How Do Top Athletes Stay Healthy?

A recent article in the Business Insider described how Steeler’s standout James Harrison spends approximately $300,000 per year on what many would think of as non-traditional techniques including chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage and cupping. Given Harrison’s tenure in the NFL and his performance at the age of 39 – advanced by NFL standards – he must be doing something right! Harrison’s care regimen includes weekly visits with a chiropractor. Chiropractic care has shown to keep athletes more mobile, flexible, feeling better and performing at an optimal level.

At least thirty-one NFL teams utilize the services of chiropractors as part of the triage, management and prevention of injuries. Most coaches agree that chiropractic care helps their athletes return to competition faster after an injury. Harrison is not alone in his devotion to chiropractic; Steelers legend, Jerome Bettis regularly received chiropractic treatment. Bettis found his doctor much closer to him and saw Dr. Geno Pisciottano weekly at his office in McMurray. Bettis publicly credits much of his success and longevity in the league to the computer assisted technology utilized at the Pisciottano Chiropractic Center. And, just so you don’t think this is a “yinzer thing”, Hall of Famer Jerry Rice was quoted as saying, “I did a lot of things to stay in the game. Routine visits to my chiropractor was one of them.”

As the Western PA version of “Friday Night Lights” gets into full gear, think about your kids! They need chiropractic care too! Left untreated, injuries in in childhood lead to arthritis and degeneration later in life. Regular chiropractic care can help prevent injuries early in life from adding up so that young men in their 20’s end up having the bodies of 50 year olds – with frequent pain caused by joint damage and arthritis.

If it’s good enough for James Harrison, isn’t it worth thinking about for your NFL hopeful!

For more information or to schedule a complimentary evaluation for your student athlete, contact the Pisciottano Chiropractic Center at 724.492.5353.

What You Should Know About Chiropractic Care for Cyclists!

From the competitive mountain biker or cyclist to the everyday commuter or one who simply joy rides with the family, biking can be beneficial to your overall health. However, leisure, amateur and serious cyclists and mountain bikers must be careful because biking at any level is not without risk of injury – whether it’s from a fall, overused muscles and joints, or improper posture or balance. And whether you’re riding a bicycle for fun, for health or for sport, you can be certain physical stresses from biking can take a toll on muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves over time and trauma to other parts of your body can radiate to your spine, misaligning and damaging it.

A chiropractor can treat many of the most common biking injuries, such as:

  • Neck/Back: This includes tightness in the neck and lower back pain, as well as piriformis syndrome, which is when the piriformis muscle cramps, pressing on the sciatic nerve and causing buttock pain or sciatica.
  • Shoulder: This includes AC joint sprains and clavicle (shoulder or collar bone) fractures.
  • Hand/Wrist/Forearm: This includes numbness and pain, as well as elbow dislocation, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow, which also applies to cyclists), ulnar neuropathy, Cyclist’s Palsy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Foot: This includes numbness and tingling, as well as plantar fasciitis in the heel and arch pain.
  • Knee/Leg: This includes Cyclist’s Knee (Patellofemoral syndrome), patella and quadriceps tendonitis, medial plica syndrome and iliotibial band friction, which either affect the kneecaps or outer knees. This also includes Achilles tendonitis and thigh and hip flexor strain.
  • Muscles: This includes soreness that lasts and goes away in 24 hours and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that lasts longer than 24 hours.

Cyclists have also reported improvement in respiration, range of motion, heart rate variability, muscle strength and overall athletic ability with chiropractic care. Studies have also shown that chiropractic for cyclists can improve neurocognitive functions such as reaction time and information processing, which are both good for anyone on a bicycle.

Many of these injuries can be caused by overuse, falls, improper techniques, faulty or no protective gear or an improperly fitted bicycle. To prevent them here are some tips:

  • Always stretch before a ride.
  • Make sure your bike is properly fitted to you. Everyone has a different arm length, leg size and posture; try out several bikes of different sizes to determine which frame size and other features are a good fit.
  • Adjust your seat height so it’s not too low or high.
  • Knees should be aligned with your feet when riding.
  • Use the entire pedal stroke completely to avoid pointed toes and fatigued and cramped calves.
  • Avoid hunching your shoulders.
  • Adjust your handle grip frequently and avoid grasping too tightly.
  • Don’t constantly tilt your head to one side.
  • Stay hydrated.

