Pain in your neck may be mildly uncomfortable for some and completely draining for others. Regardless of the severity of neck pain, it is an incredibly common affliction and may last anywhere from moments to hours, days, weeks or even years!
At Manotick PhysioWorks, our physiotherapists are able to treat neck pain with a combination of techniques including active and passive physical therapy for neck pain.
Physiotherapy Treatments For Neck Pain
The first step in any physiotherapy treatment plan is a conversation between you and your physiotherapist so they can understand how you are feeling. The more information we are able to gather about your recent activity, the easier the diagnosis will be. The goal of physical therapy is always to identify to root cause of your health issues or pain and to alleviate them by strengthening your body and encouraging your mobility in order to both heal your injury and prevent it from reocurring.
After our assessment and identifying the cause of your neck pain, as well as its severity, our physical therapists use treatments from two different broad categories to help alleviate your neck pain: passive and active physiotherapy. Surprising to many clients is our physical therapists' treatment of the upper back, as this area is often stiff and a contributor to an overworking/over-moving neck!
Passive physiotherapy treatments can include any treatment that our staff apply to our patients without needing activity or action on your part. Some of the passive treatments we use for physiotherapy for neck pain can include:
Hot and Cold Packs
Hot or cold packs, also called ice and heat packs, are applied by a physiotherapist to your neck in order to help temporarily reduce pain and swelling.
Cold packs help to reduce swelling and inflammation while heat packs can encourage blood flow to the affected area as well as loosen stiff or tight muscles. These two treatments are often done in alternation with one another, although this depends on the specific kind of neck pain or injury you have suffered as well as your personal preference.
Manual therapy is a broad umbrella o physiotherapy techniques where our professionals manipulate or mobilize your tissues or joints with differing degrees of force. This treatment is also available to help many different conditions through the loosening or relaxing of muscles that may be stiff, tense, or in pain.
When used to treat pain in the neck, our Manotick physiotherapists will massage the neck and area around it, including the head, the backs of the shoulders and the back itself.
Acupuncture / Dry Needling
Acupuncturing is an ancient form of medicine that first originated in China. It has been shown to help encourage your body's natural healing processes, to reduce pain and to improve mobility. Our physiotherapists insert sterile needles into key areas where blood vessels and nerve endings converge in order to accomplish this.
Dry Needling uses similar needles to acupuncture, but are placed into trigger points and tense muscles to cause the muscle to "reboot" (contract & relax).
When treating neck pain, our physiotherapists will ask you about some of your daily routines, symptoms, diets and more in order to determine the optimal points on your body to place needles.
Active physiotherapeutic treatment is an umbrella term that refers to prescribed exercises, stretches and activities that are designed to help our patients strengthen their bodies and restore their mobility while also preventing future pain or injury too.
You should always wait for a prescription from your physiotherapist before undertaking any stretches for your neck pain. Not all exercises and stretches treat all kinds of neck pain. Some may even make your condition worse depending on the source of your pain. With all of that being said, some active physiotherapy treatments that are prescribed by our Manotick physiotherapists to address neck pain include:
Sitting on a firm chair or standing straight, turn your head from left to right with a level chin. Hold your head on both the left and right sides for 15 to 30 seconds each and repeat 2 - 4 times on each side.
Lie on the floor with a rolled-up towel beneath your neck, at neutral, the back of your head should be touching the floor.
Slowly bring your chin up towards your chest (create a double chin). Hold for 1-5 seconds and then relax your neck in neutral for 5-10 seconds. Repeat this process 8 - 12 times.
Forward Neck Flexion
Standing up straight or sitting on a firm chair, bend your head forward and hold for 15 to 30 seconds before releasing to neutral. Repeat this process 2 - 4 times.