VCSST_Solving Your Neck Pain and Headaches

Newsletter Fixing Your Neck Pain Will Make You r HeadachesHistory

INSIDE: • Focus On Neck Pain To Relieve Headaches • Stretching for Neck Pain Relief • All Treats, No Tricks! Halloween Costume Contest


Focus On Neck Pain To Relieve Headaches

Headaches are unfortunately quite common andcanbecausedbymultiple things including sustainedposturalstresses,prolongedmuscle tension, stress, food sensitivity, low or high blood sugar, low or high blood pressure, dehydration, types of light, loud noises, and certain smells. Diagnosing different types of headaches can be challenging because the symptoms are often very similar. Two types of headache can be significantly helped through physical therapy as well as various self-treatment strategies: tension headache and cervicogenic headache, or a headache that is referred from the neck. Many people think that headaches are “normal,” and often resort to over-the- counter medications such as pain relievers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications to manage their symptoms.

can help identify the driver or drivers behind your specific situation and help you develop strategies for resolvingandmanaging it.Often, somehands-on treatment includingsoft tissue and joint mobilization and sometimes dry needling can significantly reduce or alleviate your symptoms in the matter of just a few treatments. If you are having headaches on a regular basis, you don’t need to let this become your “normal.” Come see us today for an evaluation and get back to your life. And remember, you do not need a physician referral to see us for the first 30 days of care!

However, even though headaches are “common,” they are not exactly “normal,” especially if you are having them on a consistent basis. Medications can carry substantial health risks and side effects that may not even manifest for several years, especially when used incorrectly and for prolonged periods of time. The most common and significant side effects frompainmedicationsandNSAIDsare stomach issues and ulcers, cardiovascular issues, and liver problems. Tensionandcervicogenicheadachesareoften simply the result of an underlying issue such as sustained postural stress, joint mobility restrictions, muscle tension from physical or emotional stress, or general deconditioning. A thorough physical therapy assessment

Refer a friend and if they mention your name while scheduling their initial appointment, you get a $10 gift card! Whodo youknowthat needs our help?

Do You Have Friends or Family Unable to Do The Following? 9 Move without pain 9 Bend and move freely 9 Balance confidently and securely 9 Sit for long periods comfortably 9 Walk for long distances 9 Live an active and healthy lifestyle

Patient Spotlight

Last year we had a great turn out of patients and families who arrived in costume or emailed a pic . Show up in your Halloween costume on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 or just email your photo to by noon on Thursday, November 1 to be entered in drawing. All Treats, No Tricks! Halloween Costume Contest VCSST staff on Halloween 2017

“I felt strength of body and mind.”

“Andrew, you set me on a path of healing and I am grateful for your help. Above is a picture from a hike in Wyoming that I experienced in late August. I felt strength of body and mind. You helped with the exercises and understanding. FYI, my doctor in CA said it would take me 1 year to heal completely. That would be October. I believe my physical and mental workings cut that time of healing in half. On to my next adventure. Thanks again for your help.”- R.F.

CALL TODAY (804)249-8277

Discover ways to relieve your neck pain

Neck pain and headaches are frequently due to very minor issues such as sustained postural stress, muscle tension from guarding or physical/emotional stress, lack of movement variability in your daily life, or even general deconditioning due to past pain and activity restriction. The best way to know what movements/ exercises arebest for you is tohavean in-depth physical therapy evaluation and individualized treatment plan established. However, if for some reason formal treatment doesn’t fit in to your life right now, there are a few strategies you can employ to see if they help get you moving in the right direction. The first and generally best step is increasing awareness. Are there certain positions or movements that seem to produce or increase symptoms? Often these include prolonged computer work, driving, reading, etc. If so, can you adjust your position while doing these activities? Moving more frequently and changing positions when able is often enough to prevent symptoms. The strategy can be as simple

as getting up from your desk or workstation every 30-40 minutes and moving your neck, shoulders, and arms around in various positions to increase blood flow to your body and reduce tension in areas where you might be holding it without even realizing it. We can help assess your work environment and offer suggestions for optimizing task ergonomics. Along with awareness of position is awareness of tension. Most of us hold stress in common areas such as our necks, upper shoulders, and face. While you’re reading this, begin to focus on how you’re sitting and where you feel tension. Are you clenching your jaw without even realizing it? Are you holding your shoulders close to your ears? If so, now that you’re aware of it, can you actively relax these areas? Another thing to focus on is your breathing. Very regularly, people hold their breath without realizing it when performing certain tasks, or breathe very rapidly and shallow even in low, but sustained stress situations, like driving in traffic or at work. Where do you feel your breath? Is it in your chest and neck or in your belly? Learning to breathe with your diaphragm

(belly), actually helps induce relaxation and tension, reduces blood pressure, and changes circulating stress chemicals in our bodies. If you need help with any of these strategies after you’ve tried them, the physical therapists at VCSST are here for you. Call and make an appointment today! And remember, you don’t need a referral for physical therapy for the first 30 days!

Exercise Essential

Healthy Recipe

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

CERVICAL CHIN TUCK AND RETRACTION SUPINE WITH TOWEL While lyingonyourbackwithasmall foldedup towelunderyourhead, 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.


Pre Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice zucchini lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet. Using 1/2 of the goat cheese, spread small amount into the zucchini and cover with marinara sauce. Drop dots of remaining cheese over the marinara, bake until cheese is soft and marinara is bubbling (about 20 minutes).

• Four medium-sized zucchinis • One 5oz log of goat cheese • 1-2 cups of marinara sauce • Chopped parsley

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