Plasker Family Chiropractic Blog

Are You In A Health Crisis? How Do You Know?

Posted: March 27, 2015
By: Dr Jordan Plasker
These are patient quotes from over 27 years of practice.  Do any of these sound familiar to you? 
  • "I just get out of bed in the morning with pain, but feel fine by the time I am out of the shower."


  • "I can drive to work and not be in pain until I get out of my car and try to stand up, but by the time I walk into the building the pain subsides."


  • "When I am at my desk sitting and working I am fine, but if I am there for more than 25 minutes, I have pain when I try to stand." 


  • "I have pain daily that is constant, it's not so bad, except for when I drive in my car or sit at my desk for any length of time then the pain becomes sharp and runs down my leg."

Often we have pain or health problem and minimize it.  Then we rationalize why there really is no health problem and only minimal pain.  Over time, the problem seems to creep into our lives affecting us more and more.  This "non-problem" begins to last longer, happen more often and at times becomes more intense.  

Based upon the anecdotal patient complaints listed above, can you see how the last patient's problem really began where the first patient quote started?   When do you know you are in crisis? 
You can choose to seek help when the problem is not so bad; or you can wait until it progresses and becomes unbearable.  As a health practitioner, I have found that if we get to the problem at the start it is easier and quicker to fix.  And conversely, the longer the problem has been around the more difficult and longer it takes to fix. 

Before seeking help I recommend you try these 3 self care tips at home:

1.  Use ice on the affected area for 20 minutes at a time  Repeat 1x per hour.
2.  Walk for 3-10 minutes.  This often can create a pumping mechanism at the affected area and dissipates inflammation. 
3.  If your lower back hurts try simple stretching.  While you're lying on your back, bring your right  knee towards your right shoulder and hold for 10-12 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.  Try this for 3 sets. 

If the pain persists or returns within 2 weeks, you likely need some help and support. I recommend that you get to spinal problems early to avoid permanent issues.  This way you can keep your spine -- which is your lifeline -- free and clear of nerve interference! 
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I will get back to you within 24 hours.

Treatment Options for Pain

Posted: March 24, 2015
By: Dr Jordan Plasker
Unfortunately, pain is a part of life and when you experience pain there are a number of ways you can go about treating it. Here is a brief guide to the most popular professionals we visit for pain relief, with pros and cons of each. Obviously I am biased, but I have tried to keep this as objective as possible to give you a valuable overview of your options. 


Option #1. Go To The ER



1. By going to an emergency facility, you may be able to be seen immediately.


2. You will get an exam and/or diagnostic tests x-ray/MRI to determine if you have any broken bones, torn muscles or ligaments.  


3. There is also the possibility of getting meds or an injection to reduce pain, however very rarely does this give you a solution to your condition.



1. Although you can theoretically be seen right away, emergency rooms often experience very long wait times. One to five hours of waiting is common depending upon the number and seriousness of patients presenting that day.  


2. Generally, you will be referred to another doctor for follow up care.  The doctors in the emergency facility are rarely sports oriented and geared towards moving you towards your goal.  


3. The pain meds will mask the symptoms and not allow you to feel the pain. This creates the possibility of you doing something you would not do if you felt the pain causing more injury to yourself.



Option #2: Visit your GP



1. Generally you can be seen within a short period of time, 1-5 days.  


2. By going to your GP, you get to be seen by a professional that knows you and is familiar with your history.  They can evaluate you to determine if there is any need for emergency care and make the referral for further testing if necessary.



1. Most GP’s are not experts on sports type injuries.  They generally do not treat these conditions and will end up referring you to an orthopedist, to better evaluate your injury.  This can waste more time and more money in your attempt to get back to your training.       



Option #3: Go To an Orthopedist



1. An orthopedist is an expert on broken bones, torn muscles and torn ligaments.  They can reduce fractures and cast them.  They can surgically repair torn ligaments and tendons if necessary.  



