Physical Therapy for Neck Pain
Neck pain affects 1 in 3 people every year according to informedhealth.org. This chronic condition has become worsened as our society has shifted towards a sedentary lifestyle. Physical Therapists will sometimes refer to neck pain as “Text Neck” a common phrase that refers to pain caused by the position your head and neck are in while texting or looking at a screen. The muscles in your neck can become strained in the position and over time lead to chronic pain. Knowing when to see a physical therapist is key to avoid long term damage and manage pain.
Why Choose a Physical Therapist for Neck Pain?
A physical therapist is the most qualified professional to help with your neck pain. Unlike Chiropractors, they focus on a long term solution and give you exercises and tips to help you throughout your life. A physical therapist will not adjust your neck, you will work with them to develop and exercise and or stretching regimen that will help manage pain and strengthen the necessary muscles for relief.
Physical Therapy Exercises for Neck Pain
Shoulder and Head Rolls
This exercise is a good warm up for the rest of the stretches and exercises. Simply roll our head in a circular motion going clockwise 5 times, the counterclockwise for another 5 circles. For shoulder rolls, slowly roll your shoulder in a circular motion forward and backwards for 5 times on each arm.
Seated Neck Stretch
This stretch is a great option for in the car on the way to work or at your desk! Leading with your chin, push your head forwards and backwards (almost making a “double chin” when going backwards) This exercise may feel silly at first, but many patients feel relief when frequently practicing this stretch.
Side Neck Stretch
Tilt your right ear towards your right shoulder until you feel a slight stretch or tightness in the affected area. For a deeper stretch, your can place your arm behind your back and continue tilting your head towards your shoulder. Rest your head in this position until you feel less tense.
Front Neck Stretch
Give yourself a hug and look up and over your shoulder. You should feel the stretch in the front of your neck. Try both sides of your neck and repeat 3 times on each side.
Back Neck Stretch
Love over your shoulder and down (towards your armpit). You should feel this stretch in the back of your neck. Repeat this stretch on each side for at least 3 times.