I don’t know what happened! I woke up this way!!!

You’re not alone. Many of us have been there before.

You really want to back out of your driveway without running something over, but you end up just maybe tapping on your horn and backing up with a prayer.

Or you really want to change lanes but you can’t look all the way over to make sure it’s safe, so you put that turn signal on and you change lanes slowly enough to give the other drivers a chance to realize you’re just going to go for it.

Or your husband or wife says “Look at this!” – and you do. You forgot how much your neck hurts to turn and you just went and turned your neck without a single care. Acting all young and carefree and whatnot. Sudden, sharp pain!

Look…if you can!

If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before then you may be a bit apprehensive about having your neck adjusted. Maybe you’ve seen some dangerous-looking things on YouTube or TikTok. Or maybe you saw some immensely satisfying crunches and cracks on those social media sites and you want to give it a try.

You have every reason to be weary. We all are very protective of our necks. I believe it was the great philosopher of the 1990’s, M-E-T-H-O-D Man, who rhymingly advised us all to “Protect your neck”. The neck is a delicate piece of anatomy and it is crammed full of vital arteries and, of course, the spinal cord. A lifetime of movies featuring bad guys having their necks snapped into oblivion has likewise taught us to not allow strangers to twist our necks.

Yet here you are.

The good news is that even when in pain it is generally very safe to adjust someone’s neck. Not safe to adjust your own neck, or your friend’s neck. But it is safe to have a educated, trained, licensed and insured Doctor of Chiropractic adjust your neck. Yes, even if you are in pain and can barely look to the side.

So, if you’re sitting here reading this while bracing your neck muscles and barely looking to the side then I hope you consider giving our office a call at (301) 378-0334. We are open from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday and 9-12 on Saturday morning. You will probably be pleasantly surprised that you feel much better walking out our doors then walking in.

Been in a Car Crash?

Nothing is as inconvenient or painful as getting into a car crash. Rather, I suppose lots of things hurt more and are more inconvenient, but let’s disregard that for now.

Not only is there the headache of insurance claims and talking to insurance adjusters and claim management specialists, but you need to balance repairing your car or truck with repairing your body. Cars and trucks come and go – some you own for a decade and some stick around for just a year or two. Your body, though, you only get one of those.

Even slow speed impacts can cause a surprising amount of pain. So if you are feeling like you got hit by a truck – because you got hit by a truck – then give us a call. We will perform a full physical evaluation, order any x-rays or MRI’s we may need, and provide attentive and holistic care.

We can process claims for most major car insurance companies, such as GEICO, State Farm, and Progressive (among others). We handle all of that paperwork for you as long as you bring us a claim number and a phone number to call.

Then all you need to do it focus on getting back to feeling normal again. Give us a call at (301) 378-0334 to get started.

New Patient Special!

Spoiler Alert: there’s no New Patient Special.

Here’s why:

Most chiropractors rope people in with a “~~NeW PaTiEnT SpEcIaL!~~” designed to get you in the door. Once you’re there it’s an exam full of bells and whistles, big words and laser beams. They may even take x-rays so that they can describe to you just how screwed up your poor spine is.

In all honesty, a discounted first office visit may not cost you very much money – but it does cost the chiropractor time and money. Time that the chiropractor could spend seeing a full-cost patient. New Patient Specials are designed to give the doctor a chance to illustrate to the patient just how much you need what they offer. They might even be correct – you probably do need a ton of chiropractic care and your x-rays may look hideous and decrepit.

The problem is that the chiropractor has to recoup the cost of providing free or heavily discounted new patient visits. That cost has to be made up during the following visits. This creates a pressure on the doctor to ensure that you come in enough times to cover the cost of getting you into the office in the first place.

All that is why we don’t offer any New Patient Specials. Our only concern is treating our patients in a professional manner, in correctly evaluating our new patients so that we can make useful recommendations, and in telling our new patients to come in at the frequency that is best for their condition instead of the frequency that is best for our Wells Fargo Business Checking account.

Long story short, we don’t offer new patient discounts.

Long story long, we treat every patient like a human being and we do our best to care for them appropriately and cost-effectively. You may pay slightly more upfront, but you will spend less overall if we don’t waste your time and money with promotions.

We do offer this adorable grey kitty as our way of saying “Sorry” for not having a New Patient Special. We hope this cute kitten makes up for it.

Look at those eyes.

What Should I Wear to My First Appointment?

This is actually a question we get asked quite often. It’s a pretty easy answer, too.

First off, if you have a lower back or hip issue than you should make sure that your back and hips are accessible. While we may not need to see your actual skin, we will need to be able to feel the area and we will need to be able to move your legs and back around.

You probably do not want to be wearing a skirt, unless it is a long skirt. It won’t preclude us working on you, but it will introduce a little bit of a challenge to navigate while protecting your modesty.

If you like yoga pants or leggings, they are perfect because they stretch. Jeans are fine, too. Sometimes they make some leg movements and stretches difficult, but they will be OK.


If your problem is the neck or shoulders, then we recommend you wear something that covers you up but that isn’t incredibly bulky. For example, if your neck is the issue maybe don’t wear a turtleneck. Even if you do, though, it’s really not too difficult to work around clothing when we need to.

The first visit is a lot of diagnosis stuff – moving your body around to see if we can elicit pain and locate the cause of the problem. So that first visit is the one you really want to make sure you are dressed appropriately for. Anything that covers you up enough to make you feel comfortable is good, and if those clothes allow us to poke around and stretch and move you as the same time, that’s even better.

For regular visits (probably every visit after the exam) you can dress any way you feel comfortable. You will get to know our treatment style soon enough, and you’ll find that you have a way you want to be dressed to get your best results.

Ultimately, dress however you feel comfortable. Wear your favorite Crocs if you’d like, and rock out that knitted sweater full of cats howling at the moon. Whatever makes you happy is the exact way we will gladly accept you!

Neck Pain that Progressively Worsens Throughout the Workday

So…we all know that staring at a computer for hours every day isn’t good for our necks and shoulders.

It’s a very common thing for a new client to tell me something like this:

“My neck hurts every day while using the computer. It gets worse throughout the day. I just wish it would pop or something. It feels so tight. My shoulder blades start to feel a burning pain. I keep doing these stretches I saw online.”

Unfortunately, that is a very common story. These days, with COVID having us less active and with many of us working from home, neck and shoulder pain is more of a problem than ever before.

Here’s the good news.

I can help! No. Really, I can. You are suffering from a very real physical problem. At Park Bench we utilize an effective mixture of chiropractic adjustments, manual massage methods, and fascial stretching that allows us to get our clients past issues like this quickly. Not just that, but we guilt trip and cajole our clients into performing home exercises and making lifestyle modifications so that this doesn’t keep coming back.

So, if this sounds like your problem then we invite you to come on in, get to know us, and see how much we can help.

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.