Non-specific neck pain is a very common condition, and it isn’t usually cause for alarm. In many cases, tense neck muscles are to blame for neck pain, and all it takes is a good night’s sleep or a powerful stretch to set things right. However, if your neck pain doesn’t go away after about two weeks or if you experience neck pain repeatedly in the same spot, you might have a more serious situation on your hands.
Neck pain can be caused from repeated or prolonged movements of the neck causing neck strain (overuse of a muscle), neck sprain (injury to a neck ligament), or a spasm of the neck muscles. An injury from a car accident, called whiplash or a fall can cause severe neck pain. People of all ages can have neck pain from poor posture while using the cell phone, computer, poor sleeping positions, overhead activity, prolonged stress and tension. If you experience chronic neck pain, it could be caused by weak muscles that aren’t capable of holding up the weight of your head. Chronic neck pain could also be caused by wear and tear in your cervical spine, disk herniation, spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of neck pain can vary in nature, pain can be dull, aching, burning, shooting, stabbing and sharp. Pain can be felt directly in the neck, shoulders, upper back and arms. Often neck pain is accompanied by tenderness, stiffness, headaches. Numbness, tingling and weakness can be felt in the arms and hands. People with neck pain often have difficulty with movement, reaching, overhead activities, lifting, carrying, pulling and pushing.
In most cases, neck pain and discomfort can be diagnosed in the course of a routine doctor’s visit. First, your general physician will ask you a series of questions, and then they will perform a physical examination. In some cases, additional tools like MRI or CT scans may also be used.
At home, you can use treatment options like heating pads or heat packs to relieve neck tension. You can also try stretching or strengthening exercises, and some people also find that ice packs are effective in treating their neck pain. However, physical therapy show great promise as a treatment for neck pain that refuses to go away. Our therapists at Advance Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, use treatments that include electrical stimulation, ultrasound, heat therapy, cryo therapy, cervical traction, massage, manual therapy techniques, Graston technique, postural correction, stretching, strengthening exercises, NET technique and a comprehensive home exercise program to relieve the pain and restore your function.