Along with quality chiropractic care, physical therapy can offer some excellent benefits for patients dealing with neck pain. A good physical therapist can offer treatments that help relieve neck pain while restoring movement. Not only does physical therapy provide pain relief, but it teaches patients techniques to help prevent neck pain and re-injury to the neck in the future.
Stretching and Strengthening
The main focus of physical therapy for neck pain is to stretch, improve, and strengthen tendons, ligaments, and muscles that offer support to your vertebrae. Your therapist will work to help strengthen and stretch muscles in affected areas, improving flexibility and reducing swelling and pain to help speed up the healing process. You’ll also learn about proper posture to help keep your spine protected, preventing pain in the future.
When you first see a physical therapist, they’ll talk to you about your current neck problem, your medical history, and current lifestyle. If a major disease or trauma caused your neck pain, you can be sure that the therapist will be consulting with your physician on your plan of treatment.
Creating a Treatment Plan
The treatment plan for each patient is different and designed to treat the specific cause of your neck pain. Along with providing you with personalized exercises that will improve stability, strength, and flexibility, other treatments may be used, including:
- Massage therapy – used to relieve chronic muscle tension
- Application of heat or ice – heat brings more blood to the area, while cold therapy helps to slow circulation and reduce pain, muscle spasms, and inflammation
- Neck traction – stretches and mobilizes the spine
- Electrical stimulation of the muscles – stimulates the muscles with electrical current to increase endorphin production
- Ultrasound – increases circulation, reducing swelling, pain, stiffness, cramping, and muscle spasms
Usually, you can expect your physical therapy session to last about an hour. However, the number of sessions needed will depend on your unique circumstances.
Education and Exercise to Prevent Further Problems
A physical therapist will teach you proper posture for sitting, standing, and moving to help you avoid problems in the future. Your therapist may also take a look at the ergonomics of your workplace and home to ensure you avoid re-injury. An exercise program may also be designed for you that goes beyond flexibility and strengthening exercises to help you work at home to keep neck pain from reoccurring in the future.
Neck pain can be difficult to deal with, but chiropractic treatment and physical therapy can both offer effective pain relief without surgical intervention. We offer personalized treatment to help you overcome your symptoms as quickly as possible so you can return to your normal lifestyle.