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Dr. Joseph Horrigan
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As Director of the Soft Tissue Center at DISC Sports & Spine Center, Dr. Joseph Horrigan leads a multidisciplinary team of hand-selected clinicians who diagnose, treat and train some of the world’s most elite athletes. The Soft Tissue Center specializes in the diagnosis and management of sports and soft tissue injuries. With multiple board certifications, Dr. Horrigan brings a storied 25 year background divided between sports medicine and strength and conditioning. These specializations have given him a unique understanding of both performance and loss of performance, and how to maneuver effectively between the two.

Widely regarded as an expert in his field, Dr. Horrigan is a frequent lecturer whose original peer-reviewed research, presentations and articles have been published extensively. He also lends his expertise to Hollywood, having served as the medical and/or athletic performance consultant on numerous films, including “The Hunger Games,” “Savages,” “Django Unchained,” “The Matrix,” “Seabiscuit,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” “Spider-Man 2,” “Things We Lost in the Fire,” “The Skeleton Key,” “Che: Part One,” “Che: Part Two,” “The Wolfman” and “The Lovely Bones.”

Entries by Dr. Joseph Horrigan

Why are Pectoralis Major Tears the Latest Epidemic in Sports?

(1) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 2:54 PM

A friend of mine sent me an email about the alarming number of pectoralis major muscle tears suffered by Minnesota Vikings players. In one year alone there were five reported cases. A cluster on one team is odd, so I did some research to try to determine whether...

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Four Back-to-School Habits That Are Bad for Your Child's Body

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 5:04 PM

It's that time again... children are returning to school. New clothes, new classes, new friends and the same old problems that students and parents alike have to manage each year. Four such problems -- let's call them bad back-to-school habits -- are perhaps the easiest to solve and yet the...

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Sure You're Ready for That Obstacle Race? When Under-Preparation Meets Fatigue, Bad Things Happen

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 4:01 PM

As fitness enthusiasts continue to search for activities and sports that keep their interest and avoid boredom, new exercise fads emerge. The mini-triathlon boomed in popularity 10 years ago, as very few people could (or should) compete in the original two-mile ocean swim, 110-mile bike ride and full 26-mile marathon....

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After the NFL Combine: Why Keep Training?

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 9:05 AM

The cleats were still warm as a feeding frenzy of sports news reporters quickly digested and revealed NFL Combine results for some of college football's biggest stars. There were surprises, such as Marcus Mariota's 40-yard-dash time of 4.52 seconds, and multiple 300-pound linemen with vertical jumps over 30...

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Why Children Should Not Have Low Back Pain

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 12:37 PM

Children should not have low back pain. Yet, many of our young athletes complain to their coaches, teammates and parents that they do, in fact, suffer such symptoms. Regretfully, they are often not taken seriously, or are told "it will go away." Some cases are simple strains and sprains, and...

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Plantar Fasciitis or Something Else? What to Consider When That Heel Pain Doesn't Improve

(5) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 11:40 AM

If you are one of the estimated 53 million people who run or jog in America (Outdoor Foundation's Outdoor Participation Report), you may have already heard about plantar fasciitis, a painful condition affecting the heel and one of the most common problems among running enthusiasts. Plantar fasciitis is...

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Why Does Tennis Elbow Take So Long to Improve?

(2) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 9:41 AM

Whether you're a pro competing in this week's US Open or an avid amateur who enjoys tennis for fun, you will likely experience some form of "tennis elbow" in your lifetime. This injury -- so common that it has its own lay term -- is a wear-and-tear effect and inflammation...

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Avoiding Deadly Dehydration: 8 Vital Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Hike

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 5:30 PM

Recently, we read the tragic news about an actor from the beloved Harry Potter series dying from heat-related illness. The 50-year-old British actor, David Legeno, played the werewolf villain Fenrir Greyback. Legeno died while hiking near Death Valley, California, according to the Inyo County Sheriff's Office.


