Rehab & Pain/Injury Recovery

Why does my neck hurt

Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Why Does My Neck Hurt?

Your neck has a tough job. It has to hold, stabilize, and move the weight of your head every day for a lifetime. Holding up 11 pounds may not seem like a lot, but the seven bones and 20 muscles of your neck need to work together in perfect harmony for you to move your head around and keep that weight balanced. Postural changes, sudden injuries, and arthritis are a few of the primary causes of neck pain. Pain can often be traced to a problem with either the muscles, bones, discs, or nerves in your neck.

Why it Matters:

If you’ve ever been unable to turn your head for a day or two, you know how debilitating and life-changing neck pain can be. The sharp muscle spasms that restrict your ability to move can happen when your body tries to protect a spinal joint that isn’t moving correctly. Almost every bone in your neck has a pair of sliding joints towards the back called facet joints. If an adhesion forms or the joint is stuck, your body will try to compensate or work around the issue for a little while. But, over time, this compensation can cause a cascade of additional challenges.

  • Sudden injuries, arthritis, and postural issues can all contribute to neck pain

  • The small sliding joints (facet joints) of your neck can become stuck and cause muscles spasms and pain

  • Gentle spinal adjustments combined with daily stretching can help restore the motion of your facet joints and reduce pain

Pain in your neck is your body’s way of saying “pain attention”! Even if it eases up by the end of the day, it’s a smart idea to have us evaluate your motion. Movement assessments are a part of our examination and provide us with an incredible amount of information about your body. By taking a proactive approach to your health today, you may be able to prevent future episodes of neck pain and stiffness in the future.

Stenosis: How a Pinch in Your Neck Can Affect Your Whole Body

Have you been told that you have spinal stenosis? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people suffer from spinal stenosis each day, and it’s the number one reason people over 65 years old have spine surgery. Spinal stenosis is the compression, or pinching, of your spinal cord. It can occur due to a disc herniation, bone spur, or ligament overgrowth. But, drugs and surgery are not the only way to find relief.

Why it Matters:

For many people, the most significant challenge associated with spinal stenosis is the decreased ability to get up and move! Severe pinching in your neck can cause issues with your arms and legs. One of the best ways to relieve the symptoms associated with spinal stenosis is to open up the spinal canal and take the pressure off the nerves and spinal cord. Many chiropractic techniques focus on decreasing the pressure on your spinal cord, relieving the symptoms associated with spinal stenosis.

  • Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine

  • Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by degenerative changes in the spine related to osteoarthritis

  • Relief can often be found by building up your strength while improving the flexibility and stability of your spine with chiropractic care

After chiropractic care, many patients report having a decrease in their symptoms, the ability to walk further without pain and find an improvement in their overall quality of life. If you have been slowed down due to spinal stenosis, do not hesitate to schedule an evaluation with us. We will provide a complete evaluation and guide you towards the best treatment options to find relief.

Is My Arm Pain Coming from My Neck?

Pain in your hand, wrist, or arm can be frustrating. You don’t realize how much you use your arms and hands until pain, numbness, or tingling gets in the way. Most of us don’t usually think that an issue in our neck may cause our arm pain. But it’s very common that arm pain can be traced back to a nerve issue in your neck.

Why it Matters:

Hand, wrist, and arm pain often starts with a neck problem. When a spinal disc in your neck irritates or presses on a nerve, it can result in arm pain. Just like the power lines that bring electricity to your house, your brain and spinal cord split into individual nerve roots that deliver information to every part of your body. The nerves in your neck are specifically focused on providing strength and sensation to your head and arms.

  • A bulged or herniated disc in your neck can irritate or compress the nerves that travel to your hands, arms, and shoulders

  • A recent study of people with cervical (neck) disc herniation showed improvement in over 86% of people who received chiropractic adjustments

  • Improving spinal mobility, decreasing inflammation, and improving your posture may help prevent future episodes of neck and arm pain

A painful arm as a result of a pinched nerve in your neck very rarely requires surgery. Most people can find long-term relief with conservative care, such as chiropractic. Getting rid of the inflammation and giving the disc time to heal are part of a complete plan we use each day to help our patients reduce their symptoms and get their lives back.

Neck Pain: How To Find Relief

An episode of neck pain can quickly hamper your everyday activities. Whether you began experiencing pain due to injury, degenerative spinal changes, or poor posture, it can be difficult to think about anything except the pain when you’re struggling. It’s estimated that 70% of people experience neck pain in their life, but you should know there is a path towards relief.

Why it Matters:

Neck pain can create everything from headaches to pain in your arms and hands to pain directly on your neck. Different types of pain indicate different issues. The most common reasons for neck pain are strained muscles and stuck spinal joints. Each of these challenges can cause a lot of pain and may have you fearing that you have a more significant issue. But, with a proper examination, our team can pinpoint the cause of your pain and provide a complete plan of care to help you reclaim your life from neck pain.

  • Facet joints are small spinal joints at the back of your spine which can become fixated or stuck and cause pain

  • Muscle strains can occur due to poor posture at your desk or sleeping in an awkward position

  • Motion heals: relief typically begins by reducing the inflammation and improving your range of motion

A small adjustment can make big changes in your quality of life. Our practice is focused on helping you
feel (and function) better by improving your spinal motion and then providing you with the stretches and exercises you can do at home to continue your improvement. If neck pain has got in the way of you enjoying your life- give us a call. Our team is here to help.




Science Source:

Intervertebral Kinematics of the Cervical Spine Before, During, and After High-Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation.The Spine Journal. 2018

Spinal Stenosis. The Mayo Clinic. 2020

Symptomatic, Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Confirmed Cervical Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative-Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated With Either Imaging-Guided Indirect Cervical Nerve Root Injections or Spinal Manipulative Therapy.
JMPT 2016

Spinal manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2012

car accidents

Car Accidents: Everything You Need to Know

Car Accidents: Everything You Need to Know

Whiplash: The Symptoms You Need to Know

Whiplash is an injury that occurs when your body is suddenly forced backward and forward. It’s the most common injury that happens during an automobile accident, and it’s one of the leading causes of chronic neck and back pain. While a little fender bender may not seem like a big deal, new research has shown that even small accidents can result in significant injuries.

The violent forces that occur during an auto accident can cause damage to your spinal discs, ligaments, tendons, and bones-even at “low” speeds. Most of these injuries happen because your head is whipped backward and forward very quickly. This rapid back and forth motion frequently results in ligament tearing and spinal disc injuries. Symptoms such as neck pain, back pain, headaches, confusion, and even depression indicate that you’ve suffered a whiplash injury. Because of a spike in adrenaline at the time of the accident, you may not immediately notice any immediate pain. For many people, these symptoms may take hours or even a few days to develop after the initial shock of the car accident wears off.

  • Whiplash is an acceleration-deceleration injury that can affect your ligaments, spinal discs, muscles, and facet joints

  • There is often a period of little to no pain before the symptoms become worse

  • Symptoms of whiplash include neck or back pain, headache, radiating pain, confusion, and difficulty sleeping

It’s smart to get a complete evaluation after an auto accident to minimize your risk of long-term pain. Getting the right care at the right time can make a big difference in your ability to heal quickly and avoid long-term chronic pain. Remember, even small accidents can cause injuries, so if you’ve been involved in an auto accident, be sure to reach out to our office as soon as possible so we can help you get on the relief road.

How Long Does Whiplash Last?

Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, back pain, headaches, dizziness, or confusion—none of these sound like a good time. So if you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering how long these symptoms are going to last. The good news is that with a proper evaluation and early treatment, you have a high likelihood of getting well within a matter of weeks.

Why it Matters:

One of the most common injuries associated with whiplash is ligament tearing. Ligaments are short, tough bands of connective tissue that hold together the bones in your neck and joints of your body. If these liga- ments are torn, it can cause neck pain. The average time it takes a ligament to heal is about six weeks with the proper care and treatment. If you notice symptoms like headaches, dizziness, or memory issues, you may have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). A majority of people with a mild TBI recover within three months.

  • Whiplash injuries frequently cause tearing of the ligaments that support proper spinal motion and stability.

  • The acute inflammatory phase of injury last up to 72 hours, the repair phase takes up to 6 weeks, and the remodeling phase of healing can last up to a year

  • A non healed ligament injury can result in osteoarthritis

After an accident, the most important step you can take is to receive a full evaluation. Only after a complete evaluation will you be able to know what type of injuries you’ve sustained, and most importantly- how to get well. You would be surprised at how many people shrug off a “small” accident and push their symptoms aside. While that may save you a little time today, it’s likely to result in much more pain down the road.

Shoulder Pain After a Car Accident: What does it mean?

