Lower Back Pain: Common Causes & Relief

Lower Back Pain: Common Causes & Relief

March 20, 2019|By Eric Owens|No Comments »


Do you know anyone whose back hasn’t hurt at some point in their lives? About 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. This can be caused by many things, from overdoing it at the gym to poor posture while sitting for long hours at our desks, or from more serious issues such as accidents and injuries.

Symptoms associated with low back pain can come in many forms, from a dull ache to a sharp pain or even burning and tingling. Low back pain can also be experienced at different levels – from acute (short term) to chronic (long term).

In order to find the best treatment or source of relief for chronic low back pain, it is important to first understand the root cause of the pain. Below I will explain three common causes of chronic back pain, which is one of the most common medical complaints in the country.

Tightness from activity

The single most common cause of lower back pain is tightness caused by repetitive motions of daily life. In our clinic, we often hear people say that they’ve “thrown their back out.” Most people think it takes one specific instance to them out of commission, but often times it’s many years of tightness build up that causes this pain. Over time we ignore the subtle signs of tightness and wait until we are hurting when we could have actually prevented the pain entirely. When an injury occurs, it’s best to treat symptoms right away to cut down the severity of pain and recovery time.

Dehydration and inactivity

For most people, pain is most prevalent when they wake up first thing in the morning. This happens because blood flow is decreased overnight while you sleep, which produces muscular and joint stiffness. It is imperative to keep mildly active and to not stay in bed for too long at one time as stiffness can be caused by too much rest and dehydration in the muscles, causing the fascia (which supports the muscle tissue) to create friction and tightness as muscles cannot easily slide among each other.

Muscles cannot remain pliable and healthy if the muscles and fascia do not get enough water. While you may tell yourself you drink plenty of water, if muscles are stiff and tight there is no way those muscles can absorb enough water. The lymphatic system struggles to deliver water and nutrients within tight muscles. In order to hydrate muscles, the first step is to get them loose.

Unfortunately, traditional techniques of loosening up muscles such as stretching, foam-rolling or massage don’t actually loosen up tight muscle tissue. That’s because those methods only reach the surface of your muscles in a large, broad stroke and don’t extend deep enough or hold pressure in multiple dimensions long enough in the region of pain.

Collagen build-up

Another contributing symptom of low back pain might be too much collagen build-up within a muscle which causes pain and tightness. The presence of collagen is a normal attribute in the body as it is laid throughout as a form of protection that innervates muscles. Collagen is a protein-dense connective tissue that gives muscles their shape and form. However, repetitive activity or inactivity cause collagen deposits to bundle in certain areas and cause pain by restricting normal muscle function.

Delos Therapy eliminates collagen bundles that are acquired within the muscle by applying specific pressure throughout the entire muscle where pain is present, consequently stretching it and ridding it of the knotted-up collagen.

Treating low back pain

Once the root cause of the pain and symptoms are understood, the next step is to begin treatment right away. This is where Delos Therapy comes in – Delos Therapy is a revolutionary technique where direct pressure is applied three-dimensionally into tight muscle fibers forcing them to separate, creating pliability which ultimately leads to a significant reduction in pain.

Delos’ unique treatment is a great place to begin because it gets to the root cause of the pain – muscle tightness. Additionally, if you’ve already sought relief from treatments such as chiropractic, physical therapy or others without success, Delos Therapy is a must because it’s so unique and effective.

Why Are My Muscles Stiff? The Common Causes of Tight, Sore Muscles

Why Are My Muscles Stiff? The Common Causes of Tight, Sore Muscles

March 15, 2019|By Eric Owens|No Comments »


After an intense workout or laying in bed all day or sitting at your desk at work, you may have felt stiff and sore, but do you know why?

The answer can be very complex, but I will try to keep it as simple as possible. There are many mechanisms behind the workings of muscles. Fascial tissues have a major impact on these mechanisms. When we talk about muscles, we must emphasize the role that fascia plays in impacting the movement of muscles.

Muscles permit movement in the body, help maintain posture, stabilize our joints, and assist with blood circulation. The fascia in our body surrounds muscles tissue, provides stability, establishes muscle efficiency, and is a major pathway for communication of various internal systems. The two combined make for an intelligent network that allows us to move in space however we choose.

Muscle and Fascial Tissues

Let’s begin by going a little deeper into the topic of muscles. Muscles work like pistons with two filaments that slide over each other. With the proper nutrients, oxygen, hydration and stimulus, the muscle can contract with an amazing amount of force. The more pliable a muscle, the more force it can generate. For example, if you put a quarter on a balloon that has filled up halfway with air, still soft & pliable, and forcefully squeeze the sides, the quarter will be pushed high up into the air. If that same balloon was filled all the way so that it’s stiff, that same quarter won’t move much if at all.

