GRIT – Grounded Resilient Inspired Tenacious

Thoughts about grit, grounding, resilience, inspiration and tenacity by Dr. Shouka from ChiroActive Therapy in Tustin, Calfornia
Mo Shouka DC, QME

“Grit bridges the gap from where you are and where you want to be.”

Let’s get Grounded

Do you have grit? What is grit? If you look at the word GRIT as an acronym you can say grounded, resilient, inspired and tenacious. First of all the foundation to grit is being grounded. Being grounded provides a strong foundation that  can be relied upon and has to be based in some sort of logic and common sense. As a result of a strong foundation strong roots can burrow deep into the earth and produce a towering tree of knowledge. You have to have a strong base knowledge to tap into. You can build higher after you establish a strong foundation.

How resilient are you?

Do you break under pressure or do you bend like the reed? Are you able to spring up after you have been pressed down? You have to be able to bounce back and persevere no matter what the challenge or obstacle is. Another important component of grit is resilience. To be resilient means that you always keep on pressing and keep coming back. To be resilient means that you’re not a quitter and you continue to search for options and solutions.

What is your Passion?

To have grit, you must have inspiration. It sure is helpful have some kind of “Guiding Light” to direct and motivate you. Take time to recognize where true north is for you. Have a vision of where you’re going with some clear set goals. Be passionate about your goals and get excited to accomplish them. This is what it means to be inspired. Try and relate to other people that have attained similar goals that you would like to accomplish. Learn and pick up subtle attributes from these people. You will learn more and become adept at the skills that you need to get to your goals by surrounding yourself with people that have accomplished similar goals.

It takes Grit! So Stick to it!

Putting it all together means never accepting no as the final answer. Do not let disappointments stop you from your dreams. It is essential to get back up and keep moving towards your goals.  This is what being tenacious is all about. Being tenacious does not mean that you are being rude. It means that you are being patient, resourceful and able to adapt to situations.

So, what does grit mean to you? Do you have it?

Benefits and Pitfalls of Swimming for Sport and Fitness

Reviews and Testimonials

Swimming for Sport and Fitness – Benefits and Pitfalls

Tustin Chiropractic and Sports Therapy Clinic Treats Swimmers

Many people think swimming is one of the best exercises. It improves your cardiovascular fitness, physical strength and overall stamina. There are many benefits to swimming. However, there are some pitfalls to look out for. Swimming injuries can affect the neck, shoulders, elbows and knees.

Excellent cardio fitness

One big benefit to swimming is cardio fitness. Cardiovascular fitness can help prevention and recovery of physical injuries. First, it improves circulation and gives energy. Second, it pumps more healing cells to repair the injured areas. Third, it helps to decrease painful stiffness and swelling.

Swimming increases overall strength

Swimming increases the tone and overall strength of the body. The arms and shoulders develop long and beautiful muscles. The chest and back get a great workout.

You can develop great leg strength with a regular swim program. Another positive note is all the core and abdominal muscles get stronger. This can strengthen the lower back and aid in recovery from back pain. All your muscles develop great strength as a result of this amazing exercise.

Swimming gives you mental strength and stamina

Building physical stamina has a positive effect on your mental stamina. Many people get excited about new ideas and new projects. However, they may find it difficult to follow through. They may easily become distracted and lose focus. Staying on track in a fitness program helps to keep you on track in life goals. These are good reasons to develop your stamina so you can accomplish your goals.

Swim injuries – the downside to the perfect exercise

Most swimmers recognize that the shoulders can be overused.

One shoulder injury is called shoulder impingement. Shoulder impingement causes pain in the front and top of the shoulder. The nerves and muscles are crushed when the arm is raised overhead.

A bursa is a sac that protects the bones from rubbing against each other. Bursitis is a painful and inflammatory process that needs proper care.

The rotator cuff consists of tendons that attach the shoulder muscles to the bones. Inflammation of the tendons can occur in the shoulder as in the case of shoulder tendinitis or a rotator cuff tear.

Swimmers may also injure the elbow and knees.

Inflammation of the tendons can occur of the elbow. One example is the case of swimmers elbow can which can be very debilitating.

Injuries of the knee can be serious with the breaststroke kick. This type of swimming technique places the knee under high tension and force. This can result in injuries to the ligaments and cartilage.

The neck and back can be stressed with poor swimming technique. Stress on the neck build up and cause injuries. This can happen even with a slight misalignment of the head.

Understanding swimming mechanics leads to better treatment of swimming injuries

Understanding the mechanism of the swim injury is key. Having been a competitive swimmer, swim instructor and coach allows for more insight to this topic. Personalized treatment protocols can be developed with that knowledge.

The shoulder blade or scapula connects the shoulder to the upper back. Shoulder injuries can occur with restricted mobility of the scapula or upper back.

