Physical therapy intervention can be very effective in alleviating acute and chronic neck pain. Many factors may contribute to neck pain and each factor must be addressed in order to achieve a good outcome. Neck injuries can occur as a result of an injury as well as from repetitive motions, poor posture, poor ergonomics, and degenerative changes. Recovery from a neck injury can be a slow and painful process; however, physical therapy intervention can speed up the rehabilitation process and alleviate your symptoms.
Our physical therapists utilize a variety of evaluation and treatment techniques for neck pain. Through various treatment methods physical therapy can reduce pain, increase your mobility, strengthen your spine, and prevent re-injury. Balance Solutions is unique in our ability to incorporate manual therapy techniques with therapeutic exercise and neuro-muscular re-education. This combination of services allows us to achieve maximum functional gains for all spine conditions. Our therapists can help you return to the activities and lifestyle that you enjoy.
At Balance Solutions you will be evaluated by a skilled licensed physical therapist to determine factors contributing to your condition such as; range of motion, muscle strength, upper cervical and scapulothoracic mechanics, joint mobility, soft tissue mobility, postural alignment, abnormalities in movement patterns, and body mechanics. Following a thorough evaluation, a personalized plan of care with goals will be constructed specifically to meet your individual needs.
Our physical therapy program can provide significant benefits for individuals with the following conditions:
- Disc Herniation/Bulging Disc
- Cervical Radiculopathy
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Whiplash/muscle strain
- Capsular Impingement
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Arthritic changes
- Nerve Impingements
- Cervicogenic & Tension Headaches
Conditions involving structures of the neck may often contribute to other symptoms including;
- Tension headaches – which may begin in your neck or shoulders and spread to your forehead
- Cervicogenic headaches – which occur at the base of your skull
- Tenderness and sensitivity in your neck and shoulder region
- Restricted or painful motion in your neck and/or shoulder
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your shoulders, arms or hands
- Jaw, ear, or facial pain or numbness
- Pain across the shoulder blade region
- A sensation of haziness, fogginess, cloudiness… “I feel like my head just isn’t right”
Different techniques and methods are utilized during intervention for neck pain. A few of the key methods we use may include the following:
Increased muscle tone (tightness) or muscle spasm may contribute to neck and shoulder pain. When the muscles in the front of your neck are tight, they may compress nerves which innervate your arms and hands; resulting in numbness, tingling, and or pain. When the muscles at the base of your skull are tight you may experience neck pain and headaches as well as a sense of haziness. Decreased joint mobility or altered joint mechanics in your neck may result in neck or arm pain. Joint mobilizations are pain free techniques that improve the joint mechanics. This is not aggressive and is not manipulation. Joint mobility is promoted throughout the cervical and thoracic spine, as well as the shoulder joint, as restrictions in these areas may contribute to your problem. There are multiple manual therapy techniques utilized to improve joint mechanics, decrease muscle tone and improve flexibility in the neck.
Proper mechanics in the cervical spine as well as shoulder girdle depend on muscle strength and tension relationships. When neck muscles are too weak or too tight more stress is placed on the ligaments and joint capsules. Tightening or shortening of the neck muscles can result in increased compression of the spine which may cause pain in the neck and wearing away of the joint surfaces. Poor shoulder mechanics may result in substitution by certain neck muscles resulting in neck pain. Exercises can help to improve your neck and shoulder mechanics by stretching tight structures and strengthening weak muscles, restoring proper mechanics throughout your neck and shoulder regions.