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Everything You Need to Know About Pain

AUTHOR: Dr. Nate Jones, PT

Although pain is a nearly universally shared experience, it is a highly misunderstood phenomenon. Developing an understanding of pain, where it comes from, and why you’re experiencing it can help improve the quality of life and literally decrease the amount of pain you feel. 

The first misunderstanding to clear up is the idea that pain is equivalent to tissue damage or injury. If you break your arm, you don’t feel pain in your arm. Pain, regardless of what kind of pain, is an emotion produced by your brain in response to what it believes to be a threat to the body based on all the information it has access to. Pain is a protective emotional response that evolved to make us deal with whatever our brain perceives the threat to be. 


This concept is likely easier to understand if we roll through the basics of how pain is produced. Let’s go back to the broken arm example. Say you fall down a flight of stairs, land on your...

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You Are Not Your MRI

Author: Written By: Kevin Smith, SPT

You Are Not Your MRI

This is a story we hear every day. This is more than likely exactly what you have been through a few times, and we are going to have a big surprise for you. Something that is eye opening and a little scary.

It’s human nature to want to find a problem and “have it fixed”. This is especially true when we are in pain. When we get injured or have pain, a little seed is planted in our brains. We become obsessed with the finding the problem. That’s where the MRI comes in. It shows us a clear image of what’s going on so we can fix it? RIGHT?
OR DOES IT?What if I told you there is very little association between your MRI picture and your diagnosis? That these pictures can lead to treating things that don’t exist especially in regards to pain. They can lead you down a path of spending hours or years of frustration, sunken medical costs with little to no results.
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4 Secrets to Improving Shoulder Mobility and Stability

Author: Maysa Hannawi

What is one of the most common complaints heard in a CrossFit gym? I tweaked my shoulder” “My shoulders feel tight” “I can’t go overhead today” “It hurts when I kip”

CrossFit is a sport known for its ability to make people push their limits and constantly challenge their perceptions of their own capabilities. In a sport where intensity is the name of the game, it is easy to forget that our bodies need to be taught how to handle the extreme stress we are constantly putting them under. From pull-ups to muscle ups, pushups to handstand push-ups and all the Olympics weightlifting in between, crossfitters are putting their shoulders under stress in various ways, at various angles, with varying loads…. and this is most likely occurring on a daily basis.

The main factors that lead to shoulder pain can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Shoulder weakness: which is can be described...
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GHD: The Most Ignored & Mistaken Piece of Equipment in the Gym

GHD: The Most Ignored & Mistaken Piece of Equipment in the Gym

Author: Dane Gifford


Most gyms have me, but not all gyms. I’m rarely used and more often misunderstood. I take up a bunch of floor space and my presence is often questioned. I’m essential but overlooked. My name is misleading but also very accurate. I can be intimidating but also very accomodating. My movements are simple but not easy. My methods are effective but not complex. If I were utilized regularly I would be very efficacious.

So what am I? I am the Glute Hamstring Developer or GHD.

It is true, we see them in almost every gym. We don’t, however, see many people utilizing them. When we do, it seems to be those that are already in the upper echelon of their fitness. The GHD is intimidating and it doesn’t really come with instructions. On the off chance that we have used the GHD, we are left sore for days and question if we ever want to use them again. I would say, YES, you...

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Blood Flow Restriction Training for Strength & Hypertrophy

Will Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training Increase Your Muscle Strength & Size?

Author: Dane Gifford


  • Your Muscles will get bigger using BFR than by just lifting weights.
  • You will develop strength using BFR just like you would lifting heavy weights
  • Growth Hormone will increase by 300% which will improve tendon health
  • Additionally, increased Growth Hormone will maximize your Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)


The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that you lift weight at moderate to high intensities, greater than 65% of your 1RM, in order to make significant gains in muscle strength and size (Donnelly 2009). Additionally you have to lift at these higher intensities 2-3 days each week, over a period of 8-16 weeks. This recommendation follows the “Overload Principle” which states that a significant load must be placed on the muscle in order to drive the desired adaptations in strength and hypertrophy according to the National...

