Physical therapy often provides the best treatment for neck pain, not only providing relief, but also teaching you techniques to prevent re-injury and avoid neck pain in the future.
Physical therapy for neck pain focuses on strengthening and improving the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the vertebrae. The main goals of neck therapy are:
- Physical Therapists
To stretch and strengthen muscles in the affected areas, accelerating the healing process by reducing neck pain and swelling, while making muscles more flexible and strong.
- To teach posture and other body mechanics that can protect the neck and spine, preventing future neck pain.
- To show patients how to take care of pain flare-ups if re-injury occurs.
A Spine and Sports Medicine of HoHoKus physical therapist will always start by asking you questions designed to help figure out the scope of the problem, everything from your lifestyle to medical history. If your neck pain was caused by major trauma or disease, your physical therapist will consult with your doctor.
Our next step is to create a treatment plan to help relieve your neck pain. In addition to giving you exercises to improve your flexibility, strength, and stability, other options include:
- Application of ice or heat
- Electrical stimulation of muscle groups
- Neck traction
- Massage therapy
Most physical therapy sessions last about an hour, although the time can vary. The total number of sessions will depend on the particular circumstances of your neck pain. Some patients need only a few sessions, while others may require months of therapy.
Your physical therapist will teach you how to avoid future problems by showing you how to sit, stand, and move with proper posture. The therapist might evaluate the ergonomics of your home and workplace to make sure your environment doesn’t lend itself to re-injury.
Low-impact aerobic exercises like swimming or walking can be helpful in decreasing neck pain. Your physical therapist will design a pain-free exercise program just for you, beyond the strengthening and flexibility exercises that form the core of your therapy. After you’ve completed your physical therapy, you will be able to work on your own, with stretches, exercises, and other practices designed to keep neck pain at bay.
Following the right physical therapy should not only enable you to feel better faster, but also stay pain-free following your recovery. Call Spine and Sports Medicine of HoHoKus if you experience any of the following conditions:
- Cervical Sprain / Strain
- Cervical Disc Herniation
- Nerve Impingement (Cervical Radiculopathy)
- Muscle Spasm