Your neck is an integral area of everyday movement. For those experiencing neck pain, everyday movements such as sitting up straight in your chair at work or tilting your head down to tie your shoes become challenging and uncomfortable. As technology becomes a bigger part of our lives and we spend more and more time in front of a computer screen, many people complain about having a pain in the neck. Studies have shown that neck pain affects about 30% of people in the U.S. each year.
For some people, neck pain is an ongoing issue, with symptoms varying from dull aches to sharp, stabbing pain. You may feel pain in a single point of your neck. Neck pain can also spread to other parts of your body, including your upper back, shoulders, and arms. Acute, recurring, and chronic neck pain ultimately leads to a decrease in quality of life. Wherever you feel your neck pain, however severe it is, neck pain is not something to be ignored.
All About Your Neck
The neck is the area between the base of your skull and your collarbones, also called “clavicles”. While the neck seems like a relatively small portion of your body, it contains a range of important anatomical features. Your neck, or cervical spine, is made up of seven bones called vertebrae which are stacked upon one another. In between each bone lies a spongy material called the intervertebral disc. Each vertebra has two joints towards the back that connect with the joints of the vertebrae below it. These bones in your neck protect your spinal cord and allow normal motion.
The neck is one of the most complex and intricate structures in the body and includes the spinal cord, which sends messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The cervical spine is responsible for many essential roles, including protecting the spinal cord, providing support to the head, and assisting the progress of blood flow to the brain. Because the neck plays such an important part in everyday functions—many of which occur behind the scenes—consulting a physical therapist is a great first step toward diagnosis and long-lasting neck pain relief.
When Should I Seek Physical Therapy for My Neck Pain?
If you are experiencing neck pain, when can you benefit from physical therapy? The answer: Any time! The main goal of physical therapy is to improve your daily quality of life by providing care that helps decrease your pain and increase your strength and mobility. Whether neck pain is keeping you from performing simple daily tasks or playing at the top of your game, physical therapy is an effective way to treat a variety of neck injuries and conditions.
Neck pain can show up in a variety of ways and it can be tricky to identify when it is time to seek medical attention. A good rule of thumb is to seek attention as soon as the pain is noticeable, especially if it starts to interfere with your everyday activities. Figuring out the source of your neck pain is the first step to treating it. Professional’s physical therapists will discuss your concerns with you, examine the physical limitations caused by your neck pain, and create a plan to address your pain. Addressing the issue as soon as possible is key to obtaining neck pain relief and preventing potential future injuries.
Professional’s physical therapists work with you to address your specific needs and create a personalized treatment plan for your neck pain.
Tools that can be used to diagnose neck pain and refer you to PT include a Clinical Exam, MRI, X-Rays or CT Scan.
If you have been referred to physical therapy, Professional’s PTs will conduct an initial physical evaluation to analyze the range of motion in your neck, as well as any limitations you have due to your pain. Our PTs work with you and information from your referring doctor to determine the make-up of your treatment plan. At Professional, you and your physical therapist will work together to understand the goals and expectations of each step in your unique treatment plan that focuses on providing neck pain relief as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What Are Common Neck Pain Symptoms?
It is possible for neck pain to develop with no definitive cause. When this happens, the primary focus is on treating the symptoms rather than the cause of the symptoms. Identifying your neck pain symptoms is the first step to getting the specific treatment you require for neck pain relief. Symptoms that occur with neck pain can include:
Inability to fully stand up or sit up straight
Arm weakness and/or tenderness
Loss of sleep due to pain and discomfort
Discomfort and pain when remaining in the same position for too long
Numbness or tingling in the upper extremities
Stiffness and muscle tightness in the upper body
Limited range of motion and mobility during head or neck movement
Muscle spasms in the neck, upper back, or around the shoulder blade
Do you have neck pain?
Our physical therapists will diagnose your pain or injury and customize a neck pain treatment plan just for you. We will work in an effective way to get you back on your feet, focused on your wellness before, during and after therapy.
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Insurances We Accept
Below is a condensed list of insurances we participate with throughout our network of physical therapy clinics. Find your particular provider below based on your area. For a complete listing of all insurance providers and individual plans by name: CLICK HERE FOR OUR FULL INSURANCE PAGE.
