While you may be aware that physical therapy can be very effective at treating neck pain, you may not know how it actually does so. Here, the team at our physiotherapy centre in Orleans explains some of the active and passive treatments and therapies that are involved in our physiotherapy treatments for neck pain.
Pain in your neck can be mildly uncomfortable or, in more severe cases, totally draining and immobilizing. Regardless of its severity, however,r neck pain is quite common and may last anywhere from a few moments to days, hours or even weeks before resolving.
At Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans, our physiotherapists are able to treat neck pain with a combination of techniques including active and passive physical therapy for neck pain.
Physiotherapy Treatments For Neck Pain
The first step of any physiotherapy treatment plan at our clinic is a conversation between you and your physiotherapist about how you are feeling. The more information our staff are able to gather about your condition and your recent activity, the easier it will be to diagnose and create a treatment plan for your pain. The goal of physiotherapy is always to identify the root cause of your health issues and alleviate them through strengthening and encouraging mobility. This both treats the injury and helps prevent it from recurring.
After our assessment and identifying the cause of your neck pain, as well as its severity, our physical therapists use treatments from two different broad categories to help alleviate your neck pain: passive and active physiotherapy. Surprising to many clients, is our physical therapists' treatment of the upper back, as this area is often stiff and a contributor to an overworking/over-moving neck!
Passive physiotherapy treatments include any treatment that we do to our patient (usually without requiring any action or activity on your part). Some examples of passive physiotherapy treatment we offer for neck pain include:
Hot and Cold Packs
Hot or cold packs, also called ice and heat packs, are applied by a physiotherapist to your neck in order to help temporarily reduce pain and swelling.
Cal packs help to reduce any swelling and inflammation in the affected area while heat packs encourage blood flow to loosen tight or stiff muscles. These two treatments are often administered together, although this depends on the specific kinds of injury or neck pain you are experienced—as well as your personal preference.
Manual therapy is a broad umbrella of physical therapy where one of our professionals physically mobilizes and/or manipulates your tissues and joints, with varying degrees of force. This treatment is able to help many different conditions by loosening and relaxing muscles that may be tense, in pain or stiff.
When manual therapy is used to treat neck pain, our Orleans physiotherapists will massage the neck and the area around it, including your head, the backs of your shoulders and your back itself.
Acupuncture / Dry Needling
Acupuncture is medicinal practice with ancient roots in China. It's been shown to help encourage your body's natural healing process, to improve mobility and to reduce pain. When practicing acupuncture, we insert tiny, sterile needles into key areas where nerves and blood vessels converge.
Dry Needling uses similar needles to acupuncture, but are placed into trigger points and tense muscles to cause the muscle to "reboot" (contract & relax).
When treating neck pain, our physiotherapists will ask you about some of your daily routines, symptoms, diets and more in order to determine the optimal points on your body to place needles.
Active physiotherapeutic treatment is an umbrella term that refers to prescribed exercises, stretches and activities that are designed to help our patients strengthen their bodies and restore their mobility while also preventing future pain or injury too.
Always wait for a prescription for a given exercise from your physiotherapist before stretching or exercising your neck when it's in pain. Not all activities treat all sources of pain and some may even make your condition worse. All of that being said, some active physiotherapy treatments that our Orleans physiotherapists may prescribe include:
Sitting on a firm chair or standing straight, turn your head from left to right with a level chin. Hold your head on both the left and right sides for 15 to 30 seconds each and repeat 2 - 4 times on each side.
Forward Neck Flexion
Standing up straight or sitting on a firm chair, bend your head forward and hold for 15 to 30 seconds before releasing to neutral. Repeat this process 2 - 4 times.
Lie on the floor with a rolled-up towel beneath your neck, at neutral, the back of your head should be touching the floor.
Slowly bring your chin up towards your chest (create a double chin). Hold for 1-5 seconds and then relax your neck in neutral for 5-10 seconds. Repeat this process 8 - 12 times.