2. Often if this is not the case, and there is a strain, sprain, and/or change in function, they will recommend PT or Chiropractic.



1. Because they are experts at severe injuries like broken bones, torn ligaments or muscles they use immobilization as care.  They are not experts on the structural function aspects of these injuries, unless you go to a sports orthopedist.  Those that are sports oriented have a PT or Chiropractor that they will refer you to for follow up care.



Option #4: Go To a Sport Centered Chiropractor





1. Generally you can go to a chiropractor to be evaluated within 24 hours.  


2. Most offices have x-ray equipment to rule out fracture and can assess the structure and integrity of the affected area.  


3. If you go to a sports oriented chiropractor they can determine the extent of your injury, and often find out what caused the injury to occur by assessing your structure and function.




1. Full permanent casting does not happen at a chiropractic office.  


2. As a profession chiropractic chooses not to prescribe medication.  Meds are mostly viewed as a vehicle to cover up symptoms and not as a fix of the problem.  If the check engine light went on in your car, taking meds is like covering the light with tape.  If you continued to drive the car, there is a great chance you will damage the engine more.  What do you think would happen if you cover your symptoms with painkillers? 


So which way do I go?


There is no simple answer to this question.  Different people will have success with different approaches and no one approach is right for everyone.


Like I said I am obviously biased, and recommend a sports oriented chiropractor because it is extremely safe, all natural (no drugs or surgery) and the care creates no added scar tissue. The sports centered chiropractor is usually the easiest office to make the quickest appointment. Most offices have the preliminary diagnostic tests available and are likely to be able to care for the non-fracture injury immediately by providing a structural and functional solution to expedite healing.


Tips To Treat An Injury At Home

Posted: March 18, 2015
By: Dr Jordan Plasker

Recently I have been writing a lot about how to train for a race and stay injury-free. I have already published articles about how to properly schedule your training sessions to reduce the risk of injury; How to properly stretch before a training session; and how to test yourself for an injury if you feel pain while training. Today I'll share some tips to treat an injury at home if you have one.


Self care at home


Self care is essential to learn when you are an endurance athlete.  As you build from being a couch potato to that next level, invariably you will have some growing pains.  How you treat those growing pains is essential for your future success.  


First things is first, remember the acronym R.I.C.E.  


“R” stands for rest.  Slow down and rest the injured area, get off your feet, your body is a self healing organism, give it a chance to heal.  


“I” stands for ice, there are many different opinions on the application of ice.  My belief is that when we get injured inflammation is one of the body’s first responses to the affected muscle, ligament, bone, or joint.  If you add heat to the fire, the fire gets hotter, so ice it for 15-20 minutes to cool off that inflammation.  


“C” stands for compression, wrap the affected area in an ace bandage to keep the ice on the area and once you are through icing, re wrap the area to compress and keep excess inflammation from infiltrating the area.  


“E” stands for elevate.  While you are resting keep the affected area higher than the level of your heart.  This helps the affected area and inflammation drain from the lymphatic system into the blood system to enhance healing.  Once you have rested, used ice, kept the area compressed and elevated, it is time for a self assessment again.  When you wake up the next morning, I suggest you check in with the affected area and do a cross training day.  Test and see if working the area on a bike or in a pool can be done.  Movement, if not increasing the pain, generally will help pump the body’s lymphatic system and aid in the healing process.   If you cannot do the other movements because the pain increases or does not lessen it may be time to seek help.




Stretching is a great way to keep your muscles supple, relaxed and fluid.  Excessive exercise often causes micro tears in muscles as they are expanding and growing in function and capacity.  If these tears do not heal appropriately, scarring and adhesions result, which can make injury more likely.  Stretching or foam rolling is a good idea to prevent adhesions from happening maintaining a supple and fluid muscle function.  Several stretches which can help keep your muscles in great shape include:


Foot and calf stretches to help or prevent plantar fascitis or calf strain are as follows:

Foot conditioning: Roll a golf ball along the bottom of your foot while sitting on your couch.  Roll for 30 sec - 2 minutes at a time and you can vary the pressure by putting more weight on the ball.  

