Thursday, October 15, 2009

Knee Pain

I vividly remember my first bout of knee pain; it was training for the Chicago Marathon 2 years ago and it began during an 11 mile run. Near the end of the run I had some pain on the outside of the knee and I was sore the next day. I didn’t think too much about it then, but in the following weeks it got worse and came on earlier in my long runs. That’s when I started to get worried – if this kept going I’d never be able to run the Marathon and 6 months of training would be wasted (at least that’s how I felt).

Knee pain is a fairly common complaint, most people have pain in their knees at some point but the location of that pain can vary as can the cause. Knee pain due to a specific injury is usually fairly easy to diagnose but knee pain in the front of the knee that develops without a specific injury or event can be a bit trickier.

My knee pain got so bad that during one run I was running about 30 feet and then walking 30 feet just to keep going. I was determined to make the race and finish and knew I had to find a solution. To find it I needed to step back and see myself as one of my patients, a difficult thing for any doctor to do – we are used to treating people not being treated.

I determined that I had “Patellofemoral Syndrome” due to my kneecap moving to the outside of my knee from fatigue of the muscles on the inner side of my knee. Knowing full well that a “lawyer that represents himself is a fool” I did confirm my diagnosis with other Doctors and Physical Therapists.

Now the question was how to manage and hopefully correct this so I could complete the marathon. That’s when I remembered McConnel taping. I was first introduced to this before Chiropractic School through an Athletic Trainer student. She showed me then how to tape a knee to minimize this movement. We also covered this in Chiropractic School but since being in practice I hadn’t seen it.

After conferring with other Doctors and Physical Therapists I re-learned this technique and used it on myself.

And, It Worked. After some trial and error with different tapes I was able to do my long runs pain free. My Marathon experience was great, my knee held up pain free throughout the race.

Since that time I have used the same taping on numerous other athletes, and taught them how to do it themselves.

The video I’ve posted shows the BASICS on how to do this technique (there are many variations, depending on such things as the tilt of the kneecap).

Another resource to check out is an article from American Family Physician

This article reviews the common causes of Patellofemoral Syndrome as well as the different treatment options. If you look at the top of the page you’ll also see that there is a patient handout – this has exercises to help with knee pain.

Keep moving and stay healthy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Move for a Healthier Neck

So many people have stiff or sore necks, I know because I see them every week in my office. Neck stiffness and soreness can be caused by many different conditions, from something as simple as falling asleep on the couch or in a chair to more serious conditions like a herniated disc. By far, the most common cause is a simple lack of movement in the neck.

Most of us spend our day in front of a computer at work or driving. In essence we sit and look straight ahead all day and what’s worse, we end up doing this with poor posture.

So, how do you correct this and regain a looser pain free neck? Well, you could change jobs but that isn’t really realistic. So, the answer is “Move”, move your neck. Joints in our bodies respond to the stresses that we place on them. If you don’t move them your body responds by making them tighter but if you move you joints then your body responds by making them looser.

In the video above I show 4 movement exercises that I use in my office to help my patients restore the range of motion in their necks and reduce or eliminate the pain that upsets their lives.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Below is an intersting article from CNN on "Friending" your doctor on Facebook.
I for one am all for it. It gives you a look inside your doctors life, what kind of person they are, as well as giving you another way to contact you doctor for information.

You are welcome to check me out on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


It's been a busy summer but I'm still in action here, even though I haven’t posted in quite a while. First a little update on my 30 day challenge:
Below are my starting stats:
  • Weight 165lbs
  • Waist at belly button 36”
  • Snatch test 55
  • Pull-ups 9
  • Push-ups 25
My ending stats were:
  • Weight 163lbs
  • Waist at belly buttom 34"
  • Snatch test 65
  • Pull-ups 12
  • Push-ups 30
My next goal is the

Monday, June 8, 2009

30 Day Challenge

This year has been a tough one for me and probably most of you reading this. I’ve had many friends lose their jobs or forced to take lower pay for the job that they are doing. At the start of the year my clinic was in trouble, I thought I even might be forced to close and go work for someone else to make ends meet.

Due to all this stress I’d virtually stopped working out. I’m always motivated by the people I work out with…but…they weren’t coming any more because of financial and time problems (the same problems most of us are all facing). I was “in a hole” and knew I had to “Get myself back in the Game”.

I hate feeling I’m out of shape and now I am so… so I’m doing a 30 day health/fitness challenge and I’m using it as an example of what you can do for yourself following this basic format. Its pretty bare bones but that’s the point. I want it to be simple so anyone can do it. Getting back in shape doesn’t need to require much time you just need to do something active that you like doing – and keep doing it.

