Head and Neck

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Category Archives: Head and Neck

Does Pilates Improve Posture?

You’d be hard pressed to find a fitness guru more obsessed with posture than your average Pilates instructor (perhaps a classical ballet instructor? We digress). Both forms of exercise focus on moving efficiently, and that requires core strength. If you’re relying on your superficial muscles to support you, you probably suffer from at least a little pain. Headaches, pinched nerves, and hip pain can all happen as the result of slouching, and Pilates will address the problem from a few different angles.

Why is Good Posture Important?

If your spine is poorly aligned as you work and play, some muscles must compensate while others become knotted and contracted. Your range of motion will be limited and some of your organs will be compressed. Inflammation can result from nerve compression, too.

Pilates teaches balance, which requires you to rely on core strength while teaching you to balance your weight onto the middle of your foot. You’ll learn a neutral spine position, which keeps your curvature relaxed and natural. If you overcompensate by opening your chest too widely and pushing your shoulders too far back, you will lose your balance, so the process teaches you good habits intuitively.

Pilates for Back Pain

Core strength is an obvious support for back pain, but flexibility has a role, too. By stretching out the muscles around the spine, it releases contractions while reinforcing a healthy curvature. Pilates is so effective at its job that trials have demonstrated improved endurance, flexibility, and posture within only 12 weeks. You needn’t turn your exercise into an obsession to enjoy results. Even mild Pilates routines, when performed twice weekly, have an impact.

Pilates specifically targets the hunched kyphotic lordotic posture, which brings hip spasms, neck tension, and weak abs. Your back pain deserves a proactive solution, and Pain Stop Clinics can help you design a treatment plan.

Service Dogs for Chronic Migraines

Dogs are truly amazing creatures. They can be trained to work with anyone and to identify all sorts of health-related problems. Due to their strong sense of smell, they can identify odors we humans can’t. As any dog owner knows, they are also extremely keen on our behavior and are able to pick up on subtle changes. If you or someone you love deals with chronic migraines, you may want to consider a migraine alert dog.

Early Warning Signs

There is nothing worse than a full on migraine. From time to time there are symptoms you can identify ahead of time. These early warning signs help you prevent the migraine from fully developing. Now, every individual has unique symptoms and you likely will be able to identify some of these triggers and patterns over time. You’ll also learn how to cope with some of these triggers. Yet sometimes, migraines still seem to come out of no where.

Migraine Alert Dogs

A migraine alert dog perceives changes in both physical and psychological behaviors that precede a migraine. Dogs are able to identify the prodrome phase, which often begins a migraine attack. The dog is then able to warn you so you can take yourself out of the situation or seek preventative treatment. The prodrome phase can start up to 48 hours before a migraine attack.

If you have a dog who seems to be trying to get your attention before you suffer a migraine, you might have a natural migraine alert system. In this case, consider training and certifying your dog as a service animal. Any breed or size of dog can become a service dog if they are intelligent and attentive, and if they undergo the appropriate training. Consider meeting dogs at your local shelter to find a good partner in pain management.

Neck Pain or Pulled Muscle

There is nothing as annoying as a stiff neck. That painful crick that makes itself known every time you try to turn your neck one way or the other. Sometimes it comes from sleeping in an uncomfortable way, or it can be for another unknown reason. All you know is that the pain is real, and you want it gone, ASAP.

Understanding Symptoms

Being able to describe and understand neck pain symptoms will go a long way towards helping to diagnose exactly what you have. Signs and symptoms of neck pain include:

•Pain that’s made worse by holding your head in one position for any length of time. We do this when working on a computer, playing endless video games, or even while driving.
•Pain that includes a tightness in the neck muscles and occasional spasms.
•Pain that is accompanied by a headache.
•Pain which prevents you from moving your neck very much, if at all.

Identifying Neck Pain Causes

Neck pain is rarely due to a severe medical condition. Unless you’ve been in a serious auto accident, neck pain will either clear up on its own, or respond nicely to pain management treatment.

There are any number of reasons for your neck pain. Probably the most well-known is muscle strain. Improper posture, poor sleeping pillows, constant computer use, hunching over your smartphone all day and night, will only increase your chances of waking up with a stiff neck.

Another reason for neck pain is worn joints. As you age, joints begin to wear down. Chronic neck pain is often the result of osteoarthritis that is beginning to take over and cause joint damage. This results in the cartilage in-between your bones to deteriorate. Bone spurs form which can be very painful.

A third reason for neck pain is from auto accidents. Whiplash is when your head is jerked backwards, then forwards suddenly, causing the soft tissue in your neck to be damaged.

Herniated discs in your neck can put pressure on the nerves, causing neck pain whenever you move your head side to side.

