Choice PT: How Posture Affects Back and Neck Pain

Move to Live Your Resource to Moving Well and Living Life

ERIN NAPOLEONE, PT, DPT Getting To Know The Choice Physical Therapy Team!

In the past we have worked with several groups similar to those listed above and have educated attendees on back and neck pain, injury prevention, gait and balance, fall prevention, injury in the workplace, ergonomics, headaches and neck pain, shoulder and upper extremity pain, foot and ankle pain, core/pelvis instability...and the options are essentially limitless! Personally, I’d love to meet new groups of people and set up a workshop or informational seminar led by our Doctor’s of Physical Therapy, and.. WE COME TO YOU :) On the flip side, every other month we choose a local charity/not for profit organization to raise awareness and funds for! We listen to what’s important to our community and if there’s a way we can help even the slightest, it turns into our focus for that month! Please use that same email above to reach out if you know someone or some cause who could benefit from the exceptional generosity of our CPT family who time after time shows up for our #Choose2GiveBack campaigns. Looking forward to hearing from you all in the new year!

Proud to Announce... Erin has joined us full time!! With an overwhelming passion for community outreach, developing partnerships with like-minded local businesses, planning team building events, and general organizational concepts, Erin has her hands full and is LOVING every second of it! ... (I can promise you, I’m the one writing this right now ;) ) It is my initiative for 2019 to continue to expand into the community and give back to thosewho have been soo generous in supporting us over the years, and I need your help in doing so! If you are a member of a local organization ie. running club, church group, “mom squad”, gym, book club, HS sports team, exercise group, senior citizen group, etc. and have an interest in learning more about a specific topic, diagnosis, or have similar “pain points” please email me directly at .

Move to Live Your Resource to Moving Well and Living Life


We’ve learned that incorporating a basic “set of rules” can significantly help in reducing lower back injuries. • Most people with sore backs feel like they always need to “stretch it out”. The lumbar spine itself should be mostly stable (it’s supposed to move but most of the time it’s moving excessively which causes injury...the muscles surrounding it go into a protective spasm which gives you the sense that you always need to stretch them out. It’s a short term band aid and not addressing the underlying issue, most of the time) • Your mid back (aka. Thoracic spine) should be fairly flexible however due to our common tendency to sit most of the day we stiffen up in the mid back. Increased stiffness in the mid back forces us to ask for a bit of extra motion from the lower back. A bit of extra motion, day after day, week after week, month after see where I’m going with this. • Lastly, our hips are ball and socket joints. They are meant to handle a HUGE amount of motion compared to other joints in our bodies. Just like our mid back, our hips also tend to tighten up due to sitting, footwear, etc. If you can keep your mid back and hips flexible while maintaining muscle memory & strength through your core muscles you should be much more resilient to that nagging lower back pain. Then it won’t matter how long you have to stand in line at the deli counter. Bring it on, inefficient deli counter numbering system, I can stand here all day. Have a great month! Joe

“Number 37!”

“Did he say 37?! I have number 45 and there’s only 3 other people standing here...” Your lower back has felt twisted up all day so you sigh and prop yourself over the handles of that sturdy Price Chopper grocery cart and “patiently” wait for number 45 to be called. All so you can get your pound of honey roasted turkey... constantly shifting your weight side to side to try and relieve some of the pressure off your back muscles. I’ve heard this story or a version of it many, many times before. You’re in good company. 80% of the population will experience back pain at one point or another in their lives. Furthermore, the best indicator for future injury is having a past injury. Therefore, once you’ve injured your back, you’re at increased risk for future back injury. Your lower back (or lumbar region) can be very complicated as it’s surrounded by many bones, joints, discs, ligaments, and muscles. Like other areas of the body, we’ve learned that pain in the lower back needs a two part assessment: 1. We need to figure out which tissue is injured and is causing the pain (Usually this is a muscle strain, related to arthritis of the spine, or could be related to irritation of the disc or nerves in your back) 2. We need to figure out what surrounding areas aren’t doing their job and therefore putting increased stress on the lower back region Luckily, as humans we tend to compensate in similar ways making it easier for people who study back injuries to uncover common themes.

WHAT ’S AT THE CORE OF YOUR BACK, HIP, OR KNEE PAIN? If you’re not on close terms with your psoas, it’s time to get familiar. This muscle, pronounced “so-as,” is a key player in your core and comprises the group of muscles called hip flexors. As the only muscle group that connects your spine to your legs, the psoas has a big effect on mobility and posture.

Psoas imbalances can contribute to back and hip pain because the muscles in these areas get overused to compensate. Imbalances are usually caused by short and tight or weak and overstretched psoas muscles. Activities that compress your hips, such as sitting, excessive running or walking, and excessive sit ups, can shorten your psoas and even lead to weakness. If your psoas muscles are short and tight, you may benefit from stretching and lengthening exercises. If the muscles are weak and overstretched, they may require strengthening movements. Here are a few ways to begin addressing imbalances. Try the constructive rest position. This neutral position can help release tension in your psoas. Lay on your back with your knees bent and heels on the floor, and set your feet hip-width apart at a comfortable distance from your buttocks. Don’t force your back to the floor, but simply rest your hands on your belly and let gravity do the work. Try this rest position for 3-5 minutes a day. Support your seat. Sitting for long periods of time can compress and shorten the psoas. To decrease this effect, take regular breaks to get up and move, and practice good posture. If you’re going on a road trip, consider sitting with a rolled-up towel under your sitting bones, which can release pressure on the psoas.

Get a massage. Here’s permission to treat yourself. Because of where the psoas is located, it can be difficult to stimulate, and a certified massage therapist will know how to access it. Regular massages can help with circulation and may improve function. Consult your physical therapist. If you’re experiencing pain in the lower back, hips, or knees, an imbalanced psoas may be to blame. A licensed physical therapist can recommend appropriate stretching or strengthening exercises depending on what’s right for your body.

Exercise Essentials Try this movement if you are experiencing back pain.

Trail Mix

INGREDIENTS • 1 cup raw almonds • 3/4 cup raw cashews

Improves Alignment

SIDELYING THORACIC ROTATION Lie on your side straight as an arrow. Bend your top knee up towards your chest and hold it with bottom hand. Rotate your trunk backwards towards the floor leading with your shoulder blade. Rotate bottom arm down to your knee, rotate top arm up towards your head. Elbows bent to 90 degrees.

• 2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds • 2 tbsp unsweetened dried cranberries, chopped • 2 tbsp vegan dark chocolate chips • sea salt for taste

INSTRUCTIONS Chop any large ingredients if necessary to make everything about the same size. Give the dried fruit a light sprinkle of sea salt before you mix it in (it sticks better), or sprinkle the whole mix with salt if you prefer. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

CALL TODAY! 518.203.6761

Patient Success Spotlight

Workplace Back Injuries


Although the Christmas Spirit has settled, and (most) of the Christmas trees have ma de their way to the curbside for pick up.. the gratitude and appreciation from one local family is at an all time high!! From the hearts of the parents and 9 joyous children, a warmThank You was promised. The outpouring of generosity from our community allowed for over 40 gifts under their tree, making this truly a Christmas to remembergift Our friends at Hope 7 Community Center, on Pawling Avenue, yet again provided an avenue to help our community through this family sponsorship. We can’t say enough about the organization as a whole as they are very easy to work with, and make giving back to those in need effortless. Thank you to ALL of our patients who took 1, 2, or even 3 ornaments from the Giving Tree, without a second thought. And, a special thanks to our CPT elf, who for the second year in a row, wrapped several of the gifts! Forever Grateful, Erin : )

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