Tag Archives: pain management

Forward Head Posture

Forward head posture can have ill effect through out the body, from the upper cervicals, to the plantar fascia.

Here are a few simple movements you can use during the day to assist in pulling the head back.

Strengthen Deep Neck Flexors (Img. 1)

Drape a resistance band over the base of the skull, just above the ears.  Find a comfortable place to hold each end of the band.  The closer to the body you hold, the more resistance you will feel when preforming elbow extensions.

As seen in image 1 above, perform elbow extensions, slowly.  Come slowly back to a start point, ending with elbows flexed.  By completing this movement you must contract the deep head/neck flexors, longus capitus and longus coli, in order to keep the head from flopping forward.  You may experience an ‘opening up’ of tissue at the cranial base, the occipitoatlantal joint, and a release of tight tissue in the back of the neck.  Repeat a few times a day, start with sets of 5, then 8 and so on.  Be sure to maintain proper breathing during this movement.

Deep Neck Flexors (Img.2)

Image 2 is the same movement cue without the resistance band, and is easier to do while driving to work, sitting at the computer, or on the dance floor.  In the image I use my finger as a guide, not a force pushing on the chin.  Simply glide the cranium posterior, keep the eyes looking forward.  Many people will have a tendency to look up toward the sky a bit.  The point is to open the posterior cervicals and strengthen the anterior, deep head/neck flexors.

These simple techniques can ease neck, shoulder & upper back pain and may help reduce the formation of Dowager’s Hump at the base of the neck/upper back.

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Filed under body mechanics, Flagstaff pain relief, Forward Heads, pain management

Save Your Body In The Snow. Winter Aches & Pains contd.

Break Time

Having just received more than 2 feet of heavy snow, with more to come, there are good times on the way for residents of Northern Arizona.  But before the good times roll, there is a lot of hard work to be done.

At Stay Tuned Therapeutics, when it snows, we see an influx of patients with sciatic nerve irritation, leg pain, rotator cuff impingement, arm pain & low back pain.  Mindful shoveling techniques will keep you safe, saving your low back, legs, hips and shoulders for the fun to come.

The most operated on disc in the back in L5-S1.  This is the very lowest disc in the back, between Lumbar spine and the sacrum.  Repetitive motions can wear this disc out, cracking the annular fibers…a simple one time movement of forward bending and rotation, with a heavy load, may be what finally lands you in the emergency room.  Forward head postures and rotation of the shoulders inward will lead to pinching and possible damage in the shoulders.

Here are some tips for preventing injury.

  • Warm up, stretch some, and take breaks.  Dress accordingly, don’t get too hot!
  • WATER IN THY BODY.
  • If you must bend over to shovel, come to a standing position before twisting the trunk to unload the snow.
  • Bend at the knees, at least every other effort.
  • Take small scopes of snow, start with the top layer. (A 12 lb load can translate to 586 lb compression to L5-S1 disc w bad body mechanics)
  • Push snow down hill when you can.
  • Alternate sides.
  • Bring your head back and shoulders blades down before pitching the snow to save shoulders.
  • Keep the shovel close to your body.
  • Take a break.
  • Plan on taking a while.  Don’t rush!

Follow these steps, enjoy the day.  Save your body for the snowshoeing, CC skiing, and get to the mountain when you can!

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Filed under body mechanics, Flagstaff massage therapy, Flagstaff pain relief, pain management, shoveling

Fresh Feet for Flagstaff Homeless.

When you do well upon others, it makes you feel well, and it comes full circle.

From now until Dec. 30th, 2009 when you donate a pair of shoes, boots, or technical fabric socks at Stay Tuned Therapeutics, you will receive $15.00 credit and a homeless man, woman or child gets a pair of shoes, boots or socks for the holidays.

Drop off location is Stay Tuned Therapeutics, 403 West Birch Ave., Flagstaff, AZ. 86001  Between 10 am and 5 pm, Monday-Friday.

Shoes/boots (any kind-any size) must be in decent shape, as winter is upon us.  PLEASE bring some socks, this is what is most needed as of 12-18-09.

