Archive for July, 2012

As I was reading the newspaper and checking in on my beloved JETS, I couldn’t help but stop, read, and re-read the following headline and article out of the Newark Star Ledger, “Rex Ryan changes practice schedule to cut down on soft tissue injuries”.

As someone who literally pays my bills dealing with soft-tissue injuries and loves dealing with athletes, I was more than curious to see what exactly good ol’ Rexy was up to this time.

So, rather than giving it to you in my own words, let me just give you some of the key excerpts from the article:

Because of a rash of groin and hamstring injuries…

The stretching and warm-up period will be extended 10 extra minutes

We have had a lot of hamstrings, a lot of those type of deals,” Ryan said. “If we can prevent them, our strength and conditioning (staff) and our trainers feel that would give us a better chance of being more successful with the hamstrings.

Have you ever seen that car commercial where the kid asks like a thousand questions? If not here you go:

I know, what does one have to do with the other. Well, my friends often compare me to that kid because I’m always asking a thousands questions. I always want to know ‘why’.

Naturally, when I see the JETS coincidentally had a rash of hamstring and groin type injuries, I asked why.

I’m not sure anyone really has the answer to this but here are a few theories:

1) True Tissue Shortening– Yes, it is possible that the JETS just so happen to have a collection of the athletes that truly have unbelievably short groin and hamstring muscles. This truly could be the only problem they have. Seems unlikely, no? However, if that were the case, then yes, extra stretching and warm-up time would certainly be in order for the team.

2) Soft tissue QUALITY – I think out of any other concept that gets misunderstood by the general public, it is this. Many patients come into the office and say, “I don’t understand why I have this knot, I stretch all the time.” This is a chance to explain to them this distinct difference. I think the ‘tying a rope in a knot’ analogy is a great way to go.

Mrs. Jones think of your muscles as a rubber band. If you tie a knot in the rubber band and then try to stretch it, that knot will still be there. In fact, much like the rubber band knot, your muscle may actually get tighter by stretching it

So what’s the solution? At minimum, some self myofacial release would be in order. Grab a lacrosse ball and foam roll, find the spots that feel like crap, and sit on them.

3) Too much, too soon, too fast- I stole this from one of my professors, Dr. Russ Ebbets. It’s no secret that at any level, most athletes get injured the first week of practice simply because the adaptation is not adequate. It’s like going from 0-60 by flooring it. Rather than slowly building up to speed, players literally hit the ground running during training camp when they simply are not ready.

Honestly, this issue is two-fold. I think it is partially because of the player and partially because of the team. Many players (even though they are professional) still are not ready for the demands of the pre-season when they arrive at camp. And on the other side, many coaches still have the mentality of physically abusing players early in camp in order to get them mentally tough. I am aware of the new contract agreements in the NFL that does not allow for such abuse to take place like it used to, but I think we would all be remiss to think it is completely gone.

4) Hydration Level- Quite frankly, it’s hot outside. In the Northeast (where the JETS train) it’s humid and gross. To think hydration may not be a part of the problem would certainly be an error in judgement. I know when I was younger, I thought all pro athletes ate healthy, hydrated, and wouldn’t do anything that may hurt their performance on the field.

*Ironically, I was born in 1986. You know, the year when the Mets won the World Series. A team that included Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, and Keith Hernandez. These guys did nothing good for their bodies, I promise.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. I’m sure many of these athletes have diets that are less than stellar. Add that to the fact that they are essentially eating cafeteria food during training camp and you have a great chance for cramping and muscle fatigue which can often mimic soreness and/or strain.

5) Check their movement- I’m saving the best for last. This is my personal favorite and where I would start with all my athletes if given the chance.

I have often wrote about my great admiration for those who specialize in movement based care. The short list included Gray Cook and Craig Liebenson, but I know there are a ton of other fantastic people preaching the gospel as well.

Anytime I see or hear about someone who pulled this, or has a chronically tight that, I’m always frothing at the mouth to see how they move. I want to know really what is working and what isn’t.

The first time you see a 6’8 All-American basketball player who can barely hold his leg up into abduction because of muscle inhibition is a life changing experience. Seriously, don’t give the athlete too much credit. Really check the movement.