Wherever the neck pain is coming from, all you want is pain relief. Don’t wait for your neck pain to increase or cause shoulder and back pain. There are targeted treatments that will make your neck pain a thing of the past.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Pain can be experienced anywhere in your body. Common complaints range from knee pain, to lower back pain, migraines and pulled muscles, to carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis. One of the top complaints people have is that they are experiencing neck pain.

Luckily, pain management options in Phoenix are available to help you deal with any pain you may have in your neck.

Some of the more common causes of neck pain include:

  • Muscle Strains. Sleeping with your neck in a certain position will cause great pain upon arising. Turning your head rapidly, or using repetitive motions will also put a strain on neck muscles. Whiplash is a form of muscle strain, where the fast backward and forward movement of your head causes ligaments to strain. Whiplash is commonly caused when you are in an auto accident.
  • Compressed and Herniated Discs. Any time a nerve becomes compressed in your back or neck, it can lead to neck pain and soreness. Without proper treatment, the pain can get worse. The discs on your spinal column serve as cushions between the vertebrae. Think of a jelly donut with its soft center. When the center of the ‘donut’ ruptures, this is known as disc herniation. If the rupture is large enough, it will press on adjoining spinal nerves.
  • Getting Older. As we age, it’s not uncommon to begin seeing signs of arthritis or osteoarthritis. When an older person tells you it’s terribly painful upon arising in the morning because of neck pain, it’s due to arthritis. Joints suffer wear and tear down through the years, and this may lead to chronic neck pain.
  • Injuries. There are many ways to injure your neck. Sports injuries are very common, as are auto accidents, which can lead you to experience a neck problem for quite some time. Even exercising improperly can lead to neck pain. If you are someone who loves bull-or-bronco riding, neck pain is a real possibility when participating in these events.
  • Being Repetitive. Love hunching over your smartphone all day? How about scrunching up on the couch to play video games? As the intensity increases, so do the muscles in your neck, until you can develop real, and very painful neck pain. Even many hours of driving can cause neck discomfort.

Don’t let neck pain spoil your fun. There are treatments and pain management in Phoenix at Pain Stop Clinics that will have you fixed up in a jiffy!

Critical signs you need a doctor after an auto accident

You’ve been in a car crash. You may even refuse medical treatment on the scene because you were not aware that there might be something wrong. This judgment may have been a result of the adrenaline pumping through your system.

There are some immediate symptoms to look for following an accident. If you notice any of these symptoms within 24 hours, you will want to seek medical attention. Make sure that you mention to the pain management doctors in Mesa that you have been in an auto accident.

•Pain or discomfort that you didn’t have before
The body has a funny way of numbing things initially. You may not feel pain anywhere for the first few hours. Soft tissue can be easily injured in a car crash, and you want to speak with your doctor to determine whether or not further treatment, such as massage or physiotherapy, is required.

•Stiffness
Commonly, people complain about stiffness after an auto accident. Driving at a rate of speed, and then stopping suddenly, can cause some problems. If you have itchiness, or a burning sensation in your neck or upper arms, this is an indication of whiplash. With no medical treatment, a simple stiffness could lead to severe back pain. Always see your doctor for stiffness.

•Behavioral changes
If you experience trouble sleeping, thinking, or concentrating, chances are you may have a concussion. This means your brain has been affected and certain activities can make matters worse. Always contact your doctor immediately if you or a loved suspects a concussion.

•Flexibility and range of motion
Not able to move your leg correctly or your arm is painful to raise fully? These are another indication that soft tissue has been damaged and needs medical attention. Pain management doctors in Mesa will set you up with a treatment plan that can restore your mobility.

•Weakness or numbness
This could be from a herniated disk, and can lead to severe back pain. Cases of weakness or numbness should never be ignored, as they usually are an indicator that something else is very wrong.

•Dizziness
Often after an auto accident, you may feel lightheaded or nauseous, or experience headaches or blurred vision. If you experience any of these symptoms, this is enough reason to seek treatment for auto injury care.

If you experience any of the above symptoms or if you just don’t feel well following an automobile accident, play it safe and seek medical treatment. Contact Pain Stop Clinics today to meet with one of our experienced auto injury care professionals.

A Desk Jockey’s Guide to Exercise

Okay, admit it. You love sitting at your desk all day, taking care of business. Then to get home, you sit again, either in your car, bus, or train. It’s what you do! It’s also what can cause many back, neck and knee problems.

What Causes Knee Pain?

Unless you are suffering from an injury, knee pain is often the result of tight hamstrings or other muscles attached to and providing support for your knee. Make sure you do plenty of leg stretches and strengthening exercises to keep knee pain away!

What Exercises Can I Do To Alleviate Desk-Related Aches and Pains?