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Blood Flow Restriction Training 101

Author: Dane Gifford


Everyone wants to accomplish more in less time. Everyone wants to maximize their efforts. This is especially true in the gym and with our health & fitness. But let’s be clear, there has never been a magic pill when it comes to your health… until now!

Personalized Blood Flow Restriction (PBFR) Training is the closest thing you will find to a magic pill.

PBFR, when used with specific protocols, can be utilized to increase muscle strength and size. PBFR is an effective therapy for those suffering from tendinopathies such as tennis or golf elbow, biceps tendinopathy, runner’s knee and plantar fasciitis. PBFR assists individuals looking to combat osteoporosis and promote bone health. PBFR decreases recovery time from surgery by limiting muscle atrophy (shrinking) while in the early stages of rehab. It can help eliminate pain during exercise as well. Furthermore, it can improve aerobic fitness by increasing VO2 Max or...

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8 Secrets About Low Back Pain

Author: Yves Gege

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Low Back Pain

First off, let’s get one thing straight. Your back is strong, resilient, and adaptable…NOT, weak and fragile!

1. Rounding your back is not inherently bad for you…

This one kills me. Why would we have the ability to bend over and flex your spine just to go through life not using this ability! I’m not saying you should lift a couch by yourself, round your back, and carry it into the truck but yes its ok to pick up that piece of paper with a rounded back. There are certain circumstances where rounding your back may be unsafe but as a whole, if you’re not lifting something heavy or repeating this motion 100s of times, over 1000s of days your back will be fine. A lot of times, avoiding these movement that can lead to injury and pain. Your spine has all that freedom to move for a reason…USE IT!

2. Core strengthening is not always the answer

You don’t have a weak...

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Physical Therapy for "Bad Knees"

Author: Yves Gege

“I have bad knees” is something we hear all the time.

It usually comes up during some sort of physical activity like hiking, running, or tennis or during something as simple as getting up off of floor or going down stairs. You tell yourself, and unfortunately you have been told, that because you have “bad knees” we shouldn’t do certain things.

You’ll see a doctor or health professional who tells you that because of your arthritis or tendinitis or chondromalacia (big word) that we should avoid certain activities. Unfortunately, or FORTUNATELY, the newest medical research is simply not backing these claims.

We’ve now seen multiple studies showing improved cartilage thickness with weighted squats, as well as in runners. Also increased ligament size within olympic lifters as well. Most rehabilitative research shows that movement and exercise produces the best results for long term function better than any other modality.


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3 Shoulder Exercises to Improve Your Mobility

Author: Peter Yu

Our shoulders are one of the most versatile and incredible joints in the human body. The shoulder is a “ball and socket joint” and allows for the most range of motion and mobility of any joint in the body. The shoulder requires that at least 12 muscles work together at any given time along with the scapula and humerus of the arm in order to allow for optimal shoulder motion and function. Because of the large range of motion our shoulders allow, it is often times not as stable as our other joints and can frequently become injured. Right now we are specifically looking at how we can improve our shoulder mobility and stability, in order to ensure optimal shoulder performance.

The Apley’s Scratch Test and the Seated Shoulder Flexion Test are two self examination screens you can perform on yourself to determine if you have adequate mobility at the shoulder.


TEST: Apley’s Scratch Test 
(Shoulder Internal External...

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Ankle Integrity: Building a Foundation from the Feet Up

Author: Peter Yu, SPT

When it comes to building any house it is essential to establish a stable and strong foundation. Similar to that, our ankles and feet are the foundations of our body when it comes to movement and motion. Because our feet are the first thing that comes in contact with the ground, proper motion at the ankle is essential in order to have the joints above, and ultimately the whole body, moving in an effective and efficient manner. Having a healthy ankle is crucial in allowing us to optimize our movements without any pain or discomfort! A “healthy” ankle is comprised of 3 major factors: mobility, balance, and strength. This article will provide you with ways to assess and improve your ankle performance. Start by taking the following tests.

TEST: Ankle Mobility 
(Half Kneeling Dorsiflexion Test)

To perform this test, kneel in front of a wall with about 4-5 inches of separation from your big toe to the wall. Then, push your knee...

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