What constitutes neck pain and headaches?
By the time people seek treatment for their neck pain and headaches, it’s not because of the occasional twinge, but rather for problems that have lasted several months. Common complaints include headaches, neck pain and stiffness, as well as shoulder and scapula pain. Other symptoms may include numbness and tingling that radiates into the upper arm or as far down as the fingertips.
In some cases, the causes of your headaches or neck pain may be obvious such as an auto accident or a sports injury. Usually, however, problems develop over time secondary to poor posture, repetitive movement patterns or age degenerative changes. In addition, most of the human movements in performing daily activities are forward focused, like daily brushing of your teeth, working at a computer or desk; the resulting muscle weakness can add to the problem. Tasks involving static positions contribute to passive posture versus active posture habits.
What are the consequences of not getting help?
Patients who seek treatment from their neck-centered issues are often surprised to learn that some other problems they’ve been experiencing might be related. So even if you think you can “live with” not being able to turn your neck fully, other problems can accumulate.
For example, if you have chronic headaches, neck or shoulder pain, a compressed nerve in your neck may actually be the culprit. In addition, you may find that the problems you’ve been having with shoulder mobility — or shooting pains down your arms — often spring from compressed nerves in your upper vertebrae.
Untreated neck pain can even lead to issues you might never expect, such as balance problems or trouble gripping objects. That’s because each of the nerve roots located in your upper vertebrae are connected to other parts of your body, from your biceps to each of your little fingers.
How can neck pain be treated?
Once we’ve pinpointed the main cause of your neck pain and stiffness that we’ve determined stem from cervical vertebrae issues, we’ll develop a treatment plan with you. In your sessions, your therapists will use hands-on techniques to reduce mechanical stresses and inflammation as well as prescribe appropriate exercises to improve strength and flexibility. Our team of physical therapists will also help you learn how to better position yourself during your daily life to avoid relapses, including ergonomic and posture tips.