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Everything you need to know about neck and shoulder pain physiotherapy… And what solutions it may offer YOU.
What type of neck pain do you have and what is it stopping you from achieving?
Neck pain is a relatively common complaint that may be caused by a number of conditions and circumstances. In many cases, neck pain is the result of strain, poor posture, or overuse. Understanding the different types of neck pain is crucial to getting a successful outcome; because not all neck pain is the same.
However, chronic cases of neck pain can also be caused by underlying risk factors affecting certain parts of the neck, mid back, and arm. These are commonly missed and lead to experiencing recurrences of neck pain or failed treatments. When this occurs, the underlying condition must be treated to restore proper alignment and functioning. At Amazing Physiotherapy we believe that everyone should get the best care possible with the most cost effective outcome.
Our team of physiotherapist have been shown to get excellent treatment outcomes without needing injections, pain medications, or surgery to resolve neck pain.
There are many different kinds of neck pain and understanding which kind you have is essential to resolving your pain
Not all neck pain is the same and responds to the same neck pain treatment approach!
How Can a Physical Therapist Help treat Neck Pain?
Physical therapy is an effective treatment for cervical radiculopathy, and in many cases, it completely resolves symptoms. Your physical therapist will develop an individual treatment plan based on the findings of your initial evaluation. The treatment plan may include:
Pain Management. The first goal is to reduce the pain and inflammation in the area. Ice packs applied to the neck and scapular (shoulder blade) region during the first 24 to 48 hours following the onset of pain, help reduce inflammation. Moist heat can be used after this time period to help the surrounding muscles relax. Your physical therapist may advise you to wear a soft cervical collar at times throughout the day, to allow the neck to relax. A cervical contoured pillow may be recommended to properly support the neck, and allow you to sleep more comfortably.
Manual Therapy. Your physical therapist may use manual therapy techniques, such as manual cervical traction, to relieve pressure in the cervical (neck) region. This procedure can provide immediate relief of pain and numbness radiating into the arm. Gentle massage may also be performed on the muscles of the cervical spine and scapular (shoulder blade) region. This technique helps the muscles relax and improves circulation to the area, promoting healing and pain relief.
Posture Education. Posture education is an important part of rehabilitation. Your physical therapist may suggest adjustments to your workstation and work habits, to promote good posture to protect your neck. In the early stages of recovery this may mean sitting only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. You will also receive instructions on how to bend, reach, and lift throughout the day in safe positions that place minimal pressure on your spinal discs.
Range-of-Motion Exercises. Your physical therapist will teach you gentle cervical mobility exercises to relieve your symptoms, and allow you to return to normal movement. In the beginning stages of recovery, it is important that none of these exercises increase the pain radiating down into your arm. It is important to communicate your symptoms accurately to your physical therapist. If you spend many hours sitting at a desk during your workday, your neck may become stiff. Your therapist will teach you neck stretches to take pressure off of your neck from extended periods of sitting, to help improve your mobility.
Strengthening Exercises. Your physical therapist will help you determine which muscle groups need to be strengthened based on which spinal nerves are involved in your particular case. When pain no longer radiates down your arm, you may begin more aggressive strengthening exercises. Neck stability (strengthening) exercises will also be performed. You will receive a home-exercise program to continue strengthening your neck, shoulder, arm, and upper back long after your formal physical therapy has ended.
Functional Training. As your symptoms improve, your physical therapist will work on functional exercises to help you return to your job, sport, or other daily activities. For example, if your job duties require overhead reaching, pushing, pulling, and long periods of sitting, you will be taught ways to perform these tasks to reduce undue stress to the neck.
Can a Neck Pain be Prevented?
Your physiotherapist will educate you on the best ways to prevent cervical radiculopathy from recurring, including:
Maintaining proper posture. Use a supportive pillow and proper posture when sitting at a desk or in the car.
Setting up your workstation to minimize undue forces on the spine. You may be advised to use a hands-free phone, or adjust your computer monitor to avoid excessive twisting or extending of your neck in repetitive directions during the workday.
Continuing with regular exercise to maintain spinal muscles flexibility and strength, including the upper body, middle back, and core muscles.
Keeping a healthy weight to minimize unnecessary forces on the spine.