Cedar Rapids Knee Pain Help

KNEE PAIN IS A BIG DEAL!

Unsurprising to some, knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain behind only low back pain!  100 Million Americans are currently suffering with knee pain, and 1/3rd of the population will have knee pain at some point in their life.  If you have sustained any type of knee injury, you are 25-50% more likely to have early osteoarthritis and a knee replacement. Clearly, knee pain is a very big deal!

The biggest problem facing Americans with knee pain is the lack of a solution to their problem!  Most treatment aims to reduce pain – which is what we all want! The problem is cortisone, pain killers, stretching, ice, heat, e-stim, kinisiotape – none of these offer functional solutions.  If you are out of pain but doing the things that created the While some of these treatments can provide relief, most only mask the problem, essentially kicking the can down the road. This is why we are seeing an increase in arthritis, degeneration, and knee replacements!  Most of which could have been prevented with the right kind of care!

With any quality treatment, the goal should be to restore function to a dysfunctional body part.  Your knee has a very fundamental range of motion. When limited or painful, this lack of function starts to break down the knee and start the degenerative processes. So what does normal range and function look like?  There is a very simple test you can try at home to find out how you rank, and your risk for future knee problems.

Start by standing upright.  Flex the leg, grab the ankle, and try to pull it to your butt.  Full range of motion is the heel in contact with the butt with the upper leg in alignment with the opposing leg.  If this is not possible, try bringing the heel to your butt, but allow the knee to travel forward. If you cannot do one or either test, you have a massive problem!

The most common reason this test is limited is due to muscle adhesion.  Adhesion is the most common cause of limited flexibility, weakness, and pain in the knee.  Fortunately, adhesion is very easy to fix by those trained to fix it!

The doctors at Thrive Spine and Sport are the two most advanced providers in the state of Iowa certified through Integrative Diagnosis for the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion!  If you think you have tried everything for your knee pain, or facing a knee replacement and need answers, let us help! Call our office today at 319-423-0925 or click here for an appointment!

Radical New Approach To Cedar Rapids Shoulder Pain Treatment

Shoulder Pain in Cedar Rapids Now Has An Answer!

“Rest, ice, pain pills.”

We have all heard these recommendations, some of them were probably prescribed to you by a healthcare provider.  It started to get better and you returned to activity only to find that you are now in worse pain. Stretching and rehab exercises are doing little to nothing.  Let’s be honest.  If you have tried this approach for your pain, and you are still suffering, it’s not going anywhere.

Over half of all injuries, are due to overuse.  Overuse injuries like tennis elbow, swimmers shoulder, runners knee, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints are not caused from one single incident.  Overuse injuries occur after repetitive use and trauma to any area of the body. Micro-trauma to tendons, ligaments, and bone eventually begin to add up and cause pain. Unfortunately, overuse injuries are often misdiagnosed and treated.

Many providers will prescribe the above; rest, ice, and possibly NSAIDs.  This may actually be the worst thing for you and your pain.  Tendinitis is often the diagnosis with overuse injuries.  The diagnosis of “tendinitis” means inflammation or irritation of a tendon.  The problem is those overuse injuries are not inflammatory.  They are degenerative.  Allow me to explain.

With any repeated or sustained movement, there is a decrease in blood supply and oxygen to the area.  When dealing with muscles, ligaments, and nerves, this decrease in oxygen leads to the formation of adhesion.  Adhesion acts like glue in the muscle to prevent proper movement and function.  This is very common, yet highly underdiagnosed.  In tendons, lack of oxygen leads to more degeneration.  Adhesion and degenerative tissues will gradually progress in nature leading to pain and weakness.  If left untreated, degenerative tissues could eventually tear and need surgical repair.

Although the research and understanding of overuse injuries are there, most traditional medical paradigms have not yet adapted.  These methods fail to recognize the pathology present.  So what are you supposed to do?

Treatment must focus on the breakdown of this adhesion while also increasing blood flow to the degenerated area for repair.  Exercises should be implemented only after the patient begins to respond to therapy.  Implementing exercise too soon may actually limit the response to care.  Proper treatment of overuse should aim to keep the patient as physically active as possible.  Only in cases where patients fail to respond to therapy should limitations be placed on patients.  This process may take several weeks to months but is ultimately the best plan when dealing with overuse injuries.

If you are reading this right now chances are you are suffering from shoulder pain, or know someone who is.  Impingement, rotator cuff tendinitis, and bursitis are common overuse injuries in the shoulder.  If you have tried traditional medical treatment, and have received little to no benefit, it is time for a new approach.

In our office, we routinely see and solve overuse injuries in the shoulder, even after traditional medical and physical therapy approaches have failed.  Our approach focuses on the elimination of adhesion and rehabilitation of degenerated tissues.  For more information about overuse injuries and shoulder pain treatment in Cedar Rapids, please call our office at 319-423-0925, or visit our website at www.thrivespineandsport.com.

The Hip Lift: The Most Underutilized Exercise To Prevent Low Back Pain

The hip lift may be the most underutilized exercise that could effectively prevent your low back back pain from ever coming back!

While the exercise only aims to isolate and strengthen the hamstrings, strong and healthy hamstrings are vital to a healthy low back. How do stronger hamstrings help with low back pain?

The hamstrings are a group of muscles made up of three distinctly different muscles that have the same attachment to the pelvis.  By strengthening this group of muscles, the hamstrings add needed support to the pelvis when standing, walking, and moving.  This in return, reduces the daily strain in the low back and can prevent your low back pain from returning!

