Next Step_Relieving Neck Pain

NEWSLETTER The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

The day I played hooky - my adventure in snowboarding

February always brings the cold and the dreaded snow. Yes, I said dreaded because I no longer love snow like I used to. I think once snow stopped giving me days off (from school) and made me shovel my driveway my love affair ended. February also makes me think of skiing and snowboarding. To clarify, I don’t love these things either, although I know many of you do. To be fair, I’ve only tried snow- boarding once... and boy was that a story. I was a senior in high school and it had just begun to snow back on Long Island. It was a Friday and one of my good friends decided that it was a perfect opportunity for the two of us to go up to Hunter mountain and snow- board. So we jumped into my car and just went. For the record, I will deny that I missed school that day. Rather, I had a legitimate excuse. My mom called me in sick. Ok, so maybe I wasn’t really sick, but you know it was such a long time ago that my memory is a little foggy about those circumstances. Our adventure started almost immediately, as the snow started to pick up as we headed off the Island and up north. Remember, I was an 18 yr old driving in the snow for quite possi- bly the first time. Up the mountain we went,

twisting and turning our way to the summit. About half way up the mountain we hit a sharp turn in the road–and I didn’t slow down nearly enough. We started drifting towards the guard rail as my car desperately tried to grab the road. My co-pilot, my good friend, started warning me that I was getting close. Getting too close, as his voice started getting louder and anxious! My friend had quickly unbuck- led his seatbelt and had literally jumped over onto my side of the car as he was yelling for me to turn the car–as his side was the clos- est to the edge of the mountain. And then as the car seemed destined to hit the rail and the two of us imagining ourselves toppling down the mountain, the tires finally grabbed the asphalt and we swung around, narrowly missing the railing. Finally we had arrived.

(Continued Inside)

INSIDE : • Why I don’t snowboard anymore, I’m not saying you shouldn’t! • Do You Have TIme For Neck Pain?

•Is Your Neck Pain Caused by Sleep Issues? •Patient Success Spotlight www.nextsteppt.com

NEWSLETTER The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

DO YOU HAVE TIME FOR NECK PAIN? FINDING RELIEF FROM NECK PAIN

If you are suffering from neck pain, seeing a physical therapist at Next Step Physical Therapy can help you return to a more active and pain-free life. Give us a call today!

Here is a quick breakdown of what could be going on to cause your neck pain: If your pain is developing gradually over time and isnot the resultofanyparticular injury thatcomes to mind, then it may be a result of degenerative disc disease. When this develops, you may experience chronic neck pain as a result of fluid- filled sacs that are becoming weakened over time as a result of stress and strain. Physical therapy can help alleviate the pain from degenerative disc disease by helping restore blood circulation and improve range of motion in the neck.This therapy is approached in a careful and deliberate way so as to not cause further pain in the neck region. Sometimes, neck pain develops after a particular injury, such as due to athleticism or even as a result of a car accident or a slip and fall accident. When this happens, your pain could be a result of a muscle strain or sprain. When this is the case, then using traditional methods like hot and cold therapy and targeted physical therapy treatment can do a lot of good to alleviate the pain. However, attempting exercises on your own could also result in further pain.  

Neck pain can be both debilitating and terrifying. When you experience an injury that leaves your neck in severe pain, the thought of not being able to freely turn your head is overwhelmingly stressful. What’s more, the pain itself is unbearable, and since the neck is so sensitive to injury, it is important to be as careful as possible in finding treatment and solutions for the pain. It is incredible to realize how common neck pain is — especially among American adults! More than two-thirds of U.S. adults will develop neck pain at least once in their life, and the reasons for the neck pain are as varied as the population of the nation itself. Injury, muscle strain and even stress can cause significant pain in the neck and upper back. If you aren’t careful, a neck injury can lead to chronic pain,and it isevenpossible forchronicheadaches like migraines to develop as a result of regular neck pain. There are a lot of different ways that you can relieve neck pain, but the best treatment for your personal needs depends entirely on the type of injury that you’ve experienced.

Insomecases,mechanicalneckpaincandevelop as a result of a change in the neck joints. This may develop as a result of a disc collapsing, which causes the space between the bones to become narrow, often causing bones to strike one another, resulting in pain. When this isn’t addressed, mechanical neck pain can spread, causing the pain to become more severe and covering a wider range of the neck. Finally, neck pain is sometimes caused by radiculopathy, which refers to pressure or irritation in the nerves of the neck, which alters the electrical signals in the neck, causing you to feel more pain throughout the day. Physical therapycanhelp reduce thepressureand irritation surrounding the nerves, offering often immediate relief from pain and discomfort. These are just some of the frequent causes of neck pain. It is important that you never assume that your neck pain is being caused by one or another of these issues, and that you instead always work with a licensed and experienced physical therapist to determine the precise cause of your pain and discomfort.

