This article was written by Leah Zinnert, Clinical Director of Neuro Therapy at Premier. Since joining our team in the beginning of August, Leah has used her expertise to drive amazing results for clients (sometime so quickly that even she can't believe.)
She's been able to help clients who had been in pain for years, seen every specialist in the books, and were starting to give up hope.
Whether it's the gym, tennis court, or working in the yard, It's been a pleasure watching Leah help people get where they want to be.
This week, she outlined what she's found to be the 7 key differences between Neuro Therapy and Physical Therapy.
I have been getting a ton of questions recently about the differences between Physical Therapy and Neuro Therapy. After writing and re-writing this blog post – I’ve narrowed it down to the 7 most important ones.....
I hope this answers your questions!
1) Hardware vs. Software
When you are rehabbing an injury in Physical Therapy, there are usually 2-3 major categories that you could be working on:
We call this our “hardware.”
But take a moment to think about what exactly is controlling all of those components – the nervous system right?
We call this our “software”
There are two driving factors to our recovery and overall performance:
After an injury those neurological signals can get interrupted, weakened or changed all together.
Long after the initial injury has occurred, tissues have healed, and we try to resume our normal activities – there are often underlying nervous system deficits that prevent us from returning to our full potential and increase our risk for developing further issues down the road if left unaddressed.
Moral of the story – you could stretch all day but if your nervous system (your software) is in the background saying “no, that’s not happening” – it’s not going to happen. Same with strengthening. You could work on strengthening your quadriceps muscle, for example, but if you’re unable to fully activate those fibers due to a past injury, pain, compensation pattern or protective mechanism, you may not be able to get the strength you’re hoping to gain.
Technology has advanced to allow us to tap into those things – your therapy should too!
2) Symptoms vs. Origin of Symptoms.
We have a saying in Neuro therapy…
”The location of your pain is typically not where the problem started, but where it ended up.”
For any of my PT friends reading this – of course this is how we’re trained to evaluate these types of things. You need to look at least a joint above and a joint below to assess properly.
In Neuro Therapy, we take this concept to the next level. Through our unique “search” process, we pinpoint your unique dysfunctions. We find the exact breakdown in neuro communication that is occurring due to past injury, scar tissue, inflammation, muscle dysfunction, etc.
What does this mean for you and the rest of our clients? More effective treatment sessions and often times a MUCH more efficient recovery.
3) Optimization of all body systems
Your body’s ability to heal and recover depends on a number of factors. In order to ensure your recovery is efficient (and doesn’t drag on for weeks/months), you should focus on giving your body everything it needs to recover.
As an example, you may notice that when you get sick, you feel the need to sleep for hours and sometimes days. Why?
Because the body needs sleep (among other things) to recover efficiently. The same principle applies to injuries (check out an awesome article on the importance of sleep in the rehab process here:
When you go through the Neuro Therapy process at Premier, you’ll receive targets for sleep, protein intake, and water intake. You'll also track your fatigue and stress from day to day.
It may seem like a lot of work – because it is. The point of Neuro Therapy is not to be easy.
It’s to get you better.
We are asking you to step outside of your comfort zone and really optimize all aspects of your recovery.
4) Time and Attention
I know that when I was practicing Physical Therapy in a traditional setting there were some patients that I wish I could have had more one-on-one time with.
Whether it was due to scheduling conflicts, double bookings, insurance limitations or clinic expectations, Physical Therapy sessions often felt a bit rushed.
During the Neuro Therapy process, clients receive 60 minute, 1 on 1, detail oriented sessions.
These sessions occur 4-5 days/week over the course of 2-5 weeks and are geared solely to helping you achieve your goals.
That’s right, no more months and months of therapy before you see results.
5) Passive vs. Active
Neuro Therapy is not a miracle cure. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m saying this to emphasize the point that therapy – whether it be Physical Therapy or Neuro Therapy – it is work, and you are responsible for earning your results.
Even if you’re at Physical Therapy, you can’t expect to show up 2-3 times a week for 8 weeks, lay on the treatment table, get massaged and do a few exercises with heat and stim and expect to be ‘fixed.’ You’re going to need to put work in on your own.
This is why Neuro Therapy works. It is designed for you to take an active part in your recovery, push you to your limits, and challenge you on a whole different level.
6) The Gold Standard – A plan tailored to your goals
After learning more about your personal history and needs, we design a plan specifically tailored to your needs… and we’ll hold you to it.
From day 1, clients know the plan, expectations, and targets for each day.
