JohnstonPT: How Posture Affects Back & Neck Pain



NOTES FROM ANDREW The new year is upon us. Did you accomplish what you “resolved” to do in 2019. So often I have very generic goals at the end of each year Or maybe that is just my self delusion. I know I have let aches or pains, little injuries be my reason for stopping an exercise program, or had so little direction that it was easy to drop my New Years exercise resolution.

Over the last years we have been doing some additional education to help us move forward in this challenging healthcare environment. It has been helpful both professionally and personally. Really it started with meaningful measurement. It makes sense, if I want to ensure that I am reaching toward achieving a goal I better have a target (and know where I am starting from). If I am wanting to improve strength, I better be using a strength measure to get my baseline. If I want to improve mobility, a range of motion measure better be included. Most important to many clients is a functional goal. This usually sounds something like-- I want to be able to “___________________” (fill in the blank- golf, walk, run, work, play a specific sport, do something specific with my kids or grandkids). Functional goals are usually pretty easy to see if we accomplished it during our course of care. Identifying and measuring the parts that will make us most successful, most rapidly and safely – now that’s the challenging part of our job. This is just one of the ways we see that the one-on-one individualized care we provide at Johnston Physical Therapy and Elevate Physical Therapy help us to achieve your goals. Yes, we are into the new year. There is still time to clarify our goals, make them specific, and make a lasting change. If you have an ache or pain that is keeping you from moving towards your goals, give us a call. Let us see if we can help your resolutions stick this year.

that make it difficult to see if we actually accomplished what we intended. I want to take more vacation time, I want to make more money, I want to be healthier. Very common and good goals, but how do we know if we accomplished these. In a 2017 CBS news cast, it was reported that only 64% of new year resolutions last longer than the first month, and only 46% last longer than six months. According to data from the Nielsen analytics firm, losing weight was number one on a lists of top New Years resolutions. We all know the benefits of exercise, but how do we actually stay fit or keep one of the most common new years resolutions. The more specific we make a goal or resolution the more likely we are to achieve it. Turns out if we communicate it with someone other than ourselves (business partner, coach, friend, significant other) it tends to make us more accountable – increasing the chance of success as well. I think we start with good intentions. But without proper planning, or preparation we set ourselves up for only short term success. If we don’t put time on our calendar for exercise, don’t plan our meals, don’t set achievable goals we fall short. This may be my confession, that I seem to start well, but not always finish strong. I am an evidence based guy, so if I don’t see the results, it couldn’t be that I didn’t do my part.


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Whether you have hurt your back or have been suffering for a long time, seeing a physical therapist at one of our clinics can help you return to a more active and pain-free life. Give us a call today! back. Pain that seems to travel from one area of the back to another is frequently an indication of posture concerns. •The pain will subside after switching positions, such as switching from sitting to standing or vice versa. • Back or neck pain that develops soon after a change in circumstances, such as starting a new job with a new desk chair, or getting a new car. After years of practicing poor posture, your back, shoulder and neck muscles will likely find standing or sitting with straight posture to be uncomfortable. This is because your muscles have grown accustomed to the slouching, and standing up straight will require some thorough stretching. That doesn’t mean that once you have bad posture you can never correct it. Working with a physical therapist to improve your posture is a great way to overcome chronic neck and back pain. In physical therapy, you will be guided through a series of stretches and strength building exercises that can help you begin training your body to practice better posture, thereby reducing your back and neck pain.

Remember back when your mother used to tell you that if you wouldn’t stop hunching your shoulders, they’d be stuck that way forever? An idle threat, one that barely anyone took seriously. Yet, fast forward a few decades and it turns out that mom might have been on to something, after all. A poor habit of bad posture can have a lasting impact on your neck and back. The worse your posture is, the more intense your back and neck pain can become. Unfortunately, once you start experiencing neck and back pain, simply squaring your shoulders isn’t likely to be much help. Working with a physical therapist can help you to train the muscles in your back, neck and shoulders so that you can improve your posture permanently, and in doing so bring relief to your chronic neck and back pain. The Posture & Pain Connection. Not all back pain is caused by poor posture, and it is true that you can have poor posture for years without feeling the consequences of that slouch right away, but in time the habit is likely to catch up with you. There are certain ways that you can tell if neck or back pain may be a result of poor posture, including: •The pain in your back is worsened at certain times of day.  For example, after you’ve spent a day at the office, or after a few hours on the couch. • The pain frequently starts in your neck and moves into your upper and lower

