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!

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!

3 Rules For Staying Healthy

Unlike many of articles and blog posts we write, this one takes a different theme!  Instead of talking about how to get out of pain, we take a look at how to STAY out of pain!  It is important to note that this is not for those reading that are currently experiencing pain.  If you are reading this and are struggling to get out of pain, you need an expert diagnosis and the best treatment to fix your problem.  If you are looking to get to the bottom of your problem, I invite you to call our office at 319-423-0925 today for an appointment or find out if you are a candidate for our care.

Now for those of you still reading that are currently NOT in pain….CONGRATS!  You are most likely already doing a lot of things right to take care of yourself.  I think we can all agree that being in pain is a horrible, no good, very bad thing!  Pain either limits what we can do, or stops it all together, and when it is present, we want it gone just as fast as it came!  Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, as most cases of pain often contain layers of dysfunction that must be worked through.  Treatment is not always a “one hit wonder.”

Rule #1: STOP ABUSING YOUR BODY.  This isn’t just for the gym rats.  Sitting all day long has the same detriment on your body as grinding away at the gym for 3 hours every day at 100% effort.  In both situations it is only a matter of time before things break down!  At the office make sure to take frequent breaks (once or twice an hour).  Get up from your desk and move around!  At the gym it’s ok to back down the effort level sometimes or skip a workout if you are feeling beat up.  Feeling stiff and tight all the time is an early warning sign of a bigger problem.

Rule #2: CHANGE THINGS UP.  Unless you’re training for competition changing things up in your training routine helps to keep you healthy.  Same goes for sitting all day and not getting up (see above).  The body needs variation of activities and movements.  Prolonged positions and frequent repetitive motions is the most common reason for all overuse injuries.  Change your activity up to avoid this.

Rule#3: SELF-MAINTENANCE.  Maintenance for your body should be no different than brushing and flossing for your teeth, or an oil change for your car.  Stretching, yoga, foam rolling, mobility drills, maintenance exercise, and self-evaluation to monitor your health are all great tools to use.  We recently wrote an article over some basic movements all runners should have – these same tests apply to everyone else.  I invite you to check it out here.  The other tools mentioned are all designed to increase blood flow through the body and allow you to move better.  It is VITAL to note that stretching, yoga, foam rolling, exercise, and mobility drills are NOT treatment and should not be treated as such.  Do these things regularly though and these decrease your probability of struggling through pain.

 

Thanks for reading!

Why Weak and Tight Doesn’t Mean Strengthen and Stretch

One of the most common misconceptions in health care is this principle – “weak and tight” means “strengthen and stretch.”  If there is one problem or complaint I hear the most it’s, “I’m always tight.”  Usually, in the same breath, the same person will report that they just need to stretch, or they don’t stretch as often as they should.  It usually comes as a surprise when I then tell this person that stretching won’t help them, and if you’re reading this and you always feel “stiff” it probably won’t help you either.

Stretching is the most overprescribed treatment in healthcare, and also the least beneficial.  Now, don’t get me wrong there is a time and a place for stretching – yoga is fantastic – but fixing your stiffness and pain, it’s not going to happen!

Allow me to explain.

Our bodies were not programmed to handle the modern day lifestyle. Whether you work in a 9-5 desk position or work in a factory doing manual labor 40+ hours a week, both will have the same thing in common.  Overuse.  Overuse happens when we sit in prolonged positions or do repetitive activities, if we are not taking care of ourselves.

When we overuse our bodies, and fail to take care of it with proper rest, recovery, nutrients, this will often create a phenomenon called protective tension.  Protective tension is created to help the body adapt to overuse.  The body will make muscles spasm and contract to help protect any overloaded structure from further injury.  Over a period of time, this gradually leads to adhesion formation.

