Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Our licensed physical therapists are experienced in treating various orthopedic conditions; neck pain is an area in which they specialize. Although neck pain is common, it is also a very treatable type of orthopedic problems. Whether you have developed neck pain due to overuse, a musculoskeletal injury, or a sports-related injury, our physical therapists at Dragonfly Physical Therapy are here to help. For the full list of services that we offer, please visit our Services page.

How Physical Therapy Can Help Relieve Neck Pain

The neck (or cervical spine) is comprised of 26 muscles and the seven smallest of the spine’s vertebrae, making it a very complex and sensitive part of the body. Whether you are suffering from stiffness, swelling, tension, immobility, knots (or trigger points), weakness, spasms, or general pain, there are numerous treatment plans that our physical therapist can recommend for you. Treatment plans often include a combination of exercises, stretches, mobilization, and manipulation. Since the neck is the most mobile portion of the spine, it often suffers from orthopedic problems.

The goal of physical therapy for neck pain is to help the patient regain mobility and strength, increase flexibility, reduce their pain, and to develop a prevention plan for the future. Physical therapy is unlike a professional massage or at-home care because its intent is to resolve the root of the problem. For the neck, pain may be a symptom of an issue elsewhere in the body especially since it is centrally located. It is not uncommon for neck pain to be a result of a weakened core support structure like the back, spine, or even your abdominal muscles. Neck pain can also be accompanied by a back-of-the-head headache or even pain in your arms or hands. Physical therapy will be able to help you identify, treat, and prevent your health issues pertaining to your neck. Our licensed physical therapists at Dragonfly Physical Therapy develop customized programs for each patient, catered to their unique needs. In your initial consultation (lasting approximately 45 minutes), your physical therapist will work with you to determine the best plan, frequency, and duration of treatment to get you feeling your best!

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Types of Physical Therapy for Neck Pain

Depending on your unique health condition, one or many of these methods may be employed as part of the treatment phase for your physical therapy. Your physical therapist would be more than happy to go into greater depth about any of the following options.

Stretches and Exercises for the Neck, Core, and Back (Aerobic and/or Aquatic)

Joint Mobilization

Massage Therapy

Spine Manipulation



Ice/Heat Therapy

Causes of Neck Pain that may Benefit from Physical Therapy

Although every situation is different, many of the following problems will often benefit from physical therapy. Some of these issues may be temporary, but they all have the potential to be chronic.

  • Ergonomically Incorrect Resting or Sleeping Positions
  • Cartilage Degeneration Between Vertebrae
    This often (but not always) is due to the aging process. Cartilage wears away between vertebrae in the spine, which causes pain as bones rub together and/or nerves to become pinched.
  • Injury (Sports, Whiplash, Brachial Plexus Nerve Damage)
    Neck injuries are especially common in contact sports such as football, hockey, rugby, and wrestling. They can also occur in non-contact sports like skiing, swimming, diving, surfing, and horseback riding.
  • Post-Surgery
  • Stress
  • Pinched Nerves (Cervical Stenosis)
    Stenosis is when your spinal column becomes narrowed. The narrowing of the spine can be caused by numerous factors such as wear and tear of the bones, thickening of ligaments, scoliosis, herniated disks, or inflammation. Many of these factors occur naturally as part of the aging process.
  • Arthritis / Osteoarthritis
  • Tumors, Cancer, and other Diseases
  • For these health concerns, physical therapy may be employed to temporarily alleviate symptoms; however, it is not typically recommended as a treatment plan. Please consult your general care physician to find the best medical approach for your case.

The neck is an extremely important part of the body. If you are concerned about a serious neck injury due to acute pain or numbness, make an appointment with your primary care physician. This is to ensure that you get proper medical attention and services that you need. Whenever your doctor gives you a referral, we would be honored to be the ones to help you on your health journey! We are here for you every step of the way.

Questions? Contact us here. We’d love to hear from you!

Disclosure: The information on this page is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to help diagnose or treat medical issues. If you have any medical concerns, please speak with your physical therapist or other licensed medical professional for the best advice.