77 Brant Avenue, Suite 101, Clark, NJ 07066 • CornerstonePTNJ.com • 732.499.4540
So, what can we do to ward off this all-to-common pain? How do we keep our kids and ourselves safe? It all comes down to posture. It’s not necessarily sitting itself that results in back pain; it’s the way we sit. Good posture doesn’t mean sitting stiff as a board, but it does mean putting as little strain on your shoulders and lower back as you can. Keeping your feet firmly planted on the floor, relaxing your shoulders, and keeping your back against the backrest help most. Sometimes this last part can be uncomfortable without a properly sized cushion for lumbar support. You can make your own by simply rolling up a towel, though it won’t stay in place after you stand up. Alternatively, you can pick up a lumbar roll from us here at the clinic — they come with a handy strap that keeps them from sliding off the chair when you move. Preventing back pain while driving is a little more difficult. You can’t exactly keep your feet to the floor while working the pedals, and standing up to take a break isn’t really an option — no matter how slow the traffic is moving. But adjusting your seat and mirrors to ensure you don’t have to lean your back or strain your neck while driving can help immensely. Lastly for the kids, the same rules for office sitting can be used in the classroom, lumbar supports and all. Some backpacks can compensate for added weight and keep your child from leaning forward as well. But the best thing you can do is keep your child active. Sports, theater, just playing in the park — anything you can do to keep your kids from spending even more of their time seated can work wonders. So, while the specter of lower back pain may be looming large for now, we can beat it. If you’ve been living with this pain for weeks at a time, however, it may be time for a physical therapy “exercism.” Come on into the clinic, and our professional clinicians can help you work out the pain and get back to doing what you love.
Cornerstone PT Patients
With Halloween right around the corner, plenty of kids (and kids at heart) are getting ready to dress up as ghouls, goblins, and all manner of scary creatures. Sadly, my kids are getting a little too old for trick- or-treating, but this month, I wanted to focus on a particular specter that haunts our community year- round — lower back pain. By far, in all my years in practice, we see this condition most often, and the problem keeps growing. In fact, because we see so many sore backs day in and day out, calling it an epidemic feels appropriate. All the infomercials on products to prevent this condition along with the opioid crisis affecting families around the country indicate lower back pain is a widespread issue. In a very real way, it’s haunting our nation. The reason is simple — we’re far more sedentary these days than the human body was meant to be. In the old days, lower back pain was seen as a problem for seniors. Other issues would make it difficult for them to be active, so they’d spend more time sitting, leading to inflammation in their spine and muscles in their lower back. But today, most of us have to sit in heavy morning traffic so we can get to jobs where we sit in front of a computer screen for hours on end. Not even kids are safe from these aches anymore. We see a surprising number of kids coming in with lower back pain issues, and, as a parent and physical therapist, I have a pretty good idea what’s behind it. The amount of stuff students of all ages must carry around in their backpacks these days is unhealthy. On top of weighty textbooks, bulky graphing calculators, and other supplies, my kids have to worry about lugging around their Chromebooks. All that weight can compress the spine and force a child’s shoulders forward to keep balanced. This, coupled with those supportless, plastic classroom seats, is the perfect recipe for giving an otherwise spry child a debilitating back injury. BACK BUSTERS! WHO YOU GONNA CALL?
VIP Referral Patient of the Month!
The best compliment we can receive is to have one of our patients refer a friend or family member to our practice. If you refer someone and we are able to take them as a patient, both you and the person who was referred will be entered to Win a $25 gift card! It’s just our way of saying
“The team at Cornerstone Physical Therapy is amazing. They are very friendly and helpful. I had lower back pain which resulted in difficulty lifting heavy things, but now the pain is gone. Thank you very much for your help!” –Daniel P.
Be All You Can Bee
And Give Honey a Second Thought
The health benefits of raw organic honey, which include soothing sore throats, lowering cholesterol, and treating skin wounds, have been embraced by many members of the holistic health community for decades. But with the rapid decline of the bee population in recent years, humans’ use of honey has become more controversial. According to the New York Bee Sanctuary, bees (not just honey-makers) are disappearing for several reasons, but one of the most unfortunate contributors is the honey industry. In order to mass-produce commercial honey products, many factories have resorted to industrialized beekeeping practices, which have been deemed unethical by animal activist groups because they strip hives of their honey storage, starving the bees through the winter months. This practice, along with soil contamination and a viral infection spread by mites, led to the devastating loss of 40% of all bee colonies last year. Because most bees are pollinators, they play a crucial role in helping plants reproduce. Without the bees playing their part in this natural process, approximately 30% of the world’s crops won’t flourish. Fortunately, you can help strengthen the bee population in a few ways from your own home. First, try to avoid purchasing any commercialized honey products of questionable quality and provenance. Instead, look for raw local honey at a farmer’s market. That way, you can meet the beekeeper to determine if their honey-rendering practices are sustainable. Then, by purchasing their product, you are helping fund their hive and enrich the local bee population. You can also plant a garden full of bee-friendly plants, like honeysuckle, strawberries, sunflowers, and cosmos, to give the bees in your community more pollen sources. Additionally, if you notice dandelions growing in your garden, leave them. They are a great food source for bees, especially in early spring before other plants have started blooming. While honey has many excellent health properties, bees are far more vital to the world’s sustainability. Do your part to help their population by researching, spreading awareness, and thinking before you shop for honey.