Patients can benefit from a precise treatment program. Good understanding of the various swimming strokes leads to better treatments for the swimmer.

Dr. Shouka
The Swimmers’ Doctor

Mo Shouka, DC, QME
13031 Newport Ave, Suite 116
Tustin, CA 92780



Active Therapy Exercises

Chiropractic to Improve your Strength and Health

Tustin Chiropractor for Chiropractic, Pilates, Nutrition, Sport and Spine Therapy

Epidemiology of Injuries and Prevention Strategies in Competitive Swimmers




Chiropractic to Improve your Strength and Health

Clearing the systems for better health with chiropractic
Chiropractic affects the muscles, bones, blood vessels, nerves and glands

Now serving Tustin and neighboring communities

Chiropractic is great for treating tight muscles and relieving stress. We can  treat trigger points and muscle spasms. Chiropractors are experts in removing nerve pressure. You can improve communication between the brain and body.  You get better movement, more strength and less pain when we restore correct joint movement.

Strengthen muscles and ligaments

This type of chiropractic helps to stabilize the weak ligaments. We can correct the movement of the body to strengthen the muscles. Lifting and carrying is more efficient with better movement and leverage. This results in stronger bones, joints and ligaments.

Lymphatic flow and detoxification improve with chiropractic

Treatments improve circulation and relieve tension. The lymphatic system removes toxins from the body. This is necessary for better health and more energy. Better blood and lymph flow allow nutrients to reach the cells. The fluids are also the detox pathways for your cells.

Chiropractic is safe and effective!

You can achieve greater levels of success by combining the mind and spine.  We use mental imagery during the treatment sessions to improve the healing process.  When indicated, this can be the missing link to bring relief. It will allow the tight muscles to melt away. Our type of chiropractic is safe, gentle and effective.

Tustin is centrally located in the heart of Orange County. We look forward to seeing you.

Mo Shouka, DC

ChiroActive Therapy
13031 Newport Ave, Suite 116
Tustin, CA 92780

Low Back Pain Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Tustin Chiropractor for Chiropractic, Pilates, Nutrition, Sport and Spine Therapy


Tustin Neck Pain Chiropractor- Injury and Rehab Chiropractor

About Us

Plantar fascitis relief at chiropractic therapy clinic in Tustin

Tustin chiropractor treats Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is when people suffer from pain in the bottoms of their feet. Actually, the foot pain can be very severe and can cause terrible heel pain. In addition, pain can reach the ankles and Achilles tendon.

Fascia is the sheath that wraps around the muscles tendons and ligaments. Inflammation of the fascia is called fasciitis. Also, when the tendon is involved it is called tendonitis.

Treatments for foot pain in Tustin Chiropractic clinic

Treatments include myofascial release, friction therapy and manipulations of the foot and ankle joints.  Other treatment modalities include ultrasound, laser and Orthotics. In some situations orthopedic surgeons will put a metal brace inside the foot to hold the structure of the foot together. Some therapists will tape the foot to give it support and decrease pain.

Almost all treatments for plantar fasciitis are direct to the inflamed area. Treatments are designed to decrease pain and inflammation. They are combined with strengthening and supportive orthotics.

As a chiropractor, I have seen many patients that suffer from plantar fasciitis and other forms of foot pain.    You probably have seen how chiropractors are checking the feet to determine leg length.

Look to the spine for plantar fasciitis treatment

Problems anywhere in the spine can cause the muscles of the spine and pelvis to tighten up. That causes the leg to pull up and become short. When a person stands and walks on a short leg the feet try to adapt. The feet start to change shape. The feet try to flatten and arch to try to level out the leg length discrepancy.

That causes the feet to change shape and lose their ligament structure. The muscles and fascia become overburdened, inflamed and painful.

More chiropractic related treatments for plantar fasciitis

Other chiropractic related reasons for foot pain is due to nerve pressure in the lower back. Consequently, pressure on the nerves of the low back will cause the foot muscles to become weak. Furthermore, the weak muscles cause the area to be easily inflamed and can therefore, be easily injured. Moreover, they became difficult to heal and may become chronic.

My journey with plantar fasciitis

Years ago I suffered with plantar fasciitis. I tried to treat it with some of the traditional treatment protocols. Custom orthotics for my feet were not able to get rid of my pain. Also, I tried ultra sound, massage, ice therapy and several different shoes. Nothing helped and I struggled for more than 6 months.

Finally, I was able to get my pelvis and spine level and corrected my leg length discrepancy. Then you know what happened? My plantar fasciitis got Better!

Making the paradigm shift

Once I made that paradigm shift in perspective and expectation, it was easy to see a solution to my problem. Often, we are stuck suffering because it is time to expand our perspective. The tension and discomfort is greatest right before the paradigm shift.

In my practice, I have been challenged in so many ways trying to help my patients. When patients have already tried all the standard protocols and are still suffering, that is when we have to step back to take fresh perspective. That’s when these paradigm shifts occur and you never look at those things the same again.

