VA Center for Spine: Need Relief For Neck Pain?


Do you need relief for your neck pain?

Neck pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek treatment from physical therapists. However, what many people don’t know is that physical therapists are also very effective at treating headaches, which can frequently accompany neck pain. While intermittent headaches may be a common occurrence, regular and consistent headaches are not! Instead of opting to take a pain medicine like Tylenol or an anti- inflammatory, which can have wide-ranging side effects, and may only address the symptoms, your physical therapist can help identify the underlying cause.

Headaches can be caused by a variety of reasons, and first and foremost, your physical therapist can help determine if yours is primarily due to musculoskeletal issues. It is very common to have tight muscles or stiff joints in the neck, head, face, and even upper back contribute to headache symptoms. While many people may assume that “poor posture” is a main contributor, it is not usually that simple. The lack of movement variability, repetitive movements and positions, physical and emotional stress, and even how you breathe can be important factors. Your physical therapist can work with you to determine what is involved in your specific situation and how best to treat it. The physical therapists at VCSST have a number of treatment options at their disposal, including hands on joint and soft tissue techniques, movement and mobility recommendations, and dry needling, which we have found very effective for treating both neck pain, headaches, jaw pain, and upper back pain.

By Andrew Rothschild

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