Physical Therapy’s Effectiveness for Treating Neck Pain

Physical Therapy for Neck Pain

As a center for spinal restoration, we have many patients who come in with severe or chronic neck pain. Neck pain that stems from an abnormality in one or more of the discs found between the vertebrae often responds to some type of physical therapy. The purpose of physical therapy for neck pain is to strengthen the vertebrae and muscles within the neck, while also improving posture.

Manipulations and Exercises

Physical therapy for neck pain is a non-surgical neck treatment that tends to be more effective when it involves manipulation of key muscle groups within the neck. The basic goal of any type of physical therapy is to relieve tension in neck muscles through regular exercises based on individual capabilities, with treatments often adjusted as progress is achieved from session to session. Physical therapy for neck pain may include the following steps before any exercises are recommended:

  • Deep tissue massages
  • Hot and cold applications
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Ultrasound

Physical Therapists and Chiropractors

Generally, there is no difference between the effectiveness of treatment from either a physical therapist or a chiropractor. Both professions are similar when it comes to the techniques used to treat neck pain, although some chiropractors may have more knowledge of additional sources of back and neck pain.

Evidence of Effectiveness

A study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation involved 30 patients with neck pain who received physical therapy. A control group of 27 patients with similar neck pain did not receive any treatment. While the control group reported no difference in pain after the conclusion of the study, all participants in the treatment group reported:

  • Greater cervical range of motion
  • Increase in physical performance measures
  • Decrease in pain and discomfort

Keep in mind that neck pain can have many causes, so it’s important to consult a doctor before beginning any type of physical therapy. Determining the source of neck pain first can also help to determine the therapeutic approach most likely to produce positive results.

Already Tried Physical Therapy?

If you’ve already tried physical therapy to alleviate your neck pain, as well as a handful of other conservative approaches, it may be time to speak with a neck surgeon in Santa Monica.  While most cases of neck pain can be relieved without surgical intervention, serious cases may require minimally invasive neck surgery.

For more information about neck surgery and treatments, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. One of our professional and reliable Santa Monica neck surgeons will be able to look at your past treatments, any previous information such as x-rays, MRI or CT scans, and can then evaluate your current abilities to determine if you could be a candidate for a surgical procedure. Call us at (310) 828-7757 to request an in-person consultation today.