Are you tired of dealing with burning, tingling, or stabbing sensations in your neck? If home remedies don't relieve your pain, your primary care physician may recommend physical therapy. Visiting a physical therapist can be very helpful if you're battling neck pain, but you may be wondering what to expect from the appointments. After your initial evaluation, here are five ways that a physical therapist might treat your neck pain.
1) Soft tissue massage
Massage is a popular type of physical therapy, and it can be used to treat tight, sore muscles in your neck. Your physical therapist may use different massage techniques, such as effleurage, petrissage, and trigger point therapy, to help reduce your pain. During physical therapy, a specialist may also use tools to massage your neck, such as a foam roller or massage ball.
2) Exercises to Improve Mobility
Your physical therapist will likely give you exercises to help stretch and strengthen your neck muscles. These exercises can help improve mobility in the area, which can reduce pain and stiffness over time. You may also be prescribed core-stabilizing exercises, such as planks or bridges, that can help support your neck and prevent future injuries.
3) Posture Correction
Maintaining proper posture is essential for reducing neck pain, so physical therapists may teach you how to sit, stand, and move correctly. You'll learn how to position your head and shoulders in a neutral position while sitting at work or school desks as well as techniques that can help you move with more ease.
4) Hot and Cold Therapy
Applying heat or ice to the neck is a great way to promote healing and reduce inflammation. Your physical therapist may suggest using hot or cold packs, soaking in a hot bath, or taking a warm shower before exercise to increase blood flow and relax tight muscles. Alternating between hot and cold therapies can also be beneficial.
5) Trigger point release
Knots can form in tight muscles, such as the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck, which can cause painful spasms. Your physical therapist may manually apply pressure to trigger points to help release them and reduce pain. You may also be taught self-massage techniques that you can use at home to keep your neck muscles loose and flexible.
Physical therapy is an effective treatment for many types of neck pain. If you're looking for relief, make an appointment with a physical therapist today and start your journey to recovery.
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