Over the last week I have been dismayed to see two well regarded television shows give well meaning, albeit misguided, information regarding the treatment of neck pain. The first was in regard to a young teenaged girl with general neck pain on a well known “The Doctors” talk show. The chiropractor consulted was focused on the shape of the young girls spine and directed her in exercises to reform a flattened curve her neck. Unfortunately, I know as a physical therapist that the exercises demonstrated would actually cause more pain and dysfunction in the long run by promoting an imbalance in the neck and shoulders and further compression of the spine in the neck.
The second was just this morning on one of the network morning shows. Again, the consultant listed chiropractic care and a “few simple exercises” as standard treatment of generalized neck pain. The “simple exercises” were demonstrated in a way that recruit incorrect muscles and could cause future pain and dysfunction. I am saddened that physical therapy was not included. Physical therapy treatment addresses both skeletal and muscular dysfunction as well as correct performance of specific exercises. The physical therapy approach provides a more holistic approach for lasting relief.
I guess this just proves the cliché that you can’t believe everything you see on TV. If you have neck pain, please seek the advice of a professional, preferably a physical therapist (like those of us a Back to Motion) rather than adopting generalized exercises presented by well meaning, but misinformed, TV shows. A physical therapist can give you a comprehensive evaluation of your specific dysfunction and guide you through an appropriate exercise and care regimen that will keep you pain free for years to come as well as resolving your current symptoms.
Lorienne Fisher, PT, DPT