Sometimes small stretches and movements or strengthening exercises are highly helpful in relieving the neck pain. But in case of severe neck pain due to any underlying problem the help of a physical therapist is recommended and needed.
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What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is basically a science relating to exercises which is applied for the welfare of the body functioning after an injury. Physical therapy for neck, shoulder or upper back pain can be done for the injury that may be caused due to external or internal conditions. The main focus is on the joints, structures and support including the muscles, tendons and ligaments present in these regions.
For reliving the pain and for treating the neck pain the physical therapist may advice and teach few stretches, exercises and spinal muscles strengthening movements and thereby preventing the recurrence of neck pain.
Physical Therapy Goals and Objectives
According to the recent studies 90% of the people experiences spine related problems at least once during their life. Some of them get the problem related to neck while others get the problems related to neck as well as shoulders or back. People who fails to seek the help at initial stages may get the conditions worsen.
The principle objectives of the physical therapy exercises is to reduce the stiffness and pain, to increase the range of motion of the neck region and also to prevent the potential complications which may happen because of the underlying neck problem.
Physical therapy also aims at educating the patients about the benefits of stretching and strengthening exercises. This helps them in managing their pain in a better way. The therapy also teaches the suffering patients about the ergonomic principles and importance of proper postures in day to day living.
This all benefits the patients by providing a way to faster healing so that their body returns to normal functioning and they can return to the normal activities.
Can Physical Therapy Help Neck Pain?
Neck pain is not a lifelong disease. It is like an injury that will little common sense and professional help can be healed. You need not get an extended medication to treat it; but simple forms of neck exercises and taking breaks in between your work can help ease your neck and upper pain. If you are sitting, moving, eating, and doing physical activities holding your neck tightly than it is high time you can fix that bad pain.
Physical therapy for neck, shoulder and upper back pain is often recommended by doctors as a very first natural treatment method. As it does not include any harmful drugs or medicines your neck can restore movements faster in a healthier manner. Along with it your body can expect to gain faster recovery from any type of chronic muscle pain when physical therapy is employed in an effective way.
Physical therapy for neck muscle pain basically involves therapeutic stretches and exercise which is the most important active part of physical therapy.
Visiting a Physical Therapist for Relief
When visiting a physical therapist for the relief of the neck pain, the first and foremost procedure takes place is the complete evaluation of the neck and its condition.
The physical therapist will then examine the neck thoroughly and will come to a conclusion regarding the problem, its management and prognosis and how well you can get the regular movement in your neck without any much discomfort and pain.
Next to the examination part, you will be asked about the other symptoms what you are getting along with the neck pain like any radiating pain to the shoulders or towards the middle and low back, either the pain is localized only to the neck or experienced in multiple places, any sort of tingling sensation felt in the arms and hands, any numbness felt in the hands and fingers, etc. etc.
Along with these inquiries and examinations the muscle tone, strength, endurance and the joint mobility of the cervical region will also be checked by the physical therapist. Generally by the end of this diagnosis part most of the physical therapists will come to a conclusion about the treatment intervention for the particular condition. Here is a recommended book about manual physical therapy of spine which has helped me a lot. If you are suffering from problems related to spinal and TMJ disorders should check this out for the needed help.
What He Can Do for You To Eliminate The Neck and Upper Back Pain?
Based on the underlying causes your physical therapist may recommend you two types of treatment modalities. These are often referred to as Passive Treatments and Active Treatments.
Massage and Other Therapies: Some of the pain managing treatment modalities like hot application, ice therapy, electrical stimulation, Interferential therapy, ultrasound, deep tissue massage, triggers point massage, etc. may be used as a passive treatment prior to the concerned active treatment options which basically includes exercises.
Electrical stimulation also referred as Electromyostimulation works with a low-voltage electric current applied to the muscles to contract and get stronger and tones. It is one of the best type of physical therapy used by therapist to relieve the illness and injury caused due to limited functional mobility or pain. It is basically a part of a rehabilitation program or a physical therapy that generates electric impulses through a medical device and transmits to the skin through electrodes.
Exercises and Stretches: For most of the people who are suffering from the pain due to pinched nerve in neck, an ideal physical therapy exercises are advised by the physical therapist as an active treatment method. Your therapist can recommend performing many forms of stretches and physical therapy exercises to relieve the stiffness pain and to restore the normal physiology of the neck as well as to strengthen the neck. Moreover as most of the times these personalized exercise programs are designed according to your needs you will find your body recovering fast.
Neck and Back Traction: Manual cervical traction is generally done by the physical therapist using hands and his experience. He while holding your head applies the traction force or pulling force at intermittent intervals. This pulling action and resting action given alternatively expands the muscles and nerves and releases pressure thereby reducing the pain in the neck region. Such treatment may not be exercised by an inexperienced person.
Good Posture Techniques: Based on your symptoms and painful conditions your physical therapist may teach you about how to employ good posture techniques in your daily life for the welfare of your body muscles. Often pain and tension found at the upper back and neck is because of the incorrect posture like when sitting in one direction for a long time. There might be other several reasons behind the person developing incorrect posture. Knowing about them in detail along with learning the ergonomic principles and ways on how to correct them can help you a lot in long run.
Overall, physical therapy is highly helpful in reducing the neck pain without causing any adverse effects to your spinal health. You should consult your chiropractic or physical therapist for learning the techniques involved as soon as possible. This will surely help you in managing your pain and help in avoiding its future occurrences.
How to Reduce Neck Pain – Tips From A Physical Therapist (Video)