5 Of The Most Useless Rehab Methods

Let’s face it.  Being injured sucks.  It’s no fun, and most of the time it stops you from doing the activities you love to do.  Some try to fix themselves, while others seek the help of experts to get them out of pain.  Far too many are left in pain with no answers on what’s wrong and how to fix them.

Unfortunately, there is a ton of misinformation in health care.  Fads in healthcare peak fast and shortly fall off the cliff when everyone realizes it doesn’t work.  Even worse, long standard rehab methods that are still being used, despite a wealth of information proving them insufficient!

Here are 5 of the most widely used and abused ineffective treatment methods, and what you should be doing instead.

5.  ICE

Despite what you hear, inflammation produced after an injury is a good thing.  We are far too concerned about reducing inflammation, when in reality we should be appreciating the fact the body is trying to heal itself and just let it happen!  Even Gabe Mirkin, the man who created the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), warns about the use of ice!

Ice does help for pain, but it will also reduce blood flow.  Blood flow is necessary for healing as it brings in nutrients and materials for repairing the injured area.  Inflammation increases blood flow to stimulate repair.  Trust me your body will do a fantastic job to make sure the inflammation doesn’t get out of hand.

Fix:  Stop icing and let the injury heal!  If you are in unbearable pain, then using ice will be fine.  Just make sure to use it until the area goes numb, then remove it.

4.  REST

This ties into the first useless rehab method, but rest rarely helps.  Of course, if you hurt yourself bench pressing, you shouldn’t go right back to benching, but those who get injured most often stop activity all together.  When muscles do nothing for extended periods of time, they get weaker, and create more pain when returning to activity.

Fix:  Keep active. Continue to use the injured area in pain free, ranges of motion.  Depending on the severity of the injury use lighter weights.  Training other non-injured muscles have also shown to increase the recovery process.


Cortisone is the most misused and abused treatment, behind only NSAIDS.  Again, this ties back to the first section on ice.  Inflammation isn’t a bad thing.  It’s a sign that something is wrong!  You need to figure out what that is.

Most often inflammation is produced from overuse – either the body is doing more than what it can handle or your movement is limited.  Limited motion is the most common cause of pain and inflammation in the body.

Cortisone was heralded as a miracle drug back in the 40’s.  Now we know its crap! If you’re lucky cortisone relieves pain in the short term.  In the long term, it degenerates muscles and tendons and leaves you more prone for injury.  Long term studies actually show that those who have used cortisone injections for treatment are WORSE off after a year than those who actually did NOTHING for pain.

Fix:  Stop using pain meds and cortisone injections, unless you are in unbearable pain.  Seek the help of a musculoskeletal expert to find out what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix you!



Watching just about any sporting event on TV you will find at least one athlete wearing some brightly colored tape on some part of their body.  The sad thing is, is if you actually look at some of the research on these tape company’s websites, you will find that they actually link studies that prove their product doesn’t work!  Unbelievable!

If you remember in 2008, Olympian sprinter Manteo Mitchell broke his leg while running his leg of the 4 x 400 meter relay.  Why is that significant?  The leg he broke was the one wearing kinesiotape!

Now I get if you are running in the Olympics and are injured, by all means do what you need to do to compete.  Chances are you are not running in the Olympics anytime soon.  What kinesiotape does is override your body to feel pain.  This is why it has become so popular, but it does nothing to actually fix anything that’s physically wrong!

Fix:  Save yourself some money and stop buying tape.  If a provider you have been seeing is using the tape as treatment – you need to find a better provider!  Find someone that can figure out what is wrong with you and what you need to do to get out of pain


If you really think about it, static stretching is one of the most barbaric things you can do to yourself.  Take something that doesn’t want to move into that position, and hold it there for an extended period of time trying to force it even further into another position.

Study after study now shows that stretching is potentially harmful.  It will loosen up muscles in the short term, and even reduce some pain, but also decreases force production and moves your body into positions it doesn’t want to be in, opening it up for more potential injury.

