Should I do Physical Therapy for neck pain?

Hello everyone,
Along with my vertigo and migraines I also suffer from neck pain. I usually have a baseline of neck pain that I’m convinced plays a roll in my headaches. As of late I pulled a muscle in my neck. I do this often. Obviously I have a weak neck. I’ve seen an Ortho. about it, we did X-rays, everything looks normal other than the fact that my spine curves the wrong way.
Anyhow, my Orthopedist has prescribed physical therapy for my neck. I’ve had a lot of mixed opinions regarding this treatment. I’ve been told that it could actually make me worse for a while as they will be manipulating my neck so much. I can’t handle that right now as I live with such chronic, recurrent headaches. On the other hand, I’ve talked to some who swear by the physical therapy. So I’m not really sure what to do. I should also mention that I’ve been getting massages for my neck and while it obviously loosens everything up it’s not strengthening my neck muscles.
Does anyone have any person experience with this? I’m very torn as to whether I should do this or not.

Hi Elisha,
I too have chronic neck pain because I am always gurarding from the dizziness. I cannot have anyone go near my neck as any movement increases my dizziness. Nor would it be comfortable for me to lie still while they worked on me because of the rocking. Keep in mind, I could not tolerate a massage either for the same reasons so if you can tolerate a massage, I would think you might be able to tolerate PT. You can always try one session and stop if it is too much. I think a lot of PT for your neck is massage anyway so you might be able to get your massages paid for by insurance :wink:
Christine

Of course I do… laughing to myself. I have one of the most messed up necks around.

With my loooongg headache, 24/7 for 100+ days. )coming from my neck for sure!) I tried everything, including physical therapy and
a chiro. No popping done of course. It felt good at the time, but then I would stand up and it would shoot straight to my head and be much worse
for about 1 1/2 days.

After surgery, tried again, same reaction but with a lessor extent.

** note, I was not yet dizzy first time around and 2nd time, dizzy, but it wasn’t full blown yet.

Moving forward. Im in PT now, and it doesn’t make my head hurt, but I do get dizzier at times.
The dizziess only last again up to day and half.
Im now doing more cranio stuff.

I would try it. The extra dizziness or headache you may get from it, usually goes away in 3 days or less.
So your risking up to 3 days to find something that could help. Its much better odds than starting meds… :?

Find someone that works on the neck, moreso than anyone else. As from my experience PT’s are not all the same.
AND… If they put ice on you then heat on you same way everyday run;!!! I never had good experience with cookie cutter PT’s.
They dont individualize at all. And pretty much every neck gets the same treatment in these kinds of places.

Doctors agree that my neck is a big trigger.
with the exception of yesterday I was about 85% better with dizziness. It switched from dizzy to headache. I know that headache is neck related as everytime I turn my neck a certain way it hurts more.

Going to pain mgmntment today, to see if a injection the big kind with xray machine and everything… will help.

K

Along with VRT I had my neck massaged every visit. They warned me that it could make headaches worse but that was good as it shows the correlation between your neck and headaches. I always felt better after PT not worse. My neck was horribly tight…and in the beginning the massage hurt, but in the long run helped immensely. I actually loved going just for the neck massage… And btw they don’t manipulate you like a chiropractor…They just try to get you muscles more “loose”. Will they also be doing VRT with you? I went for about 8 weeks total… You can always try it and see.

— Begin quote from "jenh21"

Along with VRT I had my neck massaged every visit. They warned me that it could make headaches worse but that was good as it shows the correlation between your neck and headaches. I always felt better after PT not worse. My neck was horribly tight…and in the beginning the massage hurt, but in the long run helped immensely. I actually loved going just for the neck massage… And btw they don’t manipulate you like a chiropractor…They just try to get you muscles more “loose”. Will they also be doing VRT with you? I went for about 8 weeks total… You can always try it and see.

— End quote

That’s not true, PTs definitely manipulate you. I was in PT during third trimester of my pregnancy and for months after the birth, and they do manipulations…it’s just a LOT more gentle than a chiro.

