Is Knee Pain Taking You Down? Talk to Your Rolfer

knee pain rolfing helps

Did you know that what starts as knee pain can cause pain elsewhere? That’s because if you don’t treat knee pain quickly, your body compensates. “Making up” for the knee, which is a pivotal hinge joint, will send your body off track. Rolfing tackles the cause of your pain for a long-term vs a short-term fix.

Because you need the knee joint for locomotion, if the pain is debilitating, all activity suffers. Sports play, walking, running, even simple actions like rising from a chair or taking the stairs hurt. That one vital joint permits flexion and extension, as well as a slight medial and lateral rotation. In other words, a healthy knee bends and straightens, plus – ever so slightly – rotates. What it’s NOT meant to do is move laterally or to rotate excessively. Our hips and ankles are supposed to handle those types of movements.

“I’ve had limited range of motion in my knee for years and within a few visits he has restored the range to almost 100%.”

– Satisfied Rolfing Client

When you visit either my Tacoma or Bellevue Rolfing practice, we’ll discover the source of your joint pain. I treat a lot of people specifically for knee injury. While some knee problems are from familiar causes, others may surprise you.

  • Lateral knee pain stemming from a too-short IT Band
  • Kneecap tracking issues stemming from overdeveloped lateral quads
  • Meniscus issues (pain behind the kneecap) due to a damaged meniscus or tracking issues
  • Medial pain from to an aggravated nerve that originates in the abdomen or an underdeveloped medial quad VMO (Vastus Medialis Oblique)

6 Questions About Knee Pain

My job as your Rolfer is to not only relieve the painfulness, but also to figure out where it stems from.  To start, I ask myself these questions when I’m examining you:

  1. Is there enough movement at the ankle?
  2. Is there enough movement at the hip?
  3. Is a nerve being aggravated by something going on in the abdomen?
  4. Is there proper balance between the ligaments on the inside of knee vs. the outside?
  5. Does the kneecap track straight and if not, why?
  6. Is there a nerve or artery that is compressed on the back side of the knee?

As a Certified Rolfer treating knee pain, I aim to return balance to the tissues surrounding the joint, plus improve tissue mobility in the hip and ankle. Why are the hip and ankle involved? Because if they function correctly, there’s less strain on the knee to move in a way that it’s not designed to do. 

Keep in mind that as the cause of the imbalance is often nowhere near where it shows up, my goal is to not only free you from the pain, but also to find and treat its origin.  

As a Certified Rolfer, Christopher Horan uses Rolfing to restore your body’s ease, balance and movement. His Puget Sound Rolfing clients come from Tacoma, Puyallup, Newcastle, Gig Harbor, Fircrest and University Place, as well as the Seattle metropolitan and Bellevue areas. Schedule your Rolfing session with Christopher today in either his Tacoma or Bellevue location.

Now Scheduling: Horan Rolfing Reopens After COVID-19 Lockdown

Horan Rolfing reopens scheduling

First of all, I hope you and yours have – and remain – healthy. Secondly, I’m happy to announce that Horan Rolfing is open and scheduling clients for Rolfing appointments. You can visit the site here to access my online scheduling system, review availability, and schedule your sessions.

Thank you for loyalty - post COVID-19

As my Rolfing practice continues business operations, there will be new precautions and office safety measures implemented for the wellbeing of both you and me. I invite you to follow me on social media for updates on the practice, plus tips to keep your body moving well between Rolfing sessions. 

Before scheduling your appointment, please review the below to understand the new operating procedures at Horan Rolfing. And finally, my sincere thanks, for your support and loyalty over the years.

In health,


Horan Rolfing Safety | New Operating Procedures

All hard, touchable surfaces are being wiped down with CDC approved cleaners in between every session, including chairs, stools, doorknobs, face cradle, tabletops, disk, my cell phone, lamps.

  • All sheets and linens are replaced between every session.
  • My hands are washed before and after every session.
  • I am wearing a face-mask during every session.

When Not to Come in for a Rolfing Session

Because people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness, for office safety, anyone experiencing the below symptoms should not come in to Horan Rolfing for a session.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Headache

Until we see each other again, if you’re feeling tight, try a stretch, like the Hip Flexor one below. Thank you for scheduling your next appointment, and for your continued support – see you soon!

