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The Resolution Challenge has begun!  But don’t worry, because it isn’t too late.  Athletes have until Wednesday night at 11:59 PM EST to register.  DON’T MISS OUT!

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“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

So, as I was reading legendary quotes from this great man, this quote above made me immediately think of Factory Square Crossfit.
Throughout our lives we are a part of, member of, patient of, client of, many different organizations, offices, work places, and groups. Factory Square Crossfit is a family. Every time there is a class, competition, or get together, this family always creates an atmosphere of unconditional love, support, and fun. We are not only here for ourselves, but absolutely for each other. When you need a push, someone is there. When you need a tip, coach is not too far away. When you need a friend, no one has to look too far.

Our Crossfit family rocks! Thanks to everyone for always being there! It matters!!

Kick butt this week!

Dr. Meg
McNicholas Family Chiropractic


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The past few weeks we have been preparing for the new year!  This is an exciting and sometimes exhausting time. If all of the excitement has gotten the better of you or a loved one here are a few helpful hints to get back on the healthy track and thrive!
 Even when you’ve done your best to fight off the winter blues and miserable flus, it’s inevitable everyone will get at least a mild sniffle at some point during cold and flu season. And even though being stuck at home with a fever does warm up our bodies—which may sound nice when the temperature outside is below zero—it’s not exactly as enjoyable as warming up in the sun on a gorgeous beach somewhere. With flu season peaking in February, it’s time to stock up on food and drinks that’ll get you back to tip-top shape in no time.

The Need-to-Know

When we’re sick, the body needs more calories to function normally. The body must work harder than normal when we are sick in order to fight infection, especially with fevers (when it’s battling higher body temperatures, too). To do this effectively, it needs to maintain higher energy levels (which can be tough when it’s already working so hard). This is why properly fueling a sick body is an essential part of getting better.
It’s important to stick to regular eating schedules when sick because consuming fewer calories than normal can restrict the body’s ability to heal. In fact, studies suggest reducing calorie intake when sick not only increases susceptibility to the flu, but also worsens symptoms and lengthens the duration of illness .
While a nasty cold or bad case of the flu might ruin your appetite, it’s important to stay well nourished and hydrated. Eating smaller portions of food more frequently (and listening to your body to determine when you’re actually hungry) makes it easier to steadily fuel ourselves through the recovery process. The best foods to eat will keep us hydrated and give our bodies extra energy and nutrients to stay strong (without aggravating upset tummies or clogged-up respiratory systems).
The best way to kick a cold is to drink plenty of fluids and eat immunity-boosting foods. Here are some of the best items out there:
Broth-Based Soup
It’s not just an old wives’ tale—chicken noodle soup can actually help soothe a cold: The chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, which helps thin mucus in the lungs, and the hot broth helps to keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration, and fight inflammation in the throat . Plus, the other ingredients may help the body kick a cold by stopping congestion and inflammation in their tracks .
Hot Tea
Warm liquids can soothe a sore throat and alleviate congestion, so drinks like freshly-brewed green tea—which is rich in infection-fighting antioxidants and supports the immune system—or hot water with lemon are ideal for staying hydrated while helping out that stuffy nose .
Citrus Fruits
It’s a myth that vitamin C can cure the common cold, and there isn’t actually much scientific evidence behind the theory that it’ll reduce the length or severity of colds, either However, while citrus fruits might not be a cure-all, the soft white layer of skin found on oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes does contain flavonoids, which can help boost the immune system and are great for speeding recovery .
Popsicles
Staying properly hydrated while sick with a chest cold can keep mucus thin and help lessen congestion. While it’s generally better to eat fruit rather than drink itpopsicles are great as a different way to hydrate and are especially easy on the throat. Bonus points if they’re 100 percent fruit juice, or made from whole fruit!
Spicy Foods
Spicy foods can make our noses run and our eyes water, but they’re also effective natural decongestants. Eating chili peppers, wasabi, or horseradish can help relieve the symptoms of congestion .
When it comes to stomach issues (which can accompany the flu), eating bland foods that are easy to digest and staying hydrated are the best defenses for a quick recovery. Here are a few of your best bets:
Crackers and Toast
Plain, unsalted, or lightly-salted crackers and toast are simple, bland foods that are easy on the stomach. These high-starch foods won’t aggravate the stomach and can help stabilize digestion (which is especially helpful after vomiting).
Bananas
Bananas are rich in potassium, which is often depleted during bouts of sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. They’re easier to digest (A+ for bland foods!), may help lower body temperature, and can help replenish lost electrolytes .
Ginger
Research has shown that ginger is incredibly effective at preventing and soothing nausea and other gastric ailments (such as constipation, bloating, and vomiting) . Drinking ginger tea or flat ginger ale (to avoid disrupting the stomach with carbonation) can help keep you hydrated while also soothing tummy troubles.

