Low Back Health Exam

Over 80% of the population will be affected by low back pain at some point in their life.  25% have suffered low back pain in the last 3 months alone!  Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability and lost production in this country.  Solutions to the problem aren’t often easy and far too many people are left looking for answers for why their back always hurts.  Low back pain is a REALLY BIG DEAL!  Keeping your low back HEALTHY should be a PRIORITY!

If you struggle with low back pain, wouldn’t it be nice to know WHY your back always hurts?  Or maybe, if you’re one of the lucky ones not currently in pain, wouldn’t it be nice to know your low back pain risk and what you need to do to prevent it?

Now you can by taking the test and trying these 5 tests at home!  Why these 5 tests?  These 5 tests are the most basic, functional movements of the low back.  Every healthy person should be able to perform these tests!

So here’s how it goes.  Perform each test below – some may need the help of a partner.  Rate yourself by the grading chart for each test.  Add the scores together at the end to get your score.  Follow the directions to fix your low back!

Let’s get started!

TEST #1:  Straight Leg Raiser

You will need a partner for this.  Download a “bubble level” app on your phone.  Make sure the app measures angle as well.  There are a ton of free ones out there that work well for this.  I recommend “Clinometer” for Android and “iHandy Level Free” for iPhones.

Lie on your back with feet extended out in front.  Place the phone with the bubble app open in the middle of the shin.  One leg at a time, have your partner lift the leg with the knee straight.  Move the leg until it can no longer stretch or the hip or opposing leg starts to lift off the ground.  Record the degree.

20160706_182837

85-90 Degrees = 2 Points          75-84 Degrees = 1 Point          Less Than 74 degrees = 0 Points

 

TEST #2:  Knee-To-Chest

While still laying on your back, one leg at a time, pull your knee to your chest.  The front of the leg should touch the bottom of your rib cage without any pinch in the anterior hip.  If you cannot get the front of your leg to touch your chest, measure how far away by placing fingers between your chest and leg.  Record the distance.

20160706_183142_001

3 Finger Restricted Knee-To-Chest
3 Finger Restricted Knee-To-Chest

Leg Flat On Chest W/ No Anterior Hip Pinch = 0 Points        Leg 1-3 Fingers From Chest = 1 Point          Leg  More Than 4 Fingers From Chest = 0 Points

TEST #3: “Cat Stretch”

You will need a partner and a pencil.

With hands and knees on the floor arch your low back as much as possible by trying to bring your hips to your chest.  Have your partner place a pencil on your lower back.  What does it look like?

Healthy "Cat Stretch" Test
Healthy “Cat Stretch” Test

                                            Pencil Ends Off Back = 2 Points                                              

Flat Pencil Test
Flat Pencil Test

Pencil Flat = 1 Point

Severely Restricted "Cat Stretch" Test
Severely Restricted “Cat Stretch” Test

Pencil Ends Touching, Middle Not = 0 Points

 

TEST #4: Lunge

Standing up, take a large step forward and drop the back knee to the ground.  Keep your body upright.  Place a ruler under your back leg.  Measure how far the front of the hip extends out from the ruler.

Lunge Test
Lunge Test
Overhead View of Healthy Lunge Test Of The Ruler
Overhead View of Healthy Lunge Test Of The Ruler

More Than 12” = 2 Points          9-11.5” = 1 Point          Less Than 9” = 0 Points   

 

TEST #5: Toe Touch

Standing upright bend forward and try to touch the floor in front of your toes.  Use a ruler to measure how far away the tip of your finger is away from the floor.

Healthy Toe Touch Test
Healthy Toe Touch Test

Finger Touching Floor or Palming Floor = 2 Points

Fingers Less Than 2” From Floor = 1 Point

Limited Toe Touch Test
Limited Toe Touch Test

Fingers More Than 2” From The Floor = 0 Points

 

Now that you have gone through all of the tests, add the score of each test together.  What did you get?

9-10 Points = 90-100% Low Back Function = Congratulations!  You have a VERY healthy back!