Hip Flexor Stretch to Help Prevent Injury & to Relieve Tight Hip Muscles
Try my step-by-step instructional video on how to safely stretch your hip flexors. Your hip flexors are stabilizing muscles that let you bend from the hip. More video shorts to come, 
here. Keep moving safely – Christopher

Rolfing: When pain in the neck is more than an expression.

rolfing for neck pain

We’ve all experienced it. The pain in our neck that isn’t going away. With Rolfing, the first step is to find out what’s causing the neck pain. Is it whiplash? TMJ? Or is it coming from some area of the body that you’d never guess would make your neck hurt? Let’s find out.

When I’m working on a source diagnosis for where the pain is originating, I’m typically looking for an imbalance. Keep in mind that pain from an imbalance can be from any number of issues:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Pinched or trapped nerve
  • Abdominal organ that shares a common nerve with one in your neck (it happens)

I know. Sometimes it’s as if you just opened your eyes one morning, went to jump out of bed, and suddenly, “Owwwww!” My role is to (1) find the source of that OW and (2) get your body in the best position to heal itself so the hurt goes away.

When you come to me, don’t be surprised if I watch you walk, look at the different ways you move your body, or interview you on recent exercises or home activities. I use all kinds of diagnostic methods to discover the imbalance. All of it is to determine where the neck pain starts, not just to treat where the symptoms show up.

Getting Rid of Neck Pain

Re-educating Your Body

The important thing to remember is that we’re not going for a temporary fix. Yes, I want the pain in your neck to go away – as soon as possible. But I also want to know how we can keep it from coming back. That’s the other thing the source helps tell us. Imbalance can be because of some nutritional issue, everyday movement that needs to be corrected, or because you’re unconsciously compensating for an old injury.

Your health history – that includes exercise, athletics, work and play, too – feeds into a roadmap. The roadmap provides guidance on what you can do to help keep the neck pain from returning. Together we’ll teach your body, re-educate it, on how to keep you moving freely and without discomfort.

Christopher Horan’s Rolfing practice helps clients find freedom of movement, without pain. He uses Rolfing to treat neck pain, sciatica, back pain, TMJ, athletic injuries, as well as to improve posture and gait. Schedule your Rolfing session with Christopher today for either his greater Tacoma or Bellevue location.

Back Pain and Rolfing = Problem and Solution

back pain problem rolfing solution

Did you know that the NIH says ~80% of us experience back pain? In fact, it’s the top reason that people contact my Tacoma Rolfing® practice. The good news for you is that whether it’s debilitating or an ongoing discomfort, generally back pain is fixable, and often without surgery.

The trick to treating back pain effectively is in knowing how to find the pain before just diving in. Knowing “Where’s does it hurt?” doesn’t necessarily mean knowing the source, but it’s always a clue. Did you know that even a simple stubbed toe can throw off your gait enough to cause your lower back to hurt? That’s why it’s important to know where the back pain originates, and there are lots of possibilities. To name a few:

  • Sedentary lifestyle, aka sitting too much
  • Pinched nerves from a herniated disk
  • Lack of core strength
  • Off-balance gait or walk, a limp
  • Injury from a workplace or car accident

Luckily, all of the above (and more) causes of back pain typically respond really well to Rolfing.

What’s different about how I, as a Certified Rolfer©, treat back pain?

To begin with, I look at the whole you. Like I mention above, the thing that’s making your back hurt may not originate where you think it does. That’s where the initial assessment comes in. I’ll take you through a short process that lets me examine your alignment, how you move and how you stand.

Each client is unique, so how we move forward will be unique, too. Say that I determine part of your back pain comes from lack of core strength. Part of your treatment regimen may include simple core exercises. But if it looks like your case is more complex or severe, you may need to see a physical therapist, too. I know several practitioners in the greater Tacoma area (Seattle metro, too) and can refer you.

Back pain doesn’t just hurt, which is bad enough, it also limits your movement. That’s packs a double whammy to any lifestyle. Because I’ve been a Certified Rolfer for more than a decade, I know just how all the muscles, fascia tissue and nerves need to work together.

Using Rolfing and corresponding deep touch body work, I can help free spasming nerves, loosening the tissue that locks you up movement-wise. I’ll get to the root of the pain and help correct what’s causing it. Because ultimately, the goal is to get you moving well again, free from back pain.  

