Shoulder pain and X-rays – do shoulder x-rays mean anything?

The most common myth about shoulder X-rays for shoulder pain

The vast majority of people believe that shoulder X-rays are a good way to determine what's causing shoulder pain.

woman with shoulder pain

Stress, among other things, can make your shoulder muscles quite cranky.

Many doctors also say that an X-ray is a good way to investigate shoulder pain. They might find things like medial acromial and lateral clavicular sclerosis, subchondral acromial cysts, inferior acromial and clavicular osteophytes, and degeneration of the acromioclavicular joint...

Those all sound terrible, don't they?


If you saw any of those things in a shoulder X-ray, you'd think those were the obvious cause of your pain. You'd also probably think that treating...

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Hip labral tears: what you need to know and what your doctor won’t tell you

Why are hip labral tears important to talk about?

Hip pain is becoming an extremely common complaint in this age of desk work and constant sitting. It’s also becoming very common for people to get the diagnosis of a hip labral tear. So, what does it mean to tell people they have hip labral tears? In this article, we’re going to look very deeply at the research around hip pain, labral tears, and surgery for labral tears.

client stretching his hips and shoulders


Hip labral tears in a training context

We work with a lot of clients with hip issues in our training facility. From the very beginning, we’ve worked very hard to understand the myths and facts around hip pain and hip labral tears and other hip joint pathologies. We always want to make sure...

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How to improve scapular retraction

Whenever we work with clients who have problems with their shoulders, there's one motion that we ALWAYS try to improve right away - scapular retraction. If you have shoulder issues it can often be helped with simple exercises that emphasize alignment and retraining.

In this blog we are looking at a few exercises to help restore proper alignment and strength in the correct muscles to support shoulder health.


What is scapular retraction?

Scapular retraction involves pulling your shoulder blades (the scapulae) in towards each other/towards the spine - WITHOUT shrugging up toward your ears.

The opposite of scapular retraction is scapular protraction. In protraction your shoulder blades move away from one another and your arms...

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What do you need to do to fix anterior tilt?

As personal trainers, we see anterior pelvic tilt a lot. As a result of our YouTube videos on different approaches and techniques relevant to training, we get a lot of questions about what’s really necessary to get stronger, fitter, and more mobile when you have anterior pelvic tilt. 

One of the big questions we get is about squatting and deadlifting and how they relate to anterior tilt. Specifically, people want to know whether squatting and deadlifting are actually necessary components of fixing anterior tilt!


What do squatting and deadlifting have to do with anterior tilt?

For people with anterior pelvic tilt, exercise selection is really important. If you do the wrong exercises, you can easily make...

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How to get rid of pain in the TFL (tensor fascia lata)

Do you feel an achy, dull, annoying pain in the side of your hip that’s been there for months or even years? Does it seem to get worse after any type of dynamic physical activity or any prolonged period of sitting?

It’s possible that this discomfort is due to a shortened and dysfunctional tensor fascia latae muscle, or “TFL” for short. I’ve experienced this discomfort myself so I know exactly how much of a pain in the [TFL] it can be!

In this article, we’re going to explain why your tensor fascia lata might be dysfunctional and then present a step-by-step training protocol that can help you reduce your TFL pain.


maks had a tight tflYou'll smile like this too when your TFL feels better.

My TFL Story


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Shoulder Labral Tears Part 2: Does surgery work?

In this article, we're going to look at the statistics and studies on shoulder labral tear surgery to help you discern the risks involved. To learn all about shoulder labral tears check out part 1 of this blog series for more background information.

If you have shoulder pain and someone has told you that it’s coming from a labral tear, you may feel like your only option is surgery. After all, if something in your shoulder is torn, how could you possibly be able to do anything to fix it besides having surgery? You can’t possibly go in yourself to fix that tear!

What are the odds of shoulder labrum surgery success? 

While surgeons may suggest that shoulder surgery is often extremely successful, it’s important to...

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Shoulder Labral Tears Part 1: What you need to know

In this article, we're going to learn all about shoulder labral tears, how they are diagnosed, and their relationship to pain. To learn more about the research on shoulder labral tear surgery, success rates, and rehabilitation  check out part 2 of this blog series.


Why are shoulder labral tears important to talk about?

Shoulder pain is extremely common.  A 2003 study in the Netherlands estimated that shoulder pain is the second most common complaint after lower back pain. Another 2011 study in the same country estimated that 3 out of 100 people goes to a general practitioner due to shoulder pain every year.

One of the causes of shoulder pain is believed to be shoulder labral tears. The most popular treatment for...

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How do you relax tight muscles? What to do when you’re stuck and stiff.

 We’ve all been there. Your muscles feel tight and locked up, perhaps after a hard workout or a stressful week at work. You’ve had massages, done your stretching routine from top to bottom, but after a short period of relief, it comes back again. 

The common treatment for tight muscles consists of massage, stretching, rest, or ice/heat. Those approaches, however, don’t always work. So what do you do when muscle tightness keeps coming back?


How to fix tight muscles: Overview

This video is an overview of muscles tightness. I encourage you to watch the video AND read this blog post for a deeper understanding of fixing tight muscles.


Why do muscles feel tight?

“Tightness” itself can...

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How to sleep with anterior pelvic tilt

How should you sleep if you have an anterior pelvic tilt? If you sleep in the wrong position, will it make your tilt worse? If you sleep in a good position, will it make it better?

If you have an anterior pelvic tilt we have some great information for you, including  how to sleep to improve your alignment, and a video to help you understand the best position for your pelvis at night.

 woman showing anterior pelvic tilt

What is anterior pelvic tilt?

An anterior tilt is when the front of your pelvis is tipped towards the floor. It's not a terrible orthopedic condition. It just means certain muscles are positioning your pelvis so that the front end is lower than ideal.

However, this position creates an arch in your lower back that is not ideal...

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Are wide pushups bad for you?

Often when people first start to experiment with wide pushups, they experience one of two things: either they have shoulder pain, or someone tells them that they should stop doing wide push ups because they’ll end up injured.

Does this mean wide push ups bad for you? 

No. Wide pushups are not bad for you when done correctly. The discomfort you may feel doesn’t mean wide grip pushups are unsafe. Wide grip push-ups can actually be GOOD for you if you do them correctly. Just like lifting heavy objects is not inherently bad for you, and in fact, can be beneficial and good for you when proper form is in place.

How do you do wide push ups properly?

Controlling your shoulder blades can help your shoulders move effectively and...

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