a April 2020 June 2020


INSIDE: � The Nose Knows � Exercise Essentials � Practice News � Patient Success Story!

Health & Fitness The Newsletter About Achieving and Maintaining Optimal Well-Being

June 2020

ARE YOU GETTING THERE HEAD FIRST? In the last newsletter, you were led through an explanation of how important it is to have the head centered on the neck. You learned what happens to the muscles of the neck, and the chronic pain and headaches this situation may cause. You were introduced to the weight of the head being between 11 and 14 pounds (the weight of a bowling ball), and how the eyes need to be level with the horizon for us to see what is ahead of us.

My special interest is in head, neck, and facial pain. What does posture have to do with facial pain? As the head moves forward on the neck and upper back, the structures in the front of the neck get stretched, while the tissue in the back of the neck gets shortened. There are primarily four muscles that get activated in this forward head position which will affect the face. All four often develop trigger points that refer to a classic ram’s horn pattern headache around the head and over the eyes. Two of these muscles may refer pain to the upper or lower posterior teeth. This may be so severe that you feel like you need a root canal or have the tooth pulled. Unfortunately, that would not change the pain at all. Two muscles may also refer to the ear with ear pain and or tinnitus (ringing or roaring) in the ear. This head position also pulls the jaw back. This changes the position of the jaw in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It increases the stress on the joint by changing its mechanics of the movement. The jaw position also causes a change in the way your upper and lower teeth come in contact. By the way, have you experienced shoulder pain? The head forward posture is not just about the head and neck. It affects the upper back and the shoulder blade position which then affects the shoulder joint. It decreases the movement you have in raising your arm overhead and eventually creates pain in the shoulder joint called impingement syndrome. This means every time you reach up for something you pinch the sensitive tissue like the rotator cuff and the bursa between the bones. This creates inflammation and pain. Eventually, deterioration of the joint and the soft tissue may occur.

Let’s explore this a little further. This position of the head and neck is called a head forward posture. It is so common in our society that I had a friend who specializes in head, neck, and facial pain tell me he started having it printed on his evaluation form because everyone has it anyway. This posture occurs because we “lose the fight against gravity”. It is particularly common as we age, but we are seeing it more and more in younger people. Increasing screen time and decreasing physical activity probably play an active role in this. The analogy I like to use to explain this is a bowling ball on a fence post. If the bowling ball (head) sits in the center of the post (neck) you can hold it centered with one finger. If the ball is on the front edge of the post, you need to hang on tightly to keep it from rolling off. Your body will pay a price for working that hard all the time. What is normal posture? Normal is defined as usual or natural. So the posture you are in today is your “normal”. I would like to introduce the term “balanced posture”. This is the position your body is in that requires the least amount of energy to maintain. It places the least amount of stress on your muscles, ligaments, and joints. We would like to help you achieve a “new normal”.

(Continued inside)


Head Forward Posture (Continued)

Being able to stay active and enjoy the life you have created has much to do with keeping your body in balance. The older we get the more we need a strategy to contend with the forces causing our posture to change for the worse. That strategy is a science we would like to share with you and give you the tools to hold on to your quality of life. We cannot slow time, but we can slow the negative effects of time and gravity on your body by knowing what to do. “What” is a big word in the world of exercise. Full Potential can teach you specific routines and actions based on your unique circumstances. We hear it all the time, “I am not sure what to do or how to help myself,” and Full Potential can be your resource for a better future. Call and schedule a consult with one of our professionals. Or, call your doctor and ask for a referral to receive treatment and see what a difference it will make in your life.

So, if you are experiencing frequent headaches, chronic jaw and facial pain, or ongoing shoulder pain, consider how posture and alignment concentrate stress and tension over these commonly painful areas and affect your comfort and function. To get long-lasting results, the best answers often come from looking at our bodies as a whole. We are not just one or two independent joints; it is possible to see the effects of the head forward posture all the way down the body. The same thing happens in reverse. What happens in the feet can change your posture all the way up to the head. Life’s activities and stresses will affect our bodies’ balance and then we pay a price in our health, comfort, and our ability to move efficiently. At Full Potential Physical Therapy, our professional staff of PTs and PTAs are skilled in looking at the whole picture to see how the imbalance is affecting you by creating the painful situation you may be dealing with. We will help you create your “new normal”. A normal that is in the better balance as you move and enjoy the world around you.

To an active and safe summer,

Jack VandenBerg, PT

Healthy Recipe


INGREDIENTS • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste • ½ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated ( ½ cup)

• 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed • 1 teaspoon lemon zest • ¼ teaspoon salt • 2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise • Lemon wedges for serving

DIRECTIONS Combine oil, garlic and crushed red pepper in a small skillet over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is softened and light golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in panko, Parmesan, thyme, lemon zest and salt. Preheat grill to very high (at least 500°F). Oil the grill grates, using tongs to hold an oil-soaked paper towel. Place zucchini, cut-sides down, on the oiled grates; grill, uncovered, until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes per side. Flip the zucchini so they are cut- side up; spoon the panko mixture evenly on top. Grill, covered, until the topping is golden brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully transfer to a serving platter. Serve with lemon wedges.



