Neck Pain

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Neck Pain Treatment

Excuse my play on words however if you’re here, you’re likely experiencing some neck pain. Maybe you are having difficulty rotating your head, bending forwards, or looking up. Does it just feel “locked up?” You’re in the right place if this is you.

Whenever someone finds out that i’m a physical therapist, they quickly tell me all of the symptoms their having. Typically, the primary concern is, “is this going to get worse,” and “do you think i’ll need surgery?” Let’s break these down a bit in the context of neck pain.

There are a lot of different terms that are thrown around when describing various types of pain related to the cervical spine: cervical disc degeneration, cervical radiculopathy, myelopathy, stenosis, degenerative disc disease (DDD), migraine headaches, tension headaches, etc.

Some of these conditions, specifically myelopathy can be dangerous, however with a good clinical exam including checking sensation, strength, reflexes, and taking a good history, this can usually be ruled out.

For the rest of these findings, MOST people are going to recover and not require surgery. You can breathe a sigh of relief. If you came across my website after reading some random blog post about how if you have x,y,z symptoms you’ll need surgery, you’re welcome. Surgery would be the last of many options and in many cases simply is not necessary or helpful. This doesn’t mean it can never be helpful, but much less so than previously thought.

In a brief article I wrote about back pain, I shared an infographic, that depicts how even though many people will have disc degeneration as they age (it’s a normal part of aging), this is like having wrinkles on the inside. Wrinkles on our face don’t hurt and they likely don’t hurt on the inside of our bodies either. This does not mean that what we find on various diagnostic imaging is not helpful, however it cannot accurately predict how much pain we are having and only rarely can it show the structure that is truly causing pain.

I hope this was helpful to you and gave you some hope for your neck pain. I would love to help you if you feel like our thoughts are aligned on this topic. Just click one of the button’s below and we’ll chat!

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