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shoulder pain

Ep 331 – Mash Roll & Move.

MASH Roll and MOVE! 

This technique can be used for most areas of the body.  It is a lot more effective when you add MOVEMENT to your already existing mobility exercises.  Yes, it is more advanced but if you can do it then why not?  First, start by warming up the muscle and foam rolling.  Now, you can do this in any manner that you have in the past but the issue is that most people do not try new things!  So after you do your “normal” stuff, then try to mash and mobilize the muscles by using different directions.  Using different directions and rolling side to side allows you get fibers and areas of the muscle you may have missed.

Okay, so now you are really warmed up. Let’s add movement!  Start by mashing and then taking the joint and muscle through a full range of motion.  Yes, it will be a little harder and possibly more tender but you can most definitely (and I recommend this) lighten up on how hard you mash.  Remember, this is a technique that can be applied to other areas of the body.  Doing this technique can help elongate the fibers, reduce risk of injury, promote healing, blood flow, and reduce scar tissue formation.  All of this can help improve how you move and thus reduce pain!

307 – Release Your Shoulder, Chest, Spine With One Move

306 – Shoes Are Bad For You & Cause Whole Body Dysfunction!

Ep 299 – What Does Pain Mean?

What Does Pain Mean?

Pain comes in all forms.  From burning your hand on a hot stove to neck, low back, hip shoulder, etc.  but WHAT IS PAIN?

Pain is a neurological signal sent to the body from the brain!  It is a way of brain communicating that there is damage, injury, or an unpleasant stimuli that can hurt you or create further injury to the body.

If you are currently in pain and been suffering for a while with pain, this is a signal that you MUST change and do something different.  It is a way if your body crying for help and that something is wrong.  If something is crying for help and is wrong well… you guessed it, it needs to be saved and you need to do something!

When you are in pain, you cannot thrive and truly be well.  When in pain and chronic pain you body then sends signals that increase inflammation, and they also release stress hormones all the time.  I encourage you that if you are still reading on and are in pain MAKE THAT CHANGE!  Go see a professional that can help, stop guessing, being stubborn, and start feeling and more importantly LIVING WELL.  You will thank me but more importantly, you will thank yourself.

Ep 294 – Improve Foot Health & Balance With Foam Roller

Improving Foot Health and Balance

With todays modern shoe we often compress and squeeze our feet in there everyday.  Not to mention tight and restricted athletic gear, the lack of barefoot walking, we now have a setup for disaster when it comes to foot health.

The feet are so important because they are literally the first thing that communicates the body with the environment and vice versa.  This communication from the ground up sends feedback to where the body is in space and therefore it influences our body position from that point.  That is why a lot of knee pain, hip pain, and initial phases of compensation (back pain) can be related to poor foot strength.

The more we compress our feet, the more weak and de-conditioned we become.  The more this happens, the greater the risk for injury somewhere throughout the body becomes.  In addition, this can lead to poor balance and coordination.

As we age (and after injury) we tend to lose our coordination and balance.  It is very important that you begin to maintain it from the beginning and that anyone suffering from foot pain and/or an ankle sprain properly rehabilitate the foot so that they can get back health without it causing any further dysfunction along the kinetic chain.

In this episode, rather than rolling out the bottoms of the feet to help foot pain, I show you how to focus on strengthening the foot by literally standing on an uneven surface (unsteady) such as this foam roller.  Standing on the foam roller not only requires great balance but is good for the foot, ankle, and to improve leg strength.  As you continue to complete this balance exercise you will notice that the foot will begin to become fatigued and you will likely lose your balance more often.  At that point you will notice the foot, ankle, and balance connection.  Do this exercise until you foot fatigues and you begin to lose balance but remember, be safe and get off early to avoid injury or falling.



Ep 288 – How Training Injured Helped My BJJ Game (Jiu-Jitsu)


How Rolling/Training Jiu-Jitsu Injured Helped My Game

In Jiu-Jitsu and many athletic sports its not if you get injured but when.  Many of the athletes that I see range from active hobbiest to elite olympic level athletes and they both have the same thing in common… that is that they do not want to stop playing or competing in their activity.

Recently I suffered an injury to my hand and finger so when it comes to grabbing anything in the Gi, well, no deal.  So just like many other people, you have to improvise and accommodate to your situation rather than completely stop.

If you are reading this, then I am sure that you likely refuse to quit your sport or activity as well and I am here as athlete and professional to tell you that you DO NOT HAVE TO and you likely should not.

