Physical Therapist’s Approach to Neck Pain
Physical therapist’s approach to neck pain
It is estimated that neck pain affects approximately 30% of the US population each year(2). Neck pain can be caused by many different things such as sudden trauma like a fall, sports injury, or car accident, or by long-term problems in the spine.
Neck pain most frequently affects adults aged 30 to 50 years. Interestingly some studies indicate that women are more likely to suffer neck pain than men!(2). Poor posture, obesity, smoking, repetitive lifting, office and computer work, and involvement in athletic activity are all risk factors for developing neck pain.
People with neck pain can have difficulty performing activities such as working, driving, playing sports, or simply turning their heads. The majority of neck pain episodes do not require surgery and respond best to physical therapy. Physical therapists design individualized treatment programs to help people with neck pain reduce or eliminate overall pain, regain normal movement, and get back to their regular activities.
How Does it Feel?
People with neck pain may experience stiffness in the neck, and may describe the pain they feel as:
How Is It Diagnosed?
Your physical therapist will conduct a thorough examination that includes taking your health history. They will also ask you detailed questions about your pain or injury, such as:
How and when did the pain start? What type of discomfort do you feel, and where do you feel it? At what time of day is it worse? Etc. Depending how you answer these questions will determine the treatment plan. Physical therapy treatment may begin right away and if more severe problems are found with any of the testing, your physical therapist may collaborate with a physician or surgeon to obtain special diagnostic testing, such as an MRI(1). Your physical therapist will work closely with physicians and other health care providers to make sure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and the treatment and care you need.
Goals of Physical Therapy for Neck Pain
Physical therapy for neck pain typically includes the following goals:
- Reduce any pain or stiffness
- Improve overall head and neck range of motion
- Strengthening of the neck and its supporting musculature
- Develop strategies to prevent pain from recurring
Even if pain cannot be completely eliminated, physical therapy may play an important role in improving neck posture and function for daily movements.
The physical therapists at Allied Health Solutions all have an extensive amount of experience in treating neck pain and are capable of finding the root cause of the problem. This is achieved by performing very thorough initial evaluations where many of the questions mentioned earlier in this blog are asked. All the information acquired on the evaluation day will aid in creating an effective and efficient program consisting of various exercises and stretches. If you or a loved one are experiencing neck pain the physical therapists at Allied Health Solutions are here to help! So please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a visit!
- “Physical Therapy Guide to Neck Pain.” ApexNetwork Physical Therapy, 18 Nov. 2020, apexnetworkpt.com/physical-therapy-guide-to-neck-pain/.
- “GUIDE: Physical Therapy Guide to Neck Pain.” Choose PT, 26 Aug. 2021, www.choosept.com/guide/physical-therapy-guide-neck-pain.