Practice News!


Call 616.392.2172 or visit our website at fullpotentialpt.com to schedule your consultation today! Offer expires July 31, 2020. RED HOT SPECIAL FOR SUMMER! OF F ! FREE CONSULTATION 25% 1/2" X 3 Foot Foam Roller For $15! Redeem this coupon for a SUFFERING FROM PAIN OR INJURY?

We understand that there is a lot of fear and uncertainty during this time. Below are the steps we are taking to make sure our patients are as safe as possible while they are being treated at our clinic: 1. After each treatment, the room, treatment table and equipment used are thoroughly disinfected. 2. Hand disinfectant is waiting for you in the lobby and is used pre and post in the gym. 3. Our lobby and front desk is disinfected each 1/2 hour. 4. Our staff is screened and temperature checks done each day for signs of Covid or illness.

5. All patients are screened and we do temperature checks as well to reduce exposure risks. 6 . Wa i t t imes in the lobby have been mostly el iminated and fami ly/ friends are discouraged from accompanying the patient unless necessary. 7. We are in compliance wi th state and federal recommendations and are regularly reviewing their guidelines to stay current with established practices. 8 . When there i s a questionable situation, we err on the side of caution with illness and have them cancel.

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286 Hoover Blvd • Holland, MI 49423 Phone: 616.392.2172 | Fax: 616392.1726 tessa@fullpotentialpt.com | fullpotentialpt.com


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Open Letter


highest quality and integrity. They always put the needs of the patient first. Full Potential has put together a staff of Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Assistants that possess a high level of skill and professionalism that will provide you with the physical therapy service that you require. I would be honored to be treated by any one of these individuals. They will continue to make you feel part of the Full Potential family. Likewise the support staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they are able to help match you to the right therapist for your care. They are able to answer your questions about the office and insurance issues. There has not been a single day that I have not loved my career. I have the wonderful physicians and people of the Holland area to thank for that. So thank you! Sincerely, Jack Vanden Berg PT

Dear past patients and those seeking Physical Therapy, I t is wi th sadness and with anticipation that I am announcing my full retirement. I have been blessed with 47 years of having the privilege of guiding patients on their path to achieving their goals in physical therapy rehabilitation. I have tried to be your best cheerleader as you did the hard work. I always believed

in you, sometimes more than you believed in yourself. In return you have taught me many things that I could then use to help others. It has been my privilege to get to know each of you not only as a patient, but as a person as well. I am grateful to have been able to finish my career with Full Potential Physical Therapy. I know that this is a practice of the

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Relieve Your Pain Try these simple exercises to improve mobility! Exercise Essentials

The foam roller exercises are a great way to help reduce a forward head and remind your neck and upper back tissues and joints how to retract back. Please see our feature article for additional data on this concept and as well March’s newsletter (they are archived on our website). The use of the rollers requires some skill, if you need help get an appointment with us. We can teach you how to use it without strain on the neck and with progressive benefit. Invest in knowledge, it can pay you back over and over.

Relieves Tightness In Shoulders And Chest

FOAM ROLLER PEC MINOR STRETCH Lie down on a foam roll and hold one of your wrists as it rests on your stomach. Put a folded towel or two under your head for comfort. Next, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lower your shoulders toward the floor as shown. Hold for a gentle stretch across your chest. These stretches require some patience, start with 3 minutes and work to 6-10 minutes dividing the time between the two exercises.

PECTORALIS MINOR STRETCH Lie down on a foam roll and allow your arms to drop towards the floor with your elbows straight as shown. Put a towel or two under your head for comfort. Hold for a gentle stretch across your chest.

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

Letter From Our Owner

Patient Success Story!


As I write this short note to you all, it is my hope we are in a better place when this newsletter comes out a month from now. So much has happened in such a short amount of time. For us, a big change is the full resignation of Jack VandenBerg, PT. As some of you may know, Jack “retired” four years ago but so enjoyed his work and his patients he continued to treat part time until this past March. In this newsletter is his announcement about his retirement. We will miss so many things about his presence here as I am sure many of you will as well. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors; he is a man of many interests and I am sure the last thing he will find in full retirement is boredom. As well, you still might continue to hear from him as he imparts his knowledge by an occasional newsletter article like the one he wrote in this issue. I hope your summer is going well and you are moving and feeling well too. If not, take action and get a consult with Full Potential. Pain, indecision, and waiting to get better can actually make one tired and unmotivated. A decision to handle your problem motivates and sets you on a course of positive action. Just that alone can make you feel some better.

“This helped me to avoid having surgery!” “The biggest and most positive change since starting PT at Full Potential is having the ability to walk, run, and get back to normal function! This helped me to avoid having surgery. The staff is attentive to the problem, friendly, educating, and patient at explaining the issues.”

To a good summer, Vince Hanneken, PT Owner of Full Potential

—Robert F.

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