critical stress can be tensile or compressive. The Tresca and the von Mises criteria are commonly used to determine whether a material has yielded.

DEFORMATION THEORY:

There are several mathematical descriptions of plasticity. One is deformation theory (see e.g. Hookes Law where the stress tensor (of order d in d dimensions) is a function of the strain tensor. Although this description is accurate when a small part of matter is subjected to increasing loading (such as strain loading), this theory cannot account for irreversibility.

Ductile materials can sustain large plastic deformations without fracture. However, even ductile metals will fracture when the strain becomes large enough – this is as a result of work hardening of the material, which causes it to become brittle. Heat treatment such as annealing can restore the ductility of a worked piece, so that shaping can continue.

Science tells us that standing for a long time and even slowly delivered impacts can stress tendons, joints and other tissues to deform their shape weakening the stability and performance.  They can be referred to as plastic deformity vs elastic deformity.

In fact sports research found that the shorter the contact time of your foot or bodyweight on the ground the more it improves performance.

Its obvious that standing for a long time is really damaging to our joints!

If the muscles which maintain the foot in the safe range from supination to pronation are not able to maintain them in the safe range then we have to strengthen them.

You would think that athletes would be able to maintain the foot in the safe range during standing for long periods of time.

IN other words if an athlete works all day standing as a teller in a bank they could do it no problem.

If you gave a typical woman’s purse to an athlete and told him to hold it in the 90 degree curl position for 20 minutes he or she would be feeling the strain of the constant contraction burning in the muscles and the strain on the joints as they compressed from the constant pulling and the attachment of the tendons to bones. Pretty soon if it was left long enough they would end up with a condition that had to be treated.

There is no difference with constant contraction related to standing in one position for too long.

Ok, we understand that and I realized long ago this was a problem for me as I stand for long periods of time in one position treating patients. This is especially true when I’m performing one of my pain exorcisms which is body work to release spasms that compress joints from the foot to the head lasting sometimes 2 – 10 hours on one patient.

Tip One:

– Rock and Roll The Feet – What I try to do is rock back and forth into supination and pronation.  This keeps your muscles contracting and not stagnating into fatigue.  Sometimes I get distracted and forget.

When I forget then the fatigue sets in and my foot starts rolling out of the safe range.

Supination to Pronation, Safe and Unsafe Range

What I have found is that once the spring suspension system muscles fatigue on me my foot will roll either in or out of the safe range either over pronation (85% of the population) or over supination (15% of the population) as a compensation and due to weakness.

What I found as the best way to balance this negative is to find a shoe that kept my foot in the safe range as long as possible until I could get off my feet and release the muscle tension and fatigue.

Tip Two:

- I wear a shoe with a very strong reinforced counter support.

Shoe Safe and Unsafe Zone

I have also found some footwear with an extended medial counter support that may extend 2 – 4 inches across the sides of the heel to keep the heel from rolling out of the safe range.

The other important feature I like in my shoes are those with a hard plastic encased inside the leather as a reinforcement.

This is especially important for those who are on their feet for a long time, those of you who see their feet roll out of the safe range or have been told they have over pronation of the feet or over supination of the feet.

Also, many of you who are a  little or a lot bigger (you know who you are) and those who have big feet, should seek out the extended medial counter shoe.

It’s interesting that shoe companies design shoes of a size 8 with the same counter support material as a shoe size 14.  Dont they realize that a man or woman with a size 14 impacts the ground with more force than a person with a size 8 even if they are an ideal body weight?

This is just poor engineering.  If I had my own shoe company I would change that but until then you can use the tips here to do what you can to avoid illness and injury from standing on your feet too long.

Tip Three:

– Release your feet and legs when you get home with the spring release techniques I give you below in tutorial 77 – 89:

Video Tutorial #77 How to Self Adjust Your Toes   
Video Tutorial #78 Deep Tissue Treatment Of The Knee Popliteus Muscle
Video Tutorial #79 Deep Tissue Treatment Of The Gluteus Medius Muscle of the Hip
Video Tutorial #80 Deep Tissue Treatment Of The Subtalar Joint Of The Ankle On The Inside
Video Tutorial #81 Deep Tissue Treatment Of The Ankle (Subtalar Joint Outside) 
Video Tutorial #82 Deep Tissue Treatment Under The Big Toe And Second Toe
Video Tutorial #83 Deep Tissue Treatment Above The Big Toe And Second Toe 
Video Tutorial #84 Scissor Stretching Of The Feet
Video Tutorial #85 Great For Mortons Neuromas And Narrow Heels
Video Tutorial #86 Dr James Stoxen DC Recommends The Best Shoes To Prevent The Foot From Deforming
Video Tutorial #87 Deep Tissue Of The Ankle Mortise
Video Tutorial #88 Stretching Of The Foot While Sitting At Your Chair
Video Tutorial #89 A Stretch To Increase The Flexibility Of The Arch Of Your Foot

Tip Four:

– Walk, Jog or Run Barefoot in zig zag, circle and figure eight directions to release the human spring and strengthen it in a balanced range of motion

Watch this video to see two time Taekwondo National Champion Christian Medina and Dr. Stoxen run barefoot in zig zag patterns.

