Petersen’s physical therapists are neck rehabilitation experts operating in the greater Phoenix, AZ area in Arizona near Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Maricopa. Whatever the reason that your neck hurts, we hope that the tips below will help you work through your pain.
There’s a reason that “pain in the neck” is an expression. Because we all know how annoying it is to wake up on the wrong side of the bed with a “stiff” neck for the day. The cervical spine is a complex area, and is easily injured. In addition to housing and protecting your spinal cord, the neck is an extremely mobile set of joints.
If you have basic stiffness, here’s a couple neck rehabilitation tips you could try first:
Suggestions for basic neck rehabilitation
Discontinue activity such as sports for a few days. During this time, try using heat or ice for 15-20 minutes a few times a day. OTC pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be helpful, but use them in moderation and follow all instructions. Massage the soft tissues of the neck and shoulder area gently; stop if it causes pain. Additionally, take an honest look at the sustained postures you find yourself in each day. It is common for poor posture to be the culprit. Utilize good posture and move through the range of motion that is comfortable to you.
What about when your neck pain is beyond just normal stiffness that can be solved by ice, neck stretches, and rest? This is exactly the situation many of our patients find themselves in. If you have an acute injury, or if you have chronic pain, read on.
Reasons to call us about your neck problems
- Your neck has been painful for more than 10 days.
- You have any existing injuries in the surrounding area.
- You have had an incident that tweaked your neck muscles.
- You have pain radiating down your arm or into your hand.
- You have severe or frequent headaches.
- You develop weakness and start dropping household items.
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, it is advised to seek physical therapy programs. Each plan is individualized, and our exercise programs will go a long way to alleviating your symptoms in the long term.
There are a few common causes of neck pain, including strains and sprains of the supportive tissue in and around the neck. These conditions can be caused by simple behavioral issues such as poor posture, repetitive motions, or holding the head in unusual positions for extended periods of time. Other times, it is caused by an event, such as whiplash, a fall/collision, or a sports injury.
It’s important to allow a professional to provide direction during the recovery process, because if the issue is related to posture and behavior, our therapist can provide correctional stretches/strengthening exercises. Over time, we will work with you to improve the strength and flexibility of the area, alleviating your pain. However, if there is a more severe underlying issue, this will also be uncovered.
Call us if you have any concerns about your own level of pain or to ask any questions. Our offices are located in the greater east valley area in Arizona. We will be happy to discuss treatment options and schedule an evaluation if necessary.