Walking, jogging, playing tag with your kids (this can be pretty tough), Wii Fit (it may not get you outside but it gets you moving and it includes some objective measures so you can see your progress).

What you DON’T need:
  • A gym membership
  • A fancy home gym or full set of weights
  • Spending hours a day busting your butt
If you have the time and money for these things then great but if you don’t then you needn’t worry. You can make great strides in a short time with minimal or no equipment.

What you DO need:
  • A living breathing body (yours)
  • A desire to feel better
  • About 30 minutes a day to get up and do something
A Guide for the 30 day challenge:
  • Find an activity you like doing AND DO IT 5-6 days a week (or you can mix up some different activities).
  • DO IT for ½ hour a day. Some of you may need to work up to this, that’s not a problem, just start with what you can do and keep it up. If you’re unable to do 30 minutes start with 5 and work up week to week. You will actually make much more progress in 30 days than those who find 30 minutes of activity easy, and you’re measurements will prove it.
  • Diet: focus on whole foods especially fruits and vegetables (at least a serving every meal). I’ll go into more detail week to week over the next 30 days with tips and tricks to help you reach your goals and be healthier.
To really make the most of this 30 day challenge you need to do 2 additional things (Set Goals and Measure them).
  • Set some concrete goals (these need to be measurable like: how fast you can cover a set distance, max pushups or other exercise or even just fitting into a pair of pants that you want to wear).
  • Make measurements, before and after so you can see how much progress you’ve made. Without some way to measure how far you’ve come it’s easy to get bored or discouraged

If you need some help with goals or how to measure them feel free to email me at just be sure to include “30 Day Challenge” in the Subject portion of your email.

I’ll be posting my starting measurements and goals tomorrow so you can see where I’m at and I’ll post my final results in 30 days so you can see my progress.

My goals:

  • Lower my body fat – I can’t find my calipers so I’m using abdominal girth measured around the waist at the belly button.
  • Increased work capacity – I’m using the 5 minute Kettlebell snatch test for this and total snatches as my measure.

For the diehards – I’m not using an official snatch test, I’m using a 16kg kettlebell and switching hands every 10 snatches (the official test uses a 24kb kettlebell with only 1 hand switch). I have never done a 5 minute snatch test before and won’t be training specifically for it but it’s still a good measure.

  • Max Pull-ups and Max Push-ups.In addition I am taking pictures and body weight measurements.

My non-measurable goals are to get to where I feel comfortable in the ring again.

Below are my starting stats:

  • Weight 165lbs
  • Waist at belly button 36”
  • Snatch test 55
  • Pull-ups 9
  • Push-ups 25

I’ll have video up soon, can’t find the charger for my camera so I can’t put up the video I have of my start until then.

Take the Challenge to feel better and be better.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Relief from upper back tension

All of us experience upper back tension and pain at some time or another (pain between the shoulder blades, across the back of the shoulders or pain in the upper back that causes headaches). This type of discomfort usually happens as a result of increased stress in our lives; due to increased work loads, job stress, family problems etc. The question I hear a lot is "what can I do to control it?"

My first response is (and I'm sure you've guessed it) see your Chiropractor. But, being a Chiropractor myself I know that there are a few good exercises that you can do on your own that can help a lot. I know this because I do them myself to loosen up my upper back.

Below is a new video I posted that shows how you can also do these exercises.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

ALERT: Stress relief for this economy

We are all being hit hard. Your job or your spouse’s job may be in jeopardy. We all need relief. You may be feeling run down and stressed out over the economy and wondering what you can do.

I don’t have any easy answers. But I want to give you some relief. We all know that stress, whether its emotional or physical makes everything else tougher to handle and creates even more stress.

Listening to the new Presidents speech I was particularly taken by the following quote:

"You know, there’ a lot of talk in this country about the federal deficit. But I think we should talk more about our empathy deficit – the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us – the child who’s hungry, the steelworker who’s been laid-off, the family who lost the entire life they built together when the storm came to town. When you think like this – when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers – it becomes harder not to act; harder not to help."

This made me think, WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? I have a successful Chiropractic clinic and what can I do to help people feel better during this economic squeeze.

I immediately thought of Massage, I offer it in my clinic and now have an intern from Northwestern. So … why not give away a free relaxing and energizing massage to help people combat the stress they are feeling.

I am giving away free massages from now till the end of February.

Spots are filling up fast, so call now and reserve your spot now to get some relief.

Call: Meehan Chiropractic and Sports Rehab at – 815-267-3707