What causes neck pain?
Neck pain can happen from injuries like car accidents, degenerative conditions like arthritis, pinched nerves, tight muscles due to stress, and from poor posture. The neck is a one of the most important parts of our bodies. That’s because the neck connects special sensory organs like the ears, eyes, nose, tongue, as well as the brain with its network of nerves that communicates to the vital organs and muscles of the body. A hurt neck can change how the rest of the body functions.
What are the symptoms of neck pain?
The symptoms of neck pain can vary depending on what part of affected. Pain can be described in many ways which makes it unique to the individual describing their experience. Symptoms might be sharp, dull, achy, piercing, burning, stabbing, throbbing, annoying or distracting. It can also include:
- Weight pushing down on the shoulders
- Head feels too heavy
- Muscle fatigue
- Pain at rest
- Pain with movement
- Difficulty turning the head, looking up or looking down
- Numbness or tingling into the neck, shoulder, arm, or hand
What helps relieve neck pain?
Just like other parts of the body that is in pain, there are many options to help. First aid for neck pain may begin with stabilizing the neck. This can be accomplished with telling yourself to not move the head to the point of pain. In cases of moderate to high levels of pain, the neck can be supported by special pillows or a brace.
Cold and/or heat application to the neck can also reduce pain. Resting the neck can be helpful depending on what activities might be aggravating the symptoms. Once symptoms improve, normal activity that was painful can be slowly reintroduced.
Neck pain that goes on for more than 5 days with little to no improvement may benefit from Physical Therapy. A Physical Therapist can assess the reason for neck pain to figure out what treatments would help recovery and healing. Some people also find relief from massage therapy, chiropractic, over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, and acupuncture.
What are some Physical Therapy treatments that could help?
My PT is well trained in evaluating and treating neck pain. Dr. Tom offers several treatment options. Here are some examples:
- Neck Stretching
- Manual Traction
- Therapeutic Exercise
- Shoulder Stretching
- Posture and Ergonomic Training
- Neck Muscle Strengthening
- Core Muscle Strengthening
- Kinesiology Taping
- Cold Laser
- Manual Therapy
- Myofascial Cupping
- Instrument Assisted Soft tissue Mobilization
- Dry Needling
- Theragun G3 PRO
How can My PT help my neck pain?
Custom Physical Therapy can help. An evaluation is performed first to find out why the neck hurts. This will include assessing posture, neck range of motion, muscle strength, cervical spine joint mobility, special tests, reflex testing, sensation testing, and palpation.
Next, a treatment plan is recommended. This can include therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, and the use of therapeutic modalities. Clients are asked to return for follow up visits to assess response to treatment so there is a natural progression of treatment.
Treatment plans could range from 1-3 visits per week. Treatment could continue for several weeks, depending on the severity of the problem. Because the body is dynamic and different events in life can affect progress, on going maintenance treatment can be very effective at controlling symptoms from worsening or returning.
What neck conditions does My PT treat?
- Pinched Nerves
- Neck sprains and strains
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Cervical Spine Stenosis
- Cervical Radiculopathy
- Cervicogenic Headaches
- Disc bulges and Herniations