Help For Headaches And Neck Pain

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Help For Headaches and Neck Pain

We have been working our way through the impact technology has on our health in this current series. We finished up TMJ and the last two weeks we went over how the postures of technology can cause headaches and neck pain. Specifically last week we looked at how to do a self evaluation for problems in the head and neck, and what to look for in terms of symptoms that you can work on your own vs. those you need to seek immediate medical attention for. You can catch up on any of this information you missed at our web-site.

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Shameless Plug For Chiropractic!

Just about everyone that gets this email or reads the blog on our web-site knows we are a chiropractic practice! But if you didn't, there you go, full disclosure. We are going to be going over some great ways to help address your own headache and neck pain, but I would be amiss if I didn't give you the full picture. Chiropractic works on the premise that if bones of the spine (and other areas) are stuck, it will impact the local neurology as well as the muscles and ligaments. Our job in office is to release the stuck joints through an adjustment (pressure by hand or an instrument) and then encourage lengthening of the muscles as well as stabilizing abnormal posture. Lengthening and strengthening of the muscles can be done by the patient, adjustments should be done by the doctor. The exercises and stretches we will go over in this article are the same ones we give to our patients in office to augment their adjustments. If you have not been in for awhile and decide to start these, great! However, if they don't seem to be helping, schedule in for a check-up. You may need to get adjusted before they can give you the maximum benefit. If they just flat out hurt , discontinue until you get in, or at least give us a call so we can talk about it.

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Golden Handcuffs

One of the terms you will hear me use in the office is "golden handcuffs". I didn't come up with it, I actually heard it from my chiropractor Dr. Jim Mattern. Golden handcuffs usually refers to a collection of financial incentives that are intended to encourage employees to remain with a company for a stipulated period of time. How Dr. Jim uses it is to describe the physical toll that our jobs take in exchange for our paycheck, specifically the postures and ranges of motion we get into and sometimes never get into. For instance: if you work at a computer all day your body is locked in flexion (a bent forward, hunched over posture) and rarely sees extension (arching backwards). This can really play havoc on your lower back and neck. If you work as a painter you may have your torso moving more, but you likely way overuse one arm or the other causing some muscles to get irritated and inflamed. Every job has a pair of golden handcuffs! The answer isn't usually to quit your job, but to do the following: Reduce any associated muscle Trigger Points (areas of muscle that stay tight when the fibers around them are relaxed, making the area sore) Increasing the length of the tight muscles Re-activate normal posture These are actually easier to demonstrate than to write about. The next three videos are easy to follow and can be done several times in a day. In fact, I would encourage you to work on them throughout the day, rather than all at once. That is a sure fire way to break up the golden handcuffs! Watch these three short clips, and I will be back at the end with a few closing comments!

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(Neck and Shoulder Trigger Point Video)

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(Neck and Jaw Stretches)

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(Common Posture Correction Exercise, This Video Has No Sound)

  • Stand with backside against a wall, feet out in front of you 8-12 inches.
  • slowly roll your spine up until the back of your head is touching the wall.
  • Slightly tuck your chin without raising your head off the wall.
  • Contract your glutes and spinal muscles until everything is off the wall except your head, making sure to not let your hips get out in front of your shoulders.
  • Hold this position for 45-60 seconds.
  • Walk your feet back to the wall and allow your backside and ribcage to once again touch the wall. (If you are having trouble getting your head to touch the wall, contact me at the office and we can go over an alternative)

In Closing..........

Headaches and neck pain are very common issues in society today. Almost all of it has to pass through the muscles and joints of the shoulders, neck and jaw. It makes sense to correct for any muscles and joints that are short and tight in order to get a handle on pain in these areas. The easiest things to get at on your own are trigger points, short muscles and altered posture; especially forward head posture. The simple but effective approach in the videos above are intentionally short and sweet so they can be done multiple times during the day, especially the work week. If they are not helping, you may have some underlying issues that need a more direct approach, contact us if that is the case. If you have questions, or just need a tennis ball and sock, feel free to give us a call !

Next week we are going to go over another historical technology illness similar to Bicycle Face.....Elevator Sickness! Should be fun. Hope to see you there!

Yours in health,

Dr. Doug Williams Signature

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Dr. Doug Williams

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