If my life depended on it, I would probably guess that the recent rash of injuries the JETS are facing would probably be a combination of the above 5 topics. But, I would also venture to say #5 is much more likely the cause than #1.

Anyway, just my opinion. I would love to hear some others!


Ever have one of those days where the exercise you prescribe just doesn’t do the trick?

Yea, me too.

It happened to me this past week.

I had 3 people in a row who needed glute activation exercises. Interestingly, one had back pain, one knee pain, and the last had ankle pain. (This alone should give a little clue into just how important proper glute activation is for everyone.)

So naturally I started with something safe, easy, and convenient… Glute Bridge. It keeps the spine neutral, needs no equipment,  and can be done right on the table or mat.

Check this one out:

Unfortunately, I just wasn’t getting the glute activation I wanted. The core was sloppy and most of the extension was coming from the low back and not the glutes.

I needed a different exercise…fast.

When in doubt, try the deadlift.

Need a birthday gift for the girlfriend? Get her a deadlift.

Thirsty? Try a deadlift.


And if you don’t have the equipment for a deadlift? Try a pull through.

That’s what I did. For whatever reason, that day it just worked. All three people, with very little correction, used a proper hinge pattern and started to “feel it” in their glutes.

***Actually, I have a theory (this may or may not be supported by EMG/research, I have no idea. Anywho, this just popped into my head as I was watching Americas Got Talent reading a book.) So my theory: Due to the angle of the pull through, that if done correctly, there is a huge (bro-science term) eccentric loading component to glutes. We know already the amount of muscle fiber recruitment required for eccentric exercise is superior to that of concentric exercise AND since a pull through is always initiated with the eccentric component first, you are almost ‘waking up’ the glutes during the initiation of the exercise therefore making true hip extension (and not low back extension) a bit easier for the patient to feel. After you watch the last video in this post, re-read this paragraph and I think it may all make sense.

With one patient in particular, we improvised the clinical audit process. Test/Treat/Re-Test.

Test: Glute Bridge. This particular person was extending through the low back, buckling at the core, and actually felt pain in the lumbar spine.

Treat: Pull through. After about 40 total reps, this patient felt glute activation and totally extended through her hips (not her low back)

Re-Assess: Glute Bridge. Extension through the hips, no low back pain.

Let’s take a look at some:

Now I’m not saying this is wrong, I’m just saying this is not what I am specifically looking for because of the amount of low back flexion and extension (I want to teach hip motion).

Now check this one out:

Here, the hip hinge is much better. However, I’m not a fan of the neck position because of the hyperextension of the upper cervical spine.

Finally, let’s take a look at perfect form:

Great hip hinge. Little, if any low back motion. Finally, the cervical spine stays neutral throughout the entire exercise.

Insert witty conclusion here


Yep, you read that correctly. Today is the last official day of chiropractic school!

It has been quite the journey. <———– understatement alert!!!

In honor of this day, here are some random pieces about graduation, life, and being awesome.

1) Ten Tips for the Graduating Class of 2012 is a nice little write-up from Forbes Magazine. My favorite of the ten: A little perspective goes a long way. I’d have to say, this is probably the biggest change I have made in the past 3+ years. Perspective truly does go a long way. It makes the really shitty situations a little more bearable and keeps you grounded during those fantastic ones.

2) Here is an article about the weak job market for college graduates. It states that 50% of college graduates are unemployed. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is the reality. Why did I include this? Well, first of all I think those of us who do have jobs should be thankful for the work we have. And second, I like using negativity like this as motivation. This world is generally a negative place if you let it be.

Do yourself a favor. Use negativity as motivation.

3)Michael Lewis of the famed book and now movie “Moneyball” (omg, I heart Brad Pitt!!) gave some words of wisdom to the Princeton University graduating class of 2011:

Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck — and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.

4)Charles Wheelen kept things simple with this:

Don’t make the world worse

5)Navy SEAL Eric Greiten had this to say to the Tufts University graduating class:

‘What kind of service can I provide? What kind of positive difference can I make in the lives of others?’ If you work every day to live an answer to that question, then you will be stronger.”

