Neck and back pain are incredibly common — sitting or standing for hours at a time in a static position, or placing a great deal of strain on the cervical spine through physically demanding activities can lead to common aches and pain. Even for less strenuous or regular activity, we walk around with a roughly 10 pound weight pushing down on our neck and spine all day, as the average adult human head is about 5-6 kg.
Whether it’s for the common strain we experience from daily life, or from a more traumatic injury, physical therapy for the neck and back can be a great way to recover. Neck physical therapy, and by extension back and spinal physical therapy, focuses on regular exercises that improve or recover a healthy range of motion.
What Does Physical Therapy for the Neck Do?
The primary goal for physical therapy will always vary based on an individual patient’s needs, but typically neck physical therapy is designed to help undo the stiffness and lack of motion that most people experience.
Most jobs these days involve sitting for long periods of time looking at a computer or other fixed spot, which can lead to a completely static set of muscles and joints throughout the head, neck, and spine. Similarly if someone has had surgery or experienced an injury that resulted in a loss of movement or a reduction in a range of motion, they can experience similar issues.
Our muscles and joints want and need to move to stay healthy. Not unlike muscles, they can grow stiff through inaction, receive less blood flow, and take longer to adjust to motion which is usually when people start to notice pain.
Once a physical therapist assesses your situation, they can begin developing a unique routine and set of exercises to help you reduce pain, regain a full range of motion, and avoid that pain in the future. Oftentimes these exercises will be some combination of regular stretches, physical therapy sessions to help you learn and practice those stretches in a controlled environment, and education on how to maintain these healthy practices on your own after you have recovered.
When Should I Consider Neck Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is something you should consider on a flexible basis. In some cases, you can simply recognize pain and consult your primary care physician, inquiring about physical therapy as a more preventative measure or to help with minor aches and pains.
For chronic or acute pain in the neck, back, and cervical spine due to prolonged issues or injury, you may be referred to a physical therapist to help during recovery.
Due to the fact that much of the neck and spine are delicate and filled with nerves, a physical therapist may be recommended to help you avoid further injury during your recovery, particularly if you have a reduced capacity for motion or may be at risk agitating your injury even during routine activities and movement.
When To Consider or Ask About Neck Physical Therapy
- Ongoing pain or discomfort in the neck from sitting, exercise, or injury
- After operations, traumatic injury, or other changes to the neck or spine
- If you have other conditions that may affect your joints, spine, or neck
- If you work or regularly find yourself in painful conditions due to a lack of motion
Why Work With Our Physical Therapists For Neck And Back?
At Crom Rehabilitation, we have a team of caring, compassionate physical therapists that are dedicated to helping people achieve their peak physical form, regardless of health circumstances. With cutting edge treatment and therapy techniques, our goal is to maximize our patient’s chances at lasting pain relief, greater physical capability, and a higher level of personal satisfaction.
We partner with most major insurance companies as well in order to enable a wider range of coverage for people seeking the care and quality therapy that they deserve. If you’re struggling with pain, a loss of motion, or recovery from neck related injuries, speak with your PMC or contact us. We look forward to hearing from you and beginning a journey to full recovery and health through neck, back, and spinal physical therapy.
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