Foods to Avoid

Since the body’s more vulnerable during illness, it’s best to avoid any foods that put the body under excess stress. Certain foods can make the unpleasant experience of being sick even worse. Here are a few to steer clear of:
Spicy and Acidic Foods
While spicy foods might be good for nasal congestion, they can also be rough on the stomach and cause more pain and discomfort. Steer clear of them if you’re experiencing stomach upset.
Anything High in Sugar and Fat
High sugar intake can suppress the immune system and cause inflammation , Foods high in fat, on the other hand, can be more difficult to digest compared to carbs and protein, and can trigger stomach pains as a result.
Dairy (…maybe)
The jury’s still out on this one, but many people believe that consuming dairy can promote mucus production, which could worsen congestion when sick. However, current research indicates that this may actually be due to a placebo effect . But regardless of whether or not milk changes how much mucus we actually produce, drinking it can create the feeling of thicker mucus, so if that bothers you, it can’t hurt to avoid milk while sick.
Next time you’re feeling a little under the weather, be sure to get plenty of rest and lots of fluids and consider incorporating some of these awesome foods into your diet to experience a quicker—or at least more comfortable—recovery.
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!!
Dr. Meghan


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Mike getting the Filthy 50 On!
When is detoxification so important!
When our bodies become “toxic,” it means that our natural means of ushering out metabolic waste from normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD diet – funny, right!) have exceeded the threshold for what the body’s innate detoxification system can tolerate on its own. With this toxic load, every system in the human body can become affected. From our head to our toes and everything in between, toxicity makes us sick!
How do you know if you are toxic and need to properly cleanse?
Usually a variety of complaints helps you determine whether or not you are toxic and to what extent you need to cleanse. Some examples of what might infer a toxic system are:
  • Constipation
  • Persistent headaches, muscle aches and muscle fatigue
  • Eating a lot of swordfish, tuna, etc.
  • Several mercury fillings and dental amalgams
  • Food allergies
  • Stubborn weight loss
  • Hormonal imbalances and consistent use of hormone replacement treatments such as birth control or creams like progesterone.
  • Consistent use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Skin abnormalities such as acne, rosacea or eczema
  • A lifetime of consuming the SAD Diet
How long should you stay on a cleanse? 
Typical cleanses that harness our body’s natural processes for filtering and removing waste tend to be gentle and can therefore be tolerated for longer periods of time than more extreme protocols. A safe cleanse is one which doesn’t make you starve yourself or take fancy pills, potions or expensive drinks.
Safety means allowing the body to do what it wants to do naturally, with a little assistance from some guided healthy eating, appropriate supplements and relevant lifestyle modifications. I usually have my patients do a cleanse for 9 days to 4 weeks, or even longer, depending on their particular needs. You should work with a trained medical provider to help you determine what length of time is right for you.
How can you prepare for a cleanse?
Like we would plan for any big trip to a new destination, we need to prepare, plan and set out some main goals for our journey. So how can we plan for a safe and simple detoxification protocol?
Take some basic measurements before you begin so that you can track your progress as you go through your program. For example, if weight loss is your goal, measure your waist, hips and weight. If, migraines are an issue, determine the duration, intensity and frequency they currently plague you. Keep a journal, which will help you in more ways than one.
    • Make lists! Organize your pantry, toss out the junk, gather recipes, sketch out weekly menus, make shopping lists for healthy foods you will be eating and formulate a cooking schedule to ensure you allot time to prepare your food for the week.
    • Use journaling as a way to “cleanse” your inner world and relieve yourself of mental and emotional stress.
    • Gather any supplements you need that have been advised for you to take by your medical provider.
    • Exercise must be scheduled into your plan.  This should be reviewed by the trained provider.
    • Detoxification requires you to slow down. Make sure you fit time for deep relaxation into your plan.
Often, unsavory side effects appear in the initial phase of a cleanse. Two side effects to look for and keep track of in your journal are:
  • Constipation: Move those bowels! Drink plenty of purified water. Try warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. Often, taking 300 mg of magnesium citrate is helpful, too. Or, try an epsom salt bath.
  • Food allergies or sensitivities: These can be obvious or obscure. But chances are, as your body lets go of toxic waste, it will be easier to recognize a hidden reaction to gluten, dairy, soy or any of the other common food allergies.
