Your Neck and You
Have you been experiencing neck pain, headaches, dizziness, or stiffness? Are you using a computer or mobile device more frequently than normal? You aren’t alone. According to a literature review performed by Dr. Bart Green, approximately 67-80% of people will have neck pain at some point in their lives 1. We’ve also seen that adolescents, who frequently spend more and more time in front of a screen are not immune to this either. Paula Hakala and associates found through research that 2-3 hours of screen time a day is enough to be a threshold for neck and shoulder pain 2.
During this time in which many people have transitioned to remote work environments somewhat abruptly, we’re seeing more issues. People may be spending significant amounts of time in a relatively fixed position, staring forward at computer screens or other monitors. Worse still is that very frequently, we find that people have poor posture and ergonomics with their positioning, resulting in increased pain or stiffness relative to if they had appropriate posture.
However, there is good news! We’ve found through research that physical therapy, including the hands-on manual therapy that our physical therapists use, has resulted in improving pain and outcomes in people with neck pain3. We’ve also found that something called scapular stabilization can help individuals struggling with chronic neck pain4. Your scapula and the muscles supporting it, commonly referred to as your shoulder blade, are important parts of your neck’s strength and stability.
Here at Excel Physical Therapy, therapists are trained in a variety of hands-on treatments to help alleviate your pain and get you feeling better. Soft tissue mobilization is a technique we use to help improve any restrictions or adhesions present in your soft tissue structures, like muscles or ligaments. Joint mobilization is another technique that your therapist may use to address any issues present in your neck. In joint mobilization, physical therapists use manual techniques to help alleviate any stiffness and improve discomfort in your cervical spine, or neck bones. Among the many others your physical therapist would be trained in, these two techniques can help address your pain or disability.
While at Excel, your therapist will be with you every step of the way, whether it’s your first visit or your last. Unlike some other physical therapy practices, we don’t employ any aides or assistants; every appointment will be with your therapist. No matter what’s going on, we’ll be there with you to help you excel in your recovery.
by: Eric Medaglia-Kurtz, PT, DPT, Assistant Clinic Director in Newtown Square
1: Green B. N. (2008). A literature review of neck pain associated with computer use: public health implications. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 52(3), 161–167.
- Paula T. Hakala, et [al], Frequent computer-related activities increase the risk of neck–shoulder and low back pain in adolescents, European Journal of Public Health, Volume 16, Issue 5, October 2006, Pages 536–541,
- Hoving JL et. Al Manual therapy, physical therapy, or continued care by a general practitioner for patients with neck pain. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2002 May 21;136(10):713-22. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-136-10-200205210-00006. PMID: 12020139.
- Seo YG, Park WH, Lee CS, et al. Is Scapular Stabilization Exercise Effective for Managing Nonspecific Chronic Neck Pain?: A Systematic Review. Asian Spine J. 2020;14(1):122-129. doi:10.31616/asj.2019.0055