Amerihealth Caritas (effective date 4/27/2020 - NH)
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (NH)
BCBS Massachusetts (MA)
Commonwealth Care Alliance (MA)
Fallon Health (MA)
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (MA, NH)
Health New England (MA)
Magna Care (MA, NH)
Magna Comp (Workers' Compensation – MA, NH)
Martin’s Point Health Care (NH)
Mass General Brigham Health (formerly AllWays Health Partners)
Massachusetts Health (Medicaid – MA)
Medicaid (MA, NH)
Medicare (MA, NH)
Med Risk (Workers' Compensation – MA)
No Fault (Various Carriers)
One Call (Workers' Compensation – MA, NH)
SPNET (Workers' Compensation – MA, NH)
Streamline (Workers' Compensation – MA, NH)
TRICARE (MA, NH)
Tufts Health Plan (MA, NH)
Tufts Medicare Advantage (MA)
Tufts Public (Medicaid – MA)
United Health Care (Optum – MA, NH)
WellSense Health (Formerly BMC – Boston Medical Center – MA)
Workers’ Compensation (Various Carriers)
Common Conditions that Cause Neck Pain
Neck pain is commonly caused by injury to the tissues or bone structures in the neck. Pain in your neck might begin as acute but can become chronic if left untreated. Certain degenerative conditions can also lead to neck pain. Diagnosing and managing pain at an early stage can help limit symptoms in both time and severity. Click on the diagnoses below to see detailed information about how physical therapists at Professional treat these common conditions that cause pain in your neck:
Taking into consideration the extent of your neck pain and your medical history, physical therapy may be a very effective non-surgical means of treatment. If you suffer from issues like muscle strains, rheumatoid arthritis, TMJ disorder, or have neck pain resulting from a traumatic injury, physical therapy can help better your quality of life and, in some cases, it can delay or even prevent future surgical intervention.
Physical therapy is a non-surgical treatment to help patients who are experiencing neck pain. If neck pain has just occurred and it is difficult to move, finding positions of comfort and rest is the best treatment. There are many forms of manual treatment with physical therapy that can help to increase neck pain relief. Professional’s physical therapy experts are dedicated to helping you find neck pain relief.
Acute Neck Pain
Acute neck pain is sharp, intense pain that can radiate to the head, shoulders, arms, or hands. The source of acute neck pain is usually in the muscles and ligaments, joints, or discs. You play an important role in the prevention, treatment, and recovery process of neck pain. Seeking a skilled physical therapist trained on neck treatment and pain management can help prescribe the right treatment program to provide neck pain relief. With proper care, acute neck pain can subside within days or weeks.
Chronic Neck Pain
Neck pain is typically considered chronic when it has persisted for more than 3 months. Long-term persistent neck pain could be the result of more severe issues, such as problems with nerves, discs, vertebrae, or the tiny facet joints located within the spine. Consulting a certified physical therapist for neck pain relief is an important tool to lay the foundation for appropriate treatment and rehabilitation.
Physical Therapy Treatment Techniques for Neck Pain
No matter the cause of your neck pain, Professional’s physical therapists will work with you to create and facilitate a safe and effective treatment plan. Symptoms are unique in both their causes and the methods we use to help manage them and provide neck pain relief. Below are just a few of the skills and techniques we deploy to treat chronic neck pain or rehabilitate you after an injury or surgery:
Heat & Ice
Physical Therapy Before and After Neck Surgery
If your neck pain is caused by an injury, muscle activation, mobility, and strength-building exercises are essential to the recovery process. Our certified physical therapists can guide you through a treatment plan targeting the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck that have weakened after a period of immobility.
While pain in your neck is often treatable and preventable with ongoing physical therapy, serious conditions may require surgical intervention. When surgery cannot be avoided, research shows that physical therapy is a vital part of your road to recovery—both before and after your procedure. Before a cervical spine surgery to address neck pain caused by severe conditions, physical therapy allows you to strengthen your muscles, educate yourself on what to expect post-surgery, and develop a home exercise routine to prepare for the journey ahead. The stronger and more informed you are before surgery, the stronger and more assured you’ll be afterward. Post-surgery physical therapy may feel similar, with treatment targeted toward regaining strength, mobility, and flexibility to help you heal properly and recover most effectively.
Committed to Providing Neck Pain Relief
When it comes to finding neck pain relief, we ensure that our treatment is comprehensive, manageable, and customized to fit your specific symptoms and concerns. We don’t just help you treat your neck pain one time and send you on your way. Our therapists make sure to educate you on the how and why of your neck pain and put you on a path to ongoing wellness and prevention of more serious conditions.
We provide treatments for neck pain relief and neck injuries from our physical therapy clinics throughout Manhattan NYC, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Fill out the form above, or contact a clinic near you to speak with a Professional Physical Therapist and neck pain specialist today.
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