Common Symptoms of “Withdrawal” from a Toxic Lifestyle
The following symptoms are very common at the beginning of the program and should dissipate within the first few days of your program. Don’t worry, these symptoms are indicative that your body is eliminating toxins and are a good sign!
  • Bad breath
  • Constipation
  • Achy, flu-like feeling
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Hunger
  • Irritability
  • Itchy skin
  • Nausea
  • Offensive body odor
  • Sleep difficulties (too much or too little)
How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms
Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, and those who have the most food allergies, will have the most difficulty initially. Symptoms usually disappear after 3-4 days. It is best to slowly reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, white flour, and over-the-counter medications (except as directed by your physician) a week or two before you start your program.
  • Make sure you drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily. Stay away from plastic bottles, but glass bottles are okay.
  • To prevent headaches, make sure your bowels are clean.
  • Fatigue is normal during a cleanse, so allow more time for rest and sleep. To boost energy, exercise for 30 minutes a day. Walking outside in the fresh air is best. Roll up those sleeves and let the sun hit you with some vitamin D too!
  • Take 1000 mg of buffered vitamin C with breakfast and dinner.
  • Don’t wait till you are starving to eat!  Balance your blood sugar by eating protein-based meals and snacks every 3-4 hours. Excellent sources of protein are baked or broiled fish, lean poultry and legumes, such as edamame or black beans.
  • Heat is a great resource while cleansing as it helps draw out the toxins from within. Try a sauna or a warm bath with epsom salts for 20 minutes a few times per week.
If you have any questions about a cleanse/detox program that you are interested in please feel free to call me or your pcp.
Have a super week!!
Dr. Meg


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Mike D

Elbow Injuries and Prevention

Injuries to the elbow are very common in overhead athletes and are usually misdiagnosed.  Most of you have heard of tendonitis (now referred to as tendonapathy), epicondylitis (lateral or medial) (now referred to as epicondylalgia), strains sprains etc, but do you know what they mean and what to do.  The funny thing about the elbow is that most of the time the stress and strain of workouts are dissipated to the elbow from the shoulder or the wrist.  The elbow becomes the symptom and the cause usually originates from somewhere else.  Now, realize if you hit your elbow on something and know that you hit it, then yes it is coming from the elbow.  If the pain started to come up idiopathically (no known cause to you) then you need to look up and down the chain.  By no way is the following a diagnostic tool.  These are simply ways to help yourself.  In no way is this meant to diagnose and if you have doubts please get it evaluated by your orthopedist, chiropractor, massage therapist or physical therapist.  The following are positional reasons for elbow pain and possible causes and solutions.  Rest and ice usually are not the answer nor are pain medications.  Using your body the right way is the best treatment.  There is no substitute for strength and mobility and no reason for lack thereof.

Pain in the front rack position

You can systematically figure out what is going on by breaking down the movements that you do.  If your pain is on the inside of the elbow you may want to start at the wrist and take a look at your form during movements.  Let’s look at the front squat or rack position.  If you hold the bar in the tips of the fingers and the elbows are lower than your hands you are smoking the soft tissue (wrist flexors) that attach to the inside of the elbow.  In other words you are taking the muscles that attach to the inside of the elbow and flexing the elbow fully and then extending the wrist (bringing the top of your hand closer to your wrist) putting an extreme amount of stress at the elbow and the wrist.  You may need to work on your wrist flexibility and mobility.  To do this you take a band and hog tie to the low part on the rig, loop the other end around the wrist just above where the hand meets wrist, place the hand on the floor as if doing a push up but stay on your knees.  Take the slack out of the band and create some tension and then bend and straighten the elbow with the hand stabilized on the floor.  Repeat this for about 2 minutes and recheck your wrist ROM and your front rack position.  You can also take the band and again hog tie to the rig midway up to start.  Then loop the hand through the band and put the elbow and wrist in the front rack position with the band going over the shoulder and bring the elbows up to the level of the hand and shoulder.  This will stretch more of the wrist flexors with taking the wrist out of the equation.  Start with the band high and lower as the mobility increases, there should be minimal pain mostly stretch.

