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Neck pain is a common health issue that affects people of all ages. It can result from a variety of orthopedic causes including arthritis, cervical stenosis, disc herniation, and muscle strains. When experiencing neck pain, it can cause discomfort, headaches, and even limited mobility. It’s essential to understand what is causing your neck pain so you can get proper treatment and long-term relief. That’s why in this blog post, we will explore the orthopedic causes of neck pain and what you can do to relieve it, including physical therapy.
What are the causes of neck pain?
- Osteoarthritis is one of the most common orthopedic causes of neck pain, especially in older adults. It can be a normal part of aging with many individuals not experiencing any symptoms. Osteoarthritis is a breakdown of the joint leading to inflammation, pain, and limited mobility. Symptoms of arthritis in the neck include pain that is typically worse in the morning and is sometimes associated with a grinding noise when moving the head. To relieve arthritis-related neck pain, physical therapy can be beneficial. A physical therapist can design a customized treatment plan to reduce pain and improve joint mobility. A physical therapist may also target surrounding joints and tissues to reduce the overall stress and workload in the affected segments to prevent further deterioration and improve overall function.
- Cervical Disc Herniation is another common orthopedic cause of neck pain that occurs when the soft cushion-like structures between the vertebrae start to degenerate or herniate. When a disc bulges or herniates in the cervical spine, it can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms and hands. Physical therapy can help by reducing pressure on the affected discs, decreasing radiating symptoms, and restoring full mobility and function of the neck and upper extremities.
- Muscle Strains or increased muscle tension can be another cause of neck pain. Individuals who sit frequently or have their head in a forward position relative to their trunk require greater work out of the neck muscles to hold their head up. This increased work can lead to pain and dysfunction of those muscles and surrounding tissues. Physical therapy will work on improving mechanics and addressing deficits not just in the cervical spine but also in surrounding joints to reduce this workload.
- Other Causes of neck pain can include degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, and vertebral fractures. These conditions can cause compression of the nerves or the spinal cord and can result in severe pain and loss of function. Diagnosis and treatment options vary depending on the individual condition and can range from conservative therapies to surgery.
- Headaches and Dizziness are interconnected with neck pain with tension headaches being the most common type associated with neck pain. Dizziness is also commonly associated with neck pain caused by vertigo, Meniere’s disease, or vestibular neuritis.
What will help relieve neck pain?
Physical therapy is often the best course of treatment for relieving neck pain. A physical therapist can work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses the underlying cause while helping you feel better. Physical therapy can help you avoid surgery, manage pain, and improve your overall quality of life.
In addition to physical therapy, there are several techniques that can provide relief or prevent the onset of neck pain. Some effective techniques include getting sufficient rest, avoiding sitting for extended periods of time, using a standup desk at work, using proper lifting mechanics, and working on improving or maintaining the mobility of surrounding joints including the shoulders and thoracic spine. There are also exercises that can help alleviate or avoid neck pain.
Schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists today to get started on your journey to being pain-free![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]