We are constantly assessing and re-assessing. Tracking your progress and updating your plan daily.
There are specific protocols in place for testing and trialing all the activities clients want to get back to doing.. No matter your goals – big or small – we will ensure that you can do those things successfully under our supervision before leaving us.
Not only are you getting an unforgettable therapy experience at Premier Neuro Therapy, you become a part of our family. We get to know you beyond just your pain levels and injury history. We are here to push you, encourage you, help you through the lows and celebrate all of your wins!
If you haven’t already – check us out on social media to learn more about what Neuro Therapy is all about:
Click to follow Premier on Instagram:
3 Improper Movement Patterns That Lead To Shoulder Pain (And The Muscular Imbalances That Might Cause Them)
Each week, inevitably, I get a few email inquiries that go something like this:
“My shoulder hurts when I bench or do certain types of overhead exercises, it even bothers me while I sleep - what do you think it is?”
When shoulder pain limits our ability to workout, throw a baseball, or even just do an overhead movements around the house (grabbing a cup out of the cupboard, for instance), it can really start to affect quality of life.
Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to the above question without a more thorough evaluation (we'll get to that later...)
The cause of shoulder pain is unique to each individual. Making a recommendation without knowing what's actually happening to cause the issue is never productive and not how we like to operate.
With that being said, shoulder discomfort can be caused by a number of factors, but today we'll take a look at two of them:
Movement Pattern #1: Wrist Flexion
Wait... what? The movement of my wrists can cause shoulder pain? Absolutely-- if the muscles in the forearm are out of balance, the shoulder is forced to take on extra, unnecessary force that would not normally be absorbed by this muscle group.
Here's a quick self-check you can do to help determine if forearm imbalances are a contributing factor to your shoulder pain;
Try picking up some heavy dumbbells and hold them at your sides. Did you notice anything right away at your wrists or in your forearms? Was your first instinct to curl your wrist to help hold the dumbbell? Do your wrists look like Figure 1?
If so, bingo-- this is called wrist flexion, and when the wrist flexes forward, the shoulder normally follows, leading to shoulder issues. It's a problem you'll want to address to help your shoulder feel better.
Movement Pattern #2: Elbow Flexion
Similar to the movement of the wrist, elbow flexion (bending the elbow) is, at first glance, unrelated to how the shoulder functions... but it's actually one of the most common patterns we see in clients with shoulder pain.
:Let's say we want to reach for something overhead at a fixed height.
First, think about trying to reach for it with a straight arm.
Next, we try to reach for it with an arm bent at the elbow.
In order to reach the object with a bent elbow, you'll need to raise the shoulder closer to the neck, which puts more stress on the shoulder, and can often cause pain (Now imagine doing this with a heavily weighted overhead press and we can see where issues arise).
Here's a quick test you can run to see if this is an issue for you:
Grab a barbell and perform a front deltoid raise. Keep your hands shoulder width apart, arms straight, and lift the barbell overhead (fast forward to 0:17 to see CrossFit games competitor and Outsiders CrossFit superstar, Rose Wall, performing the front delt raise). Is any part of that movement making you want to bend your elbows? Do your arms look like Figure 2?
If so, there's likely an imbalance between the biceps and triceps, It may also be difficult to keep the elbows extended while lifting overhead. Without proper activation of the biceps or triceps, the shoulder will compensate for that imbalance and can ultimately lead to a shoulder injury.
Movement Pattern #3: Limited shoulder flexion
Limited shoulder flexion makes a little more sense intuitively when thinking about shoulder pain. If shoulder flexion is limited, it means you have a difficult time raising your arm overhead without one of two things happening:
This an indication that a muscular imbalance exists between the pectorals, deltoids, and lats. You can test this by doing the following:
Stand with your heels, glutes, and upper back against a wall. With your arms resting at your sides, lift one arm straight out in front of you and overhead. Try to touch your thumb to the wall behind you by only moving your shoulder.
Are you able to reach the wall without either of the compensations in Figure 3 or Figure 4 coming out?
If any of the above movement patterns are evident, they are likely a contributing factor to your shoulder pain.
During a Neuro Therapy Discovery Session, we are able to pinpoint exactly where the muscular imbalances are in the body that are causing these patterns. We're also able to start re-training the muscles to work correctly so you can begin to move properly again.
When we eliminate the contributing factors (improper movement patterns and muscular imbalances), we eliminate the pain.
