Meticulous assessment is the first step in management neck pain. The treatment will be based on the various information obtained through the evaluation process (type of the injury, chronicity, irritability, how the joint and muscle move and what limitation the client feel in his life, as well as the target the patient want to achieve through treatment).
There are many different treatments in the toolbox. Therapist can use postural re-educating, various exercises, manual therapy (massage, soft tissue release, manipulations, mobilizations), and various techniques to relive pain like TENS (Transcutaneous electrical stimulation). Usually those interventions are more than enough to relive the pain and other symptoms in the cervical region. The invasive treatments are reserved for more complicated situation when there is very intense and persistent level of pain. When treating the common pain or when there is psychosocial factor one should steer clear of the invasive therapy during treatment.
To properly diagnose a client with neck pain the therapist should always remember that there are often a set of various symptoms such as joint changes, muscle dysfunction, changes in tone, and more. The purpose of the therapy is to decrease the level of pain, restore normal motion, and muscle activity. The main target is that the client will return to his previous level of activity at home, work and leisure. The therapist will choose the right treatment based on his findings during the assessment, present research and his previous experience but also will consider clients preference.
Exercise Therapy for neck
There is advantage in using exercise when treating neck pain, this effect is only increase when combining exercise with manual therapy.
When prescribing exercise, the therapist would take into account various consideration including patient assessment information in choosing exercise and their intensity. Number of different types of exercises are used when restoring patient dealing with neck pain. The therapist will use exercise to restore range on motion, muscle activity and function of neck.
Stage 1: This stage is concentrating on muscle control. The main focus is on postural muscle, movement coordination between neck – shoulder, and focus on control during activities that are specific to the patient both in daily life of leisure and work.
Stage 2: This stage will focus on strength and endurance. This stage can start only after the topic of the coordination and activity alteration is address in regarding to muscle activity.
The main purpose of exercise in therapy is to regain proper muscle control, function and character of movement. The patient should be challenged just in the right way to obtain the necessary control without increasing the pain, because pain can be delay the learning process. The exercise should always be based on the initial client assessment and will usually involve more than one group on muscles.
To have proper type of exercises for your condition, please see your physiotherapist or health provider. The information above is very general.