Your Back Already Feels like Crap, Huh?

A lot of people are on the hunt for relief from lower back pain. It’s one of the most common ailments around, with millions of Americans experiencing low back pain right this very minute.

With people now working from home the situation has gotten even more severe. A huge number of Americans, including many millions of Maryland residents, are now working from home.

This means, potentially, that this person can wake up, go make coffee and some breakfast, and then sit down until lunch. Make and eat lunch, and then sit down until work is over. Rinse and repeat, day after day. So much sitting, and so little physical variety, is very damaging to the spine.

If you are already in pain, perhaps from the situation I just described, then I want you to know that you really might get a ton of relief from chiropractic. At Park Bench Chiropractic of Frederick we have more than a decade of experience treating lower back pain and neck pain. A lot of our patients walk out of the first appointment feeling better already – and that’s just from an adjustment.

Once our clients are out of acute pain the next step on the journey is to change some home habits and lifestyles. That’s easier than it sounds, actually. A couple stretches in the morning, a few basic exercises sprinkled across the day, and then a minute or two of stretching in the evening before bed. That’s usually all it really takes to significantly decrease how much back pain you are dealing with on a daily basis.

At Park Bench we really do focus on making sure our clients understand the importance of adding some stretches and exercises to their day. So, after we get you out of pain – or as close as we can get you to being pain-free – we will put some effort into getting you on board with getting more motion in your life.

Call us today at (301) 378-0334 if that sounds like something you are interested in, or learn some more about us by clicking on some of the links on the left.

New Years Resolutions

Hey there! My name is Rob. I have a little joke I like to tell: exercise is the #1 cause of injury. It’s also the #1 way to stay physically healthy.

I guess it’s not exactly a joke. More like an observation that can be considered humorous since exercise is both healthy and inherently dangerous.

This post will be simple because I have a very simple concept to share.

As you start getting back into shape you will inevitably “hit your stride” at some point. You will start to enjoy the sweat and you will chase the feeling of a good, hard workout. You will chase that feeling of accomplishment you get as you slump into a chair after a new personal record. Maybe you’re running, or lifting, or swimming. No matter what you are doing you need to remember a simple concept: keep yourself limber.

As we begin using body parts – muscles and joints – that we have been neglecting for a year or more, those body parts respond by adapting to the new stresses we place on them. For muscles they tend to tighten and firm up – which is typically a good thing. But a tighter or firmer muscle is more capable quite often of becoming a monkey wrench and causing an injury. Likewise, inflamed or unstable joints from overworking them can also lead to injury.

Once you get an injury from exercising you are going to be unable to exercise normally for days, or more probably for weeks. You will lose progress and you will become de-conditioned again. The very effort you put in, and the results you accomplished, will be gone. Instead of feeling good you will feel even worse.

One of the most important things to focus on when getting back into exercise is to avoid the injury cycle. Do not overdo it and then force yourself to take 3 weeks off and start from the beginning again. Take it easy, listen to your body, and spend plenty of time stretching and warming up before and after exercising.

Pain in the Butt…like, really, right there so close to the butt.

It’s called coccydynia, and it’s not fun.

Many people, especially women, can get pain from falling on the butt. Other things can cause this pain, like snowboard falls or horseback riding. It tends to hurt when a motion similar to a sit-up or crunch is performed, or when someone rocks on a chair.

Quite often it’s slightly off to one side, but it can be directly in the center, also.

The coccyx is the small bone at the bottom of the sacrum. If you can think about where your anus is, then the coccyx is pretty much right there, maybe a few centimeters “north” of that spot. When this bone is impacted, for example in a fall, it can be pushed forwards or sideways. This injures the ligaments that hold it in place, and this can also cause a bone bruise or swelling.

Quite often, this pain becomes chronic. We sit on our butts a lot, and this can prevent proper, timely healing. Also, if it is misplaced forward or to the side, this can make sitting painful and also can make sitting an impediment to healing.

If you have coccyx pain then consider trying chiropractic care.

What can we do? Good question.

