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!

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.

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!

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!

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!

5 Must Have Movements For Pain Free Running!

Let’s face the facts.  Runners are one of the most injured group of athletes.  Some studies suggest, as much as 70% of runners this year will suffer an injury that will either limit the runner’s   mileage,or stop them from running completely! The complications of running arise primarily from overuse.

Now I don’t want to paint a picture that running is bad for you, because it isn’t!  There are tremendous health benefits to running.  The problem is that most runners like to push their limits – often coming very close – several times a week.  This is where injuries start.

Runner’s knee, IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, sound familiar?  These are all examples of overuse injuries.  These don’t develop after one run but after miles and miles of pounding the pavement.  Generally, the problem isn’t that we run too much, so much as these, are often the result of biomechanical imbalances and deficits which lead to added stress on muscles, joints, and other tissues.

None of us want to stop running or have pain.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know what is causing our current pain and problems?  Or better yet, wouldn’t be nice to know if we were at risk for a specific injury? Fortunately we do have these things!  Below are 5 at-home assessments that can test and assess for some of the most common running injuries!

Ankle Dorsiflexion

Ankle dorsiflexion may be the most important assessment for a runner.  The feet and ankles are our foundation!  Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, and eventually stress fractures can all be caused by limited dorsiflexion.

To test this start by standing arm’s length away from a wall.  Place one foot close to the wall with the big toe touching the wall.  Place a ruler along the lateral foot.  While keeping the heel on the ground, bring the knee to the wall.  Continue to slide the foot back and bring the knee to wall until you can no longer get the knee to touch the wall without the heel coming off the floor.  Normal range is 5-6” and anything short of this makes you more likely for any running injury!

Clean Ankle Dorsiflexion
Clean Ankle Dorsiflexion

Knee Flexion

Reduced knee flexion directly leads to one of the most frequent injuries for runners – Runners knee.

To try this assessment, stand upright. Grab and pull an ankle until the heel comes into contact with the glute on the same side as the ankle.  Anything short of pulling the ankle to the glute is placing you at higher risk for Runners knee.

Positive Knee Flexion (Heel Short of Glutes)

Hip Flexion

While the hips are not given the label of the most commonly injured sites for a runner, a lack of hip flexion can lead to bursitis, IT band syndrome, muscle/labrum tears, and other problems downstream of the hips.

To test hip flexion, start by lying flat on the floor with the legs straight in front of you.  Try to bring the knee to the chest while keeping the opposing leg flat.  The front of the thigh should be flat against the chest.  Test the other side the same way.  Any pinching in through the front of hip, in the groin, or lateral hip is also a positive test and putting you at risk for injury.

Hip Flexion Test
Hip Flexion Test

Hip Extension

Hip Extension is another assessment that has a direct role in stride length.  Limited hip extension shortens the stride.  When putting in the final kick to finish our race, we can’t be held back!  By altering our stride, hip extension can cause any issue in the low back, hips, or knees directly.

To test this assessment is a little trickier and may require a partner. Start by getting into a lunge position.  Lean as far forward as you can on the hip while staying upright. There should be no forward lean!  Place a ruler under your back leg – this is the side we are assessing.   Then find your ASIS – it is the bony part in the front of your hip.  Place a level or a plumb line directly against the ASIS, directly over the ruler.  Where the plumb line or level hits the ruler is your measurement.  Note symptoms as well. Test both sides. Normal range of motion is 11-13” for most people although it can get much more.  Pain with this movement, inability to stay upright, or any measurement short of 11” is a positive test.

Hip Extension (Measure from under the back leg)

Toe Touch

The toe touch is an “all-inclusive” assessment.  The toe touch is one of the most basic, functional movements anyone who is an active runner should have.  Inability to touch the toes, shows reduced mobility in the low back and hips putting you at more risk of any injury, including low back pain.

Hopefully, you found all these assessments to be in normal range, but I’m guessing a few of you out there found some tests that were a little short or painful.

