The Recipe for Injury

Early in my career, before the One80 System had been developed, I began looking at my patient’s pain and injuries through a different lens. I compared and contrasted patient symptoms and wondered if there were similarities amongst the injuries I was treating.

I knew that the recipe for injury was a combination of certain ingredients at a specific moment in time. So, I asked myself: If I can prevent these components from integrating, can I prevent the injury from occurring?

On the flip side, I wondered: If I eliminated these certain “ingredients” after an injury had already occurred, could I eliminate an existing injury altogether?

Just like baking an apple pie, there must be specific ingredients mixed together to produce the end product. Without flour, apples, or eggs, your apple pie can’t exist, therefore your injury can’t exist. Similarly, in order to have an injury (either chronic or acute), the following four ingredients must have collaborated at the time of injury.

1. Gravity – Gravity is what keeps us attached to the earth but also causes joint compression. Since we can’t eliminate gravity in our every day lives, we had better figure out how to live with it.

2. End Range of Motion – We experience range of motion every day. This occurs even more frequently and at extreme levels if we’re dealing with an athletic individual. Athletes are successful because they are able to get their joints in and out of end range of motion quickly, efficiently, and safely. If we restrict our bodies from performing in extremes of motion, we would eventually loose motion and become limited in our functional abilities.

3. Transverse Plane Motion – All functional movement has some type of transverse plane or twisting component to it. Whether someone suffers a hamstring pull, ACL tear, shoulder impingement, ankle sprain, or herniated disc, it’s due in part to the lack of transverse plane control. If we eliminated our ability to twist in the transverse plane, we would become robotic and very limited in our daily lives.  So, we once again, need to live productively with this ingredient.

Experiencing the above ingredients is inevitable, but the next ingredient is a wild card that can be removed (effectively preventing future injury AND reversing current injury) provided the proper measures are taken.

4. Neuromuscular Inhibition – In order for a muscle to fire correctly, it has to be stimulated by a nerve.  If a nerve impulse doesn’t stimulate the targeted muscle at the appropriate time, with the appropriate amount of facilitation, the muscle either will not contract on time, or it won’t contract with enough force. This misfiring will negatively affect joint motion and stability.  Therefore, when a joint reaches the end range of motion, and there is a transverse plane component, and gravity is applying pressure, and the muscle is unable to stabilize it, either acute injury will occur or chronic joint breakdown will continue. But, if the there is normal neuromuscular facilitation (nerve/muscle communication) providing joint stability, the fourth ingredient in the Recipe for Injury is eliminated and the joint is safe.

So how can we live with the first three ingredients in the recipe and get rid of the fourth one?

Surprisingly, lot of things that physical therapists, physicians, strength and conditioning experts, and coaches do, actually cause neuromuscular inhibition.

By simply asking patients to eliminate common strategies like stretching, foam rolling, massage, joint manipulation, and shoe inserts (just to name a few), and replacing them with active warm up, muscle specific isometrics, barefoot walking, and functional (sport specific) movements, our patients eliminate neuromuscular inhibition and recover from a variety of injuries in as little as 2-3 visits.


All this apple pie talk has got our mouths watering! Here is one of our staff member’s favorite apple pie recipes. Enjoy!

1 pie crust
½ cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
8 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and diced)
*optional: your favorite caramel cubed candy


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Melt butter in saucepan and stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, brown sugar and white sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Place the pie crust in the bottom of your pan. Fill with apples and sprinkle on caramel candies. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35-45 minutes, until apples are soft.


If you have questions on this entry, feel free to give us a call at (970)593-9300. 


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