MarathonPT: Relieving Neck Pain

Marathon Monthly September 2019 Physical Therapy TECHNOLOGY AND NECK PAIN: HOW THEY’RE RELATED

There are several factors that can led to neck pain, but did you know technology can actually play a role in the discomfort you’re feeling? While it may seem far-fetched, many of the positions our bodies take while using technology can lead to pain. Poor posture is a common causeofneckpain,and technology isoften theculprit. In fact, the term “tech neck” has been coined as a way to describe neck discomfort caused by technology use. If you work in front of a computer all day, chances are you begin to hunch over in front of it at some point throughout the day. The same is true for avid smartphone or tablet users. Most of the time, we don’t notice the affect that these devices have on us, but they can be detrimental to our posture and very often result in pain. Pain from “tech neck” is typically reported as a strain in the neck that may be accompanied by stiffness in the shoulders, as well. It is possible for tech neck to also result in headaches, due to the weight that is being placed on your neck and skull. Without making changes toyourposturewhileusing these technologicaldevices, techneckcan result ingradualdamage to thespine,whichcan lead todeeper issues. Yourphysical therapistcanhelpprescribe targetedexercisesstretches foryourneeds, inorder tostrengthen thenecessarypartsofyourbody. For help preventing or correcting your tech neck, contact Marathon Physical Therapy today! So, how can you combat tech neck? You may be thinking, “I work in an office… I need to use these devices every day.” This is a common scenario for many people plagued by neck pain, but there are some tips you can incorporate into your everyday life to release some of the strain on your neck. TIPS TO PREVENT TECH NECK 1.Raisingyourscreen. This is true foranydeviceyoumaybeusing.By raising your computer screen, it is less likely that you will hunch over throughout the day, as you will be at eye-level with your work. Likewise, holding your smartphone or tablet in front of your face, rather than down in your lap or on the table, will decrease the strain caused by looking down at it. 2.Take breaks. It is a good habit to get into taking small breaks (2-3 minutes) every half hour or so. Use this time to get up, take a short walk, and stretch. It will also allow you to reevaluate your posture. Sometimes, we don’t realize when we are slouched or hunched over. Frequent breaks will remind you to get your body moving and will relieve any strain you may have put on yourself. 3. Stretch and strengthen your muscles. Over time, poor posture can lead to muscle imbalances. Tech neck especially can lead to a long-term forward headposture ifnotcorrected.Fortunately, these imbalancescanbeavoidedby stretches and strengthening your muscles, in order to make it easier for your

body tomaintainproperposturewhileusing technologicaldevices. Stretching and strengthening the chest, neck, and upper back muscles will help support the weight of your head and decrease strain on your spine. Abdominal and lower back exercises can also help prevent tech, as these muscle groups play an integral role in supporting your upper body.

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Easy Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Tension

The good news is that there is actually a lot that you can do to support the healthy operation of your neck, thereby reducing the severity or frequency of your neck pain. Working with a physical therapist is the best way to address neck pain. During physical therapy,yourneckpainwillbeaddressedholistically, taking into consideration the initial injury that may have caused the pain to develop, but also any other habits, movements or compensations that may be contributing to the discomfort. Physical therapy takes advantage of strategies like massage, stretching and muscle training to reduce neck pain, and many of these strategies can be adopted in part at home or on the-go to help you address your neck pain when it is bothering you the most. Adopting healthier habits can have a big impact on your management of neck pain. These include: • Practicing improved posture • Wearing recommended footwear • Using lumbar support in your desk chair or car • Exercising regularly • Engaging in regular stretching, like yoga One of the primary goals of physical therapy is to address whole-body well-being by encouraging

improved overall health. In many situations, this includes improved flexibility and range-of-motion training, muscle building and strength training, and even in some cases, encouragement with cardiovascular activities and weight loss. At the end of the day, the best way to be free of neck pain is to prevent neck pain from developing, and working with a physical therapist can help you in this regard, as well. The tasks that you do every day can build up over time and cause a lot of stress on your body, and the neck and shoulders are some of the most common places to carry that stress. You may not even realize the impact that simple tasks that you do every day have on your body and your experience of pain. Things like driving, lifting heavy objects — like packages at the front door or even your groceries — and repetitive movements like hunching over a keyboard at work can all seriously impact your neck pain. The longer you let neck pain linger and disrupt your life, the more difficult it becomes to treat. If you experience an injury, the smart thing to do is to consult a physical therapist soon after the pain develops.

Exercise Essentials

Backpack Safety

Stretches Your Neck

Backpack Strategies for Parents and Students

SCALENE STRETCH: Place your hands overlapping on your breast bone. Next, tilt your head upwards and away from the affected side until a gentle stretch is felt along the front and side of your neck.

