Understanding Physical Therapy For Neck Pain
When you visit a physiotherapist or chiropractor, you will first have a complete evaluation. They will evaluate how well you can move your neck. You may be asked about symptoms such as pain in the neck or between the shoulder blades, pain that lowers the arm or fingers, or numbness or tingling in the shoulder or arm.
Many studies have investigated whether physical therapy can help reduce back pain, such as lower back or neck pain. The current medical literature suggests moderate and strong evidence supporting the benefits of the role of physical therapy in reducing neck pain and improving range of motion. Some studies have benefited more from physical therapy combined with other therapies, such as aerobic exercise.
How to know early signs of pain
People with neck pain may have difficulty performing activities such as working out, driving, playing sports, or just turning their heads. Most areas of neck pain do not require surgery and respond best to physical therapy. Physiotherapists develop personalized treatment plans to help people with neck pain reduce or eliminate pain, regain normal movement, and return to their normal activities.
Neck pain caused by irritated nerves can extend to the upper back, as well as the shoulder, shoulders, arms, or arms. This condition is called “radiculopathy.” Your physiotherapist can help determine if this condition occurs, and will work closely with your doctor and surgeon to determine the appropriate treatment.
When physical therapy may be recommended
Neck therapy can be recommended in a variety of cases, such as:
Unspecified chronic pain; When neck pain persists or continues to recur, the exact source or mechanism of pain may be difficult to diagnose. Even without diagnosis, increasing the strength of the neck muscles can help them better support the cervical spine and become more resistant to pain.
Recovering from injury; Other injuries, such as whiplash, can damage the soft tissues and neck, causing pain and / or stiffness that can last for weeks or more. A physical therapy program can reduce pain and help restore the neck to normal function.
Recover from surgery; Certain neck surgery can cause severe pain and stiffness in the weeks and months to come. For example, external cervical discectomy and fusion surgery involves fusion of 2 or more vertebrae in the neck, which can change how the neck and back muscles move.
How physical therapy for neck pain works
Physical therapy is one of the most common treatments for chronic neck pain. Many physical therapy programs for neck pain include using treatments to reduce pain and / or difficulty enough to start a neck strengthening and stretching exercise program. The main goals of neck treatment are:
- Stretching and strengthening the muscles in the affected areas, speeding up the healing process by reducing neck pain and swelling, while making the muscles softer and stronger.
- Train posture with other bodybuilders who can protect the neck and spine, prevent future neck pain.
- Demonstrate to patients how to care for the pain of recurrence if re-injury occurs.
The physiotherapist will always start by asking you questions designed to help you determine the scope of the problem, everything from your lifestyle to medical history. If your neck pain was caused by a major trauma or illness, your physiotherapist will consult your doctor.
Symptoms of neck pain
The type and location of your symptoms depends on the tissue or structure that has been affected, and the severity of the injury.
- Pain in the neck, upper back, shoulders, arms, or arms.
- Squeezing or biting the neck, shoulders, arms, or arms.
- Weakness in hands.
- Increased pain when coughing, sneezing, reaching, or sitting.
- Inability to stand upright or stay upright.
- Difficulty when trying to move, or the feeling of “stuck” in a position such as leaning forward, or head tilted to the side.
- Strong muscles.
- Lack of sitting in one place for long periods of time, such as sitting or standing, because of pain.
- Pain that is worse in the morning or at night.
- Difficulty sleeping because of pain.
Causes of neck pain
Chronic neck pain can have a variety of causes, and it is sometimes difficult to determine the nature of the pain. Even if the cause is unknown, physical therapy can help strengthen your neck muscles, improve mobility, and reduce pain. Other causes of neck pain include:
Muscle strain; One of the most common causes of neck pain is muscle strain. This can develop from a variety of factors, such as poor posture, whiplash, or abnormal sleeping positions. You may also get neck pain from basic conditions, such as a cervical herniated disc, cervical degenerative disc disease, or cervical osteoarthritis.
Whiplash; wound when there is a sudden movement in front of and behind the head and spine. It is important to have a doctor check your neck pain and if needed, he or she will recommend a physiotherapist who can help you with it.
Osteoarthritis; deterioration of the frame joints in the spine. Friction can lead to compressed nerves from osteoarthritis. And when the sacroiliac joint has more or less motion, it can cause back pain.
Disc herniation; occurs when the disk-like interior leaks out and irritates the nerve roots. It usually causes back pain in the legs and back pain. Wearing and crying on the spinal discs can lead to lumbar degenerative disc disease. Causes low back pain.
Many experts agree that physical therapy is the best option for treating neck pain. Numerous studies have shown improved posture, reduced pain and stiffness, reduced muscle spasms, and increased neck function in many physical therapy patients. Those patients who are committed to a home-based program recommended by their physiotherapist may receive improved long-term relief.