You may be surprised to learn that shoulder injuries are some of the most common challenges after a car accident, in addition to whiplash. If you are the driver and have your hands on the wheels at the time of the crash, the sudden force created by the accident can lead to a torn rotator cuff. Your shoulder is one of the most complex parts of your body and is made up of a collection of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Why it Matters:

The rotator cuff is a ball and socket joint made up of three bones: your arm bone (the humerus), your shoul- der blade (the scapula), and your collarbone (the clavicle). The supporting muscles, ligaments, and tendons are designed to help you lift and rotate your arm. Your shoulder is one of the most dynamic and unstable joints in your body. It’s hard to ignore a torn rotator cuff because…it hurts! Signs of a tear include shoulder pain when lifting your arm, weakness, pain when lying down, or a limited range of motion.

  • Shoulder impingement has been estimated to occur in up to 10% of people involved in car accidents

  • The shoulder is one of the most complex, dynamic, and unstable joints in the body, with a complex network of bones, ligaments, and muscles

  • The risk of neck or shoulder pain seven years after a collision was three times higher for patients with initial whiplash injuries than those without

Ignoring a shoulder injury after a car accident is not a good idea. Your shoulder is designed to move, and if you try to “let it heal” by not moving it, then you’re putting yourself at risk for a frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is when your shoulder develops adhesions due to lack of movement. This can result in severe pain that takes months to heal. If you have shoulder pain after an accident, time is of the essence! Our team is here and can provide a complete evaluation and treatment plan for you to get moving safely and heal quickly.

Finding Relief After a Car Accident without Drugs or Surgery

Screech. Bam. Uh-oh. You’ve been involved in a car accident. Your day has been thrown upside down, and a million thoughts are racing through your head. If you don’t feel immediate pain, you may be tempted to think you don’t have a problem. But waiting too long to seek care has been shown to increase the chances that you’ll need more aggressive interventions. Taking the right action steps as quickly as possible after a car accident can make a huge difference in your overall health and healing. With the stress of an accident, calling the insurance company, getting a car repaired, etc., it’s not uncommon for people to make the mistake of putting their health and wellbeing last on the to-do list.

Why it Matters:

The problem is that the longer you wait to get evaluated and receive care, the higher your likelihood becomes of needing more aggressive medical care. Without a proper diagnosis and treatment, your body may begin to “heal” with more scar tissue than necessary. You may also try to live “around” your injuries, which can cause additional stress and compensation on other parts of your body and lead to additional injuries. Research has shown that active care involving range of motion, mobilizing exercises, and strengthening can effectively reduce pain. To give yourself the best chance to find relief without the
need for drugs or surgery, we recommend three simple steps.


The three steps to finding relief after a car accident :

  • Get an evaluation: a complete evaluation can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan

  • Begin receiving care: after reducing inflammation, movement-based techniques are often recommended to help you regain your quality of life

  • Stay consistent: getting well is a process. stay consistent with your care to heal as quickly as possible


Next Steps:

There’s no way around it- auto accidents aren’t fun. But with the right healthcare team, most people can get back to their full life and activities without the need for drugs or surgery. The key is to follow the three steps of evaluation, care, and consistency. While it seems simple, following the three steps will give you the best chance to get well quickly and stay well for years to come.



Science Source:

The Effectiveness of Conservative Management for Acute Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) II: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials.PLoS One. 2015

Biomechanics of whiplash injury. Chinese Journal of Traumatology. 2009

Ligament Injury and Healing: A Review of Current Clinical Diagnostics and Therapeutics. The Open Rehabilitation Journal. 2013

The association between exposure to a rear-end collision and future neck or shoulder pain: a cohort study. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2000

Subacromial impingement in patients with whiplash injury to the cervical spine. Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Research. 2008

types of headaches



What Type of Headache Do You Have?

Over 90% of people will have at least one headache in their life. For some, occasional headaches can turn into a daily occurrence that disturbs both work and hobbies. In many cases, headaches aren’t associated with a disease but are instead a result of your daily habits and actions. The most common triggers for a headache include stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, hunger, and caffeine withdrawal.

Why it Matters:

Being aware of the type of headache you have and its triggers is the first step towards finding relief. Stress is a primary cause of all types of headaches. It’s important to remember that stress can be mental or physical. Physical stress can include muscle tension in your shoulders, head, and neck that commonly occurs due to long hours at the computer, unbalanced posture, or a lack of regular exercise. The three most common types of headaches include tension, sinus, and migraine headaches.

  • Tension Headaches: usually felt across the forehead and last a few hours

  • Sinus Headaches: typical occurs in the face, lasts a few hours, and is seasonal

  • Migraine Headaches: pain in the back of the head, temple, or eye that lasts a day or longer and can produce sensitivity to light and sound

Now you’ve identified the types of headaches you are usually affected by, you can begin taking proactive steps to reduce your risk. Getting enough rest and watching your caffeine intake is a good start. Research has also found that spinal adjustments are effective at reducing the frequency and severity of headaches. If you’ve been suffering from headaches, reach out to discover if we can help.

The Link Between Neck Pain and Headaches

Your head hurts. Could it be coming from your neck? You may be surprised to learn that neck pain
and headaches are tightly linked together. A headache that starts from an issue in the neck is called a cervicogenic headache. A cervicogenic headache is characterized by a dull pain that radiates from the neck to the back of the head. At times it may spread around the side or front of your head.

Why it Matters:

Cervicogenic headaches are common if you spend long hours at the computer each day. Neck stiffness and tender muscles around your head and shoulders often come along with cervicogenic headaches because of the position that many of us sit in all day. The added stress and strain on your upper back and neck muscles can add up over time and begin to cause occasional headaches. Without taking proactive steps

to address the cause of the issue, you may notice that the headaches become more frequent and intense.

  • Cervicogenic headaches can begin due to tightness in the shoulders, a stiff neck, or poor posture

  • Over 70% of people with cervicogenic headaches find significant relief with spinal adjustments

  • Spinal adjustments can reduce the severity and frequency of headaches

To break the cycle of daily cervicogenic headaches, you need to address the underlying cause. Staying well hydrated (with water!), stretching at least every hour, and setting your workstation up ergonomically are all important to reduce your headache risk. If you still notice that headaches are bugging you, have pain, or limited neck range of motion, call us for a complete evaluation and plan of care to get well and stay well.

How to Get Rid of Daily Headaches

If you notice that your headaches are becoming more frequent and intense, it can be troubling. Daily head- aches can make it challenging to have a high quality of life and can affect your work and home life. The good news is that many of the most common types of headaches can be reduced or even eliminated by changing just a few of your daily habits.

Why it Matters:

Stress and tensions are two of the biggest triggers for tension headaches. Chronic headaches can cause your nervous system to become sensitized. That means each day; it takes less “stimulus” to kickstart a headache. Sensitization can become a vicious cycle, especially if your days are filled with repetitive motions. One of the best ways to reset your system and decrease sensitization is through movement. Whether you prefer yoga, stretching, or massage, movement of your spine and body can ease the tensions associated with headaches.

Symptoms of Tension Headaches include:

  • Dull, aching pain in the head and neck

  • Pressure and tightness across the sides, front, and back of your head

  • Tenderness in your shoulders, head, and neck

Movement and exercise are key to life and one of the most powerfully simple ways you can break a cascade of daily headaches. If you’re struggling to get moving because of the pain, let us know. We’re happy to work with you to develop a comprehensive plan to help you reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches starting today.

Headache Medications Cause Headaches

One of the primary side effects of many prevalent headache medications is, well…more headaches. That’s right; rebound headaches are caused by taking the same medications used to find relief. If that sounds bizarre, it is. Even taking medications more than just a few days may trigger overuse, or rebound, headaches.

Why it Matters:

Taking care of yourself and creating healthy habits each day can prevent most headaches. If you find your- self reaching for over-the-counter pain medications more than once per week, you may be putting yourself at risk for rebound headaches. Most headache medications aren’t designed to be used frequently because they simply address the symptoms, not the cause of the problem. As you take medication, your body can become sensitized, meaning you need to take more medication to achieve the same result. This can lead to a downward spiral and cycle of chronic rebound headaches. Here are a few ways to naturally reduce your risk of headaches.

  • Get Enough Sleep: Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps your body maintain a natural rhythm

  • Reduce Your Stress: Plan, manage your daily schedule, and make stress-busting activities like yoga or meditation a part of your lifestyle

  • Exercise Regularly: Movement and exercise releases endorphins that help your brain and body feel good and block pain signals to your brain

Medications aren’t very effective at reducing the frequency or severity of headaches. Masking the symptoms with drugs can work now and again, but it’s not a sustainable way to find long-lasting relief. To find last relief, you’ll want to follow the latest healthcare guidelines that recommend movement-based care, such as chiropractic. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to live their life free from chronic headaches.



Science Source:

Headache. Stanford Health Care. 2021

Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache: a single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial. BioMed Central. 2017. 10:310

Tensions Headaches. Mayo Clinic. 2019

Medication Overuse Headaches. Mayo Clinic. 2020 ruse-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20377083

Further Reading:

shoulder pain



Shoulder Pain: How to Find Relief

Your shoulder is the most unstable and moveable joint in your body. Its wide range of motion occurs due to four primary muscles and their tendons, which together are called the rotator cuff. If your shoulder becomes inflamed or an impingement happens, you may make the mistake of trying to avoid using your arm to help it heal. It may surprise you to learn that not moving can actually contribute to more pain or even lead to a frozen shoulder. Controlled movement is one of the best ways to heal.