Without the proper input the muscle can’t function at 100% efficiency. Some of the reasons a muscle doesn’t receive the proper input include an improper diet, poor hydration, and the lack of stimuli. The inefficiency of a muscle determines how that muscle is used, which fibers are activated, and how that leads to changes that can cause a domino effect of problems. This is where the fascial network plays a major role in influencing these changes.

The fascial network and its role are extremely fascinating. Fascia can be found from head to toe and has pathways that connect from head to toe. There are many different pathways that connect different parts of the body. These pathways have a direct impact on how the body is aligned, your posture, your gait, and where tension is located throughout the body.

Bringing our attention back to the effect of fascia on muscles, we have found a direct correlation between fascia and muscle stiffness/soreness. Healthy fascia is organized in a net-like, diamond lattice structure that functions as a spring. This gives a muscle the proper recoil it needs to contract and expand. During times of underuse or overuse of a muscle, this structure becomes disorganized, creating tension between muscle fibers. The result of disorganization of the structure is a lack of recoil and the muscle’s inability to fully expand.

The Buildup of Collagen and Muscle Tightness

So how does this lead to stiffness and soreness? The muscle’s inability to fully contract and expand leads to less generated force in a muscle contraction. The body likes to stay as efficient as possible using as few resources as possible. When muscle fibers begin to lose their efficiency, the body recruits the most efficient fibers to contract the muscle.

The body determines which muscle fibers to activate by processing the information it receives from the fascia network. The fascia relays information about the status of each muscle fiber, letting the brain know which fibers can contract and relax. The fastest way to target particular fibers is by laying down collagen as a direct connection to that muscle fiber, bypassing the unusable fibers. This new collagen is woven in between the muscle fibers which creates tension.

The body is efficient, so much so that it continues to lay down collagen to stay consistent. The problem arises when this excess collagen is stacked in multiple layers forcing fibers to scrunch up against each other, creating a glue-like bond. THIS is what we call stiffness or tightness. Stiffness is the binding of muscle fibers leading to their inability to stretch and/or contract. This is what decreases your range of motion during workouts and other activities. Being stiff dramatically decreases performance and can lead to structural issues if not addressed quickly or properly.

Myofibril Tears and Muscle Soreness

Now, what about being sore? Muscle soreness after a new workout or an excessive workout is caused by myofibril tears. Myofibril tears are tiny tears in muscle tissue after extreme stress is placed on the fibers, which creates an inflammatory response. This inflammatory response is good because it is repairing the tears. During this inflammation response, there is a build-up of acids and metabolic waste in the blood.

Sometimes this soreness can be felt at rest, but usually it is felt when moving the affected muscles. The binding of muscle fibers leads to compromised circulatory and lymphatic systems, which slows down elimination. As elimination slows down, the acids and waste continue to build up, irritating the surrounding tissues as this waste is forced out of the cells. This is why it hurts to push into a muscle when it is sore.

Restoring Pliability with Precise Pressure

Although stiffness and soreness seem like a horrible process to experience, they are natural and normal. Stiffness and excessive soreness can both be prevented and reversed. Movement and exercise is a good way to reorient the diamond lattice structure. The most effective way we know how to do this is with multi-directional, precise pressure into the muscle tissue to restructure damaged tissue.

The restructuring of damaged tissue will allow fascia to regain its recoil and muscle fibers to be unbound. Once muscles are restructured, pliability is restored. Pliability allows for a muscle to function at a higher efficiency due to full contraction and expansion. The amount of pliable muscle tissue a person has will determine the amount of muscle tissue that can activate and contract. At Delos, our focus is to restore pliability, which in turn will increase performance, decrease stiffness, and decrease pain.

Powerlifter with lower back and glute pain: Jennifer Gimmell

Powerlifter with lower back and glute pain: Jennifer Gimmell

January 23, 2019|By admin|No Comments »


Delos Therapy has some amazing clients with extraordinary stories and we want to take the time to share their success with our therapy. Meet Jennifer, a powerlifter struggling with low back and glute pain. Read her interview to find out her amazing transformation since starting Delos.

How did you hear about Delos?

JG: I am a competitive powerlifter, and I have been competing for about 11 years now. When the Oak Brook location opened, Marc and Eric wanted to reach out to neighborhood businesses. They found my gym, 2XL Powerlifting, just around the corner on the north side of Yorktown Mall. My Coach, Eric Stone, mentioned to all of us that Delos was just right down the street, and that we should check them out.

What issues brought you to Delos?

