Runners – Off Season Tune Up

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Running Machine Woman at gym - MSRunning is a fantastic way to keep fit.  If you are an outdoor runner throughout the warmer months, the

off-season can signal an end to light clothing, a move to indoor running or ‘gasp’ a halt for the season.  No matter what you do during the colder months, this is a good time to get checked for the balance of your muscle strength so you can work on correcting the issues through the winter.

Running is notorious for exercising some leg muscles and not significantly working others.  Over time, this leads to strength imbalances for all the muscles surrounding your ankle, knee and hip joints.  Your leg flexors and extensors get an excellent workout with running, and gradually get stronger. Your leg abductors, adductors and rotators get hardly any exercise with running and their strength remains static.  Eventually, the stronger you get at running, the more imbalanced the muscles crossing each of your leg joints becomes.

This results in your joints tugging abnormally in one direction or another as you move. This leads to ligaments, tendons and connective tissues getting stretched. You might experience this as swelling in a joint after a run.

If more advanced, this might be experienced as soreness or pain. As the joint starts becoming loose or sloppy from the imbalanced muscle strength stretching tissues over and over, the bones will start to ride into places where they shouldn’t.  This can sometimes show up as a clicking sensation or sound as a bone slips into and out of position while sliding over cartilage or other soft tissue that it normally doesn’t.  Classical muscle imbalance injuries include: ilio-tibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, groin pull, hamstring strain, etc.

Put too much pressure on your leg when the bones are out of position like this, and you have a chance of cutting the cartilage or other tissue.  At this stage, you are doing significant damage to a joint.  Once the cartilage gets cut, the odds of repairing it fully decrease very significantly.  If left to continue, this type of damage is one of the causes of osteoarthritis.

What can be done to prevent this type of muscle strength imbalance injury? Get a check up on a regular basis to measure the strength of all the muscles crossing each of your leg joints.  Ask your doctor if they do testing for individual muscle strength (as opposed to testing groups of muscles).  Testing hip flexors or quadriceps are a group of muscle tests.  Testing psoas major or vastus lateralis are individual muscles.

Find out if your exercise program is not working out all your muscles evenly.  Then, over the winter, put some extra exercise attention to the muscles that are lagging behind.  This will not only prevent the classic runner’s injuries, it will also improve you speed and endurance for when the weather warms up again.

The Diagnosis Foundation (DxF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting diagnostic testing to find underlying causes of disease and ways to improve athletic performance.  We are offering screening events in the mid Atlantic through New England regions to search for imbalanced muscle strength. The DxF also provides a free data base of health care providers who test and treat these types of conditions. The DxF also offers educational programs to help train doctors, therapists, trainers and the public in doing muscle strength testing.  For those who can get to Long Island, we have a 2 day, weekend seminar intensive to learn muscle strength testing this October 18 & 19.

Education is empowerment.  Run smarter…get healthier.

DxProvider Data Base

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The DxProvider Data Base – has been established for two main reasons.

1) All of the Diagnosis Foundation’s (DxF) programs are focused on diagnosis, we do not do any therapy.  All treatment programs are done via referrals to independent providers.

2) As a resource for patients, practitioners, and organizations to find detailed information about the type of training and experience providers have.  Information is gathered regarding:

  • Testing techniques
  • Differential diagnosis capabilities
  • Treatment methods.

What: As the DxF establishes each new diagnosis program, we focus our attentions on gathering information regarding providers who are rendering services related to that program.  The DxF is currently focused on screening programs regarding – individual muscle strength balance in either the arm or leg regions.

When:  The DxF is currently performing balanced muscle strength screenings at public fitness and health events.  After a participant is screened, people with abnormal findings are referred to other health care providers for follow up work. (see current list of scheduled screening events)  Recommended follow up work includes finding the cause of the abnormalities uncovered during the screening event and treatment.

Who: The DxF referrers participants to (in order of priority):

  1. The host of the screening event’s health care provider (if available)
  2. The participant’s own health care provider (with encouragement to evaluate their current provider for expertise with individual muscle strength diagnosis and treatment).
  3. The health and fitness practitioners in the DxF’s DxProvider Data Base.