What you should do is modify you activity and activity intensity.  In jiu-jitsu, you may have to do that as well as the techniques.  In my case, I was able to develop better back takes (and I got my guard passed/turtle a lot), and predict movements over and over because I was getting in the same position over and over due to the injury and inability to attack/defend certain position.

Anyway, if you are suffering pain and an injury you should do a few things.  One, take care of it and go so a professional.  The faster you do, the more at ease you will be with it and you will likely have a plan to get better faster!  Second, modify your technique and activity rather if you need to so you can stay healthy and active while still building skills and treating the injury properly.

Ep 287 – Why an MRI & X-Ray May Not Help You (What They Don’t Tell You)

Ep 284 – Improve Shoulder Stability With Side Plank (3 Variations)

Side Plank for Shoulder Stability 

If you just suffered shoulder pain and injury then chances are you are having what we call instability to that joint.  First, instability is a term that means too much movement.  Now, the shoulder in general moves a lot but after an injury it can move more.  A common instability injury in the shoulder is a dislocation.

When training the shoulder and since it moves so dynamically, you also want to focus on shoulder stability exercises.  The shoulder plank (side plank) is not only a great core workout but it can help shoulder strength.  There are three ways you can do this as seen in the video but when doing this make sure you contract you scapular stabilizing muscles (shoulder blade muscles) to keep your shoulder joint in an optimal position.  This will help reinforce the correct joint position.

To complete this exercise do it for time (seconds) and progress to minutes if you can.  Repeat a few times until you start to really feel the muscles fatigue.  This will help shoulder pain and hopefully prevent future injuries to come as well as strength the hand, wrist, elbow, upper back, and core/lower back!

Ep 282 – What To Do When Your Injury Is Not Healing?

What to Do When Your Injury Is Not Healing?

Oh Do I get this question a lot. First, if you are injured or in pain you are already too late.  Pain and discomfort is a symptom of a problem that has been there and is often the very last sign.  Its like your body has been in dysfunction for a while but now your body is crying for help (aka Pain).

If your injury is not healing there are a few steps your need to do.

  1.  Seek a professional to help you with the treatment.  There is a lot of research that shows the faster you seek care the better the outcomes.  You do not want this injury to go chronic as it will lead to a longer treatment time, possible further complications and compensation of the body.
  2. If it is not healing fast enough you need to do something different.  For example if you are stretching a lot, you also need to strengthen and vice versa.  Have you given your injury the amount of a time and have you actually dedicated the time to exercise/rehab it?
  3. Is what you are doing helping it?  If you are not doing the correct exercise and/or getting the results you want chances are it is not helping.  Switch it up!
  4. Nutrition is the foundation for all our cells.  Promoting better health by actually eating foods and an anti-inflammatory diet can and will help your body heal faster.


Ep 278 – Shoulder Pain Mash & Movement (Deltoid)

Deltoid Mash for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is something I pretty much see everyday! TRUE shoulder pain can stem from the rotator cuff due to poor mechanics.  As a result, the rotator cuff works too hard and boom, now you have a rotator cuff injury.

In order to get to the deeper structures within the shoulder you often have to get through the deltoid muscle.  This muscle is composed of front, back, and middle fibers and is essentially a flap of muscle the overlaps the entire shoulder.  Learning how to release this muscle can allow you to gain access (easier access) to the rotator cuff injury.  My advice, make sure you do this release first before you attempt other areas in the shoulder as it will loosen things up and make it much more effective.

Ep 276 – When Should You Get An MRI?

Should You Get An MRI for Your Pain?

Most medical providers overuse the MRI technology.  Now before you or I jump to conclusions, I will say  that MRI and diagnostic imaging is important, there are times that it should be used, and you can get a lot of information from these images.

That being said, when you get injured the standard of care should be (and is) that you seek care first.  Essentially, you don’t just jump right into imaging an area.  First of all, its expensive.  Not only do you have to cover the costs of the imaging but the healthcare system has to cover the costs as well.  Seeking care and treatment first can often heal your pain, problem, and dysfunction.  As a result, if you “Fix” your problem then you not are only feeling better but you avoid excessive, unnecessary, and expensive procedures.

Realistically, you should wait and have had professional care for at least 4-8 weeks.  If after that time, then you should consider (notice I said consider) the possibility of the testing.  Symptoms or red flags such as worsening pain, increasing problems, traumas, progressive neurological changes should likely achieve or warrant such examination.

The truth is that many if not most people will get better and heal within time and with professional care.  That is the truth and stick with it!