Don’t let pain from cycling injuries prevent you from enjoying your favorite leisure activities. Contact the Pisciottano Chiropractic Center at 724.492.5353 to learn more about the options available to you!

Can a Chiropractor Cure Scoliosis?

“Can a chiropractor cure scoliosis?” It’s a common question from potential patients and skeptics alike. We absolutely believe that a chiropractor can help you drastically improve the quality of life with scoliosis. But answering the question, “Can a chiropractor cure scoliosis?” requires a bit of a deeper dive.

It’s important to understand from the outset that scoliosis is treatable and correctable but the term “curable” may not be technically correct. Scoliosis is a condition that requires ongoing care. It’s important to re-frame your thinking from the short term to the long term; this is going to be an ongoing process.

That said, if you find the right approach to managing your scoliosis, and stay committed to the plan you develop with your doctor, you can drastically improve your quality of life. So, why then doesn’t everyone see a chiropractor for scoliosis and then rave about their success?

For starters, many chiropractors simply aren’t trained or equipped to effectively diagnosis issues related to scoliosis. As a result, it’s easy to miss the underlying root causes as well as related issues such as instability of the surrounding ligaments. Effective diagnosis is a central piece of developing a treatment plan that’s appropriate for the patient and likely to deliver results. The computer assisted technology available at the Pisciottano Chiropractic Center enables our doctors to more effectively diagnosis the cause and formulate treatment protocols.

A successful treatment plan may require a deviation from a classic chiropractic approach. Traditionally, chiropractors look to increase joint mobility; they take what’s “stuck” and try to make it “unstuck.” With scoliosis, however, joint mobility isn’t the only issue. It’s the location of the joints that’s off. Treating scoliosis with a traditional chiropractic approach may actually put more pressure on the spinal joints, aggravate the surrounding nerves and may even worsen the condition over time. Using the same computer based technology as used in the diagnostic phase, our doctors can painlessly and effectively perform scoliosis specific adjustment protocols that may not be possible with manual chiropractic care alone.

To learn more about effective treatment for scoliosis or to schedule a complimentary evaluation, contact the Pisciottano Chiropractic Center at 724.492.5353.

Fall Activities Can be a Pain in the Back!

It’s that time of year…pumpkin spice is everywhere! So are falling leaves, pumpkin patches and hayrides! No matter what your fall traditions entail, you have to remember to protect your back and be mindful of the ways in which you can injure yourself during the season.

Here are a few tips to keep your back safe this fall.

When You Rake Leaves

Maybe you really like raking leaves, or maybe you consider it something akin to the third circle of Dante’s Inferno. Regardless, it’s right up there a friendly game of football for “top ways to hurt your back while enjoying the fall weather.” You need to remember a few things to make sure you’re raking right. All that reaching, bending, standing and carrying can be strenuous on your back.

When you begin raking this fall, remember to:

  • Start with some gentle stretches.
  • Take breaks often.
  • Stop if you feel sharp pain
  • Lift with your legs and hips, never your back.
  • Carry small loads instead of heavy, large ones.

Picking Apples and Pumpkins!

Many people love fall because apples and pumpkins come into season, and if going apple or pumpkin picking is one of your family traditions, you should take special care to protect your back during this activity. Make sure

  • Lift correctly when picking up heavy pumpkins or crates of apples.
  • Ask for help lifting that prize-winning, gigantic pumpkin.

Hikes in the Fall

There’s no time like the fall for a hike simply because the changing leaves are so beautiful. If you plan on taking advantage of the fall colors and go hiking, make sure you do it safely. If you’re going on a long hike you should be sure to bring a backpack stocked with items for your hike, including snacks, water, and first-aid supplies. Don’t forget that you should wear a backpack with padded, wide straps that fit you well and you should never load it with more than 10 percent of your body weight.

Also, I know, it sounds like a broken record here, don’t forget to do some light stretching and warm-up exercises before you get going so you reduce your risk of injury.

There is a lot to enjoy in the season! Keep your back in mind as you enjoy the splendors of fall but, if you find that all that raking is getting to you, contact the Pisciottano Chiropractic Center at 724.492.5353.