Innovative PT: How Strong Shoulders Relieve Headaches


Have you ever felt a pounding headache start to come on, especially later in the day? This is sign of muscle spasms in the neck and scalp as a result of abnormal stress and strain. Believe it or not, this could be caused by poor shoulder and

upper back strength. (continued inside)

Dr. Cheryl Howard PT, DPT, Cert. MDT Owner

Innovative Newsletter



3 Natural Ways to Relieve Headaches

Exercise To Help With Pain

Innovative Practice News

“Whatever you do, do with all your might.” - Marcus Tullius Cicero Quote of The Month:

the upper trapezius and other neck muscles become overused. This can then cause spasms of the arteries in the upper neck and scalp (vasospasms), which is one of the main symptoms of a headache. Over time this unfortunate cycle of poor posture, weakness, spasms, and headaches can lead to long- term changes in the neck structures, even early arthritis. Improving cervical (neck) and upper back motions can easily be accomplished with the right physical therapy. Our physical therapists can quickly pinpoint the specific muscle groups to target and help restore normal posture and function. The result is long-lasting headache relief, where you can finally stop taking Advil or Tylenol.

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The group of muscles responsible for that area of your upper back is called your trapezius muscles. They form a large triangle that start from the base of your skull, connecting all along the spine from the upper neck down to your mid back. They extend out to the tip of your shoulder blades, forming the triangle. The trapezius muscles are split up into three groups: the upper, middle and lower trapezius. We commonly notice the upper trapezius muscle getting tight and sore. Poor posture is to blame. Forward slouching posture when sitting and standing can cause the middle and lower trapezius muscles to become chronically stretched out. This can result in weakness and an inability to correctly support your posture. Throughout the day as you use your head, neck, and shoulders,


Call us today to discover how we can help your neck move freely and get rid of those headaches for good!

(315) 786-0655


1. Improve your posture Most headaches are caused by poor mechanics of the neck and upper back joints. Evaluate the way you sit at a desk, at home and how you carry yourself when walking. The simplest way to improve your posture is to pretend you have a string gently pulling you upward from the top of your head. 2. Strengthen your shoulders and upper back By improving the muscle support of the mid and upper back, your body can cope with normal everyday reaching tasks. This decreases the strain on the neck muscles and allows you to move more naturally. At first, when exercising these weakened areas, your headaches may continue to be variable. However, after several weeks of exercising the shoulder and upper back muscles, your headaches will improve. 3. Improve your flexibility The neck is made up of 14 joints that rely on a complex series of over 50 muscles to help you move. Muscles and tendons need to be flexible and elastic to help your neck joints move in the proper sequence. Take time during the day to gently stretch your neck side to side, rotating and moving up and down. Improving your chest and upper back flexibility, helps to restore normal posture and reduce strain to the neck. After all, you are balancing the weight of a bowling ball on top of your neck.

Naturally relieve your headaches, neck, upper back or shoulder pain with physical therapy. Physical therapy is the only medical science that works on these 3 natural ways to restore your body to better posture, flexibility and strength. Call us today to learn more about our special programs that help you live your life headache and pain free.

Patient Spotlights

Healthy Recipe

Spinach & Egg Sweet Potato Toast

“I can now run more than 2 miles without pain!” - Joel C. “...I am able to walk faster, walk better upstairs & lift easier. Back to my regular routines.” - Paula M.

INGREDIENTS • 1 large slice sweet potato ( ¼ inch thick) • ⅓ cup cooked spinach

• 1 large egg, fried or poached • ½ teaspoon sliced fresh chives • ½ teaspoon hot sauce

INSTRUCTIONS Toast sweet potato in a toaster or toaster oven until just cooked through and starting to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Top with spinach, egg, chives and hot sauce.

Exercise To Help With Pain: Try this simple exercise to help you feel better... Share this with a friend or family member to help keep them healthy too!

Innovative PT Coupons


Great For Shoulder Pain


LOWER TRAPEZIUS STRENGTHENING Lie on stomach, arm hanging down over edge of bed, keeping elbow straight, lift entire arm with thumb facing toward ceiling up toward head. Repeat 10 times on each side.

(315) 786-0655 CALL TO SCHEDULE TODAY!

316 Sherman St. Watertown, NY 13601

Offer valid for the first 20 people to schedule. Expires 8/31

Practice News

Staff Spotlight

Myofascial Release

Brittany Drake, PTA, NASM-CPT Brittany has an Associate in Applied Science Degree from SUNY Canton, and is a licensed PTA. She has clinical experience in orthopedic & sports medicine. When she is not in the clinic she can be found at the gym or playing with her Shih Tzu, Chloe!

“The John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach® is considered to be the ultimate mind/body therapy that is safe, gentle, and consistently effective in producing results that last. John F. Barnes, PT is an international lecturer, author and authority on Myofascial Release. He is considered to be a visionary and teacher of the highest caliber.” Innovative Physical Therapy Solutions’ Brittany Drake, PTA recently completed additional training in Myofascial Release to help our patients! How? By resolving myofascial restrictions to alleviate pain, facilitate natural healing and return to function. Can you find her in the conference photo? In addition to Myofascial Release training, Brittany is a National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) Certified, and American Red Cross Certified in CPR/AED.

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