Articles of Restoration

Organizing Movement

Each and every person comes to Pain Academy’s online program, “The Movement Program,” with different symptoms, experiences, and stories. The one thing every student has in common is disorganized movement. If you are feeling imbalanced movement, are in pain, or notice tense tight muscles… somewhere along the way your body

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Try This Simple Hip Rotation Test!

I have 5 other helpful tests in my Pain Assessment Toolkit that you can use to learn more about how your body moves that can be linked to why you might be experiencing painful or limited movement. Click here to learn more about how the Pain Assessment Toolkit can help

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What a Year’s Worth of Progress Looks Like

“The photo on the left (June 2020) is of a guy I barely recognize (to be fair, I was in an intense bout of acute pain around this time). I’ve stuck with the programming that Vinny (@painacademy) has given me, and I’ve become a student of his method, helping teach

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Why Does The Curve of The Spine Matter?

The main reason is where force/compression occurs on the discs. A spine with balanced curves (figure 1.) evenly distributes compressive forces across the entire surface of the disc. Too much curvature (Fig 2 and 3), or a loss of proper curvature (Fig 4 and 5), places excessive force on either

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Nerve Pain

Nerve pain can rock your world. The sensation ranges from a thin blanket of irritable discomfort thrown over one’s day, to sending someone into full disability. It can be particularly tricky to restore movement impairments when nerve pain is involved because of the immense emotion behind it. We process pain in

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How Long Does Your Program Take Each Day?

I love it when people ask me this because they are focused more on the process of what it takes to create a change as opposed to asking how long it took someone else to correct a problem. So let’s dive into this question… “How long does your program take

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The Single-Leg Stand Assessment

Every time you walk, nearly 60% of that time is spent with only one leg on the ground. If you are experiencing painful or uncomfortable movement, this simple to-do assessment can help you understand why. The photo on the left is one of our members performing this test after buying

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Joint Replacement

Yes. Why? If you had a joint replaced, chances are the original muscle dysfunction around that joint is still there. A joint can be replaced, but the underlying movement problem that likely led to the erosion of cartilage still exists after surgery. There is also the rest of your body

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Meeting Yourself with Compassion

My relationship with pain was never discussed in any physical therapy program. I’m talking about that split-second moment when pain shows up how we respond to it. That space in-between feeling and reacting. That never examined conversation between you and discomfort. I had only one tool to use when I

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Squat Progress Photos

A photo is worth a thousand dollars. The first thing I teach people in The Pain Assessment Toolkit is  how to take photos of their movement. I want you to watch what your whole body does when you move. When you watch yourself move you will see your problem immediately

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This Will Change How You Squat Forever

I heard this cue a lot when I first got into the world of Corrective Exercise. It made sense with my little experience working with people and showed up in many of the curriculums coming from accredited programs – so I thought it was the right thing to teach. This

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A Simple Position to Check Movement Health

The ‘tune’ of your health is quantifiable. When you go see the doctor for a regular checkup, key parameters are measure. Height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, etc,. Your results once collected are then referenced to well established norms taken from thousands of healthy people collected over decades of studies.

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Cardio and Repetitive Movement

Let’s say riding a bike (or insert any exercise/movement) hurts your back. There are two main ways to approach this problem: Riding a bike is what caused the back to hurt. The activity is blamed for the pain, so the strategy is to stop doing the activity to feel better.

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Getting The Pelvis To Move Again

Restoring movement to the pelvis is a huge milestone for people who experience muscular imbalance, dysfunction, and movement problems. It’s a milestone because once the pelvis can move better, the body in general has a greater capacity to move which means stress and tension are distributed more evenly while moving.

