Neck pain can be, in short, a pain in the neck. It can cause us a lot of problems, including headaches, backaches, distractions, and more.
There are lots of methods out there now to help with neck pain and one of the most effective may be physical therapy.
In this article, we’re going to explore how physical therapists may approach the issues that you are having with neck pain and whether or not those methods can play a significant role in helping to relieve your neck pain.
How Would A Physical Therapist Deal with Neck Pain?
Physical therapists actually do a lot in regards to neck pain. You have to be referred to them by your doctor, but they can actually play a huge role in your healing.
They have a number of techniques that they use and they can work alongside a number of professionals in order to make sure that you are getting the treatment plan that you need in order to reduce and/or completely eliminate the pain that you are trying to deal with on a daily basis.
Like with any medical professional, it’s going to start with you getting a full evaluation from them.
They will check everything about your neck, and see what your range of motion is as well.
Do you have other symptoms related to your neck pain? Do you seem to lose feelings in parts of your body, or do you have pain in your shoulder blades or other parts of the body that happen along with your neck pain?
They will ask you a lot of questions related to it, so that they can see what’s been going on and how it affects you.
They will also do some tests that help them to see how strong you are and if you have good reflexes.
They may put pressure on certain points of the body in order to see if any of them cause you any different types of pain.
Sometimes the evaluation process can be really painful for the person going through it, but it’s worth it because it helps the physical therapist to figure out what is going on with the body.
They will then take all that information and use it to figure out a plan of how they are going to help you relieve your neck pain.
The Treatment Plan
Of course, then we get on to how they actually treat your neck issues. This can be difficult for some of the time, especially when the therapist is just starting to work on the range of motion issues that you may be dealing with.
There are a few ways that they will work with you to get your neck to move and work as it did.
Exercise is always an important part of it – you may have specific exercises you do at home at their recommendation.
Physical therapists may also do exercise as part of the therapy that you are doing with them as well, it all depends on what you’re doing.
Posture, as we’ve talked about before, can play a huge role in your issues. Your physical therapist may take the time to help you improve your posture and to help you feel more comfortable with what is going on with your neck. It may take some practice, but it can really help.
Massage is often used by many professionals as part of your physical therapy treatment plan, mainly because it can play a huge role in helping to relax the muscles.
If the muscles are more relaxed, it’s easier for them to move and it won’t be as difficult for you to get your full range of motion back as to what it should be.
Mobilization and manipulation are both common techniques that help to get your body back into its proper alignment – sometimes chiropractors will do this, other times physical therapists will use techniques that can help this to occur.
They have to be careful when they do this, because complications can occur, but they have proper training and are able to do it with very little risk to you.
Sometimes, modalities will also be used to help treat the pain in your neck. The most common ways that physical therapists do this is with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or with ultrasound.
These two things can help reduce the nerve damage and any strain that you may be dealing with as a result of your neck pain.
A physical therapist may use one, some, or all of these techniques depending on exactly what you are trying to deal with and where your neck pain has come from. That being said, your physical therapist will keep you in the loop about what they’re doing and can answer any questions you may have.
Does It Actually Help?
The answer to this is, usually. In some cases, it can really stress out your body and make things worse, but that’s rare.
These people are professionals that will work to help you get everything done in an efficient manner.
If they don’t see any change or they worry that it isn’t working as it should be, then they will do what they need to in order to change everything up, and then use it toward helping you to feel better.
The plan is about helping you to get your full flexibility and range of motion back, and not about making things more uncomfortable for you.
Physical therapy could be one part of many that you use in order to relieve the neck pain that you’ve been dealing with for so long.
Obviously, your medical professional is the only one who can make that determination and give you a referral, but if you think it may be a good step, talk to them at the next appointment you have.
Physical therapy has been shown to help in a number of different ways, so if it is in your insurance and you can afford it, it’s definitely something to take into consideration.