7-8 Points = 70-80% Low Back Function = Chances are you may not have low back pain now, but you should try to improve the tests that are lagging with some simple daily mobility, stretching, and exercise.  In pain currently?  See below.

Less Than 6 Points = Less Than 60% Low Back Function = Your back is in trouble!  Most of these tests are limited or restricted.  You have less than 60% function of your low back!  That’s a failing grade in school!  Just like in school when you failed a test and you looked for some help to get better grades, you should seek the help of a local musculoskeletal expert for solutions to fix these movements and solve your low back pain!

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It is important to note these 5 tests above are assessments used in the Integrative Diagnosis system.  The most common cause of limited range of motion and pain for these tests are due to muscle adhesion.  Integrative Diagnosis is the most advanced diagnosis and treatment system for solving musculoskeletal problems.

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we are currently the only full body Integrative Diagnosis providers in the State of Iowa. Our treatment fixes adhesion!  If you have been looking for answers to your low back pain, click the appointment request here, or call us at 319-423-0925.

5 Steps To Fix Tendinitis

Tendinitis may be common, but the solution to finding relief for some reason is NEVER easy!  Fortunately, fixing it can be as easy as a 5 step process!

STEP ONE:  GET THE PROPER DIAGNOSIS

Tendinitis is one of the most overdiagnosed conditions in the body!  It is also one of the most mistreated.  What research has shown over the last few decades is that tendinitis is not the tendinitis that we know.  Tendinitis is most often a DEGENERATIVE condition and rarely an INFLAMMATORY one.

This is a game changer when it comes to treatment.  The classic treatment of tendinitis with rest, ice, compression, elevation, or R.I.C.E, as the common acronym refers, could actually make you worse!  Tendinosis, a degenerative condition, is more prevalent between the 2 diagnosis’ yet less diagnosed, and treatment of the condition requires almost the exact opposite of “R.I.C.E.”  Its treatment is also a 4 step process, but doesn’t come with the fancy acronym.

It is absolutely vital that you get the correct diagnosis for the correct treatment!

For more information between the differences between tendinitis and tendinosis watch this highly informative video here.

Since we already discussed the classic treatment for tendinitis, we will finish the final four steps for fixing tendinosis, the more prevalent yet less treated condition.
STEP TWO:  REDUCE YOUR LOAD

Tendinosis, as mentioned, is degenerative.  This means the tendon is actually breaking down from overuse.  In order for proper recovery to happen a general guideline is to reduce your load by a minimum of 50%.  Each case is unique, though, so it’s important to discuss your load and current activity with your provider.

STEP THREE:  MANUAL THERAPY

As tendon breaks down, weakened, dysfunctional tendon is the result.  Adhesion is the most common, most misdiagnosed and mistreated condition in the body.  When present it also speeds of the rate of degeneration in the body by placing increased stress on muscles, ligaments, nerves, and joints.  The bad tissue has to be removed for complete resolution.  Specifically applied manual therapy is the best treatment option to break down adhesion and the degenerated tendon.

Below is a short video over adhesion.

STEP FOUR: ECCENTRIC EXERCISE

Eccentric exercise is a very specific exercise used to load a tendon.  This helps to regrow stronger, healthier tendon!  Each eccentric exercise is different for each body part.

It is important to note that this type of exercise should only be instated AFTER manual therapy has been effective at breaking down a majority of bad tissue, and it has been determined you are ready for more load to be placed on the injured area.

STEP FIVE:  BRACING

Really, this is a step that can be implemented at any time.  Sometimes bracing should be used at the onset of care.  Other times bracing is used after treatment is going slower than thought.  Depending on the amount of degeneration, tendinosis is a condition that can take more than a few weeks to cure.  Bracing helps to offer support through treatment to aid in recovery and further reduce the load being placed on the injured area.  Usually, you can get away with using a fairly inexpensive brace from a local sporting goods or department store.

Tendinitis is a real pain – often misdiagnosed and mistreated.  If you, or someone you know has been struggling to find relief from tendinitis, you may have been misdiagnosed. You should seek a second opinion.  You deserve better answers and solutions to your problem!


