VA Center for Spine: Need Relief For Neck Pain?


Do you need relief for your neck pain?

Neck pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek treatment from physical therapists. However, what many people don’t know is that physical therapists are also very effective at treating headaches, which can frequently accompany neck pain. While intermittent headaches may be a common occurrence, regular and consistent headaches are not! Instead of opting to take a pain medicine like Tylenol or an anti- inflammatory, which can have wide-ranging side effects, and may only address the symptoms, your physical therapist can help identify the underlying cause.

Headaches can be caused by a variety of reasons, and first and foremost, your physical therapist can help determine if yours is primarily due to musculoskeletal issues. It is very common to have tight muscles or stiff joints in the neck, head, face, and even upper back contribute to headache symptoms. While many people may assume that “poor posture” is a main contributor, it is not usually that simple. The lack of movement variability, repetitive movements and positions, physical and emotional stress, and even how you breathe can be important factors. Your physical therapist can work with you to determine what is involved in your specific situation and how best to treat it. The physical therapists at VCSST have a number of treatment options at their disposal, including hands on joint and soft tissue techniques, movement and mobility recommendations, and dry needling, which we have found very effective for treating both neck pain, headaches, jaw pain, and upper back pain.

By Andrew Rothschild

Newsletter Is It Possible To Live Without Neck Pain & Headaches? Here’s What You Need To Do When Your Regular Treatment Plans Don’t Work Anymore

INSIDE: Isitpossibletolivewithout neckpain? Reliefforneckpainheadaches HelpfulExercisesToHelp ReducePain

Doyousufferfromfrequentneckpainandheadaches? People literally live on acetaminophen and Ibuprofen for years because they constantly have a nagging headache, induced by muscle spasms in the neck. A concern with those who have frequent headaches, is an underlying neck problem that may go untreated. The Cause of Most Headaches Headaches can range from minor nagging pains, to full-blown migraines that knock you off your feet for a day or two. Any headache, whether tremendous pain or not, should be a warning sign that the muscles in your spine and neck may be too tight and tense.

Prolonged muscle tension may cause you to feel stiff and achy. One may feel pain in the shoulders, neck, upper back and even radiating out to the upper arms. Most people who have headaches complain about having neck and shoulder pain. The most intense pain usually lies directly in the back and upper sides of the neck. The pain then radiates into the shoulder area. This is why many people who have headaches treat themselves to frequent neck and shoulder massages.

Physical therapy can help you to relieve the tightness and tension in your muscles, helping you live a happy, pain-free life. Thank you to all our guests who helped to make our Open House a huge success!

(804) 249-8277 FAX: (804) 249-9690 CALL TODAY! NEW LOCATION! 2820 Waterford Lake Dr. Suite 103 Midlothian, VA 23112.

Relief For Neck Pain & Headaches

The neck can be a hidden and debilitating source of headaches. Very often neck pain and headaches go hand-in-hand, leading to a miserable time coping with every day activities. According to the National Institute of Health Statistics neck pain and headaches are the second most common form of pain experienced by Americans, with 59% reporting it affected their enjoyment of life. Headaches are often grouped under the term “cervicogenic headache” meaning that the primary source is from the neck. There are well mapped out patterns of headaches that come from the different parts of the neck, shoulder and upper back areas. The discs between your bones (vertebrae) and joints in the upper neck often contribute to headaches. Even headaches located in the forehead or behind the eyes are often referred pains stemming from problem areas in the neck and base of the skull. The joints connecting the top three levels of the neck handle almost 50% of the total motion of the entire neck. This means they absorb a lot of repetitive strain. These joints bear the

main load of the weight of the head (about that of a bowling ball). With fatigue, poor posture, injuries, disc problems, arthritis, muscular stress and even prior surgeries, the wear and tear on this critical region of your body can prove too much, resulting in pain. It is also possible that you may develop a narrowing of the spinal canal itself. Since the spinal cord runs through the spine, a narrowing of the canal or where the nerves exit, can lead to a condition named spinal stenosis. There is much that can be done to treat neck pain and headaches. Our expert physical therapists have years of experience helping people with neck pain and headaches. By finding the root cause of your neck pain and headaches we can relieve your pain quickly, reduce the need for medication and get you back to the activities you enjoy. Discover how our team of specialists at VCSST incorporated can eliminate your neck pain and headaches allowing you to live a happy, active and pain-free life. Call today for more details!

If you are experiencing these symptoms talk to us about how we can help

• Difficulty turning your head from side to side • Pain at the aria where the neck and the upper back meet • Poor posture • Neck or shoulder pain that interferes with your sleep • Stiff neck • Pain when reaching for objects overhead • Limited ability to exercise • Unable to work due to pain • Neck pain that radiates into your shoulders

“Common pain conditions (i.e., arthritis, back, headache, and other musculoskeletal) result in $61.2 billion in lower productivity for U.S. workers.”

Services our expert team is ready to provide: • Orthopedic and Sports Rehabilitation • Spinal Mobilization/Manipulation

• Concussion Management • Balance/Fall Prevention • Vestibular Rehabilitation/Canal Repositioning • Headache Management • TMD (Temporomandibular Disorders) • Post surgical rehabilitation • Core Stabilization • Functional Manual Therapy/Mobilizations • Custom Orthotic Assessment and Fabrication • Functional Movement Screens and injury • Myofascial Release Techniques • McKenzie Approach • Physical Therapy Dry Needling • Managing chronic and persistent pain

(804) 249-8277 FAX: (804) 249-9690


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Dr. Andrew Rothschild has been a practicing physical therapist since graduating with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Health in 2006. He is a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist and is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy. He is one of the few residency and fellowship-trained Physical Therapists practicing in the Richmond area. Dr. Andrew Rothschild, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

His advanced training in the field of orthopedic manual therapy, including spinal manipulation and dry needling, has helped establish him as a respected clinician among both his patients and his peers. Since undergoing a spinal fusion himself at the age of 23, Dr. Rothschild has a unique understanding and appreciation for the rehab process and what it takes to return to optimal function. He has particular interest in the prevention and treatment of low back pain as well as neck pain and headache along with general wellness, fitness and nutrition. Dr. Rothschild also has a passion for learning and teaching, and teaches continuing education courses for physical therapists several times throughout the year. When not in the clinic or teaching out of town, Dr. Rothschild enjoys spending his time with his family, which includes his wife, Sarah, an assistant professor at VCU, their four year-old daughter Cameron, and their two dogs, Ainsley andToby. His hobbies include reading, writing, and strength training with kettlebells.

Healthy Eating

Eating Right Never Tasted So Good!

JoAnn McEllen – FitBit Alta, Janine Cole – Car Care Bucket, Donna Culley – Spa Basket, Phil Koren – Carmike Theater Gift Certificate, Dale Kohler – Cabela’s Gift Certificate.

Patient Spotlight

Basic Vegetable Smoothie Recipe Directions

8 Ingredients • 6 oz water • 1 large tomato • ½ cucumber • 2 pieces celery • 2 carrots • handful of baby spinach

Wash the vegetables, throw them in the pitcher (after washing), turn blender on low, and then turn it up to high for about 30 seconds. You may need to use the tamper to get it circulating at the beginning. Other possibilities to add include olive oil, Tabasco, or herbs like basil. If you want it to look more like V8 you could leave out the spinach and add another tomato.

• lemon juice from 1 lemon (or balsamic vinegar) • 6 ice cubes

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