“I came to Cornerstone Physical Therapy based on a reference from someone I knew. I worked primarily with PJ who was very encouraging and patient, especially after a frustrating period. I can now perform normal activities and am able to jog. I plan on returning to tennis. The entire staff was very friendly and supportive.” –Douglas B.
BACK IN MOTION The Key to Lower Back Pain Recovery As David talked about on the cover, back pain haunts plenty of kids and adults this time of year. Working to improve our posture while at rest is a great way to reduce the risk of this pain developing — or getting any worse if you already have it. But, in terms of recovery, what we do while standing matters just as much. GET MOVING It may sound strange, especially when it hurts to move, but being active is one of the best ways to reduce back pain. Not only does more time exercising mean less time hurting your spine while sedentary, but you’re also strengthening your body to overcome these aches. That’s why for the best results you need to focus on exercises that target the right muscles without causing unnecessary pain. KNOW WHEN IT HURTS Often lower back pain can be tied to a certain position. Some feel it most while they are seated with their spine and hips flexed. For others, extending these parts of their body is the problem as their pain becomes the sharpest while standing. Identifying the pain source is the first step toward real recovery — pain isn’t necessarily gain. FIND THE RIGHT EXERCISES Because people can experience back pain differently, a stretch or exercise that works for one person may not work for you. If you are more comfortable standing or lying down, try exercises like backward bends or bridging. If your pain is less accurate
when sitting down, knee to chest exercises may work best for you. If you are struggling to find an exercise that improves your condition, we can help. We’ve treated countless cases of back pain at our clinic, and the most important thing we’ve learned is no case is exactly the same. We’ll work with you to find the best routine that fits your lifestyle and treats your lower back pain effectively.
VEGAN OOZE SMOOTHIE
While these smoothies may not be nuclear-flavored — in fact, they’re all- natural and vegan — their neon colors may convince you otherwise. They’re a fun and festive way to get kids to drink their fruits and veggies.
GREEN SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS PURPLE SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS
• 8 oz almond or coconut milk • 2 cups fresh spinach
• • • • • • •
8 oz almond or coconut milk
2 cups fresh spinach 1/2 frozen banana 1/2 fresh avocado 2 tbsp hemp seeds 1 tbsp maple syrup
• 1/2 frozen banana • 1/2 fresh avocado • 2 tbsp hemp seeds • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 1 cup ice
1 cup ice
1. In a blender, combine all ingredients. 2. Blend on high until smooth. 3. For added fun, serve in beakers and flasks with crazy straws.
Inspired by ForkAndBeans.com
77 Brant Avenue, Suite 101 Clark, NJ 07066
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INSIDE This Issue
Don’t Fear the Back Pain
Be All You Can Bee
The Key to Lower Back Pain Recovery
Vegan Ooze Smoothie
The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow
THE REAL LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW Hayrides and Headless Horsemen
In 1790, a school teacher named Ichabod Crane was riding home alone from a harvest festival in the village of Sleepy Hollow when he encountered a mysterious rider on horseback. Crane, horrified by the horseman’s missing head, turned and ran in the opposite direction. The Headless Horseman gave chase, hurling his own decapitated head at the terrified teacher. Ichabod Crane was never heard from again ... or so goes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. This story, first published in 1820, has become a Halloween favorite. The legend is so beloved that in 1997, the village of North Tarrytown, New York, where many events of the story take place, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow. Today, the town becomes one big Halloween party during the month of October. Sleepy Hollow is home to many historic landmarks, including the Headless Horseman Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving himself was laid to rest. Evening lantern tours of the cemetery are a popular attraction, and Irving isn’t the only spooky celebrity buried there. Fans of the
Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” will be delighted to enter the crypt of famed vampire Barnabas Collins.
Another highly anticipated stop for many guests is Sleepy Hollow’s premier annual attraction, Horseman’s Hollow, an experience not for the faint of heart. During the event, the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, where vampires, witches, ghouls, and undead soldiers lurk in the shadows. They all serve the dreaded Headless Horseman and are determined to make sure guests don’t leave alive! But it’s not all scares in Sleepy Hollow. There’s plenty of Halloween fun for all ages. Sleepy Hollow boasts relaxing hayrides, tours of Irving’s home, live readings of famous Halloween stories, performances of a brand-new musical based on Irving’s spooky tale, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, an incredible exhibition of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins.
If you want a real Halloween experience, you can’t go wrong in Sleepy Hollow. Just be careful not to lose your head!
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