Spoon, Fork, or Knife – What Treatment Is Better For Low Back Pain?

While treatment options are many, solutions are but few!

31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time!  Read that again.  10 percent of the population in the United States experiences low back pain every day!  Unfortunately, that number is also on the rise!

Low back pain is already the single leading cause of disability worldwide, and also one of the most common causes of missed work!  Shockingly, low back pain is the second most common reason for a visit to the doctor, just behind upper respiratory infection.

In the past few decades there have been significant improvements in technology and treatments aimed at eliminating low back pain.  So why does the low back pain epidemic continue to rise?  What is the solution moving forward?

A few years back, the New England Journal of Medicine posted an article on a comparison of physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and an educational booklet for the treatment of low back pain.  The results fueled a lively debate among providers in regards to effective treatment for low back pain.  Their conclusion found no difference in outcomes between low back pain patients being treated with chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy with McKenzie exercise, or the educational booklet!  Future studies have also found similar conclusions!

These results can be demoralizing to those seeking help from low back pain!

So what are we doing wrong?  It is highly likely we are not being specific enough with our diagnoses and treatment options!  In all these studies, low back pain was being treated as a single entity with only one cause.  In the aforementioned study, chiropractors diagnosed sprain or strain in half of the patients and facet syndrome in another 30 percent.  Physical therapists diagnosed a disc derangement 92 percent of the time.  Furthermore, these diagnoses are inconsistent with the expected percentages of each pathology.

What an incredible error!  While this seems simple, a treatment applied must match the accurate diagnosis for the patient!

Adhesion, disc injuries, stenosis, nerve entrapment, strains/sprains, tears – all of these things cause pain.  All of these items can be found in the low back.  However, each of these items require different treatment options.   All of these problems can be found at a chiropractic, physical therapy, or medical office.

While all of these problems can be found in the any of these clinics, most treatment is predetermined.  Chiropractors are going to adjust, PT’s are going to stretch and strengthen, and MD’s are going to prescribe pills or provide cortisone.  Treatment is applied, in most cases, without regard for the diagnosis.

If I were to ask you which is better – a knife, fork, or spoon – you may want to know what food you are eating.  By analogy, if I were to ask you which treatment is better for low back pain -chiropractic, physical therapy, or an educational booklet – would you answer the question before knowing what is actually wrong with the patient?

In order for the low back pain epidemic to go away, we have to have providers be more specific with their care!


At Thrive Spine and Sport, we pride ourselves on finding the right solution for you!  As the most advanced Integrative Diagnosis providers in the state of Iowa, we offer advanced diagnosis and treatment solutions.  Most patients have seen multiple providers before finding their real cause and solution for their pain.  Not everyone is right for our care, but patients leave our office knowing what is wrong and what needs to be done moving forward!

If you have been struggling with low back pain, we invite you to schedule a consult to meet with one of our highly trained doctors over your condition.  Call 319-423-0925 or click below!

Cedar Rapids Knee Pain Help


Unsurprising to some, knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain behind only low back pain!  100 Million Americans are currently suffering with knee pain, and 1/3rd of the population will have knee pain at some point in their life.  If you have sustained any type of knee injury, you are 25-50% more likely to have early osteoarthritis and a knee replacement. Clearly, knee pain is a very big deal!

The biggest problem facing Americans with knee pain is the lack of a solution to their problem!  Most treatment aims to reduce pain – which is what we all want! The problem is cortisone, pain killers, stretching, ice, heat, e-stim, kinisiotape – none of these offer functional solutions.  If you are out of pain but doing the things that created the While some of these treatments can provide relief, most only mask the problem, essentially kicking the can down the road. This is why we are seeing an increase in arthritis, degeneration, and knee replacements!  Most of which could have been prevented with the right kind of care!

With any quality treatment, the goal should be to restore function to a dysfunctional body part.  Your knee has a very fundamental range of motion. When limited or painful, this lack of function starts to break down the knee and start the degenerative processes. So what does normal range and function look like?  There is a very simple test you can try at home to find out how you rank, and your risk for future knee problems.