If you're interested in applying for a FREE Discovery Session, just click here:
Apply for a FREE, 90 minute, Neuro Therapy Discovery Session to pinpoint your muscular imbalances and learn more about improper movement patterns
You can also arrange for a free 15 minute call with a member of our team by clicking here:
Click here to arrange a call.
Or download our free guide with the 28 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Neuro Therapy by clicking here:
Click here to download our free guide: 28 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Neuro Therapy.
This article was written by Premier Neuro Therapy team member, Zach Michael.
Mental and spiritual health…woah. That’s not a topic I thought I’d never be writing about.
Growing up, the only time I ever heard the term mental, it was either related to “mental toughness” or being crazy.
As an athlete, “mental toughness” meant you needed to be able to stay focused, even keeled, and un-rattled, no matter how badly the game was going. In some respects, to me, it also meant shutting down your emotions and bottling things up.
If I was going to maintain an even keel, I wasn’t allowed to let myself get too high during the good time or too low during the bad times. The easiest way to do this was to keep myself from feeling anything emotionally.
The only time I ever heard the term “spiritual” or “spirituality” was in church. Spirituality was completely related to God. It meant following what the Bible says, which at the time just felt like a set of rules based on something people from a long time ago wrote down.
Add in that these had many different interpretations, and as a young person, spirituality felt confusing and constricting.
Whether it was a conscious decision or not, I think I decided to write off any need to focus on mental and spiritual health a long time ago.
I was a tough guy– I didn’t need to put any more effort into the area.
The problem is my interpretation of mental and spiritual health was way off.
Let’s start with spiritual health. It doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with the Bible or any religious teaching. For some, it does – and that’s ok, because spirituality is about what’s best for your soul (or conscience).
Notice I said your soul. Spiritual health is about allowing the best version of you to drive your actions. It’s about allowing the ‘good voice’ in your head make decisions, rather than the bad voice. It’s about pursuing the best version of you and being able to feel good about it.
It’s not about trying to follow someone else’s interpretation of what’s best for you and feeling bad about it when you don’t live up to those standards.
Which leads right back to mental health. Shutting your ‘feelings’ off is probably not exemplary mental health. In order to be healthy spiritually and mentally, you must be able to feel. You need to be able to feel gratitude for the things you have in life. You need to be able to identify when you’re feeling sad, angry, or stressed, and be able to talk to others about it.
Mental health is about being in tune with how you’re feeling, understanding what circumstances are making you feel that way, and knowing you can take action to change those circumstances if you choose.
As we noted in a previous blog, your mental and spiritual health plays a vital role in optimal performance of the nervous system.
Many of you reading this are likely doing AMAZING work with your physical health by working out consistently and eating healthy.
If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t know where to start if asked to work on your mental and spiritual health.
Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing a few mental/spiritual “workouts” on this blog to get you on the right track – be sure to tune in.
Questions about the blog? Comment below or shoot me an email at email@example.com.
As many of you now know, Neuro Therapy is a unique experience. Because of how different the process is, new clients almost always ask “How in the world did you get into this and decide to build a company around it?”
To put it simply, I both got into Neuro and was able to build a company around it through what I’ve found to be a magical concept:
Word of mouth referrals.
I personally was referred to Neuro Therapy after suffering a grade II hamstring injury while playing football at Penn State. I was a red-shirt senior and looking the end of my career dead in the eye if I didn’t find something to get me back on the field quickly.
After recovering from the injury in 7 days (about 3 weeks faster than a normal hamstring recovery) and earning a starting position, I was sold. Neuro Therapy had allowed me to achieve my childhood dream of playing in front of 110,000 screaming fans in Beaver Stadium.
From that point on, I wanted to do everything possible to introduce others to the amazing benefits of Neuro.
I started by referring all of my injured Penn State teammates to the local Neuro Therapist who had helped me. I also made sure that every family member that was dealing with persistent pain knew Neuro was an option for them.
Eventually, after seeing family and friends benefit from Neuro the same way I did, I made the decision to start Premier Neuro Therapy.
From the start of Premier in August of 2015, our company has continued to grow through the same way it started - word of mouth referrals.
Whether it's through our network of MLB clients around the country or clients in our community, nearly every person we work with seems to tell others about Neuro.
Clients who’ve accomplished their goals during our work together have felt compelled to tell family and friends they NEED to at least give Neuro a try. Most times these referrals fall into one of 4 categories:;
I couldn’t be more grateful for these recommendations.
Rather than focusing on marketing and advertising, clients have spread the word for us, allowing us to focus the majority of our time on delivering the best experience possible.
Our work with clients is always at the forefront of our thoughts and conversations – although you aren’t physically there with us, we even take you home.
