From bad sleeping habits and chronic pain to acute injury, neck pain affects nearly one-third of Americans each year. At Odom Health and Wellness, we have been seeing an increased amount of patients who are seeking a way to improve their neck pain through non-surgical methods and without resorting to taking pain medication. This has seemingly been brought on more so due to the increased remote working lifestyle that has come to be from the restrictions from COVID-19.
Nonetheless, the show must go on! So how can we first start to understand our neck pain and determine next steps? Let’s start by breaking things down in terms of the type of pain that is being felt.
Neck pain can often present in the form of sensations of: sharp, pinching, numbness/tingling, or dull/aching stimulus. The type of pain that is experienced can often serve as a starting point for what type of treatment/provider you should see.
Muscle Related Neck Pain:
The most common source of neck pain that we treat is of muscular origin. Oftentimes it can feel like you can push or pinch on an isolated muscular spot and it will reproduce the pain.
For this type of pain, we find that a balance of diagnosis for the right muscle paired with the appropriate balance of ergonomic work setup, the right type of strength exercises for the neck and shoulder, paired with mobility techniques will yield significant results. We will also include additional treatment techniques like functional dry needling, graston, and cervical manipulation to help decrease pain and improve mobility of the neck.
Joint Related Neck Pain:
Let’s talk about our second leading cause of neck pain. Pain that comes from the joint. This is also very treatable with correct diagnosis and treatment. Oftentimes this pain can feel as though there is a pinching sensation on one side of the neck with side bending or looking up towards the ceiling with symptoms that are local. The key with this type of neck discomfort is pinpointing correct mobility techniques and exercises that will help to both get you moving and reduce your pain and gradually progress them over time. Our Physical Therapy team is well versed in manual hands on techniques to help ease the pain as well as guiding you through this process.
Nerve Related Neck Pain:
The third source of discomfort that we will discuss is pain that can be nerve related. This type of pain will tend to present with a numbness and tingling sensation that can radiate down the arm. The best way to achieve results with this treatment is determining the source of pain, whether it be where your symptoms are felt or if it is in the neck region itself. Being able to pinpoint where your numbness is felt will help your Physical Therapist trace your symptoms back to the origin to treat the true source of your pain. When we see this type of pain we first work hard to diagnose the source, treat that source through mobility work, as well as getting the nerve to desensitize through pinpoint movements.
For those who find themselves navigating their neck pain we recommend starting with getting a clear diagnosis. Once that has been established, having providers on your team that are focused on getting you back to your goals, avoiding surgery and medication is fundamental for long-term health. We treat neck pain daily and would be happy to have you in to help you get to the source of your pain and on the road to recovery. Let us help Diagnose, Treat, and Design a plan to help you get healthy, and stay healthy.