How do you fix muscle imbalances and dysfunction?

This article covers the nuts and bolts strategies to fix muscle dysfunction and muscle imbalances.

We will cover specific sensations that arise when fixing dysfunctional muscles and what to do about them. The strategies in this article are based on observations and experiments over thousands of client sessions at Upright Health. 

There are no placebo-controlled clinical trials to point to, and there probably won't ever be any that are useful. Your body is a complex nonlinear system that requires observation and calibration on an individual basis. This article will give you understanding and tools to explore your own body's limits and to expand those limits. These are strategies that have helped people avoid...

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Muscle imbalances and muscle dysfunction: Identifying these key causes of chronic pain and movement impairment

[Word Count: 8000 | Estimated reading time: 30 minutes]

You probably came here because something in your body doesn't feel right. You probably have chronic pain in one or multiple joints.

You came across this "muscle imbalance" term and are pretty sure it applies to your achy-breaky body.

I've been in the same situation. I suffered for years with chronic pain in my back, hands, wrists, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet. Conventional medical advice and physical therapy were a dead end for me. Acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage all failed to give me lasting results.

What gave me freedom and confidence was learning how to move my body right. As I started to move right, I started to feel right. 

Let's start...

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A simple home exercise for rounded shoulders

Looking for a simple beginner exercise for rounded shoulders? No gym but still want to improve your posture and shoulder strength? This shoulder exercise will build arm and shoulder strength and can be a great fix for rounded shoulders.

When you don't have access to a gym or dumbells, bands can provide a great way to work your shoulders. By setting up bands on a secure anchor point, you don't need a gym to improve your shoulder posture.

Rounded shoulders are a product of poor shoulder strength and length. The band row can reduce shoulder rounding and improve your upper back posture. It's easy to do with no gym and can be done at home, the office, or anywhere you can tie exercise bands.

Watch the video below or on YouTube.

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Why Strength Training, Not Surgery, Is the Solution to Shoulder Clicking and Popping

If you have snapping, popping, and other cracking noises in your shoulders, you might be wondering what’s causing these sounds and what you can do to get rid of them.

People often get worried when they start experiencing clicks in their shoulders. They sometimes read stories about how the source of the clicking could be labrum tears, inflamed tendons, damaged muscles, etc.—all things that sound very serious and involved to fix.

First of all, you don't need to worry. Even babies get popping and snapping in their shoulders. As a newborn, my son had audible noises come from his shoulders - but they were not at all a sign of joint problems. And he STILL gets occasional noises!

What most people (including many doctors) don’t...

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Is Surgery My Only Option for My Rotator Cuff Tear?

You’ve been told you have a rotator cuff tear, and you are scared that your shoulder is going to hurt forever. You’re afraid you’ve done damage that you’re never going to come back from. Maybe you’re wondering if there’s a way you can avoid getting surgery?

Let’s look at the ins and outs of rotator cuff tears so you understand what you’re dealing with.


We’re going to answer 3 major questions about rotator cuff tears:

1) What are rotator cuff tears?

2) Do rotator cuff tears cause pain?

3) Does surgery for rotator cuff tears get you back to doing things you love?


Along the way, we’ll address some other related questions as well, and figure out the best way for YOU to...

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PRP injections – are they worth it for hip, knee, or shoulder pain?

If you have hip pain, are PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections worth it? Will PRP injections help with knee or shoulder pain? What about your elbow or foot? Let’s see what the science says so you can make an informed decision.


Why talk about PRP injections? 

We work with a lot of clients who have had chronic hip, knee, back, and shoulder pain. Our clients have usually spent all kinds of money and time trying to fix their aches and pains with massage, chiropractic, physical therapy, dry-needling, acupuncture, etc. etc. 

When those approaches fail to help, people often get desperate. And that’s when PRP injections pop up on the radar.

The premise of PRP injections is that all you need to do is pull some...

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Shoulder pain from labral tears: are labral tears really causing the problem?

If you've been told you have a labral tear and that it's the cause of your shoulder pain and movement issues, there's something you need to know: Labral tears are not as important as your doctor thinks.


Labral tears don't have anything to do with pain - as near as we can tell.

For many years, the conventional medical wisdom has been this: if we can see something "torn" in your shoulder, that must be the reason you have pain. Based on MRIs and this belief, surgery has long been proposed as a way to solve shoulder pain that appears to be "caused" by labral tears.

If, in fact, the labral tears are causing people shoulder issues, we should be able to take someone off the street and, if we find a labral...

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How Shifting Your Perspective on Chronic Pain Can Help You Heal

When it comes to lower back, hip, and knee pain, we can get caught in a cycle of beliefs that can make our pain worse. Here, how mobility training may be the way to break the cycle.


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When you’re suffering from chronic pain, you may search for the meaning behind your suffering, asking yourself What's wrong with me? Or What did I do to deserve this?

However, the meanings we ascribe to our chronic pain do not always help us get out of pain. In fact, the theories we attach to...

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Surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – Is It Worth It?

If you're reading this you may have been told you have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).

Maybe you've got numb, cold, tingling hands, and you can't seem to find a way to make it all go away. Surgery may have been presented as an option, and perhaps you are seeking more information on what to expect.

In this post, we're going to dive deep into the research on the diagnosis of TOS and the real results of surgery. We'll also talk about what you can do to help yourself.


Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Overview

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a complex topic. There is controversy and confusion regarding its diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and even what term to call it. As Gliedt stated in his 2013...

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Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Is it a bone problem that needs a surgical solution?

You head to the doctor because you keep having this nagging shoulder pain every time you move your arm. It hurts to scratch your back and grab plates out of the cabinet. It’s getting harder to wash your hair and put your shirt on every morning.

Your doctor does some tests and diagnoses you with shoulder impingement syndrome - or SIS for short.

Now you want to learn what this means for you because you want to get back to living your life without shoulder pain. You want to reach to the top shelf, play tennis, lift weights, and play with your kids without shoulder pain.

You may have tried physical therapy for a while and gotten no relief, and now you may be considering surgery to cut down bones that your doctor says are shaped...

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