CrossFit and Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic Gaithersburg, MD

In America, CrossFit is one of the fastest growing sports. CrossFit followers go through a series of high-intensity workouts to get into the best shape possible and compete in competitions all around the world. The workouts are usually comprised of a mixture of calisthenics, weight lifting, and aerobics to keep your heart rate up and your muscles exhausted. With such high-intensity training, however, members of CrossFit gyms need to find a way to keep injuries to a minimum so that they can keep up with daily practices. One of the best ways they can avoid injuries is by visiting a chiropractor regularly.

Common Injuries associated with CrossFit

  •      Back, knee, and shoulder pain such as injuries to the Achilles tendon or your rotator cuff
  •      The elbow with injuries like lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow
  •      Wrist injuries like De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

How can a Chiropractor help with healing?

The physician at a licensed chiropractor will help restore your CrossFit performance with methods like massaging and stretching.

  • Massages can be used to help scar tissues heal. Chiropractic massages can help get the blood flowing to the damaged area in your body and help to restore your flexibility and relieve the stress and pressure in the injured area.
  • Injuries like Achilles tendinitis can be treated with different stretching techniques. This is also a great way to apply what you have learned from your chiropractor and take those techniques home in a way that stretches and heals you safely.

What should you expect from your chiropractic visit?

If you are beginning CrossFit or are a veteran of CrossFit, seeing an experienced chiropractor can get you on the road to safe workouts and quicker healing. What should you expect from your first chiropractic visit?

  1. Once you arrive, you will most likely be expected to give a medical history. In the case of CrossFit, explain the type of workouts you do on a daily or weekly basis and where you experience the most tightness or soreness. If you have been injured in a workout, identify the circumstances surrounding how your pain began. How does it limit you? What is your pain level?
  2. The second step is providing any images you have already gotten done (if you have) or getting images done through your chiropractor. These might come in the form of x-rays or MRIs. If you have gotten bloodwork done, those results should be sent over prior to your first chiropractic visit.
  3. The next step would be for the chiropractor to examine the area where you are experiencing pain. You can typically expect a chiropractor to observe your alignment, nerve function, your scope of movement, and how much flexibility with movement you have in that area.
  4. At the end of your exam, your chiropractor will treat the affected area, and show you how it will improve your daily function.

If you are taking up CrossFit or have been a member of a CrossFit gym for a period of time, care in chiropractic Gaithersburg, MD offers can be an incredibly useful way to help you recover from injuries and keep you healthy.

Contact Pain Arthritis Relief Center for more information about chiropractic care and CrossFit.

Exercising Regularly Could Reduce Injury from Falls

Falling is the top cause of emergency room visits in the United States each year, with more than 8 million fall victims checking into the hospital as a result of slipping, falling or tripping. Research shows that exercise could be the best way to minimize injuries from falling, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Torn ligaments
  • Concussions

Research on the Prevalence of Fall Injuries

A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine looked at falls among adults between the ages of 45 and 64. The research study found that slip and fall injuries are a third leading cause of accidental deaths among this group of people. From traumatic brain injuries to life-threatening spinal injuries, there are a variety of potentially fatal injuries that can occur as the result of a fall. These injuries can also have long-term consequences for the victim, making it hard to perform your everyday activities. You may also be unable to return to work and earn a regular living.

Recovering from a slip-and-fall accident is not the only thing you may have to worry about as a victim. Treatment costs are high, even if you have insurance. Your premiums may increase as a result of an accident, and some costs may not be covered by insurance. Long-term rehabilitation often costs more than insurers are willing to pay injury victims. The good news is that it may be possible to get another party to cover the cost of your medical treatment if:

  • Your fall was caused by negligence
  • Your accident took place while at work
  • Another party contributed at least partially to your fall

High Medical Costs

The costs of treatment for injuries associated with a fall averaged out at $22,000. This is far more than many insurance policies will pay for treatment. Your insurance company also may not cover all of the costs associated with your injury. Long-term costs such as physical therapy, rehabilitation and experimental treatments are less likely to be covered fully. If you do not have insurance, you may find yourself significantly in debt simply to cover your medical bills.

Slip-and-fall accidents cost approximately $91 billion each year in emergency care and compensation. If you were injured as a result of another party’s negligence, that party is responsible for your medical costs and other damages. Even if you are partially responsible for your injuries, another party is held partially responsible as well. Stores that fail to put up wet floor signs and negligent individuals are common examples.

Exercise and Fall Prevention

While falls cost billions of dollars each year, Phoenix accident lawyer, Aaron Crane says “The good news is that exercise can help prevent them from occurring”. According to researchers, regular exercise has a significant effect on the likelihood of a fall. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that people who engaged in regular exercise had a reduced risk of injury. People who exercise frequently are between six and seven percent less likely to fall. This means that exercise can not only improve your overall physical health but reduce your risk of accidental injury as well.

