Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Say, "Goodye" to Neck Pain!

If you are one of the unfortunate many who is suffering from neck pain, then you already know how disabling and concerning it may be.

Neck pain can result from a variety of situations:
• Acute trauma – as with a car accident or sports injury
• Gradual onset – chronic strain like sitting for long periods
• Degenerative – as with arthritis
• Insidious – systemic conditions

Since there are so many sensitive structures in the neck, any amount of pain, especially continuous or recurring pain may be a significant cause for concern.

If you have been suffering with neck pain, neck stiffness or other associated symptoms like numbness or tingling for more than three days you need to consult your doctor or physical therapist right away.

The team at Forest Hills Rehabilitation have been helping patients just like you, suffering with neck pain, arm pain, and numbness and tingling related to many different causes for years.

Our skilled physical therapists work closely with supervising medical physicians to offer a variety of different treatment options to offer you.

We are easily accessible by public transportation, offer early morning, late evening, and weekend hours, and accept all insurance plans.

Give us a call now to schedule your same-day appointment…

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Anatomy of the Neck

Neck pain is a very common medical condition, and is in fact one of the most common reasons we at Forest Hills Rehabilitation are consulted. If you’ve been suffering with neck pain, or a stiff neck – we can help.

A basic description of anatomy will help you to understand the complexity of the “cervical spine,” the medical term for what is commonly referred to as the neck. The cervical spine is made up of 7 separate bones or “vertebra” essentially stacked on top of one another.
 Each vertebra is separated by a disc, which acts as a shock absorber, and allows you to bend, twist and rotate at each level independently. The separation that the disc provides also allows an essential space for the spinal nerve roots to exit.

This entire system is bound by fibrous bands called ligaments, and serves as attachments and levers for many different muscles. Injury to any one of these delicate structures can result in profound symptoms, including compression of the sensitive spinal cord, which provides a direct connection between your brain and body.

Moreover, it may be difficult for you to determine the source of your neck pain, or stiff neck, since symptoms may be closely related. Even though symptoms from one person to the next may be similar, treatment may be very different depending on the source of the injury. This is why it is so important to have an experienced doctor or physical therapist assist in the diagnosis.

Whether you’re suffering from a stiff neck or severe neck pain, we can help. There is no need to live with neck pain or stiff neck any longer.

A more in depth discussion of some of the more common conditions associated with neck pain we treat can be found below…

As you learned in the above-mentioned anatomy discussion there are many muscles associated with the neck, each having its own unique job, but working in concert with the other muscles. Some of the muscles are large like the upper trapezius, while others are small like the suboccipitals or scalenes for example.

A muscle can be injured relatively easily, through over stretching – which often occurs with fast movements, particularly when a muscle is “cold”. High velocity injures can result from major traumas as in sports injuries or car accidents, or from something as simple as sneezing.

Overloading injuries of the neck are also quite common. An example of such a neck injury is lifting heavy objects. This is termed a “neck strain”, which refers specifically to muscle or tendon injury (usually both).

In many cases, neck muscle strain may occur with no known trauma. This is because there tends to be a delayed reaction between the time muscles are injured and the time before it actually registers as neck pain. If you’ve ever overworked and then felt sore a day or two later, you can better appreciate this phenomenon.

The good news is that because muscles have such a great blood supply, with appropriate conservative physical therapy, neck strains heal relatively quickly. The bad news is that if left untreated scar tissue begins to form, usually within 72 hours, making full recovery less likely with each passing day.

So simply stated – with prompt attention our unique team can get your neck pain under control, and get you back to your normal activities quickly. If you are suffering with neck pain, please don’t delay. We’re on call seven days a week, so call now.

Sprain versus Strain

As mentioned earlier there are tight, fibrous bands called ligaments that bind the cervical vertebra (bones of the neck).

Like a muscle, a ligament can be injured relatively easily, through over stretching – fast movements, or overloading. These injuries are known as “sprains.”

Unlike muscles however, ligaments have a poor blood supply lending these injuries to slower healing. For this reason, immediate care is imperative. Our techniques can help to increase blood supply thus leading to quicker recovery from neck sprain.

