Trying to complete tasks and navigate your daily life when dealing with neck pain can feel impossible. At Free Body Physical Therapy, we are well-versed in providing physical therapy for neck strains and will work with you to find an effective treatment option to get you back to a pain-free life.
What Causes Neck Strains?
A neck strain occurs when some of the fibers in a neck tendon or muscle stretch too far and tear. This injury, also referred to as a pulled muscle, can range in pain intensity and limit head movements necessary to perform basic everyday tasks. Understanding the symptoms and causes of a neck strain can help you identify the issue sooner and find the treatments that work best. Some of the common symptoms of a neck strain may include:
- Throbbing or aching pain in the neck.
- Pain in the neck region.
- Sharp neck pain.
- Stiffness in the neck.
- Muscle spasms.
In some instances, neck strains can accompany another condition or injury and cause additional symptoms. If the neck strain results from a sudden impact like a car accident, injuries in the cervical spine can occur and lead to severe symptoms. Our team will evaluate the extent of your condition and determine the course of treatment to help provide relief.
Physical Therapy for Neck Strain
While most neck strains heal on their own within a few days, it helps to consult with a physical therapist to treat any abnormalities, show you stretching and strengthening exercises, improve your posture, and help prevent neck pain and strain from reoccurring. At Free Body Physical Therapy, our dedicated specialists will work with you to design a personalized treatment program to speed up recovery and help you return to a healthy and active lifestyle. Our physical therapists will work with you to:
- Improve posture – Poor posture is one of the leading causes of a chronic neck strain. If you are dealing with chronic neck strain caused by posture, your therapist will show you how to improve your posture and promote healing. Certain ergonomic modifications can potentially help your posture.
- Reduce Pain – Your physical therapist will help you learn how to modify or avoid certain activities that contributed to the neck strain. Different techniques may be used to reduce your pain and symptoms.
- Improve Flexibility and Range of Motion – Your therapist will show you specific activities and treatments to help restore regular movements in the neck. These can include both passive and active exercises. If the neck is stiff or tight, stretching exercises can improve flexibility.
- Improve Strength – Strengthening exercises are a staple in physical therapy treatments, so if your neck is weak from the injury, your physical therapist will show you exercises to restore strength and agility. Core strengthening and stabilization are often used to manage neck pain to restore the coordination of muscles around the spine.
The goal of physical therapy for neck strains is to help you achieve your lifestyle goals. Seeking physical therapy after a neck strain can help you reach these goals safely, quickly, and effectively. While neck strains can be an uncomfortable occurrence, they can be prevented. In order to avoid neck injuries, here are some helpful steps you can take into consideration:
- Maintain good posture at all times.
- Stay active consistently to keep your muscles strong and flexible.
- Utilize proper body mechanics when performing activities that put stress on the spine.
- Maintain a healthy weight to reduce excess pressure on your spine.
- Quit smoking.
Physical therapy can be an effective way to manage your neck pain. Even if the neck pain cannot be eliminated completely, physical therapy can play a vital role in improving your function for daily movements. At Free Body Physical Therapy, our team is here to help you when neck strains interfere with your everyday life. To learn more about how we can help, be sure to contact our office today!