Neck Pain
When you have a recurring problem or challenge in your life, you may refer to it as “a pain in the neck,” and for good reason. Neck pain can be a nagging annoyance that interferes with your ability to focus mentally and perform physically. Neck pain can stem from a number of causes ranging from sleeping in an awkward position to trauma from an accident. Getting to the source of your neck pain is key to resolving it.
Your neck, or cervical spine, is made up of a network of nerves, bones, joints, and muscles. It supports your head and serves as a conduit for your spinal chord, which sends messages to and from your brain and body. In many cases, neck pain will resolve itself within a few days or weeks, but ongoing pain that persists for months may require intervention.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

There are many potential causes of neck pain, and irritation of the neck’s nervous pathways can affect the shoulder, head, arm, and hand as well. Irritation of the spinal cord itself can even cause pain in your lower body.
Strains and sprains are the most common causes of neck pain, and they usually heal within a few days or weeks. A strain is an irritated muscle or tendon due to overuse or overextension. A sprain results from overuse or overextension of a ligament.
Some common causes of strains and sprains include:
  • Awkward sleeping position that places short-term pressure on muscles and nerves, causing a “stiff” neck.
  • Athletic injuries including falls, collisions and other trauma occurring while the body is in motion and moving at rapid velocities.
  • Postural misalignment caused by poor postural habits or physical overuse from work or sports. Poor posture anywhere along the kinetic chain, especially the upper body, can lead to neck pain.
  • Prolonged poor neck position from texting, talking on the phone, using a computer or other activities that put the head in a forward position.
  • Whiplash caused from rapid deceleration or collision in a moving vehicle.
Some ongoing neck conditions stem from problems in the cervical spine either with a facet joint or disc, and are often associated with sedentary lifestyle and aging.
Common joint and/or disc problems include:
  • Herniated disc, where a disc becomes compressed between two vertebrae
  • Degenerative disc disease, due to wear and tear over time
  • Osteoarthritis due to eroding cartilage and inflammation
  • Spinal stenosis, where degeneration leads to a narrowing of the spinal canal
Because neck pain can originate from a number of different causes, accurate diagnosis of your condition is critical. Once the source of pain is determined, a treatment plan can be put in place to resolve it.
To diagnose your neck pain, your therapist will conduct a thorough exam that may include some or all of the following:
  • Patient history to review the exact description and location of your neck pain, daily physical activities, lifestyle behaviors, postural and sleep habits, and recent and old injuries.
  • Physical exam that may include observation of patient posture, palpation of the affected area, and assessments for range of motion, reflexes, muscle strength and sensation.
  • Diagnostic ultrasound to get a real-time picture of the structures of the neck.
  • Video gait analysis to detect movement anomalies associated with walking and running that may affect the neck.
Pain with numbness and tingling

Treatment Options for Neck Pain

Your treatment plan will rely on information gathered from your diagnosis. While steroid injections, nerve blocks and surgery are sometimes performed to alleviate neck pain, those approaches should only be considered as a last resort. Most neck pain can be treated and resolved using non-invasive therapy.
Some non-invasive treatment options for ongoing neck pain include:
  • DNS (dynamic neuromuscular stabilization) therapy
  • Various myofascial and neuromuscular methods
  • Exercises for motor control of the upper quarter of the body
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Acupuncture
  • Postural correction
  • Ergonomic workspace correction
  • Gait retraining
  • Individualized home exercise program

Neck Pain Treatment at NYDNRehab

At NYDNRehab, we take a holistic approach to treating neck pain. We understand that your body’s systems do not act independently of one another, but rather work together in a coordinated fashion to provide stability and produce movement. We go beyond merely treating your pain, to getting to the source and resolving it. Our goal is to restore full function to your neck, so you can enjoy the very best quality of life.

Neck Pain Treatment NYC

Nowadays there is significant increase in the amount of patients with neck pain. Clinical experience and scientific data shows that this recent increase is due to excessive usage of hand held devices, computers, excessive sitting and increased amounts of stress.

