If you have ever been in a car accident where another vehicle hit the back of your car, you may have experienced what is commonly known as ‘whiplash.” You sprang forward suddenly, then backward and overstretched your neck to the point where you tore the supporting ligaments. In severe whiplash, you may have even damaged the muscles and discs in the neck and hurt the nerves. Contrary to popular belief, someone doesn’t realize they have “whiplash” until about 24 hours after the accident. They wake up with a stiff neck, headache and pain. Often, physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain can provide instant relief for those suffering from whiplash, although several treatments may be needed for a patient to continue to find pain relief. These treatments, however, are preferable to drugs which have a habit of causing physical dependency.
Many people who suffer whiplash go to the doctor where they are given an x-ray, an immobilization collar and some pain medication. Often, they are advised to put icepacks on the injured area for several days to alleviate the swelling. Pain from this injury can take weeks to heal.
Fortunately, physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain caused by whiplash as well as other muscle strains has proven a very effective remedy in alleviating the symptoms of pain. While pain medications mask the pain and can be very habit forming, the manipulations used by the physiotherapist can provide relief within minutes, instead of hours or days.
When using physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain, the therapist will often perform some gentle exercises to mobilize the area. The patient may resist this as they tend to cause a bit of discomfort, but to keep the area mobile is better than allowing it to get “stiff” which will result in a longer recovery time. By gently turning the head and manipulating the area, the physiotherapist can loosen the muscles that have been tensed in the trauma and provide some pain relief.
Another way to use physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain is by massage. Often the therapist will massage the affected area, eliminating the stiffness and improving blood flow to the area. This often eliminates the headache as well that is caused by the stiff neck. Very often, a person who seeks a therapist to use physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain will experience immediate results.
Neck and shoulder pain can have many causes, although whiplash is the most common. Other causes of neck and shoulder pain are poor posture, particularly for those who work in offices or sit in front of computers all day. This can weaken the ligaments and muscles in the shoulders and neck and cause discomfort. A physiotherapist can treat neck and shoulder pain through massage, manipulations and, by discovering what is causing your neck and shoulder pain, can assist you in your attempt to correct the problem.
Physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain is very common and is one of the primary reasons why patients seek physical therapy. Physiotherapy to treat neck and shoulder pain should only be practiced by a licensed physiotherapist.