Fortunately, there are exercises you can do right at your desk or in your office. Your body wasn’t designed to sit still for long, and you’ve got to get up and go. Here’s how:

•Book Press. Use the heaviest book you can find in your office and hold it with both hands behind your head. Extend your arms up, then drop them down again. Repeat this as many times as you want. This exercise will help with any chronic neck pain.

•Shoulder Blade Squeeze. This movement is great for getting the kinks out of your back. Pretend you have a pencil between your shoulder blades. Squeeze them together for 10 seconds, then release and repeat. The shoulder blade squeeze is great for getting the blood flowing again.

•Wall Sits. Standing against a blank wall space, squat down to a 90-degree angle, and hold for as long as you can. Slide up with your back against the wall and repeat.

•Raising Your Calf Muscles. Standing behind your office chair, feet together, rise up to raise your calves. Hold for 10 seconds, then lower and repeat. This exercise is great for your lower legs.

•Tighten Your Abs. While sitting, straighten one leg and hold it out for 10 seconds or longer. Lower it almost to the floor, then hold again. Repeat for your other leg.

•Phone Walking. If you use the phone frequently throughout the day, invest in a headset so you can walk while you talk. This is great for your entire body because it gets you moving. By keeping stationary all day long, you’re only adding to what causes knee pain while you’re working.

•Desk Pushups. Place both hands on your desk and walk your feet back to a 45-degree angle. Do as many pushups as are comfortable. You might want to increase your pushup amounts as you go.

If you are a ‘desk jockey’ all day long, there are ways to get your body moving even in a small office space. Your pain management doctors in North Phoenix will have even more recommendations for you. Contact one of our 6 Phoenix area clinics and get on the road to comfortable and efficient pain management care.

Understand Neck Pain Causes, Treatments And Prevention

Besides back pain, neck pain is quite common in American adults. Neck pain is something that can happen to anyone at anytime. There are two main classifications of neck pain: acute pain and chronic pain.

Acute neck pain: These are caused by muscle sprains or injuries to soft muscle tissue due to whiplash, for instance. Sleeping in the wrong position, or making a harmful movement can also strain your neck. Most people experience ‘stiff necks’ at one time or another in their lives. Pain usually subsides in 24-28 hours.

Chronic neck pain: This is pain which goes on for some time. Causes can be a herniated disc or pinched nerve in addition to other activities.

For most of us with neck pain, relief is found through medication, exercise, and chiropractic care. Surgery is usually not needed. It is an option, and can be undertaken due to cervical arthritis, degenerative, or herniated disc problems.

How to prevent neck pain

The #1 tip for preventing neck pain is proper posture. Too often we don’t pay attention to how we are standing or sitting, until that dull ache at the back of our heads starts its march. Especially these days when you see so many people slouching over their computers or looking down all day into their smartphone, you know the neck pain will be sure to follow.

• Don’t slouch. Make a mental note to keep your head high and in line with the rest of your body.
• Keep both your feet flat on the floor.
• Adjust computers for eye level contact.
• Shoulders should be in a down position and relaxed.
• If you talk on the phone frequently, use a headset and never cradle the phone in your neck.
• When sleeping, use a pillow which supports your neck.
• Sit straight in a chair which supports your lower back.
• Engage in neck exercises, massage, and relaxation techniques daily.

Treatment options for neck pain

Neck pain can be very uncomfortable even if you’re suffering with something more than pain after a car accident. This is why it is important to get a proper diagnosis about just what is causing your neck pain. Treatment plan options from pain management clinics in Mesa AZ will be available for you to choose from.

Easing your neck pain will depend on what is causing your neck pain. Whether it’s muscle sprains, injuries, or herniated discs pain management in Mesa, AZ will best be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with a customized treatment plan to fit your specific pain needs. Contact Pain Stop Clinics today!

For Neck Pain, Chiropractic and Exercise Are Better Than Pain Medication

Ever wake up with a pain in your neck? It’s one of the worst ways to start your day. Especially if your day is filled to the brim with work, meetings, schedules, and more, that can’t wait. How can you get rid of neck pain, and in a hurry?

Neck pain is caused by many different things. From ineffective pillows when sleeping to hunching over your computer or smartphone all day and night, you can put an awful strain on the muscles in your neck until your neck can’t take it anymore.

Chronic neck pain can often develop due to many different causes. Today’s workplace often has us doing repetitive motion tasks, like staring into a computer all day. Muscle strains come through exercise or sleeping incorrectly, or poor posture. Age brings pains in places we’ve never had before. Spinal discs which are compressed or herniated discs cause pains in the neck, and any type of injury can also lead to stress on the neck.

Pain is always a personal thing. The type of pain you experience is not the same as anyone else’s pain challenges. Neck pain, like other pains, can only be properly diagnosed using x-rays, CT scans or MRIs. These tests will pinpoint for you the exact source of your neck pain.