We do hope that you have found this post helpful!  If you or someone you know is struggling with pain and have been diagnosed with tendinitis, we encourage you to share this article with them or get a second opinion.  If you live in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area, we would be happy to help! 

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion and overuse conditions like tendinitis and tendinosis.  Currently, we are the only full body certified Integrative Diagnosis providers in the State of Iowa.  Integrative Diagnosis is the most advanced diagnosis and treatment system for musculoskeletal pain.  To fast track your recovery, call 319-423-0925 or fill out an appointment request here.

Thanks for reading!

6 Questions To Solve Your Neck or Back Pain

If you’re reading this, you most likely suffer from some sort of chronic low back or neck pain.  Ask yourself these following questions:

  1. Is your pain worse in the morning?
  2. Does the pain get better after waking up and moving around?
  3. Have you had multiple or previous episodes of moderate to severe pain?
  4. Does the pain usually last 2-10 days before going away?
  5. Trouble sitting or standing prolonged periods of time?
  6. Are movements “guarded/protected” or noticing decreased range of motion?

 

If you answered “yes” to a majority or all of these questions, you most likely are suffering from a disc injury whether you have been diagnosed with it or not.  Internal Disc Derangement (IDD) accounts for upwards of 40% of all low back pain and a majority of neck pain!

Disc injuries are often made worse by the presence of adhesion.  Adhesion is the most common cause of pain and decreased range of motion in the body.  Adhesion acts like glue on muscles to restrict movement.  Restricted motion causes more load on injured discs, leading to more pain and long term problems.

The good news is that a large majority of disc injuries do not require surgery!  Disc injuries respond well to conservative management and treatment.  By fixing and removing adhesion, discs are essentially “decompressed” and unloaded.  You are left in little to no pain and able to return to regular, daily activity.

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we are certified through Integrative Diagnosis for the diagnosis and treatment adhesion.  Our treatment has helped many people looking for answers to their pain.  We have helped patients prevent surgery and those still suffering with pain after surgery.  If you answered “yes” to most or all of the questions above, chances are we can help!  Call our office today at 319-423-0925.

It’s NOT Tendinitis!

Tendinitis is the most misdiagnosed condition of the human body!  What’s worse?  What you’re trying to do to fix your tendinitis is actually making you worse!

Tendinitis (Yes, I am spelling it right. I’m not sure why the spelling of tendon gets changed when used in this context) is characterized as an INFLAMMATORY condition of a tendon.  Rest, ice, and NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory medicine) are prescribed for treatment.  Cortisone injections are also frequently used.  Typically, tendinitis gets WORSE with activity.  Most people suffering with true tendinitis recover within a few weeks.

Tendinosis is probably a term you haven’t heard before.  Tendinosis is a DEGENERATIVE condition of the tendon which produces similar symptoms to tendinitis.  Treatment of tendinosis includes manual therapy for degenerative tissue removal and eccentric exercise to strengthen and repair the damaged tendon.  Symptoms will usually go AWAY with activity. While you may not have heard of tendinosis, tendinosis is FAR more common than its counterpart tendinitis!

I wish I could say that this is a new discovery, but we have known about tendinosis since the 1940’s!  Most of the research shows that almost ALL tendinitis cases are actually degenerative – meaning its tendinosis!

Unfortunately, this also means that the drugs, ice, rest, and cortisone injections you have been using to get better is actually making you worse!  You see rest, ice, and NSAIDS all aim to prevent inflammation and restricts blood flow to the painful area to heal you.  This accelerates the degenerative process.

Since we know that “tendinitis” is degenerative, this leads to the worsening of the condition!  This is why you have been struggling with your pain for longer than just a few weeks!

If you have been struggling to fix your “tendinitis” you need to get a better diagnosis.  You deserve better answers. You deserve a better solution!

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If you live in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area, the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport are among the nation’s best in treating chronic muscle, nerve, and joint pain.  If you are struggling with tendinitis and looking for an expert opinion on what can be done to get you better, call us today at 319-423-0925!