6)Jon Stewart gave a speech in 2004 to graduates of The College of William and Mary:

How do you know what is the right path to choose to get the result that you desire? The honest answer is this: You won’t. And accepting that greatly eases the anxiety of your life experience.

7)And finally, some fantastic graduation material from the one and only Dom Mazzetti (if you are easily offended, you may want to skip this video as it has some bad language and inappropriate humor):

Oh…and yes, I actually will be spending the next three months abroad…at my parent’s house in Jersey.

My 3 Favorite Blogs

Posted: July 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

The internet is a funny place. Let’s forget for a second the funny-bad things like chatroulette, obsessive Facebook status updates, internet battles of manliness and focus on the funny-good things. For me, I am always amazed by how much educational (and free) things I can learn by simply opening my laptop, pressing a few buttons and arriving at the site of choice.

That being said, I wanted to share my favorite blogs that I read regularly. In other words, when I am really busy and don’t have time to mess around, these are the ones that I will simply make time for.

1) Out of everything I read on the internet, Tony’s blog is what I look forward to the most. Honestly, there are days when I check Tony’s site at around the time he usually posts (usually between 11 am and 1 pm… I swear I’m not a creeper) and truly feel disappointed that he didn’t write anything yet. Simply put, reading is what inspired me to start writing myself.

Tony made me realize that sharing knowledge didn’t have to be a bore-fest and that the message gets across better when you have a little fun.Tony is like your favorite school teacher who tells jokes and makes you laugh but when they are finished you realize you learned something new.

I won’t say my writing style is like Tony’s (because that would be an insult to him) but I will say that it is certainly something I strive for.

And let’s be serious, do you really think I wasn’t influenced by Tony’s weekly Miscellaneous Miscellany Monday when I started my Some Monday Randomness???

2) I’m not the first person to write about him, and I certainly won’t be the last, but Eric Cressey is the shizzz. I think I actually started a new slogan. It’s WWCD (What Would Cressey Do?). I feel like every conversation I have is like a game of 6 Degrees of Seperation (is that even a game?). Somehow if training, rehab, blogging, or baseball comes up, I somehow find a way to bring Eric Cressey’s name into it.

Cressey’s blog is spectacular. He is a wealth of knowledge and he shares this (for free) on his site. His anatomy knowledge is 2nd to none and the guy is a machine when it comes to releasing new, high quality products.

Cressey has been a huge influence because he made me realize that your passion can become your business. Cressey deals with about 80% baseball players and has carved a niche as the go-to person for all things training and baseball.

3) The last of my favorite blogs is that from the guys at Todd and Chris have become friends of mine over the past few years and it’s nice to sort of go through the grind together.

Both guys are extremely good at what they do and I think most importantly, they are guys I would feel comfortable sending my family to train with.

All in all, they put out some high quality content that is not only entertaining, but creative and practical.

Aaand, that’s about it for today.

What are some of your favorite blogs or sites that offer high quality, practical information?

Please share!

Today’s post started as the title indicates… a little random blurb about something I came across on someone else’s blog. However as often happens, my random thoughts sometime turn into full blown posts that I think warrant a little more attention (the same thing happened here, and here)

It all started when I came across a youtube clip  (courtesy of called “The Suprise Science of Motivation” by Daniel Pink.

And, let me preface all of this by saying that as a Psychology major, people and human nature truly fascinate me. Truth be told, I am always curious about what makes people tick.

That being said, Daniel Pink’s talk was nothing short of amazing.

So, what is it? The cars? Money? Fancy dinners? Dating Beyonce?

I’d put a ring on it

Seriously, what is it?!?!

Thankfully, Daniel Pink has the answer (and it’s probably not what you think).

You see, research shows that for menial tasks, the  ‘if/then’ or extrinsic motivators work very well. In other words, if you do this, then you will get this… the definition of a menial task certainly varies from person to person and profession to profession.

But, what happens when people are given a task in which they need to think outside the box? Interestingly, research shows that extrinsic motivators have the opposite effect on productivity. As Pink put it, “Simple sets of rules and a clear destination narrows one’s focus.”

