Samantha Orkin, PT, DPT Samantha is a therapist at our Society Hill - Queen Village clinic location. Read her full profile here: FEATURED PT
Is My Neck Causing My Back Pain?
1. How did you decide to become a physical therapist and what motivates you to work with patients? After seeing a family member struggle with a debilitating disease, I understood the importance of maintaining independence and function.
I decided to become a physical therapist because I learned how special it is to get the chance to help someone overcome the physical and mental barriers that prevent them from functional independence. I am motivated by the idea of helping my patients reach their personal goals and return to living their best life. 2. In your words, what makes Excel Physical Therapy different from other physical therapy clinics? Excel is unique because unlike all clinics, the quality of patient care is really the #1 priority. Everyone is constantly striving to learn more, expanding their knowledge, refining old skills, and asking questions to advance the quality of the care we deliver to our patients, based on the most current and relevant research out there. 3. What was your most memorable patient experience? I had a patient who was a professional dancer and dance instructor. Due to a hip injury, she was completely limited from both her passion and full-time job. Together, we worked hard to improve her strength, stability, stretching regimen, and body mechanics. When we started her PT, she couldn’t walk comfortably. A few weeks after her discharge from therapy, I received a picture from her atop a 14,000-ft mountain that she had just hiked in Ecuador. That was a really exciting day. 4. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? I would be a dolphin. They are playful, social animals and enjoy having fun. Living in the tropical waters would be pretty cool too. 5. If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be and why? Compassionate; my most genuine personal happiness comes from seeing my patients, friends, and family happy. I enjoy being there for other people, and usually connect with people very naturally. 6. What do you like to do in your off time, outside the clinic? Spending time with family and friends is my favorite way to spend my free time. I love trying new foods and new restaurants. Traveling and cooking are both passions of mine. You can always catch me with my head in a cookbook or brainstorming new recipes!
It can sometimes be difficult to determine if your back pain is rooted in your neck. This simple, at-home test can assist you in figuring it out: 1. Stand straight in front of another person. They will be your eyes regarding the movements you make. 2. Once they are watching you, turn your head as far as you comfortably can to the left. Repeat the same motion to the right. Have them take note of how far you are able to go. 3. Now, sit down in front of the same person. Repeat the same turning motions from a chair or couch. Again, have them take note of how far you are able to comfortably turn your head. 4. Ask if there were any differences in the turning movement. Did one side seem to turn further than the other? Was there a difference in standing vs. sitting? This test is helpful in finding out if your neck is causing (or is at risk of causing) pain in your lower back. If your movement is limited, especially sitting down, it means that the muscles in your back or upper back are tight. These constricted motions can cause pain in the lower back. How can physical therapy help me? Physical therapy is the leading recommendation for back pain. Physical therapists are trained to evaluate muscle and joint movement, and can easily assist in determining the root causes of your symptoms. A physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine why you are experiencing pain, investigate its source and treat all affected areas. After your initial consultation, they will create a specialized treatment plan, based on their diagnosis to address your specific needs. A physical therapist’s end goal is the same as yours – to get you feeling better, healthier, and more comfortable! If you are experiencing lower back pain and think it may be caused by an issue occurring in your neck, give us a call today. We’ll get you moving comfortably again in no time.
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