I also suggest you read Anthony Field’s book, How I My Wiggle Back.  He is an entertainer who followed my approach and it helped him change his life. The book has over 200 tips for you in the 100 pages of content that are on the Human Spring Approach.


 

Disclaimer

Video Tutorial #37 Aches, Pains, Allergies, Fatigue, Brain Fog, Diseases of Aging Have One Common Thread… INFLAMMATION

Depression ICD-9 296.3, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ICD-9 780.71, Fibromyalgia ICD-9 729.1 The scientific community has found a connection between high chronic levels of Inflammation to the diseases of aging like heart disease and other diseases….  My first exposure to the connection between inflammation and diseases was in the paradise island of Bali Indonesia in 2005. No, I […]

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Depression ICD-9 296.3, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ICD-9 780.71, Fibromyalgia ICD-9 729.1

The scientific community has found a connection between high chronic levels of Inflammation to the diseases of aging like heart disease and other diseases…. 

My first exposure to the connection between inflammation and diseases was in the paradise island of Bali Indonesia in 2005.

No, I did not get inflamed skin from sun burn laying at the beach.  I wish!  It was in a lecture hall at a medical conference.

While lecturing in Indonesia in 2005, I attended a lecture given by Dr. Bill Anton who discussed the connection between chronic inflammation and the diseases of aging such as heart disease. It was that experience that inspired me to write this book because I had an “A-ha!” moment:

Chronic Inflammation comes from:

  1. Your Diet – The food you eat. (even if it’s natural or unprocessed)
  2. What you breath in. (pollution, sprays, allergens, ect.)
  3. What you touch
  4. Injuries
  5. Abnormal Walking Patterns (even if you are not in frank pain)

 

Dr, Bob Goldman, Dr, Bill Anton and Dr, James Stoxen at 4th Asia Pacific Conference and Exposition on Anti-Aging Medicine, Bali, Indonesia

This was a presentation given to medical physicians, backed by research studies and position statements by the American Heart Association.

After that lecture I realized how much more I was doing for my patients besides helping them reduce their pain and improve their function.  If what we do is reduce bodily inflammation then are we helping them reduce the risk of the diseases of aging?

I immediately flew back to Chicago and began doing extensive research on how diet affects the levels of inflammation in the body.

In 2006, my abstracts on diets and their effect on levels inflammation were accepted for presentation at medical conferences in Madrid Spain and Hong Zhou, China.

Maybe you chalk up your sore swollen gut to what you ate but when you keep eating the same thing and this does not go away when do you become concerned about more serious risks?   You can live with the daily aches and pains and aspirin takes the edge off but are you aware of the risks you are taking by leaving these inflammatory conditions extending into weeks, months, years and even decades?

More studies have to be done to understand this problem more clearly however the scientific community has done studies that suggest this chronic inflammation is not healthy for you.

The scientific and medical communities have known for a decade that inflammation increases the risks for diseases of aging such as heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even some cancers.

Many of you haven’t heard this but instead have heard to use fish oil and take an aspirin a day.   I have asked the media and doctors why this has not been exposed to the public more and a few told me it wasn’t a sexy subject.  It was a boring story.

So while the media ignores what is important for your long term health the world gets sicker!

I’m advising you that you really should talk to your doctor about inflammation and if you think you are chronically inflamed there are blood tests to get a more accurate assessment of your levels of inflammation.

The Dangers of the Chronic Use of Pain Killers!

When it comes to strong narcotics that can be a different story.  Some patients are a lot of pain and sometimes I can understand their rationale for taking more than less.  It hurts!

However, pain serves an important function.  It provides a warning signal that something is wrong.  Sometimes its hard to get an accurate picture of their level of inflammation and where it is due to the pain killing effect of the drug blocking the warning signs of the high level of inflammation.

If you read the book, How I Got My Wiggle Back by Anthony Field and Greg Truman, he tells the story of how dental decay went uncontrolled to the point where the inflammation and infection spread into his jaw bone and skull.  That is because he couldn’t feel the pain that would have warned him of the tooth decay early on.

He almost died.   Thank God they caught it, just in time.

Sometimes  Narcotics Block the Warning Signs of Conditions and or Potentially Fatal Diseases 

I had a talk with Dr Rutledge, a doctor from Los Angeles.  We discussed the biggest danger of the daily or regular use of these strong narcotic pain killers.  They could be blocking the warning signals from inflammation that are coming from a blocked colon, an ectopic pregnancy or some other disease that is getting progressively worse.

If you are taking narcotic pain killers or over the counter medication for pain, you really should have a talk with your doctor to work out a game plan to do what it takes to make sure there aren’t any serious disease or conditions worsening that you might be unaware of due to the narcotics blocking the pain signal.

Silent Dietary Inflammation:

When I palpate the gut on some patients it can be very painful.  This could be a sign of gut inflammation, inflammation of the internal organs like the liver, kidneys, intestines, reproductive system, bladder, pancreas etc.  If you push on your gut and it hurts you should contact your doctor to see where the pain is coming from right away.