Loading the backpack: • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 10 pounds. • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the pack).

Sudoku Puzzle

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1 • Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the backpack. • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities. • If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand carry a book or other item outside the pack. • If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it. • Only put items in your backpack that you need for the day. 7 7 3 6 5 9 5 2 1 9 6 5 1 8 6 5 7

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Patient Success Story

MONTHLY ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY LESSON BROUGHT TO YOU BY DR. NEGIN JALAYER

Your 1st Rib connects to your T1 vertebrae in the back and the top of your breast bone in the front. It is located directly behind and just below your collar bone. Above it sits major blood vessels (called the subclavian artery and vein) THE 1ST RIB:

and a bundle of nerves that run form your neck and into your arm. An abnormal position of your 1st rib can easily put increased pressure on those nerves and cause a number of issues in your neck, shoulder, arm, and hand. The Three Common Problems caused by an elevated 1st Rib include: 1. Numbness and tingling into your arm and hand 2. Shoulder pain and difficulty reaching up and behind your back 3. Swelling of your fingers/hand These problems sound quite bad and debilitating, but the good news is...the treatment for it called a 1st Rib Mobilization gives instant relief. If you have any of these symptoms- then your 1st Rib could be the culprit! Let us examine your 1st Rib and see if you would benefit from a 1st Rib Mobilization.

“Before physical therapy I was suffering from vertigo. My time at Marathon Physical Therapy was excellent. I felt like I was listened to and my symptoms were treated exceptionally. I wasn’t just another person revolving through the door that was given a cookie cutter treatment plan. I am now symptom free!” -Lynn C. “I Am Now Symptom Free.”

Healthy Recipe Spinach & Egg Sweet Potato Toast

INGREDIENTS • 1 large slice sweet potato (¼ inch thick) • 1 cup cooked spinach

• 1 large egg, fried or poached • ½ teaspoon sliced fresh chives • ½ teaspoon hot sauce

CAL US TODAY (516) 487-9810 To overcome 1st rib pain, and finally find long-term relief.

DIRECTIONS Toast sweet potato in a toaster or toaster oven until just cooked through and starting to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Top with spinach, egg, chives and hot sauce.

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Marathon Physical Therapy

www.marathonptny.com Tel: (516) 487-9810 Fax: (516) 773-7315

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INSIDE

Page1:TechnologyandNeckPain:HowThey’re Related Page2:EasyLifestyleChangestoReduceTension

•ExerciseEssential •BackpackSafety •SudokuPuzzle Page3:Healthy Recipe

•PatientSuccessStory •MonthlyAnatomy&PhysiologyLesson Page4:Tell That Neck Pain To Get Off Your Back!

TELL THAT NECK PAIN TO GET OFF YOUR BACK! Relief for Radiating Neck Pain and Headaches If you really had to narrow down the frustrations that come with dealing with chronic pain, perhaps the single largest frustration would be having to deal with the pain day after day. Chronic pain has a way of interfering with the most basic activities. Getting out of bed and driving to work can become a challenge, as can sitting in a desk chair all day, or attempting to pick up your child when he or she is upset. Some of these tasks are more difficult to get around than are others, and, depending on how the pain is impacting your life, the stress of having to go through extra steps to make basic things happen can really get out of hand. Neck pain is one of those types of pain that is difficult to work around. Pain in the neck and back will frequently begin to radiate the longer it hangs around, and that could mean shooting pain up your neck and back, all the way into the base of your skull. Once neck pain begins to turn into headaches, attempting to concentrate at work can become exceedingly difficult. What Causes Neck Pain? There are a large number of culprits that could be behind your experience of neck pain, including accidents, such as a car accident or a slip-and-fall accident, as well as sporting injuries. The reason why neck pain frequently becomes so severe is due to the fact that blood vessels have to pass through your neck to reach the head.

A spasm in the neck muscles could lead to constricted blood circulation, and therefore migraine headaches. What’s worse, since the neck is connected to the spinal column and therefore connected to the nervous system, pain in the neck can quickly develop into tingling or numbness in the hands, arms and fingers, which can be uncomfortable and frustrating when you are going about daily tasks. When neck pain develops as a result of a pinched nerve, the radiating neck pain can result in severe headaches, and in some cases, even migraine headaches. The pinched nerve can cause pain to radiate from the neck into the skull and can cause a disruption to typical nerve patterns. Working with a physical therapist can help you address pain caused by a pinched nerve, and therefore can reduce the severity of headaches that develop as a result of neck pain.

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