Discovering the Role of Physical Therapy in Reducing Neck Pain

Discovering the Role of Physical Therapy in Reducing Neck Pain

Neck pain or stiffness is a common ailment, affecting a large number of people. From poor posture to injury, sleeping in awkward positions, and hunching over a desk, there are a lot of reasons for neck pain. Any abnormality or inflammation in the bones, muscles or ligaments can cause neck strain. Neck pain is not a serious condition and can easily be cured with home interventions. Sometimes, a serious injury or illness can make pain worse, interfering with your everyday activities. If that is the case, you need to seek medical help to relieve pain. People who are prone to migraines may have pain that rises into their head as a result of any type of neck joint dysfunction. For that the excedrin migraine can help with headache, neck, and shoulder pain relief, but figuring out the underlying problem will make it easier to choose the best course of action.

Physical therapy is one of the best treatments for neck pain that involves different exercises to stretch and strengthen neck muscles. Physical therapists are specialized physicians who can treat neck pain by improving your neck muscles, performing exercises that stretch and strengthen neck muscles. Exercises and manipulations can help physical therapists to relieve discomfort and prevent neck pain.

The goal of physical therapy programs is to apply treatments which relieve neck pain and muscle stiffness. Different treatments and exercises are used in physical therapy to improve neck posture and the ability to perform daily activities.

Let’s discover why physical therapy is important for improving your neck posture and how it can prevent neck pain.

Discovering the Role of Physical Therapy in Reducing Neck Pain


Types of Physical Therapy

There are two types of physical therapy: passive and active

Passive Physical Therapy

There are different types of treatment methods physical therapists use to relieve neck stiffness and strengthen the muscles. Different types of passive physical therapy methods such as deep tissue massage, cold or heat application, and electrical stimulation are performed before doing physical therapy.

  • Ice or Cold Therapy

This treatment method is used to increase blood supply, reduce muscle stiffness, pain and edema.

  • Massage Therapy

The goal of massage therapy is to relax rigid, stiff muscles, lower pain.

  • Ultrasound

It is a painless method to treat neck pain. During this type of treatment method, energy waves are applied to relax tight muscles, improve blood flow and reduce muscle spasms.

  • Electrotherapy

During this treatment, painless electrical impulses are delivered to provide pain relief, increase blood circulation, and improve mobility and flexibility.

A trained physical therapist knows how to apply each treatment as ineffective usage can be harmful.

Active Physical Therapy

Active physical therapy includes a lot of strengthening exercises and aerobic activities to provide support to neck muscle, improve posture and increase mobility. Here are some exercises for active physical therapy:

  • Strengthening and Stretching Exercises

Physical therapists perform different exercises to stretch and strengthen the neck muscles. These exercises will improve your posture and increase range of motion. Strengthening exercises can restore normal neck function and reduce pain, decrease muscle stiffness, and improve mobility.

  • Core Muscle Strengthening Exercises

Tightness and pain in other muscle groups can be a leading cause of worsening existing neck pain. Reducing pain related to other muscle groups can help you alleviate neck pain. Core strengthening exercises are very effective to improve your abdominal and back muscles, improve posture, and reduce pain.

Since the core supports the body movement, strengthening core muscles is a sensible idea to improve your physical fitness and get relief from back and neck pain. Core muscle strengthening exercises are especially designed to support the spine and back muscles and increase your fitness level.  Exercises that strengthen the core muscles are important for maintaining a good posture and increase your ability to move the head.

  • Aerobic Activity

It is another effective physical therapy treatment that is used to increase blood circulation, elevate breathing levels, and strengthen heart muscles. Cycling, swimming, jogging, and brisk walking are some common examples of aerobic activities. According to a study published by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, doing aerobic exercise can improve the quality of life and increase body movement.

A physical therapist can tell you which aerobic exercise is best for you, depending on the type of injury or pain intensity. Finding the right aerobic exercise is important, as some body workouts can exacerbate a neck injury. Make sure to consult with the physical therapist to start any exercise program when you have neck pain or injury to prevent any serious complications.

Choose the Right Physical Therapist

Physical therapists are specialized physicians who have completed an MD degree program from the best medical school and get special training to treat people with muscle and bone injuries. When it comes to choosing a physical therapist to treat your neck pain, make sure to choose the person who has prior experience in treating issues related to orthopedic and musculoskeletal problems.

After completing years of education from a medical school and fellowship training in orthopedic physical therapy, physical therapists are eligible to gain board certification. A board-certified physical therapist has advanced knowledge and more experience to treat diverse patients. So, choose the physical therapist who is board certified, and clinical expertise in their respected field.

It is a great idea to get recommendations from a family physician. Make sure to check the experience before booking an appointment. Try to clearly describe the symptoms and severity of the pain to make sure your physical therapist will come up with a better treatment plan for you.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help You Relieve Neck Pain?

According to different studies, it has been proven that physical therapy is an effective way to reduce neck pain. Physical therapists can create a customized treatment plan, which includes exercises and treatment methods, depending on the patient’s condition. With the help of a physical therapy treatment program, and performing neck strengthening exercises, you can reduce neck pain, stiffness and restore normal motion of the neck. Discuss your symptoms with a physical therapist and he will help you perform different activities and exercises to protect your spine, improve posture and keep your neck pain free.

Final Words

Physical therapy is undoubtedly a proven way to reduce neck pain, build strength and mobility and maintain good posture. Contact a physical therapist to perform some home exercises and make lifestyle changes to mitigate the neck pain and prevent stiffness.