Penrose Physical Therapy
30
Jun 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Shoulder Bursitis, Impingement, Tendonitis, Arthritis….Which one is it?

Like anything that has its own terminology shoulder pain is confusing until someone can break it down. The interesting thing is that almost all of those above can be caused from similar issues.  Let me explain. Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa. Yes you can get a steroid shot to put out the inflammation and the pain. But, you did not figure out the cause of the friction or correct the cause – so it could come back again. The shot is helpful to put the fire out, but be mindful if the bursitis was caused from tight muscles or a tight joint creating the friction and irritation of the bursa it can return. In fact, bursitis can be from several reasons: tightness in certain areas (usually chest, shoulders, and thoracic spine) AND from the rotator cuff not doing its fair share of the work load. We have to teach the rotator cuff and shoulder blade muscles to work together again. And many times without meaning to, people will use their neck muscles to compensate for the rotator cuff. Sometimes during exercises they found on YouTube or Google. This will usually lead to more shoulder pain. Don’t get me wrong I use YouTube all the time for do it yourself projects but sometimes consulting a professional is worth it. Remember Last Week? If you read last week’s write up about Bill you will recall that he had tightness in his chest, shoulders, and upper back. These changed the position of the shoulder and limited space… Read More
24
Jun 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Wonder why your shoulder aches when you didn’t do anything?

Pain is interesting. It doesn’t always tell us what caused the pain. And to make if even more complicated the onset of pain can be delayed by several days and even weeks from the initial injury.  This can be super frustrating to figure out what is wrong, how to fix it, and how to prevent it from happening again.Let me try to tell a common story about shoulder pain that seems to come from nowhere. We will call him Bill. Bill noticed a slight ache in the top side of his shoulder that steadily increased over the last few weeks.  He didn’t recall doing anything that caused the pain. We chatted a little more and I asked about any arm activities in the last 2 months.  He did say several weeks prior he had done a little more yard work that required some overhead activity.  He said it was fatiguing but didn’t notice any pain.  This is a common history with shoulders. We do something a little more strenuous overhead that we don’t do on a regular basis and then a few days to a few weeks later we notice an ache that gets worse. What causes the ache? Why does this happen? Let me try to explain it. The shoulder is a very mobile joint and it has approximately 18 muscles that influence the shoulder and shoulder blade.  The shoulder joint has four key muscles that provide key shoulder stability at shoulder height and above called your rotator cuff.    Unfortunately the design of the… Read More
18
Jun 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Headaches And Migraines: Shoulder Tension to Blame?

Let’s talk about headaches. Ranging from a mid-afternoon head pounding ache, to an agonizing pain. Headaches are something most, if not all of us, have experienced at some point in our life. For some, headaches are a bigger problem and can even affect everyday life. But did you know shoulder tension is often the culprit? Lauren who is a patient of mine, wrote in an email to me before she came to see us: “Hi Jennifer, I’m 56 and have been suffering from migraines ever since I was a teenager and I’ve never been able to get to the root of the problem. Usually in the past I put my migraines down to stress or a lack of sleep. Then I thought it might be something that I’m eating instead. The thing is, I took away all of the foods that are said to set off headaches like cheese and chocolate…but nothing really changed. I don’t know if this is true, but I heard once that shoulder tension can sometimes bring headaches on? I thought you’d be the best person to ask. Is this right or am I being silly? I’m tired of getting migraines when I least expect them! It’s awful when they strike in the middle of shopping.” – Lauren, 56, Olympia, WA It’s Likely Your Shoulders and Neck Lauren certainly was right about shoulder tension being related to this common problem! And I can imagine you would have found it hard to believe me if I told you that 87% of headaches… Read More
10
Jun 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Shoulder and Neck Pain: Say Goodnight To Shoulder Pain For Good

Let’s talk about one of the most common causes of shoulder pain – sleeping! Not just sleeping, but the way we sleep (and even what we do before we sleep). Have you ever woken up in the morning with a stiff and slightly painful shoulder? Often it’s just an annoying ache that eases off shortly after you’ve got out of bed, but after days of waking up feeling like this, it can become a lot more painful. It can actually be something with your neck or vice versa! It’s something that we don’t usually think about, but one of the most important things to consider is the effect that sleeping can have upon our neck and shoulders. Let me explain: An increase in shoulder or neck pain is a common problem that many people experience as a direct result of resting for 8 hours or more in an awkward position, either an old mattress or on the wrong types of pillows. Why? Because having your neck twisted or bent in a funny position for long periods of time isn’t good for the body. After a while your body becomes so used to being in a certain position when you go to sleep (the position you’ve been sleeping in for most of your life!) – night after night, so no wonder the shoulder becomes painful. But it’s not only down to the way we sleep… A Common Nighttime Culprit Another thing I see a lot of people do before they turn in for the night is… Read More
03
Jun 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Why Everyday Activities Can Cause Neck And Shoulder Pain And What You Can Do To Change That

