Get rid of Neck Pain with these Physical Therapy Exercises
By: Dr. Abe Kopolovich, DPT, MBA, JD-IP
People often joke about other people or things being “a pain in the neck”, but if you or somebody close to you is suffering from neck pain, you know it’s no laughing matter.
And 15.1% of people in the US said this kind of discomfort was their most common pain complaint. Fortunately, there are several ways to treat it.
Read ahead to learn about how to cure neck pain fast with physical therapy exercises approved by experts.
Defining Neck Pain
Neck pain is defined as any type of discomfort that occurs from the top of your shoulders to the bottom of your head. Symptoms can be mild to severe and often limit the range of motion of your head, shoulders and upper body.
Neck pain is reported more often by women than men, and most people with neck pain tend to be between the ages of 18 to 64. The average age for neck pain patients is 49.5 years old.
What is the Reason for Neck Pain?
One of the first steps in the treatment process is to identify the underlying cause of neck pain. Some of the most common causes of neck pain include poor posture, muscle strain, or an injury.
- Poor posture can result from sitting or standing for long periods of time, bending the neck forward while using electronic devices, or sleeping in an awkward position.
- Muscle strain can occur from overuse or sudden movements, such as lifting heavy objects or turning the head too quickly.
- Injury can result from sports or car accidents, falls, or other traumatic events.
One of the most common causes of neck pain is also simply aging. As you get older you are more likely to have increased wear and tear on the vertebrae, discs and nerves in your spine, often leading to neck pain.
If the underlying cause of neck pain is more serious, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, a neck pain specialist may be necessary. They can provide a more comprehensive evaluation and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include surgery or other medical interventions.
How to Treat Neck Pain Using Physical Therapy?
Once the cause of the neck pain has been identified, a physical therapist can develop a treatment plan that includes specific exercises to address the issue.
Neck pain exercises can help to relieve tension in the neck muscles, improve range of motion, and strengthen the muscles that support the neck and spine. Some effective exercises for neck pain relief include neck rotations, neck stretches, and shoulder shrugs.
In-home physical therapy is also a viable option to treat neck pain at home. Neck pain relief exercises can be done at home with little or no equipment. Some examples include chin tucks, neck stretches, and shoulder blade squeezes.
Another common consequence of neck pain are headaches. Neck pain physical therapy exercises that relieve this symptom focus on the neck and shoulder muscles. In addition, stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, may help to alleviate tension and reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.
To cure neck pain fast, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible. In some cases, rest and ice may be recommended to reduce inflammation and swelling. Heat therapy, such as using a heating pad or warm towel, can also be helpful. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may also be used to help manage pain.
However, physical therapy is the most effective way to treat neck pain and prevent it from recurring in the long run. Start today by contacting Dr. Abe and the Therapy in Motion Team!