Accidents still happen even with regular exercise. If you are involved in a slip-and-fall accident, you should seek medical care right away. Even if you feel fine after an accident, you could still develop injuries later. Conditions such as whiplash often present themselves days or even weeks after an accident has occurred. Going to the doctor creates a history of treatment that will be helpful if you file a lawsuit. Without a treatment history, it is hard to prove that your injuries were caused by a specific accident.

Getting an insurance company or an at-fault business or individual to pay for your medical costs is not always easy. In many cases, your insurance company may try to deny your claim or even say that you were at fault for the accident. In such cases, having a talented personal injury lawyer on your side is the key to getting the help you deserve. There is no reason to pay your own medical bills for an accident that was not your fault when a lawyer could help you hold the responsible party accountable.

Insurance companies will often offer a low settlement in hopes that you will settle for less than your claim is worth. It is important to plan for the long haul and insist on coverage for your short- as well as long-term medical costs. Otherwise, you may end up paying for your own care.

Thanks to our friend and blog author, Aaron Crane of Cantor Crane, for his insight into the importance of exercise and fall prevention.

Sunflower Health & Wellness’ Unique Approach

Sunflower Health & Wellness, founded by Brenda Stephens, combines traditional medicine with complementary therapies to treat the whole person–body, mind, and spirit. SHWC takes a more holistic approach to caring for patients and requires the active participation of the patient towards their healing. Dr. Brian Paris sits down with Brenda Stephens to learn more about her unique practice.

Dr. Paris: Can you share the history of the creation of Sunflower Health & Wellness?

Brenda Stephens: I am a family nurse practitioner who provides primary care, as well as a certified clinical aromatherapist. I wanted to combine the two into one practice, so I started SHWC in October of 2014.

Dr. Paris: Does Sunflower Health & Wellness accept insurance?

Brenda Stephens: Yes, we accept most major commercial insurances like BCBS, Cigna, Aetna as well as Medicare & Medicaid.

Dr. Paris: What are integrative medical therapies?

Brenda Stephens: Integrative medical therapies combine traditional allopathic treatments with complementary alternative therapies to treat a number of different conditions.

Dr. Paris: What is a “green” patient?

Brenda Stephens: A “green” patient is one that is very concerned about their health & wellness, preferring to use alternative therapies as opposed to allopathic medicines.    

Dr. Paris: Our culture is riddled with chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. How does your practice differ from the traditional approach to treating these common conditions?

Brenda Stephens: At Sunflower Health & Wellness, we approach chronic disease from three different perspectives: medical, nutrition and emotional. We aim to help patients find out why they are overweight and work towards solutions to help them lose that weight permanently.  

Dr. Paris: Our current nutritional paradigm is a major factor in keeping people sick, overweight and unhealthy. What is the underlying philosophy of your nutrition program and why does it work?  

Brenda Stephens: Our nutrition program is intended to be individual and focus on whole, natural foods that are healthy and appealing, which makes it much easier to stick to the program. We really work together as practitioners to help the patient on their weight loss journey, customizing our programs to help the patient reach their weight loss goals.

Dr. Paris: What other conditions do you treat at Sunflower Health & Wellness?

Brenda Stephens: We are especially interested in patients with insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia which are all conditions that can be difficult to treat allopathically. We use essential oils, acupuncture, massage, nutrition counseling, reflexology and sometimes medications to treat these conditions.

Advanced Wellness Systems is dedicated to empowering patients to live more active and healthy lifestyles, regardless of where they are in their personal journey. Call (301) 710-9777 to schedule an appointment today.

On Air: Dr. Brian Paris Shares Dangers of Sitting

“Sitting is the new smoking,” Dr. Brian Paris tells News Channel 8’s Larry Smith on Good Morning Washington. A sedentary lifestyle causes a host of problems which include digestive issues, diabetes and obesity. Sitting too much is even linked with an increased likelihood of developing cancer. It may seem like an unavoidable challenge for people whose jobs involve sitting at a desk all day, but Dr. Paris shares how easy it is to overcome a sedentary lifestyle.

The first recommendation Dr. Paris makes is for a wobble chair that allows your whole body to move around while your feet stay firmly planted on the ground. This allows you to exercise your back, legs and abdominal area. Larry Smith even takes a seat, demonstrating the wobble chair himself. Another useful tool is a regular desk that has the ability to transform into a standing desk, so you can switch between sitting and standing.

To avoid sitting too much without buying new equipment, Dr. Paris discloses his personal strategy for making a sedentary routine active. Dr. Paris suggests that for every 25 minutes of time spent working, five minutes should be spent moving around. It can be as simple as getting a drink of water or stretching right at the side of your desk.


