- Myofascial Pain Syndromes;
- Pinched Nerves,
- Chronic pain syndromes & Neck sprain or whiplash injury
Neck pain is a common complaint. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture – whether it’s leaning into your computer at work or hunching over your workbench at home. Wear-and-tear arthritis is also a common cause of neck pain. Neck pain can be accompanied shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm, in addition to numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands. Medical evaluation and physical therapy treatment are helpful in most cases.
Numbness in one or both hands describes a loss of sensation or feeling in your hand or fingers. Often, numbness in hands may be accompanied by other changes, such as a pins-and-needles sensation, burning or tingling. The arm, hand or fingers may feel clumsy or weak.
Numbness can occur along a single nerve, or it may occur in both hands in a symmetrical pattern.
Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward – similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion.
Whiplash injuries can range from mild to severe. Treatment typically begins with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice applied to the painful neck muscles. Most people recover from whiplash in just a few weeks, but some people may develop chronic pain after a whiplash injury. If pain persists, prescription medications and physical therapy may be helpful.
Cervical spondylosis is a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal disks and small joints in your neck. As the disks dehydrate and shrink, bone spurs and other signs of osteoarthritis develop. Cervical spondylosis is very common and worsens with age. There also appears to be a genetic component involved because some families will have more of these changes over time, while other families will develop less. More than 90 percent of people older than age 65 have evidence of cervical spondylosis and osteoarthritis that can be seen on neck X-rays. Most of these people experience no symptoms from these problems. When symptoms do occur, nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy often are effective.
Spasmodic Torticollis [wry neck]
Spasmodic torticollis [wry neck], is a painful condition in which your neck muscles contract and spasm involuntarily, causing your head to twist or turn to one side. Symptoms generally begin gradually and then reach a point where they don’t get substantially worse. Physical therapy treatment will focus on reducing pain and muscular spasm, restoring proper contractile functioning of the affected muscles and corrective postural mechanics to prevent recurrence.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Physical therapy guided exercise, relaxation techniques and stress-reduction measures are also effective at reducing and controllin the symptoms.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is a another chronic pain disorder. In myofascial pain syndrome, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain. Myofascial pain syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. This can be caused by postural abnormalities, repetitive motions used in jobs or hobbies or by stress-related muscle tension. While nearly everyone has experienced muscle tension pain, the discomfort associated with myofascial pain syndrome persists or worsens. Treatment options for myofascial pain syndrome include various physical therapy techniques, trigger point injections, pain medications and relaxation techniques.