Neck Pain in Happy Valley
Like most areas of our body, injuries and symptoms can be caused by a plethora of underlying mechanisms. Neck pain could be influenced any of the following:
If you’re experiencing neck pain, one of the first things your Doctor of Physical Therapy will assess are possible “red flags” that could indicate a serious underlying condition and potential referral to the appropriate specialist. In addition, your provider will look for any indications of possible concussion, as these can be quite prevalent with head and neck injuries.
While many clinics treat neck pain it is important to understand that not all physical therapy clinics are the same. Clinics that focus heavily in modalities (like heat/ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation/TENS, and massage/manipulation) tend to see slower progress and increased recurrence of symptoms when compared to clinics that take a broad based approach on function, task specific training and patient centered management. The staff at Ascent Physical Therapy have all undergone function based training to ensure that important warning signs that indicate underlying medical emergencies are not missed and symptoms are resolved with as little interruption as possible.
Headaches are a widespread problem in our society but not all headaches are created equally. Here are the 3 most prevalent forms of headaches:
1) Cervicogenic or Tension Headaches – typically driven by postures and/or increased tone in your neck and upper back musculature. Can be triggered from strains, sprains, stress, and anxiety. Commonly described symptoms of neck pain with radiating irritation from the back of the head toward the front, sometimes referred to as a “ram horn” headache.
2) Primary Migraines – typically associated with unusual electrical and chemical signaling in the brain that results in painful symptoms which may include a somatosensory aura or “halo” effect.
3) Tertiary Migraines/Headaches – generalized painful symptoms in head that could have been spurred by recent illness or an infection, but could also be caused by dietary changes, such as cessation of caffeine consumption after prolonged use can result in headaches.
We can address and treat headaches of cervicogenic or tension origin. The other situations are typically addressed by consultation with a neurologist and dietary lifestyle changes. If you’re unsure what type of headaches you’re experiencing, we would be glad to provide an evaluation and consultation.
Whiplash injuries are typically sustained from sudden changes in movement through the head and neck. These situations arise during impact sports, such as football, and collision events, such as a car accident. The neck muscles and connective structures are quickly lengthened to their end point before being pulled in the reverse direction, as if cracking a whip or snapping a towel. If you’ve experienced a whiplash injury, it should be assumed that you’ve also suffered some level of concussion – even if you didn’t hit your head against anything.
After a thorough examination, a plan of care for whiplash treatment will be formed. Together, you and your provider will work to correct the aggravating increases in tension and headaches while resolving muscle imbalances and gently restoring your neck stability.
If any of these sound like a problem you’ve been experiencing and neck pain has been interfering with your life, call us today to get started on a plan of care that works for you. Ascent Physical Therapy is conveniently located off Sunnyside Road in Happy Valley. We also love treating our neighboring communities of Damascus, Gresham, Clackamas, and Sandy at our top rated physical therapy clinic!