Excel PT: Getting to the CORE of Back and Neck Pain

THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY Health Tips Newsletter

GETTING TO THE CORE OF BACK AND NECK PAIN

All of us have probably met someone in our lives who suffers from chronic (or long-term) back or neck pain. It could be a friend, a family member, or it may even be yourself. Think about that individual for a moment. Imagine the struggle they experience while seeking a remedy, or the attempts made at solving the mystery of their discomfort. (continued inside)

By Nicholas Drago, PT, DPT

INSIDE : • Getting To The Core Of Back And Neck Pain • Relieve Your Neck Pain With Excel PT

• Exercise Of The Month • Featured PT

www.excelphysicaltherapy.com

THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY Health Tips Newsletter

GETTING TO THE CORE OF BACK AND NECK PAIN

OUR ALL NEW PASSYUNK CLINIC IS OPENING THIS FALL!

(continued from outside)

INSIDE : • Relieve Your Neck Pain With Excel PT • Featured PT

• Exercise Of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight

These are the types of patients that physical therapists, such as me, are working to help every day. These are also the patients who frequently ask us what it is we can do to properly address their condition. The answer is fairly simple and somewhat surprising: it’s EDUCATION . When a physical therapist is performing an evaluation, they are working on getting to the CORE of your problem. For the low back (or

example of how one can benefit is by adjusting how you are positioned while looking down at your smart phone. We may not call the neck stabilizers the “core” but it operates in the same manner. By activating the specific musculature that support the neck and head we can improve the positioning of the cervical spine and put you on the right path to pain relief. Once we’ve identified the root cause of your pain and communicated some education, then the real fun begins! A skilled physical therapist will utilize “hands-on” or manual therapy to help achieve your recovery goal. These types of techniques help to relax tight muscles, open up space in the joints, improve range of motion and make you feel good! Therapy in conjunction with education will not only get you on the right path towards success, but also provide you with the skills to avoid further problems. So let’s relate this back to the person I asked you to think about earlier. As it turns out, their pain may not be as mysterious as once thought. All you need is a skilled physical therapist working to get to the CORE of your back and neck pain.

By Nicholas Drago, PT, DPT

lumbar spine), that problem may indeed be the stabilizing musculature that we commonly refer to as the “core.” While a physical therapist will not be able give you abs like Vin Diesel, we can show you how to activate the abdominal muscles which help to stabilize and protect your back. Once you have a basic understanding, we begin to educate patients on how important those muscles are to perform everyday activities, along with how they relate to your posture and function. In the neck (or cervical spine), the importance of posture is immeasurable. Neck pain, migraines, stenosis, disc pathologies, and even shoulder and lower arm soreness, can all be corrected with postural education. An

Take the time and call us today, why suffer with pain?

PENNSYLVANIA ALLOWS DIRECT ACCESS TO PHYSICAL THERAPY WITHOUT A PHYSICIAN REFERRAL CONTACT US TODAY TO LEARN IF YOUR INSURANCE CARRIER COVERS THIS SERVICE

Amber Nauman, PT, DPT Amber is a therapist at our Ardmore clinic location. Read her full profile here: FEATURED PT

Relieve Your Neck Pain With Excel PT

1. How did you decide to become a physical therapist and what motivates you to work with patients? I originally went to school for music therapy but found the job market to be disheartening. After learning I could get paid for providing the physical-type of therapy (and I

didn’t have to memorize scores anymore), I jumped on board. Even better, I started adapting my passions of neuroscience, anatomy, and persistent pain mechanisms for the purpose of getting people back to what they love and I was sold on the profession. The motivating factor is everyone’s unique and intricate life that I get to be a part of for a few months at a time, it’s pretty special. 2. In your words, what makes Excel Physical Therapy different from other physical therapy clinics? Excel respects a client’s time. Instead of using their time and visits with multiple providers, the client forms a relationship with one person who knows their background. I’ve found this model yields quicker and lasting results compared to other companies. 3. What was your most memorable patient experience? When someone comes in feeling entirely broken, I see it as an opportunity to make an even bigger difference. Recently, I worked with someone who was using a walker due to significant back and leg pain who had spent weeks in bed prior to coming into therapy. After 2 months and a lot of hard work on their part, they were doing lunges and squats up and down the clinic. As a clinician, there is no better feeling (the patient was feeling good, too)! 4. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? An Owl: As a Temple University alumnus, my diploma might be renounced if I choose differently. 5. If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be and why? Dedicated: Once I commit myself to a goal, a patient, a learning opportunity, or something different entirely, I find it extremely hard to walk away, especially from a job half-done. 6. What do you like to do in your off time, outside the clinic? I enjoy visiting national parks across the country. Even better, I enjoy finding a nice spot between two trees to hammock under once I’m done with a hike. Here’s a picture of me hanging in Zion National Park after hiking a 2,300-foot elevation gain.

Our physical therapists are movement experts, equipped in identifying and treating the main source of neck pain. As part of their evaluation, they will analyze your posture, movement, and problem areas in order to determine the best course of treatment to match your needs. A customized treatment plan will focus on relieving your pain, in addition to improving your posture, mobility, strength, and coordination. Your diagnosis will determine the make-up of a treatment plan, and may include any combination of manual therapy, targeted stretches and exercises, activity modification, or ergonomic recommendations. It may also include additional methods as deemed fit by your physical therapist, such as ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation. Physical therapy can help significantly reduce your neck pain by implementing the following benefits:

• Maintaining proper posture when sitting and standing

• Restoring flexibility to your neck muscles and joints

• Strengthening your mid-back muscles and shoulders to provide support to your neck

• Improving the coordination of your neck muscles

• Educating patients on eating well, by reducing the consumption of processed foods that increases inflammation in the body

You will work together with your physical therapist to understand the goals and expectations of each step in your personalized treatment plan, with the main focus being on overcoming your neck pain and recovering as quickly as possible. If your neck pain has been limiting your daily life, don’t wait any longer to seek help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. At Excel Physical Therapy, we are dedicated to providing you with the tools you need for recovery and relief!

www.excelphysicaltherapy.com

OUR ALL NEW PASSYUNK CLINIC IS OPENING THIS FALL!

Ardmore

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Patient Success Spotlight

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“I came to Excel with frequently severe right-sided neck and upper back pain that often resulted in migraine-like headaches. Almost immediately after starting treatment with Meryl, the headaches stopped. Gradually over the course of therapy, the right-sided pain became less severe. My flexibility increased along with my strength and general comfort. The combination of hands-on therapy, strengthening exercises and good humor made my experience at Excel incredible. My therapist clearly had so much knowledge and experience working with neck and back issues, but it was her kindness and positive attitude that set her apart from other PT experiences I’ve had in the past. I would highly recommend Excel Physical Therapy.” - Andrew S. (Center City) Don’t delay we can help you! Contact us: Downtown Philadelphia & South Jersey, Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County, Montgomery County, The Main Line, Delaware County, Chester County, Allentown, Lancaster: www.excelphysicaltherapy.com/contact-us While lying on your back with a small folded up towel under your head, tuck your chin towards your chest. Also, focus on putting pressure on the towel with the back of your head. Your head should maintain contact with the towel the entire time. Cervical Chin Tuck - Supine With Towel EXERCISE OF THE MONTH “The combination of hands- on therapy, strengthening exercises and good humor made my experience at Excel incredible.”

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COMPLIMENTARY PAIN ASSESSMENT

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Your complimentary pain assessment may be conducted via telephone

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Call to schedule. Expires 11-30-19

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