Headaches + Neck Pain Relief
Are You Ready to Find Relief for Those Pains in Your Head and Neck?
How Physical Therapy can Successfully Relieve Headaches and Neck Pain
Your neck is an integral area of everyday movement, and pains can prevent you from functioning properly in your day-to-day life. Whether your neck pain presents difficulty when trying to sit up straight in your chair at work or tilting your head down to tie your shoes, physical therapy can help diagnose your problem and give you relief.
Neck pain can cause debilitating and extremely uncomfortable sensations, especially if the pain stretches from your neck down into your shoulders. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), approximately one-third of the population will experience neck pain in any given year. It can get worse if left untreated, and in severe cases, surgery may even be needed.
Many people are able to find relief from their neck pain every year through the help of physical therapy. It is important to create strength in the small muscles, and loosen the tightness in the larger muscles. Our physical therapy practice in both Minnetonka and Wayzata is dedicated to providing you with the neck pain relief you need.
PT treatments for neck pain
Physical therapy is one of the best methods for treating neck pain. At Reneu Sport + Health, our physical therapists conduct an initial physical evaluation to analyze the range of motion in your neck, as well as any limitations you have due to your pain. They will then create a diagnosis that will determine the make-up of your treatment plan. You will work together to understand the goals and expectations of each treatment step, with the main focus being overcoming neck pain and recovering as quickly as possible.
Treatments for your neck pain will most likely include manual or “hands-on” therapy, which consists of special techniques designed to reduce the stiffness of your neck and improve its range of motion. Our physical therapists will also provide you with targeted exercises that will strengthen, build, and improve the muscles and tissues in your neck. We will focus on improving your posture to aid in the recovery of your neck pain, as well as avoiding re-injury in the future. Additional treatment services may include dry needling, kinesiotaping, or graston, as our physical therapist deems fit.
What’s causing my neck pain?
Neck pain is most commonly caused by an injury to the tissues or bone structures in the neck; however, certain degenerative conditions can also lead to neck pain. Some common conditions that give you a pain in your neck include:
If you have a herniated disc in your neck, or narrowing of the foramen (space where the nerves exit the spine), the nerves that branch out from your spinal cord can become compressed. In some cases, nerve pain can even extend from the neck all the way down to the hands and fingers — a condition known as “radiculopathy.”
Much like any other joint in your body, the neck joints can erode with age, causing pain. Conditions such as osteoarthritis can also reduce the cartilage between the vertebrae in the neck, resulting in tightening of the muscles surrounding the joints, and causing neck pain.
The muscles in your neck can become strained by overuse. Even something as simple as sitting at your desk all day with your neck craned toward the computer screen can lead to a strain in your neck muscles. If you consider your head weighing as much as a bowling ball, imagine holding that out in front of you for hours on end!
Whiplash, typically sustained by an automobile or high-impact sports collision, is one of the most common injuries that result in neck pain. This is known as a “strain” injury, causing the head to whip rapidly back-and-forth, thus affecting the soft tissues in the back of the neck, and stretching the ligaments around the joints.
Very rarely, certain diseases and ailments can result in neck pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or cancer.
Understanding neck pain
There are a number of reasons why neck pain may occur. When you experience neck pain, it typically can run from the base of your skull to the top of your shoulder blades, finally settling in the back of the neck. The pain may vary in severity, from a constant dull ache to sharp and stabbing pains. Neck pain can sometimes include additional symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Discomfort and pain when remaining in the same position for too long
- Inability to fully stand up or sit up straight
- Loss of sleep due to pain and discomfort
- Stiffness and muscle tightness in the upper body
- Numbness or tingling into the upper extremities
- Arm weakness
Relieve those pains in your neck today!
Don’t let your neck pain cause any more discomfort. Contact Reneu Sport + Health to speak with one of our licensed Wayzata & Minnetonka, MN physical therapists today and schedule your appointment! We will help you get started on the road toward long-lasting pain relief.
Relieve Those Pounding Headaches with Physical Therapy
Physical therapy isn’t normally someone’s first thought when they have a headache – most of the time, the common reaction is to take some form of pain-relieving medication. This may help to relieve pain in the short-term, but if you are constantly suffering from headaches or migraines, pain relief drugs will not provide you with the same long-term effects that physical therapy will.
A greater majority of headaches are attributed to cervicogenic headaches, meaning that they are related to the neck in some form. Poor posture, stress, and other factors can contribute to weakness, strain, and injury to the neck muscles and joints. This pain radiates up into the scalp, side of the head, and even the forehead, depending on the area of the neck involved.
If you are in Wayzata & Minnetonka, MN and suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Approximately 80-90% of people across the U.S. endure occasional or frequent tension headaches. They are also the third most commonly reported source of pain across the world! Whether they are acute and temporary or constant and chronic (such as migraines), headaches can all be treated with physical therapy at Reneu Sport + Health. Request your appointment today!
How can physical therapy help my headache?
If you are suffering from headaches, contact our Wayzata & Minnetonka, MN physical therapy office today. At Reneu Sport + Health, we are dedicated to providing you with the best treatments for your headaches.
At your initial appointment, one of our highly trained physical therapists will conduct a physical evaluation and ask you questions about your health history and symptoms, in order to determine what type of headache you are experiencing and where the pain is stemming from.
A treatment plan will then be designed specifically for you and your recovery.
What type of headache am I experiencing?
Many people may not know this, but there are actually different types of headaches that all develop from different causes. The three main types of headaches include:
Cervicogenic headaches are related to neck pain, involving the top three vertebrae of the neck. These headaches can develop as a result of certain conditions, such as a concussion or arthritis, but work-related strain can also trigger a cervicogenic headache. Professions that require a down-turned motion of the head or neck are the most prone for developing cervicogenic headaches. This may include hairdressers, long-haul drivers, chefs, nail artists, jewelers, etc.
Musculoskeletal headaches occur when there are significant amounts of tension in the neck. This is typically a result of physical imbalances, weaknesses, or damage, although emotional tension (such as stress) can also be a contributing factor. A traumatic injury to the neck, such as whiplash, is a common cause of musculoskeletal headaches. With neck injuries such as whiplash, the muscles and connective tissues in the neck can become torn or strained. This can lead to agonizing pain felt in the head, as well as in the face, shoulders, or neck.
The most common form of headaches are known as tension headaches. These can occur due to repetitive motions or poor posture in the neck/head. Tension headaches are caused by a strain on the “dura mater,” which is a sensitive membrane that envelops the brain. The dura mater lies in close proximity to small muscles at the base of the skull that go into spasm when the dura mater becomes strained, thus sending pain signals to the brain and causing your headache.
How can I get started on relieving my headaches?
At Reneu Sport + Health, our treatments for headaches focus on relieving pain, improving posture and strengthening muscles in the neck and upper back. These will all help in making your daily life much more comfortable and bearable – without the pain of headaches! To schedule your appointment, contact us today to speak to one of our Wayzata & Minnetonka, MN physical therapists.