VCM PT. Walking Away From Back Pain

The Newsletter About Caring for Your Health Move better. Feel better. Live better.

A L S O I N S I D E : Celebrating Our 17th Anniversary • What Is A Computerized Gait Analysis? • Upcoming Clinic, Workshops, & Special Offers • Patient Success Spotlight • Exercise Essentials • Healthy Recipe Walking Away From Back Pain

Walking Away From Back Pain Does going for a walk sound like a big pain in the back? For those who struggle with chronic back pain, even the basic task of going for a walk can be overwhelming and painful. Back pain can strike at any time. Whether in the upper back, surrounding the neck and shoulders, or in the lower back at the lumbar or sciatica, back pain is something that no one likes to deal with for too long. Walking your Way Pain Free Walking isagreat formofexercise,butmore than that, it isanecessity of life. When you can’t walk, even basic tasks become complicated. Getting out of bed in the morning, getting to and from work, moving your way around the office, and even spending time with family on theweekendsallrelyheavilyonyourability towalk.Whenyourback pain begins to interfere with your ability to move around freely, then you know it is time to start doing something about it.

Relying on pain medications to help you overcome back pain will leaveyoudisappointed.Whilepainmedicationsare frequentlyhelpful at alleviating the discomfort of your back pain for a short period of time, they are not capable of resolving the issue that is causing your pain to develop in the first place. The only thing that can actually fix yourbackpain isaddressing the issue that iscausingyourpainhead on. Vineyard Complementary Medicine (VCM) is a great resource for addressing your back pain and can be a helpful tool in getting you back on your feet. So,whether it is followingasudden injuryorachronic issue thathas developed over time, our practice could be the answer to helping you enjoy life free of back pain. And the secret to success is learning to approach recovery one step at a time.

Conveniently, walking is more than a goal when it comes to back pain, itcouldbepartof thesolution.Workingwithaphysical therapist to develop improved strategies and techniques with your walking couldhelpyou togetbackonyour feetevensooner thanyou thought possible. What’s more, for those who are able to walk, getting on your feet more often with targeted exercises could help you find relief from back pain even sooner than expected.


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How To Fix Your Stride

When you are experiencing regular back pain—especially if you are experiencing back pain while walking—you should consider ways that you can reduce back pain by taking small steps to support your back. There are several things that you can do at home to improve your stride, which can make a significant difference when it comes to managing back pain day-to-day. Here are several ways that you can start taking care of your back with each step you take: 1. Make sure that you are wearing the right types of shoes. While the golden rule for walking is to wear sneakers, not all sneakers are created equally. You need to wear a sneaker that is going to provide you with the arch support that meets your individual needs. This may mean upgrading from your minimal support sneaker to something more athletically designed. 2. Try a custom insert in your shoe. Of course, you can’t wear sneakers all the time. When you are at the office, professional footwear matters.

You may find it helpful to have custom orthotics made for your work shoes so that you can have more arch support around the clock. 3. Work on improving your posture. If you are slouching when you walk, then that may be impacting the way that your back feels. Take a few minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon to stretch your back, and then make a point of keeping your shoulders square and your back straight as you walk. Simply standing tall may alleviate some of your back pain. Another way that walking can help alleviate back pain is by encouraging weight loss. Being overweight puts added pressure on your back, and this can contribute to increased back pain. Working with a physical therapist to improve your walking technique can help you to overcome back pain one step at a time.

