Do you ever wake up in the morning hearing creaking, and cracking in your neck? Does it hurt when you try backing out of the driveway? This can be caused by muscle tension surrounding the neck, poor alignment of the spine, or a pinch of the nerve.

This is most commonly caused by our daily activities. Sleeping on a poor supporting pillow is a big contributor. Lifting, and carrying heavy bags or purses also cause strain and discomfort.

Constantly looking down at electronic devices such as IPads, Notebooks, or cell phones are another. Many of our kids will likely have neck dysfunction, and nerve impingement syndromes in their future because of the lack of knowledge and prevention techniques regarding the constant use of their technology. Proper posture, frequent rest breaks, and stretching techniques need to be incorporated at a young age to minimize their risk for future muscle and joint pain symptoms.

Physical therapy can help reduce discomfort, improve muscle flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and improve range of motion. They can also educate about ways to prevent strain, and pain in the neck with activity and can provide information in ways to modify your activities to prevent discomfort from occurring again.

By working with a physical therapist you gain relief of your symptoms and management strategies before it becomes a bigger problem such as a disc herniation, or nerve damage that can lead to more severe symptoms and more invasive treatment options.

Dr. Jen O’Connor DPT, Physical Therapist and owner of Health Track Physical Therapy. She can be reached at 507-413-6284.

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