Have you ever had a slight pain from your shoulder to your neck but didn’t really think it was a big deal, especially if you knew it was because you slept awkwardly? Yes? I thought so. I hear this quite often from my clients when they first come in to see us – they’ll mention the annoying pain that’s going on in their shoulder or base of their neck. 9 times out of 10, they think it’s something that will “just go away” on its own. But here’s the thing – it doesn’t always “just go away”! Think of your shoulders like this: Your neck sits on your shoulders and supports one of the most vital parts of your body – the skull and the brain. There are muscles in your shoulders that go up along your neck and can be related to pain. Now ask yourself this – do you still want to brush off that neck pain you’ve woken up with this morning? I thought not. Has This Ever Happened To You? Some of the main reasons as to why we shouldn’t brush off shoulder or neck pain is because we all have ways in which we make it worse. We don’t mean to, but sometimes our lifestyle gets in the way! Have you had your hair done recently? It can often be an enjoyable experience, but have you ever considered how your muscles feel? When you’re getting your hair washed in the basin, do you make sure the chair and basin are… Read More
28
May 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

New “Stay Healthy South Sound” Podcast!

We’re back from our COVID hiatus! The new episode of “Stay Healthy South Sound” – Dr. Penrose’s monthly podcast – is now live! This month she interviewed Christine Kulhawik, Licensed Acupuncturist and Certified Functional Nutritionist. She owns Watershed Wellness in Tumwater, WA and you can find them here on Facebook or visit them online at watershedwellnesscenter.com. Topics include benefits of acupuncture, who it’s for and how it works (including its connection to your immune health). She is currently offering telehealth visits and can even guide you through self-acupuncture points! Listen to it today at these links! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/stay-healthy-south-sound/id1460144640 https://open.spotify.com/episode/5mNIbLXDZIyqceMicIn2as https://penrosept.com/stay-healthy-south-sound-podcast/#sthash.u5M9f1FZ.dpbs… Read More
27
May 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Don’t miss this FREE, VIRTUAL Back Pain Workshop!

If you or a loved one suffer from chronic back pain – so bad that it can even stop you from walking, sitting or working – then attending this virtual workshop may be the most important thing you do this year. It may unlock the agonizing mystery of your back pain and show you a way to get back to the life you deserve… A life where you can walk up and down the stairs without worrying when your back pain is going to return, or the pain stop you in your tracks. One where you can enjoy leisurely walks with friends and family and not worry if you’re gong to make it or not, restricted by a painful or “tight” back. A life where you can pick up and play with your grandkids without worrying when your back is going to stop you from getting back up. A life where you can do and enjoy all the things you see so many others doing and enjoying but your pain has kept you watching from the side-lines. …Basically, a life without the curse of back pain. If You Feel Let Down, Disappointed, And Even Skeptical About What Can Be Done To Help You, Then Read On… My name is Jennifer Penrose, the nations leading back pain specialist, and I have been helping people live with much less back pain for more than a decade now – all across the country. people are confused by the advice they’ve previously been… Read More
20
May 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Are You Living With, Or Worried About Suffering With Chronic Back Pain?

Have YOU ever been told that back pain is just one of those things that comes with your age? Have you been told that you “just have to accept it, during the COVID-19 lockdown, because nothing can be done?… If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, and you have suffered with low back pain for longer than 9 days now, then please pay special attention to what I’m about to tell you… It could help save your job and independence. If you’re NOT the one who’s suffering, but your husband, wife, mother or father is, then please read on… It’s a shame that so many people think their only option is to “rest” or visit an expensive chiropractor every week. Or, just as bad, mask their pain with pills and hope that it just goes away… …Because as you may be experiencing, something is wrong and there is a problem. I want to help you by simply showing you all of the different options that are currently available to you. Some are new, most are free, all are 100% natural. And, at least one of them you will have overlooked. Most doctors don’t know of it, and many insurance companies won’t tell you unless you ask for it!… Good News! Get this: I reveal 7 different ways that could possibly make a significant and positive difference to the discomfort and torment you are currently experiencing, in a new report titled: “7 Quick, Easy Ways To… Read More
13
May 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Back Pain: 5 Daily Habits To Reduce Stiffness At Home

