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 Death of KT Tape

The Death of KT Tape

FINALLY KT TAPE IS BEING LAID TO REST!!

I hope you kept your receipts!!! We’ve been talking about KT tape and how dangerous/useless it is for years. KT Tape became popular after the 2012 Olympics.  Now it’s being sued for false claims!

KT Tape Lawsuit

I invite you all to read, but if you don’t have time here are some highlights from the link above:

“…”KT Health has used deceptive claims regarding the purported benefits of KT tape to charge a premium approximately ten times the price of traditional athletic tape…”

“…the athletic tape was deceptively marketed as being able to effectively treat sports-related injuries…”

The company will remove the following label claims: “it will keep you pain free,” “prevents injury” and “provides 24-hour pain relief per application.” The kinesiology tape packaging will also include a large, bold disclaimer to inform consumers that the athletic tape is “not clinically proven for all injuries.”

KT Tape is a product we have never used or recommended and will never recommend! We have written about the dangers of it on multiple occasions (feel free to click and read here and here).  Providers and patients, a like, are getting smarter.  Unfortunately there are still some providers out there more interested in financial gain than patient outcomes.

If you or someone you know is using this product, or seeing a provider that uses this product, stop it and find a provider that is focused on a real diagnosis and treatment!

At Thrive Spine and Sport we continue to pursue clinical excellence, finding your diagnosis, and providing the correct treatment path whether it is in our office or not!  We look forward to providing you and your loved ones with the highest quality conservative care possible!

Thanks for reading!

New Effective Sciatica Treatment in Cedar Rapids!

Sciatica is often used as a catch-all term by patients to refer to any pain they feel in their legs.  Millions of dollars are spent each year, with limited effectiveness.  This is understandable when we begin to take into consideration all the possible causes of symptoms and break down the traditional methods of diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

 

Radiating leg pain accounts for around 5-10% of all low back pain cases.  Disc related sciatica symptoms account for only 2.2% of cases.  Tight or overactive muscles are usually to blame in cases diagnosed with piriformis syndrome, and THIS is where the lack of effectiveness in the treatment of radiating leg pain essentially begins!  Whether conservative, or surgical, there is a LACK of diagnosing underlying conditions creating “tight” or overactive muscles!

 

Fortunately, new research being brought to light by researchers and doctors are shining a light on a new paradigm shift in the diagnosis and treatment of radiating pain down the leg.  Deep Gluteal Syndrome, or DGS, has the same pain characteristics as sciatica and piriformis syndrome, but the true cause of the problem has finally been found!  

 

For years, surgeons have noted and treated “fibrous scar bands” during procedures.  Sciatic nerve decompression is a surgery where fibrous scar bands, also known as adhesion, are removed around the sciatic nerve to alleviate pain.  

 

The problem is that surgery is no more beneficial than quality conservative care after 1 year!  Even with surgery, a small but significant group of patients fail to improve all together!  Collagen, the material that makes up adhesion, breaks down with as little as 6 pounds of tension.  The keyword is tension, and its specific application.  Compressive forces take much more pressure.  The good news is that Integrative Diagnosis providers have been effectively treating this problem, without surgery, for over a decade!

 

Adhesion, as it is frequently referred as, is a build up of collagen or fibrotic tissue that acts like glue on muscles and around nerves.  As adhesion builds, it limits flexibility of joints causing weakness and pain.  If adhesion builds up around nerves, like the sciatic nerve, it can create symptoms of tingling, burning, or numbness.  Sound familiar?

 

The good news is this problem is extremely common, one of the most common problems in the body, that also happens to be one of the most reversible conditions in the human body as well!  Adhesion develops most commonly through overuse, think repetitive motions like running, or prolonged positions like sitting on your butt all day.

 

Adhesion builds up most commonly around the sciatic nerve in the buttock. Limited movement accompanies this development often with increasing symptoms.  Normally, with hip flexion the sciatic nerve can stretch over 1 inch in the hip!  As adhesion develops, hip flexion becomes more limited, and more stress is placed not only in the hip, but the low back and knees as well!  This is a big deal for your overall health!

