Neck Pain

Rochester Sports and Physical Therapy running man Neck pain

Neck Pain

Neck pain (cervical spine) and mid back pain (thoracic spine) are common conditions treated by Rochester Sports and Physical Therapy. Neck and mid back pain may be caused from a motor vehicle accident, sports injury or caused gradually over time due to repeated movements and sustained postures associated with daily or work-related activities. Neck pain may be localized to the cervical spine or may manifest itself as symptoms in the arm or hand. Pain, tingling, and numbness are examples of symptoms that may appear in the arm as a result of a pinched nerve. Sometimes problems in the upper neck region produces headaches, dizziness, and even nausea. Mid-back pain may be localized to the thoracic spine or to more distant regions of the spine, rib cage, or shoulders and arms. Listed below are some of the more common conditions treated at Rochester Sports and Physical Therapy:

  1. Whiplash. A neck condition typically associated with the trauma of a car accident caused by overstretching of muscles, ligaments, and joints in the neck.
  2. Disc herniation. The intervertebral disc acts as a mobile shock absorber between each vertebra in the spine and can cause neck or mid back pain if disrupted. Typically as disc problems in the neck worsen arm symptoms appear.
  3. Joint dysfunction. The neck or mid back joints can become inflamed and irritated from excessive stresses or can become “stuck” and less mobile.
  4. Degenerative Joint Disease/Degenerative Disc Disease. Degeneration of the discs and surrounding joints due to age or wear from excessive stresses.
  5. Postural Syndrome. The muscles, ligaments, and joints of the neck and mid back become painful due to the damaging stresses of poor posture. This condition is most often seen in individuals with jobs that require a lot of sitting or sustained postures.
  6. Cervical stenosis. Narrowing of the area where the nerves exit the spine, over time, can cause  pinching of these structures leading to neck pain and/or arm symptoms.
  7. Other conditions. Thoracic outlet syndrome, compression fracture, scoliosis, torticollis (wry neck), stiff neck, headache, myofascial pain syndrome, status-post surgical interventions (including discectomy, fusions), osteopenia/osteoporosis.

Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention

  1. When coming to Rochester Sports and Physical Therapy for neck and/or upper back pain, the licensed physical therapists will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of pain. The therapist will identify the factors that contribute to the pain such as muscle imbalances, postural stress, and faulty movement patterns.
  2. The first goal of treatment is to reduce pain. Modalities such as heat, ice, ultrasound, electric stimulation, phonoporesis, and inotophoresis can assist in decreasing inflammation and pain. The therapist may also use manual therapies, including massage techniques, joint mobilization, and traction to help decrease pain and restore mobility.
  3. In order to relieve neck and/or upper back pain it, is important to learn specific exercises and stretches that address muscle imbalances and correct faulty movement patterns. Not only will exercises and stretches help to relieve the pain, but the knowledge of the techniques learned at Rochester Sports and Physical therapy will help the patient prevent additional problems in the future. Each of our patients receives an individual home exercise program so they can continue to improve after they are finished with therapy. This empowers them to be responsible for the health of their bodies.