Treatments for Neck Pain That Don’t Include Medication

December 8, 2021

Neck pain is common in adults, almost too common. Every three months, 15% of U.S. adults have neck pain that lasts at least one full day. With the rise of self-medication, over-the-counter pain killers, and similar substances, what if we told you there was a natural way to relieve pain and mitigate long-term discomfort in the neck? 

Physical therapy has become a proven natural alternative to pain relief and is one of the safest options to restore functional mobility in the neck. 

Read on to discover how it can help you, too!

Why Physical Therapy?

The benefits of physical therapy are replete. However, the main points of contact a physical therapist will seek to address are: 

  • Reduce pain and stiffness
  • Restore full range of mobility
  • Strengthen core muscle groups
  • Develop injury-preventive treatments
  • Return to the activities you enjoy

Physical therapy is commonly sought from patients suffering from chronic neck discomfort or an injury. While treatments, duration, and proactivity vary, physical therapy has the ability to uncover and address your specific needs. 

According to Spine-Health, “Current medical literature suggests moderate to strong evidence supporting the benefits of physical therapy’s role in reducing neck pain and improving range of motion.”

Active Physical Therapy

On the other hand, active physical therapy is the school of thought that suggests the patient is the active agent in their recovery, involving the patient’s mobility of his or her body through exercises and other functional stretches.

This form of therapy often includes a number of exercises working on improving motion and strength in the neck, as well as postural interventions designed to correct positions that may be placing stresses on your neck and shoulders. Active treatment can also work on performing functional motions that were previously painful and impacting our patients’ abilities to do work and life tasks. The goal is always to have the patient be able to live without pain

Other options include aerobic exercises, like running or swimming, and other forms of cardiovascular activity. Like passive physical therapy, active therapy increases blood flow to the muscles and softens tissues of the neck and upper back. Some of these exercises can be done from home, and your therapist will provide you with a program you can continue outside of therapy. 

Passive Physical Therapy

Passive Physical Therapy is physical therapy treatment where the patient is submissive to the treatment received. In other words, it’s something the therapist applies without the effort of the patient. The ultimate aim of this form of therapy is to reduce a patient’s pain levels, as well as to make the level of pain experienced more manageable. 

There are a number of passive therapy options available to the patient. These include the application of ice packs, several options of heat therapy, massage therapy, ultrasound, electrotherapy, and more. Manual therapy is another passive technique and this includes stretching, myofacial release, ASTYM, massage, functional dry needling, and joint mobilizations.  These may also be useful in decreasing pain and improving motion. 

This form of therapy increases blood flow, restores circulation, and reduces inflammation. Again, the goal of passive physical therapy is to help reduce pain and swelling, not to build strength in the affected area. As you progress, you should progress from passive treatment to more active interventions.

Call Country Roads Physical Therapy Today!

You shouldn’t have to live with neck pain––neither should you feel compelled to fight it with over-the-counter medication. With a few tips and simple changes, you can experience comfort and relief today.

With our state-of-the-art equipment, aquatic facility, and ASTYM/Functional Dry Needling treatment options, our hands-on techniques are perfect for treating chronic pain, sports injuries, age-related pain, and other muscle and body pains. 

To make an appointment or for additional information on Country Roads Physical Therapy, you can visit We have locations in West Fairmont, East Fairmont, Buckhannon, Wheeling, Morgantown, and Whitehall, West Virginia.