So what is it that truly motivates people to be productive in a creative, “outside the box” environment?

As Pink puts it, 3 things:

1)Autonomy– the urge to direct our own lives

2)Mastery- the desire to get better at something that matters

3)Purpose- the urging to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

I bring this up because myself and many of my friends are in the process of trying to find a job and obviously are looking for ‘the perfect fit’.

Truthfully, I think it all comes down to this…

Are you happy with extrinsic motivation (money, vacation, etc.) if the result is doing menial work and in a situation where autonomy is low, mastery is not wanted (for fear you may take your bosses job), and purpose is simply to show up with a smile on your face while not upsetting the apple cart?


May taking less money and prestige in a spot where you can truly think outside the box, have a chance to master your skills, and  have a purpose bigger than yourself be something that is paramount?

Certainly, this is something to consider.

For those of you who want to watch the whole thing, here you go:

And for those of you readers:

Spoiler Alert: This post is over 1000 words but the title was catchy so ‘Soup’ and I (Justin) decided to stick with it! Anyway, judging by the feedback I got yesterday, I would take an educated guess and say Jake’s first post was a smashing success (I told you, you would not be disappointed).

For any of you who may have missed Part I click here.

Ok enough of me, take it home ‘Soup’…

Hello again!  If you’ve been following along in your guide books thus far, you will see that we’ve touched upon several quotations/reasons that support why you should surround yourself with smart, hardworking people and continue to read well beyond the classroom.  I’d like to thank Justin for allowing me a chance to blog like I’ve never blogged before (because this truly is the first time I’ve ever done it, so that makes sense).  I hope you all enjoy the “Do’s and Do Not’s” of Part II…

Do:  “Find a Big (Internal!) Motivator”

It’s been said that in order to make a big change, motivation must come from inside.  External motivators on their own can and will certainly give you a kick in the caboose when needed, but true change has to be inspired from within.  We all need a “reason why” — a real purpose and a sense of why accomplishing a given task is important to us.  This applies to losing weight, putting on muscle mass, conquering a test, winning your age group at a local race, getting places on time, quitting smoking, becoming the best DC, PT, OT, SLP, CSCS, etc. you can be… the list is endless.  All of the external motivating factors in the world will not trump a true, internal desire to create opportunities and to create positive change in yourself and those around you.

“Motivation is the currency of skills acquisition” – Joe Baker

(The caveat to this is that sometimes we do need extra motivation/the help of others to actually start making change.  This is when you can fall back on your support network (of smart, motivated people!) to help give you the extra sauce for your domination sandwich)

(Please note: the above idea was blatantly stolen/altered successfully from a recent post by Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition).

Do NOT: Rely solely on external motivators

Of course, we often times must do activities that are not enjoyable but that we are expected to perform.  Case(s) and point(s): homework, hanging out with your mother in-law, sleeping in a hotel room with your significant other AND your parents …you get my point.  The idea is that we need to want to make changes in the lives of our patients/friends/family members/ourselves rather than simply doing things because they are expected.

Do: Keep showing up.  It doesn’t matter how smart or good-looking or skilled you are.  If you don’t show up to your workplace, family events, places you’re expected to be at, or elsewhere, people will quite frankly expect less of you (and no, that does not mean you can then skirt responsibilities).  You can be the best/hottest/smartest/most awesomest thing since Huey Lewis and the News, sliced bread, and/or Brad Pitt in “Meet Joe Black”, but if you don’t show up, there are certain consequences.

Real world example: A co-worker of someone I know consistently does not show up to a full work week.  If 5/5 is batting 1.000, they are solidly at a .600 – an excellent batting average, but a sub par attendance record.  The natural assumption is that this person should probably be fired, but they happen to be good at what they do.  The fact remains however that the person I know as well as their other co-workers now anticipate this person taking off and certainly think less of them.  Not that we should live and die by what others think, but we must carry out actions when others are relying on us to do our job/show up.  As Woody Allen said, “90% of life is just showing up.”