Your body is very smart.  It will move as far as it needs to when healthy.  If you are tight or not flexible there is a reason why. Adhesion is the most common cause of limited mobility and pain in the body.  Unfortunately, it is also the most misdiagnosed and mistreated conditions, as well.  Fortunately, it is easily reversible by someone who knows how to identify and fix it!

Fix:  If you constantly find you are weak and tight, find an Integrative Diagnosis provider.  They are certified to find and fix adhesion.  This gets you back to moving properly and out of pain faster than anything else out there.  To find a provider, click here.

After fixing adhesion, dynamic stretching, moving while stretching, will keep your body moving properly and stay healthier longer!


If you live in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area and find yourself using one or more of these methods to get out of pain, you deserve better answers and solutions to your problem!  We are the only full body certified Integrative Diagnosis providers in the state!  Call us today at 319-423-0925 or fill out an appointment request on this page.

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?


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!

2 Reasons Why You Have Shin Splints And How To Fix Them

Whether you are an avid runner and athlete or just a beginner, you know of shin splints.  Some reports show up to 35 percent of runners and athletes will experience shin splints with females being more prone to the condition.  Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), develops from overuse – and often times preventable and easily reversible condition.

While there are varying degrees and severity of shin splints, most cases will require care to fix and prevent them.  But what if we could predict who is more likely to get shin splints and from that knowledge create a plan to reduce the likelihood of shin splints?  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Whether you currently suffer from shin splints or want to make sure you prevent them during this summer you need to make sure your ankles are both flexible, strong, and you are managing your load well.

As we just mentioned, if you are going to be running you need proper ankle mobility.  Ankle dorsiflexion is the most important movement in the ankle and one of the most important movements of the body.  It is vital to walking and running!  This must be healthy!

A simple at-home assessment for dorsiflexion is to start by standing by a wall arms length away.  Place a ruler extending from the wall on the floor. Extend the arms to the wall for support.  Move one leg ahead of the other placing the toes against the wall and the big toe along the ruler.  Keeping the heel on the floor move your knee to the wall.  Continue to slide the foot back until you can no longer keep the heel on the ground while touching your knee to the wall.  Measure that distance.  A normal test falls between 5-6”.  Anything short of this leaves you more prone to shin splints and injury.

Clean Ankle Dorsiflexion
Clean Ankle Dorsiflexion
Failed Dorsiflexion Test - Heel Elevated
Failed Dorsiflexion Test – Heel Elevated


A second test is much more simple.  Kneel on the floor without shoes on.  Sit on your heels.  Your butt should be touching the back of the heels equally between both sides, and the shin should be flat on the floor.  If the butt does not touch your heels, or the shin is not flat on the ground the test is positive.  You are much more likely to develop shin splints as a result of this limitation.

To start improving these motions try simple mobility drills of foam rolling the back of the calf and front of the shin. Do this a couple times a day with 20-40 passes on the shin and posterior calf.  If after 2 weeks no improvement or changes are seen, seek the help of a soft tissue expert who specializes in sport injury.  The most common reason these tests are restricted is due to adhesion present in the muscles of the lower limb and foot.  Adhesion is the most common, most under diagnosed, and most easily reversible condition in the human body that causes limited range of motion and pain.  Adhesion requires treatment.

These limitations must be fixed to ensure healthy running!

If you are already struggling with shin splints the time for treatment is now.  You already have a problem and you need to find out what you need to do to fix it.  If you are in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area we invite you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment on our website at www.thrivespineandsport.com.  We are certified through the Integrative Diagnosis system for the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion, one of the most common causes of shin splints.  If you are not in the are check out this link and hopefully an elite provider is near you – Find Provider.

If you know someone who may benefit from this article please share it with them!  Make sure to check out Part 2 that will discuss some easy strength and load management help.

Thanks for reading!