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!

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!

————————————–

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!

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!

————————————————————————————————————————————————

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.

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!

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!

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!

Fixing Adhesion

Let’s be honest, your problem isn’t going anywhere!  In fact it’s getting worse.

You’ve tried rest, ice, stretching, pain pills, adjustments, cortisone, braces, exercise, and the list goes on.  Still your problem persists.  What is going on?

Adhesion is a term you probably haven’t heard about.  Adhesion, or scar tissue, is one of the most common conditions in the human body, but also, BY  FAR, the most misdiagnosed.  Adhesion, when present, limits flexibility and decreases strength.  The good news is that adhesion is completely reversible if treated correctly!

Adhesion

Adhesion develops primarily in two different ways – overuse, from either repetitive movements or prolonged positions (think working out, running, or sitting at a desk all day), and from trauma (think sports injury or car accident).  Adhesion acts like glue on a muscle by sticking muscles and surrounding soft tissues together.  When this happens your body has to work harder than normal to move or function normally.  You may feel “tight” or weak at first, but eventually develop inflammation and pain.

Overuse Cycle

When adhesion is present, it has to be physically broken down by a provider certified to find and fix adhesion in order for it to go away.  Stretching and exercise wont help!  Neither will a foam roller or a lacrosse ball.  These may make you feel good for a few hours or even a few days, but they are not long term solutions!

Adhesion is at the root of many common problems like low back or neck pain, sciatica, most tendinitis cases, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even headaches!

Unfortunately, if left untreated long enough, adhesion can lead to other problems like disc herniation, stress fractures, labrum tears, muscle tears/sprains/strains, and early arthritic changes.  How can that be?

Adhesion makes muscles work harder.  When muscles work harder they become overworked sooner.  Instead of the muscles absorbing most of your day to day activities, the body transfers the load into the cartilage, bones, and joints instead.  This begins a very bad cycle of chronic pain.  The sooner you fix adhesion the better!

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we are certified through the Integrative Diagnosis system for the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion.  Currently, Thrive Spine and Sport is the only full body certified Integrative Diagnosis office in the state of Iowa!  Integrative Diagnosis is the premiere system for diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems.

If you, or someone you know is continuing to struggle with pain, we invite you to call our office today at 319-423-0925!  Most patients have tried numerous providers before finding relief in our office.  If you have any questions, or not sure if we can help you or not, feel free to send an email to Dr. Cody at dr.cody@thrivespineandsport.com.

Thanks for reading!

Is It Tendinitis?

Does this sound familiar?

You develop pain, and it’s getting worse. You pull out your computer and search for what’s wrong. The search reveals “tendinitis.”

Looking at the treatment options, you decide to take a couple weeks off, ice twice a day, stretch as often as you can and take pain relievers when needed.

Things are going great, the pain has disappeared and you decide to get back to regular activity. You start your warm up. You begin to play or run, then uh-oh, the pain is back.

It hasn’t left. Now what do you do? Cortisone shot? Surgery?

Why did the pain return? The answer is simple. The diagnosis and treatment were wrong.

What we are finding now is that most cases of tendinitis are misdiagnosed and are actually tendinosis. While tendinitis is believed to be an inflammatory process, tendinosis is a degenerative one.

With return of activity and lack of proper recovery, we often see overuse of muscles and joints commonly used in that activity. With overuse, tendons and muscles become weak and degenerate. Once the muscles and structures are weak, adhesion will form to try to stabilize the area. This also alters joint motion and leads to further weakness and pain. If left untreated, this can lead to torn muscles, tendons and ligaments. Rest, ice and stretching do nothing to repair damage to injured soft tissue.

Overuse Cycle

Treatment of tendinosis takes a different approach. Try these four steps:

Manual therapy. Adhesion is the most common result of overuse. To remove adhesion, you need therapy from someone certified to treat the condition.

Eccentric exercise. When a tendon or ligament is degenerated, rest will not fix it. It needs to be regenerated and strengthened. Eccentric exercise does this by helping improve blood flow into the origin and insertion points of muscles where degeneration is common.

Load Management.  I hate the word “rest” when treating injuries, because in most cases it gives you false hope – that something is actually being fixed – when in reality it isn’t.  In tendinosis cases, rest helps the damaged soft tissue recover from treatment faster and reduces the risk of more severe injury. 97% of all soft tissue (muscle, ligament, tendon) tears happen in degenerated tissue.  This is tendinosis!

Get a brace. Using a brace reduces stress on the injured area and allows treatment to be more effective and can help speed up recovery time.

Recovery time depends on how long symptoms have been present and how much damage has been done to the soft tissue.

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion, a primary cause of tendinosis and tendinitis.  If you or someone you know has been struggling to find relief from “tendinitis” it’s time to find out what’s really wrong!  You deserve real solutions to your problem.  Fill out the appointment request on this page or call our office at 319-423-0925 today!

Thanks for reading!

3 Reasons For Tight Hamstrings You Dont Know About

If your hamstrings are always “tight” there is a reason behind it – and it’s not because you’re not stretching.  In fact, if you are stretching, it may be making it worse!  While this may sound like crazy talk, allow me to explain.

The hamstrings are a group of 3 different muscles.  They originate on the pelvis and insert on the lower leg, just below the knee.  They are primarily responsible for extension of the hip and flexing the knee.  The hamstrings play a vital role in most of our daily activities, which include standing, walking, running, and jumping, but they also play a protective role for nerves and joints.

The Hamstrings

While there can be many different reasons for “tight” hamstrings, the 3 most common I see in my office are the following:

Nerve Entrapment.  The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down into the foot.  This nerve moves and flosses through many different structures on its route.  Often times this nerve will get glued down, and stick to some of the muscles it comes into contact with in the hip and upper thigh – this includes the hamstrings.  When this nerve is prevented from moving properly, and we try to stretch, the body will engage the hamstrings sooner than it would if the nerve wasn’t glued down to protect the nerve from potential harm. This is give off the feeling of “weak and tight.”

Hip Joint Dysfunction.  Place your hand on the outside of your hip. Do you feel the bone there? Now, more than ever with our modern day lifestyles, this joint can become compromised by adhesion and scar tissue.  The femur is held into the hip socket by a group of ligaments.  These ligaments will often form loads of scar tissue after performing repetitive activities or keeping it in place for prolonged periods of time.  This scar tissue will then restrict hip motion.  With this reduction in movement, the joint is more prone to future injury, the hamstrings help to protect this joint by activating earlier than normal and reduces the range of motion.

Hip Capsule

Disc Injury.  Unfortunately, far too many people are walking around with disc injuries, whether they know it or not.  When a disc becomes injured, many simple day to day tasks become more difficult, like trying to stand from a seated position, or bend forward.  Any flexion movement, places more stress on the injured disc.  Part of the job of the hamstrings is to extend the hip and keep you upright.   If we have an injured disc, the hamstrings will try to keep you upright to protect the disc and avoid any unwanted load.

A Few Common Disc Issues

So what can you do?

Often the answer to your problem is simpler than you think.  “Tight” hamstrings are a common problem, but can lead to bigger, chronic issues. Catch all solutions like stretching are rarely ever the answer.  Start by contacting a local expert to get the correct diagnosis for your problem.   Only with the right diagnosis can you finally fix your problem!

If you live in Cedar Rapids or surrounding areas and are constantly struggling with “tight” hamstrings, we invite you to check out our office.  The experts at Thrive Spine and Sport can easily diagnose and provide you with the right plan to fix your problem!  Call our office at 319-423-0925 or fill out an appointment request by clicking here

Thanks for reading!