Neck Pain

Introduction

Neck pain and dysfunction can be localized to the spine, or can cause other symptoms such as headache, arm pain, or tingling and numbness into one or both arms.

Many factors can contribute to neck pain, including:

– Poor posture or poor body mechanics with daily activities
– Wear and tear on the cervical (neck) vertebrae and discs
– Weakness of the upper body muscles
– Injury to the area, including concussion or whiplash
– Chronic tightness of the neck muscles or joints

To learn more about the various causes of neck pain and dysfunction, refer to our Neurology Library’s Neck Pain and Disorders article.

Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology
Physical Therapy for Neck Pain and Dysfunction

Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology physical therapists are highly skilled in the assessment and treatment of neck conditions. Working with neurologists has provided our therapists the opportunity to develop exceptional skills in the treatment of spinal conditions in order to attain optimal patient outcomes. The therapists start by thoroughly examining and determining the factors causing the neck pain/symptoms, in conjunction with your neurologist’s assessment. The therapist develops a rehabilitation plan of care to address the identified dysfunctions and meet the patient’s goals.

Common treatment approaches for neck disorders include:

– Range of motion and stretching exercises for the neck
– Retraining posture, especially for work or daily activities
– Strengthening and stabilizing shoulder blade muscles and upper extremity muscles
– Manual therapy to the neck. This may include joint mobilizations (moving the neck vertebrae), traction (elongating the spine either by the therapist or by using a traction machine), soft tissue mobilization to specific neck and upper back muscles, or other hands-on techniques to loosen your muscles and joints
– Modalities, including ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat or ice
– Education on lifestyle changes and ergonomics
– Treatment of any other related problems that could be making neck pain worse