What Is Neck Pain?
Neck pain (or cervicalgia) is a symptom characterized by discomfort in the cervical region of the spine. Depending on the cause, neck pain can vary in duration and intensity, from stabbing pains to a dull ache.
Symptoms that may be present alongside neck pain include headaches and cervical stiffness, sometimes alongside pain, weakness, tingling, and/or numbness in the arms and hands.
Neck Pain: Common Accompanying Symptoms
- decreased range of motion (stiffness)
- low back pain
- shoulder pain
- upper back pain
Neck Pain Causes
Neck pain is a very common affliction, and can be caused be a wide variety of conditions. Although these conditions vary in origin and severity, physical therapy typically focuses on treating musculoskeletal (mechanical) dysfunctions to reduce these symptoms.
Neck pain is particularly common after motor vehicle accidents, as whiplash can suddenly and violently strain muscles and ligaments in the neck. While violent causes are quite common, other causes of neck pain include poor posture, repetitive strain, and musculoskeletal issues such as osteoporosis.
Neck Pain: Example Causes
- cervical degenerative disc disease
- muscle strain
- poor posture
- poor sleeping position
- spinal disc herniation
- spinal stenosis
- sports injury
Neck Pain Treatment
Always consult your physician before attempting any kind of treatment program.
Pain medication is often prescribed to suppress neck pain, but this approach often addresses only the symptom of neck pain itself and not the underlying cause behind its presence.
At Central Washington Physical Therapy, we take a causative approach to your healthcare. In addition to immediate treatment to help minimize your discomfort, we help to identify probable causes for your condition, how to start improving it now, and how to avoid it in the future. For neck pain, such treatments may include the following:
Neck Pain: Treatment Options
- electrical stimulation therapy
- hot/cold packs
- instruction in proper posture
- instruction in lifestyle changes
- manual (hands-on) therapy
- spinal decompression (traction)
If you suffer from neck pain, Yakima’s Central Washington Physical Therapy may be able to help you. Contact us below to get started.