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What Parents and Young Athletes Need to Know About Marfan Syndrome

(6) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 5:17 PM

Isiah Austin was a star high school and college basketball player. His dream of going pro was about to happen when a mandatory pre-draft physical exam revealed Austin had Marfan syndrome and his career came to an end. This is not the first time we have heard this...

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Growing Pains vs. Cancer: Why You Should Take Your Kid's Knee Pain Seriously

(10) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 4:49 PM

"My knee hurts," complains the young boy or girl. "You're okay. It's just growing pains," replies the mother or father. This is a common conversation with young people and their parents every day. And, overwhelmingly, the young person's pain is simply from overuse in sports, playing and even perhaps growing...

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Young Women and ACL Injuries: How Proper Training Is Vital to Minimize Risk

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 4:38 PM

Experienced weight trainers know that the benefits of strength development carry far beyond simply lifting more weight, from improving sports performance to enhancing the dynamic stability of joints, which can help reduce the risk of injury.

Recognizing this, colleges around the world employ strength and conditioning coaches to work...

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Why You Should Get 'Hip' to Yoga Injuries

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 10:16 AM

A recent article in the New York Times addressed the significant number of hip injuries reported by yoga practitioners. Yoga is very popular and considered benign by millions of women and men, but this is not the truth. There are very real, underlying anatomical reasons accounting for many...

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Treating Concussions in Young Athletes: Why Age Matters

(2) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 11:48 AM

With sports-related concussions making front page news on an increasingly regular basis, public concern is at any all-time high for the safety of athletes. As physicians, we see this injury occur across the age spectrum -- from the pros and college to high school and younger -- but there's a...

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College Football Recruiting + Middle Schoolers = Injuries

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 6:22 PM

When 7th grader Jairus Brents was offered a football scholarship by the University of Kentucky, sports reports and blogs erupted in debate. The young cornerback had caught the attention of Kentucky recruiters, whose offer is the latest in a flurry of elite NCAA Division 1 colleges targeting middle schoolers --...

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Runners: Don't Let Poor Technique 'Run' You Into the Ground

(2) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 4:37 PM

Whether it's for exercise or simply to de-stress, running is one of the most popular pastimes today. Rain or shine, it's a sport that requires little beyond a good pair of shoes. Old, young, men, women... we run in nearly every region of the world. And it's easy, right? Who...

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Tennis Injuries Are More Than Meets the Elbow: Ever Heard of Tennis Leg?

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 3:22 PM

With the French Open underway and Wimbledon right around the corner, June turns the spotlight on all things tennis, propelling many sideline lovers of the sport to dust off their own racquets and hit the court. What they may not know, however, is the potential injury...

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Do Leg Extensions Have a Place in Your Workout?

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 3:13 PM

The leg extension machine is one of the most recognizable in any gym. Even trainees who rank as beginners know what the exercise is and how to perform it. The popularity of this machine dates back many decades.

Many gym veterans can recall how doctors and other healthcare providers...

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Re-entry Training: How to Get Back to the Gym Without Hurting Yourself

(3) Comments | Posted May 2, 2013 | 8:16 AM

Let's face it. Even the fittest among us has been there... stuck in that uncomfortable neverland of missed workouts, where resuming a weight training routine grows increasingly daunting with every missed day. For some, even a visit to the dentist holds more appeal than starting back at square one. There...

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Behind the Prep: What It Takes to Get an Athlete Ready for the NFL Combine and Draft

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 5:26 PM

As sportscasters and football fans predict which players will be snatched up early or late in the NFL Draft's first round and which team will benefit the most, they'll consider a number of factors leading up to this highly anticipated event.

Top running back prospect, Alabama's Eddie...

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When Is Stretching Not a Good Idea for Back Pain?

(3) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 4:11 PM

Low back pain is a very common problem affecting millions of people at any given time. The economic toll of chronic low back pain (three months or longer) has been estimated to be between $12 to $90 billion from loss of work productivity, cost of treatment, and disability...

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