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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

Why am I in chronic pain? The perspective that helped me heal

When you’re suffering with chronic pain, you may search for the meaning behind your suffering. Why am I in chronic pain? Why do I keep hurting every day? What's wrong with me?

However, the meanings we ascribe to our chronic pain do not always helps us get out of pain. Oftentimes, the theories we attach to chronic pain can actually make our pain worse. 

In this article, we’re going to look at how your understanding of your pain influences your ability to move and live your life again without pain.


The meaning of my chronic pain

When I pulled my groin as a roller hockey goalie in high school, I was in a lot of pain. And I knew why. I pulled a muscle in my groin! It was hurt and injured. Doctors and physical...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...
1 2

50% Complete

Sign up for Roll and Release

Beat chronic tension with simple self-massage techniques and discover simple truths about good posture, exercise, and chronic pain.