When a “pain in the neck” isn’t just a saying
Neck pain is a very common complaint. Actually, one in three people will experience neck pain this year. For many, the pain will simply go away on its own, but others may experience pain or disability long after the pain presents itself or after an initial injury. Many times there is no clear “why” for your neck pain, but studies have shown that neck pain, is not necessarily caused by arthritis or even the herniated disc that shows up on your X-ray/ MRI.
Your neck, or cervical spine, is made up of seven vertebrae that connect to your thoracic spine (upper back). It serves to support your head & protect your spinal cord and has many muscle attachments. Neck pain often affects more than just the neck—you may feel pain between your shoulder blades, your shoulder, or even experience headaches. The nerves in your neck can also trigger numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms & hands.
Office workers are more susceptible to neck pain because prolonged postures can cause increased stiffness, while poor ergonomics &repetitive movements such as typing can increase the likelihood of developing numbness or tingling in the hands. Your physical therapist will assess your neck, upper back, & arms, but they may also ask about your office set up & how frequently you move throughout the day. Here are some common conditions we treat:
Commonly Treated Neck Conditions:
- Muscle strain
- Ligament sprain
- Herniated disc
- Pinched nerve (radiculopathy)
- Neck stiffness or chronic pain
- Arthritis or degenerative joint disease
When to seek a physical therapist:
- You have increased neck pain or stiffness in the morning
- You are experiencing numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or hands
- You have started having headaches or noticed a change in your normal headaches (frequency, quality, or intensity)
- Your neck, upper back, or shoulders feel tight or painful after sitting or standing for long periods of time
- Inability to complete normal activities of daily living or work duties due to neck pain or discomfort
- Turning your head causes pain
- You feel like just stretching isn’t alleviating your symptoms
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have been diagnosed with one of the conditions listed above, come see us at Ridgeview Physical Therapy & Wellness Center to start your recovery today.