Physiotherapy for Neck Pain
Neck pain can manifest in many different forms, from a slight twinge to debilitating and chronic pain. When seeking treatment and relief of neck pain, physiotherapy is an extremely beneficial remedial resource.
When neck pain treatment is recommended
There are a number of neck pain symptoms for which physiotherapy can provide relief and management strategies:
Acute pain: This type of neck pain usually comes on suddenly after a quick turn of the head, or by performing an unfamiliar activity such as working with slouched or poor posture. As a result, neck joints and ligaments may become strained and painful, and your muscles can stiffen from limited movement.
Chronic pain: When neck pain is recurring, it can be difficult to determine the exact source of pain. This is where having a dedicated care plan is important. Both your medical practitioner and physiotherapist work in tandem to provide management strategies for reducing the impact of symptoms.
Recovery from injury: When your neck pain is the result of an injury, soft tissue and joints can be damaged and cause lasting pain and/or stiffness. A physical therapy program can help reduce pain and restore normal function in your neck.
Recovery from surgery: Some surgeries can cause lingering pain and stiffness for many weeks following. Physiotherapists can help retrain and strengthen neck muscles to perform as they should while reducing or preventing spasms that may occur during reconditioning.
How physiotherapy can help neck pain
Whilst some forms of neck pain may be difficult to eradicate completely, physiotherapy is designed to help improve your neck posture and functionality. Through the application of treatments to reduce pain and strengthen and stretch the neck, the overall goals of physical therapy for neck pain are to:
• reduce pain and stiffness
• improve range of motion in the head and neck
• develop strength in the neck and supporting muscles
• develop strategies to prevent pain from recurring
Among some of the techniques physiotherapists employ, the most common are:
• massage of muscles and connective tissues
• dry needling
• gentle touch therapy
At home neck strengthening
All neck pain should be treated with caution. Therefore, before you embark on any home remedies it’s important you seek advice from a health care professional. A physiotherapist will be able to instruct and guide you through specific movements and exercises that will treat and manage your particular neck pain.
However, if there is no trauma or serious medical cause for your neck pain, you can implement a few simple strategies at home to help speed up your recovery. Generally, these activities involve some form of gentle movement to restore muscle strength and control.
Move your neck regularly: Gentle range of motion stretches are recommended to strengthen and prevent stiffness. Simple head movements in each direction, for example, gently moving your head from side to side then up and down, may be beneficial.
Apply heat: The application of heat on your neck can help your muscles relax and encourage blood flow to the area. When using heat to treat neck pain, ensure you limit each session to 15-20 minutes, with 2 hours between applications, to allow your skin time to recover.
It’s important to ensure activities don’t further aggravate or cause more pain, but keeping your neck muscles active is important in the management of pain. Should you have any concerns or experience extended periods of pain, be sure to consult with your physiotherapist or medical professional.
Burleigh Central Physiotherapy provides highly qualified, professional physiotherapy services designed to help you recover from neck pain. So, for expert advice and support in the treatment and management of pain, contact our specialist team today to book an appointment.