Chronic Neck Pain : Postural Causes and A Unique Fix
Help me fill this page! Have you been treated by a physical therapist or other practitioner, who was able to help you overcome chronic neck, back, shoulder or hip pain? Tell us about his or her approach. Include whether you were shown or told what the specific problem was, and how that problem was addressed with exercise or other modality to achieve the solution? Was posture alignment considered in the evaluation and treatment? Was there something in particular about this individual's or facility's approach to your treatment that made it successful? Submit to email@example.com. If you've had negative experiences with these practitioners please notify me of the details.
Ask questions, insist on receiving a bit of the therapist's expertise – the bit
that pertains to your specific situation – you are paying for it.
Practitioners and Programs recommended by Readers:
Bodyzone.com has a Posture Professional Locator. This may be a good beginning in the search for health care professionals who consider posture correction to be essential in the treatment of chronic musculo-skeletal pain.
No matter who you decide to see for treatment, insist on a posture evaluation at the onset. After evaluation of posture and the specific complaint, make sure the therapist explains and shows, using a model or illustration, what the problem is and what needs to be done. And when exercises are prescribed, the reasoning behind choosing those particular exercises should be explained along with an explanation of which specific muscles are being strengthened or stretched. If the therapist is not forthcoming then you need to ask questions. How will that specific exercise help me? Please tell and show me which muscles need to be activated? And so on. ...Now you might be thinking that the therapist will consider you a pain in the ass. But believe me it's better than getting zero results. I wish I'd done more question-asking instead of dumbly following "the program." I cannot emphasize enough that you are not being a "pain" for asking questions! Both the therapist and you want the therapy to be successful, and you definitely want to get better – pain is a great motivator. If you understand the why, how, and action of the muscles, that will help you visualize the problem and the exercises, and visualization has been shown to aid in recovery. Visualizing the muscle contracting and the joint moving, activates the same parts of the brain as doing the exercise. Doing both the visualizing and the exercise make the exercise even more effective. Watching in a mirror while doing the exercise is a further powerful aid.
Rick Olderman in Denver. See his website: Rick Olderman.com for contact information, his blog, links to his books and articles such as Fixing Neck Pain and Headaches. [from a reader: Rick is an awesome and nice guy. He was pretty empathetic about the pain I was having. He did some stuff called somatics (Hanna Somatics) to gently release some of my muscles but was surprised by the amount of muscle tension I had. One of my hips was up (right) and left was rotated forward (so our guess/discussions were correct!) and he did some release stuff to gently coax them back. I have been doing the exercises and pain is less so i think things may be better. Unfortunately, the time frame (even with a week and several visits) was simply too short to get more than some great tips. So he suggested that I try alternative therapies to cool my nervous system down & even he was wondering how I got my pelvis out of whack.]
Chicago Integrative Movement Specialists, locations in Chicago and Evanston. Dr. Osar emphasizes posture, stability and functional movement. Sign up for his video newsletter on the website. Example issue: Simple Things to Save Your Spine with Chicago Chiropractic Physician, Dr. Evan Osar. Also wide range of useful videos: Chicago Integrative Movement Specialists on YouTube
Physical Therapy Program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis — The clinic attached to one of the highest ranking physical therapy schools in the U.S. (US News and World Report), and where Shirley Sahrmann is on the faculty. Daniel commented on what he learned about dysfunctions of the upper extremities while having treatment at this clinic: " Pec minor stretch... can be a beneficial stretch for those that DO NOT have depressed or protracted scapulas. Patients with these dysfunctions will tend to stretch their anterior shoulder capsule rather than their pecs due to the fact that their humerus will fall into anterior glide. I know because a few PT's had me doing this as well and I began to lose sensitivity in my hand. A good way for people like who I 'used to be' is to have someone sort of pin down the scapula to the floor then employ the stretch. Even better would be to have someone do some manual therapy to loosen up that pec minor while pinning down the scapula and stretching the pec. ....As for the hips, if you can, buy Dr. Shirley Sahrmann’s ‘Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes’. This book saved my life, physically and mentally. I don’t want to get into depth on what was going on with me, but it was not good at all. This treatment protocol is revolutionary. I’ve actually recently visited their PT clinic at their Washington School of Medicine (top ranked in the nation every year). It’s for a reason.
Dr. Robert Kelty: A Chiropractic doctor in Eagle Point, Oregon. He emphasizes correct posture, movement and nutrition. Excellent videos on his website (See dropdown menu for "Get Moving!" on the navigation bar.)
Dr. Kim Scales, a physical therapist at In Balance Rehab in Cocoa Beach, Florida is highly recommended by a pain management doctor, who doesn't want his name used. Bur his patients were highly pleased with the results Kim got. This Pain Management Doctor says "she has been the only person that I have known who is looking out for all the points you mention in this very comprehensive website." [I would refer to this doctor, but he will soon be on staff at a VA hospital.]
Dr. Joshua G. Schkrohowsky, MD, Specializes in Sports Medicine at Methow Institute of Sports Traumatology, 505B Highway 20 Winthrop, WA 98862, (509) 341-4357 (Office) [Comment from a site visitor: ("...my wife who has struggled with shoulder, back, neck and arm pain for 20+ years, is currently missing a lot of work due to nearly constant headaches. She has been to everyone from her PCP to chiropractic, acupuncture, acupressure, massage etc... She was actually disappointed to find out that the neurosurgeon could not help with her condition. Finally she got a referral to an orthopedic surgeon in Winthrop, WA (Dr. Joshua G. Schkrohowsky) who diagnosed her scapula instability and she will be starting PT with a therapist in Winthrop."]
Gwen Jull, Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland, Australia. Emphasis on posture alignment first, specific corrective exercises and then manual techniques. For those who live in other areas of Australia, Dr. Jull will refer you to a closer therapist. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Fleming, Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, at Complete Physio in Melbourne, Australia, is a therapist who takes posture and its relationship to pain seriously. Dr. Jull refers patients to Helen, and one patient writes "I have been seeing Helen for the past year and have progressed significantly."
phone number: (03) 9495 6996
Chicago Integrative Movement Specialists on YouTube: A whole host of great videos. I especially recommend the videos by Dr. Evan Oser that discuss the critical importance of posture, body and joint alignment while moving and exercising. Example Video: Exercises to Increase Bone Density.