 

The concept of adhesion, or fibrous scar bands, playing a role in symptoms related to sciatic nerve mobility and entrapment represents a radical change and paradigm shift in the current diagnosis of and therapeutic approach to DGS.  Effective treatment aims to break down adhesion using tension.  No other method of treatment is as effective in treating this condition!  In fact, other methods of treatment, like stretching or exercise, could make the condition worse!

 

Manual Adhesion Release, MAR, is a technique used by certified Integrative Diagnosis providers.  This treatment creates enough tension on adhesion to effectively break it down over a series of visits. It is currently the only treatment that focuses on the diagnosis and breakdown of adhesion.  ID providers use specific tests to establish the diagnosis and measure progress from visit to visit.  

 

Previously, Deep Gluteal Syndrome was a complex issue difficult to overcome with traditional therapies and surgery.  With this new research, paradigm shift, and advances in effective treatment coming to fruition, finally patients can get the treatment needed for their desired outcome.

If you, or someone you know has been struggling to find relief from radiating pain going down the leg, the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport can help!  Currently, they are the 2 most experienced Integrative Diagnosis providers in the state of Iowa.  Call us today at 319-423-0925, or click here to schedule an appointment!

Cedar Rapids Chiropractor Provides Neck Pain Treatment

Cedar Rapids Chiropractor Provides Neck Pain Treatment

Take a look at this 4 minute video that shows a typical visit at Thrive Spine and Sport.  Upper cervical flexion is vital to a healthy neck!  You must have 40 degrees of motion through the upper cervical spine.

Our patient for today, was found to have adhesion in the muscles of her neck and started with 30 degrees of upper cervical flexion and ended with 36 degrees of motion.  That is a 20% improvement in function in just under 2 total minutes of treatment!  Removing adhesion in the muscles at the base of the skull provides sustained benefit and neck pain relief.  Adhesion is the most common, most misdiagnosed, yet easily reversible condition in the human body!

Watch this short video over our neck pain treatment.  If you or someone you know is struggling to find relief from neck pain, we encourage you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or check out our website at www.thrivespineandsport.com.  Many of the patients at our office have tried numerous providers before finding relief in our office.  Our doctors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion using the Integrative Diagnosis and treatment system, the most advanced conservative health care system in the world!

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!

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

Shoulder Pain Treatment in Cedar Rapids

Behind low back and neck pain, shoulder pain is the most common cause of pain in the human body. No shocker when you think about all the activity we put it through on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the number one cause of shoulder pain is often misdiagnosed and, because of that fact, often mistreated!

Adhesion is the number one cause of shoulder pain! Adhesion in the shoulder can refer pain to the front of the shoulder, and is often diagnosed as bicep tendinitis, bursitis, or just “inflammation.” Adhesion if left untreated leads to degenerative changes in the joint leading to rotator cuff tears, labrum tears, and arthritis. Adhesion is a REALLY, BIG DEAL when it comes to shoulder pain!

Adhesion

How do you know if you have adhesion? Fortunately, there is a simple test you can do at home! Stand upright with your arms to your side. Raise your arms laterally until your palms touch above your head and your upper arms are touching your ear. Can’t touch your arm to your ear with both palms touching? You can’t have a healthy shoulder if you can’t do this simple, functional movement!

85% Function on Left 75% Function on Right
85% Function on Left
75% Function on Right

Shoulder problems, as mentioned, are often misdiagnosed and mistreated. Far too many people are struggling to find answers to their pain. The solution starts with the proper diagnosis in order to provide the correct treatment. This is done only through an extensive history and exam.

If you or someone you know are struggling to find answers to shoulder pain let the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport help! Drs. Cody Scharf and Logan Scharf are the most experienced providers in the State of Iowa who are Integrative Diagnosis certified to diagnose and treat adhesion! Call 319-423-0925 or click here to set up an appointment => Appointment Request

Thanks for reading!

Knee Pain In Cedar Rapids

Are your knees bugging you?