There are a variety of options available to you for relief of neck pain. Depending on what is causing the neck pain, you can find relief through a variety of treatments, including trigger point injections, medications, low-dose steroid injections, nerve blocks, radiofrequency neuroablations, chiropractic therapy, and physiotherapy & therapeutic exercises.

For the best relief of chronic neck pain, look to chiropractic and exercise solutions. Most of us suffer from poor posture. Correcting our posture will bring the entire body, including our head and neck, into proper alignment. When everything is in alignment, neck pain often dissipates or disappears.

For neck injuries which cause pain, other treatments may be needed. Medication solutions are another alternative. The objective is always to diagnose and treat neck pain. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer for neck pain.

There are many ways to neck pain relief by seeking out pain management in Phoenix. They will present you with the best option for your neck pain and treatment and relief will be on the way. Who wants a pain in the neck anyway?

Experiencing Neck and Back Pain? Cold-Weather Activities To Avoid

Soon summer will be just a memory. Before you know it, you will looking to have some fun outdoors in the cold of winter. There are many ways to have fun, but keep in mind when the weather grows chilly, and warm breezes are replaced with icy winds, and freezing temperatures make for slippery surfaces, it becomes the perfect breeding ground for all manner of neck and back pains.

Which cold weather activities should you avoid?

Recognize that your body reacts differently to weather. In summer when you can venture outdoors without so much as a sweater for protection, is a long way from bundling up in layers to take on the cold of winter. Whenever it gets cold, your body has the natural tendency to tense up to protect your organs. This causes shivering as a way for your body to create heat. This, in turn, puts stress on muscles which can fatigue faster and make them achier.

Walking on ice should be avoided. It’s not only very difficult, it can be downright dangerous. People clutter up ERs all winter long due to fractures, sprains and strains from walking on slippery surfaces. If you fall, you’ll have a heck of a time trying to get up. Falls are never good, especially the older you get.

Snow shoveling. This is a real back-breaker. You may think a little snow shoveling is good exercise. It can be, but it can also lead to some serious lower back injuries if your body is not conditioned to this type of exercise. The wetter the snow, the harder it is to shovel. Besides snow shoveling being a real pain in the back or neck, if you have heart problems, you will want to avoid this winter activity.

Skiing or skating. These may be fun, but they come laden with risk. No matter how much of an expert you may consider yourself to be, skiing and skating often produce broken bones and sprains, not to mention wrenched backs and achy necks. If you want to ski or skate, go slow and respect your personal limits. Pushing yourself, and subjecting yourself to snow sport injuries can lead to chronic back pain.

Always assess the winter activities you are thinking about. Pain Stop Clinics are here to help. Close by to you, they can pinpoint what’s wrong and get you the pain relief you need right now.

The good news is there are so many ways to relieve your pain. Treatments and remedies that only your offices in pain management in Phoenix will be familiar with.

Auto Injury Solutions

Car accidents are funny things. Not in the comical sense, of course, but in the fact that you may feel perfectly fine stepping out of your vehicle shortly after an impact, only to be way-laid a few days later with searing pain in your back, neck or legs.

It seems as if your body has tried to protect you at first, much like an athlete’s injuries don’t seem all that serious until x-rays show otherwise. Being involved in a car accident will release adrenaline and endorphins into your system, which help to mask any initial pain and allow you to deal with the difficult situation.

There are steps to take immediately following a car accident. Car accident injuries may not be apparent at the scene; they may not make themselves known or visible for a few days to come. This is why it is imperative to protect yourself following a car accident.

Car accidents, even those where you’re driving at low speed, generate lots of force. One second you’re moving, the next second you’re stopped abruptly. This sudden change in inertia is not good for your body. Besides suffering whiplash, which is the most common injury from a car accident, there are a range of other problems which can show up, even days later, following an accident.

Pain after a car accident will inevitably get to you. The first thing to do is to seek medical attention. Get checked out by a team of professionals like those at Pain Stop, a pain management clinic in Phoenix, who will know where and what to look for. Bruises, hair-line fractures, concussions and other internal injuries are not readily visible.

Keep in mind that you have 72 hours following a car accident to see a doctor. After that, if symptoms present, you’re on your own with your insurance company. It will become increasingly difficult to prove your injuries were the result of an auto accident.

Never sign anything that releases you from putting in claims of your own. Always allow for a full medical evaluation first. Auto injury care is not something you may be familiar with, so go slowly before talking to any insurance adjuster about what to do next.

If you are looking for pain management in Phoenix, it’s good to know there are solutions available to you right now. You want to know that following an auto accident there are treatments to stop the pain right then, and in the days to come. Only well-trained, seasoned medical professionals will best be able to evaluate your personal situation.

Pain Stop Clinics offer 7 convenient office locations for you to choose from and is a leading provider of most current pain technology and treatment protocols in auto injury care.

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