 
Thanks for reading!

5 Of The Most Useless Rehab Methods

Let’s face it.  Being injured sucks.  It’s no fun, and most of the time it stops you from doing the activities you love to do.  Some try to fix themselves, while others seek the help of experts to get them out of pain.  Far too many are left in pain with no answers on what’s wrong and how to fix them.

Unfortunately, there is a ton of misinformation in health care.  Fads in healthcare peak fast and shortly fall off the cliff when everyone realizes it doesn’t work.  Even worse, long standard rehab methods that are still being used, despite a wealth of information proving them insufficient!

Here are 5 of the most widely used and abused ineffective treatment methods, and what you should be doing instead.

5.  ICE

Despite what you hear, inflammation produced after an injury is a good thing.  We are far too concerned about reducing inflammation, when in reality we should be appreciating the fact the body is trying to heal itself and just let it happen!  Even Gabe Mirkin, the man who created the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), warns about the use of ice!

Ice does help for pain, but it will also reduce blood flow.  Blood flow is necessary for healing as it brings in nutrients and materials for repairing the injured area.  Inflammation increases blood flow to stimulate repair.  Trust me your body will do a fantastic job to make sure the inflammation doesn’t get out of hand.

Fix:  Stop icing and let the injury heal!  If you are in unbearable pain, then using ice will be fine.  Just make sure to use it until the area goes numb, then remove it.

4.  REST

This ties into the first useless rehab method, but rest rarely helps.  Of course, if you hurt yourself bench pressing, you shouldn’t go right back to benching, but those who get injured most often stop activity all together.  When muscles do nothing for extended periods of time, they get weaker, and create more pain when returning to activity.

Fix:  Keep active. Continue to use the injured area in pain free, ranges of motion.  Depending on the severity of the injury use lighter weights.  Training other non-injured muscles have also shown to increase the recovery process.

3.  NSAIDS/CORTISONE

Cortisone is the most misused and abused treatment, behind only NSAIDS.  Again, this ties back to the first section on ice.  Inflammation isn’t a bad thing.  It’s a sign that something is wrong!  You need to figure out what that is.

Most often inflammation is produced from overuse – either the body is doing more than what it can handle or your movement is limited.  Limited motion is the most common cause of pain and inflammation in the body.

Cortisone was heralded as a miracle drug back in the 40’s.  Now we know its crap! If you’re lucky cortisone relieves pain in the short term.  In the long term, it degenerates muscles and tendons and leaves you more prone for injury.  Long term studies actually show that those who have used cortisone injections for treatment are WORSE off after a year than those who actually did NOTHING for pain.

Fix:  Stop using pain meds and cortisone injections, unless you are in unbearable pain.  Seek the help of a musculoskeletal expert to find out what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix you!

2.  KT TAPE

KT TAPE

Watching just about any sporting event on TV you will find at least one athlete wearing some brightly colored tape on some part of their body.  The sad thing is, is if you actually look at some of the research on these tape company’s websites, you will find that they actually link studies that prove their product doesn’t work!  Unbelievable!

If you remember in 2008, Olympian sprinter Manteo Mitchell broke his leg while running his leg of the 4 x 400 meter relay.  Why is that significant?  The leg he broke was the one wearing kinesiotape!

Now I get if you are running in the Olympics and are injured, by all means do what you need to do to compete.  Chances are you are not running in the Olympics anytime soon.  What kinesiotape does is override your body to feel pain.  This is why it has become so popular, but it does nothing to actually fix anything that’s physically wrong!

Fix:  Save yourself some money and stop buying tape.  If a provider you have been seeing is using the tape as treatment – you need to find a better provider!  Find someone that can figure out what is wrong with you and what you need to do to get out of pain

1.  STATIC STRETCHING

If you really think about it, static stretching is one of the most barbaric things you can do to yourself.  Take something that doesn’t want to move into that position, and hold it there for an extended period of time trying to force it even further into another position.