I say go for it. If you can find the right PT (I’ve had good ones and bad ones…I unfortunately haven’t found a good one yet after we moved), they can work wonders. If you are not happy with your first PT, I’d try another one before you give up. I greatly prefer physical therapy over chiropractic care.

Hi Elishat

Is physical therapy what I know as osteopathy, where they massage, extend movements and re-align your spine/neck bones etc?

Kindest

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the input.
I guess I’ll give it a try and tell them I don’t want any kind of crazy manipulation. I certainly don’t want increased headaches. I’m scared to go to a chiro as I’ve never been to one and I’m worried as to what they would do.

I got thorough the massage fine, it didn’t bother my neck at all, if anything it helped with the tension. I’m supposed to start the PT next week so I’ll go and see what it’s all about and if I don’t like it I won’t go back.

Mrs. G, I think it is the same, but not sure :slight_smile:

Elisha, I agree with being scared about chiro’s. I dont like them at all! Never helped me. Infact probably made me worse.

Mrs G, Osteopathy from what you describe is osteopathy here, from Dr. However, physical therapy - cranial work can move bones in your head. This is from a pt, not a doctor.

K

Hi E,

If your neck is jammed up and the curvature is not there quite like it should be, I’d go for the physio (physical therapy = physiotherapy in Australia, UK and Canada).

Migraine causes neck pain through convergence of nerve impulses that come from the upper cervical region and impulses coming down from the trigeminal system – these converge on the same second order neurons as they’re called. So the more that comes from the neck region, the less it takes coming from the trigeminal system to trigger a headache and vice versa. The more impulses there are coming into this from the trigeminal system, the less it takes coming in from the upper cervical system to tell a patient that they have neck pain. This is why so many patients complain of neck pain either in the earlier stages of a headache or in the later stages – or for some of us it is just non-stop chronic garbage all because of this convergence in a chronic migraineur. Some 75% of patients with clear-cut migraine will complain of neck pain.

So in English: migraine causes neck pain and if your neck is overly tensed and knotted up or full of muscle spasms, this has the ability to trigger migraine. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing. If my neck is in bad shape, I will definitely have many more headaches, fog and cognitive issues. The trick, I find, is to keep the neck joints mobile and never let them get “stuck”. So definitely have a look into PT (forget chiro) and have him or her give your cervical spine a good check. They tend to palpate the cervical processes to get things unlocked and moving again. This may wind you up initially but should die off within a day at the most and you may feel much better.

Physios are properly trained with an evidence base behind them and true knowledge of the body’s physiology. In contrast, chiros will tell you about secret energy blockages and “subluxations” that require high impact manipulation in some cases. The premise is bunk though the manipulation can work for lower back pain according to the literature, but that’s it. Go with the science and evidence and be safe with a good physio (PT).

I do some work on my own neck daily to keep C2 from jamming up (shown to me by a physio). So I still have a hell of a lot of migraine activity going on since a dental appointment screwed things up but I have to keep things from turning to concrete in there else it will act as a trigger as well and I’ll just feel much more headachy and horrible.

A good PT should give you some good exercises to help keep your neck stress free and mobile. One I was given was a chin tuck while keeping the head in a normal forward-looking position. By pushing in the chin you stretch the muscles at the back of the neck right at the base of the skull.

Let us know how it goes for you.

Scott 8)

I really appreciate all that info Scott. I’m definitely going to try PT now based on your advice. I know you’ve had your share of neck issues as well. I’m hoping if I can get my neck in better shape it may help with the headaches. I know the vertigo is another story but it would be nice not to have chronic headaches all the time plus rocking vertigo :slight_smile:

Good luck to you as well! I’ll be sure to post on my PT experience.

So with the 3 cranial sacral visits I have had last week, it brought my dizziness back. Got rid of a headache but brought me back to like 50% dizziness.
Cranial therapy is done by a PT. So if you have this, beware. :frowning:

Im going in for a injection into C7 tomorrow, hoping it all works out.
Thought you maybe interested in this…

k

— Begin quote from "Kristina"

Elisha, I agree with being scared about chiro’s. I dont like them at all! Never helped me. Infact probably made me worse.