We are in discussion at this time with Flagstaff Shelter Service on how best to distribute the shoes and boots, along with a 15 minute foot massage, to those in need.  We are setting up a mid day time therapy session with other community therapists……update to follow!

This is our gift to the Flagstaff community this holiday season, please help us out, and it will come back to you full circle.  Please call 928-699-1999 for more information and to get involved.

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Filed under Flagstaff Arizona massage, outreach

Winter Aches & Pains Pt. 2

Hip ABduction Test

In part one of this discussion I introduced a common injury that may present in a clinical setting.  Injury, weakness (inhibition) or tightness (facilitation) of the adductor group of the thigh.  I’d like to now introduce you to a test that may be administered by the clinician or as a take home assessment of recruitment and compensation patterns in hip abduction.

In a side lying position I simply ask the client to raise a straight leg toward to ceiling.  In doing so glute med and min should “fire” at approximately the same time, lifting the leg straight laterally, toward the ceiling.  In the presence of inhibition of glute med., min., and potential facilitation of the adductor group, there may be a variety of substitution patterns.  Normal range of motion should be at least 45 degrees of abduction (toward the ceiling).   Try this on yourself and see what you find.

Lie on your side, raise top leg toward the ceiling.

Compensation patterns that may present are as follows:

Tight Adductors = ROM below 45 degrees abduction.

Piriformis Facilitation = External rotation of femur, evident by the toes pointing toward the ceiling.

Tensor Fasciae Lata Facilitation = The hip will come into flexion, draw the thigh anterior (toward the front).  Also may be seen that the trunk twist posterior (back) still creating hip flexion.

Quadratus Lumborum Facilitation = In an attempt to raise the leg, the hip will hike toward the shoulder, creating a slight side bend in the low back.

Any of these conditions may create or add to low back and hip pain, and may be a contributing factor in dysfunction of the rest of the kinetic chain.  Try this test, and let me know what you find.  In future installments we will look at what you find, and discuss treatment options from a clinical standpoint, and what you can do at home in self treatment.

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Filed under Flagstaff Arizona massage, Flagstaff massage therapy, Flagstaff pain relief, flagstaff sports massage, High Altitude massage, Myoskeletal Alignment, pain management, Uncategorized

Maintenance Techniques for twitter-finger.

Having been a massage therapist for 13 years now I have never had an injury to my arms, wrists or hands.  You can use these simple exercises to ensure a long life in whatever job you have that requires extensive use of the hands and forearms.

Take computing for instance, there is no other way you found this information, how many hours a day do you spend on the keyboard, the mouse, or just hunched over in that nice chair?  Now, how many minutes a day do you spend providing regeneration to the injured/over used tissue.  Now, what is your plan for pain free longevity in this position you so love?

You may be the type of person who just prefers having a massage to treat aches and pains, great, I’ll take your money.  However, do you realize that hard earned money you invest in therapy will go so much further if you take some responsibility?

Take 5 minutes and follow me through on these exercises, if you need a band contact me and you can stop by, or I will ship one.

Stay Tuned…

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Filed under Flagstaff deep tissue massage, Flagstaff pain relief, Flagstaff therapeutic massage, Myoskeletal Alignment, pain management

Sneak Preview of Erik Dalton’s Vol IV Book

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Filed under Massage CEU Arizona, massage therapy education, Myoskeletal Alignment, Myoskeletal Alignment CEU, pain management

Elbow, Forearm and Wrist Pain Exercises

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Benefits of Steam Offered at Stay Tuned

Steamy Wonder Canopy available at Stay Tuned Therapeutics

Steamy Wonder Canopy available at Stay Tuned Therapeutics

Why steam is better than wrapping

Dr. John Welbes, Director the college of Massage Therapy in Omaha, Nebraska recommends steam baths in the treatment of cellulite, finding it superior to body wraps in raising tissue temperature. “Body wraps are very slow,” says Dr. Welbes, “it may take an hour to achieve the same temperature increase that you can get in about 10 minutes in a steam bath.” According to Dr. Welbes, the heat helps loosen the fatty tissue so that it is less solid and can more easily be broken down.

