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Cabins in Minnesota: A pain in the neck!

Sara Shupe, MSPT, Dip. MDT is a physical therapist specialist and founder of J.O.Y. Physical Therapy Inc, a mobile and tele-health physical therapy provider servicing the Twin Cities Metro Area and greater Minnesota. Sara has presented early access models of mechanical diagnosis and therapy (MDT) in the treatment of low back pain to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), National Association of Spine Society (NASS) and The international MDT Conference.

 If you have ever been to Minnesota during the summer months, especially around the 4th of July week, you would first notice one thing. Everyone leaves their office at the same time on Fridays! Where is everyone going?  Why can’t they go there any faster? If you are like me, you do not often frequent Fridays-in-Minnesota-in-the-summer. The reason? My confession is...big breath...get ready for it... I don’t own a cabin! But I recently and unknowingly ventured out in this phenomenon, and I quickly came to realize that I was cheating death.

While unknowingly living despite the odds, I was clinging to my steering wheel like a fat cat on a tree branch. My blood pressure in the 150's, my shoulders to my ears in chicken chin position, the tension in my neck building...and building...wow - I didn't think it was ever going to move normal again.

The stress after the drive.

Instead of spending the rest of the day praising God for sparing my life, I sat in the exact same position, after deciding to attempt to lower my blood pressure by reading one of my favorite novels out on the patio. I mean, how many days do we get like this in Minnesota anyways?!

Text Neck? Traffic Neck. Jane Austin Neck. 

Forward head posture: Why does my neck hurt in this position?

While we don’t understand the exact bio-physiological mechanism that causes pain in this position, what we do know that the importance of posture correction in the management of the low back pain patient is well known in the literature. Sitting postures have been demonstrated to be a common complaint in patients with mechanical low back pain (Williams, et al 1991); passive correction (in some cases bracing, in others, use of lumbar support) especially in the morning has been demonstrated to be integral in self-management (Snook, et al 1998; O’ Sullivan et al 2002; Aota et al 2007). 

I think it is safe to assume these principles also apply to the joints stacked above. Your Neck!

So sit up tall and take a load off!

Whether you use ergonomic supports or tuck that chin in, stay away from cheating death in Fridays-in-Minnesota-in-the-summer! If you are unfortunate enough to have a fender bender during the mass northern exodus, go to www.joy-pt.com to schedule your same-day mobile visit to treat your whiplash soon before it becomes a problem later!


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