Physiomontreal - the ultimate montreal physiotherapy resource center

What is a physiotherapist?

Medical conditions

Preventing pain at work

Injury prevention

"Hot" or "Cold" ?

Your first visit...

Submit Clinical questions

Neck pain | Low back pain | Shoulder pain | Hip pain | Knee pain | Ankle sprain

What is a typical physiotherapy treatment for neck pain?

Multiple options exist for each problem detected by your physiotherapist. A typical problem list for someone with neck pain would include:

  • Pain limiting sleep and movement
  • Limited neck movement
  • Difficulty using the involved arm
  • Poor posture
  • Poor working habits

Your physiotherapist’s treatment strategy therefore will encompass the following:

1. Reduce pain
2. Improve neck flexibility
3. Improve neck shoulder and upper back strength
4. Improve your working and habitual posture
5. Prevent recurrent episodes of neck pain through education and improved movement pattern

1. To reduce pain, your physiotherapist can apply one or a combination of the following:

  • Hot packs or cold packs
  • TENS
  • Interferential current
  • Electromagnetic wave
  • Ultrasound

See the following site for details about these machines:

2. To improve neck movement, your physiotherapist may perform the following:

  • Manual or mechanical traction
  • Manual therapy (gentle joint mobilization)
  • Stretching of tight muscle groups

3. To help you gain strength in your arm, your physiotherapist will:
Design a strengthening program to target weak muscles to be done in clinic with gym equipment and at home.

4. & 5. Improve work habit to prevent recurrent neck pain episode

Finally, your therapist and you will try to identify the major aggravating activity that precipitated the neck pain episode. Once this activity identified, your therapist can propose different measures that you can take to avoid another episode of neck pain. Suggestions can include:

  • Modifying the way you sit to drive, read or write
  • Modifying the way you set-up your desk at work (phone, computer, keyboard, files).

Visit the following sites for desktop ergonomics:
Ergonomic Guidelines for arranging a Computer Workstation
Ergonomic Solutions: Computer Stations
Ergonomics at work: Industries, Laboratories, Shops...