HEALTH & WELLNESS
The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body
LIFE DOESN’ T HAVE TO BE A PAIN IN THE NECK Head and neck pain is not the type of pain that you can push through and deal with for too long. For one thing, chronic pain in the head or neck is often associatedwith some sort of chronic health concern — one that you need to deal with, not ignore. Secondly, when you are dealing with constant pain in your head or neck, it becomes difficult to concentrate. This can have a negative effect on your personal relationships, your career and more.
LIFE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A PAIN I
The most common cause of neck or head pain is a muscle or joint problem. Working with a physical therapist can help you to identify the cause of the trouble and begin taking steps to correct the issue, allowing you to find relief from the pain without having to commit to long-term pain management — which often includes the use of pain medications that are potentially harmful to your health and not likely to work as well over time. Unlike pain medications that become less helpful the longer they are used, physical therapy provides long-term relief from pain by correcting the joint or muscle concern with targeted therapies like flexibility exercises, muscle strengthening techniques, and guided stretches that target core joints and muscles. Of course, not all neck or head pain is the same, so understanding the basics of what you are dealing with is the first step to achieving relief. HEAD PAIN 101 There are a lot of different types of headaches that you may experience, and each can be caused by its own different reason. For example, migraines can be caused by environmental factors, food allergies or even as a result of stress. There are headaches that can develop due to sinus pain and headaches that will develop when you are dehydrated. There are also headaches that will develop when you are exposed too long to loud noises. There is no singular fix for each of these different types of headaches, which is why attempting to treat every headache you experience with the same medication frequently doesn’t work. One of the most common causes of headaches that are easily treatable with physical therapy is radiating headaches, which are caused by stress in the joints and muscles of the neck. This causes
THE NECK (CONTINUED)
pain to radiate from the top of the neck into the head, especially surrounding the ears. There are a lot of reasons why radiating headaches could develop, including as a result of lack of movement and stiffness in the neck. This buildup of irritation can be treated with regular physical therapy, especially through the use of massage and flexibility exercises that target the muscles in the neck. NECK PAIN 101 Inmany situations, pain that develops in the neck can be associatedwith one of twomajor problems. The first is upper-back pain that begins to radiate into the neck. The second is arthritis. Physical therapy can be used to address both types of neck pain. Cervical arthritis causes frequent aches in the neck and shoulders. This pain is generally worse when there are sudden changes in weather or at the end of the day, and while over-the-counter medication may make the pain less severe, it won’t eliminate the pain entirely. The biggest problem posed by cervical arthritis is that the pain will typically cause a loss of range of motion in the neck, which actually increases your risk of injury as a result of a suddenmovement and causes regular discomfort and frustration as you are not able to utilize your neck in the way you normally could. There are plenty of situations in which pain in the neck as a result of cervical arthritis grows so severe that it can cause chronic poor posture and even a reduction in height. ADDRESSING THE CORE PROBLEM The majority of neck and head pain can be helped with one simple strategy: strength building. It frequently happens that the absolute cause of the start of a pain in the neck or head is a result of poor posture or quickened motion, and building core strength, as well as strength in the neck, can make a huge difference in your ability to handle tasks without experiencing chronic pain. Keep in mind that the neck and head are sensitive areas, so attempting to treat the pain at home can be dangerous andmay not be effective. Working with a physical therapist is the safest way to ensure that you are practicing positive techniques to find relief from your aches and pains.
Return to a pain-free, active lifestyle, by calling 810-695-0750 to schedule your appointment.
Do You Have Difficulty With Pain?
WE CAN HELP: • Decrease your pain • Increase your strength • Increase your energy
• Increase your flexibility • Improve your health • Get back to living
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PATIENT SUCCESS STORIES!
“This physical therapist treats you holistically and is very passionate about his work—very thorough & very knowledgeable too. Highly, highly recommend!” – Amanda H.
“Dr. Ralph has saved my life!”
– Jamie H.
“Ralph is amazing! He’s one of my favorite people! He’s saved my life.” – Elizabeth W. “I always feel better after therapy here!” – Gerianne K.
Healthy Recipe: Roasted Pomegranate Brussels Sprouts
• Seeds from 1 pomegranate • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts • Finely grated zest of 1 lime • 1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
• 1 1/4 lbs brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved • 2 tbsp canola oil • Salt & pepper • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the Brussels sprouts in a medium roasting pan; toss with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until light golden brown and a knife inserted into the centers goes in without any resistance, about 45 minutes. Transfer the sprouts to a large bowl and add the pomegranate molasses, pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, and lime and orange zests. Season with salt as needed. Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay
Exercise Essentials Try this simple exercise to relieve neck pain
NECK SIDE FLEXION STRETCH Sit with good posture. Slowly lower your ear towards your shoulder as far as you comfortably can. Then, use your arm to guide your head slightly further until you feel a gentle stretch in your neck. Return to starting position. Repeat 6-10 times.
Exercises copyright of
The above exercise is designed to be performed under the instruction of a licensed physical therapist.
DO I NEED A PRESCRIPTION TO START PHYSICAL THERAPY? No, you don’t. Although we see many patients sent directly by their physician, in the state of Michigan, a licensed physical therapist may begin the physical therapy process by performing a full physical therapy evaluation. We will verify benefits for you so that you can get started right away.
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