Listed providers may be:

  • Physicians (MD, DO, DC, ND)
  • Licensed allied health personnel (physical therapists, physician assistants, psychologists, social workers, dentists, podiatrists, nurses, occupational therapists, etc.)
  • Body workers (personal trainers, yoga instructors, group exercise, massage therapists, Alexander technique instructors, etc.)
  • Others

Where: The DxF is currently performing balanced muscle strength screening events:

  • Long Island / Metro NY area – (weekly)
  • Mid-Atlantic – (bi-annual tours)
  • Connecticut/Vermont/New Hampshire – (bi-annual tours)

Costs:

  • Screenings – Free to participants and non-profit screening venues. Free to for-profit venues the first time, negotiable thereafter.
  • DxProvider DB – Free service to all.
  • Paid advertising – Not available

How:

  • Patients – Self refer based upon information included in the DxProvider DB
  • Providers – fill out both questionnaires located on the DxF web site. (~15 min.)

Note: The DxProvider DB currently contains only one specialty section (individual muscle strength). Additional specialty sections will be added to the DxProvider DB in the future including:

  • Essential nutrient testing
  • Cognitive skills
  • Physiological capabilities – circulation, nerve supply, organ function
  • Environmental factors
  • Bio-mechanical – Ranges of motion, muscle speed, endurance, posture
  • Social skills

Why: The screening programs and the DxProvider DB are early pieces of the overall DxF mission to:

  • Promote diagnosis that seeks causes
  • Build a new cluster of professions in health care: the Doctor of Holistic Diagnosis; the Holistic Diagnosis specialty and; Holistic Diagnosis technicians, assistants & aides.

Disclaimer: On the DxProvider DB, potential patients are informed: “The DxF does not currently evaluate the listings for accuracy and makes no recommendations as to providers, the accuracy of the information provided, their qualifications, ethics or any aspect of their competence to provide diagnosis, evaluation, treatment or work with the public. The only criteria for people to be listed on this database is that they have filled out the questionnaire(s). Please use your own due diligence in researching providers before contacting or working with anyone listed here.”

Where does the US rank in health systems?

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How often do you hear or read: “Eat Healthy and Exercise”? If this advice was heeded then, why are so many people still unhealthy? According the the World Health Organization, the US doesn’t even rank in the top 25 health systems (1) despite having the most healthcare expenditures per person. What are the factors that impact this statistic?

One of the motivating factors to build the Diagnosis Foundation (DxF) was the eat healthy and exercise advice and what could people do to better understand exactly what each individual needs in terms of what diet/supplements are needed and what exercise(s) to do. The DxF believes that the public is beyond the “eat healthy and exercise advice.” We, as a whole, are so much more knowledgeable with the internet at our fingertips. That empowers people! We like that a lot!

However, It is that “fingertip knowledge” that can be precisely overwhelming!  The supplement industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world! Forbes states that last year alone the vitamin, mineral, and supplement industry earned about $32 billion in revenue (2). That means more and more people are driven to understand how they can be healthy while using information/research to support their physical well being with supplements. That is the great part! But still, how do you know what you need to take and how do you know what exercises to do?

The DxF has been addressing these questions. We promote understanding why before a treatment plan is in place.

No healthcare reform needed here! We are creating new avenues for people to empower themselves!  Our first empowering program is our Balanced Muscle Strength (BMS) screenings. Unsure of what exercises to do? Our BMS screenings are the first to take a “snapshot” look at possible underlying cause(s) or muscle imbalances that can fester and possibly lead to disease or surgery years down the road. Each BMS participant is empowered to make choices about treatment. We’ve seen it! We love the engagement of all participants! Knowledge is power and these screenings provide participants with useful health information (data sheet) that they take with them. We’ve seen trainers alter routines on the spot to account for collected data! If participants choose to do further investigation and evaluation of the underlying cause, they are referred to their own health care provider or our new DxProvider database of professionals. We now offer BMS screenings for free!

More empowering DxF programs we have developed for the NOW empowerment:

A certification course in Balanced Muscle Strength – Legs . The public response to our screenings motivated us to offer new career options. So many people loved our work and wanted to be able to help others be fit and healthy we launched our certification course this spring! It is open to everyone. We even have options for those who are already in the bodywork field. It is offered at an introductory price!

As for long term goals, the DxF has outlined facilities development to expand and meet the public need for empowerment. In addition, we are also developing a career path for a Doctor of Holistic Diagnosis (DHDx) that would only diagnosis for underlying causes before treatment options were considered by the patient.

We believe this care would improve the our standings among other health systems and reduce the cost expenditures person.

If you would like any more information about how you can be empowered or if you have any comments, please email me directly: PWallman@DxFoundation.org

Occupy Your Health, You Have the Power!