Leg pain and sciatica

Sciatica, Leg pain, numbness, weakness and spasms

Athletes suffer from f0ot and ankle pain

Low Back Pain Causes, Treatment and Prevention

What you should know about Low back pain

Low back pain can vary from a mild ache to an extremely debilitating situation. Four out of five people will have to deal with low back pain during their lifetime. There are many causes for back pain and many different types of pain to experience.

When you are suffering from low back pain it is important to get the right advice and treatment. Because many people have had to deal with back pain there are often many different types of recommendations for your back.

Not all low back pain is the same

Just because that approach worked for somebody doesn’t mean it will work for you. The other person’s back pain may or may not be the same as yours.

The key to getting a quality treatment for your low back pain is through understanding what is actually causing the problem. There are many structures in the low back that can produce pain.

The main causes of low back pain

Often times pain is caused by muscle spasms that can be extremely painful. Another reason for low back pain can be caused by a sprain in the back where the ligaments have been stretched. Low back pain can occur due to injury to the spinal discs.

Many times the pain in the low back is due to stress coming from other places in the body. Pain can be referred from an underlying disease process. Even tightness in other parts of the spine can cause the lower back to hurt. In addition, tightness in the sacroiliac joints can contribute to many low back conditions as well.

Weakness in the low back muscles or in the abdominal muscles can contribute to low back pain. When there is weakness in the core muscles, the spine has to endure unusual forces that it was not designed for.

Treatments for low back pain

People can take medications to manage their low back pain. It is common for medical doctors to prescribe anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants to manage low back pain. Some doctors will recommend heat therapy and other doctors recommend cold therapy. What’s more is that some doctors will recommend both heat and cold.

How to stabilize your low back

It is important to understand if the structural Integrity of the low back spine has been affected. If there is ligament laxity or disc involvement then a careful course of spinal stabilization has to be initiated.

To restore balance and integrity to the spine we must consider tightness of the joints and ligaments, weakness of the muscles and removing nerve irritations.

3 steps to a better back

First, tightness and stiffness can occur in the muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons. We must check for the stiffness and tightness and try to relieve the spine from it.

Next we have to see which muscles need to be activated to restore proper function. Some muscles can become weak and prevent the spine from moving correctly. This can cause the spine to break them.

Most important, we have to see if any nerves are being compressed or compromised. Nerve irritations can perpetuate a low back pain. They can also alter the function and sensation of the spine. The altered function can cause the spine to break down faster.

So what do you do for low back pain?

First you have to have a proper assessment by a qualified professional. You may need to get more than one opinion from different types of specialists. Try to understand and take in what they have to say. Remember that each specialist will be able to give you an opinion from their perspective.

Next you should formulate a game plan that allows your body to heal and rebuild. You have to get yourself out of the acute phase of pain and swelling. Then you have to find a way to fix what caused the condition to begin with.

Treatments may include medications , hot or cold packs, acupuncture, physical therapy, exercise or chiropractic adjustments. In some cases surgery may be indicated to prevent further damage.

Once the spine has gone past the acute phase, then structural rebuilding and strengthening is indicated. A biomechanical specialist that has expertise in exercise therapy can make a big difference in the outcome of the patient with low back pain.

Pilates, chiropractic adjustments, assisted orthopedic stretched and education

A Pilates based exercise routine can bring balance and stability to the lumbar spine. Understanding proper breathing methods and correct activation of the deep muscles of the core will improve the stability of the spine. With Pilates instruction you learn how to activate your core intelligence to preserve your spine, get out of pain and prevent future injuries.

Chiropractic adjustments can correct the biomechanics of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. Fixations and limitations throughout the spine can put added stress to the weak areas of the lumbar spine. Correcting the fixations and altered segments will bring harmony throughout the whole spine. This will allow the lumbar spine to heal and the pain to go away.

Assisted Orthopedic stretching is important to reset the muscles. Tight muscles in the body will cause the opposing muscles to become weak. Muscles work in groups either together or opposite each other. Resetting the tight muscle will strengthen the opposing muscle and will strengthen the tight muscle as well.

Through assisted Orthopedic stretching, Pilates exercise strengthening and Chiropractic adjustments the spine has a good chance for recovery. Utilizing these principles with added body awareness and education, you will be able to manage your low back pain and prevent any future problems with your low back.

Mo Shouka, DC, QME

About the Author

Mo Shouka is a California and New Jersey licensed doctor of chiropractic. He has been in practice for 30 years and has treated thousands of patients with low back pain. He is a certified Pilates instructor and is the clinic director at ChiroActive Therapy in Tustin, California.

For more info:

Sciatica, Leg pain, numbness, weakness and spasms

Sciatica is an irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It has many branches that can cause symptoms. Sciatica symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness and muscle spasms.