Chronic illnesses that often come along with inflammation are: diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, heart attack. “Inflammatory factors predict virtually all bad outcomes in humans,” says Russell Tracy, a professor of pathology and biochemistry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, whose pioneering research helped demonstrate the role of inflammation in heart disease. “It predicts having heart attacks, having heart failure, becoming diabetic; predicts becoming fragile in old age; predicts cognitive function decline, even cancer to a certain extent.

Blood Tests Can Allow a More Accurate Measurement of Levels of Inflammation:

You should really get a blood test to check for your levels of inflammation.  Have a talk with your doctor about these tests.  If the test results show you have high inflammation, then take the steps to systematically reduce it.

The self help tips I give you in this blog are very useful to start the process.  You can also read Anthony Fields book, How I Got My Wiggle Back  because that was the approach we took for him.

When you have chronic inflammation your health can spiral downward because of the vicious cycle that results from the body’s response to inflammation.

Conditions Linked With Chronic Inflammation:

  • Periodontal disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • Vascular disease (not to mention unsightly varicose veins!)
  • Respiratory disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Stroke
  • Increased risk and compromised healing of infections
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Brain Fog
  • Kidney disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Some Cancers (yes, I mentioned that frightful word again!)
I’m not in pain, why should I worry about inflammation?

Inflammation can exist in the form of pain but you do not have to have pain to have higher than normal levels of inflammation.   In fact doctors and scientists are finding that “silent” or non-painful sources of inflammation are the most destructive because they exist without your knowledge so they perpetuate damage in your body for months, years or decades without your intervention leading to permanent damage and even death.

Levels of Chronic Inflammation:

Levels of Arthritic Inflammation - The most accurate levels of testing for inflammation is a blood test.  (see bottom of post) If we don’t have access to a blood test, we have to qualify the inflammatory state of your body by way of your symptoms and signs from the examination.

Then we can chart the levels of pain via Borg Pain Scale on a medical chart and begin as we work our plan to reduce the inflammation.

Levels of Systemic or Dietary Inflamation - Its best to work on all potential sources of inflammation at the same time.  You need to combine the effect of the arthritic inflammation (inflammation coming from muscles, joints etc) with the level of inflammation from your diet.  You also have to account for inflammation in your sinuses, breathing tubes and lungs from airborne particles that inflame the lungs like pollution, sprays, perfumes, allergies etc.

Dr Stoxen’s Zones of Inflammation

Inflammation is both overt and silent

I explain it by using the colors of a stop light

  • red
  • yellow
  • green

GREEN or more or less healthy levels of inflammation:

This is a more acceptable healthy level of inflammation that is not considered harmful to you.

In fact you need inflammation to protect you when necessary.

Inflammation plays a vital roll in your immune response. Your body depends on inflammatory processes to defend you from invaders like bacteria, viruses and even cancer cells. Inflammation also helps the body heal from injuries.

If your levels of inflamation are in the normal or my green phase we also assume you are walking with less stress on your muscles and joints.

The ultimate example of a healthy spring protective mechanism is someone who is capable of  barefoot running on the worlds hardest surfaces and/or high impact plyometric exercise without a problem.  We have to assume that those who can absorb greater forces of impacts without pain or release of inflammation have healthy functioning biomechanics.

I have trained myself and many of my patients to this level and recommend you strive for this level of protection from impacts.

YELLOW:

Silent Arthritic Inflammation - This could represent someone who is not in real pain but has decreased performance and/or a risk of injury due to the internal compressive forces resulting from abnormal movement of the body (I call it locked or stiff human spring).  They feel no pain but a flaw is noted in their gait pattern that suggests abnormal stress and strain on their body that has the potential to release inflammation.  You probe into the most likely area and find an abnormally painful spasm pattern.

Dietary Inflammation - Doctors have described this as inflammation that comes from a diet that has foods that the individual is allergic to, hypersensitive to and some suspect foods which are high in arachadonic acic.

Airborne sources of Inflammation - Airborne or environmental sources of inflammation like pollution, cigarette smoke and allergies.

Food, like exercise is meant to improve health.  In this situation it is causing accelerated aging through the inflammatory response.  So if you eat food that you are hypersensitive to or down right allergic to then you are certainly causing detriment to your health and a higher risk of diseases of aging in the long run.

Most of my patients except those I am training for a championship sports competititon fluxuate between the yellow and red phase of aging.  The gold is reserved for those who are in top physical shape and have a progressive anti-aging protocol set up by a qualified doctor.

 

Phases of Inflammation

RED or painful inflammation:

Frank Inflammation, which means that the patient is actually is inflamed to the level of which come see you since they are in pain. This is when the patient is actually in pain because the levels of inflammation are very high.  The spring mechanism is so locked that the patient releases high levels of inflammation with every step that accumulate in the tissues in concentration levels that can be felt by the patients brain. (Remember that this is conceptual discussion to help you understand your state of health.)

An example of the red inflammation when you are in pain.

When we are talking about walking or running arthritic inflammation this is when your body cannot spring from the impacts like a spring mechanism.  The spring mechanism is weakened, stiff or locked.   My feeling is that exercise on a spring mechanism that is not capable of withstanding the impacts of every day walking then every step you take is causing the release of inflammation.  (theory)   That means that exercise may actually be aging you faster than helping you.

Another example is when you eat something that gives you a stomach ache or when you have ulcers.

