Neck Pain, Anatomy, and Treatment

Neck pain is a common cause of discomfort in everyone, from athletes to elderly individuals to desk workers. Neck pain can be very debilitating to our everyday lives and result in limited ability to drive, sleep, use our arms, lift objects, and many other daily tasks. Neck pain can also prompt headaches and jaw pain. By understanding the structure and intricacies of our necks, you can develop a better understanding of how to minimize and treat neck pain.

Read More

Types of Pain

Pain is a complicated and complex feeling. Pain can be acute or chronic, intense or dull, life threatening or a nuance, physical or emotional, expected or unpredictable, and even self-induced or external. I feel different pain when I run hard during races and workouts, when someone says something that hurts me, and when I burn myself cooking pizza (that was last week!). Other people may feel chest pain when they are having a heart attack, head pain due to a migraine, phantom limb pain after an amputation, abdominal pain from a stomach bug, or low back pain that has been persistent or reoccurring for years. Sometimes pain is easy to figure out and solve; however, often pain is difficult to understand and treat.

Today I am going to discuss types of pain that are caused by physical factors. As a physical therapist, most of the pain I treat is due to musculoskeletal (muscle/ligament/tendon/bone) or neurological (nerve) issues. Below I have outlined how to interpret various pain sensations, the timing of pain, and a few general treatment options for these types of pain.

Read More

Hypermobility & The Beighton Scale

Do you ever worry about your flexibility? Are your joints too stiff or too mobile? Certain sports such as ballet and gymnastics encourage flexibility, whereas other sports such as cycling tend to produce joint tightness. As a former gymnast, I am very familiar with hypermobility – doing full splits and achieving incredible positions with my limbs was easy. While a certain amount of flexibility is desired, too much can be hazardous to our bodies and can also indicate joint or connect tissue disorders.

Read More

Wall Slides for Posture

Posture is extremely important and I have written about it several times before on the blog (Importance of Posture and Posture Exercises). Correct posture allows us to breathe more efficiently, decreases joint pain, improves circulation, and facilitates a healthy spine. Today we will focus on a postural exercise specifically for the upper body: wall slides.

Start by standing with your back against a wall. Try to get the back of your head to touch the wall without moving the rest of your body forward and without looking up at the ceiling. Your feet can be a foot or two away from the wall to help get your spine aligned. 

Read More

Love Your Heart

Today’s topic is about caring for your heart and Cardiac Rehab, a supervised exercise and educational program to help patients strengthen their hearts and lead healthier lives. While most athletes are not concerned about their heart health, there are many athletes that have heart problems. Exercising does not outdo a bad diet or other poor lifestyle choices. Even marathon runners are seen in Cardiac Rehab.

Read More