Start by standing upright.  Flex the leg, grab the ankle, and try to pull it to your butt.  Full range of motion is the heel in contact with the butt with the upper leg in alignment with the opposing leg.  If this is not possible, try bringing the heel to your butt, but allow the knee to travel forward. If you cannot do one or either test, you have a massive problem!

The most common reason this test is limited is due to muscle adhesion.  Adhesion is the most common cause of limited flexibility, weakness, and pain in the knee.  Fortunately, adhesion is very easy to fix by those trained to fix it!

The doctors at Thrive Spine and Sport are the two most advanced providers in the state of Iowa certified through Integrative Diagnosis for the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion!  If you think you have tried everything for your knee pain, or facing a knee replacement and need answers, let us help! Call our office today at 319-423-0925 or click here for an appointment!

Radical New Approach To Cedar Rapids Shoulder Pain Treatment

Shoulder Pain in Cedar Rapids Now Has An Answer!

“Rest, ice, pain pills.”

We have all heard these recommendations, some of them were probably prescribed to you by a healthcare provider.  It started to get better and you returned to activity only to find that you are now in worse pain. Stretching and rehab exercises are doing little to nothing.  Let’s be honest.  If you have tried this approach for your pain, and you are still suffering, it’s not going anywhere.

Over half of all injuries, are due to overuse.  Overuse injuries like tennis elbow, swimmers shoulder, runners knee, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints are not caused from one single incident.  Overuse injuries occur after repetitive use and trauma to any area of the body. Micro-trauma to tendons, ligaments, and bone eventually begin to add up and cause pain. Unfortunately, overuse injuries are often misdiagnosed and treated.

Many providers will prescribe the above; rest, ice, and possibly NSAIDs.  This may actually be the worst thing for you and your pain.  Tendinitis is often the diagnosis with overuse injuries.  The diagnosis of “tendinitis” means inflammation or irritation of a tendon.  The problem is those overuse injuries are not inflammatory.  They are degenerative.  Allow me to explain.

With any repeated or sustained movement, there is a decrease in blood supply and oxygen to the area.  When dealing with muscles, ligaments, and nerves, this decrease in oxygen leads to the formation of adhesion.  Adhesion acts like glue in the muscle to prevent proper movement and function.  This is very common, yet highly underdiagnosed.  In tendons, lack of oxygen leads to more degeneration.  Adhesion and degenerative tissues will gradually progress in nature leading to pain and weakness.  If left untreated, degenerative tissues could eventually tear and need surgical repair.

Although the research and understanding of overuse injuries are there, most traditional medical paradigms have not yet adapted.  These methods fail to recognize the pathology present.  So what are you supposed to do?

Treatment must focus on the breakdown of this adhesion while also increasing blood flow to the degenerated area for repair.  Exercises should be implemented only after the patient begins to respond to therapy.  Implementing exercise too soon may actually limit the response to care.  Proper treatment of overuse should aim to keep the patient as physically active as possible.  Only in cases where patients fail to respond to therapy should limitations be placed on patients.  This process may take several weeks to months but is ultimately the best plan when dealing with overuse injuries.

If you are reading this right now chances are you are suffering from shoulder pain, or know someone who is.  Impingement, rotator cuff tendinitis, and bursitis are common overuse injuries in the shoulder.  If you have tried traditional medical treatment, and have received little to no benefit, it is time for a new approach.

In our office, we routinely see and solve overuse injuries in the shoulder, even after traditional medical and physical therapy approaches have failed.  Our approach focuses on the elimination of adhesion and rehabilitation of degenerated tissues.  For more information about overuse injuries and shoulder pain treatment in Cedar Rapids, please call our office at 319-423-0925, or visit our website at www.thrivespineandsport.com.

The Death of KT Tape

The Death of KT Tape


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!