Other Effects of Abnormal Chronic Levels of Inflammation 
  • Arthritic Swelling, Raised Skin Temperature, and Pain
  • Susceptibility to Decreased mobility
  • A More Sedentary Lifestyle Because You Are Afraid To Exercise
  • Susceptibility to Weight gain
  • A tendency towards Catabolism (Tissue Breakdown) vs Anabolism (Tissue Repair and Growth)
  • Susceptibility to Fatigue
  • Severely decreased growth hormone level
  • Susceptibility to a Poor Concentration (Brain Fog)
  • Potentially Higher risk for injury
  • A Misdiagnosis of a Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Susceptibility to Insomnia
  • Susceptibility to Depression
What do I mean by silent arthritic inflammation?

For Example:  I have a back pain with hip pain and I have mild foot pain occasionally.  I go to the doctor for back pain and he asks if I have any other pain.  You say my foot hurts once in a while.  It seems insignificant however the concentrations or levels of inflammation are not the determining factor in diagnosis or how we should treat the patient.

What is a good game plan for preventing inflammation?

My approach with patients is to list and check off all potential sources of chronically high levels of inflammation.  Then we put together a plan to systematically reduce as many sources of inflammation we can.

Of course, most patients come to me for aches and pains so we start by getting them out of pain (very high levels of inflammation) and work to return their function.

After we reduce the areas of high concentrations of inflammation (where it hurts) we address the less obvious sources of inflammation on the list.

I don’t just treat the area with the most inflammation or the area of your body that hurts.  if I feel there is a connection between one joint to another or if the entire body is inflamed from toe to head I start at the foundation and work to make improvements on joint motion from the foot up.

I treat you as a doctor and coach you to improve the form and technique of your movement patterns like a sports coach.

I treat the body to improve or restore its natural elastic recoil or spring with the goal of restoring the bodies ability to spring off the ground when you walk.

I look at your body as an integrated spring mechanism and work to improve walking and running technique to reduce the abnormal movement patterns that could be causing the stress and strain, wear and tear, possibly leading to the release of inflammation.

If you think an aspirin can that reduce inflammation?  Clinically, I have seen patients who take several aspirins every day but are still inflamed.  You would think they would be numb when Im examining their body for these patterns of silent inflammation as the inflammation in these areas are not as high as the main area of pain.  What I have found is that we can still track these areas of silent inflammation even when they are on aspirins and nsaids.

So the medication in some cases has limited effect depending on how inflamed you are.  Also if the inflammation is coming from abnormal walking patterns and you haven’t corrected the pattern I guess the inflammation is still going to be produced.

Some of these patients literally wince in pain when I lightly probe a muscle.  They think I am hurting them.  Then I move to an area I know is not a part of the pattern of spasm and push much deeper and they feel no pain.  This helps them to understand that there is a difference in the concentration of inflammation in that part of the body over another.  I always explain that Im not hurting you, it just hurts because of the high concentration of inflammation.

I examine the body as an integrated human spring mechanism.

 

In other words, If we are going to address regional pain in the back, then we also need to track this through the entire integrated mechanism of the human body (the human spring) for a pattern that leads down to the foot, if there is one.  I feel this is a thorough evaluation. What does it hurt to check?  I check every patient for abnormality of gait because it is common. Also, its easy to instruct patients to improve their walk as they have to walk anyway so why not work to improve your step?

Can you tell when someone has a bad golf swing or throwing motion?

Most can see when someone has a terrible golf swing and most can see when someone is a great athlete or just a novice. Its seems obvious. That is because if you are a fan you have watched the patterns of movement of the elite and can see a big difference between a weekend warrior and a pro.

Certain abnormal walking patterns for me at also poor or elite. Patients don’t know it but I am checking for their form and technique and like a coach know what to look for.

I remember watching the USA National Team Coach for rhythmic gymnastics, Irina Vdovets would evaluate three and four year olds for their sports potential based on their flexibility and movements. I asked her what she looked for in a potential national champion and she explained very logically.

I am not going to go into that as I may be exposing her secrets but lets just say she coached 15 or more girls to national titles and many who competed in the Olympic Games so lets say she knew what to look for too, genetically.

Im not talking so much about genetics.

What I am talking about is this…

An elite running coach can watch an athlete run and by checking form and technique of things such as toe point, body position, if they land heel, mid foot or forefoot and tension on the body at landing and determine where the flaws are. They then coach the athlete how to make these changes and their running efficiency and ability to resist injuries can improve.

We can attempt the same thing with your walking and running.

What is the best way to examine your own walking form and technique?. It doesn’t have to be too expensive. I have found value in this approach.

Just get a $150 HD flip video camera that every 14 year old seems to have or use your iPhone video camera and film your walk for 10 steps with your socks and shoes off and shorts. Download the video and watch the video very slowly by moving the curser. Its amazing what you will see.

Try it!

In fact, I have given workshops at the Royal College of Physicians, at the Congress of Anti-aging in Sao Paulo, Brazil and at the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok Thailand, I asked random doctors to come to the stage, watched their walk and just from their walking pattern was able to fairly accurately determine conditions they had. Doctors astute in gait evaluation can detect evidence of disease processes with gait evaluation.