Study after study now shows that stretching is potentially harmful.  It will loosen up muscles in the short term, and even reduce some pain, but also decreases force production and moves your body into positions it doesn’t want to be in, opening it up for more potential injury.

Your body is very smart.  It will move as far as it needs to when healthy.  If you are tight or not flexible there is a reason why. Adhesion is the most common cause of limited mobility and pain in the body.  Unfortunately, it is also the most misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions, as well.  Fortunately, it is easily reversible by someone who knows how to identify and fix it!

Fix:  If you constantly find you are weak and tight, find an Integrative Diagnosis provider.  They are certified to find and fix adhesion.  This gets you back to moving properly and out of pain faster than anything else out there.  To find a provider, click here.

After fixing adhesion, dynamic stretching, moving while stretching, will keep your body moving properly and stay healthier longer!

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If you live in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area and find yourself using one or more of these methods to get out of pain, you deserve better answers and solutions to your problem!  We are the only full body certified Integrative Diagnosis providers in the state!  Call us today at 319-423-0925 or fill out an appointment request on this page.

Thanks for reading!

Foam Roller Letting You Down?

Is your foam roller letting you down?  Or maybe it’s not your foam roller it’s all the mobility drills that you have been tirelessly devoted to over the last few weeks and months.  No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to fix your problem or gain that extra mobility you have been told you need.

Good news! You’re not alone.  Thousands are struggling to find answers, just like you!

Foam rolling and becoming a “Supple Leopard” is the latest trend.  While both can help aide in recovering from workouts and fit in with the crowd, neither do anything to actually fix you!  As stated, these tools are designed to KEEP you healthy, not GET you healthy.

If you have pain, or limited mobility, there is a reason for it!  And it’s not because you need to “smash” something into you, stretch, or foam roll.

Adhesion is the most common cause of limited range of motion and pain in the body.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the most misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions.  Fortunately, it is easily reversible by a skilled provider!  Adhesion develops primarily from overuse – repetitive or sustained contractions – or trauma.  Sound familiar?

Adhesion

If you are struggling to gain the proper mobility or just get out of pain, you deserve answers!  You need help – and that’s OK!

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion.  Call today at 319-423-0925 or fill out the appointment request on this page to start getting answers for your problems today!

 

Thanks for reading!

2 Reasons Why You Have Shin Splints And How To Fix Them

Whether you are an avid runner and athlete or just a beginner, you know of shin splints.  Some reports show up to 35 percent of runners and athletes will experience shin splints with females being more prone to the condition.  Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), develops from overuse – and often times preventable and easily reversible condition.

While there are varying degrees and severity of shin splints, most cases will require care to fix and prevent them.  But what if we could predict who is more likely to get shin splints and from that knowledge create a plan to reduce the likelihood of shin splints?  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Whether you currently suffer from shin splints or want to make sure you prevent them during this summer you need to make sure your ankles are both flexible, strong, and you are managing your load well.

As we just mentioned, if you are going to be running you need proper ankle mobility.  Ankle dorsiflexion is the most important movement in the ankle and one of the most important movements of the body.  It is vital to walking and running!  This must be healthy!

A simple at-home assessment for dorsiflexion is to start by standing by a wall arms length away.  Place a ruler extending from the wall on the floor. Extend the arms to the wall for support.  Move one leg ahead of the other placing the toes against the wall and the big toe along the ruler.  Keeping the heel on the floor move your knee to the wall.  Continue to slide the foot back until you can no longer keep the heel on the ground while touching your knee to the wall.  Measure that distance.  A normal test falls between 5-6”.  Anything short of this leaves you more prone to shin splints and injury.

Clean Ankle Dorsiflexion
Clean Ankle Dorsiflexion
Failed Dorsiflexion Test - Heel Elevated
Failed Dorsiflexion Test – Heel Elevated

 

A second test is much more simple.  Kneel on the floor without shoes on.  Sit on your heels.  Your butt should be touching the back of the heels equally between both sides, and the shin should be flat on the floor.  If the butt does not touch your heels, or the shin is not flat on the ground the test is positive.  You are much more likely to develop shin splints as a result of this limitation.

