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The Sounds of Summer

An image of a woman doing a stretch with her hands clasped and her arms stretched upwards. She's wearing workout attire while on a shaded trail surrounded by trees.

The variegated songs of the mockingbird. The crack of the bat on the baseball diamond. The screaming of little children at play in the community pool. Wherever we turn, the sounds of summer surround us in a joyful uplifting cacophony. Summertime may mean barbecue and it may mean the beach, but it also means outdoor activities that we haven't engaged in for much of the year such as hiking, biking, volleyball, and tennis. If we want to enjoy a summer full of fun, it's important to do some preparation to minimize the risk of physical injury and help make sure we can do all the things we want to do. Although the possibility of injury to muscles, tendons, and ligaments is inherent in all physical activity, there are many steps we can take to keep our musculoskeletal system healthy and functioning at peak capacity.

Two main courses of action involve regular stretching and regularly doing a dynamic warm-up. Stretching, done properly, wakes up our joints and musculoskeletal soft tissues and prepares our bodies for physical work. Stretching basically means lengthening, and when you stretch you're encouraging the major muscles of your back and legs to gradually achieve their greatest length. When you stretch, you're primarily focusing on the hamstrings, calf muscles, quadriceps, and erector muscles of your back.

Stretching is done gently, slowly, and with the utmost attention. It's important to remember that if you're not fully focused, you may strain a muscle by an inadvertent sudden movement or by overstretching. Stretching is a Zen-type activity and requires concentration and mindfulness. Your stretching session could take 10 or 20 minutes, depending on your overall level of flexibility. When you're done, the blood supply to all your muscles has increased and the contractile mechanisms of your major muscle groups have lengthened. As a result, you're ready to engage in vigorous physical activity and withstand sudden starts and stops while minimizing the risk of unexpected damage.

The importance of doing a dynamic warm-up has become increasingly recognized in the last decade and these preparatory activities have gained in prominence and become increasingly popular. Dynamic warm-ups engage your muscles, joints, and associated soft tissues in low-level movements that involve actual physical work. In a sense, dynamic warm-ups are training sessions so your body will learn what's required when larger mechanical forces come into play, such as acceleration and deceleration and the need to successfully counter the force of gravity.

Your dynamic warm-up is done right after your stretching session. Numerous activities are available and part of the interest and fun of a dynamic warm-up is the wide variety of choices. Wednesday's program might be substantially different from that done on Monday, and Friday's activities might be completely different from what you've done earlier in the week. Dynamic warm-up activities include torso twists, arm circles, lunges, squats, and light jogging. Your dynamic warm-up session could take 10 minutes. When you're done, you're prepared to fully enjoy your summertime games and outdoor exercise.

Regular chiropractic care is a year-long activity that is especially valuable during the summer months. The summer weather brings us outdoors where we can run, jump, ride, skate, and play ball with abandon. We'd like to make sure we can do all these things with a minimum risk of injury. Unexpected back and neck strains and sprains slow us down and interfere with what we want to do. The best policy is to do what we can to avoid these problems in the first place.

A primary solution is to make sure we're getting regular chiropractic care. By detecting and correcting spinal misalignments, sources of nerve irritation that interfere with musculoskeletal function, regular chiropractic care optimizes our body's mechanical performance. Regular chiropractic care helps keep our spine and nerve system in good working order so we can participate fully in our summer exercises and games and enjoy ourselves throughout the season. In this way, regular chiropractic care is a key component of our program for summer-long fun.

  1. Johnson CD, et al: The relationship of core strength and activation and performance on three functional movement screens. J Strength Cond Res 2017 Apr 18. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001943. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Shamsi MB, et al: Comparing core stability and traditional trunk exercise on chronic low back pain patients using three functional lumbopelvic stability tests. Physiother Theory Pract 31(2):89-98, 2015
  3. Coulombe BJ, et al: Core Stability Exercise Versus General Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain. J Athl Train 52(1):71-72, 2017

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Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I have been going to chiropractors off and on for many years but only when my back was hurting to a point where I had trouble walking due to the back pain. I’ve had a bad back off and on for as long as I can remember so I was anxious to find permanent relief. I started going to Dr. Kip about 2 years ago and after several months I was put on a maintenance program, initially twice a week and months later, once a week. Since I’ve been on the maintenance program, I’ve had no regular issues. These regular visits also have other benefits due to discussions with the Dr. and office staff and info on the “health T.V.”"
    -Ron R.
  • "I have been coming to see Dr. Kip for almost a year. I started coming in because of my back pain but I wasn’t really sure what chiropractic was or how it could help. Today I feel I have a much better understanding and that chiropractic is a very good and necessary asset of healing. My back pain is not so severe now. It feels better, and when it does begin to hurt I know what to do to make it better. The kindness and understanding of the office staff give the whole experience a calming and reassuring vibe."
    -Joycie G.
  • "Our family has been coming to see Dr. Kip for 2 years. We came in initially because Julie was having severe shoulder pain along with numbness in her arms. She thought it was linked to a problem in her neck. Brian suffered from migraines every few months. We didn’t know much about chiropractic care before. We’d had some in the past but never on a regular basis. I believe our family is healthier as a result of chiropractic care. In fact this year has been the healthiest year for our family with no sickness other than colds and Brian experiencing fewer migraines! We love the staff, of course, and the affordable care plan allows our entire family to receive care."
    -Brian K. and Family