Functional Neurology
of Middlesex County
Gregory Symko, D.C., D.A.B.C.N.
747 Main Street Suite 205
Concord, MA 01742
Directions & Office Hours

Posts about the topic: Posture

What is Frozen Shoulder?

It is important to know the source of shoulder pain so treatment can be effective and prevent further damage to the shoulder and surrounding structures.


What do we know about shoulders?

  • The shoulder is a very complex joint that is important to many activities of daily living.
  • Adhesive capsulitis is used to refer to a problem with the shoulder itself.
  • Secondary Adhesive Capsulitis refers other issues affecting the shoulder and not the shoulder itself.
  • Active range of motion will most likely be limited and painful in both cases, but decreased passive range of motion, which is often painful as well, most likely indicates problems with the shoulder joint itself.
  • Adhesive capsulitis, most commonly referred to as frozen shoulder (FS), is an idiopathic disease with two principal characteristics: pain and contracture.
  • Limitation of external rotation (*which is the first direction affected) is due to contracture of the coracohumeral ligament which prevents the greater tuberosity from further movement.

As you can see by the above, it takes a great deal of careful examination to figure out why there is a frozen shoulder.  Look here for more and how it might be treated.

back pain

Dr. Symko, Concord-area Functional Neurologist and Functional Medical Practitioner, What You Should Know About Back Pain.

Eighty percent of us will suffer from back pain, it is one of the leading causes of not going to work costing the US about 635 billion dollars annually.  That is a lot of pain.

Why is it so hard to figure out how to treat back pain?  I think the answer lies first in what we don’t know about backs.  You might hear that backs are complicated, or that “we don’t know everything about backs”.

In fact, is a lot of information out there and many little tidbits about the back and why we have pain.  Here are just 10.

  1. Backs are meant to move in a variety of directions without causing any pain.
  2. There are two types of muscle groups found in our back; fast twitch (stabilizers) and slow twitch (movers).
  3. Each type requires a different set of exercises to help them to be strong.
  4. Sitting for long periods is not good for back health.
  5. Pain is not always caused by a disc bulge.
  6. Movement is one of the best cures for back pain.
  7. It is not always necessary to have an x-ray or MRI of the back to determine what is wrong.
  8. The majority of back pain is of a functional nature and not a structural one.
  9. Simple orthopedic testing can help determine what is causing the pain and where it is coming from.
  10. The longer there is back pain the harder it is to correct.

If you have back pain and don’t know where it is coming from or how to heal it, we can help!  Give us a call or connect on email:  978-369-7070;


Dr. Greg Symko-Is good posture important for your brain?

posture-150x150You can tell a lot about the health of a person by looking at their posture.  You can particularly know about their brain health.  There is a part of you nervous system that controls your posture and this is called the PMRF.  If the PMRF is working correctly you have good posture.  The PMRF allows you to stand up and sit up straight.  What is interesting about that is your brain, the part that makes you you has a great influence on this PMRF.

So if that part of your brain we call the frontal lobes does not work well the PMRF will not work well.  The question you may have is what started not working well first the PMRF or the Frontal lobe.    Either can influence you posture.  It takes good observation and a trained Functional Neurologist to figure it out.  So the next time you are sitting and working at your computer ask yourself is my posture good and if not what is my brain doing wrong.

Are we made to sit all the time?

How to add exercise into your life without adding stress:


After our ancestors stopped chasing deer in the woods our physical activity suffered.  Farming was arduous and made up for this, but farming is much more difficult than hunting and gathering.  Ask any farmer.  But most of us don’t farm.  The average commute time in Massachusetts is about 27 minutes.  At work, the average time a worker sits is 5 hours and 41 minutes. That is a lot of time sitting in one day.  Researchers have discovered that after just 20 minutes of sitting the part of your brain that runs your posture and muscle tone shuts down.    So the average worker sits at least 6 hour a day.  That is 360 minutes or 18 times that the brain shuts down.

The part of the brain that shuts down is called the Ponto-Medullary Reticular Formation (PMRF).  The PMRF is very important for our body function.  Not only does it run posture and muscle tone, but helps with blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and a whole host of functions that your body does automatically.  There is more.  Ninety percent of all your brain’s thinking goes to the PMRF and thus ninety percent of the feedback from the PMRF goes to your brain.  If the PMRF is not working in this regard, it could have effect on our thinking.  This could mean depression, anxiety, dark thoughts, or fearful thoughts.

Further, what they discovered is that exercising 3 times a week, although helpful, is not enough to counter this effect.  This is pretty overwhelming.  The key is to break up the sitting.  It is up to you but here is a simple suggestion to get you started.  While driving at traffic lights think about walking.  This can fool your brain and the PMRF.  Thinking about physical activity is almost like actually doing the activity.  It will take practice, but can make a difference.  While working, every 20 minutes stand up and march in place for about one minute.  Other simple things are to take the stairs, and every hour go for a short walk.  Try this for 30 days to see what effect it has on you.  You will be happy you did.