Why it Matters:

The most common source of pain in the shoulder is the tendons. Your tendons attach the muscles of the shoulder to the bones. If a tendon becomes trapped, it can result in shoulder impingement. If a tendon becomes inflamed, you may hear it referred to as tendinitis or bursitis. And if a tendon becomes torn, you guessed it; you have a rotator cuff tear.

  • Shoulder Bursitis: If the sac of fluid that cushions your shoulder becomes swollen and painful due to repetitive motions, you may have bursitis.

  • Shoulder Impingement: If your tendons get pinched between or under the bones of your shoulder, it can lead to impingement. Lifting overhead repetitively can cause impingement, and it can result in swelling and pain.

  • Rotator Cuff Tear: Your rotator cuff can become damaged due to overuse, injury, or age. Tears usually cause pain when you try to lift things, and you may hear a popping sound as you move.

Your shoulder and spine work together. While it may seem like they are two completely different areas, it’s been discovered that postural abnormalities can play a significant role in your likelihood of developing shoulder pain. Maintaining a full range of motion in your shoulder and spinal joints of your neck and mid-back can help reduce your chances of dealing with shoulder pain. If you notice shoulder discomfort or restricted movement, contact us for a complete evaluation. We’ll work to create a movement-based plan to help you find long-term relief.

Your Hip vs. SI Joint: What’s the Difference?

It can be extremely confusing to figure out the difference between hip and SI (sacroiliac) joint pain. But being able to identify which one is the culprit is crucial when you are looking to find relief. Your SI joint is the connection between your tailbone (sacrum) and your pelvis. The SI joint is very fibrous and only moves a few millimeters. On the other hand, your hip is much less stable and allows your entire leg to move in every plane of motion.

Why it Matters:

While the hip and SI joints are very different in structure and function, they share similar pain patterns, making it difficult to tell one from the other. It’s common to have SI joint pain mimic low back pain. Bending backward usually aggravates SI joint pain due to the compression that happens in the joint as you move. Hip pain is more likely to occur when you walk or if you try to bring your knees to your chest.

  • Hip Pain: characterized by pain with walking, weight-bearing, and rotating the leg

  • SI Joint Pain: characterized by difficulties while standing, walking, climbing stairs, getting out of the car.

  • Low Back Pain: characterized by pain that radiates into the buttock or leg and may travel down to the foot

Suppose you’ve felt discomfort and aren’t exactly sure if it’s your hip, SI joint, or low back- it’s important to find a chiropractor who will provide a complete evaluation and treatment plan. The reason this is important is that our hips tend to become degenerative as we age, and if your doctor is only looking at a hip X-ray to determine a plan of care- you may find yourself getting treatment for a problem you don’t have. We take a holistic approach to our evaluations, and our movement assessments ensure that we can pinpoint your challenges so that you get the best care plan to live your highest quality of life.

Are You At Risk for Chronic Knee Pain?

Knees hurt? You’re not alone. Chronic knee pain is thought to affect up to 25% of adults and can significantly limit your mobility and quality of life. Your knee is a hinge-joint that primarily moves back and forth (flexion and extension) and allows some twisting or rotation. Every step you take places stress and strain on your knees, so it’s no surprise that trauma, misalignment, and degenerative changes can all take their toll.

Why it Matters:

While knee pain may not be entirely preventable, there are steps you can take to keep your knees as healthy as possible. At the top of the list is to watch your weight. For every pound you are overweight, your knee must absorb an extra 4 pounds of pressure when you walk, run or climb stairs. In addition, the cartilage in your knee is designed to last a lifetime if you take care of it. Here are a few additional ways to keep your knees healthy and strong.

Warm-Up Before Exercising: Stretching your quadriceps and hamstrings before and after you exercise is a smart way to reduce the chance of a flare-up of knee pain

Find Adequate Foot Support: Every step you take transfers force from the bottom of your foot to your knee. Therefore, your shoes should provide the support you need to keep your knees healthy for at least 10,000 steps per day.

Maintain a Full Range of Motion: Ensuring your low back and hips are moving freely is essential to overall knee health.

The joints of your body should have a balance of strength and flexibility through their full range of motion. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people with back issues to find themselves struggling with knee pain after limping around for a few weeks. We encourage our patients to be proactive with their health. Use the strategies above to help reduce your chances of knee pain, and be sure to call our practice if you notice any pain or restricted motion.

Tennis Elbow? But I don’t even play tennis!

Tennis elbow isn’t just for athletes. Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is a painful condition that occurs when the tendons in your elbow are inflamed and overloaded due to repetitive motion. Because of the motion that occurs when swinging a racket, it’s commonly referred to as tennis elbow, but anyone who has a job that features repetitive arm motions may be at risk.

Why it Matters:

Tennis elbow can become a serious issue because of the pain and weakness that make it difficult to perform your daily tasks. Because it’s an injury caused by repetitive motions, and since many of these motions are essential to your job, finding ways to decrease the inflammation and improve biomechanics is critical. Three natural ways to help reduce the pain associated with tennis elbow include:

  • Rest: Giving your arm time to rest is important to stop the cascade of inflammation and pain Ice: Icing, a few times per hour, is a smart strategy to reduce pain and inflammation

  • Technique: Be mindful of how you are moving your arm, use proper ergonomics, and use a brace for a short time if necessary

Tennis elbow is usually not a condition that will go away on its own. However, we’ve found two key strategies for reducing the pain associated with tennis below. First is receiving a plan of care that includes at-home exercises to strengthen your supporting muscles. The second is receiving adjustments, when necessary, to improve the motion and movement of your elbow joints. If you or someone you know has struggled with tennis elbow, give us a call so that we can provide you with a plan to find relief.


Science Source:

Immediate Effects of Spinal Manipulation on Shoulder Motion Range and Pain in Individuals With Shoulder Pain: A Randomized Trial. J Chiropr Med 2019

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. Spine-Health 2021
Chronic Knee Pain. Healthline. 2021
Tennis Elbow. Orthoinfo by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. 2021

spinal discs

Spinal Discs

Spinal Discs

What are Spinal Discs Made Of?

We all know spinal discs are important- but to understand why, the real question is; what are they made of? Your spinal discs are little cushions that sit between the bones or vertebrae in your spine. Each one of your discs is made up of a tough, fibrous outer layer (annulus fibrosis) and a jelly-like inside layer (the nucleus pulposus). The tough outer layer contains and protects the softer inside layer. These small discs have a big job. They enable your spine to move in all directions.

Why it Matters:

The nucleus pulposus (inner layer of the disc) is mostly made up of water. The high water content helps your discs stay supple and moveable. It acts like a small swivel to allow your body to tilt and rotate. As you get older, your discs tend to lose their high water content and can become degenerative. Degenerative discs don't move as well, are more prone to cause pain, and even contribute to compression on your spinal nerves.

  • Your spinal column has 24 moveable bones with spinal discs between each pair

  • Spinal discs are designed to help your move in all directions

  • Movement of your spine can help keep your spinal discs healthy

Movement is one of the best ways to keep your spinal discs healthy. Since your spinal discs don't have a very good blood supply, movement is how they bring in nutrients. Moving your spine helps your spinal discs get in nutrients to stay healthy and push out waste contributing to pain and inflammation. If your neck or back hurts, give us a call- we'll help you get your life back from pain.

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cause of low back pain

What is the Cause of Low Back Pain?

What is the Cause of Low Back Pain?

What Causes Low Back Pain?

Low back pain is the number one reason people worldwide visit their doctor and miss work. If you’ve dealt with it in the past (or maybe even right now), you know back pain can change your life in an instant. Not being able to enjoy hobbies, difficulty in your ability to work, and a sneaking suspicion that you may never get “back to normal” are all normal when you’re experiencing a bout of back pain. So why do so many people struggle with back pain?

Why it Matters:

In many cases, your daily habits are a big contributor to your back pain. Repetitive stress, nagging injuries, a diet filled with inflammatory foods, and a lack of daily exercise and movement can contribute to an increased likelihood of back pain. Here are the three most common causes of back pain:


  1. Sprain/Strain Injury: Repetitive stress can create inflammation and lead to sprain/strain injuries

  2. Spinal Disc Issues: Disc bulges and herniations can cause back pain that travels by pressing on your spinal nerves

  3. Arthritis: As you get older, your body will go through degenerative changes, but if your spinal joints get inflamed, you may notice pain associated with arthritis


For over 80% of us, back pain will be something we deal with at some point in our lives. And while it may feel like you’ll never get back to your old self, chances are you will. An overwhelming majority of people recover from back pain naturally or with a little additional help from a chiropractor. Even if you recover by taking it easy for a few days, it’s still a smart decision to visit a chiropractor to discover the specific steps you can take to reduce your chances of experiencing back pain in the future.


