We have been treating my father at my clinic for the past several weeks for his neck pain and I wanted to share what I’m doing that works and does not work.
A little back story of my father
He’s almost 80! He’s super active, still does a lot of yard work, things around the house, takes care of his grand kids, and he’s been suffering with neck pain for months.
I only found out about it AFTER he’s been going somewhere else.
See…his insurance really limits where he’s allowed to go.
But he’s had the x-rays and various tests that tell him he’s got arthritis of the cervical spine. I mean…please…of course as we all age, there’s the chance of boney changes, but here’s the challenge.
He can move his neck in all directions BUT he only has pain in one direction.
If the neck pain is in only one direction and not all, that is an indication that there is an imbalance somewhere and there is hope that it’s fixable!
He’s gone to the general therapy mill where they put hot and cold and e-stim and make him do the same exercises over and over….and still the pain is there.
His general MD sent him to their own clinic where he got acupuncture and massage therapy. He had been going for months and months and nothing has changed.
I only heard about the neck pain once he’s already tried all of that his insurance sent him to – and nothing is making the neck pain go away, still can’t sleep well because of the neck pain, and it’s interfering with his ability to drive safely.
Now that you know the back story, here’s what I’m doing for my father that works.
- Just because other things didn’t work before doesn’t mean nothing can help – keep trying! Finding out what he’s done, what has worked or not worked is helping us to be more efficient with his therapy.
- Moist heat around the neck does help to allow us to go a little faster at the start of therapy but does not continue to help once the area cools down. So it is just temporary.
- WHERE you stretch makes a huge difference. Stretching can help someone who is really stiff and does help! For his type of neck issues, we started in the thoracic spine (upper and mid back area) and it made a huge difference at the start to improve quickly.
- Stretching INTO the pain at his neck level actually made it worse for him. The thing we do at my clinic, is that we test what works and what doesn’t work so we can know how to keep our great results. For his specific neck issue, stretching away from the pain gives him much better relief. This is important because most people think…”no pain no gain” and it does not work.
Why am I sharing the story?
I’m sharing about my father because I love him and our family wants to make sure he can stay independent, enjoy his life now that he’s older, and not live in pain taking pills.
That being said, I come from a family of doctors so the first thing they tend to do is recommend pills -because that is what doctors do.
If you are someone who doesn’t want to jump straight to taking pills or tired of having to rely on pills to feel better or consider other things like injections and surgery – consider what the right therapy services can do for you.
If you are someone who has tried other services…massage, physical therapy, chiro…these are all great services but those places just didn’t get clear on the problem and did not get to the root cause of your problem.
Don’t give up. You deserve to live pain-free and active.
If you want to know for sure the root cause of your neck/shoulder problems, learn how to fix it and keep the results, give us a call at the office or request a Discovery Visit.
Written by Hoang Tran
About the author – Hoang Tran; an expert in physical & occupational therapy
Hoang Tran is a Miami certified hand therapist , the owner of Hands-on Therapy Services and author of the book “The Hands-On Approach”. She loves helping people with hand, neck and shoulder problems, because she knows how bad and debilitating they can get if not addressed and treated properly (once and for all!).
The aim of her occupational therapy is to bring patients back to full functionality, without pills, injections or surgery. Occupational and Physical Therapy are both offered at Hands-On Therapy by our experienced therapists who provide a comprehensive approach to your care.
If you are struggling with neck and shoulder pain, speak with one of our specialists for FREE by signing up for a 30-minute Discovery Visit here! Talk to our specialist first before booking any paid session. We like to ensure that we can help you before taking you on as a client.
PS. If you know someone suffering with neck/shoulder pain, share this free guide with them. Click for the Free Shoulder Pain Guide.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.