Types of Physical Therapy That Could Benefit Neck Pain

Neck pain is a clear signal that something is wrong with your body. Sometimes you know what caused the neck pain, and other times it is something that seems to appear out of nowhere. For those suffering from neck pain, physical therapy may provide the key to recovery.

While you can choose to do some common neck exercises on your own, it is always best to visit a physical therapist and make sure you are performing the right types of exercises for your neck pain. If you have trouble with some exercises, a physical therapist could recommend substitutions or modifications.

There are also effective types of physical therapy that require the therapist’s presence. The good news is that neck pain usually responds to physical therapy and surgery is not necessary.

Shoulder and Other Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises improve your flexibility and motion. Shoulder exercises, which you can do at your desk while working, help stretch neck muscles. Several times a day, perform the following exercises to help relieve and prevent neck pain:

  • 10 backward shoulder rolls
  • 10 shoulder blade squeezes
  • Tuck your chin in 10 times
  • Turn your head over your shoulders 10 times in each direction
  • Tuck your chin in and stretch your head back 10 times

Hot and Cold Therapy

Heat therapy increases blood flow to your neck, so that the level of healing oxygen and nutrients increases. Muscle spasms may cause waste products to develop in the area, but increased blood flow helps remove these byproducts.

In contrast, cold therapy decreases blood circulation, but it aids in keeping inflammation down, prevents muscle spasms, and eases pain.

Alternating between the two, as per your physical therapist’s advice, should decrease your neck pain and improve your range of movement. Hot and cold therapy is especially helpful during the initial onset of neck pain.

Deep Tissue Massage and Ultrasound Therapy

Your therapist could give you a therapeutic, deep tissue massage to relieve muscle tension in your neck. A beneficial deep tissue massage requires trained hands that can release tension in the neck’s soft tissues.

Another option is ultrasound therapy, which uses high-frequency sound waves that penetrate deep in the muscle tissues. The resulting heat stimulates circulation and reduces stiffness and muscle spasms. Ultrasound therapy can also speed tissue healing.

Posture Improvement

Bad posture may result in neck and back pain over time. A physical therapist could teach you how to improve your posture and maintain that improvement. Posture is not just a matter of standing and sitting up straight. Spending large amounts of time with a cellphone cradled in the neck can contribute to many cases of neck pain.

A physical therapist could teach you practical ways to modify habits contributing to your neck pain. For example, lumbar support rolls can help correct sitting position posture.

Contact Our Offices Today

Neck pain can be debilitating, but fortunately, it is preventable in many cases and usually treatable without surgery. With the right techniques and habits, you may be able to address chronic pain yourself and ensure it does not return. For more information on how physical therapy can improve your neck pain, make sure to call our office today.