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There are ways that you can improve your posture at home, as well. Here are several strategies that are typically helpful: •Try to stand tall whenever you are standing or walking. Hold your head high and square your shoulders, but more importantly work on being the tallest version of yourself. Hunching over is the leading cause of poor posture. • Use support when you sit to keep your posture correct. Lumbar support in office chairs and car seats will help a bit, but for improved posture you may need to add additional cushioning that will help you keep your back straight. • Be mindful of how you lift heavy objects. Keep your shoulders square and your chest forward. When lifting something that is over 50 lbs it is important to take extra care. Lead with your hips and try to keep the weight close to your body. Lifting something improperly can lead to injury to your neck or back, which may make proper posture uncomfortable. What Can Good Posture Do For You? There are a lot of benefits of having good posture. Aside from saying goodbye to neck or back pain, improving your posture can provide several unexpected benefits to your lifestyle and personal well-being. Here are a few of the additional benefits of having good posture: • Proper posture creates quality exercise for your core and back • Improved respiratory health • Added protection for your organs, bones, joints and muscles • Reduced risk of arthritis If you are experiencing chronic neck and back pain, there is a good chance that it could be related to your posture. Contact your physical therapist The benefits of exercise are certainly mounting up every day. Knowing what is the best exercise for you sometimes can be confusing and change depending on what your specific goals are. We have implemented a personal training program. We offer a unique, private, judgement-free setting where we get to know you and how you move, so you can safely and effectively work toward improving your health and wellness. Jon Alexander will lead the program. A number of our therapists have taken advantage of Jon’s fitness coaching and training skills over the past several years. We now have the opportunity to share some of his expertise. Jon, along with Creighton Biddick, who work closely with all the therapists, will be our two primary trainers. This benefits you as we can communicate about any complicating health or injury factors that may limit your confidence with return to more regular or more intense exercise. INTERESTED IN PERSONAL TRAINING?

to learn more about how you can take steps to start improving your posture today.

Call us today to schedule an appointment!

Wondering if this is for you? Reach out to our Johnston office at (515) 270-0303 and schedule a free consultation . You can meet with one of our trainers, get more details on what we offer, ask questions, and discuss how we could work together to achieve your personal goals.

We are here in more ways than ever to improve your health in 2020!

Patient Success Spotlight



Johnston Clinic

“You all helped me through a difficult time!” “I simply wanted to say a big, “Thank you” for all you did to help both Deb and I recover from our respective maladies. Your collective smiles, attitudes and encouragement were amazing...and even helped me forget all the torture! You all helped me through a difficult time and your kindness and “can do” attitude have really meant a lot. You will always be greatly appreciated!” - Jim and Deb


1. Open your smart phone to the camera app 2. Center the QR code above in the frame (this will take you directly to our Google Review page) 3. Tell us how we’ve done! Elevate Clinic

Improve Your Balance In Minutes Try this movement if you are experiencing poor posture.

TANDEM STANCE Stand with one foot directly in front of the other so that the toes of one foot touch the heel of the other. Maintain your balance.

If this exercise does not provide you relief/help, please consider an evaluation to see if we can identify the source of your pain and provide a plan to get you back to normal.


On Saturday, February 8th • 10am Free Knee Pain Workshop

• Do you suffer with knee pain? • Do you experience pain, numbness or tingling when walking? • Do you suffer from a past injury? • Do you have pain when doing daily activities? • Are you afraid your pain will get worse if you don’t do anything about it? If you have answered YES to any of the above questions (or have a stubborn spouse who is in denial) the Knee Pain Workshop is the event for you!