How to Move Your Way to Back Pain Relief

Movement is one of the best ways to recover from back pain. Science has shown us that medications and rest are a few of the least effective ways to find relief. Your body is designed to move, and often it’s a lack of daily movement (or chronic postural changes) that causes back pain to begin in the first place. Discovering the right movements and exercises can help you recover more quickly and prevent future back pain episodes.

Why it Matters:

Your body has three types of movements: Segmental, regional, and whole body. Segmental motion occurs between the individual joints of your body. Regional movement occurs in a body region such as your neck, mid-back, or low back. And whole-body movement is typically what we think of as exercise. All three types are essential and work together to keep your spine and musculoskeletal system healthy and functioning at its best.


  1. Segmental Movement: moving the individual joints of your body is what chiropractors are specifically trained to do. Proper segmental movement can help reduce pain, improve your range of motion, and influence your central nervous system

  2. Regional Movement: dynamic stretching with regional range of motion exercises can reduce low back stiffness

  3. Whole Body Exercise: daily whole-body exercise can help your brain and body feel better as well as improve your rest and recovery at night


The foundation of all movement is segmental. If your joints aren’t moving correctly, then you’ll never be able to optimize your regional or whole-body movement. Moving may be the last thing you want to do if you’re struggling with back pain. But top research organizations have proven that proper movement and exercise are two of the best ways to find relief from back pain. If you’ve dealt with back pain, call us today. Our team will be happy to provide you with a complete movement assessment and personalized movement and exercise plan to help you get (and stay) well for years to come.

Is My Leg Pain Coming from My Back?

It may seem weird to think that leg, calf, or foot pain can often be traced back to a low back problem. But if you’ve had pain in your leg or foot, a pinched nerve in your low back may be creating your issue. Pain that travels along a spinal nerve is called radicular pain, and it’s one of the most common types of pain that occurs as a result of spinal nerve compression.

Why it Matters:

Your spinal nerves can be pinched or compressed by bone, disc, or ligament. Facet hypertrophy or bone spurs sometimes grow large enough to pinch your spinal nerves. Disc herniations or bulges can invade the space of your nerves and cause narrowing of the canals. And ligament hypertrophy can happen with age and injuries and ultimately cause your nerves to get squeezed. Whether your pain is coming from bone, disc, or ligament, it’s important to know that all have a great chance of recovery without the need for drugs or surgery.


  1. Bone Spurs- bone spurs or osteophytes form due to joint damage associated with osteoarthritis

  2. Disc Herniations- disc bulges, herniations, or tears can cause inflammation and pressure on your spinal nerves

  3. Ligament Hypertrophy- ligamentum flavum hypertrophy or overgrowth happens due to biomechanical stress and aging


Leg pain that begins in your low back can start with an injury or for what seems like no reason at all. Either way, your body is telling you to Pay Attention Inside Now! Every day our practice helps people regain their quality of life from compressed nerves. Reducing inflammation, establishing proper motion to your joints, and taking proactive steps to reduce the likelihood of the pain coming back are all part of our care plans. If you’ve felt leg pain- give us a call today.


Why Medications Aren’t Recommended for Low Back Pain

A staggering 100,000 people each year are hospitalized due to NSAIDs. Just because these medications can be purchased over the counter doesn’t mean that they don’t have risks and dangers. Leading healthcare organizations have taken note and now recommend that movement-based care options, such as chiropractic, are explored for most low back issues before any medications. The added benefit is that most people who explore chiropractic care take far fewer medications than those who don’t. Why? Because it works.

Why it Matters:

Over the past twenty years, we’ve seen the effects of low back pain change our healthcare landscape forever. The numbers of people with low back pain have remained the same even as we’ve lost millions to the opioid epidemic and hundreds of thousands more due to complications from NSAIDs. The good news is that major healthcare organizations have updated their guidelines, and the care that chiropractors deliver ranks at the top of nearly every list.


  1. Over 100,000 people are hospitalized each year from NSAID related complications

  2. Each day, over 100 people pass away due to Opioid overdoses

  3. Leading healthcare organizations now recommend the care delivered by chiropractors as the best first-line treatment for low back pain


Medications are designed to mask the pain, not fix the problem. Receiving a complete and comprehensive evaluation is the first step towards finding relief. After discovering the cause of your pain, we can work together to craft a care plan that will help you reach your health goals. If you know someone struggling with low back pain, call us today.

Science Source:

Mayo Clinic. Back Pain Symptoms and Causes. 2020

Harvard Health Publishing. 5 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. 2016

Johns Hopkins Medicine. Radiculopathy. 2021

Annals of Internal Medicine. Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. 2017

Low Back Pain

3 Things I Would Never say to Someone with Low Back Pain | EP 88

Live LOUD Life Podcast
Lafayette Colorado

Episode 88

EP|88 3 Things I Would Never say to Someone with Low Back Pain

With Dr. Antonio Gurule


[0:09]What I would never say to a patient.

[2:03] What to do when you have lower back pain?

[4:13] What adjustment and manipulation can do for you.

[6:07] The importance of proper assessment and evaluation.

[7:55] More than alignment, we need function.

[9:38] Have a good assessment and evaluation with your provider.


Connect With Antonio and the Live LOUD team:

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here:

Visit the website:

Like the Facebook page:

Follow on Instagram:

Guiding you to the adventurous life you were made for!


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Live Loud Chiropractic and Coaching Top Chiropractor and Physical Therapy in Lafayette Colorado Serving Boulder County Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Erie, Broomfield, and Arvada Colorado

About Dr. Antonio Gurule

Nutrition Building Blocks Broken Down


  • Father
  • Doctor of Chiropractic
  • Owner of Live LOUD
  • Personal Trainer & Health Coach

Anthony Gurule  00:00

Hey what’s up guys, welcome back to another episode of the Live LOUD Life podcast. My name is Dr. Antonio, I’m your host of the Live LOUD Life podcast. My wife and I, we co-own Live LOUD Chiropractic and Coaching here in Lafayette, Colorado. We are just outside of Boulder, Colorado in Boulder County. And our mission is to help families. We want to help make families stronger, so that we can build a stronger community. We want to help guide you to the adventurous life that you and your family were meant for. And we do this through chiropractic and coaching. chiropractic, obviously being more of a hands on approach, more of a clinical conversation, clinical diagnostics, but the coaching aspect is really what we believe is, you know, the foundation of what our system methodology, whatever you want to call it is, because a lot of this comes around through just coaching suggestions and recommendations. also, you know, obviously within that comes into clinical prescriptions of certain things to eat or supplements, so on and so forth. But it’s coaching a lifestyle, it’s coaching, it’s coaching a philosophy and a foundation about how to live an active healthy life as an individual, and setting an example of a healthy active life for your family, for your immediate family, for your friends, and more importantly for your community. So stronger families to make a stronger community as a whole would be a win win, right? And that’s what we want to be able to do. we want to be able to help fill in the gaps in the holes that you’re maybe not getting from, from other roles and conditions.


Anthony Gurule  01:43

And today that’s in particular where we’re going to talk about. it’s going to be a little bit more of a shorter episode because this is more of a quote unquote, you know, just discussion around how to lay out a framework and a better understanding of how to work out or what exercises are safe or maybe not safe during pregnancy. This is a very, very common question that we get.


Anthony Gurule  02:12

My wife Nichelle has created a mini course that has some workout ideas, recommendations, and prescriptions than laid out into a workout. She guides and  educates other clinicians on how to broach this topic as a chiropractor, how to better serve prenatal patients through chiropractic care, but also exercise recommendations and prescriptions, having recommendations with other personal trainers within the community whether that’s CrossFit whether that’s Orange Theory, chatting with coaches and owners and saying hey, if you have prenatal patients and they’re having these types of symptoms, or this has happened, here’s some better recommendations, not modifications. We call them lateralizations–you’re just you know, you’re doing something something different or something else we you know, we borrow that term from Charlie Weingroff, who’s a physical therapist and strength conditioning coach. But it also and also doulas, right, doulas and midwives and OBs who are directly involved with the prenatal process from nearly conception all the way through, having this conversation. we know that exercise is important during pregnancy,


Anthony Gurule  03:19

There are so many different studies that talk about the benefits of exercising during pregnancy, not only for the mom, but also for baby, which is quite interesting. They’re seeing increased cognitive-what’s the word I’m looking for? Excuse me, their cognitive output as a as an as a child through as they age is actually better from moms that actually worked out during pregnancy.