Potential Dangers to Wrapping:

The wraps and electric blankets that are commonly used to heat clients during a body wrap are often made of plastic. Plastic releases toxins when heated, which can then absorbed by the body, creating more toxicity. The blankets also create an electrical field effect which many people believe is not healthy.

Weight and Cellulite Loss Benefits and Steamy Wonder™

A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams of sweat in a sauna-the equivalent of running three to four miles or 475 to 600 calories. While the weight of the water loss is regained by re-hydration, the calories burned are not.

How steam and treatment packages help you lose weight and reduce cellulite

As you relax in the Steamy Wonder™, your body is actually working hard to eliminate toxins and burn fat. Weight loss becomes possible because body fat becomes water soluble at 110 degrees and the body can sweat out fats, toxins, and heavy metals. During a heat treatment your heart works harder pumping blood at a greater rate to boost circulation, supplying the conditioning benefits of continuous exercise. Heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate increase. Because the metabolism rate increases during the Steamy Wonder™ treatment you are burning calories, not just water!

Scientific Research

As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate. Blood flow during whole-body hyperthermia is reported to rise from a normal 5 to 7 quarts per minute to as much as 13 quarts per minute.

This benefit was recognized in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association as long ago as August 1981: “Many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of a sauna imparts a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories as regular exercise.”

“Clients come for stress reduction treatments weekly and the side benefit is that their clothing size is reducing as well as their stress level. They haven’t changed anything in their routine for weight loss beside regular Steamy Wonder™ treatments.”
B. Carol, Lic. Esthetician, LMT & Ayurvedic Practitioner, Fairfield, Iowa

According to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, sauna bathing is well tolerated, safe and has therapeutic value for most healthy people, as well as for most patients with stable coronary heart disease.

Researchers examined the benefits and risks of sauna bathing for healthy adults and children, as well as for patients with coronary heart disease, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. This comprehensive review of the world’s biomedical literature (1966 to the present) was carried out by investigators from the Department of Internal Medicine and University of Oulu, Finland, and the Division of Cardiology, Washington Hospital Center, Washington D.C.

Relief from Joint Pain

Steam therapy has been used for hundreds of years by many cultures in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, joint stiffness and muscle spasms.

How does it work?

The deep heat of the Steamy Wonder™ helps to relieve pain by causing the blood vessels to dilate. This causes increased blood circulation and allows more oxygen to get to soft tissue injuries and sore muscles. This helps to reduce pain and speeds up the healing process. Increased blood circulation carries of metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscles, so they recover faster. Muscles relax most readily when tissues are warm.

Scientific Research:

Sauna bathing has been used as a thermal therapy to treat pain and other symptoms of rheumatic disease. In studies based on interviews of 0ver 200 patients, 40% to 70% of participants reported that sauna bathing alleviated pain and improved joint mobility.
(Source: The American Journal of Medicine February 1, 2001, Volume 110)

Muscle Pain Relief

Steam therapy using the Steamy Wonder™ has been found to significantly reduce muscular pain and spasms. Pain is found to be alleviated in just one session and the benefit can last for several days after the treatment. Regular steam treatments 2 to 3 times per weeks have shown to have profound relief for those having muscle pain due to injury, menstruation pain, headaches, fibromyalgia and low back pain.

How steam works

As heat penetrates the muscles, capillaries dilate and there is an increased flow of oxygen to sore muscles. Muscles and tissues become more pliable and relaxed helping to increase mobility and reduce stiffness.

Scientific Research:

Sauna bathing has been used as a thermal therapy to treat pain and other symptoms of rheumatic disease. In studies based on interviews of over 200 patients, 40 to 70 percent of the participants reported that sauna bathing alleviated pain and improved joint mobility. (Source: The American Journal of Medicine, February 1, 2001, Volume 110.)

In addition, a New Jersey Medical School Researcher found that heat therapy was more effective than analgesics for low back pain. Several different types of pain including the lower and upper back and menstrual pain can be treated with low-level heat therapies.

The results showed that the low level heat therapy provided significantly more pain relief beginning on the first day of treatment than the oral analgesics and the effects lasted more than 28 hours after the treatment was completed.