Healthy Recipe Slow Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken

Spice Blend • 1/2 tsp ground pepper • 1 tsp ground cumin

• 2 tbsp butter • 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into four • 2 cans coconut milk not shaken • 2 tbsp cornstarch • 1 can baby corn cobs • 1 cup peas or frozen vegetables

INGREDIENTS • 4 cloves garlic peeled • 2 inch cube ginger about 30 grams, roughly chopped • 1 small sweet onion peeled, quartered • 1 tbsp olive oil

• 1 tsp ground coriander • 1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric • 1 tsp salt • 2 tsp curry powder (optional)

DIRECTIONS Combinespices togetherandsetaside. Ina foodprocessor,pulsegarlic,gingerandonionuntil it formsapaste. Inaskillet, heat olive oil and melt butter. Add pureed aromatics and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, then add spice blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Move aromatics to one side of the skillet and add chicken pieces. Cook chicken slightly on all sides and thoroughly coat it with the spices. Transfer the skillet ingredients into a slow cooker. Remove the cream from the top of the coconut milk using a soup spoon and set aside. Pour the remaining coconut milk over the chicken until it barely covers it. Drain the corn cobs and chop in half. Add to the slow-cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours. Whisk cornstarch with coconut cream (previously set aside) until smooth and add to the chicken, stirring well. Add frozen peas or other vegetables of your choice. Cook for another 1/2 hour or until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are hot. RecipeCourtesy

Celebrating 17 Years!

PresidentandCEO,SusanSanford,didnotoriginally plan to offer physical therapy, instead choosing to focus on acupuncture and Chinese medicine for whichshereceivedaMaster'sDegree. Before long bothpracticesgrewbeyond full-timewhichcaused the expansion of staff and another new location. Whenaskedwhatshethoughtofher17-year journey Susan said "It seems like just yesterday that I was treating PT patients pro bono while my insurance credentialing was processed. Now I look around at our shiny new location and all of these incredible professionalsthat Igettoworkwithandcan'tbelieve what we have grown into. I think the secret to our success isthatwereallydobelieve in #MoveBetter #FeelBetter #LiveBetter."

Upcoming Clinics, Free Screenings & Special Offers WORKSHOPS • VCM LIFE HACK: Heal ThySelf– Chinese Cupping For Pain Relief March 25th, 6pm-7pm No Charge • MV Hospital Health Fair If you missed out on our Free Health Screening last month then you have another chance during the Heath Fair. Saturday, April 4th 9:00am - Noon. CLINICS • KIDS & TEENS Scoliosis Screening Every Wednesday, 2:30pm-4pm No Charge. • ADULT Pain-Free Movement & Posture Screening Every Wednesday, 2:30pm-4pm No Charge. • 5-Point Ear Acupuncture Every Thursday, 4pm-5pm $20.00

Vineyard Complementary Medicine originally opened as an acupuncture clinic in March 2003. The first location was a small space in Vineyard Haven, then moving to a private building in West Tisbury, and now residing in a new facility in Post Office Square in Edgartown.

Patient Success Spotlight

“I came to Vineyard Complementary Medicine because of stiffness in my neck and soreness in my shoulder blades. It was difficult for me to play my violin but also to lift, reach, and get up out of a chair. Now, I’m not only able to move better with more flexibility, but I have more energy, am doing more fun activities, and feel more positive in general. And now I enjoy playing the violin whenever I want.” - Mary S.

Computerized Gait Scan Analysis

VCM offers a computerized analysis of your foot position with walking and standing to help determine if any back pain (or hip and knee pain) could be a result of imbalanced walking (or vice versa). Ourcustomorthoticprogramserves thosewithobvious boneychanges inyour foot (bunion)flat feet,higharched feetor those who have had total knee or hip replacements to restore safe steady balanced walking and stop back pain associated with abnormal walking patterns. Let us know if you would like more information, 508-693-3800 or


• Massage - LAST DAYS! Purchase and use a 60 min or 90 min massage and save 20%. Enjoy 60 min for $108 or 90 min for $148. Massages must be booked through our website vcmpt.cpm/request-new-appointment Offer Expires March 15th. Use promo code VALENTINE 20

Exercise Essentials Relieve Pain In Minutes! KNEE PUSH

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest, keeping the other foot flat on the floor. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor. Hold for at least 15-30 seconds. Relax and lower the knee to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. Repeat 2 to 4 times with each leg. To get more stretch, put your other leg flat on the floor while pulling your knee to your chest. Do not do the knee-to-chestexercise if itcausesor increasesbackor legpain.

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