How long does a stiff neck last?

How Long Does a Stiff Neck Last?

A stiff neck can be caused by a wide range of factors, from muscle strains to spine conditions, which can all have an effect on its duration. In the most minor cases, neck stiffness can improve in just a few days with minor treatment. However, when a more serious injury or condition is at root, it can become a chronic difficulty that can drag on for weeks and even months. 

Another factor that plays a role in the duration of a stiff neck is the treatment you are seeking. Taking a proactive role in your health by seeking out the assistance of a qualified treatment professional can have a profound impact on your recovery time. As experts in the functioning of the musculoskeletal system, physical therapists are particularly qualified to help patients with a stiff neck develop effective treatment plans to shorten recovery time. 

Physical therapy for neck stiffness treatment

The primary goal of physical therapy is to improve functioning through a combination of active and passive techniques. For a patient dealing with a stiff neck and any related symptoms, the first step in treatment is to assess the condition by reviewing medical history, asking questions about symptoms, and performing movement tests and a hands-on examination. 

To bring relief and hopefully shorten the duration of the condition, physical therapists can employ the following treatments: 

  • Manual therapy to relax tense muscles and increase blood flow to the area, which may include trigger point therapy to pinpoint and break up painful bundles of tissue in the neck
  • Therapeutic exercises designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles in the neck for better support
  • Instruction on at-home treatments and healthy lifestyle options to promote neck health 
  • Instruction in breathing mechanics
  • Instruction in posture 
  • Dry needling

Working closely with your physical therapist can help you not only recover from a stiff neck on a shorter time frame but also make your neck stronger and more injury resistant in the long run. 

Stiff neck treatment with the experts at Franklin Rehabilitation

Our talented clinical team has decades of combined experience in helping patients pinpoint the causes of their symptoms and take action in overcoming them. We believe that a cornerstone of effective physical therapy treatment lies in building a trusting and collaborative relationship with our patients. To learn more about getting the care you deserve, contact us today. We’ll be happy to help you schedule your initial appointment.