Treatment Stories

Is “Pretty Good” Good Enough?

Today I’d like to share a cautionary tale we see very commonly in people who get injured but are doing really well with treatment and recovering nicely …

The person is starting to feel really good and they has returned to most of the activities that their pain was keeping the from. They are back on the trail running, playing with their kids around the house, or even back on the golf course playing the game they love.

At this point, when at a PT session, they will often say they “still feel it a little” but it is not much of a problem. This is where trouble can begin…

We know from experience that “pretty good” is not good enough, but at this point many will decide that the pain is is so minor, they don’t really need to continue treatment till it’s 100% gone.

I’ll explain exactly why this can cause big problems and cost them a lot more money than if they’d just completed that last 1 or 2 treatments and attained 100% recovery, but first let me tell my own story of making this same type of mistake.

I have a great example of my own experience with this when I was younger. I was in Mexico doing some work with local indigenous villages helping them build a school. I ate some local cuisine that I was assured was not washed with their water.  Read more

Ankle Sprains are Easy to Fix … watch this

Do you currently have a sprained ankle that keeps you from the activities you love?
Have you sprained your ankle in the past and it’s “never quite been the same?”
Does it annoy you that sprained ankles can limit your activities for weeks or months?
Guess what … it doesn’t have to be that way! Read more

I Have a Crick in My Neck … Can you Help with that?

I occasionally get the above question, and the short answer is, “Yes, of course.” What people call a “crick in the neck” can come from a few different things, but in my experience, the majority of these painful scenarios occurs when the tissue surrounding a neck joint (called the joint capsule) gets pinched inside the joint. This can happen during sudden head movements, while lifting objects, and also when you sleep with your neck in an awkward position. The joint capsules have a lot of nerve endings and are very sensitive. When this occurs, the reaction of the muscles in the neck is to tighten up and protect the area, which is why a “crick in the neck” almost always has muscle spasms associated with it. These spasms add to the painful, stiff, debilitating condition that, for some, will go away within a few days but for many others will leave some level of tightness and pain for months. This can ultimately turn into a chronically stiff and often painful neck. Read more

Fascial Changes as sources of Symptoms (Elsewhere in the body)

So now that we have a better idea of how fascial distortions can cause pain in the same area, I’d like to explore an example of how they can lead to pain elsewhere in the body. The patient I am about to describe is actually quite common, though I often see patients like him after unsuccessful visits to multiple practitioners. Why? Because the underlying cause of his pain was not in the area he was experiencing symptoms.

One year prior to meeting ‘Mr Smith,’ an avid runner, he had strained his right lower back lifting a heavy box. The discomfort from that injury faded over the next couple months, and since the symptoms were getting progressively better he decided he would not get checked out by a healthcare practitioner. Read more

Fascial changes as sources of symptoms (in the same area of the body)

My Fascia has a twist, tear, separation, adhesion, or some other sort of distortion from normal … why does that necessarily cause pain? Well, these things Don’t always cause pain. This post is not about the mechanisms of pain generation in the body, so I’ll keep this part brief and simplified, but pain is only experienced if signals from specific types of neurons/nerves are registered by the brain. There are many other details and factors involved in that process, but again, I’m not writing this to describe them. I’m writing to make the point that for a change in the myofascia to cause pain in the same area of the body that it exists, it must directly or indirectly result in these pain signals being sent to the brain.

So how does this happen? There are a number of examples, but for the sake of brevity I’ll just choose one for today … Read more

What is Fascia?

I’m starting my posts with a focus on Fascia because I believe it has so much more to do with musculoskeletal pain and injuries than most give it credit. Over time as I write about a variety of injuries and conditions, a common factor in these discussions will be the role Fascia plays, so it makes sense to give some good information about it up front. Read more