How to manage neck pain after shoulder surgery

by | Feb 8, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

Neck pain is a common ailment that affects adults in the U.S. It’s estimated that neck pain affects anywhere from 10% to 20% of the population at any given point in time. Some cases of neck pain may be caused by a recent surgical procedure on the upper back and shoulder. For those who are struggling with neck pain or upper back pain after shoulder surgery, there are a few different ways this can be managed.

What are some of the general causes of neck pain after shoulder surgery?

  • Nerve damage.
  • Nerve compression.
  • Scar tissue.
  • Infection.

What kinds of treatments can help someone experiencing neck pain after shoulder surgery?

  • Physical therapy — Physical therapy has significant potential to help someone experiencing neck pain after shoulder surgery. There are many benefits of getting physical therapy after surgery. Studies have shown that PT can be an effective pain reliever and improve mobility, time and time again.
  • Medication — If you’re experiencing neck pain after shoulder surgery, you may benefit from taking anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers. These have the potential to reduce swelling and inflammation and reduce painful sensations in the neck.
  • Ice packs — Icing the area of pain on the neck can be helpful for some. After going through shoulder surgery, there will be increased inflammation in the area and other neighboring areas. Ice packs may help reduce some of that inflammation and even alleviate some of the pain.
  • Corticosteroid injections — These injections contain a type of steroid medication that can be used in areas of the neck causing pain. These injections are generally recommended after a patient doesn’t respond to other, more conservative methods, like oral medication.

Why should you choose physical therapy to treat neck pain after shoulder surgery?

  • Decreased pain — Visiting a physical therapist may help decrease your pain levels. Physical therapists know how to target areas of pain to reduce swelling and inflammation. They will work with you through a uniquely created treatment plan that will build your neck and shoulder strength and improve your range of motion, all within your pain threshold.
  • Improved range of motion — Another benefit of getting physical therapy for neck pain after surgery is that it may improve your range of motion. After your shoulder surgery, your neck may be stiff and painful to move, but a physical therapist can help you regain control over your movements. You and a physical therapist can work together to reduce some of the pain in your neck and simultaneously improve your range of motion in both your neck and shoulder.
  • Decreased scar tissue — Scar tissue can build up following surgery on your shoulder, causing stiffness and pain. It may not be limited to your shoulder and can spread to your neck. You can use the help of a physical therapist to limit scar tissue growth. However, PT can also be implemented to reduce scar tissue years down the line. Scarring can develop over several years after a procedure and limit mobility. If you maintain annual visits with a physical therapist after surgery on your shoulder, you may be able to manage any scar tissue growth. Attending PT sessions immediately following your procedure and also several years after the fact is a good idea.

Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness is ready to help you manage your neck pain after shoulder surgery

Our team at Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness can offer you a unique and customized physical therapy experience. We value our patients so much that we strive to provide each one with a personalized treatment plan that caters to their individual lifestyles, habits and future goals. If you’re wondering why your neck is feeling painful after your shoulder surgery, we can guide you through the treatment plan you need to effectively manage your condition and work toward the relief you’re looking for at any one of our several locations. We can help you work through your pain while improving your range of motion, so you can get back to doing the things you love.

During our physical therapy sessions, our physical therapists will navigate you through your treatment with compassion and efficiency. We’re committed to making sure that you’re completing your exercises or movements with accuracy for the best results.

Are you ready to take the first step toward addressing your neck pain after shoulder surgery? Do you want to learn more about back pain and how to find relief from it? Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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