Certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine, American Board of Osteopathic Physical Medicine and Pain Management
Neck Pain Q & A
Can Physical Therapy Relieve Neck Pain?
Physical therapy is an effective way to help relieve and manage chronic neck pain. While it is important to know what is causing the pain, relieving the pain will help to improve a person’s quality of life. Physical therapy can help the patient regain any strength that was lost, as well as help to improve both mobility and range of motion. Once the cause has been determined, the type of treatment used to correct the problem will take time. Using physical therapy during the recovery period will encourage blood flow to the area, as well as keep the tissues flexible and prevent inflammation from infiltrating the area and increasing the risk of pain and discomfort.
Can Stress Increase Neck and Shoulder Pain?
Stress causes muscles to tighten and become inflamed. The longer the muscles in the neck, or any other area of the body, remain under stress, the tighter they become. This tightness restricts blood flow to the neck as well as the head resulting in chronic headache pain and, in severe cases, migraine headaches. Physical therapy can help to reduce the stress that is held in the muscles, releasing the tightness and restoring blood flow. As the blood begins to circulate back into the area, the inflammation will begin to dissipate. Releasing stress through exercise, meditation, or whatever method is used, is the key to a much faster healing time. Proper blood flow and exercises relieve the pain and inflammation that can have such a devastating impact on a person’s quality of life.
What are Common Causes of Chronic Neck Pain?
Chronic neck pain can be caused by a whiplash injury from an automobile accident, a slip and fall accident, arthritis, stress, chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia, just to name a few. Individuals who are high levels of stress for long periods of time can have extremely tight neck muscles. Over time, the tightness can restrict the flow of blood to the area. If this occurs, the muscles can eventually start to cramp. When the muscles remain in this state for long periods of time, it can dramatically increase a person’s risk of neck injury. It will also take much longer for the neck and shoulder muscles to heal.