Reducing Neck Pain
Along with low back pain, neck pain is one of the most prolific afflictions of the modern workplace. Millions of workers across the globe work in positions that are mainly sedentary, many of which requiring long hours in the sitting position. This translates into increased stress on the cervical vertebrae (upper spine) and the intervertebral discs (shock-absorbing pads between each vertebra), as well as elevated levels of muscle tension in the upper spinal column. As the duration of muscle tension increases, the muscles themselves are deprived of blood and oxygen. They can eventually begin to spasm, which leads to sharp pain and a chance of compressing spinal nerves that run through the vertebrae.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute located in Houston, TX, has vast experience treating patients with neck pain. Conveniently located with offices through the Houston area, patients are seen from Katy, Galleria, Memorial City, Sugar Land, Pearland, Inner Loop, the Woodlands, Kingwood, Humble, Splendora, Conroe and Magnolia. For those patients traveling from Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, or other cities across the United States, travel accommodations can be arranged.
Fortunately, due to most incidence of neck pain being the result of sedentary work, there are many ways in which to reduce most patients’ pain levels. First, patients are advised to be conscious of their daily activity. If you find yourself staring at your computer monitor or desk for extended periods of time, give your body frequent breaks. Take five to ten minutes of every hour and get up, walk around, and rotate the neck and shoulder blades. Light aerobic activity and muscle movement will increase blood circulation, bringing nutrition and oxygen to your muscles. This will help prevent cramping and muscle spasms in addition to reducing neck pain.
Other common neck strengthening exercises include slow, deliberate stretches, head rotations / neck rolls, and shoulder shrugs. This will help develop the network of supporting muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the upper spinal column. Some patients, however, may suffer from more than simple hypomobility (low mobility). If a regimen of physical therapy does not significantly improve a patient’s range of motion and decrease pain levels, a structural deformity, disease, or spinal fracture may be the cause. Physicians typically employ imaging exams—CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging, and X-rays—to determine whether structural problems are the problem. Neck surgery may be necessary, in addition to a lengthy post-operative period of physical therapy and rest.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute sees patients who have neck pain, arm pain, and other disorders of the spine. Patients do not need any imaging studies or other tests. Appropriate testing can be ordered after patients are evaluated. Most patients suffering from neck pain can be treated successfully without the need for surgery.
Keywords: neck pain, physical therapy, muscle tension, spinal column, Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Spring, Kingwood, Humble, Memorial City, Galleria,