To start improving these motions try simple mobility drills of foam rolling the back of the calf and front of the shin. Do this a couple times a day with 20-40 passes on the shin and posterior calf.  If after 2 weeks no improvement or changes are seen, seek the help of a soft tissue expert who specializes in sport injury.  The most common reason these tests are restricted is due to adhesion present in the muscles of the lower limb and foot.  Adhesion is the most common, most under diagnosed, and most easily reversible condition in the human body that causes limited range of motion and pain.  Adhesion requires treatment.

These limitations must be fixed to ensure healthy running!

If you are already struggling with shin splints the time for treatment is now.  You already have a problem and you need to find out what you need to do to fix it.  If you are in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area we invite you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment on our website at www.thrivespineandsport.com.  We are certified through the Integrative Diagnosis system for the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion, one of the most common causes of shin splints.  If you are not in the are check out this link and hopefully an elite provider is near you – Find Provider.

If you know someone who may benefit from this article please share it with them!  Make sure to check out Part 2 that will discuss some easy strength and load management help.

Thanks for reading!

Make It Stop! Find Relief!

Staring at the computer desk, it strikes again.  Maybe your head feels like it’s stuck in a vice.  You need relief!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about headaches!

Here is what we know about headaches:

  • 47% of the general population will have AT LEAST one headache this year.
  • 1 in 20 of the general population will have a headache 15 days or more this month!
  • Headaches have been underestimated, under recognized, and under-treated throughout the world
  • Only half of people diagnosed with headache disorders have seen a doctor and only two-thirds have been properly diagnosed!
  • Most common treatment of headaches are over the counter medicine.

So not only are people who have headaches not getting care, the ones who are seeking help are being misdiagnosed and mistreated!  This is a very bad situation to be in if you suffer from headaches!

There are many different types of headaches with a wide variety of symptoms – tension, pounding, fogginess, vice-like pain that constantly returns.  There is a solution to the problem you just need the right diagnosis!

The stats confirm that most people with headaches either self treat with over the counter medication thinking that will solve their problem, or that their headaches are something they just can’t fix.  Seeking medical helps for some, but what happens to the third that’s misdiagnosed?

An overwhelming majority (~70%) of headaches are tension headaches.  The WHO (World Health Organization) identifies the problem as either stress or musculoskeletal problems in the neck.  Most will feel tension or stiffness in the base of the skull or neck.  Medication may provide some relief, but not fix these headaches.

Unfortunately, our modern day lifestyle has led to a pandemic of poor posture and increased stress on our neck.  Think about it.  How much time do you spend in a day looking down at your computer screen or phone.  This sustained contraction and posture wreaks havoc on the muscles of your neck.  Overtime this leads to formation of adhesion – the most common, most misdiagnosed, and mistreated condition in the human body.  Adhesion in the neck gradually leads to even worse posture, decreased posture, pain, and, yes, headaches!

Adhesion

 

So how do you know if you have adhesion?  The good news is that there is a very simple test that you can do to find out!  Just watch the video below.

 

If, after watching this video, you found any part of the test to be difficult or painful, we can help!  By specifically diagnosing and targeting treatment to the structures containing adhesion in the neck you can get back on track to being pain and headache free.  

We pick up where others have failed.  Most patients have been to several providers before finding relief in our office.  If you live in the Cedar Rapids or Iowa City area and suffering with headaches and neck pain, call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment at www.thrivespineandsport.com to get answers to your problem! 
Thanks for reading!

3 Reasons Your New Year’s Resolution Failed

Be honest with yourself, how is your New Year’s Resolution coming along?  If you are like the other 88% of Americans out there, chances are you have already quit or failed to reach your goal.  

Think about that.  On average only 1 in 10 will actually accomplish the goal they set for themselves at the beginning of the year. That’s appalling!!

So why is this?  Where have you failed and what can you change to get back on track?

Most New Year’s Resolutions are doomed from the beginning.  Most know what they want, but don’t know how to get there.  You want to lose 50 pounds, but you haven’t planned out a diet or know how to exercise.  These are crucial steps!

