Blue Ridge: Neck Pain & Headaches

PHYSICAL THERAPY’S ROLE IN MAINTAINING A HEALTHY SPINE

Asweage, regularexerciseplaysan increasinglyprominent role in reducing the risk of developing spine-related problems. For those in or approaching the golden years, it’s important to live an active lifestyle that focuses on healthy posture, function and movement. It’s normal to experience some functional decline as our bones and intervertebral discs deteriorate over time, but that doesn’t mean that aches, pains and joint stiffness should go unaddressed. And yet, a good portion of senior citizens in the United States are living with spine-associated pain: A European Spine Journal study found that back and neck pain are top complaints among about 20 to 25% of the population over 70 years old. Some of the keys to caring for your spine—and ensuring your ability to participate in a full and active lifestyle—include following a safe and effective exercise program and maintaining your general health and well- being. Whether these are steps you’re actively taking or not, it’s a good rule of thumb to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to address the current—and future—health of your spine. Following a thorough review of your medical history and activity level, a physical therapist is trained to identify the impact that activities like lifting, sitting and standing have on your spine.The information gathered is used to address any functional limitations you might have and to design an at-home exercise program to keep your spine healthy. In addition to

targeted exercises and postural modifications, back and neck stretches are important for improving flexibility, joint function and range of motion and for preventing spine-related injuries. With the right modifications and interventions, it’s possible to live an active and healthy lifestyle while lowering your chances of back and neck injuries and pain as you age. By actively maintaining the health of our spines, we’re rewarded with the ability to move about freely, bend with flexibility and stand upright—functions that are easy to take for granted.

Patient Success Spotlight

Healthy Recipe: HONEY GARLIC SHRIMP

Left pain-free and much stronger!

INGREDIENTS • 1/3 cup honey • 1/4 cup soy sauce • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic

• optional: 1 teaspoon minced ginger • 1 lb medium uncooked shrimp, peeled • 2 teaspoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS 1. Whisk the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger (if using) together in a medium bowl. 2. Place shrimp in a large zipped-top bag or tupperware. Pour 1/2 of the marinade mixtureon top,give itallashakeorstir, thenallowshrimp tomarinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or for up to 8-12 hours. Cover and refrigerate the rest of the marinade for step 3. (Time-saving tip: while the shrimp is marinating, I steamed broccoli and microwaved some quick brown rice). 3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place shrimp in the skillet. Discard used marinade. Cook shrimp on one side until pink-- about 45 seconds-- then flip shrimp over. Pour in remaining marinade and cook it all until shrimp is cooked through, about 1 minute more. 4. Serve shrimp with cookedmarinadesauceandagarnishofgreenonion.Thesauce isexcellentonbrown rice and steamed veggies on the side.

“ I had such a wonderful experience here at Blue Ridge PhysicalTherapy. I arrived having some serious neck pain, and left pain-free and much stronger than before. All of the staff worked so patiently with me and took such an interest in who I am in order to make sure my medical needs were met. I highly recommend Dr. Contryman and her staff to others in need of physical therapy services. ” – Erika A.

www.blueridgephysicaltherapy.com

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