Christopher Horan is a Certified Rolfer practicing in the greater Tacoma, Washington area. His Puget Sound Rolfing clients come from Tacoma, Puyallup, Newcastle, Gig Harbor, Fircrest and University Place, as well as the Seattle metropolitan and Bellevue areas. You can schedule your appointment here.

Rolfing Bellevue, Seattle & Tacoma: Sciatica

Sciatica is a pain in your butt…literally.  The sciatic nerve has its roots from L4 – S3 (L standing for Lumbar vertebra and S standing for Sacral segments) and continues all the way down the back of your leg and into your feet.  If the nerve gets compressed or pinched anywhere along the line, it gets irritated and you feel pain.  I get a lot of clients coming in to my Rolfing practice pointing to their butt and complaining of Sciatica.

Nerves can be tricky little suckers.  They’re really good when telling you that something is wrong, but very frequently can be a bit misleading as to the where something is wrong.  Often the symptoms will show up further down the line of the nerve.  And to make things even more confusing, nerves communicate with one another, so if one nerve is compressed and irritated often one or multiple nerves around it will try to communicate to the brain that something is wrong.  The brain then interprets the info and tells you that those nerves should “hurt” as well and bingo you have multiple areas that seem inflamed.  For a really good explanation on how pain works, you should check this This Blog out.

Compression points (spinal, organ, muscular).  There are a few areas that are common compression points for the sciatic nerve.  One is right at the spine; if you have damage to one of the intervertebral discs, it can protrude into the nerve area and irritate it.  You can have a narrowing of the opening at the vertebra.  The nerve can be completely healthy coming out of the spine and then get compressed by one of the organs that is sitting in front of it (ie. the Sigmoid colon, Rectum, etc).   One other common compression point is when your piriformis (a deep lateral rotator of the femur) is too tight and compresses in on the space where your sciatic nerve comes out of the pelvic bowl and heads down into the back of your leg.

At My Rolfing Practice in Bellevue, WA I see clients quite often with sciatica type symptoms.  Using a few diagnostic tests, I discern which nerves are involved and if the visceral system is involved or not.  I then free up the affected structures.  We might then need to balance some of the other surrounding structures.  We might also need to take a look at your movement patterns to see if we need to retrain how you are moving.  I also often have to talk to people about how they are using their body that might have gotten them here in the 1st place and see how we might be able to alter some of the habits and/or patterns.

Want to Schedule a Session, Click Here

Rolfing Bellevue, Seattle & Tacoma: Pregnancy & Rolfing

I’ve been asked by many women as to whether it is possible and/or safe to receive Rolfing sessions while pregnant and the answer is an emphatic YES!  Expecting mothers go through a myriad of physical & emotional changes while pregnant.  Outside of the obvious changes in their abdomen, expecting mothers also go through some additional physical changes in preparation for delivery.

During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone known as Relaxin, which is believed to help prepare the pubic area and the cervix for the birth. The Relaxin loosens the ligaments in your body, making you less stable and more prone to injury. It’s easy to overstretch or strain yourself, especially the joints in your pelvis, lower back, and knees.  A lot of different pains can show up in your body that weren’t there before the pregnancy. That’s why its even more important to have proper balance throughout your structure.

Rolfing sessions in My Office in Bellevue, WA will help ensure that you’ve got proper balance throughout your body.  This will help decrease pain and mitigate any pain you might have developed with a less balanced body.

Want to Schedule a Session, Click Here

Clients receive Rolfing from me for while Pregnant from all over the Puget Sound, including: Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, Redmond, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Issaquah, Tacoma, Puyallup, Newcastle, Gig Harbor, Fircrest, & University Place.

Rolfing Bellevue: Raising Your Fallen Arch

Raising a fallen arch is not easy but it can be done in my Rolfing office(s) servicing Bellevue, Seattle & Tacoma.  This is assuming that we’re talking about a “fallen arch” not flat feet that you might have been born with.  There are a couple of things to think about when trying to raise your arch. The first being what exercises you can do to strengthen and hopefully “lift” your arch.  The second is opening up or lengthening tissue that might be keeping you in a fallen arch.

Two of the primary muscles that help raise support your medial (inside) arch are your Tibialis Posterior and your Abductor Hallusis.  The Tibialis posterior tendon (a leg muscle that crosses the ankle joint and inserts in the medial arch) is usually focused on during acquired flat foot deformities as a primary cause.  It however doesn’t kick in until the passive support of the arch breaks down so we will not focus on it here.

