Headaches and Neck Pain Relief Del Mar, CA

Neck Pain & Headaches Relief

Do you dread having to look up, down, or to one side because of the pain you know you’ll experience? Do you struggle for hours to find a sleeping position that doesn’t torture your neck? Has your neck never been the same since that scary car crash or sports accident? Do you wake or develop headaches throughout the day or are you suffering from migraines!? Neck and head pain can make ordinary actions and tasks a major chore, ruining your quality of life.

Your neck is one of the most complex areas, comprised of bones, nerves, and muscles in your entire body. In fact, your neck is the site of a series of nerves that control every facial and head movement you make as well as all sensation below your shoulders. It’s no wonder why neck pain and any resulting headaches are cause for concern, especially when you cannot immediately identify their cause. Whether your neck pain is chronic or acute, sharp or dull, caused by injury or originating from an unknown cause, one fact remains. It cannot be ignored.

To begin uncovering the source of your pain and addressing its resolution, contact Performance Refinery in Del Mar, CA today.

What Causes Neck Pain?

Nearly one-third of Americans suffer from neck pain every year, especially prevalent in individuals between the 30-to-50 age bracket. Your head is connected to your spine through a series of nerves and muscles and two tiny bones called the atlas and axis. The way these bones move together determines your head’s ability to move up and down or side to side. Tendons and ligaments add stability to your neck while muscles alternately tense and relax to allow for it to move. Tension, injury, poor posture or stress can cause pain to develop in your neck. The most important step in treating your pain with physical therapy is to identify its cause. Neck pain can take a variety of forms, sometimes in combination with other uncomfortable symptoms and limitations. The most common area in which people feel neck pain is the top rear of the neck, near the base of the skull. You may also experience pain radiating to your arms or shoulders. This pain may be either acute (resolving as an underlying cause is resolved) or chronic (continuing for several months or years, either constantly or in recurring bouts).

Where does neck pain come from? In many cases, the cause is a sudden onset, such as a traumatic accident. This can do acute damage to the complex structures and delicate tissues that make up the neck. But even more frequently, neck pain develops gradually in connection with an underlying chronic issue. Some of the more common causes of neck pain include:

  • Bulging or herniated discs – Discs which protrude from the spinal column can press against the nerve roots of the cervical spine.
  • Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis of the facet joints (which articulate the neck vertebrae) can cause chronic pain.
  • Poor posture – A stooped posture, such as the “text neck” caused by always gazing downward at your smartphone, can strain the neck muscles.
  • Repetitive motion injuries – If your job or sport causes you to crane or turn your head over and over, you may develop a repetitive motion injury such as tendonitis.
  • Whiplash – A violent impact can throw your head around with enough force to tear your neck muscles, sprain ligaments, herniated discs, and pinched nerves.

Less commonly, neck pain can also be associated with diseases ranging from cancer to meningitis. Even lifestyle choices such as smoking or pillow choice can raise your neck pain risk.

How are Neck Pain and Headaches/Migraines Related?

Since the neck is home to the cervical plexus and eight spinal nerves branching into the cerebral column, pain that starts in the neck will often travel downwards to the shoulders, back or arms and/or upwards into the head. This is the most common reason why neck pain is commonly associated with headaches of all types and can include some migraines. In some cases, chronic headaches can be caused by neck pain and vice versa. In these circumstances, physical therapy/physiotherapy which addresses neck pain can resolve frequent and severe headache episodes. Likewise, physical therapy to address headaches and migraines may help resolve neck pain as well.

How Physical Therapy Helps With Neck Pain

Most of the time, your first thought for treating a headache or pain in your neck isn’t physical therapy. You may first try pain-relieving medications, massage, or even changing the way you sit or work. However, chronic headaches are often an indicator of a much bigger problem than what can be easily fixed on your own.

Physical therapy is an ideal solution for many neck pain sufferers. It provides lasting relief and can limit your need to reach for medications, decreasing associated risks and the possible need of surgery. Our physiotherapists understand how the various structures of the neck should work together and what kinds of symptoms indicate specific disorders or injuries. You will undergo a complex subjective and objective examination of your cervical spine, range of motion, muscle balance, symptoms (including neurological symptoms referred to the upper extremities) and medical history, from which we can create a physical therapy treatment plan to help you tame that nagging discomfort. Some common physical therapy options for treating neck pain include:

  • Exercises – In spite of the familiar image of the neck pain patient spending all his time in a neck brace, exercises to mobilize the neck can do a world of good as long as they’re prescribed wisely and performed carefully. These exercises can limber your neck muscles and give them the strength they need to support your head properly.
  • Physiotherapy techniques – Our physical therapist may recommend heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage therapy and other techniques to ease inflammation, relieve neck spasms, and speed healing.
  • Lifestyle advice – Our physical therapist can recommend changes to your work environment, sleep position, pillow, everyday posture, and any other alterations to help you keep your neck comfortable.

We are ready to help you! Why suffer from a pain in the neck when physical therapy/physiotherapy can take that pain away? Get neck pain relief with physical therapy. Contact Performance Refinery in Del Mar, CA to obtain that welcome relief!