SYMPTOMS of Neck Pain

Many patients complain of the pain in the shoulder area where in fact what they are experiencing is lower neck pain. Muscles and joints of the lower neck are also known to refer pain into mid back or between the shoulder blades. Myofascial involvement occasionally may refer pain into the arm, elbow or even as far as the hand. The herniated disc in the cervical spine which compresses the nerve root will produce pain, numbness and tingling down the arm and into the hand. Although disc bulges, protrusions and herniations in the cervical spine are not uncommon, majority of people suffer from myofascial pain when it comes to the neck pain. The most consisted characteristic of the myofascial pain in the neck is that of the pain changing location.


Bringing together the reported data from different studies, we can claim that pain in the neck has increased by 10.4% and 21.3% in the past five years. Prevalence in general population is higher in women compered to man, however a high peak of this type of pain is observed in sitting-workers of both genders.


The cervical spine consists of seven vertebras interconnected by the discs, spinal joins and the ligaments. The top of the cervical spine is connected to the cranium (head) through intricate anatomically designed cranio-cervical junction. The muscle of the neck connect many anatomical areas together. In order to fulfill many different neuromuscular functions for mobility, stability and connection of the central nervous system to the neck the muscular and fascial system are anatomically very complex in this area of the body. The neck muscles serve as connectors for integration of very precise mobility necessary not only for movement but for integration of: vision, hearing, balance and breathing.


Reasons for neck pain may vary from many disorders of different tissues within shoulder girdle and cervical spine. Here are some of the causes:

  • improper breathing
  • poor posture
  • breast implants
  • head injuries
  •  trauma to the neck such as whiplash
  • hypermobility
  • poor muscles balance of shoulder girdle and cervical spine
  • falling asleep in an awkward position;
  • prolonged sitting position;
  • stress.
  • excessive computer work and excessive use of mobile devices
  • poor vision
  • improper exercise



The protruded, bulged or herniated disc in the cervical spine are not uncommon however most of them go away with proper conservative care in a relatively short time. Surgery is rarely necessary. However when its warranted the healing is much faster and reoperations are very rare.


Neck arthritis is not uncommon. It causes limitation in the movement of the neck and pain. However in the hands of experienced physical therapist or a chiropractor the pain can be eliminated and enough of the lost movement can be restored in order for the symptoms to subside.


The cervico-cranial syndrome is characterized by the neck pain at the junction with the skull, headaches, occasional dizziness and blurry vision. Sometimes patient may have concomitant pain in the jaw. Depending on the symptom presentation this syndrome may be called as orofacial pain or TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) pain syndrome. Irregardless of the name the etiology of this syndrome is within the musculoskeletal system and not the problem in the mouth or the nervous system.


Pain in the cervical spine may be a symptom of more serious problems like degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, or a pinched nerve. Cervical facet joints are rare source of pain. Most of the pain experienced in the cervical spine outside disc disease is of myofascial character. In the absence of perpetuating factors myofascial pain responds well to variety of different manual therapies in combination with rehabilitative exercises , acupuncture and extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
Preventive treatment for reducing the risks of this type of pain should include ergonomic work space arrangement, gentle stretching, postural exercises, Pilates specific neck and breathing exercises.
Neck pain treatment should address all functionally interrelated body segments such as: whole upper extremity, shoulder girdle, rib cage, cervical spine, and even skull and TMJ. Movement dysfunction in any above described areas could affect biomechanics of the cervical spine through kinetic interlinking of muscular chains. Sitting postures, lifting, prehension, breathing as well as ergonomic conditions must be examined and addressed. The use of hand held devises must be minimized for the time of symptom duration because hand held devices perpetuate abnormal movement stereotypes affecting the upper quarter. Patient is recommended to take short breaks with performance of brief remedial postural exercises for reduction of strain to the neck imposed by desk and computer work.


At Dr. Kalika’s clinic neck pain treatment is conducted by a combination of DNS (dynamic neuromuscular stabilization) therapy, clinical Pilates, variety of manual myofascial and neuromuscular methods, acupuncture, extracorporeal shockwave therapy which concurrently address all interrelated tissues as well as motor control of the upper quarter of the human body. Home exercise program based on movement impairment examination is also very effective component of successful and long lasting relief.


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