Neck Pain Relief
Conditions we treat:
- Neck pain
- Disk herniation
- Facet syndrome
- Myofascial pain
- Postural imbalance/weakness
- Rib dysfunctions
- Arm numbness/tingling
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) states that approximately one-third of the population experiences neck pain every year. The neck is an integral part of your everyday movements, and neck pain can create undesirable challenges on daily tasks you can usually complete with ease. If left untreated, neck pain can lead to some serious conditions, and surgical correction may even be needed.
The neck and back pain generally get painful for two basic reasons: 1. A traumatic onset from an accident (motor vehicle, a fall or sports), 2. Persistent postural strain causing tightness, pressure, and pain. In regards to a traumatic onset, the head and neck are vulnerable due to being unsupported in space and any kind of force which accelerates and then decelerates the head (whiplash effect) will strain the tissues and joints related to this area. In association with this effect is the neck has many specialized receptors monitoring the forces entering the neck and with a violent accident these can get misprogrammed. This can keep the neck muscles in a state of irritability and guarding as an ongoing situation. It is important to understand that this situation is not based exclusively on time for healing but more related to corrective actions directed at the misprogramming. This is one reason why the effects of an accident can linger for years if not treated properly. Physical therapy works to calm these hyperactive muscles and rebuild the postural support mechanism for long term relief.
The second large category of neck pain is related to ongoing postural strain. Behind this situation are imbalances between muscles in the front of the chest and neck and those in the back. Life is lived in front of us and so many of the muscles in the chest and neck become over dominant and the muscles in the upper back and neck often become longer and weaker. This commonly leads to the typical rounded upper back in many patients which is so characteristic as people age. Tied closely to this posture is a lifestyle or work style of sitting, computers, and video screens which pulls the head forward as an unaware effect. This pain pattern often has other influences as well with poor upper chest breathing habits which add further strain to the muscles in the front of the neck and chest and even stress from life. Neck and arm pain in all their different presentations, needs a comprehensive approach to change the muscle imbalances related to posture and respiration. Inclusive with this treatment is an education process for the patient related to posture, work stations, lifestyle habits and relaxation to break the postural imbalance cycle. Physical therapy is the profession that provides this comprehensive approach.
What’s causing my neck pain?
Neck pain is commonly felt from the base of the skull to the top of your shoulder blades, settling in the back of the neck. Neck pain can vary from mild to severe and can be dull, constant aches, or sharp and stabbing pains.
Additional symptoms that can accompany neck pain include:
- Loss of sleep due to pain and discomfort
- Arm weakness
- Numbness or tingling
- Inability to fully stand up or sit up straight
- Discomfort and pain when remaining in the same position for too long
- Muscle stiffness and tightness in the upper body
There are several conditions that may lead to neck pain. Damage to the tissues or bone structures in the neck is the leading cause of neck pain. This damage can occur from a sudden injury or develop over time from repetitive overuse. Certain degenerative diseases may also lead to neck pain.
Some of the most common causes of neck pain include:
Certain diseases and ailments can result in neck pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or even cancer.
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.
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 your neck all the way down to your hands and fingers.
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.
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 neck experiences. 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.
Find neck pain relief today
Don’t let neck pain limit your life any longer – contact our Holland, MI physical therapy office today to schedule your consultation. Get started on the path toward recovery and experience neck pain relief with Full Potential Physical Therapy!