Neck pain can ruin your concentration, your work, and negatively impact personal relationships. If you live in nearby and are looking for neck pain treatment in Hanford, here’s some information about how a physical therapist can effectively address your neck pain.
Painful symptoms can strike any region of the spine, and although the most common area affected is the lower back, pain in the upper spine within the neck is also quite common. This type of pain may not get as much attention as lower back pain, but it can be equally disabling and frustrating. Fortunately, neck pain can also be successfully treated with a course of physical therapy.
Neck pain is the third most common cause of chronic pain—after back pain and headaches—and its overall prevalence in today’s working population is approximately 45%. This is about half the prevalence of back pain, which means that for every two people that have back pain, about one will have neck pain.
Most cases of neck pain cases are due to a muscle strain or sprain of tendons or ligaments in the neck or areas that support it. Some of the more typical causes of neck pain include sleeping on your neck wrong, sitting or standing for prolonged periods with bad posture and carrying a heavy backpack, purse or briefcase. Neck pain can also develop from conditions like osteoarthritis, a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, or from sudden injuries that may cause whiplash or other neck problems.
Its main symptoms include pain that is often worsened by holding or lifting your head in place for long periods, muscle tightness and spasms, decreased ability to move your head and headaches. For some people, neck pain is also accompanied by upper back or shoulder pain, and pain in the shoulder may actually be referred from the neck.
Physical Therapy is Well Established as a Great First-Line Therapy Option
For individuals with neck pain, regardless of its cause, physical therapy is one of the most proven effective methods to address it. A typical treatment program for a patient with neck pain will consist of the following components:
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Posture training
- Pain-relieving modalities like ice and heat
- Functional training
- Manual (hands-on) therapy
To illustrate how these types of interventions can benefit patients with neck pain, take a look at the findings of a recent study, which compared physical therapy in general to manual therapy, one type of physical therapy treatment commonly used for neck pain:
Patients with neck pain improved in both groups without statistical significantly or clinically relevant differences between the manual therapy and physical therapy groups during one-year follow-up.
These results show that regardless of whether patients received general physical therapy or manual therapy, they experienced similar improvements in their symptoms. This is just one of countless studies that points out how physical therapy can help neck pain patients, and should serve as encouragement for you to see your local physical therapist if you are currently dealing with any type of neck pain. Doing so is likely to be your best option for a overcoming your pain and getting back to a pain-free lifestyle.