Manual Edge PT: How Posture Affects Back and Neck Pain

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Whether you’re settling in at home to watch the snow fall with a mug of hot cocoa, or planning a cross-country excursion with family, Manual Edge wishes you a happy and healthy holiday season. It is no secret that the holidays can be a physically stressful time, and we want to let you know we are here for you, should any pain or discomfort come your way. May you have a holiday season filled with comfort and joy, followed by a fruitful new year.

With warmth, Tim Bonack , Owner & the rest of the Manual Edge Team

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HOW POSTURE CAN AFFECT YOUR BACK AND NECK PAIN

Remember back when your mother used to tell you that if you wouldn’t stop hunching your shoulders, they’d be stuck that way forever? An idle threat, one that barely anyone took seriously. Yet, fast forward a few decades and it turns out that mommight have been on to something, after all. A poor habit of bad posture can have a lasting impact on your neck and back. The worse your posture is, the more intense your back and neck pain can become. Unfortunately, once you start experiencing neck and back pain, simply squaring your shoulders isn’t likely to be much help. Working with a physical therapist can help you to train the muscles in your back, neck and shoulders so that you can improve your posture permanently, and in doing so bring relief to your chronic neck and back pain. The Posture and Pain Connection Not all back pain is caused by poor posture, and it is true that you can have poor posture for years without feeling the consequences of that slouch right away, but in time the habit is likely to catch up with you. There are certain ways that you can tell if neck or back pain may be a result of poor posture, including: • The pain in your back is worsened at certain times of day.  For example, after you’ve spent a day at the office, or after a few hours on the couch.

• The pain frequently starts in your neck and moves into your upper and lower back. Pain that seems to travel from one area of the back to another is frequently an indication of posture concerns. • The pain will subside after switching positions, such as switching from sitting to standing or vice versa. • Back or neck pain that develops soon after a change in circumstances, such as starting a new job with a new desk chair, or getting a new car. After years of practicing poor posture, your back, shoulder and neck muscles will likely find standing or sittingwithstraightposturetobeuncomfortable.This is because your muscles have grown accustomed to the slouching, and standing up straight will require some thorough stretching. That doesn’t mean that once you have bad posture you can never correct it. Working with a physical therapist to improve your posture is a great way to overcome chronic neck and back pain. In physical therapy, you will be guided through a series of stretches and strength building exercises that can help you begin training your body to practice better posture, thereby reducing your back and neck pain.

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WHAT CAN GOOD POSTURE DO FOR YOU?

SUDOKU PUZZLE There are a lot of benefits of having good posture. Aside from saying goodbye to neck or back pain, improving your posture can provide several unexpected benefits to your lifestyle and personal well-being. Here are a few of the additional benefits of having good posture: • Proper posture creates quality exercise for your core and back • Improved respiratory health Of course, there are ways that you can improve your posture at home, as well. Here are severel strategies that are typically helpful: • Try to stand tall whenever you are standing or walking. Hold your head high and square your shoulders, but more importantly work on being the tallest version of yourself. Hunching over is the leading cause of poor posture. • Use support when you sit to keep your posture correct. Lumbar support in office chairs and car seats will help a bit, but for improved posture you may need to add additional cushioning that will help you keep your back straight. • Be mindful of how you lift heavy objects. Keep your shoulders square and your chest forward. When lifting something that is over 50 lbs it is important to take extra care. Lead with your hips and try to keep the weight close to your body. Lifting something improperly can lead to injury to your neck or back, which may make proper posture uncomfortable.

• Added protection for your organs, bones, joints and muscles • Reduced risk of arthritis

If you are experiencing chronic neck and back pain, there is a good chance that it could be related to your posture. Contact your physical therapist to learn more about how you can take steps to start improving your posture today.

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PATIENT SUCCESS STORY

“I would recommend Manual Edge to everyone!” “I came to Manual Edge in a lot of pain form my back and neck. Val has been a wonderful therapist for me. I no longer have neck pain due to her excellent treatment. My back is much improved as well. I would recommend Manual Edge to everyone!” – Char R.

“I now feel like a new person! Thank you!” “When I first came to Manual Edge I was in so much pain from sciatica I could barely walk, thought I needed surgery. With the help from Tim and Val I now feel like a new person! Thank you!” – Steve S.

HAVE YOU MET YOUR ANNUAL INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLE?

HEALTHY RECIPE

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies

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• 2 tsp vanilla extract • 3 tbsp maple syrup • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats • 1/2 cup oat flour ground • 1/2 cup almond meal • 1/2 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp baking soda • 1/8 tsp salt • 2 tsp Vietnamese 5% Oil • Cinnamon • 1/4 tsp Frontier allspice • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips • 1/2 cup dried cranberries and cherries

An insurancedeductible istheamountofmoneythatyoumustpaybefore your insurancecompanypaysforyourmedicalservices. Ifyourdeductible is met, your physical therapy may not cost you anything. Patientswithfamilyplansorthosewhohavehadmajorsurgeriesorhave a chronic illness are especially likely to have a $0 balance remaining on theirout-of-pocketexpenses.Thismeansthatthecostofphysicaltherapy could be minimal or completely covered by the patient’s insurance plan. Ifyouareclosetoorhavemetyour insurancedeductiblefortheyear,then now isthetimetocome inforphysicaltherapy!Areyoufeelingachesand pains? Need to work on your core? Let us help you get a head start for 2019. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

INGREDIENTS • 1 ripe banana mashed • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree • 2 large eggs • 1/2 cup peanut butter • 3 tbsp coconut oil melted

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. In a mixing bowl stir together mashed banana, pumpkin, eggs, peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup until well combined. Add in oats, oat flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, chocolate chips and dried fruit; stir to combine. Refrigerate for 5 minutes to harden. Drop cookies by spoonfuls on prepared baking sheet. They won’t expand much, so feel free to press them down, slightly, and make them as uniform as possible to ensure even baking. Bake for about 12 minutes until lightly browned.

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