AppalachianPT: Is Back Pain Slowing Things Down?



WITH COLLEEN WHITEFORD THE METS AND FASCIAL MANIPULATION®-STECCO only to realize that I was walking through a very open men’s locker room into an equally openmen’s bathroom. Fortunately, as mentioned earlier, the Mets were on break. I was quickly redirected to an executive office that had a makeshift sign on the bathroomdoor designating it as the women’s restroom - mine for the rest of the weekend, no lines for a change, only me and one other female massage therapist using it. I just had to navigate through the locker room and hope that no one….. I just returned from an amazing trip to Florida. While escaping to Floridamid-winter sounds lovely, this was not exactly amargarita- ville kind of deal. As part of my training to become an instructor in the Fascial Manipulation- Stecco® (FM) method, I was invited/encouraged to attend a level one course held there, on rather short notice (sorry and thanks to all the rescheduled patients!). It was for the rehab

team that keeps the New York Mets baseball teamhealthy, whole, and functioning. We were at their spring training campus in Port Saint Lucie, FL, for the entire week while the Mets were on break. It’s the best time to train the rehab team while the players are on leave. The lead instructor was Antonio Stecco, and I was privileged to have the opportunity to teach with him while simultaneously being taught by him. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from this experience, but tried to come ready for anything. We arrived for our first morning and had to get directions and rerouting to the right part of the campus: it’s HUGE! We got to the right place and went through the weight and cardio training area with one of those amazing shock absorbing floors that you only read about. Our classroom was, well, let’s call it cozy, tight, but sufficient with a hint of sweat smell in the air. Mid-morning break I started following Antonio toward the restrooms,

It was a great experience and I learned a lot. Antonio is very meticulous, thorough, and precise. It was challenging but fantastic to clarify so many FM points to be spot-on: close don’t count. As the research and understanding of the fascia and this method continues to advance, so does our understanding of how these key points impact biomechanics. This was the 6th – yes, 6th time I have participated in this course and I am always amazed at how much I learn each time. The Mets Rehab Team members attending worked hard and did well do embrace the difficult material in the 6 days we had together. I salute anyone willing to tackle this challenging, fantastic approach and hope it helps all the elbow and shoulder issues they deal with! They presented Antonio and I with commemorative collector’s coins and a shirt that is way too big for me but I love it! Virginia welcomed me home with a lovely snowstorm that made driving home from Dulles tough. Such a contrast to the weather I left behind. It was great to go, great to get home, and now I’ll be cheering for the Mets and watching to see if I know anyone in the dugout!


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Back pain can hinder your day-to-day activities. Left untreated, it can even lead to long-term joint, spine and nerve damage. As one of the most common physical complaints, over 80 percent of the U.S. population will suffer from it at some point in their lifetime. The pain itself can hinder your ability to reach, lean, kneel, lift or bend. It can also hinder your time spent with friends and family. Direct pain aside, minor aches and cramps associated with a back pain problem can make you irritable—ruining your good time. What Causes Back Pain? A few things cause back pain. The American Physical Therapy Association covers each of these, but the following are leading causes: • Spinal and core muscle weaknesses • Bad posture • Spinal muscle and tissue damage • Improper lifting form • Limited hip, spine and thigh muscle flexibility • Bad abdominal, pelvic and back muscle coordination HOW TO OVERCOME BACK PAIN INSIDE: • 3 Natural Ways To Beat Spring Allergies • Exercise Essentials • Patient Success Spotlights • Tasty Recipe • Back Pain Prevention

Whether you have hurt your back or have been suffering for a long time, seeing a physical therapist at Appalachian Physical Therapy, Inc. can help you return to a more active and pain-free life. Give us a call at: • Broadway: 540-901-9501 • Harrisonburg: 540-209-8977 • Pinehurst: 910-215-0541

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t seek treatment when back pain arises. Before they know it, they have a big problem. They might assume nothing— except for medication—can solve their back pain problem. Medication might mask the pain, but it won’t cure the problem’s root cause. Back Pain Solutions You’re in luck: Back pain can be cured! The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke covers a number of back pain remedies. These include the use of strength exercise, physical therapy and medication. Where medication is considered, anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesic medications and counter-irritants are the most popular. Before you can treat your back pain, however, you need to know why it started. Whether you’ve tweaked a muscle or have a deeper injury, a spine specialist can help.

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A little prevention goes a long way. If you want to avoid future back pain, you can make sure you’re being good to your back. Lift Properly You pick things up constantly. Even if you’re lifting something light, make sure you’re facing the object. Squat, keeping your spine straight. Lift with your leg muscles, as this will reduce the pressure placed on your spine. Use Good Posture When you’re standing, imagine a string is attached to the top of your head—lifting you up. This will keep your hips, spine, shoulders and neck aligned. If you’re sitting, don’t slouch. Use Strength Training Your body has hundreds of muscles. These muscles protect and control your spine. By lifting weights, running and swimming, you can keep them strong. Train your core muscles. In doing so, you’ll easily control quick, lifting movements. It never hurts to visit a physical therapist, either. Get regular check-ups, and make sure your body is in good condition. If you have a history of back injuries, pain or minor aches, don’t hesitate to talk to a professional. You deserve a pain-free life, and your back will thank you.