While the hip lift may seem easy, do not let it fool you!  When performed properly it is very difficult for even the strongest person!

To perform the movement, you will need a support bench or chair.  Start by laying near the bench, placing your heels just on the support.  Proper bench or chair height will put your shins roughly parallel to the floor.  Next make sure your feet and knees are hip width apart, and your knees are directly over your hips.

The movement will take 5 seconds to perform.  Start the movement by driving the heels through the bench to engage the hamstrings.  Keep your core relaxed through the movement to make sure the work is done completely by the hamstrings.  Slowly raise the hips up for 2 seconds until your back is just over fist high off the ground.

Hold for a second at the top of the movement and slowly return to the floor for another count of 2.  Briefly pause for a second on the ground while maintaining the tension in your hamstrings, before starting another rep.

The hip lift is performed everyday for 2 sets and 15 reps per set.  When starting, most cannot perform that many reps and fall in the 6 to 10 rep category if they are performing the movement correctly.  For a demonstration on the movement please watch the video below.

As mentioned in the video, the hip lift is designed to prevent low back pain, not fix low back!  If you currently suffer from low back pain, it is advised to find the root of the problem before beginning this exercise.  Implementing any exercise without proper instruction, and specific purpose can be dangerous!

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If you, or someone you know is currently suffering with low back pain, let the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport help!  We invite you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment on our website by clicking here! If you have any questions over this exercise, or your low back pain please email us at info@thrivespineandsport.com.

At Thrive Spine and Sport, our goal is to educate and help as many people inthe community as possible!  We do hope that you found this article beneficial, please share this with friends or family in need!  

Thanks for reading!

Cedar Rapids Neck and Upper Back Pain Treatment

Neck pain is a common ailment that will affect 50-70% of the population at some point in their lifetime. Neck pain is commonly caused by repetitive strain and overuse – think sitting at a desk, looking at our phones, etc. Finding the correct cause of your neck and upper back pain are often times misdiagnosed and mistreated and here’s why.

At the base of your skull lie 6 tiny muscles.  These muscles are known as the suboccipitals.  These muscles are frequently beat up from our modern day lifestyle.  As a result, these small muscles will develop adhesion and become restricted.  More on that in a bit.  When these muscles have adhesion, they shorten and will extend the head, like in the picture below.

neck-ext
Of course, no one walks around like this because your body is really good at compensating! Because of the neck wanting to be in extension, the body will compensate by carrying the head more forward, like the picture below.  This places a TON of extra stress and strain in the upper back and neck.  Every inch forward, DOUBLES the weight of the head!
forward-head-posture

This is why your upper back hurts and is always “tight.”

Most providers unfortunately don’t understand this. Treatments like adjustments, taping, stretching, and exercise may help in the short term, but do nothing to resolve the original issue!

Adhesion, as previously mentioned, acts like glue on the muscles.  It is the most common cause of restricted motion and pain in the body.  Unfortunately, it is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions! Neck and upper back pain are frequently caused by adhesion found in the muscles at the base of your skull. Proper treatment reduces the adhesion within those muscles, and in turn allows the neck to function properly; taking stress away from the lower neck and upper back and restoring healthier posture. 

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The doctors at Thrive Spine and Sport are experts at finding and fixing adhesion!  Currently, they are 2 of only 4 providers in the state of Iowa certified through Integrative Diagnosis – the most advanced conservative health care system – for the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion.  If you or someone you know is suffering with constant neck and upper back pain, call our office today at 319-423-0925 or schedule an appointment by clicking here.

Stretching Is NOT For Everyone!

Stretching is not for everyone! Yet, for most in pain seeking the help of an expert, it’s one of the first things that is recommended to do.

Why?

That’s the question you should be asking! Go to a PT or a chiropractor and you’re likely to get a handful of stretches recommended to you to increase flexibility. But why are you so tight?

Is it because you sit at a desk all day? Maybe it’s because you have been exercising a lot lately? These still don’t answer the question. Your body is telling you something is wrong!

You feel stiff and tight. There is a very good reason why (and its not because you haven’t been stretching)! You need to find out why and also what needs to be done! Here are the 2 most common reasons you feel the need to stretch and why you shouldn’t:

Adhesion: Adhesion is the most common, most misdiagnosed, and mistreated condition in the human body. Adhesion is like glue on the muscles. It makes them stick together. Adhesion forms most frequently from overuse, like sitting at a desk all day or doing repetitive activities (sound familiar?). When present, it causes decreased range of motion, weakness, and pain. In order to fix it, it must be broken down manually with very precise and specific treatment.

Nerve Entrapment: Nerve entrapment goes hand-in-hand with the adhesion. Nerve entrapment happens when adhesion wraps itself around a nerve. This can create symptoms of radiating, tingling, burning, aching type symptoms. Similarly, the adhesion has to be removed from the nerve(s) in order for symptoms to go away.

Stretching will not help these conditions! Trying to stretch these conditions may make you feel better temporarily, but will make you feel the need to do it more, and you will never see the long term benefit.

If you are healthy, a daily/weekly routine of stretching or yoga can absolutely be a benefit to staying healthier longer! But if you have symptoms of pain or stiffness, it serves very little purpose. You have a problem, and it’s a BIG deal! You deserve it to yourself to find out why you feel the way you do! If your provider can’t explain why, get yourself a new provider!

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At Thrive Spine and Sport, we are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion!  If you, or someone you know, find yourself in a continuous need to stretch, or struggling to get out of pain, you deserve a better answer!  Call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment below!

Appointment Request

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.

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!