New Effective Sciatica Treatment in Cedar Rapids!

Sciatica is often used as a catch-all term by patients to refer to any pain they feel in their legs.  Millions of dollars are spent each year, with limited effectiveness.  This is understandable when we begin to take into consideration all the possible causes of symptoms and break down the traditional methods of diagnosis and treatment of this condition.


Radiating leg pain accounts for around 5-10% of all low back pain cases.  Disc related sciatica symptoms account for only 2.2% of cases.  Tight or overactive muscles are usually to blame in cases diagnosed with piriformis syndrome, and THIS is where the lack of effectiveness in the treatment of radiating leg pain essentially begins!  Whether conservative, or surgical, there is a LACK of diagnosing underlying conditions creating “tight” or overactive muscles!


Fortunately, new research being brought to light by researchers and doctors are shining a light on a new paradigm shift in the diagnosis and treatment of radiating pain down the leg.  Deep Gluteal Syndrome, or DGS, has the same pain characteristics as sciatica and piriformis syndrome, but the true cause of the problem has finally been found!  


For years, surgeons have noted and treated “fibrous scar bands” during procedures.  Sciatic nerve decompression is a surgery where fibrous scar bands, also known as adhesion, are removed around the sciatic nerve to alleviate pain.  


The problem is that surgery is no more beneficial than quality conservative care after 1 year!  Even with surgery, a small but significant group of patients fail to improve all together!  Collagen, the material that makes up adhesion, breaks down with as little as 6 pounds of tension.  The keyword is tension, and its specific application.  Compressive forces take much more pressure.  The good news is that Integrative Diagnosis providers have been effectively treating this problem, without surgery, for over a decade!


Adhesion, as it is frequently referred as, is a build up of collagen or fibrotic tissue that acts like glue on muscles and around nerves.  As adhesion builds, it limits flexibility of joints causing weakness and pain.  If adhesion builds up around nerves, like the sciatic nerve, it can create symptoms of tingling, burning, or numbness.  Sound familiar?


The good news is this problem is extremely common, one of the most common problems in the body, that also happens to be one of the most reversible conditions in the human body as well!  Adhesion develops most commonly through overuse, think repetitive motions like running, or prolonged positions like sitting on your butt all day.


Adhesion builds up most commonly around the sciatic nerve in the buttock. Limited movement accompanies this development often with increasing symptoms.  Normally, with hip flexion the sciatic nerve can stretch over 1 inch in the hip!  As adhesion develops, hip flexion becomes more limited, and more stress is placed not only in the hip, but the low back and knees as well!  This is a big deal for your overall health!


The concept of adhesion, or fibrous scar bands, playing a role in symptoms related to sciatic nerve mobility and entrapment represents a radical change and paradigm shift in the current diagnosis of and therapeutic approach to DGS.  Effective treatment aims to break down adhesion using tension.  No other method of treatment is as effective in treating this condition!  In fact, other methods of treatment, like stretching or exercise, could make the condition worse!


Manual Adhesion Release, MAR, is a technique used by certified Integrative Diagnosis providers.  This treatment creates enough tension on adhesion to effectively break it down over a series of visits. It is currently the only treatment that focuses on the diagnosis and breakdown of adhesion.  ID providers use specific tests to establish the diagnosis and measure progress from visit to visit.  


Previously, Deep Gluteal Syndrome was a complex issue difficult to overcome with traditional therapies and surgery.  With this new research, paradigm shift, and advances in effective treatment coming to fruition, finally patients can get the treatment needed for their desired outcome.

If you, or someone you know has been struggling to find relief from radiating pain going down the leg, the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport can help!  Currently, they are the 2 most experienced Integrative Diagnosis providers in the state of Iowa.  Call us today at 319-423-0925, or click here to schedule an appointment!

Cedar Rapids Tendonitis Solutions

Why isn’t your tendinitis getting better?  Because you don’t have tendinitis!


