Neck pain can result from a variety of disorders, including irritation of the discs, facet joints, nerves, and muscles. These disorders can be a result of trauma, postural imbalances, wear and tear, and a variety of other mechanisms. Treatment begins with a thorough history, to help your therapist understand your pain. Your therapist will begin your treatment with a review of your medical history and a thorough physical examination to determine the reason for your pain. Treatment options are determined by your symptom behavior and evaluation findings. Options available include:
- Modalities: A variety of methods such as heat/ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation may be used to help control your pain and decrease inflammation.
- Manual therapy: This includes joint mobilization/manipulation to improve deficits in mobility, as well as soft tissue mobilization and myofascial release to decrease pain and improve mobility.
- Traction: This is applied with either a specialized machine or with the therapists hands to decrease pressure on the discs, joints, and nerves.
- Exercise: This may be the most frequently utilized treatment for neck pain. This can include specific stretching or strengthening activities to improve the motion, strength, control, or endurance around your neck. Most programs will also include a specifically tailored home exercise routine to help you continue your progress.
- Education: Your therapist will help you to understand your pain, and develop strategies that you can use to control your pain on a daily basis.