For me, seeing how your body moves during walking tells me a lot more than just x-rays, MRI and standard orthopedic and neurologic evaluations. I do all those plus the gait evaluation to get the most through understanding of the problem.

If you have abnormal movements in the feet and legs, then that can cause stress and strain in your muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. This can lead to the release of inflammation in the affected area.

CONNECTING THE KNOTS

What I have found clinically in my practice is this…  When the abnormal motion is happening at the foot, I have found patterns of inflamed muscles, ligaments and tendons in patterns that link and are predictable depending on the way the body compensates for the abnormal plant of the foot.

Over the years of lecturing around the world, many doctors and scientists have shared with me that they have noted the same similar findings.

I call this method of examining the patient, ‘connecting the knots.’

How do you know where the pattern is?

It is quite simple.  It is more painful to the deep touch and there are ropy sensations in the area of where more soft muscles should be.  We call these simple painful spasms.

When you feel foot pain, knee pain, and your back hurts, you may be interested to know that I find in clinical practice these conditions could connected may be traceable down to a flaw in the landing of the foot.

I track them down throughout the floors of the body on the examination table noted by a painful pattern of spasm by probing the muscles.

I know where they are before I examine the patient because I have found in practice that the spasms are activated by the brain in an attempt to protect you from the abnormal movement  They call them tonic protective reflexes.

When muscles on one side of the bone contract the muscle on the opposite of the bone has to relax to allow for the unrestricted movement of the bone.  They call this reflexive inhibition.  The brain turns off the opposing muscle for you automatically.

When muscles on all sides of the joint contact at the same time they compress the joint.  If this happens for too long the compression combined with movement is not healthy for the body.

Why are the spasms predictable?

This is how I explain it…

Gravity is predictable.

Physics is predictable.

The engineering of the human body is fairly predictable.

The compensation patterns related to an abnormal gait or walking pattern all start falling into predictable patterns after you have watched several hundred or in my case several thousands of people and their walking form and technique.

Doctors give names to particular gait or walking patterns like:

For example in this article from the New York Times it lists the gait abnormalities by names and their causes:

The New York Times

Monday, March 19, 2012

  • Propulsive gait — a stooped, stiff posture with the head and neck bent forward
  • Scissors gait — legs flexed slightly at the hips and knees like crouching, with the knees and thighs hitting or crossing in a scissors-like movement
  • Spastic gait — a stiff, foot-dragging walk caused by a long muscle contraction on one side
  • Steppage gait — foot drop where the foot hangs with the toes pointing down, causing the toes to scrape the ground while walking, requiring someone to lift the leg higher than normal when walking
  • Waddling gait — a duck-like walk that may appear in childhood or later in life

Causes

Abnormal gait may be caused by diseases in many different areas of the body.

General causes of abnormal gait may include:

(The above list does not include all causes of abnormal gait)
Causes Of Specific Gaits

You don’t have to have one of these diseases to have an abnormal walking pattern. Here are some of the daily events-which can change your gait:

  • Footwear
  • An injury causing you to compensate
  • Surgery anywhere in your body
  • Psychological manifestations
  • Stress causes tension in the natural spring mechanism
  • Mastering a specific sport motion can alter your normal walking pattern
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Pregnancy

Some muscles are in pain without being touched or through what we call deep palpation.  The muscles and joints that hurt without pressure applied are what I call frank pain or obvious pain.

Muscles that ONLY hurt when you apply deep palpation I call silently inflamed.  That is because they are abnormally inflamed mostly due to abnormal stress on them.  We are not talking about blunt trauma injuries.

I find they connect through these patterns of spasms but oftentimes, the patient doesn’t know they have them because they don’t feel the pain unless you do deep palpation probing into the muscle to find it.

We sometimes feel painful knots when we get massages in a particular area we did not know hurt.  What I have found is that these are not so random but tend to connect together in a linkage because the body moves via linkages.

Like I said, “I call these areas of inflamed tissue that are only painful with deep pressure, silent inflammation.”  By checking for “silent” arthritic inflammation we can start to connect conditions to the inter-linking human spring mechanism I talk about in my lectures.

Connecting the knots from the foot to the back and beyond!

What if I have a problem in my back that is connected to my foot plant but the doctor only examines my back and ignores the connection to my foot plant?

If you feel strongly that your back pain is somehow connected to your foot plant then show the doctor. If he or she doesn’t routinely check gait as this is not their specialty then seek out a doctor who knows how to evaluate and coach you on what to do to improve your gait.

When I do a video of the patient walking pattern it takes 30 seconds or less to video the walk, 2 minutes to load it into the computer and 10 minutes to go through it frame by frame while I detail for the patients the flaws in the patterns of their walk. Its worth 15 minutes to be more thorough to perhaps understand better why you aren’t healing. Sometimes your back problem isn’t something your GP specializes in so they might order an MRI thinking they are doing you a favor by just telling you what it is and not why it is not healing.

When a patient comes into my office with the MRI that says they have a herniated disc I thank them for the information and they are shocked when I tell them that I feel it is not the MOST important factor in their case.

The most important factor is WHY IS THE DISC NOT HEALING?

That is a shocker to the patient. However, when they think about it logically, they are wondering the same thing!

It should have healed by now!