Mrs G, Osteopathy from what you describe is osteopathy here, from Dr. However, physical therapy - cranial work can move bones in your head. This is from a pt, not a doctor.

K

— End quote

I’m with you - not a fan of chiros - too intense. My back has been pretty bad lately though, bad enough to see the Osteopath last week and will do again tomorrow. A little bit of osteo is quite good at times, but physiotherapy is the best in my opinion.

Just FYI re the bit in bold - the PT is wrong, you can’t move the bones in your skull. Not unless you’ve suffered a severe head trauma in which case you need to get to the emergency room quick smart, if a craniosacral therapist did their thing on you then what you’d hear is a sickening squelching sound, most likely followed by death.

— Begin quote from "Victoria"

Just FYI re the bit in bold - the PT is wrong, you can’t move the bones in your skull

— End quote

You really cannot say that 100% the bones do not move and be correct.
Because we as regular people will never know. There are two sides to the coin. Osteopaths and regular docs.

Some believe some dont. The ones that believe have quite a bit of info and proof to back it up. Sometimes I feel, that regular
doctor’s learn from a book and dont think outside the box. Its like if you dont have cancer or heart disease or a tumor then they dont have a clue.

Something did happen
with me, made my headache Go Away and brought my dizziness back to where I was 2 months ago. So Im kinda believing that
they could be right, as something happened for sure, and not alot you can move around up there, especially when the touch
is so slight, I feel like nothing was even being touched.

For us we will never really know the truth to that. We just have to pick a side.
K

— Begin quote from "Kristina"

— Begin quote from "Victoria"

Just FYI re the bit in bold - the PT is wrong, you can’t move the bones in your skull

— End quote

You really cannot say that 100% the bones do not move and be correct.
Because we as regular people will never know. There are two sides to the coin. Osteopaths and regular docs.

Some believe some dont. The ones that believe have quite a bit of info and proof to back it up. Sometimes I feel, that regular
doctor’s learn from a book and dont think outside the box. Its like if you dont have cancer or heart disease or a tumor then they dont have a clue.

Something did happen
with me, made my headache Go Away and brought my dizziness back to where I was 2 months ago. So Im kinda believing that
they could be right, as something happened for sure, and not alot you can move around up there, especially when the touch
is so slight, I feel like nothing was even being touched.

For us we will never really know the truth to that. We just have to pick a side.
K

— End quote

Of course we can and do already know the truth. Basic anatomy confirms that you cannot move the bones of the skull.

“Regular doctors learn from a book” - well, yes, but not just “a” book, they learn from several books, from action research and several years of hands on clinical practice among other things and these practices have been tested, re-tested and built upon and refined over hundreds of years (unlike cranio sacral therapy which was ‘invented’ by one guy a few decades ago and has NO evidence in support of it). Trainee doctors practice on hundreds real bodies, some dead, some alive. That’s how they know that you can’t move the bones in the skull. It’s very basic stuff.

Whether or not the bones of the skull can move is not about a philosophy or musings where you “just pick a side” which sounds most appealing to you - it’s about evidence. And the evidence is unequivocal. YOU CANNOT MOVE THE BONES IN THE SKULL. Try it yourself right now – put your hands on your skull and see if you can shift any of those bones, even a fraction of a millimeter. Or go to an autopsy. I’ve been to one and the only way to get those bones apart was to buzz through them with a large and powerful electric saw.

I have NO idea what you mean when you say if you don’t have cancer or a tumour then doctors don’t have a clue. Perhaps you have been seeing an oncologist for your migraine issues instead of a neurologist?

— Begin quote from ____

I have NO idea what you mean when you say if you don’t have cancer or a tumour then doctors don’t have a clue. Perhaps you have been seeing an oncologist for your migraine issues instead of a neurologist?

— End quote

Aren’t we just a smarty pants.

We always disagree but whats new…

Didn’t care to read all of it, so maybe its best you and I just dont post to each other anymore.