The first step, which is the least challenging, is to adjust the sacrum. That is a large bone, is easy to adjust, and may fix the issue. There are a few different techniques and therapies we can use to get the sacrum moving properly, which may be enough to resolve the coccyx issue. On top of adjusting, we can apply traction force with our hands or with a flexion-distraction table. We can also apply manual therapy such as trigger point or active release, or cross-friction massage, to any involved ligaments or muscles. Sometimes a muscular approach will fix the coccyx.

The next step is perhaps applying a focused pressure on the ligaments that attach directly to the coccyx, and this means a thumb pressing firmly adjacent to the coccyx. This can be uncomfortable for some people, for good reason! By the time we are at this step then you will also get home therapy advice for ways to reduce the problem with your own hands. Many people can be shown a home technique that can work.

And…if that doesn’t work we will need to come up with Plan C. We will refer you to a pelvic floor physical therapist. They may need to get more, *ahem*, in depth to solve your issue.

Pain in the Butt

I’ve been there. You’ve been there. Trying to shift yourself around in your seat to get comfortable. Moving your body weight to the left or the right to avoid that aching in your butt. You may be in your car or you may be parked in front of the computer. No matter where you are, it’s a pain in the butt.

Nice pocket frills…

Sometimes it is your piriformis muscle. Sometimes it is referred pain from your SI joint or your lumbar spine. It could be your hip joint. There’s a few other muscles we could blame, too.

We really wish we could just diagnose you from over the Internet, but that’s neither prudent nor possible. What we can do is invite you to our office for a free consultation, or to come on in as a new patient and get examined and treated.

In the meantime here’s some ideas to ease that discomfort:

  1. Stop sitting so much. Yes, it may be part of your job to sit, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay seated the whole time. Get up and shake that tender butt!
  2. Do some stretches, for example your hamstrings or that piriformis muscle we just mentioned earlier. Stretches probably won’t fix things, but stretching will probably reduce the level of pain and bide you some time.Even if stretching doesn’t solve the problem it is unlikely to cause it to worsen.
  3. Use ice or heat. Sometimes the sensations of cold or hot feel better than the sensation of a deep burning ache. You can even rub some sort of cream on that butt.

Shoulder Blade Pain

If you’re like many other people, then you’ve experienced a nasty burning ache coming from inside your shoulder blade. Usually this unpleasant sensation is located on the inside border of the scapula (the shoulder blade), and it’s more-often-then-not going to be affecting your right shoulder more than the left.

This area has a lot of things going on. There are a number of muscles which overlap at this place, including the trapezius (“the traps”) and the rhomboids. These muscles assist with shoulder movement and stability, and help provide a stable base for your arm to use.

Pain in this area is typical of someone who works at a computer. Because of the postural strain of having to work on a computer and use a mouse and keyboard this area will often suffer. Many people will describe this as a “burning” pain.

Before coming in for treatment at our office most people have already tried things like mashing their backs into corners, or into tennis or lacrosse balls, and a variety of stretches. All of these things are likely to have some success, although it is usually limited.

The muscles in this area attach both to the shoulder blade and to the spine. The strain placed on these muscles invariably causes strain and pain in the nearby thoracic spine. Once the spine is sufficiently irritated your issue becomes more painful and less likely to respond to basic at-home therapy. It’s not impossible to solve this on your own, but it’s more challenging.

Importantly, a cervical disc bulge is very likely to create a burning pain in this same area, so we will want to make sure that’s not the case.

Getting past this pain therefore involves more than just stretching. It involves treating the thoracic spine and ensuring that your rib cage and spine are properly mobilized. It involves evaluating and treating the rhomboids and the traps. It means we need to look at the front of the torso, too, to see how other involved muscles and joints are doing. Quite often the shoulder joint needs to be adjusted or worked on. In most cases the neck is pathologically stiff, and in those cases there are usually headaches or jaw pain, too.

If any of this sounds like you then please give us a call! We’d love to have you come in to see what we can do for you. The initial visit at our office is an hour-long discussion with an exam and treatment. We don’t try to sham-wow you with anything fancy, but we will listen to your concerns and do our best to get you feeling good before you leave.

TMJ Pain

A lot of people experience chronic jaw pain. This can be due to stress, posture, clenching/grinding, a recent dental experience, or a host of other factors. Sometimes it is “all of the above”.

