If you are suffering from neck pain here are some of the causes and the solutions Old Post Physical Therapy can provide for you:

Poor Posture

Sitting in a slouched posture places a lot of work on the muscles that hold our head up.  When these muscles have to work hard all day they get sore and tired and can cause neck pain.  Place your hands on either side of your neck towards the back and sit in a slouched posture.  You can feel the muscles contracting to work to hold your head, which weighs 12-16 pounds, from falling forward.  Now sit up nice and tall with your ears over your shoulders and you should feel these same muscles relax as your head is balanced on your neck and they don’t have to work as hard.  At Old Post Physical Therapy we can work with you to correct your posture so the muscles in your neck are not over-worked.

Muscle Imbalances

We tend to use the muscles in the front of our body more than the ones in the back of our body as we do most things in front of us.  This can cause a muscle imbalance in which the muscles in the front of our necks and chest become strong and tight and the muscles in the back become weak and overly lax.  At Old Post Physical Therapy we can determine where you have muscle imbalances.  We will then perform manual techniques and show you specific stretches to loosen and relax the tight muscles as well as show you specific strengthening exercises to improve the overly lax and weak muscles.  You will find it much easier to correct your posture and maintain it once your muscles imbalances are corrected.

Muscle and Ligament Damage

Muscles and ligaments in our neck can become torn with trauma of any kind including a minor or severe fall or car accident.  When our muscles and ligaments become torn our body forms scar tissue to bring the torn ends back together.  This scar tissue can limit your range of motion and cause pain.  At Old Post Physical Therapy we can determine where you have scar tissue in the muscles and ligaments and perform manual therapy techniques to get rid of the scar tissue to eliminate your pain and restore your full range of motion.

Intervertebral Discs

We have intervertebral discs between each of the 7 vertebrae in our necks.  These discs allow for movement and shock absorption but can become injured with poor posture or trauma.  Our discs can be compared to a jelly donut as they are composed of a collagenous outer layer called the Annulus Fibrosus and an inner layer that is more gel-like called the Nucleus Pulposus.  The Nucleus Pulposus can start to penetrate into the outer Annulus Fibrosus but not completely through it and this is called a bulging disc.  When the Nucleus Pulposus penetrates completely through the Annulus Fibrosus it is called a herniated disc.  A bulging disc can be corrected by performing specific exercises and correcting posture to move the Nucleus Pulposus back into it’s central position.  A herniated disc can not be fixed with exercises and may need surgery if it is severe enough to place pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord.  At Old Post Physical Therapy we can show you specific exercises, correct your posture, and perform joint mobilizations to restore a bulging disc back to its proper position.  We can also help you with a minor herniated disc by showing you specific exercises and performing manual techniques and posture correction to alleviate the pressure on the herniated disc.  When our discs lose their height we lose the space between our vertebrae and this is called Degenerative Disc Disease.  At Old Post Physical Therapy we can perform traction, correct your posture, perform manual techniques and show you stretches to prevent more loss of space between your vertebrae and possibly improve the space to alleviate your pain and improve your range of motion.

Nerve Entrapment

We have nerve roots that come off our spinal cord between each vertebrae of our neck on either side.  These nerve roots branch off into the nerves that supply our muscles and provide sensation in our arms.  When these nerves are compressed we experience weakness, numbness, tingling, burning, or decreased sensation in our arms.  Nerves can become compressed between our vertebrae from herniated or bulging discs, Degenerative Disc Disease, bone spurs, scar tissue on our ligaments, or anywhere along their path down our arms from tight or scarred muscles or ligaments.  At Old Post Physical Therapy we can determine where your nerve is getting compressed and perform manual techniques and show you exercises to alleviate the pressure on your nerves if possible without surgery.  We can also perform Nerve Gliding and Flossing to restore the normal movement of a scarred down nerve.

So if you are experiencing neck pain and would like to make an appointment to alleviate your pain please contact us at 914-271-2426, email us at oldpostpt@icloud.com, or make an appointment on our website oldpostpt.com.