Neck physical therapy is probably one of the more popular and efficient therapies for chronic and acute neck pain. The particular methods and techniques employed in physical therapy vary from one person to another and also depend on the length of the therapy program. As a matter of fact, a physical therapist may even be called upon to perform surgery on a patient suffering from acute or chronic pain related to the neck or back if that is the only way to treat the problem.
There are three main techniques used for neck physical therapy, which are based on various types of exercises designed for the spinal column. These techniques include passive (resting), active (exercising) and passive/active (exercising/resting). Each of these techniques has its own limitations and benefits, depending on the condition of your neck and spine.
The resting technique requires that the therapist rest the patient’s neck in such a way that his/her head is neither bent nor extended, as is usual when the patient is sleeping. The patient should also rest his/her head on a soft pillow can be made out of a comfortable material. A heating pad is usually placed beside the patient’s bed during the rest period.
Active therapy involves stretching, squeezing and rotating of the affected muscles. This helps increase blood flow and circulation, thus reducing the swelling that is characteristic of chronic pains. Patients who have undergone active therapy usually report an improvement in their symptoms within a few days of beginning the therapy.
The passive/inactive technique in neck physical therapy works by gradually increasing the patient’s movement so that his/her neck and back will be forced to relax. This increases the pressure applied on the affected muscles, thus causing the muscle spasms associated with pain. Passive/inactive therapy is usually conducted at night while the patient is sleeping.
No matter which method of neck physical therapy you undergo, it is always important that you talk to your physician before you begin. Asking him/her about your previous medications, whether you feel pain during or after physical activity, and how your current lifestyle affects your pain are very important to help make sure you choose the best treatment for your condition.
If you follow a regular routine of physical activity, it is possible to get an effective treatment through physical therapy without the use of medications and undergoing surgery. Physical therapists often have access to other medical facilities, such as a chiropractor or an orthopedist, so that they can prescribe medications or surgery if necessary.
Neck physical therapy is effective and beneficial in many ways and can be a helpful tool in alleviating pain caused by chronic neck and back problems. If you are experiencing chronic pain, speak to your doctor today!