Human jaw anatomy
Different muscles controlling your TMJ attach to the skull and jaw

Often this pain is felt at the side of the jaw, right where the joint is. It’s usually more severe on one side. And quite often this jaw pain is associated with pain in the upper part of the neck, jaw clicking, or with stress headaches. A typical case of TMJ pain will also have recurrent headaches and neck pain, with tenderness and muscle pain at the top of the neck where the skull and neck muscles come together.

Quite often people know what the problem is: stress. Maybe you’re one of the people who can’t seem to get your shoulders to relax and feel like you’re always carrying tension in your shoulders. That same muscular tension, and emotional stress, turns into jaw pain soon enough.

Just like that jaw pain and dysfunction is the result of excess tension, the way to address the problem is by working to reduce the tension.

Emotional tension: it’s out of your chiropractor’s control, for the most part, to regulate your emotional response to triggering events and circumstances of your home life, your kids, your job or relationship. But talking to your chiropractor can sometimes be enough to start to make that tension melt away. As we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives, just having someone listen to you and discuss things can go a long way to getting past something that is bothering us. Maybe you don’t even know something’s bothering you but then you talk about it and identify the problem.

Physical tension: this is definitely something your chiropractor can address. Whether it be work posture or ergonomics or a physical injury to the jaw (like a long visit to the orthodontist or dentist, or some other oral task), the muscles and the joints involved in opening and closing your mouth can be worked on at Park Bench.

A typical therapy session for the TMJ involves a few things.

  1. Upper cervical chiropractic adjustment – this is aimed at relieving the pain and pressure in the neck that co-occurs with jaw pain. This can also go a long way to alleviating tension headaches.
  2. Manual therapy for the muscles of the jaw and neck – this targeted trigger point and massage work can be uncomfortable, especially if your jaw already hurts, but firm pressure at specific muscles combined with some gentle jaw movements can significantly decrease pain levels quite quickly.
  3. Advice on continuing care at home – stretches, exercises, or simply “cues” to help you keep things copacetic. Quite often if you can retrain yourself to notice when you are engaging in an unhelpful habit, maybe your clench your jaw when you use the computer, then you can stop those things before they cause pain. Or maybe you just need to recognize when stress is getting the better of you and learn to let it roll off instead of internalizing it.

If you think your jaw could use some work then give us a call or stop by today and chat with us. At Park Bench we are experts in manual therapy and in treating joint disorders.

Sports Injuries

Sports Injuries

We Have a Focus on Non-Spinal Issues As Well

A lot of people don’t realize the variety of conditions chiropractors are able to treat. Not only do we adjust the joints of the spine at our office, but we also adjust the extremity joints, including the:

  • Shoulders
  • Ribs
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Ankles
  • Elbows
  • Wrists

While not all injuries would benefit from an adjustment to the corresponding joint, many injuries or conditions do respond well to mobilizing the joint and performing therapies like targeted stretching or trigger point/manual therapy massage to the associated muscles. Both Drs. Matt and Rob are proficient in evaluating injuries to the arms and legs and can order x-rays or MRI’s when needed.

If you are suffering from an injury or simply looking to become more fit with the help of chiropractic then you should set up and appointment today. Give us a call!

Car Accident Injury Treatment

At Park Bench Chiropractic we welcome patient who have suffered injuries from car accidents.

Everybody at some point in there life is probably going to get into an accident. Whether they are “rear-ended” or “T-boned” or some other type of crash, the physical pain and the headaches that follow can be persistent and aggravating. Sometimes these issues take weeks or even months to resolve. The amount of physical force being transmitted through the occupant of a vehicle in a collision is quite significant. Soft tissue injuries to the supporting structures of the neck and back are very common. Without proper care these injuries can become chronic and difficult to resolve. It is for that reason that early and consistent treatment is vitally important.

If Your Car Broke, Imagine How Your Ligaments and Joints Feel

If you’ve been injured please give us a call. Our front desk staff will take the time to guide you through the claims process and will file all your medical claim forms on your behalf. Should you have an attorney we will work hand-in-hand with them to ensure a smooth process. Should you not have an attorney but want one, we will recommend an upstanding attorney with integrity whom specializes in car accident claims.

