Why Does My Neck Hurt? Learn the Neck Pain Causes and Treatments

Woman holding neck with neck pain Jun3rd 2021

In this tech-driven world, we spend countless hours looking down at smartphones, slouching in office chairs, or hunching over computers. This combination of poor posture and bad habits has caused new issues for our bodies. Neck pain and stiffness are now popular complaints among kids and adults of all ages. Discomfort is typically alleviated with stretching or correct posture. However, if you experience chronic aches, you should consider physical therapy for neck pain.

Why Do I Have Neck Pain?

 The neck is extremely vulnerable to injury, especially when car accidents, falls, contact sports, and other abrupt motions cause the neck to move abnormally. When bones, ligaments, and muscles that support your head and neck become inflamed or sore, you may experience neck pain and stiffness.

Severe neck pain paired doesn’t need to impair your life. Request an appointment to resolve the issue.

Tingling or numbness that spreads to the rest of your body could be a red flag for a serious medical issue—it’s recommended that you immediately see a doctor when under these conditions. 

Exercises for Neck Pain and Stiffness

Working your neck muscles, specifically targeting the flexion, rotation, and extension maximizes muscle growth and minimizes the risk of muscle injury.

Seated Neck Stretch

  1. Sit on the floor or in a chair with your head facing forward. 
  2. Weave your hands together and bring both palms to the back of your head.
  3. Gently apply pressure and press your hands down toward your thighs, tucking your chin into your chest.
  4. Hold for at least 20 seconds. Repeat. 

Neck Retraction

  1. In a seated or standing position, look straight ahead and relax your shoulders.
  2. Keep your body straight and your chin slightly tucked down to slowly move your head backward as far as you can without straining it. 
  3. Hold this position for three seconds before moving your head forward as far as you can without strain. Repeat.

Lateral Neck Flexion

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart; relax your shoulders. 
  2. Tilt your right ear toward your right shoulder. 
  3. Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds then slowly return to the starting position.  
  4. Repeat on the left side.  

For a preventive solution for neck stiffness or a long-term remedy for discomfort, speak with a professional physical therapist. Regular treatment at OSR Physical Therapy provides you with a variety of exercises that strengthen neck and shoulder muscles to increase your mobility and range of motion

Benefits of Neck Exercises

Your head is too heavy to hold in unnatural angles for extended periods of time. Performing a series of neck exercises on a regular basis helps your body release tension and tightness. Other benefits include injury prevention, an increased range of motion, and an improved posture. 

Preventing a Neck Injury

Neck pain relief requires you to address and expose the weaknesses in your neck and shoulders. You can’t predict when injuries or accidents will happen—but a supportive neck will help reduce your risk for concussion, pulled muscles, or whiplash.

Increase Range of Motion & Flexibility

Fatigued or weak muscles don’t perform adequately. A stronger neck can help improve balance, range of motion, and stabilize your spinal cord to better support an active lifestyle.

Improved Posture

Awkward sleeping positions and bad posture can lead to stiffness in the neck and shoulders, which can cause headaches. Performing neck exercises will correct slouching and other bad posture habits that impact neck pain. 

Physical Therapy for Neck Pain

From the moment we wake up until we fall asleep: our necks, backs, and spines are in a constant battle to remain aligned and functional. When attempts to have neck pain relief without professional help don’t succeed, consider seeking the assistance of a licensed physical therapist for a professional evaluation. 

 Physical therapy for neck pain is a more effective treatment option than surgery, corticosteroid injections, or muscle relaxants. OSR Physical Therapy takes a proactive, “hands-on” approach to improve the overall strength and stability of your neck. Our physical therapists personalize each treatment plan and recommend other remedies, such as massage therapy and jacuzzi therapy, to alleviate stiffness. 

Request an Appointment at OSR Physical Therapy

Finding relief doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck—physical therapy can help relieve discomfort and implement a plan to prevent reinjury. OSR Physical Therapy provides a healing-centered environment for you to rehabilitate and live your best life pain-free. If you are experiencing neck pain, come visit one of our conveniently located OSR PT clinics.  You can also contact our office to speak with a licensed physical therapist and schedule your consultation!