Does your neck pain prevent you from…

Traveling, give you headaches, interrupt your daily activities, or interfere with sleeping through the night? Your pain can be brought on by a few different sources but can often be alleviated by addressing one key factor. That key factor is posture, and it can alter the length of muscles and create changes in spinal curvature, affecting the biomechanics of the cervical spine. The classic case of postural deficits creates what is referred to as “upper cross syndrome.” The diagram used to depict this syndrome is an X drawn over the head, neck, and shoulders of an individual as you examine them from the side. Each axis indicates the muscles that are weak or lengthened and those that are tight or shortened. Commonly the muscles lengthened are the deep neck flexors underneath the chin and the scapular (shoulder blade) adductors or rhomboids and middle trapezius. In contrast, those that become tight are the pectorals (chest muscles) and the suboccipital group (small muscles at the base of your skull). These changes create that classic forward head and rounded shoulder appearance we see all too often. If you stretch the muscles that are tight and strengthening, those that are weak, you can alleviate your symptoms. However, repetitive activities or sustained postures likely create these postural abnormalities in the first place. Among the top of the list of activities to avoid is sitting at a desk for a long duration. Self-treatment strategies would include a doorway stretch targeting the pectorals and performing resisted rowing exercises targeting the scapula adductor group. In addition to focusing on those major muscle groups, chin tucks or head lifts would be ideal for helping address the deep intrinsic neck flexor tightnesses. We understand that this can be confusing, especially when you don’t know the anatomy-much less the physics involved.

Let our Doctors of Physical therapy help diagnose the source of your neck pain and develop an individualized treatment plan to get you back to living a pain-free life. Call today to get started! 850-248-1600 – Dr. John Gray PT, DPT

New Year, Same Pain?

The new year brings a lot of new beginnings. The beginning of a new decade, the beginning of weight loss challenges among friends and family, and a chance to become a better “you.” However, if chronic pain is hindering you from living a healthy lifestyle, if the nagging back and knee pain is keeping you from exercising and losing the weight you desire, there is hope!

At First Choice Physical Therapy, we specialize in restoring pain-free joint mobility, increasing strength and stability as well as returning you to the high quality of life you want and deserve. If you are suffering from pain, struggling with not being able to exercise and move the way you desire, then give us a call and make an appointment to see one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy and start your journey to recovery today!

Brannon Chester, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
First Choice Physical Therapy

Attention all overhead athletes!

Whether you are a pitcher, play volleyball, tennis, swim, or play quarterback, your shoulder pain may be more than just soreness. Many of you play on multiple teams/clubs or travel out of town for baseball and softball tournaments every weekend. Most of you are talented and perform at a high level, but when do you train your body? More importantly, how do you train your bodies for your specific sport? Pitchers want to throw hard, with all of their power moving from the mound to the plate. Which muscles have to control that motion and stop the arm and body from moving forward? Or as a volleyball player slamming aces down. Do you train your scapular muscle groups that allow you to load up, stabilize the shoulder, and deliver an unreturnable serve?

The research looked at the risk factors, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder injuries in the overhead athlete and have identified several characteristics that cause these injuries. Scapular malpositioning (Poor Shoulder blade position), deficits in shoulder internal rotation, and weakness of the rotator cuff musculature are a few characteristics researchers have found. If any of the aforementioned are present, the increased likelihood of future injury in overhead athletes increased.

Statistics show that damage can be prevented if the impairments are addressed. With the proper training of these critical muscle groups that perform these functional motions specific to the sport, a lot of trouble can be avoided. Whether you are having pain now or want to prevent future surgery, see our Doctors of Physical Therapy, and let us work together to develop a personalized treatment plan for you. We will find the source of your problem and help you safely return to your respective sports pain-free and better than before.

Give First Choice Physical Therapy a call today! 1-850-248-1600! We are here for you –Dr. John Gray PT, DPT