Anthony Gurule  03:50

Now this is tough, right? How do you define working out or exercise? it’s different for everybody. But we want to, and we encourage that, and yet we’re sympathetic to the different stages of life, aches and pains, so on and so forth, which obviously would limit what you can do from an exercise perspective. So you know, it’s a bit of a gray area on determining what is working out? what is exercise? What are the physical guidelines or recommendations for pregnancy? And without getting into the like, nitty gritty detail of every single thing. And obviously, every potential situation, if you had this versus this, what could happen? we’re not gonna be able to do that. What we just want to lay out is what is what are we trying to accomplish here, and we want to encourage you to stay as physically active as possible.


Anthony Gurule  04:41

And one of the things that constantly comes up is, well, should you add something in that you have not already been doing? Let’s say for instance, someone just through the stages of life with work and kids or whatever that is, they were not able to work out as much before they got pregnant, but now that they’re pregnant, whether they have more time or they understand the importance of exercises during pregnancy, well, would we say, “Well, you haven’t been exercising, so you shouldn’t do too much.” No, that doesn’t, that doesn’t really make sense. Now, we would encourage not to do too much, there’s obviously, you know, a too far swinging the pendulum of the other way. But we wouldn’t say “no, don’t exercise because you weren’t doing something before,” we just have to find those first few stepping stones to help them start to gain some momentum. and help hold their hand, if you will, So that their technique and they feel confident about lifting, or how far they’re walking or whatever that is. And that’s an important topic, because a lot of times people want to add things in, but they weren’t quite ready or weren’t doing them before. And they then assume that they’re not able to do them at all. So you do have to take that in consideration, there is a ton that you can do, and that you can still add, even though you weren’t doing them prior to pregnancy.


Anthony Gurule  05:54

Now on the big questions is, is it safe? you know, outside to contact sports, or different things like that the majority of what you’re going to do is safe for pregnancy, right? Rock climbing, we have pregnant patients that have been rock climbing before, obviously, there’s a certain inherent risk with certain sports or activities. You know, you could fall off riding your bike, you could fall over running, right, so we’re not encouraging any of these by any means. We’re just kind of, you know, setting some suggestions, if you will. And you have to take into consideration.


Anthony Gurule  06:31

Now, there are certain things to consider when you’re talking about like weightlifting, and how heavy and the intensity that you’re doing. And if you’re doing Valsalva movements, which is essentially holding your breath to maintain a more rigid or stiff torso, as you’re seeing changes in blood volume and blood pressure, you know, you do have to take that in consideration. And that is again, of course a conversation with your provider that is managing your, your pregnancy, but we recommend Mama’s weight lift, or do resistance training. During pregnancy, again, we talked about about load management and the intensity and things like that, but you can still lift and do fairly intense things. And it’s a fairly as a you know, as a scale and a wide range during pregnancy and see a ton of benefit from that. Now, are we trying to hit one rep maxes and PRs during pregnancy, I mean, some would argue yes, but I would argue, why, that’s not really an accurate representation of what your strength is anyways. So you know, you do have to to kind of keep manipulating the numbers and the weights and the intensity and the sets and reps in order to do it. But weightlifting and resistance training is safe, and it is effective. Now, outside of that, there’s not a lot of unsafe things to do, again, outside of contact sports, or things that would elicit, you know, potential trauma to you or baby based on impact we’ve had, again, not our recommendations, but some have tried very just easy scheme, because they’re in the winter months, and they wanted to and they felt very confident about not falling. So you know, you have those types of things.


Anthony Gurule  08:16

Overall, again, we’re talking about movement. You need to move, and it’s good to get your heart rate up. And it’s good to breathe hard. So that doesn’t mean just because you’re pregnant, you can’t do HIIT training or circuit training or CrossFit or Orange Theory. But you do have to listen to your body and understand certain signs that would indicate that things might be too much, right? Now those are going to be different for everyone, but a lot of this comes down to you know, lightheadedness, you know, breathing too hard. Certain aches and pains within lower extremity, chest, abdomen, so on and so forth would be obviously like your more extreme ones. If you’re becoming pale or anything like that, I mean, again, these are the same criteria, though, that would be if someone else was working out or training too hard. So it’s realistically the same thing. It’s just that your threshold level for all those most likely have gone down. And depending on what type of an athlete you were before, you’re going to be maybe a little frustrated that you’re not able to do the things you were able to do previously, which makes sense. But if you’re someone who wasn’t exercising before, you’re probably going to be a little bit more hyper aware of that, of just feeling that shortness of breath or that uneasiness. So again, we’re not saying you have to push through that because we’re not trying to set yourself up for a strength and conditioning program to increase your metabolic capacity to increase your strength and conditioning during pregnancy. We’re trying to help you maintain a healthy active pregnancy.


Anthony Gurule  09:54

Now, walking. walking is great. but in general, we encourage you to do something above and beyond walking. Obviously, again, certain things would dictate that you would not be able to do so. And this is again, any exercise. Any exercise that you do during pregnancy needs to be consulted with and work through and have a conversation with the primary physician who is managing your pregnancy, whether that’s your nurse practitioner, your midwife or your OB or obstetrician, right. But we would encourage more than just walking. walking is fantastic, but that’s kind of like your baseline minimum, right? Just like our activities, or recommendation activity guidelines. We want a few days a week of where we’re kind of just doing this steady state getting our steps in, you know, kind of pushing ourselves, we’re huffing and puffing, but still just kind of at that conversational level, but you’re not really getting a lot of benefits outside of that.


Anthony Gurule  10:55

So if you’re just walking, high five. kudos. can you do something more? Can you do some bodyweight squats? Can you do some bodyweight, you know, good mornings? can you do some walking lunges? do you have a suspension training, we’re able to do some bodyweight rows? Do you have some bands that you can do some rows with? You know, there’s a lot that you can do that allows you to get a little bit more out of that. Now, again, this all comes back down to preferences of exercises that you like to do, because that’s gonna allow you to maintain the most consistency, but then also the intensity that you like to do. And we do encourage having an open mind and at least being willing to try some high intensity things that allow you to still get your heart rate up a little bit. And it’s okay to lift more than five or 10 pounds. And not saying that that is a bad thing. There’s programs out there where it’s all directed around that where it’s lighter weight, high rep, but I just don’t want individuals and mamas to feel like they’re not able to do more and or being ashamed because other people are just saying they should back off because they’re pregnant. “why would you need a lift that much?” It fits within your strength, and your comfort, and your wheelhouse, that is totally fine.


Anthony Gurule  12:05

Again, you if you’ve been doing that enough, you understand the risk reward ratio and having a conversation with your practitioner has driven us to kind of help navigate and guide as you start to get further through pregnancies, what things maybe we need to change or manipulate. But that’s totally fine. Now outside of that, the question around safe also comes up around core exercises. diastasis recti, pelvic floor strength, so on and so forth, we want to enhance the capability of understanding how to control tension within your abdominal wall and your pelvic floor through pregnancy, because the pressure is increasing due to baby taking up more space. But we’re not we’re not necessarily we’re not gaining more strength, right.


Anthony Gurule  12:45

And so what a lot of people assume it’s when we’ve seen this, is “I don’t want diastasis. So I’m doing more core work to prevent diastasis from happening.” diastasis recti will happen in 100% of moms, it’s estimated at the week 35 Everyone will have some form of it. Now it is technically not a quote unquote diagnosis, though, until 12 weeks postpartum, because it is a normal thing that everyone will get. So you can’t diagnose someone with something that everyone will get–doesn’t make sense, right? So after that, though, if you still have weakness or spacing issues, then we can have a you know, a stronger conversation about putting a diagnosis on that.


Anthony Gurule  13:26

But what we’re trying to enhance and help is what exercises are quote unquote, not safe versus unsafe, but adding too much pressure or tension into the abdominal wall or the pelvic floor and creating more laxity. again, as that pressure for as baby’s growing starts to put more pressure on the pelvic floor and the abdominal wall. If you’re doing more things that increases the pressure within the within the abdominal cavity that’s going to push on that separation even more and/or push on that pelvic floor even more, creating potential incontinence or prolapse issues and/or more bulging and doming within the abdominal wall stretching out that separation or that gap even further, potentially making the recovery process more challenging or slightly longer. I’m not saying that it will but potentially, so we do have to take that in consideration. So we go through activation exercise of the pelvic floor, of the abdominal wall so that you better understand how to control those pressure increases while you’re lifting or exercising so that you simply can stay at a management level.


Anthony Gurule  14:28

And that in turn, helps you get through pregnancy of understanding how to lift up your older kiddo, having to lift up dog food or anything like that. It’s just managing and controlling pressure. So there’s really not anything that I would say that safe or unsafe. Now, things that we would advise against for core exercises is sit ups or crunches. You know a lot of those things that create like hanging knee raises and different things like that during pregnancy. A lot of those things that create a lot of intra abdominal pressure and tension. and especially during a flex position, that tends to put a lot more pressure on the abdominal wall, the separation where diastasis will occur as well as the pelvic floor.


