Physical Therapy for Neck Pain
Neck Pain is the most commonly occurring problem these days. It affects adults aged 30-50 years more frequently. Each year, 30% of the US population gets neck pain. In addition, poor lifestyle habits like bad posture, smoking, obesity, and excessive computer usage may contribute to risk factors.
Working all day can strain your neck muscles, leaving you miserable for days. Sometimes, even painkillers won’t work because the injury is severe and needs special attention. We see physical therapy as the only solution to give you a lifetime of relief. Just head to your nearest physical therapy and wellness center.
Chronic neck pain is treated by many strengthening and stretching exercises. In addition, there are a variety of physical therapy exercises for neck pain for different underlying causes.
Causes Of Neck Pain
1. Neck Muscle Spasm
Over-use, weakness, sudden trauma, or wrong pillow selection while sleeping may cause cervical muscle spasms. Strengthening of neck muscles through physical therapy works like magic. Passive Physical Therapy can be beneficial to reduce pain and stiffness.
2. Neck Injury
Some injuries, like whiplash injury that damages the neck’s soft tissues, may last for years if not treated on time. Cervical disc slip and osteoporosis may cause life-long damage along with severe neck pain. Neck stretching exercises can help reduce pain and restore normal functioning.
3. Post-Surgical Pain
Some surgeries like anterior cervical discectomy with fusion may cause severe neck pain and stiffness. Post-operative physical therapy is the best treatment for such neck pain.
Symptoms Of Neck Pain
Neck pain manifestations depend on the structure and tissue affected and the severity of the injury. Symptoms include,
- Tight muscles
- neck, upper back, shoulder pain
- Numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms, or hands
- Difficulty sleeping due to pain
- Weakness in the arms
- Neck stiffness in forward leaning
- Inability to be in one position for a long time, such as sitting or standing
- Aggravated pain
- Pain worsening while sitting or reaching, sneezing or coughing
- Unable to sit straight or stand upright
How does Passive Physical Therapy Reduce neck pain and stiffness?
Massage, heat therapy, and cryotherapy increase blood flow that decreases muscle stiffness. Similarly, ultrasound and electrotherapy reduce pain.
Does physical therapy help increase range of motion?
Yes, active physical therapy increases the range of motion because of increased muscle strength.
Is physical therapy bad for a herniated disc?
Physical therapy won’t heal herniated discs, but it plays a significant role in preventing further injury.