Before you run away, let me explain.  Tendinitis is an EXTREMELY common diagnosis.  The problem is that tendinitis is incredibly rare!  Unfortunately, tendinitis is one of the most overdiagnosed and misdiagnosed conditions in the body.  This means that the treatment you are receiving is not making you better – in fact, it could be making you worse!


Tendinosis, is most likely a term that you have never heard before.  It’s a term you will get to know if you continue to read, and may be the answer to your problem.  


Tendinosis was a term started way back in the 1940’s.  It is a term used to describe a non inflammatory tendon condition.  Tendinitis is a term used to describe an inflammatory tendon condition.  Tendinitis has been proven time and time again through research to be a misnomer for several reasons.  Since inflammation is the key pathological process involved with the term, while research continues to prove that there are very few inflammatory cells present in the condition, tendinosis, not tendinitis, should be the more popular term and is the CORRECT diagnosis!


Now some of you may be sitting there asking what’s the big deal over a simple name change.  The DIAGNOSIS has a significant impact on how the condition is treated.  Tendinitis is treated often with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories like NSAIDs and cortisone injections.  Treatment of tendinosis is focused around manual therapy to eliminate degenerated tissue, eccentric exercise, and load management.  


Getting the right diagnosis from the start is a VERY BIG DEAL!  Mistreatment of either condition means, you get worse, not better.  Unsurprisingly, research has also shown that those treating tendinitis with NSAIDS and cortisone injections are actually worse off after a year than those who did not!  Why is that?


NSAIDS and cortisone are used to treat inflammation.  Most cases of “tendinitis” as we discussed, aren’t inflammatory!  These types of drugs accelerate degeneration and weaken tendons.  These are horrible options if you have been misdiagnosed.


Fortunately, better options are available for the proper diagnosis and treatment of tendinosis.  At Thrive Spine and Sport in Cedar Rapids, our office specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of overuse injuries like tendinitis and tendinosis.  We see patients daily who have failed to fix this issue with multiple providers and treatments.  If you have been experiencing pain in the shoulder, elbow, under the glutes, knee, or ankle, have been diagnosed with tendinitis, and aren’t getting better, call our office today at 319-423-0925, or schedule an appointment by clicking here.

We do hope that you have found this article to be beneficial, please share with those in need!

Cedar Rapids Low Back Pain Assessment And Solution

Low back pain will affect 4 out 5 people at some point in their life.  That is a VERY BIG DEAL!

Adhesion is the most common, most misdiagnosed, and mistreated condition in the human body.  Adhesion, when present, will cause limited range of motion, decreased flexibility, pain, and speed up degeneration of the body!  Adhesion builds up from repetitive motion (like running/exercise), prolonged position (like sitting at a desk), or trauma (think car accident).  If left untreated, this condition can lead to disc injuries, muscle tears, and early onset arthritis.  Adhesion, is also, a VERY BIG DEAL and must be treated by an expert!

So how can you tell if you have adhesion?  Fortunately, there are some simple tests that you can try at home that can help you identify adhesion as a problem. Recently, we made a video using some of the same tests we use in our office to identify adhesion.  Simply click below, try the test, and see how you do!

Did the tests go well for you?  If so, try this simple exercise below that can help significantly strengthen your hamstrings and reduce stress and strain in your low back.  If after 2 weeks, you passed the tests but the exercise is not helping, call our office for help.  Adhesion may not be your problem but we can help to identify the problem and get you to where you need to be!



The doctors at Thrive Spine and Sport are experts at finding and fixing adhesion!  Currently, they are 2 of only 4 providers in the state of Iowa certified through Integrative Diagnosis – the most advanced conservative health care system – for the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion.  If you or someone you know is suffering with constant neck and upper back pain, call our office today at 319-423-0925 or schedule an appointment by clicking here.

We do hope you found this article beneficial!  If you did, please remember to like, share, or tag your friends so they can also get the help they need! Our aim is to provide Cedar Rapids and the surrounding community with the very best in health care, news, and information!