Do NOT: …self-explanatory? AKA “Don’t be a menace to South Central (while drinking juice in the hood”) AKA Don’t be a burden when you could be a blessing

 Do: Enjoy being humbled and confused. Take criticism openly.  If someone is suggesting something that you can do better, listen with an open mind.  At the very least, they may offer a different perspective than you have.

As David McCullough Jr., a teacher at Wellesley High School, said so beautifully in a recent commencement speech

“You are not special.  You are not exceptional”.  This was not the main point of his speech (you should really watch the whole thing to find out what the main point was!), but the fact remains that there is so much left to learn, to know, and to do in this world that it is truly impossible to ever feel like you know everything.  Any chance you have to learn from someone is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of.

Do NOT: Be afraid to admit you are wrong or tell someone you will have to look it up.  Honesty and determination to figure out an answer are far greater qualities than arrogance and ignorance.


Let people know how much they mean to you, let your patients know that you appreciate their referrals, and let your parents know that they rock (even though the stork was the one who clearly brought you into their lives).

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Do NOT: Not CARE! (and I shall award myself 10 points for the double negative)

Lastly, and bucking our trend of only “DO-ing” things right, Do NOT… ever think that you’ve made it.   This concept is similar to some of the ideas that we’ve gone over so far, but it’s imperative that you always stay hungry, stay motivated, and definitely stay classy.  As Dr. Mark King (President of Motion Palpation Institute) shared with us so beautifully and eloquently at a seminar, “If someone tells me they are the best chiropractor in the world, then they probably have a small penis”.

I hope everyone has enjoyed these basic “Do’s” and “Do NOT’s”.  While implementing all of these principles at all times is hard work for sure, it’s only a matter of being the best version of you that you can be at every available chance.  If we can embody most of these ideas on a regular basis, we and everyone around us will reap the benefits.  And after all, nobody wants to be an unmotivated, unapproachable, uncaring person who never shows up and doesn’t/can’t read!

Today we have a special guest post from my good friend, classmate, and supervisor (long story but basically when a bunch of us first moved in together, Jake told the pizza guy that he was the supervisor of the house. So now that’s what we call him, or ‘Soup’ for short). This is Part I of  a two-part series and I know you will be impressed. 

Jake, welcome to the party…

When Justin approached me (via a text message) about contributing to a blog post to sum up some central themes we’ve learned over the past 3.5 years we’ve spent in chiropractic school, I was admittedly apprehensive to say the least.  I enjoyed school, I enjoy writing, I enjoy learning, and I enjoy blogs; but would I enjoy writing a blog about what we learned at school? With his support, I decided to take a leap of faith to see how this whole blogosphere works.  Please feel free to share your thoughts/suggestions below as I may perhaps have my own blog in the next few months…

Over the past 3.5 years, my classmates and I have been on a journey of sorts. We started out as strangers, all excited to begin our chiropractic school education, and over the next several trimesters – and unknowingly at the time – we would laugh, cry, learn, sweat, travel, urinate, stay up all night, and cut up cadavers together.  We were guided on this journey by the powers that be – our school’s set curriculum, board exam dates, seminar schedules, and far too many midterms – all leading towards the common goal of becoming a chiropractor one day.  Now that this day is imminent, I can speak for myself that despite how much information has been shoved into every orifice I own (figuratively and unfortunately literally in some cases of late night studying), I find myself more lost and even more uneducated than ever. Lately, I’ve candidly found myself staring blankly in the mirror, impending graduation on the near horizon, looking for answers to questions I never thought I might have:  Which job should I choose? Will I be happy with this job? Does it matter how many sick and/or vacation days I may have? Did I really like Monica more than Rachel on Friends, or was that just a phase? Will reading “Filthy” Shades of Grey really help me be more in touch with my feminine side? …I digress.

I’m sorry Phoebe, but you were just too weird for my tastes.

S&M? Still a crappy book.

But it was shortly after one of the aforementioned mirror-staring, life-pondering scenarios when I was rocked in the face by a fist full of knowledge, from none other than Justin David Mark Sanchez Rabinowitz. You see, we had written a Powerpoint several months earlier for a club at school and it was only when I was reading through the thoughts we had to share to all of the youngins that day that I really begun to stop “missing the forest for the trees” (a saying I very much enjoy but usually say incorrectly) and finally start appreciating the forest for all of its beauty and splendor.

