N E W S L E T T E R
THE HEADACHE & NECK PAIN CONNECTION THE KEY TO HEADACHE RELIEF MIGHT BE YOUR NECK
The Problem with Posture • Patient Success Spotlight Service Spotlight • Meet the Team • Exercise Essentials
N E W S L E T T E R
THE HEADACHE &NECK PAIN CONNECTION T H E K E Y T O H E A D A C H E R E L I E F M I G H T B E Y O U R N E C K
Headaches have a bad habit of making their appearance at the most inconvenient times. The middle of the workday, early in the evening when you have hours of responsibilities ahead of you, or even first thing in the morning when you are trying to pay attention to your morning meeting — headaches don’t care how important the work ahead of you is. Many people choose to live with headaches and rely on over the counter pain medication to alleviate pain, often because there is a lack of education regarding the origin and effective treatment of headaches. In this newsletter, we will provide you with information on the most common origin of headaches, and what we can do as physical therapists to decrease the occurrence and intensity of your headaches. There are numerous reasons for headaches, but 98% of the time they are either migraines, tension headaches, or cluster headaches. These are all types of primary headaches. Secondary headaches are often more serious, but they are also more rare. Healthcare practitioners are trained to take a detailed patient history to differentiate between the numerous headache disorders. Regarding primary headaches, tension headaches affect 60-80% of the population while migraines have a prevalence of 15% and are more common in females. Our main focus here will be directed towards tension headaches. When Neck Pain Leads to Headaches Tension headaches are also called cervicogenic headaches because they are caused by increased tension in the cervical spine (neck).
The majority of the time, neck pain starts out as a seemingly small concern. A crick in your neck here or there may start to develop more frequently, and before you know it, your experience of neck pain is something you are dealing with daily. It isn’t always the result of something large. While being in a car accident or experiencing another sort of injury can definitely lead to chronic neck pain, the cause of the issue isn’t always as simple to identify. Sometimes it is a bad habit that you don’t really think twice about, like your habit of watching TV as you fall asleep, keeping your neck at an odd angle as you rest for the evening, or maybe as a result of your pillow or posture as you type at your desk every day. These poor habits are common, and most of us consider them to be harmless. Sure, you know it isn’t great for you, but what is actually going to happen? Part of the battle is recognizing the compromising positions we are putting our body in, but it is also important to reverse the changes that may have occurred in your spine and surrounding soft tissue. Over the counter medication offers temporary relief but often does not address the origin of the headache. The reality is that these seemingly irrelevant habits could be putting undue stress on your neck and leading to headaches. Call us at (214) 383-0623 or visit our website at aaphysicaltherapy.com. We can help you find the cause and remedy your headaches and neck pain.
L I V I N G W I T H H E A D A C H E S & N E C K PA I N ? C A L L 2 1 4 - 3 8 3 - 0 6 2 3 T O S C H E D U L E A N A P P O I N T M E N T
Working with a physical therapist can help you to identify whether or not your headaches may be the result of neck pain and dysfunction. One of the most common causes of headaches due to neck pain is FORWARD HEAD POSITION . Forward head position means that your head is oriented further forward than your torso and your neck is arched backwards. This position commonly leads to tightness in the muscles on the back of the neck and weakness in the front. You can identify whether or not you have a forward head position by standingstraightagainst thewallanddeterminingwhetherornotyour head rests against the wall as your back does. If your head does not touch the wall when you are standing straight, then you aren’t fully standing up straight! Not only does this position lead to structural changes, it can also lead to neck pain, upper back pain, shoulder dysfunction, and headaches. When forward head position is an issue, working with a physical therapist may be able to help. Stretchingthemusclesatthebaseofyourskullandrollingona lacrosse ball to alleviate neck strain can reduce the severity and regularity of your headaches. It is also important to stretch additional muscles that maybetight.Thiswilltakeadditionaltestingbyyourphysicaltherapist. Implement deep neck flexor strengthening into your daily exercise routine as well to decrease the weakness commonly associated with THE PROBLEM WITH POSTURE
a forward head position. One of these exercises is explained in the ‘Exercise Essentials’ section of this newsletter. When dealing with neck pain, it is important to remember that safety has to come first. While there aremany simple activities you can try at home to begin stretching your neck muscles, working with a physical therapist is the only way to ensure that you are stretching in a way that won’t potentially lead to greater injury. If you are suffering from headaches and want to not only find the causebutalsoprevent futurepain,contactAthleticAdvantagePhysical Therapy today at (214) 383-0623. One of our dedicated physical therapists would be happy to meet with you for a consultation and discuss how our different programs can help you return to your active and pain-free life!