SERVICES & THERAPIES :

• Wrist / Hand Pain • Wellness / Balance Problems • Ankle / Foot Pain

• Knee Pain • Sports Injuries • Shoulder Pain

• Physical Therapy • Low Back Pain • Neck Pain

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The day I played hooky - my adventure in snowboarding

(Continued)

There I was standing on top of one of the eas- ier beginner slopes. I rented a snowboard and of course decided that I didn’t need a lesson. My friend was a good snowboarder and he said he could teach me. What could go wrong! Very quickly I learned that turning was impor- tant. Why do you need to turn when you’re go- ing down the hill? In case you don’t know let me tell you what I found out on my first run down the hill. Without turning you start going pretty fast...pretty quickly, as in immediately. So while I was rocketing down the slope, the wind trying hard to knock me backwards, I sud- denly realized I had better learn how to turn. The next three hours went like this: Get to the top of the mountain. Race down the mountain in a straight line, then turn hard left (I figured out how to turn left because that way I could still face the downward slope of the moun- tain). Then I would straighten out and continue my meteoric plunge in another straight line but then I had to turn right because left now meant the edge of the mountain. I wasn’t as comfortable turning right because my back was then placed toward the downward side of the mountain and I would be looking back up the hill instead of down. So I tried to turn right and had some absolutely fantastic wipeouts. Bouncing and crashing down the mountain, arms and legs splayed out in all directions as

won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics. I met up with my friend, who had abandoned me for more difficult slopes and we decided to have one last run before we headed home. Myfinaltrekdownthemountainwasanabsolute pleasure. I was relaxed and still high on my previous successful run. This was getting easy and I felt like I really knew what I was doing... and then I caught an edge on the front of my board and before I could even register that I was falling I face planted hard into the snow– breaking my goggles and splitting my lip. In the end the mountain humbled me yet again. The trip back home was uneventful but I do remember when we got home my mother had asked my friend how I did. His response: “Mrs. Ostling, I don’t know how your son is even standing right now with the kind of falls I saw him take.” I kind of felt the same way. And that was the first and last time I’ve ever tried the outdoor mountain sports. I can’t even imagine how I would feel if I did the same thing now. Hope you enjoyed my funny story. It’s not intended to discourage anyone from skiing or snowboarding...on the contrary, you know I have two kids who are going to need to go to college sometime so feel free to go up there and fall down the mountain. Just make sure you come see me afterwards (I kid).

I tried to somehow stop from becoming one of those huge snowballs you see rolling down the mountain. Had I already been a physical therapist I would have noticed all the liga- ments and joints in my body straining to keep myself in one piece as my body was bending and contorting into angles and positions that even at the age of 18 I knew were not supposed to happen. Then I would pick myself up at the bottom and wait for the chairlift to take me back up the same mountain. Rinse and repeat. Finally the day was coming to an end and my moment of glory was upon me. After several hours of practicing on the same mountain I finally figured it out. I knew this slope like the back of my hand and when I slid down to the bottom having made it all the way from the top without falling once I felt like I had just

Relieve Neck Pain In Minutes Try this simple exercise to keep you moving

IS YOUR NECK PAIN CAUSED BY SLEEP ISSUES?

There is one more factor that often is not spoken about, but it’s a frequent cause of neck pain and discomfort: sleeping issues. Sometimes, sleeping in a certain position or sleeping on a mattress or

LEVATOR SCAPULAE STRETCH

Grasp your arm on the affected side and tilt your head downward into the armpit. Use your opposite hand to guide your head further into the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

pillow that is too soft or too hard will lead to neck pain. Oftentimes, this pain will appear to be chronic, as the sleeping issue is likely something that you experience day after day, causing the pain to return regularly. It may be helpful to rule out sleeping concerns as a reason behind your neck pain by assessing your sleeping conditions and making any changes that you think may be necessary. Adjust how many pillows you sleep on, the position you sleep in or even your mattress! Call (516) 681-8070 to schedule an appointment with your physical therapist today!

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What’s New?

Patient Success Spotlight

Here we are in February and my battery is recharged and ready to go (I took a week vacation in Aruba at the end of January–that’s why). We’ve got some exciting news coming down the pike (I hope to announce soon). We have been working with a few different organizations to help promote back health to their members with our low back pain and sciatica workshop. More details to come but if you are part of an organization–local employer, hobby group, charity organization etc, and you think that your members would be interested in our workshop please give us a call and we can tell you all about it. As a side note, since we are right in the middle of the snow season–anyone who isn’t sure how they should be shoveling snow should just call us and it’s our pleasure to bring you in for a free tutorial on how to do it so you don’t hurt your back. Stay safe and warm this month! Talk to you soon. Chris Ostling

“I am free of pain that I’ve had for years.” “I thought that living with neck pain was normal for someone like me who sits all day. When I could no longer turn my head left, my husband talked me into seeing Next Step Physical Therapy. Dr. Chris has made my neck pain disappear. Using his incredible talent and some very specific exercises I am free of pain that I’ve had for years. I’ll be using the tools Chris has shown me to maintain my new pain free life!” -Tracy Rant

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