Neck Pain

Neck pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, electric-shock-like sensation. The pain can occur anywhere in your neck and also spread to your arms, shoulders, upper back, chest, and head in the form of headaches. Furthermore, neck problems can limit movement due to muscle stiffness, tenderness, and tension. While neck trauma, such as whiplash, typically pops into folks’ brains first as an example, neck strain is actually the culprit for most neck pain cases. Plenty of everyday actions—such as slouching, staring down at a tablet, carrying a shoulder bag, cradling a phone, or sleeping in a weird position—can place undue stress on the neck, causing strains, sprains, and spasms. Left unaddressed or constantly exposed to strain, neck pain can become chronic. A common response to neck pain is to pop pain killers. Unfortunately, though, this route merely treats the symptom—pain—and not the cause. Physical therapy is smart route for addressing neck pain. Therapists focus on strengthening and the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the vertebrae, thus treating the source of the pain and not simply the symptoms. Treatment may include joint mobilization and manipulation, cervical traction (light stretching of the neck), strength and stretching exercises, massage, and applied ice, heat, or electrical stimulation.