Anthony Gurule  15:09

So, you know, while we never say never, there’s definitely a category of things that we definitely urge against because the risk/reward benefit and again, risk not being “injured,” But risk of potentially putting more pressure and making the recovery process  on the other side harder, is not is not something that we find to be as advantageous. But you can still get the benefits of quote unquote, core exercises through full body movements such as goblet squats, such as deadlifts, you know, depending on the phase that you’re in, push ups, which are, you know, a dynamic plank. or being able to do a TRX row, which is a reverse plank as you’re just lifting yourself up. three point rows where you’re on, you know, two hands or doing like a row on a bench, where you’re in a tabletop position that’s adding anti rotation exercises. So there’s a ton that you can do that still highlights and isolates, the core isolates, sorry. that highlights and will emphasize core activation, but through a full body compound movement. And what’s great about that is during pregnancy, depending on your energy levels, it’s hard to do all the little isolated accessory and all these separate exercises as it is. So it’s kind of nice being able to combine everything, so you get more bang for your buck, especially if you’re a parent and you’re on and you’re on baby number two or three, right?


Anthony Gurule  16:31

So what exercises are safe for pregnant women to do? All are. reduce or eliminate for sure contact activities, different things like that. the increased risk activities of you know, trauma and things like that. Outside of that you’re managing pressure, I would definitely encourage reducing anything that’s heavy lifting, that’s, that’s requiring you to do Valsalva moves, you’re having to hold your breath for an extended period of time. that changes blood pressure, so on and so forth. But outside of that, Pregnancy is a completely safe time to do all exercises. we definitely as we highlighted, urge and encourage, you know, certain things over other ones just for you know, added bang for your buck or full body movements, so on and so forth. And that, but outside of that you are free to do what you want.


Anthony Gurule  17:19

If you want guidance, though, you know, there are there are trainers out there that work specifically with prenatal patients. we would love to be able to have that conversation with you if that’s something you want to bounce back or navigate. Because we do want to encourage as much as we can. A very, very active pregnancy through exercise working out or however you want to describe that. So if you found this beneficial, please like share, subscribe. if you’re pregnant, I hope you can utilize this and take some of the information for you and yourself. If you have anyone else you know… a relative a family member, a friend who is pregnant and they’re unsure they’ve been you know asking this question what things I don’t know what things I can do. I don’t know if it’s safe for baby share this video with them. We’d love to be able to provide a better frame of reference and or context to be able to ask better questions so that they can find the workout program  or the movements that work best for them during their pregnancy. Until next time guys live loud .if you’re currently pregnant, Congratulations, and we look forward to helping and serving in the future.

neck pain

Fix your Neck Pain Today | Neck Pain Recovery Explained

Fix your Neck Pain Today | Neck Pain Recovery Explained

Are you currently suffering from neck pain?

Neck pain that might be acute, meaning to just happen recently, within the last few days or weeks? Or a chronic condition that you’ve been dealing with on and off for the last few months, if not even years?

Oftentimes, we hear people come into our office here at Live Loud Chiropractic in Lafayette, CO and just say, “oh, I have a bad neck. I have disc degeneration of degeneration of the spine. And that’s the reason why I have neck pain.”

Although neck pain might seem common, it is not uncommon for this condition to be mismanaged. Oftentimes, our patients are being put through the wringer whether that’s with massage, Acupuncture, PT, Chiropractic care, primary care, shots, or orthopedics, without the proper understanding of why the pain is even there in the first place.


If you’re dealing with neck pain, this blog is for you.

If you have a family member who has been dealing with either chronic or acute neck pain, and they’re looking for some support, please share this with them.


What will you get in this blog?

  1. break down the common causes of neck pain
  2. give you the Live Loud approach to handling neck pain and musculoskeletal conditions.
  3. A few of the tests we use to determine what the cause of pain is.
  4. Some things that you can do about the neck pain, right when you’re done reading this blog.
  5. A long-term approach to helping with neck pain
  6. The platform and the philosophy about how a movement-based approach really helps you as an individual deal with any sort of aches and pains that you might be having.

Overuse and Neck Pain

A lot of the issues that you’re going to be seeing with neck pain are overuse in nature, but it’s, almost from a stagnation perspective.

Your head weighs 12 to 20 pounds, and based on our somewhat sedentary lifestyle for Western civilization it puts a lot of tension on the back side of your neck. Thus, those muscles are constantly having to contract and hold crazy tension and tightness. Then we create this negative feedback loop.

Rule out any Structural Issues with your Neck Pain

What we’re going to first and foremost is make sure we rule out any sort of structural issues. Again, outside of you having trauma, an accident, etc the likelihood of this being the case goes down.


What we will have you do is:

  • sit up nice and tall, and we just basically push down on the head.
  • What we’re doing here is seeing if there’s any pain or trigger of symptoms.
  • After that we’re going go to the side, and then to the other side.


One thing to consider, though, is, in the case of neck pain, if you’re having any sort of ridiculer symptoms, meaning you have numbness, tingling, or maybe pain down the arms, this is what we’re trying to look for. Maybe there is a disc issue or some sort of encroachment on a pinched nerve at the actual spinal level.

If those do not replicate then we’re going to be looking at the soft tissue structures within the super clavicular area. Which is right in the soft part of your neck where all the nerves come out of, but that’s what we’re trying to look at.

Basic Range of Motion with your Neck Pain

Now we’re going to look at basic range of motion:

  • Tuck your chin down to your sternum.
  • Look all the way up
  • Back down,
  • Look over your right shoulder
  • Then look over your left shoulder


So active range of motion is good, we would assess passive range of motion as well to determine if there’s any sort of issues. For some people, they get neck pain when they’re working out – this means that there might be a technique flaw that we would have to address.

Commonly, we see this with overhead pressing, where someone is driving their neck through, essentially just creating a pinch point in their neck.

Range of Motion and Mobility in the Thoracic Spine & Neck Pain

The other thing that we have to look at is where does your head attach to the upper part of your back?

We have to address what the range of motion and mobility within the thoracic spine is to determine if that is affecting where the position of the head is. For this we will do a cat cow exercise.

With the cat cow exercise, we’re going to be looking for extension. In doing this we get a lot of spinal motion. To segment off where we want the mid back, you’ll come back to neutral, sit your butt back down through your heels, and do the same cat cow motion.

This way we can isolate more of the thoracic spine and see if there’s any sort of limitations. Commonly we’re seeing an extension limitation, meaning more rounded forward. When we’re rounded forward that’s going to put your head forward putting more pressure on your neck or that CT junction or where your neck meets your upper back.

Is Your Neck Pain coming from a Neighboring Area?

This is an important distinction of understanding. Is the neck issue actually coming from a different neighboring area? Or is it just from stagnation and not moving a lot?

Next, what we’re going to do is have you lay on your back face up. From a manual therapy side, we know there’s a ton of benefit from doing soft tissue work. Soft tissue work is something we at Live Loud like to pass off to you to do at home. This allows you to become autonomous in your care and address the tension that you might be feeling in between our sessions.

We’re going to be doing essentially just basic, pull and stretch motion to help work on any tight spots. This also helps me palpate to determine what areas we need to focus on more. Obviously, you as an individual will be able to feel where you’re tighter in certain areas, and are more tender, and you’ll want to focus on those. We’re just going to work all these different spots within this session, especially the suboccipital.

The Suboccipital and how important it is in affecting your Neck Pain!

The suboccipital is underneath your occiput, which is the base of your skull on the back. Why are these so important?

Well, many of us are doing some form of computer work nowadays, or on our cell phones, reading, whatever that is. These are directly tied to eye righting reflexes and leveling of the head.

So, if I am rounded, I’m going to have to tip my head up to be able to see level to the horizon. Oftentimes, these get extra tight. We’re going to do an extensive amount of work here with fingers, and or maybe dry needling to help relieve the tension here to open up range of motion.

What you can do at home for Neck Pain

Now, these can also be worked on at home. All you need are some trigger point balls and a yoga block. Trigger point balls are two balls that are basically together that are softer than a lacrosse ball and firmer than a tennis ball. These are going to basically cup and hug the suboccipital muscles.

You can take this exact same tool at home, to work on the tension in between our sessions, during your micro breaks, while you’re working on the computer or at work or whatever that might be.

Once you have trigger point balls and a yoga block you can set the balls on the yoga block and lay down placing them where they are cupping your suboccipital.

Once you do that you can start to turn your head side to side, up and down, and  draw different shapes to hit different angles and corners to make sure you’re getting all the areas that you can.

Important note when you establish range of motion with Neck Pain

A couple important things to note, this goes true for any part of your body, once you’ve established more range of motion or decreased pain, you have to put that into context, you have to show the body that the pain that you previously had has improved, or that your range of motion has. One of the movements that I love, especially for the neck is called:

movement mapping for neck pain

What we want to assume is that we have this, imagine a space globe around your head, right, and you have a marker or something on the top of your head. Now, your goal is to cover the inside of the globe as best as you can.