Diagnosis of neck pain
Your physiotherapist will perform a thorough examination which includes taking your medical history. He or she will also ask you detailed questions about your pain or injury, such as:
- How and when did the pain begin?
- What kind of discomfort do you feel, and where do you feel?
- What time of day is the worst?
- What can you not do now in your daily life due to pain?
It can start immediately to help you find the way to recovery and return to your normal activities. If the most serious problem is found with any test, your physical therapist may consult a physician or surgeon for a specific diagnostic test, such as an MRI. Your physiotherapist will work closely with doctors and other health care providers to ensure that you get the right diagnosis and treatment and care that you need.
Prevention of neck pain
To prevent neck pain, people should:
- Maintain good posture at all times. That means keeping your back and head in good order while sitting, standing, and all your daily activities.
- Keep your muscles strong and flexible. Participate in a consistent exercise program to maintain a healthy balance.
- Use proper body mechanics when lifting, pushing, pulling, or doing any exercise that puts more stress on your back.
- Maintain good weight. This will reduce stress on your back.
- Stop smoking.
Discuss your work with a physiotherapist, who can provide an analysis of your workload and provide feedback to reduce your risk of injury.
Treatment of neck pain
Your physiotherapist will work with you to design a specific treatment plan that will speed up your recovery, as well as the exercises and treatments you can do at home. Physical therapy can help you return to your normal lifestyle and activities. Your physiotherapist will work with you to:
Exercise is an important part of treating a spine after an injury or surgery. Occupational therapies distribute nutrients to the disc space, joints and soft tissues in the neck. Regular exercise routines help patients improve mobility and strength, reduce recurrence, and reduce the severity and duration of future episodes of neck and arm pain.
Exercises can be divided into three basic groups:
- Push the wall; This exercise can help strengthen your shoulders and support your neck muscles, without causing stress such as regular push-ups.
- Prone raw; This exercise strengthens the muscles that pull the shoulder joint together. You will want to lie face down on a bed or a matching face, curled up so that your face is in a corner, and be able to stretch your arms in all directions.
- Seated neck stretch; Easy to cheat, this exercise can be done even on your desk. For a stretch, sit upright in your chair with your feet down.
- Aquatic exercise; While high impact sports can be hard on the neck, low-impact sports like swimming, walking, or regular cycling can help you avoid trouble.
- Shoulder and head rolls; This stretching is a good warm-up to start with before trying out other exercises. For the shoulder girdle, place your hands interacting on your sides, and with your head upright, just lift and move your shoulders.
All of these exercises should be done slowly and comfortably to avoid injury. Remember to breathe normally and without holding your breath; exhale during exertion and inhalation at rest.
2. Improve your posture
If a bad posture is thought to be the cause of your neck pain, your physiotherapist may work with you to fix it. She can use a special roll of lumbar support to help you improve your posture posture. If your physiotherapist finds that poor posture has contributed to your neck pain, he or she will teach you how to improve your posture so that healing can occur.
3. Hot and cold therapies
By using heat, a physiotherapist seeks to get more blood into the target area because increased blood supply brings more oxygen and nutrients to the area. Blood is also needed to remove products produced by muscle spasms, and it also aids healing. Cold therapy reduces circulation, helping to reduce swelling, muscle spasms, and pain.
Your physiotherapist will switch between hot and cold treatments. Heat and ice are also treatments that can be used to help relax muscles and reduce swelling. Again, these regular treatments may feel good, but they should not replace exercise routines and postal correction in the treatment of your neck pain.
In traction, the therapist will try to straighten and flex your spine so that you do not feel the slightest pain and can move easily. He can do this with his hands, hands approaching or using a mechanical suction device. Sometimes, cervical smoking can be used in the office of a physiotherapist, or on the recommendation of your orthopedist or neurologist, to help treat your neck pain.
Traction is used to separate the joint surfaces in the neck, which can be beneficial if you have arthritis of the neck. If you have a ruptured or herniated disc, traction can help give your irritated nerves space, so that your pain subsides.
If hard and aching muscles are considered to be the cause of your neck pain, your physiotherapist may use massage techniques to help reduce tension and pain in these muscles. This technique targets chronic muscle tension-tension in your neck that probably forms through the stresses of daily life. The specialist uses direct pressure and friction to try to release tension in your soft tissues.
6. Improve muscle strength
Nerves and tendons that support the vertebrae. The main goals of physical therapy for neck pain are to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the affected areas, to make the muscles stronger and more flexible, to reduce pain, to teach patients how to prevent recurrence and to teach them what to do if they do.
If your physiotherapist finds any weak or injured muscles, he or she will select and teach you the right exercises to regain your strength and agility. For neck pain, (strengthening the core or stability) is commonly used to restore strength and muscle coordination around your spine.