South Valley_Beating Migraines

Health & Fitness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body


If you are one of the 15 percent of the general population that suffers frommigraines, you know that the worst part is feeling helpless. Whether you feel helpless when it comes to preventing a migraine or helpless when it comes to treating a migraine, you can’t help but feel enslaved by a condition that causes 91 percent of sufferers to miss work or other daily activities. Fortunately, the solution for migraine management may be simpler than you think.

ALSO INSIDE • Living Life Free from Migraines • Celebrating Tom & Kathy • Berry-Almond Smoothie Bowl

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Health & Fitness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

Living Life FREE from Migraines

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What is a Migraine? According to the American Migraine Foundation, a migraine attack is not considered a headache but a neurological disease. Nearly twice as many women as men are affected by migraines. Attacks are usually characterized by painful throbbing or pulsing on one side of the head, usually accompanied by changes in vision, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, or sensitivity to sound. Migraine attacks usually begin in childhood but can begin during adolescence or early adulthood. What Causes a Migraine Attack? One of the most frustrating parts of a migraine is that there is no definitive cause, therefore there is no definitive cure. Some researchers believe that a migraine is caused by changes in the chemicals in the brain that

regulate pain. Others feel that problems in the brainstem and its interaction with certain neural pathways cause migraines. Still others believe environmental factors play a role in migraines. Diet, exercise, light, heat, stress, medication, or changes in sleep can all affect whether a person experiences a migraine attack. Other risk factors include age, family history of migraine and hormonal changes due to puberty or menopause. How is a Migraine Traditionally Treated? Since there is no definitive cause for migraine attacks, most physicians focus on limiting the duration or severity of a person’s symptoms. Medications are often prescribed that either target a person’s serotonin levels or relieve pain, but stomach problems due to frequent NSAID use or medication overuse sometimes result. Many of these medications are also

most effective before a person is in pain. If they react to the warning symptoms that a migraine attack is coming, many times they can avoid the worst of their symptoms. Physical Therapy Can Help Migraine Sufferers One of the most promising long-term solutions for chronic migraine sufferers is physical therapy. One study showed that migraine sufferers who participated regularly in physical therapy experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms and severity. The improvement did not end with the prescribed course of physical therapy. In fact, its effect was still felt a year later when migraine sufferers reported a continued reduction in incidence and severity. Best of all, physical therapy is non-pharmacological and void of the side effects many medications carry.

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Living Life Free from Migraines


Physical Therapy for Migraines Traditionally, people think of physical therapy as a post-surgical or post- accident process designed to improve mobility and balance. While this is an important function, its scope provides a narrow picture of what physical therapy can do. Physical therapists are trained to recognize limits to the body’s function and prescribe ways to restore movement, balance, strength, mobility, and harmony of the body’s systems. For instance, some migraine sufferers experience neck and jaw pain that triggers an event. Physical therapists can recognize the cause of this pain and address it with manual therapies and exercise that, in turn, relieve a person’s symptoms. Even if the cause of a patient’s migraine is undefined, a physical therapist’s approach is ideal for identifying and addressing the underlying causes that may be contributing to a Physical therapists will likely perform techniques designed to improve the range of motion in the patient’s neck. This may include joint mobilization techniques, massage, physical therapy, or pressure point therapy. These manual therapy techniques reduce pain, but they also keep the head and neck moving the way they should. Manual therapies, especially massage, have also been shown to help migraine sufferers sleep better and experience attacks less frequently. Exercise Physical therapy targeted at migraines may include neck flexion exercises, postural exercises and recommendations for work or school accommodations that may help limit migraine frequency person’s symptoms. Manual Therapies

or severity. Additionally, regular aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce tension in the muscles that may be related to migraine symptoms. It can also help a person maintain a healthy weight that is essential to balancing hormone levels that may also contribute to migraines. Physical therapists are adept at prescribing customized exercise programs for every fitness level. While there is no definitive cure for migraines, physical therapy is among the most promising ways to manage your symptoms both now and in the future. Drug-free manual therapies coupled with targeted exercise at the hands of a physical therapist may be the key to managing the frequency, duration and severity of your migraine attacks. The only way to find out if physical therapy is right for you is to contact us for a consultation. Let us help you get on the road to better management of your migraine symptoms. Call us today to speak with a physical therapist or come on in for a free consultation.