So, you’re basically going to try to paint the inside of a globe and go through all of these different ranges of motion. Now the reason why we call it mapping is you’re going to have a better understanding about where your tight points are. Where maybe we’re getting some kinks in the system as well.

But more importantly, all the range of motion that we’ve been improving through adjustments and soft tissue work, you now can translate into better and more movement.

If you have questions about what this looks like take a look at the video!

Expand with Resistance Training                     

We would expand upon this too, with some sort of resistance training, whether that would be a plank, or even like a bird dog and something where you would have to stabilize and hold your neck and teach it what we want for range of motion and stability.

These are a few important tools that will help you handle your pain throughout the day, if it’s something that’s kind of chronic and or ebbs and flows based on how much you’re either at a computer, or how much you’re driving and commuting, all of which have the effects on how much load or pressure is going on to the neck.

But again, it also creates a frame of reference in context as to how you can improve your range of motion and gain more confidence with your neck rather than just staying stiff and turning your whole body when your necks hurting. If you continue to do that then your neck is just going to get tighter and tighter and build upon itself.

Test it out on your own to Help your Neck Pain!

If this was helpful, this would be a fantastic thing to at least test out on your own. What we’re really looking for as far as this movement mapping principle, right, is it not only helps you take away a lot of the pain and discomfort because again stagnation just makes you tighter.

We want to break up stagnation with movement, that simple. But as you improve range of motion, whether through adjustments, trigger point work at home, or in the office here at Live Loud Chiropractic. We have to create more context, if you don’t use the new range of motion that we’ve just established, then you’re just going to stay tighter, right?

You have to teach the body what you want it to do, as far as from a functionality point and just simply range motion, but also stability.

We here at Live Loud Chiropractic encourage you to take the exploration model that is by far the foundation of every part of my conversation, whether it’s neck pain, knee pain or shoulder pain as it helps you better understand where your sticky parts are, where you’re tight, and where it’s painful.

This way you have a better idea of what to avoid or what to what to dive in a little bit deeper on to see if you can improve it. This also creates a better context for me to have a conversation for you.

Final Thoughts on Neck Pain!

Whether you have a potentially chronic issue or something more acute where maybe you just woke up with neck pain and you feel like you can’t move.

We here at Live Loud Chiropractic in Lafayette, CO are always here to help and support you and your pains. Having more context around your neck pain will help determine what the best course of action for you is to help you get back to all the activities that you want to be able to do and live a loud life.

foot pain

How to Fix your Foot Pain Today || Foot and Ankle Pain Explained

How to Fix your Foot Pain Today | Foot and Ankle Pain Explained

Are you suffering from foot pain?

Foot pain can be a very frustrating injury to deal with. Why? Because it’s our relationship with the ground.

We are bipedal creatures, we walk upright, and our feet are on the ground all the time.

Now, if you’re dealing with foot pain, this, amongst so many other things, are being mismanaged.


Because you go to your primary care, you go to somebody who’s talking about foot pain; they’re going to send you to a podiatrist.

While there are many great podiatrists out there, the recommendation for foot pain is orthotics or some sort of more supportive shoe without even understanding or doing an evaluation on whether that person would even need supported shoes.


Similar to how an x-ray and an MRI is overused for lower back pain, we’re looking at scans the feet and arches.

To simply think that’s enough, that is just the wrong solution.

You have to understand because this is our contact with the ground, we have weaker feet than normal.

We’re in shoes that are too small, we’re in high heels, we’re in the stiff soles that don’t allow our feet to actually function as feet, and they become weaker.

When they become weaker, they’re not able to sustain a load of our body weight, not to mention that a third of us are overweight to an obesity level.


So, if you’re dealing with foot pain, in this blog, we’re going to share a couple of the ways that we test, evaluate, and assess here at Live Loud Chiropractic:

  • What’s going on in the feet to determine is it actually a support issue?
  • Is it actually a mobility issue
  • Is it actually a strength issue
  • and they’re going to give you a couple of solutions that will help you determine what you need to do

Let's Dive in to Address your Foot Pain Problems:

A couple of typical foot pain issues:

  • Achilles Tendinitis (heel pain)
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Toe Pain
    • What we commonly see here at Live Loud is big toe pain
    • Potential Bunions

Keep reading or watch the video as we’ll address how we look at foot structure and function and a few things that can help you NOW.

Just like with everything else, load progression has to be the forefront of this, especially when you’re talking about plantar fasciitis, and or some sort of Achilles tendonitis or Achilles pain.

A Story of Foot Pain from Dr. Antonio

This is a true story based on me, I wanted to start running, and I was doing a particular challenge of which I was running 45 minutes a day. I had not ran in years and I decided to start running 45 minutes a day, about four miles a day.


After one week, I had extensive tendinitis issues, not because something was wrong with my tendons, I just asked them to do more than what they were capable of.


Simply put, I started to regress and went back to walking and some other forms to let that calm down, and then restructured my running back appropriately, thus not having any more issues.

One of the Biggest Issues We See that Causes Foot Pain

So, you have to have that conversation of understanding what’s realistic to expect, based on the condition of your anatomy and your physiology.

Now that being said, one of the big issues that we see with feet is the shoes that you’re wearing. More often than not, our shoes are too small for our feet, especially where the toe box is, and then they taper forward.

What happens with that is you change the structure of how the foot should function when it’s weight-bearing. So, we have to look at shoes, not that I want you to go buy a whole new wardrobe, but understand that this is directly affecting how your foot functions.

Now, even more importantly, your feet are what’s connecting you to the ground. Naturally, we ebb and flow and sway, giving you good contact to the ground, this improves your proprioceptive input of where you are in space, thus improving function in the knees and the hips and everywhere else.

Foot Pain Can Cause Other Issues Throughout Your Body

So, if you’re not having good contact with the ground, whether through poor feet or not understanding how your feet work, this could be part of what’s causing even issues upstream.

Now, we have already addressed some of the foot issues with our knee pain exercise or knee video, as well as our hip video. Because what you have to understand, especially when we’re talking about squats, is that the positioning of your feet will change the angle of your knee and the internal or external rotation of your hip.

So simply changing your foot patterning while doing certain exercises can also help you better stack the structures above, leading to better improvement in those movements as well. When we’re talking about feet, it’s not just about the foot pain, but we’re seeing how it affects other things up and down the chain.

How The Foot Functions And What We’re Looking For With Foot Pain


We’re going to have you go hip width apart and feet straight. From this perspective we can the toes are on the ground and if you have a good arch. Paying attention to if the arch is collapsing or not.

As we narrow the squat we’re looking to see if the toes start to flare up a bit, or if you’re not able to go as deep.

What we want to see is that you are anchored, your feet don’t move, your knees track well, over toes, and you’re getting a lot more depth and range of motion out of the hips.

Sometimes, it isn’t a foot pain issue, because you often have the necessary range of motion and control. It can be a technique issue. For this instance, just widening your squat stance might give you the range of motion and control you needed!


Step Forward

Now we’ll have you put your feet together and do a lunge pattern. You can step back or forwards.

Here we are looking at how the front foot is controlled. Not only that, we watch on the back side tow extension, which is critical.

Next, drop down on to her knee. We call this a tall kneeling position. Tall kneeling position is important to determine if you have the necessary toe extension.

Lastly, we’ll expand upon this and ask you to sit butt towards your heels. This puts a little more pressure. If we’re seeing sensitivity in the toes in this position, we know that we’re lacking extension.


Why is this important?

Well, you need great toe extension because the majority of your propulsion comes off your bigger toe when you’re running, and walking.


Now, this is just a few of the functional assessments that we do for feet and foot pain here at Live Loud Chiropractic.

A Few Ways To Enhance Foot Function After Foot Pain

One of the issues that we see with the foot is we’re actually lacking rear foot inversion and eversion. We need that calcaneus and subtalar joint to rock back and forth.

One thing you can do is build your arch. Watch how your ankle shifts side to side. In this rocking motion, what we’re creating is better inversion and eversion. Now, this helps you gain more proprioception.

If you were to stand on your, left foot, bringing your right foot up, you can see how that ankle has to rock back and forth. So, this helps you with balance and control you need inversion and eversion of the ankle.

If you are lacking great toe extension, we would essentially give you a tall kneeling type of movement to help train and then some sort of a lunging pattern to help improve.

From an aerial view, what we’re looking for is do you have the ability to widen the toe box.

Shoes play a huge role in shaping our feet. Often, they put more pressure on the first metatarsal phalangeal joint. This is how Bunions are often created.

We need the ability to spread out our feet. If your shoes don’t allow you to do this, then you’re scrunched in right so you need a wide toe box to be able to better function.

One of the easiest remedies for feet is rolling them out.

We get so caught up and tight shoes and just so much movement that our feet do not get a lot of love.

So, one thing that everyone should and could be doing is simply rolling out with a lacrosse balls. You need something that allows you to dig into a lot of the intricate muscles of the foot that oftentimes get very neglected.

