Do you have discomfort or pain while sitting in your work chair, bending your head down to tie your shoes, or attempting to get into a comfortable sleeping posture at night? If that’s the case, physical therapy may be of assistance.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), around one-third of Americans suffer from neck pain each year. The neck is an important component of your normal activities, and neck discomfort might cause problems with simple daily jobs that you would usually manage easily. Neck pain, if untreated, can lead to serious issues, and surgical intervention may be required.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain is caused by strain on the soft tissues of the neck. It begins at the base of your skull and spreads up your spinal column to your shoulders, eventually settling in the back of your neck. Neck discomfort can range from mild to serious, with dull, persistent aches or sharp, shooting pains.
Even more often, neck discomfort develops gradually as a result of an underlying chronic condition. The following are some of the most frequent causes of neck pain:
Some common conditions that may be causing pain in your neck include:
- Injuries. Whiplash is a strain injury of the neck that most frequently causes neck discomfort. It’s known as “strain” trauma since the head moves back and forth rapidly. Whiplash occurs most often in automobile accidents or high-impact sports collisions, affecting the soft tissues at the base of the neck.
- Muscle strains. Overuse can put strain on the muscles in your neck. Even resting at your computer all day with your neck stretched forward might contribute to a muscle strain.
- Nerve compression. If your spinal cord nerves are compressed because of a herniated disc in your neck, they may become irritated. Nerve discomfort can sometimes lead to “radiculopathy,” which is an illness characterized by pain that extends from the neck down to the hands and fingers.
- Joint degeneration. Every structure in the body is susceptible to wear and tear as we age, and your neck is no exception. Osteoarthritis can also damage the cartilage between the vertebrae in the neck, resulting in discomfort that might be mild to severe.
- Illnesses. Neck pain can be caused by a variety of illnesses and ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, and cancer.
- Text-neck. Yes, this is a problem. Looking down at your phone and texting for lengthy periods of time is one of the leading causes of text-neck. The strain on the muscles and discs in the neck rises to the point that it feels like you’re supporting a 40-pound weight!
Neck discomfort can also be linked to a variety of illnesses, ranging from cancer to meningitis. Even lifestyle choices like smoking might create neck discomfort risks.
Additional symptoms that can accompany neck pain include:
- Insomnia, sleep deprivation
- Arm weakness or pain
- Numbness or tingly feelings
- Inability to stand or sit up straight without holding on to something.
- When you stay in the same posture for too long, it causes discomfort and pain.
- Stiffness and tightness in the upper body
How Physical Therapy Helps With Neck Pain
Many neck pain patients will benefit from physical therapy. It delivers more long-term relief than drugs without the risks and recovery time of surgery.
The physical therapist understands how the different parts of the neck should function together and what indicators indicate specific diseases or injuries.
Once our physical therapist will examine your cervical spine, range of motion, symptoms (including neurological symptoms referred to the upper extremities), and medical history, we will be able to devise a physical therapy program that can help you get rid of that persistent pain.
Common physical therapy options for treating neck pain include:
- Exercises – Despite the ubiquitous image of a neck pain sufferer confined to a neck brace, mobility exercises can make a huge difference as long as they are appropriately advised and performed. These exercises can loosen your neck muscles and provide them with the suppleness they require to support your head correctly.
- Physiotherapy techniques – Heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage therapy, and other methods may all be used to reduce inflammation and alleviate neck spasms.
- Lifestyle advice –Physical therapists may recommend changes to your job environment, sleep posture, cushion, and other aspects in order to maintain your neck comfortable.
Our Physical Therapist Is Ready to Help
Why suffer through neck pain when physical therapy can help you get rid of it? To receive that much-needed comfort, give us a call!