Calf stretch- Stand with one foot entirely on a step, and the other foot half on the step with the ball of the foot at the edge.  With your leg straight of the half on foot, gently drop the heel towards the floor and you will feel the calf muscle stretch.  Hold the stretch for a count of 10 -15 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.  


Tensa fasciae lata stretches to prevent knee or hip pain consists of the following:  While lying on your back bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.  Take your right foot and place your ankle just above your left knee in a figure 4.   Reach your right hand between your legs and  claspe your left hand behind. Lift your left knee and pull it towards your left shoulder.  Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.  Done correctly when the right leg is over the left you will feel the stretch on the lateral side of right hip, glute and knee.  And the opposite when you do the other side.  

Lower back and hip stretch to reduce injury and maintain fluidity consists of the following:  While on the floor lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.  Raise one knee at a time and grab it with both hands bringing it to your same side shoulder.  Pull the knee towards your shoulder and hold for a count of 10-15 seconds.  Repeat on the opposite side.  Next, in the same position, grab your knee and pull it toward the opposite shoulder and hold for 10-15 seconds.  Repeat on the opposite side.  The first stretch you will feel in your lower back and glutes and the opposite shoulder stretch you should feel the stretch in the lower back, glutes and hip.


I hope this helps! Remember if you have a question you can always click here to ask, I usually get back to people within 24 hours.





Are you Body Conscious or Health Conscious? Take This Short Quiz!

Posted: March 11, 2015
By: Dr Jordan Plasker

I see it all the time at the gym or in my office, some people are concerned about how they look but not necessarily about their health.

The problem is that many things that are good for your short-term body image may not be good for your long term health.

If you are not sure of the difference between being body conscious or health conscious, check out this quick reference chart:




Body Conscious

Health Conscious

Eating Fats

Will not eat out of fear of adding fat to my shape.

Will eat a moderate amount of healthy fat because hormones, nerves and cell membranes require fat to function properly.

Eating Sugar

Sugar gives me energy to workout and if I work out more, I can build larger muscles and look better.

Energy from sugar is temporary, empty calories.  I’d rather eat natural whole foods of complex carbs for sustained energy.


I will get enough to keep circles from under my eyes.

Recognize that sleep is essential to re boot our system and rejuvenate our bodies.

Lifting weights

To create larger muscles for a “hard body” muscular look.

Gain/maintain strength and structural integrity.

Aerobic exercise

If I do my cardio today I can have dessert and/or eat what ever I want today.

If I do my cardio today I will improve my heart strength, my endurance and create a strong heart to serve me for years.

Doing Yoga

How does that help with my body shape?  It’s a waste of time.

Centers, stretches and strengthens me from my core.  It calms me and helps keep me balanced.

Going to a Chiropractor

I will go to help alleviate an ache or a pain, so I can work out and look better.

I will go to alleviate an ache or a pain and continue to utilize care to keep my nerve system working at its best.  Like eating healthy foods and exercising regularly it keeps me at my best!

Thought process

Short term thinking.

Long term thinking.

So, which are you Body Conscious or Health Conscious

Are there any changes you know you need to make? 

We are here to support you to be the healthiest version of you possible!

Not Sure If You Should Push Through The Pain? Take This Simple Test

Posted: March 6, 2015
By: Dr Jordan Plasker

If you have been reading this blog recently, you know that I have been talking a lot about how best to train for a 5k, half-marathon or marathon without risking injury.


The hard truth is that no matter how you prepare, an injury is always possible. Following my systematic approach to training for a race will certainly limit your liability, but there is no way to completely get rid of the risk.


How Do Injuries Occur?


