EP 67: Heth Jennings — Understanding Pain, Rehabbing Climbing Injuries, and Carb Backloading


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Heth Jennings is a Physical Therapist and Functional Medicine Practitioner who has been studying pain for over 20+ years. We talked about where pain comes from, how the brain uses pain to protect us, why chronic pain isn’t “just in our head”, how to rehab finger and elbow injuries, and other lifestyle interventions that help with recovery.

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Show Notes:



4:10 – Heth’s background in physical therapy, functional medicine, and pain science

6:55 – A new paradigm for understanding pain

8:22 – “It’s all in my head.” and “It’s always real.”

9:40 – Lorimer Moseley, and the hammer in the neck story

14:50 – Red light blue light

15:55 – The leg scratch

17:40 – Chronic vs acute pain

21:09 – The mountain illustration of tissue capacity, the pain buffer, and how the brain’s overprotection leads to chronic pain

24:19 – Rehabbing chronic elbow pain

28:25 – Graded motor imagery using the Recognize App, visualization, and mirror therapy

36:35 – “The point is always to get people back to moving.”

37:58 – Heth’s example of the brain loving us too much, and removing fear

41:00 – The role of inflammation, assessing tissue damage, and rehabbing fingers and elbows

47:28 – Heth’s recent finger injury, and how he rehabbed it

50:35 – “Don’t flare up, but when you do, don’t freak out about it.”

51:48 – What to do after a flare-up

53:31 – Heth’s protocol for rehabbing his finger injury

56:02 – The theory behind eccentrics for tendon injury rehab

57:04 – How do address different types of finger injuries

59:27 – Heth’s thoughts on climbing open-handed while recovering from a pulley injury

1:01:03 – Mirror therapy for amputees

1:02:50 – Elbow rehab

1:07:52 – Preventing recurring injuries, giving our bodies credit, and bioplasticity

1:15:32 – What Heth has learned from his injuries, how he plans to move forward, and collagen + vitamin C

1:19:50 – Heth’s thoughts on supplemental exercises for injury prevention

1:23:57 – Heth’s thoughts on including finger ups or other isotonic exercises

1:25:32 – Chronic inflammation, gut health, and stress

1:28:35 – Why Heth recommends a low carb diet for many of his clients

1:32:33 – Heth’s thoughts on carbs for metabolically healthy people and athletes

1:38:37 – Carb backloading

1:44:39 – Heth’s thoughts on counting macros and daily protein

1:47:56 – Krispy Cream doughnuts, birthday cake, and popcorn and coke

1:50:28 – Breathing and meditation, accepting where we are, and being kind to ourselves

1:57:00 – Heth’s website, and social media

2:00:26 – Gratitude

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