The abductor hallusis muscle starts at the inside base of your heel and inserts into the base of your big toe.  The best way to work this muscle is called the “short foot” exercise.  Here is a brief explanation on how to do it:

To perform a short foot exercise, sit in a sturdy chair, using good posture. Place both feet flat on the floor with your toes pointing straight forward.  Raise the arch of your right foot off the floor without curling your toes and lifting your heel. This is called the short foot position. Hold this isometric contraction for six seconds. Relax, and repeat with the left foot. Inch your feet forward and perform another rep with each foot. Perform 15 to 20 repetitions with each foot to strengthen and stabilize the muscles that comprise the longitudinal arch of the foot. Reposition your feet a little farther away from the chair each rep to target the muscles at slightly different angles. When this exercise is executed properly, you will feel muscle contraction in the foot and lower leg.  As quoted by, Dr. Nicholas A Campitelli – Podiatric Medicine and Surgery

Here’s a Youtube video that will give you a visual on how to do the exercise: Click Here

I’ve done this exercise myself quite a bit trying to maintain healthy arches.  It’s a bit awkward at first but you’ll get the hang of it in a few days as long as you are diligent about doing it a few times per day.  I also find it useful to do the exercise while standing since eventually you’re shooting for this muscle to support your arch while you’re standing and walking.

The second part you need to do is lengthen the tissue on the outside of your feet.  To do this you can stand on the outside of your feet and slowly bend your knees until you feel a stretch on the outside of your ankles.  You will probably also need to see someone who does structural integration Like Myself at my Rolfing practice in Bellevue, WA. Who can take a look at the bones of your feet to see if the bones in your feet are articulating against one another appropriately?

Want to Schedule a Session, Click Here

Clients receive Rolfing from me for flat feet from all over the Puget Sound, including: Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, Redmond, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Issaquah, Tacoma, Puyallup, Newcastle, Gig Harbor, Fircrest, & University Place.

Here are a couple of links to other sites with exercises you can do IN ADDITION to, not instead of, the short foot exercise:



Rolfing Bellevue: Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

At my Rolfing practice(s) servicing Bellevue, Seattle & Tacoma, WA I have a lot of clients coming in who think they might have carpel tunnel syndrome.  In fact, I have yet to have a single client who has had carpel tunnel syndrome.  A large majority of people get numbness or tingling in their fingers and have heard that that is a symptom of carpel tunnel syndrome (CTS) and assume that’s what they must have without doing any research.  Let’s take a look at what carpel tunnel syndrome really is.


Wikipedia defines CTS as, “an entrapment median neuropathy, causing paresthesia, pain, numbness, and other symptoms in the distribution of the median nerve due to its compression at the wrist in the carpal tunnel”.  The median nerve is one of 3 main nerves that send and receive information in your arms.  It originates from a grouping of the nerves in the neck, called the brachial plexus, dives under your collar bone (clavicle) and extends all the way down into your fingertips.  Entrapment median neuropathy simply means that the median nerve is being pinched or compressed and it’s causing disease or damage to the nerve itself.  The carpal tunnel is as you guessed it, a tunnel that passes through your carpal (wrist) bones.


CTS is often thought to be caused by repetitive motion at work but in fact has many origins including lipomas, obesity, oral contraceptives, hypothyroidism, arthritis, diabetes, and trauma.  The symptoms usually include numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the thumb and fingers, in particular the index, middle fingers, and radial half of the ring fingers (on the palm side of the hand).


To date, all of the clients that come to my Rolfing practice in Bellevue end up complaining of nerve numbness or tingling in fingers or place of the hand that are fed by nerves other than the median nerve.  Therefore, they probably have a nerve entrapment issue, but not of the median nerve through the carpal tunnel.  More often than not, the entrapment is happening further up the arm as the nerves weave their way in between muscles and ligaments or even as they dive under the collar bone on their way from the neck (which in fact is the most common place for entrapment).


As a Rolfer in Bellevue treating “carpal tunnel syndrome” like symptoms, I’ll look at your whole body to find out where the source of the issue is and not just chase where the symptoms are showing up.  Most of my training following the Rolf institute has been on working with nerve pathology & entrapment issues and how to resolve them non-surgically.   And, on the rare occasion that I can’t help I am in constant contact with a great team of medical professionals (both western and eastern philosophies) around the Austin area that can help you get rid of your pain.

