Looking for Neck Pain Specialist in Hanford? Our physical therapists can effectively address your neck pain with a variety of interventions.
Google searching for a neck pain specialist in Hanford? If so, read on to learn more about why physical therapy treatment provided by one of our expert clinicians is a great first choice.
When thinking about problems that affect the spine, back pain often comes to mind first. There is good reason for this, as up to 90% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their life. But the lower back is certainly not the only region of the spine where pain can arise. Neck pain isn’t quite as prevalent as low back pain, but it’s still a rather common and bothersome condition that deserves its own attention.
The statistics clearly show that neck pain is a major problem in the general population. Neck pain the third most common cause of chronic pain in the U.S.—after back pain and headaches—and at any given point in time, its overall prevalence is about 12% in adult females and 9% in adult males. The lifetime prevalence (the chance you will experience neck pain some time in your life) of neck pain in today’s working population is approximately 45%, which is about half that of back pain.
Most cases of neck pain are due to a muscle strain or sprain of tendons or ligaments (common in auto accidents) in the neck or areas that support the neck, though other issues may also be responsible. Some of the most common causes of neck pain include:
- sleeping on your neck wrong,
- sitting or standing for prolonged periods with bad posture—especially from leaning over too much
- spending many hours performing repetitive movements, and
- regularly carrying a heavy backpack, purse, or briefcase.
Biomechanical Diagnoses that are Correlated with Neck Pain
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 problems in the neck.
Primary symptoms include pain that is often worsened by holding or lifting your head in place for long periods, muscle tightness and spasms, a decreased ability to move your head, and possibly headaches. For some people, neck pain is also accompanied by upper back or shoulder pain, and pain in the shoulder may be referred from the neck.
If you happen to experience neck pain, the safest and most effective way to address it is by undergoing a course of physical therapy. A physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan based on your individual condition that factors in your abilities, preferences, and goals. Each treatment program differs depends on these factors, but most will include the following components:
- Pain-relieving modalities like ice and/or heat therapy
- Stretching exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Posture training
- Functional mobility training
- Massage and other manual (hands-on) therapies
To illustrate just how effective physical therapy can be for neck pain, a study compared two groups of patients, with one receiving education only and the other following a specific course exercises for the neck and shoulder in addition to education. The results were as follows:
The exercise group showed statistically significant improvements in physical health-related quality of life, mental health-related quality of life, depression, pain threshold and muscle function compared to the education-only group.
This study highlights the numerous benefits that are possible through a course of physical therapy that targets neck pain. If you’ve been dealing with any neck pain of your own that’s getting in the way of your daily activities and the things you love, we strongly recommend seeing a physical therapist first and fast. Doing so is your best bet for a successful recovery and a quick return to a pain-free lifestyle.