If the pain is on the outside of the elbow, look at when this occurs.  If you get pain with gripping the bar and you have a death grip on the bar (white knuckles), relax the hands a little and decrease the tension going to the outside of the elbow.  Seventy five percent of the time the pain to the outside of the elbow originates from the shoulder (specifically the infraspinatus-medial lower border).  This is a trigger point that needs the tender touch of your massage therapist or physical therapist.  If there is a trigger point in the shoulder then why did you get that?  Look at your thoracic mobility.  If your thoracic cage cannot move and you are stuck in flexion, your body still wants to get the bar to the front rack position and the shoulder blades have to get the wrist, and elbow to that position so there is increased stress on the shoulder to hold up the bar and the shoulder blade (rotator cuff muscles) muscle are put in a poor position and they have to over work causing the most stressful part of the muscle to go into spasm or trigger point.

Next post we will talk about Pain while snatching or Back squat position


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Hey Dr. Meg what type of mattress and/or pillow should I buy?
I get this question all too often and my response is usually, “one that you can return!”
What I mean by that is it is very difficult to tell what type of mattress and pillow suits everyone of us and our assorted back and body issues. So, let me review some helpful hints to help alleviate stress on the spine and body while sleeping (Or trying to sleep).

How To Sleep Properly

There are certain sleep positions that are better for your back and the overall alignment of your spine than others. Truth is, to keep your spine in perfect alignment, you SHOULD sleep flat on your back. But few of us do it right.

Sleeping on Your Back Correctly

Step 1

Roll up a sheet or towel. Tie the towel around your waist to provide support for your lumbar spine. A lumbar support allows your spine to retain its neutral and proper alignment.

Step 2

Lie on your back on a comfortable and supportive mattress. Place a pillow or small bolster under your knees. Bend the knees slightly. Relax and let your thighs and feet turn out.

Step 3

Place a buckwheat or sobakawa roll under your neck in lieu of a pillow (or just a roll a comfortable towel), as recommended by chiropractors. Use a roll that is the same thickness as your neck.

Sleeping on Your Side Correctly

Step 1

Lie on either your right or left side. Rest your head on a standard pillow that is the correct thickness so your face points straight ahead. Avoid a thicker pillow that will cause your neck to rotate up or a thinner pillow that would turn your face toward the bed.

Step 2

Bend your knees slightly and place a pillow between your knees to keep your pelvis stable. Do not twist your pelvis or your spine will not be in the correct alignment. Keep your knees away from your chest and avoid sleeping in the fetal position.

Step 3

Switch sides occasionally so that you do not always sleep on one side during your lifetime. Sleeping on one side causes your chest and spine to eventually shift to one side.

Tips

  • Special pillows such as neck pillows may help you sleep with better posture. Ask your chiropractor what she recommends.
  • Place a board under your mattress if your box spring isn’t offering enough support to keep the mattress from sagging. If you are experiencing back pain, you may try placing the mattress on the floor.
*On Your Stomach*: Apparently, it’s a real no-no to sleep on your stomach, due to the increased amount of stress placed on your spine (specifically your neck and low back). Who knew? But if you must, then you should raise one leg up slightly and prop a pillow under that knee. It’s sort of an enhanced side sleep position.
Poor posture can affect your physical and emotional well-being. In addition to increased tension, poor circulation to limbs and back and neck pain, you can suffer the emotional strains of chronic pain. Adjusting your sleeping positions can positively affect your posture, if you can minimize stress on your back, neck and shoulders during your 8-hour rest.
Sleep Well,
Dr. Meg