Years ago, I was visiting my family in San Antonio and I noticed something peculiar about my dad. About every 30-45 minutes he was constantly moving his neck up and down, side to side and in circles.
I asked what he was doing and he said, “Oh, just stretching my neck.” I let this go on for a while but then started talking with him about why his neck felt tight and if he had any pain. He tried to brush it off like it was nothing but clearly it was bothering him.
The next day we went to grab lunch at my favorite mexican restaurant in the whole world, Jacala. This is a fabulous family run place that my dad has gone to since he was in high school. I won’t say how long that has been.
On the way over I noticed he was having to turn his body to make sure he didn’t pull out into oncoming traffic or to check his side view mirrors. I mentioned this to him and he initially denied that he was doing it or that he was having issues. He was clearly suffering with some stiffness and he had started to compensate in his daily task without even recognizing it.
When we got home from having some delicious puffy tacos and enchiladas I went to work on examining and treating his neck.
Maybe you or a loved one are among the ~34 percent of people, like my dad, who experience neck pain. Or, perhaps you’re experiencing stiffness, headaches, inflammation, shoulder related pain, or any number of other symptoms that neck issues can cause.
Luckily, you have a number of options in front of you that can help you on your health journey regardless of the cause of your neck pain.
You shouldn’t be limited in life just because you have neck pain. There are ways to get on a path of healing so you can start living the life you want, not just the life that can exist around your pain.
Let’s look at just a few of your neck pain treatment options. Neck pain relief could be yours thanks to these therapies.
Manual Therapy — Hands-On Work
It might sound strange, but some physical therapists nowadays are moving away from manual, hands-on therapy for their clients. Not here at MOSS, though. We believe in applying hands-on care to all of our patients.
Massaging, stretching, and evaluating through physical touch is a pillar of our physical therapy work. It can improve blood flow, reduce pain, and speed up the healing process.
Manual therapy also helps therapists evaluate your condition, which can lead to just the right diagnosis and treatment plan for you.
This hands on work also includes teaching you the perfect set of exercise that will speed up your recovery. These exercises can help strengthen muscles, reduce stiffness, and work to correct and heal your condition over time.
Is Your Neck Nagging You?
Sign up for our FREE July 11 workshop that addresses common questions — and answers — about neck pain.
What the heck does moving my eyes have to do with my neck? I get this question all of the time.
Neck pain can greatly affect how we perceive the world around us. It limits our ability to turn our head and reduces overall mobility, which can greatly decrease our field of vision and our ability to see.
Eye exercises incorporate the coordination of moving your eyes and head together to assist in the healing process. Why does this matter?
When you have stiffness, like my dad in this example, his body learned a new way to may. By using your eyes and neck together, the way it should be will help with the control of your neck and improve your mobility to be able to move, drive, look around, and more.
Spinal Decompression A.K.A Traction
Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive treatment method that can be used for neck pain, back pain, and more. Using a specially-designed table, spinal decompression allows the spine (and, in turn, the neck) to naturally stretch and, well, decompress.
The position on the table, called a “traction table,” allows pressure in the muscles, joints, and neck to be relieved, which leads to overall pain relief and healing. This also works to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Your physical therapist will also position you on the table in such a way that will allow oxygen and other nutrients to better reach all areas of the spine, including the neck and head. This can also help improve your healing as well as reduce pain.
This procedure is quick, suitable for all ages, requires no medications or injections, and can lead to promising, long-term results.
Neck pain can often result in balance and weakness issues throughout the body, thanks to compensatory movements.
Learn more about Balance and Weakness issues and how they relate to pain in our free report.
Neck pain can trigger intense muscle stiffness, pain, inflammation, and mobility issues. This can lead to compensatory injuries and symptoms like headaches, back pain, reduced visual field, and inflammation.
Dry needling is a great neck pain treatment that targets many of these symptoms and issues. During this treatment, very tiny needles are inserted into your muscles at areas of stiffness and at specific trigger points in the body.
This sounds intimidating, but the needles themselves are extremely thin and usually don’t cause pain themselves.
Inserting these needles into the areas in the neck with extreme stiffness, knots, and inflammation can relieve that tension and pain. In the long run, dry needling can lead to neck pain relief, reduced tension, and improved muscles mobility & contraction.
This can also be used to help speed up recovery post-injury or post-surgery.
Dry needling results in decreased muscle pain & tension, increased mobility & muscle contraction, and can aid in recovery from injury, surgery, or other pain conditions.
It works by drawing blood and nutrients to the problem area. This can flush away any toxic
acidic compounds and bring forward nutrients, oxygen, and, perhaps most importantly, increased blood flow. This can reduce tension and knots in the neck, which leads to overall pain relief.
Not only can this lead to long-term improvement of your neck pain, but it can also reduce other symptoms associated with your neck pain like a stiff upper back, shoulders and headaches.
Deep Tissue Laser
Deep tissue laser therapy has arisen relatively recently thanks to the advancement of medical technology. This treatment allows our therapists to reach deep layers of muscle that are normally unreachable by other treatment methods without surgical intervention.
When muscles close to the surface of the skin are injured, it’s easier for manual therapy, dry needling, and others can more easily make an impact.
Injuries and issues that penetrate to deeper muscles can be harder to reach, making treatment for those types of problems a little bit harder. That’s where deep tissue laser therapy comes in.
Here’s how it works.
A specialty deep tissue laser projects light energy onto the problem area. This light can penetrate deep into your layers of muscle.
As the laser reaches your muscles, it will trigger your cells to produce compounds and nutrients. These result in a reduction in inflammation and pain which speeds up the natural healing cycle.
One of the best parts about this treatment method is that it’s highly customizable. The laser can range from 0.5 Watts to 25 Watts depending on the needs of the patient, type of tissue and injury. For example a wrist problem would require a lower wattage treatment, say 3-8 whereas a deep lower back problem would need 20-25 watts.
This is why we invested in this device to help our patients speed up their recovery and get back to normal. We are also the only clinic in our area with this deep tissue laser.
This therapy is also widely applicable to a number of different conditions, including neck pain, back pain, joint pain, arthritic, and more.
Get Relief with MOSS
We offer each of these neck pain treatments in our office. At MOSS, we believe in tailoring each patient’s treatment plan to their condition, comfort level, wants, needs, and health journey.
Our professionals will work with you to create a treatment plan made just for you. Long term neck pain relief isn’t easy, but you’ll be on your way with our experts and your own hard work.
Contact us to set up an appointment and to learn more about potential treatment options for you. Get started on your personal healing journey today!
And if you’re experiencing neck pain currently, consider one of two options — or both. First off, give us a call for a FREE discovery visit with us. And second, sign up for our July 11 workshop specifically on neck pain. We’ll answer the most popular questions related to neck pain, neck pain treatment, and take any questions you might have.