Physical Therapy and its Role in Chronic Neck Pain

Physical Therapy and its Role in Chronic Neck Pain

Pain within the neck area can be one of the most frustrating conditions to deal with, especially if the pain has been identified as chronic. This means that the pain persists or recurs over a lengthy period of time. Thankfully, it’s been recently proven that physical therapy for neck pain can be highly beneficial in alleviating the amount of pain you experience. Here’s a closer look at the many benefits of physical therapy and its important role in chronic pain.

About Chronic Neck Pain

The neck area consists of a very complex system of joints, nerves, muscles and bones all working in tandem to standard neck pain. The only difference is that it typically doesn’t go away. Even in the rare instances that it does, it will soon return in full force.

This pain can display itself through a stiff neck that doesn’t easily move when you attempt to and balancing issues that can facilitate themselves through dizziness and difficulties with walking straight.

While this type of neck pain sounds much worse than standard neck pain, it has absolutely nothing to be a highly beneficial remedy for the problem.

Benefits of Physical Therapy

While neck pain that eventually becomes chronic doesn’t have a large amount of treatments or remedies that can lessen the pain, physical therapy for neck pain is surprisingly effective at treating the core of the issue and relieving most, if not all, of the pain. In recent years, studies have been held to identify if there were any differences in the reduction of pain based on when the treatment was sought.

These parameters produced startling results that displayed that patients receiving treatment within the first four weeks after the pain began doubled their chances of greatly reducing the pain compared to passive and active options.

The first round of treatments for the pain will usually involve the passive types of treatment. These are designed to lessen muscle spasms.

Lastly, hot and cold therapies increase blood flow to your routine that boost the strength, flexibility, stability and range of motion in the core area of the neck.

These programs take your health histo keep neck pain at bay.

Chronic pain in the neck, like most other types of pain in the body, can be very tricky to eliminate it in a timely manner.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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