Although coronavirus has not affected Specialized Physical Therapy directly, we want to reassure you that we have measures in place to protect our patients and staff. Read More
Got Neck Pain?
pain is extremely common and impacts 1 in 3 people every year. Of people
experiencing neck pain, 50-70% report that neck pain limits their ability to
perform activities of daily living. Neck pain can prevent a person from
enjoying recreational activities, household chores, reading, working, or
sleeping well. Our goal is to minimize the effects of neck pain on a person’s
Causes of Neck Pain
One of the most common
causes of neck pain is related to repetitive strain, often from poor
muscular/postural control during both waking and sleeping hours. It is common
to wake up and feel like you “tweaked” your neck and experience an acute loss
of motion accompanied by neck pain. Other causes of neck pain include trauma to
the cervical spine or injury to the muscles of the neck. Sleep is an important
part of any healing process, so see the diagram below to maximize comfort and
correct sleeping posture for your individual needs.
Sometimes I feel other symptoms with my neck pain
neck pain occurs, there is usually a loss of motion in the neck, either due to
stiffness and/or tightness, muscle weakness, and potentially a feeling of
muscle spasms. Other symptoms that can occur with some forms of neck pain
include headaches, dizziness, eye strain, and pain radiating into the shoulder
or arm. Physical therapy can be helpful in decreasing these symptoms, restoring
range of motion, and improving functional capacity.
Do I need an X-RAY or MRI?
to popular belief, it has become clear in recent research that imaging does not
always correlate with pain. This means that people who may show abnormalities
on an x-ray or MRI, may actually be asymptomatic, or not experiencing pain.
Some of these “abnormalities” are a normal part of aging, and may not be
directly related to pain. In contrast, people with no abnormalities seen on
imaging may actually experience neck pain. This means that deeper structures
are “normal” yet someone is experiencing pain. The cause of this pain is
neurophysiological and physical therapists can help to reduce the pain by
helping improve the body’s response to physical activity.
How can Physical Therapy help me?
Doctors of Physical Therapy at Specialized Physical Therapy will, as stated
above, create an individualized program once you are evaluated for your neck
pain, with the goal of improving your specific limitations related to your
pain, in order to improve your functional capacity, improve quality of life,
and reduce the chance of your pain becoming persistent or chronic.
of the areas your physical therapist will address is your posture. Our bodies
are made for movement, but we find that more and more people are in static
positions. To prevent recurrence of neck pain (among other areas of pain), you
want to make sure that your work area is properly positioned to reduce the
amount of external stress on your body. Correctly positioning your body and
work environment can help reduce the repetitive strain on your muscles and
joints from staying in one position for an extended period of time. Below is a
helpful diagram to help you maximize your body position for either a sitting
for standing work desk.
sitting, you want to use a comfortable and supportive chair with your feet flat
on the floor. Your hips should be at a 90 degree angle where your thighs are
horizontal. Position your keyboard and desk so that your elbows can rest on arm
rests close to your body at about a 90 degree angle. You want your shoulders to
be relaxed, and the top of your computer should be at eye level so your eyes
can comfortably look at the screen. To keep your upper back and neck in a good
position, use a back support in your chair, and make sure to have your font
large enough so you do not have to lean in to see your screen. For a standing
desk, the same rules apply to the upper portion of your body, and instead of
sitting, you want to stand with good posture.
is also recommended that you move your body throughout the day, and take breaks
to stand up/move around every 30 minutes. This will give your body a break from
your sustained position, and your eyes a break from your screen.
technology becomes more and more prevalent in our day-to-day lives, having
proper posture when using a cellphone or other device is just as important. The
diagram below demonstrates how hard your neck and upper back muscles have to
work to hold your head up against gravity in progressively greater angles of
“slumping” to look at your phone. Neck pain related to cell phone use is
becoming more and more popular. See below for a visual of why proper posture
when using a cellphone, tablet, kindle, or any other device/activity is
important, especially for prolonged use.
you have had a proper discussion with your physical therapist regarding
posture, an individualized plan of care would be created to integrate exercise
and manual therapy as indicated in your specific case of neck pain. There are
several different exercises that your therapist may choose from to help address
your pain. See below for sample exercises that your therapist may choose to
in finding out more? Contact one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy today to
see how our individualized one-on-one approach can help restore your quality of
life.Please call 609-880-0880
(Specialized Physical Therapy - Burlington) or 856-424-0993 (Specialized
Physical Therapy - Cherry Hill) to schedule an appointment to address your neck
pain. To learn more about other conditions we treat, please click HERE.
Before: I had a stress fracture in my L2 vertebrae with immense pain. I couldn’t perform in gymnastics like I used too. Now: I have no pain whatsoever and perform how I like. Backwalkovers with no pain! I never thought I’d have no pain again.
- M. DiBona
I am so grateful to you and your staff for the significant improvement I experienced under your supervision. When I first came to you, I was suffering extreme pain in both my shoulders and my hips, and now I can honestly say that I have regained a great deal of strength and flexibility in those areas. I owe it all to your professionalism, guidance, and expertise. Thank you so much for all your kindness.
- Fran R.
I want to thank Paul Vidal for helping me control my vertigo! Because of your treatment I have been able to continue running and was thrilled to be able to run the Broad St. race with my daughter! I can’t thank you enough.
- G. Thompson
Paul is great. He takes good care of our patients. The patients love him! I have sent several family members to him.