Headaches & Neck Pain Relief
Neck pain can cause debilitating and extremely uncomfortable sensations, especially if the pain radiates from your neck down to your shoulders. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), approximately one-third of the population will experience neck pain in any given year. It can get worse if left untreated, and in severe cases, surgery may even be needed.
Your neck is an integral area of everyday movement, and sharp pains can prevent you from functioning properly in your day-to-day life. Many people find relief from their neck pain every year through the help of physical therapy. Our physical therapy practice is dedicated to providing you with relief. If you are suffering from neck pain, request an appointment at Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy today!
Neck pain: Defined
There are several reasons why neck pain may occur. When someone experiences neck pain, it typically runs from the base of their skull to the top of their shoulder blades. The pain can vary in severity, from a constant dull ache to sharp and stabbing pains. Neck pain can sometimes include additional symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Stiffness and muscle tightness in the upper body
- Numbness or tingling
- Loss of sleep due to pain and discomfort
- Arm weakness
- Inability to fully stand up or sit up straight
Why do I have neck pain?
Neck pain is most commonly caused by injury to the tissues, nerves, or change in the bony structures within the neck. Some common conditions that give you pain in your neck include:
- Traumatic Injury – Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that result in neck pain, typically sustained by an automobile or high-impact sports collision. This is known as a “strain and sprain” injury, causing the head to whip rapidly back-and-forth, thus affecting the soft tissues surrounding the neck.
- Muscle strains – The muscles in your neck can become strained by overuse. Even something as simple as sitting at your desk all day with your neck craned toward the computer screen can lead to a strain in your neck muscles.
- Nerve compression – If you have a herniated disc or bony change in the structure of your neck, the nerves that branch out from your spinal cord can become compressed. In some cases, nerve pain can even extend from the neck all the way down to the hands and fingers — a condition known as “radiculopathy.”
- Joint degeneration. Much like any other joint in your body, the neck joints can erode with age, causing pain. Conditions such as osteoarthritis can also reduce the cartilage between the vertebrae in the neck, also resulting in neck pain.
How will physical therapy solve my neck pain issues?
At Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy, our physical therapists will conduct an initial physical evaluation to analyze the range of motion in your neck, as well as any limitations you have due to your pain. They will then determine a physical therapy diagnosis and create an individualized treatment plan. You will work together to understand the goals and expectations of each step in your personalized treatment plan, with the primary focus being pain relief and a quick recovery.
Treatments for your neck pain will most likely include manual or “hands-on” therapy, which consists of special techniques designed to reduce the stiffness of your neck and improve its range of motion. Our physical therapists will also provide you with targeted exercises that will strengthen, build, and improve the muscles and tissues in your neck. We will focus on improving your posture to aid in the recovery of your neck muscles, as well as avoiding re-injury in the future. Additional treatment services may include ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation, as your physical therapist deems fit.
Don’t let your daily discomfort be a pain in the neck any longer. Contact Merrimack Valley Physical Therapy to speak with one of our dedicated team members today and schedule your initial evaluation! We will help you get started on the road toward long-lasting pain relief.