Neck pain is so common, there’s even an everyday phrase for it: “What a pain in the neck.” Fortunately, neck pain is rarely serious, however, that doesn’t make it any less painful or strenuous. Physical therapy for neck pain can reduce your pain and inflammation while restoring your neck’s range of motion. Chronic neck pain, frequent headaches, whiplash, all of these are neck pains that physical therapy can help with.
If you’re suffering from neck pain, it’s important to have it treated sooner rather than later, so you can alleviate the symptoms, avoid additional symptoms popping up, and reduce the risk of complications developing. Physical therapy for neck pain is an excellent way to do just that. Since physical therapy is often associated with rehabilitation after surgery or serious injuries, some people wonder whether or not physical therapy for neck pain is worth it, or whether or not it would be better to just pop some painkillers and wait it out.
The truth is that anything that improves your quality of life and makes it so that you can go about your day with reduced pain and strain and better range of motion is absolutely worth it – something that physical therapy for neck pain can help you achieve. Here’s what you need to know about neck pain, how physical therapy for neck pain works, and how you can benefit from physical therapy for that persistent pain in your neck that just won’t go away.
Common Causes Of Neck Pain
Neck pain can be caused by any number of factors, from sleeping in an awkward position to poor posture to car accidents and more. Some of the common causes of neck pain include:
- Muscle tension and strain, such as that which occurs as a result of poor posture, sleeping in an awkward position, or muscular overuse from repetitive stain
- Injuries, such as from car accidents, athletic activity, especially sports, and falls
- Diseases, including but not limited to: arthritis and meningitis
- Degenerative discs, such as bulging or herniated discs
- Alignment issues, as your spine runs up your neck, and if it is misaligned, this can cause significant pain and persistent headaches
Anything from simply sitting in an awkward position for an extended period of time, such as doing office work or being on your phone, to whiplash to other traumas to chronic issues can result in neck pain.
Signs And Symptoms Of Neck Pain
Aside from the obvious – pain in your neck – there are other signs and symptoms that physical therapy for neck pain can help with. Depending on the cause of your specific neck pain, you may experience different symptoms than someone else. Whiplash, for example, is an entirely different type of neck pain than chronic neck pain or neck pain that results from sleeping in an uncomfortable position.
Some common signs and symptoms of neck pain include:
- Limited mobility
- Sharp pain
- Shooting pain
- Tingling pain
- Aching, throbbing pain
- Radicular pain
- And more
Neck pain isn’t only felt in one area of your neck, but can be felt anywhere in the general area, from solely on one side, to down into your shoulder blades, to directly within your neck. If you have a pinched nerve in your neck, the pain may even extend down your limbs, causing weakness, tingling, and numbness.
How Physical Therapy For Neck Pain Works
Chances are, if you’re suffering from neck pain as a result of just sleeping in an awkward position, it will go away within a few days and is nothing to worry about. However, if your neck pain persists, especially if it was caused by a trauma, physical therapy can help.
When you see a physical therapist for neck pain, they’ll start with an evaluation that includes questions and an examination, in order to gather information about you, your medical history, when the neck pain started, your specific symptoms, and how it’s affecting you. During the examination, they’ll look at your range of motion, how tender your neck is, your strength, your posture, and your general mobility.
Once they’ve gathered all the necessary information, your physical therapist will then work with you to formulate a personalized treatment plan. This can include passive physical therapy, which refers to when the physical therapist conducts a treatment on you, such as massages or therapeutic modalities or cryotherapy, as well as active physical therapy, which is when the physical therapist guides you through exercises and stretches and other techniques designed to reduce your pain and inflammation while increasing your range of motion.
Physical therapy is a very customized thing – there is no one size fits all, as everything has different bodies and histories and concerns, and different treatments work for different people. The length of time in which you are in physical therapy will vary, depending on your specific case. With proper treatment, you can expect to see improvement in your neck pain and quality of life – something which makes physical therapy for neck pain worth it beyond a shadow of doubt.
Do You Need Physical Therapy For Your Neck Pain?
Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy provides professional physical therapy services for a wide range of issues – including neck pain. If you’re suffering from pain in your neck, don’t hesitate to contact us. Physical therapy for neck pain can help you get back to a pain-free life safely and efficiently.