What is Neck Pain?
Pain in or around the spine, which is located beneath your head, is referred to as neck pain. Neck pain is a frequent sign of a wide range of diseases and illnesses.
You may experience axial neck pain which is felt only in neck region or you may feel radicular pain, a pain that shoots into other areas such as the shoulders or arms. The condition may be acute (lasting a few days to as long as six weeks) or persistent (lasts longer than 3 months to years).
If you don't get treatment for neck discomfort, it might affect your everyday life and lower your quality of life.
Who are most affected by neck pain?
Neck pain is quite common. About one in three persons experience it at least once a year. It affects women more frequently than it does males, and as you become older, your risk of getting it rises.
How does a neck pain feel like?
You may experience symptoms like
A continuous pain.
A burning sensation.
Increased sensitivity to light neck pressure.
Neck pain along with a headache and tingling or numbness in one or both arms.
Increased tightness or tension in the neck muscles.
Causes of neck pain
Aging: Neck pain can develop as a result of degenerative disorders including osteoarthritis (the wearing out of joint cartilage) and spinal stenosis (the narrowing of the gaps in the spine). Stress and motion can cause spinal disc degeneration over time, which can result in a herniated disc or pinched nerve.
Injury: Whiplash, which is a quick, violent movement of the neck or head followed by a rebound in the opposite direction, can result in pain and soreness. Trauma injuries can affect the muscles, ligaments, discs, vertebral joints, and nerve roots in the neck's spinal cord.
Mental stress: Neck discomfort and stiffness are frequently brought on by mental stress, which causes your neck muscles to tighten.
Physical strain: Using your neck muscles excessively when performing repetitive motions or exerting yourself might cause stiffness and pain.
Conditions that impact spinal balance: Being overweight, having weak abdominal muscles, and having bad posture (sitting for extended periods of time; incorrect computer/keyboard/chair configuration) can all affect spine posture and cause neck pain.
Growths: Tumors, cysts, and bone spurs are examples of masses that may occasionally cause neck pain.
Other medical disorders include cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and meningitis.
How physical therapy can help ?
According to recent studies, physical therapy is more effective at treating many neck pain problems than surgery or painkillers (such as opioids). Many times, patients can benefit from physical therapy treatments without ever needing surgery or drugs.
Together with you, your consultant physical therapist will create an individualized treatment plan that can speed up your recovery. This plan will include exercises and therapies you may perform at home. You can get back to your regular routine and activities with the aid of physical therapy.
Each ailment has a different recovery time, but a tailored physical therapy program can be efficient and successful and relieve neck pain within a few weeks.
Goals set by your Consultant Physical Therapist
Your Consultant PT will design a plan of care for you with the aim to
Reduce pain and discomfort
Enhance muscle performance
Improve endurance and strength
Learn a home plan
Return to work
Return to daily activities of living
Improve quality of life
Physical therapy Exercises for neck pain
Maintaining an elevated chest while tucking your chin.
Ear to shoulder Stretch
Stretching the ear to the shoulder involves lowering it toward the same shoulder, repeating on the other side while keeping the ear aligned with the shoulder.
Place your hands outside of your shoulders at around shoulder height while standing in a doorway or corner.
Seated upper back extension:
Stretching for the upper back while sitting up on a chair requires bringing the shoulders back and down. Put your hands behind your head and extend your upper back over the chair as you sit up straight.
Ear to shoulder pull:
Pulling your head back gently toward the same axilla is known as a "ear-to-shoulder pull" (arm pit).
Shoulder Blade Squeeze:
Try to slide your shoulder blades down toward your waist by squeezing them together.
What can I do at home to treat neck pain?
You can alleviate neck pain at home by following the recommendations made by your consultant physical therapist. These may consist of:
Utilising ice or heat packs.
Exercising or stretching gently.
Discontinuing physical activities for a while that increase your pain
Long-term neck pain home precautions include:
Give up smoking. Smoking weakens bone tissue and hinders the healing process.
If you are obese, you should lose weight.
Reduce your level of tension.
Exercise, go for a walk, meditate, get a massage, try a yoga session.