JG: I had an international meet in Chicago, the Amateur World Powerlifting Congress (AWPC) Worlds meet in September of 2017. My training was feeling incredibly average going into the meet, especially since I had a chronic nagging tendinitis in my right elbow and some acute tightness in my lower back and right glute… neither condition would go away. These pains just existed with me as something that I had to “train through”, like many strength athletes do. I mean, everyone has chronic pain while training, right? I believed that it wasn’t “that bad” and that time spent in recovery after the meet would “fix” everything that was tight. The morning of the meet, my warm ups had gone just fine, and I really thought that I was going to have a good day. I could not have been more wrong. Through my attempts on the platform during the squat, the weights all felt heavy (never a good thing!) and it seemed like no matter how hard I pushed, my body just wouldn’t respond. After just barely getting my first two attempts (470 lbs and 520 lbs), I missed on my third attempt at 540 lbs, which would have been a personal record for me. I missed the lift 2/3 of the way up. My body just came to a screeching halt… I remember that I felt like I kept pushing, but the bar just wouldn’t move. I had repeat performances in my next two lifts, going 2 for 3 attempts in the bench press (getting 300 lbs and 335 lbs to then miss 340 lbs on my third attempt), and going 2 for 3 attempts in the deadlift (getting 370 lbs and 400 lbs, only to miss 410 lbs on my third attempt). I ended the meet with a 1255 lb total. So disappointing because I knew I was capable of so much more! So many people came up to me to tell me that I almost had those lifts, and that it looked like I just “gave up”. Those words cut like a knife because it couldn’t have been further from the truth. I had no idea why my body wasn’t responding since I knew that I had put months of preparation and training into that meet. Reminiscing back, I am still embarrassed and disappointed by my performance at that meet. I knew that I needed to try something different, and that’s when I turned to Delos.

What types of treatments did you try before coming to Delos?

JG: I have tried everything from stretching to chiropractors to massages. Nothing seemed to really address or target my issues. Especially for a strength athlete, we have layers upon layers of built up (for good and bad!) muscle fibers that need attention, and from an educated therapist. Many pain and soft-tissue therapy businesses exist, but in my years of searching for a business with whom to partner, I have never found such an exceptional team of devoted and educated therapists as I have with Delos.

What improvements have you made since starting Delos Therapy?

JG: In just over a year, I have made incredible improvements in my overall health and in my numbers on the platform. I have learned to address any muscle tightness with ongoing therapy, and I have spent my in-season and off-season training cycles making gains instead of nursing and working around injuries. Since my disappointing amateur meet in September of 2017, I competed in my first invitation-only professional meet in November 2018, where I was able to post a 550 lb squat, a 375 lb bench press, and a 420 lb deadlift, for a 1345 total. I added 90 lbs to my total, and have reached a professional status in powerlifting.

What would you say to someone who hasn’t tried Delos Therapy?

JG: I know that I, too, was skeptical when I first started looking for pain management therapy. I thought that Delos was just going to be like everything else that I tried. Sure, you could go try the big-named massage places, and spend your time and money (those places are not cheap!) only to be worked on my someone who doesn’t understand how your muscles are connected, why they aren’t functioning correctly, or how to break up the knots and tightness that have formed from either overuse or in protection of an injury. If you’re serious about understanding what it means to move around using available muscles and to feel what it’s like to have different parts of your body working together (sans pain!) just give Delos a try. My only regret is not coming in sooner, thinking back to how much farther along I could be now had I come in earlier.

Tell us something unique about you.

JG: I’m originally from Cleveland, OH. I went to graduate school in physics at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. In 2005, after I finished my masters degree, I was moved out to the Chicagoland area to complete my degree working on the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL. I finished with my Ph.D. in experimental high-energy particle physics in 2009. So, being a big science fan, I really appreciate the time and effort that the Delos Therapy team devotes to educating themselves in their craft.

When a Wealth of Experience Leads to Delos – A New Therapist’s Perspective

When a Wealth of Experience Leads to Delos – A New Therapist’s Perspective

December 5, 2018|By Astrid Mikrut|No Comments »

I came to Delos Therapy as a chiropractor, a massage therapist, and an anatomy and physiology college instructor. My background in physical medicine and bodywork is quite varied. I studied pre-med at Northwestern University in Evanston, earned a doctorate degree in chiropractic medicine from National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, and completed massage therapy school. I’m also certified in acupuncture and have completed seminars in Graston Technique and in the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy. I’ve learned a lot about injuries and different treatment modalities.

In private practice, I found that my patients who saw the most dramatic results were the ones who addressed their soft tissue dysfunction – not just their joint complaints. Joint manipulations are of course very beneficial to the whole health of a person, but tight muscles will pull the bones that are involved in a joint chronically out of place. Addressing those tight muscles is the cornerstone to achieving pain-free movement.

