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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PRP injection or PAO for hip dysplasia: Erica's story

"I spent my Thanksgiving break in bed crying and researching surgery options..."

I want to share an important story with you today. Here's the background.

I've been coaching a young woman named Erica online for the last couple of months.

She has hip dysplasia. Doctors often claim that hip dysplasia is a guaranteed path to hip pain and arthritis. The only solution for hip pain from dysplasia, they say, is drastic surgery.

The other week, Erica was over-the-moon excited about what she'd accomplished in such a short period of time - especially because of what her well-renowned expert hip surgeon in Los Angeles told her.

Let's set the stage.

I am 30 years old and for my entire adult life I have been physically active without...

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They are slandering your beautiful moving machine.


You are building a self-feeding, self-maintaining machine. 

You give it feedback mechanisms that enable it to regulate and meet its own needs. It senses when it needs to ingest fluids and solid matter in order to fuel further operation. After ingestion, observation, and analysis, it determines which solid matter and fluids are acceptable for future use as fuel. Solid matter and fluids that are unacceptable are ejected promptly and avoided. Any resulting damage is assessed and repaired quickly.


The machine senses when and how often it needs to power down so that it can run through a lengthy checklist of system fidelity checks and maintenance processes for its locomotive system, its external environment observation...

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Break Phone and Internet Addiction with these alternative activities

In a previous article, I talked about phone and internet addiction being a major contributor to my own history of chronic pain.

I addressed the ways in which constant compulsive phone and computer usage can lead to a heightened statute of stress - which can exacerbate pain and get you stuck in a loop of chronic pain. We also discussed simple steps to loosen the hold your phone has on you, and how to eventually break your phone addiction.

In today’s article, I want to address something that comes up when you’re trying to break your phone addiction. If you follow the advice I gave in the previous article, you’ll find you have a lot of time to fill. All those hours you would normally being spending on your phone...

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Injected relief is a dose of long-term damage

If you are an athlete with recurrent or chronic pain or hang around people with recurrent or chronic pain, you’ve probably heard of cortisone injections. They’re these wonderful injections that (when they work) take away pain. However, before you get your next shot, you might want to know that the world’s most respected medical journal just published a study that shows that cortisone shots actually HARM you more than they help you.

The study looked at a large group of randomized trials looking at recurrent and chronic tendon injuries, and what they found was about what you’d expect:

…cortisone injections did, as promised, bring fast and significant pain relief, compared with doing nothing or following a...

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Surgery to Cure Back, Hip, or Shoulder Pain? 2 Things to Cut Before Your Body

A lot of times people with back, shoulder, or hip pain are thinking about what they need to cut. Medical articles written by or inspired by surgeons promote the idea that surgery is the best answer to all kinds of chronic pain conditions.

So people are led to believe they need a surgeon to cut some bone, some ligament, some tendon, some muscle...

This comes from the medical/orthopedic model of chronic pain: if something hurts, it's because something is malformed or permanently damaged.

But this orthopedic model ignores the regenerative capacities of the body AND ignores an even bigger issue.

Scientific research consistently shows that "damaged" or "deformed" structures that allegedly cause pain are - wait for it - NOT...

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Don't get trapped in an A hole

You’ve been spinning your wheels in chronic pain. Maybe you’ve got shoulder pain. Back pain. Hip pain. Knee pain. Whatever it is, you’ve been in pain for a while.

You keep thinking “I’VE GOT TO GET OUT OF PAIN.”

Every day, you’re obsessing about the pain you’re in and how to get away from it.

You’re in a hole. You’re in a hole of AVOIDANCE. An Avoidance Hole. Or an A Hole for short.

Nobody wants to be stuck in an A hole. It’s miserable. It smells bad. And it’s totally unproductive.

All your obsessing about avoiding pain doesn’t solve anything. You rest more. You use pain patches. You use pain pills. You avoid things you used to love. 

And still your body...

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How do you fix repetitive strain and overuse injuries?

If you’ve been told you have a repetitive strain injury (RSI), you may have been told that rest is the only way to fix your problem. Often, repetitive strain injuries go by the name of tendonitis or tendonosis. When your pain is in the hands and wrists, you may be told you have carpal tunnel syndrome or thoracic outlet syndrome.

In this article, we’re going to talk about perspective shift that can help you get rid of your repetitive strain injury, no matter what it’s been called. 

Watch this video for a quick summary of repetitive strain injuries.


Conventional medical treatments for repetitive strain injuries

If you’ve been to a doctor for your repetitive strain injury, you already know the protocol....

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How do you relax tight muscles? Does massage make you more flexible? What to do when you’re stuck and stiff.

If you have “tight muscles” or muscles that always feel tense, you’ve heard of massage. You’ve probably had a friend or loved one give a massage to your stiff, tense muscles. You may have shelled out a few hundred or thousand dollars to massage therapists to fix your knots.
If you’re a gym rat or athlete of any kind, you’ve heard of self-myofascial release. You’ve foam rolled your aching muscles to aid your recovery from tough workouts and to improve your range of motion. We’re going to call that massage or self-massage. 
But have you ever figured out when massage is NOT good for you? When self-myofascial release might be a waste of time? 
In this article,...
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