If so, here is what you should know:
• Knee pain is estimated to affect upwards of 25% of the population
• Knee pain is most often caused by overuse
• Knee replacement surgeries are on the rise!
• You do not HAVE to live with knee pain!

Most think that as we age aches and pains are normal. Knee pain can be added to this list! As mentioned, knee pain is most often caused by overuse. There are 2 consequences of overuse in the body; adhesion and degeneration.

1. Adhesion. Adhesion is the primary result of overuse. It acts like glue on soft tissues to make joints weaker and less flexible. Adhesion is the most common, most misdiagnosed, and most mistreated condition in human body. Fixing adhesion restores range of motion, increases strength, and eliminates pain.

Adhesion
2. Degeneration. Degeneration (think arthritis) gets most of the attention. Unfortunately, adhesion precedes degeneration and ultimately leads to faster and further progress of the degeneration in the joint. If your doctor has told you have arthritis there is nearly a 100% chance you also have adhesion! Fixing adhesion will not only improve joint function but slows the progression of your degeneration!

If you can’t tell from the above, adhesion and fixing adhesion is a very, big deal! Fortunately, if you have knee pain there is a simple test you can do at home to check for it!

To start the test, stand upright. Grab your ankle and attempt to pull the heel into butt. Make sure that the thigh being tested is inline with opposite leg and has not moved in front of it. If you cannot pull the heel to your butt, or if pain is present you have failed the test. Adhesion is the most likely result. I am guessing if you have knee pain most of you out there that tried the test did not do so well! This puts you at a much higher risk for future degeneration, cartilage damage, and other major knee injuries.

The heel approximates just short of the butt. This is a failed test and you should seek help!
The heel approximates just short of the butt. This is a failed test.

The good news? We can help!

The doctors at Thrive Spine and Sport are experts at finding and fixing adhesion. We are the most experienced office in the state of Iowa to deal with this issue! By performing specific bio mechanical tests to check function and correlate your prior history and other relevant findings during the exam we can determine your level of success from our treatment.

If you or someone you know is currently suffering with knee pain, we encourage you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or go to www.thrivespineandsport.com/appointment-request to schedule an appointment today!

Thanks for reading!

Concussions

Over the last few years, around this time of year, concussions have become a major topic of interest.  More and more research is coming to light about just how dangerous concussions really are.  While much of the focus has been done to better diagnose and prevent concussions (which needs to happen), very little has been done in the advancement of treatment.

Rest remains the most appropriate way to allow your brain to recover from a concussion, but what happens when symptoms remain even after weeks and months of rest?

Concussions are a brain injury.  Currently, there are 8 factors used to diagnose concussions.  In order to be diagnosed with a concussion, you only need to experience 3 out of the 8 factors.  Headaches, dizziness, changes in mood, sleep, concentration, personality, irritability, not managing stress, are all on the list.  Surprisingly, neck pain didn’t make the list!

As mentioned previously, concussions are a brain injury, but you can’t get a brain injury without neck (cervical) trauma.  Alarmingly, the spine is rarely evaluated!  What should, and needs to happen, is to find out how much influence the cervical trauma is playing in post-concussive symptoms.  While neck symptoms don’t need to be present, presence of neck pain and symptoms will delay recovery from concussion injuries.

The suboccipital muscles are a group of 6 muscles that attach to the top of the skull and neck.  Some of these muscles attach directly to the spinal cord. These are the most commonly injured structures with any neck and head trauma. Injury to these muscles can directly cause and increase concussion symptoms.  As a result of trauma to the head and neck, adhesion is most likely to appear in these muscles.

As a consequence, adhesion decreases flexibility and pain.  Adhesion in the suboccipital muscles can cause a variety of symptoms including, headaches and neck pain. It can be easily fixed by an expert trained to diagnose and treat this injury.  The only way to know if you have adhesion present is to be evaluated by one of these experts.

Concussions are always individual and each person recovers at a different pace.  If you have recently had, or been struggling with post-concussive symptoms it is vital to know how much of your injury is due to the brain, and how much is due to the cervical trauma!