I wanted to answer a common question I get asked all the time at Penrose Physical Therapy about being stiff: “Jennifer, do you have any advice for someone like me who isn’t in a lot of pain? I’m just incredibly stiff when I wake up on a morning, and I feel it throughout the day, which means I can’t do things as easily as I’d like. Any advice?” I’ve got plenty of tips and advice to help reduce stiffness and back pain. But first I want to clear up ‘why’ we feel stiff in the first place. A lot of people we see think that stiffness is something we feel as we get older – and while there’s some truth in that, stiffness isn’t always directly related to how old you are. Yes, as you get older your joints and muscles might get stiff if you don’t exercise regularly. And it’s true that your joints become less flexible as the lubricating fluid inside them decreases, and the cartilage becomes thinner as you age… But there’s some other points to factor in too. Back pain, or even just stiffness have multiples factors involved. What Else Is At Play? Not drinking enough fluids can also lead to stiff muscles. Muscles are active tissues, which means they require the most water in the body. Inactivity is another culprit – leaving your muscles in one place for a prolonged period (sleep, sitting in a chair, driving for hours etc.) can cause them to stiffen. Many of us are guilty of this… Read More
07
May 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Back Pain: “I Get Back Pain Doing Crunches-Is Something Wrong?”

A lady emailed the clinic a few days ago and asked: “I get back pain when I’m doing sit-ups/ crunches. Am I doing something wrong, or should I avoid them?” Great question! I’m glad she asked this! During this current state of lockdown, many of us have turned to new exercises and workouts at home. Some us may not be used to these exercises or not using proper form. Additionally, there are some exercises you may want to avoid – including crunches to “get those abs”. If you’ve ever done an ab workout and halfway through your back was feeling “off”, you’re not alone. For most of our patients it’s any ab exercise where you sit up on the tailbone that causes that feeling. Which is frustrating when you want to keep active but can’t because your back is in pain! To understand why this happens, you first have to remember that the abs and lower back are part of your core. While we often think of our core as being our abs – the abs are only one part of the equation. Your core is made up of a group of muscles that work together to support the body. It wraps around the entire body, and includes muscles that are in your lower back too. What Makes Up Your “Core”? When you do exercises for the core, you’re impacting all the other parts  too – including your lower back. Lower-back pain during exercise involving your core is usually a sign that your core is… Read More
29
Apr 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Back Pain: “When Do I Use Ice And When Do I Use Heat?”

A question I get asked a lot by clients and people who suffer with back pain is a really simple one: “When do I use ice and when do I use heat?” Rightly or wrongly, 9 out of 10 of my clients tend to favor heat – a nice hot water bottle, a soak in the bath, or one of those lavender scented wheat bags to try and ease their back pain. (I think a lot of people don’t like the idea of putting cold ice on their back, unless it’s really hot outside!) As you can appreciate every health concern and injury is different. Sometimes it’s ice to cool it down, or heat to help relax it… it can be very confusing! When To Use Ice There’s one time in particular we say to use ice and that’s when something just happened and it’s very painful, likely hot and maybe swollen. This is an ‘acute’ injury. Acute meaning it just happened. For example, an ankle sprain or pulled muscle. When it comes to your back pain, the time to use ice is if your back has suddenly ‘gone’ and you’re in a lot of pain, or you’ve overdone it and your back becomes very painful towards the end of the day. You see, your body is actually very clever. Let’s use an ankle sprain as an example… When you sprain your ankle your body will immediately try and protect itself. This is why you get swelling and it becomes very hot and… Read More
22
Apr 2020
Jennifer Penrose
Author
Jennifer Penrose

Back Pain: Why You Need To Drink More Water To Help Relieve It

Quick question: How much water have you drank today? For most people, the answer would be “not enough”. From everything we drink and swim in, to the ice that reduces swelling, water is all around us (and even in us), a matter of fact – it basically is us! Water makes up around two thirds of who we are, and influences every single process in our body – which probably explains why we feel a lot better when we drink enough of it. Believe it or not this plays a role in our back pain! Now, you might be aware of the many ‘tips and tricks’ that are out there on “how to avoid a bad back”, and “how to relieve pain” – but have you ever heard of drinking more water to help with that? My guess is you haven’t! I get that it might sound ‘too simple’ to make a difference, but dehydration really can be one of the culprits of back pain, and one of the reasons why it stays around for longer than it needs to. Let me explain… Here’s How It Can Help In between each section of the spine (the vertebrae) lies a disc – these are mainly made up of water. During the day when we’re standing up, they slowly become dehydrated, then at night when we’re laying down, they re-hydrate themselves again (so long as there is ENOUGH water in the body!). If there’s not enough water in your body, then… Read More

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