Thanks for reading!

Cedar Rapids IA Sports Chiropractor Discusses Muscle Adhesion

Cedar Rapids IA Sports Chiropractor Discusses Muscle Adhesion

Muscle Adhesion is one of the most common, most misdiagnosed, and mistreated conditions in the human body.  Fortunately, with expert treatment, adhesion can be reduced and eliminated, leaving you pain free!

Watch this short clip to find out more about muscle adhesion, how you get it, and how it can be fixed.

Think this could be you?  Call our office at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment below!

Thanks for watching!

Cedar Rapids Chiropractor Provides Neck Pain Treatment

Cedar Rapids Chiropractor Provides Neck Pain Treatment

Take a look at this 4 minute video that shows a typical visit at Thrive Spine and Sport.  Upper cervical flexion is vital to a healthy neck!  You must have 40 degrees of motion through the upper cervical spine.

Our patient for today, was found to have adhesion in the muscles of her neck and started with 30 degrees of upper cervical flexion and ended with 36 degrees of motion.  That is a 20% improvement in function in just under 2 total minutes of treatment!  Removing adhesion in the muscles at the base of the skull provides sustained benefit and neck pain relief.  Adhesion is the most common, most misdiagnosed, yet easily reversible condition in the human body!

Watch this short video over our neck pain treatment.  If you or someone you know is struggling to find relief from neck pain, we encourage you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or check out our website at www.thrivespineandsport.com.  Many of the patients at our office have tried numerous providers before finding relief in our office.  Our doctors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion using the Integrative Diagnosis and treatment system, the most advanced conservative health care system in the world!

Text Neck – What Is It, How Do You Get It, and How to Find Relief

The frequent use of smartphones, tablets and laptops have become a part of everyday life. Constant use can cause serious spinal health problems if used incorrectly and unfortunately, they are almost always used incorrectly. Forward head posture, and looking down with neck bent forward, leads to the phenomenon known as ‘text neck’. With most people who already suffer from upper back and neck injuries, constant use of technology can quickly become an obstacle to recovery.

Latest studies show 63% of American Adults own a smartphone, 73% of American teens own a smartphone, and 24% of those teens go online almost constantly. Teens are shown to spend on average approximately 5000 hours on their smartphone per year, and about 1400 hours per year by adults. So what do these numbers have to do with your neck?

Incorrect use of these types of technology puts your body in a constant “humpbacked” posture with the neck bent forward and head looking down.This requires the neck to work extremely hard to adapt to the constant weight loading when flexed forward. The heavy weight of your head leaning forward creates massive amount of stress on the neck and upper back. In fact, approximately every 15 degrees of neck flexion adds an extra 10-12 lbs of stress to the spine. This continued stress on the neck is what leads to the condition ‘text neck’.

Symptoms produced by ‘text neck’ and overuse of handheld technology include the following:

– neck and shoulder pain

– chronic headaches

– shortness of breath

– numbness in the arms

– neurological issues


  1. Make an effort to stay in a neutral position so that your ears are aligned with your shoulders.
  2. Simply hold your phone in front of your face while keeping your back straight rather than looking down at it.
  3. If you look down at your device do it with your eyes. No need to bend your neck.
  4. Avoid spending hours each day hunched over and remember to take frequent breaks.



  1. Move your head from left to right several times – incorporate both rotation and side bending.
  2. Use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward and then backward.
  3. Stand in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to strengthen the muscles of good posture.


If you find yourself using these exercises for two weeks or more and have gotten little to no change in your pain or discomfort, you should seek further help from an expert.  Lingering symptoms will require treatment in most cases.  Adhesion is the most common result of text neck, which is a result of overuse and prolonged position.

At Thrive Spine and Sport, we are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of adhesion!  If you, or someone you know, find yourself in a continuous need to stretch, feeling “tight,”or struggling to get out of pain, you deserve a solution to your problem!  Call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment below!

Appointment Request