Pretty Trees.

Life is not about the minutiae, getting caught up in the details, or getting the final answer right to a math question. The reason the teachers always had us show our work (a premise I very much fought at the time) is so that we knew how we got to the end result.  The reminder and much-needed wakeup call the information in the Powerpoint provided me can be summed up in this simple, detail-dumping, whole forest approach manner; DO and DO NOT.

It is with that long-winded introduction that I now edumacate you with the truths as Justin and I saw them/still see them to be:

(The following has been adapted/borrowed/accumulated/blatantly stolen from many, many people, fortune cookie fortunes, teabag tag words of wisdom and other various sources)

Do: Become really good friends with smart, motivated people.

This idea shaped my entire education.  It made me uncomfortable, jealous, and even vengeful.  But I become smarter, stronger, better at listening, learning, speaking, and understanding by being pushed by the amazing people I surrounded myself with.

Do Not: Hang out with people who think everything sucks, who are not willing to learn, who are not open to change, who are stagnant with their ideologies, and/or who suck in general.

Do: READ! Anything and everything that interests you. Not just your school books, but any books that will make you better at your chosen craft.

  • “One hour per day of study in your chosen field is all it takes.  One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years.  Within five years you’ll be a national authority.  In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.” – Earl Nightingale
  • “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn
  • “The desire to continue to learn beyond school is paramount.”- Ken Krenshaw, Head Athletic Trainer Arizona Diamondbacks
  • “I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” – Eartha Kitt

Do Not: Think you’ve learned everything already.  Once you stop learning, you stop evolving.  If you think you know everything, then do your best to remove your head from your derrière and go try to teach someone else.

  • “Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.” – Henry L. Doherty
  • “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford

“I don’t remember a bone being there.”


Quotes obtained from

Some Monday Randomness…

Posted: July 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

1) I know I’ve been writing a lot of random posts lately.

Lay off!

It’s just how I think.

No but seriously, this is literally just a massive brain dump and a look inside my head (scary, I know). Luckily, I do have a few posts of more substantial material in the works and possibly even a guest post!

For those of you who don’t know, I am graduating chiropractic school in a few weeks and with that, I feel it’s good to take the time to reflect on the past few years of my life. Listen, I know I have a ton to learn and giving advice or offering insight may seem a bit premature.  However, if my experience or situation can help one person out there (chiro or not) I feel it is worth it to publish my thoughts.

When thinking about what I wanted to share over the next month,  this one little quote kept appearing in my head from the late Jim Valvano:

It’s so important to know where you are. I know where I am right now. How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. You have to be willing to work for it.

Honestly, I’m not even sure why this kept popping into my head but really, it’s fantastic.

Oh, and if you haven’t ever watched his speech… you are most certainly welcome.

2) I took a group golf lesson this weekend and I just found it amazing how proper movement patterns and cues span the spectrum of activities, if you will.

For example, when talking about stance, Don (the golf pro) used these cues:

1) Flat Back

2) Butt Back

3) Chest Tall

4) Neck Straight

Ok, now let’s look at a deadlifting  cue compared to the golf cue:

1) Neutral Spine (Flat Back)

2) Hip Hinge (Butt Back)

3) Chest Out/Shoulders Back/Engage the Lats (Chest Tall)

4) Pack the Neck (Neck Straight)

Now realize, this is the bottom position of the deadlift and we would never get down this low in our golf stance (well unless you are Kevin Costner in Tin Cup and you are putting with the back-end of gardening equipment) BUT there certainly will be a point near the top of the lift where the golf stance and deadlift will look almost identical.

3) I was watching an old season of Hard Knocks over the weekend featuring the Dallas Cowboys and I think I figured out why they have not won in a while (other than the fact that Wade Phillips was the coach, T.O. was on the team, and Jerry Jones is the General Manager).

Every time they showed the team lifting weights, all players were doing two exercises: Bench Press and Bicep Curls.

Call me crazy (or at least someone who passes judgement based on tv editing) but that’s just ludicrous!