Overuse Cycle

 

If you are unfamiliar with adhesion, adhesion is the most common problem in the human body, but also the most misdiagnosed.  Fortunately, it can be fixed easily with the right diagnosis and treatment.  When present, it acts like glue on soft tissue structures like muscles, ligaments, and nerves.  This glue then binds muscles and nerves together and decreases your flexibility and strength.  Overtime, adhesion leads to altered joint mechanics and pain.  Without the proper treatment, adhesion will eventually lead to chronic pain, chronic muscle sprain/strains, arthritis, and or spinal disc injuries (think herniation).

 

Adhesion

Check out this video below for a better demonstration and explanation.

We have been conditioned since elementary school days to think weak and tight means to strengthen and stretch.  In reality, weak and tight is often a result of a problem!  All of the stretches and strength exercises in the world will not help adhesion, in fact, it may make things worse.  The most important thing that you can do is figure out why a muscle is weak and tight!

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to get some answers!  At Thrive Spine and Sport, we are trained through the Integrative Diagnosis system to provide the most accurate and advanced diagnosis and treatment to chronic pain and overuse injuries.  Many patients of our office have tried numerous providers before finding relief in our office. 

Simply fill out the appointment request on this page, or call our office at 319-423-0925 to start feeling better today! 

Thanks for reading!

What’s Wrong With My Shoulder?

Raise your hand if you struggle with shoulder pain!  Well, at least, raise it as high as you can.

Shoulder pain is one of the most frequently hurt and injured extremities in the body.  If you were to survey 10 of your friends, how many of them would report a shoulder issue?  Seriously think about this for a minute.  While the research can vary greatly with incident rates of shoulder pain, you can expect on average 2-5 to report shoulder pain and problems!  That is an incredible stat right there!

When you look into the mechanics of the shoulder, it is no wonder why pain is so often found there.  The shoulder joint consists of 3 bones, creating 4 joints.  13 muscles are involved in the movement of the shoulder which is responsible for almost 360 degrees of motion.

While there are many different kinds of problems associated with the shoulder (dislocations, fractures, etc), most complications arise from overuse, or repetitive strain injuries over time.  Shoulder pain may start up overnight, but it took weeks, months, even years to get to the point of pain.  Manual labors and athletes alike are no stranger to shoulder pain.

In cases of shoulder pain where overuse, repetitive strain, or previous injuries are present, the shoulder pain is almost always due to a lengthening issue.  The joints have become stiff and the muscles have become tight.  The most frequent cause of this stiffness is from adhesion.

Adhesion is a build up of scar tissue through repetitive motion, prolonged position, or as a result of previous trauma or injury.  Think of adhesion as glue on a muscle.  It binds things together and prevents the muscles from moving correctly.  When the joints and muscle get stiff and tight, it creates friction, pressure, and tension in the area.  This then creates decreased blood flow and sometimes swelling, which promotes the body to lay down scar tissue, or adhesion, to help stabilize the problem area.  Adhesion is one of the most common problems in the human body and fortunately one of the most easily reversible with the right care!

To see if your shoulder pain could be caused from adhesion at-home, there is a very simple test you can do at home.

Stand upright, with your arms and hands to your side.  Raise your arms up to your ears by moving your shoulders in an arc similar to that of a jumping jack.  The bicep should be able to freely touch the ear without any increased tension or pain.  Anything short of this, adhesion is a strong possibility, and may be playing a large part of your shoulder pain.  Regardless of previous injuries, or even surgeries, adhesion needs to be removed.

Stretching and exercises do not correct adhesion unfortunately.  When adhesion is present, it only gets worse without proper treatment, and could lead to bigger issues down the road.

If you are struggling with shoulder pain, try the test right now.  Look in the mirror if you can’t get your arms up to your ears and see how restricted it is.  The further away from the ear you are the more likely you are to suffer a serious injury down the road.

If you are in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area and struggling with shoulder pain, call our office today at 319-423-0925 or fill out the appointment request on this page.  If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me at dr.cody@thrivespineandsport.com.

Thanks for reading!