6 Tips to Reduce Back Pain at Home

According to National Institute of Health, back pain affects 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lifetime. No matter when it appears or what may have caused it, back pain can be a real burden. Here are 6 simple tips you can use at home to relieve troublesome back pain quickly and effectively.

1. Work It Out

Often, when your back is in pain, the last thing you want to do is exercise. But certain exercises can actually reduce back pain. Adding yoga, pilates and core strengthening exercises to your workout routine will increase flexibility, balance and strength which, in turn will reduce back pain.

2. Use a Heating Pad or Ice Pack

Applying heat to your back can reduce pain, stiffness, cramping and muscle spasms, as warm temperatures loosen up the back muscles and relieve tension. Administer heat to your aching back with a hot compress, a dry or moist heating pad or with a hot bath. Ice tends to work better to reduce inflammation and swelling. A cold pack, iced towel/compress, or cool bath are all great ways to reduce back pain. But be sure to always wrap heating pads or ice compacts in a towel before use, as these treatments should never be applied directly to the skin.

3. Sleep With a Pillow Under Your Knees

Place a small pillow under the back of your knees to reduce stress on your spine and support the natural curve in your lower back while you sleep. By slightly elevating your legs as you sleep, you can greatly reduce pressure on your back.

4. Lose the Heels

Sorry, ladies. If you suffer from back pain, it’s time to say goodbye to your favorite pair of pumps. Comfortable, low-heeled shoes are your best bet for back pain prevention, as they reduce the strain on the back while standing. If you must wear heels to an event, consider swapping them with a non-heeled shoe on your way to and from the location.

5. Straighten Up

Good posture is key to both preventing and relieving back pain. Perform posture checks throughout the day and avoid rounding your shoulders, slouching, or bending sideways while standing.

6. Increase Your Vitamin D and Calcium Intake

Vitamin D and Calcium are essential for bone strength. Studies indicate that deficiencies of Vitamin D and Calcium lead to chronic pain in the lower back. So be sure to load up on plenty of  orange juice, dairy products, leafy greens, eggs and fish throughout the day to help reduce symptoms of back pain.

If you suffer from back pain, give us a call at 301-710-9777 to schedule an appointment today.

Andrew Bloch Talks RPT™ with Sweat RX

Sweat RX Magazine sits down with Advanced Wellness Systems co-owner Andrew Bloch to discuss how his unique pain-relief technique, Reflexive Pattern Therapy™, helped the 12 Labours CrossFit team make it all the way to the 2015 CrossFit World Games.

New to many, RPT™ is a pain relief treatment that uses reflexes as a tool to correct patterns in the autonomous nervous system, Bloch explains to Sweat RX. The technique delivers fast, pressurized contact movements to problem areas, evoking a reflex that provides immediate pain relief.

But Bloch isn’t the only proponent of Reflexive Pattern Therapy™, Sweat RX learns. CrossFit competitor, Teresa Luz believes she never would have made it to the 2015 CrossFit Games if it wasn’t for RPT™. After pulling a ligament in her lower back while performing a deadlift at the Crossfit Atlanta regionals, Teresa found herself in excruciating pain. And with the Crossfit Games just 6 weeks away, Teresa was in a tight spot.

That was, until she found RPT™. After the first session, Teresa’s mobility improved by 60-70% and with continued treatment, she was able to compete with her team in the Crossfit Games and even made it to the World Games. Teresa’s recovery was one of many remarkable comebacks thanks to RPT™, and was even featured in The Washington Post.

Intrigued by Teresa’s story, the Sweat RX interviewer hopped on the table to give RPT™ a try himself. Just like Teresa, he was relieved of his troublesome pain almost immediately.

4 Tips for Protecting Your Joints This Winter

It’s that time of year again, winter weather is back bringing holiday greetings and frosty temperatures. But cooler months can also bring achy, swelling pain that takes a toll on your joints.

According to The National Institute of Health, change in weather has a direct impact on the pressure in your joints. When barometric pressure drops, the tissues around your joints expand, putting more pressure on your joints, which triggers swelling and stiffness. That’s why many people say they can predict the weather just by the pain in their joints.

Don’t let the winter weather stop you from staying active this season. Follow these 4 tips  to stay active and pain free this winter:


If you’re going to exercise, start with small warm-ups to reduce the pressure put on joints before you head out. Low impact warm-ups such as yoga or walking are not only easier on joints, but they also enhance your mobility and range of motion.


If running is your go-to outdoor exercise, staying layered is crucial to protecting yourself from hypothermia and troublesome joint pain.

