On Track Physiotherapy

 Neck Pain in Ann Arbor

Physical Therapy for Neck Pain Relief in Ann Arbor

Do you struggle to turn your head or check your blind spot while driving? Feel a sharp pang in your neck reaching for an object? Or wake with recurring stiffness and soreness in your upper spine?

If so, you’re far from alone. Nearly 25-50% of people deal with neck pain at some point. As a physical therapist with over 10 years of experience, I’ve helped hundreds in Ann Arbor overcome debilitating cervicalgia. At On Track Physiotherapy, we develop customized treatment plans using evidence-based techniques that are highly effective for resolving neck issues. Read on for an overview of how physical therapy can help neck pain and what you can expect during your recovery with us.

Neck Pain: Overview of Symptoms and Impact

Neck pain, also known as cervicalgia, describes discomfort in the upper spine and surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments from the base of the skull into your shoulders. It can range from dull, nagging aches to more intense, sharp sensations that may radiate down one arm. Certain movements and positions tend to provoke symptoms, like looking up and overhead, turning your head, or prolonged bad posture.

Causes stem from strained neck muscles, injuries that overstretch or compress delicate structures (e.g. whiplash or disk herniations), or age-related degeneration of the cervical spine. Whatever the cause, neck pain makes daily life difficult. It limits your ability to work comfortably at a computer, drive safely, exercise without weakness or fatigue, and sleep soundly. Left unaddressed, it tends to recur and progressively worsen over time. The good news? With targeted neck strengthening, mobility work, and postural correction, physical therapists can help relieve your symptoms and restore normal function.

Physical Therapy Provides Safe, Lasting Neck Pain Relief

Rather than masking issues with medication or suggesting risky, invasive treatments right away, our expert staff takes a movement-based approach. The right combination of hands-on techniques and exercise enables long-term improvements by addressing the root causes of your neck discomfort such as:

Poor Movement Patterns and Posture

  • We identify dysfunctional patterns (like a forward head position from technology overuse) and re-train optimal spine mechanics through targeted exercises, manual therapy, and patient education.

Joint Restriction and Muscle Tightness

  • Hands-on joint mobilization and soft tissue release open up stiff segments in your neck and upper back while self-myofascial release (SMR) techniques enhance range of motion.

Muscle Weakness and Imbalances

  • Specific strengthening exercises bolster weak muscles that fail to properly support your neck and heavy head while stability training improves coordination of these muscle groups.

Chronic Overuse and Underuse

  • We modify activities, review proper positioning/movements, and develop baseline strength so you can remain active without overtaxing tissues.

What to Expect During Neck Pain Recovery at On Track Physiotherapy

Your first visit includes a thorough evaluation assessing posture, strength, range of motion, and tension patterns to pinpoint areas for improvement. We then create a personalized treatment plan targeting your unique situation and goals. Common components include:

Hands-on Manual Therapy

  • Skilled techniques like joint mobilization, soft tissue massage, trigger point release, and muscle energy restore motion and relieve irritated structures.

Therapeutic Exercises and Stretches

  • Carefully selected movements strengthen weak areas, improve flexibility, and re-pattern proper muscle activation plus movement sequencing.

Pain-relieving Modalities

  • Gentle electrical stimulation, ultrasound, cold laser therapy, heat/ice packs ease discomfort and inflammation between appointments.

Postural Retraining and Body Mechanics Education

  • You’ll learn ideal positioning for common activities plus ways to move that reduce strain and tension through your neck.

We also provide home programs for you to continue making progress between sessions using the newest app technology for convenience. Most patients see marked relief within 4-8 weeks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about treating neck pain through conservative care:

How do you treat neck pain?
We use an integrated approach including hands-on techniques that increase mobility, strengthen weak areas, re-pattern muscle firing orders, gentle tissue release, pain-relieving modalities, postural re-education, movement modifications, and therapeutic exercises.

How do you release tension in your neck?
Self-myofascial release with tools like massage balls placed along the upper traps, levator scapulae, and scalene muscles helps decrease trigger points. We teach specific stretches and breathing drills to target tense areas. Manual and instrument-assisted soft tissue work by your therapist also proves effective.

How do you know if neck pain is serious?
Most neck discomfort results from muscle tension or overuse issues treatable through PT. However, red flags like trauma/injury, numbness, tingling, loss of coordination, bowel/bladder changes, or unexplained weight loss warrant medical evaluation to rule out dangerous scenarios like nerve damage requiring prompt treatment.

What are the top 5 reasons for neck pain?
The most common culprits include poor sitting/standing posture, strained muscles from overuse or awkward positions, traumatic injuries (like whiplash), facet joint arthritis, muscle imbalances, and spinal disc disruptions irritating nerves.

Meet Your Ann Arbor Physical Therapy Team

Our staff boasts advanced certifications and extensive experience successfully treating the complexities of neck injuries and cervical spine conditions. Dr. Morgan Kennedy DPT, TPI, FDN, CIMT, CAFS earned a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Findlay and holds a certification in integrated manual therapy. She focuses on the diagnosis, management, and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders using evidence-based techniques personalized to each patient.

You’re in excellent hands with our highly credentialed team ready to help you move beyond neck pain!

Start Healing Today

If chronic neck stiffness or soreness interferes with your quality of life, don’t wait. On Track Physiotherapy provides customized recovery plans to improve mobility and function without pain. Call 734-972-6529 now to discuss your issues and schedule a thorough evaluation so we can begin helping you regain range of motion and strength. We have a variety of appointment times available to accommodate your commitments. Take control of your neck pain today – your comfort and active lifestyle depend on it!

About The Author

Personalized care is Dr. Greg Schaible’s passion. As a licensed Physical Therapist, he draws upon years of experience to help individuals overcome pain and its challenges. At On Track Physiotherapy in Ann Arbor, Dr. Greg Schaible employs a patient-centered approach, wielding cutting-edge techniques and bespoke care plans to empower individuals to reclaim their physical well-being.

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T Pront

I would highly highly recommend On Track Physio to anyone who wants to get their life back and be free of pains. Greg Schaible is extremely knowledgeable and experienced! Working with Greg, I started seeing results to knee pain that I’ve had for years after the first 2 sessions! On Track Physiotherapy will give you a more personalized experience as opposed to cookie cutter out patient physical therapy offices.

Josh Blades

I went and saw Greg for a weight lifting injury. From day 1 he was very professional and process oriented. After working through some exercises to determine where the pain was he put together a plan to get rid of the pain, as well as a preventative maintenance plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to go see him for whatever injury you have