Contact Missy or Geoffrey today for a consultation or to book your session!

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Filed under Flagstaff massage therapy, Flagstaff pain relief, flagstaff sports massage, Flagstaff therapeutic massage, High Altitude massage

Women Need Expanded Musculoskeletal Care During Pregnancy

Stay Tuned Therapeutics offers musculoskeletal work for pregnancy in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Here’s why…

ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2007) — Despite the high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain during pregnancy, few women in under-served populations receive treatment for their low back pain, according to a February 2007 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT).  Moreover, researchers found that pain in a previous pregnancy may predict a high risk for musculoskeletal complaints in future pregnancies.


According to Clayton Skaggs, DC, the study’s chief author, 85 percent of women surveyed reported that they had not received treatment for their musculoskeletal pain, and of the small percentage who perceived that their back complaints were addressed, less than 10 percent were satisfied with the symptom relief they obtained.

“Based on the findings of this study, doctors of chiropractic and other health care professionals need to expand the musculoskeletal care available during pregnancy, especially in underserved populations,” Dr. Skaggs said.  “As a proactive step, health professionals should consider including back pain screening as part of early obstetrical care to help identify musculoskeletal risk factors and allow for early education and/or treatment.”

Researchers surveyed more than 600 women at a clinic that serves predominantly an uninsured, underinsured or Medicaid-insured population.  Surveys were offered to all obstetrical patients and were designed to collect information about pregnancy-related pain and quality of life issues.  Of those women who responded to the survey, two-thirds reported back pain and nearly half of all women reported pain at two or more locations, including pelvic pain and mid-back pain.

The study findings suggest that pregnant women with back pain are predisposed to sleep disturbances.  In the survey, close to 80 percent of women reporting sleep disturbances had back pain, whereas only 8 percent of women without pain reported problems sleeping.  More alarming was the significant relationship between reports of musculoskeletal pain and the use of pain medication.  Three-fourths of the women who reported pain also described use of pain medication.

“We saw a direct association between sleep deficiency and back pain,” the authors said.  “These results raise the question of whether or not the high incidence of pain medication use reflects a lack of education about potential risks of medications or more an inability for the pregnant women to cope with the pain.”

The study’s authors also found a relationship between pain in a previous pregnancy and pain in the current pregnancy.  Similar to the results of other studies, researchers found that 85 percent of women who experienced pain in a previous pregnancy reported pain during their current pregnancy.

The study was the result of on-going collaboration between Logan College of Chiropractic and the Department of Obstetrics at Washington University School of Medicine.


Adapted from materials provided by American Chiropractic Association.
American Chiropractic Association (2007, March 12). Women Need Expanded Musculoskeletal Care During Pregnancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 29, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2007/03/070307075536.htm

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Filed under Flagstaff deep tissue massage, Flagstaff pain relief, Myoskeletal Alignment, pain management, Pregnancy Pain

7th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Pain

Picture 3

I will be going to the 7th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Pain.

We would like to invite you to join us for the 7th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Pain, to be held in November 2010 in Los Angeles, U.S.A. This program is held every three years. All the disciplines involved in the treatment and research of musculoskeletal disorders around the globe come together in a stimulating meeting related to musculoskeletal disorders. Those of you who attended the last meeting in Barcelona will need no further encouragement to attend what promises to be another great congress. This is a great opportunity to meet and talk with members of diverse disciplines from all around the world.

Scientific sessions are already being planned and the quality of the speakers will be excellent. In addition we will offer you a relaxed atmosphere to meet, chat and have fun.

We hope you will all be able to join us.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Andry Vleeming

Dr Vert Moony

Dr Colleen Fitzgerald

Scientific Committee
Andry Vleeming, Vert Mooney, Colleen Fitzgerald, Jaap van Dieen, Maurits van Tulder, Robert Schleip, Leon Chaitow, Mel Cusi, Paul Chek, Diane Lee, Paul Hodges, Peter O’Sullivan, Paul Watson.

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Filed under Flagstaff Arizona massage, Flagstaff deep tissue massage, Flagstaff pain relief, pain management, Uncategorized