If you do not follow a systematic approach to growing your endurance, your body will rebel.  Rebelling can come in several forms:


  1. Muscle strain or tear

  2. Ligament sprain or tear

  3. Bone stress fractures


All of these injuries above occur when there is structural imbalance that becomes magnified with an increased number of steps you take per day.  


If you put 10 lbs more on the right side of your body because of a misalignment or imbalance, taking 100 steps per day, you are putting a total of 1,000 more pounds on that side daily.  If you are taking 10,000 steps per day training, that translates into 100,000 more pounds on that side each day.  What do you think happens as you increase your mileage and time walking or running?  Your imbalances become magnified.  Extra stress is put on that foot, ankle, knee, hip and associated muscles.


So having a balanced structure is imperative when training.  As a result of balance you will be more efficient when you run.  Your body will wear in a more balanced fashion and you have less of a chance for an injury.


How to Know If You Are At Risk


The wear pattern of your shoes can give you clues to your structural imbalance.  Do you wear out your shoes on the back outside heel, inside heel or the center?  Do you wear out the sole on the outside or inside of the shoe?  Do you only wear out the ball of the shoe and not the heel or the heel and not the sole?  If you bring your running shoes to your sports oriented  healthcare practitioner, they can use this information to help you solve some of your structural imbalance problems to keep you training and healthy.  


What Are The Most Common Injuries From Running?


Foot pain-  plantar fascitis or a stress fracture


Calf pain/ ankle pain/Lower leg pain -  muscle pull, sprained ankle and shin splints


Knee pain- tendonitis and/or alignment,meniscus issues


Hip pain - Tensa fasciae lata (TFL) syndrome or


Lower back pain - subluxation, sciatic neuritis or disc involvement



Do You Have A Running Injury? Take This Simple Test!


The best way I have found to determine if my pain is an injury or growing pains comes down to a self test.  When you are working out does the pain you are having remain the same, get worse or get better?  I have been out on a long run and felt a pop or a pull in my calf which resulted in serious pain.  At that point I shut down the run and start to walk in a relaxed easy fashion to see if the pain will subside.  If the pain improves with walking, after 1-5 minutes, I will try to rev up again.  If the pain does not let up after 5 minutes, I shut it down for the day.  If the pain starts up and a then lessens as I ease off the pace, I continue to run.  If the pain builds as I rev up and is bearable, I continue on my run.  If the pain stays the same and begins to get worse in anyway, I shut it down for the day.  If it is so bad that it feels like it is damaging as I walk I will call to be picked up.  Either way, when I get home, it is time for some self care.




The Secret to Winning Races As You Age

Posted: March 3, 2015
By: Dr Jordan Plasker
A few weeks ago I was training for a race with a local celebrity named Sheila.
Sheila is a local celebrity because even at age 45 she is winning races against people much younger than her. People she doesn’t know recognize her and stop her in the supermarket to say, “congratulations.” It’s amazing to see, and I am very proud of her.
Recently, Sheila ran a full marathon in the 2 hour fifty minute range. If you aren’t familiar with marathons, let me tell you that is pretty fast! I asked her, "what has been the secret to successful training?" and she said something so simple it had to be true:
“Don’t run more than 6 hours a week.”
At first I was confused, because I had assumed it would take much more than that to build the strength and stamina necessary to compete in a full marathon. But after speaking with Sheila about it, I realized she is right - running more than 6 hours a week leaves you vulnerable to injury… and you can’t compete if you are sidelined with an injury.
As we age, daily running increases our body's susceptibility to injury. We are better off running longer every other day to give our body a chance to recover, than running shorter distances daily. Since it is true that you need to run a lot to train for this kind of event, Sheila has figured out that as long as she starts training early enough before the race date, she can get the hours she needs and still not risk a training injury by running more than 6 hours a week.
Sheila also told me that she maintains one “long run” per week. This is the time to really test and build your endurance.

I used Sheila’s principles to construct some good training templates that you are free to use. These templates will help you schedule enough training before your chosen event without overdoing it:

For a half marathon training schedule, click here