Your neck – also referred to as the cervical spine – is a delicate accumulation of vertebrae, nerves, and muscles that work to support your head. The neck is very flexible and capable of rotating from side to side, up and down. Though the neck is not weak, it is susceptible to injury and pain. Neck pain is a common complaint and is often the result of poor posture, whiplash, or even stress. Even a simple fall or sports injury are enough to cause a sprain or compress a disc. If you are experiencing neck pain that won’t seem to go away, physical therapy treatment may be your solution.
Did you know…
that a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that physical therapy treatment results in significant improvement in pain levels among patients who experience chronic neck pain? Millions of Americans suffer from neck pain every day, many of whom could find relief by visiting a physical therapist. Of those who do seek treatment, many find that physical therapy not only relieves chronic neck pain, but it also helps alleviate other symptoms, such as headaches and migraines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I see a physical therapist for my neck pain?
Yes. Physical therapists are trained and experienced in all types of musculoskeletal pain. Diagnostic testing and an in-person consultation will make it possible for a physical therapist to determine whether your chronic neck pain can be treated with physical therapy. If your physical therapist believes it will be best served by a different type of medical practitioner, he or she will give you the appropriate referral.
What should I expect at my physical therapy appointment?
Your physical therapist will perform a neck adjustment or cervical manipulation treatment. This is a manual procedure that takes just seconds to complete but is capable of delivering instantaneous results. Many patients experience immediate relief of chronic neck pain, as well as muscle stiffness. You may hear popping as your physical therapist completes the cervical adjustment, but the treatment is not likely to be painful.
Is there anything I can do to help prevent neck pain in the future?
Yes. You may experience less neck pain by periodically visiting the physical therapist for preventative adjustments. In addition, your physical therapist may suggest getting frequent massages or practicing better posture to protect yourself against recurrent neck pain.