Remove the nerve compression to get better

Sciatica can be irritation due to discs in the lumbar spine, decreased function in the sacroiliac joints or compression on the sciatic nerve from the piriformis muscle.

Branches of the sciatic nerve may become irritated and cause symptoms throughout the leg. Mostly, the sciatica affects the back part of the leg like the hamstrings and the calves.

identifying the cause of the nerve irritation is important

The symptoms of sciatica could also go down to the foot. The symptoms that go to the big toe are related to L5. And the symptoms that go to the little toe are related to S1.

Custom treatments give better results

Based on where symptoms are and where the nerves go we can tell which level of the spine is affected. This way we can Custom Tailor the treatment to help your spine get better. This will take the pressure off of your sciatic nerve so that you can regain your health, strength and mobility.

Often times with sciatica the spine is out of balance. The muscles of the low back and core have to be balanced to stabilize the low back. Correcting the mobility of the sacroiliac joints and the hips is essential to treating sciatica.

Specific treatments for better results

3 steps to beating sciatica

First, we use specific exercises to strengthen and activate the weak muscles. These exercises also coordinate the Rhythm between the core muscles and the hip muscles. Next we utilize assisted stretching to stretch the tight areas. This corrects the movement so that your joints can heal. Third, we provide specific treatments to your spine, hips, and sacroiliac joints. This removes nerve irritation so that you can get better.

Leg pain without back pain

Sometimes patients present with leg pain without back pain. They think that their leg pain has nothing to do with their back pain. Sometimes they just present with severe pain in the knee or in the calf or in the hamstring.

They don’t realize that their symptoms  are from nerve irritation to the sciatic origin which is in the lumbar spine.

Often times people that develop sciatic pain had a history of low back pain in the past. When low back pain is left untreated it can become worse. Also, when low back pain is left untreated it can feel better.

Spine breaks down to cOmpress the nerve roots

First of all, the reality is that often times when back pain is not treated it just keeps on degrading. Second, a decaying spine is much like a cavity in your tooth that is left untreated. Sometimes the pain can go away but the reality is it’s burrowing deeper into your tooth.

Finally, a tooth cavity can get so bad it reaches the roots of the tooth. Once the decay has reached the root it irritates the nerve. This can cause severe pain and muscle spasms. A similar thing happens in the spine. As the spine decays it can reach the nerve root.

The nerve root can become irritated and that creates the sciatica.

Irritation to the nerve roots or to the sciatic nerve can cause the muscles to become weak. The areas that have weaker muscles are more likely to be injured. They may become easily injured just with their normal activity or with slight exertion.

Professional athletes suffer the sAMe injuries as weekend athletes

I have worked with professional athletes to improve their fitness and performance level. They suffer from recurring pulled muscles, calf injuries or hamstring injuries.

However, if there’s pressure on the sciatic nerve the muscles will continue to stay weak. Therefore, the muscles are susceptible to injuries because there is pressure on the nerve supply.

By the way, this can also happen to the weekend athlete just as much as a professional athlete. Anyone who has to deal with recurring muscle spasms may have nerve irritation related to it. Furthermore, recurrent muscle spasms may also be an indication of weak ligaments and decreased structural stability.


Choose to be Happy

Choose to be Happy

😀We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to pursue🏃 happiness. Well, happiness can be elusive for some people😞.  With happiness, the closer you get to it the more elusive it becomes😒.

Happiness is a matter of perspective

Happiness is also a matter of perspective. It really depends on how you’re looking at things. You may have had a dream of acquiring or attaining something that you thought would make you happy. But as you accomplished your goals you may have found that they did not quite make you happy.

It was probably exciting when you first accomplished your goal but then you realize that the feeling did not last long. You may have been excited to purchase a car, furniture, jewelry, or article of clothing. Then you realized it was not so satisfying.

One important choice is choosing to have the right perspective😎. It begins with having the attitude of gratitude. There are many things that we have that do not seem to be fulfilling anymore. There are people out there that would dream to have the things that you take for granted. Happiness is dependent on your choices.

Yes happiness is a matter of perspective. We should remind each other to be grateful for what we already have. Counting our blessings every evening puts our thoughts in the right mindset.

Happiness is affected by movement

Happiness much like the rest of our emotions can be affected by movement. Moving your body 😃💕💃 in all different directions not only stretches your body but it expands your mind 🙆 as well. Emotions are not logical and it may be difficult at times to change them with just your thinking alone. Emotions are heavily affected by motions.

Starting off your day by exercising in the morning can be very beneficial and helpful in regaining and maintaining happiness. The key to exercise is being able to breathe deeply and moving in every direction. Choose to be happy on the daily by having an attitude of gratitude🙏, counting your blessings, and moving and breathing💨 correctly.

Chiropractic to Improve your Strength and Health