After taking the world on her shoulders
Jill arrived at Physical Therapy of Boulder with a history of chronic neck pain and headaches that affected her ability to concentrate at work and take care of her two young children. We have seen many patients with neck pain and headaches over the years.
But Jill’s chronic pain was slowing draining her ability to live her life.
Her symptoms began four years ago when she returned to her desk job after giving birth to her second child.
She emphasized the busy nature of her life. Even though she had become a mother, and still worked full time.
She didn’t want to have to slow down. She just wanted the pain to stop.
We gave Jill a comprehensive evaluation. We noticed that Jill constantly held herself with extreme tension, and that her posture was hunched, putting pressure on her neck as she tilted her head up and back to look at her computer monitor.
No wonder she was having chronic neck pain and headaches!
We taught her the importance of assessing her stress levels and posture at work. We also practiced quiet breathing techniques and other habits to help her maintain conscious awareness of her stress and pain levels, so she could prevent neck pain and headaches before they struck.
In order to loosen up Jill’s neck and back, we performed a number of hands-on joint mobilization techniques, as well as dry needling (a technique similar to acupuncture, but one that focuses on releasing muscular tension rather than improving neurological flow). We also gave her a program of home exercises to help her build the strength she needed to keep an upright posture all day at work.
After her first visit, Jill became increasingly aware that while she was working on her computer, she was comprehensive elevating and rounding her shoulders, even using the techniques we gave her. However, she was able to change the physical setup of her keyboard and monitor to give her less strain and a more relaxed, upright posture.
By her second visit, she was feeling optimistic.
After five visits, Jill reported that her headaches had completely stopped and her neck pain had decreased significantly. Over the next few weeks, she performed increasingly challenging exercises and returned to jogging on weekends, which not only helped decrease her neck pain, but improved her general physical fitness level.
During her final visit, she said she felt well equipped to face the inevitable challenges that life created!