STRESS. Health & Wellness The Newsletter About Achieving and Maintaining Optimal Well-being UNDERSTANDING AND YOUR BODY.

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1 Health & Wellness The Newsletter About Achieving and Maintaining Optimal Well-being UNDERSTANDING STRESS AND YOUR BODY Life s demands create stress and although some stress may be good, too much can cause health problems. Most people equate stress with high blood pressure, heart attack, or a stroke. Did you know that headaches, dizziness, and pain in the shoulder and neck can be stress-related too? Financial pressures, long work weeks, and medical problems contribute to anxieties and everyday stress. Chronic headaches, usually accompanied by extreme fatigue are almost always a sign of stress. People have literally lived on Tylenol and Ibuprofen for years because they constantly had a nagging headache, induced by the high amount of stress in their life. Some research suggests that people with tension headaches are especially prone to see everyday events as stressful. A greater concern is that those who have frequent headaches are at higher risk of depression and anxiety. Headaches can range from minor nagging pains, to full-blown migraines that knock you off your feet for a day or two. If you are under a lot of stress, any headache, whether tremendous pain or not, should be a warning sign to you. Prolonged stress can become chronic, resulting in muscle tension. This tension is sometimes felt as stiff achy pains in the neck or shoulders. The source of stress-related pain lies in the brain. When you feel under pressure it triggers the release of cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones that prepare the body for action by, for example, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. Less noticeably, these hormones also make muscles tense up, which can cause aches and irritate nerves. One may feel pain in the shoulders, neck, upper back, and even sometimes radiating out to the upper arms. Most people who are under a great deal of stress complain about having neck and shoulder pain. The most intense pain usually lies directly in the back and upper sides of the neck. The pain then radiates into the shoulder area. This is why most people who are stressed treat themselves to frequent neck and shoulder massages. While massages help to relieve some symptoms, physical therapy goes far beyond to evaluate and treat the root cause of your pain. Muscular tightness may have led to poor joint function and weakness in other areas. At Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, our noninvasive treatments can reduce pain with the added benefits of posture correction and preventive body mechanics. Our therapists have expert training in gentle therapeutic exercises to help reduce the physical changes from prolonged stress. Regularly shedding your daily tensions through movement, physical therapy and physical activity can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.

2 RELIEVING NECK PAIN & HEADACHES Whether from chronic tension, a whiplash injury, intervertebral disc disease or progressive arthritis, the neck can be a hidden and severely debilitating source of headaches. Such headaches are grouped under the term cervicogenic headache indicating that the primary source of the headache is the neck. There are well mapped out patterns of headaches relating to a multitude of points in the neck and shoulder-blade region. In addition, the discs between your vertebrae and each joint level in the upper neck can quite often contribute to headaches. Even headaches located mostly in the forehead, or behind the eyes are very often referred pains that come from problem areas at the back of the neck and base of the skull. The joints connecting the top two or three levels of the neck to the base of the skull handle almost 50% of the total motion of the entire neck and head region. This means they absorb a continuous amount of repetitive stress and strain. These joints bear the main load of the weight of the head, about that of a bowling ball. Fatigue, poor slouching posture, injuries, disc problems, joint degeneration, muscular stress and even prior neck surgeries all can compound the wear and tear on this critical region of your body. It is also possible that you may develop a narrowing of the spinal canal itself, through which the spinal cord runs and all of its exiting nerves, leading to a condition termed spinal stenosis. Remember, pain is invisible. Very few headaches show up on brain MRI scans. Detailed evaluation and treatment through physical therapy is needed for anyone suffering with chronic neck pain or recurring headaches. Even patients with true migraines or cluster headaches will eventually also end up with compounding cervicogenic headaches. Physical therapy at Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy is critical to treatment success for neck pain and headaches. It is important to know that we are here to help you get back to feeling like yourself again. If you are experiencing these symptoms call Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy today Difficulty turning your head from side to side Pain at the area where the neck and the upper back meet Poor posture Neck or shoulder pain that interferes with your sleep Stiff neck Pain when reaching for objects overhead Limited ability to exercise Unable to work due to pain Neck pain that radiates into your shoulders Who do you know that needs our help? CARE to SHARE If you know someone suffering with aches and pains, Care to Share and give them this newsletter or send them directly to Nebraska Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. They will thank you and so will we!

3 Patient Results What patients are saying... I continue to improve! Success Story Beth M. I thought that chronic suffering from headaches would be part of my life indefinitely. My Dr. recommended physical therapy to try to determine the cause of the headaches. An imbalance of the muscles in my shoulders, neck and back that was caused by how I was sitting at work was the culprit! Therapy sessions, a home exercise program, and changing the setup of my workstation have drastically reduced the reoccurrence of my headaches. I continue to improve every day. We can help: Decrease your pain Increase your strength Increase your activity level Increase your flexibility Improve your health Get back to living We gladly accept Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Midland s Choice, and most health insurances. Call Today!

4 NEWS OUR NEW WEBSITE We are excited to announce the launch of our new website! Please visit NEOrthoPT.com to check out the numerous updates, follow our blog, read current and past newsletters, and even schedule your next appointment online. Stay tuned for upcoming FREE community education sessions, hosted by NOPT this fall! Why choose Nebraska Orthopaedic PT? Expertly trained therapists Focused on achieving fast results We take the time to listen to you Friendly, courteous staff On time appointments Doctor recommended We spend time educating you on your problem and how to solve it Experts in neck, back, and orthopaedic care HAVE YOUR ACHES AND PAINS RETURNED? Come see us NOW before it becomes a REAL PROBLEM! Come in for a FREE Check-up FREE 15 Minute Check-Up Consult with your therapist Review your problem Update your home exercises Recommendations on relieving your pain and improving motion Call Today!

5 Exercise Essentials Try these exercises to help maintain your neck and shoulder muscles in good health. Share this with a friend or family member to help keep their neck healthy too! LEVATOR SCAPULAE STRETCH Grasp your arm on the affected side and tilt your head downward and to the side until a stretch is felt. CHIN TUCK - SUPINE While lying on your back, tuck your chin towards your chest and press the back of your head into the table. Maintain contact of head with the surface you are lying on the entire time. Exercises copyright of HEP2GO Free Home Rehab Exercise Program DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING While lying down on your back, place one hand on your breast bone and one hand on your abdomen near your navel. Slowly take a deep breath in and focus on trying to get your hand on your navel to rise while the hand on your breast bone remains still. SCAPULAR RETRACTION Hold your hands behind your back and slowly raise them off your back in a backward direction. SHARE Please share these exercises with friends and family members to help them stay healthy and free from pain. SAVE Save these in a place where you can easily use them as needed. Watch for more exercises in our next issue. Call or come in if you feel you are not moving like you used to. We will get you the results you deserve!

6 2123 E. 23rd Ave South Fremont, NE CALL TODAY! INSIDE: FREE Pain Relief Assessment Practice News Helpful Articles Patient Results Exercise Essentials * Please contact our office if you wish to be removed from this mailing What Stress Does to you body...

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