N E W S L E T T E R
LIFE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A PAIN IN THE NECK
Head & Neck Pain 101 • Special Offers! Patient Success • Staff Spotlight • Exercise Essentials
N E W S L E T T E R
management — which often includes the use of pain medications that are potentially harmful to your health and not likely to work as well over time. Unlike pain medications that become less helpful the longer they are used, physical therapy provides long-term relief from pain by correcting the joint or muscle concern with targeted therapies like flexibility exercises, muscle strengthening techniques, and guided stretches that target core joints and muscles. Of course, not all neck or head pain is the same, so understanding the basics of what you are dealing with is the first step to achieving relief.
Head and neck pain is not the type of pain that you can push through and deal with for too long. For one thing, chronic pain in the head or neck is often associated with some sort of chronic health concern — one that you need to deal with, not ignore. Secondly, when you are dealing with constant pain in your head or neck, it becomes difficult to concentrate. This can have a negative effect on your personal relationships, your career and more. The most common cause of neck or head pain is a muscle or joint problem. Working with a physical therapist can help you to identify the cause of the trouble and begin taking steps to correct the issue, allowing you to find relief from the pain without having to commit to long-term pain
A R E Y O U L E T T I N G Y O U R PA I N H O L D Y O U B A C K ? C A L L T O S C H E D U L E Y O U R A P P O I N T M E N T T O D A Y !
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NECK PA I N 101 In many situations, pain that develops in the neck can be associated with one of two major problems. The first is upper-back pain that begins to radiate into the neck. The second is arthritis. Physical therapy can be used to address both types of neck pain. Cervical arthritis causes frequent aches in the neck and shoulders. This pain is generally worse when there are sudden changes in weather or at the end of the day, and while over-the-counter medication may make the pain less severe, it won’t eliminate the pain entirely. The biggest problemposed by cervical arthritis is that the pain will typically cause a loss of range of motion in the neck, which actually increases your risk of injury as a result of a suddenmovement and causes regular discomfort and frustration as you are not able to utilize your neck in the way you normally could. There are plenty of situations in which pain in the neck as a result of cervical arthritis grows so severe that it can cause chronic poor posture and even a reduction in height. ADDRESS I NG THE CORE PROBL EM The majority of neck and head pain can be helped with one simple strategy: strength building. It frequently happens that the absolute cause of the start of a pain in the neck or head is a result of poor posture or quickened motion, and building core strength, as well as strength in the neck, canmake a huge difference in your ability to handle tasks without experiencing chronic pain.
HEAD PA I N 101 There are a lot of different types of headaches that you may experience, and each can be caused by its own different reason. For example, migraines can be caused by environmental factors, food allergies or even as a result of stress. There are headaches that can develop due to sinus pain and headaches that will develop when you are dehydrated. There are also headaches that will develop when you are exposed too long to loud noises. There is no singular fix for each of these different types of headaches, which is why attempting to treat every headache you experience with the same medication frequently doesn’t work. One of the most common causes of headaches that are easily treatable with physical therapy is radiating headaches, which are caused by stress in the joints and muscles of the neck. This causes pain to radiate from the top of the neck into the head, especially surrounding the ears. There are a lot of reasons why radiating headaches could develop, including as a result of lack of movement and stiffness in the neck. This buildup of irritation can be treated with regular physical therapy, especially through the use of massage and flexibility exercises that target the muscles in the neck.
Keep in mind that the neck and head are sensitive areas, so attempting to treat the pain at home can be dangerous and may not be effective. Working with a physical therapist is the safe way to ensure that you are practicing positive techniques to find relief from your aches and pains. S P E C I A L O F F E R S P E C I A L O F F E R
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“ THE KNOT I N MY NE CK WAS G ON E A F T E R J UST ONE APPO I NTMENT ! ” “I just saw Mike for neck tension at my first appointment. I am so very grateful. He worked on my neck manually and was able to loosen up things that I don’t think I’ve ever had loosened in years. I have had multiple car accidents, been rear-ended, had lots of sports injuries, and my neck has had a lot of damage. I feel like he just really did deep, important work on my neck that will change it for the better, and I’m so very grateful. There was this massivemuscle tension nerve cluster knot on the right side of my neck that’s been getting bigger and bigger over the last several years, and I swear it’s like half gone after one appointment with Mike! I’m so grateful!” - Daniella L.
• Blood Flow Restriction • Vasopneumatic Compression • Post-Operative Care • Cupping • Deep Muscle Stimulation • Graston Technique For more information about our services and specialties, feel free to call and talk with your personal and physical therapist or trainer today!
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S T A F F S P O T L I G H T
M E E T T H E T E A M A T V E R T !
Michael Thach, MPT, OCS is a Physical Therapist and a board-certified Orthopedic Specialist. From the beginning of his studies in Physical Therapy, he has focused on orthopedics and sports rehabilitation. He has gained extensive experience working with a wide variety of orthopedic and post-surgical conditions. He has a passion for helping people recover from injury and returning to what they want and need to do. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, cycling, skiing, and snowboarding. Patrick Edgecomb , DPT, OCS, is the newest addition to our team. Patrick received his Doctors of Physical Therapy fromQuinnipiac University, He has since accrued over 8 years of professional experience in physical therapy, treating patients with conditions ranging from sports injuries to athletic training and fitness to rehabilitation. Patrick became Vert’s Physical Therapist and Orthopedic Certified Specialist since May, working diligently to help patients achieve their health and fitness goals while helping injured patients safely and quickly return to full function.
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Feel free to call us and ask to speak to your therapist.
Your therapist can discuss with you why your pain is bothering you again and what you might do about it at home.
If further assessment is warranted, your therapist might recommend you come in for an appointment.
H E A L T H I N S U R A N C E U P D A T E !
E X E R C I S E E S S E N T I A L S
R E L I E V E U P P E R N E C K PA I N
BILATERAL SUBOCCIPITAL STRETCH While lying on a flat surface, put both hands behind your head, cupping the base of your skull with your thumbs. Tuck your chin downwards and apply a firm force up your skull with both thumbs to feel a moderate stretch in the back of the upper neck. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
Good News for patients! VERT Fitness & Physical Therapy now accepts Aetna and Cigna insurance in addition to Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medicare.
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