Why isn’t my disc healing?

Many didn’t even know it COULD heal.

Most herniated discs heal as long as there is nothing to get in the way of the healing process.

That is why I do the (walking) gait evaluation to see if we can see anything in their walking mechanics like abnormal motion of the joints that is aggravating the disc to interfere with the healing. We often times have these Ah-a moments when the patient and I both look at the walking pattern.

Think of all the styles of footwear you wear.

All of them cause a different pattern of motion.

Even the high tech running shoes are often designed with a lift in the toe and a lift in the heel. Think of what that does to your foot and the joints that interconnect to the foot.

My opinion is that the most likely unnatural implement that creates abnormal motion is footwear.

Doctors and scientists can argue with me but do they recommend putting devices on your elbows, knees, neck and spine that attach tightly during exercise? Why should we follow different principles of training and adaptation of the foot than other joints?

That is why I am a barefoot runner. It is my very strong belief that walking and running should be done barefoot whenever possible. If you cannot do it you should strive to achieve this goal. If you could walk and run barefoot as a child you should try to restore the ability to do what you could do as a youth.

I am constantly challenging my body with 700-900 pound impacts on concrete and asphalt surfaces to check to see if my bodies protective mechanisms are still protecting me from the impacts and that my pattern of motion is as close to right as I can get it. Im always working on my form and technique.

Why is it that experts in physics, engineering and even mechanics find this obvious that footwear effects “natural” motion yet doctors feel that the human body is governed by different laws besides those established in physics for 300 years?

If these laws which govern what happens when two objects collide are given then they should be applicable to the human body and the earth colliding. The only difference between mechanical springs and human spring like structures are that mechanical springs do not get stronger with proper use but human spring structures do. We call it positive adaptation.

So when I am striving to help a patient improve walking mechanics to decrease inflammation my goal is barefoot running as the ultimate achievement of a healthy human protective mechanism.

The lessons I want you to learn from this post are:

  1. The inflammatory process is a necessary process to protect, repair and fight off foreign invaders.
  2. Chronically high levels of silent, painful, systemic and arthritic inflammation are detrimental to out health
  3. All sources of inflammation should be considered for a progressive preventive approach to long-term health.
  4. The area of the most pain is just the area of the highest inflammation and should not be the only area to be evaluated. All interconnecting regions above and below should be evaluated for silently inflamed connective tissue (muscles, ligaments and tendons)
  5. The body protects itself from impacts with a kind of spring mechanism that can be evaluated with a gait, walking or running evaluation. You can check your walk to see if there are obvious flaws that could be causing abnormal movement patterns that lead to stress and strain on your muscles, tendons and joints that release inflammation. Restoring a more normal walking or running pattern that reduces this stress on your joints can help you fend off higher than normal levels of what I call arthritic inflammation.

I hope you learned from this post as I feel it is central to optimum health!

Dietary Inflammation

Dietary and airborne sources of inflammation are another subject that we can write an entire book about. When I post information on this I will add those links to this post. However, Dr Barry Sears and other doctors and scientists speak of silent inflammation related to inflammation from food you eat or other irritants that may stimulate the release of inflammation. This is commonly referred to as silent, dietary, or systemic inflammation.

Those who are looking at mounting a progressive approach to reducing overall inflammation should make a check list of all POSSIBLE sources of inflammation from arthritic sources (even if you don’t have pain), dietary inflammation (even if you think you have a good diet) airborne sources of inflammation (even if you don’t smoke or use sprays) and other sources of inflammation.

Once you made your list, go to the expert who is most qualified to check for these sources of inflammation and check the boxes off one by one. Then put an intervention strategy to reduce chronic levels of harmful inflammation. Then you need a maintenance plan together to keep inflammation at bay for the rest of your life.

If you would like a more accurate way to assess your levels of inflammation you can get blood tests for it.

  • C-reactive Protein
  • Arachidonic/Eicosapentanoic Acid Ratio
  • Interleukin-6 • Interleukin-10
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha

This video tutorial was taken from the lecture:

Lecture: Run For Life! Barefoot 
Presented by Dr James Stoxen DC

The 8th Annual Malaysian Conference And Exhibition On Anti-Aging, Aesthetic And Regenerative Medicine

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

April 30 — May 2, 2011


 

Anthony Field on the Today Show Discussing Dr Stoxens Approach

Anthony Field on the TODAY on MSN, Channel 9 (Australia’s landmark breakfast program) Wednesday, February 29, 2012   click here to watch the entire interview    

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Anthony Field on the Today show, Australia

Anthony Field on the TODAY on MSN, Channel 9 (Australia’s landmark breakfast program)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

 

click here to watch the entire interview

 

Anthony Field joins 'Today' on the nine network, Australia

Anthony Field shares on the Today show about the book How I Got My Wiggle Back

 

Was My Chronic Pain, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia Cured with a Pair Of Shoes? NO!

