By: Dr. Richard DeFalco, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CWcHP, Cert. DN
Encountering patients with neck pain is a daily occurrence in our outpatient physical therapy offices. Estimates of individuals that will have neck pain some time in their lives range from 22% to 70%. A recent survey even showed that individuals who experience neck pain will continue to report persistent problems for at least 12 months. There are many potential causes of neck pain which include but are not limited to osteoarthritis, degeneration, muscle strains, nerve root compression, discogenic pain, stenosis, and myofascial pain syndrome.
Neck pain may be felt as a sharp pain or a dull ache. Sometimes neck pain is worse with looking up or down, or with turning your head from side to side. Other symptoms associated with neck pain can include numbness and tingling in the shoulders and arms, tenderness to touch, sharp shooting pains in the neck or down one or both arms, and headaches.
There are a host of options that physical therapists can employ to address the source of an individuals' neck pain. Examples include joint mobilization/manipulation and soft tissue mobilization to restore range of motion. Corrective exercise to address muscle imbalances and postural maladaptation. Modalities such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound to reduce muscle spasm, provide pain relief, and decrease inflammation. Mechanical traction to stretch soft tissues, relax muscles, and separate bony surfaces to decrease joint stiffness.
One of newest and most effective treatment options is dry needling for soft tissue dysfunction and myofascial trigger points. It is a process by which fine gauge solid filament needles are inserted into the symptomatic dysfunctional areas to create tiny lesions in the underlying soft tissue and release trigger points respectively. A trigger point is a highly irritable palpable nodule in a taut band within soft tissue. These lesions stimulate the body's natural response of healing by way of secretion of molecular proteins to the affected areas and stimulation of the central nervous system to create an anti-inflammatory reaction. The aim of dry needling is to release muscle tension and pain and to normalize biomechanical function.
Through a thorough physical therapy examination by a board certified orthopedic specialist, we can identify the pattern of irritation, and develop and appropriate treatment plan, to minimize and ideally eliminate your symptoms.
Click here to watch the WBTW 13 newscast about our neck pain treatments.
At Professional Rehabilitation Services we pride ourselves in distinction and are continuously in pursuit of specialty training to provide our patients with a higher level of care. One of our Board Certified Orthopedic Physical Therapists will pursue an individualized treatment approach to your needs. Less than 5% of physical therapists in South Carolina are board certified in orthopedics. All physical therapists at Professional Rehabilitation Services are board certified. So if you or someone you know lives with neck pain or a similar problem and would like to know more, then seek the consultation of a physical therapist at one of our three locations or see your physician for a referral to one of our facilities. Physical therapy is a regularly covered service by most health insurance plans. Free 15 minute consultations are a great way to identify if you are a candidate for treatment!
At Professional Rehabilitation Services, we treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions using the latest in evidence based therapies provided by highly credentialed physical therapists. In addition to being licensed physical therapists, our providers have additional specialty certifications and training in orthopedics, manual therapy, sports, strength and conditioning, vestibular rehabilitation, and dry needling. For further information on this or other related topics you can contact Richard DeFalco, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CWcHP, Cert. DN at Professional Rehabilitation Services (Myrtle Beach) (843) 839-1300, Brian P. Kinmartin PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, STC, CWcHP, Cert. DN, (Pawleys Island) (843) 235-0200, or Richard A. Owens, PT, MS, OCS, Cert. SHT, CWcHP, Cert DN (Surfside) (843) 831-0163, or visit our website at www.prsrehabservices.com where you can learn more about the company and even download a referral form for you physician to fill out. You can also call and schedule a free 15 minute consultation!