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Restoring Dysfunction

The hip joint was designed to flex, extend, internally rotate, externally rotate, move away from the center of body (abduction), and move towards the body (adduction). A properly functioning hip can move in all these ways because the muscles on the front, back, and sides are able to engage when

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Foot Pain & Hip Movement

Billions of dollars a year are spent on foot surgeries, orthotics, shoes, and various forms of treatment for foot pain, yet how the entire body moves is seldom assessed or addressed. Alignment is less about perfect posture in still positions and more about how force, tension, and stress are distributed

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Running

Even if you dislike running or regardless of what you have been told about it, your body is loaded with features from head to toe that give you the ability to run exceptionally well over long distances. Features like… Lengthy legs for an animal our size and weight. If a

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The Mighty Hip Flexors

There is one telltale sign that the hip flexors have hijacked movement. Lower back pain, hip pain, knee pain, and a whole host of other problems can be reactions from the hip flexor dominating movement. All of the muscles attached to our bones need movement and stimulation to work well.

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Sway-Back Posture

We have muscles in our front, back, and on both sides of our body. When these muscles work together, our body can stay upright and move with ease, pain-free. A balanced body will also properly distribute tension and force where it should be. If the front works harder than the

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Lordosis/Kyphosis X-Ray Results

The X-ray on the left was taken before this girl started our movement program. The X-ray on the right was taken in a follow up doctors appointment some time later to see if her spine had improved at all or if surgery needed to be explored. Prior to starting our

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Am I Too Old To Change?

You are only too old to change if you think you are too old to change. In 2014 I remember limping into another appointment with my mentor. At this point I was somewhere around a year in this process of restoring movement. We did what we usually did for our

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There is a lot an X-ray or MRI does not tell you.

The photo on the left shows this woman’s body when she was experiencing back pain. The white lines were drawn in-between both ankles to see how her body stacked up. In the left photo you can see that her pelvis, spine, and upper body veer off to the right; as

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The Hip Twist

The Hip Twist Test is a really simple and easy way to check in on the health of your hips. All that is needed to do this test is a camera and some space to walk back and forth in. Step 1: Prop your camera up on a chair and

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Scoliosis

Our obsession with everything mechanical has divided us from seeing the Whole. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine, but what caused the spine to curve and twist in the first place? X-rays, braces, stretches, exercises, and conversations around treatment make the spine the main focus as the body

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Spine Position and “Core” Work

This is not a “don’t do this”…“do this” article to fear monger movement patterns. This post is about questioning why we are given the cues we are given. “Flatten your back” seems to be a widely accepted and taught cue. For the record, I don’t believe any movement is bad.

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Working With One of The Best Kickers In The NFL

NFL kicker Younghoe Koo of the Atlanta Falcons has been working through our program for the past 10 months. What makes Younghoe an exceptional athlete is his ability to perform such a specialized motion kicking with a high level of consistency – 97% field goal success for the 2020 season

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The Balance of Movement

At any given moment, we are controlling more than a dozen angular positions without even being aware of it. When we step forward with our right leg, the right pelvis rotates forward in the same direction (fig. 2). Rotating our pelvis like this helps us lengthen our stride allowing us

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The Spine Does What The Hips Can’t

A contracture is a condition of the shortening and hardening of muscles, tendons, or other tissue, often leading to rigidity of joints. When a hip experiences a flexion contracture, the soft tissue around the hip won’t allow the hip to go into extension. This is when the body’s brilliant compensation

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Mid-Back Movement

Every skeletal muscle comes with an opposite. For every flexor, there’s an equal and opposite extensor. It’s this balance of opposites that keeps us upright and gives us the ability to flex, extend, and rotate.[1] This balance of opposites shows up when the flexors shorten the extensors lengthen, and vice

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How I Broke My Back: My Story

written by Vinny Crispino Long before Pain Academy was around, I was an elite swimmer. When I say elite swimmer, I mean 33+ Colorado State records, 8 All-American accolades in a Division 1 collegiate program, 16+ Top 16 in the Nation titles, and a wall full of trophies and blue

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Hip-Driven vs Trunk-Driven

This is Form and Function in action… When we squat, our ankles, knees, and hips flex, as our pelvis and spine extend as seen in the drawing on the right. [1] When our lower limbs can function and flex, our hips drive the squatting motion as our upper body stays

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The Research

Providing evidence can be a challenging thing when it comes to the human body. Advanced understanding of physics and chemistry over the past few decades has allowed us to look at how our body works all the way down to the biomolecular level. Modern medicine was built upon the foundation