Ep 274 – How To Self Treat a Muscle Spasm (Pain)

Self Treatment of a Muscle Spasm

At some point or another everyone gets a muscle spasm.  Muscle spasms can be caused by a few things such as electrolyte imbalances, trauma to the body, and/or over use or fatigue to the body.

Why Do We Get a  Muscle Spasm?

Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of the muscle itself and they tend to to be a type of protective mechanism for the body that is initiated by the physiology of the body and nervous system.  This is a way for the body to protect the joint and surrounding areas.  For example, in the mid back you may get a muscle spasm if your turn the wrong way.  A spasm causes pain which prevents you from going any further so that you don’t risk further injury to that area.  Another example is a runner or the calf muscle that spasms due to fatigue.

How to relieve it?

Relief of the muscle spasms as always depends on the cause of it in the first place.  If it is pain based, you are going to need to do a few things.

  1. Time – after an injury and to let the body recover from the injury, you definitely need to give it just that.
  2. Stretching may not help much – If you stretch at all, which I don’t recommend much make sure it is gentle.  Keep in mind I said GENTLE! Less is truly more and if you do too much thinking you can trick the body, you can increase the pain and/or damage.
  3. Movement – Rather than stretching or even over stretching just start to gently move the body within a comfortable range of motion!
  4. Heat – this modality tends to help bring blood flow and sooth the muscle.
  5. Mild Contraction- Give the body some gentle contraction
  6. Light stroking – instead of deep foam rolling or deep tissue, start working the muscle with light touch and moving around the area.
  7. Water and electrolytes- simple as that make sure you get some!

Ep 249 – Shoulder and Bicep Relief

Ep 230 – Exercise for Rotator Cuff Tear and Shoulder Pain

Ep 223 – Drill to Prevent Shoulder Pain

Increase Your Chest Strength

Check out this demo on how to get a stronger chest using semi-advanced push-up variations.

Push-up Fundamentals – Part 1

Want to look lean, get fit, and have perfect push-ups?  Here is a clip on how to get started.

Shoulder Pain – Is it Frozen?

Finding it difficult to reach in your back pocket for your wallet due to shoulder tightness and pain?  How about reaching overhead? If so, you may be experiencing a condition called adhesive capsulitis, otherwise known as frozen shoulder.
This common condition is often found in diabetics and those with cardiovascular diseases but it can happen to you. Most people mistake this as a torn shoulder or rotator cuff injury when in fact it is not!

What is it?

Adhesive capsulitis is typically a reversible condition that most individuals give up on.  Yes, you heard it right, it is reversible!  It is when the shoulder is begins to demonstrates a gross loss in range of motion.   Pain and loss of motion is initiated by inflammation, which is followed by laying down of scar tissue.  The shoulder region typically exhibits gradual loss of motion and those affected by this condition tend to state that they have “inability to put their wallet in their back pocket.”

What affects the healing process?

The duration (how long) in which the patient has had the condition, temperature of environment, rehabilitation, types of treatment all have an effect on how fast the healing process occurs.  Patients who have diabetes, hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular disorders, and post trauma to the region are typically at a greater risk for this condition.

The Problem?

Most individuals begin to slowly lose range of motion within the shoulder, which then is followed by pain. Due to the fact that happens slowly, most people don’t seek treatment until its too late and are already suffering from pain and a significant loss of shoulder motion.

But What About Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is fantastic for a frozen shoulder!  I show all my patient’s exercises and I do recommend them to seek therapy to strengthen there shoulder and promote mobility.  Patients who seek physical therapy need to have muscle work to the capsule of the shoulder joint.  Not addressing the “frozen” capsule can and will eventually leads to stagnation and a plateau in your care.

The Road to Recovery

Since this is usually a long-standing injury and mostly chronic in nature, most patients find that heat helps them.  However long you have had this condition for, there is typically a longer than usual healing time that can frustrate many.  Having seen this injury many times, typical treatment times can range from about 3 months to 9 months.  Of course this depends on many factors but having the individual engage in vigorous therapy, being willing to endure some flare-ups, as well as some stagnation, it is a journey of care.  Most people can recover very well if they follow care and stick to it!


Many each year seek surgery to alleviate the scar tissue and restore motion.  This typically does not work as the surgery itself produces scar tissue and does not actually free up the capsule. To date, I have not seen a successful surgical treatment that is comparable to conservative care.  Additionally, the cost of surgery is higher and requires some time off of use.

In terms of sports medicine and Chiropractic treatment, this is not a nice relaxing massage!  Rather, it is a series of extensive mobilizations, adjustments, stretching, rehabilitation and soft tissue procedures that are geared to restoring the shoulder to full range of motion while breaking down the scar tissue.