The Four week rule to fitness

Did you know, that in a four week period you could either lose or gain 80% of your fitness depending on what you choose to do?

Even the most toned athlete can lose 80% of his or her level of fitness by spending a whole month in bed. What is exciting is even the most out of shape amongst us is only four weeks away from an 80% increase in their fitness level.

4 step process to implementing the “Four week rule”.

FIRST: Make a decision that your health is worth it and take responsibility for it.

SECOND: Become accountable to someone, whom you trust, to give you encouraging feedback and keep you on track when you really don't feel motivated.

THIRD: Find an activity that you enjoy so that you look forward to the workout.  

FOURTH: Modify your activity, such as walking, biking, running, dancing, weights, etc. to your current level of fitness. Just make sure that you don’t do too much at once. There is no benefit to go from complete inactivity to a gym rat in the next 4 weeks. As you have heard, “Rome was not built in one day”. Move at a steady pace for at least 10 minutes 3 times a week and slowly building from there. This will make it easier for you to keep yourself motivated. 

One of my goals in practice is to ensure that your muscles and joints are properly balanced. It is beneficial for you to get an evaluation before starting an activity in order to reduce the chances of you getting injured or creating unnecessary strain or sprain on your body. Also, it is an excellent idea to get yourself checked up by your family physician before starting any strenuous activity.

Give this four week rule a try and see what happens! Let me know via e-mail.

Your trusted advisor, Dr. Zeya Alikhan DC

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Are you getting numbness, tingling, weakness or pain at your wrist/hand after repetitive activity such as typing, writing, scrubbing, using a screwdriver/hammer or even driving? If so, there is a strong possibility that you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

What is CTS and can anything be done to help it or prevent it from happening? In order to understand this, I need to give you a VERY basic overview in wrist anatomy. Don’t worry, you will not be tested on this!

Carpal tunnel refers to 2 rows of 4 bones that are shaped in a “U” form. The palm side of the wrist has very strong fibrous tissue that forms a passageway tunnel for the nerves, tendons, and blood vessels to go through.

Ideally, there is plenty of space within this tunnel for these tissues to go through. However, with repetitive activity, an instability can occur within the wrist and stress this tunnel. Over time, the tunnel “collapses” and pinches the various structures that go through the tunnel thus giving rise to your painful symptoms.

You may think that the cause of your CTS is coming only from a nerve pinch in the wrist. It is easy to understand why you may feel this way because that is where you feel the pain. However, since this nerve starts in the neck and goes down to the wrist by passing through the neck, chest, upper and lower arm muscles before entering the wrist, an impingement anywhere along this route can create symptoms of CTS.

At this office, we use a variety of treatment modalities such as cold laser therapy, muscle/joint balancing, nutrition, specific stretching/strengthening exercises to address any and all nerve impingement along its full pathway.

By addressing your CTS from this broader perspective it is possible to help you with this condition so you can go back to doing what you love to do.

In the meantime, have fun and keep on learning!

Your trusted advisor, Zeya Alikhan DC

6 Words I Hear The Most (Part 2)

"I thought it would go away."  

What causes a person not to be proactive and investigate the root cause of their ache or pain?   

Our bodies experience different levels of pain:

Phase 1:  Healthy bodies have the remarkable ability to compensate for the injury and provide you with the illusion that the problem has been "fixed".  When in reality it may only be a temporary resolution.

Phase 2: A nagging cycle of pain/discomfort starts to appear and you mask the symptoms with pain medication or muscle relaxants.   This medication does not address the root cause and is like putting duck tape over the red oil light in your car.

Phase 3:  The pain is severe and chronic yet many of you still hold on to the hope that somehow it will magically “go away".  Fear of the unknown, a limited income or a busy lifestyle may cause you to be reluctant to investigate the cause.

If your vehicle has mechanical issues you take it to a garage for a diagnostic assessment to find out what is causing the problem and then have it repaired so that it operates properly and works efficiently.  So why would you not do the same for your own body.  

I encourage you to take proactive actions and get to the root cause of your pain, especially when you are in phase 2. You will learn empowering strategies for strengthening your body along with how to get back to your pain free daily activities sooner.

Be proactive and take charge of your health!

Your trusted advisor, Dr. Zeya Alikhan B.Sc., D.C.  




“I thought it would go away”. The “it” that is being referred to is “pain”. We get injured and feel pain, sometimes the pain goes away and stays away. Often it comes back and remains as a nuisance. Just a lingering nag that doesn’t really bother US too much but restrictive enough to hinder us from doing what we know we should be able to do. UNFORTUNATELY, FOR THE MAJORITY, OVER TIME IT GETS WORSE IF THE ROOT CAUSE IS NOT TREATED.

Pain is our warning system that tells us that something is wrong.

So what is pain? Pain is our warning system that tells us that something is wrong. By learning to listen to pain and dealing with it in an empowering manner we can help prevent many conditions from getting worse. Pain is a symptom that tells us that something is wrong. This is analagous to the red oil light in our car that informs us that we are running low on engine oil.

In an acute situation, when the pain is unbearable it can be advantageous to take a pain pill in order to reduce the symptoms. However, the drawback with this strategy is that it does not address the root cause of the pain. It would be equivalent to putting duct tape over the red oil light and thinking that all is well. One can just imagine that it would not be too much longer before the engine burns out!

I would recommend being proactive and seek the help of a qualified health care practitioner to diagnose the root cause of this pain. It could be as simple as an imbalance within the joints and muscles/fascia. Or it could be symptoms of a condition requiringimmediate medical attention.

In the next article, I will focus more on the potential root causes of pain.

In the meantime, be proactive and take charge of your health!

Your trusted advisor, Zeya Alikhan B.Sc., D.C.

When should I use Ice or Heat for my pain?

This is a very common question that I get asked in my practice. Often times I find that patients use heat on their injury when they should have used ice or they use ice when they should have used heat.

Ice is normally used when there is a recent injury. Usually the joint or the muscle will feel warm because of swelling within the tissue. A good analogy for swelling is fire and when there is fire you want to put water on it to cool it down.

Use moist ice if there is sharp/stabbing like pain with light touch or sneezing. Studies have proven that it is best to wrap the ice pack in a damp cloth and place it on the body part for no more than 15 minutes. You can also use a damp hand towel soaked in cold water if the ice is too strong.

Heat is normally used on muscles that are tight due to repetitive movement or overuse. A good analogy for tight muscles is shriveled up tissue. Ice would shrivel the tissue further while heat would loosens it up.

If the pain is more dull in nature and gets worse with movement, then moist heat is usually recommended. Use a moist warm hand towel and place it over the body part for no more than 15 minutes to avoid any underlying swelling to come up to the surface.

Most importantly, realize that the above information is just that, general information, and if you are injured please consult your health care practitioner for proper treatment.

That’s it for today. Have fun and please try not to get injured!

Your trusted advisor, Zeya Alikhan B.Sc., D.C.