Pamela Wallman, Chief Administrative Officer DxF

1-http://thepatientfactor.com/canadian-health-care-information/world-health-organizations-ranking-of-the-worlds-health-systems/

2-http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidlariviere/2013/04/18/nutritional-supplements-flexing-their-muscles-as-growth-industry/

DxProvider DB Has Begun!

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How many times have you heard:

  • “I have a health problem with X, but who do I go to for help in figuring out what is going on?  I don’t want to just cover up the problem with pain killers or symptomatic treatments!”
  • I exercise 10 hours a week, but I’m just not satisfied with the results I’m getting.  Not only am I not as strong or as fast as I want to be, I’m also starting to get clicking in my joints.

The DxF is working to help you connect with the providers who can help you find the underlying causes behind your health and performance issues and the specific therapies to help correct them.

One way we’re doing this is with the DxProvider Data Base (DB).  This is a listing of providers of testing, diagnostic or therapeutic services.  “Well so what, there are a whole lot of provider data bases on the web.”  What makes the DxProvider DB special is this:

  • The DxF is gathering a lot more data than just contact information and areas of specialty.  We’re also seeking to provide you with in depth information on how much training and experience each provider has in specific testing, diagnosis and therapy techniques.
  • Potential patients are being directly referred from DxF screening events in certain circumstances.

Regarding the type of information that the DxProvider DB is collecting in the area the DxF is currently performing screening services on, Balanced Muscle Strength testing, we are asking potential providers in the DB to answer questions such as:

  • Do they do individual muscle testing?
  • How many individual muscle tests do they know?
  • How many clients / patients per month do they do muscle testing on?
  • How many years have they been using individual muscle tests?
  • Where did they learn how to do this technique?
  • How many hours did they study this method?
  • Even, what books did they use to learn how to do this? 

Providers who do individual muscle testing could be:

  • Physicians (MD, DO, DC, ND)
  • Allied Health personnel (PAs, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, etc.)
  • Body Workers (personal trainers, yoga instructors, massage therapists, etc)
  • Others who have been trained in the testing procedures.

We’re also looking to include information in the DxProvider DB on which providers have the legal authority and the expertise to do differential diagnosis in order to find out why a muscle might be too strong or too weak.  There is a big legal difference between doing tests on individual muscle strength vs. coming up with a diagnosis regarding muscle strength!  Testing muscle strength is just one small step in arriving at a diagnosis.  In order to determine a diagnosis, there also needs to be a complete history process, a more comprehensive physical exam and possibly lab or imaging tests.

For example, participants may get tested at a DxF sponsored Balanced Muscle Strength screening by a personal trainer certified to do muscle strength testing.  If they have abnormal findings, they are then strongly recommend to follow up with somebody allowed to do differential diagnosis to find out why their muscle strength is abnormal.  There may be little hope of achieving progress from doing weight lifting exercises on a muscle that’s weak, when the problem could be because of a neurological or genetic issue.

Finally, the DxProvider DB is not limited to the testing / diagnosis end of the equation!  We are also gathering information on providers who supply individual muscle strength therapies.  Once a diagnosis has been arrived at for which muscles have abnormal strength and why they are too weak or too strong, a client / patient may need somebody to work with who has the capability of helping them exercise or stretch individual muscles effectively.  This is where providers such as:

  • Sports physicians
  • Physical therapists
  • Personal trainers
  • Yoga instructors
  • Massage therapists
  • etc.

can provide some of the best care.

Finally, the DxProvider DB is currently set up for just one specialty area, Individual Muscle Strength.  We’ll be adding many more specialty areas as the DxF develops additional screens and educational programs.  Future specialty areas of the DxProvider DB will include other factors that contribute to the underlying causes of wellness & excellence in performance that can be measured objectively such as:

  • Essential nutrients
  • Cognitive skills
  • Physiological capabilities – Circulation, nerve supply, organ function
  • Environmental factors
  • Bio-mechanical – Ranges of motion, muscle speed & endurance
  • Social skills

Do you know somebody that knows how to do individual muscle strength:

  • Testing
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment

Recommend them to the DxProvider DB.  The questionnaires take about 20 minutes to fill out.  Let’s help connect people who need the right information to help them improve their athletic performance, prevent illnesses or recover faster from injuries and traumas.  Please spread this e-mail and links around to your friends, therapists, trainers, doctors.  Let’s connect the right providers with the people who need them!

See our online course in Balanced Muscle Strength