CALL TODAY! 408-365-8400

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Tom & Kathy

Our CEO Tom and VP of Administration Kathy celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary by taking a 15 day cruise to Hawaii with their good friends Chris and Lois Oyen. The Grand Princess left San Francisco and headed to the Hawaiian Islands on April 21st. Tom and Kathy had a wonderful time onboard catching up with their friends, eating too much food and seeing some fabulous shows! In Hawaii they participated in some kayaking, snorkeling and of course on Oahu touring Pearl Harbor, the USS Missouri and attending Germaine’s Luau.

Tom and Kathy also received some exciting news right before they left. Their eldest grandchild Kassidy had made her college choice and committed to attend California State University Long Beach. She had previously narrowed down her choices to her top 2, UC Santa Cruz and Long Beach. Her choice of Long Beach takes her a little further from home but offers a more hands on learning program for her major in Ocean Sciences. So very proud of all your hard work Kassidy!

• Track weight loss • Track muscle mass gains/losses • Measure caloric intake levels Only $25 Full Body Composition Analysis GET THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO FEEL AND LOOK YOUR BEST!

CALL TODAY! 408-365-8400 Fax: 408-365-8417

For scheduling and pricing questions please email

We want to not only help our patients, but we love to give back to our community. Discover our events, recipes and goings on.

For scheduling and pricing questions please email Name: Phone: HEALTHY RECIPE Eating Right Never Tasted So Good! Patient Referral Program Do you want to take advantage of our Patient Referral Program but don’t have a card handy? Just clip this card from the newsletter, add YOUR name and phone number and give it to a friend or family member. For every new patient you refer we will give you your choice of a gift card to the movies (good for 2 admissions), $20.00 for coffee or tea at Peet’s or a $25.00 gift card for Le Boulanger. Remember--each patient you refer must bring in a referral card and be a NEW patient to the clinic. South Valley Physical Therapy Would Like To Say Thank You! Thank You! CALL TODAY! 408-365-8400 Fax: 408-365-8417

INGREDIENTS • ⅔ cup frozen raspberries • ½ cup frozen sliced banana • ½ cup plain unsweetened almond milk • 5 tbsp sliced almonds, divided • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon • ⅛ tsp ground cardamom • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract • ¼ cup blueberries • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes Berry-Almond Smoothie Bowl

DIRECTIONS Blend raspberries, banana, almondmilk, 3 tablespoons almonds, cinnamon, cardamomand vanilla in a blender until very smooth. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with blueberries, the remaining 2 tablespoons almonds and coconut.

2 Easy Movements

Try these simple exercises to help relieve your pain.

SCALENE STRETCH Good for those with neck pain

MEDIAN NERVE GLIDE Good stretch for those who work at a computer

Start with your arm hanging down at your side with your elbow straight and palm facing forward. Next, bend your wrist forward and back. Your other hand should be checking to make sure that your shoulder stays down and drawn back the entire time. Hold for 8 seconds repeat 3 times on both sides.

Place your hands overlapping on your breast bone. Next, tilt your head upwards and away from the affected side until a gentle stretch is felt along the front and side of your neck. Hold for 8 seconds repeat 3 times on both sides.

Exercises copyright of

Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.

Does Your Friend or Family Member Need Physical Therapy? Tell Them to Check Us Out!

Do You Have Friends Or Family Unable To Do The Following? • Climb stairs without pain • Bend and move freely

If you know someone suffering with aches and pains give the gift of health. Refer them to South Valley Physical Therapy today. Pass along this newsletter or have them call us directly for a Pain Relief Consultation.

CALL TODAY! 408-365-8400 Fax: 408-365-8417

• Balance confidently and securely • Sit for long periods comfortably • Walk for long distances • Live an active and healthy lifestyle

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