Pain in the neck: A one-minute test and how to fix it | Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy

Neck pain 2

Do you find yourself massaging your neck throughout the day? Do you try to move your neck as little as possible as not to bother it? At Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, it’s our goal to help people throughout the greater Des Moines, IA area find a neck management plan that can help them achieve lasting relief. Left untreated, pain may travel from the neck, into the shoulder, shoulder blade, back, chest, elbow or hand, causing you further discomfort.

For successful treatment and successful pain relief to occur, we must first find out what is causing the problem.

It is common for physical therapists to first look at how well a person experiencing neck pain can move. To help save time before visiting one of our physical therapy clinic locations, below you will find a simple test you can do at home which can help our team better understand your unique case.

PicMonkey Collage 2One-minute test for neck pain: 

  1. Sit up with your back straight in a chair.
  2. Move your head up as far as you can.
  3. Move your head down as far as you can.
  4. Turn your head to the left as far as you can.
  5. Turn your head to the right as far as you can.
  6. Raise your right arm straight up as high as you can.
  7. Raise your left arm straight up as high as you can.

Most people with neck pain will feel limitation or restriction with one of these six movements.  For example, when looking down, many people will feel a tightness at the base of their neck or between their shoulder blades.  When turning the head side to side, it may be much easier to turn one direction than the other. If this happens, this usually means there is hope for successful outcomes with the right physical therapy treatment.

If you felt pain during the one minute test, you may be curious what you should do next.  If the pain is reproducible (meaning a movement brings on the symptoms), physical therapy can typically be used to reduce your pain.  Good treatment begins with restoring the movement, and good physical therapists use various forms of hands-on treatment to achieve this. For instance, at Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, if a client who comes to us with trouble turning their head to the left, a member of our staff will perform a hands-on treatment and then ask the person to try to turn their head to the left again. From there, our team will develop a treatment plan to address the source of the problem. After just one visit, most people will notice better movement and less pain.

So now what?

If you noticed any tightness, pain, tingling, or limited mobility when performing the test at home, consider reaching out to one of our experienced physical therapists for a more in-depth consultation. Offering a wide range of physical therapy services, we’ve worked with clients of varying ages to help them reduce the frequency and severity of their neck pain.

To learn more about how physical therapy can help you, we invite you to call one of our local clinics to schedule a free Kinetic Screen. Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy is proud to have locations in Ames, Centerville, Colfax, Des Moines, Newton, Oskaloosa, Pella, and Waukee, IA.

You can also email us for more information on other exercises. Just send us a message telling us where you experienced the problem, and we’ll send you a simple home exercise that is specifically designed to help you move better, feel better, and function better. To make an appointment, contact us today!

Call now to get more help for your neck pain