OUR SERV I CES • Aquatic Therapy • Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) • Concussion Therapy • Dance Injury Rehabilitation • Electrical Stimulation • Instrument Assisted Manual Therapy • Joint Mobilization • Kinesio Taping • Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) • Manual Therapy • Therapeutic Exercise • Vertigo Treatment
DRY NEEDLING SERVICE SPOTLIGHT
UNIQUE ASPECTS & BENEFITS • Influence on nerves that supply muscles with motor and sensory input
• Reduction in myofascial trigger points (MTrP) that often refer pain
• More efficient than traditional manual therapy
THERAPY RESULTS • Reduced pain
• Increased range of motion
• Increased strength through neuromuscular re-education
ME E T THE T EAM
KIRSTEN TRAPP DPT Physical Therapist
Dr. Kirsten Trapp is our newest physical therapist at Athletic Advantage. She specializes in spinal evaluation and treatmentandholdssevenmanual therapy certifications.Sheutilizes triggerpointdry needling along with manual skills and therapeutic exercises to optimize patient outcomes and reduce pain. Dr. Trapp is a
“Finding Dr. Cody Johnson and the Athletic Advantage team after relocating to Dallas was a game changer for my dance career. I first came to the office with an ankle sprain I was sure was going to take me out of my next show. Through a combination of dry needling and aquatic therapy, I made a much faster recovery than I could have hoped for. Being a professional ballet dancer, it can be very stressful to deal with injuries that could take you out of a performance or a rehearsal, but since working with Dr. Cody Johnson, I have learned so many new techniques and exercises that have been extremely helpful for maintaining my body. The welcoming environment and attentive staff is an added bonus to the fantastic care you receive. I would enthusiastically recommend Athletic Advantage to anyone, but especially to any student or professional that is looking for a PT with an extensive experience working with dancers!” - M. F. Photo Credit: Northrop Photography EXERC I SE ESSENT I ALS USE THIS TECHNIQUE TO DECREASE NECK PAIN SPOTLIGHT PATIENT SUCCESS Chin Tuck Supine Lie with towel roll under the curve of the neck. Without lifting head, tuck chin gently toward chest. Keep the large muscles in the neck relaxed. Hold for 2 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
member of the American Physical Therapy Association and is an advocate for the#choosePTmovementwhichemphasizes theuseofphysical therapy over opioid usage whenever possible. Born and raised in Plano, Texas, Dr. Trapp received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Sam Houston State University in 2014. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she worked as a member of the Athletic Advantage team for two years before attending graduate school. She furthered her education at The University of St. Augustine in Austin, Texas to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2018. Kirsten grew up dancing, both competing as part of a junior company and in her high school dance teams. Throughout her undergraduate career, Kirsten competed as a member of the Orange Pride Dance Team, winning three National Championships with the National Dance Alliance (NDA) in Daytona, Florida. Dancing, a desire to help others, and an interest in the biomechanics and etiology of musculoskeletal dysfunctions are what drove her to become a physical therapist. “Providing quality care through a strong patient, therapist relationship is of the utmost importance in my practice. I take the responsibility of guiding my patients through the journey of improving their mobility and functional capacity very seriously. I want to help my patients lead a more active lifestyle. I utilize the most up to date evidence-based approach to evaluate and treat inorder toaddressandprevent further injury foreach individual.”
Key Specialties & Certifications • Spinal Evaluation & Manipulation
• Upper Extremity Evaluation & Manipulation • Lower Extremity Evaluation & Manipulation • Myofascial Manipulation • Advanced Lumbar & Thoracic Spine • Advanced Cervical & Upper Thoracic • Functional Analysis-Pelvic & Hip
Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of.
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