Depression ICD-9 296.3, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ICD-9 780.71, Fibromyalgia ICD-9 729.1 Tips For Better Health Ask the doctor, Dr. James Stoxen DC Weather you have aggravated myofascial trigger points in the legs, sciatic nerve problems, a tight iliotibial band (ITB) or even cracking knees, it will not be cured with a pair of shoes. I personally had Chronic Muscle Pain, […]

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Depression ICD-9 296.3, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ICD-9 780.71, Fibromyalgia ICD-9 729.1

Tips For Better Health

Ask the doctor, Dr. James Stoxen DC

Weather you have aggravated myofascial trigger points in the legs, sciatic nerve problems, a tight iliotibial band (ITB) or even cracking knees, it will not be cured with a pair of shoes.

I personally had Chronic Muscle Pain, Painful Arthritis, Stress and Fatigue, Fibromyalgia disease and lower back pain.  This was all at the age of 27.  Do you think a pair of shoes fixed any of this? I didn’t  and in this post I will explain why.

 

Unsafe Range vs Safe Range

 

Dr James Stoxen DC 1987

In 1987 I was training hard using the routines I read in powerlifting, bodybuilding and fitness magazines. A young doctor, ready to take on the world, I thought I knew everything. Still I wanted to test some of my theories out on myself.

When I first began a more intense routine I was about 160 pounds. I was able to squat 400 pounds for 6 reps and bench 300 for 8 reps.   In practically no time, I packed about 30 pounds of solid muscle onto my frame to reach a weight of 190 with 9 % body fat.

I looked great. But I suddenly began to tire easily and quickly slipped into a state of chronic fatigue.  I then developed chronic pain in my feet, legs, hips, lower back, between my shoulders, and neck pain.  Every weight bearing joint was killing me.  My ankles, knees, hips and back cracked with every step. I sounded like a cricket!  I couldn’t lift without severe pain afterwards.

I was a 27 year old doctor with chronic arthritis.

My father, Dr Paul Stoxen DC, an amazing chiropractor for 47 years, gave me two to three back adjustments a day. These would provide an hour or so relief but then the pain would return.

I tried orthotics but they only made me feel worse.

After four agonizing months, frustrated and disillusioned with chiropractic and natural cures, I drifted into a depression.

Growing up, I never took so much as an aspirin, yet I began to consider prescription drugs to ease my misery, if only for a day or two, I thought.

But fate stepped in with a better solution.

One day, a patient of mine, remarked, “How do you work all day on your feet in those Don Johnson style loafers? Don’t they make your feet hurt?”

He suggested I get more supportive shoes, which I did, and from the minute I put them on I felt relief.  I often wonder where I would have ended up without the advise of the salesman.

Who knows, maybe trapped in the cycle of chronic pain and an addiction to dangerous prescription drugs. Or worse.

My radical turnaround left me stymied.

How could this sudden onset of pain and misery happen to me, an otherwise healthy and fit doctor? I looked good and could lift heavy weights and I followed the guidelines of the experts.

Why did my seemingly well-trained body break down?

And what role did my new shoes play in my recovery?

I didn’t think the shoes cured me. They merely provided support, performing the job that certain muscles in my body were engineered to support but weren’t supporting.

Still, this perplexed me. I felt my options were to either send my patients to an orthopedic shoe store or build a training center to study the mechanics of the human foot and learn the secrets of its function.

I chose the latter and in 1991, built a training center in my clinic. There, I provided rehab and training to athletes and patients, developed new exercises and created a barefoot training program to strengthen and develop the foot muscles that I ignored.

I designed the exercise routine that was missing from my workout.

It was the first step to on my quest to understand and address the muscles that support the bodies impact resistance mechanism (What I call the spring mechanism).

The moral of the story is:

  • Do not neglect to exercise the muscles of your feet and ankles.
  • Train your feet and ankles as often as the other areas of your body for strength balance.
  • Train your feet without your shoes on to get full range of motion of the joints.
  • If you are going to be standing on your feet for long periods of time wear shoes with an extended medial counter support
  • Don’t think you know everything.  Have an open mind to advise.

Foot Inversion Bands

 

 

Video Tutorial #8 Important Functions Of The Human Spring Mechanism To Recycle Energy From Impacts Enhancing The Efficiency Of Movement

  The Human Spring Theory says that: The human spring stores mechanical potential energy therefore it is an efficiency mechanism The human spring absorbs forces of landings therefore it is a protective mechanism the human spring allows the foot to land on uneven surfaces adjusting the body mechanics to the terrain. The human spring is […]

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The Human Spring Theory says that:

  1. The human spring stores mechanical potential energy therefore it is an efficiency mechanism
  2. The human spring absorbs forces of landings therefore it is a protective mechanism
  3. the human spring allows the foot to land on uneven surfaces adjusting the body mechanics to the terrain.
  4. The human spring is integrated into the biomechanics therefore it is essential for stress/strain free motion

Weakness or locking of the spring can lead to:

  • fatigue
  • increased risk for acute injury
  • an inability to heal
  • an accelerated aging of the body’s systems.

The human spring stores mechanical potential energy therefore it is an energy recycling mechanism.

Many of your patients who have chronic fatigue don’t have the energy to do as much. They don’t feel like exercising and they wake up tired and remain tired all day. They might think the answer is to drink a lot of coffee and they go to bed tired yet can’t get a lot of sleep at night because of insomnia or restless leg syndrome.

