N E W S L E T T E R
LIFE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A PAIN IN THE NECK
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 potentiallyharmful toyourhealthandnot 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. Ofcourse,notallneckorheadpain is thesame, so understanding the basics of what you are dealingwith is thefirststep toachieving 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.Forexample,migrainescanbecaused byenvironmental factors, foodallergiesoreven 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.
Oneof themostcommoncausesofheadaches 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 pain to radiate from the top of the neck into the head, especially surrounding the ears. There are a lot of reasons why radiating headachescoulddevelop, includingasa 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: In many situations, pain that develops in the neck can be associated with one of two major 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-countermedicationmaymake thepain lesssevere, itwon’teliminate thepainentirely. Thebiggestproblemposedbycervicalarthritis 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 sudden movement 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 growssosevere that itcancausechronicpoor posture and even a reduction in height.
INSIDE: • Life Doesn't Have to Be a Pain in the Neck • Addressing the Core Problem • Don't Let the Weather Hold You Back • Patient Success Spotlight • Exercise Essentials • Healthy Recipe
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