Foot Pain Conclusion

Alright, so I hope that was helpful again, when we’re dealing with the feet, because we have so much time on them, you really have to look at the loading progressions to better understand what’s the actual cause.

More times than not, we’re actually not doing enough for our feet from a very direct, intentional perspective. And then we just go out and run or walk a lot and then expect it to do what we want.

So, by simply taking one step back and addressing a lot of these issues, you’re able to go three, four-fold forward, because you’ve set yourself up for success. And you set your foundation (pun intended) to be adequate enough to be able to handle everything that you throw at it.

If you’ve been dealing with foot pain, ankle pain, Achilles issues, plantar fasciitis, and especially big toe pain, and you’re tired of it, and you want to deal with it, please reach out to us! We’ll be able to set you up with a proper evaluation and assessment to determine what areas of the foot are actually tight.

Then what needs to be mobilized and what areas actually might be weak that need to be strengthened or improve its stability.

Let’s get you back to all the activities whether that’s pickleball, tennis, volleyball, or even just simple things such as running and walking! So, if you’re tired of this foot pain, and you want to get some answers, please come in and see us here at Live Loud Chiropractic in Lafayette, CO.

We’d love to help you out so that you can live a loud, adventurous life.

Live Loud Chiropractic

Fix Your Hip Pain Today | Hip Pain Explained With Sports Chiropractor

Fix Your Hip Pain Today | Hip Pain Explained

One of the more challenging aches and pains or conditions to work through is hip pain.

What makes it so challenging?

Well, for one the nature of the joint itself. It’s a big ball and socket joint set up structurally to sustain a lot of impact and load. But! We run away from that as a solution when we’re talking about dealing with hip pain.

You have to understand and have a provider that knows:

  1. Mechanics
  2. Loading principles
  3. Rehab principles

These three things are KEY to helping you best find a solution for dealing with your hip pain.


Now, if you have hip pain, we’re going to walk you through (make sure you watch the video attached to see this live):

  •  A couple of reasons as to why hip pain might be generated
    •  Especially certain regions
      • Front of the hip
      • Back of the hip
      • Side of the hip
  • A few tools that you need to understand to help you deal with pain immediately
  • Foundational principles about why it happens so you can have a better conversation with your provider about dealing with hip pain

Running away from Load vs. Loading being the best for you Hip Pain?

Again, running away from the load is not the solution!

Loading is actually the best thing that you can be doing if done appropriately. So, if you’re dealing with hip pain, whether again, it’s on the front side, or maybe even something in the back, and you want to get back to your activities, like running, CrossFit, hiking, or anything like that, this blog and video will be very helpful for you.

I’m Dr, Antonio Gurule with Live Loud Chiropractic and Coaching. We’re based here in Lafayette, Colorado, in Boulder County.

We LOVE helping individuals such as yourself, overcome the fear and anxiety of having pain, and gain more confidence and understanding about how your body moves so that you can go out and live the loud adventurous life that you are made for!

Let’s Dive into Hip Pain

The hip is a very robust joint, it is intended to be able to support your full body weight down into the ground, whether you’re walking, whether you’re running, whether you’re jumping.

Note: It is very, very hard to damage anything within the structure, but it can happen.

Our goal is to help you determine:

  1. Is there something actually that’s damaged within the hip that’s causing your hip pain?
  2. Or is it something that kind of built up as maybe an overuse injury
  3. Or maybe it’s just a technique issue

What we’ve determined with some of our other condition videos like Shoulder Pain or Back Pain and if you have not seen those, please be sure to go check those out!

Real Life Hip Pain Scenario and Solution

I just had a conversation with a mom the other day who is postpartum and wants to get back to running. Previously, before pregnancy, she was running anywhere between three to six miles and so she wanted to go back to that immediately. But she was pregnant and postpartum. Her body went through a lot of changes, not knowing that we needed to regain a lot of the progressions that got her to three to six miles before.

She thought, “oh, I used to be able to do this before I could just go back to that.” She came in having a lot of hip pain, not because something was wrong with her hip, but because she got back to three to six miles, way too soon.

So, we have to understand there’s a necessary progression and where most people are having issues like in the side butt area, this is where all your hip stabilizers are.

When you translate weight from one foot to the other, you’re going to feel that side butt area and those hips engage, that’s what helps stabilizes your ball and socket joint when you transfer your weight side to side.

So, this is one of the main areas that we’re going to be dealing with when we’re dealing with hip pain. Fortunately, these are fairly easy fixes, you have to understand the whole loading progression.

We’re going to have an extensive conversation around that. If you need help coaching or reprogramming that we can also help you with that here at Live Loud Chiropractic and Coaching.


A Couple of Things to Assess for Hip Pain 

  • First, we have to look at the range of motion.
    • So, we’re going to look at the squat stance, and we’re just going to watch the squat. Right, we’re looking for any sort of shifting discrepancies, pain that might be occurring from that.
  • Second, single-leg lunge
    • So that we are biased, only loading one side more than the other
  • Next, single leg arc pattern
    • You’re going to do lift one knee, slowly kind of tilt back into a single leg RDL and then come back up
    • We’re looking for if you have strength but also stability

Necessary Progressions for Hip Pain

The assessment above is important to determine the necessary progressions. We might have to take a step back and work on balance control and proprioception before getting you back into all the impact stuff that you want to be able to do.


Now, strength is a component of that. On top of that, though, we also have to look at dealing with some soft tissue. As we indicated already, sometimes your hip pain is an overloading issue and the muscles might just be sore.

Soft Tissue Work for Your Hip Pain

Having strong able-bodied manual therapists to understand where to work, whether that’s with our hands, dry needling, or cupping, to help you basically work on the soft tissue structures because you do want to work out hard, you do want to do all these activities. Sometimes it’s just supportive nature, nothing’s actually wrong, you just need someone to know how to work into the area.

At home, you can do a lot of this yourself! You can stand up against a wall and explore the hip bone and different parts of the hip.

So essentially, we’re just trying to get into all of these nooks and crannies, and all these areas with the soft tissues and the muscles to help alleviate the symptoms of these muscles is grabbing and working hard.

Addressing Load Progressions with Hip Pain

Now, that’s the best-case scenario, let’s say for instance, it is something a little bit more in-depth, we have to address the loading progressions then that are directly affecting the pain you are feeling.

When the femur and the socket are pinching up against each other, we refer to this as FAI or femoral acetabular impingement.

Now, the reason why I’m addressing this is this is my soapbox, too many people are being told to squat with their feet, shoulder or hip-width apart, and their toe straight. Certain anatomy will just not dictate and allow you to do that. For some, it might work well; for others, it does not.

You have to determine the best squat stance based on your anatomy so that you’re not jamming your hip into the front.

Squat Pattern and Your Hip Pain

Typically, this presents as pinching in the front of the hip or a very tight psoas which gets blamed for way too much on the front side because it’s guarding and protecting your hip from being jammed up.

When we’re squatting, you can see if a person is off balance. If the toes want to raise up a little bit and they can’t get down very far. Now, this is for other people because you will look at this and say,

“Oh, well, you know, lift your chest more, let me see more of your chest. If you had like your name on front of it, all that would do is force her to crank or backup, creating issues in the back. Or they’ll say they have ankle range of motion limitations because it doesn’t look like the ankles going far very far for those are neither nor the case.”

It’s just that the way you might be stacked, your joints can’t work together. The solution could be to open up your stance simply.

Conclusion for Hip Pain

So, we have now determined that it wasn’t a mobility issue at all, we were just simply using the wrong pattern. Now, what this also does is it clears the hip. If we’re too narrow, again, that femur runs into the socket. Whereas if we go wider, and now allows your hip to deepen its amount of flexion.

If you’re having a pinchy hip when squatting or doing something like that, I almost guarantee you that going slightly wider will improve your symptoms, if not improve your squat pattern and in general, allowing you to lift more.

So, at home a few things that you want to do basic soft tissue, your hip, being how big it is, it’s usually just that it’s getting overloaded, and the muscles are just generally a little bit tight. And a little bit of trigger point work goes a long way. But if you’re dealing with the more pinchy front hip issue, a wider stance will be a game changer for you.

Now, many of these conditions are somewhat acute in nature, because we either had this rapid increase of load progression, or we just started squatting more, we now feel this.

Having someone help you navigate that will make a big difference so that you don’t have to take a lot of time off. You don’t have to take a step back. But if this is something that’s chronic, and it’s really been hindering what you’ve been able to do, don’t wait any longer come in and see us have a proper assessment and evaluation done to determine if it’s soft tissue if it’s structural, or if it’s just simply we need better load progressions or understanding how to get stronger without irritating.

If you’re ready to deal with your hip pain once and for all come in and see us get a proper assessment done! Get a proper evaluation done to determine if it is soft tissue, structural, or simply just a lack of understanding on how to load through a progressive way properly.

Whatever it is we here at Live Loud Chiropractic and Coaching in Lafayette, CO are ready to help serve you and your hip pain!