The key to accomplishing any goal is to HAVE AN APPROPRIATE, SPECIFIC PLAN.  You are not going to lose 50 pounds or be able to run a marathon overnight.  It takes time.  It takes patience.  It takes the right plan!  If your goal is to lose weight, you need to have a diet you are going to follow.  Have goals throughout the year to hit.  Know the calories you need to take in per day, specify your intake for protein, carbs, and fat.  Meal prep to avoid “having” to eat out.  The more specific you can get the better!

This probably goes along with the first component, but the second most important aspect of keeping your New Year Resolution is to SURROUND YOURSELF WITH A SUPPORT GROUP.   If you don’t know how to set up a good diet for you, talk with a diet coach or dietetic technician.  If you are not sure how to exercise get in touch with a trainer.  Don’t know how to run a marathon? Talk with someone who has!  Find friends, family, coworkers, or other people in your community with similar goals.  Find people to hold you accountable for your goal.  In return, hold them accountable for theirs!

Another, often overlooked component that causes people to fail is not STAYING PAIN FREE.  Mental pain is not something you frequently think about, but if you have set a goal to lose weight and it pains you to think about accomplishing your goal, or gives you anxiety just thinking about dieting, psychologists or mental health experts are a great place to start.  

Physical pain is still the more common of the two “pains” though. If you have not exercised for a while, getting back into the gym can be a painful experience – literally!  Most jump into exercise too fast.  Overuse injuries are often the result.  These need to be looked at by a musculoskeletal expert to get you the treatment you need to continue training without breaking down and quitting.

Obviously, accomplishing a New Year’s Resolution is not easy!  Getting a specific plan in place, surrounding yourself with a support group and staying pain free won’t guarantee success, but it certainly won’t hurt your chances either!

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If you are in the Cedar Rapids area and struggling to accomplish your goals due to pain, we can help!  Use the appointment request on this page, or call our office at 319-423-0925 to set up an appointment today!  Need help finding a diet coach, or trainer?  We can recommend multiple people in our community!  Any questions can be directed to dr.cody@thrivespineandsport.com.

Thanks for reading!

Cortisone: Short Term Gain For Long Term Pain

Although the 1949 discovery of cortisone was considered a medical landmark and breakthrough, there has NEVER been a study to prove the long term benefit to the injections.  While cortisone does do a fantastic job at eliminating inflammation, the presence of inflammation also signals other dysfunction in the body that MUST be fixed before even considering cortisone injections as options!  Otherwise, the effectiveness of cortisone is negligible and often detrimental.

Studies have proven time and time again that while most cortisone injections provide pain relief – often up to 3 to 6 months – patient clinical outcomes after a year are WORSE than those that did absolutely NOTHING!  Think about that for a second…..people who did NOTHING for a year were actually better off than the patients trying to fix themselves!  This is alarming and anyone who has been recommended a cortisone shot as a first line option for treatment prior to seeing a musculoskeletal expert NEEDS to seek a second opinion.

So why is this?

Cortisone overrides the pain response.  This allows you to do the things you want to do pain free.  While this sounds nice, pain is a signal something is wrong – a sign of dysfunction and something MUST be fixed.  Since the pain signal is essentially shut off, the body builds more dysfunction and problems.  When the cortisone wears off – the body is left in a WORSE condition!

I could go on about cortisone and how worthless it is, but Ill save you 🙂  If you would like to see the research for yourself on this subject, feel free to look here ===> Cortisone: Short Term Gain For Long Term Pain?

I have written about this subject before, including what you should do if you have already received a cortisone injection.  You can read the article on our website here ====>  So You Got A Cortisone Shot: Now What?

If you or someone you know is thinking about getting a cortisone injection, I urge you to consider our office and finding the right SOLUTION to your problem!  Feel free to call us at our office at 319-423-0925 or fill out an appointment request on this page.  If you know someone that you think could benefit from this information, PLEASE forward this on!

As always, thanks for reading!