Physical Therapy For Upper Neck Pain
Are you feeling pain or stiffness in your upper neck? Physical therapy may be the solution. A certified therapist will assess your condition and craft a treatment plan to reduce discomfort and restore normal function.
Your upper neck is one of the most flexible joints in your body, allowing you to turn your head and face in different directions. Additionally, it protects your spinal cord – a bundle of nerves that carries information from each part of your body to your brain.
There are many reasons why you may experience pain in your upper neck, such as injury, growths or other health conditions. Injuries and growths can damage muscles, ligaments, disks, vertebral joints and nerve roots within the neck region; placing pressure on your spine and leading to discomfort.
Physical therapy is an effective way to manage neck pain and boost overall wellbeing. Your physical therapist will create a tailored treatment plan based on individual needs, objectives and preferences.
Your therapist will employ a variety of methods to reduce your pain and discomfort, such as cold or heat application, deep tissue massage, ultrasound and electrical stimulation. These measures reduce swelling in the affected area while improving neck movement.
In addition to these non-invasive treatments, your physical therapist will also focus on correcting posture and body mechanics. Doing this can help avoid injuries in the future and decrease the likelihood of experiencing neck pain.
Your neck pain will vary in type and intensity depending on the cause, but common symptoms include numbness, weakness and tingling in your arms or hands as well as headaches, stiffness or pain when you bend forward, move side to side or rotate your head.
When suffering from chronic neck pain, your physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and increase flexibility in the area. While these can be done at home, it’s best to do them under supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.
– Shoulder roll (also known as an extension exercise)
With your head upright, pull both shoulder blades toward each other. Hold for a few seconds before repeating on the other side.
– Rotational Exercises for the Neck
With your head upright, tilt it forward and backward to each side, then turn it to either left or right. Repeat these 10 times on each side for a total of 30 rotations.
– Tilting your head up and down, then turning it to the right and left are other simple neck movements that can help alleviate pain and stiffness.
For additional comfort, apply moist heat or ice packs to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 hours. This will reduce inflammation and speed healing while protecting further damage to the region.
In some cases, surgery may be the solution to treating your neck pain. A physical therapist can teach you neck movement and strengthening exercises that will aid in recovery from certain surgeries such as cervical fusion. Furthermore, they offer ongoing support and guidance during this period to guarantee a successful return to regular activities.