Needless to say, this company would not be what it is today without you taking the time to spread the word.
If you hadn’t taken the time to talk about it, share your experiences, send pictures, take videos, and even leave reviews, Premier Neuro Therapy would likely not exist.
For that, I’ll be forever grateful.
If you’ve got a friend or family member in mind who might benefit from Neuro, please continue to spread the word. They’ll be in great hands with my team, and remember – the first session is always free.
We do this to ensure your referrals are able to learn more about how Neuro works, confirm that they're a good candidate for Premier, and make sure that they believe it can truly help them before starting a program with us.
Click here to refer a friend or family member to Premier:
If you’re not sure how to explain Neuro to friends and family, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re happy to help!
"...I have been able to do my weekend runs with no pain."
This was part of an email I received from a Reflex Functional Fitness client who signed up for a free Neuro Scan at an Open House event we participated in several months ago.
With another open house event approaching on Saturday, October 13th at Reflex, I wanted to share her story, as it may provide benefit to others.
Before diving in, let me rewind and explain a little more about the Neuro Scan process for open house events. The Neuro Scan allows you to pin-point protective mechanisms in the body that are contributing to your:
We love providing these scans at events because it allows you to receive a type of immediate feedback that you won't get anywhere else. The Premier team then sends you a few personalized Neuro Activation Exercises that will help attack (and potentially solve) what's causing your pain and discomfort.
These targeted, ultra-specific exercises are the "first line of defense" that we deploy to take care of the issue at hand. If the exercises do not take care of the issue (or clients want to accelerate the process), we welcome them to come in to our clinic to go through a more intensive Neuro Therapy assessment.
So this story begins with a Reflex member named Smitha. Smitha was one of the really interesting cases at Reflex that day - she came over to our therapy tables reporting knee pain.
During the Neuro Scan process, we found an incredible amount of sensitivity in the calves, ankles, and feet. This indicates that the muscles and/or nerves in Smitha's feet are not functioning properly, limiting her ability to perform at her best or without pain.
Needless to say, Smitha was deeply intrigued by these sensations. With a puzzled look on her face, she asked to search the other leg, which was not experiencing knee pain.
I was equally as intrigued by what might be going on in the left leg, so I decided to spend a few extra minutes with her and check it out. To Smitha's surprise, the left calf, ankle, and foot ended up registering just as much sensitivity as the right.
Smitha shared how interesting the findings were because her feet presented an intense ache every night. After asking her how long symptoms have been around for, she shared that this has been a nightly occurrence for years. Smitha also added that she ran a half-marathon in 2013 and it's possible the half-marathon was what triggered the discomfort.
To recap the findings of the Neuro Scan, she started the scan believing she had a problem in her knee. What we found during the scan was that the problem in her knee was actually being caused by foot issues that had been around for years.
While most any other practitioner would have quickly recommended a collection of quad exercises for Smitha's knee pain, our Neuro Scan process quickly identified she actually needed to work on the feet and calves to solve the problem.
In all likelihood, quad exercises would have provided very little benefit, and Smitha's knee pain would have continued to be a mystery.
After finishing up at Reflex, I emailed Smitha a few exercises specific to our findings. Several weeks later, I reached out to see how things were going and received the following reply:
This message blew me away. I was sure the exercises could help Smitha, but I was more impressed by Smitha's continued analytical approach to solving her knee problem.
She took it upon herself to use the information provided to her during the scan, learn and do the recommended exercises, discover limitations in the exercises, think about how it relates to her existing movement patterns, and then actually make a change. It was really incredible.
This weekend, I'm looking forward to helping more people learn about the limitations in their bodies. We'll be back at Reflex Functional Fitness in Federal Hill offering Neuro Scans during their Open House event on 10/13 from 8 AM - 12 PM.
The owner of Reflex, Reese Ashe, and his awesome team of trainers will be offering two FREE high energy, high intensity interval training (HIIT) classes.
If free Neuro Scans and HIIT classes aren't enough, there will also be an opportunity to win a FREE month of personal training at Reflex to jump start your fitness journey and $100 Amazon gift card.
Click here to book your Neuro Scan or sign up for the Single Leg Squat Challenge and chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card:
If you would like to participate in one of the group HIIT classes, feel free to email me for more information at email@example.com!
If you are a gym owner, business owner, or even work at a performance facility of any kind and are interested in having us drop-in to provide your members, clients, or employees with a day of neuro scans, please don't hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (410) 929-0642.
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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