Want to Schedule a Session, Click Here

Clients receive Rolfing from me for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from all over the Puget Sound, including: Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, Redmond, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Issaquah, Tacoma, Puyallup, Newcastle, Gig Harbor, Fircrest, & University Place.

Rolfing Bellevue: Rolfing After Pain Symptoms Go Away

You’ve been seeing me for Rolfing sessions and we’ve gotten rid of your pain, so you’re done seeing me right?  Well, maybe not.  Just because you’re not feeling any pain currently doesn’t mean that your body is functioning in a healthy way.  That kind of thinking is like saying that you are perfectly healthy just because you don’t have a cold.  There might be something lurking just underneath your awareness that is causing long term damage to your body.  Something might be off such a small amount that there is no pain involved, but if left unchecked and unresolved over time will wear down your tissue and turn up as serious pain down the road.


Part of what makes Rolfing unique is that I’m treating the entire body, not just the area of the body that hurts.  Every part of your body is connected some way or another, so something going on in your foot can cause symptoms to show up in your neck and head.  If we get the pain to go away in your neck and head but never address what’s going on in your feet, your symptoms will eventually come back because we’ve never address the core of the issue.


You could also have misalignments or unbalanced areas in your body that don’t cause you pain right now but will do so down the road.  The unbalanced tissue might have absolutely nothing to do with the issue you came to see me for and might not have any symptoms showing up.  However, if we don’t bring the tissue back into balance pain is likely to show up later in your life.


Ultimately, I started My Rolfing Practice in Bellevue, WA because the work is effective at getting people out of pain.  But I want those changes to be permanent.  So, it’s imperative that we bring better alignment back to the entire body and not just chase pain symptoms.  Doing so will help ensure that not only will your current symptoms go away, but you can sidestep future aches and pains as well.  Effectively, keeping your body feeling young and supple.

Want to Schedule a Session, Click Here

Clients receive Rolfing from me for after reduced pain from all over the Puget Sound, including: Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, Redmond, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Issaquah, Tacoma, Puyallup, Newcastle, Gig Harbor, Fircrest, & University Place.

Rolfing Bellevue: Compensation

The fact that your body compensates is incredibly important.  If it didn’t compensate every time you got a new injury you’d have a hard time getting much done in your life.  Whenever you hurt or damage tissue in your body, that tissue often times can’t perform its normal function as efficiently as it normally can.  So, instead of your body just giving up and telling you to just lie down while the tissue is repaired it finds someone else to do the job while it repairs itself.  Adjacent muscles work harder, bones rotate to adjust to the change in bio-mechanics, ligaments & nerves stretch as necessary and soon enough you’re off on your way again.


The damaged tissue does repair itself while it gets the vacation from working.  This all sounds like a great plan, except somewhere along the way we run into a problem.  Your body isn’t so great at knowing that it can let go of the compensation.  You see, you’ve created a new pattern.  Your body is essentially lazy and is always trying to find the most efficient way to do any task.  It WANTS to save energy.  So you’ve created a new pattern and your body has had time to get good at this new pattern and wants to stick with it.  If you try to change that pattern it’s going to take WORK, and the body inherently doesn’t want to work harder.  So what’s the problem with that you say?  Well, this new pattern isn’t how your body was designed to function.  You’ve got muscles doing jobs they weren’t designed to do and you’ve got bones moving in directions that they weren’t supposed to be moving.  If your alignment is off on your car, your tires wear down faster.  If you don’t have the proper alignment and balance around your joints and through your body, things wear down faster.  Your body can handle the changes over a short period of time, but over an extended period of time things will wear down.


In My Rolfing Practice servicing, Bellevue, Seattle, & Tacoma, WA,  I evaluate your entire structure.  I look at all of the compensations that are going on in your body to get an idea of where the original source of the issue is coming from, which is most often nowhere near where you feel the pain.  Rolfing is set up to manipulate your soft tissue (fascia, nerves, organs, muscles, etc.) to bring better alignment and proper mechanics back to your body so that it functions at its optimal capacity and the pain goes away.  In short, Rolfing is very effective and undoing years of abuse to your body and the resulting compensation patterns.


Want to Schedule a Session, Click Here

Clients receive Rolfing from me for Compensation Issues from all over the Puget Sound, including: Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, Redmond, Mercer Island, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Issaquah, Tacoma, Puyallup, Newcastle, Gig Harbor, Fircrest, & University Place.