Which physical therapy methods are used for neck and shoulder pain?

Physical Therapy for Neck and Shoulder Pain

A variety of techniques can be involved in physical therapy sessions for your neck and shoulder pain. The techniques your physical therapist chooses will typically be unique to your needs. 

Neck and shoulder pain often occur together because the neck and shoulder are closely linked in several ways. For instance, there are many muscles that start in the shoulder and terminate in the neck. Additionally, many of the nerves that run into and through the shoulders begin in your neck. Working with a physical therapist is an effective way to treat neck and shoulder pain. Your therapist may use several therapy methods to treat your pain. 

Three physical therapy methods that can help treat your neck and shoulder pain

There are many physical therapy techniques that your therapist can use to treat your neck and shoulder pain. However, there are three techniques that can be especially helpful for this combination of pain: 

  1. Spinal mobilization — Your neck is also known as the cervical spine. Issues with the spinal structures in your neck can be the source of neck and shoulder pain. Spinal mobilization can help reduce your pain by realigning neck vertebrae. One medical study reports that spinal mobilization helped 82.2% of patients to reduce their neck pain by at least 50% in just 12 weeks
  1. Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) — Neck and shoulder pain can also be triggered by scar tissue or tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. IASTM is an effective way to deal with this. It involves a therapist applying pressure to neck and shoulder soft tissue with a special metal tool. A study of IASTM therapy found that it helped reduce neck pain during activity by nearly two points on the numeric rating scale
  1. Cupping therapy — Decreased blood flow to the neck and shoulder soft tissue can lead to pain. Cupping therapy is designed to lift the skin to help more blood flow into targeted soft tissue. Studies show that this technique can also offer other benefits. For instance, a study on neck and shoulder pain found that cupping helped: 
  • Reduce neck pain intensity by more than six points on the visual analogue scale (VAS). 
  • Decrease shoulder pain in intensity by nearly six points on the VAS.

Discover effective physical therapy for neck and shoulder pain at Franklin Rehabilitation

Searching for physical therapy that’s beneficial for your neck and shoulder pain? Our physical therapists at Franklin Rehabilitation are ready to help you address pain in these areas. We can do a free screening of your neck and shoulder to determine the cause of your pain. Furthermore, our specialists can construct a unique physical therapy plan for you that’s designed to reduce your pain and prevent it from coming back. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can help you with neck and shoulder pain or to schedule an initial appointment.