Those patients may have a locked human spring mechanism as part of their problem. The energy mechanisms of the human Spring recycle free natural energy. They’ve had this natural energy their whole life but it’s now depleted once the spring mechanism locks and it will not return until the spring is unlocked.  Abnormal movement patterns can trigger the brain to turn on muscle spasms that stiffen joints and reduce the natural elastic recoil or spring of muscles and tendons.  We say we are stiff.  The body is more efficient when it is moving according to the way it was designed to move, unrestricted by muscle spasms or joint stiffness.

Locked Spring, click here to enlarge

Why wouldn’t you evaluate the most common reason for fatigue or how the body ambulates? What other more common reason is there for why the body gets tired so quickly?

When the spring locks, the body has to ambulate with a different system. That is when it switches from the spring energy a more free source to a muscular contraction source of ambulation. That means that the body has to be moved by muscle contractions rather than bouncing off the ground. It impacts with a bang then pushes itself across the ground. This is why it is so important that the spring mechanism is in tact for efficient movement.

TV Special Medical Report: “When Exercise Accelerates Aging!” Dr. James Stoxen, DC on WGN, Channel 9

  Special Medical Report: “When Exercise Accelerates Aging!”  Dr. James Stoxen, DC WGN, Channel 9 October 19, 2007 featuring Cindy Pender and Belma Michael Johnson, the Chicago host of “Designed to Sell. Who says exercise can accelerate aging if its not done right? It’s contrary to everything we have been told. One doctor says, “It […]

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Special Medical Report: “When Exercise Accelerates Aging!” 
Dr. James Stoxen, DC
WGN, Channel 9
October 19, 2007
featuring Cindy Pender and Belma Michael Johnson, the Chicago host of “Designed to Sell.

Who says exercise can accelerate aging if its not done right?

It’s contrary to everything we have been told. One doctor says, “It Happens.”

“We used to always talk about exercising the beautiful muscles. The chest, the arms, the back, the thighs, the tri’s. Then they have completely neglected the foundation of the body. The foot and ankle.”

Everyone knows exercise is good, right? Only if you do it right.

“If we have a problem with the foundation of the body then every step we take will cause an accelerated wear and tear on the body. That wear and tear leads to inflammation and that inflammation can cause pain.”

It also ages the body. Reducing the inflammation can reduce the risks down.

Walking, exercising and wearing shoes all strain the feet and subsequently the body.

Restoring a healthy movement pattern which includes allowing the feet to stretch can change that.

“These are the supportive muscles that actually hold the arch up. We are going to re develop these muscles and that way the foot will become elevated and have more spring to it. Wiggle the arch and kind of break loose the spring.”

Get Back The Spring In Your Feet

Cindy Pender, a patient of Dr Stoxen, first gained weight and started walking to shed pounds. But her feet hurt.  She had chronic sciatic nerve pain and chronic pain and fatigue through out her body. “He told me that feet had colapsed and my arches were stiff and frozen. He would tell me the right things to eat to lose weight and how to properly exercise.”

Now, after she lost the chronic pain, lost the sciatica, and lost over 160 pounds with Dr. Stoxen’s diet and training program, she exercises pain free 3 days a week in the Team Doctors private gym. She also runs barefoot in the park with her dog Kayla, hikes, bikes, swims, and even climbed a 20 foot high tree. These are accomplishments she has made for the first time in 50 years.

Working the bodies foundation is the core of working out correctly.

“Designed to Sell” (HGTV) host Belma Johnson figured that out when his body started shutting down. He did not realize that the chronic pain in his shoulder for 30 years was constantly releasing inflammatory chemicals. The problem is, inflammation releases peptides called cytokines that damage cells. The American Heart Association, the Center of Disease and Control, and most experts now warn that over time chronic inflammation contributes to a higher risk for heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s, some cancers, and even the aging process itself.

“I came to see Dr Stoxen because I could not lift my arm past here.”

Now Johnson has his finger on the proper technique. Its made all the difference for the workout and the result.

“You know that old saying, it’s better to look good than feel good? The way Dr Stoxen has taught me is it’s better to look good and feel good…..

 

Tests show the athlete’s arch has lost its natural elastic spring. The result is exercise produces unbalanced forces that travel up the body. At first, the leg muscles compensate, but eventually they become exhausted and those forces damage the knee, hip, back, all the way up to the head. The inflammation is body-wide.

The dilemma is that people sometimes don’t even know they have fallen arches or a frozen arch spring mechanism causing this multi-joint inflammation, and that makes matters worse. Inflammation is most commonly associated with pain, but most of these multiple joint inflammatory conditions don’t cause pain. The inflammation is there, but it’s silent inflammation.

“How Exercise can Speed up the Aging Process” is the lecture subject Dr. Stoxen has been asked to present to over 20,000 physician attendees at the China FDA, China-Pharm conference in Shanghai, October 29 – 31st. Immediately following, Dr. Stoxen has been asked to lecture again on his treatment approach for reversing fallen arches to more than 2,000 physicians, scientists, and hospital principals at the China Health Industry Forum in Dong Guan near Hong Kong, November 1 – 4, 2007.

The Chicago doctor has lectured on this topic to over 20,000 medical doctors and scientists worldwide. He has published over 20 articles on biomechanics and treated hundreds of champion athletes and top celebrities.

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