According to leading surgeons, 80% of people experience some type of neck pain during their lifetime. While another 20%-50% of people deal with it on a yearly basis. While not everyone experiences the same levels of pain or types of injuries, everyone wants to heal and relieve that pain as fast as possible.

Which is what we are here to talk about today, physiotherapy for a stiff neck and shoulders. Whether you are currently experiencing neck pain or stiffness, or if you just want to be well prepared in case you do, we’ve put everything you need to know about it in this article.

With that being said, let’s take a look!

Neck Pain or Stiffness

Neck pain or stiffness can be caused by a number of things, including poor posture, sleeping in the wrong position, stress, whiplash, and more. If you are experiencing neck pain or stiffness, it is important to see a physiotherapist as soon as possible. This is because it can often get worse if not properly taken care of and they can assess whether or not it is a serious issue.

Physiotherapy can help to relieve the pain and stiffness, and can also help to prevent it from returning. Physiotherapy for neck pain and stiffness typically involves a combination of therapies. The physiotherapist will work with you to find the best treatment plan for you, and will also provide you with exercises to do at home.

girl with Stiff Neck and Shoulders

Signs of a Stiff Neck and Shoulders

There are a few different signs that you may be experiencing a stiff neck and shoulders. These include:

  • Pain when moving your head or neck
  • Difficulty moving your head or neck
  • Headache
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms or hands

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s possible that you have a stiff neck and shoulders.

Treatment: Physiotherapy for a Stiff Neck

One of the best ways to treat a stiff neck and shoulders is with physiotherapy. Physiotherapy for a stiff neck and shoulders can help to relieve the pain, increase range of motion, and improve strength. It can also help to prevent the condition from returning.

The goal of going through physiotherapy for your stiff neck is to:

  • Reduce pain and stiffness, as well as help circulation.
  • Increase head and neck range of motion
  • Strengthen the neck and its supporting muscles through exercises that individuals with postural imbalance face
  • Come up with a plan to avoid the pain from returning

If you are experiencing a stiff neck and shoulders, physiotherapy is definitely something you should consider. It is one of the most effective ways to treat the condition, and can also help to prevent it from returning.

Even if the pain can’t be entirely eliminated, physiotherapy may help you achieve better neck posture and function for regular activities.

Physiotherapy for a Stiff Neck

How a Physiotherapist will Diagnose Stiff Neck and Shoulders

The physiotherapist will ask you questions about your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle. They will also perform a physical examination. This may include range of motion tests, strength tests, and palpation.

After the physiotherapist has diagnosed your condition, they will develop a treatment plan. This treatment plan may include manual therapy, exercises, and education.

Manual Physiotherapy

Manual therapy is when the physiotherapist uses their hands to help relieve pain and improve the range of motion. It can also help to break up any scar tissue that may have formed.

Stiff Neck Exercises

The physiotherapist will also likely prescribe exercises for you to do at home. These exercises are designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your neck and shoulders.

Education the Patient

The physiotherapist will also likely provide you with education on how to prevent the condition from returning. This may include advice on how to maintain good posture, how to sleep in the correct position, and how to reduce stress.

woman learning Exercises for a Stiff Neck and Shoulders

Exercises for a Stiff Neck and Shoulders

There are a number of different exercises that you can do at home to help relieve the pain and stiffness associated with a stiff neck and shoulders. These exercises include:

  1. Neck stretches: stretch your neck by tilting your head to the left, then to the right, and finally forward. Hold each stretch for about 10 seconds.
  2. Neck rotations: rotate your neck in a circular motion, clockwise and then counterclockwise. Do this 10 times in each direction.
  3. Forward Bending: Bend your head forward, letting your chin touch your chest. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds.
  4. Side Bending: Bend your head to the left, then to the right. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds.

If you are experiencing a stiff neck and pain in your shoulders, these exercises may help to relieve your symptoms. However, it’s important to see a physiotherapist so that they can develop a treatment plan specifically for you.

It’s also important to know that you should not perform these exercises if you have severe neck pain and or stiffness without seeing a physiotherapist first. They will be able to properly assess your injury and provide you with exactly what you need to heal properly.

Other Way to Help with Neck Pain or Stiffness

In addition to physiotherapy and exercises for stiff neck and shoulders, there are a number of other things you can do to help relieve the pain and stiffness associated. These include:

  • Using hot or cold packs to reduce inflammation may be beneficial
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to relieve pain and swelling from chronic inflammation
  • Support, such as a neck brace, may be necessary depending on the extent of the injury
  • Try to rest and avoid anything strenuous
man doing exercises for Neck Pain

Should I Go to Physio for Neck Pain

If you’re wondering if you should go to physio for neck pain, it ultimately depends on f few things. Neck pain and stiffness can often go away on their own or be treated with simple exercises and care at home.

However, if you are experiencing any of the following, it’s important to see a physiotherapist right away:

  • Neck pain continues after a few weeks
  • The neck pain worsens or becomes severe
  • The pain moves through other parts of your body
  • You experience a headache, tingles, or numbness with it
  • You’ve been in a motor vehicle accident and have not had an MVA assessment yet

If you are having any of these symptoms, it is best to seek medical attention and call up your local physiotherapy clinic, so that a proper diagnosis and treatment can be given.

A physiotherapist can help you manage stiff neck and shoulders with manual physiotherapy, exercises for stiff neck pain, and education on how to prevent the condition from returning.

Physiotherapy in Calgary for Neck Pain or Stiffness

If you think physiotherapy may be right for you, the best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with a physiotherapist. They will be able to assess your situation and come up with a treatment plan that is specific to your needs.

Here at Chinook Rehab Centre, we provide physiotherapy in Calgary for anyone suffering from neck pain or stiffness. Our team of experts are friendly and we always put our patients first! We understand that no one person is the same as another. Which is why we create custom treatment plans for each one of our patients.

If you are experiencing neck pain or stiffness, give us a call and schedule an appointment with us today!