So why don’t you have the mobility?  The two most common reasons these movements are restricted are due to adhesion and joint shape issues.

Adhesion is a buildup of scar tissue through overuse in the soft tissue like muscles, ligaments, or around nerves. This is the most common dysfunction in the human body, but also the most commonly misdiagnosed condition.  The good news is that it can be easily fixed by a professional trained to diagnose and treat it! When present adhesion restricts range of motion, decreases strength, and causes pain.

Joint shape issues are either genetic or degenerative.  This is not nearly as common as adhesion is, and degenerative joints are often the result of years of bad soft tissue, use, and abuse.

So what can you do?

If you find yourself falling short in some of these assessments but were pain free, start a routine of some stretching and mobility. Stretch and foam roll the restricted areas daily to try to get within normal range.

If you currently find yourself in pain, or any of the assessments painful, it’s too late! You need to seek out a healthcare professional to get examined.  Find one that is trained to break up adhesion and properly evaluate these movements.  If you chose to continue to run with these restricted movements and pain, it is not a matter of if, but when, more significant injury will happen!

If you live in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area and struggling with any of these tests, call our office today at 319-423-0925!  At Thrive Spine and Sport we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of overuse injuries caused by adhesion.

Pain and injuries are a part of running, just like any other sport, but that shouldn’t be the reason they stop you!

 

Thanks for reading!

Before You Start CrossFit in Cedar Rapids, Here Is What You Need!

If you are reading this, chances are you are thinking about getting into CrossFit .

Known for brutal workouts and “ideal” looking athletes, CrossFit has created a fitness revolution sweeping, quite literally, the globe. CrossFit appeals to the common person to regain functional strength and get back in shape by beating previous times, reps or weight used.

As with most fitness revolutions, CrossFit has come under some recent scrutiny. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that 73.5 percent of CrossFit participants receive an injury that limits work, activity or participation. This is an alarming number, but also a number not too surprising when the average new member just came from the couch into doing Fran (Fran is the name of CrossFit’s most popular workout).

Overuse, as with any other sport, is the number one cause of injury in CrossFit. It demands that all, not just some, of your body is moving properly. If there are any restrictions in any part of your body, this will lead to injury at some point down the road.

In order to make Cedar Rapids CrossFit, safer we must know our body is ready.

Here are the top 5 assessments to do that:

1. Ankle dorsiflexion. Ankle dorsiflexion is vital to running, jumping and squatting. If your ankle is not working properly, neither will your knee, hip and low back. Check this by standing arm’s length away from a wall. Place a ruler against the wall and foot. Drop the knee to touch the wall without the heel coming off the ground. A healthy range of motion will be around five or six inches.

2. Knee flexion. To check knee flexion, stand supported against the wall or table. Grab the ankle and try to accommodate the back of the heel to the butt, while the quad remains in line with the opposite leg. The heel should easily be able to touch without pain.

3. Hip flexion. Lie on your back. Grab just below one knee and try to bring the knee to chest. The front of the thigh should be able to be pulled flat against the chest without difficulty or pain. A lack of hip flexion alters squat motion and can lead to low back, hip and knee pain.

4. Shoulder abduction. Proper overhead motion and strength is dependent on this motion. Stand upright with arms to the side. Bring your arms up to your ears as close as you can. This should be very easy and without pain. Normal range should find the arm no further than three inches away from the ear, ideally only one inch.

5. Wrist extension. Reduced wrist extension can make front rack position painful and hard. To test, place the forearm flat on the wall with the upper arm shoulder height. Extend the wrist by using the opposite hand to pull the fingers back. The hand and fingers should be able to break 90 degrees to the wall without pain.

To fix these assessments, start a routine of stretching, foam rolling and active mobility to improve these motions. If mobility exercises fail to produce results after a week or two, there are only two options left — avoid the problem or fix the problem!

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at dr.cody@thrivespineandsport.com or call us at our office at 319-423-0925.  If you have been struggling with pain, fill out the appointment request on this page.