Here’s some of what you’ll learn:

ü The single BIGGEST #1 MISTAKE Knee Pain sufferers make which actually stops them from healing ü The 3 MOST COMMON CAUSES of Knee Pain ü What successful treatment and permanent relief looks like without the side effects of medications, injections or surgery


ANKENY CLINIC 1810 SW White Birch Circle, Suite 107

Ankeny, IA 50023 P: 515-964-8885 F: 515-964-4557|

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HOW TO APPROACH A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION 1. Consider Your Intentions. The most common resolutions are to lose weight, spend less money, and get organized. Those are all valuable and healthy practices. But why are they your intentions? Do you want to feel better about your body? Know that you won’t need to worry about money for retirement? Honoring the personal meaning behind an action helps us maintain our resolve. 2 1 7 9 5 7 3 2 1 4 5 8 2 9 4 7 8

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2. Focus on Process, Not Results. Don’t focus on a result, with no identification of aprocess forhow toget there. Intensely focusingon resultsparadoxicallymakesus less likely to achieve them. Instead of focusing on “losing 10 pounds,” try focusing on going for walks or eating healthy salads for lunch — you will probably end up losing some weight in the process. And you’ll probably enjoy the journey a lot more. The focusofour resolutionshouldbe theprocess— the infinitepresentmoments in which transformation will occur — rather than the single instance of its attainment. 3.ConsiderResolutionAlternatives. If thepressureofNewYear’sResolutions is too much, consider a few alternative ways to set your intentions for the upcoming year: Make a Vision Board: A vision board compiles images that represent what you want for yourself in the upcoming year. It’s a great way to have a visual reminder of your intentions. Break goals down to right size actions: many New Year’s Resolutions can be intimidating.Agoodway tomake thegoalmoremanageable is tobreak it intosmall parts that are simpler. If the steps still seem to daunting, break them down further. Focuson the little thingsyoucando today. In theend it is thesumof thesmallchoices that get you to where you want to be. Pick the healthier option for lunch, take a walk this afternoon, do a little better today than you did yesterday.


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Ultimately, New Year’s Resolutions are about growth and improvement. They are aboutbringinghealthand joyandease intoour lives.Withmindfulnesswecanbring awareness to our habits and hold ourselves with compassion and kindness as we seek meaningful transformation. The professionals at Johnston & Elevate Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine will help you regain lost motion, strength, balance and coordination resulting from pain in your shoulders, back, neck, hips or knees. Start the year off with a safe and conservative treatment that gets results, we can help to strengthen and increase your mobility, while decreasing pain. Our goal is to empower you to actively manage your pain, increase your range of motion and get you moving again. We will get you back to living the life you deserve. 1 6 2 8 9 4 3 4 8 2 5 4 3 9 6 5 7

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INGREDIENTS • 4 cloves garlic peeled • 2 in cube ginger about 30 g, roughly chopped • 1 small sweet onion peeled, quartered • 1 Tbsp olive oil • 2 Tbsp butter • 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into four • 2 cans coconut milk not shaken • 2 Tbsp cornstarch • 1 can baby corn cobs • 1 cup peas/frozen vegetables

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Spice Blend • 1/2 tsp ground pepper • 1 tsp ground cumin


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• 1 tsp ground coriander • 1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric • 1 tsp salt • 2 tsp curry powder (optional)

DIRECTIONS Combine spices together and set aside. In a food processor, pulse garlic, ginger and onion until it forms a paste. In a skillet, heat olive oil and melt butter. Add pureed aromatics and stir well. Cook for a few minutes, then add spice blend. Cook for 2-3 minutes,stirringconstantly.Movearomatics toonesideof theskilletandaddchicken pieces. Cook chicken slightly on all sides and thoroughly coat it with the spices. Transfer the skillet ingredients into a slow cooker. Remove the cream from the top of the coconut milk using a soup spoon and set aside. Pour the remaining coconut milk over the chicken until it barely covers it. Drain the corn cobs and chop in half. Add to the slow-cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours. Whisk cornstarch with coconut cream (previously set aside) until smooth and add to the chicken, stirring well. Add frozen peas or other vegetables of your choice. Cook for another 1/2 hour or until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are hot.

Play on your mobile these puzzles and find their solutions by flashing n° 229777 n° 222047 n° 228310 |

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