Since it is often difficult for a patient to differentiate between muscle or ligament injury, it is imperative that you get examined by one of our trained doctors or physical therapists at the first sign of pain... And because of the extremely sensitive nervous system structures throughout the back and spine (recall our anatomy discussion) it is even more important to get prompt attention. Don’t delay… We’re on call seven days a week. If you have an immediate concern, give us a call and talk to one of our trained physical therapists or doctors on the phone right now.

(718) 520-8480

Arthritis literally translates to “inflammation of the joints”. We most commonly use it as a lay term referring to the degeneration of the joints.

A joint is an area where two bones come together. The ends of the bones are covered with a smooth fibrous cartilage. In a healthy joint, that cartilage is bathed with a fluid allowing the bones to slide freely over one another through their normal movements.

In an unhealthy joint however, the cartilage becomes pitted, the bones become roughened, and the fluid becomes limited. This is what we generally refer to when we mention “arthritis.”

It happens from cumulative stress. If you are a professional skier for example, you may have arthritis in your thirties. But for most of us arthritis begins in our forties or fifties. The more stress we acquire, the more rapidly and widespread the degeneration.

You may think that nothing can be done for arthritis. This however is not entirely true, and does not tell the whole story.

It’s true that you can’t reverse much of the bone destruction associated with arthritis, but you can make the joint function better with less pain. By addressing the soft-tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc), as well as the joint motion, proper physical therapy can decrease pain, increase joint stability, and range of motion.

It is the function and pain level that we're most concerned about anyway, not the way our x-rays look!

At Forest Hills Rehabilitation, we have a unique program that can make you more flexible and stronger by working not only with the joint, but also with the surrounding soft-tissues. The joint complex will therefore function better allowing you to function better.

So your x-rays may not look a whole lot different, but you sure can feel and act different!

Don't keep putting it off. If you have arthritis, our medical doctors and physical therapy team can help! Every day you wait, allows the condition to continue to worsen.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with arthritis, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you.

(718) 520-8480

As I mentioned in the anatomy discussion referenced above, the disc is a little shock absorber between each vertebrae. The disc has a makeup similar to a jelly donut – firm on the outside and soft of the inside.

Imagine what would happen if you gently squeezed the jelly donut. It would bulge on the opposite side. This is analogous to a medically diagnosed “disc bulge.”

Now imagine squeezing it hard enough for the jelly to squirt out. This is similar to a “disc herniation.”

All spinal disc injuries can be quite serious because that disc material can put pressure on sensitive nerve tissue that a healthy disc is designed to protect.

Resulting symptoms include pain, numbness and tingling, and weakness in the neck, arms, hands and fingers.

Because of the seriousness of a disc injury it is important to get evaluated by a trained clinician ASAP. At Forest Hills Rehabilitation, our medical doctors and physical therapists are specifically trained to diagnose and treat all types of disc injuries, but don’t guess if this condition will get better on its own – because it probably won’t!

The doctors and physical therapists at Forest Hills Rehabilitation have been helping patients just like you recover from serious disc injuries, without surgery for more than 15 years.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with a cervical spinal disc injury, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you.

(718) 520-8480

Cervical (Neck) Spinal Stenosis occurs when the spinal “canal” - the tube that the spinal cord sits in - closes down. This can happen acutely, as in the case with a disc herniation (visit disc herniation page) or over a longer period of time, as in the case with degenerative arthritis - common in the aging population.

Cervical Spinal stenosis can be serious and lead to permanent disability. The spinal cord stems directly from the brain, continues all the way to the lower back and provides a direct connection between your brain and body. When the canal closes down, this sensitive spinal nervous tissue can be compromised, and significantly affect body function.

However, many spinal stenosis patients can completely erase their symptoms and get back to enjoying life. Specific therapeutic exercises, stretches, and spinal joint mobilization can open that canal and actually reverse symptoms.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with spinal stenosis, call our office today to see how our techniques can benefit you.

(718) 520-8480

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