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INGREDIENTS • 4 chicken breast cutlets • ½ tsp ground pepper • ¼ tsp kosher salt plus ⅛ teaspoon • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

• 8 oz shiitake mushrooms • ½ cup chopped yellow onion • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish • ½ cup Marsala • ½ cup unsalted chicken broth • ½ tbsp butter

• 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 8 oz cremini mushrooms

DIRECTIONS Season chicken with ¼ teaspoon each with pepper and salt. Place flour in a shallow dish a dredge the cutlets in it, pressing gently to fully coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half the cutlets and cook until lightly brown 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and the remaini cutlets. Cover to keep warm. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and creminis to the p cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add shiitakes the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to the bowl a season with the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt. Add onion, thyme and the remaining ¼ teaspo pepper to the pan; cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Ret the mushrooms to the pan. Stir in Marsala and broth, scraping up any browned bits. Sim over medium heat until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butt Serve the chicken topped with the sauce.

Patient Success Spotlights



APRIL 9TH • 7:00-8:30PM Dr. Colleen Whiteford, DPT and Annie Baker, PT will host a Women’s Health Seminar that will be held Tuesday, April 9th at our Harrisonburg clinic. Register today! Limited seats available. Don’t delay! Register by calling 540-209-8977 or via email at If you’re confused about what to do and looking for answers, here’s some of what you’ll learn: We’ll be reviewing many of the complex health issues women encounter and ways their issues may be resolved, especially through the use of fascial manipulation. HARRISONBURG CLINIC 2035 East Market Street, Suite 45 Harrisonburg, VA 22801 P: 540-209-8977 UPCOMING SEMINARS PINEHURST LOCATION: BALANCE & FALLS PREVENTION: April 24th, 4-5 pm Presented by Karen Backall, PT, Ray Metzger, PT & Dr. Teri Walsh, PT. WHY DO I HURT?: July 24th, 4-5 pm Presented by Ray Metzger, PT and Dr. Teri Walsh, PT. Register by calling our Pinehurst office at 910-215-0541 or email at

“Helpful in staying physically fit!” “Constant encouragement; ‘Yes, you can!’ Knowledgeable Physical Therapists! Set up a Home Program, which is very helpful in staying physically fit! I appreciate their knowledge of “fascial manipulation”, being the ONLY facility to offer this innovative technique in the area!” - Betty D., Pinehurst, NC “I can do most of my regular activities!” “Following rotator cuff surgery and physical therapy, I can do most of my regular activities thanks to the diligent program and efforts of Dr. Mills. His positive and supportive efforts have kept my spirits high and my determination to improve. I loved the quiet atmosphere and great staff. I highly recommend Appalachian!” - Mary C., Harrisonburg, VA “The staff at Appalachian are the best!” “Through the use of exercises that strengthen the targeted muscles, Needling, and Fascial Manipulation I am able to get back to normal routines. Needling and Fascial Manipulation were two new techniques that I had never experienced or heard of. I admire that the staff continually studies and stays updated with techniques that will better serve their patients. Oh, and most importantly the staff at Appalachian are the best!” - Debbie K., Broadway, VA

SENIOR ENRICHMENT CENTER (PINEHURST) ALL ABOUT SHOULDERS: March 23, 4-5 pm Presented by Ray Metzger, PT OH MY ACHING BACK: May 23, 4-5 pm Presented by Karen Backall, PT CAREGIVER TRAINING: July 25, 4-5 pm


Presented by Karen Backall, PT ARTHRITIS: Sept. 26, 4-5 pm Presented by Karen Backall, PT Register by calling the Senior Enrichment Center, on 15-501, Moore County at 910-215-0900.


1. Limit your time outdoors. Each spring, trees release billions of tiny pollen grains into the air. When you breathe them into your nose and lungs, they can trigger an allergic reaction. Staying inside can help, especially on windy days and during the early morning hours, when pollen counts are highest. 2. Get natural relief. Some herbal remedies may help stave off allergy symptoms. More research is needed, but an extract from a shrub called butterbur shows promise. Biminne, a Chinese herbal formula with ingredients like ginkgo biloba and Chinese skullcap, may also help. One study found that people who took biminne five times a day for 12 weeks still felt the benefits a year later. 3. Tweak your home. Simple changes make a difference. Shut all windows to keep out pollen. Use an air conditioner to cool your home instead of a fan, which draws in air from outside. Take off your shoes at the door and ask guests to do the same. That keeps allergens outside. Finally, don’t allow guests, or yourself, to smoke inside the home. It can make allergy symptoms worse. If you or someone you live with smokes, now is a good time to quit.

CHECKOUT OURWEBSITE! Visit our new site for upcoming workshops, health blogs, and more helpful information on improving your day-to-day life.

EXERCISE ESSENTIALS Try these exercises to keep you moving...

PRAYER STRETCH While kneeling with an exercise ball in front of you, slowly lean forward and roll the ball forward until a stretch is felt. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Exercises copyright of

Stretches Back

STRAIGHT LEG RAISE While lying or sitting, raise up your leg with a straight knee and your toes pointed upward. Hold for 10 seconds then repeat 6 times on both legs.

Loosens Back

Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.

Why You Need To Come In For Another Check-Up:

� Move without pain � Bend and move freely � Balance confidently & securely

� Sit for long periods comfortably � Walk for long distances � Live an active & healthy lifestyle


BROADWAY CLINIC 540-901-9501



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