  • Start by choosing a base layer that is soft, comfortable and tight fitting. This will help regulate your body temperature by moving sweat away from your skin.
  • The second layer helps insulate the body in order to trap and retain heat. Be sure to find a layer that maximizes warmth and comfort, without unnecessary bulk.
  • Consider the final layer a shield against harsh winds, rain, and snow. Don’t rely on this layer for warmth, as the base layer is what secures body heat.


According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, dehydration can make the body more sensitive to pain. Keep in mind that you must match your hydration with the amount of exercise you are doing. After more than an hour, add electrolytes and carbohydrates to increase your fluid intake.

Doctors also recommend drinking warm or room temperature liquids, as the body absorbs them more quickly than cold drinks. When exercising in frigid temperatures, warmer liquids are also essential to optimizing internal temperatures.


If you’re exercising outside, it is important to load up on foods full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. The Omega-3 acids in foods such as salmon and nuts are known to curb inflammation and stop joint pain in its tracks. To up your Vitamin K intake, think green. Foods like spinach, kale, cabbage and more are crucial to soothing pain. Don’t be afraid to add color with Vitamin C rich foods such as red peppers, oranges, papayas, and broccoli. These foods are known to reduce cartilage loss that causes joint pain and stiffness.

GMW: Dr. Brian Paris Shares Natural Ways to Stay Energized

Energy Crisis

More than half of American adults drink at least three cups of coffee a day. While most of us need a cup of Joe to start the day, Dr. Brian Paris of Advanced Wellness Systems says too much caffeine has its downfalls. On air with Good Morning Washington anchor Larry Smith, Dr. Paris shares natural ways to stay energized throughout the day without $5 lattes and miniature energy shots.

“We have an energy crisis,” warns Dr. Paris. Society’s chronic fatigue triggered by stress, sleep deprivation, and poor nutrition is causing dependency on short-lived and unhealthy “pick me ups.”

Surprisingly, coffee, in moderation, isn’t as bad as you think. Because coffee is natural, its antioxidants and amino acids can fight conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. However, caffeinated sodas, energy drinks and coffee-based beverages (like those syrup-ladened iced coffees) lead to dehydration, sleep deprivation and irritability, because they’re loaded with refined sugars and preservatives.

Dr. Paris recommends substituting less caffeinated drinks and healthy foods for coffee for natural energy. If you must have a little caffeine in your system, particularly when you want to linearize your thoughts while completing tasks, turn to herbal teas and drinks Yerba mate that are less acidic. Super foods likes apples, avocados, apples, chia seeds, kale and strawberries provide a natural boost of energy too.

RPT™: Conquering the CrossFit Games

Their dreams were about to be shattered. After months, if not years, of grueling training, 12 Labours CrossFit Columbia had finally made it to the 2015 Atlantic Regionals. The competition involves incredible feats of physical prowess–looking to find, as they say, the Fittest on Earth. But not long after the games got going in Atlanta, 12 Labours team member Teresa Luz threw out her back, and could hardly stand. Worse, the rules prohibit a substitution.

Fortunately, another team member was able to step in. No, Jimmy Violand couldn’t compete, but he could treat Teresa with Reflexive Pattern Therapy™. Jimmy is a physical therapy assistant at Advanced Wellness Systems in Rockville and Columbia, where RPT™ was developed. New to many, RPT™ is a pain relief treatment that uses reflexes as a tool to correct patterns in the autonomous nervous system. The technique delivers fast, pressurized contact movements to problem areas, evoking a reflex that provides immediate pain relief.

Thinking fast, Jimmy got RPT™ creator Andrew Bloch on Skype, and together the two treated Teresa. In just one forty-five minute session of RPT™, Teresa’s mobility improved by 60-70% and with continued treatment, her back pain disappeared altogether. Teresa was back in the games, and her improvement showed. 12 Labours crushed their competition in the last few events and the team’s efforts landed them a coveted spot to compete in the World Games in California.

Lax to the Max: Dr. Paris Shares Ways to Stretch with Ray Megill

It’s lacrosse season, and it’s time to let loose–your body, that is. Advanced Spine & Wellness Center’s Dr. Brian Paris and lacrosse pro Ray Megill demonstrate stretches to take your LAX to the max.

Dr. Paris notes lacrosse requires constant moving and changing directions. Properly stretching minimizes the risk of injury and prepares the body for all the shooting, putting and dodging on field. Megill, former Major League Lacrosse player and Performance Sport Systems lacrosse coach, adds it’s important to get blood flowing before hitting the field.

 In the video below, Dr. Paris and Coach Megill illustrate two helpful stretches to get you game ready:

  1. Active Knee to Chest. This stretches one part of the body while firing off the musculature on the other side.
  2. Quad Pull and Reach. This stretch elongates tissue and opens up the body.