While most of the recovery and treatment of concussions need to be focused around rest and managing activities, those that still suffer with symptoms weeks and months after need other solutions!  Otherwise, these symptoms can persist years down the road.  Concussions are always multifactorial, changes in diet and psychiatry may also help, but negating to treat the musculoskeletal component of the injury can be a huge mistake!

You owe it to yourself to explore all avenues of treatment to fully recover from injury and prevent long term damage!

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Integrative Diagnosis providers are musculoskeletal experts trained in the evaluation and treatment of neck pain and injury.  If you are fortunate enough to have an Integrative Diagnosis provider in your area, they can help with the recovery and treatment of concussions.  Use this link to find a provider near you => PROVIDERS

If you live in or around the Cedar Rapids area, let the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport help!  If you or someone you know are struggling to recover from a concussion we encourage you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or schedule an appointment at www.thrivespineandsport.com/appointment-request/.

Thanks for reading!

4 Easy Steps To Fix Tennis Elbow!

Lateral elbow pain is more popularly termed “tennis elbow.” Tennis Elbow affects 2% of the general population, and while that sounds like a relatively low number, it will affect upwards of 50% of tennis players at some point during their playing career! Hence the name.

The commonality among tennis players is no mistake. The sport places a tremendous load on the lateral elbow. While it’s incredibly common, resolution of the problem is often frustrating for both patient and provider. The problem with fixing tennis elbow is that the condition is commonly misdiagnosed. Incorrect diagnosis leads to incorrect treatment, and as you may already know, prolonged and worsening symptoms.

Fortunately, fixing this issue can be found with 4 easy steps!

STEP 1: GET THE RIGHT DIAGNOSIS! Tennis elbow is generally categorized as a tendinitis. Classic tendinitis is an inflammatory condition. The problem is that most lateral elbow pain is NOT inflammatory! It’s degenerative! It is actually a term called tendinosis. Treating lateral elbow pain as tendinitis will make tendinosis worse!

Classic treatment of tendinitis, using rest, ice, and NSAIDS or cortisone actually leads to more degeneration and is putting you at risk for more significant injury, like ruptured tendons! It bears repeating, but cortisone and NSAIDS are a REALLY bad idea in this situation!  In fact one more recent study showed that those using cortisone for treatment of musculoskeletal conditions were WORSE than those who did absolutely nothing at all after 1 year.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look at the study here.

STEP 2: REST! I know I just told you rest is a bad idea. Prolonged rest is bad. Short term rest isn’t. It is often necessary during step 3.  Also avoid any painful movements during this time and use a brace as needed.  All this helps to unload the injured area.

STEP 3: TREAT ADHESION. Lateral elbow pain is often caused by overuse/repetitive trauma. The most common result of overuse in the body is adhesion. Adhesion acts like glue on muscles and tendons and doesn’t allow things to move like they should. It’s the most common cause of pain and limited range of motion in the body, yet it is also the most misdiagnosed and mistreated condition! Very few providers know what adhesion is. Even less know how to actually treat it. Making sure to find a provider that knows how to diagnose and treat this condition is vital to your recovery!  If you are lucky enough to have an Integrative Diagnosis provider in your area, they are the absolute best at treating this condition.  You can check your area by clicking the link here.

STEP 4: ECCENTRIC EXERCISE. Once adhesion is removed and the tissue is healthy enough for more activity. Eccentric exercise, a very specific type of exercise needs to be started. This type of exercise specifically targets the tendon for repair.

 

If you have been struggling to find relief from lateral elbow and been diagnosed with tendinitis, most likely the diagnosis was wrong! You need a second opinion! You need the help of a soft tissue expert!  Find help, follow these steps, get relief now!

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The providers at Thrive Spine and Sport in Cedar Rapids are certified through Integrative Diagnosis. Integrative Diagnosis is the most advanced diagnosis and treatment system for the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injury. If you have tried other providers without finding relief, we invite you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment by clicking here => www.thrivespineandsport.com/appointment-request.

Know someone struggling with this issue? Make sure to share it with your friends! Thanks for reading!