Physical therapy for neck pain

May 17th, 2012
Physical therapy for neck pain

Physical therapy for neck pain is often the best treatment in the relief of neck pain and in teaching you how to prevent recurrence of the injury or condition.

Neck pain is normally felt from anywhere in your neck, starting from the lower part of the head down to the top part of the shoulders. It might spread to the upper back or the arms and it might limit movement of the head and/or neck. There can be several factors that can lead to neck injury. When the muscles of the neck are overused or overstressed, it can cause neck strain and tension leading to neck pain. One common cause of neck pain is whiplash injury when there is a sudden forward and backward movement of the head and the spine. It is important to have a physician check out your neck pain and if needed, he or she will recommend a physical therapist that can help you with it.

There are two types of neck pain, the acute or short-term and the chronic or long-term neck pain. Physical therapy for neck pain for acute neck pain can include mobilization movements like pulling, pushing and slow twisting exercises. A good example of this type of physical therapy for neck pain exercise is full movement of your neck several times daily. Doing these movements daily can help with your neck pain by maintaining the range of motion and decreasing pain. Manipulations and joint mobilizations can also be used in these cases. For chronic neck pain, counseling together with medical treatment might be needed to help the patient fully recover.

Exercises used in physical therapy for neck pain includes dorsal glide, chest stretches, shoulder stretches and isometric resistance exercises using your hand as the resistance. As always, it is important to consult your doctor and physical therapist before you start any exercise regimen for any condition or ailment.

Physical therapy for neck pain starts with the physical therapist creating a successful treatment course to relieve pain and allow you to move more freely so you can improve your flexibility, stability and strength. Part of this treatment could include a combination of ice or heat therapy, electrical stimulation of the muscles affected, ultrasound treatment, traction or massage therapy.

Physical therapy for neck pain often focuses on improving the strength of the muscles, the ligaments and the tendons that are supporting the vertebrae. The main goals of physical therapy for neck pain are stretching and strengthening of the muscles around the affected areas, making the muscles stronger and more flexible, reducing pain, educating patients on how to prevent re-occurrence and teaching them what to do in case it does.

Part two of the treatment plan should include thorough education about the how to move with correct posture, how to stand, lift, bend, and exercise properly to avoid re-injury. Also, a physical therapist can provide exercises that can be done at home.

Physical therapy for neck pain is also a great approach to a healthy recovery from spine surgery.