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Standing Posture

In 2008 a prospective study of standing posture with 766 participants was conducted in an attempt to identify and categorize if standing position is associated with spinal pain. The conclusion of the study was that meaningful classification exists and can be determined successfully from photographs. More neutral postures are associated

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Hip Imbalance

This problem goes by many names. Hip disparity, hip hike, or leg length discrepancy to name a few.. Take away any names for a moment, what we are really talking about here is imbalance. Your pelvis sits on top of two highly mobile ball and socket joints, your hips. When

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Help! I’m in a flare-up!

You are reading this because your symptoms are unusually high right now and you need a gameplay, and fast. Please read this article to lay down the best foundation of how best to approach what you are experiencing. Flare-ups can either set you free, or keep you trapped. Flare-ups are

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The Fuego Magic Podcast

Photographers need great equipment. Lenses, cameras, lighting, software, editing tech, and the knowhow to put it all together. What most people do is look for the necessary equipment, tools, and skillsets needed to become the best. Most people invest huge amounts of money and time with maximizing all three of

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The Identity In Your Pain.

This separation of identity and pain is vital in us changing our relationship to pain. Think for a moment about your story with pain. If you were to tell me about it, you wouldn’t talk about pain as a sensation, you would most likely say My back…My knee… I have

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Foot Position and Shoulder Problems

This is just one of the many ways to talk about how the foot can influence the shoulder. That thick tendon behind your ankle above you heel, as we move upward, splits into the calf muscle. As it forks and splits at the top, each arm branches off and connects

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Neck Pain and Tension

Your neck pain/tension has more to do with your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders, than it does your neck. Our load bearing joints, the ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders, when working properly, stack vertically on top of one another without thought, effort, or conscious control. This natural vertical stacking allows

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Posture Test: The Hang (part 1)

How often do you use both hips at the same time? Sitting, standing, squatting, and bending forward are just a few of many activities and things we do where we ask both hips to move and work together. The way someone bends forward reveals how all 58+ muscles that make

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Single Leg Posture Test

60% or more of your walking cycle is spent with one leg on the ground (stance phase) while the other leg is lifting off the ground to step forward (swing phase).  This is done at least 5,000 times per day on average. How you accomplish these steps, functionally speaking, can

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These choices we face…

Each of us in our own way faces these choices daily. To survive or thrive. To open, or to close. To experience this moment, or prepare for tomorrow. To get ahead, or leave nothing behind. To take care of yourself, or others. To feel or to numb. Our posture and

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The Worlds Greatest Hip Flexor Stretch

The title doesn’t do this exercise justice to the depth of what this really does, but looking at this as a “hip stretch” is one of the doorways you can go through to understand and navigate how you can use this position to heal and restore your body. For those

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Understanding Stretching and Flexibility

Both positions over time will lengthen the hamstring. It’s in how the hamstrings achieve their length over time that makes all the difference. You can increase hip mobility in the first position through spinal driven levers, which can place excessive stress on the spine if the hips aren’t mobile enough

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What core bracing really does to your body.

This might be the most important article you read about health and fitness. If you have partaken in almost any fitness program within the past 30 years, you’ve most likely been given the advice to brace your core to “protect your back” — which makes sense based on how Western

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Easy Standing Against A Wall Posture Test!

This test is one of my favorite ways to assess how the body works with gravity because it’s simple and easy to do! When your heels touch the wall, you’re assessing how your entire body stacks up, or for most people, how your body doesn’t stack up. What most will

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567 Days

When I say that movement is half of the problem, and mindset is the other half — this is one beautiful example of that. You just read that it took him 567 days, and either thought that’s a really long time, or thought that’s incredible he was able to do

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Why The Curve of Our Spine Matters

The “S shape” of our spine allows our spine to function like a shock absorbing spring that effectively transfers energy/movement from the ankles, knees, and hips, to the shoulders. When your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders function well and are balanced, you’ll find there are 3 subtle curves in the

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