After learning about Delos Therapy, I was incredibly enthusiastic about coming on board with this technique. At Delos, I use Delos Therapy exclusively to address pain and stiffness. The philosophy behind Delos Therapy is to get to the root of the problem. The therapists at Delos understand the biochemistry and the physics of fascia and muscle contraction. Delos Therapy in no way disagrees with progressive research and science – it builds on it. Delos works with physical therapy, with chiropractic, with massage therapy. It’s not competition; it’s the foundation that builds optimal health.

I’m very interested in talking to other therapy providers about what Delos Therapy does and how we can work together for the optimum health of our patients. Relieving pain is my life’s work, and I am personally invested in the health and quality of life of every single one of my clients.

My Journey to Delos Therapy

My Journey to Delos Therapy

November 19, 2018|By Nick Wade|No Comments »

I was working at the Juice bar in Hyde Park’s Bonne Santé Health Foods when I realized that I wanted to help people resolve their muscular pain issues. I felt as though too many people were trying to find solutions by masking their true underlying cause of pain or discomfort with a bottle of pills. I met a lot more people at the juice bar who knew the answers were not through quick fixes, but through a lifelong dedication to mindful eating and exercise. What I wanted most was to take knowledge like this and help everyone discover that you can do this too and it is important. I wanted more though – I wanted to be a person who could show people how awesome their bodies are at repairing themselves with a little physical encouragement. Physical encouragement? How does one go about that? What does that mean? I began looking into massage therapy schools around Chicago and decided to go to an open house at the SOMA Institute School for Clinical Massage Therapy. Part of the open house included receiving a 20-minute clothed massage. I remember when I left the school that afternoon that I was blown away by how you good I felt in a minimal amount to time of bodywork and thinking that, if I could make someone feel half the relief I feel right now, wouldn’t that be a rewarding career?

Enrolling at SOMA was the best decision I had made as a foundation for my career in massage therapy and soft tissue work going forward. I had a good technical skillset at the beginning. I wasn’t great, but I was capable. However, it was the rigorous course work and clinical thinking skills that gave me the best advantage and confidence to get me started. I began working in Chiropractic facilities for the first year or so of my career. There I had a lot of autonomy and was able to tailor and recommend treatments. The experience was great from a ‘getting your feet wet’ perspective, and I met a lot of great patients and paid my dues. However, I couldn’t help but notice that what I was doing was always not as valued or as important to the clinic’s main modality offered. What I was looking for was a team environment, where everything that was being done was in the patient’s interest and not just based on the work of the few whose modalities took precedent. Autonomy was great, but what I needed that I didn’t have were colleagues who supported me and who understood that the same principles of regular treatment for optimal results applied to my work as well as theirs.

My career needs changed and I left the clinical arena and began working at a spa. It wasn’t what I wanted, but getting health insurance and a 401k to contribute to was very appealing me, and being a body worker wasn’t a part time job to me, it was my passion, so I wanted to do this work for as long as I could. I worked in a spa for 11 years with the same dedication that I had working in a clinical setting. How could I best help those who needed muscular relief and what could I do to educate them to realize that this is important to have in their life? I did have modest success over the years, building solid client relationships, and adapting to economical catastrophes that changed the spa and massage landscape for a long time. Nevertheless, at some point I began to wonder if what I was doing had the type of impact on people’s lives like I had hoped when I finished school. The answer was a deep-felt no. I did a lot of continuing education over the years to not only improve my skillset, but to be able to offer people better solutions for their pain and dysfunction. I always felt that I was missing something in my bodywork toolbox; I just didn’t know what it was yet.

I always knew that I would one way or another return to doing clinical bodywork, as that was where I truly belonged. That’s when I discovered Delos Therapy. Here is a company that is blowing me away with its innovative and successful technique, as well as its vision and purpose for the future of chronic muscular issues and soft tissue enhancement that Delos Therapy provides. I work with a team of consummate professionals who are driven to not only improve themselves, but constantly asking the question, what can I do to make those around me be better as well? The excitement at Delos Therapy is palpable. We are on the cutting edge of connecting the dots regarding the relationship of muscular dysfunction to the body’s collagen production in and around muscles. We are reconstructing muscles to bring them back to a healthy state. And we are educating our clients to understand that their bodies need regular maintenance for optimal muscle health, just like their car or their teeth, in order to prevent common aches and pains from developing into more expensive and debilitating issues. I am excited to start being a part of this team at Delos Therapy, and we are all fired up, because we have seen the success of our therapy. And we see the impact we can have on our industry to help people discover what is possible in how great they feel.

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