Whether your issue is whiplash, headaches, post-concussion problems, numbness or tingling to the arms or legs, neck or back pain, or something else…you can be well-served by coming to our office and seeing what we can do for you. In many cases we will order x-rays or MRI’s to assess the stability of your spine or the extent of your injuries. As with all clients we offer a complimentary 20-minute consultation if you want to come in and chat to see if Park Bench is right for you.

Both chiropractors at Park Bench are certified to perform physical therapy, so we will utilize modalities like heat/ice, stretching, muscle stim/TENS, and manual therapy to compliment the chiropractic treatment. No matter the complexity, severity, or simplicity of your case we will provide you with attentive and appropriate care. Our goal for all of our car accident clients is for them to return to feeling how they felt before the crash.

If you’ve had imaging (MRI/x-ray) performed at the hospital already, please let us know. We will take into account those films and reports when we evaluate you.

Most drivers have something called Personal Injury Protection as part of their car insurance. That provides you a pool of money (between approximately $2,500 and $5,000) that has been supplied by your premium payments in order to cover your medical expenses in the event of a claim being filed for an automobile crash.

Give us a call today to get started. We can usually get you an appointment within a day or so.

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

At Park Bench Chiropractic we welcome women in all stages of pregnancy.

A lot of things – such as pelvis shape, baby positioning, pre-existing lower back, and hip pain or sciatica issues – can all mean that chiropractic care is necessary for a better pregnancy.

A lot of people also don’t understand that chiropractic is safe for pregnant women. In fact, chiropractic is completely natural and is one of the few reasonable solutions to the type of pain many women experience before they give birth.

If you are enduring pain in your back or hips, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, headaches, neck pain, or another issue then please feel free to call us and set up a free consultation with one of the chiropractors. Either Dr. Matt or Dr. Rob will be happy to chat with you for about 10-20 minutes and answer any questions you may have. If you have questions or concerns then bring them with you and let us know.

Typical Pregnant and Happy All-Natural Picture

    Here’s a summary of some of the great reasons to make chiropractic a part of your pregnancy routine:

  • You shouldn’t be putting most drugs/medicines into your bloodstream while pregnant
  • Full hip and lower back mobility from chiropractic adjustments helps with labor
  • Your nervous system will appreciate pressure being removed from lumbar and sacral nerve roots
  • Chiropractic adjustments feel great

If you’re interested then get in touch. We look forward to meeting you.

News/Office Closings

JULY 1, 2020

Hola, amigos!

We are now leaving the door unlocked. Our waiting room, for the first time since the pandemic started, may have more than one person in it at the same time. To accommodate that reality we have moved chairs 6+ feet apart and, sadly, blocked the kids’ play area.

Anyone worried about COVID can rest assured we are not taking your concerns lightly.


MARCH 21, 2020

Greetings, friends.
With COVID-19 screwing up the entire world, it only makes sense that we close the office for the time being. We have tried to call each individual on our schedule though the 25th, but if you didn’t get a call then please refer to this statement and understand that we are not open.
If schools reopen then we will reopen. We can’t be sure when exactly schools will open back up for students, but ideally it will be by the end of the month.
In the event that schools stay closed and the majority of businesses in our state remain closed, our office will be closed as well.
IMPORTANTLY, if any of our patients are in ACUTE PAIN and are REAL JACKED UP, then Rob will come to the office to work on you. Probably lots of home repair and yad work going on, so people will be getting hurt. You will need to email the office @ and await Rob’s reply. Rob may take an hour or so to see the email and reply, but will work with anyone in pain to arrange their appointment. This DOES NOT apply to people who are not already patients with Park Bench.
Obviously, if you are someone with pre-existing health concerns, if you are 60+ years old, or if you have any suspicion that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 then you should not come in.


If we ever need to close the office or otherwise provide an update to patients regarding our business you can find that information here.

MARCH 14, 2020


We are, as of today, still planning on remaining open for normal business hours. We are keeping everything clean and disinfected. If you are feeling less-than-healthy please cancel your appointment. We will update Facebook if anything changes. So long as things remain as they are, which is cautious social-distancing and no spike in local cases, we will do our best to keep things moving.

FEBRUARY 7, 2018

Lots of ice on the roads. Rob is in on time but please feel free to cancel if you don’t feel safe driving this morning. We’re here and things are running normally, but do be careful!