Your neck and back consist of small bones called vertebrae. These small bones are placed on top of each other to create your spinal column. Your spinal column protects your spinal cord and supports your head. This is the primary structure that connects the network of nerves in your body. Messages travel along this path and community messages to your brain, such as pain.
The first seven bones in your spinal column called cervical vertebrae to form your neck with facet joints, connect the bone together, and aid the neck muscles to facilitate head movement. If these are injured due to an accident, a sports injury, or twisting, turning, or assuming a wrong sleeping position, they can result in simple mechanical neck pain.
Simple mechanical neck pain or cervical neck pain is an unpleasant emotional and sensory experience that your brain utilizes to protect your neck against potential threats. Potential threats may be related to an injury to the ligaments, muscles, nerves, discs, or joints. For most types of neck pain, the cause remains unknown because it is non-specific. Certain movements or positions tend to make mechanical neck pain better or worse. If you have neck pain, you will experience discomfort between the base of your skull (head) and your torso.
Your neck contains nerves, muscles, blood vessels, thyroid gland, larynx, trachea, esophagus, lymph nodes, parathyroid glands, and major blood vessels (the jugular veins and carotid arteries), above the spinal cord, and the cervical vertebrae. Neck pain can involve one or more than one structure in your neck.
If you are experiencing neck pain, visit Specialized Physical Therapy to consult with one of our experienced physical therapists.
The symptoms of neck pain include:
- Pain in the middle or one side of the neck (pain can extend to your upper chest or shoulder)
- Weakness or pain in your arms
- Experience tension headaches, causing the pain to go to the back of the head, behind your eye, or into your ear
- Moving your neck causes you pain, and your muscles feel tight
- Unable to turn your neck as far as you normally could such as looking over your shoulder
Following are common causes of neck pain:
- Trauma to the neck structures due to penetrating trauma or whiplash
- Muscle injuries such as sprain or neck strain due to abnormal sleeping positions, stress, or poor posture
- Nerve problems such as a pinched nerve or a herniated disc
- Infections such as tuberculosis of the neck or viral infections of the throat
- Cancers such as thyroid cancer or esophagus cancer
- Medicines that affect neck muscle spasms or torticollis
- Sitting at a desk in the same position for several hours
- Jerking your neck while working out
- Can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition (heart attacks, meningitis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and spinal stenosis)
Visit Specialized Physical Therapy to talk to our trained and qualified physical therapist if you have been suffering from unspecified chronic pain, recovering from an injury, or recovering from surgery. We recommend you make physical therapy a part of your treatment program for treating other chronic conditions and diseases.
When you visit, our physical therapist will perform a comprehensive physical examination and ask your questions about your current diet, lifestyle, medical history, and other information and details about your neck pain. On your visit, we will examine your neck movements and inquire about any symptoms such as pain between your shoulder blades, neck, pain that travels down your arm to your fingers or hand, or if you experience any tingling sensation or numbness in your arm or shoulder.
We will also examine our joint function in both your neck and back to determine dysfunctions or limitations that add to your neck pain. This will help us make an accurate diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you regain full function.
Treatment and Exercises
Specialized Physical Therapy will work alongside you to develop a personalized Home Exercise Program (HEP). Our HEP will consist of a range of motion or stretching exercises, endurance exercises, and strengthening exercises. We will also perform hands-on manual therapy to alleviate mechanical neck pain.
Our physical therapist will mobilize your neck through passive movements to the joints in your neck, applying pressure at lower speeds and different amplitudes. They will manipulate your neck by applying passive, low amplitude, and high velocity thrusts to the joints in your neck, resulting in a popping sound.
The therapists will manipulate your upper back, applying passive, low amplitude, and high velocity thrusts to the joints in your upper back. Lastly, they will apply passive force to soft tissues, including your muscles, connective tissue, and skin.
If your neck pain is disrupting your life and everyday routine, start neck pain physical therapy treatment today by calling us at 201-773-881 or email us HERE.