VCSST_Solving Your Neck Pain and Headaches

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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