Neck/Head

Have You Experienced Facial Droop? Unable To Close One Eye? You May Be Afflicted with Bell’s Palsy.

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What Is Bell’s Palsy?

Bell’s Palsy, also called idiopathic facial paralysis, is a form of temporary facial paralysis resulting from damage or trauma to the facial nerves.  The disorder is fairly rare, with fewer than 200,000 US cases reported each year.  It is important to note that, while it is not related to stroke, it is the most common cause of facial paralysis.  The condition most often comes on very suddenly but does improve on its own within a few weeks.  Although it is not clear as to the actual cause of Bell’s Palsy, it is thought that the cause in some cases might be the herpes virus that also causes cold sores. read more

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What Can Be Causing My Dizziness?

   

Dizziness-2 Dizziness is a very common occurrence, especially as we get older.  For those individuals over the age of 65, dizziness is one of the most cited reasons for doctor visits and hospitalizations.  At any rate, when it comes to dizziness, regardless of the cause, the quicker you seek help the better.

There are a number of factors that can cause dizziness–and the balance problems that may be associated with it.  Here are the more common causes:

  • dizzinessinner ear) disorders, such as BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
  • Inner ear trauma or injury
  • Brain disorders, such as stroke or Parkinson’s Disease
  • Diseases such as diabetes or arthritis
  • Conditions such as low blood pressure
  • Interactions from certain medications

What Does Dizziness Feel Like? read more

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Can The Pain In My Arm Actually Be Caused By Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)?

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) can be an extremely painful and debilitating condition of the thoracic-outlet-syndrome-2-638upper extremity.  It is caused by the compression of structures in the thoracic outlet, a space just behind the clavicle (collar bone) and just above the 1st rib.  Because of a multitude of signs and symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, the incidence rates of this condition are currently unknown.  Physical Therapy is very instrumental in easing the symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and restoring upper extremity function in those individuals. read more

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WHY PHYSICAL THERAPY IS ESSENTIAL IN THE TREATMENT OF CONCUSSIONS

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 Concussion has received a significant increase in attention over the past several years as individuals in the sports world and medical fields have started speaking out about the long-term implications associated with this injury.  More than 3.8 million concussions occur each Concussions-in-HS-Sports-graphicyear in sports alone, according to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control.  Recent scientific evidence stresses the need for proper care to prevent complications from concussion.  There are 3 critical steps to take if you think you or a loved one might have a concussion: read more

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7 Ways That Physical Therapy Can Help Those That Have Or May Be Developing Humpback

FFDE4166-7686-4F93-8A20-C68915DED14C  Humpback (medical term, hyperkyphosis) is a spinal deformity that leads to a forward-curved posture of the upper back (thoracic spine).  Under normal circumstances our posture changes often throughout the day.  However, there are instances where an individual’s body curvature may become excessive and unchanging, leading to humpback.  This curvature of the upper back can start to become more pronounced after age 40 and continue as we get older.  It is estimated that 20% to 40% of older adults–both men and women–will develop humpback.  And today’s Smartphones are one prime example of why people will develop this condition at a relatively young age unless they are very aware of their posture! read more

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WHAT CAN BE CAUSING MY TMD/JAW PAIN? CAN PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP?

tmd-relief-350 Jaw pain is one of the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).  Considering over 10 million individuals in the United States experiences TMD it can be considered fairly common.  But what exactly is TMD?

WHAT IS TEMPEROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDER (TMD)?

237Jaw movement is guided by the temperomandibular joint (TMJ).  Here are some common causes that lead to TMD:

  • Bad posture–Face it…many of us sit a lot–commuting to/from work, sitting at a desk in front of a computer, cradling the telephone against the same shoulder for extended periods of time…as well as standing activities such as always carrying your child on the same hip–all of these activities can place the head in an awkward position and cause jaw problems.  Consistently being in this forward head position puts undue stress on muscles, ligaments, as well as discs in the neck and jaw.  This forces the jaw to “rest” in an opened position, causing our chewing muscles to become overused.
  • Malocclusion (problems with teeth alignment)–Greater stress is placed on your TMJ if your teeth come together in an unusual way.
  • CRN_Sleep-TMJ-wordle-370pxBruxism (chronic jaw clenching and grinding teeth at night)–Many individuals unknowingly clench their jaws at night while they sleep, usually due to stress.  This puts constant stress on the TMJ because of the constant strain on the joint and surrounding muscles.
  • Trismus (lockjaw)–This condition is caused by spasming jaw muscles which prevents the jaw from being able to be fully opened.  Causes may include tetanus, trauma to the jaw, and radiation therapy to the neck and face.
  • Fracture–Trauma to the face or head could result in a fracture to the lower jaw.  Even when the fracture is completely healed, lingering TMJ pain and/or stiffness may remain.
  • Surgery–There may be a loss in mobility and function of the TMJ following facial or jaw surgery.

WHAT DOES TMD FEEL LIKE?

sinus-painSymptoms of TMD may include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty opening your mouth to eat or talk
  • Jaw fatigue
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Dizziness
  • Locking jaw

HOW IS TMD DIAGNOSED?

A comprehensive exam by your Physical Therapist is critical in diagnosing the cause of your TMD symptoms.  This exam should include: read more

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ROUND AND ROUND AND ROUND…CAN ANYTHING BE DONE ABOUT VERTIGO?

migraineMany individuals confuse “vertigo” with “dizziness.”  While there are similarities, vertigo is usually described as a spinning sensation, while dizziness is usually described as lightheadedness.  Often, they have different causes and different treatments.

WHAT IS VERTIGO?

vertigo

Vertigo is the sensation of spinning, even if you are not moving and you’re perfectly still.  This can happen if you’re standing, sitting, or even lying down–you may feel like the room is moving about you.  The primary cause of vertigo stems from the inner ear, known as our vestibular system.  There are a number of factors that can cause vertigo, including: read more

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WHAT A PAIN IN THE NECK…WHAT CAN BE CAUSING MY NECK TO HURT?

WHAT REALLY IS NECK PAIN?
neck pain

The cervical spine (neck) is made up of 7 vertebrae, with each vertebra being separated by a gel-like disc.  The purpose of the discs is to provide shock absorption for the spine.  The spinal cord travels through a central canal in the cervical vertebrae.  Nerve roots extend off of the spinal cord and branch off into specific locations into the arm and hand.  These spinal nerves provide signals to our muscles to contract or relax, as well as provide sensory input such as pain, pressure, and temperature. If any type of abnormal pressure is placed on these spinal nerves, then we get an impingement, or “pinched nerve.”  Some causes of impingement may be: read more

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