Neck Pain Relief
Relieving the Pains in Your Neck With Physical Therapy
Do you have trouble sitting up straight in your chair at work, tilting your head down to tie your shoes, or even lying down at night to go to sleep? Your neck is an important part of your body, and you use it several times a day for everyday movements. Therefore, any painful sensations can make even the simplest day-to-day functions difficult.
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) states that approximately one-third of the population will experience neck pain in any given year. If you are suffering from neck pain, you know how debilitating and uncomfortable it can be. Neck pain can become severe if left untreated, and in some severe cases, surgical correction may even be needed.
Fortunately, physical therapy can help get you back to your normal, pain-free life. Many of our patients are able to find neck pain relief every year with the help of our licensed physical therapists. If you have been suffering from neck pain, contact The Fit Institute (TFI) today to schedule an evaluation.
Why do I have neck pain?
There are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing neck pain. For most people, neck pain typically runs from the base of their skull to the top of their shoulder blades, settling in the back of the neck. The severity of the pain varies from person to person – some report feeling a constant dull ache, while others feel sharp and stabbing pains. Additional symptoms may also include:
- Muscle stiffness and tightness in the upper body
- Inability to fully stand up or sit up straight
- Discomfort and pain when remaining in the same position for too long
- Loss of sleep due to pain and discomfort
- Numbness or tingling
- Arm weakness
The most common cause of neck pain is damage to the tissues or bone structures in the neck. This can be caused by a sudden injury or it may develop over time from repetitive overuse. However, certain degenerative conditions can also lead to neck pain. Some common conditions that may be causing the pain in your neck include:
- Injuries. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries resulting in neck pain. It is referred to as “strain” injury, due to the rapid back-and-forth motion that the head takes. Whiplash is most commonly sustained in car accidents or high-impact sport collisions, and it affects the soft tissues in the back of the neck.
- Muscle strains. Overuse can cause the muscles in the back of your neck to become strained. 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 in your neck, the nerves that branch out from your spinal cord can become compressed. In some cases, nerve pain can even result in “radiculopathy,” which is a condition where pain extends from the neck all the way down to the hands and fingers.
- Joint degeneration. Any joint in your body is susceptible to age-related erosion, and your neck is no exception. Conditions such as osteoarthritis can also reduce the cartilage between the vertebrae in the neck, which can result in moderate to severe pain.
- Illnesses. Certain diseases and ailments can result in neck pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or even cancer.
How can I treat my neck pain?
According to WebMD, one of the best methods for treating neck pain is physical therapy. At your initial appointment, one of our dedicated physical therapists will conduct a physical evaluation to analyze the range of motion in your neck, as well as any limitations you have as a result of the pain you are experiencing. Your physical therapist will diagnose your condition, and from there, an individualized treatment plan will be designed for your specific needs. Your physical therapist will work with you to understand the goals and expectations of each step in your personalized treatment plan, with the main focus of overcoming your neck pain and recovering as quickly as possible.
Our treatments for neck pain at The Fit Institute (TFI) typically 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. Your physical therapist will also create targeted exercises as part of your treatment plan, in order to build, strengthen, and improve the muscles and tissues in your neck. Another focus of your treatment plan will be on improving your posture to aid in the recovery of your neck muscles and avoid re-injury in the future. Your physical therapist may decide to add additional treatment methods to your treatment plan as deemed fit, including ice and heat therapies, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound.
Don’t let the pain in your neck limit your daily life any longer. Contact The Fit Institute (TFI) today in Chicago, IL to schedule an appointment at our physical therapy office. We will set you up with a consultation and get you started on the road toward long-lasting pain relief!