Neck Pain is the fourth leading cause of disability and affects more than 30% of adults in the U.S., according to a study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal. 

If you’ve had neck pain for some time and tried various treatments, you may be wondering, is this something I just accept and live with? 

The answer is no. You should not have to live with persistent neck pain. 

It is likely that you just haven’t found the right treatment for your neck condition. If you’ve tried treatments such as rest, medications, injections, or surgery, you simply haven’t had the appropriate care for your neck pain. 

There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to healing physical conditions such as neck pain. The problem with many treatments (even those recommended by your primary care doctor) is that they tend to focus on symptom reduction rather than permanently fixing the underlying cause of your pain. 

Treatments like medications, injections, and rest can help you feel better temporarily because they minimize the symptoms you feel and can mask your pain. 

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But what about when you stop swallowing the pills or return to your usual activities and lifestyle after surgery?

Your pain in the neck will return. It’s practically inevitable when the treatments you’ve tried haven’t fixed the root of the problem.

Fortunately, there is a safe and effective treatment option that can heal your neck pain for good: neck physical therapy.

Neck physical therapy doesn’t just reduce the symptoms – it targets the cause, meaning that your neck can finally heal, and the symptoms won’t keep returning.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about neck physical therapy. We’ll answer all your questions, including:

  • What is neck physical therapy?
  • Who is a neck physical therapist?
  • What can I expect from neck physical therapy?
  • How does a neck physical therapist make an accurate diagnosis?
  • What are the most common neck conditions (& their symptoms) treated by neck physical therapists?

Which techniques will a neck physical therapist use to treat my neck condition?

 

What is Neck Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy for neck pain is a treatment program intended to help patients overcome neck conditions through techniques such as specific physical exercises (such as strengthening & stretching for the neck) and joint mobilization.

Neck physical therapy is a non-invasive, pill-free treatment that can restore a patient’s full range of motion and function in the neck.

Who is a Neck Physical Therapist?

A neck physical therapist is a Doctor of Physical Therapy who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of neck conditions.

A neck physical therapist is trained to accurately diagnose your condition and determine the underlying cause so that you can finally enjoy a treatment that works.

If you’ve tried various treatment options and still have reoccurring neck pain, a neck physical therapist will combine safe treatment techniques to help you get rid of your pain for good.

 

What Can I Expect from Neck Physical Therapy?

You can expect to have a treatment that is safe and effective in healing your neck condition.

Most patients meet with their neck physical therapist at least once a week for several weeks. This allows your neck physical therapist to monitor your progress, add or modify treatments, and continue to provide you with certain treatments (such as manual therapy) that you cannot perform at home.

Neck physical therapy requires your participation as well. Your neck physical therapist will probably give you neck strengthening, stretching, and mobility exercises to perform at home before the next appointment.

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You may also be asked to make certain lifestyle changes such as practicing good posture and wearing proper footwear.

Depending on your condition and the severity, you might start to feel better immediately, or it might take at least a few weeks to start feeling better. Either way, it is important to continue the full course of your physical therapy program to ensure that your neck condition fully heals and won’t return.

 

How Does a Neck Physical Therapist Make an Accurate Diagnosis?

Fixing the cause of a problem is the only successful way to cure the symptoms once and for all. Therefore, neck physical therapists will guide you through a series of questions and tests to accurately diagnose your condition and determine the underlying cause.

 

Initial Questions

First, your neck physical therapist will note information such as your age, weight, symptoms, and history of injury or illness. Then, you will answer questions such as “how long have you had the pain?” or “what makes your pain better or worse?”